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From 'Ripples' To 'RonPaulCoin'; There Are Now 83 Cryptocurrencies In The World

Tyler Durden's picture


While Bitcoin (and Litecoin) garner the most attention in the cryptocurrency world, there are now 83 (and counting) virtual currencies to store your wealth in. Bitcoin's market cap (at over $10 billion) is by far the highest but we wonder whether the miasma of mimiccers - from Unobtainium to the ironically-named StableCoin and from 'Philospher Stones' to HoboNickels - serves to reduce the confidence in Bitcoin as a new method payments, or bolsters it as the clear market winner.


Top 20 Virtual Currencies...


The full list, sorted by market cap, is here.


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Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:14 | 4377714 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Getting HOT out there.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:23 | 4377746 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

fucking dogecoin....

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:24 | 4377749 fonestar
fonestar's picture

There's eighty-three cryptocurrencies and about five or six serious cryptocurrencies.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:27 | 4377754 A L I E N
A L I E N's picture


Gridcoin is the future!


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:31 | 4377775 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Soon to be a trillion crypto currencies, none worth any more than any other and then you might as well hold fiat.

There is and always was only one serious alternative to fiat and that is gold in money.


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:37 | 4377790 john39
john39's picture

did the money changers control the Pound?  Do the money changers controll the FRN?   so how many of these crypto currencies are also created and controlled by the money changers?  I guess to them, it doesn't really matter in the end, as long as the only one which really comes out on top...  is theirs.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:39 | 4377808 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Fuckin' morons can't wait for a cashless society. They'll get what they deserve.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:43 | 4377823 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Gold, in use for 6000 years....just sayin.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:47 | 4377840 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Well it had a nice run.

Also, what this article fails to mention is that some of these are niche coins and fill very important roles.  For example Namecoin (NMC) which could be almost as important as Bitcoin itself.  I'm not going to tell you why, you can research that on your own... but that would involve reading and opening your mind so I doubt it.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:50 | 4377863 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

My mind is open. It's your brain that's turned off.

YEAH! Let's all go digital currency invented by _____! What could possibly go wrong???

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:39 | 4378129 SMG
SMG's picture

Props to the ZHer that came up this (Sorry I didn't search for it):


Pull it out of your ass whenever you want.

Or keep it there for safekeeping.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:02 | 4378219 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

Every comment before this one is bullshit lies. Get some free bitcoins at

That's all you need to know. Now go be a successful whatever with more fake money!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:28 | 4378563 fonestar
fonestar's picture

That's right bunz!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 04:18 | 4378895 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Now that cryptocurrency is fairly common, I am getting seriously creeped out.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 06:45 | 4379011 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





It sorta makes you pine for the malaise daze of fiat paper.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:39 | 4379066 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Stop it. I'm gettin all teary-eyed.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 10:44 | 4379532 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Yes, we're well aware of the fake libertarians secret love affair with paper rectangles.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:38 | 4378120 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... the usual BS.

How about it fonestar, proved the bitcoin crypto algo is unbreakable yet? Or are you still spouting BS? Come on fonestar, pony up: Answer the question.

Bitcoin: An NSA crypto algo wrapped in a USN onion. Fingerprints at the scene of the crime.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:16 | 4378251 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

So. It's updateable. So. It's open source. So like, if someone who is smart like you, like finds an exploit for it, like and steals money or like whatever, like the program can be like changed to patch that exploit.

I'm guessing you have NO fucking clue as to what encryption is. But let's say you created an encryption algorithm that was good, you would probably use at least 256 bit keys. Which would take even the best supercomputer thousands of years (or more? probably. i really dont feel like mathing right now) to break using brute force. And that is the approximate time to break ONE!e encrypted packet. Not the whole system. So it is up to people who are smarter than you.....or more dedicated to find an exploit to your encryption algorithm before the system can be exploited. But then guess WHAT!@?#!@?#?!@ RJ@$IJ?:SAF:JOAS" ODJGS

Like, someone else will patch the program to use a different encryption algorithm. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... you know. maybe statistically it will work. kinda like dem credit card thingies that can be stolen!@# but yet we darn how seem a keep usin em.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:11 | 4378487 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... giberish.

So. It's updateable. So. It's open source. So like, if someone who is smart like you, like finds an exploit for it, like and steals money or like whatever, like the program can be like changed to patch that exploit. -- bunzbunzbunz

So like, so what? If somebody smart like me (your words, not mine) steals your money because of a crypto exploit, well that's OK because they (whomever they are) will write a patch for it? Bullish!

Is this really the best you can do fonestar, excuse me, bunz?

Like, someone else will patch the program to use a different encryption algorithm... -- bunzbunzbunz

Yes sir, I'll bet they'll get right on it. Hot damn. Too bad about your bitcoins though. Tough shit as they say out west. Can I have some of what you're smokin'? It smells good...

