Ripple (XRP): Kill the ICO’s?

 “He has erected a Multitude of New Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their Substance.”

Dear Cryptocurrency Folks,

The above is a line from the Declaration of Independence in the United States. It was addressed to King George III. I firmly believe that a certain Ripple (XRP) CEO needs to read these words and attempt to comprehend their meaning, if he has the capacity. Read them, and if he has the guts, to step up and do what is right and not what is expedient. But few men of this stature exist. Few men or women are willing to “do the right thing.”

You, the people of the Fintech Future, should know that cryptocurrency is a revolution in currency. A new way to both secure transactions, records, identity and the like — with modern technology. Without interference. Without “Swarms of Officers” to harass us.

But your rights to own crypto, to experiment, to invest, to see where this road takes you — is about to be attacked. It’s only a matter of time, before — if you allow it — they will eat our substance, yet again.

The lights are being snuffed out, one by one. And this is not only about the regulation of an airline or some new drug. This drills much deeper. This goes all the way down to the economic tool we use daily. A tool that, each day, is rotting away in your wallet. That tool, which was essentially stolen from you, decades ago, is itself under attack. But not in the sense that you think.

The tool is fiat money. It is weak and wobbly, but our governments require its use. Its competition is cryptocurrency, yet another fiat, but with a primary advantage: inflation resistance.

Many of these crypto’s have a limited virtual supply. This is unlike fiat currency, which expands and contracts – inflates and deflates – at a bureaucrat’s whim. Always, without exception, history tells us that flexible fiat currencies of this nature, eventually fail. They die of inflation. Prices, indexed to the fiat, skyrocket.

Is there an interim solution to fight this downward spiral? A way to stop the inflationary money drain, until systems of sound monies can be reinstalled, by law? In other words, let the people decide what is sound money, not a group of government bankers. Can this new revolution, transition us, without arms, without mobs in the streets — to a better financial reality?

I believe that cryptocurrencies offer this possibility. That if governments are disallowed entry, crypto’s will innovate and help secure a better, sounder, more modern monetary reality. But, this will necessitate that the purse strings be handed back to the people, something I fear that governments cannot and will not allow. To do so would admit their impotence and that would lead to a faster decline.

However, the longer we hold the line. The longer we keep the regulators from mucking with the innovators, those geniuses of finance and math, the harder it will be for the bureaucrats to halt the process of monetary evolution.

Many governments, companies, professors, financial experts and so on, are leading the charge against the ever-growing popularity of this monetary/service revolution. A system that could replace money as we know it or fail completely.

But let it fail or succeed on its own. Some ICO’s will fail and some will succeed. We only know, that when killed-off with draconian regulations, they will never be. Never have the chance to grow at all, if buried by rules, red tape and bloated bureaucracies.

A Ripple CEO now supports regulations. Please show Ripple some tough love. Do what you think is best.

Here is my commentary (audioblog) about the matter. I didn’t cuss too much and it’s a bit raw:

 

Your American Friend,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

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Cardano (ADA): The Golden Hand?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The hard part is recognizing the opportunity.


The Cardano opportunity is a risk.

Life…is a risk.

The news today…the news any day…the last few crypto-days…is mixed.

From a layman’s point of view – one who has made a few good calls – I think that the next great cryptocurrency opportunity is here. The early cryptocurrencies were the introductions, the experiments and the tests.

A lot of people have made a lot of money in this space since 2009. Some of these newly minted multimillionaires have used this opportunity to push Fintech further. To create a second generation of cryptocurrencies with smart contracts and added tokens. To allow others to use their blockchains for good or ill.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum. Public blockchains that allowed innovators to dream and make their dreams into reality. The reality, the regulators, pushing back, but not yet winning.

From Bytecoin (stay away) to Monero (use at your own risk). And we must not forget the private angle. Others in this new space felt that the current governments obstructed the development of this technology as they, the Darknet users, actively created systems to hide behind a wall of code. Or give the user the choice to secure his accounts or make them public.

The principal problem with the private angle, is that we the users, do not often know who created these coins. We have no customer service. The risk, therefore, is great. To state otherwise is to be oblivious or perhaps to take that risk in hopes of a great return.

Is there a third way, however? A third generation of cryptocurrency? Not a compromise, as I have postulated before, but a “realist” coin? One that exists and uses the regulations to its benefit, rather than subjecting itself to the laws of all nations? In other words, can Cardano (ADA) use the law of nations to its advantage, while enticing a new breed of users?

We live in the real world after all. We earn and save and spend our money on real things in real stores, where real people stuff our groceries in real bags. We use fiat money, by and large, to do this. And there are many advantages to using fiat, except for micropayments across borders. Cryptocurrency handles the latter much better. But cryptocurrency has other problems.

