Bitcoin Exchange Receives First License in New York State ...
DealBook - The New York Times
DealBook: Stock Buybacks Draw Scrutiny - The New York Times
Bitcoin Collides With Government Concerns - cn.nytimes.com
Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player This is the second post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption. Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block. Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in… https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8
Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency
There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up. Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase. However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto. As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light. Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more. As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s). Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum fromLinda XieorVitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high. https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1 That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.
I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more. Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps. After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users? In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die
The success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/7sbwo5nh7g951/player This is the first post of ourCrypto-Poweredseries where we look at what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Today we start a new series called Crypto-Powered. This will be similar to our last series, Spreading Crypto, but now we’re exploring a new theme. At Genesis Block, we’re building a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain technology, and decentralized protocols. Yes, lots of buzzwords. What does any of it mean?How does it give us an unfair advantage? What superpowers are unlocked?What are the benefits for users? In this series, we’ll answer all of these questions. Grab some popcorn. Sit down. Put your feet up. Make yourself comfortable. Let us take you on a journey. Let us be your tour guide down the crypto rabbit hole… But hold on! Pump those brakes. Before we dive into the crypto rabbit hole, we need to establish some context. We can’t talk about the future of money unless we first understand the problems of money today. We need to understand what’s broken with legacy finance. So let’s do a quick primer on the current state of finance. That will set the stage for the rest of the series. Alright, let’s go.
Fintech & Unbundling
Over the last decade, legacy financial institutions (banks in particular) haven’t been meeting the needs of younger, more digital generations. As a result, fintech startups have emerged and effectively unbundled the consumer banking stack. Whether it was Robinhood for investing, TransferWise for cross-border payments, SoFi for student loans, Wealthfront for wealth management, or Digit for saving… these innovative upstarts all focused on a single use-case and nailed it. https://preview.redd.it/iwrpg6ek7g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=7648d28955ea4e12795826dc78cdf70d41ffaef1 While great for a period, this led to a lot of fragmentation. Users needed to split their finances across many different services and keep track of what money was where. The cognitive load for many users became overwhelming.
While many of these high-flying fintech unicorns have seen incredible success, I believe it will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. It’s a realization I’ve come to only recently. In years past, whenever I met a fintech entrepreneur, they’d always suggest that they’d never do a startup in traditional finance again. Too complex. Too expensive. Too slow. I always shrugged it off. Wimps. How hard can it be? I really didn’t believe or understand that pain until we started Genesis Block. And it wasn’t until we began integrating with some of our partners (Evolve Bank & Trust, I2C, Visa, etc) that I really started to understand. https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/vei2flrq7g951/player The rumors are true. Those fintech entrepreneurs were all right. The pain is real.
Trying to innovate in legacy finance is like running on a hamster wheel blindfolded while powerful, evil rats randomly throw explosives inside.
It feels like you are never making any progress and at any moment you can be destroyed. Luckily at Genesis Block, we’re only integrating with legacy finance at the edges — the onramps and offramps (money in, money out). We’ve worked with great partners and so far have been able to navigate the treacherous terrain.
Legacy Finance is Broken
You must be wondering why and how is it so bad. It’s all the things you’d expect… The antiquated tech stack of financial institutions. The frustrating process of working with big, bureaucratic, slow-moving organizations. The prehistoric payment systems that haven’t improved in decades (for example, ACH payments and their strange batch processing practices). The countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). The slow settlement times. Systems rife with fraud. An industry oozing with predatory practices and unethical behavior. The moth-eaten laws & regulations that are NOT innovator-friendly (mostly due to powerful Wall Street incumbents who control politicians). https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/2hdxxch38g951/player The list goes on and on. Maybe someday we can dedicate an entire series to it. It’ll be a good bedtime story.
The more familiar I become with how legacy finance works, the more convinced I am that the future of money cannot be built on that foundation.
The fintech darlings of Silicon Valley are all building on extremely shaky ground that is ripe for massive disruption. They will spend so much time looking backward (integration, compatibility, regulation) that they will have very little time to look forward (innovation, progress, disruption). They will be tangled in the quagmire of archaic tech and the tentacles of outdated regulation. I don’t believe the ultimate winners in consumer finance will come from the current cohort of fintech unicorns. And that’s because these companies are all building on the pipes of legacy finance.
The future of consumer finance belongs to those who build with blockchain technology & decentralized protocols at its core, and know how to best take it to the billions of people around the world.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. Our last series went deep on how the tech reaches and touches end-users. This new series is all about what’s under the hood — crypto & blockchain — and how that gives us an unfair advantage in the world of consumer finance.
While some fintech products are giving users the ability to buy & hold crypto (Robinhood, Revolut, Cash App), they aren’t leveraging the technology beyond that. And they most certainly aren’t building their infrastructure around it. So let’s ask the dumb VC question that some of you are thinking: what if these fintech companies or big banks just copy what we’re doing at Genesis Block? What if they add blockchain and crypto? https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/c0je9dvx8g951/player Sorry, you can’t just “add crypto” as if a pizza topping in a Doordash order. That’s not how it works. I mean, you can say you are doing that, but it’s not real. That’s just Innovation Theater. The systems behind banks and fintech are deeply integrated with legacy financial rails. Trying to retroactively add blockchain in any meaningful way would be like trying to make a 2020 Lambo with a 1910 Ford Model T engine. No matter how talented their engineers are, it just ain’t gonna happen. Not unless they burn it all down and start over. Massive risks. A classic case of Innovator’s Dilemma. Will anyone have the courage? I don’t know. I think they are much more likely to acquire someone like Genesis Block than gamble their entire business on it. But we aren’t cheap. These new, decentralized protocols are complex, fast-moving, and full of snags. Our team has been in this space for many years — we understand the security tradeoffs, the protocol nuances (we spent a lot of time actually building them), and enough self-awareness to know what we don’t know. Our team at Genesis Block can run circles around traditional banks and fintech companies. Certainly, they have large audiences and strong balance sheets — which can’t be underestimated. But when it comes to unlocking the enormous, new value to users, as long as the incumbents are building on legacy financial infrastructure, they simply cannot compete with us.
The empires created in the 21st-century world of finance will be crypto-native companies that deeply understand decentralized tech and know how best to leverage it. It will be the teams who build on “crypto rails” first, with bridges back to legacy finance second.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. In this series, we intend to lay out a convincing argument for why that’s true.
So now that the stage is set and we’ve introduced the series, I think you’re ready to start learning why blockchain technology is our superpower, our unfair advantage. You are ready to dive into that crypto rabbit hole. But first, a word of caution. Once you go in, you may never want to come out. It’s what happened to me and so many others. Once you see the potential & promise of this incredible technology, you won’t be able to ignore it. You won’t stop thinking about it. It’ll capture your imagination like few other things can. Don’t be afraid of it. Let it take you. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? A analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). [Part 2]
Part 1 It's been a bit of time since the first post during which I believe things have crystallised further as to the intentions of the three primary bitcoin variants. I was going to go on a long winded journey to try to weave together the various bits and pieces to let the reader discern from themselves but there's simply too much material that needs to be covered and the effort that it would require is not something that I can invest right now. Firstly we must define what bitcoin actually is. Many people think of bitcoin as a unit of a digital currency like a dollar in your bank but without a physical substrate. That's kind of correct as a way to explain its likeness to something many people are familiar with but instead it's a bit more nuanced than that. If we look at a wallet from 2011 that has never moved any coins, we can find that there are now multiple "bitcoins" on multiple different blockchains. This post will discuss the main three variants which are Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. In this respect many people are still hotly debating which is the REAL bitcoin variant and which bitcoins you want to be "investing" in. The genius of bitcoin was not in defining a class of non physical objects to send around. Why bitcoin was so revolutionary is that it combined cryptography, economics, law, computer science, networking, mathematics, etc. and created a protocol which was basically a rule set to be followed which creates a game of incentives that provides security to a p2p network to prevent double spends. The game theory is extremely important to understand. When a transaction is made on the bitcoin network your wallet essentially generates a string of characters which includes your public cryptographic key, a signature which is derived from the private key:pub key pair, the hash of the previous block and an address derived from a public key of the person you want to send the coins to. Because each transaction includes the hash of the previous block (a hash is something that will always generate the same 64 character string result from EXACTLY the same data inputs) the blocks are literally chained together. Bitcoin and the blockchain are thus defined in the technical white paper which accompanied the release client as a chain of digital signatures. The miners validate transactions on the network and compete with one another to detect double spends on the network. If a miner finds the correct solution to the current block (and in doing so is the one who writes all the transactions that have elapsed since the last block was found, in to the next block) says that a transaction is confirmed but then the rest of the network disagree that the transactions occurred in the order that this miner says (for double spends), then the network will reject the version of the blockchain that that miner is working on. In that respect the miners are incentivised to check each other's work and ensure the majority are working on the correct version of the chain. The miners are thus bound by the game theoretical design of NAKAMOTO CONSENSUS and the ENFORCES of the rule set. It is important to note the term ENFORCER rather than RULE CREATOR as this is defined in the white paper which is a document copyrighted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Now if we look at the three primary variants of bitcoin understanding these important defining characteristics of what the bitcoin protocol actually is we can make an argument that the variants that changed some of these defining attributes as no longer being bitcoin rather than trying to argue based off market appraisal which is essentially defining bitcoin as a social media consensus rather than a set in