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Author Topic: Why I doubt we'll ever go mainstream  (Read 2847 times)
heybanana
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December 27, 2014, 10:51:08 PM
 #1

So this'll be a mix bag of different concepts and ideas. Take it for what it is and comment if you agree/disagree. But please provide some actual arguments for your opinions.

First up is decentralisation. Bitcoin may never go mainstream in the way say computers or the Internet have.

When it comes to computers you got the big names creating the hardware and also the big names creating the software. It's all very centralized and "safe" for the consumer.

It's the same thing with the Internet. Think of two sites you think represents or are very important to the mainstream. If you ask me I'd say Google and FB. Well both are centralized. Private companies and running these brands and services. Do most people seem to care about this when sharing their info Online? No. They only care for the value they provide.

Now, ask yourself this..would the Internet och computers in general be as mainstream without companies like M$ and Apple? Probably not. In fact I'd argue companies like these have been the driving force behind the mainstream adoption of their businesses rather than the technology itself. It wasn't like people around the globe woke up and were all like "in a dream I had this realisation that I need a service because the current system of doing things is old and this new concept is much better". Companies like M$ created this realisation for us.

People generally don't like to waste energy by re-learning how do something (like making payments). If something works, it works. I watched that clip from letterman where he interviewed Bill Gates and everyone laughed at his visions of the Internet. Well the difference with Bitcoin is that since it's not centralised and therefore can't be controlled by the goverment (neither directly or through companies), leading it to the masses will be much more difficult. In my country, in fact at my very own bank, news stories have been published that people have lost access to their bank accounts due to BTC withdrawals. This is a kind of barrier that might be rather difficult to push through and try to get the rest of society to embrace. Aren't we basically saying here that in order to win over the banks we'll have to make BTC so big that they can't ignore it (or rather, their businesses will die if this happens...like in an revolution against the system)? Considering how much we rely on banks today I'd say it's an extremely heavy resistance we're facing.

And on the same note, it BTC goes up to $10,000 tomorow would you still hold? IF you'd sell I'd argue this only strengthens the theory that we're in for one hell of an upphill battle. I mean even if we, the people on this forum who generally seems to be extremely anti-banks, praise anonymity and so forth would cash out.

I find it very unlikely to wake up one day, turn on the TV (or something like it) and hear the mainstream media praising Bitcoin.
Why? Because:
1. Mainstream media is centralised (=can be controlled by the government). Why would for example USA ever wish to push BTC (which they can't control) before the dollar? IMO we'd need a fully decentralised mass media for this to happen. Meaning if you sit down and talk with your family at the end of the day, and everyone are talking about the same big news, this news would have been delivered by decentralised (but still trustworthy) sources. This is of course already happening a bit, people hear about things on Twitter etc but then again those are privately owned companies driving this movement of alt news sources.
2. Mainstream media only has room for simple "truths" that are easy to digest without too much thinking. BTC is not simple but quite nuanced and gray. It's neither "good or evil". Compare this to say computers or FB which almost everyone would say are fantastic inventions. And whenever something bad/illegal happens on say FB it can be tracked down, removed etc. This way the service itself (which took action) is not to blame but the actual user who did it. But with BTC it's a bit different because we can't single out users like that as easily. If an exchange is hacked then you'll read "Bitcoin Hacked!". I believe this phenomenon isn't only tied with ignorance but also the fact that the BTC service can in fact be misused with zero consequence. Meaning it's Bitcoin's fault...Bitcoin was hacked. See the simple logic going on here? No one's responsible. How could this issue be solved? To expand on this, Bitcoin can as we all know be used to do "bad" things. Yes so can fiat but remember it is the Internet we're talking about as well and tor networks are (at least currently) more tangible and easier to try to hunt down than say two people meeting up in a back alley somewhere. The Internet also allows people to do illegal things on a much bigger and global scale than ever before. It's hard to see how these facts could be ignored by the mass media. But again, perhaps if everything is completely decentralised it'd work. An alternative "twist" to this would be to say well this issue of trust, usabillity, responsibility (if a user is stupid/hack occurs) can be solved by letting services like say bitpay handle all mainstream transactions. But...then we're going back to cecentralisation aren't we? People say don't use Online wallets which is out of your control but IF BTC can go mainstream aren't most people going to use this exact method of storing their value? Which would go completely against the concepts of not needing a third party to overlook everything.

