I've been intentionally clicking ICO ads so that I get targeted for more ICO ads. It's been interesting.
- Many of them have the most buttery smooth introduction video that was just so compelling to stare at.
- Many has business lines like, "The total market for car loans / social media advertisement / game currency is N trillion...
- The "team" page for them are mostly Russian / Eastern European. Some of them have links to LinkedIn. I looked at their (I believe fake) profiles too. (I don't know why would anybody use their real identity to pull such a thing).
- Some ads are in Korean (understandable, I speak Korean and cryptocurrency is hot over there), some ads are in Chinese including their landing page. Do they expect people to land on those pages and drop money without reading anything?
Tangentially related, I recently spent a week in Hawaii and listened exclusively to a local radio station the whole time. It occurred to me that my view of what people did for fun, or where they grocery shopped, or what issues were important to them, and generally "what the locals do" were largely determined by who happened to be paying that radio station to play their ads. And it was just an "ah-ha" reminder that in every group, culture, hobby, or community there are a few advertisers that have an outsize influence on what people think their own grass-roots culture is.
And if the name Edmund Burke means nothing to you, you've a whole universe of enlightenment to attend to.
I think the Olde-English-y sound of the original quote threw me for a loop. In any case, I agree - that makes total sense.
Attention is the ultimately rivalrous commodity, and it's very easily consumed. Where true significance is carried by what's hidden or indirect, this can be especially pernicious.
What makes you think that the locals listen to those radio ads and assume it represents their own grass-roots culture? I grew up in a small town and the radio ads were dominated by a few dominating businesses, but I was never under the illusion that they represented the culture at all.
I think you are right for what outsiders think the grass-roots culture is, but that's a completely different statement.
I provided two sentences. I'm assuming the second one was unobjectionable to just about everyone:
> Those advertisers weren't affecting your opinion of what your own culture was, they were affecting your opinion of a foreign culture.
The first one
> Maybe if you'd spent longer than a week there you'd have a more informed view of how one or more groups of locals really spent their time?
is overtly insulting inasmuch as it explicitly calls ryankshaw's view of local Hawaiian culture uninformed. But his comment is a story about himself in which he draws the moral that his view of local Hawaiian culture is uninformed. I don't see how my response can avoid referring to him personally, since the only content of his comment is a story about himself, or why it should avoid agreeing with his own assessment of his knowledge of Hawaiian culture.
Do you find the hypothetical
> Maybe the locals have a clearer view of "what the locals do" than tourists who have been there for a week do?
to be less acerbic or more in line with your guidelines?
I think that's a fairly relevant counterpoint to an observation beginning "I just spent a week in Hawaii".
You think it's hitting below the belt to observe that ryankshaw's opinion is based on one week in a culture he's not familiar with, just because "tourist making conclusions after spending one week in an unfamiliar culture" is such a well-known example of terrible reasoning that it's become a stereotype?
I didn't even make that point. I limited myself to observing that a longer-term experience would probably give a more reliable impression.
>there are a few advertisers that have an outsize influence on what people think their own grass-roots culture is.
so no, not "literally their entire point" since he said it affected people's view of their own culture.
One technique scammers use in general is not to make things too legit because that would attract people with a clue. Make it just barely credible and get the most gullible people possible.
So those fantastical emails about a rich prince in Africa that needs your help to cash $20m is just scammers improving their signal-to-noise ratio (or ROI). I think it works for these ICOs too.
It’s just even more pure, distilled evil - with no benefit of the doubt of stupidity - when viewed from this angle :-(
just add cannabis and kittens and you've really got something!
> Tokia.io token sale is live! Secure the -35% discount for early investors.
spot on given the (imo) insane speculation that's been building around block-chain currencies for the past year.
I've heard this called "Chinese math", a near-fatal flaw in business plans, because of the follow up to that framing: "... if we only manage to capture 10% of the Chinese soda market, we'll be forever rich!"
Turns out capturing 10% of Chinas soda market is hard.
Also you can only really set value on the things you can/will capture, not what you wish you could...
And from that VC perspective: 0.01% of the Chinese soda market is not particularly hard to capture..
> Chinese soft drinks consumers prefer to purchase non-alcoholic beverages by brands of foreign origin... in 2013, only 20 percent of the purchase came from local brands. Coca-Cola, remains the dominate brand in China’s soft drinks market.
So, Pepsi Cola invested and got a Chinese partner with a market disadvantage, from 2007 to 2012, to grow their market share from 8.8 to 12%... That's __320__ captures of 0.01% of the market in just 5 years from a single player.
