RIPple, the definitive discussion.

Saturday, 25 May, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

There's been a spate of articles pushing this Ripple thing published on a bunch of obscure blogs recently. To the trained eye it's quite obvious that some "social media influencing" agency is spending generously in fiddy dollar increments for such viral social media influencing results.

How come ? The explanation would be that Jed Calebi & co received a little funding and are now spending it trying to buy relevancy. In spite of not actually having a product or delivering any sort of value. Truely venture capital is broken beyond repair these days wouldn't you say.

The other thing they're spending their funding on is something like this :

{Namworld} Well anyway... I got 5 BTC for 40k XRPs... 600 bucks for nothing... except ~1 hour to use the Ripple orderbook to trade XRPs for IOUs and sign up and cashout on BitStamp

and there's probably more. Moving on.

The thing with Ripple is that it's broken. I don't mean broken in the sense a car with a broken windshield can have that replaced and be good as new. I don't even mean broken in the sense a car with a broken engine, missing wheels and rusted everywhere could in principle be somehow refurbished, maybe, even if it's not economically feasible to do.

ripcar

What I mean is that Ripple is broken in the sense of severe congenital defects, the sort that cause abortion before gestation could in any way conceivably complete. Specifically :

Fatal congenital defect #1. Ripple requires any participant to trust other participants blindly. This is to say, if you trust X person to Y sum this doesn't mean that your trust is rescinded should X issue more than Y worth of debt. It simply means X may issue an infinite volume of debt and you unconditionally promise to accept Y of that. Just like that.

Fatal congenital defect #2. If #1 above somehow didn't kill the thing (for argument's sake), there's absolutely no way for you to receive compensation for the liquidity you provide. Conceivably no matter who X is, be it Russ Meyer or the very Bank of England in its heyday, as long as you take on its debt you're entitled to some sort of compensation for this. At least that's how things work in sane land, since forever. Not in Ripple, however. Your trust is unremunerated, which makes Ripple the only repo market in the history of finance working on 0% interest rates. Not even the FED pumping liquidity through the special bank windows did something like this.

Fatal congenital defect #3. If #1 and #2 above somehow didn't kill it (veering beyond the absurd by now), Ripple averages out all debt. You beg my pardon ? Good for you.

So, suppose Ripple was being used by Ben Bernanke, Christine Lagarde and Lou Jiwei, alongside a number of people randomly picked off the street. You'd sanely expect to be able to buy either BBdollars or Anondollars, separately, as distinct items. Right ? And then CLeuros and LJyuans as opposed to RandomChinesePersonIOU.

Well... that's not how Ripple works. As long as you trust both Lou Jiwei and some random Chinese dude, any people who trust the random dude and hold LJ's yuans can exchange LJ's yuans for any random dude's yuans that you hold.ii Or, as the case may be, the other way around. Always, always the other way around. So what happens when you find yourself trying to pay for a cab ride with what you thought were actual dollars but upon examination turn out to be pieces of paper with "DELLOR" scribbled in pink marker arcoss one side ? Awww, I guess you shouldn't have trusted your boss because he decided to trust his 5 year old daughter and now lookyiii. You've got a blue eye and the cab driver looks just about ready to give you another one.

Basically this boneheaded "everything's a Ripple" approach opens the entire space to the problem that lemon laws try to solve. Let's revisit that for a second, for the benefit of the completely clueless idiots who think it's their place to "create" and "innovate" retarded shit like thisiv.

So, inasmuch as used cars go, it is expensive for buyers to find the actual value of the item. Thus on any specified item buyers make offers based on a guess as to what the average value of a used car would be at any given time. Sellers either know this or soon find out (by being lowballed on good used cars) and soon enough only introduce into the market cars that are objectively worth less than the perceived average. This over time lowers the average, lowering the buyer expectation (and thus price offered) which further lowers the seller incentive and soon enough the only used cars you can buy are refurbished lawnmowers.

This is the problem that lemon laws try to solve. They fail.

So does Ripple. RIPv.

