Author Topic: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)  (Read 208859 times)

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #660 on: December 16, 2018, 07:24:44 AM »
Marketwatch has been running a whole lot of "Bitcoin is dead" stories. Here's one..

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-is-pretty-much-dead-says-teenage-crypto-phenom-2018-12-14?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

I think I've seen 5 or 6 with the same theme. Not sure if this is just targeted at me or if they have some kind of angle.

Did like that the young man in the story cited infighting as one of the big problems. He and I entered Bitcoin at roughly the same time but I exited long before him. Odd to think back to 2011 in that we had only one crypto.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #661 on: December 17, 2018, 01:58:11 PM »

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #662 on: December 17, 2018, 02:07:18 PM »

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #663 on: December 17, 2018, 07:08:09 PM »
I agree. But why would MArketwatch be on this tear? There's a lot of chatter about when people entered and exited as if that is meaningful and the hip thing is to call crypto 'dead'. Makes no sense.

I called this flop dead nuts on and even I didn't maximize my gains. This has been a stress with family who expected me to spot a bubble and exit seconds before it popped. Recognizing a tulip and riding big waves are different games.

I'm more confused than ever. Obviously Bitcoin won't go to zero (I paid for tulip bulbs in Amsterdam) but why run all these crazy stories about how early adopters are fleeing?

I do think there is something regarding the factions in crypto. If A and B don't agree on how  a currency should work we have some issues.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #664 on: December 17, 2018, 11:08:52 PM »
This is what happens when all bubbles cycle towards despair.  There's a shit ton of sad stories out there in the last few weeks, people who went all in and now realize they've got no safety net, so it's not surprising that the media is reporting this stuff.  Everything is driven by fear.  FOMO on the upside, FUD on the downside.  And don't forget schadenfreude......




How many actual tulip bubbles occurred after that first one?

I was looking at the numbers today and realized that in all the bitcoin bubbles I've been through, the post-bubble crash never dips below the peak of the previous bubble.  For example, prior to the $1200 bubble at the end of 2013 the peak had been a bit over $200, which was the low point reached 16 months later in April 2015.  So anybody who bought in at the very peak of the $1200 bubble, and is still holding those coins, is still up around 3X today, 5 years later.  Could current prices fall below $1200 this time around?  Sure, we have to be prepared for it to go to zero at anytime, but I think more likely than not it won't go below $1000.  If you look back to the 2014 crash, which was precipitated by the Mt Gox shenanigans, the chances were probably around 50/50 that BTC would survive.  A lot of people I respect in this space have said that, in retrospect, the post Gox period was truly a time of existential crisis for this technology.   This time around, my sense is that the chances of rebounding again are >90%.  But I don't think the outlook is as rosy for the coins spawned off the main bitcoin blockchain, nor for the other alt coins like Ethereum. 

So, we're back again in the valley of despair, disgust, depression and disbelief, and we could be here for a couple of years before things start back up, just like we've done before.  I think stability is still a long ways off, at least 5 years, so don't invest what you can't afford to lose forever.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #665 on: December 28, 2018, 05:00:32 PM »
The article is weak, but I like the graphic.  Just remember it could also be relabeled as the 2013-2014 scam, 2012-2013 scam, 2011 scam, etc., as this has been the repeating emotion/price roller-coaster pattern over the lifetime of bitcoin in the last decade.


Forbes:  The Difference Between Crypto And A Dollar, Euro, Yen, Etc.



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Crypto is in fact a worse unit of exchange than even the currencies of failed nations, because a cryptocurrency doesn't have anybody even making an attempt at price support or preventing manipulation. This is why crypto has wild swings in value -- horrendous volatility -- and thus utterly fails as that "store of value" that it's promoters speak so much about. While "nobody regulates crypto" may sound cool to some in a libertarian sense, in a very real economic sense that spells disaster, and did.

This guy doesn't seem to understand that Bitcoin is a cypherpunk experiment in decentralized money arising from the disgust over the 2008 financial crisis, in which governments and banking systems did a great job of protecting the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest of us. 


He also doesn't think too highly of preppers and survivalists, either.

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This is why, as crypto prices have dramatically fallen from their December 2018 highs, the primary uses of crypto seem to be returning to their core, namely the Four Horsemen of money laundering, pornography, speculation, and keeping money secret by the prepper and survivalist crowds. With the exception of the latter, who can't seem to have any good luck in building wealth, those who use crypto for the first three things don't mind the volatility -- and so crypto can be expected to linger on at some greatly-reduced basis just to fill these needs, i.e., all crypto is eventually going to return to its value as dictated by fundamental analysis, which is zero, but it will not quite get to zero because of the dark money uses and speculation.


