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Mozilla Foundation pausing cryptocurrency donations (twitter.com/mozilla)
459 points by cpeterso 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 679 comments





Between this and Tesla citing climate change as a reason for dropping crypto, this is actually a very interesting shift, and one that might be very bad for crypto.

The amount of money people actually donated or spent with crypto has always been minimal. (Wish I had harder numbers to back this up, but you can see second-order effects from e.g. Steam adding Bitcoin support but then taking it away. Or how Bitpay has stagnated heavily, while a purely investment/speculation platform like Coinbase is worth billions.) However, for a long time, the benefit of accepting Bitcoin as payment was the marketing. Accepting crypto signaled that you were a cool company, you could put out a press release and the news media would run articles about how X service is now accepting cryptocurrency for payments.

The same thing happened again years later with "blockchain." Remember Kodakcoin? Remember Long Island Blockchain? Nothing ever really surfaced from these initiatives, but again, it was all about that big marketing hype that came from saying your company was going to use blockchain for... something.

Where it gets interesting is... what if crypto becomes anathema? What if accepting crypto or holding crypto starts become so closely associated with directly causing climate change, that no company is going to want to be openly associated with crypto, NFTs, etc due to the negative association?

You have one side hyping up Web3 as the next evolution as the web, but if the perception of crypto continues to be that it's a significant contributor to climate change -- regardless of how true that may be -- we could see a major decline in mainstream support.


I wonder how those who work from a third world country like Argentina with a hard fiat currency control from our government will achieve to get paid without being robbed by it.

I'll explain: today our government forbids us from buying foreign currency such as the US dollar (200 tops for a really REALLY small portion of the population) so a black market has been at place since the prohibition started many years ago. In this market each dollar corresponds to 200 pesos while the government states each one costs around 100 pesos.

So, if you work for a company outside, and the pay you 1000 usd, you get 100,000 pesos when you could get 200,000 in reality. Not only that, you also are forbid from buying dollars, so if you want to get them to avoid our rampant inflation (50% average, around 100% for groceries) you only have the black market which is around 200 pesos.

I know about the damages to the cliamte of crypto mining but consider also that there are some beneficial uses of these currencies for people like me who don't live in the first world.


People have always used dollars on countries that prohibit it. On Brazil we used to have even official black market prices, that were announced nationwide on TV every day.

Anyway, yes, non-discriminating electronic money movement is a great product that improves the lives of many people. Blockchains are a very bad implementation of that concept and remove a lot of its potential value. If we are able to get some other one working, it's for the better.


Blockchains are just starting. There are major innovations under development right now that will massively reduce the energy consumption, and increase the scalability, of blockchains, like zk-Rollups.

Even if what you are saying is true, that will not solve anything for Bitcoin, which is the majority consumer of electricity for the crypto world

Bitcoin is like the steam engine. It will go away for things which are more efficient.

It wont go away, it will become a protocol only incharge of high value security. All the daily micro transactions will take place in a second layer or in another crypto which can swap back and forth seamlessly.

I wish so.

This is basically a verbatim quote from 2016/2017 when Microsoft, IBM and other tech giants were starting blockchain research divisions, all of which were dissolved by last year lol

13 years is not just starting.

Common, just another 5 years of pump and dumps before Cardano is no longer vaporware and we can all justify its peak market cap being the same as BP at ~95 billion US dollars.

Top coins apart from Bitcoin and Tether are ETH, BNB and Solana and of those only ETH is proof of work and is trying to stop that soon.

The first microprocessors started in the 70s. The internet started in the 80s.

There were barriers to contributing to those efforts which simply don’t exist with this Web3 thing, so this vague implication falls flat if thought about. Orders of magnitude more individuals have the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the advancement of the cryptocurrency space when compared to the early internet, without much (or any) need to wait for hardware innovations or military funding.

What is a good reason that cryptocurrencies have seen practically zero real-world adoption in the same approximate timespan that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al managed to integrate deeply into our societies? And of course by adoption I don’t mean HODLing, I mean cryptocurrencies being used as the currencies they are claimed to be.


World wide web which, like cryptocurrencies, runs on the internet in its first 13 years had on it Amazon, Google, Facebook... 13 years seems plenty.

Did it, though ? Isn't WWW from 1989 and Facebook from 2004 or so ?

It was released to public in 1991.

Crypto won’t fix political and economic problems but only worsen them.

The debt that was imposed on you is inhumane and you shouldn’t have to pay it. The resulting attempts to solve it by selling public infrastructure only makes it worse.

Throwing crypto into the mix is pure insanity. It’s just gambling at a crippling ecological cost.


> Crypto won’t fix political and economic problems but only worsen them.

Let me guess... have you mostly experienced life in developed countries with relatively stable financial system, non-fluctuating consumer goods prices? There are a ton of people living under extremely corrupt and dysfunctional financial systems, whose #1 concern in life is to make sure their purchasing power does not disappear the next day. For them, land, gold, and bitcoin solve a problem. Americans with simplistic "I <3 Bernanke" opinions sure assume that will "worsen" stuff; true or not, it is irrelevant to the individual in such countries who will keep on trying hard to accumulate every non-cash asset they can get their hands on.


> There are a ton of people living under extremely corrupt and dysfunctional financial systems

Those aren't the people using crypto, though. And to the extent that people are using crypto as alternative to their local currency, they're almost all using it for some form of laundering (e.g. wealth extraction from the PRC).

Objectively, crypto has been far more volatile than fiat currencies as a whole, not less. BTC is literally down 16% over the last three weeks! If you want stability just buy a bunch of diverse money market or national bond securities; that strategy survived the great depression and WW2, it can surely handle a pandemic recovery.


>>Those aren't the people using crypto, though.

How do you know?

>>And to the extent that people are using crypto as alternative to their local currency, they're almost all using it for some form of laundering (e.g. wealth extraction from the PRC).

Laundering in a country like the PRC with extreme capital controls is not necessarily a moral evil. It could very well just be an attempt to guard wealth from a repressive government that is known to confiscate the wealth of those who fall out of favor with the political elite.

By arguing against crypto, you are arguing for the PRC having more control over the people of China. But I guess that's par for the course for the anti-crypto crowd.

>>Objectively, crypto has been far more volatile than fiat currencies as a whole, not less.

Stablecoins are not volatile, and their usage is skyrocketing:

https://techstory.in/inflation-jumps-to-36-in-turkey-liras-v...


Guarding wealth is a moral evil, as inherited wealth is a major cause of inequality.

If you go that way, money hence property are moral evils.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/we-should-improve-society-som...


Wealth is why we enjoy the quality of life that we do.

The spread of private property and contracting rights, and the consequent rise in wealth, is credited for the largest reduction in poverty in human history:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-pol...

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/2016/0207/Progress-in-the-gl...

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2013/06/01/towards-the-end...

Extreme poverty is a much greater evil than inequality.


That's a common idea in capitalist theory, but it's not necessarily true. The opposite of hoarding wealth is not poverty. If you don't hoard wealth, it doesn't disappear, it just becomes available to more people.

In most situations, money is a zero-sum game. Any wealth you make is by taking it from others. That's not fair or desirable.


>In most situations, money is a zero-sum game. Any wealth you make is by taking it from others. That's not fair or desirable.

For a fixed money supply, money is zero-sum. Wealth is not. If more stuff is made, and you're envisioning a system where that money commands all the goods, then same money commands more goods. That is desirable. But regardless of money system, if you make more goods and services then there are more goods and services.


Are you serious?

In a fair world, the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work.

Inheritance acts against this principle.


In your fair world there would be no more than one generation's worth of success in science and innovation. Success of the next generation depends on our own.

What I think you mean is a fair world socializes the success by removing the ability for consensual trade/gifting of resources from a person of one generation to another. But that is also unfair because it uses coercion on individual success.

If you remove the ability to pass on success, I would just quit my job and abandon my children. Why try if they gain nothing.


> In your fair world there would be no more than one generation's worth of success in science and innovation. Success of the next generation depends on our own.

Scientific knowledge usually goes into the public domain through patents and other information-sharing techniques. We didn't lose Newton's, Einstein's, and all our other scientific forebears' knowledge because they died. Come on.

> But [socializing successes] is also unfair because it uses coercion on individual success.

Coercion isn't always necessarily unfair. It depends on context and on what your society's values are. If one of your children takes all the candy away from their siblings, and you redistribute the candy to your other children, that's a type of coercion to enforce fairness.

If you believe that a fair and just world is one where, by the sheer luck of being born to wealthy parents, you get advantages that others don't; and that you get to build on that wealth by keeping everything you accumulate based on that and get to pass it to your children, where the cycle repeats endlessly -- well, then, you have differing values than the rest of us. But that doesn't mean that alternatives are "unfair."

> If you remove the ability to pass on success, I would just quit my job and abandon my children. Why try if they gain nothing.

Or, you could not be a dick and instead spend it while you're living on your children's education, or give your excess earnings to charity.


>Scientific knowledge usually goes into the public domain through patents and other information-sharing techniques. We didn't lose Newton's, Einstein's, and all our other scientific forebears' knowledge because they died. Come on.

But if I use it it is unfair. You said to be fair, I quote, "the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work." That means I can't use Newton's work because that is not my own action or work. If I use it my sucess depends on his action and work too.

> If one of your children takes all the candy away from their siblings, and you redistribute the candy to your other children, that's a type of coercion to enforce fairness.

I don't follow how that is fair. One child just robbed another child, that seems the essence of unfairness. This is even more apparent when I say "one farmer worked hard and bred 9 cows while the lazy farmer barely fed his one. I took 4 cows from the hard working farmer and gave them to the lazy one so both had 5."

> instead spend it while you're living on your children's education

But that would be unfair as the child would benefit unfairly from my success rather than solely his/her own.


> But if I use [scientific knowledge] it is unfair.

No it isn't; everyone gets to use it by nature of it being public knowledge.

> You said to be fair, I quote, "the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work."

I said no such thing.

> I don't follow how [redistributing candy among siblings] is fair. One child just robbed another child, that seems the essence of unfairness.

Usually, when a child gets all of everything compared to their siblings, it's because the first child got it unfairly in the first place. Redistribution in this case is correcting for the original unfairness. Note the fact pattern I stated: one child "took the candy away."

> This is even more apparent when I say "one farmer worked hard and bred 9 cows while the lazy farmer barely fed his one. I took 4 cows from the hard working farmer and gave them to the lazy one so both had 5."

So what you're telling us is that you don't actually have children and this whole thread is just some libertarian claptrap. Okay then.


I have one kid, it was an honest mistake that I pluralized them as it's one of my linguistic tics. I'm sorry but I don't see why the number of children I have is relevant.

Your rebuttal is outrage at the number of children I have?

>No it isn't; everyone gets to use it by nature of it being public knowledge.

The definition of fair presented on the thread we are on specifically said, "In a fair world, the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work." If you want to change that definition then why are you arguing with me? My whole point was the absurdity. Newton's work was performed by Newton, not you or I or any other living person.

>Usually, when a child gets all of everything compared to their siblings, it's because the first child got it unfairly in the first place

That's far from a given. I was an only child but had best friends with a lot of people with siblings who commonly had scenarios with winner-take-all for certain goods because of chores they did, gambling, won a game, whatever. But it's true, unfairness does exist in the world. I never said unfairness doesn't exist at all.

>one child "took the candy away."

Yes it is unfair to take away things that one obtained consensually, like to take away someone's inheritance.

>I said no such thing.

Sorry I was quoting the original quote we both responded to above, I didn't realize you were actually disagreeing with it. If that was not your belief then you aren't really even rebutting against me because my rebuttal was against this statement I replied to and then you replied to me.

  [reproduced here ]
  In a fair world, the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work. Inheritance acts against this principle.
>No it isn't; everyone gets to use it by nature of it being public knowledge.

BUT THE PERSON I REPLIED TO SAID, "In a fair world, the success of any individual would only depend on their own actions and work". What do you not get about that? You're AGREEING WITH ME that by the OP definition using scientific knowledge is "unfair."


> Yes it is unfair to take away things that one obtained consensually, like to take away someone's inheritance.

If it's never obtained by the heir in the first place because it's taxed before the property comes into the heir's possession, is that still unfair?

Does that same logic also apply to income taxes that must be paid post-earnings? How about sales taxes? And if taxes are unfair, how do we ensure all the public things we want as a society get funded, if we assume everyone is equally selfish, while avoiding the free-rider problem?

The more you pull on this thread, the more you begin to realize that we can't live in a functioning society without us all sacrificing.


>If it's never obtained by the heir in the first place because it's taxed before the property comes into the heir's possession, is that still unfair?

Yes, that's back to one kid stealing from the other kid. Only the kid stealing is the government.

>Does that same logic also apply to income taxes that must be paid post-earnings? How about sales taxes?

Yes

>And if taxes are unfair, how do we ensure all the public things we want as a society get funded, if we assume everyone is equally as selfish as you?

If you want something, you trade for it, obtain it through consensual pact (like insurance or farm co-op), beg, do it yourself, or seek charity. Something that involves not stealing. You don't steal from others.

>The more you pull on this thread, the more you begin to realize that we can't live in a functioning society without us all sacrificing.

Exactly, you sacrifice by performing labor and engaging in trade and you get what you want. It's unfair to say I want a pony or a free CT scan and I'm going to rob that rich guy to get it. Do you go robbing guys in suits to feed starving African children?


> If you want something, you trade for it, obtain it through consensual pact (like insurance or farm co-op), beg, do it yourself, or seek charity. Something that involves not stealing. You don't steal from others.

