it's leaking again


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53 Responses:

  1. Kevin Lyda says:

    Does this mean that DNA accepts dogecoin?

    Much drink! Very dance.

  2. hurf-durferson says:

    What I want to know is how cryptocurrencies continue to receive fawning adulation from libertard goldbug types. "So, you think currency backed by the Federal Reserve is inferior to gold-backed currency but currency backed by NOTHING and stored on consumer-grade, internet-exposed computers is superior?" If dollars are fiat money then cryptocurrency is like... like FIAT TURBO money. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    • phuzz says:

      I'd guess that's because "libertard goldbug types" aren't known for their analytical thinking skills, which is how one ends up in that state in the first place.

    • Other jamie says:

      Hope springs eternal. The cypherpunks still have a mailing list, for instance.

    • Pavel Lishin says:

      They receive adulation because theoretically the government can't track or tax anonymous transactions.

      • Peter Bierman says:

        please explain how a 100% verifiable and traceable transaction chain can be anonymous.

        • Pavel Lishin says:

          Well, the short answer is that your name isn't tied to your bitcoins, so in theory it's just a set of coins belonging to a particular wallet, going back and forth - so in that sense, it's totally anonymous.

          The longer answer is that if you fuck up even once, your transactions can then be identified throughout the whole blockchain, so in the real world sense, it's not really anonymous.

          There are, uh, I forget what they're called - tumblers or mixers or something, effectively bitcoin laundries, which mix your coins with others and then give some coins back - that supposedly helps, but again, nothing's perfect.

    • Paul Troon says:

      Speaking as a libertard goldbug type, I trust math and algorithms more than I trust bureaucrats and politicians; I have little in common with these people whose life work is telling other people what to do.

      The maths and algorithms that backup crypto-currency might have a flaw; it's still early days. However, I trust that the people who discovered how to use the maths and the algorithms will find and fix any flaws; these people and I have well aligned interests and my use of crypto-currency is a voluntary arrangement.

      I do not trust the bureaucrats and politicians to have interests at all aligned with my own. Their motivations align more closely with banks and other crony businesses interests.

      • PDP says:

        Speaking as the rest of society, we trust the bureaucrats and politicians more than we trust you.

      • jwz says:

        As far as I can tell, the only people who think crypto currencies are a good idea are:

        1) People who mistakenly think they are crypto cash and that they (hopefully academically) think they can use them to buy drugs, whores, children and hit men without consequence;

        2) Short-sighted nerds who are mad at Paypal for various reasonable reasons but who haven't actually thought this shit through;

        2b) Mathematicians;

        3) Randite Libertards who explicitly reject the legitimacy of any government's privilege to levy taxes, because they think that bridges and sewers are things that elves bring in the night.

        • Pavel Lishin says:

          Oh, they realize that sewers don't build themselves. They just assume that people will come together, and form some sort of group - perhaps chosen by all the people based on some sort of vote-gathering mechanism - whose job will be to gather some money from the rest of the group, and then spend it on such expenditures.

          But it wouldn't be government! It wouldn't be taxes!

        • David Konerding says:

          Why are mathematicians 2b) under 2? Surely, there are mathematicians who aren't short sighted nerds mad at paypal?

        • anarchocapitalist says:

          4) People living in countries with currency controls in place (Argentina, Burma, China, etc) who may want to move themselves and/or their money elsewhere.

          5) People wanting to transfer funds to 4)

          • Boldra says:

            Yeah, this is a pretty important point that a lot of Americans don't seem to get. The USD is pretty good, as currencies go. If you get paid in USD, and pay your taxes in USD, and you never need anything except USD, you don't have that much motivation to experiment with cryptocurrency. The US military does a decent job of making sure the currency and economy are stable. The bad news is that USD users are not the majority, and if the rest of the world can manage to agree which cryptocurrency they like best, USD holders may start losing some of that stability.

            • James says:

              Tell people who have to depend on gold and platinum for industrial processes that the USD is stable.