...i really dont feel like mathing right now... -- bunzbunzbunz

And I would hate for you to go all mathy on me. So how about explaining "trust" in the context of "cryptography" and "they".

Comon guys, just answer the fuckin' question: Prove the bitcoin crypto is unbreakable. Get all mathy an shit. Prove the algo is trustworthy. Cause the burden of proof is on you...

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:39 | 4378579 wintermute
wintermute's picture

The mere existence of Bitcoin with a $11 billion valuation proves that the encryption it uses is unbreakable. There is a massive golden hoard for the first hacker to crack, but guess what? They can't. Every money-hungry computer-techy-crypto-hacker nerd on the planet has had a look and given up.

That is how good Bitcoin is.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 03:55 | 4378882 Spanky
Spanky's picture



The mere existence of Bitcoin with a $11 billion valuation proves that the encryption it uses is unbreakable. -- wintermute

Please don't make me laugh. All that proves is that people are gullible. And I'm not terribly concerned about hackers. I'm much more interested in the folks that wrote the crypto algo. You might of heard of them -- the NSA.

Hmmm. If total information awareness is .gov's goal, I'll just bet the NSA jumped at the chance to release strong crypto to the world. I wonder if the Russians and Chinese know what they're missing out on?

And if bitcoin is that good (your claim) -- prove the bitcoin crypto is unbreakable. Any other answer is just more bullshit.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:03 | 4378632 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

Wait...did you not realize I was making fun of your ignorance? You're cute. Good luck in life 'tard.

To put this into terms you might have the intelligence to comprehend: cash is exploitable; gold is exploitable; credit is exploitable; bitcoin is exploitable.

All systems that exist are the product of statistics and can be exploited statistically. So once again - GO FUCKING LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT ENCRYPTION YOU STUPID, HILLBILLY, FUCKING, RETARD. In the event you are just trolling me, good job.

You do realize that when credit cards first existed, THEY WERE EXTREMELY RISKY for both parties?Yet...hmmm.............. I think maybe they might still be in widespread use. But maybe I'm wrong.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 03:45 | 4378867 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Yada, yada, yada... Just more fuckin' bullshit and no substantive answer. If you don't understand the trust problem with SHA-256, simply because of who wrote it, you'll never understand the basics of crypto. I don't trust the NSA. You do. That's the problem in a nutshell.

All your evasions and name calling can't obscure one simple fact -- you can't prove dick. You believe, but you don't know. If you did, you could prove it. But you can't. It's really just that simple. 

If I'm so dumb and ignorant, and what I assert baseless, you ought be able to prove it. But all you're doing is piling on more fanboi bullshit.

Put up or shut up boys: Prove the crypto in bitcoin is unbreakable.

Bitcoin: NSA crypto wrapped in a USN onion. Fingerprints at the scene of the crime.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 04:32 | 4378899 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

You can't prove something is unbreakable because it would take an infinite amount of attempts.  That's just part of the risk profile of Bitcoin.  Don't like it or can't fit that risk into the lunch money section your investment portfolio ? Fine, don't bite.  Nobody cares.

Satoshi Nakamoto once said: 

SHA256 is not going to be broken by Moore’s law computational improvements in our lifetimes. If it’s going to get broken, it’ll be by some breakthrough cracking method. An attack that could so thoroughly vanquish SHA256 to bring it within computationally tractable range has a good chance of clobbering SHA512 too. If we see a weakness in SHA256 coming gradually, we can transition to a new hash function after a certain block number. Everyone would have to upgrade their software by that block number.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 04:41 | 4378917 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... answering the question.

You can't prove something is unbreakable because it would take an infinite amount of attempts. -- TheHound73

Thank you. It's a simple answer really. But that's not the issue, is it? Trust is the issue. You either believe the NSA has released strong crypto into the wild, or not. I don't and you're right: Nobody cares. I just get tired of bullshit.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:52 | 4378973 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

NSA outsourcing the Quality Assurance of crypto to the world and all its experts is a lot cheaper and gets a lot more eyeballs on it than trusting to their small in-house clique of over-paid employees.  I, personally, use the Bouncy Castle version of SHA-256 which was built from the ground up apart from the NSA code and all of it is available for inspection.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:12 | 4379032 Spanky
Spanky's picture

If you do not fully comprehend the mathematics of the algo... you're taking it on trust. Literally. And that's what crypto is in the real world -- trusted associates.

One of your associates is not trustworthy. I know this from experience. It rules out any other argument, because there is a lack of trust. The best crypto algo in the world is useless if you cannot establish, or, break the chain of trust. Ask the Nazis about Enigma...

