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Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential
/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////
Marketing. It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community. It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers. This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community. This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential. Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome. I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.
Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested. Multisig Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero. Kovri Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy. Mobile Wallets There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here. TAILS Operating System Integration Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users. In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow. Mandatory Hardforks Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information. Dynamic fees Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees! Tail Emission and Inflation There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore. Monero Research Lab Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.
///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///
Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero". Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!. Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself. I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity. A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain. The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes. Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments. There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin. Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero. Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in. The Bitcoin Flaw A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins. CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero. CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range. Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin. For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin. Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money. Technical Analysis There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today. Coinbase Rumours Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading. Monero Is Not an ICO Scam It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases. Monero is a Working Currency, Today Monero is a working currency, here today. The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc. Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin. Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money. Monero is private internet money. Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy. Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us. Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.
///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///
Scalability While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit. In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node. For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too! Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.
I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so. Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price. I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors. I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ? Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
The importance of being mindful of security at all times - nearly everyone is one breach away from total disaster
This is a long one - TL;DR at the end!
If you haven't heard yet: BlankMediaGames, makers of Town of Salem, have been breached which resulted in almost 8 million accounts being leaked. For most people, the first reaction is "lol so what it's just a game, why should I really care?" and that is the wrong way to look at it. I'd like to explain why everyone should always care whenever they are part of a breach. I'd also like to talk about some ways game developers - whether they work solo or on a team - can take easy steps to help protect themselves and their customers/players. First I'd like to state that there is no practical way to achieve 100% solid security to guarantee you'll never be breached or part of a breach. The goal here will be to get as close as possible, or comfortable, so that you can rest easy knowing you can deal with problems when they occur (not if, when).
Why You Should Care About Breaches
The sad reality is most people re-use the same password everywhere. Your email account, your bank account, your steam account, your reddit account, random forums and game websites - you get the idea. If you haven't pieced it together yet the implication is that if anyone gets your one password you use everywhere, it's game over for you - they now own all of your accounts (whether or not they know it yet). Keep in mind that your email account is basically the holy grail of passwords to have. Most websites handle password changes/resets through your email; thus anyone who can login to your email account can get access to pretty much any of your accounts anywhere. Game over, you lose.
But wait, why would anyone want to use my password? I'm nobody!
It doesn't matter, the bad guys sell this information to other bad guys. Bots are used to make as much use of these passwords as possible. If they can get into your bank they might try money transfers. If they get into your Amazon account they might spin up $80,000 worth of servers to mine Bitcoin (or whatever coin is popular at the time). They don't care who you are; it's all automated. By the way, according to this post (which looks believable enough to be real) this is pretty much how they got into the BMG servers initially. They checked for usernames/emails of admins on the BMG website(s) in previous breach dumps (of which there are many) and found at least one that used the same password on other sites - for their admin account! If you want to see how many of your accounts are already breached check out Have I Been Pwned - I recommend registering all of your email addresses as well so you get notified of future breaches. This is how I found out about the Town of Salem breach, myself.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Before I go into all the steps you can (and should) take to protect yourself I should note that security is in a constant tug of war with convenience. What this means is that the more security measures you apply the more inconvenienced you become for many tasks. It's up to you to decide how much is too much either way. First of all I strongly recommend registering your email(s) on https://haveibeenpwned.com/ - this is especially important if your email address is associated to important things like AWS, Steam developer account, bank accounts, social media, etc. You want to know ASAP when an account of yours is compromised so you can take steps to prevent or undo damage. Note that the bad guys have a head start on this!
You probably need to have better password hygiene. If you don't already, you need to make sure every account you have uses a different, unique, secure password. You should change these passwords at least once a year. Depending on how many accounts you have and how good your memory is, this is your first big security vs convenience trade-off battle. That's easily solved, though, by using a password manager. You can find a list of password managers on Wikipedia here or you can search around for some comparison articles. Some notable choices to consider:
1Password - recommend by Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned
LastPass - I use this at work and it's generally good
BitWarden - free and open source! I use this at home and in some ways it's better than LastPass
KeePass (and forks) - free, open source, and totally offline; if you don't trust "the cloud" you can trade away some more convenience in exchange for taking full responsibility of your password security (and backups)
Regardless of which one you choose, any of them is 100x better than not using one at all.
The problem with all these passwords is that someone can still use them if they are found in a breach. Your passwords are only as strong as the website you use them on. In the case of the BMG breach mentioned above - all passwords were stored in an ancient format which has been insecure for years. It's likely that every single password in the breach can be reversed/cracked, or already have been. The next step you need to take is to make it harder for someone else to login with your password. This is done using Multi-Factor Authentication (or Two-Factor Authentication). Unfortunately not every website/service supports MFA/2FA, but you should still use it on every single one that does support it. You can check which sites support MFA/2FA here or dig around in account options on any particular site. You should setup MFA/2FA on your email account ASAP! If it's not supported, you need to switch to a provider that does support it. This is more important than your bank account! All of the big email providers support it: GMail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, etc. The type of MFA/2FA you use depends on what is supported by each site/service, but there is a common approach that is compatible on many of them. Most of them involve phone apps because a phone is the most common and convenient "thing you have" that bad guys (or anyone, really) can't access easily. Time-based One-time Password or TOTP is probably the most commonly used method because it's easy to implement and can be used with many different apps. Google Authenticator was the first popular one, but it has some limitations which continue the security vs convenience battle - namely that getting a new phone is a super huge chore (no backup/restore option - you have to disable and setup each site all over again). Many alternatives support cloud backup which is really convenient, though obviously less secure by some measure. Notable choices to consider:
Authy - probably the first big/popular one after Google Authenticator came out (I think) - NOTE: They let you use it on your desktop/browser, too, but this is TOO much convenience! Don't fall for that trap.
LastPass Authenticator - conveniently links up with a LastPass account, some sites support extra features (like not needing to type a code, just answer a phone notification)
Yubikey - A real physical MFA device! Some models are compatible with phones, too.
Duo - this one is more geared towards enterprise, but they have a free option
Some sites/services use their own app, like Blizzard (battle.net) and Steam, and don't allow you to use other ones. You will probably have a few apps on your phone when all your accounts are setup, but it's worth it. You'll definitely want to enable it on your password manager as well if you chose a cloud-based one. Don't forget to save backup codes in an actual secure location! If you lose your backup codes and your auth app/physical key you will be locked out of accounts. It's really not fun recovering in that situation. Most recommendations are to print them and put in a fireproof safe, but using some other secure encrypted storage is fine. There is such a thing as bad MFA/2FA! However, anything is at least better than nothing. A lot of places still use SMS (text messaging) or e-mail for their MFA/2FA implementation. The e-mail one has the most obvious flaw: If someone gets into your email account they have defeated that security measure. The SMS flaws are less obvious and much less likely to affect you, but still a risk: SMS is trivial to intercept (capture data over the air (literally), clone your SIM card data, and some other methods). Still, if you're not a person of interest already, it's still better than nothing.
What Does This Have To Do With GameDev?
Yeah, I do know which subreddit I'm posting in! Here's the section that gets more into things specific to game development (or software development in general).
Secure Your Code
Securing your code actually has multiple meanings here: Securing access to your code, and ensuring your code itself is secure against exploitation. Let's start with access since that's the easier topic to cover! If you're not already using some form of Source Control Management (SCM) you really need to get on board! I'm not going to go in depth on that as it's a whole other topic to itself, but I'll assume you are using Git or Mercurial (hg) already and hosting it on one of these sites (or a similar one):
First, ensure that you have locked down who can access this code already. If you are using private repositories you need to make sure that the only people who have access are the people who need access (i.e. yourself and your team). Second, everyone should have strong passwords and MFA/2FA enabled on their accounts. If 1 person on the team does not follow good security practices it puts your whole project at risk! So make sure everyone on the team is following along. You can also look into tools to do some auditing and even automate it so that if anyone's account becomes less secure over time (say they turned off MFA one day) they would automatically lose their access. Additionally you should never commit secrets (passwords, API keys, tokens, social security numbers, etc) to your code repository. Probably 90% of cases where people have their AWS/Google Cloud/Azure accounts compromised and racking up huge bills for bitcoin mining is due to having their passwords/keys stored in their git repo. They either accidentally made it public or someone got access to the private repo through a compromised account. Never store sensitive information in your code repository! Next topic: Securing your code from vulnerabilities. This one is harder to talk about for game dev as most engines/frameworks are not as susceptible (for lack of a better word) to these situations as others. In a nutshell, you need to keep track of the following:
Is my code doing anything "dangerous"? (system-level stuff, memory access, saving passwords anywhere)
Could someone get the keys to the kingdom (API key, server password, etc) by just opening Cheat Engine and looking at memory values? Or doing a strings/hex edit/decompile/etc on my game executable?
Am I using outdated libraries/framework/engine? Do they have any known security bugs?
