Tag Archives: China

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 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

 

 

 

 

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Will Bitcoin Fork on July 21, 2017?

Burn

 

Bitcoin has been steadily devaluing. In fact, most of the major cryptocurrencies on earth are also losing steam. Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Steem, and even Dash are suffering. In some cases losses have exceeded 25% in less than a week.

Is it the end of an era or a readjustment period? A shakeout, if you will?

Many have debated why, as bitcoin dips, does it seem to initiate a larger scale downward trend throughout the cryptosphere. Each time bitcoin sneezes, crypto in general, catches a cold. Today — this week — bitcoin has the flu.

Some have pointed to alleged “Civil War” between the Bitcoin Core Team and the Bitcoin miners as the culprit. Primarily, the accusations are being leveled against the miners who control most of the network. The Chinese.

There is also some bickering within the Bitcore Core Team itself. But the idea that all of the planned changes — the proposed updates — to the code, will cause a rift is also on the debate table. A debate about a potential bitcoin fork — a split of its blockchain. Or perhaps users will use another blockchain. (I will get to that in a moment.)

Let’s face it, most bitcoin users, investors, watchers, writers — do not give a bleep about large conglomerates of miners who are churning out bitcoins and making a tidy profit. They are charging the community for the privilege of using a peer-to-peer system, allegedly designed to reduce the financial friction between willing parties. That is now history. The price of doing bitcoin business is becoming more expensive to the small consumer. Still, aside from the slow processing times, sending large amounts of bitcoin internationally, is cheaper than using the antiquated banking systems of today. In other words, bitcoin seems to be helping those with lots of bitcoin. Not a good sign.

Many of us do care that the Bitcoin Core Team is working to keep the code “bug-free” and that they are attempting to update the system. However, they are not dictators. They do not have the final say. The community must accept the updates. The users of the system are voluntary. If they do not accept the changes — if the miners feel cheated by the prospect of having their profits reduced — we could see a fork. And this could mean the destruction of the most successful private money that has ever existed — maybe.

Such a thing would not only evaporate the wealth housed within the blockchain, but potentially all of the investments tied to the bitcoin ecosystem — worldwide. From ATM’s in Vegas to the Mom and Pop Dress Shops in Morocco. All of that seed money, those start-ups, YouTube preachers — you name it. Adrift in the cosmos of bankruptcy. It would be painful for some.

Is there a silver lining to all of this?

Antpool, the largest bitcoin mining operation on earth, does not want the updates offered by Core — “SegWit.” Bitcoin Core is pushing ahead anyway. It is a Goliath versus Samson battle — all over again. Core holds the sling (the keys to the original code) but Antpool can simply copy the code. If the Antpool Goliath does this, will anyone trust him? Actually, the last I read — and info can be sketchy here — Antpool had a back-up plan. They started mining Bitcoin Unlimited a few months ago. (That’s another story, but suffice it to say it solves many of the problems associated with the current version of bitcoin.)

Philosophical battles aside, the concerns over whether bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) must decide between the corporate world and somebody’s idea of traditional capital is a red herring. Any money ought to be neutral in that sense, if the developers/community so decide. And therein lies the problem. Any community of anything is going to debate, endlessly. Although, I am not speaking in support of Dash, their governance model does have advantages.

In any event, the fireworks begin in just a few days — July 21, 2017. If 80% of the bitcoin community adopts the updates — SegWit — all should be fine. On the other hand, if the community does not adopt the updates, it is likely that an alternative solution might be employed on August 1, 2017. That is the idea of a “soft fork” employing SegWit as user activated “choice.” By then, Antpool may be off the reservation — employing Bitcoin Unlimited. The tension is palpable.

Let’s add more fuel to that fire, shall we dear readers?

CNBC put out a panic article recently and it does have some rather prescient information. Namely, that the Bitcoin.org community has recommended that everyone — every user of bitcoin — take a “bank holiday” a few days before the proposed changes are to take place. Say on Friday, July 19, 2017 — you know — just to be on the safe side. Did you catch that? Turn off your bitcoin wallets. Now I’m as brave as the next guy, but don’t get between me and my cash. And yet, major players are notifying bitcoin users that they are doing just that. No deposits or withdrawals? No trading for a few days? Be prepared.

Do you know what happens during bank holidays? Panic. Users might find a substitute. Certainly trust will be eroded.

Hence, bitcoin is devaluing. People are cashing out. Waiting on the sidelines.

Now if you are confused, you should be. Hour by hour, bitcoin is still loosing ground. As of this writing, the price of one bitcoin just dropped below $2000, then popped up again. That is over a 30% value reduction in just over a month. Coming from just over $570 each last August (2016), which is amazing in itself, anyone holding the coin, if the blockchain forks, could be left holding thin air.

