Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[flagged] Cryptos can't fix societal, political or economic problems (canolcer.com)
24 points by shafyy 5 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 96 comments

> Cryptos can’t fix societal, political or economocial problems. In fact, most technology can’t.

This reminds me of something Richard Feynman said, I can't remember exactly so I will have to paraphrase. Politicians and even the general public come to engineers and scientists for answers to the world's problems like world hunger.

But as he pointed out, we already have the technologies to feed, house and provide the other basics for every person on Earth. And we have for over a century. These aren't scientific or engineering problems. We're just not using solutions we already have because we don't like them. These are political problems and cannot and will not be solved with a magic technological bullet. (Though more technologies might make it easier to solve if and when we decide politically to do so.)

Reminds me of when parents come to me and ask “what’s the best app to restrict my teenager from accessing certain things on the internet?”.

It’s not a technology problem, it’s a parenting problem.

It's interesting how the discussion is always so incredibly black and white. Crypto doesn't have to fix every major problem in three separate categories for it to be relevant, or whatever HN typically proclaims crypto to not be. All it has to do is improve things and challenge the status quo.

The fact that I'm in complete control of things in that one little corner of the internet is enough for me to be excited about the future of things. Who cares if crypto doesn't literally uproot global democracies and cause every fiat currency worldwide to collapse?

It might have to. If it only turns out to be useful in a couple of minor use cases, the value will crash and the ensuing destruction might wipe out those minor uses.

I wrote essentially the same post yesterday. The interest in crypto is directly proportional to the BTC/USD rate. I don't see real innovation compared to 2016 when very few people talked about this stuff. The single thing that has changed is the price.

On Ethereum:

- The rise of decentralized finance.

- Ownership through NFTs (I personally love ENS [1]).

- Truly decentralized proof-of-stake ready for prime time, pending only the merging of the PoW network into the PoS network that launched a year ago [2].

- Predictable gas fees with EIP-1559, including a variable block size.

- A bunch of layer-2 scaling solutions live, including optimistic rollups, zero-knowledge rollups, validium solutions, and plasma solutions [3].

- Private transactions on zero-knowledge L2 chains with shielded transactions [4].

[1] https://ens.domains/ [2] https://beaconcha.in/ [3] https://l2beat.com/ [4] https://zk.money/

You could also say that the BTC/USD rate is proportional to the amount of interest...

It's gonna fix everything - misguided. It doesn't fix anything - also misguided.

There is a shocking lack of people with medium opinions on crypto.

Those people don't care to voice their opinions strongly.

I own bitcoin, but as an investment opportunity and solution to inflation and possible market crash. Next crash will have investors buying crypto instead swiss franks.

BTC will not be money, ever. It will not replace money as, inflation and fiat currency manipulation by central banks are features. And those features in right hands can be very useful to tip economy in the right way.

Countries inflate money to pay up foreign debt or stimulate their exports etc. If BTC or other similar crypto became global money those tools will become unavailable. No nation will willingly give up that control without any benefit in return.

I am also luke-warm on the environmental damage crypto is causing, its not black and white issue, but I fully support proof of stake. There are argument crypto mining stimulates and drives demand for renewable. But also I want to be able to buy new GPU for price lower than a price of 10yrs old car.

Crypto has a lot of gray area topics, sadly as with politics its mostly discussed only in black and white terms.

> I still can’t believe how so many (otherwise) smart people that I talk to try to justify that the blockchain or cryptos will make the world a better place.

Well if you keep running into the same issues maybe you shouldn't be so sure of yourself.

I only see new issues with crypto.

Which one does it actually solve?

Well, it does scare the bejesus out of establishment, which is not an easy thing to do ( https://www.marketwatch.com/story/crypto-can-destabilize-nat... ).

As a side rant, I get more and more tired of the fact that in US the establishment is compromised of REALLY old people and somehow they are in charge of technological landscape?

Bioweapons also scare the bejesus out of "the establishment".

Does that mean we should all be developing bioweapons?

I think you misunderstood the core issue of my concern. My concern is not with the device establishment is scared of. My concern is with the fact that people, who appear to making decision about those devices know little to nothing about them.

