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Edited 7 months, 22 days ago

Poll: Any duders get rich off bitcoin? (366 votes)

I had bitcoins and completely cashed out 3%
I have bitcoins and partially cashed out 0%
I have bitcoins and plan to hold them 2%
I have bitcoins and am trying to use tehm as legitimate currency 1%
I have never had bitcoins 66%
What's a bitcoin 14%
Why can't you remove answers from polls 14%
#1 Edited by erhard (388 posts) -

I have had bitcoins in the past, which I spent. Probably should have bought some more.

#2 Edited by TooWalrus (13136 posts) -

Coulda shoulda woulda.

#3 Posted by Humanity (8809 posts) -

I remember when Bitcoins were a huge joke. They still kinda are, albeit a profitable joke in this shortlived .com bubble.

#4 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

Fucking 2009, where was I?

#5 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I made some money off of them when I sold but nothing like what I could have if I waited, oh well.

#6 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

I don't support Whoopi Goldberg so no.

#8 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6287 posts) -

Had some, did OK, but ultimately cashed out earlier this year because I'm a pussy.

#9 Posted by Jimbo (9772 posts) -

So I guess Jeff is a billionaire now.

Thanks Jeff.

#10 Posted by DeadpanCakes (795 posts) -

@animasta said:

I don't support Whoopi Goldberg so no.

Oh god, that Wikipedia video was fantastic, I hafta go back and listen to it again. It's a shame Jimmy Wales never made it. It would have been great to see him discuss the intricacies of the internet with the one and only Fresh Prince.

#11 Posted by Yummylee (21250 posts) -

Wait... so bitcoins are real?? I thought they were what you call the coins in Mario games or whatever the Hell O_o

Online
#12 Posted by DFL017 (115 posts) -
#13 Posted by minivan (173 posts) -

Had some, did OK, but ultimately cashed out earlier this year because I'm a pussy.

It's incredibly volatile. I consider my decision not to purchase any (yet) a good decision.

#14 Posted by DeadpanCakes (795 posts) -
#15 Posted by DFL017 (115 posts) -
#16 Posted by fajitamonster (5 posts) -

I didn't get rich, but I got a lot of drugs, illegal weapons, and sandwiches in San Francisco.

#17 Posted by pyrodactyl (1884 posts) -

@minivan: if you bought $5 worth of bitcoins 5 years ago you would be sitting on 10 to 100 grand. Do you regret your decision now?

#18 Posted by Xeiphyer (5594 posts) -

I've got some mining contracts going right now, so far made about $300 profit, and will probably come out ahead something like $3500 by next September at current market price. Hoping the price keeps on going up though!

I sure wish I had bought a ton of BTC back when they were new. Back when 10,000 BTC bought a guy a pizza.

#19 Posted by BaneFireLord (2909 posts) -
#20 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5229 posts) -

I've played most of the Mario games and I didn't make a goddamn cent from collecting all the bitcoins.

#21 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6287 posts) -

@minivan said:

@everyones_a_critic said:

Had some, did OK, but ultimately cashed out earlier this year because I'm a pussy.

It's incredibly volatile. I consider my decision not to purchase any (yet) a good decision.

You're right, but when you paid $120 a coin on average just a few months ago and see that it's risen to over $1,000 a coin in the present it's a much more bitter pill to swallow...

#22 Posted by MB (11976 posts) -

I've got just under 4 "leftover" btc that I paid around $30 each for still sitting in my wallet. I forgot about them until the recent media coverage about how high the valuation has gotten on these things...it's not going to make me rich but I should probably liquidate them soon.

Moderator
#23 Posted by Khann (2783 posts) -

I've dabbled a bit in this crypto-currency world. My primary purchase was a good amount of Litecoins (an "alt" coin, very similar to Bitcoin) back in March. I paid around $0.80 each for roughly 2000 of them. For the most part, I just let them sit, waiting on some news that I was expecting, but I played around with them a bit. Come November I was sitting on around 1500.

3 weeks ago I decided I'd had enough, and cashed out with something around 300-400% profit (Litecoins were worth roughly $3-4 when I sold them). I was pretty damn pleased with that overall.

However, as some of you may know, Litecoin has jumped in the last few weeks, and is now worth around $35 (peaked at $41-42). So after something like 8 months of patiently waiting, I was 2-3 weeks short of making $50,000+ from my $1500ish investment.

Ah well. That seems to be the story with crypto-currency in regards to actually making money from them. Right place, right time, and you're golden.

