04-01 08:03 - 'US government bans bitcoin as part of new stimulus package bill. Exchanges ordered to shut down immediately.' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/AnotherRedditLurker_ removed from /r/Bitcoin within 136-146min
Be careful of tweets that send you to fake news sites that look like wall street journal, has sensationalist headline like "US government trying to shut down bitcoin" and then trying to make you install a fake flash plugin.
Please report tweets that do this. There is probably wallet stealing software in this fake flash site because they target people interested in bitcoin.
Venezuela update. One BTC is around 1,820,000,000 Bs. (Bolivares). 457 BTC were traded last week, dowm from 593 BTC (only using LocalBitcoin), these 457 BTC traded are 759,709,000,000 Bs. Minimum monthly wage is around 5 USD.
Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.
China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there. 9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources. Or was there? The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.” Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah. This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council. While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us. The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends. There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates). So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution. But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources. Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire. Let's go point form for clarity. • China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry. • 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations. • 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives). • March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote. • May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy. • 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production. • October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase. • October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared). • 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply. • Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011). • In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price. • October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA. • September 2006. American housing prices start to fall. (At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile). • March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.” • Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse. • 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades. • Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August • February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills. I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.'' We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.'' • February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus. • September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars. • 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left. Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan. About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths. The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD” • 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment. • August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy. • November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout. • December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing. • November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China. • June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit” • May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies. • November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi). • 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China. • May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war). • January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children. • February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts. • April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel. • November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit. • March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States. • July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates. • September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018. • October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections. • December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive. • March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States. • March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India • May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies. • August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator. • November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong. • January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator. • January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. • March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions. And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions. I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework. Do I have proof? Yes. China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease? Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war. Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it. Is all what it seems? No. I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged. After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well. At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity. Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production. Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet. Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared. This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
My story begins a few years ago I decided to use my computer skills to run a small darknet forum mainly just to share information without censorship. At first I was extremely paranoid about my site getting hacked and having my anonymity being compromised so I went online and began to research everything that I would need to ensure my own safety. After countless days of scouring blogs, forums and other material I decided I was ready now I didn't have any money so I couldn't just buy a VPS and host the site off shore or whatever, so I decided to use my old laptop after all I wasn't planning on running a major website. So after setting the server up and what I thought was literally every single thing I could to do harden it against attack I put the site online, everything went great for a couple of months, donations rolled in as the the user base grew larger and larger. After around 5 months the user base had gotten so big I had to upgrade and migrate everything to a new PC which I built just to host the forum and from there everything seemed perfect, the site was running smoothly and there were no issues with the migration until one day when I came home and noticed the PC had frozen I didn't think much to it maybe just a software bug caused it so I rebooted and that's when it was clear to me something was wrong the PC lit up and beeped a few times then shut off so I thought to myself ok so it's a hardware issue, after a few hours trying to diagnose the issue I figured it out and it turned out the ram had been corrupted I took it back to the store since it was still under warranty, the customer rep just told me it