The bitcoin crisis

There can only be one.

There can only be one money, at the root of all others. Money is a measure of value, a store of value, and a medium of exchange, and you want to uses the same medium of exchange and measure of value as everyone else.

At the very beginning, I said the trouble with bitcoin, as originally designed, is that it does not scale. Everyone, to be a peer, to be an equal participant, has to store and process everyone else’s transactions, thus the cost of each transaction increases with the number of peers. I estimate the current cost of a transaction to be about a thousand dollars, most of which is carried by people speculating in bitcoin, hoping that as the USG empire collapses, bitcoin, rather than gold, will replace the dollar.

Bitcoin is reaching, indeed has substantially exceeded, its inherent limits. For it to become the one, it has to get away from a system where everyone processes everyone’s transactions, and stores everyone’s transactions.

The sidechain proposal is a way of getting away from that without a hard fork, so that your transactions are not seen by everyone, merely by enough people, and not stored by everyone forever, but only by a very small number of people forever.

Altcoins are hard fork proposals, which if they fix the scaling problem could become the one. At present the total value of altcoins is roughly equal to the total value of bitcoins.

At present, the true cost of bitcoin transactions is so outrageously high it cannot possibly become the one. It must die, and everyone invested in bitcoins will lose all their money, unless the sidechain proposal provides a forkless path to a world in which the true cost of bitcoin transactions is reduced to something reasonable.

But the interest in crypto currencies is so very great, the amount of money invested in crypto currencies is so very great, that one shall succeed. The amount of serious money invested is so very great that it looks overwhelmingly likely that as the USG empire falls, crypto currency, rather than gold, will replace the US$.

And that one shall be one that allows low, rather than hidden, transaction costs. Likely an altcoin rather than bitcoin, because the weight of special interests in bitcoin makes it hard to get to there from here.

But the wise investor should invest in gold, should invest in bitcoin in the hope that the scaling problems can be fixed without a hard fork, and should invest in an altcoin that has solved the scaling problem. And the last time I took a good look, none of them had actually solved the scaling problem, though many of them were hoping to solve it, claiming they had solved it, or had plans for eventually solving it.

The sidechain proposal has been kicked around for three years, and bitcoin’s transaction cost has been getting rapidly worse all this time.

Anyone who invests in bitcoin, is investing hoping that scaling can be fixed, for if scaling is not fixed, bitcoin will surely die. The current true cost of bitcoin transactions is absolutely unsustainable.

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67 Responses to “The bitcoin crisis”

  1. lalit says:

    A very Technical post

  2. EdensThaw says:

    $1000 per transaction? Not disputing just curious on the math behind this.

  3. J says:

    Bitcoin becomes heavier with each transaction, so surely it will selfdestruct.
    Side coin means putting your faith in a third party, which is suicidal.
    Nothing replaces gold.

  4. Dividualist says:

    Coins are difficult. I was sure the DAO fiasco kills Ether, now it is higher than ever, BitCoin had many near death experiences, now it is higher than ever. And gold? Wasn’t really as predictable as it should be, we are still nowhere from the 2011 high and who knows why, it is not that there is less fiat currency being issued, despite the 0 interest rates we still don’t get that fiat hyperinflation that Schiff and Skousen and other “Austrian” investement advisors predicted since like 2008.

    Meanwhile, since 2008 we all are almost a decade older and closer to death. We are almost for a decade living in fear of imminent financial catastrophe.

    The point is, life is a bit too short to invest in this speculative sense. Invest in yourself, your health, your knowledge, your family, your home, land and real estate you can actually use and is not going to become a ghetto soon, travel, experiences, books, fun stuff that also has survival value.

    Sure, keep some cash for a rainy day and maybe a coin and gold as well if you want to but nothing beyond a years worth of living. Instead of saving to live, LIVE. The collapse probably won’t be that kind of “good, I can live off my gold for 5 years” type of experience, maybe you are killed in the first food riots even if you have a gun and know how to use it. Things are getting unpredictable so the rational move is to turn up the time preferences a bit and worry less about saving and investing and more about doing what you can do now.

