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    • pops66
    • By pops66 18th Dec 15, 4:19 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    pops66
    What's needed and will come are services that makes the bitcoin invisible to users, as well as volume that will buy/sell the intermediate currency fast enough. Then I deposit a pound to a service and it is in a kenyan account as shillings within minutes.
    Originally posted by TheTracker
    As I understand it, that is exactly what Visa's experimental app does. I have found the article I read about it:

    http://www.coindesk.com/hands-on-with-visa-europes-bitcoin-remittance-app/
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 18th Dec 15, 4:47 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,583 Thanks
    Malthusian
    It still hasn't been explained why, instead of sending pounds from A to B and converting them to shillings, it is better or quicker to convert pounds to bitcoins, send bitcoins from A to B and convert bitcoins to shillings.

    It doesn't help that when you ask this kind of question you get back the usual cant about fiat currency being a pyramid scheme.
    • JohnRo
    • By JohnRo 18th Dec 15, 5:04 PM
    • 2,031 Posts
    • 1,678 Thanks
    JohnRo
    The transaction costs, payment processors and price gouging for profit at every stage of the process by middlemen.

    The essence of financial services is a provider positioning themselves in between others trades for a fee. With btc to btc that provider is none existent and the fee all but insignificant or zero if you're prepared to wait.
    'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.' ― Albert Einstein
    'Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.' ― Aldous Huxley
    • TheTracker
    • By TheTracker 18th Dec 15, 5:42 PM
    • 958 Posts
    • 949 Thanks
    TheTracker
    It still hasn't been explained why, instead of sending pounds from A to B and converting them to shillings, it is better or quicker to convert pounds to bitcoins, send bitcoins from A to B and convert bitcoins to shillings.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    I tried, and obviously failed. Conversion between two currencies requires the use of legacy institutions that take a cut of several percent on the mid market rate. High street banks and credit cards 3-5%, Paypal 3%, some high street exchangers as low as 2-3%. Disrupters like TransferWise may do it for 1%. The recipient sometimes gets stung by the receiving bank. This cut doesn't just go to a fat bankers pocket, it goes to fund the infrastructure that makes up the ability to transfer money: IT hardware, software, electricity, regulation, security, and the people who need to be employed to make all that work, and all the hops between the end parties.

    Conversion with a digital currency takes place exactly at the mid market rate because there is no bank infrastructure, it is distributed. The only cut taken for the actual transmission of digital money is a processing fee by those that insert your transaction in the block chain, which are nominal (pennies).

    There will still be other costs, but these are transaction costs for the platforms that enable you to buy the bitcoin locally. A lot less infrastructure, software, and especially people are required than at a bank.

    This is just basic peer to peer technology economics. Think iTunes/netflix vs torrents.

    Now that's not that different to the history of cash. Instead of trading bushels of wheat for sacks of coffee, hard currency like gold allowed you to sell anything for gold, then buy anything with gold. Currency fixed this by denoting promises to pay with dinars/dollars and removing gold from the equation. Much cheaper. Digital currency like bitcoins does that at the next level. No need to have inter-currency rates if there is a universal common currency that has nominal costs to move around.
    • grey gym sock
    • By grey gym sock 20th Dec 15, 1:18 AM
    • 3,836 Posts
    • 3,238 Thanks
    grey gym sock
    All fiat currencies are pyramid schemes.
    Originally posted by JohnRo
    i don't think so.

    pyramid schemes involve new members (the lowest level of the pyramid) who pay to join, with that money being used to pay the higher levels, with the lion's share going to those near the apex. the hope for new members is that they will make money by advancing up the pyramid, which means that more ppl will have to join after them, forming lower still layers. each layer must contain more members than the previous layer. that implies that exponential growth in membership is required for the scheme to keep going. and therefore the scheme is bound to collapse eventually when no new members can be found - though this can take a number of years.

    so, fiat currencies ... you could say that there are 3 layers involved in a fiat currency:

    1. central bank / government treasury (since they are not genuinely independent, just 2 arms of the State - unless we're thinking about the eurozone, so let's not)

    2. commercial banks

    3. everybody else who uses the currency (i.e. people + all businesses other than banks)

    well, for a start there is no hope held out that anybody can advance to a higher level in the pyramid.

    and you don't pay to join the lowest layer.

    the upper layers do profit from their position, however, because they can create money "out of thin air". at least in theory, the State is in the best position to profit, but a lot of the profit is actually captured by the commercial banks (so you might say that i have the upper 2 layers the wrong way round ).