Now why would the NSA release strong encryption (i.e.: an algo with no backdoor) to the world? They are in the business of reading people's mail, and have no duty to secure anything other than .gov communications. Moreover, as Snowden revealed, they are in the "total information awareness" business. Strong encryption makes that problematic. There is no incentive for the NSA to release strong encryption into the wild... unless.

Dismiss them all you want, but doing so indicates a lack of healthy respect for their formidable capabilities. Credit, where credit is due. Snowden has barely scratched the surface... 

And just in case you're wondering how far out there no such agency can go with an unlimited budget and all the capabilities of .gov at its disposal, just consider Operation Ivy Bells.

I esp. like the nuclear-powered phone taps.

Is it too great a leap to think the NSA might release a crypto algo for public use that has a backdoor, and that some "experts" just plain missed it and others were well paid to so?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:07 | 4377946 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

In the interest of historical accuracy and intellectual integrity...

Gold has been used by monarchs as decoration and demonstration of god-like Power & Glory prior to ~ 500 BC.

Gold has been used as "Money" (coins!) the last 2,500 years.  A very long time, no doubt, but not the 6,000 yrs than many seem to think or suggest.

As most of you know... Gold stopped being used as Money (backing to paper currency) in 1971, thanks to US Pres. Nixon and a host of people who put him up to it. 

It was (allegedly) Henry Kissinger's idea to swap yellow gold for black gold (oil!).  By getting the Saudis to lead/force the OPEC cartel to adopt the USD as The Only currency for pricing, buying & selling of global crude oil, it prevented a run on the dollar and created the Substitution effect.  Since then, gold has maintained psychological value as Universal Money, but that too is coming under scrutiny.

It appears, as the power of the Petro-dollar wanes (or may do so in the coming years), that Cyber-Currencies are trying to play to long game, to eventually replace oil as Universal Money.  Maybe a mix of gold + cybercurrency is the way to hedge against a world of runaway fiat-currency and fiat-debt creation.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 04:35 | 4378910 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Maybe a mix of gold + cybercurrency is the way to hedge against a world of runaway fiat-currency and fiat-debt creation.

Sorry but no, not really.  Real is real.  Hand waiving and faith are for fools.  In the long run, all that will ever be real is something that can be held.  Apparently everyone in the world might know this other than people who bicker on ZeroHedge.

Google: cursing fish cafepress

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:41 | 4377827 RideTheWalrus
RideTheWalrus's picture

83 roads to FedCoin which comes pre-installed in your RFID.


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:17 | 4377997 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture


Clever way to let the Market build the new infrastructure for free and debug the system.  Then, when it's running nice & smooth, some False Flag event will lead TPTB/Fed to issue a Red Herring argument  as to why they "need" to intervene.  But don't be fooled with their trickery, where they swap pretext for reason.

Bonus round: If you tattoo yourself with a QR Code, then YOU become the Walking, Talking Wallet that can't be forged, lost or stolen.  "It's for your own good". 

Enter "666"... when no one can buy or sell w/o the Mark of The Beast.  When literature or SciFi tech is used for Inspiration, rather than as a Warning, then 'prophecy' becomes Self-Fulfilling prophecy.

"No Fate But The One We Make"

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:20 | 4378270 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

This is the correct attitude. But does that mean bitcoin is worthless long-term? Are there patents? Will the government respect the patents?

I think it's cute that bitcoin is being marked as the "way to get away with crime". Yet it is allllllll traceable. Seems like someone(s) want bitcoin to get used from the bottom up. I'm not sure what this really means long-term. But it's fun!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 04:26 | 4378903 Spanky
Spanky's picture



Are there patents? Will the government respect the patents? -- bunzbunzbunz

OH. MY. GOD. Didn't you get the news??? There are patents!!! Registered to an NSA employee!!! That cover bitcoin!!! I'm so excited!!!

... [bitcoin] is alllllll traceable... -- bunzbunzbunz

That's the point.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:19 | 4378665 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

Perhaps, but they could also be 83 roads which End the FED and get the other Fed(read govt) under control.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:02 | 4379024 Acet
Acet's picture

The FED is all about wealth (as in wealth preservation and storage), while crypt occurrences are all about distance trading in the digital world: their strength is not in storing value, it's in allowing (reasonably) anonymous distance payments.

In my view gold and crypto-currencies are complementary rather than rivals.


(Please note this is quite independent of the issue of whether or not a specific crypto-currency is actually safe to trade with)

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:05 | 4379025 Acet
Acet's picture


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:16 | 4378942 silvermail
silvermail's picture

All these so-called crypto-currency will multiply like rabbits up to moment when their numbers will be equal to the number of fools on the planet.
And only when every fool on the planet will have its own personal crypto-currency, the bubble of crypto-currency will burst and all these so-called crypto-currency, will become equal zero.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:26 | 4379045 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

Why don't we drop all the pretense and just introduce a virtual currency called the Shekelbitz...

