6 comments

  • godshatter 194 days ago

    > Mr. Kim, who is 27 and lives with his parents, once made so much money trading cryptocurrencies that he was spending $1,000 a month on whatever he wanted. He quit his job. He borrowed to buy more. He planned to buy a house.

    Cryptocurrency markets are so volatile that I would just stash that $1,000 a month away somewhere rather than trying to double down. I'd consider every penny I earned to be a win and hope it continued for a while. I'd expect it to end in tears if I didn't. I guess I'm just more risk-averse.

    • megy 194 days ago

      > once made so much money trading cryptocurrencies that he was spending $1,000 a month on whatever he wanted.

      That doesn't even sound like much at all. Surely he would have more than that if he worked a job.

      • adventured 194 days ago

        The median income in South Korea is typically around $1,250 to $1,500 per month.

        To be entirely free to burn $1,000 per month in that style, you would want an income at least four times higher than that median. That's a considerable salary in South Korea. At $1,500 you're going to roughly be at break-even on living costs.

        • macspoofing 194 days ago

          Yeah. If your food and rent is covered by your parents, any job will give you the ability to spend $1000 on whatever you want.

      • nodesocket 194 days ago

        I just got back from South Korea (Seoul) where I spent a month working and on vacation. By no means am I any sort of expert, but here are my insights which may be somewhat of a rant.

        > Mr. Kim, who is 27 and lives with his parents

        - A lot of people in their twenties still live with their parents in S. Korea. It is very common.

        > He has lost a lot of money, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.

        - S. Korea is very fashion and tech savvy. It is also very wealthy notable mostly in Seoul and Itaewon. Koreans are really into how they look including high end brands and cars (Mercedes, BMW's are rampant in the city). The women are infatuated with makeup, their appearance, and Instagram. It makes sense that S. Korea was a crypto hub and that it went absolutely wild there.

        - There is a noticeable pro-America vibe in S. Korea and wearing clothes or fashion that has the American Flag is typically high end. They also love Whiskey, specifically Jack Daniels which I thought was funny because I live in Tennessee..

        • yongjik 194 days ago

          > There is a noticeable pro-America vibe in S. Korea and wearing clothes or fashion that has the American Flag is typically high end.

          Well, that's a bit like saying there's a pro-Chinese vibe in America because so many people have random Chinese letters printed on their shirts or tattooed on their arms. It doesn't really mean anything.

          • adventured 194 days ago

            > It doesn't really mean anything.

            Among nations, South Koreans have the third most favorable opinion of the US [1], only behind the Phillippines and Israel. South Korea's well-known love of the US goes back more than half a century. As an American, for me it's mutual, I love South Korea too.

            My grandfather, having fought in WW2, re-enlisted and volunteered to fight in Korea. He always said the South Koreans were wonderful to him. I think he'd be proud of how amazing their country has become, knowing that putting his life in jeopardy was worth it.

            [1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/15/which-countr...

            • downrightmike 194 days ago

              The pro-USA thing probably has more to do with the war in the 50's.

            • dba7dba 194 days ago

              Funny you mentioned Mercedes/BMW being rampant in Seoul, because Doug Demuro thought it was hilarious S. Korea had no Mercedes/BMW but only Hyundai/Kia. And only in black/gray.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZD2pBeXY6Q

              I have to say, drawing a rather sweeping conclusion of a nation of 51 million after a month long visit to a small area (albeit much of the nation's population living there) is maybe worth some reconsideration.

              It's like spending a month in Hollywood for a month eating out often, and concluding that every waiter/waitress in US is just working odd jobs while trying to break into the entertainment industry.

              Edit: I've also met people who are well off enough that they don't have to work as waiter/waitress, but still moved to LA to get a script made into movie, go to usc for movie (like writing movie script) etc etc.

              I'd think unmarried children living with parents until they marry or get a job that requires moving to another city is quite natural in most other countries.

              • bootlooped 194 days ago

                I lived there, in Seoul, for over a year and I can say with certainty that there are a good number of Mercedes and BMW. Most of the time I saw a foreign car it was a Germany luxury brand. If I recall correctly South Korea has a trade deficit with Germany at least in part due to the import of these cars. The colors for cars really were almost all black, gray, silver and white. The main exceptions were orange taxis and blue bongo trucks.

                I almost never recall seeing American cars out in the wild, although I did walk by a Chevy dealership often.

                In the video you linked he does point out a bunch of German luxury cars.

                • ousta 194 days ago

                  many chevrolet

              • mruts 194 days ago

                I live in Tanzania (I used to live in the US). And everywhere around here you see "Jack Lives In Africa" signs. It's pretty hilarious. They think any export is some high-end good.

