I minted an NFT and put it up for sale

The internet's going crazy about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) right now, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. In a nutshell, NFTs are bits of information that are stored on a public blockchain, which are provably 'owned' by a particular blockchain address. Anyone can see it, but only the owner of the address can prove ownership of the NFT, and transfer it to others, since the owner is the only one who is in possession of the private key required to do those things. From a technical point of view it's not very novel at all, it just seems like a logical evoluation of the presence of public blockchains, yet the internet has become infatuated with it recently, with some artwork selling for utterly insane amounts.

The world of cryptocoins has progressed a lot since I first wrote about it. It's incredibly easy these days to just download a mobile crypto wallet, transfer in some money (either crypto or fiat) and then use that wallet to trade. The intended user experience is fantastic, but in practice.. we're not quite there yet. In order to link your wallet to an auction site like rarible.com you have to connect your wallet via a QR code, and in theory the site will then ask your wallet for confirmation for the actions required to mint an NFT and put it up for sale. In practice there's 4 different wallet connection protocols and dozens of wallets that implement them, and your experience will vary greatly depending on which protocol and wallet you use.

MY first attempt at minting an NFT on rarible was to use WalletConnect to connect to crypto.com's mobile wallet app, and it was nothing but pain. Confirmation requests never arrived, or after confirming nothing happened on the auction site. Even transferring money in and out seems near-impossible sometimes. But then I switched to using the Coinbase wallet app and protocol and things were just smooth. It took only a couple of minutes to mint a new NFT and put it up for sale.

So what piece of 'art' did I put up for sale? Given the internet hype around this whole thing I thought it the most appropriate to mint a screenshot of the very first blogpost I wrote about Bitcoin in 2011: Resources are being utterly and completely wasted on mining Bitcoins. You can find the NFT for sale here on rarible.com. This post was written way back in the day when I was GPU mining at home. In those days, even without being part of a mining pool you'd occassionally find the winning hash and get the full 50 BTC. 50 BTC is worth $3,000,000 today..

Looking back on that post, I wish I had been a bit more prescient about the price of Bitcoin rather than the resource usage.. While it's true that Bitcoin's energy usage has ballooned (apparently more energy is spent on mining Bitcoins than is used by entire countries), which I predicted back then, I did not predict that the price would go from $9 to $59000. If I had predicted the price right I'm sure I would at this point be able to buy a news company to write this article for me. Oh well. You win some, you lose a lot.

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Bitstamp vs. Bitcoin Central: Euro exchanges compared

Now that MtGox is well dead it's time to consider some alternatives for cashing out your Bitcoins. If you're in Europe you'll want to register for an exchange that will do a SEPA transfer to your bank account. Two of the major players in this market are Bitstamp and Bitcoin Central. I decided to try both.

The first step after registering is getting yourself verified, so they'll allow you to play with larger amounts. For both exchanges this involved putting your identity at risk by submitting a copy of your passport (or other form of identifying document) and a proof of address which can't be an electronic bank statement. This is a huge WTF, but one that you're going to have to accept if you want to work with Bitcoins.

Since I didn't have any non-electronic proof of address, I had to get my local government to issue a document stating my name, address etc. With this, Bitstamp approved my verification request in 3 days. Pretty damn snappy considering it's a human process. Bitcoin Central took 5 days initially, but then rejected my proof of address document because, according to the document, I was living in with my parents, and I would need to provide copies of my parents' passports as well. That's where I draw the line, though. It's one thing putting my own identity at risk, but asking me to share other people's identities is just a tad over the top. Fortunately, after a bit of back-and-forth in Bitcoin Central's ticketing system, explaining my situation, they came around to my position. They were also quite clear on the website how they securely treat people's documents. Due to this mishap the verification on Bitcoin Central took an additional 15 days for me.

On to depositing bitcoins; on both exchanges it  took less than 2 hours between sending the coins and receiving the confirmation. Yay digital currency! The next step, trading in the bitcoins for old-fashioned money, is where the process starts to differ. Bistamp functions in much the same way as MtGox did: you can place an order that will keep on buying or selling BTC depending on whatever the highest/lowest bid is, much like MtGox used to do. Bitcoin-Central on the other hand only lets you place an order for a specific price. As I am very much a beginner at trading, it was unclear to me what would happen if I placed an order for a lower price than the highest bid: would it fulfill the highest bid at the bid price or at my price? So I chose the safe way out and made several trades until I manually exhausted the highest bidders.