———
  1. You probably do not know this, but Jed is the original owner of MtGox, back when it actually was a card trading site. He gave it away to the fat retard who's now going to jail for free, because he wasn't fat and retarded enough to want to go to jail.

    To make matters funnier, he later used his password to steal some Bitcoins from MtGox (yes, he's the mysterious "auditor" whose password was "compromised" in that early heist. No compromise and no auditor, he just had access to check the tables and verify he's being paid according to what's been agreed. []

  2. This originally read "As long as you trust both Lou Jiwei and some random Chinese dude any people who trust you can trade LJ’s yuans straight for the random dude’s" for inexplicable reasons, as it doesn't actually make any sense. Thanks go to Deprived for pointing it out. []
  3. In case you don't understand how this works : Boss pays your salary, which means your wallet contains Bossdollars. Boss trusts daughter, which means daughter can swap her Daughterdollars for any of the Boss' holdings that she herself trusts, such as whatever they take at the Little Girl & Pony Make-up and Pony store. Which means your Boss is now bankrupt and you're fucked, well done! []
  4. Seriously now dear & beloved neckbeards : learn to talk to your betters. Before you start coding. There's a reason they're your betters, and that reason is that they're better than you. []
  5. No, not really, not until the world runs out of idiots, the clueless backers run out of patience and the project itself runs out of money. But still, I have no children, so on the long term you're all dead anyway. []
Category: Bitcoin
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13 Responses

  1. TradeFortress`s avatar
    1
    TradeFortress 
    Saturday, 25 May 2013

    Recommended reading:

    Ripplers bitching about flaws in ripple: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=207841.0

    More bitching including someone who wasted 10.15 BTC for some odd reason: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=210634.0

    The guy who lost his own 10.15 BTC bitching about it, again: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=211115.0

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    2
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 25 May 2013

    In the interest of not going through this conversation twice :

