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(Current Affairs)   Cryptocurrencies are all basically self-assembling Ponzi schemes   (currentaffairs.org) divider line
    More: Scary, Ponzi scheme, Money, Charles Ponzi, Fraud, Madoff investment scandal, Bernard Madoff, Confidence trick, Pyramid scheme  
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942 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 May 2022 at 6:21 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-17 5:19:36 PM  
Gosh. You don't say. Man, am I surprised.
 
2022-05-17 5:24:03 PM  
It's not really even a currency. It's not even cigarettes in prison. It's just a famous thing that you buy that gives you status.
 
2022-05-17 5:42:24 PM  

covfefe: It's not really even a currency. It's not even cigarettes in prison. It's just a famous thing that you buy that gives you status.


I wrote a post-apocalyptic short story where the currency was soft toilet paper. The local warlord held power because he had acquired a monopoly on remaining stocks. Then a guy devises a method of converting book pages into sheets of soft toilet paper. The warlord promptly shuts him down - not because it threatens his monopoly, but because he understands that if they are ever going to rebuild society, destroying books for toilet paper is a very bad idea.
 
2022-05-17 5:42:57 PM  
"All your apes are fudged" is going to be my standard response to crypto nonsense in future.
 
2022-05-17 6:25:25 PM  

HugeMistake: covfefe: It's not really even a currency. It's not even cigarettes in prison. It's just a famous thing that you buy that gives you status.

I wrote a post-apocalyptic short story where the currency was soft toilet paper. The local warlord held power because he had acquired a monopoly on remaining stocks. Then a guy devises a method of converting book pages into sheets of soft toilet paper. The warlord promptly shuts him down - not because it threatens his monopoly, but because he understands that if they are ever going to rebuild society, destroying books for toilet paper is a very bad idea.


...which is what crypto's doing, basically. Massive amounts of energy, hardware, and other resources are being consumed to generate blockchain entries, entries which have no intrinsic value whatsoever. We're aren't destroying books for toilet paper - we're destroying forests for MtG cards.
 
2022-05-17 6:29:54 PM  
nah man, its the FUTURE

see, your money is no good. you need to buy my money that's better
 
2022-05-17 6:44:23 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-17 6:55:35 PM  
That article is an excellent rundown of the fatal flaws in crypto.
 
2022-05-17 7:08:03 PM  
It's not even a Ponzi scheme.
A Ponzi scheme falsely promises the sucker something of value, and the fraud consists of offering that same value to multiple people.
Crypto is more of a "send your dollar now" scheme - it offers the sucker nothing actually, except FOMO.
 
2022-05-17 7:18:29 PM  
That was a very interesting read, thank you subby!
 
2022-05-17 7:47:42 PM  
Some of them do serve a purpose. Time will tell.
 
2022-05-17 7:52:21 PM  

FormlessOne: we're destroying forests for MtG cards.


"Magic the Gathering" cards themselves have intrinsic value to collectors and can be "rare" also being paper they fall apart, the online version? That applies. 

What we are essentially doing is setting the atmosphere on fire to do a math problem.
 
2022-05-17 7:59:11 PM  

haterade: Some of them do serve a purpose. Time will tell.


Yeah, but slot machines and lottery tickets fulfill the same purpose.
 
2022-05-17 8:22:24 PM  

phimuskapsi: FormlessOne: we're destroying forests for MtG cards.

"Magic the Gathering" cards themselves have intrinsic value to collectors and can be "rare" also being paper they fall apart, the online version? That applies. 

What we are essentially doing is setting the atmosphere on fire to do a math problem.


I'll go with that. :) Works better.
 
2022-05-17 8:26:11 PM  
Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

I mean how about green lighting something the least bit interesting like this:
https://fortune.com/2022/05/16/el-salvador-president-nayib-bukele-davos-bitcoin-crypto/
 
2022-05-17 8:28:45 PM  

phimuskapsi: FormlessOne: we're destroying forests for MtG cards.

"Magic the Gathering" cards themselves have intrinsic value to collectors and can be "rare" also being paper they fall apart, the online version? That applies. 

What we are essentially doing is setting the atmosphere on fire to do a math problem.


