Re: History is on Bitcoins side
Hard to know where to begin, because there are so many misconceptions being spouted here, but I must .....
"Bitcoin barely has a history, and what little it has is rife with scams, thefts and shady deals."
I would hate to do a numerical comparison between bitcoin problems and fiat currency problems to counter that statement, so I won't. But I will agree that there have been growing pains in the first few years.
However, Bitcoin is now being used by online retailers like Overstock.com and thousands of other businesses for transactions representing millions of dollars. ATMs are appearing in many countries (such as the UK) where people can directly buy bitcoins with their Fiat currency. I would not be surprised to see Amazon and others using it before long.
I suggest you read more about it:
"The fact that the US dollar was, at one point in time, emitted individually by states is irrelevant. Today, the US dollar is a strong international currency and everyone is using it - that is what is important."
One of the major advantages of the US dollar (other than the fact that it can also be used in scams, thefts and shady deals, as well as honest transactions) is that by it's sheer volume and liquidity, the USD is still the world's reserve currency.
Oil and many other commodities remain priced in dollars, and despite the beating it has taken recently on currency exchanges, for a lot of international commerce it still the best (or only) show in town. Never mind that the government backing it has many trillions in debt and will electronically print more debt whenever needed (also know as quantitative easing).
For an illuminating ,easy-to-understand visual representation of what this actually represents for the USD (and the world) the following site is highly recommended:
Bitcoin is not likely to replace the greenback anytime in the foreseeable future, but it might provide a sorely-needed reality check for a lot of people, including yourself.
"Bitcoin might be a nice idea, but micropayments is a mechanism that is already helping people today, right now, whereas Bitcoin is just a pipe dream being abused by crims and hacks."
Micropayments are also a nice idea, and bitcoin is ideally suited for such operations. Imagine a crypto-currency that doesn't depend on flaky, inefficient banking systems in third world countries, corrupt officials, or physical stacks of cash. If I can immediately transfer a sum of currency directly to an Indian tea farmer's mobile phone or bitcoin wallet, with a 100 % traceable transaction chain and little to no transaction costs, I'd call that a solution that it is just screaming to be tried out in the micropayment and micro-loan community.
"I dare say we don't need yet another currency, virtual or not. I don't see what it is that Bitcoin purports to solve - the only thing it is actually doing is demonstrating how easy it is to subvert the system."
Depending on whom you listen to, Bitcoin is either NOT a currency or a currency ideally suited for an internet economy. But that argument is too big to address here.
OTOH, I really liked your statement about "subverting" the system.
The nice thing about bitcoin, is that now EVERYONE can "subvert" the system.
Not just the cowboy financiers, inflationary-minded government officials, "too big to fail" money lenders and the central banks that prop up government budgets by creating even more imaginary money. These actors have subverted the system to a degree that normal people can hardly fathom.
But now, normal people may ALSO leverage monetary policy in their favor. Or more accurately, they can avoid these policies completely. Vote with their feet as it were. Because they certainly can't vote on where the next trillion dollars is coming from.
Imagine that. Your money could became your money again. You could spend it, earn it, or give it away to whoever you want, all over the world....without going through expensive hoops or asking someone's permission.
Is that really such a bad thing?
For an interesting take on this concept, please check the following:
"The only way Bitcoin is going to become anything actually useful is if all Bitcoin exchanges become certified - and that means regulation, laws and enforcement. These laws will have to be implemented world-wide, even in countries that are rife with corruption - countries which will obviously become havens for criminal organizations."
Bitcoin is already useful. This is why so many people are using it (7 to 10 billion USDs of market capitalization). Many more will follow. You may be shouting into the wind.
The growing interest in crypto-currency is not just a mass delusion, but more a realization that clever technology exists which addresses many of the problems associated with the current systems used for international payments and misguided monetary policies.
In any case, it is extremely difficult to control a good idea with regulation or laws. World-wide legislation is a hard sell anyway. You just can't centrally certify something that is de-centralized by design. Only the people who have agreed to use and share the crypto currency can certify it.
If you don't still don't agree with me, see what the chairman of the Federal Reserve has to say about it:
"When you want to reinvent the wheel, you had better reinvent it better. Bitcoin is just forcing us to go through exactly the same set of issues to resolve a problem nobody asked for."
Once again, lack of space prevents me from showing the many advantages provided by crypto-currencies (reduced international transaction costs are just one). But I suggest the following reading for more enlightenment.
"Just die already, Bitcoin."
Good luck with that mate, it appears the genie is already out of the bottle, and more genies are being created.
Nothing is more dangerous than a idea.
Bitcoin, or something like it, has and will continue to disrupt the world of commerce forever.