Ethereum, Bitcoin and Quatloos (or: How will Ethereum revolutionize the music industry?)

Johannes

Founding member
Ethereum crashed hard, like all altcoins. One major problem I see is that no alt that I am aware of is decentralized like bitcoin is. If Vitalik Buterin decides tomorrow to throw another 2 billion tokens on the market, well, then that's going to happen. You have to trust him (and his staff) to handle shit. Like you have to trust your bank with your fiat. And your government. And your state. And different people with all other altcoins.

With bitcoin, you trust an algorithm. The algorithm itself can't be corrupted through greed and fear. But there can be black swan events too, like

"For example, there is no mathematical proof that the cryptographic algorithms used in Bitcoin are actually secure -- they are merely believed to be secure because nobody has been able to break them after many years of intense scrutiny." (reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/7gi55s/dont_invest_recklessly/)

Or Satoshi Nakamoto. Nobody knows who invented this shit. He/she/them could return one day and go: "Hi, I am the CIA/NSA/Russian Bots/Aliens. I designed this thing, was an interesting experiment, no? Here are the millions of coins I mined in 2010. Have fun."

But what's so interesting with bitcoin is that in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis someone, some still unknown entity, sat down and reverse engineered away all the flaws of conventional money. Like, let's see, I wanna have a deflationary network of trust as a store of (financial) value without middlemen which is permissionless, open source, open borders, can't be owned by states or governments or individuals, works globally and all you need to have access to your money is a phone and one pass phrase you memorize no matter where you are in the world ...

And then they simply created it. And it works. Sort of. :D

That's nothing short of amazing. We live in interesting times indeed.


--------

Ps. we could retitle the thread as crypto general, as it's probably more about Bitcoin than Ethereum by now.
 
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Johannes

Founding member
Yeah, it was quite a dump. Bitcoin lost like 6% in ten minutes or something. And about, what, 13% in 24 hours?

A huge wallet holding 111,114 BTC/$844M appears to be on the move recently after over 4 years of inactivity. It's associated with either some old funds when Silkroad got busted and/or some old MtGox wallet. Info: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/9bfnff
Theory is, the anticipation and/or effect of these coins being thrown on the market produced a crash.

There are also theories of large bitcoin holders ("whales") constantly manipulating the price through trading bots. Or the rejection of yet another bitcoin ETF proposal.

In the end, who really knows? If you bought crypto in 2013, a dip of about $1000 in 2018 is probably a mere joke to you. Now if you buy in 2018, will that be the same in 2023? Who knows.

Remind me of this post in five years please :D
 

mjp

Founding member
It's funny for a currency that touts anonymity as one of its primary benefits that somehow large transactions are often traced back to someone, or some organization.

I'm not sure Bitcoin will be a thing to remind anyone about in 2023. Or Bitcoin will probably be around, but it doesn't look like some of the altcoins will be around for that long.

But as you said, who knows? Which pretty much sums up everything in and around this shit.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Pseudonymity. Every transaction is forever publicly saved in the blockchain. For good and for bad. As soon as your adress or adresses can be somehow linked to your identity, every transaction you ever made will be forever linked to you (https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/anonymity/)

Save some black swan event like the cryptographic algorithm being broken, it appears verrry likely that Bitcoin will be around in 2023. What will it be worth tho, that's the question. As long as supply is limited and demand growing, price will (most likely) go up. In the long run. Next halving to come in 622 days, reducing mining reward from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoin per block (https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com). Some claim that is already priced in, some claim that will notch the price up (historically it did).

Altcoins, some (many) might be gone by then. Some appear very interesting to my untrained eye but the lack of decentralisation is a serious issue with all of them imo. Another interesting cryptocurrency where it's impossible for one person or company to simply double supply at their whim and there might be a serious contender to bitcoin.

Also don't worry, some claim nobody understands this shit, not even the man/woman/whoever who invented it: https://www.coindesk.com/nobody-understands-bitcoin-thats-ok/

:D
 

Johannes

Founding member
Sounds interesting. Certainly decentralisation and owning your own data in social networks can only be a good thing, if it's proper implemented? Both articles are rather short on technical details but I'd check it out for sure once it's running.
 

Johannes

Founding member
I registered but holy fuck, this is like trying to compile a linux kernel yourself. Nerdlevel 1000000000000000 :D ... that's gonna take some time until this overtakes facebook.
 
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Johannes

Founding member
Apparently today is the anniversary of a important day in bitcoin history. On this day four years ago a "whale" (holder of large numbers of bitcoin) got so frustrated with the price decline and raging scaling debate at the time that he "lost faith in bitcoin" and threw his 30.000 bitcoins on the market, each priced at 300 bucks a coin. Since the market was much smaller then than now it would have caused a huge price dump, possibly to 2010 levels. But surprisingly so many people jumped in to buy his coins that after a 6 hour raging buy/sell battle all bitcoins were sold and the price remained stable and jumped back up.

