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Bitcoin Politics

Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin? 490

Posted by timothy
from the biggest-portion-is-the-lion's-share dept.
New submitter F9rDT3ZE writes "Salon writer Andrew Leonard examines the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) first 'guidance' regarding 'de-centralized virtual currencies,' noting that Bitcoin's supporters call it a 'currency of resistance,' while others suggest that 'the more popular Bitcoin gets, whether as a symbol of resistance or a perceived safe haven in financially troubled times, the more government attention it will inevitably draw, and the more inexorably it will be sucked into existing regulatory structures.'"
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Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

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  • easy enough to make that the quantity can expand to support a growing market

    Not even close. They are designed to be hard to make, to only be made at a pre-determined rate, and for new supplies to eventually run out. Bit-coins are designed to be limited in supply.

  • Re:Local Bitcoins (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @06:15PM (#43265903)

    That will just make Bitcoin dealers like drug dealers. Sure I can go buy drugs from my local dealer, but the dealer lives with the risk over his head that I'm going to narc on him.

    The registry that exists of local bitcoin dealers is out in the open - any bitcoin seller who is listed on there would be an easy target for cops to go after for being an unregulated exchange.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @06:46PM (#43266091)

    You can't spend an "invalid bitcoin". There is no such thing as counterfeit or otherwise invalid currency in bitcoin. Perhaps you should study what you are trying to mock and deride.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @07:37PM (#43266395)

    And even then, only possible for a moment.

    That processing power - by the way - is currently equivalent to about 613 PetaFLOPS.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @08:00PM (#43266533) Journal
    "What exactly stops the government from coming up with some other collection of numbers with different properties and claiming that they are also bitcoins?"

    Other people agreeing with them? The "properties" of a Bitcoin aren't secret. Claiming something is a Bitcoin isn't something a person does, it is something a computer does. There is a complete transaction trail for every coin back to the moment it was mined including the ability to verify that it qualified at the moment it was mined and every client has a copy of it. When you send me a coin that trail is audited repeatedly by third party miners only becomes part of the audit trail with enough verification.

    Every hacker and cryptographer and their dog has been trying to find a way to do what you suggest for the past four years (though most have already given up) and the best they've found is a theoretical way that requires controlling >51% of all mining power. A government that was willing to spend enough money might be able to do that (there is more demand than mining hardware as it stands so you can't just throw money at it) but the community can tell if someone actually has >51% of the mining power.
  • by mestar (121800) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @09:47PM (#43267099)

    This is a good question, and a normal thing for the network. You would have a temporary chain fork, and the branch that gets the next block first, wins. If the second blocks on two chains also happen at the same time, the third block will be the decider, and so on. That's why it's standard to wait 6 blocks before accepting the transaction.

    So, the longer chain always wins, because, there is a very high probability that more processing power went into it.

  • by siride (974284) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @10:15PM (#43267213)

    More like a tad full of shit. You can rattle off anecdotes about those hippie-dippie liberals who can't hold down a job or keep track of their money, and I can probably rattle off a longer list of liberal friends of money who do an amazing job of managing money or even starting and running business, while I have a list of conservative friends and acquaintances who are only a few steps away from being in the poverty line. Some people are responsible and some aren't, and it has little to nothing to do with broad political affiliations.

    You claim to be an independent, but almost everything in your post is a talking point from the Fox News crowd. We have the myth that liberals like to blame other people for everything, that they can't manage money, that they don't have jobs, and that conservatives really *understand* economics, even though they propose ridiculous ideas like flat taxes and trickle-down, and believe that the Laffer Curve is a valid model to be used for serious tax and policy decisions.

    No, you aren't a hypocrite. You're just another conservatard drone who is too chicken to admit it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @10:33PM (#43267299)

    No, because the chains were merged.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"