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Bitcoin Revolution: More Retailers are now accepting this non-government controlled 'currency'
Townhall ^ | 01/15/2014 | John Stossel

Posted on 01/15/2014 8:01:05 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The big online retailer Overstock.com now accepts payment in Bitcoin. That's good news for lovers of liberty because Bitcoins give us an alternative to government-controlled money. Bitcoins are a currency created by anonymous, private tech nerds, not by government.

Governments don't like competition, and our government sometimes bans competing currencies. But as more of us use Bitcoins, and more businesses accept payment in Bitcoin, it becomes harder for government to dismiss the currency as illegitimate, or ban it.

There are two advantages to Bitcoin.

First, it's harder to trace transactions back to people who make trades. I don't particularly care about that, because at the moment, I don't hide anything from my government.

But I do fear government destroying the value of my dollars by printing more of them, the way governments in Germany before World War II and in Zimbabwe in recent decades did, forcing people to make trades using wheelbarrows of nearly worthless bills. Given how my government spends money, and the way the Fed enables this by buying trillions in government bonds, I fear my dollars may someday be worth pennies. So I bought Bitcoins.

Bitcoins are digitally created -- or "mined" -- at a slow, fairly predictable rate. An incomprehensible (incomprehensible to me, anyway) computer algorithm limits their number.

"Bitcoins are not controlled by anybody," explained Mercatus Center senior research fellow Jerry Brito on my TV show. "It's a new Internet protocol, like email or the Web ... a digital, decentralized currency that allows you to exchange money with anybody in the world fast and cheaply without the use of a third party like PayPal or Visa or MasterCard."

I bought Bitcoins even though I don't understand how Bitcoin mining works. I also worry that someone will hack into my Bitcoin account and steal my money, or maybe hack into the whole system and devalue Bitcoins by creating millions of new ones.

But risky as this new currency may be, I still trust it more than I trust politicians. When my fellow baby boomers demand our promised Medicare payments and discover that government promised trillions more in benefits than it can ever pay for, I assume politicians will print dollars until they are nearly worthless.

So, I put my savings into Bitcoins when they sold for $140 each. I was late to buy -- smarter people bought for much less. But today each Bitcoin is worth more than $800. So, yippee for me! I'm so glad I put all my savings into Bitcoins.

OK, I didn't really. It's just (SET ITAL) part (END ITAL) of my savings -- but it's good to hedge against political venality!

The biggest risk to private currencies may be that governments will become jealous of how well these upstart forms of money work. If people all over the world decide to trade in digital currencies, it will become more obvious than ever that government isn't what makes economic activity happen.

It will also be harder to trace -- and tax -- people's economic activity. Government doesn't like to get sidelined. To its credit, the German government announced that it recognizes Bitcoin as a legal alternate currency.

The U.S. government flexed its muscles by warning that it has the right to regulate Bitcoin transactions. The FBI already shut down a website called Silk Road that accepted Bitcoins as pay for services both legal and illegal (like drugs). Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Bitcoin "money laundering" and demanded a crackdown. That's not surprising, since Schumer wants to ban lots of useful things, like energy drinks, high-frequency stock trading, free-market wages and 3-D printers that can make guns.

So I'm glad Overstock.com and other businesses are out there, reminding people that law-abiding citizens use Bitcoins to buy legal things. Last month, I used them to buy Christmas gifts.

But Bitcoin's legitimacy shouldn't depend on whether people do things with it that politicians consider wholesome. When government restricts drugs, online gambling and other popular activities, it just makes anonymous, hard-to-trace currencies more popular.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bitcoin
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1 posted on 01/15/2014 8:01:05 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Anything that diminishes the power and control of the big-government/big-corporate criminal monopoly is good.


2 posted on 01/15/2014 8:06:51 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: SeekAndFind

But I do fear government destroying the value of my dollars by printing more of them,


Fear is relative. We fear govt more than Bitcoin. In my opinion Bit coin is VERY risk, comparable to the Tulip bulb investment scam of history. Now we have a better understanding of the thinking during the tulip bulb investment situation.


3 posted on 01/15/2014 8:09:48 AM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: PeterPrinciple

Hey, I am not afraid to use Bitcoin. I use it, the retailer accepts it, I get the goods I want from the retailer. I get what I want.