:D the sentiment


"On Thursday, one of Bitcoin’s most celebrated moments was remembered, and its enduring mystery was finally resolved. The notorious person referred to only as ‘the BearWhale,’ came forward to tell his unexpected story and make a plea to the community.

While refusing to identify himself in many ways, the person in question posted a Bitcoin address and signed message as cryptographic proof that he was in control of at least 36,000 bitcoins in 2013 and 2014. He was initially drawn to bitcoin “after a series of bad experiences with the banking system,” and so he invested “most of life savings” into bitcoin, at a price “around $8.”

The BearWhale held onto the huge cache of coins through years of scandals and other bad news and was worth at least $37 million dollars at the end of 2013, the height of the MtGox bubble. He then rode Bitcoin’s price all the way down to $350, losing over two-thirds of his wealth.

Then on October 5th, 2014, after months of hearing daily about the scaling debate and agreeing with the need for bigger blocks in Bitcoin, the BearWhale lost faith in Bitcoin and transferred 30,000 coins to Bitstamp, which he trusted to sell them fairly. The following morning, he simply placed a sell limit order for $300 per coin. “I could have gotten a better price if I spent more time working the order I guess,” he told Reddit. “I put up the wall because I didn't want to just sit in front of the computer all day.”

There were “no IRS or police visits” after selling them, he revealed, putting an end to conspiracy theories about his motives. “I paid taxes on the gains. I wasn't nervous at all.”

Such a large sale was sure to move the market, and he realized at the time that he could have made much more money if he’d spaced out the sale into smaller trades over time. However, he explained that he was panicked about Bitcoin’s block size debate, and his goal was to unload the coins quickly and without a lot of manual intervention. “It worked,” he recalled. “I did not sell in panic. I just believed, incorrectly, in the ‘small blocks are bad’ narrative.”

At a market price of around $350 that morning, such a large sale on Bitstamp risked taking prices back to 2010 levels. Incredibly, soon after the “attack” on bitcoin’s price started, the community rallied to buy up all of his coins and maintain the market value. After six whole hours of his constant selling, the price jumped back up. The BearWhale had been “slain” - an event much celebrated in the community ever since, and reported in the mainstream media"

(https://bravenewcoin.com/insights/the-legacy-of-bitcoins-bearwhale)
 
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mjp

Founding member
While Bitcoin continues its downward slide, I experienced one of the weird things that happens in this world: an "airdrop."

Airdrop is just nerd slang for giving away free coins. The wallet I use just added support for a relatively new coin, Stellar, and to hype it up and speed its acceptance or use (which, I gather, is the typical reason for these airdrops), Stellar is offering everyone who uses the wallet $25 worth of the coin.

As you can see, that translated to a little more than 104 Stellar coins dropped into my account. So they're worth a little less than $0.25 each.

stellar.png


I wouldn't know where to spend Stellar, and it's not enough money to bother spending (or converting to Bitcoin) anyway, so I guess it will just sit there.

If Stellar happens to catch on and gain value (highly unlikely), then maybe one day those 104 XLM will be worth something. I am declining to hold my breath at this time (tough there was a time when 5,000 Bitcoin were only worth one pizza, so who knows).

I think if you open a new wallet at bitcoin.com it's not too late to claim the free Stellar. You know, if you want to burn some of your precious time for a virtual $25...
 

mjp

Founding member
For most of us it's more of a shell game than a pyramid scheme.

If you can imagine a stock market where none of the companies selling stock actually exist, you totally understand cryptocurrency!

But as it's been pointed out, you could say the same thing about the currencies of most countries. There's really nothing backing them but faith.
 

Johannes

Founding member
It's probably almost a cliche now to say you are "in it for the tech" but if you come at Bitcoin from a price only point of view, sure, then it's more than weird and sketchy.

But think about it, a globally distributed network as a store of value, censorless, not owned by anybody, getting scarcer all the time (aka deflation vs. inflation of conventional money), potentially "banking the unbanked" aka giving the 2/3 of the world that can't or won't own a bank account access to a globally distributed network of financial value, pseudonymous, solving the Byzantine fault problem, all you need to access is a phone, can't be forbidden by anyone anymore then the internet can, freeing "money" as a content type from the medium of cash, credit cards, cheque etc., plus cutting out the middleman aka banks + governments who monopolize finance, and on and on ... this tech is history in the making we are witnessing here and that's what gives Bitcoin it's value.

