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Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player This is the second post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. --- Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption. Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block. Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in… https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8
Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency
There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up. Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase. However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto. As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light. Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more. As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s). Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum fromLinda XieorVitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high. https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1 That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.
I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more. Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps. After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users? In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole. --- Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/ Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
February — The first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Market, is established. The first trade takes place a month later. April — The first public bitcoin trade takes place: 1000BTC traded for $30 at an exchange rate of 0.03USD/1BTC May — The first real-world bitcoin transaction is undertaken by Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid 10000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas (Approximately $25 USD) June — Bitcoin developer Gavin Andreson creates a faucet offering 5 free BTC to the public July — First notable usage of the word “blockchain” appears on BitcoinTalk forum. Prior to this, it was referred to as ‘Proof-of-Work chain’ July — Bitcoin exchange named Magic The Gathering Online eXchange—also known as Mt. Gox—established August —Bitcoin protocol bug leads to emergency hard fork December — Satoshi Nakamoto ceases communication with the world
January — One-quarter of the eventual total of 21M bitcoins have been generated February — Bitcoin reaches parity for the first time with USD April — Bitcoin reaches parity with EUR and GBP June — WikiLeaks begins accepting Bitcoin donations June — Mt. Gox hacked, resulting in suspension of trading and a precipitous price drop for Bitcoin August — First Bitcoin Improvement Proposal: BIP Purpose and Guidelines October — Litecoin released December — Bitcoin featured as a major plot element in an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ as 9.45 million viewers watch.
May — Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, publishes first issue July — Government of Estonia begins incorporating blockchain into digital ID efforts September — Bitcoin Foundation created October — BitPay reports having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service November — First Bitcoin halving to 25 BTC per block
February — Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for Gold memberships March — Cyprus government bailout levies bank accounts with over $100k. Flight to Bitcoin results in major price spike. May —Total Bitcoin value surpasses 1 billion USD with 11M Bitcoin in circulation May — The first cryptocurrency market rally and crash takes place. Prices rise from $13 to $220, and then drop to $70 June — First major cryptocurrency theft. 25,000 BTC is stolen from Bitcoin forum founder July — Mastercoin becomes the first project to conduct an ICO August — U.S. Federal Court issues opinion that Bitcoin is a currency or form of money October — The FBI shuts down dark web marketplace Silk Road, confiscating approximately 26,000 bitcoins November — Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum White Paper: “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” December — The first commit to the Ethereum codebase takes place
January — Vitalik Buterin announces Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami February — HMRC in the UK classifies Bitcoin as private money March — Newsweek claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin creator. He is not April — Gavin Wood releases the Ethereum Yellow Paper: “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger” June — Ethereum Foundation established in Zug, Switzerland June — US Marshals Service auctions off 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from Silk Road. All are purchased by venture capitalist Tim Draper July — Ethereum token launch raises 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086) over 42 days September — TeraExchange launches first U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved Bitcoin over-the-counter swap October — ConsenSys is founded by Joe Lubin December — By year’s end, Paypal, Zynga, u/, Expedia, Newegg, Dell, Dish Network, and Microsoft are all accepting Bitcoin for payments
January — Coinbase opens up the first U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange February — Stripe initiates bitcoin payment integration for merchants April — NASDAQ initiates blockchain trial June — NYDFS releases final version of its BitLicense virtual currency regulations July — Ethereum’s first live mainnet release—Frontier—launched. August — Augur, the first token launch on the Ethereum network takes place September — R3 consortium formed with nine financial institutions, increases to over 40 members within six months October — Gemini exchange launches, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss November — Announcement of first zero knowledge proof, ZK-Snarks December — Linux Foundation establishes Hyperledger project
January — Zcash announced February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead, is rolled out. April — The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) launches a 28-day crowdsale. After one month, it raises an Ether value of more than US$150M May — Chinese Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium launches with 31 members June — The DAO is attacked with 3.6M of the 11.5M Ether in The DAO redirected to the attacker’s Ethereum account July — The DAO attack results in a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain to recover funds. A minority group rejecting the hard fork continues to use the original blockchain renamed Ethereum Classic July — Second Bitcoin halving to 12.5BTC per block mined November — CME Launches Bitcoin Price Index
January — Bitcoin price breaks US$1,000 for the first time in three years February — Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed with 30 founding members, over 150 members six months later March — Multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs rejected by the SEC April — Bitcoin is officially recognized as currency by Japan June — EOS begins its year-long ICO, eventually raising $4 billion July — Parity hack exposes weaknesses in multisig wallets August — Bitcoin Cash forks from the Bitcoin Network October — Ethereum releases Byzantium soft fork network upgrade, part one of Metropolis September — China bans ICOs October — Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 USD for the first time November — Bitcoin price surpasses $10,000 USD for the first time December — Ethereum Dapp Cryptokitties goes viral, pushing the Ethereum network to its limits
January — Ethereum price peaks near $1400 USD March — Google bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency March — Twitter bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency April — 2018 outpaces 2017 with $6.3 billion raised in token launches in the first four months of the year April — EU government commits $300 million to developing blockchain projects June — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that Ether is not a security. July — Over 100,000 ERC20 tokens created August — New York Stock Exchange owner announces Bakkt, a federally regulated digital asset exchange October — Bitcoin’s 10th birthday November — VC investment in blockchain tech surpasses $1 billion December — 90% of banks in the US and Europe report exploration of blockchain tech
January — Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US February — Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis April — Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions June — Facebook announces Libra July — United States senate holds hearings titled ‘Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” August — Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain October — Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created September — Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum November — Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
This post was inspired by the video “Roger Ver’s Thoughts on Craig Wright”. Oh, wait. Sorry. “Roger Ver’s Thoughts on 15th November Bitcoin Cash Upgrade”. Not sure how I mixed those two up. To get it out of the way first and foremost: I have nothing but utmost respect for Roger Ver. You have done more than just about anyone to bring Bitcoin to the world, and for that you will always have my eternal gratitude. While there are trolls on both sides, the crucifixion of Bitcoin Jesus in the past week has been disheartening to see. As a miner, I respect his decision to choose the roadmap that he desires. It is understandable that the Bitcoin (BCH) upgrade is causing a clash of personalities. However, what has been particularly frustrating is the lack of debate around the technical merits of Bitcoin ABC vs Bitcoin SV. The entire conversation has now revolved around Craig Wright the individual instead of what is best for Bitcoin Cash moving forward. Roger’s video did confirm something about difference of opinions between the Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV camps. When Roger wasn’t talking about Craig Wright, he spent a portion of his video discussing how individuals should be free to trade drugs without the intervention of the state. He used this position to silently attack Craig Wright for allegedly wanting to control the free trade of individuals. This appears to confirm what Craig Wright has been saying: that DATASIGVERIFY can be used to enable widely illegal use-cases of transactions, and Roger’s support for the ABC roadmap stems from his personal belief that Bitcoin should enable all trade regardless of legal status across the globe. Speaking for myself, I think the drug war is immoral. I think human beings should be allowed to put anything they want in their own bodies as long as they are not harming others. I live in the United States and have personally seen the negative consequences of the drug war. This is a problem. The debasement of our currency and theft at the hands of central banks is a separate problem. Bitcoin was explicitly created to solve one of these problems. Roger says in his video that “cryptocurrencies” were created to enable trade free from government oversight. However, Satoshi Nakamoto never once said this about Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto was explicitly clear, however, that Bitcoin provided a solution to the debasement of currency.
