Tag Archives: Satoshi Nakamoto

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.

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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?”


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.

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.

Bitcoin: “Attack of the Blockchain Clones”


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiast:

Do you ever feel that some people need a good kick in the brain can?

Recently, I came upon a political night-rider imparting an alleged moral foundation. An alleged gem upon the cryptocurrency seashore. Only, it was a sharp stone.

I had discovered his name before, but until recently, never endeavored to explore the influential nature of his words. Never, do I hope he will be more than a crab upon the shore of true freedom. An insect at the beach.

But just in case…

I think now is a good time to mention him. Before your children say his name. Before you feel ignorant, and just in case he makes a name for himself. Which, he won’t.

Before all of that, you can say, “Yep, I have heard of him and Karl Marx. Do you remember the Jews that the Nazi’s killed? Great, I’m glad that the government schools still teach that. Well, anyway, same idea…”

***

His name is Amir Taaki, but he is not the real issue. It’s his personal software that is questionable — the programming in his brain.

Taaki is a coder of some repute, as well as an anarchist of vague degree. Meaning, as far as I can judge, a person who does not understand that an objective form of government is required to maintain individual freedoms. Therefore, Taaki is a liability upon the world stage. A regurgitation of the past.

Taaki is involved with bitcoin, having worked on Dark Wallet, a precursor to OpenBazaar and other projects, but that does not concern me as much as one of his potential teachers. The person or people who have coded him.

Taaki appears to “lack philosophy” as he implied when he was in Syria. What does that say about the man? It says the name of another man, actually. An American hero some might have called him. Others refer to him as a philosophical villain.

His name is Murray Bookchin. He was mentioned by Taaki, when he (Taaki) was fighting in Syria with the Kurds, against ISIS. Supposedly he had just come to lend support, but not to fight. A self-imposed duty called. He took up arms.

There is a warning here. Historians already know of its potential significance. It is not about what Lenin did to Russia in this case, but what America (via Bookchin) is doing to Syria. Invading Syria through what is called Communalism. Not communism exactly, but a shade of it, certainly.

Bookchin was an American anarchist, libertarian socialist and political theorist. He often reflected upon class struggle, was an avowed anti-capitalist, meaning that he was essentially against free and fair trade. He appears to have influenced Taaki and some factions fighting in Syria, for the greater glory, naturally. But it is not the glory these factions are after, as much — and more probably — a sort of militaristic socialism.

Anarchism, is of course, gang rule, with no objective laws, where the most ruthless criminal can rule just as easily as a moral king. One cannot conveniently redefine it, but Bookchin tried. Taaki is trying.

The US, as of yet, is not ruled by anarchist fiefdoms. We are not yet at the stage of full revolt. We are not ready to substitute one form of tyranny for a Bookchin Communalistic Paradise. Nor should Syria be led down the Bookchin road.

Bookchin’s revamping of communism is a claxon. Know that the bells have sounded. Long before Syria, Turkey, Iran and others – fell. If that will happen. If it does, and I hope it won’t, fingers will point. They will point at Bookchin.

The disease is spreading.

And please tell me that Bookchin and Blockchain are unrelated.

Bookchin wanted majority vote, but not majority rule and he tried to explain that one for years. He also wanted assembly-led enterprises. In other words, no free enterprise at all. A type of social dictatorship, but not quite of the communist model. It is often referred to as a “communalist” type of organization. Community led — scratch that — community ordered, comrade.

Looking through the Murray Bookchin filter, as some are want to do, lends lethality to the drumbeat call for decentralization. Not for the blockchains, but for humans. The only difference is that humans are not chained in the first place. We are not part of some giant cloned ledger.

There is no comparison between the technology of bitcoin and individuals.

Anarchy, as espoused by the Bookchin-ites, is not decentralization as some might ask you to believe. It is disorganization. It is decentralization of organization. Divide and conquer. Disintegration. A rapid breakdown of morally based laws (we can argue about that) in favor of range of the moment substitution. Pragmatism v. reason. Honesty v. “get it done.”

And here is the social mirror some are suggesting we hold up to the blockchain ledger. If bitcoin or better yet, if some private cryptocurrency ledger can organize an accounting method, where everyone’s currency is safe and secure, why can’t humans be like blockchain ledgers? Hold the power to self-manage? A type of self-organized dialectic.

