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Bitcoin Communications Network The Almighty Buck

Bitcoin Fees Are Skyrocketing (arstechnica.com) 272

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The cost to complete a Bitcoin transaction has skyrocketed in recent days. A week ago, it cost around $6 on average to get a transaction accepted by the Bitcoin network. The average fee soared to $26 on Friday and was still almost $20 on Sunday. The reason is simple: until recently, the Bitcoin network had a hard-coded 1 megabyte limit on the size of blocks on the blockchain, Bitcoin's shared transaction ledger. With a typical transaction size of around 500 bytes, the average block had fewer than 2,000 transactions. And with a block being generated once every 10 minutes, that works out to around 3.3 transactions per second. A September upgrade called segregated witness allowed the cryptographic signatures associated with each transaction to be stored separately from the rest of the transaction. Under this scheme, the signatures no longer counted against the 1 megabyte blocksize limit, which should have roughly doubled the network's capacity. But only a small minority of transactions have taken advantage of this option so far, so the network's average throughput has stayed below 2,500 transactions per block -- around four transactions per second.
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Bitcoin Fees Are Skyrocketing

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  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @08:47PM (#55721185)

    ... as any.

  • Unclear Story (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 )

    The story makes no sense, payment in dollars for bitcoin exchanges. It doesn't seem accurate, I mean, how can an exchage demand real currency when dealing with the fake currency they are promoting. I assume the payment demand is in bitcoin and hence the need to load up the price because of hugely fluctuating prices of bitcoin. Likely the rate is really high because the exchanges are expecting a major crash in bitcoin but don't want to admit it and instead charging for bitcoin exchanges at a rate that reflec

    • Re:Unclear Story (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jonathan C. Patschke ( 8016 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @08:58PM (#55721239) Homepage

      It doesn't seem accurate, I mean, how can an exchage demand real currency when dealing with the fake currency they are promoting.

      Bitcoin fees are expressed as an average amount in BTC per kilobyte. A given transaction takes a particular amount of space in the block (owing to how many previous transactions are needed to express the exact amount to send plus the address to send the "change" to), and that transaction has a fee attached. The fee is a "bid" to place the transaction on the network.

      Likely the rate is really high because the exchanges are expecting a major crash in bitcoin but don't want to admit it and instead charging for bitcoin exchanges at a rate that reflects a much lower bitcoin for real money exchange.

      A given node will take the transactions it knows about, and pack the ones with the highest fees into the current block until that block is full. Then the block is mined. If that node wins the mining operation, those transactions become part of the chain. If some other node wins, the transactions it knows about become part of the chain (which will likely have a lot of commonality with the transactions in the first node's block). A higher fee attached to the transaction increases the chances that it'll be processed quickly. Below the average amount, you've got queueing working against you, and your transaction will likely expire before it becomes part of the chain.

      If a transaction is totally within one exchange, the fee may be nominal or zero because it's done entirely off the blockchain, but that's not the rising fees the article discusses. This is purely a congestion effect.

      • So, basically, you "bid" on making your transaction faster? And the base fee of the transaction is somewhat variable anyway, depending upon the complexity of the transaction?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That's it.

          It doesn't have to be that way. If you're running a node, you could run software that packs transactions into a block by any criteria you choose. However, since the aggregate fees for the block are part of the reward for winning the mining operation, it's in the miners' best interests to pack the largest fees first. Also, since the likelihood of any particular node winning the block is very low, we can talk about the most common strategy as if it were universal.

          One of the parts of what makes me

          • Go browse the block explorer for a while. Pretty much none of the pools actually looks very closely at the fees or does any hard math on them. In most blocks, you'll find one or two transactions with dozens of inputs for roughly the same cost as the many one or two input transactions.

            If you prefer to avoid small change in your wallet, it is trivial to gather up a few small inputs to redeem instead of just taking the smallest one larger than the desired output.

            Also, there was no sales pitch - all of the ch

            • Why would banks using bitcoin for interbank transfers be a good thing?

