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Thread: Bitcoin and Poseidon.

  1. #51
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    I'm sorry if this sound rude, because it does not mean to be, I am merely stating what I understand right now: your position appears to be that "bitcoin does not exist" and your method is to simply repeat this in various forms over and over again, whilst mis-stating the positions that I was careful to lay out (for example, nowhere did I state that I was smarter than Warren Buffett). I am sure you understand why I am not inclined to pursue this discussion, just as I would find it difficult to argue with someone saying the Federal Reserve does not actually own any physical gold, or to have a religious discussion with someone whose position differs from mine and who requires proof that my version is the true version.

    It is fundamentally impossible to reach the burden of proof required to satisfy you, because you do not trust any of those who could prove the fact to you or the method of reasoning that arrives to the most likely conclusion (does a DC actually have bitcoin mining rigs in it, or did they set up a bunch of container sized, extremely expensive hardware to wiz about so they could pretend to the technical staff of customers in totally unrelated businesses that they have bitcoin mining rigs, a pretense that would have exactly zero impact on said staff's decisions?).

    I thought of a nice anecdote from my trading days that continues in the theme of invisible things. Trichet, the ECB head, was giving a press conference and suddenly the EURUSD plummeted, a very fast and very deep move that I as a junior trader totally did not expect or understand, since he was saying exactly what we expected him to say. I asked my boss, with decades of experience behind him, what the hell just happened. He said "his face, look at it, he's slightly less confident than at the last conference" (implying some monetary easing would be forthcoming). That was it - the impression that the market had of a slight change in the backbone of the head of the ECB was enough to drop a major currency pair by a huge amount, affecting the fate of 500 million people in a very real, physical way. What a weight on that man's shoulders...
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  2. #52
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamount View Post
    OK. I apologise if I misunderstood what you said.
    Thank you. No harm done.

  3. #53
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius View Post
    Here's a relatable way to think about this invisible value thing.

    To most people, instant coffee or Nespresso is nice. It suits their caffeine requirements. To these people, we are nuts for paying so much money not just for coffee but for grinding, roasting and brewing equipment, and spending so much time obsessing about it. At most they'll detect that instant is a bit more bitter and pungent than a Geisha on the V60 a few days after the roast. I know many who prefer that strong, stale taste when cut with milk and sugar - I mean, look at how popular Starbucks is.

    But... this site exists, and Andy moves tons of coffee every month (or year, I can't remember). So clearly, there is a subset of people, presumably including everybody reading this, that do value good coffee and are willing to invest in it.

    Do the reasons matter? What is the intrinsic value in good coffee or food? At least with food you can argue the health angle, but with coffee, is there really much of a difference between your average Nespresso and what members here brew in the morning, health-wise? as far as I know nobody has proven that watery, stale, low quality coffee harms anything but your taste buds (and mood).

    Recognising this does not mean that you are a "coffee snob", it means recognising that there are a lot of people out there with different needs and personal experience might not be enough to be able to figure out what is going on (Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns"). What I pointed out is that there are people who have a need for what cryptocurrencies offer, that they are numerous and well funded, and that this gives some kind of long term "intrinsic value" to the asset class. Doesn't mean I'll spend a cent in it personally, just as I'm not touching Australian real estate which is truly bewildering.
    You sound like something of a budding philosopher apicius, Plato would have been proud, he had a way with words, often incorrect but always verbose.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    You sound like something of a budding philosopher apicius, Plato would have been proud, he had a way with words, often incorrect but always verbose.
    Dubito ergo cogito ergo sum. Short enough? :P
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Timeo Nakamotos et dona ferentes
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Timeo Nakamotos et dona ferentes
    Well done Barry, very applicable.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Well done Barry, very applicable.
    Cheers. I've waited 30 years from the Yes Minister episode to use that one.
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamount View Post
    This is BS. You did not see the "physical" Bitcoin, what you saw was what was purportedly the hardware the Bitcoin is sitting on. If they showed you any screens with Bitcoin activity that doesn't mean anything.

    Well, you may claim to have not spent money on Bitcoin but for somebody who has not spent money on any cryptocurrency you seem to be a cheerleader for cryptocurrency.

    Cryptocurrency is BS. Bitcoin is in a bubble and no amount of smoke and mirrors will change that. Plus I have to think Warren Buffett is much smarter than you concerning financial matters.
    There is no rational to your arguments, whether you like it or not Bitcoin is here and its current value is 14,000ish dollars it may go up it may go down but getting angry about it will not solve anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lootee View Post
    There is no rational to your arguments, whether you like it or not Bitcoin is here and its current value is 14,000ish dollars it may go up it may go down but getting angry about it will not solve anything.
    There is no rationale in supporting something that is not based on anything of value. Plus, if it’s so good why haven’t you put money into it? Where was your support for Bitcoin when it was more affordable?

