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7 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The point was that the processing power of the NSA is not infinite either. Kauffman has a few computers, So does Jeff Bezos. So does Mark Zuckerberg. And so do hundreds of millions of us around the world. How many might be Uncooperative?

Who has more processing power, the NSA or the rest of us combined? I don't think it's close. 

Point taken.

 

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I try to stay apolitical, but this one cracked me up:

<rant on> SEC actually regulate something?  Heard of Patrick Byrne and the story on overstock.com?  By keeping the DTCC opaque, and allowing market-makers to naked-short, they practically encour

Are bitcoins kind of like marina  shower tokens? In British Columbia?    

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4 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I like bitcoins.  Totally cool  And I do believe that eventually this technology will be part of the standard world of "money".  But it's not infinite.  

Money aside - what about using this tech for personal identification? could we eliminate all the fraud issues from things like the Equifax breach to create truly secure identification?

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

Money aside - what about using this tech for personal identification? could we eliminate all the fraud issues from things like the Equifax breach to create truly secure identification?

Maybe.

The bitcoins are really a ledger.  It's a book.  Within that ledger, you record a series of transactions.  In some of the newer forms of bitcoins (particularly etherium and it's variants), you can include additional information.

The ledger itself is completely open.  Anyone can read it.  So in terms of 'identity fraud', there exists the possibility that you could tie a piece of data to ledger entries that are truly uniquely individual - like some DNA meta data.  That could then be truly unspoofable but you'd also need to be able to access that meta data for any transaction that you wished to actually carry out.

In that regard, it's not terribly different than today's security with one notable exception - the ledger is totally open to anyone that wants to read it.  If someone 'stole' the money, it has to GO somewhere and so it's not sufficient to just spoof the sender, you'd also have to spoof the receiver or else anyone could just look up where the money went.  If you remember the 'wannaCry' virus, that was one of the things that caused issues.  After the money was sent to the ransom account, every law enforcement group in every country affected trained eyes on that account and waited for activity. Its not trivial to follow the bread crumbs but it's not impossible with effort.

Incidentally, that's why banks are so interested in it as a form of tracking Credit Default Swaps and such.  One of the real problems with the Lehman collapse was that the CDSs and such relied on 'two party' authentication.  In other words, you and I agree to a bet and YOU AND I keep the records so that when the day comes to pay up, YOU AND I have to reconcile everything.  Well, if YOU disappear, then it's just my word.  That may seem OK but remember, other people also bet on that action and now it's just ME saying what happened.  No two-party verification.  At the time of Lehman's collapse, I think they held the counter party on something like 73 TRILLION dollars worth of transactions.  The net 'value' of those transactions were worth somewhere between 'Zero' and 73 TRILLION, depending on what I said they were worth.. yea, that freaked people out.

So its really value is in 'public record keeping'.  No more secrets.  Not in personal identity.

The libertarians get a stiffy over it because it's true open accounting.  There is no printing of money.   No cutting the coins. At least in theory.  

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15 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Money aside - what about using this tech for personal identification? could we eliminate all the fraud issues from things like the Equifax breach to create truly secure identification?

Identifying people is probably not the best use but a blockchain is unsurpassed at identifying who owns what.

We spend a great deal of time and energy establishing who owns real estate. A blockchain can serve more or less the same purpose as the title insurance industry.

Moving money around the world is another place where a blockchain is great because it can do it securely, transparently, and with smaller transaction costs. You can know whether someone around the world really has the money and whether he really sent it to you, which can be a lot more useful than just knowing who and where he is.

It's interesting to watch the Bitcoin scam make a complete mockery of the Venezuelan fiat currency scam. Their fiat money means nothing. Money that means something works.

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13 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Identifying people is probably not the best use but a blockchain is unsurpassed at identifying who owns what.

We spend a great deal of time and energy establishing who owns real estate. A blockchain can serve more or less the same purpose as the title insurance industry.

Moving money around the world is another place where a blockchain is great because it can do it securely, transparently, and with smaller transaction costs. You can know whether someone around the world really has the money and whether he really sent it to you, which can be a lot more useful than just knowing who and where he is.

It's interesting to watch the Bitcoin scam make a complete mockery of the Venezuelan fiat currency scam. Their fiat money means nothing. Money that means something works.

It's an interesting concept that every discrete (or quantum if you like) money unit has a chain of title as it moves thru the economy, verifying each individual, and the value exchanged. Since money never dies, it would eventually become unwieldy. Also, it's not a new concept, been used in several sci-fi novels that I know of.

However, you're still apparently in the dark about what money IS. Money doesn't have to "mean" anything. It just has to be exchangeable for goods and/or services. What is happening in Venezuela is just another demonstration that the wealth of a country is the productivity of it's people.

For those that weren't paying attention last time Dame History taught us this lesson......................

-DSK

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14 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Identifying people is probably not the best use but a blockchain is unsurpassed at identifying who owns what.

We spend a great deal of time and energy establishing who owns real estate. A blockchain can serve more or less the same purpose as the title insurance industry.

Moving money around the world is another place where a blockchain is great because it can do it securely, transparently, and with smaller transaction costs. You can know whether someone around the world really has the money and whether he really sent it to you, which can be a lot more useful than just knowing who and where he is.

It's interesting to watch the Bitcoin scam make a complete mockery of the Venezuelan fiat currency scam. Their fiat money means nothing. Money that means something works.

in your example - you state that it both identifies the owner, and the amount. so why do you say identifying the owner isn't really a strength?

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9 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

in your example - you state that it both identifies the owner, and the amount. so why do you say identifying the owner isn't really a strength?

Probably a clarification.

So, how bitcoin works, is you download a 'wallet' file which is a program that syncs with the bitcoin chain that is being constantly updated by 'miners'.  The wallet is then used to generate a random code (it's like 20 characters long).

That random code is used to authenticate your side of the ledger. Now say you have a code and I have a code.  I could 'transfer' you bitcoins by sending them to your code.  That code having received the  coins from my code is a matter of public record for anyone who wants to look at the blockchain.

But that code is just a number.  There's no direct tie to YOU personally, other than your own knowledge of that number.  if you lose that number, there's no way to 'recover' it.  The bitcoins attached to it are basically dead.

