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Author Topic: Wikipedia: "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme..."  (Read 8373 times)
Serith
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November 11, 2012, 11:29:55 PM
Last edit: November 11, 2012, 11:55:08 PM by Serith
 #1

Wikipedia article about Bitcoin has a peculiar statement:

Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.
I found out about it from Coding in My Sleep: Ponzi Schemes In Plain English.

I thought that in a day or two the statement will be deleted since it's usually pointless for wikipedia to list false believes. But SudoGhost's passionate arrogance prevents it from happening, and now even Mike Hearn is trying to convince him that he is wrong.

Can someone with wikipedia account point to the report made by European Central Bank where on page 27 it lists several arguments why bitcoin is not Ponzi Scheme:

  • On the one hand, the Bitcoin scheme is a decentralised system where – at least in theory – there
    is no central organiser that can undermine the system and disappear with its funds. Bitcoin users
    buy and sell the currency among themselves without any kind of intermediation and therefore, it
    seems that nobody benefits from the system, apart from those who benefit from the exchange rate
    evolution (just as in any other currency trade) or those who are hard-working “miners” and are
    therefore rewarded for their contribution to the security and confidence in the system as a whole.
  • Moreover, the scheme does not promise high returns to anybody. Although some Bitcoin users may
    try to profit from exchange rate fluctuations, Bitcoins are not intended to be an investment vehicle,
    just a medium of exchange. On the contrary, Gavin Andresen, Lead Developer of the Bitcoin
    virtual currency project, does not hesitate to say that “Bitcoin is an experiment. Treat it like you
    would treat a promising internet start-up company: maybe it will change the world, but realise that
    investing your money or time in new ideas is always risky”. In addition, Bitcoin supporters claim
    that it is an open-source system whose code is available to any interested party.


Full quote:

Another recurrent issue is whether Bitcoin works like a Ponzi scheme or not. Users go into the
system by buying Bitcoins against real currencies, but can only leave and retrieve their funds if
other users want to buy their Bitcoins, i.e. if new participants want to join the system. For many
people, this is characteristic of a Ponzi scheme. The US Securities and Exchange Commission
defines a Ponzi scheme in the following terms:

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing
investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new
investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little
or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised
payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any
legitimate investment activity.

On the one hand, the Bitcoin scheme is a decentralised system where – at least in theory – there
is no central organiser that can undermine the system and disappear with its funds. Bitcoin users
buy and sell the currency among themselves without any kind of intermediation and therefore, it
seems that nobody benefits from the system, apart from those who benefit from the exchange rate
evolution (just as in any other currency trade) or those who are hard-working “miners” and are
therefore rewarded for their contribution to the security and confidence in the system as a whole.
Moreover, the scheme does not promise high returns to anybody. Although some Bitcoin users may
try to profit from exchange rate fluctuations, Bitcoins are not intended to be an investment vehicle,
just a medium of exchange. On the contrary, Gavin Andresen, Lead Developer of the Bitcoin
virtual currency project, does not hesitate to say that “Bitcoin is an experiment. Treat it like you
would treat a promising internet start-up company: maybe it will change the world, but realise that
investing your money or time in new ideas is always risky”. In addition, Bitcoin supporters claim
that it is an open-source system whose code is available to any interested party.

However, it is also true that the system demonstrates a clear case of information asymmetry. It is
complex and therefore not easy for all potential users to understand. At the same time, however,
users can easily download the application and start using it even if they do not actually know how
the system works and which risks they are actually taking. This fact, in a context where there is clear
legal uncertainty and lack of close oversight, leads to a high-risk situation. Therefore, although the
current knowledge base does not make it easy to assess whether or not the Bitcoin system actually
works like a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, it can justifiably be stated that Bitcoin is a high-risk system
for its users from a financial perspective, and that it could collapse if people try to get out of the
system and are not able to do so because of its illiquidity. The fact that the founder of Bitcoin uses
a pseudonym – Satoshi Nakamoto – and is surrounded by mystery does nothing to help promote
transparency and credibility in the scheme.
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bitfreak!
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November 11, 2012, 11:44:14 PM
 #2

Those comments from the ECB sum it up perfectly. And considering the authority of the ECB, it should be enough to totally debunk that accusation on the Wikipedia page.

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November 11, 2012, 11:48:36 PM
 #3

This gonna be interesting.

Those comments from the ECB sum it up perfectly. And considering the authority of the ECB, it should be enough to totally debunk that accusation on the Wikipedia page.

I dare you to edit it out using that article as a reference.
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November 11, 2012, 11:56:33 PM
 #4

That guy also makes a bit of circular argument; considering that many of those articles that he talks about accusing Bitcoin of being a ponzi scheme reference his Wikipedia article as their source.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 12, 2012, 12:05:06 AM
 #5

well, i tried, but it seem that they did away with my account at some point in time Sad

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November 12, 2012, 12:11:51 AM
 #6

Aww crap Poe's Law owned me again.  Embarrassed

Seriously you are fighting windmills here guys.
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November 12, 2012, 12:27:09 AM
 #7

This gonna be interesting.

Those comments from the ECB sum it up perfectly. And considering the authority of the ECB, it should be enough to totally debunk that accusation on the Wikipedia page.

I dare you to edit it out using that article as a reference.
I don't think it's possible to edit the Bitcoin article because it's locked. But if I could edit it, I would change it to something like this:

Quote
Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[46] However, under the definition of a Ponzi scheme, Bitcoin is lacking many of the most important characteristics of a Ponzi scheme and cannot truly be classified as a Ponzi scheme.

The European Central Bank released a report in October of 2012 titled "Virtual Currency Schemes". On page 27 of this report they put forward several reasons why Bitcoin is not a Ponzi scheme and does not fulfil the definition of a Ponzi scheme.[ECB SOURCE]

Their first point is that Bitcoin is decentralized and as such "there is no central organiser that can undermine the system and disappear with its funds". They also note that "the scheme does not promise high returns to anybody", a key characteristic of a Ponzi scheme.

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November 12, 2012, 12:36:44 AM
 #8

You completely misunderstood me, This is not about Bitcoin but Wikipedia.
Editing an article there requires the understanding of their unwritten rules and the general mindset of a wikipedian.

Trying to edit out something what some reputable editor put in there will get you banned faster that you can say "NPOV"
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November 12, 2012, 01:05:54 AM
 #9

Obviously I am completely aware of the lowbrow tactics Wikipedia staff will use to manipulate articles.

But at some point they have to accept the facts, especially when the reliable sources SudoDouche was asking for become available.

They can only propagate lies for so long. They will be forced to change it soon.

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November 12, 2012, 02:37:15 AM
 #10

Uhhhh....Bitcoin is money...hence, it's a Ponzi scheme. It's a little different in that those benefitting from the scheme are all those who hold BTC rather than the printer of fiat. But, I mean, duh -- it's as much a Ponzi scheme as the US dollar or GBP.

