Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 29, 2022

More On The Crypto Scam - "There's A Sucker Born Every Minute."

The FTX crypto bezzle continues to make waves.

Yves Smith remarks on Sam Bankman-Fried, the front-man of the fraud:

Yours truly must admit that if SBF does participate in the New York Times Dealbook conference on the 30th as scheduled, it would either indicates that his judgement is severely impaired and he is ignoring legal advice or he has good reason to believe that his risk of being prosecuted is extremely low. Given the rush of press stories that go insanely easy on this crypto grifter by skipping over inconvenient facts, like SBF “borrowing” over $3 billion that appears to have gone poof (see one shredded below), one has to suspect that the Southern District of New York effort to develop a case is unserious.

Mind you, this is not over until the fat lady sings. What it took with the very connected Elizabeth Holmes was tenacious reporting by the Wall Street Journal, which refused to back down in the face of thuggish threats by star litigator David Boies (and despite, or perhaps because, Rupert Murdoch had invested $125 million in Theranos). There’s a lot of Silicon Valley money riding on the crypto project. A full or even partial but revealing expose of what went on at FTX and Alameda could readily cast more well warranted doubt on the entire ecosystem.

The New York Times and other top news sites are running cover for the FTX culprits:

A piece on the interconnections between Bankman-Fried’s exchange (FTX) and the investment company he controlled (Alameda) soft-pedaled the outright illegality of his making trades with customer funds. To hear the Times tell it, “Alameda’s need for funds to run its trading business was a big reason Mr. Bankman-Fried created FTX in 2019. But the way the two entities were set up meant that trouble in one unit shook up the other as crypto prices began to drop in the spring.”

But that’s not what happened. When customers demanded their money, Fried didn’t have it, because he had been using it and losing it, illegally, for his own trades.

Not only that. To me the most egregious part of the FTX story is the use of 'tokens' which essentially were some kind of discount ticket one could buy to trade on better terms:

A giant part of understanding exactly what went down at FTX is understanding the Tokens they had launched or partnered with. In 2019 FTX launched FTT, an Ethereum ecosystem token which represented a cut of exchange fees and offered discounts to traders for holding it. It was the same model that Binance launched their token with in 2017. Tokens would be bought out of the market with a portion of exchange profits on a regular basis, delivering a return to investors.

A huge portion of FTT tokens were held on the FTX balance sheet as an asset.

Think of a grocery that offers a $10 discount ticket to regular customers. The ticket gives them 15% off of their next $100 grocery buy. The total discount ticket sale is limited to 50 tickets. The people who did not get a ticket see good value in them and soon start to trade a few of them at $12.50.

But the FTX grocery did not only print the 50 discount discount tickets it had planned to sell but a total of 50,000 discount tickets. It then claimed that the 49,950 tickets times the market price of $12.50 per ticket were $624,375 in capital assets supporting the business. The grocer then went to a bank to get a real money loan of maybe $500,000 while offering those self printed assets as collateral. The money he got was then used to finance his grand lifestyle.

FTX was worse than that:

Even more egregious were the Solana ecosystem tokens which FTX helped launch. The leaked balance sheet showed that FTX had large holdings of Serum, Maps and Oxy.

It showed Serum tokens marked as a $2.2 billion asset. Available market cap at the time was less than $500 million.

We don’t know for sure, but it seems likely that loans were taken out backed by FTT and other minor tokens.

Essentially, it seems that SBF invented his own currency from this air and then took out US dollar loans against it from anyone that would offer.

That last sentence essentially describes the whole crypto Ponzi scheme including bitcoin. It is build on the assumption that worthless things can be converted in something of value. Well, as P.T. Barnum may have said: "There's a sucker born every minute." Bitcoin and other tokens become 'assets' because eventually some sucker will pay real money for them.

The Bankman-Fried trick can only work when the lenders do not really care about the collateral because they think that the grocery business is doing great:

And why wouldn’t Crypto lenders offer loans to FTX on whatever collateral was offered?
FTX was the fastest growing exchange in industry history. It had prestigious investors. Its CEO was throwing around cash on advertising and political donations. Surely FTX was profitable enough to service their loans.

They lenders were all suckers.

There are also lots of suckers in Ukraine.

Until November 15, four days after FTX was officially bankrupt, the official website https://aid-for-ukraine.io/ still looked like this:


bigger

There was the FTX logo and a quote from its founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried:


bigger

A day later the logo and the quote were gone:


bigger

But Ukraine continues to be in the crypto scam business. It had planned to integrate the international crypto scammer Binance into its official government app. Local crypto scammers protested against that:

Ukraine has paused its planned integration of Binance's crypto payment service into the government's official app after backlash by the embattled nation’s crypto community.

That integration is now on hold to “clarify a few moments” first, according to a government minister.

The outrage was prompted by the government’s plans to integrate the service from the world’s largest exchange by volume at a time when Binance continues to do business with Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February. The nation's crypto exchanges don't want a foreign company to provide a service they can do as well. They showed their displeasure by blocking trades of Binance's BNB token on their platforms.

Binance had integrated its know-your-customer (KYC) process into Ukraine's Diia mobile app in late October, local crypto news media Forklog reported. Diia allows Ukrainians to make digital copies of their state-issued documents and government services online.
...
Using the Binance system would allow Ukrainians to register on the crypto exchange faster by using their Diia profile, said Kyrylo Khomyakov, Binance’s general manager in Ukraine, to Forklog.

The Binance scam had bribed someone to become the most easily accessible crypto 'exchange' in Ukraine. The app integration would have sucked in new Ukrainian customers into the Binance system. The local crypto scam entities protested against that:

Exchanges Kuna, WhiteBit and crypto lending service Trustee Plus filed a petition to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky asking him to block the move. They also froze trading of BNB, Binance’s token, on their platforms.

“All the attention now is on Binance, and local exchanges are upset,” said a Ukrainian crypto entrepreneur who asked not to be named.
...
While Kuna, WhiteBit and Trustee are all officially registered outside Ukraine, the founders and teams are Ukrainian, and all three used to be based in the country before relocating after the invasion of Ukraine.

While being safely outside of the country, and having avoided the draft, the Ukrainian embezzlers want to continue to feast on their compatriots' funds. No foreign competition should be allowed for that.

I find it a bit astonishing that Ukrainian government employees have time for such nonsense. Are they on the winning side of such scams?