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 02/11/2009
As we’ve written previously, the genesis block is often cited as a criticism of the 2008 bailout. However, the content of the article outlines that the bailout had already occurred. The article reveals that the government was poised to go a step further by buying up the toxic bank assets as part of a nationalization effort! In this scenario, according to the Times, "a 'bad bank' would be created to dispose of bad debts. The Treasury would take bad loans off the hands of troubled banks, perhaps swapping them for government bonds. The toxic assets, blamed for poisoning the financial system, would be parked in a state vehicle or 'bad bank' that would manage them and attempt to dispose of them while 'detoxifying' the main-stream banking system." The article outlines a much more nightmarish scenario than bank bailouts, one that would effectively remove any element of private enterprise from banking and use the State to seize the bank's assets. The United States is progressively getting to a point where cannabis can be freely traded and used without legal repercussion. As a citizen, each election has given me the opportunity to bring us closer to enacting that policy at a national level. However, I have never had the ability to have a direct impact on preventing the debasement of the United States dollar. The dollar is manipulated by a “private” organization that is accountable to no one, and on a yearly basis we are given arbitrary interest rates that I have no control over. The government uses its arbitrary control over the money supply to enable itself to spend trillions of dollars it doesn’t have on foreign wars. Roger Ver has passionately argued against this in multiple videos available on the internet. This is what Bitcoin promised to me when I first learned about it. This is what makes it important to me. When the Silk Road was shut down, Bitcoin was unaffected. Bitcoin, like the US dollar, was just a tool that was used for transactions. There is an inherent danger that governments, whether you like it or not, would use every tool at their disposal to shut down any system that enabled at a protocol level illegal trade. They, rightfully or wrongfully, did this with the Silk Road. Roger’s video seems to hint that he thinks Bitcoin Cash should be an experiment in playing chicken with governments across the world about our right to trade freely without State intervention. The problem is that this is a vast underestimation of just how quickly Bitcoin (BCH) could be shut down if the protocol itself was the tool being used for illegal trade instead of being the money exchanged on top of illegal trade platforms. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with Roger’s philosophy on what “cryptocurrencies” should be. However, I know what Bitcoin is. Bitcoin is simply hard, sound money. That is boring to a lot of those in the “cryptocurrency” space, but it is the essential tool that enables freedom for the globe. It allows those in Zimbabwe to have sound currency free from the 50 billion dollar bills handed out like candy by the government. It allows those of us in the US to be free from the arbitrary manipulation of the Fed. Hard, sound, unchanging money that can be used as peer to peer digital cash IS the killer use case of Bitcoin. That is why we are here building on top of Bitcoin Cash daily. When Roger and ABC want to play ball with governments across the globe and turn Bitcoin into something that puts it in legal jeopardy, it threatens the value of my bitcoins. Similar to the uncertainty we go through in the US every year as we await the arbitrary interest rates handed out by the Fed, we are now going to wait in limbo to see if governments will hold Bitcoin Cash miners responsible for enabling illegal trade at a protocol level. This is an insanely dangerous prospect to introduce to Bitcoin (BCH) so early in its lifespan. In one of Satoshi Nakamoto’s last public posts, he made it clear just how important it was to not kick the hornet’s nest that is government:
“It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 12/11/2010
Why anyone would want to put our opportunity of sound monetary policy in jeopardy to enable illegal trading at a base protocol level is beyond me. I respect anyone who has an anarcho-capitalist ideology. But, please don’t debase my currency by putting it at risk of legal intervention because you want to impose that ideology on the world. We took the time to set up a Q&A with the Bitcoin SV developers Steve Shadders and Daniel Connolly. We posted on Reddit and gathered a ton of questions from the “community”. We received insanely intelligent, measured, and sane responses to all of the “attack vectors” proposed against increasing the block size and re-enabling old opcodes. Jonathon Toomim spent what must have been an hour or so asking 15+ questions in the Reddit thread of which we obtained answers to most. We have yet to see him respond to the technical answers given by the SV team. In Roger’s entire video today about the upcoming November fork, he didn’t once mention one reason why he disagrees with the SV roadmap. Instead, he has decided to go on Reddit and use the same tactics that were used by Core against Bitcoin Unlimited back in the day by framing the upcoming fork as “BCH vs BSV”, weeks before miners have had the ability to actually vote. What Bitcoin SV wants to accomplish is enable sound money for the globe. This is boring. This is not glamorous. It is, however, the greatest tool of freedom we can give the globe. We cannot let ideology or personalities change that goal. Ultimately, it won’t. We have been continual advocates for miners, the ones who spend 1000x more investing in the network than the /btc trolls, to decide the future of BCH. We look forward to seeing what they choose on Nov 15th. Roger mentions that it is our right to fork off and create our own chains. While that is okay to have as an opinion, Satoshi Nakamoto was explicit that we should be building one global chain. We adhere to the idea that miners should vote with their hashpower and determine the emergent chain after November 15th.
“It is strictly necessary that the longest chain is always considered the valid one. Nodes that were present may remember that one branch was there first and got replaced by another, but there would be no way for them to convince those who were not present of this. We can't have subfactions of nodes that cling to one branch that they think was first, others that saw another branch first, and others that joined later and never saw what happened. The CPU proof-of-worker proof-of-work vote must have the final say. The only way for everyone to stay on the same page is to believe that the longest chain is always the valid one, no matter what.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 11/09/2008
Connor of The BCH Boys
Edit: A clarification. I used the phrase "Bitcoin is boring". I want to clarify that Bitcoin itself is capable of far more than we've ever thought possible, and this statement is one I will be elaborating on further in the future.
Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? An analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). Part 3
Part 1 Part 2 So I have been subbed to /bitcoin since it had less than two thousand subs but haven't posted there in years. I think I took a break from researching bitcoin to take a foray into the world of conspiracy around 2014 and only got back in to it around the beginning of 2017 but with a bit of sense of skepticism and cynicism about everything. I think I returned to /bitcoin around that time but there had been a rift that had emerged in the community between those that said that bitcoin was censoring any discussion around big blocks but then also just censorship in general. This lead to the formation of /btc which became the main spot for big blockers to gather to talk about protocol development. Following the fork of Bitcoin Cash and SegWit (BTC) in August 2017 the camps were further divided when the fence sitters were denied their SegWit2x compromise. Many from the fence sitters then deferred back to the incumbent bitcoin as citing muh network effect, liquidity, and hashpower while some who felt betrayed by the failure of getting S2X through went to support BCH for some attempt at on chain scaling rather than through pegged side chains or Lightning Network. Bitcoin cash initially went with a modest doubling of the blocksize to 2MB but implemented some other features like a new more rapidly adjusting difficulty algorithm to protect themselves against hashpower fluctuations from the majority chain. In about July of that year I had seen what I potentially thought was someone LARPing on /biz/ but screencapped, that segwit2x which was scheduled for november 2017 would be called off and then hashpower would switch to BCH causing congestion and chain death spiral on BTC and BCH would pump massively. I was partial to the idea as the game theory and incentives on a big block bitcoin should attract miners. About a month after SegWit2x was indeed called off while the BTC blockchain was hugely congested, BCH went through a violent pump reaching 0.5 BTC/BCH on a European exchange called Kraken while it also pumped ridiculously on American exchange coinbase. Shortly afterwards the market took a giant dump all over those people who bought the top and it has since retraced to roughly 30:1 or so now. After that pump though BCH kind of gained some bagholders I guess who started to learn the talking points presented by personalities like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Peter Rizun and Amaury Sechet. Craig S Wright by this time had been outed as Satoshi but had in 2016 publicly failed to convince the public with the cryptographic proof he provided. To which he later published the article I don't have the courage to prove I am the bitcoin creator. In essence this allowed many to disregard anything he offered to the crypto community though his company nChain was very much interested in providing the technical support to scale what he saw as the true implementation of bitcoin. Following debate around a set of planned protocol upgrades between a bitcoin node