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whats up with bitcoin and other crypto currencies?

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Seraiah replied on Tue, Jul 3 2012 7:21 AM

[split from "Explaining Voluntarism" thread, first response]

 

We are fast approaching a time technologically when System D will be so accessible that libertarian societies could crop up in moments, and where is the hurrah from libertarians?

Fear and denial aren't exclusive to statists.

Take cryptocurrency for example. Whatever you think about it, or the theoretical ramifications, it is the single greatest libertarian tool ever invented. It exposes System D in a way that could never be done before. So why isn't every libertarian and their mother using it?

Because at the end of the day, a true free market is scary. There are no overlords to guide you through the paperwork to assure you that, "You're doing everything right.", there's no illusion of protection from theft or wild changes in consumer preferences. No FDA. No FDIC.

Everything we've been calling for. Where's the cheering? On these forums there's a fog of phobia surrounding it, and the Austrian Economists proper are as quiet as mice.

It wasn't what we were expecting. Where's the gold standard? Where's our country? Weren't we suppose to have a collapse before we could have our society? Were our theories wrong...?

Many libertarians are so caught up in the fear that they hope passionately that cryptocurrencies will just cease to exist so that they can get back into their comfort zone and hope that a libertarian society arises in a more "traditional" way.

And if you're wondering, "What does this have to do with this topic!?",

John James:
I think this serves as a nice example and reminder of how honestly difficult it is/ can be for people to actually wrap their heads around the idea of a Stateless society.

"...Bitcoin [may] already [be] the world's premiere currency, if we take ratio of exchange to commodity value as a measure of success ... because the better that ratio the more valuable purely as money that thing must be" -Anenome
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For anyone interested, "System D" is explained in the third link, here.

 

Seraiah:

We are fast approaching a time technologically when System D will be so accessible that libertarian societies could crop up in moments, and where is the hurrah from libertarians?

Fear and denial aren't exclusive to statists.

 

Take cryptocurrency for example. Whatever you think about it, or the theoretical ramifications, it is the single greatest libertarian tool ever invented. It exposes System D in a way that could never be done before. So why isn't every libertarian and their mother using it?

Could it be because "whatever you think about it" could include "it is not the single greatest libertarian tool ever invented, in fact it's not even very useful", and "the theoretical ramifications are horrible"?

What you're saying is essentially just like saying:

"Whatever you think about it, or the theoretical ramifications, getting shot in the face is the single greatest personal development tool ever invented.  So why isn't every single person and their mother using it??!???!?"

I'll tell you why.  Because they don't agree with your premise.  Just because you think something is a great tool doesn't mean people agree with you...and it certainly doesn't mean that "despite what they think of it" they're going to use it.  Instead of fantasizing about what's wrong with libertarians, maybe you should study logic more.

 

There are no overlords to guide you through the paperwork to assure you that, "You're doing everything right.", there's no illusion of protection from theft or wild changes in consumer preferences. No FDA. No FDIC.

Everything we've been calling for. Where's the cheering? On these forums there's a fog of phobia surrounding it, and the Austrian Economists proper are as quiet as mice.

What the hell are you talking about?  What exactly are people supposed to be cheering about?  What you just described doesn't exist.  You're talking as if everything libertarians want has been achieved and they're basically indifferent.  In reality it was just ruled that a mandate to purchase health insurance else face a penalty is lega/Constitutional...and you're talking about "no overlords!  No FDA, No FDIC!  WHY AREN'T LIBERTARIANS CHEERING?"

Are you Freedom4Me73986?  Is this a thinly veiled argument to go live in the woods?



Seraiah:

It wasn't what we were expecting. Where's the gold standard? Where's our country? Weren't we suppose to have a collapse before we could have our society? Were our theories wrong...?

Many libertarians are so caught up in the fear that they hope passionately that cryptocurrencies will just cease to exist so that they can get back into their comfort zone and hope that a libertarian society arises in a more "traditional" way.

Once again, what in the hell are you talking about?  Nothing you have described exists.  I still have to pay Federal Reserve Notes to a federal agency or men with guns will attempt to abduct me and put me in a cage.  I still have to either get groped or radiated if I want to fly on a commercial airplane.  I still have to wait for FDA approval before trying a new cancer treatment that might save my live, or risk getting put in a cage.  I risk getting put in that cage even if I carry a few ounces of a plant in a my pocket.

What in the hell are you talking about?  Libertarians have their society?  Where?

