What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 16, 2014 6:15 pm UTC

MahekMody wrote:I wrote an alternative answer to the same question. I know I am not going to be believed but I wrote all of this before I read this thread. Surprized and pleased to see other people also thinking along the same lines. Although I am a regular reader of the comic, what-if and blag I am hardly on the forums. I wrote a blog about it but since I am new I can not post about it without being marked as Spam. Not wanting to post unnecessarily just to take my post count over 5, here is the text (for the one without images)-


As the xkcd article suggests 2 undecillion dollars is comfortably higher by magnitudes to the sum total of the money that exists in the world. In modern times though, the sum total of money in the world is not such a clear concept. This is because day by day the world is becoming a more credit based system than a cash based one. When you have a cash based system the sum total of money in the world is a finite. While things are more flexible when it comes to credit at this diagram illustrates -

In case the Au Bon Pain Store did lose this lawsuit to Anton Purisima - in a cash based system Au Bon Pain simply could not pay. The best they can do is surrender all the cash that they have and everything that they own to Anton. Anton would be rich but not be the undecillionaire which he hopes to be with this lawsuit. However, in the credit based system there is still hope for Anton. All he has to do is convince a bank to loan 2 undecillion dollars to Au Bon Pain so that Au Bon Pain can pay him.

Why would a bank sanction such a sub-prime loan? For a bank to make such a loan it must see a profit. The bank takes on risk when it gives out a loan and they like to bundle in the cost associated with this risk into the loan agreement via the interest rate or an insurance. To offset the risk associated with a 2 undecillion dollar loan there needs to be a massive payment as an incentive to make the loan. There is not enough money to make this payment but the bank knows that soon there will be one person who will be rich enough to pay. If you are not with me - we are talking about Anton here. Anton is not going to be rich if the bank does not make a loan and the bank is not going to make a loan if Anton is not going to make the bank rich.

They strike a deal. Bank will make the loan to Au Bon Pain (with everything Au Bon Pain owns as mortgage), the court will send the money to Anton. In return Anton must become a 'hyper-premiere' customer of the bank for which the bank will charge a modest one time fee of 1.9 undecillion dollars. Anton will agree because it's better than nothing and still he will have more money than he can possibly spend.

This leaves 2 ridiculously rich entities in the world - this bank and Anton. They can buy anything and still have almost the same money left over. Anton can do what he pleases with the money. The bank has an agenda though, it still has to make the other 0.1 undecillion dollars to balance its sheets. It made a loan against everything that Au Bon Pain has which is worthless compared to the loaned amount. It must raise the value of everything Au Bon Pain owns in that case, it has more than all the money in the world to do this.

If Au Bon Pain owned all its stores then the bank can buy property around the stores at ridiculously high pricing driving the price of the property up. Not only has the price of the property gone up but the neighbours of the store are now suddenly ridiculously rich and Au Bon Pain can start charging astronomical prices because people don't know where to spend.

People will spend because everyone suddenly has a lot of money and the value of this money is falling fast. As more people have access to preposterous sums of money other people want some of it as well and prices will go up. Moreover, the government will be collecting huge taxes on all these transactions so the government which means that the government will get spending and the inflation will spread like wild fire. The bank and Anton will have a gala time for a short while when they can buy anything they want. If they are fast enough, they can be the 'king / corporate entity of the world'.

Something similar has actually happened before. This is the inflation chart of the Zimbabwean Dollar (If that looks steep then look again and find the logarithmic scale) -

Then the Zimbabwean dollar was introduced it was arbitrarily valued greater than the American Dollar, which was highly optimistic. The Zimbabwean economy was not in good shape and the exchange rate immediately went into freefall. People lost complete faith in the currency and dumped all the Zimbabwean dollars they had, making the fall worse. What eventually happened was that the country moved to using foreign currencies and cell phone talk-time as trading units.

So Anton and the bank will plunge the value of the American Dollar and the country will be forced to move to a foreign currency like the British Pound? Hold on. The banks would have thought of this, they will quickly realise that the USD will fall and will invest in a foreign currency. They will buy out all of it and take the foreign currency down with the dollar. This will go on until a new steady state is reached and the money new crazy sum of money is significantly distributed. The world will temporarily move to barter before a new cash based (or limited credit) economy is set up.

