So, what do you think about BitCoin?

52 minutes ago, AndrewB said:

You "have to" declare capital gains when you cash in btc, but no moreso than you "have to" report income when a family member pays you cash to fix their roof or something.

Yeah, that's true if the transactions happen within the BTC network and aren't visible to the banks / tax officials. It can and often will become a problem if the bank is monitoring transactions and transaction sizes happening between accounts, as they could inform the tax guys about it. Also in Finland the police have said that they're working together with banks to avoid excessive tax avoidance in regard of bitcoin gains.

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On 12/16/2017 at 9:44 AM, MetroidJunkie said:

While Bitcoin may be the big player right now, it won't stay that way forever. The Market isn't content to keep a juggernaut forever, it'll lose steam before too long and another Crypto Coin will likely become the next Bitcoin.

On 4/4/2016 at 9:03 AM, AndrewB said:

Scalability is the biggest problem for Bitcoin. Ethereum will likely surpass it as the #1 cryptocurrency in the next few years.

 

Although Ethereum has gone up 90-fold since I wrote that, I'm not so sure anymore that ETH will reach #1. At some point, a transactional currency will surpass BTC, and there are a number of candidates. Quantum is the most compelling right now, as it takes the best features of Ethereum and Bitcoin and improves on them significantly. Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash are excellent candidates as well, although Litecoin is basically "Bitcoin 1.5." . EOS and Waves have a ton of upside. Some sleepers with big upside: SALT, Golem, Factom, Einsteineum, Civic, and FunFair.

 

I am pretty staying away from the following ones entirely: Ripple, Cardano, IOTA, Ethereum Classic, BitConnect, Dogecoin

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7 hours ago, AndrewB said:

I am pretty staying away from the following ones entirely: Ripple, Cardano, IOTA, Ethereum Classic, BitConnect, Dogecoin

Why would you stay away from for example Ripple and IOTA? Just curious because a friend of mine is talking good things about them. :)

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Ripple is highly centralized, has weak privacy, has a huge maximum supply, and it's a 1st generation crypto like Bitcoin. It doesn't have the technology expected of 2nd and 3rd generation cryptos.

 

IOTA simply became massively overpriced due the story of the partnership with Microsoft and Samsung that was completely debunked. The price still hasn't corrected.

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3 minutes ago, AndrewB said:

Ripple is highly centralized, has weak privacy, has a huge maximum supply, and it's a 1st generation crypto like Bitcoin. It doesn't have the technology expected of 2nd and 3rd generation cryptos.

 

IOTA simply became massively overpriced due the story of the partnership with Microsoft and Samsung that was completely debunked. The price still hasn't corrected.

Thanks! Gonna have to look into Quantum what it's about.

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Qtum, Litecoin, and Dash seem to be good picks. One of them will probably overtake Bitcoin, wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being Qtum.

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the first page of replies in this thread sure are somethin

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I can't wait for crypto-currency to die and take dumb nerds' money with it. 

_20171223_060116.JPG

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10 hours ago, dethtoll said:

I can't wait for crypto-currency to die and take dumb nerds' money with it. 

_20171223_060116.JPG

Looking at his Twitter, he seems to have invested a lot into sneakers.

 

So many tweets in one day at the same time. He must have a lot on his mind and not a friend to share it with.

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Bitcoin will probably lose in the long run but cryptocurrency is the future, although it will exist alongside fiat as essentially digital gold. Cryptocurrencies will also stabilize and become less fun to play around with for getting rich quick dreams but actually become useful as currency. There is a bubble right now but that does not negate progress; at the end of the 90s there was a tech bubble and that’s not because tech wasn’t the future (it was) but because of misguided valuations and confusion as to what was actually relevant to the market and what was just tagging along. That being said, if you have money to play around with in crypto, you can enjoy some nice free money on the ride up through a strange mixture of gambling and day trading. However, if you are “investing” amounts that would lead to ruin on the downside, then you’re being extremely irresponsible. You should be weighing “would losing this money feel worse then missing out on the upside I’m betting on” because for me, I think crypto will continue to go up and feed me some large crumbs for a bit before the valuation bubble bursts and the downside for me is losing an amount of money that I’m comfortable writing off.

