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BitCoin, Or BetaCoin? What The Venture Capitalists Are Thinking

Tyler Durden's picture





 

After a disastrous few days in early April, bitcoin is back over $100 and up on the month, the year and its short lifetime.  ConvergEx's Nick Colas is intrigued and continues to believe that this phenomenon is the most provocative economic experiment since the invention of the euro and well worth watching.  The next chapter of the story, he believes, will be the entry of a host of "Smart money" venture capitalists looking to build the currency's infrastructure.  Money and currency are exactly the kind of large, scalable and complex opportunity that gets VCs very, very excited.  Yes, it could all still end in tears, either by regulation or mismanagement.  But bitcoin isn’t dead just yet, and it remains one of the most potentially disruptive forces in modern finance.

 

 

Via ConvergEx's Nick Colas:

What Doesn;t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Of all the quotes about money in screen and song, I think the best one comes from film legend Lauren Bacall: “Money doesn’t make me happy, but it doesn’t make me unhappy either.”  She probably felt that way about gold, diamonds, furs, and trips to the Riviera as well.  Wise woman, that…  A lot of economists and market watchers would do well to follow her example.

The nature of money and currency is, in fact, one of the most hotly contested questions of the last five years.  OK, the debate goes back much further, truth be told, but the Financial Crisis really brought the question to a head.  “Only gold is money!” some will say.  “Who cares about money?  What we need is a currency system which maximizes total output while minimizing recessions” others will retort.  “Bah! It’s credit growth you need to focus on, not money” chimes in a third.  Here’s a modest proposal: if you think anyone besides about 1,337 people on the planet care about the difference between money, currency and credit, you need to get out more.  A lot more.

Happily for this assemblage of quarreling economic eggheads, there’s a new kid on the block: bitcoin.  If you haven’t heard of it before, here’s a quick summary:

  • It is essentially an online currency invented by an anonymous programmer about five years ago.
  • The system that supports the infrastructure of tracking transfers of wealth and new issuance of bitcoins is a piece of open source software, available to anyone.
  • It runs on thousands of computers around the world and the owners of these systems race to solve a complex puzzle every 10 minutes.  If they come up with the answer first, they currently get 25 bitcoins.  Along with that ongoing effort, they also keep an ongoing list of user transactions.
  • There is currently $1.1 billion worth of bitcoin outstanding. It is the world’s best performing currency year to date, up from $13.48 on January 1 to about $115 as I write this note. It is also the most volatile, peaking above $260 a few weeks ago.
  • No, none of this is made up.  I am not that clever.

Bitcoin is without any serious competition for most provocative development in global currency markets since a bunch of previously warring European countries decided it would be a good idea to form the euro.  And in its short life it has garnered almost as much praise and scorn as that “real” currency.  Bitcoin’s story is still evolving, but the preliminary lessons are profound:

  • Trust in technology can trump belief in government institutions, even in notionally free societies.  The greatest demand for bitcoin is dollar denominated.  And for all the negative chatter about the dollar and the parlous state of U.S. sovereign finances, the greenback is still the world’s reserve currency.  Want gold, oil, guns or a large shipment of illegal drugs?  Better bring the Benjamins...
  • Interest in bitcoin, measured in the number of Google searches for the term, comes from Russia, the US, Finland, Estonia and Sweden.  This isn’t just a bunch of Tea Party folks, or nerdy techheads, or spooked Russian billionaires.  Bitcoin is essentially the Esperanto of money, but without the need to learn a new language.
  • The policy responses to the ongoing global financial crisis seem to have eroded public confidence in the concept of money/currency as a store of value, at least at the margin.  New ideas for currency, even as nerdy as bitcoin, resonate enough to generate $1 billion of value in fairly short order.  Now, most economists will tell you that money shouldn’t be a store of value, for that leads to hoarding and slower economic growth.  They would prefer its users invest it or spend it, adding to the capital society has to deploy or increasing GDP.  But people – as opposed to economists, I suppose – have an inherent selfish streak almost as immutable as any law of physics.  And some of them want a currency that will hold value, or even increase in worth over time.
  • Public interest in new currencies is deep enough to forgive some pretty serious teething pains.  Bitcoin has a tough month of April, the result of everything from aggressive hacking of “Wallets” (online accounts where individuals can swap “Real” currencies for bitcoins and hold balances) to multi-hour outages at popular exchanges.  The price of a bitcoin went from +$260 to $60 in six days.  And yet from those lows on April 17 it is has doubled back to $110 or so on April 21.

The most provocative feature of this dramatic rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches yoyo is that it is actually a diversion from the upcoming main event.  Venture capitalists see a much larger narrative surrounding bitcoin, and the capital they can put to work shaping the future of this novel currency far exceeds the $1.4 billion of bitcoin value currently in the system.  Here’s what they see:

