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Question: Is the OP correct?
 yes 77 (38.5%) no 100 (50%) yes and no (my logic is posted in the thread) 23 (11.5%)
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 Author Topic: "Failure to Understand Bitcoin Could Cost Investors Billions" (Bitcoin's flaws)  (Read 42889 times) This is a self-moderated topic. If you do not want to be moderated by the person who started this topic, create a new topic.
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 March 11, 2014, 06:52:00 PM

Bitcoin users actually use fiat as their currency of choice.  They use bitcoin as an investment vehicle - dollars, euros, etc. are the medium of exchange by which they either buy bitcoins on exchanges or use to buy mining equipment which generates bitcoins, the investment.  Let's contrast the difference between something used as a medium of exchange, such as a dollar, and something used as a store of value which is expected to appreciate over time ("investment"), such as bitcoins.

A dollar is a good example of a currency.  Most people hold on to a small amount of dollars at any given time, and readily swap those dollars out for things they need - products or services.  Most people are also receiving dollars at the rate they spend them.  For example, your average person's checking account doesn't hold much currency at any given time - something like \$1,000 - but that person might have received \$3,000 in income and spent \$3,000 over a single month.  The person uses the dollar as an exchange of value, because he is exchanging the vast majority of his dollars for things he needs as he receives dollars for providing services or goods for other people.  The average person doesn't let his dollars sit around because they don't gain value over time relative to anything else - they tend to slightly lose value.  Therefore, dollars are constantly and rapidly moving from person to person, business to business.  The average American starts and ends the year with about \$3,000, yet receives \$35,000 through the course of the year and spends \$35,000 through the course of the year.  95% of dollars are spent quickly on something else.  People expect their \$1.00 to be worth 3% less at the end of the year, so it's readily exchanged for other things.  If that \$1.00 was expected to be worth more at the end of the year, it would be held onto.  The dollar would cease being a medium of exchange, since people would hoard them.

Let's compare this to a bitcoin.  The average bitcoin user uses his currency of choice - typically dollars, euros, or other fiat - to either purchase bitcoins or purchase mining equipment to generate bitcoins.  The average joe with a job who is into bitcoins might be able to buy 1 bitcoin a month from an exchange, or generate 1 bitcoin a month with a decent mining setup.  At the end of the month, this typical bitcoin user has gained 1 bitcoin, but has spent virtually none of the coins on products or services.  It's likely he's donated 0.05 a couple of times for some apps that he downloaded which offered a donation, possibly paid back a friend, etc.  But 95% of the bitcoins are just sitting there in his possession.  After two years, the average bitcoin user has acquired 24 bitcoins, yet only spent at most 1-2 of them.  Contrast this to the poor dollar - 95% of dollars are spent on something just as soon as they are received.  The dollar (a currency) and bitcoin (a commodity/investment) are total opposites.

Bitcoin is not fundamentally designed to behave as a currency.  Its value increases rapidly over time, and there are a fixed maximum number of coins which can be in circulation, ever, so this phenomenon will continue as long as demand for bitcoin increases.  95% of 'transactions' are either users acquiring bitcoins from exchanges or simply moving bitcoins from one wallet to another in their possession, with the intent and purpose of holding bitcoin over a long period of time with the expectation that their value relative to goods or services will increase, or selling coins that have appreciated in value.  Contrast this to any currency, where 95% of 'transactions' are exchanges for goods or services, or investments.

This thread, and every other bitcoin discussion, seems to really be an endless debate about bitcoin's strengths/weaknesses as an investment.  The bigger point is missed.  The fact of the matter is that bitcoin simply cannot function as a currency, and the behavior of users on the network confirms this, more and more so over time.

Tying into the original post, I suppose, is the fact that Bitcoin's a horrible, HORRIBLE long-term investment.  When AES is rendered obsolete or any of the potential flaws discussed in this thread are exploited, all value in the network will be lost.  Seeing as how at least 8% of all bitcoins in circulation have been stolen at least once, well....
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 March 11, 2014, 07:03:44 PM

Shadowstats is probably the most trustworthy source of information available in the United States today.  Basicly, their metrics are the most similar to those used prior to WW2, so they would be the best to compare to the official statistics for the Great Depresssion, as an example.  The data that comes out of official US government channels are only slightly more trustworthy than those that come out of official Chinese channels, or official Cuban channels.  It is unwise to trust the word of the institution that is most likely to benefit from an unrealisticly positive image.

Um, lol? Who says I have to trust the BLS? My own eyes function just fine, and the prices I pay have not doubled over the last 7 or 8 years as that ridiculous chart would indicate--with or without energy costs--and tripled and quadrupled over similarly short timescales prior. That chart clearly relies on people not understanding pretty basic math, or having no memory.

Mine have more than doubled.

"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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 March 11, 2014, 07:13:10 PM

Bitcoin users actually use fiat as their currency of choice.  They use bitcoin as an investment vehicle - dollars, euros, etc. are the medium of exchange by which they either buy bitcoins on exchanges or use to buy mining equipment which generates bitcoins, the investment.

I don't, and never have.  I've been using bitcoins as a medium of exchange for 4+ years now, and have bought all range of items; from hats for my avatar on TF2 to handmade jewlry on Etsy to game & ebook licenses to about 16 months straight of cell service.

How does that fit into your investment vehicle model?