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On 2017. 12. 16. at 2:45 PM, dew said:

Using the word "security" in a bitcoin thread is satire, right?

No, it isn't. By "security", I meant guarantee your wallet is immutable, permanent, etc., without a middleman.

It's in the principles, not in stability - but it's just a matter of time.

EDIT: also truth be told, reading the first page of this thread was a huge disappointment. Some of the comments were straight disgusting, with literally no understanding on the topic, and I'm honestly sad that some of the most established members of the community can pull up such disrespectul bullshits.

People should understand the principle behind cryptocurrencies, it's not a fantasy dream "like singularity or transhumanism", it's a paradigm shift that's friggin' happening right now.

 

AND ADDITIONALLY, makes people rich - people who would have little to no way otherwise. Idunno, I support stuff that makes people's lives happier or easier, because, uh, I know what it means TO BE POOR.

</rant>, sorry, but had to do it.

Edited by Katamori
mini rant
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People were selling their Bitcoins in order to buy Christmas presents, so their value dropped. This is normal.

 

If you don't understand basic economics like offer and demand, you should stay away from Bitcoin investments. 

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I won't share my opinion on the worth of Bitcoin but I do think the mathematics and concepts behind cryptocurrency are of some interest. Here's a pretty good video that explains the motivation for cryptocurrency and how Bitcoin works.

 

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBC-nXj3Ng4

Edited by SGS Man

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8 hours ago, Katamori said:

AND ADDITIONALLY, makes people rich - people who would have little to no way otherwise.

I think maybe the concern is that these cases are the exception rather than the norm? Bitcoin is celebrated like a fairytale about getting tons of money out of nowhere, but that's probably not what the majority of its users experiences.

 

I agree it's very fascinating technically, and it's probably quite educational to pour like 50$ into it and just see how things work. When people hear about bitcoin for the first time they often wonder why some electronic stuff would cost anything. So they look stuff up and find out how various kinds of money can have value. Then they try trading and learn how markets work. I think the overall understanding of economics in the world improved thanks to bitcoin. But I guess people like fraggle just want to make it very clear how risky this whole thing is and that you really shouldn't spend big sums of money on it unless you can afford it and know what you're doing really well?

Edited by Memfis

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5 hours ago, axdoomer said:

People were selling their Bitcoins in order to buy Christmas presents, so their value dropped. This is normal.

 

If you don't understand basic economics like offer and demand, you should stay away from Bitcoin investments. 

But that shows that it's a trade good, not a currency. The value of Bitcoin is purely speculative.

8 hours ago, Katamori said:

People should understand the principle behind cryptocurrencies, it's not a fantasy dream "like singularity or transhumanism", it's a paradigm shift that's friggin' happening right now.

It's, by design, an incredibly inefficient way to conduct financial transactions, with a currency that, by design, has no one backing it.

8 hours ago, Katamori said:

AND ADDITIONALLY, makes people rich - people who would have little to no way otherwise.

Somehow I do not expect San tribesmen in Africa to have bitcoin mining rigs. To invest in Bitcoin, you need to have a computer, with Internet access, and reliable access to electricity. All these things can be true of poor people in rich countries; but they definitely aren't true of poor people in poor countries.

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8 hours ago, SGS Man said:

Oh yeah, that video was amazing.

3 hours ago, Memfis said:

I think maybe the concern is that these cases are the exception rather than the norm? Bitcoin is celebrated like a fairytale about getting tons of money out of nowhere, but that's probably not what the majority of its users experiences.

But it's not necessarily the mistake of Bitcoin. It's about dumb people, and I would not have had any reasons to rant if it was the main focus of criticism, but it wasn't.

3 hours ago, Memfis said:

I think the overall understanding of economics in the world improved thanks to bitcoin. But I guess people like fraggle just want to make it very clear how risky this whole thing is and that you really shouldn't spend big sums of money on it unless you can afford it and know what you're doing really well?

But it's a no.1. principle for any kind of investment. I didn't spend a single real-life cent on cryptocurrencies, I started with Steem.