might have just been a faulty stick. When I got home I replaced the stick of ram and had the site back up and running within a few hours, everything seemed to be perfect again I apologized to the users for the down time and everyone seemed to be happy enough. Fast forward a few more months, the forums been up and running for a around a year and a half now this is when things started to get really weird. I finished work on a Friday, it was a gorgeous day in the middle of summer I came home had something to eat and sat down in front my PC and noticed I had a message, upon opening the message I realised that somewhere I'd messed up now don't get me wrong I'm not like Assange or anything so I don't really know why anybody would actually target me but the world is a crazy place so whatever. The message had my details from my name, address, bank details, passwords, private emails, private messages everything from nearly every single device I owned I freaked out and immediately took the PC offline, turned my internet off but little did I know that this guy had done his research after a couple of hours pacing my room I received a text message. "I know everything about you" The message was sent via some type of SMS service so there was no way to trace it and then my phone rang. "Don't talk just listen, I know everything there is to know about you all I want is 2 Bitcoin or things get worse, I'll send you a text with the wallet details" The phone call ended just as quickly as it started, I opened my laptop up and checked my Bitcoin wallet there was enough left over from the donations just to pay this guy off and hope that would be the end of it, so I entered the guys details and sent the payment, my phone rang again. "Thank you for complying, unfortunately someone I know really likes you." He hung up, panicking I tried calling the number back an automated message began to play "the number you have dialled has not been recognised" A few hours pass and I began to think to myself well maybe the last call was just him having fun and decided after a long day I'd just go to bed. Sometime around 2am I was woken up by the sound of banging at my front door, I jumped out of bed and turned on all the lights grabbing a knife from the kitchen I walked slowly towards the window and looked out I could see someone standing by a car when they spotted me they got in and drove off I rushed to the door in hopes I might be able to get a license plate but by the time I'd opened it they'd already turned the corner as I turned I noticed an envelope on the floor I picked it up, went back inside and locked the door, closed the curtains and sat in the kitchen I placed the envelope on the counter and stared at it for around half an hour trying to muster up the courage to open it, did these guys really come to my home I thought to myself. After the half hour was up I decided enough was enough I opened the envelope and pictures fell out onto the counter they were of me sleeping, these guys had not only been outside my house they'd been inside whilst I was sleeping the images had been edited and strange love hearts had been added next to me so now I was sufficiently freaked out, I didn't go back to sleep and when the sun broke the darkness I decided to head to the police station and tell them everything I hadn't broken any laws so I hoped they would just help me at least after hours of explaining everything to them they told me there was nothing they could do. At this point I had never felt so alone in the world, I was scared of what this guy was planning for me, I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was supposed to do or expect so I decided to wipe everything my laptop, PC and phone I picked up everything I needed stuffed it all into a bag and decided to leave I had a couple of friends that I knew I could rely on so I called up my old buddy Marcus and we met had a few beers and I explained everything to him, he offered me a place to stay and I hoped that would be the end of it how wrong I was. A few days later it happened again there was a knock at the door first thing in the morning, me and Marcus both went out to find another envelope on the floor, same thing pictures of me sleeping but these were in Marcus's house I started freaking out again and Marcus just said "Ok well we need to do something maybe set a trap or something" So we went over numerous ideas everything you could think of from cameras to baiting him and we settled on the idea of staying up during the night and locking him in the room, we filled the bed up with pillows, setup cameras and even barred the windows in the room we hid in the room next door after a few hours had passed we heard the lock rattling on the front door and we knew it was game time, we'd left the door just slightly ajar so we could see outside as he went past and the moment he went into the room we both sprung to action quickly as we could we closed the door and locked it from outside using a chair and a metal bar there was only one way he was getting out and he'd have to destroy the door we could see the silhouette of him as he paced the room quietly it was creepy as fuck, we called the police as we kept an eye on him. At last I thought I can finish this and move on with my life just as the police arrived we noticed the guy take a gun out and place it to his head, he held a sign up which read "I love you" and he pulled the trigger, the police barged in guns drawn told us both to get the floor, we complied and shouted "he's in there" pointing at the door. The police removed the makeshift lock and entered the room, called for an ambulance and put me and Marcus in the back of a police car. I'd been sat in the interview room for a good couple of hours I guess whilst they carried out the investigation when a detective came in and say down in front of me opening a folder and placing pictures on the table "Do you know her" "Her?" I said looking at the pictures "no" I replied confused , he looked at me and said "this is the person who's been stalking you" and he then began to tell me they had visited her home and found a shrine with photos of me all over the place from restaurants to the gym even shopping. He went onto tell me that she'd been the one that sent the messages, made the phone calls etc and they'd also found a diary which had some kind of future plans for me and her, she wanted me to be her husband and we'd been chatting for around a year and half from the moment I started the forum after I explained everything the detective said I was lucky to be alive, she had actually planned to drug me and kidnap me, she had even made some makeshift lock bed so I wouldn't be able to escape. To this day I feel lucky and I haven't been on the darkweb since.
What A Day: Stitt Down And Shut Up by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (07/15/20)
"If it’s Goya, it has to be good." - Ivanka Trump, violating federal ethics rules
Bean Here Before
With hospitals filling up and businesses shutting back down across wide swaths of the country, the Trump administration seems to have no pandemic strategy beyond sowing confusion and flogging beans.
The U.S. confirmed 67,417 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a new daily record. Cases have increased in 41 states over the past two weeks, Texas and Florida each recorded record numbers of coronavirus deaths yesterday, and an influential model now projects a national death toll of 224,000 by November 1.
