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Author Topic: Why I doubt we'll ever go mainstream  (Read 2847 times)
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December 28, 2014, 09:46:07 PM
 #41

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.

THIS

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December 28, 2014, 09:52:19 PM
 #42

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?
Maybe not bitcoin but some altcoin for sure, maybe even if not altcoin then the blockchain technology, give it few years!

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December 28, 2014, 11:06:39 PM
 #43

If the Winkle twins are able to get Wall Street involved, we could see a Chinese type boon all over again.

seems people like you only care about the price boom and not the usage boom...

i think anyone only thinking about the price has never left their basement to try talking their local grocer into accepting bitcoin..
and as such, those lazy a-holes that want other people to do the hard work while the a-holes make fiat profits.. dont deserve any such profits.

going mainstream is not about price rise, its about usage. so instead of arguing that bitcoin will or wont go mainstream or that the price will or wont rocket.. and simply go talk to your landlords, grocery stores and gas stations and get them to accept bitcoin.

after all if everyone does their part to ensure bitcoin usage in their own area, the end result is that all area's are covered.
The reason why people are not wanting to engage local merchants to get them to accept bitcoin is because it will have a very small marginal benefit to them. When you put the effort into getting an additional merchant to accept bitcoin it will cause a very small amount of additional adoption, especially when compared to the percentage of bitcoin that most people that hold bitcoin have.

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December 28, 2014, 11:14:28 PM
 #44

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).

Robocoin Bitcoin ATM: 5% fee, 7% spread.
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December 30, 2014, 12:33:46 PM
 #45

When it comes to bitcoin and the blockchain I would say we are still in the early dos days of the technology. There is a ton of room for it to grow before it goes mainstream but with the rate that technology advances I believe it can happen pretty fast. By the year 2020 I believe we will see a bitcoin logo right next to every visa and Mastercard logo at every gas station, grocery store and retail store.
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December 30, 2014, 07:52:49 PM
 #46

I think Bitcoin is more comparable to TCP/IP or a protocol level technology, than a manufacturer/software company like Apple or Microsoft.

Facebook/Google are social networking and search/ad revenue companies, so not really a good comparison.

The actual Bitcoin currency may evolve over time, but the underlying blockchain technology is what all the major financial and technology players are targetting and looking at it with high interest and dollar sign eyes.

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December 30, 2014, 09:09:09 PM
 #47

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.



Consider the Bitcoin bowl. Merchants (which are centralized) such as Bitpay will construct services around Bitcoin.  This will inevitably advertise Bitcoin's technology in the same fashion as Dell promotes "lalala core processsor" this new" LED display".

Bitcoin will get marketing from the businesses that adopt it. Right now, I am seeing a whole bunch of merchant acceptance without involvement, meaning lots of merchants are throwing up "bitcoin accepted" signs, but they are not putting in the leg work to educate customers, and why should they if it's going to cost alot with no return.  In order to reap rewards for both sides of the picture, merchants need to use bitcoin as a strategy, not a promotion.  Educate customers, find a place in their evoked set or word of mouth. 

I am strong on the fact that if you can excite your customers about bitcoin, your brand will be mentioned when they tell their friends... right now it's just a theory but there has to be some sort of grounding, and will be doing research in january to test.  Likewise, a person who has had a smooth bitcoin transaction with you in the past, I believe, will come back for more business when faced with no alternatives using bitcoin, so if your brand is the only one in the industry utilizing these payments you should see a few additional sales.

With that said it all lies in the marketing and how you creatively communicate bitcoin to the customer. Everyone knows merchants save 2.9% here and there, now why is a consumer going to stop using cash ad convert to bitcoin...  This queston to me is an industry specific answer.... ONline poker is what originally got me here, and it's a huge benefit to use bitcoin.  This is going to be different from a grocery store, to a movie rental place, to a restraunt.

So right now i really think it lies within merchants to not only accept bitcoin, but promote it, sell with it, educate their customers and monitor the results.  PErhaps loyalty will rise?  Maybe bitcoin can be used as a way to discount upsales?

There's a place, we're in the grey area. I think big things are coming this year.

Happy holidays.
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December 30, 2014, 09:17:00 PM
 #48

It could go mainstream, I am teaching my mom on how to use Bitcoin.  She is just collecting faucets and she enjoys doing it(she doesn't have a lot, anyone want to donate to her?Smiley)   She is not an everyday computer user, and does have some trouble understanding what everything is on there, I will also say there is no way she would ever know how to secure her wallet besides using an online one with a password(much like an email or bank account)

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December 30, 2014, 11:45:46 PM
 #49

virtual currency will go mainstream. Bitcoin has the best chance currently.

Decentralization is how natural markets work.

For example the gold/silver market started as decentralized as gold and silver were dispersed in all parts of the world. Now we have some centralized stashes but it is still decentralized to a certain extent and that has been over the course of thousands of years.



gold has an advantage of hundreds/thousands of years to establish itself. bitcoin just came around the corner and some people say it will follow the same road..... how is that even possible?

 
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December 31, 2014, 12:07:59 AM
 #50

It doesn't have to go mainstream in the First world.  There are plenty of poorer countries that don't have access to bank accounts and can't safely store money in their homes, who need Bitcoin. 

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December 31, 2014, 03:03:14 AM
 #51

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.

This still isn't an issue.  "The internet" is decentralized.  And there are centralized products and services built on top of it.  Just like Bitcoin is decentralized, and there will be centralized products and services built on top of it.  Even though everyone here screams about a decentralized revolution - human beings as a whole will flock to safe, centralized, trustworthy entities.  But just like the internet, you will be able to still use Bitcoin in an anonymous, decentralized fashion as a power user, if you choose to.  Just like people today use TOR.  So your concern isn't really a concern.  If you give it the time he is suggesting, all those things you wish existed (centralized companies) will exist.  And by the way - it was a hell of a lot more than 10 years before Facebook.  Even Google came more than 30 years after the inception of the internet.  Thirty Years before Google existed.   Again:   Thirty years.

-B-

Bitcoin's true purpose defined in Satoshi's message on the Genesis Block:
"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"
View it on the Blockchain | Genesis Block Newspaper Copies
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December 31, 2014, 03:08:15 AM
 #52

Keep supporting Bitcoin, it will prevail.

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