• Re: Schneier vs blockchain & cryptocurrency

    From ldpshddtti@uudbdjctko@qnqwvbhkwi.invalid to comp.misc on Wed Aug 31 15:41:59 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    Ben Collver <bencollver@tilde.pink> writes:

    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/ on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html

    <snip>

    There's nothing on that list that I disagree with. (We can argue
    about whether proof-of-stake is actually an improvement. I am
    skeptical of systems that enshrine a "they who have the gold make the
    rules" system of governance. And to the extent any of those scaling solutions work, they undo the decentralization blockchain claims to
    have.) But I also think that these defenses largely miss the point.
    To me, the problem isn't that blockchain systems can be made slightly
    less awful than they are today. The problem is that they don't do
    anything their proponents claim they do. In some very important
    ways, they're not secure. They doesn't replace trust with code; in
    fact, in many ways they are far less trustworthy than non-blockchain
    systems. They're not decentralized [4], and their inevitable
    centralization is harmful because it's largely emergent and
    ill-defined. They still have trusted intermediaries, often with more
    power and less oversight than non-blockchain systems. They still
    require governance. They still require regulation. (These things
    are what I wrote about here. [2]) The problem with blockchain is that
    it's not an improvement to any system--and often makes things worse.

    In our letter, we write: "By its very design, blockchain technology is
    poorly suited for just about every purpose currently touted as a present
    or potential source of public benefit. From its inception, this
    technology has been a solution in search of a problem and has now
    latched onto concepts such as financial inclusion and data transparency
    to justify its existence, despite far better solutions to these issues already in use. Despite more than thirteen years of development, it has severe limitations and design flaws that preclude almost all
    applications that deal with public customer data and regulated financial transactions and are not an improvement on existing non-blockchain solutions."

    <snip>

    This is my basic argument: blockchain does nothing to solve any existing problem with financial (or other) systems. Those problems are inherently economic and political, and have nothing to do with technology. And,
    more importantly, technology can't solve economic and political
    problems. Which is good, because adding blockchain causes a whole slew
    of new problems and makes all of these systems much, much worse.

    <snip>

    <references>

    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims. As much as I respect Schneider, I can't help but wonder why there's such a pure, unadulterated vitriol on blockchains coming from him. It seems to me
    that he's choosing the anti-blockchain hill to be the place to die on.

    --
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  • From Richard Kettlewell@invalid@invalid.invalid to comp.misc on Wed Aug 31 17:14:09 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    ldpshddtti <uudbdjctko@qnqwvbhkwi.invalid> writes:
    Ben Collver <bencollver@tilde.pink> writes:

    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/
    on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html

    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims.

    They are pretty common views.

    As much as I respect Schneider, I can't help but wonder why there's
    such a pure, unadulterated vitriol on blockchains coming from him. It
    seems to me that he's choosing the anti-blockchain hill to be the
    place to die on.

    Because it’s all fraud dressed up with technology, one way or another.
    --
    https://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113
  • From 5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD@ehj46PkBWfBAng9C@VW28LtWn6wknpUMV.invalid to comp.misc on Thu Sep 1 01:52:32 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    Richard Kettlewell <invalid@invalid.invalid> writes:

    ldpshddtti <uudbdjctko@qnqwvbhkwi.invalid> writes:
    Ben Collver <bencollver@tilde.pink> writes:

    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/
    on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html >>
    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims.

    They are pretty common views.

    As much as I respect Schneider, I can't help but wonder why there's
    such a pure, unadulterated vitriol on blockchains coming from him. It
    seems to me that he's choosing the anti-blockchain hill to be the
    place to die on.

    Because it’s all fraud dressed up with technology, one way or another.

    How come? I get that condensing thought into single sentences can convenient. But I would like to know where you're coming from with that
    claim.

    Either way, just to expand on this discussion more, in the article Schneier writes:

    The problem is that they don't do anything their proponents claim they
    do. In some very important ways, they're not secure. They doesn't replace trust with code; in fact, in many ways they are far less trustworthy than non-blockchain systems. They're not decentralized
    [4], and their inevitable centralization is harmful because it's largely emergent and ill-defined. They still have trusted intermediaries, often with more power and less oversight than non-blockchain systems. They still require governance. They still require regulation. (These things are what I wrote about here. [2])
    The problem with blockchain is that it's not an improvement to any system--and often makes things worse.

    It seems that, in general, these are his issues with "blockchains". I
    don't agree with about one of it and the rest are either "non-issues" or
    an opinion to me. I'll just brush aside the "they're not secure" claim
    since I don't even know what he means by that in that context.

    They doesn't replace trust with code; [...]

    I don't get this obsession with "replacing trust with code". I've read
    his previous article on this and he makes this claim as well. Is this an
    actual claim that cryptocurrencies make? I haven't encountered one that
    does this. Maybe those are the scammy ones. But you can never replace
    trust with code, and that's not just limited to cryptocurrencies. For anything tech related, you cannot replace trust with code. Some brilliant man already wrote a paper about this back in 1984.

    They're not decentralized [4], and their inevitable centralization is harmful because it's largely emergent and ill-defined.

    The problem with sweeping generalizations like this is that refuting it
    will require me to constrain what I'm talking about to certain applications. With Bitcoin, it is decentralized by design. Taking it
    from that, it's "unintended centralization" point is with the development of ASICs. But that's just the market doing its thing to fill
    a demand. If we're talking about projects that actively make an effort
    to promote decentralization, look at Monero.

    Also, the latter half of that sentence is an opinion.

    They still have trusted intermediaries, often with more power and less oversight than non-blockchain systems.