Bitcoins are actually a pretty crappy investment vehicle, despite the historic returns.  Like gold, there is no dividend.  You're not actually investing in anything, and the scarcity that speculators have been chasing is artificial.  There are simply too many substitutes for that to be a good idea long term.  Bitcoins are not a commodity, so they can't be made into anything, and nothing requires them to operate.  Wild swings due to speculation aside, bitcoins derive all of their fundamental value from their (current and future) usefulness as a value transfer over distance mechanism.  If you're holding onto them solely in the hopes that they will rise in exchange value, I would have to recommend that you reassess your portfolio.

"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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 March 11, 2014, 07:26:30 PM

Mine have more than doubled.

My mind is blown.

It shouldn't have.  I'd wager that if you actually sat down and assessed your real costs, you'll find that your expenses have likely doubled as well, since about 2000.  While gas prices have been fairly flat the past couple of years, the price of a gallon of petrol near where I live was right around \$2.20 in 2008 and is \$3.57 today; and has been as high as \$4.09 in between.  Likewise, as recently as two years ago, a gallon of propane cost me about \$1.60, delivered; today it's \$3.40.  Granted, there are a lot of market forces going on there, including the quite un-global-warming-like winter we just had.  Yet, the cost of beef or chicken at the grocery store is much more than it was a decade ago as well.  The offical CPI suppresses the official inflation metric in a number of ways, one of which is to use 'substitution'.  I.E., they assume, as prices rise, someone who could no longer afford beef would buy chicken instead; so they swap the price of beef for the price of chicken in the formula.  There are other examples I can produce.   And the cost of consumer energy needs isn't even included in the modern calculations at all, only the commercial and/or wholesale prices of those energy sources; or more specificly, the effect of the rising energy that commercial businesses pass onto their consumer prices.

"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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 March 11, 2014, 07:38:07 PM

It shouldn't have.  I'd wager that if you actually sat down and assessed your real costs, you'll find that your expenses have likely doubled as well, since about 2000.

Well there was that jump when I upgraded to my McMansion in 2006.

Quote
While gas prices have been fairly flat the past couple of years, the price of a gallon of petrol near where I live was right around \$2.20 in 2008 and is \$3.57 today; and has been as high as \$4.09 in between.

So it seems that your memory is suspect afterall. Gas may have been in the low \$2s in 2008, but it was above \$4 in 2007. Perhaps you should look into the reasons why it was so cheap in 2008? Because it does not make your case at all.

Quote
The offical CPI suppresses

There was no statement made about the official CPI, stop red herringing. Shadowstats is just as big of a pile of bs; pointing out the flaws of some other flawed metric does not make Shadowstats not flawed. Besides, all it is doing is obviously just adding 5% on to the CPI, there is no actual metric.

And I don't have the data points, but if we assume roughly 8% inflation since 2000 according to shadowstats, that means there has been ~150% inflation in 14 years. Someone making \$50k today is the same as someone making \$20k in 2000.
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 March 11, 2014, 08:58:50 PM

So it seems that your memory is suspect afterall. Gas may have been in the low \$2s in 2008, but it was above \$4 in 2007. Perhaps you should look into the reasons why it was so cheap in 2008? Because it does not make your case at all.

At my age, my memory should always be suspect.

Quote
There was no statement made about the official CPI, stop red herringing. Shadowstats is just as big of a pile of bs; pointing out the flaws of some other flawed metric does not make Shadowstats not flawed. Besides, all it is doing is obviously just adding 5% on to the CPI, there is no actual metric.

Well, I can accept the argument that Shadowstats can still be flawed.  I'm just of the opinion that their methods are a bit more open, and their biases a bit less suspect.

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And I don't have the data points, but if we assume roughly 8% inflation since 2000 according to shadowstats, that means there has been ~150% inflation in 14 years. Someone making \$50k today is the same as someone making \$20k in 2000.

You do have a good point there, but also a great many things besides have changed during those same 14 years to mitigate the effects.  (I'm not really talking about price inflation, so much as using that as an example since that is what the CPI measures.)  I'm mostly talking about monetary base inflation, which has been counteracted, to a great extent, by the debt destruction during 2007-2009 (mostly felt in the crash of houseing prices) and other smaller effects, such as the average increase in gas mialage and the decrease in average miles driven per year by Americans.  The rise of ridesharing services like zipcar really are having an outsized impact on the economy, permmitting urban millinials to commute by public transit with a ready access to a personal vehicle whenever neccessry.

"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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 March 12, 2014, 04:44:26 AM

Sad to see core Bitcoin developer gmaxell threatening me to abuse his authority as a moderator of the technical subforum on Bitcoin.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=509144.msg5653409#msg5653409

And here is our friendly Bitcoin csore developer...

...

Well I got another reply from CORE BITCOIN DEVELOPER gmaxell and here is my rebuttal...posting here in case he deletes my post there as he has threatened me in a private message (which I also publish below)...

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279249.msg5653238#msg5653238

I see those (other than gmaxwell who is not very ad hominem in his response, other than the slight "over and over" which is irrelevant to the technical response) who posted while I was sleeping have relished in their boastful snobbery.

Now let's deal with the humbling facts.

And my post to which you are replying is in fact explaining the DOS (denial-of-service) is insoluble if you can't identify the participants in order to rate-limit them.

And again in that post you admit there is a DOS problem. You didn't solve it. And you can't solve it in a decentralized setting unless you have non-ephemeral identification of the participants. Which is precisely the point of my prior post to which you are replying

You are asserting it, (over and over again) but it doesn't make it true. It was explained in adequate detail previously enough for other people to understand it and implement tools that address it.

