(Topic ID: 200502)

Somebody explain Bitcoin to me

By Pinballlew

4 years ago


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    -4
    #102 4 years ago

    Its like the gold coins in John Wick. Its underground currency that bad people use to pay each other for things that are bad. Sure there are some efforts to 'legitimize it' but that's really a path so those same bad people can get it exchanged into common currency on the back and uses those outside investors.

    Outside of the fact that its purely imagined and only has value because other's imagine it has value (a basic tenant of almost any currency)

    My take on it is a supporting it by investing, mining, or accepting it for something, is morally problematic. Sure any currency can be used for those same purposes, but this is designed by and for that sole purpose and so those services can be exchanged in secret and can't be frozen by any government when that same criminal activity is discovered.

    So if you do invest, your doubling down and supporting the worst of the worst IMO. The human traffickers, the industrial side of drug manufacturing and transport, arms dealers, and just about any other kind of vile human activity.

    #105 4 years ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    Any currency can be used for illegal activities and cash is no different.

    Agree. But its specifically its decentralized nature that enables a larger scale of illicit use. Instead of bottle necking the financial aspect of these activities into moving and transitioning cash over boarders etc.

    It was created specifically for that purpose, to exclude transactions of value from legal controls. There are any number of reasons, opinions, and purposes that can support that kind of approach. I'm not arguing for or against any of them. I'm simply stating my opinion on how I feel.

    Anything that makes profiting of the harm those illicit uses easier is morally objectionable, to me. Others can decide for themselves.

    Until it, like other currencies, prohibits and has measures to restrain the illegal activity, its a social burden.

    -4
    #108 4 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    this is complete nonsense. saying the sole purpose of bitcoin is so "bad people can pay each other for things that are bad" is as stupid as saying pinball's sole purpose is gambling.

    It has developed and can be used for other purposes. I'm sure the super anonymous person who started this whole bitcoin currency is just hiding because they are shy.

    That 'list' of business that accept bitcoin is the ultimate tell. There's a LOT more bitcoin moving around in purchases that aren't visible, traceable, than the business transactions on that list, ignoring that is a moral peril in my opinion.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/15/digital-gold-why-hackers-love-bitcoin-ransomware

    If its wants to be legit, it needs to limit and protect against this kind of use. It won't, because its lack of transparency is at its core and why then its primary, not sole purpose, is for nefarious uses.

    Others can use it legitimately, but every new coin mined has blood on it the moment its in circulation, because there's no assurances all of part of it isn't associated with these transactions.

    -1
    #111 4 years ago
    Quoted from Taxman:

    Did you know 90% of the bills in your pocket will test positive for cocaine?

    Yes, but that's not the point.

    #114 4 years ago

    Its a shame, this could be an interesting discussion. However it seems some respondents can't resist adding a measure of insult or insinuation into their argument.

    I did my research when I considered mining for myself. I drew the line because of its potential for abuse in my view. That's my opinion. Its stated, I have my reasons.

    I'm happy to consider new facts that detail that this type of currency is addressing that kind of abuse and therefore makes it less toxic. As I understand now, it does not meet the standard held by other currencies, so can't be considered equal.

    All other uses, purposes, aside. That's where I've personally drawn the line.

    I only shared this to open the discussion to another point of view and to explore new detail that might come available from that discussion.

    #271 4 years ago
    Quoted from ExtremePinball:

    Now, I might be an idiot,

    The energy consumption rates are based on the base energy required to create a portion of the currency. Which isn't an impossible number. The point of mining is to act as a validator of the value of other currency in the exchange. Think of it as the pound of flesh. For adding computing power to make the calculations necessary to confirm transactions, you earn a portion of the remaining 'unconfirmed or 'new' coin.

    That means to create a coin you must confirm a large number of transactions. However your split is over the entire network of miners, all of whom are in a race to get to the last coin. This means that all transactions are spread over the entire network and so all of those mining rigs do the computation to confirm each transaction. Most computers set up for mining (more computing power means more portions) so most have multiple GPU's and CPU's to manage the calculations faster. Think of these as a Lamborghini compared to a Honda. More powerful but also gets single digit gas mileage. Now imagine the energy of tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of Lambos all trying to cover their square inch of pavement to get to the same destination. That's going to be a lot of gas to get nowhere. This is why bitcoin is obscenely energy inefficient. That doesn't bother some people. Even a generous estimate will show horendous consumption. Put in hondas and its still a lot, but none of the miners are using hondas, so its probably worse that most estimates can fathom.

