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Crypto Currency Thread
S_M
Posted: 08 November 2017 16:59:42(UTC)
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Tim D;53020 wrote:
PaulSh;53016 wrote:
OK, it's only around 70 wallets affected so far, but it would be really annoying if one of them was yours!


Reminds me of the old Not The Nine O'Clock news sketch where someone (Rowan Atkinson?) is told he's the only one who's money got stolen from a bank. Can't find more than a mention online unfortunately. The crypto world brings absurdity to life it seems.


Then buy an investment in a regulated environment? You can't buy ETH in an ETF yet, but it won't be long before you can as is the case with BTC.

I am not advocating that cryptocurrencies are for everyone, just want to start some healthy debate especially as they are starting to move into the mainstream investment world.

Dismissing them with minimal consideration is a mistake in my opinion. And you are talking to a huge crypto bear here.
Tim D
Posted: 08 November 2017 17:51:31(UTC)
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S_M;53023 wrote:
Dismissing them with minimal consideration is a mistake in my opinion.


I don't dismiss crypto... it just seems be to be far too "Wild West" for me currently! (I might well think different if I was 2 or 3 decades younger). I do think comparison with that old NTNON sketch illustrates nicely how far cryptocurrencies have to come before they can truly claim "currency" or "store of value" status. What % of your portfolio are you prepared to put at the irrevocable mercy of a "programming error"?

I do think the response of the crypto currencies to such events is very interesting. There were some Ethereum shenanigans last year where the community voted for a hard fork to deprive an attacker of their swag; some typical coverage here (Ah, and I see it mentions "a vigilante group ... vows to battle the thief", which rather reinforces the "Wild West" impression!) Things could get quite interesting in future if/when those with an "issue" resort to court action to force miners/exchanges to go with one fork or another, or to somehow apply asymmetrical regulation (e.g there'd be "outlaw Ethereum" and "court approved Ethereum" forks).
King Lodos
Posted: 08 November 2017 18:39:28(UTC)
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I keep thinking it all feels too much like tulip mania – I think it's attracting the wrong kind of people (gamblers, speculators, 17-year-old options traders – people who sometimes do extremely well, but usually need to borrow money to get their car fixed).

My pessimistic side – while I'm out – is that this is the biggest opportunity in our generation, and we're missing it due to 20th century thinking .. But I guess you're either a speculator or an investor .. Here's Robert Shiller (Novel Prize winning economist who popularised the CAPE ratio) on Bitcoin:


Quartz: What are the best examples now of irrational exuberance or speculative bubbles?

Shiller: The best example right now is bitcoin. And I think that has to do with the motivating quality of the bitcoin story. And I’ve seen it in my students at Yale. You start talking about bitcoin and they’re excited! And I think, what’s so exciting? You have to think like humanities people. What is this bitcoin story?
It starts with Satoshi Nakamoto—remember him? The mysterious figure who may or may not be real. He’s never been found. That has a nice mystery quality to it. And then he has this clever idea about encryption and blockchain and public ledgers, and somehow the idea is so powerful that governments can’t even stop it. You can’t regulate this. It kind of fits in with the angst of this time in history.
If you look at the third edition of Irrational Exuberance, I’m arguing that there’s a fundamental deep angst of our digitization and computers, that people wonder what their place is in this new world. What’s it going to be like in 10, 20, or 30 years, and will I have a job? Will I have anything?

Somehow bitcoin fits into that and it gives a sense of empowerment: I understand what’s happening! I can speculate and I can be rich from understanding this! That kind of is a solution to the fundamental angst.
So I’m trying to deconstruct the bitcoin story. Big things happen if someone invents the right story and promulgates it.

https://qz.com/1067557/robert-shiller-wrote-the-book-on-bubbles-he-says-the-best-example-right-now-is-bitcoin/
5 users thanked King Lodos for this post.
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Tim D
Posted: 08 November 2017 21:05:28(UTC)
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King Lodos;53031 wrote:
I keep thinking it all feels too much like tulip mania


I've found there's a modest amount of amusement to be derived from reading articles about crypto/BTC while mentally substituting the words "tulip" in where appropriate (and "bulb" for "coin", "Amsterdam" for "China" etc). More often than not the result would probably have made just as much sense in 1636, unless they get into technical details; I actually started doing the substitution as a way of assessing whether an article actually contained any real information. (And sometimes I'll substitute things like "AOL", "Yahoo", "dotcom" instead for some within living memory nostalgia.)

