Solar Powered Bitcoin Mining: Fake power for fake mining of fake gold?

Guest “you gotta be kidding me” by David Middleton

Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining Could Be a Very Profitable Business Model

Tam Hunt outlines the compelling economics for using solar to supply Bitcoin mining operations.

TAM HUNT SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now a major business, with the global market capitalization of these coins exceeding $170 billion at their recent peak, according to Coin Market Cap.

Bitcoin alone has reached over $70 billion in value, up from nothing when it was created just eight years ago.

A major issue with Bitcoin, which may eventually undermine success unless it is remedied, is the massive amount of power required for “mining” of the coins.

The mining metaphor is apt because bitcoins are created through specialized computers looking for the correct codes (hash keys), just like digging for gold. That electronic digging takes more and more power as more and more people dig for that virtual gold. Sebastian Deetman calculated in 2016 that mining would require as much electricity by 2020 as the entire nation of Denmark currently consumes.

[…]

The bottom line is that solar-powered Bitcoin mining operations can be highly profitable and enjoy payback times as short as a year or two. After that, Bitcoin revenue comes with almost zero ongoing costs for another 25 years or more for solar farms — though the mining machines will need to be upgraded periodically.

[…]

GreenTechMedia
Know Your Meme

The mining metaphor is apt because bitcoins are created through specialized computers looking for the correct codes (hash keys), just like digging for gold. That electronic digging takes more and more power as more and more people dig for that virtual gold.

OK… So let’s assume we did some solar powered Bitcoin mining and struck the mother lode of “virtual gold.” Do we take the virtual ore to a virtual assayer?

How to Use Bitcoin for Purchases
Bitcoin can be an investment, but it’s also a currency. And a store that accepts bitcoin payments may be closer to you than you think.


Steve Fiorillo 
Apr 18, 2018 

[…]

Where Online Can I Buy With Bitcoin?

Do the proper research on whether a company is currently allowing for bitcoin use, as some may have integrated it at one point but may not be using it at the moment. Steam, Valve’s video game distributing platform, stopped allowing bitcoin payments in December 2017, citing the volatility but admitting they may come back to it. Dell claimed it was a lack of interest that led it to stop accepting bitcoin in November 2017. But there are plenty of other places that continue to allow you to pay with bitcoins.

What can you buy with bitcoin online? Depending on the retailer you choose, quite a bit. Overstock.com (OSTK – Get Report) has more of an investment in it than anyone, using it to develop their own blockchain. Those looking for basic retail goods (apparel, furniture, home décor, etc.) can shop on Overstock, check out, and use the option to pay with bitcoin.

Electronics retailer Newegg has also been a big proponent of bitcoin. Computers, televisions, gaming consoles and more can be purchased with bitcoins on Newegg, with separate methods of payment depending on whether you are on mobile or desktop.

[…]

The Street Dot Com

Maybe I’m just being a grouchy old geologist, but does any of the above justify Bitcoin mining? Much less solar powered Bitcoin mining? Most people get jobs and use their income to purchase crap online.

Then there’s this…

Bitcoin can also be used in some cases to make donations. Want to donate to Wikipedia? You can do it anytime and they connect with Coinbase to allow for bitcoin transfers.

There are many other websites that currently allow for bitcoin too, including but not limited to:

OKCupid (dating site)
CheapAir (travel/hotel booking agency)
PizzaForCoins (pizza delivery)
Zynga (Mobile apps/games)
Etsy (e-commerce, some Etsy sellers accept bitcoin as payment)

The Street Dot Com

I wouldn’t donate real money to Wikipedia… I certainly wouldn’t pay real money to set up a fake mining operation to fund fake money donations to Wikipedia.

What else could I use the virtual ore for?

How to Use Bitcoin at Stores

Bitcoin still hasn’t hit a point yet where it’s a common method of payment at your average retail outlet. We’re not sure if or when it would reach a level of ubiquity even 1% close to the dollar. But whether as a novelty or because the owners truly believe it’s the wave of the future, there are some places out there that you can physically go to and pay with bitcoin.

[…]

The Street Dot Com

I guess dropping a wad of Bitcoin at the mall is out there in the distant future when fleets of autonomous ride-share EV’s have replaced personal automobiles… Does Uber take Bitcoin? You can apparently purchase Uber gift cards online with Bitcoin. I just use my AmEx card and skip the whole fake mining bit.

Does Bitcoin serve any purpose?

Bitcoin: Does It Have a Place in Your Portfolio?
By Schwab Newsroom

Bitcoin continues to be a hot topic. Prices for the digital currency rose by more than 1,000% in 2017, but are down more than 49% so far in 2018. In December 2017, Bitcoin futures started trading on two major U.S. exchanges.

This has left some investors wondering: What’s the big deal with Bitcoin? How risky is it, and is it something I should consider for my own portfolio? Here are some facts:

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency—or “cryptocurrency”—that allows online payments to be made directly from one party to another through a worldwide digital payment network, without the need for a central third-party intermediary such as a bank. 

[…]

Why is Bitcoin’s price so volatile?

As of April 11, 2018, the price of a single Bitcoin was about $6,900 and people around the world held approximately $117 billion in Bitcoins.¹ At this price level that exceeds the market capitalization of such bellwether companies as Nike, American Express and Caterpillar. It is relatively small, however, compared with the $6 trillion value of all outstanding gold bullion, and the market capitalization of $23 trillion for the stocks in the S&P 500® index.

“Because Bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins, and an estimated four million have already been lost, there is a large demand and a relatively small supply. Typically, that is a recipe for high volatility,” says Randy Frederick, Vice President of Trading and Derivatives at Schwab.

“Since two major futures exchanges began listing contracts on Bitcoin in December 2017, price declines may be partially attributed to greater price discovery, due to the ability to sell short in the futures markets,” Randy says. “Plenty of speculators, however, continue to buy Bitcoin due to the fear of missing out on something that has provided large profits—but also high risk—to many buyers.”

[…]

Know the risks

“Bitcoin’s dramatic rise and fall has been driven primarily by supply and demand, not valuations,” Randy says. “Bitcoin doesn’t have earnings or revenues. It doesn’t have a price-to-earnings ratio, price-to-sales ratio or book value. Traditional value metrics simply don’t apply, so there are no current methods for assessing its value.”

With a price gain of more than 4,000% in a little more than two years, Bitcoin was definitely in a bubble by most definitions, Randy says. And while the price has fallen more than 63% since the highs reached in mid-December, it is still up more than 80% over the past 12 months, so it’s important for investors to understand that investing in Bitcoin is extremely risky, he says.

Risks include:

Financial loss: Bitcoin prices historically have been highly volatile, and fluctuations could result in significant losses for investors.

Fraud and cybercrime: These already have occurred. For example, in 2011, Japan-based Mt. Gox, then the largest Bitcoin exchange, experienced a security breach in which 850,000 Bitcoins worth approximately $450 million were stolen. In November 2017, a cryptocurrency called Tether reported a $31 million theft.

Theft or loss: A login ID and password is usually needed to access the exchange, so if that is forgotten, lost or stolen by a hacker or phishing scam, access could be denied or lost. Online purchases still require a link to a bank account and/or a credit card. While Bitcoins can be stored in physical wallets so they can be spent without a computer, this creates the same risks as with all cash currencies: They could be lost, stolen or destroyed by accident.

