Category: Fintech

Did February 2018 Mark a Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Market Reset?


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Dear Readers,

Charts.

They’re great, right?

Not always, but in a few “lines” we can really pick up a lot. Not so with words.

So here is my first chart of the day. It plots the market capitalization of the top five (current) cryptocurrencies from January 1, 2018 to February 14, 2018.

It helps you keep things in perspective.


T5


What do you notice, besides all the ups and downs and such? (Above.)

Hint. Look at the last dip. About February 6, 2018.

What do you see?

A bit closer now.


T6


Is this a market “reset” of some sort?

If not, it is interesting how the top three are nearly equidistant now.

In any event, if you peruse the upper chart, you will see which “coin” seemed to bounce from the resets very quickly.

I wonder if history will repeat?

 

–JGS

 

Data Source: CoinMarketCap.com

The Bitcoin Blockchain, Gold, Tether Connection


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Correlations are easy to visualize at times. One can see that recently, with few exceptions, many cryptocurrencies marched in tandem. In the early days, this was not the case. Most cryptocurrencies moved in ‘random.’

Perhaps it is because of the scope of investments flooding into the cryptocurrency markets today. The institutional investors are beginning to push real value into the system, with the real risk of serious downtrends, should the brokers receive the “sell all” order from their clients.

In any event, the recent run up and “half-bubble” burst of bitcoin has made for interesting discussion. One I have not seen yet, is a discussion of bitcoin breaking the gold trend line and what happened when it did.

When I state the “gold trend line,” I’m using Google Trends to plot “interest” or “searches” of a word or a sets of words. There are many available combinations and the sales of mined data is big business. To the uninitiated, trying to find the correct setting – to use the trends to your advantage – can be a bit disconcerting. So, keeping it simple might be your solution.

Or you can read the tea leaves. Pig entrails? Clif High, Webbot supporter? Palm Reader enthusiast?

I use the gold (as a chemical element) trend for comparisons. Not “gold as an investment,” but that is another option. I also set the trend for a worldwide search. Now, you can use long-term or short-term settings, say 90 days or even a year.

Recently, after plotting various trends, I wanted to see if there were any patterns or correlations between “gold” and “bitcoin” (search topic). From November 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 I found a curious thing. (See chart below.) Bitcoin has broken the gold barrier.

Can we then estimate future bitcoin prices, based upon its “interest” and its relation to gold trends? How about bitcoin interest v. Monero interest?

Well, based on the data set below, not exactly.


1 - Copy(Source: Google Trends – 60-day Time Set. Please see Google for an explanation of their data sets.)


Now, in many countries, this was the end of tax season, but in the United States, the tax laws recently changed – were clarified. It was, of course, decision time.

Do I hold, now that I am penalized for trading crypto for crypto? Do I sell, and take my tax lumps, before the end of the year? Do I trade into gold or a private untraceable cryptocurrency? If I do elect to hold private cryptocurrency (Monero), should I expect a price spike, because everyone else is probably thinking along the same lines, or will regulations kill off the last hold-outs and make the above-board cryptocurrency substitutes (Ripple, Stellar etc.) surge? (Not really.)

And there are other factors. Inflation. Whole countries outlawing cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges being ripped-off. Exchanges disappearing or going offline, without warning (Binance). So, by no means is the above trend interpretation authoritative.

Let’s just focus on the gold trends and bitcoin’s relation to it, during the time-frame in question. That’s November and December of 2017.


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As you can see above, the gold trend line was broken by bitcoin on at least three separate occasions, when comparing the chosen data. November 27, 2017, December 2 – 3, 2017 and again on December 29, 2017. The question is, did the above trend “predict” the coming surge in bitcoin prices or at least hint at the possibility? Or was bitcoin issuing a warning?

One can see that the Monero interest trends barely budged. It didn’t seem as if people were thinking about privatizing.

November 27, 2017. What was happening? According to Coinmarketcap.co here, bitcoin closed at $9,818.35 that day. It had been surging before that, having closed at $6,559.49, on November 13, 2017. It had already risen over a third in value in short order.

What about December 2 – 3, 2017? $11,074.60 and $11,323.20 closing prices, respectively. Even in a trough of “interest” bitcoin was surging in price. People were not searching for bitcoin as much. Why? Were they holding? Watching on Coinmarketcap.com?

On December 29, 2017 bitcoin closed at $14,656.20. Was the breaking of the gold trend line, in reverse, a signal of a future downtrend? Not immediately, if at all. Bitcoin surged to over $17,000 by January 6, 2018. After that, however, it began to retreat. As of February 12, the closing price of bitcoin was $8,926.57.

Let’s add some more info, focusing on the breaking of the gold trend line, in gray.


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The above chart illustrates bitcoin’s closing prices on the given date ranges. You can immediately see that the first peak of search interest over the gold trend line correlated to a very small value increase. We must remember, however, people searching for bitcoin will then need to figure out how to buy it, if they were new to the game. In any event, there appears to be a lag between “interest” (positive or negative – we do not know) and price changes.

As bitcoin broke the gold trend line on November 27, 2017, prices surged a little, initially. Then, within less than a month, the price of bitcoin more than doubled. By December 16, 2017, bitcoin closed at $19,497. A surge of over 100% in price. Why couldn’t it go higher?

Would a reasonable person have understood that such a surge in interest via trends (searches) would translate into higher bitcoin prices, when the gold trend line was broken? Again, how can we know? One can search for bitcoin for many reasons. For reasons “not to buy” and for reasons of education, as well. Let’s face it, though, something urged many people (or bots?) to type in the word: bitcoin. Were people fearing that they might miss out. “FOMO” in colloquial internet-speak? Were we being manipulated into thinking that bitcoin interest was surging?

In the old days, just after bitcoin hit the cryptosphere, a 100% increase in price would have been considered, by percentage, no big deal. Today, however, such an enormous surge is in the billions of dollars – not mere millions. It is serious. Don’t let the oldies fool you.

Bitcoin appeared to be on track to hit all-time highs daily, after the gold trend line was broken. Bitcoin was running hard, until about December 18, 2017 – when the cryptosphere began to suffer one of its worst collapses on record – when you factor in the amount of money invested — and now divested.

So, what happened?

From over 300 billion dollars in capitalization, bitcoin halved in a matter of weeks. Did bitcoin touch the “golden trend line” and was it punished for doing so? Since gold trends correlate with US Dollar “interest” trends, was bitcoin’s popularity a threat to the financial order?

Was this one of the greatest pump and dump schemes in history? The “Tether” play, as some have indicated. Pumping up the price of bitcoin by simply “printing” phantom, worthless Tethers — and buying? Then cashing out to fiat? (Not unlike any government that deals in fiat currency.)

We no longer use gold as money, therefore there is very little utilitarian value to gold at all, except as a safe-haven asset, provided it is not confiscated. Did bitcoin touch the US Dollar “third rail?”

But let’s set these aside for a minute. What else was going on the day bitcoin began to eat crow?


News, Before the Fall

Was there anything that was happening on December 18, 2017 or shortly before, that may have changed people’s minds? Some introduction of “panic” or market manipulation?

December 13, 2017:

December 18, 2017:


The gist of it?