  • VCs look for three things when making an investment: a huge (usually +$1 billion) market size, a disruptive technology, and lots of ways to play those two features.  Those thousands of tech-savvy folks who run the bitcoin system have created a new and very low cost method for transferring money around the world.  For the potential 25 bitcoin reward of solving one of those 10 minute puzzles, they keep track of all the transactions created by users around the world.  The current system for money transfers – banks, brokers and other financial institutions – want a lot more for their efforts than a few thousand dollars six times an hour.  Bitcoin is to money what Amazon is to retail or Netflix is to video content – a much more efficient way to meet the needs of millions of people around the world.
  • There are three major vectors for investment: exchanges, service offerings for individuals, and service offerings for businesses. The first is the gateway for the bitcoin system, allowing users to swap bitcoins for dollars/euros/whatever.  The other two make it convenient and safe for people and institutions to use the system.
  • There are serious challenges to making bitcoin viable over the long term, so scarce intellectual capital in areas such as online security will carry a large premium.  Take, for example, the well-publicized problems at Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for bitcoins or Instawallet, previously a large wallet operator. The former had to go down for 12 hours to upgrade its systems, putting the bitcoin world in temporary disarray.  Hackers attacked the latter and put it out of business.
  • Venture capital faces a huge challenge in making bitcoin user-friendly and secure enough to be ready for prime time.  Hackers in bitcoin land are ferocious competition, attacking the weakest link in the system to drive prices down.  They then scoop up the currency during the confusion and wait for it to rebound.  The fact that shorting bitcoins is difficult at best is one of the currency’s saving graces at the moment.   As a hacker you can most easily profit by eventually betting its price will rise again.  That limits the damage hackers wish to incur to temporary drops in price; no one benefits from bitcoin going to zero at the moment. 
  • In the end, VCs must address the security issues of the system first, and then work on making bitcoin a relevant currency for global financial transactions.  Progress on both would remove much of the volatility in the price, since “real” transactions would have a more even weighting of buy and sell side orders.  Right now, the bitcoin market is thin and limited on the supply side unless there is a panic underway.  That’s not to say that the currency upward bias of bitcoin prices is irrelevant to this effort, for it does validate the sustainability of the currency while VCs get their ducks in a row and make their initial investments.

When I speak to clients or the media about bitcoin the most frequently asked question relates to regulation.  Here are the issues:

  • One of the essential points of the system’s core architecture is anonymity.  Once you have a bitcoin identifier – a long series of numbers and letters – associated with a balance you are essentially “Off the grid.”  Yes, all those nerdy folks out there managing the system will track that number, but not your name or social security number or other state-approved identifier.
  • In the world of technology, that’s a feature, not a bug; but, in the world of anti money laundering, the reverse is true.  And that’s potentially a problem for the growth of bitcoin, given the global focus on funding sources for terrorism and the illegal drug trade.
  • At the moment there simply isn’t the liquidity in bitcoin for large-scale money transfers, which means drug lords will be relying on stacks of $100 bills for a while longer.  And global terrorism still has the informal but highly effective Hawala system to move money around the world.

If the venture capital community wants to make bitcoin the “Next big thing”, staving off regulation by bringing the currency into the light is just as important as their other goals.  Yes, the U.S. Treasury recently issued some guidance, essentially bringing bitcoin into the regulatory fold.  At the same time, regulators do have the facility to make life difficult for bitcoin if they so choose.  Recall that they were able to essentially shut down online gambling in the U.S. a few years back by forbidding U.S. banks to fund overseas accounts for the purpose of playing cards or games of chance. 

In the end, however, it would be very hard to shut down bitcoin on a global basis.  Recall that the system runs on thousands of servers around the world and once money enters the system, the only trace of its existence is a letter-and-number key.  Anyone who has that identifier can exchange it for sovereign currency in any country that allows its banking system to plug into a bitcoin exchange. 

My humble recommendation to venture capitalists to avoid further regulation or an outright ban is to quickly convince global charities to use the bitcoin system for both donations and money transfers.  It is, after all, ideally suited to the purpose of taking in money in rich countries and efficiently moving it abroad to places with limited financial infrastructure.  According the National Philanthropic Trust, individual Americans gave $218 billion in 2011, the most recent information available, and there are over one million charitable groups operating in the U.S.  Presumably they all have bank accounts to process payments and would like a more efficient way to distribute funds.

That move alone would begin to remove the “Cokehead currency” imprimatur which bitcoin still struggles to overcome due to some early press about its use on illegal drug distribution websites.  If shutting down bitcoin would hurt worthwhile charities by pushing them back into a higher-cost banking system, regulators might think twice about excessive regulation or an outright ban.  This would give the bitcoin ecosystem time to resolve the security and compliance issues we’ve described previously.

In summary, bitcoin is what I would call a “Beta currency.” To the tech world, that means something that is still in development.  It’s eventual success or failure is a technological challenge, mixed with business development issues.  And in the milieu of high finance, the “Beta” moniker means risk.  Investing in bitcoin has been a white-knuckle ride so far, and nothing in its near future points to a different trajectory.  How it all shakes out, however, will be both instructive to watch and potentially profitable for those on the right side of this very novel trade.

 

 

Addendum: A few worthwhile reads, in case you want more information:

Bitcoin as a bubble:  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/20/what-can-behavioral-finance-can-teach-us-about-bubbles/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29

What economists say: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/14/iterations-how-five-real-economists-think-about-bitcoins-future/

Places to spend bitcoin:  https://www.spendbitcoins.com/places/

VCs who are getting involved: http://mashable.com/2013/04/12/bitcoin-startups/ And http://www.wired.com/business/2013/04/whats-riskier-than-bitcoins-bitcoin-companies/

From one VC about how he sees the opportunity: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/05/why-do-vcs-care-about-bitcoin/

And one very clear short piece on the ins and outs of bitcoin: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/the-future-of-bitcoin.html

 


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Mon, 04/22/2013 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Oh shit...here we go.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:00 | Link to Comment knukles
knukles's picture

Well, if ya can't hide it up your butt its not money
Yeah, but you can stuff a memory stick up yer crotch
But what if it melts?
Then you can't make change
Caution slippery when wet.
Etc., etc., etc

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:09 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

"bitcoin isn’t dead just yet."

