In other words, suppose I create token SCAMMER, and I say its supply will be capped at 1 million tokens (or 10 million, or 100 million - that's the "nice" thing about crypto, I can kinda choose whatever number I want), and then I'm able to sell 10 of those tokens for $100 each. According to FTX math, I now have $99,999,000 of assets on my balance sheet, but of course if I actually tried to sell a lot of my "kept" tokens I would tank the SCAMMER price.
Even better, and I think what is probably more common in the crypto industry: suppose I get my buddy to create a SUX2BEU token. I tell my buddy I'll by 10 SUX2BEU tokens for $100 each if he buys 10 of my SCAMMER tokens for $100 each. Now suddenly we can both say we have huge assets on our balance sheets! Until, of course, someone decides to pull aside the curtain covering the wizard.
So many ponzi schemes on top of ponzi schemes...
Same way with games I enjoy. I never tend to buy the "skins" or "cosmetics" unless one _really_ clicks with me.
You aren't spending $25 on video game shit, you're spending $25 on a fun skin to show your pals, or upgrades to help your friends beat some boss, or whatever
Once you get on that path, it can lead pretty normal people to some very dark places indeed
Maybe you've already found a decent app (or realised that your camera has a built-in scanner), but the confusingly-named Barcode Scanner (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.zxi...) scans QR codes without fuss.
I’m on iOS, tried a few but they all wanted a subscription and were a terrible experience without it. So I wrote simplescan.vercel.app / https://github.com/mcintyre94/simplescan which does the job for me! Though Apple have broken using the camera when you save it to your Home Screen and open it as an app which is annoying.
Ah, that explains it! Your usecase explains it, but I'm reasonably assuming Android because recent iOS versions have it built-in.
As does Android, just open the Camera app and point to the code.
Your definition for "a bunch" is a bit questionable, but good on you for posting the source.
I think if it had been $500k or $1M I would've called it a bunch, but $160k seems low.
 That's right M is for a thousand, because M is a thousand using Roman Numerals. You thought you would never have to remember that.
The ad campaign SpaceX is buying to promote Starlink is called a Twitter “takeover.” When a company buys one of these packages, they typically spend upwards of $250,000 to put their brand on top of the main Twitter timeline for a full day, according to one current and one former Twitter employee who asked to remain unnamed because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.
Which means 160k spent is actually well below typical deal and these deals are pretty normal for Twitter. So one may actually be worried that maybe SpaceX got a deep discount or something.
Just selling to other early-stage startups doesn’t generate much growth/revenue or make you look like a solid business to a sophisticated investor. SaaS/B2B companies that make it big do so because they get huge numbers of small-medium businesses using their platform, not just startups - E.g., Slack, Stripe, Square, Shopify, Canva, Zendesk, Zapier, Segment.
Having other startups using your product is a good early source of product feedback and a strong signal to very early-stage investors, but that alone doesn’t give you the huge growth you need for bigger funding rounds.
It’s very different to the scenario PG was describing in the late 90s; in those days, a startup would be founded, quickly IPO to raise several $million from unsophisticated retail investors, then spend much of it on advertising on Yahoo to drive traffic and artificially push the share price up. Hence when the music stopped in 2000 all that ad spend dried up and Yahoo’s share price crashed.
All those companies I mentioned above are going fine; slowed growth, sure, but they have real businesses with broad customer bases well beyond the startup ecosystem, so they’re all able to continue operating and keep doing OK.
A uses B uses C
C uses A but not B
B uses C
"Ooooo, A uses B I should use them for C!"
With that definition, AWS is a startup. So was the iPhone. Both invented their respective markets, and had to grow quickly to do it. If either of them had needed to raise money from VCs, smart VCs would’ve invested. But they didn’t need to raise capital, since they were already a successful company.
It sounds good to perpetuate the "but Amazon.com had extra capacity they could sell" but it's not true.
But, when the gold rush is over, the shovel-seller may have to do big layoffs.
Nothing wrong at all, it's good to bootstrap an initial customer base and get some user-feedback, but until the chasm is crossed to "real" customers, one could argue that this is the same case nowadays. So the dotcom time was no better nor worse than right now in terms of startup viability.
There is a way to rate and classify derivatives appropriately, you just can't hold the ratings people hostage. I don't think there's a way to do that with crypto.
The banks weren’t to blame for 2008 any more than were the hoardes of FOMO buyers - in that they were both pretty culpable but neither of them were the real problem.
