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Old 02-11-2013, 05:11 PM   #21
vallor
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Stuff
I admit to being particularly wary. You can't just "make up" currency in this day and age. Plus, what's to stop Bitcoin being co-oped by the governments, or the Governments from starting their own digital currency and making Bitcoin transactions limited (since it takes the Government's stamp of approval to be "legal" tender)?

I *don't* have any background in economics, but I don't like the idea of people messing with my money! I got bills to pay and most of those only take official legal tender.

On the other hand if you're looking at it as an investment it might be a little different, but why not invest in a "real" currency? It seems more liquid than this new fangled stuff.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #22
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I admit to being particularly wary. You can't just "make up" currency in this day and age. Plus, what's to stop Bitcoin being co-oped by the governments, or the Governments from starting their own digital currency and making Bitcoin transactions limited (since it takes the Government's stamp of approval to be "legal" tender)?

I *don't* have any background in economics, but I don't like the idea of people messing with my money! I got bills to pay and most of those only take official legal tender.

On the other hand if you're looking at it as an investment it might be a little different, but why not invest in a "real" currency? It seems more liquid than this new fangled stuff.
Name a commodity, it's been used as money sometime, somewhere. Tulips were money once in Holland.

As for governments, they're unlikely to adopt bitcoin in place of their currency, and unlikely to sponsor their own, as control of money gives them a lot of wealth and power, and bitcoin is decentralized, you don't need a government.

I do expect the government to take action against it one day, but it will fail as surely as the fight against torrenting has failed.

As for so-called real currency, it's hard to even call it that. Fiat money is not real, it works only because of people's faith in it, faith which can be destroyed at any time by mismanagement, by inflation.

Venezuela just devalued their currency by 46%. That can never happen to bitcoin.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #23
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I think it's awesome that the creator(s) of the bitcoin is still unknown. After what happened to the creator of the Liberty dollar, it was probably a life saving decision to stay anonymous.

I'm definitely interested in it, but I'll have to research it a bit more before I jump on board. I've been considering investing in some sort of precious metal, but this may be a great option as well. The only thing I'm weary about is the digital only nature of it. In the even of something extreme like mass power outages or even a societal collapse, it'd be easy to see that wealth disappear. Precious metals are more... permanent.

But, bitcoins could definitely be a great way to augment investments, provided the value stabilizes a bit more.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #24
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Alright I'm just gonna lay this out there. You're not a true dork/nerd/geek if you don't own some bitcoin. It's major nerdcred :P
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #25
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Name a commodity, it's been used as money sometime, somewhere. Tulips were money once in Holland.

As for governments, they're unlikely to adopt bitcoin in place of their currency, and unlikely to sponsor their own, as control of money gives them a lot of wealth and power, and bitcoin is decentralized, you don't need a government.

I do expect the government to take action against it one day, but it will fail as surely as the fight against torrenting has failed.

As for so-called real currency, it's hard to even call it that. Fiat money is not real, it works only because of people's faith in it, faith which can be destroyed at any time by mismanagement, by inflation.

Venezuela just devalued their currency by 46%. That can never happen to bitcoin.
It seems like you are putting a lot of value on Bitcoin based on your libertarian ideals ("Fiat money" etc) and not just the monetary value. Money is not a place where you want to Stick it to the Man who is denying you liberty(ZOMG!!).

IMO the biggest problem with Bitcoin is that is it unlikely to ever be used as mainstream money assuming the world Governments even allow it to exist outside the dark corners of the Internet. I don't do strange things with my money and, mostly, Bitcoin will be limited in it's use to strange things so it's value is to me is effectively lessened, especially since I don't have an anti-government agenda. Torrenting has been around for years yet it still isn't widely adopted by people outside the pirate circles and it continues to maintain it's reputation as a tool for the "immoral".

This is an idea I don't think is fully baked yet.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #26
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Wow they spiked a ton in the last couple months. Bit coins are really volitile.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #27
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What I don't understand about bitcoin and maybe you can explain this. Is that with the inevitable increase in processing power continuing, wouldn't those algorithms to "create" the currency constantly be in flux and easier/faster thus making them less scarce. It just seems to me there has to be an exploit.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #28
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What I don't understand about bitcoin and maybe you can explain this. Is that with the inevitable increase in processing power continuing, wouldn't those algorithms to "create" the currency constantly be in flux and easier/faster thus making them less scarce. It just seems to me there has to be an exploit.
The bitcoin network automatically increases the hashing difficulty every two weeks to account for increases in processing power. So that wouldn't matter, and that expectation is built into the system.