Thats why people keep saying bitcoin is anonymous transfer of money.  It's really not. What's anonymous is the correlation between the number and you.  But transfers between numbers themselves are not hidden.

Hope that helps.

 

 

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2 hours ago, cmilliken said:

Probably a clarification.

So, how bitcoin works, is you download a 'wallet' file which is a program that syncs with the bitcoin chain that is being constantly updated by 'miners'.  The wallet is then used to generate a random code (it's like 20 characters long).

That random code is used to authenticate your side of the ledger. Now say you have a code and I have a code.  I could 'transfer' you bitcoins by sending them to your code.  That code having received the  coins from my code is a matter of public record for anyone who wants to look at the blockchain.

But that code is just a number.  There's no direct tie to YOU personally, other than your own knowledge of that number.  if you lose that number, there's no way to 'recover' it.  The bitcoins attached to it are basically dead.

Thats why people keep saying bitcoin is anonymous transfer of money.  It's really not. What's anonymous is the correlation between the number and you.  But transfers between numbers themselves are not hidden.

Hope that helps.

 

 

Thanks. So what’s needed is a way to create a secure “code” tied to each individual....

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6 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Thanks. So what’s needed is a way to create a secure “code” tied to each individual....

My point above was that the individual might matter less than the money.

Lots of people know who and where I am. But if you're sending me a product from around the world, do you really care? What you really want to know is whether I have the money and whether I sent it to you. If the answers to those are yes, it matters a whole lot less whether you know my real name and location. It might not matter at all.

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7 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

Your position is some random bits "mean something"? That's hilarious.

"money" means something because a group of people decide it means something. What it "means" in terms of real world good prices fluctuates daily. For stable groupings of people in sound times it can fluctuate little. For unstable groupings - Venezuela, Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe - it can spiral out of control.

Now, if you'd like to add contact Tom - support your position with volume of bitcoin transactions out of Venezuela. Compare to cash or goods.

It's not so much my position as theirs. Bitcoins mean more to them than the fiat currency. Random bits mean more than random promises from politicians. I guess it's hilarious unless you're a Venezuelan, then it's just grim reality.

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9 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

However, you're still apparently in the dark about what money IS. Money doesn't have to "mean" anything. It just has to be exchangeable for goods and/or services. What is happening in Venezuela is just another demonstration that the wealth of a country is the productivity of it's people.

If it's a medium of exchange, it means value.

Whatever value people place on whatever is backing the currency. Often, that's the promises of politicians. And those are often broken. As long as they're only bent and not broken, fiat money works well enough. It's the only kind I use.

Venezuealans are not peculiarly unproductive people. They just have a terrible government that no one can believe. "We promise this is worth something" coming from that bunch just elicits ridicule. The promise is worthless so the money is worthless.

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On 11/29/2014 at 0:53 AM, random said:

Had a look at the link. Agree with most except the 'Where does the value come from?' part.

 

I have friends trading in bitcoin and I will be soon to probably. The value is a function of choice, yeah, but it is also a function of limited quantities of the currency. I do not gamble but if I had to I would bet on bitcoin over the US dollar over the next decade.

bitcoin will crash, its deflationary in the long run. Ride it while you can

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:
13 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

However, you're still apparently in the dark about what money IS. Money doesn't have to "mean" anything. It just has to be exchangeable for goods and/or services. What is happening in Venezuela is just another demonstration that the wealth of a country is the productivity of it's people.

If it's a medium of exchange, it means value.

Whatever value people place on whatever is backing the currency. Often, that's the promises of politicians. And those are often broken. As long as they're only bent and not broken, fiat money works well enough. It's the only kind I use.

Venezuealans are not peculiarly unproductive people. They just have a terrible government that no one can believe. "We promise this is worth something" coming from that bunch just elicits ridicule. The promise is worthless so the money is worthless.

Sorry, but your basic premise is incorrect. Currency has value because people value it, and will work (or give goods) to get it so they can spend it.

(pause) I just spent about 15 minutes wandering around the interwwwebs looking for a decent on-line monetary history essay; there are a couple of good ones in the Fed websites but they are a bit over-specialized and you have to download them, and also most Ron/Rand Paulians hate-hate-hate the Fed (although they can't say what it does). So we'll go with good ol' Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money

You'll find many many many examples of currency that didn't rely on "the promises of politicians" for value. You'll find many many examples of currencies that were manipulated overtly, or just badly abused, and lost value. But it also discusses briefly why ancient people liked gold as a medium of exchange, and the rise of paper money and banks. But the key point is that money doesn't need anything "behind" it to have value.

(quoted from above) Many cultures around the world developed the use of commodity money, that is, objects that have value in themselves as well as value in their use as money.[15] . Ancient China, Africa, and India used cowry shells.

The Mesopotamian civilization developed a large scale economy based on commodity money. The shekel was the unit of weight and currency, first recorded circa 3000 BC, referring to a specific weight of barley, and equivalent amounts of silver, bronze, copper etc.[16] The Babylonians and their neighboring city states later developed the earliest system of economics as we think of it today, in terms of rules on debt,[8] legal contracts and law codes relating to business practices and private property. Money was not only an emergence, it was a necessity.[17][18]

The Code of Hammurabi, the best preserved ancient law code, was created ca. 1760 BCE (middle chronology) in ancient Babylon. It was enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi. ...   ...   ...  These law codes formalized the role of money in civil society. They set amounts of interest on debt... fines for 'wrongdoing'... and compensation in money for various infractions of formalized law.

It has long been assumed that metals, where available, were favored for use as proto-money over such commodities as cattle, cowry shells, or salt, because metals are at once durable, portable, and easily divisible.[20] The use of gold as proto-money has been traced back to the fourth millennium ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

The use and export of silver coinage, along with soldiers paid in coins, contributed to the Athenian Empire's 5th century BC, dominance of the region. The silver used was mined in southern Attica at Laurium and Thorikos by a huge workforce of slave labour. A major silver vein discovery at Laurium in 483 BCE led to the huge expansion of the Athenian military fleet. (note the expansion of money supply matched by an increase in tangible productivity)

The worship of Moneta is recorded by Livy with the temple built in the time of Rome 413 (123); a temple consecrated to the same goddess was built in the earlier part of the fourth century (perhaps the same temple).[36][37][38] The temple contained the mint of Rome for a period of four centuries.[39][32] The name of the goddess thus became the source of numerous words in English and the Romance languages, including the words "money" and "mint".

