Hey, my name is Roy, and I came here to address a delicate subject, I am not a mod, I am just a regular user, living in Venezuela, with just a simple advice; please have some common sense
, I am not here to insult you, that is not my intention, the majority of Venezuelans in Reddit are very upset because of this (if you can speak spanish, or you can use google translate please have a read here
), and are calling it "Viveza Criolla
", we as Venezuelans DO NOT CONDONE this, that was just plain and simple a scam.
Of course with this I am not saying there are no miners in Venezuela being arrested and their miners taken away (https://news.bitcoin.com/venezuelan-bitcoin-miners-bribed-thrown-jail-secret-police/
) --- (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/venezuelan-authorities-arrest-4-bitcoin-miners-2017-01-26
) --- (https://www.ccn.com/report-two-venezuelans-arrested-mining-bitcoin/
), but there are very punctual cases, for example, in the first case two brothers were arrested, but it all happened because they had OVER 90 MINING RIGS.
In November, Venezuela’s secret police raided the house of two brothers in Caracas and found more than 90 mining terminals. The agents demanded $1,000 in bribes for each machine, according to the brothers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they fear arrest. The brothers said they paid the bribes to stay in business.
On the second report, the guys had over 300 mining rigs, they had a whole hangar for them
Authorities confiscated 300 mining terminals, according to photos published on Rico’s Instagram account, Criptonoticias reported. The models included Antminer S4s, produced by Beijing-based Bitmain, and SP31 Yukons, manufactured by Israel-based Spondoolies.
On the third one, they don't state how many miners were seized but you can presume they were a lot of them
With the arrests, authorities also seized mining machines as well as four laptops.
The two bitcoin miners are awaiting prosecution at Tribunal Séptimo de Control, or the Seventh Control Court in Carabobo.
I can also tell you that the government takes these machines they seize and put them to work for them
None of the low time miners have been arrested, specially because here in Venezuela, there is absolutely NO CONTROL of the electricity consumption(which is their excuse everytime they make one of these busts, truth is, there is always someone slipping, or saying something to someone else, then it all goes from there), I can tell you for experience that none of the low time miners have been arrested and their machines seized, I have several friends up to 10 mining rigs and none of them have even been disturbed by the police, also, why was this guy's machines taken away but he was not arrested?
I am sorry I am getting off track here, about the common sense, please just look at this guys history. it's full of red flags He claims Venezuela minimum wage is only 20$ (which was real at that time)
and might make you think, oh dude, this guy is poor.
But a little over 6 months later he was trading his PSN and Amazon cards for paypal
, again this is not an indication of any wrongdoing, but for a normal Venezuelan, a year ago $100, was a lot of money.
Up from there, he trades a lot of money in gifts cards, (again for a Venezuelan more than $100 is a lot of money)
He then goes to mining Ether with his rig and then he says another red flag in his post he says that he doesnt pay for electricity
After that he goes dark for like 6 months, then 14 days ago he posts this: "my dad stop giving me money for college in my first year, had to start making money by my self, still no car but I made it to the last year, but I live in Venezuela so I can't afford public transport anymore to college
so he can't afford money for transportation yet recently he claimed that he has 1000$ in crypto?
Just so you know, many Venezuelans with real problems are trying to leave the country and believe me, $1000 can buy you a plane ticket, in first class. To leave the country by land in a bus to Ecuador can costs you $250 These are the prices I collected when I first started making plans to leave but they have increased since, not by much, but is still an approximate
Then 4 days ago in an assistance thread he claims that he is migrating to Chile and he has not much money
Here comes the part where he was asking for advice deciding if he should buy Antminers S2 or trade
but when Gasset
told him to go to charities subreddit, he posted in vzla
saying "How do you manage to not kill yourself"
(in case he decides to delete it).
