Key Post Why Bitcoin has value

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tecate

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Interesting study here on the state of the Bitcoin world. Last revised in December after peer and industry review, but they're claiming 46% of all bitcoin transactions involve illegal activity.
It's interesting that you feel the discussion can be advanced by reposting the study that Firefly referenced (post #107) over 4 weeks ago. I'll give you the same answer as I gave him. The data that their study was based off comes from as far back as 2009! Bitcoin is in its infancy now - it was very much in the darkest corners of the web in 2009!
I do agree with them on this point => "The illegal share of bitcoin activity declines with mainstream interest in bitcoin". And that's exactly where it's at. Dark web activity aligned itself with Bitcoin in the earlier days. Not so much more recently (they're more likely to use a privacy coin) and as a proportion of activity, that continues to become less significant.

90% of US Dollar Bills have been found to have traces of cocaine on them whilst no more than 10% of drug consumers have used the dark web. Ergo, the traditional means through which illicit substances are purchased remains the US dollar.
Tell us more about this 'industry review', Leo? What 'industry'? Who reviewed it.
As regards 'peer review' - you mean other academics 'peer reviewed' the paper of other academics? You don't say. That really sets it over and above every other paper that has ever been published.
Why is it that researchers at MIT - in a study that has just been published - couldn't find this level of illicit activity?

Over and above all that, governments around the world have banned things that should never be banned.
- The U.S. used its influence to dictate to paypal, visa and others to cut wikileaks off some years ago - so that it could be starved of funding and be killed off. Bitcoin was the only option open to it- and it saved the day. Nobody can come calling to 'bitcoin' to try and influence it - as there's no central office.
- Governments and regimes ban all kinds of stuff they have no business banning. Crypto could have been handy back in the 70's here when condoms were banned. There are publications banned - worldwide - by different countries - whether due to religiously extremist policy or politically extremist policy, etc.
- Is it wrong for a citizen in Iran or Venezuela to use Bitcoin in order to get round sanctions and buy medicines, etc? Sanctions impact real people much more than governments.

So...whilst I'm onboard that payments for illicit goods generally is a bad thing, don't assume that it always is. Furthermore, don't deprive society of something progressive on the basis of some fight against a percentile that use that tool for nefarious means. That's akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

And that's why I think Bitcoin will not fall to zero. It's great for the criminal world.
I mean, I don't agree with you that this will be its only use - far from it in my opinion and as I've outlined previously, it has found far more significant use cases that continue to grow. On price, any price above a few grand means its a success. Price speculation is a show all of its own - opinions vary on it and I keep an open mind and accept that all is possible depending upon how things unfold.
That said, your view here puts you in a different category to other naysayers who maintain that it's going to vanish completely. Congratulations on realising that Bitcoin is here to stay (even if you have arrived at that realisation based on incorrect rationale).

You can't buy anything from Amazon using Bitcoin.
That's not true. Amazon itself doesn't support Bitcoin directly - that much is true. However, having signed up with that third party payments processor, you can and it's childsplay to do so.

You have to firstly convert Bitcoin to real money.
YOU don't have to convert jack. You sign up with the third party processor - and run their browser extension. You then open your account on Amazon and you pay as you normally would. The conversion is instantaneous and automatic. What's more - the third party processor don't custody those funds in the few seconds the transaction is made.

The Chrome plug-in you reference makes this easier
You've seen the demo video I linked to. It's not easier - it's childsplay. Furthermore, what I didn't clarify is that having a Coinbase account is not essential. It's one of two options. Having a lightning wallet is the other option - which doesn't require any account opening or KYC/AML, etc.

if someone could develop a similar plug-in for converting my stamps to cash I could claim the same thing, that I can buy anything on Amazon using stamps.
Sure you could - have at it, Firefly. I mean, I think you'll find that the 'stamps' would have to be digital - and then once you realise that, you'd see that they would have to have the ability to facilitate smart contracts - so hmm...lets see...it would need to be another crypto - but yes, absolutely - all day long - you could.
As an aside, I assume you have a credit card denominated in one type of unsound money -> Euro. If you buy something online from a UK vendor, chances are you will pay for it in another form of unsound money -> £GBP. Visa/Mastercard will do that conversion - and you don't have any issue with that, right?

