Talk:Deflationary spiral - Bitcoin Wiki

[Article] Debunking the theory that a "deflationary" currency cannot be the basis of a functioning economy

Many economists argue that a low level of inflation (approx 1-2%) is required in order to maintain a productive and functioning economy. This is evidenced in the fact that most central banks have low level inflation as a target of their monetary policy objectives: The European Central Bank, Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve to name a few [1].
As a result, detractors of bitcoin say that it can never become a currency as it is deflationary in nature [2]. That is, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in existence. This means that over time once all of these coins are in circulation, there will be no new supply of bitcoin, and so any demand increase will result in a price increase. Currently there is around 4.3% annual inflation of Bitcoin's supply [3], and by 2028 that is projected to fall to below 1% [4]. Furthermore, if the anonymous 'Satoshi' has truly vanished then there are another 1M coins out of circulation [5]; and some studies suggest the total number of lost bitcoin is nearing 3M coins [6], a number that can only increase over time.
Due to these 'missing' bitcoins, the supply of Bitcoin will become increasingly scarce, and so their value is expected to rise given a constant or increasing level of demand. This means that goods and services will fall relative to their bitcoin valuation, resulting in deflation (deflation = the price level of goods & services in an economy decreasing). The traditional argument then goes as follows: due to goods & services becoming cheaper over time, saving is incentivized. After all, why would one buy a car for 1000 bits when it can be purchased for 998 bits tomorrow? A common example people point to as evidence for this is the infamous 10,000 BTC pizza purchase in 2010 which at today's valuation costs 100M USD [7].
However, this argument against bitcoin as a currency is flawed on two levels.
(1) When pointing to examples such as the pizza purchase, or the rapid increase in bitcoin's value, people are misattributing the cause of the deflation by assuming it is to do with bitcoins supply. In fact, in the years since the pizza purchase, the total supply of bitcoin has increased from 3 million BTC to 16 million BTC. This is a more inflationary supply increase than even the USD over the same period of time [8]. The real causes of bitcoin's price increase (and thus deflationary properties) in this period can be attributed to the parabolic nature of adoption that bitcoin has seen since its creation [9]. When looking at the practical nature of bitcoin as a world currency, and then drawing stats from the coin in its infancy, you are committing the fallacy of false equivalency [10] as the evidence presented is from a period of increasing adoption while a global currency would imply full or near full adoption. At the 'early adopters' stage we will see major +/- % fluctuations regularly, however if worldwide adoption was to be achieved then these value changes would be far smaller and much less significant. For example, the dollar, the world reserve currency, fluctuates on average by 92 pips in a day (1 pip = 0.0001 USD). Applying this same level of stability to a mass adopted bitcoin, and we see that the price fluctuations would become far smaller and less significant the greater the capitalization of the currency. Thus, in order to assess the viability of bitcoin as a world currency, one must start with a situation where bitcoin is a world currency in the first place.
(2) The second flaw of this argument is to assume that deflation will always lead to a deflationary spiral and thus collapse of the economy. With this same logic, one could argue that inflation will always lead to an inflationary spiral and thus an economy collapse as people see price levels rising, and thus are incentivized to spend their money NOW before they increase any further. This then leads prices to rise further and the effect to spiral out of control. CLEARLY though we can see that inflation does not always lead to an inflationary spiral as all western economies operate on an inflationary model. And thus to try use this logic that is empirically flawed as an argument of deflation is self defeating: Levels of inflation will not always lead to inflationary spirals, and levels of deflation will not always lead to deflationary spirals. It is this excessive quantity of inflation or deflation that will result in a spiral, not the attributes of inflation or deflation in isolation.
In the same way that 1-2% inflation per year is small enough to not trigger an inflationary spiral of panic, a small amount of deflation on a yearly basis would not trigger this deflationary spiral. In fact, we have evidence to support this claim. In the UK over the period of 1983-2006 we had interests rates that were higher than the rate of inflation [11], this would mean that consumers are incentivized to save instead of spend as they would have greater purchasing power in the future(i.e. there is deflationary pressure), yet we did not see an economic meltdown during these times. What we actually saw over this time period was a DECREASE in the savings ratio of the average UK household [12], from around 15% of income to just under 10% despite the fact that any money saved would have compounded 5% more inflation adjusted purchasing power per annum. At first this might seem to be irrational behavior but there are some speculative reasons as to why this was the case. One theory suggests that consumers do not notice inflationary or deflationary pressures in small quantities and thus do not make economic decisions based on them. Another one would say that despite the deflationary pressures, there are some purchases that are necessary and therefore cannot be delayed. i.e. the supermarket shop might be a small % cheaper in 1 years time, but it is necessary to do it now in order to survive. Finally, it can also be argued that as deflationary pressures make consumers feel wealthier, they are more inclined to go out and spend this wealth, thus decreasing their savings rate.
The arguments presented above show that perhaps Keynesian economic thinking is too narrow, and that an economy can be run on the back of a currency with deflationary pressures as these pressures in the right quantity will not result in a deflationary spiral, and have the advantage of not eroding the wealth of the population in a way that benefits the wealthy and hinders the poor (see: threshold effects of inflation for more information on this matter). While this article has argued that a deflationary currency can run an economy, it is a topic of future article to discuss which model of the economy is preferable.
Till next time,
Logical Crypto
Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_targeting#Summary
[2] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/why-bitcoin-will-never-be-a-currency-in-2-charts/282364/
[3] https://charts.bitcoin.com/chart/inflation#lf
[4] https://cointelegraph.com/storage/uploads/view/1d067f3721f10f0a76439de9860a4e54.png
[5] https://qz.com/1107843/bitcoins-btc-new-record-price-of-6000-means-satoshi-nakamoto-is-worth-5-9-billion/
[6] http://uk.businessinsider.com/nearly-4-million-bitcoins-have-been-lost-forever-study-says-2017-11
[7] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Laszlo_Hanyecz
[8] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/MB%2C_M1_and_M2_aggregates_from_1981_to_2012.png
[9] https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-total?timespan=all
[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence
[11] https://www.economicshelp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/inflation-interest-rates-1945-2011.png
[12] https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/personal-savings
submitted by LogicalCrypto to btc [link] [comments]

