What happens when coinbros buy a ship to build a libertarian utopia?

If you ever wondered that, well, here's your answer:

Spoiler warning: it didn't work out.

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It's fascinating to me how libertarian coinbros are trying to remove both trust and regulation from society.

Seems to me regulation usually kicks in where trust can not be relied on -- history shows I cannot just *trust* food vendors not to poison me, so they need to be regulated.

And conversely, regulation is not necessary (it's detrimental, even) where trust works well.

Trying to do away with both is a pretty sociopathic idea, I'd say.

@rysiek I could see that spoiler in double in that toot and I'm not currently having double vision symptoms! :ablobjoy:

@rysiek Cryptotechbros starting a new society, find out they neither understand technology nor society


Personally, I don't see any motives behind zealot cryptocurrency advocacy other than speculative profits of insiders. Amway from 90's comes to mind. Transaction volumes are needed for money laundering and ransomware collections, so you add a bit of libertarian bullshit and a crowd of fellow travellers does the job for you.

@kravietz @rysiek You can say the same thing about the stock market, or really any capitalist market thing. It's a pyramid scheme, that's why it needs to grow.

@deshipu @rysiek

Large parts of stocks market, certainly yes. Everything with high price/earning ratios is probably undistinguishable from Bitcoin, minus the ransomware factor. Significant part of the stocks market however still does the thing it was originally invented for - provide private funding for companies that actually do something useful.

@kravietz @rysiek The fact that it performs some additional function doesn't preclude it being a pyramid scheme.

@deshipu @kravietz I'd appreciate it if I were untagged from this branch of the thread, thanks.

> Significant part of the stocks market however still does the thing it was originally invented for - provide private funding for companies that actually do something useful.
how does that work, really? I mean, most times stocks are traded, the company doesn't see any of the it, it's just ownership over a fraction of the company changing hands. how does that fund companies to do something useful? yeah, there are IPOs, buybacks and share-splits, but how significant are those among all the speculation?

Trust is in the network itself. Not just a single point of failure.

Far from me to side with the wacky coinbros, but you are confusing removing trust (bad) with removing the need of trust (good).

@federico3 why would you need to remove the need of trust if you had actual trust?

You wouldn't. Trust is powerful. And there is really no way to replace it, only to somewhat manage the consequences when it's gone.

Coinbros peddling blockchain to "remove the need of trust" are no different from VPN marketing talking about "hiding your IP": the VPN doesn't hide your IP, it changes who can see it. Blockchain does not remove the need for trust, it just shifts whom you need to trust.

@rysiek @federico3 In the normal financial system, I have to trust the bank. Who does that trust shift to if I use something like Monero?

@lighthousehermit @federico3 developers and whoever came up with the math behind it, for example.

You're not going to read every line of code, you're not going to verify every smart contract, you're not going to check that all the assumptions hold.

And the way I know this is because things like the DAO debacle keep happening. Latest:

@rysiek @federico3 Sure, smart contracts seem like a bad idea. But I was talking about just using straight monero for value transfer.

Smart contracts are (supposed to be) a value-add; if a bank had a way to run 3rd-party code (smart contracts) you'd have the same additional trust problems.

So, for just replicating the basic functions of banks via some monero wallet- yeah, I'm trusting that all the eyeballs on the wallet would have caught most bugs. But luckily 'my particular random wallet' isn't a single juicy target, like a centralized holder of very large amounts of tokens.

I still think that for the specific case of the basic traditional money system's job (storing money and sending transactions between people) crypto decreases the necessary trust for a given level of security on net, especially if you factor in 'trusting that the transaction-handlers won't fuck you over/kick you off for saying the wrong thing'.

@lighthousehermit @federico3 well then you still trust the math and the implementation, and the ability of people to find bugs and fix them before anything bad happens.

Speaking of Bitcoin math...

My point is: it's not "trustless" in any sense of the word.

@rysiek @federico3 Not trustless, but trust-less, then. Good enough for me.

I think hedging via different types of trust makes sense, so I'm broadly in favor of crypto. If the traditional financial system wasn't such a cartel, I wouldn't care about it as much.
@rysiek @federico3 (I already have to trust the math and programmers of the banks.)

The paper looks interesting, though, I'll take a look at it.

@lighthousehermit @federico3 the nice thing about Monero is that it can be a cartel just as well, but without it being so obvious. So, easy to pretend it cannot be one. 👍

@rysiek @federico3 Is there anything about Monero in particular that makes you say that, or is that another case of 'You're trusting that the math/code is sound'?

@lighthousehermit @federico3 Monero transactions are basically impossible to track, so there is zero transparency possible.

That's well and good for buy-a-coffee or buy-a-laptop size transactions, but it works just as well for corrupt-politician-moving-ill-goten-gains-out-of-a-failed-state level of transactions.

That's a problem.

Investigating cross-border corruption is already hard and time-consuming, even with the current banking system and legal systems.

Monero will make it effectively impossible.

@lighthousehermit @federico3 I pointed it out to a Monero developer once, his response was the cliché of "can't protect everyone's privacy without protecting the bad guys' too".

Thing is, nobody will ever use Monero for coffee-or-laptop size transactions once the people who need to move huge amounts of currency across borders without those pesky financial disclosure forms jump on that bandwagon.

@rysiek @federico3 >Nobody will ever use Monero for coffee-or-laptop size transactions

You've just said the transactions are impossible to track, so how would anyone know?
And wouldn't the same argument apply to cash?
I agree with that cliche, here- it's true for e.g. the rest of the internet.

@lighthousehermit @federico3 we can tell nobody is using Monero for coffee and laptop buying because so far I have not seen any coffee or laptop vendors accepting Monero. That's pretty clear.

The same argument *does not* apply to cash - you can see why if you imagine moving, say, 200mln USD in cash across a border inconspicuously.

Create a privacy-preserving cryptocurrency that has a similar kind of friction gradient (friction rising with the transaction amount) as cash, and I'll be the first on-board.

@rysiek @federico3 No, I mean how would anyone find out Monero's being used for [specific illicit purpose] and be put off of using it if it's anonymous? Save for people speculating about it as here.

(Not that I doubt that it's being used for drugs etc., but how would people actually see that? Seems much more likely it'll be FUD'ed by newspapers on suspicion)

@lighthousehermit @federico3 I don't care about people using drugs, everyone can do their own thing as long as they don't hurt others.

The "hurting others" is where I have a problem with enabling high-rollers to evade financial transparency regulations. Money in large amounts is power, and power needs to be kept in check.

But we won't understand each other, so we might as well call it a day with this thread.

@rysiek @federico3 I understand your point of view. I'm just skeptical about how much the current system actually stops high rollers, and how much Monero would differentially benefit them vs. the little guy.

@lighthousehermit @federico3 well, the current system is bad and very difficult to work with, as far as investigating cross-border corruption etc. is concerned, but having worked for 5 years with people doing just that I know from personal experience that:

1. it is currently possible, even if hard, to shine some light on it; consider Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, and other similar investigative projects.

2. Monero will make it way, way harder, if adopted for such things.

@rysiek @federico3 Did the panama papers lead to anything happening? Any arrests? Any fines?
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