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[PA Comic] Monday, March 3, 2014 - What How Why

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited March 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub

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Posts

  • AlwaysTheBigSpoonAlwaysTheBigSpoon Registered User regular
    Pretty much how I explained it to my father. Also, explaining that it takes out the middle man (the bank) in terms of security when it comes to exchanging and passing the coins from giver to receiver because it relies on the "math."

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    I just tell people it's an asset pretending to be money.

    Also, so far, everyone I've met who owns any only bought it in the hopes of 'cashing in' on the next price bubble. It doesn't help that occasionally a story comes out about some dude who bought some for like $20 then forgot about it until it was hundreds of dollars a coin, etc... and the cycle continues.

    That's not money, that's stock.

    Oh, and it could briefly be traded for illegal drugs.

    steam_sig.png
  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I am really hoping for an expertly crafted treatise in the news post on the ephemeral nature of the mass delusion we call money.

    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • DruexDruex Registered User regular
    As someone who's been researching crypto-currencies for a little while, I'm eagerly awaiting the news post to hear Jerrys thoughts.

    "It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse" - Kane : Tiberian Sun
  • TAFKAPTAFKAP Warrior-Jumper Registered User regular
    Bitcoin looks like a Ponzi scheme to me.

  • CaptainPlatypusCaptainPlatypus Registered User new member
    I'm probably late noticing this, but...you guys have comments visible now? Who are you and what have you done with Mike and Jerry?

  • Skull2185Skull2185 In Greece, misthios. Number one. Lethal hands. One day, malakas need attitude adjustment. I kill malakas. Registered User regular
    I don't understand bitcoins either... Can I just make up some dumb thing and call it money too?

    Cause, I mean, I'll write myself a check for 1 trillion skullbux right now.

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    I don't understand bitcoins either... Can I just make up some dumb thing and call it money too?

    Cause, I mean, I'll write myself a check for 1 trillion skullbux right now.

    Well, there's a little more effort involved in it that that. Give the Bitcoin people a little credit.

    They also had to convince a hoard of neckbearded libertarian cretins to throw their life savings of real money into it.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
    Winky wrote: »
    Corgis are totally the white people of dogs
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    In what context do bitcoins exist? Is it tied to a set of games or something? Or is it like online money trading? Or what exactly is this?

  • RottonappleRottonapple Registered User regular
    $500 million in Bitcoins, gone into the ether. It's Monday and the press seems to have already forgotten about Mt Gox and moved on.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Quantronic Dreamgirl Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    In what context do bitcoins exist? Is it tied to a set of games or something? Or is it like online money trading? Or what exactly is this?

    A few places accept Bitcoins (indeed I'm fairly certain someone brought a car with it).

    It's worth noting though that in general when you 'buy' something in Bitcoin the business almost never actually keeps the data and instead trades it at an exchange for an actual currency. Which should really indicate the confidence most people have in it. The whole thing more or less relies on hype and the hope that it'll increase in value rather than actually acting as a currency.

    Gaslight
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    The second-best description of Bitcoins I've ever heard is that you spend your time writing down random numbers on slips of paper and bringing them to a person. Usually that person rejects your slips of paper but sometimes they tell you your slip of paper is worth money. Then you use it to buy drugs.

    The best description of Bitcoins I've ever heard is that they are Dunning-Krugerrands.

    TychoCelchuuu on
    Skull2185Andy JoeNightslyrCentipede DamascusT-boltadmanbZilla360DonnictonDivideByZeroTofystedeth
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    In what context do bitcoins exist? Is it tied to a set of games or something? Or is it like online money trading? Or what exactly is this?

    Bitcoins are a digital currency with no centralized authority and verify every transaction across the whole of people using them while simultaneously providing anonymity in purchasing.

    Long story short: Libertarians love them some bad ideas.

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    If you do not with to have bitcoin, there is an entire range of similar currencies.

    Such as dogecoin. or nyancoin.

    There is a Cookie Clicker clone about dogecoin.

    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Quantronic Dreamgirl Registered User regular
    I love that Dogecoin started as a joke.

    Then the internet took it seriously and whoops actual 'currency'.

    LostNinja
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    It's the mindset between the two, I think. The attitude towards dogecoin is 'yeah, sure, whatever, let's just go with the premise because hahahaha. The bitcoin people are super hyper serious about the whole thing all 'this is going to be WORTH something someday dammit and i am gonna be RICH and THEN YOU'LL SEE, MY BITCOIN IS WORTH THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OH SHIT ITS LOST HALF ITS VALUE WHILE I'VE BEEN BUSY GLOATING'. A dogecoin is worth a tenth of a penny, used to be even less, which disabused everyone of any get-rich-quick ideas they might have had right off the bat, so they could just get on with things.

