These are some of the options Venezuelans have had to use:
1. Ask the money to be sent to Colombia with WU and then travel hundreds of kms to get what usually amounts to a few hundred dollars at most.
2. Use Zelle, send dollars in the US, and receive Bolivares in Venezuela. But for that you need to have an US bank account, and find a person you can trust also with an US bank account and plenty of highly volatile Bolivares in Venezuela willing to make the exchange.
3. Use paypal, same as above with way higher commissions and the risk that paypal (and the other person) will fuck you.
4. Buy Amazon gift cards and use the same schema above, be exposed to scams and high commisions fees.
Trading bitcoins in say localbitcoins.com, you have a very liquid market and somewhat secure transactions (Bitcoins are not liberated until you check the money is in the Venezuela account). There are risks of course, especially because of BTC volatility but at least is a fast,convenient,widespread option. I wish something like that, only more stable and with less of that Tulip-craze whiff BTC has.
Think of it. Buying bitcoin, sending and selling resulted being cheaper than just buying USD. The spread was that much lower. (It was in a relatively static price period in summer 2016)
And regular banks just didn't do such transactions between Russia and Indonesia, like, nope. And PayPal was somehow banning the client for some reason.
Maybe the russian was on OFAC's sanctioned entities list? (only half joking)
That's not possible with a public ledger and current state of analysis - instead of proactive cancellation of the transaction on the legacy banking system, you'll get a delayed reaction from the authorities. When you file your tax return you'll get a notice to explain transaction ID 0x...34 to a certain banned individual. So it will be about as "permissionless" as tax-fraud: you will only be able to get away with it for a while, and I don't doubt there will be future analytical tools (and laws) that will make tracing payments even easier. It is politically untenable for bitcoin payments to be opaque when "Funding Terrorism" is a high-priority security issue.
Although I assure you a normal person can't read bitcoin transactions lists like they can a bank statement, and this goes for people working at the tax office too. And they can't forbid those transactions, either. It raises the bar significantly on Tax offices, and therefore means less enforcement.
And if need be, there are several anonymous cryptocurrencies that would love nothing more than to replace Bitcoin, and of course they will as soon as governments actually start tracing payments.
We were talking about PayPal banning someone and you equate that to tax authorities banning someone?!
My experience is that bank fees vary greatly.
My (limited) experience with US banks is that they have huge hidden fees and you get really bad currency exchange rates. I'm talking about 8% of funds miraculously disappearing during currency exchange. I don't understand why anybody would bother going via USD.
My Austrian bank on the other hand has much better rates and low fees. I think it was less than 1% for transfers of a few thousand USD last time I checked.
And finally, there are services like Transferwise; I just checked and they show rates of 1.5 - 2% for converting IDR to RUB.
I like how you consider that opening an account on another bank was both cheaper and easier than using Bitcoin.
I don't know what it's like in Indonesia, hence my question.
You need to shop around for a better US bank account. This is not a common thing for us to do so if you pick up a random bank then you’ll be paying close to 10% in various conversion and fx fees. There are definitely US banks that charge 1%, some even 0%.
The crux of the issue. It’s tragic how the new woke fads exaggerate and even imagine plights for minorities near themselves, while completely ignoring big crises further away.
It's a safe bet that it'll continue the trend (with some occasional and not too long lapses of stae slowish decline), and actually bitcoin is a rather safe bet against rouble. After all, it's not backed by Putin's government!
Btw, 'a trillion times' is an understatement. Exact figure in 2014 was... 57 460 000 000 000 000 (fifty seven quadrillion four hundred and sixty trillion) times , and just add some more since that time. Still thinking that bitcoin is a risky currency, huh?
Currency isn't an investment. Currency has never been an investment. You're not supposed to hold currency. You're supposed to use currency to buy assets. A spot exchange rate means absolutely nothing. This is ECON-101.
Bitcoin is not a USD replacement. It's more of a gold replacement: finite supply, great malleability, but with modern benefits regarding storage and transfer.
This is an opinion that Bitcoin advocates throw out every time someone criticizes Bitcoin's ability to be a currency. As soon as someone criticizes its ability to be an asset, someone trots out that its actually been a currency this whole time. It's bad at both.
It's bad at both in no small part because it tries to bring back the asset-backed currency approach, which was dreadful last time around, and that's why it was ended.
This 'opinion' comparing Bitcoin properties to Gold appeared before Bitcoin antagonists appeared. It is part of a design.
For this purpose it is abjectly poorly suited.
Neither the word “gold” nor “store of value” nor anything else of the sort appear in the abstract.
I have also read an extremely early mailing lists that appeared long before bitcoin started to get derided by critics like you, and guess what, it was those comparisson I'm referring to. And since you started reciting old texts, i'll go for it too.
