3 It explains our intuition that human beings, but not lower animals, have free will. Lower animals lack free will because they lack the second-order volitions which are constitutive of free will. (This item is unnecessary and probably not true; how do we know animals have no "second-order volitions"? Having no other language than "body", we can only surmise (guess) what their volitions are. Volitions come before actions, we cannot see them or interpret them in any way. Brain conditions might be interpreted with MRI scanning, but to put a subject in a scanning device is to prevent any other actions. Such measuring ruins the connection between mental state and volition being measured, except we can safely assume that every measurement of animals must default to the volition to escape the measuring device.)
That's the first-order, highlighted deviation from compatibility theory. Clarification of "second-order volition": a path from choice to action has an intermediate "middle-way" tunneling mode, contracting (taking on) a desire to make a choice, prior to making the choice. In order to prove freedom, one must establish the mental preference for an imagined outcome in order to prove that preference did come from within the person and was not forced by other external deciding factors (genetic factors are pre-determined). incompatibilism Note: the approach is wrong by the universal assumption, IOW that the intersection of determined and free is zero. It's a supremacy position, or superposition principle (LoL), the error is in over-simplification. The Logic Argument (p.5) is not representative of reality, which is more nuanced. Therefore, Frankfurt's thesis is good (denial of incompatibilism), but not due to the case presented (superposition). Take Frankfurt's case (p.4) of Black vs Jones4 to be analogy for State vs Individual. Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars (other sources exist, search for yourself) The (myusername) determinism/free-will duality hypothesis (denial of incompatibilism due to non-zero intersection):
Most choices, including the choice of desires, are determined by contingencies of which one is the natural desire of the actor to optimize his/her outcomes ("best wishes"). Is a person always compelled to have best wishes? What is best depends on a person's mental state, which is usually determined by external factors, but those can vary in cogency (impact on behavior). Consider the choice to commit suicide, certainly not a trivial choice. (The Chosen means of execution (puns intended) is somewhat more trivial, but again, partly determined by external conditions.)
Some choices, nearly all trivial, are free because no interfering contingencies are apparent during the choosing interlude. It may happen in hindsight, that a past choice is observed to be a mistake, usually because some contingency was overlooked or unknown during the choosing. This observation should be remembered so as to avoid repeating a future choice like that mistake. Choices always have risks, including the choice to do nothing. Different day, slightly different approach... parsing choice. 1 important choices that have many deep effects later, for instances a marriage partner, a new job, a new residence; 2 trivial choices which have minor effects, risks or physical involvement, for instances a choice of toothpaste at the market, to like or not a web-link or museum exhibit. According to (myusername)'s determined/free paradigm, type 1 choices are nearly all determined by pre-existing conditions (not free). Type 2 choice is the arena of freedom. I suppose a person's low risk-aversion parameter could expand the envelope of freedom, but that's a characteristic that develops during maturation, one's history of choices and ensuing responses. Successful responses lead to more freedom, failures to less. So even when freedom exists, it accumulates a history (habits) which become a determinant. Contracting the Social Construct Disorder (it's contagious) Take 1: How does an actor (person in question who comes to an internal state, or inner-construct) interact with a community or society? Must it be IRL, or can virtual interaction suffice to construct internal states? And more to my point, must the interaction be two-way (containing feedback), or simply via broadcast medium? (broadcast includes published books, articles, records, radio, TV or Internet A/V shows, etc.) Interaction with broadcast media can be summarized by: a choice, a degree of attention and focus (time spent on and attention given to item), a like/dislike or more complex reaction to item, having future behavior influenced by item, to continue a stream of behaviors (especially sequential item choices) as consequence of influence of item, to develop a complex of attitudes built upon stream of items (eg. just mentioned 'risk aversion parameter and habit). Before going on, I notice that broadcast media is like Sunshine, Rain, and Grace. It is made available by participation in a community, and falls without curse or blessing, it's all there for the choosing (or ignoring), depending on the contingencies. Mind control theory? (because mind is the inner source of volition... behavior, control the mind (easy), hence control the behaviors (difficult otherwise)) Mind control courtesy Tavistock Inst. Construction of Favor (or any knowledge) upon Familiarity What is Social Construction? (cntrlZ)
"For instance, trees are only differentiated from other plants by virtue of the fact that we have all learned to see them as "trees."
But we don't all know about trees to an equal degree. I know rather much about trees from my interaction with them: living among them, planting them, sawing them, moving them, burning them, etc., not from reading or talking about them. No doubt, there are many persons all over the world who have very little experience of trees, and cannot 'construct' treeness as well as me. Direct experience is more realistic and developed than social constructs. Favor and Familiarity are interwoven by choice I chose to live alone with trees and not alone with sea, or desert (for examples), because it was easier to go with trees. Was the choice free? I could have chosen city or suburb with even more ease than forest, so ease of choice was not the deciding factor, it was my preference of lonely forest over crowded urb that decided me. So maybe it wasn't really about trees, it was about independence or something else like that. When we choose, we may not understand the contingencies, but our decision (choice) may be due to habits or patterns that have developed in the maturity process. Habits are strong determinants, and they develop, according to Ian Plowman, 4 ways. The cntrlZ article makes the case for 'Strong Social Construction' based on that 'knowing' which is all about language, certainly a social construct.
Within the social construction of language is the game. Outside the social construction is reality, the real world. (a list of social constructs follows)
That makes it clear. Experiences (direct ones) without resort to language are NOT social constructs. That observation makes another distinction clear: gender may be a social construct, as it's a language issue, but sex is not a social construct, it is a direct experience issue that develops in the maturation process: birth, infant, child, puberty, sexy adolescent, sexy adult, old (unsexy) adult, death. Prior to puberty, sex is incipient in its development, but comes to life, (like a flower blooms) after a decade or so. Knowing about sex as a child is by observation from outside (thru the looking glass), after puberty, it's direct experience, and much later, it's a fading memory. Regarding Looking-glass self theory the notion of socially constructed identity (defining the self by differences/ affinities to others),
... the outcome of "taking the role of the other", the premise for which the self is actualized. Through interaction with others, we begin to develop an identity of our own as well as developing a capacity to empathize with others... Therefore, the concept of self-identity may be considered an example of a social construction.
... makes a spurious expansion of identity formation to include everyone (a unity), or nearly so. According to Reisman's Lonely Crowd, there is a triality of social nature, expounded by parsing people into tradition, inner, and other directed personalities. This theme was a scholar's response to the US trend toward consumerism and conformity to "norms", (local traditions, eg. "keeping up with the Joneses") mid-20th century. The social construct crowd would be Reisman's Other directed personality, which may truly be the majority, in USA certainly. However, the tradition-following and inner-directed personalities are a significant minority. Let's not ignore them (I'm in there.) What is “Mob Mentality?” Herd mentality | wkpd Are All Personality Descriptions Social Constructions? Sep.2019 | psytdy
... that objective reality does not directly reveal itself to us, is true beyond a doubt.
The preceding statement author, JA Johnson, is way off (and his article is full of falseness). Objective reality IS direct experience, no more revealing modality exists. Denial of this obvious fact (just lied about above) is a redefinition of the term (a social construct). Experience is beyond language, thus beyond 'description'. However the following is a true reveal about (((Yews))) (the like of whom Dr. Johnson seems):
It is true that when we describe someone with socially undesirable traits... we are constructing for them a social reputation that might decrease their chance of success in life. This is precisely one of the concerns of (((social constructivists, like Dr. Johnson))), that certain categorizations (eg. a separate race) reduce power and status.
