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Finance - Investments Sub-forum: Non-Actuarial Personal Finance/Investing

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2014, 06:40 PM
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Default Will Bitcoin Revolutionize Finance?

Here's something from a British actuary:

Coining A New Phase
The decentralised virtual currency Bitcoin could revolutionise finance, says UK life insurance actuary Peter McCrudden -
http://www.theactuary.com/features/2...g-a-new-phase/

What say U.S. and Canadian actuaries?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:26 PM
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It has certainly revolutionized the black market. One of the few ways to buy drugs or assassination targets over the internet. If you pay in an unrecognized currency, was a sale really made? If I pay a prostitute in BTC, did I really pay her?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:48 PM
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It has certainly revolutionized the black market. One of the few ways to buy drugs or assassination targets over the internet. If you pay in an unrecognized currency, was a sale really made? If I pay a prostitute in BTC, did I really pay her?
That's an interesting point. I am no bitcoin expert by any means, but my understanding is that your bitcoin wallet is very visible and can be accessed online by anyone. Who you paid is another story. I believe you don't have to include any information on the recipient, but if you volunteer that the person you paid is named "Magna Cum Loudly", someone might be able to figure it out.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:18 PM
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It's visible, but the owner isn't visible. It probably becomes visible if you use it to buy anything on Overstock and they get subpoenaed. I guess you can say that merchandise just arrived at your door even though you didn't purchase it. But in terms of what the law recognizes as payment for services, is it recognized? We'll know more after we find out what sticks to Ross Ulbricht. He got caught for ordering a few hits, but the one where he got caught, he bought in fiat.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:08 PM
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call me old fashioned if you want, but I'm not interested in a digital, vaporous currency...as far as I'm concerned, if it's tangible; if it's physical; if I can touch it, hold it, and squeeze it; and if I can stand it front of it with an assault rifle and protect, it then it's a real asset...but if I can't do that then it's just an illusion, as Mt. Gox customers will attest to
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:17 PM
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...as far as I'm concerned, if it's tangible; if it's physical; if I can touch it, hold it, and squeeze it
Understood. But that's what a lot of people said about music when MP3 was invented. They wanted CD's and vinyl that they could touch and hold, not digital files they can download. But last year, digital downloads surpassed CD sales. It seems as if we are now in that brave new world!
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DixieFlyer View Post
call me old fashioned if you want, but I'm not interested in a digital, vaporous currency...as far as I'm concerned, if it's tangible; if it's physical; if I can touch it, hold it, and squeeze it; and if I can stand it front of it with an assault rifle and protect, it then it's a real asset...but if I can't do that then it's just an illusion, as Mt. Gox customers will attest to
So, fiat currency is just as useless for you and you only hold gold?

So long as the government demands taxes be paid in their currency their currencies will exist. If there's something else it may aid trade and exchange, but it will not supercede the government currencies.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:12 AM
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Understood. But that's what a lot of people said about music when MP3 was invented. They wanted CD's and vinyl that they could touch and hold, not digital files they can download. But last year, digital downloads surpassed CD sales. It seems as if we are now in that brave new world!
that's a fair point, although unless your downloads only exist in the "cloud" aren't they physical in the sense that they exist as a file that you can store on a computer, burn to a disk, etc?
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:16 AM
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So, fiat currency is just as useless for you and you only hold gold?

So long as the government demands taxes be paid in their currency their currencies will exist. If there's something else it may aid trade and exchange, but it will not supercede the government currencies.
I have a fair amount of gold/silver, but I've got plenty of depreciating fiat currency also...I'm open to alternative currencies, and I thought about buying some bitcoin...but when I went to buy it I would have had to wire money from my bank to some bank in a former Soviet-bloc country in Eastern Europe...I guess that I'm not smart enough to understand the wisdom of doing that, so I declined
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:24 PM
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that's a fair point, although unless your downloads only exist in the "cloud" aren't they physical in the sense that they exist as a file that you can store on a computer, burn to a disk, etc?
Yes, that is true that the MP3 files exist on your hard drive or in the cloud, and you "own" them. However, a lot of people these days listen to streamed music. In that case, they are listening to the same music as they could have by popping in a CD, but they don't "own" anything. Do they enjoy the music any less because they don't own it? Some vinyl die-hards would say yes, that vinyl gives a more complete musical experience. What I am saying is that cash will be around for a long time to come; but perhaps we should start thinking about the reality of digital currency, and get prepared for the future.
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