Explain Bitcoin Please

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Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 6, 2017 - 01:03pm PT
Please explain Bitcoin to us. I have been researching it today and I need a layman's explanation.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 01:09pm PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 01:37pm PT
I direct you to Wikipedia re: Dutch tulip mania.
Bitcoin does have some utility for drug dealers and other money launderers.
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFj72hrUZt4

Even after watching these two videos I am lost. You seem to make the most sense Reilly.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 01:48pm PT
Its the underlying distributed blockchain platform that is going to be widely adopted for a myriad of applications.

https://datafloq.com/read/what-is-the-blockchain-and-why-is-it-so-important/2270
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2017 - 01:54pm PT
This I understand and it is life changing. ^^^^^^
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 02:00pm PT
mun, had a couple of internationally known economists over for dinner Saturday. Ask them about Bitcoin and you’ll get double eye rolls, if they’re feeling polite! In theory Bitcoin looks OK but in reality it has more downside than upside, chief of which is adequate liquidity which is a fundamental, if not most important, attribute of an efficient market. In economic terms efficiency also means openness and fairness.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 6, 2017 - 02:20pm PT
What Reilly said.

Blockchain technology does have legit uses. But at this point, Bitcoin is mostly about people who want to hide transactions, and speculators.
Matt's

climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
simple-- its an entity that you can speculate on.

WBraun

climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 02:56pm PT
Bitcoin is an attempt to get away from the criminal world Bankers people like the Federal Reserve in the US.

These criminal Bankers create artificial money (paper) and debt.
Norton

climber
The Wastelands
Nov 6, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
there are people who have made a tremendous amount of money buying bitcoin

the shares are gone through the roof

however, no less than the CEO of Morgan Stanley, Jamie Dimon, recently said that
bitcoin is a bubble because of lack of liquidity, but that is changing, becoming more liquid as more around the world hear of it and use it

go to wiki and put in bitcoin and read about it
Matt's

climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 03:01pm PT
i was climbing at donner summit a few weeks ago-- a climber was telling another climber how they had paid for something in bitcoin, but then felt stupid because the price of bitcoin rose $1000 over the week.

wild fluctuations in value is not a particularly good/useful characteristic of a currency...

i'm inclined to believe matt levine over at bloomberg, who said that "cryptocurrency is about re-learning all of the lessons of modern finance in a sped-up way"

best,
matt
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 03:03pm PT
Norton, wrong. I read that only 21 million bitcoins can be ‘made’.
That is not liquidity. Do correct me if I’m wrong. ;-)
Sula

Trad climber
Pennsylvania
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:00pm PT
Norton posted:
the shares are gone through the roof

Note that the bitcoins themselves are the only "shares".
ruppell

climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:27pm PT
Reilly

Only 21 Million BC will ever be produced. The whole concept is to stop monetary inflation. Once 21M coins are produced mining stops and that's a fixed point. Unlike the Fed printing money whenever the need arises. In theory I like bitcoin. Whether it makes it as a common currency remains to be seen. I'm still kicking myself in the ass for not getting a few when they where at 1000ish a coin though.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:34pm PT
Bitcoin is an attempt to get away from the criminal world Bankers people like the Federal Reserve in the US.

These criminal Bankers create artificial money (paper) and debt.

Bitcoin is a money laundering system and ultimately a ponzi scheme. Paying for a cup of coffee is one thing but if any of you transact large volumes using it you are basically letting your laundry fly in the wind... money laundering that is.

You pretty much need to be a crook to use it.

So Werner's comments above made me LOL. Maybe his crooks are better than my crooks.

DMT
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:56pm PT
And of course, once your bitcoins are stolen you have no recourse 'cause there's no bank, no nothing.

https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/kaspersky-lab-discovers-new-malware-that-stole-140000-worth-of-bitcoin/

Then there was the failure of the bitcoin site Mt. Gox where 800,000 bitcoins, worth something like $400 million at the time, vanished.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/29/16060344/btce-bitcoin-exchange-takedown-mt-gox-theft-law-enforcement

Anonymous 'currency'. Ain't no proof of ownership so you're out of luck.
Norton

climber
The Wastelands
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:58pm PT
Liquidity is not necessarily defined as the finite number of shares

when talking about trading, or bubbles, it is the volume of buyers and sellers that make a market

while there is a finite number of bit coins, now, price is largely determined by the ease, the liquidity that facilitates sales and price
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 04:58pm PT
where 800,000 bitcoins worth something like $400 million vanished.

Supposedly.

Supposedly there were 800,000 bitcoins.

And supposedly they were worth, however briefly in time, $400m.

Supposedly.

There is simply no way to tell, no governing authority, no rules at all, other than the Prime Directive"

Caveat Emptor

DMT
nah000

climber
now/here
Nov 6, 2017 - 05:37pm PT
a few points:

re: tulipmania... as i understand it, the most recent theory based on direct archival research, of which i have admittedly not read from the horse's mouth here, says most of our common ideas of what happened during that time is a convenient but almost completely exaggerated myth.

re: liquidity... two points. 1. yes, it's an emergent mode of exchange so if you're looking to move your billions of u.s. dollars around, it is going to be tricky selling off that much in bitcoin. not because you can't sell it, but because relative to the market cap [currently at about 120 billion u.s. dollars] you are likely going to significantly push the price around with a sell off of that size. as of the last 24 hours the total volume of bitcoin to u.s. dollars moved around on just the largest exchange was about $1.6 billion worth. in total over the last 24 hours over $2 billion worth in u.s. dollars was moved around. to put this in perspective, just one year ago the total traded volume in 24 hours averaged in the low tens of millions of u.s. bucks... ie. Q: is it possible that bitcoin's use could become widespread enough in the near future that it'd become stable for billions of dollars to be pushed around without significantly affecting the sell price? A: it is certainly possible even at the same time that it is certainly not certain that this will happen... :) in short: for we plebs [or at least, those with less than a million dollars of u.s. cash to move around] liquidity is, in the most direct definition, currently not an issue.
2. Reilly are you seriously arguing liquidity has anything to do with "how many bitcoins there are"? cause if you are, as you seem to be to me, then no, you're mistaken on this point. [as others have pointed out while i was typing,] yes, there is a cap in the number of bitcoins. but that is kind of the whole point of bitcoin [ie. . it is a mode of exchange that by definition has a capped number of units of exchange] if/as this mode of exchange [bitcoin] becomes more in demand relative to other modes of exchange [the u.s. dollar for example], bitcoin's value will rise relative to the u.s. dollar [as it has done for the eight years that it has been in existence]. and in that way you just start moving smaller amounts of bitcoin around to move the same amount of say u.s. dollars around. ie. once upon a time it cost hundreds of bitcoin to buy a pizza, whereas currently it'd cost a hundredth of a bitcoin to buy a pizza. from the way i conceive of it, liquidity has to do with a. the ability to exchange an amount at will combined with b. price stability. with regards to the former a., as discussed in point one it depends on the size of the amount being moved: with no issue for the multithousandaires, or even millionaires in the room. with regards to the latter [b. price stability] bitcoin, as an emergent and still relatively small market is not by any definition stable. that said it has continued to become more stable over time. so as far as is bitcoin liquid? it depends on what "is" is.

