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Guest Post: Bitcoin - Revolution Or Trap?

Tyler Durden's picture


Excerpted from The Money Bubble by James Turk and John Rubino,

In the Internet’s early days there was general agreement that one of the first killer apps would be some form of cyber-currency. Since money was already largely non-corporeal, existing as entries in bank accounts and ready to spend with plastic cards, the next logical step would be to move the whole thing online and dispense with paper and coins and their costly and burdensome infrastructure of banks, regulators and printing presses. The emergence of such currencies would, in this optimistic scenario, consign relics like the dollar and the Fed to history’s circular file and usher in an era of trust, stability, and growth similar to what occurred under the classical gold standard.

But the digital liberation of money turned out to be easier said than done, as the first wave of cyber-currencies came and went without much of an impact. eCash, for instance, was an encrypted, anonymous payment system that allowed anyone anywhere to send and receive instant payments. But it relied on the existing banking infrastructure, and because “anonymous” meant “money laundering” to the police, it faced extreme pushback from authorities who viewed such currencies as primarily empowering drug dealers – and from banks that saw no point in encouraging the competition. Only one small bank ever accepted eCash, and the currency died a quiet death a few years after its introduction.

A larger impact was made by e-gold, which offered accounts denominated in grams of gold from which owners could make and receive payments. It generated some buzz, peaking at five million users and $2 million of transactions in 2009. But here again, the fact that much of this action was apparently money laundering by parties with good reason to stay anonymous led to legal pressure that eventually led to its failure.

James’ company, GoldMoney, was originally designed to operate as a gold-based payment system based on several digital currency patents. It avoided the money laundering stigma by requiring users to register under their own names, and also met with early enthusiasm. But other logistical and legal barriers proved to be insurmountable, and GoldMoney’s payment system was deemphasized in favor of offshore gold storage. By the late 2000s, purely digital currencies looked, to most observers, like a near-impossibility in a world where governments and banks had the power to prevent such competition.


In 2008, a mysterious person or group using the apparent pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled a new digital currency called Bitcoin that appeared to solve some of its predecessors’ problems. Without going too deeply into the technical details, the Bitcoin system tracks each piece of currency from buyer to seller, eliminating the possibility of one person spending the same piece of currency multiple times before the counterparties catch on. The network is distributed, with no central clearinghouse or bank holding everyone’s money and imposing rules. “Miners” create more Bitcoins by solving complex algorithms to add more Bitcoin to the system, with the difficulty of the number crunching increasing as the quantity of Bitcoin grows, thus keeping their supply rising at a steady, predetermined rate until it reaches is a preordained limit of 21 million a century or so hence.

Bitcoins, which are a long string of alphanumeric characters, can be stored in a variety of places, from a digital “wallet” on a desktop computer to a centralized service in the cloud, or even completely off-grid by being printed on a piece of paper. And because it operates over peer-to-peer networks similar to those used by techies and teens to download music and videos, it bypasses the established banking/regulatory system, making it, at least initially, free of government oversight.

Nakamoto, whoever he (or she, they) was, disappeared in 2010. But by then the Bitcoin community had taken on a life of its own. Hundreds of users began to mine Bitcoins with increasingly sophisticated computers, and the number of merchants and individuals willing to accept, store, and transact in the currency rose steadily.

As the buzz grew louder, the small community of techie/libertarian early adopters was joined by traders sensing a serious momentum play. The dollar price of a Bitcoin rose from 5 cents in early 2010 to 36 cents in November. In February 2011 it briefly achieved parity with the dollar, and when a Forbes Magazine ran a favorable story that called it a “crypto currency,” the price went parabolic, to nearly $9. More breathless press ensued, sending the price to $27 and putting the market value of Bitcoins in circulation at $130 million.

On the Internet’s black market – the network of sites only accessible to computers running anonymizing software such as Tor – Bitcoin was rapidly becoming the preferred form of money. This drew the ire of the establishment, with US Senator Charles Schumer demanding the closure of online drug emporium Silk Road and describing Bitcoin as “an online form of money-laundering.”

At about the same time, Bitcoin’s Achilles heel became apparent, which is that it has to be stored somewhere, and no place is 100 percent secure. Bitcoins stored on a desktop can be wiped out by a crashed hard drive. Backed up on other storage media, they’re vulnerable to hackers. Kept in an online storage service – which sounds like a bank but has no deposit insurance or even physical reality – they can disappear without a trace. Traded on an online exchange they can likewise simply disappear, with no recourse to former owners.

As Bitcoin rose in value the number of high-profile crimes and crashes rose apace. A Tokyo-based exchange was hacked and lost numerous client accounts. A Poland-based storage service accidentally overwrote its customer records. A West Indian storage service simply shut down, and its owner disappeared. And viruses aimed at Bitcoin caches proliferated. Newcomers, meanwhile, discovered that working with Bitcoin required skills not yet common among the non-techie 99 percent. The press turned scornful, and a consensus formed that the concept was fatally flawed and without much of a future.

The Comeback

Throughout that boom and bust, Bitcoin retained a core user base that saw its possibilities and worked to overcome its flaws by developing point-of-sale hardware and online merchant services while lessening its dependence on a small number of exchanges.

