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Any Bitcoiners here?

I got a couple early in the year and it's been a hell of a ride. I don't really care if it all goes tits up, as I've got more than my money's worth in new knowledge and fun had watching the developments. I think it (or something like it) might just be the future of payments... anyone else in to it?

Published by Free Will at 3:59pm on Wed 29th May 2013. Viewed 7,197 times.

I think it's a terrible idea.

Part of the point of money is that if you give it to someone else, you don't have it anymore.

If I have a pound coin in my hand and I give it to you, anyone can see that I don't have it anymore. Everyone understands that - it's just the way that physical objects work.

On the other hand, anyone that's used a computer knows that if I give you a computer file, there's still a copy of the file on my computer, so we've both got it, because that's the way that digital information works.

So there's a fundamental problem with trying to implement money digitally. Here's how Bitcoin avoids the problem: http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

That's at least graduate-level mathematics, cryptography and engineering - it's far from intuitively obvious.

So I'm far more comfortable with using physical objects to represent money.

Of course the same criticism also applies to computerised bank accounts. They're inherently risky things too, in my view, for much the same reason - giving me a perfect opportunity to mention one of my pet political peeves: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/End_the_debtbased_money_system

Published by Wrongfellow at 4:22pm on Wed 29th May 2013.

I've just looked into this - it makes my head want to explode!

Published by Dr Rhythm at 4:41pm on Wed 29th May 2013.

Now, I know slightly less than bugger-all about economics but it seems to me that for Bitcoins to have any value, you've got to have a large number of retailers/service providers that are willing to accept them as payment. If Bitcoins are riding an internet bubble at the moment (or I assume so; I've only vaguely heard of the entire concept - but then, I quite often fail to have any awareness at all of current trends) then you'll presumably get a lot of people wanting to use them while businesses, especially new businesses, will be reluctant because they're afraid that when the bubble bursts the value of the Bitcoin payments they've received so far will fall massively, perhaps killing the business. So they won't start accepting them, which then causes a similar Bitcoin value crash to the one that made them decide not to accept Bitcoins as payment in the first place and a load of people end up with Bitcoins that are worth very little or nothing. Like I said, I really know nothing at all about economics or, for that matter, Bitcoins; so if I'm completely wrong then so be it. Interesting experiment, however.

Published by John Techno at 6:02pm on Wed 29th May 2013.

I tried buying some bitcoin a few weeks back. It turned out to be harder than I thought it was going to be so I gave up.

It looks like there is a bit of establishment level panicking going on now and some of the money exchange services are getting it in the neck. I think the NSA have declared bitcoin to be as sound as pound from a legal standing as far as they are concerned but I'm not sure they think the same about people who want to buy and sell it, though...

Published by randomandtwisted at 9:59pm on Wed 29th May 2013.

WF: The way bitcoin is designed, it's very much a case of when you give one to someone, you don't have it anymore. Indeed in order for the transaction to be verified, the entire network needs to agree that it is no longer yours.

Dr: I know, it took about two weeks of reading to really get my head around it, and I'm sure I still don't understand completely. This infographic explains it well: http://visual.ly/bitcoin-infographic

JT: There are companys sprouting up which let you pay in bitcoins and they convert it straight into sterling or dollars for the company who you are paying, thus removing the risk for the company. Companies can charge less for bitcoin sales because of the tiny transaction fee. Because of the finite number of bitcoins (21 million), if they do become widely adopted their value is bound to increase.

RandT: The easiest way to buy them in the UK is localbitcoins.com. Buy from someone with 100% rating who has done lots of transactions.

Published by Free Will at 9:51am on Thu 30th May 2013.

WF: The way bitcoin is designed, it's very much a case of when you give one to someone, you don't have it anymore. Indeed in order for the transaction to be verified, the entire network needs to agree that it is no longer yours.

Did you read my whole post, or just the first couple of paragraphs?

Published by Wrongfellow at 9:59am on Thu 30th May 2013.

I did, it was the 3rd 4th and 5th paragraphs that made me write that. I thought perhaps simplifying the verification idea might help?
Personally I don't have a problem with the digital aspect of money, but I think having private companies (banks) in charge of creating it is stupid. That's one of the reasons I like the idea of a decentralised currency.

Published by Free Will at 10:53am on Thu 30th May 2013.

Well, I wrote "So there's a fundamental problem ... Here's how Bitcoin avoids the problem" and gave a link to a technical paper which explains in detail how the verification works. I thought that would have made it clear that I'm well aware of what you wrote above.

