The Crypto Papers

Common sense reviews about cryptocurrencies and related issues


Who is Joseph Lin?

Many of us have stared at the Bytecoin Team Members list on Bytecoin.org and wondered just who they were — or more precisely, who they are. Are they still around? Are they layered in pseudonyms to protect their identities? If so, why?

There are so many ways to search the internet that one can get lost in the noise of it. Sometimes it’s better to be obvious. In other words, you can ask the question of any number of search engines (Google, Mozilla FireFox, DuckDuckgo, or even TOR) and get a thousand answers, all speculation; or you can click around.

So click around. Try the “News” heading, instead of the “All” setting.

For example, you can begin with this article on Bytecoin.org:

The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurencies: Brief Histroy. Part 2.”

The guest author is Ray Patterson, but don’t read the article. That’s not what I’m on about. Instead search for “Ray Patterson” and “Bytecoin” in quotes.

A little ways down in your search results you should see another article on Coin Telegraph.  It’s dated July 8, 2015. Follow this link:

A Proof of Work Evolution.”

Did you see the name associated with the article? Joseph Lin?

There it is, but is it? Is Joseph Lin really Neocortex of Bytecoin fame? Is he or was he really the lead programmer of Bytecoin. The fortepiano player who favors the works of composer Johann Bach. And who really cares if he plays with his organ?

If we can trust the name, Lin seems to be of Taiwanese descent, but he could just as easily be from China or any number of Asian countries. So we are no closer here. It’s like the name Smith or Jones.

We can explore Lin’s alleged Alma Mater: University of California, Berkely. That’s a ride. Lin is a common name. Good luck.

The same goes for attempting to search Lin’s college or alleged degrees. There are so many possibilities.

Here are some curious tidbits, however.

July 9, 2015. Joseph Lin publishes…

Miners Lost Over $50,000 from the Bitcoin Hardfork Last Weekend.”

Was he trying to expose the weaknesses of Bitcoin then? Sure.

July 16, 2015. Joseph Lin pops ups again. This time commenting about DigitalNote in the this article:

Dissidents turn to bitcoin-like cryptocurrency to communicate free from state surveillance.”

Lin gives us some useful information. It is also curious that he cares about dissidents. This makes me think he is Chinese or maybe a Hong Konger. He’s chomping under the “bit” of oppression.

October 7, 2015. Here is another tantalizing clue:

“‘Neucoin Will Have More Consumers Using It Than Bitcoin within One Year’ – Founder.

Well, that didn’t happen, but again we find Joseph Lin lurking about. He apparently asked a question about Neucoin, but it went unanswered.

Then nothing. At least nothing obvious. Did something happen on October 7, 2015? Why did he drop from view?

My point here? There are so many bloggers out there who tell us that there are few if any leads to the mysterious Bytecoin Team Members. Here is one: Joseph Lin.

Can we track him or is this just another dead end?

How about you Joseph Lin aka Neocortex, do you care to respond?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bytecoin O

Source: Bytecoin.org

 

Is Bytecoin like a low hanging sweet orange?

Or is it a shriveled, rotten grape, being picked over by the third wave of cryptocurrency noobs?

In  Florida (in the United States), where I live, many of us are concerned about “Citrus Greening.”

It’s not what you think, however. It’s not when the leaves of the orange trees turn green, but when the fruit remains green and never ripens.

The diseased fruit, like a dead and dying cryptocurrency, sort of fools you. It says, “I’m almost ready. Gimme a few more days…” And then the darned orange or lemon drops off of the tree. A useless un-ripened thing.

Cryptocurrency pyramid schemes are the same. They drop from the web just as malformed.

The citrus greening is the result of a pest: the Citrus Psyllid. The insect that deposits  bacteria “in” the trees. The cryptocurrency schemes are also pests, but they take your deposits.

It makes me wonder just what can kill the Bitcoin Tree? I mean, transactions are really slow now, right? If I can’t zip my Bitcoins across the internet in a few days, then what is the sense?

I know an entomologist who studies our citrus greening problem. He advised that the citrus trees, after infection, essentially get a fever from the bacteria. The trees get sick. They become clogged-up inside. The fluids that normally circulate within the trees slows down, as the bacteria does its work.

