Cardano (ADA): Fool’s Gold

Revised 7/4/2018

We need to watch these altcoins as they grow. Cardano is finally ejecting enough nonsense — that I’ve found — to better define it as a chunk of iron pyrite? What is in the minds of their creators?

The Avant-garde Bum

Every once in a while a “professional bum” comes along and stretches your imagination, until you realize your mistake. You realize that something doesn’t smell quite right. Or maybe it doesn’t look quite right. So you rethink something, then rethink it all over again. Then you wonder if Cardano (ADA) is the real McCoy or some clone coin, ready to go bust.

In my case, for some time, the chameleon-coin has been Cardano (ADA) and Charles Hoskinson. Yes, there are multiple pieces to this puzzle. Cardano is split into different parts but I’m not on about that. I’m after the core. Where do these coders, dreamers and non-bankers, hang their hats, philosophically? What does their game-face look like? Is it Communist, Socialist or Capitalist? Anarchist? Let’s keep it simple. Is it honest?

Hoskinson (arguably the soul of Cardano) tends to compress a lot of ideas in his blogs, especially a recent one but it’s important for anyone in this space, investor, developer or even thinker, to read. (The link is at the bottom.) If only to find the poison apples in his blogs. The hidden chunks of coal that might never become diamonds. Worse yet, not even coal.

The Real McCoy

Guys like Vitalik Buterin (of Ethereum fame) don’t seem to grasp the more human element or they come across that way. How do you communicate well in this environment? It’s not just about programming and competition, it’s more than that. It has many levels. How does one engender trust? Like Hoskinson questions — is decentralization efficient and secure or is it more akin to religious fervor? After all, what is the goal here? To be distracted by Apple not playing nice with Ethereum?

At the same time, we don’t want to throw the baby out. To state that centralization is more efficient, may be true for certain aspects of the Cardano system, except its weakest link: that center. I mean, can we compare, in certain ways, Cardano to XRP? That XRP’s are on a decentralized ledger is true, but there are few players – few ledger keepers. Ripple is separate. But does Cardano have that luxury? Are they separated in that manner?

This is a money system, after all. It’s important to keep it as robust as possible. Any part of a monetary system (fiat based or otherwise) that can be attacked, will be. Hackers will exploit it. They will socially engineer. If it has a center and a minder (coder) at any level of the system, that will be its Achilles’ heel.

Cardano will have, at some point (maybe) a type of sharded decentralized ledger, but a centralized (federated?) management? Read up on Cardano, if you like. Does its structure make you feel good?

I’m sure others will find fault with Hoskinson’s recent post, but it is realistic, and a call-on-the-carpet move, right? It’s both a challenge to others, such as Ethereum (ETH) and even a current assessment of Ethereum Classic (ETC). Both are platforms he and others worked on.

Now, of course, Hoskinson and many others are working on Cardano (ADA). Like Bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies (or crypto-assets) Cardano is an international effort minus government intrusion, to a point. But it’s really no better than a potential “manifesto.”

Where does Cardano stand, philosophically? That answer will allow us to judge the decisions made by the “team” as practical, based upon the terrain (governments), so long as the “constitution” and the underlying principles are solid. But are they?

A Lugubrious Libertarian

Interestingly, Hoskinson defines himself of the libertarian bent and I think that it is important for many of us. Of course, libertarian views are not clear. Their views are too broad and so we must then judge for ourselves, what Hoskinson means. There are far-right and far-left libertarians. Some libertarians believe in communal ownership of property. So, I’m always a bit curious when someone hides in the libertarian bailiwick. Does he mean more of an Objectivist (of the Ayn Rand flavor) or some other variant?

At any rate, Hoskinson appears to be a realist and that’s good, to a point. Why? Realists are often pragmatists. But Pragmatists can have a slippery nature. They often have range-of-the-moment solutions and brittle philosophical backbones.

What do I mean by that? Let me give an example.

DAO Thugs Welcome

Let’s go back to the DAO Incident. It has many slants. It’s a good example of pragmatic-slanted (as in immoral) thinking. The one Hoskinson seems to play is the “manifesto” slant.  In other words, Ethereum should not have changed the code “manifesto” to stop an alleged thief but allowed the alleged thief to steal because that’s the way the code “manifesto” was written. Huh? Is that any better than a fervent Bitcoin supporter decrying the latest fork, that Satoshi Nakamoto must be served?

That’s how pragmatists think. Sleep in your bed, you made it – even if the window is open and the rain is blowing in. That’s not smart. Buterin (Ethereum) did the right thing, period. The “manifesto” folks state that you close the window after you discover it’s raining. The moral folks turn their time machine on, go back in time, close the window and sleep soundly. Why wouldn’t they?

Years ago I was standing in line at the local convenience store. There was a lady in front of me and the cashier advised her that her child was stealing candy. The mother’s response?

“If you didn’t want kids to steal your candy, you shouldn’t put it on the bottom shelf so easy for them to reach.”

You can understand where the mother is coming from. At home, she probably doesn’t put the cookie jar on the floor, but she was not home. She was on private property and refusing to take responsibility for her son’s actions. She was growing up a future thug and claiming that her son was a victim of the shopkeeper.

