Tag Archives: Monero XMR

Monero and CryptoNote Derived Cryptocurrencies Doomed?


ASIC Resistance is futile.

Sitting in the pits of their protocol is a rotten thing. It’s at the core of the CryptoNote code. The inappropriately applied idea of “egalitarianism.” I mention this now because it comes up constantly on the “boards” during discussions. By boards, I mean the official (and unofficial — think Reddit) Monero and Bytecoin and other cryptocurrency channels. Most of the time, it is ignored or given some whitewash to hide the true colors.

It’s also a way to fool the average Joe.

There are discussions about ASIC’s v. CPU v. GPU v. FPGA ad nauseam. On the surface, it all seems rather mundane but there is a missing piece here. It is the piece called “why.” As in “why” are the CryptoNote fans so adamant about keeping the ASIC’s out?

There are built-in protection guarantees offered by the CryptoNote systems, you see. They advise that the most efficient mining systems will be made less efficient, by design. So, don’t worry comrade, stick around, help us developers stay rich. We will protect you by leveling the playing field. Kicking out the best ASIC players. In other words, even the most inefficient e-miners or e-mining systems will carry the same weight and power as the efficient ones.

On the surface, the CryptoNote systems appear to reflect certain political systems. The United States, for example, has two Senators (House of Lords) from each state and it balances against representatives (House of Commons), which are population-based. So the state of Rhode Island (our smallest state) has the same senatorial power as California, one of our largest socialistic failing states.

But the application of political/governmental power, I assert, is to protect a very narrow set of human rights. The right to life, liberty (freedom) and to own property…in the pursuit of happiness as it were.

If any CryptoNote coin claims that equality before the law is egalitarian, then I’d support them but they don’t mean this. They are not talking about inalienable human rights. Rights we are born with and not handed down or proclaimed on some document or granted by a group of thugs on a Wednesday. No, the CryptoNote gang is talking about social leveling and control when you use their protocol. E-mine with us, they say and we’ll do our best to look out for the “little guy.”

One cannot deny a certain group of people their rights, simply because they are able to build better, faster, more efficient machines to mine more gold. In cryptocurrency, however, you can punish such people. It’s a man-made network modeled on some very shaky ideals. It can change like the wind and reflect, in effect, a type of communistic crypto-paradise. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. And we all know how well those political systems work. (Hint: they don’t.)

Unfortunately, this is the way many in the cryptocurrency community define “equality.” Egalitarianism with the blurred lines. If an ASIC or any system is developed, that will perform (e-mine) faster, it is blocked. They don’t want that. ASIC’s are sidelined in favor of slower, less efficient systems, so that the average slow processor (think ‘Comrade-in-Arms’) may still participate. That is not “equality” it’s a recycle bin bromide.

Of course, this won’t happen until the developers reap their rewards, however. After they suck in all the wealth, like any good group of politburo chiefs, like say, Bytecoin still does. Since they are anonymous, they can simply walk away and lay on a nice beach, whilst you wonder why such a perfect egalitarian dream went bust. Where’s your dacha, comrade?

Think about it. Fearing faster and better computing machines that can race through the protocols at speed, e-mine with abandon, and process with efficiency is backward thinking. It is the equivalent of the rolling “brownout” solution, instead of building more power plants. Of having everyone wearing dark sunglasses on a moonless night while driving his family in a compact vehicle on a major highway, with his headlights off. No trucks allowed, they can haul too much gold.

The idea is not to fear progress but embrace it. Use it. Accept it. Not hate it for being good, but use the technology to build a better and stronger private cryptocurrency, such as Monero. (Not Bytecoin. Why is that one still around? How many people will they fool?)

Monero suffers the “equality” falsehood. The egalitarian foible. You can see it in their constant “bar lowering.” They fail to embrace and use the newest tech. They wish to hold onto their slingshots, while the machine guns are being oiled and airplanes fly over their collectivist heads. They escape to their coding labs, tweak the protocols and rejoice that for one more week, they have halted the advance of technology with software. The Arms Race continues, however. And it will pass them by, if they do not adapt.