The people who were opportunistic during this turmoil will become the new rich and the people who went on a tech detox vacation in the middle of a desert will be the new poor. There will be a complete redistribution reshuffling of the world’s wealth. There is a good chance Anton and the bank will end up on the rich side of the new world. If you were a bank would you sanction this loan? I bet some bank would.

Side-note: The bank as per law will have to maintain minimum reserve, but it has to do that only at the end of the day. It can do this in two ways - act so fast that all the turmoil will happen in one day and they own enough barter at the end of it or they can also meet the minimum reserve with a deposit at the central bank which it can make the central bank panic and look for reserve.


The version with images is on my blog on the website - mahekmody (with a com suffix)
Let me know what you think.

I feel like the value of the USD would plummet to nothing as soon as such a scheme was proposed in the first place. Who would sell 1 GBP to the bank for even a trillion dollars knowing that in another hour that trillion is going to be worthless?
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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby Mikeski » Fri May 16, 2014 11:35 pm UTC

And what is magical about being "a bank" that lets you create money (orders of magnitude more than exists in the world) out of thin air? Why can't I say "I have 2 gobzillion dollars" and give you 1 gobzillion dollars and we both go buy the entire solar system and crash the dollar? Because neither of us has, or can generate, 2 gobzillion dollars.

The bank doesn't have 2 undecillion dollars to loan to anyone. In cash, or any other form. By definition, since there isn't that much any/everywhere. Even if they "know" they'll get 1.9 undecillion laundered "dollars" back immediately. Attempting to loan it out won't fool anyone. And thus won't crash the dollar. (The government can create money, so they could do this, which is why hyperinflation can happen. See Zimbabwe. See also batcrap-crazy "mint a few US$1 trillion commemorative coins to zero the debt" ideas.)

For this to "work", you'd have to assume nobody anywhere ever looks for collateral or proof-of-income when getting a loan or selling something. "Oh, you've got 17.6 squillion in the bank? How'd that happen? Bank just gave it to you? Sweet! They're A Bank, so they must be able to back that sum up; we won't even have to check! So, sure, we'll sell you Germany, then! Can we interest you in Poland, as well?" That's silly.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby SuperSteve » Sun May 18, 2014 5:30 am UTC

whiskeytown79 wrote:I think he is off by a factor of 1,000 in the calculation of the value of all the humans on the planet. There are about 7 billion of us, and at $8.7 million a pop, we'd be worth a total of $60 quadrillion, not $60 trillion.

I wonder if this changes the answer for whether we are worth more than the oil.


It depends on whether we are using U.S. (million = 10^6, billion = 10^9, trillion = 10^12, quadrillion = 10^15) or British (million = 10^6, billion = 10^12, trillion = 10^18, quadrillion = 10^24) meanings.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun May 18, 2014 3:37 pm UTC

No one in the US, and few people these days in the UK, actually use the British system.

You can be certain Randall isn't because there aren't 7x1012 people on Earth and never have been.
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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby Spectrum » Sun May 18, 2014 7:59 pm UTC

Locathah wrote:I'm almost certain that by weight, the most valuable thing that's ever been sold on the open market is a human egg cell.

Price: Up to $10,000


Hmmm...
The world population is 7,234,000.
About 3,617,000 of them are women.
About 1 million oocytes per ovary.
About $10,000 per oocyte.
Giving a totoal oocyte-value of 36,170,000,000,000,000, which is only
$36,170 trillion.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby Spectrum » Sun May 18, 2014 8:08 pm UTC

What if Au Bon Pain lost this lawsuit and had to pay the plaintiff $2 undecillion?


Au Bon Pan would be saddled with a debt that it could not pay, and would likely go to into bankruptcy. The damages would be an ordinary debt, and so be at the same seniority with other general creditors, but junior to the taxman, wages owed, secured creditors, etc. The more senior creditors would be paid in full, and the remainder of the company would be divided proportionally among the general creditors. Since the plaintiff is owed such an incredible amount of money, the other general creditors would receive nothing. Thus, new shares would be issued, and the plaintiff would get essentially all of them. The current shareholders would receive nothing.

There is an Au Bon Pain corporation, but it's not publicly held, so I can't tell what its market capitalization is, which would be approximately the actual value of what the plaintiff would receive.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby origimbo » Mon May 19, 2014 4:25 am UTC

Spectrum wrote:Hmmm...
The world population is 7,234,000.
About 3,617,000 of them are women.
About 1 million oocytes per ovary.
About $10,000 per oocyte.
Giving a totoal oocyte-value of 36,170,000,000,000,000, which is only
$36,170 trillion.