My issue with it (or with any other form of digital money) is that this necessarily involves complexity which isn't going to be understood by the majority of the population.

(Not that digital money doesn't have advantages too, of course.)

I think having private companies (banks) in charge of creating it is stupid. That's one of the reasons I like the idea of a decentralised currency.

I agree that it's stupid - but I think the fix is to nationalise the process of currency creation. Throw lawyers at the problem, not technology.

Published by Wrongfellow at 10:58am on Thu 30th May 2013.
This reply has been edited, last edit at 10:59am on Thu 30th May 2013.

It all reminds me of this for some reason:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiJa9diJOMk

Published by Old Rocker at 11:02am on Thu 30th May 2013.

This is the best idea for a decentralised currency since tulip bulbs.

Published by troll at 11:11am on Thu 30th May 2013.

Another argument against widespread adoption of Bitcoin is, who gets the newly created money?

Right now it ends up in the hands of banks.

With Bitcoin it ends up in the hands of those who can afford to spend the most on computers to "mine" for Bitcoins.

If currency creation were nationalised it would end up in the hands of the government. Hey presto, no more government debt, and at that point it becomes possible to distribute it equally amongst everyone, perhaps in the form of a "citizen's income", which in my view would be a very welcome alternative to the crappy welfare system we have today: http://basicincome2013.eu/

Published by Wrongfellow at 11:21am on Thu 30th May 2013.

Nothing says "this is definitely going to work" like a one sentence economic manifesto followed by a "hey presto".

Published by troll at 11:44am on Thu 30th May 2013.

Nothing says "this is a well-thought-out criticism" like a post from someone named "troll".

Published by Wrongfellow at 11:48am on Thu 30th May 2013.

Just kidding, I would definitely vote for you wrongfellow.

Published by troll at 11:55am on Thu 30th May 2013.

In something like big brother or a battle of the bands, you are box office

Published by troll at 11:57am on Thu 30th May 2013.

"I agree that it's stupid - but I think the fix is to nationalise the process of currency creation."
I would love to see this in place. I'm a big fan of http://www.positivemoney.org/

Published by Free Will at 12:03pm on Thu 30th May 2013.

So called negative income tax of this sort still doesn't fix the problem of low wages and merely passes the cost onto the state. Milton Friedman was a big proponent of this system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax

Published by SB___ at 3:17pm on Thu 30th May 2013.

In economics, a negative income tax (abbreviated NIT) is a progressive income tax system where people earning below a certain amount receive supplemental pay from the government instead of paying taxes to the government.

This is a very different idea to the citizen's income!

Published by Wrongfellow at 4:09pm on Thu 30th May 2013.

Ok, if it's essentially an improved form of minimum wage then i'm all for it, but I wasn't completely sure on how it worked from that site.

Published by SB___ at 6:25pm on Thu 30th May 2013.

Apparently one can now buy a pint in the Haymakers with my BTC... http://www.cabume.co.uk/software/bitcoin-buys-you-beer-in-cambridge-pu...

Published by Free Will at 10:00am on Fri 7th June 2013.

Deleted Post

Published by SB___ at 12:44pm on Fri 7th June 2013.

90 pence per £100 is 0.9%

Published by Rocket Dog at 12:48pm on Fri 7th June 2013.

I misread it completely...

Published by SB___ at 1:02pm on Fri 7th June 2013.

Published by John Techno at 10:50am on Wed 12th June 2013.

To be honest, I think that bitcoin is going to make the world a much more interesting place. Boundaries will be broken down and power will be taken away from banks and corporations. Bitcoin and the blockchain are the future. Here's a little infographic of how a day in the future could look with this technology - courtesy of http://www.openuniversity.edu/courses/programmes/subjects/computing-de...

Published by BitcoinBrutus at 2:41pm on Mon 18th July 2016.

Bitcoin is the way forward for businesses. It makes it much easier for me to take payments for my services around the world without restriction. Paying for custom snapchat filters at http://www.custom-geofilters.com is much easier.

Published by nugesaurus at 12:27pm on Mon 25th July 2016.

This spam is beginning to evolve. Soon we won't be able to spot it from general online chat :(

Published by foolscap (not active) at 1:14pm on Mon 25th July 2016.

Spam needs to include lols to be truely convincing.

Published by Silent Rob at 6:03am on Tue 26th July 2016.

Deleted Post

Published by nugesaurusrex (not active) at 2:45pm on Thu 4th May 2017.
This reply has been edited, last edit at 2:46pm on Thu 4th May 2017.

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