Hardforks aren't that hard. It’s getting others to use them that's hard.
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November 12, 2012, 02:54:01 AM
 #11

Uhhhh....Bitcoin is money...hence, it's a Ponzi scheme. It's a little different in that those benefitting from the scheme are all those who hold BTC rather than the printer of fiat. But, I mean, duh -- it's as much a Ponzi scheme as the US dollar or GBP.

Ponzi scheme has a pretty specific meaning. Fiat money, social security, bitcoin and a million other things are not Ponzi schemes.  Anything where someone might make or lose money is not automatically a Ponzi. 

A Ponzi scheme is advertised as an INVESTMENT (bitcoin, fiat money don't qualify) which falsified returns are supposedly earned (social security does not do this) and later investors money is used to pay the earlier investors these fake returns. 


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November 12, 2012, 09:05:55 AM
Last edit: November 12, 2012, 09:43:35 AM by Grinder
 #12

I doubt you'll be able to get it completely removed, but it's not objectively phrased. As it is, it pretty much states that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, and some people criticize it for that. It should be changed to something like "Some accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme, on the grounds that...". Then a reference to the ECB report could be added to debunk it.
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November 12, 2012, 09:30:28 AM
 #13

Reference [46] to back that quote refers to a link which gives a 404 error: http://www.hightechforum.org/bitcoins-a-crypto-geek-ponzi-scheme/
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November 12, 2012, 09:51:48 AM
 #14

We have a credibility contest here. On on hand there is a 404 page on the other hand we have European Central Bank's white paper. I am wondering who will win? My bets are on the 404 page. </sarcasm>

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November 12, 2012, 09:54:56 AM
 #15

We have a credibility contest here. On on hand there is a 404 page on the other hand we have European Central Bank's white paper. I am wondering who will win? My bets are on the 404 page. </sarcasm>


lol, it really is a toss up.

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November 12, 2012, 10:24:20 AM
Last edit: November 12, 2012, 10:37:49 AM by chmod755
 #16

Don't forget that they prefer reliable sources, and 404 pages certainly have that timeless quality that you get nowhere else! Cheesy

It's strange how Wikipedia accepts known media agencies as "reliable sources". It's not like media agencies actually verify the things they publish and many fake news have been published by a news agency and copied by 100+ other agencies without anyone verifying it.

The part: "Some criticize Bitcoin for BEING a Ponzi scheme" sounds like that's a fact, but it's not. There will always be some people who disagree with all this, but in this case some WP moderators have spelt it as if it's proven, but it's not - it's just THEIR opinion.

It should be more like: "Some people are arguing that Bitcoin might be a Ponzi scheme"

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November 12, 2012, 10:36:37 AM
 #17

In reality, every economic boom and bust is a ponzi scheme, IT bubble, housing bubble etc... We are currently in a situation that no ponzi scheme is available, so that the economy is in so terrible shape, people strongly need a ponzi scheme to revive the economy. Of course it will inevitably cause another crash, but then another ponzi scheme will save the world again... Roll Eyes

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November 12, 2012, 12:08:22 PM
 #18

I doubt you'll be able to get it completely removed, but it's not objectively phrased. As it is, it pretty much states that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, and some people criticize it for that. It should be changed to something like "Some accuse Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme, on the grounds that...". Then a reference to the ECB report could be added to debunk it.

+1
That is indeed the crux of the matter. I agree that as it stands, the wikipedia page is itself making a statement of 'being' regarding Bitcoin.

I'm also fine with them noting the fact that some have claimed it is a ponzi, but right now it's a bit like saying:
"Some criticize Obama for being a Muslim.." 

The talk page for the Bitcoin article hasn't really addressed this properly. Perhaps the Obama example will make the bias more obvious to those missing it.


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November 12, 2012, 03:26:09 PM
 #19

I never understood how Wikipedia works, but there doesn't seem to be any way to contribute to the discussion on the talk page. Only admins can edit the page itself it seems, but why did they close the discussion? Looks like blatant censorship to me.
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November 12, 2012, 05:14:24 PM
 #20

Quote
Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates

Some criticize Apple for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Aple stock buying and increasing stock price..
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November 12, 2012, 06:29:26 PM
Last edit: November 19, 2012, 09:53:48 PM by Akka
 #21

You can really see how strange Wikipedia works, by comparing the German Wikipedia article with the English one.

The German one has about 5 times the text and is of much better quality.

All previous versions of currency will no longer be supported as of this update
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November 12, 2012, 07:02:25 PM
 #22

Has anyone actually mentioned the ECB document in the talk? … (or am i just missing it)

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November 12, 2012, 07:39:15 PM
 #23

Has anyone actually mentioned the ECB document in the talk? … (or am i just missing it)

It was mentioned there but for a completely different reason. The talk is semi-protected, which means that you need to have an account that is at least 4 days old and have at least ten edits to participate in the discussion about Bitcoin article.
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November 12, 2012, 10:05:18 PM
Last edit: November 12, 2012, 11:16:54 PM by Spaceman_Spiff
 #24

I don't have a Wikipedia account, but I will make my point anyway (maybe someone else can have a go at it on the wiki talk).

If I am getting it right the essence of his argument is not whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme or not, but just that as it has been mentioned as such in an article (or several articles), it should therefore be included on the wikipedia page.

My main point would be: why would Wikipedia need to report false claims?  If people claim "(2*(2+1)) = 5 " on several news websites, then should wikipedia mention this, when logic and the correct application of arithmetical laws shows this is not the case?  If I say "the sky is only green, always has been green and always will be green", should this be mentioned on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky ?

If the claim can be logically debunked by looking at the definition or properties of a Ponzi scheme, it has no place in the article.

On the other hand, you might say the argument is so commonly believed that there is value into reporting it (in contrast to the green sky for example), fine.  But then it should be clearly  refuted with the proper arguments afterwards.  Just adding "It is commonly said the sky is only green", might be technically correct, but then just leaving it as such is obviously lacking for a encyclopedia.

You might think bitcoin is a shitty investment for delusional people, but it is not a Ponzi scheme, so this statement should be either removed, or mentioned but corrected with the proper arguments.
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November 12, 2012, 11:53:08 PM
 #25

Nobody likes it when something they are enthusiastic about gets criticized, but we don't remove criticism from articles just because we don't like it when they are criticized, that would run contrary to Wikipedia policy. - SudoGhost 20:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

The guy should apply that to himself.
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November 12, 2012, 11:56:42 PM
 #26

You guys are hilarious. See what you have done?  Cheesy
Quote
If you came here because someone asked you to, or you read a message on another website, please note that this is not a majority vote, but instead a discussion among Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia has policies and guidelines regarding the encyclopedia's content, and consensus is gauged based on the merits of the arguments, not by counting votes.