    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • Gamer8585Gamer8585 Registered User regular
    I think bitcoin is an interesting idea, and even a bit futuristic scifi-y, but the practical reality is that it is one big encryption scheme that needs 800,000bajillion 9s of perfection or people are going to exploit the hell out of any weakness in implementation (Right Mt. Gox? Mt. Gox? Bueller?).

    The simplest explanation is that bitcoins are part of a cyptographic function that is treated as a fungible good. To help verify transactions the prossess of verification spits out extra "coins" into the system so people are given an incentive to help keep transactions flowing, cause a slow and steady amount of inflation, and to use the system itself (if you have some money might as well spend or sell it).

    So great concept in general, but with the love of code breaking across these mighty tubes and with a large pot of potential money at steak, everyone and their dog are trying to break the cryptography to let themselves effectively print money.

    Imma going to save my enthusiasm for BTC until its well out of beta (and maybe until after the first service pack ;P)

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Casual wrote: »
    Give the Bitcoin people a little credit.

    I'd love to but nobody knows who created it. I mean, it's open source so we know what the code does... but literally nobody seems to know who created the protocol in the first place.
    Quid wrote: »
    Bitcoins are a digital currency with no centralized authority and verify every transaction across the whole of people using them while simultaneously providing anonymity in purchasing.

    And the anonymity isn't ironclad, which is part of how they are busting Silk Road users.

    MuddBudd on
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  • preshingpreshing Registered User new member
    If I may just leave this here for anyone interested: What Is a Bitcoin, Really?

    Explains what matters from the point of view of owning/using Bitcoin. Still takes effort to understand, but at least it doesn't overload you with irrelevant details (not too much, anyway).

  • MultirushMultirush Registered User new member
    Math numbers? Regular numbers just not good enough?

    Anyway, thanks for the comic(s) and exposure for bitcoin.

  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. Registered User regular
    Bitcoins are a tool to teach libertarians why financial regulation exists.

    uRFcWj5.jpg
    MuddBuddfightinfilipinoRottonappleCentipede DamascusT-boltInquisitorcalamityjamieZilla360QuidKnight_KamarDonnictonDivideByZeroMechanicalAndy Joe
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Bitcoins are a tool to teach libertarians why financial regulation exists.

    I laughed really hard at this. I work with so many libertarian software engineers, and I am just waiting for them to get burned on this.

    MuddBudd on
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  • ComradebotComradebot Lord of Dinosaurs Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Bitcoin is at best a bad idea, and at worst a scheme.

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    Tycho wrote:
    Also, money is money because we agree it is…?

    One problem with bitcoin is that people learn this and assume that they have stumbled upon some sort of conspiracy intended to trick them, so they invented their own conspiracy to trick themselves.

    admanbKamar
  • UnnDunnUnnDunn New York, NYRegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Unfortunately, no-one can be... told... what a Bitcoin is; you have to use it for yourself.

    UnnDunn on
    Zilla360
  • CodingInMySleepCodingInMySleep Registered User new member
    Tycho wrote:
    Also, money is money because we agree it is…?

    One problem with bitcoin is that people learn this and assume that they have stumbled upon some sort of conspiracy intended to trick them, so they invented their own conspiracy to trick themselves.

    Not everyone in Bitcoin is the rabid conspiracy nut type, though they do happen to be some of the louder voices in the group...

    I prefer to think that we've realized that money is a mass delusion, but a very useful one. Once you unhinge your mind from the idea that money "just is" it ceases to be sacred and now it's just a tool that can be reinvented. Have you seen the way the current credit card system works? It's outdated, broken, horrifically insecure and the only reason we don't all realize this immediately is that the people running the system put that financial burden on the merchants so most of us never see it. Bitcoin's not perfect, but in a lot of ways it does improve upon the existing concept of money.

    It also does this in a way that makes certain people with certain political agendas froth at the mouth, but I think if you look beneath the frothy spittle-covered surface of the Bitcoin community you'll find we're mostly just a bunch of nerds who think money powered by crypto is kind of awesome.

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    It could be exceedingly useful to society as a whole. If it ever gets stabilized.

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  • CodingInMySleepCodingInMySleep Registered User new member
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    It could be exceedingly useful to society as a whole. If it ever gets stabilized.

    It doesn't seem like it because the dollar amounts involved are larger, but expressed as percentages the volatility has gone down quite a bit and will hopefully continue to do so. The idea is that eventually that percentage narrows enough that the swing is small regardless of the base number it's acting upon.

  • Monkey Ball WarriorMonkey Ball Warrior A collection of mediocre hats Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Bitcoins are a tool to teach libertarians why financial regulation exists.

    I would say bitcoin will teach libertarians why central banks exist. Bitcoin's most obvious current problem is its lack of utility as a medium of exchange, partly due to the fact that very few people or companies take it as payment, but mostly just because of its inherent volatility. If I wanted to sell goods and services for bitcoin right now, I'd have to change my menu every few hours if not in real-time just to keep anything like a consistent profit margin.

