Bitcoin?

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by ---NT---, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Bitcoin?
    Anybody use Bitcoin? Anybody very knowledgeable about it? I've been hearing about it for a little while now and just started reading up on it today. It's a good bit over my head, but the idea intrigues me - especially as I continue to lose faith in, and gain disgust for, our current economic system. But while being intriguing I'm also quite skeptical of it, for a variety of reasons - not least of which is my own ignorance.

    For any Neal Stephenson fans, Bitcoin is similar to one of the central ideas in Cryptonomicon - that being a new form of e-currency outside the jurisdiction of any national governments or centralized banks.

    http://bitcoin.org/en/

    https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page
     
  2. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Bitcoin?
    Conceptually I find it fascinating, however the applicability is still very rough. The whole anonymous nature of it, while being a benefit for certain things, certainly makes a lot of the transactions suspect. And in the end, it is reliant on trading actual currency for BitCoin, which makes make it another commodity to be traded/fluctuate, etc. But the one thing that concerns me most if I were to use it, is the complete lack of any kind of backup system. The onus is 100% on the owner to maintain their 'bank' and if something happens for whatever reason, well that is TS for them. This seems like it was done on purpose, and comes off looking like a really poor system.

    I love the idea of having a universal e-currency, but without any kind of overseeing system (these are basically just files) the whole thing seems very poorly managed - either intentionally or not. Why not just use secure cloud servers or something. I don't want to have to keep track of all these files and a million passwords and logins (they recommend a different one for each transaction). It is supposed to make it easier, but just seems to be [for now] a more susceptible format to losing your money, and since it is untraceable and there is no record, unless I am a criminal organisation I'll stick to another method.

    Given that it has been around for a while, and still seems in its infancy and confined to non-typical transactions, I am skeptical. I would like to see it improve. I am also very curious as to who the ultimate end-user of all this is. Incidentally, you can buy a house in Alberta with Bitcoin now, but from what I understand, it is not any cheaper, so I don't quite get the incentive.
     
  3. ---NT---

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    Bitcoin?
    I think for users like you and me that's largely true. If I were to start using Bitcoin I would "buy in" using USD. But if you're a merchant you can just set up an account and receive BTC without ever putting USD into the system. Also, you can "mine" for BTC. I don't entirely get this, and it's one thing that makes me wary. Basically, if you have a server (?) you can put it to use processing transactions, and for doing this you're rewarded with BTC. What's odd to me is that they're creating new BTC every day - and these new pieces of currency are just based off of someone processing a transaction. I don't exactly understand how they're just creating new BTC out of thin air. But then, the Federal Reserve does the exact same thing and we all go along with it. And at least the total amount of BTC that will ever be created is capped at 21M - so that seems like some sort of "safeguard" that's sorely missing from fiat currencies.

    Yes - another very scary feature! Other than maintaining anonymity I don't understand why there's no back-up. If someone were to hack your account there's no way of retrieving funds. If you lose your password, you're out of luck. I guess I'm more worried about someone e-jacking me than I am about losing my password, but not being able to recover "lost" funds is troublesome.

    I may try it out someday, but I'm not ready yet - nor are the places I'm likely to spend money! But I think it'd be kinda cool to, for instance, send/receive BTC for toys sold on the board - could end up being a nice alternative to PayPal. Of course you'd have to 100% trust who you're dealing with, because there's no protection like there is with PayPal. And if I ever opened some sort of retail business I would certainly look into accepting BTC, or other systems (barter, etc) that don't feed the Federal Reserve.
     
  4. IronPaw

    IronPaw Line of Credit

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    Bitcoin?
  5. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Bitcoin?
    Yeah, see that is exactly what I would love BitCoin to be able to do; i.e. use it to replace PP transactions, and ultimately be able to pay for stuff from stores like Mandarake, or, god forbid, buy something on YJA without hassle. Universal currency = the future, it is just a matter of time, and what format it is going to take. I am all for quatloos.

    I read about the server aspect, and how they were 'looking' for people to volunteer this, but I didn't gather that you get payment in return for it - that makes sense, why else would you do it? Still not sure who is making the money in end too. Some stores do use BitCoin and you can buy shares/stocks as well, but if it does go belly-up (as in, no one honours your BC for anything) I would hate to be the guy holding a stockpile of it. ;)
     
  6. IronPaw

    IronPaw Line of Credit

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    Bitcoin?
    The problem with having a universal currency would be the vast difference in value each country would have to deal with. Some countries would inflate and others would completely be wiped out. Until they could figure out the logistics of not murdering countries value, it would be the electronic way of pushing countries into the third world and first world category.

    As if the world doesn't have enough problems already.
     
  7. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Bitcoin?
    Hadn't seen that one! The spike in the BTC value, with Europeans jumping in as the Euro fails, is what made me finally start reading about it.
    Though I hardly think it's fair to say that he paid $750K for a pizza, it is a pretty easy way to illustrate just how much the value of BTC has increased in such a short amount of time.
     