CMV: the rise and widespread use of cryptocurrencies will cause an economic depression akin to the 30's Great Depression.

First off, please do not respond to this if you don't understand the basics of monetary policy and how central banks currently use quantitative easing to stabilise the economy.
(in short, central banks buy bonds from big normal banks at advantageous rates in times of economic recession, expanding the money supply in the hope of triggering investment behaviour, fixing the recession. They later sell back the bonds at lower prices, and this is one of the bigger mechanisms that causes fiat inflation)
Now one of the many things bitcoin and its kin pride themselves on, is their deflationary nature. The money supply will be fixed at some point, and the value of the currencies will only increase.
Of course this sounds scarily familiar to the gold standard, which all of the mainstream economists these days agree on is what caused the Great Depression. If holding money becomes more advantageous than investing or spending it, the economy will grind to a halt.
Now the crypto community has proven to be unshakeable on this point. Any crypto that wants to introduce an inflationary model will be rejected (in fact all of the coins, AFAIK, are deflationary.)
If cryptos become widely adopted (and already we see people putting money in bitcoin like in gold), many people will abandon typical savings funds on banks and put their money on the blockchain. This means the banks will be without liquidity to keep the economy going. Central banks will expand fiat money, but who will want it? Can fiat really co-exist next to a superior currency like the cryptos? Or will it just devalue in some hyper-inflationary spiral? Note, crypto is worse than gold, because crypto is made to replace money. It can be spent, it can be invested, it can be effortlessly transferred anywhere.
Which brings us to possible solutions once the next recession does hit.
1. inflationary cryptos.
This is the most likely solution, and we can hope the public will see reason, and adopt measures to inflate an existing blockchain (say bitcoin). Due to the nature of blockchains, this will require widespread approval. Blockchains are decentralized, any change must be approved by the majority.
Why I don't see this working: the blockchain community is extremely stubborn. See here for Dan Larimer's opinion on the matter
Furthermore, because there are multiple cryptos, there is an incredible competition incentive not to be the blockchain that will become inflationary and thus devalued just like fiat.
2. Keynesian mechanics
The government could fix the economy by funding government projects and directly incentivizing businesses with government money. However, this will have to be paid for with fiat money. It requires fiat to have a reasonable value. The gov will of course possess crypto assets as well, but these are limited. The gov cannot create extra money to fund businesses, and will have to rely on tax money or printed fiat.
3. government intervention in crypto
This is the only true solution I see, but equally terrifying for obvious reasons.
This is a footnote from the CMV moderators. We'd like to remind you of a couple of things. Firstly, please read through our rules. If you see a comment that has broken one, it is more effective to report it than downvote it. Speaking of which, downvotes don't change views! Any questions or concerns? Feel free to message us. Happy CMVing!
submitted by divinesleeper to changemyview [link] [comments]

