Cardano (ADA) is NOT Money, but that’s Okay — neither is Bitcoin…

Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

I heard the air just go out of the room. How can I dare say such a thing? I mean, why? Why challenge the Gods of Crypto? Because I listen to them when they say really dumb things and I’m a bad little sheep. I crap on their stage and bleat. It’s okay, I’m just a little sheep. Not much to worry about.

After reviewing several recent videos put out by the more vocal cryptocurrency developers and evangelists I wanted to reiterate a few things about what these pro-cryptocurrency, blockchain promoting, initial coin offering gurus and family, might be obfuscating: reality. (There. I just let one go. Plop.)

And this goes for nearly all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Sexcoin, Ether-bum and Frogpennies included.

What? There are no Frogpennies? You mean I was scammed? Again? Dammit man!

I’m no newbie to this financial vehicle. I’ve been around the bend. Lost and gained. And I’m still here. Still playing the game. Still bleating and trading — and winning — for now.

“Freaking gambler!”

Hey…relax.

So, this a reality check, from a fan of cryptocurrencies. (That’s me. Don’t forget that part.)

Is cryptocurrency anything other than a speculative vehicle?

I mean, look at where most of the money is going in cryptocurrency markets.  Most of the investment is going into bitcoin. Currently, bitcoin’s market capitalization is nearing $100,000,000,000.  Each BTC is now (almost) worth – $6000 each. It kind of wobbles there — for now.  Certainly, another milestone for cryptocurrency at large.

But is bitcoin worth anything at all? Go ahead. Torture yourself about energy, electricity and nodes. What type of value, other than a service value, does any cryptocurrency have?

Tick-tock.

How’s the mental argument going? Feeling twisted up yet? Okay, I’ll let you off the hook. It’s better for your blood pressure that way.

Wait a minute… The older guys and gals take this crap in stride. It’s just the younger ones who need to chillax. We’ve — us elders — been around the apple cart a few more times.

“Oh, but times have changed!”

No. They have not. Crooks are always crooks, not matter the century. Dummies are always dummies. Blonds are…  Never mind.

In the cryptocurrency world, there’s a lot of conjecture about the nature of money itself.  So, I’d like to explore that a bit. Remind the wandering souls who left their gamer chairs and headed over the crypto-couchs for beer and saki.

Hopefully, these wandering post-gamer types (Vitalik?) will sober-up before it’s too late — for the rest of us broke investors.

So, let’s get to it.

One of my favorite definitions of money was provided by Ayn Rand. If you don’t know her, consider yourself — sorry — uneducated. Okay, maybe that was harsh. But if you are in the Fintech world, you ought to be ashamed.

If you go to aynrandlexicon.com and look up the word “money,” you will find the seeds of what I’m about to go over, there.

The Lexicon pulls this definition from a piece that Rand did titled “Egalitarianism and Inflation,” from the book titled Philosophy: Who Needs It, page 127. (Go ahead, look it up. You can google it. I’m tired of giving out shortcuts like candy.)

So, let me compare cryptocurrency to money. I think that a lot of people are disregarding this very important definition — to their own detriment.

According to Rand, money is a tool.  A tool that can be used to exercise long range control over one’s life. A tool that can be used for saving. A tool that permits delayed consumption. And, a tool that buys time for future production.

Think on that a moment. Pick up a wrench. Caress it. Did you just fondle money? Well, kind of.

Is cryptocurrency a tool? Can you fondle a crypto? Would you want to?

Certainly, crypto is a type of tool or at least an application, but it requires something a money-tool does not. Cryptocurrency requires energy. Electrical energy. It also requires a computer, software, regular updates, dedicated developers and user cooperation. These are only a few of the cryptocurrency requirements.

In other words, crypto is a “user of tools.”

Can a cryptocurrency be used long range, however? The apparent answer is that it cannot be used beyond a few years, without improvements. So, in this respect cryptocurrency cannot be used to exercise control, in a long-range manner.

Crypto is a shorty sporty.

Can cryptocurrency be used for saving? And by saving, I mean saving something of value (a tool — remember) that one can come back to in a week, a month, a year or longer — and pick it up, dust it off and say, “Wow, it’s still good as new.”

The simple answer, again, is no. Attempting to save cryptocurrency beyond one week might be very risky. Yes, I’ve heard about bitcoin. Probably, before you.

In this respect, cryptocurrency cannot be used to delay any consumption for greater than perhaps a few days. It cannot buy time for the future. Gold, for example, buys one “time” in a sense that one can delay using it for years.

Let’s look at another aspect of money that Rand indicated was a definite requirement.

Money must be a material commodity that is imperishable. Not a banana or pork bellies. Not energy or “trust.” Not nodes or networks. Material…and a commodity. A tough and tumble thing that just holds the fort and takes no prisoners — not even during “World of Warcraft.” (That should probably be Witchcraft. It just fits better.)

Now, you might ask what (exactly) is “imperishable.” And it is clear cut –  it is something that cannot perish or if it does perish it would take some serious effort. Computers and networks and games — they all go “bye bye.” Time kills them.

Cryptocurrency shall perish from this earth — I mean — eventually. Maybe in a few years. Maybe after Fedcoin awakens and the apparatchiks get going. Make a few arrests. Tax people into the poor house. A bit of insurance policy suicide.

So crypto is perishable, but for now, it’s a great fruit. Sort of like one of those irradiated, dehydrated apple chips. It’ll last for a few years on your counter, but once the dog finds it, yum-yum.

If the power goes out in your area, can you spend, save, and borrow a bitcoin? If your country makes cryptocurrency illegal, will you still use it? If, a few years from now, a newer and much better cryptocurrency is invented, what will happen to your preferred cryptocurrency? It just rotted. Perished into the doggy mouth.

Rare. Money should also be rare. Something that is abundant, easy to produce, easy to copy, easy to “fork,” does not meet the definition of rare. Think copy-machine. Think clones. Think, fiat-money.

Artificially reduced numbers on a digital ledger does not meet the definition of money, but it could be a type of functional currency. Reduced numbers of cryptocurrency atomic units do meet the definition of “limited,” but digital information is not in and of itself, rare.

Unless you print this — the words you are now reading (and why you waste you time here, I’ll not ask) — are born of code. Pixels instructed to turn on and off, by a bit of computer code, fed through a electronic processor. Okay, it’s not the best code. Not a crypto-code, but you catch my drift, don’t you?

Codes are not rare. They can be secure, however.

Money must be homogeneous too. Standardized. Similar. A dollar bill looks the same and spends the same all over the U.S. and many other places. (Yes, I know dollars suck — but they spend.)

Multiple kinds of functional money, i.e. cryptocurrencies, are not standardized. Although, many cryptocurrency technologies are similar they are not, for all intents and purposes identical. There is no standard. (Maybe that’s good, actually.)

Money must be easily stored.

Generally, this might mean that money is compact, perhaps stack-able, able to be placed in one’s pocket, transportable and able to be secured.

Yes, I know gold is heavy and past presidents in the US have stolen it from the people — and that it’s really hard to steal crypto.

But you know what’s even harder to steal than crypto? My thoughts. Electronic (and chemical) codes I can relay to you via spoken or written words.

I have secret thoughts too. Try and take them. On second thought, don’t — you might get sick. I’ve seen some pretty messed up things in my life.

Is cryptocurrency easy to store? In some sense, saving information on your computer is quite easy. But is that true storage in the physical sense? And isn’t that what we’re after? The ability to place money in a safe, under your mattress or in a tin can in your backyard?

