Category Archives: Politics

Google’s Great Cryptocurrency-Blockchain “Delist”


Are you — as a cryptocurrency ‘hodler’ — ready for Cryptogeddon? The greatest ‘delist’ ever performed by a single company? Ready, for billions of dollars in value to be flushed down the internet drain?

Well, hold onto you crypto’s — or not — because the party is starting all over again…thanks to a dominant search engine.

Most people, I’ll venture, could care less if Google, like Facebook, limits advertisers and their ability to search for bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or even Ripple XRP or other dirty things.

But, when Google marries the Thought Police, it’s only a matter of time before the real ones show up.

Google is free to use right? You don’t pay for it. So, who cares if by June of 2018, crypto is dead?

But, it begs the question: where will Google stop? What website, blog, organization, racist comment, naughty picture, fake news, iffy diet book, comedic review, or cat video will be censored next? Seriously, who cares if a cat freaks out?

This is just the beginning. So, in the grand tradition of Big Brother, why not just go for it now?

I suggest Google starts with a blank screen. No history lesson, art work, music, videos – just a dull gray screen.

And I then ask or type my question: “What the hell is cryptocurrency? And follow-up with, “screw Google.”

That question is then sent to the NSA, where it is cataloged, verified, vilified, and disapproved. A copy is then forwarded to my employer, the SEC, the IRS, the FBI, my wife, her mother, the Chinese Government, my kids and a local group of “Thugs against Thugs.”

Then my computer explodes, my house burns down, my dog bites me and a tree falls on my car. A few years later the post office delivers a letter from the Governor stating that I’m under investigation for the crime of “Thinking for Myself!” It also requests back taxes for the new retroactive cryptocurrency pretax or one major organ to be ‘donated’ to the Congressman of my choice.

And we’ve all been there. We google a topic, only to be served ads, not in the margins, but as a direct result of our search – in our collective faces. No, I don’t want vitamins. No, I don’t wear dresses. And how did you know I wanted a cookie? Did the NSA tell you? Alexa? That bitch, she always laughing these days.

Which is okay if you are shopping. Not so fun if you are researching. And there are other search engines that don’t garbage up your user experience like Google does. But none have the reach. Google is that 700 lb. gorilla. But he’s been sitting much too long and he’s getting fat and sloppy and he just shat upon thy rug.

Google…has about 74%…

Google, if you check, has about 74% of the international search engine market. Bing comes in second – maybe at 5 to 8%, depending upon which article you believe. I mean, these figures are only estimates, right? All the rest are far below that, however.

But nothing lasts forever. If you do not give the people what they want, you will – eventually (in a free market) – lose.

Maybe in North Korea, Iran, the New Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and China – censored search engines and closed Internets are all the rage. But in less unfree nations, people will become a bit friskier.

Google’s bill is paid by advertisers. And Google’s advertising policies are influenced by its major shareholders, i.e., the voters. We get that.

The shareholders own stock, the sales of which are regulated by the U.S Government, i.e., the straw bosses. A no brainer.

The government, of course, issues the money that people use to purchase stocks in the first place, i.e., he who owns the fiat money makes all the rules. Gold is passé.

You see the problem then. We are screwed.

Google is in a tough spot regarding cryptocurrencies. They can be investigated by governments for advertising a competitive monetary system. No such competition is allowed – at least in the U.S. We have “In God We Trust” money now. Heavenly regulated, infused with special powers – pumped out of our banks, at the discretion of the Fed. (That’s where they keep the Monopoly Game Board and the booze.)

Google can be sued by happy lawyers, for advertising investment vehicles that are not approved by governments. Remember: regulation. You must first bow, kiss the Pope’s ring, then pray that you didn’t slobber on his dress.

You are not allowed to make financial decisions on your own. You must (should) purchase “investments” from trained professionals and not “mine” your own cryptocurrency. Who the hell do you think you are anyway?

Free and unfettered markets do not exist in the U.S. It’s a pay to play system – a mixed bag at best. Keep your head down. Work hard, grovel, pay your taxes and die – and then pay more taxes, as a zombie.

And, whole communist dictatorships, such as China, can’t stand cryptocurrencies anyway. Google would lose business in Beijing, Hong Kong and… potentially, AMC Theaters.

China owns AMC now. That’s why I’m not going to AMC to watch movies any longer. Don’t want to enrich dictators. Does “AMC” mean the “Authoritarian Movie Company” now?

The fact that Chinese political prisoners are involuntarily donating their organs also bothers me. If I visited China, would I be placed on the “involuntary organ donor” list? I’m not going to find out.

For the same reason, many of us will voluntarily not use Google any longer. We have dumped Facebook. Why make either of them richer, if they have no spine? The thing is, do any of us have spines?

So, as we approach June of 2018, a reasonable person would think that cryptocurrencies are about to take a nose dive.

Or…will the ones that capitulated early on, survive and conquer? Like Ripple? Didn’t they start dating the banks early on? Then coddled up to the regulators? Isn’t Hedera Hashgraph (SAFT) taking a similar road? Cardano ADA?

Or…will Google fall, as us naughty searchers go elsewhere? Already, I’m seeing more and more readers of my blog bouncing in from other search engines.

Welcome, wanderers from the non-Google worlds. I hope your visit was not unpleasant.

Tell, me – have you found greener pastures?


 

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Will Caesar Assassinate Bitcoin and all Blockchains, This Time Around?

Dear Readers,

As the Ides of March approach, but this time Caesar lives?

In 44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated. It was March 15th. Senators stabbed him to death next to a theater. Why? Because he dared to be king. He had it coming.

Bitcoin, in the sphere of crypto, has been a dominant force since its inception. It was the first “successful” mover. But it was never a bloody dictator. It never ordered you to buy it.

The ever-growing number of cryptocurrencies, vie for dominance. They want bitcoin dead. So does today’s Caesar. And you can name your own Caesar. Certainly, the selection of contenders is vast. And there appears to be no experts about. Yes, there are those who code. The programmers. The computer wizards. The black hat hackers. The financial gurus. YouTube personalities. Twelve-year-old millionaires. And there are the economists, bankers, government agencies, detractors and dictators.

Then the rest of us, holding onto our wallets, stocks and bonds, silver coins, collectibles, and homes. We are not the Caesars, however. We are the commoners – the Plebeians. Maybe, as Plebeians, we’ve placed our crypto bets. Maybe not.

We know the score. We know that the dollar markets are volatile. The debasement of our currency ongoing and long term inflation (fiat currency devaluation) the result. Gold and silver prices, manipulated. The Catch-22 of the modern era. Until the “catch” breaks.

The only real markets left – with some measure of freedom – are the cryptocurrency markets. All others, to my knowledge, are regulated. Even my local flea market is regulated, somewhat.

In February of this year (2018) cryptocurrency bounced off a new low. I wondered then, if it was a reset of some sort. Now, over a month later, it appears to be doing it again. I fear another reset is looming. A much deeper one.

Some like to look to the past.

In 2013, bitcoin increased in value from a hundred dollars to over a $1000. It sparked the imagination of millions. Do you doubt it? After three years, as a nerdy plaything, suddenly, it was here. But you ask – what exactly was here?

Then bitcoin sank in value. Giving back half and more. Yes, it could have been speculation. Mt. Gox. Whales. FOMO. Take your pick.

