Bitcoin, Redux: Patches for BTC, anyone? UPDATED
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Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:52 pm quote
Okay, I'm going to try an experiment. Emphasis on experiment. This could easily fail, and I'm okay with that.

Sometime in the month of February, I'm going to sell off a few remaining limited editions that I have squirreled away (which is not actually that many) in exchange for Bitcoins. No cash, no checks, no PayPal -- just BTC. This is an effort to (a) spread the popularity of Bitcoin, and (b) increase MV's Bitcoin holdings (albeit very slightly). In other words, I want more of you to know what Bitcoin is, how it works, and how to use it. My lever (or stick, if you will) is the few remaining limited edition patches, which are (of course) made out of Unobtanium. Just to repeat: I will not sell these for anything except BTC, no exceptions. If you want a patch, you'll have to play along.

So, this is your heads up. You've got a couple weeks to get yourself up to speed so that you'll be ready.

Purchasing Bitcoins
The most straightforward way to purchase some BTC is via CoinBase, though you'll have to connect your bank account to your account there. I don't recommend giving them your bank login information, but you can still verify your bank account via a couple of small verification transactions, the way PayPal (and others) do it. CoinBase is a legitimate company, recently funded by VCs, and are a standout vendor in the world of Bitcoin.

You can also buy Bitcoins locally via a face-to-face transaction via the LocalBitcoins service. This is essentially a service that connects buyers and sellers in a given area such that they can meet and exchange cash for Bitcoins. Use your own discretion as to whether you're comfortable with that kind of transaction or not.

LocalBitcoins will also let you connect with people over the internet, who will ask you to make a bank deposit to their account via a variety of banks with local offices. I'm leery of this approach, so proceed with caution if you go this route.

Note that you do NOT need to purchase one whole Bitcoin (which is trading at about $780 at the moment). You can buy very, very small fractions of Bitcoin. The patches will go for the BTC equivalent of USD$25 (or thereabouts) though I can't tell you the BTC price yet. BTC pricing is very volatile at the moment, so the price in BTC will almost certainly change by the time I actually put these on sale.

Bitcoin Wallets
You will need a place to keep your Bitcoins. You can keep them at Coinbase (if you purchase there), or you can move purchased coins to your own digital wallet, which can take many forms. One of the easiest (and still relatively safe) wallets is the Blockchain Wallet. This service keeps all of your information locally encrypted on your end of the connection, so that even if their service was compromised (say, by a hacker) your BTC would be relatively safe.

If you want to be in absolute control of your own wallet and keep it off the internet, you'll need one of the software wallets that you can run on your desktop computer. The canonical wallet is available here from the Bitcoin foundation. It's a bit of a pain, though -- it takes quite a long time (literally days, if not longer) for your local node to sync up (via peer-to-peer connections) with the rest of the Bitcoin network. Basically, you'll be slowly downloading the entire public Bitcoin ledger to your machine so that you can see transactions arrive in your wallet, or send transactions from your wallet. I've done it, it works, it's safe, but it's slow. These days I mostly use Blockchain.org's wallet.

Transactions
Transactions in BTC are fairly straightforward. Using your wallet software (or online wallet) you specify a public address where you want to send the coins. For small transactions, there will generally be a transaction fee added in order to get the transaction processed, usually 0.0001 BTC (or about 8 cents at the current USD exchange rate). Just be aware of this.

The way I think I will set it up is that I will post a list of all the patches I have on offer, along with a price in BTC. That price will be roughly commensurate with the regular prices of limited edition patches at the current BTC/USD exchange rate. Anyone who wants to place an order can PM me their purchase request, and I will generate a unique public address and reserve that patch. If the BTC funds arrive in that unique public address within a day or two, I'll mail the patch. If not, I'll un-reserve that patch and offer it up to whoever else wants to purchase it.

Purchases will be limited to one patch per member, first come first served.