Dear readers, we are not Blockchain Clones. We are individual people, all with different abilities and desires. Our intellectual savings differ. Our ability to mine knowledge, to produce information, to educate, are all different. We are not cryptocurrency clones. We were never social “smart contracts.” We are different. Blockchains are identical.

The ideas of cryptocurrency decentralization are not transferable to the human context. Blockchains are not anarchistic representations of social structures, but orderly algorithms without emotions or desires. They are arbitrary and robotic rules of math, editable by humans. Controlled by a few humans.

Pause here. We own the process of blockchains. Not the opposite.

If we transfer the decentralization aspect of blockchains to society, we become numbers on the social ledger. And some few “developers” will control the technology of the social blockchain. A small core group. Hence, the idea — the false flag — that blockchains are decentralized only refers to the nature of the ledger. In fact, the technology is highly centralized.

To gift humanity with the ability to transact, without the necessity of an intermediary? Without humanity? A digital promissory note to ensure that contractual transactions are completed? That is the promise, right?

Where is the human watchdog? Answer? Blank out. Who is watching the developers? All of us? Can we influence their process? Maybe. If they refuse to give us what we want? We can use Litecoin, right? We can try some of that dark net stuff — Monero.

But where are we then? Back to yet another centralized blockchain. A programmed ledger we can clone and use. We only hope the developers stay on the job. Hope they don’t act in a way that will destroy the value in our chosen coin.

This being the case, to engender trust, the math of cryptocurrency should be provable, verifiable, and secure. It should be objective and not subject to the whims of cryptocurrency developers.

This is a tall order. It requires human cooperation. It requires auditors. It needs checks and balances. Some type of transparency.

The people who control the math should have watchdogs at their heels. Inspectors, not beholden to the math-makers in any way, should have complete viewing access to the code. If something is amiss, they should report it to the public or be jailed for complicity.

It is called the “human element.” Imperfect, for sure. But why it is required? Obvious, is it not? Some humans steal. And, what does absolute “monetary” power do to humans? What does any kind of communal power do? It corrupts them.

Bitcoin can be audited. Anyone can access the code and audit the system. Anyone can trace any transaction, which, unfortunately, is unfavorable to human privacy. The other problem is, as I have mentioned, bitcoin is centrally controlled by a handful of developers.

Machines are oblivious. Algorithms have no feelings. They are not concerned about where you buy your booze, that you have a health problem or if you like romance fiction — with photos.

Maybe the auditors cannot read a name, find a home address without a court order, in some cases, but much can be inferred from the transaction records of bitcoin and clan. Much privacy is lost.

Could this have been the noob “selling point?” We are all one? Your money is mine, sayeth the dev? Bitcoin or Nirvana? Decentralization at all costs? Why Taaki might support the idea for human consumption? Developers are our new rulers?

To ensure confidentiality, bitcoins are sometimes transferred via mixers to stop the auditors in their tracks. But there are other problems.

Suffice it to say, bitcoin coders are still working on Dandelion. A way to secure transactions — to obfuscate IP addresses and so on. And there are arguments about the process as well.

Privacy is a difficult maneuver in the cryptocurrency realm. Many projects exist. Dash, Monero, CloakCoin, NavCoin, Aeon, and even ZCash. The idea is to obfuscate the transactions in such a way as to keep everything as private as possible.

The problem then becomes one of trust. How do we trust a cryptocurrency that cannot be audited in certain ways? Shall we watch the “old guard?” The bankers?

Answer? Yep. Profit from their “transition.” Why not? Profit as JP Morgan Chase adopts Zacash software. Why not?

Let’s consider a real-world comparison example. I mean, even if privacy based blockchains might fail in the wild, as it were, it does not mean that governments won’t take up the mantle of public (transparent) bitcoin.

Cash is an anathema, to highly centralized governments.

If I go to the store and use cash to buy a soda, the clerk takes my money, gives me my change and I walk away with my drink. There’s no record of me personally buying that soda, in most cases. My cash was private. I stored it in my wallet, walked into a strange store, didn’t care to know the address and exited with a cool drink.

If I’m a bad guy, I can use my cash to buy a Russian Suitcase Nuke, but it’s risky. Complicated. I can do a dead drop, place my cash in a bag and hope the suitcase is left at an agreed upon location.

As a terrorist, I could exchange cash for plastic explosives in Syria, say near the Iranian border, but I should probably have a bunch of soldiers with big Kalashnikov rifles to protect me.