Secure Your Computer
I'm not going to go in depth on this one because at this point everyone should have a handle on this; if not there are limitless articles, blogs, and videos about the how/what/why. In summary: Keep everything updated, and don't open suspicious links.
Lock your computer when idle - use a password (or PIN or face unlock or whatever your OS uses) - no one should ever be able to walk up to your computer and use it if you're not looking, nor should they be able to get in if they grabbed your closed laptop off the table at starbucks (thanks u/3tt07kjt for reminding me of this one)
Use full disk encryption (especially on laptops)
Update your OS for security updates ASAP
Use anti-virus (yes, Windows Defender is fine) and keep it updated
Update your web browser ALWAYS (this is your 99% chance attack vector, so don't postpone it!)
Don't install browser extensions that you don't need - a LOT of extensions are either malware from the start or become malware later (my favorite emoji extension started mining bitcoins, FFS!) - check reviews regularly after extensions update
DO use adblock and privacy extensions - ads are a common attack vector - I recommend uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger at a minimum (note that some legit sites can break and so you'll have to fiddle with settings or whitelist)
Don't open suspicious or unknown links on e-mail, social media, discord, etc (be sure to hover over the links in this post before clicking them)
Don't open attachments, ever - unless you were expecting it from that person at that time
Don't fill out ANY forms (comments, login, registration, etc) on websites that don't have HTTPS (secure) connection - your browser will show this in the address bar, usually
In general, be suspicious of everything that comes from people you don't know - and even from people you do know if it was unexpected
E-Mail is (probably) the least secure form of communications ever invented - so try not to use it for sensitive things
Secure Your Website
I will have to add more to this later probably, but again there are tons of good articles, blogs, and videos on these topics. Hopefully the information in this section is enough to get you on the right track - if not feel free to ask for more info. Lots of guides can be found on Digital Ocean's site and they are relevant even if you don't use DO for your servers.
Use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) secure connections - it's FREE and EASY thanks to Let's Encrypt
KEEP EVERYTHING UPDATED - automate as much as you can
If you have control over the server, you MUST update the OS, the web server, and any backend application servers/languages/frameworks involved. Equifax breach was due to having out of date server software. BMG breach was worsened by having out of date server software. YOU MUST STAY UPDATED, ALWAYS
Don't store sensitive personal information - it's a huge pain to be PCI compliant, it's a huge fine if you mess it up - avoid storing any customer information that you don't actually need (see also: GDPR )
Do not allow access to SSH/Remote desktop/Database services from the whole world; the general public should only ever be able to reach ports 80 and 443 on your web server (and 80 should permanently redirect to HTTPS)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords on Linux servers
Don't run your own email server - it's just not worth it; use google apps for business, office 365, zoho, or something else for business email
Secure your domain registrar account! Don't lose your domain to a bad password or lack of MFA/2FA or an old email address! If your registrar doesn't support actual security then transfer to one that does. (namecheap, namesilo, google domains, amazon aws route53, even godaddy, the absolutely worst web company, has good security options)
A lot of this will apply to your game servers as well - really any kind of server you expect to setup.
That's it, for now
I ran out of steam while typing this all up after a couple hours, but I may revisit it later to add more info. Feel free to ask any questions about any of these topics and I'll do my best to answer them all.
TL;DR (y u words so much??)
Use a password manager so you can have different, random, secure passwords on every account on every website/service/game
Use MFA/2FA on every account, if possible
Lock your computer when idle/away
Use full disk encryption on laptops
Update your operating system (we all hate Windows Update, but it really is for our own good)
Use anti-virus (Windows Defender is fine)
Update your browser
Use good adblockeprivacy blocker browsers extensions
Don't use browser extensions that you don't really need (they could be a trojan horse of bitcoin mining later)
Don't trust anything sent by anyone, unless you were expecting it and know it's safe
E-mail is the least secure form of communications in use these days; don't trust it for sensitive things
Use source control for your game code (git, mercurial, etc)
Lock down access to your source code
Don't put secrets (passwords, API keys/tokens, social security numbers, credit card numbers) in your code repository
Don't do dumb things like store your AWS keys in your game for players to just find with simple tools
Check your code dependencies for security bugs, update them when needed
Use HTTPS on your website
Update your web server OS and software
Use secure password storage (don't reinvent this wheel, it's been solved by way smarter people)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords for Linux servers
Use a firewall to block the world from getting in with SSH/Remote desktop/database direct connections
Only allow your own IP address (which can change!) into the server for admin tasks
Don't run your own email server, let someone who knows what they are doing handle that for you
Secure your domain registrar account, keep email address up to date
... in general... in general... in general... I sure wrote those 2 words a lot.
Why Should I Trust This Post?
Hopefully I have provided enough information and good links in this post that you can trust the contents to be accurate (or mostly accurate). There is certainly enough information to do some searches on your own to find out how right or wrong I might be about these things. If you want my appeal to authority answer: I've been working at a major (network/computer) security company for almost 7 years as a software developer, and I've had to put up with pretty much every inconvenience brought on by security. I've also witnessed the aftermath of nearly every type of security failure covered in this post, via customers and the industry at large. None of the links I used are related to my employer or its products. Edit: Fixed some typos and added some more links More edit: added a few more points and links
Why we won't have a long term bear market, and how to systematically pick your future investments in crypto
With so much uncertainty right now it would be a good time to take some time to go over what happened recently and how to invest moving foward. We've seen a peak bubble at around 850 billion total market cap in the first week of January, consolidated down to $750 billion and have now just experienced a 40% correction.
What's happening now and how bad will it get?
First of all you should realize that there is a January Dip that happens every year, when we see a roughly 20-30% decline around mid January. This year its been much more severe though for several additional factors that have compounded on top. Different theories exist on why this happens (its actually the mirror opposite of the "January Effect" that happens in the US stock market), but the two major theories are: 1) Asian markets pull into fiat because of Asian New Year spending needs 2) People in the US sell in January to defer their capital gains tax liability an extra year While this cyclic event has lead to a healthy correction in the last few years, this year we got these new factors making more fear as well:
We had a new breed of speculators come in during the NovembeDecember timeframe after media made cryptocurrency mainstream following the Bitcoin 10K landmark. While cryptocurrency markets have always had too much hype, the latest rise wasn't just over-enthusiasm in fundamentally sound cryptocurrencies like Monero and Ethereum, but mass inflows of fiat into vaporware and complete nonsense without any use case. Many people came in to essentially gamble on symbols on an exchange, and are thus short term oriented and quick to sell on any slight downturn, which such further adds to selling pressure.
So in essence we got a storm of scary news along with the usual cyclic downturn. Currently I don't see this as being a systematic crash like Mt.Gox was that would lead to a long term bear market because the fundamental ecosystem is still intact, and I suspect that after about a month we should consolidate around a new low. All the exchanges are still operational and liquid, and there is no breakdown in trust nor uncertainty whether you'll be able to cash out. What range the market trades in will all depend how Bitcoin does, right now we've already broken below 10K but I'm seeing a lot of support at around $8000, which is roughly where the long term MA curve settles. We don't know how bad it will get or what the future will bring, but as of right now we shouldn't be in a bear market yet. What should you do if you recently entered the market? If you did buy in the last few months at or near ATH, the very worst thing you can do now is sell in panic and lose your principal. You shouldn't have more money in crypto than you can afford to lose, so it shouldn't be a problem to wait. You have to realize that 30% corrections in crypto are relatively common, just last fall we had a 40% flash correction over more China fears. Unless there is a systematic breakdown like we had during Mt.Gox, the market always recovers. The other worst thing you can do is unload into Tether as your safety net. If there is one thing that could actually cause a long term destruction of trust within the cryptocurrency investment ecosystem, its Tether having a run up on their liabilities and not having enough reserve to cover the leverage. It would not only bring down exchanges but lead to years of litigation and endless media headlines that will scare off everybody from putting fiat in. I don't know when the next Mt.Gox meltdown will occur but I can almost guarantee it will involve Tether. So stay away from it. What should long term investors do? For long term holders a good strategy to follow each year is to capture profit each December and swallow the capital gains taxation liability, park a reserve of fiat at Gemini (whose US dollar deposits are FDIC-insured) and simply wait till around late January to early February to re-enter the market at a discount and hold all year until next December. You can keep a small amount in core coins in order to trade around various Q1 opportunities you anticipate. Others may choose to simply do nothing and just keep holding throughout January which is also a perfectly fine strategy. The cyclical correction usually stabilizes toward late January and early February, then we see a rise in March and generally are recovered by end of April. Obviously this decision whether to sell in December to profit on the dip and pay tax liability or to just hold will depend on your individual tax situation. Do your own math sometime in November and follow suit. Essentially revaluate your positions and trim your position sizes if you don't feel comfortable with the losses.