I think most of us would prefer not to have to go back to pre-Roman times. We get a lot more done when we as a society (if not necessarily individually) agree to what outcomes we want and what the rules are, and are forced by law to contribute to make it happen.

> You sacrifice by performing labor and engaging in trade and you get what you want. It's unfair to say I want a pony or a free CT scan and I'm going to rob that rich guy to get it. Do you go robbing guys in suits to feed starving African children?

Gee, you caught me!

Seriously, there's a huge difference between an individual robbing someone of something that's rightfully theirs by law, and the law (to which we, through representatives acting on our behalf, have agreed) saying everyone has to contribute their fair share to a common cause we think is just.


>to which we, through representatives acting on our behalf, have agreed

I've never voted for a representative who was in agreement with taxation, and I've never agreed to be taxed. If you want to elect to do that voluntarily I have no problem with you doing that. I never even agreed that US government is legitimate. So nah, I don't agree.

>We get a lot more done when we as a society (if not necessarily individually) agree to what outcomes we want and what the rules are, and are forced by law to contribute to make it happen.

I don't take this to be fact. Government monopolies tend to be inefficient and free-rider problem can be rampant.

> has to contribute their fair share to a common cause we think is just.

If something is just and you want to pay for it there's nothing stopping you. Not a big fan of men with guns saying I have to pay to bomb brown in the middle east or fund nun-raping insurgents in Central America. I have looked into waiving my social security rights for instance, but that requires you to file a form 4029 and be part of a religious organization that has been around since about 1960. As an atheist I'm unable to file these forms to waive my rights. I would happily do so if the law is updated.

>Seriously, there's a huge difference between an individual robbing someone of something that's rightfully theirs by law

So which is better, taxing someone to bomb brown people in the middle east, or robbing a guy in a suit and feeding starving children in Africa? To me they're both bad but the robber sounds slighlty better if not because less people are killed with the ill-gotten gains. So yeah there is a difference, I think the child-feeding robber is better than the tax-man.


> I never even agreed that US government is legitimate.

Please, use this line if you ever end up defending yourself in court! I will bring the popcorn.

Sorry, but you don't get to opt out of democracy because you don't like the tenet that binds everyone to the laws made by our representatives. If you want to change the system, vote for someone who is aligned with your selfish views; but don't expect most civilized, equity-minded people to agree with you. Or if you really don't like it, there are probably other countries that would welcome you.

(To be clear, I also don't agree with many of our Government's policies and actions. There's probably not a single person in our country who agrees with everything our Government does, but disagreement combined with tolerance of imperfection is the price we pay for a system that's proved to be better than all the alternatives we've tried so far. But there's a big difference between trying to influence what we do within our Constitution, and complaining that modern society interferes with my rights to live at maximum individual efficiency -- everyone else be damned -- and that we should all just look out for ourselves.)


>Please, use this line if you ever end up defending yourself in court! I will bring the popcorn.

At least now we understand you take joy in suffering of others.

>don't expect most civilized, equity-minded people to agree with you

You say that what they vote for represents them. If what represents them is bombing little Afghani kids or staging coup in central and south America (and by your statements, it does), I have no desire to be in agreement with such savages.

>Sorry, but you don't get to opt out of democracy because you don't like the tenet that binds everyone to the laws made by our representatives.

So your response is basically, fuck you do what I say and follow my political system, leave, or get gunned down by government agents if you resist inevitably being ordered to court. You sound like the selfish, others be damned one not I. Wow, how "fair" that sounds on a thread that was originally concerning fairness.

>and that we should all just look out for ourselves

This is a presumptuous and arrogant statement that ignores the charitable and personal contributions I've (and others) made to others without taxation. You think I haven't looked out for others with contributions performed outside of government? Not everyone is so selfish as you may be that they wouldn't help others if not forced at gunpoint.

>there are probably other countries that would welcome you.

Except I would still have to file US taxes and report bank accounts unless I renounce US citizenship, but that cost thousands and has to be done abroad. Even if you leave the US, you can't escape the coercion of US government nor US taxes (either at least filing, or paying the ~$2000 "exit tax" of renouncing). FATCA mean merely having US place of birth many worldwide banks are afraid to take me, US citizen or not.


> So your response is basically ... follow my political system, leave, or get gunned down by government agents if you resist inevitably being ordered to court.

Well, if you don't do these things, you are a criminal. That's pretty much the textbook definition.

> Wow, how "fair" that sounds on a thread that was originally concerning fairness.

You have a strange conception of fairness. Fairness doesn't mean you get to do what you want regardless of what the law says. Fairness is about having rules apply uniformly to everyone. Some, including me, also believe it means having a level playing field for competition (again, subject to boundaries to protect fairness), where new entrants aren't privileged because of who their parents were and all that entails. (This latter goal is nowhere near achieved yet, and I fully admit I'm a beneficiary of this privilege, as are all American citizens to some extent.)

> This is a presumptuous and arrogant statement that ignores the charitable and personal contributions I've (and others) made to others without taxation.

Good for you. I bet you have a Black friend, too.

> Except I would still have to file US taxes and report bank accounts unless I renounce US citizenship, but that cost thousands and has to be done abroad.

Time to get started! It sounds like it should be worth it to you.


> you don't get to opt out of democracy because you don't like the tenet that binds everyone to the laws made by our representatives. If you want to change the system, vote for someone who is aligned with your selfish views

(Not the GP, and don’t necessarily onboard with that perspective, but) this can’t be the only way forward, even if the majority of the time it should be. In fact, to keep it working you need to always consider the existence of the “opt-out lever” you outright reject here. The United States itself is founded on and asserts this principle. Of course you meet with resistance of the incumbent if you try to take that route, but that does not imply impossibility in the long arc of time.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

— Declaration of Independence of the United States


Our own government has already "opted out of the tenet that binds everyone to the laws made by our representatives."

Otterley quote below is very instructive:

>The consumption of alcohol was once forbidden by the Constitution; thank goodness that's no longer proscribed

Have you ever stopped to think about WHY no amendment was needed to ban intra-state produced drugs as done in the controlled substance act even though it was needed to ban intra-state alcohol by federal government? How it could possibly be interstate commerce for the government to control merely where you store non-commercial use goods in your own state a la gun-free school zone act?

The government has long since dropped the charade of following the constitution; they themselves have "opted out of democracy."

But if you follow this thread, most of it is him/her just trying to out me as an anarchist (something I've freely admitted anyway) as some sort of ad-hominem way of disproving my point of the absurdity of the definition provided of unfairness, under which scientific research would clearly be excluded from those acting fairly. It's the political version of suggesting I'm wrong because I'm gay.


We already have this right "to alter or abolish" the Government, though. The Constitution provides a means for us to make amendments by a 2/3rd majority of the states or Congress (see Article V). The consumption of alcohol was once forbidden by the Constitution; thank goodness that's no longer proscribed. Similarly, we can vote in new representatives if we think they're not acting in our best interests.

The problem here is that some short-sighted people believe, incorrectly, that they don't have to accept the bad parts of democracy along with the good parts; that they are exempt from society's responsibilities; and that anarchy is the solution to the problem that we collectively make decisions that they sometimes don't agree with. They don't make things better; they complain and whinge and don't move the needle in any meaningful positive sense. And they don't see the countless ways in which anarchy is worse than democracy. The human race has tried anarchy; it didn't work long ago, and there's no way it's going to sustain a planetary population of over 3 billion souls.

The Internet has made the problem worse: Whereas these people used to be universally derided as nut jobs who lived on the fringe and communicated via tracts dispatched through the mail, now they can participate in self-congratulatory circle jerks in "safe spaces" on the Internet with hardly anyone sane interrupting them with a dose of reality, history, or common sense. I fear it's going to get worse before it gets better.


meanwhile the people in Argentina after an interview with Vitalik https://twitter.com/OctaBidegain/status/1473508689101348868

And what happens when the internet goes out?

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/bitcoin-network-power...


Crypto can work quite ok-ish if the internet goes out. You can still post transactions (effectively issue IOUs with some level of assurance the funds existed in the wallet at moment you got disconnected, but no protection against double spend), but the confirmations will take a while. Visa is as bad or worse.

When you live in a, for lack of a better word, "shithole country", you don't plan too long into the future; you play it by ear and find a way to live the next day. One thing to note, though, is that once a technology entrenches the black/gray markets in a society, the rulers and their sons and daughters are almost certainly participants too, and that reduces the incentive/ability to shut things down completely.


Diversification. Why on earth would you bet all your eggs on crypto? Hold a little gold or fiat or just tradeable commodities but don't give up on crypto just because of power outages. You don't throw away your PC just because the power goes out sometimes.

The same thing that happens when the Visa network "goes out". That particular payment type is unavailable until the issue is resolved.

https://www.wired.com/story/visa-outage-shows-the-fragility-...


GiroCard can work around that, by transferring metadata for pre-authorized ampunts of money to the card and attaching cryptographically signed certificates proving the existence of funds to transactions.

But no one cares about useful traditional financial products, as you can't create a ponzi scheme fueled by money laundering with useful traditional products.


GiroCard sounds neat. Will have to look into it.

>But no one cares about useful traditional financial products, as you can't create a ponzi scheme fueled by money laundering with useful traditional products.

You can't create a ponzi scheme or perform money laundering with traditional financial products? Really? That's your claim?

I'm not here to defend crypto, but let's keep the discussion factual.


> You can't create a ponzi scheme or perform money laundering with traditional financial products? Really? That's your claim?

> I'm not here to defend crypto, but let's keep the discussion factual.

You can’t speculate on the currency itself, driving its value up and down as part of your own ponzi scheme.

Or rather, for major currencies you can’t. Maybe you can manipulate tiny currencies of tiny nations that way, but those usually end up using the EUR or USD anyway.


there were a couple implementations of stellar blockchain projects in nigeria that used sms as a base technology.

I have the impression this shittyness is inevitably coming towards the U.S., so Americans won't stay in ignorance for too long.

Actually, for some part of the population the "shittyness" could be there already, depending on its definition.

how do they get their money out of crypto? they have to convert it back to fiat in order to spend it. can't the government impose whatever rules they want at that step, like the US government does?

and how is crypto better than gold or equities for this purpose?


- how do they get their money out of crypto?

(they have to convert it back to fiat in order to spend it is an incorrect assumption, increasingly so even in the US)

They transfer it to someone else/currency exchange location (if not totally banned) and get cash when they need to purchase something, or directly barter with crypto. You don't always need to exchange it with fiat. In such environments, often crypto payment would be superior to cash. (BTW this is not unique to crypto. People could utilize USD/EUR in countries with crappy currencies.)

- can't the government impose whatever rules they want at that step, like the US government does?

I suppose no one does something illegal ever. /s

This is the thing that is hard to comprehend for people in countries where "following the law" is somehow considered absolutely moral and also a reasonable burden. There are jurisdictions that you cannot survive without breaking some law every second. Using VPN to circumvent internet censorship is also illegal in countries with such conduct but regular people do that anyway.

- how is crypto better than gold or equities for this purpose?

Gold and equities, and most importantly land used to partially serve those purposes, depending on the jurisdiction. Crypto is an alternative with pros and cons. The major pro is difficulty of confiscation and ease of transfer across borders if the country destabilizes and you want to immigrate. It helps with geopolitical diversification of assets.


Do you have anything to back up your point?

Prices and the financial market all boil down to communication systems. Inflation alone is extremely costly and keeps the poor poorer all around the world. I won't get into the carnage of how bankers live and their consequences to society.

Blockchain is costly to run, but I'd day it's way, WAY cheaper than what we have today.

There's the extreme example of Argentina and many others. Even the U.S. is starting to see the burden of this system.

And for how long do the Chinese people will work for pennies of a dollar to keep the American dream while the U.S. print fictitious money at will?

Talk about sustainability, but how sustainable this is? I don't think this system will evolve to something decent. Something new has got to rise and replace it.


OK so you have a economic problem where capital controls on dollars are untenable to you and you can't move them through the traditional banking system without some mandatory and seriously depreciating exchanges. Instead you switch to crypto and hold the USD funds for safe keeping until transferring back out the country. That may not fix structural issues but if it fixes things for you personally it sounds like some sort of win and better than nothing.

Why shouldn't they pay it? Who should?

In the end it is Argentinians who vote or not vote, protest or not protest. I was born in Italy after decades of extreme debt that we pay to this date to our creditors. It is the responsibility of the previous generations in the end and it falls on us.


It's not our responsibility, and it's not the responsibility of the previous generations. If it's anyone's responsibility, it's the responsibility of the government officials who looted the country, socked away their modest winnings in banks in Uruguay, and left us to pay the bill, and of the creditors who lent them the money, knowing that was what they were doing. This collective punishment bullshit is a "let's you and him fight" swindle.

The people who looted the country and kept the wealth for themselves.

Or rather the country should tell the creditors to get bent, and the private 'owners' of all the public infrastructure and resources that were stolen along with anyone surviving from the ford/carter administration (and anyone who inhereted it) should have all their assets seized and split up between the various countries they looted.

Your grandparents didn't vote for mussolini or almiranti and argentineans didn't vote for pinochet. The debt you 'owe' is likely being collected by the same groups of people as well as some in the UK and the rest of Europe.

If someone colludes with your corrupt government to steal something from you then rent it back to you, don't say 'oh well it's my fault, better pay up'. Take it back and lock them in a cell.