Computer outage or cyberattack: Bitcoin exchanges have been subject to computer outages caused by excessive demand or other problems. Also, because ledgers and most holdings are held on the internet, a large-scale cyberattack could limit access during times of national emergency, something that would not happen with physical cash or gold.

Lack of regulation: Trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is largely unregulated. Washington has been devoting more resources to monitoring digital currencies, but regulators have not reached a consistent or universal stance.

“Bitcoin doesn’t fit within accepted asset allocation models, as it is neither a commodity nor currency in the traditional sense,” Randy says. “Virtual currencies are highly volatile and still lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument that should only be traded with money that they can afford to lose.”

Charles Scwhab & Co.

So…

  • Bitcoin is like gold and crude oil, except that it serves no physical purpose.
  • Bitcoin is like a credit card that isn’t widely accepted… But you can leave home without it.
  • Bitcoin is just like cash… at less than 1% of stores.
  • Bitcoin isn’t an investment. It’s a “purely speculative instrument that should only be traded with money that [suckers] can afford to lose.” Sounds like Powerball to me.

But… The folks at Green Tech Media are convinced that spending real money on solar power installations for the purpose of fake mining for fake gold “can be highly profitable and enjoy payback times as short as a year or two”???

“You gotta be kidding me.”

On top of all of that…

If You Solve This Math Problem, You Could Steal All the Bitcoin in the World

Ryan F. Mandelbaum
Yesterday 5:55pm

You may have heard of the famous P versus NP problem. If you can prove or disprove its cryptically short equation, you’d be a million dollars richer—and maybe even billions of dollars richer, depending on your scruples.

The importance of P versus NP is mainly in its consequences for computing. It happens to be one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems, meaning The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts will award $1 million to whoever manages to prove or disprove the statement. But should you prove that P in fact does equal NP, you wouldn’t even need the $1 million prize. As theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson explained last week at a lecture in a stuffy auditorium at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, proving that P=NP would open up some intriguing possibilities.

“If someone proves P=NP, the first thing they should do is steal $200 billion in bitcoin. The second thing they should do is solve all of the other Millennium Prize Problems,” Aaronson said.

To understand this…

[…]

Gizmodo

To understand this… I would need to drink a whole lot of this…

Does Jim Beam take Bitcoin?

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July 3, 2019 6:20 pm

As bitcoin mining requires what amounts to a server farm, who, pray tell, would consider running a server farm on solar?

R Shearer
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 3, 2019 7:28 pm

Individual miners can mine using fewer resources. My teenage son has been mining for a couple of years now with machines in our basement. He shut them down last year and over the winter because the price of bitcoin dropped so low. Unfortunately, now our AC is fighting against the heat from these machines, which is not a bad thing in winter.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 3, 2019 10:05 pm

A few of my customers do.

At todays numbers given todays machine, you will earn $12.00 a day with 5 cent power
$13 a day with 3 cent power

https://www.cryptocompare.com/mining/calculator/btc?HashingPower=39&HashingUnit=TH%2Fs&PowerConsumption=2200&CostPerkWh=.05&MiningPoolFee=0

People seem to be of the opinion that solar is expensive. it depends where you buy and how you buy

Don K
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 7:09 am

If I understand correctly, the attraction of solar for bitcoin mining is that solar can be pretty cheap if you don’t mind not having power most of the time and the power showing up and going away unpredictably. The intermittency problem is pretty much a killer for most applications except some heating and cooling, and — maybe, cryptocurrency mining. My impression is that a cryptocurrency “miner” is going to restart calculation frequently anyway and is going to throw almost all of his/her calculations away. Erratic power would presumably be just one more annoyance.

There’s a probably pretty good analysis of Cryptocurrency at https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/02/blockchain_and_.html

one excerpt: “What blockchain does is shift some of the trust in people and institutions to trust in technology. You need to trust the cryptography, the protocols, the software, the computers and the network. And you need to trust them absolutely, because they’re often single points of failure.

“When that trust turns out to be misplaced, there is no recourse. If your bitcoin exchange gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If your bitcoin wallet gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If you forget your login credentials, you lose all of your money. If there’s a bug in the code of your smart contract, you lose all of your money. If someone successfully hacks the blockchain security, you lose all of your money. In many ways, trusting technology is harder than trusting people. Would you rather trust a human legal system or the details of some computer code you don’t have the expertise to audit?”

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Don K
July 5, 2019 11:37 am

““When that trust turns out to be misplaced, there is no recourse. If your bitcoin exchange gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If your bitcoin wallet gets hacked, you lose all of your money.

Never keep your keys ON LINE.

putting your coins at an exchange is waiting to get hacked
having a hot wallet on line is waiting to get hacked.
its simple to just put your coins on a paper wallet and in your safety deposit box.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 5, 2019 8:17 am

If a large percentage of bitcoin miners where using solar and it got cloudy everywhere, would minors using a different power source have a temporary advantage?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Canman (aka Mike Dombroski)
July 5, 2019 11:38 am

yes

but you dont run a solar operation that way

Dan Sudlik
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 4, 2019 7:41 am

Sorry Tom, but I’m an old geezer and I don’t even know what the hell a Bitcoin is! All this bitcoin talk just washes over my head.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 4, 2019 10:45 am

In 2017 bitcoin mining consumed power equivalent to electrical requirements of 159 countries, including Ireland and Ethiopia.

Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 7:17 pm

Jim Beam? Sadly there has been an American tragedy:

A Jim Beam warehouse filled with 40,000 barrels of bourbon caught fire
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/03/us/jim-beam-warehouse-fire-kentucky-trnd/index.html
Paul P. Murphy, CNN
Wed July 3, 2019

(CNN)A Jim Beam warehouse caught fire late Tuesday and firefighters struggled to contain the massive blaze, partly because of alcohol in the debris. The warehouse, in Versailles, Kentucky, caught fire around 11:30 p.m. Police Lt. Michael Fortney said a security guard called to report the fire. Forty firefighters from five counties helped battle the blaze. A second warehouse also caught fire, but that blaze was controlled. The warehouse where the fire started has collapsed. It held approximately 40,000 barrels of spirits.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  David Middleton
July 3, 2019 10:06 pm

You really like Animal House, don’t you?

eyesonu
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 6:05 am

+ 42

beng135
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 7:19 am
toorightmate
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 9:57 pm

The fire was quickly extinguished with tears.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  toorightmate
July 4, 2019 9:23 am

Mine. And I don’t even drink Beam

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 11:20 pm

I think someone was bitcoin mining in the warehouse after reading an online blog article, and the waste heat from the operation, well, you know the rest.

Authorities are looking into this carefully.

J Mac
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 11:43 pm

When I heard this earlier today, I lowered my flag to half staff. It’s a national tragedy….

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2019 10:41 am

Why this warehouse did not have a professionally installed sprinkler system is beyond comprehension.
I guess it was old school hillwilliam mentality not understanding the cost benefit, or no local water tower or source of supply.
What a waste of great booze—disgruntled employee? Arson by a competitor?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
July 4, 2019 4:55 pm

Lightning strike, reportedly.

Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 7:22 pm

Here is why, law enforcement authorities will move to cut bitcoin off from the banking system in order to deprive criminal hackers a channel for payments.:

Florida city will pay hackers $600,000 to recover from ransomware attack
by Alfred Ng on June 20, 2019 at C|Net
https://www.cnet.com/news/florida-city-will-pay-hackers-600000-to-recover-from-ransomware-attack/
For three weeks, Riviera Beach, a city of 35,000 people in Florida, had its computer systems held hostage. On Monday, the city council voted unanimously to pay $600,000 in bitcoin to the hackers who caused the problem.
After a city employee clicked on a malicious link in an email, ransomware quickly spread throughout Riviera Beach’s computer network, locking it down unless the city paid a 65 bitcoin ransom.
Email wouldn’t work, 911 calls couldn’t enter into computer records, and systems that controlled the water utility were offline, according to the Palm Beach Post. The city council first tried resolving the issue by paying $941,000 for new computers, but now it’s decided to pay the ransom.
The payment will come from the city’s insurer, though it’s still unclear if the hackers will decrypt the locked files afterward. US law enforcement agencies often recommend that ransomware victims don’t pay hackers, pointing out that there’s no guarantee hackers will comply and that payments encourage cybercriminals to strike again.
* * *
At least 170 state and local governments in the US have suffered ransomware attacks since the first one in 2013, Recorded Future said in a May report. In November, the Justice Department announced charges against Iranian hackers for an incident that hit more than 200 city governments and hospitals with ransomware, causing more than $30 million in damages.

peterh
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 3, 2019 9:48 pm

Once again, the weakest point in an otherwise secure computer system is an authorized user doing something they shouldn’t.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2019 2:43 am

“Here is why, law enforcement authorities will move to cut bitcoin off from the banking system in order to deprive criminal hackers a channel for payments.”

now thats funny

bitcoin is a different banking system. it is already cut off from the banking system.
its a banking system where you are your own banker

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 9:38 am

There are many currencies in the world, for most of them the bank system interfaces between the currencies. You can convert US$ into UK£ at any time for a market based rate. If you have North Korean Won you can’t, because US banks are not legally allowed to touch them. Perhaps you can take them someplace where the local banks are under no such restriction and buy US$ there.

Bitcoin will receive the North Korea treatment so that hackers and drug dealers cannot move money.

whiten
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2019 1:59 pm

Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2019 at 9:38 am
———————–
Trade and civilization did exist and performed for woefully a long time before even the concept of the currencies you mention came to be, let alone the actual present meaning, value and performance of such currencies.

Still funny though, Bitcoin is quite acceptable from some services, even from Wikipedia, when gold no so much, considering especially that Bitcoin only
~ 1 decade old…. strange.

cheers

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 5, 2019 11:44 am

You dont get it walter. any hacker who wants to can change his bitcoin for cash directly.
in person.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 5, 2019 10:00 am

Steven,
Actually bitcoin is not a different banking system, neither are you your own banker. It would be more accurate to say that it is a completely unregulated stock market where the assets are imaginary and the brokers anonymous.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 4, 2019 3:17 am

A better solution: ditch the windows-based computers and replace them by Linux systems.

drednicolson
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 4, 2019 5:08 am

If Linux becomes more mainstream, viruses/malware/cyber-whatever that target it will become more common. Hacker attention toward Apple OSs has risen as its market share has increased. Microsoft has the most experience dealing with malicious software because its ubiquitous OSs have been targeted for so long, so ironically windows-based computers are among the most secure.

On any system, if you backup your data regularly, and most importantly, disconnect the backup drive from your computer when not in use, ransomware goes from a threat to a mere inconvenience. For the extra paranoid, backup to more than one drive and keep one in a fire-safe box or other secure location. If you get a ransomware infection, you can restore your system from the offline backup image and give the would-be extortioner a digital middle finger.

As always, the greatest security vulnerability of any computer system is the laziness of the user. 😐

Don K
Reply to  drednicolson
July 4, 2019 7:23 am

While most end user PC systems are Windows based, most servers and almost all cellphones are Unix based. There’s already plenty of unix malware out there.

Curious factoid: The first publicly acknowledged major piece of malware inflicted on the Internet was the 1987 Morris Worm — an experiment/demonstration that got out of hand. It attacked Unix systems.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  drednicolson
July 4, 2019 5:08 pm

It’s funny every single company I have worked for in the last 4 years have had a Linux and Windows based server infrastructure and *ALL* of them were migrating away from Linux to Windows only.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 5, 2019 4:31 am

PC Matic would have prevented all these thefts with their Whitelist Technology.

Rob
July 3, 2019 7:23 pm

The title says it all. It’s just printing money the hard way.

Rich Davis
July 3, 2019 7:26 pm

This video should clear things up

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4APcgsRdW6w

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 3, 2019 8:14 pm

What the hell did this guy say ? To me it sounded like mumble mumble mumble bitcoin, mumble mumble mumble bitcoin. . . I have no idea what he was saying.

Right-Handed Shark
July 3, 2019 7:34 pm

Paleoclimatology = Not Plausible. Where’s my million dollars?

Warren
July 3, 2019 7:38 pm

Millennials; the special generation . . .

July 3, 2019 7:44 pm

Am I the only person who thinks this is totally raving insane? At the very same time as most of the very same “woke” individuals tell the poor, pensioners, etc. to turn off their heating power and go cold and many actually die in winter, all to save energy, they are squandering vast amounts of energy to discover a completely useless number that only has “value” because these same loons make a free choice to value it. Rocket powered hypocrisy on steroids.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Ron House
July 3, 2019 8:38 pm

Ron,
It is totally raving insane but so is mining for gold. Neither gold or bitcoins have any intrinsic value and are only worth what other people are willing to pay. Using solar panels to power computers to mine bitcoins seems like an unproductive use of energy but if the price of bitcoin doesn’t drop (a big if) then you will make money doing so (again assuming you live somewhere sunny).

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 3, 2019 10:08 pm

Anything is only worth what other people are willing to trade for it.

But if you mean “intrinsic value” as in “can make useful things with it” – gold has quite a bit of that value. Not just for bling, either – there’s 10 ounces in each ton of smartphones (a bit over 375 tons of earth dug out of a mine to produce that).

StandupPhilosopher
Reply to  Ron House
July 3, 2019 9:38 pm

When you think about it, it really isnt any different than using pieces of colored paper.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  StandupPhilosopher
July 3, 2019 10:36 pm

precisely. people dont understand what money is

Marty
Reply to  StandupPhilosopher
July 4, 2019 12:22 pm

One enormous difference. You can use those “pieces of colored paper” to pay your taxes to the government. In fact for some peculiar reason the government won’t accept anything else but those funny little “pieces of colored paper.” And taxes make up somewhere between a third and a half of every dollars you earn.

Here is a simple example. If for example I don’t give enough of those little “pieces of colored paper” to my county government then county men (or women) with shiny badges and big guns will come to my house and evict me and re-sell my house to someone else in a tax lien auction. So I really really really need to have those “pieces of colored paper.” Cause I really like my house and I want to keep it. But do I actually really need Bittcoins? Not so much.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Marty
July 4, 2019 10:37 pm

“One enormous difference. You can use those “pieces of colored paper” to pay your taxes to the government. In fact for some peculiar reason the government won’t accept anything else but those funny little “pieces of colored paper.” And taxes make up somewhere between a third and a half of every dollars you earn.”

all forms of currency have “acceptability” restrictions. Do you think the IRS accepted
visa card when it first came out? Nope.
Some merchants refuse to take cash ( especially here in china ) does that make the
colored paper into non money?
Nope.

If I live in Ohio I can pay my taxes in bitcoin. does that make it like colored money
or not like colored money.