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Incorrect. What I wrote is functionally equivalent to what you described. The point is the transaction can be jammed in the final round.

It's actually not, since it's not actually possible in the Bitcoin protocol to do what (it sounds like) you're describing, but more importantly performing the operation in that order defeats the anti-dos. If you lead with the inputs they provide a trivial anti-dos mechanism.

And precisely how do you identify which input is the adversary when the correlation of the inputs and the outputs is necessarily cryptographically blinded?

As far as I can see, you can't.

I am confident that now you see the functionally w.r.t. to anti-DOS of what I described and what you described are equivalent, i.e. any one who is the least bit mathematical can see that the salient mathematical foundation of CoinJoin is that the correlation between the inputs and outputs must be cryptographically blinded, thus it makes no difference mathematically for anti-DOS whether the inputs or outputs are specified in the first round of the protocol.

As for whether my proposed protocol of putting the outputs in the first round is implementable on the Bitcoin blockchain, it is irrelevant since we are talking about a general protocol here and an altcoin could be designed to allow a transaction where outputs and inputs can be signed to point to the transaction nonce (a hash of any number) plus the addresses of the inputs OR outputs. I didn't bother to check how Bitcoin signs the transactions, because it is conceptually irrelevant to our discussion. Perhaps in Bitcoin the signature of the transaction must include all the inputs AND outputs. The reason I presented my formulation (in fact I mentioned the ring signatures idea from Adam Back in the Zerocoin thread months ago in this thread) is because it is more powerful conceptually than one gmaxell described. I thought gmaxell would appreciate that since I think he is a math guy.

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And exactly how do you propose to identify that adversary in a decentralized setting?   My point is you can't, at least not without breaking anonymity, and anonymity was the entire point of mixing.

Because they fail to sign. There is no need to identify them beyond identifying their input coins to achieve rate limiting, and no need to identify the input/output correspondence.

I'll repeat it, since maybe other people are having problems following the link:

This is an extremely interesting idea.  Could you elaborate on how the Zerocoin transaction stages map to the stages of CoinJoin transaction creation?

For non-decenteralized coincoin, you simply pass around a transaction and sign it. It's a single sequence and an atomic transaction, you'd make two loops through the users, one to discover the inputs and outputs, and another to sign them. There really aren't stages to it.

Making a decenteralized CoinJoin secure, private, and resistant to DOS attack (people refusing to sign in order to make it fail) is trickier... for the privacy and dos attack resistance you can use ZC:

Presume the participants for a transaction are sharing some multicast medium and can all communicate.  They need to accomplish the task of offering up inputs (txid:vout) for inclusion in the transaction and then, in an unlinkable way, providing outputs to receive their coins.

Each participant connects and names bitcoin input(s), an address for change (if needed), and the result of performing a ZC mint transaction to add to the ZC accumulator. They sign all this with the keys for the corresponding inputs proving its theirs to spend.

Then all the parties connect again anonymously and provide ZC redeem transactions which specify where the resulting bitcoins should go.

Zerocoin (ZC) requires a trusted party to generate the parameters, thus it is the antithesis of decentralized, so you have a logical error above.

https://github.com/Zerocoin/libzerocoin/wiki/Generating-Zerocoin-parameters

This isn't the only way to do this in a decentralized manner, the way to do it with blind signatures is fairly similar:

Each participant connects, names Bitcoin input(s), an address for change (if needed), a key for blind signing, and a blinded hash of the address they want paid. They sign all this with the keys for the corresponding inputs proving its theirs to spend.

Each participant then blind signs the blinded hashes of all participants (including themselves).

And so how can you correlate which input is the one who didn't blind sign all?

As far as I can see, you can't.

I've dug very deep (into cryptography research papers) lately into trying to find a way to delink inputs from outputs without a trusted party, and I have realized that mathematically it can't be done. It is a fundamental conceptualization.

The only way to delink without anti-DOS is to use an accumulator commitment scheme with common NP-hard parameters that can be presented in an NIZKP (non-interactive zero knowledge proof) which will always require a trusted party to generate the common parameters for the trapdoor math.

This is just one example of a way to address this. There are several other ones possible— and discussed early on in this thread.  Other ones include publishing commitments and then if the process fails having everyone reveal their intended outputs (which they then discard and never use) in order to avoid being banned, or using an anonymous accumulator instead of blind signing to control access.

That isn't anti-DOS.

Each spender commits a hash of his intended output. Then everyone does the blinded protocol. If the blinded protocol fails, everyone including the adversary reveals the link between inputs and outputs, because by definition the output key must be an abundant resource so that it is not costly to reveal it and generate a new one to try again.

, or using an anonymous accumulator instead of blind signing to control access.

A ZKP + accumulator isn't decentralized as I explained above.

Here is the private message he sent me and my response to him... (bold emphasis is mine)

Go read my post in his thread from yesterday. It wasn't belligerent. It was a discussion of the technical issues and asked for technical comments. How is discussing technical facts belligerent?

Looks to me like below he is trying to justify an imminent abuse his authority...

Note about the veracity and quality of my technical arguments, perhaps this one by me about the quantum computing threat qualifies.

You are an ego maniac.

AnonMint, Every post you've made here has been error and confusion.

It wasn't an ad hominem— I'm not expressing any opinion about your character. I can only assume that if you treat other people like you do people on the forum that you'd be starving in the streets or incarcerated, so presumably you're actually a nice person when you're not hiding behind a pseudonym on a Bitcoin forum...

