TEXT 107
Bitcoin-draft Guest on 20th May 2020 02:01:54 PM
  1. [quote author=aminorex link=topic=178336.msg4868760#msg4868760 date=1391229352]
  2. "As bitcoiners used to claim" strikes me as unsubstantiated defamation.  "As Rick used to believe" or "as Rick was advised" might be factual.
  3. [/quote]
  4.  
  5. Rick is no fool.
  6.  
  7. Yes, until the Silk Road bust, untraceability was touted as one of the main advantages of Bitcoin over other means of payment.  So much so, that, unfortunately, many people started using bitcoins [i]only[/i] because they thought that it was a totally safe way to pay for drugs.  I suspect that payment for illegal articles and services is still the largest fraction of all bitcoin transactions done so far, after investment and speculation.
  8.  
  9. Furthermore, untraceability was a necessary premise for other claims, such as "governments cannot stop us from using bitcoins", "governments cannot tax payment in bitcoins", and "bitcoins cannot be seized".  If governments can identify the persons behind transactions (and now we know that they can), of course they can do all those things too.
  10.  
  11. Just yesterday I got an angry tweet from a recent bitcoin convert, making the same claims above and chastising me for "not knowing" them.  It seems that the implications of the Silk Road case and Snowden's leaks have not yet sunk in among the broad bitcoin community.
  12.  
  13. I am rooting for cryptocoins's success, but I am not very optimistic.  There are still many unresolved problems and dubious assumptions in their "business plan".
  14.  
  15. Many of their supposed virtues have now been proven false.  Banks and governments will not just sit and sulk while a small band of disorganized nerds attempts to destroy their profits and powers.  Crptocoins can be devalued through the creation of alternative coins.  They can be stolen, or lost (without possibility of refund) if given to dishonest merchants or incompetent brokers.  They are being marketed as investment to unwary people with misleading promises about their future value.  And, even in the best scenarios, I doubt that they will be used for a significant fraction of all internet trade.
  16.  
  17. Their first original purpose still remains valid, though: to enable reliable digital money transfer  to anyone, anywhere, without the use of a bank or other trusted intermediary.  If nothing else, the existence of cryptocoins may force banks and payment processors (which won't disappear, since they do have some advantages over do-it-yourself crypto) to lower their international payment fees to something closer to the real transaction cost.
  18.  
  19. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  20.  
  21. [quote author=aminorex link=topic=178336.msg4868760#msg4868760 date=1391229352]
  22. "As bitcoiners used to claim" strikes me as unsubstantiated defamation.  "As Rick used to believe" or "as Rick was advised" might be factual.
  23. [/quote]
  24.  
  25. Rick is no fool.
  26.  
  27. Yes, until the Silk Road bust, untraceability was touted as one of the main advantages of Bitcoin over other means of payment.  So much so, that, unfortunately, many people started using bitcoins [i]only[/i] because they thought that it was a totally safe way to pay for drugs.  I suspect that payment for illegal articles and services is still the largest fraction of all bitcoin transactions done so far, after investment and speculation.
  28.  
  29. Furthermore, untraceability was a necessary premise for other claims, such as "governments cannot stop us from using bitcoins", "governments cannot tax payment in bitcoins", and "bitcoins cannot be seized".  If governments can identify the persons behind transactions (and now we know that they can), of course they can do all those things too.
  30.  
  31. Just yesterday I got an angry tweet from a recent bitcoin convert, making the same claims above and chastising me for "not knowing" them.  It seems that the implications of the Silk Road case and Snowden's leaks have not yet sunk in among the broad bitcoin community.
  32.  
  33. I am rooting for cryptocoins's success, but I am not very optimistic.  There are still many unresolved problems and dubious assumptions in their "business plan".
  34.  
  35. Many of crypto's supposed virtues have now been proven false.  Banks and governments will not just sit and sulk while a small band of disorganized nerds attempts to destroy their profits and powers.  Crptocoins can be devalued through the creation of alternative coins.  They can be stolen, or lost (without possibility of refund) if given to dishonest merchants or incompetent brokers.  They are being marketed as investment to unwary people with misleading promises about their future value.  And, even in the best scenarios, I doubt that they will be used for a significant fraction of all internet trade.
  36.  
  37. Their first original purpose still remains valid, though: to enable reliable digital money transfer  to anyone, anywhere, without the use of a bank or other trusted intermediary.  If nothing else, the existence of cryptocoins may force banks and payment processors (which won't disappear, since they do have some advantages over do-it-yourself crypto) to lower their international payment fees to something closer to the real transaction cost.

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