Also, worth nothing in the thread about killing himself he says that he is "tired of the creole' cleverness", or Viveza Criolla
as said early. AND THEN!!! Comes the big one
, suddenly 14 hours ago "Police came to his house and took his miners"
also, worth nothing that in his comment he says that police said they knew because of his "electricity consumption", (again HUGE red flag
), or a neighbor told someone, this, while (if real) is the most likely scenario, why in the world anyone mining BTC would even tell anyone that you have miners? in a country were police is arresting miners. (Of course not for one second I believe he had them, he would be in handcuffs)
Of course he then goes to contradict himself all over, saying things like "He was planning to sell his rig for $1000 to go to chile
Then when someone gives him a tip (reddit is down i can't see how much he got) He says "You didn't have to!"
(Oh poor you, you mother*****) (Sorry I am pissed off right now)
And then all hell breaks loose from then on.
As I said earlier, there are Venezuelans in real need to leave the country, and even $200 can help them leave.
Before donating to any random redditor (not only Venezuelans) please check his post history, check if his story adds up.
There was recently the case of a guy from Venezuela saying he was waiting for donations to help other Venezuelans (https://www.reddit.com/userandomizerdude
that created the website https://helpvenezuelans.com/
), he received 1 btc, and he vanished, his last post was from a month ago. now, those 17k could have helped a LOT of people to eat, or simply leave their country
Or better yet, if you want to help Venezuelans, donate to a Venezuelan charity https://raymasuprani.com/mas-is-more-foundation/
This one is one of the bests (there are other, it's 3 am here sorry)
I suggest you please take a second and have a little common sense.
Thank you and so sorry for ranting here, as I said, there are Venezuelans with real needs and real problems out there.
I also hope you don't label ALL Venezuelans as scammers because of one rotten apple.
Again, thank you. If you have any questions I am happy to answer, also I am sure many Venezuelans will come here to express their opinion.
Edit 2: GODDAMMIT! Not again
I've been reflecting on Paul Mason's Postcapitalism
, particularly as concerns what he identifies as a hum-dinger of information goods: Information goods destroy the price formation mechanism based on scarcity.
That's one of a few cases in which markets as price-setting mechanisms fail, or are subject to very high degrees of ambiguity.
Four particular instances come to mind:
- Information goods, as identified by Mason.
- Existing products -- effectively the resale market.
- Financial assets: goods whose price is predicated on scarcity and some ascribed basis for value.
- Extractive goods: resources which are used faster than their replacement rates.
Each poses specific failures to usefully set a market price that corresponds to the true costs of production.
What I'm posing here is more an exploration of aspects I've found, and still find, contradictory. I'm not claiming to have final answers, though I'm starting to land a few good leads.
On "natural prices"
While much lay discussion of economics holds that the market price is
the fair price for a good or service, the question of what a "natural" or "fair" price has occupied a great deal of economic thought and discussion since the time of the Greeks. Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations
proposed a definition which remains close to what's commonly accepted today -- a total cost of inputs, plus normal profits:
When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is sufficient to pay the rent of the land, the wages of the labour, and the profits of the stock employed in raising, preparing, and bringing it to market, according to their natural rates, the commodity is then sold for what may be called its natural price.
The cases I'm considering here all violate this in one way or another. This is troubling as they're increasingly key to economic activity.
Information wants to be free.
-- John Perry Barlow
In an efficient market, quality information is consistently undervalued.
In this case: fixed
costs of production are high, but marginal costs of production
are low. It takes a lot of time and research to create a quality
book, a piece of music, software, news reporting, pharmaceutical, chemical process, etc., but once developed
the costs of manufacture are far, far less, effectively zero in many cases.
That's one fundamental contradiction of the "knowledge economy".
There's the further problem of Gresham's law as applied to information: cheap, low-quality information tends to drive out high-value, but expensive-to-produce information. Ask anyone in the news, broadcast, or publishing industries.
There are good cars and bad cars (which in America are known as "lemons").
-- George Akerloff, "The Market for Lemons"
This is the second-hand market -- goods which are re-sold by an initial buyer, after initial purchase. Flea markets, swaps, Craigslist, consignment stores. And antique shops and auctions.
The fundamental characteristic of each of these is that the good already exists
. There is no production function
. Price, instead, is effectively a motivator -- what does it take to convince the holder of a good to part with it?
There's a Spanish folk saying I've only recently learned, its English translation "Buy from desperate people, and sell to newlyweds." In both cases, the supply and demand curves are shifted to the advantage of the middleman buying in the first instance and selling in the second.
