Bitcoin: Money of the Future or Old-Fashioned Bubble

Bitcoin: Money of the Future or Old-Fashioned Bubble?

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Attention incoming interns! Here's a list of TIPS I WISH I KNEW starting my intern year, some things you can start working on now and some less commonly discussed but very important parts of your job

It’s that time of year and yet again I’ve seen plenty of incoming interns asking what they can do to prepare. I wrote this post to share some tips for all of the not-exactly-medical stuff I wish I knew before I started intern year and to share a few things that interns can do before they start to feel like they’re well prepared for the long white coat.
As a quick background, I was a surgery intern in the first half of the 2010s and much of this is informed by my notes and memories from that time in addition to everything I’ve learned since, particularly about professionalism both in medicine and in the business world with work I’ve done in the healthcare startup arena. I’m also not perfect and very much a work in progress myself and, outside the intern-specific items here, I try to do most of these things myself—sometimes more successfully than others.
So take what you think are good ideas here, leave what you don’t think would be useful, and if anyone else has anything to add, please feel free to chime in.
TL;DR: Intern year is hard. Here are some not-so-commonly-disucussed tips that may help.

Mindset

1. Being an effective intern is, at its core, about being responsible, effective and reliable.

Your day to day responsibilities are nearly always dominated by the need to get things done and to do so in a manner that lets your other team members focus on their own roles and responsibilities. What about learning clinical medicine? You'll learn plenty and fast. Don't worry.
When reading through these tips below, view them from an angle of “would this help me develop an effective system for making sure everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks?”

2. For your in-the-hospital life as well as your outside-the-hospital life, remember this one thing: you will forget.

You will be busy and have responsibilities in a way you likely have never experienced before. This will naturally make the day-to-day things in life more difficult than you’re used to so developing ways to outsmart your forgetful brain will pay off.

3. You are a professional now. This is your career. You’re in it.

It’s easy to view your life as a trainee as a sort of advanced student or something in between a student and a “real doctor”. But that’s not true. View yourself as a professional building your career. Your intern year is just the first step of that career. You’re a real doctor as much as any other now.

4. One of the hardest things about being an intern or resident is dealing with feelings of isolation. It will take work to actively manage and overcome those feelings.

Imposter syndrome, feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing or that you don’t belong, feeling like you’re not the person you used to be, that you don’t have time to do all the “normal” things that other people do, thinking your co-residents or attendings think you’re dumb, feeling that you don’t have time for friends/family/hobbies, ruminating on “what if I screw this up and hurt a patient?”, or “this doesn’t matter -- the patient is going to XX or YY anyway” etc are all common feelings and they all share the same undercurrent of feeling isolated in one way or another. You need to actively work to find ways to confront and overcome these feelings or else they will control you. When they control you, you’re burned out.
It may not seem like it at first, but nearly every single tip below is geared towards avoiding feelings of isolation. Feeling like you’re not in control of your finances will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re losing a handle on your relationships will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re behind on your email and haven’t done all the little things in life you need to do will make you feel isolated. Read these tips through that lens.

What you can do before you start

1. Organize and update your contacts. Seriously.

Here are some ways it can help you maintain and grow your relationships.
  • Use the ‘Notes’ feature in your contacts for everyone important in your life and all the new people meet.
    • You will forget your friends’ kids names and ages. Every time you get a birth announcement or see a post on social media, go to your friend’s contact, edit the notes and put in the info. Then, when you reach out to your friends, ask about their kids...by name.
    • You will forget your friends’ boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/partner’s name, especially if you’ve never met them or haven’t seen them for a long time. Put their name in your friends’ card with a note like “Started seeing Sam in June 2020, he/she’s a software engineer”. Someone you know gets married? Add their wedding date to their card.
    • You will forget how you knew people in your contacts. Met at a conference? Was a medical student on your heme onc service? Friend-of-a-friend you met at a wedding? Someone shares an interest you have? Make a note in their contact card. Tip: these notes are for you, not them. So if someone reminds you of an actor, or didn’t stop talking about bitcoin, make a note. It will help because you will forget.
  • Tag your contacts or add them to lists and use those tags/lists to your advantage.
    • Make lists or tags for your family, your medical school friends, your undergrad friends, your coresidents, your attendings, your medical students, the hospitals you’ll be working at, etc. Put those lists or tags to use like this:
      • You will forget to stay in touch with people important to you. Set reminders in your phone for every week / two weeks / month, etc to pull up a list (family, medical school friends, etc), pick someone on that list you haven’t chatted with in a while and text them and ask them how they’re doing. Aim to start a conversation, ask about what’s happening in their life. Texts are more personal and meaningful than liking a post on social media or sharing a meme. Initiating conversations with your friends and family will help you feel connected and will increase the likelihood they reach out to you.
      • Don’t label your medical students like “MS3 Laura” or “Sub-I Juan”, etc. Label them with their full name and treat them like the colleagues they are. Put them on a list, clear it out next year if you want, but don’t treat them as “MS3 XXX“ or “MS4 YYY”. I’m sure you remember feeling like a nameless/faceless medical student at times in school and I’m sure you didn’t love it. So don’t repeat that behavior. Add a note or two about them while you’re at it. Take enough interest in your medical students to treat them well. You never know when or how you’ll cross paths with them again.
      • If you rotate through different hospitals, you will forget which “ED” or “PACU” or “nursing station 3rd floor” numbers are which. Tag them or put them on a list. It’ll make finding them when you need them much easier.

2. Use a good note taking app and a good task manager app to help with both your in-hospital life and your outside-of-the-hospital life.

Here are some ways to use a notes app.
  • Make a note for each rotation you’re on. Add in any unstructured tips as they come up, like “Send all of Dr. X’s patients home with Y”, “Use the call room in the basement outside of the locker room, passcode 1234”, “Park in the X lot on the weekends”, “Dr. A likes to manage Z with Y”, “The case manager, NAME, usually sits at the computer behind the 2nd floor nurses station”, etc. Don't overthink them, just write them down when they come up. Review those notes the next time you rotate through because you will forget all those little things and they will help you in the future.
  • Create a master grocery list of all things you typically get at the grocery store. Share it with a roommate/partner so they can keep it updated too. That way if you ever stop to pick something up, you can review the list to make sure there’s nothing you’ll forget.
    • Make master lists for other things in your life too like “packing for a conference”, “packing for a family trip”, “Target/Wal-Mart household master list” so you can quickly review anytime something comes up so you minimize the chance of forgetting something
  • Make notes for all of the other stuff you have to manage in your life like your car, your apartment/house, your loans, etc and update them every time you work on that thing. Change your loan repayment? Add it to the note. Have to get your brakes fixed? Add to the note where you got it done, how much it cost, etc. Talk to your landlord about fixing the shower? Add it to the note. Have to call the medical board to sort something out with a license? Add it to the note.
  • I like two note apps on iOS: Bear for personal notes since it’s fast and has great tagging and Apple’s Notes app for shared notes
Pick a good task manager app and use it for all the things in your life that aren’t your day-to-day work
  • Cousin getting married and you can go to the wedding? Make tasks to ensure your time off, book your travel, buy a gift, rent a hotel room, etc. Then put all the relevant info into your note because...you will forget.
  • Pandemic is over and you get to present a poster at a conference? Make tasks to review your draft with your coauthors, print your poster, book your travel, submit your reimbursement, etc. Then put all the relevant info into a note. Otherwise, you’ll forget.
  • I like Things and have also liked OmniFocus. There is a ton of content on how to set one of these things up for productivity so review it and use it YouTube search

3. Take charge of your finances

When I was an intern, I figured all I had to do was pay my loans and not go into more debt. I wish I had done the following instead:
  1. Read these two books: The White Coat Investor and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Both are very good and have different strengths. The WCI is directly applicable to you and will help educate you in ways medical school didn’t about your financial future. IWTYTBR is much more of a “millennial” book but it’s very good for explaining big concepts and for providing a system to set yourself up for success. They’re both easy and relatively quick reads and don’t require any financial background. WCI is fine as an e-book but IWTY has a bunch of dialog boxes that make the e-book a poor experience, get a physical new or used copy.
  2. Set up a budget. I use and swear by You Need A Budget. It’s the best money I spend every year. Their system is easy and straightforward and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

4. Update your CV now and keep it updated regularly

You will no doubt have to share your CV with someone at some point whether it’s for fellowship or a research project or any number of things. The time to work on it is not when someone says “can you share your CV?” -- that’s a recipe for omissions, typos and mistakes. The only thing you should be doing every time you share your CV is giving it a quick once-over to make sure you don’t spot any mistakes and to make sure it’s up to date
There are plenty of templates online and your training institution may even have a preferred format somewhere on their website. Your ERAS application will give you a good head start but most of your medical school CV lines will either be condensed or removed all together unless something was particularly notable. You can almost always find example CVs online from senior people in your department or institution with a quick web search -- use a few as a guide
Set a reminder / task to update your CV at regular intervals. Quarterly is good, yearly at least. Save new versions of it each time so you can refer to the old ones if you need to and name them in a way to let you know you’re always sharing the most recent version, e.g., LASTNAME_FIRST NAME_CV_2020-06. You will forget if the one marked “CV” only is the right one you want to share.

5. Subscribe to a couple of newsletters to stay up to date with the world outside of your hospital

  • For general news, your preferred newspaper probably has a daily email briefing. Otherwise, Axios AM/PM and Politico’s Playbook are both very good quick reads to stay up to date with current events.
    • Keep up with healthcare news so you know what’s going on in the healthcare system broadly
      • Axios Vitals is a great, quick daily healthcare news update
      • Politico’s Pulse and Morning eHealth are both very good and have quick facts at the beginning if you just want to skim
      • Rock Health’s Rock Weekly is a decent summary of each week in the healthcare startup and technology world
Pick a few of these and aim to get through them each day. If you can’t get through them, unsubscribe to the ones you think are least relevant to you so you never feel “behind” in staying up with the news. You can breeze through the few you pick in a few minutes here and there throughout the day -- don’t make it any harder than that to feel like you’re “up to date” on the news.

General tips for maintaining relationships

  • For any romantic relationship, do these things if you don’t already:
 1. Make a rule: no phones at the table. * Don’t put your phone on the table face-up. Don’t put your phone on the table face-down. Keep your phone off the table and set to silent. * Focus on the person in front of you and show them you care about them by paying attention to them. We all know what it feels like to be with someone more interested in their screen than in interacting with you. If you’re on call, say “sorry, I’m on call, I may have to check something here and there”, apologize if you do check it and then put your phone away. 2. Make another rule: no phones in bed * Same principle as at the table. Want to feel like two strangers just passing through life who just so happen to share the same bed? Wake up, reach for your phone and scroll through your feeds like a zombie before getting out of bed. Same idea before bed. Your phone can wait. 3. If you’re at the point where you share finances, set a regular meeting to review how you’re doing. * Ideally, this is a “red, yellow or green” meeting and should only take a few minutes. Money can be a big conflict issue for relationships and avoiding talking about money is a surefire way to eventually turn to conflict. If you have a budget and shared goals, this should be quick. * A monthly check-in is good. Create a recurring calendar event, attach the shared notes or spreadsheet document you use, add your goals for the meeting and honor the meeting when it comes around. 
  • Eat with people who are important to you, if you can.
    • There’s something about sharing a meal that’s special in human nature. Friends who are important to you? Partners? Mentors you’re looking to get to know better after you’ve had a few chats? Try to eat with them when you can. And keep your phone off the table.
    • The same idea works with your coresidents and teams in the hospital. Eat with them if you can. Eating with others builds, strengthens and maintains relationships. Keep your phone off the table if you can.
Think about it this way: who would you consider a better mentor, the person you’ve met with a few times in their office where they sit behind their desk and you in front of them while they glance at their computer screen every time it pings or the person who’s invited you to get coffee or food and they kept their phone away the whole time? Now turn that around and realize the power of the message you can send to people you care about by trying to eat with them and show them they have your full attention.

Hospital tips

1. Learn to think about tasks as a continuum from start to finish instead of as a binary 'done/not done'.

Let’s say you have to order a CT for a patient of yours.
  • Instead of marking the task as complete the second you place the order for the CT, recognize that the whole task is not just placing the order, but also knowing when your patient is going down to the scanner, when they’re back, when the CT is up in the system, when the report is up and also that you’ve looked at the CT yourself and have read the report.
  • When your senior or attending asks you, “Did patient X get their CT?”, a not-so-great answer is “Yes” or “No”. A better answer is “they’re down at the scanner now” or “the scan’s done but it hasn’t been read yet. Want to look at it?” or “Yes, it’s negative for XXX but did show YYY”.
Whatever system you eventually adopt for your day-to-day task management in the hospital, whether it’s a list or index cards or a printed signout sheet, make sure you’re tracking both when orders go in, when they’re complete, when they’re cancelled, etc. Just marking things as complete once you place the order isn’t enough.