I can take out a loan in colored money against my bitcoin and pay my federal taxes.

whats that make bitcoin?

want your refund in bitcoin?
https://www.coindesk.com/us-income-tax-payers-can-now-get-refunds-in-bitcoin

Don K
Reply to  Ron House
July 4, 2019 9:30 am

Well, in fairness, we’re discussing solar energy that would, without the bitcoin mining, have gone to heating a field or hillside. And the energy is still ultimately converted to heat — may even warm their residence a bit — so these bitcoin miners aren’t stealing power from those in need.

But, yeah, other than that, it’s pretty nutty

Admin
July 3, 2019 8:05 pm
Steven Mosher
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 3, 2019 10:40 pm

uncensorable and permissionless.

Don K
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 3:02 pm

“uncensorable and permissionless.”

You left out “illegal”. Iran (population 80 million) is one of a number of countries where they can, and sometimes do, confiscate your computers and throw you in jail if you are caught mining cryptocurrency. Likewise Saudi Arabia(30 million), Pakistan(200million), and probably soon India(1400 million).

https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2019/06/28/iran-seizes-1000-bitcoin-miners-says-mining-with-state-electricity-is-a-no-no/

July 3, 2019 8:08 pm

Can I buy $10 USDs worth of Bitcoins ??? If I don’t have any now ?
What’s the minimum?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Jon P Peterson
July 3, 2019 10:43 pm

Yes. you can buy any amount. its a DIGITAL currency.

Go to coinbase.com

set up an account (KYC required)

Instead of buying coffee every day buy 5 bucks of bitcoin.

Thats a good risk level.

then forget about for 10 years.

J Mac
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 12:10 am

Or just forget about it all together. Bit coin is the refuge of bitwit criminals, wannabe dictators, and scam artist thieves. wink. no intrinsic value. wink wink.

HotScot
Reply to  J Mac
July 4, 2019 2:10 am

For once I agree with Steven.

I bought £500 of Bitcoin as a little dabble. Nine months later it was worth £180. Too bad I thought.

Over the last month or so it’s jumped to £750.

Had I bought 6 months ago I would have a bigger grin on my face than I do now.

How long it will last, I have no idea but it’s in there for the long haul.

Had you bought £100 of Bitcoin in 2012 you would now be a millionaire and at some points, a multi millionaire.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  HotScot
July 4, 2019 6:00 am

ya dont invest more than you can afford to lose. coffeee money

The proposition of Bitcoin is this: it is a decentralized currency.

If it continues to work and more people adopt it, your coffee money will be worth millions
IF not, oh well.

beng135
Reply to  HotScot
July 4, 2019 7:29 am

Yeah, I too for once agree w/Mosher. Invest coffee money, so if you lose it, no biggie. That’s what I did ’bout 8 months ago, and it went down at first, but now has more than doubled from the original.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  J Mac
July 4, 2019 2:45 am

guess what, no money has intrinsic value… BY DESIGN
money is a TOKEN of value.

Derg
July 3, 2019 8:12 pm

As one of my favorite authors on this site I am not going to argue with you. I do want you to keep an open mind regarding Bitcoin. All money comes down to faith.

In Bitcoin’s brief history, the world has witnessed an incredible computer achievement; transmissions of unique 1s and 0s from one computer to another in a decentralized environment.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Derg
July 3, 2019 10:39 pm

wise move.

a lot of people will scratch there heads over the “value” question because they dont understand money or value

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 6:49 am

dummy you can’t time the market.

Google HODL

I will try to keep this simple for you. There are basically two types of people in bitcoin.
HODLrs and speculators. Speculators or traders view it as an asset that they can trade and make money off. for them its a high risk speculative investment. Most of them dont get the technology.
they dont see what it can do in the future. they are only looking to time the market, pump and dump, blah blah blah.

HODLers see the technology totally differently. We see it as digital money.

what are the characteristics of money
durability: bitcoin is immutable. the only way to destroy it is to destroy every hard disk
that has a copy of the blockchain.
portability: Bitcoin is the only currency you can hold in your head. That’s right. with
12 memorized words I have access to all my bitcoin.
divisibility: bitcoin is purely digital you want .000001 bitcoin? less? easy.
uniformity: yep they are the same format
limited supply: Yep only 21 million. no inflation. Your cash loses value because
your government prints money as it sees fit
acceptability:

Acceptability is the weakest part of bitcoin. When I am in china my USD are not acceptable
as cash. I have to exchange them. so acceptbility is always a friction point. Within the
world of bitcoiners however we do all manner of commerce. Somebody wants a quick
consulting job, I take bitcoin. A friend needs a few thousand bucks instantly, I send him
bitcoin. I need a customer to pay 10 Million in the next hour, bitcoin. done

So acceptability is an ongoing process. visa didnt get accepted overnight everywhere.

Next what are the functions or uses of money? does bitcoin fullfill the uses

medium of exchange : yep its a medium of exchange,
store of value: yep is a store of value
a unit of account : yep its a unit of account

However, its still in its infancy as a technology. As a medium of exchange is not accepted by ALL parties ( but then again neither are dollars ), so much of the work is focused on making it easier
for people to accept it. As a store of value it is more volitile than say the dollar. This makes people view it more as a digital asset ( or investment) and less as currency, but as time as gone on the volitility has declined, and it should become less volitile over time.

Its digital money. It is a token of value. the value comes from the trust people put in it.
Just like fiat currency. The value of the dollar is set by peoples belief in the “full faith and credit” of the US government.. dollars have no instrinc value.

So compared to the dollar:
medium of exchange? Depending where you live you will find more people that accept dollars
than accept bitcoin. But that doesnt change the fact that it is a currency. its just accepted in fewer places. Time will tell how this grows

Store of value: the dollar, thanks to inflation, will be worth less tommorrow than it is today
want to know what that million bucks in fiat will be worth in 10 years at 3% inflation?
go do the math. But it will be less than its worth today. For bitcoin? Unpredictable, but the
last 10 years have been pretty good.

Rod Everson
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 7:29 am

The number one requirement of a currency is “store of value.” That means that if you exchange a good for the currency today, you will be able to buy a good of equal value tomorrow, or six month from now, using that same amount of currency.

People will not treat bitcoin as a currency because it does not serve as a reliable “store of value.” You could sell your home today for 20 bitcoin and turn around a week from now and find that the new home you were looking at, one of equal value as the one you just sold, now costs 40 bitcoin, or 10 bitcoin, making it abundantly clear that you traded you relatively stable-value asset, your old home, for a highly speculative investment, bitcoin. You definitely did not exchange it for a currency, i.e., a store of value.

Everything else you wrote could be true, but bitcoin will never, ever, serve as a currency. It fluctuates too much relative to the goods and services that would be exchanged for it, and probably always will. If that changes, then maybe.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Rod Everson
July 4, 2019 9:29 am

“People will not treat bitcoin as a currency because it does not serve as a reliable “store of value.”

We already do, in fact, treat it as a currency. most users live with fluctuations.
there are already services that allow you pay in BTC and settle out in fiat, if you
want to.

“Everything else you wrote could be true, but bitcoin will never, ever, serve as a currency. It fluctuates too much relative to the goods and services that would be exchanged for it, and probably always will. If that changes, then maybe.”

Funny I accept it as currency every day. if you want to pay me in bitcoin I have no problem accepting it. I can then choose to HODL or swap it out in near instant fashion
for fiat, should I choose to. or recharge a debit card

https://bitpay.com/personal

markl
July 3, 2019 8:18 pm

I still don’t “get” the value of Bitcoin other than faith. Sort of like AGW. Nothing is backing up either claim.