                • tanilama 194 days ago

                  > A lot of people in their twenties still live with their parents in S. Korea. It is very common.

                  It is common anywhere where the real estate price is high.

                  • habosa 194 days ago

                    I've been told that Jack and Coke is the #1 liquor drink in the world. I believe it, that stuff is everywhere.

                  • gowld 194 days ago

                    This seems similar to "Blackjack was their way out of USA's lowest rungs", and some people made a bunch of money and most people lost a bunch of money.

                    • arcticbull 194 days ago

                      A small handful of people made a lot of money at the expense of a huge pile of people who came after them but only the winners yell about it, FTFY :)

                      • nostrademons 194 days ago

                        Now it's reversed - only the losers yell about it, while anyone who profited from the bubble is keeping their mouth shut.

                        Funny how the zeitgeist can turn.

                    • yongjik 194 days ago

                      Last year, when SK government clamped down on cryptocoin exchanges, many crypto-enthusiasts cried foul and claimed that (just like this article says) cryptocurrencies are the waves of the future and the only way out of their "dirt spoon" status.

                      Well, IMHO, the subsequent collapse of bitcoin proved the government's point. Without timely intervention, there could now be millions who suddenly found their iron spoons turned to dirt.

                      • oska 194 days ago

                        Bitcoin has not collapsed. The technology continues to work very, very well and it has a world-class development team maintaining it. Its price will continue to have large rises and large drops but it continues on its upward trend. However, focusing on bitcoin's price alone is where 99% of journalists and commentators go wrong.

                        • arcticbull 194 days ago

                          (1) Bitcoin has not collapsed because it works well.

                          No, it doesn't. It works only because less than 7 transactions per second worth of people want to use it. It works well because it’s collapsed. We saw how it reacted when people did want to use it. inb4 lightning, to open and close a single channel for everyone in the world will take 68 years.

                          (2) The price is going up! Then...

                          (3) Stop focusing on the price!

                          Yes, everyone's got it wrong because in the same breath you tell us the price is going up then not to look at the price. Not to mention all the basic problems with it: the rampant manipulation you can't stamp out by design, the actively user-hostile nature, the massive deflation because everyone keeps losing their keys and all the features people want like chargebacks being stripped out of it. Nobody wants to be their own bank, it’s so hard. Then there’s the economics of it, my lord, ECON 101 level stuff.

                          Inflation isn’t bad because you’re not supposed to hold cash. You’re supposed to use it to purchase productive assets, like stocks, bonds or real estate which track and exceed inflation. It’s even good for borrowers because debts become cheaper over time. It’s a regular haircut for unproductive capital, the mechanism by which capitalism allocates capital efficiently. Money isn’t supposed to become more valuable by virtue of you just having it. Under your bird bath, of course because it’s not safe anywhere else.

                          Even the hardcore coiners on reddit have started admitting it’s sole value is hiding your wealth offshore out of reach of the long arm of the tax man. Or for the narcos!

                          Yes, it's going swimmingly.

                          • illumin8 194 days ago

                            > all the features people want like chargebacks being stripped out of it.

                            Chargebacks were never stripped out because they don't exist. Bitcoin has always had irreversible transactions, and many people view that as a feature.

                            Your argument would carry more weight if you didn't have inaccuracies in it.

                            • arcticbull 194 days ago

                              Obviously it never had it that was my point. It was flowery wording for the bitcoin network having evolved from modern finance, in that its modern finance with features ripped out.

                              • krageon 193 days ago

                                "Modern finance" has these features because they are at their core an old boy's network of people saying "yes this is definitely okay". On top of that, it is running on maybe two distinct networks globally, both of which are not immune to just going down.

                                It's then a bit disingenuous to say that it's "modern finance with features ripped out", I would say it's modern finance with a different set of priorities. Two of those priorities are reliability and verifiability, which are two features the current networks have absolutely none of.

                                • arcticbull 193 days ago

                                  Visa is not reliable? They successfully processed 99.9995% (5 nines) of the last 319 billion transactions. [1] Marketing suggests they're working to get that to 100%. It's also totally verifiable, as it needs to be audited by the various regulators and industry bodies. It's absolutely both of those.

                                  To my knowledge, bitcoin just achieved 4 nines of uptime since the genesis block -- impressive in its own right to be sure.

                                  Bitcoin may not be so verifiable itself, right, after all, the longest chain wins and over 50% of hash power is located in the PRC. I'd say a strongly worded memo from Beijing that a new longest chain needs to appear is a bigger weak point than the worlds largest payment network with 5 nines of reliability over the last few decades suddenly decides to stop working, or that they'd stop scribbling down transaction data and avoid getting audited/fined/shuttered.