2. Signout is taken, not given.

What I mean by this is that when you take signout, that means you’re accepting responsibility for those patients. They might be your patients, you might be cross-covering, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that when those patients are your responsibility, it’s your responsibility to get what you need to know to take care of them.
Is someone signing out to you in a hurry and not giving you what you need? Ask them for that relevant past medical history, those exam findings, and so on. It’s not enough for the person handing off to say “we’re worried about x or y”, you’ve got to follow that up with “in case of x or y, is there a plan for what the team wants me to do?”. Get the answers you need.
A lot of covering patients on call is playing defense whereas the primary team generally plays offense. But that doesn’t mean you can play defense in isolation. The last thing you want is for the primary team to feel surprised by your choices.
 * Here’s two ways for the above example to go when turning the patients you were covering back over the next day or whatever: 1. You: “For patient so-and-so, you said you were worried about x or y. Y happened.” Them: “What did you do?”. You: “Z”. Them: “Shit, my attending’s not gonna like that”. 2. You “Y happened so I did A like you said, it went fine and here’s the current status”. Them: “Great, thanks” * See the difference? 
  • Along the lines of taking responsibility for those patients, that means that if you couldn’t get the information you needed at signout then you have to go and see those patients and get the information you need yourself.
    • You’ll hear this idea said a bunch of different ways like “trust but verify”, “trust no one” and your comfort level will change over the year as you become more confident and comfortable. But always error on the side of going to see the patient and getting your own information at the start.

3. If you will be miserable without something when you’re in the hospital, bring it with you. You won’t reliably be able to find it at the hospital every time you need it.

  • Need coffee otherwise you turn into a demon? Bring it with you. You never know when you’ll get caught doing something and won’t be able to run to the cafeteria for your fix.
  • On call overnight and know you need food so you don’t go insane? Bring it with you. Here’s a hospital food rule: never rely on the hospital's ability to feed you. The hospital will let you down sooner or later, I guarantee it.
  • Know you always get cold on call? The day you forget your jacket/sweatshirt is the day you won’t be able to find a spare blanket in the hospital to save your life. Put a backup in your locker (if your hospital respects you enough to give you one).

Miscellaneous productivity, professionalism and lifestyle tips

1. Aim to “touch” everything only once

  • Example: your physical mail. You know, the stuff made of dead trees that accumulates in that box you check every once in a while. For every piece of mail you get, you should either trash it, file it, or act on it. Don’t touch it until you’re ready to do one of those things.
  • Example: your email. Either delete it, archive it, reply to it or do the thing it’s telling you to do right away. Don’t fall into the trap of using your inbox as a to-do list -- that’s a recipe to get burned. Use a task manager for your to-do list and aim to keep your inbox at zero. Realize that email’s true power is communication and use it as a communication tool and nothing else.
  • I’ll use the example of going to a wedding again as something to “touch once”. Aim to accomplish all the tasks at once or at least create tasks and reminders to complete those tasks all in one go. Respond to the RSVP, create the calendar invite with all the information from the invitation, share the calendar event with your date, book your travel, book your hotel, book your rental car, buy your gift from the registry and set a reminder to get your suit/dress cleaned a few weeks ahead, etc.

2. Lean to use your calendar as a tool

Professionals in the “real world” tend to live and die by their calendars. Some people, especially many senior people in medicine, don’t manage their own calendars. But you manage yours. With it you can:
  • Make sure all events—even small ones like dates or errands you want to run—have locations so all you have to do is click the location for directions
  • Send invites to friends / family / coworkers for anything you talk about doing that has the relevant info
  • Make reminders for yourself to prepare for upcoming events, i.e.., don’t count on seeing your parents’/spouses’/whomever’s birthday “coming up” to remind you to get a gift or send a card. Create an event two weeks before their birthday that says “Buy Mom a birthday card”, set it to repeat yearly and buy a card when it comes up, send it a few days later and don’t worry that it won’t get there in time.

3. Learn to use email well

Ever get an email from someone and feel their tone was terse, condescending or rude? Don’t be that person. Error on the side being polite and professional and writing in complete sentences without textspeak. It’s not hard — you type fast, even with your thumbs, I’m sure of it.
  • Learn to communicate effectively. Keep it short but not terse. State why you’re writing to someone, be clear if you’re asking a question, and think about it this way: “How am I making it as easy as possible for this person to understand why I’m emailing them and do what I’m asking them to do?
  • Don’t use a canned salutation like “Best, NAME” or even worse: “Best, INITIALS”. Use your salutation to continue to communicate your message and remember that politeness and professionalism extend through your signature.
    • I don’t know why “Best,” is so common in medicine but it’s meaningless, unthoughtful, inherently passive aggressive and I seriously read it as if the person writing it were signing off by saying “Go f*ck yourself,”. Same thing for “Regards,” and its ilk, any abbreviation like “vr,” or any form of cutesy quote.
    • Write your salutation fresh each time. Did you ask someone for something? Say “Thank you for your help”. Are you writing someone senior to you and want to sound somewhat formal? “Sincerely,” never goes out of style. Are you sharing information and essentially writing a memo? Use “Please let me know if you have any questions”. Your salutation is communication, treat it that way.
    • Sign with your name, not your initials. Signing with initials is a common way senior people will try to remind you they’re senior to you. If you do it, it’s like you’re trying to prove you’re a Cool Guy Big Shot too. It never comes across well -- even for those senior people. Initials are terse. Lowercase initials are even terser. Although they may look different at first glance, all initial signatures functionally come across as ‘FU’. Write your name.
      • If it’s a few rounds back and forth of email, it’s normal drop salutations and signatures and treat email more like texting. Keep using complete sentences without textspeak, though. I promise you’ll come across better that way.
    • Use the ‘signature’ feature of your email client to share your professional details and contact information
      • Your institution (not department) will hopefully have a format for this that’s standardized and includes minimal or no graphics. If it doesn't, then I feel sorry for all the inevitable IT headaches you will eventually endure at your institution since they clearly underfund and undervalue contemporary IT and professional services. It’s the wild west out there so find some good examples of clean, professional signature formats and make one for yourself.
      • Note: this signature lives below your salutation and sign off. It’s essentially the letterhead for your email that lets your recipient fill in the details you may not otherwise provide like your department, mailing address or fax number. It’s not a replacement for signing off of your communication professionally.
    • Never use bold, italics, underlines or different font sizes in your emails. They only make emails harder to read and jumble your message.
  • If you want to highlight something, put it in a numbered or bulleted list.
    • If you can’t communicate what you want with 2-3 bulleted points, then email is not the right medium to use. Do you like reading long emails? Of course you don’t. Write a memo, attach it as a PDF or shared doc and use the email to tell your recipients to review the attachment.
  • You will eventually, in some way or another, ask someone to introduce you to one of their contacts and or refer you for something. Learn how to write a good forwardable email that utilizes the double opt-in concept and how to make it easy on the person doing you the favor. Read more here, here and here.
    • While you’re at it, understand the power of using CC and BCC to communicate effectively.
  • Aim to answer all emails written directly to you within 24 hours.
    • If you can’t respond fully right away, respond briefly saying you got the note and that you’ll work on it and get back to them. Set a reminder or create a task to do or review the thing and get back to them once you’ve done it.
    • Do you hate being left on read in text? You do it in email every time you don’t respond to someone in a timely fashion. It’s better to share a quick, “I got it and I’m working on it message” then not replying until days or weeks later.

4. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy and/or anxiety transfer to you

You will frequently experience things like this in the hospital:
  • A co-resident disagrees with a management decision made at rounds and mentions that so-and-so is an idiot. So-and-so probably isn’t an idiot. Your co-resident probably isn’t an idiot either. Form your own opinions from your own experiences.
  • A nurse pages you with a tone that says “THIS IS REALLY BAD”. It might be, go and see. And on your way, stay calm and go over the steps in your head of what you’d do if it is, in fact, REALLY BAD. But don’t freak yourself out before you even get to the room. You won’t be able to make decisions with a clear head if you’re already worked up.
  • You’re a surgery intern and all your patients are normally on the med-surg floor. Every once in a while, one goes somewhere like heme-onc if the med-surg floor is full. Someone on your team says something like “great, now they’re going to screw up our patient”. Recognize that that floor isn’t full of terrible nurses and may just have less experiences with lines and drains and that the best thing you can do is go down there, talk to the nurse and say “here’s what we want to be called about” and “this thing may look bad but it usually isn’t and we don’t need to be called, here’s why”, and so on. Doing things like this will mean you get fewer calls. Fewer calls are good.
  • Your attending is having a bad day and you’re not enjoying your interactions with them. Don’t let that make you have a bad day too. Medicine is hard enough as it is, stick to your own bad days instead adopting other people’s. Then pull up your friend list, text a buddy and feel better.

5. Don’t neglect your physical health. Trying to eat well and stay active are even more important when you’re insanely busy.

The #1 thing you can do to help your waistline is cook your own food and pack your own meals. It doesn’t matter what you cook or how good of a cook you are, as long as you’re aiming to pack meals that an adult would eat, it will be healthier than takeout and cafeteria food. It’s better for portion control, you control all the ingredients and you get a sense of satisfaction for being on the ball. It’s better in every way.
I know it’s not realistic to always prep and pack your own food on the busiest of services but you should try to hit at least a percentage like 25% or 50% of your meals. There are no lost causes in your own health.
It will be hard to exercise and work out. You should still try to do it anyway. You will go long stretches without exercising at times. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a chance to do the thing you want to do so get back out there.

6. If your social profiles are private, consider doing some housekeeping and making them public.

Instead of thinking about them as a liability to be that needs to be hidden, think about them as a narrative you can control.
Nothing is private on the internet. Even your private profile. You never know who knows someone you know or what may get screenshotted and shared down the line.
It’s natural to run a web search on anyone you’re meeting for a date, interviewing with for a job, or researching in general. When you search your own name, what comes up? What do you think when you’re searching for someone and they have a private page? Do you ever click on a few links to see professional stuff from LinkedIn, and then some social pages to see what else you learn? So does everyone else.
Use your social pages to put forward a version of you that shows who you are, shows some interests true to yourself, makes you seem like a totally normal and reliable person (which is exactly what any potential date, partner, fellowship director or hiring manager is asking themselves about you) and doesn’t share enough information to let a patient show up at your door.
Medicine lags behind other industries with people still commonly hiding behind private pages. In the tech world, it’s more strange to not have a public page. A private page says more about you that you might want to hide red flags whereas a public page says “go ahead and look, you won’t find any red flags”. One is much more powerful than the other.