In some cases, there's an alternative to buying used: you can buy a new item or make one yourself. For many utilitarian goods (clothing, furniture, children's toys, used books or records), the second-hand market offers considerable savings over new or self-made.
Keepsakes and mementos have highly asymmetric valuations: the holder usually ascribes a high sentimental value, while others may view the item as little more than clutter or "old junk". In this case it's typically unlikely for the piece to be sold -- the holder's valuation is higher than any potential buyer's, unless the former is desperate.
Antiquities or fine arts, as opposed to personal mementos and keepsakes with high sentimental
value pose a different situation: if it is the specific item in question and not a functionally equivalent replacement that is sought
, then there is no ascribable production cost
. You cannot make
a "new" original Rembrandt, or Picasso, or Ming Dynasty vase, or piece of ancient Egyptian art. Price of such goods is entirely dependent on the demand for such products.
It calls into question the entire concept of what a "natural price" of such a good is.
This case is actually the genesis for this essay -- the example I had in mind was of a Stradivarius violin -- there are about 650 left in the world
, largely manufactured between 1680 and 1700
, and present market values range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
This despite notable failures for blind listening tests to distinguish or prefer Strads over other instruments
. While modern mass-produced violins can be had for as little as £80 new
, more expensive hand-crafted instruments comparable in tonal quality to a Strad fetch about £15,000. That's still a considerable discount on the Strad -- by a factor of 200.
The embodied labor?
It takes around 120 hours to make a violin, 150 hours for a viola and 300 hours for a cello.
That's an all-in £125/hr cost of labor, assuming labor is the principle input.
Similarly, nearly indistinguishable art forgeries are fairly common
, there's the case of "Jefferson's Bottles
", literally an instance of new wine in old bottles
. Or forgeries of antiques, antiquities, and the like.
In all cases, the immediate
quality of the forgeries is quite difficult to tell, though dating of materials by radioisotopic means usually manages to distinguish them. What's changed is the perception
. What marketers call "selling the story
Or, quite bluntly: changing the demand curve for a product.
Extant products fall into two general categories:
- Those for which there is an imbued additional value -- above and beyond the intrinsic use-value of the product. These are products which tend to be either asset classes (if the ascribed value is widely shared) or keepsakes (where the ascribed value is personal -- "sentimental"). Goods with high sentimental value rarely sell -- the owner ascribes more worth than the market. Works serving as an asset class (specie or fiat currencies, precious metals, stocks, bonds, other financial instruments) have effectively no sentimental value.
- Those for which the intrinsic value is the primary consideration. This is the class for which the economizing purchaser can save a great deal over buying new.
And finally, extant goods have the "lemon" problem, and in fact, in the form of the used-car market, are the basis for George Akerloff's "The Market for Lemons
" paper noted in the epigraph for this section.
In the case of established
goods (e.g., antiquities and fine arts), the asymmetry detailed by Akerloff tends to be minimized. In the case of certain complex goods: automobiles and electronics certainly come to mind, concerns on the part of the buyer over the serviceability of the good in question tends to 1) keep prices depressed and 2) limit the number of quality items actually offered to market -- the seller knows that it will be unlikely to recapture the true value of a quality item.
Because that's where the money is.
-- Willie Sutton
, on why he robbed banks.
Here, you've almost the inverse situation of information goods: marginal cost of production is exceptionally high - - there's either a workfactor cost, or simply a finite supply (for numerous reasons, to be explored more). Will Rogers on land: they're not making it anymore. The asset value of precious metals is that their supply is (theoretically) constrained by the high costs of mining. Bitcoin is similar.
But the intrinsic utility
of the good is close to nil. A dollar bill has little intrinsic value, or, if you prefer, a $100 dollar bill. It's a piece of paper, ink, and anti-copyright features. The production cost is a factor of regulatory limits on production. Gold and silver have some utility, but this is generally less than is reflected in its exchange value. Diamonds are a case of induced scarcity, though with a few other twists which tends to inflate the retail value while affording virtually no resale
The added value by virtue of being money
is referred to as seigniorage
the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and