For more information on Bitcoin for beginners, go here: http://www.coindesk.com/information/


Update
I've just collected together the various limited edition patch stragglers that I've had stuffed into various corners of Modern Vespa World Headquarters. I have at least a dozen limited edition patches to unload, and there are even a couple of Italia editions (green and red roundel) in the mix.

Better get your Bitcoin wallets funded if you want one.

Last edited by jess on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:26 am; edited 2 times in total
Ossessionato
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:58 pm quote
Gollum approves.



R

bitcoin-gollum.jpg

Hooked
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:01 pm quote
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:02 pm quote
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:33 pm quote
jess wrote:
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:41 pm quote
Hey, you can spend your BitCoin here...

http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/01/17/sacramento-kings-will-accept-bitcoin/

Maybe even buy a player, or a referee at least.

S
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:44 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
Since nobody can actually agree what "intrinsic value" means to begin with, I think we can safely ignore that question.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:49 pm quote
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
Since nobody can actually agree what "intrinsic value" means to begin with, I think we can safely ignore that question.
So what youer' saying is I can buy things from you in monopoly cash?

How much you want for your 125?
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:11 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
Since nobody can actually agree what "intrinsic value" means to begin with, I think we can safely ignore that question.
So what youer' saying is I can buy things from you in monopoly cash?
Nope. I don't believe there's intrinsic value in Monopoly money. But if you can convince someone else that there is, then good on you. Or shame on you. Or something.
TheO.Z. wrote:
How much you want for your 125?
I have a 125?
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm quote
jess wrote:
But if you can convince someone else that there is, then good on you. Or shame on you. Or something.
It can be all of those. Both good on me and shame on me.
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
How much you want for your 125?
I have a 125?
Don't you? Isn't it a gilera? neat little red motorcycle? Not exactly a daily runner?

Last edited by TheO.Z. on Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Moderaptor
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:49 pm quote
As a passing comment, I noticed that a couple of days ago overstock.com announced they were now accepting BTC for purchases. So some mainstream sites are getting on board.

http://www.overstock.com/bitcoin
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:27 pm quote
jimc wrote:
As a passing comment, I noticed that a couple of days ago overstock.com announced they were now accepting BTC for purchases. So some mainstream sites are getting on board.

http://www.overstock.com/bitcoin
Yep. Although technically, the transaction will go through CoinBase, which will convert the BTC to fiat currency and give it to Overstock. I'm being a bit more dogmatic than that, and keeping the BTC.
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:28 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
Don't you? Isn't it a gilera? neat little red motorcycle? Not exactly a daily runner?
Yep. That's a 150, though. And four stroke!
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:34 pm quote
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Don't you? Isn't it a gilera? neat little red motorcycle? Not exactly a daily runner?
Yep. That's a 150, though. And four stroke!
Ah, gotcha.
Well fine then. How many Milton Bradleys for that?
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:58 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Don't you? Isn't it a gilera? neat little red motorcycle? Not exactly a daily runner?
Yep. That's a 150, though. And four stroke!
Ah, gotcha.
Well fine then. How many Milton Bradleys for that?
No MBs, but I'll accept 7BTC for it.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:22 pm quote
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Don't you? Isn't it a gilera? neat little red motorcycle? Not exactly a daily runner?
Yep. That's a 150, though. And four stroke!
Ah, gotcha.
Well fine then. How many Milton Bradleys for that?
No MBs, but I'll accept 7BTC for it.
Dammit, Jess.

Dammit.

Hooked
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:28 pm quote
Bitcoin to pay site sponsor fees?
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:55 pm quote
JOE SCHMOE wrote:
Bitcoin to pay site sponsor fees?
Maybe someday. At the moment, this is just a small-scale experiment. As I said at the top, I'm okay if it fails.

I would happily take BTC for site sponsorship. But I won't require it at this juncture.
Hooked
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:03 pm quote
I am planing a move in the next few months and I need to get rid of almost everything in my 3 bedroom house. I wanted to have an experiment of my own. My plan is to advertise my moving sale and on the first day, only accept BTC.