Hodling is good for the individual, BUT is it good for the market?

No need for emotions please, just an economic question.
I personally hodl and only hodl will never waste a satochi only to find in 5 years I wasted 10 Grand's.
But I feel it's not good for business and ecosystems linked to bitcoin, I am strangling their growth by removing a portion of the circulation, please correct me if I'm wrong!
In an extreme case all 21 million BTC will hodled nice and tight but there will be Zero transactions & business.
.____________________________________.
Update: 1 [I thank theymos for the valuable article he commented with, I think it is a necessary reading for the topic: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Deflationary_spiral ]
2 [a nice and funny articles shared by liquid71: http://nakamotoinstitute.org/mempool/im-hoarding-bitcoins-and-no-you-cant-have-any/ ]
submitted by M-A-Barakat to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin, Deflation and the End of Top-Down Consumerism

I had a "shower thought" the other day about bitcoin while doing some gardening and thought I'd run it by you folks and maybe get some discussion going. I'm going to try and flesh out my original train of thought in a few paragraphs so this could get long, but feel free to skip to the TL;DR below if you're short on time.
There seems to still be a lot of hand-wringing among both critics and supporters of bitcoin regarding the currency's deflationary nature. I don't want to re-hash all the related arguments here in detail as they have already been well articulated elsewhere, but suffice it to say many observers of the bitcoin space, especially classically-trained economists, are eager to pronounce doom for the future of bitcoin as a currency because it does not have the "desirable" property of being inflationary.
Why is an inflationary currency "desirable," you ask? Well, one of the arguments frequently trotted out by the the aforementioned skeptics is that an inflationary currency is good because it impels holders of the currency to spend it before its devalued over time by inflation, thereby stimulating spending and stimulating the economy as a whole. This was also the same argument that both the Federal Reserve and especially the Abe administration in Japan made when they started their respective quantitative easing programs. In particular, the Abe administration and the Bank of Japan have stated that they will pump as much money into the system as needed to ensure that the "economic evil" of deflation is defeated.
And yet, as someone who is very much skeptical of disgusted with consumerism for consumerism's sake, I find this line of thinking really disturbing. Sure, on paper it's "good" for the economy if Mr. Tanaka goes out and buys a new Toshiba OLED TV with his quickly-depreciating yen, but if Mr. Tanaka already has a perfectly-working TV he bought two years ago and would not have bought the new TV without being "induced" to do so by the threat of his cash becoming increasingly worthless, is the transaction really occurring on a purely voluntary basis (i.e. based on the fact that Mr. Tanaka just wants a new TV) or is there some measure of unnatural coercion taking place, distorting the market? As you can probably guess, I think the latter is more true than the former. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people buy a lot of garbage they don't need due to the coercive nature of an inflationary currency and inflationary currency plays a non-trivial role in supporting our modern consumerist society.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, may produce the opposite effect as a deflationary store of value: if Mr. Tanaka holds bitcoin instead of yen, he won't be so easily manipulated by a central authority into coerced consumption. In fact, the opposite is true: if bitcoin generally appreciates it may produce an anti-consumerism effect whereby Mr. Tanaka will only buy a new TV if he actually really, really needs one. Obviously Toshiba doesn't like this since they actually have to try much harder to innovate and convince people that they need new TVs, but I would argue that this is a good thing for the environment and innovation since less external waste is generated and Mr. Tanaka is empowered to build his own wealth rather that remain stuck in the work-consume hamster wheel.
If you believe like I do that rampant consumerism is a bad thing, the above bitcoin-induced effect is already really awesome and a great reason to support bitcoin, but I think bitcoin may be an even more potent force for destroying the cancer of thoughtless consumerism by virtue of the fact that the ability to send money instantly and cheaply to anyone, anytime and anywhere could potentially reduce the role that advertising plays in modern society as a way of monetizing information and entertainment.
Just think of all the content services that most people use on a daily basis that are supported by advertising: TV, radio, magazines and a good chunk of the internet. Imagine instead a world where all of these content services are built on mandatory (pay-per-view) microtransactions instead of advertising. Instead of having Mr. Tanaka buy Asahi beer, which pays Fuji News to run ads so Mr. Tanaka buys more beer in an endless cycle of pointless consumerism, Mr. Tanaka can just pay Fuji News in bitcoin for the right to view their content and buy Asahi beer on a purely rational basis (i.e. when he naturally wants to) rather than when he’s been brainwashed by endless advertising to do so. Thus, I think bitcoin could become a powerful force for dismantling the inefficient and soul-crushing consumerist society that we all live under, and it’s deflationary nature has an important part to play in inducing the changes needed for this to happen.
I know that the above argument is very rough around the edges and could probably be refined and improved by smarter people than me, so I ask you, /bitcoin, do you think bitcoin could potentially become a powerful force for re-aligning our ideology as a society away from consumerism to something more meaningful and fulfilling, or am I being to optimistic and naïve here?
TL;DR: I think that bitcoin, by virtue of being a deflationary currency and enabling seamless, instant transactions has the potential to subvert the consumerist dogma of our current society, but on the other hand maybe I’m wrong and just inhaled too much pollen while gardening earlier.
submitted by KoKansei to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:

www.fmz.com
Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by Ruby-Yao to u/Ruby-Yao [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:
www.fmz.com
Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by FmzQuant to u/FmzQuant [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:

Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by FmzQuant to u/FmzQuant [link] [comments]

Why won't a deflationary spiral occur with Bitcoins?

I'm aware of this argument, but it's not very persuasive. They argue that because the supply of Bitcoins isn't fixed, that it can't occur. However the supply of gold isn't fixed either, people are constantly mining gold, and the more valuable it becomes, the more they'll mine it - just like Bitcoins. Bitcoins and gold are very similar, and I suspect equally vulnerable to hoarding.
Even if a deflationary spiral doesn't occur while Bitcoins can still be mined, surely it will occur once they can't be mined any more in 2140? Won't the value appreciate as more and more Bitcoins are lost, increasing the value of those that remain?
In short: Why is Bitcoin's specific mechanism of adding new Bitcoins to the available pool the right mechanism?
submitted by sanity to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

keynesian altcoin concept

A common criticism that economically inclined folks have leveled at Bitcoin is that it is prone to deflation or deflationary spirals. The Keynesian approach to this perceived problem is to increase or decrease money supply until inflation reaches a target rate. Individuals who believe this is necessary for a useful currency have argued that this is only possible with a centralized controller of the money supply.
It occurs to me that it might be possible to create a keynesian decentralized virtual currency somewhat like Bitcoin, where the difficulty adjusts to keep coins generating at a specified rate which is in turn adjusted based on information about coin value over time. The difference with this new currency would be that rather than having the target coin generation rate follow a predetermined schedule, the coin generation rate would be tied to coin purchasing power in some clever way. One way to achieve this would be for the protocol to intelligently scrape information about global exchange rates and try to regulate the average exchange rate between different world currencies to some constant. Alternatively purchasing power information is fed by miners somehow and there is a reward in coins depending on how close the information matches the average information being fed from around the world. This way there is an incentive to not skew the data, and it would be difficult to form a >50% group willing to pump inaccurate purchasing power information into the network.
Both kinds regulatory mechanisms listed above are rather naive and could result in the network being fooled by attackers into generating coins at strange rates.
[disclaimer1: I realize I am referring to a "distributed network" as being capable of various things, this is hypothetical for the sake of starting with conceptualization.]
A better mechanism starts with the concept of implied volatility. If the network could "sell" contracts relating to coins for coins to network participants, self-interested network participants will buy these derivatives or options contracts at different prices depending on their beliefs about the future vs current purchasing power of a coin.
A simple example(network issuing "bonds"): consider a contract where the network sells a fixed number of bonds for 1 coin with a 0.1 coin per year return, and some of bonds for 1 coin with a 0.09 coin per year return and so on down to arbitrarily small returns. If the coins are inflationary, say purchasing power is decreasing by 5% a year, participants will be willing to put many coins into the 0.1 coin return per year but much fewer coins in the 0.05 or lower return bonds(as they would rather spend the coins than buy a bond that loses value). If the coins are deflationary, users will be willing to put more coins in a lower return bonds. The network monitors the distribution of bond purchases at different prices and determined something about the expected future value of coins compared to their current value. If participants are buying up the bonds available at all return levels a deflationary state is implied, and the network decreases difficulty until the purchase rate of lower interest bonds starts to decrease, the network difficulty is basically adjusted with some kind of negative feedback control with respect to the deviation from a certain reference bond buying distribution that corresponds to the desired inflation rate.
