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BitCoin Gets a Futures Market

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the prices-are-information-units dept.

Bitcoin 467

fireballrus writes "There is one more way to use your BitCoins rather than buying weed or socks. Recently, a Bitcoin Exchange called ICBIT quietly introduced a futures market, obviously using Bitcoins as its main currency. Gold futures trade roughly at 137 BTC/tr.oz and Sweet Crude Oil at 7.3 BTC/bbl. This may play a positive role in the Bitcoin economy which needs more ways to actually use coins instead of mining them." While this sounds intriguing, I'd like to hear a good case for why BitCoin makes sense in this context.

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467 comments

This is great news! (0, Troll)

busyqth (2566075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509253)

Even MORE ways to scam people and steal their money! *CHA_CHING!!!*

Re:This is great news! (-1, Flamebait)

frisket (149522) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509303)

Yep. We now get the same set of cunts who fucked up the regular banking system. Way to go, BitCoin.

Re:This is great news! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509373)

Futures markets has a grand total of ZERO to do with the financial crisis.

Re:This is great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509495)

Yeah, these guys just don't know how to trade.

Re:This is great news! (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509503)

On the contrary, I know how to trade, but most other people don't.
Like I said... *CHA-CHING!*

Re:This is great news! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509809)

On the contrary, I know how to trade, but most other people don't.

Like I said... *CHA-CHING!*

Yes, because we have tons of billionaires trolling Slashdot yelling out "CHA-CHING!"

CHA-CHINGA! There, see I can do it too, and even better than you.

And yes, of course you must be a billionaire, because if you actually did know 'how" to trade, then no other amount of money amassed would be acceptable.

Re:This is great news! (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509575)

You probably haven't been following the hikes in the price of commodities or the stories of people selling stock in oil and resources they don't have.

Re:This is great news! (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509923)

No doubt.

Futures and derivatives are NOT "capitalism". They are gambling. Pure and simple. This has been one of the main downfalls of banks and Wall Street, directly contributing to the 2008 debacle.

We should not base our economy on fake money. Investment is fine. And all investment is "gambling" to a certain extent... at least if it's done honestly.

BUT... speculation and derivatives are PURE gambling. It's nothing more than a government-sponsored casino.

I put bitcoin.com in my HOSTS file (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509255)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040729&cid=40949719 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040697&cid=40949343 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040597&cid=40948659 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40947927 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040425&cid=40946755 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40942439 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3024445&cid=40942207 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40942031 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038601&cid=40942085 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040803&cid=40950045 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040867&cid=40950563 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40950839 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041035&cid=40951899 [slashdot.org]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041081&cid=40952169 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041091&cid=40952383 [slashdot.org]
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40952991 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40954201 [slashdot.org]
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042199&cid=40956625 [slashdot.org]
http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897177 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029589&cid=40894889 [slashdot.org]
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40886171 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042451&cid=40959497 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042547&cid=40960279 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042669&cid=40962027 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965091 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965087 [slashdot.org]
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967049 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972117 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972271 [slashdot.org]
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045075&cid=40972313 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045349&cid=40973979 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3046181&cid=40978835 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3046211&cid=40979293 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3050711&cid=41002319 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3118863&cid=41341925 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3131751&cid=41397971 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3138079&cid=41429005 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3146511&cid=41469199 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3146549&cid=41469495 [slashdot.org]
AND MANY MORE

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words

alexander peter kowalski
903 east division st.
syracuse, ny 13208

dob: 01/31/1965

mother:
jan kowalski
dob: 12/03/1933

Better idea. (0, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509263)

While you're throwing your money away on stupid ideas, go invest in some Second Life real-estate.

Re:Better idea. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509675)

...laugh all you want, but how many people shell out real money for WoW -based virtual goodies, or worse, pay shitloads of money to Zynga so that their crops grow faster, or some other similar bullshit? And yeah, folks actually blow money on Second-Life virtual crap as well (and were are a ton of dumbasses as late as two years ago promoting it [searchenginewatch.com] .

I guess if it makes 'em happy, it makes 'em happy. Fool and his(her?) money, etc.

All that said, if you catch the right trend, and are creative enough in how you sell those virtual goods, you can stand to make a few bucks off of the deal.

Re:Better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509955)

And yeah, folks actually blow money on Second-Life virtual crap as well.

Just like Sun Microsystems. Look where they are today.

Not sure I follow. (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509271)

So you use this, and you either lose or gain bitcoins. That seems like a circular system where bitcons beget bitcoins. That is NOT a "use" for bitcoins, not when the end result is ideally more bitcoins.

Not sure I follow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509339)

You mean that theres no "use" in using USD to gain more USD?

Re:Not sure I follow... (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509393)

I can actually spend my USD so it makes sense to try to generate more.

Re:Not sure I follow... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509487)

I can actually spend my USD so it makes sense to try to generate more.

Uh, "generate more"? Listen to yourself, the real system is more like the virtual system in more ways than we even realize.

You don't "earn" money. You earn (or generate) more credits. Which you "spend" by swiping a little plastic card over and over again all throughout the month. Every now and then someone hands you some green paper and claims its worth something, but you fondle it oddly and search for a way to get it out of your pocket. Takes up too much space and simply feels foreign in our USD system.

But somehow we want to treat USD and bitcoins as completely different.

Why, because a banker says so? (cause 2008 was so much fun)

Or a Government says so? (a Government that's 16 trillion in debt mind you).

Yes, perhaps we should continue to trust in those entities to assign "value". After all, they're the ones with all of it. Makes perfect sense...to them.

Re:Not sure I follow... (3, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509583)

And?

The difference is most people WILL take USD, and most WILL NOT take Bitcoins.

Gold, whiskey, shiny rocks or shells... the value is set by those who will honor it. The more that do, the more useful it is.

Re:Not sure I follow... (3)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509695)

>Gold, whiskey, shiny rocks or shells... the value is set by those who will honor it. The more that do, the more useful it is.