re: an attempt at a plain english explanation of bitcoin. 1. bitcoin is a decentralized public ledger. 2. the recording of exchanges made on that public ledger are backed up by impossibly large to compute, math based encryption.

re: what, i suspect people are really looking for with regards to a plain english explanation: is bitcoin worth investing in? and this is an, imo, impossible to answer question. that's because at its heart we currently live in a world based in violence. as i understand braun to be alluding to, the idea that the current u.s. petrobuck is anything more than a collective hallucination backed up globally by, at its heart, u.s. nukes, is imesho, simply pleasant myth. as a fiat currency for the last 46 years, whose creation is both out of thin air and in the hands of private interests, to think the u.s. buck will be sacrosanct for ever and ever amen, is to not pay attention to history. will bitcoin be a/the replacement? it's impossible to know. at this point, the nukes back up the u.s. buck so i wouldn't bet on it being replaced anyday soon. but that's an end game answer. in the more short term, with regards to bitcoin as just an investment? again hard to say. because of the chaotic [by scientific definitions] interface between traditional currencies, governments, etc. it's hard to know exactly what will or won't become of bitcoin. not to mention all of the growing pains that new technology must go through. that said will a blockchain based currency prove useful and the value of its units of exchange continue to grow relative to nationalized fiat currencies? i wouldn't bet against it. i just wouldn't necessarily bet that bitcoin is necessarily going to be the long term winner. although a small bet can't hurt at this point given the last eight years.

re: There is simply no way to tell, no governing authority, no rules at all, other than the Prime Directive. this, in some regards, is true. except it's even more true of the current paper u.s. bucks. the prime directive with fiat paper bucks has, at its heart, always been who controls the making and enforcing of the rules. the prime directive for bitcoin is ultimately a publicly available to read bit of math. we humans are an ogreish bunch though, and so despite our outward niceties, i wouldn't necessarily bet on math, in this case.



as always, this is mostly off the cuff... so if i've made a mistake, please point it out, so i learn as well.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 05:46pm PT
If you think Bitcoin is sane economics then yer probably a Bernie lover.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 6, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
Do not listen to me, but consider what nah000 offered.


There are good reasons for almost anyone in finance to drive a stake through the heart of bitcoin.

Bitcoin seems unlikely to survive, but the idea may.


If governments get behind the program:

All financial transactions become public.

Taxes could be switched from an individual or corporate responsibility to an automatic small per cent of every financial transaction.

Individual taxpayers would save a lot of hassle and anguish filling out forms.



Way too idealistic for the real world, and I prefer secrecy and cash transactions, personally.



edit:

My dearly beloved cash would only be issued in denominations up to approximately $20 to help out street people and old fogies like me.

and the wealthy could still trade in gold and artwork in a shadow barter economy
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
I think nah000 covers it, but the basic technology is much broader than the currency application, and allows for tamper-proof information to be exchanged confirming the validity of that information without revealing the path that it took.

This is incredibly important for shipping, for instance, and even for banking where you will find the same technology applied in the coming years, which will provide a more secure way to transfer such information. It is not too hard to see a transition to cryptocurrency from just "normal" banking transactions made more secure.

As for the basis of a currency, we all (the entire world) buy into the idea that the Federal Reserve is the monetary regulator.

Ideas like cryptocurrency make it possible to decentralize the currency system. This may be advantageous in the long run, especially given the limited "lifetimes" of nations.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Nov 6, 2017 - 07:38pm PT
A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money.” (Misattributed to Everett Dirksen)

Just for comparison, the overnight repurchase market in the U.S. alone by the end of 2010 has been estimated to be about 8 trillion dollars. That’s every single night.

Value and money have a loose association. Money is worth what the market says it is, and that is a game of consensus among a great many people, most of whom are not aware that they are a part of the consensus. Both value and money are socially constructed.

Almost every effort that’s ever been made to control and stipulate the durability of the value of a unit of measurement has been met with failure—the Federal Reserve’s efforts not withstanding. (Perhaps the Gold Standard should be recalled as the monetary standard--just kidding.)

As for printing money, every bank does it with every loan. Loans create money (a multiplier effect).

Inflation occurs for a reason—not just a tangible reason. Ditto for the increase value in any commodity or investment.

A billion here and there won’t be making much of a difference anywhere.

I think Reilly has focused on the right parameter: liquidity. It will enable a buyer or seller to get in or out of a desirable or undesirable financial position.

It might be better to focus on what’s of value to one. I suppose it could be money, but that’s just a count of a unit of measurement.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 6, 2017 - 07:52pm PT
nah000 has it as far as bitcoin is concerned, but the currently more relevant thing is the impact on pretty much everything in the world of the tech behind bitcoin.

Blockchain offers the possibility of tamper-proof recording of transactions, and, in the industry I work in (logistics) the potential is enormous.

As always, though, all this wonderfulness comes with a couple of caveats:

First, as far as I know, "tamper-proof" is a pretty short-term concept. Eventually someone will figure out how to tamper. But, even so, blockchain is a big step forward.

Second, regarding the original subject of bitcoin: Yes, there have been fortunes won and lost. But I still think you're better off investing in real estate. Cuz they ain't making any more of it.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 07:52pm PT
re: There is simply no way to tell, no governing authority, no rules at all, other than the Prime Directive. this, in some regards, is true. except it's even more true of the current paper u.s. bucks. the prime directive with fiat paper bucks has, at its heart, always been who controls the making and enforcing of the rules.