Think of Bitcoin today. The flow of Bitcoins in the “tree” or network, is slowing down as well. Bank transactions are now faster — and safer. Is this a sign of disease? Bad code? Poor planning? Growing pains? Does it matter if the network fails?

Citrus greening is here for the foreseeable future. So are slow Bitcoins. Antibiotics, genetic changes and insecticide are for citrus. Rewriting code is for crypto. In both cases, many of the “trees” die out.

In other words, with cryptocurrencies, we cut down the bad “crypto-trees.” If they no longer bear fruit we try to fix the code — the genetic structure of the coin. Or we try to increase the size of the transactions — grow stronger limbs and roots. Or give the cryptocurrencies oceans of water — ever-increasing amounts of electricity.

Buildings, warehouses, Bitcoin “factories” are fast becoming “monuments” to tokenism. It’s almost nuts. Why are we so wasteful when there are better options? How hard would it be for a third-rate dictator to walk in with his gang army and take over one of these Bitcoin Mines?

Which brings me back to Bytecoin. Still easy to grow. Still private. Still secure. Still working. No Bytecoin factories are required. Just your CPU and maybe a cup of coffee.

Bytecoin, for all its bad press, is a privacy original. The first mover in the CryptoNote — CryptoNight sphere. It is the rootstock — before the other subspecies thereof, forked from it.

And don’t let them fool you. Don’t let the forkers tell you: “Oh, but we have improved the code! It is almost unrecognizable as Bytecoin now.” Did you hear that? They said “Bytecoin.”

What are they really saying? Here’s is what they are saying: “We couldn’t do this on our own. So we copied. Tweaked. Sat back and waited.”

It was — it is the same with Bitcoin. It was a rootstock cryptocurrency, but now it is something different. Almost unrecognizable. Too many cooks (developers) have spoiled the stew. Too many forkers about.

There is no debate about Bytecoin rootstock. It’s called CryptoNote. It has similarities to Bitcoin, but it not a fork thereof. It stands on its own.

The primary debate about Bytecoin, however, is about the “tree.” When was it actually planted? It seems that the original growers cultivated the tree for a while, let it bear fruit, then allowed others (us) to assist with the cultivation.

Since the planting, Bytecoin Tree(s) have been growing in private orchards everywhere, far from the public eye. They are also relatively young trees. Only about four years old, but ancient in technological terms.

The main cultivator(s) of Bytecoins, like Satoshi Nakamoto of Bitcoin, remain(s) a mystery. We know the stewards of Bitcoin today, since the deed to the Bitcoin Orchard was handed over to a select group. We do not know the original creator(s) of Bitcoin, however.

Similarly, we still have no idea who runs Bytecoin. We can watch them work from afar. They have not disappeared like Satoshi Nakamoto. We can read short bios, but are they real people? We can see the results of their handiwork. We can also read the articles that accuse the Bytecoin developers of hoarding, but it seems nobody has been able to find the money.

Bitcoin, by comparison, was planted in 2009, in an orchard just off of Crypto-Main Street. Everyone can see the orchard, the pickers, the fruit market — every single piece of citrus. Even the large numbers of “oranges” just sitting in wallets, not moving, can be seen. What’s more, and this is troublesome, with Bitcoin, the biggest orchards are being “outsourced” to China.

This China angle has many worried. As some have stated: Bitcoin is a great token currency for Kings and Dictators, but not for freedom loving individuals. The Chinese government is not known for their forward thinking either. Rather, for tight monetary controls, to name a few problems associated with the ever-growing Chinese control of Bitcoin.

In any event, Bitcoin has an army of followers. Advocates in many countries. Users everywhere. But when does the other shoe drop? Shouldn’t you diversify? Why wait?

In comes the privacy-centric, Bytecoin. Cash is king.

Why do I say rootstock when talking about Bytecoin? Because Bytecoin, like citrus trees, has what are called forks — or grafted “friends.” It is a meaningful word. Other growers used the hardy rootstock of Bytecoin, grown from the original seed and attached a bud. Their bud. Their name.

Monero, Aeon, and DigitalNote are a few examples of the forkers. These few remaining Bytecoin grafts have yet to succumb to disease. They have edited the original Bytecoin code in order to exist. They are the “second-handers.” And they are very successful at it, so far.