That, and if you enjoy the game these is a value as game cards.  But from what I can tell, that axolotl-pokémon game that was talked about in The Line Goes Up was boring as hell and I suspect any union dues were going to someone who didn't spend all day grinding away at a stupid game.
 
2022-05-17 8:31:25 PM  
I am that gadfly who does not object to the same stuff others do. People wave their hands around and say that the devil is in the details. It certainly is.

From the start, I have not liked that it is unregulated and unsupervised. Few people ever thought that was an issue. They argued about fiat money and privacy and all that. My beef is that no one person or group of people had any idea of what was going on with Bitcoin from the beginning. At least in 2008, people could make phone calls to keep things from melting down.

More and more, it became clear that investors were increasingly naive, overly optimistic, unsophisticated... and herded into buying what the wise guys were selling.

It was the same stuff I was saying about RobinHood, really. While everyone was talking about how BITCOIN IS DIFFERENT! I was complaining that all of the stock craziness had, in general, become a free for all. Stocks, funds, bitcoin, real estate, NFTs, EVs, used cars.... it just all gets pumped up, with no regulation or enforcement of standards, audited information, etc.

I do not think there is anything wrong with bitcoin per se, just like there is nothing wrong with real estate. But it is being horribly abused and used for fraud, and should probably be priced at about zero because, unlike real estate, it is not particularly useful for anything. Why not sell the digits of PI?

All of these markets will crash because none of them is adequately regulated. That has been true, oh. Since the 90s? It is high stakes gambling, but without the careful regulation and accounting that you would get in Las Vegas.
 
2022-05-17 8:32:08 PM  

covfefe: It's not really even a currency. It's not even cigarettes in prison. It's just a famous thing that you buy that gives you status.


Some buy it to be cool, others try to get rich off it. You have to keep an eye on both, but for different reasons.
 
2022-05-17 8:37:43 PM  
I'm curious if the inflated GPU specs, well beyond what you need to play games, is because they've been a popular means to mine coin. The market is there to suck up as many high spec cards as are turned over in the development cycles. The fact they sell above MSRP indicates that they are willing to pay more for more.
 
2022-05-17 8:39:14 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

I mean how about green lighting something the least bit interesting like this:
https://fortune.com/2022/05/16/el-salvador-president-nayib-bukele-davos-bitcoin-crypto/


Bukele is a wannabe petty dictator. A far-right populist that somehow also likes to play footsie with Salvadoran drug gangs. Small wonder he loves crypto.
 
2022-05-17 8:40:13 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

I mean how about green lighting something the least bit interesting like this:
https://fortune.com/2022/05/16/el-salvador-president-nayib-bukele-davos-bitcoin-crypto/


People losing billions is newsworthy. Who knew?

You can find news articles on people who get stabbed and go to the hospital and get sewn up the same day. You can find news articles on people who eat pop rocks and drink Pepsi.
This day in history. Cromulent dictionary words.

There are far more trivial things filling the news, but crypto exchanges seem to be failing regularly.

Crypto has relied strongly on positive media to fuel FOMO and boost the pyramid. Elon Musk too, frankly. This is the part where all that comes crashing down as people figure out what is really going on. It is the tragedy part of the cycle, and it deserves to be documented.

And you know, these people who lose this money... They literally have no place to turn. Venting to the media is all they have.

Make them whole, and they will shut up. I promise.

Are you going to do that?
 
2022-05-17 8:40:57 PM  

Glorious Golden Ass: phimuskapsi: FormlessOne: we're destroying forests for MtG cards.

"Magic the Gathering" cards themselves have intrinsic value to collectors and can be "rare" also being paper they fall apart, the online version? That applies. 

What we are essentially doing is setting the atmosphere on fire to do a math problem.

That, and if you enjoy the game these is a value as game cards.  But from what I can tell, that axolotl-pokémon game that was talked about in The Line Goes Up was boring as hell and I suspect any union dues were going to someone who didn't spend all day grinding away at a stupid game.


I enjoy Magic, I still play it every once and a while, but rarely in person.
 
