When you think about it, OpenSea would actually be much "better" in the immediate sense if all the web3 parts were gone. It would be faster, cheaper for everyone, and easier to use. For example, to accept a bid on my NFT, I would have had to pay over $80-$150+ just in ethereum transaction fees. That puts an artificial floor on all bids, since otherwise you'd lose money by accepting a bid for less than the gas fees. Payment fees by credit card, which typically feel extortionary, look cheap compared to that. OpenSea could even publish a simple transparency log if people wanted a public record of transactions, offers, bids, etc to verify their accounting.
However, if they had built a platform to buy and sell images that wasn't nominally based on crypto, I don't think it would have taken off. Not because it isn't distributed, because as we've seen so much of what's required to make it work is already not distributed. I don't think it would have taken off because this is a gold rush. People have made money through cryptocurrency speculation, those people are interested in spending that cryptocurrency in ways that support their investment while offering additional returns, and so that defines the setting for the market of transfer of wealth.
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/02/blockchain_and_.html, posted 27 Oct by peter in cryptocurrency opinion
What blockchain does is shift some of the trust in people and institutions to trust in technology. You need to trust the cryptography, the protocols, the software, the computers and the network. And you need to trust them absolutely, because they're often single points of failure.
When that trust turns out to be misplaced, there is no recourse. If your bitcoin exchange gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If your bitcoin wallet gets hacked, you lose all of your money. If you forget your login credentials, you lose all of your money. If there's a bug in the code of your smart contract, you lose all of your money. If someone successfully hacks the blockchain security, you lose all of your money. In many ways, trusting technology is harder than trusting people. Would you rather trust a human legal system or the details of some computer code you don't have the expertise to audit?
https://drewdevault.com/2021/04/26/Cryptocurrency-is-a-disaster.html, posted Apr '21 by peter in business cryptocurrency finance opinion
No, cryptocurrency is not a currency at all: it's an investment vehicle. A tool for making the rich richer. And that's putting it nicely; in reality it has a lot more in common with a Ponzi scheme than a genuine investment. What "value" does solving fake math problems actually provide to anyone? It's all bullshit.
Maybe your cryptocurrency is different. But look: you're in really poor company. When you're the only honest person in the room, maybe you should be in a different room.
https://www.theregister.com/2018/11/30/blockchain_study_finds_0_per_cent_success_rate/, posted Mar '21 by peter in business cryptocurrency
Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at instances of the distributed crypto ledger being used in a wide range of situations by NGOs, contractors and agencies. But they drew a complete blank.
Taler is a new electronic payment system under development at Inria. Today, this website only presents the advantages our system is expected to provide. We expect to make the payment system available to the general public in 2016.
Why has Bitcoin failed? It has failed because the community has failed. What was meant to be a new, decentralised form of money that lacked “systemically important institutions” and “too big to fail” has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people. Worse still, the network is on the brink of technical collapse. The mechanisms that should have prevented this outcome have broken down, and as a result there’s no longer much reason to think Bitcoin can actually be better than the existing financial system.
So these are big problems with traditional law. Agreements are ambiguous. And enforcement is hard.
Ethereum solves both these problems. It does this with the marriage of two special ingredients: a digital currency, and a complete programming language. Let's look at both.
https://github.com/a-r-d/Bellman-Form-BTCe-Arbitrager, posted 2015 by peter in automation cryptocurrency opensource trading
This is a simple Bellman-Ford bot that uses the negative cycle detection feature of the algorithm to find favorable currency trades to make in forex markets (in this case we are targeting bitcoin/fiat/scryptcoin markets on btc-e and other exchanges).
Typically the trades the bot finds are less than 0.5% profit, will take 3 steps, and must be filled quickly to be profitable.
https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/getdotbit-com-offers-free-domain-names-powered-namecoin/, posted 2015 by peter in cryptocurrency domain free
GetDotBit.com is a domain name platform for registering .bit (dot-bit) URLs that recently launched. Users can now register a domain name for free. Additional names cost one dollar each.
challengepost.com/software/zero-click-bitcoin-micropayments, posted 2015 by peter in business cryptocurrency startup
Zero Click is a dead easy payment protocol that will allow users to pay for resources online in the simplest way using Bitcoin. We came up with the idea when we noticed that the HTTP 402 payment required status code was unimplemented. We used Bitcoin because it allows us to transfer money with no registration and no lengthy approval for the person receiving the money.