Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
While the bitcoin bull does not give a timeframe when this is likely to happen, i believes that, thanks to relentless government money printing, the benchmark cryptocurrency will eventually test $100,000. But not before some correction. $28,000 is in play before we see a pullback – and then we’re heading to 6-figures. Bitcoin (BTC) soared more than 20% to hit $11,300 on July 28, its highest level since August 2019. The top crypto has struggled to break above the key $10,000 point since the May 11 halving, but made easy of the resistance level in the last 48 hours. The rally comes as the U.S. government this week announced another round of stimulus spending, a $1 trillion package, that will also finance Covid-19 cushioning allowances paid out to American families at the rate of $1,200. The last time Bitcoin rose above $10,000 was in May, and it only fell by 15%. It’s above $13.000 today. How big will the next drop be? Schiff is puking his brains out right now, regretting his gold purchase. Regarding the relative accessibility of bitcoin over gold, I have been saying for over a year that silver and gold will be difficult to source and the market will shift to Bitcoin as hard money substitutes, and those who never thought of buying BTC will be forced to. Gold and Bitcoin are usually paired as safe investment havens. Bitcoin’s finite money compares favorably to fiat currency. With the U.S dollar weakening, as the government doles out free money, the distinction comes into focus.
What is it that you think is going to happen if the world economy collapses?
I sit on the sidelines and watch you all gleefully predict the end of fiat currencies and the modern global financial system. But I have to finally ask the fundamental question. Let's say you're right. Let's say the current system is completely unsustainable and melts down. What do you think that looks like? Do you honestly believe people are just going to shift to bitcoin and go back to work the next day? That you can just lift and shift the house of modern society onto a new foundation with a couple of dudes and a forklift? It will be complete and total chaos. Entire governments will collapse. The world will devolve rapidly into lawlessness and anarchy. There will be wars - everywhere. Every country will become fully militarized and have to defend its borders. No one is going to give a shit about bitcoin. They're going to care about not getting blown up or otherwise murdered. It will be years of global strife. And you're looking forward to this? You're eager for this? You think because you hodl a few bitcoins you're somehow going to be safe from a world where you have to constantly sleep with one eye open and protect yourself from very real imminent danger 24/7? You really want to join a militia, barricade off your own territory, organize groups of people to do basic shit like filter water and dig holes for toilets? Find ways of generating power? Essentially re-establish the modern world and society from the ground up? You want this? REALLY? And bitcoin is the key to this? You will somehow be more prepared for this if you have bitcoin? EDIT: Adding on a paragraph from a reply that was downvoted immediately because this subreddit is awesome: You think the hashing power is going to be well distributed in this new world? Or do you think its more likely that as governments and people fight over key resources during a global apocalypse, that you're going to be one of many wallets that vanishes when the blockchain is taken over and re-written by a new world governmental cabal?
Genesis Staking 2.0 & the Mainnet Launch AMA is over, detailed blog post available
More than 400 people watched Beniamin & Lucian’s live announcements about Genesis Staking 2.0 and the imminent mainnet launch. Please read the detailed blog post to get all the information regarding the increased staking cap while rewards stay the same, the transition towards a Bitcoin-like fixed supply & mainnet launch details. https://preview.redd.it/6ey37ntvjx751.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=c409087d0dcd008fafaaf3ec4e679da4c44b7010 🔹 4th of July - mainnet date will be announced & Genesis Staking 2.0 begins 🔹 Elrond supply shifts to Bitcoin model: fixed max supply, reached in < 10 Years 🔹 New staking cap increased by 1,672,500,000 ERD 🔹 Competitive APR stays the same: 25% before mainnet, 29% Delegator, 36% Validator 🔹 1,122,500,000 ERD additional for Delegation 🔹 550,000,000 ERD additional for Validators: +220 nodes 🔹 Team & Private Sale investors commit to stake unlocked tokens "For more than 2.5 years we've been working hard to reach this point. In many ways, for our team, community, and investors, the Genesis of the Elrond network marks a major achievement, delivering an elegant and sophisticated technology tool above the one we set out to build. While this will be of increasing significance for the whole blockchain space, it is actually just the beginning for the Elrond ecosystem. Years from now, we will look back at this moment, as the instrumental transition from a promising but experimental technology, to the most important technology of the decades that followed" said Beniamin. 👉🏻 Read the full blog post https://medium.com/elrondnetwork/new-staking-opportunity-and-mainnet-launch-preparation-be752b57f8f4