In 2014, bitcoin seemed like it was dying. It lost over 60% of its value. Fluctuated. Maybe they were worth $300 by years end. We wondered. Was it over?

Then 2015 came. Bitcoin gained at least 25% by years end. It was looking to match the latter part of 2013’s values. Could it once again hit $1000?

Many of us reinvested.

Then June of 2016 came. Bitcoin decided to go up. By years end, it was once again looking at the $1000 mark. People – investors took notice. Would it pop again?

What if?

That was the biggest question. What if this thing keeps on going? Where will it stop? Will the snake-oil salesman come out and paint the rosy pictures? They did. Millions each, they shouted.

In 2017 everything changed. The banner year – so far – for bitcoin. Exchanges, as bad as they were, slow, cumbersome — lit the fire. Bitcoin took off. Over 19 times in value. Almost holding at $20,000. But before the year was over…shaking.

And 2017 was like 2013 all over again. By the end of the year, bitcoin was off almost 25% from its highs. The banner year was over. We felt deflated. Betrayed. We looked for scapegoats.

They were easy to find…

The financial world, which had been ignoring it, at least publicly, began kicking it steadily – and copying the technology. They were to blame. And the tax men. And the regulators. And China, Russia…and the endless bitcoin debates…and the bitcoin clones…and stiff competition from other altcoins…crypto-assets…tokens…

Now 2018 arrived. From the highs of late 2017, bitcoin nosed over. No longer treading water, it sank. It halved and then some. Percentage-wise, 2018 – so far – has eaten bitcoin’s lunch and its supper…

If you hold (or hodl) you should be concerned. No other altcoin has yet to muscle in on BTC’s turf. There is no trusted replacement. Not yet. And this time, Caesar is sharping his sword.

If anyone can honestly say that bitcoin is not the touchstone of the cryptosphere, even as its “dominance” fades, beware. Fake news?

Anyone can see the wag of that bitcoin’s tail. But he is a free dog. He survives in the wild. The Plebeians are his friends, but he has no master. Whether that dog lives, is the question. For Caesar hunts.

To those altcoins that ‘joined him’ – you know who you are – you have not solved any problems. You have merely profited from the Plebeians who serve the Caesar. But Caesar is bankrupt, and you live in his kennel.

The joiners are like loyal dogs. They will serve any Caesar. Drink from any poison fountain, so long as it is sweet. When it sours they pack their bags full of cash and wait for the next opportunity.

For now, I hope the joiners succeed, that I may profit from their folly. Then plow that money into the honest cryptos, if any still exist. Have they ever really existed?

Caesar has sent his troops in. His tax collectors. His regulators. One by one. In plain sight. Brazenly. He knows not to attack the Plebeians directly. He attacks the places they frequent, instead. The watering holes, the bazaars, the money tables.

Right now, Caesar is cutting the supply lines. The flow of water — crypto. The great cisterns – exchanges – are being brought to heel. Banks cut off the life-blood one by one.

Back to the kennels now, you Plebeians. No more dreams of roaming free. Nay, you pigs of the trough, stick your snouts in low. Grovel as you may. Dream the farm animal dreams and know that you are such tasty pork chops.

Perhaps it’s time for the wolf. But even a good wolf needs his Spartacus.

 


Media Source: William Darby

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

The Ghost of Crypto’s Future is BAD NEWS?

Dear Cryptocurrency Investors,

It’s about the money.

Lost in the lull and the bull, the chart readers and the screaming heads; and the comedians and the click beggars, the FUDsters and FOMO-kings, sock-puppets, trolls, you name it…is the truth.

And the hell if I know it, but neither does anyone else.

Two things that are influencing people deserve mention, however. Charlie Lee‘s revelation and Coinbase‘s inadequacy.

You can see bits of the potential future of cryptocurrency all over the net in real-time, but not necessarily in “past” time. The encapsulated version of why we are where we are. The rooting of the space, if you will.

Profits speak louder than purists, however and that answer lays ahead. Predictions that bitcoin will soar into the millions of dollars, seems to go beyond boundaries of common sense. We should not allow profiteers to reach into our collective pockets, as they sell into our greed.

Charlie Lee, who did not divulge the numbers of Litecoins he allegedy sold recently, did so for a reason and if you noticed, near the peak in price. That action speaks volumes, no matter the reasons he might give to the contrary. Even if Litecoin becomes the most popular cryptocurrency, the doubt will linger in the minds of investors.

And this doubt also injects its worry into bitcoin.

What is Charlie seeing that we do not?

If you haven’t made 25% to 50% returns this year (2017) then, I’d be surprised. Many have made far more than that…

What will happen in 2018?

In 2018, we could see a reversal trend. From bitcoin to Ripple. It seems to be on its way now, but this space is notorious for pumps and dumps and even I doubt Ripple XRP’s will climb to $10 each, as some have suggested, by mid-2018.

That bitcoin will drift lower, gradually, as it is polluted by the knock-off clones, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and others is another “theory.”

The cryptocurrencies we have come to rely upon are taking hit after hit and they have not recuperated as of this writing. Many investors are paying an emotional cost, having bought in late. The faith that bitcoin has always recovered, is currently being retested.

What are a few weeks of losses, you say, as bitcoin works out its kinks?

…gamble a little…

These last few weeks of 2017 will embitter some of the newest investors, that’s why. The ones who have been watching and trying to understand and who have, after a time, decided to gamble a little. These are the retirees as well as the professionals, but not necessarily expert investors. They are conservative types and once burned, they may never return. These last few weeks have burned them. And they have lots of money to invest.

After the Thanksgiving chats, they went in. Thousands, if not billions of dollars. And what happened? They were cut off at the knees. Profit takers swept in. Exchanges could not handle the inflow. Bitcoin showed its flaws.

Ripple held the doors open, but few of the newest investors knew how to buy Ripple XRP’s. So, the late comers served to enrich the first comers…not unlike any good Ponzi Scheme, with the exception that the bitcoin scheme seems perpetual. It still has billions left…for now.

Already, I have spoken to those who, in the last few weeks invested thousands in cryptocurrencies and have already cashed out, with losses. This was after I had shown them what they could have made had they listened to me over the last five years.

…Cheap wine…

They were astounded then, but not now? Now they shake their heads at me. Not only do they tell me that they think that bitcoin will crash, because they have seen this sort of thing before and names like Ripple, reminds them of cheap wine.

“Cheap wine?” I ask. “The name bothers you?”

They say it does.

Personally, I can understand that. “Ripple is not a great name, but look at the returns,” I tell them.

“Doesn’t matter,” they say. “We got burned on bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, what the hell difference does it make? They are all the same.”

“Ripple has its pluses,” I tell them. “It’s doubled in value as others have sunk. Ethereum has a lot of pluses as well, but…”

“Just you wait,” they said. “The government is going to shut them all down.”

“Not Ripple,” I said. “It’s playing along with the regulators. It services the banks and now credit card companies and more good news is coming.”

“What about Dragoncoin,” one asked.

“Dragon what?” I replied.

“How about Raiblocks?” another asked.

“It’s too new — risky,” I replied.

“It’s got better tech than bitcoin,” came the rejoinder.

“Okay, but Iota said the same thing and they are struggling. Each coin argues with the other. The test for me has always been “use cases.” And bitcoin used to be used more, now Litecoin seems to be taking up some of the slack,” I said. “And Ripple…”

“Cheap wine?” one replied.

