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Comment: Re:Colour me confused (Score 1) 165

by triclipse (#45849713) Attached to: Congressman Accepts BitCoin For His US Senate Run

The properties of gold make it valuable for several different purposes. One of those purposes is its value as a conductor in electronic components. It's rarity, malleability, and resistance to corrosion make it valuable as a medium of exchange. The fact that one of these purposes is use as a "money" isn't any different than another type of purpose.

Supply and demand for gold for for these purposes (e.g., dentistry, jewelry, money, electronics) dictate the price of gold. The supply is relatively stable, inflating slowly as more gold is mined. Demand is more volatile and is what accounts for most of the fluctuation in the price of gold.

Bitcoin has properties which make it suitable only as a medium of exchange; it fulfills that role quite well, if not perfectly. Just like gold, supply and demand dictate the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin's primary deficiency at this point is it's price fluctuation in price vs. major fiat currencies, which make it inconvenient to use as a medium of exchange.

Comment: Re:Explain "Private" (Score 2, Interesting) 537

by triclipse (#45549213) Attached to: Why Bitcoin Is Doomed To Fail, In One Economist's Eyes

US Dollars aren't "issued by government." The US monetary supply is completely in control by a private banking system called the Federal Reserve System.

Gold and silver standards were exactly a system of money imposed by governments, effectively legislating the price of the underlying metal.

Gold and silver standards pre-existed state control of money. Attempts to legislate the price of metal always failed because the state could never resist the temptation to inflate the currency base, making the price of the metal unsupportably low.

I guess you're thinking of 19th century banknotes, issued by private banks

Not the 19th century. This century starting in 1913. That's what we (in the US) have now: a private bank issuing private banknotes.

Comment: Statist gonna state (Score 1) 537

by triclipse (#45548999) Attached to: Why Bitcoin Is Doomed To Fail, In One Economist's Eyes

Money is by no means "inevitably a tool of the state." Of course, the state always acts to seize control of the mint or printing press, but money (e.g., gold, silver) would of course exist regardless of the state.

And if money is a tool of the state, why do we allow a private banking system to issue our money?

Comment: Re:When is the government actually right? Ever? (Score 1) 233

by triclipse (#45468197) Attached to: US Government Embraces Bitcoin in Hearing on Virtual Currency

Both of these claims cannot simultaneously be true. You just said that both increases and decreases in the value of the currency increase the pool of funds available for investment and that one is good and the other is bad because they produce the same result.

You misconstrue my statement (which isn't mine, of course, it is a core theory of Austrian/free market economics a la Mises, Rothbard, et. al. AKA "Austrian Business Cycle Theory"). Better than I can explain it here:
http://austrianeconomics.wikia.com/wiki/Malinvestment

I doubt you'll take the time to read it, but you should.

And it's hardly my own definition of "inflation" - it is a far more accurate and technical definition that has been intentionally obfuscated by central banking propaganda.

Comment: Re: That explains the spike (Score 2) 233

by triclipse (#45463225) Attached to: US Government Embraces Bitcoin in Hearing on Virtual Currency

Just calling it the same name does not mean it is the same currency.

The British Pound has taken many forms over those 400 years. Initally pegged to gold, then to silver, then floating freely, then pegged to gold again, then floating freely to finance WWI, then pegged to the US dollar under Bretton Woods (which in turn was pegged to gold internationally) and now it floats freely again like any other fiat currency.

Comment: Re:That explains the spike (Score 2) 233

by triclipse (#45463049) Attached to: US Government Embraces Bitcoin in Hearing on Virtual Currency

Print all the hard currency you like, the value per unit will drop until equilibrium is reached.

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I don't know what you mean by a "hard currency" but government issued currency anywhere in the world is pegged against anything except, in some circumstances, other government issued currencies.

No equilibrium is ever reached by endless "printing" (I know what you mean) of a currency - eventually the currency collapses through hyperinflationary price increases.

Comment: Re:When is the government actually right? Ever? (Score 1) 233

by triclipse (#45462967) Attached to: US Government Embraces Bitcoin in Hearing on Virtual Currency

That is part of the confusion over the terms "inflation" and "deflation." Classically, "inflation" meant an increase in the money supply and deflation meant the opposite. Supply and demand remaining steady, an increase in the money supply would result in an increase in prices (the converse being true for deflation).

Now, however, "inflation" has become synonymous with the resulting increase in of prices in a given currency (the converse being true of deflation). The problem is that people end up confusing inflation/deflation in the money supply with the demand for a currency. Both will affect prices but for different reasons.

You are correct that Increased adoption (or hoarding) of Bitcoin will drive down prices of things priced in Bitcoin, but not because of deflation.

Comment: Re:When is the government actually right? Ever? (Score 2, Insightful) 233

by triclipse (#45461999) Attached to: US Government Embraces Bitcoin in Hearing on Virtual Currency

There is a predictable deflationary curve if you want to think of it as a currency - it is consistently going up in value.

You conflate two different concepts. There is no doubt that the number of Bitcoins is increasing on a predictable curve - by definition that is an "inflation" of the currency. Do not confuse that with a rise in the purchasing power of the currency and the consequent drop in the price of goods and services as priced in BTC.

But you are right that it is also deflationary, just not in the way in which you think. It is my understanding that Bitcoins can be irretrievably lost. Eventually, after all the Bitcoins have been mined, the number of Bitcoins in existence will start to fall (in other words, the currency will deflate, however slightly).

If your currency's value goes up over the long term, it encourages hoarding and discourages productive economic activity.

It's hard to believe that people actually think this way, but a century of central banking propaganda has had its intended effect.

Though certainly true that rapid fluctuations in a currency's value make it inconvenient as a medium of exchange (the problem with BTC right now), a rise in the value of a currency rewards savers and increases the pool of savings available for investment in productive economic activity at lower interest rates. An endlessly inflated fiat currency has the opposite effect: it encourages malinvestment in unproductive economic activity (also known as "bubbles" - e.g., internet stocks and real estate), punishing savers and rewarding debtors. Though interest rates can be kept artificially low for a time, eventually either interest rates must rise or the value of the currency must fall (or even both).

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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