Posted by b on November 29, 2022 at 17:20 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

leaf | Nov 29 2022 18:00 utc | 7

Soon you won't even need to see the early life section

Posted by: jc | Nov 29 2022 23:28 utc | 101

Regardless of the Crypto-Scam and the organized crime behind it, the bottom line for the American people is that all prices are going up astronomically by the day. ... Food is becoming less and less affordable. ... Housing is beyond reach as many of the homeless have jobs but cannot afford basic rent.

Next year, we may witness the total collapse of the US Dollar, such as a 400% rise in groceries and other living staples. ... When bread cost $40 per loaf, the Crypto-Pirates will see their days end.

Posted by: Mummer | Nov 29 2022 23:31 utc | 102

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 29 2022 23:21 utc | 97

Posted by: Laurence | Nov 29 2022 22:50 utc

HOOOEEE!!! You used a Latin thingy!

All you "demonstrated" is

"That lung-full of possible graphene-type particulates is far less invasive than injecting that same amount into the bloodstream." —Old canadian | Nov 26 2022 12:58 utc | 326 [ https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/11/ukraine-open-thread-2022-207.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef02af14a74567200b#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef02af14a74567200b

Why vaccines are injected in your upper arm muscle, and not in your veins - ABC News https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-01-08/covid-19-vaccine-injection-upper-arm-muscle-deltoid-immune/13031918

QED.

Posted by: Laurence | Nov 29 2022 23:32 utc | 103

OK kiddies, you know who you are, I have other things to do besides trying to get you to understand some pretty basic info, especially when you won't take the time to even investigate the references provided.

It has been enlightening to have been able to annoy you all so greatly, it is a talent of mine. But all fun things must come to an end.


Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 29 2022 23:33 utc | 104

Old canadian @ 50

Please. Elizabeth Holmes never saw the inside of a prison unless she was summoned there for a photoshoot.

How would they recruit players for the next operation if there was a risk of hard time?

From personal experience I could tell you quite a bit of how celebrities are treated when allegedly imprisoned, methinks b's taproom is not the place.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 29 2022 23:50 utc | 105

@ geralds | Nov 29 2022 21:57 utc | 62

i do agree with @ K | Nov 29 2022 23:13 utc | 92... i think you are well meaning and all, but the naivety is the reverse of where you think it is here..

@


geralds | Nov 29 2022 22:26 utc | 78 quote :

"Gary Gensler of the SEC is on record as saying the Bitcoin should be regulated by the CFTC, not the SEC.

It remains to be confirmed, of course, but at the moment it looks like Bitcoin is going to be classified as a commodity. So the class of "commodities" is somewhat broader than the "standard sense" to which you refer."

as i understand it, gary gensler is running a fine line in this ftx story and the judgment on him has yet to arrive.. it would make sense that those in power want to call bitcoin a ''commodity'' given the fact that the west are fighting in the ukraine to take down russia - which is very heavy in commodities.... you and others might find this article from march 2022 by zoltan pozsar very enlightening... in a race against time and circumstance, gary and friends are onto something with this idea of turning bitcoin into a commodity...

We are witnessing the birth of a new world monetary order

key quote " Zoltan further adds that commodities used to trade at tight spreads until now. They no longer trade at par. There are Russian commodities that are collapsing in price and there are non-Russian commodities that are rallying – this is due to the 2022 Russia supply shock which is driven by present and future sanctions-related stigma. Zoltan wrote it’s a buyer’s strike, not a seller’s strike. He believes Russian commodities today are like subprime CDOs were in 2008. Conversely, non-Russian commodities are like U.S. Treasury securities back in 2008. One collapsing in price, and the other one surging, with margin calls on both regardless of which side you are on. “Commodities basis” is climbing.

Zoltan also pointed out from the 1997, 2008 and 2020 crises, we learned that someone, somehow must always provide a backstop. He believes Western central banks cannot close the gaping “commodities basis” because their respective sovereigns are the ones driving the sanctions. They will have to deal with the inflationary impacts of the “commodities basis” and try to cool them with rate hikes, but they will not be able to provide the outside spreads and won’t be able to provide balance sheet to close “Russia-non-Russia” spreads. Commodity traders wouldn’t be able to either. So who would provide the backdrop this time he questions."

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2022 0:10 utc | 106

Why is it so astonishing that Ukrainian government employees have the time and the energy to involve themselves in crypto-currency scam schemes? To them, this is Business As Usual. They may not even know what they are doing is unethical or illegal according to their country's constitution and laws. And if they did know, they may not care anyway.

Younger employees may find it all but impossible to keep their jobs if they don't go along with their managers and the corrupt culture in the Ukrainian public bureaucracy.

And overcoming the corruption in Ukraine's public institutions will likewise be impossible because much of it came from the West, and in particular from members of the Ukrainian diaspora in North America, aided and abetted by US State Department and other US agency actors, who would know more than a thing or two about working systems to their benefit. After all, many in the North American Ukrainian diaspora should never have left Europe but instead should have answered for their crimes in Nuremberg way back in the 1940s. This corruption would have been nailed onto an already dysfunctional Soviet bureaucracy inherited from the USSR.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 30 2022 0:24 utc | 107

what does Tom Brady have to do with the value of crypto? "but he won some superbowls! with 2 different NFL teams even." who remembers America's quarterback appearing at the state of the union address, sitting directly behind America's 2nd Reagan and its 1st Trump, President George W?

maybe the really smart money wants to know what crypto Herschel Walker invests in?

anywhodiddleydiddle, what to do for people who don't see "scam" written all over a sports celeb endorsing some obscure or novel financial vehicle? i don't know. people get their medicated powders from Alex Jones.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Nov 30 2022 0:29 utc | 108

For people here who like Venn diagrams... A Taxonomy of Money

Bitcoin is not the only decentralized cryptocurrency. A key question for me is what happens when all coins are mined and the system relies on transaction fees (and ???) to sustain itself.

It seems likely that, unless adoption for payments increases dramatically, the number of nodes will drop off as it is less profitable. Lower nodes means less decentralization. The lower number of nodes may vote to do any number of things that undermine the original intent and integrity.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Nov 30 2022 0:32 utc | 109

Honestly, this just seems a bit too much. There are clearly different legal systems for the wealthy. If the US were a healthy nation, they would be concerned about restoring confidence in the legal and regulatory systems. But this is now a nation which is hoping that guns and drugs and crypto will save its flailing economy.

