For The Love Of Bitcoin

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Thu Feb 16 10:27:59 EST 2012

karmicads <karmicads at> writes:

>>> Yeah, sorry, my passion for bitcoin, knows no bounds.
>>Understood, but finding gems in the rough takes time that, frankly, I
>>don't have. 
> OK, I´ll try to help sort out the gems a bit.

And in the process produce tons more rough.  Try limiting yourself to
2-5 sentences per point?

>>> 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
>>I don't know what our policy is on adding non-ISO currencies to the list
>>of currencies.
> That would be a great start. In revision of this policy, I think it may be
> poignant to consider the nature of currency, as shared information about

We *have* added a few non-ISO entities in the past; we have entries for
Gold, Silver, and a few other precious-metal commodities as currencies.

>>> So, thatś a static exchange rate then is it? Iḿ under the impression that
>>No.  It means that every transaction has a 'static' exchange rate.  But
>>every transaction can have its own distinct exchange rate.
> I think that´s what I meant actually. It´s static in the sense that itś not
> updated in real time. So, every transaction will require a manually advised
> exchange rate requiring user input. That´s the crux. As I understand it, for
> the application to ´know´ what the current exchange rate is, it needs to be
> informed by manual user input.

That is true today even with ISO currencies!  When you enter in a
multi-currency transaction GnuCash does NOT automatically go out and get
a quote for you.  And even if it did, that wouldn't necessarily be the
exchange rate for YOUR transaction!

> So the other side of the coin so to speak, is being able to have a live feed
> to a currency with a known exchange rate that can be updated automatically,
> in ´real time´. I don´t know how difficult that is for fiat currency, but in
> the bitcoin world it appears to be a cake walk.
> So those are the basic principals I would like to se GnuCash strive for.
> Thanks for your time.

Ah, and HERE is where we have a disconnect.  GnuCash does NOT provide
live feeds of currency exchange rates, even with ISO currencies.  There
is always a delay, and most likely you *still* have to manually tell
GnuCash the exchange rate of the currency when you enter a transaction.

Making bitcoin a "currency" would *not* change this within GnuCash.  So
it would not solve the problem you are trying to solve.  Indeed, GnuCash
does not solve the problem you are trying to solve.   GnuCash is a
financial app, not a "trading" app.  It does not keep real-time trading
information, nor *can* it.

So, adding bitcoin as a fund/commodity is still a workable workaround.
It provides most everything you need.  The one exception is that you
cannot set up Income or Expense accounts denoted in a stock or fund.  So
you would need to translate your bitcoin sandwich price back into
e.g. USD.

> Regards Karmicads.


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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