Alright, figured I had to stop in and see what was going on in this thread finally.
First off: pages 1-2 all about "You can't make money mining Bitcoins, or can you?" -- that's not the point of Bitcoin, that's just how the inflation process works; inflation makes you POORER over time not richer. That's to handle increased usage over time, and more people having Bitcoin wallets... Also, eventually when the system hits max inflation (and there is a defined max) Bitcoins can be subdivided into decimal quantities.
In the end you make money on Bitcoin the same way you would any other currency, you trade for it, you work for it, or you cheat for it.
Second off: For anyone citing technical issues -- the people who designed and built Bitcoin had everything mentioned in this thread (just about) figured out before they wrote a single line of code, they understand cryptography and scalability better than you, these problems have already been solved, so deal with it.
Third off: for people citing that it isn't real money: There is no such thing as real money. It's all a number in a computer somewhere, and is only EVER worth what people are willing to give you in exchange for it. The same thing my nintendo or computer is worth. Just because I can trade my nintendo for more cows now than I could before doesn't mean the value of my nintendo went up, maybe it means the value of cows went down, or even that the value of my nintendo went down but the values of cows went so far down that it offset that... or any other feasible combination of the two.
US dollars are not the only monetary system used in the US. Several cities have localized currencies. Usually when the currency gets too strong the fed steps in and breaks it up. Bit coin does not suffer this issue as it is decentralized.
Bit coin DOES, however, have a stability issue which is caused by it not being widely accepted, and not being backed by another currency with an established value (such as gold or silver), however as more people begin to adopt it and use it it may begin to stabilize more. At any rate, even if the value just stays the same, the relative value (in US dollars) will go up as the US dollar plummets.
This is no different from investing your money in another stable currency on the Forex exchange (In idiot's terms Forex is like a stock market for trading money. Someone else may be able to explain it better, but a lot of the confusion in this thread would disappear if people just understood the above.)
Can't they pay out bitcoins for scientific work units? That'd be a great motivator for people to contribute to distributed computing as you'd get something for it.
The EFF takes Bitcoins as payment, so you can help them out if you like.
I'd much rather trust the reserve bank.
+1 vote for stupidest statement ever.
I see no use for this what so ever.
You just said you hate the con-game the banks play on us, yet switching to a currency they don't control is unappealing to you?
The thing about this bitcoin system is that instead of trusting people, I would have to trust the system.
Could you then explain why things cost nearly 10 times what they did when I was a kid?
It's called inflation. Like in monopoly when you pass go. More money enters into the system for some arbitrary reason that benefits no one except for those who made up the arbitrary conditions. What Bitcoin has is much more fair.
In monopoly, if we always had the same money as we did at the start it would be hard to bankrupt anybody and take all their stuff while they rot in debtors prison; also the system would be way too fair.
This is the problem people have solved with inflation, because people don't like fair. People like unfair advantages (blame evolution, for people's desire to get ahead unfairly.) So they fuck with the system and gain a deep understanding of how it works, and exploit it, and their fuckings with it, to become very rich. They're called bankers and brokers and financial tycoons, and criminals in suits.
The politicians ultimately use this funny money to buy votes.
The corporations that buy politicians you mean.
I bought $20 worth of bitcoins. Do you think they're going to deflate?
Bitcoin currency is constantly inflating; but that doesn't mean you can't trade it for more than you paid for... But why Bitcoin and not Forex or some money market -- that is, if you just wanted to trade? [edit: after reading the whole thread, wow, good job Dustin!]
Right, but somebody had to give bitcoins actual value by backing them up with money or goods, and everyone who did that essentially gave away their money.
Which was worthless money anyway. Money is just an idea, a number in a computer somewhere anyway. It's not really "backed" with anything. It never was. Just what people were willing to back it with.
In the US they say it's backed with gold, but when the world called in their debts, Nixon gave half our gold away, then gave them all the finger, and shut the doors on that real quick.
Let me say it again: Your money is not really worth anything. It has no REAL value. ALL MONEY regardless of the currency type, etc, is worth EXACTLY what people decide it's worth. I give away 40 hours a week of my work (sometimes more) for currency that is constantly losing value that barely pays my rent and feeds me. My work that I trade is a type of currency too! -- Would it matter if they paid me in star trek action figures? Not if sellers were willing to take them as payment -- at that point in the example star trek action figures become legitimate money.
If you own a bitcoin, you only own what people are willing to give you for it.
You mean like stocks on Forex? Again, not all stocks are in companies...
Of course with a stock you can only get what people are willing to pay you for it as well, but at least you own something tangible instead of something that is made up.
Um, it sounds like you have no idea how the stock market works. NOTHING on the stock market is tangible. Not in futures/commodities/securities (unless you're doing it wrong), not in Forex, not in bonds, and certainly not in any of the traditional exchanges that you're talking about like NYSE or NASDAQ, etc...
you own a percantage of that company, something tangible.
How is a made up entity worth something OTHER than what people decided it was worth? Again, it's ALL made up. It's not real.
A bitcoin is only worth anything as currency if people are willing to trade goods in exchange for these.
So, exactly like regular currency then...
If you have gold certificates, you're going to want to make sure you get them to give you the actual gold at some point, or your certificates will become more worthless than the currency you used to buy it.
Thomas, is that true for all gold trading systems? What about pecunix, for example? -- I'm not really interested in buying gold, but thinking about silver, it's cheaper and seems to be growing faster in value (anyway, the service I found doesn't sell you paper, they actually ship you the metal you buy... but even then I'm not convinced it would be worth anything when I needed it.)
I think many will find when a crash occurs that they will be just as broke with their "gold" as with actual cash.
Right? Who wants to buy gold when they can buy FOOD or AMMUNITION or OIL... especially a piece of paper that represents gold on a market that may not even exist at that point...?
if you believe in bible prophecy, it states that people will throw their gold into the streets, indicating that it will be just as worthless. Time will tell.
That happens all the time in history. It's called famine. Money isn't real. You can't eat it, it's just an idea. It's only worth what people are willing to give for it. Bitcoins are no different.
Again, I find that increase astounding. Not only has the value gone up, it's gone up heaps, and I don't really understand why.
Because the perceived value has changed, usually this is a result of supply & demand. Perhaps in the last few days someone has tried to buy a lot of Bitcoin? Or perhaps in the last few days our currency inflated dramatically...
Unless of course, it isn't real money.
It never is. Work is all you have. What you're willing to trade for yours is up to you and whom you're trading with.