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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Silk Road 2 Loses $2.7M in Alleged Bitcoin Hack

BY CHLOE ALBANESIUS
PC MAGAZINE
FEBRUARY 14, 2014

Bitcoins valued at approximately $2.7 million have gone missing from Silk Road 2, allegedly due to a hack.

Silk Road 2 is the reincarnation of the original Silk Road, an online black market for all things criminal that was shut down by the feds last year. The new site emerged in November and is only accessible to those who have an invite and sign in using the Tor anonymizing service.

But according to a Silk Road administrator known as Defcon, all is not well on the site. In a recent forum post, which was posted online by DeepDotWeb, Defcon said that Silk Road 2 had been hacked and its bitcoins stolen.

"Our initial investigations indicate that a vendor exploited a recently discovered vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol known as 'transaction malleability' to repeatedly withdraw coins from our system until it was completely empty," Defcon wrote.

More: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2453444,00.asp?fullsite=true

Posted on: 2014/2/17 4:02
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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The weakness is in the Bitcoin validation chain, not an individual bank. Every single Bitcoin bank is vulnerable to the same hack.

And a hack of a single bank will not kill half the value of every dollar in the world.

I knew eventually someone would start talking about fiat, as if Bitcoins are anything more than speculative pipe dreams. Gotta love the Austrian fascination psychosis.

Posted on: 2014/2/17 3:55
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Quote:

papadage wrote:
Quote:

immigrationlawyer wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?



Well, like, for example, you are a government, and you want to buy something, - you can just print the money and buy it. After all you control the press. Easy-peasy.



most people aren't the government, though.


one of the great advantages of bitcoin is that it is faster, easier, "less friction", less costly, etc. than currency for all parties involved. That's part of the attraction. Basically the complete opposite of what you're saying.


Right.. even after the last few weeks of news that the payment resolution system is broken and subject to hacking. And this is a flaw in the fundamental system of authenticating transactions.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-n ... -troubles-continue-266646


banks are fiat currency are subject to hacking and counterfeit actors, too. doesn't mean the bitcoin community can't patch it up. no one ever said bitcoin was going to perfect from the get go.

these issues don't disqualify immigrationlawyer's point, either.

Posted on: 2014/2/17 2:50
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Quote:

immigrationlawyer wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?



Well, like, for example, you are a government, and you want to buy something, - you can just print the money and buy it. After all you control the press. Easy-peasy.



most people aren't the government, though.


one of the great advantages of bitcoin is that it is faster, easier, "less friction", less costly, etc. than currency for all parties involved. That's part of the attraction. Basically the complete opposite of what you're saying.


Right.. even after the last few weeks of news that the payment resolution system is broken and subject to hacking. And this is a flaw in the fundamental system of authenticating transactions.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-n ... -troubles-continue-266646

Posted on: 2014/2/16 22:05
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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At Helen?s Pizza in Jersey City, you can buy a slice for 0.00339 bitcoin by pointing your phone at a sign next to the cash register. - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bitco ... html#sthash.ViAB4OPu.dpuf

Posted on: 2014/2/16 19:26
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?



Well, like, for example, you are a government, and you want to buy something, - you can just print the money and buy it. After all you control the press. Easy-peasy.



most people aren't the government, though.


one of the great advantages of bitcoin is that it is faster, easier, "less friction", less costly, etc. than currency for all parties involved. That's part of the attraction. Basically the complete opposite of what you're saying.

Posted on: 2014/2/5 17:39
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Quote:

borisp wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?



Well, like, for example, you are a government, and you want to buy something, - you can just print the money and buy it. After all you control the press. Easy-peasy.



most people aren't the government, though.

Posted on: 2014/2/5 4:54
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Quote:

papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?



Well, like, for example, you are a government, and you want to buy something, - you can just print the money and buy it. After all you control the press. Easy-peasy.


Posted on: 2014/2/5 4:43
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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papadage wrote:
Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.


how so?

Quote:

As for new currencies being easier to mine, that is an argument for abandoning BTC, since mining it is not practical for regular folks... since it costs more electricity to mine than what you can get out of a GPU.



regular folks can buy and sell BTC.. no need to mine it.

Posted on: 2014/2/5 3:59
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Actual currency is always faster and easier, with less friction.

As for new currencies being easier to mine, that is an argument for abandoning BTC, since mining it is not practical for regular folks... since it costs more electricity to mine than what you can get out of a GPU.

As for the Depression, the crash was kept in abeyance for a decent amount of time through expansionary monetary policy up until late 1928. When irrational fears of inflation took over, tightening ensued, and so did the crash.

