Is bitcoin a good investement?

I recently read an article on OddsBusters about Bitcoin being a good investment. It seems like this form of money (? I don’t know if you can call it money?) is worth investing in as it keeps getting more and more value. What do you guys think? Will they keep on getting more valuable or will they drop soon?

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owned some back when it was worth $25 bucks to when it was worth $250. Spent most of it, there is a cult following for BTC that is interesting to say the least. It can certainly provide a cheap way to send money to others but I am not sure how it will play out long term. If you have some extra cash might not be terrible to throw some in it, I would wait though there is usually a big crash after a price run up

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a buddy of mine made 150k profit. they asked me what i thought about it. i told them it was a shitty investment and sent them a few links that gave a gist of what the hell they owned. they sold their shit after a few days.

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Thats insane. I have heard aout a ton of early adopters when you could mine them with idle time on your home pc making out with bank. Mining tons of coins when they were worth pennies that are now worth ~650/700 thats nuts to think about.

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Yeah, I think that the opportunity has passed to invest in Bitcoin. It’s a currency, so as to be like investing in other currencies.

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currency with no taxing power. nothing backing its value but demand, and limited supply.

it could be a sustitute for credit cards. it does have lower fees to it. it does have other competitors so i dont really see why it will the preferred method of payment.

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I’d categorize it as speculation and not investing. Probably showing my ignorance, but where does the ‘fundamental’ price from bitcoin even derive from?

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its kind of a cross between a currency & a commodity at this point. A lot of people in crap countries can exchange their currency for BTC and use it as a store of value against inflation or governments that may do other things. It also derives value from supply/demand of people using it as a currency and exchanging it for goods & services. I read an article recently that most shops in Taiwan allow you to pay for things in bitcoin, and it is a functional currency. Even in the US there are tons of places that you can use bitcoin to purchase whatever you want. As far as a “fundamental value” much like any currency/commodity it is derived from the system it is used in abd the trust others put into it. Bitcoin as a payment processor was able to greately reduce fees for sending money oversees and that was one of the big draws.

Im certainly no expert on bitcoin and anyone is free to correct anything I have said that is not correct, but I have followedit since mid 2012 or so and it certainly is an interesting experiment.

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It’s interesting to think about whether cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are true currencies or just commodities that trade on price alone (e.g. like gold, but without industrial purposes).

Currencies are typically tied to a specific economy, and then their value fluctuates based on the attractiveness of financial assets in the economy vs other economies, and the attractiveness of the goods provided by the economy vs other economies.

Yet the bitcoin economy doesn’t (presently) produce anything, so it’s hard to come up with any analysis of whether the things it exports (sends to people who pay with other currencies) is increasing relative to the things it imports (things it needs to acquire to work). Indeed, the way it works now: in order to buy something with bitcoins and have it sent to me in the US, the Bitcoin economy needs to import it from some non-bitcoin place, receive the bitcoin exchange, and then immediately export it. So for goods, the bitcoin economy is pretty much all in balance, for every export, there is an import, though any profit from that transaction remains as a bitcoin balance.

I’m thinking out loud here… but say I buy a mousepad for $10 in bitcoin, and the guy gets it for 50 yuan in China and sends it to me. At current prices, that’s about 7.50, which would mean an exchange rate of about 6.66 Yuan/. We’ll assume no shipping costs for simplicity. That means that there’s a gross profit of $2.50 for whoever is selling to me. That would suggest that $2.50 remains in the Bitcoin economy and could be used for buying $2.50 of stuff here in the US, if that’s what the owner wanted to do. So it would seem that the Bitcoin economy can grow in real value if it facilitates trades that wouldn’t be possible directly.

The facilitating of trades (or less expesive trades) that are not otherwise possible is important, because if not, then there’s an obvious triangular arbitrage opportunity between Bitcoin, USD, and CNY that should make Bitcoin fall into line with international exchange rates. If negotiating a deal through bitcoin is genuinely advantageous for some reason (e.g. tax avoidance, or secrecy, or because you already own some bitcoins and need to spend them), then those profits will accumulate to the bicoin economy and grow it, but if there is no reason other than “hey, it’s cool to own bitcoins”, then the bitcoin economy will not necessarily collapse, but it’s not likely to go anywhere. This would mean that while it’s not necessarily a losing proposition, there are very likely other investments that have better risk-return prospects.

And, if governments start trying to tax bitcoin transactions (perhaps the way they do currency trades), or making it illegal to own Bitcoin (possibly citing their use as payments for illegal goods and services), then the value of bitcoin will drop, since you’ll end up owning Bitcoins you can’t use for anything. So you can’t just assume use will grow, because there will almost certainly be attempts by governments to intervene and control at least the trade between bitcoin and their own currencies.

A more interesting case is to think about Bitcoins as payment for services (prostitution is the fun one to consider, but there are plenty of more traditionally legitimate services). In this case, one could say that the transaction has taken place entirely in the Bitcoin economy (assuming the service consists of labor only, and/or any goods required are paid for in Bitcoins too), and any value prodced from the services creates value to the bitcoin economy. Eventually, the servicer will need to exchange the bitcoin for dollars or yuan or something in order to make use of them, and that takes value out of the economy, unless they can acquire those services in terms of bitcoin.

Right now, people like bitcoin for a number of reasons:

  1. As a way to store money away from governments and central banks. It seems likely that they would not be able to escape taxation indefinitely, but it would at least be safe from central bank manipulation.