    Cryptocurrencies rely on herd mentality alone and that is too dangerous for investors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamount View Post
    There is no rationale in supporting something that is not based on anything of value. Plus, if it’s so good why haven’t you put money into it? Where was your support for Bitcoin when it was more affordable?

    Cryptocurrencies rely on herd mentality alone and that is too dangerous for investors.
    I can buy the arguments for Sydney real estate being high quality by global standards, doesn't mean I want to plop $1m for a studio without A/C built in the late 1950s next to a highway.

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    Unfortunately the Sydney real estate boom is government backed

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius View Post
    I can buy the arguments for Sydney real estate being high quality by global standards, doesn't mean I want to plop $1m for a studio A/C built in the late 1950s next to a highway.
    Why are you getting so supportive of Bitcoin when you haven't even put your money into it? Surely, if Bitcoin is so good, you would've bought Bitcoin when it was much cheaper.

  13. #63
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Cheers. I've waited 30 years from the Yes Minister episode to use that one.
    Great series Barry, sadly my Latin is limited to "uva uvam vivendo varia fit"

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    Hear me out, theoretically cryptocurrencies are less risky than regular currency as they don't suffer the same sovereign risk that normal currencies do - that is the risk that a government essentially goes bust and can't pay out the cash in another currency. Think Zimbabwe dropping 12 zeros from the currency (a very extreme situation).

    The technology is sound and I believe will be here to stay in one form or another making a truly global currency that isn't controlled by a single government. However the thing that stops me from investing is the volatility and the speculators. The large majority of bitcoin investors are speculators only, not hedging an offset position in minerals or agriculture or another form of physical commodity. This alone makes bitcoin highly volatile and risky to invest in as there is nothing driving the market except pure speculation that tomorrow bitcoin will be worth more or less than today.

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    This is one of the less spoken about risks of cryptocurrencies: Exmo Bitcoin exchange chief executive kidnapped in Kiev - BBC News

    It's now a race against time to move that exchange's reserves to other wallets, before the chap in question "breaks"...

    Obligatory reference: https://xkcd.com/538/
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  16. #66
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Ego certainly is a stumbling block for some of us!
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  17. #67
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    Well, I can't really convince everybody one way or the other about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

    I'll just suggest these points:

    Don't invest more than you can afford to lose.
    Do your research, don't just get caught up in the hype.
    Don't invest in things you don't really understand.
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  18. #68
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    Hi all

    I might weigh in with a different angle again.

    In the long term (a decade or so) the ramifications of crypto-currencies (whether block chain based like bitcoin or the dozen or so other alternatives bases such as ethereum, IOTA and others) will be as significant as the shift from gold and other physically based currencies to fiat currency.

    Already we are seeing governments and big financial institutions and companies (Accenture, Microsoft, Intel, JPMorgan, UBS, Toyota, Merck and Rabobank, Credit Suisse, ING, Bank of New York and Thomson Reuters and several dozen others) become members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). It's getting big and too big for governments and companies to pretend it is a just a technological splash in the pan.

    Here in Australia the Australian Tax office in 2014 released guidance stating that cryptocurrencies would not be treated as money but as a commodity and therefore would be taxed similarly to a non-cash barter transaction. Then this year the ATO said it will treat cryprocurrencies as money and they completely reversed their stance: "We will also introduce changes to the GST to ensure that consumers are no longer double taxed when using digital currencies such as bitcoin."


    This further entrenches crypto-currencies as being here to stay. It might go up or down, it might even go up or down a bloody long way, like a roller coaster as investors take turns riding the cars. Some will fall off and some will have a thrill of a ride. In the long term we have the potential through this technology (which can't be put back in the bottle) for a stable, international, decentralized currency, regulated to some degree, but not absolutely controllable by any one single government. Whether the world can achieve that will depend on politics and the continued uptake of crypto-currencies by people and companies for legitimate and worthwhile uses.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Ego certainly is a stumbling block for some of us!

    Ego is stumbling block for having an adult conversation in many online platforms these days, many people cannot see past their own opinion and get angry with people who have opinions which differ to anything but their own. When a person starts to show signs of anger is when I sign off, there is no trying to convince a person of a round earth when they think the earth is clearly flat.

    At least Bitcoin is not effecting people in this forum like certain arguments which are taking place around the world, arguments such as a genderless society where learning institutions are pushing agendas which have no basis on science or rational.

    My stance on Bitcoin is it is here to stay, just another currency, people mock things they do no understand and this is clearly shown here. Bitcoin could go by way of the dinosaur, this is just my opinion, I could be wrong. As for investing in a currency, well that is always a bad option, Bitcoin is a currency, the Greenback is also a currency but I would not invest in either of them.

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    Since I was apparently promoting the thing, here is my bear case for the asset class as a whole, and bitcoin especially.

