Jim Smith Freelance Software Developer – Designing and
Scaling Bitcoin Workshops - Transcripts
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Bitcoin History – Price since 2009 to 2019, BTC Charts
Long live decentralized bitcoin(!) A reading list
Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until a top of $20000 before correcting to where we are today. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited. For more threads like this see UASF
We would like to thank Qudem for inviting us and hosting this AMA session and community for asking such interesting and high-qualify questions! See full review in our Blog 1. The price of your token continues to go down. What factors do you think influence it and what’s your strategy to keep holding communities attention? 2. Could you share more details about the marketplace you are working on? When is it going to be launched, what products will be there, etc? 3. When will you share the progress made so far with your announced partners? For now the crypto market is a highly speculative market and the token price almost has nothing to do the projects’ progress for most of the projects. IoTeX is such an ambitious project that our goal is to change how the physical world works with the blockchain world and not a lot people can understand our vision and hold the belief of it. So it is not a surprise to me that speculative investors come and go rather than hodl. But I see more and more long term believers are joining us recently, no matter through investment, development and other forms of ways to work with us, which is super encouraging! In addition, it seems like we are in the initial phase of another bull run for the entire crypto market and usually bitcoin is taking the lead but more attention will be shifted to other projects once bitcoin finished its sprint. We have more focus on the underlying privacy/TEE technologies as for now which is innovative, unprecedented and not easy. Once the underlying hardware/protocol is stylized, we will kick off trusted data marketplace project. For partnering with other projects and companies, we are selective because we want to work with our partners seriously rather than for PR purposes. We are working with many projects such as Chainlink (we announced the partnership yesterday), Neutral dollar (stablecoin), Celer (l2 scaling), Harmony (zkp projects) and many other companies from the traditional world. As great and solid progress is made, we will make official announcements. 1. How many nodes do you have ? How many token do you need to run a node? And what are the rewards? 2. “IoTeX and Lineable hope to connect 1,000,000+ Lineable devices to the IoTeX blockchain in 2019.” What is the status thereof? I assume you mean delegate nodes — globally we have ~60 delegates on-board and the top 36 of them are serving the network by producing and validating blocks. We specifically designed the low entry barrier for delegate candidates — one has to stake down 1.2M IOTX and get another 0.8M IOTX from others (including oneself) to be eligible as a delegate candidate. Check out the reward details here; my impression is that the annual return is 10% — 15%. Lineable project is going well. They will host their chain (for orchestrating lora gateways) within IoTeX network. We are kind of slow on the development of subchain SDK given other priorities; and we are actively staffing the team to have more hands working on the subchain SDK. “How did you survive during a long bear market? What difficulties, if any, have been encountered in this period?” What has been the biggest technical challenge that you overcame this year? And what from your pov is the biggest one to come , this year and beyond? Do you see IoTeX having a role in home surveillance and home automation some day — and of what kind? To be honest, I don’t have a strong feeling about the bear market in the past year since we have been so focused on building things :) I am an early bitcoin investor and user and tell me about the bear markets — bitcoin has been through many much tougher market situations and it is true that a blockchain project (including its token) becomes valuable only after being through tough times! In terms of the technical challenge, it is an interesting topic. We used to have lots of internal discussions around the technical roadmap — opinion 1 is to develop a useful blockchain by focusing more on the application/user-facing features while option 2 is to focus on the moonshot features which will likely not useful in the near term but important for the future. Both of them are legit and great. I would think option 1 may partly because the aforementioned “bear market” made people more realistic and desperately want a landing case for blockchain. Still, we decide to go for option 2 since we are an ambitious project for changing the world. The biggest one to come this year and beyond is decentralization — I feel like the industry focus is slightly off the right track as it puts too much attention on scalability technologies such as sharding — for which I think it is totally wrong. The blockchain is only valuable cuz it provides low-cost trust which roots in the decentralization. If one wants a fast system, there are many such as cassandra and kafka. Blockchain is not meant to be fast, at least the layer 1 chain. Yes! Device identity and trusted data are the two concrete things we are working on rewarding IoT+blockchain. We have quite a few inbound requests from home surveillance manufacturers and companies around these two. Can you explain better so that the token is used IoTeX Foundation and Ecosystem? Could you update the amount of available foundation and Ecosystem tokens? Why are not the foundation and Ecosystem tokens used for new associations? Any explanation of the current status of the iotex project? Do you plan to sell OTC iotex tokens? In that case, what provision of tokens are available for sale. Why is not iotex published in more media crypto and YouTubers? What idea of expansion is there currently, globally, which countries are you most interested in? How many fairs of iot and crypto do you plan to go to in 2019 and 2020? How many companies have contacted you interested in security iot? How many staff resources do you currently have? How much available capital is there for the project? People are procured with the alts, in what position do you think is iotex as a project, from 1 to 10? Why do you think iotex is better than similar projects? Do you have a board of directors, how often do you meet? Early stage venture capital investors, is there any of them that joins the board of directors and decisions? How can big investors contribute to iotex? He thinks it would be interesting to buy more tokens from venture capital investors. Do you communicate with new venture capitalists and other iot companies to buy iotex tokens? Thanks for such a list of thorough questions. The Binance Research Report will have some concrete numbers for some of the questions here; let me address them from a high level. IOTX is used for governance (through staking/voting), utility (like gas in Ethereum) and operating of subchains in IoTeX Network. Please see the Binance Report for concrete numbers of tokens allocation. One change we made recently is to distribute last trance of the private-sale tokens in July (which is already done) according to http://member.iotex.io/polls. Otherwise, everything else stays the same. Foundation and ecosystem tokens will be used for incubating new projects/initiatives on top of IoTeX network. We received some ideas and applications already and are selecting which are the ones we want to start with. We have no plans to sell IOTX via OTC. Any interested investors can buy from the secondary market. We are focusing on building :) As the project gets more well-established, we are talking about ourselves more on media, conferences and etc.. We already have enough number of inbound queries from IoT companies to start with. We are a team of 30+ people and most of us are engineers and scientists. For procuring of tokens, I cannot give financial advice. IoTeX has an ambitious vision and solid execution, it is a great project. We have few advisors from IoT industry, academia and venture side, and we meet roughly once a month. We are open to strategic investors especially the ones coming with industry resources. We are working with some of them but cannot disclose the details for now. What role do you think IOTEX will play in making blockchain highly adaptable in the worldwide stage? IoTeX’s role is clear — it connects the physical world and the blockchain world by leveraging the machines/devices and things. To make it highly adaptable, IoTeX has this blockchains-in-blockchain structure that we encourage applications/scenarios to have their specific subchains that acting like adapters to specific verticals. It is interesting to see that Polkadot adopts similar designs which they call parachains. Where do you and the team see the world of blockchain being in years to come, and how will $vita change the landscape of the cryptocurrency space in years to come? What do you think is the biggest problem Team will solve that no other project is solving now, and why is the problem important to solve? Connecting the physical world with the blockchain world is a huge trend in the next 5 years. VITA’s mission is to engage the community and make crypto super easy to use for normal people in this world, so it is another way to connect the physical world with the blockchain world. The important problem is “how to connect physical and blockchain worlds”. This is super important: 1. The physical world needs a