Daily Archives: July 31, 2017

Bits and Pieces – 20170731, Monday

Commentary: I want to explain why Bitcoin can never be a viable currency. My understanding of Bitcoin is that there is an upper limit on the number of coins that can ever exist, somewhere around 21 million. The block-chain, as I understand it is simply a security paradigm for the system.

If bitcoin were only to be used to buy potatoes, the question of their relative values might be settled by adding the weights of all the potatoes in the world and saying that this is equivalent to the total number of bitcoins since bitcoins are assumed to be worth nothing for any other purchase. Let’s say that one ton of potatoes is equivalent (worth) 2.4 bitcoins (which hides the problem of fractional bitcoins – what are they and how do you manage them?).

Suppose next year there is a bumper crop of potatoes. There are twice as many potatoes but the same number of bitcoins. The value of a potato relative to a bitcoin has been cut in half.

Suppose farmers can agree that a bushel of wheat is equivalent to 10 pounds of potatoes. Further, they find that the amount of wheat grown is twice the amount of potatoes in value. Also, they decide to accept bitcoins for wheat. The total amount of merchantable produce in bitcoins is 3 times our initial example. That means a ton of potatoes is worth 0.8 bitcoins now.

Expand this to all products and services produced in the global economy and the value of a single potato becomes extremely small.

In a practical monetary system, the currency must be expansible to price the economy in practical terms and also be able to grow as the economy grows. Bitcoin can’t do either.

A useful model for understanding Bitcoin is the tulip mania in Holland in the 17th century – it’s a speculative bubble.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: photography charlottesville va | Thanks to ppc software, penny auction and larry goins