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Bitcoin discussion and news

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by camouflage, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Has anyone ever used cryptocurrency before? I found one called Bitcoins. I think it's cool that this new form of money is in beta (4 bitcoins on the dollar at the moment... not bad, better than 2nd Life money, hnarf).

    I think it's a cool idea, if bitcoin or one of the others ever did a facebook and became ridiculously "in" over the next 10 years, what would that do to the economy? Would it be like digital silver? Would iit be used by criminals to launder their ill-gotten gains? Would it be banned in the US, would they ban the internet? Is it anarcho-money?

    it's a brave new world maaan, bitcoins.
     
  2. paolo

    paolo Well-Known Member

    Well, you have to get 'real' money into it, which is going to be from a regular account, so that part of one's transactions would still be traceable.
     
  3. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    But also someone might buy services or something from you and pay in bitcoin.

    You can buy an ounce of gold with five hundred odd of them, and hide it under your pillow, beside your gun. Help sleep better.
     
  4. paolo

    paolo Well-Known Member

    Along with a shed full of tinned food and some NRA posters :)
     
  5. SaskiaJayne

    SaskiaJayne Rural Guerrilla

    Is this making your own money on the internet & then printing it out?
     
  6. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    No, it's money.

    For instance, send bitcoins to my address here: 1Bp1pT5yhCQGNQAE5W7sUG3jDsGWKHSAcR

    And my balance will go up by the amount you send. It's simpler than it looks, but likewise I could send you bitcoins. We could transact, I could do stuff or make stuff and you could email me the dosh. The network as a whole keeps tabs on the hash that you get from every bitcoin trasnactions so there's no double spending, and inflation is steady state until there are 21 million bitcoins, at which point 8 decimal places ensure room for deflation.

    Basically bitcoins can be traded for dollars, roubles, pounds, gold... in my opinion it's the money of the future and in ten years time bitcoin will be bigger than paypal, It's a gamechanger. God, I feel like spam, so please feel free to poke holes.:(
     
  7. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    In The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, electronic currency makes it impossible for taxes to be collected, leading to the swift collapse of nearly all nation states. So think on.
     
  8. salem

    salem Well-Known Member

    I'd be worried about who runs the central database of credits. What if that somehow got corrupted? There has to be buy in at some point for the credit (i.e exchanging real money for it). What if lots of people wanted to withdraw that money.

    It sounds like Paypal in a lot of ways except paypal has just stuck to using conventional currency notations rather then make up a word and (hopefully) has some real value behind the assets.
     
  9. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    The state is it's taxes, yes.
     
  10. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    There is no central database. All nodes are part of the network, all the nodes authenticate the hash of all transactions, so it's not possible to double spend, a central authority isn't necessery, the rate of inflation is fixed. In 2017 or whenever it is, when the 750 new bitcoins randomly generated on the network every day finally add up to 21 million, that's all the bitcoins there'll ever be. In fact there's be less due to attrition, but no one can ever print more. If you hoard them, the rest will just be worth more, expanding in value to cover the demands of the active economy (8 decimal places remember), and anyway you have to spend them at some point to get any use of them. At the moment you can by 1 dollar with about 5 bitcoins. You can also buy roubles or gold or other currencies, there are bitcoin exchanges. You cazn also buy art or donate to charities or buy stuff from the websites that accept em so far.

    When bitcoins take off in the 3rd world, and this is just my theory, when that happens we can all expect big changes. There was a case in China recently where a game currency called QQ coins were being used to denominate trade, gamblers, loansharks, traders, everyone was getting into it. The government had to clamp down (to control supply and interest rates effects that expanding amount of QQ coins being traded has on official currency, like an amflifier effect I think).

    The games company behind the QQ game had to stop people trading QQ coins on their servers. Or something like that... here's an article.


    However with bitcoins there is no central server. Owning a bitcoin means owning a something-or-other.dat file, so you could store it on a usb drive, you caqn back it up and have copies all other the place but once it's spent, it's spent. As it's a public/private key authentication system, there's no way for the gurm't to stick it's nose into transactions. It's peer-to-peer authenticated cash backed by the value people have transacted in it. Not only is it control free from any central authority, it's also government immune from banning or come to think of it, prosecution, as they'd have to ban the internet to stop people using bitcoin and even then there'd be wifi network. And oh yes there are bitcoin trading apps. There's a load of techy stuff I'm not getting into but the result is untraceable un-fakable money backed by trade and exchnagable for other currencies. US sentators can hollar all they want, but there'll be nobody to close down bitcoin, nothing card companies or paypal or Amazon can do, and no way to tax you. You just need the internet.

