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  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by skeebertus: Dude, the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency is basically based on "bullshit" or "hot air". The currency has a monetary value, but nobody knows precisely WHY it has a monetary value, or WHAT that monetary value is based on.

This is the first time in world history that a processor - CPU, GPU, ASIC - solving strange math problems that don't serve any real world purpose returns a currency unit to the user that can pay for real world stuff, but isn't regulated at all or designed by economists.

Now suppose that the next Crypto bubble in 2019 reaches a crazy global size of 5 to 6 Trillion Dollars or such, tens of millions of people in 190 countries buy into it, and then the whole thing goes "Pop!" one day.

What is the effect of that much virtual currency with "real world buying power" suddenly disappearing into thin air in 24 hours?

Imagine for a moment that 1 Billion people each throw a 5,000 Dollars in cash into a garbage bin on the same day, and that money just "disappears forever", never to be recovered again.

A bubble that size popping might actually knock the world economy around in bad ways. (I'm not an econonomist so I couldn't quantify how bad such a bubble collapse might be)

I think that THAT is the reason governments, banks and so on don't want Cryptocurrency to get TOO BIG - nobody knows what economic effects a massive bubble collapse of such currency might have on the conventional economy.

I undestand.

But...
1. there is  some value in a currency free of control and manipulation from governments...and not subject to bank fees...potentially more secure in some respects.. 
and

2. a lot of things in this world are financially arbitrary. Fiat paper is arbitrary...not really tied to anything as it once was. The stock market often trades in ways that bear no reflection to market cap value. Items like rare collectibles have been measured in million$.

Gold has been valued in bizarre ways through the centuries, where what a gold minor might have needed most immediately...wasn't a nugget but rather a can of beans for dinner. Capitalism, perhaps the best system we've got, often works in curious and bizarre ways.

But I get you. Investing in bitcoin -- something I haven't actually done with my funds--is a strange, possibly ephemeral thing. 
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 02 February 2018 at 06:23 PM.
 
  02 February 2018
What always plagued me with Bitcoins and Ethereum coins and what nots... Is why are we using so much processing power for hashing / mostly useless calculations?

Granted, I don't understand the system very well but obviously the value is based on speculation and hashing power / rate.

If we were doing folding @home for cancer research, sharing computing power to solve world problems and get Bitcoins out of that, well, thats something I'd immediately do. Even if everyone still speculates with the actual value of it I'd be actually down with it.

Mining for the sake of mining (and keeping the financial transactions afloat) just isn't  appealing to me unless you want to make a quick buck at the expense of the environment. That said, I do like the decentralization of currency as I dislike pretty much every goverment on the face of the planet lol.
 
  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by nejck: What always plagued me with Bitcoins and Ethereum coins and what nots... Is why are we using so much processing power for hashing / mostly useless calculations?

Granted, I don't understand the system very well but obviously the value is based on speculation and hashing power / rate.

If we were doing folding @home for cancer research, sharing computing power to solve world problems and get Bitcoins out of that, well, thats something I'd immediately do. Even if everyone still speculates with the actual value of it I'd be actually down with it.

Mining for the sake of mining (and keeping the financial transactions afloat) just isn't  appealing to me unless you want to make a quick buck at the expense of the environment. That said, I do like the decentralization of currency as I dislike pretty much every goverment on the face of the planet lol.
You are missing a key point here. The value of the mining is that it validates the currency. The effort needed to create it makes it impossible to create counterfeits. There is nothing like a fake bitcoin. If you have one any other person trading with you can be sure that you have the real thing. This makes Bitcoin and co stand out from most money transfered currently, it is unforgable cash, not just numbers on an account where the bank might go bust and leave you with nothing.
Without the inherent validation Bitcoin would not have much value for any kind of trade.
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  02 February 2018
Ok, but cryptocurrency is currently burning through the equivalent of 25 million tons of coal annually.

That's nuts.
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  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by imashination: Ok, but cryptocurrency is currently burning through the equivalent of 25 million tons of coal annually.

That's nuts.

