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Nassim Taleb On Bitcoin: It’s an Excellent Idea
Why we shouldn't be asking for regulation and why we need the RIGHT to make bad investments.
I have deleted some of my old accounts but I have been frequenting bitcoin since 2014 and I am rather disappointed with the change over the last year and calls for regulation of crypto. So I thought I should make a reasoned argument as to why regulation is a terrible idea.
1. There aren't THAT many scams
4 out of 5 startups fail crypto or not. Failing is does not equate to scam. Further more sometimes the difference between a scam, just a poorly run startup, slimely business, and a bad idea isn't so clear. I'd guesstimate that at least 95% of crypto projects actually are acting in good faith.
2. Fraudsters don't follow laws anyways
Scammers are often already breaking laws, if they promise they will do X, Y, and Z and they don't they have already broken a contract and are liable to civil suits, and yes even just a promise in a whitepaper can already be considered a contract! Even emails can be considered to be legally binding between two parties in most countries and most freelancers already know this. If a fraudster is going to really scam people they will be one of those projects with an anonymous team or a fake one. And guess what since the government can't stop people from making crypto transactions a scammer from Russia is still going to be taking your ETH regardless of the regulation because they are anonymous!
3. Regulation favors the rich
In America you often have to be an accredited investor to invest in early startups. In other words to invest in a young company that is having an ICO, if the same rules applied to crypto, you would have to be accredited. So what is an accredited investor?
To be an accredited investor, a person must demonstrate an annual income of $200,000, or $300,000 for joint income, for the last two years with expectation of earning the same or higher income. An individual must have earned income above the thresholds either alone or with a spouse over the last three years. The income test cannot be satisfied by showing one year of an individual's income and the next two years of joint income with a spouse. The exception to this rule is when a person is married within the period of conducting a test. A person is also considered an accredited investor if he has a net worth exceeding $1 million, either individually or jointly with his spouse. The SEC also considers a person to be an accredited investor if he is a general partner, executive officer, director or a related combination thereof for the issuer of unregistered securities.
source This means you basically have to be a millionaire to invest in early stages of a startup. So that means 99% of people in this subbreddit could no longer participate in ICOs if the same rules applied. Furthermore the people that will be writing these regulations are going to tend to be older people who have more traditional and conservative investments, so why would someone who is invested in say paypal, want to make it easy for their investment to be made irrelevant? They have disincentive to create good and fair regulations. They lack what Nassim Taleb calls "Skin in The Game" which leads to poor or selfish decisions.
4. No one seems to actually know what "regulation" means
I see people commenting about how they don't like project A and that its a "scam". Truthfully I feel this is often because sometimes it isn't always the best technology or startup that is the best investment so people can get butt hurt over it when they see projects they don't like become successful and then they say "oh I wish there was regulation so this wouldn't become popular." What the fuck are you guys talking about? How do regulate whether or not a shitty technology is favored by people over a good one? Do you really think the government should be deciding what is "good" or "bad" technology? Because if they did Bitcoin would have never been invented in the first place. Also "regulation" isn't some magic thing that will stop bad things or even scams. Because of the nature of decentralization people can very easily be anonymous and setup ICOs.
5. Regulation will be ineffective and will cause brain drain
Like it or not tax/regulation havens will always exist. So companies will tend to move to places with the least regulation, Binance is a good example of that. And since crypto transactions are trustless the actual company can be in Malta even if the token or coin is used primarily in somewhere like the US. Which means that these crypto companies will still be able to reap the benefits without any of the cost of physically being in some country. That's a lot of tax revenue that will be lost because of regulation. This also creates more inequality as it means most of the worlds wealth will end up be more concentrated in tax havens. Not to mention anonymous scammers don't follow regulations anyways.