Wall Street was reporting that economists didn’t like bitcoin, big investors were selling bitcoin, fedcoin was looming, bitcoin myths were being exposed, bitcoin corrections were coming, Tether was probably scamming billions, and socialist countries were bitching because they couldn’t get in on the action.

A perfect pre-panic or a conspiracy theory?

One last chart for your perusal. As bitcoin’s interest was driving hard these past several months, it approached the US dollar interest line, at speed. Like the gold interest line above, bitcoin pierced this dollar trend line. There has been conjecture about this as well.

Did bitcoin’s sudden rise act as a market-dollar barometer in advance? Knowing that the dollar was and is devaluing, that gold prices have been (and may still be) manipulated,  and that the markets are overheated, to say it mildly — did bitcoin signal the alarm? Maybe. At least that’s one take. But why divest of crypto, if you think gold and the DOW Jones Average are headed for the drink? Cash under the mattress? More than likely.


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(Source: Google Trends.)

Finally, if Tether is printing phantom dollars and they do it responsibly, is it any different than any fiat currency in existence — aside from the fact that it is privately managed? Can it replace the dollar and at the same time, support cryptocurrency? Can it replace POS cryptocurrencies, that are also created out of thin air? How about POW crypto’s that are created by gamed-computer-mining?

In any event, I’m at loss to explain how Tether made bitcoin surge 100%, to 300 billion dollars in value, in a month, when Tether’s market capitalization has never exceeded three-billion dollars. Churning? The fact that investors could (can) “fall back” to Tether, if BTC faltered? Hello? There aren’t enough Tethers in existence.

I suppose one could take out an option, but the Tether spreads must be useless, unless you have millions to play with. Help me here, financial gurus. If everyone agrees that each Tether is worth one US dollar and there are no dollars actually backing up them up, at what point do investors lose confidence?

No wonder the US Government wants to eat Tether’s lunch. It’s a competitor.

Who is Crypto’s real enemy? Ask yourself that question.


The above is my opinion and conjecture. Don’t bet your house on it.

–JGS

Avoid the GNU Taler “Manifesto” Blockchain?


 

This is an open letter to those who slave at the coding machines, whilst Richard Stallman drinks the Kool aid. Get up from your machines. Awake from your fantasy.

Burn the manifesto. The Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserve Manifesto.

Avoid Taler, like a Bit-plague.


Dear GNU Taler and Family,

Idiots are made, not born. Until now? Leave your Communes. Lay down your laptops.

I urge you, if you have ever entertained, for a second, buying Taler. Snuff that thought from your mind. Eliminate the code from your systems, before it’s too late. Politicians lurk herein.

GNU Taler could replace things like SWIFT and even Ripple, if they ever get off the ground.

Without going into the details, suffice to say that Taler (Taxable Anonymous Libre Anonymous Reserves) does have promise. Not everyone wants to hide their money, just secure it. But can Taler deliver?

I hope not. I don’t live in a commune. I will not support any form of subservience, even in the name of “Social Responsibility,” which is another name for “Socialism,” which is another name for “slavery,” which is what “Taler” is to money. Control and servitude. Vile, are the merchants?

I’ve been watching Taler’s cheesy vids for a few years now. Odd, the German laced rhetors are. Like they stipulate, it’s just a cash substitute. Is it? A token of state money, which has already failed us. But, not really. You will need to buy Taler at the going rate, from what I can see. That is, whenever they can lift off, which I hope is NEVER.

In that sense, would it not be volatile?  Or are they simply going to designate the equivalent cash? How then, will the exchange rate be calculated? Will one U.S. dollar buy me one or ten Talers? And, given the new tax laws in the United States, would it not behoove Taler to indicate how much I paid for my Taler and how much I sold it for, to buy a soda? So, I can keep track of gains and losses – and required taxes? Or will Taler help me hide that? Like a good Communist? Like an Anarchist? Which is it?

If I want to spend my Taler in a foreign country, will the exchange rate be dictated? Or do I estimate what I think the item should cost, based upon the fiat cost of my Taler, in my country? Will Taler rise and fall in value, according to the amount purchased, globally? Will my Taler be inelastic, holding its original fiat value or elastic – dipping and spinning like a herd of crazy sheep? Who knows?

Their website – after all these years – seems absent the basic stuff needed for any serious investor to make a decision. (Don’t worry, I’ve emailed them for more.) How many ‘coins’ will they print? Just the 100,000,000? Who decided that? Why? How are the “T’s” associated with fiat cash? Will they offer them for sale on cryptocurrency exchanges, even if Taler is NOT a crypto? Will they offer hardware wallets? Cell phone apps? Or must we keep them on our very safe computers (PC’s)? Make back-ups?

Unlike Ripple XRP’s, however, you must deal in TaL or “T” or whatever their ticker symbol is today. With XRP’s or even Stellar Lumens (XLM), I can send you any currency and you can receive any currency, but we’re all visible. Capisce? That’s good and bad.

Taler, as I understand it, can be spent like cash – your identity is private – but the merchant must report the income. Big deal. You are still screwing the economy (Richard) – the evil shopkeepers. The shopkeepers are the economy! If it wasn’t for them we’d all be wearing Stallman tie-dyes, tilling the fields, and sipping monkey juice. Stand up and smell the ozone, buddy – before the Global Cooling starts.

Like Ripple, like Stellar, Taler is centralized, but even more so. Is that a bad thing – if it is secure? And, if it becomes successful, could not a large company or government simply buy them out – and use their system? Or simply copy it? I understand it is ‘open source.’

I feel like I’m watching the old “Moron Movies” where the guy takes his log for a walk and it pisses on a tree.

How about the “premine?” From what I can see here and elsewhere, Taler holds 49% of Taler. Fine. If the value appreciates and I can profit, I don’t care. I might even like to use the system to help keep my identity safe. Help me save money too. And I can bring my own rope too. Hang myself out by the shed, as the sun sets on my freedom and the merchants all quit. We’ll all hang together, is that it?

It seems that Taler is an underdog. It is sneaking in under the radar, with a political agenda. Possibly able to unseat the old guard, with code. A manifesto of money? Taste not, Dear Bankers, for the libation is death — figuratively speaking.

At the same time, the developers of Taler don’t seem to understand that governments (police) will, on occasion, require the identities of “spenders.” That fact alone will create a push-back mechanism they may not comprehend. Or, if they do, they already have plans in place to reveal the tax-evader citizens, the wannabe-terrorists. After all, privacy is only a human right, until you harm others or anger the wayward bureaucrat, right?

Let’s move on.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, I argue, was created to combat a dying fiat monetary system. The world over. Taler says — capitulates — that there is a way to use the fiats of finance – cheaply.

Great message. Taler supports the cat-houses. It is NOT socially responsible. Or, put another way, it supports inflation, social slavery and has no guts — no shame.

Did you here that Richard? I say you have no cojones. Please program Ethereum Kitties. Do you, like Cardano ADA — really expect people to purchase Talers? Premined altcoins to make you rich?

I hope Taler, Ripple, Stellar all fail. In the meantime, I will profit from their success. Not unlike Schindler.

Correction: I hope to hell, I will never profit from Taler.

The old system must die. I await the new. But not the GNU way.