parallel virtual world to enable programmability and automation for lots of things; 2. The blockchain world needs to have an impact on physical world to demonstrate its value and generate revenue potentially. There are very few projects working on this now, e.g., chainlink takes a great first step on this. IoTeX continuously pushing this forward. When you look back to the day you guys started IoTeX, are you guys satisfied with the progress you have made? When you say IoTeX is a truly private blockchain, how do you think it is better than other private blockchain implementations in the industry? I am super impressed by the progress of the team — we started with three co founders and we now have 30 employees all over the world and ~100K people in our community in 18 months; we started with a whitepaper and now we have a decentralized, stable and performant public blockchain already processed 1million transactions and every line of code of this blockchain is written by us, no fork, no clone. IoTeX project has been highly recognized in the industry by top exchanges, top institutional investors and top companies in internet and IoT industry. Very different. If you look at the privacy-focused blockchains as Monero, Zcash and Grin — they are all slow, hard to use (like in Grin, sender and receiver should cosign a message before transferring coins) and has limited privacy (like monero has limited anonymity set). Most importantly, they set a high bar for developers and users to embrace this privacy technology. What we want is to set a privacy-preserving enabled platform so users and developers can enjoy using it without hassling with the hardcore techniques underlying. Also compared to ZKP, ring-sig approaches, our TEE-based approach provides faster and easier user experience. What killer features has IoTeX that are ahead of the competition and how does IOTEX intend to open up the technology to the community and to researchers so it can be continuously improved on? In short, PoS-based decentralization and TEE-based trusted computing are the two killer features of IoTeX. The former one is in production, and we are welcome anyone to join our Delegate Program! The second one is still under R&D stage and we will gradually open to the community once features are stabilized. Is it possible to introduce such an option as re-delegation of profit (type of reinvestment) so that the coins are not sent to the delegate’s purse but are automatically delegated, implementing the concept of compound interest. Hah, this is the second time I received such a requirement! This is something definitely technically feasible and let me pass this back to my PM as they are building an auto reward-distribution service for all delegates and this could be one fancy feature. 1. Do you guys worry when the price of your token goes down in the market and try something to bring it up? 2. Why did you made the Vita token pre-mined? 3. Do you believe adding Blockfolio, Citex as delegates will benefit Iotex in the long run? A little bit since we do not let our supporters suffer; but not too much since we know it will pick up in the near future. Basically to me, the “blue chip” age in the crypto market is coming or already came. Great projects with an ambitious vision and solid execution are getting more attention from the market. VITA is not pre-mined, as the purpose is to create a fair token for everyone to enjoy. We have no intention to do fundraising using it. Yes, if you look at our delegates they are really coming from different sectors — community/media, tech, investors, exchanges/wallets, developers, ambassadors. All of them are contributing and make IoTeX a prosperous ecosystem! Check to see who they are I saw that IoTeX is currently holding its first network-wide vote via smart contract. Why is such community engagement important for IoTeX and what role will this type of voting play going forward? What kind of decisions do you think is important from IoTeX to put to the community? Great question. Decentralization is the soul of a blockchain. Every shareholder’s opinion is important to us! We will have more voting events like this regarding how to grow tech, community, token economics and etc.. What’s your outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies? What can we do to keep increasing adoption? We long both crypto and the world! We identify ourselves as the connector of the physical world and blockchain world, which will have massive adoption. Can you explain why IoTeX is unique and how you expand your project? IoTeX’s role is clear — it connects the physical world and the blockchain world by leveraging the machines/devices and things. PoS-based decentralization and TEE-based trusted computing are the two killer features of IoTeX. What other platforms (if any) are you and your team working on to expand blockchain development and technologies? We are exclusively focused on IoTeX Network for now but we use different techniques/tools to make it better such as graphql, typescript, tee and etc.. Hello, I’m just a newbie in this current new world, what’s your plan to expand/grab knowledge about cryptocurrency especially for IOTEX project? docs.iotex.io is definitely a great place to start. We will also launch our codelabs in a few weeks which would be a great place for starters. You can also check out lots of useful resources here https://www.iotex.io/community-resources How do you see the project develop in 3–5 years from now, both business wise & company wise? What are the plans to expand in different regions? Will you outsource the team/skills or keep it centralized and set up offices? The past 18 months is a great start for the project and we are working even harder since then. This year we aim to finish most of the tech foundation (blockchain + trusted computing); 2020 will be one year we focus on some use cases — device identity, trusted collecting of IoT data, trusted storage of data and compute. Second half of 2020, we will focus on commercialization of such as the data marketplace on top of our technologies. In terms of where to start, we found out that Asian and Europe are most passionate about IoT that’s where we will likely to push first. Decentralization is the soul of the blockchain, both at operation level (e.g., delegates) and organization level (e.g., diversified team and decentralized offices). We are always trying to make IoTeX more decentralized and we would love to have believers to join us no matter from where! Why iotx doesnt spend more time to promote more news about the project? We are focusing on building :) As the project gets more well-established, we are talking about ourselves more.
Georgia Tombstones (Part 2) by Jayge 8^J "Project Blue Beam is a conspiracy theory that claims that NASA is attempting to implement a New Age religion with the Antichrist at its head and start a New World Order, via a technologically-simulated Second Coming. The allegations were presented in 1994 by Quebecois journalist and conspiracy theorist Serge Monast, and later published in his book Project Blue Beam (NASA). Proponents of the theory allege that Monast and another unnamed journalist, who both died of heart attacks in 1996, were in fact assassinated, and that the Canadian government kidnapped Monast's daughter in an effort to dissuade him from investigating Project Blue Beam. The project was apparently supposed to be implemented in 1983, but it didn't happen. It was then set for implementation in 1995 and then 1996. Monast thought Project Blue Beam would be brought to fruition by the year 2000, really, definitely, for sure. The theory is widely popular (for a conspiracy theory) on the Internet, with many web pages dedicated to the subject, and countless YouTube videos explaining it. The actual source material, however, is very thin indeed. Monast lectured on the theory in the mid-1990s (a transcript of one such lecture is widely available), before writing and publishing his book, which has not been reissued by his current publisher and is all but unobtainable. The currently available pages and videos all appear to trace back to four documents: A transcript of the 1994 lecture by Monast, translated into English. A GeoCities page written by David Openheimer and which appears to draw on the original book. A page on educate-yourself.org, compiled in 2005, which appears to include a translation of the book from the French. Monast's page in French Wikipedia. The French Wikipedia article is largely sourced from two books on conspiracy theories and extremism by Pierre-André Taguieff, a mainstream academic expert on racist and extremist groups. From these few texts have come a flood of green ink, in text and video form, in several languages. Even the French language material typically does not cite the original book but the English language pages on educate-yourself.org. However, conspiracy theorists seem to use quantity as a measure of substance (much as alternative medicine uses appeal to tradition) and never mind the extremely few sources it all traces back to. Proponents of the theory have extrapolated it to embrace HAARP, 9/11, the Norwegian Spiral, chemtrails, FEMA concentration camps and Tupac Shakur. Everything is part of Project Blue Beam. It's well on its way to becoming the Unified Conspiracy Theory. Behold A Pale Horse, William Cooper's 1991 green ink magnum opus, has lately been considered a prior claim of, hence supporting evidence for, Blue Beam by advocates. The book is where a vast quantity of now-common conspiracy memes actually came from, so retrospectively claiming it as prior evidence is somewhere between cherrypicking and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. However, the