    If bitcoins took off like in say India or China or Nigeria or Somalia, and bearing in mind they don't need to 'take off' like paypal or facebook to be successful, not even in the West, there just needs to be a trade in them against other currencies (and there is) among the in-crowd. The market for bitcoins is worth just under 1.5 million dollars as it is, so this concept is no longer just a theory, it's an actual practiced but relatively small currency. But if bitcoins Took Off then it'll be the biggest thing for the global economy since the internet. In my opinion it's in iuncubation period, tipping point is within 10 years.

    Governments and various powerful institutions will have to undego a serious and fundamental rethink of their role in society.

    Bitcoin could be the Direct Action of the New Now! *giggles like a maniac* what with the situation of the economy right now... I'd buy btc. Bubbly market mind, by some accounts, at least for now.
     
  11. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    A currency designed to make it impossible to collect tax? Fuck right off.
     
  12. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Wouldn't say it's designed to not pay tax, you could if you wanted to as tax evasion is illegal. But as this is effectively anarcho-money I don't see how anyone can enforce tax.

    I'm not some Galtist dickhead mind, I'm not a Sith, dark side Darth Economy fuck the weak, farm the poor, jungle reich "entrepeneur-ubber alles" only-child psycopath fuck-up or somthing. It's just that anarcho money is anarcho money, so not much the state can do to make peeps pay taxes on it, it's anarcho currency, no central bank required.

    Socialism will need a rethink (and I do consider myself a social democrat). But smashing the bankers oligopoly has got to be a good idea on some level, for the average Jo I mean.
     
  13. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    It would allow the self-employed and the rich to conduct tax-free transactions more easily whilst the mugs on PAYE have no choice but to pay tax - an ever-increasing burden of tax on the poor as the rich dodgers get away with more and more. Sounds more like a neo-liberal wet dream to me.
     
  14. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Well if it got that far then why wouldn't workers request their pay in bitcoins too?
     
  15. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    In exactly the same way as employers pay cash-in-hand now, depriving the government of their taxes and the employee of their stamp? Great. Who's gonna pay for schools, hospitals and social security (not to mention roads and transport networks) under this scenario, and why the fuck would any worker in their right mind endorse it?
     
  16. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    No reason the council can't send a bill for services rendered in public goods. Anyway if workers don't endorse it investors will. Why let them have all the fun?
     
  17. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    And who will pay the bill? In what proportion? If it's not possible to know who's earning what, it's not possible to have a progressive taxation system. You're arguing for the return of the Poll Tax in even harsher form. :facepalm:
     
  18. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    No I'm not. Look, if this stuff takes off, and in my opinion it will, we are going to have to think up new ways of perpetuating the living strandards to which society has become acustomed. There are drawbacks and advantages to currency you can't tax. There should be a way to make sure when bitcoin goes facebook volumes, that the workers and the underclass can avoid being victims of the thing.
     
  19. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    And what way is that then? How would you avoid the drawbacks without removing every advantage you allege that it has?

    It's an electronic equivalent of a Swiss bank account. How can making tax avoidance possible for everyone* make anything better, when virtually everybody benefits more from taxation than the absence of it? Economies with little or no tax are either tax haven playgrounds of the super-rich (eg Monaco), oil dictatorships (eg Saudi Arabia) or economic disaster zones (eg Somalia). Which of those scenarios would arise if a typical welfare state could no longer collect taxes?

    *Which this wouldn't, and couldn't. Companies that hide profits and commit VAT fraud pay cash-in-hand in proportion to these activities and no more (or less). They can't pay more workers than their declared revenue can sustain, but equally they can't pretend that they don't employ anyone at all. Workers only get to join the tax avoidance bandwagon if it suits their employers' fraudulent accounting practices.
     
  20. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Well, from your analysis it sounds like bitcoin will become a haven for the money of slum lords, human traffikers, slavers and sweatshop farmers whose wealth will mix with that of artists, pleidian enthusiasts, charities, gun-nuts and the right-on libetarian fringe crowd who will all combine in the value of the bitcoin against other currencies and shiny metal and create money for the underground that will undermine the 'real economy' through some sort of insidious agorist subversion and cause the collapse of civilization as we know it.

