Bitcoin is not a literal Ponzi scheme

In a tweet that has been celebrated by the Bitcoin community worldwide, Stephen Palley (who is a lawyer and knows a lot about crypto, inside and out), ruled: Bitcoin is not a Ponzi.

And of course, I have to agree. I will also continue to say that “Bitcoin is a Ponzi”, of course, because that’s what describes best Bitcoin as an investment, and that’s what anyone who is considering “investing” in Bitcoin should know about it.

But for those who think of Bitcoin as more than a magical chart rising from zero to infinity where you just can’t lose, Bitcoin isn’t a literal Ponzi scheme. It’s much more than that, and its Ponzi-like part is just one piece of the machinery.

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Ripple’s Dirty Little Secret: xRapid Uses SWIFT

Ripple Labs has been advertising its new solution, xRapid, hand over fist. It’s supposedly much cheaper, faster and better than the competition, namely SWIFT. This is hard to believe, since xRapid itself needs to use SWIFT.

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How Ripple Reinvented Banking

In mid-2017, Ripple Labs finally had the wind in its sails. A few months earlier, it had secured a $50 million Series B funding round, and was starting to get high on the crypto vibe. But most importantly of all, it had finally come up with its master plan for disrupting banking.

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RippleNet Isn’t A Network And Never Will Be

After the release of JP Morgan’s JPM Coin, Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple Labs’ CEO, was quick to criticise the new cryptocurrency for being closed-ended and for JP Morgan’s internal use only. Ripple Labs, on the contrary, prides itself in having established an open standard, with a network of users they call “RippleNet”. In reality, RippleNet is everything but a network, and will never be, because Ripple Labs doesn’t understand KYC and AML requirements.

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Building A Fraud Case Against Ripple

Ripple Labs is fighting a legal battle to prevent XRP being labeled as a security, trying to dodge the long arm of securities law. If it were to fail, Ripple would become a poster child for securities fraud class action lawsuits. However, lawyers could get Ripple’s ass served to them even without resorting to securities fraud - simply because Ripple’s methods for promoting the virtues of its XRP coins look shaky at best.

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Ripple’s Public Relations Tricks

XRP, the coin that Ripple Labs created and then gave to itself (and its founders), posted spectacular returns in 2017, going from $0.006 to over $2. The coin rose in parallel with an aggressive PR campaign from Ripple Labs. Let’s see what were the claims that they made throughout the year, and compare them to what was really going on.

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Ripple’s Circular Business Model

Ripple is notoriously secretive about its revenue model. Many suspect that the only way it makes money is by selling its stash of XRP coins. The company never bothered to dispell this suspicion. In fact, it never even revealed how much its products and services cost.

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Nvidia’s Wild Ride On The Crypto Rollercoaster

Nvidia ($NVDA) was the top performing stock in the S&P500 index in 2016, rallying a whopping 227%. 2015 and 2017 weren’t bad either, as the stock went up by 66% and 82%, respectively.

The story of Nvidia’s amazing rise, and subsequent fall, is a tale of wishful thinking, unintended consequences, and, of course, cryptocurrency mining.

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