I'm pretty sure if I send Drew a bottle of Maker's Mark, he'll give me a couple of months of TrueFark in return.

Bitcoins? Not so much.

--
BMO

Re:Not sure I follow... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509563)

I can buy food with USD. I can buy a car. I can buy all sorts of things that are useful, or even essential, in day to day life. Buying gold futures, by contrast, does not have any use, except to then sell those futures, hopefully at a profit. Sure, you could sell the gold futures for USD and use those to buy something of use, but at that point it's no different from cashing out of bitcoins in any other way.

Re:Not sure I follow... (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509621)

Or you could just wait until delivery date, cough up the dough, take delivery of the gold and stack it around your living room for your friends to see.

Re:Not sure I follow. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509351)

So you use this, and you either lose or gain bitcoins. That seems like a circular system where bitcons beget bitcoins. That is NOT a "use" for bitcoins, not when the end result is ideally more bitcoins.

You don't get it? Really? Seriously?

Replace the word "bitcoins" with "dollars" in your above statement, and you'll see it suddenly makes perfect sense.

Of course, it makes about as much "sense" as printing billions more dollars in order to fix what's currently broken, but hey what do you expect when greedy fuckers are in charge with zero regulation...

And I expect nothing less out of the bitcoin world.

Re:Not sure I follow. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509515)

So you use this, and you either lose or gain bitcoins. That seems like a circular system where bitcons beget bitcoins. That is NOT a "use" for bitcoins, not when the end result is ideally more bitcoins.

You don't get it? Really? Seriously?

Replace the word "bitcoins" with "dollars" in your above statement, and you'll see it suddenly makes perfect sense.

Of course, it makes about as much "sense" as printing billions more dollars in order to fix what's currently broken, but hey what do you expect when greedy fuckers are in charge with zero regulation...

And I expect nothing less out of the bitcoin world.

It ain't the zero regulation that caused the problem - the problem was over-regulation where the regulations were written with government-industry collusion to protect the interests of the big players and screw everyone else.

Of course, that always is going to happen when you get powerful self-serving governments and large corporations. Amazingly, adding lots of government regulations didn't work - look at how now Obama is letting Wall Street get away with literal theft. John Corzine and a few billion disappearing dollars ring any bells?

Be a helluva lot better in the long run to get the government OUT of picayune regulation, let the crooked banks actually FAIL, and toss the crooks in jail.

But we're a few hundred million dollars a year in bribes, errr, campaign contributions from that ever happening.

And don't kid yourself - Obama got more money from Wall Street than McCain did.

Re:Not sure I follow. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509795)

And when the banks fail and suddenly you cant pay your rent or put gas in your car, you think that is an improvement?

Re:Not sure I follow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509945)

Definitely. Poorly run businesses should fail. Otherwise, there is simply no accountability or motivation to improve. If the government is just going to bail you out because you're "too big to fail," why not just continue fucking people over. It's also completely unfair to other businesses.

BitCoin Futures! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509309)

BitCoin futures at 0 BTC/BTC!

They will be easier to steal this way... (2)

hawks5999 (588198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509313)

I love bitcoin, but so far every exchange or market turns out to be a way to lose your coins to poor security or straight fraud. Add in gold and oil futures and it sounds like another great fraud opportunity.

Re:They will be easier to steal this way... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509435)

I love bitcoin, but so far every exchange or market turns out to be a way to lose your coins to poor security or straight fraud.
Add in gold and oil futures and it sounds like another great fraud opportunity.

Yes. You're right. That sounds so much more insecure and easier to steal from than the current option of Wall Street regulated and ran by ex-bankers.

They've done a fantastic fucking job in the last 5 years.

Re:They will be easier to steal this way... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509517)

I love bitcoin, but so far every exchange or market turns out to be a way to lose your coins to poor security or straight fraud.
Add in gold and oil futures and it sounds like another great fraud opportunity.

Yes. You're right. That sounds so much more insecure and easier to steal from than the current option of Wall Street regulated and ran by ex-bankers.

They've done a fantastic fucking job in the last 5 years.

In other news, we should stop buying mattresses because of the bedbug epidemic. 'course it's possible to keep your mattress clean of bedbugs by following some common sense practices, but still - it's the mattresses that are to blame.

Re:They will be easier to steal this way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509673)

Go and take a look at a bitcoin chart for the last 12 months, if you think wall street has been a disaster then what the hell do you call the farce that is bitcoin, Wall Street even in the dotcom bubbles, 9/11 or the GFC didn't have crashes and gains that big.

Re:They will be easier to steal this way... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509701)

My money has almost doubled in the last 5 years. But then, I mainly invested in small-caps and developing market mutual funds, avoiding real estate (no need for the insane derivatives) because I owned two houses and a farm, and trading in futures is silly, buy it or don't, don't pay someone else to hold it for you. The chance for fraud and non-market loss is much higher than actually buying something. And no, buying a slip of paper from a gold-holding company who says you could come visit or collect your gold doesn't work either, unless you actually collect it, otherwise, they could (and likely are) be selling the same gold to multiple people, same as the banks with cash.

If you are going to bother to buy $10,000 of gold, it makes more sense to make sure it's covered on your homeowner policy and put it under the mattress, rather than hold a piece of paper you may be able to trade for gold later. In that sense, it's no different than cash, except that the exchange rate is theoretically fixed.

This kind of service requires good amount of BTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509343)

At least 24,000.

BitCoin: Mark of The Beast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509371)

if it all goes to BitCoin, its use is tied with objects, phone/mice and the medium of which its delivered through visual input is a phone screen or a computer monitor.

a potential mark of the beast with this?

What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509379)

Because I have a whole sack of them here that I'm willing to trade for BitCoins. No, wait, the other thing - Leprechaun gold.

