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66

Here's a mathematical explanation: Calculate the number of blocks per 4 year cycle: 6 blocks per hour * 24 hours per day * 365 days per year * 4 years per cycle = 210,240 ~= 210,000 Sum all the block reward sizes: 50 + 25 + 12.5 + 6.25 + 3.125 + ... = 100 Multiply the two: 210,000 * 100 = 21 million. Economically, because the currency is effectively ...


22

I don't know if this was thought up ahead of time, but it sure makes sense in hindsight. The reason 21 million is the right number is because people don't know how to value currencies. For instance, right now a Euro is worth $1.30 USD and a Japanese yen is worth about a U.S. penny. Ask someone which currency they would rather hold right now and most will ...


21

Wikipedia (Gold): A total of 174,100 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, according to GFMS as of 2012.2 This is roughly equivalent to 5.6 billion troy ounces or, in terms of volume, about 9261 m3, or a cube 21.0 m on a side. Since Bitcoin is often compared to gold, total number of bitcoins matches total amount of gold mined in human ...


12

Loans are possible in a deflationary environment. Currently bitcoins is too volatile (which has nothing to do with deflation) to make lending viable. For the purpose of answering the question I will assume that in the future volatility is either low or easily hedges. The interest in a loan comes from 4 components: Opportunity Cost. Instead of giving you ...


10

Disclaimer: At the time of this writing, I am a shareholder with ASICMiner. Also be aware that the Bitcoin stock market is, like Bitcoin, very immature and not regulated. The risks involved are far greater than for a traditional stock market. Like @Steven Roose just wrote, you can buy Pass-Through (PT) shares through two separate stock exchanges, BTC-TC ...


8

The exact number of Bitcoins is not important. Whether the end result is 1 million or 100 billion makes little real difference. The important aspect here is the process, not the quantity. New Bitcoins enter the system in an orderly, predicable way. Outside forces cannot arbitrarily flood the currency with new money. An incentive is provided for people ...


6

A nation State would never adopt Bitcoin willingly because the government would lose control over the ability to inflate the money supply. Inflation is nothing more than a tax. No government will ever willingly give up its primary means of stealing from the public. The inflation tax is the most insidious and the easiest for government to get away with. ...


5

It is the result of a 50 bitcoin reward half life of 210,000 blocks. Reward starts out at 50 bitcoins and halves ever 210,000 blocks. This works out to be 2.1 quadrillion monetary units of currency (satoshi). This is probably the largest number estimated to be needed for a global currency and some padding for attrition.


5

A Bitcoin Trust fund registration statement was filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If approved it would be the first Bitcoin ETF you can trade in the market. UPDATE: The Bitcoin ETF was not approved. As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be ...


5

At this point in time only one person, Nefario, knows for sure why GLBSE closed. He was the one who had the power to close it, and he did so, without giving any public explanation. Everything else is either hearsay or speculation.


4

It appears that Nefario, the person operating GLBSE, decided to go against all bylaws and terms of service and just close GLBSE. That part of the story was explained by theymos. It it still unclear, however, why he did it.


4

The simple answer is that there is a constraint on the total number of coins that will be generated. In economy the fact that the supply of newly minted coins is either constraint by a constant rate at which they enter the market or, like in Bitcoin's case, even that the total number that will ever be in circulation be limited. Due to how the amount of ...


4

Originally, ASICMiner sold share on GLBSE, a Bitcoin stock exchange that has already closed it's business. Currently, you can buy their shares both on BitFunder and BTC Trading Corp.


3

This strongly depends on what you think makes a financial system healthy. As long as there is no challenge to the core of Bitcoin, distributed no third party controlled transactions, there is no need to worry about any of the technical aspects. Stakeholders are the major problem here, the hashrate distribution being the clearest example. Stakeholder power ...


