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It's funny.  Laugh. Bitcoin The Almighty Buck

Bitcoin Conference Stops Accepting BTC Due To High Fees (bitcoin.com) 135

An anonymous reader shares a report: Next week the popular cryptocurrency event, The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) will be hosted in downtown Miami at the James L Knight Center, January 18-19. However, bitcoin proponents got some unfortunate news this week as the event organizers have announced they have stopped accepting bitcoin payments for conference tickets due to network fees and congestion. Bitcoin settlement times, and the fee market associated with transactions, have become a hot topic these days as on-chain fees have risen to $30-60 per transaction. These issues have made it extremely difficult for businesses to operate, and many merchants have stopped accepting bitcoin for services and goods altogether.

Bitcoin Conference Stops Accepting BTC Due To High Fees

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  • Ironic (Score:5, Funny)

    by rwise2112 ( 648849 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:07AM (#55907327)

    Bitcoin Conference Stops Accepting BTC Due To High Fees

    Wait! Is this actually ironic?

    • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:13AM (#55907353)
      I am personally betting against bitcoin having long term crypto currency market dominance for this exact reason. The liquidity issue will only make runs far worse and there are more efficient ways of handling transactions if you could start over. Moore's law may help lessen this but can bitcoin keep on top that long?
      • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:34AM (#55907481)

        Once a currency becomes unusable as a payment method, it becomes a useless currency, and that is left is pure speculation... when people realize that, its market value is going to drop to zero.

        • Wait! You mean we can't all buy one Bitcoin now and have a guaranteed luxury retirement in five years?

        • Once a currency becomes unusable as a payment method, it becomes a useless currency, and that is left is pure speculation... when people realize that, its market value is going to drop to zero.

          Bitcoin is transforming itself more into a store of value rather than a liquid currency for conducting trade. It's pretty much acting up like a commodity.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Bitcoin is transforming itself more into a store of value rather than a liquid currency for conducting trade. It's pretty much acting up like a commodity.

            Well, that would make Bitcoin boring and nearly-useless for most people. "Liquid currency" is what people need. So.. which cryptocurrency can get thre first? Does it exist yet, or does it still need to be invented? Bitcoin 2.0? ;-)

            • by xQx ( 5744 )

              In all seriousness, yes. Litecoin is basically bitcoin v2.0 which many people are using as a liquid currency.

              (... And a host of other minor altcoins)

              There are technical developments which haven't yet been fully deployed (Lightning and Segwit) which will make Bitcoin usable again.

              Even so, in the Crypto community, Bitcoin is generally accepted as the 'safest' store of value.

        • by dj245 ( 732906 )

          Once a currency becomes unusable as a payment method, it becomes a useless currency, and that is left is pure speculation... when people realize that, its market value is going to drop to zero.

          I'm not sure the world has seen a crash where the # of transactions/second is limited and the transaction fee is basically a bidding process. It should be much more interesting than typical crashes.

      • I am personally betting against bitcoin having long term crypto currency market dominance for this exact reason. The liquidity issue will only make runs far worse and there are more efficient ways of handling transactions if you could start over.

        I agree with that statement. However, I do think there is a market for crypto currency. The question is, which one? I posed a poll, but it was apparently unpopular. [slashdot.org]

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Give it 90 days for 100% SegWit adoption across the ecosystem and the Lightning network to get up to speed and see some adoption, and then re-evaluate Bitcoin's prospects (IMO).

    • Is it like rain on your wedding day?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No, but for while it was a free ride if you already paid

  • Topics? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lillgud ( 951277 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:08AM (#55907331) Homepage
    At least they have something to discuss at the conference...
  • $30+ fees? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Just to buy a stick of gum? How is this supposed to be progress?

    Oh, you are surprised I want to use Bitcoin as a currency, not as a speculation instrument?

    • Re:$30+ fees? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:18AM (#55907381)
      Yes, Bitcoin has turned into more of an investment strategy than an actual currency. Unless the system is designed to drive down transaction fees, it will never be a viable currency.
      • I can't understand how this works at all if it's not a viable currency. If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

        • Re:$30+ fees? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by lucaiaco ( 2652295 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:29AM (#55907455)
          Speculation. I buy bitcoins because I know some other idiots will buy bitcoins with the hope that they will keep on growing in prize.
          • Greater Fool Theory (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:40AM (#55907513)

            Speculation. I buy bitcoins because I know some other idiots will buy bitcoins with the hope that they will keep on growing in prize.

