NFR Bitcoin Accepted Here?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by freestoneangler, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. nb_ken

    nb_ken Active Member

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    That's the most cogent write up on bitcoin that I've read - and I've read quite a bit.

    Doesn't explain the mania though. I think the technology is solid, or at least promising. But I don't think anyone who's bought bitcoin in the last year or so is betting on the technology or any possible end use of the technology. All they're betting on is the price. Investor A is betting that some Investor B is out there who will buy it for more than he paid for it. And Investor B is counting on an Investor C for the same reason, with no underlying change in value of the original asset.

    Bitcoin is, indeed, digital gold - at least as it's being traded now. And gold, long term, is not a particularly good investment. At least with physical gold, you might be able to convince yourself that you're hedging against some apocalyptic event. You don't get that with bitcoin. If everything comes crashing down, chances are, the blockchain network is coming down with it. In a Mad Max fantasy world, the gold hoarders will get the last laugh.

    And I'm not sure I'm buying your argument that we need a currency designed to let regular people hide assets from bad state actors. That could just as easily be flipped around so that bad people could hide assets from regular state actors. In fact, that second case is primarily how bitcoin is being used now. The tiny slice of the global economy doing bitcoin-based trade is dominated by Silk Road merchants and ransomware hackers. Not sure I want to throw my lot in with those guys.

    Anyway, great post. Thanks for taking the time to put that up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  2. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Good explanation. Does this leave you closer or farther from wanting to participate? Ethereum sounds interesting. I suspect when/if giants like Amazon start using these form of currency, that will change perception.
     
  3. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Well - I think the only thing that explains the mania is the psychological dynamics that drive speculative frenzies whenever any significant technological innovation comes along.

    I think that a there's a spectrum of calamities that folks want to protect themselves from, and I agree that people in the US, Europe, Japan, etc have very little need to protect themselves from scenarios that have essentially zero probability of occurring and no legitimate worry that their money will get inflated away or stolen by their governments. If you live in ~60% of what constituted the Soviet Union, basically anywhere in South America, Central America, India, or China you face varying degrees of rapacity, incompetence, and corruption that might warrant holding a chunk of your savings in an asset that serves the same function as cash but is vastly easier to conceal and transfer.

    As I said above - Monero has captured the market for a truly anonymous cryptocurrency - so criminal activities are driving very little of the of the global demand for Bitcoin at the moment. The truly nefarious characters - drug cartels, warlords, and other organized crime syndicates always could and still can simply use cash or other conventional assets for their activities because they have the resources and muscle necessary to circumvent the rules and institutions that are supposed to regulate banking deposits, wire transfers, real estate etc in one way or another.

    From my perspective, everyday folks in third world countries are basically at the mercy of their governments - so I'm very happy that this technology may provide them a means to limit the extent to which the organized criminal rackets running their countries can rob and impoverish them. Even if it just means that they pay less to Western Union when they want to send some remittances to their relatives living overseas - I still count that as a win.

    Here's one example of how that's working in one country:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/big-in-venezuela/534177/

    Here's a podcast that hits some of the same notes (the interviewee is a tech investor who's family had their life savings wiped out by two successive forced devaluations courtesy of the Argentine government).
    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/07/wences_casares.html
     
  4. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    I'm participating to the extent that I put a sum of money that I could lose 100% of without crying too many tears (1% of our cash savings) into a particular crypto a while ago - with the full realization that even though I'm fairly certain that the blockchain technology is here to say, it's impossible to predict which if any of the digital currencies will pass the test of time. E.g. knowing that the particular crypto I bought had a very high probability turning into the digital equivalent of shares in adhesives.com circa 2001 before I know it. It's up a lot so far - but I'd guess there's an 80% chance it will ultimately be worth nothing and maybe a ~0.001 percent chance that it'll be worth a lot of money someday. I'll be happy if I ultimately can sell it for enough to pay for a little family vacation someday when my girls are older - but who knows.