The last step is cashing out: since my bank account was already verified on both exchanges, all I had to do was make a withdrawal and wait. Bitstamp trades in USD internally so there's a (small) extra fee to convert to EUR. With Bitstamp it took 3 days for the money to arrive. With Bitcoin Central I had to open a support ticket first, as my daily withdrawal limit was set too low. This took 2 days: one to open the ticket and another to wait 24 hours for the limit to increase. Then the actual withdrawal only took 1 day.

So, which one's better? At the moment I would say that Bitstamp offers a better user experience, whereas Bitcoin Central's interface seems flashy but featureless. It's still early days of course, and I'm sure that things will have changed a lot even six months from now. Bitcoin Central's pedantism about security was a bit of a pain when you're trying to register, but I find that it does inspire confidence once you're in, and I can't really blame them for being careful. So far I haven't had a bad experience with either exchange, so I'd recommend them both, with Bitcoin Central having the slight edge since there's less fees when you're cashing out to a European bank account.

A word of warning: bitcoin exchanges have a notoriously bad reputation when it comes to security. Never keep your bitcoins or other currencies on there any longer than you need to, and the chances of any financial harm coming to you will be negligible. Identity theft, however, is a fucking serious risk, and one that I am seriously worried about after MtGox got hacked and hackers got access to the customer's passports. It's my opinion that you cannot trust exchanges to promise that they won't lose your documents, no matter how many nice words they use on their website. If you sign up for an exchange, you're the one taking the risk. So be prepared for shit to go wrong.

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Why I've lost faith in Bitcoin

MtGox has made a complete ass of themselves, yet the Bitcoin community lives on. It's perhaps the final proof that was needed to convince everyone that Bitcoin could survive even if the biggest exchange would go down (again). But while the MtGox fiasco has been going on, there's been several reports of other exchange sites getting hacked and losing their Bitcoins. Despite all this bad news, the community is alive, more and more sites are starting to acknowledge Bitcoin and governments are starting to make laws for it, legitimizing Bitcoin's existence. And if that's not enough, Bitcoin's brothers and sisters, the Namecoin, the Dogecoin and the Litecoin, are heading in the same direction too.

All of the points I've mentioned in the previous paragraph are exactly why I lost faith in Bitcoin. Exchange sites that are run by amateurs that don't set their security up properly are but a minor concern compared to the big two: government regulation and alternative cryptocurrencies.

Governments have proper themselves more and more capable at monitoring and controlling what's going on on the internet, and it's only going to get more extreme in the coming decades. It's not unthinkable at all that governments will be able to block any bitcoin transfer they like. Worse than that, governments already control and regulate the endpoints, making the whole anonimity angle of the thing a bit of a stretch. Again, this is only going to get worse in the future. Just like the internet as a whole, there was a time where everything was completely unregulated and free, only to have governments catch up with technology eventually to lock things down again. It's inevitable, and inevitably not the end of either the internet or cryptocurrency. People will just move to the next free-er alternative.

.. which is the second major problem with Bitcoin: the alternatives. It's always been viable to set up an alternate cryptocurrency; the entire project is open-source so you can fork it, make some changes and release it as you please. Many people have spawned their own cryptocurrency, but not many of those have enjoyed the popularity that Bitcoin has. The network effect is powerful to the extreme, and for a long time it was the main reason that I held faith in Bitcoin; alternatives just didn't take off. But I feel that's beginning to change. As governments regulate the internet more, Namecoin becomes the obvious next cryptocurrency (well, blockchain-based network to be more generic) to take off. The biggest surprise for me has been Dogecoin. I really, really wanted Dogecoin to fail. I saw it as a threat to Bitcoin because of its silliness and because the creators were not security experts like the creators of Bitcoin are. It was a silly coin robbing disaster waiting to happen, and the more people heard about Dogecoin, the less they would take Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency seriously.

At least, that's what I thought at the time. It's been many months now and surprisingly (to me at least) Dogecoin is still around. They've proven something very important: Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to get enough of a network effect to take off. And that little fact is going to make Bitcoin worthless, as it has been proven as just another fad. I wonder if the next step will be the state-sponsored cryptocurrency. It's easy for governments to control all the endpoints/exchanges for the cryptocurrency they're in charge of, and governments will also be able to generate enough of a network effect to get their currency to take hold. Perhaps eventually that's what every nation's currency will end up looking like.