06-27 11:24 - 'What is it that you think is going to happen if the world economy collapses?' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/mobile-user-guy removed from /r/Bitcoin within 8-18min
''' I sit on the sidelines and watch you all gleefully predict the end of fiat currencies and the modern global financial system. But I have to finally ask the fundamental question. Let's say you're right. Let's say the current system is completely unsustainable and melts down. What do you think that looks like? Do you honestly believe people are just going to shift to bitcoin and go back to work the next day? That you can just lift and shift the house of modern society onto a new foundation with a couple of dudes and a forklift? It will be complete and total chaos. Entire governments will collapse. The world will devolve rapidly into lawlessness and anarchy. There will be wars - everywhere. Every country will become fully militarized and have to defend its borders. No one is going to give a shit about bitcoin. They're going to care about not getting blown up or otherwise murdered. It will be years of global strife. And you're looking forward to this? You're eager for this? You think because you hodl a few bitcoins you're somehow going to be safe from a world where you have to constantly sleep with one eye open and protect yourself from very real imminent danger 24/7? You really want to join a militia, barricade off your own territory, organize groups of people to do basic shit like filter water and dig holes for toilets? Find ways of generating power? Essentially re-establish the modern world and society from the ground up? You want this? REALLY? And bitcoin is the key to this? You will somehow be more prepared for this if you have bitcoin? ''' What is it that you think is going to happen if the world economy collapses? Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: mobile-user-guy
Bitcoin won’t have made it until we stop referring to it in our own currency.
Looking at the article about high stakes poker being paid out in over $1M in bitcoin. The title wasn’t how many bitcoin, but how much it’s worth in USD. This mentality must shift if bitcoin is going to become a recognized currency. Think of it like a language. As long as you as translating a foreign language to your own, you aren’t actually speaking the language. One must think in the language and one must think in terms of what one can buy with a bitcoin instead of the USD (or other) equivalent.
I just checked the orderbooks on the top 10 xmbtc exchanges by volume. This would scare anybody invested in Monero i would guess. Adding it all together, double the amount of XMR have to be bought to break 0.01 compared to what needs to be sold to drop below 0.001. And it's an extremely thin order book. There's not even $1M in buy orders in all of the order books combined! For comparison, $1M would change the Bitcoin price just on CB with about $50. The value of a $50 market shift in Bitcoin, on a single exchange, can wipe out the entire cumulative orderbook of Monero... That is concerning...
02-27 04:14 - 'How is Bitcoin Cash halving going to affect bitcoin? Do you think we will see miners shifting to bitcoin amd BCH crashing? What does that mean for Bitcoin's value? (All thoughts accepted)' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/watchmecomming removed from /r/Bitcoin within 21-31min
RTI Response from "PMO India" on who will compensate for aadhaar bio-metrics theft, misuse, authentication failure
Dear Redditors, I have emailed [email protected], banks, supreme court, media, etc. repeatedly asking them when my fingerprint gets stolen, printed in transparency, used to clean bank a/c via aadhaar pay, which agency (UIDAI, NPCI, Government of India, Bank) is liable to pay me compensation. I did not get any response from anyone. So I filed RTI to "PMO India" after UIDAI refused to provide any information via RTI. Check the response from the "Anti Corruption" messiah. https://imgur.com/a/3gX8o Jai Hind. EDIT 0: RTI Questions: If my aadhaar number or bio-metrics(2d/3d printed fingerprint) gets misused and causes me financial loss, which organization UIDAI, Bank, NPCI, PMO , "Finance Ministry", etc. will compensate me? If my aadhaar authentication fails in an website and website does not bother to resolve the authentication issue within reasonable time frame and it causes me immense mental harassment, financial loss, which organization will compensate me? If no one is responsible for compensating me for aadhaar misuse, bio-metrics theft, authentication failure, what moral authority have you got to shove aadhaar down billion Indian's throat. EDIT 1: Summary of response is "This is not a question which needs an answer"! I have already filed first appeal, complained via http://dsscic.nic.in/online-complaint-application/onlinecomplaintapplication nothing happened, how can a person (working for