As some have put it, we are witnessing, once again, a sea of red. Let’s just hope that the entire thing does not go “bleeps up.”

You can check here for up to date valuations:

CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations.

Thanks for reading. If you have any input, let me know in the comments section below.

(Oh, and thanks RK.)


Image: Flickr

 

Morgan Stanley…bitcoin…a poster child for speculation

It’s fashionable, right now, to bash Fintech — especially bitcoin. So get your blockchains while they are hot!

This is the latest on the banking/investment front. When bitcoin (BTC) loses value, the traditional financiers let it be known that it just will not work and, in all honesty, they might be right — in the long term. But so too will the US dollar devalue — probably sooner than we think — unless a rabbit is pulled from the proverbial hat, in the short term.

Bitcoin may be the reigning prima donna of the crypto market but Morgan Stanley is not impressed.

Source: Morgan Stanley thinks bitcoin is nothing more than a poster child for speculation – MarketWatch

In a nutshell, the Marketwatch article, by Reporter Sue Chang, at first tells us that bitcoin has soared by over 250% in the last year. “Great!” we say, but then she drops the bomb. She cites Morgan Stanley’s analysts and James Faucette in particular. Bitcoin is on a wild ride and it’s probably not a legitimate currency we learn. I guess that all depends upon how one defines legitimate, because nearly anything can be a currency — or as I have indicated in the past — “functional money.”

On the other hand and we need to face the music. There is, according to Faucette, virtually no merchant acceptance. Again, virtually is another one of those weasel words. And we are so surprised. Aren’t you surprised, dear reader?

Sure, I can’t buy a gallon of milk at the corner store with my BTC, but I can buy a TV or a chair or even bike, on Overstock.com. Microsoft, Virgin Galactic, Steam are other well known vendors and the list goes on. So are we really losing vendors? Yeah, probably. Okay then, why?

According to the article, bitcoin does not appeal to retailers — and that is one reason it is not so good. Let’s examine that objection. Why does bitcoin appeal to the country of Japan say, but not the local supermarket in New York City? Is it because we, as a nation are less technologically advanced? Probably not. Is it because the regulations in the United States, the tax laws, the trading laws, the money laundering laws — you name it. The short answer? It certainly puts the kibosh on the whole thing, does it not? Only the big players, such as Coinbase or Subway Sandwiches, with a bevy of lawyers and tax accounts, seem brave enough to wander into that quagmire. On the other hand, the small players and the hidden ones (not all criminals by the way) can also wade into that pond.

Hoarding was another objection. Sure, bitcoin has appreciated. People are holding it, but there is still a lot of BTC available. One can’t simply worry that there will only ever be approximately 21 million BTC’s in circulation. It would be like saying, if we put cash under our mattresses, hoarded large denomination fiat bills, we would somehow make it less usable. The thing is, there’s plenty of cash out there. Too much actually. In a manner, hoarding can serve to increase and stabilize bitcoin values.

The objection to bitcoin’s accelerating costs and slowing transactions time is a legitimate concern, however. We will know, probably within the next 30 to 60 days, if bitcoin will adopt new perimeters allowing for faster confirmations, but the applications — the coding — is still being hashed-out. And there are associated centralization of power risks as well. Only a few developers control the code, but don’t forget, anyone can copy (clone)  the code and “improve” it.

Surprisingly, the apparent objection that bitcoin’s own skyrocketing — I would say its volatility — worth, is somehow a minus, is ludicrous. Speculators are certainly present, but as I have submitted, the fact that regulators stand in bitcoin’s way, is the primary culprit. The Great American Regulatory Wall, against mass adoption — that it the goblin.

Government oversight is needed, they say. And that, my friends, is the big snow-job. It is not required at all. The real reason bitcoin cannot, in this environment, ever be allowed to function unhindered is that it threatens the dollar. It threatens all fiat currencies in existence. That is plain. When a digital currency, not printed into oblivion does that, no debt-based economy can abide it. Even Japan, mired in its eternal economic crises, probably hopes that cryptocurrencies can save their century.

Is bitcoin funny money? That’s another implied objection and it’s an ignorant one at best. If so, then the dollar is funny money. A reserve note that represents a slowly failing — bankrupt system. Most intelligent people know this already. We just have little choice. We are required, by law, to use this debt based system. Is it moral to force people to use a monetary system that has no real value? Even less of a perceived value than bitcoin? That’s a no brainer, right?

Morgan Stanley is the sixth largest bank in the United States. Banks take our fiat dollar deposits and create more fiat dollars — out of thin air. Now I’m not against honest banking services, where money is real — like gold and silver — and where fractional reserves are quaint memories, but to attempt stay the high road in a FED-made swamp? What magic is this? Answer? The emperor is naked.

