Cryptonomicon's Neal Stephenson Says He Isn't Satoshi ...

Bitcoin skepticism.

I've always been skeptical of the value of bitcoin. I've been watching bitcoin for a long time since back when you could by 10000 bitcoins for like a dollar. Mainly because as a developer I would see it pop in my news feed constantly. I thought it seems like a novel idea, and as a reader the Cryptonomicon kinda gave me a warm fuzzy to see it take off as a reality.
But that was were my warm fuzzy's ended. My first thought was it'll be a year before this gets shut down by the SEC or embroiled in some sort of lawsuits from the IRS. I was surprised when nothing happened, but overall it seemed to just go on. I heard about people using it on the dark web and that made sense, this was even mentioned in the Cryptonomicon that in any frontier the forerunners are often the criminals. Eventually though it saw some legitimacy, some websites started accepting it as currency the value started to rise meeting parity with the dollar.
I started to read some of the stuff about it. What is a bitcoin? Well, that's when I came across my first problem with how bitcoin works. Bitcoin mining is built on a concept called Proof of Work, from the Bitcoin wiki:
A proof of work is a piece of data which is difficult (costly, time-consuming) to produce but easy for others to verify and which satisfies certain requirements. Producing a proof of work can be a random process with low probability so that a lot of trial and error is required on average before a valid proof of work is generated. Bitcoin uses the Hashcash proof of work system.
But is that data valuable? Well... no. The value of bitcoin is spent cpu cycles. If we really break it down the value of bitcoin is entropy. That's what people are trading. Bitcoin is a commodity currency where the commodity is... literally entropy. I thought surely people will realize that the value of this is nothing but spent energy. But the price kept rising.
Now these days you see people defending the idea of bitcoin. When you point out any sort of flaw in how bitcoin is built you get back unintelligible answers that basically break down to, "The ontology of this ontology is the ontology of this ontology." I'm kind of fed up with listening to these people yammer nonsensically about what a great thing bitcoin is. Is anyone else experiencing the same thing?
submitted by stillbourne to skeptic [link] [comments]

A quote from 'Cryptonomicon'

Randy figures there’s no better time to ask this question. And because he’s known Avi longer than anyone else, he’s the only one who can get away with asking it. “Do we really want to be involved with these people?” he says. “Is this what Epiphyte Corp. is for? Is this what we are for?”
Avi heaves a big sigh and thinks about it for a while. Beryl looks at him searchingly; Eb and John and Tom study their shoes, or search the triple-canopy jungle for exotic avians, while listening intently.
“You know, back in the forty-niner days, every gold mining town in California had a nerd with a scale,” Avi says. “The assayer. He sat in an office all day. Scary-looking rednecks came in with pouches of gold dust. The nerd weighed them, checked them for purity, told them what the stuff was worth. Basically, the assayer’s scale was the exchange point—e where this mineral, this dirt from the ground, became money that would be recognized as such in any bank or marketplace in the world, from San Francisco to London to Beijing. Because of the nerd’s special knowledge, he could put his imprimatur on dirt and make it money. Just like we have the power to turn bits into money.
“Now, a lot of the people the nerd dealt with were incredibly bad guys. Peg house habitues. Escaped convicts from all over the world. Psychotic gunslingers. People who owned slaves and massacred Indians. I’ll bet that the first day, or week, or month, or year, that the nerd moved to the gold-mining town and hung out his shingle, he was probably scared shitless. He probably had moral qualms too—very legitimate ones, perhaps,” Avi adds, giving Randy a sidelong glance. “Some of those pioneering nerds probably gave up and went back East. But y’know what? In a surprisingly short period of time, everything became pretty damn civilized, and the towns filled up with churches and schools and universities, and the sort of howling maniacs who got there first were all assimilated or driven out or thrown into prison, and the nerds had boulevards and opera houses named after them. Now, is the analogy clear?”
(from "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson)
This book was suggested somewhere in cryptoland recently. I just thought this passage reflects how cryptocurrencies work in it's infancy and stages to maturity. The whole legal/not-legal... dark market... discussions.
By the way, this was written in 1999, before Bitcoin. I believe it might have inspired Satoshi in some way. It's a good read, I recommend it to nerds and crypto enthusiasts.
submitted by Crypto_Wolf to ethtrader [link] [comments]

