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Question: On forums in relation to bitcoin:
Term pyramid scheme is correctly used - 4 (7.3%)
Term ponzi scheme is correctly used - 0 (0%)
Both terms ponzi and pyramid scheme is correctly used - 3 (5.5%)
Term pyramid scheme is correctly used, but term ponzi scheme is incorrectly used. - 4 (7.3%)
Term ponzi scheme is correctly used, but term pyramid scheme is incorrectly used. - 0 (0%)
Both pyramid and ponzi scheme terms are incorrectly used. - 44 (80%)
Total Voters: 55

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Author Topic: Are terms pyramid scheme and ponzi scheme misused?  (Read 4481 times)
Ekaros
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November 23, 2013, 04:24:11 PM
 #1

Just want to get info on these terms.

I go with option 6. That both terms are incorrectly used.

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November 23, 2013, 04:53:32 PM
 #2

Ponzi is where new investors investments are divided up as "Dividends" and Pyramid each bottom referral blosters up the reffers balance.. correct?

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November 23, 2013, 05:32:14 PM
 #3

It's not a ponzi or a pyramid scheme, and if it was then so is gold and shares etc. People only call it a ponzi/pyrmid out of not understanding either cryptocurrencies or investments. Yes, you could lose all your money just as you can lose all your shares etc.

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Ibian
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November 23, 2013, 05:37:37 PM
 #4

Yes.

There is no bubble.
Ekaros
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November 23, 2013, 05:40:10 PM
 #5

Ponzi is where new investors investments are divided up as "Dividends" and Pyramid each bottom referral blosters up the reffers balance.. correct?

Pretty much, my take is:

Ponzi is where central person or group pays old investors with new investors money.

Pyramid is same, but with recruiting bonuses paid by recruited people...
That is my understanding.

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Etlase2
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November 23, 2013, 06:28:42 PM
 #6

Whether or not the pyramid or ponzi scheme terms are misused by pedantic definitions does not provide an argument against bitcoin being a * scheme. It is a "bitcoin scheme" which closely resembles a pyramid scheme but has a few twists.

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November 23, 2013, 06:35:49 PM
 #7

Whether or not the pyramid or ponzi scheme terms are misused by pedantic definitions does not provide an argument against bitcoin being a * scheme. It is a "bitcoin scheme" which closely resembles a pyramid scheme but has a few twists.

It's not pedantic to use words correctly as defined. Is trading fiat currencies or buying and selling shares or property a 'ponzi or pyramid scheme with twists'? No. Buying Bitcoin is an investment and you can win or lose but that doesn't automatically make it a scam.

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Ibian
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November 23, 2013, 06:37:40 PM
 #8

Bitcoin is not a pyramid or a ponzi. The people who call it that are wrong. There really is nothing to discuss here.

There is no bubble.
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November 23, 2013, 07:14:11 PM
 #9

I voted 6  Grin
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November 23, 2013, 07:18:32 PM
 #10

Wish there was a number 7. Bitcoin is not a scam. But can be used by scammers.

so I went with 6

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November 23, 2013, 07:41:26 PM
 #11

It's not pedantic to use words correctly as defined.

Except that they are not words, they are phrases that arose from specific scams to become more general terms for monetary scams.

Quote
Buying Bitcoin is an investment and you can win or lose but that doesn't automatically make it a scam.

I didn't say it did, I said that someone calling it a pyramid or ponzi scheme does not automatically make their argument irrelevant because bitcoin does not fit some specific definition of a pyramid or ponzi scheme. It is a bitcoin scheme, and whether or not it is considered a scam is for future history books to decide.

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November 23, 2013, 07:47:36 PM
 #12

yes. there should be a list of most commonly misused terms.

ponzi cheme
pyramid scheme
intrinstic value
zero sum game (gain)
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November 23, 2013, 08:05:03 PM
 #13

It's not pedantic to use words correctly as defined.

Except that they are not words, they are phrases that arose from specific scams to become more general terms for monetary scams.

Quote
Buying Bitcoin is an investment and you can win or lose but that doesn't automatically make it a scam.

I didn't say it did, I said that someone calling it a pyramid or ponzi scheme does not automatically make their argument irrelevant because bitcoin does not fit some specific definition of a pyramid or ponzi scheme. It is a bitcoin scheme, and whether or not it is considered a scam is for future history books to decide.

Ponzi is a word. Scheme/scam is a word. It's not a ponzi or pyramid scam/scheme. It doesn't fit the definition. Are you saying that it's only going to be a ponzi scheme/scam if in the future the value or BTC goes to zero or tanks? That makes it a failed investment, not a scam.

And can you define the phrase 'bitcoin scheme'?

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Hawker
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November 23, 2013, 08:15:27 PM
 #14

"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, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Bitcoin was created by idealists who want to offer an alternative to fiat currency.  As such, its not fraudulent so can't ever be considered a Ponzi scheme.

"A pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

Bitcoin is already a working currency.  So its not any more unsustainable than any other project and as such it can't ever be considered a Pyramid scheme.

