Insert meme here
While I share quite a bit of their cryptocoin distaste, was it just me who had this "Old Man Yells At Cloud" vibe throughout this entire article?
Bitcoin is "disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization" according to Charlie Munger, vice-chair of holding company Berkshire Hathaway. Munger’s opinion is significant because he and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett have for decades out-performed other investors by creating a diversified conglomerate. Munger …
so true. All this "BTC is just for drug runners and kidnappers" is just people who used to be in control trying to salt the ground for areas where they aren't (can't) be in control.
show me a clean dollar - the currency of choice for nearly all worldwide crime. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/cocaine-on-money-drug-found-on-90-of-us-bills
Not really. There seems to be a growing swell of vocal opposition to cryptocrap, El Reg is simply reporting another instance and padded the article with other comments.
Personally, I cannot think of a single thing fake gold adds to society. Other than another opportunity for a few to get rich at the expense of others, society was desperately short of these. They should be banned globally just for the carbon footprint.
"Fiat money doesn't take anything to produce. The rate of supply of the currency is arbitrarily controlled by someone who is not you."
The same can be said for bitcoin, although the supply of the currency is more tied to the number of GPUs a miner can attatch to a PC.
Which brings us to a fundlemental law of economics
"An asset is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it"
This applies to anything, shares, gold, FIAT money, bitcoins, dutch tulip bulbs, and graphics cards.
EG I paid 1400 for a new pc with a 3060ti card in it, listing the card on ebay I can easily make 1000-1200 for the card alone, its only worth 400-500.. but someone will be willing to pay 1000 for it as it can mine bitcoins.
Same goes for my house, 200 000 I could get for it, but its physical worth is about 80 000.
The real trick is to cash out at the top of a bubble and not be caught holding an asset when the price collapses (although if bitcoin collapses, that will make the gamers very happy to get cheap GFX cards again.)
PS Bitcoin here represents any of the crypto-currencies.. so dont get your knickers in a twist
A bit like gold then. The Gold Standard was always deflationary, because as the economy grew everything had to total up to the same value -- the value of gold held in deposits, and that was constant.
Fiat currencies allow for fractional banking, where a bank gets money from its customers, and then lends it multiple times, hoping not every customer will want their money back at the same time. It also means that, at then end of the loans, the bank has MORE money to lend, and so the economy has grown, ie there is more fiat currency available.
The problem the establishment have with crypto is that THEY don't control it. And that's bad. (Well, they think that's bad, which might not be the same thing. :-)
That's not how it works. Blocks can only be generated at a fixed rate no matter how much compute power is thrown at it. If you personally have more compute power you will get more of the reward, proportionally.
The less electricity cost you spend then the more profit. When the value of the coin is less than the electricity to mine it then you stop mining.
Everyone keeps expecting it to crash, which it does sometimes but it won't go away until there is something better.
As for your graphics card value it has a cost to produce and deliver with a sensible mark up, that's the recommended retail price. Then it has a value depending on who wants it and what it can do for them. Right now an RX 480 8GB is £350 and an RX 470 4GB is £200 on ebay. They are the same card and in games they are practically the same yet one can mine Ethereum and the other cannot. In November the RX 470 4GB was £70 and the 8GB was £110.
People are always looking for weaknesses in the market in order to make a profit. For instance at one time it made sense to pare an RX 470 with a Core 2 Quad for a cheap system. You did not get the full speed from the RX 470 but it made for a workable system. However with the same GPU now costing £200 it makes more sense to pair it with an i7 or better CPU because that gets all the performance from the most expensive component. Consequently the i7 chips fetch good money where as the Core 2 Quad have crashed out of the market. Also due to the fact both would use the same DDR3 RAM which is better invested in an i7 system.
So no, the value of something cannot be taken in isolation. What can it do for the various people who might want to buy it? What else would they be spending their money on that might be better value?
The maximum number of Bitcoins is arbitrarily limited. And ultimately, all Bitcoins will end up locked forever in a wallet whose password was lost.