And then, just when the outside world had stopped paying attention, Bitcoin recovered. From under $20 at the beginning of 2013 it rose to $240, crashed to below $100, and then in one dramatic arc soared to more than $1,000. In early 2014 Bitcoin’s market value exceeded $10 billion and the number of merchants willing to accept it was soaring.


The market appears to have spoken: Bitcoin is for real.


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Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:07 | 4394492 GrinandBearit
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Bitcoin is anything but real.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:17 | 4394518 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

Just like email is anything but real.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:54 | 4394592 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Does fonestar's bookie accept Bitcoin?

If so, if like to know how many Bitcoin fonestar bet on the Broncos.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:30 | 4394682 fonestar
fonestar's picture

fonestar is not titillated by men in tights throwing balls around.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:04 | 4394748 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Bitcoin reminds me of "Farmville".

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:15 | 4394765 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Most of you have never used Bitcoin, would not be capable of grasping why it is valuable.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:42 | 4394928 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Most of no one is not ever use BitCoin, never will, and that is problem. Since "not to be capable of grasp", please to explain underlying value to fellow ZHer.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:50 | 4394943 Bizaro World
Bizaro World's picture

Well said Comrade Boris

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 02:33 | 4395053 Dane Bramage
Dane Bramage's picture

Where's the"trap" part of the guest post/article?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 09:22 | 4395360 CH1
CH1's picture

Good for you Jim Turk!

A gold guy with room in his mind for more than one thing!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:23 | 4395488 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Bitcoin is yet another form of fiat currency as far as the banksters are concerned.  It's all you need to know in deciding whether or not you should approve or disapprove of it.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:39 | 4395542 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

Nothing, really, about the teaser title:  "Revolution or Trap" in the article.   This is just a regurgitation of widely known history - maybe worthy of a mainstream newspaper or magazine.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 14:31 | 4396372 ParkAveFlasher
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To CH1's point, it's James Turk saying it.  Wait a sec, doesn't he have a new book out now?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:09 | 4394967 mumbo.jumbo
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the most important underlying value is the refreshing ability to peacefully cooperate with your fellow men while making it very hard for evil parasites to exploit your cooperation at the point of a gun.


the progress of tyranny has made this free cooperation close to impossible in the past decades, and bitcoin cracked a hole on that.


for how long it will last is anybody's guess, but if a fair part of the population starts to live by the non-aggression principle, then its value may easily fall apart and give place for third party trust based digital gold transactions. but until then...

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:13 | 4395173 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not like bankster more than other fellow, but Boris cannot put "refreshing" under mattress for day when bank and fiat currency is fail. Perhaps maybe BitCoin is too much reaction to fiat currency and is too little fix real problem of fiat currency... no underlying value. One day BitCoin holder is realize no direct connection of bit stream and tangible wealth and like bankster, flee shadow bank soft asset for pursue hard asset, then like fiat currency, Bitcoin is not provide for safety haven.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 06:29 | 4395216 hot sauce technician
hot sauce technician's picture

Fiat currency works because people have faith in it. The principle is the same with BTC. The only thing that has to happen is for some type of john q friendly client to be developed so that its usage won't be so mysterious to the average stiff. And speaking of safety havens, can you eat gold? Can you keep warm with it? What gives it its value anyhow? The main reasons it was used as a medium of exchange in antiquity were its physical beauty, scarcity and portability (with the majority of coinage actually being in bronze and copper). Nothing intrinsic . The same, more or less (and barring the reckless printing of central banks), goes for fiat. People still need an efficient medium of exchange and fiat accomplishes this somewhat satisfactorily. There's no reason why BTC wouldn't be able to either. It just needs a wider userbase so it can become more stable.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:32 | 4395192 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

fellow ZHer shits pants and drags saggy nut sack across floor wearing slippers and waits each month for government check

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:45 | 4394931 Bizaro World
Bizaro World's picture

Parabolic should be a sign of caution....regardless of the "asset". I use quotes because I'm still not convinced Bitcoin is an asset. Seems easily manipulated.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:18 | 4394770 Stackers
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Bitcoins use a currency is only the beginning. There are many features in the bitcoin code that are not even being used yet.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:28 | 4394793 TheHound73
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For instance, remote control of pacemakers.  It has been shown and is well known and I used bold font.  That's why I stick with statist currency.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:35 | 4394800 Stackers
Stackers's picture

More like for instance "Transfer ownership of a car in the same transaction as paying for it" ..... I used bold and quotes. It is bitcoins ability to transfer ownership of an "asset" in a peer to peer fashion with no guaranteeing counter party needed that is it's true "value"


The programmer currently in charge of the bitcoin code explains it better than I can

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:58 | 4394844 wintermute
wintermute's picture

Great info Stackers.