While its easy to hate on bankers and rules-enforced commerce there is something vital and core to the authority behind it. Consider the old school topic of Weights and Measures, quoting Wikipedia
The earliest recorded systems of weights and measures originate in the 3rd or 4th millennium BC. Even the very earliest civilizations needed measurement for purposes of agriculture, construction, and trade.

Now why do you suppose our ancestors devised systems of weights and measures? Do you think the Tri-Lateral Commission was behind it? The Bilderburgers? The Mason???!!!!!

Clearly, the need for standards arose once the level of trade rose above basic bartering of foodstuffs; this for that. But how to consistently measure disparate trade items in a way that didn't inspire murder because of being cheated?

What we all need to remember is money is simply a representation of labor; that's it. Now if you can exchange labor all on your own, mano y mano as it were, then whatever exchange rate you establish is all your own. No government intervention needed.

But when it comes to trading in dollars... whatever you like or dislike about the Fed and the central bank, it enables modern trade. The notion that an unregulated exchange like bitcoin is going to replace national currencies is ludicrous. Already, bitcoin is subjected to wild speculation and big swings in value. Read up on the history books to understand that wild swings in currency are one of the key ingredients for economic disaster.


F*#king with the currency is like f*#king with the weights in the scales down at the grocery... in the old days if you got caught you got your hand chopped off or worse, now its prison for yas.

What about those alleged missing bitcoins out of that alleged bitcoin exchange? Who went to jail? Who paid up? Who did the peasants lynch below the castle walls?

Who you gonna call?

I would dare say the only folks capable of 'doing the math' are busily speculating and trading away other peoples' labor for their own gain. Folks can't even tell when the gas pump meter is wrong or the produce scale is over-weighing. How in the hell are they (we) supposed to know if they're getting a fair deal through bitcoin.

The very idea of it is ridic.

DMT
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 07:55pm PT
First, as far as I know, "tamper-proof" is a pretty short-term concept.

It's actually meaningless since the bitcoin holder has no access ascertain the security of the technology.

A hope and a prayer and those who use it are willing to endure the risk because... they typically have no choice to use public banking; like dope dealers and arms merchants.

DMT
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 08:02pm PT
Bitcoin presently is a refuge for telephone scams and all other forms of con artist.

Not a great start for another "Brave New World" virtual reality.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 08:14pm PT
It's actually meaningless since the bitcoin holder has no access ascertain the security of the technology.

No, the holder can see everything that insures the security, and make assessments, it is a public ledger system.

As for the promise of quantum computing, so far we have little to worry as most practical systems do not perform much better than "classical" computing.

As for insecurity, oddly, humans are largely responsible...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/business/dealbook/phone-hack-bitcoin-virtual-currency.html

'...But Mr. Pokornicky said the virtual currency industry needed to alert new users to the added risk that comes with the new features of the technology.
“It’s powerful to be able to control your money and move things without any permission,” he said. “But that privilege requires a clear understanding of the downside.”'
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Nov 6, 2017 - 08:37pm PT
Thanks Ed,

Up here in Canada we have the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper to thank for showing his entrepreneurial fundamentalist Christian minister sympathies to the good, hardworking telemarketing boiler room "industry".

He allowed these ass holes to access our personal, paid for privately, cell phone numbers.

Prick.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 6, 2017 - 08:40pm PT
The recent run up in the value of bitcoin was the direct result of big companies hording bit coin in case they had to pay off ransomware demands. Criminal activity mainly
nah000

climber
now/here
Nov 6, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
DMT: as per the first three lines of your argument... it seems to me your argument is predicated on the assumption that what/how money is/was organized in this day today is somehow necessarily rooted in what/how it originally is/was...

and so while you'll get no argument from me that there is a lineage, i'd argue that the lineage is kind of like the following image of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of a...:

stolen from the interwebs...
stolen from the interwebs...

ie. there is a semblance of the original in the final, but damn... it's pretty distorted...

so no need on your part to assume any need from my perspective for the bilderburgers, masons, etc.

in no small part, because i ain't smart enough to know exactly how we got from a to b.



but here's what i do know about b.:

when the u.s. ran into troubles because of a bunch of a fUck ups directly at the hands of the financial authorities having "something vital and core to the[ir] authority" guess who footed the bill?

and how was that bill footed?

and as i don't have time to walk all of the way through it, i'll just stick to the most important conceptual distortion, imo.

we talk all the time about how the obama led government took on "debt". simply put, that "debt" that the u.s. took on at that point is as related to the common sense idea of "debt" [taking something that is owned and has therefore been earned by one person, so that they no longer have use of it and giving it to another person who doesn't own it because they haven't earned it] as the word "wench" [which once apparently meant "female child"] is related to the present usage. ie. we're seriously saying that financial private interests creating a ledger line, that did not exist before, then giving it to we the people, so that we can try to get out of the situation that said financial private interests got us into in the first place, is "debt" that we get to pay interest and principle back to the private financial interests on?

uh. ok.



to be clear, i'm not arguing that the way we do things is necessarily "wrong". there are pros to having centralized and privately held authority to modes of exchange that are quite literally created as ledger lines out of thin air.

only point i'm trying to make is that it hasn't necessarily been all peachy over the last bit.

ok i guess there are two points, with the second being that the terminology we use to describe our system is as related to what we common sense think it is, as old school wench is to the new school version.

and don't worry i don't think bitcoin, or the blockchain is necessarily "our lord, and saviour", either.



alls i am saying is that new modes of human organization will require new modes of human organization.

and blockchains [and bitcoin] are very early explorations of new modes of human organization.

that's it, that's all.





as far as: What about those alleged missing bitcoins out of that alleged bitcoin exchange? Who went to jail? Who paid up? Who did the peasants lynch below the castle walls?

who went to jail when those u.s. dollar banks "busted" recently [and to be clear in your example above it was the equivalent of a bitcoin "bank" and not bitcoin itself that went bust]? and all those people that lost their homes? who got lynched? who paid up?



anyway i could keep going but i have one final point: What we all need to remember is money is simply a representation of labor; that's it.

no. this is only true to us plebs.

as a whole money is simply a representation of value. that's it.

whether bitcoin comes to represent value in a way that threatens the u.s. or other national bucks is hard to say.

in no small part because if it did, i suspect, the dudes with the nukes will end it... or at least distort it, so that it becomes a facsimile of a facsimile of a facsimile of a...



time will... as always... tell.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:05pm PT
DMT: as per the first three lines of your argument... it seems to me your argument is predicated on the assumption that what/how money is/was organized in this day today is somehow necessarily rooted in what/how it originally is/was...

