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> 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).

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