How to construct your portfolio going forward
Rather than seeing the correction as a disaster see it as a time to start fresh. If you have been FOMO-ing into bad cryptos and losing money now is a time to start a systematic long term approach to investing rather than gambling. Follow a methodology for evaluating each cryptocurrency Memes and lambo dreams are fun and all, but I know many of you are investing thousands of dollars into crypto, so its worth it to put some organized thought into it as well. I can't stress enough how important it is to try and logically contruct your investment decisions. If you follow a set methodology, a checklist and template you will be able to do relative comparisons between cryptocurrencies, to force yourself to consider the negatives and alternative scenarios and also sleep comfortably knowing you have a sound basis for your investment decisions (even if they turn out to be wrong). There is no ideal or "correct" methodology but I can outline mine: 1) Initial information gathering and filtering Once I identify something that looks like a good potential investment, I first go to the CoinMarketCap page for that symbol and look at the website and blockchain explorer.
Critically evaluate the website. This is the first pass of the bullshit detector and you can tell from a lot from just the website whether its a scam. If it uses terms like "Web 4.0" or other nonsensical buzzwords, if its unprofessional and has anonymous teams, stay away. Always look for a roadmap, compare to what was actually delivered so far. Always check the team, try to find them on LinkedIn and what they did in the past.
Read the whitepaper or business development plan. You should fully understand how this crypto functions and how its trying to create value. If there is no use case or if the use case does not require or benefit from a blockchain, move on. Look for red flags like massive portions of the float being assigned to the founders of the coin, vague definition of who would use the coin, anonymous teams, promises of large payouts...etc
Check the blockchain explorer. How is the token distribution across accounts? Are the big accounts holding or selling? Which account is likely the foundation account, which is the founders account?
Read the subreddit and blogs for the cryptocurrency and also evaluate the community. Try to figure out exactly what the potential use cases are and look for sceptical takes. Look at the Github repos, does it look empty or is there plenty of activity?
2) Fill out an Investment Checklist I have a checklist of questions that I find important and as I'm researching a crypto I save little snippets in Evernote of things that are relevant to answering those questions:
What is the problem or transactional inefficiency the coin is trying to solve?
What is the Dev Team like? What is their track record? How are they funded, organized?
Who is their competition and how big is the market they're targeting? What is the roadmap they created?
What current product exists?
How does the token/coin actually derive value for the holder? Is there a staking mechanism or is it transactional?
What are the weaknesses or problems with this crypto?
3) Create some sort of consistent valuation model/framework, even if its simple I have a background in finance so I like to do Excel modeling. For those who are interested in that, this article is a great start and also Chris Burniske has a great blog about using Quantity Theory of Money to build an equivalent of a DCF analysis for crypto. Here is an Excel file example of OMG done using his model. You can download this and play around with it yourself, see how the formulas link and understand the logic. Once you have a model set up the way you like in Excel you can simply alter it to account for various float oustanding schedule and market items that are unique to your crypto, and then just start plugging in different assumptions. Think about what is the true derivation of value for the coin, is it a "dividend" coin that you stake within a digital economy and collect fees or is it a currency? Use a realistic monetary velocity (around 5-10 for currency and around 1-2 for staking) and for the discount rate use at least 3x the long term return of a diversified equity fund. The benefit is that this forces you to think about what actually makes this coin valuable to an actual user within the digital economy its participating in and force you to think about the assumptions you are making about the future. Do your assumptions make sense? What would the assumptions have to be to justify its current price? You can create different scenarios in a matrix (optimistic vs. pessimistic) based on different assumptions for risk (discount rate) and implementation (adoption rates). If you don't understand the above thats perfectly fine, you don't need to get into full modeling or have a financial background. Even a simple model that just tries to derive a valuation through relative terms will put you above most crypto investors. Some simple valuation methods that anyone can do
Metcalfe's Law which states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). So you can compare various currencies based on their market cap and square of active users or traffic.
Another easy one is simply looking at the total market for the industry that the coin is supposedly targeting and comparing it to the market cap of the coin. Think of the market cap not only with circulating supply like its shown on CMC but including total supply. For example the total supply for Dentacoin is 1,841,395,638,392, and when multiplied by its price in early January we get a market cap that is actually higher than the entire industry it aims to disrupt: Dentistry.
If its meant to be just used as just a currency: Take a look at the circulating supply and look at the amount that is in cold storage or set to be released/burned. Most cryptos are deflationary so think about how the float schedule will change over time and how this will affect price.
Once you have a model you like set up, you can compare cryptos against each other and most importantly it will require that you build a mental framework within your own mind on why somebody would want to own this coin other than to sell it to another greater fool for a higher price. Modeling out a valuation will lead you to think long term and think about the inherent value, rather than price action. Once you go through this 3-step methodology, you'll have a pretty good confidence level for making your decision and can comfortably sit back and not panic if some temporary short term condition leads to a price decrease. This is how "smart money" does it. Think about your portfolio allocation You should think first in broad terms how you allocate between "safe" and "speculative" cryptos. For new investors its best to keep a substantial portion in what would be considered largecap safe cryptos, primarily BTC, ETH, LTC. I personally consider XMR to be safe as well. A good starting point is to have between 50-70% of your portfolio in these safe cryptocurrencies. As you become more confident and informed you can move your allocation into speculative small caps. You should also think in terms of segments and how much of your total portfolio is in each segment:
You should also think about where we are in the cycle, as now given so much uncertaintly its probably best to stay heavily in core holdings and pick up a few coins within a segment you understand well. If you don't understand how enterprise solutions work or how the value chain is built through corporations, don't invest in the enteprise blockchain solutions segment. If you are a technie who loves the technology behind Cardano or IOTA, invest in that segment. Think of your "circle of competence" This is actually a term Buffet came up with, it refers to your body of knowledge that allows you to evaluate an investment. Think about what you know best and consider investing in those type of coins. If you don't know anything about how supply chains functions, how can you competently judge whether VeChain or WaltonChain will achieve adoption? This where your portfolio allocation also comes into play. You should diversify but really shouldn't be in much more than around 12 cryptos, because you simply don't have enough competency to accurately access the risk across every segment and for every type of crypto you come across. If you had over 20 different cryptos in your portfolio you should probably think about consolidating to a few sectors you understand well. Continually educate yourself about the technology and markets If you aren't already doing it: Read a bit each day about cryptocurrencies. There are decent Youtubers that talk about the market side of crypto, just avoid those that hype specific coins and look for more sceptical ones like CryptoInvestor. If you don't understand how the technology works and what the benefits of a blockchain are or how POS/POW works or what a DAG is or how mining actually works, learn first. If you don't care about the technology or find reading about it tedious, you shouldn't invest in this space at all.
Summing it up
I predicted a few days ago that we would have a major correction in 2018 specifically in the altcoins that saw massive gains in Decemebeearly January, and it seems we've already had a pretty big one. I don't think we'll have a complete meltdown like some are predicting, but some more pain may be incoming. Basically take this time to think about how you can improve your investment style and strategy. Make a commitment to value things rather than chasing FOMO, and take your time to make a decision. Long term investment will grant you much more returns as will a systematic approach. Take care and have fun investing :) Edit March 2018: Lol looking back I'm regretting starting the title with "Why we won't have a long term bear market" now, I was more karma whoring with that catchy title than anything. We recovered up to 11K from this post, but then crashed again hard later in February-March because of a slew of reasons from Tether subpeona to unforseen regulatory issues.
First of all, what is an OG username? An OG username is a virtual account that has a name such as a verb/noun/place/animal etc. This makes the account's value go up. Now you may ask yourself, why would I want such accounts? These accounts aren't modified like most of them are, meaning that they don't have "xx" or numbers which make them unique". For example, Kiwi is an OG name, but KiwiIsCool, Kiwi5 or Kiwising (2 prefixes aren't even semi) wouldn't be classified as OG. However, "Kiwis" would be Semi-OG as it is plural or has an added suffix or prefix. ( -s, -ing, -ed, -er, etc) Having an OG or Semi-OG name makes you get more noticed and recognized. In other words, owning an OG username make you look cool and shows a high social status among young fellows. It shows that you are an early adopter of a platform. Second of all, where do you sell an OG username? You could sell an OG username at pretty much any online forum that offers a wild west-type marketplace. Now, how did I make money? There are so many ways (many of which are illegal) but the most common is to buy and resell. Just like buying and selling shoes/clothing products. Buy low, sell high My story about selling instagram handles: It started out with my affiliation with dealing Minecraft accounts. I have a reddit previous reddit post about this that you can view by looking at my posts. I was deep into the online account selling community and would say I was reputable enough to get into other marketplaces. I had funds set aside from mining crypto, selling minecraft accounts, and fortnite accounts (which I will get into on another post). Anyways, I had connects from the Minecraft community. A long time friend of mine (let's call him Bobby) that was known for selling some of the most top tier accounts ended up moving over to selling social media accounts. Bobby had several methods of retrieving these top tier social media handles. The handles he owned ranged from $100 to $5000. He had a list of over 200 usernames. Now how did he get these accounts? There could've been 3 ways: Recreating Emails, Turboing/Autoclaiming, and Jacking,
He recreated the emails that the instagram accounts reside on. For example, username @ Hello is on the email [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). Yet, the email is many years inactive and also the instagram is also 5 years+ inactive so in all honesty, who uses the account? Nobody. It's an asset waiting to be recovered. So in order to find the email that the instagram account @ Hello, Bobby searches through leaked databases, leaked email lists, and public or private 0day exploits. All of this info is legal and out there on public databases. After finding the email, chances are it's on a common email provider (yahoo, outlook, hotmail). Bobby then submits a support ticket to the email support with some info and ends up getting a brand new email that matches the Instagram email @ Hello. Sends a password reset link to the email. Then boom, he's in. Once he has access to the account, he can list his new asset for sale on the forums.