implementation by his company nChain and the developers of another client Bitcoin ABC (adjustable block cap), the two parties both dug their heels in and wouldn't compromise. As it became clear that a fork was imminent there was a lot of vitriol tossed out towards Wright, another big billionaire backer Calvin Ayre and other personalities like Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig's credibility was disregarded because of his failure to provide convincing cryptographic proof but still people who wanted to pursue the protocol upgrades that nChain were planning (as it best followed their interpretation of the bitcoin white paper) pursued his variant, while others who followed the socia consensus deferred to the positions of their personalities like Wu, Ver, and Sechet but even developers from Ethereum and other protocols chimed in to convince everyone that CSW is a fraud. This was referred to as the hash war and was the first time that the bitcoin protocol had been contentiously hard forked. Hashpower is the CPU cycles you can commit to the Proof of Work function in bitcoin and the majority will generate the longest chain as they have the most proof of work. To win the contentious hard fork legitimately and make sure your chain will always be safe going forward you need to maintain your version of the blockchain with 51% of the hashpower on the network and force the other parties to continue to spend money on building a blockchain that is never going to be inserted in to the majority chain. As well as this you need to convince exchanges that you have the majority chain and have them feel safe to accept deposits and withdrawals so that they don't lose money in the chaos. This is how it would play out if both parties acted according to the rules of bitcoin and the Nakamoto Consensus. There was a lot of shit talking between the two parties on social media with Craig Wright making a number of claims such as "you split, we bankrupt you" "I don't care if there is no ability to move coins to an exchange for a year" and other such warnings not to engage in foul play.. To explain this aftermath is quite tedious so It might be better to defer to this video for the in depth analysis but basically Roger Ver had to rent hashpower that was supposed to be mining BTC from his mining farm bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu did the same from his Bitmain Mining Farm which was a violation of his fiduciary duty as the CEO of a company preparing for an IPO. In this video of a livestream during the hashwar where Andreas Brekken admits to basically colluding with exchange owners like Coinbase, Kraken (exchange Roger Ver invested in), Bitfinex and others to release a patched ABC client to the exchanges and introducing "checkpoints" in to the BCH blockchain (which he even says is arguably "centralisation") in order to prevent deep reorgs of the BCH blockchain. >"We knew we were going to win in 30 mins we had the victory because of these checkpoints that we released to a cartel of friendly businesses in a patch so then we just sat around drinking beers all day". By releasing a patched client that has code in it to prevent deep reorgs by having the client refer to a checkpoint from a block mined by someone who supported BCHABC if another group of hash power was to try to insert a new chain history, this cartel of exchanges and mining farm operators conspired in private to change the nature of the bitcoin protocol and Nakamoto Consensus. Since the fork there have been a number of other BCH clients that have come up that require funding and have their own ideas about what things to implement on the BCH chain. What began to emerge was actually not necessarily an intention of scaling bitcoin but rather to implement Schnorr signatures to obfuscate transactions and to date the ABC client still has a default blocksize of 2MB but advertised as 16MB. What this demonstrates for BCH is that through the collusion, the cartel can immediately get a favourable outcome from the developers to keep their businesses secure and from the personalities/developers to work on obfuscating records of transactions on the chain rather than scaling their protocol. After the SegWit fork, many from the BCH camp alleged that through the funding to Blockstream from AXA and groups that tied to the Bilderbergs, Blockstream would be beholden to the legacy banking and would be a spoke and hub centralised model, so naturally many of the "down with central banks anarcho capitalist types" had gathered in the BCH community. Through these sympathies it seems that people have been susceptible to being sold things like coin mixing and obfuscation with developers offering their opinions about how money needs to be anonymous to stop the evil government and central banks despite ideas like Mises’ Regression Theorem, which claims that in order for something to be money in the most proper sense, it must be traceable to an originally non-monetary barter commodity such as gold. What this suggests is that there is an underlying intent from the people that have mechanisms to exert their will upon the protocol of bitcoin and that if obfuscation is their first priority rather than working on creating a scalable platform, this demonstrates that they don't wish to actually be global money but more so something that makes it easier to move money that you don't want seen. Roger Ver has often expressed sentiments of injustice about the treatment of Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht and donated a large amount of money to a fund for his defence. I initially got in to bitcoin seeking out the Silk Road and though I only wanted to test it to buy small quantities of mdma, lsd, and mescaline back in 2011 there was all sorts of criminal activity on there like scam manuals, counterfeits, ID, Credit Card info, and other darknet markets like armoury were selling pretty crazy weapons. It has been alleged by Craig Wright that in his capacity as a digital forensics expert he was involved with tracing bitcoin that was used to fund the trafficking of 12-16 year olds on the silk road. There have been attempts at debunking such claims by saying that silk road was moderated for such stuff by Ulbricht and others, but one only has to take a look in to the premise of pizza gate to understand that there it may be possible to hide in plain site with certain code words for utilising the market services and escrow of websites like the silk road. The recent pedo bust from South Korea demonstrates the importance of being able to track bitcoin transactions and if the first thing BCH wanted to do after separating itself from Satoshi's Vision and running on developer and cartel agendas was to implement obfuscation methods, this type of criminal activity will only proliferate. Questions one must ask oneself then are things like why do they want this first? Are some of these developers, personalities and cartel businesses sitting on coins that they know are tarnished from the silk road and want to implement obfuscation practices so they can actually cash in some of the value they are unable to access? Merchants from the silk road 1 are still being caught even as recently as this year when they attempted to move coins that were known to have moved through the silk road. Chain analytics are only becoming more and more powerful and the records can never be changed under the original bitcoin protocol but with developer induced protocol changes like Schnorr signatures, and coinjoin it may be possible to start laundering these coins out in to circulation. I must admit with the cynicism I had towards government and law enforcement and my enjoying controlled substances occasionally I was sympathetic to Ross and donated to his legal fund back in the day and for many years claimed that I wouldn't pay my taxes when I wanted to cash out of bitcoin. I think many people in the space possess this same kind of mentality and subsequently can be preyed upon by people who wish to do much more in the obfuscation than dodge tax and party. Another interesting observation is that despite the fact that btc spun off as a result of censorship around big block scaling on bitcoin, that subreddit itself has engaged in plenty of censorship for basically anyone who wants to discuss the ideas presented by Dr Craig Wright on that sub. When I posted my part 2 of this series in there a week ago I was immediately met with intense negativity and ad hominems so as to discourage others from reading the submission and my post history was immediately throttled to 1 comment every 10 mins. This is not quite as bad as cryptocurrency where my post made it through the new queue to gather some upvotes and a discussion started but I was immediately banned from that sub for 7 days for reason "Content standards - you're making accusations based on no evidence just a dump of links that do nothing to justify your claims except maybe trustnodes link (which has posted fabricated information about this subreddit mods) and a Reddit post. Keep the conspiracy theories in /conspiracy" My post was also kept at zero in bitcoin and conspiracy so technically btc was the least censored besides C_S_T. In addition to the throttling I was also flagged by the u/BsvAlertBot which says whether or not a user has a questionable amount of activity in BSV subreddits and then a break down of your percentages. This was done in response to combat the "toxic trolls" of BSV but within bitcoincashSV there are many users that have migrated from what was originally supposed to be a uncensored subreddit to discuss bitcoin and many such as u/cryptacritic17 has have switched sides after having been made to essentially DOXX themselves in btc to prove that they aren't a toxic troll for raising criticisms of the way certain things are handled within that coin and development groups. Other prominent users such as u/jim-btc have been banned for impersonating another user which was in actual fact himself and he has uploaded evidence of him being in control of said account to the blockchain. Mod Log, Mod Damage Control, Mod Narrative BTFO. Interestingly in the comments on the picture uploaded to the blockchain you can see the spin to call him an SV shill when in actual fact he is just an