If I’m a cocaine dealer, I can stand on a curb, risk being arrested or robbed and shot at any second, and accumulate cash.

How can criminals magnify cash (currency) using a private cryptocurrency, however?

Nearly instant international payments — until they are stopped.

A security nightmare, but freedom and security have been at odds for a long time. A balance most difficult to find. Betwixt and between centralization and personal security. The desire to be free and desire to be safe. Power and irrelevance. Privacy and publicity.

Cash can’t fly, but banks can — even unwittingly — assist with international criminal remittances. But why pay the bank fees and risk investigations by Interpol?

Hidden internet markets where Zcash, Bytecoin or Monero can be used to purchase stolen credit card numbers with no risk to the seller. This is a real problem. Try to buy a list of stolen identities with bitcoin or cash. Much more complicated. Increasingly more problematic as governments tighten money transmission rules, ostensibly to catch the criminals – oh, and the tax savers.

To state that private or “mixed” cryptocurrencies do not or cannot assist criminals by asserting that cash is king, is not giving the “international picture.” Sure, private cash is a double edged sword. It gives the power to individuals, but it also magnifies the powers of groups — and criminals.

The decentralization of the network is, in this sense, misleading. It is simply a method of financial attack.  It’s called overwhelming force, by swarming. The use of a decentralized force against an opponent, in a manner that emphasizes mobility, communication, unit autonomy and coordination and/or synchronization – from Wikipedia. Create an army of like ledgers, cloned nodes and depend upon the masses to keep the fires burning – keep updating their ledgers.

Alas, however, this is a hushed and feeble war.

Do you see it? It’s one ledger, with a cloned horde that can attack day and night anywhere there is a piece of tech, an internet connection and voltage. But who controls the tech-gear, internet and the electricity?

And in real war, real change, the armaments are diverse. The attack vectors erratic. The volume of force, unknown, until it is too late. Currency is one vector, but it is a main one.

Time to rouse from the daydream, crypto-noobs. For now, crypto is dependent upon the old substructure. That is where it rests. That is where it should gather its trust and strength, but not form its misplaced revolution.

This is not the anarchist core. Blockchain is not anarchy. It is not order from decentralization. It is the clone army. Hit the command center — the developers (core team) — and it folds like a cheap suit. The clones will become weak — unless someone creates another cloning machine — feeds them “updates” — debugs them regularly.

And this dreamed of moment of truth is crucial. It can be subverted. Others can subsume its power to encapsulate the population(s). We must have watchers in place. No Taaki’s should subvert the message, without a fight.

I have no desire to be a part of a crypto-horde and, await the day when this old-fashioned ledger technology is jettisoned in favor of an atomic cryptocurrency, without one. To me, that would be the Holy Grail. A true cryptocurrency. The evolution. (An idea not so well received by the Murray Bookchins of the world.)

Individualism is not reliance upon yourself. It is voluntary cooperation with others. It is the very essence of freedom. Blockchains — if transposed to governing — is slavery. What did Bookchin want? What does Taaki, and admitted drifter and squatter, want?

But I’m just a voice in the wilderness, far from the Murray Bookchins, communists, socialists, Leninists, Trotskyists and Communalists of yester-death. Many sounded the  alarm before me — about Murray Bookchin and Occupy Wall Street.

Until then, the blockchain-clones are the best thing going in finance, if only because they usurp the power of central banks in some small way.

And if the “old guard” finance houses have judged Zcash as great tech, we can profit from their interest, me thinks.

And it concerns me that more and more big guns are coming out of the closet to “protest” the bubble of bitcoin – but not Zcash? Not Bytecoin or Monero. Why now?

What else do these big guns know? Do they have insider information or do they want to quash cryptocurrency altogether via regulation?

And a final thought…

Are Satoshi Nakamoto’s original coins really sitting dormant? Would it not be masterful, if they weren’t really there?


For those of you who understood my blog yesterday and profited – bully to you. Occasionally, I get them right.

For now, Zcash.

Next week?

 

 

Two’s Company, but Three Bitcoins?

 


Dear Readers,

If you have been keeping up with the news about bitcoin, being a crypto-enthusiast, no doubt you have read about NYA or the New York Agreement. It is yet another idea to change bitcoin. Ostensibly, to make it better.

