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The Ghost of Crypto’s Future

The Ghost of Crypto’s Future

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


 

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Electroneum to Overtake Bytecoin: Speculation


Taking the deep dive, you will find the black pearl?

This is a second look…

Finally, Electroneum (ETN) appears to have some action. It seems to be drifting off…again. It’s what you might call a long shot, in the semi-private cryptocurrency “industry.”

And it could easily overtake Bytecoin. Personally, and I know a lot of folks love Bytecoin, I think it will eventually shuffle off its mortal coil, however. In any event…diversify.

As you may recall, ETN’s are based on the CryptoNote/Monero protocols. But where Monero tends to stay completely private, leading to accusations of criminal, as well as having privacy and security benefits, Electroneum is gambling that it can eject the criminals — in my view.

How will Electroneum keep your funds private, if they are a known entity? Good question.

If all of your altcoins are stored in the ETN database and/or cell phones, it seems only obvious that investigators chasing drug dealers (and tax evaders) need only serve a search warrant and require Electronueum turn over records.

However, by comparison, that extra layer of protection also keeps everyone else from watching where and how you spend your cryptocurrency.

Bitcoins are far easier to trace. That’s why businesses have not adopted them on a large scale. They seem to be more partial to Ripple XRP. (Hint?)

ETN’s are by nature, untraceable. More cash-like. And people oriented.

Monero XMR’s are even more secure than Electroneum ETN’s. The trade off is customer service and known players. We know who runs the ETN business. And we hope it is easier to use than Monero or Bytecoin — and that it will be accepted by retailers.

So, with ETN’s, we actually have less privacy than XMR’s, but far more than Bitcoin and clan. That goes for Ethereum, Litecoin — you name it — as well.

“…security and privacy…”

It is only when you venture into the CryptoNote coins that you begin to think “security and privacy.” And there are a few other non-CryptoNote altcoins now that attempt to secure your altcoins, but they are not necessarily as time tested.

When they first debuted in November 2017 (when we could buy them on an exchange)  Electroneum came with a tad of hoopla. Starting out at about nine cents (US) each, they spiked to over 23 cents in short order. That seemed to say that they were on the right track.

But what happened? They were attacked.

Somebody hit them with a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Why? Was it jealously?

Now, this kind of DDoS attack is the chicken’s way of hitting back. It is a last resort blunt force action by those who simply overload the system. It is a criminal act. However, it can also be used to cover-up and hide the real hack. Hence, the Electroneum action to ensure that there was no long lasting damage by pausing services…in my opinion…was a good one.

“...two cents…”

By the end of November (2017) ETN’s were still trading, but down to two cents each. The attack did have consequences. (I hope that any big short-sellers were scrutinized.)

Then the weeks dragged on. Electroneum sent out news updates and advertisements. Apologies came. Momentum was lost. Dull.

And we waited. In the meantime, trading continued, and you could send or receive your ETN’s very easily — as far as we were aware. I mean, you could, and I did, but I was not sure if they arrived in my wallet. But they did and all was well.

“…40 million…”

A firm (Hackerone) was hired to check the ETN “books” (their code etc.) and they probably crossed their fingers. There was a lot of money riding on ETN’s continued  success. About 40 million, but I’ll wager there was a lot more.

It was a bold move to bring in a top company to essentially clear your name. It told the world that Electroneum was serious. They were not scammers. And that they were willing to stake their millions on it.

By the end of November, ETN trading began to pick up again. Even as the coin lay in a sort of limbo, and as the scam-coin accusations flew, the climb in price continued. Still, the promised web wallets were offline.

By mid-December 2017 ETN’s passed 13 cents and things were looking up. But the ETN’s cracked-up again. It is possible that many investors had had enough and dumped.

ETN was now in the nickel store. A whole five cents in value. It seemed that the DDoS attack had succeeded.

A few more days passed. ETN’s drifted.

The December 13 “relaunch” came and went. It did not look good.

Then yesterday happened, December 17, 2017. ETN’s began to climb again. To six cents, then seven, then nine, then…down…

Currently, you can only buy ETN’s at Cryptopia. And I’m not advising anyone to buy them.

And don’t knock Cryptopia too much, but I hope that other exchanges will soon offer ETN’s. If so, it will help to stabilize the coin as well as prevent it from becoming a captured product — like a monopoly.

As I have mentioned before, Bytecoin was the first privacy altcoin on the market, but it has some allegations against it. The stink of it has floated around the net for years. Clung to it, but it was not so much about the protocol.

In fact, the Bytecoin protocol was later investigated formally, by a Monero hired reviewer and it was generally positive. It was about the alleged 80% premine, that has stuck to Bytecoin like a thorn.

If the premine is true, and there have been alleged denials by Bytecoin Team members, it could be devastating for investors if the original anonymous developers decided to cash out. And that has always been the problem. No identifiable person has ever stepped forward, verified he/she developed the code, and proved otherwise.