 

"I think I'll go for a walk,... I feel happy,... I feel happy..." [whack]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p53kJX64ieQ

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:48 | Link to Comment CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Ohhhh, my conspiracy theory has a little more traction now ... I see where this is going ...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-07/rethinking-money-bitcoin-quadrupling-cyprus#comment-3419196

Regards,

Cooter

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:59 | Link to Comment TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

I'd buy Bitcoins, but their storage fees are too high.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:55 | Link to Comment Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

wasn't dead in 2011 after that bubble burst either, as scarcity starts to come up, higher prices will follow.  This year less btc will be produced than people in San Diego.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:01 | Link to Comment malikai
Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:47 | Link to Comment draug
draug's picture

The difference between BTC and other bubbles (thus far) is that after each bubble, 10x more people know about the currency than did before. That's why neither of the two BTC bubbles reverted to anywhere near their starting point, which is what bubbles normally do. Of course this pattern will stop when the currency becomes more known in the mainstream.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:43 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

In other words it wasn't a bubble but a bull market.  FYI, on the way from 1 cent to 260 dollars bitcoin has has more than 2 parabolic rises.  There are more to come :-)

The Bitcoin Channel

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:29 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Fuck the crowd here... Can't convince stupid

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:12 | Link to Comment gold-is-not-dead
gold-is-not-dead's picture

SCOREBOARD, look at it... :)

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:52 | Link to Comment draug
draug's picture

Indeed. I was just recounting the two big ones I know about that got some media attention. There are hundreds of small ones, in fact there's one going towards $135+ right now while I'm writing this.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:17 | Link to Comment moonstears
moonstears's picture

Another chuckle from knukles +1. lol

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:23 | Link to Comment Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Haha!  Exactly, knuk!  

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:02 | Link to Comment jomama
jomama's picture

*again.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:03 | Link to Comment Divine Wind
Divine Wind's picture

 

Who are they banking with this time around?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:39 | Link to Comment XenoFrog
XenoFrog's picture

When are the bitcoiners who encouraged ZH'ers to buy in at $200 going to apologize?   We'll just have to wait I guess.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:01 | Link to Comment harry555
harry555's picture

When are all the whinging twats who are too dumb to think for themselves and were encouraged by Bitcoiners to buy at $2 but didn't going to show some humility?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:02 | Link to Comment lickspitler
lickspitler's picture

When are the foil hat silver stackers going to apologize for encouraging ZHers to buy at 30,40 and 49.95.

I love the "coin dealers aren't selling at 23  they are selling at 30" because of short supply ...........HELLO HELLO

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 17:46 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

We did encourage you to buy bitcoins at 30, 40 and 49.95.  Your welcome :-)

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:31 | Link to Comment draug
draug's picture

I don't know. I personally said it would be crazy to buy at $200, so I feel excused.

In any case, other people aren't responsible for your decisions, so if you feel people have to "apologize" to you for sharing their opinions then you have other issues. Personal responsibility and all that.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:43 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

I would like to see some sources for claims people made buy recommendations at ~$200. As for my call, I called for 90% collapse, and from $266 to $50 it collapsed > 80%; trade volume also collapsed ~80%. Bit surprised how fast it rebounded, hopefully it stabilizes around $125 for awhile. Still waiting for my Jalapeno, which may be vaporware.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:47 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

What are you going to say when we stabilize above 200 dollars?  Hopefully you'll just go die in a pond somewhere.

The Bitcoin Channel

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 12:05 | Link to Comment mccoyspace
mccoyspace's picture

You could be making 20% interest with those $200 bitcoins by lending them to bitcoin shorters while you wait for the price to rebound at

bitfinex.com

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:04 | Link to Comment Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Worthy competition for Poster Boy of what brought us to our knees.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:05 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

I've mentioned Ripple several times before. It's got backing from several VC's including Andreesson Horowitz.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:14 | Link to Comment digitalhermit
digitalhermit's picture

Ripple currency is pre-mined (XRP) and mostly the property of its creators although they plan to distribute a lot of it. Still, far too centralized for my taste and way too hyped IMHO.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=179677.0

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:19 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

@digitalhermit
Not advocating any of these alternative systems. Just discussing events and the merits of each. I don't think bitcoin is viable as a speculating tool, but the payment system aspect is worthwhile. Ripple is looking to capitalize on the payment system aspect, but there are others. The VC's will get paid in Ripple, so that is a definite red flag. How much has been promised to the VC's? 50% of the Ripple float?

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:35 | Link to Comment digitalhermit
digitalhermit's picture

How much has been promised to the VC's? 50% of the Ripple float?

I'm not sure if that's public information. I think someone said the creators had something like 80% of the currency to distribute however they wanted. It is technically interesting - will see how it evolves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M16ZatXbmLg

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:31 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Nobody gives a fuck about Ripple.  It's about as useful as NameCoin, which nobody gives a fuck about, either.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:34 | Link to Comment draug
draug's picture

The utility of Ripple, in my understanding (which is limited), is more of an instant credit-clearing system, sort of like the Visa of P2P currencies. It's more useful as a payment system than a long-term store of value. We'll see if it's useful enough to survive.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:38 | Link to Comment hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

I'm not convinced that Bitcoin escrows are any less useful than Ripple at providing a fraud-free commercial system.  As far as I can tell, Ripple is just Western Union with bitcoin infrastructure.  Bitcoin on its own allows a lot of room for the seller to simply not provide the product after a sale.  But with some sort of escrow service, buyers wouldn't worry nearly as much about sending btc to a vendor.  Ripple seems a bit too complex. Btcrow seems to not be nimble enough.  I'd like to see a bitcoin 'PayPal' which doesn't make things so complex, like Ripple seems to be.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:38 | Link to Comment draug
draug's picture

If PayPal, Visa or even Western Union one day decided to start providing Bitcoin services, then Ripple would be screwed overnight.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 05:55 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

"Bitcoin on its own allows a lot of room for the seller to simply not provide the product after a sale."