            That's called the Greater Fool Theory. Highly speculative markets can turn the other way instantly.

            • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @11:37AM (#55908305) Journal

              It can take a long time though, and while you're riding the upwards curve and selling slowly you can make a lot of money. The thing that people always forget when they read about the tulip bubble and he wall street crash is that as many people became rich as went bankrupt. It's a zero-sum game, so every dollar someone loses will be won by someone else. In many ways, it resembles a poker game where both players are bluffing. Eventually either one will fold or they'll call and whoever has the higher card will win.

              I have not speculated on bitcoin, because I don't have any confidence that I can predict the inflection point well enough to find a greater fool before it does.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                It's actually not a zero sum game when people are taking out loans to buy bitcoin.

                • But it is. That loaned money will still end up elsewhere. $100000 loaned dollars go into buying bitcoins means that someone selling bitcoins gets that $100000. The fact that the purchaser now has to service a loan outside of the bitcoin transactions is not relevant to the zero sum of bitcoin.

              • as many people became rich as went bankrupt

                Not true, if it is a zero sum game it takes a lot of people to go bankrupt/loose money to make 1 person rich. 10 people have to loose $100,000 to make one person $1,000,000

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Joce640k ( 829181 )

            The idiocy seems to have stopped now. It hasn't gone up for hours.

            I suspect Bitcoin will now oscillate up/down for a while then gradually die as the idiots move on to other things.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              It will crash very hard. Positive feedback and all that. You see it go down and sell,
              people see that you've sold and they sell. And there will be a scramble to get the
              transactions registered, and the whole thing will come to a screeching halt.

          • Can I buy tulip bulbs instead?

        • easy, short-term speculation

        • I can't understand how this works at all if it's not a viable currency. If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

          Play Money. Think of the various money bubbles like the dotcom, or housing bubbles.

          It's not actually real money. While bitcoin suffers from being less tangible, otherwise it is vapor. A few people will make out well when the bubble is breaking, the rest? Not so well.

          • I can't understand how this works at all if it's not a viable currency. If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

            Play Money. Think of the various money bubbles like the dotcom, or housing bubbles.

            It's not actually real money. While bitcoin suffers from being less tangible, otherwise it is vapor. A few people will make out well when the bubble is breaking, the rest? Not so well.

            Money itself is a virtual concept. But, as far as bitcoin is concerned, as long as people can exchange bitcoin for more accepted currency it is "real money", even if the transaction fees are high.

            There are three ways this can go: Bitcoin becomes fully accepted, Bitcoin value drops to nothing (even if you can still exchange it), or Bitcoin becomes worthless through lack of ability to exchange it for anything of real value. My guess is that Bitcoin will devalue as banks come up with their own version of E-

            • There are three ways this can go: Bitcoin becomes fully accepted, Bitcoin value drops to nothing (even if you can still exchange it), or Bitcoin becomes worthless through lack of ability to exchange it for anything of real value. My guess is that Bitcoin will devalue as banks come up with their own version of E-Coin.

              If it is going to be an actual currency, You'll be able to buy a candy bar with it and it will only cost you the cost of the candy bar, and nothing else. You walk into a store, and pay for it. Otherwise it is an investment vehicle, which is based on bitcoin being bitcoin, and transactoin fees being like other investment transaction fees.

              But for me, it is merely another funny money concept, like the housing bubble. People were willing to pay over a million dollars for tiny houses, and people were willing

          • Loopks like I pissed off the Bitcoin fanboys. Hey- emember it will only go up, so put every penny you have into bitcoin, you'll be wealthy beyong your wildest dreams....
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:41AM (#55907523)

          Speculative execution. Same thing that ruined Intel.

        • What's the driving force behind owning bars of gold if it's not a viable currency ?

