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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:42 am

http://blog.cryptocrumb.com/ - Bitcoing forensics blog - some pretty interesting stuff.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:51 pm

Bitcoin flying up in value as the Greece Exit looms large since bitcoin isn't a government / union controlled currency.

Greece has definitely made things interesting in the bitcoin space.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:26 pm

I really need to update this post in a more timely fashion.

So, the bottom fell out of bitcoin for quite a few reasons. The main one, as has been reported in the MSM has been the hard fork proposed of Bitcoin XT. There's quite a few very good articles out there that explain what this all means so I won't rehash it here, but the main point to take away is that while there is a legitimate reason to increase the size (capacity issues), this has all been some political based power struggle. In addition, you're seeing that the Bitcoin project lacks the leadership needed to push this project into the future a la Linux. Say what you want about Linus, he runs the project so that it remains successful and would deal with an issue of a hard fork in a much more dominant way.

I'm pro-fixing the scalability issues now, but I am anti-XT fork for a number of reasons including the fact it could kill off bitcoin. XT allows for IP address tracking, prevents Tor exit nodes from being used and would cause a pretty big split in the community.

In addition to the downward pressure a hard fork is creating, one of the major exchanges FINEX is basically not working as intended and when BTC flash crashed, the FINEX exchange was the main culprit as positions didn't close properly, then were liquidated to protect lenders and that caused the FINEX to exchange to test even further lows than other exchanges.

Finally, usually when the USD gets hammered, BTC goes up. However, at this point in time, BTC continues to trend down which is a very bad sign. I imagine BTC will test $170 again ($205 right now).
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:09 am

https://www.blockseer.com/

Pretty much allows you to build a roadmap for tracking bitcoins. Pretty interesting stuff which mostly proves that BTC isn't anonymous - in fact, I can see certain wallet labels that basically "out" where coins have come from, etc. Very interesting stuff.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:58 pm

:money: :money: :money: :money: :money: :money: :money: :money: :money: :money:
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:09 am

Chainalysis - interesting company that's doing compliance / forensics work for the blockchain. Seems as if they are doing deep wallet dives and exposing basically all links to transactions, in effect, de-anonymizing blockchain transactions. It's possible that the "free ride" with blockchain will end as almost all transactions that even have the slightest form of information leak get exposed and linked.

It's possible that the more things you can pay for with just bitcoin may help, but if those businesses are opening up their transactions to companies like Chainalysis that things are going to go from a large, anonymous world to a very small one. User-to-user sure, you can probably still use bitcoin in the spirit in which it was developed, but it's clear that a lot of the normal use cases are going to be linked to a user soon enough.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:58 am

Ok, wanted to get this all down somewhere so I can reference / copy+paste later because I've seen a lot of somewhat smart people say really stupid stuff recently. I wrote this quickly, not sure it makes sense and it's 4am so I probably won't revise this unless I missed something and someone brings it up (unlikely).

1) So Mike Hearn comes out and writes the following post - https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-reso ... .luyid49uz

Ok, so first - who is Mike Hearn? First, it's important to know where his interests lay. He now works for "R3" which is a trust based network that will be something like an interbank settlement company. It's basically the same thing as "Blockstream". R3 doesn't actually exist as an actual live, production application.

More importantly, Hearn was working on / invested in trying to "hard fork" Bitcoin Core into something called Bitcoin XT. Bitcoin XT grew from the issue of the blockchain block size and future scaling issues. The problems with Bitcoin XT are multiple - it's an inelegant fix for the scaling issues and added in the ability to blacklist IPs (specifically Tor exit nodes) under the guise of "DDoS mitigation". Again, the idea of centralization is introduced by a single source maintaining the list of IPs. Problem is DDoS attacks. Bitcoin XT has basically failed (6.6% of nodes running XT - https://bitnodes.21.co/nodes/ - this is half of the share XT had 4 months ago) and Hearn can be seen as "taking his ball home and crying on the way out". Funny enough, one of the reasons why XT failed to be adopted was due to XT nodes being DDoS'd to death. It is no coincidence that Hearn wrote the post when he did as XT has basically all but died after having what seemed like massive support even just recently ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/commen ... ortoppose/ ).

As a good recap, here's the "Who is he really" series of links - https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/commen ... id/cz0ua95

TL;DR - He lost, he lashed out, he's moving on to a somewhat similar (sort of) yet very different in philosophy project. It's possible his entire post was a pre-planned attack.