And finally, we the people also know, us speculators and hoarders alike, that bitcoin could fail. The blockchain tech might fork. China might continue to build BTC mining farms and essentially own the network.  But, my Morgan Stanley late-comers, the Fintech field is just getting started. I’d keep an eye on the Fintech start-ups and the giant Cloud Servers owned not by the banking system, if I were you.

I’d hate to know what they think about Monero or Aeon. Kind of reminds me when the car replaced the horse. Many objected back then. It was certainly a learning curve.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if I bored the hell out of you.

 


Image: Wikimedia

Bytecoin Team: The “Seigen” File

 

Who is “Seigen?”


Again, many of us have stared at the Bytecoin Team Members list on Bytecoin.org and wondered just who they were — or more precisely, who or what they are. Are they still around? Are they layered in pseudonyms to protect their identities or to hide criminal enterprise?

In a recent post I checked in on “Neocortex” or is that “Joseph Lin?” In any event, it is currently a dead-end and Mr. Lin has not responded to inquires — yet. Come to think of it, maybe Neocortex never existed, which means he can’t respond.

It’s so logical, it must be true, right?

So, in order to keep on task, I have randomly chosen another Bytecoin Team member for this post. For this ongoing ridicule.

Meet “Seigen,” the dashingly elegant “Go” player. He hails from…we don’t know.

What do we know about this monetary crusader? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. The big El-Zippo. And so many people think that’s dandy.

Let’s take this an “exhibit” at a time, shall we?

 

Exhibit A: “Go”

Why bring up the game of “Go?” Flavoring? To spice the mystery?


To understand this Seigen “handle” one needs to look at the artwork. Here is his “jpg” file on the Bytecoin website:

I guess it’s copyrighted somewhere. But you know, I’m not so sure. Maybe someone can write to me and verify this. I will happily remove the copied file and apologize to the owner or manager or whomever. I promise. Just let me know. Seriously.

Many of us know that the black and white picture presented here, is a representation of a “Go” board. It’s an ancient Chinese game. Probably the oldest board game in existence. It is more complex than chess, according to Wikipedia. The game-board is larger and there are more possible moves. Something like 250 moves versus 35, when compared to chess. And so the heck what.

I think a few Chess Masters would take issue with “Go,” but that is not the thrust of this post. I’m not here to pick a fight with them. Chess died with Bobby Fischer anyway, right?

It is curious, however, that the object of the game “Go” is to surround your opponent and capture his pieces. The game, historically, was for those of culture — the educated Chinese aristocrats, with nothing better to do.They played their educated games, whilst the white-rice eaters toiled in the paddies and their armies did the real fighting.

I mean at least in chess there’s a freaking point. Not an endless stone toss. But I digress. Let me “Go” on.

Is that what Bytecoin is trying to do? Play the long game — as it relates to the world of cryptocurrency? What Seigen wants us to think? “Dudes, I’m so complex. You know I’m good for it. I swear, once you buy a few million BCN, I’ll do some more work on the code.”

It is not all that interesting that the name “Seigen” appears to be a reference to the Chinese born Go Master, Wu Qingyuan. He is better known by his Japanese name,”Go Seigen.” He was considered a prodigy, but began his training in the “Stone-age art” at a relatively tender late age of nine. Apparently, he played with his stones a lot and that got him in the mood. Maybe his mother said “don’t throw the stones, place them on this board, whilst the Chinese Communists take all of our stuff. Don’t you feel better, Honey?”

At any rate, Go Seigen died. It was on November 30, 2014, after the invention of Bytecoin — whenever that was.

It is apparent that our mystery Bytecoin “Seigen” has chosen a pseudonym to imply a mastery of “Go” and maybe a little respect for the one of the fathers of the game. Oh, and that he is also mathematically inclined, hence a cryptographer. And that chess is for “sissies.”

Whoops, I can’t say “sissies” because it’s a sexist remark. (If you have a problem with that please consult your censor-hate-speech expert — have him or her contact me that I may print a full rebuttal.)

But to Seigen, chess sucks — or at least that is implied. At to that I say: blasphemy. Eat my rook, Seigen. Go and move those little Stone-age stones around the dirt you silly Asian guy-person.

 

Exhibit B: Ecole Polytechnique 

Education lets us know that Seigen is no dummy, but maybe we are… Do you feel that way or is it just me?


Obviously a PhD in Math from Ecole Polytechnique is great for the kind of work Seigen did or does, for Bytecoin and his bank. What bank or banks? Name one.

So where is this school anyway? It is probably a reference to the one by the same name in France. A university known for its engineers — a top notch school. So they say.