... 0.01% of the $69 Billion Chinese soda market is just about $7 million in sales revenue... That doesn't leave a lot of margin to fallaciously justify a business plan with. $7 million in revenue is harder than playing XBox, sure, but not exactly a moon landing either.
What's wrong with that?
> targeting people in the US
Anyone doing >anything IT related<, will target the US, first. Everyone outside the US with a startup idea does that. People there have the biggest investors, biggest tech scene, biggest chance of success, etc. I don't see how Russian / Eastern European targeting US makes them scammers.
> investors in these schemes have no protections / legal recourse as these entities are outside the US.
And that's related to the entity, not the team. How about a team of Russian / Eastern Europeans with an American entity? Would then be not a SCAM?
Of course I think what is stated in the OP is pure prejudice.
There are multiple scams originated in every nation, so let's not put the guilt on origin of the team behind it.
Vitalik is a Russian-Canadian, as well as lot's of good guys working on Cryptocurrency.
So it's completely legitimate to be wary of businesses run from those countries.
Huh? I assume those are just aimed at people who speak/read the language.
Did I just get called 'inventory'? God, that's the next step after "human resources"...
I was recently served an ad in Swedish, and when I clicked the little "why am I seeing this?", it said it was targeting people who speak Swedish in my area.
I am flabbergasted at why fb would allow punycode domains (especially when the domain listed under the ad was the 'real' domain).
The problem is that there are actual, real sites that advertise on Facebook that use Punycode domains.
e.g. Bücher.de for a while did so, although now their punycode domain redirects to buecher.de they still use the brandname "Bücher.de" everywhere in their advertising.
And then there's sites like Flüge.de where a competitor of them owns the non-punycode domain Fluege.de, so of course they can't stop using the punycode domain, but you also wouldn't want visitors to see the ugly punycode domain and get confused.
Requiring non-punycode domains is a very anglomerican view of the web. It's as arbitrary as restricting domains to be only in hexadecimal.
EDIT: I originally included links to the sites in this comment, but every time I try to edit them in, HN just responds with Error 502 - if I don't include them, everything works fine. So you'll need to copy-paste them to the URL bar
For a, you also have: äāȧą
I would fall for a domain like that.
Sadly, you can't blacklist all punycode domains as some are legits in languages where accents are used
Thus, any policies about protecting consumers, avoiding security problems, anything like that, won't come from .com and indeed it's operators will fight such things because they mean less income.
But Facebook has made their entire fortune taking advantage of uneducated users. So maybe they don't want competition?
This is improbable for two reasons:
1. There is no reason why a user buying into an ICO should be correlated with it being on facebook.
2. If a user gets scammed by an ICO that should in no way affect if/how they use services that are free to them, facebook included.
Some thoughts after going through the whitepaper,
> The BAT will, in early stages, be specifically tied to Brave browsers and Brave servers, along with verified publishers
Before this, they mention that other browsers are free to adopt BAT. However, no mention is made of a way to ensure the user attention data reported is legitimate. Presumably then only the Brave browser will be able to use this token. A novel, trustless/decentralised way to verify user attention would be of a paper on its own.
> Ad fraud will be prevented or reduced by publication of source code and cryptographically secure transactions. Ads served to individual browser/users will also be rate-limited and tied to active windows and tabs.
How will this be ensured without some kind of centralised whitelist of signatures/keys?
If the system is going to be centralised anyway, why use a blockchain? Blockchains are terribly inefficient append only DBs, and are only useful when there is not even a single server on the internet that you can trust. There is no point to using a blockchain if everything that can go on the blockchain is going to be mediated by a company/government/organisation.
> A 300 million endowment is for early adopters of Brave and the BAT at up to 5
> BATs are meant only for experts in cryptographic tokens and blockchain-based software systems
So they expect to get up to 60 million "experts in cryptographic tokens" to switch to their browser?
Exactly. Looks like a race problem, again. Just looking at the diagram on their site (user gets tokens for attention), I immediately thought "Write and deploy attention signaling bots" ...
This was back before the real real ICO scams, so it looks pure in comparison. 2017, what a year!
MakerDAO (https://makerdao.com/), Status (https://status.im/), BAT (https://basicattentiontoken.org/), many, many others.
For modern answers: WTC, SNM are two that I like
So no, they don't work yet... which is why they need the money to build the product.
“What does it do?”
“Why would you ask that? Just BUY BUY BUY”
Work with a charity so Bitcoin Oak is fully tax deductible and not gambling.
Other words - 'windfall'. 'Guaranteed windfall every autumn!' 'Growth'. Really all the metaphors for business things work humorously - 'short selling'...
I have seen the website, whitepapers, and different videos.. from promos to some guy giving a talk.