Regardless, Your behavior in the technical subform is not very productive.  I have warned you previously.  Your responses come across as universally belligerent which is particularly aggravating to people because they are often confused in the technical details. Whatever approach you are using is not effectively communicating to people and not getting you useful answers because many people have you on ignore.

Your posts have been cited as an example by technical experts as to why they no longer participate in the forum... and I've certainly experienced it myself.

If you do not adopt a style which is less aggressive or up your level of technical mastery to the nearly flawless state which would be required to justify your aggressiveness I will exclude you from the technical subforum.

Cheers.

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 March 12, 2014, 05:23:04 AM

Anonymint, I have read the PM you posted (which is, itself, rude) and I have to say I agree with every word of it.  Your attitude gets in the way of any constructive intentions that you may have; and as has been pointed out many times by many people previously, you don't understand Bitcoin as well as you think that you do.  Alternative, invitation only, technical bitcoin forums have been founded specificly to avoid you.  Which, BTW, is quite an accompishment if your goal was to troll.  Ironicly, I can't believe that you're a talented troll; but instead passionately believe everything that you claim.  Therefore, I must admit that the highest form of trolling that I have ever seen on this forum (or anywhere else) is accidental.

"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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 March 12, 2014, 05:27:56 AM

Why not stick to point form facts? Nothing else.

Yeah that is what I was trying to do. Go read the posts from others in that CoinJoin thread in response to my request for technical comments.

Anonymint, I have read the PM you posted (which is, itself, rude) and I have to say I agree with every word of it.  Your attitude gets in the way of any constructive intentions that you may have; and as has been pointed out many times by many people previously, you don't understand Bitcoin as well as you think that you do.  Alternative, invitation only, technical bitcoin forums have been founded specificly to avoid you.  Which, BTW, is quite an accompishment if your goal was to troll.  Ironicly, I can't believe that you're a talented troll; but instead passionately believe everything that you claim.  Therefore, I must admit that the highest form of trolling that I have ever seen on this forum (or anywhere else) is accidental.

Let's wait to see if gmaxell can refute the technical argument. I am fairly sure he can't. Which would then mean that he is doing the trolling per your definition. If he can't then he fails his own test for banning "level of technical mastery to the nearly flawless state", so therefore he must logically ban himself from his own subforum. Hahaha.

It is unfortunate that you see spirited discussion as trolling. You've just provided an example of totalitarianism.

(mathematically the end-game of totalitarian regimes is to ban, i.e. destroy, themselves)

The implication that I would be "incarcerated" for expressing (sharing!) a technical opinion is definitely the markers of the psychology of a totalitarian sociopath control freak. That is not the decentralized freedom of the hacker and internet world that I worked hard (back in the 80s and 90s) to hand to kiddie gmaxell.

Operating the NSA requires quite bright people. Don't you think they will be increasingly hard to find when the U.S. descends towards being the Animal Farm?

My thinking goes like this: what people want the most is freedom, and working for a totalitarian state is the antithesis of freedom. Probably some will still choose to do it, but the brightest have the most choice and are the least likely to choose working for the govt.

While I agree that most of the brightest wouldn't work for the government as long as they can find income elsewhere, that's already the case.  Those that are ideologically opposed to government leave those services fairly quickly under any economic conditions.  However, there are always the remainder.  I've read that roughly 3% of the adult population are sociopathic to some degree or another.  Having worked in government 'enforcement' in the past, my own experiences tell me that government is significantly overrepresented by this demographic.  If you have ever really known a true sociopath, they are not motivated by economic gain so much as by personal power gain.  A society in decline would give many of them an increased opprotunity for power gains in the near term.  I just can't picture these people walking away from government 'service', and (unfortunately) almost all of them are quite intelligent.  Do not underestimate your enemy, and trust me when I say that they are, indeed, your enemy.

The problem is that the NSA doesn't need to be that smart because they have the asymmetric power derived from political power.

However indeed we can outsmart them if the outcome purely depends on technology.

Hence one of the reasons I created this thread. And hence the reason AnonyMint won't be announcing any altcoin that implements the ideas in this thread.

The outcome will be a mix of the technological and the political. The NSA+G20 will win the political (i.e. the majority will follow Bitcoin + world government) until everything is burned to the stumps. I am hoping the technologists can win in the sense that we don't get burned to stumps. Then at some point we take over and the majority comes to our side.

Tortilla (that is what MPOE calls you, hehe I don't agree just a joke), perhaps you don't understand that we can't get from here to there without a severe lashing.

[sociopaths] I just can't picture these people walking away from government 'service', and (unfortunately) almost all of them are quite intelligent.  Do not underestimate your enemy, and trust me when I say that they are, indeed, your enemy.

Perhaps this is why Third Reich was perfectly operational until destroyed militarily. Who is there to destroy this one? Or should we start to accelerate our prayers concerning Jesus' coming?

That is what my efforts are about surviving my friend. One day you might understand. Am I motivated by fear, greed, or helping? Or a mix? And you?

Be careful with applying the Biblical of the macro on the micro steps along the way. The Bible says God works in mysterious ways.

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 March 12, 2014, 06:11:06 AM

http://blog.mpettis.com/2014/03/will-emerging-markets-come-back/#comment-22383

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Quote
This simple step will eliminate systematic labor arbitrage across the world and reveal true competitive advantages arising from know-how and expertise instead of competitive advantage arising from undervalued currency / labor cost given labor productivity.

