Your new digital currency


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So after he sold off all of his earlybird Bitcoins, he went and founded another currency where he’s going to start off with 45% of the bills so he can sell them off slowly over time again? I guess it worked once.

The “market value” is a bunch of bullshit too. $1.4 billion dollars on something nobody has heard about yet? It’s even more bullshit than the bitcoin market value, and almost as bad as those calculations of the value of the entire stock market (typically a couple orders of magnitude more than all of the money in the world).

Ripple is not a bitcoin replacement, and won’t ever be. It’s just another electronic currency among many, because it’s centrally controlled by McCaleb and his company. In doing away with mining, he’s done away with the decentralized foundation that makes Bitcoin unique.

This is all just the privatization of currency. I’m not sure what good it does, except more fully concentrate wealth in the hands of a few. Welcome to neoliberal land… also known as Galt’s Gulch. Are you superman enough to inhabit this magically land? Only Ayn can tell you for sure…


Argh. I got sucked into an Internet Argument with Randroids today. Again. I am a weak and foolish man…


You can’t really argue with ideologues, because they KNOW they are right. It’s like arguing with a religious person about their belief in god or an atheist about their non-belief in god… I feel like they really do feel that they have the answers, no matter how others feel about things. For me, this sort of slavish devotion to ideology, whether it’s Randians/Objectivists (whose views I have little to no ideological sympathy for) or hardline Communists (who I have more ideological sympathy for, depending on which Marxist arguments they are employing), well, they just can’t handle the messy reality that is life and want to put it all into a neat little box that makes sense to them… I don’t really find any real comfort in a lockstep view of the world, because there is always a but… if that makes sense.

You should read this, as it’s pretty good mini-bio of Rand’s life.


While there are still actually bitcoins being handed out at achievable levels of computational tractibility, this ‘mining’ stuff serves as a glittery distraction (“OMG, why build massive amounts of pointless computational labor into the process? That’s so inefficient!!!”); but the ‘miners’ are also the ones who are handling verification for transfers between wallets (and, in theory, will eventually either get bored or get paid enough in transaction fees, which transactors can offer to speed their transactions’ processing, to stick around.

Bitcoin has a bit much volatile-commodities-speculation dickery surrounding it for my taste at the moment; but anybody who thinks that the ‘miners’ are an optional folly in the system is either wrong, or bent on reinventing paypal.

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It was in the comments on an article about that very comic upon which I started tilting at said windmills… :wink:

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The internets is such a small globe. :wink:

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At times like this, it’s important to recall that Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, is short for Magic: The Gathering Online Xchange.

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Narrow tube, surely?

I like the notion of the internets as a globe. Maybe I’m just reading too many books on world and global history, lately. But sure, narrow tube could work, too. Probably more fitting.

Could it ever be anything more than commodity speculation? Bitcoin has developed a secure, “anonymous” method to trade… nothing. Maybe the Silk Road or some other black market cabal is what’s backing up Bitcoin, but in that case holding Bitcoin is just a bet that the black market will continue to prefer Bitcoin from among the infinite other possible digital currencies.

If mining bitcoins isn’t worth it, people will stop.

If people stop and use of bitcoins grows, bitcoins become more valuable.

Than mining them becomes worth it again.

I realize it is computational waste, but it isn’t a hideously awful system

You might be overestimating the ability of your average bitcoin miner to do the cost/benefit analysis, although some of them are doing it because they’ve got someone else (like their parents) paying the power bill.

although some of them are doing it because they’ve got someone else (like their parents) paying the power bill.

Depending on how you go about it you can pay your power bill with bitcoin mining and reap a small profit on top of it as well. Have you ever tried it yourself, or are you settling for mere conjecture and speaking from authority anyway?

That was briefly true if you were one of the first people to get the new shipments of ASICs, but the difficulty shot up too quickly after the ASICs arrived to make them profitable for long. The same was also true for awhile if you were one of the early GPU miners. If you were doing CPU mining in the early early days it was also profitable in the long term.

Just do the math on the speed of the ASIC vs. the difficulty and divide by your dollars per watt.

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Not all ASICs are made alike, purchased and implemented the same. But, I do agree the heyday is likely over for most hobbyists and jumping into this blindly (especially at this point with new hardware) is sketchy.

That was briefly true …

We’ll see. It’s helpful if you know people high up in the Rocky Mountains where cooling isn’t an issue and solar is abundant. :wink: It’s a cold pool, but feels great… and, winter is coming… :wink:

If the Bitcoin exchange rate stagnates, some people are screwed and some aren’t. But, it’s not written in stone that it’ll stagnate either. But, yeah, it’s a gamble like any other investment and the people who don’t do their proper research, timing and implementation will have their asses handed to them like any other investment.

Would company shares count as a privatised currency?

I’ve got about half my savings in those and they seem secure enough without needing baked-in encryption. What stops someone from claiming title to my Apple shares, or selling counterfeit ones on Wall Street?

I’d been pretty suspicious of the concept of Bitcoins. It’s the people with lots of money who have the strongest interest in hiding what they do with their money, after all, and a lot of the interest in Bitcoin seemed to be coming from people holding forth on strange right-wing theories about money. On the other hand, I started to see the point of an anonymous digital currency when, as a thought experiment, I tried to work out how I might create a pseudonymous identity that couldn’t easily be connected to my given name.

At that point, it starts to get at some of my concerns about the fierce interest in digital anonymity among many activists. In principle, I feel the right to communicate anonymously ought to be considered a civil right, connected to the right to free speech. But in practice, I worry that many activists are excessively worried about anonymity, spending too much effort on what may be an unreachable goal, and one that may not be a good move, politically, in their contexts.

In reading the history of the Bolsheviks, and groups related to them, one thing that came up a lot was the discussion of when to go underground. The trouble is that it’s a defensive move – a last-ditch effort to save some part of your organization in the face of systemic repression – and it comes at a severe cost, since going underground means an isolation in which the group cannot grow, cannot act effectively, and, if infiltrated, can be more easily manipulated. Supposedly, the US left has a history of romanticizing going underground, and groups do so unnecessarily, leading to disasters such as the the ineffective resistance of the CPUSA to McCarthyism, and the isolation and infiltration of the Black Panthers.