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1  Other / Politics & Society / Irrational 1% Jealousy on: July 01, 2013, 06:13:35 PM
I was about to reply to this post and decided to make a new thread:

Capitalism is not as good as you think if it comes to the point where 1% of the population owns 90% of the money. It's hard to find examples of honest trade, rather more and more poverty and slave labour while the fat pigs get fatter.

I keep reading this complaint about the "top 1%" controlling too much. How do we know this distribution is suboptimal? I personally have difficulties imagining an efficient human-controlled society where the "top 1%" does not manage large amounts of resources. Distributing large-scale resource management to over 70M individuals (1% of the planet's population) is not currently possible and managing resources in a non-capitalistic fashion leads to systemic degeneration. Most people currently alive are not educated enough for such a broad asset distribution to work.

The economy is not a cake that must be divided. We eat food cultivated, planned, farmed, transported and stored via markets that optimize through Capitalism. Wrecking the markets to try eat the dollars is not much of a plan. There are many problems for which more and less distributed solutions exist, with a different resulting wealth distribution and no simple answer on which is better. Take financial security: how much money should people hoard personally, how much should they pay to insurance? Insurance will give the insurance's manager tremendous power, hoarding will leave more to the middle class instead. But are they better off with the hoarded amount instead of insurance? Tail risks are bad, and you don't want to be the uninsured hospital patient who runs out of cash.

But more importantly, why is asset equality a goal? So people have no richer people to be jealous about? The problem of poor people is how well they can get out of poverty, not how the high-level part of society distributes wealth. Any redistribution in just Europe or the USA that decreases overall efficiency would just starve more people in poor countries. I don't remember seeing protest banners reading "We speak for the 1.29 billion", the people below the poverty line who are likely to die from lack of food and medicine. Is it not hypocrisy to call some exact distribution near the top "unfair" while neglecting over a BILLION people elsewhere?



A note on "slave labour" in the quoted post: Capitalistic slave labour in the West should be impossible by definition. Capitalism is roughly free voluntary human action; if a worker has no free choice of the best willing employer, this is not Capitalism. If he has that choice, he is not a slave worker. The only way to get classical slavery in Capitalism is to explicitly allow it. Poverty and slavery are not strongly connected: there could be a world with slavery but no poverty, as there could be a world with poverty but no slavery. It's not useful to mix up those two as they are totally different issues.
2  Economy / Speculation / User registration count manipulated on: April 29, 2013, 11:28:06 AM
Like many speculators, I track indicators correlating with media and user activity, including the new users here on Bitcointalk.

Since some time yesterday, this count is spiking. In a rather extreme manner too. Before anyone now yells "new blood, buy buy buy!" look at this excerpt from the new user list:

spanviewana
reticmelsren
rismedddegal
prodalkalan
tergtrodfullter
dathauverin
fuekellsopho
sichtsaserco
akledirs
theofateha
lautenremez
planforcade
resdidelsent
sigbalawan
ningdergteli   
ndervicbomo
notfesingcos
diwata
malcarava
slugbiriter
prizatrigo
ancowatchti



These users registered in direct succession. It's been weird before, but I guess now we can scrap that indicator for good. Just another funky manipulation target.
3  Economy / Speculation / Spikes on: August 05, 2012, 10:37:47 PM
Is it just me, or are we having an unusual amount of sudden price spikes lately?

Like the one just now -- we've been having decent volume, nothing spectacular, with last price is around 10.4, then suddenly someone buys up to 11.3.

It's just a single order usually. Last price is now back to 10.7, and it happened just moments ago.

Note how we had a down-spike of similar size today, so it doesn't only go one way.
4  Economy / Trading Discussion / I believe theses quotes should now kill BS&T. on: July 05, 2012, 12:03:38 AM
I have been joining this forum for two things: enthusiasm for Bitcoin and currency trading. For most of the time Bitcoin existed, it has an insanely volatile market which kept me tied on it a lot.

You all know I have been accusing Pirateat40 of running a Ponzi scheme for some time now. The reasons for that are manyfold, and discussed in other threads, but there's also the fact that my indicators never showed any footprints of him doing anything besides maybe a rare sell on Gox. No volume bloat to sell for millions, no indicators for extra demand, just silence. But this is not much of an argument for the average forum user.