However, you are invited to participate and your opinion is welcome. Remember to assume good faith on the part of others and to sign your posts on this page by adding ~~~~ at the end.
Note: Comments by suspected single-purpose accounts or canvassed users may be tagged using: {{subst:spa|username}} or {{subst:canvassed|username}}


But here comes the best part:
Quote
The Register article is particularly useful because it explains why Bitcoin has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. John Nagle (talk) 18:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
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November 13, 2012, 12:34:46 AM
 #27

I don't have a Wikipedia account, but I will make my point anyway (maybe someone else can have a go at it on the wiki talk).

If I am getting it right the essence of his argument is not whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme or not, but just that as it has been mentioned as such in an article (or several articles), it should therefore be included on the wikipedia page.

My main point would be: why would Wikipedia need to report false claims?  If people claim "(2*(2+1)) = 5 " on several news websites, then should wikipedia mention this, when logic and the correct application of arithmetical laws shows this is not the case?.  If I say "the sky is only green, always has been green and always will be green", should this be mentioned on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky ?

Yes. The problem here is that many people think Wikipedia, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. are authoritative when it comes to subjects they cover. However, that is not the case. Wikipedia articles are a compilation of several reliable sources and is the end result of all of this other research that was done.

If you could find a significant number of new sites, published articles, and the like that aren't overwhelmingly disproved by even more reliable sources, then you absolutely can say that "(2*(2+1)) = 5" and that the sky is green. In a large majority of cases, this works just fine.

If the claim can be logically debunked by looking at the definition or properties of a Ponzi scheme, it has no place in the article.

If the media is calling it a ponzi scheme, then this is clearly a common misunderstanding. So, if it's not a ponzi scheme, you would expect an overwhelming amount of articles to at least point out this error for the sake of their readers. Find those sources, and this problem goes away.

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November 13, 2012, 01:21:28 AM
 #28

Holy crap.  I'm reading through the talk page for the Bitcoin article and that sudoghost guy is being a willfull pain in the ass. 

"It does not matter that it has been refuted, the article does not present it as a fact but reflects that sources have criticized this,"

If it's not presented as a fact, what's it doing there?  It's supposed to be an encyclopedia.  I'm pretty sure that's part of the Wikipedia thing... to be encyclopedic.  Not to add the criticisms of every tom dick and harry to every single article. 

If he's claiming that the Register and Reuters quotes are sufficient sourcing to keep the sentence in, then I think he's wrong.  Neither quote directly makes the Ponzi criticism, but instead continue the assertion that some unnamed person or persons have criticized.  At some point good sourcing means that someone with an actual name is going to have to say with their mouth or keyboard that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, or even just has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.

(Which last phrase--"having the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme"--is just more weasling.  You can't stack weasle statements in hopes of building a strong assertion.  Either say it or don't.)

Honestly, there must be some good source out there that makes the case that Bitcoin is Ponziesque.  Why doesn't he go off and find it rather than digging in fighting this thing?  Seriously, be constructive.

 
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November 13, 2012, 01:58:30 AM
 #29

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

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November 13, 2012, 02:27:15 AM
 #30

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .
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November 13, 2012, 02:46:17 AM
 #31

Uhhhh....Bitcoin is money...hence, it's a Ponzi scheme. It's a little different in that those benefitting from the scheme are all those who hold BTC rather than the printer of fiat. But, I mean, duh -- it's as much a Ponzi scheme as the US dollar or GBP.

Ponzi scheme has a pretty specific meaning. Fiat money, social security, bitcoin and a million other things are not Ponzi schemes.  Anything where someone might make or lose money is not automatically a Ponzi. 

A Ponzi scheme is advertised as an INVESTMENT (bitcoin, fiat money don't qualify) which falsified returns are supposedly earned (social security does not do this) and later investors money is used to pay the earlier investors these fake returns. 



I guess I disagree here. Fiat is a ponzi precisely because its value is derived from the investment of time and effort (work) by the next guy to receive it. Over time, inflation guarantees more investment is needed to maintain value. Sure, governments don't say "join our investment with incredible returns" but the fact that they sell fiat and rely on the fact that people will do more and more work to acquire it or have the fiat collapse in value seems to fit the definition of ponzi.

Hardforks aren't that hard. It’s getting others to use them that's hard.
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November 13, 2012, 02:47:18 AM
 #32

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .

I just dug up one of my old Wikipedia accounts and did it myself. Lets see if they delete my comment. It was perfectly civil and rational.

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November 13, 2012, 02:57:06 AM
 #33

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .

I just dug up one of my old Wikipedia accounts and did it myself. Lets see if they delete my comment. It was perfectly civil and rational.

nicely done
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November 13, 2012, 03:14:16 AM
 #34

I just added a comment with suggested text and footnote.  The citation isn't perfectly formatted, but it's a step anyway.

Also, the original sentence under scrutiny ought to be fixed for it's broken link and weasel words, but I'm not going to continue in the discussion because it was a nightmare just leaving that one comment. 

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November 13, 2012, 03:24:20 AM
Last edit: November 13, 2012, 04:03:14 AM by bitfreak!
 #35

Ahahahaha...... this is unbelievable.

update: 404 maintains a steady lead.

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November 13, 2012, 07:15:56 AM
 #36

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.

I think the entire article stands as proof against such naysayers, so I would ask that everyone work together to improve the overall quality of the page, adding new info and images, updating references, and not waste your time squabbling over syntax in the Talk page. There are major sections of the article that need work, and I hope you can each look for ways to contribute in a positive and meaningful way, for the good of our publicity and image.

Cheers,
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November 13, 2012, 07:19:01 AM
 #37

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.

I think the entire article stands as proof against such naysayers, so I would ask that everyone work together to improve the overall quality of the page, adding new info and images, updating references, and not waste your time squabbling over syntax in the Talk page. There are major sections of the article that need work, and I hope you can each look for ways to contribute in a positive and meaningful way, for the good of our publicity and image.

Cheers,
jtibble

See, that's the problem -- we can't work on improving the Wikipedia page because that cocksucker SudoGhost is cockblocking that.  If the page weren't cockblocked, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
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November 13, 2012, 07:22:14 AM
 #38

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.
The problem is that those opinions are factually incorrect, and yet the article lacks any refutation of those false opinions, and gives the impression those opinions are correct. That statement can stay there, as long as it's refuted with the truth.

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November 13, 2012, 07:30:50 AM
 #39

Wikipedia has been a bad joke for a long time.  This is just more proof.

I like the way they fawn over anything "Andresen" is quoted as saying in the press, but when other developers are there actually arguing with them, they are dismissed.

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November 13, 2012, 08:57:22 AM
 #40

SudoGhost is reading this thread, so I am going to address my reply directly to him.

