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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.
AT2, a fairly new unknown tech to create a decentralized asset transfer system without blockchain. This week there was an article @ www.computing.co.uk. See below. link: https://www.computing.co.uk/feature/4017118/at2-answer-cryptocurrency-energy-performance AT2 paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1812.10844.pdf Could AT2 be the answer to cryptocurrency's energy and performance problems? Blockchains are slow, wasteful and ill-suited for digital currencies, say researchers who believe they've found a better way Blockchains solve a hard problem: how to ensure consensus across a distributed, decentralised network, where messages arrive out of order if at all, where individual nodes may fail, and where a certain proportion may be actively malicious. The original blockchain, bitcoin, was designed to support a novel digital currency, and the issue its consensus algorithm solved was preventing double-spend. It also successfully introduced game theory for security: adversaries would have to spend more money on an attack than they could expect to gain financially. All this and the original protocol was just a few hundred lines of code. But this achievement came at a high cost in terms of energy use and performance. With bitcoin, a new leader is required to verify each block of transactions, that leader being the first device to complete a computationally heavy challenge (Proof of Work, PoW). As a result, the blockchain's throughput is painfully slow at around seven transactions per second (Visa claims it can do 56,000) and the whole process is massively wasteful of energy. These drawbacks have been surmounted, to some degree, in newer blockchain designs using overlay networks, sharding and different types of "proofs of" and by non-blockchain directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), but each requires tradeoffs in terms of centralisation, complexity or security. A group of researchers led by computer scientist Professor Rachid Guerraoui of Swiss University Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) decided to look afresh at the problem. Is this gargantuan security apparatus, in which every node in a network of thousands or millions must come to a consensus about the ordering of events, really necessary everytime someone makes a purchase? Could a leaderless mechanism be applied to the problem instead? If so, could it be guaranteed to be reliably consistent, even when a certain number of nodes are malicious or faulty (Byzantine)? The headline answer, published in an initial paper last year, is that network-wide consensus is overkill for simple asset transfers. If cryptocurrencies could be rebooted, all the fossil fuels burned by miners of bitcoin and its clones could be left in the ground and Visa-level transaction speeds could be achieved without any loss of security or reliance on centralised control. As compact as Satoshi's original bitcoin protocol itself, the few hundred lines of code that make up their Asynchronous Trusted Transfers (AT2) algorithm could solve some of the tricky problems that have plagued decentralised token-based networks from the off. AT2 can be used to validate transactions within two different decentralised networking scenarios: (1) permissioned or small unpermissioned networks, and (2) global scale unpermissioned networks. In the first case, the algorithm uses quorum for validating actions, whereby a certain proportion of the network's nodes must agree an action is correct before it can take place. The second scenario, networks made up of very large number of machines (nodes), uses probabilistic sampling. Instead of asking all nodes it checks a number of randomly selected nodes for their viewpoint. This is much more efficient and scalable than the deterministic quorum but carries a tiny (ca. 10-15) possibility of failure. Doing away with network-wide consensus means AT2 sidesteps the bane of decentralised networks, the FLP Impossibility - the theory that in a fully asynchronous system, a deterministic consensus algorithm cannot be safe, live and fault-tolerant. Computing caught up with Matteo Monti, who worked on the statistical aspects of AT2, and by email with Guerraoui to find out more. We also spoke to David Irvine of networking firm MaidSafe, which has adopted AT2 to simplify its consensus process. Incentivising improvements We asked Monti (pictured) to summarise the innovation that AT2 brings to the table. "What we noticed is that there's a specific subclass of problems that can be solved on a decentralised, distributed network without requiring consensus," he said. "The main use for consensus at the moment, cryptocurrency transactions, is part of that class. We can solve this using a weaker abstraction and in doing so you gain the ability to work in a completely asynchronous environment." Bitcoin doesn't even solve consensus well. It solves eventual consensus which an even weaker abstraction, he added, whereas AT2 can guarantee strong eventual consistency. Another issue it tackles is PoW's incentivization model which means that improvements in technology do not translate into a better performing network. "With bitcoin, the bottleneck is always electricity. If everyone doubles their computational speed it's not going to change the efficiency of the network. Everyone's competing not to compute but to waste energy." In place of PoW, AT2 uses ‘Proof of Bandwidth', i.e. evidence of recent interaction, to verify that a node is real. Since it doesn't rely on consensus, the performance of AT2 should allow messaging speeds across the network that approach the theoretical maximum, and improvements in hardware will translate into better overall performance. Security measures Blockchains like bitcoin are extremely resilient against Sybil attacks; bitcoin is still running after all, in the face of unwavering opposition from powerful nation states and bankers. Sybil attacks are a major vulnerability in permissionless decentralised networks where anyone can join anonymously, but there are others too. Monti said the most challenging aspect of designing the AT2 algorithm was distilling all the potential types of dangerous Byzantine behaviour into a manageable set so they could be treated using probability theory. As a result of studying many possible failure scenarios, including Sybil, the algorithm is able to quickly react to deviations from the norm. Other security features flow from the fact that each network node needs to know only a limited amount about its counterparts for the system to function. For example, the randomness used in sampling operations is generated locally on the calling device rather than on the network, making this vector hard to utilise by an attacker looking to influence events. Signals are passed across the network via a messaging system called Byzantine Reliable Broadcasting (BRB) a gossip-based method by which nodes can quickly and reliably come to an agreement about a message even if some are Byzantine. As a result of these features, AT2 does not rely on economic game theory for security, said Monti. "I'd go as far as saying that the moment you need to implement an economic disadvantage to attacking the system, it means that you failed to make it impossible to attack the system. We don't care about your interests in attacking the system. What we want to achieve is a proof that no matter what you do, the system will not be compromised." ‘Crypto-Twitter' AT2 starts with the simple idea that rather than requiring the whole network to maintain a time-ordered record of my transactions (as with a blockchain or DAG), the only person who needs to keep that tally is me. If I decide to spend some money, I merely announce that fact to the network over BRB and this request will be held in a memory snapshot escrow. Depending on the network type, a representative sample or a quorum of other nodes then check my balance and inspect my ordered transaction history to ensure that the funds haven't already been spent (each transaction has a unique sequential ID) and provided all is correct the transaction is guaranteed to go through, even if up to a third of those validators are malicious. If I try to cheat, the transaction will be blocked. Monti likens a wallet on an AT2 network to a social media timeline. "What we've proved, essentially, is that you can have a cryptocurrency on Twitter," he explained. "A payment works in two steps. First, there's a withdrawal from my account via a tweet, then the second step is a deposit, or a retweet. I tweet a message saying I want to pay Bob. Bob then retweets this message on his own timeline, and in the act of retweeting he's depositing money in his account. "So everyone has their own independent timeline and while the messages - my tweets - are strictly ordered, that's only in my own timeline; I don't care about ordering relative to other timelines. If I try to pay someone else, it will be obvious by the sequence of tweets in my account, and my account only, whether I can perform that payment. "In contrast, consensus effectively squeezes all of the messages into a unique timeline on which everybody agrees. But this is overkill, you don't need it. We can prove that it still works even if the ordering is partial and not total, and this enables us to switch from consensus to reliable broadcast." But of course, nothing comes for free. AT2 can verify exchanges of tokenised assets, but aside from arrangements between a small number of opted-in parties, it does not have the ability to support smart contracts of the type that are viable on ethereum and other blockchains, because this does require network-wide consensus. Guerraoui said his team is working on "refinements and extensions" to support such functionality in the future. Early adopters AT2 is still pretty ‘cutting edge'. Three papers have been accepted for peer review the latest published in February, but it provides the sort of efficiencies and simplifications that could bring real progress. Guerraoui said AT2 has "received interest from many groups including companies ‘selling' blockchain approaches, as well as companies and organisations using such approaches". One organisation that has already picked up on the potential of AT2 is Scotland's MaidSafe, creator of the SAFE Network. MaidSafe is already using AT2 to replace its Parsec consensus algorithm, which testing showed was indeed overkill for many network operations. CEO David Irvine said he and his colleagues came across AT2 while working on another way of propagating changes to data without consensus, conflict-free data replicated types (CRDTs), promptly forked the code and started to apply it. SAFE, currently in Alpha, is a sharded network, meaning it's subdivided into small semi-autonomous sections. On a network level, the way it works is that trusted 'elder' nodes vote on a requested action then pass instructions to other sections to carry it out. AT2 allows the initial task of accumulating the votes for an action, which had been done by the elders using a consensus algorithm, to be moved off the network and onto the requesting client which is much more lightweight and efficient. Once a quorum of votes has been gathered, the client simply resubmits the request and the elders will ensure it's carried out. The system is much simpler and should be more secure too. "It's 200 lines of logic compared to 15,000 for a start," Irvine said. AT2 is not just used to validate token transfers. By the same mechanism, it can also be used to authorise requests to store or change data. Together with CRDTs, which guarantee that such changes cannot fail, this makes for a very tight and efficient ship, said Irvine. "AT2 is for us a missing link. The difficulty of several nodes agreeing is simplified by the initiator taking on the effort of accumulating quorum votes. It seems so simple but in fact, it's an amazing innovation. It certainly falls into the category of 'why didn't I think of that?'."