There have been numerous theories on what Pirateat40 does. He had already encouraged posts that involve currency trading, namely dark pool sales to big investors. He had been leading people on to use this to fabricate explanations how his business might work, but never gave anything explicit before.

I'd like to emphasize here that even aside the trading techniques, the theories all make no sense. Arbitrage to what market? Volume is just insufficient. Arbitrage to dark pools? He would move the price when buying back, I don't see that. Plus he would be effectively shorting Bitcoin on every trade, putting his customers' funds at a heavy risk.

He was always so smart to not put too much emphasis on any theory. Until today.

@Vandroiy

Let's say you have 135K USD right now.  I need you to buy Bitcoins without changing the Mt.Gox rate by 2%.  You have 3 days to do it, nah I'll give you 7 days.  GO!!!

Let me know how that works out for you.

Trading your tiny amounts of BTC has created a false perception of how you think this market works.  Just another reason why I don't enjoy swimming in this pool. Sad

Now, for those of you not trading currencies, I will have a very hard time explaining just how stupid this is. Some points are:

  • Even with his insanely close 2% limit, I can fulfill the feat immediately, using average price for a 135k USD buy on the order book of Mt. Gox! If the person would care for peak price (why care?) then it takes a moment longer, boo-hoo. The exercise is trivial, everyone can do it -- unless the order book is too shallow, but then Pirateat will have the identical problem buying back.
  • Why care about a short-term relative movement? His investors are supposedly moving very large sums, the whole type of problem is irrelevant to these people since their large movements will affect mid-term price anyway. Pirateat40 himself should notice that when buying back.
  • 2% per trade? This constraint is tiny against the weekly returns to investors. Remember that these percentages do not compare to weekly returns, it's the percentage for an individual trade. His volume is roughly frequency of trades times something on the order of Pirateat40's deposits. The frequency required to require such tight limits would mean that Pirateat40 sells so many Bitcoins, the price would have to be blown into the heavens by him buying back.
  • His time limits are super long! Anyone trading BTCUSD should know that most of the volume only changes a small fraction of the order book, as it refills to dampen movements. This has been especially strong in the last months. Three days is plenty, especially after I've shown it can be done in roughly a second using the order book at the time.

What does this mean?

  • Pirateat40 pretty much implied he is trading BTCUSD with his "investors'" money in large volumes.
  • He has not the faintest clue what he is talking about. There is no way he can safely operate such sums. He didn't even correct his mistake, even after it was pointed out twice!
  • This is not a mistake due to sloppiness. Traders must be hardcore-trained to double-check their estimates, or else they do way too many mistakes. Any educated trader should be able to confirm that this guy is incompetent.


Now go and talk to a BTCUSD trader of your choice, so he can confirm without second thoughts that Pirateat40 is a scammer and Ponzi scheme operator, and this is the mistake that ends it.

Basically, I'm asking the mods to find a competent BTCUSD trader, do some talk of the kind and then remove Pirateat40, all his pass-throughs, and all the other crap he has been shitting onto the Bitcointalk.org forums. If that is not possible, I expect that in due time people will use their heads, the bonds will crash and the Ponzi end. Either way, I really can't think of any way to talk or flame out of this one.

Edit: I expect flame- and derailing-attacks on this, so I may have to edit points into this post.

We can now measure the IQ of the Bitcoin forum with the speed at which the bonds crash.
5  Economy / Economics / First-Hand telling of an online Ponzi: Eve Online's Currin Trading on: July 02, 2012, 06:24:55 PM
An RPG scammer explains how to run a Ponzi scheme, and how he used his experience to detect another. Thanks to people on IRC for digging this up.

http://web.archive.org/web/20091026234156/http://geocities.com/currintrading/
http://web.archive.org/web/20091021193732/http://geocities.com/currintrading/bank.html

Read it and weep. If you really read it, you will know why to weep.
6  Economy / Trading Discussion / The Bond party is a HYIP scam party on: June 22, 2012, 12:33:55 AM
We are not supposed to say evil things in threads concerning "Bitcoin Savings and Trust" or their various clones and offspring, thus it gets an extra thread. Actually, it's not just that one that worries me, but it is the most prominent example.

I'm looking to pull one bigger than mybitcoin.com.  If figure, go big or go back to work. Smiley

By any indicators I have, this plan is succeeding. GLBSE looks like a sandbox for funny bond papers, as does the securities section of this forum. Touching the subject anywhere only gives erratic responses of either ignorance of the issue, a shrugging "of course it's a ponzi, who cares," or outright ridiculous "explanations" why this looks perfectly fine.