I've been reading this discussion, and it should come as no surprise that when you attack and insult others like that they aren't exactly eager to help. Calling me "SudoDouche" and creating subpages on your websites attacking me doesn't do you any good; it works towards damaging the credibility you would have otherwise had and you're shooting yourself in the foot with that behavior. I say this in part because readers do occasionally visit the talk pages and will see these discussions and may impact how they view Bitcoin; when you resort to petty name-calling when you don't immediately get your way, you don't exactly make Bitcoin look like something used by a mature crowd that should be embraced and taken seriously.
This is just a general threat that you can't back up, I heard it in almost identical form on several completely unrelated forums where the word "Bitcoin" was replaced with something else to fit context.

As for the article and this talk page being locked, that has nothing to do with this discussion; you can thank HowardStrong for that one, he decided that he should vandalize the page (and that's pretty much one of the only diffs you can see, the rest inserted pornographic images and vulgarity on the page to the point that the diffs had to be revdel'd).
Not sure why you had to state the obvious.

With that said, I can see where "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme" can be assumed to have an issue. On the one hand, it is a factual sentence; there are sources that criticize it for this reason, that does not imply that it is a Ponzi scheme, that would be jumping to a conclusion not given by the text. It has been criticized for this, and that's something that is sourced, you can't "un-source" that; no matter what sources you present, it's going to somehow un-criticize Bitcoin, the criticisms are still there, it doesn't matter if you can "prove" with your personal logic and with sources that don't actually support your argument that it isn't one; you're disproving something not relevant.
The "Ponzi scheme" argument was born right after bubble collapse in June 2011, a lot of people lost there money and were very angry. I can list forum threads with literally thousands of post where word Ponzi appears in every second post. The argument was picked up by media in form of poorly combined articles, I can prove it by pinpointing incorrect statements in the article you referenced. The argument died down since then and no matter how much time you are going to spend looking for a more fresh reference you won't find one. Therefore I argue that the article you listed is not reliable source. To be more specific:

the developers who wrote the first bitcoin mining software probably paid themselves by having the first crack at generating bitcoins with almost no competition.
This is their only argument why Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, the word "probably" is a nice touch ascertain credibility.

Given the fact that there will still be demand for an anonymous currency transfer scheme and people will still want to gamble online and buy illicit drugs online, it’s quite possible that bitcoins (or some derivative technology) can survive after a massive bubble correction.
The article contradicts to itself, because by definition a Ponzi scheme can not recover after collapse.


On the other hand, that multiple Bitcoin enthusiasts have misread this sentence thereby repeating the same flawed arguments over and over does indicate that a clarification would help. Perhaps the statement can be clarified to read "Some criticize Bitcoin, accusing it of being a Ponzi scheme." or something similar. - SudoGhost 04:29, 13 November 2012 (UTC)[
Sure, but if you want to include such a controversial statement then you have to mention the opposite point of view e.g. ECB explains how Bitcoin does not fit the definition of Ponzi scheme and Coding in my sleep blog gives more detailed explanation.

If you have to infer it, then it doesn't "clearly" say it. Inferring a conclusion not given by the document is synthesis, and that's not sufficient. Especially if you're trying to say that the document says this, when it does not. - SudoGhost 03:53, 13 November 2012
That is incorrect, Wikipedia defines Synthesis as
If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources.
It does not state or gives an example where a conclusion based on a single article is Synthesis. Moreover, to understand even a simple statement formed with a natural language a person has to apply "common sense" because it always has an ambiguity.
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November 13, 2012, 10:39:41 AM
 #41

Quote
Calling me "SudoDouche" and creating subpages on your websites attacking me doesn't do you any good
lol how did I know he would stumble upon that and get really mad. Rudd-O really took it a few steps too far though... haha.

But in all honestly it seems kind of stupid to have a Wiki page being edited according to the emotional state of some guy.

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November 13, 2012, 11:09:57 AM
Last edit: November 13, 2012, 12:03:58 PM by Roger_Murdock
 #42

"Some A few morons criticize have incorrectly accused Bitcoin for of being a Ponzi scheme because they don't know the definition of "Ponzi scheme" and/or lack even a rudimentary grasp of Bitcoin's basic principles..."

That seems like a reasonable compromise, no?
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November 13, 2012, 12:28:11 PM
 #43

"Some A few morons criticize have incorrectly accused Bitcoin for of being a Ponzi scheme because they don't know the definition of "Ponzi scheme" and/or lack even a rudimentary grasp of Bitcoin's basic principles..."

That seems like a reasonable compromise, no?

Amen.

And let's not forget: some people HAVE in fact criticised Obama for being a Muslim.

It's very important to register their silly allegations criticism in an encyclopaedia, whether or not it's factual. Cheesy

A Kenyan-born Muslim. Wink But seriously, that's a great comparison.  But oddly enough, neither of those "criticisms" found its way into Obama's wikipedia page.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama
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November 13, 2012, 12:36:54 PM
 #44

Those comments from the ECB sum it up perfectly. And considering the authority of the ECB, it should be enough to totally debunk that accusation on the Wikipedia page.

That would, however, set a dangerous precedent.

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November 13, 2012, 03:54:25 PM
 #45

"Some A few morons criticize have incorrectly accused Bitcoin for of being a Ponzi scheme because they don't know the definition of "Ponzi scheme" and/or lack even a rudimentary grasp of Bitcoin's basic principles..."

That seems like a reasonable compromise, no?
+1

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November 13, 2012, 04:02:02 PM
 #46


But here comes the best part:
Quote
The Register article is particularly useful because it explains why Bitcoin has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. John Nagle (talk) 18:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like the Register simply plagiarised an earlier version of the Wikipedia entry! This is going to drag on for months! It looks like the Americans are really battling against the ECB report contagion Cheesy

No it's about who posted it, Nagle was one of the guysthe guy shouting the loudest for a total crash of bitcoins valuation here on the forums last year.
He was absent since it went back up, now he is trolling you guys on wikipedia, successfully it seems since the sentence of concern is still there and kicking.

And that is a hilarity of its own.  Smiley
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November 13, 2012, 04:39:31 PM
 #47


But here comes the best part:
Quote
The Register article is particularly useful because it explains why Bitcoin has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. John Nagle (talk) 18:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like the Register simply plagiarised an earlier version of the Wikipedia entry! This is going to drag on for months! It looks like the Americans are really battling against the ECB report contagion Cheesy

No it's about who posted it, Nagle was one of the guysthe guy shouting the loudest for a total crash of bitcoins valuation here on the forums last year.
He was absent since it went back up, now he is trolling you guys on wikipedia, successfully it seems since the sentence of concern is still there and kicking.

And that is a hilarity of its own.  Smiley

LOL. Never heard of him. Wikipedia is a sinking ship and its creators have been unable (or unwilling) to fix systemic issues that have resulted in a power-grab by Fascists. It's quite painful to watch, especially since it held such promise.

However, I guess there are some advantages in Wikipedia's writhing -- millions of people are slowly learning about the insidious nature of power and corruption, and they will be smarter next time.