The school was once a military academy and it was founded during the French Revolution (in 1794). Hint: the revolution failed. Remember Napoleon?

Today the school is still supervised by the Ministry of Defense of France. Does that make you squeamish? Is there a hint of state sponsored silliness? Oui? I mean, I can see them now…drinking a little wine and coding a little crypto, can’t you?

 

Exhibit C: Data Protector Man

“Comrade, I hear you expert in banking sector, true? Can leap tall buildings in Red Square, da?”

— Anonymous Bytecoin Philanthropist (V.P. of Moscow)


In Seigen’s proffered bio, we learn that he is “…a data protection expert in banking sector.”

Read that one part again, slowly. It reads, in part “…in banking sector.”

Do you see it?

In some English speaking countries we would write it this way:

“…in “the” banking sector.”

It just flows better. Note that for next time comrade. Actually I don’t think it will matter. The Bytecoin website is full of such errors or shall I say, “differences?”

As I have stated before and some of my readers have pointed out…do we hear Russians? Dissidents? I mean I have no problem with the Russians, so long as they are nice ones. No state sponsored crypto-graphic con artists, please. And no pre-mining fakers either.

Of course, we ask the question: where? Where is this alleged data protection expert?  In France? In Dubai? Singapore? God forbid, in China? How about Moscow? How about on Star Trek?

Is Seigen just a fictional character? Methinks…Oui.

If we focus on France, we can speculate where Seigen might work. BNP Paribas? It’s one of the largest financial institutions in France. How about the Credit Agricole Group? And we could go on. We could go to Mother Russia and apply for an account at  Sberbank as well. Do they take BCN or do they just wash rubles? Sounds dirty either way, don’t you think?

My point here? There is not enough to go on, but maybe with all of this speculation, someone else might get curious. Some other bored cryptocurrency enthusiast will chime in with the goods.

Do you know a PhD from Ecole Polytechnique who works at your institution and loves to play “Go?” Is an expert at it? Do you know Clark Kent Jr.? How about Chewbacca?

If Seigen was one of the first Bytecoin members, how did he join? Does this elite list of Bytecoin Team members have anything to do with the Cicada 3301 mystery? How about space aliens? That smell in the back of my closet downstairs?

 

Exhibit D: Wisdom

Asian Philosophy? Really?

“Confucius say…many apples fall to ground when wind blows hard…”


Aside from his school and “Go” what else do we know — or think we know — about Seigen?

We are told that Seigen “has always been a source of calmness and Asian philosophical wisdom.” Oh, please.

Really? How nice. How calm.

And I don’t care. If Seigen is a source a calmness, then please fire him. We need men, not castrated Asian philosophers. Why? Because, my dear “Go” player, the Art of Financial War is upon you. If you seek the oneness, try opium and beer. Leave the sport for the money-changers.

Are we to feel comforted by Seigen’s ability to walk on water — in today’s fiat money  oceans? How so?

I mean the Bytecoin Team  — if it really exists — is making us think that Seigen is a great guy, a wonderful crypto-graphic artistic, slightly Asian, educated in Europe (seasoned) and therefore a great developer, and as smart as he is all-around  “philosophical.”

But lay it on a bit thicker won’t you? Don’t tease us. Does he wear sandals? Does he take baths? Can he walk my dog?

Again, it is like saying that Seigen — if he really exists — is a Buddhist-Banker Security Guard. Perhaps he is a Falun Gong practitioner, who works in Beijing, which is why he must keep his identity under wraps — lest the Communist Party take certain liberties with his unused kidneys, so to speak.

For sure, we have learned thus far, that Seigen’s recycled food does not stink. Jesus.

 

Exhibit E: Elegance

What word does not match the others?


Think about this for a minute. “Fundamental solution.” Sounds reasonable right? Something that is core to understanding the root issues. The bedrock. The basics. The real. The wind beneath my buttocks.

Now think “simple solution.” We’ve all heard it right? Occam’s Razor? Keep it short and simple. Why? It cuts down on errors and complexity. It’s not always the best solution, just the humanly understandable one.

We could argue all day, but we won’t Why? Because we have simplified it. Great. Next batch of word stew.

Elegant. As in Seigen offers elegant solutions too. Oh?

What? I said elegant. Do you mean artistic? Stylistic? Pretty?

I don’t think so, because the Bytecoin Team or Seigen, used the word “and.” It’s kind of a weaselly way of writing stuff.

Seigen “always emphasizes the need for fundamental, simple and elegant solutions.” Does he mean all three at once or any of them, individually?

Why does this bother me? Because of the word elegant. Pansies are elegant. (Oh, again with the flowery language.)

Yes, math and fundamentals can be elegant in a sense, but the word elegant is also a gray-brown smog word. It can mean anything. It’s subjective. Cryptography is objective at its core.