That is why Mastercoin and Protoshares are dirt cheap at $80 and $12 respectively. If anyone wants to know where the next Google or Facebook is coming from then one of these companies is the answer.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:50 | 4394939 Metal Minded
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But not traditional companies, as are GOOG and FB . Mastercoin and Protoshares are what the Bitcoin folks refer to as Distributed Autonomous Corporations. No current .gov regulation. No Wall St control- which, at this time, makes every investment in the Bitcoin space like a pre- IPO private placement at which usually only insider Angels and VC's get a chance. Could be very lucrative or could be a big bust. I also have the stomach for a bit of penny stock plays. I hold Mastercoin and Protoshares. I am optimistic about the Bitcoin space, believe it is a brilliant and very positive innovation, but only have fiat involved which I can afford to lose.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:16 | 4394883 funthea
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Bitcoin is tulip mania. When it costs $1000 to mine a bit coin, I might will agree its valuation for a time. Problem is, bitcoin has plenty of competition that runs on the same encryption, no better, no worse... but a fraction of the price. So the only advantage is early adoption, which has its perks to be sure. But in the end the barrier to entry and prudence, will drive participants to the next best thing without the premium. Now, all the early adapter bitcoin millionaires may not like that, but then their dreams of grandeur are not my problem.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:37 | 4394897 TheHound73
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Do you even FOMO?

Why should I put my hard earned money into Tulip Mania B when millions of investors and merchants are already using Tulip Mania A?

Tulip Mania lasted for less then a year from 1636 to 1637 geographically isolated to The Netherlands.  Bitcoin is a worldwide phenomenon and  has received the tulip moniker since its inception in 2009. It has experienced multiple crashes of over 50% in a single day and has always recovered to twice above its previous highs.

Spring is Coming.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:46 | 4394938 Boris Alatovkrap
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Crash of 50% in single day, multiple time. Hmmmm, that is building of confidence. Is sound dangerous to receive wage in BitCoin on certain day or for merchant selling of good. Stability is not important criteria for ubiquitous currency, yes?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:10 | 4394969 TheHound73
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Ubiquitous?  Is this that is word that is Big?  Long way to go for that, buddy.  However, a phase change may occur and it becomes ubiquitous enough.  Much like the internet and cell phones, or, going back further, microwaves, color TV, radio.  S-Curve.  Anyways, volatility does not prove or disprove Tulip Mania hypothesis.

I know no merchants (except perhaps that currently expose themselves to significant BTC volatility risk.

I have been receiving 100% of my wages in Bitcoin currency since $130/BTC and have no complaints thus far.  Sometimes if I feel the market is running a little hot, I'll convert some of my weekly earnings to local currency (Yen paper rectangles) but usually buy back in at profit if my gamble is proven correct.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:16 | 4395175 aminorex
aminorex's picture takes bitcoin now.  they used to convert it to usd.  now they don't.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:19 | 4395182 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is watch for if Overstock is price fluctuation in BTC v $USD. Maybe Overstock is take big risk, or maybe Overstock is full of future vision...?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:37 | 4395195 dark pools of soros
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go to TigerDirect and buy espresso machine with bitcoin and put down vodka

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:16 | 4395180 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are proving of point! You are protect self against BitCoin volatility by frequent currency exchange. This is prove BTC is not trust for receive wage. At least volatility range of Petro dollar is single digit percentage. Maybe Boris is just boring, but Boris is not gamble with non-discretion fund use for food and rent.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:51 | 4395196 TheGoldMyth
TheGoldMyth's picture

Boris Alatovkrap, i spoke to Vladimir Putin on youtube the other day while watching max keiser on RT. I aggreed with his comment Americans have no energy, but i add that these one are mainly American who are privatised by mortgage/debt/or are financially stressed. I do not think all are like this . I use my code name, but Vladimir does not need this.

I practice amateur economic climate psychiatry all the time, and agree with you that bitcoin is gambling. In economic climate psychiatry, we study that gambling attracts many that like to use many reasons for support of gambling habit. Many still use the wrong 'ordinary' psychiatrist for this problem
Economic climate psychiatrist's are better. It is a very common mistake in medicine. Thanks!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 09:24 | 4395361 SoilMyselfRotten
SoilMyselfRotten's picture

You are proving of point! You are protect self against BitCoin volatility by frequent currency exchange


Before the massive takedown in PM's, they raised margin calls on silver something like 7 times due to its upward trajectory/volatility. Nobody was calling silver and gold tulip mania at the time. My only point is volatility doesn't preclude it from being taken seriously.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 11:55 | 4400247 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are to misapply analogous (Boris is not like that word, "ANALogous", is sound creepy) of BitCoin and PM. PM is safety hedge, BitCoin is pretend be currency. PM is insurance against collapse of currency, BTC is replacement of currency, possible cause of collapse of extant currency. But BTC is require same fundamental as extant currency, is require Faith and Trust. Gold, Silver, especial Copper is flourishing in lack of Faith and Trust. So volatility of market, political, social space, is friend of Gold, is not so friend of BitCoin or $USD, Yuan, Yen, Ruble, Rupee. Currency is must have derivative underlying value, PM is have direct, immediate, tangible underly value, itself.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 06:09 | 4395212 Who Laughed
Who Laughed's picture

If you understand the damage BTC could do to centralized banking and flailing/bail-in economies you will understand it must not survive.

BTC has a market cap of about $10B??

The gross amount of coinage used in the fed monthly bond buying program could tsunami the entire BTC market if utilized.

If BTC dealers, acceptors and owners weren't hassled & arrested they would have already died of heart attacks from FED, ECB, BIS manipulation. 