I think you are forgetting where we started out with this. Leo claimed that nothing could be bought with Bitcoin. I agree that it has been a long time difficulty and that development on that front has been sluggish. However, a tiny bit of innovation and the market has been enabled so that 353 million products are available to anyone who wants to spend Bitcoin. Furthermore, that company plan on rolling this out to a whole host of platforms - naturally enough starting with the next biggest such as Walmart, Ebay and Alibaba.

Now, would it be better if Amazon provided direct support - absolutely. From the viewpoint of onboarding newcomers, it would be far better. However, for those of us already participating in the Bitcoin economy, the reality is that we can purchase anything we want off that platform seamlessly. Quite soon, we'll be able to buy off all major platforms.
 

Leo

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It's interesting that you feel the discussion can be advanced by reposting the study that Firefly referenced (post #107) over 4 weeks ago. I'll give you the same answer as I gave him. The data that their study was based off comes from as far back as 2009! Bitcoin is in its infancy now - it was very much in the darkest corners of the web in 2009!
I hadn't read that article in detail at the time. So they use data going back to 2009, but isn't limited to that era. There were relatively so few transactions back then that a higher proportion won't skew the results. Bitcoin as been around more than 10 years, it's hardly still in its infancy.

I do agree with them on this point => "The illegal share of bitcoin activity declines with mainstream interest in bitcoin". And that's exactly where it's at. Dark web activity aligned itself with Bitcoin in the earlier days. Not so much more recently (they're more likely to use a privacy coin) and as a proportion of activity, that continues to become less significant.
I had actually thought the rate of decline was a lot more pronounced, so I was surprised to see that bitcoin is still so widely used in illegal activity. I was surprised the likes of Monero or Dash were not more prevalent, alt coins had been gaining ground in illicit activity, but the latest Armor report suggests that most activity is back on bitcoin.

90% of US Dollar Bills have been found to have traces of cocaine on them whilst no more than 10% of drug consumers have used the dark web. Ergo, the traditional means through which illicit substances are purchased remains the US dollar.
Ah, you do know how those bills come into contact with cocaine, right? Hint, it isn't because they're all used to buy cocaine from sloppy dealers whose hands are covered in the stuff!

Tell us more about this 'industry review', Leo? What 'industry'? Who reviewed it.
As regards 'peer review' - you mean other academics 'peer reviewed' the paper of other academics? You don't say. That really sets it over and above every other paper that has ever been published.
That's all detailed in the paper. Peer review is significant because it sets it apart from the usual crypto hype outlets quoted here who twist everything into a positive for crypto.
 

Firefly

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That's not true. Amazon itself doesn't support Bitcoin directly - that much is true. However, having signed up with that third party payments processor, you can and it's childsplay to do so.
That may be so, but it's just a faster way to convert Bitcoin to FIAT before starting the transaction with Amazon. The transaction with Amazon is not performed with Bitcoin so to spin it that you can buy anything on Amazon with Bitcoin is misleading. Yes it might take me a week to sell my stamps so that I can use the money to buy something on Amazon compared to your way, but you are still not buying anything on Amazon with Bitcoin, you are just converting it faster than I am.

I really can't explain it any clearer at this point. If you want to peddle the same misleading inaccuracies then that's your prerogative.
 

tecate

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I hadn't read that article in detail at the time. So they use data going back to 2009, but isn't limited to that era. There were relatively so few transactions back then that a higher proportion won't skew the results. Bitcoin as been around more than 10 years, it's hardly still in its infancy.
Yes, it's not limited to that era - it carries on into years like 2010, 2011, 2012 - how much activity you think there was in those years, Leo? The results are skewed to those early years when there was damn all activity - and that activity was largely contained to obscure corners of the internet.
As regards Bitcoin being in its infancy - yes it is. It was borne as an idea 10 years ago. For what it is, it is still in its infancy. Many think they have missed the boat, many others (particularly here) think it died in 2018 - only to amend that view to 'eh, it will die but I couldn't possibly put a timeframe on it'. It seems that there will be those who missed the initial wave of innovation and the subsequent waves of innovation.

