Author Topic: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?  (Read 6727 times)

CaptainD

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Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« on: 13 Oct 2016, 13:55 »
I have to admit the whole thing passed me by somewhat until a dev of an altcoin (basically any crypto that is not Bitcoin) got in touch wanted to sponsor one of my games.  Since then I've become very interested in the whole thing, from trading crypto (obviously in very small amounts with stuff I've been given, I've not invested a penny of fiat currency into this and never will) to the use of cryptos in gaming (other than gambling, which is something very popular with crytpos but not something I involve myself with).

So... anyone dabbled in cryptocurrency?  Anyone mined some Bitcoin back when it was feasible to do so with an ordinary PC?  Anyone interested in the idea of decentralised currency and any thoughts on whether that's actually genuinely possible?

Cassiebsg

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #1 on: 13 Oct 2016, 15:25 »
* Cassiebsg considers this to cryptic to reach enlightenment 8-0

In other words, I have no idea about what you talking about, never even heard of it before.
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CaptainD

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #2 on: 13 Oct 2016, 18:50 »
Basically, any form of digital currency.  The most famous is of course Bitcoin, not many "altcoins" are well known outside the Cryptocurrecy community, but the best-known are Litecoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum.

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies.
Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in 2009.
Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created. These are frequently called altcoins, as a blend of bitcoin alternative.
Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money/centralized banking systems. The decentralized control is related to the use of bitcoin's blockchain transaction database in the role of a distributed ledger.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency

New currency is "mined" by using mathematical formulae (known as "hashing")

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash function that has certain properties which make it suitable for use in cryptography. It is a mathematical algorithm that maps data of arbitrary size to a bit string of a fixed size (a hash function) which is designed to also be a one-way function, that is, a function which is infeasible to invert.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographic_hash_function
 
(I have to admit that it's taken me quite a while to get my head around the terminology and come to a reasonable understanding of it all!)

Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #3 on: 13 Oct 2016, 19:16 »
Over the years I've read multiple articles on the subject and still have no bloody clue what it's all about!

selmiak

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #4 on: 13 Oct 2016, 19:32 »
I use it to buy crack and hookers! 8-)

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Jack

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #5 on: 13 Oct 2016, 20:43 »
They solve the problem of currency issuance in a really wasteful manner. If these ever saw global adoption the energy cost would be astronomical. Obviously there are better ways than having the world's computers running in circles 24/7 to make something which by itself has no value. Just because central banks are corrupt, that does not mean fiat currency could not be implemented in a sound manner.

It also means anyone who has a datacenter, or the money to buy one, is automatically in possession of a printing press which the other 99.9% of people will never match.
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Cassiebsg

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #6 on: 13 Oct 2016, 20:48 »
Uhm... besides the fact that seems to be some kind of digital currency (or some programming language/algoritht to create it?)... all remaining text might as well be in an unknown alien language... (roll)

It's like who ever wrote all that just assumed ppl know what he/she is talking about. :-\
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Jack

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #7 on: 13 Oct 2016, 21:08 »
Basically it's a currency which self-regulates its issuance (creating of new currency) by being limited to the cost of the number of computations it takes to create new currency. This is to solve the run-away inflation which is possible with fiat/paper currency, as seen in the weimar republic and zimbabwe.
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Cassiebsg

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #8 on: 13 Oct 2016, 21:25 »
Okay, thanks for talking almost understandable english. (laugh)

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selmiak

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #9 on: 13 Oct 2016, 22:47 »
Did you calculate that through Jack? Some might argue the power needed to run internet servers and backbones and datacenters and things like that is a waste, use alternative methods of communication. The value is what you make of it. Do these papers with colors on it have any value when you consider they are just paper with color on it and some shiny treasure coins.

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Jack

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #10 on: 13 Oct 2016, 22:58 »
Consider that mining bitcoins currently turns only a marginal profit largely because of power consumption. Multiplying that by a few billion is not going to help things.

Fiat currency has practically no intrinsic value, digital currency has none. Spending that much of a precious resource making it is a terrible way to go about things.
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KyriakosCH

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #11 on: 13 Oct 2016, 23:46 »
I use it to buy crack and hookers! 8-)

Careful in the deepweb :=
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CaptainD

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #12 on: 14 Oct 2016, 09:23 »
@Jack - on the energy usage side, modern ASICs and whatnot appear to be extremely energy efficient, although some alts can be mined with CPU/GPU, any serious miner uses specialised equipment.  It's an interesting question though - if hypothetically crytpo ever replaced fiat (can't see it happening myself), how would the energy costs of maintaining it compare to the energy costs of running a huge note / coin minting operation?  But yes, either way energy usage (especially on the massive farms China are said to have, though I'm sure they're not the only ones) is a very big concern either way.