corrupt corporate) remove corruption, he can at most torture common people and opposition in the name of "removing corruption". EDIT 2: WTF link aadhaar to bank account knowing very well, when bank account gets looted using "stolen fingerprint" via aadhaar pay - UIDAI will not even file an FIR on behalf of YOU, JioCare leaked aadhaar e-KYC details for 120 million Indians, nothing happened to them, not even an FIR was filed! EDIT 3: Convert your bank balance into bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, linking aadhaar with bank will collapse Indian economy, bitcoin is widely accepted, if million Indians shift to bitcoin and start promoting it, we should be able to live with bitcoin for a long time, till aadhaar is thrown out in dustbin. Jai Hind. If you think I am bitcoin salesman, suggest a better alternative to get rid of aadhaar babajis arun jaitley, narendra modi, ravi shankar prasad ka maafi EDIT 4: To all RTI activists in this post, I have filed many RTIs on other subjects, got proper response, in some cases they even accepted that to cater to my question, law needs to be changed and they have forwarded it to appropriate authority for consideration. EDIT 5: Your bank is responsible for credit card, debit card theft, call them within 24 hours of the theft, they will block card, issue replacement card with different PIN. HTF will you block aadhaar card and fingerprint? Stolen fingerprint can be used to unlock your bio-metrics at an aadhaar enrollment center, stolen fingerprint can also be used to change your mobile number in aadhaar database, Jai Hind. EDIT 6: When your bank account gets looted via aadhaar pay, you will call 1947, wait for 3 hours to get connected, the call center folks will simply ask you to visit aadhaar enrollment center, waiting list being 3 months, you will bribe 1000 INR and get an appointment with aadhaar enrollment center to resolve aadhaar misuse, they will ask you to email [email protected], you will send 10 emails in 10 days and then get a generic mail, asking you to specify all your details including preferred condom brand, etc, you will respond with all details, you will follow up for 3 more days, then you will get a generic FINAL response, "Please lock your bio-metrics in UIDAI website, Jai Hind!", after that even if you send 100 emails you will NOT get any response. You lock your bio-metrics, the criminal go to an aadhaar enrollment center and unlock your bio-metrics using stolen fingerprint and keep on looting your hard earned money. https://www.reddit.com/india/comments/6zr2l4/locking_your_biometrics_does_not_protect_you_from/
"You won’t get notification of the end. You’ll wake up one day, and BTC will be trading at zero."
Is Craig Wright Satoshi? (that was for google's index ;) What do you think will happen to "the market" that day? What do you think Coinbase, Gemini, Bitstamp and other large exchanges will do? What do you think main stream media will say about bitcoin that day? I foresee a massive shift to BitCoin aka BSV.
Hi. Yesterday I went to shift some bitcoin from Binance to my Ledger. I clicked on receive in Ledger Live, plugged in my Nano and Ledger Live recognized my device. Then it prompts to navigate to the bitcoin app on the Nano, which I did. But then the Ledger Live box that is then meant to be ticked and move onto the verification of address just hangs and I cannot get to the point where I can verify the 2 addresses. I have done this all before so am familiar with the steps involved. I have downloaded the latest 1.5.5 and removed/reinstalled apps. Anyone know what the issue is?
[QUESTION/DISCUSSION] (Sorry for stupid) question from a Bitcoiner: Am I correct that Monero does not enable triple entry accounting (as Bitcoin does)?
I am currently trying to gain a deeper understanding for the possibilities that Bitcoin gives us as the first functioning implementation of a triple entry accounting system. I strongly believe that this is yet another paradigm shift that Bitcoin is bringing about even though literally nobody is talking about it (yet). -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum_accounting_and_triple-entry_bookkeeping Now I have not even made up my mind if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Forcing governments and corporations to provide absolute transparency sounds like a good thing to me, the possibility to demand that from the average citizen like myself though frightens me. So from my (limited) understanding of Monero I assume that a transparently reporting triple entry accounting is not even possible using Monero's blockchain, even though Monero itself is such a system in itself. Am I correct? Can one describe Monero as a system that relies on triple entry accounting on the inside but does not allow the accounting to be audited from outside? Thanks for your thoughts! PS: I may be a confessing Bitcoiner but I am not saying this or that one is better or not as good so please spare me the "maximalist" discussion. In fact I am a fan of Monero and I believe I even run the first bricks and mortar business that ever accepted Monero on the planet, just like Bitcoin.
TOL: In the past couple of years we've shifted from 'BTC is experimental' to 'When moon?'
Thinking Out Loud:In the past couple of years we've shifted from 'Bitcoin is experimental, and may fail' to 'Mass adoption is just a matter of time - it will happen eventually'. (The above is how I actually would have liked I'd had written the title, but it would be too long and probably wouldn't be fully visible in the listing page; this is the abridged version) I say "in the couple of years" because that's how long I've been down this rabbit hole, so far. Through these couple of years during which I've been researching and learning about Bitcoin - both the technicals (reading the whitepaper and following updates; also I have a Master's degree in CyberSecurity and work full-time in this field) and the economics (Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Saifedean Ammous) - I feel like in my opinion, and in the community's opinion as per my perspective, we no longer worry that Bitcoin may fail. This new monetary network has been going on in a public, global, decentralized, border-less, and censorship-resistant manner for 10 years. It's been stress-tested pretty well, and has undergone a number of attacks. Still, it fails to go away - and it will never go away. If there's a problem, someone will solve it. This is the sentiment I have towards Bitcoin. And I don't feel like I'm alone. So tell me. Am I? Update (approx. 30mins later): On the other side of the coin, maybe the community has shrunk. Maybe we've got our heads stuck in the sand, and meanwhile most people bought Bitcoin high and sold it low, losing tons of money, and interest in Bitcoin and this 'ponzi scheme'. Maybe this is the truth, but I've developed an obsession towards Bitcoin, that I fail to see past this foggy and delusional lens. Maybe it's just a handful of whales pulling all the strings, and most of us in the community are their peasants. Satoshi Nakamoto once wrote:
It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on. If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
And he couldn't have said things better. Maybe it's only a few of us pumping this thing up for ourselves - a small community (although in truth, it's kinda working; over the entire lifetime of Bitcoin, there's only a small number of months during which someone who would have bought Bitcoin and held ever since wouldn't be in profit right now). Truth is, it's a crazy and weird world we live in. Or, it's me who's crazy, and my view on the world is very different to that of the norm. I can vision the world changing within the next decades, where the majority of the world is aware of and educated on Bitcoin, and can revert to it if they choose to - being an option which people can rely on. A global currency, with all it's good and it's bad. Very few people can vision this world though. Most of the time, it's just me and my thoughts. And maybe the community's too. So tell me. Care to share your sentiments?
Disclaimers: I think it's important to share a contrarian view here, given the hype and euphoria over the last few days. I think I also have a some-what unique perspective on cryptos. Educated as an economist, I've spent a career in the technology departments of large banks. I've also taken the licensing exams to open my own investment manager, though I haven't launched one yet. I held some bitcoin as a speculation, but have exited on this rally because the mania is getting out of hand - even for a believer in the technology with high risk tolerances. I'm not trying to be a downer or spread FUD - just provide a sobering reality check based on my understanding of investing and market structure. After all, it is extremely easy to lose sight of reality when you're sitting on fat paper profits. That type of complacency is an integral part of market cycles and one of the core weaknesses that professional traders exploit. I do believe bitcoin is both something of tremendous value, and a bubble. History shows that bubbles form as society digests new forms of value - it happened as humans minted their first coins, their first paper currency, their first stocks and bonds, etc. Every new innovation in financial instruments is typically accompanied by some sort of bubble - the 2008 innovations in mortgage securities should be fresh and memorable for most. The size and scale of the bitcoin bubble's inflation speaks about the underlying technology. It will, no doubt, be transformative across society - in many ways we cannot foresee now. However, that doesn't mean it has unlimited value, and "it'll go to the moon!" Or that it's even an investment. In fact, the hallmark of a bubble when people buy for fear of missing out on a price, without connecting that price to underlying economic activity. That's exactly what's happening here. Why Bitcoin is NOT an Investment, and that's Okay First, let's talk about what an investment is. By definition, an investment is an asset that yields a return above its purchase price. If you invest in bonds or equities, you're usually looking at some kind of discounted cash-flow to decide whether to invest or not. Either your bond will pay a coupon of $X per year, or your company will generate $X amount of cash annually - and you project these values over time. Then you compare that to the return on less risky assets, like the US 10 year Treasury, and decide if the return is worth the risk. But bitcoin doesn't yield anything. No matter what industries it disrupts or entrenched powers it destroys, it will never yield anything. If you own 1 BTC today, it's still 1 BTC in the future without any dividends, coupons, or splits. By definition, it cannot be an investment - there's no return. Non-yielding assets can never be an investment. This is why bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Crypto for the source of authority (proof-of-work or proof-of-stake), but currency for the asset's behavior. You don't invest in a currency, you can only speculate in it. You can buy a currency in order to buy investments denominated in that currency (eg. trading dollars for yen to buy Japanese Government Bonds), but the currency itself is never an investment. Now, it's perfectly okay to buy another currency in expectation that it's price (against your 'native' currency) will rise. But that's just a trade, and one fueled by speculation. And some speculation is okay, it helps grease financial markets and discover 'real' prices. It's just important not to fool yourself, and to realize what you are doing. This also means no HODLing - every transaction has a lifecycle that ends in liquidation. Some professionals make a living doing this, but typically they're not just speculating - they're helping institutions and companies intermediate between their 'native' currency and wherever they do business. Are you Toyota selling a car in the US, trying to bring your dollars home as yen? A currency trader can help you. It's probably also probably worth noting here the recent settlements between the world's biggest banks and their regulators for openly fixing currency markets. The professionals tend to stay in business with a healthy dose of fraud and trading against their clients. This is not behavior to emulate, and should give pause to anyone speculating in cryptocurrency. Who do you think you're trading against when you buy bitcoin from an exchange? There's a concept that everyone trading needs to know - the 'greater fool trade.' Are you buying because you have reasonable ideas about what the asset will return, or because there's a greater fool who will pay you more for it? From what I've seen, and the yield on bitcoin, it seems like most people are betting there are greater fools out there. 'Hard Money' and Metcalfe's Law These are common arguments I've seen posted here. A lot of people don't trust the Federal Reserve, or think of bitcoin as some technology that can be priced according to a model that describes the adoption of ethernet. Neither make a ton of sense in the light of day. The bitcoin mining curve is modeled after gold, the original 'hard money'. By design, it's supposed to be deflationary. I'll admit I've never gotten along well with gold bugs and usually don't persuade them, but I'm happy to trade against them. There's hundreds of year of economic history demonstrating that deflationary currencies are bad for economic growth. Where deflationary currencies have existed, they've been out-competed by mildly inflationary currencies. This is why they don't exist anymore, except for brief periods of severe economic stress. The idea that real economic activity can occur with a deflationary bitcoin is contrary to both experience and theory, which shows that 'real' economic activity slows as people anticipate further gains in currency value. The incentive is to hoard instead of spending or lending, so they don't, and economic activity falls. Likewise, gold has been a bad inflation hedge, and there's no reason to expect bitcoin to do better. The last hundred years of data shows that even in inflationary periods, stocks have performed better than gold (inflation adjusted, anyone who bought gold at it's local maxima in 1980 at $650/oz would still be underwater at 2011's global maxima at $1,900/oz). And needless to say, stocks have yielded many-fold the return over gold in that time period by dividends alone. If you're holding bitcoin because you don't trust the dollar or are worried about inflation, you should ask yourself why you don't also hold gold. It's the same logic. Then you should ask yourself why you would hold either. As for Metcalfe's Law, this is a bit of a red herring. The idea is simple - networking effects produce exponentially more value as more people join the network. Champions of this idea point to fax machines, the internet, and Facebook - and publish interesting graphs showing the price of bitcoin neatly following Metcalfe's curve. But we need to remember what we're examining - users of the network. If I register a Coinbase account to speculate on bitcoin, am I really using the bitcoin network? Is bitcoin's value proposition becoming more valuable intrinsically? Or is the price just increasing, because of the money flowing into it? Twitter provides a good example. It's dominated by bots who are 'on the network', but provide marginal value and don't conform to Metcalfe's Law. It's taken a few years, but the price (what you pay) has caught up to the value (what it's worth), as the market has digested that many nodes in the network don't really count. If the value proposition of bitcoin is in trustless transactions, how many of it's exponentially growing users are actually using bitcoin to perform trustless transactions? Transaction volumes are relatively flat year-on-year, while the number of new wallets have skyrocketed - so let's not fool ourselves about Metcalfe's Law. Correlation does not mean causation, and the network is not becoming more intrinsically valuable because more people are trying to speculate on bitcoin's price. There IS some real growth here from adoption in jurisdictions where cryptos have been recognized as legal tender, but we can't