Look at gold. That's a Goliath being held down by the bastards (for now) 

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 07:17 | 4395237 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

You have just answered your own question. This economic flailing around , bail-out's , bail-in's , QE-infinity , debt ceiling debacle , etc , etc cannot continue indefinitely. At some point the system will need to re-organise , Spontaneous Order - enter bitcoin.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 15:38 | 4396765 Sheikhspeare
Sheikhspeare's picture


Good read, there might be something to this. I can't tell anyone to buy or not to buy BC, but someting seems fishy. I'll stick to long trusted investment vehicles.



Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:08 | 4395861 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

"Bitcoins use a currency is only the beginning. There are many features in the bitcoin code that are not even being used yet."


Bitcoins worst feature is that it is posing as a "currency", it is more of a service protocol and a framework for other innovations. I have been saying this all along...


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 14:45 | 4396442 Exponere Mendaces
Exponere Mendaces's picture


Greets man, just checking in to the usual FUD/Trollbox thread that every Bitcoin article becomes. Hope you're doing well. January ticked off a 8.1% gain, while all standard asset classes dragged their feet, even Gold. Somewhat hilarious that even the "thousands of years" of yellow metal can't compete with Bitcoin.

Market action is a bit tight and seems to be coiling in prior to another run-up, which by my estimation will be around mid-March or so. The cycles seem to be shortened, so I think it will happen sooner than the last one.

Anyway, keep fighting the good fight and I'll just keep posting yield percentages - it seems to be the only numbers the financial trolls understand, lol.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:28 | 4394677 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Systems are very real even though you can't hold them.  You're currently enslaved by a few of them right now as you type.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:49 | 4394835 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Intriguing ...

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:14 | 4395878 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

PM's, organic gardens, bullets, 3D printers, independent darkwebs, and fusion/plasma energy technology will be rocking the boat in the near future more so than in the recent past.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:01 | 4394742 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

E-mail has a constant "value".

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:32 | 4394795 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Sure, now that it has ~100% adoption.  Bitcoin's value will be pretty constant once it has 100% adoption too.

Of course, at 100% adoption, that would have it replacing all the cash and bank deposits in the world, which are about $46 trillion, giving BTC a final dollar value of around $2.2 million in todays dollars.

Not saying it will reach that point, but email sure has.  I can't remember the last time I mailed a letter that wasn't a Christmas card.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:00 | 4394850 wintermute
wintermute's picture

This is an interesting aspect about technological change. The first reaction is to dismiss the idea (email: easily lost, intangible, can't be signed by a pen), but years later it is hard to imagine life without the change.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:46 | 4395012 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

Because there can be an unlimited number of crypto currencies and money flow between them, doesn't that make them all essentially unlimited ?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 02:17 | 4395041 TheHound73
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At this point in time the market is saying the Bitcoin network is worth 10 times the rest of the crypto currency market combined.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:59 | 4395164 Spanky
Spanky's picture

And the market has been known to change its mind. Suddenly.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:16 | 4395888 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

...and Bitcoin is swimming in a sea of fiat derived Trillions?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:05 | 4395167 margaris
margaris's picture

no there cant be





suppose you created a second YouTube called WeTube.
What makes you think that any YouTube users are going to flock to you immediately?

you dont have the serverpower and userbase that YouTube has. The Word YouTube has history and is being used in everyday conversations.... WeTube isnt... in fact the obvious similarity only makes people believe that WeTube is a typo or scam, and they shun it.

Same with cryptos. yes the OpenSource Code is easily copypasted, but the dedicated network, Hardware and userbase of Million people ABSOLUTELY NOT

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 08:44 | 4395321 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

Because they saw what happened with bitcoin at 17 cents. You're comparing apples to oranges.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:15 | 4395177 aminorex
aminorex's picture

there are an unlimited number of molecules available.  we prefer atomic Au.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 23:03 | 4398714 Ozlanthos
Ozlanthos's picture

No. Each cryptocurrency is a monetary unit in and of itself. The number of cryptocurrencies possible is essentially unlimited, but that is one of the same forces that keeps us making new cars, or new anything every year. Ford was one of the first auto companies, it's still in business, and desptie the volume of new and used cars available on the market, they keep selling new cars... Same thing with Bitcoin. Today they are the big dog. Tomorrow LTC might be the big crypto in everyone's portfolio. The next day it could be Novacoin, or other currency. The point being that the presence of a new article does not mean an instant adoption of the new article, nor does it mean the total obolezence of previously existing articles..... Hell I still use my AOL email account....



Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:04 | 4394963 RideTheWalrus
RideTheWalrus's picture

Email is also 100% free which helps with adoption.

It would of failed hard if it cost hundreds of dollars to set up and 2% less than postage prices to use.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:17 | 4394519 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

Let's see how real it is when the grid goes down, or anonymous gets a bug up it's ass about bitcoin.  


If you can't hold it, it ain't real, bitchez!

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:54 | 4394589 lickspitler
lickspitler's picture

Yep you can hold a foil hat.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:17 | 4394640 margaris
margaris's picture

Bitcoin will even survive when the grid goes down.

Or does your pc "die" everytime you shut it down? lol...

Do you have to resurrect your pc from the dead with some kind of voodoo, after everytime you have shut it down?