Also, if someone acts like a lunatic, you can tell that he's an idiot in your views, and stuff, but immediately declaring them being wrong, especially without hard evidences (some bubble-like situations aren't evidence IMHO) is not really an acceptable way of arguing.

3 hours ago, Gez said:

But that shows that it's a trade good, not a currency. The value of Bitcoin is purely speculative.

Ok, I admit it's true. Bitcoin is a pseudo-currency, because works rather like an asset, and as such, can't replace fiat currency - yet. I'm not ruling out, however, that it can achieve said purpose.

Because after all, fiat money's value is also speculative. It's just that people rarely doubt in the power of an entire country's economy.

3 hours ago, Gez said:

It's, by design, an incredibly inefficient way to conduct financial transactions, with a currency that, by design, has no one backing it.

Proof of Work/Stake/etc is what "backs" the currency. It's an algorithmic currency, where by design it's guaranteed that stuff like counterfeiting is impossible, AND you don't need banks and other, potentially malevolent legal entities to enforce it.

THIS is the value behind cryptocurrencies. It's a new paradigm. Even if not efficient, but decentralized, secure and trustless. And you can be sure it's going to take over if financial entities around the world continue their exploitation of the average Joe. 

Sorry if I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I have to admit, I'm a bit biased because I'm extremely anti-authoritarian, and I support everything that can screw up any sort of authority.

3 hours ago, Gez said:

Somehow I do not expect San tribesmen in Africa to have bitcoin mining rigs. To invest in Bitcoin, you need to have a computer, with Internet access, and reliable access to electricity. All these things can be true of poor people in rich countries; but they definitely aren't true of poor people in poor countries.

Hell no, I wasn't talking about mining, that is not viable usually.

I meant that, as far as I experienced, someone living in a third world country can make significant amount of money through participating in cryptocurrency projects (like Steem or LBRY), or even through trading. It's an easily accessible asset and might be more efficient than any sort of job they can find in their immediate physical surrounding.

Edited by Katamori

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3 hours ago, Memfis said:

But I guess people like fraggle just want to make it very clear how risky this whole thing is and that you really shouldn't spend big sums of money on it unless you can afford it and know what you're doing really well?

My position is this: if you want to experiment with Bitcoin then go ahead and buy some. But if you do give up some of your real world money to buy some, give it with the understanding that you're probably never getting it back. And as a corollary, don't spend money you can't afford to spend. Because chances are, something like one of the following will happen:

  1. All your Bitcoins are on an exchange or other website you're using which collapses and subsequently turns out to be a massive scam (this keeps happening).
  2. All your Bitcoins get stolen by some rogue malware, or a software bug in the wallet software you were using
  3. You buy a security device to prevent (2) but then forget the code for it
  4. You buy at a bad time and your Bitcoins lose 90% of their value, because the price was inflated by some kind of scam or ponzi scheme.
  5. Sharp increases in transaction fees (because of political disputes within the Bitcoin developer team)  mean you can't move your Bitcoins without them losing most of their value
  6. You experience extreme difficulty actually cashing out (still a problem).
  7. The list goes on. But you can assume that there are always scams, fraud and ponzi schemes involved.

There's that famous line in Star Wars - "you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy": it's a good description of what the Bitcoin "community" is like. My rule of thumb has become that any news you hear about Bitcoin will always be about fraud or illegal activity of some kind, although it may not be obvious yet that fraud is involved. Don't believe any website that tells you you're a millionaire unless it's your real bank showing the real money balance in your real bank account.

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I’d like to note also that across strata of class, you have currencies created out of collective agreement that a thing has value simply because it makes it easier for everyone involved. With the very elite you have art which is great for fencing value and transferring it among themselves. In poor drug torn areas, Tide detergent became a currency because it was agreed upon as a valuable asset that transcended its functional value into the realm of abstract value store and became the target of shoplifting (mining) and used explicitly for trade.

 

The role of a non-fiat currency for the global internet age is a niche that some cryptocurrency will fill.

 

Also this post seems out of context now looking at the surrounding posts, but just musing about it in general.

