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The people in this thread hating on crypto are missing the point.

Complaining that you can't go into CVS and buy something with Bitcoin right now is like complaining that all you can do with the Internet is send "electronic mail", which nobody reads, in 1990, or like complaining that Facebook is nothing but a glorified campus directory in 2006.

The truth is, you can't buy things with Bitcoin at CVS because the technology isn't there yet. Right now, Bitcoin is suitable to be digital gold, but with a much higher possibility of return because it's a new asset.

In a couple of years, the addition of the lightning network on top of the Bitcoin network will enable you to buy things at CVS.

Right now, buying Bitcoin is like making an angel investment.

> The truth is, you can't buy things with Bitcoin at CVS because the technology isn't there yet ... In a couple of years, the addition of the lightning network on top of the Bitcoin network will enable you to buy things at CVS.

That's awfully optimistic. Occasionally I drop in on Bitcoin forums/subreddits to amuse myself, and what I've seen for the last year+ is a deadlocked stalemate with the Segwit/BU/LN/no change people all screaming at each other with no progress made whatsoever. Amazingly, Bitcoin has ended up in a place where there's actually less innovation velocity than the world of fiat currency, because it's impossible to form the needed consensus on moving it forward.

My prediction for the future of Bitcoin is that it won't die per se, but it will continue spinning its wheels forever with arguments like this.

Considering the price its trading at, that is probably what people want.

Bitcoin is crypto gold. It has been valued by markets as cryptogold for 5+ years. Nobody wants to turn it into crypto money now, because that would destroy the valuation for its scarcity and clunkiness.

The alogirthms for cryptomoney are going to be different, and the fact nobody has written a compelling implementation yet (ie, can handle preposterous transaction volume, huge networks, maintain consistent inflation to incentivize maximum velocity so it can work as a money (unlike btc), and avoids costing billions in proof of work mining to maintain) hasn't taken off yet.

I actually completely agree with you. I didn't want to say it out loud, but I do agree that the way Bitcoin is hyped to outsiders (as the future of currency transactions, independent from governments and banks) is very different from how Bitcoin holders actually think about it and use it (as an asset to be pumped-and-dumped). Bitcoin defenders tend to get very upset when you point this out though.

Whenever I look at anti-Bitcoin arguments, it mostly just boils down to the fact that they don't really know Bitcoin all that well.

There's absolutely no reason why digital gold can't be extremely liquid. There's no reason why increasing the valuation of bitcoin itself is going to do away with the digital gold market (raise your hand if you hold gold and would be super upset if it went up 100x).

The complaints about stagnation and the fact that the community is having political difficulties etc is true. But I also remember some years ago when twitter couldn't even keep its servers running and everyone was writing it off as a technology that couldn't scale.

Even if the naysayers are right and and Bitcoin never becomes anything but digital gold and a way to send money between different countries, then the market cap still has like 50x to go.

Finally, I'll only accept arguments that Bitcoin can't become the next digital currency from people who thoroughly understand the lightning network. If you actually understand how Bitcoin is structured, there's no way it could ever scale to the point where every transaction is written to the block chain.

That's why we are creating the lightning network, which is essentially a VISA prepaid credit card system on top of Bitcoin. You can contribute a certain amount to your lightning account and then make unlimited purchases, instantly and it practically zero cost all month and then settle with one transaction to the blockchain. All of this is secure and trustless.

The only thing standing between the lightning network and what we have now is a fix for malleable transactions which is held up because of a political dispute.

The nature of the dispute is unimportant, mostly due to the fact that the rebels have tried to do a hard fork attack over the last month and have failed, proving Bitcoin to be decentralized enough (and it will get more decentralized as it gets larger). The opposition, at this point, can't win and can only delay. At some point, incentives will ensure that they have to go along with the fix, and then it's Bitcoin 10,000.

I'm invested in Bitcoin for the long-term and have no interest in pumping and dumping. To date, I haven't sold any Bitcoin, and I have high six figures worth.

I'm more bullish on Bitcoin than I have been on anything, and I would openly welcome any legitimate arguments that convinced me otherwise, but I haven't heard anything yet that can't easily be explained by a misunderstanding of the underlying technology.

> The only thing standing between the lightning network and what we have now is a fix for malleable transactions which is held up because of a political dispute.

I think this part right here is the root of your problem. There was a good quote from Neal Stephenson's most recent book:

“ ... I have to warn you that this is the word—‘politics’—that nerds use whenever they feel impatient about the human realities of any organization.”

Trying to handwave away your opponent's position as "a political dispute" will never get you anywhere. They're all saying the same thing about your position! "If everyone just agreed with me, there'd be no dispute" That's why Bitcoin is in a stalemate, with everybody accusing everybody else of having ulterior motives while they alone are the only noble people whose opinions are purely apolitical.

