All the fine old swindles

I enjoy watching the bitcoin idiots “rediscover” and fall for all the old scams. A bitcoin thingy called Solana made a big deal of keeping perfectly accurate time “on the chain”, which is obviously necessary because obviously there are no other clocks in the world. Just like grasshoppers are the only living things that can fly. The computer says it, I believe it, that settles it. Math is the only law.

From Molly White’s wonderful aggregator:

The Solana blockchain clock drifted about 30 minutes behind real-world time on May 26, as a result of slower-than-usual slot times. Solana’s status page read that “this has no impact on performance or network operations”, though The Block noted that this time drift could result in smaller staking payouts.

Blockchain timekeeping is a selling point of Solana, which talks up its “proof of history” algorithm in a blog post where Solana Labs co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko says, “our clocks never drift”.

Note especially smaller staking payouts. I have no idea what staking payouts are, but presumably they’re the only way for suckers to get a return from whatever Solana pretends to do.

Off-standard clocks were a common feature of the more ingenious scams in earlier eras. Example 1. Example 2. The sucker thinks he’s hearing real-time race or game results, but the scammer already knows the results and delays all the clocks and watches visible to the sucker. This trick faded out in the computer era when everyone had direct access to real standard time. Now it’s back, thanks to the crazy ‘private world’ of bitcoin.

Our clocks never drift, so if you’re seeing a different time on some other clock, your other clock must be wrong! Math wins every time!

Polistra and Happystar, remembering that Nature is full of accurate clocks, are especially disgusted by this reliance on fake clocks supplied by obvious fraudsters. Centuries of painstaking work by astrologers and astronomers pinned down the rhythm of the universe. Now we’re letting the algorithm set the “only” clock, just as we let the algorithm jumble up time altogether.