Bitcoin and 'Satoshi Nakamoto' absolutely started the revolution. But now that it's started, it will continue even if Bitcoin is no longer there. That might still be a couple of years away, though. We'll see.

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It's a strange story, that of MtGox, the most well-known Bitcoin exchange site on the internet. They were among the first to promote Bitcoin, to offer a trustworthy service that allows you to buy and sell Bitcoins. Then they got hacked and had to start all over again.

But they started over really well and at the right moment, just as Bitcoin was gaining traction. During a time where almost every week there would be a nice report about yet another Bitcoin site getting hacked and clients having their Bitcoins stolen, MtGox slowly rebuilt. They had my trust because they had already gone through all that. They learned the hard way that you have to be ultra-paranoid if you're running something as vaporous as a virtual money exchange service.

MtGox endured, but strangely enough this is not a good thing. Too large a portion of the Bitcoin economy today is dependent on what happens to MtGox. They've become the enemy of Bitcoin, in a sense, by being a centralized institution that is, simply put, a risk to the distributed network. I'm not just talking technically, but by being in the public image people equate what happens to MtGox as something that happens to 'Bitcoin' as a whole. This is very much against the original concept. The conclusion, therefore, is obvious:

MtGox must die so that Bitcoin may live.

Disclaimer / rant note: I have been waiting for two and a half months for MtGox to transfer me my balance in Euro's via bank transer. They were 6 separate transactions, of which I've only received 3. The only thing I ever heard about why the remaining 3 took so long is that they were "in a queue waiting to be processed by the bank". The utter helplessness of the MtGox staff made it clear that this was not the company to deal with any longer. So I changed the Euro's into bitcoins and rescued them from the MtGox account. A sad day.

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The Big Bitcoin Adventure

I've occasionally blogged about Bitcoin in the past. Two years ago I was into Bitcoin mining, and when the value of 1 Bitcoin reached 8USD I declared it a success. Who would've known that shortly afterwards it would boom to 30$, the highest anyone thought it could possibly go. Then it crashed all the way down to around 5$. The increased interest in Bitcoin meant that mining was no longer or just barely profitable, so that was a dead end.

Today, 1 Bitcoin was worth 147 US dollars.

Major websites are starting to accept Bitcoins. The underground drug trade has firmly established itself on the Tor network with Silkroad. Its major currency is, of course, Bitcoin. In one month the BTC went from about 40$ to 140$. Everyone online knows it's a boom. But nobody, not even experts, dare predict when the boom will pop. The thought occurred to me that perhaps this is not a boom, that Bitcoin will continue to rise in value. I'd like to believe that, but then I saw someone else make that comment online and I had trouble taking him seriously. It seems like the kind of thing only someone heavily invested in Bitcoin would say.

For a long time I decided to stop writing about Bitcoin on this blog for two reasons. The first one is that I am obviously biased as I own some BTC myself and therefore want to contribute to its success, which will inevitably raise its value. (It's at this point in the conversation that my friends point out that Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme and they refuse to talk about it more). The second reason is that I don't know a lot about finance, so everything I write here will probably sound very naive to those in finance sector. Yet, it is my own blog, and I am entitled to sound naive when I so please.

Moving away from ponzi schemes and classic currencies, I'd like to think that I do know a little bit about the internet, and the technical principles behind Bitcoin. I've been monitoring it for several years now since my friend introduced it to me, and am thrilled to see more people starting to adopt such an elegant principle for sharing money, truly fit for the digital age. Pretty much all the early adopters are (were?) in the tech industry, but that doesn't necessarily mean mainstream adoption, or appreciation.

The recent rise in price has gotten the media interested (or vice versa), and still most people don't know what to make of Bitcoin. People in finance seem to get it wrong the most. They want to treat Bitcoin like a normal currency and are then surprised when it doesn't react the way they expect it to. So they blame Bitcoin for betraying their expectations and dismiss it as 'not a valid currency'. This may well be true. But that doesn't rob Bitcoin of its right to success. So far the non-tech people I've heard talking about Bitcoin enthusiastically are treating it either entirely as a very short-term means of trade (USD->BTC->commodity), or as an investment. Both ways can coexist if the currency is not too volatile, but the Bitcoin value has been rising like crazy lately, so how do the shops cope with that? To not out-price themselves they'll have to lower their prices every hour or so, at this rate.