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 03:16 | 4383342 kurt
kurt's picture

Und the miners vood be Shekelgreubers like Hitler's mom, who vas a Rothchild. Thus ze money would be back in the better and righter hands.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:25 | 4378043 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

The usefullness of crypto will be undiminished. The paper profit of speculators will be.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 08:22 | 4379132 cnmcdee
cnmcdee's picture

When I went to buy a new video card for a game I wanted to play I discovered they were all sold out.  I started doing research and people were making $200 - $600 / month with their video cards crunching various cypto-currencies.  Bitcoin had become so difficult that only ASIC miners could even hope (and only ASIC Pool Miners at that) make any money at it.  However it's closer knock off's like lite-coin were supposedly designed to prevent ASIC miners from wiping out the video card miners.

In the end I steered clear from all of it.  I realized that the pools were completely based on trust, and the pools were taking people's digital currencies.  So you would mine for the pool and they were hand distributing the blocks that were solved!? No thanks, it was a very complicated pyramid scheme.

The other dirty secret is anyone buying ASIC miners would be unable to get their hands on them until *after* the cards were unprofitable.  Look at the wait times for an ASIC miner.

Then there was total outright fraud with companies like TeraMiner that spouted Tera-Hashes.  Collected hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people's money, made up completely bogus circuit boards, then folded overnight and refunded HALF of the money that they collected.

Meanwhile in China any ASIC fabricator is quietly waiting to make an ASIC miner for any digi-currency over a certain value.

And on the Silk-Road $100 million in Bitcoin just vanished from an anonymous online Bitcoin wallet.

Who is to say that NSA's Quantum computer cannot completely crack the encyryption leaving the entire thing worthless.

STAY AWAY FROM ALL OF IT - It is one fraud system perpetrated upon another.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:41 | 4377824 RazorForex
RazorForex's picture

 GridCoin is a new peer-to-peer internet based cryptocurrency that aims to provide real benefits to humanity by compensating the coin miners for participating in BOINC projects that may lead to advances in medicine, biology, mathematics, science, climatology, and astrophysics by concentrating a large percentage of the computational power towards BOINC research - instead of generating unecessary heat and wasted power for the proof of work algorithms required to keep the coin network running.

If you look at the Gridcoin wallet client you will see how different it is and how much work has been put into it. This is not just another copycat coin. So far the Gridcoin Network has donated close to 9 million points to the Boinc system in various science projects. Even if this coin goes nowhere, the fact that already this much work has been done is a success in my book.

Boinc stats:





Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:14 | 4378658 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

'BOINC projects' ' BOINC research' 'Boinc system'

I'm not familiar, please explain. TIA

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 09:45 | 4379305 RazorForex
RazorForex's picture

Boinc is a system where anyone can donate computing power from their pc to various science projects that need calculations done. So scientists from different universities have projects like proten folding, various math problems, cancer research etcc.. So you can install the software on your computer and pick which projects you want the software to do work for and thats it.


And now thanks to the Gridcoin Project you can donate power to Boinc and earn Gridcoins in the process. So you get a monetary benefit for contributing to science.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:58 | 4378737 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Good to know, thanks.
But tell me, doesn't that sound like a(nother) Voluntary Surtax -- so the wealthy or the Gov don't have to fund this?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:26 | 4377756 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

tyler, what gives!

the jpg you put up shows bitcoin #1 followed by litecoin #2, ripple is conspicuously absent.

when i click on the link you gave, it shows ripple #2.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:55 | 4377887 NGC4945
NGC4945's picture

The API feeds for these coins occasionally go out and come back.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:22 | 4378032 The Thunder Child
The Thunder Child's picture

Ripple isn't minable, 100% pre-mine banker scam coin. There is a selection at the top of coinmarketcap 'minable' that filters those coins out.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:47 | 4378164 Debtonation
Debtonation's picture

Ripples may be listed as #2, but it has harldy the volume.  Most is just sitting around and if it achieved a comparable volume as BTC there wouldn't be enough liquidity to support that market cap making it effectively worthless.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:56 | 4378205 adeptish
adeptish's picture

there is only one gold and one silver.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:52 | 4378731 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

And one platinum and one palladium and one rhodium.  And there's the asset classes known as real estate, diamonds & precious gems, fine art. plain old cash (which fared better than PMs last year), etc., etc., And they are all competing with each other as forms of wealth preservation.  And now with Bitcoin as well.  Get used to it.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 02:47 | 4378807 hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

bitcoin doesn't compete with precious metals.  currency != money

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 03:33 | 4378838 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Whatever you say, boss.  Seems you've got it all figured out.

