kitonthenet,

This is probably a much better analogy than NFTs, but the dotcom bubble had much broader implications

bassomitron,

This kind of feels like a common sense observation to anyone that’s been mildly paying attention.

Tech investors do this to themselves every few years. In literally the last 6-7 years, this happened with crypto, then again but more specifically with NFTs, and now AI. Hell, we even had some crazes going on in parallel, with self driving cars also being a huge dead end in the short term (Tesla’s will have flawless, fully self-driving any day now! /S).

AI will definitely transform the world, but not yet and not for awhile. Same with self driving cars. But that being said, most investors don’t even care. They’re part of the reason this gets so hyped up, because they’ll get in first, pump value, then dump and leave a bunch of other suckers holding the bags. Rinse and repeat.

gloriousspearfish,

The transformation will be subtle and steady. The hype will burst and crash.

QuarterSwede,
@QuarterSwede@lemmy.world avatar

I also don’t know why this is a surprise. Investors are always looking for the next small thing that will make them big money. That’s basically what investing is …

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

Indeed. And it's what progress in general is. Should we stop trying new things? Sometimes they don't work, oh well. Sometimes they do, and it's awesome.

BackupRainDancer,

You’re conflating creating dollar value with progress. Yes the technology moves the total net productivity of humankind forward.

Investing exists because we want to incentive that. Currently you and the thread above are describing bad actors coming in, seeing this small single digit productivity increase and misrepresenting it so that other investors buy in. Then dipping and causing the bubble to burst.

Something isn’t a ‘good’ investment just because it makes you 600% return. I could go rob someone if I wanted that return. Hell even if then killed that person by accident the net negative to human productivity would be less.

These bubbles unsettle homes, jobs, markets, and educations. Inefficiency that makes money for anyone in the stock market should have been crushed out.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

No, progress is being driven by investment, it isn't measured by investment. If some new startup gets a million billion dollars of investment that doesn't by itself represent progress. If that startup then produces a new technology with that money then that is progress.

These "investment rushes" happen when a new kind of technology comes along and lots of companies are trying to develop it in a bunch of different ways. There's lots of demand for investment in a situation like this and lots of people are willing to throw some money at them in hopes of a big return, so lots of investment happens and those companies try out a whole bunch of new tech with it. Some of them don't pan out, but we won't know which until they actually try them. As long as some of them do pan out then progress happens.

Just because some don't pan out doesn't mean that "bad actors" were involved. Sometimes ideas just don't work out and you can't know that they won't until you try them.

BackupRainDancer,

Perhaps we’re talking to different points. Parent comment said that investors are always looking for better and better returns. You said that’s how progress works. This sentiment is was my quibble.

I took the “investors are always looking for better returns” to mean “unethically so” and was more talking about what happens long term. Reading your above I think you might have been talking about good faith.

In a sound system that’s how things work, sure! The company gets investment into tech and continue to improve and the investors get to enjoy the progress’s returns.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

That's not what I interpreted the parent as saying. He said

Investors are always looking for the next small thing that will make them big money.

Which I think my interpretation fits just fine - investors would like to put their money into something new that will become successful, that's how they make big money.

The word "ethical" has become heavily abused in discussions of AI over the past six months or so, IMO. It's frequently being used as a thought-terminating cliche, where people declare "such-and-such approach is how you do ethical AI" and then anyone who disagrees can be labelled as supporting "unethical" approaches. I try to avoid it as much as possible in these discussions. Instead, I prefer a utilitarian approach when evaluating these things. What results in the best outcome for the most number of people? What exactly is a "best outcome" anyway?

In the case of investment, I like a system where people put money into companies that are able to use that money to create new goods and services that didn't exist before. That outcome is what I call "progress." There are lots of tricky caveats, of course. Since it's hard to tell ahead of time what ideas will be successful and what won't, it's hard to come up with rules to prohibit scams while still allowing legitimate ideas have their chance. It's especially tricky because even failed ideas can still result in societal benefits if they get their chance to try. Very often the company that blazes a new trail ends up not being the company that successfully monetizes it in the long term, but we still needed that trailblazer to create the right conditions.

So yes, these "bubbles" have negative side effects. But they have positive ones too, and it's hard to disentangle those from each other.

BackupRainDancer,

I appreciate the effort, but I was not critiquing your reading. Moreso that I took it differently. That’s just a misread on my part and my point was not about general investing as a proxy for progress/a driver.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

No problem. I've got tangled up in "disagreements" where it turned out everyone was talking about different unrelated things before, hence the big blob of text elaborating my position in detail. Just wanted to make sure.

BackupRainDancer,

Yeah, I appreciate the nuance too! It’s just I don’t have anything to really add as I’m the one who misread!

QuarterSwede,
@QuarterSwede@lemmy.world avatar

Great point.

MajorHavoc,

Great write-up, thanks.

I want a shirt that just says “Not yet, and not for awhile.” to wear to me next tech conference.

assassin_aragorn,

but not yet and not for awhile. Same with self driving cars.

