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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1995953 times)
justusranvier
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July 01, 2015, 10:27:13 PM
 #28001

+1.  Justus, I've been reading some of your work and I really like your push to clearly and precisely define the cryptocurrency terms we're using.  Here's what I had jotted down yesterday, which sort of jives with the two points you made above:

   Bitcoin is decentralized if no entity exists with the ability to costlessly double-spend or bar valid transactions from the blockchain.

Thoughts?
I honestly think the term "decentralized" has been ruined and I'd rather avoid it as much as possible.

I'd rather express Bitcoin security in terms of:

  • What are the adverse behaviors a user might experience?
  • How does an attacker benefit from bringing about those adverse behaviors, and how much does it cost them to perform the attack?
  • What actions can users take to reduce their risk?

...then express hypothetical changes to Bitcoin in terms of how they affect the answers to the following three questions.
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rocks
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July 01, 2015, 10:42:34 PM
 #28002

+1.  Justus, I've been reading some of your work and I really like your push to clearly and precisely define the cryptocurrency terms we're using.  Here's what I had jotted down yesterday, which sort of jives with the two points you made above:

   Bitcoin is decentralized if no entity exists with the ability to costlessly double-spend or bar valid transactions from the blockchain.

Thoughts?
I honestly think the term "decentralized" has been ruined and I'd rather avoid it as much as possible.

I'd rather express Bitcoin security in terms of:

  • What are the adverse behaviors a user might experience?
  • How does an attacker benefit from bringing about those adverse behaviors, and how much does it cost them to perform the attack?
  • What actions can users take to reduce their risk?

...then express hypothetical changes to Bitcoin in terms of how they affect the answers to the following three questions.

I think of Bitcoin security as being successful if it can guarantee the following

  • 1 - Are transactions irreversible - Meaning once received is the transaction immutable on the network.
  • 2 - Can anyone, anywhere interact directly with the network to spend or receive funds - Meaning it is censorship resilient and people cannot have their activity suppressed (regardless of legality)
  • 3 - Can individuals maintain sole control over their funds - Meaning mechanisms exist that enable people store and control BTC with zero intermediary risk

Decentralization and everything else is a means to those ends.

What is so frustrating is many of the core devs positions are against these outcomes. For example: A) Artificially limited transaction volume reduces property 2 above (i.e. it limits the # of people who can interact directly with the network. B) Peter Todd's full-RBF proposal reduces property 1 above by largely eliminating the zero-confirm guarantees the P2P network provides today. C) Sidechains reduce property 1 above if they pull transaction fees off the main chain (which reduces the effort required for a miner attack)
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July 01, 2015, 11:46:44 PM
 #28003

Justus and rocks, I am going to address your two recent posts...but in a whitepaper.

Rocks you brush off centralization due to spamming the mining network without even considering it deeply. I've developed a model of centralization which is more scientific.

From the perspective of a Bitcoin user, every possible thing that can go wrong with Bitcoin can be categorized into one of two failure modes:

  • A payment you belive to be valid, isn't (double spend)
  • You are unable to perform a payment that you want to perform (denial of service)

Users may have other requirements including but not limited to:

  • Anonymity of identity, linkability, traceability, and or value transferred.
  • Expediency of transfer.
  • Protection of store-of-value, which can include decentralized control over debasement, inability to do malfeasance which causes a run on the coins, etc.
  • Protection of fungibility.

Thus you can see your piecemeal model isn't going to work. You need a more general model of decentralization.



+1.  Justus, I've been reading some of your work and I really like your push to clearly and precisely define the cryptocurrency terms we're using.  Here's what I had jotted down yesterday, which sort of jives with the two points you made above:

   Bitcoin is decentralized if no entity exists with the ability to costlessly double-spend or bar valid transactions from the blockchain.

Thoughts?

You are describing one of the effects of decentralization, but not decentralization itself.

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July 02, 2015, 12:09:39 AM
 #28004

Factom was having trouble making payroll due to not enough people buying their appcoin, so they've created a passthrough company to buy up the unsold tokens:

http://blog.factom.org/post/122941176349/factom-inc-factom-foundation-partnership
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July 02, 2015, 12:18:43 AM
 #28005

You fundamentally do not understand how distributed P2P networks work if you believe that.