    Bitcoin has several noteworthy features worth borrowing from in the future, but it is basically useless by design due to the Gold Standard era philosophy with its money supply.

    "I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself" -- Tycho
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Tycho wrote:
    Also, money is money because we agree it is…?

    One problem with bitcoin is that people learn this and assume that they have stumbled upon some sort of conspiracy intended to trick them, so they invented their own conspiracy to trick themselves.

    Not everyone in Bitcoin is the rabid conspiracy nut type, though they do happen to be some of the louder voices in the group...

    I prefer to think that we've realized that money is a mass delusion, but a very useful one. Once you unhinge your mind from the idea that money "just is" it ceases to be sacred and now it's just a tool that can be reinvented. Have you seen the way the current credit card system works? It's outdated, broken, horrifically insecure and the only reason we don't all realize this immediately is that the people running the system put that financial burden on the merchants so most of us never see it. Bitcoin's not perfect, but in a lot of ways it does improve upon the existing concept of money.

    It also does this in a way that makes certain people with certain political agendas froth at the mouth, but I think if you look beneath the frothy spittle-covered surface of the Bitcoin community you'll find we're mostly just a bunch of nerds who think money powered by crypto is kind of awesome.

    This post is also exemplary of Libertarianism.

    I'll admit, I dabbled in it early in college myself. It's most appealing right about when you're first learning about things like the history of money because you're taking some in-depth economics courses for the first time. It's also the point that you think you've stumbled onto some great secret, like for instance, "Money isn't sacred!" and you figure that NO ONE ELSE HAS UNDERSTOOD THIS YET!

    Then usually you realize, oh shit, no, almost everyone else was on board too. Huh, banking regulations, alright.

    But sometimes you don't, which activates the Ron Paul beacon and you're recruited into his secret super group.

    What is this I don't even.
    KamarTwenty Sided
  • AlwaysTheBigSpoonAlwaysTheBigSpoon Registered User regular
    Is it possible to have the text/blog post it's own thread/comment sections as well and can discuss elements there? Or are we suppose to treat the comic and the blog post as one in the same? Just wondering and putting things out there.

    Anyways, that's what I was afraid of "RoboCop 2014." I haven't seen it yet but I'm guessing it lost it's grittiness and social commentary and became "the will of Man vs. Machine."
    TAFKAP wrote: »
    Bitcoin looks like a Ponzi scheme to me.
    @TAKFAP

    Technically or seeing into things too hard, almost every exchange of money is a ponzi scheme, the difference is the legality, meaning the government recognition of the exchange and currency. Which also simply, loosely, means "I and many other consider and recognise this acceptable, do you?"

    I actually thought Bitcoin would be a great idea because it's takes out the government, reserve banks and banks out of the equation and it relies solely on its "nature" (the math), it's what made it secure(-ish). The problem is the abuse/hacking, which was inevitable but more of the treatment of Bitcoin. They treated it as stock instead of privately acceptable tender between groups that recognise Bitcoin as a form of exchange.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I was really, really, really confused to see multiple people taking Bitcoin seriously here until I realized I had clicked from my tab of today's comic thread, not my tab of the D&D Bitcoin thread.

    DarkewolfeArbitraryDescriptor
  • Fidge GunkhausFidge Gunkhaus Registered User new member
    News posts need their own comment section.

    Can't disagree more about the new Robocop. I appreciate that Jerry tries to be positive about almost everything, but the new Robocop is, at best, a wannabe Iron Man movie, and at worst, a huge dump on the original.

  • frottyfrotty Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Here is what bitcoin is, grossly oversimplified:


    1. Bitcoins are generated every 10 minutes. Whoever solves "the math problem" with their computing power gets freshly minted bitcoins.
    2. The math problem is related to all transactions anyone has initiated since the previous problem has been solved.
    3. Sending coins to anyone is as easy as typing their address in, the amount, and a transaction fee to help miners prioritize it. There are minimums based on the size of the transaction/its age/etc. transactions should not ever get caught in limbo but could take a while (hours/days) based on the fee.
    4. the math problem is as difficult as it needs to be to take the total amount of computing power on the network so that it is solved every 10 minutes. as more computing power is added, it is less likely for any individual computer (graphics card gpu, cpu, or ASIC) to solve the equation.
    5. solving this math problem is a proof that everything up to and including that solved portion is "true" aka, a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that is proven by the community.
    6. the reason why you would throw this computing power at solving it is for the #1 minting as well as the transaction fees within the solution, so when "the coins stop being minted" in the distant future, you would be going after the transaction fees (aside from the idea that you're simply paying in to help make this work).