I submit, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is that wayward mother. It was the fault of the shopkeeper that a child stole the DAO candy, sayeth ETC. Reminds me of Bytecoin. They tell you there was no premine. Then ETC proceeded to put cages and bars around the groceries and candy, after the theft, to show that they supported the “Thug Life.” Here, we’ll even make some free ETC’s for you to steal again, just to show our good faith. We stick by our manifestos. If we ever put our candy on the floor again, by God, you can steal it!

Now, since Ethereum did make that decision to do the right thing and not the pragmatic and expedient one, it has not failed. Ethereum Classic (ETC) has not yet failed, but it soon might. At least that’s the impression I’m left with reading Hoskinson’s latest blog. Unless it fixes itself. But how does an appeaser coin (ETC) do that? Maybe they know it’s dying. Maybe they should admit their mistakes.

This is what I mean by having a brittle backbone. Anyone choosing not to make the victims whole (DAO Incident) has sided with the criminal in the name of the blockchain. A computer code. Really? And these are some of the same people who bring us Cardano? I guess Cardano is their “religion.” Have faith, brothers, the indelible (immutable) blockchain is “amoral” and cares not. We know this. We know that machines cannot yet think and make the right decisions, hence humans must make it right — when that’s possible. The human might have to take the damned machine thing apart, add a new piece, rework a gear, upload more software, and put it back together. That’s why humans can and should fix broken blockchains, even if that means rolling them back, most especially if it can make victims whole again. It’s not about the manifesto. It’s about what’s right.

World Winds

Another point here, that Hoskinson indicated, was how to work with people. Sometimes it only takes a beer with a pal. There’s a negative aspect to that. No, not about the alcohol, but about appearances and by that, I mean “world traveler.”

Hoskinson sends out pics of him hamming it up all over and it “appears” that he is enjoying himself. Great. (Peter the Great?) That might work for many, but Americans (I’m one) don’t often like a guy sending his pics, eating well and visiting the socialist hotbeds on investor dimes. Yes, we know it’s good to try to bring the Neanderthals (socialists) into the fold, but sometimes you must let nature take its course. And yes, we can see the effort to show the human side, but the Cardano PR department needs to do their work.

This was one of the reasons I felt that Cardano (ADA) had some issues after watching these pleasant sojourns; and that it might influence “investor relations” in a negative way. Guys like me, who have no ADA’s left. Too much risk. Let other’s buy the beer.

Young Wise Man

Intelligence. Yes, we know that a lot of the guys in this space are sharp, but weasel words can get you into a pickle. It’s not that geniuses must communicate at a basic level for the general population (the hoi polloi) to understand. Using high-brow verbiage can earn you accolades from academia, but the tone of it comes across as bitter and aloof at times. Like the wise young-old man who should probably shave before he sits atop the mountain and dispenses political advice, free of charge. Stick to code.

Socialist Window Dressing

Perhaps most troubling, at least to me, is the admission that some of the employees in the Cardano (ADA) project (IOHK etc.) are hardcore socialists and conservatives. This admission seems to imply that this “diverse enclave of thought” is somehow a good thing. Like there is some pride here. And, in the end, if others believe this, it could be, so long as everyone is fooled.

But it seems defensive at the same moment. As if someone is attempting to whitewash the fact that socialists are against free and fair trade. That they are pragmatists born of a type of pure dictatorial democracy. They are usually against private ownership. And conservatives (in the US) are now partially socialistic. It is to me, an appeal, by Cardano, to the rotten systems of Europe and the lesser free world. (This is not to say the US is perfect, but it’s certainly less socialistic than England or Canada for example.)

Can you imagine, dear reader, allowing a thief into your Cardano safe? Think about it. You have socialists involved with a monetary-like system. Oh no, we watch them closely, sayeth the programmers. And no again. They have influence. Even socialist window dressing lets a little dark in. They could have their hands on the code (ADA’s) as we speak. But they have your best interests at heart. Don’t worry. Have a beer. There are so many successful socialist countries, after all. The former USSR, Venezuela, Cuba and the list goes on and on.  

Summing Up

Watch your wallet but make money off the fools. I still think Cardano has potential, but I sense that someone is under pressure to instill a clear vision, but he is using smeared and cracked and rose tinted goggles. Has been for some time now.

Cardano could outpace many other cryptocurrencies but the most influential minds in this project need to cement their philosophies (take a stand) at a core level and refuse the slippery backward world of the pragmatic socialist. It’s not what’s practical but what’s right. Remember that Vitalik had the balls to make it right. (It’s only a suggestion but I think it’s too late.)

Looking at it again, I would posit that the American Conservative would say, “Get them there commies out of the Cardano coding rooms.” …not quite understanding that they are on the way to Red Square anyway.

The Libertarians? Hell, they are all over the place. Who knows how’d they’d react. The fact that anyone (Hoskinson) would choose to wear that cloak today, without some bit of clarity…is so pragmatic.