Another way of implementing essentially the same feedback mechanism above is for the network to allow participants to pay coins for slightly decreased mining difficulty for a certain address. This creates similar incentives to the bond scenario, letting the network hold onto your coins in exchange for small returns in the form of more coins mined tells the network something about how the value of coins is changing over time depending on the equilibrium purchase rates of different lowered mining difficulties, and again the network can apply negative feedback to drive the equilibrium on "mining bond purchases" to a price which implies the desired inflation rate.
I believe that better solutions exists involving a more sophisticated set of derivative trades between participants and network, which would give the network much more reliable information about value projections of participants, allowing cleaner feedback on coin generation rate, along with providing mechanisms for eliminating coins. Assuming the participants are rational economic actors, these mechanisms would allow the network to regulate to a nearly constant coin value over time using only information derived from network activity.
What does everyone think? Is there economic sense to these ideas,(assuming the reader is a keynesian, for the sake of argument) and if so would it be possible to implement them in a distributed protocol?
[disclaimer2: I am not a keynesian, I do not claim inflation is desirable. What I am proposing are some top level details for a system that would allow for the network regulation of deflation/inflation rate. I used keynesian concepts to provide a familiar starting point for the discussion of this altcoin concept, with the keynesian example being special case of inflation/deflation regulation. Bitcoin does not regulate inflation/deflation and tends to undergo uncontrolled deflation due to slowly growing, fixed or diminishing money supply with an unknown amount of coins being lost per unit time. While I do not make keynesian claims, I do claim that an unargued preference for the specific money supply and deflationary characteristics of Bitcoin over say a controlled deflation rate of 5% a year is an example of status quo bias]
submitted by moneygames to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Thoughts about the counter argument on the bitcoin wiki article on price deflation?

I've been wanting to buy bitcoins recently but have always put it off until I found this subreddit. I'm firmly influenced by the likes of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson; however, I'm more interested in the speculative aspect of bitcoin. So before I invest, I want to ask your opinions of this page on the wiki.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Deflationary_spiral#Alternative_Argument
Once prices do stabilize in the future, there will always be the knowledge that the number of Bitcoins in the market is limited. As a result, to the extent the GDP of the Bitcoin economy increases (the total value of all Bitcoin transactions completed increases in "real" terms), there will continue to be price deflation. The expectation of future deflation means that there will be a discrepancy in perceived values between parties valuing bitcoin on longer or shorter time horizons. The apparent over-pricing of bitcoin from the perspective of people engaging in short term transactions will encourage the creation and adoption of competing systems.
If I understand this correctly, what it's saying basically is that since bitcoin continuously gets more valuable, people will not like to spend bitcoin because it gains value over time which causes more deflation because there is less money in the economy. Is it possible for bitcoin to be rendered completely useless because of deflation and speculators like me?
"In a Bitcoin world, everyone would anticipate that, and they know what they got paid would buy more then than it would now." - a quote quoted by the wiki
But why would anyone spend bitcoin knowing that in the future they could have spent less for the same amount of goods or services?
I don't see how this article adequately addresses a deflationary spiral for bitcoin is much different from that of a centralized currency. Can someone explain this to me?
submitted by Phinaeus to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A few questions for BitCoin users and supports.