We all probably understand the reasoning. Why Monero (CryptoNote based coins) wants to keep the waters as level as possible by plugging the holes that keep appearing in their dam. To make sure big players don’t swoop in and take over the spillways. Allegedly, this is the current problem with bitcoin. But as the cracks keep appearing, the dam may break anyway.

How do they solve their crisis? How could any cryptocurrency, for that matter, make the process as fair as possible and not allow one giant mega computer to take over? That question will undoubtedly be answered by the new tech itself. Surely, if new systems (new tech) are developed, new cryptocurrencies will evolve right along with them. It seems that the “fear” of quantum computing should be tempered by the realization that it will also be utilized to better secure the new types of cryptocurrencies that will develop in its wake.

How about at present though? How can we help the private coins? Or any proof-of-work based cryptocurrency? If the idea is to mimic mining for gold, then a limit (number) of coins should be set. That has been done. But when more e-miners flock to the e-gold fields, it seems that less e-gold is to be had. Or, one or two strike it rich and they begin to buy out the others. Then the big groups come with their Goliath machines and the small miner moves on.

The finding of real gold is not about power, specifically. It’s about the search, the research, the location, the process, the physical reality – where the gold is – and sometimes it’s pure chance. Cryptocurrency of the alleged egalitarian type, the man made type, simply turns down the e-gold flow, when more e-miners flock to the field and vice versa. It does this by rejecting e-mining hardware advancements and playing to the weak hands – the comrade with a (CPU) pick and shovel — and that makes it weaker. It is not fair to those who are wealthier and smarter, but it does cater to the less apt and the less affluent. The upshot is, any two-bit dictator can force his slave CPU laborers to e-mine.

One problem with cryptocurrency of the people (as I submit Monero tries to be) is that the e-miners also own the e-banks – the transmission mechanism. The e-miners dig up the e-gold, smelt it, e-mint it into pretty little e-bars and if the e-miners are effective, they can take over the entire mine (51% Attack), and reassign all the e-gold ever e-mined, to themselves. Now that’s a problem. Chances are, if this happened, the e-gold would then become worthless.

Some say that this possibility (51% Attack) alone keeps the big miners at bay…unless they want to destroy the cryptocurrency. Now, who would want to do that? Competitors? Governments? Methinks yes, in the case of XMR or haven’t you heard?

Think about that. If there was only a single real gold mine on the entire planet you’d want to make sure no one large group owns it, right? So you’d pass a law to prevent it. “No smart, efficient miners/bankers allowed on Earth’s only gold mine.” Only picks and shovels here. Ma and Pa banks, please. We call it protectionism or a kind of a tariff. And we all know what happens then, everyone loses. But there are many real gold mines, just like there are many real cryptocurrencies.

Random e-gold (e-bar finds) are not fair they’re just random, especially if there’s a single e-mine, like Monero or Aeon. It’s like everyone digging in the same e-hole, but only one e-miner or a group of e-miners is rewarded at a time. In the real world, there are lots of real gold mines, remember? Lots of chances to strike it rich. It’s not, “Here you go, you won this e-gold-bar, but nobody else did. Maybe next time they will strike it rich! Oh, not really, we have a one e-gold-bar at a time policy. Sorry. No major strikes allowed, ever.”

Gold is not all in one place like Monero’s e-gold is or Bitcoin’s. And yes, I know I can mine different crypto’s. If I mine them with a pick and shovel, however, rather than an industrial process, it should make a difference. If I am wealthier and smarter and I can e-mine more e-gold with my industrial sized ASIC, than the guy with the CPU shovel then I should reap more e-bars, not be told that I’m being stingy. Not have to wait my turn at the freaking roulette wheel, like all the other nice e-people. At the same time, I shouldn’t be able to own the one e-bank (or the e-casino, if you prefer) that controls all the e-gold.

Monero’s (or any cryptocurrency for that matter) e-gold should not be e-mined all in one place. E-miners should not be told the e-mine is closed when their big e-steam shovels come out. No crypto should be 51% attack-able in the first place. We don’t lose our gold when the Chinese Government stocks up on gold bars. Why should we lose, if a bot scams the e-mining algo?