    • Joe says:

      I respectfully disagree. Your suggestion boils down to “bad stuff will happen and you might die, so don’t make any provision for the possibility that you won’t die and will actually need savings”. The realistic odds are that you WILL survive the shakeout, just like most everyone survived the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe and Argentina’s crises and most everyone will survive the current Venezuela crisis.
      Yes you should definitely develop skills and strong social ties and enjoy life, but it is always wise to work hard and be frugal and save excess wealth for a future rainy day. Just don’t save the wealth in fiat currencies or in instruments denominated in fiat currencies.

      • J says:

        Jim, fiat currencies are sometimes very useful. After WWII in Germany, you could get any girl for a pair of nylon stockings, not to mention a ten dollar “fiat currency” bill. I think that the Deutschmark aka Euro is an attractive fiat to hoard. It will be specially valuable in Britain after the Brexit meltdown.

        • peppermint says:

          》Brexit meltdown
          》 not Euro meltdown when gr implodes again, fr leaves, and energy prices and government spending continue to increase in de

          • glosoli says:

            Heh, you know fuck all about the Euro.
            It’s not managed by Greek or French pols.
            You think European sovereigns going bust makes the Euro weaker or stronger?
            Think carefully before answering.

  5. Joe says:

    Gold isn’t money, it’s the premier wealth reserve asset. Physical gold is the most secure way to store excess wealth for future use, but it is not good as a medium of exchange or unit of account.
    But money’s medium-of-exchange and unit-of-account functions are well-served by fiat currencies (which are terrible stores of value), so the U.S. dollar isn’t going to disappear, though it’s going to be radically devalued by the marketplace at some point. It will still continue to be used as money as long as there’s a U.S.A. That doesn’t mean you will want to save in it, though; for that you will want to speculate (“invest”) in stocks or bonds or else buy a wealth reserve asset like gold, real estate, or collectibles.
    Bitcoin is another kind of wealth reserve asset, a kind of collectible. It doesn’t work well as a medium of exchange because of the transaction costs. And if it or an altcoin became a threat to fiat currencies as a medium of exchange, the government could simply outlaw its use, calling it a scheme for money laundering (which it is, largely, in a way) or something of the sort. If you were prohibited from legally buying anything with a cryptocurrency, no legitimate business outlet would take the risk of accepting them in payment and their value would vanish regardless of whether drug dealers and hit men were still willing to accept them. So cryptocurrencies are not going to replace government-printed fiat currencies as long as the government has police and prisons and could tell the legitimate businesses in their country not to accept them.
    Cryptocurrencies are a kind of fad collectible, like baseball cards or Beanie Babies, and new ones can be created very easily, just like baseball cards or Beanie Babies, which means that like all fad collectibles their value will eventually disappear. I will consider otherwise when central banks start buying cryptocurrencies as reserves.

    • Rick Sean says:

      Cryptocurrencies can be to fiat-currencies what uber was to taxis; provide a useful service that was once impossible due to excessive regulation & entrenched business interests. In those case outlawing them might prove too unpopular. Anyway I don’t see why cryptocurrencies should have to replace fiat currencies to be valuable, they can coexist without problems.

      • viking says:

        speaking of uber i predict a crash in the value of vehicles required to drive for uber, and uber stock, uber will be thanked by towel heads the world over for showing them how to bypass the state and ultimately bypass uber.

    • Dave says:

      What you’re saying is, money you plan to spend in the next *year* should be kept in paper, otherwise convert it to gold.

      As more people realize this and start exchanging their paper for gold, the circulation of paper accelerates and its value decreases, forcing the government to print even more paper to cover its obligations. In the first sentence, *year* becomes *month* becomes *week* … becomes *ten minutes*!

      Eventually, the future becomes the present and long-term becomes short-term. The government must then choose between letting a big chunk of its welfare clientele starve vs. seeing its paper become worthless a short time later, and democracies always choose the latter.

