Digital Currencies

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  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,446
    It is a real currency, and a number of retailers and service providers accept it. I know there are bitcoin ATMs scattered around my area. Bitcoin allows privacy and protection for the buyer. It also allows for reduced transaction fees for the retailer. It is a pretty interesting, open source technology, and there is no single "owner" of the system. I was very skeptical initially, but find myself less skeptical now as control has changed a bit and it is less dependent on a single exchange. When an exchange in Japan went bankrupt in 2013 that caused a bit of a "crisis" which still keeps me from fully embracing bitcoin. Anyway, it has certainly moved past theoretical or proof of concept stage at this point. It's value is no more or less opaque than the value of any national currencies. Governments hate it because it is harder to track and control, which is a good reason to embrace it. It isn't tied to the ups and downs of politics and other markets. It's value is tied to its scarcity and the effort required to "mine" new bitcoins. The downside is that it is also more volatile than something like the dollar, partly because of something PJSoul mentioned in terms of people "investing" in bitcoin, rather than just using it as currency. If it was an actual currency, then sticking it under a mattress wouldn't be particularly prudent, but there are definitely people who stick their digital currency under their digital mattress and hope that it increases in value. Anyway, I'm neither pro- nor anti-bitcoin. I just find the concept and execution fascinating. It is certainly interesting from a technical standpoint, whether one embraces it or not.
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,615
    I thought it went bankrupt a long time ago. there was an ATM in one of my local pizza shops a while back. it eventually disappeared.
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 36,171
    edited April 11
    I know it's a real currency, it's just not a ubiquitous currency (I didn't mean "real currency" in that way, but it was bad phrasing. I meant the usual hard currency). So being non-ubiquitous, Bitcoins are still a novelty. As for the ATMs... Vancouver was actually the first city in the world to get one of those, and it was all about bitcoin marketing. All the others are too. Bitcoin is essentially forcing itself into the economy with these kinds of tactics (and those who host the ATMs make money within 6 months to a year and a half IF the location is good. Those ATMs you're seeing tell you that the hosts are trying to capitalize, not necessarily that they are popular with the public). This is a fair and a perfectly legit tactic, but I'm not yet convinced that it will succeed in the long-term. It could go either way (obviously). I am just waiting to see how effective these tactics are long-term. There are mixed reviews at best as far as those ATMs go. ... We still haven't even seen a competitor crop up yet. I bet one is coming one of these days, especially if bitcoin starts picking up, and then who knows what could happen. Anyway, obviously my overall point is that a lot of caution is probably needed for those interested in getting into bitcoin. I think there are a lot of factors to consider before putting any real money into it, because its future is far from solidified at this point.

    PS, especially for unsung - bitcoins aren't anonymous, FYI.
    Post edited by PJ_Soul on
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • jeffbrjeffbr SeattlePosts: 5,446

    I thought it went bankrupt a long time ago. there was an ATM in one of my local pizza shops a while back. it eventually disappeared.

    Yeah, one bitcoin ATM company closed up shop (Robocoin I believe). They owned the first Bitcoin ATM I saw. There's another one that has several ATMs in my area called Coinme. I don't know how many other bitcoin atm companies are out there.
    "I'll use the magic word - let's just shut the fuck up, please." EV, 04/13/08
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    No, it is not completely anonymous that is true. I still do prefer good ol cash for in person transactions.

    I agree many are holding (I am one) to see how it turns out. But it is designed to increase in value and surely if everyone cashed out at once it would drop, but here we are at $1200 holding pretty steady. I know I have my own price point in mind when I will make a bigger buy and as it is I buy a little every pay pariod and have been doing so on an auto buy for three years. I missed the $13 window when I first saw it, but I am well ahead in any case.