The second way that he could've claimed this many accounts is by turbo. A turbo is a program thats coded by someone who knows what they're doing. I guess you can kind of relate turbos to hypebeast/sneaker check out bots. What it is essentially, is spamming the name change button super fast, like 10x faster than a human can ever do it. So pretty much the program is either running 24/7 with servers with a huge username list or targeting specific usernames hoping that when the person who owns the handle changes the username, the program will snag it up on either a already created instagram account or a fresh uncreated email one.
The third way is by jacking. And this right here folks is illegal. Sim Swapping is one of these jacking ways. So someone steals your phone number and gets the two factor authentication codes then steals whatever else is connected to your phone number. The next way is by finding a way to get into the recovery email of your primary email. Which first of all is probably found by searching through legit, public, leaked databases. You'd be surprised what they got in these leaked databases. It doesn't take much to just search an email up and find anything connected to it. Anyways, Bobby jacks the email or instagram account. Boom! Flips it for profit.
So Bobby here has loads of instagram accounts, I have no idea how he got em. But the most common ways to obtain them are listed above. Very rarely do people buy a username from someone just by DM'ing on instagram. This story starts with me buying 2 short usernames for $750. I proceeded to list these 2 usernames separately on the forums and sold one for $700 only a few days after posting and the other for $500. Profit was good, I was motivated. Of course when I listed the usernames online, I got many people attempting to waste my time and scam me by not sending the funds first. I noticed this because these users that messaged me had a low reputation. Furthermore, I knew I had profited from this and I saw more potential. I decided to buy 10 usernames that had values from $300-$1000 for $3000 in Bitcoin. You're probably wondering how I even have money for this? Quick answer, I mined cryptocurrency back in 2018 and made a good savings amount from it. $3000 is a big leap from $750 I'd say. After I bought these, I proceeded to list em all separately on the forums and began selling them one by one for bitcoin. People messaged me, we talked, boom. These accounts sold only weeks after I listed them and I ended up profiting around $850-$900 after selling all of my accounts. After I got rid of that batch, I was ready to pick up another batch. 10 accounts for $4000 this time. Same process, secure accounts, list them on forums with set prices. Receive messages from potential buyers, talk to people, negotiate. I was selling about 2 accounts per week. There was this one time I messaged a business with the username account that they are known for. They were extremely interested, so I go ahead and price the username at $1000. They accept the price, send the money via paypal and I hand over the details. That just goes to show what type of value instagram handles have towards businesses. I priced about each account $300 above how much I paid. And made good profit. That is until the price of bitcoin went up 40%+. All the profit I made from this batch almost split in half because the price of Bitcoin went up. I was back to square one but with a few accounts left with potential to profit more. I made quite the reputation for myself on the forums for selling top notch username accounts. I had repeating customers and people coming back for more and more every re-up. I stopped picking up batches of accounts when College Semester Fall 2019 approached due to my busyness. All in all, I learned lots about hustling instagram accounts, talking to people, building a reputation, and having a right mindset for this type of thing. I profited around $2000 but would've probably made so much more if the price of Bitcoin didn't go up 40%. All this shows that the internet market is still growing. And with more and more businesses and people getting involved with instagram/social media, means values and demand skyrocketing. I noticed this is just the dotcom era and instagram handles will sell just like domains sometime in the future.
Core/Blockstream are now in the Kübler-Ross "Bargaining" phase - talking about "compromise". Sorry, but markets don't do "compromise". Markets do COMPETITION. Markets do winner-takes-all. The whitepaper doesn't talk about "compromise" - it says that 51% of the hashpower determines WHAT IS BITCOIN.
They've finally entered the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase - now they're begging for some kind of "compromise". But actually, markets aren't about compromise. Markets are about competition. Markets are about winner-takes-all. And the Bitcoin whitepaper never mentions anything about "compromise". It simply says that 51% of the hashpower determines what is Bitcoin. And as we know - the best coin will win. Which will probably be Bitcoin Unlimited with its market-based blocksizes - and not SegWit with its 1.7MB centrally planned blocksize based on a dangerous anyone-can-spend spaghetti-code soft-fork. Let's review how this played out:
Core/Blockstream accepted $76 million in "fantasy fiat" from the "legacy ledger" of central bankers via their buddies at AXA.
And Core/Blockstream accepted censorship on the sad subreddit of r\bitcoin.
And lo and behold, Core/Blockstream's reliance on fiat funding and central planning and censorship has culminated in this pathetic piece of shit called SegWit, with the following worthless "features" that nobody even wants:
Yet-another centrally-planned 1.7MB maybe-someday blocksize - combined with some random arbitrary 1-to-4 "discount" that nobody asked for,
Fixes for low-priority non-problems like malleability and quadratic hashing,
By listening to real people in the actual market, and by following Satoshi's principles as stated in the whitepaper, Bitcoin Unlimited has been able to (surprise! surprise!) offer what real people in the actual market actually want - which is currently:
FlexTrans is much better than SegWit Also, these independent, non-fiat-financed devs developed Flexible Transactions, which is way better than SegWit. Flexible Transactions can easily fix malleability and quadratic hashing - while also introducing a simple, easy-to-use, future-proof tag-based format similar to JSON or HTML permitting future upgrades without the need for a hard fork. So Flexible Transactions provides the same things as SegWit - without the dangerous mess of SegWit's "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork hack - which Core/Blockstream tried to force on everyone - because they want to take away our right to vote via a hard fork - because they know that if we actually had a hard fork a/k/a full node referendum, everyone would vote against Core/Blockstream. The market wants to decide the blocksize So more and more of the smart, non-Blockstream-aligned miners, starting with ViaBTC and now including many others, have been adopting Bitcoin Unlimited - because they understand that:
Market-based blocksizes are the right, consensus-based mechanism to provide simple and safe on-chain scaling to solve the urgent problems of transaction delays and network congestion - now and in the future
Every increase in the blocksize roughly corresponds to the same increase squared in terms of price
ie 2x bigger blocks will lead to 4x higher price, 3x bigger blocks will correspond with 9x higher price, etc. - which means that bigger blocks will make everyone happy: more profits for miners, and no more high fees or transaction delays for users.
Now Core/Blockstream are starting to bitch and moan and beg about "compromise" And actually, we couldn't answer "Sorry it's too late for compromise" even if we wanted to. Because markets and economics and cryptocurrencies aren't about compromises. Markets are about competition - they're about winner-takes-all. Nakamoto Consensus is about 51% of the hashpower decides what the rules are. Imagine if Yahoo Email were to suddenly start begging with Google Mail for "compromise". What would that even mean in the first place?? Yahoo wrote crappy email code - based on their crappy corporate culture - so the market abandoned their crappy (and buggy and insecure) email service. Core/Blockstream is similar in some ways to Yahoo. They wrote crappy code - because they have a crappy "corporate culture" - because they accept millions of dollars in fiat from central bankers at places like AXA - and because they accept censorship on shit-forums like r\bitcoin - which is why they have no clue about the real needs of real people in the real market in the real world. Censorship and fiat made Core/Blockstream fragile and out-of-touch Core/Blockstream devs enjoy the "luxury" of being able to put their head in the sand and hide from the reality of the "shreaking" masses of actual people actually trying to use Bitcoin, because:
They get millions of dollars in fiat shoveled to them by central bankers,
They conduct their "debates" in the fantasy-land of the shit-forum r\bitcoin where all the important comments get deleted and all the intelligent posters got banned long ago - including quotes from Satoshi.
And then (surprise! surprise!) the following happened:
At any moment now, at the Schelling point of our own choosing, more hashpower can also "dump Core" and start using Bitcoin Unlimited - which is why everyone involved with Core/Blockstream is now shitting in their pants.
