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  • Go to localbitcoins.com and sign up. For extra safety, use Tor or some location that isn't tied to your identity and/or a burner email (maybe guerrillamail.com?)
  • Filter for "Western Union" (assuming you're in the US?) and look for sellers that have decent ratings
  • Buy/Sell at increments of whatever you feel most comfortable with, with the understanding any single transaction might be forfeit. In your case, maybe $500-$1000 increments are appropriate
  • Do this a few times, with one or multiple sellers/buyers, till the whole transfer is complete

This method is laborious and you can expect a 30% markup (on the buying end), at least. Other payment options might apply but care has to be taken to avoid sellers that require invasive KYC documents.

By far, it's easier to convert Bitcoin through a "patron" that you know locally, either through a meetup, friend, or what have you, but this option, while laborious and exorbitantly priced, does not require someone local to you to have Bitcoin.

Upvoting and staking would become the same thing. Every sat put into a post would go into a pot with the sats from other posts, then get distributed to all stakers at some interval depending on how well the posts do.

I'll have to think on this but this sounds like it might be ripe for abuse.

They are low quality, promoting something, or are off topic. They get the attention of users.

My point being is that you should use this test to then push for economic action. Maybe there's an off-topic sat pool that gets filled up on a per user basis that then devalues their ability to promote or submit posts. Maybe promotion posts require a sat expenditure by the poster to overcome some lower threshold (maybe flagged by users?).

Here are my 2 sats:


The issue here is how to quantify how much a user is trusted. You're now talking about a large effort of essentially human involvement or some algorithm that's ripe to be gamed.

Further, it sounds like this is pretty divorced from any Lightning/Bitcoin model of incentives.

This quickly descends into moderators etc. which is something I've been advocating for a while, at least in some weak form, and have received significant pushback on.


I don't quite understand what you're proposing. Multiple people can stake the post and then receive back their sats? Is upvoting staking? How is upvoting different from staking? Or can you now have another option to 'stake' the post to bolster the post and then maybe get back sats depending on its upvotes?

Here's an off the cuff proposal:

Have upvoting be variable for each person, depending on how many posts they've like before.

For example, say I upvote a post by @koob (for 1 sat), now, the next time I upvote a post made by @koob, it will automatically give 2 sats, 3 sats for the subsequent one, etc.

This facility is automatically run in the background, can be changed by the user to either be turned off on an individual basis, on a global basis or otherwise be tweaked by the individual.

The idea is that this "builds in" a trust model, where people who submit quality content are then automatically given more "power/trust" to submit other content. Bots and the like that submit crap content might get some traction but not enough to overpower the trusted folks.

The ramp up might not need to be linear and one could imagine something like a logarithmic ramp up, with clear communication at each 'jump' in sat expenditure.

One could even imagine a 'trusted' user (ranked by the 'average' sat upvote they would receive for a post, say) having a higher default for upvotes as well.

These are all just "default" policies of the site that could be overridden and are only meant to guide "good" behavior. Anyone could dump a lot of sats into their account and then tweak their own default upvotes to mimic the same behavior.

I just want to remind you again that the point is not to eliminate spam, it's to make sure it's mitigated against and that any effort by spammers to abuse the system will make them pay.

One way to look at it is to try and fix arbitrage situations. If there's an avenue that spammers think will make them more money by some small expenditure of sats, then that's an arbitrage opportunity for them. The way to fix this from an economics perspective is to close that arbitrage opportunity so that any outlay of cash will not be recovered from the effort.

How are you noticing unwanted posts? What do they get out of it? My feeling is that an economic foil has to depend on the type of attack.

Alright, well, regardless, the IP will still be licensed by SN and SN will be positioned to be the gatekeeper to that knowledge.

I think this is standard startup playbook stuff, whereby a platform is created, a moat is built around all the content and everyone is funneled into a walled silo of content.

When I look at Twitter, Facebook and the rest of social media, the only ray of hope is cryptocurrency and some decentralized content, where incentives are given by the currency and decentralization is bolstered by the libre/free license.

