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Bitcoin for Translators - Why Not?
Thread poster: Péter

Péter  Identity Verified
United States
Russian to Ingiriisi
+ ...
May 2, 2013

Amid all the chatter and complaining on translator forums about payment methods and incompatibilities, it's surprising that Bitcoin hasn't come up for discussion yet.

Is this the holy grail - transaction-fee free and instant worldwide payments?

In the interests of furthering conversation, here is how I set up bitcoin and sent myself $20 USD. Good luck! Disclaimer: what
... See more
Amid all the chatter and complaining on translator forums about payment methods and incompatibilities, it's surprising that Bitcoin hasn't come up for discussion yet.

Is this the holy grail - transaction-fee free and instant worldwide payments?

In the interests of furthering conversation, here is how I set up bitcoin and sent myself $20 USD. Good luck! Disclaimer: what you do with your computer is your business, not mine. Continue at your own risk and profit
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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Ingiriisi to Russian
+ ...
Why not indeed May 2, 2013

I for one plan to start accepting it as an experiment, I just need to figure out taxation issues first.

 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:06
German to Ingiriisi
Why? May 2, 2013

Bitcoin has been associated with security issues and to be quite honest, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, at least not for the present. I'll stick to the banks, thanks.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/458768/20130418/bitcoin-problems-continue-bitfloor-exchange-ceases-trading.htm


Steve
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Bitcoin has been associated with security issues and to be quite honest, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, at least not for the present. I'll stick to the banks, thanks.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/458768/20130418/bitcoin-problems-continue-bitfloor-exchange-ceases-trading.htm


Steve K.
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Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
Ingiriisi to Estonian
+ ...
It's not "transaction free" May 2, 2013

Haven't heard about anyone accepting bitcoins for rent or groceries yet If you sell bitcoins for USD or EUR, there are definitely costs there. So it really is not transaction free. It wouldn't be safe to keep your money in bitcoins either long-term considering its extremely volatile exchange rates. IMO all this bitcoin thing looks like a Ponzi scheme.

 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:06
Member (2008)
Faransiis to Ingiriisi
+ ...
Tax May 2, 2013

Both the IRS (US) and CRA (Canada) have set their sights on tax issues relating to Bitcoins so be careful. CRA considers payments in Bitcoins to be bartering (paying for something in goods instead of currency) which can get complicated. Expect to see more about this.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:06
Faransiis to Ingiriisi
+ ...
Possibly a lot of risk just to avoid transaction fees May 2, 2013

The techie part of my brain thinks Bitcoin is an intriguing idea. However, I think its main use for translators would be for taking payments in situations where no other mainstream currency or payment system was viable.

I think it is too volatile-- at least for now-- to justify its use simply to avoid a small transaction fee.

The viability of any currency is ultimately dependent on collective trust in it, and even recent history has shown that mainstream currencies are
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The techie part of my brain thinks Bitcoin is an intriguing idea. However, I think its main use for translators would be for taking payments in situations where no other mainstream currency or payment system was viable.

I think it is too volatile-- at least for now-- to justify its use simply to avoid a small transaction fee.

The viability of any currency is ultimately dependent on collective trust in it, and even recent history has shown that mainstream currencies are liable to being affected by market crashes, market faith in the currency's country of origin, policy over the money supply, major bank robberies etc. So in a sense, the fact that the value of bitcoins could be affected by events such as hacking incidents or fluctuations in the money supply (in the case of bitcoin: basically how readily current hardware can "mine" bitcoins at any given time) is not per se any different. But the overall risks and measures in place to minimise these risks are probably better known in the case of mainstream currencies for the time being.

The money supply of bitcoins is fundamentally different from that of many mainstream currencies in that it is not controllable by any government or authority, but is controlled by the combination of a predetermined algorithm and developments in hardware. This is really the first experiment as far as I'm aware to see how the value of such a currency will pan out. And, one thing that history tells us about the development of hardware is that, while you can predict general trends, it is difficult to predict occasional "game-changers" that can affect things radically. So there's probably some sudden, radical change in the supply of bitcoins that is liable to happen at any moment.

Re taxation: as John has mentioned, probably what most governments would theoretically do for the time being is deal with bitcoins in a similar way to how they deal with barters generally. So in practice, how liable you would realistically be for the time being would depend on how keen and able your government is to enforce taxes on small barters.

In the long run, bitcoin will be a bit like electricity-- an interesting quirk that they don't really understand or care about to begin with, but once it becomes popular, they'll want to tax it.