Edited by insertwackynamehere

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2 hours ago, fraggle said:

My position is this: if you want to experiment with Bitcoin then go ahead and buy some. But if you do give up some of your real world money to buy some, give it with the understanding that you're probably never getting it back. And as a corollary, don't spend money you can't afford to spend.

Oh, then we actually agree, mostly. These are the rules everyone should know, in any case of investment.
 

2 hours ago, fraggle said:

Because chances are, something like one of the following will happen:

  1. All your Bitcoins are on an exchange or other website you're using which collapses and subsequently turns out to be a massive scam (this keeps happening).
  2. All your Bitcoins get stolen by some rogue malware, or a software bug in the wallet software you were using
  3. You buy a security device to prevent (2) but then forget the code for it
  4. You buy at a bad time and your Bitcoins lose 90% of their value, because the price was inflated by some kind of scam or ponzi scheme.
  5. Sharp increases in transaction fees (because of political disputes within the Bitcoin developer team)  mean you can't move your Bitcoins without them losing most of their value
  6. You experience extreme difficulty actually cashing out (still a problem).
  7. The list goes on. But you can assume that there are always scams, fraud and ponzi schemes involved.

1 is sometimes valid. I'd argue there are sites you can trust (e.g. Bittrex) but in general, a local wallett is much wiser.
2 is less valid, however. The only requirement to avoid it is to not be an incompetent prick who gets fooled by literally anyone. Even bugs are avoidable this way: do your research on the wallett you're using.
3 is also a matter of incompetence. [read the article you linked some weeks ago and even there i thought the same]
4 is valid, yeah, sadly that happens all the time. But then again, it's not unique to cryptocurrencies.
5 is also valid, but also a matter of doing your research. I know cryptocurrencies that don't have crazy transaction fees because are better designed than Bitcoin.
6 is definitely valid, it'd be futile to argue. That is problematic, but I'd assume someone going as far as investing would do it for a principle, too. Pure greed is a no-no in this market.
 

2 hours ago, fraggle said:

There's that famous line in Star Wars - "you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy": it's a good description of what the Bitcoin "community" is like. My rule of thumb has become that any news you hear about Bitcoin will always be about fraud or illegal activity of some kind, although it may not be obvious yet that fraud is involved. Don't believe any website that tells you you're a millionaire unless it's your real bank showing the real money balance in your real bank account.

I noticed you used this "community argument" several times, but truth be told, the community of anything should be the least important factor when evaluating. You can use Bitcoin without joining the community, as I did.

I also don't care if Bitcoin is associated with black market activity, I mean sure, it ruins the public image, which is a huge issue, but the fact itself is something that doesn't bother me. With a knife, you can make dinner for someone, or stab someone to death.

Edited by Katamori

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3 hours ago, Katamori said:

1 is sometimes valid. I'd argue there are sites you can trust (e.g. Bittrex) but in general, a local wallett is much wiser.

On the contrary, one of the biggest problems I've seen is that there are close to none of these websites you can trust in any way. Major exchanges often seem to be hosted in tax havens (Virgin Islands, etc.) or eastern Europe, countries where there's no regulation of their activities. You cited Bittrex and I don't know it, but just three second Google search gives me this news report - the exact same kind of pattern seen with Mt. Gox ~three years ago before it suddenly went offline. 

 

Quote

2 is less valid, however. The only requirement to avoid it is to not be an incompetent prick who gets fooled by literally anyone. Even bugs are avoidable this way: do your research on the wallett you're using.
3 is also a matter of incompetence. [read the article you linked some weeks ago and even there i thought the same]

I think you do a disservice to people who are victims of these kind of scams by insulting them all as "incompetent pricks". It's safe to say that you won't get this problem with any normal kind of investment. You're succinctly demonstrating exactly the kind of attitude I've seen far too much of from the Bitcoin "community" and that leads me to tell people to stay well away from this crap.

 

Quote

4 is valid, yeah, sadly that happens all the time. But then again, it's not unique to cryptocurrencies.