Hello? A HYIP madness is spreading rapidly and people act as if this were normal! What in hell has gotten into everyone? Is this round two of people believing Bitcoin is a path to free money?

Also, does anyone have credible figures about the magnitude of "deposits" in the various nonexistent/vaporous bonds and companies? If this is large enough to cripple Bitcoin's current recovery when it finally shuts down... let's just say I would be disappointed.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Suspect #1: Linode admins/insiders on: March 02, 2012, 11:33:00 AM
I wonder why everybody assumes the hacker is outside Linode.

Isn't the most likely person to know of such security issues someone within the company? I didn't even know Bitcoinica was hosted there. Also, it reeks of sloppy admin password policy:

Quote
compromised credentials used by this intruder (quote directly from Linode!)

IMO, Linode is responsible, either by using the typical ridiculous internal security, or directly (admin, higher-up person, etc.). Anyone serious about their reputation would pay back what they likely took.

Also, their press release is a joke. "Only eight accounts were compromised," no mention that it happened to be exactly the accounts the thief needed.
8  Economy / Speculation / My bearishness is shrinking. on: February 16, 2012, 01:06:46 PM
That took you guys a while. Now I'm feeling much better, and I started trading BTC again.

This is what a panic phase looks like. "We're past the panic now," seriously, look at this forum again now and just admit it was denial. Wussies looking for a "soft landing" should know that this is still nothing compared to the primary bust, so we all should know how much worse it can get.

I'm officially changing my position from bear to neutral again. The echo bubble has popped, the leverage maniacs ate some of their own feedback, but caused an actual panic while at it. I don't know where we're going from here.

But next time, how about people listen? Oh, I forgot. People never listen. Tongue *marks fifth forecast a full success*
9  Economy / Speculation / Absurd data differences; which data to trust? on: February 08, 2012, 03:27:54 PM
Quote
16:23:38 {gribble} There are currently 44174.357 bitcoins demanded at or over 5.0 USD, worth 228372.191755 USD in total.
16:23:39 {gribble} There are currently 17898.522 bitcoins offered at or under 6.0 USD, worth 105629.639499 USD in total.

btccharts.com shows completely different data though. Over 58k bids and over 34k asks. Clark Moody keeps drifting upward, it changes the accumulated orders when I refresh, and is somewhere in between otherwise...

Which sources are most reliable in such situations?

My impression is that btccharts and Clark Moody are generally not to be trusted when there's a lot of activity, and gribble usually gives credible data. But I can't know for certain, can I?

Edit: clark Moody seems to be in sync with gribble now if I refresh often enough. So I guess gribble was right again. Btccharts shows something different entirely.
10  Economy / Speculation / I can't believe the margin traders haven't liquidated. on: January 27, 2012, 12:42:20 AM
The Bitcoinica * means that the margin traders are still fully in on leveraged, doesn't it?

I've been joking about it in a few threads, but really, what? Why/how? Getting force-liquidated means no control of the situation in which it happens, and even if a temporary bounce happens, the contest with day-traders and one another would be really hard.

How come I still see the *? Did really nobody liquidate? Or do new traders jump in on the reserves whenever one liquidates?

Edit: The situation now is strange. Sometimes, buyers come at such a time, so delaying liquidating can work... but only if the people who would buy don't see it coming and pull out. If a large trader dumps, the losses will be gigantic. How will this end, I don't know. Much less why they allowed it to get to this point.

Huh
11  Economy / Speculation / Bear Thread! on: January 18, 2012, 11:48:52 PM
So, I was thinking we would fall lower than 6 anyway, and then all this chaos happened, plus I've yet to meet a single user who came because of that TV show. In addition, we've had an overpopulation of short-term bulls lately, remember those polls and threads according to which 8 should be topped by now?

It's hard to model how much money might have been just leveraged in that rally. But I can guess that some people with money shooed away for now, because of the obvious trouble in keeping the up-trend. I could imagine that there isn't enough money waiting to catch a high-volume panic, which we haven't seen in quite a while. And the more people buy high up, the less BTC it would take to drain the funds.

Am I the only one who thinks it looks unstable?
12  Economy / Speculation / I just bought at 4.64 and sold at 6.8 in rapid succession on: January 18, 2012, 01:29:29 AM
You guys REALLY need a reality check. What in the hell are you doing?