Bingo. We’re very far from the point where it’ll do as much as the general public expects when it hears AI. Honestly this is an informative lesson in just how easy it is to get big investors to part with their money.

profdc9,

Fund these companies and take them public before the hype train derails. The VCs smell a greater fool, and it’s the IPO investor.

oogles,

An apt analogy. Just like the web underlying technology is incredible and the hype is real, but it leads to endless fluff and stupid naive investments, many of which will lead nowhere. There were certainly be a lot of amazing advances using this tech in the coming decades, but for every one that is useful there will be 20 or 50 or 100 pieces of vaporware that is just trying to grab VC money.

theothermatt_b,

Ah yes who could have possibly seen this coming

KIM_JONG_JUICEBOX,

In a few months there will be a new buzzword everyone will be jizzing themselves over.

rdeets,

That could be from the buzzing.

traveler,

Let this sink in: some companies got $100k from VCs where the project was pretty much a software that made API Calls to ChatGPT.

Obviously the bubble will burst.

doomer,

Hm. Maybe I’m missing something but I’m not seeing a million ‘successful’ AI startups pop up overnight like during the Dot Com Bubble. Most of the AI investments I’ve seen have been from major corporations that can pivot and eat a little loss. I do see several resume and business-plan writing services but it just doesn’t seem like much of a parallel, to me.

The article doesn’t address this disparity, it just pretends like it’s an equivalency - citing only megacaps like GOOG, MSFT, etc. Clickbait headline, I guess.

atticus88th,

Im just seeing already failing companies grasp straws called AI and hope no one notices.

“Our AI designed eyeglasses.” “This AI formulated workout routine.” “And Techno Wizardry will calculate the value”

All tells me that these companies would be better ran by AI and the marketing department should be changing careers.

June,

My washing machine is ‘AI powered’ in that it lists the modes in order of what I use most often. And somehow, even with that metric, it’s usually wrong.

ZodiacSF1969,

Lmao they call it AI powered for real?

June,

I got out of bed, disarmed my alarm, and went into my garage to get this pic for you: image

ZodiacSF1969,

Holy shit that’s crazy lmao

Thank you for taking the effort to show that, can’t believe they’ve stuck that on there ha ha

Zuberi,

DRS GME

Blackmist,

Ah, the sudden realisation of all the VCs that they’ve tipped money into what is essentially a fancy version of predictive text.

Alexa proudly informed me the other day that Ray Parker Jr is Caucasian. We ain’t in any danger of the singularity yet, boys.

Shadywack,
@Shadywack@lemmy.world avatar

I couldn’t agree more. What they’re calling AI today exposes its issues pretty easily still, asking it to spell lollipop backwards for example. The usefulness of ChatGPT back in December was also considerably better than it is today. Companies are putting up more guardrails which the bots have to re-train to adapt to “being too honest” or mechanisms to prevent them being used for illicit purposes, that affect how useful they ultimately are, meaning we’re seeing hyperbole instead of substance.

One AI startup was just hustling the AI washing saying stuff like “if a computer is a bicycle for the mind, AI is a jumbo jet for us all” and I had to laugh. It reminded me of all the talk around VR back in 2016.

oatscoop,

Pak’n’Save has an AI recipe generator, and for a while there was no sanity checking of the ingredients. I entered what I had on hand and it gave me this.

https://midwest.social/pictrs/image/ec2ed8d9-46ba-44f3-8bfc-da82cd77bf05.png

LegionEris,

This is actually profoundly advanced AI. It’s making depression memes. It took humans decades to get from the invention of memes to quality depression meme content like wet ennui sandwich.

MasterBlaster,

It looks like it figured out sarcasm. That’s pretty advanced cognition. Many humans can’t process sarcasm!

Basically, I read this as, “if this is all you have, you’re in bad shape, bud. If you’re testing me, f**k you!”

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Sounds like my life.

Nintendianajones64, (edited )

Alexa just confused Ray Parker Jr with Huey Lewis. It’s an easy mistake to make.

nomadjoanne,

No! Really, what a shock!!

whispering_depths,

interestingly it’s more like investing in Apple stocks in the 90’s.

SolNine,

How much VC is really being invested at the moment? I know a variety of people at start ups and the money is very tight at the moment given the current interest rate environment.

jmk1ng,
@jmk1ng@programming.dev avatar

Like 85% of the most recent YC class are “revolutionize x with AI” crap.

SCB,

Yeah this author doesn’t understand what a bubble actually is if they are saying there’s an AI bubble without associated capital over-investment

TurtleJoe,
@TurtleJoe@lemmy.world avatar

I know that openai is burning $700,000 a day, and that all of that is VC money.

SolNine,

That is crazy!

Snapz,

Did you mean the crypto/NFT bubble?

higgsone,
@higgsone@lemmy.world avatar

NFTs yes but crypto is absolutely not a bubble. People are saying that for decades now and it hasn’t been truth. Yes there are shitcoins, just shitstocks. But in general, it’s definitely not a bubble but an alternative investing method beside stocks, gold etc.

Platomus,

The only way for someone to make money in crypto is for someone else to lose it.

Crypto is a scam.

Aagje_D_Vogel,

Reminds me of money.

Platomus,

What is that even suppose to mean in this context?

CustodialTeapot,

Sooooo, the exact same premise with ehmmmm… Stocks.

