[Discussion] Cryptocurrency

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!

ruhk wrote:

Crypto and blockchain have been around in various forms since 1991 and in it’s current form since 2008, so I’m really curious how many more decades it’s going to be before we get this revolutionary, life-changing application for it that everyone keeps saying is right around the corner.

The only life changing application I can think of will be pineapples in Alaska.

Paleocon wrote:
ruhk wrote:

Crypto and blockchain have been around in various forms since 1991 and in it’s current form since 2008, so I’m really curious how many more decades it’s going to be before we get this revolutionary, life-changing application for it that everyone keeps saying is right around the corner.

The only life changing application I can think of will be pineapples in Alaska.

The collapse of pensions funds using it as an "investment" is gonna change some lives.

I keep telling people, blockchain is *great* for logistics and supply chain tracking. Why does the magic app have to be consumer-oriented?

Robear wrote:

I keep telling people, blockchain is *great* for logistics and supply chain tracking. Why does the magic app have to be consumer-oriented?

Tech bro yachts?

Robear wrote:

I keep telling people, blockchain is *great* for logistics and supply chain tracking. Why does the magic app have to be consumer-oriented?

Because it's the USB-C of information exchange. Everyone currently has their own proprietary software/systems for supply chain tracking and even when 2 companies have the same system they don't talk to each other without a lot of help.

Convincing everyone to convert to the same system usually has to come with some kind of benefit to offset the cost of change.

That's a very cool take though, hardly warms the planet at all.

That's not the point I made, though. The point is that everyone expects Blockchain to go viral in the consumer space, and they ignore that it's already well implanted in the logistics space. That is the current "killer app" for blockchain. It's already here.

Any logistics application would have to be on a smart contract platform, all of which are proof of stake (since Ethereum did the Merge) and no longer burn excessive amounts of energy, so you can all remove that from your list of objections.

The only blockchain left with significant energy usage now is bitcoin, which at this point is basically irrelevant to any discussion of practical blockchain applications.

Isn't it mining that is computationally expensive, rather than just creating tracking entries in a blockchain?

Robear wrote:

Isn't it mining that is computationally expensive, rather than just creating tracking entries in a blockchain?

Correct, it is the mining that burns electricity. Proof of Stake chains don't mine (although people sometimes still colloquially refer to staking as 'mining' because its the terminology they're used to). Bitcoin is the only chain remaining that still does mining at real scale.

Robear wrote:

I keep telling people, blockchain is *great* for logistics and supply chain tracking. Why does the magic app have to be consumer-oriented?

Do you have any experience with this? I have had that conversation with crypto people and they don’t seem to get it. It’s not very often you have adversarial organisations taking part in a logistics chain and having people provide an audit chain doesn’t require a blockchain with third parties mining. It’s hard to see where the value a crypto solution brings that could allow the current very low margin freight business to find efficiencies?

Logistics blockchain does not use or require crypto. The coin miners simply won't care.

For the Federal government, especially DoD and the IC, adversarial organizations trying to get into the logistics chain is a fact of life. Everything from interception of shipments by adversaries (to implant monitoring devices/code) to covering up of non-US component manufacture in equipment destined for sensitive use to resale of grey market equipment from overseas as "never left the US", it's a big deal. There are companies whose entire business is checking for a clean supply chain (and even in software development, which is basically freaking magic, although admittedly that's not primarily blockchain transaction oriented).

ruhk wrote:

Crypto and blockchain have been around in various forms since 1991 and in it’s current form since 2008, so I’m really curious how many more decades it’s going to be before we get this revolutionary, life-changing application for it that everyone keeps saying is right around the corner.

SEC sues Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao for ‘mishandling billions of dollars’

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and its chief executive are being sued by the US’s top financial watchdog, which has accused them of making billions of dollars while “placing investors’ assets at significant risk”.

In a court filing, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Binance of mixing “billions of dollars” in customer funds and secretly sending them to a separate company controlled by its founder and chief executive, Changpeng Zhao.

“We allege that Zhao and the Binance entities not only knew the rules of the road, but they also consciously chose to evade them and put their customers and investors at risk,” said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s enforcement division.

In its complaint filed on Monday at a federal district court in Washington, the SEC added: “Defendants have enriched themselves by billions of US dollars while placing investors’ assets at significant risk.” The complaint alleges that between June 2018 and July 2021, Binance earned at least $11.6bn (£9.3bn) in revenue, mostly from transaction fees.

Among other charges, the SEC alleges that, while Zhao and Binance publicly claimed that US customers were restricted from transacting on Binance.com, “Zhao and Binance in reality subverted their own controls to secretly allow high-value US customers to continue trading on the Binance.com platform”.

The 13 civil charges have been placed against Zhao, Binance Holdings and two further Binance-linked entities, BAM Trading Services and BAM Management US Holdings. The SEC said Binance and BAM operated the Binance.US platform, which had been created for US customers after the main Binance platform said in 2019 it was quitting the US market.

