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Welcome to the Hardcore Husky Forums. Folks who are well-known in Cyberland and not that dumb.

WTF is a Bitcoin?

Hearing you can use it for laundering illegal cash then snowball it into millions. How? How can you convert it back to legal tender? Discuss
GrundleStiltzkindncDerekJohnsonGreenRiverGatorzLawrence_of_a_LabiaRoadDawg55CFetters_Nacho_LoverAtomicDawgEsophagealFeces
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Comments

  • LoneStarDawgLoneStarDawg Posts: 8,171
    Swaye's Wigwam 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes Seventh Anniversary
    I’m also hearing Obama wants to give you a lot of it!
    GrundleStiltzkin1to392831weretakenCFetters_Nacho_LoverAtomicDawg
  • Pitchfork51Pitchfork51 Posts: 20,641
    Swaye's Wigwam 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments
    What in the world lol
  • Doog_de_JourDoog_de_Jour Posts: 5,659
    Swaye's Wigwam 10,000 Awesomes 5,000 Up Votes 5000 Comments
    So...







    ...is nobody going to explain Bitcoin to me?
    BasemanSwayePitchfork51creepycoug
  • SwayeSwaye Posts: 35,485
    Swaye's Wigwam Solar Eclipse Donator 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes

    So...







    ...is nobody going to explain Bitcoin to me?


    1to392831weretakenPitchfork51creepycoug
  • Pitchfork51Pitchfork51 Posts: 20,641
    Swaye's Wigwam 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments

    So...







    ...is nobody going to explain Bitcoin to me?

    It's a fictional currency used to arbitrarily assign a value to a commodity (in this case GPU output while decrypting Bitcoin ledgers themselves). Kind of like the dollar in that artificial scarcity, ginned up demand, and the whims of traders determine the value, and it's backed up by largely nothing.

    It works like this: Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, meaning no banks, no identification, completely encrypted and anonymous. This is its value. The argument against Bitcoin is that there is no legitimate reason for this to be valuable other than in conducting illegal business. I suppose, though, there are also people who want to say, "Fuck the big banks" and be obstinate, and I can certainly relate (although I'm way too lazy). The currency is only valuable, then, if the encryption is very strong. The more people who use the currency, the stronger this encryption gets.

    How?

    Bitcoin "miners" strengthen the currency by testing the encryption 24/7. Bitcoin transactions are kept on an encrypted ledger known as the "blockchain," and miners build GPU farms that poke and prod at the encryption until they brute-force and and decrypt. GPUs (graphics card processors) are used instead of CPUs (general computer processors) because they're specifically good at executing these kinds of calculations very very quickly. So some nerd in mom's basement would buy ten boards that you can plug four graphics cards into each, buy 40 of the most efficient graphics cards on the market (the largest expense in this kind of operation, believe it or not, is electricity, so TDP, thermal design power, is king), and start them mining Bitcoin around the clock.

    Every time a miner successfully decrypts a blockchain, he/she is rewarded with a transaction fee and a number of new bitcoins that halves itself every time a certain threshold is met, never to exceed 21 million Bitcoin (to maintain the artificial scarcity). The encryption is also strengthened, so it takes more GPU clock cycles to decrypt the next one.

    I never cared about cryptocurrency until I had the desire to upgrade my graphics card. I'm a hobby videographer (mostly family videos and whatnot), and when I upgraded to 4K recording gear, it became clear that I also needed to upgrade my graphics card. Like blockchain decrypting, video encoding/decoding is where a GPU shines, so memory and CPU power takes a huge backseat to, say, number of CUDA cores and clock speed of the GPU when it comes to video rendering. My usual math when buying computer components is to start at the most expensive available (the latest and greatest) and scroll down the price list until you see the first huge jump--it's always relatively close to the top--then buy the next thing below that gap. It's usually either last year's whizbang card/chip/thingy or the current mid-grade model that's barely worse than the current whizbang but one-fourth the cost.

    Anyway, this was in 2016 or so, when Ethereum was the hot cyrptocurrency, and I scoured the web for the usual high-value graphics card, and I was surprised and confused to find that it didn't exist. At this time, the GTX1080 was the top of the line $800 card, and the GTX1060 or GTX1050 would have been my sweet spot. Due to higher TDP (more calculations per kW consumed), the cards that would usually be in the ~$250 range were selling for MORE than the top-of-the-line cards! And they were ALL on backorder. Forever. Total global sellout. Every single mid-range graphics card in the world had been gobbled up by Ethereum miners and put to work, such that the demand for these cards raised the price far higher than the MUCH more powerful top-of-the-line card de jour.

    I ended up experiencing severe clenching of my cheap butthole as I ponied up the $800 for a graphics card that cost as much as the whole workstation I put it in. It's all that was available! On the bright side, it was the first time in my life I was ever working with a current top-of-the-line component, and it truly blew me away what that card could do for its time. Still a great card today.

    /Tequilla

    Edit: What, you think that's really not me in my avatar?...
    Lol I did my first PC build in 2017. Awful time to do it. Scored a gtx 970 off a shady dude off Craigslist for 120. Which was an amazing deal at the time. Still a good 1080p card.
    1to392831weretakenSwaye
  • creepycougcreepycoug Posts: 17,606
    Standard Supporter 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments
    Much better effert.
    Swaye
  • greenbloodgreenblood Posts: 10,959
    10,000 Up Votes 5,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary
    Or you could sell drugs. Apparently that worked for Sonics
    Doog_de_JourSwaye
  • Do drug dealers use Bitcoin? On the dark web?
    SwayeEmotermancreepycoug
  • SwayeSwaye Posts: 35,485
    Swaye's Wigwam Solar Eclipse Donator 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes

    So...