Grafted orange trees produce sweeter fruit. They taste better. People buy taste, and they do not care about rootstock. The problem may come when the forked varieties of Bytecoin meet up with disease.

Naturally, the grafted “friends” blame the bad rootstock when a fork withers and dies. And yet, the original rootstock of Bytecoin has persisted. It’s almost an embarrassment. One wonders if a certain unnamed cryptocurrency exchange is/was being paid to refuse deposits and withdrawals of Bytecoin in order to stifle trade and kill the mother.

The lesson Florida Citrus Growers are learning now is about “sour.” According to my entomologist friend, the rootstock citrus trees — the trees grown from seed — seem to be more resistant to disease. But they are “sour-root” trees. Nobody wants sour orange juice from the “sour-root” trees, no matter how tough the tree.

The same can be said for Bytecoin today. It lingers at the periphery. Always there. Always waiting for the next cryptocurrency developer to take a swipe at it or maybe copy it again and ostensibly, make it better. But we all know what is under the hood. The engine of Bytecoin.

Have we been fooled?

In a sense, Bytecoin was never sour. It was the “Mandarin Orange” of the cryptosphere. As it turns out, the mandarin orange may just save the Citrus Industry. It is a sweet original orange and it is one of the more ancient species of the fruit. Best of all it is highly resistant to pests and disease, just like Bytecoin.

Who would have thought? A type of fruit — one of the originals — might save our juice? A rootstock, if you will.

Bytecoin is the rootstock of privacy and security. Maybe it’s one of the “core” cryptocurrencies still growing and still producing “low hanging” sweet fruit.

Sure, the original Bytecoin growers are keeping their distance, but you can see that their orchard is well-tended. The trees are all trimmed and a new batch of fertilizer has recently been applied.

Maybe our mysterious Bytecoin developers just need to say “Hello” more often. It’s amazing how far a little wave of the “digital” hand will get you.

 

bytecoin_logo_b_white_circle_large - Copy

Why is it that the Bytecoin Team seems aloof, almost disinterested in their own potential success? It does not appear that they are abandoning ship, based upon recent Github activities. Someone is updating.

And someone is adding news and blogs to the official Bytecoin.org website after many months.

Still, why the relative quiet, other than within their own forum?  That was, until its recent disappearance and reappearance.

After filling up with advertisements, and after yours truly advised them of such via their website, the Bytecoin Forum seemed to have taken a hiatus. Recently sometime around June 7, 2017, it was back up.

Now I understand the need for anonymity in today’s world. But such anonymity is a double-edged sword. Having cryptocurrency developers retain their privacy certainly keeps them safe from the overzealous government-banksters. (And yes, I’m sure there are good bankers out there — working in a bad environment.)

On the other hand, the Bytecoin Team must know that we the users get a bit antsy when we cannot “read the news” more often. Even if the news is slanted. Why? Because we can read between the lines.

In fact, Bytecoin.org, something seems amiss now that you are talking again. Has your “voice” changed?

Recently — May 17, 2017 — Bytecoin.org added a new blog entry. As usual, their blog was professional and polished or was it? Actually two entries were made. The blog and on May 19, 2017, a news piece. Both were clear, but rather brief. I’ll focus on the May 17th blog entry for now. It has a few oddities, if you read it closely.

 

First:

 

“Cryptocurrency market has been developing drastically, bringing more and more innovations to explore.”

 

That’s the first sentence of the blog. Who starts a sentence like that? Shouldn’t there be a “The” to start that sentence? Okay, no biggie. Let’s move on.

The blog was titled “Untraceable Tokens.” It implied that the cryptocurrency space has been innovating. That there is more to explore. Certainly this is true. Since Bytecoin came along, Monero was born and Bitcoin, as always is experiencing growing pains. And a thousand other cryptocurrencies have been born and have since faded in the no-trade zone.

 

A second oddity in the blog:

 

“…top ten token market capitalization value overgrowing $1.4 billion.”

 

Overgrowing? How about “exceeding” $1.4 billion. Again, this could be a “country” thing.

 

A third issue, that may just be me…

 

“…we promise to give you full detail in the upcoming posts.”

 

Full “detail?” Do they mean full “details?”