[Edited at 2013-05-02 14:03 GMT]
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Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 07:06
Member (2012)
Japanese to Ingiriisi
+ ...
Taxation issues aside... May 2, 2013

Neil Coffey wrote:
The money supply of bitcoins is fundamentally different from that of many mainstream currencies in that it is not controllable by any government or authority, but is controlled by the combination of a predetermined algorithm and developments in hardware.


This is a fundamental point - there is always skepticism and a lack of understanding when innovation occurs in any field, but particularly in the tech world, because the average person thinks that understanding "geeky" concepts is beyond their reach. In addition, a lack of regulation automatically makes people nervous about a concept. Still, we have plenty early adopters who have tried it out and seem to find it works for them.


In the long run, bitcoin will be a bit like electricity-- an interesting quirk that they don't really understand or care about to begin with, but once it becomes popular, they'll want to tax it.


That's what I think too - not to mention the fact that it will spawn millions of copy-cats - and then we'll see the real Ponzi schemes start popping up...


 

Peter Smedskjaer-Stenland
Faroe Islands
Local time: 06:06
Danish to Ingiriisi
+ ...
The value of Bitcoin? May 2, 2013

Without a government to force its value, Bitcoin is at risk of abandonment, but it is not unlike currency in current circulation in how it is created. By limiting the amount of Bitcoins that will ever be on the market, the value of the Bitcoin will reflect the resources put into mining a Bitcoin. At some point, the maximum amount of Bitcoins will be reached, and Bitcoins will loose all value. The only alternative is to either create new Bitcoins or destroy existing Bitcoins.

For a t
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Without a government to force its value, Bitcoin is at risk of abandonment, but it is not unlike currency in current circulation in how it is created. By limiting the amount of Bitcoins that will ever be on the market, the value of the Bitcoin will reflect the resources put into mining a Bitcoin. At some point, the maximum amount of Bitcoins will be reached, and Bitcoins will loose all value. The only alternative is to either create new Bitcoins or destroy existing Bitcoins.

For a translator, I would call it a sound investment, once the value has stabilized, but you can also take a chance now and accept some Bitcoins as a gamble.
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Péter  Identity Verified
United States
Russian to Ingiriisi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Replies May 3, 2013

Artem Vakhitov wrote:

I for one plan to start accepting it as an experiment, I just need to figure out taxation issues first.

@Artem
Me too, I'm going to treat it as a currency/security in my personal books for now. I'm sure this is theoretically wrong but I don't see why it's wrong in practice. What do you guys think?
Steve Kerry wrote:

Bitcoin has been associated with security issues and to be quite honest, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, at least not for the present. I'll stick to the banks, thanks.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/458768/20130418/bitcoin-problems-continue-bitfloor-exchange-ceases-trading.htm


Steve K.

@Steve
Thanks for the article, I read through it. It's amazing that those exchanges are still standing; I've been able to avoid them altogether. The susceptibility of the exchanges (and by corollary, the exchange rate) to DDoS is definitely a factor to take into account.
Lennart Luhtaru wrote:

Haven't heard about anyone accepting bitcoins for rent or groceries yet If you sell bitcoins for USD or EUR, there are definitely costs there. So it really is not transaction free. It wouldn't be safe to keep your money in bitcoins either long-term considering its extremely volatile exchange rates. IMO all this bitcoin thing looks like a Ponzi scheme.

@Lennart
Great point, converting Bitcoin into hard currency is going to shave a couple of percentage points off the grocery budget each and every time. Unless, of course, you can survive off of liquid bread in Kreuzberg, Berlin
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/video/2013/apr/26/bitcoin-currency-moves-offline-berlin-video
John Fossey wrote:

Both the IRS (US) and CRA (Canada) have set their sights on tax issues relating to Bitcoins so be careful. CRA considers payments in Bitcoins to be bartering (paying for something in goods instead of currency) which can get complicated. Expect to see more about this.

Thanks, @John. Yes that does sound complicated. Let's stay tuned.

Neil Coffey wrote:

The techie part of my brain thinks Bitcoin is an intriguing idea. However, I think its main use for translators would be for taking payments in situations where no other mainstream currency or payment system was viable.

I think it is too volatile-- at least for now-- to justify its use simply to avoid a small transaction fee.

Thanks, @Neil. Lots of food for thought there. For small transactions the fee is often quite high. For example, it costs $15-$20 to receive an international wire in my country. Western Union takes its pound of flesh. So there is your situation where no other mainstream currency or payment system is viable.

Sarai Pahla wrote:

Neil Coffey wrote:
The money supply of bitcoins is fundamentally different from that of many mainstream currencies in that it is not controllable by any government or authority, but is controlled by the combination of a predetermined algorithm and developments in hardware.


