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I am very interested in this idea. Fundamentally though, if these coins are simply used to buy more stuff (videogames, alpaca socks...), how does this help with buying necessities or help the poor for their basic goods?

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Why couldn't they buy food? It's up to the company if they are willing to take a alternate currency.
The more people the have bitcoins, the more reason for places to start accepting this form of payment.

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Consider bitcoin to be more like Gold than a credit card. You can't easily spend Gold at your local store either, but Gold has enduring value. Bitcoin grows in value greater than Gold because it not only is a store of value (that resists fiat devaluation) but it also has an intrinsic value of greater future convenience than a credit card. Eventually the average person will recognize that holding fiat is a liability and will prefer to be paid with bitcoin. People acquire bitcoin now for that future.

If you want give your money to the poor then offer them fiat or a prepaid debit card. Many became poor because they preferred instant gratification over acquiring items of true value. Sometimes the more you help someone, the slower they learn.

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