The Bitcoin Saga


Sorry, yeah, I missed that.


It’s ironic that the failure of bitcoin will not be a technical issue, but a combination human greed and idiocy. Luckily, more and more of the cryptocoin community is catching on and switching to Ethereum, which is both superior and doesn’t have a entrenched block of blowhards who block all progress.


I suppose you could still call it money on the basis that a settlement time of even an hour is a lot better than a lot of things that are classified as “cash equivalents”, like Treasury bonds, which have settlement times measured in days (not to mention high settlement failure rates at times).


More than $70 million stolen from Hong Kong Bitcoin exchange. But remember, folks, it’s secure!


Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be the underlying issue, but rather the infrastructure around it that grew up to allow Bitcoin to be used IRL in conjunction with “real” currency.

Theory meets practicalities, practicalities keeps winning.


Has anyone on the forum tried Ethereum mining? I wonder if it something that you could set your gaming PC to do when you are not gaming to try and make a bit of cash.


Generally speaking it’s impossible to mine any worthwhile cryptocurrency without owning your own private botnet.


In the past, it wasn’t really worth it because the cost of electricity to run the processor was worth more than the value of the bitcoin.

At times when the bitcoin value becomes inflated though, it could be theoretically possible… or if you hooked your machine up to someone else’s power.


Color me still the biggest skeptic that cryptocurrencies are currencies at all. If you want to call them something to invest in, I guess they are that.

BUT…at work we’ve been running regular crypto prediction swarms with a group of traders, and since it’s part of my job to know a little bit about what I’m doing with those, I did some research.

And then I decided to do some buying. Last month I bought a couple of hundred USD in Ethereum Classic (ETC), and another $200 in Ethereum (ETH). Sold my ETC position last week at $18 (I paid $4.40 per) and am holding my ETH for now (I paid 47.60 per) since it’s up over 250 right now.

I mean, it’s fun as hell. I’m just not sure that it isn’t strongly susceptible to bubble bursts.


That doesn:t mean they aren’t currencies. Just that they are unstable ones. As far as I can see, they do all the main things regular currencies do, just badly, for the most part.


The big draw of these things, to a certain type of thinker, is that they aren’t tainted with evil government sponsorship. They are instead commodities that exist in a more morally pure form than typical national fiat currencies.

Basically just the next generation of gold-standard or silver-standard people, who are younger and have computers.


No doubt. But a commodity backed currency is still a currency.


Ethereum and whatnot is doing some really weird and potentially disruptive stuff where you can embed programming into the market. This in theory allows for like self-enforcing contracts rather than ones that use a legal system.

Of course this also means a programming bug in your ‘smart contract’ can doom you, as has already happened to the course of millions of dollars. Although I guess a regular lawyer could screw up a contract costing you millions of dollars too.


The weird thing about the crypto currency isn’t that it’s currency, but rather that a bunch of folks don’t really understand them and are just using them like commodities to gamble on.

The price of computing isn’t as volatile as those currencies are. At certain points, it seems like you could make money if the currencies are way higher than the cost of computing… But they really shouldn’t be, except for dumb people buying them.


An interesting article from the WaPo:

The bitcoin tie-in comes down in the lower-half of the article:

WannaCry was apparently an attempt to raise revenue for the regime, but analysts said the effort was flawed. Though the hackers raised $140,000 in bitcoin, a form of digital currency, so far they have not cashed it in, the analysts said. That is likely because an operational error has made the transactions easy to track, including by law enforcement.

As a result, no online currency exchange will touch it, said Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, a cybersecurity firm. “This is like knowingly taking tainted bills from a bank robbery,” he said.



$140k doesn’t seem like a lot for a government to raise via cybercrime, especially since it was one of the most widespread attacks ever. If it had had a more typical penetration, it probably wouldn’t have covered the cost of development.


I read that there was speculation it was released early/inadvertently. They thought that was the case because early on they said the payment mechanism wasn’t setup yet causing lost ransoms and probably hand in had with that I heard those that paid didn’t get an unlock key. It seems to me like it got away from them before they were ready with the infrastructure to support the ransoms.


Well, if that’s true, maybe somewhere in North Korea, someone is being fed to the dogs, literally.


Can anyone explain the potential BTC hard fork/soft fork as if I were a dumb person, please.