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    Can I ask why stripe is called a startup? At what point does a startup become a company?

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      At some point it’s probably becoming just marketing to say that X is still a startup.

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        When the job market declines to the point that stability attracts prospective employees more than the opportunity for change does.

        I mean, I imagine you knew that, but you did ask.

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          I’m not sure I understand what you mean, to me all ‘startup’ means is a company that was recently started up (like an engine).

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            Yeah, I probably could have been clearer. I was trying to suggest that what companies call themselves is far more driven by marketing concerns than by what those terms actually mean, and it’s unrealistic to expect otherwise. “Startup” suggests vitality and rapid change, while “company” suggests stability.

            In this case I think the marketing concerns are more about how developers see them than about how end users see them, and developers tend to think startups are cool. In my original tweet I was only thinking about their hiring goals, but explaining it now I realize that their market share depends a lot on whether people are willing to integrate with their services, and it’s often developers who make those decisions.

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              That’s a good way of putting it. I tend to think of “tech company” in a similar way personally. When trying to understand why some companies are tech companies and others aren’t, it’s hard to make sense of it just by looking at how much technology is involved.

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              I’d go with the definition by Paul Graham since it was Silicon Valley that popularized the term for growth-focused, VC-funded companies. Plus, organizations like YC crank out tons of them with a lot of media influence that further cements the perception of that term. It has established meaning whether the word is a good metaphor or not. Maybe think of it like drag racing for a billion dollar prize instead of going on a long drive for whatever that gets you. ;)

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              I thought it was about trying to grow a bunch every year?

              Though I guess that doesn’t match things like FB that much. I’m deep in this stuff and I really couldn’t come up with much of a definition

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                “Focused on extreme growth” is how we used to reckon whether or not some company was a startup. Otherwise, a new small business is just a small business.

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                  FB is a public company, so definitely not a startup

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                  By job market, do you mean company?

                  I kind of think I get what you’re going for, but if the job market defines companies that are “different” as startups, there needs to be a new word for a newly-founded company…

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                    I commented at length elsewhere, but I really meant that right now, there’s a lot of software engineers who have significant savings and are willing to take high-risk jobs because they sound fun, exciting, likely to change the world… and because being at a startup while it goes bankrupt isn’t going to halt their life plans. If there were an overall industry downturn of sufficient magnitude, engineers would have to prioritize their own financial stability while evaluating prospective employers. This would affect how companies portrayed themselves.

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                I’ve changed my tune on Bitcoin recently for two reasons, despite still liking its ideals:

                1. The government intervening in the economy is sometimes a feature, not a bug. In times of economic crisis, for example, the government has unique powers to help. Sometimes it is a bug, but Bitcoin seems to assume that any intervention by any centralized entity, at ALL, is malicious. In fact I intend to take an economics class to be better informed on this very issue.

                2. The energy use is unconscionable. We’re already destroying the environment at a ridiculous pace and the Bitcoin space (to me, at least, bearing in mind that I don’t REALLY pay attention) seems to be full of anarchists who are determined to have their uncontrollable system at any cost, with absolutely no regard to seemingly unrelated consequences.

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                  The government intervening in the economy is sometimes a feature, not a bug.

                  If by “sometimes a feature” you mean “the only thing that prevents repeated economic collapse” then yes.

                  If you’re interested at all then definitely take a macroeconomics class. And history while you’re at it, especially pre-industrial and early industrial America.

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                    Sometimes == every time bitcoiners fall for a scam and lose money (and suddenly drop all the libertarian stuff and start crying for government help).

                    Look at /r/Buttcoin, the amount of fraud in the cryptocurrency space is beyond ridiculous.

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                      I agree with your observation, but I think understanding the cause is more useful than poking fun at it. I’ve gotten the sense that falling for scams is an expected cost to a certain constituency, specifically the people who are using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange for things the governments they live under don’t approve of. I don’t expect the prevalence of scams to scare that group away. People who don’t share that driving concern should take note and understand that it’s always likely to be high-risk.

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                      Not that I’m in favor of Bitcoin at all (and I seriously agree with your first point) but I’ve also seen arguments that Bitcoin is used in some places (perhaps it was China?) to help mop up excess energy from renewable sources when they’re at peak output hours. I think the argument went that when the sun is high in the sky on a clear day, or when the wind is really blowing, energy companies will often turn off windmills or solar panels to avoid producing too much energy. In this case, Bitcoin can help use up that excess energy, and by turning it into cash, become a sort of renewable subsidy that makes it more attractive to build more renewable energy sources. I do know there are definitely places where a renewables-powered grid overproduces so much that energy prices become negative.