    It's all going to go Mad Max now, because of bitcoins.
     
  21. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    I'm pretty sure they won't take off. I'm just wondering why you seem to think it would be a good thing if they did?
     
  22. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    I'm pretty sure they will because they're so straight forward, it's a killer app. If I was a criminal I would trade my crime into bitcoins. At either end would be dollars or whatevr, because naturally I'd be a big shot working out of Miami, but in the middle would be a trail of bitcoin transactions. And if the T-Party or Chinese Triads are trading in the stuff too, and people selling t-shirts "I love the Pleidians" are accepting bitcoins, and illegal workers cleaning office blocks in London can send money home with bitcoins with no transaction fee... then tradable value in them against dollars and shiny shiny metal is going to be inevitable. They'll become the preffered currency of the black-market and potentially the internet. It's all very exciting, so I probably sound abit keen. A new form of money, take that bankers.
     
  23. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    It's just a new form of money laundering. Why would it get any bigger than the current black economy?
     
  24. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    :hmm:
     
  25. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Well, can't be that bad if Tina Turna's gonna be there, with her outfit and her haircut.

    I think ymu raises a good point, it could threaten government revenues if it becomes popular, and therefore the services (such as they are) that governments provide. At least here. In the 3rd world where governments provide fuck all class-bribe services anyway, prefering to blow it all on British fighter jets, cattle prods, IMF loans, corporate tax breaks, special economic zones and palaces instead, in places like that people might have less to lose and more to gain.
     
  26. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    *practices riding a z900 and making speaches about the nightrider*

    *coughs*

    remember him when you look at the night sky

    *changes name to toecutter*
     
  27. camouflage

    camouflage dancing on the quantum hypervisor

    Bitcoins

    Anarchic cryptocurrency. Decentralized, peer-to-peer, impracticable to forge, resilient, inherently deflationary and (effectively) endlessly divisible. And in use.*

    So, what does this mean for the world going forward if bitcoin takes off? If it does then for one thing there'll finally be an actual embodiment of the PPP principal in economics (purchasing power parity) a bitcoin in Madagascar will be the same as a bitcoin in the US for instance.

    What effect would it have on the banking system if we're talking about a currency that can cut-out the 'middle man' completely as the people become their own bankers?**

    One thing I've noticed is the troubling prevalence of anarchists (cool) anarcho-capitalists (oh bother) and libertarians (eek!) among 'bitcoiners' so far. In my opinion America made libertarians because the American state is not trustworthy, but Americans (in my humble opinion) don't really understand the concept of society either. So you hear them asking the question like spoiled children unused to sharing their toys "why should I pay for some dead-beat, why should I be made to pay taxes, why should I beleive in fallacies like 'public goods'" and so on.
    They ask questions like that because like Thatcher they have no idea about society. For them the 'community' is a ravenous sea of self-interest, the sum effect of which is to somehow make life better for everyone because the market is 'rational'. In my opinion the market can be an amazing thing, but it is literally about as bright as an ants nest (ants nests... amazing things, wouldn't want one running human affairs however).

    Also libertarians don't really get that the whole point of democracy is to make sure the state serves the people (or at leasts bothers to buy them off) which is why they want to shrink it away to nothing. Essentially their argument is to surrender to the shady-powerful the one body that can serve the masses and empower minorities (and most people are in some sort of minority at some point). That's why in fact I think the libertarian movement is probably an insidious scheme by an evil cabal of finance capitalists.

    So, if people like libertarians like bitcoin, could bitcoin actually be just an evil conspiracy to wash away the sate completely and replace it with the mercy of billionaires and their gun-clubs? Should we worry about bitcoin taking off?

    *Now accepts bitcoin donations: EFF, Anonymous, Openleaks.

    ** Although there are 3rd party services springing up, like escrow services, because bitcoins are like cash there is no recourse if you send your money and get ripped off; like paypals charge-back feature. But the same applies to... well, cash. So there is plenty of scope to build new middle-man services there.

    More info here: http://www.bitcoin.org/
     
  28. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    The idea is very interesting, but I don't have the background knowledge in economics to really understand it.
     
  29. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

  30. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    duly merged
     

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