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The Almighty Buck Bitcoin Businesses

Bitcoin Price Hits Fresh Record High Above $2,200 (cnbc.com) 172

An anonymous reader writes: Monday marks the seven-year anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day -- the moment a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoin on two Papa John's pizzas. More important than the episode being widely recognized as the first transaction using the cryptocurrency is what it tells us about the bitcoin rally that saw it break through the $2,100 mark on Monday. Bitcoin was trading as high as $2,185.89 in the early hours of Monday morning, hitting a fresh record high, after first powering through the $2,000 barrier over the weekend, according to CoinDesk data. Throughout the weekend, the value of cryptocurrency was looming around $2,000.
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Bitcoin Price Hits Fresh Record High Above $2,200

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  • by sanosuke001 ( 640243 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:04AM (#54462747)
    Man, $11 million dollars for a pizza; I hope it was damn good!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Man, $11 million dollars for a pizza; I hope it was damn good!

      Must have been with anchovies!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      10,000 Bitcoins * USD$2,185.89 = USD$21,858,900.

      I don't know how you ended up with 11 million dollars.

      • He bought 2 pizza's

      • A combination of math and reading comprehension, perhaps?

      • Um... maybe because he bought TWO pizzas?
      • by MangoCats ( 2757129 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @11:23AM (#54463653)

        That was last weeks price, and possibly next week's price.

        I had a bitcoin once, got it in exchange for $5 in service work. Sold it for somewhere around $160 - not a bad trade. Now, if I had put $5,000 into BTC back then, and sold half every time it doubled, I'd still only have about $50K from the investment, and a hell of a big risk on the first $5000. Each subsequent doubling has been a big risk, and huge risks still remain.

        Who knows, it could inflate another 500x in the next 7 years - or, it could perform more like the other branded crypto-currencies... Unlike Coca-Cola, there's nothing tangible behind any of it, and when people shut down the "factories" performing the block-chain computations, it all turns to nothing.

        • > Unlike Coca-Cola, there's nothing tangible behind any of it

          That's not right. Bitcoins are just numerical entries in a secure transaction ledger (the blockchain). They have no more value in themselves than entries in a spreadsheet. What gives them value is the usefulness of the network, which enables sending financial value to anyone in the world. The network includes custom hardware, nodes that relay transactions, user software, exchanges that let you convert bitcoin balances to local currencies,

    • Man, $11 million dollars for a pizza; I hope it was damn good!

      Silicon Valley prices aren't that relevant to the ret of the country.

  • Bit coin is slowly limiting the supply of new bit coin (by design), which drives up the price of bitcoin. So every time you go to buy a good or service you spend less bitcoin because its value has increased. I see a problem emerging when someone says they want to get paid in a fixed amount of bitcoin per hour.
    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:11AM (#54462795) Homepage Journal
      I just thought of a name for it: "deflation". It will NEVER work!
      • Deflation (Score:5, Funny)

        by Elfich47 ( 703900 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:17AM (#54462825)
        It can work if there is some sort of central authority managing the money supply. I'm sure Bitcoin thought of that and has built that into their system.
        • I don't know if you suddenly turned into irony, if it was irony from your first comment, or if it still is honest obliviousness to whatever you're saying being the actual problems of current currencies (and the "solutions" eventually found to "counter" the problems).

      • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:34AM (#54462927)

        Deflation and Inflation are not a bad thing on their own.
        If their rate is in balanced with the rest of the economy it isn't that big of a deal. If the economy slows a relative deflation is a good thing, because it will make our prices cheaper so it would be purchased more from other economies.
        Inflation when the economy is good is also a good sign. As we can purchase more from cheaper economies.
        The problem is when these go at a rate faster then the growth of the actual economy.
        Deflation during a strong economy, causes over consumption where people buy things that they cannot really afford for the long term.
        Inflation during a week economy, causes under consumption where people can't buy things that they need to simulate the economy.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You messed the terms, inflation actually causes more spending while deflation causes people to stack money for later spending "when money is worth more". It is deflation that reduces spending and consumption.