“Never mind,” I said.

Bought gold and silver…

So I wait, but for now, as these old investors have retraced their steps. Bought gold and silver and palladium. Dumped stocks and bonds, like they’re on fire. One was just ripped off when he failed to check out a gold dealer to see if they were legit.

And these conservative types, these investors who have accumulated wealth the hard way, do not like to lose a single dime. Time is far too precious now. I know, because I am one of them — we’ll almost.

This dip in bitcoin price, even if it recovers tomorrow, will, like Charlie Lee’s recent Litecoin cash-out, linger like rotten cheese. It’s like that fake gold dealer where one guy lost thousands dollars last month.

I asked that guy how he lost that money. He said he found the gold guy on the internet and sent him the money from his IRA and that was that. Didn’t check him out because he “trusted” the internet. Didn’t even tell his financial planner he was doing it, because he wanted to save on fees. He trusted that his internet service provider would not allow fake gold dealers to advertise via email. And it was easy to do, he said.

…knowledge gap…

It’s a knowledge gap. In years past, it was nearly impossible to send official looking mail to someone for free. If you received a chain letter of scam bank notice, you were not often fooled. Phone call scams were easier and they still are, but they are labor intensive. Since criminals are naturally lazy, they want the biggest bang for limited effort. Welcome to scam websites and emails. Welcome to webpage Monero miners.

…Coinbase…sucks…

There are legit cryptocurrency sites, however. Coinbase for one.

Now, here’s the thing. For these conservative money types, Coinbase’s newest web page look and feel sucks. Right there, they are losing millions of dollars in business. Why? Why would they intentionally allow their coders and website gurus make the site counterproductive? Counter-intuitive?

I recently sat down with several businessman, some retired folks, a Human Resources Specialist and a two company presidents. I showed them the Coinbase website, which has gone through several alterations over the years. This newest version, I’ll wager, has probably influenced the latest bitcoin losses. Why?

Navigation across the platform is slow and confusing, they said. For example, a lot of the web pages have various tabs you may click on, but no highlighting or help capsule to let you know they even exist. Bad business all the way around.

“And look at this,” one said. “Each tab on the left, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash etc., you click on them, the word, and then to the right you see all of your transactions. Why do the jam it all in like that, like those credit card websites now?”

I couldn’t understand why Coinbase would do that. “It was not like that before, but it was not great before either,” I said. I just got the glazed-eye look then.

“Can I just call them?” It was a elderly woman.

“I’m sure you can,” I said.

“Have you ever called them?” she asked then.

“No. I do everything online now.”

I hadn’t been on the Coinbase website for a while and it took me, without reading too many directions, about 30 minutes to see how they had changed it. How did I do this? I started clicking every damned word on the page and behold, it all came together. But newbies and oldies should not be turned off like this. It is clear that the age and knowledge gap is hurting their business.

But seriously, Coinbase, get your heads of out of the sky for a moment and hire some people who understand how to make things idiot-proof. Take a lesson from Amazon or Paypal, but get it together. That is, if you do not want to see competition scream right past you.

…Cryptocurrency Specialist…

But just another short look into future seems to show me that soon, you won’t be able to buy cryptocurrency without a broker. And those of us holding, in the US, will be required to report and then turn over those holdings to licensed crypto-managers. A Cryptocurrency Specialist at your local bank or money house.

Wouldn’t that be just peachy?

 

 

Sincerely,

Jack Shorebird


 

Will Bitcoin become Over-regulated?

Dear Cryptocurrency Investors…and those concerned about the future of regulation,

The bad bitcoin news continues and most of us do not want to hear it, but we need to.

We need to think about what they will do next. Before the dominoes begin to fall. Currently, cryptocurrency appears to be reacting.

It’s time to be proactive or at least think ahead.

What’s the bad thing about ICO’s being regulated?

The next bend in the road.

It’s the first good way in. A way for governments to begin their crawl into the cryptosphere using the alleged reason that they want to protect you – to save you money. Because, you know – if they leave it up to you – you’ll screw it up and some fools will get ripped off.

A Broad Stroke…

So, instead of going after the thieves, the regulators use a broad brush. They paint everyone red. It’s then your job, as a cryptocurrency developer, to prove your innocence. You are automatically guilty from the start. Hey, it’s the way of the money-changers.

That’s how regulations work. Not laws, which help to convict the bad guys, but regulations to tell the good guys how they will run their businesses. From how many toilets a grocery store must have to the slope of the wheel chair ramps at Wally World.

“…regulations…”

Can you imagine the crypto-regulations? How many coins a crypto might have. How much they may charge. Where they can sell. How they will register and identify all users. How the company must be formed. What records it must keep.

I could go on.

The point? Innovation would suffer. Coins, good and bad, would die. The big boys on the block would file all the necessary paper work and press on, only to become embroiled in more legal issues. Bitcoin would need to register. The one saving grace – that bitcoin is not a company or a corporation – would be tossed in the crapper.

You’d have the same choice as before. Which company should I invest in? Which controlled, fiat dollar financed, regulatory burdened, bankster run, non-private new-crypto should I choose?

How about none of the above, if crypto gets ramrodded?

Now, you might say that ICO’s, which in the early days of purist-crypto (that never really existed), are no different than premining. And I’d have to agree. But if you accept an ICO, then no harm no foul and…let the best seed money bear fruit. Not much different than initial stock offerings that go belly up or soar.

No longer. The regulators, in their quest to ensure the permanence of centralized government monetary systems have no choice but to secure the current systems via tight controls of the supply of money; and that means anything that is even remotely connected to money. And that means…you and me.

Cryptocurrency is more closely related to stocks than money, some will argue, but make no mistake, the ICO warning is a shot over the bow, again.

So, what is next, logically?

Ignoring for the moment, steps being taken by various governments to fold crypto-regulation into the murky half-laws dealing with KYC and money laundering issues, how will the government gangs launch their next foray?

Here’s an idea.

When the laws pass that will require all Americans, Europeans, Asians etc., to report their crypto-holdings, that will simply be the opening bell. The “hey, we’ve just legitimized your bubble money and now you must let us ruin it” moment.

Next, after regulating who may or may not create a cryptocurrency, via an ICO, they (our blessed regulators who invent and create nothing) will, in the most obvious of blunders, conclude that anyone seeking to initiate a blockchain based crypto or similar, must first seek approval from a bureaucrat, who is necessarily, holding keys to the jail cells. It will be the Pre-ICO rules. Comply or bye-bye. Good guys must be throttled with numerous and confusing righteous regulations, above and beyond the laws, to be sure.

Now that is not all.

How else, given their penchant for protecting their conscriptual citizenry, will our illustrious innovators of graft continue to serve our interests?

“…retroactive…”

I say they will go full retroactive. After all, it’s the best way to collect taxes. Make them guilty, yesterday.

Henceforth, all cryptos having existed prior to now, and which are not currently in compliance with the laws heretofore dictated, must comply immediately. All persons having control or interest in the core development of any and all cryptocurrencies, must come forward to [fill in the blank] and file all appropriate applications, submit all required fees, undergo a background check, and more or less, be told exactly how said currencies will be sold, dispensed or used.

The above, is of course nonsense or is it?

Keep an eye out.

Just wait for it. Maybe in a year?

I’d be nervous if I was a “dev.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

Bitcoin: Deletion by Executive Order?