Name a commodity that regularly experiences the kind of extreme price fluctuations seen with Bitcoin. I doubt you'll find one - my point with (4) was that these are often caused by scams. Most financial instruments are regulated so that these kind of things are illegal.

 

Quote

I noticed you used this "community argument" several times, but truth be told, the community of anything should be the least important factor when evaluating. You can use Bitcoin without joining the community, as I did.

 

I don't particularly care about black market activity or whether Bitcoin is being used to buy drugs (in all honesty I don't see why anyone would choose to use it for anything else). But I question the claim that "you can use Bitcoin without joining the community". What I mean is that I don't see how you can get to a point of wanting to actually buy Bitcoin without having being convinced by something written by someone "in the community", and that's the real problem. I've seen Bitcoin news websites which read like outright propaganda - I came across an article the other day and it felt like I was reading one of those weird North Korean press releases. If this is the information people are using to make their financial decisions then what is the result going to be?

 

The whole thing has this weird, cult-like smell to it, and there's a reason that people keep bringing up "tulip mania" in discussions about Bitcoin. There's definitely a strong element of irrationality at play, just like what happened in the Netherlands, and I don't think things are going to end pleasantly.

 

There's also a clear tech bubble where companies are trying to push "blockchains" as a solution for dozens of things they aren't appropriate for at all, leading to some truly bizarre results. These bubbles rarely last more than a few years, and I'm curious to see what the effect will be on Bitcoin itself once investors realise that this isn't going to be the world-changing new "financial technology" that Bitcoin fans want everyone to believe it is.

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7 hours ago, Katamori said:

It's just that people rarely doubt in the power of an entire country's economy.

Well yeah, and for good reasons. But with Bitcoin and similar currencies, there's nothing backing it. Just some algorithms.

7 hours ago, Katamori said:

Proof of Work/Stake/etc is what "backs" the currency.

And that's dumb.

 

Independently of how clever the algorithms may be, the entire decision to use gratuitous energy expense as a way to back the currency is stupid and I'd even say immoral. Would you accept burning truck tires as a currency? To invest in TireCoin, just set fire to some old truck tires and breathe in the fumes. Pollution and sickness is what backs the currency. The environmental results of this ridiculous parody are the same as those of Bitcoin.

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The consensus algorithm has been studied by economists who have determined that it is vulnerable to cartels. There are better algorithms available. 

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Lol that went really long. Sorry, cut it as much as I could.

 

15 hours ago, fraggle said:

On the contrary, one of the biggest problems I've seen is that there are close to none of these websites you can trust in any way. Major exchanges often seem to be hosted in tax havens (Virgin Islands, etc.) or eastern Europe, countries where there's no regulation of their activities. You cited Bittrex and I don't know it, but just three second Google search gives me this news report - the exact same kind of pattern seen with Mt. Gox ~three years ago before it suddenly went offline. 

 

"You can't trust these sites" - I agree, to an extent.

"Tax havens" - I don't care. Also I'm from Eastern Europe, anyway.


"Bittrex issues" - it has only been temporary as far as I know. I've been using it for months with little to no issues, so I'm quite satisfied with it.

 

15 hours ago, fraggle said:

I think you do a disservice to people who are victims of these kind of scams by insulting them all as "incompetent pricks". It's safe to say that you won't get this problem with any normal kind of investment. You're succinctly demonstrating exactly the kind of attitude I've seen far too much of from the Bitcoin "community" and that leads me to tell people to stay well away from this crap.

Yes, I know it wasn't super kind, but in the end, it's still personal responsibility about your finance.

I should have worded it with less disrespect, I admit, but saying that it doesn't happen with "normal investments" is just not true. World is full of scammers - yeah, maybe the cryptocurrency era is more exposed to it, and you may think it's a huge issue, but whether you take this risk or not is, then again, personal responsibility.

 

Also I haven't spent a single real-life penny on cryptocurrencies, yet I'm sitting on ~$600 right now, so it's really hard for me to sympathize with victims of scams and stuff. Sorry. But it's not a reason to "stay far".

 

15 hours ago, fraggle said:

Name a commodity that regularly experiences the kind of extreme price fluctuations seen with Bitcoin. I doubt you'll find one - my point with (4) was that these are often caused by scams. Most financial instruments are regulated so that these kind of things are illegal.