Gold and Bitcoin are very similar in all their properties regarding use it as a wealth storage and transfer, with two stark differences: unlike Bitcoin, gold can be used to create physical objects. Like, a ring. Unlike gold, Bitcoin can be near-instantly transferred to another person. Everything else is irrelevant. Gold is valued not because it has some inherent value in it, the price depends only on belief that it has value. Same with bitcoin.
Oh and Bitcoin wastes as much power as the entire country of Chile just sitting there existing and being speculated on at a rate of 7tx/sec, and not solving any real problems. I’d say that’s the only thing that matters.
I suppose time will tell.
This is a disingenuous straw man and a desperate attempt to brush away Bitcoin's failure as currency. The OP explicitly referred to cryptocurrencies' inherent high volatility, and volatility is not a mere transaction risk. Seeing your debt explode, because you either borrowed or deferred payments, due to cryotocurrency volatility is not a transaction risk. It's simply the fact that cryptocurrency fails as being money.
If we call it a rough average of $10k per BTC, that's $5m/week, or $250m/year. That sounds like a lot, but it's still only ~0.1% of GDP. In contrast, if we look at M-Pesa in Kenya, they report for 2017 doing $62.6 billion in transaction volume, or about 80% of GDP.
So it's not clear to me that Bitcoin is a major player even in Venezuela.
I looked and Chainalytics claim Venezuela is world number 3 in bitcoin use. But it's not clear what they're basing that on. My (very limited) understanding is that they can't directly see the country of origin of a bitcoin transaction. So they must be relying on figures from exchanges or apps?
Does anyone know if you can tell country of origin of a transaction request? Maybe the IP sending the request is public to the network?
Bitcoin is only used as a bridge for exchange VES:USD a.k.a money laundering from corruption and drugs, with some remittances transactions caught in the middle of those laundry waves.
there is absolutely 0 adoption for bitcoin in Venezuela, Im a bitcoin enthusiast since 2011 and I hold bitcoin and I live in Caracas (capital) and move around all tech communities and yet to see a real crypto transaction. Some people used the “get rich quick” schemes from DASH and other silly alts and tried to make a big media (international media) about Venezuelans using bitcoin to try to money grab international money into their scams, they manage to convince some stores and local food chains to “accept” their silly cryptos but of course no one uses, yet they got the money from their international sponsors trying to force adoption in the country.. there is hillarious threads on DASH forums about it
You can read my other post on details on the only use for bitcoin in venezuela, that big money laundery called localbitcoins
This is completely and absolutely false. I personally know hundreds of (mostly very poor) Venezuelans who absolutely depend on bitcoin and other crypto currencies to survive. The people I'm personally familiar with eke out a few dollars creating content on platforms like Hive and Steemit, trade their alt crypto for bitcoin, pool it crypto together, and have it sent to Venezuela in small bundles where they collect it and use it to supplement their very meager incomes.
Also, I'm not sure I'd call that significant Bitcoin adoption if their only use for it is as an intermediary to exit a different cryptocurrency.
As an active member for years I've chatted and interacted with them for years and gotten to know many of them quite well.
>Also, I'm not sure I'd call that significant Bitcoin adoption if their only use for it is as an intermediary to exit a different cryptocurrency.
Why is that so? As far as I'm concerned (as an early adopter of bitcoin and other crypto), Bitcoin's primary use has always been to fill the void when government-sanctioned currencies and financial systems fail. Without Bitcoin these poor people would be unable to cash out the fruits of their creative endeavors - its absolutely critical. Different people use Bitcoin for difference purposes, but none of these purposes is inherently less legitimate than another.
The government needs to be replaced. This is the false promise of bitcoin. As long as the government needs to be replaced you have much bigger problems than the currency. As soon as the government is replaced, you no longer have to worry about the currency.
Bitcoin always has been, and always will be, a solution in search of a problem.
Forget Venezuela for a second and ask yourself how Bitcoin is helping the North Koreans.
No one claimed that Bitcoin is useful in NK so I don't get the point of the question.
The best way to deal with devaluation is just, spend the money instantly, is not really that hard, people barely get Venezuelan Bolivars (minimum wage is 3$ month equivalent) and like 90% of all transactions are already done in USD
So people really don't hold venezuelan bolivars for more than 1 day, savings in bolivars doesnt exist at all in this country.
In case you actually need to just save the money, you just trade it (it takes barely no time) for USD and hold the usd either in cash or in some usa bank (most people have access to them) or paypal.
So, the unofficial "forex" market is always there..
BTW this might sound funny but with only 450million USD you can buy the entire M2 in venezuela. So yeah, hyperinflation might be solved really easy whenever we actually get a new goverment
I wouldn't trust anything published by Chainalysis. Their accuracy is much lower than their reputation
Venezuela is often painted as a "Bitcoin solves this" poster child. Yes, Bitcoin is sent from the USA and other countries into Venezuela, mostly by Venezuelan expatriates to family. It's useful for buying USD in Venezuela. But USD liquidity in Venezuela is very weak, so Bitcoin doesn't really solve much at all there. You can't buy groceries in Venezuela with Bitcoin
>Does anyone know if you can tell country of origin of a transaction request?