The thing is, people will pile onto this, if it works. That is, until the socialists and those lacking any moral foundation, begin to loot it. They always do in the end.

But you be the judge, jury…and executioner.

It looks like Hoskinson’s latest post is already doing its damage anyway.

Thanks for stopping by to see it off.

Jack Shorebird


P.S. Here’s the blog I referenced. Educational, but slanted.

 

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Monero and CryptoNote Derived Cryptocurrencies Doomed?


ASIC Resistance is futile.

Sitting in the pits of their protocol is a rotten thing. It’s at the core of the CryptoNote code. The inappropriately applied idea of “egalitarianism.” I mention this now because it comes up constantly on the “boards” during discussions. By boards, I mean the official (and unofficial — think Reddit) Monero and Bytecoin and other cryptocurrency channels. Most of the time, it is ignored or given some whitewash to hide the true colors.

It’s also a way to fool the average Joe.

There are discussions about ASIC’s v. CPU v. GPU v. FPGA ad nauseam. On the surface, it all seems rather mundane but there is a missing piece here. It is the piece called “why.” As in “why” are the CryptoNote fans so adamant about keeping the ASIC’s out?

There are built-in protection guarantees offered by the CryptoNote systems, you see. They advise that the most efficient mining systems will be made less efficient, by design. So, don’t worry comrade, stick around, help us developers stay rich. We will protect you by leveling the playing field. Kicking out the best ASIC players. In other words, even the most inefficient e-miners or e-mining systems will carry the same weight and power as the efficient ones.

On the surface, the CryptoNote systems appear to reflect certain political systems. The United States, for example, has two Senators (House of Lords) from each state and it balances against representatives (House of Commons), which are population-based. So the state of Rhode Island (our smallest state) has the same senatorial power as California, one of our largest socialistic failing states.

But the application of political/governmental power, I assert, is to protect a very narrow set of human rights. The right to life, liberty (freedom) and to own property…in the pursuit of happiness as it were.

If any CryptoNote coin claims that equality before the law is egalitarian, then I’d support them but they don’t mean this. They are not talking about inalienable human rights. Rights we are born with and not handed down or proclaimed on some document or granted by a group of thugs on a Wednesday. No, the CryptoNote gang is talking about social leveling and control when you use their protocol. E-mine with us, they say and we’ll do our best to look out for the “little guy.”

One cannot deny a certain group of people their rights, simply because they are able to build better, faster, more efficient machines to mine more gold. In cryptocurrency, however, you can punish such people. It’s a man-made network modeled on some very shaky ideals. It can change like the wind and reflect, in effect, a type of communistic crypto-paradise. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. And we all know how well those political systems work. (Hint: they don’t.)

Unfortunately, this is the way many in the cryptocurrency community define “equality.” Egalitarianism with the blurred lines. If an ASIC or any system is developed, that will perform (e-mine) faster, it is blocked. They don’t want that. ASIC’s are sidelined in favor of slower, less efficient systems, so that the average slow processor (think ‘Comrade-in-Arms’) may still participate. That is not “equality” it’s a recycle bin bromide.

Of course, this won’t happen until the developers reap their rewards, however. After they suck in all the wealth, like any good group of politburo chiefs, like say, Bytecoin still does. Since they are anonymous, they can simply walk away and lay on a nice beach, whilst you wonder why such a perfect egalitarian dream went bust. Where’s your dacha, comrade?

Think about it. Fearing faster and better computing machines that can race through the protocols at speed, e-mine with abandon, and process with efficiency is backward thinking. It is the equivalent of the rolling “brownout” solution, instead of building more power plants. Of having everyone wearing dark sunglasses on a moonless night while driving his family in a compact vehicle on a major highway, with his headlights off. No trucks allowed, they can haul too much gold.

The idea is not to fear progress but embrace it. Use it. Accept it. Not hate it for being good, but use the technology to build a better and stronger private cryptocurrency, such as Monero. (Not Bytecoin. Why is that one still around? How many people will they fool?)

Monero suffers the “equality” falsehood. The egalitarian foible. You can see it in their constant “bar lowering.” They fail to embrace and use the newest tech. They wish to hold onto their slingshots, while the machine guns are being oiled and airplanes fly over their collectivist heads. They escape to their coding labs, tweak the protocols and rejoice that for one more week, they have halted the advance of technology with software. The Arms Race continues, however. And it will pass them by, if they do not adapt.

We all probably understand the reasoning. Why Monero (CryptoNote based coins) wants to keep the waters as level as possible by plugging the holes that keep appearing in their dam. To make sure big players don’t swoop in and take over the spillways. Allegedly, this is the current problem with bitcoin. But as the cracks keep appearing, the dam may break anyway.

How do they solve their crisis? How could any cryptocurrency, for that matter, make the process as fair as possible and not allow one giant mega computer to take over? That question will undoubtedly be answered by the new tech itself. Surely, if new systems (new tech) are developed, new cryptocurrencies will evolve right along with them. It seems that the “fear” of quantum computing should be tempered by the realization that it will also be utilized to better secure the new types of cryptocurrencies that will develop in its wake.

