Let's Discuss Bitcoin

So I've been lurking for a while on this thread.  A friend of mine who does nothing for a living but "manage his money" about a month ago advised me to put 1% of my portfolio in cryptocurrency / blockchain / whatever one calls it.  So I purchased a bit of Ethereum last week.  I looked at it today. It's up 60% since.

He also advised that ETH is a better investment than bitcoin for a variety of reasons which I won't go into here.


I'm at an age where I'm a little bit afraid of storing actual Bitcoin. In the event that I"m not around, my survivors might have trouble accessing it. I prefer to use something like GBTC where I don't have to store it anywhere. That's just me. 

I'd like to see an Etherium trust similar to GBTC.  

Bitcoin ETF's are going to come out in a few months. Then the real fun begins, when the algos do their thing. 


Miami condo on sale for 33 bitcoins - seller won't accept any other currency.  First time ever in US. 

https://www.redfin.com/FL/Miami/480-NE-30th-St-33137/unit-2206/home/43370743



pick up a keepkey or ledger nano s. couldn't be easier to store and very safe.  a simple tutorial is all that's needed.  agree on ether.  much more upside.   and even litecoin.  these smaller blockchains are bound to coalesce at some point so I wouldn't be scared off by scale.   half the fun of cryptos is also being able to use them to buy crap.


Where did you get your keepkey?  I see that Amazon has them.


Bitcoin prices plunged sharply to below $11,000 on Friday, shedding a third of its value in just 24 hours, according to data from CoinDesk.com. It later rebounded slightly to around $12,000 -- but that's still a stunning 25% less valuable than bitcoin was Thursday morning.



Formerlyjerseyjack said:

There’s a saying in finance —-if you don’t understand it, don’t buy it.   I done understand bitcoin.

This. 


There's a saying in gambling:  If you can't spot the sucker, it's you.

Soul_29 said:



Formerlyjerseyjack said:

There’s a saying in finance —-if you don’t understand it, don’t buy it.   I done understand bitcoin.

This. 



selling at $14,267 now


Bitcoin "commercial" from Late Night with Seth Meyers: What is it and how does it work



And the Daily Show's take -- including how to start your own cryptocurrency:



Interesting take on bitcoin, "Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology built on reactionary economics."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/08/bitcoin-is-the-new-middle-ages/?utm_term=.48c5b430ef21


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...

A man suspected of masterminding the theft of 600 computers that were being used to mine virtual currencies has escaped custody in Iceland, police say.


Sindri Thor Stefansson escaped the low-security prison through a window and fled to Sweden on a passenger plane that was also carrying Iceland's prime minister, local media report.


http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/0...

Warren Buffett says bitcoin is "rat poison."


I must be missing something - is bitcoin supposed to be a currency? 

If so - can anyone point out other currencies that fluctuate $2,000 over the course of a month?   April 8 it was around $6,900 and today it's $9,100


I had a similar thought.

Bitcoin is promoted as valuable because it's an alternative currency, not subject to any central bank.  If it's a currency, then it's something that should be used, and exchanged for other things.  If I have dollars, I don't hold them in my wallet and wait for them to increase in value.  I exchange them for something (even if it's just a right to some short-term interest, by putting them into a bank account).

That's why this doesn't make sense.  "Why is Bitcoin valuable?"  "Because it's the next big thing in currency."

"So I should get it and spend it?"  "No, get it and hold it."

"So when will it be valuable as a currency?"  "When more people start spending it."


If Bitcoin fluctuated between $1-$3, I could see it as a viable currency alternative.  But this is insanity.


It makes zero sense as a currency. If you price your Florida condo at 33 bitcoins, and bitcoin rockets from $11,000 to $16,000 in a week, has your condo really appreciated in value by 45%? 

Seems kind of like nonsense to me. On the other hand if that's the trendline investors are hoping for, why would anybody buy anything priced in dollars with an equivalent amount bitcoin? It will be far less expensive next week. 


jamie said:
If Bitcoin fluctuated between $1-$3, I could see it as a viable currency alternative.  But this is insanity.

Monday:  "Try McDonald's One Bitcoin Menu!"

Tuesday:  "Try McDonald's Two Bitcoin Menu!"

Wednesday:  "Did you try our Two Bitcoin Menu yesterday?  You can get it for One Bitcoin today!"