If I beat your parents to death, take your house, then claim you owe me for cleanup and have to be my indentured servant to pay the interest my government should give it back to you along with anything I own to pay for therapy and lock me in a cell. Countries should be no different, and we shouldn't let the murderers off scott free because they signed a piece of paper saying they were collectively 'Shell' or 'The US Government'


This line of thinking goes, it's like feeding crack to an addict to keep them enslaved. A huge portion of the historical debt was acquired during the dictatorship that killed 30k people, directly installed by the western intelligence services.

Crippling ecological cost? Think of the crippling cost of printing actual money from cut trees. Pressing daily newspapers can be considered insanity.

Cryto is fixing economic structural problems for the parent poster.


A lot of "paper" money is made from either cotton (eg USD) or plastic (eg GBP and Euro). Trees aren't cut down to make money.

Sounds like you should get more informed about the environmental impact of cotton and plastic?

Cotton: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/18/the-d...

Plastic: do you really need a link for this one?


At any rate, the ecological problems caused by making banknotes are obviously minuscule compared to those caused by fashion, crypto mining, and many other industries.

Why are they obviously minuscule compared to crypto mining? I'm unpersuaded that the ecological problems caused by crypto mining net above zero, but in any case they are obviously minuscule.

That's true, still, we can find a more sustainable way of making banknotes I'm sure.

Edit: actually I'm not sure if that's true, are there reliable sources that we could rely on?

Obviously I stand by the rest of my statement (even if X is better than Y, that doesn't mean that we should oppose proposals to improve X)


I think the environmental impact calculations are way more complicated then this. Paper money can be used for many more transactions then crypto so even if the environmental impact of every minted dollar is greater then that of bitcoin (which I’m not sure it is) then the dollar might still be more environmental by the nature if it being reusable for more transactions.

True and my personal preference is for paper money made of actual paper. I prefer that over crypto too.

Sounds like you should get more informed about the environmental impact of cotton and plastic?

I posted to point out that money isn't made out of paper. That's not really the same as condoning the impact of the cotton and oil industries.


> I posted to point out that money isn't made out of paper.

100% rag content paper is still paper.


This gets into an interesting debate/discussion that I've had in the past.

Where do you draw the line between paper and fabric? Is there a meaningful line to draw? Is cotton rag paper? Is spun rayon paper? Rice paper? How about yarn made out of spun recycled paper ( https://spinoffmagazine.com/how-to-paper-chase-spinning-pape... ) or paper made out of non-wood based sources ( https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/69880 )? How about paper made out of calcium carbonate ( https://www.stone-paper.com/en/why-stone-paper/ )?


OK, I see what you mean now, sorry I misinterpreted your comment.

And what about the environmental impact of all those GPUs full of precious metals and rare earth elements getting dumped in landfills thanks to cryptocurrencies?

oh I'm not a crypto proponent to be honest with you, GPUs should be in gaming PCs where they rightfully belong.

What I'm saying is: why replacing a bad solution with a slightly less bad solution when you could instead adopt a good solution[1]? Reminds me of those power plants being converted from coal to natural gas "because gas is clean".

[1] e.g. an electronic currency not based on proof of work or, you know, just print on paper, a renewable resource that is not as resource intensive as cotton and certainly better than petroleum based plastics. Hell, I'll even bring compostable bioplastics in the mix of possible solutions. These are all better than cotton and plastic.

Edit: made the comment slightly less snarky in tone. Forgive me it's been a long morning.


If you're forbidden to do that, what happens when your government forbids you to use crypto for the reasons you just stated?

China already did, what's to stop yours?


Cryptos are being used as a way of payment and then via a series of conversions and exchanges (to the point that it is ridiculous what we have to do to avoid being robbed by our government) we get our national currency for our daily groceries, bitcoin acceptance is still extremely rare here afaik.

And it's mainly freelancers, IT workers, designers, etc. But the number of people who work this way is increasing every year since we are running out of options as well (no jobs besides delivery apps, working for the state doing basically nothing, etc.).

Kinda related: IT companies from our country are already complaining that there is an "unfair" competition because we get paid, for example 2000 USD, which is a very low sum for IT workers abroad but is a huge number for us while these companies can't even compete with that number for the same employee.

So I believe sooner or later the government will take advantage of their complains to try, somehow, to control the money inflow from people who work for companies abroad.


Is that 2000 USD a month?

Do you know how much a talented computer programmer gets paid in Argentina (or is that what you mean by IT)?

I'm thinking that Argentina seems like a good place to go to start a startup. What do you think? What problems would I run into aside from language?


> Is that 2000 USD a month?

Most probably, the average salary here is about 5000-6000USD/year if you're lucky and have a legally registered job(about 5-10% of the population). Most people have informal jobs and make less than that.

> Do you know how much a talented computer programmer gets paid in Argentina (or is that what you mean by IT)?

I have a friend working for MercadoLibre at a senior engineer position and last time we talked he was making almost 1000USD/month. I work remotely for a foreign company and make 4000USD/month having half of his experience.

> I'm thinking that Argentina seems like a good place to go to start a startup. What do you think? What problems would I run into aside from language?

As much as I'd love for this country to move forward, companies are leaving more than coming to the country, it's a TERRIBLE place for startups due to:

1. Aggressive taxing that gets worse and worse every year that passes

2. Terribly slow times for legal processes, like getting your paperwork done to start your company

3. We have a track record of the state wanting to confiscate bank funds

4. Depending on the trade you choose, you might face heavy opposition from the current monopolies, like it already happened with taxi unions against Uber, or MercadoLibre putting pressure to prevent Ebay from coming to the country.

Maybe if you come from a wealthy country it may not seem like too much of an issue as it might look cheap, but I personally tried to have small business multiple times and time and time again some new government measure or tax or government change made it unsustainable.


This is exactly what would happen if Argentinians started using cryptocurrency in large numbers, and the government found out about it.

A government that wants tight control over currency exchange will treat crypto the same way it treats other foreign currency: limit exchange, or ban it, etc.


Governments haven't been able to stop the flow of tangible drugs and you think they can successfully ban crypto?

Last time I checked, blocking ports, domains, IP ranges, et al was trivial in China.

A ban doesn't mean that something stops, a ban means that it becomes extremely difficult, a punishable crime, and the risk-to-reward ratio becomes significantly diminished.

Likewise, the inverse is also true. CB radio was illegal in the UK, but it was hugely popular, then, overnight, upon it being made legal, it died. Most people lost interest because it was no longer exciting. You see the same thing with legalizing cannabis. Sure, you'll get hardcore consumers and enthusiasts, and people using it for medical reasons, but it's no longer cool/edgy/interesting, and when it is so accessible.

Could really go either way, but when it comes to money, people don't tend to fuck around.


If you think crypto is gone from China, I tihnk you may be mistaken.

Argentina isn't the US or UK. There was a video an Argentinian pointed out to me of a vendor selling black-market goods right in front of the tax office. No one gives a fuck. Violating Argentina's insane tax code is sport for their populace. Once you become big enough corruption and ol boy network with the tax authorities will negotiate what percent of your income you lie about, usually you keep like 70% off the books by the account of one accountant from a large construction company I interacted with.


I never said it was gone. Did you read the comment properly?

"A ban doesn't mean that something stops, a ban means that it becomes extremely difficult, a punishable crime, and the risk-to-reward ratio becomes significantly diminished."

I think I was crystal clear.


Ok glad you agree it can't be stopped.

It definitely is not extremely difficult. Even tangible stuff like pot that doesn't have nearly the value density (you can fit billions of USD crypto on a wallet stored on memory smaller than 1/8th bag of pot) was extraordinarily easy to obtain for me as a kid in a place where it was illegal both by state and federal government's law. And there's no drug dog to sniff it out.

A chinese citizen could laughably easily obtain crypto.


Packet sniffing is absolutely a thing that cryptocurrency is susceptible to, and can be automated. https://exploitbyte.com/sniffing-cryptocurrency-traffic/

I'm no security expert but I'm nearly certain that is defeated by using a VPN or tor or some other way of obfuscating your traffic.

Sure, but this all starts to become far too complex for the average citizen. The average citizen that just about managed to wrap their brain around crypto in a semi-OK UX is going to get caught out.

I know ex-military folks that can survive in the wilderness just fine, but your average person wouldn't, and this is about the 99%, not the 1%.

What next? The phones available in the country have a specific ROM that doesn't offer VPNs? Already happening. Not even accounting for leaks in VPNs, and whether someone can trust a VPN provider. We already know that the major providers sell netflow data.


The average citizen doesn't know wilderness survival because they don't need it to survive and thrive. Throw a dumb 18 year old into the army and they will probably learn it just fine.

Learning to read takes way more time and energy than learning to use crypto behind a VPN, but we do it in part because it makes us successful. Basically every child learns this complex task. It actually turns out that just spending time to practice a procedural task is a perfect substitute for intelligence, for many many tasks. I think obfuscating traffic is one of those where maybe some people will take a lot longer than others but almost everyone could learn. If VPN or tor becomes a critical component to someones livelihood they will learn to do it or someone will profit from dumbing it down enough that they're able to.


Yeah, crypto is still China's best way of exporting coal through the atmosphere.

This comment packs a surprising number of misunderstandings into a single short sentence.

China outlawed crypto mining early last year, resulting in a two-thirds drop in the hashrate within a month. Even then, the order of magnitude was wrong for it to be "the best way of exporting coal," which by the way China is a large net importer of; https://ccaf.io/cbeci/index estimates the whole Bitcoin network at 14 GW, but China's electrical production averages 850 GW, and overall energy consumption is some 4500 GW, 2500 of which is still coal.

So, at best, China could only have been exporting about 1% of its coal consumption in the form of Bitcoin (though in fact much of its Bitcoin mining was renewables-powered), and now it has mostly stopped doing even that.


Much of the drop in the hashrate was picked up by Kazakhstan, which has an all-coal power grid.

No, according to https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57811959, only about 7% of the hashrate moved to Kazakhstan (probably about 1 GW), which (according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Kazakhstan#Electrici...) only has about 10 GW of total electrical generation (out of 20 GW capacity). Coal just isn't competitive for bitcoin mining unless you can get someone else to pay for it, even when the plant is already built, so Bitcoin miners are in no position to fund the expansion of Kazakhstan's coal-burning generation network.

The hashrate fell 53%, hitting bottom in July, didn't finish recovering until December, and still isn't consistently above its pre-prohibition peak, so "much of the drop in the hashrate" wasn't picked up by anybody.


Tangible drugs have inherent value: once you have the physical object, you can get high in the privacy of your own home with no further interaction with anyone.

Cryptocurrency, fiat currencies, and arguably even metal coins derive their value from the existence of a market which will take them. Bring a bitcoin (as in a wallet private key, not the concept) to 1990 and nobody will pay you for it. Therefore, a government doesn't need to ban you owning cryptocurrency - it just needs to crack down on the businesses you would spend it at accepting your cryptocurrency. And it doesn't really even need to ban that, it just needs to crack down on their suppliers, and so forth.

Your local pizza place that takes Bitcoin only accepts it because that money is in turn spendable by them to buy flour and oil and cheese - either directly, or by giving it to someone who will give them local currency with which they can buy flour and oil and cheese. If the government presses hard enough on those links, your local pizza place will stop taking Bitcoin, and then they won't have to ban you from owning Bitcoin at all, you won't be able to do anything with it.


Why oil in the pizza? That doesn't make sense to me (as someone who makes pizza regularly)

Not starting a holy war (and endless discussions about the nature of pizza and whether the Truth is in Rome, Naples, or New York), but it is quite common to put some oil in the dough. It makes it easier to work with, more homogeneous, lighter (but thicker), and it cooks a bit different.

While "banning crypto" is a challenging task, making cryptocurrency useless in your jurisdiction is extremely easy.

prohibit any business to accept crypto as payment, ban crypto exchanges from operating in your country, ban banks of your country to accept transaction that they suspect coming from cryptocurrency exchanges

You can still have your crypto wallet, but what use is it if you can't exchange it in your local currency? You can always meet someone in an ally or travel outside the country and bring cash back in but these are solutions that don't scale.


They do scale and you merely have to witness the insane amount of black-market trade between relatively low tax Paraguay and Brazil/Argentina to see that. The border between Argentina and Paraguay doesn't even have passport controls most the time, let alone customs.

Also just because crypto can't be spent by most local vendors doesn't mean it's not valuable. Stocks can't be spent either but if you had a traditional bearer certificate like in the old days (paper stock with no owner except by merely holding the paper) it was just fine for trade and people did just that in the Weimar Republic when they had hyperinflation.

Worst case you can just spend the crypto in foreign location, import the goods and sell them locally.


Aren't Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in the same trade union? I don't know the details of Mercosur but in the EU you can buy whatever you want in any other EU country and take it back home without the need for customs. Where is the black market part of that trade?

As for your trade example I would like to see the details of that. There are not a lot of vendors that accept crypto and those who do, use 3rd parties which then usually require some amount of KYC (even if it's is minimal). Combine that with how many vendors are actually able/willing to ship to the country in question and you are left with a very small set of online stores. Add shipping costs and custom fees that will eat in your margin. So yes in theory you can setup an import/export company empire in order to exchange your crypto into local currency but that is pretty much the definition of "not scaling".

My point is: if a country wants to make cryptocurrency useless they can totally do it.


I'm not aware of all the customs details in Mercosur but if it is like EU then I would just spend all crypto in Paraguay and then bring gold or whatever back through without customs on other side. Lots of commodities that are high density you can carry on your person and fit a decade of Argentina wages on your person in a single <$100 bus ride.