How about at present though? How can we help the private coins? Or any proof-of-work based cryptocurrency? If the idea is to mimic mining for gold, then a limit (number) of coins should be set. That has been done. But when more e-miners flock to the e-gold fields, it seems that less e-gold is to be had. Or, one or two strike it rich and they begin to buy out the others. Then the big groups come with their Goliath machines and the small miner moves on.

The finding of real gold is not about power, specifically. It’s about the search, the research, the location, the process, the physical reality – where the gold is – and sometimes it’s pure chance. Cryptocurrency of the alleged egalitarian type, the man made type, simply turns down the e-gold flow, when more e-miners flock to the field and vice versa. It does this by rejecting e-mining hardware advancements and playing to the weak hands – the comrade with a (CPU) pick and shovel — and that makes it weaker. It is not fair to those who are wealthier and smarter, but it does cater to the less apt and the less affluent. The upshot is, any two-bit dictator can force his slave CPU laborers to e-mine.

One problem with cryptocurrency of the people (as I submit Monero tries to be) is that the e-miners also own the e-banks – the transmission mechanism. The e-miners dig up the e-gold, smelt it, e-mint it into pretty little e-bars and if the e-miners are effective, they can take over the entire mine (51% Attack), and reassign all the e-gold ever e-mined, to themselves. Now that’s a problem. Chances are, if this happened, the e-gold would then become worthless.

Some say that this possibility (51% Attack) alone keeps the big miners at bay…unless they want to destroy the cryptocurrency. Now, who would want to do that? Competitors? Governments? Methinks yes, in the case of XMR or haven’t you heard?

Think about that. If there was only a single real gold mine on the entire planet you’d want to make sure no one large group owns it, right? So you’d pass a law to prevent it. “No smart, efficient miners/bankers allowed on Earth’s only gold mine.” Only picks and shovels here. Ma and Pa banks, please. We call it protectionism or a kind of a tariff. And we all know what happens then, everyone loses. But there are many real gold mines, just like there are many real cryptocurrencies.

Random e-gold (e-bar finds) are not fair they’re just random, especially if there’s a single e-mine, like Monero or Aeon. It’s like everyone digging in the same e-hole, but only one e-miner or a group of e-miners is rewarded at a time. In the real world, there are lots of real gold mines, remember? Lots of chances to strike it rich. It’s not, “Here you go, you won this e-gold-bar, but nobody else did. Maybe next time they will strike it rich! Oh, not really, we have a one e-gold-bar at a time policy. Sorry. No major strikes allowed, ever.”

Gold is not all in one place like Monero’s e-gold is or Bitcoin’s. And yes, I know I can mine different crypto’s. If I mine them with a pick and shovel, however, rather than an industrial process, it should make a difference. If I am wealthier and smarter and I can e-mine more e-gold with my industrial sized ASIC, than the guy with the CPU shovel then I should reap more e-bars, not be told that I’m being stingy. Not have to wait my turn at the freaking roulette wheel, like all the other nice e-people. At the same time, I shouldn’t be able to own the one e-bank (or the e-casino, if you prefer) that controls all the e-gold.

Monero’s (or any cryptocurrency for that matter) e-gold should not be e-mined all in one place. E-miners should not be told the e-mine is closed when their big e-steam shovels come out. No crypto should be 51% attack-able in the first place. We don’t lose our gold when the Chinese Government stocks up on gold bars. Why should we lose, if a bot scams the e-mining algo?

If Monero (or any cryptocurrency) can get to that place, then they or Aeon might survive. And by “place” I mean like the gold mining/selling process. Gold is mine-able by different processes, and with differing rewards. One might hit a “strike” of gigantic proportions in a mountain and then bring in the big guys or sell the “strike” to others. One might use a vast process that filters the ocean for gold. What is the equivalent with crypto? ASIC’s?

Then reality kicks in.

If a cryptocurrency does not attempt to provide a service like a smart contract or a remittance mechanism or represent an asset, it might fail for the same reason fiat currencies fail. It’s happening with crypto-fiat faster since we are not forced to use them. Unless they find some better way to instill trust.

(Full disclosure: I own XMR’s.)

Western Union Dropping Ripple, XRP?

Let reality shine in…for a moment…

Reports are surfacing that Western Union is not impressed with Ripple‘s xCurrent service. Converting Mexican Pesos/U.S. Dollars, less than a dozen times, didn’t save them money.

The Ripple xCurrent protocol does not use a distributed ledger or XRP’s. Okay.

If, as suggested, Western Union could achieve a 50% savings using Ripple’s XRP based service called xRapid, why wouldn’t they?

Privacy and scalability, we are told. It isn’t there, with xRapid. The xRapid protocol uses a shared ledger, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and XRP’s. It’s not a solution for Western Union.

Would it be for anyone?

Western Union is currently larger than MoneyGram by capitalization. But MoneyGram has partnered with Walmart and is testing Ripple’s products. Recently, however, MoneyGram was downgraded by Zacks.

Interesting. But…is there more to this unfolding story, that Ripple does not comprehend?

Banco Santander seems to be the one to watch. Income of over two billion dollars as of March 2018. They are mum about their Ripple strategies, thus far. Why?