Assaying

The discovery of the touchstone which led the way for metal-based commodity money and coinage. Any soft metal can be tested for purity on a touchstone, allowing one to quickly calculate the total content of a particular metal in a lump. Gold is a soft metal, which is also hard to come by, dense, and storable. As a result, monetary gold spread very quickly from Asia Minor, where it first gained wide usage, to the entire world.

Using such a system still required several steps and mathematical calculation. The touchstone allows one to estimate the amount of gold in an alloy, which is then multiplied by the weight to find the amount of gold alone in a lump. To make this process easier, the concept of standard coinage was introduced. Coins were pre-weighed and pre-alloyed, so as long as the manufacturer was aware of the origin of the coin, no use of the touchstone was required. Coins were typically minted by governments in a carefully protected process, and then stamped with an emblem that guaranteed the weight and value of the metal. It was, however, extremely common for governments to assert that the value of such money lay in its emblem and thus to subsequently reduce the value of the currency by lowering the content of valuable metal.[citation needed]

General notes

Gold and silver were used as the most common form of money throughout history. In many languages, such as Spanish, French, and Italian, the word for silver is still directly related to the word for money. Although gold and silver were commonly used to mint coins, other metals were used. For instance, Ancient Sparta minted coins from iron to discourage its citizens from engaging in foreign trade.[40] In the early seventeenth century Sweden lacked more precious metal and so produced "plate money", which were large slabs of copper approximately 50 cm or more in length and width, appropriately stamped with indications of their value. (end quote)

Sorry for the length of all that, I started to snip more but most of it conveys some necessary concepts to -why- gold was so persistently used as money, and the origins of the concept of "some intrinsic value (ie commodity) behind money." Since I often skip steps, better to include more.

However I left off the parts about paper money and banking. A key to understanding fiscal issues today, the next step up from understanding money, is the difference between banking and a central or national bank. One of the current problems we have in the US is the blurring of this line and the politicizing of the central/national bank (Republicans should love Greenspan, but generally they hate him..... go figure)

 

I didn't mean to imply that Venezuelans were inherently lazy or unproductive; just that they are suffering from a lapse of judgement and leadership. The value of their money was tied to oil, which was great when oil was expensive and rising; they used this to finance a lifestyle that they have grown out of the habit of supporting by their work & productiveness. Now that oil has crashed, so has the lifestyle, and their leadership is unable to organize greater productivity on any other basis. Unfortunately, their cultural tradition includes changing governments by violence and that is the most likely scenario before life improves there... it's most likely to get worse.

Actually, there is a powerful lesson there for the US but I doubt we will benefit from it.

-DSK

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Coins were typically minted by governments in a carefully protected process, and then stamped with an emblem that guaranteed the weight and value of the metal. It was, however, extremely common for governments to assert that the value of such money lay in its emblem and thus to subsequently reduce the value of the currency by lowering the content of valuable metal.[citation needed]

The value is in the emblem. Meaning, the promises of politicians.

I'm not saying it can't work at all. I have fiat money in my wallet right now. You can't have it. It has value for exactly the reason you said: we value it. It's a bit circular (well, more than a bit) but it does work.

As for Bitcoin, I'm not sure being inherently deflationary is a death sentence but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. There are already competitors and there will be more.

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The value is in the emblem. Meaning, the promises of politicians.

I'm not saying it can't work at all. I have fiat money in my wallet right now. You can't have it. It has value for exactly the reason you said: we value it. It's a bit circular (well, more than a bit) but it does work.

As for Bitcoin, I'm not sure being inherently deflationary is a death sentence but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. There are already competitors and there will be more.

Ah good.... you picked ONE example out of 5,000 years of history. Question: does that prove your idea about "fiat money" even though that's what you carry in your wallet? Or is it just one example of how varied and complex history can be, and shows that economics is not a simple straight-line topic (which it obviously isn't, but wishing to use "commodity money" in modern times is trying to force-fit a simplified linear view)? You pick.

I find history in general to be interesting, and the knowledge of the history of money/finance/investing has been useful to me. At least once a decade somebody comes up with a great NEW idea which gets all the news and twists market practices and/or regulations... I have never yet seen one that hasn't been invented dozens of times before, helps me avoid the inevitable crash & burn.

 

2 hours ago, cmilliken said:

I always liked Dalio's explanation too.

http://www.economicprinciples.org/economic-principles/index.html

 

That's a good one too, thanks. Did not watch the video but have picked out a couple of the chapters below.... lots of material there.

-DSK

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20 hours ago, Raz'r said:

US Dollars have value, because the US govt accepts them for payment of taxes.

next...

Well shucks, it says right on it, "Good for all debts public and private." There have been lawsuits over businesses being forced to accept payment in the form of a truckload of pennies. A PITA but it beats having your bushels of grain you accepted in payment spoil while you are bartering it for a haircut and/or a bicycle or whatever else you need. Or getting sunburned while gathering sea shells to make a bigger wampum belt.

I have never invested any of my own money into arbitrage, but if competition between different currencies becomes a major cost then that's a way to hedge other investments. Transaction costs are very real and in the absence of readily-accepted form of payment, they have to go up. This is a classic zero-sum game. People have made big money on this, I've always considered it a form of speculation rather than investment.

-DSK

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:
On 10/11/2017 at 1:18 PM, Steam Flyer said:

Question: does that prove your idea about "fiat money" even though that's what you carry in your wallet?

I don't understand your question. I'm not sure which idea of mine it references.

Your idea, expressed many times over in different wordings, that "fiat money" is somehow worthless.

-DSK

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5 minutes ago, Ishmael said:
46 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Your idea, expressed many times over in different wordings, that "fiat money" is somehow worthless.

-DSK

Well, their cars suck.

Depends. Have you seen their fighter planes?

-DSK

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15 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Your idea, expressed many times over in different wordings, that "fiat money" is somehow worthless.

-DSK

Being backed by the promises of politicians and being worthless are pretty similar things but not always the same.

I already told you that you can't have my fiat money and agreed with you about why. Mitch also has a point about payment of taxes but there are currencies that are valuable without that attribute.