  6. Rick Sean says:

    There doesn’t need to be one money at the root of the others, you can have multiple moneys and trade one for the others. Each currency has its pro and cons and people will use the one that is the most practical for them. For most people it is to get paid, buy stuff, pay taxes, and not lose it all in a freak event. And for that purpose the country’s official currency is usually pretty good.

    If your country is not stable, or if you want to escape regulations, cryptocurrencies can be useful, and that’s what makes them valuable.

    The cost of transaction is not a fatal issue, because you do not need to do a real transaction to exchange bitcoin, just like you do not need to really move gold around to exchange gold. That’s what banks are for, and as transaction costs for bitcoin go up, most people will buy, sell and store their bitcoins in a bank, which will bundle the real bitcoin transactions into daily settlement with the rest of the bitcoin market.

    • J says:

      There are already many start-up bitcoin altcoin exchanges. To be successful, it needs to have silent capitalist partner, and the backing of a legit small state, say Cyprus, Bahamas, Switzerland? Israel? etc. You need good technical infrastructure and manpower.

  7. Alrenous says:

    Need a bank made of smart contracts, which issues bitcoin-denominated banknotes and amortizes the transaction costs by aggregation.

    At present the total value of altcoins is roughly equal to the total value of bitcoins.

    Where’s this information from?

    • Johan Schmidt says:

      coinmarketcap.com gives Bitcoin 40% of the total market cap of the altcoins it measures. However there is some dispute as to whether its calculation of market cap is the most meaningful one, not taking into account inflation, volatility, or market depth, for example. Nonetheless if anything our host over-estimated the importance of Bitcoin in the current market.

      • Alrenous says:

        Ah, thanks.

        The market cap shouldn’t take into account those things. They are for the individual investor to superimpose, and having them pre-superimposed only muddies the water.

    • peppermint says:

      Banks that don’t make stupid loans are illegal.

  8. fwh says:

    The part of bitcoin that completely weirds me out is the fact that it is a _public_ ledger. I made $4.5k on $500 playing bitcoin and ethereum but my operating theory of bitcoin value is the greater fool theory and that’s why I got skittish and exited. Even if they solve transaction costs and speed issues, having _every_ single transaction you do visible to anyone in the world is a massive Achilles heel. People participate in facebook and don’t care about presenting their best face, but every single person in the world being able to track and graph my purchases of Doritos and soda from the local quikee-mart is nuts! Can people really stomach complete financial nakedness to the entire world?

    • Cloudswrest says:

      Zerocoin/Zerochash solves this problem. Basically you deposit your cryptocurrency, in fixed/quantum denominations, into a cryptological black box, with a claim check known only to you. You use your claim check to withdraw the currency, but, lacking breaking of the encryption, there is no way to connect the deposit with the withdraw.

      https://infogalactic.com/info/Zerocoin

      • fwh says:

        Yeah, I expect one of the crypto currencies that has this feature to eventually win. That particular entity looks like a money laundering feature bolted onto bitcoin, which would incentivize the government to say, “Hey, take out that feature. We can all be friends.”I’d like to see a crypto-currency where you that feature was integral to the algorithm and un-removable. Maybe that’s what CredaCash is? https://credacash.com/

  9. viking says:

    “There can only be one.

    There can only be one money, at the root of all others. Money is a measure of value, a store of value, and a medium of exchange, and you want to uses the same medium of exchange and measure of value as everyone else.

    “I disagree there are always unlimited means of exchange almost every transaction is unique.True its often some fiat currency on one side of the exchange but the other side is almost always a unique means of exchange. No one actually has any use for bits or bits of paper whats being exchanged is the unique half of the trade and a belief that the bit of paper will facilitate a future unique exchange for the receiver.