              • Boldra says:

                I wouldn't do that because I'm not telling anyone the USD is stable, I'm just saying there exist currencies that are less stable, and people forced to use these currencies have more reason to want Bitcoin than most of us priveleged westerners.

                • Tim says:

                  You're talking to James, who, just down there, revealed that he believes dollars aren't working as a medium of economic exchange and need to be replaced by something which appreciates. I would guess that here, he is literally claiming that the USD is unusably unstable because the price of gold and platinum in USD is not constant. Which is weapons grade crazy, but there you go.

                  Not that you aren't saying some loony things yourself! There are currencies less stable than Bitcoin? Really? Bitcoin has halved or doubled in value in less than 24h, several times. The only real world examples of currencies that unstable I'm aware of are those where the government responsible was trying to get out of a bad situation by hyperinflating it. This is a rare event and it is almost always deliberate and temporary.

                  Even assuming you can find a real example of a currency which, as of today, is at least as unstable as bitcoin, what on earth would possess its poor users to switch to Bitcoin of all things???? Oh yes let's try to conduct all daily transactions in a form of digital cash which frequently takes 30 minutes to validate that money really exchanged hands, in which time its conversion value to currencies which are actually useful might have changed by 20%. Fucking awesome, get me a load of that action!

                  • Boldra says:

                    Your information about the price changes of Bitcoin is false, look at the data. If you can only see is "it's volatile" and not "it's increasing" too, you're cherry-picking.

                  • relaxing says:

                    Where did people get this idea that currencies which increase in value are a good idea?

                    Is it possible they're really thinking, hey, free money?

                  • Boldra says:

                    Relaxing said:

                    Where did people get this idea that currencies which increase in value are a good idea?

                    What do you think Pedro, an Argentinian bootmaker, who saw the value of his savings drop by 80% last week, thinks of the idea? Should his shop accept Bitcoin, which has increased an average of 10% per week over the past three years? Do you think he's going to buy a books on Keynsian and Austrian economics, weigh up the arguments, and consider the possibility of the world economy grinding to a halt in fifty years because people hoard cryptocurrency? He'll still be able to sell boots then, so why should he care? To him bitcoin sounds like the best fucking idea he's ever had!

                    You see, it doesn't matter what the theorists predict about the future of Bitcoin, as long as each participant directly sees his own wealth increasing each day, Bitcoin is going to continue spreading. Call it a tragedy of the commons if you like, the temptation to participate is currently too great for most.

            • Jal says:

              A nice theory. Until you notice that USD is all we have at the moment.

              Happy to hear about a replacement.

              • Boldra says:

                Whoosh. You missed the point entirely. Most of the world doesn't have any USD. I don't, because I live in Europe.

                I'll spell it out for you again: if all you have is USD, there aren't many good reasons to try crypto. Fine. It's not for you. Here's some invented examples of people who do have reasons:

                Mouhsen lives in Palestine. Half of his customers use Israeli Shekels and half use Egyptian Pounds, so his savings are also split between the two. Every time he has to convert between them, the money-changer charges 8%. Mobile coverage is excellent, and most of his customers have phones, so accepting Bitcoin makes sense.

                Susanna is from Turkey, but works in a restaurant in Switzerland. Her mother needs 15,000 TL for an operation, but financial controls in Turkey makes it difficult or expensive to send it. She can buy Bitcoin from an ATM in Zürich and send it to her mother for free. The doctor will have no difficulty converting it back to Lira.

                Lao Ying lives in China, and both his sons are studying in England. He knows that the real-estate bubble in China is about to burst, so he's invested his money in Bitcoin. He has no difficulty instantly sending them money to pay for their tuition, and if he sends some more, they can convert it to cash at the corner shop.

                I think it's great that American companies like Tiger Direct, and Virgin Galactic and Naughty America are accepting Bitcoin, but let's face it, there's not much advantage for them or for customers using Bitcoin. The real winners are not in America!

                • relaxing says:

                  Why does the greedy Palestinian charge a fee for changing money, when the rest of the world apparently does it for free, and quite generously so in the case of the ever-increasingly-desirable Bitcoin?

