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Offline amatoB

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Contingency Planning?
« on: March 25, 2014, 03:44:56 AM »

I'm not a really a techie type, but have recently been reading a good amount about bitshares. From what I've read, bitUSD is intended to track USD closely. If it does that, then I believe bitshares X and the entire bitshares movement could be a huge success.

But what if, after launch of Bitshares X, bitUSD decouples from the USD? Granted, if people believe that the focal point in this "prediction market" is that bitUSD will track the USD closely, then perhaps it will. But there are plenty of cases in the financial world where things that should track an underlying asset don't. Just look at closed-end mutual funds, or Royal Dutch-Shell, or any one of a number of examples of anomalous stock price behavior.

Will bitUSD track well? That is the $64 billion question, I guess, and the outcome of the Bitshares XT experiment will have implications for most or all future bitshares DACs. If tracking does not occur, would that be the end of Bitshares X? Does 3I have a contingency plan in case Bitshares X doesn't succeed?

Offline bitcoinba

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 04:12:28 AM »
I'm not a really a techie type, but have recently been reading a good amount about bitshares. From what I've read, bitUSD is intended to track USD closely. If it does that, then I believe bitshares X and the entire bitshares movement could be a huge success.

But what if, after launch of Bitshares X, bitUSD decouples from the USD? Granted, if people believe that the focal point in this "prediction market" is that bitUSD will track the USD closely, then perhaps it will. But there are plenty of cases in the financial world where things that should track an underlying asset don't. Just look at closed-end mutual funds, or Royal Dutch-Shell, or any one of a number of examples of anomalous stock price behavior.

Will bitUSD track well? That is the $64 billion question, I guess, and the outcome of the Bitshares XT experiment will have implications for most or all future bitshares DACs. If tracking does not occur, would that be the end of Bitshares X? Does 3I have a contingency plan in case Bitshares X doesn't succeed?

Why do you think BitUSD needs to have 100% parity with USD in order for Bitshares X to succeed?

clout

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 04:46:36 AM »
Of course not. Wheres the fun in that? The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already. Its just a matter of putting it on a blockchain and using the information provided from it as means of decision making and operation for whatever DAC might use this consensus technology. If the later phases of bitshares xt that incorporate bitassets does not work properly at least TaPos is a better alternative to PoW than other network consensus mechanisms out there. The price of btx will also reflect the increased security of the network that is created at a much lower cost relative to PoW.

Offline amatoB

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 04:48:00 AM »
I'm not a really a techie type, but have recently been reading a good amount about bitshares. From what I've read, bitUSD is intended to track USD closely. If it does that, then I believe bitshares X and the entire bitshares movement could be a huge success.

But what if, after launch of Bitshares X, bitUSD decouples from the USD? Granted, if people believe that the focal point in this "prediction market" is that bitUSD will track the USD closely, then perhaps it will. But there are plenty of cases in the financial world where things that should track an underlying asset don't. Just look at closed-end mutual funds, or Royal Dutch-Shell, or any one of a number of examples of anomalous stock price behavior.

Will bitUSD track well? That is the $64 billion question, I guess, and the outcome of the Bitshares XT experiment will have implications for most or all future bitshares DACs. If tracking does not occur, would that be the end of Bitshares X? Does 3I have a contingency plan in case Bitshares X doesn't succeed?

Why do you think BitUSD needs to have 100% parity with USD in order for Bitshares X to succeed?

I don't think it needs to have 100% parity, but it should be reasonably close. If BitUSD doesn't track the USD to any significant degree, then what would it be for hedging real-world dollar exposure? Why would anyone choose to hold or short bitUSD that fluctuates without meaning if their intent is to hold something that they know will move with USD? And if tracking of USD cannot be counted on, then how can we expect tracking of bitGLD, or any other bitAsset, for that matter? A Bitshares X without any meaningful asset value tracking doesn't seem fundamentally different from any other cryptocurrency...

Offline luckybit

Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 06:19:28 AM »
Of course not. Wheres the fun in that? The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already. Its just a matter of putting it on a blockchain and using the information provided from it as means of decision making and operation for whatever DAC might use this consensus technology. If the later phases of bitshares xt that incorporate bitassets does not work properly at least TaPos is a better alternative to PoW than other network consensus mechanisms out there. The price of btx will also reflect the increased security of the network that is created at a much lower cost relative to PoW.

I agree with Clout. I would put significant financial stake on it being a success and have. That is why I'm here.

Do I think it could fail? Theoretically. But I believe in my own intellectual capabilities, and the intellectual capabilities of Dan, Stan and the other developers who are some of the smartest individuals in the cryptocurrency community.