On the down side, I think these figures are wrong by a factor of 1000. On the up side, it doesn't really matter.

Slightly scary to think that the world's population is only 1000x that of Hong Kong though. Or that in terms of orders of magnitudes, New York, London, Tokyo or Shanghai are closer to "the world" than a rural village.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ps.02 » Tue May 20, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:And what is magical about being "a bank" that lets you create money (orders of magnitude more than exists in the world) out of thin air?

Banks can and do literally create money. Of course nobody would be able to get away with creating anything with that many zeroes, you're right about that, but here's how it works:

You deposit $100 in a checking account. You still have that money, you have full use of it. It affects your credit rating, you know you can withdraw it any time you need it, you earn (probably not much) interest on it. It's still your money. But now the bank can turn around and loan most of it out to someone else. They can't loan it all out, there are legal limits - I believe for checking account deposits they have to keep 20% in reserve, or something like that - but they'll loan out the other $80. They have an incentive to loan out as much as they are legally allowed, since they make money on interest. So now there's an additional $80 in the economy. It's not the same $80 that came from your $100, because you still have full control of your $100, it really is new money created by the bank. The reason this works is that the banking system knows that, statistically speaking, you won't come back for more than 20% of your money before they have time to react and gather more reserves. It keeps going, of course. The $80 loan caused somebody somewhere to get paid for something, and that somebody more than likely deposited most of it in another bank account. So 80% of that (up to $64) can be loaned out yet again, creating more money from thin air.

This is why the "money supply" is considerably more complicated than "how much coin and currency is in circulation."

(Also, the 20% reserve is one of several reasons the $2 undecillion loan would not fly. It's not like a bank could make that loan without someone noticing and seeing how obvious it is that they could not have made their reserve.)

If there were a run on the bank, i.e., everybody coming in to pull out all their money at the same time, the bank could collapse. But before that happens, banks will borrow from other banks. If the panic is widespread so that no other banks have any money to lend, they will borrow from the Federal Reserve, the so-called "lender of last resort." (And the Fed never runs out of money because they can create money more or less without restrictions.) And if the bank collapses anyway (probably for business reasons other than a panic), you will still get your money back because the bank's deposits are insured by the FDIC.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby Mikeski » Tue May 20, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

^ I know all that. Consider my reply to the previous poster as a financial analog to the square-cube law. Just because I can walk doesn't mean Godzilla can. Banks can't create enough money for one man to crash the US$.

(And they still haven't "literally" created money, as your bank run comment shows. The $80 can't literally be in both places at once... it's lent out to others, or it's withdrawn by me. As soon as both happen at once, there's trouble.)

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 20, 2014 9:14 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:^ I know all that. Consider my reply to the previous poster as a financial analog to the square-cube law. Just because I can walk doesn't mean Godzilla can. Banks can't create enough money for one man to crash the US$.

(And they still haven't "literally" created money, as your bank run comment shows. The $80 can't literally be in both places at once... it's lent out to others, or it's withdrawn by me. As soon as both happen at once, there's trouble.)


That was true when money was backed by gold or silver, but anymore, bank money is just electronic 1's and 0's that can be temporarily converted into paper for you to carry around in your wallet. And the 1's and 0's can magically get bigger. It's not like the bank cares what the serial number of your dollar is so you can track a specific dollar.
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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ps.02 » Tue May 20, 2014 9:43 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Banks can't create enough money for one man to crash the US$.

Acknowledged.
(And they still haven't "literally" created money, as your bank run comment shows. The $80 can't literally be in both places at once...

It's a matter of definition, really. Money doesn't "literally" exist at all, not really. It's a massive shared bookkeeping effort, that enough governments and people find useful to support. Which measure of the money supply is "real"? Kind of arbitrary. Even with the gold standard, money as a proxy for the economic value of goods and services was not a fixed thing. If gold mining outpaced economic growth, you could still have inflation, and vice versa.

Back to "what makes banks so special that they can create money out of thin air": the system in place (the Fed, the FDIC, tons of regulations) in which your deposit is considered just as liquid as cash. (I understand by most accounting it is considered cash.) If you loan money to a friend, you can't get it back on a moment's notice, and you know you can't. Likewise if you invest your money in some enterprise. But if you deposit it and let the banking system do the lending, you can, and you know you can. Hence your economic behavior will be as though you still have your $100, and whoever received the $80 loan will exhibit economic behavior as though they have $80. So as far as the economy is concerned, there's $180. This is a very different result from putting your savings under a mattress.