Although, I’m no supporter of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) its current director made some interesting remarks recently.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director at the IMF, indicated in her speech recently, “…this is not about digital payments in existing currencies—through Paypal and other “e-money” providers such as Alipay in China, or M-Pesa in Kenya…”

What does that tell you? Aside from the fact that she said it? Is Lagarde sounding the alarm or is she helping to clear the way for the banking industry to adopt the blockchain technology? If so, what type of cryptocurrency would governments accept? After all, the governments are the banks.

In the US, the company with the cheapest product wins the government business – a lot. Yes, there are affirmative action quotas (reverse discrimination policies) to follow, but the product used, needs to be under budget – until later, when the corruption and incompetence is discovered and the whole project exceeds the projected budget, plus some.

Would PoW cryptocurrencies be used by governments? Unlimited budgets are things of the past. Yes, China and Russia can offer inexpensive power (electricity) to cryptocurrency miners, having built the power stations on the backs of their subjects (tax and spend), however, freer countries cannot often hide such corruption for long.

PoS cryptocurrencies might fit the bill, however. In fact, Ripple is fitting the bill nicely now. More and more businesses and banks are signing on. But Ripple is not really PoS, is it? It does not encourage people to save and earn interest, it only entices them the buy, hold and sell. Perhaps to use their system. It is no longer user-friendly – if it ever was. But it is a pre-mined animal for the current financial system. Centralized and existing in the regulatory environs – and earning money for its investors.

Back to Lagarde. She also said, “For now, virtual currencies…pose little or no challenge to the existing order of fiat currencies and central banks…[b]ecause they are too volatile, too risky, too energy intensive, and because the underlying technologies are not yet scalable. Many are too opaque for regulators; and some have been hacked.” (Underlining emphasis mine.)

Volatility is a given with cryptocurrencies. They are not often pegged to a basket of goods or a fiat money supply. On the other hand, they are not – in theory – able to cause inflation.

Energy. There’s the big one. Bitcoin, for example, uses as much power as hundreds of thousands of homes, certainly. And there are worries, that continued unchecked, the blockchain beast might use as much electricity as entire countries.

That is a non-starter for whole countries, if they are constrained by objectivity and budgets. So, what is better? What kind of cryptocurrency would entice the average Joe, the high-power banker and, at the same time, dissuade governments from clamping down on the process? Where whole nations could participate?

It would need to be – IMO – a cryptocurrency (or more than one) with wide acceptance, ease of use, an international governance structure, economical, secure, and transparent under certain circumstances. (By that I mean, an objective set of published rules whereby the ‘coin’ would, under the circumstances outlined, provide identity information to third parties.)  Whatever else the cryptocurrency could add, given the needs and desires of the populace, would be up to them. Smart contracts. Machine to machine payments etc.

Naturally, the acceptable cryptocurrency would require scalability. In other words, be flexible enough to increase business in an efficient fashion.

Such a cryptocurrency, could become a new world reserve cryptocurrency, if it was not subject to the whims and laws of every separate bureaucracy – used a system of governance akin to Maritime Law – as has been suggested. It can be argued that Bitcoin is like this today.

This would be, as some have called it, the third stage in the evolution of cryptocurrency. And, perhaps, a stage in the re-development of a base or reserve monetary system, decentralized at its heart and beholden to its users, not its users’ users.

Efficient, secure, regulatable, sustainable and trusted, all based upon the original concepts of peer to peer networks. With the added benefit of creating a voluntary user base to extend the network.

Let’s face it, Bitcoin would be much faster if everyone connected and kept their computer on. But why waste energy? Why download the blockchain when cryptocurrencies like Cardano offer more efficient ways of participating – and obtaining PoS rewards?

The trick will be in the regulation. And how Cardano can manage what will certainly absorb much of their nest egg, that we the user must be willing to provide.

Can Cardano outpace Ripple and become a serious international player in short order?

Read between my lines.

 


The above should not be considered investment advice. It is solely the opinion of the author. The author who had DASH when it was wet behind the ears, Ethereum when the nerds were wrecking “DAO” havoc, Bitcoin too late and Aeon, at pennies on the dollar. Now it is the time for Cardano — methinks.


 

Cardano (ADA): “PoS”itive Outlook?

Updated October 5, 2017


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

Trust, trust, trust — or baloney?

In each other, we trust?

Trust, but verify…especially with cryptocurrency?

It seems that we have three developments occurring simultaneously, now — in the Fintech Crypto-World.

  1. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is moving to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
  2. Public is moving to Private or “choice.”
  3. And governments are trying to regulate.

Did I tell you something you don’t know? I hope not.

PoW. It was the most trusted way to create and maintain a person-to-person (P2P) network. But what happened? Has the crypto-space evolved?