Why do I believe that? I read the source code, I've debated with them, and in some cases have been proven wrong by them.

So far their judgement at least on the matters at hand have been on point. Additionally I think that they don't like losing money, which is the right attitude to have for this.

That being said it could fail. If it fails I believe Dan would reset and try again. That is what the test is about, to perfect it so that it's stable by the time we start taking it seriously.
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Offline MolonLabe

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 03:18:06 PM »
The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already.

What are your thoughts on the following?

Quote from: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=475054.40
I feel that there is a definitional problem at hand.

I personally am using the term 'prediction market' to refer to an institution for trading special shares, which have a final value purposefully connected to the outcome of an event. As individuals speculate on this final value, a current market price informs the current probability of the event taking place. Other types of PM, for example "1$ for every Republican Senate seat", are just accounting rearrangements of the same structure. There is no requirement to literally limit PMs to an (0,1) range, but logically they would only trade between zero and the purposefully selected final value. This definition is supported by the economic literature, which we could consult, as well as sentence 3 of the relevant wikipedia article: "For example, a prediction market security might reward a dollar if a particular candidate is elected, such that an individual who thinks the candidate had a 70% chance of being elected should be willing to pay up to 70 cents for such a security."

I feel strongly that BitShares would not create PMs, so defined, whereas Truthcoin would. This isn't to say an alternative institution wouldn't have value, wouldn't aggregate information via trades, or wouldn't operate in a similar way (however, you cannot claim that BitShares will do these things "because it is a PM").

clout

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 04:27:14 PM »
I have read the thread on truthcoin before. The views of some individuals is that PM's must be binary or PM's must have an ending point. That is narrow minded and does not serve to truly test the limits of free markets. If you do not wish to call bitshares a prediction market because it does not explicitly incorporate the probability of an outcome than you can refer to it as an information market, since the market for bitAssets is truly relaying real world information to the DAC that would otherwise have to be collected in a centralized fashion. I believe that bitshares will actually be more accurate than other prediction markets as it is very simple to track the price of these real world assets relative to bts (at least more simple than coming up with the probability of an occurrence). The information will already be provided by the same exchanges that trade btc and altcoins today. It would be illogical for anyone to trade within the system in a manner that is not in accordance with evident price outside of the system. At first most of the trades within bitshares x will probably mimic the trades in the centralized exchanges, but after a while it may bay the trades outside of the system that mimic those within it, as the more informed trades realize they can make more money exchanging value with bitassets than they can with real assets.

If you are concerned that bitshares will not work, think about it this way. Bitshares will be traded like bitcoin and other altcoins in a very speculative way. Speculation coupled with uncertainty leads to volatility. When the price of bitcoin seems like its about to go down, even some of the most enthusiastic supporters will sell bitcoin for other currencies that will appreciate relative to it in the short term. However, in the case of bitshares, when ppl are uncertain that a current high valuation of bitshares is unwarranted, instead of selling off bts and driving down the price on centralized exchanges they will simply retain/increase their stake in the network by buying bitAssets. When ppl buy more bitassets it temporarily might drive down the price of bts relative to that bitassets, but in creating more bitassets that person is simultaneously bolstering the utility of the network as a store of value which should ultimately be reflected in the price of bts. I'm not even sure that  increased demand for bitassets would drive down the price of bts on external central exchanges. These notions are all theoretical, but I would say that the odds are on our side.

If these ideas do not work in practice it would not only be a set back for us early investors, it would be a set back for all mankind. I think we need to realize that our economic climate has changed and we need to create more information based jobs. We have become overly efficient in the primary, secondary and now tertiary sectors of the economy. So much so that our economy can no longer distribute income. If we are going to progress as a species we must understand that capital is not limited to physical resources, but is also created though information and knowledge. Some people would argue that capitalism cannot solve most of the world most pressing problems such as world hunger. But I would argue that we have not seen capitalism or free markets in their full capacity. Derivatives will change our economic systems in such a way that is entirely unprecedented. I cannot say for sure how far reaching this technology will be, but I at least know in my heart that it will change the world for the better.


Offline MolonLabe

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 04:03:41 PM »
I have read the thread on truthcoin before. The views of some individuals is that PM's must be binary...

I was more interested in your response to:

Quote
I personally am using the term 'prediction market' to refer to an institution for trading special shares, which have a final value purposefully connected to the outcome of an event.
..
I feel strongly that BitShares would not create PMs, so defined...This isn't to say an alternative institution wouldn't have value, wouldn't aggregate information via trades, or wouldn't operate in a similar way (however, you cannot claim that BitShares will do these things "because it is a PM").

Specifically relating to your:
The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already.