Dear Cryptocurrency Investors,

Let’s play a “worst case scenario” game. Why? Because it’s always good to play the “what if” game. It helps you prepare.

You see a lot of hints out there and worries. But I wanted a bit more. I wanted you to taste it, if even fictionally. Why?

Because this has happened before. I know people who lived through it. People who had to turn in their gold to the government or face criminal prosecution.

But a little background first.

Cryptocurrency is now being accused of outshining gold. It’s little wonder that in the United States bitcoin is effectively, 10 times the price of gold.

Think on that for a moment. Software – a ledger service – is now more valuable than a physical commodity.

What’s more, cryptocurrency cannot be as easily regulated as gold or silver. It’s a governmental conundrum.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) signed Executive Order 6102. It essentially confiscated gold from law abiding citizens because of an emergency.

The emergency? It’s debatable, but many point to one thing: to bailout the Federal Reserve. At the time, many foreign countries were cashing in dollars for American gold and well, the government was running low.

Gold prices back then were set by government at $20.67 an ounce. About a year later, the official rate of gold was raised to $35 per ounce. What that meant was that the US Dollar lost approximately 40% of its value in a year. Inflation was gifted by Uncle Sam. It may have also slowed the gold drain, since by then, foreigners had to use more fiat currency to buy the same amount of gold.

This is all history. How US citizens were ripped-off by their government. No wonder, that even today, people are nervous about their gold. But maybe they shouldn’t worry so much now.

Gold has been out-shined. The days of price manipulation by governments, is over.

Bitcoin is now the up and coming king of currencies. Perhaps it is better to say that cryptocurrency is king. Why?

Because we do not know if some new altcoin will win the day. Ethereum, IOTA, Litecoin or Monero – or some innovative altcoin may soon become the new digital gold. But there is no doubt that the digital gold rush is on.

Governments are paying much closer attention.

They see that their fiat currency is under threat by software that not only substitutes for fiat dollars, but does all sorts of other neat things too. They avoid capital controls, zip around the world in seconds, skirt banks and taxes – and hide in plain sight. Best of all, they can’t be confiscated, without permission – or so we hope. Governments have a difficult time tracking them.

The idea that blockchains cannot be cracked by quantum computers might not wash. If the government agencies utilize quantum computers to confiscate a single cryptocurrency transaction, this would no doubt have a chilling effect upon the entire cryptosphere.

Would people then stop transacting in crypto, knowing that any transaction could be redirected to a government wallet? Would that not halt crypto in its tracks? Make it worthless?

Could our governments conduct a 51% attack? A concerted effort to destroy specific crypto targets? These cryptocurrency websites often suffer such attacks and other issues.

North Korea attacks bitcoin regularly, via the exchanges. It appears that they are trying to steal cryptocurrency, however, and not destroy the targets themselves. They are a fiscally challenged despotic regime, after all.

Denial-of-service attacks recently hit the cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Bittrex.

Bitfinex shies away from American customers due to the onerous reporting regulations and the costs associated with them.

Bittrex is suspiciously locking Legacy accounts and asking for upgraded identity information from its customers. They telegraphed (reported) this process before they proceeded, but reduced customer withdrawal amounts. Shortly thereafter the total lockdown began. They have sent out emails to apologize.

One would expect a big outflow of funds when and if Bittrex releases the locks. Unless Bittrex customers have been Goxxed.

Crypto-jacking is on the rise. Are you mining crypto for others as you surf the web? You would hope not.

ICO’s may soon lose their luster. Initial Coin Offerings can be used to easily raise money, but will the developers make good on their promises? Recent US investigations might be one nail in that coffin.

And to top it all off, it appears that bitcoin has some serious problems ahead. Routing attacks are a concern. Apparently, most of bitcoin’s transactions flow through just three ISP’s. If true, how difficult would it be to slow the nodes? To make everyone lose the faith?

“…the biggest threat…”

In all this mess, many of us are ignoring the biggest threat of all, however: The Great Confiscators. The governments.

If FDR could sign an Executive Order to take all the gold from Americans, how difficult would it be for a sitting president to do the same – to steal the crypto?

If Congress, in the US, cannot agree on a bill to make Americans report their crypto-holdings, would it not be easier to whip out the presidential pen and in a matter of hours, criminalize bitcoin possession?

And that’s my thrust here. I wanted to imagine just what such an order would look like. So I looked up FDR’s great theft and perused a couple of The Donald’s recent Executive Orders and came up with this:


Presidential Executive Order Combating Terrorism, Money Laundering, Illicit Drugs and Cryptocurrency Pyramid Schemes

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001 (Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks), which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States, and in order to provide the Secretary of Defense additional authority to manage personnel requirements in a manner consistent with the authorization provided in Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty and Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation), and in order to clarify SEC. 13. Prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, (a) In general. —Section 5312(a) of title 31, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency contracts, prepaid access devices, and digital currency, from the recognized and customary channels of trade, be they held at a digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency or anywhere and in any form not yet known to exist. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver or transfer on or before January 1, 2018, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all cryptocurrency holdings, cryptocurrency passwords and password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets, now owned or controlled by them or coming into their ownership on or before December 6, 2017, except the following:

(a) Such amount of cryptocurrency as may be required for pre-approved legitimate and customary use within and under the direct control of the regulated banking and financial industry or those government regulated companies that serve said industries, including any cryptocurrency mined/minted therein.

(b) Cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate of .00000001 BTC, belonging to any one person; and cryptocurrency having a recognized special value to bankers as rare and unusual altcoins.

(c) Cryptocurrency and mining, minting, or other methods of network security, earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign Government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Cryptocurrency and any derivatives thereof, licensed for other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including cryptocurrency and said derivatives, imported for reexport or held pending action on applications for export licenses.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered, any person becoming the owner or controller of any cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency passwords or password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets after December 6, 2017, shall, within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such cryptocurrencies are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of Section 2; or unless such cryptocurrencies are held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such cryptocurrency, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of cryptocurrency delivered to it in accordance with Sections 2 or 3, the Federal Reserve Bank or member bank will note therefor an equivalent amount of any other form of legal tender at the official rate of one US cent per one BTC or equivalent in any other altcoin.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all cryptocurrency owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefor, at the going market rate, prior to the issuance of this order.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation or transfer of cryptocurrency delivered to a member bank or Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with Section 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal Reserve Banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of cryptocurrency by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath, addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal Reserve Bank. Each application must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the cryptocurrency in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this order and to issue licenses thereunder, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal Reserve Banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust cryptocurrency to or for persons showing the need for the same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Upon collection of the cryptocurrencies in question, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby ordered to delete, by any feasible method, as verified by Federal Reserve Banks and companies on retainer for said purposes, the cryptocurrencies in their possession by not later that February 1, 2018.

Section 10. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $1,000,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than twenty-five years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.

THE PRESIDENT

THE WHITE HOUSE?

December 6, 2017…


Do not think for a moment that such an order is impossible today.

Be ready.

Note: Please feel free to copy my fictional executive order and distribute. Wake up some crypto-heads.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

P.S. Do you really think that all Americans – the true patriots – gave up their gold in 1933?

 

“Mining” Your Visitors?


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts:

Don’t ask don’t tell.

Words to live by? Not.

Don’t muck with your website visitors. Ask first.