Lax regulation of the rating agencies was the real smoking gun. I’m not even sure it was ever addressed given all the banker witch hunts that ensued, and will next time too.
Dave Chappelle was on Saturday Night Live this past week and did a bit in the monologue about why we can’t have good regulations. Worth checking out:
(Starts at 8:50)
The spent their HELOC and never had to pay it back, they took the "first time homebuyers tax credit", and many of them lived in the house they "bought" for a year or two without paying any mortgage payment until the bank finally took it back. They never paid income tax on any forgiven debt, and they never paid income tax on the imputed income from living in a nice house for a couple of years rent-free until the bank finally was able to take possession of it.
I'm not mining, I'm heating my winter swimming pool with this ASIC based heating elements!
Tax any externalities and let the problem solve itself. Yes, you might end up with some heated sidewalks or other conspicuous consumption, but at least you end up with resources that can counter the problem.
Why not simply prohibit proof-of-work coins and be done with it? There are so many disadvantages and no benefits, it seems.
Europe's hashrate could disappear overnight and barely anyone would notice.
Is there any country that's dependent on crypto mining? I think you may have meant the inverse--a country that crypto mining isn't dependent on (like it was on China... until China banned it a few years ago).
Sure, there's fraudlent accounting, and wash trading, and other bullshit, but that's all just the some and mirrors that allows the ponzi scheme to work.
a ponzi scheme reports a profit, and pays out that profit to early investors. (the payout is actually later investors inflow.)
the only one of the ones you mentioned that is actually a ponzi scheme is the "delivering a yield." its the yield delivery, aka dividend, that makes it a ponzi scheme, not just fraudulently running away with the money. the scheme works because people get paid out regularly, and have no reason to believe their money isnt working for them.
""" You can now earn yield on your crypto purchases and deposits, as well as your fiat balances, in your FTX app! By opting in and participating in staking your supported assets in your FTX account, you’ll be eligible to earn up to 8% APY on your assets. """
How does one provide 8% yield on BTC I have no idea.
To me, FTX is a classic Ponzi scheme according to the most uncontroversial definitions of "Ponzi scheme".
exactly how crypto works.
That is not a ponzi scheme. The selling of the asset to the next sucker, and the price going up, and each person in line getting to shave some profit off the next person is not a ponzi scheme. (It's also exactly how non dividend end paying stocks work. The stock is only worth what the next person is willing to pay.) Youve described a pump and dump.
A ponzi scheme has a mechanism to give a fraudulent "RETURN" to investors that HOLD. That is the definition.
None of the clow bucks are claiming that the underlying product is producing its own profit, the only value is the holding of the asset itself.
Everyone is now using ponzi to mean any sort of scheme including ponzi, pump and dump, etc. But thats not what the word ponzi actually means. And when you say things like "by definition" we need to stick to the actual definition.
In the case of crypto companies who create their own tokens and then use them as collateral, they never actually paid anything for the tokens they own. There's not even a cost basis. It's entirely made up.
Not only is what the crypto companies doing much worse, but it is rare for VCs to leverage their investments in companies. It's not like their fund is levering up 2:1 and buying companies, like a PE fund does, because in the case of VCs their investments are usually not producing cash flow. But in the case of some of these crypto companies, they were levering up using collateral of tokens they made up that they never paid anything for.
It's much, much worse than anything recently seen in finance. CDOs were bad in 2008, but at least the mortgages were a secured claim on a physical asset that someone actually paid something for.
Don't know the "real" price because it's infrequently (or never) traded.
Tokens, etc. are easiest to think of as securities (aka stock) generally, albeit securities in a more abstract thing than a company.
Also; stock in private companies is often not tradeable at all, but no accountant is going to call those fake.
There are multiple ways of plausibly pricing assets.
None are generally accepted that would let someone just make up a ridiculous valuation and stand up to any scrutiny, but people can always do what they want until the auditors show up anyway.
Now, whether or not this is how banks act in practice is another question. It is, perhaps, how they should act if they're being conservative, but it is likely that others will swoop in and often enough grab that interest for themselves. And in the rate environment we've been in until very recently, those are likely the banks that have managed to survive in many cases.
The fundamentals for your ponzi coins are so bad they might as well be worth zero, so why would that insignificant value difference matter anyway?
Crypto tokens are unable to generate revenue.
In some cases you could see it being positive not having your stock price drop everytime the Fed announces a new rate increase or jump everytime they don't (or etc etc with other events) if your primary goal is to continue at a steady pace to achieve some goal.