Summary:
I believe Bitcoin might be too smart and disruptive of a technology for it's own good. Or at least to be able to be digested by the mainstream.
I'm starting to think the future of BTC might still be "underground" but still successful, like in poker/gambling sites, adult content or other services where anonymity is naturally sought after. Disagree? Why?
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December 27, 2014, 10:59:53 PM
 #2

Clifford Stoll in 1995: http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

Paul Krugman in 1998: "By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's.": http://web.archive.org/web/19980610100009/www.redherring.com/mag/issue55/economics.html

Letterman interviewing Bill Gates in 1995, wondering why people would ever want a computer in their home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz6IQX7uDk4

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December 27, 2014, 11:05:34 PM
 #3

Bitcoin itself may not go mainstream, but the blockchain idea definitely will. This is going to be a revolution, and 10 years from now you will be remembering these early days and realize you never expected to work out this way.

I imagine all those using Netscape had no idea what it would be like when Android phones would arrive.

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December 27, 2014, 11:07:59 PM
 #4

Fiat Credit Card System : 5-8% of fee on ALL transaction + cost of "asking agreement" of each transaction + LOAN of credit card POS.
Movie "the rise and rise of bitcoin" explain this very easly in a supermarket.

Bitcoin : 0,0001 BTC for each transaction ( http://bitcoinfees.com/ ) + Wifi (fix cost) + Personal Phone to monitoring transaction (3x less than a POS cost).


Why merchand want to pay more to have more problems ?
That's why Apple lauch ApplePay, too ... because many of (good and real) customers have a smartphone.
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December 27, 2014, 11:09:50 PM
 #5

OP, we all have individual ideas why Bitcoin will succeed or fail. But we are just men(gender neutral), it's really a gamble. It will either or will not. Not to crush your "hopes", but it's just your opinion, a single man out of 2 billion people using the internet(and the earth has 7+).

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December 27, 2014, 11:10:20 PM
 #6

Bitcoin itself may not go mainstream, but the blockchain idea definitely will. This is going to be a revolution, and 10 years from now you will be remembering these early days and realize you never expected to work out this way.

+1

Thanks investing in Bitcoin on the beggining we're part of internet revolution. Imagine that you can build whole services, applications and projects copletly decentralized, anonymous and transparent.

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December 27, 2014, 11:11:05 PM
 #7

Fiat Credit Card System : 5-8% of fee on ALL transaction + cost of "asking agreement" of each transaction + LOAN of credit card POS.

Bitcoin : 0,0001 BTC for each transaction ( http://bitcoinfees.com/ ) + Wifi (fix cost) + Personal Phone to monitoring transaction (3x less than a POS cost).
Dont forget the fees for converting BTC<->fiat and all the KYC hassle.
Dont forget the "fees" you pay because of price declining.
Bitcoin is wonderful but its not magic.

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heybanana
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December 27, 2014, 11:14:55 PM
 #8

Clifford Stoll in 1995: http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

Paul Krugman in 1998: "By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's.": http://web.archive.org/web/19980610100009/www.redherring.com/mag/issue55/economics.html

Letterman interviewing Bill Gates in 1995, wondering why people would ever want a computer in their home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz6IQX7uDk4

Read those, actually even referred to one of them in OP. Wink These links don't answer the actual concerns I was talking about in the post.

Bitcoin itself may not go mainstream, but the blockchain idea definitely will. This is going to be a revolution, and 10 years from now you will be remembering these early days and realize you never expected to work out this way.

I imagine all those using Netscape had no idea what it would be like when Android phones would arrive.

Yes, perhaps. I was mainly thinking about BTC the currency as it exists today. Though I guess I could see arguments I made apply to other uses of the blockchain as well?

OP, we all have individual ideas why Bitcoin will succeed or fail. But we are just men(gender neutral), it's really a gamble. It will either or will not. Not to crush your "hopes", but it's just your opinion, a single man out of 2 billion people using the internet(and the earth has 7+).

Yes of course. But I also think it's never a bad idea to discuss and analyze things that matter to us. BTC does matter to me since I've invested a lot of time into it. This right here is the biggest place on earth for Bitcoin discussion. So I fully expect someone who's also interested in the subject of mainstream adoption to read and argue against the points I've made. This is the reason for any topic to exist.