In my opinion, sites that don't actively try to make their content accessible are doomed to have their content disappear. I don't know if Experts Exchange has their knowledge base available in any meaningful way but they've faded to irrelevancy. AOL has long since faded. My belief is that it's only a matter of time before Twitter, FB, Quora and even HN have their data lost. They're never incentivized to make the data available to the community and if they ever do, because they're failing, it's often too late as they're already passed the threshold of irrelevancy.

StackOverflow, Wikipedia etc. have embraced the libre/free idea and, in my opinion, are better for it. When I think of sites like this, I envision some hybrid of SO and Wikipedia where the digital currency allows for direct monetary rewards to contributors.

I would advise against keeping content locked under a proprietary license.

There's a few reasons to provide a libre/free license (like CC-BY-SA):

  • It helps guard against future irrelevancy by making the data easy to replicate
  • It provides a potentially rich dataset for programmers, entrepreneurs etc.
  • In general, it gives back to the community and is much in the spirit of what Bitcoin is about, libre/free source that allows for re-use and modification, even for commercial reuse

Were you to not put the content under a libre/free license, you're heavily favoring you or your organization as gatekeeper to the knowledge. In this case, SN would most likely be effectively be the sole licensee of the data which means everyone in this community is now not only giving you sats to participate but also handing you effectively sole use of their intellectual property.

It looks like you have a potential business model in mind in terms of "paying for articles" (like Y'alls?). From my perspective, the fundamental question is what's actually gained by providing content that isn't libre/free for the community to use.

Your concern is that someone won't pay if the content is under a libre/free license? Under what scenario would you be using the intellectual property angle to enforce copyright violations? Notice on HN that the first post to paywalled articles is a link to a non-paywalled archive site so people can read the articles.

My view is that convenience supersedes a lot of these concerns. People don't care about spending a couple sats, especially considering we're doing it anyway by tipping or upvoting, so providing easy avenues to pay for articles is the main issue, not whether we can view the article by paying the absolute minimum for it.

In terms of providing options for individuals to change the license of their content, I would also advise against it. It's confusing and any re-use of the dataset now becomes problematic to use. At best, users direct content needs to be filtered. At worst, anyone using the dataset now has to do a similarity test for all the content against the proprietary portions to make sure they're not in violation of the users license choice.

My view is it's reasonable to ask participants to put their content under a CC-BY-SA license. The content is on the internet, it's pretty much available anyway. Instead of shying away from it, lean into it and provide it under a libre/free license. The price to participate in the community is that you're adding the commons by doing so. The license is just being explicit about it.

On a personal note, one of the reasons why I'm excited about this community is because it has the possibility to embody portions of the ideology behind Bitcoin I find compelling. I know if there were a system that funneled the intellectual property to SN for essentially exclusive use, I would be less interested in participating and championing it.

In terms of the API, the first step is to make the data available to people to read. I imagine the primary use case is to query or download the dataset for some use. Providing an easy facility to do that, maybe by providing better documentation, examples, etc. is the primary concern.

If people want programmatic access to their accounts through the API, that's cool, but not a feature you need right now?

A recent post on HN reminds me that Quora and HN both have really bad licenses for their content and comments. I've created an issue for it but I would urge you again to consider putting a libre/free license on the content on this site.

Quora and HN are both a tragedy waiting to happen when their popularity wanes. As far as I know, Experts Exchange is pretty much faded to irrelevancy and its content is effectively lost. It would be nice to try to guard against it by providing the content on this site to the community.

HN is especially tragic. Imagine the future entrepreneurs and innovators able to bootstrap from such a rich dataset. They talk about disruption and even seem to be pretty pro FOSS but when it comes to their own data, they gate keep like the rest of them.

Which reminds me of making the API easier to use (perhaps just documenting it more?) and/or providing an easily downloadable dataset to grab.

Congrats on the investor situation!

All very awesome improvements. And also glad to hear about investors!