Many feel that it will simply remove the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto, but even this is a weak fintech argument. Nakamoto knew or could have imagined that if bitcoin became more popular, the necessary electricity to run the systems would increase exponentially. Did Nakamoto think that governments would then take over the operation?

Recently, Bitcoin Cash came onto the scene. It has garnered some support — in the billions of dollars — but there are still those who do not agree with the changes. Again, Bitcoin Cash, appears to favor large companies or governments since it requires more resources. In some respects, the economy of scale kicks in and prices — the cost of sending/receiving bitcoins — goes down.

But what of the other, long-term costs? The centralization aspect? The average citizen in 2009, could run bitcoin on his or her laptop.  Not now.

Now we have the NYA. Well, actually, it’s been around since at least May 23, 2017. The Digital Currency Group claims it has enough supporters to once again fork the bitcoin blockchain and create a new bitcoin. At that point, if it happens, the world would have three bitcoins — but not really. There are many bitcoin clones.

If the NYA succeeds, old bitcoin would probably devalue overnight. Bitcoin Cash might hold its own and compete, but looking at the support behind the NYA, it would probably fall from grace

So, what is happening? Are we still watching a power play unfold before our eyes? Sure we are. It’s about who can run the best bitcoin and bring in the most money. And who can make bitcoin the most efficient and essentially steal the thunder. Finally, it’s about brand. Name recognition. Competition.

With all the bitcoin clones running around out there, the first mover still holds sway. Even the tired, slow and sometimes buggy bitcoin, is trusted.  It just seems to keep growing. Yes, it pulls back, but then it usually recovers. Why? Trust.

But trust can only get you so far. If Bitcoin Core is divided or gives that appearance, we could see the world’s fastest devaluation. The question then becomes, who will remain standing?

Interestingly enough, and this is a good thing, there are new base-currencies in the cryptosphere. With a base-crypto you can purchase a sort of primary coin, then buy other altcoins. Should bitcoin suddenly fail, these others, such as Ethereum, Ripple and Dash, could, in theory, pick up the slack. Naturally, if bitcoin begins the fail, these other coins should increase in value, but usually they devalue when bitcoin does.

One wonders if the entire cryptosphere will survive, if bitcoin fails. But which one?

Add to this mix, the constant pressure by governments to rein bitcoin in. CNBC reported about China, Japan and now Australia. The impression appears to be that this newest push to regulate will ultimately lead to sort of a tacit acceptance by the people, as it were. In other words, if it’s regulated, well, it must be safe, right?

Unfortunately, government oversight, now gaining in popularity, as the volume of bitcoin transactions grow, will result in bitcoin’s original intent being subverted. It was designed as a stop-gap measure against government monetary policy. Ideally, and this is not to say that all proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are poorly designed, but that would be a best choice. After all, governments need to be able to print unlimited numbers of ‘coins.’

I hate to admit it, but some other coins are starting to look better again. Remember, the excitement surrounding bitcoin could be irrational at the moment, fueled by speculators as well as good people. Who will get hurt, if the bubble bursts?

Maybe we should diversity our holdings.

Incidentally, if you like conspiracy theories, Clif High is still implying that silver can hit $600 an ounce. When? I’m not so certain, but if he is right, the value of gold will go down.


 

 

 

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin July 19, 2017 — Roundup.


An unbiased and quick look at some big players…

The good news:

  • Litecoin is undergoing major updates to Litecoin Core 0.14.2
  • John Mack, a former CEO at Morgan Stanley venturing into crypto
  • The “dean” has advised that crypto is replacing gold

The bad news:

The “other” news:

  • A rare look inside some of China’s bitcoins “mines

The videos:

  • Jeff Bewick continues his upbeat and wacky video series about bitcoin
  • Andreas Antonopoulos explains the current state of bitcoin

Based upon the last 24 hours of news, the cryptosphere is decidedly negative, with concerns over bitcoin and Ethereum, mounting.


Image: Flickr

Bitcoin to $2,000,000 in Three Years?

 


How to make two million dollars in three years, by purchasing one bitcoin as soon as possible?

At that point you should only be required to pay long term capital gains taxes.

Why not 20 million — if the dollar devalues fast enough? In Venezuela, I estimate that bitcoins are are well over million Bolivares each. Let’s check that math.

The price of bitcoin this second, is about $2300 and dropping — again. This was expected. That is equivalent to 23,000 Venezuelan Bolivares (VEB) — at the official rate. Not bad you say, but wait, there’s less… The official rates are nonsense.