fool ourselves about the impact there. Again, bitcoin is deflationary, and the incentives are hold instead of spend. If recognition and accessibility were really driving adoption, transaction volumes shouldn't be flat year-on-year. But What About the MASSIVE DISRUPTION? This is where bitcoin shines - it has tremendous disruptive potential. It allows counterparties to interact without trust or central authority, which removes the role for banks, money transfer agents, and other folks who would usually clip some part of a transaction. Open, distributed blockchains will revolutionize many industries and social institutions. However, this doesn't go too far in helping bitcoin's value. An asset's value depends on the rights it bestows to the owner - just like above, where we could value a stock or bond by the rights to the cashflow it grants. But what does bitcoin grant the owner? We come up short. Bitcoin is a token representing a proof-of-work for authenticating transactions on the network. All it grants to the owner is a high mathematical likelihood that the token is not fraudulent or double-spent. So what's that worth? Depends on who you're transacting with. When we pay in dollars, there are systems in the background looking for fraud. These costs get spread across society in the fees we pay for credit cards (both in our interest charges, and the fees charged to merchants for accepting cards). If we don't need a card issuer and bank to back the transaction and guarantee that it's legitimate, there is substantial value that can be recaptured. Likewise, bitcoin's portability can be a source of value. If you can send bitcoin across borders, there's no need for money transfer agents to send remittances. There's no need to be scammed by a cabal of currency traders. This is all value that can be recaptured as old, expensive institutions become irrelevant. However - is that value recaptured by the owner of the bitcoin? Or is it captured by the nodes on the network authenticating the transaction? Bitcoin would substantially reduce the fee for sending money, but the actual fee would go to the miners - not the holder of bitcoin tokens. Holders of bitcoin would see no direct benefit. Now - it's reasonable to think, "if bitcoin replaces those institutions, that's trillions of dollars that will have to flow into bitcoin, and the price will skyrocket!". And there's some truth to that. Based on money flow and bitcoin's illiquidity, it will have to rise. But it's not realistic that things will happen that way, as it embeds some bad assumptions:
Bitcoin will soon replace banks and money transfer agents
No other technology will compete with bitcoin (whether another open blockchain, or a closed one operated by the existing banks)
The face-value of all the money handled by banks will flow into bitcoin
The first two points are fairly straightforward. Even if bitcoin replaces existing institutions, it's important to consider how and when - and whether the market price for bitcoin today is being too optimistic and forward-looking. Likewise, bitcoin is not the only game in town, and other cryptos already have value propositions that can out-compete in certain niches. All the big banks are already working on their own blockchains, which aren't as revolutionary as bitcoin, but will likely be easier for mass consumer adoption. The last bullet point is the real rub. Bitcoin is deflationary, and a main purpose of banks is to create leverage throughout the monetary system. $1 deposited in a bank can become $5 throughout the whole system, and extended further with clever credit structures and derivatives. Because bitcoin is deflationary, that kind of leverage (and face amount of fiat) cannot be lifted-and-shifted into bitcoin. No one would lend, except at interest rates high enough to contract the money supply. Several trillion dollars in the banking system today would shrink by orders of magnitude in a bitcoin economy. The initial inflows would create a spike in the dollar value of bitcoin, but economic activity would grind to a halt shortly after. This is why the really smart folks like Andreas Antonopolous comment far more on what the technology can do than what the token is worth. It's why he's testified to the Canadian Senate that we will see many different 'monetary recipes' across different cryptos, and the future is wide open for any mix of them to dominate. It's why he talks about the bitcoin protocol as a base layer, which may be abstracted from any future end-use and doesn't speculate on the price. If you're sitting on a big profit, maybe it's time to re-examine exactly why you think there's substantial value ahead. And if you're buying in at these levels, you should be asking yourself why it's worth paying ~$10k. As prices go up, the risks get bigger - not smaller. The rate of advance means there are a lot of people who have bought in the last three months, and could quickly leave if they see a big profit turn to a loss. Anytime a market moves like this is a time for greater caution, not greater greed. ** TL/DR ** There's a lot of enthusiasm, backed by naive and childish arguments, saying that bitcoin should keep advancing at a rapid clip. But there are still serious impediments, and even success of bitcoin (the technology) doesn't mean the tokens are worth anywhere near where they trade today. Everyone should be taking this rally as an opportunity to reality check their assumptions, and figure out if they're long because they're bullish - or if they're bullish because they're long. You can still love bitcoin without the hype.
