For The Love Of Bitcoin

karmicads karmicads at
Wed Feb 15 05:40:10 EST 2012

hi derek, 

Thanks for the prompt response.

¨I didn't see any actionable requests in this long diatribe. ¨

Yeah, sorry, my passion for bitcoin, knows no bounds.

¨What exactly are you asking? ¨

I suppose I´d like to see bitcoin supported as a mainstream currency,
despite the lack of official ISO recognition. I imagine GnuCash not only
being able to support bitcoin in the regular (more intuitive) way it handles
any other currency, but that it could be set as the default and even better
as a sort of meta-currency into and from which, all others may be derived or
converted. The particular advantage of bitcoin, (besides that which I have
already mentioned), is that it is instantly available for online transaction
between peers on the network. Itś exchange rate is also a live public value
that can easily be tracked online in real time. The facility to do this,
would be through the APIś of one or more of the popular exchanges. 

There would be little preventing GnuCash from seamlessly supporting any
users installed instance of ´bitcoind´ the GUI-less daemon, and allowing
scripted transactions to be instigated via its (bitcoind´s) APIs and the
JSON network interface. This kind of functionality, would allow for user
initiated transactions, not just within and between their own bank accounts,
but as a seamless interface, for transacting between individual users.* Also
note:* In the case of using bicoin for a transactional medium, the
transactions are practically free of costs.

¨Note that you can always add your own commodity
to GnuCash, although you need to treat it like a stock or fund instead
of a "currency"¨

For some reason I find this approach sort of clumsy and unintuitive. I
wouldn´t rule out that itś just a /ME/ thing though. 

¨but all that means is that GnuCash forces you to always
explicitly transact with an exchange rate.¨

So, thatś a static exchange rate then is it? Iḿ under the impression that
this has to be user configured, manually and before any transaction or
attempt to balance ones accounts. Again... it may just be me. The problem
for bitcoin, is that itś such a young currency and therefore it tends to be
quite volatile. As a transacting medium though, itś power far surpasses any
traditional currency. The relevance of the fluctuating market value simply
vanishes, if all the user wants is a convenient vehicle of transaction and a
temporary store of value, to enable nearly instant online transactions. You
simply buy or earn and hold no more currency than you intend for your
immediate transacting needs. Itś like carrying only spending money in your
wallet. You shouldn´t carry much more than you are likely to need. This
volatility of bitcoin however, is mitigated by the ubiquitous online and
live nature of itś liquidity. 

Bitcoin can be thought of as cash that can be spent over the internet. Like
paper cash, bitcoin is also peer to peer. You can hand over some paper cash,
to anybody, whether in a shop, at home, or on the street, but such digital
representations of cash, now allow the internet citizen to transact just as
freely in any place at anytime. Likewise, any suitably networked, desktop
application, may also be liberated by the same freedom to transact, without
need for any third party financial institutions presiding over (manipulating
and monopolizing) the process. We are technologically passed the days of
asking banks to forward our cash and provide *(their)* up to date conversion

Online bitcoin exchanges, have no power to control the current exchange
value of bitcoin, but merely charge (0.65% or there about), for providing
the user, the benefit of buying or selling bitcoin. Fortunately, it costs
nothing to get updated conversion rates, and so any software can be kept
updated (with live market value) in real time. Thatś a boon for a very
volatile currency, but unless you can get a live feed and have your desktop
and mobile apps, updating in real-time and providing seamless integration of
this live feed, it somewhat takes the shine off the possible immediacy and
transparency of the process. I mean, if I have to visit MtGox and copy the
exchange value, then paste that into an obscure configuration  dialog box
for a workaround fudge, of a pseudo-currency that is being treated a s a
´stock´ or ´fund´, I will loose all of the convenience of live transactions
and live exchange rates which Adjust themselves in real-time, according to
supply and demand (as apposed to manipulated third party banking
institutions trading prices, which reflect the banks own stacked conversion

Itś easy to see how bitcoin could become something of an online
meta-currency, that could eventually be stabler than any other, as it has
the capacity to buffer the comparative values of other currencies and even
facilitate short term arbitrage. I consider it likely to increase the
competition (and lower the profitability of) Forex style middleman exploits.
Putting all the economics arguments aside, the accountancy application with
the capacity of live, real-time currency transaction is an interesting one,
even from a purely technical POV. The simple practical benefits, of being at
will to translate one currency into another, via the ubiquity of an
intermediate, real-time store of value, should have obvious ramifications.

I hesitate to deliberate on specific implementation approaches, suffice is
to say that the components of real-time transacting and market valuation,
are the real treasures to be elicited from a thorough going, bitcoin
compatibility effort. Beyond that, the capacity to implement bitcoin as a
politically and commercially neutral meta-currency, aught to be the
open-source, fiscal libertarians dream of pure nirvana. 

¨If you need to use a currency, you can always use XXX until ISO catches
up with you.¨

I think that he problem here, is that the ISO, is yet another corrupt
central authority, and judging on a few tentative efforts so far to have
them recognize bitcoin as a legitimate (and formerly declared) currency, we
are a loooooong way off gaining their acceptance. Given the power
allegiances here, I think we are much closer to importing icebergs from
Hell. The important task at hand then, is to lobby our real allies and
muster our real strength as a grass roots movement, able and willing to
circumvent these sort of dictatorial power structures. 

Much as open-source itself, gets around the copyright and licensing issues
of software, bitcoin circumvents the financial power dictators, who might
wish to tell us what we can and cant collectively honor as legal tender.
GnuCash, would be an ideal ally in that respect and so the imperative might
be considered as the willingness of such well placed OSS products as
GnuCash, to sidestep the power-base of fiscal authoritarians who control our
mutual money supply, effectively disregarding their regulatory impositions,
controlled by their contrived (exclusive) standards. Currency, like
software, aught to be autonomous. I´d gladly PAY to see that happen. I bet
if the online bitcoin exchanges caught wind of an effort to fully integrate
bitcoin into GnuCash, they´d be throwing cash at it, like a horny drunk
stripper down to her suspenders and knickers.

PS: Sorry again for the length of my wind, if not the tenacity of my

Regards. Karmicads.

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