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20 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

They've been there a while.

I think it's funny that they incorporated as a town just to block an interstate exit.

That is kind of ironic :)  They're not dumb bunnies at least.


 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting interview with Caitlin Long, formerly of Morgan Stanley and now President of Symbiont, about blockchain and the benefits of transparent ownership.

I had not heard about this:

Quote

Long: That's right. The accounting systems can get out of whack, and it's a function of the latency and the number of intermediaries through which the transactions have to go. That's why the system occasionally does lose track of who really owns what. I've encountered it in my business, when I worked on the street, working with a pension fund, where there was securities lending happening that was unauthorized, and they wouldn't have discovered it but for the fact we were working on a pension transaction. Then, of course, there are a number of instances where naked short selling has been revealed, but the most prominent one is the Dole Food case that just came out of the Delaware Chancery Court in February of this year. There were 36.7 million shares of Dole Food outstanding, and 49.2 million applications with valid brokerage statements for those 36.7 million shares outstanding, so that delta between 36.7 and 49.2 was just phantom shares that were created from the accounting system out of thin air.

12 million phantom shares?

And it's not just stocks.
 

Quote

 

Long: Well, and in the financial crisis, as we were talking about earlier, one of the things that clearly happened was, the repo market seized, and it was a bank run. It was not a bank run like we expected where people were lined up during the Depression around the block, waiting to take their money out of the bank, and we realized what fractional reserve banking was. This was fractional reserve banking in the Treasury bond market, and it happened electronically. It was a bank run electronically, and there's an economist at the IMF who's tried to get a handle on how many extra Treasury securities have been created out of thin air, just because of the way the accounting systems of Wall Street work. He calls it the velocity of collateral.

I won't go into the details about why he calls it that, but in plain English, what that means is, how many times has one institution who owns a Treasury bond lent it to someone else who also reports that they own it, who's lent it to someone else who also reports that they own it? You've got three, and that's the number he came up with. It used to be four. Now it's three institutions who are all reporting that they own the very same Treasury bond, when there's really only one. This is how the Fed is conducting monetary policy in today's day and age.

 

When multiple entities "own" the same asset, there's risk for investors, who don't like that, but there's also a problem for regulators.

How can they really know just how fractional our fractional reserves are?

Quote

there's a regulator, Chris Giancarlo at the CFTC, who's been a big and early supporter of blockchain. He's the one who's out there saying, 'Hey, this is the tool that will allow regulators to realize just how leveraged the financial system really is.' He's out there admitting this not from an ideological perspective, but from a practical perspective.

They then get into the coming Russian CryptoRuble and how it could be gold-backed, which is a weird thought.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bitcoin is wildly up. Other digital currencies have been booming lately too.

You're involved? good for you.

Make sure your paperwork is in order. The taxman is coming for you.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/30/oh_god_here_come_the_libertarians/

Quote

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will be turning over information on 14,000 of its users to the IRS – Uncle Sam's tax collectors – thanks to an order from a US court.

Judge Jacqueline Corley of the San Francisco district court ruled on Wednesday the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin trading website will be required to hand over records on anyone who moved more than $20,000 in transactions between 2013 and 2015.

 

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My reaction to this question from a GA thread is pretty political.

On 11/21/2017 at 5:26 PM, SloopJonB said:

Why? is the question I've been asking ever since it first appeared.

Back in the mid 1990's, my brother dragged me to his computer to show me how he was conversing with someone in England who went by the name of "Lizard."

Why? I didn't get the internet. Neither did Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, by the way. Now I spend too much time talking to people like "Lizard" here.

Why bitcoin? Because Nobel Prize winning economists don't get the point and actually want to ban it.
 

Quote

 

...Is it that Stiglitz is an advocate of expansive government power in all contexts (he's also urging the U.S. to outlaw cash), or is it that he's too arrogant to bother trying to understand the most successful free-market money system running on the internet? I say both. (Fellow Nobel Laureate Paul The-Internet-Will-Be-About-as-Useful-as-the-Fax-Machine Krugman is also a bitcoin skeptic.)

...

In calling for bitcoin to be "outlawed," Stiglitz demonstrated that he doesn't understand that bitcoin is just code, which makes a global ban impossible. Thanks to the recently launched bitcoin satellite service, and a system in development for sending cryptocurrency transactions through radio signals, even shutting down the internet wouldn't stop bitcoin.

Stiglitz is also unaware of one of cryptocurrency's most important paradigm shifts: It turned money into speech, thus affording it First Amendment protection.

 

In addition to a first amendment problem, there's this practical problem. If you ban speech, Uncooperative people still won't shut up. Spreading PGP around the planet was banned when I did it.

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Much like the mid-1990's version of me failing to get the internet, aging economists just can't get Bitcoin.
 

Quote

 

Bitcoin is valuable—its price has roughly doubled in the last month—because it's a technically superior form of money that governments and other institutions can't control. Mainstream economists, however, were trained to believe that currencies need to be managed by government-controlled central banks. So this new form of free-market money is proving...hard to grasp.

...

A partial exception to the mainstream confusion over bitcoin is the Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane, who argues in a recent blog post that it has value because of its "convenience yield"—i.e., it has unique features as money. Like cash, it's hard to detect, so it provides users with a way around "aspirational laws that if enforced would bring the economy to a halt." It also "facilitates ransomware," "laundering money," and "getting money out of China." Overall, bitcoin is a tool to "avoid both the beneficial and destructive attempts of governments to control economic activity and to grab wealth."

That's all true, but Cochrane doesn't mention that bitcoin also provides a way to escape hyperinflation, which is how it's currently being used in Venezuela. Even the U.S. government prints money to finance debt and pay for the welfare-warfare state without raising taxes, thus distorting the natural rate of interest and fueling a ruinous boom-and-bust cycle. Bitcoin offers refuge from these distortions.

Cochrane also characterizes bitcoin as "an electronic version of gold," which is like calling the internet an electronic version of the post office. Part of bitcoin's "convenience yield" is that it's programmable money that's digitally native. In the future, it has the potential to facilitate machine-to-machine payments, permit "streaming money," provide a value layer to the internet, decentralize web services, and allow for the creation of financial contracts that can be executed in code.