                                  That aside Bitcoin's real issue was never on-chain, but off-chain. Tether and Bitfinex aside, to get a real, truthful, accurate accounting of transactions within the bitcoin ecosystem the weak links by a country mile are the tumblers, the exchanges and so on. Their reporting data is, shall we say, far from tip top. Just ask QuadrigaCX.

                                  Old boys network or not, the up and comer needs to be better, not "just different" or "measurably worse."

                                  [1] https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/uptime/visa-s-uk-network...

                            • b1r6 193 days ago

                              I just have to say, for your first point, it indeed does work... It's just that what it works for isn't what everyone's hyping. For buying things and supporting services that are illegal or culturally resented, it is working just fine, and has been for many years without interruption. :)

                              EDIT: Oh yea, and currencies inspired by BTC like XMR are making such economic activity easier and more anonymous than ever. So it's always going to satisfy this niche...

                              • LAMike 194 days ago

                                > We saw how it reacted when people did want to use it.

                                The number of transactions today are as high as January 2018, but the fees never been any lower.

                                If that isn't progress, what is?

                                https://preview.redd.it/khdi0m4pq3f21.png?width=960&crop=sma...

                                • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                  Can’t tell if this is sarcasm to be honest. SegWit added a small amount of breathing room without changing block sizes. Not increasing block sizes lead to the split into BCH, then further into BCHABC and BCHSV. The core decided to switch to lightning as the scaling strategy which is still capped at 7 tx/s which still requires 68 years to open and close a single channel for everyone on earth, net new births of course.

                                  • mikekchar 193 days ago

                                    I probably shouldn't let myself get dragged into this discussion, but I think BCH splitters didn't want lightning and used the excuse of not increasing block sizes to fork. SegWit's initial purpose was to fix the bugs that were stopping lightning. Block size was not increased because BTC devs want people to go towards lightning. They specifically indicated that block size might increase in the future. The fact that current transaction speeds do will not accommodate the entire planet is a bit of a strawman. Nobody needs that capacity right now and I think it remains to be seen if there will ever be the need. Not everybody who thinks BTC is potentially useful thinks that it must be used by the entire planet in order to be useful.

                                    Just to be clear, I think it's great to call out the scammers and educate the deluded. I just think that taking a binary stance of either it will work the way the scammers say it will or it's a useless pile of garbage is not a reasonable position. I think there are lots of serious problems with BTC, but as a proof of concept decentralised payment processing system it's actually pretty interesting. I wish the scammers would go away and let people work on it earnestly, though. In that way, I really thought that having the BCH guys go their separate ways was a true blessing.

                                    • arcticbull 193 days ago

                                      Thanks for the clarity around the fork. IMO the split was, to your point, largely political. One camp made the argument that increasing the block size would prevent people from being able to store the entire chain locally in support of decentralization, the other was arguing it was time to let go in favor of pragmatically maximizing transaction count and that those who cared would buy the storage necessary. I'm sure there was much more to it than that -- this felt like a power grab by Ver et al. I addressed the basics as I saw them of SegWit vs block size growth because the post I was replying to originally cited them, then edited them out after my reply.

                                      As you say, it's probably a straw man to say that LN should accommodate everyone now. That said, bitcoin operates on a principal of anti-efficiency; the more we ask of it the worse it does. We can't apply the same standard that "of course it will get faster/better/stronger/more efficient" over time because it's designed to go the opposite way. We need active plans to scale, to move forward, to grow it. That's why I ask more of them -- not because they should know but they should have some conceptually cohesive idea to justify their $100B market cap -- exceeding Visas's at peak -- a decade into this experiment.

                                      It's fair that my position could be more nuanced. I've yet to find a way to untangle decentralized (in as much as BTC hashpower is over 50% in Beijing's purview) from lawless.

                                      In some ways that's the root of the issue. Aren't they synonymous? Without authority, whose to judge? Who's to say a transaction was legitimate? So what if it wasn't, it can't be reversed anyways. The scammers are, in my opinion, part and parcel. You can't have decentralized, trustless and permissionless without letting people do as they will with it. By definition, nobody in cryptocurrency is a scammer, the code is the law and they've found some loopholes. Or are they as intended? Who's to say?

                                      51% attacks are part and parcel too. The longest chain wins. You've got more hash power, you've got the longest chain, you are truth. Beijing writes a strongly worded memo to the miners in China, and that happens immediately.