              They have a much faster, more efficient, centralized network. It does not use matic internet money - instead the transfers they make have the same value when they arrive. Bitcoin takes 1-6 hours to make a transfer andbit is not unusual for its values to change by 10-20% in a day.

              • Bitcoin of blockchain ledgers? Two separate things. I can see banks using a blockchain network because it ensures a decentralized, verifiable record. I cannot see banks taking the risk of moving currency into and out of BTC.

      • How can a transaction be wholly within one exchange? Doesn't (at a minimum) the source and destination wallet need to be debited and credited within the blockchain?

        I get converting cash to bitcoin to cash off-block-- the wallets never really get involved within the float period of the exchange. I don't understand how you could move bitcoins between wallets though...

    • No the reason is you need to bid to get your transaction processed. There are a max of 3.3 transactions per second. How do you get to be the transaction that gets processed? You bid to get your transaction included in the block-chain window. The ~$26 amount was the amount required to get your transaction into the processing window.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        And that is just one thing to make things worse when the crash comes. The few transactions available per second will not be enough and transactions fees will go through the roof. At the same time Bitcoin will bleed value like crazy, making the transaction fees in BC even higher. This could mean that smaller transactions have no chance at all anymore, because the fee will exceed the transaction value. Larger transactions need somebody that is actually willing to buy. Remember that asking for a certain price

    • Re:Unclear Story (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:09PM (#55721291)

      This isn't about exchange, it is only about bitcoin transactions, and the fees are in bitcoin. Converted into dollars with the current rate for "clarity".

      The way transaction work is by telling the world "hey, I want to transfer 0.1 BTC to X, I give 0.001 BTC to the one (a miner) who makes if official (by committing it to the blockchain). You can chose how much you want to give, including zero, but those who give the most get priority. And because the system is overloaded, you need to give a lot just to be accepted.

      • You can chose how much you want to give, including zero, but those who give the most get priority. And because the system is overloaded, you need to give a lot just to be accepted.

        Sounds like something you'd hear about the FCC plan to kill Net Neutrality.

    • This works the same with everything being in BTC. The currency is undergoing massive deflation (purchasing power increases per BTC). That means that the transaction fees are way too high on a relative scale for smaller transactions. At the time Bitcoin was conceived, if anyone realized it would deflate to that level (to become a global currency it would HAVE to), they did not think about the transaction fees.

      • The transaction fees are variable and optional in the bitcoin protocol (the sender chooses the fee to use). The only issue is that most exchanges use a fixed transaction fee when sending to your private wallet or whatever address you request they send it to. These exchanges usually set it as 0.0005 BTC ($8.50 when BTC is $17,000). If they have to create a multi-transaction transfer to aggregate smaller sizes across multiple wallets, the fee can be 4x or 6x larger, so $34 - $51 per transaction, but that's

        • that means any smaller fee transaction queues up behind them since miners always process the biggest fee transactions first.

          Which is sort of the whole point. At what point would cost-effective mining keep up with demand?

  • by kiviQr ( 3443687 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @08:58PM (#55721241)
    If I read it correctly, the longer we run bitcoin the larger the cost associated with transactions (network, computation). How is that sustainable? At that point MasterCard and Visa look great with their 2% processing fee.
    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      If I read it correctly, the longer we run bitcoin the larger the cost associated with transactions (network, computation). How is that sustainable? At that point MasterCard and Visa look great with their 2% processing fee.

      Perhaps a more important question is regarding tumbling [wikipedia.org]. If transaction fees are high, does this make tumbling uneconomical? If so, then all the people using bitcoin to launder and hide money will stop using it. And that is about the only valid purpose for bitcoin that I see at this point.

    • That's not accurate. Mining power accelerates to meet price demand (the more demand, the higher price, the more miners are willing to spend mining). But price demand is affected by the mining reward (currently 6.25 or 12.5 BTC). As the mining reward is scheduled to disappear sometime in the 23rd century, the only reward will be transaction fees. So unless BTC spenders are willing to pay considerably more transaction fees than they already do, the miners will spend commensurately little on power.

  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:08PM (#55721287) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand how Bitcoin and it's blockchain arrangement is ever going to be scaleable.