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End As we as a whole realize the exchanging space for digital forms of money is a jam-packed one and Prime Advantage has made one firm contribution. Prime Advantage exchange stage is very simple for use, has low commission expenses, spreads are tight and the influence is advertise driving at 1:100. Albeit another trade Prime Advantage end up being one of the growing ones and furthermore with an extraordinary notoriety in the digital money exchanging world. Obviously, as this is a trade that offers influence, make certain to continue with it mindfully in the event that you haven't attempted this sort of exchanging previously. 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Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos. Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%. The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women. For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text: By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers. Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited. He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape. Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail. Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers. The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein. In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.” Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again. Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works. 7 men and a headless parrot The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford. Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.” After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk. In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive. All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real. In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.” Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said. Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing. “Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?” A victim becomes a hacker Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California. But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015. Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.) By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued. On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia. Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras. Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail. “This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit. A chance to sway the Israeli election Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal. According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.) “Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote. Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out. “Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked. “Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered. Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images. “Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning. Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening. Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.” ‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’ The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish. You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business. One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos. Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements. Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said. Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.” Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men. “I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew. “Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.” “I call it our hot list,” he added. Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men. Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.” The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women. Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans. Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O. Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims. The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents. Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it. ‘We keep it. We keep everything’ Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men? Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room. “I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’” During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found. Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011. The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern. After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story. “I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed. A Weinstein cameo On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls. The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion. The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back. While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz. ‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’ One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies. “The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.” “Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.” “Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?” “Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.” “And you don’t have anything on me, right?” “I do not, no,” Kessler said. “Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.” What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed? Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too. “You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said. Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3. Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct. Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage. On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv. Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.” In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent. In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.” “No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.” “Thank you very much,” Kessler responded. Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”) Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients. ‘I just pulled it out of my behind’ The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. “I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.” Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines. Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion? Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.” Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them. By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse. Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said. But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands. In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.” The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler. As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said. Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.” He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
A couple of years ago in the early months of the 2017, I published a piece called Abundance Via Cryptocurrencies (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/69d12a/abundance\_via\_cryptocurrencies/) in which I kind of foresaw the crypto boom that had bitcoin go from $1k to $21k and the alt-coin economy swell up to have more than 60% of the bitcoin market capitalisation. At the time, I spoke of coming out from “the Pit” of conspiracy research and that I was a bit suss on bitcoin’s inception story. At the time I really didn’t see the scaling solution being put forward as being satisfactory and the progress on bitcoin seemed stifled by the politics of the social consensus on an open source protocol so I was looking into alt coins that I thought could perhaps improve upon the shortcomings of bitcoin. In the thread I made someone recommended to have a look at 4chan’s business and finance board. I did end up taking a look at it just as the bull market started to really surge. I found myself in a sea of anonymous posters who threw out all kinds of info and memes about the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of different shitcoins and why they’re all going to have lambos on the moon. I got right in to it, I loved the idea of filtering through all the shitposts and finding the nuggest of truth amongst it all and was deeply immersed in it all as the price of bitcoin surged 20x and alt coins surged 5-10 times against bitcoin themselves. This meant there were many people who chucked in a few grand and bought a stash of alt coins that they thought were gonna be the next big thing and some people ended up with “portfolios” 100-1000x times their initial investment. To explain what it’s like to be on an anonymous business and finance board populated with incel neets, nazis, capitalist shit posters, autistic geniuses and whoever the hell else was using the board for shilling their coins during a 100x run up is impossible. It’s hilarious, dark, absurd, exciting and ultimately addictive as fuck. You have this app called blockfolio that you check every couple of minutes to see the little green percentages and the neat graphs of your value in dollars or bitcoin over day, week, month or year. Despite my years in the pit researching conspiracy, and my being suss on bitcoin in general I wasn’t anywhere near as distrustful as I should have been of an anonymous business and finance board and although I do genuinely think there are good people out there who are sharing information with one another in good faith and feel very grateful to the anons that have taken their time to write up quality content to educate people they don’t know, I wasn’t really prepared for the level of organisation and sophistication of the efforts groups would go to to deceive in this space. Over the course of my time in there I watched my portfolio grow to ridiculous numbers relative to what I put in but I could never really bring myself to sell at the top of a pump as I always felt I had done my research on a coin and wanted to hold it for a long time so why would I sell? After some time though I would read about something new or I would find out of dodgy relationships of a coin I had and would want to exit my position and then I would rebalance my portfolio in to a coin I thought was either technologically superior or didn’t have the nefarious connections to people I had come across doing conspiracy research. Because I had been right in to the conspiracy and the decentralisation tropes I guess I always carried a bit of an antiauthoritarian/anarchist bias and despite