    Back when I bought it - I would have given anyone who asked and wasn't strapped (e.g. could lose it all and not have it be a big deal) the advice to put 1% of their non-retirement savings into crypto and cross their fingers. I feel less comfortable with that idea now - but if someone truly had a high risk tolerance and didn't mind hopping on the financial equivalent of a rusty carnival ride with a cranked-out hobo manning the levers just for the sake of experiencing a wild ride - then I'd say go for it.
     
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  5. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Have you used it to purchase anything? I ran into a younger guy here in the valley that has been involved with it for some years now. He used it (not sure if Bitcoin) to purchase a car... not from a dealer, just used one.
     
  6. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    Bitcoin intrinsic value is based on one's and zero's, particularly zero's............... Now Tulip bulbs...that is a real investment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania
     
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  7. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    There's a relatively small number of sellers that accept bitcoin directly, but in principle the only person I know who has any real money in crypto just converts his coins to USD on an exchange, has the proceeds wired to his bank account, and then pays for whatever he wants in USD.

    I'm just kind of going for the ride for the foreseeable future but if the miniscule amount of money we have at risk ever turns into real money I think I'd just do the same thing.
     
  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    That's what I like about reading Will & Ariel Durant... we do in fact just keep repeating history.
     
  9. nb_ken

    nb_ken Active Member

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    Just think, if you'd bought a new, $1,000 fly rod with bitcoin a year ago, you'd be the proud owner of a $13,000 fly rod today.
     
  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    If only it worked that way. This whole cryptocurrency concept is kind of cool. Very possible that the WFF forum members reading these old posts in the 2040's will be chuckling because Chris Scoones Jr. will have added the Bitcoin payment button to the classifieds too bar. :D
     
  11. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    I have read up on it a bit more after this post was first made. I still don't know enough about it to feel comfortable putting any money in. But it's interesting....

    I have a coworker who's 22 year old "dead beat" stepson apparently did some mining and bought a bit a while back. He has himself about a $500,000 nest egg now and is just travelling around the country bumming.

    Edit: Just looked at the current price. I talked to him about it a few months ago. That $500,000 nest egg is probably more like $1.5 million now....
     
  12. quilbilly

    quilbilly Big Time Hater

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    If he's got 500k and traveling around the country, he's not 'bumming', he's living life on his own terms....his coin, his time.

    Frankly, I'd do the same....
     
  13. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    Oh no...so would I. I didn't mean it with a negative connotation. And it's actually 1.5 million now. Just looking at the price charts and wow.
     
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  14. quilbilly

    quilbilly Big Time Hater

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    If he fishes, I'd be even more envious...
     
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  15. A.A.

    A.A. Active Member

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    My wife put $1000 of my hard earned money into bitcoin a few months ago. I wasn’t very excited about it. When it doubled I asked her to take the original $1000 out, so there was no loss. We just pulled the rest out a week ago because it just didn’t sit well with us. We made $3000. She ordered a Costco bedroom set to replace the falling apart set given to us by my parents 18 years ago. It might continue to go up, it might be 100x more valuable in a few years, but I couldn’t care less. I didn’t like it. You really can’t get something for nothing, it has to come from somewhere.

    In this case, the value comes from popularity. Popularity from “investors” mostly trying to make easy money, and popularity from criminals making money selling horrible goods and services. Then there are the real “stick it to the man” tech fans who believe in this movement. I think if a few bucks in PayPal or credit card or debit card fees are worth more than fighting crime, you are selfish.

    What are you really investing in with bitcoin? Nothing. You’re actually voting with your money. Casting a ballot that is contributing to the popularity that is making a lot of very evil people and organizations rich right now. If we made it safe, it wouldn’t be too much different than the current methods of payment, so it’s not really necessary.

    A while back when Silk Road was shut down, bitcoin value plummeted. What does that tell you? Think about it. The best thing anyone can do is stop being greedy and not maintain the popularity of bitcoin so we can take away the crazy monetary power that criminal organizations have gained recently with skyrocketing bitcoin. Meanwhile I’ll be sleeping on my Costco bed of lies! Lol! You may differ from my opinion, but do some soul searching on this one. Why does anyone really need cryptocurrency? Government isn’t great at regulating, but no regulation and complete secrecy can and will bring out the worst in people.
     

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