If checking accounts were more like CDs, i.e., not very liquid, then the effect of new money being created would be smaller. This is also the difference between a checking and a savings account. The latter has a lower reserve requirement, and you're not actually guaranteed immediate access to your money.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby DavesNotHere » Wed May 21, 2014 12:59 am UTC

Do the 280 billion billion Ted Olsons remind anyone of this guy:

Image

?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ps.02 » Wed May 21, 2014 3:03 am UTC

DavesNotHere wrote:Do the 280 billion billion Ted Olsons remind anyone of this guy

...And to think, there's like 300 billion times as many Teds as Gavs.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby stoppedcaring » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:15 pm UTC

If Au Bon Pain did pay in pennies, the copper content of them all would, collectively, be about 1.3e30 cubic meters. Stretched into wire at the present thickness of integrated circuits, the wire would stretch for 7.13e44 meters...an electrical impulse traveling at the speed of light would take five billion billion times the age of the universe to pass through the entire thing. Packing the wire into a gigantic integrated circuit would give it the volume of a thousand of our suns. If we assume that the average CPU occupies a space of 1cm x 1cm by 2mm, then that's the equivalent of 8.9e36 CPUs; if each run at an average of 3 GHz, that's a cumulative computing power of 2.7e46 Hz.

Anyone know how fast you could mine $2 Undecillion worth of bitcoin with a rig that size?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby brenok » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:45 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:If Au Bon Pain did pay in pennies, the copper content of them all would, collectively, be about 1.3e30 cubic meters. Stretched into wire at the present thickness of integrated circuits, the wire would stretch for 7.13e44 meters...an electrical impulse traveling at the speed of light would take five billion billion times the age of the universe to pass through the entire thing. Packing the wire into a gigantic integrated circuit would give it the volume of a thousand of our suns. If we assume that the average CPU occupies a space of 1cm x 1cm by 2mm, then that's the equivalent of 8.9e36 CPUs; if each run at an average of 3 GHz, that's a cumulative computing power of 2.7e46 Hz.

Anyone know how fast you could mine $2 Undecillion worth of bitcoin with a rig that size?

Never, there's a limited amount of bitcoin that can exist. It could probably take all that exists, though.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:30 pm UTC

brenok wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:If Au Bon Pain did pay in pennies, the copper content of them all would, collectively, be about 1.3e30 cubic meters. Stretched into wire at the present thickness of integrated circuits, the wire would stretch for 7.13e44 meters...an electrical impulse traveling at the speed of light would take five billion billion times the age of the universe to pass through the entire thing. Packing the wire into a gigantic integrated circuit would give it the volume of a thousand of our suns. If we assume that the average CPU occupies a space of 1cm x 1cm by 2mm, then that's the equivalent of 8.9e36 CPUs; if each run at an average of 3 GHz, that's a cumulative computing power of 2.7e46 Hz.

Anyone know how fast you could mine $2 Undecillion worth of bitcoin with a rig that size?

Never, there's a limited amount of bitcoin that can exist. It could probably take all that exists, though.

Come come, don't limit your imagination thus!

BHG would tell us to use current mining rates and extrapolate them forward apart from bitcoin limits.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ManaUser » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

Hey guys, I finally figured out how we can pay him. An IP address must be worth at least a buck, right? So there's enough IPv6 addresses to pay him more than 170 times. And it's not like anybody was using them anyway.
Last edited by ManaUser on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby PeteP » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:22 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:
brenok wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:If Au Bon Pain did pay in pennies, the copper content of them all would, collectively, be about 1.3e30 cubic meters. Stretched into wire at the present thickness of integrated circuits, the wire would stretch for 7.13e44 meters...an electrical impulse traveling at the speed of light would take five billion billion times the age of the universe to pass through the entire thing. Packing the wire into a gigantic integrated circuit would give it the volume of a thousand of our suns. If we assume that the average CPU occupies a space of 1cm x 1cm by 2mm, then that's the equivalent of 8.9e36 CPUs; if each run at an average of 3 GHz, that's a cumulative computing power of 2.7e46 Hz.

Anyone know how fast you could mine $2 Undecillion worth of bitcoin with a rig that size?

