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Bitcoin: The Gathering Storm

Bitcoin: The Gathering Storm

Dear Crypto Fans,

Excuse my absence. I’ve been reading all the news lately and it has made me slightly wary of things to come.

The crypto innovators are being hunted…again.

Prepare for more American regulation…again.

Followed by the UK.

And probably Australia…again.

Wendy McElroy called it the Pitbull assault, in the US. She’s being nice. She keeps tabs on this crap and I suggest keeping an eye on Wendy.

Uncle Sam is taking square aim at your stash of crypto now. Bitcoin et al.

Maybe Uncle Sam is tired of his missing tax loot. More than likely, he’s about ready to print a load of paper money to pay down the debt through inflation. It would be smarter just to e-print some crypto, but allegedly the US gov’t isn’t biting.

If there is one thing that could put a serious dent in cryptocurrency, internationally, this is it: S.1241. Or, perhaps more accurately, push crypto underground – in the US, UK and Australia. Okay, let’s add South Africa.

Did I miss anyone? Canada? Please.

Crypto Black-markets may be about to explode in the old free-world, as a result. But how long can they last?

Who controls ICANN?

Reactions from this news might push people into the privacy coins. Monero (XMR) is up of late, but some of that may be from news that you can now purchase discounted music with XMR’s. In other words, it’s marketing. No, Jethro, it’s privacy.

Privacy, privacy, privacy.

Let me harp on that. Get ready. It is possible that the Winklevoss Twins backed the wrong horse. It’s okay, but if they are smart, you should see a rising Monero now. Slowly at first. Then faster.

It is highly probable that governments will continue to attack cryptocurrency as a threat, as a bubble, as an unregulated investment vehicle, with no intrinsic value. They will hold out their own valueless fiat currencies as the one true god. Bitcoin will be beaten.

Don’t pray too hard. Diversify. If not Monero, any other privacy coin you think is good gumballs, buy them. You might live to regret it, if you don’t. I seriously doubt you will regret it, if you do.

S.1241 states, if you are a US subject (I am) – you must comply. They will cancel my passport, if I do not. This is my prison camp. How big is yours?

The United States must modernize. I’m serious, that’s the buzzword: modernize. But think of this word instead: confiscate. I mean, at least be honest, pud-winkles. Modernize what? The confiscatory tax laws?

And don’t think there is an out.

S.1241 covers all the bases. Ownership. Control. Cryptocurrency exchanges. Paper wallets. Brain Wallets. Hardware wallets. My dead grandma’s coffin stash. Hey, they even made it all-encompassing: funds stored in digital format are subject to reporting requirements, if the bill passes.

And you think it won’t pass? Do you remember why Jesus tipped over the money-changer’s tables?

By my estimation, there are over 30 million Americans holding (HODLing) crypto. I hope there are more. Eleven more disciples at least. No Judas.

S.1241 is attempting to amend a section of  Section 53412(a) of title 31, United States Code. And it appears as if our illustrious US law makers will do it on the sly. Middle of the night stuff. And soon.

Satoshi Nakamoto warned us. Bitcoin was only a temporary solution.

So, what is a more enduring solution?

Monero? Grin? Aeon? Electroneum? Bytecoin?

Any port in a storm.

And for the record, IOTA. I have a bad feeling about it. I hope I’m wrong.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird


The above is all opinion. If you think it’s off the mark, that’s okay.

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Feathercoin: Chicken or Golden Egg?

Feathercoin: Chicken or Golden Egg?

Dear Crypto-Enthusiasts:

I came across it quite by accident…again.

No, not a particular crypto, but something that led me there, quite by accident.

Some people say the strangest things…

And you don’t find those things in classrooms or in books as often as you’d like. Magazines are filtered niceties. News alerts, groomed and stylish. Substance takes the side exit, in the politically-edited world.

You find these snippets scattered on this thing called the internet. In videos and blogs, where guys and gals argue on some other guy’s YouTube Channel. On Reddit, where kids bash adults and jokesters have their way.

Despite it all and perhaps because of it all, the good cream rises, then dissolves. You can always tell when someone is pushing coin and how others (myself included) make mention of certain cryptos that have come into focus of late. I don’t like to push.

Here’s an example of fantasy shoving…

…mycelial network?

Bitcoin and crypto, in general, are a mycelial network(s). Nature’s internet, long ago fastened to the reality of need. Huh?

Little blurbs of genuine hype like this are common.

Mycelial Networks. Living things compared to crypto-networks. From Wikipedia – “the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.”

I get the picture. It’s not a bad analogy, if a weak one.