If you broadcast two different transactions at the exact same time, then there will be disagreement among peers over which transaction was first. Some of your peers would say transaction a was first and some would say transaction b was first.

In which case you've just broken the 3rd property of well formed transactions that I listed above (i.e. accepted by all of your peers)

This is an oversimplification and thus not true if Bitcoin was decentralized.

If your system is truly decentralized (meaning in Bitcoin's design even the nodes would need to be implausibly mesh networked to avoid Sybil attacks on propagation but I digress because Bitcoin is horridly fragile[1] in so many ways it is pointless to even hope it could be decentralized), then you have a myriad of nodes with widely varying bandwidth, thus there is no way that the recipient can poll all the nodes for a conflict in ordering. It becomes a probabilistic function.

The reason that zero-confirmation works reasonably well in Bitcoin is because Bitcoin is increasingly not diverse from the mining perspective, i.e. it is becoming centralized by necessity.


[1] There is a good reason the core devs don't want to muck too much with constants... have fun Kabooming...this way too far beyond the average pay grade here so I won't even go there...

Melbustus
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July 02, 2015, 12:27:30 AM
 #28006

Barry's pushing the debate again:



https://twitter.com/barrysilbert/status/616400276484947968

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
Cryptoasset rankings and metrics for investors: http://onchainfx.com
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July 02, 2015, 01:00:35 AM
 #28007


Working from Rusty's summary and the abstract at the top of duplex micropayment paper, I presume that lighting networks are all about offloading many consecutive small transactions between a specific spender and recipient by lumping them into one Bitcoin transaction. This is an unpublished concept I also invented last year for handling real-time micropayments between a specific spender and recipient.

As I have stated more than once upthread[1], this is not a general model of micropayments. It means I can only send micropayments to an entity which I am willing tie up some of my funds with over a period of time which encompasses many transactions I will do with that entity. So thus this encourages centralization, because it will require recipients aggregate other recipients and payout those other recipients offchain (e.g. Coinbase -> Coinbase payouts).

Recently I discovered (what I believe to be) how to do general micropayments on a block chain and scale the block chain. So this entirely eliminates the need for Lighting networks (except perhaps in a very real-time scenario wherein the benign latency of my design would be a factor).

So sorry to say, those who are putting all this effort into Lighting Networks are probably wasting their timemay see their effort applicable to Bitcoin which is I guess worthwhile while TheyBitcoin may sooneventually be superceded (subsumed) by a superior paradigm.

So iCe, who is really the CTO of crypto? Who is insane again? Come on, hammer some more nails into your coffin please.

[1]
...If I am not mistaken, the LN paradigm is only for setting up reused payment channels between a spender and a recipient, so it is inapplicable to a myriad of micropayments between all N possible participants in the system, because each setup has to go on the block chain. Thus it really isn't a general solution for micropayments, but rather a very specific solution for REAL TIME payments. I invented LN in 2014 also, and my application for it remains REAL TIME payments.

Side chains don't help you with micropayments unless you accept that micropayments will be done centralized on a special centralized SC. In other words, the decentralization of the consensus network design has to be accomplished no matter if you put it on a SC or in Bitcoin Core...

P.S. I don't believe any one megalomaniac can be the total CTO of crypto (and I am not asserting Adam nominated himself). This is a collaborative effort and we build on the shoulders of each other. I do believe leaders can be instrumental in that process.

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July 02, 2015, 02:07:31 AM
 #28008

...

"Paper Gold" may indeed drop to $400.  The physical, held in your own possession, will likely do just fine.

Silver, well, I have some doubts.  The Central Banks hold no silver, just gold.

Silver (and platinum & palladium) is used in industry.  Silver DOES have a historical role as money, platinum and palladium do not.

Platinum and palladium perhaps are for optimists (as the world economies do better, so should the platinum group metals).  Silver perhaps as well.  

*   *   *

Note that I do not think that silver will fall into a role again as "money".  In recent hyperinflations (Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe), silver was not used in retail commerce.  What did they use?  Currency.  Sometimes local, sometimes US$, sometimes DM.