I regret not trimming it down but I assumed my meaning would be clear (always dangerous).

In light of this clarification, do you now agree that BitSharesX is NOT a prediction market (making that "empirically established proof" you mentioned now non-supportive of your argument  for "yes"). From your later paragraphs you seem to be arguing that they are in fact different. Recall that the original question was "Will bitUSD track well?"

clout

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 06:54:23 PM »
I have read the thread on truthcoin before. The views of some individuals is that PM's must be binary...

I was more interested in your response to:

Quote
I personally am using the term 'prediction market' to refer to an institution for trading special shares, which have a final value purposefully connected to the outcome of an event.
..
I feel strongly that BitShares would not create PMs, so defined...This isn't to say an alternative institution wouldn't have value, wouldn't aggregate information via trades, or wouldn't operate in a similar way (however, you cannot claim that BitShares will do these things "because it is a PM").

Specifically relating to your:
The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already.

I regret not trimming it down but I assumed my meaning would be clear (always dangerous).

In light of this clarification, do you now agree that BitSharesX is NOT a prediction market (making that "empirically established proof" you mentioned now non-supportive of your argument  for "yes"). From your later paragraphs you seem to be arguing that they are in fact different. Recall that the original question was "Will bitUSD track well?"

No bitsharesX uses a prediction market or information market. The two terms are interchangeable. What else would you use to describe the market that bitshares uses? Is the price of a bitAsset not a prediction on the price of a real asset in the immediate future? Do traditional financial markets not incorporate future prediction and speculation into the price of traded assets? You can argue whether or not a bitshares is a traditional prediction market, but such a discussion misses the point. All the theory behind the bitshares platform is empirically proven, but bitshares is unprecedented because none of this has ever been implemented on a blockchain.

Offline BldSwtTrs

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 08:01:10 PM »
I agree that BitsharesX is not striclty speaking a prediction market.

I think it can be more accuratly defined like a decentralized bucket shop.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 03:20:02 PM by BldSwtTrs »

Offline amatoB

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 05:58:36 AM »
Of course not. Wheres the fun in that? The use of prediction markets to get accurate, decentralized consensus has been proven empirically already. Its just a matter of putting it on a blockchain and using the information provided from it as means of decision making and operation for whatever DAC might use this consensus technology. If the later phases of bitshares xt that incorporate bitassets does not work properly at least TaPos is a better alternative to PoW than other network consensus mechanisms out there. The price of btx will also reflect the increased security of the network that is created at a much lower cost relative to PoW.

I agree with Clout. I would put significant financial stake on it being a success and have. That is why I'm here.

Do I think it could fail? Theoretically. But I believe in my own intellectual capabilities, and the intellectual capabilities of Dan, Stan and the other developers who are some of the smartest individuals in the cryptocurrency community.

Why do I believe that? I read the source code, I've debated with them, and in some cases have been proven wrong by them.

So far their judgement at least on the matters at hand have been on point. Additionally I think that they don't like losing money, which is the right attitude to have for this.

That being said it could fail. If it fails I believe Dan would reset and try again. That is what the test is about, to perfect it so that it's stable by the time we start taking it seriously.


Well, there's no question that the folks working on this are extremely smart. I'm sure that they can completely take care of the coding and technical aspects. However, all the smarts in the world are of little use if the underlying economics are not sound. The problem is that Bitshares X is not really a traditional prediction market in the sense of providing well-defined payoffs tied to verifiable events that are independent of the state of the prediction market itself. Instead, the payoffs to a holder of bitUSD depend on what other investors in BTS and bitUSD believe, what they believe that other investors will believe later, and so on. This opens the door to the possibility of price "bubbles" that can take bitUSD away for some time from the fundamental USD value it's supposed to be tracking.

Don't get me wrong--this is all in the spirit of constructive criticism. I personally would love to see and Bitshares X succeed. But rather than just let the chips fall where they may and hope that bitUSD tracks USD closely, why not think about ways to reduce the unknown (and possibly high) odds of failure from this experiment? It seems important at this early stage to think broadly and creatively about what can be done to improve the odds of successful tracking. What could be useful, I think, is some scheme or mechanism that provides at least a minimum amount of "arbitrage" or linkage between bitUSD and actual USD. For example, even a low-probability threat or promise of paying off bitUSD in terms of USD under certain future conditions could go quite a ways towards anchoring people around the focal point of bitUSD-USD parity. Are there creative ways to design margin calls or interest/dividend payments to achieve anchoring? Perhaps external price feeds would be useful here. Or, maybe if participants could be led to believe there is some chance that future merchants or third parties will accept bitUSD in place of USD, that could also help enforce parity, leading to more robust tracking. I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on this...

clout

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 02:35:54 PM »

Well, there's no question that the folks working on this are extremely smart. I'm sure that they can completely take care of the coding and technical aspects. However, all the smarts in the world are of little use if the underlying economics are not sound. The problem is that Bitshares X is not really a traditional prediction market in the sense of providing well-defined payoffs tied to verifiable events that are independent of the state of the prediction market itself. Instead, the payoffs to a holder of bitUSD depend on what other investors in BTS and bitUSD believe, what they believe that other investors will believe later, and so on. This opens the door to the possibility of price "bubbles" that can take bitUSD away for some time from the fundamental USD value it's supposed to be tracking.