Are my thoughts money? I think I have nodes too. My neurons are decentralized in my brain for sure. Billions of nodes, just humming along.

Money should not be subject to wide fluctuations of value, according to Rand. This seems straightforward. Sort of like, “Duh!”

My thoughts fluctuate. Crypto pops up and runs to ground often. I wonder, can I trade my thoughts on an exchange?

If you place a government issued coin in your pocket, unless you live in Venezuela, it will probably maintain its value throughout the day, perhaps an entire year.

On the other hand, if you stored a bitcoin on your computer hard drive, next week it could be worth twice as much or half as much.  And this goes for most other cryptocurrencies as well.

Not so for my thoughts. They are worth zilch, until I use them to develop something — say a crypto. There, I just did. Did you feel it? Wanna buy some thought-crypto?

So, fiat currencies are terrible, but they generally hold their value over longer periods of time – a stable value — when compared to cryptos. Especially my thought-cryptos.

What else is important about money?

Well, if you can’t go to the market and spend it, there’s a problem. If you can’t buy a cup of coffee, a soda, or a car – anywhere you normally go – there’s a problem.

Oh, please don’t bring out that BTC ATM map. Just go to the store and let them stare at you like you are a “nerd.” (Hint: you are. But it’s okay. They meet on Wednesdays, I think. Make sure to bring your pencils.)

So, if a cryptocurrency is to become a functional money it must be in demand among those you trade with. Not only the Wednesday “Nerd” Group. Currently, cryptocurrency also fails in this respect.  Let me repeat that, currently. Today.

(Note: Nerds may conquer the universe. Just look at Bill Gates. He’s got his own crypto now. “Way to go Bill, you copycat. No, I know you did not copy Apple…”)

Let’s get back on track, before Billy gets made and shuts this blog down. Really, I apologize Billy. I know you love crypto too.

Using Rand’s definitions, it seems that the only true money is gold.

“Oh not that rock thing again. You’re so retro, dude!”

Straighten up. Get a job, before your dad kicks you out.

Gold has a tangible value, but, as Rand states it, gold is “…a token of wealth actually produced.” Moreover, the transaction itself becomes much safer, much simpler, because it is like bartering.

Let’s recycle.

“No, Mr. Retro. I need to get back to War of the Witchs II!”

Money is a tool.  Cryptocurrency is an application that uses a tool – a computer.

“So.”

Tools can be used over long periods of time. We do not know how long cryptocurrencies will last.

“You mean it’s like a new modified game?”

No. Listen.

“Why?”

One can save a money-tool. If one saves a cryptocurrency application, it may be outdated within the year.

“Yep, just like my computer games. I sort of get it now.”

If you delay using your cryptocurrency, you may lose all your money – all your value.

“Right. You can’t sell used games for squat after a few months!”

The money-tool ought to be imperishable. Cryptocurrency is perishable.

“Games are dead soon after release!”

Right and a cryptocurrency is not a material commodity.

“True. I download my games now.”

Cryptocurrency is not rare, only mathematically limited.

“You got me there, grandpa.”

Cryptocurrency is not homogeneous in the sense that it is standardized among the persons with which you trade. If cryptocurrency were standardized, this might increase its demand.

“Yeah, a lot of dudes can’t stand War of Witchcraft at all! No demand. Puds.”

Cryptocurrency requires a stable value – if it is to escape the bonds of speculation.

“Hey, I made a few bucks with mining Piggycoin a few years back!”

Aside from the fact that cryptocurrencies do not meet the ‘Randian’ definition of a sound money, this does not mean that its value will not increase.

“Like I said, the Piggy was good to me. But my mom got tired of the high power bills and the gizmos making all of that noise.”

Even if governments choose to define cryptocurrencies in different ways, those jurisdictions with the least amount of regulations appear to be reaping the benefits of increased Fintech investments, for now.

“I heard that. But I’m not leaving America for some European paradise.”

Cryptocurrency is also voluntary. Fiat currency is not.

“That’s the point, right?”

Cryptocurrency is also trustworthy, in many cases. Many people trust the math, but some are concerned about the developers who write the code.

“Dude, you are confusing the hell out me. First you say they suck, now you say they don’t?”

Is fiat currency trustworthy? It depends upon the country, the economy and the leadership.

“Oh, yeah. Bummer.”

One thing is certain, however, even with two arms tied behind its back, decentralized cryptocurrency has captured the imagination of the people.

I think that any blockchain adoption by governmental entities, will only serve to solidify the people’s belief in the private use of the blockchain technologies.

I’ve also included a YouTube video of mine, highlighting some of the above issues.

“Dude, can I go back to my games now?”

Sure.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

P.S. I’m selling my thoughts for one BTC each. Guaranteed to be far more awesome than any cryptocurrency ever mined, minted, spat out, staked, gassed-in or farmed-out. There is a limited supply of my thoughts because one day I’ll be dead. (Shut up, I heard that.) Just leave a reply and we can work out the details. I’m not going to leave my BTC address. That’s just tacky as hell, don’t you think? Hurry, this is a limited time offer — maybe less that 30 years before it ends and my decentralized network will cease to function.

 

(Disclaimer: The above is the opinion of this writer. Any appearance to reality is merely a coincidence. If it bothers you, mine some ‘coin.)

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Cardano (ADA): “PoS”itive Outlook?

Updated October 5, 2017


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

Trust, trust, trust — or baloney?

In each other, we trust?

Trust, but verify…especially with cryptocurrency?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competition from Cardano?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what is the solution?

A PoS Ethereum, with new math: Cardano?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where is the “Complaint Department?”

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

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

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

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

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

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

Put your ship in the deep water.

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

How would the empires of old stop that?

Can they, ICANN?

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


 

Bitcoin: Behind Enemy Lines

Is it possible…to invest in a cryptocurrency that is acceptable to governments, banks, investment houses and privacy seeking individuals? Not necessarily for the “purity” of the coin, but its potential to grow and thereby earn a profit for the average investor?

What I mean by “purity” is the desire by many for a cryptocurrency to be decentralized, subvert all government controls, be public (or private), and have nothing to do with banking. The farther the crypto is from what is seen by many as corporate corruption, the better.

But can we meet them halfway — and profit? Isn’t that the game plan? Or is this a “take-over-the-world plot?”

Let’s face it, decentralization and the acceptance of that philosophy are two different worlds. We should live in the real one, not the fantasy digital matrix.

So, what is the reality? Is it: “join them, then beat them?”

Let’s judge by the current lay of the land. There are enemies at the gates. One cannot ignore this fact.

No doubt many have read and continue to read about cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and clan. Good news and bad. Bubbles and troubles.

Here’s the recent news…

There are reports that China will essentially make all cryptocurrencies illegal by October of 2017. Large Cryptocurrency exchanges are reportedly reaching out to non-Chinese based businesses to circumvent these new capital controls. There is uncertainty in the crypto-markets as to how bitcoin will ride this out.

India may adopt a national cryptocurrency called ‘Lakshmi.’ The implication here is that the government there does not trust bitcoin. The tax authorities are concerned about money laundering, according to reports. This should also be a warning to Bytecoin users in India.

If you can’t beat them, copy the tech and take it over?

The European Commission is concerned about cybercrimes and cryptocurrencies. Regulation is sought. This implies, not a rejection of such currencies, but their tacit adoption or at least it’s a delaying tactic.