I had actually thought the rate of decline was a lot more pronounced, so I was surprised to see that bitcoin is still so widely used in illegal activity. I was surprised the likes of Monero or Dash were not more prevalent, alt coins had been gaining ground in illicit activity, but the latest Armor report suggests that most activity is back on bitcoin.
The report considers dark web transactions. It doesn't consider the proportion of illicit transactions as opposed to legal transactions.

Ah, you do know how those bills come into contact with cocaine, right? Hint, it isn't because they're all used to buy cocaine from sloppy dealers whose hands are covered in the stuff!
Right - but we do know that 90% of illicit drugs are bought with USD (and FIAT currencies generally). Yet, there's no shock / horror from you on that.

That's all detailed in the paper. Peer review is significant
Any reputable published paper is peer reviewed. However, that review process will have confirmed the methodology - which is that it pulled data from 2009 and subsequent years when Bitcoin existed only in obscure corners of the internet.
On the 'industry review' - I'll ask again. What 'industry review' - by which 'industry' and by what organisation?
Peer review is significant because it sets it apart from the usual crypto hype outlets quoted here who twist everything into a positive for crypto.
I see. And yet, I linked to a report from MIT - go figure.


Firefly said:
That may be so, but it's just a faster way to convert Bitcoin to FIAT before starting the transaction with Amazon.
It's not 'faster' - it's seamless. Maybe you need to check the demo video again. You are logged in to Amazon - and surfing the amazon platform - you add your item to cart, proceed to checkout - and the option is there in front of you - requires 2 additional mouse clicks.

Firefly said:
The transaction with Amazon is not performed with Bitcoin so to spin it that you can buy anything on Amazon with Bitcoin is misleading.
Firstly, I didn't 'spin' anything. I stated that 353 million products were available for purchase with Bitcoin on the Amazon platform - and that is indisputable fact. When queried, I clarified how that works. There's no spin and there's no one misleading anyone.

Firefly said:
Yes it might take me a week to sell my stamps so that I can use the money to buy something on Amazon compared to your way, but you are still not buying anything on Amazon with Bitcoin, you are just converting it faster than I am.
Seeing is believing and makes the whole thing indisputable. That purchase on the youtube clip took 40 seconds. I guess without the Bitcoin element, it would have taken 5 seconds less. So - you got me Firefly - having to pay with Bitcoin will cost either of us 5 additional seconds of our time - each time. You have a point for sure - over a lifetime, that's a lot of seconds, right?

Firefly said:
I really can't explain it any clearer at this point.
Right back at you.

Firefly said:
If you want to peddle the same misleading inaccuracies then that's your prerogative.
I understand that we hold disparate and opposing views on cryptocurrency. However, kindly refrain from your totally inaccurate use of words like 'spin' , 'peddle' and 'misleading inaccuracies'. You have no grounds for use of any of that - as I've misled nobody, I've 'spun' nothing. What I have done and will continue to do - is put my viewpoint across.
 
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Firefly

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Seeing is believing and makes the whole thing indisputable.
I agree..seeing IS believing. Care to post a screenshot of one your Orders showing what the currency use to purchase the item was? Unless this is Bitcoin, you haven't used Bitcoin to purchase anything on Amazon, rather a magician's sleight of hand.
 

tecate

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I agree..seeing IS believing. Care to post a screenshot of one your Orders showing what the currency use to purchase the item was? Unless this is Bitcoin, you haven't used Bitcoin to purchase anything on Amazon, rather a magician's sleight of hand.
You're engaging in semantics now - but it seems it's because the solution this innovative startup has come up with doesn't fit the world view you hold.

You've watched the demo I assume. What else do you want me to show you that's unclear? You seem to be getting caught up in something that is of little concern. The bottom line is this...
An individual who holds Bitcoin can use it to buy any one of 353 million products on the Amazon platform. That is enabled through use of a browser extension - and will result in a couple of extra mouse clicks than normal to complete the transaction.

This strand of the discussion started with Leo suggesting that you could buy nothing with Bitcoin. That has been completely disproven.
 

Firefly

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You've watched the demo I assume. What else do you want me to show you that's unclear?
The currency that was used to make the purchase on Amazon. That's what is used to buy something on Amazon.