I’ll take the risk as long as I can use money I can afford to lose.


4 posted on 01/15/2014 8:12:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
So with the BitCoin system of competing "miners" trying to be the first to reconcile a long chain of transactions, how many transactions per second can the BitCoin system sustain?

Sure, it may be good for a few people buying stuff online, but for the billions of daily transactions that occur worldwide?

5 posted on 01/15/2014 8:14:05 AM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: Yo-Yo

RE: So with the BitCoin system of competing “miners” trying to be the first to reconcile a long chain of transactions, how many transactions per second can the BitCoin system sustain?

THAT my friend is the potential problem with Bitcoin. As the number of users JUMP exponentially, so will the need for computing power to VALIDATE the transaction.

Who has that kind of computing power eventually?


6 posted on 01/15/2014 8:17:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Mark Faber has warned that if WE have an economic collapse, there is no backup for the dollar like there was when the dollar served as backup for other country's currencies during their economic turmoil (e.g., Argentina, Zimbabwe, etc.).

Perhaps there is now with the invention of cryptocurrency?

7 posted on 01/15/2014 8:19:39 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: SeekAndFind

We have that computing power. It has exploded in capacity in just 7 months. 1000 times the calculating power today then in June 2013. Makes for a good heater too !

Running about 1.5 terrahash/second now


8 posted on 01/15/2014 8:20:33 AM PST by George from New England (escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
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To: Errant
Perhaps there is now with the invention of cryptocurrency

Only if the Interwebs are still alive.

9 posted on 01/15/2014 8:21:42 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Uh oh....a realtively positive bitcoin headline.

Surely this is a sign of the apocalypse.


10 posted on 01/15/2014 8:22:53 AM PST by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Anything that diminishes the power and control of the big-government/big-corporate criminal monopoly is good."

Curious...why don't you just use barter to conduct all business then? Bitcoin is simply another venue for barter and you don't have to have an invasive computer download.

11 posted on 01/15/2014 8:23:54 AM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Yo-Yo
how many transactions per second can the BitCoin system sustain?

14,765.18 Terra Hashes / second, with more being added by the minute.

12 posted on 01/15/2014 8:23:57 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Dutchboy88

Curious... why do you care what I do?


13 posted on 01/15/2014 8:25:01 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Only if the Interwebs are still alive.

If they're not, we'll have a lot more to worry about than just our money.

14 posted on 01/15/2014 8:25:18 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

As a great man once said, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”


15 posted on 01/15/2014 8:27:19 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: George from New England
Makes for a good heater too !

Yep, I've using a miner now to keep a little grow room for vegetables seedlings warm.

16 posted on 01/15/2014 8:30:24 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I always carry a few Bitcoins in my pocket just in case.

;o)


17 posted on 01/15/2014 8:32:55 AM PST by Tenacious 1 (Liberals can afford for things to go well, to work, for folks to be happy. They'd be out of work.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“I fear my dollars may someday be worth pennies.”

Compared to the date upon which the first income tax was signed into law, your dollar is already worth less than two cents.


18 posted on 01/15/2014 8:34:56 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Money and credit is a matter of trust. It is your choice to trust Bitcoin but there is nothing of value to back it up except trust, which is fine and again your choice.

I don’t trust the govt anymore than I trust Bitcoin. There is nothing to back up the govt either

History tells me not to trust Bit coin or govt.

So that leaves the question of what or who I should trust..............


19 posted on 01/15/2014 8:40:23 AM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Curious... why do you care what I do?"

Down off the courthouse roof, my FRiend. Just asking to find out the attraction to bitcoin, itself. Bartering has been around for a hundred years.

20 posted on 01/15/2014 8:42:08 AM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

How do you barter for groceries and electricity?


21 posted on 01/15/2014 8:43:38 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Dutchboy88

Bitcoin is not new, there are several corporations structured around bartering, here is one.

http://www.globalbartercorp.com/


22 posted on 01/15/2014 8:43:50 AM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: SeekAndFind

But risky as this new currency may be, I still trust it more than I trust politicians


That is the key point of the article tells us a lot about the current situation.