If Monero (or any cryptocurrency) can get to that place, then they or Aeon might survive. And by “place” I mean like the gold mining/selling process. Gold is mine-able by different processes, and with differing rewards. One might hit a “strike” of gigantic proportions in a mountain and then bring in the big guys or sell the “strike” to others. One might use a vast process that filters the ocean for gold. What is the equivalent with crypto? ASIC’s?

Then reality kicks in.

If a cryptocurrency does not attempt to provide a service like a smart contract or a remittance mechanism or represent an asset, it might fail for the same reason fiat currencies fail. It’s happening with crypto-fiat faster since we are not forced to use them. Unless they find some better way to instill trust.

(Full disclosure: I own XMR’s.)

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The Bitcoin Blockchain, Gold, Tether Connection


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Correlations are easy to visualize at times. One can see that recently, with few exceptions, many cryptocurrencies marched in tandem. In the early days, this was not the case. Most cryptocurrencies moved in ‘random.’

Perhaps it is because of the scope of investments flooding into the cryptocurrency markets today. The institutional investors are beginning to push real value into the system, with the real risk of serious downtrends, should the brokers receive the “sell all” order from their clients.

In any event, the recent run up and “half-bubble” burst of bitcoin has made for interesting discussion. One I have not seen yet, is a discussion of bitcoin breaking the gold trend line and what happened when it did.

When I state the “gold trend line,” I’m using Google Trends to plot “interest” or “searches” of a word or a sets of words. There are many available combinations and the sales of mined data is big business. To the uninitiated, trying to find the correct setting – to use the trends to your advantage – can be a bit disconcerting. So, keeping it simple might be your solution.

Or you can read the tea leaves. Pig entrails? Clif High, Webbot supporter? Palm Reader enthusiast?

I use the gold (as a chemical element) trend for comparisons. Not “gold as an investment,” but that is another option. I also set the trend for a worldwide search. Now, you can use long-term or short-term settings, say 90 days or even a year.

Recently, after plotting various trends, I wanted to see if there were any patterns or correlations between “gold” and “bitcoin” (search topic). From November 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 I found a curious thing. (See chart below.) Bitcoin has broken the gold barrier.

Can we then estimate future bitcoin prices, based upon its “interest” and its relation to gold trends? How about bitcoin interest v. Monero interest?

Well, based on the data set below, not exactly.


1 - Copy(Source: Google Trends – 60-day Time Set. Please see Google for an explanation of their data sets.)


Now, in many countries, this was the end of tax season, but in the United States, the tax laws recently changed – were clarified. It was, of course, decision time.

Do I hold, now that I am penalized for trading crypto for crypto? Do I sell, and take my tax lumps, before the end of the year? Do I trade into gold or a private untraceable cryptocurrency? If I do elect to hold private cryptocurrency (Monero), should I expect a price spike, because everyone else is probably thinking along the same lines, or will regulations kill off the last hold-outs and make the above-board cryptocurrency substitutes (Ripple, Stellar etc.) surge? (Not really.)

And there are other factors. Inflation. Whole countries outlawing cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges being ripped-off. Exchanges disappearing or going offline, without warning (Binance). So, by no means is the above trend interpretation authoritative.

Let’s just focus on the gold trends and bitcoin’s relation to it, during the time-frame in question. That’s November and December of 2017.


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As you can see above, the gold trend line was broken by bitcoin on at least three separate occasions, when comparing the chosen data. November 27, 2017, December 2 – 3, 2017 and again on December 29, 2017. The question is, did the above trend “predict” the coming surge in bitcoin prices or at least hint at the possibility? Or was bitcoin issuing a warning?

One can see that the Monero interest trends barely budged. It didn’t seem as if people were thinking about privatizing.

November 27, 2017. What was happening? According to Coinmarketcap.co here, bitcoin closed at $9,818.35 that day. It had been surging before that, having closed at $6,559.49, on November 13, 2017. It had already risen over a third in value in short order.

What about December 2 – 3, 2017? $11,074.60 and $11,323.20 closing prices, respectively. Even in a trough of “interest” bitcoin was surging in price. People were not searching for bitcoin as much. Why? Were they holding? Watching on Coinmarketcap.com?

