I've been thinking about Bitcoin recently. If you haven't heard of it, check out the link. It is essentially an electronic 'cypto-currency' that allows for micro-payments as well.

If Bitcoin could somehow be integrated into the system, perhaps users could trade reputation for bitcoins, or set a bounty in bitcoins and the correct answer would pay them out as well as normal Stack Overflow reputation.

Just a thought.

  • 3
    I wish you would tell me why you think it is bad idea instead of just down voting the question. That would be more constructive. – aceinthehole May 11 '11 at 22:04
  • 4
    Or... they could just keep using reputation, which serves as the internal SE currency and not introduce a dependency on a third-party product that may or may not fail? – Adam Lear May 11 '11 at 22:06
  • 1
    I do not think this is a good idea. – cbroughton May 11 '11 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Anna please read the link as well, you'll find out that it is not 'third-party product' rather an open source initiative. – aceinthehole May 11 '11 at 22:27
  • Looks like SE users cannot read the tool-tip on the down-vote arrow. It reads: "this question doesn't show any research effort, it is unclear or not useful" It doesn't mean "if you don't like the idea, down-vote without commenting"! You don't like bitcoin? Write an answer! +1 for aceinthehole for daring asking a question on this server. (oh, I don't have enough rep) Depressing... – user161870 May 12 '11 at 9:52
  • 5
    @repecmps downvotes in Meta stand for disagreement. – Sathyajith Bhat May 12 '11 at 10:10
  • @Sathya: Nope. When I read the tool-tip it doesn't say that. It tells me to downvote if the question is bad. (update the text if necessary...) On meta, discussion should be encouraged. aceinthehole lost 14 points (and counting) for proposing a perfectly legit question. Really makes me want to participate on this site... – user161870 May 12 '11 at 10:24
  • 1
    @repecmps legit question doesn't mean it's a great idea. People think it's a bad idea, and that's why the downvotes. There are.. feature requests to update the tooltip – Sathyajith Bhat May 12 '11 at 10:28
  • 2
    @repecmps: The tooltip, and you, are incorrect. – user1228 May 12 '11 at 13:03
  • oh well... whatever – user161870 May 12 '11 at 14:36
  • @repecmps @Sathya @Will I don't even think the tooltip exclude "I disagree" anyway, since "not useful" pretty much expresses "I disagree" but in a very specific way – Daniel DiPaolo May 12 '11 at 16:12
  • Well it has taught me a valuable lesson. I will never again post anything here that I think that anyone would ever disagree with in anyway whatsoever, otherwise I would loose 'credibility' with the community. I guess I just figured I'd get constructive criticism as is done in the other communities and like Ninefingers pointed below (who, by the way, I tend to agree with now that I have read his well thought out post) – aceinthehole May 12 '11 at 16:17
  • 4
    Posting a question which the community thinks is a bad idea isn't going to lose you 'credibility'. I've posted a bunch of questions which were considered as "bad" but that hasn't prevented from upvoting questions which do make sense, neither has it hit my "credibility". Up to you, anyways, @aceinthehole – Sathyajith Bhat May 12 '11 at 17:43
  • +1, question from 11 year. Now (mid of 13) this technology may be more trust able. Question should be reopened. – toreator Jul 24 '13 at 8:28

There have been several suggestions for rewards / extensions to the bounty system which I think is the key point here. I think the concern with adding money into the question is shifting the focus of questions such that high rep/knowledgeable users only answer questions with a monetary reward attached.

I'm assuming you've met the community wiki police (always comment with "should be community wiki?") and the homework high inquisition (comment with "is this homework?"). Well, implement this and you'll get "gotta offer bitcoins".

I understand that low rep users might not be able to offer bounties and that sometimes the reward for answering a highly technical question might not seem like enough (+20 rep, say) and whilst I think that can be seen as unfair, I think the balance as it stands is about right. The danger is that in having to have something to trade to get your question answered, you actually lock low rep users out further. That's why bounties are optional.

As to being able to trade reputation for bitcoin, well, bitcoin->reputation would be wrong. Reputation is, from the faq, a "rough measure of how much the community trusts you", earned by participation and no other means. Being able to export it as bitcoin, well, I wouldn't want to. I was hired based partly on my Stack Overflow profile and I think my profile as a whole is probably worth more than whatever my reputation converts to in bitcoins. I see it as a portfolio of sorts and it goes nicely alongside my github.

Besides, bitcoin is such an unimaginative currency name. They should have called it unicorn bucks.

  • +1 Well spoken. I agree with you about the name, the guy who invited it was was from Japan, I think, so maybe it sounded better in Japanese. – aceinthehole May 11 '11 at 22:32
  • That's a great response with or without bitcoins. I don't have the reputation to vote you but if I could then I would. – Kevin Monk Jun 2 '11 at 9:52
  • @aceinthehole it is not known where the guy who invented bitcoins is from, but he is most certainly not from Japan - despite his Japanese pseudonym. – Billy Moon Mar 5 '13 at 14:38
  • +1, money is a dirt. – toreator Jul 24 '13 at 8:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .