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Thread: Crazinomics

  1. #1
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    Default Crazinomics

    I'm flabbergasted by what's going on in turkey these days. I'm out of explanations for the punch line that is otherwise known as 'Turkish economy'
    Congratulations America

  2. #2

  3. #3
    What an astoundingly dumb argument. If we need bitcoin because of an extreme outlier in fiat currencies, maybe we need fiat currency because of the far larger number of outright scam crypro-currencies.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    What an astoundingly dumb argument. If we need bitcoin because of an extreme outlier in fiat currencies, maybe we need fiat currency because of the far larger number of outright scam crypro-currencies.
    I bet the people in Turkey wish they had converted some of their currency into bitcoin.

  5. #5
    Or, you know, dollars or euros, which I imagine many of them did.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  6. #6
    To be fair, currencies which rapidly fluctuate in value can present some pretty serious issues for an economy. That is why we should all move to bitcoin, the mos-

    Bitcoin’s price dropped below $46,000 Monday morning, extending its slump since nearly hitting $50,000 last Thursday.

    After entering the month just shy of $60,000, Bitcoin hasn’t recovered from a steep fall it took on Dec. 3. Its price has ranged between $45,000 and $52,000 since then. After another down week last week, Bitcoin hasn’t been above $50,000 since Dec. 12.
    https://time.com/nextadvisor/investi...ash-continues/

    oh
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  7. #7
    And Bitcoin is the most stable of crypro-currencies.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  8. #8
    I mean there are stablecoins et al, and I think it's reasonable to imagine a future where hard currencies are replaced by something akin to a stablecoin as a medium of exchange in countries without good currencies or financial systems. It's not an unreasonable suggestion in principle. But an obviously silly one for Bitcoin in particular.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  9. #9
    Stablecoins kinda of violate the supposed philosophical ideas behind cryptocurrencies though - they aren't really decentralized or trustless since they're tied to whatever other asset they're pegged to, typically the dollar (lol) - and they still suffer from the other problems of cryptocurrencies - irreversibility, scalability, scams, transaction cost and cringe. The existence of stablecoins is just an admission that the ideas behind cryptocurrencies just don't really work that well IMHO.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  10. #10
    Right but remember the use case we're talking about - you want to exchange something of similar stability as a hard currency but you can't use traditional banking since they force you to use local currency (and may have various capital controls). There's limited hard currency cash to go around, and cash isn't great in large quantities. In such a circumstance, a stablecoin has its purpose.

    I think that's a niche application of the underlying technology, but I can see it working in this context.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    To be fair, currencies which rapidly fluctuate in value can present some pretty serious issues for an economy. That is why we should all move to bitcoin, the mos-



    https://time.com/nextadvisor/investi...ash-continues/

    oh
    Bitcoin reached all time highs vs. Turkish Lira so...

    But by all means diversify. The nice thing about bitcoin is that every week that goes by more and more merchants are using it globally. Heck its legal tender in some places.

  12. #12
    Those merchants are using services like bitpay to convert bitcoins into a real currency before depositing it into an actual bank account, as those merchants understandably do not want to accept payment for items in a currency that might be worth a fraction of the asking price the next day because Elon Musk tweeted. It's still completely dependant on the dreaded 'fiat'. Conversely, why would you ever actually spend a currency that might be worth 10x what it is today next week or next month? You'd effectively have spent £50 on a pizza.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I think that's a niche application of the underlying technology, but I can see it working in this context.
    Perhaps, but it doesn't mean the underlying technology is the best solution or even a particularly good to this problem. Given all the intermediate technologies you need to make cryptocurrencies even somewhat usable for day to day transactions, one wonders what bitcoin is actually bringing to the table in and of itself.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  13. #13
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    All very interesting, but in turkey a fiat currency went trough greater swings than bitcoin in a matter of 48 hours.

    It's right now holding up because of a crazy plan that basically puts the ecomic life of the state on the line by promising monetization of losses caused by the inflationary policies of the government. If this plans slips we're taking hyper inflation.

    I was in Istanbul the last few days and at times I had no clue any longer what the actual value was of the ₺ cash in my pocket. I bought a backpack for ₺899 which at the time of purchase was €42, but €69 24 hours later.