On December 29, 2017 bitcoin closed at $14,656.20. Was the breaking of the gold trend line, in reverse, a signal of a future downtrend? Not immediately, if at all. Bitcoin surged to over $17,000 by January 6, 2018. After that, however, it began to retreat. As of February 12, the closing price of bitcoin was $8,926.57.

Let’s add some more info, focusing on the breaking of the gold trend line, in gray.


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The above chart illustrates bitcoin’s closing prices on the given date ranges. You can immediately see that the first peak of search interest over the gold trend line correlated to a very small value increase. We must remember, however, people searching for bitcoin will then need to figure out how to buy it, if they were new to the game. In any event, there appears to be a lag between “interest” (positive or negative – we do not know) and price changes.

As bitcoin broke the gold trend line on November 27, 2017, prices surged a little, initially. Then, within less than a month, the price of bitcoin more than doubled. By December 16, 2017, bitcoin closed at $19,497. A surge of over 100% in price. Why couldn’t it go higher?

Would a reasonable person have understood that such a surge in interest via trends (searches) would translate into higher bitcoin prices, when the gold trend line was broken? Again, how can we know? One can search for bitcoin for many reasons. For reasons “not to buy” and for reasons of education, as well. Let’s face it, though, something urged many people (or bots?) to type in the word: bitcoin. Were people fearing that they might miss out. “FOMO” in colloquial internet-speak? Were we being manipulated into thinking that bitcoin interest was surging?

In the old days, just after bitcoin hit the cryptosphere, a 100% increase in price would have been considered, by percentage, no big deal. Today, however, such an enormous surge is in the billions of dollars – not mere millions. It is serious. Don’t let the oldies fool you.

Bitcoin appeared to be on track to hit all-time highs daily, after the gold trend line was broken. Bitcoin was running hard, until about December 18, 2017 – when the cryptosphere began to suffer one of its worst collapses on record – when you factor in the amount of money invested — and now divested.

So, what happened?

From over 300 billion dollars in capitalization, bitcoin halved in a matter of weeks. Did bitcoin touch the “golden trend line” and was it punished for doing so? Since gold trends correlate with US Dollar “interest” trends, was bitcoin’s popularity a threat to the financial order?

Was this one of the greatest pump and dump schemes in history? The “Tether” play, as some have indicated. Pumping up the price of bitcoin by simply “printing” phantom, worthless Tethers — and buying? Then cashing out to fiat? (Not unlike any government that deals in fiat currency.)

We no longer use gold as money, therefore there is very little utilitarian value to gold at all, except as a safe-haven asset, provided it is not confiscated. Did bitcoin touch the US Dollar “third rail?”

But let’s set these aside for a minute. What else was going on the day bitcoin began to eat crow?


News, Before the Fall

Was there anything that was happening on December 18, 2017 or shortly before, that may have changed people’s minds? Some introduction of “panic” or market manipulation?

December 13, 2017:

December 18, 2017:


The gist of it?

Wall Street was reporting that economists didn’t like bitcoin, big investors were selling bitcoin, fedcoin was looming, bitcoin myths were being exposed, bitcoin corrections were coming, Tether was probably scamming billions, and socialist countries were bitching because they couldn’t get in on the action.

A perfect pre-panic or a conspiracy theory?

One last chart for your perusal. As bitcoin’s interest was driving hard these past several months, it approached the US dollar interest line, at speed. Like the gold interest line above, bitcoin pierced this dollar trend line. There has been conjecture about this as well.

Did bitcoin’s sudden rise act as a market-dollar barometer in advance? Knowing that the dollar was and is devaluing, that gold prices have been (and may still be) manipulated,  and that the markets are overheated, to say it mildly — did bitcoin signal the alarm? Maybe. At least that’s one take. But why divest of crypto, if you think gold and the DOW Jones Average are headed for the drink? Cash under the mattress? More than likely.


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(Source: Google Trends.)

