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Author Topic: Bryan Micon's List of BTC Ponzi Schemes that should not be listed as "Lending"  (Read 108020 times)
farfiman
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July 29, 2012, 02:51:24 PM
 #141

[
You mention business units that profit money to theorize how a business could pay 2.5% weekly interest on money - but if such a profitable business unit existed, say, you could buy something for $.30 and sell for $13 - would you take on investors and share the wealth?



Yes, If I had no money to invest - why not?... 


Yeah, this might make sense for someone without access to credit--for a couple months. But why take in increasing amounts of money after you've turned it over a couple of times in your fabulously profitable scheme?

Again, the question is not whether someone can get that ROI. People do it all the time. The question is why someone would pay so much for credit (unless they're trying to attract as much as they can before disappearing).


I was going to answer this..but... ughh... I'm just tired of it....

"We are just fools. We insanely believe that we can replace one politician with another and something will really change. The ONLY possible way to achieve change is to change the very system of how government functions. Until we are prepared to do that, suck it up for your future belongs to the madness and corruption of politicians."
Martin Armstrong
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July 29, 2012, 02:58:39 PM
 #142

...
3)  My main goal is to get these scams out of the Marketplace > lending  category - it makes us look foolish and stupid to anyone new exploring BTC

I think, trying to relabel the Lending category is currently hopeless. There are too many people around who want to believe that those are genuine businesses.

I also think you are overestimating the damage these scams are actually doing. Even pirateat40 is estimated at only $1m, which is a small fraction of the total bitcoin value.

On the positive side bitcoin users are learning fast. We have seen a price bubble already, which developed at over 100 times the speed of a similar bubble on the exchanges in 1929. People have learned the lesson, and a bubble as extreme as that may not repeat itself.

Now people are going to learn about Ponzi schemes. After the first few shut down, people will learn that lesson as well.

Another good thing is that each of these experiences cleans the bitcoin community of its stupidest members. To hand your money over to somebody you don't know, but who promises you 3,300% interest per year without explaining how he does it, and all that in the face of very explicit warnings, you have to be enormously stupid. If you don't want such people around, just let the thing run its course.

I agree that most likely all of these schemes stating weekly interest rates are scams. Those who already proposed to include the entire Lending category in your list are probably right.
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July 30, 2012, 12:15:51 AM
 #143

...
3)  My main goal is to get these scams out of the Marketplace > lending  category - it makes us look foolish and stupid to anyone new exploring BTC

I think, trying to relabel the Lending category is currently hopeless. There are too many people around who want to believe that those are genuine businesses.

I also think you are overestimating the damage these scams are actually doing. Even pirateat40 is estimated at only $1m, which is a small fraction of the total bitcoin value.

On the positive side bitcoin users are learning fast. We have seen a price bubble already, which developed at over 100 times the speed of a similar bubble on the exchanges in 1929. People have learned the lesson, and a bubble as extreme as that may not repeat itself.

Now people are going to learn about Ponzi schemes. After the first few shut down, people will learn that lesson as well.

Another good thing is that each of these experiences cleans the bitcoin community of its stupidest members. To hand your money over to somebody you don't know, but who promises you 3,300% interest per year without explaining how he does it, and all that in the face of very explicit warnings, you have to be enormously stupid. If you don't want such people around, just let the thing run its course.

I agree that most likely all of these schemes stating weekly interest rates are scams. Those who already proposed to include the entire Lending category in your list are probably right.


wait you think because Pirateat40 has a $1M+ USD ponzi scheme it's not bad for bitcoin because it's only ~ 1% of total BTC?  you should say it like this:

"HOLY SHIT HE HAS 1% OF ALL BTC "INVESTED" IN HIS SCAM!  Over $1M USD!  HE MUST BE STOPPED"

you don't care at all that a guy is scamming anyone stupid enough to send him BTC right here on these forums, and he has already acquired $1M USD+ ?  this seems alarming, extremely wrong, horrible for bitcoin, and something should be done about it.

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July 30, 2012, 12:28:18 AM
 #144

"lending" is not what I or any reasonable man of science would call this.  
You call yourself a man of science yet you provide no  hard proof? Not sure if serious  Roll Eyes

Quote
Further more, who runs this board?  

why can Pirateat40 lock his giant ponzi thread?
It's his thread, he can do whatever he wants with it (and so can you with yours)

Furthermore this whole thread should be moved to speculation  Roll Eyes

1)  does it alarm you in any way that Pirateat40 locked his thread?  Why do you think he would do that when he is holding $1M USD worth of BTC?   I think it's because he doesn't want the forum members that understand his scam explaining it in his thread. 