    Currently we're running at a global rate of four transactions a second. Four. Just the everyday transactions at my local shopping centre would run above that rate.

    How is this whole "ubiquitous Bitcoin economy" thing supposed to work again?

    • It doesn't. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something or has Stockholm syndrome.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Indeed, it does not. 4 transactions/second is completely ridiculous. For example, Swiss domestic interbank transfers are 2M per day. That is 23 per second and that is one small country with 8M population. The 4 per second for Bitcoin is global.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Indeed, it does not. 4 transactions/second is completely ridiculous. For example, Swiss domestic interbank transfers are 2M per day. That is 23 per second and that is one small country with 8M population. The 4 per second for Bitcoin is global.

          And something like Visa network (VisaNet) is handling about 10K transactions per second globally. Peak VisaNet speeds are around 56K transactions per second.

          And I"m sure one of the reasons it can handle the speed is it separates the actual payment handling from the in

    • by christophercole ( 91066 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:21PM (#55721351)

      Agreed -- Bitcoin won't scale. It's already proving to be a very poor way to transfer small amounts of money. For example, last week, I sent $15 worth of BTC from one of my wallets to another. The default transaction fee was $7.50! Before sending, I overrode the suggested transaction fee and set it to the minimum amount, which was about about $1.50 -- that's effectively a 10% fee to move a small amount of money. I knew that opting for a lower transaction fee would result in a longer wait for my transfer to occur, but I was not in a hurry. I wanted to see what happened. Well, here I am 5 days later, and although the $15 is deducted from by source wallet, it has yet to show up in my destination wallet. And as long as there are thousands of other transactions around the globe paying higher fees, my money will forever be stuck in the ether. Bitcoin has proven to be: non-scalable, expensive, and unreliable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        you can double spend the coins with a higher transaction fee. the network will notice the double spend and remove the transaction not accepted into a block from the pool when the other is accepted into one

      • No, it can scale! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @10:30PM (#55721679)

        Gold can not scale. Limited amount, it has to be verified and processed; that takes time and money to do. Ever look into gold? You pay overhead costs in actually trading in gold plus you have to pay to securely store and transport any sizable amount of it.

        How did gold become the foundation of everything until the banksters finally took over?

        Abstract trading; not actual gold exchanges done on top of the real thing. Also, money was created ON TOP of gold and that is where all the action happened.

        When you see other kinds of money float on top of bitcoin then you will see it scale. I see no reason why it can not become a kind of digital gold as long as the encryption holds up.

        Gold is and hasn't been worth as much as we've made it for centuries. We based a system around it and that made it valuable. It has a silly jewelry value but that isn't what made it so expensive.

        With futures trading and bigger banks involved... interesting times are coming. (not exactly a good thing; it's more of a curse but it is not dull)

        • Right, the banksters "took over" by figuring out that using a deflationary currency is a Really Bad Idea(TM). You have just successfully argued that Bitcoin is no better than any finite resource. We could just declare all first-run pokemon cards the new gold standard (haha, get it) and it would all be good right? As I say, we figured out a long time ago that using something like that for currency is unstable. If you want to store value long-term it should NOT be in currency because currency has NO INTRI
        • by ColaMan ( 37550 )

          One of the central tenets around Bitcoin is that every transaction is logged in the blockchain and thus verifiable and unchangeable forever more.

          I'm not sure how abstracting that away with a currency "on top" is going to make it any better than gold, or oil, or whatever.

        • Abstract trading; not actual gold exchanges done on top of the real thing. Also, money was created ON TOP of gold and that is where all the action happened.

          When you see other kinds of money float on top of bitcoin then you will see it scale. I see no reason why it can not become a kind of digital gold as long as the encryption holds up.

          Every civilized country has ended up abandoning gold because gold does not scale. The amount of gold in a vault used to support a given currency serves as a hard limit on th

        • Gold can not scale. Limited amount, it has to be verified and processed; that takes time and money to do. Ever look into gold? You pay overhead costs in actually trading in gold plus you have to pay to securely store and transport any sizable amount of it.