But in a decentralized, permissionless, open-source system like Bitcoin, there is not a single thing that CEO Adam Back u/adam3us and CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc at their shitty little AXA-funded startup Blockstream or u/theymos and u/bashco on their shitty little censored forum r\bitcoin can do to stop Bitcoin Unlimited from taking over the network - because in open-source and in economics and in markets, the best code and the best cryptocurrency wins. Everyone (except Core/Blockstream) predicted this would happen So now - predictably - the Core/Blockstream devs and their low-information supporters are all running around saying "Nobody could have predicted this!" But actually everyone has been shouting at the top of their lungs predicting this for years - including the most important old-time Bitcoin devs supporting on-chain scaling like Mike Hearn, Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik who were all "censored, hounded, DDoS'd, attacked, slandered & removed" - plus new-time devs like Peter Rizun u/Peter__R who provided major scaling innovations like XThin - by the vicious drooling toxic authoritarian goons involved with Core/Blockstream. Everyone has been predicting the current delays and congestion and high fees for years, out here in the reality of the marketplace, in the reality of the uncensored forums - away from Core/Blockstream's centralized back-room closed-door fiat-funded censorship-supported PowerPoint presentations in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, away from years and years of Core/Blockstream's all-talk-no-action scaling stalling conferences. The Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about "compromise" and "censorship" and "central planning". The Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about yet-another centrally planned blocksize (Now with 1.7MB! SegWit is scaling!TM) which some economically ignorant fiat-funded dev team happened to pull out of their ass and bundle into a radical and irresponsible spaghetti-code SegWit soft-fork. Markets aren't about "compromise". Markets are about competition. As u/ForkiusMaximusrecently pointed out: The market couldn't even give a fuck if it wanted to - because markets and cryptocurrencies are not about the politics of "compromise" - they're about the economics of competition. Markets are about decentralization, and they're about Nakamoto Consensus, where 51% of the hashpower decides the rules and everyone else either gets on the bandwagon or withers away watching their hashpower and coin price sink into oblivion. So, anyone who even brings up the topic of "compromise" is simply showing that they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how markets work, and how Nakamoto Consensus works. This actually isn't very surprising. Blockstream CEO Adam Back u/adam3us and Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc and all the rest of the so-called "Core devs" and all their low-information hangers-on like the economic idiot Blockstream founder Mark Friedenbach u/maaku7 have never really understood Bitcoin or markets. And that's fine and normal. Plenty of individuals don't understand markets very well. But such people simply lose their own money - and they generally don't get put in charge of losing $20 billion of other people's money. Markets don't need managers or central planners. Markets run very well on their own - and they don't like central planning or censorship. Now Core/Blockstream has finally entered the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase So now some people at Core/Blockstream and some of their low-information supporters have have started bitching and moaning and whining about "compromise", as they sink into the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase - while their plans are all in shambles, and they've failed in their attempts to hijack our network and our currency. Meanwhile, the Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about a bunch of central planners and censors whining about "compromise". Bitcoin Unlimited just keeps stealing more and more hashpower away from Core - until the day comes when we decide to fork their ass into the garbage heap of shitty, failed alt-coins. Fuck Blockstream/Core and the central bankers and censors they rode in on We told them for years that they were only shooting themselves in the foot with their closed-door back-room fiat-financed wheeling and dealing and their massive censorship. We told them they were only giving themselves enough rope to hang themselves with. Now that it's actually happening, we couldn't say "it's too late for compromise" even if we wanted to - because there is no such thing as "compromise" in markets or cryptocurrencies. Markets are all about competition And Bitcoin is all about 51% of the hashpower.
Bitcoin Core decided to bet on hard-coded centrally planned 1.7MB blocksize based on a a shitty spaghetti-code soft-fork. That's their choice. They made their bed now let them lie in it.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin Unlimited decided to bet on market-based blocksizes. And that's the market's choice. Bitcoin Unlimited listened to the market - and (suprise! surprise!) that's why more and more hashpower is now mining Bitcoin Unlimited blocks.
There is a huge surge in devices attached to the internet, known as the Internet of Things, and it is estimated that over 80 Billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025, from industrial machines to devices in our home. The constant hacking and cyber attacks have increased not only the demand but the necessity of secure solutions. Our privacy and digital footprint are at risk. [b]Some examples where encryption plays a role: [b]Secure messaging - To make messages truly secure we need a process whereby a cryptography can be applied to encrypt transaction. [b]Secure calling - Secure calling is a process whereby the caller and the recipient of the call are identified and linked via a blockchain enabled cryptocurrency transfer, again creating public and private encryption keys making the call truly private. [b]Secure media storage - To safely and securely store media a process is required where 1.) Access to the media is encrypted via public and private keys of the person wanting to store the media. 2.) The media itself needs to be encrypted with a set of encryption keys and 3.) Media storage costs need to be paid via cryptocurrency [b]Secure browsing - To browse the internet securely we need to create a process of verification whereby nodes on the blockchain can verify websites as “safe”. Furthermore, the entire process needs to be encrypted as well. [b]Verification - This is one of the most important uses of a blockchain, we can verify websites as in the example above but also various other things such as identity, title and ownership, date stamps and source of products as with the verification of the source of agricultural or other products. These are just a few examples. All of this data needs to be encrypted as well. [b]“Smart home” security - Wi-Fi is often used for remote monitoring and control. Home devices, when remotely monitored and controlled via the Internet, are an important constituent of the Internet of Things - all needing encryption, otherwise, hackers paradise. [b]EOT in the future - The examples we mentioned above are only “scratching the surface” of where these technologies are applicable and who knows what will be invented in future. Google, Apple and Uber are all testing cars that drive themselves. A major issue with this technology is again the security aspect and the need to protect against hacking and who want’s to get into a spaceship to Mars that might be hacked or hijacked by ransomware? So the future for the [b]“Encryption of Things” – EOT, looks very interesting indeed and the role of crypto currencies in this will be major. Read the full white paper here - http://eottoken.com/index.php/whitepape The first device using EOT Coin is the BitVault®[/b] - the World's first crypto communicator and blockchain phone. The BitVault is a revolutionary new product that is built around security and privacy enabled through Blockchain technology. Biometric Security enabled through fingerprint and iris scan. Iris patterns are unique to you and are virtually impossible to replicate. This means that iris authentication is one of the safest ways to keep your BitVault locked and the contents private. Proven Biometric technology brings a whole new level of security to your crypto currency and blockchain transactions. Creating Military grade security for your device through third party independent Multilayer security. September 2017 – Swiss Bank in Your Pocket integrates EOT Wallet(Achived) October 2017 – BitVault®, the world’s first blockchain phone launches in London with integration of EOT for secure calling, secure messaging and secure browsing (First batch shipped) November 2017 – BitVault® Global App Store launches for developers to develop their own applications (Achived) November 2017 – Website EOT Payment Gateway for WordPress and WooCommerce (ACHIVED) December 2017 – Cryptodoc stores all your documents securely and encrypted on your PC December 2017 – Password Wallet stores all your passwords for applications and websites encrypted on your PC January 2018 – Smart Router for secure, encrypted internet which is direct, safe and easy January 2018 – EOT Camera, an Encryption of Things connected camera February 2018 – EOT Development Kit for hardware devices EOT payment gateway live on swissbankinyourpocket.com, Now you can buy SBIYP and BitVault using EOT coins More on the BitVault here:- https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault/]https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault/https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault-apps/]https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault-apps/https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2152534.0]https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2152534.0 JOIN US ON REDDIT : http://www.reddit.com/EncryptionOfThings]www.reddit.com/EncryptionOfThings JOIN US ON SLACK : [url=https://join.slack.com/t/eot-coin/shared_invite/enQtMjc3NzkxNzY5NzQ0LTFjMWI5NTJjOGEzYjU5ZDk0ZjRjZWE3MzBkNmI0MmQ2NTUzMTBkOGQ1YmEyNTllMmNiYzA3MGZjOGVmY2IyZGU The EOT Token is trading on the Waves Platform, TOKENS are 1:1 image of EOT coins, EOT coins can be converted to tokens and vice versa using gateway service in SBIYP hardware wallet. if you do not have that hardware wallet, you can contact members on slack who have purchased SBIYP to do that swap for you. TOKEN DETAILS Name : EOT Token (Verified) Identifier : GdnNbe6E3txF63gv3rxhpfxytTJtG7ZYyHAvWWrrEbK5 Total supply : 100,000,000 EOT token (EOT) markets added on the Tidex Exchange https://tidex.com/exchange/eot/btchttps://tidex.com/exchange/eot/waves EOT Coin details (currently