4 users thanked Tim D for this post.
Tony Peterson on 08/11/2017(UTC), King Lodos on 08/11/2017(UTC), Micawber on 08/11/2017(UTC), Mickey on 09/11/2017(UTC)
S_M
Posted: 09 November 2017 04:58:08(UTC)
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King Lodos;53031 wrote:
I keep thinking it all feels too much like tulip mania – I think it's attracting the wrong kind of people (gamblers, speculators, 17-year-old options traders – people who sometimes do extremely well, but usually need to borrow money to get their car fixed).

My pessimistic side – while I'm out – is that this is the biggest opportunity in our generation, and we're missing it due to 20th century thinking .. But I guess you're either a speculator or an investor .. Here's Robert Shiller (Novel Prize winning economist who popularised the CAPE ratio) on Bitcoin:


Quartz: What are the best examples now of irrational exuberance or speculative bubbles?

Shiller: The best example right now is bitcoin. And I think that has to do with the motivating quality of the bitcoin story. And I’ve seen it in my students at Yale. You start talking about bitcoin and they’re excited! And I think, what’s so exciting? You have to think like humanities people. What is this bitcoin story?
It starts with Satoshi Nakamoto—remember him? The mysterious figure who may or may not be real. He’s never been found. That has a nice mystery quality to it. And then he has this clever idea about encryption and blockchain and public ledgers, and somehow the idea is so powerful that governments can’t even stop it. You can’t regulate this. It kind of fits in with the angst of this time in history.
If you look at the third edition of Irrational Exuberance, I’m arguing that there’s a fundamental deep angst of our digitization and computers, that people wonder what their place is in this new world. What’s it going to be like in 10, 20, or 30 years, and will I have a job? Will I have anything?

Somehow bitcoin fits into that and it gives a sense of empowerment: I understand what’s happening! I can speculate and I can be rich from understanding this! That kind of is a solution to the fundamental angst.
So I’m trying to deconstruct the bitcoin story. Big things happen if someone invents the right story and promulgates it.

https://qz.com/1067557/robert-shiller-wrote-the-book-on-bubbles-he-says-the-best-example-right-now-is-bitcoin/


That's a really poor reference KL, quartz goes on to ask what an ICO is, within 2 sentences any credibility he has on the subject diminishes. If you are going to make sweeping statements about bubbles at least research what you are talking about, he clearly has just made off the cuff comments especially in the later stages of the article.
King Lodos
Posted: 09 November 2017 12:17:13(UTC)
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S_M;53044 wrote:
That's a really poor reference KL, quartz goes on to ask what an ICO is, within 2 sentences any credibility he has on the subject diminishes. If you are going to make sweeping statements about bubbles at least research what you are talking about, he clearly has just made off the cuff comments especially in the later stages of the article.


Yeah, he's no digital currency expert – if there is such a thing .. And there are smart people I follow, like Mark Yusko, who see Bitcoin as part of the new economy.

But he is a behavioural economist .. So if you're looking at something totally new, that no one can really value yet, Shiller is someone who knows the psychology and behaviour behind bubbles .. I think the price gains are what's driving people to Bitcoin – at some point that leads to bubbles, it's just whether I could tell you when

Tim D
Posted: 29 November 2017 18:44:56(UTC)
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A crypto True Believer pointed me at this as a "good tweet from today": https://twitter.com/ferd...atus/935826455958884354

Initially I assumed it was satire. But apparently not.

dell merca
Posted: 06 March 2018 07:00:04(UTC)
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The FBI has made it very clear that they are watching Bitcoin very closely, and they are getting better and better at finding the true identities of the people who use Bitcoin for illegal activity. They are fully aware that not everyone who uses Bitcoin is a criminal. In fact, they have a public dossier of their educational materials given to law enforcement to help them understand what it is. There are plenty of ways for hackers to hide their identity, but for the casual user, they are not getting any added expectation of privacy from Bitcoin. At this point in time, the only way to truly have an anonymous and untraceable financial transaction is with cold, hard cash.
Dian
Posted: 31 March 2018 08:25:11(UTC)
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King Lodos
Posted: 31 March 2018 11:27:12(UTC)
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I've still got no idea what Crypto currency's good for, and no idea what Blockchain's useful for.

I've watched videos, read articles, heard suggestions of using it on power meters .. but can't find a single good reason for doing any of it.

The only function I can find is anonymity (which has no use outside crime)

jeffian
Posted: 31 March 2018 16:31:11(UTC)
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"......anonymity (which has no use outside crime)"

Well, and being rude to each other on bulletin boards! Anonymity is the curse of the internet IMHO. Almost all of the perceived problems - rudeness, trolling, fake reviews etc etc - would be resolved overnight if users were obliged to disclose a verifiable identity, if only to their ISP.
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King Lodos
Posted: 31 March 2018 17:37:41(UTC)
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I'm not so sure .. As Oscar Wilde said "Give a man a mask and he'll tell you the truth".