                                      Without appealing to authority and the status quo there's a reason humans tend to organize hierarchically. Hierarchy is an abstraction and an optimization. Humans are messy, we make messy code, messy systems and as such we have to appeal to each other to undo them, and with this system, we can't.

                                      I do wish you and the others forging ahead luck, of course.

                                      • mikekchar 192 days ago

                                        Just to be clear, I've not got a horse in the race :-) I've have some bit pennies that I mined when you could still do that with a CPU, but just for fun. I haven't really intended to use them for anything.

                                        I would like a decentralised payment system to emerge. I don't think it will be BTC in its present form, but I'm happy that they are working on the problem and demonstrating issues. I don't have enough time to argue effectively for why we need such systems (in first world countries, it is much less of an issue), so I'll just leave it at that :-)

                                • r32a_ 194 days ago

                                  your info is pretty old

                                  • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                    Sure don’t provide any new info. “Wrong” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in your case.

                                  • topmonk 194 days ago

                                    > Yes, everyone's got it wrong because in the same breath you tell us the price is going up then not to look at the price.

                                    You're a lot like a climate change denier. Just like there is a difference between weather and climate, there is a difference between short term volatility vs a long term trend.

                                    > Inflation isn’t bad because you’re not supposed to hold cash. You’re supposed to use it to purchase productive assets, like stocks, bonds or real estate which track and exceed inflation. It’s even good for borrowers because debts become cheaper over time. It’s a regular haircut for unproductive capital, the mechanism by which capitalism allocates capital efficiently. Money isn’t supposed to become more valuable by virtue of you just having it. Under your bird bath, of course because it’s not safe anywhere else.

                                    There isn't a "supposed to/not supposed to" argument. Cryptocurrency doesn't have to be something that is supposed to be anything. Inflation gives a currency pressure to be traded, yes, and being able to trade it easily makes it more useful, and hence adds to its popularity.

                                    But it's not the only reason a currency becomes popular, and the other benefits that cryptocurrency have over little green pieces of paper are IMO enough so it can continue to grow.

                                    > Even the hardcore coiners on reddit have started admitting it’s sole value is hiding your wealth offshore out of reach of the long arm of the tax man. Or for the narcos!

                                    It can be easily transferred anywhere in the world almost instantly, and ownership very well hidden. These are great benefits, even if they haven't been completely capitalized on yet.

                                    I'm not sure if Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency is going to end up the leader, but I do believe that this industry is going to continue to grow. The cryptocurrency market has crashed and recovered 6 times in the last 8 or 9 years or so. All of your arguments had exactly the same amount of weight as they did the previous 5 crashes, yet the crypto market recovered and greatly surpassed even the weighty highs of the peak before the last crash. Are you really going to tell me that this time is different?

                                    • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                      I’m no denier, I have facts. The declining hash rate, the declining price, the exchanges going under, the 85% of dApps that don’t have a single daily transaction on average, the miners shutting down, going out of business, steam, Microsoft, Expedia all stopping supporting crypto. And the price too. It takes some serious head in the sandmanship not to notice.

                                      I will tell you this time is different in the same way you tell yourself on the way up each time it’ll be different and this time it won’t crash. What’s different this time is there are no new bag holders. They all lost their shirts last time around. The price relies on new bag holders because 1800 new BTC are generated by miners and then sold to pay the electricity bills. That’s $2.4 billion dollars per year in sales pressure. The more the price goes up the more the sales pressure goes up. $20K per bitcoin requires $13B in new bag holder money per year. $100K means $65B in new bag holder money per year.

                                      You sidestepped all the issues I pointed out: usability, intentionally built to prevent stopping scams, fraud, illegal activity. How it can’t serve the needs of the public. Nothing. Just more religious/MLM/ponzi sales pitch of hope, pray, moon soon. You even said so where you mentioned it’s a good thing your idle useless capital is increasing in value for NO REASON.

                                      • oska 193 days ago

                                        You're throwing out a lot of heat in this thread but not much light. To address just the very first 'factual' claim in your comment here:

                                        > I’m no denier, I have facts. The declining hash rate

                                        Please check the difficulty page on Bitcoinwisdom [1] and scroll to the bottom where the history of hash rate changes over the last year is shown. You will find that over the last year it has gone from 18,633,553,122 GH/s on January 25, 2018 to 43,390,041,906 GH/s on February 10, 2019. So more than doubled over the last year while the price was rapidly declining. You will also see that there was a drop in hash rate over November/December after a peak in Octeber last year but the trend is now back up again. And as I said above, the trend over the whole year is obviously up (it more than doubled).

