News: Nvidia blockchain, new US crypto tax rules, the cryptoruble returns, Bitcoin vs Islamic law, advertising on the blockchain, the Ripple pump

  • Just after AMD goes full blockchain — it’s hit the news that the license agreement for Nvidia’s graphics card driver software explicitly says you can’t run the cheaper consumer GeForce gamer cards in a datacentre … except for doing blockchain stuff:

    No Datacenter Deployment. The SOFTWARE is not licensed for datacenter deployment, except that blockchain processing in a datacenter is permitted.

    (Though this only just hit the news, it’s been in place since at least mid-December.)

    For real work, Nvidia want you to buy their Quadro (professional graphics) or Tesla (scientific computing) cards. This came about because the consumer card drivers’ double-precision maths had been crippled, but it turns out that deep neural network processing runs fine on lesser precision — so researchers and companies have been using the cheaper cards. Of course, “blockchain” in the business buzzword sense is remarkably ill-defined …

  • A lot of crypto traders are seriously worried about the new US tax rules on crypto trading, where each separate trade is a taxable event. This guide from Reddit /r/ethtrader may be helpful. But talk to a tax accountant.
  • This is a fairly typical article on the application of some fantasy version of “blockchain” to the Internet advertising industry — but the useful thing it does is reveal the vision that the blockchain salesmen are selling the advertisers: displacing Google and Facebook. Which, desirable as it might be, blockchains will never achieve. Even as the advertising ICO tokens do the security-like thing they were created to do. You’d think people who sell dreams would be less susceptible to them …
  • There’s a ridiculous pump of Ripple the Token, XRP, in progress. Utter a word out of turn about either on Twitter and the astroturfing minions will descend upon you, detailing how Ripple’s bank adoption means XRP is great and you’re just jealous you didn’t buy in before MOON.

    You will be unsurprised to hear — I am reliably told — that Ripple the Company are backpedaling so fast about the XRP token they’ll break the world record for reverse circumnavigation by bicycle — even as the pumpers try just as hard to make out that you should buy XRP because of Ripple the Crappy Replacement For SWIFT That Doesn’t Use XRP At All.

    The main lesson of the XRP pump is: the “cryptocurrency” is centrally-controlled and offers none of the nigh-magickal benefits decentralised blockchains are supposed to — but nobody cares because the only thing that matters here is “number go up.”



  • My book, a self-published text at the crossover point between popular economics and true crime, had four thousand, one hundred and sixty-nine people pay actual money for a copy between 24 July and 31 December 2017. Good Lord. That breaks down as 2,799 Kindle, 170 Smashwords, 84 Draft2Digital and 1,116 paperbacks. That’s mostly word-of-mouth too, I didn’t spend money on promotion and got very few bites on review copies. I have no advice for self-publishing success other than “start your book six months before there’s sudden massive media interest in the topic” — but check my forthcoming [citation needed] book, How To Pick Six Numbers Correctly In The Lottery And Be A Genius Like Me!



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