As is typical in the current deluge of "See, I Told You So, Cryptocurrency is Stupid" articles, Bitcoin is conflated with the thousands of other crapcoins out there, despite the fact that it continues to maintain the highest level of decentralization of them all.  Remember blockchain technology minus decentralization isn't much more revolutionary than the databases the world's central bankers use to keep track of fiat currencies, and, like this guy says in the article, also lacks the threat of nation state violence to prop it up. 

BTC's strength comes both from its ability to resist the counterfeiting and double spending thefts perpetrated by criminals against digital assets, as well as resisting manipulation of the money supply, censorship, and confiscation by governments and their banking systems, by virtue of being a decentralized and borderless network. 

But we all have to remember this is all still very experimental and its size relative to other asset classes makes it extremely vulnerable to volatility and market manipulation by people with large pockets.  One avoids falling into the REKT and FUKT portions of the above graph by steering clear of the FOMO, LAMBO, MOON portions, and resisting the temptation of putting more into cryptocurrencies than one is comfortable losing forever.

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #666 on: December 30, 2018, 03:25:55 PM »
The problem with tulips is that they never regained their value. A lowly schmuck like me could buy a dozen bulbs at Schiphol  airport for something like 15 Euro. Sometimes it's hard to know if you're holding shares of pets.com.

Bitcoin is tough for me and the friends who will still talk share some concerns. What's the metric? Years ago it would jump in price with the news that retailers were beginning to take it. What causes price fluctuations now? Sentiment? Keynes' 'animal spirits'? I just don't know.

I do think that crypto failed its first major test in Venezuela. In the face of runaway inflation why didn't everyone with computer access buy crypto? What would the effect of even 50,000 new users be? I'm a little hesitant to even ascribe "currency".

It's very hard to predict when you don't see a metric or a performance. All the currency traders I know and follow are bearish. But they could be wrong.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #667 on: December 30, 2018, 04:08:33 PM »
Sometimes it's hard to know if you're holding shares of pets.com.

Or Amazon.com.

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #668 on: December 30, 2018, 04:45:08 PM »
Or Amazon.com.

Yeah. And while I hold that one I have serious questions about it too. A lot of its key metrics are a mystery. And the reported delivered margin actually kind of sucks.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #669 on: January 01, 2019, 08:33:20 PM »
Jameson Lopp's look at Bitcoin's metrics in 2018:  https://medium.com/@lopp/bitcoin-by-the-numbers-2018-recap-68a91789d804

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Yes, Bitcoin fared poorly in terms of exchange rate in 2018. But by almost any other metric the system is improving and growing. Those of us who are dedicated to this system shall continue to BUIDL and add value; we have no control over the market but I expect that it will catch up to us sooner or later.

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #670 on: January 06, 2019, 09:38:30 AM »
I do think that crypto failed its first major test in Venezuela. In the face of runaway inflation why didn't everyone with computer access buy crypto? What would the effect of even 50,000 new users be? I'm a little hesitant to even ascribe "currency".

Apparently I was wrong. I learned in a recent Reason podcast that there is some Bitocoin use in Venezuela. While not widespread, it's a unique situation because socialist Venezuela doesn't charge for electricity. SO people  in the know with access to reliable power and internet are mining for free and using what little they mine to buy food and staples on the internet.

I haven't dug into the details but a first use of Bitcoin as a real alternative to runaway inflation would make me change my tune a little. Granted it wouldn't work if electricity had a cost and it obviously hasn't provided a lot of relief on a national scale but it would go a long way to performing like an actual currency. Something I will look into.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #671 on: January 06, 2019, 03:28:57 PM »
Very interesting story out of Venezuela, a country wrecked by socialist economic policies:  http://reason.com/archives/2016/11/28/the-secret-dangerous-world-of

In a nutshell: 

Electricity is nearly free, which makes the cost of bitcoin mining extremely favorable.

Bitcoin allows people to buy food and supplies and can be easily transferred to and from other countries.

The secret police hunt down miners, who are both stealing electricity and flouting the country's capital controls.  They then ask for bribes to avoid arrest and/or confiscate the mining rigs for their own mining operations.


In Jameson Lopp’s article above he shows data that local bitcoin transactions in Venezuela have been rising through 2018, along with its neighbors.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #672 on: January 09, 2019, 10:57:55 AM »
ArsTechnica, 1/7/19: Almost $500,000 in Ethereum Classic coin stolen by forking its blockchain

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...The heist was the result of carrying out what's known as a rollback attack, which allowed the attackers to reorganize the Ethereum Classic blockchain, Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt said in a blog post. From there, the attackers were able to "double spend" about 88,500 ETC, meaning they were able to recover previously spent coins and transfer them to a new entity. As a result, the coins were effectively transferred from the rightful recipients to new entities chosen by the attackers. ...