Like you, I am not expecting a whole lot, or anything really. But, if something sells for BTC (even if it is small) I will be happy.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:06 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
given most currency has no intrinsic value, just ink on paper/linen/plastic or a pressed bit of cheap alloy that is quantatively eased by inept governments the world wide, I cannot see why Monopoly money should be seen any differently!
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:08 pm quote
Twin01 wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
given most currency has no intrinsic value, just ink on paper/linen/plastic or a pressed bit of cheap alloy that is quantatively eased by inept governments the world wide, I cannot see why Monopoly money should be seen any differently!
I don't think that most people really understand the nature of money or currency. I had to repeatedly remind Oz las week, for instance, that the US dollar isn't actually backed by anything except a promise, and I think he had a hard time with this concept. He was attempting to draw a distinction between the value of the dollar and the value of Bitcoin. There are, in fact, a number of differences, but most of them are academic. The real value of money lies in how widespread its acceptance as a form of payment is.

That said, there's a fairly interesting article about the history of money on Wikipedia. It's a complex subject, but I think worth a read.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:08 pm quote
jess wrote:
Twin01 wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
jess wrote:
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
Still not sure how bitcoin has intrinsic value, despite our discourse at the QSC meeting... heh.
given most currency has no intrinsic value, just ink on paper/linen/plastic or a pressed bit of cheap alloy that is quantatively eased by inept governments the world wide, I cannot see why Monopoly money should be seen any differently!
I don't think that most people really understand the nature of money or currency. I had to repeatedly remind Oz las week, for instance, that the US dollar isn't actually backed by anything except a promise, and I think he had a hard time with this concept. He was attempting to draw a distinction between the value of the dollar and the value of Bitcoin. There are, in fact, a number of differences, but most of them are academic. The real value of money lies in how widespread its acceptance as a form of payment is.

That said, there's a fairly interesting article about the history of money on Wikipedia. It's a complex subject, but I think worth a read.
You actually didn't need to remind me. You were missing my point that this was the value that people had ascribed to US currency, and that even if it was no longer based off of the gold standard, there had been a sense that something that had value (gold) was being represented, and with BTC, calculating hashes that seemingly had no use didn't actually have value.

But oh well. Seems I have to repeatedly remind you that you missed that
Petty Tyrant
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Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:35 pm quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
You were missing my point that this was the value that people had ascribed to US currency, and that even if it was no longer based off of the gold standard, there had been a sense that something that had value (gold) was being represented, and with BTC, calculating hashes that seemingly had no use didn't actually have value.
I didn't miss that point. I was objecting to your use of the word "theoretically" to describe the absence of gold backing the US dollar. It's not theoretical. It's just fact. The US dollar is not backed by anything except a promise from the US government, and I was trying to drive that point home, as it is both indisputable and a foundational point for the rest of the conversation. One cannot proceed with a meaningful discussion on the value of money (and the US dollar in particular) if one pretends that it is really backed by anything. It's not backed by gold. You have to accept that before any other discussion can happen.

In any case, the hashing that forms the backbone of Bitcoin is neither arbitrary nor what gives it value. The hashing ("mining", in Bitcoin parlance) is what gives Bitcoin security, to ensure that the public ledger remains honest. Because Bitcoin's entire transactional history is public and completely decentralized, some mechanism is needed to prevent a bad actor from re-writing the public ledger in their favor. The distributed hashing achieves this by making it computationally infeasible to alter previous transactions. Finding a suitable hash value for a block of transactions is hard -- and gets harder approximately every 14 days. For someone to re-write a previous block of transactions would require them also to rewrite (and find a suitable hash value) for every subsequent transaction, which is unlikely for anyone with less than 51% of the global computational power for one transaction, let alone several transactions deep.

It is a common misconception that the hashing achieves nothing. This is plainly not true. The hashing secures the entirety of the Bitcoin network.