OG bitcoiner that wanted bitcoin to scale as per the whitepaper. What is essentially going on in the Bitcoin space is that there is a battle of the protocols and a battle for social consensus. The incumbent BTC has majority of the attention and awareness as it is being backed by legacy banking and finance with In-Q-Tel and AXA funding blockstream as well as Epstein associates and MIT, but in the power vaccum that presented itself as to who would steward the big block variant, a posse of cryptoanarchists have gained control of the social media forums and attempted to exert their will upon what should essentially be a Set In Stone Protocol to create something that facilitates their economic activity (such as selling explosives online)) while attempting to leverage their position as moderators who control the social forum to spin their actions as something different (note memorydealers is Roger Ver). For all his tears for the children killed in wars, it seems that what cryptoanarchists such as u/memorydealers want is to delist/shut down governments and they will go to any efforts such as censorship to make sure that it is their implementation of bitcoin that will do that. Are we really going to have a better world with people easier able to hide transactions/launder money? Because of this power vacuum there also exists a number of different development groups but what is emerging now is that they are struggling for money to fund their development. The main engineering is done by self professed benevolent dictator Amaury Sechet (deadalnix) who in leaked telegram screen caps appears to be losing it as funding for development has dried up and money raised in an anarchist fashion wasn't compliant with laws around fundraising sources and FVNI (development society that manages BCH development and these donations) is run by known scammer David R Allen. David was founder of 2014 Israeli ICO Getgems (GEMZ) that scammed investors out of more than 2500 Bitcoins. The SV supported sky-lark who released this information has since deleted all their accounts but other users have claimed that sky-lark was sent personal details about themselves and pictures of their loved ones and subsequently deleted all their social media accounts afterwards. There are other shifty behaviours like hiring Japanese influencers to shill their coin, recruiting a Hayden Otto that up until 2018 was shilling Pascal Coin to become a major ambassador for BCH in the Australian city of Townsville. Townsville was claimed to be BCH city hosting a BCH conference there and claiming loads of adoption, but at the conference itself their idea of demonstrating adoption was handing a Point of Sale device to the bar to accept bitcoin payments but Otto actually just putting his credit card behind the bar to settle and he would keep the BCH that everyone paid. In the lead up to the conference the second top moderator of btc was added to the moderators of townsville to shill their coin but has ended up with the townsville subreddit wanting to ban all bitcoin talk from the subreddit. Many of the BCH developers are now infighting as funding dries up and they find themselves floundering with no vision of how to achieve scale or get actual real world adoption. Amaury has recently accused Peter Rizun of propagandising, told multiple users in the telegram to fuck off and from all accounts appears to be a malignant narcissist incapable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship with people he is supposed to be working with. Peter Rizun has begun lurking in bitcoincashSV and recognising some of the ideas coming from BSV as having merit while Roger has started to distance himself from the creation of BCH. Interestingly at a point early in the BCH history Roger believed Dr Craig Wright was Satoshi, but once CSW wouldn't go along with their planned road map and revealed the fact he had patents on blockchain technology and wanted to go down a path that worked with Law, Roger retracted that statement and said he was tricked by Craig. He joined in on the faketoshi campaign and has been attempted to be sued by Dr Wright for libel in the UK to which Roger refused to engage citing grounds of jurisdiction. Ironically this avoidance of Roger to meet Dr Wright in court to defend his claims can be seen as the very argument against justice being served by private courts under an anarchocapitalist paradigm with essentially someone with resources simply being able to either flee a private court's jurisdiction or engage a team of lawyers that can bury any chances of an everyday person being able to get justice. There is much more going on with the BCH drama that can be explained in a single post but it is clear that some of the major personalities in the project are very much interested in having their ideals projected on to the technical implementation of the bitcoin protocol and have no qualms spouting rhetoric around the anti-censorship qualities of bitcoin/BCH while at the same time employing significant censorship on their social media forums to control what people are exposed to and getting rid of anyone who challenges their vision. I posit that were this coin to become a success, these "benevolent dictators" as they put it would love their new found positions of wealth/dominance yet if their behaviour to get there is anything to go by, would demonstrate the same power tripping practices of censorship, weasel acts, misleading people about adoption statistics and curating of the narrative. When the hashrate from Rogers bitcoin.com minging operation on BCH dropped dramatically and a lot of empty blocks were being mined, his employer and 2IC moderator u/BitcoinXio (who stepped in to replace roger as CEO) was in the sub informing everyone it was simply variance that was the reason when only a few days later it was revealed that they had reduced their hash power significantly. This is not appropriate behaviour for one of the primary enterprises engaged in stewarding BCH and encouraging adoption nor is the inability to be accountable for such dishonest practices as well. It seems bitcoin.com treats btc as their own personal spam page where Roger can ask for donations despite it being against the sub rules and spin/ban any challenge to the narrative they seek to create. Let's see how the censorship goes as I post this around a few of the same places as the last piece. Stay tuned for the next write up where I take a deep dive in to the coin that everyone doesn't want you to know about.
A few stories about Brian Krebs: The independent cybercrime journalist who exposes criminals on the internet
First, a bit of introduction before we get into the living drama that is Brian Krebs. Brian Krebs has been a journalist for decades, starting in the late 90s. He got his start at The Washington Post, but what he's most famous for are his exposes on criminal businesses and individuals who perpetuate cyber crime worldwide. In 2001, he got his interest in cybercrime piqued when a computer worm locked him out of his own computer. In 2005, he shifted from working as a staff writer at The Washington Post's tech newswire to writing for their security blog, "Security Wire". During his tenure there, he started by focusing on the victims of cybercrime, but later also started to focus on the perpetrators of it as well. His reporting helped lead to the shutdown of McColo, a hosting provider who provided service to some of the world's biggest spammers and hackers. Reports analyzing the shutdown of McColo estimated that global spam volume dropped by between 40 and 70 percent. Further analysis revealed it also played host to child pornography sites, and the Russian Business Network, a major Russian cybercrime ring. In 2009, Krebs left to start his own site, KrebsOnSecurity. Since then, he's been credited with being the first to report on major events such as Stuxnet and when Target was breached, resulting in the leakage of 40 million cards. He also regularly investigates and reveals criminals' identities on his site. The latter has made him the bane of the world of cybercrime, as well as basically a meme, where criminals will include references like Made by Brian Krebs in their code, or name their shops full of stolen credit cards after him. One of his first posts on his new site was a selection of his best work. While not particularly dramatic, they serve as an excellent example of dogged investigative work, and his series reveal the trail of takedowns his work has documented, or even contributed to. And now, a selection of drama involving Krebs. Note, all posts are sarcastically-tinged retellings of the source material which I will link throughout. I also didn't use the real names in my retellings, but they are in the source material. This took way too long to write, and it still does massively condense the events described in the series. Krebs has been involved with feuds with other figures, but I'd argue these tales are the "main" bits of drama that are most suited for here.
Fly on the Wall
By 2013, Krebs was no stranger to cybercriminals taking the fight to the real world. He was swatted previously to the point where the police actually know to give him a ring and see if there'd actually been a murder, or if it was just those wacky hackers at it again. In addition, his identity was basically common knowledge to cybercriminals, who would open lines of credit in his name, or find ways to send him money using stolen credit cards. However, one particular campaign against him caught his eye. A hacker known as "Fly" aka "Flycracker" aka "MUXACC1" posted on a Russian-language fraud forum he administered about a "Krebs fund". His plan was simple. Raise Bitcoin to buy Heroin off of a darknet marketplace, address it to Krebs, and alert his local police via a spoofed phone call. Now, because Krebs is an investigative journalist, he develops undercover presences on cybercrime forums, and it just so happened he'd built up a presence on this one already.
Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund", and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road. My friends, his withdrawal is very bad, let’s join forces to help the guy! We will save Brian from the acute heroin withdrawal and the world will get slightly better!
