Tag Archives: Money

Bitcoin’s Bottom and Windfall Profits?

At least one organization is calling the bottom for bitcoin – for now. The implication here, is that bitcoin will surge to $20,000 per coin (or more).

Frank Holmes, contributor for Forbes, was the source for this. He cited material from Fundstrat research. Of course, Fundstrat was founded by Tom Lee, a former JP Morgan employee. But – according to the write up about Tom, he’s been very accurate with predictions.

Here’s a video of Tom a few months back. Suffice to say, he then saw the Bitcoin and Ethereum would be major players. He also sees a negative correlation with bitcoin and gold, but little to none with certain major market indicators. His idea that millennials might switch to or use bitcoin as a type of asset, is also interesting.

Of course, the above video was dated before the recent news that the Bitcoin blockchain was shown to have links to certain illegal websites – akin to someone writing a website address on a dollar. The dollar still spends, but nobody wants that garbage on their bitcoin. Too bad there’s no editing function for extraneous nonsense on the BTC blockchain. Sort of a bitcoin laundry.

Is bitcoin really eating 5% of Gold’s lunch as Tom implies? It’s certainly food for thought. For all the negatives about bitcoin of late, maybe it really is a fait accompli. The only thing left is time.

Tom also gave an example. If new automobile manufacturing plant opened in a rural area, it would take time for the infrastructure to build up around it. Same with bitcoin.

There was little mention of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ripple, but Tom felt that eventually, only few big players – bitcoin being one – would eventually rule the roost. This same type of sentiment is often echoed throughout the crypto-sphere. My rejoinder would be: how few? And what kind of blockchain or non-blockchain system? Alas, that crystal ball is not available.

Now, this Bitcoin prediction was made as it was dropping in price. Not when it was soaring. Personally, I saw a bottom on/about February 6, 2018. I posted that previously.

But let’s suppose for a moment that Bitcoin surged again. It headed north of $20,000. What could that mean for Ethereum and Ripple, for example?

In my opinion, Ethereum would surge to about $1,400. Ripple, $4.00.

Why do I say this? Because cryptocurrencies are generally positively correlated. When Bitcoin rises, nearly all other cryptocurrencies do the same.

But will Bitcoin now die because of it’s alleged connection with child pornography? This WIRED story doesn’t think so. On the other hand, the article does not leave one with a sense of hope. It does the opposite. It tells me that Bitcoin is doomed or at least stunted unless it can edit that content out in some fashion.

It’s the reasonable person standard. Would a reasonable person care that he/she just downloaded hundreds of child porn links with the blockchain? Answer: yes. I don’t care how you rationalize it away. You now have links to criminal websites, period.

“Wait a minute, didn’t you know Bitcoin had child porn links on its blockchain?”

“But officer, I don’t intend to use the links!”

“Explain that to the judge.”

“But everybody does it!” you yell.

This one problem, shows the underlying weakness with certain blockchain technologies. A few bad apples can spoil the barrel. It reminds me of cloned (grafted) fruit trees. One disease kills the entire grove — and beyond.

In the event, however unlikely, that Bitcoin collapses, would this then spell disaster for Ethereum? Much has been discussed about this since ETH can also be subject to unwanted information.

Will this backlash – Bitcoin Gate – spell doom for any ledger-based system — where anyone can edit content? And surge the values of the non-editable systems, like say Ripple – until, like I mentioned, bitcoin and bitcoin-like systems can be ‘cleansed?’

To layer this bad news, we need only look to China. Their National Bank is now going after cryptocurrencies, in earnest.

And can we really see valid cryptocurrency trends via Google any longer? After all, they, like many others companies, are essentially jettisoning Bitcoin and similar. Hence the uncensored search engines would have more accurate cryptocurrency trend indicators …eventually.

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Will Caesar Assassinate Bitcoin and all Blockchains, This Time Around?

Dear Readers,

As the Ides of March approach, but this time Caesar lives?

In 44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated. It was March 15th. Senators stabbed him to death next to a theater. Why? Because he dared to be king. He had it coming.

Bitcoin, in the sphere of crypto, has been a dominant force since its inception. It was the first “successful” mover. But it was never a bloody dictator. It never ordered you to buy it.

The ever-growing number of cryptocurrencies, vie for dominance. They want bitcoin dead. So does today’s Caesar. And you can name your own Caesar. Certainly, the selection of contenders is vast. And there appears to be no experts about. Yes, there are those who code. The programmers. The computer wizards. The black hat hackers. The financial gurus. YouTube personalities. Twelve-year-old millionaires. And there are the economists, bankers, government agencies, detractors and dictators.

Then the rest of us, holding onto our wallets, stocks and bonds, silver coins, collectibles, and homes. We are not the Caesars, however. We are the commoners – the Plebeians. Maybe, as Plebeians, we’ve placed our crypto bets. Maybe not.

We know the score. We know that the dollar markets are volatile. The debasement of our currency ongoing and long term inflation (fiat currency devaluation) the result. Gold and silver prices, manipulated. The Catch-22 of the modern era. Until the “catch” breaks.

The only real markets left – with some measure of freedom – are the cryptocurrency markets. All others, to my knowledge, are regulated. Even my local flea market is regulated, somewhat.

In February of this year (2018) cryptocurrency bounced off a new low. I wondered then, if it was a reset of some sort. Now, over a month later, it appears to be doing it again. I fear another reset is looming. A much deeper one.

Some like to look to the past.

In 2013, bitcoin increased in value from a hundred dollars to over a $1000. It sparked the imagination of millions. Do you doubt it? After three years, as a nerdy plaything, suddenly, it was here. But you ask – what exactly was here?

Then bitcoin sank in value. Giving back half and more. Yes, it could have been speculation. Mt. Gox. Whales. FOMO. Take your pick.

In 2014, bitcoin seemed like it was dying. It lost over 60% of its value. Fluctuated. Maybe they were worth $300 by years end. We wondered. Was it over?

Then 2015 came. Bitcoin gained at least 25% by years end. It was looking to match the latter part of 2013’s values. Could it once again hit $1000?

Many of us reinvested.

Then June of 2016 came. Bitcoin decided to go up. By years end, it was once again looking at the $1000 mark. People – investors took notice. Would it pop again?

What if?

That was the biggest question. What if this thing keeps on going? Where will it stop? Will the snake-oil salesman come out and paint the rosy pictures? They did. Millions each, they shouted.

In 2017 everything changed. The banner year – so far – for bitcoin. Exchanges, as bad as they were, slow, cumbersome — lit the fire. Bitcoin took off. Over 19 times in value. Almost holding at $20,000. But before the year was over…shaking.

And 2017 was like 2013 all over again. By the end of the year, bitcoin was off almost 25% from its highs. The banner year was over. We felt deflated. Betrayed. We looked for scapegoats.

They were easy to find…

The financial world, which had been ignoring it, at least publicly, began kicking it steadily – and copying the technology. They were to blame. And the tax men. And the regulators. And China, Russia…and the endless bitcoin debates…and the bitcoin clones…and stiff competition from other altcoins…crypto-assets…tokens…

Now 2018 arrived. From the highs of late 2017, bitcoin nosed over. No longer treading water, it sank. It halved and then some. Percentage-wise, 2018 – so far – has eaten bitcoin’s lunch and its supper…

If you hold (or hodl) you should be concerned. No other altcoin has yet to muscle in on BTC’s turf. There is no trusted replacement. Not yet. And this time, Caesar is sharping his sword.

If anyone can honestly say that bitcoin is not the touchstone of the cryptosphere, even as its “dominance” fades, beware. Fake news?

Anyone can see the wag of that bitcoin’s tail. But he is a free dog. He survives in the wild. The Plebeians are his friends, but he has no master. Whether that dog lives, is the question. For Caesar hunts.

To those altcoins that ‘joined him’ – you know who you are – you have not solved any problems. You have merely profited from the Plebeians who serve the Caesar. But Caesar is bankrupt, and you live in his kennel.

The joiners are like loyal dogs. They will serve any Caesar. Drink from any poison fountain, so long as it is sweet. When it sours they pack their bags full of cash and wait for the next opportunity.

For now, I hope the joiners succeed, that I may profit from their folly. Then plow that money into the honest cryptos, if any still exist. Have they ever really existed?

Caesar has sent his troops in. His tax collectors. His regulators. One by one. In plain sight. Brazenly. He knows not to attack the Plebeians directly. He attacks the places they frequent, instead. The watering holes, the bazaars, the money tables.

Right now, Caesar is cutting the supply lines. The flow of water — crypto. The great cisterns – exchanges – are being brought to heel. Banks cut off the life-blood one by one.

Back to the kennels now, you Plebeians. No more dreams of roaming free. Nay, you pigs of the trough, stick your snouts in low. Grovel as you may. Dream the farm animal dreams and know that you are such tasty pork chops.