2) You ask me for hard proof.  A Ponzi scheme, as defined by Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme  some highlights:

-- Typically extraordinary returns are promised on the investment,[5] and vague verbal constructions such as "hedge futures trading," "high-yield investment programs", "offshore investment" might be used. The promoter sells shares to investors by taking advantage of a lack of investor knowledge or competence, or using claims of a proprietary investment strategy which must be kept secret to ensure a competitive edge.
-- A Ponzi scheme claims to rely on some esoteric investment approach and often attracts well-to-do investors
-- Ponzi schemes can survive simply by persuading most existing participants to reinvest their money
-- Initially the promoter will pay out high returns to attract more investors, and to lure current investors into putting in additional money. Other investors begin to participate, leading to a cascade effect. The "return" to the initial investors is paid out of the investments of new entrants, and not out of profits.
-- Promoters also try to minimize withdrawals by offering new plans to investors, often where money is frozen for a longer period of time, in exchange for higher returns.

sound at all like BCST?

Proof Ponzi

3)  you seem to either be invested in BCST or running your own Ponzi - which is it?

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July 30, 2012, 12:36:58 AM
 #145

You should preach the almighty word of shame to Mongolia!

Their banks offer 1.33% monthly in the traditional financial markets. That's up from about 1% last year!

Normally, I wouldn't say this, but your sheer idiocy is well beyond normal... GTFO Micon, you tool.

Do you realize you just made my point in spades?

the whiskeyandgunpowder article is about an insanely high YEARLY interest rate of 16%  - Pirate and similar ponzis services are only offering 200x more interest than that

No, it doesn't make your point.

The returns are coming from an economic environment that's growing several orders of magnitude faster than Mongolia's. Moving money is a lot faster than moving machinery. Same principle, different assets. The smaller an economy is, the more growth it can incur and the faster that growth can happen.

If the SDR were introduced from zero, not being valued from a basket of currencies as it currently is, and adoption forced upon citizens by their respective governments in place of domestic currencies, the growth rate would be much greater than Bitcoin's current ~30% per year, and the returns from investment schemes would be far greater than a paltry 7% per week.

Of course, that would burn itself out very quickly. As I've said before, what Pirate is doing can last as long as Bitcoin itself continues growing.

The first year growth rate for Bitcoin was 100% - wrap your brain around that.

brain wrapped around it.

1)  what do you think Pirateat40 is doing?

2)  This statement appears on the wikipedia for ponzi scheme:

"Typically extraordinary returns are promised on the investment,[5] and vague verbal constructions such as "hedge futures trading," "high-yield investment programs", "offshore investment" might be used. The promoter sells shares to investors by taking advantage of a lack of investor knowledge or competence, or using claims of a proprietary investment strategy which must be kept secret to ensure a competitive edge."

and this is from Pirateat40's BCST thread:

Q: What are my coins used for?
A: Coins are primarily used for large investment transactions but may also include the following:
Market Arbitrage
Private Loans To Network Members
Never Criminal/Illegal Related

Q: How do you make enough money to pay these rates?
A: If I told you then I couldn't do what I do.  


Is anyone still bold enough to defend this scam and this scammer?


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July 30, 2012, 12:37:37 AM
 #146

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

You had better add this one.

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July 30, 2012, 01:10:26 AM
 #147

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

You had better add this one.

That's unfair - they print money and rely on new tax payers to pay off the old ones.  That's so obviously a Ponzi scheme it can't be one.
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July 30, 2012, 01:13:00 AM
 #148

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

You had better add this one.

That's unfair - they print money and rely on new tax payers to pay off the old ones.  That's so obviously a Ponzi scheme it can't be one.

Don't forget the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time...

Social Security
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July 30, 2012, 01:29:00 AM
 #149

Either way, Ponzi schemes can be very profitable. I don't think there is anything unethical about gambling with a Ponzi scheme.

Do you find anything unethical about early adopters defending Ponzi scams so that more people buy in (so that they can get out before it disappears)?

Do you find anything unethical about running Ponzi schemes, and trying to get as many people to buy in before you skip town?

