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Bitcoin: Deletion by Executive Order?

Bitcoin: Deletion by Executive Order?

Dear Cryptocurrency Investors,

Let’s play a “worst case scenario” game. Why? Because it’s always good to play the “what if” game. It helps you prepare.

You see a lot of hints out there and worries. But I wanted a bit more. I wanted you to taste it, if even fictionally. Why?

Because this has happened before. I know people who lived through it. People who had to turn in their gold to the government or face criminal prosecution.

But a little background first.

Cryptocurrency is now being accused of outshining gold. It’s little wonder that in the United States bitcoin is effectively, 10 times the price of gold.

Think on that for a moment. Software – a ledger service – is now more valuable than a physical commodity.

What’s more, cryptocurrency cannot be as easily regulated as gold or silver. It’s a governmental conundrum.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) signed Executive Order 6102. It essentially confiscated gold from law abiding citizens because of an emergency.

The emergency? It’s debatable, but many point to one thing: to bailout the Federal Reserve. At the time, many foreign countries were cashing in dollars for American gold and well, the government was running low.

Gold prices back then were set by government at $20.67 an ounce. About a year later, the official rate of gold was raised to $35 per ounce. What that meant was that the US Dollar lost approximately 40% of its value in a year. Inflation was gifted by Uncle Sam. It may have also slowed the gold drain, since by then, foreigners had to use more fiat currency to buy the same amount of gold.

This is all history. How US citizens were ripped-off by their government. No wonder, that even today, people are nervous about their gold. But maybe they shouldn’t worry so much now.

Gold has been out-shined. The days of price manipulation by governments, is over.

Bitcoin is now the up and coming king of currencies. Perhaps it is better to say that cryptocurrency is king. Why?

Because we do not know if some new altcoin will win the day. Ethereum, IOTA, Litecoin or Monero – or some innovative altcoin may soon become the new digital gold. But there is no doubt that the digital gold rush is on.

Governments are paying much closer attention.

They see that their fiat currency is under threat by software that not only substitutes for fiat dollars, but does all sorts of other neat things too. They avoid capital controls, zip around the world in seconds, skirt banks and taxes – and hide in plain sight. Best of all, they can’t be confiscated, without permission – or so we hope. Governments have a difficult time tracking them.

The idea that blockchains cannot be cracked by quantum computers might not wash. If the government agencies utilize quantum computers to confiscate a single cryptocurrency transaction, this would no doubt have a chilling effect upon the entire cryptosphere.

Would people then stop transacting in crypto, knowing that any transaction could be redirected to a government wallet? Would that not halt crypto in its tracks? Make it worthless?

Could our governments conduct a 51% attack? A concerted effort to destroy specific crypto targets? These cryptocurrency websites often suffer such attacks and other issues.

North Korea attacks bitcoin regularly, via the exchanges. It appears that they are trying to steal cryptocurrency, however, and not destroy the targets themselves. They are a fiscally challenged despotic regime, after all.

Denial-of-service attacks recently hit the cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Bittrex.

Bitfinex shies away from American customers due to the onerous reporting regulations and the costs associated with them.

Bittrex is suspiciously locking Legacy accounts and asking for upgraded identity information from its customers. They telegraphed (reported) this process before they proceeded, but reduced customer withdrawal amounts. Shortly thereafter the total lockdown began. They have sent out emails to apologize.

One would expect a big outflow of funds when and if Bittrex releases the locks. Unless Bittrex customers have been Goxxed.

Crypto-jacking is on the rise. Are you mining crypto for others as you surf the web? You would hope not.

ICO’s may soon lose their luster. Initial Coin Offerings can be used to easily raise money, but will the developers make good on their promises? Recent US investigations might be one nail in that coffin.

And to top it all off, it appears that bitcoin has some serious problems ahead. Routing attacks are a concern. Apparently, most of bitcoin’s transactions flow through just three ISP’s. If true, how difficult would it be to slow the nodes? To make everyone lose the faith?

“…the biggest threat…”

In all this mess, many of us are ignoring the biggest threat of all, however: The Great Confiscators. The governments.

If FDR could sign an Executive Order to take all the gold from Americans, how difficult would it be for a sitting president to do the same – to steal the crypto?

If Congress, in the US, cannot agree on a bill to make Americans report their crypto-holdings, would it not be easier to whip out the presidential pen and in a matter of hours, criminalize bitcoin possession?

And that’s my thrust here. I wanted to imagine just what such an order would look like. So I looked up FDR’s great theft and perused a couple of The Donald’s recent Executive Orders and came up with this:


Presidential Executive Order Combating Terrorism, Money Laundering, Illicit Drugs and Cryptocurrency Pyramid Schemes

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001 (Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks), which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States, and in order to provide the Secretary of Defense additional authority to manage personnel requirements in a manner consistent with the authorization provided in Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty and Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation), and in order to clarify SEC. 13. Prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, (a) In general. —Section 5312(a) of title 31, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency contracts, prepaid access devices, and digital currency, from the recognized and customary channels of trade, be they held at a digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency or anywhere and in any form not yet known to exist. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver or transfer on or before January 1, 2018, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all cryptocurrency holdings, cryptocurrency passwords and password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets, now owned or controlled by them or coming into their ownership on or before December 6, 2017, except the following:

(a) Such amount of cryptocurrency as may be required for pre-approved legitimate and customary use within and under the direct control of the regulated banking and financial industry or those government regulated companies that serve said industries, including any cryptocurrency mined/minted therein.

