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How much do you know about Bitcoin?


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How much do you know about Bitcoin?

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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New poll:

How much do you know about Bitcoin?

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  #2 (permalink)
 FuManChou 
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I did not know who/what Satoshi was. Now I know!

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 bobwest 
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I know that a blockchain is, vaguely.

Beyond that, I have two ideas about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general:

1. I do think they are and increasingly will be interesting trading vehicles, if volatile and risky. I don't know if I will trade them, for that reason. But I do see growth in trading, which has already happened.

2. I don't know that there is any real-world use for them outside of trading, other than as an anonymous medium for black and grey market transactions. Sorry, not being antagonistic, but I haven't seen much else. I know there are legitimate transactions using Bitcoin in particular, and it has more acceptance than it used to have. I also am not against it. I think that if consenting adults want to exchange things using Bitcoin or anything else on an agreed-upon basis, that is perfectly fine.

I know there are people who have anti-government or free-market reasons for preferring a non-government currency, and that's fine with me too. I just don't care, myself. I will use what I can buy things with.

Will it take off as a new money? Well, a legitimate question is, which one? There is a huge array of cryptocurrencies out there. Enthusiasts on the subject will have their opinions of the pros and cons, but something is not money unless it is used as money. I think most people will continue to buy things in the currency they get paid in, and most goods will be sold in the currency that people have to buy things with. I think this will continue to be the basic situation and that it stands in the way of wide acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment medium.

I don't have an axe to grind here, and as I said, I will use as money anything that works as money. Right now I just use my card and that is working fine.

As a trading vehicle, I think it has interesting potential but also a risk. It may simply be the current version of tulip bulbs -- something that is traded because it is traded. I think anyone getting into Bitcoin or other crypto trading should think about this, and adjust their exposure accordingly.

Bob.

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 AllSeeker 
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Well, feature of bitcoin (or other cryptos) is also their undoing.

Why would any government/party in power/banks even allow it to be a real world thing if they can not track and tax it?

That single thing alone is their bane. Does that stop people from trading it? No.

But I share general view with bobwest who has put it in much better words.


(I'm no expert and have no interest in investing in crypto or trading them for that matter)

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 bobwest 
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LastDino View Post
Why would any government/party in power/banks even allow it to be a real world thing if they can not track and tax it?

I think it's more a marketplace issue than a bank and government issue. Bitcoin exists in the marketplace and it is intrinsically independent of banks or other institutions -- which is why it has an appeal to many who distrust these institutions. The blockchain is a peer-to-peer shared resource that does not depend on any central entity to exist or to allow transfer.

So the approval or acceptance by governments or other institutions is not relevant, and this is one source of its appeal. It literally cannot be stopped or regulated.

My take is that acceptance in the marketplace, by enough people who want to use it for buying and selling goods and services, is the essential issue.

If independence from government and banks is not someone's issue, if the ability to use the stuff is what matters most, then I don't know how well it will succeed.

That's all I'm saying. I, like most people, will use what is useful and skip what is not. What is useful as currency is what can be used to buy things. Right now, that is not Bitcoin, to a large extent at least. If it becomes more accepted, then it may become a commonly-used currency after all. You see how this is a chicken or the egg situation. It has to be used in order to be useful.

Bob.

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 AllSeeker 
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bobwest View Post
I think it's more a marketplace issue than a bank and government issue. Bitcoin exists in the marketplace and it is intrinsically independent of banks or other institutions -- which is why it has an appeal to many who distrust these institutions. The blockchain is a peer-to-peer shared resource that does not depend on any central entity to exist or to allow transfer.

So the approval or acceptance by governments or other institutions is not relevant, and this is one source of its appeal. It literally cannot be stopped or regulated.

My take is that acceptance in the marketplace, by enough people who want to use it for buying and selling goods and services, is the essential issue.

If independence from government and banks is not someone's issue, if the ability to use the stuff is what matters most, then I don't know how well it will succeed.

That's all I'm saying. I, like most people, will use what is useful and skip what is not. What is useful as currency is what can be used to buy things. Right now, that is not Bitcoin, to a large extent at least. If it becomes more accepted, then it may become a commonly-used currency after all. You see how this is a chicken or the egg situation. It has to be used in order to be useful.

Bob.

I agree, to talk little on your point about "acceptability", in country like mine government has basically made it "illegal" to own or trade crypto in real marketplace, basically any form of real world usage can land you in jail. Even a transaction from your real bank account to a real crypto trading account that you might be holding with some exchange outside India can result in bank blocking all further transactions from that bank account to everywhere. That can be a big -ouch-.

We can question here about governments ability to actually trace it but the moment you try to cash out or put in some other form of real currency, again you are in the gray area where you can be in hot waters with income tax department who do keep track of your bank accounts. Unless of course crypto has some system to cash in or cash out with large physical bills or you are actually able to use crypto for buying and selling everything without ever anyone knowing that you use crypto. Basically chicken and egg situation, yes.

