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Old 20 November 2017, 10:00
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What is a bitcoin?

Okay, I'm an old dude, and only semi-computer literate. But, I keep hearing more and more about bitcoins.

Can some of you young folks explain what a bitcoin is to me?

Who started this? Is it a valid form of money? Is it legal?
Just a passing fad?
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Old 20 November 2017, 10:17
havok88 havok88 is offline
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its an electronic, untraceable currency. Yes it is legal, but its sketchy as hell.
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Old 20 November 2017, 10:23
DirtyDog0311 DirtyDog0311 is offline
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digital tulip bulbs
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Old 20 November 2017, 10:26
Octoberfest Octoberfest is offline
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I'm not an expert at all and I don't trade them, but from one guy who has a layman understanding to another:

Bitcoin was the first, and is the most prominent crypto currency, meaning it exists entirely digitally. It was created by an unknown individual or group of individuals in Japan in the late 2000's. It is produced involving a block chain which is fairly confusing to me but boils down to this: per the creator, there is a finite number of bitcoin that can ever exist. In predetermined intervals of time, more bitcoin becomes available for people to acquire via a process called "mining" in which your computer works on/decodes code issued by the creator. As time goes on, each interval during which more bitcoin becomes available will yield less of it. Eventually, I think in the early 2100's, no more bitcoin will ever be produced.

This creates a finite supply and is one the big reasons the stuff is worth anything. The other selling points are that it is not tied to a central government, and it is largely untraceable, making it ideal for illicit transactions.

The downsides are that it is not tied to a central government, and at this point in time it is extremely volatile in price, which is a problem for online vendors. If they accept it as payment and the next day bitcoin crashes, they are out a ton of money.


My read on it: I think bitcoin itself is something of a fad. Cryptocurrency may very well have an important place at the table in the future, but there is nothing differentiating bitcoin from any of the other crypto currencies out there besides the fact that it was the first one. Dozens, I'm sure hundreds, of others have cropped up that people are starting to invest in. From an investment perspective, it's just too dangerous in my eyes. It' may stabilize later on and find an important role in the world as banks start to adopt/integrate it, but for right now it looks like a giant bubble that is getting ready to pop.
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Old 20 November 2017, 10:57
Paul85 Paul85 is offline
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I'd rather have my money invested in something solid than bitcoin. Call me old-fashioned, but a stretch of land is still a stretch of land, even if Internet implodes. Same goes for a bar of gold. Even fiat money is better.

As to payment, normal methods work well enough for me. Bitcoin can have its uses for money laundering and speculation, maybe even for anonymous money transfers - but apart from that I passed on this entire cryptocurrency boom. Not to mention bitcoin mining is not what it used to be.
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:03
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I just read an article that Fidelity Investments (a fairly large investment firm, and who admins our company 401K's) is starting to integrate bitcoins. I guess I need to get more educated.

Last edited by Tycon; 20 November 2017 at 11:10.
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:14
Shark0311 Shark0311 is offline
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The bitcoin bubble is interesting. It is a good way to make money in the near term now that institutional investors are playing with it. As a currency it is crap. The value fluctuates too much to make purchases reducing its utility.

The value in it is purely speculative as an investment vehicle and it is a bubble. If you know how to invest in a bubble then go for it but be careful.
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:20
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Biggest thing about cryptocurrencies from what I have researched is the transactions can happen at a much faster rate than what current banks use to wire transer. Whereas a bank can take days to transfer money, cryptocurrencies take minutes and sometimes hours. I have started to invest in them and they are much more than digitial tulips. I know some guys who got on early and have made a lot of money. The Wall Street gang is getting on board too.

Is it a fad , I would say no to the fad because of the rate of transfer and how secure the transaction is. Is it volatile, it does go up and down but if you look at the overall worth almost all the cryptos are increasing in worth. The total worth of cryptocurrencies has gone up from $14 billion a year ago to $243 billion right now.
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:21
Keganswar Keganswar is offline
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I started mining crypto about 5 months ago. I mine ETH as bitcoin is pretty mined out unless you are a whale. Bitcoin will keep going but unless you are some sort of financial trend genius the casual investor will not make a fortune off bitcoin. If you had bought bitcoin 2 years ago when it was 800 a coin that is a different story all together.
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:31
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Looks like I may be investing whether I like it or not, if the company 401K manager is "integrating" it into it's portfolio. Time to dig out the paperwork.

I'm not against it necessarily, I just want to be informed. If I borrow against the 401K (at 5% to myself) and buy land (or bitcoins), and the 401K turns to shit...do I still have to pay myself back? LOLOL!
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Old 20 November 2017, 11:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keganswar View Post
I started mining crypto about 5 months ago. I mine ETH as bitcoin is pretty mined out unless you are a whale. Bitcoin will keep going but unless you are some sort of financial trend genius the casual investor will not make a fortune off bitcoin. If you had bought bitcoin 2 years ago when it was 800 a coin that is a different story all together.
I have a a wild ass guess that it's just beginning. I don't like the stock market right now because it just seems like it's ready to blow. So if it blows, where are people going to put their money? One thing they usually do is put it in gold, well with gold it's real hard to give it to someone else that is far away. My guess is cryptocurrencies. I can send someone money on the other side of the world for limited fees in a short period of time.