You can not
> Maybe the IP sending the request is public to the network?
If the sender is using his own Bitcoin node, the sender's IP is known only to the other nodes the transaction was broadcast to. If the sender is using a third-party service, that service records the IP addresses of its customers in the same way as any Web site does, just as my IP is known to ycombinator when I submit this comment
In this kind of setting, where the transaction is illicit, you wouldn't go through an exchange, you'd publish the transaction directly to the bitcoin network, and organizations like chainalytics do track the origin IP addresses.
Not to criticise but... Isn't the IP of a transaction initiator being public a bit of a design flaw? Is it just assumed that users will obscure their own IPs (vpn, tor, etc)? Otherwise my isp/government can see my transactions and infer wallet ownership and I'm suddenly very un-anonymous...
Edit: apparently this has been delayed so you likely can't use it at this point https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/81503/what-is-th...
That said, someone who isn't in a position to monitor the L2 network can't know if you are initiating a transaction or simply rebroadcasting it.
Unless you have originally brought cash in the country and received some type of pre clearance from the government, it generally is not so easy to convert back to EUR/USD/etc and move meaningful amounts of cash out of the country.
Don't know what the adoption rate is in Argentina, but with inflation being 30 to 40% a year, why would you even bother holding local currency?
Of course the government could shut it off in a heartbeat. How many North Koreans does Bitcoin help?
Bitcoin is volatile. Holding it is more like holding gold, not USD.
Bitcoin is very easy to move across borders. Moving it is much more like a bank transfer, than paying for a pizza.
Eth is very challenging to operate securely. Breaking updates are frequent, often with little warning. Bitcoin hasn't changed in many years, and new software updates are optional, and don't require you to write any new code or change how you operate. Most other cryptos suffer from the same challenges.
Eth has more features and flexibility, but for the explicit use case of sovereign money, Bitcoin really stands in a class of its own.
This one was fun, but I guess quadrigacx was always going to be insolvent anyway: https://old.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/6ettq5/statement_...
(I think the top ranked post can be ignored, it gets good here: https://old.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/6ettq5/statement_... )
Are you perhaps referring to some specific dapp built on Eth that you don't like?
Bitcoin changes all the time (e.g., taproot)
Binance had to suspend wallets because of it
You have actual permissionless dexs trading on Ethereum wallet to wallet. Literally, no bullshit in between where you don't have to worry about the CEO of the shitty CEX you're using taking a powder for 33 day's. There's nothing permissionless about bitcoin infrastructure, it requires custodial counterparties to trade hands. ETH and all the many tokens do not. Economics aside, that's probably the most bearish development for bitcoin
You can turn your nose and say ethereum dapps all have that admin key smell but things like uniswap, starks, the Dai stablecoin, yearn are dope as hell and I'd think worth a looksie
The DAO was a classic example of crypto being trustless for thee but none for me thanks.
Before hand, I would like people to know that the current VES:USD rates are the following:
- Official rate: 1.107.198,58 per each USD 
- Unofficial rate: 1.027.812,89 per each USD 
So now, The way that remittances work in Venezuela is pretty simple, let’s say a person A, wants to send 100$ to his grandma in Venezuela, and Person B has Venezuelan Bolivars.
Person A gets in contact with person B (or viceversa), they agree on a rate based on the 2 rates i said before, person A sends the 100$ usd to person B and person B sends the Venezuelan Bolivars equivalent to person A grandmother. There is always a factor trust on said trade/ remittance where someone has to send the money 1st.
Now, this exchange for the USD side is USUALLY made using Zelle (in the case of USD remittances) but its also done a lot in actual cash USD, it can also be done in any other method such as Paypal, AirTM, Cashapp, Venmo, etc.. it could even be in hello kitty coins if person A and B agrees. It doesnt really matter.. As for the venezuelan bolivars parts, its always done in venezuelan banks.
What the poster here says in point (1) its wrong, you can use W.U, MoneyGram to send money to Venezuela, it uses the official exchange rate, thus, you don't have to go to colombia to send money to venezuela, remitances using those services are working online (they deposit to your bank), there is also fully operational exchanges like zoom casa de cambio, that will take remitances from different companies worldwide. 
So this is my point. As I say, venezuelans do not need bitcoin, they could trade even hello kitty online coins or whatever any other method that allows them to send some value worth. Directly, they just use Zelle or cash, some others use paypal or whatever they want.