                                        [1] https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty

                                        • arcticbull 193 days ago

                                          You are correct, I was referring to the drop from late August through mid December. I hadn't checked and assumed the trend continued, thanks for clearing that up!

                                        • topmonk 194 days ago

                                          Everytime it's crashed it's recovered to a point where the low is now higher than the last peak. I am fully aware of that and expect if it zooms up again, it probably will crash again. I don't deny this. But if when it crashes it ends up higher than the last peak, who cares?

                                          I didn't sidestep your issues. I didn't address them directly, but that doesn't mean I didn't address them. They were as valid as they during the last crashes, and proven to not prevent a recovery then, so therefore the same issues do not prevent a recovery now. You weren't providing any reasons that a recovery like it did before, even in the face of all the issues you mentioned.

                                          Now you respond with a new reason:

                                          > What’s different this time is there are no new bag holders. They all lost their shirts last time around. The price relies on new bag holders because 1800 new BTC are generated by miners and then sold to pay the electricity bills. That’s $2.4 billion dollars per year in sales pressure. The more the price goes up the more the sales pressure goes up. $20K per bitcoin requires $13B in new bag holder money per year. $100K means $65B in new bag holder money per year.

                                          By "bag holders" you talk as if it's a big scam. Only it's not. Everything is out in the open for people to see, and no one is lying about what it is. Whether people in the future will choose to invest or not, and whether the industry will continue to grow or not is what determines whether the price will recover.

                                          You say there won't be any more of that, due to price pressure from miners, but again, there has always been pressure from miners and that didn't prevent recovery the last 5 times.

                                          I grant you the selling pressure from the miners has increased, but the size of the market has also increased as well. Also, due to block reward halving, they do not increase at the same rate. So, even if the selling pressure is too much currently, for the market to grow enough and make up for it, it will eventually reduce so that won't be the case forever.

                                          To repeat though, I also am not 100% sure bitcoin will be the dominate cryptocurrency. As I said before, I'm bullish on the cryptocurrency market in general, not just bitcoin.

                                          • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                            Why would we use as a currency something that swings 90% back and forth every few years? That's an objectively awful currency. Imagine your checking account explodes from time to time, one week you can buy a mansion the next you can't afford rent. That should be QED for why this isn't viable - isn't this what it's supposed to be saving Venezuela from?

                                            Whether we call them bag holders or not, there's no guarantee there's another $2.4B/yr to maintain the current price let alone drive it up. It is not intrinsically a scam its just built in a way that explicitly makes it impossible to prevent scams. IMO by the transitive property, it's a scam. Let's say I own a coffee shop. I also know that it's a breeding ground for venomous cobras, but I refuse to let an exterminator in. If someone gets bitten there's no world in which I'm not going to prison. It's not fair to call what I have "just a coffee shop" is it?

                                            It's also not an investment, as you're not obtaining a share of ownership in anything. It's like calling Subway sub stamps an investment. They're just tokens I can redeem at Subway, not a 401(k).

                                            The market is now smaller than its been in terms of total market cap, in terms of transaction count, in terms of transaction volume, than it's been in 2 years: https://data.bitcoinity.org/markets/volume/5y/USD/coinbase?t...

                                            All the other cryptocurrencies are even less used, less useful, and not even worth talking about, like Dentacoin -- your dental records but on the blockchain for no apparent reason.

                                            You know Visa's market cap is "only" $300B? At $100K bitcoin you have to buy, in cash, one whole new Visa every 4.6 years just to maintain the price.

                                            • erulabs 194 days ago

                                              > Why would we use as a currency something that swings 90% back and forth every few years? That's an objectively awful currency.

                                              No, that's a subjectively awful currency.

                                              > isn't [volatility] what [BitCoin is] supposed to be saving Venezuela from?

                                              No, it's supposed to provide an alternative to those subjected to and abused by centralized currencies and/or their government. Bitcoin's creation happened way back when Venezuela was massively wealthy, -before- they did the exact thing cryptocurrency backers feared they would.

                                              > Whether we call them bag holders or not, there's no guarantee there's another $2.4B/yr to maintain the current price let alone drive it up.

                                              Of course there isn't - I don't believe anyone implied there was? So far, historically, there _has been_ enough to drive the price up. Just zoom out a bit. Even if there is not 2.4B/yr, wouldn't the bag holders be the first to lose? I do not understand your argument here.

                                              > IMO by the transitive property, it's a scam. Let's say I own a coffee shop. I also know that it's a breeding ground for venomous cobras, but I refuse to let an exterminator in. If someone gets bitten there's no world in which I'm not going to prison. It's not fair to call what I have "just a coffee shop" is it?