Favor-Goodness-Beauty paradigm Favor is not favored in prior art, Truth takes Favor's place in the Transcendental Spectrum: Transcendentals 5pg.pdf We have already seen the idea in part 1 that Truth is a disputed transcendental in the social-constructionism academic universe. Academics use the "universal fallacy" that their favored item is part of an incompatible pair, which by logic excludes everything not in their favor. They want to ignore the nuances in order to push an ideology toward a supremacy of thinking, just like in a totalitarian state. Whereas the (myusername) principle of Truth, it has a dual nature, 1 relative to a society (democratic consensus); and 2 absolute to reality (math/science/technology). So 'Favor' is a better term because objective proof (no contest) is not required (except the meaning of objective that says 'objection!', meaning 'contest'). 'Favor' implies bias which is the subjective reaction that matches Goodness and Beauty better than 'Truth'. Apply Truth-Goodness-Beauty paradigm to social construction
because the aim of constructionists is to justify a collective "truth" of their own construction. A social construct is not absolute, it's anything a society wants it to be ("social proof"). That's a good description of tyranny... The Empowered Female Parasite 2014 (that's a surprising result, here is one not-surprising.) Social Proof: established by culture media (mind control, a monopoly 2012 (scroll down long graphic), of the Juice 2015), go back to part 1, macrosocial constructs. Does Appreciation of Beauty have any innate sources? (otherwise it's all a social construct) Neuroscience of Beauty; How does the brain appreciate art? 2011 | sciam (in brain) Onward (Dis)-Favor Readers... Investigation of (Dis-)Favor 3\3, House of Not-Friends Contracting the Social Construct Disorder Take 2 Living outside the 'Normitory" (away from Dreamland (everybody's asleep), to where Nessun Dorma (nobody sleeps)) It so happens that an ethnic group which originated in eastern Mediterranean Middle-East evolved to specialize in intelligence, commerce, morally corrupt enterprises, and crime. Essential to their success was eugenic traditions that applied artificial selection to just those same specialties, which makes this ethnic group a formidable enemy. They have developed a very strong sense of in-groupness, and a vested interest in social construct studies. A unified collective is a more effective competitor than an inchoate population of diverse individuals. This group has as ethnic traits: global dispersion (aka Diaspora), preference for urban environments (aka Cosmopolitan, or Globalist), covert inter-group rivalry (aka InfoWar), and deception (aka MOSSAD). This cosmopolitan group must operate covertly and deceptively, because those are effective tactics, and they are a small minority (2% of USA), therefore weak in the democratic sense. Immoral Social Constructs enforced by 5th column subversives
There is no universal morality. Morality is much like Beauty, in the mind of beholder (actor who holds to a specific moral code). Morality is a social construct, and varies between societies. (I think a fair definition of morality is a code of ethics which is community-specific.) For a society to sustain, it needs to be isolate from conflicting societies. If different societies, with different moralities must coexist, the natural tendency for actors in the same niche toward dominance will destroy or remake the subordinate societies, which reduces the conflicts. Status Hierarchies: Do We Need Them? blog 2012 | psytd
a need for 'virtue signaling'? It's natural, and likely unavoidable, evidence pride displays.
For an organisation whose core pillar is peer-reviewed science for technology development, it’s a missed opportunity to not take the same approach for Cardano's marketing…
To begin, this is not a piece written to bash the efforts of the Cardano Foundation. I am not writing that the work they are doing is wrong, but I am proposing that they are missing out on a key opportunity to lead the global block chain and finance industry in the area of marketing. Let me give a brief overview of where the world is up to in regards to ‘marketing’. There are many academic circles, especially in America (looking at you, Harvard), that have not progressed very much in marketing academics past the 1960s (think Mad Men days). The ideas of Albert S. Humphreys, George Albert Smith Jr and Ronald Christensen (to name a few) from the 50s was that good business strategy is a fit between external forces and internal characteristics. This was massaged in the decades leading up to the famous work of Michael E. Porter in the 1980s-90s. If you have ever taken any business class, you’re more than likely familiar with the name and work of Porter, but in essence Porter purports persistently that organisations compete by positioning themselves through focusing on ‘cost leadership’, ‘differentiation’ etc. and having ‘competitive advantages’ over the competition. As I wrote, the work of Porter is famous the world over, and mostly went unchallenged; that is except for a man named Andrew Ehrenberg. Ehrenberg came from a statistics background in England, and although a lot of his work predates Porter, Porter’s work undeniably spread far further. This is definitely not to say Porter’s marketing views are unique; he is just the most famous one that holds and preaches them. Porter’s work (inspired by those that came before) was created by looking at the success of business that came before, and what factors led to their successes. At best, it’s guesses, at worst it’s using survival bias as a tool for predicting future success. Ehrenberg’s work came from a social science statistics background with his whole mantra (and the whole mantra of the ‘evidence-based’ marketing movement) being that in order for something to be considered marketing science, it needs to hold true across all test conditions. Here are some examples of marketing laws you may not have heard of and how they would apply to the crypto space:
User profiles of directly competing coins/tokens seldom differ.
A useholdeinvestor of Cardano is not different from a user of EOS or Bitcoin or Ethereum. They will all hold the same beliefs about their respective coin/token of choice (i.e. ‘My coin’s the best), and the most common consumers will see the coins/tokens as doing the same thing. Differentiation does not exist in the real world. (I remind you that if you are reading this post on cardano, you are not a ‘common consumer’, but a heavy usethinker of crypto.) For more, read: Uncles, M, Kennedy, R, Nenycz-Thiel, M, Singh, J & Kwok, S 2012, ‘In 25 Years, Across 50 Categories, User Profiles for Directly Competing Brands Seldom Differ: Affirming Andrew Ehrenberg's Principles’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 252–261.
Coins share users in line with their market share size.
Bitcoin users are more likely to own Ethereum than Cardano. Less people are likely to have lots of Cardano and a little Bitcoin. (Once again, if you’re a subscriber of cardano, you’re not a usual market user, but skewed towards Cardano). For more, read: Ehrenberg, Uncles & Goodhardt 2004, ‘Understanding brand performance measures: using Dirichlet benchmarks’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 1307–1325.
Coins with more market share attract light category users (natural monopoly).
Bitcoin gets all the new people to the crypto space because it’s the biggest. (This one’s a pretty well-known one). For more, read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopoly So to conclude, marketing does not have to be ‘guesses’ and ‘see what has worked in history and hopefully it will work for Cardano’, but there is opportunity for Cardano Foundation to show investors and users that investments are in a great place because every aspect, even the marketing, is evidence-based, peer-reviewed actions. TL;DR Cardano’s marketing choices should be based on evidence-based marketing science. I’m happy to answer any questions as best I can or point you in the right direction.
A brief teardown of some of the flaws in the Lightning Network white paper
This post will perforce be quick and sloppy, because I have other things to do. But a recent comment provoked me to re-read the Lightning white paper to remind myself of the myriad flaws in it, so I decided to at least begin a debunking. When I first read the Lightning white paper back in early 2016, the sheer audacity of the author's preposterous claims and their failure to understand basic principles of the Satoshi paper just offended the living shit out of me. I presumed - incorrectly - that the Lightning paper would be soon torn to shreds through peer review. However Core was successful in suppressing peer review of the paper, and instead inserted Lighting as their end-all be-all scaling plan for Bitcoin. I'm sorry I didn't post this in 2016, but better later than never. Let's start with the abstract.
The bitcoin protocol can encompass the global financial transaction volume in all electronic payment systems today, without a single custodial third party holding funds or requiring participants to have anything more than a computer using a broadband connection.
Well now, that's an awfully gigantic claim for someone that hasn't even written a single line of code as a proof of concept don't you think? This is what's called "overpromising," the Nirvana fallacy, or more appropriately, "vaporware" - that is to say, a pie-in-the-sky software promise intended to derail progress on alternatives. In the very first sentence, the authors claim that they can scale Bitcoin to support every transaction that ever happens, from micropayments to multibillion dollar transfers, with no custodial risk, on a simple computer with nothing more than broadband. It will be perfect. Honestly everyone should have put the paper down at the first sentence, but let's go on.
A decentralized system is proposed
The authors claim that the system proposed is decentralized, but without even a single line of code (and indeed no solution to the problem they claim is the issue, more on that later) they have zero defense of this claim. In fact, the only known solution to the problem that Lightning cannot solve is centralized hubs. We'll get back to this.
whereby transactions are sent over a network of micropayment channels (a.k.a. payment channels or transaction channels) whose transfer of value occurs off-blockchain. If Bitcoin transactions can be signed with a new sighash type that addresses malleability, these transfers may occur between untrusted parties along the transfer route by contracts which, in the event of uncooperative or hostile participants, are enforceable via broadcast over the bitcoin blockchain in the event of uncooperative or hostile participants, through a series of decrementing timelocks
So right here in the abstract we have the promise: "support the entire world's transaction needs on a measly computer with just broadband, totally decentralized, and... (drum roll please) all that's missing is Segwit." Yeah right. Let's continue. First sentence of the paper itself reads:
The Bitcoin blockchain holds great promise for distributed ledgers, but the blockchain as a payment platform, by itself, cannot cover the world’s commerce anytime in the near future.
So the authors have constructed a false problem they claim to solve: scaling Bitcoin to cover every transaction on Earth. Now, that would be neato if it worked (it doesn't) but really, this is like Amerigo Vespucci claiming that the problem with boats is that the sails aren't big enough to carry it to the moon. We aren't ready for that part yet. . In infotech we have a saying, "crawl, walk, run." Lightning's authors are going to ignore "walking" and go from crawling to lightspeed. Using the logic of this first sentence, Visa never should have rolled out its original paper-based credit cards, because "obviously they can't scale to solve the whole world's financial needs." Again, your bullshit detector should be lighting up. Next sentence. So why can't Bitcoin cover all the world's financial transactions?
The blockchain is a gossip protocol whereby all state modifications to the ledger are broadcast to all participants. It is through this “gossip protocol” that consensus of the state, everyone’s balances, is agreed upon.