If you need to cross a border to fetch your hard currency (or equivalent amount of goods) then what is the value add of using crypto compared to, say, opening a bank account in Montevideo and making a bank transfer?

They have dollar-bill-sniffing dogs on the ferryboat to Montevideo, so being able to cross any border rather than one specific border is a pretty big win. But actually, lots of Venezuelan refugees right here in Argentina buy Bitcoin to send to their families back in Venezuela, or the families of other Venezuelan refugees who pay them, and all the black-market currency changers are trying to get into Bitcoin now. A lot of them are still confused about the difference between Bitcoin, Tether, and Binance, though.

I'm still kind of baffled here why Montevideo was brought up (not by you but above) on a thread regarding Paraguay. Montevideo is in Uruguay. The border between Paraguay and Argentina was used specifically because it is so porous and doesn't work well for sniffing dogs. Getting to Uruguay on the other hand would require a ferry or boat, or a swim. If I'm not mistaken.

You can get to Uruguay by bridges, too, but it takes a lot longer if you're coming from Buenos Aires or going to Montevideo, and you can't get there from Paraguay without crossing into Argentina or Brazil first. Montevideo was presumably brought up because Argentines bank in Uruguay, not Paraguay. Nobody banks in Paraguay.

I have availed my self of using a Paraguay bank. Seemed fine to me. I do not have a account there. They exchanged my USD for any peso I like just fine.

Is there a reason why no one banks in Paraguay? There is a dude standing by the bank with a shotgun waiting to blow the head off of any robber, I felt very safe there and their service was quite professional and honest. More so than the street exchangers. I wouldn't have hesitated to open an account there if I needed to.


The dude standing by the bank with a shotgun isn't going to accompany you even to your AirBnB, much less until you leave the country. He needs to be there to keep people from robbing the bank, but it's not his problem if someone follows you home from the bank and robs you there.

There may be other reasons. Here in Argentina 21 years ago the government confiscated all dollar-denominated bank deposits and replaced them 1-to-1 with pesos, which you weren't allowed to withdraw more than a few at a time, so you had to watch helplessly as your money lost 75% of its value overnight. If I had to guess which South American countries something like that would happen in next, I'd pick Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina again, in that order. But that's not because I have deep knowledge of Paraguayan politics, so I could be wrong.


I brought it up because it’s close to Buenos Aires and because I’m under the impression that Uruguay is a pretty well run place. I’m assuming there to already be a lot of connections, personal and trade, between the two metro areas. I’ve never been to either and anything beyond geography is guesswork on my part. Anyway, thanks for the clarifications :)

The presumption absolutely no one will trade you crypto in your own country and you can't just mail out or in cash somehow seems like a pretty steep one (particularly in Argentina where black market trade of USD and all array of other stuff is rampant); but you must surely see the different between having your cash stored in a private wallet vs a bank account with a country that quite likely has tax and other legal treaties with your own.

I can't imagine it would be a warm feeling for someone with tax liabilities in Argentina to have a white-market bank account in a friendly country nearby.


Also my girlfriend points out that possibly there's less financial surveillance in Paraguay, and if you travel to Uruguay everything is more expensive, whereas Paraguay is poor so everything is cheap. But still AFAIK nobody here banks in Paraguay because you get robbed there.

I'd think they can ban cryptocurrency about as effectively as they can ban foreign currency (which is to say, not very). If you're willing and able to break that particular law, it's not really an argument in favor of cryptocurrency.

You think smuggling tangible goods is easier than smuggling digital goods? I think it's an incredible argument in favor of cryptocurrency. Smugglers who break the law like to minimize risk.

I don't think either of those things is particularly difficult.

The commenter already says that there’s a black market for converting pesos to USD, which is forbidden . I’m guessing a lot of that happens in person with cash? I can’t imagine the government could enforce a ban on cryptocurrencies any more effectively than it currently can with cash.

China may have banned crypto 'publicly' but by design they would have a hard time truly banning it given that wallet addresses aren't associated with personal identity and blockchains which don't make transactions easily browsable exist too.

Their ban has the effect of preventing centralized exchanges from providing services in China. But there's no practical way for them to crack down on decentralized exchanges and/or people trading them in-person.

In the above hypothetical case, if his government were to ban use of crypto, he'd still be better off in the sense that the government isn't going to be able to just find the coins hidden in a mattress the way they might with physical money. It'd be illegal either way, but one way would be much harder to trace.

This is of course ignoring the volatility involved in holding crypto, which somewhat weakens the stated benefit given that the goal seems to be to avoid volatility of the local currency.


Many governments forbid getting paid cash under the table, especially without a visa.

I believe history will show cryptocurrency to be even more resilient than cash as an international, sometimes private, means of transferring value between individuals.

People will do what it takes to survive. Regulations can slow but never stop “illegal” workers.


Does anyone local actually accept BTC? That is, do you need to sell your BTC for either USD or pesos before using your money for rent / groceries / phone bill / etc?

Incidentally, your defense of BTC is pretty much "it makes it possible to skirt laws and taxes" which seems to be the elephant in the crypto living room.


In Argentina taxes total taxes on employee income if you pay all taxes can be above 100%. This is not hyperbole, I spoke with an accountant at a construction company there. They basically had to put 70% of their labor off the books.

Skirting the law is required in Argentina. I can see the appeal for Argentinians.


So the tax in more than the income .. ie you earn net negative for working?

That's my understanding, this is hearsay from a private corporate accountant in the construction industry. I presume the idea is a fully law abiding company would not deduct all of that but some portion would be the company responsibility so that pay is positive.

Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds. Ours is a clown country. Don't take it seriously.

The Argentinian govt. could just as easily put the same restrictions as it does on USD today. They can (if they want to) also ensure that no commercial establishment accepts BTC.

You mean, real estate would be priced in Bitcoin, and transactions would be carried out in Bitcoin instead of USD, the way they are today? That would be awesome! A huge vote of confidence in Bitcoin! It would really go a long way to damping Bitcoin's price volatility worldwide, too, by essentially pegging it to physical-world goods with durable value, even if they aren't portable goods.

Denominating prices in BTC doesn't magically make the price of BTC any less volatile. Prices would have to be updated several times every day.

It's true that if you can update prices instantly, offering a trade doesn't stabilize the prices of the things you are offering to trade. But that is not how the real estate market works; bids and offers are made with a validity time measured in days or weeks, not minutes, and asking prices are often printed in office windows.

But it's a silly idea. It's not going to happen, and the point of my comment was to explain why.


We have wallet apps for payments, some give you a debit card to automatically sell crypto for pesos.

I sympathize, but your problems won't be solved by cryptocurrencies. Sure, those might patch things over, but systemic change is needed, or it'll be a never-ending series of such patches.

I completely agree. Just wanted to point out our situation (which may be repeated across the globe in some other countries with corrupt governments as ours). I get the feeling that sometimes people from the first world believe bitcoin & ethereum and other currencies are only used for financial speculation but we've found a pragmatic use for them due to our conditions.

Cryto is that systemic change.

Then I'd argue it's bad systemic change.

Systemic changes take decades, and that's if you have the power, which in most of those cases people don't. But they have to keep on living in the meantime.

And that is understandable. But how does one leap from this fact to excusing a non-profit in a country without the underlying problem doing the same?

I believe that people don't really have the power to make systemic changes in US, either. The past 10 years or so of federal politics have been ample demonstration of that.

But I digress. Mozilla is a US org, but it has worldwide outreach, and the product is certainly used worldwide, so it shouldn't be American-centric in its decision-making in any case.

FWIW I don't think the decision adds up to anything either way, to be honest. It's not going to meaningfully affect global warming, and it's not going to meaningfully affect the usefulness (or not) of cryptocoins. It's just a PR stunt - a silly one, but certainly not something worth getting riled up over regardless of one's stance.

Just to clear something up: I'm not actually all that bullish on existing cryptocoins myself - Bitcoin clearly has many problems, and it's not just energy wastefulness. What I'm interested in is radical political and economic decentralization in general, from an extreme left libertarian perspective. Decentralized money ought to be a part of that, somehow, and blockchain seems like a workable approach in principle, but it isn't there yet. I hope it will be someday.

But in the meantime, something that lets people in, say, Venezuela send or receive money from US - or, for that matter, lets people in US send or receive money from Iran - is a worthwhile tool to have.


> I believe that people don't really have the power to make systemic changes in US, either. The past 10 years or so of federal politics have been ample demonstration of that.

I'm inclined to agree.

> But I digress. Mozilla is a US org, but it has worldwide outreach, and the product is certainly used worldwide, so it shouldn't be American-centric in its decision-making in any case.

I agree. But the discussion is about Mozilla embracing cryptocurrencies. The fact that there are parts of the world where cryptocurrencies might be an evil that helps someone locally doesn't mean that Mozilla has to embrace that evil. Mozilla is not operating under the adverse conditions that may rightfully incline someone towards cryptocurrencies.

> FWIW I don't think the decision adds up to anything either way, to be honest. It's not going to meaningfully affect global warming, and it's not going to meaningfully affect the usefulness (or not) of cryptocoins. It's just a PR stunt - a silly one, but certainly not something worth getting riled up over regardless of one's stance.

I think it's entirely reasonable to be upset that an important organization does PR stunts.

> Decentralized money ought to be a part of that, somehow, and blockchain seems like a workable approach in principle, but it isn't there yet. I hope it will be someday.

Decentralized flow of money is one thing. A decentralized supply is another. To me, the latter is giving up on society. Because some governments are evil, we throw out the whole concept of a benign government serving the people – i.e. a well-organized society.

> But in the meantime, something that lets people in, say, Venezuela send or receive money from US - or, for that matter, lets people in US send or receive money from Iran - is a worthwhile tool to have.

Perhaps. But it doesn't excuse Mozilla jumping on it. If someone from Venezuela relies on Bitcoin and wants to donate the Mozilla, and Mozilla only accepts donations in fiat currencies, what's the problem? That person will just buy fiat currencies with their Bitcoin, and donate them to Mozilla. There's no reason Mozilla has to start embracing Bitcoin!


I don't see how decentralized supply of money is "giving up on society". Most of human history did not have centralized supply of money, and that did not preclude highly developed societies.

The problem with centralized supply of money is that it creates a single point where too much power is concentrated. Even when governance is democratic, concentration of power invites its abuse - and the larger the scope of such a government, the more lucrative the abuse. Within a small, tightly knit community that has direct democratic governance, directly controlling its internal monetary supply is fine, because power can be kept in check at that scale. But you still need some common medium of exchange for those communities to interact economically.

The problem with Bitcoin isn't that supply is decentralized, but rather that it's hardcoded as fixed in the long-term - because the people who created it were gold bugs. But that's not a fundamental problem with cryptocurrencies - you could have one where the supply grows steadily, or better yet, one where such growth is controlled collectively by actual users of the currency.


This is a governance problem, not a technology problem. Your government could just add easily forbid you from buying or using crypto. What then?

The government could ban drugs. What then? Guess you won't find them anymore. Definitely no illegal drugs in Argentina.

Breaking the law is a requirement for survival there. Basically all the big employers have to do it, no one seriously pays all their taxes as they can be non-hyperbolically over 100%.


Ok, so then why not just use USD? After all, breaking the law is a requirement for survival, so why concern yourself about breaking one more law (using USD)?

Well you can use USD representation like tether or GUSD.

You may want to acquaint yourself with taxation in Argentina. There is a tax just to put money in your bank account. To deposit your money. I recall it being small but above 1% but I can't remember the amount off hand (Edit: 0.6% for business account transaction) [0]. I'm not sure if there's any mandatory exchanging to pesos when depositing, but that may be the case. I'm not Argentinian. If that is the case it makes things way worse.

You have to bring the USD into the country somehow. I think crypto is a convenient way to do that which avoids capital controls imposed when entering the banking system. I guess you can bring in gobs of cash on your person and that works as well, although there's the tradeoff of being robbed or whatever. But bringing in USD sounds OK too for some people and it is very easy to smuggle in border with Paraguay as there is basically no control at the border. For some it may be a personal preference.

[0] https://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/coun...


I have seriously paid all my taxes in the past here in Argentina, because they weren't over 100% at the time. Now, the government won't allow me to.

I don’t understand your point. The government already forbids buying USD and there is already a black market for that.

Well, you will get the full value of your pay, but you'll also be screwed by the collapse of the local currency until the local economy rebuilds itself using crypto.

Governments do such things to try and paper over economy shortfalls, keeping everything running kinda-less-bad-ish than if they just let it fail and start over.

When you are in this situation where a USD only gets half as many pesos as the free market dictates, that means a peso is only worth half as much as the government is trying to pretend it is, and (this is the point of the currency controls) they are trying to allow only the 50% of most productive usages of USD to go ahead, possibly in the hopes of getting enough USD back into the country that they can get the free market value back up to where they think it should be, and then stop pretending.


The solution to Argentinas trouble is not to turn digital gambling tokens into a working currency.

Damage to the climate is highly exaggerated. People waste insane amounts of energy washing their clothes every day, keeping their tropical homes at 60 degrees, commuting hours each day, maintaining incredibly polluting industry such as the military, etc.

Not to mention the energy currently used by traditional financial services and banks.

We are talking about a small small fraction of the worlds energy use. Its virtue signaling by wealthy 1st world people who simply dont get it.


That's a good reason to vote better and political activism. Crypto currencies are in no way a solution to the scenario you describe.

It's the activists that are causing the problems in Argentina.

Argentinians who want to avoid their own currency would be 10x better served by USD than BTC.

The USD inflated 6% over the last year, and getting it into the country is often difficult, but it is indeed very popular here.

