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Cryptography news and discussions

Cryptography is the art of creating mathematical assurances for who can do what with data, including but not limited to encryption of messages such that only the key-holder can read it. Cryptography lives at an intersection of math and computer science. This subreddit covers the theory and practice of modern and *strong* cryptography, and it is a technical subreddit focused on the algorithms and implementations of cryptography.
[link]

Rebecca Portnoff, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate in computer science, developed the first automated techniques to identify adult ads tied to human trafficking rings by linking the ads to public information from Bitcoin — the primary payment method for online sex ads.

Rebecca Portnoff, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate in computer science, developed the first automated techniques to identify adult ads tied to human trafficking rings by linking the ads to public information from Bitcoin — the primary payment method for online sex ads. submitted by Samses94 to berkeley [link] [comments]

You may be in quarantine, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t! For those who don’t know, every month this subreddit makes a millionaire out of one comment, and donates. With danger out and about, take some time and comment to enter! [Drawing Thread #52]

I thought this year would be a lot more normal.

Introduction:
Welcome to anyone and everyone coming from /popular. To be honest, I probably should've expected this, given that most of us are staying home.
For those who aren't familiar: every month, we ask for comments for entry, and we pick one who represents our winner. This process is completely random and verifiable, using the Bitcoin blockchain as a sophisticated die. Following this, people then donate to the winner using a variety of mediums, and the winner would go on to be a "millionaire" (arguably, our definition of that term is pretty loose).
So once again, thank you for your support. The post lasts for 24 hours before getting locked, so make sure you place your comment before 7 PM ET. In addition, I may make a [Part 2] if we reach the limit. If that happens, I will sticky a comment on this post temporarily. Let's make a millionaire!
In Case You Missed It:

Information

  • REQUIRED: Leave only one (1) top level comment in reply to this thread! (Replying to other comments will not qualify. You must be thirty days old or older to comment.)
  • A random user who commented will be chosen, and everyone donates a dollar to make a millionaire.
  • February 19 at 7:00 PM ET (epoch timestamp: 1582153200 (a bit tricky taking DST into consideration, it’s been updated)) is the cutoff for accounts. If you have created your account after this point, you are not eligible to enter and your submission will be disqualified automatically.
  • March 22 at 12:00 PM ET (epoch timestamp: 1584892800) will begin the process of selecting the winner. At this time, the [Draw] post will be online and start the process of waiting for the blockchain, in order to select the winner randomly and verifiably.
  • If you'd like to be reminded to donate to the winner through PM via the RemindMeBot, click here! You can also be reminded by commenting in the thread: "RemindMe! 3 days Donation for /millionairemakers".
  • That's it! If you would like to see the extended rules and FAQs, or if you have questions yourself, click here to be redirected to the thread! Additionally, look out for the stickied post at /millionairemakersmeta. You are welcome to spread this thread via upvoting, telling friends and family, and sharing on social media!

Major Announcements

Mini Survey:
NOTE: A Google account is required to respond to hinder tampering, but you are not obligated to answer.
So I’ve been thinking about this for a while: people are not having pleasant experiences with PayPal. If the account isn’t blocked, then there are issues with fees, fear of the seizure of funds, and the risk of revealing personally identifiable information. However, it is the largest platform used by /MillionaireMakers, and is the provider of most donations on this subreddit.
This survey is purely to see how people feel about this. Unless if the winner chooses to not accept PayPal, we will continue to offer this service for tonight’s thread.
My questions are:
1) How would you feel about a ban on the PayPal service here on /MillionaireMakers?
2) Would removing PayPal as a service affect your ability to donate?
3) Should /MillionaireMakers remove PayPal?
I will periodically post results here. If you are interested in responding, please answer here, answers will not be accepted at the time the [Draw] is posted: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffkP3SKdTi9lLPbtO8taG4_-cdctYlAf8SvohvzoJvTOYdhw/viewform?usp=sf_link
Drawing Process Mini-Update:
This is as short as they come, leroy627 has made a commit to the repository that adds backwards-compatibility up to Python 3.5. Procedure will be run with the following conditions: the first comment of duplicates are kept for the month of March, and any ineligible comments will be removed.
If you are interested in more information, see [Drawing Thread #51]: https://reddit.com/millionairemakers/comments/f7jdxz/alright_were_getting_back_into_the_flow_happy/

Conclusion

Sunday at 12 PM ET (16 UTC), we will be picking our winner, and you won’t want to miss it. The post will be labeled [Draw], and one comment will be selected out of the many made here to make a winner!
Remember, this is about generosity, making an impact, and uniting to make someone's life better. It takes three minutes to donate a bit to the winner, whether you're well off and want to donate a couple bucks, or going through tough times and can only donate a few coins. Every cent makes cents, and counts!
If a lone $1 can get you a mask for obvious reasons, then imagine the possibilities with $1,000,000. You can get a full-body suit, new doors, and someone to love you! Admittedly, for the wrong reasons, but the option is there.
A million dollars can make someone’s suffering less sufferable. Spread the word: have your friends and family comment, post the link to your friendly-neighborhood social media network, and share it to anyone interested.

Let’s make a millionaire!

