Author Topic: Contingency Planning?  (Read 4732 times)

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Offline Bitshiz

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I thought everything is based around BTS. BTS would be used as collateral, therefore dictating how much you could buy or short. If colateral is 2x requirement and BTS is $100, you could buy 100 bitUSD or short 50 bitUSD. If BTS goes up, long bitUSD lose and if BTS goes down short bitUSD wins.so everything is pegged to the dollar price of BTS not individual assets. This way it makes BTS more valuable. What am i missing here?
That the [Bitcoin / USD] price might change, but the [BitBTC / BitUSD] price might not change (because, for example, BitUSD decoupled from USD), which would render the BitSharesX exchange useless, and produce a mass selloff where all BitAssets become the same near-zero value.

I am still not seeing it. BTS is the anchor. The "standard". Right? Everything has to breakdown to BTS' intrinsic value which unfortunately will always expressed in terms of dollars (at least for the near future). I guess I'm not understanding what you mean by decoupling.

clout

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Welp, there is clearly no reason to argue this anymore. The only thing that can assuage any of our concerns is that we actually test the network.

Offline MolonLabe

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Long response made short. Think of the big picture. There is no incentive to manipulating any of the markets for bitassets because the capital used for trades is wholly comprised of your stake in the network. If one were to manipulate a market it would easily be spotted and the cost of this attack would be a sell off of bts on real exchanges. Any gains that could be made are lost from the declining price of bts.
The attack I proposed in the manipulation thread (days ago) actually REQUIRES a sell off of BTS on real exchanges. Normal users who wish to evade losses have a direct incentive to sell their own BTS, perpetuating the attack and guaranteeing profits to the attacker.

An attacker may manipulate the price in the short term, but in the long term they will lose money.
I don't see how. Recall that we are considering an attack case where BitUSD decouples, so the attacker has plenty of time to cash out.

once the attack was known a new variation will come out to address it.
If the problem is with the chain-protocol, it is entirely possible that no variation can possibly address the problem. What if I started 'LifeChain', which supposedly grants biological immortality, then I claimed someone was 'attacking' it and preventing it from working. There's no magical way of fixing it if it never worked to begin with.

There is always the contingency of a trusted price feed, but that would be a last-resort.   
How would this work, exactly? One single broadcast of centrally compiled price indices?

Bitshares supposed "competitors" stand more to gain from investing in bitshares than attempting to take it down.
That is only where each individual is an equal owner in BitShares ("Communism"). Anyone with a higher proportional ownership in a rival system (including the NYSE) has an incentive to eliminate competitors and capture the network effects.

I thought everything is based around BTS. BTS would be used as collateral, therefore dictating how much you could buy or short. If colateral is 2x requirement and BTS is $100, you could buy 100 bitUSD or short 50 bitUSD. If BTS goes up, long bitUSD lose and if BTS goes down short bitUSD wins.so everything is pegged to the dollar price of BTS not individual assets. This way it makes BTS more valuable. What am i missing here?
That the [Bitcoin / USD] price might change, but the [BitBTC / BitUSD] price might not change (because, for example, BitUSD decoupled from USD), which would render the BitSharesX exchange useless, and produce a mass selloff where all BitAssets become the same near-zero value.

Offline Bitshiz

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I thought everything is based around BTS. BTS would be used as collateral, therefore dictating how much you could buy or short. If colateral is 2x requirement and BTS is $100, you could buy 100 bitUSD or short 50 bitUSD. If BTS goes up, long bitUSD lose and if BTS goes down short bitUSD wins.so everything is pegged to the dollar price of BTS not individual assets. This way it makes BTS more valuable. What am i missing here?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 06:23:13 pm by Bitshiz »

clout

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Contrary to common belief when we all work together everyone wins, and when we work against each other (even though some may disproportionately profit) we all lose.

Are you familiar with the Tragedy of the Commons? There are many many situations in which individuals rationally choose actions that harm everybody, because they'd be worse off choosing actions that help everybody. I've lately become convinced that there's a significant tragedy of the commons within BitShares X in which rational XTS owners who believe in the USD/BitUSD peg will execute trades that actually bet against the peg. In about two weeks I should have time to write this up formally.