Posted on: 2014/2/3 5:32
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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papadage wrote:
That is a creative interpretation of history.

The monetary response to the 2007 financial crisis was very different than the reaction to the 1929 crash. Remember, Bernanke has extensively studied the Great Depression, and obviously did not want to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In the Great Depression, the government basically let the banks fail. There were repeated bank runs, which wiped out depositor savings. The Fed raised rates before the 1929 crash, despite the nation recovering from the 1927 recession. Many other nations also raised interest rates, which resulted in a global economic slowdown. The Fed only temporarily loosened the money supply after the crash, and tightened up by 1930.

By 2007, the FDIC was protecting depositors, and coverage was increased. Some banks did fail, but few had bank runs. Rates were low (most likely too low) for years before the financial crisis, and the Fed has kept rates low.


Quote:
Deflation was the issue in the late 20s and was combated by wholesale issuing of currency by buying Treasuries.

Fed actions didn't create the debt deflation. What caused it in 1929 and 2007 was that after years of too-cheap credit, which caused a big speculative bubble, all the lenders were terrified and didn't want to make loans.

There were also non-monetary deflationary pressures.

And again, keep in mind that the US has had almost no deflation since the 1940s.

Posted on: 2014/2/3 4:04
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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People didn't decide to use ASIC miners - the sha algorithm makes mining with this hardware more efficient as the difficulty increases.

More people are switching to other currencies with scrypt issuing algorithms so that they can still use their GPUs.

Issuance and speculation aside, the ease of payment from point to point makes btc a no brainer for merchants especially as purchasing and selling becomes more seemless with less waiting time for coin deposits

Posted on: 2014/2/3 0:37
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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That is a creative interpretation of history.

Deflation was the issue in the late 20s and was combated by wholesale issuing of currency by buying Treasuries. Basically, a predecessor of the current Quantitative Expansion.

It was when this stopped under less enlightened Fed management, because of irrational fear that the currency was being debased, that the Depression got worse.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 22:49
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Since decoupling the dollar from the price of gold, the US largely ended the volatility of the value of the dollar -- which swung from deflation to inflation, and with much higher inflation than anything we've seen in decades.


Pre Federal Reserve, the biggest inflationary period was during the Civil War. The Union went off the gold standard. The end of the Bretton-Woods agreement brought us into an era of double digit inflation as well as stagflation until the early 1980's.

The Gold Standard (the classical standard which was abandoned in 1912) can be deflationary like during the later 1870's when the industrializing economy grew faster than the supply of gold.

Post 1912 you had your choice of money. You could use fiat money (United States Notes), silver (most dollars were silver), Gold / Gold certificates, or Federal Reserve Notes (fractional reserve gold backing only). The gold and silver money put a check on government spending. If people lost faith in the notes because the Fed or the treasury were printing too much, you could fall back on gold or silver. It worked pretty well in the post depression 1920's as we had solid growth with virtually no inflation.


If anyone is curious as to the different types of currency used in the past, click on the link below:

http://www.friesian.com/notes.htm

Posted on: 2014/2/2 21:14
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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I think if customers wanted to use bitcoin, then merchants would use it. I have run a charter boat business out of JC and Weehawken for four years. I would happily accept BTC if one client in four years ever asked if he could remit via virtual currency. It hasn't happened, even though several of our regular customers own large quantities of bitcoin. I don't think think there is much interest in using BTC to purchase regular goods and services - only speculation or when it is required for anonymity reasons.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 20:25
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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And monetary deflation does not bear any resemblence to IT equipment depreciating due to being used and superseded.. except in a strange analogy that has no basis in reality. Money is a store of value. Bitcoins are terrible in that since the value is dominated by speculation. There are more options contracts on BTC than hundreds of times of the BTC actual value.

As for mining, the hash calculation become more difficult with each BTC in circulation. At first, a part time client working on a PC's CPU could be used to mine effectively. Then people switched to GPUs. Then to parallel multi-GPU systems. Then specialized chips (ASICs) custom made to do that one task. At each step, the ability of a regular consumer to "mine" BTC has diminished. Now, mining is controlled by s mall cabal of people who get almost exclusive advance access to the newest hardware, which then gets sold to suckers mionths later, as it is superseded.

BTC is a pipe dream for a lot of IT people I know.. like Linux on the desktop, or the current Steam Machines. It's a reductionist fantasy.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 16:21
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
BTC hasn't been volatile recently..

Meaning what, the past week? ;)


Quote:
and as adoption increases, it should become more stable.

Most of the fluctuation is because of speculators -- which is why the conversion rate soars and crashes based on news items.

