Cryptocurrencies – a public service announcement

Don’t.

At slightly greater length: cryptocurrency has no legitimate uses not done better by other parts of the financial system. It is designed to be proof against legal recourse (and should be illegal for that reason alone); as a result it is perfect for ransomware, other extortions, and scams of all sorts. (The very first “smart contract” on Ethereum was for a Ponzi scheme.)

Like penny stocks and tulip bulbs, when someone tells you a thing is “sure to rise”, it already has risen. If you buy, you become the bagholder who converts the thing with no intrinsic worth back into real money. You may, if you’re lucky, find an even bigger sucker to sell to.

Buying cryptocurrency is a whole lot easier than selling it. Funny, that.

And that’s even before you get to the vile waste of energy that’s proof-of-work: bitcoin currently uses more energy than Hungary, in order to support 3-7 transactions per second.

Blockchains themselves are not entirely without use – for example the git version control system uses them. But if someone says “our product is on the blockchain”, slap them and leave.

For much, much more:

(Disclaimer: David’s a friend.)

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Ha, Dunnock

My first thought was tulip bulbs…

Carinthia.xx

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I still haven’t a clue what bitcoin’s for other than fleecing the gullible

It

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It isn’t. That’s the trick.

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Gotta love “Unvaxxed sperm is the next bitcoin”, even so.

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I agree, on the whole, but I do have a more positive tale to tell about bitcoin.

TFD is a trustee of a local charity and in an attempt to raise more funds he set up a bitcoin account in the charity’s name, and put a link on their website for bitcoin donations alongside the more conventional links. It sat there unused for months and he got out of the habit of checking it regularly but a few months ago he had a quick look and discovered a single donation - worth over £18,000! An awful lot of money for a very small charity.

Someone obviously wanted to make a completely anonymous donation and bitcoin is perfect for the purpose, being completely untraceable.

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But that is what I don’t understand

How is bitcoin turned into cash?

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You can use a broker (as the charity did) or just sell it to someone else, same as you might convert gold or anything else into cash really.

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I hadn’t encountered that, and would happily have gone to me grave in ignorance.

However, are we agreed that Ruairi is going to come a crypper with cropto?

creeps into crypt for purposes undefined

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I have encountered it and it always makes me picture a nurse with a teeny tiny needle.

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… and a slightly wolfish grin?

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hahahahahahaha

It’s known in the law enforcement community as “prosecution futures”.

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It seems likely; the BBC can’t possibly be planning to advertise it!

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Given some of the fecking nonsense the beeb was squarely behind until recently, I admire your confidence…

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The problem often comes when a cryptocurrency-booster gets in among a bunch of people who don’t know much about it, and goes on and on about what a great idea it is. (NFTs have done a great deal of good here; more people than ever know what a truly terrible idea cryptocurrencies are.)

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Hey! If the donor believed it and a worthwhile cause is over £18K better off, who’s complaining?

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No one is complaining - at least I don’t think they are - about the worthwhile cause having benefited. Personally, I’m delighted, while continuing with me general fear and loathing stance re the phenomenon as a whole.

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Wot Gus said

Young Thai doctor of graceful moves and great beauty is trying to tell the Covid +be nun that bhudda was a caring soul who would have patience and love for her fellow men to endure a few days of incarceration with buns at frequent intervals

Interesting to watch the differing faith approaches

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