Got it. The problem is the "gossip protocol." That's bad because...
If each node in the bitcoin network must know about every single transaction that occurs globally, that may create a significant drag on the ability of the network to encompass all global financial transactions
OK. The problem with Bitcoin, according to the author, is that since every node must know the current state of the network, it won't scale. We'll get back to this bit later, because this is the crux: Lightning has the same problem, only worse. Now the authors take a break in the discussion to create a false premise surrounding the Visa network:
The payment network Visa achieved 47,000 peak transactions per second (tps) on its network during the 2013 holidays, and currently averages hundreds of millions per day. Currently, Bitcoin supports less than 7 transactions per second with a 1 megabyte block limit. If we use an average of 300 bytes per bitcoin transaction and assumed unlimited block sizes, an equivalent capacity to peak Visa transaction volume of 47,000/tps would be nearly 8 gigabytes per Bitcoin block, every ten minutes on average. Continuously, that would be over 400 terabytes of data per year.
I'll just point out that Visa itself cannot sustain 47K tpscontinuously, as a reminder to everyone that the author is deliberately inflating numbers to make them seem more scary. Again, is your bullshit detector going off yet? Now we get to the hard-sell:
Clearly, achieving Visa-like capacity on the Bitcoin network isn’t feasible today.
So the author deliberately inflates Visa's capabilities then uses that to say clearly it just can't be done. But really, Visa's actual steady-state load can be accomplished in roughly 500MB blocks - which actually is feasible, or nearly so, today. 500MB every ten minutes is actually a small load of data for a decent-sized business. There are thousands of companies that could quite easily support such a load. And that's setting aside the point that we took 7 years to get to 1MB, so it's unlikely that we'll need 500X that capacity "in the near future" or "today" as the authors keep asserting.
No home computer in the world can operate with that kind of bandwidth and storage.
whoopsie!! Did he say, home computer?? Since when did ordinary Bitcoin users have to keep the whole blockchain on their home computers? Have the authors of the Lightning white paper ever read the Satoshi white paper, which explains that this is not the desired model in Section 8? Clearly the Lightning authors are expecting their readers to be ignorant of the intended design of the Bitcoin network. This is a classic example of inserting a statement that the reader is unlikely to challenge, which completely distorts the discussion. Almost nobody needs to run a fullnode on their home computer! Read the Satoshi paper!
If Bitcoin is to replace all electronic payments in the future, and not just Visa, it would result in outright collapse of the Bitcoin network
Really? Is that so? Isn't the real question how fast will Bitcoin reach these levels of adoption? Isn't the author simply making an assumption that adoption will outpace advances in hardware and software, based on using wildly inflated throughput numbers (47K tps) in the first place? But no, the author makes an unfounded, unsupportable, incorrect blanket assertion that -- even in the future -- trying to scale up onchain will be the death of the entire system.
or at best, extreme centralization of Bitcoin nodes and miners to the only ones who could afford it.
Again, that depends on when this goes down. If Bitcoin grows at roughly the rate of advancement in hardware and software, then the cost to . independently validate transactions - something no individual user needs to do in the first place - actually stays perfectly flat. But the best part is that his statement:
centralization of Bitcoin nodes and miners to the only ones who could afford it
Ummm... mining and independent validation has always been limited to those who can afford it. What big-blockers know is that the trick isn't trying to make Bitcoin so tiny that farmers in sub-Saharan Africa can "validate" the blockchain on a $0.01 computer, but rather to expand adoption so greatly that they never have to independently validate it. Running scalable validation nodes at home is dumb. But, there are already millions of people with synchronous gigabit internet at home and more than enough wealth to afford a beefy home computer. The problem is that none of them are using Bitcoin. Adoption is the key!
This centralization would then defeat aspects of network decentralization that make Bitcoin secure, as the ability for entities to validate the chain is what allows Bitcoin to ensure ledger accuracy and security
Here the author throws a red herring across the trail for gullible readers. It is not my ability to validate the chain that produces trustlessness. If that was the case, there would be no need for miners. Users would simply accept or not accept other people's transactions based on their software's interpretation of validity. The Satoshi paper makes it quite clear where trustlessness is born: it is in the incentives that enforce honest mining of an uncorrupted chain. In other words, I don't have to validate the chain, but Poloniex does. And, newsflash, big companies can very easily afford big validation nodes. "$20K nodes" is a bullshit number I hear thrown around a lot. There are literally hundreds of thousands of companies that can easily afford $20K nodes in the event that Bitcoin becomes "bigger than Visa." Again, the trick is getting many companies in every jurisdiction in the world onto the blockchain. Then no individuals ever need to worry about censorship. Adoption! let's continue. I'll skip a few sentences.
Extremely large blocks, for example in the above case of 8 gigabytes every 10 minutes on average, would imply that only a few parties would be able to do block validation
If this were written in 1997 it would have read
Extremely large blocks, for example in the above case of 8 megabytes every 10 minutes on average, would imply that only a few parties would be able to do block validation
Obviously, we are processing 8MB blocks today. The real question is how long before we get there. At current rates of adoption, we'll all be fucking dead before anyone mines an 8GB block. And remember, 8GB was the number the authors cooked up. Even Visa can't handle that load, today, continuously.
This creates a great possibility that entities will end up trusting centralized parties. Having privileged, trusted parties creates a social trap whereby the central party will not act in the interest of an individual (principalagent problem), e.g. rentierism by charging higher fees to mitigate the incentive to act dishonestly. In extreme cases, this manifests as individuals sending funds to centralized trusted custodians who have full custody of customers’ funds. Such arrangements, as are common today, create severe counterparty risk. A prerequisite to prevent that kind of centralization from occurring would require the ability for bitcoin to be validated by a single consumer-level computer on a home broadband connection.
Here the author (using his wildly inflated requirement of 8GB blocks) creates a cloud of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that "Bitcoin will fail if it succeeds" - and the solution is, as any UASFer will tell you, that everyone needs to validate the chain on a weak fullnode running on a cheap computer with average internet connectivity. How's the bullshit detector going? Now the authors make a head-fake in the direction of honesty:
While it is possible that Moore’s Law will continue indefinitely, and the computational capacity for nodes to cost-effectively compute multigigabyte blocks may exist in the future, it is not a certainty.
Certainty? No. But, we should point out, the capacity to actually approach Visa is already at hand and in the next ten years is a near certainty in fact. But, surely, the solution that the authors propose is "around the corner" (- Luke-jr) ... /s . No, folks. Bigger blocks are the closest thing to "scaling certainty" that we have. More coming up....
To achieve much higher than 47,000 transactions per second using Bitcoin requires conducting transactions off the Bitcoin blockchain itself.
Now we get to the meat of the propaganda. To reach a number that Visa itself cannot sustain will "never" be possible on a blockchain. NEVER?? That's just false. In fact, I'll go on record as saying that Bitcoin will hit Visa-like levels of throughput onchain before Lightning Network ever meets the specification announced in this white paper.
It would be even better if the bitcoin network supported a near-unlimited number of transactions per second with extremely low fees for micropayments.
Yes, and it would also be even better if we had fusion and jetpacks. The thing is, these things that are promised as having been solved... have not been solved and no solution is in sight.
Many micropayments can be sent sequentially between two parties to enable any size of payments.
No, this is plain false. Once a channel's funds have been pushed to one side of the channel, no more micropayments in that direction can be made. This is called channel exhaustion and is one of the many unsolved problems of Lightning Network. But here the authors declare it as a solved problem. That's just false.
Micropayments would enable unbunding, less trust and commodification of services, such as payments for per-megabyte internet service. To be able to achieve these micropayment use cases, however, would require severely reducing the amount of transactions that end up being broadcast on the global Bitcoin blockchain
Now I'm confused. Is Lightning a solution for all the world's financial transactions or is it a solution for micropayments for things like pay-per-megabyte internet?
While it is possible to scale at a small level, it is absolutely not possible to handle a large amount of micropayments on the network or to encompass all global transactions.
There it is again, the promise that Lightning will "encompass all global transactions." Bullshit detector is now pegged in the red.
For bitcoin to succeed, it requires confidence that if it were to become extremely popular, its current advantages stemming from decentralization will continue to exist. In order for people today to believe that Bitcoin will work tomorrow, Bitcoin needs to resolve the issue of block size centralization effects; large blocks implicitly create trusted custodians and significantly higher fees. . (emphasis mine)
"Large" is a term of art which means "be afraid." In 1997, 8MB would have been an unthinkably large block. Now we run them live in production without breaking a sweat. "Large" is a number that changes over time. . By the time Bitcoin reaches "Visa-like levels of adoption" it's very likely that what we consider "large" today (32MB?) will seem absolutely puny. As someone who first started programming on a computer that had what was at the time industry-leading 64KB of RAM (after expanding the memory with an extra 16K add-on card) and a pair of 144KB floppy disks, all I can tell you is that humans are profoundly bad at estimating compounding effects and the author of the Lightning paper is flat-out banking on this to sell his snake oil. Now things are about to get really, really good.