  2. As a way to pay for transactions they would like to keep secret.

  3. Novelty of owning this cool new internety-currency-financially thing that they can talk about at cocktail parties.

  4. Speculation because it had a huge 10x run-up and wouldn’t it be nice to get in on suma dat.

So as I write this, I am actually warming up to Bitcoin a bit. It’s still a risky thing to invest in, and in general, currencies do not deliver the kinds of risk-adjusted returns that you get from investing in businesses or even sovereign debt. Currency investing is generally better for hedging currency exposure as a risk control, for diversification benefits, and as a trading system asset.

However, you can also kind of look at Bitcoin more as a commodity like gold that has value primarily in terms of the value of being less touchable by governments, but without the messiness of industrial uses that ends up affecting things like gold or perishability that affects many other commodities. In that case, it would be interesting to see how Bitcoin compares to things like the Swiss Franc or the Singapore Dollar, which are currencies that primarily trade on their value for keeping money away from other governments and prying eyes.

There is also the risk that Bitcoin could be replaced by a different cyptocurrency that has even more favorable features (possibly Ripple). Bitcoin might be a proof of concept, but as people figure out how to use them effectively, a different cryptocurrency might be produced that makes things easier to use or harder to tax, etc…

On the whole, the big 10x pop in Bitcoin seems unlikely to happen again any time soon, so if you are looking for that, make sure you’re doing only a small bet. But it is defintely possible that as more transactions happen in the Bitcoin economy, more and more people would start leaving their Bitcoins to transact in that economy direclty, rather than move them in and out of local currencies. If that starts happening, then I could see the value of a bitcoin grow.

From an investment standpoint, it may may more sense to do a more diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is probably going to be one of the largest components, this would mitigate against the risk of replacement by a newer currency.

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Where is that demand coming from - because it is a substitute for credit cards, and its appealing to merchants due to the lower fees?

Where is its appeal to the mass consumer? Why should I replace my amex which gives me miles and cash back for a bitcoin wallet?

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bitcoin has no appeal to mass consumers. imo its all speculators. the run up in price encourages the greater fools. its biggest selling point is that there is only a limited amount, (caps at 20m coins or something). but other than that its a inferior form of transaction for a consmer.

in essence bit coin is like a hot club. everyone wants to be inside, but there is limited space. the cover rises when everyone wants to go in, but if no one wants to go in then its cover plummets.

it however does appeal to merchants just cuz of the low fees. retailers and cc companies are actually arguing a lot right now. from fees. to updating verification process for transactions.

other sources of demand. techno geeks, black market activities, and paranoid people.

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How can you afford the time to put down such neat and exhaustive analysis of things while also catching up with your “peers” blabbering about who can piss into a glass in the Watercooler section…

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bchad is a god

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That’s what I was looking for. Thanks BChad, interesting stuff to ponder

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I had some exposure for a short while and made a decent return over the period I owned it.

I however had my bitcoin with Mt. Gox, when I sold and tried to cash out my request was in queue for almost 2 months before they eventually failed.

Never felt so right yet wrong at the same time.

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Bitcoin is pure speculation and nothing more in my opinion

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bchads rambling was very interesting to read. Bitcoin is not pure speculation (as many of you are saying) as there are groups of people that believe in what it stands for and have more vested into it than just the value stored in their BTC. Libertarian groups tend to be massively behind BTC due to its decentralized nature and they believe a lot of banking can be taken away from the traditional financial system and done at a lower cost. BTC price stability is a major issue because a lot of people who process transactions have to use payment processors that instantly convert the currency to negate a large currency risk. If greater price stability comes to the market there would certainly be more interest from retailers. There are blogs about where in the world you can travel on just bitcoin, places to go and support businesses that accept bitcoin etc. I think people who are saying it is pure speculation do not have a real understanding of what it is, and thus write it off.

I read somewhere (cant find a link, ill edit if I can) that the bitcoin network is something like 35,000 times more powerful than the top 500 supercomputers combined. That is certainly more meaningful than some Dutch tulips. I dont know what will become of bitcoin in 5 or 10 years but its very interesting to follow, its nice to see some people attempting to do something game changing.

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The fundamental strenght of a currency is the explicit guarantee of a sovereign that it would pay up the debt. If you don’t trust the government’s ability to stay solvent, you buy things which can store value other than the Fiat currency. Like Gold,Sliver etc. Bitcoin carries none of both A-It carries no explicit guarantee of solvency B-It carries no ability to store value. Bitcoin is trading this high because people precieve it would have some value due to its albeit limited acceptability and scarcity, when in theory, it carries none. So if today the online retailers stop accepting the Bitcoin, where would I get my value from? Bitcoin would come down crashing. So I don’t think BITCOIN should even be considered a currency let alone anything remotely near investment.

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A) Doesn’t make sense as governments dont pay all the time, they can also print currency to pay off their debts.

B) Also not true, as there is no real universal store of value. Something stores value if everyone believes it stores value. People believe gold stores value, so it does. Gold isnt inherently special and a store of value, people just believe it has value. If the world experienced a severe crisis gold’s price would likely collapse as well because you cant eat or drink it. The only things that have inherent value are things that keep you alive.

Is bitcoins price high due to speculators? Certainly, so i gold’s and any currency. There are plenty of people using bitcoin for real transactions in the real world, using it to send money as a payment processing network etc. Speculators are in there as well and may have a bigger effect on the price at the moment but things even out over time. Bitcoin is used by tons of different people for tons of different functions, almost like a currency or commodity. In reality who cares what people classify it as, it is what it is

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