                                              I have _no idea_ what you're trying to say here.

                                              > It's also not an investment, as you're not obtaining a share of ownership in anything.

                                              This is also false.

                                              > It's like calling Subway sub stamps an investment

                                              Despite your value judgement, Subway sub stamps _are absolutely_ an investment. Maybe not a wise one, but that's my opinion.

                                              > The market is now smaller than its been in terms of total market cap, in terms of transaction count, in terms of transaction volume, than it's been in 2 years

                                              Yes, 2 years ago was the peak of the hype. This is expected. It's also up over the last 1 year, and up over the last 3 years. Zooming to a particular part of a graph to suit a theory is not a good way to look at the world.

                                              > All the other cryptocurrencies are even less used, less useful, and not even worth talking about, like Dentacoin

                                              Conjecture and straw-man argument. This is akin to saying "spacejam.com"? Useless! That INTERNET is going NOWHERE!

                                              I understand you feel strongly about this, and I understand you will reply as if I am a strong die-hard crypto fan, but I want you to know that I am just a simple internet citizen and your line of argument is unhelpful at best and actively driving people the other direction at worst.

                                              • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                                You can play devils advocate all day long, I always like to challenge my preconceptions. I only care because people's laissez-faire attitude towards crypto is putting real peoples' hard earned money at risk through some fanciful delusion of 'moon soon.' I'd make as strong an argument against Herbalife if people came to its defense.

                                                A currency has 3 objective functions: medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value. It objectively fails the third test. [1]

                                                Re Venezuela: If Bitcoin is to replace the status quo it must show itself to be better than the existing. If it's effectively as good as the Bolivar who cares whether it's their government or a group of self-appointed open source finance champs who are doing it? I thought the goal was to avoid the ends, not the means?

                                                Re $2.4B/yr, people who have no understanding of the system put their money in because a group of loud activists (existing "investors") are encouraging them to do so. This is to prop up their own "investments" at the expense of the new money. They are running out of people who are willing to throw down solely because "moon soon" which is what's forcing the price down in spite of all the rampant manipulation. It's unlikely to go anywhere but down due to the high new money requirement for even price maintenance. You don't hear anything bad out of crypto investors mouths because they require $2.4B in new money just to keep their bags afloat.

                                                Re the snake den, I'm saying that in re: the idea that it's not a scam just because scams operate on it. It's designed in a way that precludes stopping scams, which makes it de facto complicit / transitively a scam. You may disagree, it's just an optimization to think of it that way.

                                                Fine it's an investment, it's a bad one.

                                                I'm not making the case that the internet is going nowhere because pets.com is going nowhere. The idea that you're buying into blockchain technology's future by owning bitcoin is like saying you're buying pets.com stock because you want to invest in TCP/IP, and that appears to be the MO for most blockchain investors. Finally, nobody's made a good case yet for a problem blockchain can solve better than any existing solution, whereas TCP/IP, I'd say, solved real problems from day 1.

                                                If anything crypto is making the best case I've seen for accredited investor rules.

                                                [1] http://money.visualcapitalist.com/infographic-the-properties...

                                                • erulabs 193 days ago

                                                  > A currency has 3 objective functions: medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value. It objectively fails the third test.

                                                  No. Value is subjective. I understand what you're saying, and for what ever its worth, I promise I don't sell old folks on crypto funds.

                                                  > Fine it's an investment, it's a bad one.

                                                  Good - we're on the same page. You have a value judgement. Don't pretend to be an authority on the subject beyond your _well heard_ opinion.

                                                  > The idea that you're buying into blockchain technology's future by owning bitcoin is like saying you're buying pets.com stock because you want to invest in TCP/IP

                                                  Yes, exactly. Money and industry turn out to be closely linked.

                                          • illumin8 194 days ago

                                            > The declining hash rate, the declining price, the exchanges going under

                                            This has happened every previous cycle. When mining becomes less profitable, the hash rate declines and difficulty declines until it reaches equilibrium. Currently 1800 BTC are being created every day, but when the next "halvening" happens I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in price as all of a sudden the same amount of demand is competing for half the daily supply (900 BTC).

                                            If you look at past cycles, the "halvening" has precipitated many BTC bull runs.

                                            • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                              Again you side step. This time side stepped that everyone’s now heard of and been burned by btc which was not true prior to the last run up, that my figures are still astronomical whether halved or not, or quartered, or eighthed. That major companies were burned by it. VCs were burned by it. That people have come down from their hopium high and realized blockchain in and of itself won’t solve literally any problem it’s thrown at better than MySQL will.