Why I'm now supporting Bitcoin Cash and helping with its adoption. - From a former member of /r/bitcoin
If you want to skip the boring part about my history with Bitcoin, go ahead to the "Helping Bitcoin Cash with Adoption section" where I explain what I currently do to help with adoption of Bitcoin Cash and what you can do as well. I don't expect many people to read this part, as it'll be long and tedious. Anyways, here it goes.
My History with Bitcoin
Like many other people who use Bitcoin, I started off on /bitcoin. It was the biggest Bitcoin subreddit and I never even heard of the /btc subreddit. During my few months frequently visiting there, I read about the crimes against Bitcoin that Roger and Jihan allegedly committed including attacking the mempool. I still have no idea if that was true or not, but it's not important as of now. Now, something that's important about my story: I'm not rich at all. I got into bitcoin from GPT sites. For those of you who don't know what those are, they're websites that can be used on the side to make money after work. Now, there were a couple of sites that paid out in bitcoin, and I finally got in around the 1200 mark. One important part of those sites is like bitcoin faucets, their payments are extremely small. They ranged from 25 cents to 10 dollars. I was an idiot who didn't know how fees worked, since I always tried to cash out at a minimum to try to catch bitcoin at its lowest price. As a result, I eventually had a wallet with lots of inputs and if I tried to move them, I was struck with a massive fee. Also, some sites charged a bitcoin fee on withdrawal. I cashed out for $10 on a website and only received 7.49 There was a 2.02 mining fee and apparently there was another fee not related to mining that was charged upon my withdrawal. Since I didn't know anything, I was hoping that come August 1st, Segwit would fix everything. So a while later, I moved my bitcoin to 1broker, to copy other traders to make more money. Sadly, they don't offer support for bitcoin cash as of now and it's unlikely that they ever will. During my 2nd transfer, I was shocked with the exorbitant fees that came along with bitcoin, especially since I had so many inputs. This was my 2nd transaction I ever made. It was a double spend as well. After being in the mempool for 4-7 days (can't remember, but I was impatient at the time), I desperately googled how to replace a transaction. Anyways, onto the fork. At this time, I was still an avid member of the /Bitcoin community. I never really participated in discussion, but I browsed every post. When I heard that the fork was happening even though there was 80% signalling, I panicked. But that was the best time for me to visit /btc. At first, I came here to learn about the "fools who wanted a centralized bitcoin". However, after reading through the posts here, I figured that both of these point of views were valid. I decided to hold my coins on both chains and wait for the fork. I didn't know who to believe, but the attacks from both sides were vicious. Any time I visited either of the Subreddits, I saw each side attacking the other and insults being thrown around. So on August 1st, I set up a short on BTC/USD on 25x leverage as I was expecting for it to fall a bit. And it did, a bit. It dipped $100 from my entry point, but then started recovering so I closed my position. I closely monitored bitcoin cash's price but never sold. After a while, I sent my bitcoins back to 1broker, about a 12 hour transaction for 1.5 sat/byte. Not bad at all, I thought at the time. But then, the mempool increased in size again. The problems that I thought were going to be fixed weren't fixed at all. I wasn't going to wait until November 1st for a possible fix, I wanted to switch immediately to something permanent. The only problem was, I couldn't. Many of the GPT sites I used didn't have a cashout option in Bitcoin Cash. 1broker didn't have a deposit option in Bitcoin Cash. It seemed like no services that I used had bitcoin cash. I know that Bitcoin Cash is new and will take time for people to adopt so why not help it along the way?
