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Could Bitcoin Go Legit?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the turning-over-a-new-leaf dept.

Bitcoin 300

Velcroman1 writes "On May 15, the Department of Homeland Security seized a digital bank account used by 'MtGox,' the world's largest exchange, where people buy and sell bitcoins. DHS alleged, and a judge agreed, that there is 'probable cause' that MtGox is an 'unlicensed money service business.' If proven, the penalty for operating such a business is a fine and up to 5 years in jail. FoxNews.com caught up with several bitcoin exchanges, including CampBX, MtGox, CoinLab and more, to ask them how they've navigated the regulatory waters — and how to go legit." In other shady bitcoin news, it appears the demise of Liberty Reserve has caused hackers to find a new alternative. twoheadedboy writes "Despite suggestions Bitcoin might be the ideal currency for dealers on the dark web, it appears Perfect Money, a Panama-based operation, is proving the most popular alternative to the now-defunct Liberty Reserve. A source working the underground forums told TechWeekEurope that, for now, fraudsters are rapidly migrating to Perfect Money. Many vendors have started accepting it, having previously primarily used Liberty Reserve, which was shut down following the arrest of its founder and four other members this past week. Internet fraudsters might be interested in Perfect Money as it has distanced itself from the U.S., cutting off all new American registrations. However, one forum user said he was turned down by Perfect Money as their 'type of activity is not welcome.' Other currencies may yet win out."

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Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867717)

Could Bitcoin Go Legit?

No.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867761)

Pretty sure it already was legit, as legit as any other form of currency not backed by anything except a corporations good will. Because you know all banks are like incorporated and shit. And all they promise is good will.

P.S. secure they are not

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867969)

Huh? You on the weed?

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868799)

I aint trollin YO! And yes I just legitimately compared bitcoin to dollars, euros, yen, rubles, and just about any other form of fake fucking good will.

Feel free to use and love it. If the monkeys are trading bananas or paper that represents bananas, by all means stockpile some bananas. Or banana certificates. Or certificates for time on the banana grower. Whatever the fuck. Commerce translates back to.

But its a farce and the real motherfuckers trade control of markets. People, ideas, military, countries.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868919)

Dude, did you even look for a job today?

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867945)

America bans Liberty Reserve, just an another step in the "least free country in the world" direction.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867989)

America bans Liberty Reserve, just an another step in the "least free country in the world" direction.

Liberty Reserve was laundering money for criminals. It's not the same as BitCoin.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (4, Funny)

xenoc_1 (140817) | about a year ago | (#43868183)

Right, and e-gold before it. Only criminals and terrorists have any need for an alternative, secure, somewhat anonymous, non-government-controlled (really non-Corporatocracy Bankster-controlling-government-controlled) currency. Think of the children. Think of the Homeland! Do the right thing, Citizen!

Re: Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868329)

You're forgetting the tin foil hat crowd.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (2)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#43868579)

Nobody said that other people didn't have a use for it.

What was said was that they were laundering money.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#43868853)

Only criminals and terrorists have any need for an alternative, secure, somewhat anonymous, non-government-controlled
"Need" has nothing to do with it.

I count as neither a criminal[*] nor a terrorist, but recognize the ongoing dilution of US currency by (currently) 83 billion dollars a month (and that just from a single source!). I recognize that the government acts only in slightly better faith than the likes of Paypal, randomly seizing the assets of anyone it deems big enough to bother but weak enough not to fight back. I recognize that today's donations to a group of brave "freedom fighters" (c.1980, Taliban-vs-Soviets) becomes tomorrow's financial support for a "terrorist organization" (c.Now, half the planet including PETA).

People have a million and one reason to use an anonymous non-nationally-controlled currency. They have only corporatocratic protectionist laws against doing exactly that as a reason not to do so. And if that makes me a tinfoil-hat wearer, well, hand me my complimentary beanie, because GS' pet Geithner has the Aluminum-foil market cowering in Detroit begging for mercy.


* Insomuch as any of us can make that claim, given that we have a legal structure designed such that any of us, at any given time, have committed some crime TPTB can use to make us disappear for a very, very long time.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868635)

Liberty Reserve was laundering money for criminals. It's not the same as BitCoin.

Yeah! BitCoin launders money for criminals and also nerds!

Huge difference.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43868209)

The main reason is that laws will keep moving to outlaw all companies behind it at all cost. The ones that control the law don't want anything looking like a currency outside their control.

Re:Could Bitcoin Go Legit? (1)

dean.collins (862044) | about a year ago | (#43868507)

Uhm so the USA state department announces has jurisdiction over the internetz......all your base belongs to us - http://on.fb.me/14ahI2G [on.fb.me] Considering MtGox is a Japanese company the state department can go and suck it......hopefully there is one company somewhere that says....yeh thanks but you're no the boss of us.

Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (2, Informative)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43867743)

While Bitcoin tends to grab headlines, there's other crypto-currency projects that are focused on merchant adoption:

http://www.feathercoin.com/about/

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867993)

That has to be a parody, showing how stupid the litecoin thing is, right?

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868233)

Awwww... how cute.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868455)

Pretty much :) It remains to be seen whether litecoin will turn out to be more secure than bitcoin in the long run, but at least scrypt vs sha256 is a significant difference. Feathercoin is just like BBQcoin and all the other pump-and-dump alt coins. They seem like a joke to me (some of them actually started out as a joke), but there are idiots out there that still mine them and trade them. It makes no sense.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (3, Insightful)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868509)

You do realize Litecoin wasn't the first scrypt coin right? Could you please explain AC your pump-and-dump theory when Feathercoin has one of the most active alt coin communities?