2) Were the issues in his post valid concerns?

So, Mike raises a bunch of concerns - some of them are legitimate, some are not and some are just totally incorrect and show either ignorance or purposeful deception.

a) That the block size hasn't increased yet / scaling hasn't been fixed - Some very right, some very wrong. Scaling is definitely an issue that needs a solution. No one disputes this issue. However, the solution to this issue is far more complicated and here's where Hearn's post doesn't match the reality.

"Why has the capacity limit not been raised? Because the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power" - Just totally incorrect. Yes, miners have the ability to vote on forks, but here's a clear explanation on why Hearn's position doesn't even make sense. http://pondpolitics.com/2016/01/hypocri ... y-bitcoin/ simply explains the situation - "If an increased block size struggled to pass through the firewall, the side of the firewall with the greatest hashing power would benefit most (the Chinese side), as the other size would end up producing more orphan nodes. Nobody wants this, including Chinese miners, because it will damage the integrity of Bitcoin and people are willing to wait and try other solutions first." Woops, it's clear Mike doesn't even understand what would happen and is trying to blame the XT failure on the Chinese and create some type of xenophobia.

"Why are they not allowing it to grow? Several reasons. One is that the developers of the “Bitcoin Core” software that they run have refused to implement the necessary changes" - This sentence is correct, but not for the reason Mike implies. Many actual engineers and coders saw the XT fix as an inelegant solution which was basically to just up the block size. Mike is correct in stating that a fix has not been implemented (whether its SegWit (segregated witness) or LN (Lightning Network)) so the issue does still exist since a code push has not been completed by Core devs. However, there is an effort to improve scaling and market forces could dictate the speed at which it is implemented - funny how that works. However, there's a much simpler explanation - soft forks are safer than hard forks ( https://petertodd.org/2016/soft-forks-a ... hard-forks ). I don't think I need to link to Todd's blog post to make that point, but it's pretty obvious.

"The Random Censorship" section - While correct it happened, here's the issue - Bitcoin XT for all purposes was an altcoin - i.e. not really Bitcoin. Yes, this is sort of a chicken/egg issue - any hard fork would create what some would call an altcoin and voting exists specifically exists so that hard forks can be voted on by bitcoin miners, but all other altcoins are basically hard forks. The issue Mike fails to grasp is that Bitcoin XT was voted on despite the DDoS attacks (which haven't exactly been verified, but I do believe occurred). If XT was such a great solution, it easily could have gained the necessary hashing traction but XT failed specifically for the reasons addressed above, not because some guy deleted something off some website (durrrr).

"Bogus Conferences" - Nothing more than boohoo, they didn't adopt XT or find our solution to be the right one. Sorry, but there's quite the support for scaling solutions - https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/capacity-increases (also click on the FAQ for roadmap)

"Replace by Fee" - Holy hell, not even close. Honestly, this is the piece that swung me on the intentions of Hearn. I'm not going to spend my time re-typing it, but here's your RBF primer - https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/commen ... _about_it/ . Look, 0 confirmation transactions (i.e. confirmed 0 blocks deep) were never safe so ...? Double spends are already super easy to accomplish which is why confirmed 6 blocks deep is important.

b) Should the block size increase to 2MB?

Honestly, it's a technical issue that I am self-aware enough to know I don't know enough about, but plan on exploring more. Some say that the 2MB block size is dangerous because "complex transactions can take exponentially longer to hash as their size increases linearly, leading to big miners shutting out others." Also, see http://rusty.ozlabs.org/?p=522 . Increasing the size, due to the mining centralization in China, would cause issues as cleared up above so block size should not just be increased without regard (see here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivgxcEO ... t=2h36m20s which funny enough has a reference to a Hearn patch that didn't really help). It seems like 2MB would be just about the upper limit though so it does appear to be a possible, temporary solution.

Edit - Wanted to add that along with the 2MB size increase a corresponding limit of 100k on the tx size has been suggested which should mitigate the potential DDoS attacks.


3) What about Bitcoin Classic?