6. You are telling the government you are too stupid to handle your own money
Why on earth should you or the government or anyone tell me I can't throw $1000 bucks at some startup on the other side of the world? Regulation is only going to add more red tap for small startups, I have some experience with this personally as I work for two blockchain startups. One of these startups I suggested they add an equity function to their utility token, turning it into stock + utility token, as I think that is way more valuable to investors and they will likely be able to raise more money in their ICO. However they have determined that the paperwork alone costs way too much time and money. So these regulations are already hurting both investors and startups. Regulation KILLS innovation. You can't get 1000x return on one investment without taking a 95% loss on 10, in the end it is still worth it and you still win but regulations will make it damn near impossible for regular people to invest in projects in their early stages or from new better startups being created, so you will only be "protected" from insane profits with maybe a slight improvement in your losses. More regulation means less profit, and lets be real, most of you are here and want "regulation" because you want more money but this is the worst way to go about it. If you are too stupid to do basic research and to have diversified your portfolio then you are bad at investing and you shouldn't be playing this game, no amount of regulation will make you a better decision maker. We need the right to make bad investments that fail because that's how investing is done, you tend to make a loss on most investments but the few that profit more than make up for the sum of losses. Just think of the potential of millions of world changing startups that will never be because of red tape. It's like taxing people because they are dumb.
The Solution: Lawsuits
You can still sue people for things that are not explicitly breaking a law, but breaking a contract. The only regulation should be a business license so the government knows who they are, after that its not harm no foul rule. That means that if ICOs or cryptos try to trick people that they can be taken to court and sued to hell so they still are culpable for wrong doing without hindering young startups. Stricter regulations would have made a lot more sense in a pre-internet and pre-crypto world. This is because only people who could make researching and educating themselves a full time job could really understand if a business had a reasonable proposition and model since researching anything pre-internet was way more difficult. However with the democratization of information with the internet and of value with crypto these regulations don't make as much sense because the informational asymmetry has almost entirely disappeared between accredited investors and regular motivated people. The only difference now is the size of the wallet, this is a terrible world to live in where only rich have the options. I highly recommend everyone in crypto read Nassim Talebs "Incerto" collection particularly his latest book "Skin in The Game".
You may remember my post a few weeks back: Yes, You Should Buy Some BNB. At that time, BNB had just started holding above 0.0019-20 BTC, a level it failed to hold three times. The timing was not the primary reason for investing, but it made the decision urgent. The price subsequently rose to roughly 0.0026 BTC and now appears to be settling into a floor around 0.0020-21. They say resistance becomes support, ceilings become floors. Historically for BNB, the downtrend normally ends before hitting the former ceilings. If there was ever a time to of all in, I think now is it… so I did. Figured this would be a good time to dive a bit deeper on why I’m so ultra bullish on BNB. Charisma - Binance feels deeply charismatic to me. It’s a word I didn’t think of in investing until this Peter Thiel interview. Binance strikes me as especially charismatic. Investors largely love Binance as a product and as a company. A lot of this charisma comes from the trust people have in Binance. CZ recently spoke about how Binance now has a “2-hour rule” which is where they update the community every two hours. You may not have known about this exact rule, but you probably have felt it and you certainly have read CZ now-famous “funds are safe.” This expression is so pervasive that you see people racing to comment with it. Bizonaci made this masterpiece which introduced the spelling “safu,” or as CZ recently said Binance is the “safust.” I mean shit, look how calm things were with BNB after after an unexpected SYStem wide freeze. The market stayed calm and BNB is the largest exchange… Let me repeat, Binance—the world’s largest exchange of trustless assets—had to emergency halt trading and the entire market is NBD… The morning after, Jackson Palmer tweeted this sentiment summary, Sherman Lee posted this beautiful piece in Forbes, and Binance announced S.A.F.U. as an official part of their commitment to protect investors. Antifragile - Antifragile is a concept Nassim Taleb coined to describe things that get stronger with stress. Binance seems to strengthen with bad news. When China last banned exchanges, Binance up and moved to Malta and the price soared. Now Binance is in three countries/jurisdictions and probably entering more. These emerging crypto hubs are competing for epic tax revenues, especially relative to their size. If the EU were to