stone rule set. BITCOIN CORE: On first examination Bitcoin Core appears to be the incumbent bitcoin that many are being lead to believe is the "true" bitcoin and the others are knock off scams. The outward stated rationale behind the bitcoin core variant is that computational resources, bandwidth, storage are scarce and that before increasing the size of each block to allow for more transactions we should be increasing the efficiency with which the data being fed in to a block is stored. In order to achieve this one of the first suggested implementations was a process known as SegWit (segregating the witness data). This means that when you construct a bitcoin transaction, in the header of the tx, instead of the inputs being public key and a signature + Hash + address(to), the signature data is moved outside of header as this can save space within the header and allow more transactions to fill the block. More of the history of the proposal can be read about here (bearing in mind that article is published by the bitcoinmagazine which is founded by ethereum devs Vitalik and Mihai and can't necessarily be trusted to give an unbiased record of events). The idea of a segwit like solution was proposed as early as 2012 by the likes of Greg Maxwell and Luke Dash Jnr and Peter Todd in an apparent effort to "FIX" transaction malleability and enable side chains. Those familiar with the motto "problem reaction solution" may understand here that the problem being presented may not always be an authentic problem and it may actually just be necessary preparation for implementing a desired solution. The real technical arguments as to whether moving signature data outside of the transaction in the header actually invalidates the definition of bitcoin as being a chain of digital signatures is outside my realm of expertise but instead we can examine the character of the individuals and groups involved in endorsing such a solution. Greg Maxwell is a hard to know individual that has been involved with bitcoin since its very early days but in some articles he portrays himself as portrays himself as one of bitcoins harshest earliest critics. Before that he worked with Mozilla and Wikipedia and a few mentions of him can be found on some old linux sites or such. He has no entry on wikipedia other than a non hyperlinked listing as the CTO of Blockstream. Blockstream was a company founded by Greg Maxwell and Adam Back, but in business registration documents only Adam Back is listed as the business contact but registered by James Murdock as the agent. They received funding from a number of VC firms but also Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman and there are suggestions that MIT media labs and the Digital Currency Initiative. For those paying attention Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman have links to Jeffrey Epstein and his offsider Ghislaine Maxwell. Ghislaine is the daughter of publishing tycoon and fraudster Robert Maxwell (Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch, a yiddish orthodox czech). It is emerging that the Maxwells are implicated with Mossad and involved in many different psyops throughout the last decades. Greg Maxwell is verified as nullc but a few months ago was outed using sock puppets as another reddit user contrarian__ who also admits to being Jewish in one of his comments as the former. Greg has had a colourful history with his roll as a bitcoin core developer successfully ousting two of the developers put there by Satoshi (Gavin Andreson and Mike Hearn) and being referred to by Andreson as a toxic troll with counterpart Samon Mow. At this point rather than crafting the narrative around Greg, I will provide a few links for the reader to assess on their own time:
Now I could just go on dumping more and more articles but that doesn't really weave it all together. Essentially it is very well possible that the 'FIX' of bitcoin proposed with SegWit was done by those who are moral reprobates who have been rubbing shoulders money launderers and human traffickers. Gregory Maxwell was removed from wikipedia, worked with Mozilla who donated a quarter of a million to MIT media labs and had relationship with Joi Ito, the company he founded received funding from people associated with Epstein who have demonstrated their poor character and dishonesty and attempted to wage toxic wars against those early bitcoin developers who wished to scale bitcoin as per the white paper and without changing consensus rules or signature structures. The argument that BTC is bitcoin because the exchanges and the market have chosen is not necessarily a logical supposition when the vast majority of the money that has flown in to inflate the price of BTC comes from a cryptographic USD token that was created by Brock Pierce (Might Ducks child stahollywood pedo scandal Digital Entertainment Network) who attended Jeffrey Epstein's Island for conferences. The group Tether who issues the USDT has been getting nailed by the New York Attorney General office with claims of $1.4 trillion in damages from their dodgey practices. Brock Pierce has since distanced himself from Tether but Blockstream still works closely with them and they are now exploring issuing tether on the ethereum network. Tether lost it's US banking partner in early 2017 before the monstrous run up for bitcoin prices. Afterwards they alleged they had full reserves of USD however, they were never audited and were printing hundreds of millions of dollars of tether each week during peak mania which was used to buy bitcoin (which was then used as collateral to issue more tether against the bitcoin they bought at a value they inflated). Around $30m in USDT is crossing between China to Russia daily and when some of the groups also related to USDT/Tether were raided they found them in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit physical US bills. Because of all this it then becomes important to reassess the arguments that were made for the implementation of pegged sidechains, segregated witnesses and other second layer solutions. If preventing the bitcoin blockchain from bloating was the main argument for second layer solutions, what was the plan for scaling the data related to the records of transactions that occur on the second layer. You will then need to rely on less robust ways of securing the second layer than Proof Of Work but still have the same amount of data to contend with, unless there was plans all along for second layer solutions to enable records to be deleted /pruned to facilitate money laundering and violation of laws put in place to prevent banking secrecy etc. There's much more to it as well and I encourage anyone interested to go digging on their own in to this murky cesspit. Although I know very well what sort of stuff Epstein has been up to I have been out of the loop and haven't familiarised myself with everyone involved in his network that is coming to light. Stay tuned for part 3 which will be an analysis of the shit show that is the Bitcoin Cash variant...
Hello again. It's been a while. People have been emailing me about once a week or so for the last year to ask if I'm coming back to Bitcoin now that Bitcoin Cash exists. And a couple of weeks ago I was summoned on a thread called "Ask Mike Hearn Anything", but that was nothing to do with me and I was on holiday in Japan at the time. So I figured I should just answer all the different questions and answers in one place rather than keep doing it individually over email. Firstly, thanks for the kind words on this sub. I don't take part anymore but I still visit occasionally to see what people are talking about, and the people posting nice messages is a pleasant change from three years ago. Secondly, who am I? Some new Bitcoiners might not know. I am Satoshi. Just kidding. I'm not Satoshi. I was a Bitcoin developer for about five years, from 2010-2015. I was also one of the first Bitcoin users, sending my first coins in April 2009 (to SN), about 4 months after the genesis block. I worked on various things:
My main effort was an implementation of a Java library called bitcoinj. This was the engine used in the first p2p mobile wallet ("Bitcoin Wallet for Android"), and the first p2p desktop wallet that was faster to run than Bitcoin [Core] itself (MultiBit). These together were responsible for around 2.5 million user installs at a time when downloading the full block chain was becoming too slow for normal users to tolerate and the only alternative was a "bitbank" or cloud-hosted wallet. It was used in the first trustless gambling site (SatoshiDice), over 100 products and projects, and many academic research papers.
With Gavin Andresen and others I designed some upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol like Bloom filtering and BIP70.
With Matt Corrallo I implemented and demonstrated the first version of (micro)payment channels. I put together a demo of a file server that charged micropayments using a GUI called Payfile (mentioned in New Scientist here). I used to have a video of this but unfortunately it no longer seems to be on YouTube. Payment channels went on to be used in the design of the Lightning Network.
You can see a trend here - I was always interested in developing peer to peer decentralised applications that used Bitcoin. But what I'm best known for is my role in the block size debate/civil war, documented by Nathaniel Popper in the New York Times. I spent most of 2015 writing extensively about why various proposals from the small-block/Blockstream faction weren't going to work (e.g. on replace by fee, lightning network, what would occur if no hard fork happened, soft forks, scaling conferences etc). After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks. They also convinced the miners and wider community to do nothing for years, resulting in the eventual overload of the main network. I left the project at the start of 2016, documenting my reasons and what I expected to happen in my final essay on Bitcoin in which I said I considered it a failed experiment. Along with the article in the New York Times this pierced the censorship, made the wider world aware of what was going on, and thus my last gift to the community was a 20% drop in price (it soon recovered).
The last two years
Left Bitcoin ... but not decentralisation. After all that went down I started a new project called Corda. You can think of Corda as Bitcoin++, but modified for industrial use cases where a decentralised p2p database is more immediately useful than a new coin. Corda incorporates many ideas I had back when I was working on Bitcoin but couldn't implement due to lack of time, resources, because of ideological wars or because they were too technically radical for the community. So even though it's doesn't provide a new cryptocurrency out of the box, it might be interesting for the Bitcoin Cash community to study anyway. By resigning myself to Bitcoin's fate and joining R3 I could go back to the drawing board and design with a lot more freedom, creating something inspired by Bitcoin's protocol but incorporating all the experience we gained writing Bitcoin apps over the years. The most common question I'm asked is whether I'd come back and work on Bitcoin again. The obvious followup question is - come back and work on what? If you want to see some of the ideas I'd have been exploring if things had worked out differently, go read the Corda tech white paper. Here's a few of the things it might be worth asking about:
Corda's data model is a UTXO ledger, like Bitcoin. Outputs in Corda (called "states") can be arbitrary data structures instead of just coin amounts, so you don't need hacks like coloured coins anymore. You can track arbitrary fungible assets, but you can also model things like the state of a loan, deal, purchase order, crate of cargo etc.
Transactions are structured as Merkle trees.
Corda has a compound key format that can represent more flexible conditions than CHECKMULTISIG can.
Smart contracts are stateless predicates like in Bitcoin, but you can loop like in Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum we do not invent our own VM or languages.
Transactions can have files attached to them. Smart contracts in Corda are stored in attachments and referenced by hash, so large programs aren't duplicated inside every transaction.
The P2P network is encrypted.
Back in 2014 I wrote that Bitcoin needed a store and forward network, to make app dev easier, and to improve privacy. Corda doesn't have a store and forward network - Corda is a store and forward network.
It has a "flow framework" that makes structured back-and-forth conversations very easy to program. This makes protocols like payment channelss a lot quicker and easier to implement, and would have made Lighthouse much more straightforward. A big part of my goal with Corda was to simplify the act of building complicated decentralised applications, based on those Bitcoin experiences. Lighthouse took about 8 months of full time work to build, but it's pretty spartan anyway. That's because Bitcoin offers almost nothing to developers who want to build P2P apps that go beyond simple payments. Corda does.
The flow framework lets you do hard things quickly. For example, we took part in a competition called Project Ubin, the goal of which was to develop something vaguely analogous in complexity to the Lightning Network or original Ripple (decentralised net-out of debts). But we had about six weeks and one developer. We successfully did that in the time allowed. Compare that to dev time for the Lightning Network.