As I've written above, I'm not really a fan of the concept of regulation, authority, and stuff like that. My genuine opinion is that if the price of unregulated market is lifting prices due to scams, then it's a "necessary bad" which we should accept.

Of course, it limits further spread of cryptocurrencies, but I'm damn sure that the more R&D is put into the topic, the sooner someone can make a cryptocurrency that can be stable AND mildly- or even unregulated.

 

15 hours ago, fraggle said:

I don't particularly care about black market activity or whether Bitcoin is being used to buy drugs (in all honesty I don't see why anyone would choose to use it for anything else). But I question the claim that "you can use Bitcoin without joining the community". What I mean is that I don't see how you can get to a point of wanting to actually buy Bitcoin without having being convinced by something written by someone "in the community", and that's the real problem. I've seen Bitcoin news websites which read like outright propaganda - I came across an article the other day and it felt like I was reading one of those weird North Korean press releases. If this is the information people are using to make their financial decisions then what is the result going to be?

Well, if you need a precise example, I got my first Bitcoin fragments by trading Steem on Bittrex. I found out about Steem on a completely unrelated subreddit (/r/ipfs if you're interested), when someone was talking about a completely unrealted topic (the implementation of a decentralized video service). Actually, I don't even particularly like Bitcoin, I'm a fan of cryptocurrencies in general. It's up to you to decide if you trust them. I do, because some alternates are extremely superior to Bitcoin, it's just that they aren't so well-known.

 

Also I really don't like reading news because I know everyone's lying for their own favor, so I'm not touched by propaganda.

Then again, it's all about personal responsibility.

 

15 hours ago, fraggle said:

The whole thing has this weird, cult-like smell to it, and there's a reason that people keep bringing up "tulip mania" in discussions about Bitcoin. There's definitely a strong element of irrationality at play, just like what happened in the Netherlands, and I don't think things are going to end pleasantly.

 

There's also a clear tech bubble where companies are trying to push "blockchains" as a solution for dozens of things they aren't appropriate for at all, leading to some truly bizarre results. These bubbles rarely last more than a few years, and I'm curious to see what the effect will be on Bitcoin itself once investors realise that this isn't going to be the world-changing new "financial technology" that Bitcoin fans want everyone to believe it is.

Yeah well, I agree, but as I see it, it's the "good kind of religion" if you will. The huge majority will lose a lot, I agree. But the "surviving few" is going to have a decent place in the cryptocommunity after an actual market correction. Because I'm 100% sure market correction WILL happen. Heck, I'd even argue, that with BTC stagnating around 13-15k, we are at a market correction phase.

 

Blockchain mania is indeed bizarre soemtimes. I highlight, however, sometimes. You argue that mainstream adoption is overhyped and I agree, it's sometimes really cringy even for me, but among the stupid implementations, there is plenty of applications that are the most amazing I've ever seen. Decentraland, for a distributed VR world, Steem for a decentralized social media platform, LBRY for a Youtube alternative, Storj for decentralized cloud storage, Iota for Internet-of-Things money transfer, and maybe my favorite is Gladius, for an actually reliable DDoS protection.

 

In general, the principle is that in the current political and socio-cultural climate, many people are mistrustful about middleman and/or centralized services. Maybe you're not like them, and I can accept it, but it doesn't mean you have to judge the entire market with such a sharp tone. There's many to come in this field.

 

15 hours ago, Gez said:

Well yeah, and for good reasons. But with Bitcoin and similar currencies, there's nothing backing it. Just some algorithms.

You underestimate those algorithms. Numbers don't lie.

 

15 hours ago, Gez said:

And that's dumb.

 

Independently of how clever the algorithms may be, the entire decision to use gratuitous energy expense as a way to back the currency is stupid and I'd even say immoral. Would you accept burning truck tires as a currency? To invest in TireCoin, just set fire to some old truck tires and breathe in the fumes. Pollution and sickness is what backs the currency. The environmental results of this ridiculous parody are the same as those of Bitcoin.