Say that with a Russian accent: “Comrade, sit in chair, give full detail in upcoming posts. Bytecoin is not Russian, this you must tell world. And KGB not overgrowing. It dead.”

 

A fourth issue:

 

“Further on we will keep you informed about the development process to make sure you do not miss the opportunity to be in the first line to emit your own untraceable Bytecoin based token.”

 

Is it just me again? “Further on?” Do they mean “from now on?”

And how about “the first in line” part? Do they mean “to be the first in line?”

I hear Russian accent, Comrade. No?

 

In any event, they state that Bytecoin has:

 

“…broken ground on developing a wallet-integrated solution that would allow anyone to create their own Bytecoin based token”

 

I mean, don’t we have enough tokens?

 

Or is this a bit of good news. An untraceable token to represent “assets” on the Bytecoin blockchain. Like Ethereum, in some respects — but more private and secure I gather. The fact that this token system will be wallet integrated is also curious.

Integrated into an easy-to-use wallet, like the one we have now or like the Ethereum system? With Ethereum there is a learning curve. I hope that Bytecoin’s innovations will be more user-friendly, however. Not a bloated giant.

The blog entry also teases us with another upcoming innovation — a new “feature.” We can only speculate here. It could be anything.

 

The last bit of information in the blog entry is the notification that we will be provided more information at some future date, so we can be the first to try their new token based system. Again, it is worded oddly to me.

 

Most of us may not need tokens, if we already have Bytecoin. Some, however, could use a token for creating in-house cryptocurrencies that are more secure and private than Bitcoin. The start-up costs might be minimal, if the backbone (Bytecoin) is already there. Also, more users would likely strengthen the backbone. As this occurs — if it occurs — Bytecoin would become more valuable. It is also possible that the tokens themselves could become more valuable than Bytecoin itself.

On the other “dirty” hand, adding tokens to the system might strain it, if the Bytecoin devs are attempting to create mammoth system. I hope they choose to make things modular, in this sense. So any bad “parts” can be replaced or rejected by users voluntarily.

 

We are teased further with this…

 

“Commencing countdown till the global ICO market revolution.”

 

Personally, I’d like to see a clock ticking down, but I get the picture.

 

Of course, ICO means “Initial Coin Offering,” but what coin or coins? Our own tokens we generate on top of the Bytecoin blockchain? Or their new tokens?

And what market? Token market(s)? Like all those tokens being added on top of the Ethereum Blockchain? Are these the “markets?” Are they talking about another market altogether?

When you think about that for a minute you have to wonder what type of organization would use a private, secure and untraceable token. Not banks. They must comply with regulations. Not investment houses, for the same reasons.

Individuals could use tokens they create, however. And yes, the bad guys too.

Suppose you live in China, for example. You’ve been trying to get your money out of the country for years, but can’t. All of your compatriots don’t trust most cryptocurrencies. They are traceable — much too public. Many of your friends know about Bytecoin, but they trust you, not some unknown system that has been ruthlessly attacked by bloggers and hacker alike. You then decide to create a token on the Bytecoin Blockchain that represents an asset. It could be gold, silver or some other property.

What is the end result of a token that cannot be traced to a sender or receiver? Monetary freedom? Gox in a box?

Don’t forget the flip-side of Bytecoin, however. Nobody is watching the fort. If your newly emitted tokens evaporate into thin air, oh well. At least with the public coins — like Ripple, Stellar Lumens or even Ethereum, you can contact a live human.

With Bytecoin? You can look at nice Bytecoin Team Memes. Hello “PACIFIC_SKYLINE,” do you really exist? How’s the water? Answer? Silence.

I do detect a note of odd grammar in this latest blog. It is as if the poster does not quite have a complete grasp of the language or is writing in a type of shortcut method. It could also be that the writer is not American — perhaps English is a second language. (I am American, but at least my grammar errors are obvious.)

And I am not an English teacher, but I argue with them regularly. They often tell me about my spelling errors on these blogs. But spelling is one thing and grammar is another. We can “hear” the subtle differences.

More ominously, maybe Bytecoin has been bought-out and the new owners are attempting to keep this fact quiet, Da?

Finally, maybe all the original “Team” is present. If that is so, please clean up your latest blog.

And talk to us.

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Ease of use.