It is "rumored" that mine (and few other governments) want to/plan to launch their own crypto currency for digital transactions, possibly one more reason to think that above "illegal" on others to be a continued theme.

It also doesn't help when legal bodies some times say that its legal and sometimes illegal (status has changed couple of times in last year and half alone), that kind of uncertainty doesn't help either, its effectively preventing average joe from ever getting his hands on it. Some people still somehow manage to get it but those are complicated loop holes and law is still doing catch up on those.

See as much as I like privacy I'm not really willing to a break a law for it and risk going to jail or even having my bank account blockd, I feel its going to be same for most people where bodies in power make things difficult. In my view current crypto market while holding potential for big trading market its going to be near impossible for it being a real world replacement for real currencies.

//Not an expert, just trying to explain situation in here. Also its possible that things have moved ahead on legal issues but I'm not updated on the subject matter

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 bobwest 
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LastDino View Post
I agree, to talk little on your point about "acceptability", in country like mine government has basically made it "illegal" to own or trade crypto in real marketplace, basically any form of real world usage can land you in jail. Even a transaction from your real bank account to a real crypto trading account that you might be holding with some exchange outside India can result in bank blocking all further transactions from that bank account to everywhere. That can be a big -ouch-.

...

See as much as I like privacy I'm not really willing to a break a law for it and risk going to jail or even having my bank account blockd, I feel its going to be same for most people where bodies in power make things difficult. In my view current crypto market while holding potential for big trading market its going to be near impossible for it being a real world replacement for real currencies.

Good points, and while I was mainly stating a minimalist, market-centric viewpoint, in the actual world governments may not go along. I was not aware of these restrictions in India, but clearly they are available to governments that want to use them.

I also thought of something else. In the US at least, our paper money says "Legal tender for all debts, public and private." (At least it used to if I remember right. I don't have any actual paper money in my wallet any more because I just use plastic.)

"Legal tender" means that if I owe you money, for a purchase or any other payment, and if I offer it to you in legal tender, then I have paid it. You don't get to demand that I pay you in gold or Bitcoin or conch shells. So I can take you to court if I have paid and you don't deliver. If something is not legal tender, then it isn't "payment". (I am, obviously, Not A Lawyer.)

Also, if I wanted to pay my taxes in Bitcoin, I am quite sure I could not do that, and that the government would insist on legal tender. (I am still NAL .)

So while the ideal situation as envisioned by people who favor the idea of Bitcoin as currency is more like an open market with Bitcoin being exchanged between consenting adults, in the world as it is, you can't just invent your own money and have it used like the regular stuff.

Bob.

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-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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 MNSTrading 
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I know this much, if I see you at the Piggly Wiggly and you can't explain bitcoin to me, you have to give me all your bitcoins.


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 AllSeeker 
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bobwest View Post
Good points, and while I was mainly stating a minimalist, market-centric viewpoint, in the actual world governments may not go along. I was not aware of these restrictions in India, but clearly they are available to governments that want to use them.

I also thought of something else. In the US at least, our paper money says "Legal tender for all debts, public and private." (At least it used to if I remember right. I don't have any actual paper money in my wallet any more because I just use plastic.)

"Legal tender" means that if I owe you money, for a purchase or any other payment, and if I offer it to you in legal tender, then I have paid it. You don't get to demand that I pay you in gold or Bitcoin or conch shells. So I can take you to court if I have paid and you don't deliver. If something is not legal tender, then it isn't "payment". (I am, obviously, Not A Lawyer.)

Also, if I wanted to pay my taxes in Bitcoin, I am quite sure I could not do that, and that the government would insist on legal tender. (I am still NAL .)

So while the ideal situation as envisioned by people who favor the idea of crypto as currency is more like an open market with Bitcoin being exchanged between consenting adults, in the world as it is, you can't just invent your own money and have it used like the regular stuff.

Bob.

Exactly, to put it in more borderline words, foundation of our society is built around having this higher body (in this case government) who make parties participating in the transaction "accountable". And on basic level it can't be done with something that can't be traced or is not a legal tender by that higher party itself.

So while the idea of "free" sounds very fun and revolutionary, its also going to be a very anarchic world.

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 bobwest 
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LastDino View Post
Exactly, to put it in more borderline words, foundation of our society is built around having this higher body (in this case government) who make parties participating in the transaction "accountable". And on basic level it can't be done with something that can't be traced or is not a legal tender by that higher party itself.

So while the idea of "free" sounds very fun and revolutionary, its also going to be a very anarchic world.

In writing about crypto, I carefully tiptoed around the "anarchic" issue, because some of the appeal of crypto is to those who are interested in, if not anarchy, at least less order. (More tip toeing... .) I wanted to keep ideology out of it.

Bob.

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