From here on out, we’ll have to take those updates with a (chunkier) grain of salt. The Trump administration’s move to cut the CDC out of hospital-data collection means that all COVID-19 patient information will be sent to a database that isn’t open to the public. That reporting system is just as cumbersome as the CDC’s and doesn’t solve any of its real problems, but it sure does raise questions about whether researchers, modelers, and health officials will have access to the data they rely on to make projections and public-health decisions. (It also means a multimillion-dollar contract for the private firm TeleTracking, which we look forward to learning is owned by Jared Kushner’s frat brother’s father-in-law or whatever.)
Administration officials have also doubled down on their campaign to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. “He has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” wrote White House trade advisor Peter Navarro in a USA Today op-ed, omitting that his favorite expert is literally a guy he made up. White House officials weakly disavowed the op-ed and claimed Navarro went rogue, which is reportedly (you may wanna sit down) a lie. Fauci pushed back on the attacks in an interview with The Atlantic: “I cannot figure out in my wildest dreams why they would want to do that.” An evergreen take.
Meanwhile, life comes at you fast.
Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK), who attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa and rarely wears a mask at public gatherings, has tested positive for coronavirus. “I was pretty shocked that I was the first governor to get it,” said Stitt, calmly reaching both hands towards a hot stove. Stitt has resisted a statewide mask order, and after testing positive said that he’s still "not thinking about a mask mandate at all."
Twenty-five states plus Washington, DC, have now issued mask mandates, with Alabama becoming the latest to do so on Wednesday. Walmart announced that customers will be required to wear masks at all U.S. stores, which could have a ripple effect among other retailers—Kroger has already followed its lead. CDC Director Robert Redfield said on Tuesday that the U.S. could get the pandemic under control within two months if every American wore a mask; that feat would also likely require the federal government to take on a role beyond “hour-long presidential rants in the Rose Garden,” but masks would be a start.
The Trump administration condemned the country to a second surge of infections by refusing to coordinate a national response, leaving even the best state leaders to adopt piecemeal solutions by trial and error. Rather than try a different tack the second time around, Trump has committed to undermining widely trusted health experts and hiding the data that makes even those local decisions possible.
Look No Further Than The Crooked Media
Last week the Adopt a State program sent out our first Call to Action emails, and (without a hint of bias here) Florida crushed it. Team Florida has already raised upwards of $42k to support a Virtual Voter Registration Program—that will help reach 400,000 Floridians, which could cover Trump's margin of victory almost four times over. We'll be sending each state team new calls to action every week via email, so keep checking your inbox and getting those actions done. And if you haven’t already signed up, head on over to https://votesaveamerica.com/adopt and join the thousands of volunteers looking to flip some swing states.
Under The Radar
The new head of the Postal Service has implemented major operational changes that could slow down mail delivery. Postmaster General and Trump donor Louis DeJoy instructed employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers as needed to avoid delaying mail carriers from completing their routes, a change from postal workers’ traditional mandate to not leave letters behind for the next day. DeJoy cited the agency’s need to cut costs, but the decision could chase away more customers and put the Postal Service in a deeper financial hole. It could also prove disastrous in November, when voters could lose access to mail-in ballots due to slow delivery. The Treasury Department has continued to hold a $10 billion emergency loan hostage until USPS gives in to Trump’s political agenda, and Congress has yet to provide additional funding.
Fatal drug overdoses are likely surging during the pandemic. Drug deaths in the U.S. reached record numbers in 2019 after falling the year before, and the pandemic may be worsening the resurgence. A report in May found overdose rates have increased by an average of 20 percent across six states in 2020, and recent drug tests have found a substantial increase in illicit drug use, as well as a geographic spread of fentanyl. Overdoses were increasing before the pandemic, but it’s definitely not helping: Social isolation puts addicts at greater risk, treatment centers have been disrupted, and people who have overdosed are more likely to avoid emergency rooms out of fear of infection.
What A Sponsor
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Is That Hope I Feel?
SHE’S OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. Leaders in Asheville, NC, voted unanimously to provide reparations to the city’s Black residents. Virginia has become the first state to adopt statewide emergency workplace safety standards in response to the coronavirus. British artist Marc Quinn erected a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester in Bristol, on the plinth that used to hold a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.