Why, kind Haiku? Why?
Am I to atone in home?
Perhaps. I’ll get by.
submitted by MakerOfMillionaires to millionairemakers [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance

I found this article on internet. It's repost of it to help educate people about all DXDao advantages:
These are positive and necessary steps for DeFi. The new governance structures are intended to help coordinate across community stakeholders and make better decisions. These dynamics are influenced by the issues covered in Dose of DeFi, but I believe they deserve their own focused analysis.
Govern This aims to educate token holders and make them better voters. Emphasis will be placed on specific governance proposals and relaying community governance discussions on forums and weekly calls.
Governance is a coordination technology that has helped countries and companies build more than the sum of their parts. Blockchains are also a coordination technology, but for computers, not humans***.*** Govern This will track the development of the melding of these two over the coming years.
Like governance, Govern This is a work in progress. I would appreciate any feedback on format, topics covered or any other suggestions to make the newsletter better. Just hit reply.
The first issue of Govern This is below. Please click here to subscribe.
Thanks for reading,
Chris
📷
dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance
Gnosis launched a long-awaited DEX last week with batched auctions for low-liquidity trade pairs. The front-end, Mesa.Eth.Link is owned and operated by dxDAO, a decentralized collective that hopes to power other DeFi protocols.
While dYdX does not have any specific governance plans (yet), this tweet from dYdX founder Antonio Juliano is a common approach to governance.
📷Antonio Juliano @AntonioMJuliano3) 0x should focus less on governance in the short term. It’s way more important to first build something with a large amount of adoption that’s worth governing
December 6th 2018
3 Retweets62 Likes
The tweet at the end of 2018 was in response to 0x and its native token, ZRX. The project was popular but the token had no use case outside of governance.
This governance strategy – build now, decentralize later – is widely accepted in the space and is perhaps best exemplified by the A16Z’s Jesse Walden’s post, “Progressive Decentralization: A Playbook for Building Crypto Applications”, which the A16Z-backed Compound has essentially implemented (more in the section below).
dxDAO, on the other hand, maintains that decentralization must come at the beginning or else the core team and investors will have an outsized influence on the project in formal (token voting) or informal ways (dictators for life).
Background
dxDAO was launched in May 2019, spun out of a collaboration between Gnosis and DAOstack over managing the DutchX platform. dxDAO’s key governance design is separating financial rights to the DAO (DXD) from voting power over the DAO (Reputation). It used an Edgeware-style lock drop to distribute reputation to stakeholders in May of last year. Any user could lock up ETH or an accepted ERC-20 for a month and receive Reputation, which are voting rights in dxDAO, even though it is not a token and cannot be transferred.
Over 400 unique Ethereum addresses participated in the distribution scheme. Gnosis went through a pretty extensive process in July 2019 to “step back” from its involvement in the DAO, and since then, the community and dxDAO have aligned behind a mission of “putting the ‘De’ in Decentralized Finance”.
Following on last week’s launch of Mesa.ETH.Link, dxDAO is conducting a fundraiser or (“DAICO”?) to help fund its new slate of DeFi products, including a prediction market platform (Omen) and a privacy-centric DeFi dashboard (Mix).
Project launch is typically when a project is most centralized. Execution is hard and direction and accountability are important. dxDAO’s approach will be an interesting counterexample to the “decentralize later” trend and may provide insight into new governance strategies.
Click here for more information about the dxDAO fundraiser.
Here’s what is on the dxDAO docket this week:
Compound governance goes live, has it found Market-Protocol-Fit?
Since its founding in 2017, Compound has executed with an almost flawless record: no bugs/hacks, a major protocol upgrade and a big name fundraise (twice).
But all of that has been because Compound, the company, has executed well, but can protocol development and the growth of the platform be sustained with community management? We shall see.
Compound’s governance system could not be simpler. Anyone with at least 1% of COMP can submit a proposal of executable code. COMP holders have a 3 day voting period; the proposal passes with a majority of token votes AND a 4% quorum of all COMP tokens.
The 1% minimum for proposal submission is a good anti-Sybil mechanism but it greatly limits participation by small users. There is delegation, so you could imagine a “proposal petition” where you would delegate your COMP to a proposal instead of signing your name.
Compound is clearly taking the “less governance is the best governance” approach. This has worked surprisingly well with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which of course, do not have any formal governance, but those communities clearly have informal governance systems that make decisions.
The biggest governance question for Compound: who is the community?
Market-Protocol-Fit
Other Internet has an intriguing essay on the emergent order from new blockchain tokens and their communities. It is worth a read. It discusses the emergent iteration that blockchains – as a technology and a community – go through to find a niche, both in culture and product.
While it focuses on base-layer blockchains that launch with a token, the essay underscores the most underrated governance element: token distribution. It quotes an insightful tweet from Eric Wall
📷Eric Wall @ercwlA question that keeps me up at night: Is it possible to create a rubbish coin based on advanced bullshit, build a community of misguided fans nevertheless, run it centralized for 5 yrs, hardfork-copy the design of a real working project, keep the community and become a success?
keysheet @keysheet
@ErcWll was one of the first vocal critics of IOTA back in 2017, shortly before the project hit a market cap of $15B. https://t.co/2267e8LEpl Today, the project is down 99% and appears to be brutally falling apart. A thread:
February 13th 2020
17 Retweets163 Likes
Before Bitcoin could harden its code and find ‘Digital Gold’ and before Ethereum found ‘DeFi’ and ships ETH2.0, both needed to find a “a strong community of believers” in order to create a “virtuous cycle between headless brands and infrastructural build-out to progressively realize [their] initial promise.”
Communities are connected through a wide spread token distribution, Bitcoin through cypherpunks and online drugs and Ethereum through a global ICO (what Teo Leibowitz called “The Immaculate ICO”).
$COMP distribution
The biggest “news” has been details about $COMP distribution:
There are no explicit plans yet, but the widely held assumption is that the COMP distribution will be determined by the interest earned and paid by users on the protocol since its inception. This is a clever way that only incentivizes more use of the protocol and is hard to game because interests accrues over time.
But the question still remains, what will the COMP community look like and what values will it espouse? Can emergent cultures arise out of Silicon Valley too?
Here’s what is on the Compound docket this week:
Maker and wBTC, a test case for the MIP process
While Maker had planned to spend Q2 moving forward with their upgraded governance process, most of its focus has been on restoring the Dai peg.
For more on how the Maker governance process has expanded outside the core community, check out the previous edition of Govern This.
Here’s what is on the Maker docket this week:
Governance and Risk meeting (April 23)
Single Collateral Dai shutdown – the process has begun. A poll passed with May 12 as the official SCD shutdown. Just yesterday, an executive just passed yesterday to make the MKR oracle fee-less, which will help with migration. Many in the community think the migration of debt from SCD will do more than enough to restore the peg.
13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals – Core to the new Maker governance process is the “Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs), which are modeled off of BIPs (for Bitcoin) and EIPs (for Ethereum). The two sub-proposals are to appoint the Smart Contracts Team and assign Charles St. Louis as the MIP editor.
The 13 MIPs are listed below:
- MIP1 (Maker Governance Paradigms)- MIP2 (Launch Period)- MIP3 (Governance Cycle)- MIP4 (MIP Amendment and Removal Process)- MIP5 (Emergency Voting System)- MIP6 (Collateral Onboarding Form/Forum Template)- MIP7 (Onboarding and Offboarding Domain Teams for Collateral Onboarding)- MIP8 (Domain Greenlight)- MIP9 (Community Greenlight)- MIP10 (Oracle Management)- MIP11 (Collateral Onboarding General Risk Model Management)- MIP12 (Collateral and Risk Parameter Management)
By and large, the MIPs codify many of the informal Maker governance processes. There is currently a request for comments period (MIP forum) and there will be an informal poll on Monday, April 27 on whether to proceed with the 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals. If it’s a “Yes”, than an executive for an official ratification vote would start on May 1 and lasts for 4 days. If it passes, the official governance cycle will begin and the rest of the MIPs will likely be approved from May 4 – 6.
Other Governing Things
That’s it! Feedback definitely appreciated. Just hit reply. Written in Brooklyn where it rained all day. No euchre today, but yesterday was epic.
Govern This is written by Chris Powers. Opinions expressed are my own. All content is for informational purposes and is not intended as investment advice.
submitted by yaroslav_karpov to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

