Bitcoin

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by Scotchman, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    It recently occurred to me that its dumb that we are all supporting lapyap for our trading when they are openly against people selling cigars to each other (not to mention lots of other things, see link in my signature for more).

    This got me to thinking, I wonder if any brothers might be candidates for exploring Bitcoin as a payment system. I did a search and saw a few threads from years ago with people asking about it, but mostly the conclusion was its too complicated and confusing.

    I have been into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for several years and have done academic research into it for a computing security grad program. I can talk the talk with other nerds, but the more important thing, I think, is I also understand how easy Bitcoin can be to use for people who don't care to look under the hood.

    Just like your car, you can know how to change your own oil, brakes, and timing belts, or you can just know how to turn the key and press the gas. Either person can make full use of a car for their entire lives. Bitcoin is not that complicated to use. In fact, you have more visibility and control than any payment processor like lapyap, Venmo, and so on.

    Strictly talking about using Bitcoin to send money to others, it brings the following benefits:

    • There is no restriction whatsoever on what you can use it for (which has gotten it negative publicity, but that is largely overblown by an ignorant and confused media)
    • The transfer will be complete within 10 minutes on average. Like, complete complete. lapyap and others foot the bill for the 3-5 days payments take to actually clear, so you don't see it, but if the check bounces, and they can't get their money back, it can be a mess. With Bitcoin, you know with 100% certainty that you have the money right then. Once confirmed (which takes about 10 minutes), Bitcoin payments are 100% non-reversible.
    • There is no ability for anyone to mess with your money, ever. If lapyap finds out you bought something they don't like, they will freeze your account, take money out of your bank, charge your credit cards, etc. They have the ability to do all of these things and have done them in the past to many people. Your only power with them is to complain to them, your banks, and hope that these people who hold your money for you agree with you and not them. Your Bitcoin is your Bitcoin, forever.
    • There are almost no fees, ever. This gets into a divisive topic within the Bitcoin community, but if you keep it simple and follow my advice, you will never pay more than a penny or two to send Bitcoin. I can get more into this if anyone is interested, but I am trying to present this as a simple solution, which it absolutely can be. By comparison, lapyap also charges no fees, if you fund with a bank account, and if you select Friends/Family as the payment type. However, I don't know about you, but I've definitely been charged a fee by lapyap, and its always more than a penny or two.
    I'm interested in starting a discussion about this and answering questions if anyone is interested. In the next post I will make some suggestions on how to get started if you feel like playing around for half an hour.
     
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  2. ChuckMejia

    ChuckMejia The General Donor 4

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    Nah I’m good. lapyap is efficient and easy.
     
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  3. squaresoft

    squaresoft It's dangerous to go alone, take this.

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  4. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    Probably should have reserved the spot above this to continue my post. Oh well.

    Bitcoin doesn't have to be complicated. It has evolved very rapidly in the last few years as well, so what was more of a science project a few years ago is now absolutely as easy as lapyap or other payment processors, if not easier.

    1. Go to Bitcoin.com and download the Bitcoin.com wallet https://wallet.bitcoin.com/ You can get it for any computer or mobile device.
    2. Once you install and open it, it will ask you to write down a series of words. Do this, and stick them somewhere safe. You can never, ever, lose your Bitcoins as long as you have this phrase. Why is an "under the hood" topic, just rest assured that all the people you've heard about who lost 2,000 Bitcoins did not do what you just did.
    3. Bitcoin.com is cool enough to send you 5¢ for free so you can see how it works. Go to https://free.bitcoin.com/ and do this.
    4. That's it.
    You can now receive Bitcoin. However you don't have any to spend. If you want to buy Bitcoin with dollars, you will need to work with an exchange. This is where things get slightly messy, because fiat (dollars), is messy. I would recommend coinbase.com. You make an account, and you have to go through their KYC/AML (Know your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering) garbage where they ask you for lots of information about yourself. You did the same thing for lapyap, and this is one of the things that sucks about using these services. Bitcoin doesn't ask any of this of you.

    Another alternative is sell some cigars to other enlightened brothers who want to pay in Bitcoin. Ideally you would never need to use an exchange and could enjoy the simple, clean system that Bitcoin provides. I'm happy to help facilitate getting people up and running if exchanges are not something you want to deal with.

    To receive Bitcoin, you click Receive, copy the address, and send it to the person who wants to send you money. It will look like this: bitcoincash:qz0u2zen2za3r06c825qt6puy0yzs29mcg9sncd7gl or like this
    3NiVu3PguqVatMDVyxc1cY73eYo5EP8aVT You can have an infinite number of these addresses, so don't worry if the next time you do this it is different.

    To send, Bitcoin, click Send, and paste the address you get from the person you want to send money to.

    That's it. Only one more topic to cover and you know everything you will ever need to know to use Bitcoin.
     
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  5. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash. It is unfortunate I need to go into this, but I want you to be empowered to know what is going on so you feel confident using the system.

    Bitcoin was Bitcoin until 2017. At that time it became clear that to grow to support everyone who wanted to use it, some changes were needed. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) split off from Bitcoin, and maintained Bitcoin working the way it always had. Bitcoin (BTC) made a bunch of changes I won't get into, but today, is less secure and has higher fees as a result. I recommend using Bitcoin Cash as it is the best way to send payments to others. As shown in my last post, Bitcoin Cash addresses start with a Q while Bitcoin addresses start with a 1 or a 3.

    That's all you really need to know at a high level to use the system. If you want to know more on this topic, there is a ton out there. I'd recommend starting here: https://www.bitcoin.com/info/bitcoin-cash-is-bitcoin This is purely optional extra reading though.
     