Perhaps it’s time for the wolf. But even a good wolf needs his Spartacus.

 


Media Source: William Darby

Avoid the GNU Taler “Manifesto” Blockchain?


 

This is an open letter to those who slave at the coding machines, whilst Richard Stallman drinks the Kool aid. Get up from your machines. Awake from your fantasy.

Burn the manifesto. The Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserve Manifesto.

Avoid Taler, like a Bit-plague.


Dear GNU Taler and Family,

Idiots are made, not born. Until now? Leave your Communes. Lay down your laptops.

I urge you, if you have ever entertained, for a second, buying Taler. Snuff that thought from your mind. Eliminate the code from your systems, before it’s too late. Politicians lurk herein.

GNU Taler could replace things like SWIFT and even Ripple, if they ever get off the ground.

Without going into the details, suffice to say that Taler (Taxable Anonymous Libre Anonymous Reserves) does have promise. Not everyone wants to hide their money, just secure it. But can Taler deliver?

I hope not. I don’t live in a commune. I will not support any form of subservience, even in the name of “Social Responsibility,” which is another name for “Socialism,” which is another name for “slavery,” which is what “Taler” is to money. Control and servitude. Vile, are the merchants?

I’ve been watching Taler’s cheesy vids for a few years now. Odd, the German laced rhetors are. Like they stipulate, it’s just a cash substitute. Is it? A token of state money, which has already failed us. But, not really. You will need to buy Taler at the going rate, from what I can see. That is, whenever they can lift off, which I hope is NEVER.

In that sense, would it not be volatile?  Or are they simply going to designate the equivalent cash? How then, will the exchange rate be calculated? Will one U.S. dollar buy me one or ten Talers? And, given the new tax laws in the United States, would it not behoove Taler to indicate how much I paid for my Taler and how much I sold it for, to buy a soda? So, I can keep track of gains and losses – and required taxes? Or will Taler help me hide that? Like a good Communist? Like an Anarchist? Which is it?

If I want to spend my Taler in a foreign country, will the exchange rate be dictated? Or do I estimate what I think the item should cost, based upon the fiat cost of my Taler, in my country? Will Taler rise and fall in value, according to the amount purchased, globally? Will my Taler be inelastic, holding its original fiat value or elastic – dipping and spinning like a herd of crazy sheep? Who knows?

Their website – after all these years – seems absent the basic stuff needed for any serious investor to make a decision. (Don’t worry, I’ve emailed them for more.) How many ‘coins’ will they print? Just the 100,000,000? Who decided that? Why? How are the “T’s” associated with fiat cash? Will they offer them for sale on cryptocurrency exchanges, even if Taler is NOT a crypto? Will they offer hardware wallets? Cell phone apps? Or must we keep them on our very safe computers (PC’s)? Make back-ups?

Unlike Ripple XRP’s, however, you must deal in TaL or “T” or whatever their ticker symbol is today. With XRP’s or even Stellar Lumens (XLM), I can send you any currency and you can receive any currency, but we’re all visible. Capisce? That’s good and bad.

Taler, as I understand it, can be spent like cash – your identity is private – but the merchant must report the income. Big deal. You are still screwing the economy (Richard) – the evil shopkeepers. The shopkeepers are the economy! If it wasn’t for them we’d all be wearing Stallman tie-dyes, tilling the fields, and sipping monkey juice. Stand up and smell the ozone, buddy – before the Global Cooling starts.

Like Ripple, like Stellar, Taler is centralized, but even more so. Is that a bad thing – if it is secure? And, if it becomes successful, could not a large company or government simply buy them out – and use their system? Or simply copy it? I understand it is ‘open source.’

I feel like I’m watching the old “Moron Movies” where the guy takes his log for a walk and it pisses on a tree.

How about the “premine?” From what I can see here and elsewhere, Taler holds 49% of Taler. Fine. If the value appreciates and I can profit, I don’t care. I might even like to use the system to help keep my identity safe. Help me save money too. And I can bring my own rope too. Hang myself out by the shed, as the sun sets on my freedom and the merchants all quit. We’ll all hang together, is that it?

It seems that Taler is an underdog. It is sneaking in under the radar, with a political agenda. Possibly able to unseat the old guard, with code. A manifesto of money? Taste not, Dear Bankers, for the libation is death — figuratively speaking.

At the same time, the developers of Taler don’t seem to understand that governments (police) will, on occasion, require the identities of “spenders.” That fact alone will create a push-back mechanism they may not comprehend. Or, if they do, they already have plans in place to reveal the tax-evader citizens, the wannabe-terrorists. After all, privacy is only a human right, until you harm others or anger the wayward bureaucrat, right?

Let’s move on.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, I argue, was created to combat a dying fiat monetary system. The world over. Taler says — capitulates — that there is a way to use the fiats of finance – cheaply.

Great message. Taler supports the cat-houses. It is NOT socially responsible. Or, put another way, it supports inflation, social slavery and has no guts — no shame.

Did you here that Richard? I say you have no cojones. Please program Ethereum Kitties. Do you, like Cardano ADA — really expect people to purchase Talers? Premined altcoins to make you rich?

I hope Taler, Ripple, Stellar all fail. In the meantime, I will profit from their success. Not unlike Schindler.

Correction: I hope to hell, I will never profit from Taler.

The old system must die. I await the new. But not the GNU way.

And a simple browse will uncover the plot. Check here. Richard Stallman, oh guru of gurus, supports the US Green Party. He, Richard of riches, is the “creator” of Taler. The Green Party is essentially a Neo-Marxist party. A slavery Party. The antithesis of a freedom-loving people.

Beware the hippies in the red tie-dyes.

Die Taler, die. A natural death.


Your Friend,

— JGS

Cryptocurrency Fake-News, ZeroHedge, Clif High and other Palm Readers

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Dear Crypto-Readers,

There are two places on the net where cryptocurrency and other information is highly suspect.

Use these sites and people, at your own risk.

They are:

  • Clif High
  • ZeroHedge

Coming from an investigative background, the fact that this “fake news” spills over into the cryptocurrency environment, is not news. The news is the reliance by some bloggers and hidden “news” sites, upon questionable sources. In fact, even legitimate organizations sometimes cite questionable sources.

Why?

Sensationalism?

Click-baiting?

You bet. It’s all about the ad revenue. Even I like that. Last month, I took my wife to dinner with the money I made on this blog. Thanks readers.

But first, before ZeroHedge (I will not link to this site due to security risks) I want to bring up an internet personality. I have mentioned him before: Clif High. (I’ve linked to a previous piece I wrote about him.)

Suffice to say, Clif High appears to sell conspiracy theories, based upon his belief in ESP. He is the silver-tongued devil of the future, that never quite materializes. He makes blatantly false predictions and it’s a wonder people continue to support him. It’s curiosity, he’s fun to watch, but also morbidly interesting. 

As an investigator for several decades, I had the opportunity to interview/interrogate thousands of criminally insane people. For these reasons, I sometimes watch Clif High. I’m not saying the guy is insane, I’m not a doctor. However, Clif sure leaves that door wide open. And, I’m guilty — I still watch him.

But Clif High, even if that is a pseudonym, puts his face to the music. Maybe he likes the attention – the fame. Many folks with that burning desire to be recognized, live fruitful, public lives. They are entertainers, in a sense. And we pay to be entertained. Of course, he has his diehard cult following. So be it. At least his detractors can lambast him – publicly. And Clif dishes it back out. At least Clif has the guts to stand in the limelight, be it the laser of truth or his ever-changing contrarian view of the near future.

And you have to respect old Clif’s tenacity.

Then there is the dark side. The shadow conspiracies. The quasi-blogs and secret “.orgs” plying their trade. Is it real or is it fluff?

Aside from the accusations against Clif High (see link above and read reader comments) at least he’s not hiding like ZeroHedge. Those people publish and hide so completely, that every word they type, is suspect. Sure, we know that anonymous reporters can uncover information, but at some point, the information can be verified. Not at ZeroHedge. At least not most of it.

For all of Clif High’s odd beliefs, he has on occasion, chowed down on ICO altcoins, torn them asunder and spat out a decent review.  I wish he’d take after ZeroHedge.

I used to read ZeroHedge. It’s fun. A sort of Dredge-the-Bottom Report. Occasionally, it puts you on a trail of something good. Something interesting. However, after the site was probably hacked I refused to visit. In fact, in a sense, it is unethical for anyone to hide a link in their blog, to a potentially risky site and not advise readers of same.

What do I mean?

Legitimate bloggers should choose to protect, as much as possible, their readers’ digital security. If there is even a hint that a website is hacked, has an unknown or hidden location, is based in a risky country, has owners from risky countries or in any way makes them suspicious, then they should not link to the site.