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). They are customers? An alleged authority that derives its power from ‘royalty.’ A central bank…like the FED? And there are other Middle Eastern Customers. Why?

Still, the apparent admission that there are awaited solutions at Ripple…begs a response. The continued silence, speaks volumes. Does Ripple have a soul or a backbone or is it just about money? Any money from anywhere? How are royal subjects in the Middle East better than any free individual wishing to keep their wealth a private matter.

Where is the philosophical bedrock?

In the meantime, make sure to profit from your rulers…using Ripple XRP’s…and at some point, put your digital fortune (wealth) beyond the reach of man and Gods.

Neither have any business under your mattress or browsing your ledger.


Financials:

Western Union

MoneyGram

Santander


Thanks for stopping by….

JS

 

 

 

The Blockchain Arms Race

Sometimes the news gets out. Ideally, you don’t want your competitors to know what you are doing until you have the upper hand. Until you secure your territory. It becomes more difficult to dislodge a successful business, once they have staked their claim. But is that really true today – on the internet?

In today’s digital world, the internet, controlled by the various governments, corporations, groups, and even individuals, the territory can change hands in seconds. One cannot build a toll road and collect digital gold forever. Services change and if the money managers, credit card companies, investment houses, medical records companies, identification services and so on, do not adapt, they could find themselves on the physical streets.

This news has been circulating. AMEX is hiring a Sales Coordinator…related to their involvement with Ripple? What does it mean? 

It means that soon, when AMEX comes clean, they will send out a press release. The major networks will confirm the story and create, whether they want to or not, more of a stir. The crypto-markets will react. Right now, only the secondary news outlets and bloggers have picked up on it. Oddly, the AMEX job advertisement was later edited to delete the reference to Ripple.

XRP Chat has this write-up. It suggests a linkage between a Chinese business (Lianlian Group), Santander Ripple, and AMEX. Further research confirms this linkage.

According to The Camping Canuck, that AMEX will be utilizing Ripple, is at least a week old.

But the Lianlian Group connection with AMEX is also (actually) older, Circa 2012. They served about 300,000,000 million customers with digital wallets – mobile phone accounts, according to AMEX. It also looks like Lianlian (some of their companies) are headquartered in the Cayman Islands as well as Hong Kong.

According to a Coindesk article Lianlian International adopted Ripple’s xCurrent platform on February 7, 2018. And xCurrent does not utilize XRP’s, says Coindesk. The idea then is to move these players into the XRP based systems. If these XRP based platforms save them money, increase profits, this next step seems to be a no-brainer.

But the competition is heating up…

Alipay is also in the digital wallet business. It has secured 14 billion for blockchain development according to CoinTelegraph. Interestingly, Alipay’s Ant International, run by one of Asia’s richest men, Jack Ma, indicated that Bitcoin is a bubble. We keep hearing that. Ant International may roll out its own “AI” blockchain platform soon.

Compare Alipay with VISA. VISA has apparently disdained the blockchain and recently suffered a major outage in Europe. The two issues are probably not connected. Notably, blockchains are not as fast as centralized payment systems, but they do seem to be more secure.

Meanwhile, Mastercard has been obtaining blockchain patents and boasts a working blockchain solution.

So, this is more than a simple Credit Card war. The implication here, as always, is a Blockchain Arms Race. It continues to heat up. Picking the winner might be like changing horses in midstream. Personally, I don’t think many nations will trust an Ant International AI Blockchain coming out of China or Asia, but it might be the one to beat.

Thanks for reading…

JS

Are EOS and Telegram in the Bull Pen?

Now that we have witnessed the fall of cryptocurrency prices are we about to see a resurgence?  We are advised from the newest latecomers, Wall Street transplants, who have “seen the light,” that the recent ‘retail bubble’ (something they call the recent run up in prices) is only an emotional reaction. A temporary trip as part of the longer journey that will see far higher prices (and subsequent crashes) in the next three to nine months and beyond.

And I’m not on about Metronome’s advertisement that it is trying to build a 100-year system. Such bravado is hot air considering the speed of advancing computer technology. Surely, we won’t recognize the Dapps in ten years, much less in ten decades.

But the fact remains, ups and downs lay ahead. Gosh, we didn’t know that.

One guru (Michael Novogratz) implies here that certain cryptocurrencies will attain higher values – at some future point – that will make the recent run-ups pale [my words] by comparison. Currently the entire market capitalization for crypto’s is under three hundred billion dollars but that is enormous considering that last year at this time it was one-third of that. Think back a little farther. Say 2013, April. Then the entire crypto market cap was less than two billion.

If as suggested, the crypto market attains upwards of twelve trillion dollars in capitalization and if bitcoin’s dominance remains around 40% the hint that BTC’s could be valued at over $250,000 each seems acceptable to some. What would this mean for Ethereum (ETH)? $18,000? Ripple (XRP)? $20.00?