    Its simply not possible to keep our excess wealth out of some market or other we can choose from hundreds of currencies, tens of thousandths financial instruments, all sorts of commodities, all kinds of real estates, art collectibles, bullets and auto parts, whatever floats your boat none of it is stable it all fluctuates second by second against everything else. No matter what you choose you are betting its market will survive long enough to eventually exchange it. You may think currency has no value because fiat are only as good as the ballistic missiles that back them, but one of those missiles exploded overhead erases bitcoin just as easily as the fall of an empire. A different projectory erases the value of your real estate. mere niggers erase all sorts of wealth.

    fiat and crypto both rely on order being maintained, crypto even more so, not only because its electronic but because it requires a high degree of intelligence and information to use. neither are likely to survive a collapse. Bullets and Barter will be the primary exchange and gold and silver will be the “currencies”. Im not a gold bug though i have some I usually advise gold hoarders worried about shtf to stock up on bullets and autoparts socks and toilet paper and seeds. If shit gets real few will have the luxury of speculation most will be trying to simply survive another day.The type of people who are stocked up on bitcoin are faggots that will die first. They would be much much better off acquiring skills. The type of skills they have zero acquaintance with. I can just imagine jew bug showing up in north Idaho with his stash of bitcoin, I will make him my goatherd jews make good goat herds the goats no how to handle jews.

    • B says:

      > If shit gets real few will have the luxury of speculation most will be trying to simply survive another day.

      Shit gets real usually in ways that do not resemble Mad Max as much as they resemble 1992 Russia. Things work, just in a very lurchy and degraded fashion. All kinds of goons come out of the woodwork.

      Rome lurched along like this for a long time before the Huns showed up, and even afterwards.

      >I can just imagine jew bug showing up in north Idaho with his stash of bitcoin

      You really have elaborate fantasies.

      “They will come crawling, and I will make them herd my goats!”

      Odds are more that Moldbug would make aliya, leaving you alone with your goats.

      >The type of people who are stocked up on bitcoin are faggots that will die first.

      Yes, like this guy: https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@blakemiles84/hello-im-blake-p

      Those Special Forces faggots would have no idea what to do with a North Idaho goat herder with sheet metal skills, nomesayin’?

      BTW, Blake is wrong about BC, I think, but not for the reasons you state. Mainly, because cryptocurrencies threaten big, functional governments which rely on fiat money. And those governments have the biggest stash of cryptographers, processing power and HUMINT/legal leverage. In other words, the people whom cryptocurrencies most threaten are in the best position to attack them.

      • viking says:

        Whatever hoard your btc I just bought another 40 acres today, 70 % of north IdaHO IS COPS AND MILITARY but your boy looks really formidable.

        Odds are more that Moldbug would make aliya, leaving you alone with your goats- whats this your nerd fag code speak for imaginary girlfriends had to look it up interesting you millenials are all in your heads

      • jim says:

        And those governments have the biggest stash of cryptographers, processing power and HUMINT/legal leverage. In other words, the people whom cryptocurrencies most threaten are in the best position to attack them.

        Cryptographic defense has a large inherent advantage over cryptographic attack, so the government’s crypto engineers are largely irrelevant. If we have good cryptographers, it does not matter if they have more and better cryptographers.

        Human engineering, in particular poisoned committee social dynamics, is the problem. Committees work badly at the best of times. If the government is actively trying to make committees not work, definitely not going to work.

        • B says:

          >Whatever hoard your btc

          Not holding any-for the next several years, I will be investing everything I have into my own family, skills and community (in the Samarian highlands.)

          >I just bought another 40 acres today, 70 % of north IdaHO IS COPS AND MILITARY

          That’s great, enjoy your neighbors.

          >whats this your nerd fag code speak

          https://youtu.be/Mif5anwZeXY?t=13

          >for imaginary girlfriends

          Girlfriends are for queers who can’t bring themselves to actually do a guy. I have a wife and kids.

          • Anonymous says:

            >posts idiocracy in response to being called nerd fag

            >NOT the “you talk like a fag and your shit’s all retarded” scene

            wew lad
            (“wew” is a palindrome)

          • Anonymous says:

            >Girlfriends are for queers who can’t bring themselves to actually do a guy.

            It is true that girlfriends are degenerate, but not nearly close to faggotry. It’s just like oral sex is degenerate (genitals do not belong in mouths), yet it’s not gonna lead to queerness unless the fellater is a dude.