AndyHce
Reply to  markl
July 3, 2019 10:40 pm

What the US, and almost all other countries, currently use as ‘money’ is digital. The current US money is created in a computer file from nothing, based upon debt being accepted, and is subtracted back to nothing as the debt is ‘payed’. Only a tiny fraction is printed onto federal reserve notes, which ‘notes’ used to be unconditionally recognized as notes, payable upon demand. The difference between current US ‘dollars’ and the dollar as defined under US law relative to the US Constitution, and mandatory upon all the states, may make no difference to a person buying groceries but it does make a difference at law.

If it’s value doesn’t depend on faith to the same extent as private crypto currencies it is because the governments of said countries enforce its acceptance with great force. They can be quite vicious about it if they think their money power threatened.

Reply to  AndyHce
July 4, 2019 2:46 am

AndyHce July 3, 2019 at 10:40 pm

said

They can be quite vicious about it if they think their money power threatened.

Hard to think of anything much more vicious than the destruction of a couple of countries and the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. So yeah.

fxk
July 3, 2019 8:40 pm

Colorado Springs Independent reports a bitcoin mining operation bought an old Intel plant in the NW corner of the city for $13mil. Residents are up in arms about the noise from the rooftop cooling fans.
They report this operation uses 30MW of power (over what period?) and is running a million dollars a month.
https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/a-neighborhood-says-its-barely-tolerating-the-constant-buzzing-from-a-bitcoin-mining-operation/Content?oid=19707251

There are many such operations in locations where power is cheap.

Lots of money to pour into something so speculative. Another missed opportunity to get rich quick.

Reply to  fxk
July 3, 2019 10:12 pm

Yep. I should have been paying better attention when this started (and you could mine a bitcoin with a couple of hours on my old TRS-80).

With my knowledge of history, I should have realized the exact parallels to the Tulip Mania – where the “early adopters” made out like bandits.

Don K
Reply to  Writing Observer
July 4, 2019 5:31 pm

Well, at least the late comers wound up with tulips which are pretty even if the going price today is only about $.60 USD a bulb (plus shipping and handling).

It’s not clear what late comers to cryptocurrency will end up with.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  fxk
July 3, 2019 10:47 pm

I know that place.
wink

Reply to  fxk
July 4, 2019 2:53 am

fxk July 3, 2019 at 8:40 pm

said

They report this operation uses 30MW of power (over what period?)

Go back to 9th grade science. Power is power, time is irrelevant.

You are confusing power with energy. Energy is power integrated over time.

kakatoa
Reply to  acementhead
July 5, 2019 9:05 am

Thanks for the reminder! I get those terms mixed up occasionally. It’s been more than a few years since the concept of work or accomplishing tasks with energy was discussed in science class way back when.

The max output (4600+/- 200 watts) of AC power that will be generated via our 13 year old PV system at the inverter later today aren’t going to be much use to me to figure out if some rocks that my wife found are of value or not. The rocks have some shinny stuff on, or in-bedded in the rocks as one of the rocks appears to be like an Oreo cookie- a seam of gold colored material sandwiched between two other colored rocks.

The rocks are pretty and interesting to look at. It would be nice to know if the any of them have the element gold in them vs the alternative that looks like gold- fool’s gold that shine a bit like the real stuff in certain light.

Mike McMillan
July 3, 2019 9:02 pm

In days long gone, the price of computer graphics cards kept dropping as their computing power went up. Then that changed. Graphics cards contain hundreds of math processors, just what you need for bitcoin mining, so the bitcoin types kept gobbling them up regardless of price. Used to be that if you could wait a year or two, today’s super graphics card would drop down below $100 as the next generation came online. Now the only cards in that range were antiques a decade ago.

If the govt is looking for something to tax, pseudocurrency transactions would be a good place to start.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 3, 2019 10:37 pm

nobody mines bitcoin with GPUS.
too slow

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 9:43 am

They don’t run at 4 GHz, but you don’t need to if you’ve got 300 FPUs to drop on a problem.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 4, 2019 10:21 pm

Sorry you dont understand the problem or performance metrics.

300 FPUs is nothing.

1. The bitcoin algorithm is not Floating point, so pretty much a waste of gates
2. Solving the bitcoin problem requires no memory, so GPU memory is a waste.

But lets do a comparison. In my current system there are 30, 720 Processing
units each running at around 900 mhz.

every chip has 128 cores, every system has 240 chips.

specially designed to do 1 thing.

So basically 2 orders of magnitude more processing than your 300 FPUs.

GPUs were retired from bitcoin mining when we did the first FPGA back in 2011.

Patrick MJD
July 3, 2019 9:31 pm

Should the title be “…fools gold…”? I have seen “fools gold” in a lump of coal. I was very young at that time when coal was OK to use to keep warm and dry damp clothes (Didn’t have a clothes dryer, or air con etc etc then) during winter. My father laughed at me, explained it looked like gold but wasn’t and tossed the lump of coal in to the fire. It burnt well as I recall and the house was warmer for it.

toorightmate
July 3, 2019 9:59 pm

If it sounds too good to be true, then it just ain’t true.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
July 3, 2019 10:09 pm

As I understand it, Bitcoin mining is made difficult by having to solve a tough mathematical problem. It probably starts out something like this: “A train leaves New York heading west at 60 miles per hour…”

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
July 4, 2019 2:49 am

“As I understand it, Bitcoin mining is made difficult by having to solve a tough mathematical problem. It probably starts out something like this: “A train leaves New York heading west at 60 miles per hour…”

err no. it’s an impossible to solve problem ( given curent knowledge)

it can only be solved by brute force guessing

paul courtney
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 7:20 am

Mr. Kelly: “A train leaves NY….” sounds like a tough math problem, but not impossible.
Mr. Mosher: “err no. it’s an impossible to solve problem…solved by brute force guessing”.
So, exactly like charting average global temp.? And CliSci generally? Just create an impossible-to-solve problem, then get people to pay good money to the creator of the problem to [not] solve the problem.
You see, Mr. Kelly, a tough-but-solvable problem won’t do.
To anyone who has made money in bitcoin, including Mr. Mosher I hope, more power to ya. Me, I’ll keep the coffee.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  paul courtney
July 4, 2019 9:20 am

“So, exactly like charting average global temp.?”

charting average global temp?

No. a global average temperature is a prediction

spatial stats. 101

Paul
July 3, 2019 10:13 pm

It’s funny how comments proving anti climate change argument to be all bogus get deleted and the users posting them banned.
Wait, I thought conservatives were ALL ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
Wait, I forgot .. only if the speech supports bigotry.
Right …

Sounds like touch conservative dudes are kind of sensitive, isn’t it?

drednicolson
Reply to  Paul
July 4, 2019 6:28 am

The projection is strong with this one.

Steven Mosher
July 3, 2019 10:33 pm

“As theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson explained last week at a lecture in a stuffy auditorium at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, proving that P=NP would open up some intriguing possibilities.