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  6. xFreebirdx

    xFreebirdx Patriot Guard Rider

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    X2
     
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  7. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    It doesn't bother you that they hate you and have a demonstrated history of fucking with your money when they find out what you're doing?
     
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  8. mjones9630

    mjones9630 Who?

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    Thanks for the write up! I'm still not ready to five into that, but having this drawn out like it is helps to get a little better understanding of wtf is going on..
    If more stores/sites used it, I'd be all over it, but just for splits and stuff, I'll have to pass..
     
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  9. admartinct

    admartinct

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    I've used lapyap for hundreds of purchases/sales (unrelated to cigars) for the last 10 years, if you don't add a note to the transaction making mention of what the item is how are they able to know that you're violating any of their policies while using their service?
     
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  10. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    It's gaining in popularity, but to be honest as big a proponent as I am, it just doesn't make sense (yet) to use it over credit cards at retail. It is however the best way to send money to people.

    Eventually, retailers will realize they can give a discount to people using cryptocurrency and still come out ahead (vs. the fees they pay to credit card processors). Then it will make sense to use it at retail also. But I am not aware of any retailers doing that yet, though a lot do accept it.

    I'd encourage you to play around with it if you find it at all interesting. It's fun in addition to being a great tool.
     
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  11. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    Lots of ways. Anything goes wrong, and all bets are off. To me this is analogous to driving without a driver's license; if I never get pulled over why will it ever come into play? The answer is it won't. But if lapyap does start digging into one of your transactions for any number of reasons (complaints, ACH errors, legal concerns), you are at their mercy.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think you're taking a gigantic risk using lapyap, I too have used it for many years and continue to. There is just a better way now, that gives me all of the control, and I'd like to spread the word so I can use it in more places.
     
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  12. Boudie

    Boudie Donor 1

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    Have they addressed the volatility issues of bitcoin? If I get $10 worth of bitcoin for cigars I sell today am I sure I will be able to buy $10 worth of product in the future? How is it pegged to the dollar and other currencies. Does it have an exchange rate or at least a subjective way to translate the value of bitcoin into government currency. I can see how it would be a benefit among friends basically using "clams or tokens" to keep track of their trades among themselves but what happens when the landlord asks for their rent and all you have is clams?
     
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  13. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    Great question. Exchanges maintain the current value of BTC/BCH 24 hours a day. It is very very easy to buy and sell Bitcoins for dollars or dollars for Bitcoins once you are set up. If you want to see the current values, there are tons of sites, including Bitcoin.com (at the top right), Coinbase.com (an exchange), or coinmarketcap.com to see every coin out there. It is very much thought of in terms of values in dollars, no one I know separates it mentally.

    It is less volatile now than it used to be, but I will make no claims that it won't be volatile again. There is no way to "address" the volatility, because it is subject to the free market. It isn't artificially messed with like the US Dollar (there also isn't a government 20 Trillion dollars in Bitcoin debt as a result, but I digress).

    My solution to this is my belief that cryptocurrency will trend upwards over time as adoption increases. I am willing to hold onto it taking the risk that it will go down, for the benefit of it going up. However, if one doesn't want to invest/speculate, and just use it for payments, that is possible too.

    One way to do what it sounds like you want to do would be storing your coins on an exchange. The wallet becomes Coinbase (for example). You can exchange into and out of dollars on demand. There are two downsides to this. First, there is a fee to exchange to and from dollars (this is how the exchange makes their money). Second, you lose control of your coins, since they are on the exchange and not in your personal wallet. Coinbase.com is extremely reputable and has been around for many many years, but the tiny possibility always exists that they will close up shop and leave with everyone's coins. I rate the probability of this happening lower than that of getting messed with by lapyap. Lots and lots of people just keep their coins on Coinbase and use it as their wallet.

    I'll add as an editorial note that all of the "messiness" of Bitcoin comes when you start involving fiat. I get that its a necessary evil of sorts, but if we could get to a point where Bitcoin had value to everyone without involving banks and exchanges and corporations, that's when things would get really cool.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  14. MikeZ37

    MikeZ37

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    Just use zelle. lapyap is trash.
     
  15. Scotchman

    Scotchman

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    Not heard of this one, but it looks the same as Square Cash. Gets away from some of the downsides of lapyap, not all of them. Certainly you don't have control like you do with Bitcoin. But it would be a step in the right direction I suppose.
     
  16. Juice

    Juice Donor 1

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    I’ve got no love for PP as they tried really hard to screw me a number of years ago and subsequently blacklisted me. That being said, I’ll use Venmo or Zelle in a heartbeat before going through the hassle of bitcoin. I just want easy...if I have to pay 2% for convince so be it.
     
  17. ChuckMejia

    ChuckMejia The General Donor 4

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    No, they haven’t done any of that to me. And I don’t think they hate me. I’m a very likable person.

    Also, you’re dealing with tobacco which is highly regulated. You can’t complain about a service when really you’re the one violating the terms.

    Aside from that, lapyap is great and efficient.
     
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  18. Xavier Dredo

    Xavier Dredo

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    All the cool kids use Venmo
     
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  19. irratebass

    irratebass www.blindmanspuff.com

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    I sure like you Chuck :cool:
     
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  20. MikeZ37

    MikeZ37

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    I get the concept of bitcoin being cool because it has the “potential” to lift the dependency on big banks(insert Rothschild family conspiracy here) But that reality is still very far away. And completely unregulated. Zelle is nice for the opposite reasons. because it is the only p2p service backed by almost all the major banks it makes funds transfers and disputes a much simpler process.
     
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