Well, as of now, they have produced 0 new code. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that none has been published. Therefore, Bitcoin Classic is nothing more than a firing of the current Bitcoin Core development team - no more, no less. The fact that so many people support this is sort of strange since Classic has shown no ability to actually do anything, but here we are. My guess is that Classic is trying to call Core's bluff by implementing 2MB block sizes on the most recent Core release, possibly strip out RBF and hope the Core team moves over which I don't think they will. If the Core team doesn't move over, Classic will be a disaster - if they do and bitcoin hard forks quickly, things probably turn out ok.

4) Future?

If Bitcoin Core can get to April without being destroyed by Bitcoin Classic hard forking the entire project and they get SegWit implemented by then, and then halving comes a few months later, BTC to the moon. However, that's 3 months and a soft fork away with Classic beating down on the doors and many, many people wanting a 2MB block size without really knowing why so it's 50/50 we get to April. I think there's a good chance Classic gets hard forked and voting approval from enough miners and that's going to destroy the bitcoin price, but we'll see.

Edit - Classic seems to have a proposed date of March 1st with a 4 week grace period. That's when the real fun will begin.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:04 am

http://pastebin.com/B8YQr5TQ - Classic Dev chat, leaving this here for reference since I find some of the items incriminating.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:21 am

https://bitcoinfees.github.io/ - Bitcoin Fees real-time chart.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:10 am

http://coinmarketcap.com/ - Market cap page for crypto currencies.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:36 am

http://www.jmbullion.com/ - Accepting bitcoin and at a 4% discount to credit cards.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Tue May 03, 2016 1:58 am

Craig Wright trying to scam his way into trying to convince the media he is Satoshi. He's not, it's all a scam.

https://dankaminsky.com/2016/05/02/vali ... hi-or-not/

That's the definitive post right there.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Thu May 26, 2016 1:48 pm

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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:29 pm

hagrin wrote:Chainalysis - interesting company that's doing compliance / forensics work for the blockchain. Seems as if they are doing deep wallet dives and exposing basically all links to transactions, in effect, de-anonymizing blockchain transactions. It's possible that the "free ride" with blockchain will end as almost all transactions that even have the slightest form of information leak get exposed and linked.

It's possible that the more things you can pay for with just bitcoin may help, but if those businesses are opening up their transactions to companies like Chainalysis that things are going to go from a large, anonymous world to a very small one. User-to-user sure, you can probably still use bitcoin in the spirit in which it was developed, but it's clear that a lot of the normal use cases are going to be linked to a user soon enough.


https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/sa ... 1472151009

Add Sandia National Labs to the list. The bitcoin world is getting smaller and smaller.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:06 am

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/wh ... 1475249510 - a few good basic, easy to understand types of mining.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:42 am

http://www.coinwarz.com/cryptocurrency - Crypto mining profitability charts.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:29 pm

Someone was wrong on the internet and posted that a CNBC clip suggesting India was responsible for the price.

From last week -

Bitcoin adoption post demonetisation

The Indian bitcoin community has surely grown in the last month. Unocoin, an Indian bitcoin start-up, which has 120,000 users saw about 15% of them joining just in the last month alone. Coinsecure, another Indian bitcoin start-up, saw over a 300% increase in turnover and over 250% increase in their user base for November 2016. Coinsecure has over 90,000 users, 20,000 of whom registered after November 9. The company has sold about 1,100 coins between the second week of November and December 20. “The highest trade volume was on November 25 when around 300 bitcoins were traded,” said Benson Samuel, Founder and CTO, Coinsecure.


Source - http://www.exchange4media.com/digital/b ... 67143.html

India is a country that lacks proper infrastructure / energy that it will take time for adoption in India to make an impact. There's no actual tangible volume on a major exchange that proves India is having any impact.

In addition, BitMEX speculators are out of control with the 24 hour volume being up 300% over a record high of yesterday and approaching $35 million (37k coins). Since BitMEX deals with only bitcoin deposits and is a high leverage derivative market, this is the proof needed to show that speculators have hopped on here late in the ride to try and "buy the news". We'll see if it continues to increase at the rate it has been.

Notes for reference -
10/15/16 - SegWit tentative date announced
10/27/16 - 0.13.1 actually released - https://bitcoincore.org/en/2016/10/27/release-0.13.1/
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:47 am

I wanted to put two recent links here for reference because a few people have some misconceptions I end up having to clarify often -

https://bitconnect.co/bitcoin-news/407/ ... you-think/
https://blockunchained.com/how-chinese- ... .bxyh4n8fs

https://twitter.com/LaurentMT/status/820713913293697024 - showing the mempool changes after China basically banned faked transactions on Chinese exchanges.