And yet, if we check the reviews we’re being advised by Ripple that Bitcoin is now run by the Chinese and maybe that’s not so bad as long as they don’t decide to change the game and they can do that if they are able to process more than 51% of the transactions or if their government decides to order them to do so. Arguably, that would destroy the value of the system but that might be the end game. Is Ripple now pointing out the faults of other crypto-assets as well as coddling up to the regulators and schmoozing the remittance marketers?

The use case debate is in full swing. That each “blockchain” with a good social footprint or one that can solve a problem, reduce costs or secure data efficiently, will rise in value. This seems to be the common sense answer in a crypto-sphere rife with frothy FOMO. In other words, maybe we should bet on the FOMO Coin. (Seriously?) When has this market ever been logical? Maybe the captains of the trade floor are honest. The FOMO machine is alive and well and it has always worked its magic.

So what’s next? What two big bulls could break out of the FOMO bull pen and impale the investor ‘clowns?’

EOS. EOS allegedly has the speed engine and is about ready to take on Ethereum and Ripple. Yet, there are reports of problems after four billion dollars was pumped into the project. Are these growing pains? Novogratz appears upbeat about EOS. Daniel Larimer (of EOS) has had some serious success with Bitshares and Steemit already. We have seen programmers spin-off from Ethereum to help create Ethereum Classic (ETC) and from there to Cardano (ADA). I’m talking about Charles Hoskinson here. He is also a co-founder of Bitshares. Ethereum Classic just jumped in value when Coinbase advised they would be listing it. Will Coinbase list Cardano next? They have not listed Ripple (XRP) and that silence speak volumes.

If you shift gears over to Andreas M. Antonopoulos, for a moment, try to screw your head on straight? you can listen to his not so practical and lightly philosophical defense of decentralized blockchain systems and the consensus mechanism and how governments cannot be trusted to become caretakers of the code, so to speak. In truth, as Antonopoulos advises here, these blockchains (bitcoin) are voluntary and yet the idea that minorities are essentially booted off the network by a super-majority does not seem to bother him. They (the minority) can take their basketball and play elsewhere, he implies. In short, the consensus mechanism to him seems to be a ‘dictatorship by the majority.’ There is no constitutional protection here. No congress. No court. No review. Just a few guys with questionable political backgrounds and loyalties, managing the code you can ‘voluntarily’ use. Is that really ‘digital gold’ or programmed obsolescence?

Does it make a difference if something is centralized, as long as it is trusted? And who does the centralizing? Governments or companies? Programmers or consensus mechanisms? How can we put the cat back in?

Once people make their choice, perhaps as Novogratz suggests, as part of a social mechanism such as Telegram, the FOMO psychology takes over, at least until the retail bubble pops and the dust settles. This innate humanity (FOMO), at least until the regulators step in and allegedly protect those who choose to freely invest, will serve as feeding troughs for the wealthy. But if we know how they profit, we can short the FOMO too.

And that is the other bull in the pen, as I understand it. Telegram (TON).

Finally, we are informed that institutional money is ready to flow in, but custodial issues still concern the big players. Once they figure that part out and one or two step into the fray, trillions of dollars will begin to inflate the largest crypto bubble of all.

What will the repercussions be when the next ‘real’ crypto bubble pops? And for those of us who wish to retain value beyond the reach of governments, how do we balance our crypto-folios in the coming months…and years?

Thanks for stopping by.

JS

Cryptocurrency: Six Seemingly Innocuous “New Conditions” You May Not Know About


The following information was pulled from, of all places – where I’m sure they are not slanted or jaded – Wikipedia. It explains the basic conditions under which cryptocurrency operates according to Jan Lansky. It’s a good refresher and it’s worth perusing now and again, if only to disagree. Because, these are not necessarily the conditions, but slanted versions of them.

As you watch the entire process unfold, the banks begin to adopt the blockchain, bitcoin begin to falter, the soul of bitcoin is slowly and subtly being eroded by a new set of rules — conditions.


THE NEW CONDITIONS?

  1. The system does not require a central authority.”

This is the cornerstone many will tell you. It’s non-hierarchical. Its architecture is distributed, networked and it achieves consensus in this manner.

A small, self-selected, but awfully nice group of people (in the case of bitcoin), with unclear motivations, edits the code and the end user can accept the changes or not. In the case of other cryptocurrencies, like Ripple – if you can accept that it is a cryptocurrency – they also have a group of people editing code, but with clear intentions to provide a service.

Notice the use of the words “does not require.” Those are weasel words. Anyone will tell you it should be:

The system does not “have” a central authority. 

  1. The system keeps an overview of cryptocurrency units and their ownership.”

Bitcoin ledgers record how much bitcoin you have and every user gets a copy of that.

Only you have access to a certain subset of ones and zeros. This is called ownership. And you also have copies of all the other ones and zeros and all the times they were sent back and forth. You can send your ones and zeros around the network, like money.

Okay, so some cryptocurrencies don’t require that you keep a copy of the entire ledger, but the system better have it. Then again, some systems are investigating “pruning” which simply means deleting older transactions or parts of them that are unnecessary to store.

And what’s an “overview?” The system keeps the exacting and specific record of units; and the ownership records — not a vague overview.