#24 Posted by NegativeCero (2976 posts) -

I haven't followed bitcoins since it kind of got traction in the news. At the time, I heard that they were a risky investment because their prices would fluctuate heavily. Is that still true?

#25 Edited by Khann (2783 posts) -

@negativecero: Yes, they are extremely volatile. That means there is a big risk for investing, but also a huge potential return. That is part of the reason I ended up cashing out. I was spending way too much time watching charts and just feeling extremely stressed out in general, and in the end I decided it just wasn't worth it.

I can't imagine doing something like that for a living.

#26 Posted by Hunter5024 (5542 posts) -

Might as well be gambling.

#27 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

I remember when the bitcoin market crashed after the Silk Road got shut down. That was pretty funny.

#28 Edited by Khann (2783 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I remember when the bitcoin market crashed after the Silk Road got shut down. That was pretty funny.

Well that didn't actually happen, so that's an odd memory you have there. There was a bit of a dip in price for about a day, but nothing even close to a crash.

#29 Posted by Hailinel (23891 posts) -

@khann said:

@hailinel said:

I remember when the bitcoin market crashed after the Silk Road got shut down. That was pretty funny.

Well that didn't actually happen, so that's an odd memory you have there. There was a bit of a dip in price for about a day, but nothing even close to a crash.

Eh, close enough. Still funny that one (amazingly illegal) marketplace going down was all it took to give the bitcoin market palpitations.

#30 Edited by Khann (2783 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@khann said:

@hailinel said:

I remember when the bitcoin market crashed after the Silk Road got shut down. That was pretty funny.

Well that didn't actually happen, so that's an odd memory you have there. There was a bit of a dip in price for about a day, but nothing even close to a crash.

Eh, close enough. Still funny that one (amazingly illegal) marketplace going down was all it took to give the bitcoin market palpitations.

Yeah it can go up and down very quickly. The overall trend is still definitively upwards, though. Really you just need to not freak out when it drops (or buy on the drop) and you are more or less guaranteed to make money. For the moment, anyway.

#31 Edited by Raineko (433 posts) -

Made like $10k already with BTC and still holding onto them and buying more. I am 100% sure the longer we wait and the more people adopt it, the higher the price is gonna get (not in a linear way, but rather in spikes). There are not enough coins for every person on the planet. It wouldn't surprise me if in a few years 1 BTC is worth several 10s of thousands.

If India and China both go all in, things will get serious.

#32 Edited by golguin (3843 posts) -

I'm not totally sure how someone even takes ownership of a bitcoin. How does the data exist and is it tied to the hardware it currently resides in? I just read the story of James Howell and how he threw away a hard drive that contained 7,500 bitcoins. Could he have backed up the data on multiple hard drive to make sure he always had the data for the bitcoins? I read that passwords are involved and that a private key is the way to make sure you maintain ownership.

Can someone explain it to me?

#33 Posted by ZolRoyce (630 posts) -

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

Same, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this stuff, is it that people spent real money to buy fake money, but now that fake money is worth a lot of real money because... some people said so? That pretty much feels like what is going on and I don't get it at all, the internet is freaking weird.

I mean, kudos to people who get this whole thing and made money off of internet coins but it's all really weird/stupid to me.

#34 Posted by gkhan (417 posts) -

@golguin said:

I'm not totally sure how someone even takes ownership of a bitcoin. How does the data exist and is it tied to the hardware it currently resides in? I just read the story of James Howell and how he threw away a hard drive that contained 7,500 bitcoins. Could he have backed up the data on multiple hard drive to make sure he always had the data for the bitcoins? I read that passwords are involved and that a private key is the way to make sure you maintain ownership.

Can someone explain it to me?

Basically, the bitcoin network contains a sort-of ledger that's distributed between all participants in the network. Say you have a bitcoin, and you wish to give it to your friend. In order to do that, you have to register with the ledger that you wish to transfer that bitcoin. In order to register that transfer, you need to use a private key that only you know about (the principle here is identical to public key cryptography, which you can look up on wikipedia for more information).

Those bitcoins that guy lost still exists. They're registered in the massive, distributed bitcoin ledger to his account, whatever it was. But since he lost that hard drive, he lost his private key, so he can't do anything with them. It's like having a million dollars locked up in a safe you can never open.

So yes, if he'd backed up his hard-drive, he'd still have his private key, and thus access to all his bitcoins.

