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Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

Displaying poll results.
I strongly dislike/distrust Bitcoin as a store of value.
  6177 votes / 21%
I mildly dislike/distrust Bitcoin as a store of value.
  3323 votes / 11%
I am aware of bitcoin, but don't have a strong opinion.
  9330 votes / 32%
I mildly favor/trust Bitcoin as a store of value.
  2607 votes / 9%
I strongly favor/trust Bitcoin as a store of value.
  1378 votes / 4%
My opinion's more complicated than these options allow.
  2313 votes / 8%
What's Bitcoin?
  3450 votes / 12%
28578 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Re: Bitcoin, I most strongly agree with the following:

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  • The End-Game (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tirefire (724526) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @08:56AM (#43280051)
    Here's what I want to know about Bitcoin: What happens when the last bitcoin is mined? I think there's a max of 21 million bitcoins, and currently about half that many have been mined and are in people's hands.

    If bitcoin continues long enough to reach the end-game, wouldn't it create a deflationary spiral?
  • by Omnifarious (11933) <> on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @01:33PM (#43282833) Homepage Journal
    1. 1. Crypto - It has been casually audited by several people. I know several people who've been closely associated with the cypherpunks crown who have looked the protocol over and found it fairly secure. Dan Kaminsky is one of these people. I have also personally audited it. Though I think my opinion is worth far less than the other people I've mentioned. The problem here, of course, is who do you trust to do the audit? Why?
    2. 2. Security - This is a good point. They are Open Source projects, so they are available to anyone's inspection. Some flaws have been found in the code, though none that are network breakingly serious (the block size flaw introduced in 0.8.0 is the most notorious here, but that was fairly trivial for the network to handle once it was found). More effort could go on in this area. Again though, who do you trust to do the audit? And why?
    3. 3. Obscurity - Who cares who created it? Why does it matter at all? Everything is up for public inspection. There are no hidden secrets here. For all you know, it was created by a respected cryptographer. I can well understand why someone who created a system like Bitcoin would want to remain anonymous. Phil Zimmer was certainly treated extremely poorly for having created PGP.
    4. 4. Economics - The deflation (Do not mix that up with inflation. The two effects are opposites and have a very different effect on the economy.) problem is interesting. I have not seen any convincing arguments for whether it's a blessing or a disaster. Everybody is expecting it though, and I suspect that will make it better. And while I think it will significantly hamper the availability of credit, I don't necessarily think it will stamp out investment. But those are questions that are pretty hard to answer a priori. One interesting thing is that if enough people think that deflation is really bad, the protocol can easily be altered to allow for currency creation again. But all the participants have to agree.
  • by GofG (1288820) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @02:28PM (#43283453)

    It not only has value as an investment (I personally put about $1000 in when the price hit $14usd/1btc, sold half at $55 and half at $65 and made quite a bit of money), but it also is useful for grey market transactions.

    For instance, I purchased some Modafinil, a prescription drug which is hard to acquire in the US but is non-recreational and not of concern to the DEA, and I used bitcoins to do it simply because it was the only way to easily pay in such a way that the vendor didn't know anything about me beyond the wallet ID of the one-time use wallet I generated specifically for this transaction, I don't know anything about the vendor outside of his (probably also one-time-use) wallet ID, and yet I ended up with some Modafinil and he ended up with some cash.

    As a long-term investment, Bitcoin is ludicrous; I agree with this. The price is about to crash as the new ASIC miners come out, and this cycle will likely happen again several times before we hit the 22 million hard cap, which makes it the domain of day traders, not investers. But as a currency, it is wildly more useful than USD, or whatever. You can send bitcoins to someone quickly, easily, and without using a third party transfer service. You can easily purchase bitcoins using cash with websites like There are many websites selling legitimate products, things like computer hardware or ebooks, and the list grows every day.

    Bitcoin's value is not as an investment. Bitcoin's value is that, even without the backing of a major government or whatever, it has value as a currency simply because of its featureset.

    We don't consider the 'featureset' of a currency very often, since most currencies have exactly the same featureset as every other currency; you can take it to a bank and change it into 'electronic' money, deposit it into your paypal, etc. But bitcoin has all of those features built into the actual currency itself, with no reliance on third parties and built-in (relative) privacy.

  • portability (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Papa Legba (192550) on Tuesday March 26, 2013 @04:13PM (#43284735)

    If I had a beef with bitcoin is its lack of portability. Now I know many of us a technical bent and in your head you went "what do you mean crazy man?!? I can use it on linux or windows or android! " well you don't understand the larger meta portability I am talking about.

    I cannot put a dozen bitcoins into my pocket, hike into some remote area and trade them to the locals for goods and services. I cannot physically move a bitcoin and control who has access to it. I look at things like the bank seizures being done in cypress and wonder, what would I do if my bit coin account was seized by a goverment or entity and I needed to get my funds out. They can claw them back from anywhere even if I move them. With a physical currency I can pull my cash and walk it across a border, or if the currency is not fiat, bury it like pirate treasue and then dig it up later.

    There is a reason people go looking for pirate treasure, and are excited with the gold and silver currency in it, no matter what goverment issues it. No one would be excited to find a chest of Zimbobwian paper dollars, no matter the size of the chest. Bitcoins inability to created into a form that I can break the traceable ties from disinterestes me in its acquasition. I cannot walk it to somewhere safe, I cannot hide it in my mattress, I cannot get it past goverment regulation of the internet (what happens if your country blocks access to bitcoin wallets and servers). Bitcoin is the ultimate seizable currency and I want nothing to do with that.

  • "Sending money" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Captain_Chaos (103843) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:01AM (#43301961)

    One thing I'm noticing in this discussion is the fact that apparently in America the concept of sending money directly from one person to the next is considered alien and revolutionary by many, even though you can do that with good old USD too. It's called a bank transfer. I think it's because the use of cheques is still so widespread in the US.

    I've never understood that strange preference for paying by cheque. I did an internship in the US, and I could choose between receiving my wages as a cheque, or having it directly deposited into my bank account. I chose the latter, as I am used to that and it makes much more sense. I think I was the only one in the entire company.

    I don't get it. Really, a piece of paper? That you can lose? That can be stolen? That's a hassle because you have to physically bring it somewhere to get your money? That can bounce (a really weird concept to me)?

    Here in the Netherlands (and certainly most of Europe as well, I don't know about the rest of the world) it's extremely common to pay each other by direct bank transfer. It's how everybody receives their wages and pays their bills. If you go out to dinner together it's common for one person to pay the bill and everybody else to transfer their share to their bank account. It's fast, easy, safe, and secure. With the phone apps every bank has these days it's a matter of seconds to do. There is no "bouncing", once you receive the money it's yours. Very odd that it just doesn't seem to want to catch on in the US.

"Take that, you hostile sons-of-bitches!" -- James Coburn, in the finale of _The_President's_Analyst_


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