2022-05-17 8:43:16 PM  

GregInIndy: Bukele is a wannabe petty dictator. A far-right populist that somehow also likes to play footsie with Salvadoran drug gangs. Small wonder he loves crypto.


He's not the best dude in the world, and bears most of the hallmarks of a banana dictator, but he isn't really cozying up to gangs.  Kind of the opposite actually.

https://english.elpais.com/international/2022-04-07/el-salvador-bukele-launches-totalitarian-crusade-against-gangs.html
 
2022-05-17 8:43:32 PM  

GregInIndy: That article is an excellent rundown of the fatal flaws in crypto.


Agree. At first I was going to snark on the use of DIAF in the preview (old reference, but I liked it), then I read TFA. Dude is smart af and mildly amusing. Would read again. Would definitely party with dude.

The biggest one is "this incentivizes green power." Which it does in the same way that a whole bunch of random shootings would incentivize bulletproof vests.

Bitcoin burns that much of the world's electricity to be able to process somewhere between three to seven transactions per second across the entire world.
 
2022-05-17 8:45:20 PM  

phimuskapsi: FormlessOne: we're destroying forests for MtG cards.

"Magic the Gathering" cards themselves have intrinsic value to collectors and can be "rare" also being paper they fall apart, the online version? That applies. 

What we are essentially doing is setting the atmosphere on fire to do a math problem.


Can you eat MtG cards? Build shelter with them? Are they a means of transportation? Can they be used as weapons? Of course not. So, they have zero intrinsic value, regardless of what their collectors say.  The same applies to precious metals used for currency.
 
2022-05-17 8:46:02 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

I mean how about green lighting something the least bit interesting like this:
https://fortune.com/2022/05/16/el-salvador-president-nayib-bukele-davos-bitcoin-crypto/


That is one of the largest geopolitical items of the year, given it's enormous impacts for a global reshuffling.

Even if only a handful make the leap in the next 12-24 months, let's just say 5 out of the 44 do, that puts us up to 7 countries. Which makes #8, #9, #10....ect so much easier to join the network. Each addition makes it easier for the next one to join. Honestly, this is moving faster that even I had guessed it would. I recommend going to the Bitcoin Beach twitter. It is insane to see photos of central bankers being taught how to use the LN and wallets ect.

/hold on to your butts
 
2022-05-17 8:47:55 PM  
Remember, banks are your friends and only want what's best for you.
 
2022-05-17 8:50:21 PM  

Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.


That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.
 
2022-05-17 8:51:59 PM  

2fardownthread: Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

People losing billions is newsworthy. Who knew?


People are losing money all over.  Crypto has been somewhat correlated with tech stocks for years now.   Most tech stocks are down a similar percentage as bitcoin in the last 6 months.  Some like Netflix are down even more than major cryptos.

The narrative of a big crypto crash is more of a tech and banking crash.  Probably followed by a real estate a retail crash.  Then Energy.  2008 is happening all over again, but a few sectors at a time.
 
2022-05-17 8:54:59 PM  

GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.


Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.
 
2022-05-17 9:02:21 PM  

Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.

Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.


Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?
 
2022-05-17 9:08:28 PM  

GregInIndy: Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.

Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.

Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


Cryptocurrency has become a religion to these people.  The points made by the man in the article are completely irrefutable, but that doesn't matter to a true believer.

The true believer will go down with the sinking ship.
 
2022-05-17 9:17:59 PM  

GregInIndy: Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


Since most of his talking points are the same BS that some farkers spew all the time, I don't really want to.  I've pointed out the bullshiat in a million other fark threads and I've tired of it.  I mostly only showed up to point out that a daily bitcoin hit piece has gotten boring at best.
But I will say that the following is easily shown as incorrect."three to seven transactions per second across the entire world."(Complete BS ignoring layer 2 solutions and transaction batching, bitcoin can do Visa like numbers and speeds  with those)."The big ones are drug dealing, child sexual abuse material, and ransoms." (Bitcoin is used for crime at a rate far below the USD.  With all the transactions open, bitcoin is not a good instrument for crime.https://www.forbes.com/sites/haileylennon/2021/01/19/the-false-narrative-of-bitcoins-role-in-illicit-activity/amp/ )."cost of a transaction. "(Hasn't really been high in year (for bitcoin at least).  Cost is usually well under $2, which is a lot for a retail purchase, but cheap compared to a banking transfer fee.   Layer 2's make it under a penny and a few seconds. ).