23 posted on 01/15/2014 8:45:47 AM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: Dutchboy88
Bitcoin is simply another venue for barter...

Except you have to use real money to buy them (unless you are a "miner.")

No one has ever been able to tell me where the real money goes when you buy them. Maybe someone on this thread will know.

24 posted on 01/15/2014 8:46:34 AM PST by Semper911 (When you want to rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll always have the support of Paul.)
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To: Errant

How do you recommend buying BTCs?


25 posted on 01/15/2014 8:48:33 AM PST by txhurl
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I bought a mechanical watch with Bitcoin from Overstock.com. Now I can at least tell what time it is if an EMP takes the grid down. Next on the list: a well made knife. :)


26 posted on 01/15/2014 8:51:37 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

A risk-free way to do it would be a paypal-like service, only using bitcoin. That way you never actually own bitcoin, you are instantaneously buying and selling it at the same price.


27 posted on 01/15/2014 8:53:03 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: PeterPrinciple

Look for the gov’t to take action to shut this down if it starts to compete too much with the thieves printing money.


28 posted on 01/15/2014 8:56:10 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind
Who has that kind of computing power eventually?

There is a nice, new NSA data facility being built in Utah right now if memory serves...


29 posted on 01/15/2014 8:58:57 AM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: SeekAndFind

what is it?


30 posted on 01/15/2014 9:02:50 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: txhurl
To be honest, I've never bought any Bitcoin though I've mined them. There are several services you can use and I'd look online first for reviews of any I planned to use.

Here is a link to get you started: How can I buy bitcoins?

There is a learning curve, but time well spent. I'd start by setting up an online wallet, or you can download and install a wallet on your PC or device if you don't mind hours of downloading the entire blockchain.

Remember, you can buy fractions of bitcoin too.

31 posted on 01/15/2014 9:10:44 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: SeekAndFind

If I were the feds, and I wanted to destroy bitcoin, I’d buy a billion dollars worth, and at an opportune time, sell them really fast for low prices. The billion would be free, printed fiat money, so it would be cost effective.


32 posted on 01/15/2014 9:15:30 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: Yo-Yo

Notice the bastards don’t give a thought to building a data center in a place that requires more power for air conditioning than, say, Montana?


33 posted on 01/15/2014 9:16:55 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

From Article I re Congress’s power;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

They will outlaw it.


34 posted on 01/15/2014 9:17:04 AM PST by DownInFlames
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To: SeekAndFind

“THAT my friend is the potential problem with Bitcoin.”

It would seem to me that yet another big problem is sustained convertibility to other currencies. I seriously doubt if very many (if any at all) retailers actually WANT Bitcoins in the sense that they actually want to KEEP any and that they instantly convert them to some “real” currency.

Bitcoins are extraordinarily volatile and retailers are not in the business of speculation: they’re in the business of buying wholesale and selling retail. This means there must be a reservoir of people or groups who in fact are primarily in the business of holding Bitcoins for the purpose of speculation.

So at least two conditions must continue to exist for Bitcoins to work as a retail currency: 1.) Processors willing (and legally able) to convert Bitcoins to “real” currencies, and 2.) Entities willing to own Bitcoins.


35 posted on 01/15/2014 9:17:04 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: yldstrk

RE: what is it?

Here is a Primer:

Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures.

READ MORE HERE:

http://money.cnn.com/infographic/technology/what-is-bitcoin/


36 posted on 01/15/2014 9:17:14 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Question:

If “retailers” are now accepting bitcoin (non-government controlled currency) as payment, what happens to all those sales tax remissions to the states?

Is Uncle Sugar going to put up with being stiffed out of his pound of flesh?


37 posted on 01/15/2014 9:18:32 AM PST by Tallguy
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To: SeekAndFind

One thing I don’t understand about Bitcoins: how are goods priced if one accepts (or uses) Bitcoins? When the value of the Bitcoin varies so much from time to time, how are prices determined? If one buys Bitcoins when they are at, say, 100 and the price of good “A” is 50, then I should be able to buy 2 “A”s. But then the price of Bitcoin goes up to 800. Does the price of “A” go down to 50/8? Is every price negotiated at the time of sale, based on the current value of the Bitcoin?