push Malta for more regulation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Malta leave the EU. After all, is Malta better off with Binance, EOS, et al or with the EU? The latter may still be true but it’s increasingly less clear cut. This puts it in a position of incredible strength when it comes to negotiation, staying automomous, and gaining the government cooperation to build financial bridges across the world. In short, I see Binance as having a real shot as delivering on it’s mission of financial freedom. Exchange the world. Adoption - BNB is rapidly gaining adoption. In the past few months, we’ve seen small exchanges list BNB. In the last week, this pace has increased dramatically as Bitmex and Metamask have joined the BNB party. YouTubers and the Twitter sphere seem to be talking about BNB more frequently. The $1B impact fund is to be denominated in BNB and a team member noted in the recent Binance Labs AMA that partners will be able to accept payments in BNB. New coins have already been paying Binance humungo checks to gain access to Binance’s user base; if Binance pulls of Binance Chain DEX (powered by BNB), they’re going to compete at the ERC20 level for the ICO market, at least to some extent. It’s still unclear what Binance Chain will look like, but the support volume is definitely more compelling than other DEXes would be launching with. ICOs numbers are holding strong and Binance continues to be the most attractive place to list. Moreover, with the recent investment ChiliZ, founded by Alexander Dreyfus (founder of e-gaming companies), Binance has demonstrated an interest in the broader speculation market, which basically is crypto right now… and Binance hasn’t even introduced options/futures… Team - The Binance team seems truly world class to me. A good chunk of my last post was about the team (and CZ’s fly-af shorts), but one thing I did not say last time was the value of CZ’s cult-leadership. Don’t get me wrong, I consider this a double edged sword much like ETH and nearly every coin but BTC has. But on the positive edge, this gives Binance an incredible edge when it comes to execution, recruiting, and a ultimately achieving their vision. You can feel the team support for CZ; you can see it in this video and in Binance’s recent staff re-tweet. I also think not enough of my last post was about the community manager(s) who I feel are killing it compared to other subreddit mods. Market - IMO the market will mostly bounce around/move sideways for some time and Binance will make money either way. There may be big moves up but I expect them to be met with significant resistance. Technical analysis is a major driver of price action in crypto specifically because most coins/token have no underlying value (i.e. it is largely emotional responses). As such, alts will continue to have trading value even if they lose a lot of expectation-based value. After all, look how many alts recently went up 20-30%. Get rich quick sentiment has not dried up nearly to the degree some people say. Maybe I’m following the wrong people, but I haven’t seen anyone talk about Bitcoin being “dead”—only people talking about people talking about it being dead. Do you really think Tron and IOTA will die any day now? No, you don’t. The FOMO and FUD are real and the firepowereserve capital many alts have is massive. If a mostly sideways market plays out, then profit chasing will increasingly turn to algo trading, which Binance is well positioned for. In a recent interview, CZ mentioned Binance is planning to expand it’s capacity by 100-1,000x to prepare for a massive increase in usage, and he said it before the algo traders temporarily broke Binance’s API… Okay, but let’s say it’s not like this, let’s say there’s a major breakdown in alts much sooner (maybe everyone realizes Lightning makes a XRP useless). In this case, I expect Convert-to-BNB to do quite well given how many alts are on Binance (especially those who paid to show up because they were so shitty they couldn’t get the crowd to vote for them). Moreover, if you’re losing your life savings and BNB continues to grow, many investors are going to try to an dig themselves out of a hole by selling for BNB. Either way, BNB probably has a bright future. Q3 - Right now, BNB is performing poorly because of the sell the news paradigm crypto seems to operate under. But at about this time last quarter BNB was at peak BTC and ETH value. Compared to last quarter, we’re two weeks ahead, which would make this bottom somewhere between yesterday and next weekend. The growth during the last quarter was also sharper than this quarter, suggesting less to fall, and I suspect the hype train is going to be larger this cycle as rumors of the DEX become more imminent. There’s also extra worry this quarter because the market assumes Binance’s profit will be lower and the second year discount will be lowered (50% BNB discount —> 25% off with BNB discount). I sense that these fears are already priced in. For starters, Binance hasn’t shot up directly after the great quarterly news; why would it shoot down on bad news, especially if it is expected? Regarding the discount, 25% is still better than 0% off, so people should keep using it (especially if the BNB they’re holding is appreciating), and for the next year, Binance should be making 50% more profit (before they made 0.05%, now they will make 0.075% profit). I believe the sentiment on this concern is oversold when the math appears way better to me. Concerns - With