That’s a rather fine and unimportant distinction.
It is characteristic of crypto, just not only crypto.
And, in the case of crypto, the asset never represents anything but itself.
> in the case of crypto, the asset never represents anything but itself.
This is the foul taste of all crypto "assets". They are not assets because they have no intrinsic value for anything.
The nearest real economy analogy is the art market, which is hopelessly inflated, utterly riddled with fraud, and with very little intrinsic value.
But you can hang a painting on a wall and look at it. Even if it is a fake it still looks good on the wall.
Crypto has none of that. All it has is the scam, the fake, the hope of a bigger fool.
Shame on us for letting this happen. It gives a bad name to geeks in general and cryptography specifically.
Crypto doesn't have the same properties, but if a crypto token isn't a security then you can get some other tax benefits via wash sales.
Here are the docs for V1 (V3 is different, but the core pieces remain)
V2 docs have fun diagrams if that is useful for you
It's quite interesting, and essentially what happens is that a pairing pool is created, ETH <> Shtcoin for example. So now for that shtcoin to have "value" it needs to be liquid within the pool, ie can go into ETH. The cost of the coin is determined mathematically based on the ratio each side of the pool.
Anybody can do that, true. What you also need is credibility and willingness to destroy that. Look at Fried Bankman, he had had tons of pedigree and knew what ears to wisper too. He apparently wasn't saying anything smart and yet people believed him. He was even rude and playing videgames during meetings and yet people believed him. It's easy and yet it isn't. I think scammers have qualities normal people don't have and when all those line up we get a super bankrun like what happened in this case.
These shenanigans have been going on for a long time in wealthy groups.
Also my phone does not flag DogeCoin as a misspelled word.
Anyone who invests in this stuff is either really dumb, or morally impaired yet smart enough to exploit people who are really dumb.
This is well understood and goes on all the time in NFTs, it's usually called wash trading.
People in crypto know this is happening. The reason they still speculate is because it's hard to predict when it will collapse, and some people think they have an edge predicting that sort of thing.
Isn't this what happened with Quadriga exchange?
The regulator said Thursday that Vancouver-based Quadriga's late founder Gerald Cotten committed fraud by opening accounts under aliases and crediting himself with fictitious currency and crypto asset balances, which he traded with unsuspecting clients.
On Thursday, the OSC attributed about $115 million of the $169 million clients lost to Cotten's "fraudulent" trading.
Another $28 million was lost when Cotten used client assets on three external crypto asset trading platforms without authorization or disclosure.
The OSC said he also misappropriated millions in client assets to fund his "lavish" lifestyle and because he was in sole control of the company ever since 2016, he "ran the business as he saw fit, with no proper system of internal oversight or controls or proper books and records."
In that way, "DeFi" feels the same about the finance industry.
It was no secret that SBF hated traditional finance. And so I assume he refused to learn anything from it. But what he ended up creating was almost a hilarious parody of the financial system.
That's at least how I can square the circle about how someone who could criticize Lehman Brothers for letting themselves get overleveraged on shady asset classes could literally have negative 8 billion dollars in "Hidden, poorly internally labeled ‘fiat@’ account" and then publicly go to Twitter to say they have a "liquidity problem".
SBF worked at Jane Street, but he must have been there in a capacity that insulated him from this sort of knowledge. At large firms such as that there are very specialized roles that juniors typically start within, where the visibility is fairly limited.
My only question is was he able to pay for his private jets or residences in FTT? He seemed pretty convincing to a lot of people so it would be interesting to see if everything was paid in his own made up currency.
SBF is notorious for advocating expected-result decision-making with risk entirely disregarded, and essentially saying if you aren’t in the high risk range where the median (rather than expected) result is break even or worse, you are usually being too cautious; he's not ignorant of risk, just deliberately contemptuous towards it being a negative factor in decisions.
Turns out, when you chase Gambler’s Ruin that hard...
And I'm not buying into his whole effective altruism thing. What I think is that SBF had a strong desire to make money, ethics be damned, but had a troubled conscience. Effective altruism gave him moral comfort and helped him rationalize his actions.
Only because you seem to be reading into it a positive moral judgement that I did not, in any way, express.
> Misappropriating custodial funds is not ever acceptable when you are running an exchange, no matter how good your EV looks like.
I didn’t say it was.
> And I'm not buying into his whole effective altruism thing.