 

Seraiah:
And if you're wondering, "What does this have to do with this topic!?",
John James:
I think this serves as a nice example and reminder of how honestly difficult it is/ can be for people to actually wrap their heads around the idea of a Stateless society.

Yeah, I get it.  You're trying to claim that libertarians who advocate for a free society are actually "afraid" of it or something.  And your reasoning for this is that they don't bother to mess with cryptocurrencies which are essentially impractical for the vast majority of transactions anyone would engage in.  You pretend that a free society actually exists—because there's cryptocurrencies, apparently—and that libertarians somehow just don't recognize it because it's not what they envisioned and they are too afraid that their "theories" were wrong or something like that.

I offer you a comment of the same manner you offered:

"Whatever you think about it, or the little tiny reservoirs of liberty that might still exist, what we have now is not a free society.  It is nothing like what a voluntarist advocates for, and in fact goes against the very two (the only two) core principles of libertarianism at all."

 

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Seraiah replied on Tue, Jul 3 2012 12:14 PM

Just because you think something is a great tool doesn't mean people agree with you...and it certainly doesn't mean that "despite what they think of it" they're going to use it. 

Someone could think cars are dangerous, morally wrong, and inferior to horse and buggy.
1.) The car would still replace the horse and buggy for the most part.
2.) The car would still be superior than the horse and buggy.

Someone could think cryptocurrency is dangerous, morally wrong, and inferior to gold.
1.) Cryptocurrency will still replace gold for the most part.
2.) Cryptocurrency will still be superior to gold. (And fiat money hands down!)

That's why I say it really doesn't matter what people think of cryptocurrency. "Superior" is a loaded word of course, but it can be demonstrated that cryptocurrencies have better attributes for a medium of exchange than gold with the exception that it can't be used in industry.
But that would be like saying a wrench is a terrible tool, because it can't be used as a ladder.

Is this a thinly veiled argument to go live in the woods?

Why must a libertarian society exist outside of a fascist society? That's what cryptocurrency offers; An unofficial voluntary borderless decentralised society. Will you only participate in the society once it's more powerful than any other nation?
That doesn't strike me as being very brave.

which are essentially impractical for the vast majority of transactions anyone would engage in. 

That's a self-fulfilling prophecy if I've ever heard one.

Are you Freedom4Me73986?

No. Also, not a fan of that name (No offense!).

"...Bitcoin [may] already [be] the world's premiere currency, if we take ratio of exchange to commodity value as a measure of success ... because the better that ratio the more valuable purely as money that thing must be" -Anenome
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I cannot believe you're actually trying to turn this into a bitcoin thread.

 

Seraiah:
Just because you think something is a great tool doesn't mean people agree with you...and it certainly doesn't mean that "despite what they think of it" they're going to use it. 

Someone could think cars are dangerous, morally wrong, and inferior to horse and buggy.
1.) The car would still replace the horse and buggy for the most part.

Thanks for providing more support for my point.  Just because you think crypto-currencies are superior doesn't mean the market will adopt them.

 

2.) The car would still be superior than the horse and buggy.

Sounds like a subjective value judgement presented as fact.

 

Someone could think cryptocurrency is dangerous, morally wrong, and inferior to gold.
1.) Cryptocurrency will still replace gold for the most part.
2.) Cryptocurrency will still be superior to gold. (And fiat money hands down!)

Once again, thanks for proving my point.  It's interesting that you fail to realize you're the "someone" in the real world version of this scenario...where few people even know what crypocurrencies are, let alone use them.  Here I'll present your same format to you, but utilize the real world scenario:

Someone could think cryptocurrency is awesome, morally right, and superior to gold (e.g., someone like you).
1.) Cryptocurrency is still not getting adopted by the market at all, let alone replacing gold or any other money as a popular medium of exchange or store of value.
2.) Cryptocurrency is not demonstrated to be superior to gold in the eyes of the market, as shown by it's abysmal performance.

 

That's why I say it really doesn't matter what people think of cryptocurrency.

And that's why I say you're delusional.  It absolutely matters what people think of it.  It's entire usefulness is directly correlated with how popular it is.  We're not even talking about something like a video game, where even if only one person likes it, that single person can still get some utility out of it.  You're talking about a medium of exchange...something that requires a number of people to not only think it's useful, but to actually use it to make it worth anything.

Bitcoins don't even have a physical existence.  They cannot be used for literally anything other than a digital medium of exchange.  And you literally just told me "it really doesn't matter what people think of them".

You're either delusional, or an idiot.