Still, if anyone likes precious metals, consider holding more than just gold.  My analysis above could very well be wrong, or a bad prediction of the future.  What you really want is diversification!

Bitcoin counts as diversification...  Perhaps another "coin" will come along and work better than BTC, I know that some here are working on it...  Smiley
cypherdoc
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July 02, 2015, 03:37:11 AM
 #28009


enjoying watching the debate on Reddit.

no energy to participate, however.
cypherdoc
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July 02, 2015, 03:39:49 AM
 #28010

well, everyone's claiming Greek demand:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-where-some-greeks-are-stashing-their-yanked-cash-in-gold-sovereigns-2015-06-30?mod=mw_share_twitter
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July 02, 2015, 03:43:39 AM
 #28011

OROBTC,

I have come to realize that most of the behavior in this thread can be perhaps be explained by fear. (psychology being another of my other autodidact flirtations...they say a "jack of all trades is a master of none")

For example, fear that their investment in Bitcoin can only be safe if they slay all attempts to better it (even if BTC value was safely pegged across chains, because they fear dilution of their "to the moon" expectations).

Similarly I think goldbugs are defending the indefensible because they're trying to convince themselves to ignore the justifiable FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) they sense is creeping up on them.

My problem with precious metals is that the only time I've ever bought and sold any from a person on the street, I got a horrendous exchange rate (roughly double the melt value). And there wasn't enough liquidity available to make viable for anything near to survival. I see lots of buyers stacking but no buyers using, thus in the future this becomes a one-sided market of sellers of hoards and no buyers using. This means you will sell your precious metals only at a dealer who can proxy them off to large liquid investor markets. You are not going to meet up with investors in the streets.

The totalitarianism is going to take control over all these market makers because there will not be any black market in cash to escape from government regulation, because paper cash will be (is being already) eliminated. If you argue that Bitcoin will be that cash, then just buy Bitcoin instead because who would then meet up in the street to trade a good with higher utility and safety for one that risks life and limb every time it is traded? if you argue that Bitcoin could go to zero, I can argue that gold can too because the greatest common denominator between illiquidity and expropriation is the same as zero value.

I think initially there will be a significant rise in precious metals off this coming final low (< $1050, probably $850 or less) because there will be a panic as the sovereign debt contagion dominoes and $200+ trillion of global wealth will finally abandon bonds as  safe haven and run into the dollar, us stocks, gold, and Bitcoin rather indiscriminately. But after the USA tops out in 2017 (due to rising dollar choking off exports and the ingress of those safe haven funds peaking), then we will descend into a totalitarian hell worse than anything in the last 309 years. At that point, it will become clear that gold and paper cash are dead.

Those who think paper cash isn't close to being eliminated in third world countries, I can tell you that I am increasingly surprised how many people pay here in the Philippines with a card (frustrating as hell to go the grocery because it slows the queue considerably). Also what is likely is during the coming contagion, TPTB will turn up the dial on the pressure on cash by refusing to supply sufficient cash thus those with cards will become like kings envied by the rest of the population. Filipinos can emulate and adopt new things incredibly fast. I remember there was a Shell gas station commercial with a Ferrari and the phrase "hey Joe wan Joe". Within days and for months hence, I was called from the distance incessantly where ever I went in the hinterlands with "Hey Joe wan Joe". If you are talking about getting commerce done, filipinos will use the most efficient means available with lightning speed of adoption. They are simply that resourceful and flexible when their basic daily needs are threatened.

So you want to sell out of your diversification into gold in 2017. By that time, you should have the clarity you need on cryptocurrency. I am nearly certain they will be the safe haven for the astute by that time. But we have some seriously intense work that has to be accomplished between now and then. The outcome is far from certain from the current vantage point.

I would just caution you to average down into gold. Don't rush your purchases. The bottom for private assets around October perhaps.

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July 02, 2015, 03:43:57 AM
 #28012

well, my trusty 'ol mining leaders going straight down the tubes, as i keep repeating:





now, the whole indices are both following.