Sobre Tibia, gold farmers y un caso de ayuda y éxito PT2. Son muy buenos consejos de cómo comenzar a programar profesionalmente

Una vez más, reconocimiento al autor original de los post International-Unit-8
Hello,

I have gotten so many replies and messages since my last post in this thread, that I can't answer them all individually. Previous topic:

https://www.reddit.com/TibiaMMO/comments/h8tu5u/a_great_tip_for_brazilians_venezuelans_and_othe

It has been shared on multiple subreddits so I have no idea where to even post this. But I'd like to come up with a follow-up thread with some more information. The internet is the most powerful tool that mankind has ever invented. You have the ability to reach thousands, millions and even billions of people with just a computer and some internet access.

If you're on this subreddit, chances are you're already playing Tibia and you already have a computer and internet access. It doesn't need to be the best internet, but as long as websites will load (eventually) you are good to go.

In this topic I will go more in-depth on web development and software engineering. If you have a very slow internet connection, you may want to look into web development instead of software development. An application/software is much heavier (larger file size) than a website. And most developer jobs require that you send and download files, back and forth, between you and your company's server. So if you feel like your internet is too slow to send a lot of files - do not worry! There are plenty of jobs.

First, I will go through some more details on how to learn web development and software development. After that, I will list a few other kinds of jobs that you can do remotely. These types of jobs can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.



Part 1: Some languages you should learn

What is web development? Well, it can be a lot of things. You perhaps make websites for shops/restaurants/hair dressers/dentists, or you work for a big company and work on their web application, like Outlook, Discord or Spotify (which can all be accessed via a browser: their web app). You can also work with design and user experience, instead of programming. Being a web developer can mean so many different things, it's impossible to name them all. But most web developers are just developers: they program. They make websites, and they either sell the websites to companies (as a consultant) or you work full/part-time for a company.

I can not provide in-depth information about every single thing, but I can give you some pointers. The very basics any web developer should know is this:

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) - it's what almost all websites use as a foundation. This is not a programming language, but it is a markup language. If you want to build websites, you pretty much have to know this language. Don't worry though, it is easy. Not so much to learn. You can learn all about it in a few weeks.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - it's what will add colors and shapes to your website. If you want to focus more on design (also known as front end development) then this is where you want to gain a lot of knowledge.

Python - A very simple language to learn. This language is very often the first programming language that developers start using. You can use it for a lot of things. This language is used in the back of a lot of websites. Google has been using Python for years and still is. It's great for web scraping and making web requests. If you want a language to practice your algorithms, then this language is awesome.

PHP - This used to be a very popular language, but not so much these days. However, it is very good to know how this works because it's very simple to learn and also very functional in some cases. If you want to transmit or withdraw information from a database to your website, then this (in combination with SQL) is a great way to do so. Whenever you make a login system or a contact form, the data must be sent somehow to a recipient or a database. PHP will help you do that. It is a server-side language, which means it will run in the back of the website.

SQL - To be able to communicate with databases (for example: save data, update data, or insert data) you can use different languages for that. But SQL is probably the most widely used language for this. It is basically just a bunch of commands that you tell your website or app to do. If you have a web shop for example, you will need a database to store all your product information in. You can for example use MySQL as your database and then use the SQL language to extract data from your database and publish it as a list of products on your website.

JavaScript - Perhaps the most powerful language at the moment. Anyone who is good at JavaScript will be able to learn most other modern programming languages. In recent years, the demand for good JavaScript developers has skyrocketed. It's because more applications are becoming web based, and JavaScript is probably among the most useful languages to use. You can use it for so many things. Previously JavaScript was only being run on the client side of the website (that means in the user's browser). But in recent years, there has been massive development of this language and you are now able to build servers, connect to databases and do very powerful web applications using just this language. A great tutorial for JavaScript was made by Tony Alicea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv_5Zv5c-Ts This video is "just" 3.5 hours, but it's the intro. There is a much longer version of it, and you can download it for free if you search for it. Just find it as a torrent and watch it. It's probably the best tutorial I have seen for JavaScript.

