I wanted to avoid writing about Bitcoin, for it’s too ample a subject, and even a book wouldn’t persuade some people on how many level Bitcoin is morally wrong and economically inept. But I happen to read on Twitter some anti-Bitcoin opinions that, without any doubt, were only focussed on one aspect and one aspect only. Pragmatically, maybe the initiative isn’t that bad, but for an analysis, it sucks.

The tweets

I won’t comment much on them, except that I never trust the common-sense judgements coming from software developers, especially from developers who know, love and promote dozens of modern technologies and new fancy languages, just because they’re cool. And most developers these days are as described above, except for those over 50 or 60, and those who code for the Linux kernel, which is still written in plain old C, not in Rust, Haskell, or dozens of other pieces of unneeded crap.

Back to our guy:

I’ll add a thread about the Gamestop case, to show that this guy is smart, and he’s able to understand how things work:

My comments

I suppose it’s not polite to base an entire rant mostly on what some other guy wrote, but here we are, being on the one hand happy that such people addressed such an issue quite vigorously and in such detail, but on the other hand being disappointed by the way they missed the forest for the trees.

What these tweets say, and I agree with:

  • We are in a ransomware plague, and it’s only getting worse. The COVID-19 pandemic and some stupid political issues prevented a proper awareness of the situation. As most (if not all) ransomware payments are to be made in BTC (or e.g. ETH), one could conclude that without BTC (or similar cryptocurrencies), there were almost no ransomware, if at all.
  • The glorification of the public blockchain as a magic, confidential and secure ledger is a fraud. The blockchain technology actually makes it easy to trace payments!
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be forbidden before it’s too late.

I would add that most people don’t understand how blockchain works, what’s the connection between blockchain and bitcoin, and that most business solutions built on the fame of the blockchain are more or less of a fraud themselves, as involving unnecessary technological complexity that’s actually understood by extremely few people (because of the mathematics behind it). I admit I don’t understand the utility of IBM’s Blockchain Platform, and I also failed to understand why IBM Food Trust™ couldn’t just use a normal database in the Cloud instead of being “Built on IBM Blockchain, this solution connects participants through a permissioned, immutable and shared record of food provenance, transaction data, processing details, and more.”

What I don’t understand is why some people are so keen to find similarities between the BTC fans and the QAnon retards. It really doesn’t compare, and there isn’t almost anything similar between the two herds. All comparisons are far-fetched.

I agree that some people see BTC (and the other cryptocurrencies) as “the revolutionary solution against the Big Finance and against the State terrorism etc. etc.”; but QAnon this is not necessarily the most similar movement. QAnon just happens to be contemporary with the cult of the Bitcoin!

In my opinion, most Bitcoin fans, being them right-wing, are not attracted to this particular cryptocurrency for its “rebellious” and tax-evading characteristics, the same way most such fans aren’t criminals, drug dealers or ransomware writers. They’re just immoral, greedy people.

And that’s I don’t see such software developers pointing at! It’s not the place to debate on what Bitcoin is and what it isn’t, because it would be too long a story, and I have a history of receiving insulting tweets on the matter even from “professionals”; I’d insist however that:

  1. The primary immorality of the Bitcoin is not that generating bitcoins takes humungously large amounts of energy. Yes, this is immoral, but if we take as immoral any useless consumption of energy, how about the fact that 20% of the world’s electricity is taken by the Internet servers? How about the energy wasted to host over 800 million videos on YouTube, most of them full of crap and a waste of time? How about the 1 billion hours of video watched every day on YouTube? How about the unnecessary Internet traffic generated by people who instead of downloading an MP3 or a FLAC or a video file on their device, listen or watch such multimedia by streaming it every time, thus practically downloading them over and over again, just not storing them anywhere? The same for keeping data in the Cloud instead of locally, such as transferring files between devices that are physically in the same room, but the data goes through a cloud service that can be anywhere on the planet? Even if Bitcoin “mining” takes as much energy as The Netherlands, there is more evil in BTC.
  2. The primary immorality of the Bitcoin concept is that it wastes energy for absolutely nothing. The mere existence of the Bitcoin requires a huge consumption of energy! This should probably raise questions about how ethical the other blockchain solutions are (including the aforementioned ones from IBM). It goes without saying that all the retards who followed their god Elon Musk are as stupid as shit (and as immoral as their god), and even those who claim to be using “green energy” are actually using whatever energy comes from their power outlet; the green energy is consumed closer to the place of production. Incidentally, the tremendously low efficiency of the Bitcoin ledger mechanism (hence, of the blockchain) makes it unfit for a means of payment: as Nouriel Roubini has said, “[cryptocurrencies] are not a scalable means of payment: with bitcoin you can do five transactions per second while the Visa network does 24,000.” Cryptocurrencies not only don’t solve any problem, but they don’t have any single positive part of them!
  3. The second immorality of Bitcoins is that they aren’t a currency (despite being use by some as if it were), they aren’t stock either (despite being closer to stock than to currency), yet they’re even worse than the Tulip-mania of the 17th century! Here, even some financial “experts” are totally shitheads. Beyond the fact that their model of having a cap at 21 million is anything but suitable for a currency, their “independence” of anything makes them a totally useless concoct. A currency has something to back its value, even if it’s not gold; it’s still the economic activity that uses it, and the trust that, despite fluctuations due to either the market or the government’s fiscal levers, a loaf of bread won’t cost ¤1 today and ¤100 tomorrow, no matter what currency is ¤. A stock has behind it the activity of a company that creates value and has profits, no matter how small or large. Cryptocurrencies have exactly nothing behind them but the irrational passion of some brainwashed dumbheads. They’re not fiat currency, they’re not movable assets, nor immovable ones, for they have absolutely no stream of income. The trust and the faith in such tokens is purely religious.
  4. But what motivates the fans is the ability to make money absolutely out of nothing, and this is THEIR major immorality! No productive activity of any kind, no creation of value of any kind, not even the “traditional” speculation on stock or currency markets. They just consume energy and create “tokens” that “get” some value that fluctuates almost randomly! The only annoyance is that, as time goes by, it’s more and more difficult (i.e. expensive in computing power and energy) to create cryptoshit.
  5. Then, any kind of cryptocurrency is a criminal enterprise per se, even without it being used by drug dealers and ransomware creators, and even the last February Tesla’s big BTC buy was a criminal market manipulation. Despite some contradictory news, central banks will never use blockchain, unless they want our world to end sooner than expected. Much sooner.

Some incredibly stupid people are nonetheless trying to crash entire countries, as it’s the case with El Salvador’s trepanned president–read here in detail about the way he’s forcing businesses to accept BTC and to pay taxes in BTC! I never thought I’d witness such a grotesque thing in my life!

Back to the immorality of the cryptocurrency miners, maybe it’s worth saying that Bitcoins are not mined on Nvidia’s GPUs, but on hardware specifically built to mine them (ASICs = Application-specific integrated circuits). It’s Ethereum, another major blockchain-based cryptoshit that requires powerful graphic cards. Nonetheless, using huge computing resources to create nothing while consuming so much power is beyond any rationality and beyond any ethics or morality!

And here lays my bewilderment: someone able to explain the Gamestop thing, someone able to sharply criticize day trading (and rightfully so), didn’t bother to notice and even less to criticize the immorality of such speculative activities: day trading, high-frequency trading, and ultimately cryptocurrency!

Of course, I am getting a bit extremist here: to me, almost everything that happens in any Stock Exchange nowadays is so immoral that it should be forbidden. Stock was meant as a means to increase capitalization and facilitate the development of a business differently than e.g. using a bank loan. That means, stock was meant to be a medium-term or a long-term investment. Nowadays, 90% of the traded stock is traded again the next minute, hour, or day, which makes it a purely speculative asset! If only 10% of the people use stock as an investment, then the entire system is rotten. (And yet, the best trading is no trading at all, as seen in the cases when the best investors were the dead ones.) In an ideal world, the regulatory authorities would put a huge tax on re-trading stock in less than 30 days after the previous trading of it, which would restore the purpose of issuing stock! After all, everywhere in the world they unjustly tax inheritances, they hugely tax changing the owner of a house, of land, or even of cars, yet taxing stock transactions with as few as 0.1% is considered unacceptable?!

Here’s the IQ of the people who trade on stock exchanges:

It must be such people who can’t see the immorality of the cryptocurrencies.

My question is: do software developers have a moral sense? By my standards, most of them don’t. I’ve worked in the field long enough to know them, to know what they became in the last decades. And maybe their lack of common sense is yet another explanation for the sorry state of the software we use daily.

As for the Chinese, they never had any moral sense. Very much like North Korea, all money is good money, no matter how they make it. This starts to change, but not on moral grounds.