            It’s so much fun trolling puritans with “genitals don’t belong in mouths, therefore oral is just as degenerate as anal.” It gets the point across that purity, taken to its logical conclusion, is boring. Not that I expect you to get the point either – you’re also a puritan.

            “Genitals don’t belong in mouths” is a 5 word sequence guaranteed to bring all but the most ascetic puritans to extreme cognitive dissonance, and I advise everyone to drop this line against the right people. You should probably add “it [oral sex] was first popularized by the degenerate Frenchmen, and now Jew pornographers are brainwashing innocent chaste women into thinking that putting a genital inside a mouth is normal behavior.”

            Watch them spin trying to justify their own degeneracy; or calling you a puritan, then realizing what you were trying to convey.

            “Genitals don’t belong in mouths!”

            • Turtle says:

              > > brainwashing innocent chaste women into thinking that putting a genital inside a mouth is normal behavior.”

              LOL. If they don’t stay chaste, how were they chaste to begin with? Isn’t chastity done without any temptation to resist meaningless? I think chastity means defeating lust. And women contribute to oral sex as much as men do.

            • jim says:

              “now Jew pornographers are brainwashing innocent chaste women into thinking that putting a genital inside a mouth is normal behavior.”

              The sentence presumes that women are generally and normally chaste.

              Irrespective of the truth or falsity of this presumption, and I think it blatantly false, the Victorian experience showed it to be counterproductive to restraining women from whoring around.

              Florence Nightingale goes to a hotel room with a rich handsome charismatic male, and then to another hotel room with another rich handsome charismatic male, and then … and everyone assumes she is still chaste. Whereupon every girl concludes that she can go to a rich handsome charismatic male’s hotel room, and it will be totally fine.

          • viking says:

            enjoy my neighbors? pretty funny from a jew investing in israel.
            Ive had my kids and wives no more thanks.
            Do us a favor and stay in israel

        • B says:

          >Cryptographic defense has a large inherent advantage over cryptographic attack

          Yes, in theory. And in practice, the difference between theory and practice turns out to be way larger than it was in theory.

          > so the government’s crypto engineers are largely irrelevant. If we have good cryptographers, it does not matter if they have more and better cryptographers.

          And that’s exactly how German and Japanese codes were never broken during WW2. And how the Poles were not able to break Enigma before the war. And how Finnish SIGINT was not able to break Soviet codes (see Op Stella Polaris).

          >Human engineering, in particular poisoned committee social dynamics, is the problem.

          Human engineering is part of the problem. Lawfare is part of the problem. The electronics supply chain being compromised right from the chip fab down to the Amazon warehouse and shipping organization is part of the problem. Your opponents having the market on cryptographers and processing power cornered is part of the problem.

          In short, if and when USG decides to squash BC, U R FUCKT.

          • jim says:

            > And that’s exactly how German and Japanese codes were never broken during WW2.

            You are stupid, ignorant, dishonest, and arrogant. You speak in a knowledgeable sounding way on topics on which you know nothing, and then lie about sources.

            Our cryptography has improved since then – to the advantage of defense, and the disadvantage of attack

            The codes you refer to relied on secret algorithms. We rapidly realized that no algorithm is likely to remain secret, so instead deploy public and widely published algorithms.

            No widely published, widely studied, widely used code has been entirely broken for a very long time. These days cryptographic attacks focus on flaws that leak some subtle characteristics of what is encrypted, under some special circumstances, for example watermarking attacks, rather than attempting to actually outright break the code.

            The wifi codes were broken outright, but that was poor implementation of good algorithms. Good algorithms implemented by good cryptographers do not get broken by better cryptographers. Defense wins, attack fails.

    • Stanley clarke says:

      Viking is too fucking retarded to use DC so naturally anyone with bitcoins is a “faggot waiting to die” – lol.

