USDC tokens are ERC-20 compatible and can be used with any ERC-20 compatible digital wallet. However, a global blacklist is maintained by CENTRE for USDC, which prevents tokens from being sent into or from blacklisted addresses. Reasons for blacklisting could include known fraudulent or illegal activity, or a legal order or process. Reserves associated with USDC balances held on blacklisted addresses may be wholly and permanently unrecoverable.
How bad this is is yet to be seen. Anyone who has experience with PayPal freezing their account knows that it can be very frustrating when a company freezes your accounts for some unknown reason and then does not communicate with you.
The cost of regulation is a decrease in both convenience and innovation. By eliminating regulation, you get a whole host of new startups that were previously held back, some of which solve genuine problems that have no existing solution. Consumers flock to these startups because right now, in this moment, they solve problems better and are more responsive to customers than the existing regulated incumbents.
Many regulations solve problems that only appear at scale, so as long as the new startups are small and voluntary, regulators take a hands-off approach and let these startups enjoy their competitive advantage. It takes time for regulators to catch up, so for several years, these new solutions can grow and get new adopters. Eventually all the bad behavior that caused the regulations in the first place appears, and there're calls for regulation, and the new boss starts to look an awful lot like the old boss. But people don't make their purchasing decisions based on what's going to happen in 20 years, they make their purchasing decisions based on what they need now.
You see this with a lot of dot-com era startups. People knew in 1997 that Amazon was going for monopoly and was just going to jack up prices when they achieved it; hell, Jeff Bezos even told investors as such. But consumers didn't care: we wanted convenience and low prices now, and even if we did without, other people would give Amazon their business, and all we'd succeed at is disadvantaging ourselves. Similar with Facebook; most people knew they were trading away their privacy (Zuckerburg's "dumb fucks" IM was made public in 2010, and he said it in 2004), but goddamnit, people wanted to see what their grandkids were up to.
The simplified form is that a "gold-rush" mentality in an entrepreneurial bubble, even though it misprices risk generally, incentivizes builders to go build things more than they would, and since on balance building things is good, a hyper period of new venture formation still leads to net gains even if most are failures.
But nostrademons has a next-level mechanic here -- the idea that stage and scale are not fractal, and hence that rebuilding an ecosystem de novo (perhaps in a sort of sheltered petri dish) can yield big interesting beneficial outcomes because of the plasticity of things at the smaller scale and earlier stage.
(Still, I think it's a monumentally bad idea to acquiesce in the rebuilding of the financial system de novo by amateurs.)
Is that really the story of the past 21 years though? Instead it seems like Amazon has still not achieved monopoly in retail, and they still aren't getting amazing margins from it.
Alternatively, think about what price stability really means. If a loaf of bread costs $1, an hour of work $10, a barrel of oil $50, and a house $500k today ... how do you really ensure that they cost exactly that in 50 years when you come to retire? You can't. In a real economy there are real reasons for shifts in the price level.
Our population grows. Our footprint grows. Our consumption and waste grow.
Nobody, besides those highest, benefit from this style of function.
Please explain the advantages you see in the simplest terms you can.
To your point, is a currency is inflating then you are incentivised to not hold it. But who has the right to benefit from the inflation of the supply? How do you fairly determine that? Often inflation is conflated with the rise in prices rather than strictly the inflation of supply, so strictly referring to the latter - inflation occurs, while at the same time economic growth is also occurring, so it isn't 100% clear that the incentive scheme for devaluing a currency will work as it must balance against this growth. Even if it is not balanced, and successfully devalues for your incentive, what is the appropriate rate? Is VEF too much, USD just enough? Wouldn't it make more sense to just have a fixed/known rate of currency supply - eg Bitcoin - decreases to 0, Monero decreases to small.
The problem isn't so much the inflation, it is the unpredictable nature of the debasement and the fairness of who benefits from it. A currency doesn't need to incentivise people to spend it so long as it can always be available as a medium. Infinite divisibility ensures this. Having the medium be a universal standard measure as a unit of account by virtue of being a stable and accessible medium is also essential. Bitcoin achieves this. As for debt burdens growing, this is not always true. If I take a low interest BTC loan for mining equipment and have measured my risk and profit correctly I should be able to pay it off since I am working in this currency. If I borrow USD to start a Venezuelan corner store, I might be in for a bad time.
I also don't see how infinite divisibility helps. It's still deflation. Let's say the world converts to BTC. Now if I take a loan of 1 BTC to start my corner store, the value of that 1 BTC will continue to increase, but if the goods selling do not increase in price, I will have to charge less and less for them over time. There's the same amount of space between 1 and 0 as there is between 1 and infinity.