Half of them wouldn't know how to change a font in a document and yet they want to decide the path technology takes?

It really is an extension of the dilemma presented by Douglas Adams:

"To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job"

> I think you misunderstood the core issue of my concern.

Did I? You yourself said that your complaint about people's knowledge was a "side rant". I didn't care about your side rant, I responded on the actual topic.

I re-read what I wrote. You are right.

In my head the two were connected even though it was more of an afterthought and not part of the original argument. I apologize for that.

Regarding bio-weapons, assuming we will not end this civilization some other way, I do think that knowledge is a dangerous thing, but how are bio-weapons different from cryptography, 3d printing or nuclear fission. In a more practical sense, do you not think households may end up having gene editing tech in their garage, the way some are mining crypto now?

More to the point, establishment is only scared of things that undermine its power. Does that make crypto inherently a bad thing?

> do you not think households may end up having gene editing tech in their garage

Probably not, if that tech is ridiculously dangerous. We regulate a lot of dangerous things. It is a very good thing that we do.

> More to the point, establishment is only scared of things that undermine its power.

This is nonsense. This is a libertarian caricature of what "the establishment" is, and not reality.

It is possible that we have an issue with common definitions.

What do you understand by establishment?

So that's a pro? Lol

I said it in jest, but in retrospect maybe yes.

Speaking only for Bitcoin, that's a leverage against state monopoly on money issuance.

Regardless of the church you subscribe to (deflationary spiral of death VS austrian hard money libertopia), the fact remains that people:

- want to save value for later,

- want it to be liquid,

- want it to be secure

Govs' monopoly on money and ad-hoc issuance policy does not make fiat currencies a good fit. Physical gold is hard to secure, transport and partially liquidate. Gold certs and all sorts of funds are subject to counterparty risk that we begin with (see the history full of abuses in that realm). Real estate is expensive, comes with high taxes and is very far from being liquid.

Bitcoin solves all these issues because it's far more liquid and easier to secure than gold or real estate. That creates a leverage against how much gov could inflate their money supply or tax other assets: they more they do, the more value flows out into Bitcoin. Today Bitcoin is a tiny slice of the pie, but in the future it may be very visible and offer real competition and make all the people who do not even use Bitcoin find themselves in a more stable fiat environment as a result.

Decentralization is not secure from fraud. Crypto shows the unpreparedness of the masses and platforms:

Eg. https://rekt.news

And personally, i didn't see any non-tech folk know the concept of an offline wallet.

"Save value for later" just abolishes everything that has been learned to increase consumption and drive economics from the last 100 years. It's a negative growth driver for the country, if you applaud that, i think that's insane.

That's an orthogonal issue. There are plenty of non-crypto investment scams (ask your local VC), phishing etc. Some part of the population will always be robbed or scammed, regardless of the name of your country, inflation rate or what currency you use to pay the bills.

Crypto may be higher on radar because there's lure of high returns because market is expanding rapidly, and, as in any bubble, some things will pop and some people will hold the bag. Just like with dotcom bubble or california gold rush.

PS. Even though California rush left most people without much direct profit, the indirect profit was that California was populated, infrastructure developed and it became an important part of the global economy, and as a free state was one more place where people could move to build a better future for themselves, even if they were not directly interested in the gold itself.

Because some people are more easily fooled, doesn't mean that we should remove protections. Lol

Crypto IS higher on the radar because it's easier to pull off a fraud and send it through a bitcoin mixer. That's simply proven by criminals preferring crypto.

Bank money mules are a lot harder to accomplish if you're not a criminal organisation. Additionally, the money is more easily recovered through banks and banks should return your money from fraud in many cases: Eg. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/banking/ban...

You decide to frame it as "remove protections", while I frame it "here's thing with different tradeoffs". Did cars arrive on the streets with "protections removed" because they could go faster? Or we just accepted different tradeoffs and had to adjust design of the streets, cars and behaviour to improve safety of the new tech?

Of course, freedom comes with responsibility. If no one can take your coins easily, you won't be able to recover them easily from someone else either. That's an alternative compared to super-centralized hierarchical finance. People often imply that one is strictly worse than another without considering both advantages and disadvantages.