Fly had first caught Krebs' attention by taunting him on Twitter, sending him Tweets including insults and abuse, and totally-legit looking links. Probably either laced with malware, or designed to get Krebs' IP. He also took to posting personal details such as Krebs' credit report, directions to his house, and pictures of his front door on LiveJournal, of all places. So, after spotting the scheme, he alerted his local police that he'd probably have someone sending him some China White. Sure enough, the ne'er-do-wells managed to raise 2 BTC, which at the time was a cool $200 or so. They created an account on the premiere darknet site at the time, The Silk Road under the foolproof name "briankrebs7". They found one seller who had consistently high reviews, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. My personal theory is the seller decided to Google where it was going, and realized sending a gram of dope into the waiting arms of local law enforcement probably wasn't the best use of his time. Still, the forum members persevered, and found another seller who was running a buy 10 get 2 free promotion. $165 of Bitcoin later, the drugs were on their way to a new home. The seller apparently informed Fly that the shipment should arrive by Tuesday, a fact which he gleefully shared with the forum. While our intrepid hero had no doubt that the forum members were determined to help him grab the tail of the dragon, he's not one to assume without confirmation, and enlisted the help of a graduate student at UCSD who was researching Bitcoin and anonymity on The Silk Road, and confirmed the address shared by Fly was used to deposit 2 BTC into an account known to be used for money management on the site. By Monday, an envelope from Chicago had arrived, containing a copy of Chicago confidential. Taped inside were tiny baggies filled with the purported heroin. Either dedicated to satisfied customers, or mathematically challenged, the seller had included thirteen baggies instead of the twelve advertised. A police officer arrived to take a report and whisked the baggies away. Now, Fly was upset that Krebs wasn't in handcuffs for drug possession, and decided to follow up his stunt by sending Krebs a floral arrangement shaped like a cross, and an accompanying threatening message addressed to his wife, the dire tone slightly undercut by the fact that it was signed "Velvet Crabs". Krebs' curiosity was already piqued from the shenanigans with the heroin, but with the arrival of the flowers decided to dive deeper into the сука behind things. He began digging into databases from carding sites that had been hacked, but got his first major breakthrough to his identity from a Russian computer forensics firm. Fly had maintained an account on a now-defunct hacking forum, whose database was breached under "Flycracker". It turns out, the email Flycracker had used was also hacked at some point, and a source told Krebs that the email was full of reports from a keylogger Fly had installed on his wife's computer. Now, because presumably his wife wasn't part of, or perhaps even privy to her husband's illicit dealings, her email account happened to be her full legal name, which Krebs was able to trace to her husband. Now, around this time, the site Fly maintained disappeared from the web, and administrators on another major fraud forum started purging his account. This is a step they typically take when they suspect a member has been apprehended by authorities. Nobody knew for sure, but they didn't want to take any chances. More research by Krebs revealed that the criminals' intuition had been correct, and Fly was arrested in Italy, carrying documents under an assumed name. He was sitting in an Italian jail, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, as well as potentially facing charges in Italy. This was relayed to Krebs by a law enforcement official who simply said "The Fly has been swatted". (Presumably while slowly removing a pair of aviator sunglasses) While Fly may have been put away, the story between Krebs and Fly wasn't quite over. He did end up being extradited to the US for prosecution, but while imprisoned in Italy, Fly actually started sending Krebs letters. Understandably distrustful after the whole "heroin" thing, his contacts in federal law enforcement tested the letter, and found it to be clean. Inside, there was a heartfelt and personal letter, apologizing for fucking with Krebs in so many ways. He also forgave Krebs for posting his identity online, leading him to muse that perhaps Fly was working through a twelve-step program. In December, he received another letter, this time a simple postcard with a cheerful message wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Krebs concluded his post thusly:
Cybercrooks have done some pretty crazy stuff to me in response to my reporting about them. But I don’t normally get this kind of closure. I look forward to meeting with Fly in person one day soon now that he will be just a short train ride away. And he may be here for some time: If convicted on all charges, Fly faces up to 30 years in U.S. federal prison.
Criminals are none too happy when they find their businesses and identities on the front page of KrebsOnSecurity. It usually means law enforcement isn't far behind. One such business was known as vDOS. A DDOS-for-hire (also known as a "booter" or a "stresser") site that found itself hacked, with all their customer records still in their databases leaked. Analysis of the records found that in a four-month time span, the service had been responsible for about 8.81 years worth of attack time, meaning on average at any given second, there were 26 simultaneous attacks running. Interestingly, the hack of vDOS came about from another DDOS-for-hire site, who as it turns out was simply reselling services provided by vDOS. They were far from the only one. vDOS appeared to provide firepower to a large number of different resellers. In addition to the attack logs, support messages were also among the data stolen. This contained some complaints from various clients who complained they were unable to launch attacks against Israeli IPs. This is a common tactic by hackers to try and avoid unwanted attention from authorities in their country of residence. This was confirmed when two men from Israel were arrested for their involvement in owning and running vDOS. However, this was just the beginning for this bit of drama. The two men arrested went by the handles "applej4ck" and "Raziel". They had recently published a paper on DDOS attack methods in an online Israeli security magazine. Interestingly, on the same day the men were arrested, questioned, and released on bail, vDOS went offline. Not because it had been taken down by Israeli authorities, not because they had shut it down themselves, but because a DDOS protection firm, BackConnect Security, had hijacked the IP addresses belonging to the company. To spare a lot of technical detail, it's called a BGP hijack, and it basically works by a company saying "Yeah, those are our addresses." It's kind of amazing how much of the internet is basically just secured by the digital equivalent of pinky swears. You can read some more technical detail on Wikipedia. Anyway, we'll get back to BackConnect. Following the publication of the story uncovering the inner workings of vDOS, KrebsOnSecurity was hit with a record breaking DDOS attack, that peaked at 620/Gbps, nearly double the most powerful DDOS attack previously on record. To put that in perspective, that's enough bandwidth to download 5 simultaneous copies of Interstellar in 4K resolution every single second, and still have room to spare. The attack was so devastating, Akamai, one of the largest providers of DDOS protection in the world had to drop Krebs as a pro bono client. Luckily, Google was willing to step in and place his site under the protection of Google's Project Shield, a free service designed to protect the news sites and journalists from being knocked offline by DDOS attacks. This attack was apparently in retaliation for the vDOS story, since some of the data sent in the attack included the string "freeapplej4ck". The attack was executed by a botnet of Internet of Things (or IoT) devices. These are those "smart" devices like camera systems, routers, DVRs. Basically things that connect to the cloud. An astounding amount of those are secured with default passwords that can be easily looked up from various sites or even the manufacturers' websites. This was the start of a discovery of a massive botnet that had been growing for years. Now time for a couple quick side stories: Dyn, a company who provides DNS to many major companies including Twitter, Reddit, and others came under attack, leaving many sites (including Twitter and Reddit) faltering in the wake of it. Potentially due to one of their engineers' collaboration with Krebs on another story. It turned out that the same botnet that attacked Krebs' site was at least part of the attack on Dyn And back to BackConnect, that DDOS protection firm that hijacked the IP addresses from vDOS. Well it turns out BGP Hijacks are old hat for the company. They had done it at least 17 times before. Including at least once (purportedly with permission) for the address 126.96.36.199. Aka, "leet". It turns out one of the co-founders of BackConnect actually posted screenshots of him visiting sites that tell you your public IP address in a DDOS mitigation industry chat, showing it as 188.8.131.52. They also used a BGP Hijack against a hosting company and tried to frame a rival DDOS mitigation provider. Finally, another provider, Datawagon was interestingly implicated in hosting DDOS-for-hire sites while offering DDOS protection. In a Skype conversation where the founder of Datawagon wanted to talk about that time he registered dominos.pizza and got sued for it, he brings up scanning the internet for vulnerable routers completely unprompted. Following the publication of the story about BackConnect, in which he was included in, he was incensed about his portrayal, and argued with Krebs over Skype before Krebs ultimately ended up blocking him. He was subsequently flooded with fake contact requests from bogus or hacked Skype accounts. Shortly thereafter, the record-breaking DDOS attack rained down upon his site. Back to the main tale! So, it turns out the botnet of IoT devices was puppeteered by a malware called Mirai. How did it get its name? Well, that's the name its creator gave it, after an anime called Mirai Nikki. How did this name come to light? The creator posted the source code online. (The name part, not the origin. The origin didn't come 'til later.) The post purported that they'd picked it up from somewhere in their travels as a DDOS industry professional. It turns out this is a semi-common tactic when miscreants fear that law enforcement might come looking for them, and having the only copy of the source code of a malware in existence is a pretty strong indicator that you have something to do with it. So, releasing the source to the world gives a veneer of plausible deniability should that eventuality come to pass. So who was this mysterious benefactor of malware source? They went by the name "Anna-senpai". As research on the Mirai botnet grew, and more malware authors incorporated parts of Mirai's source code into their own attacks, attention on the botnet increased, and on the people behind it. The attention was presumably the reason why Hackforums, the forum where the source code was posted, later disallowed ostensible "Server Stress Tester" services from being sold on it. By December, "Operation Tarpit" had wrought 34 arrests and over a hundred "knock and talk" interviews questioning people about their involvement. By January, things started to come crashing down. Krebs published an extensive exposé on Anna-senpai detailing all the evidence linking them to the creation of Mirai. The post was so big, he included a damn glossary. What sparked the largest botnet the internet had ever seen? Minecraft. Minecraft servers are big business. A popular one can earn tens of thousands of dollars per month from people buying powers, building space, or other things. It's also a fiercely competitive business, with hundreds of servers vying for players. It turns out that things may have started, as with another set of companies, two rival DDOS mitigation providers competing for customers. ProTraf was a provider of such mitigation technology, and a company whose owner later worked for ProTraf had on at least one occasion hijacked addresses belonging to another company, ProxyPipe. ProxyPipe had also been hit with DDOS attacks they suspected to be launched by ProTraf. While looking into the President of ProTraf, Krebs realized he'd seen the relatively uncommon combination of programming languages and skills posted by the President somewhere else. They were shared by Anna-senpai on Hackforums. As Krebs dug deeper and deeper into Anna-senpai's online presence, he uncovered other usernames, including one he traced to some Minecraft forums where a photoshopped picture of a still from Pulp Fiction contained the faces of BackConnect, which was a rival to ProTraf's DDOS mitigation business, and another face. A hacker by the name of Vyp0r, who another employee of ProTraf claimed betrayed his trust and blackmailed him into posting the source of another piece of malware called Bashlite. There was also a third character photoshopped into the image. An anime character named "Yamada" from a movie called B Gata H Hei. Interestingly, under the same username, Krebs found a "MyAnimeList" profile which, out of 9 titles it had marked as watched, were B Gata H Hei, as well as Mirai Nikki, the show from which Mirai derived its name. It continues on with other evidence, including DDOS attacks against Rutgers University, but in short, there was little doubt in the identity of "Anna-senpai", but the person behind the identity did contact Krebs to comment. He denied any involvement in Mirai or DDOS attacks.
