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Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

Displaying poll results.
Have changed my view of it for the worse
  3155 votes / 17%
Have failed to change my negative view of it
  5781 votes / 32%
Haven't swayed me from basic neutrality
  4774 votes / 26%
Have failed to change my positive view of it
  1824 votes / 10%
Have changed my view of it for the better
  437 votes / 2%
The ones under my mattress are safe as ever!
  1931 votes / 10%
17902 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

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  • by Clyde Machine (1851570) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @02:54PM (#46475693) Homepage
    Upon recommendation from the reddit Bitcoin community, I also put a liquid nitrogen cooling system in the box spring of my bed to keep my cold storage from getting too warm. I keep hearing about "hot wallets" being dangerous, so I figured, why take the risk?
    • by Sarius64 (880298)
      Now they're worth $5,000 a bitcoin! Start mining!
    • While you jest about Hot Wallets I think this really is the issue with Bit Coin. Specifically the incidents with bit coin lately have revealed first of all how robust the underlying system is, while also revealing how vulnerable the commerce mechanisms that wrap it are. It make you realize what you are paying Visa it's percentage for. Not the transaction mechanism, which bit coin shows is cheap, but the transactional security. If I send my bitcoins to someone either for payment or for "safekeeping" (

  • by yayoubetcha (893774) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @03:18PM (#46475923)

    It's hard to explain Bitcoin to Kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

  • I have trouble understanding why the US dollar has value. This isn't a political comment, I just really don't understand why everyone agrees that bits of paper have value. Understanding why long strings of zeros and ones have value is even harder. An economist once told me the value of any currency is based on the belief that it has value. The trouble is, beliefs change. Thanks for the poll on our beliefs about bitcoins. So far it doesn't look to good for bitcoins.
    • by qazsedcft (911254)
      It has value because the government of the USA says so.
    • by tom229 (1640685)
      The only things that really have value are those that either maintain or improve a person's life. Food, clothes, shelter, air, transportation, etc. The problem is that, for logistical reasons, nothing of real value makes a very good medium of trade. This is why we use gold, or dollars, or promisary notes, or bitcoins. The benefit of bitcoins above all other attempted mediums of trade is that the protocol was created to address specific problems with other more traditional mediums in a growing world economy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It has value for five reasons:
      1) Dollars are considered legal tender by the U.S. government for all debts public and private.
      2) OPEC oil is quoted in dollars, so it creates demand for the U.S. dollar.
      3) It's the world's reserve currency.
      4) Everyone in the U.S. is already using it.
      5) You can't just print them yourself.

      Other than that, yeah, it's just a fancy piece of paper.

      • 5) You can't just print them yourself.

        Unless you are Lim No Song , nephew of the supreme leader of North Korea , Kim No Dong .

      • by lgw (121541)

        It has value for five reasons:
        1) Dollars are considered legal tender by the U.S. government for all debts public and private.
        2) OPEC oil is quoted in dollars, so it creates demand for the U.S. dollar.
        3) It's the world's reserve currency.
        4) Everyone in the U.S. is already using it.
        5) You can't just print them yourself.

        1 isn't true the way people think it is. I can't pay my rent with cash, for example, and my landlord is free to price my rent in Euros or Bitcoin.

        2 is entirely false. The currency markets are so much bigger than the oil market that it just doesn't matter what currency oil is priced in. Even if you want to buy "June oil" in "June Euros", the currency futures market is quite liquid.

        4 is the main one. It doesn't matter what we use for currency, as long as the network effect is there. Currency is "the most

        • by Rockoon (1252108)

          I can't pay my rent with cash, for example, and my landlord is free to price my rent in Euros or Bitcoin.

          You most certainly can pay the rent you owe in cash. The land owner just doesnt have to keep renting to you.

          What happens if the land owner doesnt accept your cash for the rent you owe? Well if he wants payment he will have to take you to court, at which point the court will make him take your cash because its good for all debts, including your debt to him.

          Even in cases where you have a contract to pay by some other method, as for example you might have a contract to perform an action in exchange for so

    • by stymy (1223496)
      Value is a function of supply and demand. A classic question in economics is why water is cheap, when it is essential to life, and diamonds are expensive, even though they just look pretty (of course, that doesn't hold totally nowadays, but the question is centuries old). The standard answer is that while people want both water and diamonds, there's a lot of water, but not a lot of diamonds. These basic forces also govern the prices of most things.