So yes, I'm opposed to literally burning vast amounts of energy merely to produce currency. Currency is a symbol of value to make exchanges easier. If the currency holds the cost itself, that's barter, and we don't need currency for that.
So yes, I'm opposed to literally burning vast amounts of energy merely to produce currency. ..... Anonymous Coward
How very odd whenever that is the earthly default to produce electricity current.
And you can huff and you can puff and you can blow all sorts of smoke and mirrors for as long as you like at .....
amanfromMars  ..... blasting with both barrels on https://www.zerohedge.com/political/fundamental-economic-problem-bidens-rescue-planAll government action ultimately rests on its power to levy taxes.
Oh, and Charlie, he would be saying that, wouldn't he ...... and that allows for us to ponder on his prognostications as being more allied to MRDA than Streisand Effectual.
What absolute nonsense, peddled by the bankers and their terrified supporters, pimping and pumping and dumping and printing fiat currency notes for Federal Reservists ..... a little club, and you aint in it.
The levying of taxes is a collusional government crime perpetrated on the masses to disguise the fact that the supply of essentially valueless fiat paper is that which is used to command and control dissent and subvert progress to excessively server wealth and paper tiger power to an ungodly few.
......... but you cannot plausibly deny and pretend it is not perfectly true.
Oh, and Charlie, he would be saying that, wouldn't he ...... and that allows for us to ponder on his prognostications as being more allied to MRDA than Streisand Effectual.
"Fiat money doesn't take anything to produce."
Not exactly. At its root conventional money is IOUs and a large part of its "value" is based on the perceived ability of the issuer to redeem them. One trouble with cryptocurrency is that there is no issuer. AFAICS, it's "value" depends mostly on the belief that there will always be a greater fool who will take it off your hands -- preferably at a profit.
Recommended reading -- Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went by John Kenneth Galbraith. It may not change your views but it might get you thinking.
In the US, fiat money is produced by someone punching some buttons at the Federal Reserve. Yes, we still print bills, but that is for the VERY small minority of cash transactions.
The fundamental value of fiat is that it keeps the men with guns & a piece of paper off your lawn. There is no fundamental value to coin, tulip bulbs, or even gold. The utility of any of them as a store of value is precisely based on the stability of demand. The historic abuse of fiat by government was a major part of the drive to create coin. But some of us considered coin's stability to be tenuous at best.
And to be useful as currency, a medium MUST function well as a store of value.
Fiat money is created in the form of loans that must be paid back. That saddles the borrower with a load of work to do. He has to work his arse off to pay that money back. It's the work that he does that gives the money it's value.
However Fiat money can be generated as loans and no one does any work. That causes inflation as value is drained from all the existing money. You can't do that with crypto, it costs too much to produce.
With crypto the value is in the cost to produce the coin verses the cost to exchange it for something. If you want some crypto you could sell something in exchange. If you have some crypto you could buy something with it.
Why would any one want crypto? The same reason why people want money, so they can buy things they want.
"Fiat money is created in the form of loans that must be paid back."
More Nazi nonsense. It's a lie. The Governor of the Bank of England specifically called it out as straightforward Nazism and nothing more.
Banks simply do not create money when lending. It isn't true. It's just total bollocks. Hitler - literally, Hitler - claimed that 'Jew bankers' create money by lending. He got the idea from Henry Ford, via The International Jew.
You are spouting full-on Nazi axioms that are not shared by any other group, theory, politics, what have you.
Fractional reserve banking means that banks don't have all the cash on hand in their branches for all the money in their savings accounts. It doesn't mean that can print money, or that they can create loans out of thin air.
When a bank takes a deposit, and puts it into a savings account, they've taken on a liabilty (a debt) to that account holder, to pay them the money they've just borrowed back - often with interest.
So lets say my bank takes £1,000 each in deposits from 10 customers. My bank's accounts now look like this:
10 x accs---|£10,000
Now my bank's making a loss. I've got to pay those customers interest, so I need to do something with that cash I've got, or else sadness. So I make a loan.