(b) Cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate of .00000001 BTC, belonging to any one person; and cryptocurrency having a recognized special value to bankers as rare and unusual altcoins.

(c) Cryptocurrency and mining, minting, or other methods of network security, earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign Government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Cryptocurrency and any derivatives thereof, licensed for other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including cryptocurrency and said derivatives, imported for reexport or held pending action on applications for export licenses.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered, any person becoming the owner or controller of any cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency passwords or password seed phrases, to include hardware, software, and paper wallets after December 6, 2017, shall, within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such cryptocurrencies are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of Section 2; or unless such cryptocurrencies are held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such cryptocurrency, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of cryptocurrency delivered to it in accordance with Sections 2 or 3, the Federal Reserve Bank or member bank will note therefor an equivalent amount of any other form of legal tender at the official rate of one US cent per one BTC or equivalent in any other altcoin.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all cryptocurrency owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefor, at the going market rate, prior to the issuance of this order.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation or transfer of cryptocurrency delivered to a member bank or Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with Section 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal Reserve Banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of cryptocurrency by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath, addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal Reserve Bank. Each application must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the cryptocurrency in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this order and to issue licenses thereunder, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal Reserve Banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust cryptocurrency to or for persons showing the need for the same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Upon collection of the cryptocurrencies in question, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby ordered to delete, by any feasible method, as verified by Federal Reserve Banks and companies on retainer for said purposes, the cryptocurrencies in their possession by not later that February 1, 2018.

Section 10. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $1,000,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than twenty-five years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.

THE PRESIDENT

THE WHITE HOUSE?

December 6, 2017…


Do not think for a moment that such an order is impossible today.

Be ready.

Note: Please feel free to copy my fictional executive order and distribute. Wake up some crypto-heads.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

P.S. Do you really think that all Americans – the true patriots – gave up their gold in 1933?

 

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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.

“Mining” Your Visitors?

“Mining” Your Visitors?

Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts:

Don’t ask don’t tell.

Words to live by? Not.

Don’t muck with your website visitors. Ask first.

Aside from all the other goings-on, we now have to concern ourselves with sneaky people. Those who will inject code in their webpages to mine your CPU, basically.

Watch out for those pop-unders.

There is so much information out there, that my two bits aren’t worth the bother. In fact, you can now get hopelessly lost in the crypto-sphere. And have fun at the same time. And make money.

But the webpage miners are being thwarted at every turn.

Is this really a cryptocurrency phenomenon at all? Or is it a social one? Geared toward the criminal element?

Not necessarily and I’ll get to that in a moment.

The webpage mining tech was attracting the users. Even me. I figured I could ask for people to mine a bit of crypto as they read my blog. A bit of extra income.

But many webpage miners didn’t ask you. They got greedy. And they fouled the water for everyone else — for now.

So, can you really make money by grabbing everyone’s CPU power? It seems that the effort has now been largely blocked. So, the short answer is no.

At first, the idea seemed to hold some promise. Help us niche bloggers earn a few extra bucks, but then the dream evaporated, if it ever was more than a dream in the first place.

Many of us have heard about CoinHive and its alleged shady reputation. How you could use their codes on your website and mine cryptocurrency (Monero XMR) by using the CPU power of website visitors. You could even do it without advising your website visitors, which was unethical, to say the least.

The fact that Coinhive did not originally design their software to inform the website visitors that your CPU was being used without your permission, but left it up to the software users to do this, speaks volumes. And even if Coinhive had coded their app to inform website visitors, any good hacker could then strip away those warnings and mine in secret anyway.

If you check, Coinhive’s reputation on Scamadviser you will see that they have a high rating. Really? I say they are going to sink, if they don’t re-gear posthaste.

I experimented with CoinHive for a bit, several months back — on other websites — not here. I let everyone know up front what I was doing.

It was kind of fun, but also kind of a waste of time. I think I earned about 25 cents, but I can’t withdraw that tiny amount, so Coinhive will end up with it, I’m sure.

I think I actually mined most of my own crypto anyway. Every time you logged onto Coinhive’s site, they mine your CPU, essentially.

I experimented two ways on my webpages.

First, I copied the code CoinHive had and pasted it on one of my old Blogspot Blogs (not on this website) that didn’t get any traffic, because like a dummy, I renamed it and screwed up my Google Adsense account – which is another joke.

But the CoinHive miner did work – then. The scripts ran.