Corda scales a lot better than Bitcoin, even though Bitcoin could have scaled to the levels needed for large payment networks with enough work and time. It has something similar to what Ethereum calls "sharding". This is possible partly because Corda doesn't use proof of work.
It has a mechanism for signalling the equivalent of hard forks.
It provides much better privacy. Whilst it supports techniques like address randomisation, it also doesn't use global broadcast and we are working on encrypting the entire ledger using Intel SGX, such that no human has access to the raw unencrypted data and such that it's transparent to application developers (i.e. no need to design custom zero knowledge proofs)
One Reddit user lost $500,000+ USD worth of ICX tokens!
A reminder to NEVER EVER input your private keys on any bogus website & to double check website urls entered. See: https://www.reddit.com/helloicon/comments/7nt40c/how_to_get_back_my_icx_from_scammers_account/ How to protect yourself 1) Get a Ledger Nano S or Trezor ASAP, they work well with many wallets and sites like MEW and it takes less than 5 minutes to learn how to use one! Don't delay, buy one today! Here's a good tutorial on using Ledger with MyEtherwallet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RvDPQHERtc Note: It is impossible for your wallets to be hacked when using a Ledger. Brief run down of Ledger: - When you buy this unit, it gives you 24 seed words you write down on a piece of paper, these keywords should never touch your computer. If you ever lose your Ledger, you can buy a new one and restore all your wallets from these 24 seed words. The ledger protects you by never revealing your private keys. If your PC is infected, your wallets would still be fine. 2) Enable 2FA on all exchanges. 3) If you use Google Authenticator, make sure you write down your keys - not having this information means you will be locked out if you lose your phone or it gets broken. A better alternative is Authy, however make sure Devices -> Allow Multi-device is switched OFF. 4) Install Virus & Malware Scanner with Anti-key logger. A good solution is Zemana AntiLogger, this software includes both real-time scanning & anti-key logging features. All keyboard inputs are encrypted. It also gets high praises from the industry. 5) Double check all inputs. When sending tokens to a new wallet/exchange, always send a small amount to confirm if the send works before sending a large amount. 6) Don't trust anyone. Don't post your gains on social media with your real names attached (e.g. Facebook). See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/business/dealbook/phone-hack-bitcoin-virtual-currency.html
NYT demonstrates why a permission-less currency protects liberty.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/24/business/dealbook/mass-shootings-credit-cards.html?fbclid=IwAR2EJY8Hp9Otg0lU898qVNTXfSVj4vQCce8bYs4WCyVdqhvvBiuVdOewZ44 The New York Times has made one of the better arguments for Bitcoin that I've seen this year. This article openly discusses the aspects of mass shooters purchasing weapons using credit cards, and how law enforcement is advocating for intervention on the part of payment processors. Regardless of how anyone here feels about firearms, I feel we can agree that people should be free to spend their money on any amount of product provided they are not breaking the law. The result of course is a call for banks to either outright prevent purchasing firearms using credit cards (which may include debit) or report such purchases to the government or law enforcement for follow up. In either case, provided the purchaser is engaging in legal action, this would constitute a law enforcement response akin to The Minority Report. Purchase too much, and the police may be at your door asking questions. Bitcoin's power via a permission-less system guarantees that people are able to spend their money with whoever they desire without needing the permission of centralized payment processors like Visa, or the permission of banks like Chase. While the subject of firearms is certainly controversial, it is naive to believe such scrutiny would be limited in this area. If the government and the public begin holding banks responsible for every come committed made possible by their banking services, banks will readily turn over any information to avoid regulations. This is what we all fight for with our Bitcoin support. Bitcoin provides the best case for liberty when it comes to the free exchange of goods and services. We are facing down a future by which central banks will collude with government to spy on citizens and punish behavior that is perfectly legal, but only because it isn't deemed "normal". The level of freedom that Bitcoin can provide is likely more than we could possibly imagine.
It's been a month now and after filing two fraud claims and a loss prevention claims, after numerous promises of an explanation or a call back, I've decided to go public with my story in the hopes it helps T-Mobile fix their internal process. Just an FYI: I'm on the east coast USA and I've been a customer with T-Mobile for 10 years and never had any problems with them. Timeline of what happened: 8/18/17: 6:11pm PST: T-Mobile employee (or someone pretending to be) called the retail support line using a T-Mobile storeID in New Mexico inquiring about my account. no details reported to me and no changes made. 8/18/17: 6:38pm PST: Someone pretending to be a T-Mobile employee authorized a change on my sim card for my main account line using a dealer authorization code for a corporate T-Mobile store in Nevada. I'm in the EST time zone and didn't even notice my phone suddenly had no service. There was no notification sent with any kind of pin or any kind of call made to verify I wanted to allow such a change. I woke up calling 611 from a second line and asking why my iPhone 7 did not have service. They start trying to give me instruction to hard reset a BLU phone and that’s when I realized how big of a problem I was about to be in. I tried to log into my Gmail and was unable to. I could reset that password using a backup email after trying and failing a new security question they had added after a bunch of tries. I get back in to see they had reset my password to Gmail, coinbase, liqui.io, cex.io and were able to convert everything in there to ETH and send it off to their own wallets. The interesting thing is they targeted me specifically for this. They didn't touch my bank accounts or credit card accounts knowing this is not traceable. After weeks of blowing up 611 and talking to call centers all over the country. I was able to actually locate the location of these storeIDs that processed the request. I was never able to get a manager at that first store location and for their privacy I won't release the exact stores or the names of any employees names. So I file a police report and try to get a fraud detective to take up this case locally because I'm thinking wow… The retail support line! Maybe there is camera footage of these guys doing this and I'm can stop them from doing it to someone else. I spoke with the manager of the store that processed the change and he let me know that he had reported his dealer authorization code as compromised after an associate at that store was fielding a call of someone pretending to be from corporate T-mobile and he reported this that same day. It appears they are using social engineering to get names of employees and their employee ID's as well as the dealer authorization codes that allow them to validate when calling into the retail support line. I'm unable to confirm how the change was authorized once someone has this information. The thing that bothers me about this whole thing is T-Mobile would not tell me the procedure of verification to make this sim change on their retail support line, so I'm not even sure what information was given to allow this change to occur. Now I could just walk into a store and say change my sim card and see what happens to learn this process, but I'm impressed to know they will not give me the information that was exchanged to process this request. Why would someone target me? I'm active in cryptocurrency and I'm dumb enough to not use throw away names on exchange accounts and other places (by the way this is a throw away account). What did they do once they swapped my sim? They put that sim into a BLU phone, which is a cheap burner phone they used to then reset passwords with 2 factor authentication. So, once they had access to receive SMS they could easily know my Gmail account by googling my very public information (I'm a software engineer that does some freelancing). Once they had my email and phone compromised they could reset and get the authorization codes to process withdrawals on my cryptocurrency accounts. What can you do to protect yourself? Set a verbal password on your account. I also instructed them never to change anything on my account without me in the store with ID (I'm not sure if that would even help, but they said they put a note to keep the account locked down). I also said to never let the last 4 of my social be what validates that they are speaking to me. With the recent Equifax hack, I'm scared for the sheer amount of people that are going to fall victim to this. I'm thinking about publishing a website about this and to see if I can get some signatures to get this into a class action case because it seems like mobile providers are not responsible for these people gaming their internal system and I think it's time we start recording how these situations happen and perhaps see what legal remedies are available. I'm thankful I never keep all my eggs in one basket and have physical wallets for most of my holdings, but just realize that 2 factor authentication is not that safe now with the Equifax leak and you need to protect yourself from allow these hackers from wiping out your bank accounts, credit cards, and cryptocurrency. T-mobiles official response after a month of going back and forth: I spoke to several levels of T-Mobile customer support and after several weeks the first person I spoke too in their customer retention department offered me $40. I requested a manager to try to get that number increased a bit to make a 10-year customer feel a little better about this situation and it took them a week to get back to me. The lady offered me $25 dollars who was the supervisor. I asked her if she even read the notes from the last month and did she see the person she was supervising offered more than that and she apologized profusely and said she could honor that. I'm just shocked and how disconnected the support reps, retail support, and even the different call centers all seem to not have sufficient understanding of what has been told/promised to their customers. To request in writing this official response I actually have to physically mail them a letter to their customer relations department to get a statement in writing about what occurred on my account and you better believe that is going out this week. Here are some articles that ironically came days after if you're looking for more information on this: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/23/i-was-hacked/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/business/dealbook/phone-hack-bitcoin-virtual-currency.html If anyone has a similar story or wants to ask any questions, I'd love to help. If anyone has any tips on preventing this in your experience, let me know as well. I’m going to compile it all into a website to help get the word out eventually. Thanks for reading. Edit: compiling the recommendations I found helpful How to secure your gmail: https://blog.kraken.com/post/219/security-advisory-mobile-phones/ More reddit threads like this one: https://www.reddit.com/tmobile/comments/67puob/psa_all_tmobile_users/https://www.reddit.com/tmobile/comments/6tzwk0/count_me_in_as_another_tmobile_phone_numbehttps://www.reddit.com/tmobile/comments/6wydw3/techcrunch_writer_had_tmobile_sim_hacked/
Bitcoin Drama: BitFinex, one of the largest trading platforms, was hacked. Approx. $70million of user funds stolen. Is the exchange liable? Discuss!