3

I think that the "Euclidean Constraint" just refers to the hard limit of 21million. It's a line on a graph to which the number of bitcoins approaches but never reaches. One of the problems with fiat currency is knowing how much to print. If you don't print any then, over time, the currency is bound to get more and more valuable. That's because we are ...


3

There is currently no ETF that allows the trading of bitcoins. The idea of a bitcoin ETF has been suggested before, however nobody has set one up as of yet. The main reason being that to do so would be very complex, requiring a large amount of money and legal advice.


3

If you take a loan out on a currency that is not stable, you are asking for trouble. If the deflation rate was stable, one would have to take that into consideration when calculating the interest rate, similarly as one would in inflatory economy. One could also consider the concepts of Smart Property, as well as some concepts use by Islamic banking. But ...


3

Market analysis usually consist of Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis. I recommend http://www.babypips.com to get started with the the Technical Analysis. Fundamentals consist of understanding how the economy is effected by news and business. Social psychology to specific events and can vary depending on what market your looking into.


3

For a good portion of its history the bitcoin network has seen continuous increases in difficulty, which warps the average block time to be below 10 minutes until the next difficulty adjustment. If the reverse were true the block time would be longer in kind. This latency serves to protect nodes against isolation attacks where you could otherwise ...


2

Futures and options can be used to eliminate the risks associated with price volatility. If you're borrowing and worried that the price will go way up, make an agreement with someone to trade at a reasonable price at some point in the future. Lenders can do the same on their side.


2

The most likely scenario in which a government would adopt Bitcoin is when their own currency is undergoing hyperinflation. As Gareth's answer points out, there would be no way to transfer the value of the old currency into Bitcoins. But if the currency had essentially no value anyway, it would not have to make that transition. In economies suffering ...


2

As far as I know, there is no such ETF as of today. However, the recent spike is likely to spark even more the interest of the best ETFs issuers out there (Vanguard, iShares...). It is not complex at all, actually it would be very cheap compared to setting up traditional ETFs. The fund would just have to keep bitcoins in an offline wallet held in a secure ...


2

In layman terms: The 21M limit is programmed into all Bitcoin software The number is arbitrary. It could have been 42 million, or 84 million, or 100 million, or any other number. Now the number cannot be changed. If you changed your version of Bitcoin to follow a different limit, you would be creating a new currency. Example: Litecoin has a 84M limit. To ...


2

It is an arbitrary decision made at the initial creation of the currency and is hard coded (literally) into the software. If there is a disagreement on the validity of the number of coins created, it is ignored by most clients. The agreement is a core part of the network and won't be modified in the near future because it can't be without the agreement of ...


2

This was done based on production rate mostly. They did take some things into account but the number doesn't have a real economical explanation rather than the fact that they had to stop production somewhere to maintain a value.


2

42 is the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Bitcoin block rewards are cut in half every 4 years. Half of 42 is 21. Nearly every person can understand what x "million" means, but comprehension breaks down rapidly with larger numbers. Therefore 21 million. ;-)


2

I suspect it has something to do with the M1 USD supply at the time Satoshi was developing Bitcoin. If you look at the decade prior to the white paper, inclusive of the quantitative easing period commencing with the 2008 housing bubble, the M1 money supply shows a trendline with a slope of ~58, using years as 4 digit integers. This means, that if ...


2

No, the Bitcoin software allows you to receive, hold and send bitcoins. To mine you need specific hardware and software - for most people it is not recommended to bother.


2

You don't get the bitcoins themselves. Your investment fluctuates in response to the exchange rate. From the brothers W: The investment objective of the Trust is for the Shares to reflect the *performance* of a weighted average price of Bitcoins, less the Trust’s expenses. In other words, if the average exchange rate USD/BTC is $230, and you buy $...


2

Normally, ETFs define a "Creation Units" (CU), for which they are exchangeable electronically with the ETF administrator. If the size isn't be practical for a retail investor, then the value of any discrepancy is eventually captured by HFT arbitrageurs, thus forcing the prices into alignment. This tends to be very effective in keeping the prices within ...


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