• 26 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 4th, 2023


  • I’m not a bot, I just see things differently than you. I think Bitcoin and blockchain generally will lead us to a more efficient, more peaceful world where people have more financial and political autonomy. I think things will look different (in a better way) when our underlying currency supply is not inflationary. Most economists disagree.

    after all the existences Bitcoin and it’s offspawns must have ruined, them not having provided any tangible benefits to humanity in the process, how can one still argue it could ever do anything good as a replacement for money.

    When people talk about negative associated with crypto, as I’m sure you know, 99% of the time they are talking about stuff that is not Bitcoin. Most of the scams in the crypto space fall apart with the slightest scrutiny. Many of the most notable scams have little to do with crypto at all. FTX was a classic ponzi scheme, most of which have been done with fiat currency, yet we do not blame the US dollar for Bernie Madoff’s existence. Exchange collapses are bad, I agree, which is why I always advise people to not store significant funds on exchanges. Those exchanges need to be better regulated/have better oversight and transparency. Any time you have a third party store funds for you, whether they are a bank or exchange, there is a risk they will rug you. There are also risks associated with self-custody. That is for each person to weigh and decide. The US and Europe have had fairly stable banking systems the past 100 years or so, which is a historical anomaly, but most countries are not so fortunate, and it’s not like the EU and US banking system have not had their own collapses, rugs, and other issues. I would go so far to say that fiat currency is also a scam, just one we have come to accept as legitimate. It is designed to lose value over time, it fails the basic function a currency is supposed to provide, which is as a store of value when you sell your labor or goods so that you can then use that value to purchase something equally valuable from somebody else. That functionality doesn’t happen if your currency lost value due to supply inflation. We have the state control currency because they were the most stable institution ever created by humanity, so they were our best option. Satoshi changed all that.

    As far as utility? I think the market cap speaks for itself, so does investment by major investment firms and banks. I can send money to anybody on planet earth with a cell phone for less than a penny in fees. The transaction settles instantly. It doesn’t matter whether or not they have access to a stable banking system or if my bank/country has an agreement with their bank/country to enable the efficient transfer of funds. I can do it from my couch instead of M-F 9-5 and I don’t even have to wait in line at a bank branch. That’s powerful utility right there. I sent Bitcoin to Ukraine’s government when the war started so they could buy weapons and whatever else they needed. That would have been a slow, expensive nightmare to do with bank wires. My bank likely wouldn’t have even let me send money to a country at war since the receiving bank couldn’t guarantee liquidity in exchange. DAOs are powerful ways to change the way we organize society. I help run a non-profit bounty program for open-source projects, people donate to it with crypto, which is much easier to do on an international scale when we don’t need to involve the conventional, slow, convoluted international banking system. We can use those crypto donations to fund open source tools for scientific research. There are many points of utility.

    Small countries are now experimenting with Bitcoin because it gives them a way to have a reasonably stable currency without becoming subservient to the US. Before Bitcoin, their options were to manage their own currency which they lack the stability to do or become subject to the whims of a foreign government. Likewise, in some parts of the world, women cannot legally have a bank account. But they can have a phone and run Bitcoin on it. Granted, that would be illegal for them too, but it is at least possible whereas there is no bank that would agree to open an account for them. That’s a different kind of utility than the kind I get out of it, but a relevant form. Bitcoin can be a powerful tool against tyrants and dictatorships, a way to “opt out” of the monetary system that keeps them in power.

    I find Bitcoin useful, you may not, that is your choice. I have used it in everyday transactions, I have bought and sold goods and services with it. Since I have started making an effort to prioritize using it, I have been surprised how many places will accept it for payment. Much of crypto is hot garbage or outright scams, even if the technology itself has great potential. Crypto exchanges and stablecoins are not to be trusted. That said, Bitcoin has kept its fiscal promises to me and all of its users for 15 years. There’s no reason to expect that to change in the next 15, as long as computers still run the protocol, it will execute itself faithfully. The protocol works, you can use it to send coins from point A to point B. Whether or not you or society or whoever find that useful is not up to me.

  • Bitcoin solves this. The 1 BTC you have today will always be 1 BTC which will always be the same portion of supply. How much that BTC buys you will change over time, but the portion of supply will always remain the same. And if the last 15 years are any indication, it will generally buy you more over time. Meanwhile, your fiat currency increases supply by 2-3% per year in “good” years.

    BTC has kept to its fiscal promise or a fixed supply and reliable transactions for 15 years. Bitcoin has a market cap of 850 billion dollars, which places it in the top 25 countries by GDP. Bigger than Sweden or Israel. It is decentralized and not run by any country but by a protocol enforced by tens of thousands of computers all over the globe. With Lightning, you can send an international transaction in under a second for under a penny in fees. You can do that with a smartphone and halfway reliable internet access. It works in warzones, it works in international waters (with satellite internet), it works everywhere. It doesn’t care what your credit score is or whether or not your authoritarian government likes Bitcoin or not. No middlemen, no bank holidays, and it does this for < 1% of global electricity usage, mostly from renewables and “stranded supply”.

  • makeasnek@lemmy.mltoOpen Source@lemmy.mlUkrainian digital ID app Diia goes open-source
    2 months ago

    Digital IDs are step one to a central bank digital currency which is probably the greatest threat to individual liberty, privacy, and financial autonomy we will face in our lifetimes. Imagine a currency supply the government can manipulate at will, where the government has 100% visibility into every transactions you make big or small, where the government can print and un-print money at will or dictate where and how you spend it. And imagine when the political party you don’t like is suddenly in control of this kind of power. Central banks already engage in enough shady behavior and market manipulation and if we give them this power, they will never give it back. This is a dangerous road imo. Plus, a CBDC provided a centralized database of all transactions can be hacked and leaked because that happens to all centralized databases, so now not only does the government know every transaction of yours, so does the world.