GDX:



GDXJ-Junior miners:



really just all around fugly.
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July 02, 2015, 04:12:09 AM
 #28013

My thesis (even when I started this thread under my prior user name) has been that TPTB are intentionally destroying the nation-state central banks in order to make the world dependent on and clamor for one-world political sharing arrangement where the one-world institutions would provide discipline and oversight on the nations which had proven they could not manage their own affairs. But this is the classic Hegelian dialectic diversion, because we know damn well that the same power brokers who control the BIS also control the Fed and the ECB. So this is clearly creative destruction by TPTB:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11704051/The-world-is-defenseless-against-the-next-financial-crisis-warns-BIS.html

The world is defenceless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS
Monetary policymakers have run out of room to fight the next crisis with interest rates unable to go lower, the BIS warns

The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.
The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scatching critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.
These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.
Claudio Borio, head of the organisation’s monetary and economic department, said: “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties.”


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July 02, 2015, 04:15:15 AM
 #28014

hey TPTB, you never  commented on my revised attack:


Let's try this one: non economic actor decides to spam persistently at little cost to them (minimum fees or even 0 fees) as blocks get close to being filled by real activity, say starting like where we are right now, at the 50-60% level. Fees for regular users skyrocket making use untenable.
cypherdoc
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July 02, 2015, 04:16:41 AM
 #28015

My thesis (even when I started this thread under my prior user name) has been that TPTB are intentionally destroying the nation-state central banks in order to make the world dependent on and clamor for one-world political sharing arrangement where the one-world institutions would provide discipline and oversight on the nations which had proven they could not manage their own affairs. But this is the classic Hegelian dialectic diversion, because we know damn well that the same power brokers who control the BIS also control the Fed and the ECB. So this is clearly creative destruction by TPTB:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11704051/The-world-is-defenseless-against-the-next-financial-crisis-warns-BIS.html

The world is defenceless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS
Monetary policymakers have run out of room to fight the next crisis with interest rates unable to go lower, the BIS warns

The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.
The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scatching critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.
These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.
Claudio Borio, head of the organisation’s monetary and economic department, said: “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties.”


i already posted that article here.
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July 02, 2015, 04:21:01 AM
 #28016

...

TBTP

Yes, much of my motivation to buy gold and other PMs has been based on fear, fear that our financial system is (will be) FUBAR, with very bad consequences to everyone, but more so to the unprepared.

Gold is part of what I hold, and I have been a small-time buyer of gold since the 1980s.  I am well diversified outside of PMs, they in total are less than 12% of my net assets.

Much of my diversification desire is based on the fact that I have been a lousy predictor of the future.  I have no idea of which scenario(s) will play out.  Some of them may be very ugly.  If things do get very ugly, gold will be a part of the solution (perhaps, perhaps not).  Throughout history, there has always been someone around who will take your gold.  They would have to confiscate the guns before they try for the gold, there will be resistance.

[My comments in no way diminish any work you are doing re making our future more secure via the Knowledge Age]  <--- Smiley

*   *   *

cypherdoc

There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between gold miners and gold held in your warm hand...  Miners are stocks, and often miners are very poorly run.  Mines can also be confiscated easily by the countries where they are located.

The fate of actual gold vs. the gold miners is likely to be very different as time goes by.

There is a wonderful quote by Mark Twain to the effect of "A mine is hole on the ground with liar on top."  I have visited gold mines, and I own no gold miners.

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July 02, 2015, 04:42:45 AM
 #28017

cypherdoc

There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between gold miners and gold held in your warm hand...  Miners are stocks, and often miners are very poorly run.  Mines can also be confiscated easily by the countries where they are located.

The fate of actual gold vs. the gold miners is likely to be very different as time goes by.

There is a wonderful quote by Mark Twain to the effect of "A mine is hole on the ground with liar on top."  I have visited gold mines, and I own no gold miners.



stocks are the leveraged play on gold itself.  they move in the same direction with miners accentuating and usually leading the movement.  there is no reason to suspect anything different for the coming move.
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July 02, 2015, 06:23:01 AM
 #28018

I am well diversified outside of PMs, they in total are less than 12% of my net assets.

That is a sane level imo.

Throughout history, there has always been someone around who will take your gold.  They would have to confiscate the guns before they try for the gold, there will be resistance.

I am not asserting they will come take your gold. I have not written that. I am saying that gold you can't trade without being expropriated when you trade it, is the same as having a zero value (assuming the taxation rate is roughly 100%[1]).