Pretty much this.

I do realize that the processing power makes the thing secure and validated but I just don't get why we burn so much power for basically just that. I'd be happy if and totally understanding if it'd be like 50/50 or something.

Then again, like I said, perhaps thats how it works that you basically need that much compute to keep everything in check for so many users?
 
  02 February 2018
There are a number of challenges for crypto going forward
-Yes, massive energy usage, which is a huge concern
-Breathtaking volatility. It can be up 10% and then back to zero...and on down 20% in the same day.
-Concentration of currency amongst few owners, which can open up possibility of buy/sell manipulation
-Bitcoin is secure, wallets are secure...but companies on the periphery are wild cards...and some alt-coins are dubious.
-It can be a magnet for shady types
-Uneasy, conflicted relationship with traditional finance and power structure
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  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by imashination: Ok, but cryptocurrency is currently burning through the equivalent of 25 million tons of coal annually.

That's nuts.

We also have these nice Meltdown and Spectre fixes which immediately increase the cost of the average calculation by 20% - and we don't even get anything good in return for THAT.
(yeah, it's whataboutism, but take it as example of stuff that is currently not working as intended)
 
  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by IceCaveMan: There are a number of challenges for crypto going forward
-Yes, massive energy usage, which is a huge concern

-Breathtaking volatility. It can be up 10% and then back to zero...and on down 20% in the same day.

-Concentration of currency amongst few owners, which can open up possibility of buy/sell manipulation

-Bitcoin is secure, wallets are secure...but companies on the periphery are wild cards...and some alt-coins are dubious.

-It can be a magnet for shady types

-Uneasy, conflicted relationship with traditional finance and power structure



-Yes, massive energy usage, which is a huge concern
Paul : what is the energy usage of economic growth? is more efficient? I doubt it very much.

-Breathtaking volatility. It can be up 10% and then back to zero...and on down 20% in the same day.
Paul : see stock market.  Lots of volatility there.  Not as mental as crypto. Lets say crypto is down 60% in a month. you could  easily find plenty of stocks that are the same ,or worse,  in 2018, already.

-Concentration of currency amongst few owners, which can open up possibility of buy/sell manipulation
Paul: you mean just like money and stocks? think about what your saying here. I think in the US , ther are like 3 guys that own half of everything. there are institutes and funds that own way to much of 
everything, and manipulate the f*ck out of pretty much everything. that is the status quo.

-Bitcoin is secure, wallets are secure...but companies on the periphery are wild cards...and some alt-coins are dubious.
Paul : and banks are better? never had your credit card ripped off?  Whilst banks offer a degree of security, in that you would get your money back, the amount of fraud and theft in the current banking system, makes bitcoin  problems look  pretty safe. Anyone can get hacked or ripped off. 100% safe does not exist. 

-It can be a magnet for shady types
Paul : oh,  and cash can't?   WTF is Paypal then?  Western union?  I mean come on. This one is one is just ridiculous. its like your eating up that anti crypto propaganda.

-Uneasy, conflicted relationship with traditional finance and power structure

Paul : This is the only point you make, that is valid, IMO. it pretty much sums up where all the other points come from.

Last edited by tapaul : 02 February 2018 at 12:25 PM.
 
  02 February 2018
"Nvidia ‘working really hard’ to increase supply of graphics cards"

https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/8/16...currency-mining

 
  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by tapaul: -Yes, massive energy usage, which is a huge concern
Paul : what is the energy usage of economic growth? is more efficient? I doubt it very much.

-Breathtaking volatility. It can be up 10% and then back to zero...and on down 20% in the same day.
Paul : see stock market.  Lots of volatility there.  Not as mental as crypto. Lets say crypto is down 60% in a month. you could  easily find plenty of stocks that are the same ,or worse,  in 2018, already.

-Concentration of currency amongst few owners, which can open up possibility of buy/sell manipulation
Paul: you mean just like money and stocks? think about what your saying here. I think in the US , ther are like 3 guys that own half of everything. there are institutes and funds that own way to much of 
everything, and manipulate the f*ck out of pretty much everything. that is the status quo.