    What these 6 steps mean is that if person_a sends person_b coins, it is non-reversible trading, publicly verifiable, and nearly free barring the transaction fee. It is international, and it is only regulatable if you opt in to some sort of 3rd party service to "prove identities" or possibly "insure" your trade.

    For reference, if an online merchant "accepts bitcoins" via a typical service they pay much lower fees than accepting any credit card. If they choose to handle it themselves, they could essentially pay 0 fees if they hold on to the bitcoin at the risk of fluctuating value.

    The merchant also pays 0 for services/insurance to defend against chargebacks/fraud because that cannot really be prevented with bitcoin w/o 3rd party services acting as a buffer.

    the details about how it can be secured, backed-up properly, and anonymously used are a bit more advance, but all of these are possible. The involvement behind the scenes regarding governments and the developers, how aware they are and how much they control, is speculation. When you see ignorant folks in government "asking questions about it" it is largely assumed to be for public show, and that there are forces behind it who are well aware, and have been well aware, of its inevitability for decades.

    to expand on #1: any individual CPU GPU or at this point low end ASIC is pointless to solo mine with, this is why you join a 'pool' where lots of people pool their power into one 'super power' and then divide the take evenly. So instead of waiting years for, say, 10 coins, you get fractions of a coin per day.




    frotty on
  • frottyfrotty Registered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Give the Bitcoin people a little credit.

    I'd love to but nobody knows who created it. I mean, it's open source so we know what the code does... but literally nobody seems to know who created the protocol in the first place.
    Quid wrote: »
    Bitcoins are a digital currency with no centralized authority and verify every transaction across the whole of people using them while simultaneously providing anonymity in purchasing.

    And the anonymity isn't ironclad, which is part of how they are busting Silk Road users.


    The official story isn't hard to find, it isn't that we don't know who created it, its that the person who created it has disappeared, and the project has been taken over by other developers since. Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator, you can find his posts easily.


    The anonymity is ironclad.

    As soon as you designate "silk road user" you are differentiating them from other, anonymous, users. That's not anonymous.

    If I give you my IP address, or details on a unique transaction size, or an email address linking to addresses it isn't hard to put together a dossier on someone to find out which bitcoin addresses they control and then what they've used them for.

    Example:

    If I say "my address is 1234567890" you can go and see every transaction that that address has been involved with. That doesn't mean bitcoin isn't anonymous.

    The ideal use of bitcoin is that every transaction uses a completely unique address. Most people don't use it that way, say, for a permanent donation address.

  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    "Real Money" vs Bitcoins

    IMO, money is more convenient, opposed to a crypto currency, because it can be easily detached from its "regulation baggage". In a country with a stable economy goods have a value and you can get a placeholder with a number representing the value and trade it back and forth. One sentence, done. This is a easy to grasp concept, even for silly geese.

    If you try to explain crypto currency "You get a bonus (Bit Coin) for solving calculations which are becoming increasingly complex, depending on the amount of bit coins circulating the system and the exchange which is happing in this currency system. These boni can be stored digitally and exchanged against goods and services. The currency stores the information of the trade and generation history in order to verify their legitimacy. And you need a digital device with an bit coin purse application in order to store them." Most likely I would have lost most people after the first sentence - and I am sure the shortened explanation isn't even correct.

  • DragkoniasDragkonias Registered User regular
    So...is this Bitcoin thing going to be one of those things that crashes and burns pretty hard leaving a lot of people broke and sad?

    Because its sounding like it is.

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    So...is this Bitcoin thing going to be one of those things that crashes and burns pretty hard leaving a lot of people broke and sad?

    Because its sounding like it is.

    If Bitcoin itself doesn't succeed, something similar will.

    steam_sig.png
  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    But sometimes you don't, which activates the Ron Paul beacon and you're recruited into his secret super group.

    This mental image is funny enough that I want an animated cartoon of it.

    It's curious that the response to, "FIAT MONEY IS WORTHLESS" is, "GOLD IS MAGIC MONEY."

    Dragkonias wrote: »
    So...is this Bitcoin thing going to be one of those things that crashes and burns pretty hard leaving a lot of people broke and sad?

    Because its sounding like it is.

    It already has. MtGox, a major exchange, had a bunch of its bitcoins "stolen" from accounts, either due to supreme incompetence or because they themselves ran off into the sunset with the coins. Cue the angry neckbeards complaining about how much USD they lost.

    Twenty Sided on
  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    So...is this Bitcoin thing going to be one of those things that crashes and burns pretty hard leaving a lot of people broke and sad?

    Because its sounding like it is.

    I wouldn't recommend putting your life savings into Dunning-Krugerrands if you like having life savings.

    To quote a very quotable tweet,
    the best part about bitcoins is that you get to watch libertarians slowly discover why financial regulations exist to begin with

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