Closing and something to read

When you view your professional life, it’s natural to view your professional relationships as being a binary one between patient and physician. That’s certainly essential and certainly important, but as a professional you now have relationships to consider with so many more types of people: co-residents, faculty in your department, faculty in other departments, administrators, support staff, medical students, and so on.
Just as you had to learn how to work with patients, you will have to learn to work with all of the other people in your professional life. Truly effective professionals will treat all interactions importantly and give thought and consideration to each one. All these interactions and relationships will all affect your day-to-day experience, your well-being and, ultimately, your professional experience.
You will find yourself being not just responsible for your patients, but also for yourself, your career and your relationships. It takes effort to succeed in all of those areas. And even with effort, sometimes you’ll be winning in an area and losing in others. And in a few months it will be different -- that’s just life.
I want you to consider looking outside of books and resources written specifically for physicians when you’re trying to tackle these issues inside the hospital and out.
Medicine is a much-smaller-than-you-realize bubble with a long history of personality-driven examples of “that’s just the way we do it” or “that’s how we’ve always done it”. There are good books about medicine out there, to be sure, but you’ll benefit more professionally by learning from the wide world outside of hospitals since there are quite simply many more successful and accomplished people who’ve written great resources for all aspects of professional life that medicine tends to ignore.
I’d recommend you start with this book: Andy Grove’s High Output Management (a review by another Valley titan here). Andy escaped communist Hungary, taught himself English and rose to be CEO of Intel and went on to be a sage of Silicon Valley before he passed. This book is a how-to guide for how to be an effective professional in an organization (hint: you're now a professional in an organization) and if you’ve enjoyed this post at all, you’ll love this book. You may think that this book applies to ‘managers’ and ‘business’ and not medicine but you couldn’t be more wrong. Although it was probably written around the time you were born, nearly everything in this book is a lesson that directly applies to your professional life in medicine and when you start seeing it, you’ll feel like you’re in The Matrix.
Congratulations! You've worked hard to get here. Be proud of yourself, your degree, your long white coat and be the best doctor you can be.
submitted by kiteandkey to Residency [link] [comments]

Issuing money by global central banks is a great opportunity for stablecoins," says Digital Gold Advisor Dr. Walter Tonetto

Issuing money by global central banks is a great opportunity for stablecoins,
Last week we talked with our adviser and CEO at Nusantara Trust Dr Walter Tonetto. He answered a number of questions that interest our customers.
How did you land in the cryptocurrency / blockchain space?
I was advising startup businesses in the technology space, and when 2016 came around, I asked Scotty, the feisty chief engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, to beam me into the heart of the finance system; I felt more and more the irresistible tug towards remodeling the current toxic financial system. Purposive remodeling, of course, is going on all the time, and it’s a knife that cuts into two directions. The vast majority of the ‘woke’ crowd actually believe that they can ‘disrupt’ the power of the elites that control all money flows. Bathing limestone statues – registering about 4 on the Mohs scale and 0 on the scale of reason -- of past leaders in district waters may give you a feeling of breathing the air of revolution and tiring unknown muscle-groups in your shanks, but think of it like a father watching his child toss around shovels of soil in a sandbox; he smiles benignly from afar, knowing it won’t change a thing; all the luxurious appointments at home won’t get touched. It is a grave illusion to suppose that by playing around with payment systems and technologies we will actually change the role and the emission of money. You may be permitted to become the shoe-shine boy in the royal household, but don’t think you will marry the princess and dilute the royal blood! But understanding the constitutive parts of power aggregation, and working over significant time-frames, allows for approaches and solutions; -- but these should come not from another adversarial position, thus merely marking a displacement of the incumbent, a change of guard, but from an authentic re-orientation, of making benefits much more widely possible and not creating monetary systems that are grossly imbalanced and highly destructive. That, and not building tech stacks, is the challenge!
What was your initial reaction to bitcoin?
Well, I was following the file-sharing service Napster since it started, around 1999 – when the U.S.S. Enterprise was sitting pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Newport shipyard, rusted and gutted, and to me the P2P sharing paradigm was always present in my mind, shining buffed and radiant, so even the centralized Napster was something wholly natural to me – Dr Sheldrake calls it morphic resonance. We live with a great deal of blurriness, though. On the one hand, we think of the virtues of sharing; on the other, there is a seemingly indefatigable impulse to control and dominate. Sean Parker, after founding and floundering with Napster, became a cocaine-snorting egotist and president of Facebook. Collecting money for a charity, he gets aggressive with people who do not follow suit. A control-freak in overdrive. Notwithstanding the technical variations, BTC, seemingly freeing us up from fiscal controls and yet showing our craving for money, exemplifies the flawed perception at the root of things. Monero, which sounds like a much faster, highoctane vehicle, a CV8-Z of the crypto-track, beats BTC in regard to privacy and fungibility, though BTC has advantages in other areas.
Which is a much more common trend nowadays?
It’s hard to make out the shapes of wild-life in the current kangaroo market we’re in. The bulls and bears have mauled one another, and the kangaroo, bereft of oxygen on account of wearing a tight mask, is hopping wildly everywhere. But clearly the possibilities of digital currencies became un-tethered via Bitcoin and the querulous and hidden Satoshi. I like to think of him more as an idea rather than as a person; an idea is generally more malleable and consequential. For instance, rather than laud the benefits of crypto for FX and cross-border payments, the possibilities of a central-bank issued digital currencyENCOMPASS THE POTENTIAL to inscribe new roles for programmable money; for how money is issued, how it is used, and what role custodial mechanisms (traditionally in the hand of commercial banks) might have. I see HUGE potential for private firms to enter the equation here, but we need more open-minded and intelligent regulators that do not always look for the rungs of the career-ladder in any move they make! A DAO could be most helpful here, but we are currently under the terror of algorithms that are not concerned with the welfare of the greatest number of people. If I had the time I would coauthor a book on this theme with a skilful mathematician (perhaps with my son, who is completing a Ph.D in near-term Quantum Algorithms).

In 2018 I was keynote speaker at the BlueWhale forum in Seoul, and I spoke about an Algorithm of Peace. I had a clutch of people approach me straight after the talk, some from Korea, others from the U.S., and ask me to develop my ideas in book form.
Where do you see the price of bitcoin going over the next few years?
I wouldn’t speculate, but since everyone is shilling it, it is bound to keep pushing north, occasional blockages otwithstanding. I always look for twists and incongruities in the usual narratives on offer. Many BTC fans talk about the unbanked, but BTC is held by what will become another elite in due course, and the unbanked will later be serving them the chilled drinks between innings, as usual.
Do you think that there’s a time for altcoins to break out and move away from the movements of bitcoin? What’s that tipping point that needs to take place?
I have some notions under which alt-coins can take the lead and leave bitcoin behind, but it’s too complex to explain the conditions for that to occur. Once very solid use-cases have been established with a clutch of alt-coins, bitcoin might begin quavering in his boots. That alt-coins should take BTC as a benchmark speaks volumes about the lack of maturity of this young and over-eager market. The fuzzy umbilical cord is always present like a foot-tangle; alt-coins must find their own ground, and clip the connection to a vagrant father. Finance needs clarity and not fuzziness. Keep in mind that many sovereign nations bridle at the calamitous influence of the US on payment systems, so nations are building their own messaging systems outside SWIFT, and their own securities exchanges are following. But remember: these are all crumbs: the U.S. can shut down payments to any recipient accounts by informing the payments company and doling out threats. And since all alt-coins and fiat currencies are connected to payment gateways in some form, the U.S. would have to begin reforming its archaic ACH structure to enable efficiencies in the financial pipes, which does not offer real-time payments functionality. This accounts for the relative simplicity (and success) of the PayPal business model (which Venmo and Dwolla later emulated without using credit cards). But understand that the elites will always protect the real crown jewels, and incite wars (or street battles and racial squabbles, as we’re witnessing in the U.S. in mid 2020) so that they can get away with major financial heists in broad daylight. It’s all smoke and mirrors, and scorched talons if you look closely: you cannot trust the reflection you will receive on a smoky pane. Only the big players know the predetermined outcome.
One fundamental misprision occurs amongst alt-coin apologetes: they fail to understand how markets move and what the designated role of money is in markets. Even if you want to displace something, you first need to understand exactly what you’re dealing with, but that is rarely the case. Yes, banks are structurally and constitutionally part of the problem, but no government will dare cross swords with them: there is still too much aggregated power. Ripple and Stellar are two Blockchains that are working with, and not against, banks, and that likely makes them much better candidates for wide acceptance.
What’s one must-read book you recommend to everyone?
That depends so very much on who’s sitting opposite me! I wouldn’t push what is not naturally aligned. But I would push a couple of films urgently, as essential viewing for everyone:
“Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” (and a sequel), which profoundly shocked me, but confirmed my suspicions. Talking about books: one gets a good sense of the kind of books I would counsel people not to touch, unless an overweening impulse bade them otherwise. For instance Steve Pinker, a favourite author of Bill Gates. Pinker in Gates’ hands explains a lot about the character of the reader, the latter of whom I consider one of the most dangerous people on the planet at the moment. If we stay with Pinker for a moment, since he’s famous and fashionable (Harvard professor with a Medusa hairdo and an effete libertarian air, who in “Better Angels of Our Nature” has affirmed that man is not innately good), we note in his presentation in regard to his ineptly titled book “Enlightenment” that he falls prey to the very flaws he chastises, the classic Münchhausen trilemma (in Jakob Fries’ phrase). Picture Baron Münchhausen pulling himself out of quicksand by his own hair! That he is beholden to neoliberal befuddlement becomes clear when two of the opening images of his talk show Vladimir Putin with a rifle andDonald Trump speaking on a podium. The classic neoliberal Harvard think-tank shows reason to be failing and drowning in pious gestures to the cognoscenti and anointed. I like to look for effective counters for specious and shallow argument: for instance, Rupert Sheldrake’s “The Science Delusion” is a splendid book that bucks the Dawkins’, Pinkers and other materialists of this age. You see, if one listens to Pinker with the head alone, his pedestrian epistemology might not irk, and some ideas might appear plausible enough in a desultory encounter, but if you really want to know the meaning of things, and discover how it relates to the heart, you feel betrayed and given short shrift by him. Among the platitudes he gives out in carefully parsed syllables, the movement of his forehead and eyes betray the spirit behind the façade. Yet I always look, like Yeats, for those who “had changed their throats and had the throats of birds”!
What’s the rainbow trout of the year? Nut-like flavour, the eye still gleaming, with tender, flaky flesh? There are many books I could cite for different genres. The vast majority of modern writers, for all their accomplishments, lack genius, don’t really understand the art of writing, and so cannot hold my attention for long. For those who are open-minded and spiritual, “A Course in Miracles” cannot be bested, but don’t touch it unless you’re really willing to dive deep. There is no need to save the world, since it is nothing but projection; there is no world. You might experience the deepest sigh of relief, as if Atlas had cast off a burden after the Titanomachy. Paul Celan once remarked that “reality is not simply there, it must be sought for and won.” Snorkeling near the surface and blowing bubbles won’t cut it.
We are living in times of great manufactured unrest, which will only heighten in coming months and years, and so I would offer a guernsey to Seamus Heaney. I had met him many years ago, alas cursorily, at a symposium at Waseda University where I was working as a Gaikokujinkoshi, an Associate Professor, where another Nobel laureate, Kenzaburō Ōe and he were giving a reading. Heaney was inspired to write “The Grauballe Man” on the basis of the bog man that he had seen in a book of prehistoric times, but the troubles in Ulster were alive in him, too:
As if he had been poured in tar, he lies on a pillow of turf and seems to weep
the black river of himself. The grain of his wrists is like bog oak, the ball of his heel
like a basalt egg. His instep has shrunk cold as a swan’s foot or a wet swamp root.
Talking of Japan here, methinks, is an aculeate observation of Japan:
Cross the intersection at Shibuya Station in Tokyo on a forbidding wintry evening — touted as the world’s busiest cloverleaf — and you will feel this is Eliot’s London Bridge revisited, with quaggas (think half zebras) preserved in the tar of the five crossings; — flattened ebon bones dreaming the dreams of Pleistocene mammoths — as the mass of the dead mill past you, chasing some mirage, and often accompanied by a revenant that must have been disgorged from a Pachinko parlour. Blanched lilacs float in minarets of light beyond these bituminous quaggas, bidding the odd-toed ungulates in their psychotropic dernier cri and fuddy-duddies in theirstygian suits to sup here or buy over yonder: all tethered to their devices. One might be surprised that no cracks are forming at these arced crossings with strange requisitions folding into the hiemal air. And yet it is still more odd that so few people see this as a primped and pimped potter’s field, a graveyard for those who’ve lost their way. We’re living in an age where the multitude of the dead are pacing among us in perdurable trysts with other zombies.
The above text is from one of my unpublished works; again it speaks to me – and perhaps to you – about the quiddities of this age. There is a distinct sense of zombification taking place on the planet at the moment. Is your lineage that of Dolly, or are you magnificent and free?
Do you have any theories about who Satoshi is?
I don’t really, though I follow the haughty chit-chat at times, especially in the jejune forums LinkedIN provides. I think the person has a good reason to remain concealed (forever), but that is also a major factor why I have never fully trusted bitcoin as an investment proposition.
Keeping the provenance concealed suggests a number of things, none of them conducive to embracing bitcoin as a common form of payment.
What do you think about the prospects of gold in connection with the uncontrolled money printing by different Central Banks?
Gold is what BTC can never become, especially when its provenance remains totally unclear – as well as its likely endgame! Central Banks engage in quasi-criminal activity – and one hopes the future prudent regulator won’t be making it too difficult for people to hold gold bullion. The Perth Mint might be a splendid little dot on the global map, but beware of holding your assets in the form of gold coins: many governments will regard them as forms of payment, and may impose all manner of restrictions on the possession of it.
Let's dream a little. How stablecoins can be used after 5 years from now?
I believe the great RESET is coming – even Davos and the U.N. are alerting us to that. The Covid19 panic has been declared by more than 1500 German physicians as a “global Mafia-style deception”, and while Big Pharma and Bill Gates will likely earn trillions of dollars by the useless and potentially dangerous vaccines that will be foisted on “free” citizens, the finance system as a whole will need to be RESET. We are already receiving an inkling of how draconian and void of reason and concern for the people most governments of the world are reacting to a harmless lab-manufactured virus (virologist Prof Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in medicine in 2008, said that), so it’s possible that regulators may become more tyrannical, and under some pretext or other forbid the use of alt-coins. STABLECOINS can be over-collateralized, allowing absorption of pricing fluctuations, but it will be hard to call. I believe many are bound to fail, and that even earlier, despite all their most valiant efforts: as soon as the RESET comes, which is likely to come with all manner of encumbrances. There are many reasons for the issuance of stablecoins, some having opposing views, but all are dependent on trust – and we don’tknow yet if digital currencies that governments will issue will by regulatory over-reach (including absurd compliance requirements) displace other contenders, but you can assume that the tyrannical forms of governance we are currently experiencing suggest that all kinds of skullduggery are possible.
Do you see the problem of fiat stablecoins in the fact that annual inflation constantly depreciates them? An investor who bought $1000 USDT now and sold these tokens in 10 years for $ 1000 will receive much less money.
The problem occurs if we’re converting things back into payment forms that are fundamentally flawed. Inflation and Black Swan events are the major threats to stablecoins, and tethered crypto-values to natively burdened propositions recalls my earlier idea that we have not yet cut the umbilical cord to bitcoin. On the other hand, stablecoins in their current flavour are perhaps best viewed as transitional schemata that will need later revisitation.
You are a very successful Crypto and ICO Advisor, what is the secret behind this success?
I’m not sure if I’m very successful, but I always try to shoot a straight ball. Here are two instances where my input has not been heeded in any way.
I recall one of the first ICOs I advised. I was sitting with the owner on a Telegram Channel, and after some power Q&A sessions online, we were literally hearing the millions of dollars tumble in neat digital hashes into the inbox within a couple of hours of the ICO opening. He had a bottle of Scotch on his table, and by the end of the session he had reached his hard cap and was besotted to boot! The age of digital money had placed the foolscap on his pate, but the script was no longer legible. I cannot determine if his sobriety ever returned. The prudential advice I had been giving him previously – and that we had discussed in great depth -- was over coming weeks thrown out of the window, and I assume other bottles of Scotch ended up on his desk and didn’t last long.
Here is another example. At one time a well-known ambitious individual in the U.S. cryptospace, a young lawyer, asked me if I wanted to start a crypto compliance organisation with him.
When I think of him now and the feathery assistants he congregated around him, I think of the lines in Dickens’s “Bleak House”: “Mr. Tangle’s learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.”
Simply to continue serving wine from the same sour vats won’t do. I saw that as a prospective idea, and offered some important advice to get the ball rolling. Soon we had recruited many eager beavers to the exercise, and there was talk of it becoming an influential body. I was naïve enough to assume at the time that my co-founder, a black college asketballer with body tattoos who had a write-up in a major paper on account of his ambition and aggression, was actually interested in asking some fundamental revisionary questions about compliance in relation to the freedom of the citizen. When I suggested we don’t just copy the traditional compliance template and rather probe more deeply, he became insolent and very aggressive. That confirmed my instinct that most ambitious players in the crypto-space are actually dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois, and don’t care about improving the system itself.
What is your advice for upcoming Crypto startups and investors?
You might know the technology well, but do you know the business? Does it really deeply address, even solve, a problem? How much life experience do you have, and how well do you know the market? Can you create a market for your product or services? If yes, how will you do that? Have you only got yes-men around you, or are you willing to listen to those who speak Tacheles to you? If you’ve come to water the plant of your ego, your business will flounder. Most achievers keep their ego initially in check, and get the work done.
For investors the answer I would give is rather complex, but here’s a brief response: often the mandate of investors is very narrowly girded, and they trust their old boy networks, and rarely venture out and follow their instincts. That is foolish, and also the recipe for a dull life.
Perhaps a general observation that everybody might ponder with profit is the idea that we know really so very little of the world; that the news and information we are are offered and digest, even when it is tendered by so-called ‘experts’, is often seriously ignorant. It seems our perspective is getting narrower all the time, as if our mind is shrinking and we block out knowledge.
Let me give another current reference point. In 2020 everyone is fearful of viruses. Viruses currently have a bad rap! We have no idea what they actually are. We are always hobbling around with our fearful partisan gaze, and what is good today becomes bad tomorrow. Yet viruses are adroit and malleable messengers of inter-species DNA, in some sense regulating vast populations of organisms. Think of them as cellular simpletons: mere protein shells with few genes, but endowed with the ability to replicate easily despite their paucity of genetic instructions! They form alliances, you might say, with other forms of life. And they are deeply mysterious to our acquisitive and ignorant segmenting intelligence: how can the papillomavirus cause horns to grow on rabbits; and at the same time cause hundreds of thousands of cases of cervical cancer every year? Is one good and the other bad? It would seem so. Such simple summary, like Pinker’s reductionist view of the world, might becalm for a moment, but does not offer lasting satisfactions. To read the world along the axes of like and dislike, as the Buddha had warned us, leads to great suffering.
I’m told by someone who met Bill Gates a long time ago that the man was apparently even then obsessively fearful of viruses (imagine a pendant to Lady Macbeth, continually cleansing his hands). But do we have any clue what viruses actually are, and how they benefit us all in so many incalculable ways? When the child crawls around, it picks up antigens (bacteria and viruses) and on that basis builds its immune system. At various points of that contact and exchange new forms grow, and other forms decay and die. Like CO2, viruses are suddenly declared dangerous and that we need to shield ourselves against them. Yet how many people know that marine phages rule the world, and rule the sea? This was not discovered until 1986. An electron microscope showed that every litre of seawater contained up to one hundred billion viruses, almost as much in dollars as BillGates expects to make off vaccines in 2020. If you put these viruses end to end, they would stretch out forty-two million light-years! Viruses offer stunning genetic variety, and they are the very pulse of life! When viruses swallow oceanic microbes, they release a billion tons of carbon every day: imagine squalls of marine snowfalls, powdering the porous sand of the deep. Imagine the white nights of St Petersburg under water, celebrating the magic of life with the same skill and abandon as the Mariinsky Theatre, to an audience of gastropods, deep-water fish and lovelorn mermaids.
Seamus Heaney, when he passed in 2013, spoke the word Noli timere (“Do not fear”) to his wife as he breathed his last. Instead of being fearful, we might do well to assert that we understand nothing of the manifold wonders of this world! Let us cultivate the virtue of wonderment, and fear will find no habitation in our house:
And lonely as it is that loneliness Will be more lonely ere it will be less— A blanker whiteness of benighted snow With no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces Between stars—on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.
Website : https://gold.storage/ Whitepaper: https://gold.storage/wp.pdf
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The myth of market cap