The bitcoin creation schedule is at first exponential then asymptotic, such that as of this year over 50% of all bitcoins have now been discovered and paid out, some 11 million of the 21 million hard limit. But it will now take the next 120 years for the very last bitcoin to be mined (asymptotic discovery curve).

This schedule was chosen to approximate the rate at which gold mine is mined in the real world.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:32 PM   #29
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It seems like you are putting a lot of value on Bitcoin based on your libertarian ideals ("Fiat money" etc) and not just the monetary value.
Sure, I'm a futurist, an economist, and a libertarian. I'm intimately familiar with monetary theory and how governments abuse it. Most people are not. But most people won't need to know the theory to realize that bitcoin can be a boon to them.

Look at the headlines this week. Egypt has a currency crisis. Venezuela devalued by 46%. Argentina won't let their people buy dollars.

Governments will twist currencies in their favor when they feel the need to, they don't care.

Naturally if you're not up to speed on those issues you might not move to a cryptocurrency until much later, that's your choice But I think even you will end up doing so at some point. Because Bitcoin is a disruptor technology in the financial and monetary world. It's something the existing monetary powers cannot defeat, will only enflame by openly opposing, and that is destined to win.

The only question is whether it will be this bitcoin or a successor bitcoin that wins that battle. That's where risk lies.

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Money is not a place where you want to Stick it to the Man who is denying you liberty(ZOMG!!).
Sure it is. Governments didn't always mint money, even in the US for the longest time banks issued their own currencies, then states did so, etc. There's no global need for a government to run a currency, apart from the fact that they obtain power and wealth by doing so.

Take from them their currency control and you take in part their power and wealth and influence. Win for libertarians :P The fact that it also helps the average person is a win too. It's great when political objectives align with the interests of the masses.

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IMO the biggest problem with Bitcoin is that is it unlikely to ever be used as mainstream money assuming the world Governments even allow it to exist outside the dark corners of the Internet.
That really depends. I don't think they plan to openly oppose it, as they can track your sales into and out of it. They are likely to treat it as any digital good right now. If they banned bitcoin they'd have to ban things like Play-Store dollars and Itunes credits and the recent Amazon-coin. These are all similar versions of the same thing. Not to mention digital objects like Diablo 3 RMAH. They are instead likely to try to simply tax them, like any other digital object sale.

They'd be foolish to take it head on. As for 'dark corners,' it's really a matter of perception. Wanna buy the new Surface Pro with Bitcoin:

http://www.bitcoinstore.com/

Bitcoins can now be used to pay for Domino's Pizza

http://www.bitmit.net/en/

Bitcoin is simply a means of payment. And where it excels over cash is in online sales, and overseas transfers. Easy as that.

Question is, are online sales likely to increase or decrease, and is global commerce likely to do the same? Obviously both will increase.

NFC in cellphones is about to go big in the US after being big for some time now in Asia. Google has started putting it into their Android stuff.

Bitcoin may end up being the cheapest way to pay for something via NFC, thus breaking the Visa/Mastercard monopoly.

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I don't do strange things with my money
Like buy pizza? :P This is a rich statement that assumes a lot. I think you mean the things you can -only- do with bitcoin are not things you're interested in doing. Me either. I'm interested in bitcoin replacing everything else I use statist-currency for.

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and, mostly, Bitcoin will be limited in it's use to strange things
Not at all.

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so it's value is to me is effectively lessened, especially since I don't have an anti-government agenda.
Yet. If inflation hits 20%+ in the US, you'd move cash reserves to bitcoin out of desperation. Same thing gonna happen in Argentina, Egypt, etc., just as it happened in Greece and Spain and Ireland after their close calls.

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This is an idea I don't think is fully baked yet.
That's fine if you're not yet convinced I'm not here to convince only inform. I'll let events in reality convince you.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #30
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Good points throughout your post.

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Look at the headlines this week. Egypt has a currency crisis. Venezuela devalued by 46%. Argentina won't let their people buy dollars.
I get that it's scary out there, but this feels almost like an "any boat in the storm" solution, and not the only solution at that considering how many alternative currencies are out there. Like you said, you could be backing the HD-DVD version... technically superior, but ultimately the loser.

