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  2. [Comment removed by moderator pushcx: Troll]

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      I’m troubled by the fact that every single ex-crypto startup employee I’ve spoken with has been pretty frank about how the whole thing felt like a ponzi scheme or Tulip Craze to them.

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        As an ex-blockchain/crypto employee, I’m leaning heavily towards Tulip Craze myself. A Ponzi scheme requires more intelligence and evil intent to pull off

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          I think the Ponzi Scheme era was the 2018/2019 ICO craze

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          Do you have some links on this that I could save?

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            On even days I would vote for Tulip Craze, on odd days my vote would go for plain simple money laundering (speaking as an ex-crypto startup employee).

          2. [Comment removed by moderator pushcx: Off-topic economics thread in response to troll.]

            1. [Comment removed by moderator pushcx: Off-topic economics thread in response to troll.]

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              Even though the current financial system doesn’t often make the headlines, we can’t go around and pretend it doesn’t have it awful downsides.

              Try to be less aggressive in your opinion and you might also see the good sides of crypto currencies as an ideology.

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                The problem with accepting cryptocurrency memes is that the ideology is built on sand. To pick one poignant example that I just can’t get out of my head: Why is it that traditional Bitcoin-style “difficulty” of blocks is actually easier as it gets more “difficult”? I don’t know how this happened other than via complete ignorance of certain aspects of the cryptography which is essential to cryptocurrencies.

                At some point, we have to confront the pragmatic effects of our current financial system. For example, our current system has enough food, housing, and healthcare to service everybody, but it doesn’t. Why is that? No economic modelling will overcome the fact that these are no longer economic problems, in the sense that there is no longer any essential scarcity to these particular goods and services. The problem is not whether people can use Bitcoin to pay for pizza, but why we require payment for food at all.

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                I’m not sure if “raw computing power” has previously been commodified in the way that (POW) cryptocurrency have, especially with the current bubble. Is there any other example where this has been the case, or at least could be compared to the current situation?

                Gonna get downvoted

                You don’t have to worry about that here.

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                  Just curious, how do you downvote, can’t find the button?

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                    Lobsters uses flags instead of downvotes.

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                  There was an old essay that I can’t find now (probably 15 or-so years old) that ran down a whole bunch of things we couldn’t have anymore, and pointed out that it all went back to spammers.

                  Cryptocurrency miners now seem to be filling the role of ruining things I like online. I wonder how much overlap there is between those two populations these days.

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                    Hmm. Maybe I’m just in a mood, but I’m finding it hard not to be cynical about this?

                    It seems more like: Instead of banning maintainers for the actions of bad actors, we’ve decided to just offload the work of combating bad actors onto them.

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                      I see your point, but it actually feels like a pretty good compromise to me since, as a maintainer, I have to take a look at PRs that come in, even if they’re sketchy, regardless. In this case, if a PR seems suspect (for whatever reason, maybe it’s “month of code” t-shirt spam or whatever) I would want to close it anyway, and I can still do just that.

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                        I agree the burden is negligible at small scales.

                        But on large projects with high PR volume it can already take a lot of effort to get eyes on every PR in a timely manner. In nixpkgs it’s common for people without write access to be handling some fraction of initial triage/review, and now they won’t have access to a helpful signal without bugging someone else, or waiting for them to come along.

                        It’s common for first-time contributions to take several pushes to get it right. Now every round of that requires a chaperone.

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                          Yeah, re-approving subsequent commits feels super odd. Just one good commit is enough to weed-out bots and significantly raise the cost of attack.

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                            I assume this solution is an emergency hot patch, because right now there’s no way to fight these crypto miners attacks except for disabling all external contributions. My repo was attacked a couple of days ago (https://twitter.com/werat/status/1384784176138883072) and I couldn’t even figure that out without asking for help :)

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                              Yeah, I also received a PR with actions change to rust-analyzer some time ago. I don’t think it’s my repo that is attacked though. Rather, the target is GitHub’s public compute infra. The goal is not to merge bad code, the goal is to let CI compute some hashes for free.

                              From my perspective, closing an occasional spam PR is little work. Manually re-triggering CI for each new commit of each new contributor is way more, and it makes experience of first-time contributors many times worse.

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                                I completely agree. I just think (and hope) that the current solution is the best GitHub could implement to mitigate the issue right now. I do expect them to make it more flexible:

                                This will be the default setting and, as of now, there is no way to opt out of the behavior, but we do have plans to implement a few additional settings to provide more flexibility.

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                              It’s quite easy to grab a random change from a fork of a poplar repo, submit it in a PR, and then once it’s approved push a change that replaces the entire thing with a CI script that mines some crypto currency.

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                        Cryptocurrencies here are incentivizing abuse of shared CI platforms. Cryptocurrencies lower the friction of some criminal transactions. The relationship of the dominant cryptocurrencies to all other parts of the economy seems to be somewhere between “extremely speculative investment” and something way worse. Cryptocurrencies burn much more energy to achieve much lower transaction throughput than other forms of electronic payment processing.

                        Generalizing from the above points, I would say, “cryptocurrencies help human beings behave badly.”

                        Please, try to change my mind.

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                          huh. so i guess it doesn’t live up to community standards as it was removed but from what I recall the comment at https://lobste.rs/s/5xhpfw/crypto_miners_are_killing_free_ci#c_fcfcas seemed to put forth an interesting and probably unpopular point of view.

                          Unless it was edited after I saw it, I don’t agree with removing it as trolling. Opinions that certain technologies are bad, awful even, should be allowed.

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                            That was my comment, and I did not edit it. Two people flagged it as a Troll comment (and I think one of them was @pushcx). I’m not upset that it was removed as it was a bit ranty on my part - but I wasn’t trolling (at least on purpose).