  1. The system defines whether new cryptocurrency units can be created. If new cryptocurrency units can be created, the system defines the circumstances of their origin and how to determine the ownership of these new units.”

The cryptocurrency software can generate more ones and zeros. The method of generation can vary. Your access to certain ones and zeros is considered ownership.

But don’t forget, it’s intangible property of a sort.

  1. Ownership of cryptocurrency units can be proved exclusively cryptographically.”

You and only you have access to a certain set of “coded” ones and zeros.

  1. The system allows transactions to be performed in which ownership of the cryptographic units is changed. A transaction statement can only be issued by an entity proving the current ownership of these units.”

You can send your coded ones and zero around. They can then become owned by others. Others can send you verification they now “own” your ones and zeros.

  1. If two different instructions for changing the ownership of the same cryptographic units are simultaneously entered, the system performs at most one of them.”

If someone else tries to steal your ones and zeros or maybe thinks they are his, it’s resolved via the system.

This seems to negate the idea of human action. If I can show evidence that a bad actor invalidated my ones and zeros, the system fails if it does not agree.

In the case of government controlled systems, it would mean they decide ownership and simultaneous entries would be a moot point.


You will note two additional things, reading Jan Lansky’s “conditions.” First, that they were apparently written with an eye to government regulation and acceptance. And secondly, there is little mention of monetary privacy.

Beware of “conditions” of this nature. Wikipedia is not the go-to guy. Nor is Jan Lansky. Do we trust Universities, bought and paid for by governments, to provide honest assessments?

Review of “The Crypto Weekly” and Jackson Palmer (NOT)


Dear Readers,

There’s no time like the present!

While we wait for the cryptocurrencies to make up their minds, you might want re-educate yourself. When these markets begin to move again, hopefully in an upward fashion, it would be a good thing if you have made up your mind about which altcoin you want to invest in or remain invested in or sell, before it tanks again.

In this vein, I recently found a reviewer who seems to give you the overall picture and who is also pretty in tune with cryptocurrencies. His name is Jackson Palmer. As always, don’t take anybody’s word for it, but do pick out the gems this guy is offering for free.

After just a few listens, I was shocked at the depth of the problems facing the crypto-world today and it amazes me that so many altcoins are still kicking at all. Certainly, it would behoove all of us to better understand the cryptocurrency process and that is why I offer Mr. Palmer for your perusal, if you are serious about learning and understanding and hopefully, beating the the street. Sure, the markets are driven by emotion and when fear strikes, crypto’s dive like hell. So, it would be a good idea to figure out which crypto’s have the most ‘fear potential.’

As you view his videos you can learn things like why Ethereum has serious problems, why IOTA also has issues, his take on Ripple and Stellar and so on. These are his opinions and thus far, the only concern I have is that one of his videos indicated the Jed McCaleb created the Ripple protocol. This is not exactly the case. Reading a bit of history on this matter you will find that McCaleb was certainly the main mover, but others actually put the package together. So it’s a bit of semantics. Jed certainly deserves most of the credit. At any rate, I forgive Palmer’s compressed history here.

At times, it appears a if Mr. Palmer is taking sides as well. Mentioning recently, for example, that Ripple just gave 29 million dollars worth of XRP’s to schools as a publicity stunt. Maybe it was more of a tax write-off. In any case, wondering why Ripple did not simply give cash seems to be off the mark. Why not give XRP’s? It makes far more business sense, that’s why. It seems that Mr. Palmer tends to miss those points. And sure, it does help advertising, but that’s not illegal and a lot of people like it when you support schools.

And a while back I had invested in IOTA. Near its launch, which is always a good time. After more than tripling my money I got nervous. I knuckled down again and conducted more research. I re-loaded their wallet software, tested it over and over. Read their material again. Watched their videos. All the while, IOTA was rocketing. Then their software started to have issues. They only had one exchange on board at the time. When I asked questions on their forums, I received rude responses from the developers. I sold my IOTA soon after and never bought it again. Since then, IOTA has barely risen to past highs. I even wrote about this experience previously, as a warning to others.

What is curious about Mr. Palmer’s recent review of IOTA it that he gives you an overall sense why it might tank. Like Bitcoin’s 51% attack problem, IOTA has a 33% attack vector. Pretty concerning. IOTA did not use “off the shelf” protocols but apparently created their own untested versions. According to Palmer, this is bad business and after being reviewed by MIT, IOTA had to patch their system.

Again, is “off the shelf” better than “new?” You be the judge.

At any rate, here is Jackson Palmer’s Youtube Channel. Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Jack Shorebird


Update: June 2, 2018

After checking into Palmer’s recent vids I have unsubscribed. I now question his ‘critical thinking’ ability overall. He supports UBI — Universal Basic Income. Essentially, this is a rob Peter to pay Paul scheme. Taking income (wealth) from producers to give to non-producers. A parasite system. A socialist system.

I recommend you not subscribe to his videos.


 

 

 

 

The ESP-RV-Spot Price Report on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple

In keeping with the day of the year called April Fools, I have endeavored to employ a Clif High type of Strategy of what I call “ESP Markets of Excellence.” It’s superior to the Webbot technology.