 

Alan Greenspan doesn't even seem to understand the inherent deflation in the system. I think it might be time for him to retire.

Cochrane seems to at least partially understand the risks and benefits.

I'm not sure I get Bitcoin yet either. My eldest brother, who mystified me years ago by talking to "Lizard" on the internet, is a huge Bitcoin advocate. And just sold some. You know, because he needed some money. I have never bought any. I don't see why I would. OTOH, there was a time when I didn't see why I would converse with some random foreigner who is using a weird pseudonym.

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6 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Much like the mid-1990's version of me failing to get the internet, aging economists just can't get Bitcoin.
 

Alan Greenspan doesn't even seem to understand the inherent deflation in the system. I think it might be time for him to retire.

Cochrane seems to at least partially understand the risks and benefits.

I'm not sure I get Bitcoin yet either. My eldest brother, who mystified me years ago by talking to "Lizard" on the internet, is a huge Bitcoin advocate. And just sold some. You know, because he needed some money. I have never bought any. I don't see why I would. OTOH, there was a time when I didn't see why I would converse with some random foreigner who is using a weird pseudonym.

 

I totally get the primary purpose of bitcoin - Transparent authenticated decentralized transfer of information.  Brilliant.  Truly it is.  Most of my bitcoin stash - which was never very big - died in various exchange collapses - I was was too early!  

The current infatuation of Bitcoin as a store for 'money' - the stuff that's getting all the press today - that smells distinctly of bubblishiousness.  That doesn't mean there isn't money to be made but its pure casino money at this point.  

For example, that vast majority of bitcoins are held by a very small number of wallets (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-08/the-bitcoin-whales-1-000-people-who-own-40-percent-of-the-market).  That means its' INCREDIBLY susceptible to price manipulation, which is exactly what seems to be going on.

That collides with the second major issue with Bitcoin as 'money' - namely liquidity.  How do you exchange it for something you actually want?  That becomes more exacerbated as the price keeps bouncing around.  As long as the Chinese and South Koreans keep providing liquidity, things will move along. 

 

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1 hour ago, cmilliken said:

How do you exchange it for something you actually want?

You click them some Bitcoins.

My brother bought some fudge and some caramels a while back, which he reports were very good.

With Bitcoins that would be worth about $20k today, apparently.

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

You click them some Bitcoins.

My brother bought some fudge and some caramels a while back, which he reports were very good.

With Bitcoins that would be worth about $20k today, apparently.

As long as the Chinese and Koreans keep providing liquidity, the process will continue.  Until it doesn't.

Why wouldn't they support it forever?  Two reasons for bitcoin - Capital flight and escalating energy costs.  The third reason is information control but that's more an issue for the hard totalitarians.  One way through the 'Great Wall' is to package the data in cryptotransfers.  How long will the Chinese support cryptocurrency as a concept when it's used to breach their information control systems?  Will they bother to distinguish amongst types?  It's all fun and games until someone's eye gets put out.

Or bitcoin becomes a broadly accepted means of transfer of wealth and we all live happily ever after.  Who knows - I certainly don't.

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7 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

You click them some Bitcoins.

My brother bought some fudge and some caramels a while back, which he reports were very good.

With Bitcoins that would be worth about $20k today, apparently.

Is he the guy driving around in the black pickup with the bitcoin ads on the back window?

 

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Venezuela Wants To Register Bitcoin Miners

And create their own cryptocurrency, the Petro.

Whether they mean to protect or control them will determine whether they have cooperative miners. But I'm not sure any of it will matter if they start asking miners to pay market rates (whatever that might mean in such a place) for electricity.

Venezuela has lots of Bitcoin mining because of their subsidized electricity and their worthless govt currency.

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I think of the state of Blockchain tech today as equivalent to where the Internet was in 1994 or 1995, and Bitcoin as akin to Netscape. Bitcoin is a significant part of the Blockchain landscape today, whether it continues to be in the coming decades is yet to be seen. What I believe is certain is that Blockchain itself is a big part of the next significant wave of tech aimed at disintermediation and automation. When you look at AI, ML, IOT, and Blockchain together you can start to understand the potential. A universal network of smart devices controlled by intelligent code conducting commerce through a fully distributed trusted system with no human involvement. The world is about to change in a way that we have never seen before.

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7 minutes ago, LenP said:

I think of the state of Blockchain tech today as equivalent to where the Internet was in 1994 or 1995, and Bitcoin as akin to Netscape.

I dropped Netscape back when Bill Gates was taking over the world because IE3 for Mac was the best browser ever.

I still miss it.

Reading this using Firefox, so I'm sorta back where I started.

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So, when me and my mate Stubby charter a beneteau , sail to the translatic data cable,  snag it with our trusty bruce anchor, haul it up on deck , then chainsaw it in half ...we could shut down a whole regions access to digital currency transactions ?

Poor buggers, No more after work beers ....good time to have a decent wedge of small denomination paper cash ..

digital currency sounds very fragile

non state actors with box cutters ?

 

 

 

 

IMG_7376.PNG

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A few years ago I was in a seaside entertainment town in Eastern Europe .  Busy place...bars resurants, dancing girls.

in the backround hills a huge forest fire was burning...the fire entered a canyon and was heading for the town.  To fight this fire the authorities cut the main electric cable that runs down this canyon so that firefighter aircraft could attck the fire.

 

power went out in the entire seaside resort.  

Us primative cash carriers were that only ones left that could continue to drink beer and watch the firefighting planes work

all the digital payment types got locked down  into the bars, unable to pay thier digital bills , unable to enjoy another cold beer 

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3 hours ago, slug zitski said:

So, when me and my mate Stubby charter a beneteau , sail to the translatic data cable,  snag it with our trusty bruce anchor, haul it up on deck , then chainsaw it in half ...we could shut down a whole regions access to digital currency transactions ?

Poor buggers, No more after work beers ....good time to have a decent wedge of small denomination paper cash ..

digital currency sounds very fragile

non state actors with box cutters ?

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42362500

Quote

Despite that, an estimated 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted by cables under the ocean.

...

Writing a foreword to the document, Admiral James Stavridis, a former US Navy officer and ex-Nato supreme allied commander, said: "It is not satellites in the sky, but pipes on the ocean floor that form the backbone of the world's economy."