And Bitcoin deflated by 18%

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/BTC-USD/history/

43,565.51 on January 6, 2022

36,833.88 on January 6, 2021


Yes, but I think the more crucial aspect is not how much it's gone up or down in a given year, but more the secular trend. The dollar has a secular inflation trend, having lost something like 95% of its value over the last 50 years, because that's just what fiat currencies do, while Bitcoin was designed to not have the structural incentives that cause that. Indeed, some have argued that Bitcoin is inherently deflationary, which would make it an ideal savings vehicle if true.

How's Not Mimblewimble going?


The "ISO Standard" argument against inflation is that it favors the capital class over the middle and lower class, because money loses value over time faster than capital does. This means it steals from the poor and gives to the rich, because the upper class puts most of their wealth into capital, because they have a higher return on investment, while the poor and middle class store most of their wealth in savings accounts, because they need the ability to access significant chunks of their wealth in a hurry if they suffer an emergency (the rich have "lots" of cash on hand, too, but it is a smaller fraction of their overall wealth).

This seems like it implies that a deflationary currency would be better, but it does not, because in a deflationary economy, the behavior of the rich would change. In effect, the rich would keep most of their wealth in cash, while the middle class and the poor would not be able to change their behavior at all. The middle class family that has 50% of their wealth tied up in a house would still have that wealth tied up in a house because they actually need to live in it. A rich investor who owns hundreds of houses in the current economy would, however, move their wealth into cash and sell the houses. It might help the housing market, but it would screw up the currency market in exchange, and would probably not do anything for wealth disparity.

In short, "wealth" is the ability to make a wider range of choices. Both paths, deflation and inflation, favor the wealthy over the poor because of this.


However, the interests of a person trying to figure out how to save money run counter to saving it in an inflating instrument like the ARS, or, to a lesser extent, the dollar. From that perspective, deflation is even better than stability. Bitcoin is likely an improvement for the individual person who chooses it, independent of how it affects the economy for the wealthy to rebalance their portfolio away from REITs and toward Bitcoin, if that happens.

I agree that Bitcoin would be a lot more useful if its value were less unstable.


6% is fine, at least it's not +/-100% and it's accepted everywhere. For now.

It's fine as a medium of exchange or a unit of account; as a store of value, 6% inflation in a year is disastrous.

6% was just one year, not a long term value.

And nobody should be using common currency as a store of value.

The USD is designed to have a bit of inflation, i.e. it's not supposed to be a store of value on purpose.


It's true that we don't know whether US$ inflation this year will be 1% or 12%, but that's not actually better than a predictable 6% per year inflation rate. It's worse. A predictable inflation rate could be priced into things like bond yields.

Use as a store of value is a significant part of what we're talking about here. You said, "Argentinians who want to avoid their own currency would be 10x better served by USD than BTC." Why do you think Argentines want to avoid our own currency? Part of it is that it's useless for export; nobody abroad has AR$.

But the main reason is that designed-in secular inflation makes it a shitty store of value. This was specifically mentioned in the comment you were replying to: "Not only that, you also are forbid from buying dollars, so if you want to get them to avoid our rampant inflation (50% average, around 100% for groceries) you only have the black market which is around 200 pesos." Bitcoin has its own problems, like volatility, but it doesn't have that one.

Why would you claim that people wanting to "avoid rampant inflation" would be "10x better served by USD than BTC"? We can now discard the hypothesis that you don't know about the secular inflation of the US$, since you explained it yourself in your own words in the comment I am replying to. It seems like you were being, at best, careless with the truth.


This is true but you van only buy a few dollars from official sources, after that you need to go black market where thry will screw you over with fake bills.

I'm also from Aegentina and a climate doomer. I will keep burning resources for personal profit, my own personal contribution will not move the needle that much anyway.

Why does it have to be US dollar? What about Canadian, Australian dollars, or Euros?

Tradition.

They have similar stability as USD. The crypto community is overusing the USD conversion ban argument, but there are easy ways around it.

In Argentina? No. Why would you think that? Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, etc., are regulated in exactly the same way in Argentina as US dollars are, except that the real estate market is dollarized. Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, etc., are not easy ways around bans on conversion to US dollars. (Gold isn't either, although the regulation is slightly different.)

Thanks for your feedback, information coming from a local is highly valuable, (other than crypto) what other avenues are there to conserve your earnings?

Please provide references, even in Spanish will help:

[1] https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/a/nar-gr/money-and-co...

[2] https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/argentina-central-b...

[3] https://ambcrypto.com/argentina-crypto-adoption-is-high-but-...



Real estate and black-market dollars.

Might sound mean but not supporting pow crypto helps you more than supporting it doe to climate change.

Also pos is being worked on. It will be an option soon.


> what if crypto becomes anathema?

From your lips to God’s ears.

I’ve often wished there were a way to organize against crypto, since the incentives are so high for true believers to organize for it and find more people to buy into the ecosystem.


To me they're destroying themselves. NFTs are the worst so far and seemed to be prepped for a huge backlash.

https://twitter.com/carsonturner/status/1477520574620606465

And I just saw this article on Barron's today which compared BTC to a tech stock rather than a store of value like gold.

https://www.barrons.com/articles/coinbase-marathon-digital-m...


NFTs have provoked a huge backlash amongst artists. I think often it is a little underinformed (though the conclusion is usually pretty sound) but you're not going to win hearts and minds when the first most of them hear about the tech is other people making lots of money off stolen or mass-produced art.

Yeah the incentive system is stacked for people to invest in crypto - everyone in the ecosystem is pulling for it to make money off their investments - and thats what this is at this point. There are for sure some cool projects but the lions share is to make money (hence the big push from VCs - see A16z investments) and they are taking a lot of talent to if Chris Dixon's comment's are accurate.

What better way to make something stick then make peoples livelihoods depend on it?


We all worship the thing that feeds us.

> I’ve often wished there were a way to organize against crypto

How about we rally to completely ban crypto. Talking about this isn't going to solve anything.


Since when has banning new technology been a good idea? I can't believe how many "technologists" want to take the same policy stance as the CCP on decentralization.

I don't see this 'new technology' working for the intended purpose it was created for:

Paying someone in instantly with less fees in a decentralised P2P manner with an energy efficient and stable blockchain.

I see no cryptocurrency that can do this above legitimately. Most of them are owned by questionable foundations, crypto scammers and power hungry VCs.


> I don't see this 'new technology' working for the intended purpose it was created for

Just because you don't doesn't mean nobody does.


It's not just me though, almost everyone can see for what it is right now.

A digital Las Vegas casino, where everyone is 'hodling', trying to get rich by losing their money while not using it for payments at all.


Okay. That doesn't change the fact that some of us do see it and use it as more than just gambling - and if we're doing so in a way without negative externalities (e.g. via proof-of-stake or literally anything other than proof-of-work), then it seems entirely irrational to want to ban it on the sole basis of "I don't like it therefore nobody should use it".

> Okay. That doesn't change the fact that some of us do see it and use it as more than just gambling

Still doesn't change the fact that it's all a house of cards based on waste and still exhibits a ponzi scheme (Proof of Stake is still bad) with no value.

I can't think of any other usecases out there other than scams, ransomware, money laundering and illicit trade on darknet markets. Is that what you mean by other usecases?

What does crypto do better that the current system can't do? I cannot think of any in crypto that the current system already does better.

I can see that Monero is a complete success story where Bitcoin failed in its original vision. But then again it can't get out of being used outside of darknet markets, so it is generally unusable and banned by most companies, exchanges and fiat off-ramps.

It is possible for this to go to ALL cryptocurrencies.


> Still doesn't change the fact that it's all a house of cards based on waste

That ain't a fact; again, proof-of-stake exists and is used for no less than 3 of the top 10 cryptocurrencies.

> and still exhibits a ponzi scheme [...] with no value

Just because you refuse to see the value in something doesn't mean it's "a ponzi scheme with no value".

> Proof of Stake is still bad

Care to quantify how?

> I can't think of any other usecases out there other than scams, ransomware, money laundering and illicit trade on darknet markets.

Really? You're incapable of thinking how it might be used for licit trade? Or for decentralized finance applications? Or for arbitrary computing, in the case of e.g. Ethereum and Cardano? The technology has already been used for these things.

> What does crypto do better that the current system can't do?

Sending and receiving money electronically with minimum fees, maximum speed, and no limitations on how much or how little of your money you can send or receive. No, I ain't talking about Bitcoin; I'm talking about the countless other cryptocurrencies that have made transaction costs and speeds an actual priority - you know, almost as if blockchains are a new technology and not done evolving.

Hell, even if we do talk about Bitcoin in that context, its "slow" transaction settlement time is still considerably faster than those of credit card networks; I'm sure you've noticed that when a credit card transaction is "accepted" it still takes a day or more to actually move out of "pending" status and fully reflect on your card statement, whereas with Bitcoin the same level of assurance (if not more) happens within 10 minutes on average.

> It is possible for this to go to ALL cryptocurrencies.

It doesn't need to; not every single cryptocurrency needs to succeed at its goals for the concept of cryptocurrency to be useful or beneficial to society.


So PayPal, WorldRemit, M-Pesa, Paytm and Transferwise doesn't fix this already? 13 years and still no progress. I see no coin that is accepted widely that does anything you just proposed that is decentralised.

Your argument is still at cost to the planet and other people's money in this MLM scheme that we cannot deny exists.

Proof of Stake is pointless and defeats the point of decentralisation as many of these coins claim to be with venture capitalists and whales holding most of the coins.

Also most of these blockchains are pretty much beta, just don't work and scale at all. You might as well use the current system instead.

We both can see that DeFi applications are mostly scams [0] leading to people losing their money or having an expensive and pointless refund process when it all goes wrong. [1]

[0] https://rekt.news/

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/24/22800995/constitutiondao...


> So PayPal, WorldRemit, M-Pesa, Paytm and Transferwise doesn't fix this already?

These are by and large wrappers around the existing systems; they "fix" it the same way things like Lightning fix Bitcoin's transaction speed (for example): by offloading off the main network.

> 13 years and still no progress.

Credit cards have had a 20-or-so year head start, and they only recently (i.e. around the same time as the advent of cryptocurrency) started to significantly evolve beyond magnetic stripes. Wire transfers are even worse off in terms of evolutionary speed. 13 years is still young.

> Your argument is still at cost to the planet

Not with proof of stake.

> and other people's money in this MLM scheme

By this logic literally every asset bought and sold in a market is an "MLM scheme".

> Proof of Stake is pointless

It only seems that way if you're deliberately ignorant of its vast advantages over both proof of work and centralized systems - particularly, the sheer lack of a "cost to the planet" and the ability to scale without ever needing to incur such an externalized cost.

> and defeats the point of decentralisation as many of these coins claim to be with venture capitalists and whales holding most of the coins

There are proof-of-stake blockchains like Cardano that actively penalize centralization and encourage decentralization (specifically by adjusting stake rewards such that any stake pool above some equilibrium becomes unprofitable).

> Also most of these blockchains are pretty much beta

But not all; again, 3 of the top 10 are already proof-of-stake, with billions of dollars' worth of currency being transacted every day. Some are still being actively developed; that doesn't make them "beta", just like how Linux is both production-ready and still actively developed.

> just don't work and scale at all

The users of them - and the billions of dollars transacted through them - beg to differ. And we're still in the early stages; there is still plenty of room for scalability to improve: https://iohk.io/en/blog/posts/2021/09/17/hydra-cardano-s-sol...


Bitcoin does this with the Lightning Network.

While certain implementations of crypto are certainly a problem, rallying to ban it seems to imply there are no redeeming qualities and no path forward that addresses the downsides.

Is that your position on this, or am I missing something?


My position is that after 13 years of Bitcoin and Ethereum and all cryptocurrencies I still cannot go to my local shop and buy anything with it.

That’s an anecdote, but is your position that because of that, crypto should be banned?

In 1999, you probably couldn’t use a Discover card in your local shop either, 13 years after Discover was founded. It took many years and many lawsuits to make headway against Visa/Mastercard.

Universal acceptance isn’t the right measuring stick here.


There's more to that, I would expect Bitcoin and Ethereum to be everywhere in the real world by now. I still don't see any shop around be accepting it, because the majority of people are only holding / investing in cryptocurrency. Not even PayPal is using it for payments [0]

Even if a shop uses either of these cryptocurrencies, it is comically slow to be used as such anyway rendering them useless. Not to mention the volatility impact.

So please tell me retail shop I can make a purchase using cryptocurrency that is fast, truly decentralised, eco-friendly and doesn't have exorbitant fees.

[0] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58277631


None of what you said is a valid reason for "banning" crypto.

I only scratched the surface.

We both know the obvious reasons that cryptocurrencies enable rampant ransomware [0], multiple rug pull scams [1], pointless NFTs [2] and is totally unregulated, I'm seeing crypto bros heralding 'we need decentralisation and web3' when this is all owned by VCs [3] And don't get me started on the Tether fraud [4].

I was being _generous_ in seeing if cryptocurrencies passes the 'retail shop test' and it can't even do that without burning the planet up making useless computations.

[0] https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/us-treasury-warns-c...

[1] https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2021/12/17/defi-rug-pull-sc...

[2] https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3dyem/investors-spent-milli...

[3] https://cryptobriefing.com/how-decentralized-is-solana/

[4] https://archive.is/uPQYe


- Phone scammers are running rampant. We don't ban phones.

- Spam has been a problem since the inception of email, and the majority of email is spam. We don't ban email.

