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Everything posted by dgul

  1. TBL understands the potential of blockchain. IMO (not that it matters) he's right on the button. He is, notably, not talking about one particular instance, of one particular use of blockchain.
  2. IMO it is a bit like collecting Conch shells. Bitcoin is the right sort of idea -- I'm do consider that a cryptocurrency might gain real traction in many currency uses. But I don't believe it will be Bitcoin. To have such faith in a single example is, IMO, a bit odd*. It might be the 'first one', but that isn't the hallmark of success. Frankly, I believe that there will be a generally successful crypto, but it hasn't actually been released yet. [* if you consider that its value is all in the belief that it will be successful. If it isn't successful then its value will be zero. There isn't really a middle ground.] [I believe that crypto is a bit like the gold-rush (plenty of examples). People are making 'life-gambles' based on its success. IMO in the end there will be some wealth generated and some people will become seriously wealthy. But at the same time most people will be lucky to come away with a modest return, and a considerable number of people will be ruined. IMO the route to guaranteed success isn't to speculate or mine, but to be the 'shopkeeper selling the pans'.]
  3. And you think this? That the world will move to mining farms in China and making new billionaires from nothing? I think it far far more likely that the bankers will set up a new crypto, make it so that you can't get in/out of others easily and set up a few nice portals. Then they'll win again. Your frustration with the current system won't be the thing that makes for a revolution.
  4. A 'store of value' is one which has a really, really high chance of giving you your money back. If I'm doing 'store of value' I want to get my money back. Otherwise I'll invest or speculate or something. Crypto just doesn't have this 'store of value'. It has a track record of a few years, and in those years quite a bit of the time it's looked like a speculative punt on a dream of the future. It might pay out, might not -- but it isn't a store of value. I'd agree that fiat isn't either. But I've never argued that it is.
  5. I'd agree with all the points other than 'which other crypto can equal' part. Answer -- the next one. or the one after that. The idea the Bitcoin 'is the one' is just faith.
  6. That sounds fine. So no more than about 10% in crypto. That would be quite a big punt on a single speculative asset class, but that much could give big returns. Just remember to sell when the time comes.
  7. Thinking of putting 'savings' in currency is bonkers whatever the currency you choose. Put 'savings' in places where value can increase. Bitcoin! That's going up in value! Yes -- but it doesn't look like there's anything supporting it other than faith that it will be used for transactions in the future. As a mechanism of transaction Bitcoin makes much more sense. It is a great way to transfer money outside of the banking system, and the volatility doesn't need to be so much of a problem. Oh, but now the transaction time and delay does make a difference. And the delay makes the volatility become a problem again. So you end up with what was a reasonable way to transact becoming something that you absolutely wouldn't use to transact. But what about a store of value? It isn't behaving like a store of value. Sure, it is going up -- but that's not the desirable behaviour in a store-of-value. What you want is 'it will absolutely pay out in the future, about what I put in'. Gold isn't the best example, but it does have this 'gentleman's suit for an ounce' thing -- so sort-of-been-okay for 2000 years. That's a long term store of value. Well, Bitcoin is an investment. Sure. But keep a level head. Do you really think that Bitcoin will be how many transactions will be done in the future? I don't have that faith. Not for Bitcoin. As I've said, I think it is a speculative mania. You can make money out of such things. Many people lose everything. The mistake is always thinking you know which one you'll be.
  8. Pound coins and steamrollers. I've no idea when it'll stop, but being in when it does would be crippling. I'm guessing 'by Jan 18' based on the way it is looking ATM. I'd have said similar at certain points in the past, and been wrong. I'm not going to bet the house on such a move. [Trend is friend! That's exactly the sort of phrase that makes me cringe in fear when it comes to any investment]
  9. Ah, but don't conflate Bitcoin with the other stuff. Blockchain is useful. I'm using it already. Eth is a useful way to use blockchain without setting up your own whole infrastructure. That's fantastically useful. Lightning looks bonkers to me -- you set up a whole trust-independent, distributed, robust currency system (great), then when it doesn't work (scale) you introduce a trust component (the channel) to make it sort-of-work. That's backwards. I absolutely think that a crypto could take over as the medium of many transactions. My problem is with Bitcoin specifically -- it doesn't have the right characteristics. Yet it is the one going stratospheric. I find this very suspicious -- hopefully it is just too much enthusiasm in some people and it'll calm down. [The problem there is that too many people are entering (and forcing up the price) based on promises of massive gains -- 10% in 12 months just wouldn't cut it for them -- and if they all jump ship, then the price will fall.] But, regardless, I fear that it is being manipulated. Of the current crop, Eth looks most useful -- in that it actually can have a use. I'd put something in that, except that I I think Bitcoin is going to crash (I'll state before the end of Jan 18, but that's just a guess) and that it'll bring down the others with it (and hard). Then the question is which one will rise from the ashes.
