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PostPosted: January 2 19, 11:50 am 
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I just bought some Bitcoin for the first time after reading the book The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order. Over the holiday I asked my younger brothers what they thought about it and they both said, "Wait, you don't use Bitcoin?" I felt so old. They popped open their Coinbase accounts and showed me a healthy history of transactions. This cemented my interest.

To sum up a lot of the thoughts I have about it: there is a tremendous opportunity here for humanity but it is going to be a very long journey. I want to see it succeed so I'll keep a low spending balance and use it for what I can with the hope of making a positive contribution to its viability. I don't see value in treating it as an investment, and its near term volatility relative to the dollar probably makes day to day spending inefficient, but I can tolerate that to a degree considering I'm essentially talking about beer money.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 11:59 am 
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Interesting take Hoot. What is the "tremendous opportunity here for humanity" with bitcoin? Sorry to ask, probably beyond the scope of a GRB post.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 12:27 pm 
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Freed Roger wrote:
Interesting take Hoot. What is the "tremendous opportunity here for humanity" with bitcoin? Sorry to ask, probably beyond the scope of a GRB post.

I am by no means a cryptocurrency apostle so this is just what interests me personally relative to what I have experienced in life. Plus, I'm talking about a very long range, macro view of the world.

1. Reduction of transaction costs via the reduction (but not elimination) of middlemen and thus a potential redirection of wasted spending to more productive uses that benefit people and planet
2. Reduction of barriers of entry for unbanked populations and thus better protections and wealth building opportunities for the poor
3. Decentralization of power and influence


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 12:59 pm 
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Hoot45 wrote:
Freed Roger wrote:
Interesting take Hoot. What is the "tremendous opportunity here for humanity" with bitcoin? Sorry to ask, probably beyond the scope of a GRB post.

I am by no means a cryptocurrency apostle so this is just what interests me personally relative to what I have experienced in life. Plus, I'm talking about a very long range, macro view of the world.

1. Reduction of transaction costs via the reduction (but not elimination) of middlemen and thus a potential redirection of wasted spending to more productive uses that benefit people and planet
2. Reduction of barriers of entry for unbanked populations and thus better protections and wealth building opportunities for the poor
3. Decentralization of power and influence


Counterpoint

lukethedrifter wrote:
Humans are getting dumber. When we should be figuring ways to use less energy these geniuses are using more more more to solve a puzzle.

Would not an evolving society be looking for an exchange medium that didn’t pillage the planet?


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 1:07 pm 
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As I understand it, cryptocurrency mining is certainly unsustainable but is also a known flaw in the system that is receiving attention. I don't see a reason why it is a long term risk. At the same time we take for granted the resources required to make, print, transport, guard, process, and digitize paper money. I suspect if you added up that effort at a global scale you could credibly make the same criticism.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 1:18 pm 
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Hoot45 wrote:
As I understand it, cryptocurrency mining is certainly unsustainable but is also a known flaw in the system that is receiving attention. I don't see a reason why it is a long term risk. At the same time we take for granted the resources required to make, print, transport, guard, process, and digitize paper money. I suspect if you added up that effort at a global scale you could credibly make the same criticism.


I dunno, maybe. But we should be getting better at not [expletive] up the planet. Not worse or the same.


PS I don’t hold you accountable


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 2:04 pm 
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Bitcoin has its history rooted with the underworld, black markets etc. I just have a hard time seeing the poor/humanity coming out the long-range winner with crypto-currency.

As Bitcoin/crytpocurrency goes mainstream, won't the white market Middle men, money changers, taxation, find a way to get a larger take on bitcoin transactions?

Hoot-again, this is large topic.. can you point to an article or the likes about potential benefits of humanity.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 3:14 pm 
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Freed Roger wrote:
As Bitcoin/crytpocurrency goes mainstream, won't the white market Middle men, money changers, taxation, find a way to get a larger take on bitcoin transactions?

Hoot-again, this is large topic.. can you point to an article or the likes about potential benefits of humanity.

They'll try with all their might and power which is why the odds of success are low and the time horizon so long. It's quite a power structure of private institutions and intellectual property owners for an open source currency to disrupt. Time will tell whether it maintains its altruistic mission or gets corrupted before ever reaching the scale it needs to be an equitable force of commerce. You can already see that speculators are causing havoc on its stability while regulators try to distill the anonymity of it.

I haven't read many articles online as I found so many of them to be either too curmudgery or all hype. I read this book which did a helpful job of breaking down the history and evolution of money first, how cryptocurrency seeks to be different, and finally practical ways it is helping or could be a big breakthrough for humanity as a whole. It was balanced enough for me to find it credible.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 8:17 pm 
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Hoot45 wrote:
Freed Roger wrote:
Interesting take Hoot. What is the "tremendous opportunity here for humanity" with bitcoin? Sorry to ask, probably beyond the scope of a GRB post.

I am by no means a cryptocurrency apostle so this is just what interests me personally relative to what I have experienced in life. Plus, I'm talking about a very long range, macro view of the world.

1. Reduction of transaction costs via the reduction (but not elimination) of middlemen and thus a potential redirection of wasted spending to more productive uses that benefit people and planet
2. Reduction of barriers of entry for unbanked populations and thus better protections and wealth building opportunities for the poor
3. Decentralization of power and influence

1. The transaction costs of bitcoin are vastly larger than traditional bank based ones. In a bank transaction, all that is needed is a trusted intermediary (a bank) that simply makes a log entry for each payment. For bitcoin, a huge layer of completely pointless global calculations are needed to substitute. It's become a measurable global energy waster.

2. I don't see this at all. How is Bitcoin useful to the poor and unbanked if it is so terrible as to be basically unusable as currency? The use case is basically crimes where people involved believe the secrecy outways the large costs involved when attempting to use it as money.

3. It does basically nothing in this regard. For one thing, the network is controlled within China and not well distributed to prevent control by bad entities. And in reality it's a bad currency so the exchanges to real useful currencies have power that has resulted in the repeated uninsured loss and theft of the coins people keep with these intermediaries.

About the only positive thing to be said about Bitcoin is that it can help conceal transactions, which is obviously a mixed bag.


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PostPosted: January 2 19, 9:39 pm 
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I don't think you're right about all that, Arthur Dent. But I'm not here to sell anybody on the idea.


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