In other words: Math, bitches!

But again, the regular assault of people who insist that Bitcoin has no value (and there are many who troll the main Bitcoin forum on a daily basis) are missing the point that a whole bunch of people have gotten together and collectively agreed on a value in the very same way that people agree upon a value for corn or gold or any other thing: they formed an exchange (several, in fact) and started trading. The value of Bitcoin is what people will pay for it. No more, no less. To insist that it has no value is to essentially ignore that a bunch of people value it and can quantify that value in a wide variety of world currencies.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:23 am quote
Mmmm you were arguing against a strawman then. I had said that what had initially given out currency value, in theory, was it's backing with gold. Not that, theoretically, there was no backing. That's why I stated on numerous occasions that there's no gold standard anymore. My point was to demonstrate that there was something that was the basis of value for our currency (even if it was no longer the basis of value).

And further, I actually wasn't saying that BTC had no value, I was asking if there was something analogous to the gold standard that BTC was relying on to derive its value from initially (eg this BTC is valued based off of the total number of adorable kittens on earth, which has high value on teh intarwebz).

Does that make sense? I think you were rehearsing against an argument I wasn't making. I was asking a simple question: is there something that it's based on that's material as most currencies in the world started that way (that's where the "theoretical" came from, not about how it's in theory not based on anything). Simple, non-trolling question.
Petty Tyrant
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:05 am quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
Mmmm you were arguing against a strawman then.
That's not a strawman. That's finding some point that we agree upon before we can diverge and disagree (or have a conversation about it). All disagreements must have a common point of agreement, or the arguments are orthogonal. I was attempting to make it 100% clear that there is currently no gold backing before proceeding with a conversation, and you were hemming and hawing about it.

So today, there are exactly zero currencies in the entire world that are backed by gold. Nor is gold necessary to convey value. There were plenty of monetary systems long before the United States was formed that had nothing to do with gold.

But let's ask an even more fundamental question: why is gold valuable? It has some use as an industrial metal, and of course gangsters and thugs like to wear so much of it that it makes normal people want to retch. Those uses, though, don't account for the masses of it that are being hoarded in bank vaults in the form of bullion, gold rounds, and commemorative coins. The gold doesn't perform any function while it's sitting there. It doesn't earn interest. You can fondle the gold, but the gold will not respond. Why is it valuable?

Because it is somewhat scarce and because there are a large number of people who want it. That's it. That's why gold is valuable.

And the same goes for Bitcoin.

Last edited by jess on Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:35 am quote
jess wrote:
In other words: Math, bitches!
Karma police, arrest this man
He talks in maths
He buzzes like a fridge
He's like a detuned radio
Petty Tyrant
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:54 am quote
I've just collected together the various limited edition patch stragglers that I've had stuffed into various corners of Modern Vespa World Headquarters. I have at least a dozen limited edition patches to unload, and there are even a couple of Italia editions (green and red roundel) in the mix.

Better get your Bitcoin wallets funded if you want one.
Molto Verboso
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:32 pm quote
I made my way into, and made introductions with the Quitters group at the crux of this Bitcoin examination. ---

This is exactly why I went to a happy place and perused the beer list and ordered the best damn Philly Cheesesteak I've ever had, and waited to add my 2 cents of topics I had a better grasp of. My 2 cents did not come in the form of a Bitcoin, but someday it just may.

But, as always, intellectually entertaining. I was happy to be away from work and not hearing people bitch and moan about how unfair their dream job is, and how to screw the management.