PoW has become labor intensive, energy hogging and increasingly centralized. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc. Ethereum is attempting to move to a PoS system or at least use some of its protocols. Really? Again, why?

Why was the PoS protocol developed in the first place? Peercoin, Blackcoin, Cloakcoin and others. Were there long term issues? Security disadvantages? They drew less power, were faster, but they were essentially a pre-mine. But they reward those who maintain balances – and help to secure the network, right? Reward with an ever growing supply of cryptos, unless that supply is fixed — which appears to be the plan for Cardano.

What were (are) the results of PoS? Marginal success. Can a new PoS protocol reverse that trend?

Peercoin, for example, had problems with their code early on. Their primary developer is anonymous. Cloakcoin has changed hands.

What was worse, these PoS coins were more vulnerable than PoW types – less secure. So, why is Ethereum attempting to move in that direction? Aside from the official reports, I mean?

Competition from Cardano?

We know Cardano was developed – at least in part – by a former Ethereum developer, turned Ethereum Classic developer/supporter. To, me, that smells of trust. That smells of new blood — underdog — PoS+ blood type.

But the underdog is only in name. Like Ripple, Cardano has removed the curtain to reveal that it too is willing, at some level, to cooperate with regulators. They are willing — and able — to compromise. If we look to Ripple, they are succeeding.

To roll back the blockchain, as Ethereum did, to stop one criminal – okay, one “advantage taker” – smacks of centralization. (See the DAO Incident.) At that juncture, no matter how benign a dictator, Ethereum lost its way. One cannot punish the whole, to catch one mistake.

So what stain does Cardano have? As a free market supporter, the stain is called compromise? Or is it realism. In other words, Cardano is not seemingly attempting to create a separate cryptocurrency and/or protocol, as much as it is attempting to “get along” with the regulators. It wants to identify you, at least on one level. KYC — know your customer. The smart contract-currency platform that might be too smart for its own good.

And, in my mind, Cardano, unlike Ripple, wants you to participate. Game changer?

Ethereum Classic is “righting” the wrong of Ethereum. Still, the system – the protocol – is slow. It devours resources. Energy for mining. Power hungry.

So, what is the solution?

A PoS Ethereum, with new math: Cardano?

Now, we must decide. Do we trust the PoS? The pre-mine with a large chunk of coins held back for the “company.” Do we trust corporations? They act in their own interests, right? They must make a profit to survive, certainly. How much is enough?

And they are willing to share profits if we support the system?

Many cryptocurrencies are headed by corporations today. Mining warehouses keep many coins alive – corporations regulated by their respective governments. Of course, letting governments create cryptocurrencies will be a cluster-fork, of enormous proportions. But it’s heading that way today, in many countries.

Bitcoin’s reality is that it is managed by people with differing points of view, but they must come to a consensus to move forward. Hence the slow-to-change mentality. Is it outliving its usefulness? Some will tell you it has.

It seems that the move to privacy coins, created by unknown players, is an accident waiting to happen.  We need – IMO – the human factor. The “part” in the virtual machine that is not virtual. To service the humans who use the crypto. Or do we?

Privacy coins obscure their process, as to be non-auditable (or having a choice to audit), in a way that gives many the willies. Not because we want cash-like privacy, but because we wonder who else is using the protocol and why.

So, what can we say. Cash has no feelings. It’s just cash. True. But if you have the protocol to trace the bad actor and you don’t? What does that make you? An accomplice?

The one weakness in that cash-privacy crypto, one which you might hold on your flash-drive, is the customer service angle. If the currency “forks” and you didn’t update in time, what then? Get on Reddit and start complaining? Really?

Where is the “Complaint Department?”

Grandma likes to call people, right? The old school likes warm voices, emails to real organizations, faces to names. The old school lives and saves, on trust. Is Cardano that trust? The new Savings and Loan of Fintech Crypto?

And isn’t that what it’s all about? If we strip away the layers of protocols, unload the software, and just listen – who do you trust to keep your money? I’m not talking about playing the crypto-markets, drifting from one coin to the other, riding the emotion-horse. I mean, the bare-bones of it.

It is not the machines we trust, yet. It’s the people.

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

The fact that governments want to regulate may not be the best reason to flee into the “dark” coins. They will chase any entity that threatens the fiat empire. The darkness only eggs them on.

Regulations change because of force. What is the force of millions of cryptocurrency wallets, worldwide? It is a wave. A tidal wave.

Put your ship in the deep water.

A cryptocurrency that is backed (or less regulated by whole countries), will place pressure upon the bankers of old – the money-changers of the past. Especially, when it is trusted by people everywhere.

How would the empires of old stop that?

Can they, ICANN?