One of the aspects of cryptocurrencies which seems to confuse a lot of people is the idea of “atomic units.” The separate parts of the coins, so to speak. Debates rage across the Crypto-sphere.

In other words, just how many actual individual units of a particular cryptocurrency are there and how can this change the value or the perceived rarity of a coin? And does it really matter?

We’ve all read about Bitcoin. At least those of us who find Fintech interesting. No more than — approximately — 21 millions Bitcoins will ever exist.  But the number of actual individual “atomic” units is different.

Bytecoin and Bitcoin used the same definition of what one “coin” should be: 10^8. In actuality, however, Bytecoin has 10^64 atomic units, which is the same as Monero. That is the money supply. The “M1” if you will. Monero simply decided to move the decimal to the left.

All of this is not to stir debate as much as it is to appeal to the human in us. What would you rather have? Whole numbers or fractions of numbers when spending your funds? When investing? More numbers seems better, sure. But fractions of numbers?

As Monero increases in value, each atomic unit becomes more valuable. This is the same with Bytecoin or any cryptocurrency.  The only difference are “whole” numbers. So ask yourself these questions, as a user of cryptocurrency:

What is easier to calculate and understand quickly?

Whole numbers or fractions of numbers?

This can be looked at another way.

If each Monero is the equivalent of $50 and you want to buy a soda, how much would it cost? Say the soda is one U.S. dollar. That would mean 1/50th of a Monero or about .02 (point 02) XMR’s gets you that drink — alcohol is extra. Say a dash of vodka costs .1 (point 1) XMR’s. (I know — cheap vodka.) So .12 (point one two) is your total cost. Well, then there are taxes and other fees. Let’s say your total bill is .1290 with a 7% sales tax and other fees. There, we’re done now. Hand over your fraction.

Bitcoin calculations are similar, but their fees seem higher.

Now let’s try Bytecoin. At about 1/3rd of a cent each, you would need about 300 Bytecoins to buy a one dollar soda and at least 1500 more to add some cheap booze. If Bytecoin continues to increase in value, these numbers will fall. For example, if Bytecoin increases in value to the equivalent of one U.S. penny or .01 cent (one cent), your one dollar soda is now 100 BCN. With vodka? Say 600 BCN. With taxes and fees? Say 650 BCN.

It would  be easy if you were Japanese since one hundred yen is roughly one U.S. dollar. They would “get it.” For those of us in the U.S., it would be nice if BCN could value to about one dollar. In that case, we would “get it.” One BCN for one soda.

My point? What is easier to understand? Fractions or whole numbers? It’s your choice, but do not fool yourself into thinking you are actually spending less money. It’s all relative. Emotionally, we might feel better when we keep to the low numbers, to fractions, but in reality, we are spending the same amount of money.

There is another supply difference as well — between Monero and Bytecoin.  Bytecoin’s money stock recently increased do to a flaw. It added an additional 693 million coins, before the flaw was fixed.

Perhaps Bytecoin learned from Ethereum’s mistakes. They chose to keep the original blockchain intact when faced with a problem. If you recall, after Ethereum corrected their issue, purists then launched a clone: “Ethereum Classic. ” The community then split.

 

 

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Over a year of relative silence and now Bytecoin is making a comeback?

Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts noticed on or about May 17, 2017, when the following “blog” was posted on the Bytecoin website, the value of said currency jumped. This may have been a coincidence, however, since a lot of other cryptocurrencies also surged and then unceremoniously lost over half their gains.

Here was a recent headliner:

Untraceable Tokens

Cryptocurrency market has been developing drastically, bringing more and more innovations to explore. The Bytecoin team understands the importance of keeping a finger on…

The point was: “activity.” We finally had some. But why the delay?

Many of us had written-off Bytecoin when they stopped minding their forum. It became bloated with advertisements and there did not appear to be much activity — or easy to find information.

Others of us have read the profanity laced debates on the other forums about the alleged deeds of the bad Bytecoin developers. Was it true?

Here is the link:

 Blowing the lid off the CryptoNote/Bytecoin scam (with the exception of Monero)

Bytecoin allegedly forged the dates on their whitepaper(s) in order to make it appear as if they had completed a fair release. Meaning, to be fair, you must work hard and allow every “miner” access to your product at the same moment. (Not fair to the developers.)