This assumes that labor (or exchange rate) arbitrage is the root of the problem. The problem is the lack of annealed fitness created by debt. Period. This is why debt can't be written down painlessly because there are social capital costs to large debt that can't be unwound quickly.

And labor is going away, even Oxford University predicts 47% of all existing jobs will be replaced by automation.

What all that debt did since the 1980s was allow people to sustain in jobs which had already become irrelevant because nerds like me were fooling around with this new toy called the personal computer since 1978. And while we changed the world by being a million times more productive, no one noticed because they didn't need to because debt was there to hold their labor hand. So now they will pay for it with an abrupt collapse into technological unemployment, probably at 50% of the global population unemployable (uneconomic in their knowledge versus a computer or robot).

So while those globalists will get together to fantasize about non-solutions, it is going to be up to us technologists to devise a way to keep us from spiraling into a Dark Age. And we will. Because we can.

You fail to understand that you can't just wipe the debt ledger clean, then everything continues as if there wasn't debt.

Not only is there the problem of leverage meaning some people expect more than can ever be produced to pay them, i.e. a unit of money is a claim on production.

There is also the problem that the population has become lulled into technological irrelevance by the debt which sustained their desire to remain technologically ignorant.

F8ck the coming apocalypse is worse than I previously estimated...

Soooooooooo, I read today that the world's debt amount to \$100 trillion.
Wikipedia says that in 2012, the GDP was ~72 trillion. Let's suppose that it's \$80 trillion now.

Debt to GDP = 125%

Incorrect. Total debt is \$157 trillion in developed countries plus \$66 trillion in emerging markets, because is 313% of GDP and the GDP is \$72 trillion:

http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/11855-total-debt-to-gdp.html#axzz2iu5C4Y4Z

Chinese corporate debt is the highest in the world as a percentage of GDP:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4337574#msg4337574

Don't forget to add on \$1000 trillion of sovereign bond derivatives, and \$1000 trillion of unfunded social liabilities.

http://www.indexq.org/economy/gdp.php

While that is likely a fairly accurate statistic, it's still very misleading...

...The hotel proprietor takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the butcher. The Butcher takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the pig raiser. The pig raiser takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel. The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that, in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit. The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 dollar bill to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there...

...No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

Most of these derivitives are just like the debt that this small town had, interlinking trade debt that largely self cancels...

And this exemplifies you are a mainstream (Keynesian Krugman-esque) economist and they are incorrect.

You fail to understand that you can't just wipe the debt ledger clean, then everything continues as if there wasn't debt.

Not only is there the problem of leverage meaning some people expect more than can ever be produced to pay them, i.e. a unit of money is a claim on production.

There is also the problem that the population has become lulled into technological irrelevance by the debt which sustained their desire to remain technologically ignorant.

What you fail to understand is that along the way of creating \$227 trillion of global debt, the people were incentivized to attain skills and life experience that makes them entirely unemployable in the robotics and computer automation age.

I already explained this twice upthread, but you seem to have selective comprehension, i.e. you ignore (and fail to refute) my logical points when they challenge your basis.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=455141.msg5637503#msg5637503

As I explained in an upthread post (which I am too rushed to go find the link to at the moment), the ledger of who owes whom is less important consideration than the fact that it represents \$150227 trillion of human capital that was misdirected in its activities since mid-1980s and especially since 1994 or so...

So this is why technological employment is going to be so severe and massive overcapacity in manufacturing, fixed capital infrastructure, and conspicuous consumption, because all during the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, while a few of us hackers were becoming 100000X more productive with our new found toy (the personal computer), the bulk of the population was able to stay in the old industrial economy thanks to increasing debt.

So what you are going to see when the \$150227 trillion debt bomb explodes 2016ish is that anyone who is not very technically relevant in the new Knowledge Economy will find themselves unemployable. The governments will try to appease this majority by taxation and confiscating everything, because they fundamentally don't understand the cause of the problem.

With both scenarios (further concentration of wealth/obliteration of wealth) I see several problems that make this scenario seem unlikely.

Those ledger IOUs are worthless to both lender and borrower. The capital now is all in the brains of hackers such as myself. We take over now. Checkmate. While we were busy sleeping under our desks for the past 3 decades, the rest of you were out enjoying yourself. Now the payback comes. Oxford U. admits 47% of the existing jobs will be replaced with robots over next 19 years (was 20 last year when study was published)...

...I've been screaming this in the Mad Max thread in the Politics forum. Check it out for more details. See also the Economic Devastation thread in the Economics forum.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=455141.msg5097815#msg5097815

But first, we go to a strong dollar and massive global deflation. The USA and the NSA will thus be in the driver's seat of the default of \$150227 trillion in debt. They will not give up this power (thus they will not hyperinflate away their power). They plan to charge to all of us. This is massive deflation.

No major nation in the world has ever hyperinflated away their power. They always self-destruct by attacking their own citizens. Study Rome. Study Germany, etc....

You don't sniff this yet, but Armstrong and I do. Later when you do finally capitulate and realize, that is when the others have also figured it out and it will be mad rush into the dollar and away from all other economies. Then we move into the peak for the USA Sept. 2015, then the USA goes over the cliff and total chaos will ensue. It will be much worse than 2008 and the central banks will be powerless this time. In fact, the Fed has been warning the banks they will not be bailed out again. This is why all the G7 have official bail-in plans (seen on their government websites) to take the money from the depositors instead.

