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Lindsay Newland Bowker


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BITCOIN : Basis/Model For a New Global Currency?

I wanted to bring this question to TED because I have been trying to get my head around whether the pros of a non government managed "currency" outweigh the "cons" ( vulnerability to use for illicit and illegal activities). Bitcoin in some ways is not so different from the Federal Reserve Bank which can "print" whatever money it wants in whatever volumes it deems necessary. It is "digital currency". Seller accepts bitcoin in lieu of some other currency to settle a trade, buyer pays some other seller in bitcoin and so on. It has a determinate value and its value has fluctuated over time. The largest trade to date in bitcoin was $500k for a piece of property so it is not a threat or competition to any existing currency. In an international trade in lieu of paying fees to convert currency a to currency b , a fee s paid to "miners" who have the technological capacity to settle the trades very quickly and accurately and immediately reflect who holds what amounts of bitcoin. I like that it bypasses national currency allowing international trades for goods and services on a strictly buyer & seller basis and see something like this on a large scale as taking the "noise " and "politics" out of national currencies and the price of goods in the marketplace. There is no question that it is most useful for illicit activity but with further development and more prevalent use perhaps bitcoin could develop controls for that. There were many prior conversations here at TED Conversations on paperless currency which might be interesting to refer to in joining this conversation. I am interested in your thoughts on the possibility of a global paperless currency that is outside the control f governments and nations, a user defined , user governed method of making payments .


Closing Statement from Lindsay Newland Bowker

Thank you TED Community for allowing met to bring this question here and for all who helped me take a closer look at bitcoin. certainly I think there was consensus that much is wrong with our national currency system . we agreed that bitcoin is not so much an alternate currency as an alternate lower cost system of settling transactions..alternate to paypal, credit cards, international money orders etc. with limited use for most at the moment. .

Perhaps there will be more to discuss and consider as Bitcoin "matures"

Again, many thanks to TED and all who joined.r

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  • Apr 26 2014: All money is effected by illicit and illegal activities. Personally I think time-banking by small communities is the best solution for trade.
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      Apr 26 2014: Hi Keith & Thanks for joining here. Yes, Time Banking is, I think a parallel to bitcoin in that you can provide a product (labor) for one buyer ( beneficiary) and redeem it for another product ( labor from another party) These systems, I agree, do work well at the local community level and perhaps could work well on a larger scale. Like Bitcoin user management keeps track of how much participant has in the "time bank"

      So in many ways time banking is a "moneyless currency" with the added advantage of building ties, and support networks as the "time bankers" perform services for one another and get to know one another

      Bitcoin was designed for internet trades/purchases where the buyer and seller don't know one another and where "trust" works in the time bank system, security is needed to make sure issuers of bitcoin can cover their have sufficient bitcoin on hand to settle the transaction, that the shift of bitcoin to the seller ocurrs promptly and that the settlement system is "hacker proof".

      If you have ever used paypal for a transacition, as buyer or seller bitcoin had you in mind. Paypal is a third party to whom each party provides bank account information to receive and credit funds. All e-check payments for credit cards, utilities, etc. require that the payer provide routing number and account information to the payee ( the entity to whom you are making a payment) and all that involves layers of feeds and costs

      Bitcoin is more geared to the issues arising from pay pal, e-check and on line credit card payments.
      • Apr 26 2014: Part of the problem with bitcoin and dollar systems is no way of telling if the person at the other end is credible. Ebay and others have solved this with accounts that are tied to a bank account and each account builds a reputation through accounting. Statistics are available on how many transactions and comments about each transaction. No doubt the dollar system is absolutely the worst system based on the fed which gets direct orders from the One world order Rothschild's. When you see cargo planes unloading pallets of hundred dollar bills ($40 billion) into the desert, that is a pretty good indication something is wrong with the system.
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          Apr 26 2014: I posted this to learn ore about bitcoin myself..but the whole point of the bitcoin is that it was designed to solve that problem. clearance of a bitcon transaction is supposed to be 100% certainty that the other party has sufficient bit coin to pay and the party has no recourse ( as in a cash transaction) The total costs ( including the pro rata of the total costs of all it takes to effect a "normal" internet transaction..monthly fees on bank accounts,credit cards, finance charges, overdraft charges, canceled check charges , charges for currency exchange).
        • Apr 26 2014: Keith: Absence of recourse is a known shortcoming of Bitcoin, so nobody will argue that point with you. But I am fascinated by your having seen cargo planes unloading pallets of hundred dollar bills in the desert. Where and when was this? What was the purpose?
      • Apr 26 2014: It was done in Iraq and Afghanistan that we know of, probably many more times we do not know about. The purpose depends on who you talk to ( many conspiracy theories). There are several articles below with several theories as to who and why.
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          Apr 26 2014: nothing to do with bitcon but a fabulous story..someone should write a move about Basel!
          ay be we shoud call Basel and see if he can direct enough curency into Bitcoin to make it truly influential in world currency markets. !!! ( just kidding)

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