Ofcourse not, you just press "power on" and the system is up again. :-)

It really is that simple with an internet outage too. Bitcoin nodes will just try as best and efficient as they can to synchronize with the network once they have access again.

Now suppose the grid goes down and stays down forever... then humanity will have MUCH bigger problems to worry about anyway. In such a situation "money" of any form will not be very helpful to you, but rather things like food, energy, defense etc...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:26 | 4394669 fonestar
fonestar's picture

There has never been a global power outage.  In the bizzare case that there would be one, Bitcoin would still survive.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:28 | 4394676 akak
akak's picture

Unfortunately, we ARE facing a global freedom outage, courtesy of world government(s).

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:32 | 4394687 fonestar
fonestar's picture

When a person buys Bitcoin, Litecoin, Namecoin they are directly investing in freedom and net neutrality. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:40 | 4394691 margaris
margaris's picture

+ Devcoin (we are going to need the open source guys)

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:19 | 4394779 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Namecoin is currently my favorite altcoin because it serves a very valuable niche area that no other currency does.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:48 | 4395013 margaris
margaris's picture

Yes, I hope the *.bit domain namespace that is registered with namecoins will soon be automatically resolved in every major browser of today (firefox, chrome, etc).


But unfortunately it isn't yet. So good look browsing a *.bit domain. It won't work, unless you have a proxy installed that connects you with one of the namecoin-dns servers.


We need top browser developpers to implement the *.bit domain directly, so it resolves automatically. Who knows how long it will take until they adopt...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:56 | 4394731 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

They are investing in the PARALLEL Economy = Freedom

Parallel Economy = Barter + Cash + PM + CryptoCurency + Privacy = Freedom

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:24 | 4394899 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Stop it !!!

 I'm getting all misty.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 23:08 | 4398721 Ozlanthos
Ozlanthos's picture

ONly because 95% of the nimrods out there still think we need governments. Pretty soon it will become obvious to everyone that all governments do is sit around and think of new justifications to tax you, imprison you, and kill you....


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 23:08 | 4398722 Ozlanthos
Ozlanthos's picture

ONly because 95% of the nimrods out there still think we need governments. Pretty soon it will become obvious to everyone that all governments do is sit around and think of new justifications to tax you, imprison you, and kill you....


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:16 | 4394641 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

Satoshi Nakamoto = Keith Alexander?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:00 | 4394744 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

......Kaiser Sosa.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 08:03 | 4395280 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

OK. I am sooth satan. That's a possible anagram for Satoshi Nakamoto.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:11 | 4394501 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

James Turk is a traitor. Only gold is money.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:12 | 4394505 cossack55
cossack55's picture


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:33 | 4394552 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Only Astatine is money.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:24 | 4394656 margaris
margaris's picture

Only ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is money.

ATP. It is often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer...

Hey, if this is the "currency" our cells use to power everything our body does... maybe it's good for our economy too.

But how do you "mine" it, lol...


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:55 | 4395160 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Ask Cass Sunstein because when you are default opted in for organ donation because you opened a myRA account.... it is mined.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:57 | 4395161 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Ask Cass Sunstein because when you are default opted in for organ donation because you opened a myRA account.... it is mined.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:33 | 4394655 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

PMs can  be Money, if agreed to by TPTB.  In the absence of their approval, it remains a hard Reference Frame for elastic/fiat currency.  But like all things elastic...

In case some of you missed it... Crypto-Currencies (Bitcoin et al) are part of the Parallel Economy for now, unless/until TPTB allow it into the Real Economy, or are forced to.

[1]  Parallel Economy = Barter + Cash + PM + CryptoCurency + Privacy

[2]  Official Economy = FiatCash + FiatDebt + Derivatives + Scrutiny + Taxes

Note to those souls who get easily distracted by red herrings (false arguments): If you are pro-Parallel-Economy, it does NOT matter which combo of assets you use.  ALL you have to remember (if your 'noggin' is like one of those old 8086 processors), is that "The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend". 

IOW... You don't have to own much or any Cryopto-Currency.  All you gotta do is.. Cheer For It -- the same way you cheer for a sports team, w/o being part of it.

p.s. Kudos to James Turk, who went way up on my Respect scale... for having a lucid analysis that did not have the knee-jerk criticism of Bitcoin, as many of his industry peers do.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 06:32 | 4395219 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

"PMs can  be Money, if agreed to by TPTB"


gold and silver have been money for 5000 yrs

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:34 | 4395358 Drifter
Drifter's picture

"PMs can  be Money, if agreed to by TPTB"

PMs are natrual money, as 5k yrs history demonstrates. 

Govts must use law and threat of violence to get people to accept non-redeemable paper "bank notes" as money.  But after a couple generations law and threat of violence isn't needed anymore, people are now conditioned to viewing "bank notes" as money.

When "US dollars" became world reserve currency they were redeemable for gold and silver.  "Dollar" was a unit of measurement defined in law to be X amount of gold or X amount of silver.

Over time "US dollar" (gold and silver certificates) were phased out and replaced with "Federal Reserve Notes" that looked very similar to US gold and silver certificates. 