Ok, so here's a summary of events thus far, as I understand them: BitFinex.com, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms by volume, was hacked. The hacker made off with approximately $70million worth of bitcoin. That much is known and confirmed. BitFinex, as I mentioned, handled a huge chunk of trading volume. They also allowed margin trading and margin lending (the latter of which they referred to as "swaps" until the CFTC recently told them to knock that off). Customer "wallets" on BitFinex were handled by a third party company (supposedly for security purposes) called BitGo, who advertises "100% security" on their website. The wallets managed by BitGo were "multi-sig wallets", which basically means that everyone involved in the transaction (BitFinex, BitGo, and the individual user) must 'verify' a transaction with their key for it to be processed. Somehow, this hacker managed to bypass this or exploit something to be able to drain customer accounts. Presumably this is due to the hacker somehow manipulating BitFinex's wallet system to "tell" BitGo that the customer's key was valid, and use BitFinex's key to validate the transaction, similar to how a bank will process a transaction on a stolen debit card if you know the owner's PIN number. BitGo's system saw these transactions as valid as a result and processed them accordingly, emptying hundreds or thousands of user accounts per the hacker's request. Now comes the fun part. These users are understandably upset. BitFinex had individual users as well as corporate clients. Some accounts likely lost millions. Many, many accounts likely lost tens of thousands of USD equivalent. BitFinex is proposing bringing the site back online so users can see whether or not their accounts fell victim to the hacker and eventually allowing those who weren't to withdraw their bitcoin. No one knows what will happen to those whose accounts were drained though. To make this even more interesting, BitFinex seems to be domiciled in either Hong Kong or The British Virgin Islands, depending on which corporate entity you're looking at (according to what I've heard, anyway. I have no idea what the truth is there or how their organization is structured). Here are some articles about this fiasco: http://insidebitcoins.com/news/bitfinex-hack-means/36353 http://www.coindesk.com/bitfinex-bitcoin-hack-know-dont-know/ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/business/dealbook/bitcoin-bitfinex-hacked.html?_r=0 http://hackingdistributed.com/2016/08/03/how-bitfinex-heist-could-have-been-avoided/ Here are some of the other Reddit threads: https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vtuxo/bitfinex_security_breach_trading_will_be_halted/ https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vupa6/p2shinfo_shows_movement_out_of_multisig_wallets/d61oe33 https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4vztlv/bitfinex_update/ The guy in charge of BitFinex's community outreach and PR is zanetackett and his post history gives an interesting glimpse into the situation as well (and honestly, I commend him for busting his ass to answer everyone's questions and concerns, even if they hate the answers. I know I would hate to be in his shoes right now). I'm sure if I'm wrong on any of these facts, he will come in here to correct me, since I've usertagged him here. Now for the questions and discussion points: -Is BitFinex legally liable for customer losses here? -Is BitGo legally liable for customer losses here? -What, if any, recourse do customers who had their bitcoin stolen have, and against who? -Should BitFinex "socialize losses" by making every remaining account take a loss in order to contribute to a fund intended to return some of the lost bitcoin to the victims, as some users without much legal knowledge have proposed? To me, this whole thing is fascinating. I have no horse in this race, and I did not lose anything as a result of this hack, but this area is so new, law wise, that it creates several very unique issues due to the lack of regulation (even though there is some now, at least in some countries), the jurisdictional issues, and the confusion surrounding liability. I'd love to see a serious legal discussion ensue here and hear everyone's thoughts. Hopefully we can avoid the "har har, that's what you get for playing with fake money" comments and stick to the legitimate legal discussion. Enjoy! UPDATE: Regarding the jurisdiction issues, according to their VP of business development, Bitfinex operates under a Hong Kong corporation, Renrenbee Limited (holder of the MSO license), which is wholly owned by a BVI corporation, iFinex Ltd. (the holding company). The information released by the CFTC, however, is a bit different: "BFXNA Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex is a corporation formed and existing under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, and has its principal place of business [in Hong Kong]." UPDATE #2:BitGo has made an official announcement.
As you know, a large amount of Bitcoin has been taken from Bitfinex, and Bitfinex utilized BitGo software as part of its security solution. While we have worked tirelessly with the team at Bitfinex to investigate the theft, the Bitcoin is gone. Our focus now is to protect the remainder of Bitfinex coins and all of our other customers’ coins. Our job is to protect your Bitcoin and continue to improve the security of the service. BitGo systems were not breached in this attack and our software functioned correctly. This may seem like an inadequate explanation, because everyone wants to know “what needs to change to avoid what happened in this case,” and we understand that. Fortunately, the Bitfinex configuration was unique and other BitGo customers do not need immediate changes.
We are still working out the details so nothing is set in stone, however we are leaning towards a socialized loss scenario among bitcoin balances and active loans to BTCUSD positions. The numbers being quoted are erroneous as nothing has been decided as of yet and we are still in the process of settling positions and balances. More details are to follow tomorrow. Furthermore, tomorrow we will be posting a FAQ on the blog that will answer most of the questions we have been asked over the past couple days.
Presumably they are being advised by counsel, but this just sounds crazy to me. Not only did the users never agree to a socialized loss system for losses resulting from a hack, but that seems to be implying that they accept liability for the loss. Personally I feel this puts them in the worst possible scenario, one where they are likely liable for all losses, and the users who are not made 100% whole will likely be able to successfully sue for the difference between what they are paid back and what they lost. Yikes. UPDATE #4: BitFinex has announced how they plan to move forward and compensate for losses.
Following the theft on August 2nd, the Bitfinex team has been working tirelessly towards bringing the platform back online in a secure and controlled manner. We have finalized the accounting of losses incurred and are currently coordinating strategic plans for compensating customers. We intend to come online within 24-48 hours with limited platform functionality. Additional announcements will be made as we progressively enable more platform features and return to full operations. We appreciate that our customers and the public want this handled quickly, but it needs to be done a way in which all assets are secure and immune from vulnerabilities. Every resource is being leveraged to make that happen in a safe and optimal way. As disclosed in earlier announcements, all withdrawals, open orders, and open funding offers have been canceled and all financed positions have been settled. Exact settlement prices were published on August 3rd. After much thought, analysis, and consultation, we have arrived at the conclusion that losses must be generalized across all accounts and assets. This is the closest approximation to what would happen in a liquidation context. Upon logging into the platform, customers will see that they have experienced a generalized loss percentage of 36.067%. In a later announcement we will explain in full detail the methodology used to compute these losses. We are actively discussing various strategic options with numerous potential investors as part of our strategy to fully compensate our customers. Such discussions, however, are in early stages and will likely take time to play out. In the meantime, In place of the loss in each wallet, we are crediting a token labeled BFX to record each customer’s discrete losses. Tokens will be distributed without release or waiver. The BFX tokens will remain outstanding until redeemed in full by Bitfinex or possibly exchanged—upon the creditor’s request and Bitfinex’s acceptance—for shares of iFinex Inc. We are still sorting out many details on this; we will post further updates in the coming days. Thank you for your continued patience and for the many generous offers of support that we have received over the last several days. Notwithstanding this attack, we continue to believe in the possibilities associated with bitcoin. We will continue to update our customers and the public as and when we can.
Maybe it's just me, but between converting customer funds to compensate other customers, and issuing an unregistered security, this sounds like horrible ideas all around and I'm surprised any legitimate lawyer would sign off on such a plan.
In August of 2016, a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers emerged with a treasure trove of purported NSA hacking tools. The group released only a small portion of its take and eventually tried unsuccessfully to auction the good stuff. When no one offered to pay, Shadow Brokers decided to give it away for free. In an enterprise setting, however, disabling the Windows Firewall and allowing remote desktop connections is quite common. That's where these exploits were designed to work, and the Shadow Brokers data appears to reveal that the NSA used these tools against at least one eyebrow-raising target: a SWIFT bureau in the Middle East.
Following The Money
As part of the Bush administration's War on Terrorism the Terrorist Finance Tracking program was set up. Under TFTP, the U.S. gained the ability to monitor transactions carried out via SWIFT. Why target SWIFT specifically? There are upwards of 11,000 banks in 200 countries that use it, and they exchange around 15 million messages a day. If you need to keep an eye on large amounts of money moving internationally, SWIFT is the key.
A leaked PowerPoint slide appears to confirm that the NSA had successfully set up backdoor monitoring on 9 banks running SWIFT Alliance Access (SAA) servers. At least three others at another SWIFT Bureau were targeted, but they had not been compromised at the time of creation of the PowerPoint presentation in 2013.
Large multinational companies are the prime targets of Business Email Compromise (BEC), which is a type of online scam that usually begins with an attacker compromising a legitimate email account and tricking the company’s financial officer to wire funds to their accounts. Typically the companies that fall victim to these scams deal with foreign suppliers and habitually use wire transfer payments. Victims of BEC scams have increased 270% since the start of 2015, and this year saw one of the largest amounts lost by an enterprise. Read more
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a global transaction messaging network used by banks and other financial entities such as foreign exchanges and investment firms. Unfortunately, this year saw attackers targeting SWIFT clients, compromising and manipulating organizations into sending fraudulent money transfer requests. It’s unclear how many of these attacks were actually successful, but in June, SWIFT sent its clients a letter warning them about the possible dangers. The organization also urged clients to update their software and tighten their cyber defenses.
The post includes a link to a selection of files and folders. One sub-folder called "exploits" includes executable files with apparent codenames such as "Eternalsynergy," "Erraticgopher," and "Emeraldthread."
"This is phenomenal data, it has all the hallmarks of slickly produced internal attack tools," Hacker Fantastic continued. "I am certain that analysis on this data will turn up another 0day [zero day]." Security architect Kevin Beaumont told Motherboard in a Twitter direct message, "All of the Windows implants are new to VirusTotal [an online file scanning tool], which suggests they've not been seen before."
New details about a second attack involving Swift — the messaging system used by thousands of banks and companies to move money around the world — are emerging as investigators are still trying to solve the $81 million heist from the central bank of Bangladesh in February. In that theft, the attackers were able to compel the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to move money to accounts in the Philippines. The second attack involves a commercial bank, which Swift declined to identify. But in a letter Swift plans to share with its users on Friday, the messaging network warned that the two attacks bore numerous similarities and were very likely part of a “wider and highly adaptive campaign targeting banks.”
Evidence is emerging that the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecom) attacks began as far back as October 2015 when the Philippines bank was first hit, two months prior to the discovery of the failed attack on Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam.