SRSly, Slashdot, it's a joke currency used by a few fantasists and dreamers. WOW Gold is "worth" more. It's not news, never has been, never will be.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (3, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509443)

WoW gold. Linden Dollars. Diablo 3 gold. Whatever. This is the same, minus the game. The American dollar and the Euro are built on the same voodoo magic in terms of value. BitCoin, if it has anything going for it over these other examples is sound principal for the system going forward as a currency in the real world.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509529)

The American dollar and the Euro are built on the same voodoo magic in terms of value.

Typical ignorant blathering from the BitCoin crowd. It's amazing that someone who might even be educated could say such a truly stupid thing.

"TheRealMindChild", please invest your life savings in BitCoin, the world needs more bums.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (1)

bug1 (96678) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509581)

Typical ignorant blathering from the BitCoin crowd

Typical ignorant blathering from the antiBitCoin crowd...

Pro-tip for life, instead of just saying someone is wrong, tell them why you think they are wrong, and maybe even how you think they can fix it.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509611)

"Pro tip in life", when you get older, you may understand the difference between a real currency and BitCoin. Until then, bu all means, sink your real money into it? We need more bums with signs at off-ramps.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509671)

When you get older, you may understand why you're 100% incorrect. There, now you're completely defeated.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509681)

Really can you buy that imaginary Firefox phone with your imaginary bit coin wealth?

!= game currency (1)

JcMorin (930466) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509589)

Game currencies cannot be compared to BitCoin, Game currencies are created at extremely high rate (how much D3 Money created per minute?) and are centralized (by the company server). BitCoin are mathematically restricted and decentralized... that's huge difference. I'm not a bitcoin user [yet] but I think this currency will succeed against all the international trading regulations, fees and delays.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509805)

there is a standing army behind the value of the American dollar. as long as that is true, the abstract representation of value that is the meaning of currency is as real as you ever will get. and that standing army makes a hell of a difference

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509449)

It is worse than that. The market is not even futures market. It is pure speculation.

On futures market, you can *BUY* or *SELL* a contract. Here, you buy and sell nothing.

https://icbit.se/CLG3 [icbit.se]

Positions are settled based on the corresponding futures price at COMEX (for the month of contract settlement) during the contract settlement day by transferring variation margin between contract holders. Reference information: http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/crude-oil/light-sweet-crude.html [cmegroup.com]

COMEX uses USD. So how is this using BTC if they are referencing COMEX?

If I had BTC, I would buy gold contracts. Sure. But you can't! They just sell you a make believe contract that then you must settle for BTC before it expires. Where is my gold then???

This is not futures. This is not even derivatives on futures. This is gambling on currencies value of BTC. No thanks to this scam.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509667)

Only a few fantasists and dreamers use gold to purchase items. Both gold and bitcoins can be exchanged for different forms of currency. I fail to see why it's a joke even if it's unpopular...

There are about 9 million bitcoins in existence right now, with a value of $12.11 each, meaning there's (theoretically) over a hundred million dollars tied up in this. I think that makes it newsworthy.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (1, Insightful)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509679)

SRSly, Slashdot, it's a joke currency used by a few fantasists and dreamers

All currencies are ethereal, the difference is belief that it has value.

Think of it this way. I can go into a shop, with a selection of rectangular pieces of paper with fancy designs on them, and I can come out with food, cigarettes, or a laptop, or a television. Why would anyone trade something useful like a laptop, or a basic necessity like food, for some fancy bits of paper? Simple: we all believe the paper has value. You think it does, the shop thinks it does, and so on.

If you want to talk about digital currency, its even more ethereal. You're attributing value to nothing more than a number.

Say there's $100.00 in your bank account, and for the sake of argument its represented as a cell on a spreadsheet at the bank. What is the difference between that $100.00 in the banks DB over say, opening a file and writing $100.00 in the first cell. Again, value. Both figures are identical. The way of storing them is identical. They are the same in every way.

The difference is belief means their cell in the DB is worth something, and yours isn't.

Then you realise central banks create money by nothing more than writing enormous numbers in the cells of spreadsheets.

The only way something stops becoming a currency is when no-one believes in the value of it. Likewise, belief creates currency.

Re:What's the exchange rate to dead squirrels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509751)

that is a about the worst description of currency I have ever seen. Currency isn't based on belief, it is based on an agreed exchange rate for goods, it doesn't matter whether you believe in it or not. The numbers in a spreadsheet are irrelevant, they are just ledgers as to what you have, your number in a spreadsheet can be worth just as much as the banks if it happens to be a ledger of what you have in your wallet. money is about a simplified way of exchanging goods as taking a dozen eggs and saying I owe you 1 pork chop is a bloody hard way to do business and so an agreed upon standard is set where you can define the value of a dozen eggs and compare it to the value of a pork chop. It is not magic, it is not based on belief or any other garbage, yes there is lots of corruption and manipulation of the system but it is still a by far the best system anyone has come up with.

Sophilistic bullshit (1, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509837)

Money is a measure of work done. The value may be hard to pin down but at some point it is linked to somebody doing something of use.Ponzis, bitcoins or other pyramid schemes like to confuse their marks by making noise about all currency being fiat currency but that's not really how it works. Pretending that currency is imaginary is just sophilistic bullshit that is equivalent to saying that just about everything agreed to in a society is imaginary. Belief also creates laws and the selection of leaders.

Seriously, give it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509385)

Much like the term "Fetch" in the Lindsay Lohan classic film "Mean Girls," BitCoin is never going to happen.

Eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509407)

What's with the obsession with two-bit scams like bit coins and rasp pi?

Futures Markets (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509409)

Well, futures markets in general are quite useful because they help provide economic stability if you have an economic interest in the underlying commodity.

For example if you are an airline you can buy futures in oil. If the price of oil goes up you make a profit in the oil futures that helps offset the cost of your fuel.

If you are a farmer you buy futures in the crop you produce. So if your crop fails due to weather you will likely make a profit in your futures because the price of your crop futures has gone up.

So if I were a producer or buyer of bitcoins, a solid futures market would be of great interest.