          • Re:$30+ fees? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @11:46AM (#55908359) Journal

            Gold is a good conductor and doesn't corrode in air. These two things mean that there is a real demand for gold for electrical connectors and jewellery. It's relatively scarce, so the demand is high in proportion to the supply. If gold were cheaper, then we'd plate a lot more things in gold (e.g. pretty much every electrical connector - gold isn't quite as good a conductor as copper, but it's a much better conductor than copper oxide). That gives a lower bound on the price of gold: if it were plentiful then we'd use it for a lot more and its price would drop to close to that of copper or aluminium, but not to zero.

            Salt hasn't been a viable currency for quite a long time, but that doesn't mean that people don't still trade salt in futures markets.

            • And gold is pretty which makes people desire it. Good replacements for gold tend to be as or more expensive than gold. Gold will never become worthless.

              I don't know if it makes a good investment, however.

              • by GNious ( 953874 )

                And gold is pretty which makes people desire it.

                Gold has cultural significance, which makes people feel a need to buy it.

                • Well you got me there. I would say there is a culture that holds Bitcoin in the same significance, driving their need to buy it.

                • Same with diamonds, which are artificially valued far higher than their utility price.

        • "what is the driving force behind owning it?"

          Internet hype. Like many other speculative investments made in the dot com era and CDO meltdown into that were backed by 100% pure hand-picked gluten-free organic non-GMO shit from a horse.

        • If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

          In one word: greed.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

          Just think of it like this: Bitcoin is a viable currency, BUT the smallest spendable denomination is the $500 bill. You can make change easily, but you can't make a $5 payment easily, because getting a 5 note requires $15 in fees for some reason.

      • Re:$30+ fees? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vivian ( 156520 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:44AM (#55907533)

        With a fixed number of transactions per block, and a limited block frequency, the transaction fees must by necessity increase as trading volume increases. Increasing volume will only push up competition for the limited number of transaction slots available, which with a 1 MB block is 3.3 to 7 transactions per second. That's a hard limit of 400k to 600k transactions per day.
        Right now, the biggest peak has been 498000 transactions per day - on Fri 15 Dec, right before the peak value on 17 Dec.

        Wait till the bubble really pops - the transaction fees are going to be massive as there is a mad scrabble for people desperate to get their money out.
        The miners are going to make an absolute killing when bitcoin plummets. Unfortunately for them, it's going to be a fortune in bitcoin.

        As a currency, it's useless.
        As a store of value, it's also questionable - you'd be better off putting your money into something that there is actually a use for in the economy - natural resources or investments in productive capital.

        • The idea is to store money in a pool that is not associated with any nation. You cannot easily buy natural resources or stocks in other countries. Bitcoin is much easier. So bitcoin is going no-where especially as the dollar is printed to infinity by our country. Can't do that with bitcoin
        • by lavalyn ( 649886 )

          "Transaction Accelerators" already exist to induce miners to confirm a particular transaction. And they take payment in not-Bitcoin.

          https://pushtx.btc.com/ [btc.com]

    • the fees aren't even the worst of it as far as a currency goes. you will probably be waiting a couple of days for your transaction to go through so you better buy that stick of gum a few days in advance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:19AM (#55907385)

    Yes,
    And they also do not accept Monopoly money at Monopoly conferences...

    • But they don't claim that Monopoly money is superior to real money either....

    • They usually don't accept gold for payment at "Gold as an investment" conferences either... but no one calls that ironic.

      Same is true at securities (stocks and bonds) investment conferences

      If alternative currencies are going to succeed (beyond the next get-rich-quick scheme) they need to address:
      - Transaction costs -- I can quickly & securely send value internationally using wire transfers for less than $20 (probably less than $10, if I did it a lot); domestically it's a few cents to write a check or us

      • You know there's a difference between "investment" and "currency" right? You've created a false equivalency.

        I can't pay for a ticket to investor seminars with Tesla or Apple stock either. Nor would I expect to be able to. However, in a conference by and for bitcoin currency fanatics, I would think that being able to pay your way in with Bitcoin would be a given, if it's such a great currency.