There are many more articles beyond these, but what it looks like is the Shadow Brokers or some associated individuals pulled off a series of bank heists prior to releasing the applications to the open market. That also open the question of what the NSA was doing with the applications? They could have have been tracking "suspects" but it seems they could have also been moving money for any reason they chose without records being left in the banking system. The possible exploits were only exposed after a series of bank robberies exposed the power of the tools the NSA had developed. It seems once again crimes have exposed the government's illicit powers concealed by the intelligence community (IC). It is entirely possible that the tools were used legally and only to expose private records of terrorists and spies under FISA warrants, but who knows. The only thing that exposed these exploits was the theft. Kinda makes ya wonder, huh? The evidence and the different styles of hacking listed in the articles about the bank heists suggests that an initial group stole some NSA hacking tools and pulled off the Bangladesh heist. They may or may not have done Ecuador or the Philippines but it seems that at some point the exploits were sold on the open market, but that does not exclude some clandestine deals with other groups that also have employed the exploits. Once the initial 81 million was stolen they distributed the exploits to other groups who may have also attacked the SWIFT system and other targets to make forensics on nation state level zero day attacks that much more difficult. Several groups attempting independent attacks increased the attack vectors making identification even more difficult. It also appears that the hackers may have targeted banks that had the Trojans installed initially. So why would they go for relatively small scores when they essentially owned the SWIFT system. Could the hackers be attacking networks already infected with the Trojan. It really makes sense when you think about the banks they hit. The NSA installs the Trojans to "observe" suspected transactions. The hackers obtain the exploits, found the Trojans phoning home and used them to own the infected systems, modified the attack vectors to transfer money. Why not skip the phishing attack when there was already infected banks. Take the path of least resistance that leads back to someone the American government would never admit lead away from the hackers. Of course that means anyone including the IC could have manipulated transactions, but hey that wouldn't have been a robbery would it. Really the tools could have been used to track transactions, but they could have facilitated the IC surreptitious movement of money to fund operations. In all reality it was very clever, make a score, don't get greedy, prevent the creation of a M.O. to narrow investigations and identify the perpetrators. But identifying clever when they managed to steal exploits from the NSA and could use the exploits to attack the banking system. Just the fact that they can't be identified means they are pretty slick and the exploits are not for the novice user. There were some skills at work here. What else was done with the exploits and who are they? Shadow Brokers Group Releases More Stolen NSA Hacking Tools & Exploits Saturday, April 08, 2017
Besides dumping some NSA's hacking tools back in August 2016, the Shadow Brokers also released an encrypted cache of files containing more NSA's hacking tools and exploits in an auction, asking for 1 Million Bitcoins (around $568 Million). However, after failed auction, the group put up those hacking tools and exploits for direct sale on an underground website, categorizing them into a type — like "exploits," "Trojans," and "implant" — each of which ranged from 1 to 100 Bitcoins (from $780 to $78,000). Now, the Shadow Brokers has finally released password for the encrypted cache of NSA's files, allowing anyone to unlock and download the auction data dump.
Tracing a "Bitcoin is saving the economy of [country]!" claim to its roots: Venezuela
Another excerpt, I'm sure you'll enjoy. I've linked the refs, the Reason article is bloody rabid. Probably won't bother with the fabulous Bitcoin fanfic since, the actual media are bad enough on this one. Venezuelans are relying on Bitcoin to eat! Periodically, there will be a rash of news stories claiming that Bitcoin has become popular in some country suffering economic problems, such as Venezuela, India or Argentina – because the word “Bitcoin” makes a headline catchy, even if there’s nothing to the story. This transmutes into claims that Bitcoin will definitely take over the world, any day now. Or in response to scepticism about Bitcoin, advocates will just answer “But, Venezuela!” These always fall apart on closer examination. Venezuela is a typical example: all the coverage traces back to a story in Libertarian magazine Reason, fiercely advocating Bitcoin as a way to avert the spectre of socialism and regulation. One of their interviewees had been arrested for stealing electricity to mine bitcoins, which the author describes as a “government crackdown” on “freedom” because “bitcoin mining is arguably the best possible use of electricity in Venezuela”. A story in The Guardian in the wake of the Reason story appears to be where the rest of the press picked it up. It speaks of some Venezuelans relying on Bitcoin for “basic necessities,” and was based on interviews with a Bitcoin exchange owner, one of his employees and two of his customers. The author had previously written of Argentina and bitcoin. These two questionably-founded stories were echoed and elaborated upon by the rest of the press, including – amongst many others – the Washington Post claiming that Bitcoin mining is “big business” in Venezuela, the New York Times that Bitcoin has “gained prominence” because of Venezuela or BBC News repeating claims from a Bitcoin boosterism blog – all of this being factoids repeated in a media game of “telephone.” The Venezuelan volume on LocalBitcoins (a site for arranging person-to-person Bitcoin trades) at the time was on the order of 300-400 BTC/week, which isn't nothing but is negligible in the context of a whole country, and tracked fairly closely with LocalBitcoins usage in other countries. . 1 Jim Epstein. “The Secret, Dangerous World of Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining: How cryptocurrency is turning socialism against itself”. Reason, January 2017. 2 Kamilia Lahrichi. “Growing number of Venezuelans trade bolivars for bitcoins to buy necessities”. The Guardian, 16 December 2016. 3 Kamilia Lahrichi. “Argentina’s Bitcoin Scene Booms”. International Finance Magazine, July-September 2015. 4 Mariana Zuñiga. “Bitcoin ‘mining’ is big business in Venezuela, but the government wants to shut it down”. Washington Post, March 10 2017. 5 Nathaniel Popper. “S.E.C. Rejects Winklevoss Brothers’ Bid to Create Bitcoin E.T.F.” Dealbook, New York Times, 10 March 2017. 6 Leisha Chi. “Bitcoin digital currency hits three-year high of $1,000”. BBC News, 3 January 2017.
[GIVEAWAY] Para quem nunca ouviu falar de criptomoedas, ou quer experimentar uma versão mais soft das bitcoins - DOGECOINS!
EDIT: Wow tantos comentários Olá a todos! Este tópico será para enviar dogecoins a todos aqueles que desejarem e também para testar o "bot das gorjetas" no portugal. Acho que fazermos uma pausa da conversa das praxes faz-nos bem a todos. Mas antes, comecemos do início: O QUE SÃO CRIPTOMOEDAS?! As criptomoedas são um meio digital de troca, tendo começado com as Bitcoins em 2009. As informações a reter são:
Existe um número limitado de moedas, simulando a escassez do ouro (por exemplo, o limite de bitcoins são 21 milhões)
As moedas são geradas por um processo chamado mining, onde os computadores da rede (ou seja, de qualquer pessoa) podem receber bitcoins se conseguirem resolver um problema matemático complexo de criptografia.
O valor das criptomoedas em geral (quer seja bitcoins ou outras moedas) é actualmente muito volátil, mas parece que de forma geral o valor vai aumentando à medida que aumenta o número de empresas e serviços que aceitam estas criptomoedas.
Um exemplo desta volatilidade: No início de 2013 um bitcoin valia ~9.5€, e em dezembro um mesmo bitcoin já valia cerca de ~905€. Esta variação de valor pode parecer atractiva, mas também fez da comunidade uma comunidade mais séria, focada apenas no lucro e egoísmo. É aqui que entram as Dogecoins OK, BITCOINS SÃO FIXES, MAS O QUE SÃO DOGECOINS E O QUE TÊM DE ESPECIAL? As Dogecoins são uma variação das Litecoins, que por sua vez são uma variação de Bitcoins. Como o código Bitcoin é open-source na teoria (e práctica) qualquer pessoa pode fazer a sua própria moeda. As Litecoins foram feitas como uma espécie de prata ao "ouro do bitcoin", e têm sido a base da maior parte de criptomoedas alternativas criadas. As Dogecoins, criadas no início de Dezembro de 2013, começaram por ser uma forma de paródia de todas as outras criptomoedas alternativas que têm surgido (sexcoin, bbqcoin, etc), usando o meme Doge como inspiração. Contudo, a paródia começou a tornar-se bem real, porque ao contrário de Bitcoins e Litecoins, que fomentam a acumulação das mesmas criptomoedas com o pensamento de que irão valer mais no futuro, as Dogecoins existem em muito maior quantidade, e têm sido usadas muito mais como moeda de troca do que como investimento (que é, afinal de contas, o objectivo inicial destas criptomoedas!) As dogecoins também tornaram-se a criptomoeda de eleição para enviar gorjetas, através do reddit, twitter, imgur e até SMS. Por último, a comunidade Dogecoin no reddit tem demonstrado ser a mais generosa, tendo doado dinheiro para a equipa da Jamaica poder ir às Olimpíadas, assim como o atleta da Índia e outras variadas doações. E é por isso que estou aqui! Para partilhar com vocês algumas dogecoins de forma generosa! RECEBI DOGECOINS ATRAVÉS DO BOT, O QUE FAÇO AGORA?! Sigam as instrucções aqui. Basicamente: - Quando receberem a gorjeta (através de uma mensagem privada de confirmação), enviem uma mensagem com +accept para o bot - O bot têm andando bastante sobrecarregado por isso pode demorar algum tempo entre eu comentar e vocês receberem uma mensagem de confirmação! (Pode demorar mais de 16h :O ) - Se ainda não receberam nenhuma gorjeta mas já se querem registar com o bot, enviem uma mensagem com +register para o bot - Depois, saquem o cliente oficial dogecoin, esperem que sincronize com a rede, e cliquem em "Much Receive". Podem usar o endereço existente (uma série de números e letras) ou criar um novo. Esse será o vosso endereço público para receber dogecoins. Para enviar as dogecoins que receberam no reddit para esse endereço, enviem uma mensagem com withdraw, colocando o vosso endereço onde diz "ADDRESS". E é tudo! O que podem fazer com dogecoins? Podem comprar produtos e serviços de forma rápida e segura! Alguns websites que listam empresas e serviços que aceitam dogecoins:
When BTC consigns itself to a use case that no one uses it for
A few years ago in the Bitcoin community the discussion was all about how the Bitcoin blockchain could do it all so there was no reason for altcoins (or "shitcoins"). Everything was being built on Bitcoin, or should be built on Bitcoin, because it was going to be the only global blockchain that mattered. Need to issue your own tokens or do something that required more scripting? Colored coins and Counterparty (and later RSK)! Supply chain tracking? Blockchain voting? Notary? Property ownership? Bitcoin can do it all. But now the community seems to be more in the spirit of Bitcoin being a store of value and a transfer of value and that's it. The comments on this post sum it up. Ignoring Luke-jr's expected nonsense, so many people are adamantly against anyone using the Bitcoin blockchain for anything other than transferring money. Which is an interesting issue, because almost no one uses Bitcoin for that. Specifically, in 2016, the majority of transfers are between exchanges, only a tiny fraction is for payments or other transfers, see chart in article. This is probably why the number of transactions keep climbing and fees keep rising despite people complaining. Exchanges aren't really hurt by high fees, they can pass them on or absorb them since their average txn amount is relatively high so the fees for them are still low. As an aside, it's almost funny that LN is being offered as a scaling solution, but the majority of users who are actually making money off Bitcoin (exchanges, and miners) don't need that solution at all. They also don't need larger blocks (perhaps someday the exchanges would, but they don't seem to need them currently). Is it no wonder the scaling issue is in a stalemate? Anyway... So what does this have to do with /ethtrader? It seems to me that the Bitcoin community has mostly relegated Bitcoin to a use (transfer of value) that almost no one uses it for (majority use it for speculation and store of value, with the idea that future users will need it as a transfer of value). While a market can stay irrational longer than anyone can stay liquid, they do eventually catch up to reality, and when that happens with Bitcoin some money will go to things like Dash, Monero, and Litecoin, but I think the majority will go to Ethereum. It might be years, but that's ok, I think most of us are in this for the long haul, both as an investment and as a technological revolution.