Idiots
Pump-and-dump
Joke this, joke that

It's no wonder the 'hardcore' crypto community is often seen as kids just hitting puberty. Come spend a few minutes in our forums and form an opinion.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868949)

Litecoin is focused on merchant adoption and has the most active alt coin community. Litecoin is second only to bitcoin in market share and merchant adoption. Come spend some time on our forums and check out our vibrant community!

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

wesphily (2936739) | about a year ago | (#43868511)

I don't think anybody knows what pump and dump even means anymore. I don't think a coin with merchant acceptance is a pump and dump coin.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868013)

http://forum.feathercoin.com/index.php?topic=1059.0

[IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED] Post some Feathercoin Love over at Slashdot

Looks like crypto-currencies are to be the new pyramid scheme/multi-level marketing. BitCoin has a chance because it was the first of it's kind, so people were all going to choice it. A million new crypto-currencies will never take off.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868297)

I know right, different flavors of Linux have absolutely no right to exist. Oh wait...

I don't know about 'choice it', but I can tell you Feathercoin has an active community behind the coin. Are you saying that they shouldn't work to support not only Feathercoin but new cypto miners looking for assistance? I want to make sure I understand your thought process.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868035)

no other new crypto currency has the support that feathercoin has right now!

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

R.C. (2936745) | about a year ago | (#43868079)

a very good community stands behind this! It's worth checking out. Unlike the many other coins that have come and gone. Feathercoin is based off of Litecoin, based off of Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, you can actually make some money mining with run of the mill equipment.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43868705)

That is exactly the biggest weakness of these things. The goal of an electronic currency isn't to "make money mining"; it's to create a medium of exchange.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#43868181)

In fact I guess most virtual currency schemes are inherently less pyramidal and electricity wasting than bitcoin.
OTOH those things I perceive as shortcomings make bitcoin more popular (at present) for "opportunity driven" people.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#43868417)

Wasting electricity is what ties bitcoin back to a scarce natural resource to prevent its devaluation.

I wonder if China has considering purchasing oil rather than US Treasury securities. They could either stockpile it domestically (surely crude oil has a long shelf life, it is quite old already), or leave it in the ground of an oil producing nation they either trust or can invade if necessary to redeem their oil securities.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (2)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a year ago | (#43868551)

If China wanted to stockpile natural resources, they could. However, they prefer buying treasury bonds. That means that if they were afraid of dollar inflation, they'd buy a different currency, or TIPS.

You won't find many people that manage large amounts of money that are afraid of dollar devaluation.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868239)

Feathercoin is just another a pump and dump scam coin. Mod parent down.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868287)

You fail to understand even the most basic of concepts. How can something be a pump and dump when it has the most active community behind it? Your logic is deeply AC flawed.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868603)

The pattern of these alternative bitcoin forks has been to fork bitcoin (or in your case, litecoin), mine a bunch of coins for the founders, then generate a lot of buzz, including spamming Slashdot (which you and your buddies are doing), let the price go up for a while, then at some point people will see the project isn't going anywhere and flee, and the founders will cash out their XYZ-coins before the entire currency devalues to nothingness.

I don't know that your bitcoin fork falls into this category but given how much you guys are spamming and shilling, it sure isn't looking good. I'm going to stay the hell away from it.

Re: Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868763)

Logic: anything coin that informs others about itself is pump and dump.

Every company advertising on the tv is a pump and dump.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (0)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868835)

I'm more than willing to have a debate with anyone in this forum on the validity of an alt coin such as Feathercoin. I'm not hiding under anonymous, I'm willing to address any criticisms. Considering the amount of work being put into the Feathercoin community (it's obvious when someone isn't familiar with it), the idea of pump-and-dump is absolutely ridiculous.

We would love for you to visit us at Feathercoin, however, I most likely won't lose sleep if an AC decides not to check it out. I appreciate the response.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (2)

De Lemming (227104) | about a year ago | (#43868363)

There are a number of "alt coins" which appear legitimate, and are used by a wider community. This thread on the Bitcoin forums has a good overview, it also includes the less popular and dead crypto currencies: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=134179.0 [bitcointalk.org]

I like the idea of PPcoin very much, being an ecologic alternative to Bitcoin. They still have mining, like Bitcoin and all other alts, and this will consume as much electricity. But when all coins are mined, the power needs will drop significantly. The creators devised a very clever way to record transactions in the block chain without the need to do all the calculations which are done when mining. Website, including the white paper with a detailed explanation: http://www.ppcoin.org/ [ppcoin.org]

Probably the oldest alt coin still in use today is Namecoin [namecoin.info] . It integrates a naming system in the block chain, effectively creating a decentralized alternative to DNS [dot-bit.org] .

The most popular alt coin is Litecoin [litecoin.org] . By some it's called the silver to Bitcoin gold, as it provides faster transactions and more coins generated.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Embrionic (152953) | about a year ago | (#43868415)

Much respect for PPcoin.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868561)

I agree. PPcoin is very innovative. Litecoin is also interesting in that it uses scrypt hashing, making it more resistant to ASICs. In the long run, I can envision the litecoin network's computational power being more evenly distributed than bitcoin's, potentially making it more secure than bitcoin. This is because GPU bitcoin mining is almost dead. In the near future, only those that buy specialty mining hardware (ASICs) will be able to make a profit mining bitcoins. However, commodity GPUs (which are likely to far outnumber the number of ASICs) will still be the most efficient way to mine litecoins, making the network's computing power potentially more evenly distributed and hence more secure.

Re:Feathercoin - Bitcoin Alternative (1)

Agent ME (1411269) | about a year ago | (#43868567)

What is the difference between this and Litecoin, besides a few seemingly minor parameter tweaks?

Tired of this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867753)

Oh, look, it's the weekly Bitcoin post.

No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867765)

No, it couldn't. Thanks for asking.

Bitcoin is already legit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867809)

Bitcoin, whether you are a believer in government funny money or not, is a legitimate currency, like any other currency that is used as a substitution or a value representation for goods and services.