    When shopping I'd change the necessary amount to ₺ while waiting in line for the checkout as the value of the lira could be down significantly during the wait.
    Congratulations America

  14. #14
    At least one of our local pubs allowed customers to pay in Bitcoin, but they don't anymore. Take up was too low and the transaction costs got too high to make it worth the trouble. Unstable transaction fees make it unattractive for day to day payments.
    There's a man goin' 'round, takin' names
    And he decides who to free and who to blame

  15. #15
    Bitcoin in a nutshell: worse than a Ponzi scheme.

    https://www.ft.com/content/83a14261-...7ANgEKOegdB3Nw
    Hope is the denial of reality

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    I'm flabbergasted by what's going on in turkey these days. I'm out of explanations for the punch line that is otherwise known as 'Turkish economy'
    How badly does this impact your personal finances? You have a home and presumably money there, right?

    I mean, I guess we're heading to an emperor has no clothes moment...because clothes are so damn expensive when you keep lowering rates forever.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Bitcoin in a nutshell: worse than a Ponzi scheme.

    https://www.ft.com/content/83a14261-...7ANgEKOegdB3Nw
    Out of curiosity when will you think it is not ponzi scheme? If price goes to 100k? 200k? If more countries declare it legal tender? What is your "ok its legit" threshold?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    How badly does this impact your personal finances? You have a home and presumably money there, right?

    I mean, I guess we're heading to an emperor has no clothes moment...because clothes are so damn expensive when you keep lowering rates forever.
    My income is in euro so I am largely shielded. The value of the house is probably under huge pressure but I always have seen it as a vacation place more than an investment.

    That doesn't mean that I can ignore the crisis completely ; of course there's the issue of people around me simply no longer being able to spend money the way they were used to, which sometimes is outright awkward. But you also see a significant slip in the quality of products for sale in shops.

    Some trivial examples that are still telling. I wanted to have some pillows made. The fabric I wanted was taken out of the collection of the supplier my regular upholstery guy uses; as it is imported it simply became impossible to make money on selling it. Then I noticed that the weight of chocolate tablets I have been buying for ages had dropped from 100g to 65g.

    I realize that these sound like luxury problems, and they are. They are also signs of Turkey slipping back to the way it was when it was a real third world country.
    Congratulations America

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Out of curiosity when will you think it is not ponzi scheme? If price goes to 100k? 200k? If more countries declare it legal tender? What is your "ok its legit" threshold?
    I don't think you understand what a Ponzi scheme is. The more it goes up, the more Bitcoin resembles one. There's virtually no underlying value to the "product."
    Hope is the denial of reality

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I don't think you understand what a Ponzi scheme is. The more it goes up, the more Bitcoin resembles one. There's virtually no underlying value to the "product."
    I'm sorry but you're just so off base here it's not even funny, money laundering is one of the most valuable services in the world
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    I'm sorry but you're just so off base here it's not even funny, money laundering is one of the most valuable services in the world
    Customers of money laundering are spies, terrorists, crime lords, corrupt politicians. Probably people you would not want to be near your family.
    There is no value added because there is no physical transformation of goods. No conversion of useless raw material into useful physical product.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I don't think you understand what a Ponzi scheme is. The more it goes up, the more Bitcoin resembles one. There's virtually no underlying value to the "product."
    Bitcoin is like putting money under a company mattress in charge of Bitcoin. As the amount of dollars grow faster than the amount of bitcoins, it will give the impression that value was created, but there was only an increase of price, not value. And it can only be possible by using the usual irrational exuberance of a Ponzi scheme. How much money will you make by putting your money under grandma's mattress? More than you would make with Bitcoin. Even if you make tons of money due to increase of bitcoin price, comissions and delays to give you dollars and terms and conditions, you may end up with a loss unless you were a big investor. And I mean big. Nobody tells you about what happens when you exit bitcoin. I have seen people losing money despite having juicy bitcoin price increase.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Out of curiosity when will you think it is not ponzi scheme? If price goes to 100k? 200k? If more countries declare it legal tender? What is your "ok its legit" threshold?
    Bitcoin is literally fiat money. Unlike paper money that you can use as expensive toilet paper during a pandemic, Bitcoin has a lower salvage value than thin air.
    Last edited by ar81; 12-23-2021 at 07:55 PM.
    Freedom - When people learn to embrace criticism about politicians, since politicians are just employees like you and me.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I don't think you understand what a Ponzi scheme is. The more it goes up, the more Bitcoin resembles one. There's virtually no underlying value to the "product."
    A stateless currency that allows people to bypass fiat is not a Ponzi scheme. But to be clear here your basic belief is that Bitcoin (or any blockchain) can never be anything but a Ponzi scheme? Your assertion is utterly unfalsifiable regardless of the evidence presented?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    A stateless currency that allows people to bypass fiat is not a Ponzi scheme. But to be clear here your basic belief is that Bitcoin (or any blockchain) can never be anything but a Ponzi scheme? Your assertion is utterly unfalsifiable regardless of the evidence presented?