If there are no protections, describing it as removing protections is correct.

> leverage against state monopoly on money issuance.

We tried that. It was called company scrip and wildcat banking. It was a horrendous disaster that hurt huge numbers of people.

Bitcoin does not have counterparty risk. Your coins remain yours regardless of who else was doing risky bets and went bankrupt. (Provided you hold your own keys.)

As for volatility, that's purely a function of holding distribution and market liquidity (and the market right now is far from saturated - hence 30% dips and huge potential upside in the future). As soon as the "whales" are thinly spread across the globe, you don't have a risk of your coins' value suddenly crash because of one guy selling his holdings.

Bitcoin absolutely does have counterparty risk, but it's pushed onto the exchange.

The coins are yours, but their value is almost zero unless you exchange them for currency. (Very few places accept BTC directly) Exactly like with company scrips, company credit or such means.

"very few places accept BTC directly" is a non-argument.

First, we both agree that the market is far from saturated with BTC. When/if it is, then sure many more places will accept BTC.

Second, even with USD you are separating payment processors and issuers. Visa/MC being shut down does not make USD worthless. Just like if some major exchanges disappear, that would only make people seek some other ways to perform transactions they want to perform.

I'm sceptical of most of the claimed benefits of crypto but I have to admit that it seems useful for cross-border remittances, bypassing companies like Western Union who have traditionally charged unreasonable rates. Even with processing fees it's usually cheaper to do it via crypto.

Problem here is banking for the rural areas in poor countries.

They don't have internet, so they have to travel far to get banking access and as such, they are unbanked.

Claiming crypto is the solution is a fake dogma of the core issue.

The poor and unbanked in a number of developing countries are still able to use crypto for remittances, in some cases done through local trusted intermediaries who do have that access. Same as hawala brokers.

Core problem is internet connectivity that enables easy banking.

> it seems useful for cross-border remittances

It seems useful for that, yes, but it turns out: It is not actually useful for that. The economics just do not work. Crypto can not support a one-way money flow, so it has to rely on middlemen for the reverse flow, and that ends up being at least as expensive as traditional ways of doing remittance.

Many companies have tried to make this work, and they have all folded.

I'd say it solves the what brands can sports venues extract the most marketing money from problem.

International remittances in seconds for less than a penny

I can get that with https://wise.com/ which integrates well with banks and therefore is my favourite solution for that.

How does crypto compare to this?

Hello, that's great that your selection of countries and banks work well with Wise. For me, moving about $10,000 (the maximum allowed by Wise) from the US to Japan through Wise takes about 5 days, costs like $70, and requires me to take a phone call at 2 in the morning from my US bank.

You can up those limits.

Those are typically risk factors concerning fraud. Which is a feature.

And in practice your converting 10 k $ -> btc -> yen would be a lot more expensive ;). Those crypto exchanges have enormous fees too.

> You can up those limits.

You can't. That's a hard cap imposed by Wise for all transfers into Japan.

> And in practice your converting 10 k $ -> btc -> yen would be a lot more expensive ;). Those crypto exchanges have enormous fees too.

Nobody proposed using bitcoin.

Maybe you mean the worst fee tiers on US exchanges like Coinbase? I pay 1.5bps taker fees and receive maker rebates at my primary exchange. My primary exchange and one of my Japanese banks also provide extremely competitive OTC forex rates which I cannot currently use because my primary exchange does not have fiat withdrawals in Japan and because Wise is not willing to send dollars to my Japanese bank (I wonder why).

Yes you can: https://wise.com/us/blog/international-wire-over-10000

If you want to avoid those regulations, they propose sending multiple transfers.

Crypto exchanges are broader more than Bitcoin ofc.

Hello, you linked an article about the $10,000 threshold for IRS reporting requirements, which is unrelated to (and larger than) the 1M JPY cap Wise has historically imposed on transfers to Japan. Wise's article about this topic is here: https://wise.com/help/articles/2932156/guide-to-jpy-transfer... and currently claims that I can send larger amounts via SWIFT, so this may have just been some sort of UI issue where after saving a recipient that had all the information needed for a domestic wire but not a SWIFT code they refused to show the option for SWIFT transfers in the UI. They won't even show their UI for this stuff while you don't have a sufficiently large balance with them, so it would take me several days to check the accuracy of their article and to suss out whether my current saved recipient (myself) is only unable to receive large JPY transfers because it has no saved SWIFT code.