C# - It's pronounced as "C Sharp". This language has been dominating the software engineering market for decades at this point. Everyone loves it. It's relatively easy to learn and you can build a lot of stuff in C#. It's very much like JavaScript, but focuses more on application development rather than website development. I would however try to avoid learning this language if you have very slow internet, since you will most likely be sending a ton of files back and forth. But if application (computer & phone) is your thing, then this language is great. There are so many tutorials on this, but there is 1 channel on YouTube which teaches a lot of the basics in C# (and many other languages) and that channel is called ProgrammingKnowledge. Sure, his C# videos may be old now but most of it is still relevant and useful. You will learn a lot by watching his videos. It's always good to start from the beginning and then when you're familiar with that, you can learn more about the recent updates in C#. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2A8tcb_YyY&list=PLS1QulWo1RIZrmdggzEKbhnfvCMHtT-sA

Java - This is pretty much 90% identical to C# as I wrote above. Widely used, relatively easy to learn the basics and there's plenty of jobs. If you like making android apps, this language is for you.



Part 2: Technologies and useful tools

To become a web developer you will need a few tools. You need a text editor, a FTP client, a SSH client and some other things. Also a good browser.

Text editor: Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, Brackets - There are many different text editors but at the moment, I highly recommend Visual Studio Code. It has so many built-in features it's honestly the only thing you may need.Don't forget to install Notepad++ as well - this very basic editor is so handy when you just quickly need to edit some files.

File archiving: WinRar, 7-Zip - You need some way of archiving projects and send it to your customer or employer. These are basic tools anyone should use. I personally use Winrar.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): FileZilla - This tool will allow you to connect to your website's file manager and upload your files to it. There are many tools for connecting to an FTP server but this is the most popular one, it's simple and it works great.

VPS (Virtual Private Server): Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud - If you want to practice building web applications or want to host your own website as a fun project, it's great to use a VPS for that. Both Amazon and Google offers 365 days of free VPS usage. All you need is a credit card. However, they will not charge you, as long as you stay below the free tier limit. A VPS is basically a remote computer that you can connect to. I highly recommend that, if you have a slow internet connection. Those VPS-servers (by Amazon and Google) usually have 500mbit/s internet speed, which is faster than most countries in the world. You simply connect to them via Remote Desktop, or by SSH. Depending on what type of server you are using (Windows or Linux).

SSH (Secure Shell): Solar-PuTTY, PuTTY - If you for example have a web server where you store applications and files, a great way to connect to it is by using SSH. PuTTY is pretty much the standard when it comes to SSH clients. But I really love the version created by SolarWinds. When you download that one, do not enter your personal details. Their sales people will call you and haunt you! Haha.

File Searching: Agent Ransack - When you have many files and try to locate a specific document or file, you may want to use something like Agent Ransack. Much faster than the traditional search feature in Windows and it is much more accurate.

IDE / Code Editor: Visual Studio - Great tool to use when you want to create applications in C# for example. Do not confuse this with Visual Studio Code. These are two very different tools. This tool (Visual Studio) is more designed for Windows applications. Not just websites. I only recommend getting it if you plan to make programs for Windows.

Web host & domain: NameCheap, Epik, SiteGround - If you develop websites on your own, or maybe want to create a portfolio website, you will need a domain name and web hosting. I have personally used all of these 3 and they are very cheap. NameCheap has some of the cheapest domains and great web hosting for a low price. Their support is also great. Same with SiteGround. And if you want to buy a domain anonymously (with Bitcoin for example), then you can use Epik. Low prices and great customer service on all these 3 websites.

Web Server: XAMPP, Nginx - If you plan to practice PHP, you will need to have a web server on your local computer. If you have Windows, I would highly recommend installing XAMPP (Apache). It is very easy to use for beginners. If you're on Linux, I would recommend Nginx. Also check our PhpMyAdmin if you want to quickly setup a MySQL database locally.Bonus tip: If you use Visual Studio Code to create websites in HTML, CSS and JavaScript: then install the extension "live server" and you can run your applications on a live server without setting it up yourself. Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzE0yqwbdgU

Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge Insider, Google Chrome - You need one of the latest web browsers to create websites these days. Since I prefer privacy over functionality, I've always loved Firefox. But recently, Microsoft has been improving its new version of Edge a lot (based on Chromium) and it's also very popular. If you want all your personal details to be saved and have good tools for web development, then use Google Chrome. Don't forget to utilize the built-in developer tools. You can access it in any of these browsers by pressing F12.



Other things you may want to look into:

Web services, SSL certificates, Search Engine Optimization, Databases, API, Algorithms, Data Structures



Part 3: Learning platforms

https://www.youtube.com/

https://www.w3schools.com/

https://leetcode.com/

https://stackoverflow.com/



If you want to learn in-depth about algorithms, data structures and more. Then you can take a look at the curriculum of the top-tier universities of USA. Such as: UC Berkeley, Harvard and MIT. These courses are very hard and are specifically for people who want to become experts in software engineering. You can enroll some of them for free, like the one on Harvard. And by having a such diploma (which costs $90 extra) can get you a lot of job opportunities. You can enroll those courses if you want, but it can have a fee. But just take a look at what they are studying and try do their exercises, that is 100% free. Get the knowledge. It's mostly on video too! These course below are the very same courses that many of the engineers at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber, AirBnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. has taken. It's what majority of people in Silicon Valley studied. And it's among the best classes that you can take. These course are held by some of the world's best professors in IT.