Last Week In Indian Economy - For the Week Ending 6th August, 2016
Last Week in Indian Economy
“I am silent because there is conflict between my scholarly commitment to economics and my loyalty to the party's decided issues.” - Subramanian Swamy, member of parliament tweeting about why he is silent on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill that his political party supports so much. Just going to leave this here for you to draw your own conclusions.
Going Gaga Over GST Last week, the Rajya Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - the tax reform that has been heralded as the most important piece of legislation in over a decade. While the common market of Europe is walking backwards due to Brexit, the common market within India is stepping ahead due to GST. The bill has been the subject of political bickering for a long time now. However, it was passed with 203 votes for and none against. With 0 votes against. They didn’t even blink twice, so you know there families weren’t being held hostage and all votes were entirely voluntary. But this has only been the tip of the iceberg. Even though both houses of the parliament have passed the bill, there is a laundry list of things that need to happen before we can all go home and forget about this whole GST business. The Lok Sabha needs to approve the bill once again. Then, a minimum of 15 state governments need to pass the bill. Then, the president needs to sign the bill. Then, a GST Council needs to be formed and the GST tax rate needs to be negotiated. Then, the central government needs to pass two supporting laws, and each state needs to pass a separate supporting law. And only then, we’ll be able to pocket all that cash from the GST-led economic growth that is being predicted. The deadline set for all of this is April 1st, 2017. Till then, government officials around the country are set to debate on extremely sensitive issues like whether cream biscuits should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary biscuits. #TeamBourbon. Uber-Didi Uber joined the long list of American MNCs that came to do business in China but inevitably fell on their faces. In a deal announced last week, the popular ride-hailing service will sell its China operations to rival Didi Chuxing in exchange for a 20% stake in Didi, who will invest $1 billion in Uber. The two giants have been battling for the Chinese market for years and despite spending billions of dollars, no one has managed to turn a profit. In fact, Uber was facing a loss of $1 billion annually due to heavy competition in China. Once upon a time, Uber’s future in China seemed to hold promise. And now, the company is throwing in the towel. The company’s mistake? It tried to fight a land war in Asia. Although Didi was the bigger company in China in terms of market share, Uber did have its moments. Such as when a Chinese hip-hop artist posted a gangster rap song about how much he prefers Uber. Don’t Baidu it - China being China censored the whole thing just days later. Loans For Pani Puri walas Banks use all sorts of fancy algorithms to determine if a borrower will repay a loan. Despite all of that, with the banking crisis, a huge amount of loans are at a risk of being Vijay Mallya-ed. So the fancy algorithms haven’t exactly worked out. Another one of those fancy things that banks use is a credit score. A good credit score will have banks lining outside your door shouting for your attention. A bad credit score will have you lining outside the door of the banks with a ton of paperwork. You need a good credit score to get loans. But to get a good credit score, you need to repay loans. So you see the chicken-and-egg problem here. This means a lot of people don’t even have credit scores. But those people still need loans. And banks won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Now, microfinance companies like Edelweiss, Bharat Financial, DHFL and many more are going places feared by the big boys of finance. A big push in the industry is to loan money to pavement hawkers, scrap dealers and other self-employed individuals. For example - the makers of the extremely healthy chinese food at the hand-kart that parks near the local sewer every evening. Basically, giving loans to low-income borrowers without a credit score or any kind of formal financial history. If that sounds like a recipe for trouble, that’s because it is and we’ve already had that dish in the run-up of the financial crisis of 2008. And if history isn’t repeating itself here, it’s definitely rhyming. Too Many Branches Spoil The Bank The State Bank Of India has almost 17,000 branches which is very impressive. Especially since they get to brag about it in tables that rank banks by number of branches. But the bank isn’t doing itself any favours by putting 5 branches within a 1 km radius of each other, as is the case a lot of times with SBI. Because sometimes, it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that matters. And SBI is considering a proposal to do away with such extra branches by consolidating them. It might make common sense to shut down branches when put like that, but then they won’t get to brag about how many branches they have. And investors love those kind of things. SBI is currently in the process of merging with its associate banks from Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore and so on. It expects to have that completed by March 2017. At which point, that 17,000 number will balloon up to 24,000 branches, compounding that problem. A global consulting firm, McKinsey which was hired by SBI has recommended shutting down upto of 7,200 of those branches. Moreover, bank branches are so 2000s. Online is where it’s at.
India is a nation of chronic procrastinators. Just look at how much you procrastinate yourself, for example. For more proof, realize that half the people reading that last sentence just strongly agreed with it. And so the government extended the deadline to file Income Tax returns by 5 days till August 5th to accommodate all the last-minute submissions.
23 million income tax returns were filed online this year, more than thrice the 7 million that were filed last year. Like I said, online is where it’s at. Moreover, who would want to stand in line to file tax returns when you can be a responsible and mature citizen of India while wearing your pajamas at the same time?
Corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked the IIM-A and other premier business schools in India to develop an ‘integrity index’ to measure the levels of corruptions in 25 government agencies and state-run companies. The CVC is hoping that the rankings will help focus anti-corruption resources to where they are needed the most. Meanwhile, Buzzfeed “writers” are already salivating at the thought of headlines like Here are the top 10 most corrupt government offices. #6 will literally empty your wallet.
A new survey published last week found that Indians are losing more money to online fraud than other Asians. While 36% of Indian respondents reported to being cheated by internet scams, the most popular form of internet scams turned out to be lottery scams and Work-from-home scams. In other news, find out how this housewife is earning 50,000 a month sitting at home.
HCL Technologies (HCLTECH) was up 8.98% on the back of positive quarterly results and a single large trade of about 14 lakh shares that pushed the stock price up.
Grasim Industries (GRASIM) was up 7.28% as the Birla-family owned cement maker was identified as one of the companies set to benefit from GST.
Tata Steel (TATASTEEL) was up 6.92% since the government extended a price floor on cheap imports of steel from China.
The yield on 10-year government bonds is up from 7.138 to 7.168.
Important Numbers being released this week: Tuesday, August 9th: RBI Interest Rate Decision, Quarterly Results for - Adani Ports & SEZ, Lupin Wednesday, August 10th: Quarterly Results for - Mahindra & Mahindra Friday, August 12th: Consumer Inflation (Jul), Quarterly Results for - Hindalco Industries, State Bank Of India
Leading bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex, was hacked last week and cryptocurrency worth $70 million was stolen. The exchange has announced a plan to compensate all customers. In other words, business as usual for bitcoin. Moon Express, a US-based company co-founded by Indian-origin entrepreneur Naveen Jain, became the first ever private company to receive permission from the US government for a commercial space mission to the moon. The company’s business plan involves accepting sponsorships and carrying private payloads to the moon in order to make a profit. In future space missions, the company expects to make money by mining for natural resources on moon, specifically mining for Helium-3. This would’ve happened a lot sooner if only the moon had some oil. Helium-3 is all fine... But it’s no oil. < For the Week Ending 30th July, 2016
How can NYCoin reach the Unbanked and Underbanked?
