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Author Topic: Bitcoin trades the inequity of dynastic power for the inequity of early adoption  (Read 10509 times)
Severian
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April 13, 2013, 04:01:32 PM
 #41

And that you think a currency is comparable to share equity reveals the depths of your stupidity.

That you speak with authority on matters in which you lack substance reveals yours.
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April 13, 2013, 04:04:04 PM
 #42

Gold has been the go-to (You might even say "standard") medium of exchange for most of human history. It's only recently that it was decoupled from currency, and look where that's lead us.

Off topic, but you might dig this, myrkul:

A history of the precious metals, from the earliest times to the present (1902)

Del Mar spent 20 years working on this book. It originally came out 1880's. Well worth the hang time.

I had one of those once - the George Bell 1880 1st.  Alas, at the time I had no interest - it was just another antiquarian book to me...  Got a couple hundred for it, as I recall.  If I get one again, I'll read it.

Dankedan: price seems low, time to sell I think...
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:04:39 PM
 #43


It was decried, never discredited.

It was discredited. For one, they scraped a website instead of using a copy of the blockchain from a client. blockchain.info isn't authoritative and is known to contain errors from time to time.

https://gist.github.com/jgarzik/3901921

Where is their peer reviewed paper published in a respectable journal refuting these claims?
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April 13, 2013, 04:06:59 PM
 #44

Where is their peer reviewed paper published in a respectable journal refuting these claims?

Moving the goalposts is a dishonest debating tactic. Don't do it if you wish to be taken seriously.
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:08:21 PM
 #45

And that you think a currency is comparable to share equity reveals the depths of your stupidity.

That you speak with authority on matters in which you lack substance reveals yours.


IBM stock when offered for sale did not come burdened with promises of changing a fundamentally inequitable system. IBM has never proposed for its stock to become a ubiquitous medium of exchange. If you cannot see the distinction then you are beyond help.
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:09:28 PM
 #46

So, one of the main arguments I encounter when discussing Bitcoin with its promulgators is that it can potentially free the financial system from the cabal of plutocrats that currently run the show, and who have lavished enormous  wealth on themselves and their cronies. This argument seems to entirely dismiss the actions of the shady cabal who mined huge numbers of Bitcoins when doing so was trivial (and prior to any public availability), and to a lesser extent the early adopters.

When central bankers throw money like confetti at themselves and their friends whilst most others must struggle to earn small amounts of it this is deemed a moral evil. Yet when the progenitors of Bitcoin and their acolytes do much the same; capture the low hanging fruit and leave everyone else fighting over increasingly complex computational scraps this is hailed as a brave new world of financial freedom.

Should Bitcoin ever achieve the kind of ubiquity its most ardent fans hope for, these people will wield more financial power than any of the Banksters they decry. They will also control such a large amount of the monetary base that they too could end up becoming plutocrats

Far from being a revolution, the future as envisaged by Bitcoin fanboys will be little more than a changing of the cast of villains.


Revans I agree partially

Yes. This benefits early adopters . But the makers would not have expected such price swings so if the real libertarians fout against tyranny, those  real libertarians must be feeling sad ...IMHO

However there is a beautiful way to increase equality and reduce crony capitalism..... Develop the next crypto / cyber / virtual currency ...evangelize and make that next one grow....there is place of more than one crypto / virtual currency just as there have been multiple fiats at an time in history

More currencies will make a much larger market and make adoption much more easier and the price much more stable

If currency is a medium of exchange and NOT just a medium of hoarding, why not a second or a third or a fourth .....n th medium ?

There is more than one model car , or one type of vehicle on roads

Any thoughts

At this point I'd take my chances with a new bunch plutocrats over the old ones - even though I know the majority of Bitcoin EAs will hail from the richest parts of the planet, not to mention being young and male - just like me.

However there is a danger of this revolution being like many revolutions before it and not really changing much in the end. This is why I'm generally in favour of progressive change, rather than disruption - it normally leads to better outcomes in the long term.

I've had plenty of wacky thoughts about some of the things I would like to see in an alternative crypto-currency. For example thinking about how might we counter the deflationary aspect (which does serve a purpose for EAs) by either incentivising redistribution in some way beyond selling out for FIAT? I'd like to see a coin that doesn't ultimately favour those with large amount of FIAT to buy up coins and I don't believe the mining mechanisms does that adequately.

Out of all the alternative crypto currencies so far I like PPCoin the most because it is trying to be innovative in a number of ways. I believe we will need a number of crypto-currencies, with a number of different design characteristics to satisfy our needs.





Better the devil you know.
Severian
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April 13, 2013, 04:11:06 PM
 #47

IBM stock...

I was speaking of Bitcoin, a topic in which you seem deficient but still feel entitled to expound upon.
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:13:37 PM
 #48

Where is their peer reviewed paper published in a respectable journal refuting these claims?

Moving the goalposts is a dishonest debating tactic. Don't do it if you wish to be taken seriously.


If the refutation had merit why not put it through proper peer review as the paper it attacks was? Why should the debunker be held to a lower standard than the person he is debunking?
myrkul
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April 13, 2013, 04:15:17 PM
 #49

Gold has been the go-to (You might even say "standard") medium of exchange for most of human history. It's only recently that it was decoupled from currency, and look where that's lead us.

Off topic, but you might dig this, myrkul:

A history of the precious metals, from the earliest times to the present (1902)
Thanks, I'll check it out.

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April 13, 2013, 04:16:42 PM
 #50


Umm, yes a rather special group does issue the currency in Bitcoin: the miners with enough state fiat capital to invest in the increasingly expensive equipment required to mine Bitcoins.

The underlying Bitcoin implementation is fine, but I find the mining aspect hugely problematic. Bitcoins should been distributed freely to people that want them so as to provide everyone an opportunity to be part of a financial reboot. Sadly Bitcoin went down the road of having engineered inequity and is as morally bankrupt as the system it seeks to supplant.

My first Bitcoins were mined on a machine that my wife had bought me to play games. This was back in Nov 2010. It took about 10 days and was worth (then) something like £10. The machine was 'free' in the sense that it was already in the living room before I had ever heard of Bitcoin.

When I first splashed out in Jan 2011 and ordered parts for a 3x5870 rig, I was taking a risk. I took another risk to buy my next mining machine. There was always the possibility that Bitcoin would never 'make it' as a technology, that I would end up with an expensive pile of hardware and a credit card bill to settle. As it tuned out Bitcoin did well, the value went up, but the value could have dropped to zero and Bitcoin could have been relegated to the list of good ideas that never took off.

Sure, I sold coins, bought more GPUs, mined more coins, sold more coins, bought more GPUs etc. Anyone could have done the same.
Anyone who wants to can do the same now - there are still used 5870s on eBay even though they are no longer made. Good mining cards. Yes, specialised mining kit is expensive, but small scale mining can be, and I suspect is, a profitable sideline for anyone who is willing to take the risk involved in a graphics card upgrade for their PC.

What would you propose for a different security mechanism for a currency like Bitcoin? How would you distribute it to interested people fairly?

Severian
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April 13, 2013, 04:17:13 PM
 #51

If the refutation had merit why not put it through proper peer review as the paper it attacks was? Why should the debunker be held to a lower standard than the person he is debunking?

The peer review didn't catch all the errors in the paper, did it?

And you're still moving goalposts around. If I was the skeptical sort, I'd wonder if an honest discussion was your intent.
Mouser
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April 13, 2013, 04:17:31 PM
 #52

Revans, your original points were food for thought. Later in this thread you wax defensive and lose the objective highground you held.

Maybe stop for now and return to this discussion on Monday.

Question. Do you yourself own any Bitcoins? Tens, hundreds or thousands?

Respects
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:18:34 PM
 #53

IBM stock...

I was speaking of Bitcoin, a topic in which you seem deficient but still feel entitled to expound upon.


I imagine anyone who disagrees with you is deemed deficient in their understanding, that just the way incorrigible ideologues are.
revans
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April 13, 2013, 04:22:12 PM
 #54

If the refutation had merit why not put it through proper peer review as the paper it attacks was? Why should the debunker be held to a lower standard than the person he is debunking?

The peer review didn't catch all the errors in the paper, did it?

And you're still moving goalposts around. If I was the skeptical sort, I'd wonder if an honest discussion was your intent.


I see. So the lack of peer review means no errors were found in the rebuttal ergo the rebuttal is right. What a rapier like intellect I am dealing with ere.
Severian
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April 13, 2013, 04:22:49 PM
 #55

I imagine anyone who disagrees with you is deemed deficient in their understanding

Only if they actually are deficient. A wise man always cedes to knowledge. A fool never knows he's a fool because he's too busy being smarter than everyone else.


Severian
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April 13, 2013, 04:23:43 PM
 #56

What a rapier like intellect I am dealing with ere.

At least I'm armed in this battle of wits.
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April 13, 2013, 04:24:29 PM
 #57

Better the devil you know.

Indeed. I know far more about the technorati who designed computers, the web and digital cryptography than the shady world of politicians and bankers who run the current financial system.
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April 13, 2013, 04:25:12 PM
 #58

Better the devil you know.

Indeed. I know far more about the technorati who designed computers, the web and digital cryptography than the shady world of politicians and bankers who run the current financial system.

+10!
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April 13, 2013, 04:27:41 PM
 #59

The problem with proof-of-work is that in order to make the ledger impeachable, people need to throw real-world value into a hole.

Most folks won't do that unless there was something tangibly "in it for them".

Bitcoin answers this with the block reward - it uses the distribution mechanism to incentivize the busywork that makes the bones of Bitcoin actually function.

The unfortunate result is that a lot of people early on in the project got a lot of coins, and if Bitcoin gets wide adoption those coins will make them about as rich as a Buffet or a Helu, and with an equal capability of screwing up the market if they had cause. (User A in the Shamir paper has 2.8 million BTC -> 28 billion dollars at $10k/coin).

So then... what? If this is a troubling result of the network rules, what rules would have worked better? How do you distribute newly created BTC in a "fair" way, when an anonymous system means that Sybil shenanigans are trivial? How do you incentivize mining, except via block rewards?

I'm sincerely interested in hearing your ideas.

If there is something that will make Bitcoin succeed, it is growth of utility - greater quantity and variety of goods and services offered for BTC. If there is something that will make Bitcoin fail, it is the prevalence of users convinced that BTC is a magic box that will turn them into millionaires, and of the con-artists who have followed them here to devour them.
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April 13, 2013, 04:28:53 PM
 #60

Revans, your original points were food for thought. Later in this thread you wax defensive and lose the objective highground you held.

Maybe stop for now and return to this discussion on Monday.

Question. Do you yourself own any Bitcoins? Tens, hundreds or thousands?

Respects

Just under a thousand at the moment, I have had more but have been steadily giving them away to what I deem good causes. I will ultimately give away my entire holding as my interest in Bitcoin was never to make money for doing nothing of value, and it is clear Bitcoin is now infested with speculators and the wider purpose seems to have been lost.
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