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So, what do you think about BitCoin?

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It's just a linked list. You learn this in the first year of any computer science degree. It's really not that exciting at all.

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That's a bit of an oversimplification. It's an interesting use of cryptographically secure hashes to bundle together an open-ended number of documents who's existence at a point in time needs to be proven. A small, widely distributable value can be used to cement many different document's existence proofs into a general point in time.

 

Furthermore, this has actually existed prior to bitcoin and has seen use in enterprise solutions, government solutions, and even has some support in open source solutions such as with rsyslog (http://www.rsyslog.com/doc/master/configuration/modules/sigprov_ksi12.html). My point isn't to pump up bitcoin or coins in general, but to separate out the concept of a blockchain from the concept of pumped up cryptocurrencies, since people began to say "the blockchain has no value" when it's had value before it became something the public was excitedly dumping money into. Even one of the main parts of a basic blockchain, the Merkle tree, has existed since the 1970s. It's not that complicated stuff, but it's that it's cool that people are continuing to research methods of digital signing and timestamping that remove the need for trusted third parties and asymmetric cryptography.

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It depends on your definition of a "blockchain". I take it at face value and assume that the presence of the word "block" means that you're collecting transactions into a series of blocks, like what Bitcoin does, and doing the whole proof-of-work hashing to try to secure it. If you aren't doing proof-of-work then there isn't really any reason to gather things into blocks.

 

So what you're describing is not really a blockchain, it's just a Merkle tree. If you want to say Merkle tree then maybe just say Merkle tree? People keep pushing "blockchains" as a buzzword, as though they're a general solution to many problems, when in fact in most cases they're inappropriate. But then there's this whole muddying the waters where people say it and mean something else entirely. It's more confusing than anything and doesn't make for clear discussion.

 

David Gerard wrote an interesting article about this a few months ago. Refreshingly he appears to be one of the few people writing about Bitcoin who is both level-headed and technically competent.

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What I’m describing is a block chain, not just a Merkle tree. It’s a blockchain sans proof of work. The merkle tree gathers transactions into a block, but that block still must exist. Each block represents a relative point in time T (relative to its sibling blocks) and is a hash value of the tree root plus the previous block hash. This final block hash is both used to seed the hash of block T+1 and also is widely published (rather than mined). The reason for gathering things into blocks is to provide discrete sample points.

 

I haven’t read the Guardtime papers in a while and they may have originally been doing things slightly different (they used something called hash calendars), but blocks provide value whether or not it’s to use proof of work style mining or centralized “trust anchor” creation.

 

edit: That being said, I read your link. It’s an interesting link as it provides non-buzzword statement on KSI. I was actually looking for info on them that wasn’t old papers or enterprise advertising for a while a few years ago, so thanks for that.

 

You’re right that blockchain (tm) buzzword bullshit is frustratingly high. My point is that merkle tree and block based transaction ledgers (now known as “blockchains”) have value in their own right, but if your point is that the word now is overused and tied to the cryptocurrency buzzword marketing fest, then I get it, it is.

Edited by insertwackynamehere

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On 2017. 12. 29. at 2:30 PM, Gez said:

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.

The problem is that, at least as I can see, said regulations are overgrowing. As time goes on, they are less for protecting each other, and more for serving the interests of whoever makes them. This is my core principle and while often not true, I have already suffered because of it, on numerous occasions.

 

On 2017. 12. 29. at 6:04 PM, fraggle said:

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.

 

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.

More understandable this way, then. Consider, however, keeping at the "web bubble" example that websites as a technology didn't die out. The bubble was an "evolutionary step", and it's clear that the cryptocurrency world is yet to face such a step, which means we're at the beginning.


I can understand what you mean from an engineering standpoint but then again, there are numerous attempts. You may think they won't work, but in *my* view, it may be worthy to follow some of these implementations to see if they will fail or not.

Also ironically enough, IOTA doesn't even use blockchain. This is why it works on IoT, though I'm also not a fan of the idea.

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Posted (edited)

A client asked my company if we'd accept bitcoin. My manager laughed and hung up on him. Then he pointed out to me, "that's all it takes is the client waiting for crypto to get big before the payment deadline, then we're stuck with it hoping it doesn't drop in value by the time we cash it out." Another coworker added, "crypto is for anti government anarchists that want to fuck over whomever they're paying." I'm amazed the topic struck a chord.