Perhaps Mr Nagle should become a US Marine? Grin

No, he is some self-proclaimed advisor, warning people of financial bubbles and their collapse. He runs http://www.downside.com

And IMO: The status quo on Wikipedia is just another instance of wide-spread ignorance rampant on the internet, here on bitcointalk we have it too... the other side of the coin.
I call it "Bitcoinism" - a couple of shenanigans that propose Bitcoin as the supreme ruler of all of Economics and Money for which the set up belief is that it is to assimilate the whole worlds economy by incremental "early adoption". THE CANCER of Bitcoin.
To be honest I don't blame people for beginning to think Bitcoin as a ponzi scheme. It's not inherently one, in a strict sense, but that attitude makes it into one.
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November 13, 2012, 09:16:44 PM
 #48

Nagle was one of the guysthe guy shouting the loudest for a total crash of bitcoins valuation here on the forums last year.
He was absent since it went back up, now he is trolling you guys on wikipedia, successfully it seems since the sentence of concern is still there and kicking.

I knew that name sounded familiar.  I remember viewing his "algorithm" on Wikipedia last year and wondering "how does a computer scientist not seem to understand the definition of a ponzi scheme."

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November 13, 2012, 09:57:31 PM
 #49

Nagle was one of the guysthe guy shouting the loudest for a total crash of bitcoins valuation here on the forums last year.
He was absent since it went back up, now he is trolling you guys on wikipedia, successfully it seems since the sentence of concern is still there and kicking.

I knew that name sounded familiar.  I remember viewing his "algorithm" on Wikipedia last year and wondering "how does a computer scientist not seem to understand the definition of a ponzi scheme."

Nagle has literally built a reputation around predicting Bitcoin's near term demise.  It's his ego at stake here.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 13, 2012, 10:01:59 PM
 #50

Nagle was one of the guysthe guy shouting the loudest for a total crash of bitcoins valuation here on the forums last year.
He was absent since it went back up, now he is trolling you guys on wikipedia, successfully it seems since the sentence of concern is still there and kicking.

I knew that name sounded familiar.  I remember viewing his "algorithm" on Wikipedia last year and wondering "how does a computer scientist not seem to understand the definition of a ponzi scheme."

Selective ignorance.  Happens to the smartest of us all.
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November 14, 2012, 02:11:56 AM
 #51

To all those whining about the state of Wikipedia: It's free and open to anybody to fork it. In your fork you can try to get along without a hierarchy of admins. In fact I'm sure it could be done better but it gets me mad when open projects get bashing. Do it better. Please.

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November 14, 2012, 03:20:46 AM
 #52

To all those whining about the state of Wikipedia: It's free and open to anybody to fork it. In your fork you can try to get along without a hierarchy of admins. In fact I'm sure it could be done better but it gets me mad when open projects get bashing. Do it better. Please.

Ah, the standard "if you don't like it here, why don't you møøøøøøve".  Very handy to excuse anything that's wrong, from slavery to lies to rape.
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November 14, 2012, 04:56:29 AM
 #53

To all those whining about the state of Wikipedia: It's free and open to anybody to fork it. In your fork you can try to get along without a hierarchy of admins. In fact I'm sure it could be done better but it gets me mad when open projects get bashing. Do it better. Please.

Excellent post. Ironic and ultimately full of truth Smiley
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November 14, 2012, 09:52:24 AM
 #54

Added my .02 on the wiki talk page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Bitcoin#Please_add_a_correction_to_the_Ponzi_Scheme_accusation

Quote
The ECB report clearly does not see it as a Ponzi, since it does not promise any returns and even major project developers call it "an experiment" and "not an investment". At the very least, to comply with NPOV, the accusation of ponzi should be balanced by a mention of contrary arguments.
See: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/virtualcurrencyschemes201210en.pdf
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November 14, 2012, 01:27:44 PM
 #55

Quote from:  Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
This article is protected until January 11, 2013

What the fuck?  I hope nothing happens in the world on Bitcoin for the next 2 months, or this article will be ALL FUCKED UP

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November 14, 2012, 03:26:35 PM
 #56

To all those whining about the state of Wikipedia: It's free and open to anybody to fork it. In your fork you can try to get along without a hierarchy of admins. In fact I'm sure it could be done better but it gets me mad when open projects get bashing. Do it better. Please.

The thing is that Wikipedia seems mechanically fine. It's robust and it seems to be bug-free. The problem is that some of the people involved are -- how do I put it nicely -- misguided.

Is that really enough reason to start again? Maybe so, but without delving into and trying to resolve the "people bugs", it seems that a fork could be doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

If it's less work to fix the people than to fork the thing, fix the people but don't whine all over the internetz about how bad wikipedia is. Some Wikipedia admins are very religious about the rules and you can always get more admins into the edit war.

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November 14, 2012, 03:52:31 PM
 #57

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Quote
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors

Bitcoin pays no returns. So it can't be a Ponzi scheme.

Quote
The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments
Bitcoin offers no returns. So it can't be a Ponzi scheme.

Quote
The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors.

Bitcoin has no earnings and no payments to investors. Ditto.

Accusing Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme is a red flag that the accuser doesn't know what a Ponzi scheme is. If you want to accuse Bitcoin of anything, a very good case can be made that it is a bubble. Whether true or not, that at least makes sense. It makes no sense at all - it is a violation of the definition - to call Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
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November 14, 2012, 04:49:08 PM
 #58

Added my .02 on the wiki talk page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Bitcoin#Please_add_a_correction_to_the_Ponzi_Scheme_accusation

Quote
The ECB report clearly does not see it as a Ponzi, since it does not promise any returns and even major project developers call it "an experiment" and "not an investment". At the very least, to comply with NPOV, the accusation of ponzi should be balanced by a mention of contrary arguments.
See: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/virtualcurrencyschemes201210en.pdf

Can you change it to something like that: "Report made by ECB states that Bitcoin doesn't have two core properties of a Ponzi scheme"
While the meaning almost doesn't change it will rebuff the argument that ECB report doesn't state if Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme or not.
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November 14, 2012, 05:37:58 PM
 #59

"Some have criticized Bitcoin for being a ham and cheese on rye, but a report issued by the owner of a large delicatessen states that Bitcoin lacks three core features of a ham and cheese on rye, namely ham, cheese, and rye."

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November 14, 2012, 06:09:25 PM
 #60

"Some have criticized Bitcoin for being a ham and cheese on rye, but a report issued by the owner of a large delicatessen states that Bitcoin lacks three core features of a ham and cheese on rye, namely ham, cheese, and rye."

+1
It's a sad world we live in.
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November 14, 2012, 06:14:11 PM
 #61

"Some have criticized Bitcoin for being a ham and cheese on rye, but a report issued by the owner of a large delicatessen states that Bitcoin lacks three core features of a ham and cheese on rye, namely ham, cheese, and rye."


+1

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November 14, 2012, 07:53:53 PM
 #62

I hope this whole Ponzi thing goes away so that people will be more likely to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon and I can make money.

Then jump out of the market before it all crashes.