  10. I don't mind. What I've said is true now. I'm happy to be quoted against that statement, whenever. Now, what I'm not going to do is, after Bitcoin is hacked and goes to zero -- in that case I won't say 'I told you so'. Because I don't believe it will go that way. And I'm not going to claim any superiority when WWIII starts, and all hell plays out, including Bitcoin going to zero. Because I'd have better things to worry about. But I absolutely think that Bitcoin isn't behaving like a currency, and that this is 'baked in' to this particular crypto (it has 'bad' qualities, like volatility, slow transaction speed, high costs). I'll stand by that. I also have concerns that the entire market is currently being manipulated (In a minor way since about the start of the year, and in earnest since about October). I might be wrong about that, but it does have the hallmarks of a manipulated market. What I don't like is when people declare 'I told you so' when their predictions aren't true, but that something else has happened to be able to twist things around so that it sounds like they were. The statements from x years ago were all about Bitcoin being the asset of the future because everyone would start using it for all their money transactions. It would go up a bit if it was being used for lots of international transfers, etc. It would go up loads if whole countries started using it. But pretty much no-one is using it. Not for legal transactions, anyway. It is going stratospheric because a load of people think it'll be worth more in the future. This is an exceptionally dangerous behaviour, because if it stops going stratospheric (note -- just stabilises, not that if it collapses) then those people will withdraw. If Bitcoin is lucky then some other players will enter to replace them. If it isn't, then at that point the price will collapse.
  11. You've got to be careful with this sort of selective criticism from the past. The reality is that people back then were heralding Bitcoin as the new currency. That in the future all sorts of things would be Bitcoin -- individuals would buy loads of stuff with Bitcoin, international trades would be covered by it, etc. This was criticised by people as being fantasy land, and that Bitcoin was just speculation in an unachievable dream. Yet here we are, years later. Bitcoin still isn't being used for anything (much -- pretty much just drugs and porn). Yet the price has escalated -- based on what? It absolutely looks like a speculative mania. Of course, the cryto guys might be right -- everything will be Bitcoin in the future!But, actually, it looks much much more like a failure. Transaction costs (meant to be low) are how comparable with the value of the majority of actual purchases made with Bitcoin. Transaction times (meant to be instant) are now many hours. Volatility all over the place... And that is with just 500,000 transactions per day -- how anyone could think this is the perfect currency of the future is beyond me. Everyone is buying to make a gain on the future price. This is a recipe for disaster. I do like the technology -- I'm putting blockchain into a product under development -- and I think that cryptocurrency might have a future. I'm still not sure, because it doesn't actually seem to offer any advantages over current currencies (sure, instant transfer, zero costs, blah, blah -- the evidence is that it isn't like that. Sure, along will come Lite or whatever, but it is such a big hurdle to climb) and has disadvantages. But I absolutely can't see how it could be Bitcoin. It has everything wrong with it to actually be useful as a currency. My fear for the future is how many suicides we're going to get over Bitcoin.
  12. Oh, I agree. IMO there's incredibly serious problems brewing in HE in the UK, and I think we'll lose quite a few institutions (oh, they'll be called 'mergers', but they'll be the sort of mergers that end up with one of the sites closing down) -- but I very much doubt any of the Russel group will be badly affected.
  13. You might be right. I suppose it is low risk for them -- either I'm right and it is a safe bet, or you're right and they're pretty much going bankrupt anyway. Either way they don't have to worry about the debt they're taking on.