Am I perfect? No. Could I make a mistake and cite a source from a website that is spinning its news? Sure. Usually, I let you know if I think the source is off the mark, however. And if the “writer” uses a pseudonym, like me, no problem. If you cite legitimate sources, you’re golden. Hell, many reporters and writers have dozens of handles.

But Tyler Durden? The Wikipedia entry about ZeroHedge, should make anyone sit up and take notice:

“Zero Hedge’s content has been classified as “alt-right,” anti-establishment, conspiratorial, and economically pessimistic, and has been criticized for presenting extreme and sometimes pro-Russian views.”

Not only should the pro-Russian views clue us in, but the “conspiracy” classification is on par with Clif High’s antics. Take both sources cum grano salis – with a grain of salt. And take Wikipedia itself with a grain of salt. Check their sources as well.

According to Business Insider, at least one of three men suspected of working/writing for ZeroHedge, a Bulgarian by the name of Daniel Ivandjiiski, was “kicked out of the securities industry during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 for insider trading.”

Another suspect ZeroHedge man, Colin Lokey, may be:

“…an emotionally unstable, psychologically troubled alcoholic with a drug dealer past…”

Tim Backshall, a 45-year-old credit derivatives strategist is another suspected writer for the conspiratorial newsletter-blog. This @credittrader appears to be his Twitter account. His listed website is capitalcontext.com. You guessed it all hidden info. And his tweets are full of ZeroHedge charts. Curious.

There was also a hint that Colin Lokey used or invented the Daniel Ivandjiiski and Tim Blackshall names.

But ZeroHedge does not always post unsubstantiated or bogus news. In fact, they have been accused of outright plagiarism. Lifting or citing other stories that they could then blend into their narrative. Generally, it’s a pessimistic view of world finance and politics, and the environment. One sided. On the other hand, their stories are often hard-hitting, provocative and full of charts. Just don’t go checking their sources. You’ll find that the numbers don’t always jive. Some have accused ZeroHedge of 90% lies, 10% questionable facts.

In any event, before you visit ZeroHedge do a little research. A little Scamadviser checking and internet backstory reads. Here’s what I found. I added to the already growing number of concerns about ZeroHedge as well.


Four Risks of ZeroHedge


Risk #1 – You are being Hacked

Let us start with this. Did you know that every time you visit the ZeroHedge website to read a blog, you may be risking your digital health? The website may be hacked. This alone, if you are serious about keeping your money and identity safe, should be enough. But let us add fuel to the fire.


Risk #2 – Mystery Website

Each time you visit the ZeroHedge website, from where are those bits and bytes flowing? The origin country? Well, there is a good chance you are reading a Canadian alt-right website or maybe you are pulling data straight from the US or the UK, but the fact is, the location of the ZeroHedge website is unknown. It could just as easily be in Moscow.


Risk #3 – Mystery Owner(s)

Who owns the ZeroHedge Website or company? Well, not Tyler Durden. That’s just comedy. The fact is, the owner’s identity is unknown.

There are only a few good reasons to remain anonymous. You are divulging legitimate secrets and you are concerned about your safety. You are lying like hell and are also concerned about your safety. There are other reasons to remain hidden as well, including using the anonymous angle to make others think you are a “deep throat” and not a run-of-the-mill click-baiter. To make money from the advertisers is another great reason to create and use the anonymous mystique.


Risk #4 – Bad Actors?

Although there is no “guilt by association,” unless the strings connect, an associated business service/address is ABCMedia 300A-219 Dufferin St. Toronto M6K 3J1. They are the web service for ZeroHedge.

Here is a google map of that location, in Canada.

The actual name of the service is easyDNS Technologies, Inc. They are known to be associated with Wikileaks, according to this Wikipedia entry. The company owner’s name and country is hidden, but it could be Mark Jeftovic. The website location is also uncertain.

Here is Mark Jeftovic’s Twitter account…easyDNS CEO. Libertarian. Contrarian. Bookish. The “E” stands for “easy,” as it states on Twitter. He is a known blogger (curious) in the ZeroHedge vein, on Markable.com. That’s a potentially risky website, hence no link. Suffice to say, it’s almost like reading “early” ZeroHedge.

The Markable.com address is listed as 67 Mowat Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3E3. That is here. It’s the Toronto Carpet Factory. If you notice, it’s adjacent to the Dufferin Street address of ABC Media.

If you look, you will also see another website listed on Jeftovic’s twitter account: guerrilla-capitalism.com. The name speaks for itself. It’s a newer hidden website, with a hidden owner in a secret country. Its listed address, you guessed it, Dufferin Street. Try 304A-219 Dufferin Street, Toronto, M6K 3J1 to be exact.

There is other curious news about EasyDNS as well.

According to The Register (United Kingdom) in a 2013 article titled “Canadian operator EasyDNS stands firm against London cops.” The Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit requested the EasyDNS take down websites selling pirated music/movies. EasyDNS refused. Did they support crime? Seems that way.

When you compare ZeroHedge’s “use” of copyrighted materials, to EasyDNS allowing hosted sites to profit on pirated content, things appear to shift alt-right, in tandem.

Furthermore, from Wikipedia in 2014, “…CEO Mark Jeftovic referred to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as a “batch of clowns” after it sent EasyDNS and other registrars a document issuing guidelines on when to take down domains of suspected “rogue” pharmacies without court orders. The memo included instructions which would put registrars in violation of their ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreements.”

What happened? Death.

“Some months later EasyDNS modified its takedown policy after a man died after taking a “controlled substance” codeine phosphate purchased without a prescription from airmailchemist.com, an online drug seller registered through easyDNS Technologies Inc. EasyDNS was not aware of airmailchemist.com’s presence on their system, or the fatality until they were contacted by a Wall Street Journal reporter investigating ICANNs policies on unlicensed pharmacies. ICANN had not notified EasyDNS of either the FDA complaint nor the fatality. Once informed, EasyDNS initiated contact with the FDA and the domain was immediately taken down. EasyDNS now requires online pharmacies to provide proof that they are licensed.”

Another source of Jeftovic’s blogs is Medium.com. Again, I won’t link to that site since there have been reports of hacking there as well.

 


Conclusion:


In conclusion, the websites and names associated with ZeroHedge are fishy, to say the least. The site itself, may have been hacked, putting any visitor’s digital information at risk — and this includes bank accounts. The hosting service (easyDNS Technologies Inc.) for ZeroHedge may have and may still be, assisting criminals — the ones who steal digital information. The name/owner associated with the hosting service are also associated with websites and are hosted in unknown countries. The hosting service in question is associated with WikiLeaks and could simply be a mouthpiece for them…and WikiLeaks has been known to compromise identities, to include medical information and social security numbers of individuals —  per this Wikipedia entry.

But you be the judge. Buy/sell cryptocurrency or stocks, based on ZeroHedge’s advice and see what happens.

Or use common sense.

Personally, I don’t think the current “correction” in cryptocurrency is a correction at all. This stuff is outside of the normal channels. It sings to its own tune. That tune, in my thinking, is you.

Choose the dying fiat “reality” or choose — just a little — freedom cryptocurrency. But remember, both exist.


 

 — JGS

The “Bitcoin Cash” Hit Piece

(Updated November 28, 2017)


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts:

This is an open letter-blog and assessment of the Mr. John Carvalho and Roger Ver discussion.

Is this the beginning of the end of Bitcoin Cash?

It’s not every day you get to take a peek at the guys and gals – the movers and shakers – in the crypto-sphere. See them in a more human light. See them make mistakes, get angry and do dumb things.

There is no such thing as a Bitcoin Jesus or is there? Well, he is being demoted now.

If you have 45 minutes, you can watch the interview with Bitcoin Jesus, by a less than dignified fellow. It occurred on November 27, 2017.

If you prefer an interpretation, then scan the words below. I have pulled out some of the more interesting highlights.

This is my interpretation of today’s debate between John Carvalho and Bitcoin Jesus — no longer. He is now just plain old Roger Ver these days. And it really gives you a taste of crypto-current-events.

Events that are awash in…problems.

It’ll make you think twice about Bitcoin (BTC)…and Bitcoin Cash (BCH and BCC).

Ver, as many know, was an early supporter of bitcoin, but now supports Bitcoin Cash. That should tell you something. And anyone who thinks that Ver is just a money grubbing corporate type, might end up holding a worthless bag of BTC, but I hope not.

Carvalho, our alleged hero, has a YouTube site called Bitcoin Error Log. He is the CEO of Xotika.TV, which appears to be a porn site.

Carvalho has serious character issues…

You be the judge of John Carvarlo’s character, but I say the guy has near zero credibility. And like Ver advised, I also don’t care if you sell smut for a living, but it does define you. It tells the world what you really are.

(And be careful accessing the Xotika.TV site, it involves a high-risk country, according to Scamadviser.com. Scumbag issues.)