Also, the economic impact of Bitcoin is huge. People are spending millions developing ASICs to mine what bitcoins remain, even though more than half of them have already been awarded and it endeavors to be a scarce new resource. And, it's still barely profitable to mine with GPUs, so that is also a thriving industry.

I, for one, am waiting for the Bitcoin GPU bust when the ASICs come out in volume and used GPUs flood the market for cheap as people scramble to buy ASICs.

Like it or not, there are people who accept BTC as payment for goods and services, and there is a somewhat thriving market for them. That is legitimacy.

Re:Bitcoin is already legit (1)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about a year ago | (#43868405)

Very true, and deserves to be modded up.
but bitcoin's success my be it's undoing.
to comply with financial regulations opens a nightmare of regulation.

Re:Bitcoin is already legit (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43868445)

Yes, bitcoin is a legit currency.
However money laundering is not a legit activity.

Re:Bitcoin is already legit (1)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43868477)

And, it's still barely profitable to mine with GPUs

I think this is only true with stolen power at this point.

If it were legit why isnt Slashdot accepting it? (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#43868659)

All these Slashdot articles about Bitcoin but no subscribe with Bitcoin button?

Re:Bitcoin is already legit (2, Insightful)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#43868911)

Thriving market, my ass. A couple of hundred websites != a thriving market. Except for reddit, I can't think of a single website I use that accepts bitcoin. It's a side show and that's all there is to it. It will never be more than that.

Sheer genius (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867853)

From TFA: "Despite the regulations, technology experts say that they will not prevent people from anonymously using bitcoins for illicit things like buying drugs online. The real-world analogy is cash; the government can tell when it is dispensed by banks, and to whom, but it loses track once it is dispensed."

If someone came up with the idea of "cash" today they would be a criminal mastermind.

Do your part to kill it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867869)

Make thousands of wallets and make a script to make random tiny payments to your other wallets. This will increase the transaction history length. Then start spending little bits and pieces to help pollute all the bitcoins in circulation.

Re:Do your part to kill it (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868107)

You do realize that is exactly what people who mine BitCoin want you to do, right? They make 0.0005 BTC (currently 6.5 cents) each time you move money. If you elect not to include the transaction fee, miners will typically drop your transaction on the floor.

I know I won't stop you, but then again, I mine BitCoins and could use your money. Have fun!

BTW: Weird you got a +1 for your dumb idea. Typical slashdot retard moderators.

Re:Do your part to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868339)

0.0005 BTC (currently 6.5 cents) each time you move money

That will have to be eliminated if bitcoin ever wants to be seen as "legit".

Re: actually if the fee is only 6.5 cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868617)

If Bitcoin actually contains a chain of all prior transactions, I'm surprised someone hasn't done this already:

Suppose you start with one coin with chain size x. Split the coin in two. Now you have two fractional coins, each with chain size x+y.
Next join the coins together again. Now the chain size is 2*(x+y)+y = 2x+3y, and you only had to spend 2 transactions (13 cents) to do it.

Now repeat the process.
F(0) = x
F(1) = 2x+3y
F(2) = 4x+9y
F(3) = 8x+21y
F(4) = 16x+45y
F(n) = (2^n)x + 3*(2^n-1)y

It doesn't matter how small x was, because that 2^n term gets large in a hurry, and you then poison the wallet of anyone you trade with.

Creating a multi-GB poison coin: less than 2 * 30 * $0.065 = $3.90.
Crashing the Bitcoin racket so /. will stop covering this garbage: Priceless.

Re: actually if the fee is only 6.5 cents... (3, Informative)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about a year ago | (#43868937)

Doesn't actually work like that. Each "coin" or wallet does not maintain it's own separate chain. There is one block chain which contains all transactions. New transactions are added to the chain with each block mined. That's simplified a bit, but more or less accurate.

Specifically what happens is a miner (disregarding mining pools for now, as a pool can be treated as a single miner for the purposes of the mechanics of bitcoin) gets a list of transactions from other miners and clients in the peer-to-peer network, each with a transaction fee attached. The miner uses this transaction list in conjunction with the most recent block hash to generate a hash of a new block which meets certain requirements (based on the current difficulty of mining, which is self-regulated by the network). This new block is sent off to the network, and once that block is used to generate another, the transactions in the created block are "verified", including the 25BTC (currently) transaction to the address of the miner, from nowhere. The miner also gets all transaction fees for transactions in the block. Not counting attempts to manipulate the block chain (i.e. forking, making a series of fake blocks and attempting to pass them off as legitimate), there is only ever the one block chain, just many copies of it.

Re:Do your part to kill it (3, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43868301)

An AC who replied to you should be moderated up. Bitcoin transactions are not always free! Small amounts of BTC (hardcoded in the software) cannot be even transferred without a fee. If you want to transfer just a fraction of a BTC then all your money will be spent on the fee, and nothing remains. Large transactions may or may not be processed, also per the will of soneone else.

This is extremely important because supplies of BTC are finite, and the currency has built-in deflation. It is already $100 USD per BTC or something - this means you have to subdivide your BTC into thousands of smaller units. Numerically, you can do it. Financially, these units are useless.

That's one of the less obvious reasons why government-issued cash is the king for legal (and not so much) transactions. Cash is sufficiently secure, is untraceable, requires no Internet, and the transaction completes in seconds instead of 30 minutes. And on top of that, you don't need to pay a fee for the privilege of transferring cash.

But, of course, if everyone starts generating transaction noise just to confuse the watchers, then BTC will grind to a halt and will be entirely unusable for payments.

secure for how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868555)

"Cash is sufficiently secure"

Every bill has a serial number. Bill readers could be required by law for all cash transactions over, say, $50. High production volumes would make them very cheap. This could make it very, very hard to spend your cash without encountering a "read SN & report it to the Feds" device. I just can't see the Feds or any other government failing to do this within the next ten years. For that matter, do we know that the serial numbers on the bills you pick up at your ATM aren't (maybe covertly) tied to you at withdrawal now? They've got the SNs, your card account data, and your photo at the ATM.