Hell, maybe I’m just being too critical. Bummer.

 

In conclusion:


Seigen does not exist.

He never did — as a single person.

Prove me wrong.

 

Seigen Tidbits:

These are some things laying around the net, related to Seigen…


Tidbit #1

Tidbit #2

Tidbit #3

 


Photograph Source: Flickr

Five Reasons Why Bitcoin-is Here-to Stay???

I am amazed at the hype put out by some of the so-called news sites about cryptocurrencies. COINTELEGRAPH for one. This came out recently…

“It is possible to make a relatively accurate prediction about the future of Bitcoin by analyzing five factors successfully used by technology adoption experts for decades.”

Source: Five Reasons Why Bitcoin-is Here-to Stay

If you follow the link you will find five reasons, given by a guest author, as to why bitcoin is here to stay. Dear writers of the hype, nothing is “here to stay.”

Not really. It’s just a way to get you to read the COINTELEGRAPH story. It worked for me. But I felt cheated afterwards. Why? Because the guest writer even tells us that well, “maybe” bitcoin is here to stay or maybe not. But here’s why is might be around for a bit.

Relative Disadvantage:

First, bitcoin is said to have the advantage of  being a “decentralized ledger.” We’ve been over that. Every crypto-noob gets it. But dude, it isn’t just about the ledger. It’s about the probable Chinese control of most of the bitcoin system. Now that tingles my funny bone.

Secondly, the next alleged advantage? It’s cheap. Not so fast, gumshoe. The transaction costs of bitcoin have been climbing steadily since its inception. Relentlessly even. Each and every cryptocurrency exchange, retailer, Tom, Dick or Harry — has a different darned rate. And I’ll be a sheep herder if they are easy to understand.

Okay, compared to banks, fees are probably lower — if the value of the BTC doesn’t free-fall during your transaction. So, unless your fiat is depreciating like cash in Venezuela, PayPal is probably cheaper for purchases, at least in the United States. And a hell of a lot easier to use.

And spare me about there only being a limited supply of BTC’s. That’s a gimmick. What is the supply? Numbers? Codes on a shared ledger? It’s information everyone agrees is somehow limited — until we all agree that we can use a better, newer, more secure, more private ‘coin.’

It’s not about the artificially limited supply of bitcoin. It’s about the code. The secret code we the users (those who are allowed to use bitcoin) agree represents a form of functional money, then and there. In that second of time. Because in the next second, this funky bubble might burst all over Beijing. Actually, all over the noob-world, with the Chinese scooping up the whale’s share of other cryptocurrencies in a continued effort bilk the average investor. To convince the unhinged happy-go-broke-today-guys to raid their 401k’s as soon as possible — before there’s bubble-trouble.

No, say you? No bubbles in bitcoin?

(And yes I know that if the dollar takes a roll, 401k’s will become worthless in the United States — but so will just about everything else.)

Third. Well, the “guest writer” didn’t use my ordering here, but the fact that bitcoin payments do not go through a third-party is a bit misleading. Sure, you can send your BTC from your desktop wallet to a retailer or your local coffee shop — and wait 24 hours sometimes — but often retailers want a third-party intermediary.

Even guys like me might want to set our BTC aside, until our socks arrive at our doorstep, before we  “release” the cryptocurrency to the seller. Why? because the standard BTC transaction is a one-way ride to someone’s decentralized ledger. Once I send it, it’s gone, unless I use a third party or a smart contract, such as Ethereum. Confused yet? Yeah? Now try to get your bitcoin back.

Dear “Bit-Con Bank,” Joe’s Sock Retailer in Japan screwed me on a pair of socks. What? There is no “Bitcoin Bank?” Wait a minute…who is in charge here? Me? But I can trace the bitcoin to a funny address in Japan, err maybe that’s Hong Kong…wait a minute the bitcoin transaction split…went through a mixer…

The lesson here? Buyer beware.

Incompatibility:

Another great thing touted as a plus, is bitcoin’s iPhone-like “idea.” It’s compatibility. Seriously? Even iPhone is taking steps — or was — to keep our information private. Not bitcoin. At least not yet.

But that was not the rub here. The cited advantage here was that bitcoin was easy to use. Let me repeat that: easy to use. Are you kidding me?

Yes, I know I can download an app and use a third-party bitcoin service, with fees, and send my bitcoin around, after I scan a bar-code thingy or type a freaking long alphanumeric code (and hope I get it right). It’s just so darned cool… Not.

Sending bitcoin can be dicey. Why don’t the gurus of Fintech ever fess up to that fact? User friendly? Hardly. But I can use most of the wallets and I have tried a variety of third-party apps. The operative word here is “tried.”