Re:Futures Markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509773)

All true with one exception. I'm not sure what the economic term for it is, but it seems analogous to thermodynamics. With all of the various fees and interests involved in the transactions, a certain amount of "value" is lost to the process. That loss means that the system cannot continue indefinitely, and in fact must (without the addition of external value) eventually approach zero. The addition of value may come from improvements in efficiency, etc (which I would consider valid). But, in this age of modern finance it's most likely created arbitrarily at the bank or federal reserve. Entropy applies, and it is unforgiving. There is no free lunch, in physics or in finance.

Re:Futures Markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509899)

The middleman get their cut but their isn't a destruction of value, just a transfer.

Re:Futures Markets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509817)

For example if you are an airline you can buy futures in oil. If the price of oil goes up you make a profit in the oil futures that helps offset the cost of your fuel.

The tricky business is how much to invest. An airline's best investment for money is in improving itself, what it has money-making expertise in. Naturally they will accrue a % of liquid captial, and rather than having it all in a bank, they /may/ profit by inserting it in partnered industry like oil futures. But they want to minimize the %, and the natural fluctuation as portions are saved and then applied to the core business, means you can't follow the futures market closely to pick dates for buying and selling; a bank may well offer better long-term return.

If you are a farmer you buy futures in the crop you produce. So if your crop fails due to weather you will likely make a profit in your futures because the price of your crop futures has gone up.

Er... /are/ there any farmers with investable surplus? They're notoriously in debt to one level or another. For them the better investment will always be paying something down.

I like the idea you're presenting about economic stability by integration with futures, just these examples are kinda off.

Re:Futures Markets (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509895)

That's a hedge. Gold and real estate are hedge investments for stocks. In general, as stocks decline, gold goes up as people shift money from one market to another. So if you buy both, when one goes down, the other will go up faster, helping limit losses.

If your crop is good, then the futures would likely not be worth that much, so you'd have more money if you didn't buy the futures. And if there's a problem with all the crops such that your futures are worth lots more, the value of the futures is dependent on the amount you invested. It's not like $10 will hedge for 10,000 acres. And the hedge investment may be prohibitive.

Question for economics wonks (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509477)

I've never understood the vitriol heaped on BitCoins in this forum. None of the stated reasons for "It'll never work" seem to hold under examination.

1) It's not based on anything

Well, neither are any of the major currencies, especially the dollar. The Euro is teetering on the brink of disaster, the Fed has been spraying money with a firehose, numerous South American currencies have gone bust - I just don't see any difference. ...except, that bitcoins are immune to *some* of the problems typically found in national currencies.

2) No one is using them

There was a time when no one used the internet, either, and look how big that got.

I'm not sure there is a point here - lots of things didn't get big and no one uses them (pets.com, anyone?), and lots of things got big and *everyone uses* them (google.com).

If you're saying that not enough people will *ever* use them, so that the idea won't take off, then that's an opinion. A lot of people are predicting success, so why are they wrong and you right?

3) It's a scam

All of the scams reported so far have been, effectively, companies trying to be a bank without banking regulation.

It's not a problem for BitCoin if someone convinces you to deposit your coins in their bank and then loses them, any more than it's a problem for US currency if someone convinces you to give them your money and loses it. People get scammed all the time, but it's not the fault of the currency.

Again, I don't see the difference. BitCoins are like money, and can be stolen like money. Why is having money any different?

==================

BitCoins doesn't solve all the problems of money, but it does solve a fair number of them. Logic and reason would seem to indicate that this is a better way to do currency.

I must be missing something.

Can one of the economists explain why it won't work?

I mean, explain it without appealing to emotion and irrational fear. Like, by using logic and evidence.

Re:Question for economics wonks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509561)

Bitcoin is a failure because it hurts the children. Terrorists and drug dealers could use it to make money and then rape our precious children, and since Bitcoin is more anonymous, it'll be harder to catch them!

Ban Bitcoins!

Re:Question for economics wonks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509579)

It's a scam

All of the scams reported so far have been, effectively, companies trying to be a bank without banking regulation.

It's not a problem for BitCoin if someone convinces you to deposit your coins in their bank and then loses them, any more than it's a problem for US currency if someone convinces you to give them your money and loses it. People get scammed all the time, but it's not the fault of the currency.

Again, I don't see the difference. BitCoins are like money, and can be stolen like money. Why is having money any different?

Perhaps people are saying that it is a scam similar to pyramid schemes. Those that got bitcoins a long time ago have a vested interest in getting others to buy bitcoins. The more demand there is for bitcoins from people buying them, the more bitcoins are worth. This of course says nothing about the usefulness of bitcoins or whether it is a valid currency, just shows to the motive of some of bitcoin's cheerleaders.

My only problem with bitcoin is that it is pretty much useless or unnecessarily complicating to try and use them. When I can easily pay at the pump, or checkout at the grocery store with bitcoins, it might have some value for me.

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509875)

The more demand there is for bitcoins from people buying them, the more bitcoins are worth.

You know what else works this way? Every single commodity ever

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509661)

The dollar used to be based on silver and gold. Today it is not but at least the current method makes more sense than bitcoins. If you have more expenses because you bought more things, which needed to be produced, then you print more dollars. Hence dollars increase more or less as GDP increases. Bitcoins are not actually generated by doing useful work and even worse the system is made to reward disproportionately the early adopters of the system. Eventually it will grind to a halt and stall. Look at their predicted number of bitcoins in the system to figure it out yourself.

Re:Question for economics wonks (4, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509865)

If you have more expenses because you bought more things, which needed to be produced, then you print more dollars. Hence dollars increase more or less as GDP increases.

The entity responsible for printing those dollars gets something for nothing. They print millions of dollars (for essentially no cost), and exchange those for goods and services. They didn't work hard to earn those dollars.

This is inflation... it isn't "useful", and it makes your dollars go down in value over time. The only real good thing about inflation is that in limited amounts, it encourages spending instead of hoarding.

Bitcoins are not actually generated by doing useful work and even worse the system is made to reward disproportionately the early adopters of the system.