1) There are attempts to make it less polluting.


2) India, China and the US are still the most polluting countries in the world, yet your biggest problem is the pollution caused by Bitcoin? I'd argue this approach is also immoral.

3) Then again, I consider it a price for securing our assets without middleman that can be corrupted, compromised, or liquidated. It's just me, but if I have to choose between a green but centralized, or a polluted but decentralized world, I go for the latter. Maybe it's a lunatic approach, I admit, but thank it for those who exploited people's trust in them.

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13 minutes ago, Katamori said:

As I've written above, I'm not really a fan of the concept of regulation, authority, and stuff like that. My genuine opinion is that if the price of unregulated market is lifting prices due to scams, then it's a "necessary bad" which we should accept.

It's not the only "necessary evil" inflicted by complete deregulation. When you posit that people's freedom to do whatever the fuck they want is more important than regulations meant to protect people against the acts of others, then you start to see real shit happening. Essentially, it boils down to having the freedom to enslave others, because that's what humanity will always fall back to whenever it's allowed.

 

11 minutes ago, Katamori said:

You underestimate those algorithms. Numbers don't lie.

Yes they do. Nothing lies better than numbers. You just have to choose which numbers you show. But the point is, these algorithms are entirely meaningless in the grand scheme of things. They don't make it so that you can buy bread and potatoes with your bitcoins.

 

11 minutes ago, Katamori said:

2) India, China and the US are still the most polluting countries in the world, yet your biggest problem is the pollution caused by Bitcoin? I'd argue this approach is also immoral.

It's actually possible to care about several things at once! This is the Bitcoin thread so I talk about Bitcoin here. Yes, Bitcoin is not the world's biggest source of global warming. But it's a completely unnecessary one in my opinion.

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8 hours ago, Jon said:

The consensus algorithm has been studied by economists who have determined that it is vulnerable to cartels. There are better algorithms available. 

Right - the whole blockchain thing is very "clever", and I don't mean that in a complimentary way. It's intended to solve a specific problem, ie. building a decentralized network, but relies on hashing power being distributed among many different miners. That hasn't played out in practice and is now centralized in the hands of a small number of people; you can argue that the whole thing is now a very expensive (in terms of computation, money, and the environment) waste of time.

 

I linked it earlier in the thread but I recommend checking out Mike Hearn's post about why he left Bitcoin. Few people are more technically qualified to talk about the thing and he paints a bleak picture of a system that's become fundamentally broken. When a toxic community obstructs good technical decision-making it's a perfect example of how "the community" really matters.

 

4 hours ago, Katamori said:

Blockchain mania is indeed bizarre soemtimes. I highlight, however, sometimes. You argue that mainstream adoption is overhyped and I agree, it's sometimes really cringy even for me, but among the stupid implementations, there is plenty of applications that are the most amazing I've ever seen. Decentraland, for a distributed VR world, Steem for a decentralized social media platform, LBRY for a Youtube alternative, Storj for decentralized cloud storage, Iota for Internet-of-Things money transfer, and maybe my favorite is Gladius, for an actually reliable DDoS protection.

I'd argue it's "most of the time" rather than "sometimes". As mentioned above, Blockchains are a very clever solution to a very specific problem where no simpler solution will work. But clever solutions are usually very bad solutions from an engineering perspective: they're fragile, inefficient, don't scale, etc. We see all these problems already with Bitcoin and I doubt they're going to be resolved any time soon.

 

4 hours ago, Katamori said:

In general, the principle is that in the current political and socio-cultural climate, many people are mistrustful about middleman and/or centralized services. Maybe you're not like them, and I can accept it, but it doesn't mean you have to judge the entire market with such a sharp tone. There's many to come in this field.

I do understand the mistrust (post-Snowden etc.) and I'm a big fan of certain projects which have sprung up recently (HTTPS Everywhere, Keybase, and I helped fund a crowdfunding drive for GPG several years ago). I just don't think there's much to be gained from blockchains as a general technology at all. It's not so much a sharp tone, more of an engineer's eye.