      Well, US dollars have an incredibly high demand. The first
      • Re: US dollar (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LF11 (18760) on Friday March 14, 2014 @07:26AM (#46481249) Homepage
        Actually, diamonds are valuable because a corrupt, immoral industry has been running propaganda campaigns to convince us of their value for generations.
        • by stymy (1223496)
          So? It doesn't matter why people want them, just that they do (with regards to determining their value).
          • Because it invalidates the idea of scarcity governing value. It is human desire that governs values. It is important to remember this because desire changes, and can be engineered.
            • by mcl630 (1839996)

              Value is a product of both supply and demand (human desire as you put it). Given the same demand, scarcity will raise prices, over-supply will lower them.

          • by javelinco (652113)
            It does matter why people want them. It just doesn't change the fact that they are currently valuable and can be exchanged for things of value (like $$). Why does it matter why people want them? Because, if the reason no longer holds up, then neither does their value. See Tulip mania: [].
            • by amorsen (7485)

              You cannot exchange diamonds for things of value -- unless you count things of very low value. There is no market accessible to the general public where you can trade diamonds.

          • I think you forgot to mention all the invalid assumptions behind the hopelessly Pathetic field of economics
        • Actually, diamonds are valuable because a corrupt, immoral industry has been running propaganda campaigns to convince us of their value for generations.

          That could be said of any commodity, gold, silver, oranges, etc. Society drives the value of commodities via supply and demand. If you can create demand for a limited supply of something, you're going to be rich and most likely turn corrupt.

          • Re: US dollar (Score:4, Informative)

            by LF11 (18760) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @03:51PM (#46494265) Homepage
            No, actually. De Beers hired Edward Bernays to promote their products, and our modern association of diamonds with marriage, love, and sexuality is entirely a result of Bernays' work. Here are some other things Bernays is directly responsible for:

            * Women smoking as a symbol of feminine power and equality

            * Bacon is a great breakfast food

            * Communism is bad and should be feared

            * Fluoridated water prevents cavities

            * The 1954 Guatemalan coup, a model that is currently being used in the Middle East and the Ukraine.

            There are many more. Of particular note is that Goebbels used Bernays' template to generate popular German support for the Holocaust, in a very similar fashion to the way American sentiment is being moved against Muslims.

            But the demand for diamonds is purely a result of his paid promotional work for De Beers.
            • by LDAPMAN (930041)

              By that logic diamonds would have had little to no value before the 20th century. That is patently false and can be shown to be so by the historical record. Bernays may have had some influence on the current cultural position of diamonds but they have been valuable throughout history.

              • Well, historically speaking, diamonds were indeed a rarity back in the pre-19th century. During the late 19th and early 20th century disposable income became the main barrier. However, we've since left those periods and we are pretty filthy with diamonds and cash to toss at them. So I'm guess lacking a third quality to really drive up prices, the industry would instead just rehash the first two to begin with. One, making diamonds seem rare by distribution control. Two, by making your cash have less pur

        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          Actually, diamonds are valuable because a corrupt, immoral industry has been running propaganda campaigns to convince us of their value for generations.

          1: Control supply.
          2: Run propaganda campaign to increase demand.
          3: Profit! (Note absence of ??? step)

    • by ADRA (37398)

      Its the exact same reason why you work hard when you own a part of the company you work for, vs. one you just get paid at. You have a sense of entitlement (ownwership) that you're working hard for your own (and others') good. The US economy revolves around the US dollar in very substantial ways. Nobody wants to see themselves or everyone else fail, so 'a dollar' stays relatively static within the bubble of comfort. Outside the bubble of comfort where USD isn't the universal trade tender, one must be realist

      • by SQLGuru (980662)

        I'd argue that you really need a non-insignificant portion of the company to work harder. I used to work for a rather large company and received options and also participated in the stock purchase plan. But my little blip of ownership wasn't enough for me to work any harder than I already did. Sure, I liked it when options vested and/or the stock price went up.....but I looked at that as "vacation money" or "new toy money" and not as a reward for working harder. Had I received options in the realm of t

    • I have trouble understanding why the US dollar has value.

      Because the government that issues it has the most powerful military force in human history, by almost-if-not an order of magnitude.

      This isn't a political comment, I just really don't understand why everyone agrees that bits of paper have value.

      Not everyone does, but when the guys insisting it has value have a few hundred predator drones, a few thousand Marines, and more ICMBs and satellite platforms than you can count pointed directly at your asshole, you tend to acquiesce, since the alternative option kinda sucks.