Posted by: jared | Nov 30 2022 0:56 utc | 110

Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 0:51 utc | 110

I know enough to not ever get scammed by it. ... How many times have you fallen for the scam?

Posted by: Mummer | Nov 30 2022 0:58 utc | 111

I don't think anyone is attacking you.
You are just being a good capitalist, Nothing wrong with that until it fails for you. And maybe it won't.
One thing I can tell you is that 100% crypto of any kind including BTC does not change any fact on the ground for the ordinary working people. It is for the privileged who have money to spare for investing.
This is why for me it makes no difference how special or decentralised BTC might or might not be. As the darling of cashed up or leveraged up westerners it is irrelevant to most of humanity.

Posted by: K | Nov 29 2022 23:24 utc | 99

Bitcoin changes everything for working people. That's the point. It gives them a savings vehicle that is inexpensive and is fully in their control.

Posted by: Vince | Nov 30 2022 1:13 utc | 112

It would be great if people would refrain from commenting on stuff they know nothing about. Especially when b starts commenting on the latest newspiece and conflates the terms crypto and bitcoin, coin and token and tries to rationalize it with some far off analogies, it really makes my brain hurt.

The blockchain ethos from the getgo was to pry away the control of the money away from regulators, institutions and governments. The centralized exchanges, acting as the ecosystem gatekeepers, were a necessary evil some years afterwards in order to onboard people after mining operations started to become more centralized and resource intensive. And these CEXes were always an antithesis to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as they started to self regulate in order to comply and server their customers and not get on the crosshairs of their domestic and international regulators. It become even more egregious when VCs started to invest into the ecosystem, fencing off their services and pouring money into their own startups like with FTX and Alameda. This institutionalized money was never in line with the decentralized and transparent ethos that Bitcoin represented, which is why most of the activity was kept in the dark until it imploded on itself. Whatever exchanges get insolvent and die out, this doesn't represent any threat to Bitcoin or even other cryptocurrencies, which is why this hullabaloo and doomsdayer posts just introduce more noise into a topic on which evidently few people are competent enough to speak on.

When it comes to value of money and monetary policy, b should understand that value arises from what people determine is the value. People on Yap Island used Rai stones to settle payments and track community's assets and debt. It was so heavy and unique that it could not be easily reproduced and thus the community believed it constitutes as a valid form of money. This worked seamlessly until O'Keefe arrived on the island in 1871 and saw a potential venture by extracting their coconut supply. He tried to barter by exchanging it with Rai stones he mined with explosives from the quarry, but the elders of Yap island decreed that his method of procuring the stones was too easy and only stones procured through traditional methods were valid money. If the elders had succeeded, they would have saved their way of life. Unfortunately, half of the island residents rebelled, won and new stones were introduced into their monetary system. They gradually lost their resources and their money was debased.

Same story with aggry beads in Ghana. In pre-industrial times, no human glassmaking know-how could reproduce the fine quality of these meteorite stones, which were small and easy to carry. They were also combined into necklaces, chains and bracelets and given their rareness, they were made into a form of money. People transacted and paid their debts with beads until 16th century, when European travelers came into the area. By that time, Europe had mastered glassmaking and when they saw that resources were aplenty which could be received by exchanging it with beads, they set to produce it themselves. This collapsed the west African economy, impoverished its population and then later contributed to slave trading to pay off debts.

Another example are seashells used in some North American, African and Asian territories. Widely used as money and prized for their uniqueness, until more advanced tech and boats meant they could be harvested en-masse. You get the picture. All primitive money, which was easy produced, later gave way to metal money (silver, gold), before phasing it out with government money. My point, however, is that all primitive money was largely useless as it could rarely be used in any other productive manner. Metals, on the other hand, had this quality, but were very non-salable, which is why FIAT took its place. Bitcoin, however, was the first form of money which is salable and rare. It cannot be reproduced out of its hard limit except by consensus and the prevailing consensus will forevermore be not to. It is given value by the people that buy it, and people buy it because they recognize its advantages. The price action is just a reflection of that; in the beginning the price was low, as it attracted few people who found very little use for it. Over time, more people were introduced in the ecosystem and as faith in the underlying technology grew, the price reflected this faith. This is called the network effect, usually associated with the internet. As more people join the network, the use case value of Bitcoin increases as more people can transact with each other and more services and products are being built in the ecosystem. And before people start to accuse me of religion, faith and whatnot, this particular "faith" in the ecosystem can be derived through what economists call equation of exchange. As velocity of money increases, so do the price (or value) of the underlying asset. Conversely, through FIAT and inflation that recently followed, by increasing the Q, the M followed. However, as people lost faith that the underlying asset (USD, EUR, YEN,...) would not be debased, the velocity of money increased as well, which pushed the product prices up, resulting in inflation.

Monetary policy is the hardest to comprehend, because it is the least taught subject anywhere. It just pains me when I have to read through misinformation and misconstrued arguments that could have been avoided through some reading.

Posted by: Parsival | Nov 30 2022 1:23 utc | 113

It is a bit misleading to refer to the "crypto scam" - the scam part stems from that there is money involved - people are uploading cash the unproven, largely unregulated internet based startups - they are not banks (but seem to aspire to be).

The trouble lies when people leave cash or even crypto in accounts with these companies - I think ftx encouraged doing so but (for ex.) coinbase advised against it.

Same thing can happen with your etrade account or mf global or Greek bank account.

People who handled their coin properly did not lose anything - but it lends itself to scam and illicit activity not to a serious financial system.

I think the money actually stolen is in the hundreds of millions and the money lost due to mismanagement may be in the billions (I dont know). But the stuff about ftx was a 32 billion company is just made up wall st "valuation" b/s - its whatever they say it is.

Posted by: jared | Nov 30 2022 1:41 utc | 114

it would be funny if certain assets were paid in crypto, to hide funding, say drug dealers, and then when it comes time for the DOJ to put on some farce and bust somebody in another iteration of Operation: Bad Apple, or even engage in routine "asset forfeiture," the gov't refused to accept back its own payments in crypto. "dollars only please". maybe plea bargain a payment system, you know, to avoid jail time. in mexico or jamaica or brazil or what have you.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Nov 30 2022 1:57 utc | 115

Have y’all seen ‘Princes of Yen’? Old doco. Worth a look.