Ekaros
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November 23, 2013, 08:16:57 PM
 #15

Ponzi and pyramid is a specific kind of schemes...

Bitcoin might be a mania or used as an investment scheme by some part of users...

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Etlase2
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November 23, 2013, 08:33:26 PM
 #16

Ponzi is a word. Scheme/scam is a word. It's not a ponzi or pyramid scam/scheme. It doesn't fit the definition. Are you saying that it's only going to be a ponzi scheme/scam if in the future the value or BTC goes to zero or tanks? That makes it a failed investment not, a scam.

"Ponzi" is not a word, it's a name. I will also say yet again, since you don't seem to understand, that my point is that the terms are being used colloquially to denote a monetary scam. Arguing that bitcoin property X does not meet a textbook definition of a specific type of monetary scam does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Calling it an investment does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Madoff provided "investments" too. A decentralized scam does not make it not a scam.

This argument over whether or not the terms are being used correctly is the textbook definition of a red herring.

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November 23, 2013, 08:34:02 PM
 #17

"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, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Bitcoin was created by idealists who want to offer an alternative to fiat currency.  As such, its not fraudulent so can't ever be considered a Ponzi scheme.

"A pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

Bitcoin is already a working currency.  So its not any more unsustainable than any other project and as such it can't ever be considered a Pyramid scheme.
It's not the fiat that define ponzis and pyramids. Both schemes are perfectly possible with bitcoin, or seashells or anything else. It's bitcoin itself that people are calling ponzi/pyramid.

There is no bubble.
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November 23, 2013, 08:37:13 PM
 #18

Ponzi is a word. Scheme/scam is a word. It's not a ponzi or pyramid scam/scheme. It doesn't fit the definition. Are you saying that it's only going to be a ponzi scheme/scam if in the future the value or BTC goes to zero or tanks? That makes it a failed investment not, a scam.

"Ponzi" is not a word, it's a name. I will also say yet again, since you don't seem to understand, that my point is that the terms are being used colloquially to denote a monetary scam. Arguing that bitcoin property X does not meet a textbook definition of a specific type of monetary scam does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Calling it an investment does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Madoff provided "investments" too. A decentralized scam does not make it not a scam.

This argument over whether or not the terms are being used correctly is the textbook definition of a red herring.
You need to explain what this "bitcoin scam" is and how it works. Simply slinging mud and hoping some of it sticks is... a poor form of debate.

There is no bubble.
BitDreams
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November 23, 2013, 08:52:05 PM
 #19

I like how Minsky uses the term:

Quote

http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp74.pdf

Speculative finance units are units that can
meet their payment commitments on "income account" on their
liabilities, even as they cannot repay the principle out of
income cash flows. Such units need to "roll over" their
liabilities: (e.g. issue new debt to meet commitments on maturing
debt). Governments with floating debts, corporations with
floating issues of commercial paper, and banks are typically
hedge units.

For Ponzi units, the cash flows from operations are not
sufficient to fulfill either the repayment of principle or the
interest due on outstanding debts by their cash flows from
operations. Such units can sell assets or borrow. Borrowing to
pay interest or selling assets to pay interest (and even
dividends) on common stock lowers the equity of a unit, even as
it increases liabilities and the prior commitment of future
incomes. A unit that Ponzi finances lowers the margin of safety
that it offers the holders of its debts.


With that in mind, Bitcoin is not 'owe me', Bitcoin is 'paid in full'.
hilariousandco
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November 23, 2013, 09:07:43 PM
 #20

Ponzi is a word. Scheme/scam is a word. It's not a ponzi or pyramid scam/scheme. It doesn't fit the definition. Are you saying that it's only going to be a ponzi scheme/scam if in the future the value or BTC goes to zero or tanks? That makes it a failed investment not, a scam.

"Ponzi" is not a word, it's a name. I will also say yet again, since you don't seem to understand, that my point is that the terms are being used colloquially to denote a monetary scam. Arguing that bitcoin property X does not meet a textbook definition of a specific type of monetary scam does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Calling it an investment does nothing to argue against it being a monetary scam. Madoff provided "investments" too. A decentralized scam does not make it not a scam.

This argument over whether or not the terms are being used correctly is the textbook definition of a red herring.

You're being pedantic, but you're also wrong. Ponzi is a name and a word: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ponzi?s=t

Pon·zi
[pon-zee]
noun
a swindle in which a quick return, made up of money from new investors, on an initial investment lures the victim into much bigger risks.

Who is swindling anyone? Who is offering a quick return? Who is luring people into investing more?

And I understand fine, you don't seem to understand how Bitcoin isn't a Ponzi/Pyramid scheme or a scam. It has nothing to do with colloquialisms, people are using the term of Ponzi/Pyramid schemes incorrectly. Madoff committed fraud by a Ponzi scam and got people to invest with cash for shares, so are all cash and shares a scam? No. You can use cash or shares for a scam just like you can use BTC, but Bitcoin in itself is not a scam.


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