Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here).

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Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here).

Post by Skepticus » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:45 am

Being that I'm kinda new here, I hope that I've posted this in the appropriate place. Otherwise, my advanced appologies, and mods, please feel free to move this post to the right place.

Now, I must declare my bias from the outset, in that I am an early adopter of the cryptocurrency known as bitcoin. I have some investment (a few coins) in the currency itself, but an overwhelming loyalty and confidence in the concept of cryptocurrency and particularly in the bitcoin protocol, as a means of emancipation from the crippling failures of our debt based fiat economy and the tyrany of the greedy central banking cartels. :shiver:

I think more and more, people are coming to learn that the nature of the money system we use as a legacy of a pre computer age, is horibly inadequate and even worse, it is controled and manipulated by an evil extortionist hireachy of elite warmonger/theives. See: MONEY AS DEBT ONE, TWO & THREE.

Back in 2010 there emerged a secrative geek, by the pseudonom of Satochi Nakamoto, who posted a whitepaper about bitcoin and introduced the world to the first decenteralised P2P (peer to peer) curency solution & payment system (bitcoin), to circumvent the nasty central banking cartels, who have been exploiting our money supply (by mutual virtual-manopolies), as well as goverments who permit the money supply, to be ever increasingly subjected to inflation and devaluation, which acts for them as a secret tax. It was pure genius. He solved the double spending problem by using distributed clocks, until then a pervasive engeneering anomaly. He understood the need for controled inflation tending towrds deflation, so he modeled bitcoin on an algorythm analogous to gold mining, wherin the supply of the comodity was built in to the protocol in such a way that it would diminish towards a finite limit (21 million bitcoins). In so doing he ensured bitcoin value would tend to increase due to scarcity (the opposite to what govt/banks do to fiat money).

I am, amongst other things (athiest, freetinker and secular humanist), a libertarian and proud advocate for the preservations of our freedoms, which world governments in this age are increasingly encroaching upon. Bitcoin stands as the most groundbreaking and revelutionary means of taking back the night; of circumventing authoritarian rule by emancipating control of wealth by the wealthy and of empowering the little guy.

I urge all free people to go fourth and embrace the argorist mode of free enterprise, by adopting cryptocurrency in one form or another. Ply your trade without being beholden to banks and governments. Stand up for what is free and just. Note that I'm not endorsing illegal activities or tax evasion. You can accept bitcoin and still declare your income and pay taxes. Nevertheless, governments will eventualy have to come to the table with a value proposition that benifits society, as there is nothing that they can do now, that prevents people trading without their consent and supervision. This currency revolution, forces them to change and become relevant. They will have to compete or be cut out of the loop. Again I don't endors you not paying taxes... but simply having the power not to do so has an unavoidable impact. It is a litle disapointing that the only mention I see of bitcoin / cryptocurrency on this board had to be the tired old warhorse about silkroad (where drugs can be bought online with bitcoin). You can think of bitcoin as digital cash; so yeah, ofcourse bitcoin can be used to buy drugs. ANY form of cash can be used to buy drugs even govt. fiat. You don't have to believe the BS that the elitists and FUD merchants, try to spindoctor cryptocurrency with. When you use bitcoin for the first time you will understand what real freedom feels like.

FWIW, bitcoin is a P2P technology that is not owned by anybody and relies not on any centeral authority, govt, or bank, but rather on the consensus of the crowd using it. It is also Open Source Software, so anybody can download, use, modify, contribute, distribute, and even fork it of into sub-variants (there are already numerous cryptocurrency variations). The ramifications of this cryptocurrency revolution, are trully astounding. It's bigger than the advent of the internet itself. It maybe more revolutionary than the invention of the printing press, or even written language. Sound a bit subversive? Well if the boot fits... All I can say is that something needed to be done. Do we need to be reminded of the global banking (sub-prime) colapse and subsequent bailout? Remember Cyprus? The banks can just stick their meat hooks into your loot and haul out whatever they like if the oppresive governments says it's OK. Then there's the cost of banking/transaction fees themselves which are pure shamefull robbery IMHO. Merchants using digital/online payment systems like PayPal (PoxPal) are beholden to even more charges. Then there are fraudulent reversals of transactions and cappricious use of rules to freeze accounts (like donations to wikileaks) etc. etc. Once a central authority get hold of the power to make our decisions and tell us what we can spend money on, or just flatly rip us off blind, there is no limit to the evil that can be imposed upon us.