Russia – Leningrad Region – cryptocurrency ‘miners’ are being invited to the Leningrad region to create large industrial scale facilities. Cheap power is a selling point. The effort seems to have long legs, reaching to Moscow. Do you think they want a piece of the action?

On the downside, Bloomberg reports that Bitcoin might split again because the developers are in disagreement. Added risk for investors. More uncertainty.

John MacAfee announced that Pandora’s box has been opened. Government control over money is eroding. The reaction has been one of regulation in the US and in China, reportedly, Cryptocurrency executives have not been allowed to leave the country.

Ray Dalio, Hedge Fund Manager, has voiced his opinion: Bitcoin is a bubble.

Rainer Michael Preiss (Wealth Advisor) indicated that banks are likely afraid of bitcoin.

Is there a double-standard, however? As this article reports, the recent outspoken critics of bitcoin may in fact work for companies that actually invest in it.

Okay. So, what does all this mean?

Certainly, one cannot predict the future; however, behind the battle lines one can make some critical observations and ask the hard questions.

First, we must ask ourselves why are the most powerful financial houses on earth just now beginning to draw a line in the proverbial sand? Is it the pressure from the banking industry in general, as they watch the outflow of monies into crypto? Fear of losing profits?

Second, is it the threat to the social order via the potential bankruptcy of governments, by way of a dying banking empire? In other words, why do we need a banking empire at all if governments could essentially finance the economies of the world with a blockchain, directly? Surely, if this occurred, the governments would appoint large dominant information tech industries to head the effort. Can you think of a few?

Third, efforts are being made by the old guard (banks and investment houses) to both invest in cryptocurrencies and educate themselves in their use. These old guard types do not apparently like the fact that bitcoin is so public and many privacy-seeking individuals feel the same way.

Profit from their Greed?

Based upon these observations, we may be able to judge where the old guard might go. Where they might pour billions of dollars, making the rise of bitcoin appear as a blip on the screen of crypto.

If we could figure that out, determine where the vast sums of money sitting in retirement accounts and hedge funds might flow, could we then profit from them?

Or are we off the mark again? Will the banking industry utilize inhouse blockchains or will they contract out? My bet? They will contract out.

For some of us it will be difficult to let go of bitcoin. It has a cult-like following. Many will retain a few BTC’s even after a crash, on the outside chance of a resurgence. There is always a chance it can be fixed. After all, it has staying power.

So, what do privacy-seeking individuals and banks require when using money? Let’s just suppose for a moment, that the money is a cryptocurrency?

Well, individuals don’t want their account balances made public. They don’t necessarily want you to know where they spend and how much. So, let’s make privacy optional.

Banks are the same way. They wish to keep your balances between you and them – and regulatory agencies.

What’s the problem? Few if any cryptocurrencies are geared this way. They are most often, completely open to public inspection. Anyone, including criminals, could potentially find your money.

How about customer service? Name one cryptocurrency that you can call 24/7 and discuss a funds transfer or a lost deposit. If you have named one, congratulations.

Now, can you name a private/public blockchain with world class developers, a business plan, open source software, that is liked by the old guard and crypto-fans alike? An actual regulated and above-board company?

If you said Ripple, that’s not on the mark.

I want to profit from a crypto-coin that has few coins, relatively speaking, when compared to bitcoin, and good volume. Over 10 million dollars a day.

I would like a cryptocurrency that the old guard – remember them – is curious about.

I don’t want an ICO coin and I am not thrilled about pre-mines, but a shared tax to help support the coin would not put me off.

The newest and best tech is a must. A step ahead of bitcoin with the ability to add fast updates, if needed.

A staff of developers who are motivated by rewards, i.e., money, to continue to support the coin for as long as it remains successful.

Can you name this coin?

I think I might have a clue.

And it’s not Monero, Aeon or Bytecoin either.

Not NavCoin or Dash.

But it is listed in the top twenty here.

No, not NEM or Iota.


Please leave any comments below.

Note: this should not be considered investment advise.


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The Little Fiefdoms of Smear


First of all, to all you wingnuts out there, take a breather. Go toke one. This is for the working Americans out there who give a crap. If you think your neck of the woods is crème de la crème, go soak your missing handgun in it.

Secondly, communists, socialists, Nazis, pansies and other wackos, slave-makers and dirt-bags, you are welcome to peruse and pop a blood vessel. Why? Because this post is full of radical ideas. It’s call free speech and you are welcome to try and snuff it out.

As a matter of fact, I think a gaggle of wannabe freedom wreckers are already pecking away at their keyboards, presently. I can almost hear them now.

“You mother blanker, I’ll call my congressman.”

“I’ll write an email to WordPress.”

“I’ll hire an out-of-work attorney.”

“I’ll call my mother.”

“I’ll get my gang of ex-con Nazi skin head tattooed former union thug followers to crush you!”

This is not my standard post. So scrap it and read some good stuff. Some other trash. Soak your brains in it and your low parts, with perfume and sawdust for all I care. Because that’s what we see today. So much stuff — and that’s the nice word.

But you know the word(s) I’m fricking thinking about, don’t you? Just pick one or two. Draw it on your forehead with your wife’s lipstick or your man’s rouge, so you can reverse read it in your bathroom mirror later, after your toddy.

“! H S A R T”

Just so we can have some fun and get around the anus censors. For those of you who gossip and have those picnics under the “chem trails” —

! o u y  k c u F

Now, I realize that I will likely spark a bit of bible thunder, but at the same time, I don’t give a blank.

Today’s news and opinion isn’t about cryptocurrencies, although for those of you who have been holding Ripple for a long time — a love-hate relationship for me — congratulations, your ship came in, floated for a bit then took a crap again. But that’s how Ripple rolls. Get over it.

Bloggers who tilt at Windmills

No, this post is about “Little Fiefdoms” or the bloggers who tilt at windmills and rant at the moon. Then take a huge stinking crapola, behind all the pretty little sand castles. We’ve all seen them – smelled them. They litter the net like so much garbage. Words to smear and anger, but little substance. A blemish upon the freedom of speech, but one that should never be silenced. That is the evil game of the “Little Kings.” Crapola kings and their sweet honey-bee queen followers.

It is a unique environment to be sure. From the days I blogged on Prodigy , got censored, or the months I puked my junk all over the Bulletin Boards, until now. Until just a few days ago, after I received a response to one of my replies I posted to a blog about…well about a lot of things. Some of it good and much of it, filled with vitriol. I was advised that if I continued to speak my mind, my responses would be deleted. Oh, you can imagine my balls then, can’t you? The little queen bee was gonna pull my response.

It’s a gem of a response — but also a measurement. A way of taking the temperature of a fevered patient and know when he/she is sick. And this patient? On the brink of reason, but never quite adapting to the human form. In short, sick in the philosophy.

The Deleted Minds

I asked the blogger in question to delete all of my comments. I’ve deleted garbage from my posts as well. You know the spam we receive. Loads of it. Idiots smearing. Jerks, probably high or drunk. Racists, socialists, people who forgot to take their meds. We know.

It was…hilarious. It is always that way. I imagine a person, frustrated about life and politics, blaming everyone around them, especially their own countrymen, that all of the problems would go away if only the US would be more like France or perhaps Canada — less free — more socialist. Less “provincial.” As if we Americans are perfect. That we think we are so good. Better to just roll over all the way and be gutted like Venezuela. Well, screw you. Some of us tree-burners would rather stick a Prius up your ass and send you packing to Mexico. I know I would – if it was legal – or if you, say, broke my computer.