I don't think sending larger transfers would save much on fees though. The fees paid to Wise are dominated by the percentage fees for forex conversion.

I linked the that article, because you are going from USD to JPY. Which falls under IRS regulations... The cap should be 10.000 $ and is the cap you'll have without extra identification information. As such, the article is totally relevant. As you noticed by now, you can use Swift to transfer more than your mentioned amount ( which would be till 10 k. $ without extra verification)

Larger transfers are cheaper... ( calculator: https://wise.com/gb/pricing/borderless-convert )

Forex conversion is not exactly how Wise works. They have balances in multiple currencies and trade between that mostly...


Right. The relevant Japanese law was apparently amended last year, and within the last couple months Wise has begun to transfer amounts greater than 1M JPY.

The calculator you linked says they'll charge 45bps on transfers of 1000 usd and 45bps on transfers of 100,000 usd. That's a lot. I don't want to pay 45bps. If they charge 45bps either way then paying additional fees to my Japanese bank for sending a SWIFT transfer instead of many small domestic wires won't save me anything.

"Less than a penny"?

Absolutely not, in any way.

If you want to claim this works, you will need to actually show what exact steps to take, and what fees that will cost, to transfer money into my hand.

Because there are a LOT of fees in that process.

Sure. You can generate a solana keypair with solana-keygen[0] or using a wallet such as Sollet[1] or Phantom[2]. Then, if you share your address, I can send you USDC. I will pay a fee of less than a penny worth of native tokens for the transaction, which will settle in seconds. I will also pay about 20 cents worth of native tokens to create the USDC account associated with your solana address, but this cost only occurs once. Additional sendings of USDC will not incur this cost of about 20 cents. In fact, the about 20 cents worth of native token will be recoverable by you! If you move all the USDC out of that account, then you can delete the USDC account and receive the native tokens that were locked up to pay for storage of its data.

As an aside, an upcoming update to the software that runs this particular slow database will greatly lower the cost per byte of permanent storage such as the USDC account discussed above.

If you want to obtain dollar bills in your hand, I guess you'd need to also go to a bank and a crypto exchange or something. But this is a really general-purpose gotcha, like if I told you Japanese yen were worth money and you asked me how to get dollars in hand, then you'd probably have to go to a third party to fix your problem of having Japanese yen instead of dollars, and you'll probably have to go to their branch with your ID and do a bunch of paperwork if you don't have an existing relationship with them. You'd be in even more trouble if I gave you a Japanese transit card with a stored balance of Japanese yen on it, because then the process for recovering the yen would involve showing up in person to a certain office in Japan, and the fee implicit in all this (buy card -> load yen on card -> redeem card for yen) would be a backbreaking couple dollars. But I think it would be silly to deny that you are in posession of yen if you have such a transit card, and silly to deny that you are in posession of USDC tokens that entitle you to dollars held by Circle (supposedly invested in US treasuries) if you control a keypair that controls the USDC.


[0]: https://docs.solana.com/cli/conventions

[1]: https://sollet.io/

[2]: https://phantom.app/

Yes, you need to include all the steps, from dollars in the hand of the sender to local currency in the hand of the receiver. That is what Wells Fargo offers, and you want to compare to them, you need to provide the same service.

Of course you can charge less if you do less of the work. But that is meaningless. Tell us the actual fees from money in hand to money in hand.

> Tell us the actual fees from money in hand to money in hand.

Why? Do you pay for everything in cash? Most things I buy I cannot pay for in cash, so it seems silly to go out of my way to make my funds less useful temporarily.

For most people, the first step to getting dollars in hand from Wells Fargo is a decades-long immigration process. Should we count that?

I am enjoying imagining you telling your brokerage or your bank that you don't want entries in their databases, you want cash!!! It is less enjoyable to imagine you falling victim to civil asset forfeiture for self-custodying cash though.

