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Comment Re:Speculators (Score 2) 146

Bitcoin is slowly becoming more stable:

"Its biggest daily moves in 2016 were around 10 percent, still very volatile compared with fiat currencies, but markedly lower than the trading of 2013, which saw daily price swings of as much as 40 percent."

Comment Re:not profitable (Score 1) 222

We feel like helping others in these situations is simply the right thing to do, and our governments are better able to do it than individual citizens.

I would argue that the government is not better able to provide charity than individual citizens. For example, the Zika funding bill was voted down, because members of congress disagreed with each other. If Zika funding was provided through voluntary means, then we would not have these stalemates and delays. I won't say that private charities are perfect, but at least you can choose the private charity that you want to donate to; when it comes to government, you only get a "choice" every couple of years, and it's usually not much of a choice.

Comment Re:not profitable (Score 1) 222

Based on that flawed logic, most of the rural US would still be lacking power and phone service.

My guess is that rural communities would simply pay a premium for those services. Morally, that seems perfectly acceptable, because more resources are required per customer to service rural communities.

But even if I'm wrong, I still don't see what the problem is. If your hypothetical scenario came to pass, that would mean the urban residents refused to provide the rural communities with charity. Now, if the urban residents are perfectly content with the suffering of the rural residents, then who am I to judge? But if the urban residents are angered by the living conditions of the rural residents, then that would mean the urban residents are complaining about the conditions of the very people that those urban residents chose not to help with charity. In that case, I must confess that I really don't care what some hypocrites think of my policies.

Comment Re:not profitable (Score 1) 222

If something is not profitable enough, then that is still a form of charity. For example, suppose that my market rate is $50/hour. An organization tells me that they could really use my services, but all they can afford to pay me is $10/hour. If I accept their offer, then I am essentially giving them the equivalent of $40/hour in charity.

Anyway, let's assume that you're correct and you can earn a nice 10% return by taking a moderate risk. Why not start this company yourself? The private sector is open to everyone. If people want your service badly enough, and they trust you to provide that service, then you should be able to raise the money.

Even if you like to pay taxes, would you be willing to acknowledge that taxes are, at best, a necessary evil, and the use of coercion should be minimized? As an analogy, suppose that you have a police officer who is legally justified in killing a threatening man, but this police officer believes he can safely de-escalate the situation. Would you like the officer to minimize his use of force? If so, then you should also wish to keep the use of taxation to a minimum.

Comment not profitable (Score -1, Troll) 222

Mr. Goings went even further, talking about the bigger picture when it comes to “lighting up” poor and underserved areas of our country: This is bigger than Wilson. This is about the rural areas, particularly in eastern North Carolina, because the majority of the area does not present enough profitability to attract the private-sector investment

In other words, what Mr. Goings is saying is that it would be an act of charity to serve rural areas. The problem that I have with this situation is that Greenlight is not charitable organization that runs on donations; it is a government entity that collects revenue through taxation (i.e. coercion). This situation is being presented as if the people of Pinetops are having their rights violated; in reality, it is the taxpayers in Wilson who are being forced to subsidize a neighboring community.

The solution to this problem seems simple enough: Greenlight should be privatized. After that, if Greenlight would like to support neighboring towns, then it should solicit donations. If Greenlight is not able to collect enough money to fund service for Pinetops, then that dose not prove the market failed; instead, it proves that the residents of Wilson, when presented with an honest choice, do not want to subsidize their neighbors.

Comment Re: rule changes (Score 1) 165

You may think everyone would revolt.

Actually, I see bitcoin as the revolution, and if the rebels turn on each other, then the revolution stops. In other words, if the bitcoin world goes to war, then that creates a climate of uncertainty that drives the average investor away.

It's true that the businessmen probably outnumber the purists. However, businessmen like certainty, and certainty is especially important when you're buying something that is supposed to rival the certainty of owning a hard asset like gold. If the 75% network starts attacking the 25% one, and the 25% one happens to be the one used by all the western websites, then there's going to be a major disruption and a lot of uncertainty. I think that uncertainty is going to scare the average person away.

Comment Re:rule changes (Score 1) 165

Bitcoin has always been based on that notion, "the moral majority will have the most hashing power"

Yes, that's true. And, if the majority of miners use their hashing power to attack the old network, then they will be proving that notion false, which will destroy faith in bitcoin and ultimately hurt those same miners. People hold bitcoin because they believe 1) their money will be safe, and 2) the fundamental rules won't change. If miners successfully attack the old network, then they will have proven at least one of those beliefs to be false, which means that many users (myself included) will dump their bitcoins. But, if you don't buy that, then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Comment Re:rule changes (Score 1) 165

Those attacks would not change the rules of the old network, which was my original point. Also, there is defense. However, even if that defense fails, then all that means is that the attacks will damage faith in both the old and new networks. After all, if the old network can be attacked successfully, who is to say the same thing won't happen to the new network in the future when there is another disagreement? This uncertainty lowers the value of bitcoin as a whole, which means these attacks would be suicidal from a financial perspective. So, the question isn't how evil they want to be; it's how much money they're willing to burn to destroy their own wealth.

Comment rule changes (Score 1) 165

there are fears that China's government could decide, at some point, to pressure miners in the country to use their influence to alter the rules of the Bitcoin network

The Chinese miners can't change the rules of the bitcoin network, because the bitcoin network uses cryptography to see if anyone is breaking the rules. The Chinese government could attempt to pressure miners into using their influence over the bitcoin world, but Chinese miners only have influence because the rest of the world does not currently view them as anti-bitcoin. However, if Chinese miners suggested, for example, that the supply limit be changed to something other than 21 million, they would be seen as anti-bitcoin by the rest of the bitcoin world, and then they would lose their influence. Chinese miners could launch a 51% double-spending attack (and possibly destroy the value of their own coins in the process), but no amount of computing power would give them the ability to change the rules (because cryptography).

Comment Re:I dont understand what the problem is (Score 1) 335

Why would you prefer a higher chance that your driver is going to hurt you in some way? That makes no sense.

Security costs money. For example, take the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Would putting armed guards at every theater in the country make us safer in movie theaters? Probably. Would it be worth the cost? Probably not. If you disagree, you are free to open your own theater and hire armed guards yourself. That's the beauty of the free market.

Likewise, Uber tells me that they already do background checks, and they say that the fingerprint check that the city of Austin wants is redundant and creates an undue operational burden. I choose to believe Uber. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my choice. And, unlike you and the city of Austin, I'm not trying to force my choices on anyone else.

Comment Re:I dont understand what the problem is (Score 1) 335

If you want to pass a law that says Uber must display a prominent warning to new users in their app that says, "We do not fingerprint drivers. Use this system at your own risk.", so be it. However, Uber should also be free, right after that warning, to tell people what the actual probability is that the driver will assault the passenger, and User should be able to compare that to the risk you will be assaulted in a taxi. Let the facts speak for themselves.

It's sad that the state will allow me to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, but they will not allow me to get into a car with a stranger who has not been fingerprinted (unless of course that stranger gives me a ride for free).

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