We know we are not perfect. Our Constitution is not perfect. My privates are not perfect. We are over-taxed. Too many people are in prison. But we still have our handguns. We can still hold our gold and silver. We haven’t had a serious terrorist incident in a long time. Perfect? No. But better? You think not? Then take your overfed American ass to Russia. Get on a bus – we are not stopping you – and haul ass to Canada – the land of free medical and taxes that will make you crap your panties – because all men in Canada wear panties – no balls.

The Greatest Country?

And I’m not saying the US is the greatest country on earth. It’s just the least screwed up. I’d move in a heart beat, if you can tell me about a single country where I can carry a handgun in public, am protected (hopefully) by nukes and an army, I can drive thousands of miles across country, with no “papers” and I can still choose a private doctor. And just maybe, I can see the day when Obamacare is repealed.

I’m waiting. Where is this awesome place? You know where it is? In Hollywood – at the movies. It’s in your Crack Dens’ and Meth Labs. It does not exist.

Where is this fairy tale place? Where everyone lives in harmony, never argues, pays low taxes, eats only vegetables, drinks fine wine, doesn’t need a gun, because there is no crime, ever? Where healthcare is free and bums never sleep in the gutters? Where terrorists don’t drive trucks into crowds of people? Where you are not told to shut your mouth, lest you anger the Ministry of Truth in modern day — Germany?  Wow. Hitler reborn.

The Objective

You see, I’m as opinionated as the next person, but I refrain from smearing. I have fun and I’m sure I will turn some of you off by my apparently Republican stance, but I’m not a Republican. I’m what is called an “Objectivist.” Have been since I was about 10, just after I found out about Santa Claus. And that really sucked. I mean, I really liked that guy and then the bomb drops. He was a fantasy. Never looked at another Christmas ornament the same way again, but the magic never left.

Since then, perhaps to the consternation of religious and socialists and anuses alike (they are all one and the same), I have required only one test to determine the solution to a problem: thinking. If you are unwilling to defend your idea, plum its core, face the music — however you define it — then go cry in the corner. Stand up and take it. No safe spaces. No free lunches. No crap.

A Capacity to Reason

Many of the bloggers about, do not exercise their capacity to reason and I am by no means an olympic challenger, but the quality of posts which fill the internet are much like the words hacked out of long dead soldiers. Until I can no longer peck away at these plastic keys, I will challenge, what I believe is philosophical garbage. Trash heaped high on the dead, with little respect for why or how they died.

Now, did our forefathers and grandfathers all die making us freer? Of course not. That’s not my point. Our world is not perfect. Many nations — many peoples — fought hard against despotism. Millions are buried and forgotten. Millions. So, if you talk trash, I’ll burn it. If you spew Nazi garbage or want a Ministry of Truth – you are garbage.

Any idea that heads us in that direction ought to be challenged. Ideas like having made a bad choice in the past and ending up in America — where you do not live on the backs of others as much as say, the Canadians. Regrets that other countries are better. F-ing leave, if you think that everyone must wear financial chains, so you can watch porn.

Why are you here…still?

Simple question. Why are you here? There are no fences keeping you in. And I wish that we did not have Social Security, so you would stop being the leeches you are. You have no right to force others to pay your way. There is no Social Security Trust Fund. There is no money. We are paying you directly — against our will. What is that called? It is called slavery. No, not physical chains, just financial ones. Which ones are more honest?

And why did you not save for your own retirement? When will dinosaurs like you become extinct? When will we be able to show our children your bones and point, “Yes, son, these were a people who were part of the Second Stage of Slavery — economic slavery — until they learned that all forms of slavery were wrong.” The little boy, about six, looks up, “boy dad, people were so stupid back then…”

The Words of War

This is the first area where wars are fought. Words. We have unleashed the war of ideas now, like Pandora’s box. Failure to respond to dead lies, is losing by default. Little by little the leeches win. The idea slavers win. Speak your mind. Screw them.

I say smack away at the misquotes of hate. Make them rue the day they found their way back from the swamps. If someone tells you, as an American (say some foolish Aussie and I know some smarter ones from down under) that human rights don’t exist, let loose the mouth of honesty. Oh, how the criminal minds hate that. How they beg you to stop the reality show. How they “delete” you rather the “debate” you. Castles in the sand. Reality, they say, is range of the moment. Cerebral bankruptcy.

And that’s the rub. Why do they — the bad bloggers on the net — wish to live off the labor of others — the backs of others? To exist in that law-of-the-jungle system, where the guy or gal with the most power wins? Where might, equals power over others? Then have the audacity to call it civilized?

They, the bloggers of low-think, use one of two techniques: Faith or force. Believe in God or Allah or the local deity [insert name here] or you are evil or misled. Force. Force everyone to bend to your will in order to create a fiefdom of serfs, lords and kings. The proverbial, ant pile.

Even bloggers are want of the history book and mind.

(Oh, and don’t blame government-public-schools — blame mother and father and yourself for not having the desire to know what the heck is going on around you. Crack a book. Turn on your ebook. Schools don’t make idiots, it’s the other way around.)

Have a nice F-ing night, pansies.

Jack Shorebird


 

Bitcoin Cash and the Snake


So, I wake up at five, walk the dog, find a snake at my front door, which is why the dog won’t come inside now. I realize that I’ve crushed the snake when I opened the door and now the door is jammed open. I’m glad it was a snake actually, because at first I thought the door was all jinked up from the rain we’ve been having. It rains a lot in the summer in Florida. You can set your watch by it, but I haven’t worn one in years.

My wife is deathly afraid of snakes and so is the dog. Yochi, he’s half Chihuahua and half Yorkie, a big baby, and is not so stupid. He has warned me about snakes before. Barked and circled like a maniac. If he thought it was a lizard, well, all bets would be off.

This time he was saying, “hey man, I can’t come in right now, because, well, if you turn the porch light on, you will see this snake and he looks mad; and don’t worry, the neighbors aren’t awake and they won’t see you in your underwear. But before I come in, you need to remove that thing from under the door, capisce? And you know, I can’t bark right now because I will wake up the neighbors and that insane lady across the street will start cursing and screaming and hitting herself in the head with her fist and then I might roll over and pee myself. You know how I get confused.”

Next time I give you permission to bark at five in the morning, but only in emergency situations.

I try to work the snake out by moving the door back and forth, but I had already crushed him before I realized he was even there. Sorry snake. But I hate snakes as well. No hard feelings. Eventually I grab a fork and worked him out.

I took a photo of the snake, but he or she, is too mangled to display here. Orange and white splotches, black and white banded belly, about two feet long and half an inch thick. Just a baby. The head is too crushed to identify. Now he sleeps with the fish. In the lake — literally. (The photo above may be one of his buddies.)

Anyway, when I got up my brain was already saying that it was time to get a new mattress or maybe you hurt your back yanking that bush out yesterday. Then it shifted to twirling investments and not of the standard mold. I have a problem. I’m excited about the future of finance. Fintech and not snakes.

Then the snake sort of derailed that.

I mean, I have a few years experience in the real investment world and even educated myself professionally. And I hated most of it, especially taxes. So I stuck with law enforcement after college. Then I retired a few years ago. Well, sort of retired.

Now I live in snake land.

These days, as you might have noticed, I watch cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and family. And I do yard work, with the snakes, red ants, other insects that bite the crap out of you, a sun that is too darned hot and a lake that is beautiful. And I come up here to my den and type words on this screen. Maybe do a little trading.