following quotes, from pages 180-181, intersect slightly with the specific themes of Blue Beam: It is true that without the population or the bomb problem the elect would use some other excuse to bring about the New World Order. They have plans to bring about things like earthquakes, war, the Messiah, an extra-terrestrial landing, and economic collapse. They might bring about all of these things just to make damn sure that it does work. They will do whatever is necessary to succeed. The Illuminati has all the bases covered and you are going to have to be on your toes to make it through the coming years. Can you imagine what will happen if Los Angeles is hit with a 9.0 quake, New York City is destroyed by a terrorist-planted atomic bomb, World War III breaks out in the Middle East, the banks and the stock markets collapse, Extraterrestrials land on the White House lawn, food disappears from the markets, some people disappear, the Messiah presents himself to the world, and all in a very short period of time? Can you imagine? The world power structure can, and will if necessary, make some or all of those things happen to bring about the New World Order. “Without a universal belief in the new age religion, the success of the new world order will be impossible!” The alleged purpose of Project Blue Beam is to bring about a global New Age religion, which is seen as a core requirement for the New World Order's dictatorship to be realised. There's nothing new in thinking of religion as a form of control, but the existence of multiple religions, spin-off cults, competing sects and atheists suggest that controlling the population entirely through a single religion isn't particularly easy. Past attempts have required mechanisms of totalitarianism such as the Inquisition. Monast's theory, however, suggests using sufficiently advanced technology to trick people into believing. Of course, the plan would have to assume that people could never fathom the trick at all — something contested by anyone sane enough not to swallow this particular conspiracy. The primary claimed perpetrator of Project Blue Beam is NASA, presented as a large and mostly faceless organization that can readily absorb such frankly odd accusations, aided by the United Nations, another old-time boogeyman of conspiracy theorists. According to Monast, the project has four steps: Step One requires the breakdown of all archaeological knowledge. This will apparently be accomplished by faking earthquakes at precise locations around the planet. Fake "new discoveries" at these locations "will finally explain to all people the error of all fundamental religious doctrines", specifically Christian and Muslim doctrines. This makes some degree of sense — if you want to usurp a current way of thinking you need to completely destroy it before putting forward your own. However, religious belief is notoriously resilient to things like facts. The Shroud of Turin is a famous example that is still believed by many to be a genuine shroud of Jesus as opposed to the medieval forgery that it has been conclusively shown to be. Prayer studies, too, show how difficult it is to shift religious conviction with mere observational fact — indeed, many theologians avoid making falsifiable claims or place belief somewhere specifically beyond observation to aid this. So what finds could possibly fundamentally destroy both Christianity and Islam, almost overnight, and universally all over the globe? Probably nothing. Yet, this is only step one of an increasingly ludicrous set of events that Project Blue Beam predicts will occur. Step Two involves a gigantic "space show" wherein three-dimensional holographic laser projections will be beamed all over the planet — and this is where Blue Beam really takes off. The projections will take the shape of whatever deity is most predominant, and will speak in all languages. At the end of this light show, the gods will all merge into one god, the Antichrist. This is a rather baffling plan as it seems to assume people will think this is actually their god, rather than the more natural twenty-first century assumption that it is a particularly opaque Coca Cola advertisement. Evidence commonly advanced for this is a supposed plan to project the face of Allah, despite its contradiction with Muslim belief of God's uniqueness, over Baghdad in 1991 to tell the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Someone, somewhere, must have thought those primitive, ignorant non-Western savages wouldn't have had television or advertising, and would never guess it was being done with mirrors. In general, pretty much anything that either a) involves light or b) has been seen in the sky has been put forward as evidence that Project Blue Beam is real, and such things are "tests" of the technology — namely unidentified flying objects. Existing display technology such as 3D projection mapping and holograms are put forward as foreshadowing the great light show in the sky. This stage will apparently be accomplished with the aid of a Soviet computer that will be fed "with the minute physio-psychological particulars based on their studies of the anatomy and electro-mechanical composition of the human body, and the studies of the electrical, chemical and biological properties of the human brain", and every human has been allocated a unique radio wavelength. The computers are also capable of inducing suicidal thoughts. The Soviets are (not "were") the "New World Order" people. Why NASA would use a Soviet computer when the USSR had to import or copy much of its computer technology from the West is not detailed. The second part of Step Two happens when the holograms result in the dissolution of social and religious order, "setting loose millions of programmed religious fanatics through demonic possession on a scale never witnessed before." The United Nations plans to use Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the anthem for the introduction of the new age one world religion. There is relatively little to debunk in this, the most widely remembered section of the Project Blue Beam conspiracy, as the idea is so infeasible. Citing actual existing communication technology is odd if the point is for the end product to appear magical, rather than just as cheap laser projections onto clouds. This hasn't stopped some very strange conspiracy theories about such things popping up. Indeed, the notion of gods being projected into the sky was floated in 1991 by conspiracy theorist Betty J. Mills. And US general (and CIA shyster extraordinaire), Edward Lansdale, actually floated a plan to fake a Second Coming over Cuba to get rid of Castro. Step Three is "Telepathic Electronic Two-Way Communication." It involves making people think their god is speaking to them through telepathy, projected into the head of each person individually using extreme low frequency radio waves. (Atheists will presumably hear an absence of Richard Dawkins.) The book goes to some lengths to describe how this would be feasible, including a claim that ELF thought projection caused the depressive illness of Michael Dukakis' wife Kitty. Step Four has three parts: Making humanity think an alien invasion is about to occur at every major city; Making the Christians think the Rapture is about to happen; A mixture of electronic and supernatural forces, allowing the supernatural forces to travel through fiber optics, coax, power and telephone lines to penetrate all electronic equipment and appliances, that will by then all have a special microchip installed. Then chaos will break out, and people will finally be willing — perhaps even desperate — to accept the New World Order. "The techniques used in the fourth step is exactly the same used in the past in the USSR to force the people to accept Communism." A device has apparently already been perfected that will lift enormous numbers of people, as in a Rapture. UFO abductions are tests of this device. Project Blue Beam proponents believe psychological preparations have already been made, Monast having claimed that 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and the Star Trek series all involve an invasion from space and all nations coming together (the first two don't, the third is peaceful contact) and that Jurassic Park propagandises evolution in order to make people think God's words are lies. The book detailed the theory. In the 1994 lecture, Monast detailed what would happen afterwards. All people will be required to take an oath to Lucifer with a ritual initiation to enter the New World Order. Resisters will be categorised as follows: Christian children will be kept for human sacrifice or sexual slaves. Prisoners to be used in medical experiments. Prisoners to be used as living organ banks. Healthy workers in slave labour camps. Uncertain prisoners in the international re-education center, thence to repent on television and learn to glorify the New World Order. The international execution centre. An as yet unknown seventh classification. Joel Engel's book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek was released in 1994, shortly before Monast's lecture on Project Blue Beam: “In May 1975, Gene Roddenberry accepted an offer from Paramount to develop Star Trek into a feature film, and moved back into his old office on the Paramount lot. His proposed story told of a flying saucer, hovering above Earth, that was programmed to send down people who looked like prophets, including Jesus Christ.” All the steps of the conspiracy theory were in the unmade mid-'70s Star Trek film script by Roddenberry, which were recycled for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Devil's