So, bitcoin doesn't really benefits Venezuelans, the only thing that benefits venezuelans is the localbitcoins escrow service, but this is not because its cripto or because its bitcoin, it's just because noone else offers an escrow service to sucessfully exchange currency, that's pretty much it. Venezuelans just lack some place to properly exchange money it doesnt need bitcoin
In fact, if you go ahead and check localbitcoin prices for exchange between VES:USD, the rate is always worse, you can check this site that tracks the rate on real time [https://dolardeverdad.com/]
Adding to this, there is another layer to this, it's the fact that it's really hard for Venezuelans to convert bitcoin into USD, not only because we are not welcome on sites like coinbase.com
Now, you wonder right now, how come there is a lot of bitcoin being bought in venezuela's localbitcoin market, now I will answer you, it's plain and simple money laundering, that's it, there is drug dealers, corrupt goverment officials and a bunch of shady people who has TONS of venezuelans bolivars and they want to get them turned into something else. Using my example before, the person B would be the corrupt/drug dealer and the person A would be you trying to send money to your grandma
So no, don't come with the "bitcoin is saving venezuela" speech, it', Bitcoin its a workaround for corruption and dirty venezuelan money to find its way into USD.
I realize this can be difficult when a topic is close to home, but it's an effort we all have to make on the topics that we feel strongest about.
As for OP, had no other options to call me a "maduro bot", when Im clearly stating that localbitcoins is exactly the place where all the maduro corrupt officials clean their drug/stolen money. haha.
Let me remind you that, the venezuelan corrupt goverment LOVES crypto, because it allows them to clean their stolen money. Thats why they are even mining it themselves  with free power and stolen bitcoin mining machines 
And to finish, you can literally find the westerunion guidelines on how to send money to venezuela  where it clearly states that you can receive remittances in any office of "zoom cambios" in venezuelan territory.
This is the argument. I dont need to address anything. BTW, not that it matters but I dont hold bitcoins , I am not a trader and I dont have any association with localbitcoins, I even agreed with the points presented in the article (check my post history) now check OP's.
Turns out money is just rows in a database and ISO 20022 messages, queued and processed.
if you don't mind the usury-level fees
The fact that some of the currency's "fundamental constants" have been tweaked to make it slightly better for certain situations does not change the fundamentals.
It's kind of like the multiplicative constants in algorithm complexity theory.
And while there are many other alt-coins that claim to have solved the scalability problem while remaining truly decentralized, I have yet to see one actually deliver.
I kick myself for loosing the BTC my friend and I mined back in '09 on CPU time when it truly was worthless. But I was a dumb college student at the time and was simply playing around with it for a few days. I wonder how many BTC were permanently lost in this period.
If you mined it once you get a hash. When you say you lost those coins you lost the hash to the account? When you mined in 2009 was the hash smaller than today? Is brute forcing possible?
I dare to insist it most certainly does. Anything is economically wothless unless there are people willing to participate in exchanging it.
If you actually attempt to assess fundamental value of Bitcoin based on anything comparable it’s value approaches zero. It’s pretty much worthless at anything it’s ever been positioned to achieve except crime and speculation.
Frankly it’s not even good at crime.
A bitcoin address gives you a unique global address decentralizated that funds can be sent to. There is utility to that function.
Using your description the internet is a magic place faeries built that provides no usefulness because it's virtual.
The internet provides utility. Bitcoin provides speculation and crime.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the past years compared to stocks, gold, commodities, etc.
>Bitcoin provides speculation and crime.
Everything valuable can become a tool, or a reason for criminal activity.
The rarity of owning some paper with ink on it!
Is there a Mimblewimble / Litecoin integration effort? If so, I'd sure love to learn more about it.
And if there isn't can you offer something in the way of a proof?
Please give me a min of yalls time.
My boss has been talking up Bitcoin SV to me for the past 2 years and he watches hours upon hours of podcast and YouTube videos (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOqZWfHm-gzDyMoDGmPCJbBhg...) that playlist is what he showed me that he watched. Anyways, he sort has convinced me.. I’ve done a little research but I’m not familiar with it as y’all seem to be. Is there any hope in BSV? my avg is 169.xx and I just wonder if this thing he told me about BSV being the only one that can “scale up” or whatever that is.. anyway any comments/tips are appreciated. Happy New Year!
Also, if BSV had enough users to ever experience scaling, its network would be so centralized it would be like a new PayPal but with Craig's employer running the show. Not surprisingly, after 2 years this idea has not caught on at all and the value of BSV as a fraction of BTC continues to plunge to new lows.
My suggestion is to get out of this scam immediately and stop listening to your gullible boss.
Huh? Maybe with a credit card that converts your usd to a local currency. I’d like to see you walk into a French or Japanese grocery store and offer them your freedom bucks
Binance does exchange USDT to VES but is not that popular
You could have paid $300 while the person sitting next to you could have significantly more or less, depending on a whole host of factors.
Same with bitcoin: someone could have paid $1.50 for a transaction in the same block as your $9 transaction, depending on its size and how quickly the sender needed to have it confirmed. Someone also paid $.50 to be in that block but they were okay with waiting for an hour before it would be confirmed.