Also, if demand for BTC outstrips supply, you'll have deflation. More people chasing BTC = each BTC becomes more valuable = people hoard BTC anticipating future increases in value = deflation.

Roughly 4000 BTC are mined every day, and that's been consistent from the start. If there were no speculators, and demand for Bitcoin increased by more than 4000/day, then it would deflate. When the supply is permanently fixed, the value of BTC will strictly be a function of demand.


Quote:
IT equipment has always undergone deflation and yet, people still buy them.

A Bitcoin is not a piece of equipment. It's a type of scrip.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 13:03
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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papadage wrote:
Might as well try to pay in those weird little gold chips embedded in plastic.

The inflation vigilantes will always be coming for the dollar. In the meantime, BTC swings wildly in price, and its issue is locked up by people who corner the ASIC market early. The ones who have early access to new mining chips will have the advantage as each succeeding Bitcoin is harder to mine.

And then when the last one is mined.. deflation.. The next great depression.


BTC hasn't been volatile recently.. and as adoption increases, it should become more stable.

and what's the issue with mining again?

and why would deflation occur after all of the BTC have been created? IT equipment has always undergone deflation and yet, people still buy them.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 6:40
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Pebble wrote:
I don't see Bitcoin doing much after China's decision to quash it at home. Additionally, what nation would benefit from outsourcing their monetary value?


china hasn't squashed it. and nations don't benefit from bitcoin, users do. that's the point. states have

Posted on: 2014/2/2 6:33
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Might as well try to pay in those weird little gold chips embedded in plastic.

The inflation vigilantes will always be coming for the dollar. In the meantime, BTC swings wildly in price, and its issue is locked up by people who corner the ASIC market early. The ones who have early access to new mining chips will have the advantage as each succeeding Bitcoin is harder to mine.

And then when the last one is mined.. deflation.. The next great depression.

Posted on: 2014/2/2 6:15
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Helens pizza on Newark has a "we accept bit coins" sticker. Anyone try it out there?

Posted on: 2014/2/1 4:25
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Bitpay is signing up 1,000 merchants a week to accept bitcoin and growing 10 fold every year.

Posted on: 2014/2/1 3:24
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Pebble wrote:
I don't see Bitcoin doing much after China's decision to quash it at home. Additionally, what nation would benefit from outsourcing their monetary value?


China's decision to quash is no longer: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101379801.

Posted on: 2014/1/31 20:22
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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I don't see Bitcoin doing much after China's decision to quash it at home. Additionally, what nation would benefit from outsourcing their monetary value?

Posted on: 2014/1/31 20:00
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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bitcoin seems to be stabilizing (which will inevitably happen as more adoption occurs).. and more and more vendors are accepting them

http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-volatility-slows-2014-1


Posted on: 2014/1/30 16:26
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
Sure, the volatility is a problem now, but as more and more vendors accept bitcoin, the price should stabilize.

Unfortunately, I don't think that will be the case. It's the limited supply, combined with speculators jumping in and out, that causes the huge swings in its value.

Without a central authority and with such limited supply, it will always be vulnerable to speculators. I don't think "settling in" will fix it.

Another problem is that if it does "settle down," it will become a deflationary currency (see below).


Quote:
What inflation stats are you using?

Official CPI, which does include food, housing, energy, etc. It's not perfect (nothing could be), but it's quite comprehensive, uniform, well designed, and has lots of samples from across the US. (http://stats.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_7)

It also isn't that difficult to state that the Fed pumping liquidity into a frozen market has helped the recovery -- because not much else has actually been done. The stimulus effort was small and cut short; state and now federal governments cut back spending; tax policy hasn't significantly changed.


Quote:
How does that work {moderate inflation sparks spending]?

It's fairly straightforward.

When the value of a dollar goes down slightly, the average person has an incentive to purchase sooner rather than later. This is because that $30,000 car will cost you the equivalent of $31,500 if you wait a year to purchase it.

It's the inverse of a deflation -- which deepened the Great Depression: You know that the value of a dollar is increasing, so the longer you wait to buy something, the cheaper it is for you. Why buy that $30,000 car today, when a year from now it will cost you $28,500?

We see this with Bitcoin in the short term -- e.g. 1 BTC bought you a hamburger in January 2013, and 100 hamburgers in January 2014, so why on Earth would you buy a burger with it now? As already noted, the only reason to do so is for a transaction that you can't accomplish otherwise -- e.g. buying illegal drugs over the Internet.

