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rbarreira
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #75 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 4:25am »
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Paypal has a history of freezing funds in their accounts, sometimes for months. It's a very shady company that I wouldn't trust with any significant amount of my money.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #76 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 8:34am »
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Looks like this is going to be the fastest growing bubble we've ever seen. The price hit $17 today.
 
First the black money is going to chase it then the investors are going to chase it.
 
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/06/01/this-investment-gained- 300000.aspx
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2011, 8:35am by omar » IP Logged
megajester
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #77 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 11:06am »
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Below is a comment I wrote in reply to this article. I wonder what our resident economic experts would make of it.
 
"OK let's try this one for size: The fact that Bitcoins are all just empty boxes is actually a good thing. Why? Because everybody knows they are!
 
Market crashes happen because people confuse goods with moneys, to use your expression. "People everywhere like eating coconuts, so coconuts are good as money." Except now the coconuts aren't food, they're money with the illusion of being food! So when some rumour spreads that nobody eats coconuts any more, or all the money-coconuts are rotting, bang goes your coconut economy. But it makes no sense, because those money-coconuts were never going to be consumed as food anyway. If everybody could be persuaded to just carry on regardless the economy would tick over just fine.
 
This problem exists for all commodity-based stores of value, even gold. That's the genius of Bitcoin. There's no illusion of intrinsic value, so there are no illusions waiting to be shattered. It's only worth anything as money because... everybody's using it as money!  
 
This is not a new idea; this is also true of fiat currencies. After all, they are also "empty boxes." The reason currency markets go up and down is because of changes in confidence in the economies that use them, not the value of the thing inside the box as it were. The box is empty, everybody knows that.
 
To conclude, in terms of the basis of its value, Bitcoins are no different from fiat currencies. Added to which, they come with the advantage that governments are utterly deprived of the ability to monkey with it.  
 
So what's left? Bitcoin can only be killed by hacking or banning; the first is unlikely and the second is unfeasible.
 
Therefore, I submit that Bitcoin is at least as credible as any fiat currency today."
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #78 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 12:11pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 11:06am, megajester wrote:
I wonder what our resident economic experts would make of it.

I'm no economic expert, but perhaps my comment will nevertheless not be out of place.
 
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So what's left? Bitcoin can only be killed by hacking or banning; the first is unlikely and the second is unfeasible.

You left out a third option for what could kill BitCoins, namely that everyone could stop valuing them.  The price of a BitCoin relative to other things in the world is set by people's enthusiasm for holding BitCoins.  You can see in a moment's consideration that the price isn't set by the supply of BitCoins, because the supply is barely changing while the price is wildly fluctuating.  The price must be set by the demand.
 
It is a dangerous half-truth that, because the supply of BitCoins can't be "monkeyed with", the value of BitCoins is secure.  This leaves out the demand side of the equation entirely, and the demand for BitCoins could dry up overnight.  This would be true even if the demand were driven only by people wanting to use a new currency, rather than demand being driven by speculators, which I think it is.
 
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This is not a new idea; this is also true of fiat currencies. After all, they are also "empty boxes." The reason currency markets go up and down is because of changes in confidence in the economies that use them, not the value of the thing inside the box as it were. The box is empty, everybody knows that.

No, fiat currencies are not on an equal footing with BitCoins, because fiat currencies have government backing.  First, as I argued in an earlier post, the government has taxation authority, which creates a demand for the currency.  You can't use coconuts to pay your taxes.  You must use the currency of the country in which you reside.  I can't decide to wash my hands of the dollar and never use a dollar again, unless I want to end up in federal prison.
 
But also the government can mandate that every vendor must accept payment in the local fiat currency.  If I take out a loan to buy a car, my lender can't demand that I repay the loan in coconuts instead.  If I show up with a bagful of dollars, I can't be turned away.  They can't say my payment is invalid.  That is true (in my country) for nothing but dollars.
 
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But it makes no sense, because those money-coconuts were never going to be consumed as food anyway. If everybody could be persuaded to just carry on regardless the economy would tick over just fine.

And the government has the power of persuasion when it comes to fiat currencies, because they have the power of coercion.
 