- Baseball cards are similarly pointless. So are in-game cosmetic items. We haven't banned those.

The problems you're describing are mostly unrelated to crypto, have existed, and will continue to exist whether crypto remains.

This doesn't mean there are no valid criticisms of crypto - energy concerns are real, and need to be addressed - but if you wish to ban crypto for the reasons you've cited, you need to widen the scope of what you hope to ban.


Out of those things cryptocurrencies is more likely going to be banned anyway, only to be used for illicit activities.

Are you claiming that crypto is only used for illicit activities? Care to back that up?

Not just that, there is speculation, gambling, etc. with those two being the most used usecase, nothing else.

Once banned that is where they will reside, I hear that Monero is thriving in that (illicit) environment, as well as Bitcoin, Ethereum (paired with Tornado)

But for now banning is likely.


>nothing else.

Come on. There are people in this very thread who are using it to evade draconian currency controls their governments have imposed. Are they lying?

Whether the positives outweigh the negatives in Crypto is subject to debate. But to refuse to acknowledge that ANY positives exist is outright bizarre.

There are lots of things I strongly dislike (eg: religion, guns) but to insist that there are absolutely zero positive aspects to these things in certain contexts would be intellectually dishonest.


There are many shops that either accept Bitcoin or host an ATM that takes Bitcoin, and have been for several years. There are also several "credit" cards that will spend Bitcoin by turning it into a local currency -- just like when using USD cards in Europe and having them automatically convert to EUR. Last, the number of such ways to spend Bitcoin and other coins is consistently growing.

I have a crypto.com card that I top up with crypto to buy things with.

While I don't directly pay with crypto, I still use it to pay for things at my local shop.


You pay using a Visa card with a Bitcoin sticker stuck on it. I am not sure why you think you pay with cryptocurrency

Because I do pay with cryptocurrency.

It would seem easy enough to ban proof-of-waste and encourage people to get on with deploying the alleged better technologies that never arrive. And many places have blanket KYC requirements which using crypto does not exempt you from.

The UK has banned crypto derivatives: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-bans-sale-cry... and Binance. I suspect further action is coming against unregistered crypto outfits marketing to UK consumers.


> and encourage people to get on with deploying the alleged better technologies that never arrive

If you're referring to proof-of-stake, that technology has already arrived, seeing as how multiple of the top 10 blockchains by market cap (Solana, Cardano, Terra) use it - and consequently do not have the negative impact on the environment that e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum currently have.


Now there's just the matter of their ponzi scheme structure

It’s had, what, 13 years? And it’s still a solution in search of a problem.

It’s not fair to say that crypto is not solving any problems, or isn’t likely to solve any problems.

Thinking specifically about the identity space for a moment, it certainly brings a new approach to solving a set of problems that still has yet to be solved well.

Should something be banned on the grounds that it’s not ready yet, or hasn’t evolved fast enough?

Plenty of tech on the cutting edge will appear this way before it has matured.


Asbestos solved an actual problem, as did freon. Both also created larger problems and were eventually banned. We could have given them some more time, I guess. Maybe, if given another fifty years, the freon industry might have (waves hands) fixed its issues with the ozone layer. Or maybe not. That wasn’t the trajectory, anyway.

Back in 2022, we’re now looking at a technology that has not, for all its promises of a glorious future, has not produced anything but centralized Ponzi-as-a-Service platforms, a way for organized crime to move money, and smokestacks. At least asbestos and freon had some utility.


> Asbestos solved an actual problem, as did freon. Both also created larger problems and were eventually banned.

I'd argue there's a bit of false equivalence in this paragraph, but for sake of argument:

Leaded gasoline also solved an actual problem, and the industry innovated/evolved beyond that.

Facebook solved an actual problem, and created many more. I still recognize its value even if I refuse to use it myself.

I'm sure there are edge cases, but history is not generally on the side of those who have pre-emptively banned things before they come to fruition.

The problem I see with this current line of discussion is that most proponents of banning throw the baby out with the bathwater, and pretend this is all a single product called "crypto".

Banning "crypto" would be like banning insulation because of the issues with Asbestos.


In all fairness, I don’t think “crypto” should be banned as such. Partly because it’s a loose and descriptive term, unlike asbestos, which is well defined and tangible. So a blanket ban wouldn’t work.

And also because it’s not necessary; existing regulation will get us most of the way:

- if you are, in effect, selling a security, let this be regulated this like any other security

- if you are, in effect, running a bank, etc.

- if your coin X acts like an intermediary for transferring money to hostile jurisdiction Y, then regulate transfers to X like transfers to Y. Forbid these if necessary.

- if your manufacturing process is needlessly wasteful then forbid this manufacturing process (globally) under threat of forbidding your product

Etc


It also took 13 years from the first splitting of the atom to Hiroshima.

Should Nuclear power be banned? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

I love how the tech bros who are so fast to consider banning cryptography absurd for being math, are frothing at the mouth to ban cryptocurrency.

Why? is it working?

you could only drive it into the underground where it sprouted from in the first place, it would inevitably return. the only way to stop this form of crypto is to invent a better one

It was never a product of the underground — from the initial launch of Bitcoin it was a public project with a strong political vision. Some people tried to use it for underground activities but the claim was that those could be done anonymously on the public network, which is trivially blocked.

If punishments for being discovered were severe enough, I think we could pretty much kill it off.

Would you risk life in prison?


that's an escalation - I would risk my life to fight against a state that threatens life in prison to control something like crypto

I feel like people sometimes say things like that, but it always ends up sounding naive.

The state has tanks and drones that rain death and destruction from the sky. What could the crypto people possibly do to counter that?


How did all those tanks and drones work out for us in Afghanistan? Or Iraq? Or all of the other places where insurgents tend to win out over slow and bureaucratic militaries.

That was a foreign occupation, very different. The US didn't have popular support in either of those and was seen as the invader.

It would be very different if some crypto fanatics started an insurgency over wanting to have their computer money. I definitely would side with the state over them and I have a feeling most folks would.


> That was a foreign occupation, very different.

Do you think a domestic occupation would somehow go better?

> I definitely would side with the state over them and I have a feeling most folks would.

In order for a cryptocurrency ban to actually have any real effect on the actual crypto fanatics (i.e. the ones who would be willing to take up arms to defend cryptocurrency), the US would have to pull some very draconian online censorship measures that would absolutely peeve the average American. Short of that, it would be comparable to the US' existing "ban" (via the DMCA) of digital piracy: pretty much ineffective, without pirates needing to take up arms as outright insurgents to defend it.


crypto fanatics are still just civilians operating a network, the state can and should regulate by setting policy (eg by making it not so lucrative to waste electricity mining crypto that it threatens the environment)

Are you seriously saying that you would be ok with using the army to violently murder civilians because they use some computers that you think use too much energy and don't provide enough value?

It sounds like you want to take the War on Drugs textbook, and apply it to crypto. I expect it'll work about as well, and have similar collateral damage.

Often the difference between having money and having no money is life or death. So it's common for people to risk life in prison, or even death, as an alternative to having all their possessions confiscated; and that's what Bitcoin is in many cases.

> I’ve often wished there were a way to organize against crypto,

From my perspective, it's a peaceful revolution against a corrupt global status quo.

The only people hurt by this false perception (bitcoin makes renewables more profitable by acting as a buyer when nobody else will) are people who don't buy bitcoin. And it's their loss.

What would you say to someone in el salvador who's happy accepting bitcoin because they no longer have to trek to ATM's and risk getting mugged?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVVZXUFItZY


> The only people hurt by this false perception (bitcoin makes renewables more profitable by acting as a buyer when nobody else will) are people who don't buy bitcoin. And it's their loss.

And everyone harmed by the rather sizable ecosystem of outright crime that takes advantage of cryptocurrency.


You mean the ecosystem that's a fraction of crime supported by the traditional finance system?

> bitcoin makes renewables more profitable by acting as a buyer when nobody else will

You don't really believe this, do you?


> What would you say to someone in el salvador who's happy accepting bitcoin

They aren't:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/some-salvadorans-claim-funds-...


Thank you for this response. I think this whole issue is always addressed from the point of view of people from well developed first world countries, such as aynthing related to climate change. Sometimes I wished they lived just one year in my country with 50% of inflation and see how they deal with that...

I feel the despair in your comment

but you can not fix a broken thing with another, even more broken thing (which is this greedy cryptomania)

it is broken government that is the problem and it causes far more ills than monetary inflation

what needs fixing is government. you cannot have a stable meaningful life, society, economy without a semi-decent government that is accountable, democratic and somewhat competent

if the financial system still needs fixing after you fix government it would probably be a marginal patch and not starting from zero


I understand your argument, but while we try to change our government we still need a way to save money and get paid without being robbed, cryptos are a way to avoid that, it's as simple as that.

Please understand that people like me who live in third world countries have third world problems, worrying about the climate change is sometimes not in the top of our priorities when we don't even now if we'll have 50, 100 or 30% of anual inflation. And I find unfair how sometimes we are told and scolded by the first world when they didn't get there via green policies, really.


There may be a case for tactical use of whatever tools are available to achieve a positive result. Who am I to condemn people to sub-par living conditions on the basis of conceptual arguments...

But please take at heart my previous comment. Climate change may sound like an elite concern but it is not. It is actually representative of our deepest global problems.

The reason that the so-called "third world" still has third world problems is that political and economic systems everywhere ignore environmental and social conditions, focus on resource extraction, enriching a few elites etc.

Some form of digital technology would surely help us solve those very difficult problems or at least make them less painful and unsustainable, but cryptocurrencies is nowhere close to do so. It is simplistic, economically more than naive, has the wrong builtin assumptions about society (complete lack of trust) etc.

In any case, good night and good luck


Crypto isn't built on lack of trust, it's lack of centralized trust. It's a trust that the majority of the PoW hash-rate (or stake, for some cryptos) is reflecting genuine transactions.

This actually better reflects the way man is, where society works when most people are relatively honest and a minority of criminals and sadistic politicians, bankers, police, tax authorities should be distrusted.

I'm all for people using crypto to use a little less A/C, heat, or drive less to balance it out if those in a warm (or cool) comfy house are a bit upset about it. Probably shouldn't be compelled though unless you're gonna create a Watt Police.


The climate change thing is overspoken, most of these people are fine with someone using 10 graphics cards to do AI training or whatever other task that is resource intensive. It's just that climate change is a big political and cultural point for a certain segment of US and Europe so those against crypto have found a convenient propaganda point by making people feel guilty for using computation cycles in an unapproved manner.

Not sure how to put this in a non-blunt way, but the hardcore crypto bros are not from your country either.

And? I don't have to agree with the """ hardcore crypto bros """ either. Both extremes can be harmful.

In using crypto, you are exporting the wealth of your country to those miners in other countries through transaction fees. The more you use it, the more of your country's wealth is exported (which in turn means that the country's currency is worth less and accelerates the inflation that is experienced).

And it is about $100 per BTC transaction that the miners extract (most of it in form of the coinbase mining reward, some of it in the form of fees).

> bitcoin makes renewables more profitable by acting as a buyer when nobody else will

Yes, and landmines make blood donation more profitable, but that doesn't make them a net moral good.


> From my perspective, it's a peaceful revolution against a corrupt global status quo.

It's not though. It's broadly a combination of ignorance of how the present system actually works, tinfoil hat economics and anarcocapitalist libertarian ideology.

It replaces one set of corruption (accountable to the people) with a whole new set of corruption. Money laundering, crime, wash trading, tape painting, spoof orders - an Inspector Gadget run shadow bank in the Bahamas printing ersatz dollars - the whole shebang. Out with the old criminals technically accountable, in with new criminals definitely unaccountable. This is strictly worse by all metrics. And that's before we even broach how terrible deflationary money actually is in practice.

> The only people hurt by this false perception (bitcoin incentives clean energy production and makes renewables more profitable) are people who don't buy bitcoin. And it's their loss.

If you build a bunch of green energy then waste it all, you haven't incentivized anything. You've just wasted a bunch of green energy - without that benefit accruing to the actual grid. Any time the price goes up so does the budget for waste. It's everyone's loss.

> What would you say to someone in el salvador who's happy accepting bitcoin because they no longer have to trek to ATM's and risk getting mugged?

I would say if they're happy with digital money they can open a Wise Multicurrency account.

But they're not happy accepting bitcoin. [1, 2] They're being forced by an authoritarian dictator to accept it, at gunpoint.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/technology/majority-salvadorans-do-n...

[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-58579415


Freelancers in my country (Argentina) will happily accept crypto instead of dollars so they aren't robbed by our government, it is really an alternative for us.

Not only that, is another way for us to save money in cash since we have an extremely limited to other currencies (we have 50% annual inflation so saving in our national currency isn't an option)


Bluecollar people have happily accepted cash to avoid taxes since forever. Calling taxes "Being robbed by your government" is such a cliché

>Calling taxes "Being robbed by your government" is such a cliché

Tell me, where are you from? Do you have free access to other currencies where you live? Because I don't, and where I live we have 50% inflation (even 100% for groceries). It's not taxes when we don't get anything in return and we can't even save in the currency we are paid.

I'd like to see how you live here for a year.


If you manage to get the full value of your money, other people will lose the full value of theirs. The value that supposedly backs your local currency simply does not exist. Is it not fairer that everyone gets 50%?

>If you manage to get the full value of your money, other people will lose the full value of theirs.

Why?

>The value that supposedly backs your local currency simply does not exist

Tell me something I don't know...

>Is it not fairer that everyone gets 50%?

What? Why? Why should anyone working for abroad let the government decide how much money they get from their hours spent working?