Bitcoin Cash is really irking me though. I think it might be a snake. I did not expect it to be at $600 this morning. As I look now, it’s over $800. I had hoped it would pop. But it has refused to die. Apparently it’s more economical than old bitcoin. I really hope this does not end badly, because I could no longer resist the pull.

Don’t get me wrong. I fought it like any gambler would. I ignored it. Watched as bitcoin original struggled, as Ethereum is taking a beating, as Ripple drips and as Iota — I warned them — has lost a good chunk of value over the last few days.

But I don’t believe in omens. Killing a snake under my front door, in the dark, did not convince me to buy Bitcoin Cash. I awoke with that decision. Usually, those are my best ones. Maybe the snake was trying to distract me?

But, in the end, the giant vacuum cleaner has sucked up some of my funds. Some. Maybe I will be punished. So be it. I have strayed from the flock, Oh Lord. But I feel good about it a this moment.

Tomorrow, when I’m at the bowling alley for a birthday party, rubbing my arthritic knuckles and maybe having one or two beers  — at my age — I may be in a bad mood. Maybe the Chinese will be laughing over their American profits, but I don’t get that impression — yet.

And that’s why I wrote this. At times I need to take risks. That snake this morning was not poisonous. But I’ve run into a few bad cryptos out here.

That reminds me, I need to stop wearing flip flops and shorts out here. One of these days I might get bitten, but not so far.

And how high will Bitcoin Cash go? I think, right at this moment, it will blow past bitcoin very soon and leave everyone stunned. But, well, maybe not.

Incidentally, it was an Eastern Corn Snake.

Update: I think Jihan Wu likes Bitcoin Cash.

Have a good day.

Jack Shorebird.


 

 

Bytecoin is still kicking…


Just a quickie, before you throw yourself under the bus…

Today, I received a response to one of my blogs about Bytecoin. It was a link to a video, an audio actually, of an interview with the mysterious Jenny Goldberg. Goldberg is the new Community Manager, if we can accept this — of Bytecoin.

(Hi, Jenny.)

The connection seemed to skip or warble at times and Jenny herself, to an American, had a strange accent. I’m no ‘world traveler’ and I could not place it.

I also checked Reddit and the video was also posted there.

As some of you may recall, I often blog about various coins, especially the more anonymous ones, because I think at some point, many in the cryptosphere will actually desire a more secure and less public coin. Meaning, a cryptocurrency that is usable by anyone but not visible to everyone all the time — like bitcoin.

It’s a move simply waiting to happen. The developers have been gearing up for it.

In the mean time, there will be a large number of people who will desire the services of an anonymous coin network now. They come in several flavors of dishonest, but the bulk I feel, will be derived from the honest. Those simply trying to find a way to move and/or store value (money) in a place where others, including governments, cannot get to it.

Think on that for a moment. Let me name a few places. China. Russia. North Korea. The United States of Taxes. Cuba. Greece. Cyprus. Venezuela. Planet Earth.

The thing is, I don’t want people to get screwed. That’s why this video I mentioned is important to hear. First, do a little homework. Learn about Bytecoin. Determine for yourself, if Monero is simply trying bash a good system. And I have spoken highly of Monero in the past. Now I’m more neutral.

Secondly, make your own educated decision. Is Bytecoin good to use? Can you send value over the internet in a secure fashion, with Bytecoin. The quick answer is yes, you can. The system does work, but be fast about it. Transfer and get out of it as fast as possible — if you must use it at all.

You want to retain as much value as possible, after all. Let someone else take the risk of “holding” any cryptocurrency. It’s like holding a greased pig on crack cocaine, while drinking a beer and talking to your wife about painting the downstairs — again. It is nearly stupid, for now. Even bitcoin holders might find themselves in a world of poop, if the market decides that crypto is “old hat.”

I’m not saying to stop making money. Go for it. Spin that dial and laugh. I am. For now. Just know that the next idea is just around that dark intersection — where the bus is coming.

And listen to regular people. Too many times we gravitate to the news fed to us. I even cite them in my posts. This magazine or that financial expert. Know that in this vein, the blood that runs herein is not necessarily blue. The value if these things is transitory as hell. And the last time I looked, Satan’s Pit of Boiling Mud (think Yellowstone National Park) is still looking for permanent tourists.

And for the record, I’m curious as hell about NAVCOIN these days.

Have a good day.

Jack Shorebird

 

 

 

 

Two’s Company, but Three Bitcoins?

 


Dear Readers,

If you have been keeping up with the news about bitcoin, being a crypto-enthusiast, no doubt you have read about NYA or the New York Agreement. It is yet another idea to change bitcoin. Ostensibly, to make it better.

Many feel that it will simply remove the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto, but even this is a weak fintech argument. Nakamoto knew or could have imagined that if bitcoin became more popular, the necessary electricity to run the systems would increase exponentially. Did Nakamoto think that governments would then take over the operation?

Recently, Bitcoin Cash came onto the scene. It has garnered some support — in the billions of dollars — but there are still those who do not agree with the changes. Again, Bitcoin Cash, appears to favor large companies or governments since it requires more resources. In some respects, the economy of scale kicks in and prices — the cost of sending/receiving bitcoins — goes down.

But what of the other, long-term costs? The centralization aspect? The average citizen in 2009, could run bitcoin on his or her laptop.  Not now.

Now we have the NYA. Well, actually, it’s been around since at least May 23, 2017. The Digital Currency Group claims it has enough supporters to once again fork the bitcoin blockchain and create a new bitcoin. At that point, if it happens, the world would have three bitcoins — but not really. There are many bitcoin clones.

If the NYA succeeds, old bitcoin would probably devalue overnight. Bitcoin Cash might hold its own and compete, but looking at the support behind the NYA, it would probably fall from grace

So, what is happening? Are we still watching a power play unfold before our eyes? Sure we are. It’s about who can run the best bitcoin and bring in the most money. And who can make bitcoin the most efficient and essentially steal the thunder. Finally, it’s about brand. Name recognition. Competition.

With all the bitcoin clones running around out there, the first mover still holds sway. Even the tired, slow and sometimes buggy bitcoin, is trusted.  It just seems to keep growing. Yes, it pulls back, but then it usually recovers. Why? Trust.

But trust can only get you so far. If Bitcoin Core is divided or gives that appearance, we could see the world’s fastest devaluation. The question then becomes, who will remain standing?

Interestingly enough, and this is a good thing, there are new base-currencies in the cryptosphere. With a base-crypto you can purchase a sort of primary coin, then buy other altcoins. Should bitcoin suddenly fail, these others, such as Ethereum, Ripple and Dash, could, in theory, pick up the slack. Naturally, if bitcoin begins the fail, these other coins should increase in value, but usually they devalue when bitcoin does.

One wonders if the entire cryptosphere will survive, if bitcoin fails. But which one?

Add to this mix, the constant pressure by governments to rein bitcoin in. CNBC reported about China, Japan and now Australia. The impression appears to be that this newest push to regulate will ultimately lead to sort of a tacit acceptance by the people, as it were. In other words, if it’s regulated, well, it must be safe, right?

Unfortunately, government oversight, now gaining in popularity, as the volume of bitcoin transactions grow, will result in bitcoin’s original intent being subverted. It was designed as a stop-gap measure against government monetary policy. Ideally, and this is not to say that all proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are poorly designed, but that would be a best choice. After all, governments need to be able to print unlimited numbers of ‘coins.’