But eventually prices will (should) stabilize. The higher the price gets, the less total volume will get traded, or at the very least the total volume will remain dampened until adoption becomes more widespread. Bitcoin is regulating its own growth. Perhaps this is not going according to established financial principles, but it's unstoppable nonetheless.

Personally, given the continued interest in Bitcoin and use of it as medium of exchange in less than legal circles, I suspect that the price can still go up, hopefully a bit slower and more steady than it was doing the past month. That way the stores can adjust and start pricing their products in Satoshis (0.01BTC, named after the mysterious pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin) instead. But even if the price drops massively, even if governments outlaw it (which they won't, because they can earn money from it), there will still be a use for Bitcoin. This may be vapor talk right before the crash, but I still believe in Bitcoin.

And if Bitcoin becomes a success, what's next? What else can we apply this encrypted peer-to-peer proof-of-work technology to? Many spin-offs of Bitcoin have already been made, most of them naive in their idea or purely opportunistic, leeching off of Bitcoin's popularity. Two alternatives may have a reason to exist though: Namecoin and Litecoin.

Namecoin is essentially Bitcoin for domain names. Instead of using a Bitcoin as a proof-of-wealth, you use it as a proof-of-ownership of a domain name. Generation and verification happens exactly the same way as in Bitcoin, and the code is pretty much a carbon copy of the Bitcoin codebase with some extra features tacked on. I believe this has merit because DNS servers are increasingly becoming the weakest link of the internet, and we need something stronger and more distributed to take its place. While I'm positive about the idea, I'm not so sure about its value proposition, or why you need a proof of work to register a domain. It seems like it can be solved just by peer-to-peer and public/private key technology. Despite that, Namecoin is becoming more widespread.

Litecoin is a bit of a maybe. Its original concept was to fix the weak points of Bitcoin: deflation, transaction processing speed and waste of mining resources. Litecoins were initially meant to be mined using different resources than Bitcoin, but in the end it seems that they're both going to end up being mined by GPUs and specially-designed hardware. The deflation was made less of a problem by increasing the maximum amount of coins generated, which is good, but not necessarily a problem in Bitcoin since there's still plenty of precision left to shift the comma many places to the right and subdivide a Bitcoin into smaller bits.

Transaction processing speed remains a valid issue. The last I heard is that the Bitcoin network is starting to suffer from this, as only so many transactions can be spread throughout the network at once, which will surely become a problem when Bitcoin becomes more popular. Still, the Bitcoin protocol can be refined if the core developers release a new client that allows for faster/more transactions. I'm a bit skeptical about Litecoin. If it takes off, it's probably more viable than Bitcoin, but Bitcoin already has traction and the benefits of Litecoin over Bitcoin are not that great.

The success or failure of Bitcoin is tightly linked to Litecoin and Namecoin. One will not fall without the other, but the derivatives may still fail even if Bitcoin is successful. Still, if Bitcoin is not speculative enough for you then you may care to wager something on Litecoin and Namecoin.

Much like everybody else, I have no clue what's going to happen to Bitcoin. All I can tell you is that I'm not selling mine, because I believe Bitcoin will have a bright future. Henry Blodget said it best:

The most you can lose is 100% of your bet.

The most you can make, meanwhile, is theoretically unlimited.

(In the time it took to write this article, 1 Bitcoin increased $13 in value).

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Resources are being utterly and completely wasted on mining Bitcoins

There's something fundamentally wrong with the current Bitcoin mining system, yet this wrongness is also part of what makes it brilliant and could never be changed. The reason why it could never be changed is not because of technical difficulties, it's because of human nature. It's a beautiful example of the Prisoner's Dilemma being played out in real life. Here's why.

(If you don't know what Bitcoin is yet, Mastering Bitcoin is a great book to get started with).

The extremely short version of how bitcoins are generated (the main site has a lot more info): a lot of computers calculate cryptographical hashes that match a certain pattern. When the pattern set by the network is found, one computer announced that he found the hash, and all network members cooperatively agree to grant the 'winner' 50 bitcoins. Then the network members cooperatively decide what will be the next hash that's to be found, and they all start calculating again from scratch.