      • viking says:

        I speculated in BTC when they first came out got luck and got out at the top. But they are difficult to use and are not what they purport anonymous and they are up against a wall technically which was the reasons I bailed when i did. The idea that BTC will be the post apocalyptic currency is pretty retarded in a way only a faggy internet nerd would think makes sense so yeah when the shtf your cell phone and internet will not work and people with things you want will laugh at your offer to gve them a sheet of code.obviously youre one of those types and cant see this enjoy the decline

  10. viking says:

    I do agree bitcoin has a dep structural problem scaling AND ITS SURPRISING TO ME these nerds didnt get that when they hyped it.I think if they simply concentrate on guaranteeing private communication and free speech the rest will work out and if they cant nothing will help

    • Dave says:

      This was pointed out to Satoshi in the early days, but he brushed it off, saying that network bandwidth will forever grow faster than Bitcoin traffic. I don’t know, when most cellphones already have enough bandwidth to stream six HD movies simultaneously, are we going to pay for an upgrade just to use Bitcoin?

  11. Mister Grumpus says:

    Surely someone can comment on whether etherium tokens have a shot at dodging this scalability problem.

  12. Mister Grumpus says:

    Our buddy Jim here has ALSO pointed out that Bitcoin might still end up winning (not sure if this counts as a “sidecoin”) if trades end up being cleared not between end-parties, but between clearing-houses, via “bitcoin accounts”.

    Of course this is very similar to bank accounts, but it ain’t nothing either.

  13. B says:

    >There can only be one money, at the root of all others.

    Says who?

    That statement has a nice, categorical ring going for it, and nothing else.

    >Money is a measure of value, a store of value, and a medium of exchange, and you want to uses the same medium of exchange and measure of value as everyone else.

    Yes, all other things being equal, which they never are.

    In reality, I want to have the medium of exchange which is the most liquid in the context I’m using it, and the medium of value storage which is most resilient to unforeseen events. These have never, anywhere, been the same thing at the same time (as far as I know). If I’m in jail, I want to have a nice basket of cigarettes, commissary credits and contraband heroin, to balance my portfolio between liquidity and risk. Why would I want to collapse all those currencies into one?

    > I estimate the current cost of a transaction to be about a thousand dollars

    Estimate based on what?

    There are about 250K BC transactions per day. So that’s a billion dollars in transaction costs every four days. Total bitcoin market cap is $40 billion.

    So, BC is inflicting costs equal to its market cap every 2-3 months?

    Any visible support for this assertion?

    • jim says:

      There are about 250K BC transactions per day. So that’s a billion dollars in transaction costs every four day

      Transactions are frequently costing about a $100 to the transactor. This is hidden in various ways, as for example the extremely large spread between buying and selling bitcoins, but these days, often enough, you actually have to pay it to get your transaction rendered irreversible in a timely manner.

      Registration is largely done by miners, who receive most of their income not for registering, but for creating new bitcoins. Creating bitcoins is done at the expense of those holding assets in the form of bitcoin, at the expense of speculators.

      So I just multiplied a $100 by ten.

      Now granted, not usually a $100, but something headed in that direction, and maybe multiplication by ten is excessive, but we are looking at some quite horrid transaction costs, which manifest in various hidden and no so hidden forms when one actually transacts in bitcoins. If you start with dollars, and end with dollars, which I have done, buying stuff in bitcoins is seriously costly, and rapidly becoming more costly, even though speculators are subsidizing you.

      I have done business in bitcoins, and transaction costs, direct and indirect, really bite, and lately I have not done business in bitcoins because, despite transaction costs being subsidized by speculators, they have been biting a lot worse.

      I suppose it cannot possibly cost the market cap every four days, but it surely costs the market cap every four months. Every bit coin round trip eats up a substantial portion of the value represented.

      Doing business in bitcoins really bites, and lately it has been biting worse.

    • jim says:

      >There can only be one money, at the root of all others.

      Says who?

      That statement has a nice, categorical ring going for it, and nothing else.

      For a long time gold was to the one. Now US$ is the one. That is fact. Everything else is barter, and yes there is a lot of barter, many stores of value and many measures of value, but there is still one store of value and one measure of value supreme over all the others and there has been for a very long time.

