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Found 7 results

  1. ***Split from Correspondence and Coherence*** Most upbeat. What's to stop bitcoin crashing in a year or two? There's no inherent or objective value/standard that I can see, and the huge fluctuations seen in its value point to its obvious attraction for speculators, well above the individual freedom and practicality the writer justifies. Does one want to own a speculative cryptocurrency which can soar or crash, the value varying by market demand day by day? Could make one nervous.
  2. Forbes warns, "This article is more than 7 years old." Is this because they think principles have an expiration date -- or because this piece has crossed some kind of line after which conservative pundits start proclaiming something "prophetic?" Either question would be understandable from anyone who runs into the piece, "Don't Be Silly, the Entitlement State Won't Allow Bitcoin," once news that India is banning bitcoin spreads enough. Binswanger's column focuses on actions by government in the United States, but his analysis is spot-on and applies everywhere and anytime: Don't be blinded by the Bitcoin delusion... (Image by Thought Catalog, via Unsplash, license.) Government suppression of private money is inevitable in the entitlement-state era. What is the alternative? Are governments going to stand idly by while more and more people avoid taxes and sidestep inflation? Government largess depends on taxation and monetary debasement. If there were private money, the welfare state could not exist. So, can there be any doubt that the government will throttle virtual currencies?The ban goes well beyond China's ban on mining and trading cryptocurrencies:The bill, one of the world’s strictest policies against cryptocurrencies, would criminalise possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring crypto-assets...Oddly enough, part of the expressed rationale for the plan is that India wishes to create its own virtual currency. News Flash: India wants to join the ranks of kleptocracies with official cryptocurrencies for the same reasons those countries have them; which is why it has its own fiat money now; and which is why private investors won't really trust it. And which is why, per Binswanger's prophecy/analysis, private virtual currencies won't be a substitute for the hard work of cultural and political change that we will need for free money and free banking to become a reality. -- CAVLink to Original
  3. http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/38392/ This is indeed a fascinating and educational story about the bitcoin phenomenon. What it says to me, in essence, is that bitcoin cannot ever be a "real" currency, only a curiosity and a speculative instrument (or in this case, "a pyramid scheme for geeks"). Why not? Because bitcoin is not a universally accepted currency. Why can't it become one? Because it's not a universally accepted currency. Yes, it's a chicken/egg problem--and there is absolutely no way this can be broken unless all other currencies collapse. You see, vendors are not speculators by trade: are not going to want to trade real goods for this commodity unless they are relatively sure of it's current and future value, within a narrow band. The width of that band is set by alternatives aka the US dollar, etc. As such, if a vendor imagines the value band of the US dollar to be "+/- 5%", every other currency must beat that. So yes, if we were in the 1400s and there were many crazy currencies floating around, then bitcoin would be able to play because all of the other currencies might be in the same boat. In today's world, however, a currency that has fluctuated in value by 100's of percent in a year cannot possibly compete. What is incredibly interesting to me about this is that it also demonstrates the problems with trying to substitute any currency (or really any THING) with the world's current currencies. To put it another way, why don't vendors these days simply accept gold as payment? Why can't you go to Amazon.com and buy a plasma TV with an ounce or two of gold? Why wouldn't Amazon do that? Well in a sense they could since Amazon's system is nicely computerized: it could give you an instant translation from gold to US dollars and give you the price in gold. As long as the volatility wasn't so extreme, and you were willing to pay a fee for what volatility there was, then they could make it work. However if you're paying attention, you'd notice that doesn't solve anything at all. Gold in this case is not a "currency" it is merely a commodity that has a price, that price being denominated in US dollars or some other relatively stable currency. In other words, the price of the Plasma TV in this case would be in US dollars, not gold, silver, oil, bitcoin or Lindins, or whatever. So the conclusion is this: only currencies are currency, everything else are commodities priced in terms of widely accepted currencies. The enormous volatility of both gold and bitcoin preclude either of them from being viable substitutes for any "real" currency. The only way we would ever get to a "gold standard" in the USA is if they US dollar turned into toilet paper and the world needed an alternative. Until then the dollar will do just fine, and calls for a gold standard is akin to asking the fire department to douse your home in water when it's not, in fact, on fire.
  4. Article: Ron Paul: Bitcoin could 'destroy the dollar' First of all, a caveat: I'm not a Bitcoin believer. I think they have a gimmick that's capturing a lot of people's imagination, and they've walked into the limelight, but I see the hype of Bitcoin tapering off at some point. I could be wrong, but I just don't see it. Maybe they will spawn into something else, or they might find an application for their technology and do alright, but I don't see it as "the next big thing". However, Bitcoin is serving a valuable purpose in the discussion about currency and economics. It's going to change people's minds. It appears to have already changed the mind of Ron Paul. How? It's finally putting to rest a conspiracy theory that many libertarians have held for years: that the Fed secretly controls all trade by controlling The Currency, and it maintains a government-protected monopoly, the conspiracy theorists say, over anything that one could call "money". Never mind the fact that barter in various forms (including complex financial instruments) has been both legal and ubiquitous in the USA since the country began, and that the Fed no more has a "monopoly" over US citizen's transfer of wealth than the mint of Paraguay does. No, the conspiracy--stemming directly from the old Illuminati stuff from the 50s--is still with us in cruddy old corners of Libertarian thought, even overlapping into so-called Objectivists. So today's story is a bit of a celebration for me. Ron Paul has been perhaps the leading warrior in the USA banging the drum about the various Federal Reserve Conspiracies for decades. Now he's in a logical pickle: if Bitcoin could "destroy" the power of the Fed and US dollars--and they are perfectly free to do so--then he's just knocked the teeth out of his own argument. In other words, we're left to say to Ron Paul, "Ron, if a tiny group of eggheads can invent a better product than the US mint and eliminate them in the free marketplace, then why again are we supposed to live in fear of their unassailable power again?". It would appear that the only "conspiracy" the US dollar is a part of is its relative stability and practical usefulness. Take those away and it turns to dust, just like any other product in the free market. I daresay that with that choice of words, Ron is projecting what is in his own mind right now: that Bitcoin has "destroyed" is many of his own long-held beliefs about the power of the Federal Reserve.