Actually I was pointing out the need, not the method. I didn't talk about gold or scales or paper money or electronic transmission.

You missed it by a long shot.

Its the regulation and authority over trade, and standards of measure. It is one of the most fundamental jobs of government. I have yet to see any convincing argument, much less evidence, that this stateless utopian currency is any more than a way to fleece the ignorant out of their hard earned labor.

But enjoy, if that's what you want. Ask your employer to pay you in bitcoin. Cash em in down at the... oh wait. No bank! No cash.

Good luck with your new ways to try to execute the same ole function.

DMT
nah000

climber
now/here
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:08pm PT
^^^^

if that's what you got from what i said, it looks like we're talking past each other.

all the best.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:09pm PT
I didn't misquote you:

it seems to me your argument is predicated on the assumption that what/how money is/was organized in this day today is somehow necessarily rooted in what/how it originally is/was...

DMT
IntheFog

climber
Mostly the next place
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:09pm PT
I think Bitcoin enthusiasts are more like to go for Ron Paul than for Bernie. Among other things, Bitcoin makes it hard for the government to see how much you are spending, and on what. It's hard for the government to tax what it can't see. I'm not sure wiping out taxes works for Bernie's bros.

PS FWIW, Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is all about the computer currency/tax linkage. It was written long before Bitcoin or even Paypal, but it's full of insights, especially about the computer currency/taxes/war linkages. Taxes are, after all, the sinews of war.
Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:28pm PT
A lot of people in this thread bashing bitcoin like they're an expert or something. Blockchain technology and crypto currency are extremely complex and new, I seriously doubt anyone in this forum understands what is going to happen, so acting like you do seems a bit foolish.
nah000

climber
now/here
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:33pm PT
DMT: i was referring to this:

But enjoy, if that's what you want. Ask your employer to pay you in bitcoin. Cash em in down at the... oh wait. No bank! No cash. Good luck with your new ways to try to execute the same ole function.

as a response to what i wrote.

i'm pretty sure i pretty clearly stated the antithesis to a bunch of that...



as far as your quote of mine misrepresenting what you wrote.

even though i still disagree with you on that, it's possible that i might not have understood what you were intending for me to take away...

hence the we are talking past each other...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:46pm PT
Cheers

DMT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 6, 2017 - 09:59pm PT
nahoo explained it? I explained it in 4 sentences, or was it 3? WTF?
Here, 8 words:
No liquidity, no accountability, no transparency, no regulation.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:17am PT
Bitcoin uses a lot of energy to solve useless problems, so the people who solve them have the chance to participate in a speculative investment scheme. A lot of carbon is going into the atmosphere in the process. Investing in heroin distribution may be better, from a moral point of view.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Nov 7, 2017 - 01:12am PT
The earth shaking technology here is uncrackable encryption.

Uncrackable encryption potentially takes away the ability of the banksters to control the populations of the world.

People just haven't assimilated the implications, as this thread well illustrates. As pointed out above, Neil Stevenson did a great job of thinking this through in his book Cryptonomicon. (I highly recommend all his books!)

The banksters are madly trying to obfuscate and circumvent the implications of this encryption technology breakthrough into the public domain. One of my author friends wrote a book that she is afraid to publish called Money, Power, and Purpose. She had several sessions interviewing and educating Alan Greenspan on this subject, until he saw the light and told her she was very dangerous and to get out of his office. She hid out for at least a decade after that.

As Ed pointed out up thread, Bitcoin is simply one of many applications for the major technology developments in encryption. It may have started out as a haven for gamblers and the sex trade. But you don't have to be a shady character to want to operate out of reach of the Fed. There are many other block chain currencies going to town out there, besides Bitcoin. The neocons took advantage of the 2008 crash to run off with about a trillion dollars of the public's money ... not likely stashed in US dollars.

A few decades ago I knew some math geniuses who were hired by the CIA to develop unidirectional algorithms which no amount of computer power could compute in reverse. My understanding is that they succeeded nicely.

This was followed by a couple of decades of the CIA/NSA trying to prevent this new encryption technology from getting out into the wild. They needed it to hide their massive collection of secrets. But they didn't want anyone to be able to hide from them.

Eventually they failed to keep the encryption cat in the bag. Bitcoin is just one of the many potential application domains, all of which bode poorly for the world's bankster controllers.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 7, 2017 - 02:02am PT
A few decades ago I knew some math geniuses who were hired by the CIA to develop unidirectional algorithms which no amount of computer power could compute in reverse. My understanding is that they succeeded nicely.

The CIA? Seriously? No CIA or NSA was required (unless of course they managed to hire some Flemish cryptographers...) and it was never not out in the 'wild'...
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Nov 7, 2017 - 06:17am PT
A good history and explanation of primes, factoring, modulo arithmetic and truncation, and public keys is in "The Code Book" by Simon Singh. It's written at a level even I can understand. The development of asymmetic ciphers was really done by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman at MIT in the late 70's. There is no known method of quickly factoring the product of prime numbers to the original primes, and that's the key to asymmetric encryption. The factoring idea was also independently developed by British Intelligence at about the same time, but was kept secret.

Check out today's Dilbert (11/07/17) for more discussion.

http://dilbert.com/
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 06:27am PT
Obfuscation

“This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material?”


― Marcus Aurelius
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 7, 2017 - 06:40am PT
Information, Marcus.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 7, 2017 - 07:16am PT
Energy consumption of bitcoin mining: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

This wouldn't be so offensive if the "work" was solving some problem of interest or importance, but it's not, it's just serving to inject new bitcoins into the system.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 7, 2017 - 07:21am PT
Exactly. Ghastly inefficient and, as stated, anything but a 'green' currency.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 7, 2017 - 10:09am PT
Not sure how they come up with 240kwh per transaction, sounds like BS to me
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Nov 7, 2017 - 10:24am PT
What is bitcoin?

kingtut

climber
Bolting Fiend
Nov 7, 2017 - 11:38am PT
Every "currency" is a mass delusion attaching value to what is fundamentally valueless.