A dashboard such as https://bitbo.io will show you fee estimates.
I said $9 because the average transaction was $9, the median was over $5. If someone is paying $300 under those circumstances it is because they have a large, complex transaction. Transaction sizes vary, transactions costs aren't as random as you are implying.
> someone could have paid $1.50 for a transaction in the same block as your $9 transaction, depending on its size and how quickly the sender needed to have it confirmed.
That's not how it works. Most transactions are small, you can't somehow cut them down to a fraction of the size it takes for a basic transaction from one address to another.
> Someone also paid $.50 to be in that block
What transaction is what block are you talking about? I didn't mention a specific block, some have had even higher average transaction costs. Where did you see that?
> but they were okay with waiting for an hour before it would be confirmed.
Again, that isn't how it works. If you put a transaction fee that is too low, you wait until there are no higher value transactions for yours to be included into a block.
Great idea given that they're next on the SEC's list once they're done tearing Ripple a new one.
BTC is cool, but no amount of tech can solve what is essentially a policy issue: overseas remittances.
There's not much reason for any government to want to crack down on BTC simply for the sake of cracking down on it. People talk about governments cracking down on BTC because it will undermine the local currency or banking system but I think that's mostly paranoia, there's not much of any evidence to substantiate the hypothesis that any government is fearful of cryptocurrencies.
There were some governments and regulatory agencies that were concerned that BTC is a scam, or needs to be subject to security regulations, and had legitimate concerns about it but for the most part governments don't care that much about BTC in terms of a danger or a threat to their legitimacy.
Whether BTC becomes a problem is a question, but if use in laundering or escaping taxes gets past a certain point, I do think it is a risk.
Incorrect, the government has no concerns over undermining the local currency. The primary purpose of banking regulations is population control, it has nothing to do with currency perservation
Know your Customer laws, book keeping regulations, etc are all about control and intelligence. If they can get this intel and allow BTC to operate as is they will leave it alone, if however they can not get the intel they need on how money is moving well you can bet your life they will crack down hard
Governments, all governments even yours, are about Power, Control, and Authority not what people seem to naively think that the government is there to "help" or "protect" or any other just altruistic goals.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the most terrifying phrase in the English language is "We must do _____ for the greater good"
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
Going back to the monolith question, the other day someone at the public utility helped me fix a mistake with my bill. That individual was not irrelevant to my experience with government power.
Take for instance the following response to the Ray Dillinger’s email:
Internet also became a disaster.
We're very far from original ideas: Uncensored, decentralized ideals are forgotten.
I remember, in the beginning, governments were really afraid of people's reactions, even to make small regulations. Today, we don't even discuss before accepting any regulation about Internet. Infrastructure is almost completely controlled/owned by governments or cartels. 
That is so far beyond reality that it’s hard to believe this person was there “at the beginning”. The Internet, after all, started as a DARPA project...
It has been easy enough for govts to enforce tax and security laws where they’ve tried. What laws have been changed for bitcoin?
That said, even with Bitcoin, I do think it shifted the world ever so slightly in a new direction of financial independence which just wasn't there before. There is something distinctly different about sending money to someone else in any part of the world just by typing their address, with no one being able to stop you. With traditional methods, governments could impose and have regularly interfered and imposed bureaucracy already on this sending step. With Bitcoin they do not do this because it isn't very practical.
What's nearly impossible to stop? Can't the government simply shut down the internet to stop Bitcoin? Or insert itself as the man in the middle of all network traffic.
If any government did that, then the country would suffer extreme economic damages, if such a policy was maintained for a long time.
Your argument would be like if someone were to say "actually, the government can stop all theft, now and forever. All it has to do is launch 1 thousand nukes, start world war 3, and kill off 99% of the population".
Like, sure. The government could end the world, by launch a nuke at every major city in the world. And it is true that by doing this it would end all theft .. because everyone is dead.
But you are kinda missing the bigger picture if you are seriously suggesting this as a counter argument to anything.
> extreme economic damages
We're talking about Venezuela, which has had extreme economic damages caused by a government trying to maintain control over its population. It seems that they don't care about damage, only power domestically, not internationally. The comment we're replying to said that Bitcoin is valuable in transactions with Venezuelan counter-parties because of Venezuela's government's damage to the domestic economy.
Yes, if you're a big enough bully, you have control over many things. However, sometimes the control would imply too much destruction so even the bully chooses not to proceed. This is essentially what is happening right now.
> In more recent years, even the state's hold on the country's financial system has been badly shaken, with the US dollar growing commonplace in day-to-day transactions. In March 2019, Venezuela's entire electric grid collapsed, leaving some regions without power for up to a week. Without electricity, electronic transactions including credit and debit card payments were impossible, and paying cash was futile with even the highest-denomination bolivar notes worth only pennies. So Venezuelans started using the option left: illegal foreign banknotes.