participating in a ridiculously capitalistic market, was kind of against capitalism and looking to a blockchain protocol to support something along the lines of an open source anarchosyndicalist cryptocommune. I told myself I was investing in the tech and believed in the collective endeavour of the open source project and ultimately had faith some mysterious “they” would develop a protocol that would emancipate us from this debt slavery complex. As I became more and more aware of how to spot artificial discussion on the chans, I began to seek out further some of the radical projects like vtorrent and skycoin and I guess became a bit carried away from being amidst such ridiculous overt shilling as on the boards so that if you look in my post history you can even see me promoting some of these coins to communities I thought might be sympathetic to their use case. I didn’t see it at the time because I always thought I was holding the coins with the best tech and wanted to ride them up as an investor who believed in them, but this kind of promotion is ultimately just part of a mentality that’s pervasive to the cryptocurrency “community” that insists because it is a decentralised project you have to in a way volunteer to inform people about the coin since the more decentralised ones without premines or DAO structures don’t have marketing budgets, or don’t have marketing teams. In the guise of cultivating a community, groups form together on social media platforms like slack, discord, telegram, twitter and ‘vote’ for different proposals, donate funds to various boards/foundations that are set up to give a “roadmap” for the coins path to greatness and organise marketing efforts on places like reddit, the chans, twitter. That’s for the more grass roots ones at least, there are many that were started as a fork of another coin, or a ICO, airdrop or all these different ways of disseminating a new cryptocurrency or raising funding for promising to develop one. Imagine the operations that can be run by a team that raised millions, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on their ICOs, especially if they are working in conjunction with a new niche of cryptocurrency media that’s all nepotistic and incestuous. About a year and a half ago I published another piece called “Bitcoin is about to be dethroned” (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/7ewmuu/bitcoin\_is\_about\_to\_be\_dethroned/) where I felt I had come to realise the scaling debate had been corrupted by a company called Blockstream and they had been paying for social media operations in a fashion not to dissimilar to correct the record or such to control the narrative around the scaling debate and then through deceit and manipulation curated an apparent consensus around their narrative and hijacked the bitcoin name and ticker (BTC). I read the post again just before posting this and decided to refer to it to to add some kind of continuity to my story and hopefully save me writing so much out. Looking back on something you wrote is always a bit cringey especially because I can see that although I had made it a premise post, I was acting pretty confident that I was right and my tongue was acidic because of so much combating of shills on /biz/ but despite the fact I was wrong about the timing I stand by much of what I wrote then and want to expand upon it a bit more now. The fork of the bitcoin protocol in to bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) is the biggest value fork of the many that have occurred. There were a few others that forked off from the core chain that haven’t had any kind of attention put on them, positive or negative and I guess just keep chugging away as their own implementation. The bitcoin cash chain was supposed to be the camp that backed on chain scaling in the debate, but it turned out not everyone was entirely on board with that and some players/hashpower felt it was better to do a layer two type solution themselves although with bigger blocks servicing the second layer. Throughout what was now emerging as a debate within the BCH camp, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre of Coin Geek said they were going to support massive on chain scaling, do a node implementation that would aim to restore bitcoin back to the 0.1.0 release which had all kinds of functionality included in it that had later been stripped by Core developers over the years and plan to bankrupt the people from Core who changed their mind on agreeing with on-chain scaling. This lead to a fork off the BCH chain in to bitcoin satoshis vision (BSV) and bitcoin cash ABC. https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/cbb50c322a2a89f3c627e1680a3f40d4ad3cee5a3fb153e5d6d001bdf85de404 The premise for this post is that Craig S Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an interesting premise because depending upon your frame of reference the premise may either be a fact or to some too outrageous to even believe as a premise. Yesterday it was announced via CoinGeek that Craig Steven Wright has been granted the copyright claim for both the bitcoin white-paper under the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto and the original 0.1.0 bitcoin software (both of which were marked (c) copyright of satoshi nakamoto. The reactions to the news can kind of be classified in to four different reactions. Those who heard it and rejected it, those who heard it but remained undecided, those who heard it and accepted it, and those who already believed he was. Apparently to many the price was unexpected and such a revelation wasn’t exactly priced in to the market with the price immediately pumping nearly 100% upon the news breaking. However, to some others it was a vindication of something they already believed. This is an interesting phenomena to observe. For many years now I have always occupied a somewhat positively contrarian position to the default narrative put forward to things so it’s not entirely surprising that I find myself in a camp that holds the minority opinion. As you can see in the bitcoin dethroned piece I called Craig fake satoshi, but over the last year and bit I investigated the story around Craig and came to my conclusion that I believed him to be at least a major part of a team of people who worked on the protocol I have to admit that through reading his articles, I have kind of been brought full circle to where my contrarian opinion has me becoming somewhat of an advocate for “the system’. https://coingeek.com/bitcoin-creator-craig-s-wright-satoshi-nakamoto-granted-us-copyright-registrations-for-bitcoin-white-paper-and-code/ When the news dropped, many took to social media to see what everyone was saying about it. On /biz/ a barrage of threads popped up discussing it with many celebrating and many rejecting the significance of such a copyright claim being granted. Immediately in nearly every thread there was a posting of an image of a person from twitter claiming that registering for copyright is an easy process that’s granted automatically unless challenged and so it doesn’t mean anything. This was enough for many to convince them of the insignificance of the revelation because of the comment from a person who claimed to have authority on twitter. Others chimed in to add that in fact there was a review of the copyright registration especially in high profile instances and these reviewers were satisfied with the evidence provided by Craig for the claim. At the moment Craig is being sued by Ira Kleiman for an amount of bitcoin that he believes he is entitled to because of Craig and Ira’s brother Dave working together on bitcoin. He is also engaged in suing a number of people from the cryptocurrency community for libel and defamation after they continued to use their social media/influencer positions to call him a fraud and a liar. He also has a number of patents lodged through his company nChain that are related to blockchain technologies. This has many people up in arms because in their mind Satoshi was part of a cypherpunk movement, wanted anonymity, endorsed what they believed to be an anti state and open source technologies and would use cryptography rather than court to prove his identity and would have no interest in patents. https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/1fce34a7004759f8db16b2ae9678e9c6db434ff2e399f59b5a537f72eff2c1a1 https://imgur.com/a/aANAsL3) If you listen to Craig with an open mind, what cannot be denied is the man is bloody smart. Whether he is honest or not is up to you to decide, but personally I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and then cut them off if i find them to be dishonest. What I haven’t really been able to do with my investigation of craig is cut him off. There have been many moments where I disagree with what he has had to say but I don’t think people having an opinion about something that I believe to be incorrect is the same as being a dishonest person. It’s very important to distinguish the two and if you are unable to do so there is a very real risk of you projecting expectations or ideals upon someone based off your ideas of who they are. Many times if someone is telling the truth but you don’t understand it, instead of acknowledging you don’t understand it, you label them as being stupid or dishonest. I think that has happened to an extreme extent with Craig. Let’s take for example the moment when someone in the slack channel asked Craig if he had had his IQ tested and what it was. Craig replied with 179. The vast majority of people on the internet have heard someone quote their IQ before in an argument or the IQ of others and to hear someone say such a score that is actually 6 standard deviations away from the mean score (so probably something like 1/100 000) immediately makes them reject it on the grounds of probability. Craig admits that he’s not the best with people and having worked with/taught many high functioning people (sometimes on the spectrum perhaps) on complex anatomical and physiological systems I have seen some that also share the same difficulties in relating to people and reconciling their genius and understandings with more average intelligences. Before rejecting his claim outright because we don’t understand much of what he says, it would be prudent to first check is there any evidence that may lend support to his claim of a one in a million intelligence quotient. Craig has mentioned on a number of occasions that he holds a number of different degrees and certifications in relation to law, cryptography, statistics, mathematics, economics, theology, computer science, information technology/security. I guess that does sound like something someone with an extremely