I don’t know if Cardano is the answer, but maybe they are onto something.


 

Cardano (ADA): A New Cryptocurrency and More…

Dear Readers,

Is your Cardano ship about ready to sail…without you?

Could we be looking at the promised “Proof-of-Stake” cryptocurrency — finally? Something as good as or better than Ethereum, with more concise math, faster, cheaper and safer?

It’s been in the works for a few years, but finally — it’s on Bittrex.

Is Cardano the next in line to make it big?

(For the record, when I posted this, ADA’s were about 2 cents each.)

(Music, compliments of Zapsplat.com)


Begin your journey here:

Cardano:

Input Output:

Emurgo:

Market Data:

Wallet:

YouTube:

Technical:

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

P.S. This is not investment advice. Please check out the available videos and literature. Happy research!

 

Aeon (Cash) — A “Smooth-Short” Comedy

Seriously folks, I created a short radio-like comedy about the creator of Aeon Coin — a cryptocurrency that has surged in recent weeks.

I never thought it would.

So, I need to take Smooth down a notch.

Sincerely,

You Pal…

Jack Shorebird.


The Comedy Audio Short: Interview with Smooth.

(I think he’s dangerous!)

Zcash v. Monero: The Friday Night Fights

Hello Crypto Dudes and Dudettes,

This is just a nightcap, a final bit of juice for the day.

Recent internet chatter pits Zcash against Monero. It seems that some Zcash supporters are citing or linking to an older evaluation of Monero. One that is not so glowing. Hints that Monero is/was traceable.

Is it? The question seems to hang like bad meat in a broken freezer – in South Africa.

Other allegations imply that Monero is Mickey Mouse, essentially.

Apparently, Edward Snowden has weighed in. Zcash it is.

The peanut gallery is crying foul. Snowden is a shill, a paid endorser…really?

But shouldn’t you at least consider a private cryptocurrency? Bitcoin is traceable. Why wait?

So, what’s in your wallet? Governments already know. And some hackers.

Choose wisely.

And if top academics did help to develop Zcash, who cares if they did not “implement” the actual coin?

That’s one lame argument.

If a rocket scientist shows you how it’s done and you build a brand new shiny rocket, it’s still a rocket. Even if you used old Nazi science – old V2 methods – for some of your “code.” (I’m hinting at the use of bitcoin code within Zcash.)

We know that bitcoin works. We have never seen Bytecoin take off like that. (Note : the Bytecoin link may not work.)

Monero has moved onto higher ground – as – I might say – it’s a “people’s coin.” Grass roots.

Zcash is beholden to their sponsors, right?

But that does not mean we cannot or should not profit from those who back Zcash and therefore “pump” the coin.

The continued success of Zcash – a very volatile coin – is still in the weeds. But judging by bitcoin’s success, is Zcash the best of both worlds? Private or public? You can show and tell or…not, right?

To defend Monero – that it too is based on the works of academia – is disingenuous.

We know those who developed the Zcash/Zerocash process. We cannot verify the existence of a single coder or developer of CryptoNote/CryptoNight – Bytecoin – not one.

And yes, I realize that we do not know Satoshi Nakamoto or his counterpart in the CryptoNote universe – Nicolas van Saberhagen.

That’s not my point.

This article helps to clear the air a bit.

Monero/Aeon, remain the underdog(s) – for now – as far as I’m concerned. And lately Aeon has spiked. We’ll see if it holds.

Certainly, Monero and Aeon are better at holding the line than Zcash. That’s a tell.

Apparently, Edward Snowden doesn’t have time to check the crypto-markets to verify this fact.

That’s all for now.

The Ugly Truth About Bytecoin

 


Why do they hide?

In my recent audio blog, I review some important aspects of Bytecoin. Things they — the Teto-Team and Jenny — don’t seem to want to talk about.

Audio blog: The Ugly Truth about Bytecoin

 

Bytecoin: The Good News?

Dear Readers and Listeners:

Be careful of those dark cryptocurrency streets. You never know who is out there…

I’ve been tracking Bytecoin (BCN) for several years. Reported on it in other blogs and have had the good luck to contact some of the movers and shakers of late. Those who are developing new websites, businesses, videos, and news blogs. They are marching steadily forward with an eye to business adoption and commerce – and not just events and interviews, like we often see with other cryptocurrency “hype.”

That is not to say that Bytecoin can’t be hyped like any other coin, but clearly – people are beginning to creep toward adoption. With all the past negativity surrounding this coin, I am amazed. They predicted collapse of this currency has not yet happened.

And just to straighten your head out, I don’t currently own any Bytecoin. I have in the past, however, and am once again considering an investment.

Bytecoin is refusing to die. Not only is it refusing to die, the newest set of supporters are pushing out, worldwide – if the ads are true.