Due, broadcast in 1991. There is no evidence of deliberate fraud on Monast's part; given his head was quite thoroughly full of squirrels and confetti by this time, it's entirely plausible that he thought this was the revelation of secret information in a guise safe for propagation. However, the actual source was so obvious that even other conspiracy theorists noticed. They confidently state it was obvious that Monast had been fed deceptive information by the CIA. Of course!" -- rationalwiki.org "Serge Monast was a Québécois investigative journalist, poet, essayist and conspiracy theorist. He is known to English-speaking readers mainly for Project Blue Beam and associated conspiracy tropes. His works on Masonic conspiracy theories and the New World Order also remain popular with French-speaking conspiracy theorists and enthusiasts." -- Wikipedia "A human microchip implant is typically an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being. This type of subdermal implant usually contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, law enforcement, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information. The first experiments with an RFID implant were carried out in 1998 by the British scientist Kevin Warwick. His implant was used to open doors, switch on lights, and cause verbal output within a building. After nine days the implant was removed and has since been held in the Science Museum (London). On 16 March 2009 British scientist Mark Gasson had an advanced glass capsule RFID device surgically implanted into his left hand. In April 2010 Gasson's team demonstrated how a computer virus could wirelessly infect his implant and then be transmitted on to other systems. Gasson reasoned that with implanted technology the separation between man and machine can become theoretical because the technology can be perceived by the human as being a part of their body. Because of this development in our understanding of what constitutes our body and its boundaries he became credited as being the first human infected by a computer virus. He has no plans to remove his implant. Several hobbyists have placed RFID microchip implants into their hands or had them inserted by others. Amal Graafstra, author of the book RFID Toys, asked doctors to place implants in his hands in March 2005. A cosmetic surgeon used a scalpel to place a microchip in his left hand, and his family doctor injected a chip into his right hand using a veterinary Avid injector kit. Graafstra uses the implants to access his home, open car doors, and to log on to his computer. With public interest growing, in 2013 he launched biohacking company Dangerous Things and crowdfunded the world's first implantable NFC transponder in 2014. He has also spoken at various events and promotional gigs including TEDx, and built a smartgun that only fires after reading his implant. Alejandro Hernandez CEO of Futura is known to be the first in Central America to have Dangerous Things' transponder installed in his left hand by Federico Cortes in November 2017. Mikey Sklar had a chip implanted into his left hand and filmed the procedure. Jonathan Oxer self-implanted an RFID chip in his arm using a veterinary implantation tool. Martijn Wismeijer, Dutch marketing manager for Bitcoin ATM manufacturer General Bytes, placed RFID chips in both of his hands to store his Bitcoin private keys and business card. Patric Lanhed sent a “bio-payment” of one euro worth of Bitcoin using a chip embedded in his hand. Marcel Varallo had an NXP chip coated in Bioglass 8625 inserted into his hand between his forefinger and thumb allowing him to open secure elevators and doors at work, print from secure printers, unlock his mobile phone and home, and store his digital business card for transfer to mobile phones enabled for NFC. Biohacker Hannes Sjöblad has been experimenting with NFC (Near Field Communication) chip implants since 2015. During his talk at Echappée Voléé 2016 in Paris, Sjöblad disclosed that he has also implanted himself between his forefinger and thumb and uses it to unlock doors, make payments, and unlock his phone (essentially replacing anything you can put in your pockets). Additionally, Sjöblad has hosted several "implant parties," where interested individuals can also be implanted with the chip. Researchers have examined microchip implants in humans in the medical field and they indicate that there are potential benefits and risks to incorporating the device in the medical field. For example, it could be beneficial for noncompliant patients but still poses great risks for potential misuse of the device. Destron Fearing, a subsidiary of Digital Angel, initially developed the technology for the VeriChip. In 2004, the VeriChip implanted device and reader were classified as Class II: General controls with special controls by the FDA; that year the FDA also published a draft guidance describing the special controls required to market such devices. About the size of a grain of rice, the device was typically implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the chip responded with a unique 16-digit number which could be then linked with information about the user held on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure was performed under local anesthetic in a physician's office. Privacy advocates raised concerns regarding potential abuse of the chip, with some warning that adoption by governments as a compulsory identification program could lead to erosion of civil liberties, as well as identity theft if the device should be hacked. Another ethical dilemma posed by the technology, is that people with dementia could possibly benefit the most from an implanted device that contained their medical records, but issues of informed consent are the most difficult in precisely such people. In June 2007, the American Medical Association declared that "implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information", but in the same year, news reports linking similar devices to cancer caused in laboratory animals had a devastating impact on the company's stock price and sales. In 2010, the company, by then called "PositiveID", withdrew the product from the market due to poor sales. In January 2012, PositiveID sold the chip assets to a company called VeriTeQ that was owned by Scott Silverman, the former CEO of Positive ID. In 2016, JAMM Technologies acquired the chip assets from VeriTeQ; JAMM's business plan was to partner with companies selling implanted medical devices and use the RFID tags to monitor and identify the devices. JAMM Technologies is co-located in the same Plymouth, Minnesota building as Geissler Corporation with Randolph K. Geissler and Donald R. Brattain listed as its principals. The website also claims that Geissler was CEO of PositiveID Corporation, Destron Fearing Corporation, and Digital Angel Corporation. In 2018, A Danish firm called BiChip released a new generation of microchip implant that is intended to be readable from distance and connected to Internet. The company released an update for its microchip implant to associate it with the Ripple cryptocurrency to allow payments to be made using the implanted microchip. In February 2006, CityWatcher, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH became the first company in the world to implant microchips into their employees as part of their building access control and security system. The workers needed the implants to access the company's secure video tape room, as documented in USA Today. The project was initiated and implemented by Six Sigma Security, Inc. The VeriChip Corporation had originally marketed the implant as a way to restrict access to secure facilities such as power plants. A major drawback for such systems is the relative ease with which the 16-digit ID number contained in a chip implant can be obtained and cloned using a hand-held device, a problem that has been demonstrated publicly by security researcher Jonathan Westhues and documented in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine, among other places. The Baja Beach Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, once used VeriChip implants for identifying VIP guests. The Epicenter in Stockholm, Sweden is using RFID implants for employees to operate security doors, copiers, and pay for lunch. In 2017 Mike Miller, chief executive of the World Olympians Association, was widely reported as suggesting the use of such implants in athletes in an attempt to reduce problems in sport due to drug taking. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located by latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and direction of movement. Such implantable GPS devices are not technically feasible at this time. However, if widely deployed at some future point, implantable GPS devices could conceivably allow authorities to locate missing persons and/or fugitives and those who fled from a crime scene. Critics contend, however, that the technology could lead to political repression as governments could use implants to track and persecute human rights activists, labor activists, civil dissidents, and political opponents; criminals and domestic abusers could use them to stalk and harass their victims; and child abusers could use them to locate and abduct children. Another suggested application for a tracking implant, discussed in 2008 by the legislature of Indonesia's Irian Jaya would be to monitor the activities of persons infected with HIV, aimed at reducing their chances of infecting other people. The microchipping section was not, however, included into the final version of the provincial HIV/AIDS Handling bylaw passed by the legislature in December 2008. With current technology, this would not be workable anyway, since there is no implantable device on the market with GPS tracking capability. Since modern payment methods rely upon RFID/NFC, it is thought that implantable microchips, if they were to ever become popular in use, would form a part of the cashless society. Verichip implants have already been used in nightclubs such as the Baja club for such a purpose, allowing patrons to purchase drinks with their implantable microchip. In a self-published report anti-RFID advocate Katherine Albrecht, who refers to RFID devices as "spy chips", cites veterinary and toxicological studies carried out from 1996 to 2006 which found lab rodents injected with microchips as an incidental part of unrelated experiments and dogs implanted with identification microchips sometimes developed cancerous tumors at the injection site (subcutaneous sarcomas) as evidence of a human implantation risk. However, the link between foreign-body tumorigenesis in lab animals and implantation in humans has been publicly refuted as erroneous and misleading and the report's author has been criticized over the use of "provocative" language "not based in scientific fact". Notably, none of the studies cited specifically set out to investigate the cancer risk of implanted microchips and so none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get implanted. While the issue is considered worthy of further investigation, one of the studies cited cautioned "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided". The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published a report in 2007 alleging that RFID implanted chips may compromise privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the chip can be properly protected. Following Wisconsin and North Dakota, California issued Senate Bill 362 in 2007, which makes it illegal to force a person to have a microchip implanted, and provide for an assessment of civil penalties against violators of the bill. In 2008, Oklahoma passed 63 OK Stat § 63-1-1430 (2008 S.B. 47), that bans involuntary microchip implants in humans. On April 5, 2010, the Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 235 that prohibits forced microchip implants in humans and that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to require them, including employers. The bill would allow voluntary microchip implants, as long as they are performed by a physician and regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. The state's House of Representatives did not take up the measure. On February 10, 2010, Virginia's House of Delegates also passed a bill that forbids companies from forcing their employees to be implanted with tracking devices. Washington State House Bill 1142-2009-10 orders a study using implanted radio frequency identification or other similar technology to electronically monitor sex offenders and other felons. The general public are most familiar with microchips in the context of tracking their pets. In the U.S., some Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make a link between the PositiveID and the Biblical Mark of the Beast, prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling, and a key element of the Book of Revelation. Gary Wohlscheid, president of These Last Days Ministries, has argued that "Out of all the technologies with potential to be the mark of the beast, VeriChip has got the best possibility right now"." -- Wikipedia "In this latest book Joseph P Farrell examines the subject of mind control, but from a very unusual perspective, showing that its basic underlying philosophy, and goal, is not only cosmological in nature, but that the cosmology in view is very ancient, and that mind control of any sort, from the arts to hypnosis, remote electromagnetic technologies and “electroencephalographic dictionaries” has cosmological implications." -- Microcosm and Medium: The Cosmic Implications and Agenda of Mind Control Technologies publisher's description
Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until here we are today at $15000. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited.
New to /r/Hashgraph? Please read this post first! [FAQ & Resource Links]
Welcome to the official Hashgraph subreddit. Hashgraph is a data structure and consensus algorithm that is faster, fairer, and more secure than blockchain. Please find our FAQ and a directory of resources below.
#GENERAL FAQ# 1: How does it work? Hashgraph uses two special techniques (1) Gossip about Gossip and (2) Virtual Voting to achieve fast, fair and secure consensus. Gossip is a well-known computer science term, which can be defined as calling any random node and telling that node everything you know, that it does not know. In distributed ledger technology, the “baseline” or minimum bandwidth required is that the transactions go to every node. A gossip protocol can achieve this transfer of information / syncing process exponentially fast. Gossip about Gossip refers to attaching a small additional amount of information to this Gossip / transaction payload, which are two hashes containing the last two people talked to (hence, gossiping about the information gossiped). Using this information, a Hashgraph can be built and constantly updated as more information is gossiped, on each node. Once the Hashgraph is built, it is extremely easy to know what a node would vote, because we know what each node knows, and when they knew it. We now can use this data as an input to a 30 year old voting algorithm (which have strong security guarantees, maths proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant but typically lack the speed necessary for real world implementation), and know which transactions have reached consensus quickly. The result of using this methodology is that we get the benefit of 30 year old voting algorithms which have have strong math proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (meaning that we know when we will achieve consensus, guaranteed, and our math proofs make no assumptions about the speed of the internet, due to firewalls, ddos attacks, viruses or botnets), speed (due to use of a gossip protocol) and fair ordering and time stamping on every event. 2: How is Hashgraph different? There are five different approaches to reaching distributed consensus. Firstly we have Proof-of-Work, which started with Bitcoin. The second is leader-based systems like PBFT, Raft, and Paxos. Then there is economy-based, commonly referred to as Proof-of-Stake, where forgers stake cryptocurrency on votes in order to reach consensus. Then, there’s voting-based which are too slow to be used in real systems. Finally there’s Hashgraph, which uses virtual voting and is incredibly efficient because it does not actually send any votes over the internet. 3: What is bank-grade consensus? Hashgraph is the only bank-grade consensus algorithm as a result of the following properties: Mathematical proof of asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerance; Resilience to DDoS attacks, network partitions, sybil attacks and firewall/virus attacks; and Mathematical proof of fairness of ordering, access, and timestamps. 4: Is there a cryptocurrency? Hashgraph is not currently available on a public network / ledger so there is no cryptocurrency at this time. We have not yet announced our plans for a public ledger, but please stay tuned for updates. 5: Why is Hashgraph patented? Hashgraph is currently only available on a private network so its patents allow for market advantage in enterprise / commercial applications. This is not designed to stifle creativity or expansion of the emerging ecosystem, but to protect technological innovations that took years to develop. 6: How do I use Hashgraph? If you want to use Hashgraph on a private network, you can apply for an enterprise / commercial license by contacting Swirlds. 7: What is the different between Hashgraph and Swirlds? Hashgraph is the technology. Swirlds is the organization responsible for handling the licensing of Hashgraph. 8: Is Hashgraph better than blockchain? The pitching of Hashgraph against Blockchain is a sensationalist angle that we do not endorse. While we do have some advantages over Blockchain based consensus, our intention is not at all to diminish the significance of Blockchain technology. We consider Blockchain to be like a capable older brother who graciously paved the way by bringing the power of Distributed Ledger Technology to the light of day, for which we are very grateful. Articles, talks etc pitching us against Blockchain are not written by us, nor are we generally consulted before articles go live. There is no reason that blockchain and Hashgraph couldn’t live together. While it is true that we have won some enterprise use cases against Blockchain based solutions (CULedger & Swirlds launch Hashgraph technology partnership), blockchain has a massive network effect which we definitely admire and respect. We respect and value the work and efforts of all developers and scientists in the Blockchain space. We also understand that Hashgraph is less well-known and nascent. That being said, every great movement has to start from somewhere and if you are reading this, it has potentially (hopefully) started with you too. 9: How can I get involved? If you want to contact us for support or participation, please reach out to [email protected]. You can find more informational resources on the website homepage, where you can also sign up to our mailing list and/or follow us on social media. The Hashgraph Community Telegram Channel is also a great place to ask technical questions.