You also don't understand that \$150227 trillion global debt means every one has been doing the wrong activities and everything is uneconomic.

You don't understand that debt is not just a ledger item, it also reflects real waste of human years, wrong skills acquired, wrong decisions made, etc.. These real problems are not corrected just by changing a line on the financial ledger.

This frustration is why riots and global unrest (and the war cycle) is increasing all over the world right now. There is no way to avoid the global deflation contagion.

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 March 12, 2014, 06:28:27 AM

What does that have to do with whether the technology exists to improve nuclear?

I hope you realize energy is regulated and taxed such that it is controlled by cartels. Getting rid of that doesn't imply a Dark Age, rather it frees us to realize innovations which were suppressed because they are paradigm shifts which compete with the cartels.

You fail to understand anarchy. Anarchy had never ever been something different than self-sufficiency. Whoever is (had been) self-sufficient, doesn't have a desire to trade with aliens and building (maintaining) complex structures. Anarcho capitalism is an oxymoron promoted by pseudo-anarchists. They are collectivists.
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 March 12, 2014, 06:45:33 AM

Bitcoin is not fundamentally designed to behave as a currency...

Agreed I've been making similar points as you did throughout the archive of my posts.

This thread, and every other bitcoin discussion, seems to really be an endless debate about bitcoin's strengths/weaknesses as an investment.

No I am actually trying to fix the currency use too (but pushing for an altcoin because Bitcoin can't be heavily modified), but it is more complex than the logic you expressed. Essentially there must be investment first to drive the currency uses, but the currency uses need to survive the investment phase. Bitcoin can't remain decentralized so if it survives as a currency it will only be with government blessing.

The bigger point is missed.  The fact of the matter is that bitcoin simply cannot function as a currency, and the behavior of users on the network confirms this, more and more so over time.

I haven't missed that point. It is just difficult to read all my posts. There are too many.

Tying into the original post, I suppose, is the fact that Bitcoin's a horrible, HORRIBLE long-term investment.  When AES is rendered obsolete or any of the potential flaws discussed in this thread are exploited, all value in the network will be lost.  Seeing as how at least 8% of all bitcoins in circulation have been stolen at least once, well....

I don't think that necessarily follows.

Part of your point is valid, but some people have gained a lot on this investment.

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 March 12, 2014, 07:27:57 AM

It shouldn't have.  I'd wager that if you actually sat down and assessed your real costs, you'll find that your expenses have likely doubled as well, since about 2000.

Well there was that jump when I upgraded to my McMansion in 2006.

Quote
While gas prices have been fairly flat the past couple of years, the price of a gallon of petrol near where I live was right around \$2.20 in 2008 and is \$3.57 today; and has been as high as \$4.09 in between.

So it seems that your memory is suspect afterall. Gas may have been in the low \$2s in 2008, but it was above \$4 in 2007. Perhaps you should look into the reasons why it was so cheap in 2008? Because it does not make your case at all.

We have been in severe deflation since 2008, which is the main point of my post upthread (which quoted Shadowstats).

For the moment you are not yet seeing the severity of the deflation in your daily lives because most still trust that there are a \$quadrillion of fractional reserves. By 2016ish (2018 at latest) all hell will break loose.

Quote
The offical CPI suppresses

There was no statement made about the official CPI, stop red herringing.

My entire point was the official CPI was understated to hide the fact they pumped up the fractional reserves, while they simultaneously hide the fact that actual circulation of currency, i.e. velocity of M0 and MB, have fallen off the cliff (especially since 2008).

And no there isn't any hyperinflation, the Shadowstats figures only show about 8-10% per annum inflation which seems to roughly correlate with the growth in my expenses.

Shadowstats is just as big of a pile of bs; pointing out the flaws of some other flawed metric does not make Shadowstats not flawed. Besides, all it is doing is obviously just adding 5% on to the CPI, there is no actual metric.

Mathematically we can't have an average which applies to everyone. We can look at the geometric weighting of what the majority of the population spend on, and use that metric to compute a CPI which is representative of that group.

And without that hedonics bullshit of the official CPI where if a computer becomes 2X as fast, the official CPI counts that as a halving of the price of a computer! Bullshit.

And I don't have the data points, but if we assume roughly 8% inflation since 2000 according to shadowstats, that means there has been ~150% inflation in 14 years. Someone making \$50k today is the same as someone making \$20k in 2000.

1.08^13 = 2.71, thus 171% increase or 2.71 times. Thus \$50k would be \$18k. There is a calculator on their website for computing exactly. You can get the green bar value by comparing its height in pixels (to cheat so you don't have to pay a subscription).

It says \$50k in 2014 would be \$36k by BLS and \$14k by SGS.

That BLS figure implies an average of 2.5% per year, which is complete bullshit. The SGS figure may be a bit too high though.

The following roughly agrees with my experience.

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/70yearsofpricechange.html

So for meat:

1.075^23 = \$4.89/\$0.89

Thus 7.5% ≈ 8% is not far from the actual truth, at least for meat.

P.S. John Williams (proprietor of ShadowStats.com) thinks we will have hyperinflation. He is entirely mistaken. We will have severe deflation.