 

It reminds me of the web bubble from ~2000 where once the bubble popped, there were 2-3 significant websites left which survived as useful products. I suspect it'll be the same here. By the way, I'm similarly skeptical about "Internet of Things" - in a couple of years I think people are going to get quite bored of giving voice commands to change the colour of their light bulbs and the whole thing will be quickly forgotten.

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59 minutes ago, fraggle said:

I just don't think there's much to be gained from blockchains as a general technology at all

I'm one of the assholes speculating on cryptocurrencies trying to make a buck from the hype, but I think what you say above is largely accurate. It's interesting how most counter"arguments" to this article is mostly people saying "you just don't get it" or constructing bizarre straw men: https://hackernoon.com/ten-years-in-nobody-has-come-up-with-a-use-case-for-blockchain-ee98c180100

 

EDIT: I mostly agree with the above article, it's the defensive responses to it from crypto apologists that are unconvincing.

 

I think the tech is neat and I'm absolutely fascinated by zk-SNARK so maybe it turns out some of this has some sort of carry-over to real-world value. But I'm not betting on blockchains becoming the foundation for legal tender or some sort of world computer in the foreseeable future. I'm old enough to remember the early days of web, 93-94, and the idea then for what it was for has pretty much nothing to do with what dominates the web today. Similarly I think it's still too early to say what the main utility for blockchains and trustless consensus will be.

Edited by ukiro

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I would recommend distinguishing blockchains from cryptocurrency or even decentralized blockchains relying on proof of work. Concepts very similar to the blockchain have been around for longer than bitcoin and bitcoin is just piecing together known technology (some of which had just lost patented status).

 

The blockchain as a datastructure does have a lot of potential use, although now blockchain tends to mean decentralized with some sort of hardness association with creating a new block. A more general blockchain doesn't need to be decentralized and I think it's still a pretty cool datastructure with a lot of potential. There is an Estonian company called Guardtime which is now embracing the blockchain terminology but they were around for a while building out what they called "calendar trees" and other things of the sort of a digital signature service. They are mostly enterprise and government facing it seems, but their leads cryptographers have some interesting papers on the stuff. Anyway, a blockchain completely separated from people getting rich or even decentralization is still interesting and has a lot of use, in my opinion.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_timestamping is the term used prior to blockchain entering the lexicon and there are papers about it from long before bitcoin (and the main contributors of those papers all seem to be Guardtime employees now).

Edited by insertwackynamehere

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1 hour ago, insertwackynamehere said:

I would recommend distinguishing blockchains from cryptocurrency or even decentralized blockchains relying on proof of work. Concepts very similar to the blockchain have been around for longer than bitcoin and bitcoin is just piecing together known technology (some of which had just lost patented status).

 

The blockchain as a datastructure does have a lot of potential use, although now blockchain tends to mean decentralized with some sort of hardness association with creating a new block. A more general blockchain doesn't need to be decentralized and I think it's still a pretty cool datastructure with a lot of potential. There is an Estonian company called Guardtime which is now embracing the blockchain terminology but they were around for a while building out what they called "calendar trees" and other things of the sort of a digital signature service. They are mostly enterprise and government facing it seems, but their leads cryptographers have some interesting papers on the stuff. Anyway, a blockchain completely separated from people getting rich or even decentralization is still interesting and has a lot of use, in my opinion.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_timestamping is the term used prior to blockchain entering the lexicon and there are papers about it from long before bitcoin (and the main contributors of those papers all seem to be Guardtime employees now).

I'm sorry, but does this word goulash make more sense when you're into BTC?

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There's definitely some merit to the blockchain concept(s). It is important to consider that separately to the prospector/goldrush side of things.

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4 hours ago, dew said:

I'm sorry, but does this word goulash make more sense when you're into BTC?

The point is that “the blockchain” has nothing to do with crypto currency or even decentralization as a concept. Merkle hash trees of documents can be chained together in a linear fashion as “blocks” such that each block is one final top level hash value that you could publish in the NYT and every document comes with a fairly small receipt of proof for its owner (and anyone the owner needs to prove to) that the document “belongs to” the published value. That’s kind of cool in my opinion, in its own right.

Edited by insertwackynamehere

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