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Bitcoin & crypto?

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 08 Aug 2021, 12:46:53

theluckycountry wrote:
careinke wrote:
Cryptos biggest problem is it needs to be more user friendly.


It's always been user friendly, ten years ago people were buying pizza with bitcoin. It's biggest problem is it has no fixed price, and can be created at will in unlimited variations, unlimited quantities.

It depends on how you describe "user friendly".

People have lost hundreds of $millions of dollars in accounts with trading aggregators. Who just lost the crypto through hacking or other issues. And the holders got little of that back.

There is NO safety net, like FDIC for banks, SIPC for brokers, etc. If anything goes wrong, the investor is just SCREWED.

People have lost $millions to many $millions by losing their crypto wallets or keys, while holding their crypto in cold storage, trying to avoid the risk from the aggregators (or just not knowing what they're doing, or being careless). Again, they're just SCREWED when that happens.

I would call NONE of that "user friendly".

To the extent that as someone who has been an active investor for 40 years now, and held many different kinds of accounts and assets, and traded a hell of a lot of stock option spreads, etc., I refuse to invest in any crypto directly. Because of the non-user friendliness issues, and viable alternatives. (I'll accept volatility risk when I trade, but not wild-west nonsense and fraud risk).

I agree that the volatility makes all non-stablecoin type crypto unacceptable to use as a currency. Plus the HIGH expense of even SMALL transactions. (NO, I'm not spending $10ish bucks in fees to buy a cup of coffee when cash and credit cards exist). The question is whether they are viable as a long term wealth preserving holding, like say gold.

And I have no clue, and fully admit it. But given that they have no cash flow, no underlying earnings or dividends or other measure of true value, unlike, say stocks, I'm very skeptical about the risk / reward proposition. I'd rather hold gold (via bullion coins or numismatic coins with fairly small premiums over bullion) or oil stocks, etc. as inflation hedges.

Like with meme stocks, the crypto proponents (and the internet pumpers) are going with faith, i.e. their belief systems. Which is their right, and I wish them well. But math says a huge group of folks HODLing anything like tulip bulbs is NOT all going to get wildly rich if they just HODL long enough. There will be only so much total demand.

...

What little crypto I hold (as a speculation / diversification) is in BTC via GBTC, which luckily for me, trades at a 10% to 15% discount vs BTC over time, given the 2% annual expense ratio, and there is no direct way to convert it into BTC. It's fully audited and all the holdings are in cold storage, kept in heavily guarded vaults. So that fee is buying something. And it's good enough for serious institutional professionals like ARK's Cathie Wood to have nearly 9 million shares in for ARKW, or call it $300 million plus.

https://flagticker.com/prem-to-nav/GBTC

I'm holding a SMALL core position (roughly 1% of my assets), but willing to trade the rest of it a bit as it gyrates, and lower my average cost over time. It's convenient and nearly free to trade at a discount broker. The main disadvantage is the stock market is only open 32.5 hours a week vs. 168 for cryptos. Everything has trade-offs. Taxes are as easy and automatic as for any other stock, via a 1099-B from the broker.

For example, I happily sold a little on last week's nice price upsurge, and will happily sell a little more if that continues meaningfully.

I'd LIKE it to see BTC get down to the $10,000ish range it was at for much of 2020, and buy some to patiently hold until a new rally develops. And yes, I know I could lose anything in that over time -- just like on any individual stock. I just fine $10K a hell of a more attractive entry point than say, the current $44ishK.

https://www.kitco.com/bitcoin-price-charts-usd/

I'm rooting for the SEC to approve US based ETF's for BTC and other major cryptos. Once BTC ETF's are OK in the US, GBTC should convert to an ETF, and the vast majority of the premium will vanish -- or it could even go back to a premium like it was at before ex-US ETF's were approved for BTC. Also, I'd expect that annual fee to go way down.

But anyone claiming cryptos are anything like risk free OR a long term guarantee of big profits is either clueless or lying, or both. Same thing for the stock market, although if the world doesn't change drastically, economic growth will almost certainly yield profits in a broad based low fee index fund over a 30 year or more timeframe. Cryptos have NO such assurance.
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 theluckycountry » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 12:30:31

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
theluckycountry wrote:
careinke wrote:
Cryptos biggest problem is it needs to be more user friendly.