Re:secure for how long? (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43868697)

Every bill has a serial number. Bill readers could be required by law for all cash transactions over, say, $50.

"could be" << "already in place." BTC is not anonymous; it is just obfuscated and hard to trace casually. Want to trace it for real? Watch everyone's network traffic and look for BTC transactions. It's much easier to deploy black boxes at every ISP than to deploy cash readers everywhere. Besides, if $50 is above the threshold, "I'd like a thousand dollars, all in $20 bills." In the end, only the honest people are impacted.

I just can't see the Feds or any other government failing to do this within the next ten years.

I just can't see the government ever doing it. There is no money to do so, and there is no clear reason why. Congress does not exist in vacuum; they cannot just vote to decimate the population of the USA, for example. Can you imagine how popular those politicians will be with their own electorate - who often sticks to cash only dealings?

do we know that the serial numbers on the bills you pick up at your ATM aren't (maybe covertly) tied to you at withdrawal now?

It doesn't matter. These are all easily deniable operations. Just withdraw a wad of cash from a bank and swap bills around within your gang. Nobody will be able to tell which bill went where, and everyone has an alibi.

Besides, it might be a shock to an honest person, but criminals do not obtain their cash from banks (except when they rob them.) Their cash comes from illegal dealings, such as drugs and hookers and robbery and burglary. It gets spent also among the same crowd. So the government only can trace money that is in the hands of honest people.

Legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867937)

Any currency accepted by more than one person is 'legit'.

Now the proper question is... Will this currency last? Will it be accepted anywhere? Will it be worth hopping from exchange to exchange?

Those are good questions. And so far... No, No, Maybe...

But it was always legit from the second two people decided a bitcoin had 'value'.

Illegal trade? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867943)

Don't blame the currency, USD are used widely in the illegal trade. We are not blaming the dollar. Regulation might be needed.

Meanwhile check out feathercoin.com

Join in!!!!!

Re:Illegal trade? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#43868591)

Don't blame the currency, USD are used widely in the illegal trade. We are not blaming the dollar. Regulation might be needed.

Meanwhile check out feathercoin.com

Join in!!!!!

I think a key difference here is that there are plenty of legit ways to spend USD. There are probably more legitimate ways to spend USD than illegitimate. I'm sure there must be some legitimate way to spend a bitcoin, but I haven't seen any.

Bityawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867947)

Does dice have a stipulation saying that there must be X bitcoin related posts a day?

Seriously, like most business ventures, bitcoin is just a scheme where sharks take advantage of the suckers.

Hint: You're a sucker. If you think you're a shark, you're an even bigger sucker. The sharks are never known, but their patsies sometimes end up in jail.

Offshore (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43868027)

"Legit" is a meaningless qualifier. If a currency is legitimate when it can be exchanged for goods and services, then Bitcoin is already legit. If a currency is legitimate when it's approved of by your government of choice, then no, Bitcoin will never be "legitimate". If that's your definition, though, the real question is "why is legitimacy necessary?"

What will happen is probably what has already happened to other areas that have been persecuted by the US government at the behest of incumbent industries: they'll just move off-shore.

Re:Offshore (4, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#43868359)

> > If that's your definition, though, the real question is "why is legitimacy necessary?"

That's exactly the root of the problem!

Why do we need a government to decide what is Legitimate Digital Currency?

In many countries citizens ARE allowed to use a local currency:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_currency [wikipedia.org]

It seems to me that governments are trying to hold onto an archaic model of control based on fear. People need to stand up and tell the government to literally "But Out" of their business. The same shit happened with encryption before the government got a clue stick and realized that they have absolutely NO business trying to regulate how people use Math.

It seems to me that the design of Bitcoins is designed for both accountability and authority. I've yet to see a better digital design. What are _valid_ criticism of bitcoins?

Two senses of the word legitimate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868755)

I think there's a confusion between two contrasting senses of the word "legitimate": (1) legitimate as a synonym for "legal" and (2) legitimate as a synonym for "valid". If sense #1 is intended, then no, BTC isn't legal (yet). But for many scenarios, sense #2 is already true, people accept BTC as a medium of exchange.

Re:Offshore (2)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year ago | (#43868485)

If that's your definition, though, the real question is "why is legitimacy necessary?"

If they want, the US government can make exchanging dollars for Bitcoins in significant quantities very hard. They can also prevent law-abiding US-based businesses from accepting Bitcoins in exchange for goods and services. The utility of Bitcoins would be severely limited for most Americans.

What will happen is probably what has already happened to other areas that have been persecuted by the US government at the behest of incumbent industries: they'll just move off-shore.

Look at what happened to online poker. The US didn't stop it entirely, but they effectively cut off the American customer base by cutting transfers from US banks. It's to the point that Antigua filed a WTO complaint against the US and won the right to ignore US copyrights as retaliation.

Re:Offshore (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43868667)

If they want, the US government can make exchanging dollars for Bitcoins in significant quantities very hard. They can also prevent law-abiding US-based businesses from accepting Bitcoins in exchange for goods and services. The utility of Bitcoins would be severely limited for most Americans.

In my mind, that demonstrates the illegitimacy of the US government more than it does that of Bitcoin.

Look at what happened to online poker.

Indeed, online gambling (and software patents) were the examples I was thinking of.

Re:Offshore (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43868529)

"why is legitimacy necessary?"