SPEED 10: How fast is Hashgraph? It’s fast. Very fast. But you don’t have to trust us. We will release formal performance results soon, and at the same time provide the software you can use to validate the results for yourself. Simply providing the number of transactions per second is meaningless unless all of the details are provided as well: number of nodes, bandwidth, latency, CPU, size of transaction, etc. Our performance results will provide the details needed to characterize results for a range of settings. 11: Does Hashgraph have transaction fees? Instead of some small subset of participants being responsible for validating transactions and adding to the ledger (like miners in blockchain), all nodes contribute. Consequently, there is less need to incentivize through fees. Transaction fees are therefore expected to be very small, thereby making Hashgraph viable for micropayments.
SECURITY 12: What are the major security risks of distributed ledger technologies? For a DLT, the security risks are an attacker:
Freezing the network so the shared data never changes by stopping it from reaching consensus on the transaction order
Confusing the network so some participants think the shared data has one value and others thinking it has a different value by causing some members to think there was one consensus, and causing others to think there was a different consensus on the transaction order
Subverting the network so there is corruption of the shared data such as by changing a supposedly-immutable audit log, or spending the same cryptocurrency twice.
13: Where do the main security risks originate? The security risks specific to DLTs come from both internal and external attacks. An internal threat can include a computer in the network that is infected with a virus or worm other malware, or is run by a malicious party, or honest corporation that has a malicious insider with access to the computer. An external threat can include a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, where the attacker floods one or more computers with enough messages to temporarily shut it down. Another external attack is if an adversary owns a firewall surrounding some of the nodes in the network, which it can use to block or delay messages. 14: What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)? There are a variety of consensus algorithms and each offer different features and characteristics. A consensus algorithm is characterized as BFT if it guarantees a moment in time where all participants reach consensus, know that consensus has been reached, and they are never wrong. This can be contrasted with consensus algorithms based on PoW, where participants slowly become more and more confident that consensus is near, but may still not be correct. There are different levels of BFT, depending on the sorts of assumptions made about the network and transmission of messages. The strongest type of BFT is asynchronous BFT. Hashgraph is unique in supporting highest degree of BFT while still being very efficient. 15: What is Asynchronous BFT? When a system is asynchronous BFT, it allows for malicious actors controlling the network, deleting or slowing down messages of their choosing. The only assumption made is that less than ⅓ are attackers, and some messages eventually get transmitted over the internet. Some systems are partially asynchronous, which are secure only if the attackers do not have too much power and do not manipulate the timing of messages too much. For instance, a partially asynchronous system could prove Byzantine under the assumption that messages get passed over the internet in ten seconds. This assumption ignores the reality of botnets, distributed denial of service attacks, and malicious firewalls. If unable to meet the criteria of asynchronous BFT, it is preferable that they be asynchronous less-than-Byzantine, rather than less-than-asynchronous Byzantine. In other words, they should prove they are somewhat secure in the real world instead of proving they are very secure in a fantasy world. 16: How does Hashgraph prevent Sybil attacks? A Sybil attack refers to an attempt to compromise a network through the creation of large numbers of spurious identities – these are directed to act in collusion to inappropriately impact the network. Sybil attacks are a particular concern for public DLTs in which no special permissions are required to become a node. Protection against Sybil attacks can be provided by appropriately allocating and weighting votes of different nodes. Hashgraph can be deployed in a number of different vote weighting models, e.g. votes could be weighted by a node’s stake in some currency, or its ability to perform some work, or its willingness to risk some value. A more detailed explanation can be found at here. 17: How does Hashgraph prevent DDoS attacks? A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when it is possible to disrupt the flow of transactions for the entire network by targeting a single or a few computers. Different DLTs vary in their vulnerability to DDoS. Leader-based systems give special permissions to a particular node and are highly susceptible because the current leader is a bottleneck and is vulnerable to being targeted in the DDoS. Even if the role of the leader rotates amongst nodes, other nodes necessarily know the current leader, and so could direct a DDoS. PoW systems are resilient to DDoS because it’s difficult to predict which miner will solve the inverse hash and publish a block. Consequently, the attacker would not know which miner should be targeted. Hashgraph doesn’t use PoW, but neither does it have a Leader. So Hashgraph provides DDoS resilience without the inefficiency and cost of PoW.
FAIRNESS 18: What is fairness? Fairness refers to the ability of DLTs to prevent the ordering of transactions from being unduly manipulated. Hashgraph is fair in that it serializes all transactions with cryptographic timestamping, unlike blockchains where miners determine the order in which transactions are placed within each block. In certain use cases, the transaction order is important. Consider for instance two different people purchasing shares in a stock – the first order to go through will likely get a cheaper price. Hashgraph orders transactions according to the median timestamp of when the population of nodes received them – thereby ensuring they are recorded fairly.
After the GOX disaster took so many people by surprise, I feel that it’s worth bringing forward the madness that’s happening over at GAW for those that may be considering throwing some money their way. This especially with the launch of their “hash coin” later today. First off, I’m not some whistle blower or insider with secret information, just an enthusiast who cannot believe the amount of money people appear to be giving them despite red flags from here to forever. I know this post likely won’t do anything, but given the number of people casually trying to get into cryptocurrencies and seeing GAW as a good/accessible option it’s worth trying to bring up the discussion. You should always be aware of anyone promising anything too good to be true. Here we have a company that has promised guaranteed returns and "profitability" more times than I can count. There is no such thing as a sure thing, especially in markets as unpredictable as crypto, and especially on the scale they talk about. Also those returns have yet to materialize for anyone but the very first buyers (interesting...). They’ve created their own forum and aggressively policed any thread they have access to across the web to stamp out negative feedback. Their customer service by all accounts is a disaster and the only way to get a timely response is to post publically. There are many accounts that they ended up sending out whatever hardware they had lying around to people trying to buy their custom machines (war machines, etc) and then denying it. On their forum you get money for upvotes, lose money from your account for downvotes, get bonus money from the CEO if he likes your post, and with enough downvotes you get autobanned. You can imagine what kind of a community this creates. Negative posts of any kind get you banned and the threads removed by admins immediately. Next we have their pool system. They have their own pool (Zenpool) that always seemed to have the best payout, yet no explanation of how it is remotely possible. It doesn’t take a think tank to imagine how easy it would be to sell your propriety mining pool as a higher buy in, subsidize the difference in rates out of pocket to secure purchases and then do whatever you want with the money. Zenpool and cloud hashing contracts are the most incredibly perfect setup for a Ponzi scheme you could ever create, and people continue to buy despite the utter lack of transparency, explanation, or established reputation that would make this seem credible. Imagine this, give me 20 dollars today and I’ll give you 1.2 cents a day (minus maintenance) instead of the 1.1 cent you would get elsewhere. Sure sounds like a cost effective way to raise a bunch of money