And a simple browse will uncover the plot. Check here. Richard Stallman, oh guru of gurus, supports the US Green Party. He, Richard of riches, is the “creator” of Taler. The Green Party is essentially a Neo-Marxist party. A slavery Party. The antithesis of a freedom-loving people.

Beware the hippies in the red tie-dyes.

Die Taler, die. A natural death.


Your Friend,

— JGS

Three Predictions for Cryptocurrencies in 2018: “SPACE”

What’s Next?


Many people ask where cryptocurrency is heading. I thought I’d take a moment here and delve into that. A bit of forward conjecture.

Why?

Because I can’t seem to find it all in one place. Just bits and pieces of negative and positive elements. So, I jammed a few of them in here. And it’s all my opinion, of course. Take it with a smidgen of rock salt.


Predictions:


1. The CCE’s will Official-ize and DCE’s will not matter

Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (CCE’s) may not survive in their current form. The year 2018, in the United States, will test their mettle.

Why? Tax laws, crypto-friendly countries, atomic swaps, and:

Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (DCE’s).

In a recent interview by an unnamed person, as not to disparage the name of a particular CCE, it was learned that things like atomic swaps and/or functional DCE’s are years into the future. That is, according to the CEO of this particular CCE. That centralized and regulated exchanges are better suited for a servile public and institutional investors. Regulation is acceptable.

Bull. We have grown up now. Training wheels are not handcuffs.

 

Some CCE’s even pride themselves for their transparency. They put a face to their company. They stand upright and walk on two legs and pay their taxes as all good citizens should. Even if the monetary system is rotten to the core. Don’t you dare try to improve it.

The anti-government stance seems to worry the CCE’s. Just be nice and trade, they ask. We are all in the same sinking boat after all – the CEO says from the crow’s nest — as the waters rush in.

But let’s face it. If a CCE decides to go transparent, it has no choice. The business model they chose, for good or ill, requires that they follow and not lead, at least in the U.S. In the U.S., CCE’s must create and maintain a KYC, AML compliant trading platform or face prosecution. It’s that simple. No submarines allowed. Surface ships only, please. Even if we lose the war.

Add to this CCE mix, the recent 2018 U.S. tax law clarifications regarding cryptocurrency trading and one can speculate as to the true motives behind a certain unnamed CCE’s recent announcement that they are moving in the direction of U.S. Dollar trading – for most users. And that they are apparently seeking to offer actual securities (stocks and bonds) in the future.

Why? They are losing money – or soon will be. They need you to buy and buy now. The sooner the better. Use lots of cash. And, as the tax laws kill the cryptosphere in the U.S., the CCE’s will “evolve.” No, Mr. CCE, you will capitulate. You will spring backwards, to the safety of the fiat. And there, you will die Mr. CCE, for lack of verve and vision.

And that leads into the DCE’s. In their current incarnation, they are worthless or nearly so. Dead on arrival. You must pledge a bit of expensive bitcoin, choose a third party to settle disputes and wait forever. DCE’s are slow to improve, unprofessional, not user-friendly and untrusted.

Perhaps the new impetus will be the desire for free trade, unhindered by the regulations and onerous tax laws.

But we need something more.


2. The U.S. New Tax Laws will be Ineffective

Translation: Cryptocurrency trading is slowing down. U.S. customers especially, are not trading like they used to, because they know that each time they do so, they can no longer claim a “like-kind” exchange. In other words, the tax hit is helping to drive cryptocurrency prices lower. It is also killing the centralized exchanges – which could be a good thing.

U.S. based CCE’s must now shift into another gear if they want to stay in business. Aside from the threat of atomic swaps and DCE’s, the fact that trading will continue to slow because of tax laws, means that the CCE’s will begin to consolidate and/or offer more services.

This is already happening. It’s called survival mode. The hangover after the party. Luckily, there is still plenty of booze left, but it’s cheap booze now. Bitcoin is no longer as “top shelf” as it once was. Bitcoin Cash continues to hammer away.

These new tax laws, reduced trading and the bubble-popping amusement ride, is soaking value from the CCE’s, at hyper-speed. Where once, the cryptos flowed like champagne into the golden baths of the CCE’s, it now dribbles in as diluted, headache-inducing, sparkling wine, from the Left Coast (California).

As a result, expect CCE membership fees to emerge, large balance requirements, the wooing of institutional investors with unpublished deals, and the farming-out of the expensive retail arms to other companies, especially where labor is cheap. Expect more ads.

The net effect? The little guy will be left holding cryptocurrency he cannot trade, without first signing his life away. Should the little guy hold private coins, he will be suspect. Where will any freedom-seeking individual go?

This is why I feel that the new U.S. Tax Laws will be ineffective. They will make a show of it, force the crypto lovers underground, arrest a few, let the problem fester, and in the end, they will wake up with a new money. It is simply a matter of time. Even the dinosaurs died out.

Sophisticated traders and gamblers might hire third-party fictions to hold their crypto, but the vast majority will not be able to entertain such extravagant schemes. Tax loopholes are for the affluent.


3.The Rise of “SPACE”

If you live under a rock, you’ve never heard of a DCE. That’s fine. Maybe atomic swaps are your thing. Or even Atomic Coin, which is another altcoin. But I don’t think you’ve heard about this next idea. It’s not about another blockchain.

Spontaneous Private Atomic Cryptocurrency Exchange(s)? Or: S.P.A.C.E.

It does not yet exist.

I predict we will see the beginnings of SPACE in 2018. It will be a combination of a CCE, DCE, Atomic Swaps, and best of all, it will be anonymous and untraceable. Imagine a private-Amazon with its own Monero-like cash that spends everywhere, instantly. Making fiat superfluous. (I’m an optimist.) Where you can store your crypto in the new cloud and access it where ever SPACE is used.

Already, we are seeing hints of this. Cloakcoin. Litecoin in talks with Monero? Some countries creating their own internet, with different protocols. Sharding altcoins, like MaidSafeCoin, just to name a few.

They all seem to miss the mark however. They all must ground themselves to the given ICANN.

What if they didn’t?

What if SPACE was created as needed? You initiate a private connection to a flexible network where there are no third parties. You buy, sell or trade instantly. Your choice of payment (coin) is saved, privately. And you disconnect. There would be no fees, no records, save your own and no limits. Everything would be automatic, anonymous, user-friendly and secure. Once the developers released such a network into the wild, it would, like bitcoin, be maintained in a similar manner.

Therefore, the next big thing, at least in the Cryptosphere, will be way out there. Beyond the current internet completely. A quantum leap and a human achievement that could set the stage for the next leap forward.

That is the idea, isn’t it?

Will you be ready for SPACE?

–JGS


 

If Fiat Currency is the Virus, Cryptocurrency is the Cure


Seriously, nobody has a clue what’s next.

And I’m not trying to sell you on any one cryptocurrency. In fact, I’m open minded. I’ve no problem at all, if you voice your opinion herein.

If you are like me, however, you’ve read and thought and read and invested…and scratched your noggin. Who can you believe? Is it too late to invest in crypto?

You know the answer. You can only trust you. Not Roger Ver, Eric Voorhees, Charlie Lee or Vitalik Buterin. Not Gavin Andresen or the Winklevoss Twins, but little old you.