And that’s not all the problems Bytecoin has had. There are concerns that the original team is a fraud — a fiction. Not one of them has ever be verified. That the altcoin was sold to other to developers, is another allegation. That Cryptocurrency Exchanges have had problems with it and de-listed it. Cryptopia, for one. Yet another problem.

But the new money is flowing in and Bytecoin has recently soared in value. I think this will be short lived, as investors will once again be fleeced, as BCN’s deflate.

Where will that money go next?

“…Bytecoin’s coming sell-off …”

Monero (XMR) developed from the “ashes” of Bytecoin and they have been very successful. Most of their developers, like those on the Bytecoin Team are unknown, however. So, will Bytecoin’s coming sell-off that I am predicting, go into Monero?

The next choice, in this venue, might be ETN’s. I think they will overtake Bytecoin.

It is not such a crazy idea. That is, after the initial ETN investors (not me) recoup their investment by selling.

This one looks like a HODL, to me.


Note: For the record, this writer does hold a small amount of Electroneum and all of the above words are personal observations, having little to do with fake news.


jgs

Bitcoin: Deletion by Executive Order?

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?

“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.


 

Bitcoin: Not a Value-Producing Asset?

Bitcoin: Not a Value-Producing Asset?

Dear Cryptocurrency Readers:

It’s good to keep tabs on the big picture while hoping for the good news. But don’t short change yourself if the time comes to make a choice between regulated or unregulated cryptocurrencies. It may be better to pay the tax, than pay the fine…or worse yet, be placed in a “political” prison cell.

Think long and hard about trying to hide your crypto stash and making your escape to some foreign island after you trade a chunk of it for some local fiat, gold or silver.

Things like crypto need to be won first in the courts, in countries where that is still possible. Political representatives must carry the banner and I feel that eventually, crypto needs an anchor. A hard currency. Only then will it be able to unhinge the fiat myth we have lived under for over half a century in these United States of America.

Is not that the ultimate dream of cryptocurrency?

It made many see, for the first time, that there is a way through this monetary nightmare we call government fiat currency. If it is only a pipe dream, that dream has had a lasting impact upon the minds of many – worldwide – I will posit. And dreams drive change.

Even if cryptocurrency dies, fifty years from now, people will remember, that for a brief time, the purse strings were almost given back to their rightful owners. The people. To you and me. We were almost back in control.

I write all of this in the hopes that I am dead wrong. That cryptocurrency, as it was meant to be, does not die, but evolves and helps to remake this decaying fiat world.

In short, this is not investment advice, it’s thinking advice. Education and speculation, is better than throwing the virtual darts at the virtual dart board.

For those who highlight cryptocurrency charts, citing all the technical reasons to “buy now,” know that the problem is a fundamental one. We need to look at the creators of these cryptocurrencies, why they make them, how they will work and so on.

Fundamental analysis is a must in the cryptosphere.

According to a MarketWatch article, Warren Buffet recently remarked that he thinks coin [cryptocurrency] offerings will end badly. “People get excited from big price movements, and Wall Street accommodates,” he said.

I don’t think Buffet gets it.

Buffet also advised that “You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”

Now think on that a moment. “Not value producing.” That’s a fundamental issue, is it not?

So, it’s not a house or a farm or stocks. We know this. Buffet is not telling us anything new here, just couching it in investment terms. But remember, Buffet is also – if I can judge by his past statements – pro-big-government, pro-higher taxes for the wealthy…he’s a status quo kind of fellow. Rose colored glasses and all.

Guys like Buffet need what? They need the rules to remain “stable.” Capital gains taxes, income taxes, regulations, political support, all play into the scheme to use the system to earn more fiat money. Fiat money and other real assets, but all lubricated by a slowly crumbling (could be quickly) monetary system.

Bitcoin and company mucks up system, if they are seen as a currency replacement mechanism, say to the grand old investor types. So, they refuse to imagine the potential if such thinking requires them to start from ground zero. If it requires them to ask that burning question they refuse to hear: What is sound money? And the other one. Can we get along better without it if we pay off (buy) the bureaucrats and ask for special favors granted involuntarily, by the taxpayers?

But let’s compare.

Is digitized anything, say music, talk radio or even movies – are they value producing?

Yes, but they have an industry behind them. Singers, producers, directors, and labor unions. Companies with stock. Buildings, cars – the machinery of sight and sound.

Does bitcoin, specifically, have that same sort of structure? Or is it a bubble?

No. It has voluntary “assistance” right? Those who are willing and able to code and debug, right? There was no bitcoin creation company, as far as we know. Satoshi Nakamoto could be anyone or a group of communist sympathizers. We haven’t a clue.

Bitcoin is not an asset, in the traditional sense, only a service based upon secret codes, information exchange, shared data ledgers, miners, computers, internet use and so on. We know that bitcoin (currently) is very valuable, but subject to change, forks, political risk, clones, hackers and crowd sentiment.