Here was my code for embedding all the fun:

Coinhive Sc - Copy

I just copy and pasted. Then I advised everyone what I was doing.

Here’s what pops up (if it works):


miner - Copy


And don’t be fooled, even this demo (above) on the CoinHive website, sucks down CPU power like mad. It’s a live demo! No free lunch.

Well, the above code was improved by CoinHive to alert you that the mining was taking place. (A bit late guys.)

In any event, most ISP’s, Google etc., block the scripts from running. And yes, you can get fancy and try to code workarounds – if you really want to get blacklisted (unless you’re working over TOR or a VPN).

You are certainly welcome to copy my code and try it. Adblock should eat you alive, however. And you may suffer the blacklist. What do you expect from ISP’s these days?

The second method I used from CoinHive was called the “shortlink.” It was kinda neat. A proof-of-work captcha that, in theory (if I was a webmaster and not a simpleton blogger) I could install as a “key” to allow you to read my fine works.

Once activated, the shortlink mined Monero for a moment (on a computer – not a cell phone) then redirected you to a website of my choosing. (I redirected everyone back to my blog.)

Here’s my shortlink:


cnhv.co/ol2


Here’s what it does (maybe):


Coinhive Cap - Copy


However, your Adblockers etc., should kill it.

There are other script miners out there as well.

There’s Popcoin, Crypto-Loot (kind of shady), and others. But they don’t necessarily have good reputations.

There is one website miner out there, however, that does have promise — but it’s also blocked. It looks to be a legitimate crypto in this space.

JseCoin (my affiliate link) does not seem to fall into the bad-boy crowd. But coming on the heels of CoinHive and clan, I wonder if they can pull it off – after their ICO.

JseCoin also has a script miner. Here’s mine:


!function(){var e=document,t=e.createElement(“script”),s=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];t.type=”text/javascript”,t.async=t.defer=!0,t.src=”https://load.jsecoin.com/load/31935/thecryptopapers.com/optionalSubID/0/”,s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}();


JseCoin is nice enough to have the code all ready, but…as with CoinHive’s script, Adblock eats it up. It will not (usually) work. But I did confirm that the script is functional.

Jsecoin looks like this, when it runs, if it runs:


Jsecoin wsm - Copy


JseCoin does not offer shortlinks, presently, but may offer ads for publishers in the near future.

As for JseCoin itself? I have no idea, but the promise is intriguing. You can also, just like in the old days (2009), mine with your CPU online; and I understand that JseCoin is ASIC resistant as well.

But here’s the thing. All the bad press about the big-bad honcho’s stealing your CPU power (and some did) has not yet caught up with the idea of paying with crypto, hot off the press.

If this crypto-world keeps on going, this kind of thing might become routine. And the naysayers – those who say website mining is theft — might need to get with the program and stop whining for blog hits (like me).

If you are aware of it and agree to pay for some service or visit a website, knowing in advance, that you are financing the site with magic internet money, burned from your CPU, no nitwit can censor your right to do it. And that goes double for the ISP’s and giant internet media farms (given special privileges by governments to hold large landmasses of humans nearly hostage to crappy service).

Oh, I’m not on about Net Neutrality. That’s a red herring, IMO. The internet does not need more regulation, it needs less. More providers should be allowed on the landmasses. Right now, it’s pay to play. As in, fork over bribes to Pauli Politician – to get exclusive territories. That’s just wrong.

Do you really think governments don’t just love it when website/webpage miners are trashed? Sure, they do. It would be the second-to-the-last-straw if we could pay for stuff with CPU power as we surfed the web.

Hey, maybe that’s what JseCoin is seeing… A new world of tiny CPU cryptos and they want to be first in.

The thing is, the tech isn’t right yet. I mean the idea of a webpage miner is a start, but not the whole kitty litter box. We need some more user-friendliness. Maybe some profit-sharing.

There are so many ways to do this. We could all download a small miner to pay for browsing. Use a tiny bit of our CPU for incidentals. One news story from the Wall Street Journal. A free ebook for a few minutes of your CPU.

Websites that benefited could issue prizes, coupons, gasoline credits.

The marketing ideas are endless.

For now, however, the ISP’s etc., are attempting to halt this innovation at the request of the old guard. Webpage mining tech is yet another nail in the FED’s printing-press monopoly. And they are already miffed about bitcoin.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird.


 

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.

 

Cryptocurrency: Dreams in a Bottle or a Bubble?

Cryptocurrency: Dreams in a Bottle or a Bubble?

Dear Cryptocurrency and Freedom Lovers of Earth:

We are just dreamers waiting for the big bad bubble. Lean over and kiss your bitcoins goodbye.


Bubble Trouble

Cryptocurrency is a bubble.

It’s the 2.0 try-outs, since we didn’t believe them the first thousand times.

We love Ponzi, they insinuate. We probably initiate chain-emails in our sleep, insert cryptocurrency miners on your webpages, and dream of pyramid schemes…as we pay our extremely reasonable .gov taxes.

Cardano (ADA) will surely explode.