Aside from all the other goings-on, we now have to concern ourselves with sneaky people. Those who will inject code in their webpages to mine your CPU, basically.

Watch out for those pop-unders.

There is so much information out there, that my two bits aren’t worth the bother. In fact, you can now get hopelessly lost in the crypto-sphere. And have fun at the same time. And make money.

But the webpage miners are being thwarted at every turn.

Is this really a cryptocurrency phenomenon at all? Or is it a social one? Geared toward the criminal element?

Not necessarily and I’ll get to that in a moment.

The webpage mining tech was attracting the users. Even me. I figured I could ask for people to mine a bit of crypto as they read my blog. A bit of extra income.

But many webpage miners didn’t ask you. They got greedy. And they fouled the water for everyone else — for now.

So, can you really make money by grabbing everyone’s CPU power? It seems that the effort has now been largely blocked. So, the short answer is no.

At first, the idea seemed to hold some promise. Help us niche bloggers earn a few extra bucks, but then the dream evaporated, if it ever was more than a dream in the first place.

Many of us have heard about CoinHive and its alleged shady reputation. How you could use their codes on your website and mine cryptocurrency (Monero XMR) by using the CPU power of website visitors. You could even do it without advising your website visitors, which was unethical, to say the least.

The fact that Coinhive did not originally design their software to inform the website visitors that your CPU was being used without your permission, but left it up to the software users to do this, speaks volumes. And even if Coinhive had coded their app to inform website visitors, any good hacker could then strip away those warnings and mine in secret anyway.

If you check, Coinhive’s reputation on Scamadviser you will see that they have a high rating. Really? I say they are going to sink, if they don’t re-gear posthaste.

I experimented with CoinHive for a bit, several months back — on other websites — not here. I let everyone know up front what I was doing.

It was kind of fun, but also kind of a waste of time. I think I earned about 25 cents, but I can’t withdraw that tiny amount, so Coinhive will end up with it, I’m sure.

I think I actually mined most of my own crypto anyway. Every time you logged onto Coinhive’s site, they mine your CPU, essentially.

I experimented two ways on my webpages.

First, I copied the code CoinHive had and pasted it on one of my old Blogspot Blogs (not on this website) that didn’t get any traffic, because like a dummy, I renamed it and screwed up my Google Adsense account – which is another joke.

But the CoinHive miner did work – then. The scripts ran.

Here was my code for embedding all the fun:

Coinhive Sc - Copy

I just copy and pasted. Then I advised everyone what I was doing.

Here’s what pops up (if it works):


miner - Copy


And don’t be fooled, even this demo (above) on the CoinHive website, sucks down CPU power like mad. It’s a live demo! No free lunch.

Well, the above code was improved by CoinHive to alert you that the mining was taking place. (A bit late guys.)

In any event, most ISP’s, Google etc., block the scripts from running. And yes, you can get fancy and try to code workarounds – if you really want to get blacklisted (unless you’re working over TOR or a VPN).

You are certainly welcome to copy my code and try it. Adblock should eat you alive, however. And you may suffer the blacklist. What do you expect from ISP’s these days?

The second method I used from CoinHive was called the “shortlink.” It was kinda neat. A proof-of-work captcha that, in theory (if I was a webmaster and not a simpleton blogger) I could install as a “key” to allow you to read my fine works.

Once activated, the shortlink mined Monero for a moment (on a computer – not a cell phone) then redirected you to a website of my choosing. (I redirected everyone back to my blog.)

Here’s my shortlink:


cnhv.co/ol2


Here’s what it does (maybe):


Coinhive Cap - Copy


However, your Adblockers etc., should kill it.

There are other script miners out there as well.

There’s Popcoin, Crypto-Loot (kind of shady), and others. But they don’t necessarily have good reputations.

There is one website miner out there, however, that does have promise — but it’s also blocked. It looks to be a legitimate crypto in this space.

JseCoin (my affiliate link) does not seem to fall into the bad-boy crowd. But coming on the heels of CoinHive and clan, I wonder if they can pull it off – after their ICO.

JseCoin also has a script miner. Here’s mine:


!function(){var e=document,t=e.createElement(“script”),s=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];t.type=”text/javascript”,t.async=t.defer=!0,t.src=”https://load.jsecoin.com/load/31935/thecryptopapers.com/optionalSubID/0/”,s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}();


JseCoin is nice enough to have the code all ready, but…as with CoinHive’s script, Adblock eats it up. It will not (usually) work. But I did confirm that the script is functional.

Jsecoin looks like this, when it runs, if it runs:


Jsecoin wsm - Copy


JseCoin does not offer shortlinks, presently, but may offer ads for publishers in the near future.

As for JseCoin itself? I have no idea, but the promise is intriguing. You can also, just like in the old days (2009), mine with your CPU online; and I understand that JseCoin is ASIC resistant as well.

But here’s the thing. All the bad press about the big-bad honcho’s stealing your CPU power (and some did) has not yet caught up with the idea of paying with crypto, hot off the press.

If this crypto-world keeps on going, this kind of thing might become routine. And the naysayers – those who say website mining is theft — might need to get with the program and stop whining for blog hits (like me).

If you are aware of it and agree to pay for some service or visit a website, knowing in advance, that you are financing the site with magic internet money, burned from your CPU, no nitwit can censor your right to do it. And that goes double for the ISP’s and giant internet media farms (given special privileges by governments to hold large landmasses of humans nearly hostage to crappy service).

Oh, I’m not on about Net Neutrality. That’s a red herring, IMO. The internet does not need more regulation, it needs less. More providers should be allowed on the landmasses. Right now, it’s pay to play. As in, fork over bribes to Pauli Politician – to get exclusive territories. That’s just wrong.

Do you really think governments don’t just love it when website/webpage miners are trashed? Sure, they do. It would be the second-to-the-last-straw if we could pay for stuff with CPU power as we surfed the web.

Hey, maybe that’s what JseCoin is seeing… A new world of tiny CPU cryptos and they want to be first in.

The thing is, the tech isn’t right yet. I mean the idea of a webpage miner is a start, but not the whole kitty litter box. We need some more user-friendliness. Maybe some profit-sharing.

There are so many ways to do this. We could all download a small miner to pay for browsing. Use a tiny bit of our CPU for incidentals. One news story from the Wall Street Journal. A free ebook for a few minutes of your CPU.

Websites that benefited could issue prizes, coupons, gasoline credits.

The marketing ideas are endless.

For now, however, the ISP’s etc., are attempting to halt this innovation at the request of the old guard. Webpage mining tech is yet another nail in the FED’s printing-press monopoly. And they are already miffed about bitcoin.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird.


 

Cryptocurrency: “…and Bitcoin Must Burn!”


Dear Crypto-fans,

The crypto-fake-fintech-news continues, but the tide is turning in some few lands. Slovenia maybe. Singapore, possibly. Nigeria? Yes. But I won’t be emigrating.

Google trends are showing an upswing of late.

But the battle against cryptocurrency is also gaining momentum. The reaction is fomenting. Like Cato the Elder’s call for Carthage to burn, so too are the princes of the day signaling their intent, through their mouthpieces on retainer, that non-princely crypto, must also be destroyed.

The most recent pretext to dump bitcoin and cryptocurrency, besides bubble fears, is that fiat currency is “backed” by the government or the Central Bank. That such a thing as cryptocurrency, which does not enjoy the toxic fruits of the government fiat monopoly, is intolerable and hopeless.

