Bitcoin hits record high, worth more than ounce of gold for first time

Huh, I thought an ounce of Bitcoin was already worth more than an ounce of gold…


You were most likely tipped via ChangeTip which ceased operations in November. Here is the Reddit shutdown post.

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It was some link that I had to click on and then I saved it out to a wallet that was on a computer of mine that I had ended up transferring to some online wallet where I expected it to get stolen but for $0.50 I just wanted to see how this all worked!

I never actually got around cashing it out because, well…$0.50. I didn’t want to give anyone my bank account for this!

Now…I’m trying to get it transferred to PayPal…but it will take 3 days since I’ve never done this before :stuck_out_tongue:

That is as much as I remember…I think Techbuzz was right where it came from. Sounds like it…or something very similar.

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After posting my question I did find ChangeTip in my old emails. But none of the emails mentioned getting a tip from ex-coworker. I found they have a page still up where you can withdraw funds. It found my account but said my balance was zero.

Yeah, I recall getting an email/Message/PM form some app/website. I even recall the bar I was in and which booth I was at when it arrived, It said my ex-coworker (that was into bitcoin) had sent me some small fraction of a bitcoin as a tip. I clicked a link to accept the tip and I think at the time installed an associated app. When I checked how much it was worth at the time it was 50 cents, maybe a dollar at most. I’ve searched my email, text messages and twitter PM’s. Nothing. I looked through all of my installed and previously installed apps. Nothing. Oh well. Easy come easy go…

Thank you for the reply.


It’s not terribly easy to use, but I’ve used it to buy things on Amazon, via


I’ve heard it claimed (claimed, offhand remarks in coverage never seen the details). That a single typical size super computer of the sort made of multiple GPUs and server grade CPUs if dedicated to mining bitcoin could potentially tank the value by flooding the market with bitcoinage. And that Chinese capacity of exactly those sorts of server farms and cluster computers already dedicated to bit mining is sufficient to do so many times over if really cut loose.

I dunno how true that is. But given how often I see it mentioned. The examples of money laundering. Disappearing exchanges. Rapid boom bust/cycle to the value. And eagerness to pack these things into “financial vehicles”. I have trouble believing these numbers will stick around or are in anyway “real”.

And it certainly isn’t much like a currency. You really can’t buy things with it. Especially in physical establishments. Storage/saving securely is dodgy. And your not earning interest. You can’t get a loan it bitcoin. Can’t get prices quoted in bitcoin for most physical goods that have inherent value or practical utility.

In a very real sense they have not created an alternate currency. But an alternate commodity. Packaged an targeted as an investment. But it lacks the key things that keep commodities around. Most of them are natural resources or food. There’s a base level of practical need and use for things like pork bellies, oil, even gold. There’s no eccomic activity built from its creation. There aren’t thousands of bitcoin miners working for bitcoin operations. No by products with value of their own. No companies manufacturing or building bitcoin infrastructure. No industries that need bitcoin at the right price to operate. It’s all tangential. Commodities have well understood supply and demand factors that effect price, even when speculation can manipulate it. Bitcoin is a commodity with all those inherent backdrops removed. It has neither the liquidity or real world usability of cash. Not the security and transportability of deposited cash. What your left with is the speculation dynamics. The financial business. Moving pieces of paper around to magically increase value. Just like all those complex securities a few years back.


Since bits weigh 0 ounces you have to be careful when comparing the price of gold ($/ounce) and Bitcoins ($/bitcoin). One mistake and a divide by zero error could crash the internet.


You heard wrong. Really, really, spectacularly wrong.


Please explain how that constitutes speculation, which is what we were discussing.

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Someone gave me a QR for a bitcoin back when they were worth about $80. I tried to register it (or whatever you call it) with one of the Bitcoin banks but somehow it didn’t work out and I got frustrated. I probably threw it away.

PS I appreciate that you use the word “speculating” rather than “investing.” It annoys me to no end that some refer to it as investing.