  5. This is not a prediction, but one plausible timeline out of the many I can imagine: Late 2013: The media reports that organized crime, tax evaders, and “terrorists” are using Bitcoin. Early 2014: Politicians call for investigation of claims that Bitcoin is being used to facilitate illegal activities. The rhetoric is ratcheted up over the course of the year. Late 2014: Bitcoin transactions have been growing exponentially for several years. The world’s established financial institutions cannot compete with the lower costs of unregulated financial markets and pressure governments to act. 2015: Western governments raid and shut down all the major BitCoin exchangers and effectively kill the currency. Operators are put away for lengthy sentences, while others are found to have been cooperating with authorities for some time. 2020′s: Bitcoin (or something very much like it) revives on a small scale as an underground currency and slowly grows over the next two decades. 2020-2030: The US empire collapses. The EU has already fallen. China tries, but fails to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. People hoard gold, but governments prevent it from being effectively used as money. 2030′s: 3D printing takes off. Established industries attack unlicensed home printing as a violation of their IP. The major non-affiliated (“pirate”) pattern markets are blocked from handling financial transactions, and for a while, a pirate industry matures. Late 2030′s: Something very much like BitCoin resurges. This time, it has a killer app: micro payments for 3D printing patterns. Ubiquitous encryption prevents governments and corporations from monitoring transactions and hoarded gold provides the base for monetary exchange. 2040′s: With much of the economy being conducted in unregulated 3D pattern markers and most transactions being conducted over BitCoin, the tax base collapses. Late 2040′s: Governments seize fiat-denominated savings in a desperate power grab, but fiat money is now worthless compared to an untraceable fiat currency like Bitcoin. Governments attempt to seize real assets to replace lost income, but are met by large-scale protests backed by homemade 3D printed weapons. Mass chaos and violence follows. 2050′s: Stability re-emerges, as new judicial systems evolve backed by anonymous transactions. Large states become increasingly irrelevant. Late 2050′s: The last stand of centralized governments: politicians call in the military in an attempt to rebuild the surveillance state and kill digital currencies for good. Assassination markets, long used in organized crime, are turned against politicians, as the populace fights back. Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/bxAEz9DJkkQ/
  6. Hello Objectivists, If you haven't heard yet, there is a very big Ponzi Scheme pyramid called MMM, http://i-mmm.com . It now has 20 million members (unverified). Unlike other Ponzi Schemes, this system doesn't have any product to sell, it sells itself as a sort-of bank. You deposit money, and get it out at 30% interest after a month, or three. There are different plans. Where does it get the money ? From advertising inself and getting more recruits. Its biggest users are the elderly people who were robbed of their pension in Russia and Former Soviet Union, and who are now able to have a decent living. However, many other people joined in, from other countries and are investing fairly large sums, $10,000 and up. The MMM "bank" has a, like a real bank, some money in the system, and some money coming and coming out. You can imagine that there is a net amount of money that is stable, for example, 1 billion, and can be invested into a real product, for example an Oil Refinery, which would bring in real dividents from products, rather than new people joining. So eventually the really exciting interest rates of 30% are going to fall to match the inflow of people and the means to make money from different products. So now we have this "bank". It was built by people puting in money for two reasons: - great interest - the philosophical idea of helping others, by pooling money together. And this was done at the expense of risk, because nobody knows if the system will survive another day (less people will reinvest than outgoing payments are due). So in a way MMM is like a gambling game. Moreover, the system is based on trust, nothing is stopping a member to run off with the money. (To understand this last statement, please note that the money is distributed in member's accounts, rather in one big account, and they are supposed to transfer the balances on command to appropriate destinations). What do you think about the moral implications of such a system ? Is this capitalism on socialism ? The official statement of the creator is that he wants to crash the current economic system where money is printed by the Reserve Bank and robbing people. Here I agree. He says that because the system of ever-increasing debt and money printing is a sort of pyramid, then the only way to beat it, is with another pyramid. However, the inclinations of the creator of MMM are socialistic -- he claims that banks are robing its clients by giving a smaller percentage than they could. From what I could gather he doesn't really believe in laissez-faire capitalism (although he never states this). He wants to build some kind of new way, once the current system is crashed. However, putting the ideas of the creator aside, and looking at the outcome -- can we say it is a bad thing ? A good thing ? Finally, suppose that we conclude that it is a bad thing, because it promotes socialism. (I leave that discussion open). Is it moral to still invest money into the system, for the following purpose: - Whatever money I make, I will return to those who will be in the end ripped off (who risked and invested, but didn't get their money back because the system collapsed). - I want to return that money in the form of Bitcoin. All those people participated in the MMM system, which is really defining its own currency, based on the weakness of conventional currency $. Because the BitCoin project is exactly that, if I return them their money in BitCoin, in a sense I'm putting their money to the good use. I tricked them into buying Bitcoin. - I plan to withhold a percentage of the balance for my work. So they won't get all 100% back of what I made on MMM, but a bit less. Say 90%. I hope I was clear enough, and looking forward to hear what you think.
  7. This is a cross post from here: https://bitcointalk....p?topic=75591.0 Reactions are all negative, as you can see in the thread. Some guy by nickname Variable said this: To which I have replied this: Anyways, I wasn't able to get through to them.
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