 

But that would be like saying a wrench is a terrible tool, because it can't be used as a ladder.

Nope, it would be like saying "bitcoins are a terrible money, because they have no value outside of or prior to their use as a medium of exchange."

 

Why must a libertarian society exist outside of a fascist society?

Did you seriously just ask this question?

 

That's what cryptocurrency offers; An unofficial voluntary borderless decentralised society. Will you only participate in the society once it's more powerful than any other nation?  That doesn't strike me as being very brave.

Okay you're either a troll or quite possibly the most delusional person I've ever come across.

Please demonstrate how cryptocurrency allows me to avoid all the rights violations I mentioned in my previous post.

 

That's a self-fulfilling prophecy if I've ever heard one.

It's a statement of fact.  They are impractical as we now speak.  An average person cannot buy even half the things he requires to maintain his current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.  And the things he might be able to buy require much more inconvenience than other methods available to him.

 

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Seraiah replied on Tue, Jul 3 2012 2:10 PM

I cannot believe you're actually trying to turn this into a bitcoin thread.

My point is not about Bitcoins, it's about irrational fear expressed by many libertarians. Even in the face of a very real libertarian society.

Sounds like a subjective value judgement presented as fact.

Well, you're right that the value of a cryptocurrency is dependent on people using them in a society.

Nonetheless, presuming that markets will work in their self interest, a cryptocurrency (even if it's not Bitcoin.) will eventually replace all currently used mediums of exchange. There is no justifiable reason that a business should incur transactions costs and money handling fees when it is not at all necessary. Competition will push out those who try.

I'm not arguing against subjective evaluations.

Cryptocurrency is still not getting adopted by the market at all

Pardon? Bitcoins can be exchanged for about $6 a piece right now, that's a phenominal achievement.

Cryptocurrency is not demonstrated to be superior to gold in the eyes of the market,

Oh really? How many world-wide gold backed currencies exist right now?

"bitcoins are a terrible money, because they have no value outside of or prior to their use as a medium of exchange."

Yes, that's exactly like saying "Wrenches are terrible tools because they can't be used as a ladder."
Ya, it would add to the utility of wrenches if you could use one to climb onto your roof, but the fact that you can't doesn't negate it's usefulness for its intended task.

Why must a libertarian society exist outside of a fascist society?

Did you seriously just ask this question?

Yes, I did. Do you think that the world is just going to turn towards libertarianism? Cryptocurrency offers a way for us to show the world that libertarianism works. Right now. Not in some abstract less-than-likely scenario in the future. We don't have to win votes or beg at the feet of our supreme overlords, we just have to do it.

Yes, we will still have to deal with government perversions, but a working cryptocurrency offers a way to get around a huge chunk of them. If a government beats you, does that make you less of a sovereign individual? Similarly, if a government attacks an internal decentralised libertarian society, is that society any less legitimate?

Does a libertarian society really recognize no borders, or is that just lip service?

An average person cannot buy even half the things he requires to maintain his current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.

This gets at the crux of the issue. Why not become a farmer then, and sell your food for bitcoins? Why, instead of fighting cryptocurrency, would you not work to make it better? This is a real opportunity to show the world that libertarianism isn't just a "neat idea", but that it actually works.
As I posited before, it's fear. Fear that others wont be with you, that our supreme overlords will crack down on it, or that Mises was somehow wrong about currency.

Yes it's risky, but welcome to a real free market. Is it everything you thought it would be?
 

"...Bitcoin [may] already [be] the world's premiere currency, if we take ratio of exchange to commodity value as a measure of success ... because the better that ratio the more valuable purely as money that thing must be" -Anenome
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Seraiah:
My point is not about Bitcoins, it's about irrational fear expressed by many libertarians. Even in the face of a very real libertarian society.

One more time.  Where is this society you speak of?

One. more. time:

Please demonstrate how cryptocurrency allows me to avoid all the rights violations I mentioned in my previous post.

If you cannot do this, then say so, and admit that the free society libertarians advocate in fact does not exist.

 

Pardon? Bitcoins can be exchanged for about $6 a piece right now, that's a phenominal achievement.

"Phenominal" again is a subjective term.  Particularly when one considers the amount of resources to mine a bitcoin.  I cannot imagine the amount of money and time this poor guy spent setting all this up.

 

Notice how he actually says "I'm willing to take that risk, because I've already mined so much bitcoins, if it all goes to zero...oh well."

He sounds about as clear-thinking as you.

 

P.S.