Really?  How about learning something about how BitCoin is bought and sold before embarassing yourself with an idiotic statement like that again...

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:12 | Link to Comment ledzep213
ledzep213's picture

You can now buy bitcoin with a credit card or paypal at a number of websites (e.g. bitboin.com).  Is that the mark of development or mark of absurdity?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:39 | Link to Comment hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

bitboin is a pretty huge markup, ouch.  Stick to bitinstant with Walmart.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:05 | Link to Comment fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

Current price of BTC $127.50 Bitboin price -> $180+ and you can only buy 0.1 btc a day!!!!

Ouch indeed.

I go bank-transfer to OK pay, then suck the funds from there into my BTC-E trading account. Once there it is easy to transfer into BTC (and/or LTC), then your funds/coins are ready to instantly transfer to your wallet, ready for spending.

I have only "spent" bitcoins so far, sending them to people who want them when I am down the pub, or when it gets mentioned in conversation and I offer to oblige. (oh, and a bit of one to wikileaks).

Quick scan of a QR code, cash exchanged. BTC instantly sent/received. Job done.

It really is a good system for direct (and private) inter-person payments. Only draw back currently, is the legacy banking system that hinders the easy sending of money to get your bitcoins in the first place!

Cheers,

Fred.

 

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:22 | Link to Comment ledzep213
ledzep213's picture

Right I think the idea behind bitboin is that they carry the risk of chargebacks and so to limit that they only sell small amount daily and mark it up.  Probably for people that don't want to wait for verified accounts on mtgox or dwolla to process.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:14 | Link to Comment Smuckers
Smuckers's picture

I'd much rather have my money validated by waving a magnet over it, and not destroyed by it.

 

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:16 | Link to Comment trollin4sukrz
trollin4sukrz's picture

This shit is a total joke. Bitcoin..wtf good is it?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:40 | Link to Comment hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

"This email shit is stupid, its never going to replace first class mail."

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:09 | Link to Comment tabasco71
tabasco71's picture

hmmtellmemore: that's a fair response to a weak challenge... but, computers were supposed to herald the arrival of the paperless office... what happened in the end there?

So, now bitcoins are supposed to herald the arrival of the paperless financial system... can you see my dilemma?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:13 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

And indeed, it has not ---- nor will it ever.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:50 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Internet message boards are idiotic.  No real people will ever use them; just trolls, shills and goobermint stooges.  Erm nevermind...

The Bitcoin Channel

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:17 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Okay. I'm confused. I thought that bit coin stopped trading and people were getting their money back.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment digitalhermit
digitalhermit's picture

There was an exchange that shut down because the bank they were using to receive customer funds decided to close their account. (probably AML related).

http://bitfloor.com/

But bitcoin trades on multiple exchanges and it's decentralized so you can also trade it off exchange directly with other people:

http://localbitcoins.com/

http://bitcoin-otc.com/

and eventually you'll be able to exchange it for fiat at an ATM near you:

http://bitcoinatm.com/

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:23 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Thanks. So are their arbitrage opportunities across the exchanges?

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:27 | Link to Comment digitalhermit
digitalhermit's picture

Yes, there are such opportunities but unfortunately they are hard to take advantage of primarily due to the difficulty of moving fiat between the exchanges.

http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/

Some are doing it though, albeit on a *very* small scale:

https://twitter.com/DArbitrageBot

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:18 | Link to Comment Debugas
Debugas's picture

in orde rto do arbitrage you do not need to move fiat between exchanges

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:38 | Link to Comment Keynesian Mess
Keynesian Mess's picture

Yup, low liquidity and high volatility results in many opportunities weekly.

 

With increasing market penetration, I suspect that this too shall pass. :(

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment devo
devo's picture

Govt will either ban it or embrace/dillute it.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:36 | Link to Comment Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Yes, but you miss the part where we've gone so far south that there are those with significant influence spewing self-serving drivel that neglects government, society, et al...and,

perhaps Bitcoin will save us.

No, Bitcoin will not save anything.

Recognition and acceptance of the dangers of the Pathologically Self-Absorbed is the only chance we have.

 

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:41 | Link to Comment Keynesian Mess
Keynesian Mess's picture

In theory, the only control they can exercise is bitcoin's exchange for domestic digital currencies. All other exchanges can be entirely anonymous or served through a largely invisible (black) market. 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 05:25 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

That is rather limited theory...

Sort of like "the only control that the US Treasury can exercise is over US banks".

 

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:27 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The world needs a new currency backed by eggs

Somthing that people wont get in  a flap over

I propose "Chookcoin"

 

 

 

 

 

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:29 | Link to Comment devo
devo's picture

How about a currency backed by pussy and calling it chick coin?

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:49 | Link to Comment digitalhermit
digitalhermit's picture

I think this virtual currency already is backed by pussy, no?

http://www.reddit.com/r/GirlsGoneBitcoin (NSFW)

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:56 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Women control 99% of the money in this world and 100% of the pussy...........

