Buying Bitcoins in China

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  • #29666
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Just seems like a big hassle to me.

    It is a big hassle. I spoke to someone in Beijing yesterday who told me that you can buy Bitcoins in person with cash in Beijing and Shanghai, though.

    edit: here’s the Reddit post by the guy that I spoke to, who purchased coffee in Beijing using Bitcoins: I just used bitcoin to buy coffee in Beijing

    #29674
    JerrySJerryS
    Participant

    No regulatory body to oversee this, i say this hoopla isnt worth it.

    Since the prices are skyrocketing, i say the speculators are now in the game, which are making things more inflated than for whats it worth.

    Since money transaction can be changed anonymously, the fear of ‘dirty’ money in bitcoins could be an issue, that could hamper bitcoins future… Gee wonder why the prices soared soo high in less than a few weeks…

    Here are some other risks. As for an investment, i would not advise this, but to transfer money to one account and another, sure that is probably an option.

    #29677
    Nele
    Participant

    They said that about Google (being a bubble).

    But definitely a huge hassle getting BTCs. It makes it hard for the speculators amongst us too.

    Anyways, there are always risks to everything. Comes down to foresight, luck, right time right place. The currency is built in such a way that it will stabilize with only a certain number of currency eventually in existence, making it definitely one of the more interesting inventions to take gamble with. The way I see it, is that we should look into the next big crypto currency that will grow to supplement Bitcoins, which I think will be Litecoins (although theres a notorious speculator in Litecoins already, known under Fontas). Im up for experiementing.

    #29678
    Jonatan
    Participant

    In my opinion the reason for the current amazing skyrocketing behavior is not because of the speculators (at least not only), but because more and more common people are getting to know about bitcoins and using it as an investment (also all the Russians who got their money out of Cyprus had to put it somewhere else… lol).

    #29679
    les
    Participant

    No doubt this is an interesting concept though i would have to second @JerryS. Maybe an alternative route to move money but not something i would go long on. Not sure i would call it a bubble but is absolutely volatile (noted last week quote at 92 bucks before cyprus and then hit 147 intraday before settling down to high 130’s – all of this within one 48-hour period).

    #29680
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    The world needs a decentralized currency that cannot be controlled by national governments, who manipulate currency values to suit their own agendas. The overall effect that the internet has had on the world is to destabilize the established positions of power, and that has slowly been happening to dozens of industries and sections of society – information, education, government, manufacturing, and now we’re in the early stages of finance and currency.

    Bitcoin means that the market actually controls the value of the currency because it cannot be regulated, and no one can add new supply to the currency since that is controlled and automated to ensure stability.

    That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a bubble, or that the price of Bitcoins will collapse, because that could happen. But the future for cryptocurrency in general – money that cannot be seized and manipulated by national governments – is very real and will only grow. Especially if we are actually moving towards another, larger financial crash which has been predicted by many, like Peter Schiff (who was one of the few who correctly predicted the 2008 US housing crash). His belief is that the dollar will ultimately be doomed by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve constantly adding to the money supply, inflating the currency, and running a growing trade deficit along with government expenditures that are too high. The highest investment rate we can afford right now (in the US) is 0%, which means there aren’t a lot of great places to keep your money. Bitcoin, for now, seems to be a safe place for Europeans to store their money, and as time passes it could gain more trust (and value) as other world currencies face the same threat of government seizure or devaluation.

    #29682
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    In my opinion the reason for the current amazing skyrocketing behavior is not because of the speculators (at least not only), but because more and more common people are getting to know about bitcoins and using it as an investment (also all the Russians who got their money out of Cyprus had to put it somewhere else… lol).

    This is absolutely true. The more the value of BTC rises, the more press and attention it gets, the more people purchase bitcoins, the more the value rises, and the cycle repeats.

    #29683
    JerrySJerryS
    Participant

    Bitcoin as a safe have ‘currency’ is wrong on every level. There is no track record for bitcoin and since prices are fluctuating like crazy over the past few weeks, i would not hedge with it bitcoin.

    Prices increase on all goods and services due to supply and demand (basic econ here). So prices for BC increases due to high demand and little supply, which can be seen as the result for the past few weeks.

    The fear is that there is no regulating body for BC or centralized ‘bank’ for protection. Many investment firms that are FDIC in the US, which accounts are protected if anything were to go wrong. With BC, it’s ‘in your BC wallet’ or some hard drive with source codes. As a consumer, i would like to know where my money is housed and see if there is any protection on my investments. I am not saying BC is like buying a penny stock, where if the stock does a reverse split or goes to 0, there is no saftey net.

    As for currency haven, then look at currencies and see how they fluctuate. Before i took a big hit on my account, CAD was doing extremely well vs all currency. Heck even the Yuan is appreciating now. Currencies can be manipulated, but overtime they will go to the prices where their economy dictates. A currency is only as strong as it’s country. BC as a currency haven.. I wont hedge with it. There is no real substance with BC and most of the people who advocate it for long term does not have trading experience or investment.