He has some valid points about Tether, but then I don't use tether, preferring USDC as it is better audited/regulated.
 
2022-05-17 9:18:51 PM  

Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


Sorry, fark mangled my whitespace and formatting somehow.
 
2022-05-17 9:20:58 PM  
mudesi:

Yeah, I just had a wall of words for our friend up north and decided against it.
 
2022-05-17 9:22:28 PM  

GregInIndy: Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


Is this your first LB experience? He prays at the altar of crypto.

Spermbot: Can you eat MtG cards? Build shelter with them? Are they a means of transportation? Can they be used as weapons? Of course not. So, they have zero intrinsic value, regardless of what their collectors say.  The same applies to precious metals used for currency.


Intrinsic doesn't always mean essential, it can also mean that it naturally has something - in this case value. As it is necessary to play a game, and contains art, and has scarcity, there is value to it. More valuable cards tend to be ones that are also extremely powerful - just not usable in a lot of rule sets. Like books, they gain value over time because the survival aspect of the card is tied to it. There are only so many First Edition books, just like there are only so many first edition Magic cards. There is also an emotional aspect for many, usually nostalgia.

In a way, a similar argument can be applied to crypto, but that makes it a commodity, not a currency and that's what the evangelists refuse to acknowledge. Crypto is essentially a digital bearer bond, and bearer bonds have gone the way of the dodo for a reason, all you have to do is possess the wallet and key to open it to claim the contents. Bearer bonds by the way, went away for the same reason crypto appeared, easy to funnel tons of money all over the place with criminal purposes or tax avoidance. That's the future of crypto, either eliminating the decentralized/anonymized part of the design or death by regulation.

Oh, and if bitcoin didn't exist, neither would ransomware. There's a deep thought for you. The two are directly tied to one another.
 
2022-05-17 9:28:37 PM  

Lord Bear: (Bitcoin is used for crime at a rate far below the USD.  With all the transactions open, bitcoin is not a good instrument for crime


Well, gee, I guess that $10 billion of criminal funds is just nothing then (From your link)

Also, you have no idea what is criminal or not, and limiting it to BC is ludicrous because there are hundreds of 'privacy coins' where no one know what is being bought and or sold. Additionally, while BC transactions are traced, if you are doing currency exchanges, like from one coin to another - there is a hand off there and they aren't necessarily linked to your account but the 'houses' that do the transaction. Essentially you can go from the privacy coins to BC, for example and there would be no link to anyone. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/crypto-currencies-criminals/criminals-getting-smarter-in-use-of-digital-currencies-to-launder-money-idUSKBN28J1IX

At least 13% of all criminal proceeds in bitcoin passed through privacy wallets - which make it harder to track cryptocurrency transactions - in 2020, up from 2% in 2019, according to a study by the digital currency forensics firm.
 
2022-05-17 9:31:10 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.


Oh yay, you're back.
 
2022-05-17 9:37:50 PM  

GregInIndy: Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.

Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.

Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


I'll give you a couuple for free:

- The article does not even mention proof-of-stake blockchains when discussing power usage.

- The stablecoin section discusses UST and "the other major stablecoin" USDT as if those were the only two in existence. No mention of USDC (which was larger than pre-crash UST) or DAI, both of which survived the "meltdown" just fine.
 
2022-05-17 9:44:10 PM  
[obvious]
 
2022-05-17 9:46:32 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

I mean how about green lighting something the least bit interesting like this:
https://fortune.com/2022/05/16/el-salvador-president-nayib-bukele-davos-bitcoin-crypto/


The president of El Salvador being an idiot isn't the great news you think it is.
 
2022-05-17 9:50:16 PM  

Meat's dream: Remember, banks are your friends and only want what's best for you.


One could make the same statement about the people that run crypto exchanges.
 
2022-05-17 9:53:54 PM  

austerity101: Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Oh yay, you're back.


Well, at least we still have one crypto shill to mock.
Penis_Yes seems to have taken a break.
 