    It doesn't allow people to bypass fiat currency. All currenct cryptocurrencies are non-government fiat currencies. Nor are they granted any virtue by being stateless. That actually removes what little point there would be to them as a fiat currency because they don't even have the value of a state's will and political capital behind them. The only value it has is the blockchain itself and the blockchain only has value because it stores the cryptocurrency. I won't preclude the possibility that a crptocurrency might be developed rooted in a blockchain that itself represents another commodity and hence provides non-circular value to the cryptocurrency, my (limited) understanding is that NFT's are basically a step in that direction, but I'm not aware of any that have done so to date.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  24. #24
    Bitcoiners seem to have more or less abandoned the idea that bitcoin could ever replace government backed currencies (as ar81 and LF pointed out, bitcoin is also fiat money as it is not backed by any commodity and has no intrinsic value) as an actual day to day medium of exchange, and have instead taken to treating it as an investment, a means of getting rich while producing no value yourself, which is why they're constantly on about how much it's worth in USD. In that sense, yeah, it is absolutely a ponzi scheme because any money you make off bitcoin must, by definition, have come from someone else buying bitcoin from you and, eventually, inevitably, the suckers are going to run out - basically the definition of a ponzi scheme.

    Bitcoin is also designed, at the technical level, to be deflationary, which massively benefits those who brought in early; another classic Ponzi move.

    If Bitcoin's price wasn't all over the place and we start seeing a bigger and bigger uptake of people actually using bitcoin to buy and sell things (not taking someone's bitcoin and converting to USD at point of sale, accepting money for something in bitcoin and then just keeping the bitcoin to spend it on something else later) then I might start considering the idea that it's not a ponzi scheme.

    But let's be real, that is never going to happen. In terms of actually buying things, Bitcoin is just massively inferior to normal currencies in almost every respect. Between the fact that blockchain transactions cannot be reversed, the price instability (a byproduct of the fact that cryptocurrencies are generally treated more like investments than currencies - two mutually contradictory uses), the performance problems (blockchain transactions are slow) and the energy cost per transaction almost no one who doesn't have libertarian brain worms is going to be interested in using this to pay for coffee, or receive their wages in it. Most of these problems are actually solvable at a technical level (the non-reversible nature of blockchain is the only one that AFAIK you can't get around) but by doing so you tend to end up violating the idea of bitcoin as a decentralised currency*, and thus you just end up with a slightly shitter or at best equivalent version of something we already have, whereas to achieve mass adoption a new technology must offer a clear and substantial improvement over what already exists to off-set the inconvenience of changing to the new technology.

    * to the extent it was ever decentralised in the first place, since bitcoin is designed to get harder and harder to mine as time progresses, the hardware requirements go up and mining is increasingly done by fewer and fewer people, so instead of currency being centralised in the hands of the state and the big banks, it is centralised in the hands of a few even more sketchy tech-bros, skimming mining fees off the top of every single transaction. Really, when you think about it, cryptocurrencies are just a turbo-charged version of capitalism without the breaks or safety procedures - no wonder Lewk loves it
    Last edited by Steely Glint; 12-24-2021 at 01:04 PM.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    It doesn't allow people to bypass fiat currency. All currenct cryptocurrencies are non-government fiat currencies. Nor are they granted any virtue by being stateless. That actually removes what little point there would be to them as a fiat currency because they don't even have the value of a state's will and political capital behind them. The only value it has is the blockchain itself and the blockchain only has value because it stores the cryptocurrency. I won't preclude the possibility that a crptocurrency might be developed rooted in a blockchain that itself represents another commodity and hence provides non-circular value to the cryptocurrency, my (limited) understanding is that NFT's are basically a step in that direction, but I'm not aware of any that have done so to date.
    The point of cryptocurrency:

    1. Not issued by a state - all of the great mass murder events of history are done by the State. Having a currency not tied to a potential tyrannical government is good.
    2. Retains its value. Bitcoin can't really be inflated away since there is a hard cap on it. While a lot of pro big government economists love the idea of mild inflation its never sat well with me.
    3. Borderless - you can transfer bitcoin from NK to America with no issues as long as you have access to the internet. This again is a blow against massive government power.
    4. Low transaction costs, not easily lost (outside of human error). A bank can hold your money due to a government lien. Western Union charges fees for cross border transactions, a website can be hacked. And while exchanges are vulnerable you can move the bulk of your bitcoin off of the exchanges into your private wallet and make it secure.

    Now other crypto projects do other things as well - there's some good things that can be done on the blockchain (lien recording likely will get there in the future) as well as open bookkeeping to prove fidelity of a good or product.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post

    But let's be real, that is never going to happen. In terms of actually buying things, Bitcoin is just massively inferior to normal currencies in almost every respect. Between the fact that blockchain transactions cannot be reversed, the price instability (a byproduct of the fact that cryptocurrencies are generally treated more like investments than currencies - two mutually contradictory uses), the performance problems (blockchain transactions are slow) and the energy cost per transaction almost no one who doesn't have libertarian brain worms is going to be interested in using this to pay for coffee, or receive their wages in it. Most of these problems are actually solvable at a technical level (the non-reversible nature of blockchain is the only one that AFAIK you can't get around) but by doing so you tend to end up violating the idea of bitcoin as a decentralised currency*, and thus you just end up with a slightly shitter or at best equivalent version of something we already have, whereas to achieve mass adoption a new technology must offer a clear and substantial improvement over what already exists to off-set the inconvenience of changing to the new technology.
    https://www.yahoo.com/now/10-major-c...190340692.html

  27. #27
    Virtually all of those MFs are using a third party service to convert bitcoins to USD. They accept bitcoin, but they take USD (or regional equivalent)

    1) Microsoft: Converts to fiat before transaction using Bitpay (https://bitpay.com/blog/microsoft-ch...coin-payments/)
    2) Paypal: Coverts to fiat before transaction (https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/...eckout-faq4477)
    3) Overstock: I think these guys actually take crypto directly, using coinbase?
    4) Whole Foods: Uses mobile wallet app called Spedn to convert crypto into USD (https://www.foodandwine.com/news/sta...-foods-bitcoin) ("Flexa promises that it “converts a consumer's cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars in real time for payment to the merchant, enabling a simple exchange process and practical use of cryptocurrencies for real-world payments.”" - lmao)
    5) Etsy: allows vendors to choose to convert to cash or accept payments in Bitcoin (https://99bitcoins.com/get-accept-bi...-bitcoin-etsy/)
    6) Starbucks: same as whole foods, see above article
    7) Newegg: uses bitpay (https://bitpay.com/resources/newegg-...y-with-bitpay/)
    8) Home Depot: Same system as whole foods & Starbucks
    9) Rakuten: uses their own app to convert crypto to fiat: https://thepaypers.com/ecommerce/rak...0Rakuten%20Pay.
    10) Twitch: uses bitpay (https://tokenpost.com/Twitch-offers-...ocurrency-5655), but I think streamers might be able to take donations in bitcoins directly?

    Why do they do this? To protect themselves from the volatility of Bitcoin's price. Because the goal of bitcoin as a get-rich-quick scheme and bitcoin as a functional currency are incompatible. And who knows when they will join the growing list of companies that used to accept bitcoin and then stopped? (Tesla, Stripe, Steam, etc)
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  28. #28
    Accepting bitcoin and exchanging it immediately doesn't change the fact they accept bitcoin. To the person using bitcoin as a currency the entire process is seamless.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Accepting bitcoin and exchanging it immediately doesn't change the fact they accept bitcoin. To the person using bitcoin as a currency the entire process is seamless.
    Yes, but if real time exchange to those currencies is required for 'practical use of cryptocurrencies for real-world payments', it doesn't exactly bode well for crypto ever replacing state currencies, does it? Just an entirely pointless intermediate layer.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  30. #30
    Wow, what happened to the concept of continuity and standardization?

    Lewk, would you also expect your doctor *should* accept a chicken in exchange for a check-up?
    Last edited by GGT; 12-26-2021 at 10:31 PM.

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