          How did gold become the foundation of everything until the banksters finally took over?

          Abstract trading; not actual gold exchanges done on top of the real thing. Also, money was created ON TOP of gold and that is where all the action happened.

          When you see other kinds of money float on top of bitcoin then you will see it scale.

          Uh, what? The whole point of bitcoin is that it is a fiat currency (with some desirable attributes), not an illiquid asset to back another one.

          I see no reason why it can not become a kind of digital gold as long as the encryption holds up.

          Gold is and hasn't been worth as much as we've made it for centuries. We based a system around it and that made it valuable. It has a silly jewelry value but that isn't what made it so expensive.

          With futures trading and bigger banks involved... interesting times are coming. (not exactly a good thing; it's more of a curse but it is not dull)

          And I see no reasons why it could (or should or would). Ergo, this shit is a 50/50 game, and considering that people are already reporting how illiquid bitcoin is (days just to transfer small amounts from one wallet to another), coupled with effectively high fees, then what exactly does it has in its favor.

          Don't get me wrong, it could still be the next big time (wh

        • by dj245 ( 732906 )

          How did gold become the foundation of everything until the banksters finally took over?

          Gold is and hasn't been worth as much as we've made it for centuries. We based a system around it and that made it valuable. It has a silly jewelry value but that isn't what made it so expensive.

          In a perfect world, the cost or value of anything represents all the costs needed to produce, process, and transport that item. Gold isn't that bad of a commodity to measure wealth- it does not rust or otherwise deteriorate (in typical conditions) over time, reasonable quantities can represent significant value, and the industrial demand (demand which is not jewelry related) is reasonably non-volatile. And you can actually use it as a low-resistance, non-corrodible coating. I am not a gold nut, but I wou

      • This is the most insightful and informative comment I read so far about Bitcoin

      • >> Bitcoin has proven to be: non-scalable, expensive, and unreliable.

        The bitcoin developers and miners have actively chosen to make it this way. It is literally a 5 minute code change to move to one block per minute and 8MB blocks. That'll take it from 4 transactions per second to 300.

        The kicker to this is miners will make a lot more money if they do this. Spending BTC is a pain today because of these limitations. Remove the limitations and you get more transactions and fees.

      • Agreed -- Bitcoin won't scale. It's already proving to be a very poor way to transfer small amounts of money. For example, last week, I sent $15 worth of BTC from one of my wallets to another. The default transaction fee was $7.50! Before sending, I overrode the suggested transaction fee and set it to the minimum amount, which was about about $1.50 -- that's effectively a 10% fee to move a small amount of money. I knew that opting for a lower transaction fee would result in a longer wait for my transfer to occur, but I was not in a hurry. I wanted to see what happened. Well, here I am 5 days later, and although the $15 is deducted from by source wallet, it has yet to show up in my destination wallet. And as long as there are thousands of other transactions around the globe paying higher fees, my money will forever be stuck in the ether. Bitcoin has proven to be: non-scalable, expensive, and unreliable.

        From that observation, I wouldn't call it "unreliable" (though it could be). From your description, it is an incredibly illiquid asset.

        Being non-scalable is not a a fundamental problem depending on what you want the asset for (gold or art investments are not scalable, and are certainly not liquid.)

        It is ok if an investment is expensive IIF if there is a reliable high ROI. Bitcoin could have been that.

        However, being effectively illiquid, then it bits its main premise the most. People want to use bitco

    • by paskie ( 539112 )

      Lightning Network (http://lightning.network/) will allow Bitcoin to scale. Maybe not to VISA-level yet, but at least further several order of magnitudes.

      The lightning network allows to keep most transactions off-chain - for example all your daily payments can go through a LN operator, and the only thing that needs to be stored in the blockchain are channel balance settlements - say once per month you settle the balance with a single transaction. It recently left beta, with the protocol finalized and three

    • by h4x0t ( 1245872 )
      ...and with 112 kg CO2 [digiconomist.net] per transaction, (more than that by my math [google.com]) the whole thing starts to look like a giant fucking mess.
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:23PM (#55721363) Homepage Journal

    What happens when Bitcoin crashes? What effects will it have on companies that accept, use, or hold it, market-makers on exchanges and futures, etc. ?