    IMO the real scary part is the currency depends on validation but has a finite supply of remuneration to miners. At some point the last bitcoin will be mined, until then, the number of machines required to validate a transaction increase, in an attempt to slow it down. During that time there's a need to hype the currency to sustain mining growth so more transactions can take place. Much like the sun we depend upon... for energy...expands to consume its solar system before it contracts and explodes.

    The kicker, its a certain bottom drop out. When the last coin is mined or the last few become too burdensom to produce. Everyone stops their work because there's no point, meaning transaction's can't be validated ,so the coin can't be spent, and the sand castle collapses. If that's too obtuse, its Rick and Morty's micro verse but with money.

    So ride your pony and watch the waves I guess, maybe your what you say or maybe not.

    #273 4 years ago
    Quoted from ExtremePinball:

    I really find it hilarious how some people can get all upset over something they actually have no interest in

    lemonski isn't questioning the value of the investment, but its cost, specifically in resources consumed to create the coin and sustain its use through transactions and that the cost increases in proportion to the value.

    As the coins become more limited and the number of transactions increase the amount of computers needed to do that increases exponentially. That consumes electrical power.

    There's no shortage, yet, of energy in most locals. But there is always a cost. Its the pollution created by the power plants, the space lost to less polluting types of energy, and the cost of energy to consumers as it increases to curb the rising demand as it reaches limit of the grids.

    Paper money doesn't take that kind of toll. Nothing's perfect but your arguing to lemonski that there isn't an impact and that you can't calculate the energy used.

    That matters to lemonski as it does to me, and its exactly why he's upset about a thing he 'has no interest in' affecting what he does have an interest in. I can understand and respect that.

    #284 4 years ago
    Quoted from ExtremePinball:

    I honestly think that those who are truly concerned about the demon Bitcoin consuming all the world's electricity, should get off their collective asses and do something about it,

    I do all the time, no reason to stop when I'm on Pinside. I'm not deluded or deflated by the enormity of the problem. I instead choose to focus on doing my best to chip away whenever I can and hope that while others do the same it surmounts into something bigger than I could have done on my own.

    Adding to this discussion, as I have here, is part of that. It isn't directed at you, but more appropriately includes you, because you openly admit your a contributor to a problem you know and understand exists without remorse or accepting any responsibility. I can hope that what is discussed might change your opinion, even a tiny bit, then its worth it. But more likely, as part of a larger discussion, it changes or adds points of consideration to to others.

    Just as you encourage me, I'll return the sentiment. Keep doing what your doing. It helps my points in my thinking as yours do for you.

    #285 4 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    Miners are not only incentivized by freshly mined bitcoin, they are also paid transaction fees from the transactions they are processing. When the last bitcoin is mined, they will do as they do now each time the mining complexity doubles: expect more money to process transactions.

    Understood but didn't want to muddy the point to cover all of the possibilities. The meltdown is still a factor. Because the resource cost of supporting a mined out currency is so extraordinarily high, the fees would be exorbitant to a point that limits transaction and the inevitable collapse.

    Maybe there are measures to avoid that or delay it, but unlike a currency that is backed by a nation or government, this is effectively backed by its security, and that's tied to the exponential growth of the complexity of the algorithm that created the total coin set. At its end state its a bloated inefficient mess. Like a pyramid scheme or a tapped our placer stream, the miners and the transactions move to a new currency in a less bloated state. That inevitably leaves winners and losers, and IMO more of the latter since so few will understand how to get there or avoid the anvil as it drops.

    #297 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pintucky:

    take a picture' of my driver's license

    You can have your son take the picture and send it to your email. However if your still using XP its like using a glass jar as a piggy bank. I wouldn't take on any secure or financial information on something that unsecure. IMO step one, invest in a modern computer with appropriate protection against malware.

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