fast. If GAW disappeared tomorrow with everyone’s money it would in hindsight seem like the most obvious thing in the world. I am not saying that it is a Ponzi scheme, just that JESUS CHRIST does it look like one with no effort to prove itself otherwise. Even if it’s not a Ponzi scheme this sure does seem like it could be one of those Butterfly labs situations where a lot of personal stuff (e.g. private jets) gets charged to company cards until they go bankrupt. Finally we have “Hash Coin” – there are so many things wrong with this it’s hard to summarize. You can read their QA here. But in short they’re launching an ICO that, in their words: “will go “public” for just over $20 a coin.” According to “analysts and banks”. And that “there will be a “bank” that will manage, to some degree, the valuation of Hashcoin” However of course you cannot know who these bankers or analysts are as: “The identities of both the analysts and banks will be released once the ICO has completed and the merchant marketplace established in the near future.” And this magic coin will have a market cap of 5Billion (!!). For quick reference Bitcoin sits at roughly 4.4. I am sure there is a debate all on its own for the ICO, but it betrays such a huge misunderstanding of some of the fundamentals of this space all it does is create more red flags for me. Somewhere there is a whitepaper that is “done” but instead of releasing it for community review and feedback they’ve plowed ahead with some crazy bankeanalyst backed offering in which everyone – especially you – can make boatloads of money. This ICO deserves a post on it’s own, but given that it’s launching tonight there should be plenty on entertainment there for later. Again, their quote "A white paper will not answer ICO questions. That is what is more important." In short: They’re running a system with constantly promised returns that has done anything but that. They’re running what could easily be a textbook Ponzi scheme on a huge scale with zero transparency. They’re issuing their own currency that “analysts” and “banks” have assured them will be worth giant multiples of what you will be able to buy it for, and have a market cap of 5,000,000,000 USD. I'm all for people trying wild and crazy (and big) ideas in the space, but another GOX (Butterfly Labs, etc.) is not what we need. If GAW is a legitimate well run organization then the community should ask for more transparency and information before giving them any more money. And finally, there’s this post. (*update, they took down the image but someone sent me a screenshot they took.) They literally have post praising themselves for taking money from a man who has a sick family and mounting medical bills for a product that will likely never (ever) return to him what he paid for it. And the image they have chosen for this post - well, it's of the CEO and community manager in a private jet. (** update 2, I was contacted by someone who claims to own the site and says it's not affiliated with GAW. So, fair enough for a disclaimer. They are however still doing these things even if it's a repost of theirs, so point still stands.) TL;DR Everyone gives GAW money despite the fact that they are too busy flying on private jets to answer your support emails or explain how their definitely-not-a-ponzi-scheme operation works exactly. But hey, let's all go buy some Hash Coin* which is totally better than Bitcoin! (*whitepaper pending) (edit: formatting) Update: "Whitepaper" draft is out for hashcoin, and it's hilarious. We're 20 days out from their ICO and they haven't released anything for the community to review or comment on, and if this is the direction they're going it's going to be quite the ride. Update 2: It's been mentioned a number of times here, but worth noting for anyone even remotely looking at the hashlets and their "guaranteed profitability" that maintenance fees are 80% of earnings at this point. The break even point for all products is never given any kind of difficulty increase and multiple years assuming none. I cannot say I understand how GAW calculates profitability, but doesn't seem to be the way I do. Update 3: And a couple more to underscore the point. From their own terms of service: "Hashlets are virtual service units related to mining services, but are not mining hardware." Hashlets are not real, might not have anything to do with hardware! "11. Termination and Modifications. a. Services may be terminated by us, without cause, at any time." And, GAW can simply cancel the service at any time and keep your money! Update 4: Link to the SEC site to report suspicious activity: https://denebleo.sec.gov/TCRExternal/questionaire.xhtml Update 5: CoinFire publishes story on possible dishonesty on the part of GAW with regards to partners, gets hacked. Thread with more information here: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/2n7c9coinfire_publishes_article_with_details_about_gaw/
Why The US Government Have Likely Already Approved Bitcoin
Hey Reddit, throwaway account. I'm currently doing some research for an article I hope to have published later this month. I have a very, very rough draft at the moment and your feedback would be lovely. The Elephant in the Room Bitcoin is an enigma. It has renowned economists like Paul Krugman entirely perplexed whilst Silicon Valley CEO's are falling over one another to get a piece of the action. The headlines change on a daily basis: “It's A Ponzi Scheme!”, “It's Gold 2.0!” , “It's A Bubble!”, “It's The New Internet!”. As a result of these, often conflicting articles, it's value shoots up and down like a yo-yo, swinging wildly to the slightest bit of news, good or bad. Of course, these swings wouldn't be so exaggerated if there was a simple way to address the elephant in the room...is bitcoin legal? Government officials have been oddly quiet in addressing this question. Aside from some rudimentary FINCEN guidelines and a vague ECB report, there's been no statement one way or another about its legal status. Whilst I can't provide any definitive proof as to what decisions have and are being made behind closed government doors, I do think it's just possible we already have enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that the US government has already given Bitcoin the thumbs up. Satoshi's Lament Back in December 2010 Satoshi was involved in a heated discussion amongst Bitcoin developers on BitcoinTalk as to whether they should support Julian Assange by offering Bitcoin as a means to bypass the notorious banking blockade that had rendered Wikileaks' cash reserves impotent. Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, was extremely wary that any association with Julian and Wikileaks would 'bring too much heat' to the project. “No, don't 'bring it on'” he pleaded with his fellow developers. “The project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way.” He went on to clarify. “I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.” By 'destroy us', he was likely talking about a government or corporation pulling the trigger on this nascent project. Amongst other things, Satoshi was fearful that if a nefarious entity such as a commercial bank got wind of the project, at that point in time they could have easily compromised the project by purchasing enough computing power to overrun the network (known as a 51% attack). Despite Satoshi's protestations, Wikileaks went along and adopted Bitcoin and, it seemed Satoshi's worst fears were confirmed when, just 4 months later in April 2011, Gavin Andresen (now lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation) announced that the C.I.A. had contacted him. “I'm going to give a presentation about Bitcoin at the C.I.A headquarters in June at an emerging technologies conference...I accepted the invitation to speak because the fact that I was invited means Bitcoin is already on their radar, and I think it might be a good chance to talk about why I think Bitcoin will make the world a better place. I think the goals of this project are to create a better currency...I don't think any of those goals are incompatible with the goals of government.” Satoshi disappeared shortly after. Gavin recently spoke to the New Yorker about the event. "...I think people realized once I got invited to speak at the C.I.A. that there was no kind of hiding. They, whoever “they” are, already knew about this project." [Source: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/the-future-of-Bitcoin.html] The Silk Road Goes Live 2011 also saw the release of the notorious 'Ebay for Drugs' website, Silk Road. It received much press attention, first breaking in June via Gawker where a developer described his experience of buying LSD through the site as "Kind of like being in the future". It was clear that the Silk Road was where Bitcoin would find its first major real-world trading niche and it's not a coincidence that the BTC price, client downloads and trading volume began to skyrocket after its inception. [Source: http://gizmodo.