                                              You side step explaining why you think your money should be magically worth more over time.

                                              The question is whether there’s still 2.4 or 1.2 billion in new cash to add every single year until the next “mooning” which if were using your own expectations will be followed by an equally horrific crash.

                                              Why would we use that kind of thing as a currency?

                                              • illumin8 193 days ago

                                                You presume nobody was burned in the last 5 boom/bust cycles, and that VCs are too stupid to look at history before making an investment.

                                      • jpatokal 194 days ago

                                        I was about to ask you to explain that upward trend in the light of bitcoin transaction volume collapsing... but interestingly enough, it's been on a pronounced upward trend again for the past quarter:

                                        https://www.blockchain.com/en/charts/n-transactions?timespan...

                                        Yet trading volume is way down:

                                        https://www.blockchain.com/charts/trade-volume?timespan=2yea...

                                        And this is happening despite mainstream adoption for e-commerce etc having almost completely collapsed. Where is this volume coming from? Algorithmic trading, money laundering, something else?

                                        • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                          Money laundering, wash trading, tape painting and drugs. Rampant manipulation. It goes up 10% in minutes then falls back 10% a few days later, just enough time to wreck any leveraged short positions, and then wreck all the new leveraged long positions. The observers call it “barting” because the shape of all trading patterns looks like Bart’s head.

                                          • therealx 194 days ago

                                            Sorry, what does tape paining mean in this context?

                                            • stephen_g 194 days ago

                                              Painting the tape is exchanges or trading groups trading between themselves to create fake volume and make it look like there's a lot more activity than there actually is. It also helps the exchanges go up in the rankings on sites like CoinMarketCap.

                                              A few exchanges (including a couple of South Korean ones) have been investigated recently by regulators and fined for faking literally hundreds of billions of dollars of volume over the last year or two.

                                            • arcticbull 193 days ago

                                              There's a good writeup here when it happened on GDAX at the end of 2017: https://medium.com/@bitfinexed/meet-picasso-the-painter-on-g...

                                          • icelancer 194 days ago

                                            > mainstream adoption for e-commerce etc having almost completely collapsed

                                            ?

                                            The adoption was slow (and IS slow) but it never "collapsed." The same places I used BTC to order stuff from 9 months ago are the same places I use BTC to order stuff from now. And there are new ones popping up slowly but surely.

                                            • jpatokal 194 days ago

                                              Stripe, Steam, Expedia and Microsoft all stopped accepting BTC last year. What new mainstream merchants replaced them?

                                              • icelancer 194 days ago

                                                Why must more merchants replace them for transaction volume to go up? Could there not be more transactions through the existing merchants that had order flow as the use of BTC spend grows organically?

                                                • jpatokal 194 days ago

                                                  If accepting BTC was raking in dough for some merchants, you would expect more merchants to start adopting it. However, it appears that many merchants who did accept BTC in the past no longer do.

                                                  Or put another way, can you point to some stats that show increased organic BTC spend for e-commerce?

                                              • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                                It went from 5 major retailers to 3. That’s a 40% drop.

                                                • icelancer 194 days ago

                                                  This implies the bulk of the traffic was at the major retailers. I am not sure the data would support that assertion.

                                            • zozbot123 194 days ago

                                              BTC transaction volume is going to be kept fairly stable due to the existence of a dynamic transaction reward. If the cost per transaction goes down, this might imply that demand for "higher-value" uses of the BTC network is indeed collapsing, but by the same token this makes smaller-scale use more viable rather than less.

                                              • swang 194 days ago

                                                search 'tether scam' and you'll get all the answers you need. the price of bitcoin has been propped up for the entirety of its boom.

                                                • jpatokal 194 days ago

                                                  I'm the author of http://untether.space, so I'm well aware of that, but it's not clear to me what connection this has to increasing tx volumes?

                                              • yongjik 194 days ago

                                                I meant, it practically "collapsed" for those crypto-traders of Korea.

                                                If you use bitcoin for its ability to exchange money with anyone in the world, then you're right, it's doing fine.

                                                On the other hand, if you borrowed fiat money to buy bitcoin and other assorted currencies you never heard about, believing that the price will go up, and if it became 1/3 of the price you bought, then for all practical purposes, it has collapsed, in the same sense a housing market would "collapse" if price went down by 2/3.

                                                Unfortunately, the latter describes a lot of Koreans who bought cryptocurrencies last year. The number could've been much higher without government intervention.