UC Berkeley: CS 61a & CS 61b:

https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61a/fa19/

Video playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_LryzvBxFw&list=PL6BsET-8jgYVAaK0jGVTWr9R5g7kSMQ8i

https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61b/fa19/

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNBSbBTFx8nFahcQyZOYOgQ



Harvard University: CS50 (free enrollment --- 90$ to get a certificate).

https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/cs50-introduction-computer-science



MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): 6.006

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-006-introduction-to-algorithms-fall-2011/

Held by Erik Demaine. One of the best - if not THE best - professor at MIT. Just look at this resume. It's almost 50 pages long! https://erikdemaine.org/cv.pdf



Part 4: Finding jobs

https://www.linkedin.com/

https://marketing.hackerrank.com/

https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

Facebook groups for web developers, freelancing, remote work, etc.

Portfolio / Code Sharing / Source Control:

https://github.com/



Part 5: Other types of jobs you can work with (remotely) - with/without coding experience

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Translations (Spanish/Portuguese, etc.)

Affiliate Marketing (look into Clickbank.com - and use Facebook Ads to promote products)

Design (web design, photo design, etc.)

Copywriting (write sales letters for companies)

Database manager (monitor and administrate a company's database)

YouTube - make YouTube videos to gain views. Views = Money.

Dropshipping (use Shopify.com for example) and sell products in a webshop. Benefit with dropshipping is that you don't personally store the products.

Customer support

more...? Banking, economics, etc.



You can find information about all of the things I have mentioned by using YouTube or Google search.

Hope it helps.



And I hope that in 1 year, there will be at least some new web developers in Brazil, Venezuela and other countries in South America.
submitted by jesuskater to memezuela [link] [comments]

From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

UPDATE: This article is now available as a printable PDF with embedded hyperlinks for navigation through sources. This link will be valid thru July 9: https://ufile.io/4mpkg4x6

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B

Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.
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Continue to Part 2

submitted by SquarePeg37 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Long Way Back (Part 2)