Never, there's a limited amount of bitcoin that can exist. It could probably take all that exists, though.

Come come, don't limit your imagination thus!

BHG would tell us to use current mining rates and extrapolate them forward apart from bitcoin limits.

The bitcoin difficulty readjusts every 2016 blocks. Though you would get these blocks very fast. I suppose gradually increasing the computation power you use would work/ limiting the output rate.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ManaUser » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:44 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:Come come, don't limit your imagination thus!

BHG would tell us to use current mining rates and extrapolate them forward apart from bitcoin limits.

The bitcoin difficulty readjusts every 2016 blocks. Though you would get these blocks very fast. I suppose gradually increasing the computation power you use would work/ limiting the output rate.

Nah, actually it's simple. As long as you control 51% of the mining power you can give yourself as many coins as you want. You might have some difficulty spending them, but they would none the less be recorded in the longest (and thus most official) block chain.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby stoppedcaring » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:55 pm UTC

So, at this particular moment in time, how many bitcoins can you mine per unit time per GHz?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ScienceTiger » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:48 pm UTC

What happened if u tried to pay it off in antimatter? how much antimatter would you need?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby ManaUser » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:42 am UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:So, at this particular moment in time, how many bitcoins can you mine per unit time per GHz?

None.

At least if you mean GHz on a CPU, or even a GPU. Bitcoin mining is now totally dominated specialized hardware (ASICs). As you can see here, the difficulty has escalated to a crazy extent in just the last year.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:11 am UTC

ScienceTiger wrote:What happened if u tried to pay it off in antimatter? how much antimatter would you need?


Wikipedia says $62.5 trillion per gram of antihydrogen, but that figure is from 1999, and although the technology has improved since then the price probably hasn't changed much, due to the small demand. OTOH, this page from University of Alaska-Fairbanks physicist claims that the price could be brought down to $5 billion per gram.

But using the $62.5 trillion per gram figure, Google Calculator says
$2e+36 / ($62.5 trillion per gram) = 3.2 × 10^19 kilograms
By way of comparison, that's roughly the mass of a granite sphere of radius 140 km; most asteroids are less massive than that. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_no ... st_by_mass for details.

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby FLHerne » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:25 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:
DavesNotHere wrote:Do the 280 billion billion Ted Olsons remind anyone of this guy

...And to think, there's like 300 billion times as many Teds as Gavs.

So he makes up 99.7% of the human population of the galaxy in the 31st century, but only 3% of the total for all sentient species. Even that 3%, however, makes humans the most numerous sentient species - beating the F'Sherl'Ganni by a factor of 6 or so - and requires about 3000 inhabitable star systems. :D

Not counting Andromeda of course. It's much bigger, but I don't think there are numbers?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:So, at this particular moment in time, how many bitcoins can you mine per unit time per GHz?

None.

At least if you mean GHz on a CPU, or even a GPU. Bitcoin mining is now totally dominated specialized hardware (ASICs). As you can see here, the difficulty has escalated to a crazy extent in just the last year.

Well, what's the estimated circuitry weight of a top-of-the-line ASIC built for bitcoin mining, and how long (on average) does it take to mine one?

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Re: What-If 0096: "$2 Undecillion Lawsuit"

Postby SuperSteve » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:02 pm UTC

Spectrum wrote:
Locathah wrote:I'm almost certain that by weight, the most valuable thing that's ever been sold on the open market is a human egg cell.

Price: Up to $10,000


Hmmm...
The world population is 7,234,000.
About 3,617,000 of them are women.
About 1 million oocytes per ovary.
About $10,000 per oocyte.
Giving a totoal oocyte-value of 36,170,000,000,000,000, which is only
$36,170 trillion.


There are approximately 2000 times as many ovaries as calculated above, but the number of dollars is about right.

The world population is much greater than 7,234,000. New York City alone has roughly 7,234,000 residents. The world population is approximately 1000 times that high.

Also, most women have two ovaries.

On the other hand, you can't harvest 1 million oocytes per ovary. Even with fertility drugs, you can only get a few at a time. Let's say you can get 30 per woman per year, and 1000 from when she becoomes old enough to consent legally to the procedure until menopause.
3,617,000,000 women x 1000 usable eggs per woman x $10,000 per egg = $36,170,000,000,000,000.

So, by coincidence the estimate for number of usable eggs is on the right order of magnitude.


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