TMF: Valuation by Guessing

Just so everyone understands how much a gwei is compared to a dollar. So that would be.00002567 US dollars for every transaction according to Marks chart.


Thanks - but isn’t Chainlink mostly a “picks and shovels” kind of outfit? Helping build tools that are useful for other people’s projects on the blockchain, but not actually something that is being used to accomplish anything else?

I guess I’m asking what the biggest project is that people are using the blockchain for, rather than helping to build the blockchain.


Even I having never done any crypto knows that this number isn’t plausible or possible.

According an online tracker (I randomly found with google), transaction fees vary from US$0.65 to US$2.68 right now (it’s a real-time tracker, so it updates every few seconds).

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Thanks for this topic.
@MarkR @buynholdisdead @albaby1 @captainccs @ptheland @Leap1 and any others.
I don’t own nor do I plan any cryptocurrency or crypto exchange activities, but I foresee such… before I meet the reaper. Ie within 30 years?

These topics help me to vicariously, slowly inculcate an understanding of the concepts.


Mark, I used your link but even if we go by your new link it is still cheaper than using Western Union.


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Thanks for the good laugh! Of course what we say is our opinion! :face_with_monocle:

BTW, I don’t have an issue with blockchain technology, my issue is with stuff playing money. At least government fiat money is legal tender and less likely to go bankrupt. The one real redeeming feature of the US dollar is that it is the world’s reserve currency and the US government is willing to kill to keep it that way. Ask Colonel Gaddafi. Ask Saddam Hussein.

The Captain


Google swift and chainlink. As far as picks and shovels, that is what it is all about right now. You have to build the infrastructure first before you can run the train across the tracks. That is what is happening right now, all the new infrastructure is being built and then the innovative business’s will build upon it. That is why I call Ethereum a platform. Also if you look into it a lot of the business’s are trialing projects on these platforms. I suspect it is because they are worried about being disrupted. Can you see Western Union be disrupted by this technology?


I have the same question as @albaby1. What is the biggest/most significant project that people are actually using blockchain for? Not a hypothetical, an actual project?

Re: your article. It is possible that Swift will be gone/remade in five years due to CBDCs replacing conventional transactions as your article suggests. But as we’ve discussed before, you don’t need blockchain for CBDCs, and central banks don’t seem interested in using blockchain for that.

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But no innovative businesses yet? It’s all just building the platforms today? No major projects out there other than the ones that are building this infrastructure that might be useful for something some day?

Not really.

It’s not like there aren’t a whole bunch of digital alternatives to Western Union already (see below link). The barriers to taking Western Union’s business don’t lie in the “sending money from one Western Union facility to another” part of the process. If you already have money in a digital format (ie. you have a bank or a credit card or an account linked to your phone), it’s trivial to send it around the world for a modest fee already.

It’s getting money into that process (at the sending end) and out of the process (at the receiving end) that give Western Union an advantage - they provide a way that you can walk into a store with cash (or a debit card or credit card) in one place and walk out of a store with cash in another. Plus, they have a name brand - Coke isn’t Coke just only because it’s got better soda, after all. That’s why you use Western Union as your example of an international remittance service, rather than one of the many digital apps that compete with them. If it were easy to disintermediate Western Union just with a digital process for sending money, it would have happened long ago by now.

It’s the “last mile” service that’s key. I have dollars, and need to get pounds to a friend in London. There’s tons of ways to get wealth transferred from the U.S. to the UK. The charges are mostly for the services at the end - the exchange rate charges of a few percentage points for exchanging currency. But that happens with crypto as well - you have to go through a third party to convert your dollars to Bitcoin (or whatever), and then the receiving person has to go through a third party to convert the Bitcoin (or whatever) to pounds. No reason to think that’s going to be especially cheaper than the existing services that are out there.


All of this talk of new technology platforms and new paradigms reminds me of:

then COBOL…
then Distributed…
then Object-Oriented…
then Client/Server…
then SQL…
then Java…
then Web Apps…
then Cloud…

I’m sure I skipped a bunch of steps in between. Just another passing tech fad. I wonder what’s next?

==> no longer jumping on new technology

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What does Western Union have to do with it??? I’ve done tens of thousands of transactions over the last 5 decades or so … and have never once used Western Union for anything! I used to pay to print checks, but for the last 20 years they’ve been free or close to free. I think I paid a wire fee ($5 or 10) once many years ago. And I did pay for a cashiers check for the downpayment on my house ($2.50 for a $50,000 cashiers check), but as I recall, the credit union refunded that fee after I happened to tell them that it was for a downpayment on my first (and only) house.

Do most people use western union regularly??? Nowadays we have Zelle, and paypal, and venmo, I think that’s what the kids use nowadays. Paypal is weird, they ask if I want to pay a fee for “instant” transfer, and I always choose regular (free) transfer, and the money still shows up at the other end rather quickly.

Yes, definitely. If you can transfer $500 from somewhere in the USA (laborer) to Mexico (family of laborer) for a $1 fee instead of a WU $29.90 fee, then WU will shortly be out of business.

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Wow albaby1 I just gave you a use case and you totally ignored it. I even gave you a link to the article on chainlink.