I thought I might just let you all know that I am willing to give advice on how to use bitcoin and help wherever I can to advance the freedoms I believe we should all enjoy. Bitcoin can of course be used online. It's ideal for micropayments (virtualy no fees) donations, bounties and pledges. To that end (and as a demonstration of goodwill) I hereby pledge to donate 1 BTC (one bitcoin worth aprox $140 US) for division between the first and/or best of 10 posters to this thread (with a bitcoin address to send to), that I deem to be the best contributions to this discussion.

PS: To be eligable you will have to have been an existing memeber of this forum prior to this post.

PSS: I will update this thread with any other info, download and tutorial links as may be necicary. If you own a smart phone, then downloading a client/wallet app is the easiest way to get started. Just open 'google play' (or whatever you use to get apps from) and search for bitcoin. If you choose an app that handles QR codes, it makes things even easier. Post your bitcoin address or QR code with your comments or ask me to help if you have problems. :smoke:

Regards Skep. :td:
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by mistermack » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:12 am

That's a big post, too much to take in all at once.
One question though. There's one vital thing about a currency. Can it be forged?
You can't forge gold. That's why it's a great currency. You can forge diamonds, but it cost more than buying them.
You can forge Pounds or Dollars or Euros, but it's not easy, it's expensive, and you take a big risk.

What is the cast iron guarantee that nobody can steal your money, by forging bitcoins?

Also, what's to stop governments muscling in on it, with the excuse that they are stopping money laundering?
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Skepticus » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:43 pm

mistermack wrote: What is the cast iron guarantee that nobody can steal your money, by forging bitcoins?

Also, what's to stop governments muscling in on it, with the excuse that they are stopping money laundering?
Two great questions mistermack.

To the first one. Forgery is esentialy the same problem as the double spending problem I mentioned in my earlier post. The bitcoin protocol was designed from the ground up, to solve that very problem. What bitcoin keeps track of, is esentialy a record of transactions in a distributed database called the 'blockchain'. Everybody with the original bitcoin client or a mining node, has a copy of the block chain and can varify that any amount spent is confirmed as being the original transaction. The specifics are in the paper I linked too, but basicaly it is a peer to peer network and every node on the network has acces to the same data. If one node tries to pass off a transaction that disagrees with the vast majority, then everybody else client will dissagree and drop that transaction on the floor. It was when Satochi solved this double spending problem, that it became clear that a P2P curency would be possible.

The distributed blockchain is therefore a 'consensus' reality of all previous transactions. To 'forge' bitcoin you essentialy have to do a double spend and that means over taking the network with more than 50% of the hashing power. Hashing is the method used to secure the network against such attack. Basicly it's like a complex math problem, that takes a certain amount of calculating power.

The hash difficulty is also set to regulate the creation of new bitcoins. People running mining hardware are incentivised with the opportunity to earn new bitcoin by hashing. There is only one block (25 bitcoin) made, aprox ever ten minutes. More machines get added, then the difficulty is recalculated to slow it down (make it harder). Less machines (and hashing power) on the network means it needs to be made easier, so that on average the rate of new coinage stays constant. Meanwhile this army of machines, is providing security because they all see the network and pass transactions to other nodes. To overtake then with a 51% attack is virtualy impossible. The bitcoin network is currently estimated to be six to eight times greater than the top 500 supercomputers combined. That's what ensures there can never be more than one place that any particular bitcoin (or amount of bitcoin) can be. So if you send some bitcoin it must come from an existing source of bitcoin, ultimately created by the network itself.

As for the government "muscling in on" bitcoin. Well it depends on what you mean. Theres no way to control what bitcoin one person sends to another, short of shutting down the internet. It's all just data. The clients are Peer To Peer. Theere's no centeral repository and government doesn't have any unique advantage in the network. They could buy up lots of ASIC miners and start hashing away, but that's no different to anybody else. It's a free world. That's not muscling in as much as joining in. I'm sure we'd all be much happier if the government had such an investment in the bitcoin network. :D

I can assure you now, that both of these problems have been worked out well in advance and comprise the core of technological breakthroughs, that makes bitcoin not only possible, but so fucking amazing. I don't want to see governments become irrelevant or sidesteped, but if they continue being evil, people will choose to circumvent their systems. Bitcoin was designed from the grass roots to have that sort of power. What do you suppose governments could do to muscle in on bitcoin, that would work in practical terms?
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Skepticus » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:48 pm

mistermack wrote: What is the cast iron guarantee that nobody can steal your money, by forging bitcoins?