Monero (XMR) will implode.

Electroneum (ETN) will evaporate.

Ethereum (ETH) will wither smartly, and die.

Cheaters and meanies are hiding in the dark corners of those ICO-laced cryptocurrencies.

Bad people, the lot of them.

Run back to gold?

“Hey! But we love the blockchains! Just not the ‘people’ running them.

“You see, us banks and .govs – we do a much better job popping fiat bubbles. We just go around, blowing them up, making you go broke and then we do it all over again!

“And us metallic mega-hoarders, well, we can dig it too! And hopefully, one day in the far-flung future, gold will become what it once was: money. And then us mega-hoarders will win the day. We will say, on that day, if that day ever comes again that — we told you so!

“We can’t wait. It’ll happen soon, we promise!”

At least some of the gold bugs are on board the crypto-train. Guys like Mike Maloney. He’s a forward thinker, unlike others…

The lesser numismatic gods, the ones still hoping to influence President Donald Trump – to take the US back to gold – are instead bashing away at crypto. Maybe they don’t realize that they are, at the same time, bashing away at liberty itself. Not such a brilliant tactic as it is a calculated risk.

“Tell these Millennial dolts that cryptocurrency not stamped IN GOD WE TRUST and FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE is NOT money. Jeez, the humanity of it all. Tell them gold is the answer – immediately.”

Is that the general feeling you get from some of the golden metal-heads? The ones who warn of crypto-bubbles and hope for altcoin death, in situ.

And the best gold bugs? The proud Sharia Law complaint versions of them? “Oh Canada!” they sing aloud on their days off, from those frozen roof tops.

I take you now, dear reader to the halls of GoldMoney. In Canada. There, the money (no not money yet) is GOLD! Actually, the company was called Bitgold before that, but cited regulatory problems and low demand, before shutting down.

These golden folks have allowed to be posted on their website (and I’m almost certain it will be taken down like another YouTube video that fled in haste — business is war, right?) are the illustrious words of one Bubble Attacker: Alasdair Macleod. For shame. (My opinion.)

Macleod is an apparent researcher for the company in question, hence not the best disinterested party, right? A mouthpiece? Hmmm.

Then there is a far more corrupt banking industry to consider. Finance houses practicing insider trading. A Fed that feeds the US with worthless notes. Just read the headlines. Wells Fargo. JPMorgan Chase. Bank of America. Quantitative Easing. (Not an opinion. Facts.)

Need I say more? Aren’t you sick enough yet?

It’s not the banks or the .govs this time, however. It’s gold. Or more precisely, a troubled offshoot of gold bullion pushers surveying the crypto-landscape and taking careful aim.

 

Crypto Kills Fiat

To talk of cryptocurrency bubbles that will occur and describe them as a dire menace to .gov fiat is pandering to the .govs of the world. Gold money is a far worse threat to the .gov machinery and they – the bullion dealers — know it.

If people were actually allowed to use gold, silver, copper – as money – the Fed would close its doors and the Military-Industrial Behemoth would most definitely become rather irritated, if not hungry.

The .govs would need to finance themselves with real money then. No longer could they pass on the costs via inflation taxation. They would need to beg, borrow or steal the gold – again – from their subjects.

And that is always a problem, isn’t it? Gold theft?

And why can’t some companies see that? Especially ones in North America? Don’t they understand that before gold can become money again – that the entire centrally planned economic model must be dismantled? That laws must protect the people from their .gov?

It appears that Our Golden Savior of Canada is sounding that alarm, however. Or at least helping to ring a few bells to scare the cryptocurrency birds away. Darned pesky eagles just won’t die. They want to fly at any cost, even if it means creating their own crypto-fiat money in a world gone money-subservient.

It’s also a way of diverting attention – heat – from them. And a way to “sell more gold!” Soon they might begin knocking on our doors. Or you’ll see them at flea markets, not buying gold, but selling it!

Congratulations bullion traders of the Great White Socialistic North. Not that the US is that far behind either, but strike while the bubble is hot! And the bubble attack is ongoing.

But we need new material, not tired old rinse-and-repeats.

It reminds me of Chicken Little when he yelled, “the sky is falling!”

I’ll call them, those Gold Money guys and gals, Our Golden Savior. The bell ringers, who are losing investors to cryptocurrency. And who only want to make sure you and I aren’t being swindled, right?

After all, gold is money. No, it’s not. Not yet anyway.

 

The Warning

One Macleodian article on their website (and also here) talks to us about bubbles. But this does not irritate me as much as the Canadian based Sharia Law Compliant company does.

I mean, gold and precious metals are no doubt great value keepers, but dear fellas, we do not live in a golden age. I swear. I just called my bank. They said that they can arrange to store any gold I might wish to purchase; however, I can’t use it as money. (No thanks.)

You can’t spend it, your gold – in the US – like money. The IRS wants an accounting of each transaction. Just like cryptocurrency.

We live in a fiat-currency age – in the US. We are jammed in tight. Well, there is one out. It’s called cryptocurrency.