        • B says:

          John Law is Moldbug, and a lot of water has flown under that bridge in the last 11 years.

          • Alrenous says:

            Please note that response makes you look like an idiot to anyone who’s read the piece.

            • B says:

              [Deleted comment because an unsupported assertion that evidence exists for B’s claim, without easy way of finding that evidence]

            • Steve Johnson says:

              John Law is moldbug.

              The spam filter seems to not like my posting a link to the ur post that mentions it but it was an 09 April 2011 post titled “A small segue of subject”.

              • B says:

                Steve-congratulations-your Google-Fu is powerful.

                Jim, as an engineer and a moldbuggist, I would have expected you to be able to search the UR archive anfd find the relevant quote:

                “It’s almost 5 years ago that my first-ever posting on teh Internets, the “John Law” post (tip to aspiring bloggers: pick a pseudonym that people can search), predicted the immediate death of the financial universe. A prediction that, by its nature, was falsified almost instantly. Then again, I still feel the prediction would have come true if not for one of its supporting assumptions – infinite collective rationality.”

                How much more easily findable evidence do you need? Right from the horse’s mouth.

                As a man of integrity, I assume you’ll be apologizing and un-deleting my reply to Alrenous.

                Alrenous, I think it’s obvious which of us is the idiot from the above quote.

                • Anonymous says:

                  For an orthojew you sure do spend a whole lot of time around inferior goyim……I think you should spend more time engaging 90-average-IQ Israelis who are 100% kosher. Because clearly, you have all the answers to all the questions! Too bad Scott Alexander doxxed you lol

                • jim says:

                  Well, thanks for linking to evidence for a change. But, as usual, it is not apparent that the evidence supports your original claim.

                • jim says:

                  Your post that I deleted had insults instead of evidence. Your new post has evidence, and no insults, but it is not obvious that the evidence supports your position. Indeed, because of the distraction caused by the insults, it was not obvious what your position was.

                  Rather than restoring your original post, I would prefer if you restated your position, and explained why the evidence you have presented supports your position.

                • Alrenous says:

                  John Law is indeed Moldbug, which is immediately obvious to almost all readers due to the writing style. I put it in scare quotes as an allusion to this fact, a move sadly far too subtle for my audience, apparently. And yes he’s all but admitted it and then later plainly admitted it.

                  Of course who writes the thing is completely irrelevant to the content, and this argument red herring of frankly moronic magnitude. Since B is not actually a drooling moron (he can spell and everything) I assume he’s terrified of the actual theory.

                  B’s other objection is also a red herring. I will leave the proof of this as an exercise for readers who prefer logic and epistemology to chimp posturing.

      • B says:

        Gold was never money, except in frontier mining towns.

        Dubloons were money. Pistoles were money. Gulders, florins, etc were money.

        You could not walk into a market and buy stuff with gold dust, except in a barter transaction, because gold was a very expensive commodity with very limited uses.

        >This is hidden in various ways, as for example the extremely large spread between buying and selling bitcoins

        Typically, spread is an indicator of transaction volume. It would be interesting to see typical transaction size in dollars.

        >Creating bitcoins is done at the expense of those holding assets in the form of bitcoin

        If this were a zero sum game, sure, but market cap is growing. If it were not, mining would not be a profitable activity.

        >at the expense of speculators.

        Speculators and holders are two different groups of people.

  14. viking says:

    Speaking of alternate currencies I realized after I posted this morning I was actually using one at the time. I used a ford F250 to buy 40 acres, this is actually the second time I have bought land with a ford F250.North Idaho is the barteriest place on earth cash is scarce land is abundant and the tools of survival are traded I cant recall a single transaction between two private individuals in 25 years that wasnt at least part in trade.

    • B says:

      Congratulations, you’re living in a decaying empire.

      Next step is the infrastructure failing. Gonna need that F250 to travel more and more unmaintained roads.

      Next step is the supply chain for the F250 parts failing.

      • BigCheese says:

        >Next step is the infrastructure failing.