          Both terms matter when the currency is used as a primary currency in a country. For a virtual currency, meant only as means of exchange, inflation or deflation - it doesn't really matter.

          • Deflation means that currency gets more valuable over time.
            That people will save, rather than consume.
            It's not that "people will hoard currency" it's that : people will be saving for retirement; services and costs previously provided by the government, and through taxes, are now self-generated by the individual. It's a full replacement of tax-policy, taxation, 401k and other forms of subsidized retirement.

            People will still spend money, but on what is important to them, rather than mindless consumerism. Peop

        • Deflation is bad (Score:5, Informative)

          by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @10:45AM (#54463309) Homepage

          Deflation and Inflation are not a bad thing on their own.

          Sorry, but wrong. Deflation is indeed a bad thing. Deflation means that currency gets more valuable with time. This means that is to everybody's advantage to hoard currency, since it gets more valuable the longer you hold onto it. That means less currency in circulation, which means it gets even more valuable with time, which means people hoard it more. This is a bad vicious cycle.

          Deflation is a bad feedback cycle.

          If their rate is in balanced with the rest of the economy it isn't that big of a deal.

          Deflation can be "balanced" with the rest of the economy if the rest of the economy is crashing. I suppose in that case you could say that the "not good" part should be attributed to some other part of the economy, not to the deflation itself, but, no, it's not good. In more general terms, tas currency increasing in value with respect to the things that can be purchased, there really isn't any time at which it is good.

          • You're right, but there is a good form of deflation. Monetary deflation as you've described is always bad. Constricting the money supply will always cause a cascading debt default. Good deflation is caused by increases in efficiency. For example, I could make the same RAM today for less than I could 6 months ago. That kind of deflation improves the likelihood of paying back debt and increases the customer base by allowing prices drops.
          • Sorry, but wrong. Deflation is indeed a bad thing. Deflation means that currency gets more valuable with time. This means that is to everybody's advantage to hoard currency, since it gets more valuable the longer you hold onto it. That means less currency in circulation, which means it gets even more valuable with time, which means people hoard it more. This is a bad vicious cycle.

            I want to point out that this is a hypothesis frequently used to justify inflation, but in fact there is little evidence to support it. There just haven't been many periods of deflation to really develop an empirical understanding of how people will react, so all we have is guess work. And somehow the guesswork always leans to the side that people wanted it to.

            • Sorry, but wrong. Deflation is indeed a bad thing. Deflation means that currency gets more valuable with time. This means that is to everybody's advantage to hoard currency, since it gets more valuable the longer you hold onto it. That means less currency in circulation, which means it gets even more valuable with time, which means people hoard it more. This is a bad vicious cycle.

              I want to point out that this is a hypothesis frequently used to justify inflation, but

              Like almost everything, saying "X is bad" does not mean "the opposite extreme must therefore be good."

              Most things, in economics and in life in general, involve a trade-off. Saying "deflation is bad" should not be used to imply "inflation is good":
              Medio tutissimus ibis.

              in fact there is little evidence to support it. There just haven't been many periods of deflation to really develop an empirical understanding of how people will react, so all we have is guess work. And somehow the guesswork always leans to the side that people wanted it to.

          • > This means that is to everybody's advantage to hoard currency, since it gets more valuable the longer you hold onto it

            Except in the real world, most people have to spend most of their income for necessities (food, shelter, utilities, etc.) regardless if the currency is inflating or deflating. There is also no point in hoarding cash if you can earn a better return from investing. Savvy investors calculate the "real return" on their investments, which is nominal return minus inflation. If inflation i

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MangoCats ( 2757129 )

          Inflation punishes people who keep money under their mattress.

          Deflation rewards people who keep money under their mattress.

          Keeping money under the mattress, instead of investing it, is generally bad for the economy, which is (in part) why we generally have inflation.