Because money laundering operations, like drugs and other black market trade, is one of the ways terrorists fund their activities. That's the short answer. The longer answer is more complicated. The problem with draconian enforcement options like this is it drives things underground. Organized crime got its start in this country due to the Prohibition; By making a popular activity illegal and driving it underground, they forced people to turn to the underground. Cigarettes and other "sin products" are showing similar trends; Where I live, trucks are now arriving from Canada carrying nothing but cartons of cigarettes because the tax rates have become so high that some people have started turning to the black market to purchase them. The historical 'Boston tea party' incident was another such reaction to this -- while the mantra at the time was 'no taxation without representation,' what it was really about was an overly burdensome tax, and people started seeking out alternatives, as well as publicly venting their frustration. File sharing is another example -- the product has become so grossly-overpriced that it has fueled all kinds of technologies dedicated to getting around what could be termed the 'RIAA/MPAA tax'.

I forget the name, but in Macroeconomics, there's a theory that suggests that whenever you raise the tax rate, you get diminishing returns because more people look for ways to avoid the tax. Beyond a certain point, a higher tax rate actually results in less tax collected. To paraphrase a US Supreme Court Justice, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

But what does all this have to do with Bitcoin and making it legitimate? When you have currencies not controlled by the government like Bitcoin, taxes aren't being collected. Yes, there may also be criminal activity associated with the currency, but that's only because criminal activity is like water -- it seeks the lowest point, the most efficient path. Government creates resistance in market forces for both legal and illegal, legitimate and illegitimate goods and services alike. In the 60s, numerous grass-roots efforts were made to create alternative currencies, and all of them were aggressively attacked by the FBI and Secret Service, for the same reasons Bitcoin is being hit today. There is an old saying; Don't believe what they tell you, follow the money.

Now, all that said, these government actions have the effect of driving things underground where they can't be tracked. The problem is though that the guy who wants to buy a dime sack of weed is not really a threat to anyone; but the guy who wants to buy shoulder-mounted missiles and bomb components is. But when you drive the hundreds of thousands of people who just want a dime sack underground, it gives the terrorists a place to hide. That's the problem with the black market: When it targets something that's popular, socially acceptable, or whatever, for political reasons rather than as a reflection of the people's will, you create an area for undesireable elements to flourish.

Take file sharing; All of this encryption and peer to peer networking would never have arisen if the government hadn't started punishing grandmas and college kids for doing it. The response was so disproportionate to the harm to society, and it was against commonly-held values by the general public, that it resulted in an immediate creation of a digital underground. And within a few years, the technologies developed to fend off the government found their way into the hands of "cyber" criminals; witness the rise of advanced persistent threats, botnets, and nation-funded espionage and sabotage, much of which uses the same technology created for a much less nefarious purpose: People just wanted to listen to music. Now our power grid, hospitals, dams, and other industrial infrastructure is at risk.

And now we have a real big problem. The government is correct: Bitcoin does attract the criminal element. In large numbers. What they're saying is absolutely true, but it's only half the story; They created the organized crime they now seek to fight, because they criminalized things most people don't have a problem with. In departing from the doctrine of public safety and the will of the people as the guiding mission behind our judiciary process, we have created our own quagmire of terrorism, organized crime, and all the other evil that comes with it.

The solution is an easy one, but it will never be politically popular: The answer is to do nothing. Sometimes you have to allow alittle bit of "evil" to slip by so that you don't create holes in your net so big that the big evils can slip through. Legalize marijuana. Decriminalize file sharing. Get rid of 'sin taxes' and balance your budget without targetting political minorities. This is how you tighten up the net. Public opinion will swing back in support of law enforcement, instead of being antagonistic towards it, people will be more willing to share information, and the costs of finding and prosecuting the real threats to our way of life will go way down.

And as far as Bitcoin goes... rather than take punitive measures with lots of collateral damage, offer incentives for businesses to be legitimate. Support international trade instead of condemning it, and set your taxes reasonably and fairly. If you play to the people's self-interests instead of off their fears, you're going to find that the socioeconomic paradigm will get turned on its head... and it'll be cheaper too.

Re:Offshore (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43868825)

The exact same criticisms (except even more so) can be made against cash. It's truly anonymous, unlike Bitcoin, which is pseudonymous.

But what does all this have to do with Bitcoin and making it legitimate? When you have currencies not controlled by the government like Bitcoin, taxes aren't being collected.

That's just not true. Like I said, prior to electronic banking, cash had much the same properties - in terms of governmental control of transactions - as Bitcoin*. And yet taxes were still paid. Cash, bitcoin or VISA, people can still lie on their tax returns, and most people have very little chance of being caught. People don't, because they feel a moral obligation not to. It's the erosion of that idea that the taxes we pay buy something worthwhile that's going to fuel tax evasion, not a new currency.

* the government had more control when it came to regulation of the production of new currency, obviously, but that's not the sticking point here

Re:Offshore (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a year ago | (#43868573)

Legitimacy involves having actual currency like properties, in the sense that it should be a decent method of account. Thus, it behaves much more like a commodity than a currency: Its price fluctuates wildly, and those fluctuations have very little to do with the fluctuations of major indicators of the real economy.

I'd argue that the shares in any company in the DOW industrial average have more currency-like properties than Bitcoin.

Re:Offshore (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43868695)

There are plenty of national currencies that have wildly fluctuated in the past; hell, in recent years, there are plenty of national currencies that have been more stable that the US dollar. Does that mean they are "more legitimate" than the USD?

Re:Offshore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868871)

There are plenty of national currencies that have wildly fluctuated in the past; hell, in recent years, there are plenty of national currencies that have been more stable that the US dollar. Does that mean they are "more legitimate" than the USD?

Name one that is fluctuating as much as bitcoin, and tell us it's a legitimate currency. Get ready for the biggest /eyeroll EVER.

If you mean strictly one at some point in the past, then could what revived that currency in the past possibly work for bitcoin? /yawn.