Go with the current mass hallucination, safer than a ponzi scheme simply because more are invested.

Otherwise, expect to get burned.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Nov 7, 2017 - 11:42am PT
so Bitcoin is a bubble and the Fed's petrodollar is not??

what an intriguing perspective

is anyone here paying attention to the BRICS?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 11:57am PT
I'm kind of astounded that this thread has focused so much on the reputation of bitcoin and what it's currently used for. With a few exceptions, most posters seem oblivious to, as Ed puts it, the broader applications of the underlying blockchain technology.

from https://www.raconteur.net/business/the-future-of-blockchain-in-8-charts

Canadian writers and researchers, Alex and Don Tapscott, authors of the new book Blockchain Revolution, explain that blockchain goes way beyond the second coming of the internet. The pair, like so many others, stumbled across blockchain via the bitcoin association, quickly realising the genie is out of the bottle.

For beginners, blockchain is essentially a database, a giant network, known as a distributed ledger, which records ownership and value, and allows anyone with access to view and take part. A network is updated and verified through consensus of all the parties involved. When something is added it cannot be altered and, if it looks valid to everyone, the update is approved.

“The first generation brought us the internet of information. The second generation, powered by blockchain, is bringing us the internet of value, a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. But like the internet in the late-1980s and early-1990s, this is still early days.”

also https://econsultancy.com/blog/68693-the-importance-of-the-blockchain-the-second-generation-of-the-internet

But what does the blockchain mean for businesses outside of the financial sector? The answer lies in the areas of - privacy/information control, disintermediation, and business processes.

As mentioned above, the blockchain offers consumers opportunity to achieve greater control over their information. This will impact on most organisations, as they increasingly rely on the acquisition and application of customer data.

The importance of privacy is obviously a sensitive issue. One current solution for consumers is the selection of ephemeral applications like Snapchat and encrypted messaging, but the future might lie in the anonymity of blockchain technologies.

Another change will affect business sectors where there are many intermediaries, for example travel and tourism. Here, the blockchain’s ability to simplify and speed up interactions, will likely lead to a process of dis-intermediation.

stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:08pm PT
The US dollar and it's value is based broadly on the overall strength of the US economy and financial system. Not sure why you think it's strongly petro industry based. That sector is not that a big a slice of the US economy. Not like we're Saudi.

Pretty much all money is fiat currency. Even when we were on the gold standard, it's not as if gold is particularly useful compared to say iron. It just provides a tie to some fixed amount of thing. But that's really only useful when talking about inflation, which isn't really likely to be a significant issue any time soon.

Bitcoin isn't widely used and isn't really tied to anything of value. So I'd say to the extent that it has value, that's purely due to speculation.

All that aside, blockchain tech does potentially have real value for things like securing on-line voting, or secure exchange of medical records.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:13pm PT
"Bitcoin must be good because blockchain" is logically equivalent to "A5 must be safe and easy because French free"
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:37pm PT
"Bitcoin must be good because blockchain"

Personally, I couldn't care less about bitcoin.

edit - some people can't see the forest for the trees....
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:43pm PT
All currency is just a placeholder until you piss it away on real estate, precious metals, cams, or blow.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2017 - 02:10pm PT
What network?

Specifically.

What database?

Specifically.

DMT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 7, 2017 - 02:49pm PT
What network?

Specifically.

What database?

Specifically.

C'mon, Dingus, I thought once upon a time you researched all this, enough of it anyways.

For starters...
https://www.blockchain.com/

There IS a learning curve. Like algebra. Like climbing!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 7, 2017 - 02:52pm PT
Bitcoin 101...

http://www.supertopo.com/forumsearch.php?s=s&o=&v=0&cur=100&ftr1=bitcoin+101&ftr2=&ftr3=&ftr4=#list

http://www.supertopo.com/forumsearch.php?s=s&o=&v=0&cur=80&ftr1=bitcoin+101&ftr2=&ftr3=&ftr4=#list

...

This thread's embarrassing. The signal to noise ratio is worse than on the mind thread - I didn't think that was possible.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
C'mon, Dingus, I thought once upon a time you researched all this, enough of it anyways.

For starters...
https://www.blockchain.com/

There IS a learning curve. Like algebra. Like climbing!

How about answering a question...

DMT
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 7, 2017 - 03:25pm PT
For now I will believe Reilly. He should know.


And it doesn't cost me anything.


?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
What network?

Specifically.

What database?

Specifically.

http://bfy.tw/EuQ8 ;-)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 7, 2017 - 04:09pm PT
haha, dingus, unlike Nature, I see you never spent your tip for coffee...

lol!

It's now worth $61.00!

https://blockchain.info/address/1JGpHgrLoWweBFx4GLHxwTnG77CrmKj9Hj

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2266103&msg=2352530#msg2352530



You should play it forward and buy me a couple pizzas! lol
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 7, 2017 - 04:17pm PT
OK, Reilly.

Your measly liquidity, accountability, transparency, regulation, versus







Should I flip a coin?
frostback

Social climber
great white north
Nov 7, 2017 - 04:17pm PT
http://fortune.com/2017/09/14/bitcoin-bubble-investments-short/
Shorting bitcoin is not for the faint of heart - the drivers of illegality are likely to strong to bring the exchange crashing down -but still it might be worth taking a small contrarian position.

Investing in underlying blockchain on the other hand does make sense!
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-10/commerzbank-s-curious-way-to-get-bitcoin-exposure
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Nov 7, 2017 - 07:24pm PT
. . . platform [some innovation] that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. 

Oh, brother.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this kind of declaration in the past 50 years.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 07:54pm PT
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this kind of declaration in the past 50 years.

is this what you said about the internet, back in the day?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 7, 2017 - 09:15pm PT
Ditto television and radio. Telegraph on the other hand did dramatically change the speed of business.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2017 - 09:52pm PT
is this what you said about the internet, back in the day?

I wonder how much money was stolen through the internet, today. Just today.

Who owns the internet? Could one purchase an election through it?

If the internet turns off all our smart devices at the same time, who is responsible?