Posted by: Inki | Nov 30 2022 2:28 utc | 116

It’s only being allowed because it’s grooming for CBDC..

It’s got about four more pukes left in it until it reaches the ultimate stability value of ~nil..

Fools and their money.. lol..

Posted by: PalmaSailor | Nov 30 2022 2:57 utc | 117

A worthy read and if not posted earlier in the thread. Though i have read through this thread, for the most part, and have not seen the link.
by Mathew Crawford.
Brings into the picture other players including S.Bankman-Fried family and friends who are heavily involved, both Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, the Ellisons and Garry Gensler, MIT et all.
With charts, diagrams and video inserts and further links and joining the dots.

https://roundingtheearth.substack.com/p/a-grand-unified-theory-of-the-ftx

Posted by: Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 3:12 utc | 118

To compliment previous post :
""Mary Bent and Mike Krieger join Whitney to unravel the network behind the meteoric rise of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX and what was actually going on at the company. The discussion goes far beyond the obvious fraud at FTX and looks at the networks that brought Bankman-Fried to power and were using him as a front for a dangerous agenda."
podcast.
https://unlimitedhangout.com/2022/11/resources/show-notes/the-network-behind-ftx-with-marty-bent-and-michael-krieger/

Posted by: Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 3:26 utc | 119

@ Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 3:12 utc | 119

i shared the link a few days ago here at moa.. no one responded.. well - david f said it was ridiculously long and i agreed with him on that.. there you have it..

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2022 3:40 utc | 120

i shared the link a few days ago here at moa.. no one responded.. well - david f said it was ridiculously long and i agreed with him on that.. there you have it..

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2022 3:40 utc | 121

Excuse me that i missed that i missed your previous link. I came to the url via another source and did not find the article and information therein too long, yet do understand that everyone has their way to discredit a piece.
Thank you for your reply.

Posted by: Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 3:55 utc | 121

@Booboo (27)

Equating crypto with government issued fiat is utter nonsense being spread like manure for the purpose of sowing confusion in the minds of unsophisticated, highly suggestible and greedy individuals. Unlike crypto, fiat is broadly used in ordinary commercial transactions and is the only acceptable means for paying taxes. It has value that is relatively stable over long periods of time and is not prone to wild swings and sudden collapse. As b said, holders of crypto are always planning to exchange it for something of real value, most often fiat. That alone is a clear signal that a scam is being perpetrated.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 30 2022 4:12 utc | 122

Equating crypto with government issued fiat is utter nonsense being spread like manure for the purpose of sowing confusion in the minds of unsophisticated, highly suggestible and greedy individuals. Unlike crypto, fiat is broadly used in ordinary commercial transactions and is the only acceptable means for paying taxes. It has value that is relatively stable over long periods of time and is not prone to wild swings and sudden collapse. As b said, holders of crypto are always planning to exchange it for something of real value, most often fiat. That alone is a clear signal that a scam is being perpetrated.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 30 2022 4:12 utc | 123

Fiat is not "relatively stable over long periods of time". It's value is nearly monotonically down over even the medium term. And that's if you are "fortunate" enough to live in a place that has access to dollars or euros (most people don't). Fiat is the power of compound interest, but in reverse.

"As b said, holders of crypto are always planning to exchange it for something of real value"

Congratulations, you just described money. Something not held for its own sake, but fur its exchange value. Money is held instead of things of "real value" because money has high liquidity and stores value better than the things "of real value".

Posted by: Vince | Nov 30 2022 4:36 utc | 123

@ Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 3:55 utc | 122

i found the article very interesting in fact...i didn't finish it, but got close to the end... and that was why i shared it.. my brother actually shared it with me.. i posted it on the moa week in review @ 21..

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2022 4:41 utc | 124

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 29 2022 23:50 utc | 105

She was just sentenced to 11 years in federal prison last week. I see no reason that she won't be serving at least 5-6 years of hard time. Why would any politician commute it?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:50 utc | 125

Posted by: Inki | Nov 30 2022 2:28 utc | 117

If it's the one I'm thinking of, I just saw it last year and it centers on how Japan's economy was basically continued to be run as a war-time economy up until around the big crash by the central bank in collusion with, I think, certain industries? In any case if that's the one it was very, very fascinating and educational. I may watch again if there's a high quality version for free online. Thanks for the tip. P.S. I think it was based on a book by the same guy who did the movie.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:53 utc | 126

I know enough to not ever get scammed by it. ... How many times have you fallen for the scam?

Posted by: Mummer | Nov 30 2022 0:58 utc | 112

LOL - Mummer, that was not me - the real Tom Collins. I wish b would implement a verification mechanism like checking to make sure commenters use the same email address every time. This one pernicious little body snatching troll is playing the long game it would seem. Very subtle in a way.

But no, I had no reason to reply to you much less call you any names. Wasn't me.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:56 utc | 127

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 0:51 utc | 110

Was not me. This is getting pretty funny. Stupid body snatching troll is probably doing this to a couple of regulars. Seems to have switched from PeterAU to me. There will be an obvious tell in any subsequent posts I make to allow people to distinguish my style from the body snatcher's. Apologies on behalf of this clown to the bar as I know it must seem a little ridiculous...until it happens to you.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:58 utc | 128

Two things come to mind...

I'm so old I can remember when grocery stores gave out stamps when you made a purchase. S&H Green stamps and Plaid stamps, but there were others.
They also gave you books to stick the stamps into. And just like money, you could get ones, 5s, 10s 25s and 50 valued stamps. I think each page held 50 stamps.

When you saved up enough stamps, you could get real world items. Toasters, egg beaters, etc.

No one ever "traded" or purchased stamps. Many just gave them away to friends and relatives. The stamps said no cash value.

The stamp "rebate" system fell apart in early 70's due to rising inflation. As prices doubled, the amount of stamps needed for anything doubled. Most people realized it was a gimmick. It would take years to get enough stamps for anything, and the qty needed went up every year.

So stores stopped issuing stamps.

Now, crypto currency is "Issued" based on nerdy computer programs solving made up puzzles. This is then traded. It has no real value, just like the S&H green stamps. But the creators SAY it has value, so it must be true. But it isn't. Then the traders make their own offshoots, claiming they have value. But they don't. It's all make believe.

