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Banana-Tied Cryptocurrencies

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779 posts В• Page 34 of 352

Cryptocurrencies ladyfingers

Postby Shazshura В» 08.01.2020


Not long ago, I was in Montreal for a cryptocurrency conference. My hotel, on the top floor of a big building downtown, had a roof garden with a koi pond. Every few seconds, they dipped their beaks to drink, and, in the process, spilled undigested pellets into the water. A few koi idled there, poking at the surface for the scraps. The longer I watched, the more I wondered if the ducks were deliberately feeding the fish.

Was such a thing possible? I asked the breakfast attendant, a ruddy Quebecer. My mind had been marinating overnight—and for more than a year, really—in the abstrusities of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology on which they are built.

Bitcoin and, subsequently, a proliferation of other cryptocurrencies had become an object of global fascination, amid prophecies of societal upheaval and reform, but mainly on the promise of instant wealth. A peer-to-peer money system that cut out banks and governments had made it possible, and fashionable, to get rich by sticking it to the Man. Some of this stuff I understood; much of it I still did not.

You grasp, instead, for metaphors. Blockchain talk makes a whiteboard of the brain. So, Montreal bagel in hand, I considered the ducks and the carp. Let the pellets be a cryptocurrency—koicoin, say. Would the ducks then be currency miners? The koicommunity. Koicoin was shitcoin. A few hours later, I was at lunch in a conference room in another hotel, with a table of crypto wizards, a few of them among the most respected devs in the space.

Four of these devs were researchers associated with Ethereum, the open-source blockchain platform. Ethereum is not itself a cryptocurrency; to operate on Ethereum, you have to use the cryptocurrency ether, which, like bitcoin, you can buy or sell. They want to seize back the tubes, and the data—our lives—from Facebook, Google, and the new oligarchs of Silicon Valley.

One of them, Vlad Zamfir, a twenty-eight-year-old Romanian-born mathematician who grew up in Ottawa and dropped out of the University of Guelph, was scribbling equations on an electronic tablet called a reMarkable pad. He narrated as he scrawled. Nicolaes Tulp. This particular effort was an attempt jargon alert to optimize the incentive structure for proof-of-stake validation—that is, how best to get enough people and machines to participate in a computing operation essential to the functioning of the entire system.

The others pointed out what they thought might be flaws. Buterin had been working, simultaneously, on another version of Casper. So he and Zamfir were both collaborating and competing with each other. Their assessments were Spockian, and cutting only to the Kirks among us. They had first met before a conference in Toronto in Now good friends who meet up mostly at conferences and workshops, they had greeted each other the day before in the hotel lobby with a fervent embrace, like summer campers back for another year, before quick-walking to a quiet corner to start in on the incentive-structure-for-proof-of-stake-validation talk.

Whenever and wherever Buterin and Zamfir convene, people gather around—eavesdropping, hoping for scraps of insight. The two are used to this and pay little heed. There were no secrets, only problems and solutions, and the satisfaction that comes from proceeding from one toward the other.

This was a significant claim, since the fund had made him a billionaire. As the year wore on, that dream faded. The surge in the price of bitcoin, and of other cryptocurrencies, which proliferated amid a craze for initial coin offerings I. It seemed as if language had been randomized. The dizzying run-up in crypto prices in was followed, this year, by a long, lurching retreat that, as the summer gave way to fall, began to seem perilous.

As with notorious stock-market and real-estate bubbles, innocents had been taken in and cleaned out. But both boom and bust reflected an ongoing argument over what cryptocurrencies and their technological underpinnings might be worth—which is to say, whether they are, as some like to ask, real. Is crypto the future or a fad? Golden ticket or Ponzi scheme? Amazon 2. And what is it good for, anyway?

It sure is neat, but for now it lacks its killer app, a use that might lead to mass adoption, as e-mail did for the Internet. Now and then, legacy titans voiced their scorn. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of J.

They had faith that a new order was nigh. They pumped but did not dump. Among a certain subset, it was both fashionable and integral to ignore the fluctuations in price. The idea was to build and shore up a new system—for everything from payments and banking to health care and identity—that was either a replacement for the old one, or at least an alternative to it, one that was borderless, independent of state control and of exploitation by Big Tech.