Sorry, I didn't understand the last part. Did you mean "People who have jobs with foreign companies should not have to pay taxes"?

No, I didn't. Have a nice weekend.

To be clear nobody is supposed to save in the currency they are paid, ever, anywhere on earth. I’m not saying that makes 50% inflation ok just that this not the argument. Not least because bitcoin has once again seen 50% inflation in the last 60 days.

Again though, why not USDC?


One of the parent comments above said "I’ve often wished there were a way to organize against crypto", I believe USDC is another crypto isn't it?

But yes, is another way many freelancers are paid here, it's not just bitcoin and ETH, many use stablecoins.

I only find kinda selfish the comfortable position to be against ALL cryptocurrencies (which don't do such a damage to the climate like bitcoin.) while living in the first world, even those


You do have access to other currencies via a Wise multi-currency account. They're free, and available in Argentina.

> Bluecollar people have happily accepted cash to avoid taxes since forever.

All the more reason why cryptocurrencies might be useful to blue collar people.


Well no, someone has to pay for social services.

Only 29% of El Salvador has a bank account and you want them to use Wise? How are they supposed to get their money OUT of wise, transfer it again to someone with a bank account? Seems like an extra step when they can just receive BTC (and even spend it locally), go to the ATM and be done with it.

You think you have used less energy than the average El Salvadorian who uses BTC? It's really entertaining to see the watt-police coming out when many of these same people have A/C or heat turned up in their house way beyond the maximum survivable bands of the temperature range.


Would you say you're at all surprised at how long bitcoin has lasted, or how high the price is now?

What kind of data would change your mind?


The price started getting pumped up by Tether, and now it's managed by Alameda and Cumberland in cooperation with Tether. USDT volume is 50% higher than the sum of BTC and ETH volume. The price you see, $42500 or whatever, that's not USD. That's USDT. If you control the printing of the currency, and you buy shit with it, you can absolutely set it to whatever you want. [1]

To quote Bitfinex right before they fired up the Tether printer:

  BTC could tank to below 1k if we don't act quickly
So no, I'm not surprised by the price. The action dragged in a few profiteering hedge funds.

[1] https://cryptonews.com/news/how-merlin-lost-patience-trying-...


From the cited article, that quote was Bitfinex to one of their banks not processing fiat redemption requests (so people could not withdraw money from Bitfinex). Of course, prolonged bouts of that would've reduced trust in crypto and exchanges, reasonably so.

Not evident what that has to do with the Tether printer?

And btw, do you have any links on the hedge fund connection, and Alameda and Cumberland?


> Not evident what that has to do with the Tether printer?

Shortly after that exchange, they realized they could just take the money out of the Tether bank account, and use it to satisfy their withdrawal requests. I speculate this is the moment they realized that they did not have to actually back their USDT, and turned on the printer.

> Of course, prolonged bouts of that would've reduced trust in crypto and exchanges, reasonably so.

I think that is a completely reasonable alternative explanation.

> And btw, do you have any links on the hedge fund connection, and Alameda and Cumberland?

Check this out. Protos did the legwork to figure out where all the USDT issuances were going. Of $96B in outbound distributions to market makers, $36B went to Alameda and $24B went to Cumberland. That's almost 70% of all distributions ever made to large accounts.

[1] https://protos.com/tether-papers-crypto-stablecoin-usdt-inve...


Does anyone know what that does to inflation?

Iirc the btc/eth market caps are more than the amount of "printed" USD throughout the pandemic.

Does tether printed act the same on inflation as USD printed?


Is “ making renewables profitable” the new talking point? I’m glad for the change because I got tired reading about all these dams China had apparently built in areas not connected to their grid.

Don't forget all those power plants generating power when there was no demand!

“Making renewables profitable” is the same talking point as “utilising excess power” as I see it, or at least a minor variation of it.


The crypto status quo is no different from the global status quo. The only difference is the set of people at the top is somewhat permuted by the set of people who were lucky enough to be interested in magic internet money back in 2009.

> makes renewables more profitable

In other words - increases energy prices for everyone.


In what way is crypto not anathema already? HN has basically been dumpstering it for over a decade now at every opportunity, the general public considers it some imaginary money ponzi scheme scam, over the last year people are laughing at the stupidity of things like NFTs and meme altcoins. It was only very recently that anyone in finance has even begun to consider it anything but a complete joke. Of the people that don't consider it an outright scam, probably 90% of those people are insufferable cryptobros or scammers who latch onto the buzzword, who make hating cryptocurrencies very easy.

I wouldn't be surprised if all of the media attention it gets is mostly because of how much most everyone hates it. It is the thing that tech inclined people love to hate watch.


It’s not that simple: the very large amount of money VCs and other speculators have pumped into it has ensured a steady stream of favorable coverage for years. The stories tend to get a hostile reaction from people who understand technology or economics but each round finds new people who think there might be a pony somewhere since they’ve been hearing about it for years.

It's currently being propped up by big, legitimate corporations: everything from sports organizations like the NBA, UFC, and WWE to food brands like Taco Bell and McDonalds are pumping out NFTs. The Lakers are now playing in the Crypto.com arena, even.

On HN it certainly gets a lot of hate, but there's not so much in the mainstream right now. I don't think the Lakers would have agreed to a sponsorship where they play in the BP Oil Fracking Arena, for instance.


How about the Sneaker Brand Sweat Shop Arena though? Where do people draw their line with ethics and caring about the impact of what they support?

You're absolutely right and that's what I mean about marketing having such a huge impact. Nike spends a ton of money making sure you associate the Nike brand more closely with LeBron, Jordan, and the general pursuit of superstardom than with their use of SEA sweatshops. Similarly, the average layperson currently sees crypto and associates it with making a lot of money very quickly. If that perception changes so that the initial reaction to crypto is "this is reckless gamblers killing the planet," that's a potentially existential crisis for cryptocurrency -- you'll have (more) politicians calling for cryptocurrency bans and much lower levels of public support.

Eloquent! Thanks for putting into words what a lot of us really struggle to.

HN are out of date boomers

> Or how Bitpay has stagnated heavily...

Bitpay publishes their merchant mix and it's literally all money laundering and crime havens. 45% (!!) Gift Cards. 15% "Internet." 12.25% "VPN." 9% "Computer games." [1]

That's 81.25% the darkest shadiest industries out there.

[1] https://bitpay.com/stats/


I wonder in which category OnlyFans, Chaturbate, etc. fall? Normally porn is quick with adopting new tech. (or don't they accept crypto?)

That's utter bullshit. APMEX (precious metals) for instance allows BitPay, and that's actually how I buy bullion from them because it's the fastest way to clear payment without paying credit card fees. All the money I spent was legal income reported on a W-2.

Precious metals is 3.77% of Bitpay volume. Which part exactly is bullshit? I'm quoting their site.

"it's literally all money laundering and crime havens."

Which is my silver coin purchase being used for, money laundering of my legally reported electronics design or is it my criminal enterprise of liking silver?


"literally all" in this context was hyperbole, which was then quantified two lines lower down at 81.25%. I think most folks would agree that is substantially all, or hyperbolically "literally all." In the "literally got your back bro" way. [1]

[1] https://theoatmeal.com/comics/literally


There are crypto currencies by actual computer scientists, like Algorand by Silvio Micali, that seem to be much further ahead than others when it comes to low-emissions proof-of-stake implementations. In Algorand's case, they even offset the carbon emissions of the network and as such their blockchain is effectively carbon neutral. Or as carbon neutral you can be when you use offsetting.

At least to me, they look more intriguing than all the older crypto currencies. I always wondered why you would bother with all these inefficiencies for some lofty idea of 'decentralisation' when we have run of the mill consensus algorithms and distributed systems that just work.


When people don't adopt superior tech that's a sign that crypto is about something else.

Or, it could be just the usual first mover advantage.

Algorand relies completely on centralized relay nodes. You might as well just use a centralized service which will be more efficient and cheaper.

Afaik not for the consensus mechanism itself, which is done by permissionless participation nodes. I think they plan to move the relay nodes to a permissionless model as well.

I've always tried to state the problems with crypto here every time it comes up, but there is such a huge incentive for the people invested in crypto to pump it, that every year the number of crypto pumpers grows more numerous than people like me.

There really is a place for a decentralized currency to replace paypal, but none of the cryptos live up to it. In fact I just tried using crypto again a few days ago and it was a terrible experience just like it was 10 years ago. My bitcoin transaction took over 30 minutes to verify so I tried changing to ethereum, and the transaction fee there is $8...


BTW, PayPal is absolutely terrible. That's a very low bar for crypto to clear. SEPA (=normal bank) money transfers or direct debit within Europe, TransferWise, etc. are much better options than PayPal (or crypto) for most purposes.

My email transfers regularly take 30-45 minutes and cost 1.00

My lightning transfers take 1 second and cost less than 1 penny.

How can the cost of the transfer be less than the cost of the energy it is claimed it uses? I could never figure thst out.


A BTC transaction (on chain) brings the miner about $100, but most of that is from the coinbase mining reward, and a small part only from transaction fees (though that proportion will grow, presumably, as coinbase halves to zero). A good chunk of that will be energy costs, so an on-chain transaction will have significant energy costs (and probably way more than the current average fee of $2.65/tx, which, btw, is more than your "email transfer").

Off-chain transactions (like lightning, or from one exchange account to another at the same exchange, or from one account to another at the Salvadorean "wallet") can of course be quick and cheap, like any centralised banking.


You're not going to get cheap transactions using Bitcoin or Ethereum directly.

There are two wallets that are using newer tech to make cheap + fast transactions happen (while still being decentralized + secure):

- Argent - Uses zkSync which is an L2 that compresses transactions and writes them to Ethereum - costs about 25c per transaction right now.

- Dharma - Uses Polygon which is it's own chain that posts a hash of everything that happened to Ethereum at regular intervals - costs < 1c per transaction right now .


Tell me about it.

USDC would make for a suitable candidate but of course, it's got $25 transaction fees on ETH. USDC-SPL maybe. The last time I tried to move some USDC-ETH, it was cheaper and more convenient to just have FTX wire me the money ($0) then wire it from my bank account to the recipient ($0).

In reality though, a CBDC is probably the best way forward.


To be fair neither Bitcoin nor Eth are aimed toward being a day-to-day currency. Regardless of the original intent Bitcoin is only really useful for hoarding like gold, and Eth in its current state is more about smart contracts than transactions.

If you're truly interested in a decentralized currency there are other projects focused on that.


I'd argue that a lot of the value priced into these currencies are based on the assumption that they'd be usable as a day-to-day currency someday.

1. Start accepting crypto, get a PR bump

2. Stop accepting crypto because you're green, get another PR bump


Mozilla has been accepting it for years, 2017 at least. I imagine nobody donated anything of palpable value because they had to re-announce that they do in fact accept crypto. That's what kicked off the controversy.

Also, I haven't seen Mozilla associated with positive PR for a long time. Much as I love Firefox, it's dead on mobile.


> Much as I love Firefox, it's dead on mobile.

It's my primary browser on mobile and always has been. What am I missing?


I don't think you are missing anything. It is far more attractive on mobile due the the extension support and hence ad-blockers. That alone makes up for any (small) performance difference Firefox has.

Chrome on mobile without uBlock is as bad as you would expect.


It's not 2008 anymore, there are choices beyond Chrome and Firefox.

Kiwi and Brave are both Chromium based, and on mobile both are faster/less jittery than Firefox. Especially on web apps that have some level of interactivity with CSS transitions and transforms.

Kiwi has excellent support for Chrome extensions including UBO, and Brave comes with adblocking built in. Samsung Browser has adblocking as well.


> there are choices beyond Chrome and Firefox

And those choices are literally rebranded Chrome - which means they're likely going to be victims of Chrome Extension Manifest V3 nerfing content blockers in various ways (especially once Chrome fully sunsets MV2), no?


No, V2 is being kept internally and exposed for Enterprise Chrome deployments. We at Brave have committed to keeping webRequest exposed to extensions too, while the underlying support remains and can be enabled for all Brave users.

> Much as I love Firefox, it's dead on mobile.

What's wrong with Firefox for Android?

(Firefox for iOS is just reskinned WebKit, like all other iOS browsers, but hopefully Apple has to open this up soon)


They rewrote it recently, and not only a lot of features didn't make it through, but it also lost most of the extensions.

Still beats Chrome hands down. But it used to be better.


They had a perfectly working browser and replaced it with a broken one with no support for extensions, printing/PDF, and WebAuthn.

about:config is currently disabled, so for instance setting proxies no longer work. Ah, I see one of the … 18 supported extensions is a proxy setter.

Basically they shipped premature beta software and abandoned the stable working version.


I don't know about printing or WebAuthn, but I'm on Nightly and extensions (particularly uBlock Origin) work just fine AFAICT. And so does about:config.

WebAuthn works now, but it was a regression.

Nightly supports about:config but stable does not.

Only a specific short list of extensions are supported.


And simultaneously flush what little good will remained with their users and existing donors. Patience is wearing thin for many when it comes to Firefox.

>Where it gets interesting is... what if crypto becomes anathema? What if accepting crypto or holding crypto starts become so closely associated with directly causing climate change, that no company is going to want to be openly associated with crypto, NFTs, etc due to the negative association?

I think this is going to increasingly become true, and I think it may lead to an interesting and divisive future. I suspect that if Ethereum actually does fully transition to Proof of Stake and the network doesn't suffer any serious issues for a year or two afterwards, its price may surpass Bitcoin's in a few years, and decisions to use/trade/hold Bitcoin vs. Ethereum will become exponentially more ethically, politically, culturally, and tribally charged than they are now.