Thinking that you can create a system where decisions are made purely on their technical merits, and "politics" can be kept out, is the hopeless nerd fantasy that we really have to get over.

You mischaracterize my point completely. I, at no point, make the claim that politics isn't part of Bitcoin. In fact, that's part of its design. The whole system is designed to be very difficult to change.

The fact that we are at a stalemate right now because of politics is entirely true, and also entirely uninteresting to me. It doesn't matter which side is technically right or wrong, the underlying dispute is ephemeral and eventually something will have to be done, and will. Right now, the incentives are not such to force something to be done, but eventually the incentives will align.

Furthermore, even if I'm incorrect and Bitcoin grinds to a development halt completely, then it's still perfectly suitable to be digital gold and I'll be happy to make my 20-50x return on it based on that.

I don't know who these people you're referring to are who are claiming that Bitcoin is some autonomous system that always makes decisions based on technical merits, but it's not me.

Of course, I have an opinion on the current controversy, and I do think my side is technically right, but that's irrelevant. I also think my side is being political.

Ripple has written a compelling implementation. It can handle massive transaction volume, is building a network internationally with established banks, is slowly releasing more currency into the wild resulting in inflation, and is pre-mined to avoid having to do proof of work.

Ripple, while interesting, isn't designed to be crypto money, it's designed to be a global settlement network, which is the first thing you'll see when you go to their webpage.

Furthermore, their transaction costs are currently at a minimum an order of magnitude more than what a Bitcoin transaction costs, running to 2-3 orders of magnitudes. It's a replacement for the SWIFT network, which is all great but not really directly competing with Bitcoin.

He also called it an angel investment. As in 1/10 or 1/20 chance at profitability, and less than that at long term sustainability. Though at this point I'd consider buying bitcoin equivalent to buying stock in a company with a promising product but some major obstacles to achieving its vision. It could go to the moon if things work out (Facebook). It could muddle along if it has a brilliant idea but major internal problems (Twitter). It could go to zero if people lose interest, lose faith, or an amazing competitor comes along (Yahoo search).

You can't go into CVS and buy things with gold either.

Pretty sure that if you ask the cashier to exchange your gold nugget with a toothbrush you will have no problem proceeding with the transaction.

I'm pretty sure that if you try to buy a two dollar tube of toothpaste with a two dollar speck of gold, they'll say no thanks.

yup, I said a nugget.

You could walk in with a brand new Playstation 4 system and do the same thing.

That is an argument completely irrelevant to this discussion.

"You can't go into CVS and buy things with gold either."

Pedantry: US Gold eagle coins are actually legal tender US currency with a $50 face value.

So while it would be exceedingly foolish to treat an ounce of gold like a $50 coin, you could.

Where this becomes slightly interesting is the $10k limit on foreign currency declarations in international travel ... since these are $50 coins of US legal tender, you should be able to travel with 199 of them (worth about $200k) without declaring anything.


I would be willing to bet you wouldn't get far trying to buy things at CVS with a Gold Eagle. It's likely they've never seen one and will assume you're trying to pull some kind of scam.

Not that I'd be willing to research the point with my own money.

You are right, its an investment, because you are investing in commodity. With its limitations and the insistence of being fully de-centralized (which is in reality is not, due to the consolidation of mining power and nodes etc) and its upper ceiling of quantity, it will never be an actual daily used currency. All the hacks and heists of millions in coins in conjunction with people who have no business in building exchange sites and such doing so, will not help this cause along at all. There is a reason banking and other finance markets are regulated and backed. People just tend to focus too much on the negatives around those entities.

Something else on the same technology is a different story though.

I don't doubt the underlying blockchain technology will continue to scale but my question has always been the lock-in effect of Bitcoin and other existing crypto-currencies versus new entrants. As the major banks, payment processors, and clearing houses look into moving in this direction it's clear they are going to roll their own solutions.

Well, I guess that's great. It's a free market, and the best option will win, but a blockchain isn't a blockchain unless you have enough distributed hashing power behind it to ensure that no one entity or small groups of entities has control over the network.

I'm still puzzled as to how banks think they're going to do this.

> to ensure that no one entity or small groups of entities has control over the network.

Why is this necessarily a problem? I think the hard forks in both BTC and ETH have shown that there is an inherent "appeals" process no matter what. Seems like you can separate the appeals process from the underlying settlement and record keeping technology. New blockchain providers just need to represent what the ultimate appeals process is for each implementation (instead of hashing power, could easily be any of a dozen other ideas, including recourse to the existing judicial system which has what I'd call a net-neutral set of advantages and disadvantages).

I don't really understand the question, but anybody can create a fork of Bitcoin anytime they want.

The controversy is over which fork gets to be called Bitcoin.

> The people in this thread hating on crypto are missing the point.

You may be right, but judging from the clumsy and pretentious analogy about email that you think proves them wrong, you also are missing a lot of points.

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