    04:54:42 mircea_popescu http://trilema.com/2013/ripple-the-definitive-discussion/
    04:54:46 mircea_popescu there, if anyone cares
    04:55:04 mircea_popescu [\\\] finally came to me when i saw your dasehs. magic.
    05:01:38 aknap3 thought there was something about ripple trust being transitive, so if you trust someone, you are also trusting their judgment of others, but maybe I misunderstood it
    05:03:15 aknap3 guess that's pretty much your defect #3
    05:04:17 mircea_popescu sorta
    05:04:43 mircea_popescu it's worse tho, in as you can probably traverse up the tree
    05:05:03 mircea_popescu (start with 100 scam bux, trade for 100 cvasi-scam bux, trade these for 100 not reallt scam bux, cash out 100 bux)
    05:05:12 mircea_popescu tradefortress pretty much proved this is damned easy
    05:07:23 mircea_popescu pigeons you want to give that a read say if i've fucked up anything ?
    05:10:52 [\\\] you trust pigeons?
    05:10:57 [\\\] sounds like you should give him some ripples
    05:11:27 mircea_popescu [\\\] he's the only person afaik who seriously looked at the thing
    05:12:03 mircea_popescu besides, he doesn't like me, so.
    05:13:43 Namworld To be fair on point #2, the issuer doesn't get anything either out of the issued IOUs. It's not like it requires you to lend them money. It's more like "pay to the bearer X silver/gold coins" IOUs, like early banks did, before state money.
    05:14:16 Namworld Where those paper IOUs are practical to go trade around without the need to burden yourself with carrying money all around
    05:15:28 mircea_popescu what do you mean doesn't get anything ?
    05:15:40 mircea_popescu the fact that his debt is accepted is exactly giving him money.
    05:17:35 Namworld Those IOUs are no different than the balance at the exchange, which if it is showing 200 BTC, it means they owe you 200 BTC. They don't pay interest either on that balance. Same for Ripple IOUs.
    05:18:43 mircea_popescu as far as i know, if your bank is showing 200 dollars in your account
    05:18:49 mircea_popescu that bank is paying interest on the 200
    05:19:07 Namworld The same apply for both thing, and often the trusted issuers are an exchange (at least for now)
    05:19:29 Namworld The difference is you expect the bank to invest your money round and make money on that.
    05:19:42 mircea_popescu i don't care lol.
    05:19:52 mircea_popescu as long as i take debt, ANY debt, i expect a %
    05:19:55 mircea_popescu otherwise no deal.
    05:20:16 dub presumably the entry/exit points to the network charge for the service?
    05:20:17 Namworld So you wouldn't deposit money in MtGox because they don't pay interest on your balance?
    05:20:54 mircea_popescu Namworld i wouldn't deposit money in mtgox because the mtgox risk requires a premium
    05:21:05 mircea_popescu if they credited my acct with ~300 bux for every 100 deposited i'd consider it.
    05:21:11 mircea_popescu but as it is... never have, never will.
    05:21:58 Namworld Well it's pretty much the same. Bitstamp is an issuer on Ripple. You either have a number on BitStamp or on Ripple of have X of currency Y owed to you by them.
    05:22:11 Namworld So typically people wouldn't expect interest.
    05:22:44 mircea_popescu but! when i accept this, i undertake someone's CP risk
    05:22:46 mircea_popescu this has to be paid for.
    05:22:53 mircea_popescu you can't pass along cp risk w/o fees ?!
    05:23:18 mircea_popescu to rephrase : do you have an inkling of an idea what the 2008 meltdown would have looked like if indeed repo was free ?
    05:24:04 Namworld Well history shows people are trusting 3rd parties with their funds all the time, expecting nothing in return.
    05:24:16 Namworld Other than being able to request their funds back
    05:24:25 mircea_popescu "people".
    05:25:00 [\\\] "idiots"
    05:25:00 mircea_popescu the developers stupidly assume this happens because never before have there been on the face of the earth genius developers to make a ripple.
    05:25:08 bdk_kluge They expect gains in terms of service. In the US, interest-bearing demand accounts are practically dead. They pay out in service, usually ~1.5-3% of deposits on overhead.
    05:25:08 mircea_popescu the real reason however is that the system doesn't work
    05:25:08 dub Namworld: example?
    05:25:17 mircea_popescu and will be raped in the mouth just as soon as someone cares to.
    05:26:06 Namworld dub, pretty much every exchange. They won't give you anything for entrusting them your funds
    05:26:20 dub they give you access to a market for one
    05:26:22 Namworld Plus they'll even charge you when you do stuff with your funds on their system
    05:26:27 mircea_popescu anyway, moral of the story here being, "don't start revolutionary financial shit without an actual financial mind available to suckle on the cock of"
    05:26:47 Namworld Well yeah... access to market is the only thing that is given in exchange
    05:27:07 dub its kinda of an important service
    05:27:19 dub its not like you would be handing them money without the intent to use the market
    05:27:37 cole_albon mirce_popescu what do you mean by " system doesn't work"
    05:27:39 Namworld As for #3, I think you got your facts wrong...
    05:27:40 bdk_kluge Though... they charge for that.
    05:27:45 mircea_popescu depends dub, mtgox ?
    05:28:09 mircea_popescu cole_albon i think you hafta read the scrollback.
    05:28:14 mircea_popescu Namworld aha ?
    05:28:25 Namworld I might be mistaken... but I didn't notice any such chain trust effect