You’re a Lydian. You come up with this idea of small, portable ingots that can be traded for goods. A few others pick up on the potential, except each ingot is very, very difficult to make. Still, taking the long view, these people really, really want them and put a lot of energy into producing them. Speculators see the value of the ingots rising and start to get in on the act. That adds instability to their value, which makes it hard to use the ingots for their original purpose.

Eventually, they become easier to make, and their convenience takes hold. A lot of speculators lose out, but the ingots win the day.

Bitcoin, for now, doesn’t make sense as a currency. Like the idea of currency, however, the blockchain behind it is the long-term bet. That’s what’s driving the non-speculators’ excitement.

At least, that’s my layman’s take.


DaveSchmidt said:
You’re a Lydian. You come up with this idea of small, portable ingots that can be traded for goods. A few others pick up on the potential, except each ingot is very, very difficult to make. Still, taking the long view, these people really, really want them and put a lot of energy into producing them. Speculators see the value of the ingots rising and start to get in on the act. That adds instability to their value, which makes it hard to use the ingots for their original purpose.
Eventually, they become easier to make, and their convenience takes hold. A lot of speculators lose out, but the ingots win the day.
Bitcoin, for now, doesn’t make sense as a currency. Like the idea of currency, however, the blockchain behind it is the long-term bet. That’s what’s driving the non-speculators’ excitement.
At least, that’s my layman’s take.

I don't disagree, but the it's clearly a medium of exchange, not an investment.

At least when the Lydian started with his ingots, he made them with a material that people already considered valuable.  Your bitcoin is only valuable if other people agree to use it as a store of value (sort of like central bank currency without the central bank).  You can't use it for anything else, although I suppose if you wanted to print out your "bitcoin wallet" and wear it as some "bling" you could do that.


Why are gold and silver more valuable than copper and nickel? Are they objectively stronger, more useful?

Bitcoin is rare and maybe, in digital terms, even beautiful. If it never achieves its promise as currency, what would disqualify it as an investment?


DaveSchmidt said:
Why are gold and silver more valuable than copper and nickel? Are they objectively stronger, more useful?
Bitcoin is rare and maybe, in digital terms, even beautiful. If it never achieves its promise as currency, what would disqualify it as an investment?

If Bitcoin "never achieves its promise as currency", then the question is "What is it good for?"

Gold and silver and copper and nickel have their relative rarities and their varied uses, other than as currency.

Bitcoin isn't even "rare", in the sense that a "bitcoin-like" medium could be instituted using the exact same principles and coding.  It might not be adopted to the same extent, and therefore used by less people, but that wouldn't be due to any inherent characteristic.


While it's not truly anonymous, it's better for committing crimes than real money is.


nohero said:


DaveSchmidt said:
Why are gold and silver more valuable than copper and nickel? Are they objectively stronger, more useful?
Bitcoin is rare and maybe, in digital terms, even beautiful. If it never achieves its promise as currency, what would disqualify it as an investment?
If Bitcoin "never achieves its promise as currency", then the question is "What is it good for?"
Gold and silver and copper and nickel have their relative rarities and their varied uses, other than as currency.
Bitcoin isn't even "rare", in the sense that a "bitcoin-like" medium could be instituted using the exact same principles and coding.  It might not be adopted to the same extent, and therefore used by less people, but that wouldn't be due to any inherent characteristic.

 Several other cryptocurrencies have popped up already. The coolest thing to call yourself these days is a cryptocurrency entrepreneur or expert.


Digital money that doesn't go through banks will probably make sense in the future. But it's not currency now, because people are using it as an investment. Investing in it means people expect the value to change (go up). That makes it a very unworthy thing as a currency. A good currency is stable in value.


Tom_Reingold said:
Digital money that doesn't go through banks will probably make sense in the future. But it's not currency now, because people are using it as an investment. Investing in it means people expect the value to change (go up). That makes it a very unworthy thing as a currency. A good currency is stable in value.

 Criminals are also using it quite successfully as a currency currently
.


lanky said:


Tom_Reingold said:
Digital money that doesn't go through banks will probably make sense in the future. But it's not currency now, because people are using it as an investment. Investing in it means people expect the value to change (go up). That makes it a very unworthy thing as a currency. A good currency is stable in value.
 Criminals are also using it quite successfully as a currency currently
.

 The margins are different if you're extracting a ransom vs buying shoes. It's pretty much all profit in the former case.


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