But the only access you get to actually use it is a waiting list, unless you consider some of the underlying IPFS technology it uses that you can get from other sources (which is a different beast entirely).
It's likely I'm not meeting some prequalification requirement for the access, but this unfortunately means I can't get excited. If I can't test it anywhere and have never made it run myself, I have to withhold judgement.
IPFS itself is supporting evidence - it shows that those people can create a working and actually useful product. Filecoin seems like a good fit for the "incentive layer" above IPFS, and from what I remember from the ICO, they did their best to make it legally in the clean.
I guess we'll see what happens when (or if) Filecoins get released.
I also run the Crypto Builders meet-up out of Noisebridge here in San Francisco. Come out and hack with us.
"For example, one of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization. A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people's hands. (The first four words of Facebook's mission have always been "give people the power".) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force.
But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies — and governments using technology to watch their citizens — many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.
There are important counter-trends to this --like encryption and cryptocurrency -- that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services."
How does this translate to "they are about to launch their own coin"?
will we finally see a real dramatic crash, or will it just fade away?
as much as I feel sorry for those that were duped, some part of me is urging for the drama.
Nah, I believe the "crash" is rather due to the Tether stuff and that one exchange that got hacked... and because there are people who have decided that they don't want to wait any longer to materialize their profits in dollars in the aftermath.
Aside from global prohibition there's not much that would destroy the value that's created by this novel tool. Even then it would still have some residual value.
A legitimate network which probably starts niche and share a token or a part of it for your activity would be a great start I guess.
You mean spamming content?
What do you think it takes to tell this difference with a high degree of reliability (>4 nines) at scale (>1000/s)? How about in an environment where people are strongly incentivized to find and exploit the weaknesses of your approach? Is it just maybe possible that this might not quite be handwave-it-away trivial? Facebook has had a shocking level of success in cutting down spam with their investments in punishing bad behavior and rewarding good behaviour.
Thank you for your thoughts. You're completely correct! It's possible to tell the difference, and rewarding good behavior will drive out bad actors.
will be publishing details in a week or two on http://www.ethertain.org/
not a social network though - more like "paypal for video", where you can send/request content, with proper verification
But, the concept of content value, no matter where it resides, intrigues me.
I've never heard of steemit.
edit: without not with
Banning potential competitors in what you could generously describe as the dawn of the next internet (in many ways the crypto wild west is v similar to early dot com days, complete with all the shysters and con artists) seems unethical and may bring up anti trust issues eventually?
Anecdote: in 2014, I registered an account on Twitter called "tweetcoin". I felt social networks would start developing their own currencies. I posted one comment, "exciting things in the works". I was promptly locked out of the account, and a new tweet appeared there (dated 2012!), stating "this is not your account."
You can see it here:
reminds me that the internet is really just a cave wall with shadows on it...
I would like to see a crypto-addict brain under a MRI scan to see if those graphs in tiddlywink prices light up the same bits of the brain that physical addiction to a chemical makes.
In some way this story reminds me of when Lance Armstrong was discovered to be cheating. Some people wouldn't believe it until he came on Oprah and spoke about a few things. The evidence was overwhelming and yet there were some devoted fans that held out. They didn't even have skin in the game (taking PED's) but still they wanted to believe the comeback from cancer fairytale. It did not matter to them that all of his team mates thought him to be toxic, dedicated fans held out.
I don't think it is time to tease crypto-obsessed-people but once they have lost all their monopoly money and tiddlywinks then I am sure they will start to get the story. Fear and greed gets the better of people, so I am looking forward to on-going 'so where is your lambo then, did you leave it on the moon'? comments. Shame I didn't quit my job and spend all day investing in tiddlywinks tethered to monopoly money. Oh well.
This move is easily explained by the long term cost of being perceived as the place worth the shitty scam ads. The existential threat Facebook is trying to avert is people thinking "I would not have lost that money if I had not been on Facebook all the time, reading all those stories about bitcoin geniuses" one day. Everybody likes to blame the messenger.
I don't represent or consult any hivemind when I look at corporations, especially the winky-smiley "let's connect the world!" with jaded cynicism – but my conscience.
Mostly it is just impossible for there to be a story about FB on HN that doesn't have a bunch of people tripping over themselves to tell everyone they don't use FB.
That rather sounds like Amazon's Whole Foods with its gazillion cameras. 
As for your other advice: that counts for any company, and why I boycotted Microsoft for a long, long time.
I don't think the problem is Bitcoin per se as much as the rancid industry of scams and frauds pumping and dumping alt coins and ICOs.
Don't agree? Ask yourself, why don't you see ads for other commodities, like rice or iron? Because there's no money in that. So how come there's money in ads for bitcoin? Could it be because bitcoin is not actually a commodity?