I am incredibly interested in the idea behind BitCoin. I don't think it will succeed but that doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile venture. [I personally think it is one of the coolest economic experiments ever]
So, a few questions...
  1. IF (this is a big if) BitCoin becomes a viable currency, how will the community handle the challenges of a potential deflationary spiral? The "Myths" section on the BitCoin wiki gives a woefully inadequate answer by just saying that "human factors" will lower the chance of a spiral. Huh?
  2. The recent shock has definitely illustrated that a lot of people are treating BitCoin primarily as a commodity rather than as a currency. Yes, there are some vendors that accept BitCoin but the vast, vast, vast majority do not. I am worried that this will kill the long term viability of BitCoin. How does BitCoin go from being like gold to being like the USD? i.e. go from being a commodity with a neat side function of being accepted in some places as currency to a currency in its own right. Is the community ready for it to be treated like USD?
  3. Will BitCoin ever be as stable as the USD? I think this is part of what prevents BitCoin from ever being used as a real currency. So, I'm not sure if I've got my economic history right but I'm not sure how non-gov't backed currency/commodities can form the basis of long-term contracts. For instance, how would you determine the value of a mortgage payment in BitCoins? I would be worried about entering into long-term contracts in BitCoins because I don't even know how to model its value over time.
Thanks for reading through such a long post. Hopefully this will convince me to change my thinking on the matter.
submitted by breakthegate to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

THIS IS WHY BITCOIN DUMPED AGAIN!!! Keiser Report  A Deflationary Spiral  E1534 What is DEBASEMENT? What does DEBASEMENT mean? DEBASEMENT meaning, definition & explanation Realistic BITCOIN Prediction As Global Recession Nears! Countdown Begins... Would a Deflationary Bitcoin Destroy the Economy?

Deflationary spiral is an economic argument that proposes that runaway deflation can eventually lead to the collapse of the currency given certain conditions and constraints. It is a common criticism made against the viability of Bitcoin. The ‘deflationary spiral’ is a real condition that affects the popular fractional reserve backing system. Talk:Deflationary spiral. From Bitcoin Wiki. Jump to: navigation, search. Might I suggest, just for the technicality of the issue, that "deflation" is actually the contraction of the money supply, not the effect of rising values and prices dropping. Bitcoin might undergo a deflationary spiral that causes certain . individuals or industries to abandon Bitcoin, 76 possibly causing a panic . own bitcoins. In some ways, Deflationary spiral is an economic argument that proposes that runaway deflation can eventually lead to the collapse of the currency given certain conditions and constraints. It is a common criticism made against the viability of Bitcoin. The ‘deflationary spiral’ is a real condition that affects the popular fractional reserve backing system. From Bitcoin Wiki; “A deflationary spiral occurs when the value of a currency, relative to the goods in an economy, increases continually as a result of hoarding. As the value of the currency relative to the goods in the economy increase, people have the incentive to hoard the currency, because by merely holding it, they hope to be able to

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THIS IS WHY BITCOIN DUMPED AGAIN!!!

A Global 2020 Recession is a reality. Quantitative Easing, Money Printing, and rapid expansion hasn’t brought the growth, and a contraction is coming. Just like during the Great Depression, it ... 💀HORRIFIC BITCOIN SCENARIO: DEATH SPIRAL EXPLAINED!!!💀 - Duration: 12:47. sunny decree ... Bitcoin At $1 Million By 2020 Is Still Possible And Might Be A Discount Says James Altucher ... In the second half, Max interviews Samson Mow about the upcoming hardening of money as bitcoin experiences a halvening whereby the rewards per block gets cut in half. They also discuss privacy in ... Another reason is to end a deflationary spiral. Debasement was also the result of the value of the precious metal content rising above the face value of coins. As the market price of precious ... - Squawk Box - "Now all of a sudden even he [Paul Tudor Jones] is looking at #btc and the reason is because we are in this massive deflationary spiral," says @Chamath .

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