Edit: Anyway, the additional steps for you as the recipient, after you have a checking account at a US bank and KYCed account at FTX, are that you would send the USDC to your FTX account, then you would request a wire transfer from FTX to your US bank, and you would pay less than a penny in fees for the first step and $0 for the second step. Then you would physically go to your bank or ATM, which probably costs like $50 worth of your time or something, and get the cash.

Edit again: The reverse process, I don't know much about it because I don't generally keep all my funds in physical dollars, but I think it also costs $0. It certainly could cost more depending on the details of banking and crypto exchange regulation in the countries involved though. For example, FSA-regulated crypto exchanges in Japan do not accept USDC deposits, and the one I am registered at but have not used yet will charge me 250 JPY for a domestic wire withdrawal.

Do you buy anything in actual blockchain currency? Say, tomatoes?

What happens in the next crypto crash, with exchange risk being huge, and then you can't buy tomatoes because they're denominated in a stable currency not linked to your crypto?

I buy tomatoes with Japanese yen. Obtaining that Japanese yen is a cumbersome and expensive process which I mentioned elsewhere in this comments section[0]. I am the CEO of an automated trading firm, which involves paying for various professional services, usually by wire transfer, which is also cumbersome and expensive. When possible, I pay for things and accept payments in actual blockchain currency, because it is dramatically cheaper and more convenient, but this is admittedly not the norm.

In the event of a decline in the market price of cryptocurrencies, I sort of expect USDC to still be worth about 1 dollar.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29340656

You were a backend engineer yesterday: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29328363

> As a backend engineer, I would say yes, backend is easier. But also you'll be concerned with completely different things.

You're promoted extremely fast. Lol

I don't think it's unreasonable to describe myself as a backend engineer if I have 10 years of experience in that role and write backend code at my current job. Do you?

How many years experience then as:

> I am the CEO of an automated trading firm

Just this year. Do you need to see everyone's CV to read their comments online?

I doubt that i would have noticed it, if you didn't reference your comment history in the same post...

Edit: After checking, I wouldn't put CEO of 'Lol Term Capital Management' on your resumee ( https://www.ltc ).

Seriously, what is this bs.

Lol Term Capital Management is a mutual fund registered in the Cayman Islands. Apparently you can email them if you'd like to hear more, probably because it is illegal for this type of fund to advertise to potential clients.

"Cash in hand" is short for "actual money in my bank account that I can use to do my daily shopping". It means "not cryptocurrency".

Sure, then you get a wire from FTX and you pay $0 and you don't bother going to an ATM.

Some people would like to tell you "It's a temporary bug that you can pay for stuff with database entries at your bank or at PayPal but not database entries on this particular slow distributed database," but I don't have to tell you that to get the sum of the fees to be less than a penny here.

Please take this seriously and run the actual numbers. Actual money from sender, to receiver, with all steps and fees.

Actual money from sender to receiver was covered in my original post - receiving SPL USDC is receiving actual money. But see below for what to do the fantasy world in which is it not.

If you deposit to FTX via ACH that costs $0. If you send yourself SPL USDC from FTX that costs $0. If you send someone else SPL USDC that costs less than half a penny. If that person sends SPL USDC to FTX that costs less than half a penny. If that person withdraws USD from FTX via wire transfer that costs $0. The sum of these figures is less than a penny. As I've written upthread, this might not work out exactly the same way depending on your choice of exchange, country, and bank.

> receiving SPL USDC is receiving actual money

Not according to my grocery store.

The argument was, cryptocurrency is good for remittances. Remittance is mostly used to send money to people who actually need to use it to buy things. You need to get that money into a form that is actually usable.

Maybe not less than a penny, but $0.20–0.35 on the cheapest Ethereum L2 rollups [1]. That'll drop by almost an order of magnitude more in the short-term if/when the calldata gas fee reduction EIP passes (could be medium-term if it doesn't get implemented before the merge).

Long-term, it should drop to fractions of a cent once sharding is implemented. But, that's years away and hardly relevant.

[1] https://l2fees.info/

You left out many steps there, all of which will charge you fees. Try again.

Go from actual money from the sender, to actual money for the receiver. Sum up the fees.