I have since dumped all the bitcoin apps from my dumb-phone. They are not all that secure. I don’t bank on my dumb-phone for the same reason. Paranoid I guess. And I don’t have too much to hide. I just don’t want to leave chum in the water.

Non-Trial-ability:

Not “trialability.” The idea that more and more bitcoin ATM’s are beginning to show up and that people will “try” the goods is a bit over the top. Sure, people will be curious, but not stupid with their money. Not adults anyway. Not in the semi-IRS-police states of America anyway.

I don’t want my identity spilled all over the bitcoin ATM grid. Besides, these ATM’s are pricey. Coinbase is cheaper and so are a dozen other outlets.

Why do you think a lot of the BTC ATM’s are showing up in shady internet cafes, overpriced malls, and gambling establishments — with ear-biting, ex-heavy weight boxer logos? I don’t know if those ATM’s are made in South America or Switzerland. I do know who to call when I see an extra charge on my debit card from Coinbase. I won’t be calling “Mike” for a refund of BTC if one of his ATM’s breaks — he might be hungry. Might chew my ear off — literally.

Complexity:

If something is complex, but easy to drive, people might buy it. True. I’d have to agree here. But is bitcoin easy to drive and easy to trust?

Sure, you don’t need to know how your car works to be a great driver. You just need to know some basics. Steering wheel, gas pedal, brakes and you are off.

On the other hand, if one day your car gets better gas mileage and the next day it sucks, then what? Would you trust your complex, easy to drive roadster? How about if the car is not so reliable? You try to start it and nothing happens? You try again three hours later and it works? Hello?

This is bitcoin today. You click on send and wait and wait and say, “oh crap, where in the hell did my crypto go?” And, “you charged me what? How and when did you add that fee?” And, later, “I’m sorry, Mike — I didn’t know you owned that BTC ATM at Jim Bob’s Internet Cafe and Boxing Shop.”

Observability?

Seeing bitcoin in action.

The thing is, as the cited article states, we don’t see bitcoin in use much the United States. In other countries, such Japan, you do. Well congratulations Japan, maybe you are about to get some payback from China, however. You might want to diversify into other crypto’s fast like.

You don’t see much news about BTC, unless you go looking for it — or unless someone makes a lot of money — or loses a lot.  This is true.

The Other Reasons:

Then there is that pesky regulation problem. Bitcoin is just so new that the poor old governments are simply stumped. What ever shall we do? FinCen asks. How on earth will we ever catch up? the IRS complains. How can we copy it, the banking industry says.

Let not the cryptocurrency promoters take your eye off the ball. The regulators (governments) are the money makers — literally. They want bitcoin to bite the big bubble, so they can copy it and outlaw the private use thereof — in the U.S.

All the warnings are there. Lawsuits. Imprisoned users. Audits. Fines and so on.

You might want to prepare — if you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast — with a better coin. A more private and secure one.

No, bitcoin is not a passing fad. It is certainly a learning process. It’s this process that tells us that there will always be improvements to the code, unless the human race checks out. And that someone or some group of them, will certainly find a better system than bitcoin.

And when I see articles like this, offered as high-brow Kool-Aid for the misinformed, I just gotta pipe in. Let people know that there is another not-so-bright-side to cryptocurrency. That you need to dig a bit, before you go riding the fast lane to success…like me…but not so fast.


Featured Image: Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bytecoin: Who is Joseph Lin aka Neocortex?


Who is Joseph Lin?

Many of us have stared at the Bytecoin Team Members list on Bytecoin.org and wondered just who they were — or more precisely, who they are. Are they still around? Are they layered in pseudonyms to protect their identities? If so, why?

There are so many ways to search the internet that one can get lost in the noise of it. Sometimes it’s better to be obvious. In other words, you can ask the question of any number of search engines (Google, Mozilla FireFox, DuckDuckgo, or even TOR) and get a thousand answers, all speculation; or you can click around.

So click around. Try the “News” heading, instead of the “All” setting.

For example, you can begin with this article on Bytecoin.org:

The Proof-of-Work in Cryptocurencies: Brief Histroy. Part 2.”

The guest author is Ray Patterson, but don’t read the article. That’s not what I’m on about. Instead search for “Ray Patterson” and “Bytecoin” in quotes.

A little ways down in your search results you should see another article on Coin Telegraph.  It’s dated July 8, 2015. Follow this link:

A Proof of Work Evolution.”

Did you see the name associated with the article? Joseph Lin?

There it is, but is it? Is Joseph Lin really Neocortex of Bytecoin fame? Is he or was he really the lead programmer of Bytecoin. The fortepiano player who favors the works of composer Johann Bach. And who really cares if he plays with his organ?