high intelligence could achieve. Now I haven’t validated all of them but from a simple check on Charles Sturt’s alumni portal using his birthday of 23rd of October 1970 we can see that he does in fact have 3 Masters and a PhD from Charles Sturt. Other pictures I have seen from his office at nChain have degrees in frames on the wall and a developer published a video titled Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 degrees where he went and validated at least 8 of them I believe. He is recently publishing his Doctorate of Theology through an on-chain social media page that you have to pay a little bit for access to sections of his thesis. It’s titled the gnarled roots of creation. He has also mentioned on a number of occasions his vast industry experience as both a security contractor and business owner. An archive from his LinkedIn can be seen below as well. LinkedIn - https://archive.is/Q66Gl https://youtu.be/nXdkczX5mR0 - Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 Degrees https://www.yours.org/content/gnarled-roots-of-a-creation-mythos-45e69558fae0 - Gnarled Roots of Creation. In fact here is an on chain collection of articles and videos relating to Craig called the library of craig - https://www.bitpaste.app/tx/94b361b205196560d1bd09e4e3b3ec7ad6bea478af204cabfe243efd8fc944dd So there is a guy with 17 degrees, a self professed one in a hundred thousand IQ, who’s worked for Australian Federal Police, ASIO, NSA, NASA, ASX. He’s been in Royal Australian Air Force, operated a number of businesses in Australia, published half a dozen academic papers on networks, cryptography, security, taught machine learning and digital forensics at a number of universities and then another few hundred short articles on medium about his work in these various domains, has filed allegedly 700 patents on blockchain related technology that he is going to release on bitcoin sv, copyrighted the name so that he may prevent other competing protocols from using the brand name, that is telling you he is the guy that invented the technology that he has a whole host of other circumstantial evidence to support that, but people won’t believe that because they saw something that a talking head on twitter posted or that a Core Developer said, or a random document that appears online with a C S Wright signature on it that lists access to an address that is actually related to Roger Ver, that’s enough to write him off as a scam. Even then when he publishes a photo of the paper copy which appears to supersede the scanned one, people still don’t readjust their positions on the matter and resort back to “all he has to do is move the coins or sign a tx”. https://imgur.com/urJbe10 Yes Craig was on the Cypherpunk mailing list back in the day, but that doesn’t mean that he was or is an anarchist. Or that he shares the same ideas that Code Is Law that many from the crypto community like to espouse. I myself have definitely been someone to parrot the phrase myself before reading lots of Craig’s articles and trying to understand where he is coming from. What I have come to learn from listening and reading the man, is that although I might be fed up with the systems we have in place, they still exist to perform important functions within society and because of that the tools we develop to serve us have to exist within that preexisting legal and social framework in order for them to have any chance at achieving global success in replacing fiat money with the first mathematically provably scarce commodity. He says he designed bitcoin to be an immutable data ledger where everyone is forced to be honest, and economically disincentivised to perform attacks within the network because of the logs kept in a Write Once Read Many (WORM) ledger with hierarchical cryptographic keys. In doing so you eliminate 99% of cyber crime, create transparent DAO type organisations that can be audited and fully compliant with legislature that’s developed by policy that comes from direct democratic voting software. Everyone who wants anonymous coins wants to have them so they can do dishonest things, illegal things, buy drugs, launder money, avoid taxes. Now this triggers me a fair bit as someone who has bought drugs online, who probably hasn’t paid enough tax, who has done illegal things contemplating what it means to have that kind of an evidence ledger, and contemplate a reality where there are anonymous cryptocurrencies, where massive corporations continue to be able to avoid taxes, or where methamphetamine can be sold by the tonne, or where people can be bought and sold. This is the reality of creating technologies that can enable and empower criminals. I know some criminals and regard them as very good friends, but I know there are some criminals that I do not wish to know at all. I know there are people that do horrific things in the world and I know that something that makes it easier for them is having access to funds or the ability to move money around without being detected. I know arms, drugs and people are some of the biggest markets in the world, I know there is more than $50 trillion dollars siphoned in to off shore tax havens from the value generated as the product of human creativity in the economy and how much human charity is squandered through the NGO apparatus. I could go on and on about the crappy things happening in the world but I can also imagine them getting a lot worse with an anonymous cryptocurrency. Not to say that I don’t think there shouldn’t be an anonymous cryptocurrency. If someone makes one that works, they make one that works. Maybe they get to exist for a little while as a honeypot or if they can operate outside the law successfully longer, but bitcoin itself shouldn’t be one. There should be something a level playing field for honest people to interact with sound money. And if they operate within the law, then they will have more than adequate privacy, just they will leave immutable evidence for every transaction that can be used as evidence to build a case against you committing a crime. His claim is that all the people that are protesting the loudest about him being Satoshi are all the people that are engaged in dishonest business or that have a vested interest in there not being one singular global ledger but rather a whole myriad of alternative currencies that can be pumped and dumped against one another, have all kinds of financial instruments applied to them like futures and then have these exchanges and custodial services not doing any Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes. Bitcoin SV was delisted by a number of exchanges recently after Craig launched legal action at some twitter crypto influencetalking heads who had continued to call him a fraud and then didn’t back down when the CEO of one of the biggest crypto exchanges told him to drop the case or he would delist his coin. The trolls of twitter all chimed in in support of those who have now been served with papers for defamation and libel and Craig even put out a bitcoin reward for a DOX on one of the people who had been particularly abusive to him on twitter. A big european exchange then conducted a twitter poll to determine whether or not BSV should be delisted as either (yes, it’s toxic or no) and when a few hundred votes were in favour of delisting it (which can be bought for a couple of bucks/100 votes). Shortly after Craig was delisted, news began to break of a US dollar stable coin called USDT potentially not being fully solvent for it’s apparent 1:1 backing of the token to dollars in the bank. Binance suffered an alleged exchange hack with 7000 BTC “stolen” and the site suspending withdrawals and deposits for a week. Binance holds 800m USDT for their US dollar markets and immediately once the deposits and withdrawals were suspended there was a massive pump for BTC in the USDT markets as people sought to exit their potentially not 1:1 backed token for bitcoin. The CEO of this exchange has the business registered out of Malta, no physical premises, the CEO stays hotel room to hotel room around the world, has all kind of trading competitions and the binance launchpad, uses an unregistered security to collect fees ($450m during the bear market) from the trading of the hundreds of coins that it lists on its exchange and has no regard for AML and KYC laws. Craig said he himself was able to create 100 gmail accounts in a day and create binance accounts with each of those gmail accounts and from the same wallet, deposit and withdraw 1 bitcoin into each of those in one day ($8000 x 100) without facing any restrictions or triggering any alerts or such. This post could ramble on for ever and ever exposing the complexities of the rabbit hole but I wanted to offer some perspective on what’s been happening in the space. What is being built on the bitcoin SV blockchain is something that I can only partially comprehend but even from my limited understanding of what it is to become, I can see that the entirety of the crypto community is extremely threatened as it renders all the various alt coins and alt coin exchanges obsolete. It makes criminals play by the rules, it removes any power from the developer groups and turns the blockchain and the miners in to economies of scale where the blockchain acts as a serverless database, the miners provide computational resources/storage/RAM and you interact with a virtual machine through a monitor and keyboard plugged in to an ethernet port. It will be like something that takes us from a type 0 to a type 1 civilisation. There are many that like to keep us in the quagmire of corruption and criminality as it lines their pockets. Much much more can be read about the Cartel in crypto in the archive below. Is it possible this cartel has the resources to mount such a successful psychological operation on the cryptocurrency community that they manage to convince everyone that Craig is the bad guy, when he’s the only one calling for regulation, the application of the law, the storage of immutable records onchain to comply with banking secrecy laws, for Global Sound Money? https://archive.fo/lk1lH#selection-3671.46-3671.55 Please note, where possible, images were uploaded onto the bitcoin sv blockchain through bitstagram paying about 10c a pop. If I wished I could then use an application etch and archive this post to the chain to be immutably stored. If this publishing forum was on chain too it would mean that when I do the archive the images that are in the bitstragram links (but stored in the bitcoin blockchain/database already) could be referenced in the archive by their txid so that they don’t have to be stored again and thus bringing the cost of the archive down to only the html and css.