My other though is from "Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy". Arthur Dent visits a planet where only the extras from a previous society were saved. The hair dressers, consultants and the rest have no money, but they have no real idea on any sort of financial system. So they decide tree leaves are money. They value leaves so much, they trade their services for them. When Arthur points out that leaves are just laying around on the ground, and their leaves have no value, the whole group runs him off.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Nov 30 2022 5:14 utc | 129

Far too many think the “Crypto” scam they hear on the crap news means Bitcoin. You are wrong and substantially so. It’ll take someone 15 minutes to educate yourself on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is 10 years old and is a non nation, non government currency that is accepted at well over 20,000 sites that sell goods and services. I used bitcoin to pay for some goods as far back as 2017.
Bitcoin has a specific number in existence, I believe it is 22 million, that’s it. It started with the 22m 10 years ago and there is 22m today. Their existence is replicated throughout the world and spread throughout many nations. You do not need BTX or Binance to buy Bitcoin.
This is in stark contrast to the numerous crypto coins that sprung up in the past few years. you can’t use them for purchases. They are entirely a speculation and imho a Ponzi. All kinds of financial fun and games started in the last few years fueled by extremely low interest rates. Putting this huge amount of money into crypto speculation created the massive bubble. Yes Bitcoin was caught up in it. But Bitcoin was never a wild speculation thing. And Bitcoin will be here tomorrow and in ten years. If you want to buy and hold, that’s a risk but imho likely it will go back up. But if you want to buy goods and services that are not outright a government watcher process, druse Bitcoin to do it. Lastly, know that national currencies lose and gain value as Bitcoin will. Just bitcoin won’t be printing more bitcoin unlike national currencies.

Posted by: WagonTrain | Nov 30 2022 7:46 utc | 130

Posted by: John Nudo | Nov 29 2022 21:45 utc | 60

Skank man lied?

Posted by: anon2020 | Nov 30 2022 7:56 utc | 131

After believing Ukraine would be Russia's (and also China's) Afghanistan USA now counts as very likely that it has lost Europe. All strategists will have a programme in mind in case of a defeat. USA now wants out of Europe. They now wish to extract all they can of value, both material and cultural in order to leave the greatest possible disaster in the lap of Russia (and China; we could say Eurasia). This crypto story is a small, shallow and ridiculous part of the repulsive mess they have in mind. It is a part of long nurtured weapon of mass destruction. The eugenics accusations have validity. It is monstrous, but then who is surprised? Time to face it: the US led West has been a monster for all to see for hundreds of years now.

Posted by: James Edwards | Nov 30 2022 8:44 utc | 132

the FTX grocery did not only print the 50 discount discount tickets it had planned to sell but a total of 50,000 discount tickets. It then claimed that the 49,950 tickets times the market price of $12.50 per ticket were $624,375 in capital assets supporting the business. The grocer then goes to a bank to get a real money loan of maybe $500,000 while offering those self printed assets as collateral. The money he gets is then used to finance his grand lifestyle.

and

SBF invented his own currency from this air and then took out US dollar loans against it from anyone that would offer.

Look, what's wrong with that? It's standard operating practice. It's what the banks do every day, and have done every day for decades. If the banks can do it then why not every Tom, Dick and Harry?

---

Now, FED here**, ... anyone want to buy some US dollars? * I'm selling at an attractive discount if you buy in bulk. Payment in hard gold bullion with order. 10% discount for orders over 1 billion dollars. Freshly printed 100 dollar bills, in convenient shrink-wrapped pocket-sized wads of 50,000 dollars (conveniently sized for dispensing, only deep pockets recommended), mounted on pallets for convenient shipping to any desert island of your choice. Here at the FED we are backed by fixed assets of 1 trillion-trillion freshly printed US dollar bills. The world's safest investment.

Free US dollar loans also available, any amount (the more the better) guaranteed approval, 100 hard gold bullion required as collateral. Special offer: only 12% p.a. interest rates on 100% gold backed loans. Available at any hight street bank near you.

* Important best-value guarantee: We guarantee that every US dollar purchased from us will maintain a value of exactly one US dollar for as long as we remain in business.

** World famous elite US dollar printing press backed scammer, best in class. None better can be found.

---

Side note: Whist at one level the Russian Ruble or the Chinese Yuan are both nominally fiat currencies just like the US dollar, there is an important difference - the Russian and Chinese currencies are at least powered by real resource- and real trade-based economies, not your average Tom, Dick & Harry's printing press based FED.

Posted by: BM | Nov 30 2022 9:21 utc | 133

29-Year-Old Crypto pioneer Nicolai Mushegian was found dead, a few weeks ago, from an apparent drowning. Before which he had posted that "CIA and Mossad and pedo elite" were out to frame him and torture him to death.

Thirty year old former Morgan Stanley trader and co-founder of the thee billion dollar cryptocurrency firm Amber Group, Tiantian Kullander,known as "TT", died in his sleep november 23.

And now Vyacheslav Taran, 53, the co-founder of trading and investing platform Libertex, has died in a helicopter crash near Monaco after taking off from Switzerland.

Make of that what you will.

Posted by: Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 9:37 utc | 134

Disappointed magic bean customers want their cow back.

Wolf Richter writes:

In the bankruptcy filing, BlockFi Inc. checked the box that said it has “more than 100,000” creditors, and it checked the box that said it owed those creditors between $1 billion and $10 billion.

...

10 largest unsecured creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing:

1. Ankura Trust Company (the trustee for BlockFi’s “Crypto Interest Accounts”): $729 million
2. FTX US: $275 million
3. Unnamed “client”: $49 million
4. SEC for a “settlement”: $30 million
5. Unnamed “client”: $28 million
6. Unnamed “client”: $26 million
7. Unnamed “client”: $16 million
8. Unnamed “client”: $10 million
9. Unnamed “client:” $9 million
10. Unnamed “client”: $6 million

The $275 million that BlockFi owes FTX is part of an incestuous relationship between BlockFi and FTX entities, including an effort by FTX to bail out BlockFi, and thereby to bail itself out, after BlockFi had made a large loan to FTX affiliate Alameda Research, which collapsed.

Posted by: too scents | Nov 30 2022 9:41 utc | 135

Posted by: BM | Nov 30 2022 9:21 utc | 134

What is really interesting about FTX is not the way SBF pulled money out of thin air and used it you swap for some other type of money that was also in turn pulled out of thin air - that's just another type of bankers yarn, like any fiat banking system.

No, what is really interesting is how that same wild old banking yarn interrelates: (a) FTX - Democrat Party - Ukraine; and (b) SBF - FTX - whole class of western elites.