Bitcoin is also subject to being replaced, at any time, by better technologies. Some new developer who can convince the world that this new bit of code is the cat’s meow.

Bitcoin is also subject to wide value fluctuations. Fluctuations, if you are risk tolerant, that can earn profits – or not.

So, bitcoin does not appear to fit any valuation model that I am aware of. Yes, it is anti-fiat, anti-capital controls, pro-personal banking, anti-inflation, anti-establishment, anti-tax, anti-status quo, and emotionally charged, probably a bit bubbly, but its asset value is, like Buffet contends – missing in action.

Is it just a numbers game?

Certainly, we are in new territory here.

Steve Wozniak of Apple fame thinks “cryptocurrency could become a better standard of financial value than gold or the U.S. dollar. Wozniak argued that Bitcoin is more stable and less prone to arbitrary supply changes.” This, according to a recent piece at Futurism.com.

If Wozniak does think, as the article suggests, that bitcoin is better than gold or the U.S. Dollar, he should qualify that statement.

Currently, the U.S. fiat dollar works, but into the future?

Gold? Well, it’s not used as legal tender in the United States in any huge way.

So, yes, right now, bitcoin appears to have a lot of advantages, except for what the article mentioned:  stability. You can’t depend on it.

Wozniak is a computer guy, not an economist. So, I would lean more toward the investor extraordinaire side – be a little Buffet-ish. But does not the truth land somewhere in the middle?

What seems to support Buffet’s words and may spell bad news for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general (maybe not Ripple or Stellar Lumens) is the recent news from AMD. AMD sells GPU’s which can be used for cryptocurrency mining. They are projecting losses now.

Does that mean cryptocurrency miners are no longer as interested as they once were? Or is it as this article explains, that the centralization of mining is requiring more than GPU’s? ASIC farms and other specialized processes, in China? Could it be a larger move away from mining altogether? A shift to Proof-of-Stake coins?

And then there’s the Russian angle to consider. Motherboard advises that the Russian Government is finally – if we can believe it – regulating these crowd funding mechanisms, i.e., cryptocurrencies. Taxation is coming to a miner near you – in Moscow. Wow, even America is past that part. Well, except for the registration part. “Papers please, Comrade!”

But what are the Russians really doing? Invading. It’s what aggressive regimes do. Take over other “countries.” This one is called “The Virtual Currency Country.” Dear Comrades, bend over and take it — be invaded.

Hey, don’t worry, America will probably join you soon. They will be a bit more coy about it, however. The bankers will hide behind the regulatory agencies, I’ll assert. Pushing them all the while to “register” all cryptocurrency related organizations, companies, and exchanges. Make them fall in line or suffer the fines, taxes and yes — Jail House Rock.

Just as Jamie Dimon hinted – arrests might be next. Oh, but they love the blockchain. Go figure. Wanna bet the bankers do not want a public blockchain — like bitcoin?

What does this tell you? That the banking industry will soon use the blockchain technology and then seek to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies? To monopolize cryptocurrency like they do fiat? With the blessing of the FED of course. Or maybe they will use a ready-made solution. Ripple? Hmmm.

Think again. Banking is about responsibility and control over the owned (official)  currency. They will want their own crypto’s. Crypto’s identified to their banks in some way. Ones that they control absolutely, if possible. If not, at least a Fedcoin, but then why would we need banks at all then?

Do you really think banks will outsource cash to Ripple? No, Ripple will be used to lubricate international transfers, until the banks figure out a cheaper system. A more profitable exchange mechanism.

If all this bad news continues, my concern is which non-establishment, unregulated cryptocurrency or system can survive and profit – long term – in such an environment? Will the ones which sought to comply with regulations early on survive in an anti-bitcoin world? Ones like Ripple? Ethereum? Stellar Lumens? How about Cardano?

And does this lack of backbone, a crypto’s desire to please the masters, only help to destroy a movement with the original intent to halt the devaluation of fiat currencies altogether? To replace the corrupt system, from the computer up?

Maybe so, but I still think that for now, one can profit if there are any major shifts from the dream – a private decentralized cryptocurrency – to the reality – soon to come “government regulated crypto.”

Not necessarily “state” created crypto, however. That wouldn’t be any different than the current fiat mess we are in now. In fact, it would be much worse. Every bit of your money could be tracked.

Welcome to a Brave New World.

That’s all for now.

In the meantime, you might want to store some coin on a Trezor.

Jack Shorebird


 

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

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 (noob) 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 is 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. (Which are both wonderful, I’ll admit.)

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.” Catch that? It’s a multi-tool. (Oh, that’s gross.)

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. Heck, so is my wife.

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. Maybe, if the governments did not control the price.

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.)

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.)


 

Cardano (ADA): Is Proof-of-Stake Unproven Tech?

Cardano (ADA): Is Proof-of-Stake Unproven Tech?

Updated November 20, 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?

Here’s a recent opinion from Charlie Lee about PoS.

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

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

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, several years 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 parasites 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 parasites 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. Or…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


 

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