Perhaps, and this is conjecture, it is not that Bytecoin is a wonderful cryptocurrency. Perhaps, it is riding the success of Monero (XMR). It’s brethren. Or maybe Monero’s fame is making people more curious. Both coins are dark horses. Both are essentially private, but which one operates better? You be the judge.

So far, we know of at least two new names associated with Bytecoin’s reawakening: Jenny Goldberg and Pundit Pawan Sharma. There are others, we are told, but everything seems to be in the works for now.

Anonymity is the idea here, so I wouldn’t expect more names to be released soon. If we can accept that Goldberg (probably another pseudonym) is in contact with the original Bytecoin developers, she is probably keeping a low profile for obvious reason.

Goldberg could also be one of the originals or a new owner of the code. We just don’t know for certain. And uncertainty – and money – don’t mix well.

But…we live in an uncertain world now.

Is this why Bytecoin might work in a world where money itself is becoming more indeterminate each day? Where the value of our paper fiats is falling or like in India, cash is made valueless overnight by ruthless politicians? Where even the old standby, gold, cannot seem to rise to the occasion?

We often think of price manipulation when it comes to gold – and silver. Why, in the face of fiat currency devaluation, have the price of the rare earth metals not risen into the stratosphere? Is the answer as simple as: we do not use them as money – currently? If we did?

Certainly, this is all food for thought.

The teams associated with Bytecoin are – if we can believe it – from India (Delhi, I believe), Russia, South Korea, China, and Singapore. I’m not certain if Jenny Goldberg is from one of these countries. I take it that Community Managers exist in these areas.

One question is of course, how does one become a Community Manager? Does Goldberg appoint them?

Pundit Pawan Sharma is from India and his website(s) can be found on the internet. Bytecoin.org.in is one of the Indian sites. The domain age is recent, so it still has not attracted a lot of traffic. That might change. The website is professional.

It is my understanding that Sharma is one of the Indian Community Managers.

Regarding the resurgence of Bytecoin, the new Community Managers have requested and received changes to the Bytecoin Road-map, through Jenny Goldberg, according to my research.

It also appears that the new managers, however they are appointed, are more interested in use case scenarios. India and the reports of temple donations. Or are these only publicity stunts?

Maybe not.

What is different this time, however, is the connection of Bytecoin, with real people. Well, check that, the connection between Goldberg and the Bytecoin elders (allegedly) and the newest crop of commercial folks trying to give it a go – again.

Before, we had a list of personalities. The early Bytecoin crew, as it were. The Teto-Team. A team that kept quiet after writing some pretty high brow articles on Bytecoin.org. Guests also blogged for the Team.

But the blogs often carried a note of foreignness. Something distinctly not “English,” but close. They – the Bytecoin blogs – had a sort of choppy feel. In fact, they still do.

Might the Teto-Team be real people? They could just as easily be complete fiction. If that is the case, it would only be more fuel for the fire. A conflagration of trust.

It would be nice if they – the Teto-Team – could arrange a meet-up on the internet or appear at an event. Not necessarily a public one, but a verifiably recorded one. Real people in silhouettes answering the hard questions. Even Zcash has their “ceremonies” and judging by their continued success, publicity is working.

There are hints that this might soon happen. That the Teto-Team might pay us a visit?

I think I could even drum up some questions, just let me know. In fact, I ask that anyone who has a question for the Teto-Team or Bytecoin in general, leave them in the comments below, go to Reddit or even peruse BitcoinTalk.org.

What is important about this connection, however thin, to Monero, Aeon and the surviving CryptoNote cryptocurrencies? Bytecoin was allegedly the first mover, but became sidetracked.

There are many reasons for this. Alleged pre-mine scams. Fudged whitepaper dates. Creating more coins than allowed by the original software. But the coin has never died. It has refused. Why?

Is it just the loads of newbies (new investors) piling on? Are the Bytecoin dev’s simply skimming a few more bucks off the top as the ship sinks?

We are told this is not the case.

Regardless of all the negative, more positive seems to flow from Bytecoin now.

There are vendors coming online. Ben Tea is one. The site’s listed owner is Ira Sharma out of New Delhi, India. It’s less than a month old as of September 26, 2017. You can load up Scamadviser.com to get a read.

Here is a new site: Bytepay. Founded in August of 2017, according to the website. The site might be in Germany and/or the United Kingdom – according to Scamadviser.com. It is a payments solutions company and offers shopping cart plugins. The website features a video.

And All Things Luxury is new another site where you can spend your BCN. The domain age is over six years, but in this case, the owner is not listed. The website indicates a Canadian address and Scamadviser.com shows a US based website. Currently, one can pay with Bitcoin and Litecoin, but there does not seem to be a direct Bytecoin pay method.