I hate to admit it, but some other coins are starting to look better again. Remember, the excitement surrounding bitcoin could be irrational at the moment, fueled by speculators as well as good people. Who will get hurt, if the bubble bursts?

Maybe we should diversity our holdings.

Incidentally, if you like conspiracy theories, Clif High is still implying that silver can hit $600 an ounce. When? I’m not so certain, but if he is right, the value of gold will go down.

Disclaimer: The above, is all my opinion and/or provided from third parties. Make your own cold calculations.


 

 

 

Is Bitcoin in a Bubble?


The Big Question:

This seems to be the question of the day, if not the decade.

Can cryptocurrencies replace money or are they just another bubble?

The answers vary.

To the optimist, but not necessarily the realist, bitcoin is already money. So, yes, not only will it replace all government fiat cash, but it will free the masses from the tyranny of the state. It will never “bubble” and the way it’s designed, it will only become more valuable with time. Freedom for all forever and all the drugs you want. Gold? It’s a quaint idea. Caveman monetary policy, complete with pretty rocks.

Okay, maybe that was a bit overboard.

To the pessimist, no. Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. It is a well-marketed fiat asset trick. Don’t fall for it. It will eventually bubble, crash and burn. In the meantime, it will benefit the criminal element. It must go and/or be regulated as soon as possible. The state should always be the final arbiter of monetary policy, after all.

To the middle-of-the-road folks? Bitcoin can exist along side the current fiat money systems. It should work within the current frameworks of nationalized  monies, however. It can improve things from there. We can create a sound money standard after we iron out all of the regulatory kinks within the new cryptocurrency technology.

Unfortunately, our governments, as they are now designed, will not be able to survive on a diet of sound money and that is why fiat money was created in the first place. To escape the bonds of reality with a legal fiction, all the while, kicking the inflation can down the road.

But why not stop inflation by connecting bitcoin with gold? Make each one represent a certain amount of some rare earth metal? Why not couple gold and cryptocurrency, privately? Because the political environment is fiscally destructive. That’s why.

We know that our centrally planned economies will not allow citizens to derail the inflation machine which keeps our governments in control. It is only when the puppeteers begin to loose control of inflation that the money strings of government unravel, resulting in a revolution against the “evils of money.” Such revolutions do not always end up with a population of free citizens, however.

Cryptocurrency Negatives:

So, let us be cruel to ourselves. Take it on the chin, like a good cryptocurrency enthusiast should.

What is often cited as the main reason that bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) can never serve as money? There are many reasons actually and here are a few:

  • Unstable Value
  • Trust
  • Fiat
  • Acceptance
  • Taxation
  • Bubble

Now, before we go off spouting all the great things about cryptocurrency, lets define money. I mean, what is this paper stuff we carry in out wallets and what are those electronically recorded digits in our banks? Better yet, let’s just define a good money.

Money:

  • A tool of humans
  • Used when high level of productivity is reached
  • Desire for long-range control over their lives
  • A tool of saving for delayed consumption and later production
  • A material commodity which is:
    • imperishable
    • rare
    • homogeneous
    • easily stored
    • not subject to wide fluctuations of value
    • always in demand among those you trade with

Source: Ayn Rand Lexicon

Few people ever go this deep, however. The dollar, euro, yen, dinar, peso, franc, pound, lira, rupee, krone, zloty, rand, and the shekel are, for all intents, legal notes. It’s money for the masses. Buts it’s not real money. It’s fiat money, which represents nothing but trust. I trust you, do you trust me? Besides, what choice do we have, right? It’s legal tender. It’s easier to use than chunks of silver, which the government wants to value in fiat anyway.

You can, at least in the US, pay your taxes with fiat currency and most of us trust that the currency is money.

We also know everything is becoming more expensive, but few of realize that the root cause of inflation is not the weather, the wealthy or our enemies. It’s simple math. The more fiat notes we print or e-print, the less valuable they become. This holds true for some cryptocurrencies as well. You simply divide the value, in fiat currency, by the current number of altcoins. This gives you a rough estimate of the fiat value of a particular cryptocurrency, at a given moment in time.

So, it’s easier to understand values with cryptocurrencies, since their creation is usually straight forward. There is no Federal Reserve to manipulate alleged M1, M2 and so on. There are no banks to create endless supplies of fiat. The only inflation regulators in bitcoin, for example, is its code base. It is currently programmed to create a finite number of BTC’s. It’s not manipulated to screw the masses, but to retain its spending value.

Paper money used to represent or hold title to gold or silver. That was why it worked. Why it functioned. Once the paper no longer held title to some form of property, it became fiat. It became dysfunctional. At that point, almost always, economies begin their decline. Some economies decline faster than others of course.

Perhaps if our governments set hard long-term limits on fiat numbers, then our fiat monies might stand a chance. But there are no such limits.

High Hopes:

Many hoped that bitcoin could save our failing economies, tame our ever growing governments, and usher in some new global paradigm of wealth, but not without effort.  If this is your thinking, you are guilty of being overly optimistic and just maybe, a bit naive. Don’t worry, I’m rooting for you because I’m a near-convert myself.

What holds us back from becoming “one with the crypto?” History. It is full of examples of ledger based monetary systems that ultimately failed. It is replete with evidence that all of the fiat based systems failed as well. And the gold-backed systems — failed, but after the decoupling of functional money (paper notes) from the metals. The governments enforced these failures, often by confiscating the one form of money that has never become valueless: gold.

So we have to ask ourselves why have all monetary systems failed throughout history? Now, I’m not asserting that gold became worthless–ever. Fiats did. Ledger systems were scrapped or forced out. Seashells were abandoned. But not a single monetary system transcended all governments, in any cohesive fashion. Bitcoin, though an asset, does.

Asked another way. Aside from gold and silver being an asset for thousands of years, what monetary system, fiat or otherwise, has ever existed beyond the constructive control of all governments, simultaneously?

Bitcoin as an Asset:

The latest thinking is that bitcoin (cryptocurrency) is not money, but acts as like an asset. That is Peter Schiff’s thinking. Schiff works with Goldmoney Inc., based in Canada and he lives in Puerto Rico. Goldmoney(tm) is a company that allows you to spend gold, via a debit card, in many countries, for a small fee. You can also store gold in various vaults around the word. And there are other benefits.

You can find out about more about Schiff’s views easily. He has his a radio show, owns several companies, is an author, but to sum up his financial views I would offer this:

He has repeatedly held bullish views on long-term investments in foreign stocks and currencies in countries with sound fiscal and monetary policies, as well as global commodities including physical precious metals and has expressed bearish views on the US economy and the US dollar.

Source: Wikipedia

So what is an asset?

An asset is anything of value that can be converted into cash.

Source: Investopedia

It’s a bit more complicated than this, but for the sake of argument, all cryptocurrencies are assets, since conversions to some other form of trusted money is the fundamental purpose to both buy and hold bitcoins. I mean, that is the allegation, right? Moreover, as Schiff asserts, companies that accept bitcoin in payment for services or products, ultimately convert it to either fiat currency or some other more trusted asset. Sure they do. After all, what real choice do they have? None.

In other words, the companies that will accept your bitcoins direclty just want to sell you stuff. Of course they do and they are held to the regulations requiring them to report their earnings in a nationalized fiat currency format. A government euro. A dollar. One wonders what would happen if companies and citizens were not required to convert to government fiat money? If they were actually free to use the asset of their choosing for all debts, public and private.

But we are not free in this sense. Not completely.

