Talk:Bitcoin

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q 1
When should the term "Bitcoin" be capitalized?

A: Use bitcoin (lowercase) in all cases (see the note in the article for the explanation and references).

Example: "I installed bitcoin software, downloaded the bitcoin blockchain, and received 1 bitcoin after giving my bitcoin address to my employer. I received 0.03 bitcoins as a tip. Maybe I'll sell my bitcoins on a bitcoin exchange."

e·h·w·Stock post message.svg To-do:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Assess: article for outstanding claims. Mark them with "citation needed".
  • Expand: Find citations from reliable sources to expand the article.

Biggest Bitcoin purchase.[edit]

Article mentions the biggest Bitcoin purchase of a $500,000 Bali house, yet in Estonia a $1.3 million manorhouse has been reported to have been bought for Bitcoin. Two sources in English: http://news.err.ee/v/economy/53ba6308-7ca1-4b4a-9a52-0156165267d6 http://hans.lougas.ee/2014/03/bitcoin-can-buy-you-a-1-3m-manor-house/

Editwarring 3RR[edit]

On its political economy[edit]

The quality of the claims in the section is highly questionable:

  • the claim that it was "difficult to see what problem Bitcoin solves for people with left-wing politics." is problematic, suggesting that the author of the cited source did not spend enough effort to find out whether bitcoin does or does not solve any problem for people with left-wing politics. I see such an information not worth including.
  • as another editor already observed, the claim that "this project ... exacerbates the social inequalities that it is supposed to combat" is dubious. And, importantly, the source cited to support the claim is actually an advertisement for a book that has not been published yet. As such, neither the claim nor the source shall be used.
  • to me, all the claims in the section look like advertisements for nonexistent work, and, based on this observation, I propose to delete the section. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 13:55, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd be fine with removing this section. The article in The Nation is quite good, and could be used as a source, perhaps in other contexts. But quoting that sentence doesn't inform the reader much; it's simply an anonymous opinion. Perhaps in the reception section, one could add material from the article in The Nation about why the concept of bitcoin appeals to the right and to libertarians. TimidGuy (talk) 10:39, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Ladislav Mecir agree. TimidGuy, thats a good idea. I was uncomfortable with what I saw as self promotion of Bauwens & Vasilis Kostakis, but didnt want to delete the whole section (appropriately titled IMO), because I thought it would be edited for the better, for the same reasons you are mentioning. Here are pertinent sources, do you want to start?
--Wuerzele (talk) 06:14, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Beginning of a draft[edit]

heading: Appeal to libertarians

proposed text: One reason for the popularity of bitcoin is its philosophical appeal to libertarians, who like the fact that it exists outside of the control of government and the dominant institutional banking system, as well as the fact that, like gold, it's "deflationary" due to the intentionally limited supply.[1]. Libertarians have established a community in Chile that exclusively uses bitcoin as a medium of exchange.[2]

TimidGuy (talk) 11:14, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

It is a fact that bitcoin (similarly to gold) has a limited supply. However, "having a limited supply" does not necessarily mean "being deflationary":
  • For example, Martin Feldstein in [3] states that gold is not deflationary, making a point that gold is not a good hedge against inflation.
  • The "deflationary" characterization of bitcoin is rather hypothetical, and many sources actually state the opposite predicting the value of bitcoin to decrease (some sources predicting the value to go to zero, which, in case of conventional currencies, is called a hyperinflation event, i.e., the opposite of deflation).
Thus, wanting to remain neutral, we should state that bitcoin does have limited supply, which is a property appealing to libertarians. Stating that "having a limited supply" means "being deflationary" is rather controversial. If we do, we should mention that some sources disagree. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:41, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
The source characterized it as deflationary, but I don't mind omitting that particular term. I think instead of my suggested heading above, it might be better to be more general and say "Philosophical appeal." TimidGuy (talk) 10:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
My proposal: A more generic subsection heading: Political ideology.
My proposed text: Bitcoin appeals to tech-savvy libertarians, because so far it exists outside of the institutional banking system and the control of governments.[4] Its appeal reaches from both left wing critics, "who perceive the state and banking sector as representing the same elite interests, [...] recognising in it the potential for collective direct democratic governance of currency"(Visions of a Techno-Leviathan: The Politics of the Bitcoin Blockchain Brett Scott,1 June 2014, E-International Relations) socialists [proposing their] own states, complete with currencies" (A left defence of Bitcoin International Socialist Network, December 2013, Margaret Corvid), to right wing critics suspicious of big government, at a time when activities within the regulated banking system were responsible for the severity of the financial crisis of 2007–08 (Melanie L. Fein, The Shadow Banking Charade,15 February 2013, SSRN) and [where "governments are not fully living up to the responsibility that comes with state-sponsored money" (Right-wing dreams, Edward Hadas. 27 November 2013.Thomson Reuters}'.
I dont think that you can say that "Libertarians have established a community in Chile" yet, per the Economist article.
I also would not mention "deflationary" nor "intentionally limited supply" in the section context.--Wuerzele (talk) 20:49, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
@Wuerzele:: The text you propose looks acceptable. I think, however, that the "Political economy" section name looks better than "Political ideology", which has a different meaning as far as I know. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 02:14, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
TimidGuy-?- waiting for your opinion.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:27, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Looks good. TimidGuy (talk) 10:39, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

