Comment: Bitcoin competitors

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In reply to comment: doggydogworld I appreciate (see in situ)

Bitcoin competitors

Lastly, you're talking about the likelihood of people switching away from Bitcoin to something else, possibly better. There have already been other crypto-currencies launched. They have been around many many months now, and nothing is even close to Bitcoin. At some point in the future there may be something that actually is better than Bitcoin.

Were you around in the late 90's, and paying any attention to the internet stock bubble and the kind of arguments that were made for stocks like geocities? Geocities is just a convenient example, one of many, but you're using exactly the same kind of arguments that were used around 1999 to pump geocities stock by arguing that it was highly, highly unlikely that any competitor could come along and take away its dominance in that space. It had the infrastructure (far more significant than the infrastructure needed to support a new virtual currency), it had basically no competitors, it had huge popularity at the time (which looks far less impressive compared to facebook and so on now, but the total bitcoin "economy" is tiny now too), the barrier to change was high for its users (but switching to a bitcoin competitor would be trivial), etc.

You point out that competitors to bitcoin have been around many months. An argument about the long-term viability of bitcoin that's based on a track record of only months of competition is really, really weak. Whatever the competition is going to look like, it really hasn't started yet, much like geocities in 1999. There were some competitors to geocities that had been around for months, and some for years, but none came close to the dominance of geocities in the social networking space. Ten years later, of course, things looked much different.

Same with gold. It's arguable that dollars might have been a better money system than gold if they were never inflated, right? And people could have switched or held gold as they pleased.

Same with gold? There you go again trying to find an equivalence between an arbitrary set of integers selected by an algorithm and valued because of consensus alone, and a physical element valued because of its inherent physical properties and very much *not* arbitrary because its existence, and uniqueness, are facts of nature.

Dollars might have been better money than gold if they hadn't been inflated? Wow. Pieces of paper don't become "like gold" just because you control the money supply by limiting the number of pieces of paper that are designated to be currency. Neither do arbitrarily-defined sets of integers. I think that point pretty much zeros in on where we're disagreeing about the nature of money, and why gold has been money for millennia, and how that's different from anything you can say about bits of paper or arbitrarily-defined subsets of the integers.