        If anybody called not accepting gold as currency at a "Gold as an investment" conference (if such a thing exists)

        • Exactly this. Anyone who thinks Bitcoin is an investment or store of value is an idiot. The only value Bitcoin could have is if it actually worked as a currency (except it doesn't). The underlying technology is actually rather impressive and I suspect some other cryptocurrency will eventually fulfil the promise of Bitcoin (despite what some of the extreme detractors say, because a currency doesn't require an underlying value, the value can be simply in providing a medium of exchange).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This seems appropriate: https://xkcd.com/1022/

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday January 11, 2018 @09:31AM (#55907471)

    Bitcoin settlement times, and the fee market associated with transactions, have become a hot topic these days as on-chain fees have risen to $30-60 per transaction.

    Also ironic given that the initial justification for bitcoin was to minimize transaction fees. It's why I've been arguing that the notion that bitcoin has an economic advantage is a false economy.

    • Initial justification is decentralization. That's still valid.

      • Initial justification is decentralization. That's still valid.

        True, but then an initial justification of communism as an economic system was the equitable distribution of property amongst the population to climate the gap between the rich and poor. That may also be still valid but doesn't mean it outweighs the downsides and thus a viable long term solution.

      • Initial justification is decentralization.

        Decentralization is not a useful end unto itself. It's a mechanism not an end. There has to be an economic reason to want to decentralize that reduces costs. You could argue that having a centralized currency adds to the cost of a fiat currency but then decentralization isn't the goal, just the mechanism to the real goal which is to reduce costs. If a currency is more expensive to use then it will get used less. Whether it is centralized or not matters not at all except to those who are motivated prima

      • Sure. But in order for it to be of any use, it needs to not have severe penalties to it's use in comparison to the competition*

        *the competition being government-issued currencies and the last 30 years of electronic funds transfers

      • that is the funniest part of all, bitcoin is heavily centralized in China.
    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Also ironic given that the initial justification for bitcoin was to minimize transaction fees

      This is called Bitcoin breaking. That doesn't mean it's irreparably broken though.... it just means BTC is broken for now and currently isn't offering the main advantage that should incentivize merchants adopting it.... IMO They should consider Litecoin instead.

      • This is called Bitcoin breaking. That doesn't mean it's irreparably broken though.... it just means BTC is broken for now and currently isn't offering the main advantage that should incentivize merchants adopting it.... IMO They should consider Litecoin instead.

        There isn't a single cryptocurrency that has an economic (cost) advantage over the dollar (or euro, or yen, or...) with basically one exception. The one exception is for illegal activities (drugs, money laundering, etc) where the costs of getting caught outweigh the higher transaction fees. This is why it's attractive to those who would prefer to avoid attracting attention. For run of the mill normal transactions the cost of bitcoin is significantly and measurably higher. And as long as there is no econ

  • Hello and welcome to the Bitcoin conference!

    You can pay the admission fee in Litecoin, Dogecoin, Reddcoin, Dash, Monero, Ethereum... even freakin' Mooncoins. But not in Bitcoin.

  • Makes one wonder who on earth is willing to pay similar fees as international wire transfers for the privilege of doing the transaction in a woefully unstable currency. One would start to think that some attribute of bitcoin (like, say, some degree of anon^H^H^H^Hpseudonymity) must be essential to some kind of money-making business in order to justify the expense. This would almost lead to the suspicion that people still using bitcoin for actual payments have something to hide - something profitable.

    Oh well

  • I know that no one has found a true fix to the scaling issues, but newer coins have technical advances that alleviate them somewhat.

    What's stopping the Bitcoin network from adopting one of them? Is it that hard to get them to agree on something? Do they just not recognize the problem?

    • Yes, it's called the Lightning Network. It's in testing now- reduces fees to a fraction of a penny.

      Scaling up a system to handle massive traffic securely, quickly, and cheaply is not a trivial problem. Ask any company with growing pains. Be patient - a lot of very smart people are on this.

      • > Lightning Network

        Which works by ripping out the important parts of Bitcoin, thus making Bitcoin even more pointless as an alternative to other methods.

      • lightning isn't a fix to the problem. it is more of a bandaid on the gaping wound. Lightning fixes one huge problem by introducing a slew of other issues.
  • The TNABC ticketing site [btcmiami.com] says they stopped accepting bitcoin for last minute ticket purchases due to the need to manually input those ticket sales and the associated ticket print deadline. It doesn't seem nearly as ironic (or interesting) as the article referenced in the summary implies.

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