An individual who holds Bitcoin can use it to buy any one of 353 million products on the Amazon platform. That is enabled through use of a browser extension - and will result in a couple of extra mouse clicks than normal to complete the transaction.
I find this misleading because you continually omit to mention that the browser extension converts Bitcoin to FIAT, and it is FIAT which is then used as the currency to make the purchase. Otherwise I can do the same thing, albeit slower and without a browser with my stamps
 

tecate

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The currency that was used to make the purchase on Amazon. That's what is used to buy something on Amazon.
Ok. Riddle me this. If I was to make a purchase on amazon.co.uk with an item priced in British unsound money (pounds sterling), and in paying for the item I used my AIb visa debit card with funds in Irish unsound money (euro), then tell me - what currency was used to complete the transaction?

Because the scenario as I explained and as demonstrated in this video is the same in principal (except that the buyer starts the process with sound money (Bitcoin) in one and unsound money (euro) in the other.

I find this misleading because you continually omit to mention that the browser extension converts Bitcoin to FIAT, and it is FIAT which is then used as the currency to make the purchase. Otherwise I can do the same thing, albeit slower and without a browser with my stamps
I have omitted nothing Firefly. I never claimed that Amazon supported Bitcoin directly via their platform. I did claim that anyone who holds Bitcoin can buy anything on the Amazon platform with Bitcoin. I linked to the third party payments processor that facilitates that seamless process and I provided a link to a youtube video that literally demonstrates it. I can't possibly make this any more transparent for you.
 
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Leo

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Yes, it's not limited to that era - it carries on into years like 2010, 2011, 2012 - how much activity you think there was in those years, Leo? The results are skewed to those early years when there was damn all activity -
Are you really suggesting they just used a running average to arrive at 46%????

The report considers dark web transactions. It doesn't consider the proportion of illicit transactions as opposed to legal transactions.
Have you ever looked at a dark web market? Why would someone selling legit goods go to such lengths to sell them anonymously? Why would anyone buy legitimate goods through a source that completely invalidates any consumer protection?

You're engaging in semantics now
Ah @Firefly, you're on a loser here with you facts and lack of flexibility with your conventional literal interpretation! Just semantics and pedantry...


@tecate, you still haven't pointed to one of those many online shops that will sell me the bypass device for bitcoin? I can only take that as acknowledgement that despite your earlier claim, you have also been unable to fine one.
 

Firefly

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Ok. Riddle me this. If I was to make a purchase on amazon.co.uk with an item priced in British unsound money (pounds sterling), and in paying for the item I used my AIb visa debit card with funds in Irish unsound money (euro), then tell me - what currency was used to complete the transaction?
I'm glad you brought that up. I have the option to pay in Euro, or a number of other FIAT currencies. I do not have the option to pay in Bitcoin but maybe you do. I would ask that you show your purchase and the currency the purchase was completed with. This is what was used ON Amazon. Unless Bitcoin is shown you have not used Bitcoin to buy anything ON Amazon. Hence it is misleading to state you can buy anything ON Amazon with Bitcoin


Because the scenario as I explained and as demonstrated in this video is the same in principal (except that the buyer starts the process with sound money (Bitcoin) in one and unsound money (euro) in the other.
It's completely not the same principal. With FIAT you start and complete your transaction on the Amazon platform. With the method you have provided, it involves a 3rd party to convert Bitcoin into FIAT. Not the same at all. If you wanted to return you item to Amazon, what would happen then?? Would Amazon refund you in Bitcoin?
 
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tecate

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Are you really suggesting they just used a running average to arrive at 46%????
The study goes back ten years - and a time when Bitcoin existed on obscure corners of the internet with a market capitalisation of next to nothing. What I'm really suggesting is that your citing studies and data that's not relevant in 2019. I'm suggesting that the MIT peer reviewed study made no such findings and that paper was published a few weeks back.

I'm also suggesting - as per cited data - that 90% of illicit drugs are bought using FIAT currency such as the USD and Euro.

Have you ever looked at a dark web market? Why would someone selling legit goods go to such lengths to sell them anonymously? Why would anyone buy legitimate goods through a source that completely invalidates any consumer protection?
As you well know, you started this off with the suggestion that Bitcoin is for criminal use yet what you cite in this instance doesn't provide any such insight i.e. it doesn't detail the proportion of legitimate to illicit trades (and again, you know this well but nobody was confining this to dark markets! - what purpose would that serve?).