How would they use Bitcoin when electricity is out? Generators only last so long when fuel is rationed.
> the government for the first time allowed a private company to issue bonds in dollars, and by doing so, raise capital outside of government control.
They key word there is "allowed" because that emphasizes the ability to disallow at some point in the future.
People have this sci-fi imagining of megacorps and the collapse of government power. Instead, we have Jack Ma probably afraid for his life, because he insulted the wrong person.
And yet, here we are, living in a world where such controls are pretty difficult to enact and simply aren't happening.
Even in places where there are government controls over the internet, such controls are apparently not even close to perfect, on many many people are successfully able to get around them.
So, the evidence shows, that despite any argument that you are making about how governments might control the internet and stop anyone from ever doing anything at all that they don't like, that is simply not happening right now to such a perfect degree that you suggest should happen, even in currently authoritarian countries.
> We're talking about Venezuela, which has had extreme economic damages caused by a government trying to maintain control over its population
And yet, despite all of that, it doesn't really seem to be enacting extreme/perfect control over the internet, despite many motivations to do so, that have nothing to do with crypto.
> The comment we're replying to said that Bitcoin is valuable in transactions with Venezuelan counter-parties because of Venezuela's government's damage to the domestic economy.
Ok, and Venezuela isn't at all successfully preventing this damage. They aren't doing that. So the evidence shows that, for some reason, Venezuela is unable or unwilling to put extreme controls on crypto, do the the consequences or difficulty of doing so.
Any hypothetical, or arguments that you can possibly think of, as for why Venezuela should put extreme controls on crypto or the internet, needs to deal with the fact that Venezuela simply isn't doing that right now, likely for a good reason. Because it is very difficult to do that.
I was talking about how much control they have over the internet.
The fact of the matter is, that even the most authoritarian countries out there, are simply are unable to have a 100% perfect authoritarian control over their internet, as of today.
Despite the many motivations that current authoritarian countries have for definitely wanting to control their internet, right now, the evidence is showing that they are failing to perfectly control everything over the internet.
And yet, if you look at the real world, and how things exist already, you see that these types of efforts have failed.
This is not a hypothetical situation. This is not about stuff that may or may not happen in the future.
Instead, you can look at real world situations, that happen right now, in existing countries all around the world, and you will see that the efforts to control the internet, have mostly failed.
Ex: Just look at china, which is the most famous example of internet control. . Lots of people have VPNs and can get around these restrictions in china.
The evidence already proves you wrong. There are multiple countries who have attempted to enact strict controls, over the internet, already, and they have mostly failed.
When you say, "lots of people," how many are we talking about? The majority? If so, you'd think the government would just give up trying to have control, it wouldn't be worth the effort.
Remember, we're not talking about trying to have a technology that a few hobbyists can use. The goal is widespread usage, enough that it prevents governments from controlling currency.
Enough that this whole original idea that you stated which was "Can't the government simply shut down the internet", is obviously not true.
The real world examples of real world countries, show that places like china are not "shutting down the internet", and that such an idea is obviously stupid.
There are tons of stories that you could make up in your head, about why China would want to shut down the internet right now.
And yet, the fact of the matter is, that China is not "shutting down the internet". Thats the facts. Countries are simply not doing that. Despite many motivations to do so.
> you'd think the government would just give up trying to have control, it wouldn't be worth the effort
And yet we see that the governments of the world are not successfully cracking down on the internet enough to shut down crypto. Thats not happening. Despite the fact that crypto is often used for illegal purposes. And yet countries aren't enacting authoritarian control over all of the internet to shut it all down.
We do not need to consider hypotheticals here. Just look at the real world, right now, and all the illegal activity that happens using crypto, and yet we are seeing that the world governments are not willing to enact measures to shut it all down.
Apparently, it is not worth the effort to shut down that illegal activity, right now. That is already the state of the world.
I agree that it's not worth the effort for governments to shut down Bitcoin, at the moment. The US just confiscated $1 billion in coin. They're pretty happy with the pseudonyms it seems.
In order to truly prevent people from making bitcoin to transactions, a government would have to enact absolute authoritarian control over every single bit of information that goes into and out of the country.
If I could even send a text message to someone outside the country, then I can send my bitcoin. Governments are not going to shut down all methods of ever sending text information to everyone permanently.
> let you Google for examples.
There are no examples of governments having absolute authoritarian perfect control over the internet, for any extended lengths of time.
In every example of countries that have internet restrictions, there are many people who are still able to get information into and out of the country, through numerous methods.
The original statement was "What's nearly impossible to stop?". And I maintained that it absolutely is nearly impossible for a government to enact perfect authoritarian control over every single person in a country. That is just obviously false.
So no, governments cannot "simply shut down the internet to stop Bitcoin". Because no government in existence today, has enacted perfect authoritarian control, over the internet, or shut down their internet permanently and stopped every single VPN, satellite phone, ect.