SBF doesn’t just advocate that method of decision-making in the context of EA, he advocates fairly consistently for financial and other decision-making.
I was an options market maker. That taught me a lot about options but little about finance. The latter comes from curiosity and initiative, up to and including reading history books. Given SBF was post book or whatever, the ignorance isn’t surprising.
Not sure of the timeline but she was asking why not double down on a 50/50 bet every time (if you lose) - you can earn "infinite" money but lose only your bet.
I am not sure working somewhere means you are an expert in it. It's incredible these people managed to create a company size of FTX.
I'm pretty sure you're referring to this tweet
In which case she wasn't the person asking the question. Somebody else was asking it, and she was unequivocally saying that it wouldn't work.
> (I'm not an expert on traditional finance but my impression is that it's a lot more boring; largely brokers will just try and have margin requirements conservative enough that it's very unlikely for you to
actually lose all your money.)
This person was managing all that money.
1. "I'm not an expert on traditional finance"
2. "it's a lot more boring"
So I knew this guy who used to game the customs at New Delhi airport. Back in the day he would fly over to Singapore, buy some expensive electronics, and try to get it past customs without paying duty - he was a "mule."
There was one particular customs agent who knew this guy and would catch him. The mule would pick flights during that agent's shift - told me that it was boring otherwise.
These kids were getting a kick out of risky trades.
3. "conservative enough that it's very unlikely for you to actually lose all your money."
This tells me they knew what they were up to and they didn't really care - it was part of the game.
The whole saga is fascinating. Can't wait for the book/movie combo to come out.
And is that a problem? "traditional finance" is a sprawling subject. There are literally four year degrees on "finance". Yet, jane street hires (a "traditional finance" trading firm) regularly hires people with only mathematics degrees to trade for them. Other hedge funds/trading firms do the same as well.
> 2. "it's a lot more boring"
>There was one particular customs agent who knew this guy and would catch him. The mule would pick flights during that agent's shift - told me that it was boring otherwise.
>These kids were getting a kick out of risky trades.
Don't you think you're reading a little too much into this? Someone calls traditional finance boring so they must be some sort of adrenaline junkie?
>3. "conservative enough that it's very unlikely for you to actually lose all your money."
>This tells me they knew what they were up to and they didn't really care - it was part of the game.
In some ways traditional finance's margin requirements are more conservative. Regulation T specifies that for stocks, initial margin is 50% (ie. if you buy $100 worth of stocks, you need to pay for $50 out of your own pocket), and maintenance margin is 25%. A quick search says that FTX's margins are 10% and 5% respectively. However, in other ways traditional finance's margin requirements are looser. Because they expect that the lender is a legal entity they can go after, they're much more lenient when it comes to liquidating customer's accounts. That's how lenders got burned on Archegos, because Archegos were giving excuses, the lenders believed them (also, liquidating your customer is rude and they don't want to lose their business), and didn't liquidate them. Crypto on the other hand is far more conservative in this regard, because they basically assume that the only assets you have are the assets in your account. To that end, crypto exchanges (including FTX) have margin monitoring 24/7 and will automatically liquidate customer accounts when they dip too low. So to get back to your original point, they do care, and it's something they thought long and hard about.
I look forward to seeing how this plays out, especially for Lewis' book.
Still the whole blog and her various public interviews are wild. I know we are operating with the benefit of hindsight but I find her very unconvincing - for example when asked about math in her job she said she doesn't use any really, except maybe elementary school math. That you only need to be able to take some risk (laughs awkwardly).
> It's incredible these people managed to create a company size of FTX.
Didn't they got hundreds of millions in play money from their network (school friends). This worked while everything was going up and new cash was coming in.
"Never confuse being long in a bull market with genius."
Jane St is a prop trading firm - the only money they have to lose is their own.
It would be worrisome if most of Alameda was full of ex-JS traders, who had been there for 7+ years.
A plausible story to me is that they were good at whatever they screen for in the interview and then at Jane Street they made a bunch of money. Then they attributed too much of that to themselves and not enough to whatever institutional processes and risk frameworks they benefited from. They bring themselves but not those processes to their own trading firm, and then boom!
for me just knowing how to setup a quant trading firm, how to choose prime brokers, how to find and select vendors, leased lines, how to setup paper work, cap intro relationships, exchange memberships, FIX certs, are of equal value as alpha tricks, and really I dont even see a lot of evidence that the Almeda / FTX people were particularly well-seasoned in any respect.
But the point is you can't infer anything about Jane Street risk controls from people who didn't have that role.