Ok, so this was the dirty little secret only people who traded on a large scale and on on Chinese exchanges knew.
0 transaction fees.
Withdrawal fees based on # of transactions w/ the fee lowered the more transactions you made.
Ability to "fake" transactions.
Chinese govt bans this process.
Mempool drops through the floor.
Volume on many volume tracking sites are 25% of what they were on Chinese exchanges.

Now, the piece I didn't know, because I'm not Chinese is that the Chinese government had been handing out "free loans" that had an early January payback date. That was the "cause" behind what I was seeing trading on BitMEX where all these transactions coming from China were going to BitMEX because it offered super high leverage. This resulted in an unsustainable run to $1175 USD and then the crash that we all saw. Luckily for me, I figured out what was going on at around $1110 and didn't get liquidated when the price kept going up before the crash. Super easy "top" to call and even still I didn't time it that well, but with the way bitcoin exchanges currently work, it's better to be a little early during periods of drastic price crashes because exchanges just stop working with high frequency.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:14 am

So, a bunch of stuff is happening. For the first time in a long time, I really have no idea what the price is going to do. It really feels like bitcoin is at the edge of the abyss at times and I am trending bearish, but I have no current open short positions.

I think the main takeaway is that uncertainty seems to be creeping back into the market and quickly.

1) Chinese exchanges ban 0 fee transactions. The impact of this is uncertain. Some say that this will reduce bitcoin's volatility, some might say this might reduce bitcoin's liquidity since it's much harder to make money at 0.2% fees. Some say they will just move to other exchanges like exchanges in Japan. It seems like a step towards legitimacy, but we will see.

2) China moves to government approval of VPNs. There's some dispute about how far this will reach that the actual law says it will only target certain types of VPNs. However, one would be wise to be distrustful of the Chinese government and their desire to control all network communications within their country. This could also remove some liquidity from the market, it may also be a non-event.

3) Segwit has totally stalled. If you go back to Segwit's initial (earlier than expected release) release and then the very quick adoption by 25% of miners, it tracks perfectly with the price level we are at now from the low range it was at when it was released. However, what was once true in October is no longer true now. Segwit has stalled to such a point that the Segwit Activation page recently moved the graphs to the bottom of the page (was at the top of the page) to slightly obscure the bad shape Segwit is in now. It's not even stalled so much as it is trending downwards.

4) The speculators got crushed. After the rise to the 800s, the speculation brigade took over. You can tell this happened by tracking high derivative markets, futures, volume, etc. You could also tell where the true price resistance was after the large crash from 1175 to 800ish as the speculators all got crushed. The Chinese "free loans" expired. HIBOR weekend rates went through the roof. The BitMEX volume, which was driven entirely by bitcoin, went insane and has since died down to more normal levels. CNBC was claiming it was "the next gold safe haven" (lolololol). CNBC also claimed India was driving the price and that couldn't be further from the truth (more lol, if you get your financial information from CNBC, good luck). The enthusiasm for bitcoin bulls seems to be waning.

5) The "dangers" (slant mine) of a hard fork are now greater than ever. Bitcoin Unlimited, due to Roger Ver, is gaining traction at a far greater rate than other bigger block efforts. You can easily say that there is signaling that shows BU support > Segwit support very easily. That said, I'll call it right now - a hard fork will kill the bitcoin price for an extended period of time. I'm fairly confident that the uncertainty of a hard fork is going to suppress the price for an extended period of time much like we saw with ETC/ETH. If you think that bigger blocks is any less controversial than protecting investors against a clear hack / bug, you're insane and users of ETH / ETC clearly voted with their economic power against the hard fork. I'm not 100% in favor of Segwit / LN / payment channels either, but there's a lot of issues with bigger blocks that seem obvious to me that others just wave aside. I think they're wrong and I think if BU wins out and bitcoin hard forks the price will stay suppressed for an extended period of time for a variety of reasons. Sure, the price will probably recover and you will probably be able to buy "cheap coins" for quite a while, but anyone mega long (me) will have to evaluate selling off an investment that will be dead money for an extended period of time. I'm pretty sure if I sold off just my position I could crash the price a few % points. This all adds up to a ton of uncertainty. If people thought halving would add a ton of uncertainty, a hard fork is going to be 10x worse.