Also, what's to stop governments muscling in on it, with the excuse that they are stopping money laundering?
Two great questions mistermack.

To the first one. Forgery is esentialy the same problem as the double spending problem I mentioned in my earlier post. The bitcoin protocol was designed from the ground up, to solve that very problem. What bitcoin keeps track of, is esentialy a record of transactions in a distributed database called the 'blockchain'. Everybody with the original bitcoin client or a mining node, has a copy of the block chain and can varify that any amount spent is confirmed as being the original transaction. The specifics are in the paper I linked too, but basicaly it is a peer to peer network and every node on the network has acces to the same data. If one node tries to pass off a transaction that disagrees with the vast majority, then everybody else client will dissagree and drop that transaction on the floor. It was when Satochi solved this double spending problem, that it became clear that a P2P curency would be possible.

The distributed blockchain is therefore a 'consensus' reality of all previous transactions. To 'forge' bitcoin you essentialy have to do a double spend and that means over taking the network with more than 50% of the hashing power. Hashing is the method used to secure the network against such attack. Basicly it's like a complex math problem, that takes a certain amount of calculating power.

The hash difficulty is also set to regulate the creation of new bitcoins. People running mining hardware are incentivised with the opportunity to earn new bitcoin by hashing. There is only one block (25 bitcoin) made, aprox ever ten minutes. More machines get added, then the difficulty is recalculated to slow it down (make it harder). Less machines (and hashing power) on the network means it needs to be made easier, so that on average the rate of new coinage stays constant. Meanwhile this army of machines, is providing security because they all see the network and pass transactions to other nodes. To overtake then with a 51% attack is virtualy impossible. The bitcoin network is currently estimated to be six to eight times greater than the top 500 supercomputers combined. That's what ensures there can never be more than one place that any particular bitcoin (or amount of bitcoin) can be. So if you send some bitcoin it must come from an existing source of bitcoin, ultimately created by the network itself.

As for the government "muscling in on" bitcoin. Well it depends on what you mean. Theres no way to control what bitcoin one person sends to another, short of shutting down the internet. It's all just data. The clients are Peer To Peer. Theere's no centeral repository and government doesn't have any unique advantage in the network. They could buy up lots of ASIC miners and start hashing away, but that's no different to anybody else. It's a free world. That's not muscling in as much as joining in. I'm sure we'd all be much happier if the government had such an investment in the bitcoin network. :D

I can assure you now, that both of these problems have been worked out well in advance and comprise the core of technological breakthroughs, that makes bitcoin not only possible, but so fucking amazing. I don't want to see governments become irrelevant or sidesteped, but if they continue being evil, people will choose to circumvent their systems. Bitcoin was designed from the grass roots to have that sort of power. What do you suppose governments could do to muscle in on bitcoin, that would work in practical terms?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless that testimony be of such a knd, that it's
falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact which it endevours to establish. ~~~ David Hume
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by mistermack » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:24 pm

I think the weakness of it is that firstly, it's so anonymous. If my bank goes tits up, it's got assets, and it's backed by the government.
You can sell the bitcoin message as well as you like, but to change real money into bitcoin requires a leap of trust.
Either trust in the software setup, which most people won't understand, or want to research enough to build that trust, or trust in the people running it, who are invisible to the ordinary punter.
There was a fad in the sixties and early seventies for chain letters, and people did make money with them, for a while, till they went tits up.
I can't see how bitcoin can get over the trust problem. Not with sceptical people. Unless a major bank or country was backing it. Because very few people will understand the so-called built-in security in the system. Or will be prepared to research it enough to feel confident.
I wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole, and it would take an awful lot of study on my part to change that.
Which of course will not happen.
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Pappa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:38 pm

I've dabbled with Bitcoin a little but less than I intended to.

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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by JacksSmirkingRevenge » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:48 pm

Funnily enough I came across this concept just a few weeks ago and it seems (on the face of it) a great idea. (Nearly started a thead about it myself.)
I think it's had some problems, though. Such as a few people finding that their Bitcoin wallets have disappeared (I could be wrong there)? :ask:
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Audley Strange » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:15 pm

my major concern is I think electronic currency is too easily re-channelled by the creators of electronic currency. I also have little faith in claims of robust or even impenetrable encryption of being anything other that a big shiny lure for hackers from organised crime or military intelligence. Don't get me wrong this also applies to our current electronic financial system too, but there are at least securities.