Now comes the fractional reserve bit. The law states that I have to hold cash, for when some of the customers want to empty those savings accounts. So I'm not allowed to loan out the whole £10k. So I loan £9,000 to a customer to buy a house. Let's say we're back in time here, where you could buy a house for £3,000 and still have change for a bag of chips...
10 x accs---|£10,000
Obviously, this is stupidly simplified. Banks don't just lend from customers who open accounts. They can also borrow from the markets, in the form or short or long-term debt. They can also borrow from central banks (usually at higher than market rates of interest) in order to keep them liquid - and of course they can sell shares in order to gain capital, in exchange for a share of the profits in the form of dividends.
Banks also have a second requirement from the government, that they have to hold their own capital - which is what their original shareholders provided, and whatever new shares they sell would top up. They also sell bonds, called CoCos - which are a loan paid back in the normal way which will be converted to shares if the bank gets into financial trouble. This pool of capital is required to achieve their capital adequacy ratio, in the UK about 7% - but the Bank of England says you have to have that after a recession - and therefore the actual rate they make you keep is more like 12-13% in normal times. This capital is there to absorb losses from their loans, so that the depositors' money is protected.
Thus banks are prevented from lending more than about 9 times their level of owned assets, note not their level of deposits and bonds (money borrowed from the markets). The loans they make should about equal their total deposits and bonds - but they have to keep a reserve of cash on hand for immediately settling if people want to withdraw money, to avoid a run on the bank. However, if that happens, they still have a reserve of less liquid assets which they can give to the Central Bank in exchange for more expensive cash loans to keep them from collapsing, while they sort themselves out. Thus a bank can trade while illiquid (short on cash - and the Central Bank will help them), but its illegal to trade while insolvent - with more liabilities than they have assets.
The thing about banks printing money is a mis-understanding of money supply. Which we measure in varying ways. But basically money supply is often said to include short term deposits in banks (various flavours of M3 and M4) - This is called broad money. M0 (narrow money) is simply all the notes and coins in circulation - not a particularly important economic indicator. When the economy is booming, M3 and M4 will rise faster, because a new bank loan is new money. Why? Because the deposit in my savings account is counted as money, and so is the deposit in the bank account of the business who just borrowed money from the bank against my savings. Until that business pays back this loan, there's more money moving between people, because I've still got my unused savings - I'm just not currently spending them. But someone else is, and I'm still feeling rich, and may be spending other money because of this, rather than saving it. Hence the velocity of money has increased, hence more economic activity, hence more GDP growth and possibly more inflation.
When lots of loans start getting paid back, broad money supply drops - which is usually a sign of a fall in the velocity of money, which is a sign of a fall in both GDP growth and inflation. So the banks never actually see this "printed money", they're making their profits from borrowing money from me (my savings) more cheaply than they're lending it out. This is still all a simplification, this area is complicated and will make you sad if you try to study it.
Banks take in money from shareholders and depositors . This is the amount available for lending. But, a reserve, against withdrawal potential is required by Central Banks to be held in cash and easily cashable securities [such as government bonds and Treasury Bills].
The reserve is set by the Central banks, and may be about 10%. Thus only 90% or available loan money can be actually used to make loans to businesses and individuals.
Any loan made has its value deducted from the available loan funds of the lending bank, and (usually) goes into the available funds of the receiving bank. As new money there, it has the reserve (say 10%) deducted against withdrawals.
Thus no new funds are created. Were such an Alice Through the Looking Glass situation possible, the banks would long ago have become owners of all the funds in the world. But they remain intermediaries in the whole money go-round that enables exchange necessary to modern society.
"Why would any one want crypto? The same reason why people want money, so they can buy things they want."
The difference is that crypto is terrible for buying stuff. The percentage of retailers accepting crypto is so small it might as well be 0. But more importantly it fails completely as a currency as transaction rates are measured in minutes per transaction rather than 1000's of transactions per second.