“If someone proves P=NP, the first thing they should do is steal $200 billion in bitcoin. ”

This is the same Scott Aaronson who wrote this:

“(4) For several years, people have been asking me whether Bitcoin is resistant against quantum attack. Now there’s finally an expert analysis, by Aggarwal et al., that looks into exactly that question. Two-sentence summary: the proof-of-work is probably fine, although Grover’s algorithm can of course be used against it, which might eventually necessitate adjusting the difficulty parameter to account for that, and/or migrating from a pure preimage search task to collision-finding, where my result with Yaoyun Shi showed that quantum computers offer “only” an n2/3 black-box speedup over classical computers, rather than a square-root speedup. The scheme for signing the transactions, which is currently based on elliptic curve cryptography, is the real danger point, but again one could address that by migrating to a post-quantum signature scheme. My main comment about the matter is that, if I’d invested in Bitcoin when I first learned about it, I’d be rich now.”

Bitcoin security depends on two things:

Immutability of the ledger ( you can only add to the ledger and never re write the past or erase the past)
and security of the signatures.

POW is relatively secure against quantum attack and there are countermeasures to address it if quantum
computers ever get to the place where they can compete with the global hash rate.

Signatures are a different matter. here too there are counter measures.

What people forget is that you really cant “steal” all the value.

take two seconds to think about it. the minute it becomes breakable it loses all value.

So if you break elliptical curve cryptography you basically make bitcoin WORTHLESS, you dont get to
“steal it” and have it retain its value. Its value resides in the fact that the cryptography is presently un breakable.

The other way to think of this is that Bitcoin is a bet that P=NP problem wont be solved.

congrats to the people who bought a few thousands dollars worth when it was a buck.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 6:09 am

I dont expect you to get it. ever.
you dont even know what money is

Admin
July 3, 2019 10:46 pm

The way I think of it, Bitcoin is kindof an electronic version of gold.

Like gold transaction costs are high.
Like gold it may leap in value if ordinary fiat currencies are debased.
Unlike gold you don’t have to pay to store it.
But if you lose the key, you’ve lost your bitcoin.
Unlike gold it may suddenly crash to nothing, if people decide to flock to a new cryptocurrency, like one of those fancy new deflationary currencies.

I’m not going to say it has zero value, that’s what I thought in 2009, when I decided mining a few thousand bitcoin wasn’t worth the bother of setting up the software.

But I’m not about to bet my house on it.

wsbriggs
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 4:52 am

David, it’s worse yet. If you didn’t mine the cryptocurrency yourself, then you are depending on the original miner who deposited it in some cryptobank, and that the cryptobank which has the keys to the coin being secure enough, and the banker being honest enough. The latter is not always the case, see the Canadian Cryptobank whose president “suddenly died” while in India. They’ve now found that he’d looted the bank for cryptocurrency deposited by customers.

Not to mention that the more people who use it, the slower the transactions become. Updating the blockchain can take days before the world knows the transaction occurred and that it was a valid transaction.

With most metals you don’t need a counter party to vouch for the integrity of the goods. Scales and serial numbers define the proposed value content based on publicly posted exchange rates. But all value is subjective. Gold is worthless to a man in the desert without water if theres no one to make the exchange of water for gold.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  wsbriggs
July 4, 2019 6:08 am

“David, it’s worse yet. If you didn’t mine the cryptocurrency yourself, then you are depending on the original miner who deposited it in some cryptobank, and that the cryptobank which has the keys to the coin being secure enough, and the banker being honest enough.”

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

the currency does not exist in some crypto bank.
It exists on the blockchain and only on the blockchain and that cannot be re written, destroyed or erased.

you are thinking about DUMMIES who “store” their coins on exchanges.
or who buy coins and keep them on exchanges.

These are NOT secure as you have entrusted them to a 3rd party

You want bitcoin? you buy them from an exchange. Then you keep the keys to these coins
safe and offline. NEVER store your coins at an exchange. buy them and manage your own keys

Your keys, your coins
Not your keys, not your coins.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  wsbriggs
July 4, 2019 6:42 pm

Do just send all that worthless gold my way and I’ll try and bear up with the burden of it. That premier non-tarnishing metal is not without its uses (ask NASA), one of which could even include that MacGyver of a pounded thin gold leaf mirror concentrating sunlight on a container of moist desert soil, driving off the vapor to be condensed in a cooler flask for a much appreciated drink of water that surpasses the crypt of 1s and 0s.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 6:02 am

no it is a digital currency, not a commodity

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 9:34 am

Mining is a bad metaphor. It is actually PRINTING

If you took some time to drop your defensive scarcasm and learn you would see
that the process of creating bitcoin is called “mining” because you are searching
for a thing.

once you find that thing, then you are ALLOWED TO PRINT 12.5 Bitcoin

every 10 minutes someone in the world earns the printing rights for 12.5 bitcoin

So you MINE for the answer to a puzzle and if you find the answer
you reward yourself by ISSUING or printing 12.5 BTC

who prints money dave?

whiten
Reply to  David Middleton
July 6, 2019 3:52 pm

David,
To understand this… I would need to drink a whole lot of this…
———————-

P = NP.

Trying to solve the above problem by simply mathematical sterility is not possible.
Is like trying to solve the blockchain algorithms without
the concept of work value being present there.

The concept of blockchain is same as the concept of the above equation.
When considered in the property of the real value the above equation,
if treated in the concept of relativity as per physics, it happens to be true, already proved by a very simple experiment.

So when it comes to it, any theory or hypothesis in physics must abide to it or else try to disprove it.

So in mater of physical reality, the mass and energy in relation and relativity to Gravity, stand firmly in the concept of:

P = NP (as related and relative to Gravity, an inescapable universal condition)

where the factor N has no any effect at all versus the force of gravity.
The “work value”, the force of gravity will be all the same, regardless of N value… where and when in that given relative the equation holds true.

Same for Bitcoin mining, the value will not be effected by the number of people, or mass, or energy, thus the unit cost of that mining is not effected externally, by any possible means.

Now, well, a simple experiment, has already proved that the force of gravity is all the same, in a given condition, either when considering a 1g of Iron or a 100 thousand Kg of the same iron.

Even in the case of not only a big difference in total mass but also of a difference in atomic mass too, still the N factor has no effect.
Like in the experiment of the feather and a metal ball hitting the ground at the same time, regardless of N factor there.

So for mass and energy in consideration of reality as per the relativity approach, physically:

P = NP,
at whatever considered value of the force of gravity, (even at value 0)
where N holds mathematically the value of 1 as per means of effect,
regardless of the real factor value of N.

For as long as the effect of N has to be considered as mathematically 1,
in reality, as per relativity clause, regardless of it’s quantity mathematical value then;
The total environment, in mass and energy, can only be considered infinite, as the main condition that holds this given condition true.

So the guys supporting and upholding the Big Bang theory got to disprove the:
P = NP, by experiment,
where N clearly has to be shown to have an effect on the force of gravity, as only then the total expansion of the environment considered,
could be less than infinite… as the Bigy Bangy claims.

Oh, well, David, just trying to make a connection there.
Not claiming that the point in this comment is the proper veritas explanation, but mostly trying to connect some physical reality value
to the reality value of the block chain concept, as I understand it.

Still very much open to any one else’s argument when it comes to the physics of relativity, as per mass energy and the relation to the force of gravity and the relativity to Gravity, in consideration of;

P = NP
(no any idea of the source and the main original point of this given equation… only addressing it in a universal relative approach)

Standing ready to be corrected… 🙂
(as maybe completely in a mess up)

cheers

Steven Mosher
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 9:55 am

“Bitcoin is like gold and crude oil, except that it serves no physical purpose.”
No those are physical assets .
Bitcoin is a digital token of value. Tokens of value typically serve
no physical purpose. However, the bitcoin blockchain does serve a physical
purpose. It’s an unforgeable timestamp. which means it can do things like
notarization

“Bitcoin is like a credit card that isn’t widely accepted… But you can leave home without it.”
NO, bitcoin is not a Payment processing system and is nothing like a centralized
third party payment processor. nothing like paypal or visa. its the ANTI VISA

Bitcoin is just like cash… at less than 1% of stores.