As long as people understand the risks, then no.  There is nothing unethical about it.  Just like there's nothing unethical about encouraging people to play slot machines.
The crux of a Ponzi scheme, what makes it a Ponzi scheme, is that investors are intentionally mislead about where their money is going. They are told that it is being invested when in fact it is being used to enrich the scammer and to pay off earlier investors. They are told the fund is increasing in net worth when in fact it is getting more and more in the red. They are nothing like slot machines or investment risk. They are pure scams.

When you lie to someone to get their money, it doesn't matter whether they "understand the risks" or not. I understand the risk that I might get hit by a car when I cross the street, that doesn't justify someone intentionally running me over.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 30, 2012, 01:33:00 AM
 #150

The crux of a Ponzi scheme, what makes it a Ponzi scheme, is that investors are intentionally mislead about where their money is going. They are told that it is being invested when in fact it is being used to enrich the scammer and to pay off earlier investors. They are told the fund is increasing in net worth when in fact it is getting more and more in the red. They are nothing like slot machines or investment risk. They are pure scams.

When you lie to someone to get their money, it doesn't matter whether they "understand the risks" or not. I understand the risk that I might get hit by a car when I cross the street, that doesn't justify someone intentionally running me over.

Hi Joel,  I'll have to add this, but do you believe the Government always tells you the truth about what they're doing with your money?

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July 30, 2012, 01:37:25 AM
 #151

Hi Joel,  I'll have to add this, but do you believe the Government always tells you the truth about what they're doing with your money?
No, I don't. And I would never attempt to justify government dishonesty any more than I would try to justify any other kind of fraudulent dishonesty. (In fact, government dishonesty bothers me the most both because they're using my money to lie to people and because I'm not free to do business with the "other government" if I don't like it.)

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 30, 2012, 01:41:48 AM
 #152

Either way, Ponzi schemes can be very profitable. I don't think there is anything unethical about gambling with a Ponzi scheme.

Do you find anything unethical about early adopters defending Ponzi scams so that more people buy in (so that they can get out before it disappears)?

Do you find anything unethical about running Ponzi schemes, and trying to get as many people to buy in before you skip town?

As long as people understand the risks, then no.  There is nothing unethical about it.  Just like there's nothing unethical about encouraging people to play slot machines.
The crux of a Ponzi scheme, what makes it a Ponzi scheme, is that investors are intentionally mislead about where their money is going. They are told that it is being invested when in fact it is being used to enrich the scammer and to pay off earlier investors. They are told the fund is increasing in net worth when in fact it is getting more and more in the red. They are nothing like slot machines or investment risk. They are pure scams.

When you lie to someone to get their money, it doesn't matter whether they "understand the risks" or not. I understand the risk that I might get hit by a car when I cross the street, that doesn't justify someone intentionally running me over.

From what I've read, "investors" aren't being mislead about where their money is going.  They simply aren't being told to a satisfactory degree.  That may be splitting hairs, in your book, but this is a classic example of "buyer beware." 

Obviously some people are pretty happy with the arrangement.  Some aren't. 

With all the information available here and elsewhere, I think you would be hard pressed to say anyone is being "scammed" when people are voluntarily handing over their money based on the info they receive.  If this turns out to be a bust, the "investor" has absolutely nobody to blame but himself.

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July 30, 2012, 01:51:47 AM
 #153

Hey Mr. Poker Man! If you have no clue how BTCST is paying the weekly interest "7%", so you better zip it up and try to put your mind into it for a while! Yes BTCST owns a % of all BTC that came to existence, and this is the KEY! Here is a question that may help you while zipping it up thinking about it: If you own 1 to 5% of all BTC that exists what would you do to double your coins once per 3 months?
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July 30, 2012, 02:28:35 AM
 #154

2) You ask me for hard proof.  A Ponzi scheme, as defined by Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme  some highlights:

-- Typically extraordinary returns are promised on the investment,[5] and vague verbal constructions such as "hedge futures trading," "high-yield investment programs", "offshore investment" might be used. The promoter sells shares to investors by taking advantage of a lack of investor knowledge or competence, or using claims of a proprietary investment strategy which must be kept secret to ensure a competitive edge.
-- A Ponzi scheme claims to rely on some esoteric investment approach and often attracts well-to-do investors
-- Ponzi schemes can survive simply by persuading most existing participants to reinvest their money
-- Initially the promoter will pay out high returns to attract more investors, and to lure current investors into putting in additional money. Other investors begin to participate, leading to a cascade effect. The "return" to the initial investors is paid out of the investments of new entrants, and not out of profits.
-- Promoters also try to minimize withdrawals by offering new plans to investors, often where money is frozen for a longer period of time, in exchange for higher returns.

sound at all like BCST?