Historically deflation has resulted in economic stagnation and depression. The reason is that there is no incentive to borrow or spend money on a risky investment when increasing value of currency over time is guaranteed. What exactly is supposed to be different this time?
That's not really something that can be taken as anything other than an insult. On HN we like points to be made without personal swipes. Aside from making this place a more pleasant place to be, points are often more persuasive that way.
It may end up rebuilding the current regulated banking system. But if the regulated banking system and the unregulated banking system are sitting next to each other using tokens that are interchangeable with smart contracts, that seems like it could be useful.
Also proof-of-stake has been promised for so long I would be embarrassed to talk about it if I worked at the Ethereum Foundation. Delivering things that work isn't their strong suit.
Division of tasks, and specialization naturally trend to hierarchical organization for the same reason divide and conquer algorithms are so efficient. Separation of concerns is powerful.
There is much different of 5-6 shoemakers picking the same person to handle their finances so they can focus on making shoes. But, how many shoe makers can offload their finances until you have a bank?
Their value also depends on how many USD's stored in that bank account (not transparent to ordinary people), and the inherent problem with USD - that the FED, a central authority prints it, remains still.
There are other - in my opinion more honest - crypto-only stablecoins, like Dai (of MakerDAO) or Augmint, which are not freezable by any authority, nor cheatable by bribed auditors. They are backed solely by crypto assets, all transparent.
The real kicker is whether the other criminals are willing to accept bitcoin which they know won't convert to USD.
This is not so. Coinbase and Gemini (I haven't checked others but I'm sure they're the same) will freeze your assets entirely if required by law or if you violate the user agreements in some flagrant way  .
Once you've shamir-secret-split your multi-sig cold-storage private keys, laminated them, placed them in fireproof envelopes and dug them deep in the ground in 5 different continents... what exactly do you DO with your BTC?
> There's nothing preventing you from taking your BTC to some other exchange
I've already showed you that exchanges can freeze your assets, so yes they can prevent you from sending to other exchanges.
> some guy that accepts BTC for goods or services. That's the beauty of this whole decentralized thing.
If your marker for decentralization is currency adoption, then USD is the most decentralized.
I thought we were passed this whole "Bitcoin is not created by humans" meme...
Your point is well taken, however it needs to be made clear: exchanges can only freeze those assets which you yourself have placed in their control.
Isn’t the point of Bitcoin not to have private transfers?
If you have some time, rent mining power with BTC, and get freshly minted totally clean bitcoin in return.
Just trade on all the other less regulated exchanges. Or localbitcoin. Or, you know, buy stuff.
> and speculation is crypto’s only use case today.
Or you buy stuff... For example:
* Webhallen (huge Swedish online shop)
* scan.co.uk (uk based computer online shop)
* purse.io (buy stuff from amazon)
* fastmail (emails)
* VPN/VPS/domains from various providers
Like I side, speculation is the only thing you buy BTC for (moon!!!111), and the exchanges will prevent you from doing this if you are related to blacklisted accounts.
Because they give discounts up to 15%.
I'm sorry it doesn't fit your narrative but there are reasons to prefer cryptocurrencies.
Ask yourself if the discount is worth the risk of experiences like this:
We all have narratives, buddy. Mine just doesn't hinge on gambling and crypto-anarchic utopia.
You've ignored the rest of the list in the comment you’re replying to.
edit: Perhaps the lesson here is the more useful something is, the less freedom you have in using it. After all, why would regulators care if you can "use bitcoin" when "use" means "play with my private keys".
Does anyone have the token contract address? I am assuming the blacklist is part of the smart contract based on the above wording, though haven't had a chance to look at the code.
If it's not part of the code and only exists on exchange wallets then I see what Coinbase is doing as more reasonable.
>Improved send and receive. Two Ethereum wallets can quickly send and receive any amount of USDC at any time of day. Large transfers for business purposes become as easy as small e-commerce payments. Consumers can use the Coinbase app to send USDC to someone, while remaining confident the value is stable.
>Use in dApps and exchanges. There is a burgeoning ecosystem of crypto dApps, exchanges, and blockchain-based games. A USDC follows the ERC20 standard, which means it can be used with any app that accepts tokens based on that standard. The USDC can thus be used as a stable digital dollar to buy items in the crypto ecosystem, from Cryptokitties to tickets for blockchain-based games.
>A programmable dollar. For developers and fintech companies, a digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with. For example, given the private keys for USDC, a program can easily send and receive them back and forth using the public Ethereum blockchain.