This is closer to the truth. Bitcoin is a currency. Like all currency ( take RMB and try to spend it in the USA) your ability to use it universally is limited. It works fine
in Bitcoinland where I live. The bet of bitcoin is that adoption will grow.
and it has. You are old, you wont see this.

“Bitcoin isn’t an investment. It’s a “purely speculative instrument that should only be traded with money that [suckers] can afford to lose.” Sounds like Powerball to me.”

No powerball is a lottery where you buy a ticket and win or lose.
0 or 1, dave.
As an investment
bitcoin is high risk ( think tech stock, think amazon when they had no profits ) and
if you want to trade it I suggest stop loss limits and buy yourself some options.
thats if you want a quick buck. If you want a high risk investment with huge upside potential then just buy and HODL and dont watch the price.

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 8:15 am

Virtual tulips?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 4, 2019 10:13 pm

no tulips were an solely a commodity

Steven Mosher
July 3, 2019 10:56 pm

want to understand

freedom and privacy

Steven Mosher
July 3, 2019 11:01 pm

metaphors with gold and other things fail to understand what bitcoin is

watch

MangoChutney
July 3, 2019 11:06 pm

<a href = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania"1630's Tulip mania says it all

Steven Mosher
Reply to  MangoChutney
July 4, 2019 10:26 pm

you dont understand tulip contracts are different than digital currency

Steven Mosher
July 3, 2019 11:23 pm

from here

you dont understand money

https://youtu.be/ONvg9SbauMg?t=1399

Rod Evans
July 4, 2019 1:43 am

Bitcoin is a fascinating subject. A friend is a disciple (I choose the word carefully) of Bitcoin. When I first got to know him he had fallen out with mainstream everything. He was a journalist/editor of a magazine that got turned over and the authorities were part of the turn over. His story and subsequent branch off events would make a world class thriller, along the lines of Breaking Bad/Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. Sorry I am digressing.
He abandoned bank accounts and only used cash for purchases that could not be made via Bitcoin. His total worth at the time was £42,000 all held in Bitcoin with a notional value at that time of £140 each. In other words he had acquired roughly 286 bitcoins. I was sufficiently interested by his story and his familiarity with Bitcoin processes and fundamentals, that I asked him to present his knowledge to a group of like minded political thinkers.
At the gathering he gave (electronically) one of the ladies in the group £10 worth of Bitcoin to show how simple, getting into Bitcoin actually is. By the time of the meeting the value of Bitcoin had risen to roughly £200 each. Since then the value of the crypto-currency has risen to its high in 2017 and is currently at roughly £9,000 each.
Bitcoin is an unregulated/self regulated blockchain computer policing exchange system. It is not money, it is not physical it is limited in total number at 21 million units. Its value moves with market influence and is not controlled by any authority.
It has a religious following and it will ultimately wither and die.
The reason it will wither and die is not because of its innate usefulness, it is not because it allows off grid exchange to take place, it is not because the authorities decide it is too disruptive and must be proscribed.
It will wither because people lose Bitcoin and access to their notional holding.
The lady who was given £10 worth back in early 2017 can not remember her access code. Today that gift is worth a notional £900. Sadly it is locked away never to be seen again.
Unless Bitcoin has a way of recovering lost units, the only future is for less and less bitcoins to exist. When the last bitcoin is roaming the planet looking for a mate to jingle with, then it will be over.
My friend’s £42,000 is now worth roughly £2.5 million he still drives around in an old beat up Land Rover.
If anyone would like to serialise his story, let me know, it would be worth many times £2.5 million!!
NB. I still have zero Bitcoins….

Rod Evans
Reply to  Rod Evans
July 4, 2019 2:13 am

Small correction, the lady given £10 worth in early 2017 is now holding a notional £450, not £900 as above.
Why does working with 10 of something, cause such easy errors?

Derg
Reply to  David Middleton
July 4, 2019 7:06 am

Or losing physical cash 😉

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Derg
July 4, 2019 9:35 am

one things for sure the government cannot confiscate it.
the bank cant freeze it.

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 4, 2019 1:59 am

Bitcoin is the ‘currency’ of choice of drug barons and dealers and of a whole raft of criminals with similar parasitic tendencies. That alone ought to be enough for decent folk to keep well out of it.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 4, 2019 5:57 am

No by volume the US dollar is the currecny of criminals.

in crypto land, monero would be the currency of choice.

July 4, 2019 4:26 am

Perhaps at age 92 I m a bit thick. I always thought that money was a
promise from the country who prints it to return something in exchange for
it. But to have the value in the first place the money has to be based on
something of value. Hence the use of gold as the base. It had a value as it
was scarce and took a lot of energy to dig it up, as it still does.

It did have a value in its own right being a soft metal which can easily be
shaped into many things. But for the majority of today’s paper money
it has to be based on something of real value. That used to be Gold,
right up to recent times.

But in I think about 1949 a big conference at Brinton Woods decided to
cease the use of gold and to instead to base money on the Gross National
Product , the real wealth of a country. It became known as paper gold. Its
also known as GNP as with the internal one of Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Today that value is determined by the world financial market, the currenty
of most countries are “”Free”” they move in value, depending on what
the rest of the world thinks that your Country is worth.

So getting back to Bitcoin , what is its basis for its value ? Its just a
form of barter, and will only work if the people using it, trusts each other.

So the “”Minor”” uses a lot of electricity to “”Minee””it, and that costs him/ her real money.

MJE VK5ELL

MangoChutney
Reply to  Michael
July 4, 2019 8:58 am

Personally, Michael, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Along with Rod Evans story, I think Bitcoin is on a hiding to nothing, unless you got in early, made your money, and got out.

If any green ever tries to sell you Bitcoin, please inform him/her just how much of the evil CO2 it costs to mine one Bitcoin.

Don K
Reply to  Michael
July 4, 2019 8:56 pm

” I always thought that money was a promise from the country who prints it to return something in exchange for”

Yes sort of. Most “money” is IOUs although some — like the quarter dollar coin in my pocket — is in the form of physical objects/tokens. But not all IOUs are from governments. Many (most) are from individuals or corporations. Worse, some are “backed” by future cash flows — mortgage payments for example — that may be less than certain. The fact that this shambles works at all, much less mostly pretty well, is something of a miracle. Where do cryptocurrencies fit in? Mostly they don’t seem to although they have many of the trappings of money. One crucial difference. If/when things go pear shaped, the world’s governments will probably do their best to keep the Dollar/Euro/Pound/Yen/etc afloat and working after a fashion. They don’t/won’t work as hard to support minor currencies like those of African or Latin American nations. They likely won’t care at all if Bitcoin’s “value” evaporates completely. In fact, some might regard that as a good thing.

Recommended reading: John Kenneth Galbraith “Money: Whence it Came. Where it Went” It’s a well written, and pretty comprehensive summary of the history of money and economic notions of money up until the late twentieth century. You don’t have to believe/agree with everything Galbraith says, but it does present a plethora of facts and ideas that any theory of money probably needs to take into account.

eyesonu
July 4, 2019 6:48 am

When I read about bitcoin the Chicago Climate Exchange always comes to mind.