The anonymity is what enabled the Arab Spring; it's enabling the Chinese autonomy against their government; it's potentially the biggest threat to the N.Korean regime (the blackmarket in DVDs and mobile phones); it's the great fear of Islamists: that people can mock, question and hold accountable the state with some degree of impunity.

And the creeping problem in the West – political correctness – which has its origins in Stalinism/Leninism (toeing the political line: saying things that you don't necessarily believe for the good of the state) – loses its power once we're anonymous .. For too long, the media and government have been able to throw anyone to the wolves by attaching them publicly to something undesirable .. And this is used by some of the worst people in our society to subvert democracy.
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Dian
Posted: 02 April 2018 00:45:36(UTC)
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Will Cryptocurrency be threat to credit card companies and banks?

https://themerkle.com/do...-financial-institutions/
Alan Selwood
Posted: 02 April 2018 11:06:09(UTC)
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Technology generally will be a threat to financial institutions that are less competitive. Why should I lose 10% of my cash when I change from one currency to another if new technology enables me to do that at lower cost?

How will bank branches survive when/if 95%+ of transactions are done online?

Why did paper-based stockbroking get replaced by online electronic stockbroking platforms?

Why did corner shops lose ground to supermarkets? (Economies of scale, marketing skill, better stock control and laziness?)
King Lodos
Posted: 02 April 2018 11:45:48(UTC)
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What no one's been able to explain to me is why blockchain should be able to do it any cheaper?

Blockchain's just an alternative to using a database .. and a much less efficient one (it uses huge amounts of energy, it's very slow, and as we see, bitcoin transactions have been anything but low cost).

I think the other problem Bitcoin exposes is that when you take the middlemen out, there's no recourse if your money disappears, if your account's hacked .. It's the wild west .. People have apparently called the police when their Bitcoin wallet's been hacked, or goods haven't shown up, only to be surprised there's no one recourse.
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Tim D on 02/04/2018(UTC)
Tim D
Posted: 02 April 2018 15:51:26(UTC)
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King Lodos;59981 wrote:
What no one's been able to explain to me is why blockchain should be able to do it any cheaper?


Story from last week on how lots of instututions which announced blockchain initiatives have since abandoned them: https://www.reuters.com/...s-reality-idUSKBN1H32GO (however, at the end it does mention some which are pressing on).

King Lodos;59981 wrote:
Blockchain's just an alternative to using a database .. and a much less efficient one (it uses huge amounts of energy, it's very slow, and as we see, bitcoin transactions have been anything but low cost).


Yes, and recently someone even created a chrome plugin which replaced any mention of "blockchain" with "multiple copies of a giant Excel spreadsheet". https://github.com/cynth...ockchain-to-spreadsheet - the screenshot down the page is amusing.

King Lodos;59981 wrote:
I think the other problem Bitcoin exposes is that when you take the middlemen out, there's no recourse if your money disappears, if your account's hacked .. It's the wild west .. People have apparently called the police when their Bitcoin wallet's been hacked, or goods haven't shown up, only to be surprised there's no one recourse.


There was an old not-the-nine-o'clock news sketch where Rowan Atkinson is at the bank and is told the bank was robbed and they only took the shoebox with his money in it. It's absurd and funny because that just doesn't happen... but in the bitcoin world it'd be dead serious.

There's actually some quite interesting legal history about the fungibility of cash and whether property rights should apply to money which can be proven to be stolen... it's not clear (to me) what'd happen if someone reran that case with a cryptocurrency (and there are presumably people worrying about this risk, as apparently "clean" freshly mined bitcoins with no history command a premium over ones with a murkier past; that's an old article but I saw something more recently about hedge funds speculating in crypto greatly prefer this class of coin).
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King Lodos on 02/04/2018(UTC)
King Lodos
Posted: 02 April 2018 17:43:42(UTC)
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That's great to read .. as I've spent the past few years convinced I'm missing something fundamental.

There have been so many Bitcoin evangelists around convinced it solved some huge problem, and so many have tried to explain it to me – and I just haven't been able to work out what it is.

Perhaps as Nietzsche said: 'In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule' .. (not writing off blockchain or bitcoin yet, but I'm still no closer to finding a use for it)
Tim D
Posted: 12 June 2018 23:22:07(UTC)
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Hoho... etf.com recently had a piece on fintech which concludes with:

Quote:
a lot of these [blockchain] companies are still looking for the perfect use case. And it’s just not happening.

We’re seeing in financial services that a lot of people aren’t building blockchain applications, they're building blockchain-inspired applications that, at the end of the day, are basically database applications that can do a lot of the things blockchain purports to be able to do.

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King Lodos on 13/06/2018(UTC)
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