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Hawala seems more analagous to Ripple or the #bitcoin-otc IRC channel than to Bitcoin imho. Interesting read, nonetheless!



Yes Ripple is much more similar because it doesn't have any mining, the theoretical basis is disparate parties are unlikely to collude, not proof-of-work.


Ripple is superior to Bitcoin, but because it lacks the speculation element (i.e. "get rich quick"), it's not attractive.


How exactly is it superior? If I understand correctly, Ripple moves around IOUs backed by trust in intermediaries. Bitcoin is a commodity in itself that can be owned directly, without trusting any broker. Ripple to Bitcoin is like a banking network of inter-bank promises to personally owned physical gold under the mattress. Of course, Bitcoin can be stored cheaper and in many more interesting ways than gold, which makes it much safer and more useful.


Well, in the real world, Bitcoin needs the exchanges, which are good only for speculation and hoarders and not having this in Ripple is actually a good thing, especially for commerce! Ripple builds the system and specifications from A to Z, so, it's a more complete piece of technology, more universal, and more applicable to our daily lives, but it's not attractive to anarchists and speculators as there's very little in it for them.


Bitcoin does not need exchanges. Exchanges are just one method to get your hands on Bitcoin. Then you can trade in Bitcoin directly without any extra financial institution in between you and another guy. Exchanges are prevalent today as the easiest way to get BTC, but you can do it also by mining, by buying on the street or by selling your goods and services for BTC. You can invent new trading places or entire networks, or trade directly. Once no one needs USD or EUR, existing exchanges will become irrelevant.


Most people who sell bitcoins at LocalBitcons.com have their price based on an exchange plus a significant premium, not to mention, amounts you can get are very small. A lot of Bitcoiners don't look into Ripple or totally discount it as they see it as a competitor, when, in fact, it's the only thing that can save Bitcoin and keep it truly decentralized.


The point of ripple is not to accumulate coins, the point is to provide a transaction network. They didn't build Ripple to create a store of currency value, they built it to solve the problem of transactions.


If Ripple can finish turing complete contracts things could get very interesting.


I'm comparing just Bitcoin to Ripple and Bitcoin isn't Turing-complete either and arguably for a good reason.




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