Cryptocurrencies have grown exponentially not only in price this past year but also in public awareness and popular attention. The novel feeling to an emerging financial and technological market is reminiscent of the rise of the Internet with its innovative potential. In turn, a heightened collective societal awareness of this new innovative potential has led to a change in the nature of the market dynamics of cryptocurrencies. As Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle posits, “The observation of a phenomenon changes the phenomena itself.” The observation of thousands of young millennials, and now middle-aged investors, will only accelerate the rise of cryptocurrencies as times goes on. Today, we are seeing the real-world effects of a newfound intrigue into cryptocurrencies. This new interest is causing a narrowing of the divergence between truth and fiction over accurate knowledge about cryptocurrencies. The force drawing this gap narrower each day is an increased dissemination of truthful information that has generated legions of individual investors into new cryptocurrency markets; in particular, Ripple’s XRP. As the public expands its understanding of Ripple’s XRP, the capital inflow from both individual and institutional investors combined will likely grow to levels that will exponentially grow the liquidity of XRP and, as a byproduct, its price. Here, in this report, I will provide an overview and analysis of Ripple’s XRP and the implications Q4 2017 and the year 2018 and beyond hold for the future of XRP and its price. THE CONCEPT: WHAT IS XRP? XRP is the digital asset used by Ripple to offer financial institutions an option for liquidity to conduct cross-border payments. It is predominantly used for Ripple’s solution for the minimization of liquidity costs. In contrast to most other cryptocurrencies, XRP’s application here features a real-world applicability that extends to real-world transactions. It is used for the xRapid solution provided by Ripple, and is the only one of the three solutions Ripple offers (The others are xCurrent and xVia) that employs the use of XRP. THE RATIONALE: WHY XRP? There is a myriad of factors that distinguish XRP from other cryptocurrencies and establish it as a forerunner to what may become the dominant cryptocurrencies in the years that lie ahead. Cost: Comparatively, XRP has the lowest cost per transaction at $0.0004. In contrast, BCH is $0.26, LTC is $0.37, DASH is $0.64, ETH is $0.96, and BTC is $28.23. Scalability: XRP can handle over 1,500 transactions per second whereas BCH can handle 24 per second, LTC can handle 56 per second, DASH can handle 10 per second, ETH can handle 16 per second, and BTC can handle 24 per second. Speed: XRP can conduct transactions at a rate of 3 seconds per transaction, BCH at a rate of 58 minutes per transaction, LTC at 17 minutes per transaction, DASH at 15 minutes per transaction, ETH at 2 minutes per transaction, and BTC 1 hour and 6 minutes per transaction. XRP’s availability is ever-expanding. It is currently available on over 50 exchanges including Bitstamp, Bithumb, Bittrex, Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken, and Poloniex. The volume of XRP availability is, in addition, in an expansionary phase. The primary location of exchange volume is concentrated in Asia; in particular, South Korea. However, as mainstream media attention increases, so will American interest as well. There already have been tell-tale signs indicative in news outlets that have covered Ripple recently in the wake of XRP’s rise in CNBC, Bloomberg, Forbes, Investopedia, and Yahoo Finance. Simply consider the mania generated by the media attention to Bitcoin. Repetitive news stories featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, CBS, and other mainstream media news outlets. Countless articles disparaging it as a bubble and hailing it as a force that could deconstruct the financial apparatus governed by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Now, consider the results of media attention directed towards the substantive information behind XRP. Once news segments and articles are shown and written that illustrate the comparative superiority of XRP to other cryptocurrencies, then the viewers and readers will likely flock to XRP in pursuit of acquiring a tried, tested, and proven cryptocurrency with real-world usage. In turn, a virtuous circle intensifying capital inflow to XRP is predictable and probably to occur. We can expect FOMO to rise and a number of oscillations up and down for the price to unfold. Nevertheless, the price of XRP is bound to not only remain but rather accelerate its demonstrated upwards price trajectory pushing us to new heights. Additionally, if the collective fear among cryptocurrency investors materializes, that is, if new regulations are imposed on our activities, then Ripple is stand to likely gain. Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a scholar and risk analyst writes about a concept called “Antifragility.” Antifragility is a term used to describe things that gain from disorder. Considering Ripple’s ties to financial institutions and regulators, it wouldn’t be too far-off to speculate that XRP is positioned to gain if such a black swan event were to occur. FURTHER REASONS TO ADVANCE THE CASE FOR XRP: Financial institutions, renown investors, and accomplished financiers have already taken notice of XRP. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has advocated on Ripple’s behalf. Zoe Cruz, former president for institutional securities and wealth management at Morgan Stanley and former global head of fixed income, commodities, and foreign exchange has joined Ripple’s Board of Directors. She has been named to Forbes list of Most Powerful Women for three years straight. Perhaps most notably, a consortium of 61 banks – organized by SBI Ripple Asia – will be adopting Ripple’s technology to settle transactions between its members with the eventual goal of applying XRP to usage. Mr. Yoshitaka Kitao, the CEO, Executive Chairman, and President has publicly stated, “Forget about bitcoin, we’re all in on XRP!” In fact, SBI has already confirmed that XRP will be put in usage in Spring 2018. If successful, expect the price to reflect it. Moreover, TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington has, as of November 2017, announced a $100 million XRP hedge fund. His efforts have already raised $50 million which will engender a ripple effect of new large net-worth individual and institutional investors. The entity will be called Arrington XRP Capital and new information about its activities are set to be released in the months that lie ahead. Also, David Schwartz, Ripple’s Chief Cryptographer, has said that there are two major “household” companies (Not financial institutions) that will be announced in Q4. This is likely to provide a substantial boon to XRP. Finally, the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple, Stefan Thomas, has said that in 2018 there will be a “big push on XRP.” For years, Ripple has kept a relative silence in expressing the superiority of XRP. 2018 will be different. 2018 is bound to be Ripple’s year. I expect the price to rise as high as $10 and as low as $4. At any rate, this report only scratches the surface of Ripple and XRP’s potential. For far more nuanced and in-depth analysis and information, I suggest reading from Ripple firsthand at www.ripple.com and perusing the best blog on XRP itself at https://xrphodor.wordpress.com/ To the moon, we go. SOURCE: https://cellardoorway.com/2017/12/24/the-case-for-ripples-xrp-a-brief-overview/
My fundamental problem with the model of continuous six month hard forks and experimental consensus layer changes is that it seems to me that risk and return are being packaged into the consensus layer by pushing changes that do not strictly require an update to consensus. This is being defended by mounting a political campaign to paint the actions of dissenters from the above as all the evidence required in order to negate their position as reasonable. Recall why we are here; Political control over cryptocurrency development brings us the elements of government monetary management that have the most risk - potential for corruption and prioritisation of self interest over the success of the system. Therefore, if political control can be exercised over cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrencies are concurrently lower value from the perspective of serving their founding purpose as a non correlated asset class to address a repeat of the events of 2008, as directly stated by Satoshi in the genesis block. The ABC model of six monthly hardforks is dangerous to this goal. This is effectively requiring a complexity weighted saving throw against subversion multiplied by the number of changes to the consensus rules. People have a habit of thinking that they are smarter than they actually are, and then only in retrospect when something from the set of unknown unknowns arrives to raze everything they built, seeing that they made mistakes. The correct solution to this is not to move fast and break things, it is to minimise attack surfaces, and innovate in sheltered coves until the primitives with which you're experimenting are validated properly. On the other hand, the BTC model of political councils dictating consensus rules containing magic numbers which restrict growth and funnel utility away to subverted and controlled channels uses the logic of the above to surrender the fortress before the battle has even begun. In order that we remain conservative in our changes, we should move all of our utility bearing transactions to layers which are transparently vulnerable to subversion, and allow the consensus rules for the subversion resistant chain to remain in a completely dysfunctional state forever, because otherwise we risk dysfunction in the chain. There