Bitcoin

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Bowser, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Been watching videos about something that I've seen occasionally online...Bitcoin. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not certain I would want to invest in it quite yet. Does anyone have any experience using this currency?
     
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  3. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Bitcoin is the freedom to convert assets into a fiat currency which is not issued by any government but far from not being regulated by any government. In fact, making bitcoin transactions may subject you to additional governmental scrutiny precisely because it is endorsed by certain shady people on the Internet.
    It is not immune to massive value fluctuations.
    https://www.google.com/finance?q=CURRENCY:BTC
    It is not immune to physical theft.
    It is not immune to taxation.
    It is not immune to accidental loss.
    It is however outside the world of government fiat currencies so I believe there are no government-insured banks that allow you to deposit it.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't call it a fiat currency given fiat currency is created by a government.

    'Fiat money is a currency established as money by government regulation or law." And as you have noted, Bitcoin wasn't created by a government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_money

    Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptocurrencies

    But other than that, I'm in complete agreement. In my view it is very risky and is less than ideal as a currency for many reasons with pricing volatility being chief among them. I view cryptocurrencies as analogous to tulipomania (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania).
     
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  7. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Remember the Dutch tulip craze!
     
  8. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I think the going excnange is over 400 usc. Still, if I could use it at the store, gas station and pub, I would give it a try. It just isn't practicle at this time.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    It's currently a pretty unpredictable investment. The big winners were the very early adopters who might have earnt the coins when they were worth a matter of cents rather than hundreds of dollars. There were stories of people selling their coins at 10,000 times what they might have paid for it, generating more than a handful of millionaires in the process. The value has dropped from the heady heights of $1,200 or so, and investment is no longer a sure thing.

    As I understand it, the currency grows in volume as problems are solved (the process of solving is referring to as mining), each problem releasing 25 bit coins but making the next problem that bit harder to crack. People used to be able to use their own home PCs to do the work, then we're using dedicate graphics cards (which were better suited) but more recently you'd have to build a dedicated rig to do it, and you might only break-even at the current value.
     

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