Gold lost 1/3 of its price in terms of USD last year.  You don't think some people look at that and say, "Meh, I'll just leave my 'currency' in the bank rather than risk it on metals."?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:59 | 4378978 silvermail
silvermail's picture

Gold lost 30% last year? But at the same time, gold rose by 300% over the past 10 years.
This 300% growth, taking into account the record decline in gold prices in 2013, as a result of regular manipulation by the Fed.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:23 | 4379038 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Aye, I like gold, I own gold.  I'm just saying all asset classes compete with each other and that each individual person determines for themselves what constitutes an asset and what allocations are to be made based on that determination. 

On that note, Bitcoin has seen 1000%+ annual growth each year of its existence and I would be suprised if isn't the best performing asset again this year.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:44 | 4379075 silvermail
silvermail's picture

"On that note, Bitcoin has seen 1000%+ annual growth...".

History of the market does not know a single case of asset growth by 1000% each year, except in cases of bubbles.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:50 | 4378967 silvermail
silvermail's picture

Platinum and palladium were never money. With rare exceptions, in Czarist Russia, in a short time. They were use platinum coins in a small volume.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:00 | 4378931 silvermail
silvermail's picture

83 crypto currencies? Oh my God, how many different bull shit against only one gold!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 06:37 | 4379006 LMLP
LMLP's picture

see link.....      .... It's a friggen joke.... these e-currencies are created from nothing, just like the feds bollax....why can't there be another 20? or 1000? or 20,000........which begs the question.... if so many competeing crypto currencies can just spring up from nothing ...thats the same as friggen printing ficticious money...... none of you bitcoin/e-crypto sprukers can justify the multitude of new ones springing up and defeating the underlying thesis of your special e thingy..... i say BUBBLE and call bollax to the whole lot.... long live the barbaric metal..... crypto fools!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:31 | 4379055 silvermail
silvermail's picture

between crypto currencies and human stupidity have something in common. This lack of limits.
The limit of separation on the parts (limit of depreciation) for Bitcoin and any other crypto currencies - it is infinity.

The limit for quantity emergence of various new crypto currencies - is also infinite.

And the limits of human stupidity - is also infinity!
Long live the new infinite money for people with infinite stupidity!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:13 | 4379652 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

There are theoretically an unlimited number of different, distinct novels that can be published.  "It's a friggen joke..." Doesn't mean anybody will buy all of them.  In the meantime The Da Vinci Code has sold over 80 million copies.

Crypto currency can just spring up from nothing because the source code is open source.  The market will figure out which currencies survive and at what valuation.  Foolish market!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 06:50 | 4379018 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture


Hiya Fonestar, 


You seem like a man in the know about crypto-currencies (bit coin et al). 


Now, I'm a mathematician (by training), and currently doing a PhD in London (on an Info Sec domain), but I still don't understand a thing or two about bit-coin, namely:


1. Who is setting the puzzles that need to be solved / mined - can you shed light? I'm confused as to the nature of mathematical puzzles that need to be solved - who is behind them - what is the motive or point?


2. Mining is CPU /GPU dependent.  I have for my PhD (and to be fair market trading on the side), seven PCs with a fair bit of computing powers, but they don't come anywhere near the powers that blue-chip companies have.  Consider IBM for example, I mean their computing powers would take out anything a PI has to offer. So what chance does the PI have in this crypto-currency world that was supposed to democratise finances - how can it be anything other than a plutocratic scheme (i.e. he with the most power wins).


Geniunely interested in some feedback. 


p.s. I'm now scaling back on hardware and most purchases to be honest, and putting things out on sale and e-bay, any funds will be used to fund hard assets (help pay down my mortgage, and put a couple of gold bars in the safe). 



Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:05 | 4379630 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

1. The puzzle being solved is to find a SHA-256 hash below a target number.  The target number always adjusts after 2016 solutions have been solved so that the average solution time is about 10 minutes.  This Proof-of-work and diffuctulty adjustment is built into the protocol.

2. The Bitcoin mining network is clocking in at 17,948,307 GH/s specifically on the SHA-256 hash. This is many times more powerful than any particular blue-chip corporation currently has at their disposal.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:40 | 4379796 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture

Hi Hound, 


Thank you for taking the time to respond.  I will check out the links provided.  However I remain at a loss (excuse the pun), as to just who is setting the puzzles - and what benefit is it to the puzzle setter (The motives). 


Much obliged. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:27 | 4380036 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

The puzzle is set by the protocol as defined in the Whitepaper [pdf].  

"The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus.  Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block."

The reward for solving the puzzle is newly created Bitcoin currency.