I'm not going to answer the question, because I doubt there is one answer, but I've got some articles I want to link to and I hope we'll talk about these groups more. There's a huge potential for mutual benefit here between NYCoin, our retail partners and their underbanked customers. Unbanked and Underbanked Tech companies, banks and local governments have been thinking about and making overtures towards the underbanked for years, with most of the success coming in third world countries from digital, phone based systems. The pressure to reach this market is growing, and estimates of unbanked sizes within the U.S. seem to be from 10 to 15 million, not including the merely under-banked which would bring the total to 30+ million people. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanmcintyre/2017/05/10/banks-need-to-focus-on-a-new-customer-the-unbanked/#766222b659c8 Specific to New York City, more than one million people are identified as unbanked (no bank accounts in the entire household) or underbanked (some accounts, but still using some alternative services, including predatory financial services). This despite the city working since the 90s to actively regulate banks to favor these consumers: https://citylimits.org/2017/01/06/why-are-so-many-new-yorkers-still-under-banked/ Identities and Trust I don't think enough has been said about the role IDs play in all this. In the voter ID debate (please avoid the politics here, let's just focus on the economics), it's often been pointed out how many people lack valid photo ID, which would make it difficult to participate in traditional financial transactions, which are built on trust. This effect might be particularly pronounced in a place like NYC where driving isn't as big a part of life as in other parts of the country, owing to NYC's excellent mass transit and congested roadways, so driver's licenses just aren't as common. New York City attempted to address this with a local ID, with limited success. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/business/dealbook/banks-reject-new-york-city-ids-leaving-unbanked-on-sidelines.html Even if NYC convinced all companies to accept their IDs, they might have difficulty getting all users to actually use their IDs. I doubt even researchers fully understand why people don't have IDs. But in any case, the blockchain is built on trustless transactions. We can meet users where they are rather than demand they adapt to a system they don't seem to want to adapt to. There are no chargebacks on NYCoin like there are on credit cards. Unlike checks, you can't send NYCoin you don't control. And unlike cash you can't counterfeit NYCoin. If people don't want to use IDs, the need isn't there. Practical hurdles But it's one thing to know that blockchain projects COULD serve the unbanked, it's another to actually connect these particular users, often more disconnected than their banked peers, with NYCoin. That's the rub. Personally, I suspect that our retail partners are our absolute best hope of connecting with, and helping this group of people, these retailers are also the most incentivized to help. If their unbanked customers are forced to carry around only cash, they will probably often carry as little as possible to avoid the dangers to losing it to theft. I know I feel conspicuous and vulnerable when I carry a lot of cash. That means they might buy less than they otherwise would or make fewer stops than they otherwise would. These same users may feel more comfortable carrying more money overall if some of it is locked on their phone. Even super cheap Moto E's have fingerprint sensors these days, so even if the phone was stolen, a crypto wallet on it probably won't be, and a user could use their recovery seed to regain their funds even without their phone. There are some serious obstacles, however. First and foremost is bitlicense, a regulatory regime in New York no one seems to want to use. https://www.coindesk.com/meet-the-new-york-lawmaker-who-wants-to-replace-the-bitlicense/ I'm not going to analyze exactly what you can and cannot do without a bitlicense, but I certainly fear that selling NYCoin direct to consumers from your store would be a problem, and without that, how would the unbanked exchange their cash for NYCoin in the first place? Localbitcoins is the most obvious answer, but expecting the unbanked to jump through hoops to first get the bitcoin then use a far off, unknown exchange (when they already don't trust nearby banks) is unrealistic. Bitcoin's high fees present another obstacle, and localbitcoins often marks up the cost considerably, 10% isn't unlikely depending on competition, so by the time a user actually gets their NYCoin, they've lost enormous value from multiple vectors. As most unbanked are economically challenged to begin with, this isn't practical. As you can see above, there are those interested in unraveling New York's regulations to make using crypto easier. And long term, I think we need shopkeepers who are willing to not only accept NYCoin, but to sell it to their users for cash as well. They would benefit not only from a fee on the sale, but also by helping their unbanked users have more money on their person, and thus be more able to make purchases in their stores when they need to but want to carry less cash around. Rough Ideas I suspect that NYCoin could benefit greatly from rallying behind efforts to repeal bitlicense, not only from the repeal itself, but from coverage of the repeal effort. The bigger a part of that we are, and the more we connect the repeal to helping New York's underbanked, the more the name New York Coin becomes known and associated with financial solutions. Even if we help repeal bitlicense, we still need to convince more retail partners to come on board, and convince them to not only accept NYCoin, but to help their users buy it with cash when they don't have checking accounts or credit cards, and don't want to pay the localbitcoin tax or bitcoin fees to move their local purchase to an exchange they might not trust to begin with. But they do trust their local merchants. The benefit is there for merchants, but we need a solid way to sell them on it. A billboard won't do it. We need a more personal approach. I think, ultimately, we need boots on the ground and funds to literally pay retailers to try NYCoin (again, after bitlicense is repealed). I don't think donations will begin to cover it. But if we can make small retailers investors, hodlers in NYCoin while the price is low, offering somewhere from 1 million to 5 million to accept and offer NYCoin to their customers for a year or two, and offering bounties to actual NYCoin boosters who sign them up, we could sign up hundreds of retailers. The price of NYCoin is low right now. Now is the time to do it, but if donations can't cover it, how could we raise the funds? Some coins raise money by premining, ICOing, but Zcash raised money by putting a 20% founder's reward on the first 4 years of blocks mined on the network. I think when we decide on a fork to reduce the block reward, we should put a tax on future blocks sufficient to raise 1 billion NYC in funds for our team to use first towards retailer enlistment (without which, NYCoin doesn't stand a chance). If our first move to lower the block reward were not to lower it, but to send half of it to a development fund, we could raise half a billion NYCoin for retailer engagement in just over a month, and most of that would come out of prohashing's mine and dump operation, so the effect on NYCoin's price would be nearly the same as just cutting the block reward without a tax. Depending on how fast future reductions in the block reward progressed, if the tax remained we could have a cool billion to develop the coin within the year. Conclusion I hope you'll post more ideas here, post more threads about the unbanked and underbanked, ideas about how to organize to bring down bitlicense and generally talk about how to successfully draft more retailers and keep them happy and engaged and help them when they have issues. Our retailers will be the cornerstone of NYCoin. We need more of them and we need to be willing to take a big swing to recruit and keep them.
ShipChain competitors and what makes ShipChain different
Found this NYT article from March after doing some research which explains the genesis and development of IBM's Hyperledger. It then went on to say that using blockchain for shipping was on Microsofts radar as well.
"Rival Microsoft said this past week that it was working with JPMorgan Chase and several other corporate giants on a system that competes against IBM’s, based on the virtual currency network known as Ethereum. Many banks are concerned that IBM could push them into a version of the blockchain that would lock them into IBM’s software."
I then read else where that MS tested a shipping insurance blockchain with a startup blockchain called KSI, which sounds limited in scope compared to Hyperledger (correct me if I'm wrong). From the NYT article which could basically explain the ShipChain advantage of aligned incentives:
"The first test of the system happened last summer and tracked all of the paperwork related to a container of flowers moving from the Port of Mombasa in Kenya to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It went well enough that Maersk and IBM followed up by tracking containers with pineapples from Colombia, and mandarin oranges from California. The difficulty of making this work in the real world is that everyone at every step along the way needs to be involved, otherwise it’s unlikely to induce any more confidence than the old system. “You need to have something in it for all stakeholders, in order to get the whole chain going,” said Jakob Stausholm, the chief financial and technology officer at Maersk, who is leading the project. “That’s the difficult part.”
Possibly rhetorical question: Is IBM working on a solution to this? So I just would like to ask, since two monstrously large and powerful corporations seem to have a head start on a shipping blockchain system, how can investors feel confident that ShipChain can succeed? I'm still optimistic on ShipChain because I do see the fundamental difference, but I'd really love to hear this spelled out in more detail. So far I've just read general concepts on what SC offerers that IBM/private blockchain environents do not. And as far as I know, there is no public blockchain competitor. So anyone from ShipChain, I'd love to read a piece detailing what makes ShipChain different, and exactly how these differences make it more attractive to shippers, and how this can translate to success. Most importantly I'm worried that the IBM/MS shipping blockchain doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be an improvement and they'll shove it through with barges of cash. But maybe there's still room for ShipChain either way? IBM and MS also don't need to worry about hedging their token volatility, which may be an advantage. Essentially respond to this (from the same NYT article):
But IBM has taken an early lead. Its list of collaborators includes the likes of the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of Tokyo, and lots of companies outside the financial world like Maersk and Walmart. “This is the most well-thought-out project in the space,” said Mr. Sirer, the Cornell professor. Now all IBM has to do is get the systems out into the real world and show that they work. At Maersk, Mr. Stausholm said it could take five or even 10 years for that to happen, given all the partners — manufacturers, customs officials and farmers — that need to come together. “I really do believe in it,” he said, “but I don’t know how fast it will be able to take off.” At Walmart, Mr. Yiannas is more optimistic. His company has already completed two pilots with IBM — moving pork from Chinese farms to Chinese stores, and produce from Latin America to the United States — and he is confident a finished version can be put together within a few years. “I think this is our one best hope for getting it right,” he said.