Part I
After these events I withdrew into myself. I used to spend most of the free time at home alone. Sometimes I spent the whole weekend lying in bed or playing video games.
In a couple of months I started having troubles falling asleep. Often I couldn’t resist the temptation to “dive” and replace the depressing reality with happy moments of distant past. After waking up I used to lie in the bed fighting a pulsing headache till dawn.
Insomnia made me sluggish and apathetic. But still I would retreat into memories every evening like an addict looking for a dose.
∗ ∗ ∗
I am fourteen years old. School is on summer break. Weather is boiling-hot, so my friends and I are hiding from the sun in a park.
We put our pocket money together to buy a large coke and some ice cream. I am laying on the grass in the shadow of a large willow listening to my friend’s jokes and eating lemon ice pop. If there’s a single word to describe my mind at this moment, it should be serenity.
∗ ∗ ∗
I am twelve. My father and I hike in the magnificent Crimean mountains. When we come home, my parents will finally break up, and mom will leave us. But it will be later. In the meantime I have nothing to worry about. Right now the only thing that attracts my attention is the pure beauty of nature.
∗ ∗ ∗
I am ten. I participate in the national math contest and take the second place to everyone’s surprise. When they call me to give a reward, I glance at my school teacher in the audience and see tears in her eyes.
∗ ∗ ∗
I am fifteen.
I sit at the porch of our cabin waiting for my friends. Disco starts in a couple of minutes, and it’s literally common knowledge that a party is the most important thing in the social life of teenagers in summer camp. So it’s only natural that I’m angry with my friend for keeping me waiting.
At long last they come out. I see Max and my heart fills with warmth and sorrow at the same time. Usually, I try to avoid memories of him, but this is a special occasion.
Max wears ripped jeans, Nirvana t-shirt and a cap. His look makes me amused: from an adult perspective he looks kinda funny, but such an image is taken much more seriously when you’re fifteen.
My parents used to send me to summer camp each year when I was at school, but this time is special. During this trip I will fall in love with a girl (even though our childish “relationship” will only hold for a couple of weeks) and kiss her for the first time in my life. After it happens, I’ll be so excited that we’ll be discussing this experience with Max for half the night.
When I think about it, it feels nostalgic, but I dismiss this feeling. How can I be so sentimental, if it hasn’t happened yet?
Our company finally arrives at a basketball court that also serves as a dance floor. Upbeat music is playing loudly, and most of the people have already gathered. Max nudges me and points at the girl I’m to experience an awkward excitement of the first kiss with. I look at the direction he’s pointing to, and freeze, struck dumb.
Cause I see Nika standing at the edge of the court.
When I met her at the university, she looked totally different, but still I recognize her at first sight. She has long hair with a few strands defiantly dyed pink. She wears a sundress (and it’s actually the first time I see her wearing anything other than a baggy hoodie and jeans).
As if on purpose, at the very same moment DJ announces a slow dance and turns on a soft melody. Without thinking about possible consequences, I approach Nika and ask her to dance. There’s a glimpse of surprise in her eyes, but she still accepts my invitation.
I put my hands on her waist. Suddenly, she moves closer to me and places her arms around my neck. We start dancing, and I belatedly introduce myself. She tells me her name too. I try to start a conversation and subconsciously fear that she won’t talk to me as it was the last time we met in future.
But the future is not here yet. There has been no quarrel between us yet. That’s why Nika answers my dumb questions, laughs at my jokes and sounds exactly the same I remember.
The song ends, and our dance does as well. To me this awkward teenage ritual seems to be the most romantic thing in the world at this moment.
I ask Nika to leave the party and sneak to the beach. Max gives me the thumbs up behind her back.
While we walk together, Nika tells me all kinds of things. She tells me about her favorite indie sci-fi movies. Says that she studies programming as a hobby. Then she says that she’ll soon begin preparing for the graduation exams, since she wants to go to a good university. I eagerly listen to her, enjoying every minute I spend with the girl I missed so much.
We reach the sandy bank of the river and sit on the concrete parapet. Nika notes that we mustn’t get close to the water without supervision, but I see cheerful sparkles in her eyes. I joke that if counselors catch us, at least we will serve a sentence together.
We sit silently and watch the river flow for a couple of minutes. At last Nika starts to speak:
“Do you believe in the butterfly effect? The theory that tiny events in the past…”
“...can have huge consequences,“ I finish the sentence. “You do something that you don’t consider to be important, but by chance it happens to affect the future a lot. Like a chain reaction. Yeah, I believe. Probably. Why do you ask?”
“Well, we met randomly just a couple of hours ago. For instance, imagine that I dressed differently today, and you didn’t notice me because of it, or something like that,” she suggests. “And we’d never meet as a result. Or we’d meet much later. In university, for example. And we’d never know that we even went to the same summer camp…” Nika pauses for a moment, and a vague paranoid thought arises in my mind all of a sudden. “You know, I like you a lot,” she unexpectedly finishes the monologue.
It looks like a coincidence, but ever since I got my power, I don’t believe in coincidences. I hesitate for a couple of seconds, but finally say: “I don’t mean to be rude but… What’s the date today?”
Nika seems surprised by this question. After a short silence, she says hesitantly: “The fifteenth of July?”
“Close enough,” I answer. The camp started only yesterday, so it’s virtually impossible to be so wrong. “It’s the seventh. And what’s the last movie you saw in the cinema?”
Nika fades. Her shoulders sag, and after a short pause she asks: “Which year are you from?”“October, 2019” I answer honestly.
“Huh,” she smiles miserably. “Me too. Maybe, that’s the only way we can be in the same past together ‒ if we go to sleep at the same time?”
She pauses again, and I finally decide to ask a question I have in mind for the last couple of minutes:
“Why did we stop talking? Why did you start ignoring me?”
She chuckles and starts to speak:
“Didn’t you get it? It started that evening at Ivan’s birthday party. We started arguing. You were stubborn as usual, so I said some stuff I immediately regretted. I decided to go back and fix it. But when I came back to the past, it appeared that you suddenly changed the subject before I was able to do anything. You must understand, my ability had never failed me before. I thought that events were invariant, unless I changed them myself. So when it happened, I became frightened and woke up,” Nika stops to catch her breath, but I stay silent digesting this information, so she continues: “At first I blamed the butterfly effect. I thought that I changed something myself, so I tried to get back again in order to amend what happened, but for some reason my powers didn’t work on you no matter how much I tried. Trust me, it was scary. I acted on a whim and pushed you away. And I told myself to forget you,” I see tears in her eyes. “I tried to replace you with other people. It didn’t work. On the contrary, I started thinking about you even more. My thoughts returned to the fact that you were beyond my power again and again, and it annoyed me. Also… I missed you a lot”.
I take her hand in mine without thinking. I know that I’ll never be able to change this moment, but it’s worth the risk.
∗ ∗ ∗
Nika tells me that she discovered her abilities when she fell asleep during the lecture. For a long time she thought that it was just a deja vu. I joke that some lecturers made me fall asleep without any time travel involved.
∗ ∗ ∗
She calls it “to wake up from our reality to another”. I call it “diving”. Different names, same meaning.
∗ ∗ ∗
I tell her that I once returned to 2011 to buy bitcoin, but when I “woke up” it appeared that cryptocurrency never became popular in the first place. I tell her that I tried doing it several times and gave up in the end. We discuss chaos theory for some time, and Nika suggests that it’s possible that bitcoin only became expensive by an incredible coincidence that accidentally occurred in our time branch.
∗ ∗ ∗
She says that she tried to make money from betting, but it turned out that results of most games are completely random. We laugh at it and agree that the universe has a sense of humor.
∗ ∗ ∗
Sun sets and it becomes colder. I give Nika my shirt to warm her up a bit.
∗ ∗ ∗
I tell her about the rules of “diving” that I derived. When I regret about “past me” being unable to remember the “dive”, Nika tells me a simple solution that makes me feel stupid. Turns out that she started the diary on the very same day when she discovered her ability to travel through time. Whenever she comes back to the past, she simply puts instructions for herself in the diary.
It reminds me of something. I realize that in despair Max tried to do the exact same thing ‒ that night in the abandoned building he tried to leave a diary.
I ask Nika if she's ever met other time travelers. After a negative response, I tell her the shocking story of my friend’s death. I also mention the creepy childhood memory.
We ask ourselves: how many time travelers are there around us? How many of them do we meet each day without even knowing?
∗ ∗ ∗
Sudden gust of fresh wind rustles reeds with a soft whispering. Nika moves closer to me. I hug her, and my heart starts beating faster.