Rollback attacks are often referred to as 51-percent attacks, because, in theory, they require an attacker to control a majority of the CPU power generating a blockchain. Such an arrangement violates a core requirement of any blockchain-based currency: it allows a single entity to write the contents of its universal shared transaction history. ...

Coinbase Blog, 1/7/19: Deep Chain Reorganization Detected on Ethereum Classic (ETC)

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...We observed repeated deep reorganizations of the Ethereum Classic blockchain, most of which contained double spends. The total value of the double spends that we have observed thus far is 219,500 ETC (~$1.1M). ...

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #673 on: January 09, 2019, 01:04:59 PM »
The small coins have cause for concern from these 51% attacks as their values and networks shrink in a down market.

Here’s a website that has calculated the relative ease of attacking various coins:  https://www.crypto51.app


Bottom line, if you can rent sufficient mining hardware and pay for the electricity required to produce a longer proof of work containing a double spend, there’s a perverse incentive to steal from the network instead of competing for the mining rewards.


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #674 on: January 09, 2019, 05:30:15 PM »
I would be worried if I owned Dash:  https://www.crypto51.app/coins/DASH.html

It’s getting worse as the day goes by.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #675 on: January 09, 2019, 05:46:25 PM »
This article thinks Dash should be worried too:  https://hacked.com/the-low-cost-of-a-51-attack-and-why-dash-might-not-make-it-to-coinbase/

Wonder what ever happened to Amanda B Johnson?

Online David in MN

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #676 on: January 13, 2019, 08:06:53 AM »
There's a big lurking variable in crypto. Jordan Peterson. Whether you like him or not between him, Dave Rubin, and Sam Harris leaving Patreon out of protest there are quite literally millions of dollars looking for a transfer mechanism. Peterson and Rubin have set 1/15/19 as their exit date.

I know Peterson has in the past said he didn't like Bitcoin because the adoption was low and the taxes were clunky. He claims to be working with a tech group to develop a payment platform specifically outside the current model.

But... Suppose the credit card companies refuse his platform. That is realistic. What happens if Peterson puts a 15 minute "how to do Bitcoin" tutorial on Youtube? I don't bet against a guy with legions of fans who won them over by telling them to clean their room and study the Bible. As Tom Woods jested, "if you think Bitcoin people are fanatical look at Peterson people."

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #677 on: January 13, 2019, 07:51:54 PM »
I've been dipping my toe into The Lightning Network since the year began, via a Casa Node from Jameson Lopp's company.  It's basically an overpriced Raspberry Pi running locked down Bitcoin and Lightning nodes for people like me who don't trust their own ability to roll their own.  I'm doing it mostly because I want to support the efforts of guys like Lopp at Casa without shelling out the the $10k/yr subscription for their multisig key management system.  I do the same with the hardware wallet makers, buying overpriced buggy USB dongles from each company to help support the development of better products down the road.

Lightning operates as a second network layer that utilizes smart contracts between parties, known as Channels, that allows for extremely fast, cheap, and small transfers of BTC between parties.  We're talking about the possible movement of fractions of a satoshi, which is currently .0000035 cents, between buyers and sellers.  Basically you can think of a Lightning Channel as an open line of credit between two parties, allowing multiple BTC transactions to be recorded back and forth between them without incurring a more time and fee intensive transaction on the main BTC blockchain until the channel (smart contract) is closed.  There are mechanisms built into these contracts that severely penalize bad actors, who essentially risk losing everything if they renege on the deal, because transactions aren't irreversible like they are on the main blockchain.  You can think of these Lightning transactions like credit card sized transactions between buyers and sellers that currently must be settled up via third-party banks periodically, except in this case the buyer and seller act as their own bankers by using the BTC blockchain to settle accounts on their own.

One of the interesting concepts with Lightning is that as the network channels grow between nodes (individual users) it becomes possible to find a payment pathway to unknown nodes via hoping through a network of nodes held in common between two parties.  This ties into the Six Degrees of Separation idea where in a shrinking planet everybody is supposedly connected via 6 other people.  When done automatically on a computer network it allows for people who have no prior channel (financial or personal relationship) open between them to complete transactions without any formal agreement for a very small fee.

This type of payment system opens the door for true pay as you go subscription services.  Instead of paying $20 bucks per month for some digital streaming service, what if you paid by the exact number of seconds actually watched and the bill was settled between the producer and consumer within minutes?  What if the cost of content could be adjusted on the fly to meet the current demand?  What if, instead of a fraction of consumers donating $5 bucks a month to support a content producer, everybody paid a few pennies for the content consumed?

If it works, it could radically change a lot of the existing internet business models we've come to believe are set in stone.

Offline slingblade

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Re: Bitcoin currency (merged topics)
« Reply #678 on: January 16, 2019, 12:16:04 PM »
I was just looking at firing up a LN for the heck of it.  Good link to Casa.