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...there are no illusions waiting to be shattered.

You ascribe a rationality to market participants that history argues is ill-founded.  Time and time again, people value X only because they see other people valuing X.  Specious arguments are made that X has an inherent value that justifies its price, and some people believe those arguments, but mostly the enthusiasm is based on a desire to gamble, a desire to get rich quick, and a belief that prices which have moved up in the past continue to move up in the future.  The notion that prices are set by well-informed and rational actors is not borne out by history.
 
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OK let's try this one for size: The fact that Bitcoins are all just empty boxes is actually a good thing. Why? Because everybody knows they are! [...] It's only worth anything as money because... everybody's using it as money!

I submit that it is extremely unlikely that the price of BitCoins is being set by people who want to use BitCoins as money.  Yes, there will be some demand for a new kind of transaction in alpaca socks and guns and drugs (not to be confused with demand for the items themselves, which hasn't changed).  For various reasons people might prefer this new digital currency as a medium for transactions rather than existing currencies.  But can you honestly see this sort of demand doubling in two days?  Suddenly twice as many people have seen the light and henceforth want to abandon all old currencies?  I have a hard time believing it.
 
But if you say instead that BitCoins are only worth anything as a speculation because... everybody's using them to speculate, it suddenly makes sense.  Bubbles have happened for no better reason than this in the past.  At a minimum, demand for BitCoins as a means to gamble on further price rises must be added to the demand for BitCoins as a currency.  My guess is that speculation is already by far the dominant factor.
 
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Added to which, they come with the advantage that governments are utterly deprived of the ability to monkey with it.

It is sad that governments have a history of debasing their currencies, a history that is nearly as illustrious as the history of speculative bubbles.  But I submit that an informed citizenry in a democratic system of government can successfully demand that their currency not be debased.  I would rather pin my hopes on the mass of voters preferring monetary stability, than pin my hopes on the price of BitCoins not crashing when the speculative madness ends.
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2011, 12:13pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #79 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 1:01pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 8:34am, omar wrote:
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/06/01/this-investment-gained-300000.aspx

Thanks for the link, Omar.   Let me add a footnote to the author's recommendation to buy physical resources.  Suppose you believe that the dollar is going to be debased, and therefore expect inflation to run 10% per year for the next ten years.  If you stuff $2594 under your mattress for ten years, it will end up buying what $1000 could buy you today.  Your purchasing power will evaporate.  So to you dollars are a hot potato.  You want to get out of dollars into something that will hold its value, say gold.
 
How much should you be willing to pay for gold?  It depends on what you think the price of gold will be ten years from now, because gold pays no dividends.  All you have is the sale price of gold when you cash in.  Let's say your crystal ball tells you that in ten years gold will sell for $1000 per ounce in today's dollars, or $2594 per ounce in future debased dollars.  Then you should buy gold for any price less than $2594 today to get out of dollars.  If you can buy gold for only $2000 an ounce today, you are coming out ahead of the mattress scenario.
 
Let's play that scenario forward.  Your predictions were correct.  You buy an ounce of gold today for $2000.  Inflation is 10% a year for ten years.  After a decade you sell your ounce of gold for $2594.  You congratulate yourself for having invested in a "store of value" instead of hanging onto dollars that can be debased by irresponsible government policy.  Yay for you!
 
But wait.  The purchasing power of the $2594 future dollars you ended up with is only worth $1000 of today's dollars.  You gave up $2000 of today's purchasing power to get that.  Your "store of value" lost half of its value!  Yes, you lost less money than simple inflation would have taken away from you, so it was better for you to hold gold than dollars, but if you hadn't carefully thought through what "store of value" means, you might be very disappointed to have lost half of your store.
 
In face of looming inflation, it is rational to get rid of cash for things that can't be inflated but can be turned back into cash at need.  Thus it is rational (no speculative bubble required) to bid up the price of gold so high that the purchasing power of gold is expected to go down almost as much as the purchasing power of the dollar is expected to go down.
 
I'm oversimplifying, because dollars earn interest and gold doesn't, which means that gold is less attractive and shouldn't be bid up as high.  It should only be priced to account for the difference between inflation and interest.  But right now dollars earn pretty near 0% interest, so it's a good first approximation.
 