“…the right time to come aboard…”

And for the record, I think that this space will continue to grow and that the right time to come aboard will be when you are damned well and ready.

You’ve waded though the articles, the graphs, experts and pumper-news. Then, as you sit there, sip your coffee and eat your bagel, sign onto your favored exchange or market, you make your trading decisions. And that’s that. It’s all about you, because there are no financial advisers in the new world. Even the professor types advise you to keep abreast of all the changes.

A turkey-shoot. You decide to gamble on bitcoin or hold as close as you can to a more traditional approach. Say Ripple XRP’s. Maybe a little EOS, spiced with some ADA (Cardano). A side of Ethereum perhaps.

Then you read more of the negative crud.

If you are a bank, you know you are losing when you must label the other guy as risky, however. That’s what JP Morgan-Chase and other threatened financial organizations are doing. It’s all part of a larger ploy (or plot, if you prefer) to stop the financial bleeding. But I could be way off the mark, right? Maybe the old guard won’t lose this round. What about the next one?

“…the final shakeout…”

Think about it. We could be witnessing the final shakeout in the cryptosphere. The next Amazon or eBay is right before our eyes, but we can’t see it. What’s more, the thing we are looking at can change how all of us save, spend, are taxed, and in the end, maybe even how free we will become. And you define the “we.”

Just how big could a cryptocurrency become, if it successfully replaces fiat currency altogether? If it simply adds to the mix? Now imagine that you own a piece of that pie. The right flavor of pie.

But let’s review. How is this new Bitcoin Bubble different than all the past bubbles? The Tulip, the Dot.com and so on? It’s not.

For one, cryptocurrency goes to the very core of the economic engine. The grease in the machine. Money. It’s being remade, right before our eyes and we are witnessing a sea change of magnificent and yet, peaceful proportions.  A technology, by all appearances — an invention – that seems unstoppable.

That’s the line we are fed. The juggernaut is here! Open thy wallet! Be part of the crypto-saga.

Listen closely, do you hear the lonely winds? The howling of the vacant lot where you will keep your trailer, if you dare dump your life savings into cryptocurrency? There is no grand castle here. No amber waves of green. It’s you and bankruptcy.

“…sea of red.”

The sea of red. A confirmation of all the foolishness rides in. There is no one to blame, but yourself. It’s reality check time. Again. With bits of “pump-green.”

I’ve bitten those bullets more than once — and still profited. No, not with fancy options. Not with BTC loans. With study and more study. Similar to what one might do before a good game. Study the players. Study the coach. Who is the General Manager? What of the human element? Did the coach dump a good player and is the team facing that very same player now? (Revenge is a motivator.)

Bitcoin and clan tumbled from its highs. Few if any altcoins reverse that trend or if they do go against the tide of loss, they are mere pebbles bouncing along the bottom of the stream. Billions of dollars in value have changed hands. Early investors have unloaded and profited; and by the looks of things, they won’t be returning any time soon.

Or is that the “game plan?”

Add to that bad news, China’s recent moves to kill cryptocurrency in their country. And stop their citizens from trading cryptocurrency abroad. That’s a big hit. It is also a way to excise a cancer. China, after all, is not a free country by any standard. Removing a fickle financial partner will serve to stabilize the crypto-space in the freer countries.

The bad news just keeps on coming. Let’s face it. This whole space might go “poof.”

When the world got the first modern self-regulated substitute fiat monetary system, called bitcoin, it moved forward, however. It leaped forward. By any measure, it was and may still be, a technological-trust phenomenon for the ages. And humans need trust.

Bitcoin’s progeny? All the rest? The crypto-pack, if you will. They came to devour the bad money – to chase it out. And what a chase it has become. But will it survive?

The pot, however rusted and weak, then calls the new bitcoin kettle, black. The old guard bankers call bitcoin an irksome and annoying bubble.

How can an electronic fiat cryptocurrency ever hope to compete, much less replace, the singular corruption we have today? The devaluing government regulated fiat currency? Without the permission of governments themselves?

Kind of a conundrum, huh?

The banker’s soft gloves fit ever so snugly, over the bureaucrat’s fist, after all. And that is the primary problem today. We need to separate church and state, once again. Only, in this case, it’s the money and state we need to separate. Take the bankers soft gloves off, completely, and peacefully. For it is then, that we can focus on the naked fist of the apparatchik.

“…come home to roost.”

The past remarks from bankers, about cryptocurrency being a minor player, that its transaction volumes were minuscule by comparison, have now come home to roost. A once favored ridicule to comfort the sacred depositor and boost the ill-gotten gains of the fractional reserve inflation banking-gang, is gathering moss. The soft gloves are wearing thin. A horde of trust-technology, innovation-neophytes, are now squarely at odds with their nemesis: fiscal trust, i.e., cryptocurrency at large.

Cryptocurrency was a pastime, a fad, said the bankers saturated with the easy-print riches of government fiat. Essentially, those mongers of the viral-inflation, waited for cryptocurrency to stumble. And then, they attacked — again. A diminutive art of “financial” war, with the weapon of choice, the soft-gloved fist. Use of the fist, of course — the regulators — to tame the crypto-innovators.

It was not enough for the bankers to fire their bubble-gun news guns. We’ve heard endless tales of tulips and bitcoin. How bad it was. How bad it is. How bad it will be again.

And yet, some companies made it. Some weathered the storms of creative destruction, if I may borrow a term from Alan Greenspan, a man who once saw the merits of innovation, until he turned the old leaf over.

Among the wreckage of the Dot.com bubble were survivors. Amazon, eBay, Priceline.com and others. The trick is to see through the barrage of altcoins. To determine the potential winners, beforehand. No easy task.

There will be survivors of this new “Bitcoin Bubble,” as it will come to be known. Which altcoin will make it?

“…a risk to speculate…”

After citing the bubble concerns, the soft-gloved banker-warriors will attack the small crypto-supply lines first. The credit lines, attached directly to their banks. That is in play now, in the U.S. It is a risk to speculate and the banks certainly do not wish to retain such risk. That’s understandable. But weren’t we all waiting for such a move anyway? The slow and easy squeeze? Until we joke about innovation that once was?

Next in line? Debit purchases. No, I don’t think banks will tell you how to spend your money. I think the fist will do that, and the soft gloved bankers will comply, naturally. It’s a team effort. One hand covers the dirty fist.

At the same time the banks are pulling the fiscal plugs to innovation, they are investing in the blockchain technology, and we all know this. But they forget one important factor: humans. We are not so fooled.

Humans know that the current monetary system is fraught with corruption and inflationary disease. Humans know that the dollar was infected long ago and it’s only a matter of time until it crawls into the gutter, like a dying drug addict, and spends its last. The fact that banks want to use the crypto-technology (blockchain) to move the old government fiat around, is not a solution. The infection will still kill the patient, one banker/drug user at a time.

Cryptocurrency, save for certain types (Stellar Lumens for one) are not infected with the fiat devaluation virus. They are limited in numbers. Any bank that uses the blockchain to move government fiat, is pushing the very same inflation virus. Consume with caution. For there will come a time when governments inject massive amounts of the virus, claiming it is medicine. Banks will don the soft gloves then, until they are completely worn out. Then, as the façade banks are today, they will die. The People’s Banks — only in name — will rise. If we allow it.