Here I hope to highlight the complete fallacy of using the Market Cap for anything useful, particularly predicting future maximums, or even as a cross-crypto comparative tool.
Disclaimer: As always, all of this is my opinion, so if you take issue with any of my statements, find the data to refute me, but don't expect me to 'jump' to your commands of 'prove it'.
First, what is the definition of Market Cap? It's: (number of coins) TIMES (current price per coin)
That's it. This simple formula, probably because of its simplicity, has lead to a rabid adoption by the general masses as some form of meaningful indicator. No serious investor acknowledges this sensationalist figure for technical analysis purposes, with perhaps the exception of its psychological effects on inexperienced traders.
At this time, it's arguable that most of the money that sits in crypto is speculative, meaning investors hoping for the value to increase, as opposed to actually using the coin for transfer of value (purchases, etc.). This pool of speculative investor money is approaching maturity in that the cat is out of the bag for the most part so most potential crypto investors have already positioned themselves in the market, thus the early phenomenal historical gains of the past years, are unlikely to be reproduced by speculation money alone, simply because those gains were mostly due to the increasing awareness of crypto. Therefore, the pool of crypto value, while still growing substantically and crypto investing continues its mainstream adoption, isn't going to grow exponentially until a categorically new infusion of wealth presents itself. For the time being, this only really leaves opportunity for speculator sentiment to 'shift' wealth to the latest and greatest crypto, but the total real wealth increase has slowed.
Back to Market Cap. I wish to dispel the two notions I mentioned earlier:
1) Myth: Each coin's Market Cap can be used to compare against each other
The problem with the Market Cap formula is it attempts to answer a very complex question with too few variables; that question being, "what is the relative value of this coin to its maximum value?" Tricky question, because few people ask the question, "what decides the maximum value?" Time and time again, many people will erroneously use the leading coin's (Bitcoin) market cap as some sort of indicator of maximum market cap value for any other coin. How does this make any sense? Particularly if the coins are for completely different use cases. Why does Bitcoin's market cap have any relevance to Ethereum's, or Ripple's? Well, it doesn't, whatsoever; but, this is the psychological barrier put in place, presumably from instinctual impetus given that we see Bitcoin all grown up, so Bitcoin's siblings can't get much bigger right? They're not kids, so the first step to clearing the nonsense of Market Cap from your mind, is that one coin's market cap has anything to do with another coin's, for the same reason your kid went to college while the neighbor's kid smoked pot all day.
2) Myth: Market Cap can be used to predict maximum value
Here's the really tricky part, and will form the remainder of this explanation. First, these are the important data points that need to be considered:
All play a part in the current value of a coin. Without using all these factors involved in calculating the potential maximum price for a coin, you end up with gibberish, so let's try to put some real values at work for Ripple. These figures are very very rough, just to demonstrate their relationship, not actually predict a value.
Couple things I wish to point out here. First, why would I say $1 billion market penetration when billions can trade in a single day on exchanges? Well, if I give you $20, and you give me back $20, do I have $40 bucks now? No, of course not. That's why you have to pick a point in time that asks, how much XRP is being utilized for a purpose at this exact second, similarly to how an exchange determines value, point in time. That's why I chose $1 billion (a completely subjective number of course, plug in whatever you want).
Second, the last parameter "market penetration" MUST be entirely compensated for by the total value of all the "utilized coins" simply because inactive/destroyed/locked coins don't contribute to the facilitating of the market penetration, only the utilized coins can do that. In other words, none of the other values matter. Therefore, the value of XRP = (market penetration) DIVIDED BY (# of utilized coins). In real numbers: $1 billion DIVIDED BY 5 billion coins = 0.20 cents per coin. Coincidence?? (Not really, I massaged the numbers of course).
What does this all mean for market cap?
Who gives a damn what 100 billion total coins TIMES 20 cents equals, it's meaningless. The value of XRP only depends on the market penetration and the number of coins that can be utilized. That's it. The meaningful calculation for coin cap valuation can only be 5 billion * 20 cents = $1 billion dollars (again, plug in your own numbers), a far cry from the insane $9 billion bloated figure everyone is using.
Now that we've eliminated the gross exaggeration of XRP market cap, the even trickier part becomes determining market penetration maximums. It's easy to say, well, SWIFT transfers trillions of dollars per year. So what! It's completely irrelevant what happens over a year. What is relevant is how much money is in transit at any given point in time. Let's say $500 million for fun. That means if SWIFT was replaced with XRP, then at any given moment, $500 million worth of XRP would be in use. This would add further demand on the 5 billion utilized coins, so add $500 million DIVIDED BY 5 billion utilized coins = 10 cents to XRP's value, for a total of 30 cents. Not what you were hoping for? But wait, there's more...
Replacing SWIFT in my mind, is a credibility strategy by Ripple, not necessarily its golden egg. Once XRP gets this exposure, it will have its foot in the door and XRP will rapidly cascade into literally every other use case (of which there are infinite) that money itself currently faciilties, and at the same time radically accelerating each of those paradigms, and creating so many new ones we have yet to conceive because old-fashioned money couldn't support new ideas. Let's look at a few others:
RETAIL: Who wouldn't want to aim their smartphone camera at an on-screen QR code at the cash register, and then be done. No more credit cards, no more remembering dozens of PINs and passwords, no more trying to re-activate your credit card from suspected fraudulent activity because the banks are knee-jerking at your irregular purchase of a smoothie. To hell with banks. Click, done. Gazillions of dollars. This is a much larger market than SWIFT in my opinion, solely based on the frequency of transactions that will require much more overall XRP to be in flight at any given moment. VISA, the writing is on the wall buddy...
ADOPTION: Imagine when people, businesses, governments even, stop always converting back to fiat and just staying in XRP. This becomes the 'currency flight' turning point, and valuation will go into the hundreds to billions (DIVIDED by the number of utilized coins). Multiple dollars per coin. EDIT: a lot of people misunderstand this statement as replacing fiat altogether, that's not where I was going with it. It just means they are increasingly using it, and it just makes sense to hang onto XRP instead of quickly in-and-out
LENDING: Here's where solid figures go out the door. With solid reserve lending laws already in place, and if adoption is widespread, more and more XRP will be needed, and that need magnified by the banks tendency to lend wealth they don't actually have (mortgages? CDOs anyone?).
INVESTING: If you think lending is big, how about the huge margin investing that we've seen in investment firms. It get's maniacal
EMERGING COMMERCE: Micropayments, robotic payments, and completely unknown revenue streams that couldn't exist without XRP, much like Uber couldn't exist without smartphones.
SPECULATION: Riding on top of it all, there are people that understand the above, and will be in early, and accordingly the price will ride the speculative bubble before these ideas are set in stone, so theoretically, the price of XRP will perpetually be artificially inflated in anticipation of its eventual justification as the new markets embrace it.
Suffice it to say, that the demand for XRP can easily eek into the trillions, even quadrillions, which DIVIDED by 5 billion, is many thousands of dollars per XRP.
However dreamy and seemingly impossible these figures appear, that my friends is the potential market for XRP, beyond comprehension. So take your market cap and toss it in the garbage where it belongs. Will it hit any of these values? Who knows.. but what's important to recognize is that XRP doesn't answer to stupidity like: A TIMES B EQUALS Maximum, nor does it answer to Bitcoin, or SWIFT, or even the entire wealth of the world; it makes its own value.
submitted by justin_kim to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

An attempt at a fully comprehensive look at how to scale bitcoin. Lets bring Bitcoin out of Beta!