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 03:08 | 4383338 kurt
kurt's picture

Are defenders of bitcoin saying that the whole think can't be encapsulated inside a super-computer and run as a government op?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:34 | 4379057 The.Harmless.Who
The.Harmless.Who's picture

(apologies, duplicate comment)

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:22 | 4378033 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

dogecoin is a silly gimmick. Coinye is where it's at.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:28 | 4378066 Suisse
Suisse's picture

Such Crypto. Much Value. Wow.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:41 | 4378136 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Same here, I'm thinking about buying a bunch of this.  If Only this one will go up like bitcoin.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:39 | 4378135 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

Can you buy ripple and cigarettes with a hobo nickel?  Probably not.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:39 | 4378578 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

Wow, etherware-backed coin is now propped by convincing...

next we'll soon here that starbugs mcdonald kfc pizzahut are also accepting the nsa-crypto coins... LOL

lets invest in the etherware, being in circuitry it's easy to move around without the physical constraints like those physical things, so easy to move around that one day it will end up in the giant sh!tholes... wtf vaporware

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 06:28 | 4379000 _underscore
_underscore's picture

At this rate, we'll each all have our very own cryptocurrency - it's becoming a joke isn't it?

It's beginning to make even Zimbabwe dollars look as good as gold.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:35 | 4379061 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Dig up Paul Warberg. Maybe The Squid, The Whale and 20 world banks and CB, coupled with world GE size corporations can.....remove all these little people schemes and regulate them.

For the children.


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:16 | 4377721 sixsigma cygnus...
sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

No inflation at all, here.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:15 | 4377724 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

This is not going to end well....

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:22 | 4377745 XenoFrog
XenoFrog's picture

All just distractions to keep people from spending USD on gold and silver.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:43 | 4377833 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Like Yves at Naked Capitalism, I believe these idiots are doing all the legwork for central bankers to get rid of cash altogether. Digital currency! GRRRRREAT IDEA!!!

Now where's my gold?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:07 | 4378639 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

They have invented digital cash, which works well enough, which will get rid of the central bankers, who can do nothing to stop it.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:41 | 4378711 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Close but no cigar for you.

Digital currency = central planners' dream

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:54 | 4378733 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

Alright, please explain how the central planners will control it.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:56 | 4378736 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

They already have Visa and PayPal using digital dollars as currency.  Bitcoin is a whole other type of beast:  Decentralized with a controlled supply, pretty much the antithesis of what the central planners wish for.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:16 | 4377726 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Fonebutt's head exploding 3...2....1.....

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:25 | 4377753 fonestar
fonestar's picture


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:29 | 4377772 MeMongo
MeMongo's picture

Yeah fonefist is seeing his virtual buying mechanism kinda going "POOF" ,but I'm sure his insight without sarcasm  may be paralleled to the original douche...MDB:-)...Still unsure?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:51 | 4377862 fonestar
fonestar's picture

How is it going poof dipstick?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:17 | 4377994 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

"Limited number of bitcoins in circulation".  LMAO.  Check out what can be duplicated 83 times over......


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:25 | 4378287 Matt
Matt's picture

USD are worthless, because of Dong and Baht! - You, just now.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:18 | 4378663 centipede
centipede's picture

Government will force you to accept payments for any debt you are owed in USD and to pay taxes in USD. Otherwise USD would be worthless. Nobody will force you to use bitcoins or any other of 83 ++ cryptocoins.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:15 | 4379659 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Force is not the only means to establish worth.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:34 | 4378344 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Even if duplicated a million times, it does not matter.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:01 | 4377912 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:18 | 4377729 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

Where's MAXCOIN?  

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:29 | 4378321 putaipan
putaipan's picture

i think they are still waiting on the second one ... maybe the third by now.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:18 | 4377730 Ulterior
Ulterior's picture

The best bet is to create your own and wait for suckers

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:35 | 4377788 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

First mover advantage is gone. Bitcoin is the new Amway. 

Everybody loves to hear from an Amway rep, eh.


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:30 | 4378326 putaipan
putaipan's picture

see above.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:19 | 4377736 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Is there any innovation from one cryptocurrency to the next or is it just some guy trying to duplicate bitcoin's success and get rich quick?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:32 | 4377767 aminorex
aminorex's picture

Some innovations.  There's one that is mined by doing protein folding on your computer, trying to cure cancer.   Another which uses TOR in the wallet to provide anonymity.  Some which can only be mined on a CPU.  Some which require proof of stake (coins held) to mine, which means they dilute with dividends.  Some which apply demurrage.  Some which implement distributed messaging systems.  There's a lot of innovation going on, but most of them just exist to scoop up sucker fiat (like Ripple).  Very caveat emptor.  There is only one Bitcoin.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:03 | 4377924 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

There is only one Bitcoin.

The Highlander of currencies. One day all cryptocurrencies will feel the quickening.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 02:56 | 4378820 hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

What is the TOR one you mentioned?  