-Bitcoin is secure, wallets are secure...but companies on the periphery are wild cards...and some alt-coins are dubious.
Paul : and banks are better? never had your credit card ripped off?  Whilst banks offer a degree of security, in that you would get your money back, the amount of fraud and theft in the current banking system, makes bitcoin  problems look  pretty safe. Anyone can get hacked or ripped off. 100% safe does not exist. 

-It can be a magnet for shady types
Paul : oh,  and cash can't?   WTF is Paypal then?  Western union?  I mean come on. This one is one is just ridiculous. its like your eating up that anti crypto propaganda.

-Uneasy, conflicted relationship with traditional finance and power structure

Paul : This is the only point you make, that is valid, IMO. it pretty much sums up where all the other points come from.
Paul,

You are missing one central thing: I'm not anti-crypto. In fact, quite the opposite. I want it to succeed and perhaps even replace fiat currency for many.

But we want a crypto-currency that is better for people and better for the world than the status quo whereas unfortunately these coins and their ecosystem currently suffer many of the same issues...and chew up far more energy.

Your comparison to the stock market fails on two points: 1. BC is even more volatile than stocks and more importantly, 2. BC is trying to be a viable currency. It's very difficult to buy and sell everyday items with a coin value that fluctuates so wildly.
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 02 February 2018 at 07:44 PM.
 
  02 February 2018
I won't say it will never happen but it's extremely unlikely:

Bitcoin / cryptocoin fads have a few glaring traits which makes them pretty useless in the real world:

1. They're not a legitimate store of value.
2. Consequently they're not a currency either (not even close).
3. It's not a legitimate payment system (like paypal or equivalents).

It has the best chance of becoming 3 (one day - nobody knows when or how) but even that is a long shot. Ultimately all these coin techs are, is a way for the insiders to get rich off of people who don't really understand how it works, jumping in blindly and investing a bunch of money in the hopes of getting rich quick. The technology itself has no function / serves no real purpose / solves no real problem in practical terms.

The eco-angle is pretty awful as has been stated and you can't really argue for it by saying the NYSE and other venues "use a lot of energy too" because it's not an either-or proposition. The mining energy effects are going to continue multiplying no matter what, unless and until people finally get wise and give up on it. The whole thing is a Wired Magazine wet dream IMO. Reminds me of their cover stories form the 90s where they'd talk about how tech was going to make so many orindary citizens into millionaires, create wide-spread prosperity, etc lol
 
  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by Srek: You are missing a key point here. The value of the mining is that it validates the currency. The effort needed to create it makes it impossible to create counterfeits. There is nothing like a fake bitcoin. If you have one any other person trading with you can be sure that you have the real thing. This makes Bitcoin and co stand out from most money transfered currently, it is unforgable cash, not just numbers on an account where the bank might go bust and leave you with nothing.
Without the inherent validation Bitcoin would not have much value for any kind of trade.


Have you considered that the math genius creator(s) of Bitcoin may have a mathematical shortcut to mine the currency much faster than everyone else? Say 100,000 x faster?


It is very simple:

1) You create a cryptocurrency that takes everyone huge CPU/GPU effort to mine. But you - the creator of the crypto math running the whole show - know a very, very obscure and difficult to figure out algorithmic shortcut to solve the crypto puzzles much quicker than anyone else.

2) You create a bullshit alias named "Satoshi" who supposedly created Bitcoin, but wants to stay anonymous for unspecified reasons. Some hidden genius somewhere who "just wanted the people to have a decentralized currency". Everybody believes this nonsense and that Satoshi may be some reclusive Japanese computer programmer somewhere.

3) You wait until millions of people around the world join the craze, pushing a virtual currency based on nothing real world at all to 4 - 5 digit heights.

4) Whenever opportune, you use your shortcut to mine hundreds or thousands of bitcoins almost instantly, making you hugely rich. And you do this using other people's PCs a world away - a remote client that finds an idle Windows gaming PC without security patches somewhere in the world, mines a few coins for a few minutes on it, covers its tracks and transfers them into your wallet.