                      Perhaps this isn’t true, but I think it illustrates that maybe the energy problem is a more complex issue than it appears?

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                        Sounds like some fairy tale told by miners implying they are not mining 24h/7d a week.

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                          Mm, that matches my understanding of how energy production works, but it’s also the case that that energy could go into other things. I think it was actually here on lobste.rs that I learned about kinetic energy storage (roll a ball up a hill, to roll it back down later… that sort of thing) and how it’s used to smooth out energy demand.

                          There’s no way that Bitcoin miners aren’t making things difficult for grid operators. I agree with @isra17 that it’s an extremely self-serving claim.

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                          The energy seems like a fairly trivial cost to me. It’s a fraction of a percent. I’m willing to pay that price, and I’m also optimistic about the future of renewable energy.

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                            The per-transaction electricity cost was 215kwh back in November - that’s not trivial in the slightest. At market rates where I live it’s $7 or so.

                            Credit cards processors use several orders of magnitude less per payment made.

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                              Well in dollars terms it either is worth it or its not. I’m not particularly concerned about the environmental impact.

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                                And whom do you expect to deal with the environmental consequences?

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                                  whoever’s dealing with it for the other 99.9% of the environmental impact from non-renewable energy sources

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                                    That would be your descendants.

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                                      o/ yo

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                                        if their solution ends up involving defining standards for sufficiently useful computations, well, uh, godspeed

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                                A fraction of a percent of what? Energy use? Today Bitcoin is estimated to use as much energy as the country of Denmark. By 2020 is estimated it’ll use literally as much energy as we use in the entire planet today. I don’t particularly see how that’s trivial. Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/bitcoins-insane-energy-consumption-explained/

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                                  Today Bitcoin is estimated to use as much energy as the country of Denmark

                                  That’s far out of date. Denmark consumes approximately 3.5GW; bitcoin is now at about 5GW, somewhere between Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

                                  https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

                                  By 2020 is estimated it’ll use literally as much energy as we use in the entire planet today.

                                  No credible extrapolation is possible, obviously. Energy usage will drop fast when the bubble bursts.

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                                    Because denmark has like 5 million people? I’m about as worried about bitcoin as I am another denmark popping up (the world gains like 12x the population of denmark every year)

                                    edit: re 2020: https://xkcd.com/605/

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                                    I know next to nothing about cryptocurrencies, but my understanding is that Proof of Stake means we don’t need to use this energy. Many coins don’t use this because they weren’t sure whether it was secure. But recently the IOHK team has proven a secure Proof of Stake algorithm for Cardano.

                                    Is there a downside to this approach?

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                                      The “Criticism” section on the Wikipedia article on Proof of Stake lists a few:

                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof-of-stake#Criticism

                                      Note that Wikipedia is an ideological battleground when it comes to cryptocurrencies, so make sure to check the citations for a more comprehensive view.

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                                        I can’t find the source for this despite having seen it just last night (sigh) but IOHK apparently makes you generate your own seed, which has resulted in lots of people using web-based generators that then steal your money. This is a really bad idea and it’s not that hard to read from /dev/urandom and then say “here write this thing down.”

                                        So I wouldn’t really trust them to have done stuff correctly, including Proof of Stake. Obviously that doesn’t mean it can’t be done or even that they haven’t done it - just that I would like to see a lot of scrutiny from experts.

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                                          So I wouldn’t really trust them to have done stuff correctly, including Proof of Stake.

                                          The point is you don’t have to, they have proofs.

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                                    I’ve been saying so long now, why would anyone celebrate the massive, rapid inflation and deflation of something they want to be a viable currency?

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                                        Please don’t use businessinsider as a source for anything. They’re not great coverage.

                                        If you have to link to news like this, just link the original announcement.

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                                          Bitcoin has undergone enormous changes in the last sixty days or so. The world started buying lots more, so the exchange rate went up. As a direct consequence, fees were more expensive when considered as the fiat equivalent. As an indirect consequence, there were more transactions competing for space in blocks, so the native (satoshis/byte) fees went up. Headlines talked about just how poorly suited bitcoin was for its original mission and likely how overvalued it might be if it’s so expensive to execute transactions.

                                          But in a stunning turnaround, lots of effort has moved into segwit and LN in the last couple weeks. Fees now are lower than ever.