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Thread: Bitcoin

  1. #1

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Bitcoin

    I find Bitcoin (other virtual currencies are available) very interesting.

    I started a thread in the same vein a few months ago, because I'd been reading several authors who advocated a return to a modern gold standard. Said thread died on its arse, as the idea was tantamount to causing a depression and the next world war. (This ignored the fact that Bretton Woods was a de facto gold standard that lasted, fairly successfully, for several decades.)

    Yet the architecture of Bitcoin is also based on a fixed amount of currency in circulation. As many people who are worried about their savings are converting them to Bitcoin, is this the inevitable way forward?

    I've gone a bit Diable Rouge here

  2. #2
    WOM's Avatar
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    Bitcoin

    Is that about this?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-man-selling-his-400000-house-for-virtual-money-rather-than-cash/article10073392/

  3. #3
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    Bitcoin

    That's a very crafty way to get people to blow one of their "free" articles, WOM.

  4. #4
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    Bitcoin

    I'm working on a new tagline.

    How does "The Paper People Pay to Peruse" hit you?

  5. #5
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    Bitcoin

    . As many people who are worried about their savings are converting them to Bitcoin
    I think you've confused "many" with "not very many at all"

  6. #6

    Bitcoin

    What do those who know make of this?

  7. #7

    Bitcoin

    There's also stuff like this.

    I have absolutely no idea why someone in legitimate business would use this, but then what do I know. Wordpress and Reddit both accept them now for purchases in their store, so I guess they may be heading 'mainstream'.

    This site explains more.

  8. #8

    Bitcoin

    As long as there are people in power who can even think about the concept of "illegal plants" without giggling, it'll be a good idea.

  9. #9
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    Bitcoin

    That it's supported by people on Reddit and Ron Paul fans isn't winning me over.

  10. #10

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    Bitcoin

    Well, Bitcoin apps are top of the download charts in Spain and the value of a Bitcoin has jumped from 37 to over 50 in the last two days.

  11. #11

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    Bitcoin

    There's always an element of luck in investment decisions based on the "greater idiot" premise, i.e. managing to get out just in time.

  12. #12
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Bitcoin

    Just a bit volatile.

    This didn't help


  13. #13

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    Bitcoin

    I think whether or not Bitcoin is successful (or we're in a Bitcoin bubble) is a side-issue I think the whole idea of a decentralised currency, independent of governments is quite a game-changer.

  14. #14
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    Bitcoin

    Well, Bitcoin apps are top of the download charts in Spain and the value of a Bitcoin has jumped from 37 to over 50 in the last two days.
    Yeah, but the total value of Bitcoins in circulation is approximately $1bn (obviously it's been fluctuating all over the place recently). The 500th largest bank in the US has more deposits than that.

    I think the whole idea of a decentralised currency, independent of governments is quite a game-changer.
    It's not a new idea, though. Only the technology is, and the fact that it's come along at a time when fear-of-hyperinflation driven goldbuggery is high and confidence in banks is low. Alternative, non-governmental currencies have a long history (read up on my favourite American nutter Emperor Norton I, for instance). Ithaca Hours are still going, I believe.

  15. #15
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    Bitcoin

    I'd also add that the idea that Bitcoins can remain free of government regulation is going to die a hard death very soon. There's no way that major governments will let a money-laundering bonanza like that operate unfettered. They're not going to be able to completely control it, but they can and will regulate the shit out of the interfaces with the "real economy". Just like they do with other virtual currencies (eg Linden Dollars).

  16. #16

    Bitcoin

    Stumpy Pepys wrote: I find Bitcoin (other virtual currencies are available) very interesting.

    I started a thread in the same vein a few months ago, because I'd been reading several authors who advocated a return to a modern gold standard. Said thread died on its arse, as the idea was tantamount to causing a depression and the next world war. (This ignored the fact that Bretton Woods was a de facto gold standard that lasted, fairly successfully, for several decades.)
    What actually happened was that it was explained by a variety of people, at some length, why this wasn't at all analogous.

  17. #17

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    Bitcoin

    Ginger Yellow wrote: but they can and will regulate the shit out of the interfaces with the "real economy". Just like they do with other virtual currencies (eg Linden Dollars).
    What happened with Linden Dollars out of interest?

  18. #18
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    It was absorbed into the ordinary course of online monetary transactions. If you make a sufficiently large transfer, it's notifiable under money laundering laws. Any income that gets realised is taxable. Linden dollar banks either submit to to bank regulations or get shut down by Linden Labs.

  19. #19

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    Bitcoin

    Are we comparing like for like though? Linden Labs is a US-based company and therefore under the jurisdiction of the US financial authorities.

    Bitcoin, however, is peer-to-peer and no body is really issuing currency as such. As long as at least one Bitcoin exchange is willing to trade Bitcoin for Euros or Dollars, how do you practically put a stop to it? Even if you could, isn't it possible it could exist as a second currency of choice, assuming a sufficient mass of people accept it as such?

  20. #20

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    Bitcoin

    My local paper reports that a pub here in Cambridge (the Haymakers, in Chesterton) is now accepting bitcoin in settlement of your bar tab.

    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Business/Business-News/Use-virtual-currency-Bitcoin-to-buy-a-real-pint-in-Cambridge-pub-20130612060000.htm

    Am I being unfair in thinking that the three most significant groups to whom Bitcoin is of benefit are (a) people active in organised crime, (b) speculators hoping to make a quick buck and (c) nerds who are far too interested in computing?

  21. #21
    Ginger Yellow's Avatar
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    Bitcoin

    Well, it's questionable whether it will benefit the speculators, but those do seem to be the three main constituencies, yes.

  22. #22
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    Bitcoin

    I suppose you could add as a fourth constituency goldbugs.

  23. #23

  24. #24

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    Bitcoin

    Crikey. That stuff reads more like some futuristic sci-fi/crime thriller hybrid plot synopsis to me than an account of anything I'd have thought was going on in the real world right now. Shows what a hopelessly behind the times and uninformed technophobe I am, I suppose. Sometimes I feel like the judge in this (save in relation to the last item I assure everyone!):


  25. #25

    Bitcoin

    Interesting that a sophisticatedly anonymised site was taken down by a couple of tinpot errors.

    The biggest was to originally publicise his site using accounts on forums linked to a gmail address with his own name on it.

    So all they had to do was find the first reference to The Silk Road on the Surface Web and that led them straight to the guy.

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