  14. Well, based on an assumption that there'll always be some demand, and it'll drop off from the poorest quality provider first. So even if demand drops down to 5% of the current demand, everyone else will fold and Russel group will be left as the supplier. I suppose you could think that the internet could do all the provision, but that ignores the 'gentleman's club' part.
  15. Sounds like a sensible thing to do, to me. Their income is fairly assured over the timescale -- even if HE collapses, Russel Group will be fine.
  16. The trouble with your argument is that: why should they be set the same. I'd argue (as does your linked article, I think), that unearned gains should be taxed much higher than income, not lower (as present). Beyond that, income from equity should be taxed higher than income from labour. If you wanted to give the 'right' incentives, you'd do something like (all 'base rates'): Income from labour: 20%. (inc NI, £10k allowance) Income from equity: 30% (£1k allowance) Income from capital gains: 40% (£10k allowance, but allow rolling-over of unused allowance for 10 years*) [* You're right in that CGT allowances just aren't normally used by 'normal' people, and then all of a sudden along comes something odd like a house and they've paying massively. Wealthy people use up their allowances every year. This would normalise things a bit.]
  17. It is ridiculous to think we'd have a 'Venezuela style collapse'. The guy is an idiot. It would be more like an Argentinian style collapse.
  18. There was a test case where the judge said that a Romanian Big Issue seller wasn't eligible for TCs as she wasn't really working / was no-where near being able to support her family with her self-employment (and, I guess, that there was no way this was going to change -- she couldn't say that her business was in the early stages and she'd double turnover next year). IIRC the numbers were £50 a week self employment, to get £150 a week TCs. It was May this year. Certainly, I've not seen the foreign Big Issue sellers in town this last summer, and I'm not sure I've seen any Big Issue sellers recently... [I actually approve of this sort of ruling. IMO you should have a little time to prove your business (6 months, say), but, if you're not earning minimum wage in your stated hours by that point then you shouldn't be classed as self-employed for TC purposes -- that would need to be classed as a scam just to get TCs]
  19. Clever guy, Bird. But the decent thing that was Big Issue was pretty much destroyed by tax credits and the self-employment nonsense. (Though, thankfully, this seems to have been resolved in the last 6 months -- seen a drop in Big Issue sellers over the summer? But it still hasn't really had a chance to return to its previous supportive role) I'm sure that the government and banks will ensure that this idea, also, will be turned into something to be taken advantage of.
  20. One interesting thing about right-to-buy was that it did sort-of have the desired effect on the estates -- vast council estates which were once in a bad state are now okay. And not in an improved state because of the maintenance of the houses, but because of the 'pride' (or, perhaps, vested interest) people had in taking care of the area, both the grounds of the property itself, and in the state of the communal areas. People who were brought up in areas which were pretty scummy, are now going on about how important it is to mow the verges. But, for the generations to come, this effect has been lost. These children will grow up with insecure tenancies, with transient schools, friends and prospects. And, most of all, with no ties to the state of their local area. Now, the scumminess of the council estate will be a bit more difficult, as the landlord will mandate 'mowing the lawns' or, more likely, will shove the cost of an occasional gardener on the rent. But, the loss of the link to the community will remain. Yet another area where we've all been sacrificed for the banks, yet we won't really know about it for another 20 years.
  21. Possibly. I get a sense of frustration with them, that they could be doing better with their pension, but that they're restricted. They're blind to the reality, of course, but that's what they're thinking. [These are all defined benefit, so they see their benefit going up by CPI/RPI each year, while others that went into BTL have seen their return double (say). That sort of thing. They've not been able to 'take their money out', but the pensions have been changed so that they now can. I don't think 'risk' is part of their thinking, other than, perhaps, 'they'll not let that happen']
  22. I've chatted with people intending to do just that. Yup, they're insane.
  23. Yup. They'll discover that there was a good reason for having a bank deposit guarantee.
  24. It is a peculiarity of our time. I think these people will come to realise that housing isn't necessarily a safe investment. Indeed, IMO it is both essential and inevitable that people eventually come to realise this. The problem is, how much time needs to elapse before 'inevitable' comes (they've managed to delay it 10 years so far).
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