meaning of ++ When claims of rights disagree A right is a moral construct, a sort of axiom upon which a sense of justice developed, such as Ken Schoolland has done in the previous post. There are bound to be dissenters from his idea of justice, so who is right about rights? On the R, we believe the individual is sovereign, while the state, if it is privileged to exist at all, is duty bound to provide security for the people (not itself). On the L, they believe the State is sovereign, and the individual, if he is privileged to exist at all, is duty bound to serve the State (the persons who are operatives of the State). Obviously, R and L cannot coexist in harmony. The only JUST way to resolve moral disputes is SEGREGATION. Split the people who disagree into "camps" or "campuses" of agreement so that "birds of a feather can flock together". As campuses evolve over time, some may grow and visa versa, as long as citizens have the privilege to migrate out. I call this a privilege because the destination a migrant may choose has the right to deny entry. A migrant must have the default privilege of going wherever he/she is accepted. Anything less is involuntary confinement (prison). How is the split achieved? Issue a constitution that defines the qualities of a citizen, and forcibly eject everyone who fails the definition. This is an act of (group) self-defense, so force is justified. Just a speculation, but if Reech and Leech were separated into their own segregated societies as just suggested, the Reech would prosper but the Leech would quickly run out of Reech people to plunder, as the Reech would have naturally migrated to where they are appreciated and allowed to keep their property. Since Leeches suck, they would starve. We were talking about money, and about 3 basic types: Aristotle's classic commodity money, modern token money, and fiat currency. The first 2 real, the 3rd a fraud that exists because of laws and threats. Store of Value ++ Recalling Aristotle's attribute of money, Portability, let's introduce the concept of value density to measure it, and compare, shall we? Let's compare two commodities, gold and water. Depending on circumstances, water can be far more intrinsically valuable than gold, but it is much less value dense. Our planet has oceans of it. Increased supply means diminished price. Gold is $788.86 / cm3. Water is extremely variable in price, but let's take bottled drinking water, (most likely at the top end of the price range) for example. At Sam's Club you can get 40 bottles at 16.9 oz per bottle for $3.98, and water has mass density 1 gm/cm3, which converts to $0.000207678 / cm3. Gold is 3,798,491 times more value dense than Sam's Club bottled water. Recalling Aristotle's attribute of Durability, water is very durable, but easily spoiled with impurities (a sort of corrosion). This idea of spoiling brings us to the concept of isolation, or containment. Traditionally, money is stored with at least two tools: a vault and accounting. Both need to have high integrity to safely store money. Classic money did not rely on accounting. Gold is its own accountant, its amount fixed, and whoever has it, owns it. Self-accountability is an intrinsic feature of precious commodity. However, external accounts CAN be made of gold. The accounts can represent the gold, so the accounts themselves can be used as money. These accounts are social constructs which rely on trust. Next, let us move on to modern money storage. Modern money is token, or representational, like poker chips. Since this is a social construct which relies on the trustworthiness of the ability to redeem tokens for something real, we are now in the realm of casino managements, and governments with their freakin' laws and special interests. Gov'ts are already pushing to end printed money, and force everyone to use digital fiat currency units within the existing financial services sector (privileged accountant banksta middlemen). Accounting practice keeps track of de jure ownership. Once you have that, de facto ownership loses nearly all its importance, because the tokens are not intrinsically valuable, and redemptions are made only if the de jure relationship can be established. This is where crypto-currencies, with their intrinsic (built-in) fraud-proof accountability/ provenance really start to shine. Cryptos are a classic form of money. WTF? you are thinking. Bitcoin (BTC), for example (the pioneer) is not "backed" by anything. That's assuming it's a token money. Au contraire, it's a classic type, with intrinsic value, which is its accountability. BTC provenance is recorded on a distributed ledger, called the blockchain. Now, this intrinsic value is not like the value of a precious metal. Bitcoin is privacy-secure, fraud proof, and in total control of its owner, needing no intermediate party (bank or credit card) to confirm and transfer funds. Bitcoin is self contained (on the blockchain and in your wallet) just as a gold coin is self contained. But to carry several tons of gold, you need a heavy truck. The equivalent value in Bitcoin, indeed ANY amount of Bitcoin, can be stored on a memory chip smaller than a dime. To ship a ton of gold around the world, you need a series of reliable carriers, guards, and security agents. To send any amount of Bitcoin around the world, you just do it on the Internet, takes a few seconds, perfectly secure, receipt confirmed in seconds or less; cost nearly zero. People are already familiar with credit cards and smart phone apps that make payments quick and easy. BTC is currently a little more of a technical challenge, but with all these new features, no wonder it is so popular! Cryptos are new. Bitcoin's specification was published 2009. Already, newer cryptos are being created with features similar to BTC. Now I'm going to offer you, dear reader, some ideas about future money that follow logically from BTC's example. Here we do a fast forward. Imagine the Globalist/ secret-society project for world domination is crushed. Nation states have won their independence from the Globalist unions. Continuing the trend, states have been split by a plethora of secession movements into a multitude of small territories, somewhat as it was in middle age Europe. Fiat currencies are defunct. Big banks have been broken into small banks, and most of those have gone out of business. Manipulation of commodities markets has been squelched. Inflation is no longer an official goal set by the bankstas. (Inflation is a clandestine tax which erodes value of money by increasing the supply.) A stable store of value is now the goal. The Internet has taken over many past industries and the people have come to power. Money is not issued by government, nor by international banking cartel, but there is now a large diverse competitive market of money types offered by various businesses. They are all digital crypto-currencies. They have taken on a similarity to credit cards/ smart phone/ smart watch apps. However, they have various features that serve the interests of their owners. A new feature many of these currencies have, is they pay a yield for holding them. Gold does not do that, it just sits, corrosion-free. Digital money has morphed into income-producing securities. If cryptos can be used as tokens as well as a reliable means of accounting that cuts out the middleman bankstas, whooee, money opens up a new world of opportunity for entrepreneurs to help people develop income opportunities. Bless the Internet, as the Internet blesses us! 19 Industries The Blockchain Will Disrupt 10 min. Liberty and Equality are not compatible As you can read in The Protocols of Zion (Basic Doctrine) the secret societies employ their mind control slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" to sell the gullible masses on their class warfare agenda. Trouble is, if citizen's innate talents and efforts are able to put into storage the products of their life and liberty (Property), there are bound to be huge differences between citizens. The Zionists want to grab the stored wealth by gov't force. That is why they want a Tyranny of Democracy. They do mind control on the masses, which then mimic the tyranny wanted by the controllers. Equality "It's not dispossession - it's an expansion of equality!" ABCNews/ Uncomfortable interview w/ Jared Taylor 14 min. The conventional ideas of equality were non-existence of privileged classes (no nobility, as intended in Declaration of Independence), no special laws, justice is blind, and equality of opportunity. But nowadays, we have two more kinds of "equality," elite persons who are above the law, (like Jon Corzine (note portrait of Paul Warbrug behind him), the Clintons, and Bill Cosby) and equality of achievement (social justice) because some minority groups were mistreated in the past by our ancestors, so now we have to give them special privileges and affirmative actions. In other words, rob from the "haves" and spread the wealth to the "have nots." This government intervention displaces results from actions, ie. promotes irresponsibility; and punishes achievement, which is a bad idea regarding personnel management. This robbing of the Reech is a Leech axiom. Intro to Bitcoin Vinny Lingham 12 min. What the #?!* is Bitcoin? Jeremy Rubin 16 min. Lauren Southern speaks about Crypto-Currency 9 min. rising food prices, cooler weather, and Cryptocoins 2. min. ETHEREUM JUST EXPLODED TO $350 SGT rept. 8 min. Ethereum will pass bitcoins for #1 cryptocurrency 6 min. Is China Gaming Bitcoin? | China Uncensored 9 min. ALL Crypto Currencies HUGE DROP After Bitcoin Exchange Cyberattack 06/15/2017 10 min. Understanding the Boom in Cryptos (now in the speculation phase); Chas. H. Smith China Becomes First Country in the World to Test a National Cryptocurrency (Future Society) cryptocurrency news headlines Ever wonder how Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work? 26min. Cryptocurrency innovations 12 min. StackExchange, Cryptos
Winkdex: The Winkles launched a price index today with weighted input from 7 exchanges based on volume. Will it be adopted as the accepted value of BTC?
http://winkdex.com/#/ The New York Times says that it is meant to compete with CoinDesk's price index in setting a universally-accepted value of BTC. That was news to me in the sense that I've never seen anyone reference CoinDesk as their source of value. It used to be Gox's price, now it is Bitstamp for the most part. The Windex uses a weighted averaging formula across 7 exchanges to come up with their price. I'm not sure that it is worth considering some of the smaller exchanges at this time and I'm not too excited about supporting the Winklvii since they keep begging the government for regulation at every chance they get. I think their version of BTC is pulling it up into the old-boy Wall Street network and turning it into some type of security or fund that they can rule over. I don't think they have any concern for the potential societal benefits of Bitcoin.
The I.R.S. announced on Tuesday that it would treat Bitcoin, the computer-driven online money system, as property rather than currency for tax purposes, a move that forces users who have grown accustomed to operating under the government’s radar to deal with new tax issues and reporting requirements. MAN CHARGED WITH BITCOIN SCHEME IN COURT Anthony Murgio, a Florida man, was charged with running an illegal bitcoin money exchange company and is thought to have information about the hacking attack last summer against JPMorgan Chase. He said nothing when he appeared in court, letting his lawyer do the talking, Matthew Goldstein reports in DealBook. Dealbook Bitcoin Collides With Government Concerns. NATHANIEL POPPER and NEIL GOUGH December 19, 2013. Bobby Lee is the chief executive of BTC China, the largest Bitcoin exchange, which said that it would no longer accept deposits in renminbi. Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. If Bitcoin is a bubble, as its critics contend, it ... The New York Times DealBook Conference. This November, an exceptional group of innovative thinkers and business leaders will take the stage for a day of riveting discussions with celebrated Times ... Bitstamp is far from the biggest Bitcoin exchange, representing 6 percent of Bitcoin transactions, according to Bitcoin Charts, which provides data related to the Bitcoin network. Still, Reddit users on Monday posted a flurry of warnings that Bitstamp was down and speculated that the cause was theft.
The Bitcoin Group #51 - Slaying the BearWhale, $50M Funding, Bit License and Saving Journalism
New York Stock Exchange Live Stream New York Stock Exchange ... Bitcoin Live Trading / Bitcoin Price Live / Trading BTC USD With ... DealBook - Duration: 27:43. The New York Times Conferences ... THIS WEEK:-----Coinbase, a Bitcoin Start-Up, Raises $75 Million in Vote of Confidence http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/01/2... DealBook - Charlie Rose Show: Rattner Blasts Cuomo ... saying he had no evidence beyond what the Securities and Exchange Commission had already presented. ... The New York Times 47,989 views. 4:21. CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin talks with Facebook's David Marcus, the head of the Libra Project, to discuss the feedback on the social media company's attempt to get into the crypto world and the ... Bitcoin Prices are down again with WinkDex reporting a last of $349, a high of $352 and a low of $346. Litecoin is at $3.46 cents a coin. Share -- Like and Comment!