Gold is taxed as property in the US, which makes it terrible to use as money – even debit card based. I believe Peter Schiff advised this long ago, but now – he has joined them. And now…these facts seem to have drifted away. Little tax bombs ready to go off in April, when you have that “awe shucks” 1040 moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather use precious metals, as money. I’d love to have a sound money system, but this fiat thing is just going to have to burn itself out first. Venezuela style. A little Greek fire, as it were.

The article in question asserts that gold is on the minds of many. Granted. Any form of sound money ought to be. If gold was money today it would be on everyone’s mind. Well, most everyone. Some actually like the fiat money system and socialist governments.

The write-up also warns, yet again, about the pure and shiny new bubble. The cryptocurrency bubble that is sure to burst – someday.

The problem is the golden .gov wall, however. We are all looking at that wall and asking ourselves the same questions.

Is there an alternative to gold, since I can’t spend it like cash?

Should I buy a few pieces of a precious metal and store it myself or should I use a gold bullion dealer in Canada? A dealer with gold all over the world in nice vaults – all on the ‘up and up’ – but far away…?

 

Crypto is NOT Money?

The primary debate against cryptocurrency, that it is not money, ought to be jettisoned.

We know this. We know it is not money.

Gold can be money, but it’s not either. It’s just gold, for now.

Cryptocurrency is more closely related to a functional currency or a service money, but it is a form of fiat currency as well. But a far superior fiat currency, for many reasons. And rather crappy, as well.

That’s what we are living with. We can use cryptocurrency, with all the associated risks or we can obey. Now do you understand?

Why did people risk their lives to come across the oceans in hopes of a better life? By comparison, this rather low-key way of transferring wealth is lame by comparison. It’s an exercise in freedom, however frail. The thing is, the .govs need to crush it in order to stop the virtual and peaceful sit-in.

 

A Bridge to Sound Money

Cryptocurrency is a bridge. It is a way back to sound money over the river of .gov fiat systems currently in place. It is the bank waiting to store the gold, so to speak. Only, the .govs stand in the way, so there is an impasse.

Who will blink?

How could crypto bridge to gold?

View it as a check or a contract.  A voluntarily enforceable one for now, but one that would easily fit in as a legally binding instrument against a rare commodity, such as a precious metal. Banks could accept cryptos in exchange for silver coins in some enlightened future. That ‘backing’ would likely stabilize cryptocurrency values.

The problem is that precious metals are currently locked out of legal tender status. The same can be said of cryptocurrency, except it has many other advantages neither fiat money or gold has – at present.

A gold bullion dealer is no less vulnerable to .gov regulations, than are most public cryptocurrencies. There are more private cryptocurrencies, however.

 

Privacy

And that brings up the idea of privacy. The love-child of cryptography and blockchain services.

Unlike the bullion company in question, where I need to give my name, address, income, photograph, ad infinitum – let them dig into my personal life – I don’t need to do that with many cryptocurrencies. Not with CryptoNote versions; and I can find ways around those exchanges now asking for my goods, as well.

The argument that the cryptocurrency companies, promote their own coin – buy in, pump it up – is a given. This is also true across the spectrum of stocks and bonds, in the restricted .gov regulated trading houses – where the brokers take their cuts and fees; and slice the pie more often than the average cryptocurrency exchange. All at the pleasure of .gov.

 

Early Adopters

Certainly, early adopters could make the most profits in a cryptocurrency economy. Ground floor opportunities have that potential, but this does not validate that a bubble is on its way. This is unlike the fiat cash flowing into the stock market and extinguishing any semblance of a P/E Ratio.

The obvious measure that bitcoin, for example, is a self-verifying property mechanism, is difficult to ignore. The limited virtual supply of bitcoin can drive its price. It’s ability to maneuver unhampered is juxtaposed with the .govs’ desire to bring it to heel. There is no P/E Ratio here. It’s absorption of one unstable fiat by a stable one.

Can that be said of our bullion buddies? Not the ones who sell us gold and silver and we stash it elsewhere, but the one in question. The one that essentially keeps our metal safely locked away where we will never see it and where any wayward .gov can grab it.

You call that safety? Try and grab my fiat crypto. Go ahead.

How did that work out for you?

It didn’t, huh?

 

The Undermine

And the fact that cryptocurrency can “undermine” capital controls is not a weakness. Money, ultimately, should be private. Taxes, ultimately, should be voluntary.

Did you not read the word “controls?” Who is doing the controlling and why? By what right?

Why must I send my cash via banks, be over-charged, wait days, when I can zip crypto to my Aunt in South America in seconds and do it much cheaper?

Hence, cryptocurrency is pro-freedom, whereas the company under scrutiny is compliant. But it must be, right? It has chosen the obedient path.

And fiat currency issued by .gov, is, of course, fiscal subservience.

If allowed to go mainstream, those cryptocurrencies that wish to comply with the long list of rules and fees, could certainly see radical value booms and busts. Obedience will have its profits.  After this alleged legal adoption, when the investment houses flood in, the public will take notice, as the assertion goes. The bubble will come as a result.