Something of no value (except in the minds of the investors) was created , $$$$ poured in, the creators made a bundle and now the investors hold a worthless investment.

observa
July 4, 2019 8:47 am

Well what did you expect with the money printers debasing the unit of account medium of exchange and store of wealth? With so much faith in computer modelling nowadays why wouldn’t you put your garbage in to see if you can get some better garbage out?

July 4, 2019 11:38 am

Steven claims that the blockchain is immutable–not possible to change or rewrite (faith??)
Steven also claims that this is “infant” technology. So what happens once this infant matures, and then is totally obsolete –in only a few more years?? Isn’t that what happens to all digital technology??

A song for bitcoin
See the pyramid along denial.

Personally, I’ll keep my limited wealth in hard assets, and keep them physically close at hand.
JVC

Johann Wundersamer
July 4, 2019 1:53 pm

– a currency not backed by a state will lose value:

The “Original Bitcoin” Was This Giant Stone Money on a Tiny Pacific Island:

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-original-bitcoin-still-exists-as-giant-stone-money-on-a-tiny-pacific-island

“Yap or Wa′ab (Yapese: Waqab) traditionally refers to an island located in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean,”

– since Yap is “just another Pacific island” stone moneys value is zilch, null, nada, niente, nill.

– why should someone with the technology of bit coining sell his products instead of holding on it: there has to be a bit coin community.

– the whole thing is a casino and winner is: the casino.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
July 4, 2019 10:48 pm

psst there is no casino owner.

hint 2

all state back currencies lose value

James Hein
July 4, 2019 3:22 pm

Down here in Australia a Chinese bitcoin mining concern uses the total output of a coal fired power plant that was going to close because of all the govt mandated subsidies tax payers contribute to wind and solar and the negative impositions by successive governments on coal. This of course means the tax payer power bills are also much higher and rising.

The Chinese company does this because it provides them with the least expensive form of power available in Australia to run their farm, and the power plant owners are happy because they don’t need to close.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  James Hein
July 4, 2019 10:46 pm

happens in isolated cases in the USA as well

yarpos
July 4, 2019 4:51 pm

You old dinosaurs just dont get it do you? clinging to your old ways, pfffft! Let go! for a bright new future awaits you, renewably powered, EV transported, bitcoin funded , vibrantly diverse , free of cost. and you can chose to be any sex you want on any day you want. I’m pretty sure the last days of most civilisations look like this.

kakatoa
July 4, 2019 5:04 pm

Steven I am not sure how hard and/or expensive it would be to have a few mobile server farms for crunching bit coin data…… As you know CA has installed a bit more PV than the current grid can accommodate which leads to negative prices. As no market can last for long when folks lose to much money some flexible demand is gong to be needed soon to help stabilize the market.

A bit south of my location CASIO node HOLM2_7_B1 had Locational Marginal Prices (LMP)of −$343.45 or more for 3 intervals (ie 45 minutes) on the 15 minute market stating at 07/04/2019
Hour: 15-16 Interval: 4

http://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/prices.aspx

That geographical location appears to be transmission line constrained as congestion was noted as running -350 bucks at the time. The hydrogen economy isn’t moving any closer to taking up some of the excess supply and Stanford can only heat up so much water on campus….

Steven Mosher
Reply to  kakatoa
July 4, 2019 10:41 pm

That is a perfect example of the kind of situation my customers exploit.

Recently we decided to make some changes to the device to allow the machine to
operate as a varible load to the grid so that people could exploit these negative energy price
situations.

kakatoa
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 6, 2019 7:00 am

Steven,

I concur with Doug about the “SLOW” part of the banking system.

https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-on-bitcoin-part-i/

…”SWIFT is expensive (typically $50-100 per transaction), slow (generally a day or two, sometimes a week or more), and insecure (who trusts either big banks…”

My big, formerly SF based, bank appears to have increased their float time on my pension check! What was a one business day hold for part of the funds turned into 2 day hold earlier this month.

Steven Mosher
July 4, 2019 10:11 pm

adoption of new technologies in money

James Reid
July 5, 2019 7:12 am

Fascinating discussion.
I’m basically with Mosher on this one with some notable exceptions.
There is not just one Bitcoin… there are three variants of the original and over 2000 other crypto currencies now in existence.

I bought a few $1,000 worth before the first fork, split them after both forks, cashed out my original stake back into my bank account and more than doubled my money at the end. Was I wanting to make money? No. I was curious to understand how it worked.

One area I disagree with Steve on is that the main attribute of currency that the winner of the Crypto wars will have is utility ie as a medium of exchange. That is the real value of any monetary system. All the scams are about store of value and HODLing or not… irrelevant for the future.

There probably is really only room for ONE crypto currency in the future. He is correct that the real difference from other forms of money is that it is an immutable ledger of transactions that can never be changed once laid down in the blockchain. What many (most) people don’t grasp is that it is possible to store data in each transaction and also to have programmed transactions that can execute at any time in the future. No central authority controls the process. In other words no government, person or organisation controls it. It is inherently non-inflationary – government can’t just decide to arbitrarily print some more.

Then there is the really fascinating story about who was the creator of Bitcoin. You thought there were religious wars about Climate Change? – you ain’t seen nothing yet :-).

I recommend;
https://craigwright.net/
and
do a search for who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

It intrigues me that here in Australia and I think most parts of the world there is very little written about this saga in the main stream media. I am not sure whether this is because the establishment want to hide it (not into conspiracy theories myself) or because the story has only started and most journalists haven’t had the time to get their heads around the truth or lack of it in all the discussions. If Craig Wright is not Satoshi then he is an amazingly brilliant, deluded and knowledgeable con artist. I am leaning towards the idea that he is Satoshi at the moment… let’s see.

I am only interested in BSV these days… waiting for the incoming flack (ducks his head as he hits Post Comment :-).

Steven Mosher
Reply to  James Reid
July 5, 2019 11:33 am

I love hash wars
more sales.

no comment on BSV or BCH

James Reid
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 5, 2019 4:33 pm

Then there was _unwriter and let’s not forget the Metanet. You know – the idea that the whole internet will be hosted on the blockchain. Once you stop laughing, go and do some research. Not so fanciful! Once an image or page or file is there it is retrievable forever. Every click can be monetised. We could be paying Anthony Watts directly for all the great work he does.

This has started at;
bitdb.network
Like Satoshi, _unwriter was trying to remain unknown but has come out recently to say that he/her/ze (whatever they are) will reveal their identity and form a company to advance this technology. Now THERE is a real investment opportunity!

PS: You heard it here first.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  James Reid
July 5, 2019 9:07 pm

yup dont forget IPFS

Russ Wood
July 6, 2019 9:30 am

The most common result of bitcoin mining is the kind of thing that happened last year in South Africa. A company set up a ‘bitcoin training’ scheme, to ‘teach’ people how to ‘invest’ in bitcoin. (The quotes are used to express my grimaces at the terms!) So, they sort of explained how to invest, and held out the future of absolutely GREAT profits. And the marks, sorry, clients, did invest, through the company’s expert. And one day, the expert disappeared, and so did umpteen million Rands worth of the ‘investors’ cash. It turned out that the expert investor only existed as an e-mail address and cellphone number, and no-one knew who he actually was. Or where!
Ah yes, one of the classic ‘con’s!

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