Now, let's say other people who study these things have already bid up the price of gold to a certain point of inflation expectations.  Are you still eager to buy gold?  Only if the gold market is still underestimating inflation, your crystal ball predicts higher inflation than that, and your crystal ball is better than the market's.
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2011, 3:07pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

UruramTururam
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #80 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 2:27pm »
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Well, people who can predict or are lucky to guess what will be a good investment are getting wealthy. My own rule is: "If everyone says I should buy X - I sell it." I've sold several Oz of silver a month ago because my mailbox started to be flooded with "invest in silver" spam. It turned out to be a good idea. When the whole net starts buzzing about BitCoins there will be probably the best moment to sell them.  After thet they will either collapse or start to be used as a standard online currency. Even in the second - less probable - case, the price with go down a bit after a big peak.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #81 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 2:45pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 2:27pm, UruramTururam wrote:
I've sold several Oz of silver a month ago because my mailbox started to be flooded with "invest in silver" spam. It turned out to be a good idea.

Yes, I made Katie sell her silver in January on the same principle.  Along the drive to school I started seeing billboards advertising "We buy Gold!".  Selling at $29/oz was in some sense way early compared to the April high of $48/oz, and even after the May selloff it's still $36/oz.  Well, if I had some special insight for knowing which day would be the peak of the silver market (or any market), I would be getting so rich it would be more efficient for me to hire someone to brush my teeth than do it myself.  Since I don't have that insight, I use rules of thumb like Ururam Tururam suggests.  I remain convinced that $29/oz was already overvalued.  I'm not kicking myself at all for selling, because I still expect silver to drop to half that price, even if I don't know when.
 
In a related story, I was working in a prison in early 2006.  One day (I forget exactly when) I overheard several of the inmates discussing what a great investment real estate was.  When the buzz around real estate has permeated society to such an extent that even prisoners are discussing how to get a piece of the investment action, you know it's time to get out.  Sure enough, that would have been a brilliant time to sell any property (or property-related securities) that you owned, even though that market didn't crash until later.
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2011, 3:01pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #82 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 3:03pm »
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Edit: This is in response to reply #78, I hadn't read subsequent posts before making this post.
 
Thank you Fritzlein. I had a feeling my reasoning wasn't necessarily sound even as I wrote it. I'm just "trying it on for size", almost like playing devil's advocate. Your reply is very well reasoned and seems solid, however I would just like to mention a couple of points that (at the moment) still seem persuasive to me.
 
Firstly, about the "empty boxes." The writer of that article had said that over the ages money has progressed from simple commodities, to commodities with "certificates" (eg. an official stamp on a gold coin). He dismissed Bitcoins on the basis that they're like certificates without any commodity to certificate, an empty box if you will. My point was that fiat currencies basically fit that description.
 
You're right that fiat currencies are not based on nothing in that governments demand it as tax and can force their populace to use it. However the value of one dollar is not determined by government decree, it is determined by market forces of supply and demand. If China sells its dollar reserves tomorrow, thus increasing the dollar supply, the value of the dollar will plummet. If the US does well economically, increased demand by foreign investors and speculators will decrease the dollar supply pushing its value upward. And there's not a whole lot that the US government can do about it. They will always charge taxes in dollars, but what those dollars are worth is another question. This is what I mean when I say that "in terms of the basis of its value, Bitcoins are no different from fiat currencies." Of course you are right about the coercion side of things. But if you say that government coercion is simply artificial demand, we can still say that fiat currencies and Bitcoin are more like each other than commodities in that their value is based on sheer market forces.
 
Which brings us full circle to the basis of Bitcoin demand. True, the main driving force right now is speculation. What we're watching right now certainly looks like a bubble. But Wikipedia defines an "economic bubble" as "trade in high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance with intrinsic values." Meaning, we're buying and selling boxes at higher prices than the value of what's in the box. But this is Bitcoin, there's nothing in the box! An "overpriced Bitcoin" is either a truism (because their intrinsic value is nil) or a conradiction in terms. If speculators reckon that people will be willing to pay $50 next month for Bitcoins and trade accordingly, that's not a bubble, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. A $50 Bitcoin is worth either $50 or nothing.  
 