Feel free to shoot my WAG down. I could be talking out of my ass.
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Put a small child in a playpen with an apple and a bunny. If s/he eats the apple and plays with the bunny, s/he's normal;but if s/he eats the bunny and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car. Somewhere along the line we must have been TAUGHT to do the wrong thing.

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Old 20 November 2017, 11:55
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B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
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Grid goes down, your computer and the internet no longer work, and you're cryptocurrency is worth, well, it'll be worth a bunch of 0's and 1's.
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Old 20 November 2017, 12:02
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
Grid goes down, your computer and the internet no longer work, and you're cryptocurrency is worth, well, it'll be worth a bunch of 0's and 1's.
So I take it you don't have a bank account? Would that mean I wouldn't have to pay my mortgage?
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"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Winston Churchill

Put a small child in a playpen with an apple and a bunny. If s/he eats the apple and plays with the bunny, s/he's normal;but if s/he eats the bunny and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car. Somewhere along the line we must have been TAUGHT to do the wrong thing.

Maynard James Keenan
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Old 20 November 2017, 12:17
Keganswar Keganswar is offline
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Originally Posted by Jong View Post
I have a a wild ass guess that it's just beginning. I don't like the stock market right now because it just seems like it's ready to blow. So if it blows, where are people going to put their money? One thing they usually do is put it in gold, well with gold it's real hard to give it to someone else that is far away. My guess is cryptocurrencies. I can send someone money on the other side of the world for limited fees in a short period of time.

Feel free to shoot my WAG down. I could be talking out of my ass.
I think cryptocurrency is the wave of the future. We are just at the tip of the iceberg in the ways we will be using cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and ETH are the big ones right now but there are hundreds of other currencies feather coin, coin light, SLA coin that could be as big as either. It is widely speculated that 2 or 3 more-coin types will explode like bitcoin and ETH have. It is just speculation as to what coin does that and when. I have been dual mining coins to diversify my portfolio to capitalize on getting in at the ground floor of some of the coins that will fill a roll in international trade that currently bitcoin and ETH is not designed to do.
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Old 20 November 2017, 12:27
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Originally Posted by Jong View Post
So I take it you don't have a bank account? Would that mean I wouldn't have to pay my mortgage?
Sure I've got one... just that there's next to nothing in it

If we went nation-wide grid-down, and it lasted at least a week or two, then yes, I'd say you'd no longer have to pay your mortgage. Whatever you'd have to pay for afterward would likely be in the form of barter.
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Old 20 November 2017, 12:33
Jong Jong is offline
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
Sure I've got one... just that there's next to nothing in it

If we went nation-wide grid-down, and it lasted at least a week or two, then yes, I'd say you'd no longer have to pay your mortgage. Whatever you'd have to pay for afterward would likely be in the form of barter.
So what would it matter if my money was tied up into bitcoin or my bank?
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"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Winston Churchill

Put a small child in a playpen with an apple and a bunny. If s/he eats the apple and plays with the bunny, s/he's normal;but if s/he eats the bunny and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car. Somewhere along the line we must have been TAUGHT to do the wrong thing.

Maynard James Keenan
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  #17  
Old 20 November 2017, 12:37
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Mingo Kane Mingo Kane is offline
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Gold...
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  #18  
Old 20 November 2017, 12:40
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Originally Posted by Jong View Post
So what would it matter if my money was tied up into bitcoin or my bank?
Your money. I invest nothing in the markets, nor the bank, nor any cyber currency.

But then, I'm not an idealist when it comes to future living, either. Much more of a pragmatic realist. Food and other commodities are my investments.
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Old 20 November 2017, 12:45
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
Your money. I invest nothing in the markets, nor the bank, nor any cyber currency.

But then, I'm not an idealist when it comes to future living, either. Much more of a pragmatic realist. Food and other commodities are my investments.
BINGO....I've never seen a U-Haul following a hearse.
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  #20  
Old 20 November 2017, 12:46
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
If we went nation-wide grid-down, and it lasted at least a week or two, then yes, I'd say you'd no longer have to pay your mortgage. Whatever you'd have to pay for afterward would likely be in the form of barter.
I'm thinking that the banks have some vault in iceland with long-term UPS to track mortgages. But that may also apply to bitcoin. It may take a GLOBAL grid shutdown to disappear bitcoin and the mortgages.

I am glad I diversified my own portfolio into 22LR and 7.62 ammo for a possible barter economy. Canned food, etc.

But, I also heard somewhere that WalMart was getting into some type of digital currency, and I read Russia is coming up with something as well.
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