Anyways, thanks for the money.
13  Economy / Speculation / Morals and the hunt for TV viewer's money on: January 15, 2012, 12:59:43 PM
Maybe I'm just overly emotional on this, but here goes. I believe to see a current "plan" used by quite a few speculators, and I find the plan to be questionable at best.

The plan begins with making the current rally continue until some TV show airs. This coincides nicely with the desire to acquire some Bitcoins needed later. The average viewer of said TV show will have insufficient statistical education, and is thus likely to mistake skew for expectation value: blindly follow trends. These people may see the current strong uptrend, jump on, and thus repeat the mistake of feeding a Bitcoin bubble. The participants of the plan estimate the peak and compete to sell at the right point, either to buy back lower or to walk off with USD, their win either way.

This is different from normal bubble profits because there are participants who are trying to create a bubble, and this means they increase volatility. I know it's a mass phenomenon and unspoken and therefore no real "plan", blah. Still, it would not be in favor of the Bitcoin community's name.

But how else is everyone expecting price to jump very quickly after some TV show, if not by the viewers buying speculative Bitcoins? We won't get any indicators on the success of this type of publicity any time soon, a few web statistics at best, which could die down the same way they did before. I also don't see another reason to expect another massive rally directly after one in which price tripled, but this is a common opinion.

Maybe I got it all wrong. In that case, people should not have trouble warning newcomers about the dangers of speculating and bubbles, no? Wink
14  Economy / Speculation / People trying to ride an echo bubble? Naah, or maybe? on: January 12, 2012, 10:51:53 PM
I was wondering, might we have a lot of speculators who don't actually believe the price will be stable above 9 or 10 any time soon, but intend to ride an echo bubble, hoping that it would become similar to the first, so they can sell at a peak within the next weeks?

It would be hilarious if people thinking that drove up the price and now play a staring game, as whoever pushes further now might be sold into by the other players and become the peak trader himself.

But it really couldn't be this way, or could it? Huh Roll Eyes
15  Economy / Speculation / Assumption "bears are stupid" on: January 10, 2012, 07:37:28 PM
Yep, I'm re-using my own thread name as a shameless display how right it was. But this time, it's the other way around. Bears get flamed for no viable reason, and price is just assumed to keep rising.

To me, this is a possible sell signal. There are hints of speculation mania again. Many people cry for more rallies, even though we just had a huge one. A positive feedback between activity and price is already showing once more. This causes conservative speculators to sell, which explains the stagnation of the price and the massive volume. I see three viable scenarios up next: stabilization (unlikely, but not impossible), the bust continuing (buyers burn out before the feedback kicks in, crash begins within the next two weeks), and a hyper-echo-bubble in which the resistance is just flooded with fiat money until buyers burn out.

Why am I telling you this? I'm pretty balanced, so I get out fine either way. If it goes down, I can buy back cheap, if it goes up I'll try to model the bubble again and hope to hit it as neatly as the last one with my remaining coins, which is probably very profitable. There's no immediate huge preference for me. That said, I think about the long-term situation, and that would probably prefer a more down-to-earth approach to Bitcoin value than everyone buying in as much as possible and measuring how high the price can go. Even if one really likes bubbles, we should better do that later, when the community takes less damage from a bust.

And that's why I think we do need a reality check. One that doesn't consist of charts and order books, but of the actual situation. Yes, that is what Edward50 says, and he may have a point there no matter how wrong he was last time.



Finally, even if my points don't make sense, be nice to both bulls and bears. No need to agree, but no need to make it personal.

Happy trading, let's see how this one turns out. Smiley
16  Economy / Economics / Behold: one of the largest Ponzi schemes of all times on: January 09, 2012, 08:54:35 PM
Welcome to the EU government bonds market.

Bankrupt countries pay back bonds by printing new bonds. Last buyers: bag holders.

I really wouldn't want to play the game they're currently starting. EUR inflation is at its limit before a feedback may hit all bond interest rates, however, Italy and Spain are at the limit of destabilizing their rates because their finances are too bad. Now the ECB tries to buy just the right amount with newly printed money to walk the edge. But with each further mistake or inefficiency of the participating governments, the path grows narrower. And these "inefficiencies" might even be of short-time advantage for the governments in question, possibly causing a Tragedy of the Commons in which the debt increases further.