          Bitcoin is smaller than a bit player in the general economy. If a major currency like the US dollar were to deflate 1000x in 7 years, it would upset the economic apple cart too much, and the people with the most apples in that cart would do wha

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I just thought of a name for it: "deflation". It will NEVER work!

        You know, there's this whole sham called "antiques", "art" and "collector's items" that often get more valuable over time and seem to be doing quite well as a deflationary market. You might say, well if they're getting more valuable why would anyone sell them? There's lots of reasons people choose to cash in and do something else. The only thing that's needed is the faith that people would always want to buy a genuine Ming vase or Picasso or Superman #1, if you end up sitting on yesterday's fad it might be

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      I see a problem emerging when someone says they want to get paid in a fixed amount of bitcoin per hour.

      That's not how it will work.... they'll say they want to be paid 4 Extra-Large Pizzas per Hour with Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Green Peppers Settled in Bitcoins.
      OR "$40US/Hour, Settled in Bitcoins"

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:25AM (#54462875)

      Bit coin is slowly limiting the supply of new bit coin (by design), which drives up the price of bitcoin.

      Correct. This is because the makers of bitcoin were under the (incorrect) belief that having no ability to adjust the money supply quickly (ala the gold standard) is beneficial and failed to understand why such a system failed [quora.com]. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

      So every time you go to buy a good or service you spend less bitcoin because its value has increased.

      Not necessarily true. Just because the supply of bitcoins is (roughly) fixed it doesn't mean the demand for them is fixed. The price can and does go both up and down with great regularity.

      I see a problem emerging when someone says they want to get paid in a fixed amount of bitcoin per hour.

      That would be no different than saying you want to be paid a fixed number of dollars per hour. Inflation/deflation are real things with real consequences. Doesn't matter if you are talking about bitcoins or dollars. The difference of course is that you can buy most things with dollars but very few things with bitcoins so you are experiencing exchange rate risk [wikipedia.org] in addition to simple inflation/deflation.

      • Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

        I didn't learn this shit from history. I didn't even learn this shit from an economics class. I just modeled a bunch of different monetary policies in my head and identified that fiat with fractional reserve provides massive advantages and gives the greatest long-term stability, while commodity currency (e.g. gold) suffers from deflationary problems and commodity instability (new, productive gold mine means sudden inflation).

        That would be no different than saying you want to be paid a fixed number of dollars per hour

        Bitcoins are deflationary and somewhat unstable in the short-term.

        • No, discovery of a big new gold mine reduces the value of gold, meaning deflation. When central banks manage a fiat currency, their supposed goal is to avoid flation of either kind by continually adjusting the money supply to match the aggregate value of everything that is exchangeable for it.

          In practice, most central banks overestimate the value of their nation's economy over time, causing the currency to inflate.

          • Modest inflation isn't an accident of over estimation, it's a feature created intentionally to limit hording and currency speculation.

            • For future reference, the word should be hoarding. I suppose that ancient Mongols could have practiced hording.
            • That's not the real reason. Central banks inflate because it devalues their government's debt. It allows governments to spend more than they collect in taxes. This is politically favored, because people hate taxes, but mostly don't understand national debts and inflation.

          • reduces the value of gold, meaning deflation

            That's inflation.

          • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @12:26PM (#54464165) Homepage Journal

            When central banks manage a fiat currency, their supposed goal is to avoid flation of either kind by continually adjusting the money supply to match the aggregate value of everything that is exchangeable for it.

            The explicit goal of the Federal Treasury is a 2% inflation rate in the U.S.. They estimate inflation based on a core set of goods, and ignore everything else, which is why inflation seems so off. Inflation the way most people think about it isn't really a thing: money doesn't have blanket buying power in terms of goods.

            Think of it like this: we have a range of wages, with a median income. Those wages are dollars per labor hour. If we double them all, immediately, and just print up twice the money, we get 100% inflation and no change in the relative cost of goods; all the prices must go up to match (get to that next). That's what people think of when you talk about inflation: everything is priced higher, we adjust the number of dollars upward.