Although, crypto is not a single entity – even bitcoin’s ledgers run on various “machines” – the neural-like network is ubiquitous. It is homogeneous, but not self-sustaining. Bitcoin requires you and me to “make” it function. It’s the opposite of a fungal root system, that grows to absorb its nutrients.

It’s as good an explanation as any, however. Bitcoin – crypto – is usually a network. An energy-network between computers. But it is also dependent, like the lowly mycelium, upon its environment. It must take from its surroundings to live.

We are networks too. Our bodies and brains. We eat and walk and procreate. We use our environment.

But bitcoin is not alive.

Chemical or electrical, a network is a network. And I’m not on about the fabulous nature and redundancies of networks. They work, unless all hell breaks loose. The bigger, the stronger.

But living things – networks — have their weaknesses. One good virus and goodbye network. Redundancies or not.

Electrical networks – digital networks – are far more resilient. Usually.

Thus far, few crypto-networks have failed, aside from forks and 51% attacks. Once bitten, however, the end users often suffer the trust-bug. No longer will they provide energy to that network.


Peercoin

The network may live for years in a subdued state, like Peercoin, but left without new code and new blood, networks die off. At least you think they would. Some mature and stabilize. They become good for short term crypto-storage. Then entropy rages.

I never thought Peercoin would last as long as it has. They had problems early on. I lost money in one of their unplanned forks. Then the main devs pressed on. Created other complimentary coins. None of the relation has had significant success, but I’m relatively sure the devs have reaped the rewards.

Is that not the play? If you do not at first succeed and all that. Or is it something more sinister? Are we simply watching money vacuums in action?

“Come one, come all – today we have a special! Today, we announce (almost – we need some start-up money, hence the ICO) a 4th Gen crypto! It’ll send your cryptos in under five seconds, confirm in under a minute and you can mine it with solar energy! How’s that for green?”

Then there are the bedrock coins. Never quite here, but never quite dead. Not zombie coins, but pregnant ones?


Feathercoin

Some few older cryptocurrencies like Feathercoin, one of the longer standing coins, seem resilient. Not overly obtrusive, not all that exciting, but under the covers. They have made significant changes since I last looked.

Interesting? Maybe or maybe not.

Looking back, I wonder why, other than its plain vanilla feel, Feathercoin has yet to realize the pumps we have seen with the other cryptos. It has never reclaimed its earlier records, choosing instead to meander in the lows, until 2017.

After two years of relative slumber, like many cryptos, Feathercoin seems to be waking. Or is it that the people are awakening?

There are also Google Trends showing recent Feathercoin interest spikes. In the crypto scheme of things; however, they are not seemingly relevant.

Why do I mention cryptos, like Feathercoin? Because, after reading The Two Bit Idiot’s latest piece I’m left wondering if the general public will get a very bad “bitcoin” taste in their mouths. So much bickering.

Two Bit is on about Bitcoin Cash (BCH or whatever). And I’ve always respected his views. He gets into so many angles, though – and that helps one respect the research – it leaves me a bit sick. Holding or HODL? BTC or BCH?

To hell with it all, I sometimes think. Let me hope for the best with Lending Club.

And yes, we’ve all seen BTC rise and rise. We’ve all noted when big boy tanks, the girls (and guys) scream and nearly all of the other coins sprint for the doors. They cash out or Tether up. But that plays seems less of a bother these days.

These days, some few cryptos hold their candle wax, as BTC burns. Is this the handwriting? A psychological shift?

In any event, unless you think that one of the bitcoin brothers will hitch its star to Jihan Wu, who if memory serves, advised that people will follow the pack. I submit that packs, like pure democracies or autocratic empires, eventually crumble.

People are fickle, Mr. Wu. Trust is difficult to maintain when one has large businesses within China. A country not known for treating its subjects fairly.

Aside from all the battles and concerns about bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin gold and so on – there is the other angle to look at: profit. People, in this fintech space are not after trade, as much as profit. Profit seems to be the dirty little word, however. But let’s admit it. Don’t you want to profit on your investment in crypto?

Using that yardstick, do you hope one of the bitcoins (not cryptocurrency in general) will double, triple or quadruple in value? Sure, you do.

On the other hand, do you scan the other cryptos looking for more leverage? Seeking that short and explosive coin to jump start your investment? Maybe you won’t hold it, just use it, right? Then park your profits in BTC or maybe LTC or maybe somewhere else…

And it’s the somewhere else that will begin to chip away at the mountain that is bitcoin. It’s been happening for the last few years anyway.

And how do we decide what will be the most profitable investment in crypto? I find no experts. Some of the chart reader types seem to get close, on occasion. But some have insinuated that “over heated” crypto-markets are bubbly.