    If we need the ability to do digital ID verification, there are decentralized opt-in ways to do this which don’t pose these same threats of centralized control and provide a safe opt-out/safety valve mechanism if the people administering that system are not trustworthy. CBDCs provide no such alternative.

  • I think you can still have users decide which projects get funding and have the system/organization/smart contract/etc automatically distribute funds to the libraries those projects depend on. 80% to the project, 20% to the libraries, etc.

    If we let devs decide which projects get funding, they’re just going to always pick their own project. Since that doesn’t align with what users want, users won’t want to donate. If you want users to donate, you need to let them have some say in what their projects their donations go to.

  • The discussion portion wouldn’t happen over BTC, that’s just for funds management and voting. Discussion could happen on a forum, lemmy community, matrix chat, discord hangout, or other space. I suggest BTC because with smart contracts you can automate the voting process among stakeholders and make it so you don’t need to trust any single party to hold onto the money. It solves this exact problem of coordinating financial transactions with multiple people who can’t trust each other. It also solves the “how do we accept donations internationally easily” problem. Bitcoin has a market cap which places it in the top 25 countries by GDP, higher than Sweden. 850 billion dollars. On average, adoption and market cap grows year on on year. It may not be the USD, but it’s already more widely accepted than most national currencies.

    Re: kivach, it’s not more widely used because many people don’t know about it, it’s using a lesser known cryptocurrency as a base, and people reflexively go “eew crypto” even though it’s perfect for solving these kinds of problems. Anytime you have a distributed decision-making process that needs to be international and you don’t want to trust a single party or parties to manage that system, crypto is good at solving that problem. Most people know it for solving that problem in the realm of currency production and decentralizing finance, but it has much broader implications in terms of anywhere you have distributed decision making. Note that kivach doesn’t have any kind of distributed decision making or voting, it’s basically just a smart contract bot that distributes coins based on github dependencies.

    Bringing the state into this just brings us a bunch of problems and no solutions. For one, every state or block of states has different currency, and for every state whose population you want to participate, you have to some how bridge access to that state’s banking system and incorporate it into the system. And you can’t do it in a decentralized way, so you need some legal entity to be formed to handle all this and the staff to do all this. So that’s a nightmare. State-backed currencies can’t easily or cheaply be transmitted electronically across borders, and often, even within the same country. Or you have to use some third-party service like PayPal or Venmo to do this, which is its own set of complications. More nightmare. Plus, hello fees and making microtransactions prohibitively expensive. And that’s just moving funds from A to B, that’s not even getting into managing the voting system and navigating the laws every single country whose currency you use, each of which are going to have their own interpretation of whether or not your voting system is compliant with their legal system and whether or not they agree that funding a project like the Tor project is allowed. You may say you don’t care what Turkeys laws say, but if you want to maintain a bridge to their banking system, you have to. So that’s what incorporating the state and fiat system brings you. Or, you could write a smart contract once and have the administration of this system run automatically forever and be available to anyone in any country automatically. Running an international organization which receives funds, holds funds, votes on how to distribute those funds, distributes those funds is exactly the kind of thing blockchain excels at.

  • I would be interested in this as a user and as a dev for OSS projects. I currently donate to a few projects via OpenCollective, Github sponsors, etc. A few options:

    • Users vote on how the money is spent, perhaps in proportion to how much they have donated over time. I think this is the simplest model that prevents self-dealing and accurately transmits user interest. You could use a quadratic funding model to better represent user interest instead of just giving the most vote weight to the users with the most money. On the other hand, assigning vote weight based on donations over time incentivizes users to donate more and keep donating (stopping a recurring donation could result in loss of vote weight and help redistribute vote weight as users become less active). You could also do a hybrid model: 50% is assigned according to vote weight based on total donations, 50% is assigned based on quadratic funding.
    • Developers vote on how the money is spent. I don’t know how to allocate vote weight here. Devs should also submit a list of downstream libraries which would receive donations. (or is it upstream?).
    • User and developers both vote on how it is spent. Vote weight could be distributed however, for example, 50% to users 50% to devs.

    This kind of a system would be very possible to implement as a DAO, there are templates out there for making an organization like this. You could use BTC or ETH, both support DAOs. The benefit there is that since no single entity holds the money, no single entity has to file taxes and claim that money as income. It also automates the voting process and solves the issue of users having to trust a single person or organization to hold and distribute the funds. Making a DAO on Bitcoin lightning could reduce tx fees to less than a penny per donation.

    You could also incorporate it as a non-profit depending on your jurisdiction. Many organizations like the Linux foundation have pursued this route, look at what things they have tried and what has worked. Also just a link to leave here for your research, I’m not suggesting you use this, I’m just saying it’s relevant interesting thinking in this area: https://blog.obyte.org/kivach-cascading-donations-for-github-repositories-2b175bdbff77

    Other relevant links/research for you: https://github.com/Resolvr-io and https://nostrocket.org/About

    Also research Gitcoin, they have used quadratic funding to fund a number of OSS web3 projects in a similar manner to what you’re proposing. I have participated in a few of their funding rounds as a donor and a recipient. Their interface is a mess but the concept is cool.