I'm talking about the Jane Street risk control people not being able to filter out two of the biggest fraudsters of this century. Yes, I know that, technically, the Jane Street risk control people most probably only focus on the risky stuff that might bring their house down, and, as such, they most probably wash their hands when it comes to the deeds of their former employees, but I was under the impression that when those sort of shops hire someone there's also a general screening for "is this a guy/lady that is going to swindle billions of dollars in the near future"?
And, to be honest, I guess that's what the cachet of people like SBF was, especially in a very deregulated and wild market like crypto is. More exactly "normal" people would have thought along the lines of: "this guy has worked for Jane Street -> I've read Jane Street are cool, honest people, so they must have done some vetting of their employees -> SBF most probably won't run with my money".
More generally speaking, as you most probably well know, the whole house of finance is built on trust and trust alone. That goes for crypto, that goes for traders like JS, that goes for boring money market funds, that goes for the FED itself (probably with trust decreasing from Fed -> to MMFs -> to traders -> to crypto).
When such swindlers like SBF and Caroline Ellison both happen to have worked at any one entity that's part of that chain of trust that I mentioned, then said entity can't just wash its hand saying "well, we checked out on them, they were fine when they used to work for us", it doesn't work like that. People will start asking themselves: "Are there other swindlers now working for JS that JS has failed to catch during its vetting process? If yes, do they risk bringing the whole JS house down?".
All the while the IBs and the algo traders and all those fancy financial shops will keep saying: "how could we have known? We're not mind-readers! These are not our people!". Madness.
Also, by "JS risk control" people I was not only thinking about the spreadsheet guys. I hope to the gods of Mammon that there still is some sense of "is this guy trustful? Does he belong in this trust-based industry?" active inside of those firms, and, no, I don't expect the spreadsheet guys from credit risk to be in charge of it.
If you're telling me that "no, there's no such department in any of those institutions! Any crook can get hired as long as he passes the technical interview" then I think the industry has a whole has a big f.ing problem.
Jane St is fully above board and has no such associated firm managing customer money.
Unless they use leverage, which they all do. Then, they can easily lose their lenders (or options buyers, etc.) lots of money.
They make money from the pennies in the spread, many many many times over. They are not making over-leveraged big bets.
I encourage you to talk to anyone who works in market-making finance.
Let's also try not to conflate "blowing up" with actual fraud. Traders are free to lose all of their own money, and doing so is not fraud
Furthermore, Jane St only trades their own capital - ie. not capital deposited by customers in an exchange and not capital provided by selling ownership stakes of itself on a public market. This is a clear distinction from Knight.
It's as if some guy just had a bunch of money, traded it and made some more money, hired a bunch of people to keep trading it, and it has made a ton of great returns and people are asking: is this a scam?
Who would it be scamming? The only suckers are this guy.
The practical version of Effective Altruism for most people is essentially "if you're well off, you should donate a chunk of your income to buying anti-malaria bed nets/deworming medicine/direct cash transfers for the global poor". I don't see how that could "sour" in your mind, seems like a fairly unreservedly good thing.
I want to point out that there are real people  being helped by Effective Altruism right now. Telling them "sorry, can't help you any more, some rich asshole in the US just committed a scam, and he claimed he wanted to help you too" just seems incredibly petty and cruel to me.
 - This is also a group that traditionally doesn't receive much attention either.
All the mainstream political suggestions for taxation/wealth distribution focus on correcting wealth inequalities within a rich nation. Very few (if any) suggest redistributing from wealthy western nations to the global poor.
Obviously AMF has been around before EA, the big difference is the additional amount of money it’s been able to deploy. I personally know many people (including me!) who started donating significantly because of EA.
Isn't it against EA ethos? Helping some people right now, right here? I read some posts about this movement, and from them it seemed like EAs are more interested in the far off stuff - developing benevolent AI, transumanism, space travel, gene vaults, terraforming, Mars colonisation etc. (there is nothing wrong with these activities). Because helping people right now is "just" altruism, not effective altruism.
> I read some posts about this movement, and from them it seemed like EAs are more interested in the far off stuff
You can’t really use that as a metric to judge the movement, since there’s only so much one can write about “donate money to AMF”, but you can write pages and pages about the far off stuff.
Jane Street - NYC
EA - Berkeley
Crypto - the Bahamas or something?
