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Linux Business The Almighty Buck IT

Linux Flourishes In 200-Year-Old Gold Markets 195

tbarkerload writes "H-Online [a spin off of a major German daily] reports on a gold trader managing over 15 tonnes of gold, worth $660m, with a platform built on open source tech. BullionVault operates a 24-7 electronic market in gold bullion open to both retail and professional traders. Their systems handle thousands of daily transactions from both human traders and bots operating through their API. If Linux has reached the world of hundred year old assaying firms, and Swiss vaults buried in mountains, can final world domination be too far away?"
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Linux Flourishes In 200-Year-Old Gold Markets

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  • how much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:19PM (#27695127) Journal
    660 million?


    Hey, guess what OS the stock exchanges of NY, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Tokyo, etc are built on?

    If you REALLY want to talk about world domination, I'd start there instead of some two-bit (ok, 5.3 billion-bit) gold exchange.
  • by BitHive ( 578094 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:53PM (#27695553) Homepage

    Why not hoard a commodity whose price is more stable? I'm amazed that in this day and age there are still people who think gold has inherent value and will suddenly be the default currency when everything goes Max Max Real Soon Now.

    Let me guess, you bought a bunch of Ron Paul Liberty Dollars from NORFED too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:53PM (#27695557)
    I love the idea that after society crumbles, and there's no money, people are going to want to trade all of the food they've hoarded for a relatively useless mineral. Seems like it would be a lot smarter to be buying up guns and bullets, if you're seriously concerned.
  • by BitHive ( 578094 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:58PM (#27695611) Homepage
    It's a great way to make money off idiots during times of economic uncertainty. When demand drops after the crisis passes, you buy it back cheap for next time.
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:16PM (#27695829) Homepage

    Nope, but I sold mine recently, so thanks for buying it at nearly twice what I paid for it.

    I'm no financial genius, but buying low and selling high. As Buffet puts it, "be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful." It means essentially the same thing. That said, gold seems to be rather high right now, while stocks are quite low. The only way it makes sense to pick gold over stocks is if you believe we're headed for Mad Max. Although personally, if that's the case, I'd rather have guns than gold.

  • by dlaudel ( 1304717 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:24PM (#27695899)
    I'm trying to buy gold, too, but it has no "inherent" value. No object in the world has inherent value, just the subjective values due to people's wants. Gold has historically functioned very well as money, is fairly rare (though common enough that anyone could get a bit), and is durable. It is not easily counterfeited either. Thus, people assign a great deal of value to it as a medium of exchange or something to store value. It's not because we all believe it is magical or something, it's because it has emerged over time as the best available option for money. That's the market process at work.
  • The Dollar (Score:4, Insightful)

    by copponex ( 13876 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:29PM (#27695949) Homepage

    Trust me. The dollar will not fail.

    If China allowed the dollar to tank, the American economy would make the current crisis look like paradise. Oil would be unaffordable. Our reserves would be locked up for military use. The power vacuum left by a rapidly destabilized American military would fuck shit up. You'd probably have dozens of wars spring up, especially in the middle east, as Europe and Asia battle over the energy reserves currently under our control. Israel would probably end up dropping a pre-emptive nuke to make everyone think twice about moving in their direction. Who knows which way Russia would swing.

    So, the world isn't going to let America fail at the moment, since no one knows how better or worse off they'd be. That's why the dollar is up since the crisis. China may have all of our money, but we still have more military power than the rest of the world combined.

    And gold? Gold isn't going to get you to the border, or to any place of safety. You should buy a dirtbike and a shitload of ammunition if you think the dollar is going to fail. Gold won't buy much more than cash if everyone is starving.

    Plus, your fears about spending are basically groundless. During WWII we drove up our deficit to unbelievable highs - wars are expensive, that's why taxes should go up when a country goes to war. McCain said in 2003: "The tax cut is not appropriate until we find out the cost of the war and the cost of reconstruction." That was, of course, before he starting toeing the line for the real political power in the GOP.

    We can afford national healthcare, stimulus packages, more education, and ponies if we reduce military spending, which is currently at a trillion dollars a year. Empire is what is bankrupting the country, not social spending.

  • Re:In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thtrgremlin ( 1158085 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:57PM (#27696245) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure prostitutes need specialised and technical skill or knowledge for what they do

    There are always those without skill in any industry willing to get paid, but quality, D&D free sex workers put exceptional time and training both into their physical and social skills. Low barrier to market (no pun intended) always means more aggressive competition. Nobody makes or pays $500+ an hour without specialised skills. Nobody.

  • Re:how much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @08:17PM (#27696471) Journal
    But the whole point of the post was that Linux reached something so archaic -- not something at the forefront.
  • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @08:23PM (#27696505) Homepage Journal

    Why not hoard a commodity whose price is more stable?

    Which commodity are you recommending here? What's more portable, has better liquidity, or has better value density? What doesn't corrode or rot? You can take a piece of gold to any pawn shop or jeweler and get money for it -- try doing that with wheat or oil.

    I'm amazed that in this day and age there are still people who think gold has inherent value and will suddenly be the default currency when everything goes Max Max Real Soon Now.

    I'm surprised you didn't know that gold has been the most valuable commodity to any society that could get their hands on it. Why has gold been a universal currency for the past 5,000 years? Gold was valuable to the Incas, who had no connection to the east or west, until they were conquered by the Spanish.

    What commodity is more easily transportable and has a better value density? Why is the word for 'money' or 'coin' or 'value' in many languages literally 'gold'? What do people take with them when they have to flee a country? What do people put in their safe deposit box? Why were ancient treasures filled with gold? Why does Fort Knox hold a bunch of gold? Why did kingdoms and governments use gold to back their paper currency -- which really does have no inherent value -- with gold, until very recently? If it truly has no inherent value, how come it's never completely lost its value, unlike paper currency, or tulip bulbs?

    The answer is, gold is probably the closet thing we'll have to a perfect currency. It's malleable, divisible, and meltable -- unlike precious stones -- which means you can pay in exact change, and take your small denominations of gold, melt it down, and create a single unit out of it. It can't be arbitrarily multiplied, as a currency can -- no hyper inflation, unless we perfect the art of alchemy. Human beings are genuinely tickled by it's color -- it's used in jewelry and decoration, literal representations of value. It's pretty, unlike, say, lead. It doesn't corrode, like copper or iron. It won't rot, and can't be eaten, like wheat or rice. It can't be 'used up', like paper, especially printed paper ( currency) or toilet paper. It's not toxic and it won't spill, like oil. It's got a good value density -- Would you rather trade a 1 ounce gold coin ( value ~$1,000 ) or 1 ton of rice ( value ~$1,000) for something? And, it actually does have industrial applications, in electronics.It has inherent value as a medium of exchange.

    What commodity would you recommend?

  • by spasm ( 79260 ) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @10:50PM (#27697451) Homepage

    Silver was the `universal commodity' for most of the last 5000 years. Gold is a Johnny-come-lately from the last 400 years at best.

    The actual `use value' of gold (as decoration, malleable flexible material, conductor) is about US$80 an ounce. The other $900 is fluff value we've assigned to it because a few currencies were based on it for a while.

    And I say this as someone who did drill & blast for ten years in gold mines in Australia, and hence has a health appreciation of the dot-com mentality that periodically envelops the industry every time there's a run on the stuff. Driller's pay-per-metre isn't called `silly money' for noting.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:59AM (#27698267)

    Where are the indication that we're seeing stagflation? I see mainly indications of deflation.

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