It's always been user friendly, ten years ago people were buying pizza with bitcoin. It's biggest problem is it has no fixed price, and can be created at will in unlimited variations, unlimited quantities.

It depends on how you describe "user friendly".

People have lost hundreds of $millions of dollars in accounts with trading aggregators. Who just lost the crypto through hacking or other issues. And the holders got little of that back.

There is NO safety net, like FDIC for banks, SIPC for brokers, etc. If anything goes wrong, the investor is just SCREWED.


Well more fool them for trusting other people, people they don't know and have never met to hold their wealth. It's akin to putting gold in a safe deposit box in 1932.

To the extent that as someone who has been an active investor for 40 years now, and held many different kinds of accounts and assets, and traded a hell of a lot of stock option spreads, etc., I refuse to invest in any crypto directly.


Being on a peak oil forum, as a 'believer', I have asked myself numerous times over the past decade and more, what will be worth holding as an investment for the future? Not the next 6 months, that's of no use to me, but for the next 20 years and longer. Most of the easily accessible vehicles, the paper/digital ones, have only appeared in the last 30 or so years, nearly all in the past 100, the life of the oil age. What will oil age investments be worth in 20 years? What will shares in the debt based darlings of today's market be worth when the debt pyramid collapses?

What will retirement accounts holding trillions be valued at when the it becomes obvious the natural resources that are their ultimate target cannot hope to match the expectations. Australia has a population of 25 million and we have One Trillion in paper superannuation accounts, half of which is in stocks. Copper is currently $10,000 per metric ton and about 20 million tones are mined each year. That's 200 Billion worth, but only after an enormous amount of fossil fuel is used to mine, process, transport and refine it. Much copper is recycled but that process isn't free. It has to pass through a lot of hands, a lot of labor before in ends in the melting pot.

I mention copper as an example because it goes into near everything, and without cheap oil, what will it's price be in 20 years? I doubt anyone has run the numbers on global pension accounts, verses available resources to satisfy the desires of those account holders. This is all that matters in the future as far as my personal finances are concerned. I want to hold things that will hold their value, I don't want to be a bag holder of crap paper when the music stops, when the nations en-mass realize that a world without cheap oil cannot fulfill their dreams of retirement, of jetting off to island paradises.

But that's already going away isn't it. The corona virus response measures and the fear generated has killed that aspect of retirement. Where is that money going now? Well down here some of it is going into local travel, when allowed. The rest, into new cars and mostly into home renovations. People prissing up homes with $100,000 makeovers. And the price of oil? over $70 a barrel.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby AdamB » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 14:04:17

theluckycountry wrote:I mention copper as an example because it goes into near everything, and without cheap oil, what will it's price be in 20 years?


Copper has been mined before, when there was no cheap oil available. Like between 2011 and 2015, copper extraction grew every year. Amazing, no? And then, from 2016 through 2019, with some real live cheap oil available, copper extraction remained relatively flat.

Do you have data to support your statement, considering that it isn't supported by historical fact just over the past decade? Mine came from here.

Let me guess, as a PO believer, you are just doing the same things they have always done, arm waving, hyperventilating something from the dogma of doom as written by the prophets, etc etc?

theluckycountry wrote: And the price of oil? over $70 a barrel.


Lions and tigers and bears! Half price from when it was expensive!! Trade in that pricey two wheeled rocket and get an EV! My fuel prices haven't changed in 6 months. Choose a better fuel for your ride, and be happy!
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby mousepad » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 15:49:51

AdamB wrote:Copper has been mined before, when there was no cheap oil available. Like between 2011 and 2015,

What was the oil price in 2011? $100?
Crazy cheap. It was so cheap I bought some for my chain saw instead of cutting wood by hand.
I think you misunderstood lucky. He's wondering what happens to copper mining once oil is expensive, not cheap.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby AdamB » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 17:16:25

mousepad wrote:
AdamB wrote:Copper has been mined before, when there was no cheap oil available. Like between 2011 and 2015,

What was the oil price in 2011? $100?


It was around that as an average for a couple years, not sure exactly which year was first in the $100 game, but 2011-2014(15) strikes me as the range of the most expensive oil on an annual basis... IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Myself, I am stunned at my absolute lack of giving a crap. Now, when increased natural gas prices hit my electricity bill, well THEN I'll whine like a stuck pig! How dare my per mile costs double from $0.01/mile to $0.02/mile! The horror!

mousepad wrote:Crazy cheap. It was so cheap I bought some for my chain saw instead of cutting wood by hand.
I think you misunderstood lucky. He's wondering what happens to copper mining once oil is expensive, not cheap.