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Naturally if you're not up to speed on those issues you might not move to a cryptocurrency until much later, that's your choice But I think even you will end up doing so at some point. Because Bitcoin is a disruptor technology in the financial and monetary world. It's something the existing monetary powers cannot defeat, will only enflame by openly opposing, and that is destined to win.
Unfortunately I just left my super well paying job to pursue my dream job at 40% less pay, so my disposable income took a huge hit. Otherwise I'd be interested in trying this out for funzees.

I'm not exactly Mr. Counterculture but that doesn't mean I don't see a lot of the problems we have. It would be nice to shake some things up.

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If they banned bitcoin they'd have to ban things like Play-Store dollars and Itunes credits and the recent Amazon-coin. These are all similar versions of the same thing. Not to mention digital objects like Diablo 3 RMAH. They are instead likely to try to simply tax them, like any other digital object sale.
IMO most people see those as "funny money" which are supplemental to the existing economic mold. They aren't trying to overthrow the entire system which is the mission of alternative currencies.

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Bitcoin is simply a means of payment. And where it excels over cash is in online sales, and overseas transfers. Easy as that.
A unified global currency is a great dream, but as long as it's just a monetary exchange from one type of currency to another it doesn't seem like it has as much oomph... it's just another investment. Besides questionable liquidity what's the difference between this and stock? The finite aspect? As you've said Bitcoin has gone through a wild ride in price a few times.

Also, yay taxes! I bet right now it works like any internet transaction, governed by the various state or country laws wrt taxes. If the Governments decide to crackdown then they can make it very painful for these alternative currencies.

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Bitcoin may end up being the cheapest way to pay for something via NFC, thus breaking the Visa/Mastercard monopoly.
And yet Visa and Mastercard can be used to pay for Bitcoins, and may become the most convenient method! I do like the perception of price... 7 BC for a LCD monitor seems like a steal! Oh, wait, that's actually $150

Then I check out the page to buy and it says that someone just "minted" $79,000 worth of BC. Sounds like quite the racket. My awesome gaming computer is idle while I'm at work, can I mint my own money? Even if I only get 1 BC a day that's like $20+ for nuthin! Or maybe I can rent out my processing power to a farm for 0.001 BC a minute.

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Yet. If inflation hits 20%+ in the US, you'd move cash reserves to bitcoin out of desperation. Same thing gonna happen in Argentina, Egypt, etc., just as it happened in Greece and Spain and Ireland after their close calls.
If it's that awesome, why weren't financial analysts all over this and giving advice to move currency to Bitcoin during the various financial crisis(es? ies?)? Is it because it's still too immature to be worth while?

Plus, how does it work if I want to get my money back in a fiat currency? I didn't see a reverse exchange on Bitchain, which means I take what I can get from a limited community of bitcoiners or a very slanted exchange market.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #31
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I get that it's scary out there, but this feels almost like an "any boat in the storm" solution, and not the only solution at that considering how many alternative currencies are out there. Like you said, you could be backing the HD-DVD version... technically superior, but ultimately the loser.
The network effect speaks against that hypothesis. Bitcoin is in an enviable position by virtue of being the first. It's more like the position Microsoft achieved with Windows, immediate and virtually irreplaceable market dominance. If it weren't for the world moving away from desktops, Windows would still be dominant.

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Unfortunately I just left my super well paying job to pursue my dream job at 40% less pay, so my disposable income took a huge hit. Otherwise I'd be interested in trying this out for funzees.
No doubt In the scenario of worldwide acceptance of bitcoin, the most optimistic scenario naturally, one bitcoin would come to be worth about $10 milllion :P You could always pick one up for fun via Bitinstant without the hassle of connecting bank accounts and all that.

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I'm not exactly Mr. Counterculture but that doesn't mean I don't see a lot of the problems we have. It would be nice to shake some things up.
Crypto is going to change our world and make gov control of their population much harder. Bitcoin is a function of crypto. The next important function is secure communication. Crypto means you don't have to rely on a government giving you privacy, you can instead take it. And bitcoin means you don't have to rely on a gov leaving the money supply alone, you can walk away from their system, monetary-secession.