∗ ∗ ∗
Nika tells me how she once tried to “dive” while already being in the past. I admire her courage ‒ I never attempted such a thing, and to be honest after traveling to the distant childhood I wouldn’t have tried. However, her experience is not really inspiring: she was able to go to the second level only for a second. When she “woke up” in reality, she felt so sick that she had to skip work next day.
∗ ∗ ∗
I hear voices behind our backs. A couple of kids come to the river bank and stop sixty feet behind. The girl giggles and tells the boy that this place seems to be already taken. We quietly wait until they leave.
I turn to Nika, and she kisses me, probably tired of waiting for me to do the next step.
Strictly speaking, that should be my first kiss. That thought makes me laugh.
∗ ∗ ∗
I tell Nika that we must stay together. It’s fate that we both happen to have these supernatural powers. She seriously answers that I must swear to never use my abilities on her. I agree to that.
We hear DJ announcing the last track of the party. He turns on a sweet indie song. Nika says that it’s very romantic, and we kiss till the melody reaches its end.
“Would you like to walk me home?” she asks playfully. Of course, I say yes.
Near the cabin she says that we need to say goodbye for now. We agree that we’ll both wake up next morning (which happens to be seven years later), and if we are actually a perfect match to each other, then we’ll probably wake up together.
After that I see that her eyes close for a moment, and when she regains consciousness, her face looks surprised for a couple of seconds. Then Nika giggles, kisses me goodbye and runs into the cabin. I realize that she “woke up”.
Of course, I’ll join her in the future. Eventually. No, I do not plan on changing anything or breaking my promises. However, after all I’ve been through, I won’t be satisfied by faint new memories of the changed reality in the morning. I don’t want to lose her anymore so I intend to truly live through everything that is destined for us.
I have a long way back to go.
∗ ∗ ∗
When I finally “wake up”, my head bursts with pain. It hurts so much that I cannot make a sound. There are fireworks in my eyes, so I cannot really see my surroundings. An attempt to move leads to an even greater pain and nausea that I hardly hold back. Suddenly, a cool hand touches me. The last thought before I lose consciousness is that it must be Nika.
∗ ∗ ∗
When I wake up again, I feel a bit better. Migraine is still pulsing in my head, but it’s bearable. I can feel sunlight through closed eyelids, so I realize that it’s morning already. It’s time to get up, but I continue to lie with my eyes closed and think about the past years.
∗ ∗ ∗
I recall how we started dating after that night at the camp. We spent the whole summer together walking in parks, cycling around the city and watching movies at her parents’ home.
I recall that in a couple of months we had our first sex. It wasn’t something to brag about: it was actually pretty awkward. Yet it moved our relationship to a whole next level.
I recall how Nika got into an accident after the prom. She broke her ankles in several places, and it left large terrible scars. That’s when she stopped wearing skirts or dresses.
I recall that we enrolled in the same university, but this time we also went to the same program.
I recall that after the first year in university, we got the identical tattoos on our shins. It covered the scars she was ashamed of.
I recall that one year later she discovered that she can time travel. She told me about it at once, and we experimented with her ability a lot together.
I recall that in a couple of years we finally started living together, and a year and a half ago I proposed to her. The wedding took place on June 22, and Max was my best man.
I recall that I woke up the next morning and saw Max sleeping on an armchair in our living room. He was drunk as hell, but most importantly he was alive.
I recall that we went to Spain for our honeymoon. On the last day of this vacation I looked at Nika’s happy face for the last time in the past. Then I finally “woke up”.
∗ ∗ ∗
I hear someone calling my name. I open my eyes to see Nika lying next to me in the bed.
But at that very second when the light hits my eyes, agony comes back. Just before I start screaming, I realize that I can only see with my left eye.
Nika rushes to me. She’s clearly scared. I try to get up, but I can’t. It feels like every bone in my body is broken. Fighting the excruciating pain, I try to tell Nika what happened, but for some reason my words get stuck somewhere between my brain and my mouth. At last, Nika pulls out her phone and calls an ambulance.
∗ ∗ ∗
When they took me to the hospital, I was already feeling a bit better. Doctors examined me for days. They did a bunch of CT scans and gave me several mutually exclusive diagnoses. In the end they agreed that I had an atypical ischemic stroke. At least it explained some part of my symptoms like partial loss of vision and aphasia.
I didn’t insist on specifying the diagnosis. It was crystal clear to me that modern science doesn't have the slightest idea about what happens in the human brain when its synapses try to adjust for several years of contradicting memories.
Speech disorder and loss of coordination passed quickly. In a couple of weeks migraines stopped as well. However, I lost sight in my right eye permanently. And that wasn’t the worst of it.
First of all, when I was finally discharged from the intensive care, Nika and I had a long unpleasant conversation. She cried at me, called me an irresponsible idiot and liar. I had nothing to say to defend myself. I was guilty in every way.
In the end she calmed down and even seemed to forgive me. But when I was discharged from the hospital, I discovered another troubling matter.
I was unable to “dive”.
We spent a lot of time working on it. Nika tried to help me, believing that my skills got rusty because of many years of break. But it was to no avail. I lost my power completely.
It would be difficult to understand me for someone who had never wielded such a power. Imagine that one morning you try to get up from your bed and suddenly realize that you forgot how to walk. You put your feet on the floor, but you fall whenever you try to stand up. That’s exactly how I felt.
I also remembered how a long time ago Uncle Misha said: “When you are fixed, you’ll understand”. Of course, I couldn’t know for sure, but I assumed that each person has some kind of the internal limit of energy. Each time that we traveled back and forth, we spent some of it. I didn’t know whether this energy source used to replenish after coming back or not, but it didn’t matter anymore. My last “dive” exhausted it completely, because I spent too much time in the past. I became fixed.
Nika shared my pain and sincerely sympathized, but it didn’t help. She was a successful software engineer with a perfect life (how could it be not perfect, if she was able to magically fix any problems?). I was disabled and suffering from constant migraines and deep depression. Each day we became more distant, and I was the only one guilty.
There was another unpleasant surprise. Now, when I was fixed, my memory started to work in a funny way. Each time when anybody changed the past, I continued to remember the old version of events instead of a new one.
This strange effect manifested itself for the first time when Nika called me from the office and asked me to look for her keys. I found them and told her so. The next thing I remember, I was sitting at the computer and there were no keys on the table.
It felt rather disturbing, and my first thought was that I have some kind of memory lapses because of the stroke. Actually, the doctor warned me that such things could happen. But when Nika came home from work, she was shocked by this story even more than I. She told me that she actually called me today, because she thought that she lost her keys. When I said that I found them, she “dived” into the morning and simply took them. I could not possibly remember that, because there was no call in the new version of reality.
At this point the gap between us grew even larger, and we started having trust issues.
In addition, I began to notice other changes that clearly proved that there are many time travelers around, and they are constantly editing the past.
One fine morning Nika and I were discussing our plans, and she mentioned that we were planning to go to the Twenty One Pilots show. The problem was that I’d never heard of these guys before. Manic Subsidal’s concert, that we had actually planned to visit, did not exist. In fact, there was no such band at all.
Another day I opened to play Heroes of Might and Magic only to realize that my favorite Forge faction was nowhere to be found. Google told me that it was designed but never added to the game because of the negative fandom reaction.
Several times I really got confused in my memories. Once I got off at the wrong stop when I was visiting my father. I mentioned a childhood friend who never existed to my mother (it scared her a lot). One time I even forgot the stove on (and I was pretty sure that I turned it off) ‒ Nika started scolding me, but then she saw a bewildered look on my face and simply started crying.
At this very moment I suddenly understood that most likely Uncle Misha wasn’t really schizophrenic.
∗ ∗ ∗
The most difficult thing is to see pity and sympathy surrounding me. They think that I suffered a terrible trauma and now I have difficulties distinguishing reality from fantasy. Each time I want to scream that it’s them who do not see the real world. It’s their lives that are getting overwritten every day by a small group of people who have real power.
It feels like a personal hell, designed specifically for me. Only I know what actually happens, but I cannot explain it to anyone.
Each night I go to sleep thinking that I want to wake up from this reality.
But I can’t.
submitted by hokmund to nosleep [link] [comments]