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 March 12, 2014, 07:45:54 AM

Anonymint, I have read the PM you posted (which is, itself, rude) and I have to say I agree with every word of it.  Your attitude gets in the way of any constructive intentions that you may have; and as has been pointed out many times by many people previously, you don't understand Bitcoin as well as you think that you do.  Alternative, invitation only, technical bitcoin forums have been founded specificly to avoid you.  Which, BTW, is quite an accompishment if your goal was to troll.  Ironicly, I can't believe that you're a talented troll; but instead passionately believe everything that you claim.  Therefore, I must admit that the highest form of trolling that I have ever seen on this forum (or anywhere else) is accidental.

I came to post regarding the copied PM (I agree it is also extremely uncool to quote PMs in the open).

The above post does better than I ever could.

I revealed it because it expressed a veiled threat that I should be incarcerated for expressing my logic.

Also I did not PM him. I asked him in my public post to not do ad hominem, so he sent me a PM. So I had no agreement with him to have a private discussion. In any case, I wouldn't normally reveal a PM (especially if didn't remove the author's identifying information), but when someone equates debate in a forum with jail time, that is a pattern that needs to be exposed as early as possible. I hope he didn't really mean that.

He sent me another PM and I don't need to reveal it as it was more conciliatory, yet still made a demand of me but it wasn't so unreasonable so I complied in the interest of keeping the discussion on the technical issues.

Let's wait to see if gmaxell can refute the technical argument. I am fairly sure he can't. Which would then mean that he is doing the trolling per your definition. If he can't then he fails his own test for banning "level of technical mastery to the nearly flawless state", so therefore he must logically ban himself from his own subforum. Hahaha.

You missed his point.  Fail.

The reason he mentioned your lack of "level of technical mastery to the nearly flawless state" was to explain what it would take to justify the arrogant blathering you do on the forums.

Like here where I was correct.

Or here where you were being a dick to me, you were logically incorrect and I was correct.

He HAS tremendous technical mastery, and isn't a dick.  He is respected for the two reasons you are maligned.  Skill and character.

He is a dick to me (sometimes, not sure yet if it is habitual). Let's see if he can learn to have a rational discussion with me instead of brow-beating me.

And it is not yet clear to me if he or I have won the technical argument. Let's see...I am reviewing his latest reply...

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 March 12, 2014, 09:36:57 AM

Important...

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=392963.msg5655782#msg5655782

The article is well written and he makes a strong point.

This is why I believe the open source code base for a successful crypto-currency needs the commit control given to a Benevolent Dictator, and all users should run the official client, so that the currency can be continually innovated to keep interest in competitors weak.

With constant innovation, the market will favor the one with the most developers contributing.

Please note, the author wasn't dismissing network effects. His point is that the natural desire for profit, will drive interest to invest in the undervalued thing. This will pull Bitcoin down if there aren't more novices coming in that are afraid of the altcoins. I believe there is sufficient supply of newcomers who will buy Bitcoin before any altcoin, thus his scenario isn't entirely valid.

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 March 12, 2014, 10:46:46 AM

I revealed it because it expressed a veiled threat that I should be incarcerated for expressing my logic.

Also I did not PM him. I asked him in my public post to not do ad hominem, so he sent me a PM. So I had no agreement with him to have a private discussion. In any case, I wouldn't normally reveal a PM (especially if didn't remove the author's identifying information), but when someone equates debate in a forum with jail time, that is a pattern that needs to be exposed as early as possible. I hope he didn't really mean that.

He sent me another PM and I don't need to reveal it as it was more conciliatory, yet still made a demand of me but it wasn't so unreasonable so I complied in the interest of keeping the discussion on the technical issues.

On this point of freedom-of-speech:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=20333.msg5656543#msg5656543

One of the things that intelligent people do, when they try to determine if Bitcoin is a system with a future, is to read what is written in this forum.  Diversity and variety is good.  Dishonesty and meaness is not good.  Bitcoin is more about freedom than it is about conformity.

Thanks. Good to see that some people still understand:

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin (one of our founding fathers)

For the increasingly popular viewpoint in AmeriKa:

It is unfortunate that you see spirited discussion as trolling. You've just provided an example of totalitarianism.

(mathematically the end-game of totalitarian regimes is to ban, i.e. destroy, themselves)

Example:

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/03/11/feinstein-get-what-she-has-dished-out-to-the-world/

True story: When I wrote the above quote, I was specifically thinking Feinstein would end up an example (with her N"s"A apparatus somehow destroying her as well). Then I went to Armstrong's blog and see it happened (but was C"i"A instead). Amazing. I anticipated the future in the blink of an eye. That is really true!

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 March 12, 2014, 11:57:44 AM

Ah f8ck again, it is worse than \$223 trillion, as China's huge shadow economy debt isn't included:

Quote
(The figures exclude China’s shadow finance and off-balance-sheet financing.)

F8ck the coming apocalypse is worse than I previously estimated...

Soooooooooo, I read today that the world's debt amount to \$100 trillion.
Wikipedia says that in 2012, the GDP was ~72 trillion. Let's suppose that it's \$80 trillion now.

Debt to GDP = 125%

Incorrect. Total debt is \$157 trillion in developed countries plus \$66 trillion in emerging markets, because is 313% of GDP and the GDP is \$72 trillion:

http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/11855-total-debt-to-gdp.html#axzz2iu5C4Y4Z

Chinese corporate debt is the highest in the world as a percentage of GDP:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4337574#msg4337574

Don't forget to add on \$1000 trillion of sovereign bond derivatives, and \$1000 trillion of unfunded social liabilities.

http://www.indexq.org/economy/gdp.php

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rpietila
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 March 12, 2014, 12:04:24 PM

This Armstrong is probably the most intelligent person alive in the western world. For refusing to join the PTB, he was put to prison for 12 years in his advanced age.
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 March 12, 2014, 12:25:21 PM

This Armstrong is probably the most intelligent person alive in the western world. For refusing to join the PTB, he was put to prison for 12 years in his advanced age.

