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Thread: Bitcoin: The Future or Ponzi Scheme?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The recent tax bill appears to have ensured that crypto-only transactions (eg. exchanging bitcoin for ethereum) are no longer covered by the "like kind exchange" exemption. It's clearly a recent change. I think some exchanges have been required to identify a large number of accounts that have incurred tax liabilities as a result of this change.
    I'm not familiar yet with changes from the recent tax bill, but crypto exchanges were never covered by the "like kind exchange" exemption. That's been a persistent belief in crypto circles, but the IRS has said for years now that you can't do like-kind exchanges with crypto.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    The Bitcoin ledger is public.
    https://bitbonkers.com
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  3. #63
    One of Japan's largest digital currency exchanges says it has lost some $534m (£380m) worth of virtual assets in a hacking attack on its network.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42845505

    Hope is the denial of reality

  4. #64
    Bitcoin, the future of armed robbery. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/1...extortion.html
    Hope is the denial of reality

  5. #65
    Do you really need to turn this into a team sport too?

  6. #66
    After Venezuela released their Petro cryptocurrency, now Turkey and Iran are looking at releasing their own. I doubt they'll act before they see how the Petro plays out, and I'm hoping that one bombs spectacularly. It'll be interesting to see what happens after.

  7. #67
    Anything Venezuela touches bombs spectacularly and there are very good reasons to doubt a single word their government says about Petro.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...t-its-a-farce/
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  8. #68

  9. #69
    Bitcoin blockchain contains child-porn:

    https://theoutline.com/post/3799/if-...ded-child-porn

    I knew it.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  10. #70
    If the blockchain can be made to include illegal material or malware that doesn't sound too positive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  11. #71
    I don't think it's common practice to attempt to locally execute arbitrary data on the blockchain, so there's not much risk of malware.

    Finally got around to reading through that paper. The bitcoin blockchain only allows arbitrary data in 80 byte chunks, so the data had to be cut up and spread out, making it pretty unlikely to get to unless you already know how to piece it together. You'll need special tools in order to extract it from the blockchain in any usable form. Further, the protocol allows these chunks to be pruned to save space under certain conditions, so you'll need to make sure your blockchain is unpruned, or extraction will be impossible. Lastly, because of how difficult this all is, the researchers never actually verified that there is child pornography on the blockchain. Here's the relevant quote:

    While five files only show, describe, or link to mildly pornographic content, we consider the remaining three instances objectionable for almost all jurisdictions: Two of them are backups of link lists to child pornography,containing 274 links to websites, 142 of which refer to Tor hidden services.The remaining instance is an image depicting mild nudity of a young woman. In an online forum this image is claimed to show child pornography, albeit this claim cannot be verified (due to ethical concerns we refrain from providing a citation). Notably, two of the explicit images were only detected by our suspicious transactiondetector, i.e., they were not inserted via known services.
    So the story that got repeated all over the media is originally sourced from an unknown online forum post. Good job, media.

    BTW, I heard a rumor that if you correctly assemble certain chunks of the digits of Pi, you can find child pornography too.

  12. #72

  13. #73
    The European Commission has decided to invest 300 million euros in tulips. Shameful.

  14. #74
    What a waste of money. Hopefully it won't happen until we're out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  15. #75
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    Eh, the UK actually signed up for it.

    Hard to see also what's wrong with it.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  16. #76
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BWHC5ZJ

    Free book for those of you who are still having trouble understanding the future of the blockchain.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  17. #77
    Hope is the denial of reality

  18. #78
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The story is severely fishy as the guy is supposed to have died of Crohn's Disease. Which is rather treatable. And if you do not treat it you're usually not fit to travel - not to mention that for this particular disease, India is the last place you want to be, considering the state of their plumbing.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  19. #79
    Depends.

    My mum got seriously ill a few years ago due to undiagnosed Chrohn's disease.

    Plus many patients, let alone rich adventurous patients, can seek to do activities that are not advisable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  20. #80
    Everything about bitcoin is fishy. That said, and although Crohn's disease is much better managed these days than was the case just a decade ago, complications of the disease as well as of its treatment can on occasion be very dangerous. Even in my short career these have included several tricky cases of sepsis, ileus and bowel infarction. It's just one name, but there's a wide range of severity and bad luck.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  21. #81
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Everything about bitcoin is fishy. That said, and although Crohn's disease is much better managed these days than was the case just a decade ago, complications of the disease as well as of its treatment can on occasion be very dangerous. Even in my short career these have included several tricky cases of sepsis, ileus and bowel infarction. It's just one name, but there's a wide range of severity and bad luck.
    Precisely. Which is why you should not travel to a country with a severely deficient medical system when you suffer from that disease.

    Also, the guy wrote his will and forgot to include the keys to 160+ millions of dollars worth of bitcoins? Seriously?

    It's probably also a complete coincidence that India has no proper way of providing death certificates (and by that I mean: One that is not easily subverted by bribes) or an established body recovery protocol.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  22. #82
    The whole thing seems fishy, but it could just be simple gross incompetence. Current laws and regulations make it really hard for any company with financial experience to get involved with crypto, so there were a whole lot of hastily slapped together companies trying to fill that void, most of which had no business handling the amount of money that they were. Gross incompetence is credible.

    We'll see, though. If the money ever moves, everybody will see it move and know the whole thing was bullshit, and authorities will go after everyone they can reach pretty hard. Which non-extradition countries are nice this time of year? Or maybe Quadriga will announce that they found the shoebox the keys were kept in.