The system of the world's elites has "always" been like this (at least for a long time), so why now?

Because up until this point the scammers used something that people had strong trust in - US dollars, bitcoin, FTX, FTT, or whatever worthless toilet paper. The difference now is that the entire edifice of lies is now so fundamentally devoid of trust and standing, that there is absolutely nothing the desperate elites can find to stick under it to prevent it from coming tumbling down. It is there, suspended in mid-air - and tumble down it will, the whole edifice - no conjuror's trick in the world can stop it. The conjurors are suddenly exposed as the frauds they always were.

Posted by: BM | Nov 30 2022 10:31 utc | 137

My other though is from "Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy". Arthur Dent visits a planet where only the extras from a previous society were saved. The hair dressers, consultants and the rest have no money, but they have no real idea on any sort of financial system. So they decide tree leaves are money. They value leaves so much, they trade their services for them. When Arthur points out that leaves are just laying around on the ground, and their leaves have no value, the whole group runs him off.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Nov 30 2022 5:14 utc | 130

The planet he visits is prehistoric Earth, and the implication is that modern humans are descended from the moronic hairdressers. Which might explain a lot ;)

Posted by: Browser | Nov 30 2022 10:39 utc | 138

Bitcoin changes everything for working people. That's the point. It gives them a savings vehicle that is inexpensive and is fully in their control.
Posted by: Vince | Nov 30 2022 1:13 utc | 113

Only in your dreams Vince :)
Which working people are you referring to?
Perhaps those in el Salvidor where BTC is a national currency?

"El Salvador has lost around $60 million on its bitcoin bet one year into a nationwide crypto experiment.
The use of bitcoin in El Salvador appears to be low amid the market volatility.
The country faces plummeting economic growth and a high deficit" .CNBC

A savings vehicle is not "inexpensive" if it loses 58% of its value in a few months. And well its not even a savings vehicle at all. its a spending vehicle.

I can't believe the people coming on here condes-plaining why Bitcoin is "not like the others" in the face of its huge recent bubble pop. Looking at you Parsival @ 114 too. Sorry it's so painful for you to be here slumming it with people who can't understand monetary policy. Gollikins I'd better just do me some readin, shucks

The working poor of the ROW are not half as gullible as the western middle class. But then we've been fed this crap for 70 years so its not surprising. I'm not arguing that Bitcoin is any different to fiat currency, I'm saying its worse, like a fox pretending to save the hens from the other foxes.

Posted by: K | Nov 30 2022 10:44 utc | 139

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 0:51 utc | 110

b will hopefully remove your mind-less post- but I won't forget. That outburst was truly unwarranted.

Posted by: Anne B | Nov 30 2022 10:51 utc | 140

Yes, you should read more on it, K.

What he meant by an inexpensive savings vehicle is that there are very few in-costs involved when deciding to save in Bitcoin, especially for individuals. Most of those involve fiat on ramps on which you have to exchange FIAT for BTC. El Salvador's president investing so much money so quickly was a bit shortsighted, which even IMF pointed out that will degrade their country's bond rating, but ultimately, if they can sustain it for the next few years, they'll come out better from it.

You're too focused on short term price action and I would like to stress out the unbroken trend that you can see has been going from 2009 onward when Bitcoin launched. It's one of overall price appreciation, with fluctuations, as network grows and more people are onboarded. The price fluctuations will also dissipate with time as more people use it.

I also love to see you champion the downtrodden citizens of the third world, which is where most of the cryptocurrency adoption is coming from. For example. the unbanked in Nigeria constitute one of the highest adoption rates. Additionally, most of Latin and Central Americas use cryptocurrencies as the preferred way of sending remittances to their families to avoid the exorbitant fees traditional finance uses, which can reach as high as 15% of the total remittance sum. The first world institutions cannot appreciate the advantages cryptocurrency brings due to the comfort of their economies. Second and third world countries don't have that luxury.

Posted by: Parsival | Nov 30 2022 11:00 utc | 141

@Parsival | Nov 30 2022 11:00 utc | 142

---

The trick in savings is owning assets that produce dividends.

Of course derivative claims against Capital can be leveraged. But the risk works both ways and you don't physically own the underlying asset.

Economics should be boring.

Posted by: too scents | Nov 30 2022 11:06 utc | 142

Posted by: Parsival | Nov 30 2022 11:00 utc | 142

I got right into researching Bitcoin way back in 2011 when Silver was just about to explode (it didn't)
I made my decision back then and I have no regrets. Money isn't everything.
We will all be using cryptos probably in the near future, i mean in reality our money at least here in OZ has been digital for a very long time, most of us don't use cash much any more so crypto is not a leap at all.
I don't use banks for international transfers anymore either, there are many options easier than crypto and never pay more than a couple of %. Don't know who would pay 15%.

i have no skin in the BTC game either way so good luck to you with your investment.

Posted by: K | Nov 30 2022 12:03 utc | 143

@too scents
That's true to an extent, yeah. However, all investment and savings portfolio also include a certain share of precious metals, which also do not yield dividends (like Bitcoin). These act as a hedge in case of widespread turmoil in which these assets appreciate. However, there are cryptocurrencies (Ethereum is one such example of a high mcap coin), which do offer dividends in exchange for validating blocks.

---------------
@K
Apologies if I came off as sanctimonious, it was not my intent. I believe everyone should have an option to use what they prefer and I don't mean to force that decision on anyone. But I do hate the institutional hypocrisy (European Central Bank, just today) when it comes to denouncing cryptocurrencies as a gamble and a ponzi, when it is the only choice for some people in abject poverty that have been forgotten or written off by the traditional banking system.

Your post made mention of digital money that struck me. I wanted to point out like probably most people here I have huge reservations on the introduction of CBDC based on their current proposed features. Has anyone seen what they propose? - no anonymity, expiry date limit, in some cases can be limited to certain vendors and products, no offline mode, etc... Makes me sick.