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November 14, 2012, 08:00:22 PM
 #63

After reading that talk page, I have never disliked a person as much as SudoGhost. Wikipedia should make sure their editors have an IQ of at least 80 IMO.
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November 14, 2012, 08:15:52 PM
 #64

I think that he has a good IQ, but he is NOT honest, that it's worse.

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November 14, 2012, 08:19:32 PM
 #65

After reading that talk page, I have never disliked a person as much as SudoGhost. Wikipedia should make sure their editors have an IQ of at least 80 IMO.

I have no doubts that his IQ is at least 80.  IQ isn't a measure of intelectual capacity, it's a (poor) metric intended to measure average learning comprehension rates.  For the developmentally delayed.  Any IQ number over 120 or so has no practical meaning.  From what I can see of SudoGhost he is more than capable of quickly learning to rationalize away his critics.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 14, 2012, 08:21:20 PM
 #66

After reading that talk page, I have never disliked a person as much as SudoGhost. Wikipedia should make sure their editors have an IQ of at least 80 IMO.

He is not dumb, my guess is he just prefers sticking to the rules instead of using logic and common sense.

Does anybody know if there are well-described criteria for judging if a source is reliable or not to wikipedia? (EDIT: NVM, I should learn to do some more googling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability#Reliable_sources )
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November 14, 2012, 08:27:48 PM
 #67

Quote from: SudoGhost
With that said, I can see where "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme" can be assumed to have an issue. On the one hand, it is a factual sentence; there are sources that criticize it for this reason, that does not imply that it is a Ponzi scheme, that would be jumping to a conclusion not given by the text. It has been criticized for this, and that's something that is sourced, you can't "un-source" that; no matter what sources you present, it's going to somehow un-criticize Bitcoin, the criticisms are still there, it doesn't matter if you can "prove" with your personal logic and with sources that don't actually support your argument that it isn't one; you're disproving something not relevant. On the other hand, that multiple Bitcoin enthusiasts have misread this sentence thereby repeating the same flawed arguments over and over does indicate that a clarification would help. Perhaps the statement can be clarified to read "Some criticize Bitcoin, accusing it of being a Ponzi scheme." or something similar.

That's much better, because doesn't say "for BEING a Ponzi scheme".

After reading that talk page, I have never disliked a person as much as SudoGhost. Wikipedia should make sure their editors have an IQ of at least 80 IMO.

I have no doubts that his IQ is at least 80.  IQ isn't a measure of intelectual capacity, it's a (poor) metric intended to measure average learning comprehension rates.  For the developmentally delayed.  Any IQ number over 120 or so has no practical meaning.  From what I can see of SudoGhost he is more than capable of quickly learning to rationalize away his critics.

Are we talking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence ? (CAUTION: non-RS)

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November 14, 2012, 08:29:55 PM
 #68

After reading that talk page, I have never disliked a person as much as SudoGhost. Wikipedia should make sure their editors have an IQ of at least 80 IMO.

He is not dumb, my guess is he just prefers sticking to the rules instead of using logic and common sense.

Does anybody know if there are well-described criteria for judging if a source is reliable or not to wikipedia? (EDIT: NVM, I should learn to do some more googling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability#Reliable_sources )

I assumed his lack of logic and common sense was the result of a low IQ.
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November 14, 2012, 08:31:54 PM
 #69

my guess is he just prefers sticking to the rules instead of using logic and common sense.

Not really, because he applies those rules with bias.
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November 14, 2012, 09:23:51 PM
 #70

I should add

Some criticize gold, accusing it of being a Ponzi scheme

to the gold page

because it's exactly the same thing.  Cheesy

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November 14, 2012, 09:32:54 PM
 #71

I should add

Some criticize gold, accusing it of being a Ponzi scheme

to the gold page

because it's exactly the same thing.  Cheesy

But you have enough intelligence to know that it would be silly to do right?
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November 14, 2012, 09:35:03 PM
 #72

Well, it is silly for bitcoin too. So if in the bitcoin page there is that phrase, i want it in the gold page too, since bitcoin and gold have tons of similarities

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November 14, 2012, 10:16:51 PM
 #73

I don't know why everyone's so upset about what wikipedia says. Everyone knows that site is just a Ponzi scheme.
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November 14, 2012, 10:22:28 PM
Last edit: November 14, 2012, 10:57:28 PM by Spaceman_Spiff
 #74

I don't know why everyone's so upset about what wikipedia says. Everyone knows that site is just a Ponzi scheme.
Cheesy, thank you sir, for giving me a good laugh.

Is there any reasoning given for not adding the fact that bitcoin does not match several properties of a Ponzi scheme?
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November 14, 2012, 10:43:38 PM
 #75

I think that he has a good IQ, but he is NOT honest, that it's worse.

SudoGhost is simply a coward. He hides behind the "reliable sources" and refuses to allow any intelligent discussion take place.

Buy & Hold
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November 14, 2012, 10:49:44 PM
 #76

I tried to make an edit to the talk page suggesting a change in wording that wouldn't attempt to remove the Ponzi scheme accusation but to clarify the text so that it didn't directly imply that Bitcoin *is* a Ponzi scheme.

But the page is locked so I needed to create an account

Which is a big pain in the butt. It took about 10 times to create an account since not only are duplicate IDs (hard to avoid) disallowed but also "too similar" user IDs.

Then new users don't get to make changes to locked pages unless they appeal (kinda like the newbie whitelist here)

So I appealed.

And I got denied and told to put my requested change on some page which didn't exist.

So I did.

I got blown off and told that I "wouldn't be a newbie long".

So I gave up.


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November 14, 2012, 11:46:45 PM
 #77

I tried to make an edit to the talk page suggesting a change in wording that wouldn't attempt to remove the Ponzi scheme accusation but to clarify the text so that it didn't directly imply that Bitcoin *is* a Ponzi scheme.

But the page is locked so I needed to create an account

Which is a big pain in the butt. It took about 10 times to create an account since not only are duplicate IDs (hard to avoid) disallowed but also "too similar" user IDs.

Then new users don't get to make changes to locked pages unless they appeal (kinda like the newbie whitelist here)

So I appealed.

And I got denied and told to put my requested change on some page which didn't exist.

So I did.

I got blown off and told that I "wouldn't be a newbie long".

So I gave up.

I did hundreds of edits and dozens under my username that I forgot my password for. As more and more articles turned elite-only, I registered a new account that still has only 7 edits (5 in articles, 2 in talk pages discussing why my changes got reverted Wink ). Maybe I should edit some 3 more pages logged in? Are we that short in WP-users here?