For a bubble to burst, you need some sort of event that causes a loss of confidence. My question is, "confidence in what?" In the dotcom boom and bust, for instance, the "confidence" was that internet startups would take over the world. So everybody rushed to buy their shares. Shares are not empty boxes, because inside the box is a promise that the company will pay out dividends when they make a profit. This is the "confidence" that was lost when the market realised these companies weren't all they were cracked up to be and the hype had run its course.
 
Depending on how you look at it fiat currencies aren't empty boxes either, because they contain the specific promise "You can use this to buy stuff in country X." If less people want to buy stuff in country X than before, the currency's value will decrease. If the US economy suddenly starts doing badly the price of dollars falls, because investors convert their dollars to other stores of value thus flooding the market with dollars.
 
But Bitcoins really are empty boxes. So a "crisis of confidence" would be of confidence in what exactly? What would it take to convince people that Bitcoins priced at X are actually worth Y, when everybody knows Bitcoins have no "actual worth" to start with?
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2011, 3:05pm by megajester » IP Logged

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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #83 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 4:04pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 3:03pm, megajester wrote:
But Bitcoins really are empty boxes. So a "crisis of confidence" would be of confidence in what exactly? What would it take to convince people that Bitcoins priced at X are actually worth Y, when everybody knows Bitcoins have no "actual worth" to start with?

It would be a crisis of confidence that the price of BitCoins will keep going up.  This is equivalent to a crisis in confidence that other people will want BitCoins, although I imagine the connection in some folks' minds is hazy enough that it doesn't sound tautological.
 
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In the dotcom boom and bust, for instance, the "confidence" was that internet startups would take over the world. So everybody rushed to buy their shares. Shares are not empty boxes, because inside the box is a promise that the company will pay out dividends when they make a profit. This is the "confidence" that was lost when the market realised these companies weren't all they were cracked up to be and the hype had run its course.

I beg to differ.  Value investors do indeed buy a company based on the expectation of future dividends.  Value investors don't give a fig if nobody will buy back their shares later on, because they don't have to sell.  Other people's confidence (reflected in prices) is a meaningless consideration.  They can kick back and collect dividends instead of selling.  But it was certainly not value investors that drove the dotcom bubble.  Note that value investor Warren Buffett didn't buy any dotcom stocks, not even winners like Amazon.com.  
 
The dotcom bubble was driven by momentum traders, not value investors.  Momentum traders are only interested in price movements, not dividends.  They want to sell at a higher price than they buy.  To differentiate between the two ways of thinking, here are two things a momentum trader would say:
"I won't sell now, but I will sell if the price goes down to X."
"I won't buy now, but I will buy if the price goes up to Y."
A value investor could never, ever say that about any stock, commodity, loan, or what have you.  Instead a value investor would say only
"I won't sell now, but I will sell if the price goes up to X."
"I won't buy now, but I will buy if the price goes down to Y."
 
In the dotcom bubble, people were buying Internet stocks because the price had gone up.  It would have been insane to buy in expectation of dividends from companies that had never turned a profit and were in fact predictably losing money at a so-called "burn rate".  And when the bubble burst, people started selling because the price had gone down, not because of any shift in economic fundamentals.
 
Now let me suggest that the current BitCoin frenzy is being caused partly, mostly, or entirely because the price has gone up.  This means it is by very nature a momentum trade.  Can you think of any other reason for the price spike?  There may be a few "value investors" holding BitCoins who are committed to holding and using them as a currency regardless of the exchange rate, but I doubt there are more than a handful.  Even more than a typical market, the BitCoin market will have prices set by momentum traders rather than by value investors.  As Mark Dow is fond of saying, "Nothing brings out buyers like higher prices."
 
Quote:
Firstly, about the "empty boxes." The writer of that article had said that over the ages money has progressed from simple commodities, to commodities with "certificates" (eg. an official stamp on a gold coin). He dismissed Bitcoins on the basis that they're like certificates without any commodity to certificate, an empty box if you will. My point was that fiat currencies basically fit that description.