minable) https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin windows wallet[/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin/releases/download/v22.214.171.124/EOTCoin-win.exe windows Desktop wallet[/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOT-Coin-Windows-Desktop-Wallet/releases/download/1.0/EOTCoinDesktopWallet1-0.zip MAC Wallet [/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin/releases/download/v126.96.36.199/EOTCOIN-Qt-OSX-v1001.dmg WEB wallet [/b] http://eot.digital (Closing, please withdraw your coins) ANDROID wallet [/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTAndroidWallet/releases Block Explorer [/b] http://www.eot.digital:3622/ Block Explorer 2 [/b] http://www.eotcoin.info (created by [b]@Luanptit[/b]) [Block reward [/b] 100 Coins, [b] ALGORITHM [/b] SCRYPT, [b] BLOCK TIME [/b] 90 seconds MINING POOLS Official mining pool [/b] http://www.eot.digital:3001/ Getting Started [/b] minerd -a scrypt -o stratum+tcp://www.eot.digital:3256 -u WalletAddressWhereYouWantYourMiningCoins -p 1 unofficial Mining pools http://www.altminer.net http://antminepool.com http://coinminers.net/ http://www.vivocryptopool.com [red]Currently EOT is traded on WAVES DEX, Crypto-Bridge DEX and TIDEX. Big exchanges will be available soon, exchanges are in comkmunication. Opportunities are available with EOT - from Development, Mining, Trading as well as other business opportunities built around the EOT currency and the "Encryption of Things" [size=34px]Bitvault on Yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitvault-worlds-first-blockchain-phone-201600279.html [/size] [center][img width=770]https://i.imgur.com/UMIlRoC.png[/img][/center] [center][size=30px]Press release 4th October 2017 [/size] [size=30px]yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitvault-announces-london-launch-161000826.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=tw [img]https://i.imgur.com/mBDZnN7.png[/img] Some Helpful Information [quote author=Story777 link=topic=2091616.msg21890405#msg21890405 date=1505551168] You have been keeping a great secret. I've been doing a bit of research with the technology behind this coin. It looks like ALOT of research has gone into this tech, since about 2004 and shortly after a patent for this P2P system was quickly issued. Bitvault (https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/product/bitvault/) who are using the worlds first blockchain phone as a secure communication device and ultimately taking [font=Verdana][b]encryption[/b][/font] to the Internet Of Things (IoT) keeping our personal and business data secure. All this is done using [b]EOT coin [/b](Encryption of Things). In todays world insecure devices are rampant. Here are a couple of links about the CIA being able to use insecure devices to 'cause accidents' http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/cyber-life/sd-me-wikileaks-cia-20170307-story.html and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/03/08/what-we-know-about-car-hacking-the-cia-and-those-wikileaks-claims/ It's scary to think a legal entity could posses such power over life. Just the mere fact alone the governing authority can request phone records (e.g. txt msgs, voice msgs or eavesdropping) proves most if not all telecommunication companies do not encrypt, otherwise whats the point on requesting the information!? (legal or not). Commercially sensitive information needs to be protected and most importantly in my opinion our [font=Verdana][b]rights[/b][/font] and the privacy of all citizens of the human race need to be protected. From my understanding BitVault is a platform for reference data. This would be data that is stored for compliance reasons such as e-mails, invoicing systems and check imaging (e.g. high quality imaging for x-rays, MRI scans etc) and a prototype was developed in 2004. This would means massive amount of data storage is required with fail-safe systems so a authorised user could access this information very very quickly. Three goals were needed to be achieved: Low cost, high reliability/availability and simplicity. This is the birth of Bitvault via EOT. Bitvault ultimately stores immutable objects with each new version being updated and identified with a 160-bit key. System stability is very important and must be immune to failure sequences. Parallel repair via indexing is one of the many strengths Bitvault has been able to demonstrate. BitVault is a back-end system that uses [u][b]Applications[/b][/u] to catalog object ID's. Using a catalog utility and indexing within an application prevented scalability bottlenecking under heavy loads. Fast forward 3 years to 2007 a very important decision was to [u][b]decentralise[/b][/u] BitVaults system. This in my opinion is one of the fundamental principles of cryptocurrency - [u][b]No one entity or person has any control of the data stored and only the authorised user can access this info[/b][/u]. Ultimate Security and thus personal safety (see above articles CIA hacks). BitVault using applications have been able to use provable communication and data storage with ease of retrieval with vital security measures. BitVault is not alone in researching solutions for security for the IoT, such as Venti and the like are making progress, however, BitVault is 'head and shoulders' above the few competitors and are already offering practical working solutions on the market with huge scalability that is cost effective. Well Done BitVault, well done EOT your secret is out and let the world embrace. author=Story777 link=topic=2091616.msg21462424#msg21462424 date=1504428317] I have had a response in Slack and it has satisfied my questions. Thank-you. For everyone information here it is: The currency was created with 200 Million EOT total supply on 7 July 2017 [ we showed it to the community a London Fintech week with the demonstration of the BitVault - fintechweek.com ] 100 Million was pre-mined and another 100 Million are currently being mined, 1 block every 90 seconds @ 100 coins per block. So the pre-mined coins were listed on waves as a token so that it can create a market for the coins while we are working to get listed on other exchanges. The 100 Million coins listed were distributed in several ways. Firstly, this was not an ICO because our business is already funded via private capital. We wanted to get the currency distributed a widely as possible. So most of the initial coins were given away to a number of interested parties. We distributed this to our whole development team, business partners, employees as well as to the waves and other communities. So we did not sell all these coins for the current price, most of it was given away for free to people that have an interest in our products and business. The price now is formed by whoever owns these coins. The tokens on the exchange is really a representation of the currency and as such has value because it can be interchanged, just like Bitcoin and Ethereum are on the waves exchange. This whole process is explained on page 4 of the waves whitepaper, I think they call it an asset-to-asset exchange which makes it possible to list any asset that exist on waves. Unfortunately waves only has gateways currently for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Euro and USD, so we have to develop our own gateway, which will be available on Nov 1. So to clarify 100,000,000 tokens costing $190M were not sold. It is a combination of airdrops, private sales and sales on the exchange. Some EOT coins are needed because: "A lot of EOT will be distributed through our devices. For example our encrypted routers are pre-loaded with EOT, so we need that stock and it will be distributed that way". And with the response to tokens on the Waves Exchange "This is how Bitcoin works on waves: - They created 21 Million BTC Tokens.. When you deposit Bitcoin into waves account, you receive an equal amount of tokens which you can either trade or even sent via the waves blockchain to another user.. Once you withdraw your tokens are exchanged for BTC and you receive it back into your BTC wallet.. Exactly the same for USD or EUR - You don't send Euro's to another client on waves if you transfer - you send a token that represents EUR -- This works exactly the w0083". These are the answers I was looking for and make a lot of sense now. This is indeed an exciting project. :) It's time to trade.... Now I have one question left.... Is there anyone using NiceHash to mine this coin?? I keep being disconnected because of the difficulty being too low. Can any one help? [quote author=Shews link=topic=2091616.msg22876983#msg22876983 date=1507755312] EOT (coin) is now tradable on the CryptoBridge Decentralised Exchange, you can sign up below. Please note this is for the EOT COIN ONLY, do not send tokens to this dex. This is a secure means to trade with the backend being on a blockchain. It is still in beta stage but has been working flawlessly so far. If you'd like more info I will post their website link is below. https://wallet.crypto-bridge.org/?r=388691 You can sign up with a local wallet mode, meaning you are the only one with access to your keys, this is most secure. There is also the option to sign up with and account if you require access to you funds on the go. More info: https://crypto-bridge.org/
Blowing the lid off the CryptoNote/Bytecoin scam (with the exception of Monero) - Reformatted for Reddit
Original post by rethink-your-strategy on Bitcointalk.org here This post has been reformatted to share on Reddit. What once was common knowledge, is now gone. You want a quality history lesson? Share this like wildfire. August 15, 2014, 08:15:37 AM
I'd like to start off by stating categorically that the cryptography presented by CryptoNote is completely, entirely solid. It has been vetted and looked over by fucking clever cryptographers/developers/wizards such as gmaxwell. Monero have had a group of independent mathematicians and cryptographers peer-reviewing the whitepaper (their annotations are here, and one of their reviews is here), and this same group of mathematicians and cryptographers is now reviewing the implementation of the cryptography in the Monero codebase. Many well known Bitcoin developers have already had a cursory look through the code to establish its validity. It is safe to say that, barring more exotic attacks that have to be mitigated over time as they are invented/discovered, and barring a CryptoNote implementation making rash decisions to implement something that reduces the anonymity set, the CryptoNote currencies are all cryptographically unlinkable and untraceable. Two other things I should mention. I curse a lot when I'm angry (and scams like this make me angry). Second, where used my short date format is day/month/year (smallest to biggest). If you find this information useful, a little donation would go a long way. Bitcoin address is 1rysLufu4qdVBRDyrf8ZjXy1nM19smTWd.