But "dollar" on FRNs isn't a unit of measurement.  It's not defined in law to mean anything, so it's just a meaningless word, making FRNs just worthless paper.

But nobody seemed to care except a few here and there, and there was nothing they could do about it in a practical sense.

I'm not even sure FRNs have been made official US currency by law.  There might not be any law saying FRNs are official US currency.

That really would be a hoot.  Not even official US currency by law. 

But after 50 or so years of using them, people don't care.  They don't even realize they're Federal Reserve Notes, and have no clue what "Federal Reserve Note" even means.

Bankers are right, people are dumb stupid sheep.  They'll accept worthless "bank notes" as money, just because they have "dollar" on them, even though "dollar" is a meaningless word.

Same thing happened generations earlier when the US govt issued the "Continental" currency.  It was totally worthless.  Not redeemable for gold or silver, not even backed by gold or silver. 

But people didn't seem to care.  They accepted "Continentals" until so many were printed people lost confidence in them and stopped accepting them.

It's happening all over again now.  So many "Federal Reserve Notes" are being printed people are losing confidence in them and will eventually stop accepting them.

They're not "declining in value", they never had any value to begin with. 

It's not a question of value, it's a question of confidence, how much confidence people have in them. 

And that confidence is fading away now.  Maybe not in America, but elsewhere around the world.  And that's where the US dollar collapse will begin.  Outside America.

And yes, American sheeple will be caught totally flat-footed by it, unaware of what's happening until it's too late.

Is bitcoin a trap?  Maybe not.  It might be legit.

I do wonder about the timing of these xxx-coins coming on the scene.  Maybe it's to give people an alternative currency of sorts in anticipation of a soon-coming US currency collapse, sometime before July according to John Williams (

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:57 | 4394732 webbie
webbie's picture

Gold is more of  a commodity than money in our modern society.... Let me know when you can buy something on Amazon for $13.32 worth of gold.....get it?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:22 | 4394778 akak
akak's picture

Your dollars are NOT money, either, merely currency --- learn the difference.  Hint: which has the better 'store of value' function?

And anyway, I cannot buy anything for euros, or francs, or rubles in the USA, but that does not mean that they are not all as much 'money' as the US dollar.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:37 | 4394808 webbie
webbie's picture

I was actually referring to the comparison bitcoin not fiat....and yes Gold has a much greater store of value over dollars but Bitcoin functions even better than gold -- this is the important part, in modern society -- in that it can act as a commodity like gold (store of wealth) but is more fungible...

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:29 | 4394904 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

How many $$$ worth of stuff could you buy in 20 years for that $13 worth of todays gold ?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:29 | 4394988 BadLibertarian
BadLibertarian's picture

How many $$$ worth of stuff can you buy today for $13 worth of Bitcoin purchased one year ago?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 01:36 | 4394995 webbie
webbie's picture

I think your missing the point... it's quite hard to be that precise with gold in purchasing something... it's just not practicle as a means of currency/money whatever you want to call it! A commodity...yes, medium of exchange... not anymore.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:31 | 4395149 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

TURK is not stupid, idiots have stopped buying penny mining stocks.

IDIOTS are now buying BTC, turk knows a scam when he sees one, and he want some of this easy money.


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:00 | 4395165 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

Hey man it sounds like you need a larger butt plug , your not spouting as much shit as you normally do.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:13 | 4394504 PTR
PTR's picture

And the "Trap" is...?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:14 | 4394508 cossack55
cossack55's picture

The Daemon

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:16 | 4394509 Trucker Glock
Trucker Glock's picture

fonestar, fonestar, fonestar

Like Beetlejuice, only different.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:09 | 4394622 Croesus
Croesus's picture

It's not a true Bitcoin thread, if Fonestar isn't here. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:24 | 4394662 fonestar
fonestar's picture

fonestar shall not desert you.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:15 | 4394514 Pheonyte
Pheonyte's picture

The bandwagon is getting crowded.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:16 | 4394516 akak
akak's picture

Fonestar, Fonestar, Fonestar, I summon thee ....

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:26 | 4394530 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Snow storm in Canada, powers out, internet down, BitCoin "currency" irrelevant at the moment ;-)

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:26 | 4394532 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

Is cell service out too?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:32 | 4394549 akak
akak's picture

And if one refuses to be a mindless consumerist trend-sucking geek with money to burn and therefore refuses to own a cell phone .... ?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 03:49 | 4395109 Zero-risk bias
Zero-risk bias's picture

I like you akak!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 03:54 | 4395113 akak
akak's picture

Thanks ZRB!


Just don't ask me for my cell phone number --- there's none to give.
Nor, unless and until the day ever comes when they rip up the last of the land line cables, will I likely ever have one.

Just because a certain (mass-marketed) technology exists, it does not automatically follow that each and every one of us (if any of us) MUST use (and pay for) that technology --- especially when that technology furthers the total-surveillance ends of our overlords.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:39 | 4395197 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

and if only you hated the internet as well.. please reconsider..

