Christmas came early.
“People in finance hate government regulation. But if we didn’t have regulation, then the industry would fall apart under the cumulative weight of a million scams. Regulation builds trust. Trust attracts investment.”
This point connected so many things for me! It applies to everything that runs as a system - every industry and every institution. It’s equally apt advice for anyone trying to run a family or a school or a sports team or a business or a government.
*No one* likes regulations. But people also *need* regulations. In a system without rules, there are no penalties for cheating. This leaves little incentive for people *not* to cheat. When people cheat, no one trusts the system and then the system breaks down.
A friend of mine posted this Superbowl commercial and said “Larry was right about this one in the end.”
"So if criminals can’t use crypto, and big institutional investors won’t touch crypto, and normal retail people can’t trust crypto . . . then who exactly is the market for this technology? "
This crypto story is remarkable. JVL's question gets to the heart of the matter. He has a talent for taking an important story and quickly following the cognitive trail to arrive at a critical question at the core. Time and again.
"Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission," Musk said....
Hmmmmm. That seems to fly in the face of the whole freedom of speech thing. Like, it is diametrically opposed to giving people freedom of speech.
Because freedom of speech means the freedom to lie, to misrepresent, to say things that you think or believe are true, but that are not actually true. It means the freedom to say bad things about people or groups you do not like (regardless of the accuracy of what you say).
Keeping things accurate (and exactly what does that mean anyway) demands a high level of content moderation and clear standards.
My first laughs of Sunday!
Re: Crypto. At least gold is good for stereo wires and dental appliances.
If you haven't heard, Cortez Masto won the D seat for the Senate. YIPPEE!!!!
What astounds me about crypto is how divorced much of it seems to be from what was supposed to be its original purpose.
The whole "trustless" aspect is rooted in the fact that the algorithm is open-source and "secure" (to a large extent, unless some super world power decided it was worth it to devote phenomenal resources to compromise it). The point is that there is no controlling authority; it's effectively a digital simulation of gold, i.e. a finite, external resource that can't be artificially created. That's why there's no getting back your money if you lose it — nobody has any special permissions to go muck with the blockchain.
Which is why it flabbergasts me that someone held $40 billion in an "in-house" cryptocurrency (or what are called "tokens"). Set aside the fact that even a secure cryptocurrency is nothing more than a tradable commodity with no inherent worth aside from what people are willing to pay for it. So far as I can tell, FTT (FTX's tokens) seems to be an opaque black box. If there's no open standard ensuring that the tokens can't be counterfeited, then ownership of tokens has to be managed entirely within FTX.
And if that's the case, it really is nothing special — just some private interest's "Monopoly money". They could create as much as they want, artificially manipulate the value as they see fit, regardless of whether they have the assets to back it up. You're relying entirely on trust of the FTX exchange as long as you possess only their tokens.
And so we get what we have here: questions about incestuous issuance of tokens and transfer of assets between FTX and Alameda Trading (FTX's associated trading firm). Typical shenanigans that result from poor or non-existent regulation.
If this guy doesn't get the nickname "Sam Banking-Fraud" people just aren't trying.
“Crypto and Twitter are imploding.”
It’s all I ever wanted 😭
Kahn's article feels more like wish casting than a signifier of any real change. Progressives and MAGA Republicans continued to post wins in safe districts as well as flipping seats in previous centrist territory. Florida just elected a fairly far left Generation Z House member and a former Sanders delegate is replacing Connor Lamb in PA. Fetterman wins as one of the most progressive candidates in a generation. Meanwhile 173 election denialists won their races including JD Vance, Georgia is in a run off, and Nevade remains too close to call. It's way too early to relax and be looking for "normal".
As a parent of a 30 year old professional and 21 year old college student and even they have both voted in every election that they have had the right to vote in. I have had more than a few conversations, asking when the rest of their generation was going to wake up and vote. I have heard the argument that there isn't a big enough difference between the two sides, to make them feel like there was a real choice. Election after election, we have asked, where were the young people and with the exception of Obama, they have largely been absent. After watching Brazil dump Bolsonaro, we should have sensed the shift; then the Republican's reaction to the Paul Pelosi attack which horrified young people, coupled with the Dobbs decision and the very real threat to their autonomy. Seeing the students in Michigan standing in line until 1am to vote was an indication that they had decided to step up and meet the moment. The Republicans have always understood that a politically engaged younger generation could break their hold on power. Moving as far to the right as they did, the Republicans created the difference that finally motivated this generation. Hopefully, heading forward, they don't just wait until things are heading off the rails to get involved, maybe now they will understand that their participation was the difference this time and it can make a difference in the future. If the survey data ends up confirming their impact, Sarah needs to find out how to include this generation in her focus groups. And a special thanks to the Liberal Cynic for the optimism in the lead up to the election and to Sarah for keeping her eye on the ball, when it came to election deniers being allowed anywhere near the vote counting apparatus in the future.
Two more main problems for crypto:
(4) Crypto "mining" (validation of encryption codes so a processor can access a transaction block) is a MASSIVE energy drain.
Not good in a time of rising energy costs and a worsening climate crisis.
(5) Blockchain may be great for a lot of transactional applications, but when you learn how it actually works, basing a global financial system on it is, in my opinion as a software engineer, sheer insanity! It is massively inefficient and the risk of the entire thing getting corrupted, slowing to a crawl or crashing under heavy usage or malicious intent should be a huge cause for concern.
Not good characteristics for a system you want to use to maintain secure global financial transaction data.
Btw, when Elon wanted out of the deal, why didn't Twitter just say "ok, bye"?
Re Crypto: If it is used as intended, as a currency, then it does not need to be regulated nor can it be, since the block chain plus proof of work really does make it unnecessary to regulate what is really no more than an open ledger that stops double spending. If you try to fiddle with the block chain everyone knows immediately, and to fiddle with it sufficiently to run a scam would cost more than the scam itself could possibly make. That is the beauty of the cryptography that makes cryptocurrency possible in the first place: "SHA 256." CryptoCURRENCY will be fine. And yes, it will still work for illicit business since even though the block chain records everything, two key cyptography means the seller and the buyer never even have to meet each other or know each other's whereabouts. Cash is always tied to a national bank, crypto is un-banked and international. The crypto crash is like the tulip bubble of 1636, which even wiped out Newton's fortune. Yes Isaac Newton was foolish enough to invest in tulips to his great economic loss. Any and every bubble is driven by "me too, me too!" mania. There is absolutely nothing unique about the crypto crash, but cryptocurrency itself is quite unique, and will always be unregulated as currency. I entirely expect Gary Gensler will figure out how to regulate the daylights out of crypto as a speculative financial investment. As it should be. Go Gary, Go Gary!!!!
If Musk's 15 minutes would just go ahead and expire, at least one of the three major scourges on our national life of late would be gone. But sadly, like Covid and Trump, he'll likely just become endemic and remain around causing trouble for a good long while.
JVL, I slightly exhaled this week as results continue to come in. I haven’t done that since my favorite business partner sent me chain mail on electing Trump president back in 2014. The year is correct. As I did. A rich friend of mine was defending the business acumen of Musk. He claimed to know nothing of the situation with twitter, His comment was a simple as his bookie business that made him a real estate millionaire. Musk might lose on twitter but he will just make it back selling rich people tickets to the moon. My thought later was...that might be so, but not before he losses billions not being able to sell $8 blue check marks to a site full of people he denigrates as woke.