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Bitcoin & crypto?

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 13:09:35

I agree with Outcast. It's main function other than luring and fleecing gullible investors would seem to be facilitating laundring of money and other criminal enterprises. However, my take is the criminal activity being orcheastrated by the very wealthy and Organized crime mainly
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 16:37:40

onlooker wrote:I agree with Outcast. It's main function other than luring and fleecing gullible investors would seem to be facilitating laundring of money and other criminal enterprises. However, my take is the criminal activity being orcheastrated by the very wealthy and Organized crime mainly

Why do the very wealthy need to orchestrate major criminal activity?

1). They're already very wealthy. They don't need to risk prison or major asset forfeiture to be wealthy.

2). They have access to lots of banker, legal, information resources, etc. to give them a major upper hand, as far as intelligently managing, growing, legally minimizing taxes with tax avoidance (including setting up complex legal structures the non-rich have no access to), to enhance their wealth, WITHOUT risk of any legal problems -- as long as they aren't overly aggressive about it (i.e. straying into illegal tax evasion schemes).

...

I understand that many people are very jealous of the very wealthy, given their success and the often (IMO) very bad taste they display showing off their wealth. I understand that they're upset by the great deals they get from government cronyism re their wealth. However, that doesn't make most of them, or even a high percentage of them criminals.

Some are major criminals, sure, laundering money, etc. Organized crime, etc. Sure. However, most of these people didn't get very wealthy by being very stupid. With banks cooperating with governments re tax evasion, etc., today is not like previous decades. You can't just hide your money in a Swiss bank account, for example, and blissfully assume you'll never get caught.

I don't think most very wealthy people are stupid enough to take such risks, given all the scrutiny modern information tech. confers on the authorities.

OTOH, I think lucky rich people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett earned their billions by being smart, in the right place at the right time, taking prudent chances, etc. If people are going to call them "criminals" for being wealthy, that's a different matter.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 16:46:40

Being smart and doing illegal things some times goes hand in hand. Who better to feel, they can get away with it than a smart person. As for wealthy, read if you can "The Panama Papers". White collar crime is a very much real issue. Motivation=greed
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 16:51:46

onlooker wrote:Being smart and doing illegal things some times goes hand in hand. Who better to feel, they can get away with it than a smart person. As for wealthy, read if you can "The Panama Papers". White collar crime is a very much real issue. Motivation=greed

I'm well of the "Panama Papers" issue, as I do keep up with major news to a large extent, over time.

Look, I just SAID that some very wealthy people ARE criminals. That they launder money, etc.
I'm just saying, for reasons given above, that I don't think that (by a long stretch) MOST of them are.

And of course, greed is a thing. So is jail and asset forfeiture, major fines, etc.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby longpig » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 16:35:02

1 bitcoin will eventually be worth less than an ounce of gold. I could not believe people would value bitcoin above gold in 2017, faux gold being more valued than the real one. I have no sympathy for people who involved themselves in this calamity. The whole cyptocurrency space must be over now, the previous bubbles and busts of the past won't be repeated because the previous ones did not have full world wide participation, but this last bubble engulfed the world, everyone on earth knew about it this time and those who wanted in got in, those of higher character and those of the 'you can't cheat an honest man because he knows you don't get something for free' bent stayed out, there is no way it can be re inflated again.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 16:41:47

But the infrastructure and knowledge related to Cryptos is still there. So, I don't think it is going away quite yet
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby longpig » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 17:19:46

There is no cryptocurrency infrastructure, it is absolutely nothing. If you consider large electronic mining farms wasting capital resources and power to hopefully crack a block as anything useful you are a fool, people used to just use their computers idle time to mine bitcoins and it worked fine doing that. Cryptocurrencies are not an alternative, your only choices are fiat money and if you don't trust that you hold precious metals. Anyway I read stories at zerohedge in china they are disconnecting and throwing out all their electronic mining hardware.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 12:15:43

Even assets with performing fundamentals need marketing to sell at what people who stand off and declare such things as what their perceived value should be. With Obama in the White House cryptocurrencies had fear of a United Nations take over, compounded by death camp round ups, forced abortions so that the secret people in power could drink the very youngest blood and latent high tax tendencies to help them run up to unheard of levels. It's just not the same when you appeal to liberals over their fears. How are you going to drive up crypto prices when the very worst you can get there is people moaning about not being able to get that fancy Mercedes or BMW, due to tariffs forking everything up, and being forced to drive a forking Chrysler instead?
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 12:25:06

As I understand it Crypto has no regulatory overseeing Body, it is open software. As such, it is attractive I would think to the common man. Also, as we gave said, it's decentralized nature and lack of oversight must be appealing on the level of criminality Again the genie is out of the bottle, as long as the Internet exists I think Crypto will as well. Though I also not foresee a huge market bubble forming again
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 13:17:51

longpig wrote:1 bitcoin will eventually be worth less than an ounce of gold. I could not believe people would value bitcoin above gold in 2017, faux gold being more valued than the real one. I have no sympathy for people who involved themselves in this calamity. The whole cyptocurrency space must be over now, the previous bubbles and busts of the past won't be repeated because the previous ones did not have full world wide participation, but this last bubble engulfed the world, everyone on earth knew about it this time and those who wanted in got in, those of higher character and those of the 'you can't cheat an honest man because he knows you don't get something for free' bent stayed out, there is no way it can be re inflated again.

The way people value things is somewhat arbitrary. In the short run, perceptions (and greed and fear) greatly outweigh practicality.

Gold, of course, has a long history, is nearly indestructible if kept in secure storage, and has demonstrated centuries of relative stability in value relative to inflation (especially compared to fiat currencies, which virtually all become worthless over time).

I'm no gold bug, and consider diversified stock funds a better investment for about half my portfolio, but those are demonstrable facts.

Crytocurrencies have been a new fad which caught the imagination of people who intuit the power of computer information. Short term high percentage price moves and greed did the rest.

Despite the MANY bitcoin pumpers still out there, and the (IMO) amazing amount of faith and hope the comments re crypto article comments still show (hope and greed take a long time to die out, clearly), reality is taking over, in time. (A common theme is "buy now" or "buy as the price drops" because "certainly the Bitcoin price will go much higher / to $100,000 the next wave.)

Next time, if the various commodity exchanges for bitcoin, etc. are well established and options are well supported, I'll be buying some long dated put options if the price approaches $100,000 and the internet is again full of hype pumping Bitcoin et al. I'll be real surprised if that opportunity arises. Last time, all that was just getting barely established when the wheels came off.

All the fraud, lack of infrastructure, lack of standards (approved by governments, who will have the final say for LEGAL cryptocurrencies), relatively high costs compared to the obvious working competitors (chipped credit cards and smart phone credit apps), etc. will tell the tale in the end.

I'm still amazed that the bubble grew as big as it did. The fact that the internet exists allows nonsense to be spread just as well as good information -- at least in the short term, even in the "information age".
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 13:25:48

evilgenius wrote:Even assets with performing fundamentals need marketing to sell at what people who stand off and declare such things as what their perceived value should be. With Obama in the White House cryptocurrencies had fear of a United Nations take over, compounded by death camp round ups, forced abortions so that the secret people in power could drink the very youngest blood and latent high tax tendencies to help them run up to unheard of levels. It's just not the same when you appeal to liberals over their fears. How are you going to drive up crypto prices when the very worst you can get there is people moaning about not being able to get that fancy Mercedes or BMW, due to tariffs forking everything up, and being forced to drive a forking Chrysler instead?

I'll agree the pumping shills in abundance certainly fed the crypto rally. They're still at it -- just not being believed by the masses anymore.

The world is NOT just the US. Crypto was a global, first world phenomenon. And the big crypto surge happened AFTER Obama left office. Sorry, but as a guy who hates much of the liberal tax and spend on giveaway programs which do little to truly help the poor rise out of poverty -- I just don't see reality corresponding to what you're claiming this time.

If anything, the timing would imply a fear of Trump and there is certainly plenty of that. And from what I often read, it's educated young liberals who have tended to flock to cryptos. So fear of guns, abortions being denied, rounding up nonconformists, etc. would make more sense with the timing.

I don't think politics had any more to do with the overall shape of this big bubble than it did with Tulip Bulbs several hundred years ago.

Oh, and given the relative reliability and durability, the only thing that would make me more "afraid" (annoyed is a far more apt description) than having to drive a Chrysler would be having to drive a Fiat.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Revi » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 10:00:35

It's hard to see how bitcoin was going to be worth anything in the end. It's the ultimate fiat currency. Not even backed by a government. In the end it's trading something worth something for something else worth something. At least the US dollar can be changed into 20 nickels. There is some kind of value there. As soon as they get rid of the nickel it will drop to the value of 100 pieces of zinc!
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 14 Feb 2019, 10:44:05

As I've said in the past, there is no need for Bitcoin, especially when it doesn't work well in any volume. And depending on what crypto-currency government and/or the banking system comes up with, utilizing blockchain tech, none of the much-pumped current cryptos are needed.

We may be about to get the chance to see how that might play.

With JP Morgan coming up with their own crypto-currency, and testing it in a small-scale way (at first, anyway), we'll get to see how a banking version works. And I notice that except for the article correctly pointing out that Dimon has bashed Bitcoin in the past, Bitcoin is conspicuously absent.

Real-time settlement

There are three early applications for the JPM Coin, according to Farooq.

The first is for international payments for large corporate clients, which now typically happens using wire transfers between financial institutions on decades-old networks like Swift. Instead of sometimes taking more than a day to settle because institutions have cut-off times for transactions and countries operate on different systems, the payments will settle in real time, and at any time of day, he said.

The second is for securities transactions. In April, J.P. Morgan tested a debt issuance on the blockchain, creating a virtual simulation of a $150 million certificate of deposit for a Canadian bank. Rather than relying on wires to buy the issuance — resulting in a time gap between settling the transaction and being paid for it — institutional investors can use the J.P. Morgan token, resulting in instant settlements.

The final use would be for huge corporations that use J.P Morgan's treasury services business to replace the dollars they hold in subsidiaries across the world. Unseen by retail customers, the business handles a significant chunk of the world's regulated money flows for companies from Honeywell International to Facebook, moving dollars for activities like employee and supplier payments. It generated $9 billion in revenue last year for the bank.


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/13/jp-morg ... nts--.html

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I notice except for the nearly constant calls for some big Bitcoin rally from the usual touts/suspects (perfectly unbiased, I'm sure :roll: :lol: ), that Bitcoin and its competitors continue to perform like a post Tulip Bulb crash result, over time.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby evilgenius » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 12:29:59

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
evilgenius wrote:Even assets with performing fundamentals need marketing to sell at what people who stand off and declare such things as what their perceived value should be. With Obama in the White House cryptocurrencies had fear of a United Nations take over, compounded by death camp round ups, forced abortions so that the secret people in power could drink the very youngest blood and latent high tax tendencies to help them run up to unheard of levels. It's just not the same when you appeal to liberals over their fears. How are you going to drive up crypto prices when the very worst you can get there is people moaning about not being able to get that fancy Mercedes or BMW, due to tariffs forking everything up, and being forced to drive a forking Chrysler instead?

I'll agree the pumping shills in abundance certainly fed the crypto rally. They're still at it -- just not being believed by the masses anymore.

The world is NOT just the US. Crypto was a global, first world phenomenon. And the big crypto surge happened AFTER Obama left office. Sorry, but as a guy who hates much of the liberal tax and spend on giveaway programs which do little to truly help the poor rise out of poverty -- I just don't see reality corresponding to what you're claiming this time.

If anything, the timing would imply a fear of Trump and there is certainly plenty of that. And from what I often read, it's educated young liberals who have tended to flock to cryptos. So fear of guns, abortions being denied, rounding up nonconformists, etc. would make more sense with the timing.

I don't think politics had any more to do with the overall shape of this big bubble than it did with Tulip Bulbs several hundred years ago.

Oh, and given the relative reliability and durability, the only thing that would make me more "afraid" (annoyed is a far more apt description) than having to drive a Chrysler would be having to drive a Fiat.


Yeah, I was being rather tongue in cheek, but I do think that crypto currencies did run up more out of fear than out of greed. They sat there for the longest time, churning away in the background, until people began to think they really could be useful. And for what use? Mostly to preserve people's wealth. Then, when enough people thought that, they shot up so much so quickly that greed became more of a factor. Incidentally, greed is what is publicly latched upon. So, news reports about hacked networks paying in bitcoin to get decrypted and individuals trying to get their computers back were well traded. Fear laden accounts of how the world was soon coming to an end, and how bitcoin could help save you from the iron jaws of doom, were mostly shared among individuals. The fear part wasn't much different than how gun stocks rally when the gun nuts think their right to own guns is threatened. It's mostly about people trying to preserve their way of life. With Bitcoin, that was from the government.

Fear of the government is not solely an American thing. It lies at the base of much of the anti-immigrant fear that is being tossed around the world today. What people fear there is being overwhelmed and taken over, through their government. You get a lot of people rising up and saying that they, and the people they recognize as being like them, are the individuals. This nostalgic way of looking at things isn't necessarily racist. The group that comprises what the members of it see as a collection of individuals can be composed of many races. They only need the place of having come from the theoretical before time, when the world was a much better place not threatened by the presence of the outsiders. They see government as harmful to them, as individuals. Bitcoin feeds right into that, as does gold.

You don't have to possess a narcissistic personality disorder to think about Bitcoin. It makes for an alternative, if a shaky one, to currencies. The trouble with replacing a currency is that crypto supply is not connected to the economic activity of the people. Unlike how lending expands of contracts the money supply, crypto is mined algorithmically. That's ok, if you are seeking it as a transfer option. It's not if you are buying it because you think the system is coming to an end and you need a replacement for money in general. It's like going to a gold standard. Those are ok, when you don't have an explosion of people and a need to lift all of them to a certain standard. So, there you are again, crypto as an outside looking in device that fears the mass of people in favor of idealizing the individual.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 14:14:19

evilgenius wrote:Yeah, I was being rather tongue in cheek, but I do think that crypto currencies did run up more out of fear than out of greed. They sat there for the longest time, churning away in the background, until people began to think they really could be useful. And for what use? Mostly to preserve people's wealth. Then, when enough people thought that, they shot up so much so quickly that greed became more of a factor. Incidentally, greed is what is publicly latched upon. So, news reports about hacked networks paying in bitcoin to get decrypted and individuals trying to get their computers back were well traded. Fear laden accounts of how the world was soon coming to an end, and how bitcoin could help save you from the iron jaws of doom, were mostly shared among individuals. The fear part wasn't much different than how gun stocks rally when the gun nuts think their right to own guns is threatened. It's mostly about people trying to preserve their way of life. With Bitcoin, that was from the government.

Fear of the government is not solely an American thing. It lies at the base of much of the anti-immigrant fear that is being tossed around the world today. What people fear there is being overwhelmed and taken over, through their government. You get a lot of people rising up and saying that they, and the people they recognize as being like them, are the individuals. This nostalgic way of looking at things isn't necessarily racist. The group that comprises what the members of it see as a collection of individuals can be composed of many races. They only need the place of having come from the theoretical before time, when the world was a much better place not threatened by the presence of the outsiders. They see government as harmful to them, as individuals. Bitcoin feeds right into that, as does gold.

You don't have to possess a narcissistic personality disorder to think about Bitcoin. It makes for an alternative, if a shaky one, to currencies. The trouble with replacing a currency is that crypto supply is not connected to the economic activity of the people. Unlike how lending expands of contracts the money supply, crypto is mined algorithmically. That's ok, if you are seeking it as a transfer option. It's not if you are buying it because you think the system is coming to an end and you need a replacement for money in general. It's like going to a gold standard. Those are ok, when you don't have an explosion of people and a need to lift all of them to a certain standard. So, there you are again, crypto as an outside looking in device that fears the mass of people in favor of idealizing the individual.