But this assertion is ominous, not glorious. Whether you believe Clif High, that Bitcoin will far outpace the value of gold or you want to take to the shadows with your secret Bytecoin, the princes are on the march. They care not if you chose Cardano (ADA), but might let up, if you wade into Ripple (XRP).

And we cannot reach into our television sets, our computer monitors, our tablets or cell phones, and shake these intellectual Lilliputians by the shoulders and yell, “Hey, Brainiacs, fiat money is also NOT backed – except by a gun.”

“How dare you think that, you finite fleshpots.”

That’s how they respond, in my translation. Shake their ponytails, peer side-long down red veined noses, lick their finely wine-soaked lips, point to the proper ends of their overcooked eggs, with bejeweled digits, and leer at us subjugated subjects – with the aplomb of the imagined royal birthright.

Two such peers of servitude deserve mention.

“Alan Greenspan…Jamie Dimon…”

Alan Greenspan? A former gold bug, now completely in tune with the Fed or is that the vampiric feeding of inflated monetary dogma?

Jamie Dimon? A bankster in the Morgan mold or is he a dollar-defender, through hell and devalue?

Here are a few more bitcoin bashers to peruse.

Deep thinkers of the bygone epoch, where it is said that monetary conscription is better than gold-backs. Where the song of sound money, as sublime and powerful as it is, cannot meet the rejoinder – the princely power of the purse, under guard.

What do these bashers of bitcoin really mean when they say that cryptocurrency is not “backed” by Johnny Law? They mean, dear readers, that the prince is not in charge of the peoples’ currency, i.e., cryptocurrency.

And that is the crux of it. THE PRINCE HAS NO CONTROL. Paupers must mind their prince.

The prince’s fiat money is “backed” by his soldiers. You must use it – or else.

Think on that, each time you pull that fiat from your wallet with that picture of the current or past princes. This currency is “backed” by the point of a gun, the threat of jail if you refuse to use it, or large fines if you dare to abuse it. It is called forced compliance.

The Federal Reserve Note, is your contract with the prince. Do no fail to abide by the terms.

Has not humankind outgrown such princely designs?

The religion of money…

Most currency, that plastic card, paper or digital noise stored at your bank or under that rock in your yard, is worthless-worth. It is backed by nothing and the power to “make it work.” A promise to pay zero and from that zero, substance. The religion of money, if you will. To make nothing buy something. Just believe, sayeth the Prince of Fiat.

Every school child should know this. Government fiat is “myth money.” Fantasy cash, you are compelled to use.

The soldier “backs” your princely fiat these days. Except, to him, you are the enemy. Harsh words, but relevant when comparisons must be made with cryptocurrency.

Fiat crypto, by comparison, is an all-volunteer army. In this scenario of sin, the prince of fiat is dead.

And about the noble metals. There are no gold bars at the bank – in most cases. Even the Swiss have denuded their banks of metal. But the Swiss people, being a lot more intelligent than their host of princes, have stored gold in private vaults – not banks. Unfortunately, the princes are aware of the locations of such vaults.

But who owns that gold? You think American and Japanese billionaires don’t have a dog in that fight? Sure, they do. Will a Swiss Army man care to back your Swiss stored gold, if his prince reclaims the bars, for the good of Switzerland?

And private vaults abound these days. Do you wonder why? And are these vaults safe from the princes’ soldiers?

…myth money…

Cryptocurrency is also a myth money, a fiat currency, but it is different too. The prince does not own the cryptocurrency fiat money machine. The people own crypto. It is a detached system of fiat currency that circumvents capital controls, i.e., the Prince’s Rules of Trade. And there are dozens of competing blockchain alternatives, not simply one princely fiat system.

The prince is fuming about this. How dare his subjects create their own fiat currency. Don’t they know that fiat money is backed by nothing – not even the princes’ soldiers?

You might wonder how a cryptocurrency system can invade and dislodge, peaceably, the Prince’s Bank and essentially rob him of his ability to conduct business. You might also wonder what the prince is going to do when his fiat currency begins to devalue so rapidly that he can no longer pay his castle employees the proper level of wages.

He will need to pay his soldiers some how and maintain his dominance.

Will the prince seek to control all the cryptocurrencies on earth? No, he does not have that power.

Could our Prince enlist the help of other princes abroad, hold a summit in a foreign land and gather the forces of many other princes and kings, to block this crypto-virus from spreading?

Maybe. He and his soldiers, who he pays in Bright Prince Fiats, must team up with other lands to thwart this growing threat, before it’s too late.

…a gold standard…

In the meantime, some gold-bug few of the Prince’s own citizens, wealthy masters in their own right, the ones who have decried his use of fiats for years, call for a gold standard once again – and for the abolition of crypto, henceforth.

The prince, seeing a way out of the crypto-crisis begins to devise his plan.

The renewed gold standard is enacted, sort of.

The prince has all the land gather their hoards of silver and gold, deposit them into the banks he controls and promises his subjects, that from this day forward, sound money will reign supreme in all his lands.

The prince’s subjects, save a few wary ones, deposit their golden hoards, which they have hidden from the princes of past and present, into the princely vaults. Record amounts of gold, silver and diamonds, flood in and the subjects are ecstatic.

Even the prince smiles, benevolently praising his lands. “For the good of my subjects!” he laments. He feigns emotions at just the right moments, as his advisors have advised.

The subjects of the lands, relieved of the dual threat of the crypto-virus and the prince’s own fiat money scourge, forgive the latter and bash the former with abandon.

Pronouncements echo and postings are posted all over the lands. Town criers cry. On every tree and jailhouse wall, flapping in the breezes, are the grand and memorable memoranda: sound money is the order of the new day.

Of course, our Prince, along with all the other princes and kings; and not a few queens of dubious nature, have simply activated their plan to cast a shadow of disrespect over the whole of crypto.

“You see,” the prince quips, as he lounges on great pillows, attended to by subjects knowledgeable in the ways of arcane finance, “crypto is fiat…and princely sums are sound money – backed by gold and silver! I have returned to the ways of old gold!”

But the plans these of princes is most certainly a mirage. They, the princes and kings, the dubious queens and tyrannical tricksters, have merely confiscated the gold and issued multitudes of fiat. They have also declined to report the exact amounts of gold and silver in their safe-haven bank vaults, under their control and properly guarded by soldiers of the crown, by and for the good of all subjects, of course.

“Security,” says the prince, “is of vast and secret importance! Therefore, for the good of all subjects, I will keep the location and amount of princely precious metals undisclosed.”

…gold and silver and jewels…

What’s more, the prince, seeing to the secret security of all this gold and silver and jewels, has it moved from the banks and consolidated at his Summer Palace. A palace which is really a fortress far from his subjects and heavily guarded by loyal soldiers, who are paid in actual gold.

Princely subjects, fighting for the flag, dying for honor and dust, must dine, once again, upon the quantitative ease. No more are they worth, no less should they breathe.

Do you see any parallels here? This is essentially the repeating history of money. The Classical Liberal societies start with gold/silver monies then they devolve into socialistic fiefdoms and fiat systems controlled by the prince. A prince, who requires all your private information, to keep you safe from the wanton criminals and be able to reallocate your accumulated wealth as you live; and upon your demise, absorb your gold – all for the good of the prince’s subjects – meaning us, whether we like it or not.