I was told it was "only goin up" at $30 a piece roughly less than a year ago.

 

Seraiah:
An average person cannot buy even half the things he requires to maintain his current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.
This gets at the crux of the issue. Why not become a farmer then, and sell your food for bitcoins?

Because

a) I don't want to be a farmer

b) As I just said, I would not be able to buy even half the things I require to maintain my current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.

Are you seriously that dense?

 

Why, instead of fighting cryptocurrency, would you not work to make it better?

So now simply not using something is "fighting it"?  This is the lengths you advocates have gone to characterize people who aren't obessessed with bitcoins as you are?  What next, if you don't use bitcoins you're a statist?  Or a terrorist? 

Yawn.

 

This is a real opportunity to show the world that libertarianism isn't just a "neat idea", but that it actually works.

How in the hell is transacting in a digital currency "showing that world that libertarianism works"?  That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

 

As I posited before, it's fear. Fear that others wont be with you, that our supreme overlords will crack down on it, or that Mises was somehow wrong about currency.

Thanks for projecting, but all I can say is you're wrong.  Bitcoins are not useful to me.  On net they are a hassle, not a convenience.  One more time.  I would not be able to buy even half the things I require to maintain my current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.

 

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Seraiah replied on Tue, Jul 3 2012 3:11 PM

Where is this society you speak of?

What do you mean, "Where?" Does a libertarian society require borders or no?

Please demonstrate how cryptocurrency allows me to avoid all the rights violations I mentioned in my previous post.

I don't need to. If a libertarian society is abused from the outside, why is it any less libertarian? But if it's not a libertarian society by some arbitrary qualifier, it is certainly a more free society than the prevailing one in the United States.
If it is more free, then why should we not support it, and help it improve/become more free? Are we libertarians only on the sidelines?

It's like watching one man build a mansion by himself and saying "That mansion will never be built.", despite his pleas for assistance, and assurance that it will be worth your time.

"No we will never help you, because it will never be finished."

"Phenominal" again is a subjective term.

The market has placed value in Bitcoins, did this not directly rebut your claim that the market does not value them? ("Adopt" was the word you used.)

I don't want to be a farmer

You completely missed the point.
You cannot get what you need to survive because people will not offer it, people will not offer it because it is not provided. Circular reasoning.

Trade what you can in Bitcoins and what will be offered will improve by that much.

On top of that, there's no reason a cryptocurrency needs to be used for every single transaction for it to be a medium of exchange. It's already a medium of exchange. Just like gold is not accepted in every transaction, but is still a medium of exchange.

(Yes, with enough gold you can get anything, but with enough bitcoins you can also get anything.)

So now simply not using something is "fighting it"?

When you call person that supports it "dense", it doesn't come off as impartial. Sorry.

How in the hell is transacting in a digital currency "showing that world that libertarianism works"?  That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

A free market is central to libertarian philosophy, If we can prove to the world that a real free market works, libertarianism is only a heartbeat away.

I would not be able to buy even half the things I require to maintain my current lifestyle using cryptocurrencies.

Again, circular reasoning.

What precisely is your argument against bitcoins? I'm sorry you decided to move the discussion, as I thought the original thread was demonstrating irony quite well.

 "I'm willing to take that risk, because I've already mined so much bitcoins, if it all goes to zero...oh well."

His mining operation, among many others, is what keeps Bitcoins secure. Someone would have to surpass that and every other mining operation in order spoof the Block Chain.
That's how secure this system is.

"...Bitcoin [may] already [be] the world's premiere currency, if we take ratio of exchange to commodity value as a measure of success ... because the better that ratio the more valuable purely as money that thing must be" -Anenome
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bitcoin has cleared 10$ level !

a 120% appreciation since the start of this thread !

perhaps its going through a phase of bubble,

perhaps its gaining its actual market value slowly !

Either way, there is no point in fighting the tape !

 

Here is how I make sense of this issue without much of math & theory:

If I could see there is net order flow to buy bitcoins in future, I am long, if not...am short !

There seems to be a huge long position building up, so until there is any other panic or solid

reason to go short, am long on bitcoins ! Mises regression theorem could be very well true but

as long as order flow is not in its favor, its not time to short (or regression theorem is well

on its way for a revision!) !

 

Here is a new idea I learned recently (from Nassim Taleb) : anti-fragility

anti-fragile systems gain value by volatility /turbulance!

bitcoin seems to posses anti-fragile nature, more doom and gloom on USD/Euro better it gets for bitcons !