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:46 | 4395201 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

You need to get laid.  Time to browse craigslist for you.  Your comments here just take up space as you attempt to negative other's bantering dialogue.  WTF asshole.  Get lost.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:03 | 4395166 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

use your computer or tablet instead , you know , the one your using right now.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:34 | 4394554 nmewn
nmewn's picture

If the cell tower doesn't have a generator or it isn't topped off with fuel, yes...flat on its ass.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:54 | 4394724 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Buddy, I've lived in the US, EU, UK and  Canada, and the only place where I've experienced brown-outs or blackouts is in the US:  CA, FL, OR, WA.

Maybe is we spent more fiat on this country, than the (developed, undeveloped and conflicted) world, we'd have Autobahns like the Germans do, and more reliable electricity.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:32 | 4394908 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

My grandson had a brownout.

It was NOT pretty.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:06 | 4395169 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

Towers around here have solar arrays , their generators only power up if there has been no sunshine for 14 days , I don't think many of them are even connected to the AC grid , the ones that do use the grid as a backup. Mountain areas.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:52 | 4396010 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Although not very likely when you get into the numbers but solar flares and EMP's? They could mess shit up pretty good if they happened.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:41 | 4395200 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

if ..   if...   ifffff.......  you sound like a 5 year old

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:34 | 4394547 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Just show your hashtag at the checkout, all will be well!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:15 | 4394880 mijev
mijev's picture

How are you posting on ZH if the internet's down?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:32 | 4394548 Trucker Glock
Trucker Glock's picture

He must be at the Super Bowl.  3rd row, 50 yard line, purchased with BTC, of course.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:37 | 4394559 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...with a cross hair from a .gov sniper on his chest.

Whats not to love!

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 17:41 | 4397363 813kml
813kml's picture

You forgot about the after-party with a Real Doll and an eightball of blow scored off Silk Road.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:23 | 4394526 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

Crypto-currency is only the first app.

Soon to come: cripplingly oppressive crypto-bureaucracy.

Meet Ethereum. 

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 15:17 | 4396643 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:26 | 4394535 motorollin
motorollin's picture

Bitcoin has had and will continue to have zero effect on the world economy. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:31 | 4394541 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

You sound like krugman when he said the internet would have no effect on the world economy.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:35 | 4394543 akak
akak's picture

Bitcoin: It's got what NSA/NWO plants crave!

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:27 | 4394671 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Yep, decentralized currency issuance and transaction verification with no method to stop a payment.  Protection against counterfeits and double-spends was thought impossible in a decentralized context, until the distributed ledger was invented.  Your personal traceable connection to the randomly generated addresses on that ledger is up to you to obfuscate.  This is a step of from any form of payment besides in-person cash/bullion (for example, bank transfer, credit card, PayPal).

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:32 | 4394686 akak
akak's picture

It's trackable, and that is enough to keep me away from bitcoin.

In the face of the NSA and Orwellian modern governments, your naive presumptions of unassailable internet anonymity are laughable and pitiable.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:37 | 4394695 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

All good in the hood.  Personal choice an all that.  I've got gold but find it awkward transacting with it in the economy.  I refuse to be paid in statist currency or use credit cards and other means of electronic statist currency exchange.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:43 | 4394700 akak
akak's picture

I applaud your sentiments regarding statist currency.

I only very rarely use credit cards --- only when I have absolutely no other option --- and insist on using cash in virtually all other cases, even when it is rarely used nowadays and the merchant balks at it, such as when buying an airline ticket or paying utility bills.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:53 | 4394726 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

So there are cross currents here:  You abhor using statist currency but, since bullion is not generally accepted, you have no other choice.  Bitcoin does not offer the privacy (and trust) you require.  That's fine, keep using dollars and/or work towards a better system.  Bitcoin will still be around and is improving on those important features. You can give it another look later on down the road, or not.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:55 | 4394727 Prisoners_dilemna
Prisoners_dilemna's picture

Gold is certainly trackable and citizens have been compelled to turn them in!

Bitcoin has it's own version of "boating accidents".



Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:59 | 4394736 akak
akak's picture

How is gold "trackable" when it is purchased with cash, as many online posters apparently do at local coin and bullion shops?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:35 | 4394807 tmosley
tmosley's picture

How is bitcoin trackable when it is purchased with cash, as many online posters do on services such as and craigslist?

"OMG, IT'S DA MARK O DA BEAST!", says the guy with his social security tattooed on his forehead.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:31 | 4395147 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

All cash has serial numbers they are read all the time and tracked. Large demon bills have RFID.

You go to ATM photographed, walk into bank photo. How can you get cash spend cash and not be tracked?


Buy BTC online, and meet in person, you don't know he's not a cop or whatever.


All bullshit, all is tracked. The ENTIRE point of BTC is online, if your online then your being tracked.


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 03:15 | 4395088 James
James's picture

Tampa-Clearwater-St. Pete coin and buillion shops still take record of sales when paying cash

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:42 | 4395552 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Yes, they do. They know you bought gold. They have no clue what you do with it after it leaves their store. It is soft and melts readily. It has a high value/volume ratio and is easy to hide. Not much of a problem really. I personally like Gainesville Coin in Lutz, FL.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:22 | 4394785 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Gold, silver, tractor parts, weed, fishing reels, rocks and chickens etc are traceablen between private parties?

Tell ya what, have them come ask me what my last transaction in any of the above was...I'll give them the same answer as any .gov accountant.