38 posted on 01/15/2014 9:18:36 AM PST by TIElniff (Autonomy is the guise of every graceless heart.)
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To: MrB

They’re building one in San Antonio, too, keeping those ones and zeros chilled will be even more expensive.


39 posted on 01/15/2014 9:24:35 AM PST by txhurl
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To: txhurl

Even without the issue that these places SHOULD NOT EXIST -

They, being taxpayer subsidized, show no regard to the cost of operating these places.

Microsoft is putting its Azure data centers as far north as possible and running them as hot as possible and using water cooling to reduce costs.


40 posted on 01/15/2014 9:32:45 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Well, according to Ric Edleman (? financial guy), there are only 21,000,000 bitcoins authorized. Like any barter system, one wonders who got to “authorize” this and who is the new “bank” which “controls”. There are evidently about 6 issuers of bitcoins, the original being some Japanese outfit (okay, don’t hold me to this number...I’m generalizing) which means all we really have here is another form of “currency” managed by no one you know or can control (sound familiar?).

This one, however, requires one pay US dollars to get into the game and then forces you to hang on while they decide what the radical fluctuation in value is going to do (sound familiar?) Bitcoin used to be valued at $ 10 and is now selling at $ 1700?, or thereabouts. But, this is just another barter system with a few players. And, one is left to hope the valuation is stable or up from where they initially entered. Otherwise... But, the volatile fluctuations make bitcoin less reliable than the normal “barter” system of dollars. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not some government agent promoting this system. I am just saying it is no different, perhaps worse.

Barter systems are all flawed. They have “players” or “owners” or “director” who counterfeit the “account balances” or “exchange tokens” to enhance their own situation. This is happening, or will happen, to bitcoin. And, watch the IRS come rolling in with a hundred regulations to monitor this. These aren’t dummies, folks. The caught UBS and they caught Sharpton (but probably didn’t prosecute him) and they will catch bitcoin. In the end, all we have is another system operating parallel to dollars that sounds sexy.

How does one buy groceries and electricity? Well, when Safeway begins to take bitcoin, are you going to carry your computer into the store? Hand them your phone? Take the change in “dollars and cents”? ooops.


41 posted on 01/15/2014 9:50:52 AM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

FRiend, It has been awhile since I’ve seen this much wrong in just one post. Just sayin’ you need to do some checking... :)


42 posted on 01/15/2014 10:08:13 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"I bought Bitcoins even though I don't understand how Bitcoin mining works."


43 posted on 01/15/2014 10:15:58 AM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: SeekAndFind
"I bought Bitcoins even though I don't understand how Bitcoin mining works."


44 posted on 01/15/2014 10:15:58 AM PST by DannyTN (A>)
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To: Dutchboy88

I have no intention of buying bitcoins. I could see myself using a paypal-type service for online purchases that would instantaneously convert your payment to Bitcoin and transfer it to the vendor. The volatility of Bitcoin is irrelevant if you are not exposed to it.


45 posted on 01/15/2014 10:21:03 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Serious Disadvantages of Bitcoin

http://wallstreetpit.com/102032-the-serious-disadvantages-of-bitcoin-2/


46 posted on 01/15/2014 10:28:56 AM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Semper911
"Except you have to use real money to buy them (unless you are a "miner.")

No one has ever been able to tell me where the real money goes when you buy them. Maybe someone on this thread will know.

Exactly...

47 posted on 01/15/2014 10:47:47 AM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Errant
"FRiend, It has been awhile since I’ve seen this much wrong in just one post. Just sayin’ you need to do some checking... :)"

Well, fix away. The information I heard from Ric Edelman (who now owns several bitcoins) seemed plausible and reliable. But, we are all willing to learn. Please supply the correct data.

48 posted on 01/15/2014 10:50:05 AM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Errant

Can you tell me where the real money goes when someone buys Bitcoins?


49 posted on 01/15/2014 11:05:33 AM PST by Semper911 (When you want to rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll always have the support of Paul.)
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To: Dutchboy88
Please supply the correct data.

A beginner's guide to bitcoin

For the current price: https://www.mtgox.com/

50 posted on 01/15/2014 11:15:26 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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