This tweet from a #NoEstimates advocate is interesting food for thought:
Let’s say you are one member of a software development team of 5, and each of your salaries is $100K per year. Now, assume that an executive in your org requests that your team build software product “WhizzBang” for $500K. If your team accepts the request, then your deadline date becomes automatically set in stone as one year from the selection date. If you don’t accept the request…. well, then you and your teammates should look for other work.
An alternative approach for getting “WhizzBang” built is for the executive to ask the team for an estimate of how long it will take to get the software built.
I, as a software developer, would prefer the bidirectional “asking for an estimate” approach rather than the unidirectional “setting of a price” approach. Neither approach is ideal, but the “asking for an estimate” approach gives me the opportunity to provide information to the executive that allows him/her to decide whether or not to move forward on his investment.
In either case, history sadly shows that neither approach is likely to lead to the derived deadline being met. In those cases where the deadline is met, the team has most likely worked tons of unpaid overtime over a sustained period of time and has cut quality corners to do so 😦
The latest BTC movie, “Banking On Bitcoin“, which was released on January 6th, has hit the top of the charts:
Of course, being a staunch Bitcoin fan, I loved it. I was disappointed, however, that neither Roger Ver nor Andreas Antonopoulos has any speaking scenes in the movie.
The best part of the movie is the segment on the first attempt in the nation to formally regulate Bitcoin. The effort was led by Ben Lawsky, New York State’s first Superintendent of Financial Services. The resulting set of regulatory requirements, which apply to New York state businesses and individuals, can be found in the “BitLicense“. BitLicense is so onerous and bureaucratic that many Bitcoin companies fled the state when it went into effect. From Wikipedia:
It came into effect on August 8, 2015. At least ten bitcoin companies announced they were stopping all business in New York State because of the new regulations. The New York Business Journal called this the “Great Bitcoin Exodus”.
In a classic, self-serving, crony capitalist move, after leaving his government post, Mr. Lawsy started a consulting company which provides $ervices to help companies apply for BitLicenses.
Here are the other excellent Bitcoin movies that I’ve watched over the past year:
Amazon Prime customers please take note that ALL of these movies are available to you at no additional charge. I enlarged the graphic for “The End Of Money As We Know It” because it is currently my all time favorite.
Remember this guy?
Well, Roger Ver (a.k.a Bitcoin Jesus) has a similar beef:
I’ve been a fan of Roger Ver ever since I got sucked down into the Bitcoin rabbit hole well over a year ago. His passionate, pro-Bitcoin words and startup investments have helped Bitcoin grow to where it is today. Roger has also been the most vocal Bitcoin celebrity to rage against the Bitcoin Core development team’s refusal to raise the maximum block size above 1MB.
Hard-limiting the maximum block size to 1MB causes more competition among users to get their transactions into a block – which causes the average per-block user fee to rise – which causes fewer people worldwide to use Bitcoin as “money” – which stunts the global growth of Bitcoin. In the worst case, fees may get so high so that we only see wealthy people using Bitcoin in the future.
As Roger has said, the more expensive it is to use a thing, the fewer the people are who will use the thing. Economics 101.
To support Roger’s claim, I submit a relatively recent tweet of his for your perusal:
And, if you navigate to the Bitcoin transaction that Roger links to in the tweet, you’ll see this:
At the time of the tweet, the BTC price was hovering around $1000 USD. Thus, the fee of 72 millibits that his company, Bitcoin.com, paid, translated to around $70+ USD. However, at 89KB in size, it sure is a big ass transaction to stuff into a block. 🙂
I just finished reading James Rickards’ “The Road To Ruin“. It was an interesting read in that he used: past events (1998 LTCM meltdown, 2008 crash), complexity and chaos theory, “fat tailed” power law distributions, and Bayesian statistics logic to build a fairly compelling case for the next impending global financial meltdown to be catalyzed by global elites. In his view, the US dollar will collapse and be replaced as the world’s reserve currency by the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) notes.
The fact that Mr. Rickards worked for the LTCM hedge fund when it imploded in 1998 makes him a complicit elite in my eyes. It makes me wonder if he was an unwitting co-architect of that disaster.
After building his case that the mother of all financial collapses is on our doorstep, Mr. Rickards states that there are three ways to to financially survive the debacle: buy fine art, land, and gold before your dollars become worthless. What a letdown. Buying art, land, and (less so) gold is not much of an option for the average Joe Schmoe with a modest amount of savings. It’s simply advice from an elite for elites to avoid being ripped off by other elites.