It balances out on my societal scale ;-)

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:05 | 4394752 webbie
webbie's picture

Yeah but have a open mind and go do a little more reading on this subject...they are already talking about adding a "mixer" into the algorithm that will completed annonymize the transaction from the beginning.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 04:24 | 4395139 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

USA politician's become BITCOIN PIMPs

Trust the baby jeebuz ... where have we heard that before.


IN GOLD I TRUST, ALL OTHER's PAY CASH USD $$ of course this is ..

Old school, but we call it SMART SCHOOL.

The entire paradigm of BTC is 'trust a complete stranger' in HK, or UKRAINE, with your money,... online ... YEP.

100's of millions USD $$ have vanished with no fuck recourse, how in gods fucking name can these assholes keep a straight face? Have all wannabe USA politicians become BITCOIN pimps?

Go fuck yourself anally with a rust railroad tie you bitcoin pimps.


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 11:33 | 4395732 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

Hey man you do not have to trust a 3rd party with your bitcoins , anybody dumb enough to leave their wallet holding cash and credit cards with a stranger on the street will likely suffer the same fate without recourse.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:18 | 4394869 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

akak, I gotta ask you:  So, if Bitcoin is not "untrackable" enough for your privacy needs, does that mean that you use only cash, and avoid checks, plastic or online banking?

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 03:37 | 4395102 akak
akak's picture

Pretty much.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:09 | 4395172 Spanky
Spanky's picture

You are growing on me.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 22:34 | 4394657 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

The end game is business-to-business settlement of accounts via Bitcoin. Obviously we are not there yet, but growth is on schedule.  Do you even read charts, bro?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:09 | 4394756 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thats all fine a good bruh but business operates under the umbrella of regulation defined by you know who. Its not that we (more properly said I) don't support you in your efforts, its that I/we have always known the termination point.

 It lost me along the way for relying on the states controlled infrastucture to transact...just a small issue to be sure.

Just sayin...give em hell...but realize where you're at inside their matrix.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 23:42 | 4394825 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

New York State just hosted 7 hours of regulatory hearings on Bitcoin: 

A lot of material there but regulators are going to have a hard time coming to grips with this technology...


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 07:21 | 4395240 X_mloclaM
X_mloclaM's picture

whooo yeah, whatdda complex cluster of zits.

fuckin buy the retarded, self-pooling, incpme starved miners after dope-sheep consign the kids away to a future land of "permanent transaction logs" where they and their accounts can be controlled, and devalued.

Thanks for "workig towroeds tht" newnenm oand other moronsll be right behind u

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 01:19 | 4399093 Ozlanthos
Ozlanthos's picture

"Thats all fine a good bruh but business operates under the umbrella of regulation defined by you know who." "Not no more Billy, Not no more..." Go look up Blockchain. There is no need to rely on the state's controlled infrastructure. If you, and your neighbors decided to set up a private WAN, and transacted among yourselves with a customized cryptocurrency of your own, then you would be entirely free of any need to use the "state's controlled infrastructure"... In small island or otherwise isolated community, this could serve as a means of conducting trusted 2 party transactions without the need for a "trusted 3rd party"...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 00:41 | 4398981 Muc Metals
Muc Metals's picture



"By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy
has been no greater than the fax machine's."

Paul Krugman in 1998




Tue, 02/04/2014 - 01:23 | 4399102 Ozlanthos
Ozlanthos's picture

From what I have seen since then, this was a "typical" example of Krugman's prescience...


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:31 | 4394545 logicalman
logicalman's picture

The major banks are the biggest money launderers on the planet, so what's the problem with BitCoin.

I'm sure all good ZHers out there can answer that one!


Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:20 | 4395480 Drifter
Drifter's picture

Actually George Carlin answered it.  Massive money laundering and all sorts of other criminal activity is ok if you're "in the club". 

You ain't "in the club", so money laundering is a no-no for you, regardless of what "currency" is used.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:34 | 4394555 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Bitcoin is merely a token that allows you make a purchase that you can make anyway.  The only reason major retailers accept bitcoin is because it gets converted into USD as soon as they accept it.  They never hold bitcoin.  So, in reality, bitcoin merely allows you to make a purchase using the bitcoin transaction method.  If you don't have a bitcoin, you cannot make a purchase using bitcoin.  You put dollars in one end to get them.  You get dollars out the other end when the retailer unloads them.  People get excited easily.  Bitcoin is digital nothing.  The value is in the transaction method, not the medium of bitcoin.  People that confuse that are going to be bagholders.  It is funny to see the bankers freaking out over it.  It is basicly the same thing as your kid making a mudpie after watching your wife make a real pie.  Just becasue you call it pie, doesn't mean it is pie or has the qualities of pie.  But do what you want.  It is fun to watch.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:42 | 4394572 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Nailed it, its what I've been saying, its a conduit.

You put dollars in one end to get them.  You get dollars out the other end when the retailer unloads them.  People get excited easily.  Bitcoin is digital nothing.  The value is in the transaction method, not the medium of bitcoin.  People that confuse that are going to be bagholders.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 21:47 | 4394580 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

What's a day on ZH without a BITCOIN post?


Bitcoin has always been "HOTEL CALIFORNIA", you can enter, ... but you can never leave.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!