Sure, it's volatile as fuck, the network might have inherent flaws that nobody had thought of as of now, nobody knows who invented it, you might send money to a wrong adress and then it's gone forever etc. Price might also go very very low tomorrow. Nobody knows. But the tech will (most probably) stay and change the world as we know it now, good and bad, just like the net did.

Interesting with Stellar, never heard of it. I'll read up on it. As I said before, all the other cryptocurrencies miss what's Bitcoins major feature, as far as I can tell: dezentralisation. Many are interesting in other aspects, but if one person or company can decide what will happen with your money, well, then you have to trust them. With Bitcoin you trust the network.

Here is one talk I found very interesting about how freeing the content type (financial value) from the medium (cash, credit cards, bank accounts etc.) might be revolutionary. Relevant part (imo) starts at 16:12

 
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mjp

Founding member
Interesting with Stellar, never heard of it. I'll read up on it. As I said before, all the other cryptocurrencies miss what's Bitcoins major feature, as far as I can tell: dezentralisation.
Stellar is decentralized, and its focus is on moving transactions quickly (as in five seconds) and cheaply (as in a thousandth of a cent).

It seems to work well, I just moved some Stellar tokens from Coinbase to my wallet and they showed up right away and there was no fee taken from the amount. Or I suppose it's more correct to say the fee was so small as to not be noticed. (Coinbase is giving away Stellar tokens for watching videos and answering questions...I still haven't paid for a Stellar token.)

Anyway, Bitcoin is rallying lately. For no reason that anyone can discern. And Etherium is up even more than Bitcoin. My $50 of Etherium has skyrocketed to $68.74.

Untitled-1.png


Overall I'm still down $24.76 from the original $149 of Bitcoin I took from that kid, but them's the breaks in this high stakes world of international finance. Or whatever this is.

Here are my wallet addresses if anyone feels like experimenting and sending me money. :) Or tokens. Or whatever this is.

Bitcoin: 17giTs5LWfVRMQ4x5E2e65Ew3rnG8paued
Etherium: 0x6E90a2F25b7cD4cfdB3572f70Ac308cDc4C8F211
Stellar: GCOIQFQDDRCX5LTP3XR3OPZGLYRXZYPSAGW45XLB7RSR6BXBRG2WK6WK
 

Johannes

Founding member
Litecoin halving is around the corner, couple of months (https://www.litecoinblockhalf.com/) ... that's one theory why it's going up. All the coins are connected (supposedly) through trading bots and most people holding different coins simultaneously.

Sounds promising with Stellar. Good if it's fast and cheap. The micro-fee/micropayment aspect is one thing where cryptocurrencies could truly be revolutionary. Things like say paying for videocontent by the second with microtransactions could really be a thing in the future for streaming etc.

I recently read this book

Bitcoin standard.jpg


... which I can recommend. It's an easy to read history of money and economics. Some things in it I personally disagree with (like the authors high brow theory of art) but overall I liked it a lot.
 
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mjp

Founding member
I haven't had good luck with the financial-type books I've tried to read, I always get lost and sleepy, but I'll check it out.

Stellar focuses on remittance payments and cross-border stuff, doing instant conversions between different currencies. Perfect for someplace like Los Angeles where a lot of people send money to family in Mexico, and get screwed by place like Western Union and other high-fee services in the process. But using something like Stellar they could send $100 to Mexico in a few seconds and the person on the other end would get almost all of the $100. But you know, it's hard to get people to trust these things, let alone understand them.

The person or company or cryptocurrency that makes transactions less technically painful will really change the world. As easy as Venmo or PayPal but across any currency and with a tiny fee. That will disrupt everything if anyone can ever work it out.



Speaking of PayPal, I remember dropping an X.com check in my landlord's box back in 1999 or so (X.com later became PayPal) and that night he came and knocked on my door and said, "What's this? I can't take this. X.com isn't a bank!" ?
 

Johannes

Founding member
Yeah I read about this ... will be interesting if someone can solve it. There have been things like this in the past I believe, but never with this much money involved.
 
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Johannes

Founding member
Because price is volatile as hell. It's a logical consequence. Once (if) price remains relatively stable it might be used more as a currency. At the moment it more equals gold in that regard: scarce, appreciating in value compared to inflating fiat money, could pay with it but (still) sort of a pain in the ass.

Maybe in 10-15 years, when most of the existing supply will be mined it will have reached a relatively stable equilibrium wrt price. Also, it still needs the kind of "netscape-moment" the internet had, where it gets userfriendly and as a consequence can be used by everybodys grandparents off their phones.