How about in-app purchases??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868043)

In-app purchases are the exact same thing as bitcoin.

Why have the DHS not seized Apple's, Google's or anyone else's servers????

Will Google-Play be shut down????

Re:How about in-app purchases??? (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43868093)

In-app purchases are the exact same thing as bitcoin

There's a silkroad app?

Re:How about in-app purchases??? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#43868621)

In-app purchases are the exact same thing as bitcoin.

No, not even close? Why would you even say that?

Re:How about in-app purchases??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868877)

They are. You have a digital "item" that has a real world value.

A digital item is just a concept, so a bitcoin, a sword in a game, or even an entire app is the same damn thing.

Re:How about in-app purchases??? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43868907)

How is it the same thing?

I am going to make the assumption that the developers of these apps have a legitimate corporate bank account, which means that have a legitimate business license. And besides, I think most people would argue that in app purchases are for serveries, not to transfer funds.

The issue here is not the BitCoins. The issue is that every banking (which includes money transfers) requires lots of regulations around integrity of operations, “know your customer” rules, etc. There is something special about handing money over to a 3rd party to do stuff with – lots of fraud, get quick scams, etc.

Also good report from Brian Krebs (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43868129)

There is also an interesting report from Krebs on Security [krebsonsecurity.com] , about how underground web actors talk about moving to new digital currencies.

What makes Bitcoin different (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43868245)

The key thing to understand about government-backed currency is this: You have to pay your taxes in them. If you don't, said government can and will force you to do so. The government may also force a creditor to accept your currency to pay whatever debt you may have. In other words, it's backed up by the long arm of the law, and has value because if you choose to ignore its value guys with guns will show up to help explain the situation to you.

By contrast, Bitcoin is backed by absolutely nothing. It has no inherent value, and unlike government-backed currencies there's no use of force to back it up. In Hyper-inflation World that many Bitcoin enthusiasts think is America's future, you still have the guys with guns to demand that you use dollars to pay for certain things. By contrast, if Bitcoin goes belly-up, you have nothing except a bunch of bits that are of no use to anyone.

Re:What makes Bitcoin different (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868475)

There's no such thing as inherent value. Value is governed by supply, demand, and marginal utility. Political economics cannot change this fundamental equation, it can only tweak the input variables.

Re:What makes Bitcoin different (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43868523)

By "inherent value", I mean that the commodity in question can be used for something other than exchanging it for something else. For example, a bushel of apples has inherent value because I can eat it.

There are some historical currencies that had inherent value: bronze objects in Bronze Age Britain were extremely valuable, for example, both as useful tools and weapons, but also as a medium of exchange. Later on, the dominant currency in the same area was grain.

Re:What makes Bitcoin different (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868927)

Utility as a medium of exchange is a value, driven by demand and supply just as anything else. It's distinct from any other kind of value. That it sometimes coincides with other kinds of value is inconsequential.

Frankly, it's a hard concept to grasp, and even harder to master. Most people don't get it, including some economists, even though they think they do. Rather than reply, just meditate on it for awhile.

Re:What makes Bitcoin different (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about a year ago | (#43868607)

The government also seizes property, and will presumably also take your Bitcoins, so I don't see the difference, except that unlike dollars, Bitcoins would be worth stealing.

panama-based alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868259)

Perfect Money, a Panama-based operation, is proving the most popular alternative

it's not like the u.s. has never invaded panama to apprehend a drug trafficker and money launderer before.

good luck with that.

A question to the community (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43868293)

I'm curious about something, maybe the community here can point out an answer.

There's a sizeable audience of slashdot readers that are interested in the technical aspects of digital currency, the economic aspects of using such currency, the legal aspects of such currency, the social effects of using such currency, and it's importance in combating tyrrany (the political aspects of such currency).

It would appear that some techies realized that currency control is a tool to unjustly oppress people, and decided to do something about it. The engineering (ie math) seem to be solid, the economic rationale is logically sound (more so than standard economic mantras such as "a little inflation is good"), and the potential to protect human rights is enormous.

What we have here is a rare example of people recognizing a problem and doing something about it.

Despite this, all early posts are negative. Paraphrasing, "Oh, look, it's the weekly Bitcoin post", "Bitcoins will never rise to the status of a real currency", "it'll never work because you will never be able to pay US taxes in bitcoins", "it's a joke", "it's a scam", and so on.

So far (relatively early) there are about a dozen dismissive articles, all by anonymous coward.

What's with BitCoin? Why all the negative press? I've seen no named commenter put forth a rational argument as to why it won't work - that can stand up to logical scrutiny. All arguments so far have been handily shot down by subsequent responses. (You're welcome to try, though.)

Does the government hire astroturfers to guide discussions on this site for selected topics or something? (I'm not saying that there is - I'm asking if this is a well-known fact and I missed it.)

Why all the unfounded dismissive posts about BitCoin?

Re:A question to the community (4, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43868403)

It would appear that some techies realized that currency control is a tool to unjustly oppress people

All money issuers were using money to oppress people, to some extent. Why was the privilege of minting coins given only to the top aristocracy? Gold coins often were the sole privilege of the king. Lacking some advantage, why would aristocracy bother with a metalworking business?

The engineering (ie math) seem to be solid

The crypto scheme appears to be reasonably well done. However in practice there are several attack vectors, and they are possible to execute if you want to. It will cost you, but governments can do that already. It's just the matter of commitment and resources. BTC also has several usability problems, like the long time to clear a transaction (with 6 recommended confirmations, it's between 15 and 30 minutes.) Are you willing to stand in limbo at the grocery store for that much? There are no trusted BTC terminals; and if they were, they could be subverted because BTC depends on access to the network to calculate hashes - and the merchant does not control the network. Plug this merchant's network cable into your own router, run a hundred pet peers, and you can confirm any transaction you want. (On an open Internet you need to subvert the majority of hosts.)

the economic rationale is logically sound

It is debatable, and that's what is always debated in every article about BTC. In essence, there is no rationale that would work for pretty much anyone except Silk Road users. BTC transactions are not even free; but a Visa c/c pays me for using it. Why would I want to pay in BTC?

