Bitcoin (BTC) is the only effective way for Americans to empower themselves and protests do not work, popular TV personality Max Keiser has said. In the latest edition of his RT show the Keiser Report on June 23, Keiser delivered a frank appraisal of the current socio-economic situation in the United States. Protests “do nothing” […] submitted by
Today's thoughts are all about altcoins.
Litecoins are not dead
Several people have started to agree with me recently that litecoins aren't dead yet. But I wasn't quite able to give a concrete answer as to why, until a comment reminded me that litecoins are the most widely traded of all the altcoins. BTC-e, for example, doesn't deal in phoenixcoins and ronpaulcoins. Being widely traded is a significant advantage, even if the coin doesn't itself have any advantages.
I'm not sure why ASICs are relevant to the price of altcoins. ASICs are going to be distributed amongst miners just like they were with bitcoins; this just makes the miners fight a losing battle with each other, costing each other money. As long as one person doesn't get all the ASICs, it doesn't have any effect on network security.
A while back, all the speculation was that litecoins would overtake bitcoins once Mt Gox accepted them for trading. In the interim, however, we have several major exchanges trading them. When an exchange wants to expand into altcoins, they don't look towards the trendiest new thing; the first mainstay they adopt is litecoins.
The other advantage litecoins have is that there is a certain amount of "lock-in" with other coins. I've already commented about the concept of technological "lock-in." In this case, you have exchanges like Cryptsy that denominate some altcoins solely in litecoins. I found out that there is a class of altcoins that can only be traded Bitcoins -> Litecoins -> Altcoin. Even if you don't want litecoins, you still have to buy them if you want to play the game with these "penny stock" coins. That keeps their price high because even if merchants do not accept them, they still have utility and "acceptance" by exchanges.
Also, a quick thought to ponder: a lot of the reason why people buy bitcoins is that bubbles crash, things change, and bitcoins are still around. Have litecoins reached the point where people expect them to die, they don't, and therefore they think there must be something to them?
Max Keiser recommends Darkcoins; I do not
Max Keiser put out a tweet trying to sell darkcoins to his followers, saying he thinks they will recover after their recent bug-fueled crash. Remember that Keiser was also the one who said to buy the essentially 98% premined Quarks too, and that failure alone might be reason enough to ignore whatever he says.
I like the idea that when an altcoin has a lot of hype, it's not time to buy it. Darkcoins may have some benefits, but there is so much hype around them that there is almost certainly a bubble there. Don't confuse that with the idea that darkcoins won't have a niche in the future. However, just like bitcoins, there are times when hype gets out of proportion to the advantages the technology has.
Today's altcoin mining report
Altcoin mining profitability is all over the map today. If I had started testing this pool back during the last cycle, it would have been interesting to see if we could deduce any patterns from this data. As you can see in the charts at: http://shoemakervillage.org/temp/altcoins2014-06-07.jpg
there are about 20 coins that are constantly switching as the most profitable. This may be partially a result of those new coins that have extremely fast difficulty adjustments. The chart isn't as useful without being able to mouse over the bars, but it gets the general point across just seeing all the colors. People obviously do not value most altcoins for their specific features anymore; most of them are just a game. There is one trend that is not all over the place: http://shoemakervillage.org/temp/altcoins2014-06-07-2.jpg
The expected payout of scrypt coins is at $1.33/Mh/day now, which is completely opposite the trend of increasing bitcoin prices.
The effects of orphanage
Some altcoins reduce the block confirmation time by making the coin ridiculously easy to mine. There's no advantage to creating an altcoin that has huge numbers of blocks, because then all that happens is that your "confirmed' transaction is more likely to get orphaned. In testing, I was getting 30% orphanage rates on some of these fast coins. Look at what happened last night in the course of a few blocks: http://shoemakervillage.org/temp/altcoins2014-06-07-3.jpg
However, I'm still trying to figure out whether orphanage actually reduces the pool's revenue or not. The conclusion I'm coming to is that it only cuts miners' revenue from the expected value if your orphan rate is higher than the average orphan rate of the network. If everyone has 30% of blocks rejected, then the blocks are still being created at the same rate and everyone gets the same amount of money. You only lose money if you have more orphans than everyone else does.
Am I missing something here? If not, then orphanage is only an indicator of a bug or of monetary losses if I have orphaned blocks for long networks like bitcoin, where having another pool finding a block within a second or two is very unlikely.
None of the altcoins has the innovation that bitcoin needs
The only true innovation from any altcoin that would pose a threat to bitcoin is if someone came up with a yet-unknown solution to the 1MB transaction limit, that will be permanent for an indefinite period of time, and released a new coin with it.
Some people mistakenly say that people will switch to altcoins to get around the block size limit, but that isn't the case because the most any altcoin has done to resolve it is to make blocks more frequent, which only raises the limit to some hardcoded value. Raising the limit to some hardcoded value isn't "solving" the problem, it's just putting it off into the future. Don't make a mistake and buy altcoins thinking that some altcoin is going to address that limit, because none has.
Altcoin code is a mess
Altcoins are a mess, when you are trying to compile their code. If you haven't done this with many coin daemons, which most probably haven't, then you probably don't know that almost all altcoins are just clones of bitcoin with some minor changes. This is one of the reasons why bitcoins have such an advantage, because you can't be innovative when you just copy stuff from the bitcoin developers.
What some people don't know is that most altcoins aren't even doing that. There are a few altcoins that have changed little in many years, so instead of incorporating fixes that have been included in bitcoin since then, those coins never upgraded to newer block templates and they don't include the latest features. It also means that bugs that were later fixed are still present in those coins. Some coins, like namecoin, are in horrible shape and for many, it's a matter of time before this code aging causes some sort of security issue to be discovered.
Dogecoins are doomed?
Dogecoins are supposedly doomed. The idea is that the block reward is decreasing too rapidly, and the price of dogecoins needs to rise to avoid a 51% attack. I'm not so sure that the developers of dogecoins will just roll over and die, given how large that community is.
More likely is that if the price stays stable and more block reward decreases occur, they will release a fork to stop the reward decline earlier than expected. That will devalue dogecoins significantly. If the hashrate of dogecoins starts to drop, I would get out. I don't think the network is "doomed," but I do think that the only solution to the problem is to devalue coins, and you obviously don't want to be holding when that is announced.
Negative "interest" rates
Apparently, the speculation now is that negative interest rates are going to spread to the rest of the world, and that banks will start charging an account maintenance fee, along with eliminating interest payments. In that case, what is the purpose of using a bank? I won't be keeping a checking account if that happens. Instead, I'll close my account, buy a safe and store cash in it, using banks only to trade stocks. I don't think I spent a single dollar in actual cash for the past year before this, so this is a technological regression.
What kind of world is this where it is a better idea for me to store wads of cash in a safe instead of putting it in a bank, where they actually take money from me?
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