Once (if) price remains relatively stable for a period of say, 10 years or so, AND it's possible to buy/store with one click off your phone it might get used more as the inventor (whoever that is) intended it: as digital currency. Up to then it will remain more of a speculative investment.
 

mjp

Founding member
it still needs the kind of "netscape-moment" the internet had...
Yes. And I don't doubt that some cryptocurrency will have that moment, it seems inevitable, but it probably won't be Bitcoin. Bitcoin will be the Mosaic browser in the analogy. The first, yes, but overshadowed and long forgotten when crypto (Netscape) goes mainstream.

What I wonder is when all the Bitcoin is "mined," who is going to pay for those blockchain transactions? They are too expensive to maintain. Maybe in 15 years we'll have some futuristic processing power that makes the blockchain verifications lower cost, but by then the Bitcoin blockchain will be exponentially larger than it is now...it seems like a catch 22. But technology may still have some surprises up its sleeve.

In any event, this forum will still be here in 15 years (he predicts with impunity), so we'll be able to look back at this thread and see how dumb we were. Or I am. I'll be 74 years old, and still pontificating about things I don't really know anything about. Or I'll be dead and hoochmonkey9 (or his son) will be running it.

But I get the feeling that cryptocurrency, when it catches on and is easy to use, will likely be owned by banks. Just like the internet is "owned" by the handful of big companies that keep it up and running. If Amazon or Google (or any one of a dozen other companies whose names are not as widely known) turned off their servers tomorrow, the internet as we know it would cease to exist.

It started as anarchy, and that was fun for a minute, but then it became owned, just like everything of value does.

All I know is that Greta kid must hate Bitcoin.
 

Johannes

Founding member
but it probably won't be Bitcoin. Bitcoin will be the Mosaic browser in the analogy.

That's certainly possible. However, the more I read about it and look into other coins, none has appeard yet that is truly decentralized like Bitcoin is. Which is Bitcoins strongest most important point. You can make other coins scarce, you can make them technically superior in any way. As soon as one guy or a team or a company is in control, all goes downhill in comparison. First because of trust-issues: then you have to trust the guy. Or the team. Or the company. Secondly, as soon as this coin becomes a real threat in an economic sense to centralized banking, there will likely be "repercussions" for the guy, the team, the company. Yet Bitcoin is like P2P/filesharing ... it's a protocol without a singular point of control.

Bitcoin is still a weird fringe internet nerd thing in the public eye. It isn't percieved as a threat (yet?) ... tho it is the most successful asset of the last 10 years. It went from zero to 20k per unit within 10 years. No other asset, company stock, bond, metal, whatever has done this. So, I don't know. Ethereum came almost close once to Bitcoin in terms of market cap tho, I believe.

What I wonder is when all the Bitcoin is "mined," who is going to pay for those blockchain transactions?

I think the theory is that transaction fees will (have to) carry the network then.

But I get the feeling that cryptocurrency, when it catches on and is easy to use, will likely be owned by banks

That would defeat the very spirit of Bitcoin, but it's certainly possible. One way or another. We haven't even entered the threat/fight stage yet. The music industry was once a gargantuan global industry that fought teeth and claws (and much too late) against the changes brought by tech and the internet. Who could have imagined at the peak of say CDs and Michael Jackson in the late 80's/early 90's that the future of this industry would be mumble rap on spotify and youtube? ?

Yet as gargantuan as this industry is/was, the financial system is 1000x. The mind boggles imagining a disruptive tech coming in and stirring this fucker up. If you suscribe to the harder-money-replaces-softer-money theory and cryptocurrencies/bitcoin is the harder form of money, there are likely interesting times ahead. Bitcoin is sometimes called the silent revolution ... I hope it happens this way: silently, decentralized, grass-roots, slowly getting absorbed into the mainstream to benefit everybody in some way or another.

In any event, this forum will still be here in 15 years (he predicts with impunity)

We made it from 2006-2019, we can do it!
 
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Hannah

Your host
Moderator
Founding member
Tune in a few months from now when it will be worth either $300 or $50.
It's been more than a few months, but I checked my crypto fortune today for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, and it's $306.11. So it's doubled in 2.5 years.
 

Hannah

Your host
Moderator
Founding member
Just an update on my crypto-fortune (or more accurately, Carol's fortune, since it was her stuff we initially traded for $149 worth of bitcoin), it's up to $462.92 at the moment.

So it's gone from doubling on August 20th to more than tripling today, a little more than three months later. Is this THE BIDEN EFFECT? Ha. I don't really keep up with the crypto market, so I don't know. The only reason I usually check the value of what we've got here is when I install a new app on my phone and see my crypto-wallet listed in the apps list and think, "Oh yeah, I wonder what that says today?"

Anyway, that's an overall increase of 210% in a little over 1,000 days, leaving us with $313.92 more than we started with.

And, of course, as always, tomorrow it could be $0. ?
 
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