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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  102 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Breitling authentication is running on Ethereum

So how do I get into this ahead of the curve, and make a living off 'my knowledge' (gleaned from you, of course) of this wrinkle in the market? :-)





Kaius  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was so hoping you would get some good answers to this question, perhaps kleinbl00 will give us some hints.

kleinbl00  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I stumbled into an overly-substantial ethereum investment due to mk and insomniasexx. You have to keep in mind, though, that the market cap of Ethereum is about to cross $50b for the first time in a couple-three years... while Apple alone has four times that in cash-on-hand. The last bull run in crypto has now made it such that any given tech company couldn't buy out the whole thing by cutting a check but it was that way for the past few years. Which means it's a really thin market, subject to flagrant manipulation.

If you take the nightmare of forex trading, multiply it by ten, then eliminate all regulations you're looking at the crypto market. The speculative froth makes it a good goddamn thing to avoid. During the crazy times I lost $12k because I got distracted by a 9 minute phone call.

But you aren't asking about that, you're asking about technologies that leverage it and how to trade on it. Again, I think you're gonna get eaten by the whales. The equities markets are now derivatives of the futures markets and the futures markets are opaque.

My play is to start a luxury brand.

rustyshackleford  ·  98 days ago  ·  link  ·  

While I don't know anything about the luxury market, I do have some advice regarding blockchain in general. Keep an eye on which industries are talking blockchain, and look into investing in companies that fund software development in those areas. You don't even have to back any blockchain-based ideas (and you probably shouldn't), but it's a great indicator that there's a grassroots effort in that industry to change their ways. Blockchain itself is an almost fundamentally useless technology, but it's getting so much press and hype that industries and organizations that traditionally don't bother updating their models are talking about blockchain now. That's why you see it pop up in things like real estate, social services, and in this case, the provenance of luxury goods--those are all industries that are decades behind the curve and have never seen a reason to update their software. Now that blockchain is the hip new term du jour, it's like a new Y2K, spurring companies into taking baby steps they'd have otherwise ignored for another few decades.

kleinbl00  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    in this case, the provenance of luxury goods--those are all industries that are decades behind the curve and have never seen a reason to update their software.

This is an excellent example of why you have exactly the wrong idea about this stuff.

There has never before been a way to verify the provenance of an item. Now, there can be a unique identifier attached to an object the ownership of which can be publicly tracked. This has never before been possible. Never, in the history of mankind, has there been an effectively unimpeachable mark of ownership. Never, in the history of mankind, has there been an unforgeable list of transactions.

Up to this point, all transactional and ownership history has been mediated. The credibility of the transaction was dependent on the credibility of the mediator. This has led to very real economic opportunity and harm above and beyond the obvious central bank saws that everyone always pulls out. Now? Now I know where everything has been and when it has changed hands. Similar services have been employed in luxury goods for 20 years but since it's DeBeers, it's just one shady consortium lording it over everyone else. Put that shit on the blockchain and suddenly the entire equation changes.

rustyshackleford  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, sorta. The same thing could be accomplished with literally any other form of database. The problem isn’t “there’s never been blockchain”, it’s “there’s never been a database.”

Blockchain is extremely flawed, from a database perspective. The biggest issues with it are that people think it ensures entries are correct, and that people think you can read data out of it effectively. To the first, it doesn’t. It ensures that data is valid but to a computer, valid and correct are not synonyms. To the second, you can only get data out of a blockchain if it’s unpopular. As soon as a blockchain gets used, it grows and grows and grows, and becomes unmanageably complex. Simply reading information out of it and entering new information onto it becomes computationally ridiculous.

The true value of blockchain has nothing to do with the technology. The real value is the hype itself. Because of all the hype, blockchain is effectively tricking companies and industries to implement standardized databasing systems that they’ve been resisting for decades.

kleinbl00  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The same thing could be accomplished with literally any other form of database.

This is inaccurate. Whose database?

In order to alter the database of a blockchain you need consensus of 51% of everyone who has a copy of that blockchain. To alter a database you need a password.

Do you see the difference?

rustyshackleford  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Indelible databasing is super important to the world as-is though. There’s plenty of ways to architect a database that prevent modification. In the simplest example, you simply store your transaction logs on a separate server, and give the keys to different people. That’s not even a very elegant solution, but it’s already enough to prevent somebody from just going in and modifying a record directly, because there’s an audit trail clearly showing their behavior. Yes, blockchain is a mathematically elegant solution to the issue of designing a zero-trust network, but it’s not the only one.

kleinbl00  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Know what's cool about superconductors? They have zero impedance. Not low impedance. Not very low impedance. No impedance at all. There's a very real difference between something being a super bitchin' conductor and something transmitting an electrical signal or electrical energy with absolutely no loss. Copy an album onto tape using the best gear imaginable. Then copy that tape onto more tape. You will experience generational loss. Now - copy a CD. The data is the data is the data and once your error correction takes care of entropy, the bazillionth copy will sound like the millionth copy will sound like the first copy.

    There’s plenty of ways to architect a database that prevent modification.

"Prevent" is not "prohibit." When you "prevent" modification you depend on a layer of trust: you trust the guy with the keys, you trust the software he's using, you trust the keys you've handed around. When you prohibit modification you no longer give a shit about any of that because no matter what they try it's impossible. If I say something, and the consensus of nodes agree with me, it's true. Better yet, any node that doesn't agree with me is no longer on the network. You either accept the consensus view or you get ejected from the party. Forgery simply doesn't happen anymore: if you want to alter something to suit you, you must get the majority of sites to agree to your alteration. Now you own the blockchain. Was it worth it? Because the people who disagree with your alteration might be a minority, but if they've got enough to convince everyone else, your blockchain just got disavowed anyway. Ethereum Classic is now what? Four years old? I dunno, I don't go to their parties.

There's a difference between "things people trust" and "things that are without requiring trust." It's a fundamental change to the way we mark stores of value and stores of data. This is usually where the conversation devolves into "what is money" at which point the coders tune out and say "navel staring morons blockchain is worthless" and the libertarians whip out their copy of The Creature from Jeckyll Island and beat people over the head with it but it doesn't change the fact that the advent of networking and computation has fostered a system for marking value that is fundamentally different from anything we've ever had.

rustyshackleford  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hah! Don’t worry, I’m not about to accuse you of being a navel staring moron. Speaking as a grown-ass man who understands we’re all getting less flexible year over year, I make no assumptions about whether somebody can stare into their own bellybutton, and that’s a weird metric to hold somebody to anyway.

I will grant you your thoughts on trust, and simply argue that blockchain isn’t the only way to accomplish the paradigm shift you’re describing, nor is it a foolproof way to do so. You are correct though that it is a great step in the right direction, and is strongly indicative of the kind of thinking that solves Big Fuckin Problems.

kleinbl00  ·  96 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I will grant you your thoughts on trust, and simply argue that blockchain isn’t the only way to accomplish the paradigm shift you’re describing, nor is it a foolproof way to do so.

No. But it is the front runner, it is the most researched, it has the most momentum behind it, it's made the most progress, and it is already causing the most alterations of law, commerce and research.

The same people who called Bitcoin "goldbugging for nerds" explained why Kodak pivoting into blockchain was insightful. They also championed the pivot into COVID testing or whatever. We have a real psychological need to group things into "salvation" or "scam" without troubling ourselves with the possibility that the world is nuanced - just because some choad on Twitch is crowing about the Tron he flipped on Robinhood over the weekend doesn't man all discussion of blockchain is worthy of scorn.