DMT
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 7, 2017 - 10:57pm PT
Bottom line with security on the internet is there is no real security until the day you can tie biometrics to transactions and trace them across all the CPU's and network devices from origination to destination. That would require a wholesale change in the way we design all computing and network devices.

The downside of such a system is it would also act as a de facto national identity program so that doesn't get people super excited. But there you have it, a choice between two evils: an internet with no anonymity or one rife with fraud - there is no in-between.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 8, 2017 - 12:20am PT
The downside of such a system is it would also act as a de facto national identity program so that doesn't get people super excited.

that's the point of blockchain currency, it isn't centralized... no governments involved

so far the only major security problems with bitcoin are people blabbing about their wallets on social media and hackers taking over their cell phones which are used for multifactor identification and changing the passwords on all the victim's accounts... this is not a problem with the bitcoin security

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 8, 2017 - 12:30am PT
I'm not talking about bitcoin, or blockchain, which is far too computationally expensive to use outside of securing high-value artifacts such as currencies and contracts. I'm talking about what it would require to secure the internet in general. Bitcoin and blockchain operate within a an inherently insecure ecosystem and securing that ecosystem would entail the rather draconian measures I mentioned.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:00am PT
I am talking about Bitcoin, specifically about a stateless currency, subject to the whim of no government manipulation.

Sure you want that? Do you all agree with Werner that the central bank of the u.s. is controlled by a few greedy and evil individuals bent on world domination and keeping the proletariat tied to the wheel of life forever?

Let's say it's true, for a moment.

What's to keep the same from happening to bitcoin? What unholy alliances await humanity's future and what then, oh impotent countries of old, will you do in the next currency crash, when your country lacks any and all control to manipulate the currency to smooth out the lumps in the economy?

Much like President Obama did by printing a trillion bucks in paper money? Nyet!

And what horrors await in the code base? I know, some of you are enamored with secure transactions. Security is elusive though, and in this stateless utopia who is going to protect the integrity of the system - whatever system, of money?

Will you all rise up with your pitchforks and storm the, oh wait, no castle. No ruler. No country. No responsibility.

Maintaining a currency doesn't create a national security issue. I submit that a currency is part of a national security system. Don't be so eager to abandon the mighty Dollar. It is one of the national treasures and one of the U.S.'s greatest weapons of security.

I just don't see the advantage of a stateless currency, bitcoin or no. I'm not a tax cheat and I'm not trying to hide ill-gotten gains from government oversight and taxation. The fact that HFCS's 'cup of bitcoin coffee' is now allegedly worth $60 is not really a strong argument in favor of such a system.

DMT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:20am PT
ecurity is elusive though, and in this stateless utopia who is going to protect the integrity of the system - whatever system, of money?

in a stateless utopia is there any money?

We can make all the interesting and intelligent speculations we want about the future. Passing judgment on this technology based on those speculations is to be expected, but I doubt any of us can see where it will go.

My feeling is that the utility of blockchain technology will find itself into the "logistics" sectors, including financial transfers.

If you think the computational resources for creating blockchain are large, what about mining, refining, storing and moving tonnes of gold around?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:23am PT
Dingus, I was just about to ask if you saw my post? but apparently you have.

Don't you have your wallet anymore? That $5 I tipped you (along w Nature) back in 2014 is now $70 in YOUR wallet.

You're just going to let it go to waste?

The fact that HFCS's 'cup of bitcoin coffee' is now allegedly worth $60 is not really a strong argument in favor of such a system. -dingus

and what's with the "allegedly"?!

Did you not even bother to click one link and see?
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:24am PT
My feeling is that the utility of blockchain technology will find itself into the "logistics" sectors, including financial transfers.

Totally get that and agree.

If you think the computational resources for creating blockchain are large,

that's not what I meant.

what about mining, refining, storing and moving tonnes of gold around?

Electronic currency isn't going to change that.

DMT
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:25am PT
Blockchain = useful
Bitcoin = blockchain
Step 3: Profit

Got it.

How come Dogecoin isn’t as valuable and desireable as Bitcoin?
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:25am PT
HFCS I'll let it ride. Perhaps I'll retire on it if this growth continues.

DMT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:27am PT
well give it to your kids then, or one of their friends, perhaps they'll know what to do with it

1JGpHgrLoWweBFx4GLHxwTnG77CrmKj9Hj

Perhaps I'll retire on it if this growth continues.


smartass - so often the case

"allegedly"

the tell right there

...

My issue with some posters here (like on the God thread) is not that they don't know, it's that they pretend to knowledge or expertise they don't have. Heck of a value.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:38am PT
What's to keep the same from happening to bitcoin? What unholy alliances await humanity's future and what then, oh impotent countries of old, will you do in the next currency crash, when your country lacks any and all control to manipulate the currency to smooth out the lumps in the economy?

Much like President Obama did by printing a trillion bucks in paper money? Nyet!

And what horrors await in the code base? I know, some of you are enamored with secure transactions. Security is elusive though, and in this stateless utopia who is going to protect the integrity of the system - whatever system, of money?

Will you all rise up with your pitchforks and storm the, oh wait, no castle. No ruler. No country. No responsibility.

Wow. That certainty of expression! Your powers of seeing the future must be awesome!!!

...

At least Nature knew how to play along - the original intent in 2014 - using his as currency.

https://blockchain.info/address/1JGpHgrLoWweBFx4GLHxwTnG77CrmKj9Hj

You want to piss on the system and not partake, Mr. Certainty, you can always send it back. Only takes a couple clicks.

hfcs... 16mDuHSL3vdBJgRTEj2RahH7emZHa5V7aW

...


Personally, if somebody sent me a five spot for a cuppa a few years back and I hadn't gotten around to using it and just discovered it's now worth $70 I'd be kinda excited about that. But I guess me is not YOU.

:(
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:55am PT
A bit of reference and clarity. For future self if not others.

Dingus on a 2014 thread post asked how much 9 ten-thousands of btc was worth. Just for clarity sake, that was just a test amount, worth about $.25 at the time, to validate his new wallet address. As above link shows it was then followed, after getting validation here at ST, w a $5 "tip" (for a good story or two, or three, he's written over the years).

So that's how that bit of transaction worked. Above link shows two transactions from me, one worth about $.25 at the time and the other $5.00 at the time.

Nature played too. Year or so later, ledger shows he withdrew his.