    My theory is that it was created by a national actor with the intent of crashing national economies. Not sure it will actually do that, though. But real people will be hurt. Some of them will be people who took the risk themselves and deserve the consequences. But when stocks or currencies crash there are often lots of innocent victims who never made the choice to invest in them.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Tulip mania https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      Thats why the smart money is on been the gateway to the product not the product.
      • Tulip mania https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Oddly, not what I was expecting when I read "Tulip mania". I thought of the Japanese band Tulip. I have their album Tulip Best [discogs.com] (vinyl LP) given to me by a CISV [wikipedia.org] (Children's International Summer Villages) exchange student from Japan in 1979 - when I was 16. (I was suppose to visit Japan the next summer, but was unable as my parents were divorced and I moved from living with my father to with my mother and my father wouldn't pay and my mother couldn't afford it.)

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:55PM (#55721501)

      What happens when Bitcoin crashes?

      If you look at the history of crashes, nearly all have one thing in common: Many people investing with borrowed money. This happened with tulips, the South Sea Bubble, the 1929 crash, and the sub-prime mortgage crash. I am unaware of any bubble that did not involve a lot of people borrowing or buying on margin.

      So far that is not happening with bitcoin.

      What effects will it have on companies that accept, use, or hold it, market-makers on exchanges and futures, etc. ?

      I may be going way out on a limb here, but I think they will lose money.

      My theory is that it was created by a national actor with the intent of crashing national economies.

      All the bitcoins in the world total to $300B. For comparison, the recent financial crisis wiped out $20 trillion.

      Also, the financial crisis hit people at the bottom the hardest, people that were struggling to pay their mortgages, and were then evicted from their homes when they lost their jobs.

      Bitcoin is different. The people buying can mostly afford the loss, and much of the value is just paper profits. I bought my stash on a lark when the value crossed $1/BTC, mostly just out of curiosity of how the whole thing worked. They have turned out to be worth way more than I ever expected, but if the crash came tomorrow, it would not make one iota of difference to how I live my life.

      But when stocks or currencies crash there are often lots of innocent victims who never made the choice to invest in them.

      Stock crashes have way less effect on "normal" people than currency, bond, or real estate crashes, because no one expects equities to be stable. We shrugged off stock crashes in 1987, 1991, 2001. The financial crisis was far worse because no one expected housing prices to crash, and a huge part of our economy relied on their stability. Nobody is relying on bitcoin to be stable, or even as stable as equities.

      • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @10:09PM (#55721585) Journal
        An awful lot of people are buying BTC with credit cards [cnbc.com], and I would wager a large number of them are doing it with funds they don't have. Put $10,000 on your Visa, way 3 months, sell for 10X the amount and party! Right?
        • It is not clear if many of these people are actually buying. But even if they are, it is not the same as buying on margin, since they are not using the purchased asset as collateral, so there is no margin-call that can force them to sell and accelerate a crash.

          Put $10,000 on your Visa

          CC companies don't give people more credit than they can be expected to service. If their credit limit is $10k, then they have income, and other assets. Financially irresponsible people more often have a credit limit of between $0 and $500.

          1% of th

          • Credit card delinquency [reuters.com] is above 2%. And a lot of people will take the "get rich quick" schemes that are being pushed as BTC. It's going to be an ugly bubble pop for a lot of people... Yeah, they're stupid for buying on credit (which they probably cannot afford; I know if I maxed out all my credit cards I would have a hard time paying the minimums), but it's going to happen. And over-leveraged with credit cards is like margin at your broker - you're borrowing money you don't have, to make a bet you thin
            • It's nothing like margin, you are not forced to sell. If the wild gyrations continue you are fine. With margin and forced selling one trip on the roller-coaster that is too low and you are done. Even if the price quickly recovered after. Too many people in that situation makes the dip deeper and it's self reinforcing from there as the new low triggers more margins. No margin, no forced selling, no feedback loop.
              It can still crash (and probably will) for other reasons, but not this one.
              • If any of the futures exchanges are already started, there will be people who get option calls as the price changes. They're forced to sell or put in funds to cover their options.
                • If any of the futures exchanges are already started, there will be people who get option calls as the price changes. They're forced to sell or put in funds to cover their options.