    you might argue that it is typical of a pyramid scheme that the upper layers can profit despite not producing anything of value, that their profits must come from somewhere, and that therefore the rest of us must be paying in some way. to which i'd reply that the whole system of having a working currency which everybody uses is actually of great value: it facilitates transactions, and is a stable (at least in the short term) store of value. it is not a simply - or at all - a process of using money taken from the lower layers of the scheme to pay the upper layers.

    and there is no requirement for exponential growth. a fiat currency can continue to operate despite a flat or falling population. there is no upper limit on how long a fiat currency can last.
    • JohnRo
    • By JohnRo 3rd May 16, 3:06 PM
    • 2,031 Posts
    • 1,678 Thanks
    JohnRo
    The fiat pyramid is evident in the credit hierarchy, access and cost, for those beneath the omnipotent creators.
    People with little or no access to credit, which is most, are the slaves that prop up the whole crooked enterprise, forced to exchange their labour for increasingly worthless tickets and it's the increasingly worthless aspect that makes it a pyramid.

    The only real need for fiat is so that governments can spend on themselves and fight wars they can't afford with money they don't have.

    and there is no requirement for exponential growth. a fiat currency can continue to operate despite a flat or falling population. there is no upper limit on how long a fiat currency can last.
    All of human history suggests otherwise. It's only about 40 years since the last official reset. Just because a bank ticket is given the same name it's always had, doesn't make it the same thing.

    Only since the last major reset in 1971, disguised as decimalisation, the value of the 'pound' has been reduced to somewhere between 8% and 3% of the purchasing power it held then, depending which inflation measure and purchase you compare. Confidence trick.

    In other news Bitstamp has just become the first EU licenced tulip bulb exchange.
    'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.' ― Albert Einstein
    'Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.' ― Aldous Huxley
    • grey gym sock
    • By grey gym sock 10th May 16, 9:42 PM
    • 3,836 Posts
    • 3,238 Thanks
    grey gym sock
    nice slow conversation we're having here ...

    The fiat pyramid is evident in the credit hierarchy, access and cost, for those beneath the omnipotent creators.
    People with little or no access to credit, which is most, are the slaves that prop up the whole crooked enterprise, forced to exchange their labour for increasingly worthless tickets and it's the increasingly worthless aspect that makes it a pyramid.
    Originally posted by JohnRo
    there are 2 distinct things that have been different since the 1970s:

    1) the complete abandonment of the gold standard, i.e. moving to purely credit-based money; and

    2) the inflation, over a period of decades, of a number of credit bubbles, many peaking around the time of the GFC (though japan was far earlier, and china hasn't quite got there yet), since when the world economy has been suffering from debt deflation - i.e. the bad debts haven't been written down, so the productive economy is being held back by the attempt to pay ever-increasing amounts "owed" to the financial sector.

    now, those 2 things are related. (2) could not have happened without (1).

    but it is perfectly plausible to reject (2) without rejecting (1). bad debts need to be written down, and the predatory finance sector transformed into a public utility, which lends for productive investment, not to inflate asset bubbles (and which doesn't defraud its customers, fix markets, or assist its customers to evade tax and launder the proceeds of other crimes - it's difficult to mention everything wrong with the finance sector in a few words ). but none of that implies that we should go back to commodity-based money - whether that commodity be gold, silver, or (on topic!) bitcoin.

    IMHO, the gold standard was a complete disaster. credit-based money was a definite improvement. unlike de-regulating the finance sector. let's regulate it properly, but keep "fiat" money.

    The only real need for fiat is so that governments can spend on themselves and fight wars they can't afford with money they don't have.
    historically, wars were the main thing governments spent money on. and that may still be the case in some countries.

    but not in the UK now: far more is spent on the reasonable things (viz. transfer payments to the old, sick, and unemployed, and useful public services) than on the unreasonable things (viz. a lot of military spending, bulk spying on the general population, and targeted spying on / infiltration of various non-violent left-wing organizations). we could argue about precisely which bits of spending are or aren't reasonable, but total military spending (at least a small part of which is reasonable) is way under 10% of government expenditure, and the other dubious things are much cheaper than that.

    so basically, the "magic" feature, that the UK government can spend money it doesn't have - or, more accurately, spend money into existence - is, in terms of the sheer numbers, mostly used for good.