"I don’t think there are enough facts to definitively point the finger at me," [Anna-senpai] said. "Besides this article, I was pretty much a nobody. No history of doing this kind of stuff, nothing that points to any kind of sociopathic behavior. Which is what the author is, a sociopath."
I don't have the time or energy to write another effortpost, and as is I'm over 20,000 characters, so here's a few other tidbits of Krebs' clashes with miscreants.
A source and security researcher he was talking to started blabbing about him working with Krebs, and also was selling data to hackers on the side. His example data in his sales post was fucking Brian Krebs'.
Why The US Government Have Likely Already Approved Bitcoin
Hey Reddit, throwaway account. I'm currently doing some research for an article I hope to have published later this month. I have a very, very rough draft at the moment and your feedback would be lovely. The Elephant in the Room Bitcoin is an enigma. It has renowned economists like Paul Krugman entirely perplexed whilst Silicon Valley CEO's are falling over one another to get a piece of the action. The headlines change on a daily basis: “It's A Ponzi Scheme!”, “It's Gold 2.0!” , “It's A Bubble!”, “It's The New Internet!”. As a result of these, often conflicting articles, it's value shoots up and down like a yo-yo, swinging wildly to the slightest bit of news, good or bad. Of course, these swings wouldn't be so exaggerated if there was a simple way to address the elephant in the room...is bitcoin legal? Government officials have been oddly quiet in addressing this question. Aside from some rudimentary FINCEN guidelines and a vague ECB report, there's been no statement one way or another about its legal status. Whilst I can't provide any definitive proof as to what decisions have and are being made behind closed government doors, I do think it's just possible we already have enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that the US government has already given Bitcoin the thumbs up. Satoshi's Lament Back in December 2010 Satoshi was involved in a heated discussion amongst Bitcoin developers on BitcoinTalk as to whether they should support Julian Assange by offering Bitcoin as a means to bypass the notorious banking blockade that had rendered Wikileaks' cash reserves impotent. Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, was extremely wary that any association with Julian and Wikileaks would 'bring too much heat' to the project. “No, don't 'bring it on'” he pleaded with his fellow developers. “The project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way.” He went on to clarify. “I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.” By 'destroy us', he was likely talking about a government or corporation pulling the trigger on this nascent project. Amongst other things, Satoshi was fearful that if a nefarious entity such as a commercial bank got wind of the project, at that point in time they could have easily compromised the project by purchasing enough computing power to overrun the network (known as a 51% attack). Despite Satoshi's protestations, Wikileaks went along and adopted Bitcoin and, it seemed Satoshi's worst fears were confirmed when, just 4 months later in April 2011, Gavin Andresen (now lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation) announced that the C.I.A. had contacted him. “I'm going to give a presentation about Bitcoin at the C.I.A headquarters in June at an emerging technologies conference...I accepted the invitation to speak because the fact that I was invited means Bitcoin is already on their radar, and I think it might be a good chance to talk about why I think Bitcoin will make the world a better place. I think the goals of this project are to create a better currency...I don't think any of those goals are incompatible with the goals of government.” Satoshi disappeared shortly after. Gavin recently spoke to the New Yorker about the event. "...I think people realized once I got invited to speak at the C.I.A. that there was no kind of hiding. They, whoever “they” are, already knew about this project." [Source: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/the-future-of-Bitcoin.html] The Silk Road Goes Live 2011 also saw the release of the notorious 'Ebay for Drugs' website, Silk Road. It received much press attention, first breaking in June via Gawker where a developer described his experience of buying LSD through the site as "Kind of like being in the future". It was clear that the Silk Road was where Bitcoin would find its first major real-world trading niche and it's not a coincidence that the BTC price, client downloads and trading volume began to skyrocket after its inception. [Source: http://gizmodo.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable] A week after the Gawker article, Senator Chuck Schumer called a press conference where he went on record demanding that the Silk Road be shut down “Something must be done about Silk Road...Literally, it allows buyers and users to sell illegal drugs online, including heroin, cocaine, and meth, and users sell by hiding their identities through a program that makes them virtually untraceable...[it's] the most brazen attempt to peddle drugs online that we have ever seen. It's more brazen than anything else by lightyears." he told the assembled press. As an aside, it is worth noting that the program that “hides user identities” is TOR, developed by the US Naval Research laboratory and endorsed by Senator Hilary Clinton (Schuman's former co-Senator from the state of New York) as “an important tool for freedom of expression around the world”. Indeed, the TOR Project claims that over 80% of its funding in 2012 came directly from the U.S Government [Source: Tor Project Annual Report 2012] The Radar Screen Lights Up Suddenly, thanks to the Silk Road and Wikileaks, Bitcoin was now on the radar of those in public office. The question on everyones lips must have been “How do we kill Bitcoin (and by extension Wikileaks and Silkroad)?” The C.I.A, thanks to Gavin, were now fully aware of the threat Bitcoin posed to the the current monetary system, and the illegal activities it was funding via Silk Road and other places would have done nothing but confound their concerns (or so you would think). They must have also known (just as Satoshi did) that if there was ever an opportunity to kill Bitcoin (either with regulation, criminal proceedings and/or a 51% attack) then it was back then, in 2011, with the network still in its infancy, that they should strike. We should have expected the kind of domain seizures that we saw with the likes of Megaupload; Bitcointalk, Bitcoin.org and the Bitcoin Foundation should have been wiped off the map. They could have also moved with the banks to shutdown any accounts seen to be associated with Bitcoin trading (as we saw happen with Online Gambling websites during the Bush Regime). They could have then disrupted what remained of the Bitcoin network by performing a relatively cheap and simple 51% attack. And yet, none of that happened... Bitcoin.org and the Bitcoin Foundation have been left to prosper and go from strength to strength. VC's, Wall Street traders and the average Joe were all left free to pump money into this burgeoning experiment without any government intervention whatsoever. Eric, Julian and the Bilderberg Group Back in 2010 Google dipped their toes into the world of virtual currencies, acquiring a little known company called Jambool for $70m. For awhile they ran a platform called Social Gold which was later usurped in 2011 by Facebook Credits (Facebook's attempt at a virtual currency). This was phased out in mid-2012. Techcrunch cites that this was likely due to the problems Facebook had encountered in educating the public about using another form of currency, and goes on to speculate that by offering a centralised means of exchange, Facebook may have also faced increasing legal and regulatory scrutiny. In June 2011, Julian Assange met Eric Schmidt online in a secret 5 hour chat in which they discussed - amongst other things - Bitcoin. The full transcript - which was leaked last month - is available here: http://wikileaks.org/Transcript-Meeting-Assange-Schmidt Also in attendance at the meeting was Jared Cohen, a former Secretary of State advisor to Hillary Clinton, Scott Malcomson, Director of Speechwriting for Ambassador Susan Rice at the US State Department and current Communications Director of the International Crisis Group, and Lisa Shields, Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations. Here's an excerpt: JA: ...there’s also a very nice little paper that I’ve seen in relation to Bitcoin, that… you know about Bitcoin? ES: No. JA: Okay, Bitcoin is something that evolved out of the cypherpunks a couple of years ago, and it is an alternative… it is a stateless currency. … JA: And very important, actually. It has a few problems. But its innovations exceed its problems. Now there has been innovations along these lines in many different paths of digital currencies, anonymous, untraceable etc. People have been experimenting with over the past 20 years. The Bitcoin actually has the balance and incentives right, and that is why it is starting to take off. The different combination of these things. No central nodes. It is all point to point. One does not need to trust any central mint…. ... ES: That's very interesting So, now we know Bitcoin was on the radar of the C.I.A, various politicians and, thanks to Julian, the CEO of Google was now beginning to get an inkling as to its disruptive potential. Just 13 days prior to the Assange meet, Eric had attended the annual meeting of the notoriously secretive Bilderberg Group in St. Moritz, Switzerland and went on to attend the meet again in June 2012. Topics of discussion included:
Emerging Economies: Roles and Responsibilities
Economic and National Security in a Digital Age
Technological Innovation in Western Economies: Stagnation or Promise?