"it's a scam"

Scam or not, but early miners mined millions of BTCs when mining was good. Where are those BTCs? If the exchange rate of one BTC goes to $10K, for example, those early miners will become richer than Bill Gates. Will that be fair? I think not. Those guys (still anonymous!) may have done good for the society, but the society cannot value the formula (that doesn't even save lives!) that high. BG's Windows does save lives, as part of many computers.

Re:A question to the community (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43868623)

...BTC transactions are not even free; but a Visa c/c pays me for using it. Why would I want to pay in BTC?

This is a good example of the thinking that accompanies BitCoin posts. You think that Visa pays you for using the card. I'm assuming that you mean the "1% back" that you get for making a purchase.

Since you don't see this simple situation clearly, what am I to make of your other unfounded assertions?

...in practice there are several attack vectors...

I was a security researcher In a previous life. You say "...in practice there are several attack vectors" without references or listing any, and I wonder if you are making things up. We'd all like to hear what the "several attack vectors" are for BitCoin - the best I've seen is one computationally unfeasible possibility. Brute force doesn't count. Can you tell us more?

...those early miners will become richer than Bill Gates. Will that be fair? I think not.

You say this... do you know how inflation works? (Meaning: BitCoin purports to replace a system which continuously and unfairly devalues money, with a system which is unfair once. Also, what you characterize as unfair seems more like a reward for hard work). This is a glaring example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Sure, it may have one or two problems... but compared to what alternative?

Don't take this as an insult, but your post is exactly the type of unfounded FUD that I was talking about.

Re:A question to the community (2, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43868797)

Can you tell us more?

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Weaknesses [bitcoin.it]

what you characterize as unfair seems more like a reward for hard work

I respect your desire to reward BTC inventors and early miners with your own money. But I have no plans to join you :-)

Re:A question to the community (2, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43868879)

Don't bother to read that site - not that there's any evidence that you did - because there are no real attack vectors there.

Unless you think "denial of service" is a valid there's nothing on the linked site that constitutes a real attack.

Yet another example of the "unsupported allegation" type of post... but I applaud your attempt to make it sound legitimate by supplying a link.

Try again.

Re:A question to the community (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#43868631)

It would appear that some techies realized that currency control is a tool to unjustly oppress people

All money issuers were using money to oppress people, to some extent. Why was the privilege of minting coins given only to the top aristocracy? Gold coins often were the sole privilege of the king. Lacking some advantage, why would aristocracy bother with a metalworking business?

The engineering (ie math) seem to be solid

The crypto scheme appears to be reasonably well done. However in practice there are several attack vectors, and they are possible to execute if you want to. It will cost you, but governments can do that already. It's just the matter of commitment and resources. BTC also has several usability problems, like the long time to clear a transaction (with 6 recommended confirmations, it's between 15 and 30 minutes.) Are you willing to stand in limbo at the grocery store for that much? There are no trusted BTC terminals; and if they were, they could be subverted because BTC depends on access to the network to calculate hashes - and the merchant does not control the network. Plug this merchant's network cable into your own router, run a hundred pet peers, and you can confirm any transaction you want. (On an open Internet you need to subvert the majority of hosts.)

the economic rationale is logically sound

It is debatable, and that's what is always debated in every article about BTC. In essence, there is no rationale that would work for pretty much anyone except Silk Road users. BTC transactions are not even free; but a Visa c/c pays me for using it. Why would I want to pay in BTC?

"it's a scam"

Scam or not, but early miners mined millions of BTCs when mining was good. Where are those BTCs? If the exchange rate of one BTC goes to $10K, for example, those early miners will become richer than Bill Gates. Will that be fair? I think not. Those guys (still anonymous!) may have done good for the society, but the society cannot value the formula (that doesn't even save lives!) that high. BG's Windows does save lives, as part of many computers.

Bitcoins will save as many lives as the Internet did if it goes mainstream. So what if some people get richer than Bill Gates? You think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the only people allowed to get rich from good timing?

Re:A question to the community (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43868751)

You think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the only people allowed to get rich from good timing?

BG and SJ did not get rich just because of good timing. Lots of their contemporaries were in the same boat and went nowhere, even though some of them had an advantage! BG didn't even have an OS when he got a phone call from IBM. BG and SJ got rich because they worked hard, and they had talent for management. You can easily see the world of difference between BG's MS and Ballmer's MS. You also can see that Apple was about to die when SJ walked in and made it into a somewhat more valuable business.

The "saving of lives" comes not from yet another payment instrument. That is just convenience. Saving of lives comes from real stuff - computers that run hospitals, for example. Or even your medical insurance. This is the only thing that matters. BG contributed to computerization of the society; that cannot be debated. Therefore his net effect on the world is positive. Is it worth his billions? Maybe. Maybe not. But he worked for it, and we have the planet that is full of computers. Would someone else do better? Perhaps. But IBM, the closest competitor, was not that good with OS/2. I worked with it, and it even looked ancient. Programming for it was not a dream either.

Visa pays you in Linden Dollars (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868815)

"Why would I want to pay in BTC? "

Because the thing you want to buy is sold in Bitcoins, and the equivalent sold in dollars are 3% or more more expensive (the Visa service charge ). Visa doesn't pay you money, it takes more and hands back a little. BTC transactions undercut that. I bought ASICs in Bitcoins and will be donating the next ones I find to EFF/Wikileaks and other things that benefit society.