        Next step is already state policy in CA. The current thinking is people will take mass transit if we just refuse to fix the roads.

        • B says:

          And WA, and NY, and, and, and.

          But still you can drive more or less any vehicle on more or less any road. That doesn’t just happen by itself.

      • viking says:

        you obviously havnt been listening i have plenty of auto parts i have two hydroelectric systems and make my own elctricity and hydrogen gas with them i also make ethanol and soon kerosine.the place isnt failing its lagging which is fine its why i chose it.and its a good model for what life might become and no ones trading backhoes or bullets for bitcoins

  15. Kgaard says:

    I have always been flummoxed by the success of Bitcoin because of the hard cap (or semi-hard cap) on the number of bitcoins issued. If the currency catches on, the value of the currency must necessarily appreciate — eventually going geometrical to infinity.

    What happened with Bitcoin, it seems, is that the Chinese figured out it’s a fabulous way to get money out of the country. They decided they can live with the challenge of owning an appreciating currency.

    Now that I think about it … the problem of appreciation doesn’t really matter in the case of Bitcoin because people aren’t making LOANS in it. Currency appreciation wipes out debtors, but in this case there are no debtors, so no harm no foul.

    Intuitively I agree with B that the cost per transaction can’t be $1,000. That doesn’t really make sense.

    But for a cryptocurrency to really take the world by storm … it has to have a way to keep the real value of the currency stable. Perhaps a gold-linked crypto, or one linked to a basket of currencies. A gold-linked crypto would have a sort of virtual central bank that issued or contracted the coin supply to keep the currency’s value stable against gold — just like all the central banks pre-1968.

  16. BigCheese says:

    >There can only be one.

    Why? Why not have one system for long term money storage with full record keeping and another for daily transactions that purges it’s history from time to time?

  17. whaack says:

    The cost of a transaction is measured in Bitcoin, and is ~roughly~ .001 btc. (Assuming one input UTXO and two output UTXOs) If/when BTC swallows up the dollar, you are correct in estimating the cost of a transaction will be the equivilant of roughly $1,000.

    BTC proper will only be able to be used by the new elite, similarly to how the current elite are the only people who can use FedWire. The fact that there is no room for niggers to use Bitcoin is a feature not a bug, they will be forced to use slave money like they always have..

    Currently 1MB is allowed every 10 minutes, which is probably too large a throughput because full nodes continue to drop off the Earth. However we can fork to .5MB every 10 minutes every 10 minutes without a hard fork, since .5MB every 10 minutes does not contradict the previous rule of <=1MB every 10 minutes. This will, of course, increase the txn fee by some difficult to predict amount.

    Transaction fees are a huge problem for people without bitcoins, but not really a problem for those who currently have bitcoins. There is not enough room inside the castle walls for everyone to be protected. There's only room for ~20,000,000 people. Currently new people are sneaking into the financial safety net provided by Bitcoin by acquiring enough BTC to overcome the threshold of being able to pay for a few txn fee's.

    The idea that an altcoin will overcome BTC is laughable. Only someone with many bitcoins who can peg their altcoin to BTC could do this, and even then only maybe. The hash of the most recent block at the time of this post was 0000000000000000013d60f862785cb9e85cb9dab726220b57787748615ea6d3

    The computation power required to produce that, absent sha256 being a gimmick that has duped the entire public, is unfathomable. That power is what makes Bitcoin The One True Money, at "the root of all others".

  18. Ryan C says:

    in order for bitcoin to succeed, that would assume that the fall of empire would not also result in the disruption of transoceanic cables.

    the failure of transoceanic cables will double global latencies for financial transactions, and other data packets will be necessarily dropped.

    bitcoin transactions would be impossible under such circumstances, especially since forks would be more likely, confirmed transactions will eventually be unconfirmed to be confirmed an hour later…

    • B says:

      Even under IS, oil continued to be extracted and exported in large quantities.

      A collapse bad enough to disrupt transoceanic cables will be bad enough that bitcoin would have been worthless anyway.

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