 

Instead of seeing things 'will it work' or 'will it NOT' in absolute terms, I see in terms of : order flow + time + value.

IMHO: Both long & short parties could be right but not at the 'same time' !!

 

Thanks for all your inputs, this thread has given me more things to think and digest, in the mean time, I use the above heuristics,

to navigate complex economics topics with my simple brain !

 

(Also another observation Gold has dropped by 7.5% since the start of this thread!)

Note: I don't trade bitcoins, when I say 'long' I express my confidence on its survival !

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From my understanding, you must farm the bit coins by doing computer calculations (which take money/electricity/computerpower/moremoney to do). So its like mining for a piece of gold. I guess that in itself might give bitcoin its value (electricity).

All in all, the free market and consumers will decide if they want to use a bitcoin.

Im not gonna say much about bitcoin right now as i dont really understand how it works, but ill give my .05 cents.

John james- I think for bitcoin you can use it for small transactions, but yu can use a stronger currency like gold or silver for bigger things.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 2:50 AM
 
 

Clayton:
I have been vociferous in my opposition to the idea that "Bitcoin is money." However, I think that there is one argument in favor of Bitcoin - the US and allied governments have had stunning success - particularly since 9/11 - in wrapping the globe in the chains of financial surveillance and "OECD-compliance", that is, elimination and/or discreditation of tax havens. With almost nowhere left to hide your wealth and no practical way to implement a backed digital currency that is credibly immune to the global control grid, an unbacked digital currency is actually an attractive alternative.

We need a seastead with a private bank that will offer actual private banking again, sheesh. What they've done to the Swiss is pretty awful.

Clayton:
The fact that it is unbacked does make it "hours from collapse" at any point in time.

It's interesting you say this. I've developed a counter theory of why, though this seems to be the case, that it's not happening and may not ever happen.

But you're right that, given what we know about typical currencies, it makes intuitive sense. I just think we're misled by our familiarity with other kinds of currencies.

We tend to focus on commodity value as backing a currency. But it's also perfectly obvious with a moment's reflection that a large fraction of gold's price is tied to its exchange value.

I think Bitcoin's market price is actually reflective of its exchange value alone, since it clearly has a vanishingly small commodity value.

Normally, commodity value is drastically higher than a thing's exchange value, so it's not surprising that economists and thinkers have tended to think in terms of commodity value. I just think it's misleading people on bitcoin. If indeed demand for bitcoin is based on its value as a medium of exchange, then the fact is that bitcoin is not hours away from collapse at all, and that would tend to explain why its price has been non-zero and continues to remain fairly steady, years after release.

Theories of money focusing on commodity value can't explain bitcoin's non-zero price. This is, again, why I say theory needs to catch up to practice. And this is my own contribution, such as it is :P

Nobel prize in economics here I come ;;;>_>

Clayton:
Any scaling back of the global control grid could collapse unbacked digital currencies overnight.

I'll give you a situation that would cause it to collapse overnight. That sounds like it might be quite useful in explaining why it doesn't.

Suppose that bitcoin didn't have a cryptographic limit on how many of them could exist. Suppose you could copy a bitcoin as easily as a word document, billions of times. Then, surely, bitcoin would have zero value at all, because you could never spend one, or take one in payment, and be sure that you weren't being defrauded by the other guy. The currency would immediately balloon in size and repudiation would swiftly follow.

Thus, bitcoin may not be backed by a commodity, which just really means that the reality of atoms is such that they cannot be copied freely, and is instead backed by cryptography, which is what makes it impossible for bitcoins to be copied freely.

Clayton:
But the fact that it is unbacked is actually a feature, not a bug, in that its purpose is to make uncompromisable financial privacy possible.

I've heard it's not as private as you might think, but I'm no expert there.

Clayton:
Another thing to worry about is that the market cap of Bitcoin is still really small - and it's the largest unbacked digital currency. This makes it vulnerable to engineered collapses.

Not really. The point of no-return on that is the total fraction of processing power, not market cap. And that ship has already sailed. It's effectively a remote possibility now, such that no one's worried about it.

Clayton:
There may be some wisdom in putting aside a small amount of cash into a Bitcoin wallet, particularly if you are doing a lot of under-the-table business.

You know how the US claims US citizens earning money outside the country still have to pay income tax, yada.

Ridiculous law.

I think in a seastead, the way to handle this is to say, hey, anything income earned in dollars you should go ahead and pay taxes on, they are after all owned by the US government, the dollars I mean.