I wonder why do we have so many new people joining and making these kinds of post everyday.

I can only tell you about my own reason for raising these concerns (and hopefully get some kind of response to them). Though it's off-topic and quite irrelevant. It's because I care about BTC and everything it stands for but I'm starting to have some doubts about this whole "going mainstream 20XX" idea floating around. I've yet to find any answers to the arguments I've layed down in the OP. This worries me frankly. Is this the kind of feedback I can expect? The argument here is mainly: based on the things I bring up in the OP, doesn't it seem like Bitcoin in fact is not meant for mainstream usage? Or that it'll at very least be a massive upphill battle compared to things we compare it to today like the Internet?

The fact this is a new account I'm posting from means nothing except that I like to stay anonymous. If you indeed choose to ignore everything I argue in the OP and just focus on my post count instead then I guess you're free to do so. But it won't take the discussion anywhere.

It'd be interesting if anyone would wish to comment the concerns mentioned in the OP.
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December 27, 2014, 11:15:18 PM
 #9

Dont forget the fees for converting BTC<->fiat and all the KYC hassle.
Dont forget the "fees" you pay because of price declining.
Bitcoin is nice but it's not magic.

1) Bank take fee when you miss (or not ... regular bank in Europe take money even from a private account ... because they can to allow people to keep money on account).

2) You pay the credit card (48 USD per year, generaly ...)

3) I agree but the cost of transaction are known by the bidder in Bitcoin (and that is good for bitcoin network transparency).
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December 27, 2014, 11:16:29 PM
 #10

I wonder why do we have so many new people joining and making these kinds of post everyday.

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December 27, 2014, 11:33:03 PM
 #11

Clifford Stoll in 1995: http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

Paul Krugman in 1998: "By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's.": http://web.archive.org/web/19980610100009/www.redherring.com/mag/issue55/economics.html

Letterman interviewing Bill Gates in 1995, wondering why people would ever want a computer in their home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz6IQX7uDk4

Excellent finds.

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December 28, 2014, 01:26:05 AM
 #12


...  

And on the same note, it BTC goes up to $10,000 tomorow would you still hold? IF you'd sell I'd argue this only strengthens the theory that we're in for one hell of an upphill battle. I mean even if we, the people on this forum who generally seems to be extremely anti-banks, praise anonymity and so forth would cash out.

...  

The success of btc is not 100% tied to the price. Btc could be perfectly successful with the mainstream (in the sense that millions use it like email or fb) regardless of the volatility and 'final' price level.
Right now that seems crazy, but it's due to the huge bias of people on this forum who see btc as an investment and tie its success to a high price. Whether btc settles on some stable price or it fluctuates wildly forever, it can still be functional for the masses and large companies looking to utilise it.

Ofcourse the miners may have to be rewarded in a different way than they are today depending on how price develops, but that's not impossible to conceive of (eg they just get a 'salary' from companies profiting from using the block chain tech, not from blocks themselves - in a sense 'renting' access to it from miners ). Sounds weird but not impossible, right?

Maybe I'm missing something!  but if the price falls back to and settled in the single  digit range it would cause a fuss but companies and people who wanted to use the tech would simply find a way to adapt it to what they need (same if price stayed volatile, just need to find a way to segragate speculators and traders impact from day2day users). Thus btc will survive and imo would actually be more likely to become a mainstream tech (in the backend sense: that millions use it via online transactions or something,  but don't really know they are using it per se, but if price of each btc were not a concern of the day2day they'd be more likely to use it).

I guess depends if you care or not about btc becoming mainstream in the way btc is used / exists today.
Just my understanding of what is possible, correct me if I'm wrong. ;p

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December 28, 2014, 02:17:58 AM
 #13

Newsflash, "The internet" wasn't google and facebook when it began to catch on. You had to figure out modems, diallers, TCP/IP stacks, unless you used it in a dumbed down sanitised version like AOL. Google and Facebook are 10+ years down the road, OF FUCKING COURSE bitcoin isn't that polished yet.

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December 28, 2014, 02:36:08 AM
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Newsflash, "The internet" wasn't google and facebook when it began to catch on. You had to figure out modems, diallers, TCP/IP stacks, unless you used it in a dumbed down sanitised version like AOL. Google and Facebook are 10+ years down the road, OF FUCKING COURSE bitcoin isn't that polished yet.