You Must Comply:

Are we to then shrug and comply? I don’t think so. The future is not made by those in the halls of government. That is not the purpose of government. They are present simply to protect and serve the people. They are peace keepers, not currency makers. Currency and money should be denationalized anyway. Things like bitcoin serve as a reminder of who should be in charge. Even if it fails. Even if it is a bubble.

Under the current circumstances, bitcoin, as asserted by Peter Schiff, is untraceable. This, I’m afraid is close, but not the complete cigar. All bitcoin transactions are public. You can see them zip around the network, but they can be obfuscated for privacy and criminal reasons. And your name is not attached to your account. Other cryptocurrencies are much better at retaining your privacy.

A Common Criminal:

Naturally, Schiff keys in on the criminal aspect. We’ve all heard it. A terrorist or crook will send his bitcoin, instead of carrying cash. At some point the bitcoin will be converted into cash to buy or sell something illegal.

One of the main problems with this criminal tactic are the fluctuations in bitcoin prices. The criminal might have a set price for his product and bitcoin is terrible for that reason. Perhaps it would be better to use what is called Tether ™. It’s a bank backed cryptocurrency that is almost pegged at the US dollar. Better yet, use paper dollars or digital fiats. That’s the routine.

I used to work in criminal justice field, just a few years ago. We rarely came across evidence of cryptocurrency use. Maybe it’s more prevalent now. What we did come across were stolen credit cards, emailed cash, fiat bill, drugs, debit card numbers and so on. Criminals wanted dollars just as fast as they could get them. Not gold or silver coins, but paper fiats. They used the banking system and filed false IRS refunds (very lucrative since the IRS does a terrible job of policing their own refund system) as a way to easily subvert the antiquated, government regulated, fiat monetary system.

This is not to say that cryptocurrency is immune to criminal exploitation, but cash is king — by law. And even criminals love to exploit that law. Some even print their own bills. This is next to impossible with bitcoin.

Bubbles:

The comparison of cryptocurrencies to the Dot-com bubble is also interesting, but old. The idea that investing in cryptocurrency is similar to a fad or is speculative, is certainly a strong argument, however. More and more people are becoming aware of the technology and as a result, more money is flowing in. Is this a new opportunity for those who are already versed in their use and speculation? Sure it is. The first comers are on top of that pyramid, right? But can’t this also be said of a new stock? The more people buy the faster the value of the stock increases, right?

One must realize, however, that as cryptocurrencies become more and more popular, they become more and more risky. They are not stocks. There are few barriers to entry and trades are nearly instant. There are few restrictions. You are free to lose and gain and panic. At least with stocks, you have a broker who earns very high commissions by comparison, and you can execute trades reasonably quickly, in most cases. Oh, and you have no privacy. Every transaction is logged for tax and regulatory purposes, to ensure that you are not being cheated. That never happens…

This new injection of funds into the cryptosphere, ostensibly from a broader base — regular people — and not simply from the brokerage houses that fueled the Dot-coms, serves to magnify the potential bubble. This is a given. If such a bubble bursts, the fallout could eclipse a standard market collapse…in the future. Not right now though. Which is why the heat is not all that hot.

Currently, the amount of money in the cryptocurrency system is peanuts compared to the banking sector. Sure, lawsuits and investigations happened after the Dot-coms, the housing bubble — after any number of market implosions. Bailouts are always an option for government to soften the blow of poor investment decisions. But when banks collapse, governments step in and the insurers pay up. Then the arrests come. Fines and Senate Hearings, when the circus comes to town.

Brokerage houses are known entities. The mortgage companies and banks are all around us. If bitcoin fails, the loss is real. It will hurt millions, but in the scheme of things, it will be very small. Currently, if all the cryptocurrencies listed on coinmarketcap here went to zero overnight, it would only be half as bad as the Washington Mutual insolvency in 2008. One bank compared to over 1000 cryptocurrencies.

Diversification:

Diversification may not help. One might be safer with a mutual fund or an ETF but not a cryptocurrency. Why? Because there are few, what I will call base-cryptocurrencies, bitcoin being one. When bitcoin drops in value, nearly all cryptocurrencies lose value. So, loses are often magnified. When bitcoin recovers, so do the others. Tether cryptocurrency is one exception. It usually hovers around one US dollar in value, but it has little upside. Conversely, if say Ripple (tm) devalues, bitcoin may not.

The tie-in with bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies happens because it was a first comer and trusted. If you want other cryptocurrencies you will often need to trade for them using your bitcoin. If you want to convert back to fiat, it is often best to use bitcoin. This is changing, however. Other coins are slowly earning a type of base-currency status.

Anti-Money:

The Fallout:

What do you suspect will happen to the hundreds of international cryptocurrency market exchanges, when (and if) the bubble bursts? Do we even know where they are? How about the US based exchanges? Will their doors be closed, their assets frozen? Will your bitcoins be stuck in Europe or Asia? Will you keep your BTC at home on your hard-drive or some other device. Will cryptocurrency developers in the US then be shuffled off to prison?

How about the giant bitcoin mining farms in China and the world over? Shut off? Scrapped? Bitcoins Confiscated? What about the cryptocurrencies that do not use the ‘farms?’ The ones like Peercoin ™, which is essentially PC based?

What of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges that exist only between you an unknown parties over the internet? Will these applications be shut down and their unknown creators sought?

The fact that Amazon ™ lost 90% of it’s stock value over as many years, as Schiff indicated, is his example of what can happen to bitcoin. The nearly constant ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings), the new cryptocurrencies popping up like so much graffiti, will not survive, even if they use the latest blockchain technology or some variant of it. There will be a saturation point, no doubt. Already, there is talk that if you are in “blockchain” (your company invests or develops this type of new tech) you don’t make any money.

Some companies can exist in the red for years, but at some point they must turn a profit or fail. The only other option is to ask for a loan. In any event, even Amazon ™ has not failed, but it has real products as well as software. (Bitcoin is software. An intangible asset.)

The Beginning of the End?

Flipping houses before the market imploded was all the rage before 2007. It still happens today, in Florida, where I live, but not nearly at the pace of a decade earlier. When friends quit their jobs back then, bought huge homes, new cars and lived the life, only to be financially destroyed later, it was rough. The house flippers paid the price. After the building boom things slowed and housing prices dropped. We can argue all day about how and why the crisis began. One thing is certain, however, irrational exuberance was the norm.

Is that beginning to happen with cryptocurrencies now? In a sense, flipping cryptocurrencies doesn’t really happen. You can’t buy one, improve it, unless you are the developer, sell it and walk away. You can however, buy one at the bottom, when it’s cheap, then trade it for bitcoin or Tether, when it increases in value. Unfortunately, the tax headaches in some countries makes this type of arbitrage unprofitable. If you ignore the taxes, you are chancing fines or worse.

But what of the P/E Ration? I mean, we can calculate the price to earnings ratio of a stock, but how would you do that with bitcoin? Can we ever know when and if it is overvalued? We can see when underlying government fiat money is devaluing by comparing it to something like gold. When more fiat buys less gold we have inflation or more correctly, currency devaluation. When less bitcoin buys more fiat dollars, what is occurring? Is bitcoin becoming more popular or is it acting like gold? Is it becoming like a peoples’ barometer of their own fiat money — worldwide?

The Aftermath?

After this cryptocurrency bubble bursts, if it does, what might remain? Cryptocurrencies which offer a type of service, like Ethereum ™? Ones that offer fiat trading via third parties, and other services, like Stellar ™? Newer models, such as Iota ™ or Neo ™? It’s your guess.