    05:28:52 [\\\] there's a reason why its called ripple
    05:28:59 [\\\] it implies a chain
    05:29:02 cole_albon the scam bux switcharoo thing?
    05:29:15 mircea_popescu Namworld what do you mean ?!
    05:29:21 mircea_popescu you can't trade your ripples ?
    05:30:13 Namworld One BTC issued by Weexchange.co is different from 1 BTC issued by BitStamp. If you have 1 BTC issued by BitStamp, you can't trade it for someone wanting a Weexchange.co BTC
    05:30:14 mircea_popescu cole_albon no, i meant the naive stone age "free rate repo" system
    05:30:32 mircea_popescu Namworld so then what's a ripple ?
    05:30:41 Namworld Well I didn't notice any kind of mixing...
    05:30:49 Namworld Maybe if I had a more complex trust network...
    05:31:07 mircea_popescu but!
    05:31:19 mircea_popescu how did the tradefortress guy manage to cause all that havoc
    05:32:00 [\\\] http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/lifestyles/2013-05-24/925ca8be-299c-4c0e-8375-5d6c97916bce_630_plussize_swim.jpg
    05:32:06 Namworld He shows that he can have a 1 billion BTC balance by issuing it.
    05:32:21 mircea_popescu but he also traded it
    05:32:26 dub my eyes
    05:32:28 Namworld But no one will accept it if they don't trust tradefortress as an issuer
    05:32:51 mircea_popescu so ?
    05:34:01 Namworld So people must be careful about the issuers they trust? If you decide to trust some random guy for 10000 BTC and take his BTC... of course Ripple will show you have 10000 BTC, but try to trade those with anyone and no one takes them.
    05:35:14 dub right
    05:35:17 mircea_popescu listen, the way i find out what the president of the republic ate
    05:35:32 mircea_popescu is that his cook knows, and the cook fucks this girl on the side who's owned by this guy who owes me a carrot.
    05:35:44 mircea_popescu this is how things work. social graphs degrade towards the edge
    05:36:43 dub this is another one of those Namworld conversations where we wax on for hours about how when one looks up they find the sky and shockingly upon looking down observe the ground
    05:37:00 mircea_popescu lol
    05:37:12 Namworld That's not how I understand and witnessed Ripple to work.
    05:37:29 mircea_popescu so listen. you got what, 40k ripples. where from ?
    05:37:48 Namworld It works exactly as in this graph, as far as I witnessed: https://ripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/how32.png
    05:38:14 Namworld From the giveaway thread, as I said.
    05:38:20 mircea_popescu from whom ?
    05:38:29 mircea_popescu a ripple user X shall we say ?
    05:38:41 dub from the ripple teat
    05:39:14 Namworld From Ripple I guess
    05:39:32 mircea_popescu mkay.
    05:39:34 Namworld Or any sub party assigned with the task of distributing the ripples around
    05:39:36 mircea_popescu and then you took out 5 btc
    05:39:45 mircea_popescu were these 5 btc put in by the user you got your ripples from /
    05:40:06 Namworld I trusted Bitstamp as an issuer. Then traded these XRPs for BitStamp issued BTC IOUs
    05:40:12 mircea_popescu foprget that.
    05:40:16 mircea_popescu user X gave you 40k ripple.
    05:40:21 mircea_popescu user Y deposited 5 btc
    05:40:27 Namworld Aye
    05:40:29 mircea_popescu you got Y's 5 btc in exchange for X's 40k ripple
    05:40:34 Namworld yeah
    05:40:38 mircea_popescu thus there fore wtf you on about. it's exactly how you witnessed it to work
    05:41:00 Namworld But it doesn't work like you said in #3
    05:41:10 mircea_popescu ...
    05:41:15 Namworld You can't randomly end up with USD issued by your boss's little girl
    05:41:25 mircea_popescu you took Y's lunch in exchange for X's scribbled paper.
    05:41:33 mircea_popescu Y doesn't know who the fuck you are.
    05:41:41 mircea_popescu all he knows is he had 5 btc
    05:41:44 mircea_popescu and where are they.
    05:42:16 Namworld XRP is exclusively issued by Ripple
    05:42:22 mircea_popescu ...
    05:42:27 Namworld So X's scribbled paper is Ripple
    05:42:44 mircea_popescu dude. where are y's 5 btc
    05:42:51 Namworld In my wallet
    05:42:52 mircea_popescu you don't even know who the fuck y is you have his btc
    05:43:01 mircea_popescu so then how exactly is this diff from the guy in the cab.
    05:43:01 Namworld Yeah
    05:43:05 mircea_popescu "somebody" has his 5 btyc
    05:43:47 Namworld In #3 the guy in the cab realizes suddenly he's holding valueless USD issued by a little girl
    05:44:01 Namworld Which is impossible if he never directly trusted said person as an issuer
    05:45:29 mircea_popescu but he trusted his boss
    05:45:54 Namworld He didn't trust the little girl
    05:46:00 mircea_popescu tghe boss did.
    05:46:03 Namworld There's no chain
    05:46:19 mircea_popescu ...
    05:46:39 Namworld Issuer's X BTC is not mixable with Issuer's Y BTC
    05:46:54 mircea_popescu if you were able to take out y's 5 btc in exchange for x's 40k ripples
    05:46:59 mircea_popescu it stands to reason so could the little girl.
    05:47:12 mircea_popescu so, little girl takes out 5 btc for her dad's 40k ripples.
    05:47:19 mircea_popescu dad takes 5 btc out of you for 40k ripples
    05:47:25 mircea_popescu you end up with 40k ripples. no 5 btc.
    05:48:24 Namworld That's not how it work... the only way the little girl can take the 5 BTC is if she traded something for it.
    05:49:37 dub I think you're talking about different things, Namworld is still talking about some idiot paying 5btc for his ripples while mircea_popescu is talking about how ripple works