 

Pre-Bubble

So, the article in question makes the assumption that the .govs will eventually acquiesce to the public cryptocurrencies. Ones like traceable Bitcoin, Litecoin or Cardano. Then it all goes pop!

Why are the bubblers so certain? Past comparisons?

The South Sea bubble, where corruption was rampant? Government granted monopolies are not comparable to voluntarily purchased, transparent cryptocurrencies.

The Tulip Mania bubble is often cited, but the fact that much of Europe was debasing their currency at the time, is not often explored. Interesting parallels, but tulips aren’t cryptos.

Additionally, since many CryptoNote based cryptocurrencies are not designed with regulations in mind, this bubble warning only seems to apply to the public blockchains, like bitcoin and family.

According to the assumptions in the article, this future flood of bubble wealth into public cryptocurrencies will also cause prices to rise. Another dire warning.

That’s the static world view. In other words, more money into crypto equals more spending, equals less goods available, equals higher prices.

The problem is, when demand increases, in a free trade economy, the supply is often increased, and everyone wins. Prices often come down, in such economies.

This static theory of rising prices also ignores non-spenders. Some will save and not spend.

 

Choking

Yet another bubble warning is the “choke-off fable.”

Once and if .gov fiat currencies begin to falter, interest rates will be raised to entice crypto-investors away.

One problem with that scenario is rising interest rates slows the economy and could explode the debt and pop the fiat bubble all the faster.

Another? That crypto holds far more promise of profit than bank certificates.

If .gov could lure the crypto enthusiasts away from their chosen altcoins; however, what would stop them from also confiscating all the gold? After all, gold does compete with fiat currency and it makes fiat devaluation clear. An embarrassment to be certain, but one that can be easily remedied with an official announcement of fiat currency to gold conversion. It’s happened in the US before. Quite a choke I would say.

And we are only talking about the US here. There would need to be an international effort to quash crypto. Raise interest rates all over. And suffer the consequences.

A credit crisis would be the least of our problems then. Fiat currency would falter and I’d posit that cryptos, absent a move to a sound money standard (gold) by .govs — would maintain their purchasing power, so long as .gov didn’t zap the internet. Then we’d need to use stored reserves (gold/silver), eggs, canned goods and wine.

 

Conclusion:

The upside is that gold is real money, but it is not legal tender. Until then, it appears rather sluggish.

To state that private cryptocurrency is a threat to .gov fiats, that they could hasten their demise, is a bit disingenuous. Fiat currency is a threat to all of us already. If crypto hastens its demise, so be it.

The company in question is no less a threat and perhaps even more dangerous to investors, when one considers all the precious metals under their private control and the ability of any one .gov to remove said stores on a whim – or a “trumped up” national emergency.

In short, to return to a precious metal standard will require new laws in the US and elsewhere. It will require the closure of the US Federal Reserve, unless they begin to issue gold backed currency. It will then open the doors for competition between banks, with real money in their vaults. Money that should also be in your country of residence and not Dubai, Toronto, or Hong Kong.

Until then I’ll risk a crypto-bubble and pass on the debit card of gold, from the company in question. While waiting for the laws to embrace sound money, I will grow old and I hope rich, on the only form of successful liberty-currency I have ever witnessed in my lifetime: cryptocurrency.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

 

P.S. Don’t let the .gov buttheads get you down. And think before you buy into Bitgold GoldMoney.


The above is my opinion. Make sure to consult your gold bullion dealer, economist, attorney, accountant and hair stylist, before you chance the Greatest Crypto Bubble of all time!

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


 

Do You Own “S2S Compromised Cryptocurrencies?”

Do You Own “S2S Compromised Cryptocurrencies?”

It’s about peers versus subjects, is it not?

Are you a P2P or and S2S Person? That’s the gist of it, right?

P2P is what? Peer to peer, right? Person to person.

S2S is what? Subject to subject. Slave to slave, in some countries.

Pause. Think. Slave to slave = S2S?

So much is said in that P2P acronym. So much is lost in S2S. It matters.

If you are P2P, you are probably safe. But you can be safer. You can do one better.

As an S2S believer, you are in trouble. But don’t take my word for it. Ask Mr. History.

When observing the changing cryptocurrency landscape, we note capitulation and appeasement. Those who bring change; and those who want to stick to the old way of doing business. If not the old way, then bending the new way to the will of the old.

But P2P is not new. It has just been adapted to the blockchain.

S2S is the old way.

Why do we own certain cryptocurrencies, but not others? Why is the P2P idea the best thing to have hit cryptocurrency, let alone the human condition, in thousands of years?

But…there is P2P and there is private P2P, correct?

Many of the newest breeds of crypto-entrepreneurs have forgotten the words of Satoshi Nakamoto and have instead, chosen to use the blockchain technology for other reasons. And there is nothing wrong with that, save the lack of vision of such people. The automatic and almost tribal reductionism is inherent in the herd mentality.