If we can trust the name, Lin seems to be of Taiwanese descent, but he could just as easily be from China or any number of Asian countries. So we are no closer here. It’s like the name Smith or Jones.

We can explore Lin’s alleged Alma Mater: University of California, Berkeley. That’s a ride. Lin is a common name. Good luck.

The same goes for attempting to search Lin’s college or alleged degrees. There are so many possibilities.

Here are some curious tidbits, however.

July 9, 2015. Joseph Lin publishes…

Miners Lost Over $50,000 from the Bitcoin Hardfork Last Weekend.”

Was he trying to expose the weaknesses of Bitcoin then? Sure.

July 16, 2015. Joseph Lin pops ups again. This time commenting about DigitalNote in the this article:

Dissidents turn to bitcoin-like cryptocurrency to communicate free from state surveillance.”

Lin gives us some useful information. It is also curious that he cares about dissidents. This makes me think he is Chinese or maybe a Hong Konger. He’s chomping under the “bit” of oppression.

October 7, 2015. Here is another tantalizing clue:

“‘Neucoin Will Have More Consumers Using It Than Bitcoin within One Year’ – Founder.

Well, that didn’t happen, but again we find Joseph Lin lurking about. He apparently asked a question about Neucoin, but it went unanswered.

Then nothing. At least nothing obvious. Did something happen on October 7, 2015? Why did he drop from view?

My point here? There are so many bloggers out there who tell us that there are few if any leads to the mysterious Bytecoin Team Members. Here is one: Joseph Lin.

Can we track him or is this just another dead end?

How about you Joseph Lin aka Neocortex, do you care to respond?


 

If you liked this article and want more of the same, consider sending any amount of Bytecoin (BCN) to:

22WuwNdkFM1Xqg3etSVYtKcwhyLoQTXZ37EHVk4dJhtZSx3Csh5uoQbQVH78oswEbQH1Uanxe8CTW9qw4KxcSftTFubnfL8

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

Bytecoin: Enigma


Bytecoin O

Source: Bytecoin.org

 

Is Bytecoin like a low hanging sweet orange?

Or is it a shriveled, rotten grape, being picked over by the third wave of cryptocurrency noobs?

In Florida (in the United States), where I live, many of us are concerned about “Citrus Greening.”

It’s not what you think, however. It’s not when the leaves of the orange trees turn green, but when the fruit remains green and never ripens.

The diseased fruit, like a dead and dying cryptocurrency, sort of fools you. It says, “I’m almost ready. Gimme a few more days…” And then the darned orange or lemon drops off of the tree. A useless un-ripened thing.

Cryptocurrency pyramid schemes are the same. They drop from the web just as malformed.

The citrus greening is the result of a pest: the Citrus Psyllid. The insect that deposits  bacteria “in” the trees. The cryptocurrency schemes are also pests, but they take your deposits.

It makes me wonder just what can kill the Bitcoin Tree? I mean, transactions are really slow now, right? If I can’t zip my Bitcoins across the internet in a few days, then what is the sense?

I know an entomologist who studies our citrus greening problem. He advised that the citrus trees, after infection, essentially get a fever from the bacteria. The trees get sick. They become clogged-up inside. The fluids that normally circulate within the trees slows down, as the bacteria does its work.

Think of Bitcoin today. The flow of Bitcoins in the “tree” or network, is slowing down as well. Bank transactions are now faster — and safer. Is this a sign of disease? Bad code? Poor planning? Growing pains? Does it matter if the network fails?

Citrus greening is here for the foreseeable future. So are slow Bitcoins. Antibiotics, genetic changes and insecticide are for citrus. Rewriting code is for crypto. In both cases, many of the “trees” die out.

In other words, with cryptocurrencies, we cut down the bad “crypto-trees.” If they no longer bear fruit we try to fix the code — the genetic structure of the coin. Or we try to increase the size of the transactions — grow stronger limbs and roots. Or give the cryptocurrencies oceans of water — ever-increasing amounts of electricity.

Buildings, warehouses, Bitcoin “factories” are fast becoming “monuments” to tokenism. It’s almost nuts. Why are we so wasteful when there are better options? How hard would it be for a third-rate dictator to walk in with his gang army and take over one of these Bitcoin Mines?

Which brings me back to Bytecoin. Still easy to grow. Still private. Still secure. Still working. No Bytecoin factories are required. Just your CPU and maybe a cup of coffee.

Bytecoin, for all its bad press, is a privacy original. The first mover in the CryptoNote — CryptoNight sphere. It is the rootstock — before the other subspecies thereof, forked from it.

And don’t let them fool you. Don’t let the forkers tell you: “Oh, but we have improved the code! It is almost unrecognizable as Bytecoin now.” Did you hear that? They said “Bytecoin.”