Posted by: Parsival | Nov 30 2022 12:31 utc | 144

Well well, crypto looks to be a dangerous environment, sort of like viral research.

https://nypost.com/2022/11/29/russian-billionaire-vyacheslav-taran-killed-in-helicopter-crash/

https://nypost.com/2022/11/09/drowning-death-of-crypto-visionary-fuels-conspiracy-theories/

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 30 2022 13:02 utc | 145

Not my area but if someone can make sense of some of the tweets go for it.

https://twitter.com/delete_shitcoin

I found this guy's account in article of the 2nd link in my comment #146

"Mushegian, a 2014 Carnegie Mellon graduate who donated $1.4 million to the school, often referenced the late Terry A. Davis, once called “God’s Lonely Programmer,” in his writings, as well as on his LinkedIn profile and website — sometimes even using Davis’ name as his own handle. Davis — who created and designed a complex entire operating system, Temple OS, by himself — had a small cult following but also suffered from serious mental health issues including schizophrenia.

Davis died in Aug. 2018 at age 48 after being struck and killed by a train in The Dalles, Oregon. The train engineer considered it a suicide, according to a police report."

Posted by: Tom_12 | Nov 30 2022 13:18 utc | 146

Re: Elizabeth Holmes prison time. She's facing federal prison, so no parole, and is very unlikely to get that reduced on appeal, as the judge tended to tilt in her favour when given a choice. Not good grounds for anything to be changed in her favour.
11 very long years for tedx's favourite girl boss.

Posted by: Dermotmoconnor | Nov 30 2022 13:30 utc | 147

My compassion for crypto investors is on hold until I see what happens to conventional savings.

Posted by: Passerby | Nov 29 2022 17:36 utc | 1

On a personal POW, my compassion toward crypto "investors" has completely dried up. One is investing in crypto for only one purpose: obscene personal gains

Posted by: W | Nov 30 2022 14:04 utc | 148

re: "There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase closely associated with P. T. Barnum.
Barnum's biographer Arthur H. Saxon tried to track down when Barnum had uttered this phrase but was unable to verify it. According to Saxon, "There's no contemporary account of it, or even any suggestion that the word 'sucker' was used in the derogatory sense in his day. Barnum was just not the type to disparage his patrons.
Barnum served two terms in the Connecticut legislature from 1865 to 1869. He bought into the Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1871. He was the mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., from 1875-76. Barnum died in 1891 and is buried in Bridgeport in a cemetery that he designed.
Despite his good intentions of trying to develop the Bridgeport area by building his museums and circuses in the area, he borrowed much more money than he could pay back. As a result, Barnum went bankrupt in 1855 and ended up owing almost $500,000 to creditors. -- wiki

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 30 2022 14:07 utc | 149

Please. Elizabeth Holmes never saw the inside of a prison unless she was summoned there for a photoshoot.

How would they recruit players for the next operation if there was a risk of hard time?

From personal experience I could tell you quite a bit of how celebrities are treated when allegedly imprisoned, methinks b's taproom is not the place.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 29 2022 23:50 utc

You are talking about the 9-month wrist-slap from earlier this year?

Well here's the latest:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/18/elizabeth-holmes-sentencing/

Normally celebs get the white-glove treatment, but Holmes scammed some VERY high-profile players, and they will be sending a signal to any who might have the temerity in the future.

And even if she gets out for good behaviour, she is doing years in prison.

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 14:30 utc | 150

Was not me.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:58 utc

I suspected as much, good to hear. But Bodysnatcher's crap has to be responded to, otherwise readers new to MoA might think Bodysnatcher was a legit POV here.

I guess we have to search each page for our own "handle" to be sure Bodysnatcher hasn't appropriated it, and advise the rest as you did. Yes, that gives Bodysnatcher hours or days to play his game, but at least we now know the latest attack vector. And probably not just one snatched identity at a time.

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 14:42 utc | 151

Posted by: WagonTrain | Nov 30 2022 7:46 utc

Yes, thanks for adding another rational voice.

The only thing I would add is that the Lightning Network appears to be the solution to the scaleability and slow transaction "problems" for general use as we have become accustomed to with credit/debit instant transactions times.

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 14:51 utc | 152

I'm not arguing that Bitcoin is any different to fiat currency, I'm saying its worse, like a fox pretending to save the hens from the other foxes.
Posted by: K | Nov 30 2022 10:44 utc

OK, so who "wins" if the 0.001% manages to corrupt Bitcoin? The 0.001%.

No one else. So just because the 0.001% and their .gov/WEF/IMF/WTO/World Bank minions are trying to destroy public faith in Bitcoin (they have tried to break it technically and have failed) doesn't mean Bitcoin is so fundamentally flawed as to implode on its own.

Who wins if Bitcoin succeeds? Everyone except the 0.001% and their minions.

I guess your next project should be to dive into the Bitcoin Core code and show us all where the flaw is that would allow the "foxes" to steal or destroy the Bitcoin henhouse.

Here's where you start:
https://bitcoincore.org/en/about/

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 15:01 utc | 153

One is investing in crypto for only one purpose: obscene personal gains

Posted by: W | Nov 30 2022 14:04 utc

Last salvo for now kids, I am spending WAY too much time on this thread.

Again, most "crypto" is not the same as Bitcoin or Lightning. Please be specific to prevent confusion and replies like this one.

Most Bitcoin is being held long-term and Lightning is not structured to produce "obscene profits" for anyone involved.

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/markets/data-suggests-bitcoin-holders-remain-steadfast

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/technical/lighting-network-makes-bitcoin-scalable

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 15:10 utc | 154

Before this thread dies. SBF was not a twisted genius. He was not the right guy in the right place at the right time. He was not serving some unmet need, not even an imagined need.

Please look at the enormous quantity of free publicity and free promotion he received and his company received. He was not the one who orchestrated all that. He wasn't a pretty face, he did nothing. Any time he was the cover photograph, lead story, featured interview, invited guest it could have been anybody from central casting. Bankman-Fried was selected and promoted. If you hire his publicist and his ad agency you will not retire a billionaire. In a couple months. The entire FTX saga was created and scripted and orchestrated by higher powers and us plebs are not privileged to know exactly how. But this was not organic. SBF is at best a chubby beta male from a nice family. Nothing else going for him.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 30 2022 15:26 utc | 155

Old canafdian @ 150

I am not talking about 9 month wristslap. Talking she is not was not in prison at all.

Presume you believe Epstein was murdered in his cell.

Presume you believe Mumia Abu Jamal has a long running podcast produced on death row.

Etcetera. I have served prison time. I have seen what happens. Celebrities are not incarcerated. Period

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 30 2022 15:35 utc | 156

SBF is at best a chubby beta male from a nice family.
Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 30 2022 15:26 utc | 156

---

SBF is a thoroughly modern Artful Dodger raised by Silicon Valley Fagins.