He also warned of a potential threat from China and Iran, as well as Russia.

He called for the creation of more "dark cables", to be kept in reserve, and said Nato must be prepared to defend global submarine cables, if necessary.

It comes after a ship dragging its anchor cut three undersea internet cables connecting the Channel Islands to the UK last year.

It resulted in slower internet connections and phone problems across the islands.

You think only Bitcoin is vulnerable to this threat? I didn't know there was 10 trillion per day being traded already!

And it looks like hauling three cables didn't cut anyone off because the internet is decentralized and routes around damage (and regulations).

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11 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

You think only Bitcoin is vulnerable to this threat? I didn't know there was 10 trillion per day being traded already!

And it looks like hauling three cables didn't cut anyone off because the internet is decentralized and routes around damage (and regulations).

 

Ironically, because of how Bitcoin is processed, it's actually less susceptible to a centralized attack - like cutting the mainline - than the current peer-to-peer direct authentication crap we use to process transactions.

Bitcoin transactions were being processed 10 years ago on normal PCs connected by generic home-grade internet connections.  This business of server farms and massive power are because people are competing to be first, not because it's what's actually necessary to process the transactions.  I've got the spreadsheet on my work computer that processes the bitcoin math BY HAND.  Yes, you could technically solve the current 'coin solution' with pen and paper and submit it and have a 0.00000001% chance of winning!

 

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Commercial transactions are someone elses problem .  Personal security is my problem 

i view the all  modern  infrastructure to be very fragile.

With AI, automation and all systems that require a power supply ....it will surely become even more fragile 

look how a simple, common , wind storm destroyed Puerto rican society 

wind ...not war or terror 

 

 

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On 7/30/2017 at 7:49 AM, cmilliken said:

That's a serious concern.  The strength and weakness of bitcoin is that's its essentially a democratic system so there's actually a fair amount of security but does open up the threat of the tyranny of the majority.

People talk about the 'anonymousness' but that's actually a red herring - the transactions themselves are completely open in most cryptocurrency models.  That is one of the two things that makes Bitcoins 'matter'.  What's anonymous is who owns the particular wallet to receive the coins since joining the bitcoin network requires no authentication and the processing is completely decentralized.  But the fact that transactions are going into or out of a particular wallet is 100% traceable which is actually part of the appeal. 

The other major weakness that has been revealed is that the framework is essentially static.  If the particular ledger construction ("a coin") contains and error or flaw or simply needs to be updated, that same 'tyranny of the majority' is required for changes or corrections to be proliferated.  Bitcoins are not 'quick and agile'.

Electronic tokens that represent money isn't new.  Integrated motivations for decentralized processing (the "Tom Sawyer" implementation) and transparent 'authenticated' electronic transactions are what makes it matter.

There is a little bit of a foundational concern that people are being a bit cavalier about.  The idea that the cryptocurrencies are 'immune' to government authority and couldn't be shut down in a heartbeat is simply not true.   The authentication itself is vulnerable to a tyranny of the majority type attack - if an individual user could amass 50% of all the processing algorithms then THEIR transaction is the one that matters.  if someone like the Chinese or the US government decided that bitcoins were bad and needed to go away, they could in an instant fire up enough horsepower to overwhelm the current miner base and simply start creating false transactions causing a split. Even the threat of that kind of attack would cause faith in the currencies to collapse.

I think bitcoins are a totally cool idea and have been on board for a long time but i'm not starry eyed about what it really is - a cool experiment in decentralized computing that may someday form the foundation for a universal currency / contract system.  

 

Are bitcoins kind of like marina  shower tokens?

In British Columbia?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I was doing a bit of research to try to find material for the Mocking Ads thread this morning and noticed something. I got out my crayon to make sure everyone sees it.

cryptoboats.jpg

Sure...but how much does it cost ?  

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14 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

as Tom doesn't like numbers when they don't prove his case 12 of 2500 listings are "crypto currency". .5%

That kind of does prove my case.

A few years ago, the number was zero and I doubt anyone at craigslist was contemplating changing their search form.

Now those things have changed. That was one of my points and you just proved it.

The other is that it's not useful in my life.

14 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

which is, of course, the question for any currency. I'll take bitcoin, Euro, whatever the fuck currency you want to pay with - at the right price.

I'll take it at a reasonably stable price, which is one reason I have taken none so far. It's just not currency yet. I'm in the process of buying another boat. The money for the purchase won't be cleared until the end of next week. But I'm pretty sure it will be worth about the same then as now, so the deal I already agreed to will be agreeable at that time.

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What Use Is Bitcoin?
 

Quote

 

For one timely but tragic use case, we can look to the ongoing monetary crisis in Turkey. Last week, the lira began plunging in value to record lows after U.S. sanctions and rocky responses from the Turkish government spooked investor confidence in domestic markets. This comes on the heels of years of poor monetary and fiscal management by the Turkish government. Things had deteriorated so much that the economists and financial journalists who reported honestly on the monetary situation feared retribution from agents of the government. Now, the Turkish economy is caught in a downward spiral of inflation, capital flight, and probable capital controls.

Krugman argues that "fiat currencies have underlying value because men with guns say they do. And this means that their value isn't a bubble that can collapse if people lose faith." The Turkish government has a lot of guns indeed, and yet the lira is still losing more value each day.

People will try to save value in the face of an inflationary event through any possible means. They will try to exchange their increasingly valueless domestic currency for any kind of asset or safer foreign currency so that they can salvage whatever value for themselves that they can. But governments try to crack down on this kind of thing, and people of lower income classes often do not have the means or connections to monetarily "get out" while they can.

This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency, and in fact it is a route that others in Cyprus, Greece, and especially Venezuela have turned to in hard times. We can expect that others in Turkey may also turn to cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is often dismissed as "volatile," and Krugman repeated this criticism. Yet bitcoin's volatility pales in comparison to nations in monetary distress and is therefore very attractive in those cases.

 

Put more simply, it is useful when the men with guns who are in charge of your money turn out not to be so friendly.

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The Stablecoin Is Coming
 

Quote

 

The “CENTRE Consortium,” as it’s being called, will establish standards for listing fiat currencies in a digital form.