Dollars are also not generated by doing useful work. They are generated by a printing press, which is not doing anything inherently useful. I don't really see why rewarding early adopters is a bad thing.

Look at their predicted number of bitcoins in the system to figure it out yourself.

Bitcoins can be subdivided to 8 decimal places, or currently about 1/100,000th of a cent in US dollars. Any deflation that occurs can be handled well into the future.

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509669)

"I've never understood the vitriol heaped on BitCoins in this forum. "

Because every post to slashdot about bitcoin triggers my b.s. detector.

It's the feeling you get when you see a forced "viral video", or a Fox News headline worded to attract page views.

In short, the bitcoin "brand" is not trusted in my mind and bringing it up on slashdot makes me trust it less.

Re:Question for economics wonks (2)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509919)

I'm so glad you didn't resort to logic and evidence and gave the OP exactly what he was looking for, emotion and fear mongering.

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509721)

Short answer: it won't work because it is not backed or protected by a sovereign nation, adequately described or protected by law, and the whole "crunching numbers with massive parallel processors" thing is a huge waste of energy.

Re:Question for economics wonks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509729)

You actually hit it right in point number one. Sure, central banks don't peg their currencies to anything, but that's also why they are bad long-term investments and worthless currencies. Holding a set of ones and zeros as your store of value and medium of exchange is a recipe for disaster. In a free market, go nuts and buy all the bitcoin you want, but its your own ass when it doesn't hold it's value, if it has any.

Re:Question for economics wonks (3, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509731)

I mean, explain it without appealing to emotion and irrational fear. Like, by using logic and evidence.

Fine.

I have yet to encounter a business which uses BitCoins as a means of payment. They must exist and I could look them up, but I have yet to encounter one as part of my regular Internet usage. None of the big businesses use it, none of the smaller businesses use it, even geeky sites don't use it. This makes BitCoins rather pointless compared to regular coin.

Also, perhaps more importantly, BitCoins has yet to prove itself. Why invest in a shakey implementation of an Internet-based currency when so many other attempts died before it? I'm not going to touch it unless I actually see mainstream usage.

Simply put - I have nothing to lose by not bothering with BitCoins. I also have very little to gain, if anything at the moment, if I did. It's just not worth the time.

Re:Question for economics wonks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509771)

> I've never understood the vitriol heaped on BitCoins in this forum. None of the stated reasons for "It'll never work" seem to hold under examination.

You presume that the vitriol is stemming from concerns that BitCoin is not a logistically valid currency. Consider - Who is it that stands to lose if BitCoin gains traction?

Re:Question for economics wonks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509827)

Gee, why would people think money generated out of thin air is a scam?
I wonder who was the first sucker to actually pay real money for this.

Re:Question for economics wonks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509847)

1) It's not based on anything
This is mostly bunk, but not entirely. The US dollar, for example, isn't backed by gold or anything similar, but it is backed by 300 million people and a large number of companies that need to pay taxes in US dollars. Even if I decide that dollars are bunk and I'm going to use Euros or bitcoins or whatever, at the end of the year I must turn some of my wealth back into dollars to pay taxes. And the day I go hunting for dollars to pay taxes... the dollar suddenly has value, the guy holding the "worthless" dollars can demand some stuff from me, because I need them to stop the government from arresting me for nonpayment of taxes.

Thus, even if pretty much everyone decides to stop liking the dollar, there's a floor under its value; people need some dollars. (For gold, people "need" gold for things like making wedding rings and some industrial uses, this similarly puts a floor on its value.)

Bitcoins aren't accepted for tax payments, however, and have no "material value" like gold; if pretty much everyone decides to stop liking them, there's no actual floor there, they can drop in value to zero overnight.

So, this is a weak argument for why bitcoins are less good than a "real" currency. Basically this argument says "if it falls apart, it goes all the way to zero value instantly, whereas a real currency has something slowing the fall". It's not a very strong anti-bitcoin argument, because it kind of presupposes that people are going to turn against bitcoins at some point -- if people decide to use them and like them, the lack of government backing is kind of irrelevant. It's also the case that we have several examples where "people have to pay taxes in currency X" was rendered moot by the government printing zillions of units of X (wiemar germany, zimbabwe...), thus rendering a fiat currency completly worthless.

2) No one is using them
This is another kind of circular argument. As long as bitcoins are a niche currency, I don't want to use them, because why would I use the currency that isn't accepted at the merchants I want to buy from. And why would a merchant want to accept a currency that consumers aren't carrying? This is why Visa/Mastercard/Amex own the credit card market, and newcomers have trouble getting in (discover card still has trivial market share despite decades of offering better deals than the big three!)

But despite the circularity, it is true. This problem is what economists call "the network effect". The value of "being involved in bitcoins" is related to how many other people are involved. Lots of computer things have this effect too -- if you're the first guy to write software to use IPv6, your software has nobody to connect to, so it's kind of worthless; at some point there's a critical mass of other people also using IPv6 and suddenly it's a useful feature. Or facebook -- it was completely pointless when only a few people were using it, but one day you wake up and realize that all of your friends are on it, and suddenly it's useful to you for keeping in contact with them and it takes off.

So... bitcoins are useless to me, and will stay useless until lots of people are using them, at which point lots of people like me will suddenly discover them and they'll take off. Unless they never hit that critical mass, in which case no matter how good an idea they may be in theory, they're useless to me.

3) It's a scam
Well... What is the actual point of converting my dollars to bitcoins?

I know why I might want to convert dollars to euros, there are some stores that sell stuff in euros and ship me stuff. And I know why I might want to convert dollars to pesos, I can take a vacation in mexico and enjoy the beaches and stuff.

So... Why should I convert my money into bitcoins?

I have yet to hear of any merchants that accept bitcoins but not dollars, so I'm not converting to spend money. So... convert for investments?