TurtleJoe,
@TurtleJoe@lemmy.world avatar

You don’t understand how stocks work.

higgsone,
@higgsone@lemmy.world avatar

So what’s the difference to money, stocks or every other investing option? There’s has to be someone who loses so someone different can win. We’re living in a capitalistic system, that’s how it works.

bigschnitz,

Money isn’t an investment, it’s a currency. Of course it’s a bad investment and investing in forex is barely a better investment than crypto (purely because there’s less risk of a sovereign currency devaluing to 0).

Investing in capital, like stocks, property, equipment etc does not require someone to lose money for the capital owner to profit. If I invest in a stock, each year I’m paid a dividend based on the profits of that organisation - no losers required. I could later sell that stock at the exact price I paid for it and come away with profit from those dividends. What determines whether it’s a good or bad investment, is the ratio of profit to the capital owner compared to cost of the asset. Crypto generates 0 profit, so it has 0 value as a capital investment.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

How is distributed ledger a scam? It’s nothing new and we know exactly how it works. It has nothing to do with making money. If I use it to pay for things online how am I getting scammed? I’m sorry, but it seems you don’t fully understand what this technology is.

TurtleJoe,
@TurtleJoe@lemmy.world avatar

The blazing fast technology that allows for up to 7 transactions a second worldwide? Amazing.

Don’t forget to pay your capital gains tax when you sell your butts online to buy your pizza.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

The slow transaction speed is a valid criticism, but it doesn’t make this technology a scam. Different cryptocurrencies have different speeds. With Litecoin I think it takes me 40 minutes to pay for something. I still prefer that over being tracked by my bank or having to use PayPal. I think you can pay instantly with Dash, but I haven’t used it.

I don’t sell anything online, so what are you talking about?

ZodiacSF1969,

I think people are using the word scam not in it’s strictest sense - that is to say, I don’t think Satoshi personally invented BTC to defraud everyone who bought it so in that sense, no, it is not a scam technically. A better way to describe it would be via the greater fool theory: the only way to make money is to find someone even more foolish than yourself to buy it.

Crypto as it is currently implemented is inefficient, riddled with problems, and is deflationary which you can argue about but most economists would say deflationary currencies are bad as they lead to shrinking economies and do not encourage investment.

There also aren’t that many problems that it ‘solves’ that aren’t already solvable by existing tech. And even in the case of things it’s useful for, if it were to be widely adopted the ‘benefits’ would be overshadowed by the massive new problems that would be created.

I think crypto will always have a niche, especially for black markers. I don’t think anything similar to currently existing crypto currencies will ever be adopted for widespread use as legal tender.

And as the other commenter pointed out, the tax situation is a nightmare. Even if you don’t sell online yourself, that’s a big hurdle to crypto achieving what many supporters claim it can do.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

A better way to describe it would be via the greater fool theory: the only way to make money is to find someone even more foolish than yourself to buy it.

Cryptocurrency is not about making money. It’s a distributed ledger. Technology like that could maybe be a scam if it didn’t do what its creators claim it does. But it’s been around for a long time and we know exactly how it works.

Crypto as it is currently implemented is inefficient, riddled with problems, and is deflationary which you can argue about but most economists would say deflationary currencies are bad as they lead to shrinking economies and do not encourage investment.

It has problems, but like every technology it keeps improving. I choose to use it despite its flaws and will probably use it even more in the future.

There also aren’t that many problems that it ‘solves’ that aren’t already solvable by existing tech.

It gives me privacy and anonymity when paying online. No other online payment technology does. It also doesn’t require trust, since it’s decentralized. I’m not aware of any other technology that solves those problems.

I think crypto will always have a niche, especially for black markers. I don’t think anything similar to currently existing crypto currencies will ever be adopted for widespread use as legal tender.

That’s possible, but over time it is accepted by more and more stores. So it keeps growing. But even if it didn’t, you can use crypto to buy gift cards for any store. It doesn’t have to be popular.

And as the other commenter pointed out, the tax situation is a nightmare. Even if you don’t sell online yourself, that’s a big hurdle to crypto achieving what many supporters claim it can do.

When someone wants to invest in crypto, I can see how that could be a problem. I just use it to pay for things online.

ZodiacSF1969,

Cryptocurrency is not about making money. It’s a distributed ledger. Technology like that could maybe be a scam if it didn’t do what its creators claim it does. But it’s been around for a long time and we know exactly how it works.

I would venture that the majority of people see it as an investment of one sort or another. I think the insane market cap, and the devestating effect the recent crash had on its reputation and use, are evidence of that.

It has problems, but like every technology it keeps improving. I choose to use it despite its flaws and will probably use it even more in the future.

Most cryptos have fundamental problems that I don’t see being fixed, eg it’s deflationary properties, BTC’s wasteful PoW, ETH skirting/crossing the boundary of being a security, etc.

It gives me privacy and anonymity when paying online. No other online payment technology does. It also doesn’t require trust, since it’s decentralized. I’m not aware of any other technology that solves those problems.