#35 Edited by Khann (2783 posts) -

@golguin said:

I'm not totally sure how someone even takes ownership of a bitcoin. How does the data exist and is it tied to the hardware it currently resides in? I just read the story of James Howell and how he threw away a hard drive that contained 7,500 bitcoins. Could he have backed up the data on multiple hard drive to make sure he always had the data for the bitcoins? I read that passwords are involved and that a private key is the way to make sure you maintain ownership.

Can someone explain it to me?

You keep your coins in a "wallet", which can contain any number of addresses which hold the coins. For the standard Bitcoin client, this is just a file called "wallet.dat" on your hard drive. If you lose that, you lose all the coins in it. You can back this file up however you like. You can also encrypt it through the standard client. It isn't tied to hardware at all, it can be used on any computer.

The standard client is far from the only way to have a wallet, though. "Paper wallets" are by far the most secure wallets there are (if created correctly). These are created on an offline machine in a number of ways, with the Bitcoin Armory client being one of the most common. They are literally a piece of paper with an address and private key written on them. There are online wallets as well (Blockchain being the most prominent). It's all a little overwhelming to start with.

I think the wallet is basically a store of addresses and private keys, and the private keys are what tells the Bitcoin network that you are the owner of the addresses and that you are allowed to send the coins from those addresses. That said, I kinda have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to the technology of Bitcoin, so take that for what it's worth. You should probably get that information from someone else.

Honestly, as long as you learn to back up your wallet securely, you don't need to know most of this stuff.... though it can certainly never hurt if you want to make sure you're doing everything right.

#36 Edited by joshwent (2113 posts) -

@zolroyce said:

@oldirtybearon said:

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

Same, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this stuff, is it that people spent real money to buy fake money, but now that fake money is worth a lot of real money because... some people said so? That pretty much feels like what is going on and I don't get it at all, the internet is freaking weird.

I mean, kudos to people who get this whole thing and made money off of internet coins but it's all really weird/stupid to me.

Once you understand that all fiat currency (like the paper you probably have in your pocket) is "fake" money, it'll start to make more sense.

@hailinel said:
@khann said:
@hailinel said:

I remember when the bitcoin market crashed after the Silk Road got shut down. That was pretty funny.

Well that didn't actually happen, so that's an odd memory you have there. There was a bit of a dip in price for about a day, but nothing even close to a crash.

Eh, close enough. Still funny that one (amazingly illegal) marketplace going down was all it took to give the bitcoin market palpitations.

But you have to realize that this is entirely because the options to exchange Bitcoin as a currency is vastly limited. Because of its inherently untraceable nature, Bitcoin has been accepted as a medium of exchange for illegal things far faster than for legal transactions, so when an illegal marketplace is disrupted, the value of the currency is affected. Were Bitcoin accepted in as many legal transactions as dollars, something like the Silk Road going down would cause no change.

Consider the billions of dollars a year seized by the ATF and DEA and illegitimate businesses shun down in the drug war. The value of the dollar remains unaffected simply because it's used in much wider markets. It's also the main concept behind the Euro. A wider market of exchange inherently stabilizes a currency.

#37 Edited by ExiledVip3r (79 posts) -

I bought 6 bitcoins over the course of 1 night for about 110 dollars each. I was very drunk and suddenly convinced it was a great idea and kept telling myself "fuck it, buy some more!" I had spent most of the money in my bank account that night, but payday was right around the corner, and it would've taken 2 weeks to cash them back out anyway. So I decided to hold onto them and see what might come of it and even bought 3 more (entirely sober) later when they were starting to gradually raise around 150.

I cashed out completely when Bitcoins hit 400 dollars a week or two ago, thinking they would crash back down to the 100's any day now. Made a pretty damned good amount of money for the little I drunkenly invested, so hard to be bitter about any of it, but also sucks to see how much higher it is now and wish I hadn't held out just a little bit longer, and even harder to jump back in with how volatile it seems right now.

I'd like to say the morale of the story is "Don't make major monetary decisions while intoxicated" but I'm finding that a hard lesson to conclude after making the amount I did.

#38 Edited by Raineko (433 posts) -

@zolroyce said:

@oldirtybearon said:

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

Same, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this stuff, is it that people spent real money to buy fake money, but now that fake money is worth a lot of real money because... some people said so? That pretty much feels like what is going on and I don't get it at all, the internet is freaking weird.

I mean, kudos to people who get this whole thing and made money off of internet coins but it's all really weird/stupid to me.

It's not as complex as it might seem, it's just such a new concept that many people have to learn how it works first.

Bitcoins have value because people see a lot of use in them as a digital currency. You can send millions of dollars to the other side of the earth with tiny fees without any other authority even knowing about it and the process is extremely fast.