    #29684
    Nele
    Participant

    Here is a link to an website discussing Bitcoins, including the risks and its future, very objectively:

    https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

    #29685
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    I will play the devil’s advocate here…

    Quote:
    Bitcoin as a safe have ‘currency’ is wrong on every level. There is no track record for bitcoin and since prices are fluctuating like crazy over the past few weeks, i would not hedge with it bitcoin.

    Fluctuation means that prices rise and fall irregularly. The price of Bitcoins is only going up, and at a staggering rate. That means, if you get out before it crashes (if it crashes), or if the currency has a real lifespan, it could be considered a real investment. People are making millions right now: link.

    Quote:
    So prices for BC increases due to high demand and little supply, which can be seen as the result for the past few weeks.

    This is one of the strengths of the currency – it cannot be devalued by increasing the money supply like physical currencies which can be printed by a central government.

    Quote:
    The fear is that there is no regulating body for BC or centralized ‘bank’ for protection. Many investment firms that are FDIC in the US, which accounts are protected if anything were to go wrong.

    The entire idea behind BTC is that we’re beyond the point where we can trust central banks, because they are highly susceptible to corruption because they are controlled by politicians and people with their own agendas. People in Cyprus thought their money was completely safe, too.

    Also, FDIC insurance doesn’t protect any of us from inflation, which is the same thing as having your money stolen. There is no real protection, or security. Central governments devalue the currency by adding more money to the pool, which is a temporary solution to their debts which obviously leads to an eventual crisis in solvency.

    Quote:
    There is no real substance with BC and most of the people who advocate it for long term does not have trading experience or investment.

    I think many qualified financial experts would disagree with you on that. Although I don’t work in the finance industry, I have been discussing bitcoin with a family friend who is a banker in Frankfurt and he is quite keen on bitcoin and very confident that the Euro is facing either very dark times, or its outright dissolution.

    #29686
    les
    Participant

    Good comments @JerryS. I additionally ask who is to say that this is free from government manipulation? Today, most bc transactions are settled in some form of fiat (goods and services transferred are not the norm yet) and since this is a peer-to-peer transaction, who are the participants in this market currently? Bad guys trying to hide money from government?…governments trying to drive the price of bc’s up to maintain their fiat? or average joe getting his face ripped off?

    #29688
    les
    Participant

    …btw, yet to be ascertained is who or what Satoshi Nakamoto is. When a brilliant technology/idea is introduced to the world, it seems strange that they use pseudonyms and disappear.

    #29691
    JerrySJerryS
    Participant

    Inflation is always an issue, which is a problem with every country in the world, there is no way around it. If looking for a safe haven for your money, why not put it in commodities? Currencies always fail but commodities are always a good trade during times of turmoil.

    Yet even if inflation is an issue, no way in hell it is as bad as the late 20’s (Crash of 1929). Inflation was so terrible that a loaf of bread cost a fortune. Putting all one’s money in BC just because of inflation worries is worrisome in itself. BC is relatively new and no track record to see the average price for hours/days/weeks/quarters/years ect ect.

    As for Central Banks, there is a track record. Sure they can pump out new money into their respective countries, they do that to keep the economy going. They do know the realities of inflation, which most federal reserves will try balance inflation and interest rates which will try spur growth. Of course there could be recourse, such as hyper-inflation, but i highly doubt most credited Central banks and fed reserves will do something like pump money/notes into an economy just for fuck sakes (see Zimbabwe 2005).

    So fears with USD going to crap is also crazy thinking. The USD is the preferred currency and is the most traded currency in the world. But swapping USD to another currency is ideal during times of uncertainty, which is why certain medal commodities are skyrocketing (or was). Yet if looking for a safe haven and investment opportunities are two separate ideals. Euro is going to the crapper, every ‘average joe’ investor knows this and also every European as well.

    If looking for safe haven, why not have all your money with a credited online trading firm that deals with currencies? You can always change your currency to any that you desire. If USD is crapping out, find a currency that is strong then switch it back to USD once price stabilizes?

    If looking for safe haven/investment opportunities, why not put all one’s USD into Yuan/RMB? A bud of mines says there is a GUARANTEE of 8% interest rate when investing in the Yuan! The US’s interest rates are about… 1-3%?

    Investment opportunities are always going to be out there, there will be those who makes millions who got into the ‘stock’ at an early stage (i remember seeing an account worth 10s of millions.. All from a penny stock trade), has BC ship sailed and will it ‘skyrocket’ as many people predicts? Just like the Internet bubble and housing bubble? The only difference between those bubbles is that BC is targeted to those who does not have large sums of money or ‘avg Joes.’

    As what i stated in my original post, ill use BC just to transfer money from one account to another, long term trades.. I would not advise it. Just another bubble.