                  Options don't work that way. They give the buyer the option, to buy (for call options) or sell (for put options) at a particular price, but without an obligation to do so. Their value can go to zero, but cannot go below. So there is no "call".

                  It is also possible to directly short sell, or buy long, but "normal" investors are generally restricted from doing so.

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          While doing this is utterly demented, I think you are right and that this is what drives prices. Nobody sane would get in on it at the current price and volatility. Hence it must be people that do not know what they are doing and that also means people that do not actually have the money in the majority.

          This is gambling. The rule on gambling is only do it if a) you do not need the money and b) you do it for the entertainment you get from the act. Disregard these rules and you are screwed. Many people will g

        • The GP's point is that this is massively small fry in compared to what has happened in crashes that have had a serious impact on the world.

          $10000 credit card? That's cute. The housing crisis took down $50000000 housing complex investments and hit the average person who wasn't investing far more than $10000. To create a bubble and crash it in a way that affects the economy in a significant way you need more than a handful of low rollers making poor financial decisions with credit cards.

    • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @10:20PM (#55721633) Homepage Journal
      My theory is that it was created by a national actor with the intent of crashing national economies

      That is simply ridiculous. It was an experiment. No one could have foreseen what it has become. Even with its original vector, the politics got in the way and totally changed the shape of the beast. To consider that it was created, KNOWING that it would hit this price point, that it would grow this large, that it would have these problems, that there would be this mania, is patently absurd.
      • Nobody had to predict the specific way bitcoin progressed to this day. They simply had to create the ultimate fiat currency, and it was likely it would destabilize some capitalistic economies.
        • What did you do before that made people think you were worth listening to? Its been so long, I honestly can't remember.

          But let me help you out here. From a dictionary [merriam-webster.com]:

          fiat (noun):
          1. a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort
          2. an authoritative determination - dictate
          3. an authoritative or arbitrary order - decree

          And from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

          Fiat money is a currency without intrinsic value established as money by government regulation

          Now pray tell us all exactly which gov

          • Be civil or don't play.

            Yes, bitcoin was not established by a government, because when that definition was written nobody could have imagined that you could create a currency that people would be crazy enough to buy that wasn't backed by a government.

            It does have the major functional, rather than historical, characteristic of a fiat currency, which is the part you got from Wikipedia: no intrinsic value.

            So, wake up to the present, where we got two new technologies: cryptocurrency and the internet, so that rat

            • Originally, people used the money they wanted to because they wanted to use it. Later on, rulers used the power of the state to force them to use worthless money, by fiat - that's where the expression came from. Now people are choosing once again to defy the government fiat and use money that suits their needs instead of the needs of their rulers.

              But yes, if you ignore the one fundamental and unalterable characteristic of "fiat money", bitcoin does indeed possess some of the same secondary and accidental

    • What happens when Bitcoin crashes? What effects will it have on companies that accept, use, or hold it, market-makers on exchanges and futures, etc. ?

      One thing I'm wondering is what is going to happen to AMD and Nvidia stock when Bitcoin crashes? I think a lot of their recent profit is driven off this craziness, and a crash might have a lot of people dumping gear to exit or cover losses. I imagine it might be a great day for buying surplus high-end video cards on eBay.

      • Hadn't the serious miners gone to ASICs before now?

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          They have not or only partially. Insufficient manufacturing capabilities and nobody is going to build hugely expensive fabs for a bubble. Also designing and actually making ASICs takes a lot of time and you need to order a long time in advance.

          • Well, then that's actionable information: AMD and NVIDIA, to the extent that their value is from sales of compute-oriented "graphics" cards to large-scale miners, might fall when bitcoin fails, and could be shorted. Possibly there's even a hedge play there.