Good times!
Steve
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:42 pm quote
jess wrote:
Better get your Bitcoin wallets funded if you want one.
Working on it. Maybe the first bitcoin only MV for sale ad? http://modernvespa.com/forum/post1765671
Ossessionato
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm quote
jess wrote:
L.A.zybones wrote:
Can we use Monopoly money to purchase bitcoins?
Only if you can convince someone that Monopoly money has intrinsic value.
It worked for Dogecoins and a load of other crap.
Petty Tyrant
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:49 pm quote
stickyfrog wrote:
Maybe the first bitcoin only MV for sale ad? http://modernvespa.com/forum/post1765671
Awesome!
Moderaptor
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:42 pm quote
Just don't store them where they can be easily found.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25772431
"As part of the action against the Mr Ulbricht, prosecutors said they had seized an additional 144,336 Bitcoins.

These are worth nearly $130m at current value.

Mr Ulbricht has filed a claim contesting the seizure of the Bitcoins, asserting that they were found on his personal computer and belong to him rather than Silk Road."
Petty Tyrant
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:14 pm quote
jimc wrote:
Just don't store them where they can be easily found.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25772431
"As part of the action against the Mr Ulbricht, prosecutors said they had seized an additional 144,336 Bitcoins.

These are worth nearly $130m at current value.

Mr Ulbricht has filed a claim contesting the seizure of the Bitcoins, asserting that they were found on his personal computer and belong to him rather than Silk Road."
Indeed. There's quite a kerfuffle going on in BitcoinLand over the FBI seizures, with some calling for technological measures within the protocol to block these coins from re-entering circulation (or some such nonsense). Most of the people making such suggestions have been roundly shouted down, and for good reason. Bitcoin's continued success relies on it's decentralized nature, and any attempt to block these coins or otherwise treat them any differently than any other coins would be the first step onto a slippery slope.
Ossessionato
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:40 pm quote
Here is my problem with BitCoin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2
Quote:
HA-2 is a set of cryptographic hash functions (SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, SHA-512/224, SHA-512/256) designed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)
You can bet they have a back door installed.
Sir Frets-A-Lot
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:17 pm quote
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Mmmm you were arguing against a strawman then.
That's not a strawman. That's finding some point that we agree upon before we can diverge and disagree (or have a conversation about it). All disagreements must have a common point of agreement, or the arguments are orthogonal. I was attempting to make it 100% clear that there is currently no gold backing before proceeding with a conversation, and you were hemming and hawing about it.

So today, there are exactly zero currencies in the entire world that are backed by gold. Nor is gold necessary to convey value. There were plenty of monetary systems long before the United States was formed that had nothing to do with gold.

But let's ask an even more fundamental question: why is gold valuable? It has some use as an industrial metal, and of course gangsters and thugs like to wear so much of it that it makes normal people want to wretch. Those uses, though, don't account for the masses of it that are being hoarded in bank vaults in the form of bullion, gold rounds, and commemorative coins. The gold doesn't perform any function while it's sitting there. It doesn't earn interest. You can fondle the gold, but the gold will not respond. Why is it valuable?

Because it is somewhat scarce and because there are a large number of people who want it. That's it. That's why gold is valuable.

And the same goes for Bitcoin.
I wasn't hemming and hawing about it, I think that's where you were assuming something I wasn't saying (hence the comment of a strawman). We were already in agreement with something and you still wanted to talk about it as if it weren't a point of agreement.

Regardless, my point about the gold, or usage of the gold standard, was about how many currencies used it metonymically to describe value at one point, because for whatever reason gold was important. Which was kinda your point - we ascribed some value to gold for some reason, though there's no real intrinsic value to gold (rarity? maybe? I dunno. conductive properties? shiny? women like it?).

All my question was about was whether or not there was an metonymic thing out there that BTC related to, or if it really was just fiat. They said it was worth something, so it's worth something.