Bytecoin creators may not have fairly given away their invention and instead, allegedly mined over 80% of their own coins before letting anyone in on their plans. In any event, the coin languished. Relegated to the heap of junk coins, but it never quite died. Just hung out. Waited.

Months went by. Then years of anemic trade. Few if any improvements came. Bytecoin’s Github account was boring. Then lately, after bit of a screw-up — more activity. Somehow a bit of mining software allowed someone to mine extra Bytecoins. This was fixed, but still, Bytecoin was accused of not taking action quickly enough.

Actually, the accusations flew.

Monero supporters hinted the Bytecoin developers intentionally mined extra coins using a flaw in their system. Bytecoin supporters then retaliated. Monero supporters knew of the flaw, they said, and took advantage of it. They created more Bytecoins and used that as leverage to expose Bytecoin’s flaws. Why? To sew distrust in the Cryptonote-based cryptocurrency of course.

Once the dust settled, it was back to the business of smear. Monero, with all of its improvements of the CrypotNote or CryptoNight Protocol (Algorithm), against Bytecoin — which dared to rear its scammy head once again. It was the original CryptoNote against the (allegedly) new and improved CryptoNote.

The Bytecoin pre-mine allegations are still there as well.

These days, ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) and pre-mines are commonplace. The results are mixed. Some developers fly the coop with the cash and some actually continue to tweak their coins. Some monitor their Github accounts making changes to at least let us know that they are still around.

Monero was not pre-mined, according to their documentation. They were a community driven program, forked originally from Bytecoin and after a some early growth pains  (community internal disagreements) a certain sect ended up with the keys to the code. Today, Monero enjoys a relatively stable existence, enjoying recent valuations, even if they do not have the best “wallets” or mascots.

If Bytecoin did “pre-mine,” within the last week they may have covered their initial expenses. In other words, the pre-mine has helped to support the development of Bytecoin. Unless, like the Monero supporters claim, Bytecoin will simply dump their coins and leave everyone hanging. So far, they appear to sticking to their guns.

Bytecoin has experienced a massive resurgence on one exchange especially: Poloniex. But the trading, other than having lined the pockets of Poloniex, since they charge for the service of trading, is missing something. And that is the ability to deposit or withdraw any Bytecoins. Currently, you can only trade Bytecoins with other cryptocurrencies on Poloniex. All I have been able to verify so far is that Poloniex is performing  “maintencance.”

If Poloniex finally re-enables Bytecoin it could be seen as a vote of confidence. Perhaps we should all realize that Poloniex just wants to earn a profit, however. Keeping the customer happy and the money flowing is a no-brainer. If they think Bytecoin is too much of a distraction they could delist it.

One hopes that Poloniex is watching Bytecoin closely. Certainly they can see who owns the most of Bytecoins on their exchange. If a large player has made some attempt to dump or trade enormous amounts of Bytecoin, they should know about it.

Where will Bytecoin go from here? Your guess is a good as mine. We have a nice, easy to use software wallet.  One which has always worked for me — and apparently renewed interest in the coin itself.

Volatility is an issue now. Bytecoin, if the past is any teacher, may be cutting its teeth on the “whales” right about now. Big ups and downs. Money is certainly changing hands.

The question is, are the users getting pummeled at the expense of the anonymous developers of Bytecoin or are unrelated parties just having fun with all the investors trying to pile on?

As always, time will tell. If privacy and security gains traction, Bytecoin could be sitting pretty.

 

(Note: This author is not associated with Bytecoin.org or any of its developers.)

 

Reminders and thoughts about the cryptocurrency near-future.

In the realm of the digital, cryptography is definitely a contender for your money. Not unlike your retirement plans, savings accounts and the cash hoard under your mattress. You might also be surprised that cryptography is changing more than finance, however.

Cryptocurrency is creating its own financial vortex. An ever growing singularity threatening to unravel, not only the monetary systems in place today, but the social systems upon which they rely.

What would happen if the state money you have in your bank went the way of the Dodo Bird? Would you use gold, silver or a cryptocurrency to get you through the bad times? Perhaps a lesson is unfolding right before our eyes.

The average Venezuelan could tell you about bad times. Their economy continues to nose dive as their monetary system crashes. Social services, food, water, medicine? All hard to come by. And it is a result of policies that made their money evaporate. They simply “printed” too much and it — their entire social system — is dying as a result.