But any income earned in bitcoin is not-taxable by your home-country, as it's a currency outside their jurisdiction.

Let them squeal then :P

 
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excel replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 5:16 AM

From my understanding, you must farm the bit coins by doing computer calculations (which take money/electricity/computerpower/moremoney to do). So its like mining for a piece of gold. I guess that in itself might give bitcoin its value (electricity).

Sounds like the labour theory of value, right there.

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AJ replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 10:38 AM
Bitcoin "miners" actually just perform the processor-intensive tasks that help maintain the public ledger (the blockchain) and are compensated for it according to the Bitcoin protocol.
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Clayton replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 12:09 PM

Sounds like the labour theory of value, right there.

+1!!!!!

As I said in another thread, going to a lot of effort to make a razor-edged back-scratcher doesn't make it valuable. Your sweat is of no consequence in determining something's value.

Bitcoin "miners" actually just perform the processor-intensive tasks that help maintain the public ledger (the blockchain) and are compensated for it according to the Bitcoin protocol.

I believe this is incorrect. Bitcoin mining is a separate operation from maintenance of the block-chain. The block-chain maintenance is performed by the decentralized Bitcoin network which operates on a kind of "consensus model" to maintain state (which is why it can take up to 10 minutes for a "spend" to take effect). Separately, anyone may download and run Bitcoin mining software. When you have "mined" (discovered an undiscovered) Bitcoin, you must then register it with the network, which is the beginning of that Bitcoin's block-chain.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 7:49 PM
 
 

Clayton:
Bitcoin "miners" actually just perform the processor-intensive tasks that help maintain the public ledger (the blockchain) and are compensated for it according to the Bitcoin protocol.

I believe this is incorrect. Bitcoin mining is a separate operation from maintenance of the block-chain. The block-chain maintenance is performed by the decentralized Bitcoin network which operates on a kind of "consensus model" to maintain state (which is why it can take up to 10 minutes for a "spend" to take effect). Separately, anyone may download and run Bitcoin mining software. When you have "mined" (discovered an undiscovered) Bitcoin, you must then register it with the network, which is the beginning of that Bitcoin's block-chain.

That's not my understanding. The process of mining is the very thing that also maintains the block-chain and confirms transactions. The people out there mining are also passing along transactions and helping to confirm them during that process.

Currently, last I read, 9 million out of 21 possible millions of bitcoins had been mined. The difficulty of finding new coins becomes asymptotic, so that last 21 millionth may never actually be mined :P But in any case, transaction fees are expected to eventually take over for the compensation of possibly mining a new coin as things are now.

 
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Clayton:
The fact that it is unbacked does make it "hours from collapse" at any point in time.

It might appear so on the first look. However, a more careful analysis reveals that Bitcoin has no real competition. Bitcoin delivers consistenly low transaction costs, available to anyone and anywhere. Neither fiat nor gold can beat Bitcoin here. If you consider more advanced scripting features (multi-key signatures, oracles, escrow or smart propery, see http://codinginmysleep.com/exotic-transaction-types-with-bitcoin/), there is nothing comparable available. Other cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, do not have sufficient liquidity, Bitcoin has a first mover advantage.

Clayton:
Any scaling back of the global control grid could collapse unbacked digital currencies overnight.

This does pose a risk, but it's not as serious as you portray it. It would decrease transction costs of fiat and therefore make the comparative advantage of Bitcoin smaller, but the advantage would still continue to exist. It would also take time to implement a more relaxed banking systems and the banks might still exert their cartel powers to perpetrate a vendor lock-in. It is also unlikely to occur politically.

The truth is, people that are using Bitcoin do not have anything to switch to. By switching, they would need to sacrifice a broad and increasing business potential. That does not mean it can't collapse, but you need to remember that in order for Bitcoin to collapse, a better alternative would need to be available.

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Anenome replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 12:02 PM

We should also realize that the maker of bitcoin assumed that the price of a bitcoin, or rather its purchasing power, would rise indefinitely.

This is what happens when you have a population trading in a currency without an expanding money supply, continual deflation as money gets more valuable in terms of real purchasing power. Thus, however many millions of dollar equivalents have been pumped into bitcoin to reach its current valuation, that will have to expand continually for it to become useful in the future to larger and larger economies.

Which is also why a single bitcoin is essentially infinitely splittable. In 100 years from now, most people might be transacting in 100ths of bitcoins as something like the equivalent of a dollar, and 100 years from then they might be dealing with 10,000ths of a bitcoin.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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