A Network of Micropayment Channels Can Solve Scalability “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Here's where the formal line by line breakdown will come to an end, because this is where the trap the Lightning authors have set will close on them. Let's just read a bit further:
The above quote questions the relevance of unobserved events —if nobody hears the tree fall, whether it made a sound or not is of no consequence. Similarly, in the blockchain, if only two participants care about an everyday recurring transaction, it’s not necessary for all other nodes in the bitcoin network to know about that transaction
Here and elsewhere the author of the paper is implying that two parties can transact between them without having to announce the state of their channel to anyone else. We see this trope repeated time and time again by LN shills. "Not everyone in the world needs to know about my coffee transaction" they say, as if programmed. To see the obvious, glaring defect here requires an understanding of what Lightning Network purports to be able to do, one day, if it's ever finished. Payment channels, which Lightning is based on, have been around since Satoshi and are nothing new at all. It is and has always been possible to create a payment channel with your coffee shop, put $50 in it, and pay it out over a period of time until it's depleted and the coffee shop owner closes the channel. That's not rocket science, that's original Bitcoin. What Lightning purports to be able to do is to allow you to route a payment to someone else by using the funds in your coffee shop channel. IN this model, lets suppose Alice is the customer and Bob is the shop. Let's also suppose that Charlie is a customer of Dave's coffee shop. Ernie is a customer of both Bob and Dave's shop. Now, Alice would like to send money to Charlie. This could be accomplished by:
Alice moves funds to Bob
Bob moves funds to Ernie
Ernie moves funds to Dave
Dave moves funds to Charlie
or more simply, A-B-E-D-C Here's the catch. To pull this off, Alice has to be able to find the route to Charlie. This means that B-C-E and D all have to be online. So first off, all parties to a transaction and in a route must be online and we must know their current online status to even begin the process. Again: to use Lightning as described in its white paper requires everyone to always be online. If we accept centralized routing hubs, then only the hubs need to be online, but Lightning proposed to be decentralized, which means, essentially, everyone needs to always be online. Next, we need to know there are enough funds in all channels to perform the routing. Let's say Alice has $100 in her channel with Bob and wants to send this to Charlie. But Bob has only $5 in his channel with Ernie. sad trombone . The maximum that the route can support is $5. (Edit: not quite right, I cleaned this up here.) Notice something? Alice has to know the state of every channel through which she intends to route funds. When the author claims
if only two participants care about an everyday recurring transaction, it’s not necessary for all other nodes in the bitcoin network to know about that transaction
That's true -- unless you want to use the Lightning Network to route funds - and routing funds is the whole point. Otherwise, Lightning is just another word for "payment channels." The whole magic that they promised was using micropayments to route money anywhere. If you want to route funds, then you absolutely need to know the state of these channels. Which ones? That's the kicker - you essentially have to know all of them, to find the best route - and, sadly - it might be the case that no route is available - which requires an exhaustive search. And in fact, here we are over 18 months since this paper was published, and guess what? The problem of the "gossip protocol" - the very Achille's Heel of Bitcoin according to the author - has been solved with drum roll please --- the gossip protocol. (more info here) Because, when you break it down, in order for Alice to find that route to Charlie, she has to know the complete, current state of Bob-Ernie, Ernie-Dave, and Charlie-Dave. IF the Lightning Network doesn't keep *every participant up to date with the latest network state, it can't find a route. So the solution to the gossip protocol is in fact the gossip protocol. And - folks - this isn't news. Here's a post from ONE YEAR AGO explaining this very problem. But wait. It gets worse.... Let's circle around to the beginning. The whole point of Lightning, in a nutshell, can be described as fixing "Bitcoin can't scale because every node needs to know every transaction." It is true that every node needs to know every transaction. However: because we read the Satoshi white paper we know that not every user needs to run a node to validate his transactions. End-users should use SPV, which do not need to be kept up to date on everyone else's transactions. So, with onchain Bitcoin, you have something on the order of 10K "nodes" (validation nodes and miners) that must receive the "gossip" and the other million or so users just connect and disconnect when they need to transact. This scales. In contrast, with Lightning, every user needs to receive the "gossip." This does not scale. Note something else? Lightning purports to be an excellent solution to "streaming micropayments." But such micropayments would result in literally millions or billions of continuous state-changes to the network. There's no way to "gossip" millions of micropayment streams each creating millions of tiny transactions. Now, there is a way to make Lightning scale. It's called the "routing hub." In this model, end-users don't need to know the state of the network. Instead, they will form channels with trusted hubs who will perform the routing on their behalf. A simple example illustrates. IN our previous example, Alice wants to send money to Charlie, but has to find a route to him. An easy solution is to insert Frank. Frank holds 100K btc and can form bidirectional channels with Alice, Bob, Charlie, Dave, Ernie, and most everyone else too. By doing so, he places himself in the middle of a routing network, and then all payments come through Frank. Note that the only barrier to creating channels is capital. Lightning will scale, if we include highly-capitalized hubs as middlemen for everyone else to connect to. If the flaw here is not obvious then someone else can explain. Well. As Mark Twain once quipped, "if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter." I'll stop here. Hopefully this goes at least part of the way towards helping the community understand just how toxic and deceptive this white paper was to the community. Everyone on the Segwit chain has bet the entire future of Segwit-enabled Bitcoin on this unworkable house-of-cards sham. The rest of us, well, we took evasive action, and are just waiting for the rest of the gullible, brainwashed masses to wake up to their error, if they ever do. H/T: jonald_fyookball for provoking this Edit: fixed wrong names in my A-B-C-D-E example; formatting
You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Limited Supply (there will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here)
Open source (You can read the source code yourself here)
Decentralized (Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works)
Permissionless (No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network of your own free will, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking. This makes it a truly global payment platform)
Censorship resistant (No one can censor or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint)
Push system (there are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoins reside has the authority to move them)
Additional Bitcoin statistics can be found here. Developer resources can be found here and here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here and here. And of course, the whitepaper that started it all :)
Where can I buy bitcoins?
You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, more can be found here.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. Also, Lawnmower is also a handy way to make small recurring purchases of bitcoin. If you would like your paycheck auotmatically converted to bitcoin use Cashila or Bitwage. Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Here are a couple useful sites (bitkoin.io, preev.com) that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can "be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
If you prefer to "be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, there are many software wallet options here. If you prefer easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger, Case Wallet, or KeepKey is recommended. A more advanced option is to secure them yourself using paper wallets generated offline.
If you prefer to let bitcoin banks manage your coins, try Coinbase or Circle but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! 2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out. If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. You can view the global node distribution here.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Use ChangeTip.com (/changetip) for tipping people on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, GitHub, Slack and more! (you can even use custom monikers to tailor your tip to the discussion or add a bit of humor). Read more about ChangeTip at their reddit wiki.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
1,000 per bitcoin
SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)
1,000,000 per bitcoin
SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)
1,000,000 per bitcoin
Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin
100,000,000 per bitcoin
Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval. Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
The biggest announcement of the month was the new kind of decentralized exchange proposed by @jy-p of Company 0. The Community Discussions section considers the stakeholders' response. dcrd: Peer management and connectivity improvements. Some work for improved sighash algo. A new optimization that gives 3-4x faster serving of headers, which is great for SPV. This was another step towards multipeer parallel downloads – check this issue for a clear overview of progress and planned work for next months (and some engineering delight). As usual, codebase cleanup, improvements to error handling, test infrastructure and test coverage. Decrediton: work towards watching only wallets, lots of bugfixes and visual design improvements. Preliminary work to integrate SPV has begun. Politeia is live on testnet! Useful links: announcement, introduction, command line voting example, example proposal with some votes, mini-guide how to compose a proposal. Trezor: Decred appeared in the firmware update and on Trezor website, currently for testnet only. Next steps are mainnet support and integration in wallets. For the progress of Decrediton support you can track this meta issue. dcrdata: Continued work on Insight API support, see this meta issue for progress overview. It is important for integrations due to its popularity. Ongoing work to add charts. A big database change to improve sorting on the Address page was merged and bumped version to 3.0. Work to visualize agenda voting continues. Ticket splitting: 11-way ticket split from last month has voted (transaction). Ethereum support in atomicswap is progressing and welcomes more eyeballs. decred.org: revamped Press page with dozens of added articles, and a shiny new Roadmap page. decredinfo.com: a new Decred dashboard by lte13. Reddit announcement here. Dev activity stats for June: 245 active PRs, 184 master commits, 25,973 added and 13,575 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2 to 10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: growth continues, the month started at 15 and ended at 44 PH/s with some wild 30% swings on the way. The peak was 53.9 PH/s. F2Pool was the leader varying between 36% and 59% hashrate, followed by coinmine.pl holding between 18% and 29%. In response to concerns about its hashrate share, F2Pool made a statement that they will consider measures like rising the fees to prevent growing to 51%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 94.7 DCR (+3.4). The price was steadily rising from 90.7 to 95.8 peaking at 98.1. Locked DCR grew from 3.68 to 3.81 million DCR, the highest value was 3.83 million corresponding to 47.87% of supply (+0.7% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 240 public listening and 115 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 57% on v1.2.0 (+12%), 25% on v1.1.2 (-13%), 14% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Note: the reported count of non-listening nodes has dropped significantly due to data reset at decred.eu. It will take some time before the crawler collects more data. On top of that, there is no way to exactly count non-listening nodes. To illustrate, an alternative data source, charts.dcr.farm showed 690 reachable nodes on Jul 1. Extraordinary event: 247361 and 247362 were two nearly full blocks. Normally blocks are 10-20 KiB, but these blocks were 374 KiB (max is 384 KiB).