Imbalances, Austerity and Growth
Some of the 2011/12 attendees included:
Josef Ackermann (Chairman of Deutsche Bank),
Jean-Claude Trichet (President of the European Central Bank),
Chris Hughes (Co-Founder of Facebook),
Reid Hoffman (CEO of Linkedin),
Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon)
Keith Alexander (Commander, US Cyber Command; Director, NSA).
Heads of Barclays Bank, AXXA, HSBC and the President of The World Bank Group were also in attendance. [Source: http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.php] To see so many tech luminaries in attendance at Bilderberg is indicative of the kind of power and respect that geeks and hackers now command in shaping the world stage. Just how many high-level decisions are being influenced by this new technorati is hard to say, but in a rapidly changing world where technology is moving faster than the old rules remain relevant, we are seeing that people, united through technology on a global scale – not governments – are dictating the speed of change. Joining The Dots None of this means that bitcoins ride is going to be friction-free - just because Eric Schmidt is open to the idea of bitcoin displacing traditional currencies (as he and Jared Cohen alluded to in a recent CNBC interview), does not mean that Douglas Flint (Group Chairman, HSBC) is going to be equally enthused. However, I do think that if we join up all the dots the general conclusion that we can draw looks overwhelmingly positive for the future of bitcoin. That so many powerful actors within the intelligence community, technology industry and government have let bitcoin survive this long is almost an endorsement itself. It suggests to me that any nefarious corporations that attempt to shutdown bitcoin because of a perceived threat to their business model, will be met by those same powerful actors coming together to ensure they will have a very tough fight on their hands. Indeed, in the years to come, we may well see Hilary Clinton coming out to trumpet bitcoin as “an important tool for freedom of expression around the world” in much the same way she praised the TOR project. And perhaps, ultimately, we will discover that bitcoin, like TOR, was also developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. Though I prefer to think it was just some lone genius sitting in his attic who accidentally changed the world. Whatever may be the case, it seems that - for now at least - our governments have handed their people a rare gift – the freedom to shape their own future. It's up to us to try not to screw that up.
Over the course of the past few years, I have heard a lot about the so-called "Deepweb". I've always been curious about it, but never taken the time to understand it until recently. Now that I've taken the plunge, I wish I had earlier. It's easy to get started, and it truly is a unique and intriguing place. I'll outline the steps to get started: Download the Tor Browser Bundle. This package contains everything you need to run Tor on your machine.
Windows: Unzip the file, and run Start Tor Browser.exe
Linux: Untar the file, and run start-tor-browser
OSX: Just run TorBrowser_en-US.app
At this point, Tor will start running and a browser called Aurora will open up. This is just a standalone copy of Firefox which is pre-configured to work correctly with Tor. You must do all of your Deepweb browsing from this browser. If you are accessing the internet from a country that limits your internet access, you will notice that you now have access to the entire internet. You will also be browsing the internet in a true anonymous fashion - the onion routing capability of Tor will protect your ip address from servers and snoopers. So, feel free to just browse the regular internet anonymously - however that is just scratching the surface of the Deepweb. There is a lot more out there on "Hidden Web Sites". A Hidden Web Site is any site that has a domain name that ends in ".onion". These sites are different than regular websites, because not only is your ip address hidden from them, but their ip address is also hidden from you. This gives these sites leverage to host more freely - without fear that a repressive authority will find their servers and shut them down. Because there is no central registrar, there is no single repository of all .onion sites. Many of them you just have to hear about through direct communication with other Tor users. However, there are a few great places to start (Open these links from the Tor browser):
The Hidden Wiki - An excellent landing page to the onionland. There are many useful links here - but be wary: there are also links to scam sites.
The Silk Road - I'm sure you've heard of it before - the place where you can buy many black market substances using Bitcoins. Even if you don't plan to buy anything, it's interesting to take a look around and see what's available.
RedditTor - A clone of reddit that is running in onionland. Yay open source!
Many people compare the Deepweb to the internet before AOL. It is much less populated - but the population is generally more technically savvy. You also have to watch out for scams and fraud - there is no regulation - so keep your wits about you. Have fun!
EDIT: No one has offered to accept any of the bets, so I am declaring this offer withdrawn.
BMR & Sheep have demonstrated their danger, but few black-market-users seem to genuinely appreciate this. I am publicly betting that they will fail in the near-future. If you think I am wrong, just try to take my money and prove me wrong! Otherwise, spare us your cheap talk.
Hi! I'm Gwern Branwen. You may remember me from such black-market webpages as Silk Road: Theory & Practice, and /silkroad. Today I'm here to talk to you about BlackMarket Reloaded & Sheep Marketplace. (A signed version of this 30 October 2013 post will be posted as a comment, because I wish to use Markdown formatting; my PGP key is available.)
With the fall of SR, we're all very sad: it was a good site which performed a useful function. But life goes on, so it's no surprise we're all moving on to new black markets. That said, I am concerned by the accumulating pattern I am seeing around BMR and Sheep, and by the delusional optimism of many of the users.