Proof Ponzi

While I agree that BS&T is very likely a Ponzi, the above is in no way a proof.

See http://www.sparknotes.com/math/geometry3/inductiveanddeductivereasoning/section1.html for a description of what you did ("inductive reasoning") and why it doesn't constitute proof.

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July 30, 2012, 02:36:02 AM
 #155

From what I've read, "investors" aren't being mislead about where their money is going.  They simply aren't being told to a satisfactory degree.  That may be splitting hairs, in your book, but this is a classic example of "buyer beware." 

The thing is, investors have been told where the money is going:

Q: What are my coins used for?
A: Coins are primarily used for large investment transactions but may also include the following:
Market Arbitrage
Private Loans To Network Members
Never Criminal/Illegal Related

Pirate has also claimed that BS&T isn't a ponzi, so if it is, investors are clearly being mislead:

Q - Is BTCS&T a Ponzi?
A - Although, theoretically I could have run a Ponzi scheme for a while early on, it just wasn't something I would ever want to be a part of.  If I wanted it to be one, it would have been at much lower rates and I'd be asking for everyone to join.

(there's a better quote somewhere I'm sure but I couldn't find it).

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July 30, 2012, 03:03:46 AM
 #156

From what I've read, "investors" aren't being mislead about where their money is going.  They simply aren't being told to a satisfactory degree.
That might be true of some hypothetical scheme. But in the cases listed here, investors are being affirmatively mislead. (Assuming there aren't real investments as the investors are being told.)

Quote
That may be splitting hairs, in your book, but this is a classic example of "buyer beware."
Yes, but that doesn't mean what you think it means. "Buyer beware" is just like "pedestrian beware". When you walk in the streets, you better look where you're going because you're the one who will wind up in a hospital or dead if you get hit by a car. But you can't justify reckless driving or intentionally running down pedestrians by saying pedestrians should beware. One has nothing to do with the other.

Quote
Obviously some people are pretty happy with the arrangement.  Some aren't.
People are often happy when they are lied to, if they believe the lies. Surely that doesn't justify lying to get someone's money.

Quote
With all the information available here and elsewhere, I think you would be hard pressed to say anyone is being "scammed" when people are voluntarily handing over their money based on the info they receive.  If this turns out to be a bust, the "investor" has absolutely nobody to blame but himself.
Bullshit. A liar has no defense by saying "you shouldn't have believed me". Whether that's true or not, it's no defense of the lair.

If you stumble down a dark street alone in a bad neighborhood with $100 bills sticking out of your pockets, you're going to get robbed. And in a sense, you have nobody to blame but yourself. But don't for a second imagine that this takes any blame away from the robbers or makes what they do justified to even the slightest extent.

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July 30, 2012, 03:15:39 AM
 #157

we're in the Wild West days of open-source currency.  I expect people will get burned by scams, imitators, ponzi schemes and price bubbles..

I tend not to worry about things that are out of my control; I don't think there's a whole lot that can be done about scammers, imitators, and ponzi schemes besides warning people to be careful with their money (whether dollars, euros or bitcoins).

there are many people who hold an opinion on the matter but they aren't outspoken about it.  when each of these ponzi fund house of cards falls, some people will be hurt badly, others (those who have made most or all of their money back already) will barely be nicked and most will feel no impact at all as they were smart enough to keep a healthy distance.  you don't hear from them.  you probably won't, even if they were asked for their opinion.

this is definitely a circus but it is nowhere near to being significant in bitcoin's progression. just as few today remember or care much about last year's mtgox hack or the mybitcoin fiasco, this too shall pass.
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July 30, 2012, 04:42:46 AM
 #158

Hey Micon, it was entertaining over the weekend, but I have real work to do in this small microcosm of bitcoin lending.  I'm going to have to leave you to your crusade.
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July 30, 2012, 05:22:09 AM
 #159

It's time to add me to your list. I've had a change-of-heart with regards to Pirate, and will be depositing in a pass-through.

Don't mix your coins someone said isn't legal
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July 30, 2012, 05:37:46 AM
 #160

Whats the chance all the ponzis will collapse at once ?  Cheesy

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