Can you talk a bit about some of the new ideas?

I try and post things that I think this community will find interesting, even if it's contrary to a "pro-Bitcoin" narrative.

I don't feel I have a deep understanding of Mina or the underlying mathematics so I was kind of hoping someone more knowledgeable than myself could weigh in on why it's good/bad.

In particular, Mina is trying to solve the "large blockchain" issue via zero knowledge proofs (or SNARKS?) (I think). Does this approach have a fundamental flaw? If so, why? If not why not? Could the ideas be incorporated into Bitcoin? Are other people looking into it?

Part of my understanding of the fundamentals of Bitcoin are having an idea of it's limitations and why other solutions can/can't be used to overcome them.

TLDR; posted here to provoke interesting discussion, not to shill for altcoins.

0x is a convention of starting a string representing a number in base 16, otherwise known as hexadecimal.

I have some Dogecoin that I'd be willing to send your way, if you set up a Dogecoin wallet and give me your address. I know Dogecoin is an altcoin but it's what I have available. I think it's pretty easy to trade Dogecoin for other cryptocurrencies.

If you'd be open to art commissions that would put your art under a libre/free license (one of CC0, CC-BY or CC-BY-SA) then I might be willing to send more. Feel free to email me at abetusk@mechaelephant.com if you want to discuss it more.

Ha, so basically tie an actual energy cost to the whole "programmer speed" vs. "execution speed" graph (see).

I think the paper is exclusively talking about execution of the program and not the resources in creating it. Considering programmer time is measured in individuals or small teams and execution is measured in millions of executions/uses, my bet is, for the most part, any cost associated with program creation will quickly get washed out by execution cost. Notice how many Python libraries are created in lower level languages with hooks into Python for exactly that reason.

Both of the reasons you state have been things I've heard, so it seems reasonable but I think there are many other factors and I would hesitate to waive my hands and declare those as the biggest two.

For example, Bitcoin Beach was pretty influential, providing advocacy and a test bed for Bitcoin usage and adoption. I imagine they also did quite a bit of lobbying. Maybe they even were listened to more because of their economic success?

Also, from reading Wikipedia, it looks like El Salvador was the worlds leader in remittances (per capita) from abroad, which is a major use case of Bitcoin in its current form.

So, just as likely as reasons #1 and #2 listed above, there could be a "Reason #3: Strong Lobbyist Presence, Including A Community That Is Piloting Adoption" and "Reason #4: Substantial Remittances From Abroad".

I certainly don't know and I feel pretty ignorant when it comes to how adoption actually played out in El Salvador. I would love to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself on what actually happened to make it a reality.

In terms of other countries, there's been quite a few articles. Here are a few that I've found just Googling:

Some countries that keep coming up are: Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Ukraine. Countries that have high adoption that I don't hear about so much: Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines (src).

There were rumors of Brazil making Bitcoin legal tender, but it looks like those are mostly false and they're just trying to just regulate Bitcoin.

Vietnam is apparently extremely high in adoption and I'm failing to see why. Maybe something about China banning mining and miners moving to Vietnam? Some other reason based on mining and cheap electricity with access to hardware? I really have no idea.

This always runs the risk of diverting your attention too much by implementing too many features but, if done, can offer a good avenue of experimentation. This is kind of the best of both worlds.

If the unmoderated subs become a cesspool, we know moderation is needed. If they flourish, we know moderation isn't. This also gives a testing ground for other "economic policies" to iterate through features that will mitigate problems that come up.

Thanks for the update!

This revision does look a lot more concise. I think it gives a good overview that stands on its own but can also serve as a good backup if you were to do a verbal presentation with it.

It kind of hits all the points:

  • A concise description of what stacker.news is
  • Problems with current solutions and how stacker.news solves them
  • User/community testimonials
  • Addressable market
  • User growth
  • Business strategy
  • Personal credentials
  • The ask along with why and what it'll be used for

I have some conceptual issues, which I'll discuss below. The only real suggestion is a very minor one in that you might want to turn the saturation down on the lightning bolt in the background of each of the slides so it doesn't clash with the text so much.