What are they really saying? Here’s is what they are saying: “We couldn’t do this on our own. So we copied. Tweaked. Sat back and waited.”

It was — it is the same with Bitcoin. It was a rootstock cryptocurrency, but now it is something different. Almost unrecognizable. Too many cooks (developers) have spoiled the stew. Too many forkers about.

There is no debate about Bytecoin rootstock. It’s called CryptoNote. It has similarities to Bitcoin, but it not a fork thereof. It stands on its own.

The primary debate about Bytecoin, however, is about the “tree.” When was it actually planted? It seems that the original growers cultivated the tree for a while, let it bear fruit, then allowed others (us) to assist with the cultivation.

Since the planting, Bytecoin Tree(s) have been growing in private orchards everywhere, far from the public eye. They are also relatively young trees. Only about four years old, but ancient in technological terms.

The main cultivator(s) of Bytecoins, like Satoshi Nakamoto of Bitcoin, remain(s) a mystery. We know the stewards of Bitcoin today, since the deed to the Bitcoin Orchard was handed over to a select group. We do not know the original creator(s) of Bitcoin, however.

Similarly, we still have no idea who runs Bytecoin. We can watch them work from afar. They have not disappeared like Satoshi Nakamoto. We can read short bios, but are they real people? We can see the results of their handiwork. We can also read the articles that accuse the Bytecoin developers of hoarding, but it seems nobody has been able to find the money.

Bitcoin, by comparison, was planted in 2009, in an orchard just off of Crypto-Main Street. Everyone can see the orchard, the pickers, the fruit market — every single piece of citrus. Even the large numbers of “oranges” just sitting in wallets, not moving, can be seen. What’s more, and this is troublesome, with Bitcoin, the biggest orchards are being “outsourced” to China.

This China angle has many worried. As some have stated: Bitcoin is a great token currency for Kings and Dictators, but not for freedom loving individuals. The Chinese government is not known for their forward thinking either. Rather, for tight monetary controls, to name a few problems associated with the ever-growing Chinese control of Bitcoin.

In any event, Bitcoin has an army of followers. Advocates in many countries. Users everywhere. But when does the other shoe drop? Shouldn’t you diversify? Why wait?

In comes the privacy-centric, Bytecoin. Cash is king.

Why do I say rootstock when talking about Bytecoin? Because Bytecoin, like citrus trees, has what are called forks — or grafted “friends.” It is a meaningful word. Other growers used the hardy rootstock of Bytecoin, grown from the original seed and attached a bud. Their bud. Their name.

Monero, Aeon, and DigitalNote are a few examples of the forkers. These few remaining Bytecoin grafts have yet to succumb to disease. They have edited the original Bytecoin code in order to exist. They are the “second-handers.” And they are very successful at it, so far.

Grafted orange trees produce sweeter fruit. They taste better. People buy taste, and they do not care about rootstock. The problem may come when the forked varieties of Bytecoin meet up with disease.

Naturally, the grafted “friends” blame the bad rootstock when a fork withers and dies. And yet, the original rootstock of Bytecoin has persisted. It’s almost an embarrassment. One wonders if a certain unnamed cryptocurrency exchange is/was being paid to refuse deposits and withdrawals of Bytecoin in order to stifle trade and kill the mother.

The lesson Florida Citrus Growers are learning now is about “sour.” According to my entomologist friend, the rootstock citrus trees — the trees grown from seed — seem to be more resistant to disease. But they are “sour-root” trees. Nobody wants sour orange juice from the “sour-root” trees, no matter how tough the tree.

The same can be said for Bytecoin today. It lingers at the periphery. Always there. Always waiting for the next cryptocurrency developer to take a swipe at it or maybe copy it again and ostensibly, make it better. But we all know what is under the hood. The engine of Bytecoin.

Have we been fooled?

In a sense, Bytecoin was never sour. It was the “Mandarin Orange” of the cryptosphere. As it turns out, the mandarin orange may just save the Citrus Industry. It is a sweet original orange and it is one of the more ancient species of the fruit. Best of all it is highly resistant to pests and disease, just like Bytecoin.

Who would have thought? A type of fruit — one of the originals — might save our juice? A rootstock, if you will.

Bytecoin is the rootstock of privacy and security. Maybe it’s one of the “core” cryptocurrencies still growing and still producing “low hanging” sweet fruit.

Sure, the original Bytecoin growers are keeping their distance, but you can see that their orchard is well-tended. The trees are all trimmed and a new batch of fertilizer has recently been applied.

Maybe our mysterious Bytecoin developers just need to say “Hello” more often. It’s amazing how far a little wave of the “digital” hand will get you.