Strangely, Mr. Rickards doesn’t ever mention buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as an option to ride out the next collapse – which shows me that he’s a dinosaur who needs to move into the 21st century. Cryptocurrencies are a viable hedge against financial calamity for the average Joe like you and me. Maybe Mr. Rickards will do his research and discover this fact before he pens his next doom-and-gloom book…..
Tatiana Moroz is a “Bitcoin singer”. As you can see in the photo below, she is curiously sporting a Bitcoin QR code sticker right on her guitar.
In appreciation of Tatiana’s singing a sweet Bitcoin jingle, I decided to tip her $1.00 worth of Bitcoin. To do so, I launched my iphone Coinbase wallet app, selected the “send bitcoin” feature, and focused the phone camera on the QR code in the picture. The wallet app then translated the QR code into the bitcoin address it represents and setup the transaction for me:
I then clicked send, and voila, she received the BTC tip from me!
Assuming I wanted to tip Tatiana, and Bitcoin didn’t exist, how convenient would the other currently available dinosaur payment options be to me?
Every once in awhile I scope out the wonderful 99bitcoins.com site to have a good chuckle. The site continuously finds and posts the latest and greatest “Bitcoin Obituaries” penned by financial elitists.
The 118th Bitcoin obituary is a doozy. On December 8th, the multi-titled hot shot with a highly esteemed MIT degree, Jiri Kram, looked into his crystal ball and predicted Bitcoin’s demise on December 12th. Well, it’s December 30th and Bitcoin’s price has risen from $771 (when he made his proclamation) to $957 as I wrote this post.
Here are some snippets from his propaganda piece (that promotes a centralized, proprietary, cryptocurrency named ForceCoin) that clearly illustrate how ignorant and uninformed Mr. Kram is regarding Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a fundamentally flawed virtual currency that is inherently volatile and unstable.
Bitcoin is a bubble that like Tulip, South Sea, Dot.com or Subprime will burst.
Bitcoin is not an asset class that can serve as a store of wealth.
Bitcoin is not a secure global virtual currency.
Being the insufferable troll that I am when it comes to elites with inflated craniums, I slipped this turd into Mr. Kram’s punch bowl:
More and more of the world’s population is becoming aware of Bitcoin’s blockbuster potential to liberate them from those fiat currencies that are being manipulated and debased by governments and central banks. As a result, more and more people have been entering the Bitcoin ecosystem to employ the virtual currency for any or all of the following use cases:
- Use as a domestic commerce payment tool
- Use as an international remittance tool
- Use as a temporary store of value
The rise in Bitcoin popularity has caused the per-block transaction occupancy to increase and bump up against the 1 MB ceiling arbitrarily burned into the protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto since its inception in 2009…
As more and more transactions contend for entry into each block, the minimum transaction fee that miners will accept for block admittance is increasing….
Assuming an average cost of 50 cents per transaction, then buying a cup of coffee for $2.50 would result in a 20% Bitcoin network tax!
As fees keep rising due to the constrained maximum transaction block size, the case for using Bitcoin as a domestic commerce tool is becoming more and more uneconomical. In the worst case, bitcoin growth can come to a screeching halt and usage can get stuck in use cases 2) and 3) as listed above.
The dynamic system diagram below models the negative feedback loop that is currently in operation in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Working around the loop clockwise, here is what happens:
- As more people use bitcoin, the blocks become more saturated (+).
- As the blocks become more saturated, the transaction fees rise (+).
- As the transaction fees rise, the transaction confirmation times rise from low proposed-fee transactions being rejected by the miners or from transactions being admitted to blocks long after they’ve been initially submitted by the user. (+)
- As the fees and transaction times rise, the number of people using Bitcoin decrease. (-)(-)
The good thing about negative feedback loop systems is that they tend toward stability. A second time around the loop shows the flip in signs:
- As fewer people use bitcoin, the blocks become less saturated (-).
- As the blocks become less saturated, the transaction fees decrease (-).
- As the transaction fees decrease, the transaction confirmation times decrease from all transactions immediately being included by the miners in the very next block to be mined. (-)
- As the fees and transaction times decrease, the number of people using Bitcoin increase. (+)(+)
The key to stable Bitcoin system growth is to untether the maximum block size and allow it to grow in step with the growth in the user community so that the strength of the two negating influences in the model (fee size and confirmation time) do not drive the new number of users down to zero. The capped 1 MB maximum block size is currently stunting Bitcoin’s growth.