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Thoughts on Bitcoin

Level 7
I live in upstate NY and it is starting to get colder up here, I had heard about Bitcoins, and have a Tri-Fire 7970 setup in my computer, so I thought I would look into doing some bitcoin mining to heat my house (no joke). Well after about 15 minutes of googling I realized I was way late to the game and GPU mining is a think of the past thanks to ASICs. This chart is a good example of why it is worthless to GPU mine, before it goes crazy is before ASICs were a thing.


I then found these few articles from the past couple of days.

This got me thinking, there is now an entire industry devoted to making these ASICs which can do nothing but mine bitcoins. There is also a boatload of computing power going into solving these algorithms to mine bitcoins which is using a ton of power. The problem I see with this is that the problems that are solved from mining bitcoins are useless. You are solving an algorithm that does nothing but say "OK, you solved me, here is a bitcoin" in essence.

It made me wonder if it would be possible to make a form of digital currency similar to bitcoins, only instead of doing arbitrary calculations there are actual scientific and mathematical problems being solved. Almost like Folding@home, only for every x number of folds you get a science-coin or something. So that all of this electricity, and all of that computing power could go towards something that at least benefits the world in some way.

I don't know how the supply would be regulated (like bitcoin does with increasing difficulty) but I imagine something could be put into place. This sort of method would likely keep GPU mining relevant also as the calculations would likely vary some based upon the subject it was needed for (ex, climate modeling calculations vs folding) which would make it hard to make an ASIC to do the work.

Mostly I just wanted to start a discussion to see what everyone thinks about Bitcoin, and to see if my idea is totally whack (I know it would be very very very hard to implement, but in theory) or if people agree that it seems a bit nuts to be devoting so many resources to a calculation that has zero benefit to society.

Mods: If this is the wrong place for this I apologize, I am somewhat new here but I did not see anywhere else it should go.

Myk SilentShadow wrote:
I wouldn't say Bitcoins are frivolous, their current value is about US $1000 for a single coin alone. And i've been doing some reading here and there and it seems the best way to mine bitcoins/litecoins and whatever others there are, is through GPU's because they can do the calculations a lot faster than CPU's.

And now the value is $698 in USD, huge fluctuation for 2 days. It dropped down to $650 yesterday. So it just seems too risky if you're buying them.

Level 40
Yeah but what you have to understand is that all the easy computations were done in the first few years. Each coin now mined takes more computation that the coin found before. It now costs heaps in hardware and electricity to mine the coins I understand. I know folks who have more than 20 VGA's set up mining coins.
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Level 15
Yep because it's due to the tiny fact that the Bitcoins will eventually run out sometime soon. Coins get mined, a % of them get sent back out into the great wherever and get mined again...good way to keep people going that started at the beginning. And to be honest with you, when i'd heard about it here not long ago, I just thought it was something Gamers were doing for WOW lol until I decided to ask Google for some answers 😛

Level 7
I guess I shouldn't have used the word "problem". I don't have an issue with bitcoin, and I realize it is as useless as Gov't supported currency. I guess my point was that it would be interesting to utilize that 256x the top 500 super computers combined worth of computing power, and that 15 million in electricity, to actually computer SOMETHING. Right now you are basically decrypting a key over and over again as I understand it.

I just think it would be cool to have it based upon something like folding where at least the computational power goes into something that, once the money is gone, there is still a benefit somewhere left over. There is so much computing power dedicated to mining that I feel like you could solve some pretty complex problems fairly quickly if it could be utilized.

Level 10
Bit-~Coin = Fool's Gold!

Just to show it is not a bias against Bit-Coin.

Worthless paper money = Fool's Gold!

Both are based on flawed systems that are subject to hyper-inflation and scarcity.

Level 7
I think the real fall of BitchCoin will be the rise of endless cryptocurrencie's because everyone missed the bandwagon with mining BitCoin. Bitcoin owners say it's a true alternative to fiat currency yet it's only a digital asset based off the speculation that it will keep rising in price from a constant demand from other people...

I'm not crazy for fiat currency but at least it is backed by country that issues it lol. In the mean time If you want to invest your money I'd wait and see where the price of silver/gold goes. A lot of stackers make up all sorts of crazy conspiracy theory's that it's going to skyrocket any minute now...My theory?

The US will start to expirence deflation, interest rates will eventually go up making the price of PM's fall while people start to reinvest in the dollar... That will be the time to scoop up some PM's but honestly, the price might stay low for some years to come...Or start to go up if wars break out somewhere, or China decides to back the Yuan with gold...Who knows, its a speculators game from here lol...

But BitCoin, If you didn't buy early, don't buy now cause it will come down like a house of cards with only the top coming out ahead. What will make BitCoin so special when their's 1000 new cryptocurrencie's by 2015? The fact that it's the "originator" on the Idea? That's not a good enough reason for me to invest...

Level 40
The only thing worth anything if push comes to shove is land and what you can produce from it. You can't eat stock or gold or silver; if things go bad they will be worth a lot less than potatoes...

Arne Saknussemm wrote:
The only thing worth anything if push comes to shove is land and what you can produce from it. You can't eat stock or gold or silver; if things go bad they will be worth a lot less than potatoes...

Totally agree. But even if the times change, humans will always find a way to give faith into whatever currency they feel is the best at the time. True you can't eat gold, silver or rocks but if you got eggs and I got a sofa, and you want my sofa but I don't want your eggs...That's where a currency always comes in handy because both have an intrinsic value yet not for everyone... My very simple take on it lol

Level 7

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