And you wonder why the subjects currently trust fiat cryptocurrency over gold – for now.

The subjects – paupersdo not trust the prince.

Perhaps one should look at this trend. Bitcoin is gathering more interest than silver or the dollar. That’s an eye opener.

When do you suppose the interest in bitcoin will surpass gold? And does it have staying power?


Sincerely,

 

Your Friend in Crypto…

Jack Shorebird


Disclaimer: Believe none of what you read herein, half of what you see, and bow to the prince every night, before your subject-slumber, if you think that I’m not serious…

Cryptocurrency: Dreams in a Bottle or a Bubble?


Dear Cryptocurrency and Freedom Lovers of Earth:

We are just dreamers waiting for the big bad bubble. Lean over and kiss your bitcoins goodbye.


Bubble Trouble

Cryptocurrency is a bubble.

It’s the 2.0 try-outs, since we didn’t believe them the first thousand times.

We love Ponzi, they insinuate. We probably initiate chain-emails in our sleep, insert cryptocurrency miners on your webpages, and dream of pyramid schemes…as we pay our extremely reasonable .gov taxes.

Cardano (ADA) will surely explode.

Monero (XMR) will implode.

Electroneum (ETN) will evaporate.

Ethereum (ETH) will wither smartly, and die.

Cheaters and meanies are hiding in the dark corners of those ICO-laced cryptocurrencies.

Bad people, the lot of them.

Run back to gold?

“Hey! But we love the blockchains! Just not the ‘people’ running them.

“You see, us banks and .govs – we do a much better job popping fiat bubbles. We just go around, blowing them up, making you go broke and then we do it all over again!

“And us metallic mega-hoarders, well, we can dig it too! And hopefully, one day in the far-flung future, gold will become what it once was: money. And then us mega-hoarders will win the day. We will say, on that day, if that day ever comes again that — we told you so!

“We can’t wait. It’ll happen soon, we promise!”

At least some of the gold bugs are on board the crypto-train. Guys like Mike Maloney. He’s a forward thinker, unlike others…

The lesser numismatic gods, the ones still hoping to influence President Donald Trump – to take the US back to gold – are instead bashing away at crypto. Maybe they don’t realize that they are, at the same time, bashing away at liberty itself. Not such a brilliant tactic as it is a calculated risk.

“Tell these Millennial dolts that cryptocurrency not stamped IN GOD WE TRUST and FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE is NOT money. Jeez, the humanity of it all. Tell them gold is the answer – immediately.”

Is that the general feeling you get from some of the golden metal-heads? The ones who warn of crypto-bubbles and hope for altcoin death, in situ.

And the best gold bugs? The proud Sharia Law complaint versions of them? “Oh Canada!” they sing aloud on their days off, from those frozen roof tops.

I take you now, dear reader to the halls of GoldMoney. In Canada. There, the money (no not money yet) is GOLD! Actually, the company was called Bitgold before that, but cited regulatory problems and low demand, before shutting down.

These golden folks have allowed to be posted on their website (and I’m almost certain it will be taken down like another YouTube video that fled in haste — business is war, right?) are the illustrious words of one Bubble Attacker: Alasdair Macleod. For shame. (My opinion.)

Macleod is an apparent researcher for the company in question, hence not the best disinterested party, right? A mouthpiece? Hmmm.

Then there is a far more corrupt banking industry to consider. Finance houses practicing insider trading. A Fed that feeds the US with worthless notes. Just read the headlines. Wells Fargo. JPMorgan Chase. Bank of America. Quantitative Easing. (Not an opinion. Facts.)

Need I say more? Aren’t you sick enough yet?

It’s not the banks or the .govs this time, however. It’s gold. Or more precisely, a troubled offshoot of gold bullion pushers surveying the crypto-landscape and taking careful aim.

 

Crypto Kills Fiat

To talk of cryptocurrency bubbles that will occur and describe them as a dire menace to .gov fiat is pandering to the .govs of the world. Gold money is a far worse threat to the .gov machinery and they – the bullion dealers — know it.

If people were actually allowed to use gold, silver, copper – as money – the Fed would close its doors and the Military-Industrial Behemoth would most definitely become rather irritated, if not hungry.

The .govs would need to finance themselves with real money then. No longer could they pass on the costs via inflation taxation. They would need to beg, borrow or steal the gold – again – from their subjects.

And that is always a problem, isn’t it? Gold theft?

And why can’t some companies see that? Especially ones in North America? Don’t they understand that before gold can become money again – that the entire centrally planned economic model must be dismantled? That laws must protect the people from their .gov?

It appears that Our Golden Savior of Canada is sounding that alarm, however. Or at least helping to ring a few bells to scare the cryptocurrency birds away. Darned pesky eagles just won’t die. They want to fly at any cost, even if it means creating their own crypto-fiat money in a world gone money-subservient.

It’s also a way of diverting attention – heat – from them. And a way to “sell more gold!” Soon they might begin knocking on our doors. Or you’ll see them at flea markets, not buying gold, but selling it!

Congratulations bullion traders of the Great White Socialistic North. Not that the US is that far behind either, but strike while the bubble is hot! And the bubble attack is ongoing.

But we need new material, not tired old rinse-and-repeats.

It reminds me of Chicken Little when he yelled, “the sky is falling!”

I’ll call them, those Gold Money guys and gals, Our Golden Savior. The bell ringers, who are losing investors to cryptocurrency. And who only want to make sure you and I aren’t being swindled, right?

After all, gold is money. No, it’s not. Not yet anyway.

 

The Warning

One Macleodian article on their website (and also here) talks to us about bubbles. But this does not irritate me as much as the Canadian based Sharia Law Compliant company does.

I mean, gold and precious metals are no doubt great value keepers, but dear fellas, we do not live in a golden age. I swear. I just called my bank. They said that they can arrange to store any gold I might wish to purchase; however, I can’t use it as money. (No thanks.)

You can’t spend it, your gold – in the US – like money. The IRS wants an accounting of each transaction. Just like cryptocurrency.

We live in a fiat-currency age – in the US. We are jammed in tight. Well, there is one out. It’s called cryptocurrency.

Gold is taxed as property in the US, which makes it terrible to use as money – even debit card based. I believe Peter Schiff advised this long ago, but now – he has joined them. And now…these facts seem to have drifted away. Little tax bombs ready to go off in April, when you have that “awe shucks” 1040 moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather use precious metals, as money. I’d love to have a sound money system, but this fiat thing is just going to have to burn itself out first. Venezuela style. A little Greek fire, as it were.

The article in question asserts that gold is on the minds of many. Granted. Any form of sound money ought to be. If gold was money today it would be on everyone’s mind. Well, most everyone. Some actually like the fiat money system and socialist governments.

The write-up also warns, yet again, about the pure and shiny new bubble. The cryptocurrency bubble that is sure to burst – someday.

The problem is the golden .gov wall, however. We are all looking at that wall and asking ourselves the same questions.

Is there an alternative to gold, since I can’t spend it like cash?

Should I buy a few pieces of a precious metal and store it myself or should I use a gold bullion dealer in Canada? A dealer with gold all over the world in nice vaults – all on the ‘up and up’ – but far away…?

 

Crypto is NOT Money?

The primary debate against cryptocurrency, that it is not money, ought to be jettisoned.