Ah @Firefly, you're on a loser here with you facts and lack of flexibility with your conventional literal interpretation! Just semantics and pedantry...
Just calling it as it is, Leo. You both lost any sense of objectivity on this 'discussion' a long time ago.


Ah @Firefly, you're on a loser here with you facts and lack of flexibility with your conventional literal interpretation! Just semantics and pedantry...


@tecate, you still haven't pointed to one of those many online shops that will sell me the bypass device for bitcoin? I can only take that as acknowledgement that despite your earlier claim, you have also been unable to fine one.
Why would I bother - and to what end? The fact is that you made a big fat claim and you fell on your face with that claim.

The claim was that Bitcoin couldn't be used to buy anything. You challenged me to point you to where you could buy a specific item with Bitcoin. And that - as I detailed - is possible via the Amazon platform - along with 353 million other items.

Meanwhile, you pick and choose what you respond to. The lies re. this 'industry reviewed' paper of yours that you were trying to big up - twice you were asked to back up that nonsense. Each time, you failed to come back on it. This is proof of you having lost objectivity in the discussion.
 
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tecate

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I'm glad you brought that up. I have the option to pay in Euro, or a number of other FIAT currencies. I do not have the option to pay in Bitcoin but maybe you do.
So in the example, you don't have the option to pay in Euro via Amazon.co.uk. You do through your AIB visa debit card. i.e. they are the third party payments processor that makes that conversion. That's exactly like the scenario I presented you with.

I would ask that you show your purchase and the currency the purchase was completed with. This is what was used ON Amazon. Unless Bitcoin is shown you have not used Bitcoin to buy anything ON Amazon. Hence it is misleading to state you can buy anything ON Amazon with Bitcoin
The very same right back at you. Purchasing on amazon.co.uk - please provide proof that Amazon accept euro. This is your game by the way - what the purpose of it is, who the hell knows. I'm quite happy to use the third party processor/browser extension that facilitates my Bitcoin purchase on the Amazon checkout page.

It's completely not the same principal. With FIAT you start and complete your transaction on the Amazon platform. With the method you have provided
Ah, I get it now. You started your transaction on amazon.co.uk with FIAT currency - not "euro" - but non-descript unknown "FIAT" currency and you complete that transaction with FIAT - not £GBP. So there is no third party processor converting euro to GBP, right?

Would Amazon refund you in Bitcoin?
Right back at you....in your amazon.co.uk purchase, what would Amazon refund you in? (Amazon - not the third party processor you would be using).
 

Firefly

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The claim was that Bitcoin couldn't be used to buy anything. You challenged me to point you to where you could buy a specific item with Bitcoin. And that - as I detailed - is possible via the Amazon platform - along with 353 million other items.
It's not via the Amazon platform. It's via a 3rd party for the conversion to real money.

It's like me saying that I can go to the All Ireland final any year I like, conveniently omitting the quick & pretty seamless transaction of buying a ticket from a ticket tout outside.
 

tecate

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It's not via the Amazon platform. It's via a 3rd party for the conversion to real money.
It's like me saying that I can go to the All Ireland final any year I like, conveniently omitting the quick & pretty seamless transaction of buying a ticket from a ticket tout outside.
You mean just like that other example we worked through? i.e. When you buy off amazon.co.uk - a third party (visa) has to convert from euro to gbp to pay amazon.co.uk because amazon.co.uk don't accept euro as payment.

It's exactly the same.
 

Leo

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The study goes back ten years - and a time when Bitcoin existed on obscure corners of the internet with a market capitalisation of next to nothing.
Yes, but you do realise how they calculated the 46% do you? And how little influence those early years have on the result?

As you well know, you started this off with the suggestion that Bitcoin is for criminal use
No I didn't. I started off on speculation vs utility of gold, but don't let the facts interfere now. The discussion on criminal use started with your claim that only 2% of transactions were illicit. I as correcting the error you made in interpreting the results of that study.

nobody was confining this to dark markets! - what purpose would that serve?).
It was you suggested that the study only focused on dark web transactions, suggesting they didn't 'consider the proportion of illicit transactions as opposed to legal transactions', when in fact that's exactly what the study did.


