[Discussion] Cryptocurrency

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Cryptocurrency! Either it's going to disrupt everything and usher in a new era of artistic and consumer freedom, or it'll hasten the climate apocalypse while largely benefitting a tiny number of investors. Let's yell about it!

That’s my issue with crypto that even the Bitcoin purist and I don’t see eye to eye on. They claim that the value of 1 Bitcoin is 1 Bitcoin and effectively that one will assign value to that to exchange for goods and services. But a world that ends up to the point that fiat currency is less valuable that Bitcoin probably doesn’t have the technology backbone left to support any crypto currency of any sort.

Is it not true that Bitcoin can only handle a few hundred (thousand?) transactions at a time?

That's a deal breaker, inherent to the technology, that precludes it from becoming what it's proselytizers preach.

Top_Shelf wrote:

Is it not true that Bitcoin can only handle a few hundred (thousand?) transactions at a time?

That's a deal breaker, inherent to the technology, that precludes it from becoming what it's proselytizers preach.

That's a dealbreaker for proof of work methods of adding to the blockchain, precisely because they're computationally expensive. Proof of stake, on the other hand (which Etherium recently moved to) is much less computationally expensive, and thus far more amenable to scaling up (no idea how far you can scale it up - potentially not to the magnitude of "all the financial transactions of a country" kind of scale).

TheGameguru wrote:

That’s my issue with crypto that even the Bitcoin purist and I don’t see eye to eye on. They claim that the value of 1 Bitcoin is 1 Bitcoin and effectively that one will assign value to that to exchange for goods and services.

I've used Bitcoin and Ethereum as currency a number of times.

In every single instance, the price of the good or service was conceptualized in US dollars, and that number was then translated to its equivalences in all the various crypto coins that the provider accepts.

Even in the few places you can actually use crypto as currency, "1 Bitcoin is worth 1 Bitcoin" doesn't exist in practice.

Paleocon wrote:

Until you can pay your taxes with crypto, it won't be any more "money" than a bag of orange juice or Napoleon's tater tots.

I mean, I bet French tout-petits de pommes de Terre *are* pretty damn tasty...

The crypto market became overcrowded. New cryptocurrencies were emerging daily, with some, like in the case of FTX, being created solely for the purpose of moving and concealing funds. How are they so easily created?

It'll be interesting to see what sentence SBF gets for this.

Jonman wrote:

That's a dealbreaker for proof of work methods of adding to the blockchain, precisely because they're computationally expensive. Proof of stake, on the other hand (which Etherium recently moved to) is much less computationally expensive, and thus far more amenable to scaling up (no idea how far you can scale it up - potentially not to the magnitude of "all the financial transactions of a country" kind of scale).

Actually, cryptocurrency's scaling problems have nothing to do with the choice of proof of stake or proof of work. The limiting factors are (a) network latency (the faster you publish blocks, the more chance that latency will result in different parts of the network ending up with different views on the state of the blockchain) and (b) keeping computational requirements low (if you need a $10,000 a month server instance to process all transactions on the blockchain, you're not going to have many nodes in your network, leading to centralisation.)

The energy usage of Proof of Work is completely unrelated to processing transactions. Bitcoin miners burn energy to mint new Bitcoins, but non-mining Bitcoin nodes process all the transactions with minimal energy usage. The energy requirement to minting new coins is basically a kind of brute force defence against Sybil attacks, and a way of somewhat randomly distributing new coins and the right to produce the next block.

Moving to Proof of Stake does nothing to address Ethereum's scaling problems (see here). Their plan is to address scaling via rollups, which work pretty well but are still kind of a work in progress.

Robear wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Until you can pay your taxes with crypto, it won't be any more "money" than a bag of orange juice or Napoleon's tater tots.

I mean, I bet French tout-petits de pommes de Terre *are* pretty damn tasty...

So is boeuf Wellington, but it is kind of pointless to try to buy a tank of gas with it. I know. I've tried.

I think maybe a station that only sells Premium would be your best bet.

HendersonStephen wrote:

The topic of NFTs and crypto is a complex and nuanced one.

TW - cynical take on financial scams
"I can sell things with arbitrary prices by convincing people they are an investment, not a transaction."
Doesn't seem that complex or nuanced except that large numbers of innocents will be impacted if the scam collapses and now large corporations are getting in on it.

Keep clapping or your retirement fund dies.

I thought it was both hilarious and disingenuous when the NFT bros got pissed when an OnlyFans girl executed an obvious rug pull that destroyed their positions before they got to scam others.

HendersonStephen wrote:

The topic of NFTs and crypto is a complex and nuanced one. While some may see it as a way to change the world, others may see it as a way to exacerbate existing inequalities and environmental impact.

Clearly a bot account using chatGPT to spout random non sequitur pro crypto nonsense. Post edit with link to an illicit Indian E-Scooter sight incoming in t-3 hours

Crypto Meltdown, What Crypto Meltdown?

(NYT Paywall)

The flock includes Maria Rebelo, a 27-year-old who works for a Canadian company called Ureeqa that helps artists monetize NFTs, a.k.a. nonfungible tokens. These are digital assets — photos, music, sports memorabilia, whatever — that are recorded and tracked by blockchain, the virtual ledger that enables all things crypto. She rhapsodized about how blockchain could lead to “a worldwide community, instead of one government per country.”

“When we open up the decentralized world, we offer ways for humans to collaborate in ways they never have before,” she said. “That’s human development.”

Interviews in Barcelona and with executives around the world suggest that a year’s worth of fiascos has done little to diminish the enthusiasm of true believers. Many liken this moment to the dot-com crash of 2001, a calamity that wiped out even more wealth — an estimated $5 trillion — and ultimately yielded some blue-chip companies. (“Amazon was down 90 percent at one point” is a line uttered time and again.)

A variation of that sentiment was offered by Joe Hernandez, who handles fraud detection for a company called Gitcoin, a platform that promises on its website to “build and fund open web together.” He was taking a smoke break on the sidewalk outside of Ruar, wearing a purple-and-white varsity jacket, its back emblazoned with the image of an astronaut playing an arcade game.

He is an American, who happened to be visiting Barcelona. Other digital nomads have settled here, drawn by the city’s beauty and relative affordability and hailing from China, Argentina, Portugal, France, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Many say that crypto is shouldering the blame for the bad actors that it attracts. Swindlers are going to swindle.

“Every cycle, a bunch of fraudsters come along and a bunch of tokens go to zero,” Mr. Hernandez said. “Galling is a pretty good word for it. Because it scares a lot of people away.”

staygold wrote:
HendersonStephen wrote:

The topic of NFTs and crypto is a complex and nuanced one. While some may see it as a way to change the world, others may see it as a way to exacerbate existing inequalities and environmental impact.

Clearly a bot account using chatGPT to spout random non sequitur pro crypto nonsense. Post edit with link to an illicit Indian E-Scooter sight incoming in t-3 hours

I'm not about to click it, but there you go.

staygold wrote:
HendersonStephen wrote:

The topic of NFTs and crypto is a complex and nuanced one. While some may see it as a way to change the world, others may see it as a way to exacerbate existing inequalities and environmental impact.

Clearly a bot account using chatGPT to spout random non sequitur pro crypto nonsense. Post edit with link to an illicit Indian E-Scooter sight incoming in t-3 hours

Clearly a bot, because a human cryptobro wouldn't even recognize the possibility of downsides or alternate perspectives.

Just heard cryptocurrency referred to as "Dunning-Krugerrands" and it changed my life.

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