And furthermore, who is "we all?" Everybody that invested in BitShares? If that's all you're talking about, then you're leaving out a very significant portion of the population: BitShares' well-funded competitors (if there are any?). I agree that malicious attacks from within BitShares are unlikely because they would be too costly. But if such attacks could be possible, and if someone on the outside wants to take BitShares down, they'll be able to do it. If you're a competitor who stands to make billions and BitShares is in your way, would an attack that cost $5m really seem like all that much?

Are you familiar with the comedy of the commons?

I don't believe that bitshares has competitors. Everyone in the next gen space is doing completely different things and no one is sure of what will work best. Each project only stands to make billions on the success of their own project not due to the failing of another. I think the open source movement is transitioning our economy from being competition based to collaboration based. Bitshares supposed "competitors" stand more to gain from investing in bitshares than attempting to take it down.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 06:31:41 pm by clout »

Offline bytemaster

Contrary to common belief when we all work together everyone wins, and when we work against each other (even though some may disproportionately profit) we all lose.

Are you familiar with the Tragedy of the Commons? There are many many situations in which individuals rationally choose actions that harm everybody, because they'd be worse off choosing actions that help everybody. I've lately become convinced that there's a significant tragedy of the commons within BitShares X in which rational XTS owners who believe in the USD/BitUSD peg will execute trades that actually bet against the peg. In about two weeks I should have time to write this up formally.

And furthermore, who is "we all?" Everybody that invested in BitShares? If that's all you're talking about, then you're leaving out a very significant portion of the population: BitShares' well-funded competitors (if there are any?). I agree that malicious attacks from within BitShares are unlikely because they would be too costly. But if such attacks could be possible, and if someone on the outside wants to take BitShares down, they'll be able to do it. If you're a competitor who stands to make billions and BitShares is in your way, would an attack that cost $5m really seem like all that much?

An attacker may manipulate the price in the short term, but in the long term they will lose money.   They may take down one chain for $5 million, but guess what... once the attack was known a new variation will come out to address it.   It would be like the record labels taking out napster... 1000 more alternatives pop up.   

There is always the contingency of a trusted price feed, but that would be a last-resort.   
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Offline biophil

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Contrary to common belief when we all work together everyone wins, and when we work against each other (even though some may disproportionately profit) we all lose.

Are you familiar with the Tragedy of the Commons? There are many many situations in which individuals rationally choose actions that harm everybody, because they'd be worse off choosing actions that help everybody. I've lately become convinced that there's a significant tragedy of the commons within BitShares X in which rational XTS owners who believe in the USD/BitUSD peg will execute trades that actually bet against the peg. In about two weeks I should have time to write this up formally.

And furthermore, who is "we all?" Everybody that invested in BitShares? If that's all you're talking about, then you're leaving out a very significant portion of the population: BitShares' well-funded competitors (if there are any?). I agree that malicious attacks from within BitShares are unlikely because they would be too costly. But if such attacks could be possible, and if someone on the outside wants to take BitShares down, they'll be able to do it. If you're a competitor who stands to make billions and BitShares is in your way, would an attack that cost $5m really seem like all that much?
Support our research efforts to improve BitAsset price-pegging! Vote for worker 1.14.204 "201907-uccs-research-project."

clout

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Long response made short. Think of the big picture. There is no incentive to manipulating any of the markets for bitassets because the capital used for trades is wholly comprised of your stake in the network. If one were to manipulate a market it would easily be spotted and the cost of this attack would be a sell off of bts on real exchanges. Any gains that could be made are lost from the declining price of bts. Think about the oppertunity cost of attacking the network, given the fact that if allowed to run appropriately the price of bts would appreciate to a multi billion dollar market cap. Why would you jeopardize that for a few thousand dollars or even a few million dollars, when you stand to make billions? The beautiful thing about the bitshares platform is that it rewards consensus and cooperation. Contrary to common belief when we all work together everyone wins, and when we work against each other (even though some may disproportionately profit) we all lose.

Offline MolonLabe

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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 »

Offline MolonLabe

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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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... 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?

clout

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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 amatoB

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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...

Offline BldSwtTrs

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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 »

clout

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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:

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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.