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Author Topic: Wikipedia: "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme..."  (Read 8355 times)
Richy_T
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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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