  23. #83
    I'd like to thank Loki, whose continued interest in cryptocurrency got this thread bumped, which in turn reminded me of the whole Venezuelan Petro thing. I'd forgotten about it, and this inspired me to catch up. The story's a bit predictable, but still managed to entertain me, so let me share the short version:

    Venezuela announced that the Petro sold $3.3 billion in tokens during the pre-sale. Maduro personally conducted the independent audit to verify that he had the money. Seeing as blockchains are publicly inspectable, everybody ran to check to see which idiots the tokens had sold to, and found that they were just sitting there. Claims about the amount sold and the popularity of the token continued to be made, and Maduro promised to start sharing the ample wealth with the citizens. Venezuelan citizens would only have to wait a couple more months for distributions to start. Presumably this process was slowed down by the election Maduro was running at the time. Anyone who asked where these sales were happening was put on a list. Companies were awarded contracts, agencies were created and staffed, Russians were consulted, it was all very exciting.

    Meanwhile, back on the blockchain, no tokens were moving. They never would. At the time of this post, not a single token has ever been traded or used or done anything except sit there. The Petro is a real thing, it had some updates after first release, and the code wasn't just a straight copy & paste. Not just​ that. Clearly somebody was working on the Petro, but they were just as clearly in over their heads. I don't know if Maduro even realized that blockchains, by their nature, can be verified. My guess is he heard about this crypto thing and came up with his genius scam, then told some flunky to make it happen. They probably realized at some point that nothing they built would ever fool people outside Venezuela, and they didn't need to build anything to fool the people inside Venezuela. I can't even be totally sure Maduro knew he was lying; he seems like the type of person who wouldn't react well to being told his idea was dumb.

    As soon as Maduro "won" the election they just stopped talking about the Petro, and that was it. Those companies and agencies that sprung up turned out to be cardboard facades with nothing behind them. Nobody's really sure if any part of the whole show was real, but it's obvious that the majority was not.

  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Precisely. Which is why you should not travel to a country with a severely deficient medical system when you suffer from that disease.

    Also, the guy wrote his will and forgot to include the keys to 160+ millions of dollars worth of bitcoins? Seriously?

    It's probably also a complete coincidence that India has no proper way of providing death certificates (and by that I mean: One that is not easily subverted by bribes) or an established body recovery protocol.
    It probably is a coincidence yes for the reasons Wraith describes. If people only did what was logically the right thing for their health and not self-destructive activities that were highly risky to them then nobody would take up smoking now. There would be far fewer cases of Type 2 diabetes. Etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  25. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I'd like to thank Loki, whose continued interest in cryptocurrency got this thread bumped, which in turn reminded me of the whole Venezuelan Petro thing. I'd forgotten about it, and this inspired me to catch up. The story's a bit predictable, but still managed to entertain me, so let me share the short version:

    Venezuela announced that the Petro sold $3.3 billion in tokens during the pre-sale. Maduro personally conducted the independent audit to verify that he had the money. Seeing as blockchains are publicly inspectable, everybody ran to check to see which idiots the tokens had sold to, and found that they were just sitting there. Claims about the amount sold and the popularity of the token continued to be made, and Maduro promised to start sharing the ample wealth with the citizens. Venezuelan citizens would only have to wait a couple more months for distributions to start. Presumably this process was slowed down by the election Maduro was running at the time. Anyone who asked where these sales were happening was put on a list. Companies were awarded contracts, agencies were created and staffed, Russians were consulted, it was all very exciting.

    Meanwhile, back on the blockchain, no tokens were moving. They never would. At the time of this post, not a single token has ever been traded or used or done anything except sit there. The Petro is a real thing, it had some updates after first release, and the code wasn't just a straight copy & paste. Not just​ that. Clearly somebody was working on the Petro, but they were just as clearly in over their heads. I don't know if Maduro even realized that blockchains, by their nature, can be verified. My guess is he heard about this crypto thing and came up with his genius scam, then told some flunky to make it happen. They probably realized at some point that nothing they built would ever fool people outside Venezuela, and they didn't need to build anything to fool the people inside Venezuela. I can't even be totally sure Maduro knew he was lying; he seems like the type of person who wouldn't react well to being told his idea was dumb.

    As soon as Maduro "won" the election they just stopped talking about the Petro, and that was it. Those companies and agencies that sprung up turned out to be cardboard facades with nothing behind them. Nobody's really sure if any part of the whole show was real, but it's obvious that the majority was not.
    Better tell all the "anti-imperialists" who were convinced this was the first step toward ending the dollar's dominance.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #86
    Minor update on Quadriga. You can read the details, but the tl;dr is that QuadrigaCX was operating fraudulently, and while the claims about the inaccessible keys might be true, it's not the whole story. Their cold wallets are nearly empty, they've been storing assets on more reputable exchanges, and selling customer assets to try to emulate fractional reserve banking. It looks like they were incredibly incompetent and too arrogant to realize it, and their CEO's death was the last blow to their already collapsing scheme. The encryption on the CEO's laptop is still an issue, because if they can break it they might be able to recover the assets they were storing on real exchanges.

    It looks like they weren't setting out to steal from their customers, they just thought they could use their customers' assets to enrich themselves without the customers ever losing anything. They were not competent enough for that.

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