Electroneum

And the hunt for adoption is ever the noble journey. Electroneum seeks this high ground and maybe, in time, investors will reap the rewards. Certainly, utility must charge the profit meter. How can it not?

Compare utility to bitcoin. Is it not speculative in nature? Does one not want to accumulate, rather than spend? And is not the spending of bitcoin becoming prohibitively expensive?

Sure, there were gold hoarders in the past, but the gold’s utility as actual money maintained its power to purchase. When gold was legal tender, one was not charged for the privilege of using it, but storing it was often fee based.

My point is, things like legal tender gold and silver coins had a utility value multiplier, when used as money, as well as stored for savings. Since bitcoin and crypto are unstable, the risk reward for any long-term investment is dubious at best.


Attributes:

Here are a few of the attributes recommended by the gurus of ‘coin and ones I’ve come up with over the years. By no means is this the all-inclusive list. Plenty of cryptos have soared and are doing quite well using different methodologies.

  • High-speed transactions
  • Ability to secure personal data (privacy)
  • Limited virtual supply
  • Trusted by its users (maybe not an ICO)
  • May or may not be centralized
  • Bottom-up focus
  • Longevity
  • Customer Service/Communication
  • Core or primary services located in freer countries
  • Dev/founder philosophy

And don’t get all hung up in longevity. Just because a coin is old, does not mean it’s the same. Often, past forks, like what occurred with Feathercoin, offer new and better code, but also end up with new headaches. If the team remains, that’s a big tell.


Final Notes:

Moving back to Electroneum (one coin I’m watching lately) – it uses the CryptoNote codebase. A well-known, but sometimes problematic system which Monero has improved. In other words, the code can be well-tested (trusted) long before someone picks it up and takes it down a new path.

Finally, you may have come across the RuffCT concerns that could slow Monero down. Better at privacy, but less efficient, could spell disaster, unless coders find a better solution. How Electroneum will feel about such a modification, if they update to it, could put them in the same boat.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Feathercoin will lay some nice little eggs after all these years…

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird


The above is not investment advice. Seek appropriate gurus for that.

 

Electroneum (ETN) is Uber-esque?

Electroneum (ETN) is Uber-esque?

Dear Cryptocurrency Watchers and Dreamers:

The Crypto-Dream.

“So, do you want some Electroneum, dude? Just a taste? Yeah?

“Step into my dark alley.

“A little closer…”

Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?  If you’re going to create a cryptocurrency, would you not make that cryptocurrency interesting?

And thinking this way, allowing yourself that luxury, how many cryptocurrencies out there, are interesting? Have any pizzazz? Ones that don’t make you want to throw-up after you buy them?

Take bitcoin for example.  We know it started in 2009 or thereabouts. Satoshi Nakamoto and all that. Please.

We know that hundreds of other cryptocurrencies are under development, but none have ever been as popular as bitcoin.

Even Nicolas van Saberhagen got in the act. And CryptoNote was born. And it was about time.

We also know that the Chinese really like bitcoin? Bull. We know that the Chinese (people) aren’t stupid. Why would an entire nation of near-slaves like any type of cryptocurrency that is traceable? Think again, Shirley. The PBoC (.gov) needs compliant subjects.

And we know that there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies out there with varying degrees of excitement…and sheer boredom. Dull, as in sleepy.

So, where is the real McCoy? The real back-burner stuff, that we can move to the front burner – at least for a while?

Explosive adoption. A tidal wave of fun. Electroneum?

Bitcoin fights for superiority.  It struggles against its competitors. Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and many more. Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Ripple and so on.

Crypto-creators are getting rich, but the investors are bilked – or is that milked? Why even try?

And the circus continues, right?  New processes, new promises, new wallets and basically the same old thing.

Download this PC app. Maybe we’ll have a cell phone miner – someday. For now, just wait. And wait some more. This takes time. More BS. More time. Meanwhile, we’re aging…

And zero “mass adoption.”

Wouldn’t that be nice? Mass adoption or “use,” in short order? A Pokémon GO routine. Uber-like.

Why?

Time.

Cryptocurrency can be very temporary.  Like the Hula-hoop or Fidget-Spinners.

And we know that hype can make people notice.  Or is it the other way around, if you build it, they will come. How about somewhere in between? How about if we sizzle it?

Is that the promise of Electroneum?  Having the same capabilities of Bytecoin, Monero and the CryptoNote protocol – but having some power behind it. Some excitement, but not hype. Some chutzpa? But not junk-coin.

And some live person to call and say, “Dude, like your coin but, well, I screwed up and forgot one freaking letter on the send address and now I have 1000 ETN’s in freaking stuck-like-pud-land. Can you help?”