It doesn’t work like that. Simply put, new Bitcoins enter the system at a more or less fixed rate determined by the rate at which transactions are verified. The heart of the verification process is finding a hash value below a certain target value which is shared round the network. If a huge amount of new processing power arrives on the Bitcoin network and starts finding hashes, the target value drops making suitable hashes much rarer and the rate of finding hashes drops back towards the pre-determined rate (IIRC a batch of 12.5 Bitcoins is released about every 10 minutes).

So yes, if you were to add a lot of processing power you could make a short term killing, but the network compensates to stop you breaking the system entirely. The real issue these days is whether you can afford to mine Bitcoins, the difficulty of finding hashes is such that energy consumption is a major factor.


Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of Bitcoins?

Nah, it’ll never catch on.


Actually, we were discussing how you have to go to ridiculous lengths to prevent your speculation from being stolen. Which ultimately will be worth next to nothing anyhow based on the history of speculative bubbles. You are basically investing in electronic Beanie Babies.


Never thought i would see this mentioned :joy:


I say it’ll come back down like gold did some time between 2012-14 and decline after that, although itd been making a slight come back recently

I think it’s still fundamentally a sound idea. Regardless of the functions in bitcoin designed to stabilize it. What it comes down to is that it doesn’t really matter whether you are functionally increasing the total supply of bitcoin overall or if you are just capturing a larger share of a completely fixed pie. Which is why I stressed it being a claim. I’ve never seen anyone show their work. How long can you produce more/capture a bigger percentage before the algorithmic correction stalls you out? Can you “price” others out by pushing the computing power needed up high enough to keep out other players. Do you have to ride the correction up and down. Spiking compute power to make gains during any lag, tapering off to bring it down?

Basically the issue isn’t over supplying bitcoin. It’s concentrating the supply in too few entities hands. There is some way to effectively corner the market on bit coin. Or gain a sufficiently concentrated portion of the supply. And mining would seem to be feasible/cost effective than buying. Because the absolute cost of a bit coin isn’t it’s exchange rate. But the cost of power and equipment to compute them. And power and equipment that can easily be rerouted to or from something else profitable.

So I think you have 3 questions. How much computing power does it really take? Is it really just a typical, now widely spread cluster of server? The previously mentioned how? And at what level of concentration does it become dangerous?

Because once supply is sufficiently concentrated you’ve got your typical market based risk. All it takes is one party with x ammount of bitcoin to dump it. Perhaps to cash out. To spark a major panic/sell off. Crashing the value. Reducing overall confidence. Or if the sell-off is large enough tanking the whole thing.

Cause remember you typically can’t use your bitcoin to pay your. Your company’s. Or your country’s bills. You typically can’t use it to buy goods with solid value (at least in quantities needed). Not buying enough grain to feed people in bit coin. You aren’t swapping bit coin for more stable oil. You have to sell it into a market for real currency to get use out of it.

And it lacks the critical back stops many other tradeable products have. Currency is supported by the total economic output of its issuer. The dollar is valuable and stable because the US has debt, holds other’s debts, produces real goods with inherent value. It accepts dollars for goods, And will issue goods for dollars. We have a large market of people with needs, And lots of natural resources. Bitcoin’s total economic output is bit coin. Stocks have the baseline of the physical goods and liquid assets they have. So even when they collapse there is some physical value to make lenders and stock holders somewhat whole. Even with vaguer things like patents and data. Bitcoin has only it’s value on the (unreliabe) exchange. Commodities have some base use. Even if its price is effected by the market and speculation. There is a base use for oil, a need that gives it a value in real currency or equivalent goods. Even something like gold has a real practical reason for its desirability. It’s not just pretty. It’s properties make it (an similar metals) uniquely suited to decorative objects. It isn’t prone to tarnish, hypo allergenic, has the right combination of durability and ductile/maleable for cold metal work. Many of these same properties are what give it base use and value in electronics. What use? Outside of its valuation does bitcoin have?