The SEC alleges that, while Zhao and Binance publicly claimed that Binance.US was created as a separate, independent trading platform for US investors, “Zhao and Binance secretly controlled the Binance.US platform’s operations behind the scenes”.

The SEC alleges that Zhao and Binance were able to commingle or divert customers assets “as they please” including to a Zhao-controlled entity called Sigma Chain. The regulator claims that Sigma also engaged in “manipulative trading” that artificially inflated trading volume on Binance.US.

The SEC also charged Binance and BAM Trading with operating unregistered securities exchanges, broker-dealers and clearing agencies, as well as the unregistered offering and sale of crypto assets including the Binance USD stablecoin, a digital token whose value is pegged to the American dollar. It alleged that Zhao was a “control person” for the unregistered exchange operation.

The SEC complaint alleges that Zhao directed Binance to conceal the access of high-spending US customers to Binance.com. In one piece of evidence included in the lawsuit, the Binance chief compliance officer messaged a colleague saying: “We are operating as a fking unlicensed securities exchange in the USA bro.” Elsewhere in the lawsuit Binance’s CCO is quoted as saying: “We do not want [Binance].com to be regulated ever.”

The regulatory clarity that is coming for Binance and Coinbase will be.... interesting.

so voyager allowed me to take 30% of what i had in before they went bankrupt. complete rip off but at least i got something. i transfered in to a diferent wallet, but i don't know if thatll go bankrupt too. seems like i cant win unless i know how to make a wallet without using a third party.... not sure i ever want to take the time to figure that out

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/HDWfygU.jpg)

FiveIron wrote:

so voyager allowed me to take 30% of what i had in before they went bankrupt. complete rip off but at least i got something. i transfered in to a diferent wallet, but i don't know if thatll go bankrupt too. seems like i cant win unless i know how to make a wallet without using a third party.... not sure i ever want to take the time to figure that out

I’m sorry that happened to you - here are a few practical suggestions

* Short term, you can install metamask or trust wallet. This will give you a platform-agnostic place to store your coins. Most of those wallets use the same algorithm for seed phrase generation, so if trust wallet goes under, you can use your seed phrase on metamask and still have access to your stuff. “Hot” (online) wallets like this are reasonably secure, but not bulletproof. Just don’t ever store your phrase in a file, write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

* A stronger solution is a cold (hardware) wallet - your private keys are stored on the device. This is a bit of an investment (vs free hot wallets), but is basically the most secure solution.

* A good practice is to set up and keep a hot wallet as a pass through for buying or selling, then store everything in the cold wallet. You pay a little more for the transactions, but it keeps your cold wallet completely protected from exchanges and dexes.

* Don’t sign smart contracts from places you don’t absolutely trust. Just don’t.

* If you keep exchange accounts for buying or selling, lock those accounts with passkeys if they’re supported. Get a Yubikey, you can even use it to lock your Apple and Google accounts as well. Binance and Coinbase both support passkeys, and they remove a bunch of risk from password hacks, SMS hacks, etc.

Just PM me if you have questions about which wallets to use/get, etc, happy to give you advice.

WSJ reports Binance execs are fleeing (including general counsel, chief strat officer, VP for compliance, head of investigations) and US employees are being cut. Reason? Justice may be getting involved.

Changpeng Zhao:

It's amazing that The Flash movie has a NFT tie-in, considering how that whole thing appears to be going.

While the marketplace for drab JPGs of bored apes and pixelated punks is still alive in 2023, it's arguably on life support, with the appetite for NFTs falling catastrophically as hype for AI has replaced bullish narratives around blockchain and the metaverse.

And that's leaving those still trapped in the industry in dire straits.

"Hearing from multiple NFT collection founders that they want to exit but there’s nobody acquiring these companies," NFT veteran Beanie tweeted this month. "Royalty revenues are non-existent and new mints simply aren’t selling."

That means investors are also losing interest.

"VC funding in the space has evaporated," Beanie wrote. "Young smart builders want to move on but feel trapped."

In short, 2023 has been absolutely brutal to the space so far. According to a recent report by Galaxy Research, VC firms invested $2.3 billion in crypto and blockchain firms in the second quarter of 2023, compared to $8 billion over the same time period last year.

As NFT Now notes, it's the fifth consecutive quarter of decreases in VC investment in crypto firms.

Illustrating the decline, a highly-anticipated anime-themed NFT collection called Ether seriously fumbled its launch earlier this month.

"The public sale has been paused due to no demand," NFT collector MANI tweeted last week. "Only 5 NFTs sold on [OpenSea] in the past 20 min."

Even the Bored Apes aren't worth sh*t anymore!

Web3 is going great, y'all!

The amazing part of NFT projects is that they are basically just one rug-pull after another. Now that the "normies" have all bailed out on the concept and only the crypto believers are left, every new project is selling to an audience of buyers who have each been repeatedly rug-pulled, which you would think would dry that market right up. And yet... those buyers just... get back up and Charlie Brown charge at the ball again and again.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/g7PPITv.gif)

Crypto is a cognitive assessment test.