Update from Obelisk: shipping is expected in first half of July and there is non-zero chance to meet hashrate target. Another Chinese ASIC spotted on the web: Flying Fish D18 with 340 GH/s at 180 W costing 2,200 CNY (~340 USD). (asicok.com – translated, also on asicminervalue) dcrASIC team posted a farewell letter. Despite having an awesome 16 nm chip design, they decided to stop the project citing the saturated mining ecosystem and low profitability for their potential customers.
Changenow announced the option to buy DCR with fiat.
TokenPride: "We are seeking feedback on the general setup of our payment processor. We have tried to make it simple and user friendly. 10% of all purchases made in Decred will be donated to the Decred Development fund - and we will be releasing original Decred designs in the future".
BlueYard Capital announced investment in Decred and the intent to be long term supporters and to actively participate in the network's governance. In an overview post they stressed core values of the project:
There are a few other remarkable characteristics that are a testament to the DNA of the team behind Decred: there was no sale of DCR to investors, no venture funding, and no payment to exchanges to be listed – underscoring that the Decred team and contributors are all about doing the right thing for long term (as manifested in their constitution for the project). The most encouraging thing we can see is both the quality and quantity of high calibre developers flocking to the project, in addition to a vibrant community attaching their identity to the project.
The company will be hosting an event in Berlin, see Events below. Arbitrade is now mining Decred.
Campus Party in Brasilia, Brazil. @girino, @Rhama and @matheusd talked about Decred. Matheus was interviewed by a TV channel. Check this quick report about the event, click "Show newer" to continue reading. (photos: 123)
Blockchain Summit in London, UK. This was not a full blown presence with stand but rather investigation of opportunities by @kyle and @Ani. The resulting detailed report is a good example of a document advising to stakeholders whether it is worth spending project funds.
Meetup in Berlin, Germany on July 18. @jz will give a talk and Q&A about Decred and chat with Ele from @oscoin about incentivizing developers. Hosted by BlueYard Capital.
Hey guys! I'd like to share with you my latest adventure: Stakey Club, hosted at stakey.club, is a website dedicated to Decred. I posted a few articles in Brazilian Portuguese and in English. I also translated to Portuguese some posts from the Decred Blog. I hope you like it! (slack)
Decred Assembly - Ep20 - Governance: Driving the Future (youtube) @cburniske and @traceagain discuss the importance of governance protocols being foundational and problems with delegated proof of stake
"I think that developers in the future are going to base their decision on where to build on the basis of governance and community. And so I look for good governance mechanisms and strong communities in blockchains." (@decredproject)
What is on-chain cryptocurrency governance? Is it plutocratic? by Richard Red (medium)
Apples to apples, Decred is 20x more expensive to attack than Bitcoin by Zubair Zia (medium)
What makes Decred different and better from other cryptocurrencies? (cxihub.com)
Community stats: Twitter followers 40,209 (+1,091), Reddit subscribers 8,410 (+243), Slack users 5,830 (+172), GitHub 392 stars and 918 forks of dcrd repository. An update on our communication systems:
Matrix chat logs are nowviewable on the web with the exception of some channels that are not bridged. The new web logs means our chats are now fully public and indexed by search engines.
Slack had an outage on Jun 27 that disturbed communications for a few hours, discussions continued on Decred's bridged platforms.
Jake Yocom-Piatt did an AMA on CryptoTechnology, a forum for serious crypto tech discussion. Some topics covered were Decred attack cost and resistance, voting policies, smart contracts, SPV security, DAO and DPoS. A new kind of DEX was the subject of an extensive discussion in #general, #random, #trading channels as well as Reddit. New channel #thedex was created and attracted more than 100 people. A frequent and fair question is how the DEX would benefit Decred. @lukebp has put it well:
Projects like these help Decred attract talent. Typically, the people that are the best at what they do aren’t driven solely by money. They want to work on interesting projects that they believe in with other talented individuals. Launching a DEX that has no trading fees, no requirement to buy a 3rd party token (including Decred), and that cuts out all middlemen is a clear demonstration of the ethos that Decred was founded on. It helps us get our name out there and attract the type of people that believe in the same mission that we do. (slack)
Another concern that it will slow down other projects was addressed by @davecgh:
The intent is for an external team to take up the mantle and build it, so it won't have any bearing on the current c0 roadmap. The important thing to keep in mind is that the goal of Decred is to have a bunch of independent teams on working on different things. (slack)
A chat about Decred fork resistance started on Twitter and continued in #trading. Community members continue to discuss the finer points of Decred's hybrid system, bringing new users up to speed and answering their questions. The key takeaway from this chat is that the Decred chain is impossible to advance without votes, and to get around that the forker needs to change the protocol in a way that would make it clearly not Decred. "Against community governance" article was discussed on Reddit and #governance. "The Downside of Democracy (and What it Means for Blockchain Governance)" was another article arguing against on-chain governance, discussed here. Reddit recap: mining rig shops discussion; how centralized is Politeia; controversial debate on photos of models that yielded useful discussion on our marketing approach; analysis of a drop in number of transactions; concerns regarding project bus factor, removing central authorities, advertising and full node count – received detailed responses; an argument by insette for maximizing aggregate tx fees; coordinating network upgrades; a new "Why Decred?" thread; a question about quantum resistance with a detailed answer and a recap of current status of quantum resistant algorithms. Chats recap: Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) discussion; possible hashrate of Blake-256 miners is at least ~30% higher than SHA-256d; how Decred is not vulnerable to SPV leaf/node attack.
DCR opened the month at ~$93, reached monthly high of $110, gradually dropped to the low of $58 and closed at $67. In BTC terms it was 0.0125 -> 0.0150 -> 0.0098 -> 0.0105. The downturn coincided with a global decline across the whole crypto market. In the middle of the month Decred was noticed to be #1 in onchainfx "% down from ATH" chart and on this chart by @CoinzTrader. Towards the end of the month it dropped to #3.
Please note: we will not accept any kind of payment to list an asset.
Bithumb got hacked with a $30 m loss. Zcash organized Zcon0, an event in Canada that focused on privacy tech and governance. An interesting insight from Keynote Panel on governance: "There is no such thing as on-chain governance". Microsoft acquired GitHub. There was some debate about whether it is a reason to look into alternative solutions like GitLab right now. It is always a good idea to have a local copy of Decred source code, just in case. Status update from @sumiflow on correcting DCR supply on various sites:
To begin with, none of the below sites were showing the correct supply or market cap for Decred but we've made some progress. coingecko.com, coinlib.io, cryptocompare.com, livecoinwatch.com, worldcoinindex.com - corrected! cryptoindex.co, onchainfx.com - awaiting fix coinmarketcap.com - refused to fix because devs have coins too? (slack)
About This Issue
This is the third issue of Decred Journal after April and May. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. The new public Matrix logs look promising and we hope to transition from Slack links to Matrix links. In the meantime, the way to read Slack links is explained in the previous issue. As usual, any feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room. Contributions are welcome too, anything from initial collection to final review to translations. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee and Richard-Red. Special thanks to @Haon for bringing May 2018 issue to medium.
At the start of this month I made a post about the first week in bitcoin. People seemed to like it, so I figured I'd do it for the whole month. I stop by here daily anyways. For each day I basically picked out what seemed to be the most interesting news. Let me know if you think I missed something. If people liked it, I can do it again next month. A recap of January 2017 in bitcoin
29: A hotel got hacked for the 4th time and the hackers wanted some bitcoin for it this time.
30: bitcoin.com mining pool mines a block over 1MB because of a bug in another client, leading to problems, a fix and valuable lessons.