In other words, the desire of many to belong to the herd at any cost. Spare no expense, they say. Trade your privacy and your freedom for a false sense of security.

Don’t rock the boat. Don’t go against the flow. You don’t really need or want P2P. You need S2S. We hear this so often.

So, let’s recall those words, just a few of them, purposely embedded within the Bitcoin Blockchain. “Satoshi’s Warning,” I will call it.

These words resonate today, and I submit that they will resound into the future — if we are still here. And these words will be taken more seriously in ten or twenty years, if world economies do finally collapse, and if cryptocurrencies save the day after that foreseen collapse.

The warning:

‘The Times 3 January 2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks’.

This statement gives one the clear sense that Satoshi had a problem with governments and bank bailouts. He did not agree with the current monetary system in general.

Why?

We can speculate about his motives, read his various quotes, but can we agree that he/she/they invented a well-functioning, but not private, peer-to-peer e-cash system? It seems to me that Satoshi, and I have stated this before, provided the outline – the foundation – upon which others could build.

And remember that: P2P. Let that echo over and over until it seems to lose meaning. Until the echo of it comes back after a time and reminds us what it really is. What its value really is.

P2P is that rock in the river, standing against the tide of financial tyranny. If that rock is hardened (privatized), all the better, but bitcoin’s P2P rock sits high in the rapids. It is “exposed” P2P and it is sandstone. Sandstone will not last. Even so, some want to convert bitcoin to S2S, now. They want to blast that sandstone apart.

If “exposed” P2P is the core value of the bitcoin service, how can it be improved? Satoshi warned that this P2P system was only temporary. That it probably would not last. Was he correct?

Satoshi showed the way.

Then Nicolas van Saberhagen came along and privatized the blockchain. It was the next step in the evolution of blockchains. Many other P2P models are “exposed” at some level.

Saberhagen (he/she/they) created CryptoNote and after a rocky start a new crypto pulled away from the pack: Monero (XMR).

Monero has one well known face: fluffypony (Riccardo Spagni). He came forward and I submit, took his freedom in his hands when he did so.

For all the rancor surrounding Monero and all the concerns I still have about its developers remaining behind the curtain of anonymity, I respect Mr. Spagni. And that is the point: trust. Not to mention that Monero was the first successful private crypto on earth. (Okay – that’s an assertion. Prove me wrong.)

There is another crypto that deserves mention here and I have cited it before. Aeon. “Smooth” is the developer of Aeon and works on Monero. Smooth is anonymous. This might be important in the future since Monero is slowly gaining acceptance on an international scale. Aeon would seem to be the logical partner in that effort.

And there are other private crypto’s out there, but I am only mentioning Monero and Aeon in this post as examples. Many of the other privacy based coins do not have the longevity, have changed hands, or have known developers – which is a risk.

There are arguments against the PoW (proof-of-work) based blockchains, such as Monero and Aeon, as well. Even bitcoin uses PoW, but Ethereum is apparently considering a PoS (proof-of-stake) blockchain addition or change-over. PoS is more energy efficient, certainly.

Obviously, these “proofs” will evolve over time, but getting hung-up in the debate may not be the best course of action.

In fact, allowing the salesmen, flush with crypto-cash, financed to the gills with venture capital, to present vivid images of Crypto 3.0, is a trip to S2S.

How so? These salesmen, often experts in the field of blockchain, are not experts in the field of privacy.

The war now is to destroy the very essence of bitcoin and any cryptocurrency attempting to remain private. It is an effort to undermine the best P2P out there. Usually, by means of overregulation and/or making such transactions illegal.

KYC. Know your customer. Papers please, comrade. You might be a communist-terrorist-tax-evading-immigrant. You might be a criminal. Just in case, we need to know you. Who is this we?

On the other hand, you are probably just an innocent citizensubject wanting to keep as much of your money as possible. And it is your currency, right? No, it is the State’s Currency. “But I have some XMR’s,” you answer, “not State Currency.” All the more reason to know you, comrade.

Privacy? You have no right to that; the herd tells you. What are you trying to hide? Nothing? Prove it. Show us all your currency and let us decide.

Welcome to America, land of the citizen-subjects. Hey, at least we can emigrate – so long as we have paid our taxes first. Even if you hand in your citizenship-subject papers, you must still pay your exit bills, before you may emigrate, right? And they dare call this freedom? (Hey, I’m American, but America is not a place – it was an idea – in the past.)

Is it any better in the UK, Australia, Canada, or Switzerland?

Because of government pressure, the cryptocurrency innovators are beginning to give in. Or maybe they never had the guts in the first place. They are creating what amounts to “S2S” or Subject-to-subject transactions. Weak sister versions of the almost true form. Compromised crypto’s, the lot of them.

But I’m sure they work just fine.

These new S2S innovators are the compromisers. They help support the current fiat monetary systems. The highly centralized, highly controlled, inflation pushing bureaucracies.