    ...is nobody going to explain Bitcoin to me?

    It's a fictional currency used to arbitrarily assign a value to a commodity (in this case GPU output while decrypting Bitcoin ledgers themselves). Kind of like the dollar in that artificial scarcity, ginned up demand, and the whims of traders determine the value, and it's backed up by largely nothing.

    It works like this: Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, meaning no banks, no identification, completely encrypted and anonymous. This is its value. The argument against Bitcoin is that there is no legitimate reason for this to be valuable other than in conducting illegal business. I suppose, though, there are also people who want to say, "Fuck the big banks" and be obstinate, and I can certainly relate (although I'm way too lazy). The currency is only valuable, then, if the encryption is very strong. The more people who use the currency, the stronger this encryption gets.

    How?

    Bitcoin "miners" strengthen the currency by testing the encryption 24/7. Bitcoin transactions are kept on an encrypted ledger known as the "blockchain," and miners build GPU farms that poke and prod at the encryption until they brute-force and and decrypt. GPUs (graphics card processors) are used instead of CPUs (general computer processors) because they're specifically good at executing these kinds of calculations very very quickly. So some nerd in mom's basement would buy ten boards that you can plug four graphics cards into each, buy 40 of the most efficient graphics cards on the market (the largest expense in this kind of operation, believe it or not, is electricity, so TDP, thermal design power, is king), and start them mining Bitcoin around the clock.

    Every time a miner successfully decrypts a blockchain, he/she is rewarded with a transaction fee and a number of new bitcoins that halves itself every time a certain threshold is met, never to exceed 21 million Bitcoin (to maintain the artificial scarcity). The encryption is also strengthened, so it takes more GPU clock cycles to decrypt the next one.

    I never cared about cryptocurrency until I had the desire to upgrade my graphics card. I'm a hobby videographer (mostly family videos and whatnot), and when I upgraded to 4K recording gear, it became clear that I also needed to upgrade my graphics card. Like blockchain decrypting, video encoding/decoding is where a GPU shines, so memory and CPU power takes a huge backseat to, say, number of CUDA cores and clock speed of the GPU when it comes to video rendering. My usual math when buying computer components is to start at the most expensive available (the latest and greatest) and scroll down the price list until you see the first huge jump--it's always relatively close to the top--then buy the next thing below that gap. It's usually either last year's whizbang card/chip/thingy or the current mid-grade model that's barely worse than the current whizbang but one-fourth the cost.

    Anyway, this was in 2016 or so, when Ethereum was the hot cyrptocurrency, and I scoured the web for the usual high-value graphics card, and I was surprised and confused to find that it didn't exist. At this time, the GTX1080 was the top of the line $800 card, and the GTX1060 or GTX1050 would have been my sweet spot. Due to higher TDP (more calculations per kW consumed), the cards that would usually be in the ~$250 range were selling for MORE than the top-of-the-line cards! And they were ALL on backorder. Forever. Total global sellout. Every single mid-range graphics card in the world had been gobbled up by Ethereum miners and put to work, such that the demand for these cards raised the price far higher than the MUCH more powerful top-of-the-line card de jour.

    I ended up experiencing severe clenching of my cheap butthole as I ponied up the $800 for a graphics card that cost as much as the whole workstation I put it in. It's all that was available! On the bright side, it was the first time in my life I was ever working with a current top-of-the-line component, and it truly blew me away what that card could do for its time. Still a great card today.

    /Tequilla

    Edit: What, you think that's really not me in my avatar?...
    I didn't understand any of this. But thanks for trying.
    BleachedAnusDawgGoduckies
  • UW_Doog_BotUW_Doog_Bot Posts: 8,940
    Swaye's Wigwam 10,000 Awesomes 5,000 Up Votes 5000 Comments
    Alright, I finally bought some BTC and ETH for diversifying my portfolio and for a fun learning experience. Wish I'd done it back when my friend was trying to tell me to at $100 BTC but whatever. We can't all be Husky boosters.
  • creepycougcreepycoug Posts: 17,606
    Standard Supporter 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments
    I actually read through numbers' post and I still don't understand what it is. Is it valuable because it's valuable? Turtles all the way down?

    Can someone take another crack at this? The more people use it the stronger its value. Ok. Use it for what?
  • PornHub only takes Bitcoin now because credit card companies cut them off due to child porn on their platform. Also major investment firms are buying in. Plus it is massively out performing gold for wealth retention.

    (Not a Bitcoin owner, but I get why it is going well)
  • creepycougcreepycoug Posts: 17,606
    Standard Supporter 10,000 Up Votes 10,000 Awesomes 10000 Comments
    edited January 10

    PornHub only takes Bitcoin now because credit card companies cut them off due to child porn on their platform. Also major investment firms are buying in. Plus it is massively out performing gold for wealth retention.

    (Not a Bitcoin owner, but I get why it is going well)

    So is the basic idea that we? create our? own currency and say "fuck it" to legal tender and try and create a market for its use. Bartering economy with a made-up currency? Like, "it has value because we all collectively say it has value" kind of thing?

    Just psychologically, can you explain for me why it's outperforming gold? What controls its scarcity?

    Or is this like the white devil's beads and liquor and we are all going to get @Swaye 'd one day?
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