    The main attraction of crypto is anonymous irreversible payments (and for some, instant). This is actually surprisingly hard to get elsewhere. Even wire transfers (ACT, or is it SWIFT?) are batched daily. This makes it perfect for terrorist acts. "Pay me quietly now or I do X". The only issue is getting out of your wallet and into hard currency, but that issue disappears if bitcoin is widely used.

    A less visible, but easily scalable action is the "tiger kidnapping" - the robber takes the kids hostage and asks the dad to hand over his (electronic) wallet, then pays themselves and disappears untraceably. Does the person even need to have bitcoin, no, because they could just buy some under duress and do the transfer. This means anybody is a target.

    Currently this kind of attack is limited by either the amount of cash/valuables you can carry, or the barriers banks and other parts of the financial system put up precisely against these kind of payments. But bitcoin literally enables them like the flip of a switch. You could move $500 million irreversibly in one transaction - for example tiger-ing the half dozen co-signers of an exchange wallet - and the payoff makes it more than worth it to organise something very professional. Hell, even nation states might go for it. Or you can go for the smaller guys, less well protected but cheaper to attack - there are 10.8 million millionaires in the US today. Any of you guys drive a nice car?

    This is the justification that will be used for government action - not some token threat to the USD and T-bills. And the US government in particular is not stopped by borders (it is currently militarily deployed in 150 countries) or technical barriers (see Stuxnet, which was amazing and a lot of us thought, science-fiction). It will act enough to limit the growth of any particular currency so that the liquidity for wide scale attacks is simply not there.

    And bitcoin's core qualities are not really features for most normal law-abiding people. Anonymity? I'm OK with PayPal knowing I bought some coffee off Andy. Irreversibility? I think PayPal's biggest value add is the ability to open a dispute when you get scammed, and most banks globally will refund you if your card gets stolen and someone goes on a spree (happened to me twice, both times was made whole). Fees? Current bitcoin transaction fees are upwards of $30 and rising.

    The other reason not to invest in bitcoin specifically, even if you believe the above are not concerns, is that the winner is not yet decided. When Google entered the market there were something like 5 major search engines and hundreds of people trying. All now-defunct names, like Yahoo or Altavista. At the time they looked unbeatable, but Google made search probabilistic whilst previous attempts were all directories ranked by newness or how much you bribed them. All it takes for bitcoin to die is for a better currency to come about, solving the various issues with BTC today. The exodus from bitcoin to NewCurrency will be similar to that from Yahoo Search to Google. This is also why there are so many "coins" popping up (BitcoinCash, Monero, Ethereum, etc.) and you see lawsuits over hundreds of millions of dollar ICOs.

    Finally I agree with Yelta and others that the crypto space has reached all signs of peak bubble: mainstream media headlines, "price is news", people with zero technical background or previous interest enthusiastically bringing it up at dinner or even boasting about their gains (https://trends.google.com/trends/exp...=bitcoin,apple - bitcoin is now a more popular search term than apple!), hundreds of competitors popping up like mushrooms including large (100m+) scams, and so on. So even if I believed in bitcoin in the long term (and I do not), even if I invested in fields outside my deep expertise (and I do not), I wouldn't touch it.

  21. #71
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    "Legendary investor Warren Buffett has weighed in on the bitcoin frenzy, saying he will never invest in it or any other cryptocurrencies - while predicting a "bad ending" for those who do."

    Warren Buffett says cryptocurrencies will 'almost certainly come to a bad ending'

  22. #72
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Bitcoin! last close US$ 11943, where to now?

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    Depreciating 2.5 cents worth ... I think that the best piece of Latin I know and understand I is caveat emptor .... it is after all your own choices based on known and accepted consequences .... if you choose to buy and make good ... happy for you .... buy and not achieve your goals ... happy for you .....

  25. #75
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    'All the hallmarks of a classic speculative bubble'

    Bitcoin will not replace national currencies and cryptocurrency prices are in one of the biggest bubbles in history, which is set to burst, warn analysts from Capital Economics.

    Bitcoin 'bubble' prices 'have a lot further to fall', Capital Economics analysts warn - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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    When prices go up they give space to the bulls. When prices go down they give space to the bears.

    I think saying there is no intrinsic value in cryptocurrencies is misguided but then that's what they're paid to say. There will always be a need for "cash" (anonymous untraceable currency) even if normal people prefer government-backed currencies.

    Still, a lot of work needs to be done on usability. Aside from using it as a store of value for large amounts, who wants to lug around TB-sized blockchains and wait days for transactions to clear?

    Yelta, if you want to have fun look up BitConnect. They created a token, had it only tradeable on their exchange, then shut down the exchange keeping everybody's money. The literal definition of a Ponzi scheme. One of the guys involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIL9wLxG01M

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