Here are some conceptual issues that I see:

  • It's not clear that you won't need moderation, in some form (even if you don't call it moderation). Figuring out more of the specifics of which economic policy would specifically help prevent the need for moderation might be good to think about
  • It's not clear to me how to get a decentralized stacker.news. Is there some sort of sharing of stacker.news content between different nodes (an API?)? Does stacker.news publish content on the blockchain somewhere?
  • Maintaining discourse at scale (pg 8) is more than being Sybil resistant. I don't claim to have any deep insight but I think it's a balance between being accessible to a wider audience but still having enough specificity to have engaging discussions. I've linked them before but I'll link to Clay Shirky's "A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy" and kuro5hin's article "Attack From Within"
  • I still disagree with "exclusivity -> more desirable". Lowering barrier to entry and making it more accessible to people is more in the spirit of why I joined this community and in line with what I associate with a "Bitcoin ethos"
  • Referral rewards can be abused. So long as you're on top of it, it's not a big deal as you're essentially trying to promote user onboarding, but that can blow up if you're not careful.
  • What's this "native ads" business with boosting posts? (pg 7)

All of the above points are really about a vision of what stacker.news is and where it's going, so I hesitate to call these problems as we might just have a difference of opinion. Even if there were more to say about each subject, in terms of a specific roadmap to implement them or experiment with them in this space, it might not even be appropriate to put in the pitch deck.

I would suggest at least having a rough idea of how to solve these problems that's has a bit more specificity. For example, if an economic policy is going to solve the moderation problem, figuring out which economic policy, even in broad strokes, would probably be beneficial. Figuring out a roadmap for P2P stacker.news. Figuring out how to keep quality discourse at scale (which might overlap with moderation or lack thereof). would probably be good. Etc.

As always, thanks for being so transparent, it's really nice to get more insight into how these things operate. And please let us know how it goes!

Good luck!

Or someone provides an open standard on top of Bitcoin which then eats the banks lunch.

Without cryptocurrency, your path for Stripe or some other equivalent service seems reasonable. With Bitcoin, this might be another use case where it could have been possible in fiat but cryptocurrency is able to execute on the idea because it's a better fit with the ecosystem and Bitcoin doesn't have all the baggage that comes from perverse incentives that the banking industry has.

The LIghtning Network is not generating any coins. It's locking funds between two (or more?) parties (on chain) so they can transact between themselves and settle on chain at a later point.

Proof of work is doing work to win the lottery to get the privilege of furthering the blockchain with the added benefit of allowing the winner to reward themselves with coin.

Proof of stake is staking already generated coin to win the lottery to further the blockchain (and give themselves a reward).

Good god man.

"I've just received 1000 sats from @k00b, ask me anything"

For the last point, I understand the value of the substack but I was asking what the "value added" was for the person creating the substack. For example, why not just have anyone be able to create a substacker community without the reward structure for the creator? Maybe offer some "bounty" whereby some group of people can give the 10k sat threshold required to create the community (like a "Kickstarter" like thing or sort of how the area51.stackexchange voting works) if you want to only create communities that have actual buy-in.

Giving 50% of sats earned to the creator in the substack is kind of weird, especially if the creator doesn't do anything but create the substack and leave. In some sense, this is encouraging rent-seeking behavior. I can imagine that practically, the creator would be invested to drive content, especially if there's some 10k sat to recoup (say), but if a savy substack creator finds a good topic, all they have to do is sit back and let other people do the work to earn 50% on all proceeds.

More importantly, from my point of view, the creator's only real contribution to the substack was to create it. All other power, assuming you don't want any type of "admin/mod" behavior, isn't present.

If you don't give any real power to control the content in the substack to the creator, then why give them 50% of profits, why not just let the community create substacks and have at them? If you do imagine giving some power to the substack creator, what is it? That is, what "value add" does a substack creator give to the substack they create?