31: Bitcoin back on the rise after 2 quiet weeks 🚀
Note: Scalability was discussed on literally every day, hence why it wasn't included in the list. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to this exciting space! Friendly reminder for February: Regardless of what size someone prefers their blocks or whether they like their cutlery hard or soft, don't be hostile to them. Insulting people is a bad way to convince them you're right. Let's focus on constructive, civilized discussion. Edit: After a lot of positive feedback, I will definitely continue to do this. I'll add an archive on my site so nothing gets lost and I can add more links so the post doesn't get auto-moderated out each time. Additionally, some people have asked to tip me. Whatever you were planning to send me, please donate it to Wikipedia instead!
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
Speaking to students during a national "open lesson" from the city of Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country that takes the lead in the sphere of computer-based artificial intelligence (AI) will rule. "Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but of all of mankind," said Putin. "There are huge opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to foresee today." "Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world," he said
Russian cosmism is a philosophical and cultural movement that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century. It entailed a broad theory of natural philosophy, combining elements of religion and ethics with a history and philosophy of the origin, evolution and future existence of the cosmos and humankind. It combined elements from both Eastern and Western philosophic traditions as well as from the Russian Orthodox Church. Cosmism was one of the influences on Proletkult, and after the October Revolution, the term came to be applied to "the poetry of such writers as Mikhail Gerasimov and Vladimir Kirillov...: emotional paeans to physical labor, machines, and the collective of industrial workers ... organized around the image of the universal 'Proletarian,' who strides forth from the earth to conquer planets and stars." This form of cosmism, along with the writings of Nikolai Fyodorov, was a strong influence on Andrei Platonov. Many ideas of the Russian cosmists were later developed by those in the transhumanist movement. Victor Skumin argues that the Culture of Health will play an important role in the creation of a human spiritual society into the Solar System. The Culture of Health is the basic science about Spiritual Humanity. It studies the perspectives of harmonious development of "Spiritual man" and "Spiritual ethnos" as a conscious creator of the State of Light into the territory of the Solar System" (by Skumin).
Where Trump's real estate world meets a top religious ally of the Kremlin. Chabad of Port Washington, a Jewish community center on Long Island’s Manhasset Bay, sits in a squat brick edifice across from a Shell gas station and a strip mall. The center is an unexceptional building on an unexceptional street, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through it. [...] Despite its small size, Chabad has grown to become the most sprawling Jewish institution in the world, with a presence in over 1,000 far-flung cities, including locales like Kathmandu and Hanoi with few full-time Jewish residents. The movement is known for these outposts, called Chabad houses, which function as community centers and are open to all Jews. “Take any forsaken city in the world, you have a McDonald’s and a Chabad house,” explained Ronn Torossian, a Jewish public relations executive in New York. Chabad adherents differ from other Hasidic Jews on numerous small points of custom, including the tendency of Chabad men to wear fedoras instead of fur hats. Many adherents believe that the movement’s last living leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, is the messiah, and some believe he is still alive. Chabad followers are also, according to Klein, “remarkable” fundraisers. As the closest thing the Jewish world has to evangelism—much of its work is dedicated to making Jews around the world more involved in Judaism—Chabad serves many more Jews who are not full-on adherents. [...] To those unfamiliar with Russian politics, Trump’s world and Hasidic Judaism, all these Chabad links can appear confounding. Others simply greet them with a shrug. “The interconnectedness of the Jewish world through Chabad is not surprising insofar as it’s one of the main Jewish players,” said Boteach. “I would assume that the world of New York real estate isn’t that huge either.”
Chabad Hasidic philosophy focuses on religious and spiritual concepts such as God, the soul, and the meaning of the Jewish commandments. Classical Judaic writings and Jewish mysticism, especially the Zohar and the Kabbalah of Rabbi Isaac Luria, are frequently cited in Chabad works. These texts are used both as sources of Chabad teachings and as material requiring interpretation by Chabad authors. Chabad philosophy is rooted in the teachings of Rabbis Yisroel ben Eliezer, (the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism) and Dovber ben Avraham, the "Maggid of Mezritch" (Rabbi Yisroel's successor).
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (April 18, 1902 OS – June 12, 1994 / AM 11 Nissan 5662 – 3 Tammuz 5754), known to many as the Lubavitcher Rebbe or simply as the Rebbe, was a Russian Empire–born American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, and the last rebbe of the Lubavitcher Hasidic dynasty. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century. He was born in the Black Sea port of Nikolaev in the Russian Empire (now Mykolaiv in Ukraine). His father was rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, a renowned Talmudic scholar and authority on Kabbalah and Jewish law. His mother was Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson (nee Yanovski). He was named after the third Chabad rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, from whom he was a direct patrilineal descendent. As leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, he took an insular Hasidic group that almost came to an end with the Holocaust and transformed it into one of the most influential movements in religious world Jewry, with an international network of over 3,000 educational and social centers. The institutions he established include kindergartens, schools, drug-rehabilitation centers, care-homes for the disabled and synagogues. Schneerson's published teachings fill more than 300 volumes, and he is noted for his contributions to Jewish continuity and religious thought, as well as his wide-ranging contributions to traditional Torah scholarship. He is recognized as the pioneer of Jewish outreach. Many of his adherents refused to believe that he died on June 12, 1994, believing instead that he did not really die but will reveal himself to be the messiah Israel Chabad is officially non-Zionist. Schneerson referred to the State of Israel as "bitter exile and double-fold darkness," while other senior Chabad rabbis described the rebbe as one of the great fighters against Zionism. At the same time, Schneerson took great interest in the affairs of the state of Israel, and did whatever was in his power to support the infrastructure of the state and advance its success. He was concerned with the agricultural, industrial and overall economic welfare of Israel, and sought to promote its scientific achievements, and enhance Israel's standing in the international community. Schneerson consistently expressed enormous recognition of the role of the Israel Defense Forces and stated that those who serve in the Israeli army perform a great Mitzva.
I'll describe Chabad the way I see it given my past membership in it. Chabad is a racist organization - a Jewish supremacist missionary cult whose main goal is Jewish total superiority over the "Goyim" and their enslavement. Jonas E. Alexis: Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg is an interesting individual because he has interesting things to say about the Goyim. He argues that there is an eternal or cosmic gap between the Goyim and “The Chosen.” He declares: “If every single cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, and is thus part of God, then every strand of DNA is a part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA… “If a Jew needs a liver, can he take the liver of an innocent non-Jew to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value. There is something more holy and unique about Jewish life than about non-Jewish life.” Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs for the American Jewish Committee (one of the most powerful Jewish organizations in the United States), stated bluntly, “I’ll confess it, at least: like thousands of other typical Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist…I was taught the superiority of my people to the gentiles who had oppressed us. “We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves. We were also taught that the lesson of our dark history is that we could rely on no one.” Michael Chabon of the New York Times concurs: “As a Jewish child I was regularly instructed, both subtly and openly, that Jews, the people of Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk and Meyer Lansky, were on the whole smarter, cleverer, more brilliant, more astute than other people. “And, duly, I would look around the Passover table, say, at the members of my family, and remark on the presence of a number of highly intelligent, quick-witted, shrewd, well-educated people filled to bursting with information, explanations and opinions on a diverse range of topics.” Chabon now pokes fun at what he referred to as “nonsense” and “our own stupidity as a people,” but this just shows how ingrained the smarter-than-thou attitude is. In 2010, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef unapologetically declared, “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world—only to serve the People of Israel. In Israel, death has no dominion over them… “With gentiles, it will be like any person—they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity…Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created.” The rabbi, according to Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, also saw that “Jews killing non-Jews does not constitute murder according to the Jewish religion and that killing of innocent Arabs for reasons of revenge is a Jewish virtue.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Scheerson, known as Lubovitcher Rebbe and the seventh of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, came close to believing in something similar, saying that “a non-Jew should be punished by death if he kills an embryo, even if the embryo is non-Jewish, while the Jew should not be, even if the embryo is Jewish.” The great Rabbi expanded on this view in 1965: “The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: ‘Let us differentiate.’ Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of “let us differentiate” between totally different species. [...] WHAT AND WHO IS CHABAD? I’ll describe Chabad the way I see it given my past membership in it. Chabad is a racist organization – a Jewish supremacist missionary cult whose main goal is Jewish total superiority over the “Goyim” and their enslavement. Its central commandment is fulfilling the commandment “Breaking Through” i.e. making the world safe for Zionist world domination. Chabad train their young to be emissaries when they grow up. Being “emissary” in Chabad terms means spreading their racist ideology to Jews all over the world – especially those who are not practicing Judaism. They give ideological and moral support for the Zionist Globalist Agenda. They see the enslavement of the “Goyim” through the international Jewish banks and the international politics as serving their Messianic prophecies – a future world where the New World Order controls all the nations of the world. Under their leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel (1902-1994), the movement established a network of nearly 4,000 institutions that provide religious, social and ideological support to Jews in over 1,000 cities, spanning 100 countries including all US states. JEWS ARE GOD. GENTILES ARE INSECTS WHOSE ONLY PURPOSE IS TO SERVE JEWS OR DIE According to Chabad, Jews themselves are “God”. Usury is permitted and encouraged against non-Jews (This is the motive of the NWO bankers). Chabad’s movement book “The Tania” is all about the Jews being God on Earth and non-Jews as being no more than animals – inferior without souls. If they do have souls their souls are demonic and satanic and originate in the “Klipot A’thmeot” i.e. the unholy spheres or the “Sitrha Achra”. Gentiles are animals without souls in their eyes. The “Jewish Soul” is God incarnate. The entire universe—including the trillions of galaxies, stars and planets—were created solely for the Jews and by God YHVH who is actually a manifestation of the Jewish people itself. One finger nail of a Jew is worth more than the entire non-Jewish world populations (That includes Europeans, Muslims, Asians and Africans) according to Chabad… THE New World Order AGENDA Chabad is nothing more than a manifestation of the Jewish racism that fuels the NWO agenda. Israel’s founder and former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s envisioned the Jews as being at the center of the One World Government dream. This will be the fulfillment of the promises of the Bible where the Jews will be the controllers and rulers of all the nations of the world in the time to come. The Jerusalem Supreme Court was built to support this agenda as envisioned by Ben Gurion: “In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a shrine of the prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah…” Guess who funded and built the “Supreme Court”? The controllers of the world banks i.e. the Rothschilds of course! The Jewish Racist and supremacist agenda is blatantly in your face… It is simply a matter of 2+2=4. Cabala and Satanism are a means to weaken their host nations so they can more easily control these nations by degrading them. This is how they maintain their money monopoly. Hence we become more materialistic and less spiritual (look at modern “art” for example) and are then more easily controlled and enslaved [...] Henry Makow: Michael Berg demonstrated that Trump’s family (Kushners) belongs to Chabad, a racist, criminal Jewish supremacist doomsday cult. Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Chabad kosher butcher, Rabbi Sholom Rabashkin, 57, a GOP donor. He had served only eight years. “Rubashkin, as manager of the family owned Agriprocessors meat plant ($300 million annual revenue) in Postville, Iowa, was convicted in 2009 of financial fraud for submitting fake invoices to the plant’s bank that made the company’s finances appear healthier than they were so that it could borrow more. The bankruptcy revealed a $26 million scheme of fraud. “In addition, in one of the nation’s largest illegal worker busts, federal authorities raided the plant and detained 389 illegal immigrants in 2008. ICE determined that at the time of their raid, two-thirds of the plant’s workers were undocumented. It turned out the company itself was cranking out false social security cards. “There were also 9,311 counts of child labor violations in the indictments, as well as horrific safety violations.” “Plant supervisors in this hell-on-earth were involved in rape and sexual abuse of workers. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) also documented and filmed what they called the worst animal abuses and extreme cruelty they had ever seen. “The Rubashkin criminal exploits and methods were documented in the CNBC series ‘American Greed – The Slaughterhouse.’ The video has now been scrubbed from CNBC’s site. It has been mirrored elsewhere, but this may not be online long.” The White House statement cited letters of support for review of Rubashkin’s case from more than 30 members of Congress of both parties, including House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and veteran Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. Trump also pointed to bipartisan expressions of support for review of the case from over (100 former high-ranking U.S. Justice Department officials, prosecutors, judges and legal scholars.) [...] Jonas E. Alexis: The man who actually persuaded Trump to pardon Sholom Rubashkin was none other than Alan Dershowitz, the very person who got caught plagiarizing and then got away with it. Dershowitz—get this—brought up the issue of “anti-Semitism” in Rubashkin’s case! Even the Jewish Daily Forward itself acknowledged: “AgriProcessors employees received little safety training, earned unusually low salaries and endured tough conditions. Many were undocumented immigrants.” And then this: “Dershowitz argued to Trump that prosecutors had unfairly manipulated Rubashkin’s sentence by driving down the company’s sale price, which increased the losses suffered by the banks that Rubashkin was found guilty of defrauding and therefore boosting his sentence. The federal judge who oversaw the case had rejected that argument in a ruling in January, but Trump was intrigued.” Dershowitz said: “When I explained that to the president, he understood that from a business point of view.” The Jewish Daily Forward declared: “A few months later, on December 20, Trump commuted the remainder of Rubashkin’s sentence, freeing him from the Otisville, New York prison where he has spent the past eight years and sending Brooklyn’s Orthodox community into ecstasy.” So, both Henry Makow and Michael Berg are right on target: Trump is a representative of the Chabad movement and people like Alan Dershowitz. Trump’s report card at the end of 2017, especially when it comes to foreign policy, is complete failure. There is no such thing as “America First” when it comes to Trump. What we have seen thus far is “Chabad First”; “Israel First”; “Saudi Arabia First”; “Netanyahu First”; and “Alan Dershowitz First.” The only people who think that Trump is getting an A are Alex Jones and the Christian Zionist movement.
Israel had remained largely neutral in the Syrian civil war but wanted Assad to go, and was quietly helping Syrians across their border with emergency medical care and humanitarian support. But when the United States made clear it will not intervene in southern Syria to stop Assad and Russia, Netanyahu cut a deal with Putin to make sure Israel’s interests were protected. Under the deal, Israel (and now the United States, presumably) will formally endorse the Assad regime’s control over the area and work to implement the 1974 agreement, which sets the physical borders and provides for U.N. observers to be deployed in between the Syrians and Israelis. Under the new deal, Russia agrees to keep Iranian troops and proxy groups 80 kilometers, or about 50 miles, from Israel’s border (if they can), and Putin promises not to object if Israel strikes Iranian assets in southern Syria, especially if Iran deploys weapons that threaten Israel, such as strategic missiles or anti-aircraft systems. [...] Trump has made clear that his priority is to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and damn the consequences. His national security advisers believe that would be disastrous and are trying to show progress before the president loses all patience and scraps the mission altogether. Trump has already frozen all stabilization assistance to Syria’s northeast, an area struggling to recover from years under Islamic State rule.
Technically speaking, there are four “official” religions in Russia: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. But given that almost 70 percent of Russians identify as adherents to the Russian Orthodox Church, it’s pretty apparent that one religion is more “official” than others. The smallest of the four is Judaism. There are fewer than 200,000 self-identified Jews in Russia today—less than the number of pagans—though the number of Russians from Jewish backgrounds who no longer identify with the religion is likely much higher. They are what remains after a mass exodus that saw more than 2 million Jews leave the countries of the former Soviet Union shortly before and after its collapse, mainly for the United States and Israel. Given that most Russians with Jewish backgrounds range from casual observers to entirely indifferent to their religion, it’s a bit unexpected that their official representatives hail from one of the more doctrinaire sects of Orthodox Judaism. You may be surprised to learn, too, that those representatives are quite close with President Vladimir Putin. Chabad members—a small fraction of a small religious community—have become the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. And while there were fears after the fall of the Soviet Union that rising Russian nationalism would lead to an upsurge in anti-Semitism, that never really materialized. “After the collapse of the USSR, the number of cases of anti-Semitism have been steadily dropping on an annual basis over the last 10 years,” says Yury Kanner, head of the country’s largest secular Jewish organization, the Russian Jewish Congress. [...] Whatever his many other sins, even Vladimir Putin’s harshest critics concede that he’s not an anti-Semite. As the New Republic’s Julia Ioffe notes, a number of his closest confidants, as well as the Judo teacher who served as a mentor and surrogate father, are Jews. He has personally intervened in cases of state anti-Semitism, such as an incident last year in which a teacher was charged with corruption and the prosecution used his Jewish last name as evidence. Putin labeled that “egregious,” and the conviction was overturned soon after. Putin’s has also generally been supportive of Jewish institutions—one Jewish institution in particular. One of the more intriguing aspects of contemporary Russian Jewish life is the close relationship between the Kremlin and Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, the Hasidic sect known in the United States for its street-corner proselytizing to fellow Jews and reverence for the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Founded in Western Russia in the 18th century, the Lubavitchers decamped to the United States in 1940, setting up their new headquarters in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. The Orthodox Jewish movement has dispatched hundreds of emissaries throughout the world to promote the faith. Just after the fall of Communism and just prior to his own death, Schneerson sent Rabbi Berel Lazar to represent Chabad in Russia. [...] Adolf Shayevech, a prominent figure in the community since the late Soviet period, was considered chief rabbi until 2000, and still claims the title. Kanner’s group, the Russian Jewish Congress, also recognizes Shayevech. But since Putin came to power in 2000, he has preferred to work with FEOR. Lazar, who is sometimes referred to as “Putin’s Rabbi,” now sits