VCs - Palo Alto
```Palo Alto (/ˌpæloʊ ˈæltoʊ/; Spanish for "tall stick") is a charter city in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area``` - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Alto,_California
>"Before joining Alameda as a trader in March 2018, Ellison spent 19 months as a junior trader at Jane Street after graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 2016. In a podcast two years ago, Ellison explained that Jane Street was her first job out of college. A diehard mathematician and Harry Potter fan born of two economists, Ellison she hadn't wanted to go into trading but "just didn't really know what to do" with her life.
> "She was persuaded to join Alameda by SBF, who also previously worked for Jane Street. When she quit Jane Street, Ellison said she felt bad for staying such a short amount of time. However, this feeling quickly dissipated when she arrived at Alameda and discovered that she had "kind of more trading experience than a lot of Alameda traders," anyway."
And similarly for Constance Wang the FTX CEO/COO:
>"Constance Wang joined FTX as chief operating officer in the Bahamas in 2019. Initially, she was chief operating officer (COO) of FTX's crypto derivatives exchange. In January 2022 she was promoted as CEO of FTX digital markets, with responsibility for the Bahamas HQ. An org chart published by the Information puts her one level below Sam Bankman-Fried.
>This looks like a big job. All the more so because Wang is only a few years into her career. Before she joined FTX, most of her time had been spent at Credit Suisse in Singapore.
>Wang wasn't an MD at Credit Suisse. She wasn't even a director or associate director. She was an analyst and she worked at the bank for two years, first in KYC in the private bank and then in APAC risk and controls. It was her first job out of university.
"Admittedly, Wang didn't go straight from Credit Suisse to FTX - there was an eight-month detour to Huobi Global, a crypto exchange in Singapore first. However, the fact that this was sufficient to land her a job in her late 20s running 'institutional clients servicing and operational procedure,' at a fund with $1bn of revenues last year, looks slightly questionable."
More likely is that the child of prominent academics might actually be more intelligent than average themselves and certainly provided more opportunity to flourish.
> Jane St (unlike customer-facing finance firms, like Goldman Sachs) does not really engage in this style of nepotism hiring that I know of.
Wow i'm sold.
I promise you I have no affiliations with JS whatsoever, just think that there is lots of sloppy reasoning going on in this thread.
Makes your claim unconvincing though. At least if you had worked there you might be in a position to make a claim either way.
The class of people hired by firms like Goldman Sachs is obviously nepotistic in nature and very different from the class that JS hires.
A substantial portion of the GS mix is athletes & what I would call traditional Northeast elites, Jane St hired mostly out of the top physics, CS & applied math classes I was in.
Beyond that, having parents who are prominent professors is nothing special at these schools and definitely would not give you pull at these institutions. Finally, Jane St has no incentive to engage in this sort of hiring because they are not customer/client facing.
I'm confused as to what you are asking - Jane St certainly hires plenty of people out of college not for nepotism reasons.
The fact that he did not have a prior job before college is not evidence he was hired for nepotism.
Let me guess - he also got into MIT through nepotism as well.
I'll let others decide on whether they find that reasoning convincing!
I know kids who definitely got in because of parents money, but it certainly did not impact their grading.
What grade inflation really means is that for many, if not all, majors at a school like Harvard, you can take a path of classes that will end up with you completing your major and having a high GPA.
That said, there are certainly classes that will be much less nice to you when grading and have a self-selected group of students. My guess is that if JS has enough people from, say, Harvard, they will know the difference between a student who took hard upper level courses to complete their major vs. just the simple basics.
In terms of why this grade inflation is so prevalent, one reason I think is that faculty want to have students in their courses/run a "superstar" course, and students select classes with the easiest grading policy. Schools like MIT (and Princeton as well) specifically combat this and so are known for grade deflation.
It seems entirely reasonable to me that Jane Street would consider a Bachelor's degree from MIT in math or computer science, being clever, and a prior internship at Jane Street as qualification to work at Jane Street.
That is quite odd. FTX was the very definition of traditional finance (with or without whatever regulations you may think is required). Maybe he was bullshitting you too?
Crypto is now infested with Wall Streeters and VCs trying to convert it into some grotesque form of the old system they are familiar with and failing catastrophically. In a few years decentralized DEXs will all but replace the centralized exchanges.
It's a grotesque level of criminal fraud, but unlike when that happens in traditional finance, there will be no bailout. These fraudsters will get wiped out and there is no one to appeal to who can save them.
You may feel that the others were too greedy and naive, and therefore deserve what they get. Perhaps. But they're still getting wiped out, and they didn't participate in the fraud. (Unless you consider all of crypto to be a fraud...)