            The thing is that's not how it works. Money isn't that kind of magic. You've seen hard drives get cheaper (from thousands of dollars for any unit--at a few megabytes--to today's pennies-per-gigabyte and $80 full units), displays get cheaper (again: thousands of dollars to $100 or so, and the screens are bigger), phones get cheaper ($4,000 for a cell phone in 1983; $350 for a OnePlus 3t in 2016), and so forth. Food, clothing, housing, medical care, these things rise in price or even in proportion of spending; yet people eat out more (food + servants), spend a smaller percentage of their income on these things (food and clothing), or spend a bigger percentage of their income while buying more than the difference (e.g. 4% of median income spending today would buy more and better healthcare than 4% of the median income bought in 1950, and instead people spend 6% of their income and buy even more).

            It's not just that some things price up and others price down anyway; it's that they price up and down at different rates. Food and clothing prices both grow more-slowly than wages, and so the inflation rate of food is different than the inflation rate of clothing. Even then, different foods and different clothes change differently.

            So what actually happens?

            Well, the minimum viable cost of a product has a hard-bound at the wages to supply it. Imagine all wages involved in making a shirt are $10/hr, including the cotton farming, the dying, the shipping, the retail, business management to get all this organized, and everything else. If it takes a total of 14 labor hours to get that shirt into your hands, then either that shirt costs no less than $140 or somebody doesn't get paid. Get that cut down to 3 labor-hours per shirt and the shirt has to cost more than $30--at a 40% profit, it would cost $42!

            That's why prices come down: the costs come down. Each business in the supply chain has some profit, which bumps those prices above the wage-labor cost; lower the wage-labor costs and the price coming out of that business is still lower with the same profit margins. The profit margins are as high as the market will bear, and reducing the minimum price possible allows another manufacturer to target consumers who can't afford your product at its current price; because existing buyers would rather spend $50 than $100, you lose business to the new guy unless you cut your prices, so the broader market forces a narrowing of profit margins by increasing the pressure from competition (either actual competitors or potential competitors by way of making it less-risky for someone to try to break into your market). Without that particular beating stick, prices would just stay high.

            Importantly, people still have the same labor to trade.

            Recall above I said that prices must go up if you double the amount of wages and money? Here's why.

            Population can expand until it reaches carry capacity. Carry capacity happens when you hit scarcity. Th

        • i give you B- for economics

          Republic of China had two decades of economic growth while having a deliberately set deflationary monetary policy. This is a country that now supplies 90% of world's microchips

          • by XXongo ( 3986865 )

            i give you B- for economics. Republic of China had two decades of economic growth while having a deliberately set deflationary monetary policy.

            Republic of China-- you mean Taiwan?

            Taiwan's economics are not measured in Taiwanese dollars. The inflation deflation rate of Taiwainese dollars is irrelevant, since that's not the currency in which they do their foreign trade.

          • i give you B- for economics

            Gee thanks professor.

            Republic of China had two decades of economic growth while having a deliberately set deflationary monetary policy.

            I presume you are talking about Taiwan. Please cite your source for "deliberately set deflationary monetary policy". The Taiwan Dollar [wikipedia.org] exchange rate has varied quite a bit on Forex markets in relation to the dollar but never consistently deflationary.

            This is a country that now supplies 90% of world's microchips

            Taiwan does supply the most but the number is no where near 90% [investopedia.com] and to my knowledge never has been.

        • Well your head is broken. Inflation by government and central banks is what destroys the economy by stealing value of savings and spending that value on consumables and on growing the government at the expense of savings and of the productive economy. Savings is what actually allocates money in the free market, fiat and inflation are policies of theft and misallocation of scarce resources.

          • "Savings" in the long-term is the removal of money from the economy. Money that goes unspent is the same as money that's been burned. If you put your money in the bank and then come back 10 years later and take it out to spend it, it's functionally the same as printing new money.