20 Million Boilvares per bitcoin?

The unofficial price you will pay for one bitcoin in Venezuela is about 19,555,000 VEB. Let’s just round that off. To buy a single bitcoin in that Socialist paradise will set you back about 20 million VEB. That’s a big stack of paper and the last I heard, the government there was having trouble obtaining enough paper to print money.

So already, in some countries, you are a rich. Not really. One US dollar is equivalent to about 8500 VEB — street value. (See here for realistic conversions rates.) So you would still have, realistically, about $2300 bucks US. That is if a Venezuelan could really afford to buy a single bitcoin. Bummer.

Maybe the Venezuelan dictator can ask the motorcycle gangs currently stealing sugar from moving trucks in broad daylight, Mad Max style, to swipe a few rolls of paper and pass it along to the printing office. You know, in order to print more money. Wait — bad idea — toilet paper is also at a premium there. Actually, I think they are fresh out — a year ago.

But talk about optimism. John McAfee tweeted that:

Bitcoin would reach $500,000 in value in three years.

…or he will eat his own privates on national TV. Sure he will.

But McAfee might stick to his 10 million dollar bet. Why? Because according to this piece, McAfee is betting on a bitcoin fork. Not bitcoin. Did you catch that? He’s betting on some new type of bitcoin.

I’d say McAfee is going to lose 10 mil and a part of his anatomy. Well, maybe the 10 mil, unless he’s insane. Come to think of it — not the insane part — I want to see that bet. Any evidence he actually made it? That anyone has accepted?

Whether it’s just a publicity stunt we might never know. McAfee does say some pretty relevant stuff though. Take his Google comments. He wants to take them out. Why? For very good reasons. The fact that Google tends to obtain too much information about us. Kind of a errant, business-like, “Big Brother.” One that shares information with Uncle Sam when politely asked.

Don’t worry, your smart phone, computer and talking toy robot are not really watching you…that much. They have no idea that you are a Crypto-Head. And I say this in all seriousness and sarcasm. (Did I mention that the FBI is now warning us about our children’s toy-spies?)

But back to the bitcoin news. Does McAfee have a point? Will he retain his privates? Let’s just take that first question, in general.

Will bitcoin continue to increase in value over the mid to long term — if it does fork?

McAfee — and this guy ain’t no dummy — says yes. In fact, McAfee puts his faith in Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu.

In case you are still confused about a fork or two, look over the graphic provided here. It’s a great way to understand the basic SegWit, SegWit2, and UASF issues is a visual way. Things are definitely confusing this time around. So let’s ditch the acronyms and get back to our $2,000,000 bitcoin. I’m salivating, aren’t you?

Back to Bitmain and Wu. McAfee says Wu is a sharp guy and that the market will follow him with his brand of “bictoin,” whatever flavor that happens to be. The old traditional bitcoin, the one that was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto and supposedly improved by the core teams over the years, will take a nose dive — back to 40 bucks each. At that point, would it even survive? Can you imagine the bag-holders?

But that’s not all. It’s why I brought up the Venezuelan comparisons. McAfee thinks that as a result of his research, this “new” bitcoin will reach prices north of one million dollars. Maybe more than two million each.

Jump Ship?

So how will we, as consumers, jump ship, if Wu forks bitcoin (original flavor)? I’m assuming, but please don’t hold me to this, that we would simply begin using his systems — his wallets —  with our old bitcoin. We’d sort of do a mini-fork.

I’m sure Wu will announce his fork plans and then us little people can then decide for ourselves, which way to go. With Big Daddy Wu or Old Bitcoin core. Maybe I’ll head over to Iota for spell anyway. I just like their style.

This brings up yet another question. Suppose we try Wu’s “New and Improved” Bitcoin (extra crispy flavor) and we don’t like it. Can we then switch our bitcoins back to original flavor? We’ll see.

In the meantime, keep your eyes on Crypto and maybe deal in Litecoin or Ethereum until this Wu thing settles down.

And one more thing — and this is where lowly little me differs with Master McAfee. I think he’s wrong. Why would anyone invest in Wu-Coin if the guy knowing exploited a flaw in bitcoin to speed up mining and make higher profits, at the expense of the community at large?

And one last thing. I hate McAfee’s Antivirus software. Always had trouble with it.

Until next my next post, have a Crypto day.