And they almost killed him in SuperMax prison which in solitary confinement punishment is essentially torture. Wasn't it 7 years?

Armstrong and I (although he didn't admit it was him) debated in email briefly on the subject of if there is a conspiracy at the level of Bilderbergs. He doesn't believe so. He believes the cycle is in control, not them, and they are just dumb. I have a more nuanced view, even though I agree the cycle is control, not us.

He hadn't thought a crypto-currency could overcome the government's power, and had been pushing for term-limits instead as a political solution, but maybe he is starting to realize after he thought it through (as I have)...

Quote
...

The only possible way forward would be to eliminate taxes for thereby both sides would no longer have an economic advantage to control government. Politically, we need to end career politicians for this would put the people in a real position of overseeing the bureaucracy. Those terms should be no more than 1 year. Will this solve all the problems? NO! It will not even last forever for one side or the other will find a way to alter the power and seek to attack and exploit the other side with regulation and laws.

This is just the beginning. There is NEVER a permanent solution for there is a cycle at work as well. Capitalism (defined as real free market for both sides) has NEVER existed except for some very few brief periods until one side or the other begins to try to control the other for personal gain.

The performance of his cyclic model at prediction...

...

Efficient Accumulators Without Trapdoor Extended Abstract
Tomas Sander

There are some assumptions made when I would need to think more deeply about.

...

On further reading, apparently UFOs are impractical because there isn't an entropy source that can be trusted to be random over such large domains. Please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken about the requirement.

We shift our unreliability of trust from unknowing if someone intercepted the computation of N = PQ to the unreliability of unknowing whether our input entropy could be attacked at any time in the future.

The research paper suggests in "2.1 On the generation of public random strings" to use stock market data, but there is hidden periodicity in the stock market data:

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/03/09/research-shocking-there-is-order-in-the-chaos/

Just in case you believe that guy's model is nonsense, then you can try to explain how his cyclic model has predicted (in advance, this isn't just model that fits what happened) everything accurately:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=495527.msg5464897#msg5464897

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg5642957#msg5642957

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 March 12, 2014, 02:54:11 PM

Upthread I criticized DarkCoin for not realizing that CoinJoin isn't scalable in decentralized setting because it can be subject to denial-of-service attack, now time to slay another incompetent altcoin HeavyCoin:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=506774.msg5659782#msg5659782

Someone private messaged me to check out HeavyCoin.

Sorry I realize this post will make people angry at me. I am usually the messenger who brings technical reality which is usually bad news because most coin developers are not competent.

Innovations and contributions

• HEFTY1 - a cryptographic hash function for CPU-only proof-of-work with a small memory footprint

Insufficient technical details. From what I read about their claim of SIMD as an issue. I think they fail to understand the nature of the GPU advantage.

• Ultra-secure hashing - a secure strategy for using multiple cryptographic hash functions

From the Github page:

Quote
Q: Doesn't Quarkcoin already implement multiple cryptographic hash functions?

A: Yes, but without increasing security against collisions. Quarkcoin (and its many clones) actually implement multiple hash functions as a simple chain of function compositions
Quark(x) = ... SKEIN512(KECCAK512( ... BMW512(BLAKE512(x))))

where ... contains additional hash function compositions using JH-512, Keccak-512, BMW-512, BLAKE-512, SKEIN-512 or Grøestl-512, which are randomly selected based on the 4th bit of previous hash outputs.

The problem is that, due to Quarkcoin's simple use of function compositions, if BLAKE512(x) has collisions, then so does BMW512(BLAKE512(x)) and SKEIN512(KECCAK512(... and so on, until we reach Quark(x), which also has collisions. Similarly, if SKEIN-512 or Grøestl-512 have collisions, then so does Quark(x). Simply put, if there's a collision attack or second-preimage attack for BLAKE-512(x), then Quark(x) is cracked.

Bullshit. Changing even one input bit to a hash should randomize all the output bits. Cracking any combinations of the hashes in the chain of hashes does not increase the risk of collisions for those in the chain that were not cracked.

This kind of silly mistake proves the developers are technically incompetent.

Whereas their "improvement" is worse in the sense that it takes 3 cracks to make it very insecure and 2 cracks to make it perhaps insecure, whereas with Quark it takes 4 cracks.

Quote
Q: How does Heavycoin implement multiple cryptographic hash functions?

A: Heavycoin takes 64 bits from the output of each of 4 well-known cryptographic hash functions (SHA-256, Keccak-512, Grøestl-512 and BLAKE-512) and interleaves these bits into a combined 256-bit hash that is more resistant against collisions and second-preimage attacks.

Hope you realize that 2^64 is crackable with a server farm. If 3 of the 4 are cracked, then the 4th is useless in Heavy's design.

• Temporal Retargeting - multipool protection that goes beyond Kimoto Gravity Well
• Decentralized Block Reward Voting - the mining schedule and money supply are democratically decided (total supply is still bounded to 128M)

Oh great let the early investors decide to make coins even more rare. This will be a very good experiment to show why democracy is a power vacuum.

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