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 02:50 | 4378812 hmmtellmemore
hmmtellmemore's picture

Not much innovation.  Litecoin is basically a clone, and is a waste of time.  Namecoin is amazingly innovative.  Zerocoin will be as well.  Many coins will die off, which is normal in free markets.  Free markets hate a monopoly, so there will always be a few serious coins competitng with each other until the end of time.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:21 | 4377739 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

C'mon....let's start FightClubCoin which can only be used to bet on our clandestine club activities........

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:27 | 4377764 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

Superbowl coin would be a sure fire winner.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:50 | 4377866 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

MarlaCoin....we could use it for hookers....oh yeah!

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:02 | 4378222 adeptish
adeptish's picture

gonchcoin, just for the canucks...

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:23 | 4377740 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Where is the ZeroHedgeCoin backed by gold and infinite skepticism in the miasma of mimickers?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:00 | 4378623 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

Nofiatcoin(XNF) is the spawn of Ripple(XRP). Neither of them are cryptocurrencys, but are made to look like they are. Wall St money in the shadows behind this sham. They are hoping to trap the unknowing. The young know XRP for what is and are not going near it.

There is no authority in cryptocurrency to tell you what crypto you have to use, and what it is and what it isn't. The people will decide en masse, through usage. We  can only hope and pray the young see value in AU and AG.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:24 | 4377748 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Hi, I'm RTM. 


I used to come here when it was still cool to buy physical metals. 

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:25 | 4377758 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Glad fonestar could help out.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:25 | 4377761 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

wow look the cat dragged in.. how ya been? and wtf is robotrader? and Trav?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:34 | 4377782 q99x2
q99x2's picture

RTM You look like the kinda person that would buy gold and silver; maybe try eating it too, eh?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:27 | 4377762 DavrosoftheDaleks
DavrosoftheDaleks's picture

Real Bitcoins don't die because they eventually Mulitply...

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:28 | 4377766 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I'm sure the fact that buttcoin has a theoretical cap to total supply will totally offset the fact that there's an unlimited supply of crypto-currencies.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:30 | 4377771 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Sexcoin... don't we have that already?  As in "No wealth, no sex".  ;-)  ;-)

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:31 | 4377778 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

I flip a shiney gold coin high into the sky and smile as it shimmers in the sun. I catch it as it lands flat in the palm of my hand. I laugh and drop it in my pocket.

The power goes out!

I pull the coin out of my pocket and flip it high into the sky again. I like that.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:32 | 4377779 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Theoretical physicist... Hesofullofshito...

Michio Kaku: Space Bubble Baths and the Free Universe (5:25)

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:32 | 4377780 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Eventually there WILL be industry consolidation, and the market will shake out the winners and losers.

The most interesting thing for the minor coins is the issue CONVERTIBILITY.  Good luck with that, w/o paying a bunch in conversion fees.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:39 | 4378699 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Sure.  Bitcoin is open source software.  This means anybody and their mom can take the code, tweak a few variables, press play, and Viola, your own custom crypto-currency is created.  Then throw it up on the market and see how it does.  The intention making Bitcoin open source was to have the widest amount of experts examining and banging on the code to make it as secure as possible.  Allowing for unlimited copycats is a side-effect. I have less faith in all of the alternative coins combined than I do in Bitcoin. The things to watch for  are:

1) Market cap: (Bitcoin currently clocking in at $10 B, next runner up 1/20th of that and falling off from there)

2) Strength of the mining network (Bitcoin currently clocking in at 17,548,574 GH/s)

3) Merchant acceptance and user base (what goods/service/currencies can be bought/liquidity)

Interesting note: a person pretty much has to spend BTC to buy any of these alternative coins.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 06:30 | 4379002 silvermail
silvermail's picture

Unix systems with open source, breaking every day many times around the world.

Open source is not a guarantee of safety.

If I give you check the mathematical work of Mr. Perelman (open source), you do not be able to understand, and you can not check anything.

All past " crypto " super -duper encryption algorithms were originally leaky. All of them had the back doors. But the believers learned about this later.
Encryption Standard bitkoin also has a back door. And you also will learn about it later. But right now, you can continue piously believe in miracles and fairy tales from the NSA about "Satoshi". LOL


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:35 | 4377784 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

All these fall under the category of Douchecoin.  But if they help end the Fed, knock yourselves out.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:34 | 4378338 Matt
Matt's picture

Cryptocurrencies used to be about anarachists versus central bankers. Now, I think it's more Silicon Valley versus Manhatten businesses.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:37 | 4377791 q99x2
q99x2's picture

This must mean war. It has to be the end of the world.

Please God do not let Hillary Clinton be elected.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:44 | 4377836 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

Hillary Clinton is a slam dunk.. NOONE will have a chance against the black widow,

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:13 | 4377972 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Votes are already counted. Just need to wait for the election.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 02:57 | 4378815 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the image of a 2x former POTUS becoming the First Gentleman. Mr. President, meet Mrs. President.