I labeled Cardano (ADA) as S2S compromisers. But they are not alone. Ripple (XRP) is S2S compromised as well. Even Ethereum (ETH)  advises that they will comply with governmental information requests. I’m certain there are many more S2S compromisers.

Few have the tenacity to protect privacy. Legitimate privacy. Many of the cryptocurrency exchanges bow to the might of “.gov” as well.

These S2S capitulators have good people working for them, however. They have children and dreams and I do not fault them for coloring within the lines. If they are to remain at liberty, to exercise their delimited freedoms, they must bow down. No blame can be placed upon subjects working within their enclosures.

It is odd that a fluffypony will not bow, however. It requires vision and nerve to stand, virtually alone. To back a crypto that will not comply.

The same can be said of Smooth and all the developers of both coins (Monero and Aeon). To believe that the “.govs” of the world have not discovered some of their identities, is foolish. And they know it.

And don’t give me that bull about sacrifice. These men and women working behind the curtain to privatize crypto are not doing so for free. Their trade, their gain, is profit. Their potential loss is their freedom. Is this a sacrifice or a trade? Are they, in a sense…

…mutually pledging to each other, their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor?

Private P2P is a down payment on future value few can imagine. To buy the freedoms of their children. To refuse the current call for S2S, and see what happens.

I hope these private P2P men and women, keep at it.

Here’s the audioblog along the same lines: “The P2P Question.”

If you need to convince yourself that privacy is important, buy this: “For the New Intellectual”


 

Note: As usual, the above is only an opinion. I welcome any responses. In the meantime, do not base investment decisions upon any of it. Call your banker, broker, insurance salesman and/or financial advisor, if you must.

Poloniex v. Cryptopia?

Poloniex v. Cryptopia?

Preamble:

Do you ever feel like the above picture. A primate looking at a bone trying to figure what it does. How it works.

It’s like that now. The more I learn about cryptocurrency “exchanges” — at least the friendly ones — the less I know. What the hell is this “bone” thing?

Perhaps, it is best to clear our minds of the extraneous nonsense dished up on the internet like so much fast food, no matter how good it tastes.

Maybe we should go to the source. Talk to the guys and gals on the front lines. Go to the exchanges themselves and just ask. So, that’s what I did. Like a smart guy. Really smart, I tell you.

I feel that I have implied things in a previous post that I should not have. So, in a sense, this post is my retraction and clarification. My bit of re-education. Hey, I’m not perfect, but neither is crypto, so bite me.

Here’s what I learned, after being contacted by a manager from a cryptocurrency firm. I learned that things are rather screwed up, to put it politely.


The Tables have Turned:

I questioned the Cryptopia Cryptocurrency Exchange’s decision to delist Bytecoin. I was not on about Cryptopia’s fees or trying to review their policies. And it was not specifically about Bytecoin. I don’t even like Bytecoin (BCN) — any longer.

I was after the reasoning behind the delisting process. In fact, given my suspicions, I thought that there was something more to this story. Something nefarious. And I was right that their was more, but wrong for suspecting foul play.

As it turns out, a manager at Cryptopia took the time to explain to me why BCN will be delisted there. I’ll not give a name, but I have obtained permission to use the information here.

This is my interpretation of Cryptopia’s dilemma, but a predicament all exchanges of this nature should be aware. If I’m off base here, I apologize – to Cryptopia.

If cryptocurrency experts have questions about the following, please let me know in the comments section below.


Payment ID’s:

So, here’s the scoop.

It is not so much that BCN has a “paymentid” issue. It has more to do with another well-known exchange.

An exchange which is quite large, but perhaps has outgrown its ability to serve the customer. I’m referring to Poloniex, of course. It is becoming a dinosaur.

There are all kinds of complaints against Poloniex. Poloniex scams people. Poloniex scalps investors. Poloniex delists or freezes coins for months at a time. It has been seized by unknown parties, banned users, been hacked, and the list goes on.

But we’re focused on one thing here: BCN. Why the delist?

For those of you who are unaware of how one sends BCN’s, it’s a bit more involved than sending bitcoin (BTC’s). One requires, in many cases, two pieces of information.

  1. A wallet address where the BCN is supposed to go
  2. A paymentid, to ensure your BCN is credited to your account.

And this is where the difficulties arise.

One can encrypt the “paymentid” and the fact that one did this is visible on the blockchain. Even on Bytecoin’s blockchain.

Knowing this, means one can exploit this knowledge.

So, how does it work?

Poloniex transfers cryptocurrencies to other exchanges. A large percentage of the CryptoNote transactions, especially the ones Poloniex sends to Cryptopia deposit with no problems. The “paymentids” are not encrypted.

Unfortunately, about 10% of the Poloniex transfers to Cryptopia were (are) transferred encrypted.

But here is the problem. Poloniex has not provided the “key” to unlock the encrypted deposits.

In other words, Poloniex sends the BCN, but Cryptopia is unable to clear the transaction – unable to credit the customers’ cryptocurrency account.

So, what happens?

Continue reading

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