Bitcoin in Argentina : exactly nothing to do with the derps
Motto : <nubbins`> I do keep hearing buzz about Bitcoin in .ar but figured
it was just like everywhere else - a couple neckbeards & wizards
puffing themselves up.
He's right, you know. Let's take a blow by blow :
BitPay rented a coupla rooms in Buenos Aires, then claimed to have opened nothing less than "an Embassy".i Because who the hell ever heard of plain claims in this day and age - I'm only just surprised they didn't announce opening a Transgalactic Spaceship or something. I went to check out this thing back in September,
Just an ordinary residential building entryway, in between a cheap hairdresser's and some pub. Most probably someone misrepresented the purpose of his apartment, Faker House style.
In the intervening months, the Bitpay "Embassy" got an upgrade :
That's it, some bits of paper taped on. I suppose the neighbours had enough of derpy couchsurfing redditards randomly ringing their doorbells - as sure as shit nobody local would know or care - and insisted the phantom tenants mark their own buttons.
If you press the ones labelled PAY or XNG, a voicemail robot tells you to call some number. The same one for both. Because yes, totally, this is what was being advertised here, a stationary voicemail robot. Same functionality couldn't possibly have been obtained any other way than "opening an embassy", and then strutting around like headless turkeys at "conferences", "driving adoption", "revolutionizing", "blockchain technologizing" and all the rest of the retarded posturing.
On the other hand, If you push the "coinmuon"ii button, whatever that is, nothing happens. They probably weren't cool enough to be fully included in the dazzling array of Bitcoin embassy sashes and whatnot.
To sum up : neither Wednesday, September 17th around 2pm nor Friday, December 5th around 11 am was there as much as a soul at this "embassy". But whatever, "they've tried and therefore no-one should criticize them", right ?iii
There's a lot of derpage in the "media", social or otherwiseiv, about wholly imagined things :
Meanwhile, Libertad is the
pond prawn pawn shop street in Comuna 1v. Here's a view :
So, for my own curiosity, I entered a dozen or so shops in a row. One younger guy had heard of Bitcoin, but was emphatically not taking it. Eleven people, mostly older men, some older women, some younger guys had absolutely no idea what Bitcoin is (and no curiosity for that matter to find out - which is very characteristic of your average Argentine "businessman", you'd definitely peg them for ultraorthodox Islamic clerics if you had to guess).
That is one critical failure and eleven simple failures out of the twelve sides of the dice, to put the matter in terms readily digestible by the fried brains of the wizards in question. How you gonna roll that natural 24 with a pair of dice that's got eleven ones and nothing on the twelfth side, yo ?
Just in case you're wondering what's the other dice : I also took the liberty to contact all the advance payment scammersvi active in Buenos Aires (only about a dozen or so of them). They similarly had no idea of what Bitcoin is, and no interest whatsoever. So : no, nobody's "bracing" for anything.
And the whole "social media" Internet is filled to the brim with stories about how you know, rah-rah-rah! Derpy kids with their .18 BTC (kept in an elaborately retarded wallet that cost .25) and their bikes are you know, like important and shit. Totally, dude. Changing the world!
Meanwhile a typical "exchange" looks like this :
Delivery-date: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:05:55 -0500
Received: from [188.8.131.52] (port=45756 helo=segunda.eudemocracia.org)
La dirección firstname.lastname@example.org ha sido dada de baja.
Para contactarte con Eudemocracia por favor completá el formulario
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Does this remind you of "Bitcoin Embassies" created out of a square inch of paper someone tore out of their schoolbook and taped to some buzzer (plus, of course, a whole lot of wasted virtual paper to paper over it) ?
Somehow stopping for a moment to think that nobody the fuck else outside of me and derpy kids even reads the shitty "social media" Internet - and for that matter nobody cares outside the derpy kids producing it all - is a bridge too far.
But let's reach that bridge, let's stop to think for a moment. Let's stop to count, and to verify for a moment. Coinmap is a mapquest overlay that supposedly pinpoints Bitcoin (and various shitcoin) related locations. If you examine it zoomed out way the fuck, Buenos Aires comes to 187, which is more than the whole rest of Latin America combined, and like half of California. If you zoom in however, to where you get the actual details, you can spend as much time as you feel like verifying them, but no matter how much time you put into it you will come to the same one discovery : that not a single one is valid.
Not. A. Single. One.vii
Leaving aside that 187 to twelve million is another way of saying nothing - more people have leprosy of the bellybuttonviii in Buenos Aires - they're not even there. They are not even there. Someone went around town giving people free empanadas to claim they give a shit about Bitcoin. That's all. Astroturf to the moon.
