I’ve not heard the episode yet, so maybe I’m missing something but isn’t just outlawing a technology outright kinda… regressive?


Uh, no? Lots of technologies are regulated or banned because they are dangerous, harmful, or primarily/exclusively used for criminal purposes.


At this point I just don’t see bitcoin as anything more than a speculation pyramid-scheme style scam crossed with money laundering for criminally earned money, with a tiny bit of actual commerce on the side.

The formula is just:

  • Money in from criminals
  • Money in from speculators
  • Money out to power companies, mostly covered by speculators
  • Laundered money out to criminal interests, who want a quick turnaround before the whole bubble crashes
  • A veneer of commercial activity that obscures the whole thing
  • Externalities: massive CO2 output

It needs to be closed down to protect the speculators. All they are doing is aiding money laundering. Ponzi schemes aren’t allowed, why is this?


Regulated? Yes. Banned? Name one.


The real Kinder Surprise eggs.


Those can still be gotten, just gotta leave the us and get one. Doesn’t sound very banned if it’s so easily attainable.


Building thermonuclear weapons is banned. Merely figuring out how to do so is in and of itself banned.


Yeah, I CAN get a gun in Japan, but it’s still banned.

Also, cryptocurrencies are already banned in South Korea and China.


And yet somehow we still have a bunch, in the hands of a bunch of countries. They may have been regulated out of reach of most people, but countries can still build them, especially if they already know how.


Your argument that someone can break a law, and therefore that law isn’t really a law, is purposefully obtuse.


My argument is actually worse than that, It’s that I don’t actually know the legal status of production of thermonuclear weapons.

I remember reading that at some point the law was that if you already had nukes you could keep them, but nobody who didn’t already have them was not allowed to acquire them. I assumed that was still the state of affairs.


Rym isn’t talking about the laws governing what countries can do but what individuals can do. If you somehow figure out on your own how to make a thermonuclear device, you are fucked. That information is “born secret.”


It’s pedantic but I’d still argue that it’s not banned, just regulated out of the hands of individuals.


Nobody ares about your pedanticness. Here, if you have a problem with the word “ban” let me rewrite it for you, oh king of language.

There should be an law which makes it illegal for anyone to buy, sell, or mine cryptocurrencies.




A friend of a friend is willing to pay me to build a large ($20k+) cryptomining setup. I’m slightly torn between the relatively easy money of throwing a bunch of video cards in a box and talking them out of it.


Talk them out of it. Really. Or talk them into doing it in a carbon neutral way, like installing their own solar panels or wind turbines to power it.

Check this out:

“Digiconomist’s less optimistic estimate for per-transaction energy costs now sits at around 215 KWh of electricity. That’s more than enough to fill two Tesla batteries, run an efficient fridge/freezer for a full year, or boil 1872 litres of water in a kettle.”

That isn’t the cost per bitcoin, it’s the cost per TRANSACTION.

Imagine boiling 1872 litres of water in a kettle to pay for a credit card transaction! Or driving a car from LA to SF to deliver a cheque. It’s utterly immoral.

The only thing that is covering this cost is bubble inducing speculation. You’re taking money from dupes. Also utterly immoral.


What is a cryptocurrency then?

Blockchain is just a distributed ledger. You can build that kind of thing with proof of work, proof of stake, etc… It’s just a distributed list of arbitrary transactions. You could use it as a distributed changelog, chat, database, whatever.

Also, mining is just doing some math and checking your result. It’s the whole DECSS argument all over again.


You just have to take the real actual money out of the system, and people won’t mine it, so whatev.


Wow, that is quite a bit worse than I would’ve guessed. I feel like that basically settles it. I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea in the first place but most people I mentioned it to were unrealistically positive about it.

I’ll admit the main thing that put me on the fence about it was that I occasionally need to crack passwords and potentially having access to that much GPU power is tempting.