And the Ellison girl's parents should be implicated as well.

https://www.nber.org/people/sara_ellison?page=1&perPage=50

Posted by: too scents | Nov 30 2022 15:45 utc | 157

I believe OJ Simpson was in prison, (not for the murders he committed, but he did go to prison) and Epstein got whacked, just like any other canary who knew to much and was no longer useful.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 30 2022 16:12 utc | 158

Crypto fallout:
Posted by: Scorpion | Nov 30 2022 16:14 utc

Dead men tell no tales. Ask Saddam or Gadhaffi...

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 16:21 utc | 160

Old canafdian @ 150
Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 30 2022 15:35 utc

I'm calling Bodysnatcher.

Posted by: Old canadian | Nov 30 2022 16:30 utc | 161

Is the Shiela Bair crypto-related company of the name Paxos another "scheme" (ponzi, laundry, whatever) in the making ? ? Just asking.


On November 17, Sheila Bair, the former Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) during the financial crisis of 2008, went on CNBC to lament the lack of controls leading to the collapse of the crypto currency exchange, FTX. During the interview, Bair used the phrase “nobody looking behind the curtain.”

But Bair, herself, is listed as an “Organizer/Director” of a crypto-related company called Paxos, where nobody can genuinely look behind the curtain because its parent, Kabompo Holdings Ltd., is based in the offshore secrecy jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands. According to the bare bones filings Kabompo has made with the Securities and Exchange Commission each time it has raised money from private investors, it has used an address that is a Post Office Box at Ugland House in Grand Caymen. According to a previous report from the Government Accountability Office, the audit arm of Congress, Ugland House is home to 18,857 corporations. In 2009, President Obama called it either “the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world.”



quote from full article @
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2022/11/sheila-bair-former-chair-of-the-fdic-is-now-an-organizer-director-of-a-cayman-islands-crypto-company-that-got-a-u-s-national-bank-charter-last-year/

Posted by: Fíréan | Nov 30 2022 17:50 utc | 162

Posted by: alek_a | Nov 29 2022 19:29 utc | 36

Hoarding gold wont save you when the financial apocalypse comes

back in the 1930s FDR issued an executive order confiscating everybody's gold. All privately held gold, (rings, coins, bullion) was siezed at gunpoint and that was what was used to initially fill Fort Knox. People were paid pennies on the dollar value and soon as the govt had it they unilaterally multiplied its value by decree.

Government magic. If you plan on collecting gold. Hide it well, show it to no one and I mean NO ONE, not even your spouse and make sure there are no receipts either

Posted by: DaVinci | Nov 30 2022 17:59 utc | 163

Posted by: DaVinci | Nov 30 2022 17:59 utc | 164

fake history

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 30 2022 18:11 utc | 164

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 30 2022 18:11 utc | 165

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102#:~:text=see%20Great%20Depression).-,Effects,in%202021)%20per%20troy%20ounce.

Posted by: DaVinci | Nov 30 2022 18:33 utc | 165

Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 4:56 utc | 128

I suspect that the detractors are getting desperate and nervous as they see their empire crumbling.

Posted by: Mummer | Nov 30 2022 19:16 utc | 166

Posted by: Anne B | Nov 30 2022 10:51 utc | 141

Maybe if you had bothered to read past the post in question prior to replying you could have saved yourself some time. Or perhaps you're not really Anne B and the bodysnatcher has grabbed your handle too. Who knows, maybe you ARE the bodysnatcher.

As always this post contains my 'watermark' to distinguish between legit TQC posts and the imposter(s).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 30 2022 20:49 utc | 167

I refuse to touch on this scam subject anymore but did hear a good one about bitcoin that is too good not to share.

Q.
What is the difference between Jesus and Bitcoin?

A.
Virgin birth.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1 2022 1:43 utc | 168

A currency is a Ponzi scheme with an army and a navy.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 1 2022 11:02 utc | 169

too scents @ 157

If SBF were a Fagin then there would be hundreds of Fagins making off with trillions. There is nothing unusual about the kid. He transparently has a drug problem which is not unusual either. You don't trust your money with a druggie.

If you listen to the Ellison being interviewed it is plain enough she is a person of at best average intelligence with absolutely nothing going for her. That SBF chose such a nonentity as partner says enough.

These kids are nothing. Nothing at all. Their parents undoubtedly have friends. The parents did not create or run this scam. We do not know who did.

Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 2 2022 16:19 utc | 170

The guy is a con man and did some real damage.
But some of what b says is not quite valid.
He makes excuses for lax banks that accepted coupons as assets - the fault there lies with those banks. Basically they new what they were doing or have no excuse for not knowing.

Customers got "robbed" of funds held with the company. See MF Global or Greek banks in 2010. These exchanges are not banks and warn customers to that effect. It would be like holding money with corner liquor store (probably less secure).

Crypto has no value. A lot of people agree with that. I lean that way myself. Same could be said for stocks - backed by nothing. But a lot of people make money (lot of money) with these things. Its frustrating to consider. I stuggle a little with the market value concept - market value is last price paid times total float. Like a lot of financial metrics, it gives you a number but is misleading. Like they say ftx was valued at like $33B - based on what (hint: all b/s). Wish there could be a serious analysis of what is something worth - there should at least be a good treatise on subject. But the finheads will give you smug smile with implied look of: "Well as you can see, I am wealthy and you are not." The upside to intangibles is there is no limit to their upside, because they cannot be compared to anything and they dont take any space and are theoretically durable. Ultimately the analysis comes down to: A thing is worth what another person will/did pay for it. Something about madness of crowds...

I myself dabbled in litecoin briefly. Put about $5000 in and took about $15,000 out in about 3 months time. It was up and down like crazy, I know it wasnt a lot of money but I would have felt very bad to lose a lot of it as we try hard to save so I was always worried about it for the entire 3 months. When I decided to sell it had lost about 20% by the time I could make the transaction. I tried again in about a year, this time with $10,000 again was up/down/flat after a bit of torture I took it out and had lost about 20%. It moves fast and without warning. They call it picking up nickles in front of steamroller.

Posted by: jared | Dec 5 2022 1:16 utc | 171

I think the critics are growing anxious and desperate as they watch their empire fall.

Posted by: apple worm | Dec 6 2022 9:18 utc | 172

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