            Consumables are the productive economy. What do you think production is? Computers are consumable. Cars are consumable. Houses are consumable. None of those things continues to exist in working order without a steady flow o

            • That people will save, rather than consume.
              It moves the financial responsibilty directly onto the individual, and acts as the inverse of the stock-market, 401k, retirement vessels, and taxation to fund ventures.

              The only difference between inflationary and deflationary is the point of reference.
              Inflationary polity holds the value of transient commodities constant, while the value of currency fluxuates. The problem, is the natural value of all consumer commodies approces zero; leading to a never ending task

            • "Savings" in the long-term is the removal of money from the economy. Money that goes unspent is the same as money that's been burned.

              Not true at all as long as you hold your savings in a financial institution. Put your money in a savings account or similar and that money will get lent out to do other useful things in the economy. You can take it out of circulation by stuffing it in the figurative (or literal) mattress but that's not what happens to most money. Even if you purchase a financial instrument such as a stock or bond that money is merely transferred to someone else who can then put it to productive use. Now savings aren't p

              • Not true at all as long as you hold your savings in a financial institution. Put your money in a savings account or similar and that money will get lent out to do other useful things in the economy.

                Uh, hold on. My money in my bank accounts is spent by sending it to other bank accounts. Billionaires don't carry billions of dollars in cash; it sits in bank accounts, then gets transferred to other bank accounts. If that money is spent, it stays in the banking system, doing exactly the things you said; if it's unspent, it may well still stay in the bank account and provide a basis for fractional reserve lending, and it itself goes unspent.

                It seems that the difference between spending $40 million and

        • I think they just wanted to create the digital equivalent of gold. I sincerely doubt that bitcoin was anything else than a simulation. Only people were so stupid as to believe it was real money. And the fun thing with money is that it automatically becomes money if you only believe in it.
      • The difference between bitcoin and a money supply backed by a country: The country can increase or decrease the money supply to influence how the economy works. So the country can affect inflation or deflation and how much of it we have. BitCoin cannot. So if there is a run on bitcoin, there is no way to put the brakes on.

        Right now no one values things by bitcoin without checking its value against the dollar. If people want to go onto an actual bitcoin economy that is indenpendant of the dollar they are
      • by Elfich47 ( 703900 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:55AM (#54463007)
        Here is the problem: Bitcoin, by design is slowly limiting the amount of bitcoin available (this is similar to the availability of gold). So each bitcoin is worth more. I as a worked want to get paid in a fixed amount of bitcoin every week. I don't want to get paid on a floating amount based on daily trade values of the currency. Trying to budget for anything when you don't know if you are getting paid 1 bitcoin, 2 bitcoin or 1.76543 bitcoin this week would drive people mad. As more people use the currency, more currency is needed for people to use. Otherwise no one has currency to use and the currency is worthless to use.

        The average person wants a currency that has a stable value and is easy to spend and be paid with. Playing the "well, we need to check its trading value before we can pay you" game will drive people to riot. Check out the bank runs and currency fluctuations of the 1920's and 1930's as a good example. Governments clamped down on a lot of the excesses at that point.
        • The problem with that logic ... is that if prices were all set in BitCoin, then the BitCoin price *wouldn't vary*. It varies against the US Dollar, not against itself. So prices stated in BitCoin would be much more stable if all costs and prices *were in bitcoin*.

          • Also, the total amount of bitcoin will stabilize in like ... 150 years. After that it won't go up or down. It's not the amount of bitcoin that's decreasing, it's the rate at which the supply expands. Right now it's much more expansionary than fiat currencies but the price is still rising. It's not supply that's driving that. Meanwhile, advanced economies are going to be lucky to average 1-2% growth per year. If the amount of currency was fixed, then deflation in an economy growing at 1-2% would only be def

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't see why parent post is modded Insightful. To me, it looks like another bitcoin-hate rant, typical of "I-wish-I-were-an-early-adopter" people.