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IMO most people see those as "funny money" which are supplemental to the existing economic mold. They aren't trying to overthrow the entire system which is the mission of alternative currencies.
It's not explicitly the mission of a currency like bitcoin. And the US government isn't really worried because by law you still have to pay taxes and debts in US dollars. As long as those laws exist, people will be using dollars here.

The risk for government from bitcoin is more existential. They may face growing black-markets for ever-larger categories of legitimate good and services that would be very difficult to detect. Businesses could make bitcoin the currency of international transfer and then just use local currencies to transfer out of for business expenses. etc.

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A unified global currency is a great dream, but as long as it's just a monetary exchange from one type of currency to another it doesn't seem like it has as much oomph...
Right, there'd have to be a tipping point, where people are using bitcoin so much to buy stuff that eventually they start asking to get paid in bitcoin too, and at that point the economy begins nativizing to bitcoin.

Probably seasteads will be the first place where bitcoin acts as the native currency. It can spread from there.

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it's just another investment.
True, but I did make some 20% in a couple weeks so far :P People who got in earlier than me have earned as much as 10,000% or more in a few years.

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Besides questionable liquidity what's the difference between this and stock? The finite aspect? As you've said Bitcoin has gone through a wild ride in price a few times.
This is a seachange. Investments can earn you a retirement. But sea-changes created fortunes. The move from no-computers to computers has made a lot of people very wealthy, for instance. And not just the big names like Jobs and Gates. Even Gabe Newell was a 'microsoft millionaire'. Investing now would be like hiring onto Microsoft as the 100th employee. You're not on the ground floor, but you're close. And if things pan out, you'll be rich for your foresight. Gabe was. It's estimated Microsoft made something like a thousand new millionaires or more? Like Gates's secretary became a millionaire, etc :P

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Also, yay taxes! I bet right now it works like any internet transaction, governed by the various state or country laws wrt taxes. If the Governments decide to crackdown then they can make it very painful for these alternative currencies.
Sure, but they're also afraid to kill the golden goose of online sales.

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And yet Visa and Mastercard can be used to pay for Bitcoins, and may become the most convenient method! I do like the perception of price... 7 BC for a LCD monitor seems like a steal! Oh, wait, that's actually $150
There's a startup working on a native bitcoin credit card right now that plugs into the credit-purchase network and pays by instantly converting bitcoin to w/e needed currency.

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Then I check out the page to buy and it says that someone just "minted" $79,000 worth of BC.
Eh? Link?

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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
Sounds like quite the racket. My awesome gaming computer is idle while I'm at work, can I mint my own money? Even if I only get 1 BC a day that's like $20+ for nuthin! Or maybe I can rent out my processing power to a farm for 0.001 BC a minute.
I've looked into it. Unless you're gonna go full tilt it's not worth it. Even the pro miners are making just above the cost of electricity, and with the hardware ASIC miners about to come online the cpu/gpu miners won't be able to compete on efficiency. Most estimates of CPU mining in a pool you wouldn't even earn 1BTC a year. GPU mining you might be able to do better in a pool.

Each discovered block earns 25 btc right now, which is only $625, and discovery is luck based.

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If it's that awesome, why weren't financial analysts all over this and giving advice to move currency to Bitcoin during the various financial crisis(es? ies?)? Is it because it's still too immature to be worth while?
A. it's new, the mainstream hasn't heard of it. Here I'm on a tech enthusiast site and many of you haven't studied it in depth, the mainstream is still probably 2-3 years behind.

B. the market-cap is still fairly low at ~225 million. So large purchases would result in immediate price increases in each BTC, meaning unknown volatility.

We do know that as Spain and Ireland began falling apart last year there was big surges in interest and buying from those parts of the world. I recently posted something about bitcoin to /r/Egypt and got some interest as well.

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Plus, how does it work if I want to get my money back in a fiat currency? I didn't see a reverse exchange on Bitchain, which means I take what I can get from a limited community of bitcoiners or a very slanted exchange market.
You'd go to a coin market, either Coinbase or Mt Gox are the two quite big ones right now and simply offer to sell much like you would a stock. You can, on Mt Gox (I don't know about Coinbase), set a desired sell price and amount much like if you were selling a stock. It's got advanced ask and offer tools and delayed sales. You could put up a standing off to sell 100 btc at $30 and leave it there indefinitely if you wanted. For this you'd receive dollars and have them wired to your bank account or the like.