Like you, I have some problems with the reasoning used in the original article.  In particular, the author says that he is arguing from intrinsic value alone, leaving out "the role that governments play in the monetary system".  Say what??  If you leave out the role of governments, then yes, BitCoins and fiat currencies are indeed on the same footing.
 
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However the value of one dollar is not determined by government decree, it is determined by market forces of supply and demand. If China sells its dollar reserves tomorrow, thus increasing the dollar supply, the value of the dollar will plummet. If the US does well economically, increased demand by foreign investors and speculators will decrease the dollar supply pushing its value upward. And there's not a whole lot that the US government can do about it. They will always charge taxes in dollars, but what those dollars are worth is another question.
[...]
If the US economy suddenly starts doing badly the price of dollars falls, because investors convert their dollars to other stores of value thus flooding the market with dollars.

It is true that the value of a dollar is partially determined by things outside the control of the US government, including the performance of the economy, and including the enthusiasm of the Chinese government to hold dollars.  The dollar can suffer a crisis of confidence.  And most certainly the value of a dollar is not set by government decree.  The government can only indirectly boost the value of the dollar, primarily by raising interest rates.  Raised interest rates make the dollar more attractive to hold (because it is earning interest) and also shrink the supply of dollars (because it is more expensive to borrow them), but that's not the whole story.  So let's just say the US government has substantial control over the value of the dollar, not that it can decree the dollar's value.
 
In some sense, there is no doubt that the US government could keep the value of the dollar steady.  Currency debasement isn't a given.  The policy tools exist to prevent it.  The problem is just that the primary tool to support the value of the dollar, namely higher interest rates, makes it more expensive for the government to borrow, and governments love to borrow.  The problem in this light is not that fiat currencies lack intrinsic value; the problem is government borrowing addiction.  Once a government borrows too much, its taxation authority is a weaker force than the crushing weight of its debt.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #84 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 4:22pm »
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Thank you again for honouring this layman's comments with a thoughtful and informative reply. That all sounds very reasonable.
 
So what you're saying is that it's not the starry eyed investors but the momentum traders who will be the ones to burst the bubble when the increase stops, simply by trying to get rid of their Bitcoins that aren't appreciating so fast any more.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #85 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 5:18pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 4:22pm, megajester wrote:
Thank you again for honouring this layman's comments with a thoughtful and informative reply. That all sounds very reasonable.

You are welcome, but I'm a layman myself.  I'm trying to teach myself by reading and writing about it.  I actually think I blundered above by saying that higher interest rates contract the supply of dollars.  It's the other way around.  When the Federal Reserve wants to raise interest rates, it does so by contracting the supply of dollars.  The contraction in supply causes the raised interest rates.  Probably I have made many similar blunders sprinkled throughout the thread.
 
Quote:
So what you're saying is that it's not the starry eyed investors but the momentum traders who will be the ones to burst the bubble when the increase stops, simply by trying to get rid of their Bitcoins that aren't appreciating so fast any more.

There may be a role for starry-eyed investors who truly believe that pets.com is going to change the world.  Great faith can result in strange economic acts, such as spending your life savings to advertise the end of the world.  That was the action of a true believer.  And Ray Kurzweil was such a believer in transformative technology that he went so far as to say the dotcom bubble wasn't a bubble even after it had burst!  Surely BitCoins also has some share of true believers.
 
My intuition, however, is that the faith is often an excuse to justify to ourselves some behavior that we would otherwise recognize as irrational.  I might buy gold at $1500 and claim that I do so because I am convinced that all the major currencies of the world will shortly turn into toilet paper as every government tries to inflate away its debt.  That explanation sounds a lot more rational than explaining that six years ago my cousin Larry bought gold for $450, more than tripling his investment since then, whereas I bought a stock index fund that has returned 3% a year, which is darned near a zero real return when inflation is taken out.  Who has the guts to admit that he is buying gold because of an all-consuming jealousy of the people who have already gotten rich by buying gold?
 