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November 15, 2012, 02:41:46 AM
 #78

I don't know why everyone's so upset about what wikipedia says. Everyone knows that site is just a Ponzi scheme.
http://www.encyclopediabitcoinica.com/wiki/Wikipedia

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November 15, 2012, 02:54:44 AM
 #79

I don't know why everyone's so upset about what wikipedia says. Everyone knows that site is just a Ponzi scheme.
http://www.encyclopediabitcoinica.com/wiki/Wikipedia

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November 15, 2012, 03:00:05 AM
 #80

I don't know why everyone's so upset about what wikipedia says. Everyone knows that site is just a Ponzi scheme.
http://www.encyclopediabitcoinica.com/wiki/Wikipedia

Thanks for that lol
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November 15, 2012, 03:07:18 AM
 #81


I did hundreds of edits and dozens under my username that I forgot my password for. As more and more articles turned elite-only, I registered a new account that still has only 7 edits (5 in articles, 2 in talk pages discussing why my changes got reverted Wink ). Maybe I should edit some 3 more pages logged in? Are we that short in WP-users here?

I've made quite a few edits in the past but they were all IP only.

I'll just note that all the above was *before* I even knew about this thread I was googling about Casascius coins (there is an error in the description for the image of such on the page; the image is displaying the firstbits of the public key, *not* the redeemable (private) key as stated).

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November 15, 2012, 05:17:14 AM
 #82

You guys still don't get it.

For Wikipedia it matters not if Bitcoin were a ponzi scheme or not or if a large number of people say so.  It's that some of them do.
That alone is sufficient, only if you can prove that every* instance of that accusation is based on the Wikipedia article itself you have a chance of removing it.

* ) that is every reputable source, not somebody writing "I think bitcoin is a ponzi scheme" on a forum or blog somewhere but popular news outlets.
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November 15, 2012, 05:56:21 AM
 #83

I'll just note that all the above was *before* I even knew about this thread I was googling about Casascius coins (there is an error in the description for the image of such on the page; the image is displaying the firstbits of the public key, *not* the redeemable (private) key as stated).

I don't think I messed up the caption when I uploaded the image. Here's what it says:

English: Photos shows pile of 1BTC-denominated brass coins, with the bitcoin logo, production year, the text "Vires In Numeris", with the tamper-evident holographic sticker on the reverse. Printed on the sticker is a portion of the digital coins' public address, for verification of the coin's value. Beneath the holographic sticker lies a private cryptographic key, used to redeem the coin's value, and move the bitcoins contained by the coin into the owner's private wallet. Removing the holographic sticker leaves a hexagon pattern, and indicates to any future owners that the digital Bitcoin originally loaded on the coin have likely been removed.

Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Physical_Bitcoin_by_Mike_Cauldwell_(Casascius).jpg
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November 15, 2012, 07:09:36 AM
 #84

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Quote
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors

Bitcoin pays no returns. So it can't be a Ponzi scheme.

Quote
The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments
Bitcoin offers no returns. So it can't be a Ponzi scheme.

Quote
The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors.

Bitcoin has no earnings and no payments to investors. Ditto.

Accusing Bitcoin of being a Ponzi scheme is a red flag that the accuser doesn't know what a Ponzi scheme is. If you want to accuse Bitcoin of anything, a very good case can be made that it is a bubble. Whether true or not, that at least makes sense. It makes no sense at all - it is a violation of the definition - to call Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme.

+1. Not a ponzi....but as scammy as all fiat.

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November 15, 2012, 09:18:10 AM
Last edit: November 15, 2012, 03:12:04 PM by Akka
 #85

I personally think that reason and proof that there should be written something different is still the way to go. We shouldn't argue, that Bitcoin is not a Ponzi, but that the sole statement "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme" is just not enough information.

In the English wiki there is stated:

Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[46]

While for Example the German Wiki States:

Aufgrund der seit etwa Oktober 2010 real beobachteten starken Kurssteigerungen wird gelegentlich kritisiert, dass Bitcoin Eigenschaften eines Schneeballsystems habe. Begründet wird dies mit der Erwartung eines Kursverlustes nach Platzen einer Spekulationsblase. Personen im Besitz von Bitcoins konnten bisher sehr große Kursgewinne realisieren. Da jedoch nahezu unvermeidlich sei, dass die Spekulationsblase platzt, würde im Endeffekt ein Transfer von etablierten Währungen, wie Euro und US-Dollar, von den späten Käufern an die frühen Besitzer stattfinden.[78][79]

Befürworter von Bitcoin entgegnen dem, dass die Währung aufgrund ihrer Eigenschaften von Teilbarkeit, Konvertierbarkeit, Knappheit und eindeutigen Erkennbarkeit, sowie aufgrund ihrer Handhabungsvorteile einen realen Nutzen darstelle[80] und dass die Kurssteigerung mit Netzwerkeffekten begründbar sei. Die Kursgewinne (welche aus einer schnellen Ausweitung der Nachfrage bei nur langsam wachsendem Angebot resultieren) würden für die früh einsteigenden Beteiligten aufgrund des hohen Risikos eines Misserfolges eine Kompensation darstellen. Mit der Zeit würde die Einheit aufgrund von Sättigungseffekten wahrscheinlich einen stabileren Kurs erreichen.[81]

(Rough) Translation:

Quote
Due to the huge advance in Price since 2010, Bitcoin is sometimes criticized to have the characteristics of a pyramid scheme. This is based on the expectation of exchange rate losses after the burst of a speculative bubble. Holders of Bitcoin where able to make huge exchange profits, but due to the nearly inevitability of a  speculative bubble burst, a transfer of monetary value, manly in US-Dollar and Euro from later adopters to early adopters takes place.

On the other hand, Supporter of the System argue, that due to the scalability, convertibility, scarcity and the clear recognizably, as well as its benefits in usability it provides a tangible benefit and therefore the advance in Price can be explained through network effects. The Price advancement (which result of a imbalance of the growth of supply and demand) are a compensation for the early involved parties for the high risk of failure in the beginning of the system. In time the curse may stabilize due to a saturation effect.

This whole part is already a approved part of the German wiki page and everything has it's reliable sources added. I'm sure that every Wikipedian would listen to such an argumentation.

My English is far from perfect, so someone would have to look over it.

If someone would be willing to overwork it and add it as a suggestion to Wikipedia, I'm happy to add the sources, they are mostly in English.

But I fear, with the insults and argumentation I have seen so far that we already have taken this discussion to a level where it has become to emotional to reason with the wikipedians.

If this is the case, well:

Thank you very much.

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November 15, 2012, 09:54:16 AM
 #86

Thanks, Akka.... I'm glad there is someone around here who actually gets what this is about.
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November 15, 2012, 02:52:23 PM
 #87

I'll just note that all the above was *before* I even knew about this thread I was googling about Casascius coins (there is an error in the description for the image of such on the page; the image is displaying the firstbits of the public key, *not* the redeemable (private) key as stated).