How to Explain Bitcoin: 3 Tips to Have Better Bitcoin Conversations
BTC Friends, Let’s be honest, Bitcoin is confusing. Not to you (you are on this / after all), but to the people who have no idea what it is. Trying to explain Bitcoin is even harder. I’m sure we’ve all had those long, complicated, drawn-out conversations which leave people more confused than when it started. To aid its adoption WE HAVE TO GET BETTER AT EXPLAINING WHAT BITCOIN IS. Here are a few tips that should, hopefully, help you manage a simple and easy to understand discussion about Bitcoin. Before we get to that, a few things to remember: Bitcoin is afundamentalchange from what most people believe. An explanation about Bitcoin shouldn’t be about “being right” or “winning the argument.” Instead, it should be about helping someone explore a new idea and begin to understand that there are actually different alternatives to the only “money” they’ve ever known. Bitcoin is complicated. It’s important to remember that this is as much of an emotion transformation for someone as it is a logical one. A CONFUSED MIND ALWAYS SAYS NO. If you leave a person confused or frustrated about what Bitcoin is, they are more likely to build up a resistance to it and become close-minded because “it’s just too complicated.” Adoption is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t feel the need to word vomit all of your intense 1337 cypto-knowledge in a single conversation. Slow and steady. Like a good story-teller, keep them wanting more. Now, some tips to consider: 1. Start with ‘WHAT is Bitcoin?,’ not ‘WHY is Bitcoin?’ A fundamental mistake that people make is to try to justify WHY something exists before even explaining WHAT something is. Your explanations need to act as a building blocks of knowledge which means you have to have a very clear, very easily understood, fundamental premise: Bitcoin is…: Digital coins that exist on the internet that you can spend and save just like the paper money in your wallet. An alternative form of money than what you are given by your local government. That's it. That's Bitcoin. While I’m sure we can, and probably will, argue about what that base, fundamental definition is, it’s important to start with WHAT, not WHY. While hyperinflation, store of value, scarcity, the Federal Reserve, and how the printing of fiat devalues currency are all important, it does not answer the question of WHAT is Bitcoin. If you start with WHY, you are skipping a major building block in the mind of the listener and are on your way to creating confusion. And remember, a confused mind always says no! Here is an example. (Now, don’t go full-internet on me. I’m not degrading this person or this video THANK YOU PERSON FOR MAKING THIS VIDEO. This video is awesome! I only bring it up because it is a recent video that got some attention. It also demonstrates this point.) When asked to explain Bitcoin, here is the opening line: “The FED…is out of control with printing money…” This is a ‘WHY is Bitcoin’ response. Already, the listener is probably thinking, ‘what the heck does the FED have to do with anything? I just wanted to know what Bitcoin was…’ and you may just lose your listener right there. Furthermore, this video never actually says “Bitcoin IS…” While there is an implied comparison to gold, there is never a fundamental definition of WHAT Bitcoin is. Start with a clear, concise definition of WHAT Bitcoin is before moving on to WHY Bitcoin is. 2. Let Them Lead / Gauge Their Interest / Know When To Stop When explaining any topic to someone who doesn’t understand it, there is a very strong temptation to TELL everything you know. This is human nature. We are proud of what we know. We want to display knowledge and proficiency. We must, however, understand that it is counter-productive to the learning process. Imagine that certain math teacher going over that certain math problem. They explain it. They are enthusiastic about it. They write it on the chalkboard. Yet your eyes glaze over. It’s too much too fast. You are just waiting until the end when they finally tell you the answer. All logic and reasoning and understanding is gone. This is similar. Instead of telling them everything you know, LET THEM ASK! Allowing your listener to ASK demonstrates two things: an understanding of the last thing you said and, more importantly, interest! Ultimately, that’s what we want and need; their interest. Believe me, just like that little kid asking, ‘why, why, why…?’ They will give you every opportunity to share a little bit more, and a little bit more. For example: Bitcoiner – “Bitcoin are digital coins that exist on the internet that you can spend and save just like the paper money in your wallet.” (STOP TALKING AND LEAVE SPACE FOR THEM TO ASK!!!) Noob – “Oh…ok…well…why do we need that? What's wrong with the money I have now?” Bitcoiner – “Well, there is a risk that, over time, the money that you keep in your wallet or bank account will actually be worth less and be able to buy less stuff.” (STOP TALKING AND LEAVE SPACE FOR THEM TO ASK!!!) Noob – “Wait, what do you mean?” And we are now on our way to a discussion about these messy and intense concepts of inflation vs deflation, printing of fiat currency, fractional reserve lending, etc. And through it all, LET THEM LEAD. Now this is the tough part. If their eyes glaze over, YOU HAVE TO STOP! When the questions stop, YOU HAVE TO STOP! The last thing you want to do is ramble on once they’ve stopped listening. Instead, ASK them a question: “I’m sorry, did you not understand something I said?” “Did I answer your question?” “Is this interesting to you?” By doing this, you will give them an opportunity to ASK you another question: “…back up…what did you mean when you said ‘store of value’?” Or maybe even make a comment: “…wow…this stuff is pretty complicated…” In either case, this actually helps keep the conversation going. Just back up, explain it again, keeping in mind your base concepts and definitions, and see if you can talk them past where they got stuck. Maybe they shut you down entirely: “you know what, this is crazy, it can’t be true, let’s change the subject…” To which the ONLY correct response is, “Ok!” (we’ll get to this later). Keep in mind that letting your listener lead will allow you to carry the conversation much further than you trying to push it along on your own. 3. Know Your Role / A Little at a Time / Don’t Overcorrect So, what’s the end goal? Is it to have them whip out their phone, download an exchange, and make their first Bitcoin purchase right then and there?! No, of course not. The role of these conversations is to LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE. Your goal should be to spark interest and curiosity. If after talking with you they end up on The Google or The YouTube looking for more information, then you’ve done your part! Movies and TV condition us to want the big payoff at the end: the parade, the teary embrace, the triumphant symphony. That is not real life. Really, the best ending to a Bitcoin conversation might just be your listener making an audible, but clearly deeply contemplative, “…huh…”. You’ve done your job. You’ve got them noodling something they have never noodled before. Even once you understand Bitcoin, there is still an entirely different conversation about what the technology is, how it works, and how people interact with it. And let’s be honest, it’s complex and confusing. Exchanges, blockchain, forks, difficulty adjustments, miners, cold storage… More complicated ideas. More jargon. Make sure you throttle yourself back and explain just A LITTLE AT A TIME. It’s ok to have one conversation about the fundamentals of Bitcoin and then an entirely different conversation about blockchain technology or how people acquire BTC or the difference between storing Bitcoin on an exchange versus a cold wallet. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to tackle all of this at once. While all this is happening, BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCORRECT. People know what they know, right? And what people know is always correct, right?? Be sensitive. If your listener makes a comment that isn’t true or is off track, don’t scold them or forcefully correct them. If your listener feels attacked or threatened, conflict will arise, and once that happens, their minds will be completely shut off. No one listens during an argument. Don’t attack. Explain. For example: Noob – “Well, the USD is backed by gold, so that will prevent it from ever devaluing!” Bitcoiner – “You know, it’s pretty interesting, a lot of people think the same thing. The truth is that while the USD was backed by gold for a long period of time, it isn’t anymore. You see, back in 1971…” Keep it simple, factual, and non-confrontational. Going back to our example from before, even if your listener shuts you down entirely, THAT’S OK! They have now experienced a Bitcoin conversation that will percolate around in their brain. And perhaps next time they hear the word Bitcoin, whether on the news or on the internet, they’ll think back to your conversation and what you shared with them. Hopefully you didn’t over-press and their memory of your conversation isn't a negative one which leaves them feeling negative about Bitcoin: “Bitcoin is stupid and people who believe in Bitcoin are arrogant and rude.” Finally, ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH. The journey doesn’t start and end with you. You are simply a stepping stone along their path. Know that you are playing a part in their story; you are not the main character. Adoption of Bitcoin will occur over a long period of time. The conversations we have with our friends and family will create the buzz, attention, and understanding that is needed, but please be mindful that you are doing it in a helpful and productive way that leaves people wanting to know more. Oh, and step 4: Stack Sats and HODL!
Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Caller ID spoofing It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams
The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part) The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious. What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down a