Why would I bother - and to what end? The fact is that you made a big fat claim and you fell on your face with that claim.
Because it would be so very easy for you to prove your point, and I would have no alternative but to accept you are right and acknowledge there are places I can buy stuff I want using bitcoin. You claimed to have found multiple shops, yet still refuse to even link to one of them, that just strikes me as odd.

The claim was that Bitcoin couldn't be used to buy anything. You challenged me to point you to where you could buy a specific item with Bitcoin. And that - as I detailed - is possible via the Amazon platform - along with 353 million other items.
Yet, Amazon don't accept bitcoin, or any crypto, just fiat. Fact. Some 3rd party will take bitcoin off me and pass it on to Amazon on my behalf provided I give them access to my wallet. That's a very different prospect.
 

tecate

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Yes, but you do realise how they calculated the 46% do you? And how little influence those early years have on the result?
What I realize Leo is that the MIT study that I cited is bang up to date whereas this paper that you tried to big up by suggesting it was 'industry reviewed' (NOT!) is outdated with a dataset that is outdated.

No I didn't. I started off on speculation vs utility of gold, but don't let the facts interfere now. The discussion on criminal use started with your claim that only 2% of transactions were illicit. I as correcting the error you made in interpreting the results of that study.
Hilarious. I was talking about this specific strand of the discussion as well you know. You can't back up your claims so now you're trying to fudge it so nobody can follow it.
That armor report you cited didn't provide any insight into the proportion of illicit transactions vs. legal transactions - none.

As regards what I cited, I cited the MIT study which was just published. If you have an issue with their data, then prove where they have strayed. You point out that they couldn't determine the nature of a large proportion of trades - no problem. However, that doesn't make them illegal and it certainly calls into question how the guys from your outdated study possibly could!

It was you suggested that the study only focused on dark web transactions, suggesting they didn't 'consider the proportion of illicit transactions as opposed to legal transactions', when in fact that's exactly what the study did.
Where did Armor suggest such proportions? Where?


Because it would be so very easy for you to prove your point, and I would have no alternative but to accept you are right and acknowledge there are places I can buy stuff I want using bitcoin. You claimed to have found multiple shops, yet still refuse to even link to one of them, that just strikes me as odd.
You dismissed a perfectly good means of purchasing that specific item (and 353 million others) via the Amazon platform. With that sort of irrational approach, I'm not going to spend my time going through individual online shops for your perusal. I proved the point - there's no need to take that further.


et, Amazon don't accept bitcoin, or any crypto, just fiat. Fact. Some 3rd party will take bitcoin off me and pass it on to Amazon on my behalf provided I give them access to my wallet. That's a very different prospect.
Just like visa as a third party processor would do when you pay with your euro denominated account and convert that into GBP on amazon.co.uk.
In any event, you're going into another discussion. The challenge was to find a way to pay for that item when Bitcoin was what was available to spend. I think you should stop up and think for a while how much you have gone down the road of 'winning an argument' as opposed to looking at the stone cold reality.
 

Firefly

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So in the example, you don't have the option to pay in Euro via Amazon.co.uk.

The very same right back at you. Purchasing on amazon.co.uk - please provide proof that Amazon accept euro.
I do. Below.
Amazon Currency Converter allows you to pay for qualifying purchases in your local currency.
When you use Amazon Currency Converter, we'll charge your credit or debit card in your local currency.

Please return the favour and show where you can "Pay in Bitcoin"......


4068
 
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tecate

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I do. Below. Please return the favour and show where you can "Pay in Bitcoin".
You've done no such thing. Pricing on amazon.co.uk is denominated in £GBP. If you were to whip out your AIB visa debit or credit card right now to buy something on that platform, a third party processor (visa) would have to convert your euro to £GBP to facilitate the transaction. Visa is a third party processor.

You know all this already - its time that you accept the fact also.
 

Firefly

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4067

You've done no such thing. Pricing on amazon.co.uk is denominated by £GBP. If you were to whip out your AIB visa debit or credit card right now to buy something on that platform, a third party processor (visa) would have to convert your euro to £GBP to facilitate the transaction. Visa is a third party processor.

You know all this already - its time that you accept the fact also.
Rubbish. I've edited my post above. I am charged in Euro. Over to you. Show me where you can "pay in Bitcoin".
 
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