        Posting as AC because, yes, I want to be a bit mean once in a while. But what I'm gonna say does not apply exclusively to the original poster, it's more of a general complaint, because I'm sick of listening to the same controversies over and over. I am myself not an early adopter, but I think people should just grow up and stop throwing sh*t at everything they

        • I believe bitcoin has value when someone actually expends the effort [bbc.com] to find that legendary harddrive with a cache of 7500 bitcoins that got thrown out by accident.

          Literally mining a pile of garbage to recover old-growth, early sequence bitcoins.
        • I don't see why parent post is modded Insightful. To me, it looks like another bitcoin-hate rant, typical of "I-wish-I-were-an-early-adopter" people.

          Nope. Don't have the slightest regret for not getting involved in bitcoin. I think bitcoin is a dumb idea and I think it is important to say why so that people can make an informed decision about whether they want to bother with it or not. I'm sure some people have made a lot of money off bitcoin but I largely regard them as charlatans who found a greater fool [wikipedia.org].

          First of all, it's funny to see opinions such as "why Bitcoin is doomed to fail/succeed". I guess strong opinions have their charm, but the truth is *nobody really knows yet*.

          I might not know with 100% certainty but that doesn't mean I can't judge based on the evidence. And bitcoin is far from the first attempt at a n

      • Satoshi never intended BitCoin to be a viable currency, it was implemented merely as a proof of concept of his research paper which outlined using the blockchain technology to solve the "double spend problem" inherent in digital currencies unless there's a third party to validate the transaction. The limits built into it were designed to create a limited amount, because it wasn't intended as anything other than a proof of the technology outlined in the paper.

        • Additionally, the protocol has built into it a mechanism in which the person processing the block can charge an optional fee for processing each transaction. As the value of new bitcoins created per transaction drops, there will be competition, and some creators will start adding in transaction fees. The node willing to charge the least wins out in those cases, so there is stiff competition in the bitcoin transaction-processing business. Basically those who use too much energy to do so are driven out of the

      • That's a false premise. The gold standard didn't fail, it worked for millennia. We moved off the gold standard as an international currency because it was too hard for the US government to balance its budget.

        On the other hand, we have seen fiat currencies fail many, many times. The US has only been on fiat currency since 1971. It remains to be seen if we can manage it or not.
        • That's a false premise. The gold standard didn't fail, it worked for millennia.

          Yes the gold standard failed. It caused more problems than it solved and it was impossible to maintain for a host of reasons. All the gold standard is fundamentally is a peg of a currency to a commodity - in this case gold but other commodities could be used to more or less the same effect. This does have certain advantages but it also carries some very important disadvantages [wikipedia.org] as well.

          We moved off the gold standard as an international currency because it was too hard for the US government to balance its budget.

          The actual reasons are multiple but there are a few key ones [npr.org]. For various practical reasons mostly related to internatio

          • No, you're wrong. The gold standard worked for millenia. All the examples you linked to of problems are merely problems of governments unable to balance a budget.

            Furthermore, you're a moron because you think that the Weimer republic money wasn't fiat currency. What, do you think they were backing it with gold? Read your own link, it literally says, "To pay for the large costs of the ongoing First World War, Germany suspended the gold standard"
    • This may lead to its actual demise. With the value increasing so much so fast, with the designed supply limit. Means actually buying anything with bitcoins will be a loss. With the average 3% inflation of the US dollar, that is values is derived from a complex economy. It means I am willing to spend my Dollar, on things that may grant a temporary reward ($20 for a Pizza) or a long term reward such as investment in some company that actually makes something. Because after 7 years that $20 Pizza would

    • How's that problem any different from the other one, where you are told to get paid a fixed amount of $currency, only to see it become less and less valuable?

      Oh, right, because it works in favor of the recipient of a salary. How silly of me.

    • Whoever told you that is how bitcoin works, left out the actual useful parts of the information.