If Bitcoin does catch on, we'll also see this in the long term. The supply grows at a fixed rate and will eventually stop growing, but demand would jump up. More demand + fixed supply = an increase in the price. The currency will continue to deflate as demand increases.

In contrast, a centrally managed currency can respond to these kinds of situations. If demand for the dollar starts to rise, and we start seeing deflationary pressures -- as we did in 2009 -- the Fed / government can react by pumping more money into the economy.

Posted on: 2014/1/7 22:34
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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The number of Bitcoins in circulation has been increasing on a regular basis. In the past year, it's gone from roughly 10m to 12m in circulation -- a 20% increase. During that same time, the volume (i.e. value) of transactions has stayed the same, if not dropped. (A little more info, and another measure, is here: http://qz.com/72118/yes-people-are-hoarding-bitcoins/)


Not sure where your data on transaction volume is coming from. Probably the best metric is this one, which multiplies the usd price by the bitcoin transaction volume to estimate the amount of value being moved around with bitcoin:

https://blockchain.info/charts/estimat ... der=true&scale=0&address=

But even the raw number of transactions count shows increases over time:

https://blockchain.info/charts/n-trans ... span=all&scale=0&address=

If you want to get a tangible sense of how much bitcoin moves around in real time, try bitcoinmonitor.com or my favorite, www.listentobitcoin.com


Quote:

Hoarding is also a natural reaction to the kind of deflationary and speculative cycles we've seen over the past year. Anyone who bought a burger with 1 BTC last December is kicking themselves, since that same BTC is worth $1000 instead of $10. Unless you are jumping into the currency for an immediate transaction (e.g. you buy 0.1 BTC to purchase cocaine via the Internet 5 minutes later), or you believe it's in a bubble that's about to burst, it's highly irrational to spend BTC right now.


Unless your net worth is already 90% in bitcoin, in which case you might be looking to diversify.

I have a friend who has no bank account, only bitcoin. He sells a little each month for cash to pay his rent and buy groceries. He doesn't have the luxury of deciding not to sell.

Posted on: 2014/1/7 4:54
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Since BTC can lose 50% of its value in a single day, accepting BTC could easily result in losses for the retailer. Just waiting a few hours for a currency conversion could cost you far more than a credit card transaction fee.


That's why most retailers who accept bitcoin do so via a payment processor, such as bitpay.com. In exchange for a small fee (less than credit cards or paypal), the payment processor assumes all intraday volatility risk and pays the merchant out in USD at the end of the day. You can continue to price your goods in USD and treat BTC like any other payment network (while enjoying the benefits of lower transaction fees & no chargebacks).

I actually think now is an excellent time for savvy businesses to start taking bitcoin; it's well-enough known that it's not insanely strange to the public, while still early enough that you can get a little publicity boost from the media just for starting to accept them.

Posted on: 2014/1/7 4:23
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

thor800 wrote:
The nature of bitcoin software is that new btc issuance is specifically based on controlled protocol....

Yes, I'm well aware of how it works. The inability to control the supply is part of the problem. For example, at the moment demand (by speculators, mostly) is vastly outstripping supply, which results in deflationary pressures and these rapid boom-and-bust cycles.

Right now, 2 BTC pays your entire rent one month, and half your rent the next month, and then 3/4 of your rent on the next day. This is encouraging for speculative investors who think they can beat the market, and terrible for use as an actual currency.


Sure, the volatility is a problem now, but as more and more vendors accept bitcoin, the price should stabilize. Bitcoin is still only a few years old and has only been in the mainstream press for a few months now. It might just need time to settle in.

Quote:
Days of the Volcker fed are way in the past (i.e. Bernanke's secret 16 trillion dollar 0% interest loans).

Inflation has been below average during Bernanke's term. Again, it was only 2.1% in 2012, and will probably be around 1.5% for 2013. The average is around 3.5%.[/quote]

What inflation stats are you using? Inflation of core items - food/housing/energy/education/medical has assuredly risen much more than that.

Quote:

We're in a liquidity trap, and the recession / slow recovery has caused all sorts of deflationary pressures. That's why the Fed's policies haven't caused massive inflation.


I'd argue we've already undergone significant inflation, which hurts the poor the worst.

Quote:
In fact, the Fed policies are one of the things that prevented the recession from slipping into a depression.


Tough to prove.

Quote:

It should also be noted that moderate inflation -- around 5% -- can actually be beneficial for the economy, as it encourages people to spend.


How does that work?



Posted on: 2014/1/7 4:02
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Re: JC business accepting bitcoin
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Trade btc on all 5 exchanges: http://www.btxtrader.com/.

Posted on: 2014/1/7 1:46
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