An attempt to solve the problem with printing money. No, I really wouldn't want to play it like that. These people are either too good at this for me to understand their plan, or they're just not giving a shit anymore. My guess is the latter, politicians never gave a shit before.

Let's see who the bag holders will be. According to interest rates, the market does not consider banks any safer and has already switched from making profit to limiting losses. Some big deals have negative yields even before inflation is factored in.
17  Other / Meta / [Edit] Strange recipient name shown on: January 04, 2012, 02:31:27 PM
Edit: I first thought the message was not intended for me, but I guess it was according to the sender.

I received a message from that shows a user different from my own as the recipient. I guess that confused me.

Should I see that, a recipient other than myself? Strange.
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Printer security on: January 03, 2012, 02:21:29 PM
The topic of paper wallets came up a lot recently, so I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware there has been a major hacking method disclosed for massive amounts of HP printers.

http://www.cccblog.org/2011/11/29/millions-of-printers-open-to-hack-attack/

I don't have the sources, but the CCC did a talk about it somewhere, use Google if you haven't heard yet. Basically, if you have one of the endangered printers with re-writable firmware restoration memory, either figure out how to check it or destroy it.

Needless to say, this goes for Casascius especially. Do you use an HP printer, and if so, can you perform checks on the memory banks involved? From what I know, there are sometimes two of them, both idiotically unprotected: the active firmware and the factory restoration memory.
19  Economy / Trading Discussion / Mtgox auto-signs with a 437522 BTC wallet?!? on: December 06, 2011, 04:10:14 PM
Say, I pay someone using Mtgox withdrawal and see the payment getting filled by the following address:

http://blockexplorer.com/address/16eRAfcohaLsTzoDSnLejjqMZMDQezxFEi

What the...? Shouldn't such sums be in cold storage? That's something like 5% of all existing Bitcoins in a single key, who will pay if that key gets stolen?

Edit: hell, didn't Gox have "lol Bitcoins sent to null" before? That transaction transmitted the whole bunch of them, imagine a software error occurs there! Yes, the transfer happened with neat speed, quite fast for an operation that I would manually check if I was in the position of operating on more than 400k BTC.
20  Economy / Speculation / Assumption "bulls are stupid" on: November 22, 2011, 01:01:45 PM
Bullish high-risk statements have been facing an abundance of insults lately. Please allow me to take a stance on their behalf.

About myself: I believe in Bitcoin, like its ideology in general, and speculate with an optimistic opinion. That does not mean I believe Bitcoin cannot fail. I believe that if Bitcoin succeeds, it has absolutely massive potential. To account for this stark asymmetry, I use the Kelly Criterion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_criterion) and conservative estimates on success probability, and thus strictly limit my buying. Still, I feel included into a "blind bull" group, which people assume to consist of complete idiots who do not know the meaning of an underlying economy. May I please quote my first speculative statement on this forum, which was in April?


I have developed a certain fear of prices that de-couple from the actual market size.

Implying that I do not know of this problem is so idiotic, it should be embarrassing! Another two quotes from the same first post, both arguments that don't exactly match the "stupid bull" image:


(...) the kind of thinking applied might be a problem for all of BitCoin at this moment: overconfident BTC owners, showing no fear of creating a bubble, meeting skeptical demand and low trade volumes.

(...) overconfidence has brought many crises in the history of economy, and it might be worth to avoid notions down that path.

Hey, "I was so right" guys, imagine predicting the rise, and peak, and drop back down to 2~5. That's roughly what I managed. Had I used a large buy-in, I would be rich now. Would you think yourself super smart in my position? I ask because I do not. believe I was lucky and only had a few correct thoughts to help. But the attitude I see on the speculation board these days: complimenting oneself for predicting a single trend to not break. It's called being too full of yourself.

I may lose my current bet. All of it. I know that. I would not take a 50-50 bet on Bitcoin prices rising now, and that was never the essence of it. Questioning my decision is also okay, go ahead and tear me apart with superior logic or experience. However, flaming on the level of today's 4chan is not okay. Don't make me start pointing out how "someone manipulated", "a sucker", "a libertarian blowhead", "a fool" or whatever I am today compares to the people using these expressions. Display of blatant stupidity is often mixed in with the insulting of others, and neither is adding to the reputation of this forum. While I enjoy a clash of words from time to time, everyone should dislike continued drowning of discussions with bad manners.


End of rant.
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