While the old armature rots, a new one rises alongside it, much as the new Tappan Zee Bridge, over the Hudson, gradually took shape next to the rusty old one it would one day replace.

To Buterin, however, the benefits were already clear. As we spoke, on the first afternoon of the Montreal conference the crypto life is a never-ending enchainment of conferences, and is pretty much wall-to-wall dudes , he aligned some items in front of him: pens, Post-its, phone.

He has a dry sense of humor. He often wears T-shirts with unicorns and rainbows. He likes to cite Lambos—as in Lamborghini, the cryptobro trophy ride of choice—as shorthand for the excessive trappings of wealth, which do not interest him.

Although he sold a quarter of his bitcoin and ether well before the prices began to soar last year, he is said to be worth somewhere in the vicinity of a hundred million dollars. He recently gave away a couple of million dollars to a life-extension research project.

He has no assistants or entourage. He owns little and travels light. You can go on fifteen-kilometre walks with it. He especially likes East Asia. He speaks fluent Mandarin.

After Montreal, he was headed to Berlin and then Switzerland. His home, really, is the Internet. Base of operations. The more you invent your own life style, the more you realize that the categories that have been invented are ultimately, at best, imperfect devices for understanding the world, and, at worst, fake. In January, I reached out to his father, Dmitry, who reported back that Vitalik was not interested in an interview. He wants the community to be more resilient. He studied computer science in Moscow and then started a financial-software business, before emigrating to Canada, when Vitalik was six.

Vitalik, when he was three, got an old PC and began fiddling around with Excel. By ten or eleven, he was developing video games. His mind was always racing. It was hard for him to communicate. He hardly spoke until he was nine or ten. I was concerned, but at some point I realized it is what it is. I just gave him my love. He also gave Vitalik his first glimpse of Bitcoin. It was , somewhat early, but Dmitry was an avowed anarcho-capitalist, a cynical child of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

For many others like him, especially in those early days, the first encounter with Bitcoin was like a religious epiphany—powerful, life-altering, a glimpse of an entirely different and perhaps more agreeable way of ordering human affairs.

He had already been nursing some inchoate ideas about the risks and intrinsic unfairness of centralized systems and authority. And I assumed that people in those institutions were kind of like Mr. How can I screw a thousand people over this time?

But in many ways what drew him in was the elegance of the system, invented, it seemed, by a rogue outsider out of thin air.

It suited a world view, a dream of a fluid, borderless, decentralized financial system beyond the reach of governments and banks, inclined as they inevitably are toward corruption and self-dealing, or at least toward distortions of incentive. In the eighties, cryptographers and computer scientists began trying to devise a foolproof form of digital money, and a way to execute transactions and contracts without the involvement or rent-seeking of third parties. It was the man, woman, or group of humans known as Satoshi Nakamoto who, with Bitcoin in , solved the crux—the so-called double-spend problem.

This requires some mechanism for keeping track of what you have, whom you gave it to, and how much they now have. And that was the blockchain.

Definitions of blockchain are as various as the metaphors—bingo, Google Docs, a giant room of transparent safes—that people use to try to illustrate them. Broadly speaking, a blockchain is an evolving record of all transactions that is maintained, simultaneously and in common, by every computer in the network of that blockchain, be it Ethereum, Bitcoin, or Monero. Think, as some have suggested, of a dusty leather-bound ledger in a Dickensian counting house, a record of every transaction relevant to that practice.

Except that every accountant in London, and in Calcutta, has the same ledger, and when one adds a line to his own the addition appears in all of them. Once a transaction is affirmed, it will—theoretically, anyway—be in the ledger forever, unalterable and unerasable. Historically, records have been stored in one place—a temple, a courthouse, a server—and kept by whoever presided.

With blockchains, the records, under a kind of cryptographic seal, are distributed to all and belong to no one.

Trading Cryptocurrencies for Beginners, time: 35:10
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Re: cryptocurrencies ladyfingers

Postby JoJoran В» 08.01.2020

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Postby Aralmaran В» 08.01.2020

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Postby Kajizuru В» 08.01.2020

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