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back to article Bitcoin Friday sale event kicks off with deep discounts

A group of businesses from  the Bitcoin community have teamed up to offer their own version of a "Black Friday" sale, with the twin aims of increasing awareness of the digital currency and stimulating the economy around it. For those unfamiliar with American customs, Black Friday in the US refers to the day after Thanksgiving …

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Hmm..Ive seen many reports on Bitcoin theft and no reports of security upgrades since

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There have been some. For instance the standard Bitcoin software now has a wallet encryption option built in. But most Bitcoin thefts do no target the software itself. Either they're investment scams (which of course never happen with traditional currency) or third party "banks" that some people relied on instead of actually running the Bitcoin software.

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Anonymous Coward

Ive seen many reports on cash theft and no reports of security upgrades since

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Facepalm

"Ive seen many reports on cash theft and no reports of security upgrades since"

Not true. Canada has been issuing plastic $50 and $100 bills for a while now, and plans to issue plastic $20 bills soon. Very hard to counterfeit but they do melt if you're not careful.

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Security for who?

Canada has been issuing plastic $50 and $100 bills for a while now,

I don't doubt these are hard to counterfeit, but they lack physical security. People who handle piles of them, say they make mistakes because bills now stick together. I've also noticed that they tend to physically disintegrate. I haven't lost one yet, but I am certainly expecting to lose some in the future because of their lack of physical integrity. They are very delicate.

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Agents don't represent the currency

Hmm..I've seen many reports on Bitcoin theft and no reports of security upgrades since

Perhaps because they went out of business? Who knows - or cares. You wouldn't stop trusting US dollars because your local bank gets held up would you? There are good reasons to not trust any currency, but an unreliable agent isn't one of them. This is especially relevant to Bitcoin because it is has no central authority.

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Re: Ole Juul

Between 1992 and 1996 Australia phased in polymer banknotes for all denominations, so we have a fair amount of experience with them.

I've never found sticking together to be a serious problem but they will if they're flat and they get wet or contaminated, a situation in which sticking together is the least of your worries if you're dealing with fibre banknotes. People handling them will quickly get used to the change; you never hear of handling or counting problems here.

They're more expensive to produce and they do eventually fall apart but they're impermeable, waterproof, are much tougher than fibre banknotes and thus last far longer, at least Australian ones do.

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FAIL

@Sureo

Does the shape, size and composition of banknotes*) and coins influence incidence of theft, and security measures?

Maybe you were thinking of counterfeiting, but that's a horse of a different colour.

*) the Ningi excepted.

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Hah, and they said hoarding wasn't a dominant behaviour

78 percent eh?

In line with expectatikns really. Bitcoin is mostly hoarded, speculated on or traded on the silk road...

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Boffin

"With news reports of 78 per cent of Bitcoins not being spent, we need to do something,"

They hardly can do anything (long-term). Free from inflation, Bitcoin is, so to speak, too good to waste on purchases. For the money to "flow" in the economy, there must be a disincentive to keeping it under the lock. With legacy currencies, inflation gives this disincentive.

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Free from inflation...

And indeed with deflation looming, if enough people remain interested in Bitcoin - which makes hoarding a good investment strategy. As a currency, Bitcoin is designed to fail. It will only remain viable as long as it's a niche instrument, much like what happened over the past few years in Somalia (where a currency that in effect was no longer backed by anything remained viable purely as a token of exchange, because social connections among users were strong enough to provide an implicit guarantee).

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We don't own our money

The use of conventional currencies to micromanage things which have no direct connection to the role of money is derailing economies and preventing money from serving it's primary purpose. National currencies are subject to controls and confiscation. It is time for people, even corporations, to take back their money.

The whole idea of money control by governments, operating as proxies for private banks, is failing. We need to get away from the current fiat money and adopt something more efficient and competitive. Governments and Banks cannot do this because they have a conflict of interest. The design of Bitcoin is such that this is possible.

Will Bitcoin really do this? Perhaps it is not the best, but so far it is the only one which has managed to make the separation of money and state, and indeed be completely decentralized. I'm not going to make the wildly optimistic bets that others have ventured, but I am still hoping that this game-changing concept will catch on.

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Re: We don't own our money

Ole Juul,

I'm struggling to understand what you mean with this post.

"The use of conventional currencies to micromanage things which have no direct connection to the role of money is derailing economies and preventing money from serving it's primary purpose."

Surely, the primary purpose of money, is as a means of exchange. Thus saving us from being forced into barter. And as far as I can see, our money fulfils that purpose perfectly adequately. As for:

"National currencies are subject to controls and confiscation."

Well so would bitcoin be, were it the main means of exchange. Governments can control that about as well as they can control cash, i.e. by the threat of locking you up if you don't pay your taxes/fines.