These things have a certain sort of minimum value. Beyond which they can’t drop, or will spring back to, unless everything is totally fucked. And things certainly can be (and have been) totally fucked. Bitcoin doesn’t. Things don’t need to be totally fucked for it to hit it’s base value. Which is kind of nothing.

Hell even an attempt to corner the market could spur a sell off. Even if ultimately it proves to be impractical, or the parties it’s concentrating with are too cautious to initialise one themselves.

Imagine this. I build a sufficiently powerful super computer to make the attempt. I get close. People catch wind. Worry that bitcoin might tank, And start to sell. I see the dropping value and decide to sell off some of my BC to mitigate losses. Or to capture more coins as they bottom out (need liquid money to purchase more) This only accelerates the price fall. Causing me and everyone else to dump. It runs away. Below a certain valuation bitcoin simply ceases to exist.


There’s no price stability, sovereign guarantee backed up by taxation, or easy way to trade w/o being defrauded, so BC works more like a penny stock than a currency.


In firkins per furlong?

I like the fake commodity comparison better myself because it makes the easy comparison of “what use is bitcoin?” more easily understood. In the post apocalyptic world of Rein of Fire (featuring Mega Mcconaughey) the guy with a bag of wheat can eat. The guy with a barrel of oil can power something (or make plastic?). The guy with the sack of bitcoin has a sack of bit coin. So if you, or your nation has a shit ton stuffed into grain. Well at least you can eat if it all goes tits up. I mean that’s a vast, vast, vast over simplification but I think it illustrates the problem with bitcoin nicely.

Penny stocks are a nice way to think of it too. Since crap penny stocks (and many start ups) typically don’t have the sorts of income and assets that regular stocks have. So there is often nothing there to liquidate and reclaim at least some value when they tank.

Bitcoin doesn’t have that base backing. That “we have 80% of the world’s supply of plombuses, and our economy is in tatters. So we will only accept payment for plombuses in our own currency. And you motherfuckers need plombuses” that currencies tend to have. So it sits somewhere in the realm of investment vehicles.

It could, in theory develop that. With sufficient stability and acceptance over time. And that’s probably what the creators were shooting for. But as it sits it really does incentivize not developing that. Since you can only extract the value from your bitcoins by selling them on the exchange. You aren’t getting a dividend. Or guaranteed interest. And you can’t just take your bitcoins home physically and use them for their intended purpose (can’t eat a bitcoin). You can’t take your bitcoins off the exchange and sell them into the real market, because there’s no guy in China who needs bitcoin to finish this damn shopping mall. You have to sell that shit. You have to exchange it for something else. You can’t even just park them in a mattress.

That means that selling them, at some point, is the priority. And markets being what they are (irrational) sell offs to extract value trigger more selloffs to preserve value. Leading to the boom-bust cycle we’re already seeing.

And frankly since noone really needs bitcoin. Nothing you can make with it. No industry that relies on it. Nothing you can buy with it you can’t buy more easily with regular currency. Well at a certain point that instability erodes confidence. People will lose interest. Since there’s nothing backing it but interest (meaning speculation mostly). Well that drives value down further.

Since there’s no bottom. You can’t vulture capital Bitcoin. You can’t liquidate it. Its more a question of how low. Or how many times it can go low. Before it just ceases to be a thing. Does anyone bother with bitcoin if a bitcoin has an exchange rate like we see with some of the worlds worst currency? Millions or billions to the dollar? Is there a practical limit to how much volume can be restricted to prevent that? Do we see a point where you need to keep it to just a few hundred bitcoin to keep the value above a dollar? Does anyone keep mining or trading them if it even looks like any of this could happen? And what happens if they don’t. Since mining and trading the bastards is pretty much the whole thing ATM?

Eta: oh and that’s all without the disappearing exchanges, fraud, money laundering, and reports of deliberate manipulation. Those just further hamper credibility and stability. Further erode the safety of holding wealth in bitcoin. Removing potential exchange buyers from the equation. Which will depress price.

How do you extract value from bitcoin if no-one is buying? At any price? How do you get a return on the cost inherent to mining? You don’t.


14,000 tonnes of CO2.