An important second difference is that creating a replacement for the intrinsic value of gold is somewhere between difficult and impossible, whereas it appears any hustler who can scrape together three programmers can launch a Bitcoin alternative. Even if Bitcoin's intrinsic value were real, approximately infinite supply means the effective intrinsic value would be approximately zero.
I can start trying to use aluminum to hold value. It has intrinsic value through valid non-currency applications. Being able to do so in no way lessens the value of gold, and the ability to do the same thing with virtually any other material does not mean gold's effective intrinsic value is approximately zero.
It's the other factors you mentioned (robust market and long history of usage) that makes gold valuable relative to alternatives, and Bitcoin has factors that make it more valuable relative to other cryptocurrencies--including forks of Bitcoin. It's true that it is more likely Bitcoin is replaced by another crypto than gold replaced by another metal, but that's a far cry from Bitcoin's effective intrinsic value being approximately zero.
Gold has been out of fashion for currencies for many decades, especially since Bretton Woods; despite that gold had continued to be valuable because it has practical use, which is what people generally mean by intrinsic value, and definitely what dr_win meant.
It's not impossible that tomorrow you will invent some aluminum alloy that is way better than gold for jewelry, although it's certainly unlikely. But it would be very easy for someone to start offering yet another pseudocurrency that allows for "interesting digital infrastructure", which is what dr_win claimed was Bitcoin's intrinsic value.
Gold's demand is large and stable and it's supply is constrained. Bitcoin's demand as digital infrastructure is both small and unproven, and the supply appears bounded only by the number of hucksters in the world and the bytes of storage that they hucksters can command. That means that for dr_win's theory of intrinsic value, Bitcoin's should tend toward zero.
No intrinsic value? How about how it is truly stored energy? It has a lot in common with gold. Just because it's digital doesn't make it's worthless. Lots of very valuable things are entirely digital these days.
As an example, you can look at Bitcoin like digital Beanie Babies. The intrinsic value of a cute stuffed toy is, as any airport give shop can show you, a few bucks. The market price of Beanie Babies was for a time much higher due to limited issuance, energetic promotion, and a popular craze for them. The intrinsic demand did not change, so when the hype cycle ran out, price fell back toward intrinsic.
Bitcoin's intrinsic value is definitely not "stored energy", because you cannot get the energy back out. And it's not much like gold for reasons already described: gold has real, sustained intrinsic value. Bitcoin doesn't.
Two, we're talking intrinsic value, which is a basically backward-looking concept.
Three, all I'm doing is pointing out the error in mr_win's claim that Bitcoin's intrinsic value is "exact equivalent to industrial use of gold as gold's intrinsic value", and is therefore presumably worth something.
So if you would like to grumble at somebody for suggesting that one should evaluate intrinsic value based on actual utility, please go bother him.
Compare with bitcoin, which has no physical form and is only usable in context of present economy of technological civilization.
Spacecraft shielding is my favorite
No one buys rice or iron on Facebook, but Bitcoin is mainstream enough where the Facebook audience is a good target.
> Well one difference is that bitcoin has no intrinsic value, ie, it's online gambling in disguise
While there are cryptocurrencies that are pump and dump and scams, there are legit ones that are being used as actual currency in transactions for actual products all over the world. I can buy coffee with cryptocurrency, but I certainly won't be able to pay for it with gold. Calling bitcoin 'online gambling in disguise' is like calling the stock market and forex trading 'online gambling'.
Intrinsic value is the value it has even if it is not thought of as a currency or unit of trade.
That's like, your definition dude.
> The intrinsic value is the actual value of a company or an asset based on an underlying perception of its true value including all aspects of the business, in terms of both tangible and intangible factors. This value may or may not be the same as the current market value.
My best guess is, based on their guidelines (https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/), sure, Facebook would be okay with any gold advertisements from accredited commodities investment institutions.
On the other hand, advertisements from certain random shady gold coin dealers? Honestly, Facebook should be weary of advertisements in this space too, if they aren't already.
If there was a way for cryptocurrency to come from an "accredited institution" with "sufficient disclosure" of various metrics and safeguards typically used in retail investing, I would think Facebook would be okay with it. It's more that a lot of cryptocurrency (really unfortunately considering how fascinating the tech is) feels shady and/or scam like at the moment.
Take Tezos for example. Greatest innovation in blockchain history or greatest scam in blockchain history? You could lose a lot of hair over that decision, or you could just kill 'em all and let Satoshi sort 'em out.
And they shouldn't have to. We tightly regulate securities-related promotional content because we learned, the hard way about a century ago, that left to itself securities markets breed scams like rabbits.