Re: inflation - whilst Bitcoin and others seem to naturally work against too much inflation with halving and increasing difficulty of hashing, there are also several POS (Proof Of Stake) coins whose interest rates cause them to run on massive hyper-inflation - then again this is self-limiting as eventually these coins (for instance SPROUTS) lose all value and eventually cannot be traded even for one satoshi (0.00000001BTC, the [currently] smallest unit of Bitcoin exchange)

RickJ

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #13 on: 14 Oct 2016, 21:05 »
There is an interesting TED Talk about Blockchains that explains the technology and it's implications quite nicely.  The presenter mentions one such currency that has contract fulfillment built into it. 

I don't buy the mining energy argument. There are already multitudes of data centers everywhere and a mining application can soak up spare cpu cycles when the are available. Even for dedicated mining centers I would guess they have a much smaller energy requirement than traditional banking operations with everyone carting around bags of paper and metal in cars, truck, and vans on top of their very own data center.     

Jack

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #14 on: 14 Oct 2016, 22:05 »
There are already multitudes of data centers everywhere and a mining application can soak up spare cpu cycles when the are available.

So that takes care of the mining for those who already own datacenters. I'm sure they will make a tidy profit. I'm sure you're not suggesting they will give their mined currency away rather than just mining for their own profit. So what about the other 7 billion people on the planet? If it saw widespread adoption, the currently existing datacenters will shortly become a tiny percentage of global output, since we currently use them for work, and there will have to be a lot more of them if we start using them to waste processor cycles.

If anyone who owns a computer, or could acquire a suitable one, could use it to turn even a marginal profit after their power consumption by mining a widely accepted currency, what do you think they're going to do? Not mine?

EDIT:

What happens when one person leaves their laptop on for one year?

65W/h x 24 x 365 = 560kWh.

According to google, electricity consumption per capita in 2011 was 3,045 kWh.
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2016, 23:08 by Jack »
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RickJ

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #15 on: 14 Oct 2016, 23:39 »
Quote
I'm sure you're not suggesting they will give their mined currency away rather than just mining for their own profit. So what about the other 7 billion people on the planet?...
Maybe you should watch the linked video in my previous post.

Quote
What happens when one person leaves their laptop on for one year?
People already leave their computers on 24/7 and use their idle cpu cycles to search for ETs, solve research problems and for crash commercial purposes.  Here are  just a few suggestion from our friend Mr. Google.
http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-ways-to-donate-your-cpu-time-to-science/
http://www.techgyd.com/turn-pc-on-make-money/6458/
https://cloud.mql5.com/

[edit]
Btw, CaptianD can you recommend a path into the crypto community you mention, at least a google clue.  Thanks
« Last Edit: 15 Oct 2016, 00:13 by RickJ »

Jack

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #16 on: 15 Oct 2016, 01:57 »
People already leave their computers on 24/7 and use their idle cpu cycles to search for ETs, solve research problems and for crash commercial purposes.

They all produce something intrinsically valuable which can't be made from thin air at no cost at all.
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Gurok

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #17 on: 15 Oct 2016, 06:36 »
I'm happy to use it as currency, but I wouldn't invest in it. I would rather buy gold and mining stocks.

CaptainD

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Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #18 on: 25 Oct 2016, 10:32 »
[edit]
Btw, CaptianD can you recommend a path into the crypto community you mention, at least a google clue.  Thanks

Apologies, I never noticed this before.

There's a good community at https://bitcointalk.org/.  Personally I'm more interested in the alts than Bitcoin itself but the discussions there are wide-ranging.  As with any forum you have to spend a while distinguishing which members actually know what they're talking about and which ones only think they do!

If you ever pop over there my username is TeamDisaster (since I joined up initially purely as a result of sponsorship of my game, I used our dev team name).


Re: Anyone else interested in cryptocurrency?
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jun 2017, 13:24 »
Hey I hate to bring an old thread back, but this is the thread I myself was thinking of starting. Pretty exciting ride these past few months. Probably all going to nosedive again as it did a few years ago during the last boom in interest, but it sure is interesting to see companies offering crypto debit cards that make it now possible to use crypto to make purchases in the real world.