I don't think I messed up the caption when I uploaded the image. Here's what it says:

English: Photos shows pile of 1BTC-denominated brass coins, with the bitcoin logo, production year, the text "Vires In Numeris", with the tamper-evident holographic sticker on the reverse. Printed on the sticker is a portion of the digital coins' public address, for verification of the coin's value. Beneath the holographic sticker lies a private cryptographic key, used to redeem the coin's value, and move the bitcoins contained by the coin into the owner's private wallet. Removing the holographic sticker leaves a hexagon pattern, and indicates to any future owners that the digital Bitcoin originally loaded on the coin have likely been removed.

Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Physical_Bitcoin_by_Mike_Cauldwell_(Casascius).jpg

Yeah, no problem with that. I was refering to the caption which now, almost correctly, says "Physical 1-BTC Casascius Coin with public key shown" (It's not the public key but the firstbits of the public key)

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November 15, 2012, 04:08:28 PM
 #88

The right way to deal with this is to cite wikipedia's policy on dead sources:

"if you cannot find another copy of the material, then the dead citation should be removed and the material it supports should be regarded as unverified if there is no other supporting citation. If it is material that is specifically required by policy to have an inline citation, then please consider tagging it with {{citation needed}}. It may be appropriate for you to move the citation to the talk page with an explanation, and notify the editor that added the now-dead link."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:External_links#What_can_be_done_with_a_dead_external_link

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November 15, 2012, 04:24:53 PM
 #89

The right way to deal with this is to cite wikipedia's policy on dead sources:

"if you cannot find another copy of the material, then the dead citation should be removed and the material it supports should be regarded as unverified if there is no other supporting citation. If it is material that is specifically required by policy to have an inline citation, then please consider tagging it with {{citation needed}}. It may be appropriate for you to move the citation to the talk page with an explanation, and notify the editor that added the now-dead link."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:External_links#What_can_be_done_with_a_dead_external_link



I think sudo would find a way around that. He seems to have a harsh bias against Bitcoin. Maybe he bought at $32? lol
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November 15, 2012, 05:32:37 PM
 #90

The right way to deal with this is to cite wikipedia's policy on dead sources:

"if you cannot find another copy of the material, then the dead citation should be removed and the material it supports should be regarded as unverified if there is no other supporting citation. If it is material that is specifically required by policy to have an inline citation, then please consider tagging it with {{citation needed}}. It may be appropriate for you to move the citation to the talk page with an explanation, and notify the editor that added the now-dead link."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:External_links#What_can_be_done_with_a_dead_external_link



I think sudo would find a way around that. He seems to have a harsh bias against Bitcoin. Maybe he bought at $32? lol

Bitcoin killed his brother.

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November 15, 2012, 06:31:01 PM
 #91

I'll just note that all the above was *before* I even knew about this thread I was googling about Casascius coins (there is an error in the description for the image of such on the page; the image is displaying the firstbits of the public key, *not* the redeemable (private) key as stated).

I don't think I messed up the caption when I uploaded the image. Here's what it says:

English: Photos shows pile of 1BTC-denominated brass coins, with the bitcoin logo, production year, the text "Vires In Numeris", with the tamper-evident holographic sticker on the reverse. Printed on the sticker is a portion of the digital coins' public address, for verification of the coin's value. Beneath the holographic sticker lies a private cryptographic key, used to redeem the coin's value, and move the bitcoins contained by the coin into the owner's private wallet. Removing the holographic sticker leaves a hexagon pattern, and indicates to any future owners that the digital Bitcoin originally loaded on the coin have likely been removed.

Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Physical_Bitcoin_by_Mike_Cauldwell_(Casascius).jpg

Yeah, no problem with that. I was refering to the caption which now, almost correctly, says "Physical 1-BTC Casascius Coin with public key shown" (It's not the public key but the firstbits of the public key)
Whoops, sorry, before I saw your original post in this quote-thread, I made a request to get the caption changed and erroneously called it the public key :|

Edit: mistype

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November 15, 2012, 10:17:08 PM
 #92

Quote
Edit request
Please change "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[3]" to "Bitcoin has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme for rewarding early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[4][5]" There seems to be a general agreement that how it is currently worded gives the impression that Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme, as opposed to being accused of being one. Hopefully we can reach a consensus for how to expand upon that and editors can find reliable sources that refute these claims, but right now the above needs to be changed because it seems to be stating the Ponzi scheme claim as a fact in Wikipedia's own voice, when it needs to be clearer that it is an opinion held by some. - SudoGhost 20:48, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Finally!
While it might be nice if there was a more balanced discussion around why Bitcoin is/isn't a ponzi - the wording issue above was the main problem for me.
I think SudoGhost was somehow hung up on the is/isn't a ponzi issue, somehow not even noticing that half the argument was just about the wording.
Glad to see he/she is not totally stonewalling.

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November 16, 2012, 03:49:25 AM
 #93

Quote
Edit request
Please change "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme in that it rewards early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[3]" to "Bitcoin has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme for rewarding early adopters through early Bitcoin mining and increasing exchange rates.[4][5]" There seems to be a general agreement that how it is currently worded gives the impression that Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme, as opposed to being accused of being one. Hopefully we can reach a consensus for how to expand upon that and editors can find reliable sources that refute these claims, but right now the above needs to be changed because it seems to be stating the Ponzi scheme claim as a fact in Wikipedia's own voice, when it needs to be clearer that it is an opinion held by some. - SudoGhost 20:48, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Finally!
While it might be nice if there was a more balanced discussion around why Bitcoin is/isn't a ponzi - the wording issue above was the main problem for me.
I think SudoGhost was somehow hung up on the is/isn't a ponzi issue, somehow not even noticing that half the argument was just about the wording.
Glad to see he/she is not totally stonewalling.


Finally!
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November 19, 2012, 09:49:39 PM
 #94

I wrote up a sort of summary of the issue up until now.
http://blog.smickles.com/bitcoin/the-ponzi-of-wikipedia-and-bitcoin/

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November 19, 2012, 10:14:17 PM
 #95

Did anyone else notice that the user who initially brought up the issue was banned on the 11th?

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November 21, 2012, 03:18:37 PM
 #96

It's pretty obvious from the quote below that SudoGhost is very biased against bitcoin. He is asking the defendant (bitcoiners) to prove that the accusation is "baseless" while at the same time he is not even trying to develop any fact to support said accusation .
The "rationale" applied to try to link the word bitcoin with the word Ponzi can be applied to any system involving early adopters, particularly most retirement plans. Strangely, the wikipedia article on retirement plans does NOT mention Ponzi. This is a double standard and a shame for wikipedia: can I sue for slander ?

Quote
". This criticism is baseless since Bitcoin does not exhibit any substantial attributes of Ponzi schemes". Unlike Ponzi schemes, buying Bitcoin provides no returns other than price fluctuations. Unlike Ponzi schemes, the people who invented Bitcoin and bought Bitcoin first cannot "run with the investors' money". Unlike Ponzi schemes, Bitcoin does not require a continual stream of investments to maintain its market price or its value. It is important that we do not allow lies to remain unchallenged. --Rudd-O (talk) 06:13, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a source that says it's baseless? - SudoGhost 14:41, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

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