is enormous amounts of innovation in the internet space and on top of ipv4 as a protocol, but ipv4 itself is a static, reliable rock, with many multi decade old devices having stacks which reached stability before they themselves were prototypes. This keeps the risk profile for innovations in the internet space away from the base protocol level and allows unlimited experimentation higher in the stack. I believe this is the central value of the position taken by Coingeek and nChain presently and due credit to them for properly understanding this and sponsoring a smart contract platform with a 5m GBP bounty to fulfil that demand without making changes to the underlying consensus rules of the platform. If you can meet a desirable goal without risking everything, you should do that. Ideally, the entire point of having a trustless decentralised monetary instrument is that devolving to politics is unnecessary, and therefore political deflection is at best beside the point, or at worst an attempt to distract from the point by shiny objects that appeal to human senses of importance like whom to trust and who is good and bad. Once again, the focus needs to be unerringly on what is correct, not who is backing it or the absence of who is backing it. Representative democratic political structures are provably the wrong model, because if they were the right model we wouldn't be in this business to begin with. Because a person is socially inept, or even toxic, does not mean they are wrong. And by extension, because they are sociable, good natured and politically savvy does not mean that they are right. And it is being right which is most important. And what is right from the perspective of what the past ten years have validated for us is that the basic primitives of the Bitcoin based blockchain work. We know the variables and how they affect the operation of the system, a lot of tampering with those variables simply reduces the awareness we have of the space within which we are operating. Six month scheduled hardforks and unnecessary consensus layer changes should be recognised for the costs they are, not treated as if they were unquestionably the correct path forward. And in light of the fact that we know that they are costs, those costs should be justified in context. I believe a decent case could be made to justify the costs of CTOR for example given that it heavily optimises block propagation, which is a necessary undertaking for the continued scaling of the system, but I'm hard pressed to find a similar justification for OP_DSV, which appears by contrast to be an unnecessary risk. I also believe people are potentially interpreting conflict and the preparedness to engage in a hash war as a dispute resolution mechanism as markers of those who engage in this behaviour being bad actors. Recall that the very reason we're in this situation right now as a minority stake in the space pioneered by the values and ideas we champion, is because the majority control of the hashrate was unprepared to actually use that hashrate as a genuine dispute resolution mechanism to break the opposing view. An opposing view which, looking back over the developments of the past year, it is fairly uncontroversial to state was as wrong as we said it was from the beginning, if not more. This is much like having the world's most powerful army and surrendering to the other side's demands because they paid you off. It is not something that should be held up as a successful model for dispute resolution. An army that won't fight is not an army at all. Strongly believing that your position is the correct one, and being prepared to suffer consequences temporary loss in order to continue to hold that valuable signal in a visible way to all market participants is the legitimate purpose of proof of work. In conclusion, I would encourage people not to be distracted from the long term goal of what we've been building here for the past decade. An escape from a system which failed, and through which massive monetary parasitism has taken place across the world. Both the armour and the weapons that ensure that escape must be viewed from the perspective of an adversarial technical analysis of how effective they are, because there can be no doubt about the extent to which the interests that would propagate and extend that parasitism will go in order to negate the structure which successfully defends from it. That structure will endure based on the cryptographic, economic, and mathematical principles upon which it rests. It will not do so based upon the quality of the character or likeability of the people who rely upon it to do so. Don't be afraid. The testing of these weapons and armour in anger are necessary, otherwise they are nothing but bluffing apparatus, and if all you have is a bluff, no real dispute resolution is possible. I won't tell people what they should believe or what they should choose. I can see merits to both sides of the equation and I will definitely not be going all in on one side or the other. I believe that the problem is fundamentally based in people being distracted from actually understanding the means and the ends of the arms and armour being tested here. Don't get distracted. Deeply understand what is going on at the level below the circus sideshow of political partisanship and personality analysis. If you can do that, you are already ahead of 95%+ of the market.
CheapAir.com appears to have chosen self-hosted payment processor BTCPay for its Bitcoin payments, removing BitPay. The firm stats that
Coinbase is sun-setting their merchant platform next week which has led to a need for an alternative processor. Coinbase mentioned that it would be retiring its merchant processing function in April which the cryptocurrency industry condemned.
Caspian Partners, a cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform announced a partnership with Bitmex. Caspian customers will now have a unified trading module with more liquidity. The firm provides order and execution management system (OEMS), risk management system (RMS), and a portfolio management system (PMS).
US transportation company Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC) revealed it is joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BITA) in a company announcement yesterday. The BITA association formed in 2017 and aims to develop blockchain applications to the transport and logistics industries. BITA also includes organizations like FedEx (FDX), Uber, UPS (UPS) and GE Transportation.
Thailand’s largest bank has joined a trade finance program utilizing R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology (DLT). R3 is a consortium of over 200 companies that uses technology on blockchain to allow businesses to develop applications on top of its Corda platform.
The Bank of China will use blockchain technology to alleviate poverty in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a province with a poverty rate of 12.4%. The Bank of China has developed a cloud-based system to manage a local poverty reduction fund in the past. The bank has decided to upgrade the existing system with blockchain technology and set up a multi-node blockchain network to connect with their partners like the Agricultural Bank of China
A Czech Republic utility company will begin accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. Pražská Plynárenská is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic. In June it will establish a payment payment gateway which will transfer bitcoin payments into fiat currency.
A recent study by the Warwick Business School claims that investor sentiment is driving cryptocurrency prices. The study analyzed the top 14 cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization. The primary conclusion was that hype and emotions played the most significant role in determining whether the price of a cryptocurrency rises or falls.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has suffered from a 51% attack resulting in a loss USD$17.5mm. The 51% attack permitted double spending to occur. According to the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) team, exchanges have been targeted rather than individual users.
South Africa’s Reserve Bank has chose to call cryptocurrencies “cyber-tokens” because they don’t meet the requirements of money.
In Colombia, two Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents have developed a payment processor called Bitek.co. The company offers merchants processing with payable invoices and accounting services as the Bitek platform provides merchants with the ability to accept BCH and covert all or a percentage of the funds into Colombian pesos.
Employees in Ukraine were recently caught using the police department’s resources for four months to mine Bitcoin. In April, mining equipment was found in the office of the Communications Deparment which include eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system.
VeChain (VEN), a Shanghai-based blockchain startup is testing a blockchain application which verifies a wine supply chain and fights counterfeits. The Chinese wine industry is worth USD$2.8bn and reportedly the Chinese consume wine that is not authentic which as weakened public trust in the quality of the product.
Ireland has clarified taxation on the cryptocurrency space. In terms of direct taxes: corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax are all applicable, but each case should be reviewed separately.
Barcelona will create a blockchain center in the city’s tech hub. The location will be next to Barcelona Tech City which opened in the Summer of 2016 and will most likely be occupied by Spanish blockchain network Alastria.
Bitfury-backed Hut 8 Mining Group mined more than 800 bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018. The company raised CAD$70mm to continue investing in hardware and generated nearly CAD$11mm in revenue.