Image: Flickr

 

 

 

 

Bytecoin: Enigma


Bytecoin O
Source: Bytecoin.org

 

Is Bytecoin like a low hanging sweet orange?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have we been fooled?

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

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

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

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

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

Will Coinbase Survive?

(Updated)

This seems to be the burning question…

Will Coinbase Inc. survive one of the most unprecedented moves by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in recent years — its overreaching and unreasonable attempt to search and seize millions of private financial records and kill bitcoin — our digital gold?

It’s nothing new. They’ve done it before. The IRS has gone after deep pockets. And they are doing it again.

Deep pocket in question: Coinbase. But not all that deep.

Coinbase – according to their website:

  • Founded in June of 2012
  • Digital currency wallet and platform
  • Merchants and consumers can transact with digital currencies
  • Based in San Francisco, California       

No doubt the IRS has been investigating cryptocurrency exchanges for some time. The Coinbase investigation is just another domino, in a long line of dominoes, from the United States to China, from Russia to Australia and beyond. The very public Coinbase investigation is meant to strike a very real financial fear into the hearts of the American cryptocurrency enthusiast.

According to the Coinbase website, they have about 5,000,000 users on their platform. These users have 11,000,000 electronic wallets, which may or may not actually contain bitcoin or ethereum cryptocurrencies. Add to that mix, 45,000 merchants utilizing their platform and thousands of software applications from developers.

Again, according to their website, over $5,000,000,000 in cryptocurrency has been exchanged on Coinbase. The number is high, but are we talking about fours years of exchanges?

Coinbase is also in over 30 countries worldwide. Which means that only portion of profits and losses were had by Americans. Which means that foreigners probably owe the IRS money for doing business with an American Company. Foreigners who will now likely ignore the IRS, but whose banks and financial houses will likely not.

Why? Just ask UBS Bank in Switzerland. No longer are Swiss banks the go to gurus for wealth management and privacy. The IRS went after those who failed to report their foreign bank accounts at UBS, cited them for filing false tax returns. The result? Millions of dollars in fines, federal probation and prison sentences.

And the list goes on. We’ve all heard of the Panama Papers, where another two trillion dollars sought a tax haven, but a data leak exposed the process.

But why did the IRS investigate such a small company? Coinbase Inc. and UBS are like the proverbial elephant and mouse. With over two trillion in assets, UBS had far deeper pockets. Look at the larger picture.

UBS took years to accumulate the wealth it managed. Bitcoin transactions or sent bitcoins in 24 hours, approaches about 1.5 million  — in bitcoin. In today’s dollars, it would take over two years, at that rate, to send a trillion dollars worth. Not even Panama Paper worthy.

What about the world’s biggest holder of bitcoin? It’s probably still the million bitcoin owned by Satoshi Nakamoto. Current dollar value? It fluctuates, but as of January 1, 2017 it approaches a cool billion dollars.

Eliminating the non-U.S. based cryptocurrency exchanges would certainly help plug the fund hole many banks are no doubt reporting. How many wealthy citizens are moving their money, not to foreign lands, not under the mattress, but on a ledger kept by millions of people the world over. Then going abroad to trade that cryptocurrency for local currency or other property? Maybe.

Another hint that things are not what thy seem? Constant dribbles of news about how companies like Circle are jettisoning bitcoin sales, but are also continuing to investigate the technology behind bitcoin. Whose on their side? Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Given just these brief snippets of information, can we assume that the IRS will also apply the foreign bank rules when American bitcoin users choose to hold their bitcoin in online wallets abroad?

In the end, if Coinbase continues to deny the IRS access to essentially all user records, expect a raid on the main offices in sort order and frozen accounts, as a result. It would be advisable for one to remove any cryptocurrencies stored at Coinbase. It would also be advisable that Coinbase encrypt all user account information and hand the keys over to their customers. At that point, only banks would have information as to who sent money to Coinbase.

Alas, the hope that Coinbase would keep customer accounts private and not allow the IRS access, is a mere pipe dream. People would need to go to jail or flee the country and be chased by the Feds for the rest of their lives. Not worth the sacrifice, unless these people have the backbone of Thomas Jefferson and pledge their freedoms — and fortunes.

If anyone thinks this is no big deal, think again. One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges on earth is about to go down — in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Next on the agenda? Bitstamp? Kraken? Poloniex? Just wait.

(Image compliments of flickr.)