 

So that's my company's take on crypto currency. They don't realize I still have a lot of crypto left from back when we'd hire European graphic artists over night.

 

In the past month or so I've cashed out about 90% of what I had in Bit Coin. Someone can kick me in another few years when Bit Coin hits a million.

Edited by geo

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On 2018. 01. 07. at 8:06 PM, geo said:

"crypto is for anti government anarchists that want to fuck over whomever they're paying."

Say what you will but I'm somewhat proud of it. Except:

* I'm not an anarchist, but lean towards small government. Apparently I hurt some people's interests

* the emphasis isn't on "them paying me", but "them restricting me" in the process.

 

I honestly think that the lack of idealism killed most of our progress in many aspects of our lives, and people like your co-worker are particularly responsible for this.

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Cryptocurrency means a substantial upgrade to my GPU to make the most of my new 4K monitor would cost $1000 instead of $400 so there's one more reason for me to despise it besides the terrible economics of it.

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5 hours ago, Woolie Wool said:

Cryptocurrency means a substantial upgrade to my GPU to make the most of my new 4K monitor would cost $1000 instead of $400 so there's one more reason for me to despise it besides the terrible economics of it.

I just bought a new 1080 Ti last week. Was able to justify it due to it being able to pay for itself in a few months, and after that it's free money. And I hardly game at all; the graphics upgrade is just a bonus. It's pissing off all the autistic gamers, and for that I couldn't be happier.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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36 minutes ago, AndrewB said:

It's pissing off all the autistic gamers, and for that I couldn't be happier.

"Autistic gamers" is a weird shorthand for "anyone who wants to buy a new top of the line graphics card". Add at least the autistic graphic artists and designers, lol how autistic and pissed off they are with their autistic rendering.

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It reeks of saltiness to come onto this thread when it’s half asleep just to laugh at the “normal” fluctuations of the market. It’s completely understandable to have a conservative outlook about cryptocurrencies in general but gloating that the market is crashing when it’s not just seems less like holding a conservative opinion and more like deep seated bitterness.

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Here's a story for ya. I went to a bar with my friend that's been SUPER into Bitcoin and all other crypto currencies for the past 6 or 7 years. He jokingly asked the 50 - 60 year old bartender if he'd take Bitcoin, knowing he wouldn't. The guy went into a tirade about how he doesn't accept no pesos, no Paypal and no bitcoin.

 

My friend asked him why he doesn't accept bitcoin. The guy said seems like a Ponzi scheme. New people buy in thinking they'll get rich while the people with bitcoins sell it because they need their money back to use it. Then he said he has a rock he's selling for $60 and how you can sell the same rock to the next guy for $70 who will then sell to the next guy for $80. You don't dare sell it for less than you bought it for, because then you'd be the idiot.

 

I've never heard it put like that. My mind was blown. I don't think the Ponzi scheme metaphor holds up as much as the rock.

Edited by geo
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I see a lot of people chewing out folk for putting all their money in bitcoin. Honestly, isn't the real problem there that they're putting all their money in something that can always go down? Would it have been fine if they put all their money in the stock market and made huge losses?

 

I mean I'm not into cryptocurrencies, but isn't the problem here the fact that they invested all their money into something that can't be relied on in the first place?

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1 hour ago, geo said:

My friend asked him why he doesn't accept bitcoin. The guy said seems like a Ponzi scheme. New people buy in thinking they'll get rich while the people with bitcoins sell it because they need their money back to use it.

It has many of the same properties in common with Ponzi schemes and Pyramid schemes, but to call it either is not exact. I think that's why so many people are falling into this trap. Most of us have heard about such scams in the past so we know what to look for. Some people have started referring to it as a "Nakamoto scheme"

 

Remember that:

  • Ponzi schemes promise abnormally high investment compared to conventional forms of investment. Same with Bitcoin.
  • In a Ponzi scheme, the early investors make money at the expense of later ones. Same with Bitcoin.
  • Ponzi schemes require a continual stream of new investors to keep the scheme going. Same with Bitcoin - the deflationary monetary policy means that price should be driven by demand, but people are buying because they think the price is going to keep going up.
  • Ponzi schemes often operate outside of government regulation. Bitcoin was literally invented to circumvent government regulations.
  • In a Ponzi scheme it's often difficult to get your money out. Same with Bitcoin.
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1 hour ago, InsanityBringer said:

I mean I'm not into cryptocurrencies, but isn't the problem here the fact that they invested all their money into something that can't be relied on in the first place?