The Alleged CryptoNote/Bytecoin Story
CryptoNote is a new cryptocurrency protocol. It builds on some of the Bitcoin founding principles, but it adds to them. There are aspects of it that are truly well thought through and, in a sense, quite revolutionary. CryptoNote claim to have started working on their project years ago after Bitcoin's release, and I do not doubt the validity of this claim...clearly there's a lot of work and effort that went into this. The story as Bytecoin and CryptoNote claim it to be is as follows: They developed the code for the principles expressed in their whitepaper, and in April, 2012, they released Bytecoin. All of the copyright messages in Bytecoin's code are "copyright the CryptoNote Developers", so clearly they are one and the same as the Bytecoin developers. In December 2012, they released their CryptoNote v1 whitepaper. In September 2013, they released their CryptoNote v2 whitepaper. In November 2013, the first piece of the Bytecoin code was first pushed to Github by "amjuarez", with a "Copyright (c) 2013 amjuarez" copyright notice. This was changed to "Copyright (c) 2013 Antonio Juarez" on March 3rd, 2014. By this juncture only the crypto libraries had been pushed up to github. Then, on March 4th, 2014, "amjuarez" pushed the rest of the code up to github, with the README strangely referring to "cybernote", even though the code referred to "Cryptonote". The copyrights all pointed to "the Cryptonote developers", and the "Antonio Juarez" copyright and license file was removed. Within a few days, "DStrange" stumbled across the bytecoin.org website when trying to mine on the bte.minefor.co.in pool (a pool for the-other-Bytecoin, BTE, not the-new-Bytecoin, BCN), and the rest is history as we know it. By this time Bytecoin had had a little over 80% of its total emission mined.
Immediate Red Flags
The first thing that is a red flag in all of this is that nobody, and I mean no-fucking-body, is a known entity. "Antonio Juarez" is not a known entity, "DStrange" is not a known entity, none of the made up names on the Bytecoin website exist (they've since removed their "team" page, see below), none of the made up names on the CryptoNote website exist (Johannes Meier, Maurice Planck, Max Jameson, Brandon Hawking, Catherine Erwin, Albert Werner, Marec Plíškov). If they're pseudonyms, then say so. If they're real names, then who the fuck are they??? Cryptographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists are well known - they have published papers or at least have commented on articles of interest. Many of them have their own github repos and Twitter feeds, and are a presence in the cryptocurrency community. The other immediate red flag is that nobody, and I mean no-fucking-body, had heard of Bytecoin. Those that had heard of it thought it was the crummy SHA-256 Bitcoin clone that was a flop in the market. Bytecoin's claim that it had existed "on the deep web" for 2 years was not well received, because not a single vendor, user, miner, drug addict, drug seller, porn broker, fake ID card manufacturer, student who bought a fake ID card to get into bars, libertarian, libertard, cryptographer, Tor developer, Freenet developer, i2p developer, pedophile, or anyone else that is a known person - even just known on the Internet - had ever encountered "Bytecoin" on Tor. Ever. Nobody.
Before I start with some conjecture and educated guesswork, I'd like to focus on an indisputable fact that obliterates any trust in both Bytecoin's and CryptoNote's bullshit story. Note, again, that I do not doubt the efficacy of the mathematics and cryptography behind CryptoNote, nor do I think there are backdoors in the code. What I do know for a fact is that the people behind CryptoNote and Bytecoin have actively deceived the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community, and that makes them untrustworthy now and in the future. If you believe in the fundamentals in CryptoNote, then you need simply use a CryptoNote-derived cryptocurrency that is demonstrably independent of CryptoNote and Bytecoin's influence. Don't worry, I go into this a little later. So as discussed, there were these two whitepapers that I linked to earlier. Just in case they try remove them, here is the v1 whitepaper and the v2 whitepaper mirrored on Archive.org. This v1/v2 whitepaper thing has been discussed at length on the Bytecoin forum thread, and the PGP signature on the files has been confirmed as being valid. When you open the respective PDFs you'll notice the valid signatures in them: signature in the v1 whitepaper signature in the v2 whitepaper These are valid Adobe signatures, signed on 15/12/2012 and 17/10/2013 respectively. Here's where it gets interesting. When we inspect this file in Adobe Acrobat we get a little more information on the signature . Notice the bit that says "Signing time is from the clock on the signer's computer"? Now normally you would use a Timestamp Authority (TSA) to validate your system time. There are enough public, free, RFC 3161 compatible TSAs that this is not a difficult thing. CryptoNote chose not do this. But we have no reason to doubt the time on the signature, right guys? crickets . See these references from the v1 whitepaper footnotes? Those two also appear in the v2 whitepaperth. Neither of those two footnotes refer to anything in the main body of the v1 whitepaper's text, they're non-existent (in the v2 whitepaper they are used in text). The problem, though, is that the Bitcointalk post linked in the footnote is not from early 2012 (proof screenshot is authentic: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=196259.0) . May 5, 2013. The footnote is referencing a post that did not exist until then. And yet we are to believe that the whitepaper was signed on 12/12/2012! What sort of fucking fools do they take us for? A little bit of extra digging validates this further. The document properties for both the v1 whitepaper as well as the v2 whitepaper confirms they were made in TeX Live 2013, which did not exist on 12/12/2012. The XMP properties are also quite revealing XMP properties for the v1 whitepaper XMP properties for the v2 whitepaper According to that, the v1 whitepaper PDF was created on 10/04/2014, and the v2 whitepaper was created on 13/03/2014. And yet both of these documents were then modified in the past (when they were signed). Clearly the CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are so advanced they also have a time machine, right? Final confirmation that these creation dates are correct are revealed those XMP properties. The properties on both documents confirm that the PDF itself was generated from the LaTeX source using pdfTeX-1.40.14 (the pdf:Producer property). Now pdfTeX is a very old piece of software that isn't updated very often, so the minor version (the .14 part) is important. . pdfTeX 1.40.14 pushed to source repo on Feb 14, 2014 . This version of pdfTeX was only pushed to the pdfTeX source repository on February 14, 2014, although it was included in a very early version of TeX Live 2013 (version 2013.20130523-1) that was released on May 23, 2013. The earliest mentions on the Internet of this version of pdfTeX are in two Stack Exchange comments that confirm its general availability at the end of May 2013 (here and here). The conclusion we draw from this is that the CryptoNote developers, as clever as they were, intentionally deceived everyone into believing that the CryptoNote whitepapers were signed in 2012 and 2013, when the reality is that the v2 whitepaper was created in March, 2014, and the v1 whitepaper haphazardly created a month later by stripping bits out of the v2 whitepaper (accidentally leaving dead footnotes in). Why would they create this fake v2 whitepaper in the first place? Why not just create a v1 whitepaper, or not even version it at all? The answer is simple: they wanted to lend credence and validity to the Bytecoin "2 years on the darkweb" claim so that everyone involved in CryptoNote and Bytecoin could profit from the 2 year fake mine of 82% of Bytecoin. What they didn't expect is the market to say "no thank you" to their premine scam.
And Now for Some Conjecture
As I mentioned earlier, the Bytecoin "team" page disappeared. I know it exists, because "AtomicDoge" referred to it as saying that one of the Bytecoin developers is a professor at Princeton. I called them out on it, and within a week the page had disappeared. Fucking cowards. That was the event that triggered my desire to dig deeper and uncover the fuckery. As I discovered more and more oddities, fake accounts, trolling, and outright falsehoods, I wondered how deep the rabbit hole went. My starting point was DStrange. This is the account on Bitcointalk that "discovered" Bytecoin accidentally a mere 6 days after the first working iteration of the code was pushed to Github, purely by chance when mining a nearly dead currency on a tiny and virtually unheard of mining pool. He has subsequently appointed himself the representative of Bytecoin, or something similar. The whole thing is so badly scripted it's worse than a Spanish soap opera...I can't tell who Mr. Gonzales, the chief surgeon, is going to fuck next. At the same time as DStrange made his "fuck me accidental discovery", another Bitcointalk account flared up to also "accidentally discover this weird thing that has randomly been discovered": Rias. What's interesting about both the "Rias" and "DStrange" accounts are their late 2013 creation date (October 31, 2013, and December 23, 2013, respectively), and yet they lay dormant until suddenly, out of the blue, on January 20th/21st they started posting. If you look at their early posts side by side you can even see the clustering: Rias, DStrange. At any rate, the DStrange account "discovering" Bytecoin is beyond hilarious, especially with the Rias account chiming in to make the discovery seem natural. Knowing what we unmistakably do about the fake CryptoNote PDF dates lets us see this in a whole new light. Of course, as has been pointed out before, the Bytecoin website did not exist in its "discovered" form until sometime between November 13, 2013 (when it was last captured as this random picture of a college girl) and February 25, 2014 (when it suddenly had the website on it as "discovered"). This can be confirmed by looking at the captures on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://bytecoin.org The CryptoNote website, too, did not exist in its current form until after October 20, 2013, at which time it was still the home of an encrypted message project by Alain Meier, a founding member of the Stanford Bitcoin Group and co-founder of BlockScore. This, too, can be confirmed on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://cryptonote.org ~It's hard to ascertain whether Alain had anything to do with CryptoNote or Bytecoin. It's certainly conceivable that the whitepaper was put together by him and other members of the Stanford Bitcoin Group, and the timeline fits, given that the group only formed around March 2013. More info on the people in the group can be found on their site, and determining if they played a role is something you can do in your own time.~ Update: Alain Meier posted in this thread, and followed it up with a Tweet, confirming that he has nothing to do with CryptoNote and all the related...stuff.
