Sunday, January 29, 2023

Re: Crypto: The World’s Greatest Scam

When I posted this to Facebook, someone I know got into a real huff, saying that I don't understand how incredible the technology is.  We went back and forth a bit, but today I wrote this:

There is something about this that I don't understand or my understanding is faulty. The blockchain is essentially a ledger entry stating that you own something distributed over a large number of computers. Instead of a few computers being involved, say at the stock exchange and your broker, a large number of computers have to hold this information, consuming power. You get buzzwords like decentralized, distributed, and public, but how is that better than a centralized ledger?

And since this is largely unregulated, you are dependent upon the goodwill of many actors. We have already seen multiple frauds related to cryptocurrency.

Here I am questioning the value of blockchain, and maybe it does have a value on a technical level that I don't understand, as opposed to before where I was questioning the value of the assets like Bitcoin which I think have no intrinsic value.

On Tue, Jan 24, 2023 at 9:42 PM John  wrote:
I think that the title says it all.  

Forty years ago people thought that antiques were a profitable investment.  It was driven by a high demand for antiques, so people started looking at antiques as an investment.  This was based on the "bigger fool theory", which was that you would buy the item solely as an investment, possibly paying more than its intrinsic value, and you hoped that there was a bigger fool out there who would pay you more money for it.  The problem is that somebody is left holding the bag when demand goes down.  This is a characteristic of many financial bubbles, the first of which started with tulips.

The problem with crypto-anything is that it doesn't have an intrinsic value and the value is only driven by hype.  As long as the hype continues, you can make money.  But crypto doesn't have a use case that justifies its existence.  Instead of being a useful alternate currency, it has turned into a get-rich-quick scheme.

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