Why Ver agreed to the interview it is beyond me. Smut profiteer interviews self-made millionaire? Go figure.

The smut seller wins debate?

Carvalho of the Bitcoin Error Log (on YouTube) put Roger Ver on the spot today. It was a live debate, but more like a planned hit piece. It is hard to tell if Ver did not deserve it.

Ver was apparently speaking from a hotel room and Carvalho was in his safe-space. It looked like a setup. Carvalho obviously wanted to make Ver look bad. Please tell me if that was not the plan Mr. Carvalho.

Carvalho’s attitude was condescending and Ver seemed to hit back with straight forward answers. Polite most of the time. Until the end, where he lost his composure. (He is only human, but is that an excuse?)

Carvalho spiced his language. Cursed, laughed, derided, and made empty accusations.  Again, what do we expect from his ilk.

And it worked. I began to have doubts about Bitcoin Cash and Ver.

Unfocused debate…more like a Witch Hunt

The debate, if that is what you would like to call it, was apparently supposed to focus, at least in part, on the block-size issues with bitcoin/bitcoin cash; however, the discussion appeared more accusatory and was derailed early on.

Carvalho was the accuser. Ver was on trial, trying to respond to unsubstantiated allegations. A Drumhead Trial from afar.

For starters, as Ver tried to answer questions, there was construction noise nearby and his audio often cut out. This, I’m certain, did not help Ver be heard. At that point I would have asked to debate later. But Ver soldiered on. A mistake.

It did help Carvalho. The beating of the drum…

Carvalho asked why Ver did not like the label “Bcash” for Bitcoin Cash.

Ver stood by his guns. He and the devs like the label Bitcoin Cash, Ver said. The label “Bcash” seems condescending in Ver’s opinion. (See here for how it all started.)

Carvalho wanted to know why he couldn’t call it what he wanted to call it.

Ver tried to explain that the term “Bcash” was obviously negative, so he and others, didn’t care for it.

Pushing buttons…

Carvalho explained that he and others feel that they can label it “Bcash” because there is only one true bitcoin. That seemed to be the crux of it. Carvlaho wanted to give Bitcoin Cash a derogatory name and wouldn’t admit it.

Why not admit it? Sometimes button pushing works and when the pushee admits that, he’s lost the battle.

Ver explained that this was Bitcoin Cash, not “Bcash” and not bitcoin, but Carvalho ignored this. It’s Bcash, he stated repeatedly. A dog with a bone.

This bit of nonsense was repeated by Carvalho. Bcash. Bcash. Every chance he got.

[One might think Ver was being interviewed by a child, but that was the game, was it not, Mr. Carvalho?]

Carvalho asserted that there is only one true bitcoin. He interrupted Ver, as it was explained that Bitcoin Cash was in line with Satoshi Nakamoto’s Whitepaper. These interruptions were obviously designed to keep Ver off balance.

And this is how it went. Ver, trying to be cordial and Carvalho interrupting with “Bcash” and snide remarks. And like I said, it worked.

Carvalho indicated that said bitcoin Whitepaper was not the “bible.” That “we” (meaning the Carvalho porno-gang?) can “agree” that the original bitcoin is the one true bitcoin and the Whitepaper (the original design) is essentially not bitcoin. In other words, if bitcoin’s code changes and the devs diverge from the original vision, it’s still bitcoin original — according to Carvalho.

Certainly, this is a tenuous argument. But Carvalho wouldn’t let go.

And Ver didn’t dislodge that sentiment. It was Ver, big bad corporate man, against bitcoin, a bunch on innocent devs (earning a bit of money on the side from Blockstream and others) working hard — coding.

Carvalho’s assertions…

These repeated assertions by Carvalho seemed to say that old bitcoin is always new bitcoin, even if it’s not in line with Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision. If the devs are still there, no matter if they are new devs, if the undefined community still exists, if the repository is still there, it’s bitcoin.

Appeal to emotions. A point for Carvalho.

What Ver attempted to explain, but Carvalho refused to acknowledge, was that Bitcoin Cash was closer to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision than bitcoin is now. That bitcoin has diverged and is heading down the wrong path. A path with higher fees, slower service and lost transactions.

It fell flat. Ver was a copycat and it stuck.

Carvalho continued his attack.

Carvalho repeated that the repository is “bitcoin” no matter how the code is edited by the core devs or contributed to, by the undefined community.

Ver indicated that not just anyone in the community can contribute to bitcoin. [So this is a false statement, Ver implied.]

Bitcoin is NOT open to the community.

Ver cited Gavin Andresen’s revocation. Andresen is no longer allowed to contribute – meaning bitcoin is NOT open to the community.

Carvalho stated that Satoshi Nakamoto did not hand bitcoin over to Gavin Andresen in the first place. That Andresen somehow obtained control over bitcoin after he went to the CIA. [Vague accusation – never explained. FUD?]

Ver stated that Carvalho was incorrect. That, not only did Nakamoto share access to bitcoin development, but Andresen then shared it with others. These others then revoked Andresen’s access, without his consent. Andresen can no longer approve code to be included into bitcoin.

Andresen a risk?

Ver also stated that the new core devs alleged that Gavin Andresen’s bitcoin dev account had been hacked and that was the reason his access had been revoked…permanently. Oddly, this, on its face, appears very suspicious and thus far this author is not aware of any evidence that Andresen’s bitcoin Github access was ever hacked. On the other hand, concerns over Andresen’s original indications that he had found the one true Satoshi Nakamoto (Craig Wright) may have played into the issue.

Carvalho stated that the new core team, which Gavin Andresen gave permission to help develop bitcoin, had been asking him to voluntarily revoke his own access, before they locked him out, because he was no longer “contributing” to the bitcoin project. That allowing Andresen continued access was a security risk.

Carvalho also stated that Andresen contributed to his own downfall by focusing on “antagonistic” things. [In other words, Andresen did not agree with the new core team members…and was unceremoniously booted out? That appears to be the implication.]

Okay. Enough. Andresen being booted out does not make bitcoin a closed community.

Point to Carvalho.

Back on focus…

Ver then tried to have Carvalho focus on the block-size debate issues, which was apparently supposed to be the focus of the interview.

Carvalho said that Ver had originally supported the Bitcoin SegWit2x fork.

Ver replied that this was true, but after the last-minute cancellation by others he went with Bitcoin Cash – and he had indicated this would happen if SegWitx2 failed. And it failed.

The accusations continued to fly from Carvalho.

Derailed again…

Carvalho indicated that Ver recently received flak for the newest Bitcoin.com wallet (Ver owns or has interest in Bitcoin.com). That the new wallet defaulted to Bitcoin Cash.

Ver stated that this was also untrue and held up his cell phone and showed Carvalho. The screen on the phone clearly showed two wallets. One for Bitcoin and another for Bitcoin Cash.

Cell Phone Wallet - Copy

(Photo Source: YouTube)

Carvalho stated that this would confuse people and implied that the names (Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash) were too similar. That “newcomers” might not know the difference.

And I’d have to say that Carvalho is right on this point. Ver’s cell phone shows a confusing set of choices. If you don’t know the difference between BTC and BCH, then you might become confused.

Carvalho then asserted that it was fraudulent to use the bitcoin name in Bitcoin Cash. Carvalho did not explain this accusation.

Fraudulent is something obtained, done by, or involving deception, especially criminal deception.

Ver stated that he did not think the labels were that confusing [or fraudulent].

[Side Note: If you can’t tell the difference between crypto-wallets with separate labels, you should probably not be using cryptocurrency.]

Carvalho then asserted that the Bitcoin.com wallet would confuse people, implying that the name of the website was also misleading.

Ver stated that the Bitcoin.com wallet clearly states that is supports Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash.

Carvalho then changed the subject. He stated that “we’re” concerned for the “noobs” due the Ver’s marketing power. That they will be confused.

Even score here. Both have valid points.

Ver countered. He asked why Carvalho was not concerned that newcomers would pay more in transaction fees ($20.00 fees) with old bitcoin?

Carvalho ignores high old bitcoin fees.

Carvalho said he wanted to talk about fees “separately.” That he was more interested in “education.”

[In other words noobs losing money in old bitcoin was not considered educational to Carvalho.]

Ver gets a point.

Once again, Ver stated that Bitcoin Cash more closely resembled the original Bitcoin.org Whitepaper.

Carvalho asked how Ver could “…make that leap” since there was “…no mention of Bitcoin Cash,” in the Whitepaper and is not any more peer to peer, than is bitcoin. [Carvalho had indicated that bitcoin was ‘node to node’ these days.]

Ver gets another point. Carvalho’s answers are too vague.

Ver explained that the fees were lower with Bitcoin Cash — again. That nobody can stop the transactions.

“…Bitcoin Cash can be stopped…”

Carvalho stated that Bitcoin Cash can be stopped since it’s a smaller network. That the only reason that transactions are cheaper, is because nobody is “spamming” Bitcoin Cash yet.