“Electroneum here – we’ll get right on it, sir!”

Can’t do that with any other CryptoNote. Will we be able to with our ETN’s?

You’ve undoubtedly come across allegations from the Monero folks indicating that Electroneum is essentially a copy of Monero.  But was not Monero taken from BitMonero, by the alleged community?  Was not Monero taken from Bytecoin and the CryptoNote protocol, even if it has changed?

Sure.

Cryptocurrency is the land of clones and forks. In fact, the folks that brought us CryptoNote encouraged anyone to use their software protocol.

And now we have a Electroneum.

So, let’s get off our high horses, shall we?  Let the best man or woman, win.

I am sick of the purification schemes that never come to fruition. CryptoNote coins that never rise to the “user-friendly” environs, because, you see, the users are losers. The developers, lost in their own self-serving nodes, regale us with their genius, then crap on us with their half-baked excuses.

Maybe it’s time to let Electroneum give it a go.

If expert businessmen and marketers can combine their resources and use a product better than those who developed the original product, why shouldn’t they?

It sort of reminds you of ranching.  Once you voluntarily sell your cattle, the next rancher can do what?  He or she can compete with your business and sell more cows. You can go out of business for being less efficient or get to work.

Sure, people will like the privacy of Monero.  They like security, absolutely.  But if all you do is sell the steak, refuse to sell any sizzle, your business model may not succeed.

That’s what I think Electroneum is trying to do.  Trying to sell the sizzle and the steak, using the CryptoNote protocol, but centralizing part of the works. This certainly decreases the privacy part, but will it matter?  Will anybody care, if it serves to unseat the Fiat Gods of the Fed? Besides, we’re not talking about a coin that is being built in a third world communist regime.

Does anyone really think that cryptocurrencies are long term investment vehicles, though?  That cryptocurrencies are not temporary? Of course, they are. Things will change.

Come on, search your soul.  How many times have you deleted the bitcoin wallet from your computer?  How many other cryptocurrency wallets have you downloaded and deleted?

And I am not saying that I would rather have .gov fiat money. I think that .gov fiat sucks.  All I’m saying is we need to make some hay, while the crypto-sun is still shining.

Using that as a backdrop, anyone who invests in cryptocurrencies, might want one with immediate and powerful messages and a potential to rally — and rapidly expand.

Why? Is it not plain? Strike while the iron is molten, not after the .govs ramrod the innovators.

Less chance of losing money, right? More chance of making money, don’t you think? No more delay.

So, the key, is to recognize the next major expanding cryptocurrency.  That’s a tough job.

Looking back almost anyone can see how the new cryptocurrencies arrive on the scene. How they create some hype, suck in millions of dollars, plateau and then fade. More advertising is pushed out, more videos, professors, news guys, hot chicks — all talking-up the protocol while more investment money flows in; and then what happens?

“Adios, nitwits.”

Oftentimes you have a stationary thing.  A crypto-monster treading water until it disappears into the depths, with your cash. The crew and talk-bots shift to the next coin. Failures dot the crypto-landscape, but these coin-pushers thrive here. It’s too easy.

“Wanna taste for free,” they ask? “An air-drop maybe? This is some 3.0 stuff!”

So, you buy and cry.

The pushers call them tears of joy.

Zombie-coins. Churning coins. Incessant trading. Exchanges, feeding off the fees. Money tubes, full of lost labor. Math freaks gorging on code.

And it all sucks. And I’m tired of it, aren’t you? Way past day-trader mode and gambling. Now I want a contender, ready to show us the marketing stuff. Show the blockchain-lovers, how the hell it’s done.

Could Electroneum do that?

A few months later, after the next-newest cryptocurrency version has failed, no doubt the same guys will be back with the next great cryptocurrency. They’re trying again. ICO after ICO and dump after dump. They need millions more of your hard-earned money.  There is another rush to purchase, maddening pumps, spectacular dumps, and then the cryptocurrency is shoveled into that pit where our money burns. But they come again. Version 12. A new team. New protocols. New wallet.

Oh, just stuff it.

Cryptocurrencies are labeled as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes, somewhat like the current .gov fiat money schemes we use today.  We are told that cryptocurrency exchanges are unregulated, and they can essentially cheat their own system.  We are told that private money can lead to more crime but the cash in our pockets, created by our governments, is somehow immune?

With all this bad news, maybe a Electroneum is the good news.

At any rate, cryptocurrency is a choice.  It’s a free choice. Government money is required money.  And gold and silver are not legal tender, for the most part.

If you can’t crap, CryptoNote progeny (you know who you are) then get off the pot.

Let’s watch Electroneum.

Sincerely,

Jack Shorebird


 

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