Nature's...
https://blockchain.info/address/1GWkJCZHdqyabaLFXwemg6zwHvC6EQoWSu

EDIT: Correction: Nature transferred his tip to a new address. It now has a $40 balance.

https://blockchain.info/address/1H5h7vzJAdQnKmPRbsJkiv4TfKLuPLbXCx

Someone should let him know. :)

For ref: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2266103&msg=2352456#msg2352456

...

How about answering a question...

How about doing some research... How about showing due diligence... How about recognizing that some subject matter actually requires investment, even intensive investment, more than some other subject matter.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 8, 2017 - 07:57am PT
$300m in cryptocurrency accidentally lost forever due to bug

User mistakenly takes control of hundreds of wallets containing cryptocurrency Ether, destroying them in a panic while trying to give them back...
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 8, 2017 - 09:28am PT
Here's an analysis of the economics of this stuff which argues a few points, including: that an equilibrium will exist such that the currency has a positive value, if there are enough buyers of the currency; and that the energy overhead of mining can be reduced as the amount of cryptocurrency in circulation becomes large enough.

https://www.chapman.edu/research/institutes-and-centers/economic-science-institute/_files/ifree-papers-and-photos/koeppel-april2017.pdf

There's not much economic theory developed on the topic.

I'd be pretty reluctant to invest in bitcoin itself, except with a small amount for speculative purposes. It seems to me that the chances of the bottom falling out of the market are not negligible. The technology behind it looks to be very promising, though.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Nov 8, 2017 - 09:36am PT
“Investing in money” is kind of a strange idea. Usually, it’s meant placing a bet on the relative economic performance of a country that fosters a currency.

Here’s it seems to be something different. Instead, it’s a bet on a technology, and with regards to that, that’s pretty much always a crapshoot. No one has been able to successfully and repeatedly been able to predict which technology will win in a competition among other technologies because it’s never been a question of which technology is technically superior. Social factors (which are often seemingly illogical or irrational) often end up choosing a technology over others. The books are full of stories about how so-called inferior technologies won.

I’m using one right now. It’s called the QWERTY keyboard.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 8, 2017 - 09:43am PT
Regardless of its implementation, currency is and will always be social construct. And as a software engineer I would have complete confidence in cryptocurrencies if they weren't written in software, wholly sync'd to human behavior, and embedded in an insecure digital world. As it is, it's reminding me a lot of any other speculative bubble, but with way more technological and social unknowns and risk.
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Nov 8, 2017 - 10:04am PT
The basic argument is that this stuff will be super useful "someday" and be an alternative or replacement for regular cash. It will be faster and more secure than moving money via banks. That is the value proposition.

The current value placed on Bitcoin and similar widgets does not really reflect this. Currently a transaction is not instantaneous or very cheap (averaging $6 a pop). Most people are hoarding it like a goose laying golden eggs, not actually spending it.

The real test would be if the value did stabilize like a real currency should and stopped growing at 100% a year. Would people actually spend it like money? Would they sell it and move to some other faster growing asset? Would miners stop being able to pay their electric bills and sell their graphic card farms for pennies on the dollar? Will governments continue to step in an ban the stuff? If a major terrorist attack is funded secretly with the stuff will it suddenly get a tainted image?

I can see it plummet to nothing easily, especially given the dozens of me-too crypto-currencies that exist, even if one takes root most will be doomed to the scrap heap. I cannot see it continue to grow on the current trajectory in perpetuity.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Nov 8, 2017 - 10:08am PT
^^^^^^^
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 8, 2017 - 10:10am PT
The same way there are a lot of CPU cycles mining bitcoins, there are also probably a lot of them sending out messages to stimulate interest in bitcoin and to make us believe that its value will go up. With a slowly growing supply, and demand increasing due to actual usefulness and speculation fueled by spam, it's not surprising that the value is going up, at least for some length of time. There's no federal reserve injecting bitcoins fast enough to prevent deflation.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 8, 2017 - 10:18am PT
messages to stimulate interest in bitcoin


Yes.

Don't underestimate the importance of marketing.


Whatever you may regard as the value of anything, don't forget the way expert advertising can play a role. We live "under the influence in an age of persuasion" as ad-man Terry O'Reilly might put it. Yeah, the hockey player.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Nov 9, 2017 - 10:31am PT
Sorry Dingus.

As something of a fan of this and similar innovations and where it all might lead (via a type of evolution of course) yesterday this crazy enthusiasm got the best of me and I posted over the top in the moment and too quickly. Sorry man.

By and large, lol, love your posts!
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
fresh air's terry gross topic: "understanding bitcoin" on her podcast today

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 9, 2017 - 06:44pm PT
Yeah, I always go to Terry Gross for financial beta. LOL
Jeremy B.

climber
Northern California
Nov 9, 2017 - 07:35pm PT
You can find a decent overview on bitcoin the currency and bitcoin the protocol at https://macro-ops.com/bitcoin-bubble-6000-pokemon-card/ (Yes, it's a newsletter site, no I have no relation to it.)
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 9, 2017 - 10:42pm PT
HFCS we're good, man. Thanks for the sentiment. Its appreciated. And I can be magnanimous on this because you, me, Ed and Reilly all know I'm right about Bitcoin itself, a Refuge for Scoundrels, blockchain technology notwithstanding.

I'll buy you that pizza when I retire, bitcoin or no. In fact next time you're in the hood no need to wait.

Cheers
DMT
ECF

Big Wall climber
Ridgway CO
Nov 9, 2017 - 10:44pm PT
Ever go to Vegas?
Same rules apply, don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

That said, I have made money buying and selling bitcoin.
Its damn easy. Just don't sell when it's below a profit point.
Just wait, it will go back up.
This is a global phenomenon, USA centered thinking will make it seem foolish.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 9, 2017 - 11:21pm PT
Who said hope and aspiration couldn't be digitized...
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Nov 10, 2017 - 12:14am PT
So how much skin do any of you ultra intellectual lovies have in the game ?



Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2017 - 08:50am PT
I might be stoopid, but I’m no crankloon. The dollar is being shorted today, time to go long before the Fed ups rates next month. Oh, Bitcoin, you asked?