Here’s the next bit of good news, however. And I’m not the first one to report it. There is a tide approaching. Articulate and savvy investors with billions of virus-infected dollars (fiat money), not here to create cryptocurrencies or to buy stock in companies that are innovating in this arena, are here instead, to buy cryptocurrencies in volume. And remember, once a dollar (or any fiat) has been exchanged for the right cryptocurrency, the inflation virus dies. The patient recovers.

You can see hints of it now.

In the past, as I watched the billions pour into the crypto-sphere, I saw that many altcoins had inverse relationships. One would tank and another soar. Others just stayed the course. There was no general direction.

Fast forward to now. Many cryptocurrencies move in tandem. Is this a sign of institutional money flowing in and out? A sea change? And, are the bankers – the financial houses holding the lion’s share of the money – concerned about the coming withdrawals from their care? Why hold regulated money at all, if liquid cryptocurrency is available. Stability, of course, is the answer. But this alleged characteristic of fiat is the last gasp of devaluing currency.

Again, in the past, many financial researchers warned that the tide of incoming cryptocurrency monies would wreak havoc when the new investors panicked and ordered their brokers to sell. Massive outflows and inflows were expected, and this seems to be the case today. A Las Vegas style game.

Has this fear been manufactured?

Think about it another way. If you are a few years from retirement and willing to risk $10,000 or more in the crypto-markets, knowing it might just help you survive in the coming years; and knowing that your government has issued fiat money and it is beginning to remind you of the Venezuelan bolivar, why not try?

On the other hand, if you are not comfortable with the wild swings in value of the cryptosphere, you should probably stick with metals. Gold. Silver. Copper. Lug them around.

There is a “third way” though. If you are looking for a way to test the waters. To own a semi-cryptocurrency and at the same time, still be connected to the past-money. You might want to investigate Ripple XRP’s. This might also open the door to more gutsy investments in raw cryptocurrencies. Currently, you can use XRP’s to trade for many other cryptocurrencies at a fraction of the cost the exchanges charge. (We are slowly heading into “no-brainer” territory here.)


–JGS

Note: the above is not advice. Stick with your bank adviser for that. I’m certain they will steer you in the right and “official” dollar-denominated direction.

Ripple XRP, Pymnts.com and Billionaires?


What if you read some nice articles? Polished and professional reports, that provided good information about Ripple XRP’s and other cryptocurrencies, but you just wanted to verify that the website was reliable?

What if the blogs on this particular site only linked to a few sources?

What if the website then added more sources, after you questioned their integrity? That the links they originally posted no longer recycled you to their older stories?

What would you think?

What if the website in question only listed a single author’s name, but hinted that other experts contributed to the blogs? Wouldn’t you want to see the names of those experts — as authors of those particular blogs?

What if the website reported that it was related to other companies, owned by billionaires who wanted to raise taxes? Who supported the socialist policies of the left, in America?

Would this bother you?

Recently, I drilled down into pymnts.com for more details. I wanted to know where their website was located. Trust, but verify, right?

This article, about one of my favorite cryptocurrencies, got me started. Well, some say it’s not really a crypto and that’s just fine. This is not about Ripple, exactly. It’s more about trust.


Pymnts.com blasts out articles (blogs). Minute by minute. A deluge of fun. One after the other. All about payments and matters financial. And about Ripple.

I made a comment about pymnts.com on Reddit. Not always a good thing to do. Now, we all know that Reddit is not the front page of the internet. It’s full of nonsense and good stuff. You need to pull your own weeds. At the same time, you will often find hints of things. Hints that hit the real news hours or days later, or never.

And you will get down-voted on Reddit for asking controversial questions – especially questions about pymnts.com. Such as, why is the website so secret? Why do they use a privacy service? And why the negative Reddit reaction?

I suspect that pymnts.com employees surf Reddit like there’s no tomorrow. In any event, when your questions are down-voted, your questions can be obscured from view. So, I asked myself why anyone would want to down-vote my concerns about pymnts.com on Reddit? On a public website? Bad press?

I no longer feel that pymnts.com is a click-bait organization. They don’t appear to have advertisements, so at most, they are just data mining the readers. Fine.

But, who owns pymnts.com and who registered the website?


I drilled down, but I did not use the pymnts.com website at first. I mean, anyone can write glowing reviews about themselves. I like to go to the disinterested parties first. See what they report. What’s the bad? What’s the BBB?

I used Google, Whois, BBB and Scamadviser. After all, when I drill down on Ripple.com, I can find all the goods. So, you’d think that an organization like pymnts.com wouldn’t make their details private. I mean other news sites don’t.


So, I look for any complaints about a website, before I trust their “news.” See if they are public or if they choose to hide their details. Meaning, do they broadcast their address, phone number and email address? Because even if a site has bad reviews, if they are public, at least you can verify them, right? You can state that “yes, the Whois record matches the public record and that matches the state corporate records and so on.” You can be reasonably sure that you are reading your preferred news slant from a favored organization.

Not so with pymnts.com. They are a bit…shall we say, “shy.” And privacy is great, unless there are other political winds blowing. Say, Warren Buffet winds. Political and/or subtle propaganda-like winds…from leftist field?


The first indication that a website has an agenda, is when they do not list their address, phone number or email address. They use a privacy service. They make it difficult for you to find them. The alleged reason for this is to protect them from spam, potential identity theft, fraud and so on. After all, we all know that when we list our information on the internet, that big scary world can now…God forbid…see our stuff. Then every scammer spams you, wackos call you on the phone and your good name gets used on strange websites. It’s a difficult price to pay, but as a journalist, as a reporter of news, as a lister of facts, sometimes you need to take that step. The good guys don’t wear masks, but pymnts.com does.

Still, a site can build a reputation. They can report all sides of the issues and even repeatedly link back to their own blogs, as sources. So long as they occasionally throw in a good source now and again, one that can be verified, then sites like pymnts.com are the golden children, right? Even if they do not give credit to their writers. I mean, Mr. or Mrs. Pymnts.com sure does write a lot. Is he a robot? Or is she many? Warm-blooded humans who are not getting recognized, publicly, for their good work?

And don’t read the pymnts.com job reviews here. Apparently, they have work-life balance issues, but these reviews might be old. They might all have lied too.


Back on the pymnts.com website, the first thing I noticed was that, unlike many websites their “About” link was grayed out and tiny. The idea here, is that you will overlook it. Or — that, the owner is not proud of the about-ness. Tell me different.

Now that’s interesting, I thought. You can click around, however. Try the pymnts.com Twitter feed. Go to their Facebook “about” page. Still, their information was limited. I ask again, why?

Okay, dump those titillating conspiracy theories. There is no way on earth that a billionaire is financing the fight against cryptocurrencies, using obscured websites, to slowly and quietly turn the tide of crypto-free-thinkers back toward the cesspool of fiat currency failures. No way, right?

But following the pymnts.comabout” link, you end up at a description page. The page advises that they are “#1,” but as usual, no source is cited. It’s like saying you make the World’s Finest Soda for Buffet. Great, I get it. I’m #1 too, just ask my dog. I my #1 was appointed too!