The group is aiming at mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies known as “stablecoins,” which are backed by a government currency like the dollar.

 

Kind of a NewSpeak name if you ask me.

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Can Blockchain Tech Sort African Property Rights?
 

Quote

 

According to World Economic Forum estimates, as much as 90 percent of the continent's land is "completely" undocumented. Tacit understandings of who controls what are often passed through generations without a written trail.

Absent reliable land titles, ownership is very difficult to uphold in court. Disputes are common and often accompanied by physical violence. Resolving them means going through a lengthy and expensive legal process. And the inability to prove ownership hurts more than just individual farmers. According to a 2013 World Bank report, the confusion and resulting conflict is holding the whole continent's development back.

"Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor," wrote Makhtar Diop, a World Bank vice president. "Improving land governance is vital for achieving rapid economic growth and translating it into significantly less poverty and more opportunity for Africans."

 

I have wished that we used Blockchains instead of title companies and county records to sort property rights here. You get some surprising results from our system. A neighbor recently wanted to build on his property and discovered a small slice of it was still owned by my mother because someone picked up a not-quite-current survey when writing the legal description 20 years ago. They won't let you build if you don't own all of it. Fortunately for him, my mother is still around and thought she sold that property 20 years ago so had no problem with signing a quit claim saying she really, really didn't own it.

That's nothing compared to 90% of a continent that is undocumented. If a wealthy foreigner comes here and buys property, they have a claim in the public records that's every bit as good as mine. So they will invest here. What if one decided he wanted to invest in Africa instead? How do you buy a tacit understanding that reaches back generations?

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15 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Can Blockchain Tech Sort African Property Rights?
 

I have wished that we used Blockchains instead of title companies and county records to sort property rights here. You get some surprising results from our system. A neighbor recently wanted to build on his property and discovered a small slice of it was still owned by my mother because someone picked up a not-quite-current survey when writing the legal description 20 years ago. They won't let you build if you don't own all of it. Fortunately for him, my mother is still around and thought she sold that property 20 years ago so had no problem with signing a quit claim saying she really, really didn't own it.

That's nothing compared to 90% of a continent that is undocumented. If a wealthy foreigner comes here and buys property, they have a claim in the public records that's every bit as good as mine. So they will invest here. What if one decided he wanted to invest in Africa instead? How do you buy a tacit understanding that reaches back generations?

Blockchains for land ownership are all well and good up to the moment our quantum computers start getting plugged in. Then the whole thing collapses.

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On 10/29/2018 at 11:14 PM, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

blockchain doesn't solve the "incorrect survey" or the incorrect ownership assignment problem

It partially does. In the case I mentioned, the wrong survey was used to write a legal description. That kind of error can't be prevented since it's an input error and GIGO.

Or can it? If that property line adjustment had been done in a blockchain world, the legal descriptions of what my dad thought he was selling and what the customer thought he was buying would have to match. So two different parties would have to pick up a dated survey. Not impossible, since moving our property lines turned out to be Mike the Surveyor's retirement plan. But an unlikely coincidence.

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On 10/29/2018 at 10:03 PM, mikewof said:

Blockchains for land ownership are all well and good up to the moment our quantum computers start getting plugged in. Then the whole thing collapses.

The day quantum computers crack prime number encryption strategies is literally the end of this round of modern society.

Hyperbole aside, cracking that kind of encryption means an end to all online finance, all secured wireless communication, all encrypted point-to-point communication, and everything related.  Bitcoin land ownership records will be way down the list of 'important details' :)

Blockchain land ownership records are actually being considered in some areas of South America as I recall.  Here's one from Peru (https://cryptosumer.com/2018/07/14/peruvian-economist-hernando-de-soto-calls-for-blockchain-to-bring-wealth-to-peru/)

 

 

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3 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Bah. The next day, some geek will invent quantum encryption.

Of course. But unless the quantum computers are regulated, all the previous blockchains will be instantly valueless, as CMilliken noted.

We really need a national commerce law on the books that both uses our national advantage to develop the first quantum computer, but also guarantees a transition from the old 256 bit encryption to the new quantum encryption, so that everyone's property isn't suddenly valueless. Such a law would encourage current transition to our current doomed Blockchains.

The country that controls that quantum computer will control the future viability of the Blockchain Economy.

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Ending Cash And Cryptocurrency
 

Quote

 

"Governments of the advanced industrial economies should phase out the use of paper money in the form of large-denomination notes and sharply restrict the use of cryptocurrencies."

That was the resolution at a public debate hosted by the Soho Forum on December 3, 2018. Arguing the affirmative was the Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Lawrence H. White, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, argued against the resolution. Soho Forum Director Gene Epstein moderated the debate.

 

The Harvard/IMF argument is basically that control of money is necessary for government to control our lives properly.

Oddly, that's the counter-argument as well.

The thing about cash is, it enables Uncooperative behavior. Cryptocurrencies can as well, for better or worse. Criminals love the ability to go around governments and their taxes.

Criminals like me, for example. Almost all of my transactions are on credit cards these days, but I do always have some cash and it always seems to go somewhere. Where? Ain't no tellin'.

On 6/25/2015 at 6:36 AM, dogballs Tom said:

I don't need researchers to tell me that cannabis extract relieved my father's bone cancer pain. I saw it happen. I saw it work when powerful narcotics that were having terrible side effects did not.

In related news,

Tim May, Father of 'Crypto Anarchy,' Is Dead at 67

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Retrospective On The Latest Bitcoin Bubble

It opens by quoting John McAfee, who in Dec 2017 said a bubble is not possible for a cryptocurrency.
 

Quote

 

...

A few days later, Bitcoin’s price briefly peaked at $19,511, before it began an epic plunge that would see the original cryptocurrency lose approximately 82 percent of that value as of the writing of this column

Does that mean Bitcoin is dead? Not necessarily — the cryptocurrency has recovered from several previous bubbles and crashes, including one in 2011 that was just about as devastating

Also, it’s worth noting that even if they’ve held on to all of their Bitcoin (or HODLed, as many call it), early investors have still come out ahead in the latest bubble — the current price, though down spectacularly from the peak, is still more than triple what it was when 2017 began. And if they sold some of their holdings at or near the peak, as many are reported to have done, they’re in even better financial shape.