And will Hillary also be heard saying: "I did NOT have sex with that woman!" ? The mind reels.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:39 | 4377799 nordrhein
nordrhein's picture

Of those 83 coins only a few are innovative.  Mastercoin and Peercoin for example.  Let's see, do penny stocks dilute the value of Apple or Google stock?  

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:41 | 4377816 bullionbaron
bullionbaron's picture

Cryptocurrencies come with limited units that can be mined, but the number of cryptocurrencies that can be created is unlimited. Can't create another new element...

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:36 | 4378355 dvfco
dvfco's picture

It almost sounds like - hmm - fiat currencies.   Think of BitCoin as the US Dollar in the mid-1900s.  It was the shit.  Then, 83 other cryptos come along, then 200, then 300 - kinda like countries each with their own fiat currency.

Hmm, it kinda makes it clear what fiat currency is reallyw worth.  The only difference is that by open source code, the actual # of each crypto coin is limited from inception.  Unlike the uSD, BTC is limited in #.   

I'd bet on Crypto.  I have bet on Crypto - and 1 BTC buys one shitload more gas this year than last.  While, $1 bought me a gallon of gas in 1995 - now I need $4.


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:42 | 4377829 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

OT: smells like IT takes a hit, What JPM hiding?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:47 | 4377842 QE49er
QE49er's picture

#79 "CraftCoin" from Minecraft, great cryptocurrency, has a lot of potential, I'm all in.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:47 | 4377843 joego1
joego1's picture

Someday when the financial world blows and I'm down here in Mexico on some hot dusty street I can pull out a silver coin and walk into one of the many shops and exchange it for pesos. I haven't seen a single bitcoin ATM yet.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:47 | 4377844 The Duke of New...
The Duke of New York A No.1's picture

Somebody develop a crypto-currency backed by Gold, then maybe I'll buy some.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:15 | 4377977 philosophers bone
philosophers bone's picture

If bit coin were backed by an ounce of gold, it would trade at the price of gold (the underlying real asset) and if bit coin were backed by an ounce of silver, it would trade at the price of silver (the underlying real asset)(or a slight premium thereto). Which begs the question: What is the bit coin part of it worth?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:37 | 4378362 Matt
Matt's picture

1. If it provided additional utility, it would trade at a premium to gold, like PHYS has.

2. Storing gold costs money; to fund this, the transaction fees would have to be higher.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:47 | 4377849 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

News just said the Queen of England is broke.. Holyshit if that ole whore is broke, the world is broke.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:39 | 4378704 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

But let's get back to our original point about misleading headlines and what the queen is or is not worth. According to Forbes, "her personal net worth [is] around $500 million."

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:52 | 4377873 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Whoever positions themselves to be the 'FX' of Cyber-Currencies is guaranteed to make money 24/7/365.

They will then have great power.  "With great power comes great responsibility".  Hence, enter TPTB to help 'regulate' and protect the market from itself.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:54 | 4377886 Spungo
Spungo's picture

That's awesome dogecoin is #5. 

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:08 | 4377947 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Developments like this make me wonder if maybe the fundamental problem isn't just that a tremendous number of people have lost contact with reality, COMPLETELY.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:56 | 4377894 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Someone is going to ruin it for everyone and that is why you can't have nice things.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:31 | 4378082 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Quick, tape the cord to the floor before someone trips on it!

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:57 | 4377901 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

I've got a currency that will finally address the biggest concern with all other other alternatives, including gold - the fact you just cannot eat them.

Introducing MeatCoin! Carved out of a solid piece of beef-jerky, smoked to perfection and bearing the image of Ron-giggidy-Paul himself in all of his wondrous glory!

Phases: "hungry for change" and "puting money where your mouth is" will never sound the same!

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:06 | 4377934 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

LOL! needs a picture of a LULZ cat eating his money.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:13 | 4377971 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

The growing volume of crypto-fascists (and I mean no disrespect there) are an indication of

chaos (brokenness)


ignorance of what truly ails us.

They both work in concert, of course, until they can't.

There is some irony (but no surprise) in that the same forces that lead to breakdown are those that pretend to have solutions.

Think simple and true, else you will suffocate in the bullshit, even now.

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:36 | 4378122 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Yeah, bullshit coins! Why didn't I think of that? I mean, the base material is everywhere?

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 22:25 | 4378049 The Thunder Child
The Thunder Child's picture

Thew $100 into it in November and that is the only money I will put into cryptocurrency.

Traded it up to $300 in Dogecoin right now (rode Quark for a bit too) dumb is that!

On that note, if I can turn it into a couple thousand and take it to the surplus store in the area that actually does take bitcoin and buy some gear with it....why not.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 03:06 | 4378832 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

still searching for that cryptic CPU mined crypto you mentioned last month. 

care to share another hint?


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