Using my heretofore unknown Remote Viewing capacity, which apparently anyone can master, I will issue a series of predictions beginning now.

For information on Remote Viewing, please see Russell Targ and the CIA’s Stargate Files.


Experiment #1: Bitcoin

Remote writing tomorrow’s bitcoin price using a pen (black ink). One second to quiet mind.

RV1 - Copy

Result: Based on the above, I think bitcoin will either be $8,162, $7,162 or perhaps $2,162 — dollars – on April 2, 2018.


Experiment #2: Ethereum

Remote writing tomorrow’s Ethereum price using a pen (black ink). Two second allowance for mind quieting, but high-speed writing.

RV2 - Copy

Result: Based on the above graphic, on April 2, 2018, Ethereum will be valued at $406.04.


Experiment #3: Ripple

Remote writing tomorrow’s Ripple’s price using a pen (red ink). No time limit or mind quieting techniques, left handed, eyes closed. (I’m right handed.)

RV3 - Copy

Result: By April 2, 2018, Ripple will have the value of either $48.71. I would err two decimal places to the left: 48.71 cents each.


Please note: Remote Viewing is not an exact pseudoscience. Accuracy can be very high or non-existent. However, the Remote Viewing techniques used did not employ the use of mind altering chemicals.

No animals were harmed during these experiments.

 

Bitcoin’s Bottom and Windfall Profits?

At least one organization is calling the bottom for bitcoin – for now. The implication here, is that bitcoin will surge to $20,000 per coin (or more).

Frank Holmes, contributor for Forbes, was the source for this. He cited material from Fundstrat research. Of course, Fundstrat was founded by Tom Lee, a former JP Morgan employee. But – according to the write up about Tom, he’s been very accurate with predictions.

Here’s a video of Tom a few months back. Suffice to say, he then saw the Bitcoin and Ethereum would be major players. He also sees a negative correlation with bitcoin and gold, but little to none with certain major market indicators. His idea that millennials might switch to or use bitcoin as a type of asset, is also interesting.

Of course, the above video was dated before the recent news that the Bitcoin blockchain was shown to have links to certain illegal websites – akin to someone writing a website address on a dollar. The dollar still spends, but nobody wants that garbage on their bitcoin. Too bad there’s no editing function for extraneous nonsense on the BTC blockchain. Sort of a bitcoin laundry.

Is bitcoin really eating 5% of Gold’s lunch as Tom implies? It’s certainly food for thought. For all the negatives about bitcoin of late, maybe it really is a fait accompli. The only thing left is time.

Tom also gave an example. If new automobile manufacturing plant opened in a rural area, it would take time for the infrastructure to build up around it. Same with bitcoin.

There was little mention of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ripple, but Tom felt that eventually, only few big players – bitcoin being one – would eventually rule the roost. This same type of sentiment is often echoed throughout the crypto-sphere. My rejoinder would be: how few? And what kind of blockchain or non-blockchain system? Alas, that crystal ball is not available.

Now, this Bitcoin prediction was made as it was dropping in price. Not when it was soaring. Personally, I saw a bottom on/about February 6, 2018. I posted that previously.

But let’s suppose for a moment that Bitcoin surged again. It headed north of $20,000. What could that mean for Ethereum and Ripple, for example?

In my opinion, Ethereum would surge to about $1,400. Ripple, $4.00.

Why do I say this? Because cryptocurrencies are generally positively correlated. When Bitcoin rises, nearly all other cryptocurrencies do the same.

But will Bitcoin now die because of it’s alleged connection with child pornography? This WIRED story doesn’t think so. On the other hand, the article does not leave one with a sense of hope. It does the opposite. It tells me that Bitcoin is doomed or at least stunted unless it can edit that content out in some fashion.

It’s the reasonable person standard. Would a reasonable person care that he/she just downloaded hundreds of child porn links with the blockchain? Answer: yes. I don’t care how you rationalize it away. You now have links to criminal websites, period.

“Wait a minute, didn’t you know Bitcoin had child porn links on its blockchain?”

“But officer, I don’t intend to use the links!”

“Explain that to the judge.”

“But everybody does it!” you yell.

This one problem, shows the underlying weakness with certain blockchain technologies. A few bad apples can spoil the barrel. It reminds me of cloned (grafted) fruit trees. One disease kills the entire grove — and beyond.

In the event, however unlikely, that Bitcoin collapses, would this then spell disaster for Ethereum? Much has been discussed about this since ETH can also be subject to unwanted information.

Will this backlash – Bitcoin Gate – spell doom for any ledger-based system — where anyone can edit content? And surge the values of the non-editable systems, like say Ripple – until, like I mentioned, bitcoin and bitcoin-like systems can be ‘cleansed?’

To layer this bad news, we need only look to China. Their National Bank is now going after cryptocurrencies, in earnest.

And can we really see valid cryptocurrency trends via Google any longer? After all, they, like many others companies, are essentially jettisoning Bitcoin and similar. Hence the uncensored search engines would have more accurate cryptocurrency trend indicators …eventually.