I have to respectfully disagree with you. All the economics are sound and pretty simple in fact. If anything is tricky it would have to be the technical aspects of everything. I don't understand why people are so convinced that bitUSD will not track USD. I have not read any economic reasons for why this would not work. I have only read conjecture. The notion of a price bubble within bitshares that does not exist outside of bitshares is economically illogical. People will track the real world price of bts to usd with their trades of bitusd or they will lose money. There is every incentive for peoples trades on the derivative exchange to reflect those on the real exchanges and every disincentive for peoples trades on the derivative exchange to stray from those on the real exchanges. I encourage you to do more research on the economics behind prediction markets. It is easy to take a cursory analysis of prediction markets and conclude that bitshares is not one. In reality there has never been a need for a prediction market of this sort, but that is not to say that it isnt consistent with the game theory of prediction and other financial markets.

Also price feeds are irrelevant. The point of this project is decentralized trust and consensus.

Offline MolonLabe

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 02:39:33 PM »
... bitsharesX uses a prediction market or information market. The two terms are interchangeable.

Prediction Market = Information Market
but Information Market != BitSharesX != New York Stock Exchange

Is the price of a bitAsset not a prediction on the price of a real asset in the immediate future?

No, not necessarily. If the price of milk is falling, I might wait for a cheaper price or I might just buy it to get out of the store. If anything, it would be a prediction on the future price of a virtual, not real, asset. BitGold is not Gold.

Do traditional financial markets not incorporate future prediction and speculation into the price of traded assets?

They do, but traditional financial markets are not prediction markets as they are currently defined by users / owners / academics. If you claim that anything that "incorporates future prediction and speculation into the price of traded assets" is a prediction market, then you are claiming that many humans are prediction markets. That's clearly not what people mean when they say "Prediction Market".

You can argue whether or not a bitshares is a traditional prediction market, but such a discussion misses the point.

It clearly does not. Your earlier comments are unambiguously interpreted as the following:

Question: "Will bitUSD track well?"
Premise 1: Prediction Markets do 'track well'.
Assumption 1: BitUSD is a Prediction Market
Conclusion:  BitUSD will track well.

I don't know how you can say that a challenge to Assumption 1 misses the point. It almost IS the point.

All the theory behind the bitshares platform is empirically proven...

Can you provide any example of this proof?

Offline MolonLabe

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 02:42:05 PM »
I agree that BitsharesX is not striclty speaking a prediction market.

I think it can be more accuratly defined like a decentralized bucket shop.

I like this definition. Perhaps we even say "headless bucket shop", as the shop owner would enforce the bets, whereas in BitSharesX it is completely endogenous.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 09:25:06 PM by MolonLabe »

Offline MolonLabe

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Re: Contingency Planning?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 02:56:28 PM »
I have not read any economic reasons for why this would not work. I have only read conjecture.

What type of statement would qualify as an "economic reason" for something in BitSharesX (to be implemented in the future) not working, that would NOT be conjecture? Surely claims both for and against BTS-tracking must both be regarded as conjecture; it hardly seems reasonable to throw away every sentence on this forum.

The notion of a price bubble within bitshares that does not exist outside of bitshares is economically illogical. People will track the real world price of bts to usd with their trades of bitusd or they will lose money. There is every incentive for peoples trades on the derivative exchange to reflect those on the real exchanges and every disincentive for peoples trades on the derivative exchange to stray from those on the real exchanges.

There are many reasons. Longs have superior optionality and benefit from market volatility at the expense of shorts. BitUSD is fragile. Are you following the manipulation thread? https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=3130.90

...but that is not to say that it isnt consistent with the game theory of prediction and other financial markets.
True, saying "there's no need" is not to say that "there's no consistency". However, in this case there (for independent reasons) isn't consistency. In a prediction market, I can buy for 40 cents and sell for a dollar (if I am correct) at a known point in time, no matter what the other traders do. I can ignore their opinions/trades/manipulation-attempts completely. That is one difference among many.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 09:26:18 PM by MolonLabe »

 

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