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:49 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

already being traded in every currency.

has universal demand

it just might work

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:33 | Link to Comment vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

Clitcoin

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:30 | Link to Comment Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Whatever helps expedite the slaying of The Creature from Jekyll Island is ok with me.  

Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after...it's the reckoning.  -Doc Holliday

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment wintermute
wintermute's picture

Finally! A ZH skeptic who realises what Bitcoin could actually achieve.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:35 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    Please, no more shitcoin blab. I was a good boy and had my glass of prune juice with a heaping scoop of Metamucil this morning.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:36 | Link to Comment Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

BitCoin and Silk Road: They go together like traffic and weather.

https://silkroaddrugs.wordpress.com/

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:00 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

And the fact that 80% of the $100 bills in circulation test positive for cocaine would mean what, exactly, for Drugs and the USD?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:08 | Link to Comment Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

It probably means that coke users have a lot of $100 bills.

http://www.iwise.com/2S8A3

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 23:40 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Listen anti-Bitcoiners, and repeat after me:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Repeat till it sinks in(to your skull).

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:11 | Link to Comment wintermute
wintermute's picture

Most of Tyler's commenters on here are so hard nut that it would take a sledgehammer to whack this concept into their skulls.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:55 | Link to Comment RideTheWalrus
RideTheWalrus's picture

The vulture capitalists did great things in making Facebook open, secure, private, protective, safe, enlightening, independent and ..... oh no they didn't, they made it the opposite of all those things. 
If they get their claws into BitCoin then expect everything that makes it unique to get thrown out and replaced by everything that makes it trackable, databased and a spy agencies wet dream.

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:37 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Facebook was never anything more than a well-funded NSA op, and Fuckerberg one of the newly chosen liberal elites.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:52 | Link to Comment RideTheWalrus
RideTheWalrus's picture

Agreed on that's what he's become but before that intital venture capital, he was just a dude with a site that could of gone many directions. Instead of going the direction of open-source and heavy encryption to make it something for the people, he chose to make it an NSA op and to get initiated into the cabel.

Who knows who invented BitCoin but the venture capitalists are less likely to invest their money and brains into making it free, open, secure and for the people - they are more likely to be from the same pool that stooged up Facebook.

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 05:33 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Cut the CIA's CFO some slack... the debt slaves in the USA just aren't picking cotton like they they used to so the alternative LOB's need to pick up the slack on the revenue side....

 

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment LuisCypher
LuisCypher's picture

Last year internet commerce topped 1 Trillion dollars. Most of that money was at some point transfered through Paypal, banks or creditcards, each of which charges a fee and / or interest.

Those small fees are VERY big bussiness, bitcoin avoids those fees. If Bitcoin becomes popular, even marginally, large corporations will take notice, many already are.

Here is why:

  • If Bitcoin only captures 1% of online trade  that it is still a $ 10000,000,000 market that can't be charged fees.
  • If Bitcoin only captures 0.1%  that it is still a $1000,000,000 market that can't be charged fees. ( This figure is probably less than the fees financail institutions actually charge on the 1 Trillion trade)
  • If Bitcoin only captures 0.01%   it is still $100,000,000 of trade.

additionally Bitcoins used are not going back into the fractional banking system as soon as they are being spent. Think about the implications of that.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:15 | Link to Comment wintermute
wintermute's picture

Exactly. And further, because Paypal and Mastercard etc are just payment systems, but Bitcoin is a currency as well, then Bitcoin has a monetary base of its own. By the time it captures 1% of online trade its value per unit will be in the $1,000s

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:57 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

I cannot help thinking the higher the price, the greater the dips.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:16 | Link to Comment Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

Bitcoin should just place 1,000's of those tiny little classified ads!

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 05:44 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Logical Fallacies are so much fun in the morning... I reed some more coffeee though-

"bitcoin avoids those fees" 

So does the USD.

Is Bitcoin a currency or a payment service?

If Bitcoin is a currency, then what is to prevent Paypal, Banks and Credit Card Companies from offering Bitcoin payment services and charging fees for them?

What are the advantages and drawbacks of Paypal, Banks and Credit Card Companies offering Bitcoin payment services?

How do those advantages and drawbacks weigh against the challenges that Bitcoin presently faces?

... ... ...

Is xxx a good idea? 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:13 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Shake your money maker.

Will work for BitCoins.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:24 | Link to Comment daneskold
daneskold's picture

Among the weaknesses of bitcoins is that the number of potential bitcoins is infinite. Ergo, whatever value may be attributed to a nominal bitcoin is subject to a denominator of infinity.

It may take a LONG time to "mine" all such bitcoins, but nevertheless...On a long enough timeline, the value of a bitcoin will not survive a Tyler's mythical lifetime.

 

Q.E.D.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:55 | Link to Comment Haole
Haole's picture

"Among the weaknesses of bitcoins is that the number of potential bitcoins is infinite. Ergo, whatever value may be attributed to a nominal bitcoin is subject to a denominator of infinity."

"It may take a LONG time to "mine" all such bitcoins, but nevertheless..."

 

Really, did you just make that up all by yourself?

 

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:48 | Link to Comment hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

Actually, total btc is finite. 21 million to be exact.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:50 | Link to Comment Keynesian Mess
Keynesian Mess's picture

Dude, do just a little research before making such a fact-absent comment.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:38 | Link to Comment babkjl
babkjl's picture

 

Free bitcoins for Zero Hedge readers at http://babkjl.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/free-bitcoins-for-zero-hedge-readers/  No catch, just try out a small amount.  Donations to the pool from bitcoin supporters welcome.  32 requests already paid out.  0.0695 bitcoins still available to distribute.