Finally, if Tether is printing phantom dollars and they do it responsibly, is it any different than any fiat currency in existence — aside from the fact that it is privately managed? Can it replace the dollar and at the same time, support cryptocurrency? Can it replace POS cryptocurrencies, that are also created out of thin air? How about POW crypto’s that are created by gamed-computer-mining?

In any event, I’m at loss to explain how Tether made bitcoin surge 100%, to 300 billion dollars in value, in a month, when Tether’s market capitalization has never exceeded three-billion dollars. Churning? The fact that investors could (can) “fall back” to Tether, if BTC faltered? Hello? There aren’t enough Tethers in existence.

I suppose one could take out an option, but the Tether spreads must be useless, unless you have millions to play with. Help me here, financial gurus. If everyone agrees that each Tether is worth one US dollar and there are no dollars actually backing up them up, at what point do investors lose confidence?

No wonder the US Government wants to eat Tether’s lunch. It’s a competitor.

Who is Crypto’s real enemy? Ask yourself that question.


The above is my opinion and conjecture. Don’t bet your house on it.

–JGS

Three Predictions for Cryptocurrencies in 2018: “SPACE”

What’s Next?


Many people ask where cryptocurrency is heading. I thought I’d take a moment here and delve into that. A bit of forward conjecture.

Why?

Because I can’t seem to find it all in one place. Just bits and pieces of negative and positive elements. So, I jammed a few of them in here. And it’s all my opinion, of course. Take it with a smidgen of rock salt.


Predictions:


1. The CCE’s will Official-ize and DCE’s will not matter

Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (CCE’s) may not survive in their current form. The year 2018, in the United States, will test their mettle.

Why? Tax laws, crypto-friendly countries, atomic swaps, and:

Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (DCE’s).

In a recent interview by an unnamed person, as not to disparage the name of a particular CCE, it was learned that things like atomic swaps and/or functional DCE’s are years into the future. That is, according to the CEO of this particular CCE. That centralized and regulated exchanges are better suited for a servile public and institutional investors. Regulation is acceptable.

Bull. We have grown up now. Training wheels are not handcuffs.

Some CCE’s even pride themselves for their transparency. They put a face to their company. They stand upright and walk on two legs and pay their taxes as all good citizens should. Even if the monetary system is rotten to the core. Don’t you dare try to improve it.

The anti-government stance seems to worry the CCE’s. Just be nice and trade, they ask. We are all in the same sinking boat after all – the CEO says from the crow’s nest — as the waters rush in.

But let’s face it. If a CCE decides to go transparent, it has no choice. The business model they chose, for good or ill, requires that they follow and not lead, at least in the U.S. In the U.S., CCE’s must create and maintain a KYC, AML compliant trading platform or face prosecution. It’s that simple. No submarines allowed. Surface ships only, please. Even if we lose the war.

Add to this CCE mix, the recent 2018 U.S. tax law clarifications regarding cryptocurrency trading and one can speculate as to the true motives behind a certain unnamed CCE’s recent announcement that they are moving in the direction of U.S. Dollar trading – for most users. And that they are apparently seeking to offer actual securities (stocks and bonds) in the future.

Why? They are losing money – or soon will be. They need you to buy and buy now. The sooner the better. Use lots of cash. And, as the tax laws kill the cryptosphere in the U.S., the CCE’s will “evolve.” No, Mr. CCE, you will capitulate. You will spring backwards, to the safety of the fiat. And there, you will die Mr. CCE, for lack of verve and vision.

And that leads into the DCE’s. In their current incarnation, they are worthless or nearly so. Dead on arrival. You must pledge a bit of expensive bitcoin, choose a third party to settle disputes and wait forever. DCE’s are slow to improve, unprofessional, not user-friendly and untrusted.

Perhaps the new impetus will be the desire for free trade, unhindered by the regulations and onerous tax laws.

But we need something more.


2. The U.S. New Tax Laws will be Ineffective

Translation: Cryptocurrency trading is slowing down. U.S. customers especially, are not trading like they used to, because they know that each time they do so, they can no longer claim a “like-kind” exchange. In other words, the tax hit is helping to drive cryptocurrency prices lower. It is also killing the centralized exchanges – which could be a good thing.