The Bytecoin guys revel in creating and using sockpuppet accounts. Remember that conversation where "Rias" asked who would put v1 on a whitepaper with no v2 out, and AlexGR said "a forward looking individual"? The conversation took place on May 30, and was repeated verbatim by shill accounts on Reddit on August 4 (also, screenshot in case they take it down). Those two obvious sockpuppet/shill accounts also take delight in bashing Monero in the Monero sub-reddit (here are snippets from WhiteDynomite and cheri0). Literally the only thing these sockpuppets do, day in and day out, is make the Bytecoin sub-reddit look like it's trafficked, and spew angry bullshit all over the Monero sub-reddit. Fucking batshit insane - who the fuck has time for that? Clearly they're pissy that nobody has fallen for their scam. Oh, and did I mention that all of these sockpuppets have a late January/early February creation date? Because that's not fucking obvious at all. And let's not forget that most recently the sockpuppets claimed that multi-sig is "a new revolutionary technology, it was discovered a short time ago and Bytecoin already implemented it". What the actual fuck. If you think that's bad, you're missing out on the best part of all: the Bytecoin shills claim that Bytecoin is actually Satoshi Nakamoto's work. I'm not fucking kidding you. For your viewing pleasure...I present to you...the Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus: . https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=512747.msg8354977#msg8354977 . Seriously. Not only is this insulting as fuck to Satoshi Nakamoto, but it's insulting as fuck to our intelligence. And yet the fun doesn't stop there, folks! I present to you...the centerpiece of this Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus exhibit... . Of course! How could we have missed it! The clues were there all along! The CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are actually aliens! Fuck me on a pogostick, this is the sort of stuff that results in people getting committed to the loony bin. One last thing: without doing too much language analysis (which is mostly supposition and bullshit), it's easy to see common grammar and spelling fuck ups. My personal favorite is the "Is it true?" question. You can see it in the Bytecoin thread asking if it's Satoshi's second project, in the Monero thread asking if the Monero devs use a botnet to fake demand, and in the Dashcoin thread confirming the donation address (for a coin whose only claim is that they copy Bytecoin perfectly, what the fuck do they need donations for??).
Layer After Layer
All Tied Up in a Bow
I want to cement the relationship between the major CryptoNote shitcoins. I know that my previous section had a lot of conjecture in it, and there's been some insinuation that I'm throwing everyone under the bus because I'm raging against the machine. That's not my style. I'm more of a Katy Perry fan..."you're going to hear me roar". There were some extra links I uncovered during my research, and I lacked the time to add it to this post. Thankfully a little bit of sleep and a can of Monster later have given me the a chance to add this. Let's start with an analysis of the DNS records of the CN coins. If we look at the whois and DNS records for bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com, we find three common traits, from not-entirely-damming to oh-shiiiiiiit:
There's a lot of commonality with the registrar (NameCheap for almost all of them), the DNS service (HurricaneElectric's Free DNS or NameCheap's DNS), and with the webhost (LibertyVPS, QHosteSecureFastServer.com, etc.)
All of the CN domains use WhoisGuard or similar private registration services.
Every single domain, without exception, uses Zoho for email. The only outlier is bitmonero.org that uses Namecheap's free email forwarding, but it's safe to disregard this as the emails probably just forward to the CryptoNote developers' email.
The instinct may be to disregard this as a fucking convenient coincidence. But it isn't: Zoho used to be a distant second go Google Apps, but has since fallen hopelessly behind. Everyone uses Google Apps or they just use mail forwarding or whatever. With the rest of the points as well, as far-fetched as the link may seem, it's the combination that is unusual and a dead giveaway of the common thread. Just to demonstrate that I'm not "blowing shit out of proportion" I went and checked the records for a handful of coins launched over the past few months to see what they use. darkcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: Amazon AWS, open registration through NameCheap monero.cc: mail: mail.monero.cc, hosting: behind CloudFlare, open registration through Gandi xc-official.com: mail: Google Apps, hosting: MODX Cloud, hidden registration (DomainsByProxy) through GoDaddy blackcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: behind BlackLotus, open registration through NameCheap bitcoindark.org: mail: no MX records, hosting: Google User Content, open registration through Wix viacoin.org: mail: mx.viacoin.org, hosting: behind CloudFlare, closed registration (ContactPrivacy) through Hostnuke.com neutrinocoin.org: mail: HostGator, hosting: HostGator, open registration through HostGator There's no common thread between them. Everyone uses different service providers and different platforms. And none of them use Zoho. My next check was to inspect the web page source code for these sites to find a further link. If you take a look at the main CSS file linked in the source code for monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, bitmonero.org, and bytecoiner.org, we find a CSS reset snippet at the top. It has a comment at the top that says "/* CSS Reset /", and then where it resets/sets the height it has the comment "/ always display scrollbars */". Now, near as I can find, this is a CSS snipped first published by Jake Rocheleau in an article on WebDesignLedger on October 24, 2012 (although confusingly Google seems to think it appeared on plumi.de cnippetz first, but checking archive.org shows that it was only added to that site at the beginning of 2013). It isn't a very popular CSS reset snippet, it got dumped in a couple of gists on Github, and translated and re-published in an article on a Russian website in November, 2012 (let's not go full-blown conspiritard and assume this links "cryptozoidberg" back to this, he's culpable enough on his own). It's unusual to the point of being fucking impossible for one site to be using this, let alone a whole string of supposedly unrelated sites. Over the past few years the most popular CSS reset scripts have been Eric Meyer's "Reset CSS", HTML5 Doctor CSS Reset, Yahoo! (YUI 3) Reset CSS, Universal Selector ‘’ Reset, and Normalize.css, none of which contain the "/ CSS Reset /" or "/ always display scrollbars */" comments. You've got to ask yourself a simple question: at what point does the combination of all of these fucking coincidental, completely unusual elements stop being coincidence and start becoming evidence of a real, tenable link? Is it possible that bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com just happen to use similar registrars/DNS providers/web hosts and exactly the fucking same wildly unpopular email provider? And is it also possible that monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, and bytecoin.org just happen to use the same completely unknown, incredibly obscure CSS reset snippet? It's not a conspiracy, it's not a coincidence, it's just another piece of evidence that all of these were spewed out by the same fucking people.
The Conclusion of the Matter
Don't take the last section as any sort of push for Monero. I think it's got potential (certainly much more than the other retarded "anonymous" coins that "developers" are popping out like street children from a cheap ho), and I hold a bit of XMR for shits and giggles, so take that tacit endorsement with a pinch of fucking salt. The point is this: Bytecoin's 82% premine was definitely the result of a faked blockchain. CryptoNote's whitepaper dates were purposely falsified to back up this bullshit claim. Both Bytecoin and CryptoNote have perpetuated this scam by making up fake website data and all sorts. They further perpetuate it using shill accounts, most notably "DStrange" and "Rias" among others. They launched a series of cryptocurrencies that should be avoided at all cost: Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, and Monetaverde. They are likely behind duckNote and Boolberry, but fuck it, it's on your head if you want to deal with scam artists and botnet creators. They developed amazing technology, and had a pretty decent implementation. They fucked themselves over by being fucking greedy, being utterly retarded, being batshit insane, and trying to create legitimacy where there was none. They lost the minute the community took Monero away from them, and no amount of damage control will save them from their own stupidity. I expect there to be a fuck-ton of shills posting in this thread (and possibly a few genuine supporters who don't know any better). If you want to discuss or clarify something, cool, let's do that. If you want to have a protracted debate about my conjecture, then fuck off, it's called conjecture for a reason you ignoramus. I don't really give a flying fuck if I got it right or wrong, you're old and ugly enough to make up your own mind. tl;dr - CryptoNote developers faked dates in whitepapers. Bytecoin faked dates in fake blockchain to facilitate an 82% premine, and CryptoNote backed them up. Bytecoin, Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, Monetaverde, Dashcoin are all from the same people and should be avoided like the fucking black plague. duckNote and Boolberry are probably from them as well, or are at least just fucking dodgy, and who the fuck cares anyway. Monero would have been fucking dodgy, but the community saved it. Make your own mind up about shit and demand that known people are involved and that there is fucking transparency. End transmission. Just a reminder that if you found this information useful, a little donation would go a long way. Bitcoin address is 1rysLufu4qdVBRDyrf8ZjXy1nM19smTWd.
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