                  • Boldra says:

                    Because of currency controls (as anarchocapitalist said up the thread).

                    Israel makes it very difficult for people carrying large amounts of cash to cross the border into Palestine. I'm sure you can imagine why. Most countries don't like seeing their currency leave their borders. The Palestinian banks know they don't have much competition, so they gouge on the fees or the exchange rate.

                    In all of my examples it's only bitcoins that are crossing the borders, and it's very easy for private individuals to compete. Exchange fees on bitcoin are currently typically 0.2-1%.

                • Jal says:

                  I'm interested in things that make the world a better place. Arguments about currency is one I found interesting in the early 90's.

                  • Boldra says:

                    All I'm saying is that Bitcoin is desirable for most people, and it will therefore spread (being decentralised, it's difficult to stop). I'm not saying it's going to make the world a beautiful place, because I honestly don't know.

                    Lots of smart economists think a Bitcoin-only economy would be catastrophic. On the other hand, economics, as a science, doesn't have a great track record making predictions, and just maybe it's possible to have a working society without a growing economy anyway.

                    There are other serious issues with Bitcoin, such as wealth distribution and energy efficiency, some of which are better solved by other cryptocurrencies.

        • such currency says:

          5) people occupying the upper ecehlons of the pyramid

        • splork says:

          Does your stance on cryptocurrency have anything to do with a certain former boss recently coming out heavily in favor of the stuff? Kind of strange to see someone who made bank from helping to build out the early internet bagging on another fledgling system of decentralization.

    • Chris says:

      I understand that you're just herp-derping here, but serious answers!

      1) There's no consensus among anti-fed economists about the gold standard. There's some evidence it's better than fiat, some that it's worse. Economics complicated? Unpossible. I see no consensus among crypto currency enthusiasts either. Perhaps you've been watching Glenn Beck.

      2) Algorithmic fiat and human-directed fiat are not two similar things along a continuum, they're distinct. The differences are critical (and aren't the only reason these things are attractive).

      • gronk says:

        wrt gold standard: gold bugs don't understand demographics (more people means you have less overall money/gold for everybody; less people means you have more money/gold for everyone), and the fact that you can still induce inflation by mining gold. Or, as the spaniards found out in the sixteenth century, by confiscating lot of gold from other countries.

  3. Leonardo Herrera says:

    Crypto currency is backed by the network. Still fiat money, but as long as the network is good its monies are also good.

  4. gryazi says:

    In doge we trust.

    I think a lot of the goldbug types actually recognize that gold has only the vaguest usefulness but they have a particular attachment to 'guaranteed scarcity' as a measure of value. It's equally interesting to watch trained economist types equally fling poop because deflation means rational actors will never buy anything ever again. (Because rational actors never buy food, shelter, or medical treatment if they can get it cheaper next year.)

    A lesser-known aspect of 'crypto' is that most flavors follow Bitcoin's model of feeding transaction fees back to the network, and it seems like there are a lot of interesting ways to create incentives or disincentives if the network 'agrees' to accept them (easier if they were codified as part of that particular "coin"'s social contract from the start). The immediate concern is disincentivizing DoSing the blockchain (and thus network) with small and rapid transactions, but a tax on 'old money' - more punitive than what would have been redistributed if it was transferred once a month, say - might disincentivize hoarding a bit and keep keeping the lights on profitable when it's all mined out.

    (I'm not really up on the txfee mechanism, but it's not like people can't agree to tack on extra trust networks and make it all more like regular boring money. And maybe this'll be an opportunity to reconsider real-world tax codes, because something seems a little fucked up if being a currencies trader subjects you to a completely different set of rules and rates than someone who subsists on barter. It seems like by the time you've provided enough chickens to cover your doctor's bill you'll have incurred a quarterly reporting liability with estimated payments due, which is not something you hear Nevada politicians talking about.)

    • such currency says:

      --> (Because rational actors never buy food, shelter, or medical treatment if they can get it cheaper next year.)

      hey if you want a mad max economy, who are we to disagree.