      I heard something one time about this ancient concept known as the "gold standard," but I think that may

      • Because the government that issues it has the most powerful military force in human history

        But China could have a bigger one in a decade if they work at it, yet that's not going to make people respect it's currency any more than today.
        Also think about the 1920-30s when US currency was so well respected that when the US economy crashed it had global consequences. The US didn't have such a huge military back then.
        Try thinking about trade instead of guns. I'm sure you'll work it out.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      I have trouble understanding why the US dollar has value

      People like it.
      It's the network effect in action.

    • by Z34107 (925136)

      Why does the US dollar have value?

      Same reason anything has value: supply and demand. The supply of dollars is essentially determined by the Fed, and demand is driven by its ability to buy things (think: why do you want money?). At the intersection of supply and demand, you have the "price" of a dollar, found just like the price of a bushel of corn or a neglected Beanie Baby.

      So, how does a Bitcoin come to bear the price it does? Supply and demand again--except supply is controlled by an algorithm instead of the Fed, and demand is driven m

    • by novium (1680776)

      Well, among other things, the only form of currency the US government will accept for the payment of taxes, etc, are US dollars. Think about casino tokens: why are red chips worth 5 dollars? Because within the casino, those tokens will be honored for $5 worth of goods, services, or wagers. And you can exchange another currency (dollars) for a red token at the rate of $5/token. If you were say, stuck in the casino indefinitely, and the casino decided that it would no longer accept anything other than chips i

    • by dave562 (969951)

      The dollar has value because the US military is sitting on top of resources that American corporations will turn into goods that people can then buy with US dollars. The number one good being oil. []

      What is hard to understand about that?

      Tangentially, the Russian currency is appreciating because of their actions in the Ukraine. On the subject of beliefs, it appears that the world believes that the Russians are going to be able to secure their gains. At least in so far as the

    • Because every American has to pay taxes in US Dollars, which means 310 million people in the US need the damn things. Many expats need them, too, because the IRS taxes global income. If your salary is more then $98k you need to pay US Income tax, which means you need US Dollars. If you're gonna need a bunch of dollars every April 15th anyway, it makes sense to use dollars for most of your economic activity.

      So the guys boasting about the US Army are kinda right, because the US Army coulda been called in if t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:10PM (#46477313)

    Who would have thought, when Slashdot first posted about Bitcoin, that in just a few years we'd be seeing a story about it on the cover of Newsweek, stories on all the major news networks, etc. Despite all the flaws and nitpicks you can make against it, it is rapidly growing in popularity (especially with younger people) and many are fascinated (and a little confused) by it.

    When I come to slashdot, all I see are negative comments about how "it can never work" voted up. Go to Hacker News, a tech site with a much younger audience, and it's a totally different story. I think the older crowd here is more prone to point out flaws instead of seeing the potential.

    • by qazsedcft (911254) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:19PM (#46477399)
      No. The older crowd has seen its share of Ponzi schemes and economic bubbles and is simply less naive.
      • BitCoin may prove out to be a scheme, or a scam. But it wont be a Ponzi scheme
        • by dbIII (701233)
          Yes we get it. The name is different and the bait is different even if the process is the same.
      • This. Back in Janurary a client of mine and I had a few meetings. He wanted their company phones to get a push notification every time someone filled out a form on his website. But during our conversation he talked about some friends of his who were into bit coin mining and said we should go into a venture. And I said no. I think I mined 4 bit coins through a pool once many years ago, mainly because I've always been fascinated by various distributed computing things over the past decade and was interes

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are plenty of ponzi schemes out there utilizing bitcoin just like there are ponzi schemes utilizing every other currency out there. That doesn't make any currency itself a ponzi scheme.

        Bitcoin is one awesome piece of technology, nothing changes that, how that technology is used... well that varies.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        There's a fine line between being cautious and being absurdly cynical. I think the "older crowd," as you put it, is (and was) on the right side of the line here, but there are times where it goes too far.
      • No. The older crowd has seen its share of Ponzi schemes and economic bubbles and is simply less naive.

        I will second that. The other inevitable thing about Bitcoins is that they will end up regulated and they will not remain anonymous. That's what will happen if Bitcoin is going to be successful at all as a global currency. Only idiots trust their money to anonymous, uninsured and unregulated financial instruments. The only people that make money with those instruments are the greedy and the corrupt. And before anyone says anything about businesses legitimizing them by taking payments, why wouldn't a busines

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Flaws like all your money disappering are really quite serious.

      • by Imrik (148191)

        Your money only disappears if you give it to shady people to hold for you.

