[Arm-netbook] EOMA68 / Libre RISC-V team financing

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Thu Dec 28 09:13:16 GMT 2017

On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 8:47 AM, Philip Hands <phil at hands.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Dec 2017, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> wrote:
> ...
>>  (3) this is quite LITERALLY the opposite of a ponzi scheme.  they are
>> LITERALLY making the bitcoin that underpins the entire scheme.  this
>> is a completely unique approach which is actually extremely clever.
> It seems to me that one way of looking at this is that they are using
> other people's money to bet that the BTC price will go up on average,
> and then using the resulting profit to do a spot of mining as cover.

 interestingly they just had to double the commission payouts from
$100 to $200.  i was watching the pages describing the commissions:
one day they were $100, the next it was $200.  i believe this is in
response to how drastically the exchange rate for BTC went up.

 this is one of the indicators, to me, that they're legit.  it's also
extremely clever of them, to link the commissions directly to a
currency that is anticipated to continuously fall.  what's hilarious
is that the equipment shares is priced in the same currency, so *that*
falls in value relative to BTC as well.

 basically as BTC goes up, the value of the commissions and the
relative cost of the equipment - which are in fixed USD amounts and
*converted* to BTC - go *DOWN*.

which is also an interesting salutory lesson to people that as crypto
currencies go up, the value of fiat currencies go DOWN.  can you
imagine if this was BTC/EUR changing 1000%?

> Whether they are paying people back from the speculation profit and/or
> in the traditional ponzi manner from later investor's funds doesn't seem
> to make much difference to me.
> Most of the people involved in this to date would almost certainly have
> been better off simply buying BTC at the start, and selling them some
> time later on.

 ... which i've already determined to be risky and unethical.  it's
too close to the exploitation i've witnessed - and my friend has
recently uncovered clear and blatant evidence of.  mining however is
*completely* different, not least because it, in no way, *actually*
involves actual cash, and it is not directly related to "exchange
rates" or the trading of currencies, at all.

> Likewise, saying that you're only putting BTC in, and hence its only
> pretend money (or some such) ignores the opportunity cost of no longer
> being able to sell those BTC for cold hard cash.

 ... which i don't feel comfortable doing.  as in, i don't feel
comfortable interfacing officially with one of the exchange sites.
i'm happy basically to keep a very clear division that i will only
cross reluctantly and very indirectly between BTC and fiat currencies.
there are good reasons for doing so.

also the risk-benefit analysis came up, for me, from *my* experience
and ability to assess these things (in the face of unknown and
unknowable information such as "how many people, how much have they
invested" etc.), as "take the opportunity and throw both oxygen tanks
and napalm on it"

> So this looks to me like a ponzi built on a speculation bubble, which
> might be a way of making the ponzi survive longer than it would do
> otherwise, but if and when the BTC bubble bursts[1] investors are going
> to discover that the people in charge have done a runner with the
> remaining assets and that any balance still held within the scheme is
> just gone.
> Luke, given your repeated assertions about the importance of ethics I'm
> astonished that you'd be willing to be anywhere near such a scheme.

 the definition of an ethical act is:

 * to increase truth, awareness, love or creativity (those being
synonyms for the same underlying principle) for one or more people
(including yourself) WITHOUT decreasing ANY of those same four
qualities FOR ANYONE.

 that's a very very specific and flexible definition of an ethical act
that, for example, perfectly well permits people to go to war in
defense of their country, and many other things that others might,
without such a clear and flexible definition, consider "unethical".

 it's also... really quite challenging to "unpack" that definition
(it's in effect a "4th normalised form" if you get the SQL database

 i'll be tracking the behaviour of this group closely to ensure that
it meets that ethical criteria.  any sign of unethical acts on their
part - more to the point any sign that by MY actions and decisions *I*
am causing harm by leveraging this opportunity - and i'll drop them
instantly.  i have to.  my committment to that definition takes
absolute precedence.


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