The answer seems to be the latter. I'm not saying that's good or bad, I never really cared to put a judgement call on it. That's more a factual question than one that needs debate, an agreement or disagreement.
Petty Tyrant
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:23 am quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
I wasn't hemming and hawing about it, I think that's where you were assuming something I wasn't saying (hence the comment of a strawman). We were already in agreement with something and you still wanted to talk about it as if it weren't a point of agreement.
You kept saying "theoretically" about the gold standard. There is no room for the word "theoretically" in the discussion of the gold standard. The US was once on the gold standard, and then we weren't. There's no "theoretical" there. Those are just the facts. "Theoretically" is a weasel word that does not belong in a conversation about well-known facts, and does not apply to either of the two states (gold standard and not gold standard) that were being discussed. I can't make this any more clear than that.
TheO.Z. wrote:
Regardless, my point about the gold, or usage of the gold standard, was about how many currencies used it metonymically to describe value at one point, because for whatever reason gold was important.
The phrase you're looking for, I think, is either gold exchange standard or gold bullion standard (depending on which country we're speaking of, and when. I get where you're going with metonymically, but I don't think it's specific enough when there exists a proper phrase to describe the relationship of currency to gold.

In any case, many world currencies (at one time or another) were in fact direct silver or gold (which would be referred to as gold specie standard). The move to gold exchange standards and gold bullion standards by various countries was largely due to practical problems with circulating gold (or silver) directly. The non-specie gold standards, then, can be seen as an evolution from earlier periods where gold was money. Still, this begs the question of what, exactly, makes gold valuable, except that people believed it was so.
TheO.Z. wrote:
Which was kinda your point - we ascribed some value to gold for some reason, though there's no real intrinsic value to gold (rarity? maybe? I dunno. conductive properties? shiny? women like it?).
Gold has a few properties that make it a likely candidate for currency. It is rare, it can't be synthesized (though many have died trying), and it does not corrode. It also has some properties that make it useful as an industrial metal: in addition to a lack of corrosion, it is also electrically conductive and easily malleable.

But the most likely reason for its use as currency is the rarity. Why is gold worth more than silver? Well, gold appears in igneous rock at a rate of 0.004ppm, while silver appears at a rate of 0.07ppm. This is very roughly (though definitely not precisely) in line with the current exchange rate of gold vs. silver. Go figure.
TheO.Z. wrote:
All my question was about was whether or not there was an metonymic thing out there that BTC related to, or if it really was just fiat. They said it was worth something, so it's worth something.
Generally speaking, Bitcoin is not fiat, at least in the context that most people speak of when they speak of fiat currency. There's a narrow exception in the formal definition of "fiat money" that could possibly apply to Bitcoin. That said, "fiat" is generally used as a term to distinguish Bitcoin from government-backed currencies.
TheO.Z. wrote:
The answer seems to be the latter. I'm not saying that's good or bad, I never really cared to put a judgement call on it. That's more a factual question than one that needs debate, an agreement or disagreement.
You have insisted repeatedly that I answer this question, but you clearly knew the answer all along. In fact, this question is the real strawman in this debate, because the answer is irrelevant. You can make a big show of how Bitcoin isn't backed by anything in an antagonistic attempt to demonstrate how worthless it is, but by doing so you merely point out that the US Dollar and gold itself are just as worthless as Bitcoin.

Are we done with this question now?
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:51 pm quote
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:58 pm quote
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
I wasn't hemming and hawing about it, I think that's where you were assuming something I wasn't saying (hence the comment of a strawman). We were already in agreement with something and you still wanted to talk about it as if it weren't a point of agreement.
You kept saying "theoretically" about the gold standard. There is no room for the word "theoretically" in the discussion of the gold standard. The US was once on the gold standard, and then we weren't. There's no "theoretical" there. Those are just the facts. "Theoretically" is a weasel word that does not belong in a conversation about well-known facts, and does not apply to either of the two states (gold standard and not gold standard) that were being discussed. I can't make this any more clear than that.
I kept saying the term "theoretically" around US currency had ascribed its value at one point based on how we had been on the gold standard, and are now not. Not sure why that's hard to understand. Still seems hard for you to get. We're saying nearly the same thing, but you still want to argue something else, and use terse language That's on you.
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Regardless, my point about the gold, or usage of the gold standard, was about how many currencies used it metonymically to describe value at one point, because for whatever reason gold was important.
The phrase you're looking for, I think, is either gold exchange standard or gold bullion standard (depending on which country we're speaking of, and when. I get where you're going with metonymically, but I don't think it's specific enough when there exists a proper phrase to describe the relationship of currency to gold.