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:03 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Fuck off with your spam.  Just complete a "few offers" and the BitCoins can be yours.  Loser.  Why not spam your mom instead?  She works for .069 bitcoins.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 00:42 | Link to Comment Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

as a libertarian I believe in free markets and competition in currencies, and bitcoin may work as one of those alternative currencies.

However one thing that almost no one seems to speak of is why a digital currency, that is not backed by anything, is no better than fiat. There is a difference between money (specie) and tokens or money substitutes (warehouse receipts, paper or digital claims).

Sure the supply of bitcoins is limited to 21 million. But is there anything limiting the TYPES of new digital coins, each with a 'limit' of 21 million, from being produced?

Being open source, one could conceivably modify bitcoin code with a slightly modified encryption scheme, or even start a new block chain and call it bitcoin 2.

and then bitcoin 3

ad inifitem.

E.g. each MMORPG has its own 'credits' system. While the credits may be limited within a MMORPG, there's nothing that limits the number of MMORPGs themselves.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:26 | Link to Comment Saro
Saro's picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

And yes, more cryptocurrencies could appear.  Either they will be worse than bitcoin (and probably fail), be the same as bitcoin (and therefore not get any traction because of the network effect), or be better than bitcoin, in which case . . . hurray!  We have a better currency.

None of those situations seem to present a problem.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:48 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Backed by anything? You mean by the decree of one (a Central Bank), as opposed to the mutual agreements of the market?

It appears that you still dont truly understand the core idea of Bitcoin, bevause you are still using the gold-money paradigm. It is not so much a Store of Value, but a Medium of Exchange between two parties who ate exchanging things of mutual value.

Paper money does the same thing, but is controlled by the elite and they keep issuing more than the actual GDP requires.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 12:01 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

We had this damn debate 100 YEARS AGO, why hasn't anyone learned anything in the interim, or is that they have just forgotten everything?

Gold was controlled by the elite, go ask WJB for quick refresher.

Paper (in practice) they just keep issuing more of, but the extremely desirable benefit of a paper money supply, for better or worse, is the relative ease with which the money supply itself can be adapted, modified, or in the case of the early FED manipulated.  Then we all went digital and the other central banks wanted a seat the cool kids table.

Go ask Marcus Aurelius what a royal pain in the ass it was to take 21 grams of silver out of the denarius only to add 20 of those grams back a decade later...

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:53 | Link to Comment hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

"However one thing that almost no one seems to speak of is why a digital currency, that is not backed by anything, is no better than fiat."

 

Excellent question.  But keep this in mind: if you store your money in gold, it has to be stored in a safe location.  If you store a LOT of money in gold, it is very difficult to store it and not risk government prying.  A benefit to good money is being able to store it without fear of it being stolen.  Gold was the best before computers because of its dense value.  Now a digital currency can be mathematically finite, and stored on just about anything.  This is a very new development.

So in short, even gold backed currency has counter party risk; bitcoin does not.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:30 | Link to Comment mumbo.jumbo
mumbo.jumbo's picture

yeah, the ideal would be an international network of (gold) warehouses which issue BTC-like digital "warehouse notes" backed by gold or whatever people deposit there. digital gold, goldgram, etc. not a new idea...

the problem is that the warehouses would be sitting ducks for the violent parasitic class known as The Government... and you can only avoid this problem in a very healthy society, but in such a theoretical society even unbacked fiat money would work.

a potentially better option i think would be a social network based on encryption and digital signatures, a web of trust, where people+computers could organize physical clearing among trusted parties. that would make being a parasite a whole lot more expensive.

keep in mind: ultimately, a bank is merely an information processing unit, and my phone in my pocket can outperform several branches... the technology has arrived to replace them, but the creative destruction has not run its course yet.

BTC or something else? who knows... but it will happen because the parasites have sucked too much blood. either a rejuvenating change, or we all go back to the stoneage.

i strongly believe in the benevolence of mankind if the weighting is not concentrated into the hands of a few psychopats, so i'm optimistic (in a 10+ years timeframe -- until then make sure to stack some physical).

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:30 | Link to Comment Curiously_Crazy
Curiously_Crazy's picture

yeah, the ideal would be an international network of (gold) warehouses which issue BTC-like digital "warehouse notes" backed by gold or whatever people deposit there. digital gold, goldgram, etc. not a new idea...


Nope it sure isn't a new idea. Been bundling along quite successfully for a while now: http://pecunix.com/

The encryption methodologies used are second to none.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:07 | Link to Comment Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

So people want to replace Fed created electronic money with someone else's electronic money?

 

I'll stick with gold & silver. The only real money.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:57 | Link to Comment Keynesian Mess
Keynesian Mess's picture

For sure!  Just like PM (and NOT like other fiats), there's a fixed supply, it can't be created by alchemy,  and more gets harder to find.  (It's also a lot easier to carry.)

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:25 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

So people want to replace Fed created electronic money with someone else's electronic money?

 

And who would that "someone" be? 

But imagine, a currency that the government can neither control nor regulate. Nah, that doesn't have any use in the current system.  

