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Author Topic: My take on altcoins  (Read 648 times)
hathmill
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July 24, 2012, 08:38:22 AM
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http://blog.aramisw.com/index.asp?action=view&filter=Economics&post=altcoins&creationdate=120724

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So, recently I started to read about Bitcoins and when I did, I came across altcoins. Those are alternatives to Bitcoins; it is coins that are similar but not the same. Same, same but different. There are several altcoins: Namecoins, Solidcoins, Litecoins etc.

I think I understand why Bitcoins attract users (link) and I think I can see why altcoins could attract some users as well.

There are many reasons as to why people find Bitcoins useable, one being the spreading mistrust in the banking system that has gained momentum after the financial crisis and which is being fueled by the banks own behavior. I am of course referencing the LIBOR scandal and the growing evidence of collusion between the Bank of England and international regulators, including the US Federal Reserve, in allowing the rigging of the London interbank offered rate (link). The reasons as to why people would want to allocate at least a small portion of their wealth into Bitcoins, are many and I listed only a few reasons just to prove the point.

But if people are distrusting the banking system then why should they trust the Bitcoin system? My thinking is that they should not. Nothing in the world of finance should ever be trusted or be based on faith. In my opinion it boils down to risk/reward and not putting all the eggs in the same basket. Thus, if you want to diversify out of the stock market and into cryptocurrencies, then perhaps buying some Bitcoins and some other altcoin is the way to go.

Take gold and silver as an example. People that have wanted to avoid downside risk in the stock market have traded the gold stock market ratio (link). By simply switching between long gold and long a stock index, they have been able to preserve their purchasing power. However gold is inherently volatile, so by combining the gold stock ratio trading strategy with trading the gold silver ratio (link) further profits could be realized.

My guess is that a trader could in a similar way, benefit from switching back and forth between Bitcoins and an alternative coin. When Bitcoin price is overextended, one could switch to another coin and when Bitcoin becomes oversold switch back again. By successfully doing so, one would have found a way to deal with the volatility of Bitcoins, without exposing oneself to the banking system or the stock market.

Being diversified into at least two coins, would also be constructive in managing the risk of a coin coming under attack or being taken down.

I am right now eyeing the LTCBTC ratio with much interest. Perhaps LTC will be short lived, perhaps not, in any case I hope that it survives long enough to give an insight into how an alternative coin behaves in reference to Bitcoins.
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Kazimir
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July 24, 2012, 11:20:45 AM
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But if people are distrusting the banking system then why should they trust the Bitcoin system?
Because trusting the banking system boils down to trusting people, companies, and governments. Which they have proven to be unworthy of, time after time.
Whereas trusting Bitcoin boils down to trusting math and the power of cryptography.

My bet's on cryptography.

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
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hathmill
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July 27, 2012, 05:28:31 PM
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But if people are distrusting the banking system then why should they trust the Bitcoin system?
Because trusting the banking system boils down to trusting people, companies, and governments. Which they have proven to be unworthy of, time after time.
Whereas trusting Bitcoin boils down to trusting math and the power of cryptography.

My bet's on cryptography.


I am note here to put down Bitcoins or other cryptos. Just wanted to get that said. Personally I do not feel confident to transfer all of my purchasing power into them. One of the things that makes me hesitate is the 51% attac. And there are other things as well tells me that I better diversify my purchasing power then to go all in. This is my personal feelings and I know other people think differently and I respect that. I do not believe in fiat or gold either.
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July 27, 2012, 05:53:19 PM
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Silver coins became a medium of exchange because it is difficult to divide Gold beyond a certain amount.   1 gram coins are possible but even one gram coins have significant purchasing power.  How do you pay for a meal which is worth 0.01827 grams of gold?  That is why silver and other lower value coins emerged.  

Bitcoin has no such limitation.  It is just as easy to perform a transaction for 0.01 BTC as it is to perform one for 100,000 BTC.  There is the potential for other crypto-currencies to carve out a niche but LTC being essentially a straight copy of BTC with a different hashing algorithm (one which is more vulnerable to a low cost 51% attack).  In time LTC will die off just like all the other BTC clones.

The sad thing is there is a lot of potential for alternative crypto-currencies which fulfill various needs but a BTC clone has no utility value.  Just like a clone of ebay or amazon will die from the network efect so will a direct clone of BTC.

It sounds like you have drunk the LTC Kool-Aid so I don't expect to convince you but the post may prevent others from buying into the same faulty logic.
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