Although Bytecoin lost Cryptopia’s business, it is picking up CoinSpot. They are in Melbourne, Australia, which is interesting because Cryptopia was in New Zealand. When you run Scamadviser.com you find that CoinSpot is a highly trusted website based in the US. Russell Wilson is listed as the owner.

The new BCN Wallet (web wallet) appears chancy at best. The site is less than two months old, appears to be located in the US, but the owner is unknown.

A mobile (cell phone) wallet is next, we are advised.

By September 28, 2017, Bytecoin will have a new website. I expect a surge in volume and prices when – and if – this happens. Forgive my skepticism, but Bytecoin slept for a time.

If Bithumb begins to trade Bytecoin, all bets are off.

There is also a YouTube Channel for Bytecoin now: Bytecoin BCN. It was from the comments on this channel that I came upon a hint about a Litecoin and Bytecoin cooperative venture. But I find nothing about this online. The commenter left no link or other way to verify his assertion and he has not responded to questions.

What is the solution to all of this? How can we preserve the privacy of the Bytecoin creators and come to understand the coin’s history?

There are so many variables here. Who is holding most of the Bytecoin? If 80% of the coin can be dumped on the market at one time, who will ensure the coin’s survival after that?

Think about that. If you could stash 50 million dollars, secretly, and live happily ever after, as the creator of Bytecoin, why would you continue to work?

And maybe that is the answer. If Jenny Goldberg has the keys to the code, then maybe she can ensure its survival.


Jack Shorebird

 

Bitcoin: “Attack of the Blockchain Clones”


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiast:

Do you ever feel that some people need a good kick in the brain can?

Recently, I came upon a political night-rider imparting an alleged moral foundation. An alleged gem upon the cryptocurrency seashore. Only, it was a sharp stone.

I had discovered his name before, but until recently, never endeavored to explore the influential nature of his words. Never, do I hope he will be more than a crab upon the shore of true freedom. An insect at the beach.

But just in case…

I think now is a good time to mention him. Before your children say his name. Before you feel ignorant, and just in case he makes a name for himself. Which, he won’t.

Before all of that, you can say, “Yep, I have heard of him and Karl Marx. Do you remember the Jews that the Nazi’s killed? Great, I’m glad that the government schools still teach that. Well, anyway, same idea…”

***

His name is Amir Taaki, but he is not the real issue. It’s his personal software that is questionable — the programming in his brain.

Taaki is a coder of some repute, as well as an anarchist of vague degree. Meaning, as far as I can judge, a person who does not understand that an objective form of government is required to maintain individual freedoms. Therefore, Taaki is a liability upon the world stage. A regurgitation of the past.

Taaki is involved with bitcoin, having worked on Dark Wallet, a precursor to OpenBazaar and other projects, but that does not concern me as much as one of his potential teachers. The person or people who have coded him.

Taaki appears to “lack philosophy” as he implied when he was in Syria. What does that say about the man? It says the name of another man, actually. An American hero some might have called him. Others refer to him as a philosophical villain.

His name is Murray Bookchin. He was mentioned by Taaki, when he (Taaki) was fighting in Syria with the Kurds, against ISIS. Supposedly he had just come to lend support, but not to fight. A self-imposed duty called. He took up arms.

There is a warning here. Historians already know of its potential significance. It is not about what Lenin did to Russia in this case, but what America (via Bookchin) is doing to Syria. Invading Syria through what is called Communalism. Not communism exactly, but a shade of it, certainly.

Bookchin was an American anarchist, libertarian socialist and political theorist. He often reflected upon class struggle, was an avowed anti-capitalist, meaning that he was essentially against free and fair trade. He appears to have influenced Taaki and some factions fighting in Syria, for the greater glory, naturally. But it is not the glory these factions are after, as much — and more probably — a sort of militaristic socialism.

Anarchism, is of course, gang rule, with no objective laws, where the most ruthless criminal can rule just as easily as a moral king. One cannot conveniently redefine it, but Bookchin tried. Taaki is trying.

The US, as of yet, is not ruled by anarchist fiefdoms. We are not yet at the stage of full revolt. We are not ready to substitute one form of tyranny for a Bookchin Communalistic Paradise. Nor should Syria be led down the Bookchin road.

Bookchin’s revamping of communism is a claxon. Know that the bells have sounded. Long before Syria, Turkey, Iran and others – fell. If that will happen. If it does, and I hope it won’t, fingers will point. They will point at Bookchin.

The disease is spreading.

And please tell me that Bookchin and Blockchain are unrelated.

Bookchin wanted majority vote, but not majority rule and he tried to explain that one for years. He also wanted assembly-led enterprises. In other words, no free enterprise at all. A type of social dictatorship, but not quite of the communist model. It is often referred to as a “communalist” type of organization. Community led — scratch that — community ordered, comrade.

Looking through the Murray Bookchin filter, as some are want to do, lends lethality to the drumbeat call for decentralization. Not for the blockchains, but for humans. The only difference is that humans are not chained in the first place. We are not part of some giant cloned ledger.

There is no comparison between the technology of bitcoin and individuals.

Anarchy, as espoused by the Bookchin-ites, is not decentralization as some might ask you to believe. It is disorganization. It is decentralization of organization. Divide and conquer. Disintegration. A rapid breakdown of morally based laws (we can argue about that) in favor of range of the moment substitution. Pragmatism v. reason. Honesty v. “get it done.”

And here is the social mirror some are suggesting we hold up to the blockchain ledger. If bitcoin or better yet, if some private cryptocurrency ledger can organize an accounting method, where everyone’s currency is safe and secure, why can’t humans be like blockchain ledgers? Hold the power to self-manage? A type of self-organized dialectic.

Dear readers, we are not Blockchain Clones. We are individual people, all with different abilities and desires. Our intellectual savings differ. Our ability to mine knowledge, to produce information, to educate, are all different. We are not cryptocurrency clones. We were never social “smart contracts.” We are different. Blockchains are identical.

The ideas of cryptocurrency decentralization are not transferable to the human context. Blockchains are not anarchistic representations of social structures, but orderly algorithms without emotions or desires. They are arbitrary and robotic rules of math, editable by humans. Controlled by a few humans.

Pause here. We own the process of blockchains. Not the opposite.

If we transfer the decentralization aspect of blockchains to society, we become numbers on the social ledger. And some few “developers” will control the technology of the social blockchain. A small core group. Hence, the idea — the false flag — that blockchains are decentralized only refers to the nature of the ledger. In fact, the technology is highly centralized.

To gift humanity with the ability to transact, without the necessity of an intermediary? Without humanity? A digital promissory note to ensure that contractual transactions are completed? That is the promise, right?

Where is the human watchdog? Answer? Blank out. Who is watching the developers? All of us? Can we influence their process? Maybe. If they refuse to give us what we want? We can use Litecoin, right? We can try some of that dark net stuff — Monero.

But where are we then? Back to yet another centralized blockchain. A programmed ledger we can clone and use. We only hope the developers stay on the job. Hope they don’t act in a way that will destroy the value in our chosen coin.

This being the case, to engender trust, the math of cryptocurrency should be provable, verifiable, and secure. It should be objective and not subject to the whims of cryptocurrency developers.

This is a tall order. It requires human cooperation. It requires auditors. It needs checks and balances. Some type of transparency.

The people who control the math should have watchdogs at their heels. Inspectors, not beholden to the math-makers in any way, should have complete viewing access to the code. If something is amiss, they should report it to the public or be jailed for complicity.

It is called the “human element.” Imperfect, for sure. But why it is required? Obvious, is it not? Some humans steal. And, what does absolute “monetary” power do to humans? What does any kind of communal power do? It corrupts them.

Bitcoin can be audited. Anyone can access the code and audit the system. Anyone can trace any transaction, which, unfortunately, is unfavorable to human privacy. The other problem is, as I have mentioned, bitcoin is centrally controlled by a handful of developers.

Machines are oblivious. Algorithms have no feelings. They are not concerned about where you buy your booze, that you have a health problem or if you like romance fiction — with photos.

Maybe the auditors cannot read a name, find a home address without a court order, in some cases, but much can be inferred from the transaction records of bitcoin and clan. Much privacy is lost.

Could this have been the noob “selling point?” We are all one? Your money is mine, sayeth the dev? Bitcoin or Nirvana? Decentralization at all costs? Why Taaki might support the idea for human consumption? Developers are our new rulers?

To ensure confidentiality, bitcoins are sometimes transferred via mixers to stop the auditors in their tracks. But there are other problems.

Suffice it to say, bitcoin coders are still working on Dandelion. A way to secure transactions — to obfuscate IP addresses and so on. And there are arguments about the process as well.

Privacy is a difficult maneuver in the cryptocurrency realm. Many projects exist. Dash, Monero, CloakCoin, NavCoin, Aeon, and even ZCash. The idea is to obfuscate the transactions in such a way as to keep everything as private as possible.

The problem then becomes one of trust. How do we trust a cryptocurrency that cannot be audited in certain ways? Shall we watch the “old guard?” The bankers?

Answer? Yep. Profit from their “transition.” Why not? Profit as JP Morgan Chase adopts Zacash software. Why not?

Let’s consider a real-world comparison example. I mean, even if privacy based blockchains might fail in the wild, as it were, it does not mean that governments won’t take up the mantle of public (transparent) bitcoin.

Cash is an anathema, to highly centralized governments.

If I go to the store and use cash to buy a soda, the clerk takes my money, gives me my change and I walk away with my drink. There’s no record of me personally buying that soda, in most cases. My cash was private. I stored it in my wallet, walked into a strange store, didn’t care to know the address and exited with a cool drink.

If I’m a bad guy, I can use my cash to buy a Russian Suitcase Nuke, but it’s risky. Complicated. I can do a dead drop, place my cash in a bag and hope the suitcase is left at an agreed upon location.

As a terrorist, I could exchange cash for plastic explosives in Syria, say near the Iranian border, but I should probably have a bunch of soldiers with big Kalashnikov rifles to protect me.

If I’m a cocaine dealer, I can stand on a curb, risk being arrested or robbed and shot at any second, and accumulate cash.

How can criminals magnify cash (currency) using a private cryptocurrency, however?

Nearly instant international payments — until they are stopped.

A security nightmare, but freedom and security have been at odds for a long time. A balance most difficult to find. Betwixt and between centralization and personal security. The desire to be free and desire to be safe. Power and irrelevance. Privacy and publicity.

Cash can’t fly, but banks can — even unwittingly — assist with international criminal remittances. But why pay the bank fees and risk investigations by Interpol?

Hidden internet markets where Zcash, Bytecoin or Monero can be used to purchase stolen credit card numbers with no risk to the seller. This is a real problem. Try to buy a list of stolen identities with bitcoin or cash. Much more complicated. Increasingly more problematic as governments tighten money transmission rules, ostensibly to catch the criminals – oh, and the tax savers.

To state that private or “mixed” cryptocurrencies do not or cannot assist criminals by asserting that cash is king, is not giving the “international picture.” Sure, private cash is a double edged sword. It gives the power to individuals, but it also magnifies the powers of groups — and criminals.

The decentralization of the network is, in this sense, misleading. It is simply a method of financial attack.  It’s called overwhelming force, by swarming. The use of a decentralized force against an opponent, in a manner that emphasizes mobility, communication, unit autonomy and coordination and/or synchronization – from Wikipedia. Create an army of like ledgers, cloned nodes and depend upon the masses to keep the fires burning – keep updating their ledgers.

Alas, however, this is a hushed and feeble war.

Do you see it? It’s one ledger, with a cloned horde that can attack day and night anywhere there is a piece of tech, an internet connection and voltage. But who controls the tech-gear, internet and the electricity?

And in real war, real change, the armaments are diverse. The attack vectors erratic. The volume of force, unknown, until it is too late. Currency is one vector, but it is a main one.

Time to rouse from the daydream, crypto-noobs. For now, crypto is dependent upon the old substructure. That is where it rests. That is where it should gather its trust and strength, but not form its misplaced revolution.

This is not the anarchist core. Blockchain is not anarchy. It is not order from decentralization. It is the clone army. Hit the command center — the developers (core team) — and it folds like a cheap suit. The clones will become weak — unless someone creates another cloning machine — feeds them “updates” — debugs them regularly.

And this dreamed of moment of truth is crucial. It can be subverted. Others can subsume its power to encapsulate the population(s). We must have watchers in place. No Taaki’s should subvert the message, without a fight.

I have no desire to be a part of a crypto-horde and, await the day when this old-fashioned ledger technology is jettisoned in favor of an atomic cryptocurrency, without one. To me, that would be the Holy Grail. A true cryptocurrency. The evolution. (An idea not so well received by the Murray Bookchins of the world.)

Individualism is not reliance upon yourself. It is voluntary cooperation with others. It is the very essence of freedom. Blockchains — if transposed to governing — is slavery. What did Bookchin want? What does Taaki, and admitted drifter and squatter, want?

But I’m just a voice in the wilderness, far from the Murray Bookchins, communists, socialists, Leninists, Trotskyists and Communalists of yester-death. Many sounded the  alarm before me — about Murray Bookchin and Occupy Wall Street.

Until then, the blockchain-clones are the best thing going in finance, if only because they usurp the power of central banks in some small way.

And if the “old guard” finance houses have judged Zcash as great tech, we can profit from their interest, me thinks.

And it concerns me that more and more big guns are coming out of the closet to “protest” the bubble of bitcoin – but not Zcash? Not Bytecoin or Monero. Why now?

What else do these big guns know? Do they have insider information or do they want to quash cryptocurrency altogether via regulation?

And a final thought…

Are Satoshi Nakamoto’s original coins really sitting dormant? Would it not be masterful, if they weren’t really there?


For those of you who understood my blog yesterday and profited – bully to you. Occasionally, I get them right.

For now, Zcash.

Next week?