    Again, another sweeping generalization. I think he's talking about Ethereum here which is not exactly the bastion of cryptocurrency development. If we're talking about Ethereum and the countless Ethereum-dervied coins, then yes, that claim is true. But that is by
    design on Ethereum's part.

    They still require governance. They still require regulation. (These
    things are what I wrote about here. [2]) The problem with blockchain
    is that it's not an improvement to any system--and often makes things
    worse.

    Opinion.

    Also, I find this claim odd:

    From its inception, this technology has been a solution in search of a problem [...]

    When in the very first sentence of the Bitcoin abstract, Nakamoto writes
    this:

    A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

    So it's either he's woefully misinformed on that or that he's purposefully omitting it. The blockchain was Nakamoto's solution on this problem that he's trying to solve. Maybe he can argue that a blockchain
    is *not* the best solution for a P2P digital cash without any intermediary financial institution and I can understand that point. I
    might ask him what he thinks is a good solution in solving that problem,
    but saying that it's "a solution in search of a problem" is very misleading.

    So yeah, I stand by my earlier point that this article is a thinly
    veiled incendiary piece aimed at turning people's heads.

    But hey, I'm not a prestiged cryptographer so what do I know. I still respect the dude though.
    --
    Pointless meanderings in a bleak and lonely world.
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113
  • From Julio Di Egidio@julio@diegidio.name to comp.misc on Wed Aug 31 15:20:57 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    On Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 10:54:07 UTC+2, ldpshddtti wrote:
    Ben Collver <benco...@tilde.pink> writes:
    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/ on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html
    <snip>
    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims.

    Incendiary and one more false/wrong than the other. He
    is just repeating the mainstream FUD and brainwashing
    ad nauseam that, adamantly of course to any actual
    facts and reasons, has been going on for few years now
    on all official channels: i.e. since when the powers that
    be have started realizing what's the real potential there.

    Anyway, we, the present day human incivilization, are
    in such a one-way pathological shithole that we'll most
    probably manage to get ourselves mass-extinguished
    way before any of that gets to actually matter...

    Julio
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113
  • From Richard Kettlewell@invalid@invalid.invalid to comp.misc on Thu Sep 1 09:06:14 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD <ehj46PkBWfBAng9C@VW28LtWn6wknpUMV.invalid> writes:
    Richard Kettlewell <invalid@invalid.invalid> writes:
    ldpshddtti <uudbdjctko@qnqwvbhkwi.invalid> writes:
    Ben Collver <bencollver@tilde.pink> writes:

    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/
    on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html >>>
    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims.

    They are pretty common views.

    As much as I respect Schneider, I can't help but wonder why there's
    such a pure, unadulterated vitriol on blockchains coming from him. It
    seems to me that he's choosing the anti-blockchain hill to be the
    place to die on.

    Because it’s all fraud dressed up with technology, one way or another.

    How come? I get that condensing thought into single sentences can
    convenient. But I would like to know where you're coming from with
    that claim.

    At this point if you’re not aware of the endless list of blatant frauds
    then you’re not paying attention.
    --
    https://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113
  • From 5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD@ehj46PkBWfBAng9C@VW28LtWn6wknpUMV.invalid to comp.misc on Thu Sep 1 17:22:57 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    Richard Kettlewell <invalid@invalid.invalid> writes:

    5GyYap52yQ1UGMWD <ehj46PkBWfBAng9C@VW28LtWn6wknpUMV.invalid> writes:

    How come? I get that condensing thought into single sentences can
    convenient. But I would like to know where you're coming from with
    that claim.

    At this point if you’re not aware of the endless list of blatant frauds then you’re not paying attention.

    Alright. I guess there's no discussion to be had with you.

    Cheers,
    --
    Pointless meanderings in a bleak and lonely world.
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113
  • From om@om@iki.fi (Otto J. Makela) to comp.misc on Thu Sep 1 16:14:57 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    Richard Kettlewell <invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote:

    At this point if you’re not aware of the endless list of blatant
    frauds then you’re not paying attention.

    As one writer noted, it's a bit unfair to call all crypto a ponzi scheme.
    There are also rugpulls, slow burns, pump & dump, money laundering...

    https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/feature/Common-cryptocurrency-scams
    --
    /* * * Otto J. Makela <om@iki.fi> * * * * * * * * * */
    /* Phone: +358 40 765 5772, ICBM: N 60 10' E 24 55' */
    /* Mail: Mechelininkatu 26 B 27, FI-00100 Helsinki */
    /* * * Computers Rule 01001111 01001011 * * * * * * */
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  • From Julio Di Egidio@julio@diegidio.name to comp.misc on Thu Sep 1 10:34:16 2022
    From Newsgroup: comp.misc

    On Thursday, 1 September 2022 at 00:20:57 UTC+2, Julio Di Egidio wrote:
    On Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 10:54:07 UTC+2, ldpshddtti wrote:
    Ben Collver <benco...@tilde.pink> writes:
    From:
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/06/ on-the-dangers-of-cryptocurrencies-and-the-uselessness-of-blockchain.html
    <snip>
    Damn, these are pretty bold and incendiary claims.
    Incendiary and one more false/wrong than the other. He
    is just repeating the mainstream FUD and brainwashing
    ad nauseam that, adamantly of course to any actual
    facts and reasons, has been going on for few years now
    on all official channels: i.e. since when the powers that
    be have started realizing what's the real potential there.

    Anyway, we, the present day human incivilization, are
    in such a one-way pathological shithole that we'll most
    probably manage to get ourselves mass-extinguished
    way before any of that gets to actually matter...

    Up. Fuckers...

    Julio
    --- Synchronet 3.19c-Linux NewsLink 1.113