  5. gryazi says:

    I also wonder what happens when politicians realize this is an opportunity to make paying taxes electronically "convenient" without Visa or MC or Bank of America (the IRS's preferred payment processor) taking a cut at their end.

    They could maintain a 1:1 exchange rate and maintain the ability to print more money and lend it cheap to banks who'll lend it on ARMs and tranche them to the Saudis if they just pegged it as a 1:1 'coin'-to-special-run-T-bill ratio and fucked with the rate on those instruments to achieve the result they want. ("E.T."-bills?) And think of the payloads they could cram into the sole sanctioned official Windows[/Android/iOS]-only client! Everybody wins!

    • Anthony says:

      The IRS, and most government agencies which accept payments by credit card, don't pay service charges; they tack them onto the payment you're making, so you pay the extra cut. Which the IRS won't mind, as that is now taxable income for the CC processor. (And probably not deductible by you.)

    • Ben says:

      In the end, the definition of a country's currency is "what you pay taxes with" and "what the government pays people with".

      So no, the IRS will never take bitcoin as payment regardless of fees, any more than they'll take euros.

  6. Paul says:

    Oh hey that's my shop! Did you come by for coffee jwz? If you did I hope it was good. We started accepting Dogecoin yesterday and have had a grand total of two transactions so far, both from the same guy. It's a silly fun experiment though, which I think is somewhat in keeping with the Dogecoin attitude.

  7. Mark Crane says:

    My son invested $4.00 in Doge Coin, and now it is worth $200. I'm glad he's learning important lessons about investing.

  8. James says:

    The sad part of all this is we still don't have any currencies backed effectively by assets which actually appreciate. The Treasury came out with bonds pegged to inflation, but actual commercial bonds, i.e., using the aggregate credit of businesses who actually need the money to meet their customer demands would be a whole hell of a lot better as a backing than the full faith and credit of the US, gold, any other commodity, and especially wasted electricity and the increasingly shaky hopes that qbits don't scale. If Mastercard and Visa decided they would offer a broad money market currency accounts invested in multisector international high-yield bonds, worries about inflation and deflation would evaporate, and everyone in Treasury securities of any kind for any reason would not take long to move a substantial portion to supporting the actual real economy as a medium of exchange that money has always aspired to since the days of shells strung on a necklace.

    • Tim says:

      The sad part of all this is we still don't have any currencies backed effectively by assets which actually appreciate.

      "Still"? Dude, we done tried it already, and it sucked. Are you thoroughly ignorant of history or something? More or less the entire modern world abandoned the gold standard (an asset that often appreciates, particularly when used as money) because stuff which reliably appreciates over the long term turns out to make a lousy currency that does not serve society well as a medium of exchange.

      But it turns out you're even loonier about the present day:

      everyone in Treasury securities of any kind for any reason would not take long to move a substantial portion to supporting the actual real economy as a medium of exchange that money has always aspired to

      So you think that dollars (and yen, and euro, and all the other things we call money) do not function as a medium of exchange in the economy? What world do you presently live in, and what is the color of the sky there?

      In my world I just got back from the grocery store where I used some of the money my employer gave me to help design chips -- the electronic kind, not corn chips -- to buy various foodstuffs. Some of these must have gone through several economic exchanges on their way to the grocery store and ultimately my belly, and at every step of the way money was used as a medium of exchange. And do you know what, it was easy to spend my money on food! Wow! Mission accomplished, money. You served me as a medium of exchange today, just as you have all the days of my life.

      • James says:

        Gold is a terrible currency backing, because its supply and demand is completely random, but gold future contracts are the best hedge for someone who has to depend on gold for industrial production, to the extent that they need to have it available without wide unpredictable price swings. "The full faith and credit of the _____ government" is better than gold if the government in question is large enough, but it's not as good as assets which appreciate in value, because of inflation and deflation due to "full faith and credit" being something different than "not using monitary policy to make up for stupid fiscal policy" which even the largest governments don't have yet.

    • relaxing says:

      Why would I want a currency as volatile as commercial bonds?
      So when the economy goes down the crapper I'll have no job AND hold worthless currency?