I seem to have hit a nerve.
Anyway, I wasn't wondering why as of 2014/2015 Bitcoin isn't as popular as Facebook. The points I made were about the challenges of Bitcoin EVER hitting mainstream acceptance (in the same way services like FB have been accepted as part of our lifes today). One of which was the fact that Bitcoin lacks something all these massively popular services seem to have in common which is centralization. People know who to call when something goes wrong with a paypal transaction. Since decentralization is such an important part of Bitcoin I'm wondering how this conflict of interest can be solved. The conflict being that we want Bitcoin to be both an disruptive force against the entire financial system while also hitting it hard mainstream a la Facebook.
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December 28, 2014, 03:06:51 AM
 #15

IMO that centralisation is an artifact of success due to snowballing "network effect", it's the only way it could be done... in the past. There were 10+ search engines, there were 10+ budding "social network" type sites, the bigger ones got bigger, because the bigger they were the more attractive they were to use.

With blockchain technology that co-ordinates independant nodes into a whole, kind of like an unbreakable franchise agreement, one can have a decentralised, system that behaves more like a centralised one, in that the interoperability is enforced in the code.

TL;DR See Spot run. Run Spot run. .... .... Freelance interweb comedian, for teh lulz >>> 1MqAAR4XkJWfDt367hVTv5SstPZ54Fwse6

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December 28, 2014, 03:19:36 AM
 #16

I wonder why do we have so many new people joining and making these kinds of post everyday.

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December 28, 2014, 03:41:02 AM
 #17

Bitcoin itself may not go mainstream, but the blockchain idea definitely will. This is going to be a revolution, and 10 years from now you will be remembering these early days and realize you never expected to work out this way.

I imagine all those using Netscape had no idea what it would be like when Android phones would arrive.
Yes, the most important thing is blockchain idea, whatever bitcoin survive or die, the  blockchain technology will be  survived.
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December 28, 2014, 04:02:16 AM
 #18

Bitcoin itself may not go mainstream, but the blockchain idea definitely will. This is going to be a revolution, and 10 years from now you will be remembering these early days and realize you never expected to work out this way.

I imagine all those using Netscape had no idea what it would be like when Android phones would arrive.
Yes, the most important thing is blockchain idea, whatever bitcoin survive or die, the  blockchain technology will be  survived.


This is the blockchain without bitcoins.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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December 28, 2014, 05:13:07 AM
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I watched that clip from letterman where he interviewed Bill Gates and everyone laughed at his visions of the Internet. Well the difference with Bitcoin is that since it's not centralised and therefore can't be controlled by the goverment (neither directly or through companies), leading it to the masses will be much more difficult.
when bill gates done the letterman interview, the internet was very centralised. AOL owned the majority stake.. it was not until the internet became less centralised with other companies popping up as ISP's did the internet truly expand beyond belief.

In my country, in fact at my very own bank, news stories have been published that people have lost access to their bank accounts due to BTC withdrawals. This is a kind of barrier that might be rather difficult to push through and try to get the rest of society to embrace. Aren't we basically saying here that in order to win over the banks we'll have to make BTC so big that they can't ignore it (or rather, their businesses will die if this happens...like in an revolution against the system)? Considering how much we rely on banks today I'd say it's an extremely heavy resistance we're facing.
when people realise that they can hold wealth and operate without a bank account (bitcoins true purpose) then those smart people will adopt bitcoin. it wont be until a few years before general public are ready for bitcoin.. we are still in the innovation stage after all.. so relax.

And on the same note, it BTC goes up to $10,000 tomorow would you still hold? IF you'd sell I'd argue this only strengthens the theory that we're in for one hell of an upphill battle. I mean even if we, the people on this forum who generally seems to be extremely anti-banks, praise anonymity and so forth would cash out.

anyone looking at the bitcoin price more then once a day/week are not the anti-bank population. the ones that even care about a $10k bitcoin are the ones that are only in bitcoin for a get fiat rich scheme.. and to be honest. ill be glad to see them go.