This is like the one thing they are good for, and Monero is the best at it. This is an arguable point though, others may say that this is a negative due to the implications and governments have cracked down on privacy enhancing tools like Tornado Cash for this reason. I personally value privacy to an extent, but do not see the need in my life to use Monero. I certainly wouldn’t fault you for using it, though.

That’s possible, but over time it is accepted by more and more stores. So it keeps growing. But even if it didn’t, you can use crypto to buy gift cards for any store. It doesn’t have to be popular.

I think adoption has stagnated. And look at El Salvador, they basically had to force crypto on the populace and they use their own proprietary wallet, nullifying privacy benefits. And again, it is treated as an investment by the government there who are buying BTC to speculate.

When someone wants to invest in crypto, I can see how that could be a problem. I just use it to pay for things online.

Yeh this is dependant on your country. Here in Australia every crypto transaction is a capital gains event 🙄

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

I would venture that the majority of people see it as an investment of one sort or another. I think the insane market cap, and the devestating effect the recent crash had on its reputation and use, are evidence of that.

You are right, but it doesn’t matter what most people think. I mean we should educate them about it, but their opinion is irrelevant.

Most cryptos have fundamental problems that I don’t see being fixed, eg it’s deflationary properties, BTC’s wasteful PoW, ETH skirting/crossing the boundary of being a security, etc.

Etherum has already switched from proof of work algorithm to less wasteful proof of stake. So it seems that at least that problem can be solved.

This is like the one thing they are good for, and Monero is the best at it. This is an arguable point though, others may say that this is a negative due to the implications and governments have cracked down on privacy enhancing tools like Tornado Cash for this reason. I personally value privacy to an extent, but do not see the need in my life to use Monero. I certainly wouldn’t fault you for using it, though.

You should be able to buy any of the popular cryptocurrencies anonymously. They won’t make your payment history private like Monero does, but you will still be anonymous when paying.

I think adoption has stagnated. And look at El Salvador, they basically had to force crypto on the populace and they use their own proprietary wallet, nullifying privacy benefits. And again, it is treated as an investment by the government there who are buying BTC to speculate.

I don’t know exact stats, but it’s bigger than I expected before I started looking into it. There are a lot of crypto ATMs now in cities, which you can see at coinatmradar.com. There are also some stores and restaurants that accept crypto, especially in the US (coinmap.org/view). You can also find some online services on cryptwerk.com. El Salvador is certainly messed up. Bitcoin probably isn’t even a good choice, because of its big transaction fees. Other cryptocurrencies are faster, can handle more transactions and have smaller fees.

Yeh this is dependant on your country. Here in Australia every crypto transaction is a capital gains event 🙄

Damn, that’s crazy. So you can’t even buy something without paying an extra tax?

Snapz,
Freesoftwareenjoyer,

That video is probably the biggest piece of misinformation about cryptocurrency on YouTube and it’s sad to see that so many people have been fooled by it. Most people are so bad at understanding modern technology that they will believe a random youtuber who has no idea what he is talking about :(.

Cryptocurrency is just a distributed ledger. NFT is just a certificate of ownership. Those technologies have real uses and nothing about them makes them a scam.

ZodiacSF1969,

This is being disingenuous. They are more than just distributed ledgers or certificates of ownership. You are ignoring that crypto is proposed as a viable alternative to the financial system. They are both often promoted as ‘investments’, when there is rarely any underlying value behind them.

Your response is exactly the kind of handwaving that commonly pervades tech companies and led to crypto being popularized as a financial product. The reality is a lot more complicated, and for that reason there are a lot of problems that stop them being as useful or valuable as people want them to be.

If you have specific arguments against the Line Goes Up video I’d be interested to hear them, as I thought it was quite a good take.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

Cryptocurrency has properties that are valuable to its users. It can let you pay online anonymously. It’s decentralized and doesn’t require trusting a bank or some company. I use it for those reasons. So it is useful, but the author of the video doesn’t even know that.

They are both often promoted as ‘investments’

But that’s not what they are made for. People can use them as investments if they wish and gamble with their money, but that says nothing about this technology, since it’s not its purpose. If you want to warn people about the risks of such investment, I approve. But calling cryptocurrency or NFT a scam is wrong and doesn’t make any sense.

Your response is exactly the kind of handwaving that commonly pervades tech companies and led to crypto being popularized as a financial product. The reality is a lot more complicated, and for that reason there are a lot of problems that stop them being as useful or valuable as people want them to be.

So what do you want to criticize exactly? The technology? Fine, but then you need to understand how it works and you probably should use it at least once. Or do you want to criticize people gambling with their money? That is also fine, but then it has nothing to do with the technology itself. In that case naming the video “The Problem With NFTs” would be misleading.

If you have specific arguments against the Line Goes Up video I’d be interested to hear them, as I thought it was quite a good take.

I rewatched a few chapters just now, but let’s focus on the Bitcoin chapter. The video contains a few valid criticisms, but they are mixed with a lot of incorrect information, invalid comparisons, false statements and author’s personal opinions. He omits a lot of facts, which makes it clear he doesn’t understand the subjects he is discussing.