Commerzbank and multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp have successfully conducted an FX transaction on a blockchain platform. Thyssenkrupp transferred 500,000 euros in an exchange rate between the euro and the Polish zloty at some point in future.
Surkus has raised USD$10mm in Series B funding led by EOS global, a USD$200mm venture fund formed earlier this year. The venture fund is making its first investment and it aims to leverage the EOSIO blockchain to catalyze the transformation of the digital assets space.
CoTrader is introducing a decentralized fund management platform that includes cryptocurrency. CoTrader is a blockchain trading platform and it plans to disrupt investment funds to become the world’s largest outlet for all assets.
The Deutsche Boerse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is considering offering cryptocurrency products according to a report. A move into the crypto space may not be immediate as Jeffrey Tessler, the firm’s head of clients, said the firm must “make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do”.
Two Russian financial institutions are set to test a regulatory platform that aims to make domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) more transparent and secure for traditional investors. The Russian National Settlement Depository (NSD) announced on Thursday that it is working with Sberbank CIB, to test an ICO issuance platform launched by the Bank of Russia.
The US Department of Justice has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into cryptocurrency traders who may have manipulated the market with old-school illicit tactics, such as spoofing. The investigation is also being conducted with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
American Express is exploring using blockchain technology to increase security for both users and merchants. The firm is exploring an identity wallet and whether blockchain can be used.
Russian State Duma has approved its first reading of a legislation package that regulates crypto-related matters and activities. The legal texts will open the way for legalization of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation, including their exchange and circulation under certain conditions.
Revolut, a British based company that created the first app to allow customers to invest in Bitcoin, has announced it will be adding Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its platform. Revolut began as an app allowing users to transfer fiat currencies, but now has four cryptocurrencies on its platform.
Banks are losing international payments business. Banks have lost 40% of market share for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) cross border payments to non-banks over the last year. Banks have also lost 30% of the consumer-to-business (C2B) and 5% of the business-to-business (B2B) payments market over the last year.
Japanese IT giant, GMO Internet is set to roll out the world’s first bitcoin mining device based on 7nm chips within the year. The firm is launching a new B2 miner on June 6 with mass production to follow and shipment starting by the end of October.
Coinbase has acquired a service called Paradex, a cryptocurrency trading service that lets users trade many digital tokens on a decentralized exchange. The exchange relies on smart contracts to allow users to trade tokens without a centralized authority to record the transactions on a blockchain.
Money Forward, Japan’s most popular personal budgeting app, is launching a crypto asset exchange this year. The firm plans to launch a crypto media platform by Summer followed by an exchange and the construction of a digital asset remittance and settlement system.
The Marshal Islands have replaced the USD$ with its own cryptocurrency. The bill was signed March first but the news is catching attention this week. US Dollars will still be accepted, yet the nation’s cryptocurrency, the “sovereign” will need to be integrated into the country’s financial system. An initial coin offering will take place and the supply will be capped at 24mm tokens
Bank of America has been awarded a patent to let users access a certain blockchain network known as a distributed validating network. Certain users will be granted permission and data will be stored in blocks in which a system can automate this process.
Singaporean-based virtual social trading platform, TrakInvest is looking to become one of the first Asian-based projects to use Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology.
Norway’s central bank is preparing for a future in which it might issue a digital currency due to a drop in usage of cash in the country. The Norges Bank released a report titled “Central Bank Digital Currencies” which highlighted that the bank must consider several new attributes that are important for ensuring an efficient robust payment system
Overstock.com’s Tzero is planning to launch a regulated exchange for security tokens in collaboration with Box Digital Markets. The companies will seek approval from the SEC.
A Spanish Central Bank Governor believes that cryptocurrencies will bring more risk than benefits. Luis Maria Linde said that blockchain offers interesting possibilities but that is not quite mature.
Rural banks in the Philippines are looking to adopt blockchain technology in a bid to improve inclusion for residents. The initiative is led by the Union bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s largest banking institutions.
India is considering taxing cryptocurrency at 18% as ‘intangible property’ according to a report issued today. The report detailed that purchases or sales of cryptocurrencies are considered supply of goods and those facilitating transactions should be treated as services.
Every Capital is launching Australia’s first retail crypto hedge fund with the goal of making crypto assets accessible to every Australian investor. Investors will be able to sign up in a fund that covers a range of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The Pentagon and Defense department are weighing on whether owning cryptocurrency is problematic for those who already have security clearances and for those individuals requesting government security clearances.
Steemit, the platform of cryptocurrency of Steem (STEEM) has announced they have over 1,000,000 users. The blockchain processes over one million transactions daily. The Steemit.com website receives over 250,000 unique visitors every day
CheapAir.com adds Litecoin (LTC) Dash (DASH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its payment options for travelers. The firm first begin accepting cryptocurrency by agreeing to receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2013.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is proposing changes to existing regulations that would ease market entry for blockchain-based and decentralized exchanges. According to a paper published yesterday, the MAS states that the single tier “recognized market operators” regulatory framework cannot meet the demand for new business models based on such emerging technologies.
Chilean President, Mario Marcel has recently made comments in favor of developing a regulatory apparatus for virtual currencies. This openness contrasts the country’s recent banking embargo targeting cryptocurrencies in Chile.
MIT is demoing a use case for bitcoin’s lightning network – how the cryptocurrency can be combined with smart contracts to not only handle millions of transactions, but also with more complexity. Verge (XVG) has experienced its second hack in less than two months.
Executives are citing a DDoS attack which is giving its blockchain a serious delay. The attack has lasted more than a few hours and has resulted in over 35mm XVG tokens being stolen. CoinGate, a payment gateway for cryptocurrencies, is planning to launch
Bitcoin Lightning Network payments on its platform. The company serves over 4,000 merchants globally and will allow companies to accept bitcoin and altcoin payments which can be transferred in BTC, EUR€ or USD$ as payouts.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is cracking down on unlicensed companies involved in the cryptocurrency space. Companies that the Commission is targeting include investment and trading companies.
A bank in Argentina could soon become the first in the world to begin using Bitcoin for customers’ international remittances. Banco Mansventas (BMV) partnered with local blockchain financial services firm Bitex and are looking to move away from the SWIFT clearing network which has seen multiple failures and security problems in recent years.
Payments startup, Circle has launched the full version of its crypto investment app. After a soft launch, the company has rolled out an investment focused app and one of the features is a “Buy the Market” tool for new cryptocurrency investors.
China Central Television (CCTV) has said that domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) are still rampant despite a 2017 ban. The network went on to discuss that “air coins”, or token projects that are not backed by legally registered business entities have increased by 30x since the ICO crackdown.
A new crypto teller machine is now operational in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ATM supports several digital coins and joins a growing number of terminals offering automated crypto-fiat exchange services in the country and across the continent.
Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is partnering with Akamai to handle up to 1mm transactions per second using blockchain technology. The platform will confirm transactions within 2 seconds or less and batches of transactions will adhere to the same schedule.
Lawmakers in Taiwan are forming a new parliamentary group aimed to foster the growth of the nation’s emerging blockchain sector. The group will be called the Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain (TPCB).
The Bitcoin community is celebrating the 8th anniversary of the “Bitcoin Pizza Day” which is a celebratory day of a Pizza purchased with Bitcoin. On today’s date 8 years ago, Bitcoin was trading at $.0004 and Laszio Hanyecz purchased two pizzas from Papa John’s for USD$41 using 10,000 BTC
Ohio may become the latest US state to legally recognize smart contracts and records stored on a blockchain. The Senate Bill 300, amends sections of the Uniform Electronic Transactions act and will include blockchain records and smart contracts as electronic records.