As MM said, like all these things including our own current finance system it relies on faith. Same with the diamond or gold hoggers, but at least that market has been somewhat stable for most of our history to be reasonably secure.
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Tyrannical » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:24 pm

What backs bitcoins with tangible value? Artificially created scarcity of a virtual item is no basis for a currency.
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by JacksSmirkingRevenge » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:36 pm

Tyrannical wrote:What backs bitcoins with tangible value? Artificially created scarcity of a virtual item is no basis for a currency.
What backs a £10 note with tangible value? It is after all just an IOU. :dunno:
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Svartalf » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:57 pm

Plus, it still puts it in the ass of the late comers like me and those who don't have the means to establish their own mining operation...
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Azathoth » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:15 pm

It isn't a huge outlay any more to get into mining. With a bit of knowhow you can set up a dedicated system that will make you a decent amount of profit for less than the price of a high end desktop. You can pick up a little quad core for less than $200 and stack em up.
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by mistermack » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:01 pm

If someone invented something better tomorrow, all of the bitcoins would be worth fuck-all, overnight.

And they will, if it looks like a proper runner.
Does Bitcoin own patents, to stop imitators? What's to stop Google starting up tomorrow?
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by Skepticus » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:11 pm

mistermack wrote:I think the weakness of it is that firstly, it's so anonymous. If my bank goes tits up, it's got assets, and it's backed by the government.
Anonynymity is a strength not a weakness. Although there is great strength in the fact that every bitcoin transaction can be traced on the blockchain. The holder of the address (account) has no obligation to to associate that address with any personal info. As an individual and a consumer, you are as free to trade (anonymously) as you do with physical cash. When you go into a store to buy a pack of gum, there is no need for the shopkeeper to demand you identify yourself is there? Bitcoin is like cash that way. The serial numbers on notes can be traced, but they don't belong to a particular human identity. So you can trade your cash for gum and begone without the shopkeeper or anybody tracing your identity. Bitcoin is just the same, but it can be spent on the internet. Here's where the reliance on anonymity may stop. As a consumer you don't want to spend money where some fly-by-night opperator could flece you. You wouldn't give your credit card details to just anybody and you tend to recognise reputable brands and expect recipts for payments etc etc.. Nothing changes here with bitcoin. You can still use your common sense, identify trustworthy merchants and expect to be given recipts etc. The Buyer may still remain anonymous (notwithstanding the need for a shipping address for physical goods), but the buyer can and should expect the level of profesional practice and identification/paperwork etc, that they would usualy expect from a merchant. The banks provide you with the power to do a digital transaction and charge you an arm and leg for the privelage. The difference is the banks are a midleman that is unneccicary and NO the banks have nothing to cover your loss if they go 'tits up'. What do you think happened in Cypress? When the banks went tits up in the US (due to sub-prime forfiture) it was the taxpayers dollars that were used to bail THEM out. When the govt comes to fleece the citizens of their hard earned money, in order to bail out banks that have been robbing us blind for decades, it's not a benifit to you or me. Please wake up. The banksters are above the law. You might like to watch the animated documentary I linked in the original post, called 'Money As Debt' There are three parts ONE TWO and THREE.
You can sell the bitcoin message as well as you like, but to change real money into bitcoin requires a leap of trust.
Actualy trust and the need for it is the very thing that bitcoin eliminates. To don't need trust to hold bicoins and know that they are there and that they will always be yours. You don't need trust in third parties like banks PoxPal or your government who will constantly fleece you and devalue your holdings just for the privaledge of spending them. You are free to spend them or keep them as you choose as nobody can get between you and the other party to a transaction unless you permit them too. That's one hell of a reassuring benifit. BTW I'm not selling anything I'm giving it away for the benifit of others. That includes my time which accounts for 10:1 over the time taken to address lazy naive misconceptions and assumptions. I don't mind people asking genuine questions and trying to learn, but if you don't want to use bitcoin HONESTLY... Nobody is forcing you. ;)
Either trust in the software setup, which most people won't understand, or want to research enough to build that trust, or trust in the people running it, who are invisible to the ordinary punter.
Are you kidding!!! :what:

You trust those frauds and crooks called politicians and bankers by default? Let me expalin something. See... Bitcoin is OSS (open source software) as I mentioned in the OP. The benifit of this is that ANYBODY can download and read the source and see that it has nothing malevolent in it. The rules are such that ANYBODY can see how they work,or even change them and if they wish. If they don't like the consensus based rules they can also drop bitcoin like a hot potato and just go over to another cryptocurrency that uses more savory and fair rules. That is the main stopcheck that bitcoin has on sanity. No fiat currency in the world has anything like that degree of direct scrutuiny and integrity. It works in precicely the same way as the peer review process in science. OH but wait... you can't personaly read source code and don't personaly understand what it all means. :ddpan: Well.. If you go to the doctor and get a shot of some antibiotic or innoculation, do you expect to be able to understand the details of the science that he is treating you with? Yet here he is jabbing you and pumping stuff directly into your bloodstream. You might want to think about the trust you are bestowing upon this person. If you don't understand the science, you are only beholden to the accountability of the system.