Losing tons of money is not the end of the world, even if it can feel like it. It might just mean you have to swallow your pride and go work at Walmart or McDonalds for a while to build yourself back up. Millions of people live that life every day.
Stay humble. Stack sats.
I'm enjoying this shit as much as anybody but unsophisticated people are certainly feeling this right now.
This seems to become clearer every day.
Uh? The guy worked in traditional finance for a few years and was pushing for more regulations on cryptocurrency. His parents were compliance lawyers. He donated tons of money to the democratic party to push for regulations. He ran a centralized exchange. This does not exactly scream DeFi... He was just an opportunist who saw crypto as a means to get rich quick and apparently, getting rich from trading fees was not quick enough for him.
There are a lot of "gold bugs" types in crypto but they mostly self-custody BTC and stay away from shitcoins and day trading.
He was definitely not pushing for bank supervisors examining the books of Crypto exchanges.
FTX could not withstand a bank supervisor momentarily glancing at their books from a distance.
You're not wrong. Crypto is the natural evolution of the gold bug.
Gold bugs funamentally don't understand the finance system. The gold standard was never about fully backing your currency with a global commodity (fun fact: the US dollar was never 100% backed by gold reserves). A gold standard is actually just a peg, a promise by the government to exchange dollars for gold (and vice versa) at a fixed rate. And you don't technically need any gold for that.
Yet gold bugs harp on about gold reserves and that's the least important part of the gold standard. Either way you have a trust issue. FDR famously performed a sovereign debt devaluation, for example.
Likewise, my experience with crypto people is they too (generally, not always) don't understand why the TradFi system is the way it is. Worse, they seem to use wilful ignorance of that as a badge of honor (while muttering something about "disruption").
So gold bugs who (rationally or irrationally) hate TradFi find a natural home with similarly minded Crypto Andys.
I mean, it's not even that fringe is you consider that Central Banks sure hoard a lot of gold specifically because they see it as useful in certain (bad) economic scenarios.
The dollar was created by the coinage act in 1792, with dollars being made of the equivalent amount of silver or gold. To me this seems like practically same thing as being 100% backed by gold reserves.
If we're talking about paper dollars or originally "Demand Notes" from 1861 onward that would be the case as they were put in place because the government was broke trying to fund the Civil War, and had to issue currency on credit (about $1.5b additional in todays dollars, for comparison there's about $51b total in 2021).
>A gold standard is actually just a peg, a promise by the government to exchange dollars for gold (and vice versa) at a fixed rate. And you don't technically need any gold for that.
Wouldn't you need enough reserves to allow anyone who attempted to exchange their dollars for gold to do so? Fractional banking and bank runs seem like a rough analog.
Like Tether, if you can’t actually redeem it for what it’s nominally backed by, is it really backed by it?
I think to some extent we've been riding that initial wave of trust and backing. The alternative I suppose is we've figured out how to manage things correctly and no longer need a peg, but the lead up to the end of Bretton woods sounds ominously familiar to the 2000s. CBDCs seem like the only thing that could potentially fill a similar role.
"However, from 1950 to 1969, as Germany and Japan recovered, the US share of the world's economic output dropped significantly, from 35% to 27%. Furthermore, a negative balance of payments, growing public debt incurred by the Vietnam War, and monetary inflation by the Federal Reserve caused the dollar to become increasingly overvalued in the 1960s...The American public believed the government was rescuing them from price gougers and from a foreign-caused exchange crisis."
Gold standard is dumb for reasons you say. Commodity money is by design supposed to be 100% backed, as the gold is actually inside the money and the face value is the weight gold inside it.
- problems with availability - in most traditional societies, there just weren't enough coins to meet transaction demand, and so people transacted based on credit or other informal ledgers.
- problems with theft
- problems with weight
- problems with people shaving some of the metal off
- problems with counterfeits -- not actually easy to test the percentage of gold in your coin
- problems with credit markets. Credit markets need to move money around quickly and efficiently, and be able to raise large sums. That's not compatible with socks filled with gold buried under your rose bush. The money needs to be available in the credit markets so it can be efficiently deployed, moved around, etc.
So from the beginning, gold was used for specialized purposes -- e.g. to settle international trade or large payments, rather than as a primary means of payment.