I would recommend to everyone to at least get some small fractions of BTC for the future, the more mainstream this becomes, the more valuable it's gonna become. And you don't necessarily have to understand every technical detail about them to use them.

#39 Posted by golguin (3843 posts) -

@raineko said:

@zolroyce said:

@oldirtybearon said:

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

Same, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this stuff, is it that people spent real money to buy fake money, but now that fake money is worth a lot of real money because... some people said so? That pretty much feels like what is going on and I don't get it at all, the internet is freaking weird.

I mean, kudos to people who get this whole thing and made money off of internet coins but it's all really weird/stupid to me.

It's not as complex as it might seem, it's just such a new concept that many people have to learn how it works first.

Bitcoins have value because people see a lot of use in them as a digital currency. You can send millions of dollars to the other side of the earth with tiny fees without any other authority even knowing about it and the process is extremely fast.

I would recommend to everyone to at least get some small fractions of BTC for the future, the more mainstream this becomes, the more valuable it's gonna become. And you don't necessarily have to understand every technical detail about them to use them.

A fraction of bitcoin? I thought they came in single units like I have 5 bitcoins or she has 12 bitcoins.

#40 Edited by Snail (8580 posts) -

@animasta said:

I don't support Whoopi Goldberg so no.

Oh god, that Wikipedia video was fantastic, I hafta go back and listen to it again. It's a shame Jimmy Wales never made it. It would have been great to see him discuss the intricacies of the internet with the one and only Fresh Prince.

Wait, what are you talking about?

#41 Posted by johncallahan (542 posts) -

Where/how does one buy bitcoins? I'm a prospector type and willing to potentially destroy my financial situation for a thrill!

#42 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

Where/how does one buy bitcoins? I'm a prospector type and willing to potentially destroy my financial situation for a thrill!

google it

#43 Edited by 49th (2691 posts) -

I remember when Bitcoin launched... I was young and didn't really understand what it was. I considered starting to mine them but never bothered... I fucking regret that so much.

#44 Posted by Raineko (433 posts) -

@golguin said:

@raineko said:

@zolroyce said:

@oldirtybearon said:

I've heard of bitcoins and still have no goddamn clue what they are or why/if they exist.

Same, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this stuff, is it that people spent real money to buy fake money, but now that fake money is worth a lot of real money because... some people said so? That pretty much feels like what is going on and I don't get it at all, the internet is freaking weird.

I mean, kudos to people who get this whole thing and made money off of internet coins but it's all really weird/stupid to me.

It's not as complex as it might seem, it's just such a new concept that many people have to learn how it works first.

Bitcoins have value because people see a lot of use in them as a digital currency. You can send millions of dollars to the other side of the earth with tiny fees without any other authority even knowing about it and the process is extremely fast.

I would recommend to everyone to at least get some small fractions of BTC for the future, the more mainstream this becomes, the more valuable it's gonna become. And you don't necessarily have to understand every technical detail about them to use them.

A fraction of bitcoin? I thought they came in single units like I have 5 bitcoins or she has 12 bitcoins.

You can own tiny fractions of BTC, like 0.0001 or something. If you could only trade with full BTC, at some point there wouldn't be enough for everyone.

Where/how does one buy bitcoins? I'm a prospector type and willing to potentially destroy my financial situation for a thrill!

You can buy them from people personally or at exchanges like MtGox.com or Kraken.com.

#45 Edited by Stimpack (813 posts) -

@49th: You were young like... 3 years ago?

#46 Posted by avantegardener (1108 posts) -

I was aware of this bitcoins early enough digital lala land, never did try and mine any... another golden opportunity missed :) I might seriously consider buying some though, It might not be too late for them to be a good investment.

#47 Edited by TowerSixteen (542 posts) -

I don't gamble.

Also, isn't this bad for bitcoin? Stability is the mark of a healthy currency.

#48 Posted by 49th (2691 posts) -

@stimpack: Well I was 17, I thought Bitcoin had been around longer. I still didn't understand what it was back then.

#49 Edited by Blomakrans (148 posts) -

So all of this sounds really interesting, but how do I actually buy bitcoin? And do I have to have some client program to store them?

Edit: Sorry, hadn't refreshed in a while.

#50 Edited by believer258 (11634 posts) -

I actually don't know what the fuck a bitcoin is. I've heard the term, but I've largely ignored it.

Off to Wikipedia I go!

EDIT: Oh, OK, I get it. It's just digital currency that you buy with real-world currency and then pay for things with.