What steps did I skip? Some exchanges already allow withdrawals to L2s, and Coinbase is working on it. Once social recovery wallets like Argent start to onboard users directly to L2 (zkSync), L1 might as well not exist for the regular Joe since it's completely abstracted away.

The situation for current L1 users is obviously different, but those people probably aren't the most fee-sensitive users anyway, since sending money with $5+ fees is hardly viable for so-called everyday use.

The user you're replying to would like you to include depositing and withdrawing money at crypto exchanges, because they believe database entries at banks and PayPal are money and database entries at crypto exchanges are not.

It is not me not believing that. It is the shop where I buy my dinner that is not believing that. That is what matters.

Actual money, that you get from a job, and that you pay your living costs in. End to end.

I don't understand. Is the trick in your question the fact that you're inevitably paid in fiat and you have to buy crypto, thus proving that crypto is useless as a currency?

The topic is remittances, and the claim is that cryptocurrencies are good at them.

Remittances are when a person in one country sends money to another person in a different country. Usually, the first person works to earn wages, and sends them back home to their family, who use them to pay for living expenses.

To do this, you need to go from money in hand to money in hand. Anything else is useless. Again, the claim is that cryptocurrency is good at this. If you want to claim that it is, you have to actually show how to do that exact thing.

When did I claim such a thing? I claimed that the transaction fees were getting to fractions of cents.

The original claim I am responding to is "International remittances in seconds for less than a penny".

That, in any reasonable reading, would mean that the sum of all feels required to do "international remittance" would be less than a penny. This is clearly not true.

The claim that one small part of the fees is actually less than a penny is not really relevant to this.

Lately, the average bitcoin transaction fee has fluctuated between $24 and $31, according to data provider Bitinfocharts.

February 2021

Right. I don't recommend using Bitcoin for payments.

True I started playing with bitcoin when it was 60 euro. That was 100% of my savings at the time. Sold it for a pretty penny 110 euros. Back then it was hard to buy and even worse to sell. I didn’t have the time or money to follow it. But thinking v back I could have just kept trading, or hold it. But you know life.. I still think it’s a fun technology. But really it’s gotten out of hand. I could generate a tenth or a hundredth of a bit coin on my laptop in a month, now even with a crazy rig dedicated sucking eltricity it takes way longer. You need to join at team etc. it’s the problem of the commons, energy is finite but not priced right. Do we keep using more resources here to support something that really isn’t democratized at all or do I put my time money energy into things that make peoples lives better. All the best to those that made more money than me, but I fear if bitcoin keep using more resources we all just sit around working to keep a money system running. (Exponentials are difficult to comprehend but I suggest every bitcoin owner plot the amount of energy that goes into bitcoin year over year.) Money should facilitate commerce, it’s shouldn’t be this hard or unstable. Some coins have solved this energy and trading issue but the value isn’t stable. I’ll step back in once we have a stable/energy efficient fast transfer of money. I though Ethereum was going to be the one but it wasn’t. I’ll keep my eyes open web3 sure ain’t it.

The main thing that the author missed (imo) is that the blockchain classifies as a genuine invention because it’s the first time in our history that we have had the technology for a completely trustworthy ledger.

To me, that is the intrinsic value. Not it’s use as a bank-free currency, or it’s ability to run smart contracts (though I think those could permanently change copyright for the better), but because we can have an undeniable and uncorrupted chain of custody.

Doesn't trust here only apply to things happening 100% within the chain?

Such that a currency created and traded only on a blockchain is trustworthy because everything is traceable on the chain. A bit like software without IO being quite easy to reason about.

But the moment we get externally created data (sensor readings etc), we need to trust the source.

Definitely. That’s a good point that the ledger is only a trustworthy account of what has happened on the chain, and we should never get fooled in to thinking that placing untrustworthy records on a trustworthy chain makes them trustworthy.

Completely trustworthy, because it has to be patched multiple times to fix security bugs. /s

There is no such thing. The ledger number does not come with any other warranty than amount of PC time used to compute it. It does not guarantee value, it does bot guarantee your transaction has fully proceeded, only that a specific amount of other number has been transferred.

I’m confused by your pushback. Can you walk me through it?