6) I'm not sure there can ever be consensus about anything involving this many people / vastly different incentives. People can't even agree on if bitcoin will even function without block reward subsidies in the form of block rewards. People can't agree on the economics behind the fee market + bigger block sizes. If you can't agree on how bitcoin will even function regarding fees, how does bitcoin not splinter off at some point and negatively effect the price? Will the fee market follow a Laffer curve? Will bigger blocks and a non-robust fee market lead to a Tragedy of Commons and a race towards the bottom?

It all just adds up to increasing uncertainty and it just seems like things are trending downwards. If Segwit doesn't get adopted, bitcoin hard forks for sure that much is evident because there's no path forward. The question is whether we even get the full timetable on Segwit adoption or if we hard fork before that.

[paint_help.gif] [paint_help.gif] [paint_help.gif]
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:43 pm

https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/commen ... _fork_the/

Welp, if this isn't proof that Bitcoin Unlimited "winning" won't cause a disaster for bitcoin nothing will.

They pushed non-reviewed, buggy code causing an invalid block. This block was too large, no reward was provided for this block and all peers running the buggy code were banned from the network. There was no pull request for this change and this change, for non-programmers or people who understand the bitcoin code (which I maybe understand 30% of all of it), shows a complete lack of understanding from BU devs.

No matter where you stand on the scaling issues, you cannot entrust the bitcoin codebase to these idiots. PROGRAMMING TALENT MATTERS.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:13 pm

This isn't apropos of anything, but I wanted to clip this quote from Luke form the mailing list -

Satoshi envisioned a system where full nodes could publish proofs of invalid
blocks that would be automatically verified by SPV nodes and used to ensure
even they maintained the equivalent of full node security so long as they were
not isolated. But as a matter of fact, this vision has proven impossible, and
there is to date no viable theory on how it might be fixed. As a result, the
only way for nodes to have full-node-security is to actually be a true full
node, and therefore the plan of only having full nodes in datacenters is
simply not realistic without transforming Bitcoin into a centralised system.


Source - https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/piper ... 13513.html
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:01 am

hagrin wrote: For the first time in a long time, I really have no idea what the price is going to do. It really feels like bitcoin is at the edge of the abyss at times and I am trending bearish, but I have no current open short positions.


Glad, I didn't have any open short positions because I would have gotten crushed this morning.

I still don't really have a grasp at all what the market will do right now. There's some belief that this recent upswing is a result of ConsenSys, but that doesn't really make much sense to me. It could be a lowering of volatility due to Bitcoin Unlimited's gigantic failure of confidence, but that doesn't really make much sense either. It could be that this is speculation behind Segwit's possible signaling on Litecoin. It could be a speculation play that Segwit will signal there, go live and then Segwit's path to signaling for bitcoin.

I really have no idea, but it definitely seems like a speculation play, not something backed by fundamentals.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:43 am

It just seems more and more likely that this hard fork is going to happen.

If that happens, I think bitcoin is in for one really rough short term downturn. Again, I don't think Segwit is necessarily the answer, but this hard fork is going to go very, very poorly for people holding coins during the fork. Long term who knows, but there's almost no chance the price goes up during a hard fork.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:55 am

https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status ... 7154052096
https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status ... 8067360768
https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status ... 2313944064

I don't see any way that when bitcoin hard forks that the price isn't going to tank in the short term. There's going to be enough uncertainty in the market over the who / what / why that's going to hurt the price.
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Re: Bitcoin

Postby hagrin » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:32 am

hagrin wrote:https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/827697817154052096
https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status ... 8067360768
https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status ... 2313944064

I don't see any way that when bitcoin hard forks that the price isn't going to tank in the short term. There's going to be enough uncertainty in the market over the who / what / why that's going to hurt the price.


So, there's one scenario out there that could happen.

If you remember say the Facebook IPO, the underwriters propped up the price on Day 1 to make the IPO look more appealing to the outside world. It's possible that there's enough big block money that they will not only be able to prop up the price, but advance it forward and, at the same time, kill the Core chain by attacking the chain as promised in the referenced tweets above. There might just be enough money and there's enough of an economic benefit that spending an absurd amount of money to accomplish these tasks would be worth it to the team that takes over commit access to the chain with the most work.

We're going to hard fork, it's going to happen, I don't see any way that it doesn't happen now.
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