A quote from the book Cryptonomicon

Randy figures there’s no better time to ask this question. And because he’s known Avi longer than anyone else, he’s the only one who can get away with asking it. “Do we really want to be involved with these people?” he says. “Is this what Epiphyte Corp. is for? Is this what we are for?”
Avi heaves a big sigh and thinks about it for a while. Beryl looks at him searchingly; Eb and John and Tom study their shoes, or search the triple-canopy jungle for exotic avians, while listening intently.
“You know, back in the forty-niner days, every gold mining town in California had a nerd with a scale,” Avi says. “The assayer. He sat in an office all day. Scary-looking rednecks came in with pouches of gold dust. The nerd weighed them, checked them for purity, told them what the stuff was worth. Basically, the assayer’s scale was the exchange point—e where this mineral, this dirt from the ground, became money that would be recognized as such in any bank or marketplace in the world, from San Francisco to London to Beijing. Because of the nerd’s special knowledge, he could put his imprimatur on dirt and make it money. Just like we have the power to turn bits into money.
“Now, a lot of the people the nerd dealt with were incredibly bad guys. Peg house habitues. Escaped convicts from all over the world. Psychotic gunslingers. People who owned slaves and massacred Indians. I’ll bet that the first day, or week, or month, or year, that the nerd moved to the gold-mining town and hung out his shingle, he was probably scared shitless. He probably had moral qualms too—very legitimate ones, perhaps,” Avi adds, giving Randy a sidelong glance. “Some of those pioneering nerds probably gave up and went back East. But y’know what? In a surprisingly short period of time, everything became pretty damn civilized, and the towns filled up with churches and schools and universities, and the sort of howling maniacs who got there first were all assimilated or driven out or thrown into prison, and the nerds had boulevards and opera houses named after them. Now, is the analogy clear?”
(from "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson)
This book was suggested somewhere in cryptoland recently. I just thought this passage reflects how cryptocurrencies work in it's infancy and stages to maturity. The whole legal/not-legal... dark market... discussions.
By the way, this was written in 1999, before Bitcoin. I believe it might have inspired Satoshi in some way. It's a good read, I recommend it to nerds and crypto enthusiasts.
submitted by Crypto_Wolf to EthereumClassic [link] [comments]

Realistic cyberpunk

The world is seriously going cyberpunk - look at the plots involving Pirate Bay's endless relocating, look at Bitcoin mines and its political implications, look at the near-thrillers of Silk Road and Snowden. But, from afar, it seems most cyberpunk literature is more interested in explosions, world-revolution, and heroic feats. So could you recommend me some cyberpunk stories which keep it cool but fly closer to reality? What I'm looking for is snotty hackers with their white-on-black terminals, people who do not escape bullets, maybe even a good sentence and a plot that moves the reader instead of just moving the reader on. Probably something nearer to this decade than to spaceships and mind upload, also. I quite like Gibson, though the idea of the spatial representations of the Matrix today seems more cool than plausible; I also love Cryptonomicon, though I vaguely recall Stephenson being kind of a shoddy writer. And Pynchon's latest have been going a bit pulp and easy themselves, so I don't feel terribly drawn to Bleeding Edge, but please do change my mind if you can...
Thanks!
submitted by Akhel to suggestmeabook [link] [comments]

Combining Bitcoin Mining with Protein Folding

So I'm as giddy as a school girl, (just ordered my copy of Cryptonomicon) but I was wondering if any of you better brains can tell me if the computensive tasks required to mine bitcoins could instead be real world problems like in other distributed projects?
submitted by I_REAP_ACTS to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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← Veddha V3C 8-GPU Mining Case Aluminum Stackable Mining Rig Open Air Frame Case with Fan Mount – Ethereum(ETH,ETC)/ZCash ... Cryptonomicon is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought and creative daring; the product of a ... Bitcoin mining is a race- as soon as one worker has claimed the next bitcoin, you have to start over again. So many owners of miners rationally figured that they would let their competition verify ... Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money … Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. r/Bitcoin. log in sign up. User account menu. 13. 10 years before Bitcoin, Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. Close. 13. Posted by. u/bitcoinhustler. 2 years ago. Archived. 10 years before Bitcoin, Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon ... Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Cryptonomicon. Continue reading → Posted in Recommended Books Tagged Adventure fiction, Cryptonomicon, Data encryption (Computer science), ebook, FICTION / Literary, Literary, Neal Stephenson, Science Fiction - Hard Science Fiction, Thrillers - General, William Morrow. Search for: Recent Posts. Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency ... Cryptonomicon's Neal Stephenson Says He Isn’t Satoshi Nakamoto, The Creator Of Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto has elicited much mystery over the last decade. Bitcoin has infiltrated many mainstream markets, and interest in the cryptocurrency continues to grow. Many people have tried to figure out exactly who Satoshi might be in the real world, and a recent article in Reason suggests a new ...

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