But for ordinary investors, who don’t tend to get in early on potentially revolutionary new technologies or to have the savvy or luck to time the market, the Bitcoin bubble should serve as a learning experience. The most important lesson is: Financial bubbles are real, and they will make your life’s savings vanish if you aren’t careful.

 

Irrational exuberance was the best description I have seen.

And it does happen, even to very safe investments. Some saw the soaring real estate prices here in the mid 2000's and thought, "American homes and land can't just lose a huge chunk of value. Doesn't happen." So they borrowed money and bought.

Well, it did happen.

My grandfather made and lost money in real estate over his years and his pearl of wisdom on the subject was: Before you buy a property, go stand on it and make sure you like it, because a day could come when you're the only person who does. And when that day comes, at least you can stand on your property and say, "Fuck all those people, I always did like this property anyway."

It's really the only plan that can't fail. Doesn't work if you borrowed the money and don't have some alternate plan to pay it back, though.

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Why Bitcoin Matters For Freedom
 

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Because they live under authoritarianism, Venezuelans have no way to reform the policies that have destroyed their economy. They can’t hold their rulers accountable through free and fair elections or campaign for change without fear of reprisal. As they stand in hours-long lines for rationed groceries and medicine and watch their life savings disappear, it can seem like there are no options.

But innovation happens at the edge. Today, Venezuelans are adopting and experimenting with Bitcoin to evade hyperinflation and strict financial controls. Speculation, fraud, and greed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have overshadowed the real, liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention. For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.

...

Take, for example, remittances. After ravaging the domestic economy, the Venezuelan regime is now taking a cut of money coming in from abroad. New laws force Venezuelans to go through local banks for foreign transactions, and require banks to disclose information on how individuals get and use their money. According to Alejandro Machado, a cryptocurrency researcher at the Open Money Initiative, a wire transfer from the United States can now encounter a fee as high as 56% as it passes from dollars to bolivares in a process that can last several weeks. Most recently, Venezuelan banks have, under pressure from the government, even prevented clients using foreign IP addresses from accessing their online accounts.

To circumvent this bureaucracy, some Venezuelans have started to receive bitcoin from their relatives abroad. It’s now possible to send a text message to your family asking for bitcoin, and receive it minutes later for a tiny fee. Government censorship isn’t possible, as bitcoin isn’t routed through a bank or third party and instead arrives into your phone wallet in a peer-to-peer way. Then you can, moments later, sell your new bitcoin into fiat through a local Craigslist-style exchange, or load it onto a flash drive (or even memorize a recovery phrase) and escape Venezuela with complete control over your savings. A popular alternative – have your family wire money to a bank in Colombia, walk across the border to withdraw, then walk back to Venezuela with cash in hand – can take far longer, cost more, and be far more dangerous than the Bitcoin option.

 

56% fee on a wire transfer? WTF? Glad they're finding a way around their government's out of control currency.

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2 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:
12 hours ago, Contumacious Tom said:

In what ways is their online shopping more advanced?

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I think I've pointed out just how far ahead china was in going cashless, but because you are so fucking hung up on your anti-government goldbuggery you can't grasp it.

cashless payments - everywhere. used by most everyone. online shopping delivery of anything - everywhere. they've got websites - take a look.


I think this is the thread to discuss my intransigent refusal to use anything but gold or silver as currency.

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Poof! Gone!
 

Quote

 

Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies.

The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

The article mentions conspiracy theories that his death was faked. I doubt it.

He seems to have practiced good password security. Hard to crack and only one person knows it. That might mean that no one ever gets those digital tokens, they're just gone.

 

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Take Cash Or Else
 

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Pass by Sweetgreen—the popular fast casual salad chain—and you'll see a sign that says NO CASHEW, with the latter two letters conspicuously crossed out. It's a cheeky homage to their no cash policy, a relatively new trend drawing ire from lawmakers across the country.

New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco are all mulling legislation that would outlaw the practice on grounds that it unfairly discriminates against the poor and unbanked. Philadelphia successfully passed such a bill last week, although Mayor Jim Kenney has yet to sign it. If he does, violators will face a fine of up to $2,000.

"You don't have a credit card, well you can go to 7-Eleven," said Councilman Bill Greenlee, who supported the legislation. "With all due respect to 7-Eleven, that salad might have been sitting there for two days in a carton but that's OK for you because they'll accept cash, but we don't. If it's not discrimination, its elitism and government has a place to get involved in it."

 

Businesses find cash theft-prone, expensive to handle, dirty and diseased and don't wish to be bothered with it.

The lawmakers express concern that there aren't enough bank accounts out there. In other news, my wife got an account with Redneck Bank, which really exists. Mostly because of the name but also because of their rate.

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Won't someone reply to him - he seems lonely.

 

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7 hours ago, Contumacious Tom said:

Take Cash Or Else
 

Businesses find cash theft-prone, expensive to handle, dirty and diseased and don't wish to be bothered with it.

The lawmakers express concern that there aren't enough bank accounts out there. In other news, my wife got an account with Redneck Bank, which really exists. Mostly because of the name but also because of their rate.

Really strange that lawmakers would be upset about no cash policies. Cash is the hole through which tax revenue most often leaks, no cash policies plug that very large hole. I get wanting to protect the poor and unbanked, but if the policy makers are smart, they would take the approach of finding a way to get them into a banking system of some sort rather than trying to hold the rest of the world and economy back. 

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5 minutes ago, LenP said:

Really strange that lawmakers would be upset about no cash policies. Cash is the hole through which tax revenue most often leaks, no cash policies plug that very large hole. I get wanting to protect the poor and unbanked, but if the policy makers are smart, they would take the approach of finding a way to get them into a banking system of some sort rather than trying to hold the rest of the world and economy back. 

There was a guy on NPR the other day talking about this issue and suggesting that the US create a 'debit' card' with limited banking options by just expanding on the SNAP electronic infrastructure.  The card would have like a $3K limit and have minimal services but you could deposit checks via smart phone or ATM and pay bills with no service fees for up to like 100 transactions / month.  I think it's a decent idea.  One of the poverty traps is you get nickel and dimed left and right for stupid things - like being charged to deposit money so that you can get charged again to pay bills.

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