  8. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    Universal currency, because the Euro turned out so well.
     
  9. opportunitylol

    opportunitylol Toy Prince

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    Bitcoin?
    this and the chinese real estate market
     
  10. ---NT---

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    Bitcoin?
    Yeah - but apparently people are leaving the Euro for BTC (probably not entirely, but in large enough volumes to create a spike in the value of BTC). That's what I find so crazy. Also, it's hardly universal - it's still very fringe. And with an upper cap on how many BTC can be created, it seems that this was never intended to be a universal currency. Rather it seems to be a "proof of concept". As we watch our current monetary system implode I think it's interesting and important to have people exploring new ways of conducting transactions.
     
  11. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    Individuals are leaving investing in the Euro for BTC. This is different than leaving the Euro.
    There is no way to have different countries of varying success/economics succeed using the "same" currency, as we have seen with the Euro and the austerity of Greece and now the raping of accounts in Cyprus.
    I find it interesting but it seems fraught with the ease of scams, fraud and loss.

     
  12. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Bitcoin?
    I think you guys are misunderstanding my comment - the Euro was a flap, there is not debating that, and as someone who holds Germany citizenship, believe me, I would like nothing better than to have stuck with the Deutschmark. I was talking in that eventual utopian future, centuries off, wherein the global development as a whole is more important that any individual GDP - remember you are talking to a socialist here. :lol:
     
  13. Waiting...

    Waiting... Comment King

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    Bitcoin?
    "important to have people exploring new ways of conducting transactions." fuck that noise let's re-explore the old ways of conducting transactions, "that's an awful nice Goji there, I'll give you 2 beaver pelts and a flask of whiskey" "sold!"
     
  14. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    reality tv would have you believe bartering is all the rage
     
  15. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    So send me 1/3 of your toys. I haven't bought any in a while. Its only "fair."

     
  16. Waiting...

    Waiting... Comment King

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    Bitcoin?
    he said :lol: "eventual utopian future" :lol: the powers that be will see this rock smolder before we ever get there, we could get lucky but this to me is a case of knowing when to fold 'em
     
  17. Waiting...

    Waiting... Comment King

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    Bitcoin?
    I would have to watch TV for that to be the case, I've been clean of broadcast and cable TV for 10 years, take that straight edgers I'm better than you :lol:
     
  18. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Bitcoin?
    Yup. That's what interests me too. Because eventually we will have "universal" currencies. This is future-building. Maybe not with the same level of "ready for market" finish that Elon Musk is putting into Tesla and SpaceX. But I feel like where SpaceX (and other projects like it - MarsOne, for example) are vital for our continued existence projects like Bitcoin are vital to our future freedom.
    Nobody is claiming that Bitcoin is ready to replace fiat currencies, or that it's even close to being a sound "product". But I do think it's important that it be given the chance to explore new ways of conducting transactions. I fear that governments and central banks will use their weight to see to it that Bitcoin never gets a chance to fully explore what it can be capable of. Yes, it can be used to conduct illegal business - but our current system isn't keeping illegal transactions from taking place. Yes, it's open to manipulation - but our current system is too, and it actually affects millions/billions of people, not just a micro-percentage of early adopters. Rather than keep something from happening because it might be used for "bad" purposes, we should focus on the good that it can do and then try to change society to minimize the desire to use something with ill intent.

    Can anybody explain the value of inflation to me? Why is it necessary for the price of goods/services to continually increase? What would happen if prices remained constant and the value of a dollar never changed? Aside from a growing population spreading the money around more, is there any other impact? If population was constant would a consistent value assigned to goods/services, and a fixed number of dollars in the system be feasible?
     
  19. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    This is way too complex to even start to address here.
    But a big problem is a constant dollar value would require a static amount of dollars available.

     
  20. ---NT---

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    Bitcoin?
    Right. But if you had a population that wasn't changing, would there be any drawbacks to having a fixed number of dollars? This is all hypothetical, of course, since we have a rapidly growing world population and some individual countries are seeing population contractions.
     
  21. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    Even if the population stayed steady it would be like playing monopoly and what do you do when the bank runs out of money. lol

     
  22. Waiting...

    Waiting... Comment King

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    Bitcoin?
    in America we bail it out when it runs out of money
     
  23. audiodifficulties

    audiodifficulties S7 Royalty

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    Bitcoin?
    Just wait until they take 40% of savings accounts. lol
     
  24. ---NT---

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    Bitcoin?
    I just don't see how that's different from what's currently going on. Creating more money isn't keeping it from being concentrated in the hands of a very small minority.
     
  25. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Bitcoin?
    Didn't they already do that? Not to savings accounts, but to our retirement accounts.
     

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