But here’s the fun part. The twisted birth. Let us follow the pregnancy, shall we? This is according to pymnts.com, of course.

Pymnts.com is brought to you by What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC. (formerly known as 1st in Media)

The CEO of What’s Next is Karen Webster, who is, we are advised, a globally recognized authority in payments and commerce and a widely quoted author. Webster has assembled a team of leading economists, data analytic experts, management consultants, and journalists to provide cutting edge analysis.

In 2009, What’s Next was partly founded/owned by Market Platform Dynamics, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and an investor and advisor to clients who want to envision and execute effective multi-sided platform (“matchmaker”) strategies.

Did I mention Market Platform Dynamics‘ listed CEO? Karen Webster.

What’s Next is also partially owned by Continental Advisors LLC., an investment advisor that funds new ventures in payments and commerce.

Business Wire, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway handles global market/commercial news and disclosure distribution, and is the exclusive press release service for pymnts.com.


What you just read is a bit convoluted. I apologize. But I didn’t do it.

The upshot is that Warren Buffet has skin in this game. And Buffet does not like Bitcoin. There are articles like this all over the net. Does he like Ripple XRP? Hard to say. He seems to see a bad ending for cryptocurrencies in general. But are XRP’s really a type of  cryptocurrency? And is Buffet attempting to insure the “bad ending?”


Back to pymnts.com. Now, we can’t confirm ownership of pymnts.com through Whois or Scamadviser or even where its website is located – since the website uses perfectprivacy.com to privatize its information.

The fact that Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns some interest in Market Platform Dynamics, which then partially owns What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC., which brings us pymnts.com, should be enough to satisfy the curious, right? Not.

We can google CEO Karen Webster all day long and even What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC.  We can see on Bizapedia.com that the LLC is a foreign one filed in 2016. So, is pymnts.com a foreign based website? I’d like to know the country. I’m just curious that way. A bio on pymnts.com just doesn’t cut it for me. Linkedin is a start. And I’m sure Karen is fabulous. I just have issues with the political philosophy of one particular billionaire she might know.

We can use the Businesswire.com website to search for references to pymnts.com and we can see, via Whois, that unlike pymnts.com, the website location (the United States) and many other details. Their “about” link gives you a world of information. And you can double-check Business Wire on Whois.com.

So, why is pymnts.com – the website – using a privacy service? Inquiring minds want to know.


Now to perfectprivacy.com. The site chosen by pymnts.com, to host their website. Think like a billionaire philanthropist. Think like a politician. Various internet searches will lead you to articles like this one. It appears that Hillary Clinton also liked perfectprivacy.com. “Hillary Clinton paid to hide the identity of the people running her private email server, Breitbart News has learned.” That was two years ago, from Brietbart. Interesting.

According to the Brietbart article, perfectprivacy.com is owned by Network solutions…which is owned by Web.com. Both organizations have had their share of complaints. And pymnts.com uses them?

Who else uses perfectprivacy.com for website privacy? Continental Advisors LLC. Remember them? They partly own pymnts.com along with Market Platform Dynamics.

Oh, and the perfect privacy folks also hide their own owner’s identity and website location. Go figure.

At any rate, a lot interesting stuff seems to swirl around perfectprivacy.com. Here’s one issue presented by Cisco in 2015, about PayPal phishing. Consumers Union reported student loan scams in 2016. And the list goes on.

I’m not saying that perfectprivacy.com is a scam site. Not at all. Just that scammers and  politicians make for good company.


Conclusion/Recommendation:

Ditch pymnts.com until they have the guts to come clean and stop using website privacy services, that criminals are apparently using.

But, when it comes right down to it, I really don’t care if Warren Buffet influences the pymnts.com blog, even if he a is left-leaning, increase-the-taxes, socialist. I don’t care if the pymnts.com website is private or that there are no author names. Pymnts.com is free to publish and hint that Ripple XRP’s may perish from this earth and that SWIFT will rule with inflationary fiats until the universe ends.

What I do care about is an organization like pymnts.com that won’t publicize their website and website owner information. That we, as readers, can then judge if the information presented is coming from journalists we trust.

If we can connect the dots (the presented information) that we can then find on the pymnts.com website, to the dots on Whois or Scamadviser, easily, then pymnts.com could be more clearly judged. If we can’t know the names of all the experts that contribute to pymnts.com “news,” I ask why? Won’t this lack of transparency cast doubt upon the reporting? You bet. Unless you are a trusting soul.

Until then, my suggestion is to use a web service you trust and one that does not publish news from the private recesses of privileged anonymity. And, a site, that does not use its own blog as a reference – repeatedly. That’s bad form, if you want to be credible — and taken seriously.

The old guard must step aside, that the new guard may finance the future.

Bitcoin is about trust.

Is pymnts.com about trust?


 

–JGS

Cryptocurrency Fake-News, ZeroHedge, Clif High and other Palm Readers

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Dear Crypto-Readers,

There are two places on the net where cryptocurrency and other information is highly suspect.

Use these sites and people, at your own risk.

They are:

  • Clif High
  • ZeroHedge

Coming from an investigative background, the fact that this “fake news” spills over into the cryptocurrency environment, is not news. The news is the reliance by some bloggers and hidden “news” sites, upon questionable sources. In fact, even legitimate organizations sometimes cite questionable sources.

Why?

Sensationalism?

Click-baiting?

You bet. It’s all about the ad revenue. Even I like that. Last month, I took my wife to dinner with the money I made on this blog. Thanks readers.

But first, before ZeroHedge (I will not link to this site due to security risks) I want to bring up an internet personality. I have mentioned him before: Clif High. (I’ve linked to a previous piece I wrote about him.)

Suffice to say, Clif High appears to sell conspiracy theories, based upon his belief in ESP. He is the silver-tongued devil of the future, that never quite materializes. He makes blatantly false predictions and it’s a wonder people continue to support him. It’s curiosity, he’s fun to watch, but also morbidly interesting. 

As an investigator for several decades, I had the opportunity to interview/interrogate thousands of criminally insane people. For these reasons, I sometimes watch Clif High. I’m not saying the guy is insane, I’m not a doctor. However, Clif sure leaves that door wide open. And, I’m guilty — I still watch him.

But Clif High, even if that is a pseudonym, puts his face to the music. Maybe he likes the attention – the fame. Many folks with that burning desire to be recognized, live fruitful, public lives. They are entertainers, in a sense. And we pay to be entertained. Of course, he has his diehard cult following. So be it. At least his detractors can lambast him – publicly. And Clif dishes it back out. At least Clif has the guts to stand in the limelight, be it the laser of truth or his ever-changing contrarian view of the near future.

And you have to respect old Clif’s tenacity.

Then there is the dark side. The shadow conspiracies. The quasi-blogs and secret “.orgs” plying their trade. Is it real or is it fluff?

Aside from the accusations against Clif High (see link above and read reader comments) at least he’s not hiding like ZeroHedge. Those people publish and hide so completely, that every word they type, is suspect. Sure, we know that anonymous reporters can uncover information, but at some point, the information can be verified. Not at ZeroHedge. At least not most of it.