  3. "Fatal congenital defect #1. Ripple requires any participant to trust other participants blindly."

    False. You should not trust anyone blindly. Ripple requires you to trust *a* person or entity on the network, but "blind"ness is not a prerequisite.

    "Fatal congenital defect #2. If #1 above somehow didn't kill the thing (for argument's sake), there's absolutely no way for you to receive compensation for the liquidity you provide. Conceivably no matter who X is, be it Russ Meyer or the very Bank of England in its heyday, as long as you take on its debt you're entitled to some sort of compensation for this. At least that's how things work in sane land, since forever. Not in Ripple, however. Your trust is unremunerated, which makes Ripple the only repo market in the history of finance working on 0% interest rates. Not even the FED pumping liquidity through the special bank windows did something like this."

    Right. However unlike the FED, where there's only one central bank who has this power *the entire network* has this power. And it's not necessarily true that there's no consequences...that's however external to the system.

    "Fatal congenital defect #3. If #1 and #2 above somehow didn't kill it (veering beyond the absurd by now), Ripple averages out all debt. You beg my pardon ? Good for you."

    This is starting to get to the heart of the matter, and a better criticism than 99.9% of people on the internet can manage. However you can point to any fiat currency and you will see they suffer the same issues, only on longer time periods. Yeah, it's true, that the expansion of ripple money could incur runaway inflation making all money everywhere worthless. However, ripple will continue to work in that situation, continue to do what it has always done: make it possible to escape autarky via finding cycles through chains of permission and encoded status. Even if, somehow, we run into a runaway jubilee on some part of the network that happens to expose the rest of the network that the majority of people find their tokens are lemons...we set the clock back to 0 and go full fight club. It is, because of this fact, potentially more robust than what we have now, with the "Too Big To Fail" banks being held up by a central bank.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    4
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 18 April 2015

    unlike the FED, where there's only one central bank who has this power *the entire network* has this power.

    This is a distinction without a difference. For one thing, the FED actually is "the entire network", unless some dubious / scammy outfit.

    you can point to any fiat currency and you will see they suffer the same issues

    Or I could point to any society in recent or distant history (pre 1800, say) and see they suffer the same hygiene issues. Wouldja like some smegma with your yogurt for this reason ?

    the expansion of ripple money could incur runaway inflation

    "Could" is not how things work in this context. If it can, it must.

    continue to do what it has always done

    It never did anything. It.Never.Did.Anything.

    It is curently pretending to do something, arbitrarily chosen from the set of things it could pretend by the criteria "what'd appeal to the particular suckers it tries to fleece". There's no hardcoded requirement for what it pretends, which means that it could (and therefore will) pretend anything else, such as curing genital warts or improving the goodwill of the gods, depending on exactly what the expectations of the dumb look like that week.

    In any case : at no point is Ripple involved in some competition, with anyone (banks, Bitcoin, what have you) anymore than amway is giving big pharma a run for its money, or the world wrestling federation is involved in the space race. Yeah, I'm aware those dudes jump a lot and McMahon's fulla air. Nevertheless...