Chapter 1 - Bitcoin (07:09)

08:35 He says that talking about cryptocurrencies requires discussing technical details and terminology, which is partially created to be “deliberately obtuse to make them difficult to understand and thus appear more legitimate”. The author seems to believe that there is some kind of conspiracy of programmers to often make it difficult to understand technology on purpose, but he fails to provide even one example of this. It’s a ridiculous accusation. Modern technology is just complicated and takes time to understand for non-technical people.

10:25 He claims that the only commercial use for Bitcoin is black markets, which is false. There are stores that accept Bitcoin and if they don’t, you can use Bitcoin to buy gift cards for any store (there are websites that sell them). People who actually buy illegal things online don’t even use Bitcoin, because of its public transaction history. They use Monero. The author is stuck in 2009.

11:08 “Bitcoin was never designed to solve the problems created by the banking industry” - it’s a trust-less system, so it has already solved at least one problem - the problem of trust when handling transactions. I can send money to anyone in the world without an intermediary.

11:30 “change of the guard is an illusion” - he is listing some rich people who use cryptocurrency. This it not an argument for anything. It’s irrelevant who uses cryptocurrency and what their beliefs are.

12:35 He says that some of the larger institutional holders of cryptocurrency are the same investment banks, which created the market crash. He doesn’t explain why this is relevant, but I suspect he means that because of this it’s not safe to keep any significant amount of money in crypto. In that case it might be a good point, but having large amounts of money in crypto is not required in order to use it.

15:30 Proof of work algorithm makes it difficult for poor people to mine Bitcoin. That is true, but mining is not the only way to get Bitcoin. Other than buying it with cash, people could also receive crypto as payment for their work.

16:45 He is comparing the energy consumption required for global usage of Bitcoin to local energy usage of a small country. This is not a valid comparison. He should have compared it to other global industries like banking or gaming.

17:10 He says that banking also requires a lot of power, but can handle more transactions. That is true, but Bitcoin is probably the slowest cryptocurrency. The other ones are still slower than VISA, but he should have mentioned that other coins are better in that area, because it’s not 2009 anymore and technology keeps progressing. So his argument is correct here, but he forgot to mention other relevant facts.

17:45 He calls cryptocurrency users gambling addicts, which shows his bias. He doesn’t understand that this technology can be used for online payments or for sending money to your friends. Bitcoin does use a lot of electricity, but so does gaming and that’s just entertainment. That doesn’t mean we should get rid of it.

He also completely forgot to mention in both his Bitcoin and Etherum chapters that proof of work is not the only used algorithm. Etherum doesn’t use proof of work anymore, so it doesn’t use as much power. This shows that the problem of power usage can be solved. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency and technology keeps improving. But this didn’t stop the author from saying that Etherum doesn’t solve any problems with Bitcoin at the end of Etherum chapter (24:17). The switch to proof of stake algorithm happened after the video has been released, but he knew it was gonna happen, which he mentioned at the end of chapter 8 (1:31:29). Yet he refused to believe that it would happen, because of his bias. His prediction has failed, since it did eventually happen.

Chapter 8 “There Is No Privacy On The Chain” (1:25:36) is equally ridiculous. The author apparently hasn’t heard of Monero. He also doesn’t even understand what it means that something is decentralized.

ZodiacSF1969,

Thanks for the reply, just wanted to let you know I did see it but I’m at work atm so can’t address it. But I will come back and give a proper response, just wanted to say thank you for your effort 👌 I appreciate good discussions!

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

No problem, take your time :).

qwertyWarlord,

Crypto is 100% a bubble. It’s not an investment so much as a ponzi, sure you can dump money into it and maybe even make money, doesn’t mean it doesn’t collapse on a whim when someone else decides to dip out or the government shuts it down. Its value is exactly that of NFT’s because it’s basically identical, just a string of characters showing “ownership” of something intangible

stealin,

Whatever man, used electricity will become valuable someday, I just know it.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

Being able to pay for things anonymously is very valuable to me and to many other people. That’s just one example of what this technology can be used for.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

That’s called ‘cash.’

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

And for online payments?

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Mail cash in an envelope if you’re that concerned about it.

tabular,
@tabular@lemmy.world avatar

I know of only ProtonMail which lets you mail money.

zouden,

Bitcoin isn’t anonymous yet it’s the most valuable crypto. Monero is barely used. Most crypto people just want to get rich, they don’t actually care about using it.

100% a bubble

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

I could go to the local ATM and buy Bitcoin anonymously right now. So, unlike a credit card, it can be used anonymously. Monero is better of course and it doesn’t matter how many people use it. Even if a store doesn’t accept it directly, you can use it to buy gift cards for any store.

I don’t care what most crypto people do, it’s irrelevant, just like the price is irrelevant and doesn’t affect my ability to use this technology.

primalanimist,

I could go to the local ATM and buy Bitcoin anonymously right now So you walk around the city with your face covered, only buy stuff with cash, and never ride in your personally owned vehicle or the vehicle of a friend?

The ATM has a transaction time and your bitcoin transaction record. There are enough cameras in the cities near ATMs (for this very reason) that you can be tracked if the government found you as interesting as you think you might be.

aesthelete,

This person probably thinks venmo is anonymous too.

