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View Diary: Bitcoin: Don't Mock It. Learn From It. (85 comments)

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  •  Did you mock the internet too? (0+ / 0-)

    When that was invented?

    Whether you like it or not, the technology has been created which makes it possible to create competing currencies that are not government controlled. As long as the government allows it, it will continue to happen, and I predict the phenomenon will continue to grow, because lots of people like the idea of it and see it as an improvement on the current monetary system.

    There were many people who preferred paper newspapers too, when the internet started. Now, few do. Things change. Innovation keeps happening. Cryptocurrency is a major technological innovation. Mock it if you wish, but I think you're mistaken if you think it's all just going to go away.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:45:12 PM PST

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    •  You may be confusing two things. (10+ / 0-)

      Technological innovation and societal innovation.  I have no doubt that Bitcoin is a technological innovation.  That doesn't necessary make it benign, functional, or anything else that references its articulation to the meat world.  The Internet isn't an ideal example to invoke because that was about the tech itself in a way that Bitcoin's not.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:55:46 PM PST

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      •  Did you read my diary? I'm not pro-bitcoin. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm in favor of using the technology behind bitcoin to create a better alternative. I am actually quite critical of a lot of aspects of bitcoin. I think the technology could be used in a much more positive way, if combined with appropriate societal innovation.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:03:59 PM PST

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    •  just don't be holding it when it crashes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, Wee Mama

      Like Tulips and beanie babies, you don't want to be the last one holding it before the crash.
      You maybe do not trust the US financial system but there's nothing in bitcoins that makes it more secure, actually a whole lot less.
      Very ill advised to put serious money into this

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:59:17 PM PST

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    •  Well, first of all ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exlrrp, BentLiberal

      ... I worked an entire career in the paper newspaper industry, and still read them.

      The Internet is a great tool, but as we're currently seeing in the fight over net neutrality, there are issues with corporate control of the infrastructure.

      I don't see how private currencies would fare any better.

      I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

      by ObamOcala on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:59:39 PM PST

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    •  So any technology invented is good? (0+ / 0-)

      That's what you seem to be saying here.

      Did you mock the internet too? (0+ / 0-)

      When that was invented?

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:53:30 PM PST

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      •  No. But I do think the tech that enables altcoins (0+ / 0-)

        has the potential to do a lot of good. A lot of evil too. Just like most truly revolutionary technologies.

        My point regarding the internet is that it changed everything, but a lot of people mocked it when it first came out and were skeptical that it would ever catch on. I think digital currencies are likely to follow a similar track. And just like how some of the first big internet companies did not last (e.g. Netscape faded away and Google took over the search space), some new and better digital currency may (and hopefully will) overtake bitcoin.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:57:42 PM PST

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        •  Ok, but the difference is those are just companies (0+ / 0-)

          People that invest in them know they are speculating or should know.

          To casually talk of a currency system not working out sort of seems to ignore that that "not working out" means lots of people lost money, on something that is just supposed to be a means of exchange, not a speculative investment.

          Anyway, I look forward to the more thoughtful diary if it ever comes around.  And I've not even read the other diary either that you reacted to so I'm definitely not endorsing it either

          Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
          Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

          by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:15:37 PM PST

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          •  The other diary made some valid points. (0+ / 0-)

            I encourage you to read it.

            But as I said in another comment, I think the mockery of bitcoin on the left is somewhat unhelpful. The technology has amazing potential; it just needs to be used in a better way.

            In short, I think it's entirely reasonable to criticize bitcoin and point out its flaws, but it's also important to study the technology of cryptocurrency and see if we can learn the lessons that bitcoin -- its successes and its flaws -- can teach us, and the potential relevance of this technology to progressive economics. JMHO.

            The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

            by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:52:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I read it and didn't find it mocking at all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling

              Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
              Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

              by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 07:58:20 PM PST

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              •  Much of it focuses on how bitcoin price recently (0+ / 0-)

                has gone down, and uses this as supposed evidence that the currency stinks. However, anyone who has been holding bitcoins for longer than a few months has done much better than holding U.S. dollars.

                Analysis of the viability of bitcoin which focuses on short-term price fluctuations does seem like mockery to me, since the reason for the short-term price fluctuations is because the market cap of the entire currency is only a few billion dollars. Something with such a small market cap is going to fluctuate a lot in value with positive and negative news. If bitcoin ever catches on among the general public, the market cap would increase a lot, which would dampen out most of the volatility (buys and sells wouldn't move the market as much).

                I thought the other diarist made some good points, but the overall tone of the diary was to bash bitcoin rather than provide a balanced "here are the pros and cons" take on it. Obviously, that diarist is entitled to their opinion, but it is what it is: a one-sided view of the subject.

                The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

                by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:10:35 PM PST

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                •  Then you should have said that in your diary (0+ / 0-)

                  That diary made real world points -- you refuted none of them. Instead you dismissed it in a half sentence in the beginning of your diary as "mocking' with no proof, no refutation. That doesn't buy you much cred.

                  The other diarist told of real things. You dismissed (and didn't refute) and then talked about theoretical things.

                  Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                  Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                  by BentLiberal on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:42:17 PM PST

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                •  I didn't read it that way at all (0+ / 0-)

                  I read it as an account of the practical difficulties in working with bitcoins for a real world expenditure.

                  Making a new currency is tough. You need dedicated early adopters. It's probably not ideal for them to be people trying to use them for questionable transactions, as has been a major situation with bitcoin.

                  Some local people have created local currencies based on human labor in various places, including my local area. Those are a bit more interesting to me, but again, they take a lot of effort to maintain, and one has to wonder if that is the best use of those people's energy and enthusiasm.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 11:31:13 PM PST

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    •  The internet exists because of Arpanet, a (0+ / 0-)

      government program.  That's where the infrastructure came from.  Yes the infrastructure has expanded, but the paradigm was set with Arpa (now Darpa.)

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:52:46 PM PST

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