In any event, it is indeed the momentum traders who deflate bubbles by selling when the price goes down.  True believers would buy even more on a price dip, doubling down like Robert Fitzpatrick in the linked story.  If the faith that inflated the price were truly faith in some economic fundamental, not everyone would lose their faith at precisely the same instant.  But when the faith that inflated the price was merely faith in a rising price, then it is quite natural that a falling price and lost faith create a feedback between each other that bursts the bubble and crashes the price.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #86 on: Jun 4th, 2011, 6:28pm »
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on Jun 4th, 2011, 5:18pm, Fritzlein wrote:

In any event, it is indeed the momentum traders who deflate bubbles by selling when the price goes down.

Not meaning to nitpick, but I was actually talking about when the increase stops, not when the decrease starts. You see I'm trying to resolve in my head why the price can't just rise and then stay where it is.
 
As you can tell from my previous posts, I had assumed that bubbles bursting was all about the difference between the price and the value, and that bubbles burst because after everybody's ridden the hype wave to a dizzying height and no further, it's only a matter of time before somebody loses their nerve and dips the asking price. I had tried to reason that since Bitcoins don't have a "real value" that they're being traded above of, investors will invest, traders will use it to trade, until everybody's bought into it who will and then everything just continues along that plateau.
 
However I can see now that momentum traders will bust it all on their own. Regardless of what it is or isn't worth, a momentum trader will sell once it stops increasing.
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #87 on: Jun 5th, 2011, 1:34pm »
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Last night I heard Paul Simon's song So Beautiful or So What for the first time.  I don't think the song is about economics, but these lines sure seem relevant to the discussion of  how bubbles form:
 
Ain't it strange the way we're ignorant  
How we seek out bad advice  
How we jigger it and figure it  
Mistaking value for the price  
 
To me it seems that if people didn't have the false intuition that the value of a thing must be equal to the price of that thing, then bubbles couldn't happen in the first place.
« Last Edit: Jun 5th, 2011, 2:11pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #88 on: Jun 5th, 2011, 7:37pm »
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To those who hold that bitcoins will have long lasting value:  What do you think will happen when bytecoins are introduced?  And then bitnotes, and then bytenotes, ...
 
Anonymous cryptographic transfer sounds like a good transfer system, but not such a good value system.
 
So here's my question.  A bitcoin is essentially the solution to a mathematical problem.  But it's a cryptographic problem nobody wants to solve, so it's not really that valuable.  Are there mathematical solutions which actually have value that could be traded?  It might be hard to standardize this, i.e. get a whole bunch of problems that each corresponded to one coin.  But I can imagine a class of similar computationally expensive problems would often have a similar difficulty and might be of equal value.  I guess there would have to be a "cashing in" step where if you wanted to know the actual solution, your "coin" would be destroyed/converted.  
 

  • What will you give me for a proof that the 99of9 setup is optimal for gold? Smiley  Less than $10,000 I guess Sad.
  • What will you give me for a traveling salesman problem route that passes through every US capital city and is shorter than 1000 km?  A lot, I suppose, since it must involve the exploitation of wormholes.
  • What will you give me for solving your maths homework? $1 today, but not a lot tomorrow.
  • What will I give you for a method of optimally packing two sizes of fruit in a truck that saves space when compared with putting them in separate trucks?  A PhD stipend in a Chemistry department with a thesis entitled "predicting the self-assembled structure of nanoparticles into metamaterials".

 
 
PS Fritz, if you never want to deal with US dollars again, an alternative to Federal prison is Australia...  not bad if prison is your other option!
« Last Edit: Jun 5th, 2011, 10:15pm by 99of9 » IP Logged
Fritzlein
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Re: Bitcoin digital currency
« Reply #89 on: Jun 5th, 2011, 9:36pm »
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on Jun 5th, 2011, 7:37pm, 99of9 wrote:
PS Fritz, if you never want to deal with US dollars again, an alternative to Federal prison is Australia...  not bad if prison is your other option!

Katie lived in Australia once, and from time to time expresses an interest in moving back.  Unfortunately for us, non-citizens can't just move in.  You need to be invited to a job, or else buy government bonds.  Maybe when Katie completes her Ph.D. she will be invited to teach at an Australian university.  Grin
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