5) Because YOU designed the blockchain system and know how to game it, there is no easy way at all for anyone to spot you doing this. You are invisible among the millions of transactions blockchain records all the time. Your cash-grabbing activity is recorded as if it is the legit mining of thousands of other anonymous users somewhere in the world. It isn't.


You basically make a fool of everyone else - while they mine and mine and mine and continually push up the value of Bitcoin to get rich, you have a shortcut that lets you, effectively, game the system whenever you feel like it and really, really get rich in the process.

The whole Bitcoin system you created is basically the world's largest "free cash" ATM machine for you - you can pull Millions of Dollars out of the system whenever you feel like it anywhere in the world.

No wonder "Satoshi" doesn't want to show himself. Satoshi may actually be 4 high IQ computing scientists who put the system together and now own everything from an island in the Caribbean to a 50 Million Dollar Penthouse in Manhattan.

"Satoshi" may very well be 4 asshole coding buddies who put 2 - 3 years into creating the Bitcoin math with the sole purpose of being able to game it any time they want.

You see, that's the problem with anonymous, unregulated, decentralized currency - when somebody CHEATS everyone else, there is nobody to run to for help.

I also don't buy that Blockchain is such a brilliantly designed ledger system that nobody can cheat at all.

That's kind of like saying that the coder of computer game "couldn't possibly write a cheat or hack for his own game".

Last edited by skeebertus : 02 February 2018 at 08:21 PM.
 
  02 February 2018
Heh, heh. Nice one skeebertus.
BTW, Mad Mike the Flat Earth rocket guy still hasn't launched. I was really hoping he'd get up there, take some nice photos and send those Round Earth people back to their caves.
Oh well.
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  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by Blinny: I won't say it will never happen but it's extremely unlikely:

Bitcoin / cryptocoin fads have a few glaring traits which makes them pretty useless in the real world:

1. They're not a legitimate store of value.
2. Consequently they're not a currency either (not even close).
3. It's not a legitimate payment system (like paypal or equivalents).

It has the best chance of becoming 3 (one day - nobody knows when or how) but even that is a long shot. Ultimately all these coin techs are, is a way for the insiders to get rich off of people who don't really understand how it works, jumping in blindly and investing a bunch of money in the hopes of getting rich quick. The technology itself has no function / serves no real purpose / solves no real problem in practical terms.

The eco-angle is pretty awful as has been stated and you can't really argue for it by saying the NYSE and other venues "use a lot of energy too" because it's not an either-or proposition. The mining energy effects are going to continue multiplying no matter what, unless and until people finally get wise and give up on it. The whole thing is a Wired Magazine wet dream IMO. Reminds me of their cover stories form the 90s where they'd talk about how tech was going to make so many orindary citizens into millionaires, create wide-spread prosperity, etc lol

You are wrong in a number of statements here and wildly wrong in a couple of your claims.

It is being used as a currency in parts of the world and in pockets (albeit small) here in the U.S. NewEgg accepts BitCoin for hardware purchases, for example. 
http://bit.ly/2G13oUS

It's use is already prevalent as currency in unstable third world countries:
https://qz.com/1021155/bitcoin-is-b...ping-countries/

Meanwhile Japan's government *officially recognizes bitcoin as valid currency*. It's already happened in formal legislation.
https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/11/...ever.html<br />
I would add: Japan's financial/governmental decision-makers have been historically quite cautious/conservative. Yet they voted in favor of  the country's 'Virtual Currency Act'. They did so in March 2017.
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 02 February 2018 at 06:51 AM.
 
  02 February 2018
Originally Posted by skeebertus:
Have you considered that the math genius creator(s) of Bitcoin may have a mathematical shortcut to mine the currency much faster than everyone else? Say 100,000 x faster?
While complex the algorithms behind crypto currency are well understood and open. You are very deep in conspiracy theory territory here.
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The views expressed on this post are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of my employer.
 
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