LONDON
Bitcoin dropped below $7,000 on Friday to trade more than 5 percent down on the day, having fallen by well over $1,000 since hitting an all-time high on Wednesday.
Bitcoin dropped to $6,800 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange by 1200 GMT, before recovering a little to $6,870 just over 20 minutes later.
On Wednesday around 1800 GMT, it had touched $7,888 after a software upgrade planned for next week that could have split the cryptocurrency in two was suspended.
As bitcoin fell, Bitcoin Cash - a clone of the original that was generated from another split on Aug.1 - surged, trading up as much as 35 percent on the day at around $850, according to industry website Coinmarketcap.
Despite losing almost 7 percent this week, bitcoin is still up more than 600 percent so far this year.
(Reporting by Jemima Kelly, Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan)
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 10, 2017 - 11:50am PT
a software upgrade planned for...

Software as currency - pushing code to production should be a cause for monumental trepidation; disagreements significant enough to cause a given developer faction to fork the codebase even scarier. Who's in charge of this rodeo anyway...?

locker

climber
Nov 10, 2017 - 12:00pm PT


Bitrip(uoff) is probably closer to correct...
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Nov 10, 2017 - 03:56pm PT
If nobody mentioned it, there was a segment about Bitcoin on "Fresh Air" last night. I only heard the last of it, but am assuming there was enough on the "basics of Bitcoin" to get a decent idea.

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/09/563050434/once-an-underground-currency-bitcoin-emerges-as-a-new-way-to-track-information
Bargainhunter

climber
Nov 10, 2017 - 04:31pm PT
Personal anecdote:

I bought my first bitcoin the day after Thanksgiving in 2013. It cost ~$1200.

Turns out, I had purchased at a peak and it proceeded to rollercoaster downward, then back up but mostly downward to the $300-400 range. The volatility was extreme, sometimes changes of 25% in a single day. Great if it's going up but not so great the other way.

I bought more during this time (hey, it's on a discount!), lots more, but ultimately got spooked by the volatility, and cashed out a year later with a hefty but tolerable losses, as I understood I was just speculating on a weird security and was basically gambling, not investing. I was aware all along that the money could vaporize at a moment's notice.

If I had held onto my original bitcoin in 2013 bought around $300, I would have seen more than 20x increases today. I could have retired early.

Back in 2013, I gifted my sister 0.10 bitcoin for her birthday, then worth $95. It's now worth $660+.

Pretty wild to think of the early adopters making millions just by the simple click of a few buttons, if one's timing was lucky, getting in on bitcoin when it was worth a few dollars, or pennies...
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 10, 2017 - 04:51pm PT
Pretty wild to think of the early adopters making millions

The creator, whatever name he, she, or they go by, did well, too.


Far as we know.



Reminds me of what a computer scientist friend of mine said years ago about the promise of things to come: "Some people in my field play a game of 'fleece the venture capitalist.'"
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2017 - 05:36pm PT
A young programmer I know retired, verrrry comfortably, at the ripe old age of 28. But he actually wrote code that people paid for because they saw actual value in it.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Nov 10, 2017 - 06:17pm PT
he actually wrote code that people paid for


Sort of like Microsoft did, huh?



Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2017 - 06:21pm PT
Kinda, but he wrote stable code. 🤓
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 16, 2017 - 08:50am PT
Lest we forget:

Special Report: Twice burned - How Mt. Gox's bitcoin customers could lose again
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bitcoin-gox-specialreport/special-report-twice-burned-how-mt-goxs-bitcoin-customers-could-lose-again-idUSKBN1DG1UC

24,000 suckers stiffed! Financial Darwinism, baby!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 16, 2017 - 01:06pm PT
https://hackernoon.com/the-crypto-civil-war-40ee1ee9314f
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Nov 16, 2017 - 06:26pm PT
^^^^^ This is a nerd's wet dream, a computer game that can actually make you rich. So what happens when the interwebs go down? It's amazing how much we have come to depend on the internet in such a short time. All my business transactions go through it; I'd be f*#ked without it. All the more reason for net neutrality.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 16, 2017 - 08:31pm PT
All my business transactions go through it; I'd be f*#ked without it. All the more reason for net neutrality.

I mean no disrespect winemaker but free things have no value; like free wine. The fact all your business runs through the internet defies net neutrality.

Supply and demand, my friend, isn't it? The more you value it the more you will pay for it, whatever is is. Free things, you pay nothing for. Business doesn't work on free.

DMT
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Nov 17, 2017 - 07:06am PT
You misunderstand me DMT, or perhaps I wasn't clear. All my communications re lab results and billing go through the internet. Snail mail would be possible but slow. Fax could work, but who has one now? Texting is okay for quick response, but not for technical stuff. Do you think Amazon might depend a bit on the interweb?

The internet isn't free. I pay $200/year for a web site and a domain name. Explain to me how the internet has not become very important, no, essential, for commerce worldwide. More and more entertainment is web based, as cable customers abandon the ship. It's critical that the net be neutral and not controlled by two or three companies who can pick and chose who they will speed stifle for their own benefit.

I wish I had some options as to a service provider, but have only a single choice. Since this is essentially a monopoly there must be certainty that my ISP not favor certain businesses or political views, that the internet be open and neutral.

Don't talk down to me without knowing what I do or how I do it. I pay $70/month for internet access; some of that money goes to infrastructure support via the provider.

And there's nothing wrong with free wine.

Edited to add:

DMT, a number of people on this site have gotten free wine from me just by asking. I used to have a policy that whenever someone asked they got a bottle via UPS. Reilly, I think you asked once and I messaged you for your address, but got no reply.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 17, 2017 - 07:36am PT
Wino, with all due respect, what does yer love of the intardnet got to do with Bitcoin?
Yer use of the net is legit.
Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Nov 17, 2017 - 07:44am PT

Reilly, not a love story. What I was suggesting is that
So what happens when the interwebs go down?
bitcoins don't exist without the net. The way hundreds of millions of dollars of perceived value can simply vanish with the click of a button as it did with Mt. Gox is, or should be, scary stuff.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 17, 2017 - 08:26am PT
Ah, pre-coffee reading comp fail. My bad. ;-) Well, the world’s whole financial system is dependent on the web with the critical difference being all other transactions are (theoretically) backed up ad nauseum. Oh, there is that one other little difference - those transactions are real. OK, real as long as you think a credit default swap is real. :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Nov 17, 2017 - 10:00am PT
I didn't talk down to you.

Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?

DMT
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