I understood Lucky perfectly. He claimed that expensive oil meant less, or no, copper mining. We have as historical fact the most expensive oil on an annual basis in the history of our species. Guess what? We mined more and more copper across the entire time period. Might lucky have meant prices above and beyond anything we have ever seen before? Maybe. But Lucky didn't say that, allowing a relative concept to be confused with his doomer porn scenario. A mistake that you would think most old school peak oilers would have been burnt with badly enough by now to not want to be with 10' of.

I recall when oil crossed $40/bbl, and the likes of Savinar and Ruppert were doing the squealing like stuck hogs over that end of the world routine. I find it difficult to fathom how REAL believers (an important point, as most doom since the internet began is faith based stuff) as Lucky has claimed themselves to be, just can't stop reciting the same dogma from the Bible of Doom from yesteryear.
StarvingPuutyTat says: I'm so confident in my TOTAL COLLAPSE is IMMINENT prediction that I stake my entire reputation on it. It will happen this year. - Aug 3-2020

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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 19:15:21

mousepad wrote:What was the oil price in 2011? $100?
Crazy cheap.


That's borderline expensive but nothing a large corporation can't paper over for a year or two. At $150 the entire global economy went to it's knees, you remember that don't you? Or do you believe that was due to the collapse of a hedge fund and an insurance company. $200 oil will be getting pricey but I could afford that, I could afford $300 oil probably, but it's not what I can afford that matters but what a hundred million impoverished Americans can afford.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby AdamB » Tue 28 Sep 2021, 20:08:00

theluckycountry wrote:
mousepad wrote:What was the oil price in 2011? $100?
Crazy cheap.


That's borderline expensive but nothing a large corporation can't paper over for a year or two.


A caveat you forgot to mention in your claim. "Gee...copper stops getting produced when oil is expensive, but corporations can paper it over...". Doesn't sound as cool doomer that way does it?

theluckycountry wrote: At $150 the entire global economy went to it's knees, you remember that don't you?


When oil went to almost $150 it did it for a day or so, and it was the idiot American home buyers and the banks that financed the crisis that caused the global economy to tank, you remember the REASON it happened, don't you?

theluckycountry wrote: $200 oil will be getting pricey but I could afford that, I could afford $300 oil probably, but it's not what I can afford that matters but what a hundred million impoverished Americans can afford.


So you buy OIL do you? Considering my years in and around the business, I've never purchased a barrel of oil in my life. Produced more than my fair share though. Do you own a refinery? And impoverished Americans seem to be able to afford oil, it is the rising rents and cost of living otherwise that seems to be causing some current issues.

Do you know why ANYTHING happens, or is all you can do is pretend it is all oil's fault? I understand that there is a sect within the Church of Peak oil that tried the "oil uber alles" angle, but even that gang had enough firing neurons to edge away from an idea discredited through the 7 claimed peak oils this century.
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Mustang19 says: Mods, I am just here to troll the trolls. I mean no harm.
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Re: Bitcoin & crypto?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 29 Sep 2021, 01:28:41

theluckycountry wrote: At $150 the entire global economy went to it's knees, you remember that don't you?

As many times as doomers try to claim that the global economy had big problems in 2008 due to high crude oil prices, no, it didn't. The VAST majority of the issue was in the fall, and it was the real estate bubble, which caused the Great Recession, which cascaded around the world as a financial contagian.

We've been over that endlessly on this site in previous years in various threads.

High oil prices caused some angst and some inconvenience, but it was nowhere near the type of problem the usual suspects like to pretend it was. For example, I lived in an apartment complex with lower-middle class folks. A few bought cheap high mileage cars, parked their midsized to large SUV's, and drove the cheap cars to work (in nearby towns, so 50-60 mile a day commutes) to save on gas when it got over $4. That's an inconvenience -- NOT doom. And NONE of that was going on in mid 2010-2014 with persistently high oil prices, once people had gotten used to the idea of high gasoline prices, and the poorer ones (gasp) adapted and drove more Corollas et al and less GM Yukons, for example.