        • by hibiki_r (649814)

          Or if you have it on a hot wallet, and your computer is infected by a trojan. Or you have it all stored in a medium that fails. Or if you use it to buy something, and that something never arrives. Or you give it to non-shady people to hold if for you, and they are big enough to be a target for hackers.

          So it's all good as long as computers don't lose data, and the entire meatspace around computer security has no flaws. Good luck with that.

          • by JustNiz (692889)

            I do somewhat agree with what you're saying, but actually none of your points are specific to bitcoin. You could make all the exact same arguments you just did for dollars too. Maybe not the physical paper kind, but credit card numbers, bank account numbers etc etc. As for physical paper, there's nothing stopping you printing out your bitcoin wallet key and keeping that securely instead of in computer memory.

            A failing in computer security and failing to make backups all amounts to the same potential for los

            • Yeah, but there're systems in place to protect you if you lose that shit in a real financial system.

              I left my wallet on the bus in August. I lost a debit card. I realized it wasn't coming back when a $32 charge at Marathon showed up. So I cancelled the card, and contested the charge. It was a hassle, but I got the money back.

              With Mt. Gox Bitcoiners are basically screwed. The week before Mt. Gox stopped letting people take money out they were praising Bitcoin's lack of government regulation, now they're dema

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Urza9814 (883915)

      The younger crowd just wants it for Silk Road.

      The older crowd already has reliable local dealers ;)

      • How did that thing even work? You pay someone then agree to meet somewhere to complete the transaction? Sounds like a great way to get robbed.

        • by Urza9814 (883915)

          No, you pay bitcoin then they'd put the drugs in a box and wrote your name and address on it and handed it to the government -- the postal service! Or maybe FedEx or something I guess...

    • by Zocalo (252965)
      It's not negative, the older generation is just more jaded and has seen too many things like this turn into a fad to risk any significant amount of tangible worth on it. There is also the risk of association given the close links between BC and the digital underworld to consider, particularly when dealing with laypersons (many of whom might be in senior management); "You use Bit Coin? Isn't that used to buy drugs and stuff?" It's not some toy like a new programming language, Seti@Home, or an Arduino that
    • by dbIII (701233)

      Who would have thought, when Slashdot first posted about Bitcoin

      Probably a lot of us, but we probably expected different articles about a giant ponzi scheme collapsing instead.

  • "...has me even more convinced than ever that my money is not safe in the hands of others."

  • Missing option (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by h5inz (1284916)
    Where's the "I only use Bitcoins to buy drugs" option?
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday March 14, 2014 @03:09PM (#46485829) Homepage Journal

    Bitcoins exist. I don't judge their existence. They are just an idea with some possible uses. Bitcoin fans remain insufferable and delusional.

  • by malx (7723) on Monday March 17, 2014 @10:45AM (#46505847)

    Nothing I have heard has suggested any basic flaw in the cryptocurrency concept, or even the protocol design or software implementation for Bitcoin itself. The failure of some Bitcoin exchanges bears no more relation to the viability of Bitcoin than the failure of a bank would to the viability of a national currency (arguably even less, at least for proponents of the theory that fiat currency is inherently unstable).

    Banks sometimes fail. Bitcoin exchanges, being immature businesses with little experience of implementing technical security or financial risk management, will fail more frequently. The wise will spread their risk between different stores of value, so as not to be exposed to any particular institutional failure. This could well include keeping your own wallet, in a USB stick under the mattress.

    • You're ignoring a major part of reality:
      When banks fail you only lose money if you've got an account with more money then the FDIC insurance limit (currently $100k).

      That's one advantage of a government-controlled currency with mature institutions. The second advantage is it's value can;t actually go to zero because somebody will need it to pay taxes. OTOH another theft on the scale of Mt. Gox and nobody is gonna want Bitcoins anymore.

  • I find it interesting so many people took a negative view of Bitcoin, even before all of the bad press of late.

    Of course, if you made up your mind from the start that a decentralized, universal, digital currency was a bad idea -- I guess anything negative that's said about it after that would just bolster your original opinion.

    As some of you have pointed out, it's really only a few years old. It's going to take much longer to refine it into something more workable for the typical user. I could easily see it

  • by rlp (11898)

    Paper currency - it's valuable because governments say its valuable and millions of businesses accept it.
    Gold - its valuable because its historically been valuable, quantities are limited, and it's exchangeable for paper currency.
    Bitcoin - its valuable cause bitcoin miners say its valuable and some very dodgy businesses accept it.

    Bitcoin - no, thanks

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