You’d be better off going to the ATM and getting cash and then using that cash for your purchase if you wanted to remain anonymous.

Bitcoin keeps a transaction log that’s integral to the technology behind it, and is retained longer than fucking Chase Manhattan transaction logs.

Patius,

It’s not even a ponzi scheme, it’s just a good old fashioned bubble.

It’s digital tulips.

qaz,

NFTs yes but crypto is absolutely not a bubble. People are saying that for decades now and it hasn’t been truth. Yes there are shitcoins, just like shitstocks. But in general, it’s definitely not a bubble but an alternative investing method beside stocks, gold etc.

What is the underlying mechanism that increases its value, like company earnings are to stocks? Otherwise, it’s just a reverse funnel scheme.

higgsone,
@higgsone@lemmy.world avatar

What’s the underlying mechanism that gives money a value? We the humans give money and gold a value because we believe they’re valuable. Same with crypto. Bitcoin is literally like gold but digital. Stop saying what everyone without knowledge says and inform yourself. Not only about crypto, also about money etc.

If you don’t understand the fundamentals of money, how can you judge something of being scam. There are lot of people here who didn’t even understand how money and gold works.

bigschnitz,

Money has value insofar as governments use it to collect tax - so long as there’s a tax obligation, there’s a mandated demand for that currency and it has some value. Between different currencies, the value is determined based upon the demand for that currency, which is essentially tied to how much business is done in that currency (eg if a country sells goods in its own currency, demand for that currency goes up and so does it’s value).

This is not the same for crypto, there are no governments collecting tax with it so it does not have induced demand. The value of crypto is 100% speculative, which is fine for something that is used as currency, but imo a terrible vehicle for investment.

higgsone,
@higgsone@lemmy.world avatar

You are right in that it increases people’s belief in money because it is the primary source of revenue for states. But if the majority of people did not believe in the piece of paper, it would be worth nothing. That is the fundamental value of money as we know it.

There have been states where stones were the currency simply because the inhabitants believed in them.

SCB,

Money is a physical representation of the concept of value. Saying “what gives money value” is like asking “why does rain make clouds.”

This is why printing money decreases the value of the currency - the value it represents has not changed so the value is diluted across the currency as the amount of currency expands.

Sludgeyy,

Gold Standard

Linking money to a material with intrinsic value for it’s value

Gold has intrinsic value

US Dollar moved to be a Fiat Currency

US Dollar is backed by a Government

Crypto has zero intrinsic value, not linked to anything with intrinsic value, and not backed by a Government

Crypto is an imaginary “item” some people want to have valve. Value is created because of this want.

US Dollar is legal tinder for all US debts, Crypto is not

Crypto is not a currency but a digital commodity

jose423,

Money and gold have value because they can be exchanged easily for goods and services that are really wanted. As long as crypto currencies make it hard to trade for goods ands services, they will be, at best, a fad, at worst, a scam. There needs to be market for crypto to work. All I see is promises, no real commitments to it.

Devccoon,
@Devccoon@lemmy.world avatar

All I ever see around crypto is this vague notion that it could someday be acknowledged and used widely as real money is. But so could bottle caps. I don’t see the mechanism for how it realistically happens. It’s no less a moonshot than it was 3 years ago, IMO.

Just because a lot of people are buying into crypto doesn’t make the underlying inefficiencies in its design (depending on the coin) disappear and make way for common usage. As it stands now, cryptocurrencies are basically glorified ponzi schemes. The people nonstop defending them deserve to be treated with constant skepticism because they have skin in the game and know there’s nothing preventing them from losing it all. It’s in their best interest to believe in it and spread that belief.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

You are forgetting that cryptocurrency has real uses. You can send money to people without using a bank or PayPal. I use it to pay for things online anonymously and being able to do that is very valuable to me and to other people. You can use crypto to buy a gift card for any store if they don’t accept crypto directly.

I have nothing to gain by saying this, since I don’t keep any significant amount of money in crypto. I don’t care what the price of Bitcoin or another coin is. It’s irrelevant and doesn’t affect my ability to use this technology.

Cryptocurrency is not a scam. It’s just a distributed ledger.

Sludgeyy,

Anonymous…

Distributed ledger…

It’s not really anonymous.

John Smith or 253832893 means exactly the same thing without more context. The only way you can tell you have the right John Smith is because we have 253-83-2893 as a social security number (lol social security system).

But if I see 253832893 on the Crypto ledger, I know 253832893 made a transaction. It could say John Smith and I’d be basically in the same spot of figuring out who it was.

Now, if 253832893 wallet paid a home mortgage for John Smith with Crypto, then I’d be closer to figure out who owns 253832893 wallet.

The whole point to Crypto is the block chain and the fact that they are very traceable.

Crypto can be anonymous if you’re smart and you don’t link yourself to your wallet. But once you are linked to a wallet, it is far from anonymous.

If John Smith wanted to sell me cocaine. Handing him cash is basically untraceable and anonymous. Sending him Crypto ties my wallet to his wallet with a transaction. If the cops seized his wallet and somehow figured out my wallet, they could tell every single time I purchased cocaine from him.