Interesting idea.

Ver asserted that this was not true. That bitcoin is now slow and expensive due to full blocks and the user experience is suffering.

Ver is on the money. Bitcoin is very slow.

Carvalho cited bitcoin’s higher market cap, but Ver stated that bitcoin has failed. That the slow transaction speed is the tell.

Bitcoin has not yet failed.

“…the Lightning Network…”

Carvalho stated that the “Lightning Network” would increase transaction speeds.

Ver responded that the transition from Bitcoin Core the Bitcoin Core assisted by the “Lightning Network” is much more difficult than to simply switch to a better coin.

Ver asked Carvalho if he had ever completed a single Lightning Network transaction and received a negative response.

Ver gets a point. There are SegWit2x problems. It’s an unproven system.

Bitcoin is bleeding out…

Ver stated that Bitcoin used to have a near 99% market share. That it is now “bleeding” into other altcoins and stands at about 53% of market share.

Carvalho disagreed and indicated that this does not mean that bitcoin is losing ground due to its value per coin.

Nobody wins this round.

Ver said that Bitcoin Core has “intentionallydestroyed bitcoin’s usability by capping the block-size. It’s too expensive to use, less reliable; and therefore, investors are seeking out alternatives.

Block size?

Carvalho stated that Satoshi Nakamoto designed the small block-size in the first place.

Ver stated that Nakamoto was convinced by others to do this later, as a temporary measure, to stop others from “flooding” the network.

Carvalho tried to change the subject again, but Ver asked him to finish each subject before moving on.

Ver then advised that Nakamoto’s original intent was to allow the block-sizes to be as big as they needed to be, to accommodate the network.

Carvalho then stated that the bitcoin block-size was in fact limited from the beginning.

Ver did not answer this question clearly. Ver stated that the block-size (what was stored in each block) grew as time passed [until it apparently hit the actual preset limit].

Even score again. Nobody wins this point.

Why does Carvalho like old bitcoin?

Ver then asked why Carvalho liked bitcoin and he responded with the standard line. No inflation, private, decentralized, store of value etc.

Ver then indicated that Carvalho’s answers defined many altcoins in general.

Then Ver advised he was trying to replace all forms of money with a form of permission-less money and make it impossible for governments to control money and free trade.

Carvalho hit on the decentralization aspect again, but Ver stated the this is a tool of censorship resistance, not necessarily a goal in and of itself. That censorship does take place in bitcoin when your transaction is too small, and it drops from the “mempool.”

Carvalho cited blockchain rollbacks by miners with more power. This “power” centralization has effectively censored transactions.

Ver countered that the small bitcoin block-sizes incentivizes investors to use large “bitcoin” banks like Coinbase. Such a concentration of bitcoin is akin to “centralizing.” If the block-size is larger, the system is easier to use and keep in investors’ hands.

Carvalho tried to state that the altcoin exchanges are a centralization risk, but Ver reminded him that it was a matter of choice to trade on exchanges.

Mix and match. Nobody wins these points.

Untested Tech

Carvalho then advised that his company (Xotika.TV) now uses SegWit2x.

Ver implied that it is an untested tech and that there does not have to be a block-size limit anyway.

Ver wins this point.

Carvalho moves onto theory. There is “infinite demand for block-space.”

Ver disagreed. He said it depends upon the demand that the miner’s set for the block-space.

Ver’s point.

Then Carvalho played the “what if” game.

What if the blocks were infinite?

[Yet another seemingly ridiculous argument. Carvalho is not apparently grounded in economic reality, but mired in some infinite theoretical worry. At this point Carvalho becomes defensive as it has become obvious he is losing the debate.  Accusations begin to fly. Ver doesn’t actually know what he says, etc.]

Ver stated that nobody knows what the perfect block-size is.

Carvalho: not knowing then [the optimum block-size], what is the best approach? A conservative one or a risky one?

Carvalho’s lack of knowledge shows…

Ver stated that the market should decide. Then he asked Carvalho to name any other altcoin that has full blocks [like bitcoin].

Carvalho didn’t know.

Ver stated that it has never happened.

Ver wins point on technicality.

Carvalho indicated that everybody wants to use bitcoin. [Yet another wild assertion. Bad form.]

Ver related that bitcoin having full blocks and high fees – and being experimented upon – is VERY risky. That the experiments should be done on a separate altcoin, not bitcoin. [Really good point.]

Ver wins two-points.

Carvalho’s do nothing approach

Carvalho stated that “inaction” on bitcoin is “conservative.” That leaving it alone is not risky. That Ver should not paint it this way.

Ver stated that action is needed on bitcoin.

Ver wins point again.

Carvalho repeated that bitcoin had a coded-in block size limit originally, but Ver explained that this was not generally true. That the one-megabyte limit was not reached until recently, since there was no “infinite” demand for block-space. At that point any responsible core team should have fixed it. Such a failure, in the real world of business, would have resulted in an employee’s termination, according to Ver.

Ver’s explanation agains fall flat. Minus a point.

Ver stated that many well-known exchanges are busily integrating Bitcoin Cash, but if people still wished to use bitcoin, that is fine. On the other hand, if you want reliability, faster transactions, something like the way bitcoin was supposed to work, then Bitcoin Cash is the answer – and it will save you money.

This comes off as smug. You are losing the crowd here, Ver.

Carvalho asserts…again

Carvalho asserted that Bitcoin Cash was unreliable. He asked why Bitcoin Cash created more coins and raised the specter of inflation?

Ver stated that Bitcoin Cash has the same coin number as bitcoin, but for a time, many miners switched to Bitcoin Cash and they got ahead.

Point for Ver.

Carvalho then supplied a list of Bitcoin Cash complaints all at once. He continued to interrupt Ver.

Carvalho indicated that Bitcoin Cash changed their mining algorithm to make it easier to mine.

Point for Carvalho. Ver never counters.

That ASIC Boost can also be used.

Point for Carvalho. Ver ignores or forgets?

That there is almost a 1% inflation rate in Bitcoin Cash.

[This inflation assertion is disingenuous. Inflation implies a constantly growing money supply. Bitcoin Cash, like bitcoin, has an upper hard limit. Carvalho’s argument is that since Bitcoin Cash mines faster it causes temporary inflation of coins – but this does not necessarily translate into a lower coin value, which is the result of inflation in a controlled, single-source and mandated money supply. Bitcoin Cash is not “legal tender.”]

Carvalho’s inflation allegation falls flat. Minus a point.

Carvalho also alleged that “old work” can be used to obtain more Bitcoin Cash coins in some cases. No other explanation was given.

Ver does not counter. Carvalho wins point by default.

Ver claimed that given the current bitcoin environment, bitcoin will lose out to Bitcoin Cash.

Vague.

Carvalho indicated that Ver stated these things because he thinks that Bitcoin Cash is doing something new.

Ver said that Bitcoin Cash has a larger user base that litecoin, for example. That anyone can check Coinmarketcap.com to see this.

Carvalho responded that using trading volumes, where there are no fees, for example, does not give an accurate picture. But he failed to describe what did give an accurate picture.

Nobody wins a point.

Carvalho plays dirty…

Carvalho then accused Ver of over-tweeting, getting socks (sock puppets) to up-vote and downvote etc.

Carvalho loses credibility all at once. Dumps all his points. Irrational statements. No verification offered.

Ver stated that these were lies. And backs his statements up with examples.

Ver is awarded five points.

Carvalho offered zero evidence of these accusations or any others, up to this point. And yet he presses on.

Minus another point for Carvalho, who is now sinking.

Carvalho then launched into more insult-like behavior, called Bitcoin Cash, “Bcash” and Ver became irritated. He advised Carvalho to discontinue this line or he would discontinue the interview.

Since Carvalho senses he’s lost the high ground, he starts to sling.

Minus more points.

Carvalho continued to press Ver’s buttons, stating that Ver only wanted the bitcoin name to “…coopt the brand.”

Ver stated that it was essentially more legitimate than bitcoin, although the name is Bitcoin Cash. But it is the true “bitcoin.” Read his lips, Ver stated.

The discussion is off track now.

Ver began to cite the growth of Bitcoin Cash over bitcoin, pointing out that it will soon overtake bitcoin.

Bravado?

Carvalho’s belief — higher bitcoins fees are better?

Carvalho stated that the higher fees associated with bitcoin makes it more valuable. [Seriously.] That for Ver to continue to hold bitcoin at all “…makes no sense.”

Ver reminded Carvalho not to place all his eggs in one basket and that bitcoin still retains a “network effect.”

Ver creams Carvalho again.

Carvalho continued with his “Bcash” insults and Ver reminded him it’s Bitcoin Cash. Ver also indicated that he does not need to speak to “someone on the internet” who does not necessarily run a successful business.