 
WARNING THIS IS GOING TO BE A REALLY REALLY LONG POST BUT PLEASE READ IT ALL. SCALING BITCOIN IS A COMPLEX ISSUE! HOPEFULLY HAVING ALL THE INFO IN ONE PLACE SHOULD BE USEFUL
 
Like many people in the community I've spent the past month or so looking deeply into the bitcoin scaling debate. I feel there has never been a fully comprehensive thread on how bitcoin could scale. The closest I have seen is gavinandresen's medium posts back in the summer describing the problem and a solution, and pre-emptively answering supposed problems with the solution. While these posts got to the core of the issue and spawned the debate we have been having, they were quite general and could have used more data in support. This is my research and proposal to scale bitcoin and bring the community back together.
 
 
The Problem
 
There seems to me to be five main fundamental forces at play in finding a balanced solution;
  • 'node distribution',
  • 'mining decentralisation',
  • 'network utility',
  • 'time',
  • 'adoption'.
 
 
Node Distribution
Bandwidth has a relationship to node count and therefore 'node distribution'. This is because if bandwidth becomes too high then fewer people will be able to run a node. To a lesser extent bandwidth also effects 'mining decentralisation' as miners/pool owners also need to be able to run a node. I would argue that the centralisation pressures in relation to bandwidth are negligible though in comparison to the centralisation pressure caused by the usefulness of larger pools in reducing variance. The cost of a faster internet connection is negligible in comparison to the turnover of the pools. It is important to note the distinction between bandwidth required to propagate blocks quickly and the bandwidth required to propagate transactions. The bandwidth required to simply propagate transactions is still low today.
New node time (i.e. the time it takes to start up a new node) also has a relationship with node distribution. i.e. If it takes too long to start a new node then fewer people will be willing to take the time and resources to start a new node.
Storage Space also has a relationship with node distribution. If the blockchain takes up too much space on a computer then less people will be willing to store the whole blockchain.
Any suitable solution should look to not decrease node distribution significantly.
 
Mining Decentralisation
Broadcast time (the time it takes to upload a block to a peer) has a relationship with mining centralisation pressures. This is because increasing broadcast time increases the propagation time, which increases the orphan rate. If the orphan rate it too high then individual miners will tend towards larger pools.
Validation time (the time it to validate a block) has a relationship with mining centralisation pressures. This is because increasing validation time increases the propagation time, which increases the orphan rate. If the orphan rate it too high then individual miners will tend towards larger pools.
Any suitable solution should look to not increase mining centralisation significantly.
 
Network Utility
Network Utility is one that I find is often overlooked, is not well understood but is equally as important. The network utility force acts as a kind of disclaimer to the other two forces. It has a balancing effect. Increasing the network utility will likely increase user adoption (The more useful something is, the more people will want to use it) and therefore decreasing network utility will likely decrease user adoption. User adoption has a relationship with node count. i.e. the more people, companies and organisations know about and use bitcoin, the more people, companies and organisations that will run nodes. For example we could reduce block size down to 10KB, which would reduce broadcast time and validation time significantly. This would also therefore reduce mining centralisation pressures significantly. What is very important to realise though is that network utility would also be significantly be reduced (fewer people able to use bitcoin) and therefore so would node distribution. Conversely, if we increased the block size (not the limit) right now to 10GB, the network utility would be very high as bitcoin would be able to process a large number of transactions but node distribution would be low and mining centralisation pressures would be high due to the larger resource requirements.
Any suitable solution should look to increase network utility as time increases.
 
Time
Time is an important force because of how technology improves over time. Technology improves over time in a semi-predicable fashion (often exponential). As we move through time, the cost of resources required to run the bitcoin network (if the resource requirements remained static) will decrease. This means that we are able to increase resource requirements proportional to technological improvements/cost reductions without any increase in costs to the network. Technological improvements are not perfectly predictable though so it could be advantageous to allow some buffer room for when technological improvements do not keep up with predictions. This buffer should not be applied at the expense of the balance between the other forces though (i.e. make the buffer too big and network utility will be significantly decreased).
 
 
Adoption
Increasing adoption means more people using the bitcoin/blockchain network. The more people use bitcoin the more utility it has, and the more utility Bitcoin has the more people will want to use it (network effect). The more people use bitcoin, the more people there that have an incentive to protect bitcoin.
Any suitable solution should look to increase adoption as time increases.
 
 
The Solution Proposed by some of the bitcoin developers - The Lightning Network
 
The Lightning Network (LN) is an attempt at scaling the number of transactions that can happen between parties by not publishing any transaction onto the blockchain unless it is absolutely necessary. This is achieved by having people pool bitcoin together in a "Channel" and then these people can transact instantly within that channel. If any shenanigans happen between any of the parties, the channel can be closed and the transactions will be settled on the blockchain. The second part of their plan is limit the block size to turn bitcoin into a settlement network. The original block size limit of 1MB was originally put in place by Satoshi as an anti-DOS measure. It was to make sure a bad actor could not propagate a very large block that would crash nodes and increase the size of the blockchain unnecessarily. Certain developers now want to use this 1MB limit in a different way to make sure that resource requirements will stay low, block space always remains full, fees increase significantly and people use the lightning network as their main way of transacting rather than the blockchain. They also say that keeping the resource requirements very low will make sure that bitcoin remains decentralised.
 
Problems with The Lightning Network
The LN works relatively well (in theory) when the cost and time to publish a set of transactions to the network are kept low. Unfortunately, when the cost and time to publish a set of transactions on the blockchain become high, the LN's utility is diminished. The trust you get from a transaction on the LN comes only from the trustless nature of having transactions published to the bitcoin network. What this means is that if a transaction cannot be published on the bitcoin network then the LN transaction is not secured at all. As transactions fees rise on the bitcoin blockchain the LN utility is diminished. Lets take an example:
  • Cost of publishing a transaction to the bitcoin network = $20
  • LN transaction between Bob and Alice = $20.
  • Transaction between Bob and Alice has problem therefore we want to publish it to the blockchain.
  • Amount of funds left after transaction is published to the blockchain = $20 - $20 = $0.
This is also not a binary situation. If for example in this scenario, the cost to publish the transaction to blockchain was $10 then still only 50% of the transaction would be secure. It is unlikely anyone really call this a secure transaction.
Will a user make a non-secured/poorly secured transaction on the LN when they could make the same transaction via an altcoin or non-cryptocurrency transaction and have it well secured? It's unlikely. What is much more likely to happen is that transaction that are not secured by bitcoin because of the cost to publish to the blockchain will simply overflow into altcoins or will simply not happen on any cryptocurrency network. The reality is though, that we don't know exactly what will happen because there is no precedent for it.
Another problem outside of security is convenience. With a highly oversaturated block space (very large backlog of transactions) it could take months to have a transaction published to the blockchain. During this time your funds will simply be stuck. If you want to buy a coffee with a shop you don't have a channel open with, instead of simply paying with bitcoin directly, you would have to wait months to open a channel by publishing a transaction to the bitcoin blockchain. I think your coffee might be a little cold by then (and mouldy).
I suggest reading this excellent post HERE for other rather significant problems with the LN when people are forced to use it.
The LN is currently not complete and due to its high complexity it will take some time to have industry wide implementation. If it is implemented on top of a bitcoin-as-a-settlement-network economy it will likely have very little utility.
 
Uses of The LN
The LN is actually an extremely useful layer-2 technology when it is used with it's strengths. When the bitcoin blockchain is fast and cheap to transact on, the LN is also extremely useful. One of the major uses for the LN is for trust-based transactions. If you are transacting often between a set of parties you can truly trust then using LN makes absolute sense since the trustless model of bitcoin is not necessary. Then once you require your funds to be unlocked again it will only take a short time and small cost to open them up to the full bitcoin network again. Another excellent use of LN would be for layer-3 apps. For example a casino app: Anyone can by into the casino channel and play using real bitcoins instantly in the knowledge that is anything nefarious happens you can instantly settle and unlock your funds. Another example would be a computer game where you can use real bitcoin in game, the only difference is that you connect to the game's LN channel and can transact instantly and cheaply. Then whenever you want to unlock your funds you can settle on the blockchain and use your bitcoins normally again.
LN is hugely more powerful, the more powerful bitcoin is. The people making the LN need to stick with its strengths rather than sell it as an all-in-one solution to bitcoin's scaling problem. It is just one piece of the puzzle.
 
 
Improving Network Efficiency
 
The more efficient the network, the more we can do with what we already have. There are a number of possible efficiency improvements to the network and each of them has a slightly different effect.
 
Pruning
Pruning allows the stored blockchain size to be reduced significantly by not storing old data. This has the effect of lowering the resource requirements of running a node. a 40GB unpruned blockchain would be reduced in size to 550MB. (It is important to note that a pruned node has lower utility to the network)
 
Thin Blocks
Thin blocks uses the fact that most of the nodes in the network already have a list of almost all the same transactions ready to be put into the blockchain before a block is found. If all nodes use the same/similar policy for which transactions to include in a block then you only need to broadcast a small amount of information across the network for all nodes to know which transactions have been included (as opposed to broadcasting a list of all transactions included in the block). Thin Blocks have the advantage of reducing propagation which lowers the mining centralisation pressure due to orphaned blocks.
 
libsecp256k1 libsecp256k1 allows a more efficient way of validating transactions. This means that propagation time is reduced which lowers the mining centralisation pressure due to orphaned blocks. It also means reduced time to bootstrap the blockchain for a new node.
 
Serialised Broadcast
Currently block transmission to peers happens in parallel to all connected peers. Obviously for block propagation this is a poor choice in comparison to serial transmission to each peer one by one. Using parallel transmission means that the more peers you have, the slower the propagation, whereas serial transmission does not suffer this problem. The problem that serial transmission does suffer from though is variance. If the order that you send blocks to peers in is random, then it means sometimes you will send blocks to a peer who has a slow/fast connection and/or is able to validate slowly/quickly. This would mean the average propagation time would increase with serialised transmission but depending on your luck you would sometimes have faster propagation and sometimes have slower propagation. As this will lower propagation time it will also lower the mining centralisation pressure due to orphaned blocks. (This is just a concept at the moment but I don't see why it couldn't be implemented).
 
Serialised Broadcast Sorting
This is a fix for the variance that would occur due to serialised broadcast. This sorts the order that you broadcast a block to each peer into; fastest upload + validation speed first and slowest upload speed and validation speed last. This not only decreases the variance to zero but also allows blocks to propagation to happen much faster. This also has the effect of lowering the mining centralisation pressure due to orphaned blocks. (This is just a concept at the moment but I don't see why it couldn't be implemented).
 
Here is a table below that shows roughly what the effects these solutions should have.
Name Bandwidth Broadcast Time Validation Time New Node Time Storage Space
Pruning 1 1 1 1 0.014
Thin Blocks 0.42 0.1 0.1 1 1
libsecp256k1 1 1 0.2 0.6 1
Serialised Broadcast 1 0.5 1 1 1
KYN 1 0.75 1 1 1
Segregated Witness 1 1 1 0.4 1
TOTAL 0.42 0.0375 0.02 0.24 0.014
Multiplier 2.38 26.7 50 - 70
(The "multiplier" shows how many times higher the block size could be relative to the specific function.)
 