Thanks for the thoughts. That all sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

It's interesting how people think differently, re their fears. I have a couple of fairly bright (much smarter than me) friends I keep up with weekly, since college days. One of them made a good observation years ago. We have different fears, re society and its madness. One of us is afraid of religion, and the coercive effects it has, and the tendency to drive people to extremism. One of us is afraid of big business, especially the power of big corporations to drive (bad) government policy. I'm afraid of government, re people ignorantly looking out for themselves, and inducing policy that screws everyone, plus government's ability to fairly arbitrarily just screw over someone completely, and get away with it. (The current far left POTUS campaigns' financial ideas / platforms are good examples of that, with "the rich" being the current target of the mob, IMO). We all agree that all three of these are serious issues, but our experiences drive us to prioritize them differently.

So with crypto, perhaps it is the same idea -- what are people most afraid of? For crypto, I'd rather use an alternative like gold or silver bullion, and/or gold numismatic, as my dollar hedge, in case government causes massive inflation. (I'd rather have to hide my PM's from the government, in an extreme case, than have a crypto-currency blow up in my face, for reasons I might not be able to predict at all). I'm afraid of fraud, corruption, incompetence, technological problems, and the lack of any kind of bona fide legal standards for cryptos. And to me, all the problems over recent years with various fraud, coins being "lost", wallets being stolen, exchanges blowing up, etc. are valid examples of that. I can get the same benefits with a credit card -- and the bank takes virtually ALL the risk and does virtually ALL the work except when I pay the monthly balance in full. Oh, and I get over 1% cash back over time, which helps cover whatever the retailers have to pay. (I can't speculate on the value of my credit card, nor do I want to).

That doesn't make the person who is more confident or trusting in crypto "wrong", re their beliefs or preferences -- it's just a different way to weigh risks, rewards, etc. And yeah, greed. But all financial markets get skewed by fear and greed at various points as the decades pass. Volatility is just part of the price to be paid in participating.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 22 Mar 2019, 15:15:22

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/22/majorit ... finds.html

New research is casting even more doubt on the legitimacy of bitcoin trading.

An analysis published by Bitwise this week shows that 95 percent of bitcoin spot trading is faked by unregulated exchanges. The survey, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, echoes concerns by regulators that cryptocurrency markets are still ripe for manipulation.


The analysis showed that “substantially all of the volume” reported on 71 out of the 81 exchanges was wash trading, a term that describes a person simultaneously selling and buying the same stock, or bitcoin in this case, to create the appearance of activity in the market. In other words, it’s not real.


This caught my eye. Funny thing about secure credit card transactions, which just work -- and do, re practicality, what bulls hope crypto may do. No financial risk involved for the CC users, and certainly not all the endless FRAUD that impacts the value of their holdings. Unlike what we see in the news, over and over, with crypto-currencies.

Or, if one wants an alternative to dollars (or whatever their local currency is), it's not like legit investments like gold, silver, stocks, etc. don't exist.

...

Meanwhile, crypto-currencies were almost all up on the day, with bitcoin up roughly a quarter of a percent. :roll:

Yeah, who cares about how rampant fraud could affect virtual currencies with no meaningful tie to the real world aside from investor faith? :lol:
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 22 Mar 2019, 15:39:29

Why not use real estate as a hedge?
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 22 Mar 2019, 19:52:08

Newfie wrote:Why not use real estate as a hedge?

Not a bad idea. I was on the fence about using that as an example, and didn't, mostly due to my personal bias (in my old and retired state) toward laziness.

As far as owning it and servicing renters (or paying landlords), if someone wants to go to that trouble, good for them. I understand there can be good returns for the effort.

REITs is another idea as they often pay good dividends, can offer lots of good geographical and business diversification, and best of all IMO, tend to have a relatively low correlation to the stock market, at least in the short to medium term. That's more the way I choose to play via the VNQ REIT ETF, with Vanguard. Good diversification, decent dividend, options, etc. I just look at it like another stock index fund and buy a little more when it's cheap, over time.
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