> it's not worth the effort for governments to shut down Bitcoin
It will never be worth it for governments to permanently shut down all of the internet now and forever, as well as stop all of the vpns, satellite phone, ect.
This kind of a permanent shutdown is something that no government has ever done. Every single example of governments trying to control the internet, still has many ways of getting information in and out of the country.
And yet, it still has practically useful properties.
The coins that win as a currency will have to loosen their grasp on the rentier-merchant aspects, become more energy efficient, more usable, more integrated into society(within and without its institutions).
XRP tried to make a centralized cryptocurrency that solved those problems and now the SEC is basically telling them they have to give all the money back because it's an investment contract.
The problem that everyone else sees is that Bitcoin has been "emerging tech" with all its rough edges for so many years.
The first ETF launched in 1993, and 12 years later they had 400 billion in net asset value - 533 adjusted for inflation. Your argument that the growth is unprecedented is specious.
Cars, Steam engines, Airplanes, Trains, the Internet, Radio, Phones, Mobile phones, Smart phones, Cinema, TV's, basically anything that is actually new technology?
I actually can't think of any new technology that reached maturity within 12 years of it's original prototype.
> The first ETF launched in 1993,
ETF's are a contract, they're not technology. By the way, BTC currently has 450 billion in net asset value, so...
The seller initially requested payment via Transferwise, who sought crazy amounts of personal information and bullied me into a privacy-hostile customer agreement. Days went by and they still hadn't activated my account.
Growing frustrated, I convinced the seller to accept Bitcoin, which was comparatively instant. The phone arrived a few days later, meanwhile the Transferwise morons still had their heads up their arses with no movement and no good explanation. I'm not a financial risk; I'm a good little citizen with no red flags. Reading between the lines my sense was their staff were overloaded or their onboarding system was simply broken.
Bitcoin was incredibly helpful for me that day, and my favorite feature about the phone is the way I paid. In addition to a great story, I've got to admit there was something liberating and empowering about giving what felt like a big middle finger to the slow, decrepit, old-fashioned institution who couldn't even deliver on their core business proposition. Like saying "screw you, I don't need you and your crappy service anymore, come back when you can compete on merits".
Whatever else you criticize about Bitcoin, it's still "cash you can email", and even if that's all it ever amounts to I still find it a bloody useful innovation.
Ironically, blockchain technology is the first technology that actually solves the age old problem of how to establish trust within a truestless system.
imho Bitcoin is a novel implementation of open-source technology, cryptography, and decentralized networks. I realize hackernews community has a disdain for greed and the avarice that is commonly connoted with "cryptocurrency" aka crypto-assets, but the reality is that bitcoin and crypto-assets are here to stay, and I for one am glad they are open-source.
The GP complains about the overhead and data collection of traditional solutions, implying it’s a bunch of unnecessary cruft. In fact it’s to comply with local laws and protect the consumer and merchant from fraud. GP used Bitcoin to get around this hassle, renouncing any rights in the event of a dispute.
Now, maybe that’s a win, but it’s a much more nuanced and less generalized win than is put forth by crypto proponents.
Notice also the goalpost move of declaring Bitcoin a win over mailing cash. Ok, have you ever done that in your life? I have not been involved in mailed cash transactions aside from receiving $5 from my grandma in the mail 20 years ago.
Isn't that exactly why this mailing cash/cheques fell out of favor compared to bank transfers, credit cards, PayPal, all these centralised systems that bitcoin posits are a problem
So assuming my email was firstname.lastname@example.org, and I had asked my bank to map the Pix key "email@example.com" to my bank account, anyone could "send cash" through Pix to my firstname.lastname@example.org email; the cash would arrive at my bank account nearly instantly (even during weekends and/or holidays).
UPI is more like venmo on steroids, but it is no crypto-currency replacement.
No wasted energy beyond the cost of running a normal computer.
Celo is proof of stake based and also issues part of its block rewards to Project Wren. It has a native stablecoin and a decentralized phone verification protocol that lets you send money to any phone number.
Check out celo.org and ValoraApp.com
The entire us consumes 75 twh in a year, the same as bitcoin’s global energy use.
Of that, the entire commercial sector is about 12 twh. That’s not just banks. That’s every company. Banks alone are surely far less. Maybe 2-3 twh? And the us is 15% of global gdp. So, global finance might consume about 14-32 twh.
Again, that is while doing all of global finance. Bitcoin powers a rounding error of transactions yet consumes 75 twh.
There’s just no comparison energy wise. My math could be off by several orders of magnitude and bitcoin would still consume more if it were actually powering the world’s transactions.
There’s no need to introduce hrs and years to the mix. Watts describe precisely what you’re attempting to quantify.