It allows me to store my money in a variety of unregulated "banks" that appear to regularly turn out to be scams or get hacked, and at best are unregulated and uninsured. While I'm not a huge fan of the US regulation of banks and investment firms (I could rant for hours about its shortcomings), the complete lack of regulation of bitcoin exchanges is worrying.
    Anytime I hear someone say "turn your money into bitcoins and invest it into X", my BS detector goes off, because of how many investments and banks using bitcoins have turned out to be scams. Maybe this one is, maybe it isn't, but... it's a warning sign, due to the serious lack of regulation. And since there's very little that I an buy with bitcoins, even if an investment turns out to be save and a good investment, I'm also running the risk that the bitcoin->dollar exchange rate might have tanked between now and then (this is a risk with any cross-currency investment), so unless it's got a noticeably better return on investment than what I can get investing my dollars in dollar-denominated investments, why bother? But... there's a massive market for all manner of dollar-denominated investments -- stocks, bonds, real estate, etc; what are the odds that I'm going to find a bitcoin-denominated investment that's actually a better deal than I could find in a corresponding dollar-denominated investment?

And for that matter, what is a bitcoin-denominated investment, anyway? If I invest dollars in a real-estate deal, it means someone is using those dollars to buy land and build something to rent or sell.... If I invest dollars in stock, that's (very indirectly) representing dollars used as startup capital for a business, buying factories and such. Ditto for dollars into bonds. But what the heck am I investing in with bitcoins? Nobody is selling land for bitcoins, so if anyone claims they're doing a real estate deal, my BS detector will squeal. And I'm dubious that you could start up a company using seed capital in bitcoins, since nobody is selling stuff in bitcoins, so any stocks or bonds in bitcoins make my BS detector go off... Similarly with loans -- you're not going to take out a car loan in bitcoins, because nobody is going to sell you a car for bitcoins.

And this starts to get at why I'm inherently dubious of bitcoin banks, too -- a bank takes deposits, and then uses the deposited money to make loans or investments. What exactly is a bitcoin bank investing in? What kind of bitcoin loans are they making? They'd be fools to make a home loan or a car loan in bitcoins, given the lack of people selling cars and houses in bitcoins... And they sure aren't buying corporate or government bonds with bitcoins, which is where normal banks sink a lot of deposit money. So... Business model? How is this bank paying interest on my savings account? My scam detector is starting to go off, because I can't think of what the bank might be investing bitcoins in!

As with the first two, this could be fixed without actually changing the tech of bitcoins, just by getting lots more people to accept bitcoins as currency. If we suddenly had a large community of people selling Real Items (like cars and such) for bitcoins, plus some government somewhere willing to regulate at least one bitcoin bank (doesn't have to be the US, doesn't have to be all of them, just has to be a respectable government reasonably regulating something) then all three of these objections would poof immediately. It's not entirely clear to me that you can bootstrap from the current "it's a niche thing" up into "it's a big thing"... but if you keep running a slashdot article once a week about bitcoins, maybe you'll hit critical mass eventually :)

Re:Question for economics wonks (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509849)

1) It's not based on anything

Well, neither are any of the major currencies, especially the dollar.

Incorrect. The major currencies, especially the dollar, are based on the threat of extreme violence. If you live in America, 1) you are forced to accept dollars at face value for services and trades. And 2) you are not allowed to counterfeit them. If you try, expect black SUV and helicopters, people breaking down your door at 6am, being slapped around a bit, and then put in jail for a good chunk of your remaining life.

2) No one is using them

As a gauge of current popular interest, the fact that not a lot of people are actually using them for anything is a big negative. Slashdot should be reporting things that interest its readership.

3) It's a scam

It's not a problem for BitCoin if someone convinces you to deposit your coins in their bank and then loses them, any more than it's a problem for US currency if someone convinces you to give them your money and loses it. People get scammed all the time, but it's not the fault of the currency.

Nice strawman. Real currencies are recognized and backed by governments, bitcoin is only a pretend currency, like monopoly money. It may in fact be illegal, if it tries to substitute for legal tender, in various parts of the world.

Again, I don't see the difference. BitCoins are like money, and can be stolen like money. Why is having money any different?

No, bitcoins are like property, and can be stolen like property. That means they can have value, but it doesn't make them like money.

Re:Question for economics wonks (2)

mdfst13 (664665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509859)

1) It's not based on anything

Well, neither are any of the major currencies, especially the dollar.

The US dollar is valid for paying US taxes. BitCoins aren't.

There is a common assertion that the Fed has been printing loads of money. Ignoring that it isn't the Fed that prints money but the Treasury, it's worth noting that we aren't experiencing particularly high inflation. Inflation is higher than it should be, but not ridiculously so. It's also worth noting that the estimated M3 is smaller now than it was in 2008. M2 is about the same as it was in 2008. Only M1 is higher. The likely reason is that the multipliers that lead to M2 and M3 being bigger than M1 are subdued by the recession. As a result, M1 is artificially high to counteract the drops in other parts of M2 and M3.

Source: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/money-supply-charts [shadowstats.com]

The problem with the Euro isn't that it is worthless. The problem with the Euro is the possibility that some of the countries that are currently in the Euro will be kicked out. People will still be able to pay taxes in Euros in Germany, France, and several other countries even if that happens.

I don't have a strong opinion on the possibility of BitCoins taking off. I do have a strong opinion on the value of national fiat currencies. So long as they are accepted for tax payments, national fiat currencies will have an advantage over currencies that are not. Competing currencies will therefore have to find or develop their own advantages to compensate.

Re:Question for economics wonks (4, Insightful)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509861)

The US dollar is the only currency you can pay US taxes with and the only currency the US government issues debt in, so as long as the US government exists, there is a guaranteed demand for US dollars.

I know, I know, "But the US is about to implode any day now!" And if it does, the entire world economy will go with it. BitCoin depends on the Internet and the Internet depends on a functioning economy. BitCoins won't do you any good if your ISP and your power company are bankrupt.