  5. > This is a distinction without a difference. For one thing, the FED actually is "the entire network", unless some dubious / scammy outfit.

    It is an enormous difference, and flat out false that the FED is actually "the entire network". If the Federal Reserve (it's not an acronym, it doesn't need to be spelled "FED") disappeared tomorrow Ripple would continue to work.

    > Or I could point to any society in recent or distant history (pre 1800, say) and see they suffer the same hygiene issues. Wouldja like some smegma with your yogurt for this reason ?

    what on earth does this have to do with Ripple, which is digital and hence not subject to hygiene issues at all?

    > "Could" is not how things work in this context. If it can, it must.

    Then why hasn't it, yet? Ripple has been around for a decade, obviously we should have seen some of this by now.

    > It never did anything. It.Never.Did.Anything.

    That's not true. I've personally made many trades with it that would have been impossible without it, including acquiring my first bitcoin. Ripple has facilitated all sorts of trade.

    > It is curently pretending to do something, arbitrarily chosen from the set of things it could pretend by the criteria "what'd appeal to the particular suckers it tries to fleece"

    I can't read your damn articles so if you're going to use it as an argument against me at least have the scientific honesty of publishing the details of your rebuttal if you're going to choose to link to it.

    > In any case : at no point is Ripple involved in some competition, with anyone (banks, Bitcoin, what have you) anymore than amway is giving big pharma a run for its money, or the world wrestling federation is involved in the space race.

    Ripple is obviously in competition with some entities -- particularly predatory loan companies. You saw some serious flak being directed in Ripple's direction by btcjam in the early days because they rightly saw us as a threat to their business model.

    tl; dr your response is incohrent and has little to do with Ripple at all, and you're not giving an honest appraisal of the situation.

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    6
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 21 April 2015

    > It never did anything. It.Never.Did.Anything.

    That's not true. I've personally made many trades with it that would have been impossible without it, including acquiring my first bitcoin. Ripple has facilitated all sorts of trade.

    Are you retarded or something ? Testimonials aren't interesting specifically for this reason : that retards like you exist. What's next, tethans and colloidal silver ?

    > It is curently pretending to do something, arbitrarily chosen from the set of things it could pretend by the criteria "what'd appeal to the particular suckers it tries to fleece"

    I can't read your damn articles so if you're going to use it as an argument against me at least have the scientific honesty of publishing the details of your rebuttal if you're going to choose to link to it.

    This is not how it works. It may be how you (and plenty of other derps) think it "should" work. Not that it makes a difference.

  7. >: that retards like you exist

    Really? That's the entire basis of your argument? You discount what I offer as argument because I'm a "retard"?

    Let's see how this looks in terms of another argument, because since you aren't giving any more details that people are able to read, this is exactly what it looks like:

    "The sky is blue"

    "no it isn't"

    "Yes it is. My measurements show that the light reads at $X nm wavelength, and you've already agreed that $X nm wavelength light is blue"

    "u r dumb"

    Would you accept that argument?

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    8
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 21 April 2015

    This imaginary situation where we'd be like... presenting arguments to each other and shit is entirely your own hallucination, and consequently your own responsibility. I won't answer for it.

    What, you had mistaken me for your equal or something ? Not how things work.

  9. > What, you had mistaken me for your equal or something ? Not how things work.

    Whatever you say, Mr. High and Mighty. If you've got some kind of philosopher's stone that keeps you from making mistakes, by all means keep following it.

  10. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    10
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 3 May 2015

    The two are unrelated.

  1. [...] does this valuing every counterparty’s Bitcoins the same way, but with its own scammy and unfeasible elements that Gliph can at least not be shamed [...]

  2. [...] You probably want to revisit the 2013 discussion of "Ripple". Just because you idiots changed the name doesn't mean anything changed! Just how hard is it to [...]

  3. [...] of using their brain often laugh at poorly specified, horrendously designed, shodily implemented altcoins, and for good reason - there's apparently no shortage of these end products of an ambitious process [...]

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