Anyone else here into Bitcoin?

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by Bloom, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,426
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
  2. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Likes Received:
    491
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NJ
    Home Page:
    Agreed, @wormcycle. Lyn is brilliant and I've really enjoyed her writings and podcasts appearances.
     
  3. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NYC
    I've been following Nassim Taleb for a decade, now, and he recently put out the Bitcoin Black Paper that I think is an interesting counter to all the bitcoin maximalism out there. https://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/BTC-QF.pdf

    If nothing else, it's a different viewpoint to give you a few ideas to think about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  4. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,426
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    I read this paper, I read his books, and had a great level of interest and respect for him. And poking holes in BTC maximalism is always a good thing. But the paper is deeply disappointing, in how many things he just did not bother to research, or he missed

    Couple of examples. The quote:
    "Transactions in bitcoin are considerably more expensive than wire services or other modes of transfers, or ones in other cryptocurrencies7 . They are order of magnitudes slower than standard commercial systems used by credit card companies"
    :
    Anyone who worked for a month in the banking IT immediately understands that Taleb is entirely confusing the settlement layer, blockchain, with the payments layer. Visa transactions are recorded, batched and processed the same night by the settlement, book of records, layer. So the settlement is much slower than on blockchain, and it is OK. Everybody knows that but not one of the smartest people in industry?
    Key point: If a bitcoin paper written in 2021 does not mention Lighting Network as second layer payments system, cheaper, and as fast as Visa, that's just ignorance or it was done to mislead. Both bad.

    And the last example:
    "To be able to regularly buy goods denominated in bitcoin (whose prices fixed in bitcoin but floating in U.S.$ or some other fiat currency), one must have an income that is fixed in bitcoin. Such an income must come from somewhere, say, an employer. For an employer to pay a salary fixed in bitcoin, she or he must be getting revenues fixed in bitcoin"
    Good example how limited "academic" thinking is comparing to real life. In Poland and other soviet satellites $US was not even legal currency, but transactions between private people where accounted in US dollars. You wanted to buy used car, home, washing machine, whatever from a private individual, the currency was $.

    Does he make some good points? yes , BTC security depends on mining, if it ever becomes unprofitable to mine BTC, the cost of network security will exceed its value. That is a complex issue, related to block subsidies, but Taleb does not engage in it.
    Anyway, he has the depth, knowledge and reputation to engage in a meaningful critique of BTC, but either he got sloppy or the paper has an agenda.
    .
     
  5. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2020
    Likes Received:
    829
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atl
    Huh? I come from behind the Iron Curtain. Other than a few elites having them, there wasn't a dollar in sight. You mean the US accounted foreign transactions in dollars? I'm confused.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  6. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,426
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Elites? I was making and equivalent of $800 a year. Every little money me and my buddies could save we would go to one of those few government run dollar stores, for elites, and buy from illegal currency traders some dollars because, at least in the last years of People Republic of Poland, the inflation was running 50%. When I bough my first car I paid $850, sold it before leaving Poland for I think $700. In Polish zlotych it was 3 times as much I paid for it. I was paying rent for my illegally rented Warsaw apartment in $.
    And there was no no such place as "behind Iron Curtain" . The state policies and people attitudes were vastly different in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland etc..In the former USSR any simple possession of $ could be used as a proof that you were being paid by the enemy to spy.
    In Poland you could possess $ but, here communist logic kicks in, it was illegal to buy it. Elites were the people allowed to travel to the US with certain amount of $ allocation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  7. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2020
    Likes Received:
    829
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atl
    Interesting. I guess Poland was different. I'm Bulgarian but lived in Yugoslavia as well. Not a dollar in sight lol.
     
  8. Reedsalvey

    Reedsalvey Rando

    Banned
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2022
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Now bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency globally, reliable, and easy to use. The cryptocurrency market does not stand still and is constantly developing. In some countries, bitcoin is recognized as legal tender and competes with state currencies. All this has a positive effect on the trend in the value of BTC. The growth in the value of cryptocurrencies directly depends on its prevalence, popularity, ease of use, and determination of the status of the currency in most countries of the world. Therefore, I advise you to read the *mod removed link* to always be up to date with the news. In the case of positive dynamics in all of the above areas, the position of the cryptocurrency on the world market and exchanges is strengthening, as well as an increase in its price.
     