 
The Factors in Finding a Balanced Solution
 
At the beginning of this post I detailed a relatively simple framework for finding a solution by describing what the problem is. There seems to me to be five main fundamental forces at play in finding a balanced solution; 'node distribution', 'mining decentralisation', 'network utility', 'time' and 'adoption'. The optimal solution needs to find a balance between all of these forces taking into account a buffer to offset our inability to predict the future with absolute accuracy.
To find a suitable buffer we need to assign a set of red line values which certain values should not pass if we want to make sure bitcoin continues to function as well as today (at a minimum). For example, percentage of orphans should stay below a certain value. These values can only be a best estimate due to the complexity of bitcoin economics, although I have tried to provide as sound reasoning as possible.
 
Propagation time
It seems a fair limit for this would be roughly what we have now. Bitcoin is still functioning now. Could mining be more decentralised? Yes, of course, but it seems bitcoin is working fine right now and therefore our currently propagation time for blocks is a fairly conservative limit to set. Currently 1MB blocks take around 15 seconds to propagate more than 50% of the network. 15 second propagation time is what I will be using as a limit in the solution to create a buffer.
 
Orphan Rate
This is obviously a value that is a function of propagation time so the same reasoning should be used. I will use a 3% limit on orphan rate in the solution to create a buffer.
 
Non-Pruned Node Storage Cost
For this I am choosing a limit of $200 in the near-term and $600 in the long-term. I have chosen these values based on what I think is a reasonable (maximum) for a business or enthusiast to pay to run a full node. As the number of transactions increases as more people use bitcoin the number of people willing to pay a higher price to run a node will also increase although the percentage of people will decrease. These are of course best guess values as there is no way of knowing exactly what percentage of users are willing to pay what.
 
Pruned Node Storage Cost
For this I am choosing a limit of $3 in the near-term (next 5 years) and $9 in the long-term (Next 25 years). I have chosen these values based on what I think is a reasonable (maximum) for normal bitcoin user to pay. In fact this cost will more likely be zero as almost all users have an amount of storage free on their computers.
 
Percentage of Downstream Bandwidth Used
This is a best guess at what I think people who run nodes would be willing to use to be connected to the bitcoin network directly. I believe using 10% (maximum) of a users downstream bandwidth is the limit of what is reasonable for a full node (pruned and non-pruned). Most users would continue to access the blockchain via SPV wallets though. Downstream is generally a much more valuable resource to a user than upstream due to the nature of the internet usage.
 
Percentage of Upstream Bandwidth Used
This is a best guess at what I think people who run nodes would be willing to use to be connected to the bitcoin network directly. I believe using 25% (maximum) of a users downstream bandwidth is the limit of what is reasonable for a full node (pruned and non-pruned). Most users would continue to access the blockchain via SPV wallets though. Upstream is generally a much less valuable resource to a user than downstream due to the nature of the internet usage.
 
Time to Bootstrap a New Node
My limit for this value is at 5 days using 50% of downstream bandwidth in the near-term and 30 days in the long-term. This seems like a reasonable number to me for someone who wants to start running a full node. Currently opening a new bank account takes at least week until everything is set up and you have received your cards, so it seems to me people would be willing to wait this long to become connected. Again, this is a best guess on what people would be willing to do to access the blockchain in the future. Most users requiring less security will be able to use an SPV wallet.
It is important to note that we only need enough nodes to make sure the blockchain is distributed across many places with many backups of the full blockchain. It is likely that a few thousand is a minimum for this. Increasing this amount to hundreds of thousands or millions of full nodes is not necessarily that much of an advantage to node distribution but could be a significant disadvantage to mining centralisation. This is because the more nodes you have in the network, the longer it takes to propagate >50% of it.
 
Storage Cost Price Reduction Over Time
Storage cost follows a linear logarithmic trend. Costs of HDD reducing by 10 times every 5 years, although this has slowed over the past few years. This can be attributed to the flooding in South East Asia and the transition to SSD technology. SSD technology also follows the linear logarithmic trend of costs reducing 10 times every 5 years, or roughly decreasing 37% per year.
 
Average Upload and Download Bandwidth Increases Over Time
Average upload and download bandwidth increases in a linear logarithmic trend. Both upload and download bandwidth follow the same trend of doubling roughly every two years, or increasing 40% per year.
 
Price
I was hesitant to include this one here but I feel it is unavoidable. Contrary to what people say (often when the price is trending downwards) bitcoin price is an extremely important metric in the long-term. Depending on bitcoin's price, bitcoin's is useful to; enthusiasts->some users->small companies->large companies->nations->the world, in roughly that order. The higher bitcoin's price is the more liquid the market will be and the more difficult it will be to move the price, therefore increasing bitcoin's utility. Bitcoin's price in the long-term is linked to adoption, which seems to happen in waves, as can be seen in the price bubbles over the years. If we are planning/aiming for bitcoin to at least become a currency with equal value to one of the worlds major currencies then we need to plan for a market cap and price that reflect that. I personally think there are two useful targets we should use to reflect our aims. The first, lower target is for bitcoin to have a market cap the size of a major national currency. This would put the market cap at around 2.1 trillion dollars or $100,000 per bitcoin. The second higher target is for bitcoin to become the world's major reserve currency. This would give bitcoin a market cap of around 21 trillion dollars and a value of $1,000,000 per bitcoin. A final, and much more difficult target is likely to be bitcoin as the only currency across the world, but I am not sure exactly how this could work so for now I don't think this is worth considering.
 
As price increases, so does the subsidy reward given out to miners who find blocks. This reward is semi-dynamic in that it remains static (in btc terms) until 210,000 blocks are found and then the subsidy is then cut in half. This continues to happen until all 21,000,000 bitcoins have been mined. If the value of each bitcoin increases faster than the btc denominated subsidy decreases then the USD denominated reward will be averagely increasing. Historically the bitcoin price has increased significantly faster than subsidy decreases. The btc denominated subsidy halves roughly every 4 years but the price of bitcoin has historically increased roughly 50 fold in the same time.
 
Bitcoin adoption should happen in a roughly s-curve dynamic like every other technology adoption. This means exponential adoption until the market saturation starts and adoption slows, then the finally is the market becomes fully saturated and adoption slowly stops (i.e. bitcoin is fully adopted). If we assume the top of this adoption s-curve has one of the market caps above (i.e. bitcoin is successful) then we can use this assumption to see how we can transition from a subsidy paid network to a transaction fee paid network.
 
Adoption
Adoption is the most difficult metric to determine. In fact it is impossible to determine accurately now, let alone in the future. It is also the one of the most important factors. There is no point in building software that no one is going to use after all. Equally, there is no point in achieving a large amount of adoption if bitcoin offers none of the original value propositions. Clearly there is a balance to be had. Some amount of bitcoin's original value proposition is worth losing in favour of adoption, and some amount of adoption is worth losing to keep bitcoin's original value proposition. A suitable solution should find a good balance between the two. It is clear though that any solution must have increased adoption as a basic requirement, otherwise it is not a solution at all.
 
One major factor related to adoption that I rarely see mentioned, is stability and predictability. This is relevant to both end users and businesses. End users rely on stability and predictability so that they do not have to constantly check if something has changed. When a person goes to get money from a cash machine or spend money in a shop, their experience is almost identical every single time. It is highly dependable. They don't need to keep up-to-date on how cash machines or shops work to make sure they are not defrauded. They know exactly what is going to happen without having to expend any effort. The more deviation from the standard experience a user experiences and the more often a user experiences a deviation, the less likely a user is going to want to continue to use that service. Users require predictability extending into the past. Businesses who's bottom line is often dependent on reliable services also require stability and predictability. Businesses require predictability that extends into the future so that they can plan. A business is less likely to use a service for which they do not know they can depend on in the future (or they know they cannot depend on).
For bitcoin to achieve mass adoption it needs a long-term predictable and stable plan for people to rely on.
 
 
The Proposal
 
This proposal is one based on determining a best fit balance of every factor and a large enough buffer to allows for our inability to perfectly predict the future. No one can predict the future with absolutely certainty but it does not mean we cannot make educated guesses and plan for it.
 
The first part of the proposal is to spend 2016 implementing all available efficiency improvements (i.e the ones detailed above) and making sure the move to a scaled bitcoin happens as smoothly as possible. It seems we should set a target of implementing all of the above improvements within the first 6 months of 2016. These improvements should be implemented in the first hardfork of its kind, with full community wide consensus. A hardfork with this much consensus is the perfect time to test and learn from the hardforking mechanism. Thanks to Seg Wit, this would give us an effective 2 fold capacity increase and set us on our path to scalability.
 
The second part of the proposal is to target the release of a second hardfork to happen at the end of 2016. Inline with all the above factors this would start with a real block size limit increase to 2MB (effectively increasing the throughput to 4x compared to today thanks to Seg Wit) and a doubling of the block size limit every two years thereafter (with linear scaling in between). The scaling would end with an 8GB block size limit in the year 2039.
 
 
How does the Proposal fit inside the Limits
 
 
Propagation time
If trends for average upload and bandwidth continue then propagation time for a block to reach >50% of the nodes in the network should never go above 1s. This is significantly quickly than propagation times we currently see.
In a worst case scenario we can we wrong in the negative direction (i.e. bandwidth does not increase as quickly as predicted) by 15% absolute and 37.5% relative (i.e. bandwidth improves at a rate of 25% per year rather than the predicted 40%) and we would still only ever see propagation times similar to today and it would take 20 years before this would happen.
 
Orphan Rate
Using our best guess predictions the orphan rate would never go over 0.2%.
In a worst case scenario where we are wrong in our bandwidth prediction in the negative direction by 37.5% relative, orphan rate would never go above 2.3% and it would take over 20 years to happen.
 
Non-Pruned Node Storage Cost
Using our best guess predictions the cost of storage for a non-pruned full node would never exceed $40 with blocks consistently 50% full and would in fact decrease significantly after reaching the peak cost. If blocks were consistently 100% full (which is highly unlikely) then the maximum cost of an un-pruned full node would never exceed $90.
In a worst case scenario where we are wrong in our bandwidth prediction in the negative direction by 37.5% relative and we are wrong in our storage cost prediction by 20% relative (storage cost decreases in cost by 25% per year instead of the predicted 37% per year), we would see a max cost to run a node with 50% full blocks of $100 by 2022 and $300 by 2039. If blocks are always 100% full then this max cost rises to $230 by 2022 and $650 in 2039. It is important to note that for storage costs to be as high as this, bitcoin will have to be enormously successful, meaning many many more people will be incentivised to run a full node (businesses etc.)
 
Pruned Node Storage Cost
Using our best guess predictions the cost of storage for a pruned full node would never exceed $0.60 with blocks consistently 50% full. If blocks were consistently 100% full (which is highly unlikely) then the max cost of an un-pruned full node would never exceed $1.30.
In a worst case scenario where we are wrong in our bandwidth prediction in the negative direction by 37.5% relative and we are wrong in our storage cost prediction by 20% relative (storage cost decreases in cost by 25% per year instead of the predicted 37% per year), we would see a max cost to run a node with 50% full blocks of $1.40 by 2022 and $5 by 2039. If blocks are always 100% full then this max cost rises to $3.20 by 2022 and $10 in 2039. It is important to note that at this amount of storage the cost would be effectively zero since users almost always have a large amount of free storage space on computers they already own.
 
Percentage of Downstream Bandwidth Used
Using our best guess predictions running a full node will never use more than 0.3% of a users download bandwidth (on average).
In a worst case scenario we can we wrong in the negative direction by 37.5% relative in our bandwidth predictions and we would still only ever see a max download bandwidth use of 4% (average).
 
Percentage of Upstream Bandwidth Used
Using our best guess predictions running a full node will never use more than 1.6% of a users download bandwidth (on average).
In a worst case scenario we can we wrong in the negative direction by 37.5% relative in our bandwidth predictions and we would only ever see a max download bandwidth use of 24% (average) and this would take over 20 years to occur.
 