    • Agree to get paid in an amount of gold, translated to the current BitCoin price.

  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @09:56AM (#54463013)

    The flip side (which BTC proponents don't want to talk about) is that fees are currently running around $2 USD per transaction if you don't want your transaction to sit around unconfirmed for hours if not days. The Chinese mining pools are loving it.

    You want to buy a $20 item with BTC? Someone has to pay that ~10% transaction fee on top of sales tax. Credit card fees are a bargain by comparison. So what has happened is that Bitcoin has become useless for what its supporters intended it to be - as money (unless the transaction is large enough to make the transaction fee negligible). Bitcoin has devolved almost exclusively into an instrument for speculation, blackmail, and transactions in illegal goods.

    Even the big names in BTC processing (e.g. BitPay) are calling for an increase in the block size, which of course is being ignored by the mining pools. Why would they change a system that is funneling money into their pockets with each transaction? The alternative is a hard fork in the blockchain, but that may result in a crash in BTC prices.

    The next few months will be interesting for Bitcoin.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The flip side (which BTC proponents don't want to talk about) is that fees are currently running around $2 USD per transaction if you don't want your transaction to sit around unconfirmed for hours if not days

      The flip side to that (which BTC opponents don't want to talk about) is that credit card processing fees are currently running around 3% plus $0.15 per transaction if you want to accept and receive payments at all.

      $2 to convert 1 bitcoin into another currency is a great deal, as a credit merchant would charge over $60 for the same amount.

      $2 to convert one ten hundredth of a bitcoin or less isn't much of a deal, as a credit merchant would only charge $0.65 or so for the same amount.

      So what has happened is that Bitcoin has become useless for what its supporters intended it to be - as money (unless the transaction is large enough to make the transaction fee negligible). Bitcoin has devolved almost exclusively into an instrument for speculation, blackmail, and transactions in illegal goods.

      That sure is the truth.

      On

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        one ten hundredth of a bitcoin

        And this is exactly where bitcoin loses entirely. Nobody wants to deal with a currency that requires fractional exponential notation. Not even scientists and engineers.

        Nobody wants to buy a loaf of bread in micro-units of anything, and very few of the world's keyboard have the mu symbol on it.

    • The most obvious way to solve that problem is to create a sub-currency backed by bit-coin. Sort of like how a share of Berkshire Hathaway stock is worth over $100k, but you can get a B division of Berkshire Hathaway for closer to $100.
  • There are too many shortcomings for it to supplant more valuable currencies, but as a commodity and for specific use cases it's going to stay around. I laugh when I hear some anti-bitcoin person write or say that it's dead or going to die, yet it keeps right on doing it's thing (whatever that ends up being for whatever purpose). Bitcoin is here to stay.
  • Wannacry must be driving the value up...
  • Hi Slashdot,

    Go look up the Nov 2016 Chinese changes to getting money out of the country, it's significantly more difficult now.
    Then go look up the value of bitcoin from that period until now.

    I'm from Melbourne, although I imagine anyone observant from London, Sydney, Vancouver, New York could confirm though, that there's an almost endless supply or Chinese housing investors hitting the big cities of the world and they're having more and more difficulty getting money out.

    Honestly, I can't see the value of bi

  • by Drunkulus ( 920976 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @05:15PM (#54466293)
    Wow I left about 30 bitcoins in some bitcoin bank about 5 years ago! I'm gonna log in and CASH OUT! What was it called, Mount Cox or something? I wrote it down somewhere.
  • I want to use it like money. Money has 3 requirements for me.
    1. Store of value
    2. Medium of exchange
    3. Unit of account

    As long as it doesn't drastically lose value bit coin is a good store of value.
    Where it is accepted it's transaction costs are very low compared to using banks or credit cards. It does differ from cash in that transactions do not occur instantly
    Unit of account is where bitcoin currently fails to be a currency. Very few items are actually valued in Bitcoin. Most items are valued in US

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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