Great video on Bitcoin protocol development & philosophy

This was a discussion between MIT Digital Currency Initiative's Neha Narula and Lightning Lab's Elizabeth Stark that happened a few days ago about Bitcoin development. I think as investors/traders it's important for us to stay up to date on what is happening in the development of the tech in order to make good trading/investing decisions.
Here are the most significant quotes, in my opinion (most from Neha):
3:12 - On protocol development
I think that there are four key areas to think about when you think about what's happening in Bitcoin core and what kinds of updates are being made. I've been listening along this morning its been a lot about bitcoin as an asset and digital currency as an asset class. Now we're going to talk about it as a technology, which id what it was originally and what it always will be and what the asset class depends on. I think the key thing to remember with Bitcoin is that they're always trying to improve four key areas: Better privacy, which makes it harder to censor transactions. Better performance which makes it easier to run a full node and therefore makes the network more decentralized. Better robustness, making it harder to attack in general. And then, functionality.
4:32 - On development philosophy
Another big part of the philosophy I think and something that's driving a lot of the new functionality changes is we really need to minimize what goes on chain. So this is in pretty stark contrast to a lot of smart contract platforms which execute every step of every smart contract on chain. It's like you take the program you want to run, you put the whole thing on the chain. Bitcoin's going for a slightly different approach, that approach is let's do as little on chain as possible. [Stark asks where this originated from, if Satoshi had some of these ideas] Yea, I think whoever designed Bitcoin script was definitely thinking a lot about this. It comes from the fact that, A blockchain is replicated across thousands of nodes, and hopefully one day millions if not billions of nodes, you can't execute everything that way you gotta be really careful you gotta think about what goes on chain. I think that's part of the ethos, and that's where we see things like Taproot/Schnorr.
5:37 - On what Taproot/Schnorr is
6:43 - On the speed of Bitcoin development
Bitcoin development is a little slow, but the reason is because there's nobody in charge..and people care a lot about robustness and they really care about doing good code review and making sure that this stuff is solid before it gets in.
7:30 - More on the philosophy of development
The base chain needs to be as simple as possible and needs to have the hooks necessary to support higher level functionality, that's the idea. [Stark comments on not having the complexity in the middle of the network]. We're building bitcoin to be around for centuries. The idea here is you put as little as possible into that base layer. You don't want to involve the base layer, you don't want to be constantly be re-writing the base layer. You want to have a base layer that is really, really robust. Something we've seen a lot is complexity is really the enemy of security. If you have a very complicated protocol, if you have really complicated functionality, guess what? That's a huge attack surface. The whole point of this technology is to be secure. We're removing the trusted third party, we're relying on cryptography and software and so that really needs to be secure, and sometimes I just think people do not take that seriously enough.
10:07 - More on the philosophy of development
We are building software that is supposed to run for a very long time. If there's anything that I can tell people about today, it's to tell them about this philosophy, this mindset of trying to build software that is super robust. And that's sort of the interesting thing that have been happening in Bitcoin development too, like one big change is removing code. They removed openSSL which is a library for a lot of cryptographic function and this was super celebrated because a third party library is a source of bugs, a source of consensus failure, people have different versions on their machine. So removing this was a huge win, actually. Makes the network more secure.
11:07 - On mainstream adoption and what that means
13:20 - On funding open-source development
15:21 - On the Lightning Network (goes until end)
Side note: In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why Bitcoin has and will continue to succeed: there are word-class developers and scientists improving the protocol. I mean, just look at these people's fucking pedigrees:
Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project...She has advised startups ranging from decentralized technology to AI and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark holds a J.D. from Harvard.
Source: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/elizabeth-stark#section-overview
Neha attended Dartmouth College and earned her B.A. in computer science and mathematics in 2003. She recieved he M.S. in computer science from MIT as well as her Ph.D. from MIT in 2015. Her doctoral thesis was titled Parallel Execution for Conflicting Transcactions. For over seven and a half years, Neha was a Senior Software Engineer at Google. In the summer of 2012, Neha was a Data Scientist at Digg. She has been a Director of Research of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab since 2016 and the Director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative since 2017.
Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nnarula/, https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/neha-narula
The story is the same for many developers at the MIT DCI, Chaincode, Lightning Labs, and the many other groups/companies that develop Bitcoin- all are highly experienced and come from top/ivy-league universities around the world.
submitted by monkeyhold99 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the ave