This makes Ver look bad. Loses emotional high-ground here. Big bad Bitcoin Cash entrepreneur bad mouths porn king, just trying to make a smut-buck. We’re in the ditch now.

Carvalho asked why it mattered that Ver was a millionaire.

[Why? Because it shows a person who can run a successful business.]

Carvalho reminded Ver that bitcoin is not a business.

Ten points for Carvalho. He’s above water again.

Carvalho insisted repeatedly that he could call Bitcoin cash, “Bcash” and Ver reminded him that that label was started in a derogatory manner on the internet and that he didn’t like it.

Moot point. Does not help discussion. It just pushes Ver over the edge.

Carvalho’s last stab…

Carvalho stated that he thought only Ver, “Jihan” and Ver’s sock puppets, didn’t like the “Bcash” label.

Ver then discontinued the interview after flipping Carvalho off.

Bad form. Ver loses debate in seconds — on emotional grounds, but not substance. Makes him appear easy to enrage.

I’ll have to say, of all the interviews I’ve seen Ver do, this one was the most interesting. Showed his human side. His inabilities.

And if Ver is right, it will be an “I told you so moment” when (and if) bitcoin begins to falter. Whether Bitcoin Cash will pick up the slack, is another matter.

Do you still trust Bitcoin Cash?

Conclusion:

Carvalho’s interview only served to point out bitcoin’s weaknesses, show that Ver is human and make people realize that they might want to reconsider holding onto BTC or BCH.

On the other hand, Carvalho made some valid points, even if most of it was mud-slinging.

Put your eggs in different baskets.

Ver issued his apology here. Too late now.

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird


…I am now rethinking my Bitcoin Cash holdings.

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

Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

I heard the air just go out of the room. How can I dare say such a thing? I mean, why? Why challenge the Gods of Crypto? Because I listen to them when they say really dumb things and I’m a bad little sheep. I crap on their stage and bleat. It’s okay, I’m just a little sheep. Not much to worry about.

After reviewing several recent videos put out by the more vocal cryptocurrency developers and evangelists I wanted to reiterate a few things about what these pro-cryptocurrency, blockchain promoting, initial coin offering gurus and family, might be obfuscating: reality.

(There. I just let one go. Plop.)

And this goes for nearly all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Sexcoin, Ether-bum and Frogpennies included.

What? There are no Frogpennies? You mean I was scammed? Again?

Dammit man!

I’m no newbie (noob) to this financial vehicle. I’ve been around the bend. Lost and gained. And I’m still here. Still playing the game. Still bleating and trading — and winning — for now.

“Freaking gambler!”

Hey…relax.

So, this is a reality check, from a fan of cryptocurrencies. (That’s me. Don’t forget that part.)

Is cryptocurrency anything other than a speculative vehicle?

I mean, look at where most of the money is going in cryptocurrency markets.  Most of the investment is going into bitcoin. Currently, bitcoin’s market capitalization is nearing $100,000,000,000.  Each BTC is now (almost) worth – $6000 each. It kind of wobbles there — for now.  Certainly, another milestone for cryptocurrency at large.

But is bitcoin worth anything at all? Go ahead. Torture yourself about energy, electricity and nodes. What type of value, other than a service value, does any cryptocurrency have?

Tick-tock.

How’s the mental argument going? Feeling twisted up yet? Okay, I’ll let you off the hook. It’s better for your blood pressure that way.

Wait a minute… The older guys and gals take this crap in stride. It’s just the younger ones who need to chillax. We’ve — us elders — been around the apple cart a few more times.

“Oh, but times have changed!”

No. They have not. Crooks are always crooks, not matter the century. Dummies are always dummies. Blonds are…  Never mind.

In the cryptocurrency world, there’s a lot of conjecture about the nature of money itself.  So, I’d like to explore that a bit. Remind the wandering souls who left their gamer chairs and headed over the crypto-couchs for beer and saki. (Which are both wonderful, I’ll admit.)

Hopefully, these wandering post-gamer types (Vitalik?) will sober-up before it’s too late — for the rest of us broke investors.

So, let’s get to it.

One of my favorite definitions of money was provided by Ayn Rand. If you don’t know her, consider yourself — sorry — uneducated.

Okay, maybe that was harsh. But if you are in the Fintech world, you ought to be ashamed.

If you go to aynrandlexicon.com and look up the word “money,” you will find the seeds of what I’m about to go over, there.

The Lexicon pulls this definition from a piece that Rand did titled “Egalitarianism and Inflation,” from the book titled Philosophy: Who Needs It, page 127. (Go ahead, look it up. You can google it. I’m tired of giving out shortcuts like candy.)

So, let me compare cryptocurrency to money. I think that a lot of people are disregarding this very important definition — to their own detriment.

According to Rand, money is a tool.  A tool that can be used to exercise long range control over one’s life. A tool that can be used for saving. A tool that permits delayed consumption. And, a tool that buys time for future production.

Think on that a moment. Pick up a wrench. Caress it. Did you just fondle money? Well, kind of.

Is cryptocurrency a tool? Can you fondle a crypto? Would you want to?

Certainly, crypto is a type of tool or at least an application, but it requires something a money-tool does not. Cryptocurrency requires energy. Electrical energy. It also requires a computer, software, regular updates, dedicated developers and user cooperation. These are only a few of the cryptocurrency requirements.

In other words, crypto is a “user of tools.” Catch that? It’s a multi-tool. (Oh, that’s gross.)

Can a cryptocurrency be used long range, however?

The apparent answer is that it cannot be used beyond a few years, without improvements. So, in this respect cryptocurrency cannot be used to exercise control, in a long-range manner.

Crypto is a shorty sporty. Heck, so is my wife.

Can cryptocurrency be used for saving? And by saving, I mean saving something of value (a tool — remember) that one can come back to in a week, a month, a year or longer — and pick it up, dust it off and say, “Wow, it’s still good as new.”

The simple answer, again, is…no. Attempting to save cryptocurrency beyond one week might be very risky. Yes, I’ve heard about bitcoin. Probably, before you.

In this respect, cryptocurrency cannot be used to delay any consumption for greater than perhaps a few days. It cannot buy time for the future.

Gold, for example, buys one “time” in a sense that one can delay using it for years. Maybe, if the governments did not control the price.

Let’s look at another aspect of money that Rand indicated was a definite requirement.

Money must be a material commodity that is imperishable.

Not a banana or pork bellies. Not energy or “trust.” Not nodes or networks. Material…and a commodity. A tough and tumble thing that just holds the fort and takes no prisoners — not even during “World of Warcraft.” (That should probably be Witchcraft.)

Now, you might ask what (exactly) is “imperishable.” And it is clear cut –  it is something that cannot perish or if it does perish it would take some serious effort. Computers and networks and games — they all go “bye bye.” Time kills them.

Cryptocurrency shall perish from this earth — I mean — eventually. Maybe in a few years. Maybe after Fedcoin awakens and the apparatchiks get going. Make a few arrests. Tax people into the poor house. A bit of insurance policy suicide.

So crypto is perishable, but for now, it’s a great fruit. Sort of like one of those irradiated, dehydrated apple chips. It’ll last for a few years on your counter, but once the dog finds it, yum-yum.

If the power goes out in your area, can you spend, save, and borrow a bitcoin? If your country makes cryptocurrency illegal, will you still use it? If, a few years from now, a newer and much better cryptocurrency is invented, what will happen to your preferred cryptocurrency? It just rotted. Perished into the doggy mouth.

Rare. Money should also be rare. Something that is abundant, easy to produce, easy to copy, easy to “fork,” does not meet the definition of rare. Think copy-machine. Think clones. Think, fiat-money.

Artificially reduced numbers on a digital ledger does not meet the definition of money, but it could be a type of functional currency. Reduced numbers of cryptocurrency atomic units do meet the definition of “limited,” but digital information is not in and of itself, rare.

Unless you print this — the words you are now reading (and why you waste you time here, I’ll not ask) — are born of code. Pixels instructed to turn on and off, by a bit of computer code, fed through a electronic processor. Okay, it’s not the best code. Not a crypto-code, but you catch my drift, don’t you?

Codes are not rare. They can be secure, however.

Money must be homogeneous too. Standardized. Similar. A dollar bill looks the same and spends the same all over the U.S. and many other places. (Yes, I know dollars suck — but they spend.)

Multiple kinds of functional money, i.e. cryptocurrencies, are not standardized. Although, many cryptocurrency technologies are similar they are not, for all intents and purposes identical. There is no standard. (Maybe that’s good, actually.)

Money must be easily stored.

Generally, this might mean that money is compact, perhaps stack-able, able to be placed in one’s pocket, transportable and able to be secured.

Yes, I know gold is heavy and past presidents in the US have stolen it from the people — and that it’s really hard to steal crypto.

