Samstag, 8. Juni 2013

BTC: Is This The End Of The Experiment?


Bitcoin is, in fact, still an amazing innovation. Unfortunately, it's hit an adoption plateau. The problem is, Bitcoin's destiny is to remain limited to use within a very niche segment of society.

"You're wrong. People are sick of central banks and governments. They want monetary freedom and anonymity. They want to be able to send money to anyone, anywhere, cheaply and without a middleman. They don't want payment processors deciding who gets paid and who doesn't get paid. People want de-centralized, peer-to-peer systems that stick it to the man!"

You're right. Some people want exactly that, and they have it with Bitcoin (or Litecoin, or Terracoin, or whatever).

Unfortunately, hardcore, militant Bitcoin fans are failing to recognize the fact that the vast majority of people just want a cheap, hassle-free payment system. They want to spend their money anywhere and do it cheaply, quickly and securely. They don't want to go through the trouble of buying a volatile, intermediate digital currency just so they can buy the very same things they could with a credit card or PayPal. Yes there are Silk Road users and gamblers that may find it worthwhile to use Bitcoin for their own reasons, but it's a tiny group of people that will bother to do it; maybe hundreds of thousands at best.

The truth is, the Bitcoin economy is 98% speculators, and 2% economy, which means it's no better than the Feathercoin community that supports its currency simply for the sake of supporting it. In the grand scheme of things, about the same number of people use Feathercoin as Bitcoin: a fraction of the population near zero.

"So why didn't you think this way in 2011 and 2012 when you were buying up all those Bitcoins?

Because there were no alternatives at the time, and I mean real alternatives, like "Ripple."

"You mean that scam run by OpenCoin?"

Ahh, yes, the ubiquitous scam claim, ever popular on IRC, at, and on Reddit.

Wake up, Mr. Bitcoiner, and smell the profit. Ripple is in the process of developing that very system that everyone else is hoping for, outside of the militant-libertarian-anarchist Bitcoin community, of course. Once completed, Ripple will be a peer-to-peer global payment solution that will satisfy the rest (i.e. most) of us.

While Bitcoiners wonder why their investments are dwindling in value, I'll be instantly converting my Canadian dollars into US Dollars, or Yen, or Euros, and spending freely. Transactions will be irreversible, instant, and global. They'll be in fiat and math-based currency alike. That's right, you'll be able to trade your Bitcoins, Feathercoins, and Terracoins within Ripple (you already can).

While I swipe my Ripple debit-card at the grocery store, Bitcoiners will be buying Gyft-cards using their smartphones and trying to make their square currency fit into a round economy. Bitcoin is clunky and volatile. It's slow, cumbersome, and expensive. It's fringe, complicated, and difficult.''

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