    I have seen the atms, kind of neat but I can do the same thing on my phone in a couple of minutes.
  • OP
    Is bitcoin an actual legal currency?
    When you make a purchase via bitcoin who records the transaction?
    If I were to say buy a car w/ bitcoin do they have to accept since its a legal form of tender?
    Kind of like buying something with 10,000 pennies. A merchant technically can't refuse.
    Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both ideas are overwhelming. AE
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    edited April 12
    As defined by govt not yet. 65m users would argue that.

    The blockchain

    Some may. Some may or may not accept gold or silver.

    It is my belief that a private business should be able to refuse service for any reason at any time but that has been beat to death and will not matter here.



    BTW, one of my alt-coins went from $.92 to $1.19 today. Today was a good day.
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon WinnipegPosts: 10,615
    unsung said:

    As defined by govt not yet. 65m users would argue that.

    The blockchain

    Some may. Some may or may not accept gold or silver.

    It is my belief that a private business should be able to refuse service for any reason at any time but that has been beat to death and will not matter here.



    BTW, one of my alt-coins went from $.92 to $1.19 today. Today was a good day.

    is it somehow tied to the price of oil? LOL
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 36,171

    unsung said:

    As defined by govt not yet. 65m users would argue that.

    The blockchain

    Some may. Some may or may not accept gold or silver.

    It is my belief that a private business should be able to refuse service for any reason at any time but that has been beat to death and will not matter here.



    BTW, one of my alt-coins went from $.92 to $1.19 today. Today was a good day.

    is it somehow tied to the price of oil? LOL
    :lol: Seems about as arbitrary. ;)
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • CM189191CM189191 Minneapolis via ChicagoPosts: 2,695
    What does this mean?
    The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/the-large-bitcoin-collider-is-generating-trillions-of-keys-and-breaking-into-wallets
    WI 6/27/98 WI 10/8/00 MO 10/11/00 IL 4/23/03 MN 6/26/06 MN 6/27/06 WI 6/30/06 IL 8/5/07 IL 8/21/08 (EV) IL 8/22/08 (EV) IL 8/23/09 IL 8/24/09 IN 5/7/10 IL 6/28/11 (EV) IL 6/29/11 (EV) WI 9/3/11 WI 9/4/11 IL 7/19/13 NE 10/09/14 IL 10/17/14 MN 10/19/14 FL 4/11/16 IL 8/20/16 IL 8/22/16
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
  • ShawshankShawshank Posts: 1,012
    I have no idea how Bitcoin works, and have never used it.  I do know that in one of my businesses I have had customers panicked and contacting us to try and recover their Bitcoin wallets, keys, dat files or whatever else related to their digital currency from their hard drive after it failed. 
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    Oofh.  There was a guy in NY that threw his away and tried to get it back from the city landfill and the city said nope, our property now.

    At one point I thought it was $7.2m worth.
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    I use a Ledger Nano S wallet.
  • ShawshankShawshank Posts: 1,012
    Yeah, we've recovered a few that have been well over $100k...one was over a million I know for sure.  We charge a lot for the service, but it's definitely worth it to them.
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    Bitcoin price the day I started this thread (4-9-17) was $1202.

    Today it is $1824.



  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BCPosts: 36,171
    I didn't realize that bitcoins could be lost the same way you can lose a wallet. Wow. That made me look up storage methods for the currency. The wiki page seems informative enough: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Ways_to_store_Bitcoins

    I actually assumed this part of it was MUCH simpler.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    No, it isn't unfortunately.  Bitcoin can be stored easily enough offline, but some of the alt-coins are not.  

    Everyone in the community stresses not storing anything on an exchange.  The concept is the same as a bank, if the bank is holding your money it really isn't yours.  They control it.

    I keep some on an exchange, the rest are on secured wallets.  My bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin are on a hard wallet.
  • Cliffy6745Cliffy6745 Posts: 23,555
    I tried to figure this out after my debit card started declining my gambling account.  Looked into it for about 10 minutes, got confused and took a nap.  Oh well.
  • unsungunsung Posts: 7,725
    Most people that are just starting open a coinbase acct.  It is pretty straightforward and easy to learn on.
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