But you know what’s even harder to steal than crypto? My thoughts. Electronic (and chemical) codes I can relay to you via spoken or written words.

I have secret thoughts too. Try and take them. On second thought, don’t — you might get sick. I’ve seen some pretty messed up things in my life.

Is cryptocurrency easy to store? In some sense, saving information on your computer is quite easy. But is that true storage in the physical sense? And isn’t that what we’re after? The ability to place money in a safe, under your mattress or in a tin can in your backyard?

Are my thoughts money? I think I have nodes too. My neurons are decentralized in my brain for sure. Billions of nodes, just humming along.

Money should not be subject to wide fluctuations of value, according to Rand. This seems straightforward. Sort of like, “Duh!”

My thoughts fluctuate. Crypto pops up and runs to ground often. I wonder, can I trade my thoughts on an exchange?

If you place a government issued coin in your pocket, unless you live in Venezuela, it will probably maintain its value throughout the day, perhaps an entire year.

On the other hand, if you stored a bitcoin on your computer hard drive, next week it could be worth twice as much or half as much.  And this goes for most other cryptocurrencies as well.

Not so for my thoughts. They are worth zilch, until I use them to develop something — say a crypto. There, I just did. Did you feel it? Wanna buy some thought-crypto?

So, fiat currencies are terrible, but they generally hold their value over longer periods of time – a stable value — when compared to cryptos. Especially my thought-cryptos.

What else is important about money?

Well, if you can’t go to the market and spend it, there’s a problem. If you can’t buy a cup of coffee, a soda, or a car – anywhere you normally go – there’s a problem.

Oh, please don’t bring out that BTC ATM map. Just go to the store and let them stare at you like you are a “nerd.” (Hint: you are. But it’s okay. They meet on Wednesdays, I think. Make sure to bring your pencils.)

So, if a cryptocurrency is to become a functional money it must be in demand among those you trade with. Not only the Wednesday “Nerd” Group. Currently, cryptocurrency also fails in this respect.  Let me repeat that, currently. Today.

(Note: Nerds may conquer the universe. Just look at Bill Gates. He’s got his own crypto now. “Way to go Bill, you copycat. No, I know you did not copy Apple…”)

Let’s get back on track, before Billy gets made and shuts this blog down. Really, I apologize Billy. I know you love crypto too.

Using Rand’s definitions, it seems that the only true money is gold.

“Oh not that rock thing again. You’re so retro, dude!”

Straighten up. Get a job, before your dad kicks you out.

Gold has a tangible value, but, as Rand states it, gold is “…a token of wealth actually produced.” Moreover, the transaction itself becomes much safer, much simpler, because it is like bartering.

Let’s recycle.

“No, Mr. Retro. I need to get back to War of the Witchs II!”

Money is a tool.  Cryptocurrency is an application that uses a tool – a computer.

“So.”

Tools can be used over long periods of time. We do not know how long cryptocurrencies will last.

“You mean it’s like a new modified game?”

No. Listen.

“Why?”

One can save a money-tool. If one saves a cryptocurrency application, it may be outdated within the year.

“Yep, just like my computer games. I sort of get it now.”

If you delay using your cryptocurrency, you may lose all your money – all your value.

“Right. You can’t sell used games for squat after a few months!”

The money-tool ought to be imperishable. Cryptocurrency is perishable.

“Games are dead soon after release!”

Right and a cryptocurrency is not a material commodity.

“True. I download my games now.”

Cryptocurrency is not rare, only mathematically limited.

“You got me there, grandpa.”

Cryptocurrency is not homogeneous in the sense that it is standardized among the persons with which you trade. If cryptocurrency were standardized, this might increase its demand.

“Yeah, a lot of dudes can’t stand War of Witchcraft at all! No demand. Puds.”

Cryptocurrency requires a stable value – if it is to escape the bonds of speculation.

“Hey, I made a few bucks with mining Piggycoin a few years back!”

Aside from the fact that cryptocurrencies do not meet the ‘Randian’ definition of a sound money, this does not mean that its value will not increase.

“Like I said, the Piggy was good to me. But my mom got tired of the high power bills and the gizmos making all of that noise.”

Even if governments choose to define cryptocurrencies in different ways, those jurisdictions with the least amount of regulations appear to be reaping the benefits of increased Fintech investments, for now.

“I heard that. But I’m not leaving America for some European paradise.”

Cryptocurrency is also voluntary. Fiat currency is not.

“That’s the point, right?”

Cryptocurrency is also trustworthy, in many cases. Many people trust the math, but some are concerned about the developers who write the code.

“Dude, you are confusing the hell out me. First you say they suck, now you say they don’t?”

Is fiat currency trustworthy? It depends upon the country, the economy and the leadership.

“Oh, yeah. Bummer.”

One thing is certain, however, even with two arms tied behind its back, decentralized cryptocurrency has captured the imagination of the people.

I think that any blockchain adoption by governmental entities, will only serve to solidify the people’s belief in the private use of the blockchain technologies.

I’ve also included a YouTube video of mine, highlighting some of the above issues.

“Dude, can I go back to my games now?”

Sure.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

P.S. I’m selling my thoughts for one BTC each. Guaranteed to be far more awesome than any cryptocurrency ever mined, minted, spat out, staked, gassed-in or farmed-out. There is a limited supply of my thoughts because one day I’ll be dead. (Shut up, I heard that.) Just leave a reply and we can work out the details. I’m not going to leave my BTC address. That’s just tacky as hell, don’t you think? Hurry, this is a limited time offer — maybe less that 30 years before it ends and my decentralized network will cease to function.


(Disclaimer: The above is the opinion of this writer. Any appearance to reality is merely a coincidence. If it bothers you, mine some ‘coin.)


 

Cardano (ADA): The Golden Hand?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The hard part is recognizing the opportunity.


(Updated 7/6/2018 — based on developments)

The Cardano opportunity is a risk and maybe a pickpocket.

Life…is a risk.

The news today…the news any day…the last few crypto-days…is mixed.

From a layman’s point of view – one who has made a few good calls – I thought that the next great cryptocurrency opportunity was here. The early cryptocurrencies were the introductions, the experiments and the tests.

A lot of people have made a lot of money in this space since 2009. Some of these newly minted multimillionaires have used this opportunity to push Fintech further. To create a second generation of cryptocurrencies with smart contracts and added tokens. To allow others to use their blockchains for good or ill.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum. Public blockchains that allowed innovators to dream and make their dreams into reality. The reality, the regulators, pushing back, but not yet winning.

From Bytecoin (stay away) to Monero (use at your own risk). And we must not forget the private angle. Others in this new space felt that the current governments obstructed the development of this technology as they, the Darknet users, actively created systems to hide behind a wall of code. Or give the user the choice to secure his accounts or make them public.

The principal problem with the private angle, is that we the users, do not often know who created these coins. We have no customer service. The risk, therefore, is great. To state otherwise is to be oblivious or perhaps to take that risk in hopes of a great return.

Is there a third way, however? A third generation of cryptocurrency? Not a compromise, as I have postulated before, but a “realist” coin? One that exists and uses the regulations to its benefit, rather than subjecting itself to the laws of all nations? In other words, can Cardano (ADA) use the law of nations to its advantage, while enticing a new breed of users?

It does not look promising.

We live in the real world after all. We earn and save and spend our money on real things in real stores, where real people stuff our groceries in real bags. We use fiat money, by and large, to do this. And there are many advantages to using fiat, except for micro-payments across borders. Cryptocurrency handles the latter much better. But cryptocurrency has other problems.

Although, I’m no supporter of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) its current director made some interesting remarks recently.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director at the IMF, indicated in her speech recently, “…this is not about digital payments in existing currencies—through Paypal and other “e-money” providers such as Alipay in China, or M-Pesa in Kenya…”

What does that tell you? Aside from the fact that she said it? Is Lagarde sounding the alarm or is she helping to clear the way for the banking industry to adopt the blockchain technology? If so, what type of cryptocurrency would governments accept? After all, the governments are the banks.

In the US, the company with the cheapest product wins the government business – a lot. Yes, there are affirmative action quotas (reverse discrimination policies) to follow, but the product used, needs to be under budget – until later, when the corruption and incompetence is discovered and the whole project exceeds the projected budget, plus some.

Would PoW cryptocurrencies be used by governments? Unlimited budgets are things of the past. Yes, China and Russia can offer inexpensive power (electricity) to cryptocurrency miners, having built the power stations on the backs of their subjects (tax and spend), however, freer countries cannot often hide such corruption for long.

PoS cryptocurrencies might fit the bill, however. In fact, Ripple is fitting the bill nicely now. More and more businesses and banks are signing on. But Ripple is not really PoS, is it? It does not encourage people to save and earn interest, it only entices them the buy, hold and sell. Perhaps to use their system. It is no longer user-friendly – if it ever was. But it is a pre-mined animal for the current financial system. Centralized and existing in the regulatory environs – and earning money for its investors. And it has been accused of being an ongoing ICO.