    Just an edit note: Euro and Yuan are closely related. For interests of China, they do not want to see the Euro shit out anytime soon, which China has lending power to keep a country afloat if need be. Eventually they will go to crap, just have to wait. If you want to invest, then find the right time to put it against the Euro at a good margin rate youll see profits soar!

    #29695
    MargusMargus
    Participant

    In fact, betting on fiat currencies is a game rather for big players (from central banks to the biggest hedge funds) not for middle class citizens.

    There is a currency war every single day:

    http://www.marketplace.org/tags/global-currency-war

    #29696
    7
    Participant

    Well, just for fun I have created a wallet (a few of them actually), but they are all sitting empty. I looked into mining and joining a pool since I leave my PC running 24/7 anyway, but that’s even more painful than trying to buy them. It seems like every miner client I would try would be flagged as a trojan or some other type of malware so I don’t think I’ll be trying that.

    If anyone wants to give some away or sell for RMB or USD let me know (though I doubt I’d buy any at the going prices). 😉

    #29703
    BrendanBrendan
    Moderator

    I’ve only skated over this whole Bitcoin thing, and to me it looks like one big manipulation game that could fall on it’s arse in a snap. Your money would be safer swapping between currencies like the U.S. and Canadian dollar. Not a get rich quick scheme, but a sure and solid way to edge interest.

    #29724
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Inflation is always an issue, which is a problem with every country in the world, there is no way around it. If looking for a safe haven for your money, why not put it in commodities? Currencies always fail but commodities are always a good trade during times of turmoil.

    The way around inflation is to invest in things that cannot be artificially produced, like precious metal and now bitcoin. Gold, for example, is a hedge against inflation.

    Quote:
    Yet even if inflation is an issue, no way in hell it is as bad as the late 20’s (Crash of 1929). Inflation was so terrible that a loaf of bread cost a fortune. Putting all one’s money in BC just because of inflation worries is worrisome in itself. BC is relatively new and no track record to see the average price for hours/days/weeks/quarters/years ect ect.

    A few things here: firstly, no one said that inflation is at 1929 levels, nor that putting all your money into bitcoin is a good idea. Those would both be ridiculous suggestions. But inflation does pose a very real threat to the long term value of the US dollar and I believe that you are misinformed if you believe that the US dollar has a secure future. Before the 2008 crash, pundits said that those who foresaw a housing crisis were paranoid and delusional. Honestly, do you think our economy, based on the US dollar, is in a better position now? Our “too big to fail” banks are bigger than before and have learned nothing, our trade deficit is even less favorable, and our entitlements are just as large and threatening. Municipalities are going broke and the fed is printing money to pay its bills, sending us further into debt. If you think this isn’t a legitimate threat to the US economy or the US dollar as a reserve currency, I don’t know what else to say, but I suggest you read The Real Crash or Currency Wars by James Rickards.

    #29728
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    …. Guys. The total value of bitcoins in the world is so low that it’s WAY too open to massive manipulation, even with a relatively small sum of money, to bet your savings on. It’s something that may establish itself, in a very long time, but I’d wager that as the first real player of its type – it wont be the final product we use in the future. I’d be VERY cautious about getting overly invested in bitcoin and learn a lot more about finance rather than just the technology…to me, it’s a fun hobby – absolutely not a retirement plan.

    #29769
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    The total value of bitcoins in the world is so low that it’s WAY too open to massive manipulation, even with a relatively small sum of money, to bet your savings on.

    Quote:
    to me, it’s a fun hobby – absolutely not a retirement plan.

    I don’t think that statements like “betting your life savings on Bitcoin is a bad idea” is any kind of legitimate criticism of the currency since no one in their right mind would suggest that. It is inherently risky, as pretty much anyone will tell you. However along with that risk comes the opportunity to make a lot of money by actually saving, which will get you nowhere with most world currencies that are afflicted by inflation and low or non-existant interest rates.

    I read this article this morning, which I recommend: What Bitcoin is Teaching Us. It offers a fair comparison between our traditional idea of currency (including elements of central control like inflation and FDIC insurance) and how Bitcoin is different and better. A crucial distinction is that Bitcoin cannot be seized by corrupt governments. Not only did Cyprus believe that their money was protected, but even the US has a terrible history of defending the savings of its people, not only because of the Greenspan era of economics which destroyed the idea of saving and created a consumerist economy, but that even investments considered safe like gold haven’t always been that way in the 20th century United States.

    Edit: I also saw this video on Vimeo which is the best explanation of Bitcoin that I’ve seen so far:

    #29770
    7
    Participant

    Out of curiosity, I did open an account with Coinbase since they will let you fund your purchase with an ACH transfer. However, when you try to buy you get a message:

    “Note! We’ve exceeded our normal buy limits for today. If you would still like to purchase you will receive the market price of bitcoin on Monday Apr 15, 2013 at 08:09PM PDT after your funds have arrived.”

    I can’t imagine having to buy via a market order placed 6 days in advance.

    Also, the current cost is just over $230. I’m guessing (an almost completely uneducated guess mind you) that it will crash before or around $300.

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