Yes, you can do your best to keep your name unlinked to your wallet number. But it’s not foolproof. For example, if I was buying cocaine I wouldn’t use my main Crypto wallet but a side wallet. If you only used it to pay for cocaine and filled the side wallet in an untraceable way. It’s pretty anonymous.

But to those people that fill their Crypto wallets with their bank account and just think they are anonymous, they have another thing coming if someone wants to trace them.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

It’s not really anonymous.

I can go to a local ATM right now and buy crypto with cash anonymously. I can then pay with it online without having to identify myself. Yes, it is anonymous in this scenario. It depends on how you bought it. But even if you can only buy it through some website that requires ID verification, you can just buy Monero, which has a private transaction history (transactions are mixed together to obfuscate them) and you will be anonymous anyway. In Monero you can have multiple receiving addresses and they can’t be tracked back to your wallet. Unfortunately stores that accept Monero are less common, so this can get a bit more tricky.

Now, if 253832893 wallet paid a home mortgage for John Smith with Crypto, then I’d be closer to figure out who owns 253832893 wallet.

Then have a separate wallet for your mortgage payments. But even in your scenario only the bank will know who you are (and maybe the government). Some random store will not know your identity, unless you tell them who you are. Another solution would be to use Monero, which has a private transaction history, so nobody will be able to see what 253832893 wallet has done.

The whole point to Crypto is the block chain and the fact that they are very traceable

Yes, it means you have no privacy, unless you use Monero. In most cryptocurrencies transactions are public, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be anonymous.

Crypto can be anonymous if you’re smart and you don’t link yourself to your wallet. But once you are linked to a wallet, it is far from anonymous.

You can create an infinite amount of wallets. It costs nothing. It’s kinda like the fact that you can use one email account for every website or have separate emails for different things. Or you can use Monero and not need to have so many wallets.

If John Smith wanted to sell me cocaine. Handing him cash is basically untraceable and anonymous. Sending him Crypto ties my wallet to his wallet with a transaction.

People buy/sell illegal drugs on darknet and they use Monero.

But to those people that fill their Crypto wallets with their bank account and just think they are anonymous, they have another thing coming if someone wants to trace them.

You are right about that, unless they buy Monero :). But I don’t say that cryptocurrency is anonymous, only that it can be used anonymously. Unlike a credit card for example. It is important to make that distinction though.

tabular, (edited )
@tabular@lemmy.world avatar

legal tinder

I recall hearing it was illegal to burn money 😉

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

I don’t know if it’s good investment or not, but cryptocurrency has uses that are valuable to a lot of people. You can send money to other people without using a bank or PayPal and you can pay for things online anonymously. Some cryptocurrencies might have additional properties like Monero, which also gives you privacy. NFT might also have practical uses some day - for example it could be used for concert tickets.

aesthelete,

Did ChatGPT write your comment?

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

Do you not have anything constructive to say?

aesthelete,

About Bitcoin? Hell no I don’t.

aesthelete,

What’s the underlying mechanism that gives money a value?

A) the government backing it up along with its advanced military

B) the fact that you have to pay taxes in it

RandomlyAssigned,

Yep, which is why Bitcoin can’t last forever without turning into some sort of GovCoin for it to truly replace money

whispering_depths,

crypto and nft have nothing to do with AI, though. Investing in AI properly is like investing in Apple in the early 90’s.

ultimately it won’t matter because if we get AGI, which is the whole point of investing in AI, stocks will become worthless.

Phlogiston,

“stock will become worthless”

I’m thinking the opposite might happen.

If big companies succeed in capturing the knowledge workers market share and transferring all those salaries into their own profits then it will be reflected in the stock prices of those big companies. People, mostly currently rich people, who own those stock will benefit.

Same as it ever was for other forms of automation or job outsourcing. Why would this be any different?

gammasfor,

They meant in the sense that crypto/nft was the last fad that VCs were throwing money at.

It’s actually hilariously transparent how dumb VCs are and how much tech companies exploit that. Every now and then they randomly get hyped by some big tech company over some ‘new’ Y idea, then suddenly they throw money at any company suggesting they are doing Y thinking they will be the next Google or Meta. Then they inevitably doesn’t materialise and they move onto the next fad.

Through the years I’ve been in the industry we’ve had Big Data, followed by AI, followed by Cloud, followed by blockchain, followed by nfts, followed by metaverse and now back to AI again. And the tech companies don’t even need to implement any of this they just have to find a way to spin what they are doing to make it sound like the fad is what they’re doing.

gammasfor,

Yeah I was going to say VC throwing money at the newest fad isn’t anything new, in fact startups strive exploit the fuck out of it. No need to actually implement the fad tech, you just need to technobabble the magic words and a VC is like “here have 2 million dollars”.

In our own company we half joked about calling a relatively simple decision flow in our back end an “AI system”.

BluesF,

I think *LLMs to do everything is the bubble. AI isn’t going anywhere, we’ve just had a little peak of interest thanks to ChatGPT. Midjourney and the like aren’t going anywhere, but I’m sure we’ll all figure out that LLMs can’t really be trusted soon enough.