    All of human history suggests otherwise. It's only about 40 years since the last official reset. Just because a bank ticket is given the same name it's always had, doesn't make it the same thing.
    nothing last forever. but is there an arithmetic reason why our money system can't go on beyond a certain point - in the same way that the theoretical limit of a ponzi scheme is when everybody in the world has already joined it?

    for fiat money, no. for credit bubbles, yes.

    for a longer perspective on money, david graeber's book, "debt: the first 5000 years", is enlightening. he describes alternating periods of credit-based and bullion-based money. the oldest records of money are from ancient sumerian civilization, around 3500 BC - and they used credit-based money. bullion-based money was dominant in 2 periods, 800 BC - AD 600, and 1450-1971; with credit-based money dominant before, between, and after those periods. which suggests we are not very far into a new era - and who knows what shape it will take? but the current credit bubbles may be an early teething trouble, rather than a permanent feature.

    Only since the last major reset in 1971, disguised as decimalisation, the value of the 'pound' has been reduced to somewhere between 8% and 3% of the purchasing power it held then, depending which inflation measure and purchase you compare. Confidence trick.
    straw man. you're don't keep money under than mattress. in a savings account, the interest would roughly match inflation.

    fiat is a confidence trick. but there's nothing wrong with that.

    In other news Bitstamp has just become the first EU licenced tulip bulb exchange.
    i'm sure there was a use for tulips, too
    Last edited by grey gym sock; 10-05-2016 at 9:46 PM.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 10th May 16, 11:28 PM
    • 5,146 Posts
    • 9,076 Thanks
    bowlhead99

    i'm sure there was a use for tulips, too
    Originally posted by grey gym sock
    Yes, 380 years ago, giving them to Dutch girls was how one got laid in Amsterdam before pot started getting popular.
    • sabretoothtigger
    • By sabretoothtigger 11th May 16, 1:10 AM
    • 9,969 Posts
    • 6,581 Thanks
    sabretoothtigger
    It still hasn't been explained why, instead of sending pounds from A to B and converting them to shillings, it is better or quicker to convert pounds to bitcoins, send bitcoins from A to B and convert bitcoins to shillings.

    It doesn't help that when you ask this kind of question you get back the usual cant about fiat currency being a pyramid scheme.
    Originally posted by Malthusian

    Thats a good question, BTC seems to complicate matters only. I think the reason would be that BTC is more consumer oriented and probably cheaper for the little transactions.

    A giant firm sending millions can probably send to Kenya for a really low percentage cost. That firm can tender that contract out to multiple competing firms that will make it cheap enough not to bother with any alternatives

    I think bitcoin is all about the little guy, some kid sending 20 quid home to mom to help with shopping that week. He doesnt want to pay five of that to fees and it takes an hour, queuing up in the post office or whatever.

    So in theory bitcoin is cheap, works on mobile phone both ends and its about 10 minutes to go. Not sure the contrast is exactly that extreme or BTC works perfectly but I expect its mostly just much cheaper, very simple.

    In some cases BTC might be the only game in town, government bans unofficial exchange rates etc
    BTC is rising in Japan apparently, with negative rates and strange effects I guess BTC effectively is being promoted
    Last edited by sabretoothtigger; 11-05-2016 at 1:16 AM.
    Tokyo residential prices have gone from 4x London in 1990 to ¼ London in 2014
    Maybe this is one of those cases where you can’t go home again,
    by Ben S. Bernanke, former Fed chairman
    • Bajjo
    • By Bajjo 9th Jun 16, 6:10 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 4,057 Thanks
    Bajjo
    Ahhh, a bitcoin thread. I am home.

    Interesting reading the old posts.

    I'm fairly certain decentralised digital currencies will be in widespread use in 10 years time, whether or not Bitcoin will be a major player I don't know but I think it has a very good shot.

    Love this quote from Balaji Srinivasan on twitter (CEO of 21, a bitcoin company)

    "Everybody likes to think they'd have put $25k into Facebook in '04. But digital currency as a category removes any excuse for not trying."
    Bitcoin. If you haven't heard of it, you have now.
    • JohnRo
    • By JohnRo 10th Jun 16, 12:30 AM
    • 2,031 Posts
    • 1,678 Thanks
    JohnRo
    ..
    I'm fairly certain decentralised digital currencies will be in widespread use in 10 years time, whether or not Bitcoin will be a major player I don't know but I think it has a very good shot.
    Originally posted by Bajjo
    I'm fairly certain centralised, manipulated, privileged control and access digital currencies will be in widespread use in 10 years time. As they are today.