"Those guys (still anonymous!) may have done good for the society, but the society cannot value the formula (that doesn't even save lives!) that high. BG's Windows does save lives, as part of many computers"
Welcome to a gold rush. Better the first/fastest miners get the gold, than some fat lazy banker. At least they did *some* of the work!

But basically I agree with your argument. You're talking about the values of one currency versus another, and the action against MtGox as an 'unlicensed money service business' shows the Feds confirming it as a currency. So you're confirming it as a valid currency, even if the Fed's are busing trying to find ways to attack it.
(first they ignore you, then they attack you, then you win)

You can buy Linden Dollars, and Farmvile dollars, and XBox credits, but you can't buy Bitcoins? So it's more than legitimate, it's got them scared.

Re:A question to the community (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#43868433)

You must be new here.

Slashdot is a Perl implimentation of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, with a twist of nerd rage, leftism, and contrarianism.

Re:A question to the community (3, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a year ago | (#43868677)

Even if we ignored every other problem (and it has many), the supply of Bitcoin does nothing to try to adapt to monetary demand. Modern economics will tell you that there's a base demand for money, that is dependent on economic activity. Therefore, if we do not change the money supply, the value of a currency changes along with said levels of economic activity. Today, central bankers change the money supply levels to try to keep the value of a currency relatively stable : Most target a 2% inflation. This makes most contracts, and holding currency, relatively simple. When the value of money changes unpredictably, an economy will not work anywhere near as well: Keeping any contract working on nominal term becomes a pretty big gamble. Imagine being paid 200 BitPesos an hour. when one week the loaf of bread costs 20 BitPesos, but next week could go to just 0.1 BitPesos: It'd be quite the nightmare.

Now, Bitcoin is built to be naturally deflationary due to the way the supply curve is defined. A naturally deflationary currency is a very bad idea, because, in essence, keeping it in your hand is a form of investment. This means you are always better off keeping it in your hand than spending it. So, over time, the number of Bitcoins actually in circulation would naturally decrease, which would only make the prices spiral, until in the end, there's so few bitcoins out there, that people abandon it as a currency. At that point, the currency collapses.

Neither of those are features me, or any economist, would want in a currency.

Re:A question to the community (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about a year ago | (#43868691)

[quote]What's with BitCoin? Why all the negative press? I've seen no named commenter put forth a rational argument as to why it won't work - that can stand up to logical scrutiny. All arguments so far have been handily shot down by subsequent responses. (You're welcome to try, though.)[/quote]

It won't work because there's a limit to the number of Bitcoins you can make. Additionally all the control mechanisms that market makers normally employ on major currency pairs won't work. It's a threat to the world's major banks and the status quo, and they'll throw resources at burying it or trying to control it with all the weapons they have (such as lobbied governments, lobbied laws, and the media) if it becomes too popular to be a threat to their business.

Re:A question to the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868903)

It would appear that some techies realized that currency control is a tool to unjustly oppress people

Wait, what? Am I the only one who read that line and stopped parsing the rest of the argument?

Captcha is 'distorts'... interesting.

Re:A question to the community (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43868921)

Well, as a named person, I have put up quite a few negative posts about BitCoin. Well, maybe not negative – I think it is an interesting experiment that will fail because BitConn's monetary policy – or lack thereof – is inherently deflationary. But that is my opinion of BitCoins ultimate fate – not a judgment on what it is.

As for the pro-posts themselves – they seem a bit self righteous – the tone reminds me of the post going around that the dotcom bubble was not a bubble.

By the way, it's not that a little inflation is good. It's that deflation and hyperinflation are horrid. Zero inflation is theoretically impossible and in practice has been horrid. That only leaves one choice – a little inflation.

So, to your points. I think you overstate the evil effects of current (and potential) monetary power and abuse by the rich. I also think you are ignoring all of the other ways that currency can be manipulated.

Check out the 18th and 19 century when the gold standard still dominated. I liked Milton Friedman's A Monetary History of the United States.

Having well run banks for basic savings is a huge boon for the poor. That implies a certain amount of government regulation and a central bank.

Pyramid (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43868365)

Bitcoin was designed to be a giant pyramid. The ones at the top had shitloads of worthless mined coins, and they had to convince enough people to get into bitcoins to get rich out of it.

It could turn out to be useful, and that is some of the hope, but I have no doubt in my mind that it was partway founded based on pyramid logic/advertising.

Re:Pyramid (2)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43868837)

Perhaps. But people using bitcoin as a medium of exchange now can know how many early miners' coins are floating around, and will likely revalue their coins as appropriate -- just like the presence of Fort Knox affects people's judgments about the worth of gold.

This sort of thing probably doesn't bother the libertarian types most likely to use Bitcoin -- they probably perceive the founders' profit as fair compensation for developing the system.

International Currency (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43868371)

It is inevitable that this world will go towards a real global economy with a common currency for all. BitCoin is a step towards that. More than likely at some point there will be a real line drawn in the sand as to "legal" currency and "black market" currency. Maybe another 20 yrs down the road.

Re:International Currency (2)

F. Lynx Pardinus (2804961) | about a year ago | (#43868625)

If there's anything the Euro crisis is teaching the political leaders of the world, it's that if you give up control of your nation's currency, you risk giving up control of your nation's fate and losing your political power. No one wants to be the next equivalent of the Southern Europeans groveling before the next equivalent of the Germans. Global currency in 20 years? Yeah not going to happen.

Re:International Currency (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43868647)

Still need cash.

also what about areas with no / slow network? 3g / 4g dead areas? things in vending machine setting (lot's are non networked)? casino will they real want all people to have to use the cage to get chips / a cash on a ticket? ATM there have high fees.

It's not legit until Slashdot accepts it. (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#43868615)

Why wont Slashdot let me subscribe to the site in Bitcoin? Coinbase makes it easy.

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