This is a fundamental point - there is always skepticism and a lack of understanding when innovation occurs in any field, but particularly in the tech world, because the average person thinks that understanding "geeky" concepts is beyond their reach. In addition, a lack of regulation automatically makes people nervous about a concept. Still, we have plenty early adopters who have tried it out and seem to find it works for them.


+1

ExScientiaVera wrote:

For a translator, I would call it a sound investment, once the value has stabilized, but you can also take a chance now and accept some Bitcoins as a gamble.


Yes, how many of you out there would accept Bitcoins from an outsourcer, gamble or not?

[Edited at 2013-05-03 05:54 GMT] edited for typos

[Edited at 2013-05-03 07:25 GMT]


 

Peter Smedskjaer-Stenland
Faroe Islands
Local time: 06:06
Danish to Ingiriisi
+ ...
Why not? May 3, 2013

PayPal is another virtual money system, but one backed by real money in banks. However, PayPal is not a bank, so your deposit is not secured. If PayPal goes belly up, the money you have in it goes with it. If there is a bank run, no one is going to pay you for your loss.
Bitcoin is a virtual money system not back by real money in banks. The value of a Bitcoin is inherent in its very existence. It cannot be lost if the banks go belly up, but it is more likely to loose its entire value due t
... See more
PayPal is another virtual money system, but one backed by real money in banks. However, PayPal is not a bank, so your deposit is not secured. If PayPal goes belly up, the money you have in it goes with it. If there is a bank run, no one is going to pay you for your loss.
Bitcoin is a virtual money system not back by real money in banks. The value of a Bitcoin is inherent in its very existence. It cannot be lost if the banks go belly up, but it is more likely to loose its entire value due to inflation or hyper inflation than the dollar or euro. So it is a choice between loosing your deposit ala global financial crisis and Cyprus or loosing purchasing power ala Zimbabwe.
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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
German to Ingiriisi
Not touching that May 3, 2013

Darkside of billion dollar bitcoin boom

"In the past 10 days, a buying frenzy fed by uncertainty in regular currency markets has seen its value double. A Bitcoin's now worth 180 old-fashioned dollars. Last week the global trade in the currency reached a billion dollars.

But, as they say, all that glitters is not gold, and 7.30 has uncovered one Bitco
... See more
Darkside of billion dollar bitcoin boom

"In the past 10 days, a buying frenzy fed by uncertainty in regular currency markets has seen its value double. A Bitcoin's now worth 180 old-fashioned dollars. Last week the global trade in the currency reached a billion dollars.

But, as they say, all that glitters is not gold, and 7.30 has uncovered one Bitcoin trader who's done a runner, leaving dozens of investors with hundreds of thousands of real-dollar losses."
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Peter Smedskjaer-Stenland
Faroe Islands
Local time: 06:06
Danish to Ingiriisi
+ ...
A more in depth analysis of Bitcoin May 4, 2013

Wired magazine has published a more precise analysis of Bitcoin, its strengths, weaknesses and dangers.
Bitcoin is highly unregulated and will swing wildly for it, but it is a monetary system on par with the Dollar and Euro.
http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/05/lets-cut-through-the-bitcoin-hype/

[Edited at 2013-05-05 16:09 GMT]


 

Péter  Identity Verified
United States
Russian to Ingiriisi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great Article May 7, 2013

ExScientiaVera wrote:

Wired magazine has published a more precise analysis of Bitcoin, its strengths, weaknesses and dangers.
Bitcoin is highly unregulated and will swing wildly for it, but it is a monetary system on par with the Dollar and Euro.
http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/05/lets-cut-through-the-bitcoin-hype/

[Edited at 2013-05-05 16:09 GMT]

Thanks for sharing this.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:06
Member (2008)
Faransiis to Ingiriisi
+ ...
Capital Gains ? May 7, 2013

Петро wrote:

John Fossey wrote:

Both the IRS (US) and CRA (Canada) have set their sights on tax issues relating to Bitcoins so be careful. CRA considers payments in Bitcoins to be bartering (paying for something in goods instead of currency) which can get complicated. Expect to see more about this.

Thanks, @John. Yes that does sound complicated. Let's stay tuned.



I suspect that profits generated by a rise in Bitcoin value could be subject to capital gains tax, while a drop in value could trigger impairment rules. Sounds like there's good business ahead for accountants.


 

George Hopkins
Local time: 07:06
Swedish to Ingiriisi
Still working May 7, 2013

Despite all the criticism and forecasts of its demise Bitcoin is still working.

How to explain to a seven-year old how Bitcoin works:


https://medium.com/bitcoins-digital-currency/a9a8c094feaf


 
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