Reva,

As someone who has worked in an academic manner with LLMs, it is infuriating that we are even discussing whether we can “trust” a statistical model that imitates language. It’s a word generator. It’s not a black box. We know what it does. We developed it. It’s like having a society-wide discussion around the ethical ramifications of keyboard auto-suggest on your phone.

yata,

The thing is a lot of people are not using for that. They think it is a living omniscient sci-fi computer who is capable of answering everything, just like they saw in the movies. Noone thought that about keyboard auto-suggestions.

And with regards to people who aren’t very knowledgeable on the subject, it is difficult to blame them for thinking so, because that is how it is presented to them in a lot of news reports as well as adverts.

barsoap,

They think it is a living omniscient sci-fi computer who is capable of answering everything

Oh that’s nothing new:

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

  • Charles Babbage
Reva,

I agree, yeah; but to an extent, people who write extensively about “AI ethics” also are part of the AI hype. Making these word probability models look like some kind of super scary boogeyman that will destroy literature, art and democracy is just cynical PR for them.

Ragnell,
Ragnell avatar

@Reva "Hey, should we use this statistical model that imitates language to replace my helpdesk personnel?" is an ethical question because bosses don't listen when you outright tell them that's a stupid idea.

Reva,

Yeah, but that is a very real ethical question about usage of it as a tool. We could have the same discussions about any kind of machinery. Those are fine questions to ask.

I am more talking about those “ethical questions” that assume the so-called “AI” might be sentient, or sapient, destroy the entire world, destroy art as we know it, or have any kind of intent or intelligence behind their outputs. There’s plenty of those even from reputable news sources. Those that humanize and hype up the entire “AI” craze, like OpenAI does themselves with all this “we are afraid of our creation” sci-fi babble.

Lazz45,

I just want to make the distinction, that AI like this literally are black boxes. We (currently) have no ability to know why it chose the word it did for example. You train it, and under the hood you can’t actually read out the logic tree of why each word was chosen. That’s a major pitfall of AI development, its very hard to know how the AI arrived at a decision. You might know it’s right, or it’s wrong…but how did the AI decide this?

At a very technical level we understand HOW it makes decisions, we do not actively understand every decision it makes (it’s simply beyond our ability currently, from what I know)

example: theconversation.com/what-is-a-black-box-a-compute…

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

You can observe what it does and understand its biases. If you don’t like it, you can change it by training it.

barsoap,

You train it, and under the hood you can’t actually read out the logic tree of why each word was chosen.

Of course you can, you can look at every single activation and weight in the network. It’s tremendously hard to predict what the model will do, but once you have an output it’s quite easy to see how it came to be. How could it be bloody otherwise you calculated all that stuff to get the output, the only thing you have to do is to prune off the non-activated pathways. That kind of asymmetry is in the nature of all non-linear systems, a very similar thing applies to double pendulums: Once you observed it moving in a certain way it’s easy to say “oh yes the initial conditions must have looked like this”.

What’s quite a bit harder to do for the likes of ChatGPT compared to double pendulums is to see where they possibly can swing. That’s due to LLMs having a fuckton more degrees of freedom than two.

BackupRainDancer,

I don’t disagree with everything you said but wanted to just weigh in on the more degrees of freedom.

One major thing to consider is that unless we have 24/7 sensor recording with AI out in the real world and a continuous monitoring of sensor/equipment health, we’re not going to have the “real” data that the AI triggered on.

Version and model updates will also likely continue to cause drift unless managed through some sort of central distribution service.

Any large Corp will have this organization and review or are in the process of figuring it out. Small NFT/Crypto bros that jump to AI will not.

IMO the space will either head towards larger AI ensembles that tries to understand where an exact rubric is applied vs more AGI human reasoning. Or we’ll have to rethink the nuances of our train test and how humans use language to interact with others vs understand the world (we all speak the same language as someone else but there’s still a ton of inefficiency)

Aceticon,

There are people who genuinelly think there’s actual artificial intelligent thinking behind something like ChatGPT.

Reminds me of my grandmother - a poor illiterate peasant woman - when she came to live with us in the big city and who got really confused when the same actor appeared in multiple soap operas on TV. She saw the “living truthfully in imaginary circunstances” of good actors (or, lets be honest, the make-believe of most soap opera actors) and because of here complete ignorance on the subject confused acting with real life.

I think there’s a lot of this going on and, hopefully, like with my grandmother most such people will eventually understand that the well done lifelike surface-level impression does not guarantee that what is behind it is a matching reality (people really living that life in the soap opera or an actual intelligence in this).

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

The word AI has at least 3 different meanings. People who understand the subject usually just mean machine learning. But there is also AI we see in movies (which is usually a sentient computer) and AI in games (which is just programmed NPCs). I think most people confuse the stuff they see in movies with machine learning.

Ragnell,
Ragnell avatar

I think marketing execs are COUNTING on that misinterpretation to make the product seem like more than it is.

Freesoftwareenjoyer,

Yeah, it’s kinda scary to see how much people don’t understand modern technology. If some non-expert tells them AI can’t be trusted, they just believe it. I’ve noticed the same thing with cryptocurrencies. A non-expert says it’s a scam and people believe it even though it’s clear they don’t understand anything about that technology or what it’s made for.

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