    • Dislike Dislike x 4
    • Miss Information Miss Information x 1
    • List
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2022
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    9,697
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR


    This video was made in particular about NFTs, but in order to intelligently discuss NFTs, it goes into great depth about cryptocurrency and the blockchain.

    It's a long video but I recommend watching it all. The TL;DR on it (which I agree with) is:
    • Blockchain technology has serious structural and ideological drawbacks that have not been adequately examined or accounted for by its proponents, or worse has been actively downplayed by advocates who are getting rich on the pump side of a pump and dump scheme
    • The environmental impact of cryptocurrency and other blockchain based technologies is already bad and going to get exponentially worse as the artificial scarcity of popular currencies becomes a harder technological hurdle, and attempts at sidestepping the need to calculate to mine coins have been poorly implemented, and may not actually be significantly more environmentally friendly
    • NFTs in particular are exclusively the domain of scammers, even those who believe in the value of and benefits of NFTs recognize they only hold value if you can convince someone to pay more for it than you did, not because of any inherent quality of the NFT
    • The utopian ideal espoused by advocates of putting everything on the blockchain is utterly impossible to achieve because the same mechanisms that advocates claim will drastically change existing power structures will actually make it easier for unaccountable actors to perpetuate harm. The fundamental issues that advocates claim blockchain solves are not technological, but behavioral, and a technological implementation is not going to "solve" behavioral issues.
    The video itself is informative and entertaining, I recommend anyone even mildly curious about blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and/or NFTs give it a watch. Even if you disagree, I think you'll come away with things to think about.
     
  10. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NYC
    I've seen this video posted around and thought I'd add some thoughts to your recap to hopefully be more food for thought.

    This is like when smartphones first came out and people criticized them for being inferior to desktop PC's in all the traditional methods of measuring computer performance while ignoring the new set of experiences a new form factor could potentially offer.

    Most new blockchain projects are not proof of work like bitcoin and therefore do not require computer hardware to race to calculate complex sudokus for mining rewards. Ethereum, #2 in market cap, is a few months out from transitioning from proof of work to proof of stake, ending the need for miners. Some non-proof of work blockchains I am interested in reported to be carbon neutral or negative in 2021.

    Ponzi, you say? Wait till you hear about the stock market. At least most blockchains are public ledgers, making it easier to track scammers and the assets they're trying to move around.

    While really interested in web3, I don't think it's going to solve all the world's problems. I think the value in building the rails of web3 has helped make faster progress in tech like distributed systems and cryptography. People are getting paid to do the research. We might not currently know all the things it'll enable, but I think the path to getting there is interesting.
     
  11. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    9,697
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The benefits of even early smartphones (really from the first iPhone on) were self evident to almost everyone who used it, and if you bought one and didn't like it, you were out a few hundred dollars. Smartphones were also created, supported, and backed by major corporations that generally weren't going to disappear into the night. Smartphones iterated quickly as mobile processors were invested in by these major corporations.

    Bitcoin has been around since 2009. Cryptocurrency remains almost exclusively the domain of scammers or figures who are already extremely wealthy via traditional markets (which, to your third point, may be one in the same).


    Proof of stake introduces its own set of issues, and to be honest I am extremely skeptical of claims from blockchain stakeholders about the environmental performance of their investment, specifically because they have a direct financial investment in getting outside money into the specific blockchains they've invested in. This is honestly an issue within the entire crypto space. Regulated trading does have some rules of consumer protection, crypto has none.


    Come on now, this is exactly the kind of utopian claims I'm talking about. The stock market is essentially a huge scam, I don't disagree with that, but that does not mean crypto is any less of a scam. And let's face it, when was the last time you inspected the blockchain to identify bad actors, and what signs would you need to determine which ones are the bad actors? Where are the enforcement mechanisms to punish bad actors, especially in an append only chain that cannot be edited without forking the entire chain? Where are the huge stories about the community policing itself? I haven't seen a single one. And if you DO identify a bad actor, what stops them from creating a new wallet using a new identity? There's nothing inherently tying a given account to a given individual.

    You can absolutely say that the stock market is a scheme that benefits only the greatest capital holders and their agents at the expense of others buying in, and I would generally agree. The stock market, however, is not generally a platform to directly steal money from people's wallets, as many crypto currencies are.

    Cryptography was already making fast progress as more high profile hacks occur on central aspects of our financial infrastructure, and the threat of what happens when those attacks target our utilities infrastructure.

    Distributed systems in the model of the blockchain are fundamentally flawed. Web3 is a failure before it has begun.
     

Share This Page