                                                • jackcosgrove 194 days ago

                                                  BTC is fundamentally flawed because it's deflationary by design. It will never be used as currency for that reason, only as a store of value. As a store of value I'm not convinced of it vs. other assets. Stocks are liquid and have good yields in a mostly regulated environment, while real estate is improvable and multi-use. Cryptocurrencies could be valuable if proof of work led to a valuable information resource, such as labeling data or hosting content in a distributed web, and if there was no cap on the amount of crypto currency that could be generated.

                                                • mruts 194 days ago

                                                  I mean, can you really say it's a bubble with the BTC price after the supposed bubble at $3.5k? I remember when I was trading BTC for $100-$150 on the streets. Seemed like a good deal then...

                                                  • timClicks 194 days ago

                                                    I thought the price was too high when it hit $10. I was pretty wrong about that.

                                                    • mrhappyunhappy 194 days ago

                                                      I thought the world was going bonkers at $30 and sold everything.

                                                  • gjs278 194 days ago

                                                    the collapse only happened because governments started to ban it

                                                    • Theodores 194 days ago

                                                      You would not be able to write like that a year ago.

                                                      When Bitcoin was going to be the future not just in South Korea but on Hacker News too.

                                                      I am still waiting for my world changing dApps to come along from the many promising projects that needed all of this money from ICOs to finance the change that my small ill-educated brain could not imagine.

                                                      Just as well I did not quit my job because my coding work was irrelevant because there would be a magic dApp coming along in two months time that would mean I could do everything effortlessly with smart contracts and the new fintech. Just as well I did not get all my money invested in [$altcoin] as I was pressured to do so.

                                                      Where have all the serious people gone who were the experts a year ago? Do they still exist thinking that the serious blockchain smart contract stuff has only just started? Do they still make analogies about the dot com bust and where Amazon is today? Do they blame the state of the altcoin on how governments clamped down? A conspiracy, a refusal by governments to let people be free from the shackles of 'fiat currency'?

                                                      A year ago you would not be able to write about how 'millions' of people in South Korea spared misery by their government in the tone you can freely write with today.

                                                      • oska 194 days ago

                                                        Bitcoin never did an ICO and most of the hype around dapps was centered on ethereum. You are conflating shitcoins and scamcoins with Bitcoin. Some of the loudest voices warning against these obvious scams came from the bitcoin community. The same people also warned against the blockchain hype.

                                                    • neokantian 194 days ago

                                                      The current price is back at the price in August 2017. Anybody who got in before the subsequent speculative wave is doing absolutely fine. The $20,000 price of December 2017 was a speculative fluke of some kind of wannabe gold rush. For someone like me, who got in years before, I am actually happy that the hot money is mostly gone now. That batch gold diggers were turning the entire scene into a gigantic lottery carnival.

                                                      • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                                        You’re happy you lost 90% of your wealth? This kind of religious nonsense is pretty typical in the MLM and ponzi worlds. Nobody should be happy about that.

                                                        Plus that’s some seriously classic goalpost moving. Each time the price drops further shift the buy in a date a few months to the left. Yes people who bought in two years ago (basically a tiny fraction of the people who bought in after) are now break even. Classic success.

                                                        The S&P has returned 14% since August 2017.

                                                        • robertAngst 194 days ago

                                                          No one bought at 19k/BTC.

                                                          And if they did, they likely bought petty amounts.

                                                          Most people bought before. We believe that there may be an alternative to government currency in a rare number.

                                                          I didnt lose 90% of my wealth.

                                                          I actually got an extra 0.6 BTC since Jan 2017. I consider that an increase.

                                                          • arcticbull 194 days ago

                                                            Tons of people bought at 19K. That’s when transaction counts peaked from historical graphs. And at 18k, and 17k and so on. This isn’t in dispute the historical data speaks for itself, not opinion. [1]

                                                            They bought huge quantities, multiplication tells us that. And anecdota of people taking out massive loans because they couldn’t lose.

                                                            Most bought in the cumulative run up from mid to end of 2017, again, charts. [1]

                                                            You lost 90% of your buying power.

                                                            [1] https://data.bitcoinity.org/markets/volume/5y/USD?c=e&t=b&vu...

                                                            • jen729w 193 days ago

                                                              Yeah, the price was $19k. Therefore, by very definition, people bought at $19k. Otherwise the price wouldn't have been ... ah, it's hard to get through to people sometimes.

                                                              Loved your analysis in this thread, thanks.

                                                          • gjs278 194 days ago

                                                            spy 500 nearly lost all its gains for the year. it could easily take a nosedive.

                                                        • rbobby 194 days ago

                                                          https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4240730/ Misaeng. Provides an interesting view of life in a Korean trading company (not bitcoin). Apparently not too far off reality.

                                                          Pretty great series.