As for the next paragraph, I don't see how bitcoin is any more efficient or competitive, and I'm not even sure what you mean by them. If you were to add 'modern' to that list, I'd think you were Tony Blair in disguise...

Obviously QE is a risk to money's role as a store of value, but that's a trade-off against the damage to the economy of not doing it. There's an upside to that, as long as it stays an extraordinary thing, only done to stave off the worst crises. QE has the opposite problem. As a system with a fixed money supply, it suffers from built-in deflation. Now this makes bitcoin a great investment / pyramid scheme, but an absolutely dreadful currency.

Add in the other problems, like almost nobody accepting it, and bitcoin doesn't look like anything other than a bizarre fad. If you've got any, sell them, before this becomes obvious. At some point in the future, they'll be totally worthless - at present it appears you can exchange them for real cash, although I'm not sure exactly how safely.

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Anonymous Coward

Now I know

"It certainly rings a death knell for conventional payment processors. In next couple years digital will be the new plastic, and Bitcoin Friday will be the new poster child of consumerism."

I have watched Bitcoin with mild interest. I don't understand it very well, and have never tried to get involved in any way. I was always curious about the chances of it taking off and being a great success.

Now I know... about 0%. When you see an over the top projection like that, it's done for.

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Anonymous Coward

Done for? I don't think so.

Nah, this is just marketing, however hard that is to do among hard-bitten techies. But sometimes claiming success does beget success.

So far most coins are hoarded because 1) there isn't enough you can do with them and 2) the expectation is they'll be worth too much more later to spend them now. The first you can fix. The second, why, maybe that too.

I don't have any coins so I'll be but watching. But I do think this initiative has a chance. And maybe we'll see something good come off it too.

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Anonymous Coward

Hoarding

I think I'll hold onto the 0,00000000001 of a BitCoin I've managed to accumulate so far, through countless hours of mining and wait a few decades til its value soars to 0,00000000002. Then I'll probably use it as a down payment on this penny I've had my eye on for a while.

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Re: Hoarding

Yes, I put a little time into Bitcoin mining, just to see how it worked. Got bored before I reached BTC 1.

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Anonymous Coward

The point of any currency is having a trust in it - I'm not saying people fully trust governments or central banks etc. - but people definitely do not understand or trust bitcoins.

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I have more trust in bitcoins than I have in the pound or dollar, though admittedly that isn't a high bar for bitcoin to vault.

Our governments are furiously printing more cash.. They call it QE. Its the same way Mugabe kept paying his bills in Zimbabwe. During WW2 both the allies and axis planned to collapse each others economies by printing cash and dropping it from aircraft. Now our leader think this is the way to economic prosperity.

Bitcoin has a fixed rate of money supply growth, and can't be controlled by our bankrupt governments. That isn't a disadvantage... It's the same reason gold has outlasted any fiat printed currency as a means of saving and exchange.

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"Bitcoin has a fixed rate of money supply growth, and can't be controlled by our bankrupt governments. That isn't a disadvantage... It's the same reason gold has outlasted any fiat printed currency as a means of saving and exchange."

Spoddyhalfwit,

As pointed out below, you've got that a bit wrong. There's a fixed number of bitcoins, so once they're all 'mined', there can't be any more. Money supply growth is therefore not fixed, it's dependent on random chance and effort. Total money supply is fixed though.

Sadly this is a disadvantage. If your economy grows, and your money supply doesn't, you have deflation. Which is bad. That's ignoring the many other problems of bitcoin. But does somewhat bugger up its claim to being a good currency.

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They call it QE. Its the same way Mugabe kept paying his bills in Zimbabwe.

Yes, because there's no difference whatsoever among all the inflationary practices enacted by governments throughout history.

Similarly, WW II involved people shooting guns at one another, and today we have people shooting guns at one another, so we must be in the midst of a world war. And it's pretty chilly outside today, so it must be an ice age. And my car gets several miles to the gallon, so it must be a Wikispeed C3.

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FAIL

Bitcoin has a fixed rate of money supply growth,

There is a fixed amount of BitCoins that can ever be generated, so by definition, the rate of supply growth can't be fixed.

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Coinabul

Buying "discount" gold and silver over the 'net - sounds dodgy

Buying "discount" gold and silver over the net using a "currency" famed for security breaches and theft - sounds really fucking dodgy.

I fail to see what it is that makes people think "I'm sick of using physical currency or a credit card or a bank transfer for making purchases - I think I'll sink thousands into a untried, potentially volatile, insecure currency used by almost no-one."

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Anonymous Coward

My prediction ...

Bitcoin is going to cost some folks a lot of money ... my antennae are screaming "DO NOT TOUCH".

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