The most important aspect of the whole thing is the rate at which the bitcoins are generated. If more PCs join the number-crunching effort, more hashes can be tested and therefore found in the same timespan. Ten PCs are faster than one. But here's the kicker: the network self-regulates the speed at which bitcoins are generated. After a certain timespan (measured in days), the network does a self-check to see how many days it took to generate x many hashes. If that timespan is too short, the difficulty level is increased, which makes it harder for PCs to find the next hash during the next round. This description may sound a bit simple, but it's enforced by rock-solid math and a peer-to-peer network of which more than 50% would need to be controlled in order to break the rules. That's like saying more than 50% of all PCs connected to the internet would have to be hacked. It's extremely unlikely.

The problem is the self-regulation. This regulation process works the other way around as well. If the network members detect that the last iteration took too many days, the difficulty will be adjusted down, and the next round the hashes will be easier to locate. This means that if all members of the network could agree on only using 1% of their available computing power, thus also only 1% of electricity and 1% of the electricity bill they have right now, the entire bitcoin system would still continue to work exactly as before! Everybody would still get the same payout in amount of bitcoins received, and the self-regulating nature of the network means that exactly the same total amount of bitcoins would be generated as before.

Human nature does not allow that to happen, of course. After all, if you do have the computing power available to make 100 times more than you are making now, why not use it? And that's what everybody is doing right now (myself included). We're all trying to profit from the high exchange rates (1BTC is 9USD at the time of writing this) that we're throwing everything we've got at the bitcoin network. We profit from our actions for a couple of days, then the network detects the increase in speed and adjusts itself down, negating all the efforts we put into it, forcing us to buy even more processing power. It's an endless cycle of stupidity that simply cannot be solved by human nature.

I should note here that the driving force of all this madness is the economy. Capitalism. As soon as people realized that bitcoins are a unique concept, whose properties might well make it extremely successful, they wanted to invest in it. Since the supply of bitcoins is limited and regulated, eventually demand exceeds supply, and prices go up. As bitcoin gained popularity that's exactly what's been happening over the past few months. The ridiculous prices that people are paying for bitcoins right now still more than makes up for the cost of buying new hardware to find bitcoins faster. But eventually that's going to bottom out, and we'll be stuck with a network of the most powerful computers ever built, grinding down on a problem that doesn't even need all that power. What a tremendous waste of resources.

There is a solution to this problem. If someone releases a new Bitcoin client (and miners) that run on only 1% of the available processing power, and gets more than 50% of the network to adopt this new client, then total electricity costs drop would drop hugely, and still the same amount of bitcoins would be generated.  The demand for bitcoins sets the price, and the supply won't change, so everybody profits. Yet we all choose our own success, which ultimately has negative consequences for everyone involved. That's just not smart.


Update: it's been pointed out to me that the solution I propose is flawed and wouldn't work. I have to agree. I tried to think of a way that would let the peer-to-peer part of bitcoin regulate the processing power, but I can't think of any way to do that reliably and securely. As other people pointed out, it would still be possible to game the system. This only serves to illustrate the elegance of the original bitcoin idea.

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On the success of Bitcoin

At the moment of writing this post, 1 bitcoin (BTC) is worth exactly 8 US dollars.

Bitcoin is a success. Compared to even one month ago bitcoin is getting a lot of news coverage online. The software development scene for mining bitcoins is getting bigger and bigger. Online 'pools' are popping up all over, where instead of gambling on whether or not you'll find coins, you can dedicate your CPU/GPU power and receive a steady reward instead. Mining coins with a Radeon 6870 at this pool will earn you a steady 1.44BTC every day, which is $12 at the current exchange rate.

I did not see this coming at all. Back when I last wrote about Bitcoins I was fairly negative. I thought that the difficulty factor would go up like crazy and that the exchange rate would stay fairly similar. Instead, the opposite has happened. Bitcoins are worth 8 times as much as 2 months ago, but the difficulty only rose by a factor of 2. Needless to say, if I had confidence that this was going to happen, I would have invested more money in bitcoins. Instead, I foresaw the whole thing losing popularity and I sold all my coins back in early April, just before the boom started. I'm still angry at myself for not following through on the idea I had in December last year, to buy $1000 worth of Bitcoins, which at the time would have amounted to 4000BTC. That would have been worth $32000 right now. Repeat after me: rv's an idiot.