It isn't arbitrary, in any stable currency. And currencies have always had values set by whoever created them. Gold bugs are insane.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is nothing more or less than a scam. It is not money, can never be money, and in fact is deliberately designed that way. And, of course, it's completely insecure in that the NSA or Chinese equivalent can take control any time they want. The whole thing is a massive pile of bullocks.
And how can it not be money? The only difference monetarily between Bitcoin and traditional fiat currency is that the promise of value lies with the market, and not the regulatory board that oversees it. The people give Bitcoin value, so it has value. Governments give their fiat currencies value, so it has value. If the people stop giving Bitcoin value, it will lose its value, and if government-backed fiat loses the support of its respective government...
There are also other cryptocurrencies that are linked to more tangible assets, like Etherium smart contracts. Not all cryptocurrencies are mere proof of work and community-assigned value.
"The only difference monetarily between Bitcoin and traditional fiat currency is that the promise of value lies with the market, and not the regulatory board that oversees it"
Nonsense. There is a difference between something that has perceived value, and something that is money. To give a silly example, container ships are (generally) quite valuable, but bloody useless as money because you need a really big wallet. Something has to serve as a medium of exchange to do that, and quite obviously bitcoin is deliberately designed to prevent that ever happening. Hence why people talk about 'buying bitcoin', whereas you never hear of anyone going to an ATM to 'buy some banknotes'.
The value of fiat fundamentally lies with the market too. The only distinction is the coercive (fiat) demand of taxation in fiat currency. If the market for the fiat dwindles, the government demands taxation in terms of debased currency. Chicken and egg. Ultimately, the government is still a participant in the market.
"bitcoin is deliberately designed to prevent that ever happening."
...How? There are crypto ATMs in various communities globally (a family associate owns some), there are tens to hundreds of crypto marketplaces to facilitate trading between private sellers and/or between the business and the user, transactions are fast for large sums/across borders and do not require lengthy authentication and verification processes (which can be a con for some, I understand), more and more online businesses are beginning to accept crypto, and there are even some major chains that accept it. Here's the first Google result.
What "money" is is determined by a number of factors, and one of the big ones is ubiquity. Bitcoin is getting there. One thing it will likely never have or at least will not excel at is its stability, but that can be expected for what amounts to a fiat currency with only proof of work and the will of the people backing it. If you're going to decry Bitcoin, that should be your platform.
And of course no one says they will go to an ATM to 'buy some banknotes', because it's commonly understood that you go to an ATM to withdraw money from your account with a financial institution. You aren't buying anything, since that implies a transfer of value in return for (non-fiat) goods or services. The money was already yours, you just let the bank hold on to it. Due to how crypto works and its digital nature, crypto banks are not something that have a need to exist, though the financial sectors are certainly trying (cf. PRC launching its own national crypto).
In order to get power over Bitcoin you need a huge amount of computing power. You'd need as much computing power as is currently mining the coin plus a bit more. Now maybe you could take control of the existing power which I think has been tried but the conventional route would cost a fortune. So no, unless there are backdoors into Bitcoin no one "can take control any time they want".
I will say that crypto based on CPUs or GPUs should be more secure against that since every gamer has the hardware to mine where as the dedicated ASICs is something only miners have. Power to the people rather than the corporations.
After Monero based Electronium took their mining private and implemented Know Your Customer the coin crashed in value. It was no longer what you'd want from Crypto.
"In order to get power over Bitcoin you need a huge amount of computing power. You'd need as much computing power as is currently mining the coin plus a bit more. Now maybe you could take control of the existing power which I think has been tried but the conventional route would cost a fortune. So no, unless there are backdoors into Bitcoin no one "can take control any time they want"."
LOL. We're talking about the NSA. They don't need a backdoor, they have that much computing power, and more to spare. If they decided to put it all to work, they could take over Bitcoin. Ditto the Chinese government. (The idea they aren't doing it already is quite dubious.)