High risk, high reward. Never put more money in than you can afford to lose, till then I don't see a problem.

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19 hours ago, fraggle said:

It has many of the same properties in common with Ponzi schemes and Pyramid schemes, but to call it either is not exact. I think that's why so many people are falling into this trap. Most of us have heard about such scams in the past so we know what to look for. Some people have started referring to it as a "Nakamoto scheme"

 

Remember that:

  • Ponzi schemes promise abnormally high investment compared to conventional forms of investment. Same with Bitcoin.
  • In a Ponzi scheme, the early investors make money at the expense of later ones. Same with Bitcoin.
  • Ponzi schemes require a continual stream of new investors to keep the scheme going. Same with Bitcoin - the deflationary monetary policy means that price should be driven by demand, but people are buying because they think the price is going to keep going up.
  • Ponzi schemes often operate outside of government regulation. Bitcoin was literally invented to circumvent government regulations.
  • In a Ponzi scheme it's often difficult to get your money out. Same with Bitcoin.

You've made the case clear on Ponzi scheme. In hindsight, perhaps the bartender used the phrase "Ponzie scheme" as the most negative type of scheme he could put a label on, such as many in this thread have used the word "autism" or "autistic." Nakamoto scheme does seem more accurate. As for your end note, it was pretty easy for me to get my money out in a month. I suppose at $14,000 - $18,000 people wanted in bad. I still have 10% of the amount I had just in case.

Edited by geo

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10 hours ago, InsanityBringer said:

I see a lot of people chewing out folk for putting all their money in bitcoin. Honestly, isn't the real problem there that they're putting all their money in something that can always go down? Would it have been fine if they put all their money in the stock market and made huge losses?

 

I mean I'm not into cryptocurrencies, but isn't the problem here the fact that they invested all their money into something that can't be relied on in the first place?

I'll take the other side of this despite personally liking cryptocurrencies. The stock market, when used as a vehicle for investing via funds, is going to give you long-term predictably high returns. When you diversify past the stock market into other funds such as bonds and real estate indexes, you are essentially investing in low-volatility indexes that will help your money stay afloat ahead the rate of inflation. Short term, markets may go down, but when considering things such as long term investments or retirement or whatever, your money will probably be going up to a degree that to call it a gamble is fallacious. The market goes up unless society falls apart. The cash you have sitting in your mattress will stagnate in value on the other hand. Granted, pretty crappy things can happen such as complete depressions or the US going under entirely or something, but it's just not outweighed by the fact that over long periods of time, the value of the dollar will become less and markets will increase in value.

 

Cryptocurrencies on the other hand are completely volatile and while there may be long term gains to be made, there is absolutely no reason to believe that other than faith. Faith drives investment at the earlier stages so it's fair that people are going off of it, but of course some people are also investing based off of FOMO which is a bit worse of a reason. That being said, people absolutely should be chewed out for putting all their money in bitcoin unless they are like a 15 year old with a part time job who doesn't have that much money to begin with and doesn't really need it yet. The closest comparison stock market-wise is putting all of your money into some individual stocks and someone absolutely should be told that's a stupid idea as well because that kind of stock market "investing" is pretty much on par with cryptocurrency trading in that you aren't betting on the longterm gains of the market which is a conservative bet but instead investing everything into one company which is a terrible bet since most companies go under.

 

So gambling all your money is stupid no matter whether it's the stock exchange or cryptocurrency, but I think people conflate the stock market (as in diversified conservative long term portfolios) with people who don't know how to daytrade trying to daytrade anyway or someone getting some crappy Wolf of Wall Street penny stock "tips" from a shady broker.

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17 hours ago, fraggle said:
  • Ponzi schemes promise abnormally high investment compared to conventional forms of investment. Same with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin absolutely does NOT make any promises in regards to return on investment. What crack are you smoking? You have identified the exact reason why Bitcoin is not and can never be a pyramid scheme.

 

If it were designed to function as a pyramid scheme, which it wasn't, it couldn't possibly have survived its 4-year bear market from 2013-2017.

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Heard Bitcoin for the first time about 2 years ago, I thought it is cool to use the power of GPUs to basically earn money

That was until summer, where the GPU prices was skyrocketing into the oblivion, thank god I bought my GPU before that huge increases

Now thanks to them If I ever want to upgrade my GPU in the future It won't be possible since it will be damn expensive

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