A lot of people just have to save their egos and can’t admit to personal failures. Something similar is going on with the Bed Bath & Beyond bankruptcy right now- when the company started going under a bunch of amateur memestock traders bought stock thinking that BB&B would restructure and bounce back and that they would get massive returns when the stock was re-listed. Some of them have sunk their entire life savings into essentially worthless stock and just keep insisting that the company is days away from bouncing back despite all signs to the contrary. The Chapter 11 legal filings were just made public and they explicitly say that the company is being dissolved and all public shareholders won’t be compensated for their investment but reddit, twitter, and youtube is still filled with these people insisting that it’s just a complex trap to catch short sellers and that they’ll all be rich in a month or two.

that article wrote:

"VC funding in the space has evaporated," Beanie wrote. "Young smart builders want to move on but feel trapped."

Did this word acquire a new ironic definition I missed?

Smart people back Trump. Smart people believe in trickle-down economics. Smart people believe that Ukraine is full of anti-Semitic Nazis who wanted nothing more than to destroy Russian citizens in-country. The examples are all around us, every day. We all likely know someone who has a lot of brains but has fallen for something stupid.

In short, smart people fall for the same cognitive errors that stupid people fall for. Tribalism, greed, propaganda and prejudice overcome brains all the time. William Shockley was a stone racist and misogynist, but his team invented the transistor. Freeman Dyson had a career of structural genius and engineering insights, but spent his last decades insisting that climate change was non-existent and harmless. And on and on and on...

Being smart does not mean you can't make bad decisions, even life-changing ones. You can be stupid in your choices and still have the highest IQ in the stadium...

What I am hearing you say is the answer to my question is “yes.”

Smart people do not back trump.

Smart people do not think ukraine is full of Nazis.

Smart people do not believe in trickle down economics.

Smart people do not even believe in the myth of the Intelligence Quotient.

There are all examples of hubris - the state of thinking you are very smart - and very specifically not intelligence.

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

— Carl Sagan

There’s a reason wisdom and intelligence are separate stats in D&D.

— *Legion*

Let me make my point a bit differently. There are people who are extremely capable and successful, legitimately, in complex areas of technology, business, services and so forth, who anyone would label as "smart" upon spending time with them. However, this does *not* free them from biased and mistaken beliefs in other areas where they are not experts (but may imagine themselves to be).

Saying someone is "smart" or "dumb" based on their politics or investment choices or any of a number of other characteristics is a biased judgement, since it is informed by a pre-judgement of what is good or bad, useful or dangerous, etc in any given field. The most we can say is that while they may be smart enough to, say, create companies and sell them for billions, they can also make stupid choices in investments in technologies and businesses that they, for some reason, believe in. And many times those beliefs are subjective and not grounded in reality, for whatever motivation.

Smart is orthogonal to "makes bad decisions". You can be smart and successful and do stupid things. There's no conflict there. Bad decision-making does not mean you are stupid, it means you are simply not processing the real world in a useful way. That's bias, not stupidity.

I’m not saying people are smart or dumb based on their politics, and I suppose it’s sort of my fault for playing along with those false equivalences above.

I’m saying someone who invests their time, talents, and energy in something as laughably stupid as NFTs is not a smart person, any more than someone investing in playing roulette is a smart person.

Robear wrote:

Let me make my point a bit differently. There are people who are extremely capable and successful, legitimately, in complex areas of technology, business, services and so forth, who anyone would label as "smart" upon spending time with them. However, this does *not* free them from biased and mistaken beliefs in other areas where they are not experts (but may imagine themselves to be).

Saying someone is "smart" or "dumb" based on their politics or investment choices or any of a number of other characteristics is a biased judgement, since it is informed by a pre-judgement of what is good or bad, useful or dangerous, etc in any given field. The most we can say is that while they may be smart enough to, say, create companies and sell them for billions, they can also make stupid choices in investments in technologies and businesses that they, for some reason, believe in. And many times those beliefs are subjective and not grounded in reality, for whatever motivation.

Smart is orthogonal to "makes bad decisions". You can be smart and successful and do stupid things. There's no conflict there. Bad decision-making does not mean you are stupid, it means you are simply not processing the real world in a useful way. That's bias, not stupidity.

Yeah. One of my favorite fitness personalities is an actual professor who dispenses very nuanced, evidence-based information and routinely takes others to task for their hot takes that run counter to the evidence.

This same person recently started another outlet wherein they dispense information on a wide array of non-fitness topics. These takes are based on "logic" and the person's individual opinions. It is amazing how tone-deaf this person is in making very simple, obvious errors in conclusion (not to mention the lack of humility to begin pontificating on subjects that have entire schools behind them that this professor has zero experience in). It is 180-degrees from their highly informed fitness content and is the equivalent of the worst "bro-science"-style thinking (anecdotes, straw man, it runs the gamut).

People be people.