Virtuse, a Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange, is connecting crypto markets with global financial assets, commodities, government emission allowances and stock indices to eliminate the middlemen and provide transparency to the financial sector.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an advisory statement for listing virtual currency derivative products. The director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) has said that the CFTC staff will seek to provide additional guidance to help market participants keep pace with innovation while complying with CFTC regulations.
American aviation company TapJets is considering adding Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) to its fleet of payment options. The company inquired about which cryptocurrencies to add via a Twitter poll, and 57,000 users voted.
Spain’s financial regulator has clarified its position on regulated investment funds investing directly in cryptocurrencies. The regulatory body stated that an investment fund registered with the countries National Securities Market Commission can make investments in cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain startup ShareRing is developing a mobile application to consolidate sharing services worldwide. The sharing economy is currently valued at over USD$100bn according to Brookings.
Polish Finance Ministry is rolling back a cryptocurrency tax and is making promises to provide smarter regulation. The ministry will be conducting an “in-depth analysis” of the crypto space to create better regulation and taxation policies going forward.
Walmart has submitted a patent application to track items the store sells to customers. The proposed system would allow a customer to register the item after it is purchased.
TradingView, a software website that many cryptocurrency traders use just raised USD$37mm in funding which was led by Insight Venture Partners. Currently the company receives 75% of its revenues from monthly subscription plans that offer more charts, data and real-time server-side alerts
A “cryptosweep” was launched today in the US and Canada by a group of securities regulators. Nearly 70 inquiries and investigations, and 45 pending or completed enforcement actions will be taken, although it is unclear when the related enforcement actions will be publicly announced
The team behind Parity Technologies have announced they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has shown in a report that crypto related fraud made up a tiny percent of scam activity in 2017. Of the 200,000 scams reporting, only 0.61% of the financial claims made were crypto related – USD$2.1mm
LMAX Exchange Group is setting up the first cryptocurrency exchange for institutional clients. The group will focus on liquid established cryptocurrencies which include: Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Former OKEx cryptocurrency exchange CEO, Chris Lee, is now joining rival cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. In a public note, Lee suggested that OKCoin has experienced notable turnover in senior executives over the past few years which may have affected his decision.
Nearly 40% of all Chinese blockchain startups emerged in 2017, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The report highlighted that China currently has 456 startups focused on blockchain technology development as part of their core business.
Japan Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck will delist Monero and three other privacy coins from Coincheck, one of the country’s most popular exchanges. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) believes that users have too much anonymity with these cryptocurrencies.
Bankex Smart Justice is bringing arbitration to blockchain technology. If users are in disagreement, Bankex claims the firms technology can help users settle
Thomas Lee owns up to his failed prediction of Bitcoin (BTC) rising ahead of Blockchain week. In a note to clients before Consensus 2018, Lee predicted that Bitcoin (BTC) would surge anywhere from 10-70% yet during the week, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell
Porn and video games are replacing Christianity as the common language of American conservatives These are good: Vladimir Putin. White identity politics. Star Wars. Austrian free market economics. Donald Trump. LOLs. Bitcoin. Darwinism. Silicon Valley. Science and technology. Transhumanism. Pepe the Frog. These are bad: Islam. Feminism. Democracy. Black Lives Matter. The new Ghostbusters movie. Egalitarianism. Political correctness. God. Immigration. Hillary Clinton. Newspapers. Government. Academia. Liberalism. Welcome to the complicated world of the so-called alternative (or alt) right. Think Mein Kampf meets The Big Bang Theory. For years these socially dysfunctional millennials have sheltered behind their bedroom laptops, watching porn, sending abusive tweets (anonymously) and eating pizza in their underpants. Mainstream politics – both left and right – has previously ignored this developing phenomenon. But with Donald Trump they have found a champion who understands their anger. And they have become his digital vanguard. Tonight in Nevada, Hilary Clinton will give a major speech linking Trump to the alt right. And with this speech the alt right will further enter the political mainstream. One account of their rise to political significance cites the 2014 Gamergate controversy. This vicious internet culture war took place between those who were pressing for a more inclusive video gaming culture (more women, less violence) and those who reacted against what they saw as a humourless leftwing threat to their enjoyment of guns and boobs. These burgeoning alt right gamers have little in common with traditional Republican conservatives and their evangelical Christian values. They don’t go to church. Indeed, many are aggressively atheistic. Rather, they come together on blogs and online community forums like 4chan where they fulminate against social justice warriors – SJWs – who want to spoil their fun. They hate the liberal apparatus of the state, including the mainstream press and Ivy League academia that they collectively dub as The Cathedral. And they hate normies – normal people – and their repressive political philosophy, democracy. Instead of democracy, they propose that the US should be run like a large company with a CEO at its head, preferably one from Silicon Valley. Someone like PayPal founder Peter Thiel, whose views include : “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” But Trump will do for now. Oh, and only intelligent people should be in charge, and that means white people. “Ever since Mill wrote his response to Carlyle on The Negro Question, writers of the English Protestant tradition have been defending the blatantly theological position that ‘all men are created equal’,” wrote the computer programmer and alt-right hero Curtis Yarvin under his pen name Mencius Moldbug. He continued: “Note that exactly the same rhetorical strategy can prove the existence of God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter.” Traditional Republicans are now regularly dismissed by the revolting term cuckservatives – an insult first used by white supremacists of Christian conservatives who, they said, have allowed themselves to be cuckolded by racial minorities. They darkly summon the idea of interracial sex – a theme that was also an obsessive preoccupation of the KKK. And its meaning broadens out to refer to those who witness their country being taken away and don’t have the balls to do anything to stop it. That’s why they want a US version of Putin. Because they don’t think he would allow that to happen. Of course, racism has a long and inglorious history in US politics. But it now has a very new iteration in the nerdy tech-savvy generation of the alt right. Racism 2.0. They don’t speak of eugenics but rather of maintaining “human biodiversity”. And they have a thing about IQ tests showing that white people are cleverer than others. I know, we’ve heard all this crap many times before. But there is something new here. For in cross-pollinating with the anonymity and viciousness of the internet, with porn and video games replacing Christianity as the common language in which conservatives talk to each other, with openly anti-democratic impulses being justified as rationality, the virus of racism is capable of spreading as never before. The age of the Christian right is over. And something worse is set to take its place. @giles_fraser
IBM may one day be testing software applications on a blockchain system, public filings show. In a patent application released Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the company Bitcoin, also known as blockchain, can upload pre-incident plans, help 911 services obtain information during high volume times, employee memos and log equipment inventory Press Release Bitcoin Code Review - Is it really a Scam?100% Winning Official Site Published: June 30, 2020 at 8:53 a.m. ET First Mover. Since its conception in 2008 by a person(s) named Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain became synonymous with the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Without a central bank in the middle, the blockchain served as the “trusted authority” within the bitcoin apparatus and solved the “double spend” problem that previously plagued other payment Also Read: South Africa Will Begin Testing Bitcoin and Crypto Regulations. Gigaba stated that the government wishes to develop a juridical apparatus that “is supportive of the objectives of enhanced innovation, competition and financial inclusion in the financial sector, while also reviewing risks related to financial customer protection
This Is Why Bitcoin Will Break Bullish - HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF
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