There is no way to get around this. The moment you introduce gold, merchants will start borrowing gold by selling Bills of Exchange -- effectively promises to pay gold. These bills of exchange will be more valuable if they are bearer instruments, and so the merchant will make them bearer instruments (to allow raising more money). Then you get a market in which people are buying and selling bills of exchange at a discount. Now you have a discount rate and a money market, and all you are missing is a financial crisis in which a large bank steps to staff their discount window when the smaller traders are forced to close their own. All of a sudden, you are back to credit-based money, as the Bills of Exchange are themselves used to settle more trade than the gold coins. It's just a lot easier to carry a piece of paper that says "X promises to pay 1000 gold coins next year" then it is to actually lug 1000 gold coins around.
The ease of convenience, the needs of merchants to tap capital markets, will ultimately subvert whatever metallic standard you come up with. Then, financial crises will drag in the government to start regulating and centralizing the capital markets.
1. Up until the fairly recently (ie the last century) it was the densest element anyone could get in quantity. This was not true for silver so silver currency could (and was) debased (like you say). This was more difficult with gold as doing so would lower the density;
2. Gold has a relatively uncommon appearance. There are very few substances that could imitate its look. Iron pyrite (aka "fool's gold") is the common one but it's not as dense and is harder. It's also why people would bite into gold coins to verify it;
3. Shaving or cutting coins was actually more of a feature than a bug. Consider "pieces of eight" .
Previous metals as a basis for coinage were more important than perhaps you're giving it credit for. Ultimately what happened was that the coins themselves because a store of value and the metal content became less important as counterfeiting coins wasn't typically trivial. This of course was what ultimately led to paper money.
>It's just a lot easier to carry a piece of paper that says "X promises to pay 1000 gold coins next year" then it is to actually lug 1000 gold coins around.
Not sure if you've ever carried around a gold coin, or ~$1800 (the value of 1 oz gold coin). But the amount of space it would take up, within factor of 2.
~1.8 cubic inches for the gold and 1.2 cubic inches for the bills. So maybe 50% worse space wise for the gold, but in any case not enough to make carrying gold much more burdensome than cash. Sadly you can no longer obtain large (~$1000) bills as they have been eliminated pretty much worldwide.
Perhaps I wasn't clear, but the phenomenon I'm describing is one in which the credit market grows to become more important than the metallic market and eventually destroys it, because in order for the bank trying to calm the crisis to credibly maintain that discount window open, it will need the power to create money in unlimited amounts (not actually to create it, but to convince investors that it can create it).
So what happens is that when credit markets are in their early stages, they go through violent disruptions every few decades that get more and more intense as the credit markets grow, and at some point, the survival of the economy as a whole is at risk, and sometime before that happens the government says "enough. We need an elastic money supply that can guarantee that bills remain discounted no matter what. We have to put an end to the cascading failures due to panics/manias in the credit market." That's when the metallic market is replaced with fiat.
So while you often hear how every fiat currency fails, you don't often hear how every metallic currency is replaced by fiat, and I'm trying to describe this process -- that functioning currency markets inevitably give rise to credit markets, and it's the credit markets that are required for capital investment and economic growth, not the currency markets. Thus the need for stable credit markets is inevitably what drives the abandonment of metallic or any other kind of inelastic money -- of which bitcoin is an example.
This is not to say that inelastic goods can't survive as a tradeables. Stamps even survive as tradeables. So do paintings. But they don't survive as currencies in an industrial economy that requires a large, steady flow of capital investment.
Each money has its own weakness. One of the big weaknesses with fiat and gold-backed money is that it can be debased even while it is in your personal possession.
To point out: that’s part of the narrative SBF was selling. I wouldn’t take it literally. There’s a certain kind of person who can/will say anything, and seem sincere, just to get you to part with your money.
he is a fraud
Please write less pompously and more to the point.
I Googled but there are no real results. Thanks!
Essentially it's a metaphor for forcing someone to go all-in on something they wanted just a little taste of.
So the analogy is take something you like and then force it on you 24x7x365 until you hate every moment of it.
This (in theory) makes them feel sick and develop an aversion to the cigarettes.
How? DeFi protocols are behaving predictably and not pausing user withdrawals or hiding billion dollar black holes in their balances.
Remember, programs are proofs of themselves, but that doesn't mean they provably do what you thought they did.
Risk profile in Uniswap and established DeFi protocol is more transparent than FTX. You cannot verify and audit a CEX, you have to trust they are doing things right, or trust the third parties who audit them. If you are skeptical of Binance or Tether audits then you understand the want for open source DeFi.