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable] A week after the Gawker article, Senator Chuck Schumer called a press conference where he went on record demanding that the Silk Road be shut down “Something must be done about Silk Road...Literally, it allows buyers and users to sell illegal drugs online, including heroin, cocaine, and meth, and users sell by hiding their identities through a program that makes them virtually untraceable...[it's] the most brazen attempt to peddle drugs online that we have ever seen. It's more brazen than anything else by lightyears." he told the assembled press. As an aside, it is worth noting that the program that “hides user identities” is TOR, developed by the US Naval Research laboratory and endorsed by Senator Hilary Clinton (Schuman's former co-Senator from the state of New York) as “an important tool for freedom of expression around the world”. Indeed, the TOR Project claims that over 80% of its funding in 2012 came directly from the U.S Government [Source: Tor Project Annual Report 2012] The Radar Screen Lights Up Suddenly, thanks to the Silk Road and Wikileaks, Bitcoin was now on the radar of those in public office. The question on everyones lips must have been “How do we kill Bitcoin (and by extension Wikileaks and Silkroad)?” The C.I.A, thanks to Gavin, were now fully aware of the threat Bitcoin posed to the the current monetary system, and the illegal activities it was funding via Silk Road and other places would have done nothing but confound their concerns (or so you would think). They must have also known (just as Satoshi did) that if there was ever an opportunity to kill Bitcoin (either with regulation, criminal proceedings and/or a 51% attack) then it was back then, in 2011, with the network still in its infancy, that they should strike. We should have expected the kind of domain seizures that we saw with the likes of Megaupload; Bitcointalk, Bitcoin.org and the Bitcoin Foundation should have been wiped off the map. They could have also moved with the banks to shutdown any accounts seen to be associated with Bitcoin trading (as we saw happen with Online Gambling websites during the Bush Regime). They could have then disrupted what remained of the Bitcoin network by performing a relatively cheap and simple 51% attack. And yet, none of that happened... Bitcoin.org and the Bitcoin Foundation have been left to prosper and go from strength to strength. VC's, Wall Street traders and the average Joe were all left free to pump money into this burgeoning experiment without any government intervention whatsoever. Eric, Julian and the Bilderberg Group Back in 2010 Google dipped their toes into the world of virtual currencies, acquiring a little known company called Jambool for $70m. For awhile they ran a platform called Social Gold which was later usurped in 2011 by Facebook Credits (Facebook's attempt at a virtual currency). This was phased out in mid-2012. Techcrunch cites that this was likely due to the problems Facebook had encountered in educating the public about using another form of currency, and goes on to speculate that by offering a centralised means of exchange, Facebook may have also faced increasing legal and regulatory scrutiny. In June 2011, Julian Assange met Eric Schmidt online in a secret 5 hour chat in which they discussed - amongst other things - Bitcoin. The full transcript - which was leaked last month - is available here: http://wikileaks.org/Transcript-Meeting-Assange-Schmidt Also in attendance at the meeting was Jared Cohen, a former Secretary of State advisor to Hillary Clinton, Scott Malcomson, Director of Speechwriting for Ambassador Susan Rice at the US State Department and current Communications Director of the International Crisis Group, and Lisa Shields, Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations. Here's an excerpt: JA: ...there’s also a very nice little paper that I’ve seen in relation to Bitcoin, that… you know about Bitcoin? ES: No. JA: Okay, Bitcoin is something that evolved out of the cypherpunks a couple of years ago, and it is an alternative… it is a stateless currency. … JA: And very important, actually. It has a few problems. But its innovations exceed its problems. Now there has been innovations along these lines in many different paths of digital currencies, anonymous, untraceable etc. People have been experimenting with over the past 20 years. The Bitcoin actually has the balance and incentives right, and that is why it is starting to take off. The different combination of these things. No central nodes. It is all point to point. One does not need to trust any central mint…. ... ES: That's very interesting So, now we know Bitcoin was on the radar of the C.I.A, various politicians and, thanks to Julian, the CEO of Google was now beginning to get an inkling as to its disruptive potential. Just 13 days prior to the Assange meet, Eric had attended the annual meeting of the notoriously secretive Bilderberg Group in St. Moritz, Switzerland and went on to attend the meet again in June 2012. Topics of discussion included:
Emerging Economies: Roles and Responsibilities
Economic and National Security in a Digital Age
Technological Innovation in Western Economies: Stagnation or Promise?
Imbalances, Austerity and Growth
Some of the 2011/12 attendees included:
Josef Ackermann (Chairman of Deutsche Bank),
Jean-Claude Trichet (President of the European Central Bank),
Chris Hughes (Co-Founder of Facebook),
Reid Hoffman (CEO of Linkedin),
Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon)
Keith Alexander (Commander, US Cyber Command; Director, NSA).
Heads of Barclays Bank, AXXA, HSBC and the President of The World Bank Group were also in attendance. [Source: http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.php] To see so many tech luminaries in attendance at Bilderberg is indicative of the kind of power and respect that geeks and hackers now command in shaping the world stage. Just how many high-level decisions are being influenced by this new technorati is hard to say, but in a rapidly changing world where technology is moving faster than the old rules remain relevant, we are seeing that people, united through technology on a global scale – not governments – are dictating the speed of change. Joining The Dots None of this means that bitcoins ride is going to be friction-free - just because Eric Schmidt is open to the idea of bitcoin displacing traditional currencies (as he and Jared Cohen alluded to in a recent CNBC interview), does not mean that Douglas Flint (Group Chairman, HSBC) is going to be equally enthused. However, I do think that if we join up all the dots the general conclusion that we can draw looks overwhelmingly positive for the future of bitcoin. That so many powerful actors within the intelligence community, technology industry and government have let bitcoin survive this long is almost an endorsement itself. It suggests to me that any nefarious corporations that attempt to shutdown bitcoin because of a perceived threat to their business model, will be met by those same powerful actors coming together to ensure they will have a very tough fight on their hands. Indeed, in the years to come, we may well see Hilary Clinton coming out to trumpet bitcoin as “an important tool for freedom of expression around the world” in much the same way she praised the TOR project. And perhaps, ultimately, we will discover that bitcoin, like TOR, was also developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. Though I prefer to think it was just some lone genius sitting in his attic who accidentally changed the world. Whatever may be the case, it seems that - for now at least - our governments have handed their people a rare gift – the freedom to shape their own future. It's up to us to try not to screw that up.
Transcripts of presentations that took place during Bitcoin Edge events. Scaling Bitcoin; A very informal definition of blind signatures is that they are a signature scheme that allows one party to sign a message without learning the message they signed. If you think about this, this sounds strange. The relevance of SNARKs is both a scaling technique both for verification and also it's a privacy tool. When you're doing zero-knowledge proofs on large statements, then SNARKs are what allow you to produce a small proof on the blockchain even if you're proving a large statement. Bitcoin hasn't solved the scaling problem. All these BIPs are just short term fixes which don't address the core problem. I opened a discussion thread on bitcointalk hoping to catch the attention of the core developers, but it seems they don't read that forum anymore. Bitcoin history for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Bitcoin price chart since 2009 to 2019. The historical data and rates of BTC Transcripts of presentations that took place during Scaling Bitcoin events. Scaling Bitcoin workshop : Tokyo 2018 Ghostdag. The GHOSTDAG protocol. If someone told me which blocks are which, which we don't really know. This motivates our definition of a k-cluster, which is the main notion in the protocol.
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