Multiple blockchains including Bitcoin and Ethereum had to be forked to avoid perpetuating the state caused by exploited bugs or for other reasons. This implies that the state before the fork is untrustworthy, doesn't it?

So here’s my position on that:

For the longest time I thought “when they crack the encryption, BTC will instantly turn to value-less dust” and so therefore thought it was limited to being of short-term use BUT the technology does not matter in a sense. Because the chain of ownership is clear and transparent, BTC (and other blockchains) could switch technology in an instant and still maintain the record of value.

Through this lens, I’m not at all concerned about bugs or forks because we’ve reached a point where the majority of the network is focused on the absolute correctness of the ledger. Everything else might as well be a mosquito on the highway.

Yes, technology has, does and will fix societal, political and economic problems and make new ones. Crypto has a lot of revolutionary improvements for everyone (transparency, immutability, security, anonymity, digital ownership, different types of possible property and cooperation).

So what good does it do to the farmer? Maybe he doesn't have to pay that much tax to the feudal lords, maybe he doesn't have to sell his plot to Bill and instead makes a DAO with his farmer friends to keep his land ... Maybe he can even vote for a party that would promote the use of crypto and run govermental transactions over a public ledger to reduce corruption, maybe one where a more direct digital democracy would be implemented with a multitude of different consensus types and protocols ...

Of course not. They've been creating new societal, political and economic problems instead. It's a problem that more energy is wasted on fantasy gold than some decently sized countries. It's certainly messed with GPU sales and creates more e-waste as parts are pushed to the limit 24/7 and need to be replaced more often than they were originally designed. And now companies like GitHub have to deal with scammers trying to abuse free services to mine crypto and consumers have to watch out that the free app they downloaded won't mine crypto in the background using their power and hardware to do it.

Good points as to why we should move away from proof of work blockchains.

In 99% of cases, people who pretend they are solving the "global money problem", in fact, are solving their personal money problem.

Some problems I am excited about cryptocurrency fixing:

- Sending money across borders.

- Decentralized exchanges that actually charge fair fees, unlike the centralized exchanges of today.

- Allowing more people to purchase goods online that previously had to no way to.

- Providing stable rates of return for your crypto based savings account (e.g. via staking).

- Lowering interest rates on loans by cutting out the middlemen.

We can provide banking service to 8 billion people on this planet. It is obvious that we can't do that with traditional banking we have. It is just not scaling. Price of cryptos are speculative but the underlying technology a.k.a blockchain which gives users ownership over certain digital assets is here to stay.

Plus, no reason that the major cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Eth) won't become stable over time as things become more mature.

Secondly, many of these articles seem not to mention that the major crytpocurrencies are a way out of government money printing. That's a huge plus for some of us. We now have a proper deflationary currency that is not affected by interest backed debt (which is a major sin in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, that's over 50% of the world's population), and that the government is not able to devalue by printing more money at a whim.

Why would traditional banking not scale to 8b people?

Because, generating public/private key pairs for 8 billion people will/is taking a lot less time then average time that is taken for onboarding/kyc procedure of each bank that exists in each nation state.

Is "it takes more time" a fundamental reason why we could not scale traditional banking to 8b people? I am not convinced.

I don't care.

Let’s just pretend that a democratic people decides to mandate that all governmental spending must be on a viewable blockchain, including the purchases of politicians.

To me, it feels like that might solve corruption almost overnight.

The source of main problems (including rearmament, hunger and wars) are systemic problems in Marxian sense. That is, while humanity as a species have the technical and material conditions of solving most of the problems (hunger, most of diseases) and this is called "productive forces" (i.e. the social production in the global scale) in Marxian terminology, the "production relations" (i.e. the private ownership of the means of the production) impeding these productive forces. So, we have the anarchy in the global market. We have tensions between big groups and states. The capitalism, especially in its maturity phase called imperialism (articulated scientifically and clarity by Lenin), is not efficient enough anymore. Don't talk about USSR and China or Cuba, since in reality they were and are all state capitalism. Go back and read Marx, Engles and Lenin, not cheap talk by academic so-called Marxists or radical chic gauche buddies.

Cryptos make rich richer.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact