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Author Topic: Is it OK to join a pyramid scheme if you're in early?  (Read 2606 times)
bittycoin
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June 22, 2011, 04:36:26 AM
 #1

There's a fun new game where you can double your bitcoins:

http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=20087.0

The operator is very open about how it works:

  • New players pay off old players x2
  • The game ends after nobody plays for a week
  • The operator keeps the btc left in the pot at the end of the game

There's even a Google Spreadsheet showing all the contributions, fees and the payouts.  Kudos to Jordoss for running such an open and transparent game!

Since it's no secret that those at the bottom of the pyramid will lose their bitcoins, is it moral to play if you get in early?

Or is it immoral to participate in an activity that is guaranteed to enrich a relative few at the expense of the relative many?

Full disclosure -- my greed won out, and I bought in!  It's only been running for a day, so chances are people who join now will get a double!

And it's all in fun, right?

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SgtSpike
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June 22, 2011, 04:37:42 AM
 #2

I don't see anything immoral about it.

If you don't TELL people it's a pyramid game beforehand, then I would consider it to be so.  But otherwise, play away.  With full disclosure, there's nothing to be guilty about - everyone knows the risks and rewards.
Teej
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June 22, 2011, 05:00:22 AM
 #3

In the US, at least, pyramid schemes are generally illegal whether everyone knows it or not.  Whether a charge would have any traction with BTC, I dunno...but people have been charged under postal laws, wire fraud and tax evasion for the old "send $1 to the first 5 people on this list and..." schemes.

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June 22, 2011, 06:28:24 AM
 #4

In the US, at least, pyramid schemes are generally illegal whether everyone knows it or not.  Whether a charge would have any traction with BTC, I dunno...but people have been charged under postal laws, wire fraud and tax evasion for the old "send $1 to the first 5 people on this list and..." schemes.
Again, the US Government trying to protect people from their own stupidity.

If people are stupid, let them be stupid and suffer the consequences.  Then maybe they'll learn something and no longer be stupid.
nhodges
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June 22, 2011, 06:50:23 AM
 #5

You know what they say, it's always good to be on top.

Jessica
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June 22, 2011, 09:28:02 AM
 #6

Of course, if you're on top, you make massive amounts of profit. And the creator makes the most. Pyramid schemes are basically paying people to pay you. ^^
bittycoin
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June 22, 2011, 02:44:04 PM
 #7

Everyone knows that the suckers on the bottom of the pyramid lose when it collapses, enriching those on the top.

And even when it's spelled out that way, and there's no trickery or deceit, people still choose to play.

This particular game won't stop until there have been no transactions at all for seven days.  It could go on for a long time.

Is it morally right to play the game if you get in early, even when you know it's designed to eventually fail?

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BitterTea
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June 22, 2011, 03:11:02 PM
 #8

Is it morally right to play the game if you get in early, even when you know it's designed to eventually fail?

Doesn't it fall upon the person who claims that it is morally wrong to show that it is so?
muscles
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June 22, 2011, 03:22:35 PM
 #9

Isn't capitalism just one big pyramid scheme? Pic: http://i.imgur.com/5IPZ4.jpg

Selling these things:
Wireless Cable Modem Gateway: SURFboard SBG900 DOCSIS 2.0: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=24518.0 - 3.33BTC
12V DC Car Wet/Dry Vacuum: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=24521.0 - 0.6BTC
Flip Cam HD Mino 4GB: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=26628.0
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June 22, 2011, 03:24:14 PM
 #10

Or is it immoral to participate in an activity that is guaranteed to enrich a relative few at the expense of the relative many?

Are lotteries and bingo immoral? What about sports competition with prizes?

Just let people spend their money the way they want...

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gigitrix
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June 22, 2011, 03:28:07 PM
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I suppose since it has predetermined "collapse" conditions, it's less of a pyramid scheme: everyone knows when the pyramid will come crashing down and can choose to invest accordingly. That said, it's a dumb investment to make IMHO.
spruce
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June 22, 2011, 03:30:23 PM
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Is it morally right to play the game if you get in early, even when you know it's designed to eventually fail?


What counts as early?

I tossed in something. I'll consider I got in early if I get my 2x, and that I got in late if I don't.

I don't see anything immoral in it, assuming it continues on as stated and the originator doesn't skip halfway through. It's a gamble, fairly risky but then it's a double your money within a day. Or two. Or a week. Or a month. Or. . . ? We'll have to see.
as3ard
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June 22, 2011, 04:02:15 PM
 #13

As long as you tell the true pros. and cons. to the people below you.
Nagle
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June 22, 2011, 04:06:43 PM
 #14

"Early" is relative.  Yes, there's a sucker born every minute, but not all of them will go for your pyramid.

If you're the proprietor of a pyramid scheme, you're considered a crook in many jurisdictions.
Protech
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June 23, 2011, 02:28:55 AM
 #15

Seems immoral to me since you know the people at the bottom are going to get burned!
bittycoin
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June 23, 2011, 02:33:26 AM
 #16

Is it wrong to play this harmless game with btc scrip?  It's a lot of fun and the world ain't gonna end if you do.

Is it wrong for a real estate speculator or mortgage broker to pump up prices knowing the schmuck at the end of the line is gonna get foreclosed?

Is it wrong for Goldman Sachs to spin gold from shit as long as AIG and the US taxpayer is left holding the bag?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not preaching morality to anybody.  After all, I played the pyramid too.

Just seems to me that all these games are anti-social at some level, and it doesn't feel quite right.

That said, it's more fun than I thought it would be, and I should get my double real soon now, woo hoo!

http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=20087.0

Let's keep it going -- it's still early and today's contributions have a high probability of getting doubled!

(Can you tell I'm conflicted?)

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X68N
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June 23, 2011, 02:41:21 AM
 #17

In the US, at least, pyramid schemes are generally illegal whether everyone knows it or not.  Whether a charge would have any traction with BTC, I dunno...but people have been charged under postal laws, wire fraud and tax evasion for the old "send $1 to the first 5 people on this list and..." schemes.
Again, the US Government trying to protect people from their own stupidity.

If people are stupid, let them be stupid and suffer the consequences.  Then maybe they'll learn something and no longer be stupid.

Wait - that reason is not the only one!
They want to protect their own fiat money pyramid system!

wich collapse every 70-80 years.. that that a Human Lifespan so the most dont recognice the pyramid charcteristics....

Coinbase - All your money are belong to us  Cheesy -> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us
cold
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June 23, 2011, 04:30:48 AM
 #18

If they disclose everything before you give them any money then I see no problem...

If I help please consider giving a small donation: 17LsfbeJR6MuhqCAL6SyXzfDrkLEQYJcwv
mzeba
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June 23, 2011, 04:38:44 AM
 #19

This should be a fun one to follow.

Don't see what's wrong if the risks and rewards are known up front. Scheme on, lol.
TigolBitteez
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June 23, 2011, 04:40:22 AM
 #20

Yes it is always okay to get in early, so long as its legal.
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