I find it very unlikely to wake up one day, turn on the TV (or something like it) and hear the mainstream media praising Bitcoin.
Why? Because:
1. Mainstream media is centralised (=can be controlled by the government). Why would for example USA ever wish to push BTC (which they can't control) before the dollar? IMO we'd need a fully decentralised mass media for this to happen. Meaning if you sit down and talk with your family at the end of the day, and everyone are talking about the same big news, this news would have been delivered by decentralised (but still trustworthy) sources. This is of course already happening a bit, people hear about things on Twitter etc but then again those are privately owned companies driving this movement of alt news sources.
media not positive about bitcoin? are you sure???
http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/12/10/ron-paul-bitcoin-currency-dollar-fed.cnnmoney/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqN6n9_xVgw
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11138581/Bitcoin-will-become-the-new-gold.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11138905/Bill-Gates-Bitcoin-is-exciting-because-it-is-cheap.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28816975

plus hundreds more..

2. Mainstream media only has room for simple "truths" that are easy to digest without too much thinking. BTC is not simple but quite nuanced and gray. It's neither "good or evil". Compare this to say computers or FB which almost everyone would say are fantastic inventions.

when talking about computers no one gos into details to explain what gigaherts, ram, HDD, quad-core truly means
when talking about money no one talks about the cotton paper or the ISO numbers of the inks or the fabrication methods


And whenever something bad/illegal happens on say FB it can be tracked down, removed etc. This way the service itself (which took action) is not to blame but the actual user who did it. But with BTC it's a bit different because we can't single out users like that as easily.

trendon shavers - in court
mark kerpeles - in court
ross ulbricht - in court
charlie shrem, btcking - in court
the other heists like the bitcoinica, intersango.. well we all know its amir taaki.
now tell me how many bankers have been pt in court if bank note fraud is such easier to audit???

If an exchange is hacked then you'll read "Bitcoin Hacked!". I believe this phenomenon isn't only tied with ignorance but also the fact that the BTC service can in fact be misused with zero consequence. Meaning it's Bitcoin's fault...Bitcoin was hacked. See the simple logic going on here? No one's responsible.

no one is respobsible for gold thefts either.. for far too long people have been reliant on banks.. but how often have banks forclosed on people, how often have banks closed accounts. how often have credit cards been declined..

How could this issue be solved? To expand on this, Bitcoin can as we all know be used to do "bad" things. Yes so can fiat but remember it is the Internet we're talking about as well and tor networks are (at least currently) more tangible and easier to try to hunt down than say two people meeting up in a back alley somewhere. The Internet also allows people to do illegal things on a much bigger and global scale than ever before. It's hard to see how these facts could be ignored by the mass media. But again, perhaps if everything is completely decentralised it'd work. An alternative "twist" to this would be to say well this issue of trust, usabillity, responsibility (if a user is stupid/hack occurs) can be solved by letting services like say bitpay handle all mainstream transactions. But...then we're going back to cecentralisation aren't we? People say don't use Online wallets which is out of your control but IF BTC can go mainstream aren't most people going to use this exact method of storing their value? Which would go completely against the concepts of not needing a third party to overlook everything.

its already happening now, that normal DUMB users are using webwallets for small convenient daily spend amounts.. even some of the big smart players are too. but then keeping the long hoard stuff backed up offline. that is going to be the nature of bitcoin . just like the nature of all currencies..

to have a little bit of junk change in your pocket to spend today, but secure your main savings separately. so relax its happening

Summary:
I believe Bitcoin might be too smart and disruptive of a technology for it's own good. Or at least to be able to be digested by the mainstream.
I'm starting to think the future of BTC might still be "underground" but still successful, like in poker/gambling sites, adult content or other services where anonymity is naturally sought after. Disagree? Why?

bitcoin is not smart or too disruptive.. its just code. it has no voice.. what you have to realise is that we are still in the innovator stage where a high percentage of users are geeks trying to show off. thus the limited PR that gets sent out, is usually spun out with all the scientific lingo..
when normal people start adopting bitcoin and the early main adopter phase begins, you will see less talk about the technical aspects and more about the simple 'features and benefits' just like no one talks about how many bolts and welding spots it took to put a car together, they just tell customers about the leather seats and top speed.

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Don't take any information given on this forum on face value. Please do your own due diligence & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. If you wish to seek legal FACTUAL advice, then seek the guidance of a LEGAL specialist.
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December 28, 2014, 06:14:41 AM
 #20

time will tell ...... also, what does it mean by mainstream?  Mom and pop don't trade stocks - but you can't argue about stock market & wall street's power
even if bitcoin never goes mainstream, it doesn't mean we can't make some $ out of it.
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