Ahh so now you understand the use case? It’s not a modest fee. I gave a link to that also. There are many people who would like to get rid of the fee altogether. Their used to be a “modest” fee for buying and selling stocks also. Now that is gone and you can buy and sell them for free. Of course I am sure you could find someone who would do it for you, for a modest fee.


Except I already gave you a link that proved it is cheaper and Mark also gave a link.


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There you go.

I think I remember the Captain saying he had to transfer money from Portugal to Venezuela and the fees were outrageous @captainccs


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That NerdWallet link is weird.

First, it doesn’t mention ETH or crypto at all. Isn’t that unusual for a technology that’s been around for almost a decade? Or are they still building it, and if so, what does it take to finish it? It’s just code, right? No need to have a physical bank at the other end, is there?

Second, it doesn’t mention WalMart, which has fees that can be lower than 1% to anywhere in the world.

And the NerdWallet article is from two months ago, so it’s not like it’s an old link sitting around. Strange.

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Yes it was but Albaby1 was the one who gave that link so he is going to have to defend it.

Chainlink has been around since 2017 and Ethereum has been around since 2015. Ethereum has been building it’s platform and chainlink is built upon it.

Crowdstrike has been around since 2011 and is still building out their platform.


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What was the use case? You’ve cited that one, offhand SWIFT comment a few times - but as has been pointed out, replacing SWIFT doesn’t necessarily mean using blockchain, much less the Ethereum platform. And if you posted a link to an article on Chainlink, I can’t find it - can you repost?

What link?

I’m not comparing gas fees to Western Union. I was making two points. First was that there are lots of alternative ways of sending money internationally that are cheaper than Western Union (as noted in the Nerdwallet article), but Western Union still exists. That’s because WU both has an established brand and because it provides end-to-end services that purely electronic transfer methods do not. If you have physical cash in your hand and want to put physical cash in the hands of another person, you can use WU to do that.

Second, gas fees don’t cover the entire transaction. That’s the point. It’s easy to send ETH from one wallet to another - it’s harder to send money from one country to another. To do that, I have to set up an account and use an exchange to convert my fiat dollars (for example) into ETH, have my counterparty set up a wallet to receive the ETH, and then have that counterparty also use an exchange to convert the ETH into their fiat. The gas fees are only part of the cost - you’ll have to pay one or both of the exchanges to handle the fiat transfers, to say nothing of the work you need to go through to set that up. Plus you have to deal with double exchange rate risk - ETH is vastly more volatile than any fiat currency, and you have to make the exchange twice (fiat to ETH then ETH to fiat).

Compare that to just using any other electronic mobile payments system (not Western Union), where fees are modest and neither party has to bear an exchange rate risk for the transaction. It’s easy to see why using crypto for international payments hasn’t dislodged other mobile payments systems (or WU), despite being technically feasible for a pretty long time now. They’re just too inconvenient, and offer only minor (if any) savings compared to other mobile electronic payments apps.


Yuga Labs is possibly the very biggest. You need to scroll down on your mouse wheel to see this site. It is an odd site design.

Musk of course has just ploughed some $44 billion into what will be a web3 platform. His costs are going to rise.

I think they have a real business though … with something close to $2B in revenue! Does Chainlink also have revenue? I can’t find much about it. Is it a public company?

Forbes publishes a yearly Blockchain 50 of billion dollar companies testing or using blockchain. While this list includes companies like FTX (oops) there are also a number of financial institutions, particularly in China. Forbes Blockchain 50 2022

What isn’t mentioned is whether the noted improvements in efficiency couldn’t have been achieved using more “conventional” software. In any case, JP Morgan seems to be leading the blockchain chain charge with their Onyx fintech, which was recently used for cross border transactions. This is occurring even though Jamie Diamond is a noted crypto skeptic.

On a more cautionary note, the Australia stock exchange (ASX) just gave up on a multiyear effort to incorporate blockchain, incurring a $168M USD loss. Australian Securities Exchange Cancels Blockchain-Based Clearing System at $168M Cost

In fact, a number of blockchain initiatives have failed recently:

But as has now become customary across the trade digitisation space, progress has not been as fast as its backers would have liked. TradeLens has become another trade digitisation initiative that lost the race to achieve success before its funding dried up.*

In recent months, the exuberance of technology-driven transformation in trade has given way to frustration and disappointment, snowballing into what trade digitisation wonks are increasingly referring to as the “fintech winter”.*

In June,, another IBM-backed blockchain platform, was forced to shut down after being unable to secure further investment to continue as a going concern. HSBC called time on Serai, its wholly owned subsidiary that operated as an online B2B platform for SME trade, after the venture failed to make money, and the Marco Polo Network is also said to have shelved its blockchain-based payment commitment.*

With an ever-growing roll call of failed projects weighing on the minds of investors, it is unlikely that TradeLens will be the last platform to close its doors as shareholders – often with interests in multiple initiatives – now seek to rationalise their investments.*

Coincidentally Paul Krugman just put out a NYTimes editorial that essentially called blockchain a solution in search of a problem. I didn’t link it since behind a paywall.