Oh, one other thing. 'Crypto' is just part of the scam. Bitcoins etc rely on a transaction history to establish ownership. Your identifier is only as anonymous as you keep it, and it's more or less impossible to access your coins without leaving traces that let it be linked to you. So you're actually creating a transaction record of you taking coins from someone else, and making that record public.
Anonymous bank accounts are actually anonymous, and once cash goes into one, it is indistinguishable from any other cash. (Obviously that's great for money-laundering, so it's hard to get cash from an anonymous account into banking systems in places that have anti-money-laundering regs - just as it is when trying to cash-out bitcoins.)
If you engage in nefarious activities and receive a large wodge of cash, you may face questions about where the large wodge of cash came from. If you do the same but with bitcoins, they'll _know_ where it came from, and that it was from a criminal. Now they want to know why you've received a large wodge of cash from a gangster. It's not going to go _better_ for you that way...
If you're dealing with gangsters, I think you have bigger problems than using crypto.
And if you are truly engaging in "nefarious activities", you use a wallet that isn't connected to any company or institution and does not have any personal transactions in it, and use a mixing service or two before you make your withdrawal into fiat.
If privacy is a concern, here are some links about Monero I think you should read:
Maybe you like privacy? Or maybe you are a criminal of the type that asks for democracy in a country which doesn't like when people do that. Various reasons for wanting privacy in financial transactions exist which aren't just committing crimes. A lot of them aren't allowed under the current system to make committing those crimes more difficult, but they do exist. You can easily argue that they are insufficient reasons to have anonymous transactions and shouldn't be permitted, but you'll need to recognize what they are first.
Or a forest fire. Or someone goes to town with Agent Orange.
“So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revaluate the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and ... er, burn down all the forests. I think you’ll all agree that’s a sensible move under the circumstances.”
Really, it's all just fiat currency. Gold only has "value" because we all think it does.
Nope. Gold has always and will always have a relatively high value because it looks pretty and is easily worked with basic hand tools into pretty jewelery, and has a low enough melting point that it's feasible to melt in a pot over a coal fire with some bellows.
If gold suddenly lost 100% of it's value overnight then the value would spring back up as soon as crafters started buying it up en masse to make jewelry. And that's before you even start to consider it's rather good electrical properties.
If twitcoins lose 100% of their value then they are going to remain worthless because they are inherently worthless. The current expansion in value likely largely represents people buying them as ransom payments for criminals demanding payment via that method as they are one of the best ways of doing money laundering to avoid getting caught.
"Nope. Gold has always and will always have a relatively high value because [...]"
I disagree. It will continue to hold value because it is rare and that's it. Most of the gold currently available is stored in vaults where it can be bought or sold without ever leaving the vault. Most which does leave the vault goes to another one. The amount of gold in use for electronics or jewelry is dwarfed by that held in reserve by central banks and private investors. Also, some of the jewelry using gold has included more or purer forms of gold just so they are worth more financially, usually so the jeweler can charge a higher profit margin on the piece.
If a magic switch were thrown and all those using gold to store value decided it was worthless for that purpose, the price of gold would drop precipitously. It would continue to hold value, just as many other metals hold value, for its industrial and artistic uses, but that would be significantly lower. It would, for example, be a long time before gold mines started up again if ever. It is of course possible that, with gold being cheap enough to use a lot of it in industrial areas, new use cases would be developed causing more demand for it, but that cannot be guaranteed.
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Gold's value is determined by market consensus that is largely unrelated to its alternative applications. The same attributes that may be considered strengths of gold are simultaneously weaknesses because it is a physical asset that must be physically handled and stored. Crypto has a different set of handling costs. As a currency and a store of value, they are essentially similar.
"Gold only has "value" because we all think it does"
no, gold has value because thousands of years of human experience has shown that it has. That's observable science. The fact that you don't understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
AND, what's more, it has even a material value: it's the best electrical conductor, it's the best material to coat contacts with, and thus, in today's electronics world, if you don't have gold you cannot make electronic devices and thus you're a Neanderthal ... oups, I should've left you in the dark.
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