So in any realistic scenario where BitCoins have value, so does the US dollar. However, it's entirely plausible that BitCoin will fail but not the dollar. Congress could prevent law-abiding businesses from dealing in BitCoins, shutting down the major exchanges and effectively isolating BitCoin from the traditional financial system. The illicit market would still exist, so you'd still be able to convert cash to BitCoins to buy drugs with... but most people will just buy drugs with the cash directly.

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509869)

I've never understood the vitriol heaped on BitCoins in this forum

There's a simple answer: it's an old fashioned scam but this time the bait is set for computer and crypto geeks. That makes it relevant on this forum IMHO and pisses off the people that see it as a scam aimed directly at them. That means it gets taken personally.

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509877)

1) It's not based on anything

Well, neither are any of the major currencies, especially the dollar.

Well then, let's replace our arbitrary [and effectively guaranteed to be worthless] fiat currency for another even more arbitrary currency! :p

in the history of the new world (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509909)

there are many examples of utopianists. people who were fed up with society, and wanted to start a new one from scratch. usually these were religious in nature. heck, mormonism is a surviving example of this utopianist era

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia [wikipedia.org]

they run the range from this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony_Society [wikipedia.org]

to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_Temple [wikipedia.org]

with thousands of other examples, some harmless, some malignant

but nowadays, there is no more new world. so the pioneer utopianists are doing it in cyberspace (forgive the outdated term)

but the thing with utopianists, today and from yesteryear, is there is a lot of faith in grand schemes that don't really mean much when coupled with basic human nature. they mostly fail

so the scorn is from people who see those with great passion for something like bitcoin, and the curious identification of someone who is so bothered by something that, yes, is a bother (contemporary currencies), but not something so horrible that going all utopian idealist on the issue actually results in any improvement

but hey, who knows, maybe bitcoin will be like mormonism: someday mainstream. 99% of utopian projects fail, but 1% do change history

but i wouldn't bet on bitcoin. it's more like second life to me: high minded but destined for the dustbin of history, populated with a lot of eager highminded idealists for a moment in time, riding the wave of fervent passion but destined to crumble, a curiosity show for the rest of us to mock. which may seem cruel, but anyone who is a fervent idealist better get used to mockery. if your idealism is among the 1% of utopian projects that work, you will change the world, so take heart and shoulder the mockery with fortitude. but please note: 99% fail, so don't be too disappointed if your efforts fail

Computer power not a good backing (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509953)

I know next to nothing about bitcoins, but what happens if someone decides to do a "scientific experiment" on BitCoins that has access to one of the worlds most powerful supercomputers? Say if in the name of science, social experiments, or unregulated currency and the effects of mass input of them (or simply to make a few bitcoin bucks themselves) and dedicates the full power of one, or more, of those to the crunching of numbers for a little while. What happens then?

Re:Question for economics wonks (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509975)

1) It's not based on anything
Well, neither are any of the major currencies, especially the dollar.

The value of the dollar is based on economic and political reality.

The US has a $15 to $17 trillion dollar GDP, depending on how you measure these things. List of countries by GDP (nominal) [wikipedia.org]

The US has land, material resources, and a population of 311 million.

It remains the world's dominant military power,

Unemployment rate 8%.

For Greece and Spain, the unemployment rate is 25%.

The US is politically and socially stable, center-right, by any reasonable definition.

The EU is close to fracture.

Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509483)

Is there a way to filter out any bitcoin related infotisements scams on slashdot?

Thank you in advance.

Still not a productive use (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509497)

What the bitcoin economy needs is not another financial market but more people accepting it as a payement for real goods and services.

I still offer a 5% discount for bitcoin users, but until now, no clients have been interested. However I do not despair as I am getting clients from all around the world and a lot complain about the difficulty to make international payement.

So, if you have bitcoins and need computer vision development, contact me : IV-devs [iv-devs.com]

Re:Still not a productive use (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509641)

In what sense are international payments difficult? they are about as easy now as they have ever been, I can go online and do an international money transfer in seconds to just about anywhere in the world, not only that I can trace it and in many cases even reverse the payment depending on the type of transfer (try that with a bitcoin). As for why no one accepts bitcoins, just take a look at the bitcoin coin values over the past 12 months, even the worst currencies in the world look like a shining example of stability by comparison.

Re:Still not a productive use (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509887)

It takes several days for money to arrive and it arrives with a few percents of fees removed from the transaction. The fact that the sender can cancel the transaction may be viewed as a problem instead of a feature.

So when is Bitcoin going to get a future? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509525)

I'm curious as to what BTC is actually good for.

It's not an untraceable currency. The BTC currency exchanges seem to be getting hacked all the time, and I constantly see their markets being rolled back. All the geeks are busy off drooling over expensive ASIC hardware to "mine" bitcoins, while none of them seem to understand that the cost of such equipment will never actually pay for itself- because the more ASIC miners you add, the higher the difficulty becomes, and the less everyone gets paid in the end.

Some websites accept it, apparently it's great for getting things on the black market. Beyond that, I dunno. It seems largely like a giant hobby hack that is doomed to eventually fail.

Re:So when is Bitcoin going to get a future? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509879)

the more ASIC miners you add, the higher the difficulty becomes, and the less everyone gets paid in the end.

That's built into the design of this pyramid scheme so the founders and early adopters can benefit far more than any marks that come into the scam at a later date.

Why? Good question! (5, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509557)

While this sounds intriguing, I'd like to hear a good case for why BitCoin makes sense in this context.

I'll give you a positive and a negative.

Positive - This make sense because "futures" relate back to the (expected) scarcity and surplus of real-world material goods, the availability of which has no connection to the value of the Euro vs the Yuan. It would make more sense to hedge crude in terms of soybeans than in dollars, yet we only really have the option of doing it in dollars.

Negative - Bitcoin lacks even the connection to reality that Dollars have by virtue of the latter's use in trade for otherwise-real-world products and services.

Now, you could take that in two ways - Connecting Bitcoin to commodities may make it more "meaningful" than most government-issued currencies, because it can float against the rest of the world's currencies to maintain an accurate reflection of the reality underlying production, rather than some random economic policy put in place by a central bank. On the flip side of that, you currently can't actually take delivery of 50 tons of pork denominated in Bitcoins, so this looks like a "futures" market in the worst speculative sense, without the faintest connection to the underlying commodities.