We know this. We know it is not money.

Gold can be money, but it’s not either. It’s just gold, for now.

Cryptocurrency is more closely related to a functional currency or a service money, but it is a form of fiat currency as well. But a far superior fiat currency, for many reasons. And rather crappy, as well.

That’s what we are living with. We can use cryptocurrency, with all the associated risks or we can obey. Now do you understand?

Why did people risk their lives to come across the oceans in hopes of a better life? By comparison, this rather low-key way of transferring wealth is lame by comparison. It’s an exercise in freedom, however frail. The thing is, the .govs need to crush it in order to stop the virtual and peaceful sit-in.

 

A Bridge to Sound Money

Cryptocurrency is a bridge. It is a way back to sound money over the river of .gov fiat systems currently in place. It is the bank waiting to store the gold, so to speak. Only, the .govs stand in the way, so there is an impasse.

Who will blink?

How could crypto bridge to gold?

View it as a check or a contract.  A voluntarily enforceable one for now, but one that would easily fit in as a legally binding instrument against a rare commodity, such as a precious metal. Banks could accept cryptos in exchange for silver coins in some enlightened future. That ‘backing’ would likely stabilize cryptocurrency values.

The problem is that precious metals are currently locked out of legal tender status. The same can be said of cryptocurrency, except it has many other advantages neither fiat money or gold has – at present.

A gold bullion dealer is no less vulnerable to .gov regulations, than are most public cryptocurrencies. There are more private cryptocurrencies, however.

 

Privacy

And that brings up the idea of privacy. The love-child of cryptography and blockchain services.

Unlike the bullion company in question, where I need to give my name, address, income, photograph, ad infinitum – let them dig into my personal life – I don’t need to do that with many cryptocurrencies. Not with CryptoNote versions; and I can find ways around those exchanges now asking for my goods, as well.

The argument that the cryptocurrency companies, promote their own coin – buy in, pump it up – is a given. This is also true across the spectrum of stocks and bonds, in the restricted .gov regulated trading houses – where the brokers take their cuts and fees; and slice the pie more often than the average cryptocurrency exchange. All at the pleasure of .gov.

 

Early Adopters

Certainly, early adopters could make the most profits in a cryptocurrency economy. Ground floor opportunities have that potential, but this does not validate that a bubble is on its way. This is unlike the fiat cash flowing into the stock market and extinguishing any semblance of a P/E Ratio.

The obvious measure that bitcoin, for example, is a self-verifying property mechanism, is difficult to ignore. The limited virtual supply of bitcoin can drive its price. It’s ability to maneuver unhampered is juxtaposed with the .govs’ desire to bring it to heel. There is no P/E Ratio here. It’s absorption of one unstable fiat by a stable one.

Can that be said of our bullion buddies? Not the ones who sell us gold and silver and we stash it elsewhere, but the one in question. The one that essentially keeps our metal safely locked away where we will never see it and where any wayward .gov can grab it.

You call that safety? Try and grab my fiat crypto. Go ahead.

How did that work out for you?

It didn’t, huh?

 

The Undermine

And the fact that cryptocurrency can “undermine” capital controls is not a weakness. Money, ultimately, should be private. Taxes, ultimately, should be voluntary.

Did you not read the word “controls?” Who is doing the controlling and why? By what right?

Why must I send my cash via banks, be over-charged, wait days, when I can zip crypto to my Aunt in South America in seconds and do it much cheaper?

Hence, cryptocurrency is pro-freedom, whereas the company under scrutiny is compliant. But it must be, right? It has chosen the obedient path.

And fiat currency issued by .gov, is, of course, fiscal subservience.

If allowed to go mainstream, those cryptocurrencies that wish to comply with the long list of rules and fees, could certainly see radical value booms and busts. Obedience will have its profits.  After this alleged legal adoption, when the investment houses flood in, the public will take notice, as the assertion goes. The bubble will come as a result.

 

Pre-Bubble

So, the article in question makes the assumption that the .govs will eventually acquiesce to the public cryptocurrencies. Ones like traceable Bitcoin, Litecoin or Cardano. Then it all goes pop!

Why are the bubblers so certain? Past comparisons?

The South Sea bubble, where corruption was rampant? Government granted monopolies are not comparable to voluntarily purchased, transparent cryptocurrencies.

The Tulip Mania bubble is often cited, but the fact that much of Europe was debasing their currency at the time, is not often explored. Interesting parallels, but tulips aren’t cryptos.

Additionally, since many CryptoNote based cryptocurrencies are not designed with regulations in mind, this bubble warning only seems to apply to the public blockchains, like bitcoin and family.

According to the assumptions in the article, this future flood of bubble wealth into public cryptocurrencies will also cause prices to rise. Another dire warning.

That’s the static world view. In other words, more money into crypto equals more spending, equals less goods available, equals higher prices.

The problem is, when demand increases, in a free trade economy, the supply is often increased, and everyone wins. Prices often come down, in such economies.

This static theory of rising prices also ignores non-spenders. Some will save and not spend.

 

Choking

Yet another bubble warning is the “choke-off fable.”

Once and if .gov fiat currencies begin to falter, interest rates will be raised to entice crypto-investors away.

One problem with that scenario is rising interest rates slows the economy and could explode the debt and pop the fiat bubble all the faster.

Another? That crypto holds far more promise of profit than bank certificates.

If .gov could lure the crypto enthusiasts away from their chosen altcoins; however, what would stop them from also confiscating all the gold? After all, gold does compete with fiat currency and it makes fiat devaluation clear. An embarrassment to be certain, but one that can be easily remedied with an official announcement of fiat currency to gold conversion. It’s happened in the US before. Quite a choke I would say.

And we are only talking about the US here. There would need to be an international effort to quash crypto. Raise interest rates all over. And suffer the consequences.

A credit crisis would be the least of our problems then. Fiat currency would falter and I’d posit that cryptos, absent a move to a sound money standard (gold) by .govs — would maintain their purchasing power, so long as .gov didn’t zap the internet. Then we’d need to use stored reserves (gold/silver), eggs, canned goods and wine.

 

Conclusion:

The upside is that gold is real money, but it is not legal tender. Until then, it appears rather sluggish.

To state that private cryptocurrency is a threat to .gov fiats, that they could hasten their demise, is a bit disingenuous. Fiat currency is a threat to all of us already. If crypto hastens its demise, so be it.

The company in question is no less a threat and perhaps even more dangerous to investors, when one considers all the precious metals under their private control and the ability of any one .gov to remove said stores on a whim – or a “trumped up” national emergency.

In short, to return to a precious metal standard will require new laws in the US and elsewhere. It will require the closure of the US Federal Reserve, unless they begin to issue gold backed currency. It will then open the doors for competition between banks, with real money in their vaults. Money that should also be in your country of residence and not Dubai, Toronto, or Hong Kong.

Until then I’ll risk a crypto-bubble and pass on the debit card of gold, from the company in question. While waiting for the laws to embrace sound money, I will grow old and I hope rich, on the only form of successful liberty-currency I have ever witnessed in my lifetime: cryptocurrency.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

P.S. Don’t let the .gov buttheads get you down. And think before you buy into Bitgold GoldMoney.


The above is my opinion. Make sure to consult your gold bullion dealer, economist, attorney, accountant and hair stylist, before you chance the Greatest Crypto Bubble of all time!