            What about Intel and Xeon Phi?

            • by gweihir ( 88907 )

              Good luck with that. Matter of fact is that quite a few people that want graphics cards for other reasons are currently waiting for them to become affordable again. And it seems most of the price-inflation is not done by the chip manufacturers. So AMD and NVIDIA may actually be minimally affected or not affected at all.

              Incidentally, my comment was on ASICs, not graphics cards.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I do not think it will matter much. They have wisely not extended their manufacturing capabilities and in the end, prices will drop a little, but that is it. The manufacturing capabilities are scaled for the regular market (which currently gets screwed), but as soon as Bitcoin crashes, it is back to business as usual and as planned. It may be possible to get used cards for cheap from bankrupt miners for a while though, although I do not think that many people will be interested in buying a card that potenti

        • The main components with limited lifetimes are the electrolytic capacitors. And I'm not sure they get highly stressed. I am not one of the people who believes that ICs wear out. I do own a lot of 1980's test equipment from Rohde & Schwarz, Agilent, etc., and thus have developed some expertise in this.

          • The main components with limited lifetimes are the electrolytic capacitors. And I'm not sure they get highly stressed. I am not one of the people who believes that ICs wear out. I do own a lot of 1980's test equipment from Rohde & Schwarz, Agilent, etc., and thus have developed some expertise in this.

            Depends - running at full steam (mining bitcoin) means running at high temps. Gamers don't run their system flat out 24x7 and hence less heat over the lifetime of the pcb. With bitcoin they're essentially heating the card 24x7. I doubt many cards have a MTBF that remains constant even when running at the max temps rated.

            Maximum temperatures are usually rated as a function of time - $FOO degrees for not more than $BAR seconds. Buying a 2nd-hand card that was heated constantly may not be such a good idea.

  • by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:31PM (#55721403)
    In terms of Bitcoin, transaction fees aren't skyrocketing. Only in the fiat currency you can exchange for bitcoin.
  • UNPOSSIBLE! (Score:4, Funny)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday December 11, 2017 @09:33PM (#55721407) Journal
    Why in a recent thread I was promised - PROMISED! - that BTC fees were the cheapest way to send money, and were nearly instantaneous! Who would have figured it would be otherwise???
  • So we have the ability to filter the category from our Slashdot news feed! Seriously, I've never seen this much focus on a single subject since Apple product release days (back when Steve Jobs was still alive), except these stories have been showing up EVERY DAMN DAY for the past two weeks.

    Can you PLEASE fix this, so Slashdot stops looking like "News about Bitcoin, and stuff I don't care about"?

  • The mentality I don't understand around some of this are people that gambled and won big time (kudos to you), but they still remain invested up to the teeth in bitcoin (fucking moron). I see the same thing in stock market or real estate etc. for fucks sake you made a fortune, get the fuck out, diversify. What sort of mentality is it where someone is rich enough that they are set for life yet continue to risk it all in order to make more. I had friends that went from having 10+ million net worth in 99 to hav
    • From time to time I look at the news and just say, "Man, if I had only invested when I first heard about bitcoin, I'd be rich." Except, I know I wouldn't. Cause I would have sold out long ago (unless I forgot I had bought any).

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      It is called "greed" and it almost universally comes with that other quality humans tend to excel at, namely "stupidity".

      Sane people only gamble with money they do not need. Stupid people driven insane by greed will gamble with everything they can lay their hands on. And they will usually destroy themselves that way. Bitcoin will serve as an excellent example for this in the future. Fortunately, the overall actual value in there is small (the "market capitalization" number is nonsense) and this will hopefu

  • Use Litecoin people! The transaction fees are negligible.

  • The people who made money were the ones who sold the equipment, not the ones looking for gold.
  • Why aren't we talking about Lightning here?

  • Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, it's only value comes from what you can trade it for.
    Given that, what is the "right" price for a bitcoin?
    I ask, because I don't see any reason to think that $10,000 a coin is "too high".
    Don't get me wrong, I don't see any reason to think $10,000 a coin is "right' or "too low" either.

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.

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