I'm still mining for coins, hoping to grab some for myself before the difficulty level increases again. Bitcoins are hot right now. At least that's what the exchange rate is telling me. The point is: even if the number of people mining for coins increases tenfold, it will not accelerate the speed at which new bitcoins are found. The whole system was designed to deliver bitcoins at a steady pace, never suddenly increasing or decreasing. The more GPU power you throw at it, the further the difficulty increases. In other words: supply is steady, and demand is increasing far beyond all reasonable expectations. I just wonder how long this trend will continue before something horrible happens and the market collapses. The whole thing could collapse catastrophically if a flaw in the hashing algorithm is found, or even if some governments declare the concept illegal. Both are extremely unlikely to happen, but you never know. Then again, bitcoin is probably more stable right now than most currencies of third-world countries.

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Bitcoin mining is a lot less profitable than 2 months ago

Bitcoin mining is a lot less profitable than before. There's 3 reasons for that:

  1. The increased difficulty factor, which means it takes longer to discover a winning hash that can be turned into a bitcoin
  2. The BTC/USD exchange rate, which dropped from 1:1 to 1:0.8.
  3. The USD/EUR exchange rate, which is slightly worse than before
Admittedly, point 3 was already a problem when I started mining a couple of weeks ago. I think that the current exchange rate is not a realistic measure of the value of money. If you can buy the same things for 1 USD as you can for 1 EUR, which I think you mostly can, then the exchange rate is unrealistic and can be abused. Companies abuse this by making us buy iPads for 500 EUR, which is 700 USD! Not very nice.

The biggest problem though, is the difficulty factor. Although the BTC/USD exchange rate is fluctuating, there seems to be enough demand for bitcoins to keep the trades going. But because the difficulty factor is self-adjusting (and impossible to circumvent!) it's going to get harder and harder for each individual to generate bitcoins as the bitcoin network increases in size. When I started mining the difficulty factor was around 38000. The next week it increased to 50000, and not much later it went up to ~76000. That basically means that it now takes twice as long until a valid hash is found, cutting the profit in half. And the more people join in, the lower the profit will get. The self-adjusting techno-beauty of the bitcoin system is a disaster for people who want to get rich quick.

I'm undecided as to whether I'll keep mining. I think I"ll continue until the next difficulty change, at least. If it lowers, then there might still be value in mining. Otherwise I might as well quit. Perhaps others will quit too and the difficulty will go down again. Nobody knows for sure. It's all just a big gamble. But the beauty of the bitcoin system is that, no matter how you try to use and abuse it, the system is immune to all attempts at tinkering with it. It is perhaps one of the best geek achievements yet.

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Earning money without making an effort

Does that sounds nice to you, or does it sound like you're taking advantage of all the people that are working hard? Part of the reason I am so interested in bitcoins is that it seems to provide a way of earning money without actually doing something. Isn't that ridiculous? There are people working hard for a minimum wage, yet if they knew about this opportunity in time they could've made more money while doing nothing. That's just odd.

The general idea that has entered my mind is: if making money like this is possible, then it displays a flaw in the system, which should be taken advantage of so that things can iron themselves out in the future. My definition of 'system' is probably not exactly the same as your definition, but to me I am thinking of capitalism and entrepreneurship. I think that we're not being pushed in the right direction as a species if people can spend time on something silly like making bitcoins or creating a russian roulette iphone app and make more money than by doing something useful like developing a real-time translation app or giving people access to information. Our motivations are all screwed up.

Or are they? Although I believe that society is not showing us the right direction, I also think that it's perfectly fine to screw society over for its flaws, since that's probably the fastest way to get it to correct itself. Two examples of this come to mind. The first is about bitcoins: it's already become a lot less profitable to use your pc to generate bitcoins. The difficulty level (eg. the time it takes for your pc to find a new bitcoin) has nearly doubled over the past week. And the beauty of the bitcoin idea is that the system corrected itself. It's designed to work this way, which prevents people from earning obscene amounts of money for nothing. Real life is also self-correcting, it just takes a lot longer.

Which leads me to my second example: downloading music and movies. People are taking advantage of the crappiness of the legal ways of watching movies by downloading them without paying for it. That's been happening for ages, but when more and more people start pirating movies then the movie companies are finally catching on. Slowly. But while the legal way of getting movies sucks, I'm all for illegal downloading to keep everybody on their toes.

Perhaps the last example wasn't perfect, as I was trying to illustrate legal ways of circumventing the system to get what you want, but I think you get the idea. It is absolutely possible to earn money by finding loopholes in the system. What do you think of this? Would you do this? Any why, or why not?


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Bitcoins again

I would just like to summarize the post below: I made money out of thin air while I was sleeping. Thank you.

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