    Don't underestimate the banking crooks and their political stooges, the world is run by money power, with all the associated greed and corruption it foments. A cashless society is already being planned within the current framework.

    An awful lot can change in ten years but in the grand scheme it isn't a long time. I suspect Bitcoin will still be what it is now, infallible, accessible and truly democratic. Whether that's ever going to be enough to keep the momentum going and allow bitcoin to gain significant mainstream traction as a means of exchange and the blockchain as a payment process is another matter and remains to be seen.

    I'm struggling to see what relevance facebook has with bitcoin though. Beyond both being electronic they are in many ways an exact opposite.
    That quote sounds more like a dodgy sales pitch for his own company.
    'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.' ― Albert Einstein
    'Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.' ― Aldous Huxley
    • Bajjo
    • By Bajjo 10th Jun 16, 1:36 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 4,057 Thanks
    Bajjo
    I'm struggling to see what relevance facebook has with bitcoin though. Beyond both being electronic they are in many ways an exact opposite.
    That quote sounds more like a dodgy sales pitch for his own company.
    Originally posted by JohnRo
    He's not comparing Facebook to Bitcoin. He's comparing digital currencies to startup businesses as investment opportunities. The point is digital currencies provide an early stage investment opportunity which is open to anyone whereas most startups, like Facebook, do not.

    Facebook was founded in 2004 but it was not investable to the average joe until 2012 when it went public and was already a $100 billion company.
    Bitcoin. If you haven't heard of it, you have now.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 10th Jun 16, 3:16 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,583 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Bitcoin is not an "early stage" anything. Its founders took the money and ran two and a half years ago. It's very much "late stage".

    As for the idea of investing in Dogecoin or some other less popular currency in the hope it will take off in the way Bitcoin did, fine. The trouble is predicting, as with Facebook, which is going to be the successful one. At the point Facebook began receiving VC investment there were a dozen social networks being launched every week in Silicon Valley (probably an understatement), the vast majority of which sank without trace or any return to investors.

    Srinivasan's proclamation that the ordinary punter now has the ability to lose his shirt on digital currencies that the VCs did on social networks is not particularly exciting to me. The VCs who lost millions on wannabe Facebooks could at least console themselves with the knowledge that they still had millions left in the bank.
    • Bajjo
    • By Bajjo 10th Jun 16, 4:15 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 4,057 Thanks
    Bajjo
    Its founders took the money and ran two and a half years ago.
    Originally posted by Malthusian


    Bitcoin is not an "early stage" anything. It's very much "late stage".
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    It's all very subjective but it seems to me Bitcoin is still early stage in many ways.
    Bitcoin. If you haven't heard of it, you have now.
    • JohnRo
    • By JohnRo 10th Jun 16, 4:26 PM
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    JohnRo
    It is. Just ignore the hysterics.
    'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.' ― Albert Einstein
    'Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.' ― Aldous Huxley
    • Bajjo
    • By Bajjo 16th Jun 16, 9:41 AM
    • 371 Posts
    • 4,057 Thanks
    Bajjo
    Bitcoin broke £500 again this month, which hasn't happened since the crazy run up in Nov/Dec 2013.

    Bitcoin. If you haven't heard of it, you have now.
    • MJ12
    • By MJ12 17th Jun 16, 1:04 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    MJ12
    Yea well some of it is down to how weak gbp is to USD, some of it.
    2nd Aug, 15: £276k. 18th Sep, 15: £269k. 30th Oct, 15: £265k.
    • andrewthomas2008
    • By andrewthomas2008 12th Oct 16, 5:51 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    andrewthomas2008
    Wish I purchased bitcoins earlier
    I'm kicking myself I didn't in bitcoin a few years ago when I first heard about it.
    It makes me sick, I could have been well off, now I'm only stuck with a bitcoin I bought earlier this year and cash savings in low paying interests rates.

    Who has made bucket loads from bitcoins?

    It's actually depressing
    • $nake eye$
    • By $nake eye$ 12th Oct 16, 6:00 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    $nake eye$
    Certainly not made bucketloads, but bought when 1BTC=$290USD. I've kinda left them alone on my Trezor. I may sell a couple if it gets back to $700
    • andrewthomas2008
    • By andrewthomas2008 12th Oct 16, 6:13 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    andrewthomas2008
    Well at least you bought at a fairly decent price, I bought just before the halving e ent so I'm roughly breaking even.

    I guess I'll have to do the same as you and hope I make some decent returns.
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