U.S. based CCE’s must now shift into another gear if they want to stay in business. Aside from the threat of atomic swaps and DCE’s, the fact that trading will continue to slow because of tax laws, means that the CCE’s will begin to consolidate and/or offer more services.

This is already happening. It’s called survival mode. The hangover after the party. Luckily, there is still plenty of booze left, but it’s cheap booze now. Bitcoin is no longer as “top shelf” as it once was. Bitcoin Cash continues to hammer away.

These new tax laws, reduced trading and the bubble-popping amusement ride, is soaking value from the CCE’s, at hyper-speed. Where once, the cryptos flowed like champagne into the golden baths of the CCE’s, it now dribbles in as diluted, headache-inducing, sparkling wine, from the Left Coast (California).

As a result, expect CCE membership fees to emerge, large balance requirements, the wooing of institutional investors with unpublished deals, and the farming-out of the expensive retail arms to other companies, especially where labor is cheap. Expect more ads.

The net effect? The little guy will be left holding cryptocurrency he cannot trade, without first signing his life away. Should the little guy hold private coins, he will be suspect. Where will any freedom-seeking individual go?

This is why I feel that the new U.S. Tax Laws will be ineffective. They will make a show of it, force the crypto lovers underground, arrest a few, let the problem fester, and in the end, they will wake up with a new money. It is simply a matter of time. Even the dinosaurs died out.

Sophisticated traders and gamblers might hire third-party fictions to hold their crypto, but the vast majority will not be able to entertain such extravagant schemes. Tax loopholes are for the affluent.


3.The Rise of “SPACE”

If you live under a rock, you’ve never heard of a DCE. That’s fine. Maybe atomic swaps are your thing. Or even Atomic Coin, which is another altcoin. But I don’t think you’ve heard about this next idea. It’s not about another blockchain.

Spontaneous Private Atomic Cryptocurrency Exchange(s)? Or: S.P.A.C.E.

It does not yet exist.

I predict we will see the beginnings of SPACE in 2018. It will be a combination of a CCE, DCE, Atomic Swaps, and best of all, it will be anonymous and untraceable. Imagine a private-Amazon with its own Monero-like cash that spends everywhere, instantly. Making fiat superfluous. (I’m an optimist.) Where you can store your crypto in the new cloud and access it where ever SPACE is used.

Already, we are seeing hints of this. Cloakcoin. Litecoin in talks with Monero? Some countries creating their own internet, with different protocols. Sharding altcoins, like MaidSafeCoin, just to name a few.

They all seem to miss the mark however. They all must ground themselves to the given ICANN.

What if they didn’t?

What if SPACE was created as needed? You initiate a private connection to a flexible network where there are no third parties. You buy, sell or trade instantly. Your choice of payment (coin) is saved, privately. And you disconnect. There would be no fees, no records, save your own and no limits. Everything would be automatic, anonymous, user-friendly and secure. Once the developers released such a network into the wild, it would, like bitcoin, be maintained in a similar manner.

Therefore, the next big thing, at least in the Cryptosphere, will be way out there. Beyond the current internet completely. A quantum leap and a human achievement that could set the stage for the next leap forward.

That is the idea, isn’t it?

Will you be ready for SPACE?

–JGS


 

Monero (XMR) NEWS ALERT!


THIS IS A MONERO RED ALERT!!!

 

In case you are not aware, Monero, via Reddit has just issued the following:

“…investigating the unusually high number of complaints of theft on MyMonero over the last week. The majority…of theft on MyMonero are related to phishing sites or malware, but there was an uptick in reports and Reddit posts towards the end of last week.

…we are actively investigating…and will update everyone as soon as we’re done. In order to ensure that we don’t miss anything, we are working with the good folk at MWR InfoSecurity.

It would be greatly appreciated if people can be redirected to emailing support@mymonero.com instead of posting things up on Reddit, otherwise it’s difficult to keep track of everything.”

Link to MyMonero.

If you have a balance there, I recommend you check it.

I’m sure that the Monero folks don’t want everyone to panic, but I would expect a pull back in the price now.


jgs

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?

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?

 

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.

“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.


 

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.