Time to Bootstrap a New Node
Using our best guess predictions bootstrapping a new node onto the network should never take more than just over a day using 50% bandwidth.
In a worst case scenario we can we wrong in the negative direction by 37.5% relative in our bandwidth predictions and it would take one and 1/4 days to bootstrap the blockchain using 50% of the download bandwidth. By 2039 it would take 16 days to bootstrap the entire blockchain when using 50% bandwidth. I think it is important to note that by this point it is very possible the bootstrapping the blockchain could very well be done by simply buying an SSD with blockchain already bootstrapped. 16 days would be a lot of time to download software but it does not necessarily mean a decrease in centralisation. As you will see in the next section, if bitcoin has reached this level of adoption, there may well be many parties will to spend 16 days downloading the blockchain.
 
What if Things Turn Out Worse than the Worse Case?
While it is likely that future trends in the technology required to scale bitcoin will continue relatively similar to the past, it is possible that the predictions are completely and utterly wrong. This plan takes this into account though by making sure the buffer is large enough to give us time to adjust our course. Even if no technological/cost improvements (near zero likelihood) are made to bandwidth and storage in the future this proposal still gives us years to adjust course.
 
 
What Does This Mean for Bitcoin?
 
Significantly Increased Adoption
For comparison, Paypal handles around 285 transactions per second (tps), VISA handles around 2000tps and the total global non-cash transactions are around 12,400tps.
Currently bitcoin is capable of handling a maximum of around 3.5 transactions every second which are published to the blockchain roughly every 10 minutes. With Seg Wit implemented via a hardfork, bitcoin will be capable or around 7tps. With this proposal bitcoin will be capable of handling more transactions than Paypal (assuming Paypal experiences growth of around 7% per year) in the year 2027. Bitcoin will overtake VISA's transaction capability by the year 2035 and at the end of the growth cycle in 2039 it will be able to handle close to 50% of the total global non-cash transactions.
When you add on top second layer protocols( like the LN), sidechains, altcoins and off-chain transactions, there should be more than enough capacity for the whole world and every possible conceivable use for digital value transfer.
 
Transitioning from a Subsidy to a Transaction Fee Model
Currently mining is mostly incentivised by the subsidy that is given by the network (currently 25btc per block). If bitcoin is to widely successful it is likely that price increases will continue to outweigh btc denominated subsidy decreases for some time. This means that currently it is likely to be impossible to try to force the network into matching a significant portion of the subsidy with fees. The amount of fees being paid to miners has averagely increased over time and look like they will continue to do so. It is likely that the optimal time for fees to start seriously replacing the subsidy is when bitcoin adoption starts to slow. Unless you take a pessimistic view of bitcoin (thinking bitcoin is as big as it ever will be), it is reasonable to assume this will not happen for some time.
With this proposal, using an average fee of just $0.05, total transaction fees per day would be:
  • Year 2020 = $90,720
  • Year 2025 = $483,840.00
  • Year 2030 = $2,903,040.00
  • Year 2035 = $15,482,880.00
  • Year 2041 = $123,863,040.00 (full 8GB Blocks)
Miners currently earn a total of around $2 million dollars per day in revenue, significantly less than the $124 million dollars in transaction fee revenue possible using this proposal. That also doesn't include the subsidy which would still play some role until the year 2140. This transaction fee revenue would be a yearly revenue of $45 billion for miners when transaction fees are only $0.05 on average.
 
 
Proposal Data
You can use these two spreadsheets (1 - 2 ) to see the various metrics at play over time. The first spreadsheet shows the data using the predicted trends and the second spreadsheet shows the data with the worst case trends.
 
 
Summary
 
It's very clear we are on the edge/midst of a community (and possibly a network) split. This is a very dangerous situation for bitcoin. A huge divide has appeared in the community and opinions are becoming more and more entrenched on both sides. If we cannot come together and find a way forward it will be bad for everyone except bitcoin's competition and enemies. While this proposal is born from an attempt at finding a balance based on as many relevant factors as possible, it also fortunately happens to fall in between the two sides of the debate. Hopefully the community can see this proposal as a way of making a compromise, releasing the entrenchment and finding a way forward to scale bitcoin. I have no doubt that if we can do this, bitcoin will have enormous success in the years to come.
 
Lets bring bitcoin out of beta together!!
submitted by ampromoco to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

General info and list of exchanges for BUBBLETONE

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UMT Tokens 22% Network Development Fund 220 000 000 UMT 50% Crowdsale 500 000 000 UMT 20% Founders 200 000 000 UMT 7.8% Team & Community Development Fund 78 000 000 UMT 0.2% Bounty fund 2 000 000 UMT Name: UMT Type: ERC-20 Function: Used in smart contracts to perform transactions. Can be used to top up user balance to pay for telecom services Total Supply: 1 000 000 000 tokens For sale: 50% All unsold tokens will be burnt and additional release of tokens will not be possible! Checked by clearify Bubbletone ICO 01.02 10.02 Stage 1 10.02 01.03 Stage 2 02.03 10.03 Stage 3 20.04 15.06 ICO Stage ICO ETH/UMT 1 ETH = 4000 UMT Vesting No vesting Minimum 0.1 ETH ICO starts: 20.04.18, 10AM (London time) Token price: 1 ETH = 4000 UMT Hard cap: 15 000 000 USD Accepted currencies: ETH, BTC Join White List to reserve your UMT Tokens JOIN WHITE LIST Our Team Key Team
Yury Morozov CEO and Founder Co-founder of 4 active telecom companies
Oleg Pravdin CTO Telecom visionary, founder of 3 start-ups in the USA, China and Russia.
Irina Chertok Co-founder and Major Chief Board Director
Sergei Ivanov CEO of "Allo Incognito" (mobile virtual network operator)
Sergey Malcev Lead Blockchain Software Engineer
Sergey Baloyan CMO and Head of IR
Fedor Rozhnov CBDO Strategic Developer for Telco, Realized 2 MVNO-projects for Russian mobile market
Kirill Maskaev CCO and Head of PR
Maria Voronova Project Manager
Stepan Gershuni Blockchain expert, co-founder @Block Notary
Sergey Sevantsyan Blockchain expert, public speaker Developers and IT engineers team
Michael Nazarenko Lead security and fault tolerance developer
Sergey Prilutskiy Security expert, Blockchain architecture development
Sergey Lepenkov Development of payment services and high-load applications in the telecommunication field
Oleg Vintovkin Development of IT project Yandex Telephony; development BSS & OSS for mobile carriers
Yury Vasilchikov Blockchain consultant, smart contracts developer
Alexander Artemiev Bubbletone messenger architecture development, integration with mobile carriers
Jackov Mayurov Bubbletone messenger project manager
Ajmat Iqbal Bubbletone messenger software development leader
Mir Monsoor Hossain Senior software developer
Momi Monjil Ara Senior software developer
Khandaker Raihan Hossain Senior software developer
Md. Shafiqul Islam Front-end software developer
Md Maniruzzaman Back-end software developer
Alexey Makeev Smart contracts software engineer
Varun Reddy Community Relations
Mariana Bugaeva Head of design group
Advisors
Keith Teare Successful serial technology entrepreneur; Executive Chair at Accelerated Digital Ventures; TechCrunch founding shareholder and EasyNet, Europe’s first consumer Internet Service Provider
Dr. Norman Lewis Telecom expert Norman was running PWC’s innovation programme, He also worked in Orange UK as a Director of Technology Research, Founding Director of Future-Diagnosis, Executive board member of the MIT Communications Futures Programme.
Anders Larsson Anders worked in Ericsson Group for two decades to create the emerging technologies of 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and IOT in 10 different countries Held various CTO roles and the role of Vice President for Mobile Broadband in Southeast Asia & Oceania AllcoinWiki Co-founder Top-5 Blockchain Advisor in the world
Samson Lee Founder & CEO of CoinStreet; Executive Chairman of China (Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau) Greater Bay Area TechFin Association; Co-founder of Hong Kong Blockchain Centre; Co-Founder of Ethereum south China and south Asia communities; Chief Crypto-economic Advisor of Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange; Advisor of Universa.io; Asia President of Next.TV Inc. and Chairman of STM Digital Group.
Joakim Holmer Joakim is a telecom expert, who had experience in AT&T and Ericsson Group. 15 years in various technical leadership positions around the world. Joakim has also worked with Software System Sales. With hunger to develop that included everything from Mobile App start-ups to RedHat, SAP and Cisco. AllcoinWiki co-founder
John Mun Co-Founder of Linker Coin; John obtained his MFE at UC Berkeley, then became a Market Maker, HFT trader and General Manager at one of South Korea's leading investment institutions Woori Investments and Securities. John’s finance and engineering background supported him strongly in the blockchain industry and now is also an expert in Smart Contract development.
Gabriel Zanko Fintech entrepreneur-Advisor. Founder of MobileyourLife and involved in the AI-Fintech space providing solutions in the B2B space. ICO advisory in Fundraising Capital and International Business Development.
Professor Jin Song Dong Director of the Institute for Integrated Intelligent System, Griffith University, Australia
Gilbert A. Darrell Gilbert is founder of Horizon Communications, the innovative provider of decentralized wireless infrastructure. He has 18 years of experience in IT and Telecoms and led multiple projects for Fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, Energizer and Siemens.
Vladimir Sirotinskiy CEO of Lingualeo, the market leader in online English language learning. Serial entrepreneur and business consultant
Oleg Khokhlov Adviser & Legal Counsel of ICO
Oleg Khokhlov is Partner with international law firm Goltsblat BLP, the Russian practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), headquartered in London.
Oleg was selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Russia 2013-2018 Editions in the field of Banking & Finance Law. He has been also highly recommended for Banking & Finance by IFLR1000 and Legal 500.
Oleg has advised leading ICOs and venture fiat/cryptofunds.
Maria Agranovskaya Blockchain and ICO Legal Expert. Managing Partner of GRAD Attorney Bar (30+ lawyers). Attorney at Law with 20+ years of experience. Working with cryptocurrency since 2010: ICO, trading, funds setup, etc. Over eight years running a multifamily office. Cross-border transactions, investments, asset management, deal and corporate structuring in various jurisdictions. M&A, international taxation Tech and Telecom leaders about Bubbletone Blockchain Roadmap Q1’2018 Initial version of smart contracts is ready.
The first “Offer” and “Request” are on the Blockchain platform. Demonstration of the platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (February’18). Integration with major eSIM platforms to download mobile profiles onto SIM cards
Q2’2018 Web-API for integration of mobile operators and service providers.
Integration of Digital Identity into Bubbletone app. Commercial launch, with “Offers” from 10+ mobile operators are on Blockchain, low rates in 80+ countries.
Q3’2018 Global Mobile Profile approval by International Telecommunication Union.
Update Mini Nodes to participate in processing smart contracts. BubbleTone Blockchain – White Paper Page 25 of 31 New features in the Bubbletone app: Voting platform based on Blockchain, 4K videoconferences, transfer of fiat money and crypto currencies
Q4’2018 Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem.
The first 1 million transactions are processed
Q1-Q4’2019 Signing agreements with mobile operators worldwide to activate the Global Mobile Profile.
First prototype of a global SIM-chip to be embedded into mobile devices. Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to the Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem. 10 million transactions are processed
Partners
Bubbletone Community around the world Bubbletone Worldwide Tour Past Events May 14-16 TMForum, Nice, France May 14-16 Coindesk Consensus 2018, New York, USA May 2-3 Future Blockchain Summit, Dubai May 1-3 IOTX 2018, Dubai April 26-27 World Blockchain Summit, Moscow, Russia April 23-26 MVNO World Congress, Madrid, Spain April 18-19 Blockchain Expo, London, UK April 17-18 Blockchain Conference, Moscow, Russia April 16-17 World Blockchain Forum, Dubai April 8 Blockchain Tomorrow 21, Seoul, Korea April 4 Blockchain Conference, Berlin, Germany March 28 Blockchain Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel March 22 Tallinn Blockchain Conference, Tallinn, Estonia March 21-22 Cryprocurrency World Expo, Berlin, Germany 26 February - 01 March Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 10 Crypto Investor Show, London, UK March 7-8 Blockchain Summit Zurich 2018, Zurich, Switzerland March 3-6 D10E Fintech Conference, Seoul, Korea March 2 Bubbletone Meet-Up, Singapore March 1 Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference, Istanbul, Turkey February 23 7th Korea Blockchain Symposium, Seoul February 27-28 Singapore Blockchain Summit 2018, Singapore 25-26 January Cryptoeconomy ICO London 22-24 January London Blockchain Week 2018 14 December Big ICO Roadshow, Moscow, Russia 8 December Crypto Space, Moscow, Russia 29-30 November Blockchain Expo in Santa Clara, California (booth 419) 29-30 November Block Show Asia in Singapore 14-15 November Telecom Conference in London 24-25 October World Blockchain Summit in Dubai 8-12 October GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, Stand E3-6 3-5 October Blockchain Solution Forum in Barcelona, Stand №100 26-27 September Telecom Conference in Singapore 25-26 September World Blockchain Forum in London FAQ How can I buy your tokens? Which cryptocurrencies are accepted? Which wallet should I use to receive tokens? What is the goal of your project? Is your product already working? Do you have a prototype or a beta version? Why do you have a blockchain in your project? How is your system going to expand? What are advantages for Node owners? What are the advantages of BubbleTone messenger? How do I operate all these other Sims on my phone? JOIN US
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submitted by cryptoinvestor2020 to BUBBLETONE [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:

Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
submitted by FmzQuant to u/FmzQuant [link] [comments]

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)

FAQ about Bitcoin(2)
www.fmz.com
Legal
Is Bitcoin legal?
To the best of our knowledge, Bitcoin has not been made illegal by legislation in most jurisdictions. However, some jurisdictions (such as Argentina and Russia) severely restrict or ban foreign currencies. Other jurisdictions (such as Thailand) may limit the licensing of certain entities such as Bitcoin exchanges.
Regulators from various jurisdictions are taking steps to provide individuals and businesses with rules on how to integrate this new technology with the formal, regulated financial system. For example, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in the United States Treasury Department, issued non-binding guidance on how it characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies.
Is Bitcoin useful for illegal activities?
Bitcoin is money, and money has always been used both for legal and illegal purposes. Cash, credit cards and current banking systems widely surpass Bitcoin in terms of their use to finance crime. Bitcoin can bring significant innovation in payment systems and the benefits of such innovation are often considered to be far beyond their potential drawbacks.
Bitcoin is designed to be a huge step forward in making money more secure and could also act as a significant protection against many forms of financial crime. For instance, bitcoins are completely impossible to counterfeit. Users are in full control of their payments and cannot receive unapproved charges such as with credit card fraud. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immune to fraudulent chargebacks. Bitcoin allows money to be secured against theft and loss using very strong and useful mechanisms such as backups, encryption, and multiple signatures.
Some concerns have been raised that Bitcoin could be more attractive to criminals because it can be used to make private and irreversible payments. However, these features already exist with cash and wire transfer, which are widely used and well-established. The use of Bitcoin will undoubtedly be subjected to similar regulations that are already in place inside existing financial systems, and Bitcoin is not likely to prevent criminal investigations from being conducted. In general, it is common for important breakthroughs to be perceived as being controversial before their benefits are well understood. The Internet is a good example among many others to illustrate this.
Can Bitcoin be regulated? FMZ
The Bitcoin protocol itself cannot be modified without the cooperation of nearly all its users, who choose what software they use. Attempting to assign special rights to a local authority in the rules of the global Bitcoin network is not a practical possibility. Any rich organization could choose to invest in mining hardware to control half of the computing power of the network and become able to block or reverse recent transactions. However, there is no guarantee that they could retain this power since this requires to invest as much than all other miners in the world.
It is however possible to regulate the use of Bitcoin in a similar way to any other instrument. Just like the dollar, Bitcoin can be used for a wide variety of purposes, some of which can be considered legitimate or not as per each jurisdiction's laws. In this regard, Bitcoin is no different than any other tool or resource and can be subjected to different regulations in each country. Bitcoin use could also be made difficult by restrictive regulations, in which case it is hard to determine what percentage of users would keep using the technology. A government that chooses to ban Bitcoin would prevent domestic businesses and markets from developing, shifting innovation to other countries. The challenge for regulators, as always, is to develop efficient solutions while not impairing the growth of new emerging markets and businesses.
What about Bitcoin and taxes?
Bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with Bitcoin.
What about Bitcoin and consumer protection?
Bitcoin is freeing people to transact on their own terms. Each user can send and receive payments in a similar way to cash but they can also take part in more complex contracts. Multiple signatures allow a transaction to be accepted by the network only if a certain number of a defined group of persons agree to sign the transaction. This allows innovative dispute mediation services to be developed in the future. Such services could allow a third party to approve or reject a transaction in case of disagreement between the other parties without having control on their money. As opposed to cash and other payment methods, Bitcoin always leaves a public proof that a transaction did take place, which can potentially be used in a recourse against businesses with fraudulent practices.
It is also worth noting that while merchants usually depend on their public reputation to remain in business and pay their employees, they don't have access to the same level of information when dealing with new consumers. The way Bitcoin works allows both individuals and businesses to be protected against fraudulent chargebacks while giving the choice to the consumer to ask for more protection when they are not willing to trust a particular merchant.
Economy
How are bitcoins created? FMZ
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are collecting new bitcoins in exchange.
The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new bitcoins are created at a fixed rate. This makes Bitcoin mining a very competitive business. When more miners join the network, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a profit and miners must seek efficiency to cut their operating costs. No central authority or developer has any power to control or manipulate the system to increase their profits. Every Bitcoin node in the world will reject anything that does not comply with the rules it expects the system to follow.
Bitcoins are created at a decreasing and predictable rate. The number of new bitcoins created each year is automatically halved over time until bitcoin issuance halts completely with a total of 21 million bitcoins in existence. At this point, Bitcoin miners will probably be supported exclusively by numerous small transaction fees.
Why do bitcoins have value?
Bitcoins have value because they are useful as a form of money. Bitcoin has the characteristics of money (durability, portability, fungibility, scarcity, divisibility, and recognizability) based on the properties of mathematics rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities (like fiat currencies). In short, Bitcoin is backed by mathematics. With these attributes, all that is required for a form of money to hold value is trust and adoption. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. As with all currency, bitcoin's value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
What determines bitcoin’s price?
The price of a bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When demand for bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls. There is only a limited number of bitcoins in circulation and new bitcoins are created at a predictable and decreasing rate, which means that demand must follow this level of inflation to keep the price stable. Because Bitcoin is still a relatively small market compared to what it could be, it doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus the price of a bitcoin is still very volatile.
Bitcoin price over time:
www.fmz.com
Can bitcoins become worthless?
Yes. History is littered with currencies that failed and are no longer used, such as the German Mark during the Weimar Republic and, more recently, the Zimbabwean dollar. Although previous currency failures were typically due to hyperinflation of a kind that Bitcoin makes impossible, there is always potential for technical failures, competing currencies, political issues and so on. As a basic rule of thumb, no currency should be considered absolutely safe from failures or hard times. Bitcoin has proven reliable for years since its inception and there is a lot of potential for Bitcoin to continue to grow. However, no one is in a position to predict what the future will be for Bitcoin.
Is Bitcoin a bubble? FMZ
A fast rise in price does not constitute a bubble. An artificial over-valuation that will lead to a sudden downward correction constitutes a bubble. Choices based on individual human action by hundreds of thousands of market participants is the cause for bitcoin's price to fluctuate as the market seeks price discovery. Reasons for changes in sentiment may include a loss of confidence in Bitcoin, a large difference between value and price not based on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin economy, increased press coverage stimulating speculative demand, fear of uncertainty, and old-fashioned irrational exuberance and greed.
Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money, or the money paid by subsequent investors, instead of from profit earned by the individuals running the business. Ponzi schemes are designed to collapse at the expense of the last investors when there is not enough new participants.
Bitcoin is a free software project with no central authority. Consequently, no one is in a position to make fraudulent representations about investment returns. Like other major currencies such as gold, United States dollar, euro, yen, etc. there is no guaranteed purchasing power and the exchange rate floats freely. This leads to volatility where owners of bitcoins can unpredictably make or lose money. Beyond speculation, Bitcoin is also a payment system with useful and competitive attributes that are being used by thousands of users and businesses.
Doesn't Bitcoin unfairly benefit early adopters?
Some early adopters have large numbers of bitcoins because they took risks and invested time and resources in an unproven technology that was hardly used by anyone and that was much harder to secure properly. Many early adopters spent large numbers of bitcoins quite a few times before they became valuable or bought only small amounts and didn't make huge gains. There is no guarantee that the price of a bitcoin will increase or drop. This is very similar to investing in an early startup that can either gain value through its usefulness and popularity, or just never break through. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has been designed with a very long-term view; it is hard to imagine how it could be less biased towards early adopters, and today's users may or may not be the early adopters of tomorrow.
Won't the finite amount of bitcoins be a limitation?
Bitcoin is unique in that only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. However, this will never be a limitation because transactions can be denominated in smaller sub-units of a bitcoin, such as bits - there are 1,000,000 bits in 1 bitcoin. Bitcoins can be divided up to 8 decimal places (0.000 000 01) and potentially even smaller units if that is ever required in the future as the average transaction size decreases.
Won't Bitcoin fall in a deflationary spiral?FMZ
The deflationary spiral theory says that if prices are expected to fall, people will move purchases into the future in order to benefit from the lower prices. That fall in demand will in turn cause merchants to lower their prices to try and stimulate demand, making the problem worse and leading to an economic depression.
Although this theory is a popular way to justify inflation amongst central bankers, it does not appear to always hold true and is considered controversial amongst economists. Consumer electronics is one example of a market where prices constantly fall but which is not in depression. Similarly, the value of bitcoins has risen over time and yet the size of the Bitcoin economy has also grown dramatically along with it. Because both the value of the currency and the size of its economy started at zero in 2009, Bitcoin is a counterexample to the theory showing that it must sometimes be wrong.
Notwithstanding this, Bitcoin is not designed to be a deflationary currency. It is more accurate to say Bitcoin is intended to inflate in its early years, and become stable in its later years. The only time the quantity of bitcoins in circulation will drop is if people carelessly lose their wallets by failing to make backups. With a stable monetary base and a stable economy, the value of the currency should remain the same.
Isn't speculation and volatility a problem for Bitcoin?
This is a chicken and egg situation. For bitcoin's price to stabilize, a large scale economy needs to develop with more businesses and users. For a large scale economy to develop, businesses and users will seek for price stability.
Fortunately, volatility does not affect the main benefits of Bitcoin as a payment system to transfer money from point A to point B. It is possible for businesses to convert bitcoin payments to their local currency instantly, allowing them to profit from the advantages of Bitcoin without being subjected to price fluctuations. Since Bitcoin offers many useful and unique features and properties, many users choose to use Bitcoin. With such solutions and incentives, it is possible that Bitcoin will mature and develop to a degree where price volatility will become limited.
What if someone bought up all the existing bitcoins? FMZ
Only a fraction of bitcoins issued to date are found on the exchange markets for sale. Bitcoin markets are competitive, meaning the price of a bitcoin will rise or fall depending on supply and demand. Additionally, new bitcoins will continue to be issued for decades to come. Therefore even the most determined buyer could not buy all the bitcoins in existence. This situation isn't to suggest, however, that the markets aren't vulnerable to price manipulation; it still doesn't take significant amounts of money to move the market price up or down, and thus Bitcoin remains a volatile asset thus far.
What if someone creates a better digital currency?
That can happen. For now, Bitcoin remains by far the most popular decentralized virtual currency, but there can be no guarantee that it will retain that position. There is already a set of alternative currencies inspired by Bitcoin. It is however probably correct to assume that significant improvements would be required for a new currency to overtake Bitcoin in terms of established market, even though this remains unpredictable. Bitcoin could also conceivably adopt improvements of a competing currency so long as it doesn't change fundamental parts of the protocol.
to be continued. FMZ
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Please share if you find this article interesting. Global Banking Regulator Warns Of Bitcoin Bubble. Bitcoin has had a tremendous week, by any accounting, but Stefan Ingves, governor of Sweden’s Riksbank and the chairman of global regulators at the Basel Committee, has warned investors that the risk may be huge. According to the regulator, investing in Bitcoin is a dangerous endeavor. Bitcoin: Money of the Future or Old-Fashioned Bubble? There is no doubt that bitcoin is a spontaneous answer to the monetary instability that we see all around us today... Bitcoin: Money of the Future or Old-Fashioned Bubble? 0 Views. Tags. Free Markets Entrepreneurship Money and Banking. Another reason why bitcoin is so susceptible to bubble behavior is because it is perceived as being something new. “New era” thinking always attracts lots of attention. The tulip was introduced to Europe by way of Turkey Bitcoin overwhelmed the world in 2017, rumbling into the popular consciousness like an out-of-control freight train. The price of the cryptocurrency soared more than 1,300% last year, and while The popularity of the coin: When Bitcoin was first introduced; no one really knew what it was or what it could be. In the past year, the way people view Bitcoin has changed dramatically. All the discussions about Bitcoin about helping people earn “easy money” or “just being a bubble” has triggered a worldwide phenomenon.

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