2022-05-17 10:01:46 PM  

Lord Bear: Oh yay, the daily 'we hate crypto' article.

Is some mod getting paid to greenlight these or something?  This one doesn't even have anything interesting to say.  It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.


So... how much are you down this month? Still hodling?

Also, Forbes lets anybody contribute to Forbes.com.
Anybody.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-17 10:03:41 PM  

wildcardjack: I'm curious if the inflated GPU specs, well beyond what you need to play games, is because they've been a popular means to mine coin. The market is there to suck up as many high spec cards as are turned over in the development cycles. The fact they sell above MSRP indicates that they are willing to pay more for more.


There are no inflated GPU specs, and I don't know where this line originated. As it stands, there is no GPU on the market that can play a recent triple-A title at 4k/240 on full ultra settings with RT, which is the current "attainable state of the art" in monitors. Actual state of the art is 8k/60 but moving to 8k/140 quickly, and there isn't a single GPU that can even think about displaying that. They can come close with some DLSS fudging, but even a 3090 will not hit a stable 60fps in any modern title at 8k.

Now, granted, you don't need8k/140 at Ultra to enjoy a game, but there is a real use case for GPU specs as they relate to gaming.
 
2022-05-17 10:29:30 PM  

GregInIndy: Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.

Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.

Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?


The counter argument is that none of that matters.

That's the simple reality.

It's like a nutritionist or physician declaring that sugary food isn't as healthy as fruits and vegetables. And then concluding that candy is a scam that won't last.

It's like a physicist debunking the Bible or an astronaut explaining why Flat Earth doesn't matter. Or a shoe expert explaining that Nike is built exactly the same as $5 knock-offs.

Crypto is part cult, part gambling, part 'sticking it to the man's, part 'brand' that certain people want to be a part of.

I've heard, and made, the arguments this guy is making. I agree with him. Crypto sucks for everything I've done with it (except ordering drugs off the internet). And taken in isolation, I agree with the technical merits presented.

But that doesn't mean that crypto will fail or that BTC won't hit $250k. It doesn't mean that some other crypto implementation won't come along and change the game either.
 
2022-05-17 10:30:27 PM  

Ivo Shandor: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: GregInIndy: Lord Bear: It's just some random guy that hates crypto with the same disingenuous talking points as any random Farker.

That "random guy" is a PhD computer science professor at UC Berkeley who's entire career is in network security & internet attacks and has been studying cryptocurrencies as long as they've existed. He knows far more about it than you or I.

Hate to break it to you, but I have similar credentials (save the lecturer part).  An 'Expert' is a pretty farking loose term in the media these days.

Well then, do you have any actual counter-argument to his points? Or are you just angry that little Toto's pulling the curtain back on the Wizard?

I'll give you a couuple for free:

- The article does not even mention proof-of-stake blockchains when discussing power usage.

- The stablecoin section discusses UST and "the other major stablecoin" USDT as if those were the only two in existence. No mention of USDC (which was larger than pre-crash UST) or DAI, both of which survived the "meltdown" just fine.


ITT: Cryptobros living in mom's basement "debate" a UC Berkeley Computer Engineering professor who has published peer reviewed papers on crypto and understands the technology on a line by line basis.
 
2022-05-17 10:31:30 PM  
Sounds a lot like everyone holding the Rouble.

That lost over half of its value recently too ...
 
2022-05-17 10:38:06 PM  

Lusiphur: As it stands, there is no GPU on the market that can play a recent triple-A title at 4k/240 on full ultra settings with RT


True, but 4K/120 is achievable with the 3090/3090Ti's. Not many people have 240hz monitors, in fact very few do. They are a niche item.
 
2022-05-17 10:45:39 PM  

phimuskapsi: Lusiphur: As it stands, there is no GPU on the market that can play a recent triple-A title at 4k/240 on full ultra settings with RT

True, but 4K/120 is achievable with the 3090/3090Ti's. Not many people have 240hz monitors, in fact very few do. They are a niche item.


Not to mention 4k/240hz isn't even achievable on the HDMI2.1 or DP1.4a
specs right now.
 
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