Helping Bitcoin Cash with its adoption
As a relatively new member of the Bitcoin community, I admit that I know little about Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. Sure, I may have read about it for hours and hours, but I don't know the whole story behind it all unlike many of you who have been here for years. Anyways, as we all know, adoption for Bitcoin Cash is crucial to its survival. The negative attention from the media may have helped, or it may not have. Even as the hash power shifts to bitcoin cash, it's not that useful when every service I use pays out in the Segwit Bitcoin right? I have started to ask several sites if they would ever consider the possibility of paying out in Bitcoin cash. Some said it would come down the future, some said no directly. I wish that one of them would have said yes, but none of them did. Sure, I can have the bitcoin sent to an exchange and directly exchange it into bitcoin cash. However, some of the sites I'm using now charge a mining fee, and I could still be losing a dollar or two per $20 payment and I would much rather lose a couple of cents. However, this is not something that I'm doing alone. Everybody should be helping with adoption of Bitcoin Cash. Although I have never used Bitpay, it is a step in the right direction. Even individual users can make a change. If you can convince a local shop owner to accept bitcoin cash, do it. You might be poorer like me and not afford to buy things with bitcoin cash, but if you're a freelancer, or frequent /giftcardexchange, you can start asking for bitcoin cash payments. As some of the market cap and hashing power shifts over from the Segwit Bitcoin, it's imperative that adoption does as well. Anybody can make a difference, big or small. I know that there have been posts like this in the past, but I think it's much more important now than ever with the current price surge and hashpower shift.
Bitcoin is so high right now because of speculation, and a splash of distaste for government currency. When the bitcoin crash inevitably happens, how can we drive up the price of silver? I.e. Can we get people to shift from bitcoin to silver?
Do bitcoin miners have any real incentives to mine bitcoin besides profit?
I am worried about the easier difficulty of bcash over bitcoin, can someone explain why a miner would keep mining bitcoin while bcash is 125% more profitable to mine? How long before enough miners shift and bitcoin grinds to a halt?
I hear tulip mania. But then again bitcoins not a fucking tulip 🌷
The value of tulips went up in the Dutch economy because they became this unprecedented fashion fad that meant status. This meant the following: Dutch people didn't even know all the methods of getting tulips. Eventually they'd find out it was pretty fucking easy to acquire. It had no rarity. The bubble occurred within a matter of months. Tulips became priced of houses. Think about that for a second. Tulips had no real value. Although they became expensive items that made Dutch citizens crazy over obtaining them, they didn't prove any value which added to future development in really anything. Bitcoin is literally a tool. It's a technological advancement. It's a symbol of decentralization, and it's probably one of the first times ever you can invest in an idea and a belief. Bitcoin holds value because it does something and helps further life economically and technologically, it's not an unfounded item that you wear on your fucking dress I hear what people are saying; yeah it could be a bubble. But then again, bubbles are popped quickly. You can compare any real time bubble. They were each positive movements from entire economies to a hopeful future not individual investors, dotcom bubble, real estate bubble all were entire economies shifting towards these industries too fast. And frankly if that's the case, were no where near where the price will be when the entire economy shifts to bitcoin 😂
And thus, bringing about a decentralized and democratic shift in these industries. How Does Bitcoin Work? Now, when you know what is bitcoin? You might be eager to know how exactly the coin works. Well, here you go… Let me elaborate in a simple and easy way!! So, each BTC is basically a computer file which is stored in a digital wallet app on a computer or smartphone. You can send BTC to ... If the pair does, then it would extend its upside move towards the so-called “C-Wave Extension” near $11,695. “[There is a] 75 percent possibility [that] Bitcoin manages to consolidate further ahead between the Channel and the Trendline,” Mr. Prince wrote. “[Then] it would move on to form the C-Wave Extension.” 1 BTC = 97.933,6913378473 SHIFT . Bitcoin Ƀ . Währungs Notation Does the C standard say anything about shifting more ... (not the standard, but Good Enough For Me), there's the following block in 6.5.7 Bitwise shift operators: If the value of the right operand is negative or is greater than or equal to the width of the promoted left operand, the behavior is undefined. So, undefined. Be careful. share improve this answer follow answered Jun 30 '12 at ... Bitcoin price today is $13,073.32 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $23,603,626,066 USD. Bitcoin is up 0.48% in the last 24 hours. The current CoinMarketCap ranking is #1, with a market cap of $242,210,721,011 USD. It has a circulating supply of 18,527,100 BTC coins and a max. supply of 21,000,000 BTC coins. You can find the top exchanges to trade Bitcoin listed on our crypto exchanges page ...
Inside a Bitcoin mine that earns $70K a day - YouTube
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