If that turns out to be the case, I also predict Bitcoin will one day move to a different consensus system that consumes less energy - but it may take a decade, several hard forks, and the (metaphorically) bloodiest internet flamewars and in-fights ever seen before it actually happens.


Isn't it interesting that people who own Ethereum/crypto, are suddenly very ethical and concerned about Bitcoin's energy use? Everything else can consume energy ethically in this world, but using energy to run a decentralized monetary system? No, that must be very bad.

Actually, people wouldn't choose something that doesn't work, just to signal their irrational ethics. Ethereum is not designed to be money, and it has huge array of problems in addition to using weak PoS consensus in the future. It is not properly decentralized, and therefore it can't deliver the promise of money that is equal for all people in the world. In my opinion, it's highly unethical to push Ethereum or other corruptible systems using this environmental narrative.

Most people in Bitcoin, especially big investors, know the difference between these systems, and wouldn't use a PoS currency for any price.

Mark my words, when Ethereum switches to PoS, its price will crash.


The energy usage is mere propaganda spouted from individuals with A/C and heat cranked to 68-72 room temperature, way way inside the survival temperature band of their climate. They don't give a fuck about wasting some energy. Or they give a fuck and they do it anyway, prioritizing their own comforts while considering yours immoral.

Case in point. I think comments like this are going to dominate online discussions much more than they already do over the next few years.

Probably yes, but truth will win.

It’s all moot. ETH 2.0 is coming June and it uses proof of stake which uses a tiny fraction of what proof of work uses. All things like this article should do is make you invest in proof of stake coins because they are the future.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_of_stake


Why is it taking so long for proof of stake to happen? They've been talking about it for many years and the fact that none of the mainstream coins have moved to proof of stake and there is no rising new coin that uses it, make me think there's a fundamental issue with it.

It's comically complicated once you get into the details of moving an existing chain over from PoW; the Ethereum developers have really been working on it for years and only now have it in a shape that works for multiple Ethereum clients on a shared test network.

If PoW weren't a climate disaster it would have very obvious appeal due to its orders of magnitude simpler implementation.

Edit: You can learn more here -- https://consensys.net/blog/news/the-state-of-the-merge-an-up...


So why hasn't there been any new POS coins? If the complexity is in maintaining the history, new coins wouldn't have that problem.

Even outside of any hypothetical technical complexity, a system that explicitly pushes all the power to those with the most money seems antithetical to the point.


There are tons of them, looking at the top 20 coins here: https://coinmarketcap.com/

- Solana - Cardano - XRP - Terra - Polkadot - Avalanche - Polygon

That's the majority of actual chains in the top 20, since many of the rest are tokens running on top of other chains (USDT, USDC, SHIB, BUSD, &c)

In general, starting a clone of proof-of-stake Ethereum is a very popular way to make a new chain.

As for the philosophical point, PoW isn't really different. It takes tremendous capital investment to produce enough hash rate to ever mine a BTC. These are all more or less systems in which the rich get richer and the not-rich get to gamble.


> So why hasn't there been any new POS coins? If the complexity is in maintaining the history, new coins wouldn't have that problem.

There are dozens of new networks launched over the last two years, they are all PoS.

> Even outside of any hypothetical technical complexity, a system that explicitly pushes all the power to those with the most money seems antithetical to the point.

What power do PoS stakers have? They select the order of transactions. That's it. The goal is to distribute this role across enough people so that they cannot collude to censor a transaction. That's essentially the only goal.


Doing it in a truly decentralized way with consensus from the community on how to do that on a chain already in motion is no easy task I guess. Vitalik has showed a slide from many years ago with his way too optimistic dates for when proof of stake would be here.

> and the fact that none of the mainstream coins have moved to proof of stake

Three of the top 10 by market cap are already on proof-of-stake.


Even when or if this switch eventually finally happens, if the current inertia keeps going and the idea that "cryptocurrency causes climate change" continues to gain mainstream traction, it's going to be very hard to make people change their beliefs without a huge, concerted marketing campaign.

Geez give humans some credit. A grade school child can understand what 99.95% less energy consumption means.

Hasn't that been a few months from launch since 2019?

People were a bit eager with the announcements, but the real progress is there. A few steps big steps were finished last year and now the big merge is scheduled for 22. https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/

It's actually running on a testnet now. Just ironing out bugs before release.

I'm hearing about eth moving to PoS since years now. It won't happen.

It's been slow, but progress is happening. There's already ~$28 billion worth of ETH staked on the beacon chain. Most of the engineering work for the merge has already happened. A post-merge testnet (Kintsugi) was launched a few weeks ago. If you look at the mainnet readiness checklist [1], the remaining work is largely testing and documentation. Hard to imagine how it could not happen at this point.

[1] https://github.com/ethereum/pm/blob/master/Merge/mainnet-rea...


You'd think so, but it seems that people who have a problem with cryptocurrency in general are already laying the groundwork for the next assault. This is one of the tweets in the linked thread:

https://twitter.com/davetroy/status/1478017698676228099

It basically claims that cryptocoins are "sound money", and that "sound money" is inherently racist. I tried to follow the logic in that thread, and, so far as I can tell, it boils down to something akin to "Hitler was a vegetarian, ergo, vegetarianism is bad".


Why June? Isn't that just the difficulty bomb date? I haven't heard anything about the merge happening in June.

https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/merge/

The difficulty bomb will effectively be the end of proof of work as far as I know. I apologize if that is wrong. I used to be an Ethereum miner long ago but haven’t done it for some time.


The difficulty bomb exists to make evolving the protocol by forking it smoother, since there's no practical way to keep using the 'original chain' indefinitely (TBH I think this is one of the better ideas in etherium after seeing all the drama around bitcoin hardforks). It can be effectively put off indefinitely while still staying on PoW by just forking to a version of the protocol which the same but with a later difficulty bomb, and indeed this has already been done multiple times. The current plan as stated by the foundation is to not extend it again (at least officially: miners could start their own fork if they wanted but it would be up to the market to decide which one is worth anything), but they can postpone it again.

Why not June? He didn't specify the year after all. :)

You can still use cryptos to pay for unmentionables on the web, extract anonymous payments from crime victims, and most importantly gamble in a wholly unregulated casino.

I'd also note that the unregulated casinos can be (but aren't always) verifiable in how they function, so if you want high assurance that the odds and such are as stated, you can (in some cases) obtain such assurance, despite the lack of regulation.

(but, you'd have to be careful to check the claims and such, and, if you can't or don't have time to check the software yourself, you might have to trust a 3rd party evaluating the system, and possibly there wouldn't be any such organization that you would trust who has done such a check.)


> what if crypto becomes anathema? What if accepting crypto or holding crypto starts become so closely associated with directly causing climate change, that no company is going to want to be openly associated with crypto, NFTs, etc due to the negative association?

This is how the current wave of “web3” marketing started: everyone in cryptocurrency saw the bad reputation building and, being keenly aware that the only value was what you could find a buyer for, started hawking “web3 and pumping up things like NFTs trying to find new reasons for people to put real money into the system.


Do you have any evidence or even anecdotes indicating this is the case? From everything I’ve seen, Web3 hype is from the same people who are still excited about all crypto stuff.

Just here to point out, once again, that there's lots of "crypto" stuff that doesn't use proof of work.

The non-proof-of-work schemes are all either small experiments or World of Warcraft gold with signatures.

I genuinely hope for the environment that other schemes work out, but we’re not there yet.


Denigrate how you will, but they work to transfer value securely, which is what's needed here.

Solana had over 2 billion dollars of volume transacted today. Pretty big experiment.

Proof of stake chains already secure over 50 Billion dollars in value - https://defillama.com/chains. Everything but Ethereum in the top 20 is proof of stake, Ethereum will be transitioning to it this year.

Where? Can you share a link / description?

Iota, nano, algorand kinda cardano.

Only Bitcoin and Eth1 (going away this year) could possibly have that association. You can't just discard an entire technology on this basis. The energy FUD won't stick beyond Bitcoin. Even that will go away when >90% of BTC mining is backed by clean energy. IIRC it's around 50% now.

A single Google Search: 1,080 J

A single Solana transaction: 1,837 J

One eth2 transaction: 126,000 J

Watching an hour of television on a 40 inch+ LCD TV: 540,000 J

https://solana.com/news/solana-energy-usage-report-november-...


> Only Bitcoin and Eth1 (going away this year) could possibly have that association. You can't just discard an entire technology on this basis.

Are you sure? It's easy to send your message anonymously on the Hand, but I (and many others I've met out there in the real world) have zero interest in acquiring cryptocurrency, regardless of price or potential payoff. It seems more like the biggest tulip trading ponzi scheme in history.

I do enjoy the entertainment it's provided me since I first encountered it in 2008.

I'm not even rich... just disinterested in accumulating wealth in such a stupid manner which contributes no tangible benefit back to society.


TBH you're probably right. Most people won't use cryptocurrency directly, it'll become AWS for the financial system and people will use it every day without realizing.

> when >90% of BTC mining is backed by clean energy. IIRC it's around 50% now

What? There is no fucking way mining is using anywhere near 50% clean energy.

And using any energy for proof-of-waste is awful. That clean energy could've been used for something productive rather than a hashing lottery.

> on this basis

That's far from the only problem. The bigger problem is that this "technology" only works for crime and does not work as an actual regular currency.


One Bitcoin transaction: 6,995,592,000 J

DuckDuckGo claims to be carbon negative, btw:

https://spreadprivacy.com/duckduckgo-goes-carbon-negative/


Solana is an unstable centralised blockchain, majority owned by insiders, the same insiders hyping Solana for the NFT / Web3 garbage by the usual venture capitalists [0]

Not good at all and looks mostly a pump and dump scam to me.

The question is when will the party be over for most late comers to the Solana ponzi scheme.

[0] https://cryptobriefing.com/how-decentralized-is-solana/


If this ends the Eternal September we have in crypto it would be awesome. Crypto has too much marketing and eyes on it nowadays. It wouldn't hurt to turn in down a notch and keep working on it.

> we could see a major decline in mainstream support.

Depends on the definition of mainstream support.

I think that almost everyone that is vested/pro crypto hasc an interest in showing it here.

Normally opinions here are similar to what tweakers ( a popular dutch site for tech enthusiasts) has.

But with crypto there's a huge difference, eg. https://tweakers.net/nieuws/181606/tesla-stopt-met-bitcoin-a... people dislike crypto there, with mentioned reasons.

Even while the "investing" in crypto topic is pretty active: https://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_messages/2056096

https://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_topics/129

Note: main site for tech enthusiasts in Belgium+Netherlands. So for 28 million people.


> holding crypto starts become so closely associated with directly causing climate change

If that happens, I will be 100% sure what's in peoples heads!


The blocks use the same energy whether they are full of transactions or not.

So it has nothing to do with any organization encouraging transactions or not.

It wouldn’t stop demand when considering a competing theory that all the transactions are speculation, so nobody is missing anything if one place wont accept donations, or that place using their platform to reverse policy on accepting crypto.


> if the perception of crypto continues to be that it's a significant contributor to climate change -- regardless of how true that may be --

Therein lies a huge part of our societies problems : people base their beliefs on perceptions rather than digging into the truth of the claims they choose to follow. This creates division, strife, and carries huge social costs.

And, if their claim is objectively wrong---i.e., if bitcoin is less harmful to the climate that the legacy monetary system (with its unbridled government spending and profligate international wars---what's the petrodollar system's true cost if we include all the oil tankers, office buildings, Brinks trucks and The US 7th fleet sitting in the Indian Ocean?), then choosing to ignore the truth could actively harm the climate more than choosing the better money.


It's crazy that it's 2022 and so many people on HN still think crypto is majority Proof of Work... Ethereum is transitioning to Proof of Stake this year and after that Bitcoin will be the ONLY major cryptocurrency still on PoW.

If you are banking on activism to stop/start anything, you are in for a huge disappointment.

Profits / Self benefits are the most powerful, natural forces of the world. If you want any positive changes, you should harness them rather than fight it.


Bitpay stagnated because it is a known bad service.

You also have the rise of BTCPay Server and lightning.


Crypto is such a unique and compelling idea that it's not going anywhere. There will definitely be bumps along the way, but those are because of implementation issues.

The only thing that can kill it is legislation.


> The only thing that can kill it is legislation.

And even that ain't a silver bullet.


>Where it gets interesting is... what if crypto becomes anathema? What if accepting crypto or holding crypto starts become so closely associated with directly causing climate change, that no company is going to want to be openly associated with crypto, NFTs, etc due to the negative association?

Then somebody should make crypto coin which is exclusively run on renewable energy so it would be considered moral accepting it as donation.


That doesn't make it moral. Using all the available renewable energy to do useless computations, so that a very tiny minority of folks can use a "currency", means that energy isn't available for other uses. The prevalence of mining is causing energy providers to postpone the decommissioning of dirty plants to be able to meet peak load.

There is no ethical use of proof of work cryptocurrency.


>There is no ethical use of proof of work cryptocurrency.

Is there ethical use of your idle CPU time?


An idle CPU can be powered down. A computer can be put to sleep when not in use. CPU cycles that are unused aren't wasted, but power that's used can very much be wasted.

The correct framing is in regards to what the CPU is doing when it isn't idle.


Hybernation.

Never underestimate the will of the masses to gamble their money on crypto. If anything we'll see a push to PoS blockchains or eth will actually switch to PoS.

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