For all of Clif High’s odd beliefs, he has on occasion, chowed down on ICO altcoins, torn them asunder and spat out a decent review.  I wish he’d take after ZeroHedge.

I used to read ZeroHedge. It’s fun. A sort of Dredge-the-Bottom Report. Occasionally, it puts you on a trail of something good. Something interesting. However, after the site was probably hacked I refused to visit. In fact, in a sense, it is unethical for anyone to hide a link in their blog, to a potentially risky site and not advise readers of same.

What do I mean?

Legitimate bloggers should choose to protect, as much as possible, their readers’ digital security. If there is even a hint that a website is hacked, has an unknown or hidden location, is based in a risky country, has owners from risky countries or in any way makes them suspicious, then they should not link to the site.

Am I perfect? No. Could I make a mistake and cite a source from a website that is spinning its news? Sure. Usually, I let you know if I think the source is off the mark, however. And if the “writer” uses a pseudonym, like me, no problem. If you cite legitimate sources, you’re golden. Hell, many reporters and writers have dozens of handles.

But Tyler Durden? The Wikipedia entry about ZeroHedge, should make anyone sit up and take notice:

“Zero Hedge’s content has been classified as “alt-right,” anti-establishment, conspiratorial, and economically pessimistic, and has been criticized for presenting extreme and sometimes pro-Russian views.”

Not only should the pro-Russian views clue us in, but the “conspiracy” classification is on par with Clif High’s antics. Take both sources cum grano salis – with a grain of salt. And take Wikipedia itself with a grain of salt. Check their sources as well.

According to Business Insider, at least one of three men suspected of working/writing for ZeroHedge, a Bulgarian by the name of Daniel Ivandjiiski, was “kicked out of the securities industry during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 for insider trading.”

Another suspect ZeroHedge man, Colin Lokey, may be:

“…an emotionally unstable, psychologically troubled alcoholic with a drug dealer past…”

Tim Backshall, a 45-year-old credit derivatives strategist is another suspected writer for the conspiratorial newsletter-blog. This @credittrader appears to be his Twitter account. His listed website is capitalcontext.com. You guessed it all hidden info. And his tweets are full of ZeroHedge charts. Curious.

There was also a hint that Colin Lokey used or invented the Daniel Ivandjiiski and Tim Blackshall names.

But ZeroHedge does not always post unsubstantiated or bogus news. In fact, they have been accused of outright plagiarism. Lifting or citing other stories that they could then blend into their narrative. Generally, it’s a pessimistic view of world finance and politics, and the environment. One sided. On the other hand, their stories are often hard-hitting, provocative and full of charts. Just don’t go checking their sources. You’ll find that the numbers don’t always jive. Some have accused ZeroHedge of 90% lies, 10% questionable facts.

In any event, before you visit ZeroHedge do a little research. A little Scamadviser checking and internet backstory reads. Here’s what I found. I added to the already growing number of concerns about ZeroHedge as well.


Four Risks of ZeroHedge


Risk #1 – You are being Hacked

Let us start with this. Did you know that every time you visit the ZeroHedge website to read a blog, you may be risking your digital health? The website may be hacked. This alone, if you are serious about keeping your money and identity safe, should be enough. But let us add fuel to the fire.


Risk #2 – Mystery Website

Each time you visit the ZeroHedge website, from where are those bits and bytes flowing? The origin country? Well, there is a good chance you are reading a Canadian alt-right website or maybe you are pulling data straight from the US or the UK, but the fact is, the location of the ZeroHedge website is unknown. It could just as easily be in Moscow.


Risk #3 – Mystery Owner(s)

Who owns the ZeroHedge Website or company? Well, not Tyler Durden. That’s just comedy. The fact is, the owner’s identity is unknown.

There are only a few good reasons to remain anonymous. You are divulging legitimate secrets and you are concerned about your safety. You are lying like hell and are also concerned about your safety. There are other reasons to remain hidden as well, including using the anonymous angle to make others think you are a “deep throat” and not a run-of-the-mill click-baiter. To make money from the advertisers is another great reason to create and use the anonymous mystique.


Risk #4 – Bad Actors?

Although there is no “guilt by association,” unless the strings connect, an associated business service/address is ABCMedia 300A-219 Dufferin St. Toronto M6K 3J1. They are the web service for ZeroHedge.

Here is a google map of that location, in Canada.

The actual name of the service is easyDNS Technologies, Inc. They are known to be associated with Wikileaks, according to this Wikipedia entry. The company owner’s name and country is hidden, but it could be Mark Jeftovic. The website location is also uncertain.

Here is Mark Jeftovic’s Twitter account…easyDNS CEO. Libertarian. Contrarian. Bookish. The “E” stands for “easy,” as it states on Twitter. He is a known blogger (curious) in the ZeroHedge vein, on Markable.com. That’s a potentially risky website, hence no link. Suffice to say, it’s almost like reading “early” ZeroHedge.

The Markable.com address is listed as 67 Mowat Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3E3. That is here. It’s the Toronto Carpet Factory. If you notice, it’s adjacent to the Dufferin Street address of ABC Media.

If you look, you will also see another website listed on Jeftovic’s twitter account: guerrilla-capitalism.com. The name speaks for itself. It’s a newer hidden website, with a hidden owner in a secret country. Its listed address, you guessed it, Dufferin Street. Try 304A-219 Dufferin Street, Toronto, M6K 3J1 to be exact.

There is other curious news about EasyDNS as well.

According to The Register (United Kingdom) in a 2013 article titled “Canadian operator EasyDNS stands firm against London cops.” The Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit requested the EasyDNS take down websites selling pirated music/movies. EasyDNS refused. Did they support crime? Seems that way.

When you compare ZeroHedge’s “use” of copyrighted materials, to EasyDNS allowing hosted sites to profit on pirated content, things appear to shift alt-right, in tandem.

Furthermore, from Wikipedia in 2014, “…CEO Mark Jeftovic referred to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as a “batch of clowns” after it sent EasyDNS and other registrars a document issuing guidelines on when to take down domains of suspected “rogue” pharmacies without court orders. The memo included instructions which would put registrars in violation of their ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreements.”

What happened? Death.

“Some months later EasyDNS modified its takedown policy after a man died after taking a “controlled substance” codeine phosphate purchased without a prescription from airmailchemist.com, an online drug seller registered through easyDNS Technologies Inc. EasyDNS was not aware of airmailchemist.com’s presence on their system, or the fatality until they were contacted by a Wall Street Journal reporter investigating ICANNs policies on unlicensed pharmacies. ICANN had not notified EasyDNS of either the FDA complaint nor the fatality. Once informed, EasyDNS initiated contact with the FDA and the domain was immediately taken down. EasyDNS now requires online pharmacies to provide proof that they are licensed.”

Another source of Jeftovic’s blogs is Medium.com. Again, I won’t link to that site since there have been reports of hacking there as well.

 


Conclusion:


In conclusion, the websites and names associated with ZeroHedge are fishy, to say the least. The site itself, may have been hacked, putting any visitor’s digital information at risk — and this includes bank accounts. The hosting service (easyDNS Technologies Inc.) for ZeroHedge may have and may still be, assisting criminals — the ones who steal digital information. The name/owner associated with the hosting service are also associated with websites and are hosted in unknown countries. The hosting service in question is associated with WikiLeaks and could simply be a mouthpiece for them…and WikiLeaks has been known to compromise identities, to include medical information and social security numbers of individuals —  per this Wikipedia entry.

But you be the judge. Buy/sell cryptocurrency or stocks, based on ZeroHedge’s advice and see what happens.

Or use common sense.

Personally, I don’t think the current “correction” in cryptocurrency is a correction at all. This stuff is outside of the normal channels. It sings to its own tune. That tune, in my thinking, is you.

Choose the dying fiat “reality” or choose — just a little — freedom cryptocurrency. But remember, both exist.


 

 — JGS

Bytecoin: Peel the Onion and Find ‘Dstrange’ Things

Dear Readers,

As always, I peruse the cryptosphere, in search of answers. When it comes to Bytecoin, however, the answers are always just out of reach.

So this will be short.

It’s not the answer to the Nicolas van Saberhagen mystery, but it is an invitation to a place where you can plumb the depths.

Here at Reddit, I’ve created a new sub:

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It’s place where I hope the curious will come to discuss the history of Bytecoin, CryptoNote and other “Dstrange” things. It’s the unofficial page and news. A place where the latest good and bad news can be gathered — without censorship. 

There’s no agenda here, except the truth.

To the right of the main page (of the subreddit), I am building a loose timeline. The idea being, others can use this to compare and share any gems they have come across. Also, if anyone is convinced that Bytecoin is above board, they can come back and remind themselves — why or why not.

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

Bytecoin (BCN): Russian Billionaires and Fabulous Resorts?

This is your Bytecoin update, minus the hoopla and charts. Cue the music and watch your wallet.

The red flags keep coming. Buy BCN? Please.

If you have perused any of my past blogs (see below), I’ve, on occasion, written about Bytecoin. It’s one of those older cryptocurrencies, that never quite got off the ground. Not like Bitcoin or Ethereum or even Ripple. Sure, people have been interested in it – like me – and then they dropped it. Like me.

Why? Because the answer my friends is blowing in the wind – just like that song. You need only to sniff Al Capone’s cigar.

Bytecoin does not pass the smell test.

Maybe in the deep dark future it will. But not yet. Not when cryptocurrency exchanges dump it or freeze it for months on end. Not when the Bytecoin website goes dead for over a year, then rises from the ashes. Or is that, “sneaks from the shadows?” Not when most exchanges won’t touch it…after years.

Investors have consistently lost money in Bytecoin and it’s happening all over again. It’s called learning the hard way. It’s not like the other altcoins…not by a longshot. And investors need to know this…again.

Fast forward five years. Present day. After all the deception Bytecoin has shoveled out.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain curiosity has now enticed new investors to risk yet more money in Bytecoin…and many other altcoins. The current cryptocurrency (blockchain) environment is a feast for start-ups, with access to easy money and absolutely, it is a boost for innovation and business. It is, unfortunately, a boon for criminals and the mob. Milk money. A fool and his money are soon ruined. It is why governments, in their infinite wisdom, often reach in and “attempt” to pull the plug.

Bytecoin deserves a special mention – again.

And as the years pass, the more often it seemed that mobsters were peeking around the bushes. Did I say there are hints of mobsters – organized crime? Yes. But you be the judge. I know I’m making serious allegations, but hear me out.

Bytecoin is not like any cryptocurrency on the planet. Yes, Monero used the same tech in the beginning, based on the CryptoNote protocol. Arguably, Aeon and Electroneum are born of the same math-cloth. And there are other altcoins that utilize the protocol. Even these others, must be used with caution.

The point is, with Bytecoin, the “rabbit hole” is a game. The mystique is simply there to make everyone chase their tails, whilst the rabbit – the Bytecoin creators – sit back and reap the rewards, in the millions of dollars. It is, like many other altcoins, a money blackhole.


Ask these simple questions:

  • Why do all the Bytecoin/CryptoNote developers hide?
  • Why are all the names associated with CryptoNote and Bytecoin either pseudonyms or “handles?”
  • Why have none of them come forward – not ever?

Here’s the standard answer: to protect them from prosecution. But given the stench, the threat of prosecution is real – for them. Very real. For you? It’s the loss of your money.

Should governments find them, Bytecoin developers would, like Monero and Aeon (but not necessarily Electroneum) suffer. Sure, others could simply copy the code and start over. Dip into the repository and begin again.

“…organized deception.”

To think that they can hide forever is hubris. Monero at least tries to put a good foot forward. Aeon developers are hidden. Bytecoin is off the reservation, however. The outward appearance speaks of organized deception. All of it.

In fact, we do not even know if the current developers of Bytecoin are even the originals. We have no idea if they are (or were) good people and judging by their responses on Reddit and other social networks, they leave a lot to be desired.

As a former law enforcement officer, based upon decades of training and experience – they remind me of the thousands of thugs I have had the pleasure of investigating.

Could I and others, be wrong about the Bytecoin crew? That Jenny is an honest soul, trying to keep our wealth out of the hands of corrupt governments? (I’m sorry Jenny, but you and your friends make it too easy.)

How about this recent tweet on January 5, 2018?

BCN Tweet - Copy

 

Is it Sheldone.store or Sheldon.store? The latter is a brand-new site. Buy with confidence? The former listing seems to be an error, as well.

And Check-coin.com? A new store accepting Bytecoin in a high-risk countryBulgaria? I’m not even going to link to this site. I don’t want to risk your computer, let alone your bank account.

How about this recent glowing report about Bytecoin —  from Decentral Magazine? A brand new, but popular website? If so, why is Decentral Magazine keeping their facts private? I mean I do, as an individual, use a pen name, but my website location is not hidden. I’m in the United States. Any court order can find me. But would not a news magazine want to publish their reputation to the world? And why did the article omit Bytecoin’s negative past? Was this a paid advertisement? Methinks…yes.

How about that fabulous resort in Montenegro? Dukley Hotel and Resort? If you check Scamadviser here, the website is new — and could be on a compromised server. Careful if you visit the website. But you can spend your bytecoin there. Here, try these glowing reviews and don’t forget to expand the “weird” comments. The rest is self-explanatory and telling. Here’s the Google 3-D Map link. Why one reviewer thought of Russian Billionaires is curious.

And there are other new concerns…

Art at Gabo? It’s a new site. You can spend your bytecoin on a nice cell phone cover, a bytecoin t-shirt, even a BCN coffee mug, if you are so inclined. The site appears to be in the United States. Use at your own risk.

Lebytecoin.fr? I’m not linking to it. Scamadviser says it’s on a compromised server. Risky.

Sakama leather goods is an older site, but its owner is hidden. I only buy my leather goods from the “unhidden.” You know, in case I need to return them.

BytecoinMarket.com? Yet another new site. Visit at your own risk. Here’s the Scamadviser on it.

All the above is only to make you think. Yes, in a perfect world, we would all buy our goods in private. No government bureaucrat should watch our every transaction and bytecoin is one offered solution. But pick your solutions wisely. Do not enrich the wrong organization.

The above is not investment advice. It is just information. Take it as you may.

 

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