The "numbers" may come out of this process "looking good ", if you're zoomed all the way out. If you're a US "investor" asleep at the wheel (or for that matter disinterested, knowing full well that whatever they're calling it, that retirement money is virtual-only) it may seem like this is a market, and perhaps even like "Apple is not at all overvalued". Nevertheless, that's not how things work.
Yes, Bitcoin is influencing the dollar market in Argentina. Not because Reddit. Not because BitPay. Not because the VC circus and the US agitprop. Bitcoin is powerful today here, and will be more powerful tomorrow, notwithstanding "oficialismo"'s desperate attempts to assert its hollow pretenses to power and relevancy it's long lost.
For the right reasons. By the right people. Against the horde(s).
The Romanian expression denoting the derpy twentysomething and its redditardesque, social-based efforts is "muste la arat" literally, "plowing flies". In loving memory of this fabled fly of yore. It goes like so :
De la arat un plug venea incet spre casa, si la un bou pe jug o musca se-asezasa.
Dinsei spre-ntampinare, o alta musca-n zbor ii face intrebare: - "De unde , draga sor' ?"
- "Si mai intrebi de unde! ei musca ii raspunde c-un aer suparat. A nu pricepi ce facem? Nu vezi ca noi ne-ntoarcem din camp, de la arat!"
Spre lauda desarta multi zic: noi am lucrat! Cand ei lucreaza-n fapta ca musca la arat.ix
The only thing that's changed since Donici's time is the fly count. There were fewer then.———
- Speaking of wild, unsubstantiated claims (the sort that made me ruin MtGox, let it be reminded) : Qntra chief editor has some curiosities re the Black Friday. Be sure to contact the USMS publicity service at your earliest convenience o.O [↩]
- No idea wtf this is, but I'm sure as we speak someone somewhere is posturing about it. [↩]
- Wrong. Unless you want to go around calling me "Inventor of Cold Fusion", because I... tried. Sorta. Well I read something about it sometime, and I think even discussed it with some people, who were also uninvolved. [↩]
- There's no "otherwise", not really. The only difference between some clueless idiot filling up his Reddit account with inanity and the same clueless idiot filling up "the press" with the same innanity is that the cultural norms of one venue favour fancier nicks than the other. Otherwise there's exactly zero difference between Leah McGrath Goodman and BeachedWhale79 : they both live out of other people's money, while producing absolutely nothing of any value and lying on both scores. [↩]
- There's also a different Compro Oro epicenter in the Jewish quarter, some twenty blocks away on Corrientes. [↩]
- Typical verbiage :
Dinero ya! (Money now!)
Dinero con todas las tarjetas de crédito hasta en 24 cuotas fijas . ejemplo: por cada $1000 en 24 cuotas de $77 final- (Fake purchases returned as cash, 80% interest)
Cambio de cheques personales y de empresas (Check cashing, personal and entreprise).
- Yes, yes, I'm aware, the "thrown curve" generation understands of this that the correct way to pass and to "prove that MP asshole wrong" is to falsify the data - insert some kid's own "estudio" as this-or-that and be very careful when answering the phone. And stick to the story.
- This is not a joke, and it certainly is not an exaggeration. There's about 200k new cases of leprosy worldwide each year. [↩]
- While returning with the plow home after a long workday, on an ox's yoke lands a fly. Another fly coming to meet her, asks "Whence from, my dear sister ?" "You even ask!" the first fly answers all upset. "Or don't you understand what we're doing here ? Do you not see us coming back from the fields, from plowing ?"
To empty self-touting plenty will say "we've done" when in actual fact they've done what the fly plowing's done. [↩]
Monday, 29 December 2014
I tried to sell a bitcoin over the weekend on localbitcoins. There are maybe six or seven users offering to trade face to face, at ridiculous prices (10% or more under spot). The best part? I contacted all of them but not a single one showed up.
I ended up spending about 200 pesos on coffees waiting for flakes. If my time was free somehow they still manage to make the exchange cost you twenty bucks without even working worth a shit. Not to mention that exactly zero localbitcoin users have the budget to cover more than a bitcoin or two,
Saludos from Paraguay, where the banking system works and I can simply get money from the ATM.
Monday, 29 December 2014
The situation was exactly the same at the time I wrote the article - a few derps offering ridiculous prices that then didn't even keep their engagements. I didn't bother mentioning it because... whatever, what is localbitcoins, three Dutch people.