all this in mind, I do still have a few concerns. For instance, what do Binance founders/team plan to do with their 100M coins as the BNB supply approaches 100M supply? Will they sell a-la Charlie Lee or will their sell-off be more pre-meditated a la Ripple’s 55mo escrow release? In theory as the price of BNB rises, it will take longer for the supply to get to 100M so this question could be a ways off, but I still would prefer clarity over this (even if it relies on trust). There’s some sentiment concern that the 1/5 vesting coming up will cause a large sell off. I assume inside folk see world-dominating growth ahead given the recent all-star Binance Labs hires, but still would be nice to understand this risk better. Finally, perhaps my largest concern is will Binance have an EOS moment with the freezing functionality laid out in the DEX competition requirements? I can certainly envision a decentralized use and Binance has demonstrated doing the right thing when they take emergency action, but I want to share the concern nevertheless. Deflationary - One concern I do not have with with BNB but recognize others do is about the utility of BNB after the discount goes to 0. Binance says BNB will be used as gas in the eventual Binance Chain DEX. This gives it utility, and unlike other blockchains, Binance already has usage demand. So, if you think any altcoin has value, then BNB—at the DEX stage and without a discount—has value. Beyond dominating trading utility (a huge industry use case), BNB has a decent store of value argument (the other huge industry use case). Unlike most coins/token have unreleased supply for inflation, fees, etc., BNB supply is already fully diluted. While BTC expands its supply for some time to come, BNB will be lowering its supply through the burn. Sure, people lose BTC which is a deflationary force, but I suspect this will become less common as wallet tech improves and the industry matures. To be clear, I don’t think BNB and BTC are otherwise comparable and I don’t think BNB (or any coin/token) will replace BTC. But, BTC has demonstrated that investors want stores of value, so whether your thesis is high usage will appreciate or store of value will appreciate, BNB checks both boxes.
Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb "From personal investing to building a long-lasting company, understanding what's fragile and what's not is important. Antifragility is certainly something we’re aiming towards at Binance." - CZ, CEO. 3. The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous "Saifedean's book is essential reading for everyone interested in Bitcoin. This book makes it clear what gives ... American economist and trader Nassim Taleb wrote that Bitcoin is a good idea, but most cryptocurrency users do not understand the nuances of its work.Nassim Taleb participated in a discussion on Twitter with the Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco. Tsukko questioned Taleb's views on the imposition of There was a clash on Twitter between Nassim Taleb and Giacomo Zucco about Bitcoin and libertarian philosophy.. Taleb is a Lebanese (naturalized American) philosopher, essayist and mathematician very famous for having elaborated the so-called “black swan theory”, which is the metaphor describing the unfolding of an unexpected event of great magnitude with great historical consequences. Bitcoin is an excellent idea that fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate, writes the famous essayist, scholar, and risk analyst ... — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) June 21, 2020. Ma Taleb ha aggiunto una frase che riguarda direttamente Bitcoin ed in particolare i bitcoiner. “Bitcoin è una buona idea, ma quasi tutti i bitcoiner sono totalmente idioti, non possono cogliere sfumature al di là dei biscotti della fortuna”. Bitcoin Is a Good Idea but Almost All Bitcoiners Are Idiots, Says Nassim Taleb Jun 22 2020 · 17:45 UTC Updated Jun 22 2020 · 19:49 by Christopher Hamman · 3 min read Photo: Depositphotos Nassim Taleb, Universitätsprofessor und Autor von Black Swan, hält Bitcoin für eine gute Idee, aber die meisten Investoren können die Feinheiten nicht verstehen. Ist Bitcoin für Idioten? Laut einem Tweet von Nassim Taleb am 21. Juni ist Bitcoin (BTC) eine gute Idee, aber “fast alle Bitcoiner sind totale Idioten”. Popular Lebanese-American essayist and economist, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, recently revealed that he has closed his Coinbase account. Taleb, who is also a former options trader and a risk analyst, complained that the US-based exchange was uncooperative in resolving some technical issues. Taleb Closes His Cloinbase Account Apart from being a well-known economist, Taleb is also the author of The ... Nassim Taleb says that dealing with Bitcoin involves risks, of course. He stated that since he is a risk expert, he would never advise clients to do what he has not tried himself or seen it work. Taleb gives gold as an example, saying that he does not like it but he has it, since it seems to be a reliable asset. As for Bitcoin he says: “If I have enough gold, even if prices collapse, I sleep ... The famous American economist and trader Nassim Taleb remains optimistic about cryptocurrencies and believes that Bitcoin wins in comparison with state currencies.Taleb said that citizens of some countries, such as Lebanon, lost faith in state banking systems, so no one should ignore cryptocurre
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