Worse case? Your country outlaws innovation or co-ops it, then slowly destroys it.

The best case scenario, for now? Bitcoin keeps growing and more nationalized fiat  currencies fail. The cryptosphere becomes indispensable, trusted by people everywhere, and nations begin to compete by adopting sound monetary policies.

In the meantime, don’t fall for the hype. Do your homework if you are curious about cryptocurrencies.

And a parting thought. At some point, technology will be able to create physical items upon demand. If we are then able to create gold by recombining atoms and molecules, an abundant resource nearly everywhere where we look, on the cheap, how will we then design a voluntary, sound monetary system?

 

Good Day,

Jack Shorebird.


 

 

So, Where is Mr. Bytecoin?


There’s no meat on these bones, but fish as you please.

Recently, within the past few weeks, maybe a bit longer, Bytecoin.org has attempted or is attempting to make yet another comeback. Not unlike the comeback kid. And since I’m an avid crypto-junkie, having immersed myself in this sphere of innovation since Satoshi was wet behind the ears, I figured that a bit of advice is in order. If you feel Bytecoin is without sin, stop reading this blog now.

Why do I care? In my last life I caught bad guys. It’s in my nature I guess — to keep after them. And when some jerk wise-mouths me, like DStrangeM from Reddit did, well then, he has it coming.

In my last life I gathered the evidence, took the statements, pointed the gun, cuffed the perps, dragged them to jail, went to court and bled the blood. Not in that order of course, but it irks me, to say it nicely, when a bunch of alleged cryptocurrency developers — or those purporting to be thus — have the gall to cry foul when any regular citizen (me) asks for a smidgen of proof. They whine and moan. Why do you pee on my pump, they scream? It is always the same. Then again, in the back of my mind, that little voice asks, could they be innocent?

A new name has surfaced on the Bytecoin Reddit: Jenny Goldberg. No bio offered. She’s the “Community Manager” and BCN_official, we are advised, as of sixteen days ago. Her name does not appear on the Bytecoin.org website that I can find. (As indicated in the comments below — Goldberg’s name does appear on the Bytecoin.org Contact Page, just not under the Teto-Team page.)

Goldberg is on Reddit and I’m sure she’s on Telegram and Slack, but that does not verify that she has anything to with Bytecoin original Teto-Team — if said team ever really existed. It’s not even close to a confirmation, even if she will (or someone will) respond to emails sent to Contact@Bytecoin.org — which is the listed email for the Bytecoin.org webpage. Too easy to buy and sell email addresses these days — and websites.

Jenny offered this under the heading “BCN_Official”:

Dear BCN community,

My name is Jenny Goldberg and I’m the official BCN community manager

From this moment on, the official Bytecoin team will be making an effort to be more transparent to the community. We’ve been following all the activity in the community and we know you’ve been waiting for us to make a public statement. We see that there are lots of questions and we are now here to answer.

But firstly let me express my gratitude to all those enthusiasts who have made such valuable contributions to the development of BCN. We are so grateful for all the work put in by @Leogheo and BFB program team, @kinlakinla for the Bytecoin info page, @GaboCarranza and @sydney40 for Bytecointalk activity, @july for the Telegram channel, @boomworking for help with the design and @Camilo_Gil for your sincere appeal to our team. Thanks to the entire community for your trust and support even when you didn’t hear from us. Only with your support we were able to keep up our strength and continue working.

Just a few words about our history, Bytecoin is the first coin developed under the cryptonote protocol, but due to the fragmented nature of the community, BCN was forked a million times. You know that sometimes we were criticized for “slow development”, but the truth is that when the others were spending time on marketing, we were putting all our effort into enhancing the already existing cryptocurrency ecosystem.

In any case, we’re still here and we’re looking to grow. We would like to invite the best cryptographers, developers, bright minds and passionate hearts to join our BCN team to create absolutely new and exciting developments – get ready for the BCN of the new era. To ensure our success in this new era, we’ll need to support and trust each other and make our community even stronger.

Starting now, we are open for communication. Feel free to share your thoughts, bugs and features with us. Please send all feedback to contact@bytecoin.org and we’ll get back to you asap. We will do our best to bring the best ideas to life.

Let’s start a new chapter of Bytecoin together!

Source: Reddit

The only other Admin name on the Reddit for BytecoinBCN is our illustrious DStrangeM, who is a bit miffed at me today. (Hi, DStrangeM! I’m Danesjold on Reddit, by the way…) We are not even certain if DStrangeM is the DStrange, as is mentioned on the Bytecoin.org website. And does it matter anyway?

There are so many twists and turns.

From Bytecoin.org:

DStrange - Copy

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

And just who is DStrange or DStrangeM? Good question. But don’t worry, they/he/she — has your fiscal interests at heart. Are you certain?

The Bytecoin_BCN Twitter feed suddenly became active after nearly a year in slumber. How does that make you feel? There was an April 25, 2016 tweet then silence, until July 28, 2017. Announcements indicated that there was now a Telegram Group and a Slack Channel. The thing is, we really don’t know if these new groups have anything to do with the original developers of Bytecoin.

There is also the Bytecoin.org Twitter feed with tweets beginning on January 14, 2017. Why are there two feeds like this? Which one is official? Both? Neither? Half and half?

There is also the new Bytecoin Trading Community (Exchange). I found this out by accident. A Redditor advised me. (Thanks.) Anyway, according to Scamadviser, the site is 68 days old. It’s ownership is hidden, but what do we expect from a “secret” coin, right? For now the site’s reputation is pending. In other words, we will see.

A bad bit of news which continues to slow down any real progress, is the Poloniex issue. They are, for all intents and purposes, blocking BCN deposits and withdrawals. This has been going on for some time…over a month. (Longer according to Goldberg.) I’ve yet to hear a clear reason why, other than the recent mining issue, when extra BCN were created by a bad actor. Bytecoin did not rollback the blockchain to “unsteal” the coins. And I am uncertain now, if Bytecoin ever really fixed the flaw. I will need some expert, disinterested party to confirm this. (Not DStrangeM.)

What is my take on all of this, having spent decades bringing scum to justice? That these guys — that the people listed on Bytecoin.org as the Teto-Team do not exist. They never have. Prove me wrong. Come forward. Just one of you. I dare you.

I assert that the CryptoNote.org website is a farce. Has always been a front. But the code…is good. Now doesn’t that rankle your spuds? Again, if I am wrong, correct me. I will gladly print a retraction. I will be your biggest fan, if you can clear the “air.”

But I expect no answer. There are no men in the room. Only fluffy pony had the gumption. (Inside joke. If you don’t get it, get out of crypto, yesterday.)

So where is Mr. Bytecoin?

Answer: We must keep our identities secret, the governments are after us.

In those immortal words: “That dog don’t hunt.”

Have a spine.

In the end, which is where I hope all the noobs don’t take it, Bytecoin’s past is biting the heck out of their backside. Read a few more of my posts here. Surf the net and catch a few really stinky byte-fish, before you get caught, in what I believe will be yet another sucker’s rally.

Or chance it and prove me wrong.

But, unlike John McAfee, I will not consume my privates, if Bytecoin surges to the bitcoin spot or even gives Litecoin a run for the money.

Have a good day or night, as the case may be.

Jack Shorebird.

 


Note: This blog has been edited to reflect the comments through August 11, 2017.