I personaly know many of the earliest memebers of the bitcoin comunity. I know them to be sincere passionate libertarians. Some of them I would trust with my life, as I know they passionately care about helping to make this world a better place. But like everything else I have said here, you don't have to take my word for it. Just like peer reviewed science, it's checkable and made to be accountable. Not like creation 'science' and not like fiat currency either.

The currency you already trust by default (or trust because you must) is worthy of this trust exactly WHY? :dunno: You mean those people behind the big curtain are trustworthy? :funny: Gimme a break dude. I wouldn't trust Ben Bernanke with a smelly odd sock, even one with a hole in it. What matters is not that the system can be understood in every detail by every individual, but that it has meticulous checks and ballances to make it accountable. Compared to bitcoin what checks and ballances does government fiat curency have? Do you understand all of the code you use to transact online/ATMs? Do you understand the formulas used on wall street, to create derivitives and other exotic finacial instruments? Well if you don't know all this, I fail to see how you can trust the existing fiat currency system.

It's like religion really. Fiat has value because our parents gave it value. Then we learned it had value because it was being passed around and well... being valued in our community. Nobody stoped to tell us that all this valuing was an artificial contrivance. The value seemed as intrinsic to the paper and metal tokens, as the love of Jeebus did to the very pages of the bible. Meanwhile in Kashmir, people were waving another holy book and spending other magic tokens with intrinsic value. But it's not like that realy. The value was NEVER intrinsic. It was just what we originaly agreed to use, invest in and learned to value from our upbringing.
There was a fad in the sixties and early seventies for chain letters, and people did make money with them, for a while, till they went tits up.
And what has this got to do with bitcoin? Maybe I should sugest YOU do some research here. It's becoming clear that you haven't much idea how bitcoin works and I don't want to waste time in this thread having debates with sombody who simply dosn't know what the fuck they are talking about. So how about if you either forget this thread, go and do some basic research (I've provided some good starting points), or ask some sensible questions (with a degree of humility inversely proportional to your understanding of the topic).
I can't see how bitcoin can get over the trust problem. Not with sceptical people.
There is no trust problem. There is only an IGNORANCE problem.
Unless a major bank or country was backing it.
AGAIN WTF?? :what: You think holding hands with the banksters is going to improve the trustworthines for the people who use bitcoin. Dude, those are precicely the opportunist and frauds that bitcoin was designed to bypass. Have you been living under a rock for the past 20 - 30 years? Have you not seen the way banksters have looted and pillaged? Are you blind to politicians printing money and inflating economies while bailing out banks that are looting and pillaging left and right.
Because very few people will understand the so-called built-in security in the system.
And you're one of the rare exceptions to this rule then right? :roll:
Or will be prepared to research it enough to feel confident.
Like what we have is so much better. Right then. So we had better all be led to the slaughter like good little sheeple. Cause we wouldn't want to use our brain to think or anything hard like that. :roll:
I wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole, and it would take an awful lot of study on my part to change that.
Which of course will not happen.
Well aparently you're a lost cause then mistermac. In which case I do wish you hadn't stopped by to discorage others, or posit futile ilinformed interjections to those, who HAVE done the research, who ARE prepared to go to the effort and make this world a better place. I'm trying to help people to understand and to use bitcoin, if they want to here. I don't wish to debate people who don't have a clue what the fuck they are talking about, and aren't interested enough to learn. FFS. :nono:
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Re: Bitcoin & the crypto-currency revolution. (get some here

Post by mistermack » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:26 pm

To be honest, skepticus, you are coming across as a scammer.

I've never seen such a hard sell, except late night sales companies. I certainly wouldn't get involved, and wouldn't recommend anybody else having anything to do with it.

When someone is pitching me as hard as you are, I know that there's a financial motive. I could smell it a mile off.

My advice to all Ratz is to leave it well alone.
While there is a market for shit, there will be assholes to supply it.

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