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 01:21 | Link to Comment EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

Subjective theory of value. Look it up HaterZ. For those of you who think that BTC is just some ridiculous fad that is in a bubble put your money where your mouth is and short it.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:10 | Link to Comment Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Anyone using the term "haters" is too low brow to pay any attention to.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:35 | Link to Comment mumbo.jumbo
mumbo.jumbo's picture

Anyone who resorts to an ad hominem is too low brow to pay any attention to.


https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:57 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Anyone who refuses to pay attention is not woth paying attention to.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:02 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Nobody who does not refuse to not pay attention is not worth not paying no attention to.

I think.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:14 | Link to Comment Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

And don't use no double negatives, neither!

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:21 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

I like ad hominy, preferably in Posole.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:52 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

I put my money where my mouth is yesterday. Bought at 73, sold for 92.9. It seems to be levelling out towards the 100 euro mark, and for somethign that can dip so quick, it has lost its shine for now. Maybe I will buy in again when it is more agitated. With bitcoin, a week is a long time.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:10 | Link to Comment Keynesian Mess
Keynesian Mess's picture

Central banks currently attempt to control the other real monies through the paper future markets. It's still a little tough to do this for bitcoin; their best alternative is to just buy all of them. Even at $100,000 per coin, this would only cost a trillion - chicken feed for these pirates worldwide.

Jump on the train and front-run these bastards just like Wall Street does for Treasuries!

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:23 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

I already have.  From your lips to Ben's ears ;-)

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:17 | Link to Comment Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

I've got all the bitcoin you want, just $20 over spot.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:12 | Link to Comment Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

There's nothing to stop a rival crypto-currency from being unleashed.

It's basically the dot coms all over again.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:21 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

And more choices is bad? I always thought more choices was good. 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:14 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

litecoin, namecoin, to name a few.  There are lots.  The money is in the one with the best PR.

You can also start your own bitcoin chain.  Or join loom.cc and make anything have value.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:20 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Nobody does anything with LiteCoin or Namecoin.  Worthless. 

Sure, you can start your own bitcoin blockchain.  Good luck with that - you need to control 51% of the mining bandwidth to even start to think about doing that.   The distributed bandwidth used for mining is currently in the petaflop range - get yourself a nice top-of-the-line super computer to start with.  Oh, and you have to convince 51% of the mining and existing bitcoin users to switch, too.  (That number is estimated to be about 2 million.)  And set up your own exchanges and infrastructure.  And write your own stratum like protocol.  And convince all the server owners to implement it, or set up a few tens-of-thousands of servers yourself.

But if you're going to spend that kind of $$$, why not just set up a direct competitor to Google.  Same order-of-magnitude difficulty.  You too could own your own version of Netscape and DuckDuckGo...

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:24 | Link to Comment Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

Why does anyone need 51% of anything?

The only thing that matters is people deciding to accept it as payment.

Anyone can copy this model.

Let me tell you what will happen. Bitcoin mining will quickly be exhausted it will accelerate until the cost of processing exceeds the cost of electricity.

Once that happens it will stop.

Once nobody is making money from mining and selling bitcoins, the miners will move to the next crypto currency and start the process afresh.

Bitcoins will collapse as mining profits are channeled into promoting currency B, more people will accept currency B as payment and currency B will replace bitcoins.

Eventually currency B will become uneconomic to mine... The miners will move to currency C...

See where this is going?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 12:49 | Link to Comment mccoyspace
mccoyspace's picture

Not necessarily. Miners are also responsible for validating each bitcoin transaction and entering it into the blockchain ledger. There are often transactions fees for that. In addition to creating new currency units, miners also collect those transaction fees. People will be interested in picking up that 'free money'

Also, your understanding of the acceleration of mining difficulty is faulty. If everyone stopped mining, the difficulty would reduce. Yes, the RATE of coin production gradually decreases over time (currently its 25 units every 10 minutes, that will halve in a couple years), but the difficulty of the 'proof of work' calculation is throttled up and down based on the total amount of processing power available on the mining network over a 2 week period. Less people mining means that it takes less work to get the current coin block reward.

It certainly is the case that specific approaches to mining will stop. We've seen the end of CPU mining, we're at the end stages of GPU mining, FPGA mining still has a little bit to go. We're in the early stage of ASIC mining.

And you can already place your bets on the value of different virtual currencies relative to bitcoin at vircurex.com

So go for it.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture

 yeah, how many are in the works as we speak

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:20 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

and it remains one of the most potentially disruptive forces in modern finance.

 

That's exactly what it was designed to do: help crash the fiat system. The more people that use (not invest) in bitcoins, the less people that use USD. 

 

After the fiat crashes, well, that's a different story. I suppose then you can dig up the gold you have buried in your back yard and buy chickens and goats. 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 03:46 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

The policy responses to the ongoing global financial crisis seem to have eroded public confidence in the concept of money/currency as a store of value, at least at the margin.  New ideas for currency, even as nerdy as bitcoin, resonate enough to generate $1 billion of value in fairly short order.  Now, most economists will tell you that money shouldn’t be a store of value, for that leads to hoarding and slower economic growth. 

 

Now, I always thought that what is meant by "store of value" is, that the commodity won't rot away and become useless. Like, you couldn't have a currency based on fish or apples, because they rot over a short period of time. Whereas, something like gold, or other metals can lose some value over time if the supply is increased, won't lose all of their value due to some natural transition (although some metals, like silver, do oxidize over time). 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:18 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

How much value has the Roman denarius lost?  Melted down they are worth around $1400/oz.