Back to Lagarde. She also said, “For now, virtual currencies…pose little or no challenge to the existing order of fiat currencies and central banks…[b]ecause they are too volatile, too risky, too energy intensive, and because the underlying technologies are not yet scalable. Many are too opaque for regulators; and some have been hacked.” (Underlining emphasis mine.)

Volatility is a given with cryptocurrencies. They are not often pegged to a basket of goods or a fiat money supply. On the other hand, they are not – in theory – able to cause inflation. Many Cardano-like coins are potentially inflationary, however. PoS coins often have set rates of constant “production” — i.e., printing.

Energy. There’s the big one. Bitcoin, for example, uses as much power as hundreds of thousands of homes, certainly. And there are worries, that continued unchecked, the blockchain beast might use as much electricity as entire countries.

That is a non-starter for whole countries, if they are constrained by objectivity and budgets. So, what is better? What kind of cryptocurrency would entice the average Joe, the high-power banker and, at the same time, dissuade governments from clamping down on the process? Where whole nations could participate?

It would need to be – IMO – a cryptocurrency (or more than one) with wide acceptance, ease of use, an international governance structure, economical, secure, and transparent under certain circumstances. (By that I mean, an objective set of published rules whereby the ‘coin’ would, under the circumstances outlined, provide identity information to third parties.)  Whatever else the cryptocurrency could add, given the needs and desires of the populace, would be up to them. Smart contracts. Machine to machine payments etc.

Naturally, the acceptable cryptocurrency would require scalability. In other words, be flexible enough to increase business in an efficient fashion.

Such a cryptocurrency, could become a new world reserve cryptocurrency, if it was not subject to the whims and laws of every separate bureaucracy – used a system of governance akin to Maritime Law – as has been suggested. It can be argued that Bitcoin is like this today.

This would be, as some have called it, the third stage in the evolution of cryptocurrency. And, perhaps, a stage in the re-development of a base or reserve monetary system, decentralized at its heart and beholden to its users, not its users’ users.

Efficient, secure, regulate-able, sustainable and trusted, all based upon the original concepts of peer to peer networks. With the added benefit of creating a voluntary user base to extend the network.

Let’s face it, Bitcoin would be much faster if everyone connected and kept their computer on. But why waste energy? Why download the blockchain when cryptocurrencies like Cardano offer more efficient ways of participating – and obtaining PoS rewards?

The trick will be in the regulation. And how Cardano can manage what will certainly absorb much of their nest egg, that we the user must be willing to provide.

Can Cardano outpace Ripple and become a serious international player in short order?

Read between my lines. Probably not. Why?

Cardano was created by Charles Hoskinson and others, who also helped to create Ethereum Classic or ETC. ETC said, essentially, that the manifesto (the code as immutably written) was more important than humans who were harmed in the DAO Hack of Ethereum. Ethereum made it right (moral) by forking away the problem — “arresting the thieves.” ETC said “no, let the thieves steal” and here is free ETC to steal again. The immutable blockchain must be obeyed — like their God. And you think Cardano is not “jaded” by that same nonsense? That statements from Hoskinson’s blog about having “hardcore socialists” (more thieves) working for him on this project should make anyone on Earth, aside from other thieves, feel good?

Advice? Get thy money out of ADA. Too many red flags.

 

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

Updated November 20, 2017


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

Trust, trust, trust — or baloney?

In each other, we trust?

Trust, but verify…especially with cryptocurrency?

It seems that we have three developments occurring simultaneously, now — in the Fintech Crypto-World.

  1. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is moving to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
  2. Public is moving to Private or “choice.”
  3. And governments are trying to regulate.

Did I tell you something you don’t know? I hope not.

PoW. It was the most trusted way to create and maintain a person-to-person (P2P) network. But what happened? Has the crypto-space evolved?

PoW has become labor intensive, energy hogging and increasingly centralized. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc. Ethereum is attempting to move to a PoS system or at least use some of its protocols. Really? Again, why?

Why was the PoS protocol developed in the first place? Peercoin, Blackcoin, Cloakcoin and others. Were there long term issues? Security disadvantages? They drew less power, were faster, but they were essentially a pre-mine. But they reward those who maintain balances – and help to secure the network, right? Reward with an ever growing supply of cryptos, unless that supply is fixed — which appears to be the plan for Cardano.

What were (are) the results of PoS? Marginal success. Can a new PoS protocol reverse that trend?

Peercoin, for example, had problems with their code early on. Their primary developer is anonymous. Cloakcoin has changed hands.

What was worse, these PoS coins were more vulnerable than PoW types – less secure. So, why is Ethereum attempting to move in that direction? Aside from the official reports, I mean?

Competition from Cardano?

We know Cardano was developed – at least in part – by a former Ethereum developer, turned Ethereum Classic developer/supporter. To, me, that smells of trust. That smells of new blood — underdog — PoS+ blood type.

But the underdog is only in name. Like Ripple, Cardano has removed the curtain to reveal that it too is willing, at some level, to cooperate with regulators. They are willing — and able — to compromise. If we look to Ripple, they are succeeding.

To roll back the blockchain, as Ethereum did, to stop one criminal – okay, one “advantage taker” – smacks of centralization. (See the DAO Incident.) At that juncture, no matter how benign a dictator, Ethereum lost its way. One cannot punish the whole, to catch one mistake.

So what stain does Cardano have? As a free market supporter, the stain is called compromise? Or is it realism.

In other words, Cardano is not seemingly attempting to create a separate cryptocurrency and/or protocol, as much as it is attempting to “get along” with the regulators. It wants to identify you, at least on one level. KYC — know your customer. The smart contract-currency platform that might be too smart for its own good.

And, in my mind, Cardano, unlike Ripple, wants you to participate. Game changer?

Ethereum Classic is “righting” the wrong of Ethereum. Still, the system – the protocol – is slow. It devours resources. Energy for mining. Power hungry.

So, what is the solution?

A PoS Ethereum, with new math: Cardano?

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

Now, we must decide. Do we trust the PoS? The pre-mine with a large chunk of coins held back for the “company.” Do we trust corporations? They act in their own interests, right? They must make a profit to survive, certainly. How much is enough?

And they are willing to share profits if we support the system?

Many cryptocurrencies are headed by corporations today. Mining warehouses keep many coins alive – corporations regulated by their respective governments. Of course, letting governments create cryptocurrencies will be a cluster-fork, of enormous proportions. But it’s heading that way today, in many countries.

Bitcoin’s reality is that it is managed by people with differing points of view, but they must come to a consensus to move forward. Hence the slow-to-change mentality. Is it outliving its usefulness? Some will tell you it has.

It seems that the move to privacy coins, created by unknown players, is an accident waiting to happen.  We need – IMO – the human factor. The “part” in the virtual machine that is not virtual. To service the humans who use the crypto. Or do we?

Privacy coins obscure their process, as to be non-auditable (or having a choice to audit), in a way that gives many the willies. Not because we want cash-like privacy, but because we wonder who else is using the protocol and why.

So, what can we say. Cash has no feelings. It’s just cash. True. But if you have the protocol to trace the bad actor and you don’t? What does that make you? An accomplice?

The one weakness in that cash-privacy crypto, one which you might hold on your flash-drive, is the customer service angle. If the currency “forks” and you didn’t update in time, what then? Get on Reddit and start complaining? Really?

Where is the “Complaint Department?”

Grandma likes to call people, right? The old school likes warm voices, emails to real organizations, faces to names. The old school lives and saves, on trust. Is Cardano that trust? The new Savings and Loan of Fintech Crypto?

And isn’t that what it’s all about? If we strip away the layers of protocols, unload the software, and just listen – who do you trust to keep your money? I’m not talking about playing the crypto-markets, drifting from one coin to the other, riding the emotion-horse. I mean, the bare-bones of it.

It is not the machines we trust, yet. It’s the people.

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

The fact that governments want to regulate may not be the best reason to flee into the “dark” coins. They will chase any entity that threatens the fiat empire. The darkness only eggs them on.

Regulations change because of force. What is the force of millions of cryptocurrency wallets, worldwide? It is a wave. A tidal wave.

Put your ship in the deep water.

A cryptocurrency that is backed (or less regulated by whole countries), will place pressure upon the bankers of old – the money-changers of the past. Especially, when it is trusted by people everywhere.

How would the empires of old stop that?

Can they, ICANN?

I don’t know if Cardano is the answer, but maybe they are onto something.


 

The Ugly Truth About Bytecoin

 


Why do they hide?

In my recent audio blog, I review some important aspects of Bytecoin. Things they — the Teto-Team and Jenny — don’t seem to want to talk about.

Audio blog: The Ugly Truth about Bytecoin