on the country’s public chamber, a government-appointed oversight committee. Lazar has been nothing but appreciative, praising Putin publicly as a friend of the Jews and calling Russia “one of the safest places for Jews in Europe.” In a story that seemed tailor-made to demonstrate the rabbi’s devotion to both his faith and his patron in the Kremlin, it was reported in June 2013 that Lazar had agreed, at Putin’s request, to attend a World War II memorial event hours away from Moscow on a Friday afternoon. When his plane was delayed and arrived back in Moscow just 10 minutes before sundown, Lazar made an eight-hour, 19-mile walk home rather than break the Sabbath. Sources close to the rabbi told the Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva that his willingness to make the difficult journey was an “example of the special connection between Rabbi Lazar and Russia's president.” [...] Chabad members—a small fraction of a small religious community—have become the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. “Eighty percent of all synagogues, the rabbis are Chabad,” Rabbi Alexander Boroda, the organization’s chief spokesman, told me in an interview. “But the people who come, many are just young people who want to come and learn something about Judaism.” Boroda dismissed the notion that there was anything improper about his organization’s close relationship with the Kremlin. “The chief rabbi is the representative of the Jewish tradition,” he says. “It’s the Russian tradition, it’s not like America.” Indeed, a number of other Eastern European countries have chief rabbis, and in Ukraine, as in Russia, it’s a disputed position. How exactly has Chabad reached its position of influence? For one thing, it has some influential backers. The Uzbek–Israeli billionaire diamond magnate Lev Leviev was an early and enthusiastic backer of FEOR. Roman Abramovich, the billionaire investor, governor, and owner of the Chelsea soccer team, has also been a backer, donating $5 million to build the Marina Roscha Synagogue. Chabad, which unlike many other Jewish groups is a centrally organized hierarchical organization, also likely looks familiar to the Kremlin. Chabad “replicates in a way the structure of the Orthodox Church,” says Kanner. “There is a center that sends its ambassadors into the communities.” David Shneer, a professor of Jewish history at the University of Denver who was studied the Lubavitchers’ role in Russia, says it also helps that Chabad is a “movement that cultivates ties with political leadership as part of a broader strategy to make a home wherever they happen to be.” He compares this to the medieval practice of shtadlanut, in which European Jews lobbied local rulers for rights. Even though most Russian Jews aren’t Orthodox, Shneer says it shouldn’t be surprising that the Orthodox Chabad has taken on a leadership role in Russian Jewish life. “Chabad is evangelical Judaism,” he says. “They bring Judaism to people at whatever level they’re at. If they want to light candles, they’ll show them how to light candles. If they want to keep kosher, they’ll show them how to keep kosher. They know that 95 percent of people who attend Chabad events are not at all religiously observant. But their point is to bring a certain kind of Judaism to as many Jews as possible.” [...] Shneer feels that Chabad’s dominance, and the lack of reform or progressive alternatives, is “terrible for the future of pluralistic Judaism in Russia.” Russia is full of people with Jewish or partially Jewish family roots, but after decades of repression and immigration, many have little connection to the religion. On one level it seems unlikely that a branch of Judaism based in part on a rejection of modern society will be the one to bring doubters back into the fold. Kanner, though, says the relative lack of interest in reform or liberal branches of Judaism shouldn’t be surprising, and is rooted in the community’s troubled history. “In Soviet times, we were Jews based on our blood. It was a nationality not a religion,” he says. “The main principle of reformism is that you can be a Jew while also being French or German or whatever. That’s why there was no basis for reformism. In Russia, you are first a Jew, then you are anything else.” Times may have changed and the situation may have improved, but the idea that you can at once be a Jew and a Russian will still take time to take hold.
Three days before the presidential election, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump visited the Queens gravesite of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and, according to The Times of Israel, they prayed for Donald Trump’s victory. Schneerson, who died in 1994, is an interesting character. Although he never claimed it himself, some of his followers consider him the Messiah, and others believe he is still alive. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known to many as the Rebbe, was a Russian Empire-born American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century. As leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, he took an insular Hasidic group that almost came to an end with the Holocaust and transformed it into one of the most influential movements in world Jewry, with an international network of over 3,000 educational and social centers. The institutions he established include kindergartens, schools, drug-rehabilitation centers, care-homes for the disabled and synagogues. The Kushner family is Modern Orthodox, and of course Ivanka converted to Judaism prior to her marriage to Jared. Still, according to Ben Schreckinger of Politico Magazine, Kushner was affiliated with the Chabad house at Harvard when he was a student there. Since settling in DC, the couple has reportedly been attending services at a Chabad synagogue. What Jared and Ivanka want to do in their spiritual lives is their business, and I have no intention of casting any aspersions on the Chabad-Lubavitch movement or Rabbi Schneerson. I do however want to explore some things that may circle back to this pre-election pilgrimage to Schneerson’s grave. Let’s begin here: Starting in 1999, [Vladimir] Putin enlisted two of his closest confidants, the oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, who would go on to become Chabad’s biggest patrons worldwide, to create the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as “Putin’s rabbi.” There’s a good chance that if you know of Roman Abramovich, you know him as the owner of the Chelsea Football Club of the English Premier League. You may not know that he was a victor (along with Paul Manafort’s patron Oleg Deripaska) in the bloody aluminum wars of the 1990s, or that he was reportedly the person who convinced Boris Yeltsin that Putin would be a proper successor. You probably are not aware that Ivanka Trump is very close friends with Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova, with whom she recently attended the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens. Zhukova reportedly attended the inauguration as Ivanka’s personal guest. It takes a little more doing to understand the Trump family’s connections to Lev Leviev. To begin with, we need to go back to Bayrock, the company that Donald Trump teamed up with to build his Trump Soho project. There were three main actors in that enterprise. One was convicted mob associate and murky FBI informant Felix Sater. Another was Tevfik Arif, a shady man with likely Russian intelligence connections who was once was arrested by the Turks on Mustafa Kamal Ataturk’s yacht and “charged with running an international underage prostitution ring.” The third was the late Tamir Sapir, another man with ties to Russian intelligence. If you’re interested in this aspect of the story, I refer you to my Trump’s Soho Project, the Mob, and Russian Intelligence article and also Mike Lofgren’s piece: Mobbed Up, both written in late February. Interestingly, all these men have connections to the Chabad movement. Felix Sater was honored as Man of the Year in 2014 by the Port Washington Chabad house. The same Chabad house’s website lists Tevfik Arif, who is not Jewish, “among its top 13 benefactors.” But it’s Tamir Sapir who links Trump back directly to Lev Leviev. Pay close attention to this: …the late billionaire Tamir Sapir, was born in the Soviet state of Georgia and arrived in 1976 in New York, where he opened an electronics store in the Flatiron district that, according to the New York Times, catered largely to KGB agents. Trump has called Sapir “a great friend.” In December 2007, he hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter, Zina, at Mar-a-Lago. The event featured performances by Lionel Ritchie and the Pussycat Dolls. The groom, Rotem Rosen, was the CEO of the American branch of Africa Israel, the Putin oligarch Leviev’s holding company. Five months later, in early June 2008, Zina Sapir and Rosen held a bris for their newborn son. Invitations to the bris described Rosen as Leviev’s “right-hand man.” By then, Leviev had become the single largest funder of Chabad worldwide, and he personally arranged for the bris to take place at Schneerson’s grave, Chabad’s most holy site. The man I want to focus on is Rotem Rosen. He is described here as the CEO of Leviev’s American holding company and his “right hand man.” Now, remember that Leviev was described at the top as one of two oligarch’s who Putin tapped to establish the “Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as ‘Putin’s rabbi.'” Now, let’s flash ahead to Trump’s trip to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant in 2013. After the contest, Trump attended a vodka-infused 1 a.m. afterparty at which ticket holders were promised a meeting with the New Yorker, along with the pageant contestants. He also met with the Agalarovs to talk business… …Joining Trump’s November 2013 meeting with the Agalarovs were Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen, a pair of New York-based Russian developers who helped to develop the Trump Soho hotel and condominium project in Manhattan. You should know the Agalarovs because they initiated the undisclosed June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Kushner, Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. and a brood of Kremlin-connected conspirators offering dirt on Hillary Clinton in return for sanctions relief. Alex Sapir is the son of Tamir Sapir, brother of Zina, and brother-in-law of Rotem Rosen. Just so we’re clear, Trump hosted the wedding of Lev Leviev’s right-hand man at Mar-a-Lago. Lev Leviev is so close to Putin that he was one of two oligarchs tapped to help him gain control of the leadership of the Russian Jewish community back when he assumed power. [...] These are extraordinarily close ties between Putin and Trump and that also connect Trump’s business discussions in 2013 about Moscow real estate projects with the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower that has become one of the strongest pieces of evidence of collusion in the election.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish. “I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish,” Putin said June 13 during a visit to Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. Putin was referencing the library of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson, the late leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The books, which are claimed by Chabad representatives in the United States, began being moved to the museum in Moscow this month.
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