The holy grail for btc will be an end-to-end bitcoin economy, being both paid in bitcoin and paying out in bitcoin entirely. But if that ever comes about the price of btc will skyrocket, for it would mean a major legitimacy signal, and would also mean the market cap is set to soar.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #32
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Alright I'm just gonna lay this out there. You're not a true assplower/poletaster/assspelunker if you don't own some bitcoin. It's major homocred :P
Well said.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:13 PM   #33
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I've looked into it. Unless you're gonna go full tilt it's not worth it. Even the pro miners are making just above the cost of electricity, and with the hardware ASIC miners about to come online the cpu/gpu miners won't be able to compete on efficiency. Most estimates of CPU mining in a pool you wouldn't even earn 1BTC a year. GPU mining you might be able to do better in a pool.
When I dabbled in doing some research on the mining bit a while back this is one thing I came across and couldn't find a specific answer to: If the cpu is going to be on/idling anyways (ie being wasted), is the power load increase that much more where it really isn't worth at least getting a possible return on electricity use?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #34
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When I dabbled in doing some research on the mining bit a while back this is one thing I came across and couldn't find a specific answer to: If the cpu is going to be on/idling anyways (ie being wasted), is the power load increase that much more where it really isn't worth at least getting a possible return on electricity use?
If you let it, the miner you run will run your CPU or GPU at 100% 24/7 running hashes. And you'll do kilohashes on CPU, megahashes on GPU, but one ASIC machine is currently doing 66 gigahashes, and the overall network rates at 1.4 terahashes.

And a lot of ASICs have been shipped out recently, the first wave, and most of them aren't connected yet.

Because of this, the first guy to turn on his ASIC a few days ago made a lot of coin, like $1200 in a week and a half, but that's only because the other ASICs haven't shipped yet. His profit will drop down to just over the cost of electricity again, and anyone hashing not at the ASIC level of efficiency won't be able to earn above electricity-costs. So, it's almost end of the line for GPU-hashers.

As the price of a btc goes up it's worth more to be running an ASIC. So the economics could change if the price continues increasing dramatically as it has been lately, because that improves your electricity / mining costs ratio.

And because of that too, the overall hashing power of the network will continue to improve as long as the price continues to go up. When prices drop, the least efficient miners will turn their machines off.

Because finding a coin-block is luck based, unless you have a significant percentage of the overall hashing pool of the network, your rewards can drop dramatically. I suppose hashing pools can mitigate that somewhat, but it just doesn't seem like it was worth the money to me when I tried it last year.

If you're searching kilohashes / sec and the guy down the block is doing dozens of gigahashes, chances are he'll beat you to just about every single block.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #35
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Myths

Some interesting facts, if anyone is interested.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:05 AM   #36
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Eh? Link?
It's not up there this morning, but if I'm reading the page right ("Most recently mined blocks in the bitcoin block chain") then people are still minting thousands of dollars.

One of them yesterday was $79,000 worth.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:56 PM   #37
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Bitcoin

A Revolution in Money

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Imagine itís 2040.

You go to the grocery store, and when you look for the checkout counter there is none. Thereís no place to pay for your groceries because you already did.

When you walked into the store, a sensor identified you, perhaps from a ring or watch you were wearing that transmitted the information. Or perhaps you didnít need to wear anything special. Maybe a device in the store figured out who you were using a combination of facial recognition, 3-D body shape identification and your gait...
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:03 AM   #38
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Yeah, that's not creepy considering how much people are railing against decreasing privacy already.

Plus it would never work in the EU where they actually take privacy laws seriously. Without the EU following it would have a tough time getting picked up. Not impossible, it just requires abdicating their current position.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:29 AM   #39
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It's not necessarily an invasion of privacy... it's more like biometrics. Just because you have an anonymous wallet that can only be unlocked by your eye scan or whatever doesn't mean it will be able to be tracked via some central database.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:18 AM   #40
SpectralThundr
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bawwston
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I can't wait for this scam to explode and folks that put a lot into it to be left with nothing. Anyone who thinks Governments are going to allow bitcoin to replace their stranglehold over world economies is either extremely naive, flat out retarded, or a mix of the two is in for a rude awakening.
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