If we assume banks are 10% of that, then it’s 200 twh. 3x bitcoin. But also, handling literally all finance and banking in the US. Vs essentially nothing for bitcoin, compared to the scale of the us economy.
Of course it'd be much better for us to adopt a crypto currency that uses a different algorithm that has even less energy usage. Even without that though I think it could prove to be more efficient than existing financial systems.
The total amount of reported money transacted might be higher for bitcoin but that doesn’t come from contact with the real economy. So that depends on the valuation of bitcoin rather than economic impact.
Anyway, as another way of answering your question, physical money printing and transfers require no electricity at all, predating the invention of electric power by thousands of years.
1. Print the money
2. Harvest the Cotton and other raw materials
3. Transport the money
4. Secure the money (even in electronic form)
5. and about 100 other things
All use "energy" the point of the OP's comment was about "wasted energy" which i would image is tied to climate change
The idea that "printed money uses no energy because it is old tech" is just ignorant
Since you're too lazy to, I will:
* Bitcoin: 0.1% of all electricity in the world, 7tps.
* THE ENTIRE REST OF HUMAN CIVILISATION, EVERYONE IN IT AND EVERYTHING THEY DO: 99.9% of electricity, a hell of a lot more than 6,993tps.
Bitcoin is the most inefficient payment system in history.
Bitcoiners' usual objection at this point is to claim that transactions per second is a bad measure, for some reason - though if you're comparing how much each system achieves for the resources it uses, it's precisely the obvious and correct measure.
But if tps doesn't matter, then the entire bitcoin ecosystem should be replaced with a small rock. A whole country's less electricity use, and only 7tps less! Also, it'd be hard currency.
And? Who are you to tell anyone how they should use their electricity? Do you want my advice on what you should be doing in your home?
> Bitcoin is the most inefficient payment system in history.
I think the "hauling big rocks between islands" currency was probably less efficient, at least on a per capita basis.
> then the entire bitcoin ecosystem should be replaced with a small rock
Then go ahead and do that. If people have trust in your rock then that will work fine.
You appear to have written two books about money. Do you not understand how it works yet?
You've probably been told before but I'll tell you the why again. Bitcoin's energy consumption is not proportional to the number of transactions it's processing.
The energy used is proportional to the block reward, the reward that miners get from mining a new block roughly every 10 minutes. They won't spend more money on energy than they get from mining, or they would go out of business. That mining reward goes up with price, (because it's paid out as a fixed amount of BTC) and goes down with each halving event (every ~4 years the block reward is cut in half in BTC terms).
The network can be doing 7tps or 7 million tps, doesn’t really matter for energy use, although higher usage can have indirect effects on price or other things.
But I'm no expert.
ACH is also SLOW and painfully insecure relaying on the banking institutions to stop gap the security and its built in slowness to allow for reversals of fraud or error transfers
ACH is not a model people should be promoting as good method to do money transfer
Edit: Or I should say, “Could it work internationally?” Because afaik it does not currently.
Bitcoin Evangelists are trying to pump up the price by advocating that bitcoin will be the best method of making payments for a huge variety of use cases.
I'm not going to call it a pump and dump scam because I think that a lot of these people truly think that it is going to 500k and beyond and that they will never need to dump it all.
I don't transfer money much, but superficially that doesn't seem too expensive considering the volatility risk to WU due to fluctuating exchange rates combined with the overheads of regulatory requirements.
It seems to me that Bitcoin is only as cheap as it is because it sidesteps those regulatory overheads. So it's great, I suppose, as long as everyone is fine with it being used to launder money from human trafficking, the drug trade, corruption, or whatever...
But this btc is used for drugs, human trafficking etc is getting somewhat weird: sure it is, but normal money is far more. So you do not use that either? That is in fact regulated and more expensive and still human traffickers use it all the time. So I do not see the point: in the end btc is easier to follow than a suitcase of dollars coming from Medellin where it was taken from children in the sex trade. So not sure what you mean there besides parotting this point. Private groups and govs have advanced systems for doxxing
Btc accounts: they were a bit late to start but now that mining is basically impossible, it is far easier to follow than dollar bills.
Also WU cash point to point money is quite well known for being off the taxes radar in most countries (for some reason): the remittance to the homeland of (illegally) earned money via WU and evade taxes back home is probably it's biggest usecase which is why they can use these depressingly bad rates.
> The pricing calculator literally says
Please go to a meatspace WU point and compare the conversion rates with the inter bank rates.
I know a lot of immigrants that send money home, they all use bank-to-bank transfers. Whether they use WU or not, the overheads seem to be in the 1% range...
Question: was there any possibility of escrow here? What if the phone never showed up?
Long term I suspect some sort of arbitration mechanism may play a role in crypto realizing its full potential (law and commerce are deeply intertwined, and the proliferation of hacks suggest a potential thirst for more effective justice) but I don't yet know what that would look like and many hard core enthusiasts would balk at the suggestion.