Totally Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509569)

Nobody else has done this because it's totally without question illegal.

I hope they enjoy going to jail.

Huge deal. (1)

Cogent91 (2203516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509591)

This is a BIG deal! It gives the currency liquidity; it can now readily be transferred back into other currency forms by washing it through gold or oil in the two examples provided. That also increases how desirable it is to intercept and steal people's bitcoins though. I hope the servers hosting the coins are as secure as they need to be.

Bad idea (4, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509615)

Actually, I only emitted the idea as a joke [slashdot.org] . Not only that, but what they're really talking about is not a futures market for bitcoins as the summary tries to imply, but a futures market [twitter.com] for oil and gold in which the transactions are done in bitcoins.

That's hardly the same idea, so I'm not sure if I should be offended that they took my half-baked idiotic idea and tried to implement it, or that I should be offended that they took my half-baked idiotic idea and tried to copy it badly.

Either way, I'd recommend against investing in this market, and as the inventor -- I should really be the one to know.

Paid to obtain the socks? (2)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509617)

I find myself wondering how the producer of the socks makes any financial gain. According to the check out page the socks cost -2.00 USD. I'm heavily thinking of investing in some sock storage because at 2.00 for every sock I adopt I could make a fortune. I'm sure the initial investment will more then pay for the shipping and afterwords I can resale them for additional capitol.

Re:Paid to obtain the socks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509643)

I laughed. Bravo!

Re:Paid to obtain the socks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509665)

Oh yes, I forgot to add this: vita brevis.

Re:Paid to obtain the socks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509739)

He's charging 20 USD per sock.

You suck at math.

Re:Paid to obtain the socks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509823)

every sock I adopt

I doubt you know the proper care & feeding for socks and your investment will go bust when they all starve, eat each other, or run away when you're bathing them.

Links (1, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509663)

Why obscure the links behind a link abbreviation service, so we can't see where they're leading? This isn't Twitter, and it's not like the submission itself is particularly long.

That right there stopped me from clicking on them. Which is sad, because I haven't had a chance to mock a BitCoin story in several days now.

Sorry I do not trust bitcoin (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509759)

There is zero value in bit coins and I wish Max Keiser from Russia Today needs to make a stance with Stacy Herbert on this http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report [rt.com] I know Max Keiser is still a sceptic for obvious reasons.

Bit Coins are being sold to us in a unique way, whereby funds can be transferred. There is nothing tangible with bit coins and it is a con on the back end of the financial crisis to try and replace currency. Please read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asset [wikipedia.org]

If I can give you an example...... If buy gold or silver bullion I want that bullion in a physically tangible asset to which I can own and hold in my own hand.

I do not want to part with my cash with some stock trader on Wall Street or a Corrupt Banker who are quite willing to take millions off you if they can and give you a piece of paper to say you bought $1,000,000.00 in Silver Bullion. That is all you have my friends a piece of "toilet paper". Bitcoin is the same if you ask me and it is a get rich quick scheme on the back end of world financial meltdown; but the ideas of it are sold really well to you.

Just take my advice and be very shrewd with your money and only buy things you physically have an not some piece of paper ;)

Do not get conned!

Love NSN

Re:Sorry I do not trust bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41509979)

There is zero value in bit coins

Except that they're selling for $12 each for the entirely obvious reason that they're a great means of transferring value from one place to another with zero fees, low latency and no pesky government interference because of "terrorist financing" or whatever the excuse du jour is.

The whole point of Bitcoin (not "BitCoin" - where did the camelcase orthography come from?) is to transfer value from place to place and person to person, not to be used as an actual currency (keep using domestic currencies for that) or a store of value (that's what gold and silver are for).

Why all the hostility? (4, Insightful)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509799)

Yes, there's a lot of people who are in Bitcoin because of become-a-billionaire-overnight fantasies. But you remove all that and you're left with a really fascinating system that should appeal to everyone on Slashdot. It's a mix of cryptography, freedom of speech, computing, networking, finance, economics, and even politics -- most of us here dig that stuff.

Get over the hype and take Bitcoin for what it really is: a fascinating experiment that has, so far, withstood the amazing barrage of publicity, hacking attempts, legal uncertainties, and remains valuable for reasons completely contrary to everyone that says it's worthless. It may become worthless one day, but consider the possibility that Bitcoin is disproving all your wildly oversimplified assumptions about what makes something valuable. It is completely different, and there's plenty of reasons to believe that it could succeed as much as it could fail.

Why does gold have value? Nothing is backing gold. Yet it has value, mainly because of its properties: scarcity, fungibility, density, beauty, etc. Bitcoin is really quite similar but some different properties. Ease of transfer over the internet, fungibility, scarcity, storage efficiency, near-anonymity and built-in escrow.

I don't think it's any more ludicrous for Bitcoin to have value than it is for gold to have value. And in the end, when I want to sell WoW weapons, buy webserver space, or play a few games of poker online, why would I use gold, credit card or paypal, which all require me to remember log-in creditials, give away information and/or pay a bunch of third party fees. There's plenty of value in being able to pay people across the world, instantaneously, without sacrificing your privacy, and without paying any fees. Why is that not valuable? Seriously... quit focusing on the get-rich-quick kids, and start appreciating Bitcoin for it's unique properties and philosophy.

How about the original reason for futures? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41509801)

I run a gold mine and want to hedge so I sell futures contracts for December delivery.

By sheer coincidence, I do business with someone who prefers bitcoins over dollars.

So, do I sell a future contract for dollars then buy bit-coins on the spot market, or do I sell a futures contract for bit-coins and hopefully save paying the money trader?

OK, I know, everyone's saying "yeah, right, like that's going to happen," and you are right, it's very, very unlikely. But it could happen, and if it did, it's a legitimate use of a bitcoin futures market.

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