How much are the major paper currencies from that era worth?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:21 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

Perhaps we could try something closer to home.  Hmmm.  Let's see. Ah a $20 US Gold Note.  It used to be worth an ounce of gold, now it is redeemable for FRNs which will get me 0.014 ounces of gold.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:51 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Perhaps. But it wasn't its physical chartacteristics that caused it to lose that value. In a free banking regime, a bank could write a note on a piece of gold or silver.  The underlying commodity is a "store of value", but if the bank goes belly-up, that note is worthless after the bank has been liquidated. The same holds true if the government suspends conversion to specie. 

As the article states, what is meant by "money" and/or "currency" is hotly debated. Even within schools of the same economic thought.  Even the Regression Theorem has come into question by some Anthropologists.  

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:33 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

China 1 Kuan (1368-1399) is worth about $4,500.

http://currency.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=3511&lotIdNo=131006

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:39 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

A denarius is worth about $20 & change an ounce melted down (uless have a post-Greenspanius denarius in which case you're shit outta luck since it has the same melt value as an FRN 2000 years later)

An aureus is worth about $1400 & change an ounce melted down (and held its gold value much better over time because Greenspanius and his successors were more hesitant to fuck with The Man & His Money) 

 

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:17 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And I thought Gold and Silver and the miners were volatile, phew!

Hope no one got too hurt on that one, I'm all for fiat central bank alternatives.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:24 | Link to Comment michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bitcoin%20presentation%20at%20langley

The farm says its ok to add another dimension to fiat and fob chips.

 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:29 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

One of the things that worries me about bitcoins is that the currency conversion is quite costly often around 4%.  And it is slow, usually limited in amount, and subject to market closures.

To get in and out of bitcoins can be upwards of 8%.

Many other currencys and transaction systems are far less.  I believe full round trip in paypal is 3% or so.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 05:10 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

A full round trip on bitcoin.de is 1%

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:58 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

There are trade-offs. If you want speed, you are probably going to have to pay a little more. Bitinstant charges 4%, I think, then there's a ZipZap fee, but the coins are in your wallet/address within abiut 20 minutes, sometimes less. And all I have to do is go down to the local CVS, or any place that uses the MoneyGram payment system. 

But there is always localBitcoins.com.

I think the point isd, bitcoins weren't meant to be exchaned for other currencies as much as they are meant to be used in real transactions. If you want to bypass government regulations, it is going to be a little bit of a pain in the ass. But that's another trade-off.  

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 04:37 | Link to Comment Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

There should be a new digital currency backed by gold.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:45 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

I think Peter Schiff already started one, a gold backed credit card. The problem is that while the current set of political and banking scum rule the planet, no system is safe. The ideal place to be is in Europe with precious metals. Any trouble and you can just cross a border to a safe country.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 06:28 | Link to Comment Debugas
Debugas's picture

bitcoin is an e-currency for e-commerce that is when you need to buy something on internet over-board.

but I still have not figured out how taxes apply in this case

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:24 | Link to Comment Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

The only thing that matters is people deciding to accept it as payment.

Anyone can copy this model.

Let me tell you what will happen. Bitcoin mining will quickly be exhausted it will accelerate until the cost of processing exceeds the cost of electricity.

Once that happens it will stop.

Once nobody is making money from mining and selling bitcoins, the miners will move to the next crypto currency and start the process afresh.

Bitcoins will collapse as mining profits are channeled into promoting currency B, more people will accept currency B as payment and currency B will replace bitcoins.

Eventually currency B will become uneconomic to mine... The miners will move to currency C...

See where this is going?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:43 | Link to Comment The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Why will a currency become valuable just because miners say it will?

There are alternatives to bitcoin that have already died a death due to lack of interest, such as solidcoin.

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:28 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Where it is going is far past your shallow thinking.  The mining/electricity cost debate has gone on for years and people are still mining.  New Asic based miners are 10 times faster with 1/10 the power consumption.  It's a free market, i.e. self correcting.  When miners stop getting rewarded in bitcoins they will be rewarded in fees.  Try reading a little bit before opening your ignorant pie hole.

The Bitcoin Channel

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 10:16 | Link to Comment UGrev
UGrev's picture

and the fact that mining one coin follows an f(x) algo with regards to coins created per Asic is why this is a FAIL all around. Eventually, you need a building full of dedicated miners just to get one fucking coin. 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 17:43 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

The coin is divisible to 8 decimal places.  Eventually you will be able to buy a car with one coin, so what is wrong with mining 1/100ths of a coin?

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 07:40 | Link to Comment Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

There are elements of the bitcoin phenomenon that I have find compelling. It is an open source community and thus a social structure that competes with the Aristocracy of the Krony System. Most members of the community are anti banking and anti big brother.

Of course it utilizes the SHA-2 crypto hash function and that worries me since it was developed by the NSA.   From wikipedia  “SHA-2 is a set of cryptographic hash functions (SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512) designed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and published in 2001”

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:27 | Link to Comment ross81
ross81's picture

dead cat bounce, bitchez

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:56 | Link to Comment UGrev
UGrev's picture

Bit Coin already shook out. Some extremely intelligent individual saw a market for "making a currency".. massaged it, promoted it, grew it and then fucking cashed out.  What we're left with is crazy miner times for 1 coin making it a really good deal for early adopters and late arrivals get the shit end of the stick.  Bit coin.. what ever. 

Tue, 04/23/2013 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture

 I predict BTC to 1000 by year end

 ok, there it is.

 I mean they elected a Dog Catcher to the WH so , that's nothing.

 

 

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