My point is what will you trade it for when there is no cash?

And of those things you can trade it for, which of those won't be registered with the government (e.g. real estate, cars).

Also when unemployment reaches 50% and the governments are hiring people by the millions to be snitches and do sting operations, how will you trade while hiding from the government?

If you can't hide from the government, then how can you stop the government from expropriating it via taxation?

Another very effective way to attack goldbugs who try to exchange their gold, is to drive the economy into such a mess that crime becomes rampant, thus most trades will go down as muggings. Oh so you carry your guns to the trade, and the mob brings bigger guns to the party. An arms race back to the era of mobsters... I can be fairly certain how quickly you will tire of that type of world and throw in the towel on gold leaving it to sit in your basement forever useless. You could hold it for 20 years like those who held from $850 in 1980 down to $250 by the turn of the century, losing 1000% gains in stocks and bonds interim.

Also once the rule of law is gone, the government can do basically anything they want to. So expect bullshit such as Civil Asset Forfeiture on your gold when you trade it at a registered dealer. Meaning they seize your income from the trade declaring it money laundering or whatever and you are unable to disprove or win a fight in the kangeroo courts.

There was a former US Treasury official who was quoted by an anonymous source, "We will burn the fingers of goldbugs up to their armpits". Perhaps that might have been Robert Rubin.

[1] I don't assume the tax rate will be 100%, but I think they may force savings into nationalized accounts, meaning in effect 100% expropriation. Also note that that a 90% tax (I believe upper tax rates reached this level in the USA prior to WW2) on capital gains with 500% capital gain, is 72% effective tax on purchasing power (assuming gold's rise reflects the loss in purchasing power of the dollar which may not be the case). Also if you can't prove your tax basis, they might tax as if your tax basis is zero.

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July 02, 2015, 06:40:10 AM
 #28019

for anyone with any respect left for marcus_of_augustus, take a look at this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/3bpbqv/woohoo_check_out_the_size_of_block_363270/csofmu6

[–]marcus_of_augustus 2 points 7 hours ago
 
Do they still give gold stars for 5 year olds?
You should be very careful with all those cold wallets, things could go very badly if family and friends are centralising trust in one questionable opsec practise.

permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply

I used to, but his tone has changed over the last 4 years. I'm not even convinced it's the same person on the other end. Certainly a lot more bitter and hostile.

marcus_of_augustus seems to me like more or less the same careful, knowledgeable, and competent person I've seen all along.  I have a recollection of his viewpoint on something (don't remember exactly what) being somewhat disappointing to me a year or so ago.  Lately I've been very pleasantly surprised that he is totally 'getting it' so-to-speak.

I also notice that marcus_of_agustus isn't taking cypherdoc abuse laying down and is doing the community a service in the process.  I have no interest and no clue about the Hashfast thing, but it seems to be pretty ugly and a lot of people seem to have gotten taken to the cleaners while certain others (cough, cough) seem to have done very well indeed.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1105722.0

I'll be interested to hear cypherdoc's side of the story...unless he is to busy with certain other 'projects' of course.

The PSA that marcus_of_agustus did in looking into the pseudo-fork of XT a while ago was quite interesting to someone who is technical and familiar with constructing software and I, for one, thank him for the effort.


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July 02, 2015, 06:46:14 AM
 #28020

i already posted that article here.

I know I had seen someone post it because that is why I opened that page lol, but I couldn't remember where (not senile just in rush with too much multitasking). Apologies for not quoting your post. I normally try to do that (even with my antagonists).


hey TPTB, you never  commented on my revised attack:


Let's try this one: non economic actor decides to spam persistently at little cost to them (minimum fees or even 0 fees) as blocks get close to being filled by real activity, say starting like where we are right now, at the 50-60% level. Fees for regular users skyrocket making use untenable.

I think the fees for other users will only rise to just higher than the fees in the spam in order to displace the spam from the priority queue (assuming miners order their mempool by transaction fee then first seen, with first seen taking precedence over transaction fee only when there is a double-spend).

I was pondering if this could be employed against zero-confirmation transactions, but it seems not to be the case.

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