In any case, many world currencies (at one time or another) were in fact direct silver or gold (which would be referred to as gold specie standard). The move to gold exchange standards and gold bullion standards by various countries was largely due to practical problems with circulating gold (or silver) directly. The non-specie gold standards, then, can be seen as an evolution from earlier periods where gold was money. Still, this begs the question of what, exactly, makes gold valuable, except that people believed it was so.
Makes sense here, never contradicted here.
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
Which was kinda your point - we ascribed some value to gold for some reason, though there's no real intrinsic value to gold (rarity? maybe? I dunno. conductive properties? shiny? women like it?).
Gold has a few properties that make it a likely candidate for currency. It is rare, it can't be synthesized (though many have died trying), and it does not corrode. It also has some properties that make it useful as an industrial metal: in addition to a lack of corrosion, it is also electrically conductive and easily malleable.

But the most likely reason for its use as currency is the rarity. Why is gold worth more than silver? Well, gold appears in igneous rock at a rate of 0.004ppm, while silver appears at a rate of 0.07ppm. This is very roughly (though definitely not precisely) in line with the current exchange rate of gold vs. silver. Go figure.
Again, yes. No argument here.
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
All my question was about was whether or not there was an metonymic thing out there that BTC related to, or if it really was just fiat. They said it was worth something, so it's worth something.
Generally speaking, Bitcoin is not fiat, at least in the context that most people speak of when they speak of fiat currency. There's a narrow exception in the formal definition of "fiat money" that could possibly apply to Bitcoin. That said, "fiat" is generally used as a term to distinguish Bitcoin from government-backed currencies.
Can you explain that a bit more? I'm not familiar with why it's not fiat, per se. I mean, in your description we're trying to ascribe intrinsic value, and my question has only ever been, what is it getting its value from? This, of course, assuming that now the US dollar for all intents and purposes is "fiat" what with it not being backed by anything yet being state declared currency.
jess wrote:
TheO.Z. wrote:
The answer seems to be the latter. I'm not saying that's good or bad, I never really cared to put a judgement call on it. That's more a factual question than one that needs debate, an agreement or disagreement.
You have insisted repeatedly that I answer this question, but you clearly knew the answer all along. In fact, this question is the real strawman in this debate, because the answer is irrelevant. You can make a big show of how Bitcoin isn't backed by anything in an antagonistic attempt to demonstrate how worthless it is, but by doing so you merely point out that the US Dollar and gold itself are just as worthless as Bitcoin.

Are we done with this question now?
the weird thing is, I'm not saying anything bad, nor is it antagonistic. I just simply didn't really know if it was based off of anything - I had little to no working knowledge about its history or operations. I have no problem with bitcoin, never have, but you're reacting like someone who is ashamed of what they're doing so have to assume that anything someone is asking is implying that it's bad. Which is not the case. I ask a simple question, that's it. I learned a lot about bitcoin that night and it was interesting. You should probably remove the chip from your shoulder about it though if you want to advocate it.

If I was trolling you on it, I'd have asked, "what kind of idiot thinks bitcoin has value?" not "is it based off of anything as how we were theoretically based off of the gold standard at one point (but now are not)."
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:34 pm quote
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:24 am quote
TheO.Z. wrote:
If I was trolling you on it, I'd have asked, "what kind of idiot thinks bitcoin has value?" not "is it based off of anything as how we were theoretically based off of the gold standard at one point (but now are not)."
I did answer the question as soon as you asked it. I stated "It is not backed by anything. And neither is the US dollar". That's when you started in with "theoretically", and I objected.

Rinse, lather repeat.

This debate is asinine and I believe I've answered the question a sufficient number of times now.
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