You're on the internet, where things can be looked up. For example, googling "cause of the 2008 great recession" yields credible hits like:

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-ca ... c%20crisis.
The Great Recession, one of the worst economic declines in US history, officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

The collapse of the housing market — fueled by low interest rates, easy credit, insufficient regulation, and toxic subprime mortgages — led to the economic crisis.


https://irle.berkeley.edu/what-really-c ... recession/

https://www.federalreservehistory.org/e ... -aftermath

These sorts of articles are talking about real estate problems and financial contagion, NOT crude oil as the cause.

Think about it. If high oil prices were such a disaster for the global economy, isn't it rather odd that in mid 2010 through mid 2014 with persistently high oil prices averaging nearly $100 per BBL, that the global economy grew just FINE throughout that period?
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 » Wed 29 Sep 2021, 01:46:36

theluckycountry wrote: At $150 the entire global economy went to it's knees, you remember that don't you?

AdamB wrote:When oil went to almost $150 it did it for a day or so, and it was the idiot American home buyers and the banks that financed the crisis that caused the global economy to tank, you remember the REASON it happened, don't you?

Yup. I remember that well. I was actively watching oil daily, as I was wanting to sell a bunch of an energy mutual fund I'd been dollar cost averaging into for a good 15 years, and the price was WAY up.

(I sold twice, about a third of what I'd accumulated each time, both near the top. (I'd rather be lucky than smart, and was unwilling to sell it all, just in case). I gleefully bought it back in Jan. for roughly a third of what I'd sold it for, being willing to be patient and wait for oil to recover over time. I wish I could stumble into trades like that more often.)

Oil hit $147 ONE day for the spike top. Oil hung around, bouncing a bit, at roughly $135 average for about 2 or 3 weeks (I forget exactly) at the time of that top spike.

That was in July, BEFORE things turned really nasty/scary with the economy. What triggered the nasty fall market selloff and economic shock due to financial panic was the failure of Lehman Brothers Investment Bank in mid September, which was a casualty of the real estate speculation implosion.
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 » Wed 29 Sep 2021, 02:37:21

Re the El Salvador story on approving BTC as an official currency, I found a decent article from a credible financial news reporter, CNBC, vs. the usual suspects on Youtube et al pumping BTC, etc.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/09/el-salv ... -year.html

So it looks like El Salvadorans receive a hell of a lot of foreign remittances to the tune of $6 billion a year. So the government is supporting using BTC to speed that up and avoid high fees.
The hassle around remittances is one chief reason El Salvador President Nayib Bukele cited for declaring bitcoin legal tender. As part of the rollout, the government has launched its own national virtual wallet — called “Chivo,” or Salvadoran slang for “cool” — which offers no-fee transactions and allows for quick cross-border payments.

So if the average remittance is $195, per the article, a $10ish fee per remittance is costing the government (tax payers) a cool $300 million a year. ($10 is 5% of $200. $300 million is 5% of the $6 billion remittance total a year.

So hopefully they're at least getting one hell of a volume discount. Or taxpayers are paying nearly the amount of the Western Union fees that are such a big problem, per the article.

Also, as I expressed in another thread on the El Salvador using BTC as money being claimed as a great thing, hacking is a genuine concern.

However, users should exercise some caution before going all in on the government’s new wallet, according to experts.

Gladstein, who recently spent time in El Salvador, points out that the Chivo wallet is no different than a bank, meaning that the government has the authority to freeze the value. That is why he is a firm believer in Salvadorans taking control of their financial destinies by transferring their bitcoin out of Chivo and into a wallet where they can exercise more control over the funds.

García also makes the point that we are still in the early days of rollout. “Is it hackable? We don’t know yet,” he said.

“I think there’s financial bitcoin hygiene that a lot of people don’t understand when it comes to a custodial wallet, which is what Chivo is,” he said. “It’s not even that people are distrustful of the government. People are distrustful of platforms like Mt.Gox — centralized entities that hold money, that have been hacked in the past.”

Red font mine, for emphasis. If it's kept in a wallet tied to an account accessed through the internet (vs. a purely offline cold wallet), then it's potentially hackable. Hackers will attack where they think they can potentially steal lots of money.

At least now I understand how the tiny fees or no fees work. Just get someone else to pay for them. And hope there aren't any problems.

It will be interesting to see how this experiment goes over the next few years or so. I'm betting elderly, poor, etc. people won't be inclined or have the resources/know how to protect themselves from hacking with a cold wallet unless they just keep their assets in dollars as soon as they get them, which is an option the government wallets offer.
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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