info on comics[edit]

there seems to be an edit war starting with Hypnopompus preferring a section from reception to disappear for teh second time. best to discuss here than trying to push... Fleetham: you reverted the deletion. Would both of you agree to the compromise to move the comics sentences conservatively into the hodge podge section at the end "in teh media"- where you, Fleetham moved my info on the MIT students from teh reception section some months ago- ? that would still keep the body of the article "crisp" as you said,Hypnopompus. Peace and happy Labor Day, --Wuerzele (talk) 03:04, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, I suggest Hypnopompus to consult the WP:BRD policy, which he already violated by reverting Fleetham's revert. I vote for preserving the information, either in the form proposed by Wuerzele, or in the original form. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:49, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I also noticed that when engaging in his war, Hypnopompus unexplainedly reverted this edit, which I vote to be preserved as well, consult WP:DECIMAL, please. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:03, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
First of all, let me thank you Ladislav for pointing me towards the WP:BRD policy. There is so much to learn! Secondly, as I noted on Wuerzele's talk page, I didn't intend to start an edit war and will not be a party to one. Wuerzele's proposal is more than welcome to me. Hypnopompus (talk) 13:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I moved the material to the "In the media" section. Also copyedited it because the sources are largely links to songs instead of mentions of actual comedians. Fleetham (talk) 23:06, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Fleetham, it looks that you wrote: "Several silly songs celebrating Bitcoin have released." In my opinion, the formulation looks not exactly grammatical. Also, (pardon my laziness) I did not check the sources (nor did I listen to the songs), did they use the "silly" characterization? If not, it is not neutral to add such a characterization on our own. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 09:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up about grammar. I fixed that and changed "silly" to "lighthearted." Hope this works for you. Many of the songs are parodies a la Weird Al Yankovic and clearly lighthearted. Fleetham (talk) 10:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Hal Finney should be named in the article[edit]

Hal Finney, who died last week, was bitcoin's first adopter. He was also cryptographer, futurist and cypherpunkt. He was also programmer and made contributions to bitcoin. He contributed also to the creation of namecoin, which is, given of the Internet's reliance on cerntralized DNS services, a very important feat.


Here an article about him with a photo:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/business/hal-finney-cryptographer-and-bitcoin-pioneer-dies-at-58.html?_r=0

And here is what he wrote about himself and bitcoin:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2436;sa=showPosts

I think Finney should be mentioned in this article. Why? Because he was one of the people who created it - Finney made the first proof-of-work system which is one of the very foundations of bitcoin. A currency can only exist when more than one person uses it, and Finney made that very important step. Finney gives also a face to the people who use bitcoin, which helps to show that bitcoin users are not generally anonymous. This is important because the false impression that bitcoin is something completely anonymous and created by unknown people leads to many pointless conspiracy theories, and the interest of Wikipedia's readers to know about bitcoin's authors and users is legitimate. Also, Finneys personality represents some of the mindset and ideal out of which bitcoin was created, and thus makes it much easier to understand. --Hoppingstone (talk) 20:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, I think that the information could be used in the "History" section, e.g. We could also have an "Early adopters" section. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Hoppingstone, thanks for suggesting. At some point earlier this year, Hal Finney was even mentioned on Bitcoin I believe, (but maybe I am mixing it up with one of the 200 Bitcoin references insteadd). will use NYT ref, the bitcoin.org ref should be worked in on his wikipage if it isnt already. Ladislav, I was thinking of the History section too. Wouldnt make a new section - too many already.--Wuerzele (talk) 19:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Ladislav,I see you didnt like my rephrasing of the NYT - whatever. I would not use Hal (first name) to refer to Finney though, its unencyclopedic.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:32, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Wuerzele thanks for the suggestion, replacing the first names in the formulation. Your formulation was not a problem, but I wanted to add more informations and unify the capitalization. I would like to put a photo of Hal Finney in the history section, I am just unsure how this can be done. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:10, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
good idea to break up the long history section with a photo, but I dont see a pic on wikimedia/ and none in the public domain when searching the web--Wuerzele (talk) 02:48, 4 September 2014 (UTC).

Proposal to merge "Classification" sections[edit]

I propose to merge the "Legal and journalistic opinions" section contents into the "Classification" section. Reasons:

  • On one hand, there is no world-wide authority to definitely classify bitcoin, on the other hand, a classification can become widely accepted regardless of its original proponent.
  • The "opinions" term in the "Legal and journalistic opinions" section name is unfitting, the listed statements are either classifications or classification attempts.
  • The sections have significant overlap:
    • The "Classification" section already contains journalistic opinions.
    • The "Classification" section contains classification by PBC, which is also present in "Legal and journalistic opinions".
  • The "Classification" section should inform about existing classifications without restricting itself to just the moneyness aspect.

Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:46, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I'd go along with that. It seems like this article has too many sections overall. TimidGuy (talk) 15:13, 29 September 2014 (UTC)