…cryptocurrency can be hidden much easier than silver coins.

Is bitcoin  propping up the average Venezuelan citizen today? Certainly, it is helping. Government agents cannot reach into the Bitcoin Bank and take your money. They can, however, force you to give up your passwords and make you transfer your funds to them. Unless you use a third party service. One in another country that refuses to release your funds.

In short, cryptocurrency can be hidden much easier than silver coins.

More specifically, it is in cryptocurrency that many of us place our hopes and dreams. But are our hopes misplaced? Is this new fin-tech space a mere blip in the larger scale of the Information Age?

If bitcoin cannot be “over-printed,” by design, what is it really? A steadily valuing asset, so long as we keep using and buying and trusting it? Trusting a digitized currency?

Many of us already know the risks involved with Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency. You can stand to gain, maintain, or lose your proverbial behind. Billions of dollars of real money have been made during this ongoing; and certainly speculative run up. Values continue to climb, then retreat, and most unfortunately, the system itself, especially the most popular cryptocurrency of all, bitcoin, is showing signs of strain.

We can make comparisons all day. The Dot.com bubble. Tulip Mania. Speculation. A craze. Decentralized money. Be your own bank. Smart contracts. The World computer(s) galore.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a new idea…

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a new idea for a new cryptocurrency. Just as every new company has new stock. Whole countries are “testing” the waters, allowing the new non-state monies freer reign.

And choices are great. Eventually, however, the most efficient tech will surpass the rest. Just as large home computers gave way to tablets then smart phones, the fastest and most secure systems — the most trusted — will win.

Reliability is also key. You can fix it if it breaks, but you might lose your customer if it breaks for long. For example, I really liked Peercoin when it first came out. An unknown  developer (Sunny King) who sort of kept his or her distance. An energy efficient system. It seemed more decentralized, even if it was not private — meaning others could see my balances and purchases. All the same, when Peercoin broke — forked — I was ticked off. Never again did I invest. Well, maybe once or twice, but I steered clear of the software. Just traded it.

Central Control…

Central control is another concern. Central authorities like our various governments often step in to assert that money must be controlled. To protect us. Bitcoin itself was the antitheses to centralized control. Today, to state that Bitcoin is decentralized would be stretching it.

Large computational warehouses churn out Bitcoin’s life blood. Many are in China. The sheer amount of electricity used to continue this process is staggering. And China is by no means a free country, but are any countries truly free these days?

Power consumption. If we use the United States as an example it is estimated that Bitcoin miners worldwide use nearly the same amount of electricity as nearly 300,000 homes. An argument for Bitcoin’s value to be sure. Even so, this very fact makes the giant Chinese Mining warehouses targets.

Is Bitcoin money? Does it have a real value? Why does it continue to thrive? These are all great questions and many have chimed in — attempted to answer them. In truth, there is no simple answer.

So what happens next?

Will whole regions compete with their favored cryptocurrencies? Will the public blockchains rule or will private ones begin to take market share? Will governments give certain companies special rights to sell their wares, so long as they are complaint with all of the reporting requirements? Does this latter situation not break all the rules of cryptocurrency?

And the “next” is already occurring. The herd is moving in the fields, but the fields are fenced-in. Slowly, the acreage will be sectioned off. A divide and conquer strategy.

Will it be bad? Not initially. Not until the authorities begin to demand changes to the code to allow several things. Easier snooping and taxation. Eventually, not unlike Peercoin, the social engineers will ask the ultimate sacrifice: faster inflation. That will spell the end of it.

There are no places to hide. Yes, companies can hock their wares — sell their crypto-goods — with governmental permission. They can report all account holders and take names. They can play the game.

Many of us will use these trusted public blockchains. Many of us will unknowingly use the current banking systems, unaware that they will soon be using Ripple or maybe Stellar Lumens or some other well researched and “approved” system.

There are a few cryptocurrencies remaining that, as of yet, have refused to comply with authorities — completely. Monero and Aeon are examples. Their developers remain, mostly, anonymous. A good and bad thing. As a result, there are fewer markets. Fewer places to purchase these relatively private cryptocurrencies. But they are far more secure and private than most other competitors.

It reminds me of Prohibition in the United States beginning in the 1920’s and even the current laws against drugs today. What happens when people are told that they cannot buy and use something they want?

In the end the price goes way up. A sort of “valuation wave.”

Is this what is in store for Monero and Aeon?


Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10154402@N03/8320940344/in/photolist-dFhZEG-qLYojk-6jqzHA-e6cPCc-aeFyin-8vBWaH-o2L53e-2aF1r-nBxJSN-atWtvZ-hqK2uu-punpdm-cPAA4A-ayJNU7-8xFZSs-sdp8iY-nqDdqX-cPAA9f-u8eMA3-qmH2Aw-tndENX-bkXNH-kqc1KU-dSh77r-8vBW9D-e6fD4C-9uikWK-nvLgqm-qQfo6S-nsZdLn-nV3i8q-qRTx4e-qmPBRn-jKitVM-nNLSCA-f54gtt-rAGEJR-kyBT9x-Q5sVSJ-n8ZBn2-7qPZ63-ozx5NT-EbgvgY-qnGhZr-cW7kbu-aALBck-dz77PC-7U6Q85-bpRSNd-4uYThP

 

 

 

If you’ve been wondering why bitcoin prices have climbed over the past months weeks…months, look no farther, it’s the Chinese — again. Okay. maybe India and a little Venezuela.

According to HolyTransaction, a premier cryptocurrency multi-wallet service, the Chinese connection exists. In fact, the service warned us in the past to watch out for bitcoin ‘shorts.’

I thought it might be a good idea to remind ourselves to watch  — again.


China, in fact, has $30 trillion in deposits – which concerns about devaluations will make very “flighty” while the market cap of bitcoin is under $8 billion. 

— HolyTransaction / May 31, 2016

Source: Bitcoin rise driven by Chinese domain | HolyTransaction


Are the Chinese attempting to rescue their wallets, due to capital controls imposed by their government? That is the suggestion here — that it is a great way to move money out of the country.

The “Great Firewall of China” is essentially useless if a Chinese citizen knows how to avoid it with the many options Bitcoin has to ‘send’ and ‘receive.’

Another theory is the old ‘supply and demand’ scenario. There are fewer Bitcoins mined in now, because of a programmed mining halving and this supply reduction might continue to trigger higher prices, if demand remains constant.

Or is it the Ethereum issue? The fact that this relative newcomer to the crypto scene, courted by banks and investors, has stirred interest in Bitcoin? Maybe.

But as HolyTransaction indicated, China is probably the culprit.

How else can one explain it? If the Chinese account for more that 90% of the world’s Bitcoin trade they can certainly influence global prices.


…a Chinese investor effect, but also raise the possibility that the effect won’t last.

— Jeff John Roberts / Fortune / May 31,2016

Source: 3 Reasons Bitcoin Is Booming Again – Fortune


And now the warnings sink in. When will the Chinese pull the plug?


The price of bitcoin in China has been roughly $50 or higher than in other countries. So why is China buying so much cryptocurrency, and why now?

–Jamie Redmond /news.bitcoin.com/May 31, 2016

Source: Bitcoin Price Rally: ‘Hot Money in China Has to Go Somewhere’


Pulling the plug might not be in the cards any time soon. But remember the warning. The Chinese like to gamble.

As the Chinese government continues to devalue the Yuan, investors are signing up at the exchanges to beat the devaluations. Will Beijing move to further restrict bitcoin trade?

Will the government step in to halt the bitcoin trade in that country entirely?

If so, watch for bitcoin a tail spin.

Now think about where the Chinese will next invest? Will it be in Monero? For its privacy?

Think about that for a moment. The Chinese have the mining power. Would it be all that difficult to move in? Run Monero like they run bitcoin? Is Monero really that resistant to ASIC Mining? Bot driven miners?

A recent Come to Jesus incident happened with Monero recently. One Mining Pool — dwarfpol.com — actually surged past 51%. At that point, Monero could have been theoretically rewritten or simply owned by one party. We have been assured by the anonymous developers and one who remains public, that all is well.

If not Monero, with its anonymous developers, who we do not know if we can trust, what cryptocurrency is next best? Litecoin has seen new action of late. But Monero is bugging me.

 


Featured Image by Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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