BlackMarket Reloaded, since the fall, has been marked by a pattern of arrogance, technical incompetence, dismissal of problems, tolerance for sellers keep buyer addresses & issuing threats, astounding tolerance for information leaks (all the implementation information, and particularly the VPS incident with the user data leak; mirrors: 1, 2), etc. We know his code is shitty and smells like vulnerabilities (programmer in 3 different IRC channels I frequent quoted bits of the leaked code with a mixture of hilarity & horror), yet somehow backopy expects to rewrite it better, despite being the same person who wrote the first version and the basic security principle that new versions have lots of bugs. (I'm not actually bothered by the DoS attacks; they're issues for any site, much less hidden services.) And then there's the things he's not telling us. Atlantis shut down because they were worried about contacts from LE, and thus far this shut down seems to have saved them; but BMR has been around several times longer than Atlantis - would it not beggar belief if LE had not made contacts, attempted SR-style stings, or infiltrated BMR staff? And remember how we were able to discover all sorts of leaks in DPR's opsec once we had the indictment and knew what to look for? Or consider the claims being made about the Project Black Flag Leaks, where someone claims to have accessed laundry list of information from its internals - only after Metta DPR decided to rip-and-run. If this is what we see publicly for BMR, what on earth is going on behind the scenes? backopy should have handed on BMR weeks ago, but is still around. He seems to plan to repeat SDPR's mistakes exactly: leak information all over the place, never retire, and just keep on until he is busted and takes who-knows-how-many people down to prison with him. He has learned nothing. What, exactly, is his exit strategy? What goals does he have and when will they ever be satisfied? He has been running BMR for more than 2 years now, and has not left. How does this story end: of a man who does not know his limits, does not have ability equal to the task, and refuses to quit while he's ahead? It ends with a party-van, that's how it ends. And hardly anyone seems troubled by this! The BMR subreddit is full of bustle; people are even hailing backopy as a "hero" for allowing withdrawal of bitcoins. (How generous of him.)
Is Sheep any better? No. BMR is troubled and probably infiltrated at this point, but Sheep may well be a dead market walking at this point. No one has a good word to say about its coding, so there may well be BMR-style issues in its future. More importantly: the veriest Google search would turn up that clearnet site, and it has beenpointed out that the clearnet Czech site hosted by HexaGeek was uncannily similar to the actual hidden service. It uses almost the same exact technology, and the official explanation is that they had "fans" (fans? who set up, many months ago, before anyone gave a damn about Sheep, an entire functioning mirror while cloning the software stack and being in a foreign non-English-speaking country just like the Sheep admins?). Ridiculous! DPR may have set up a WordPress site, but at least 'altoid' didn't run an entire SR mirror! (He left that to onion.to & tor2web.org.). Sheep's likely about one subpoena of HexaGeek away from fun party times in the party-van.
I am uninterested in seeing Sheep/BMR busted and lots of newbies caught because they can't appreciate the patterns here. People don't take mere criticism seriously, and even if I lay it all out like here, and I mention that I have an excellent track record of predictions, they still won't because anyone can doom-monger and issue warnings, it won't get through to them. I want to get through to them - I want them to understand the risks they're taking, I want them to reflexively use PGP, and I want them to leave balances on sites for as short a time as possible. So! I am putting my money where my mouth is.
I and 3 others are publicly wagering ฿4 ($816 at today's rate), ฿1 each, on the following 4 bets:
BMR will not be operating in 6 months: 25%; 1:3 (you risk ฿3 and if BMR is still operating, you win our ฿1, else you lose the ฿3 to us)
BMR will not be operating in 12 months 40%; 1:1.5 (you risk ฿1.5 & BMR is operating in a year, you win our ฿1, else lose ฿1.5)
Sheep will not be operating in 6 months 30%; 1:2.3 (your ฿2.3 against our ฿1)
Sheep will not be operating in 12 months 60%; 1:0.66 (you risk ฿0.66 against our ฿1)
The ฿4 are currently stored in 1AZvaBEJMiK8AJ5GvfvLWgHjWgL59TRPGy (proof of control: IOqEiWYWtYWFmJaKa29sOUqfMLrSWAWhHxqqB3bcVHuDpcn8rA0FkEqvRYmdgQO4yeXeNHtwr9NSqI9J79G+yPA= is the signature by 1Az of the string "This address contains bitcoins for the BMSheep bet run by gwern.").
BMR = kss62ljxtqiqdfuq.onion
Sheep = sheep5u64fi457aw.onion
The exact definition of 'not operating' includes but is not limited to this: on noon EST of 30 April 2013 (6-months) or 30 October 2014 (12-months), if Nanotube can visit the relevant black-market, create a buyer account, deposit bitcoins, and order an item, then the site is operating. If deposits or new accounts or purchases are not allowed or not possible, it is not operating. At his own discretion, the arbitrator can take into account other factors, like widespread reports that a market has been raided and turned into a sting operation.
Arbitration & escrow are being provided by Nanotube, a long-time Bitcoin user & -otc trader, who has handled some past bets (most famously, the ฿10,000 bet between the Ponzi schemer pirateat40 & Vandroiy) and I believe can be trusted to escrow this one as well; he has agreed to a nominal fee of 1%. (I am not using Bets of Bitcoin because they have a dishonest & exploitative rule-set, and I am not sure Predictious would allow these bets.)
If you disagree and are man enough to take our bets, post the amount you are betting on which bet, and Nanotube will supply an address for you to transfer your bitcoin to. When it arrives in his wallet, then our bet will be in effect. May the most accurate beliefs win.
Shutting down or restricting the uses of bank accounts, thereby forbidding clients to buy crypto, is a blatant affront to the rights of civil liberty, manifested, but not limited to, in the rights to private property and free speech (562 points, 262 comments)
I believe Bitcoin Core/Blockstream is now attempting to infiltrate Bitcoin Cash in the same manner that they did with Bitcoin Segwit. They are suddenly befriending Bitcoin Cash. Only in that way can they destroy from within. Do not be fooled. (401 points, 166 comments)
You have $100 worth of BTC. So you purchase an item for $66, but have to pay a $17 fee. Now you have $17 worth of Bitcoin left, but it costs $17 more to move it. So $66 item effectively cost you $100. #Thanks BlockStream (1420 points, 433 comments)
2025 points: kairepaire's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
2018 points: vbuterin's comment in "So no worries, Ethereum's long term value is still ~0." -Greg Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream and opponent of allowing Bitcoin to scale as Satoshi had planned.
1215 points: vbuterin's comment in Vitalik Buterin tried to develop Ethereum on top of Bitcoin, but was stalled because the developers made it hard to build on top of Bitcoin. Vitalik only then built Ethereum as a separate currency
1211 points: LiamGaughan's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
Every one has its own opinion but the fact which I had seen is dated at 2011 when the medium of accepting payments beside paypal was usually Libertyreserve.com at most Forums or merchants because of no charge back policy.80% Drug lord and black marketers were using LR. In May 2013, Liberty Reserve was shut down by United States federal prosecutors under the Patriot Act after an investigation by authorities across 17 countries. The United States charged founder Arthur Budovsky and six others with money laundering and operating an unlicensed financial transaction company. Liberty Reserve is alleged to have been used to launder more than $6 billion in criminal proceeds during its history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Reserve#/media/File:Liberty_Reserve_seizure.png After its Closure I had seen users ,merchants ,everyone running to find an alternate payment method so now the traffic started adopting money,Obviously, Liberty Reserve is not the only e-wallet available on the market, however most of the alternatives are regulated and comply with way stricter requirements. Moneybookers/Skrill, for example, is regulated by the FCA in the UK, and demands document verification from its users so even if the payment provider is used for illegal purposes, the involved parties can easily be tracked down. And that is not the case with Liberty Reserve. Which is not to say that everyone who uses Liberty Reserve is a fraudster. soon the merchant started using bitcoin and surprisingly the popularity started as there was no chargeback and completely anonymous for drugs king. if you look at the google 5yrs trend keyword chart of bitcoin you can see exactly the date of liberty reserve closure and the rise of bitcoin in popularity and in usage. https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=bitcoin Due to bitcoin Owners addresses are not explicitly identified, The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media I n October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down the website and arrested Ross Ulbricht under charges of being the site's pseudonymous founder "Dread Pirate Roberts". On 6 November 2013, Silk Road 2.0 came online, run by former administrators of Silk Road. It too was shut down
History of Bitcoin: An analysis of where it's been, where it is, and where it's going.
What is Bitcoin? A brief history. Okay. So we know that cryptocurrencies are non-state issued currencies that seek to maintain value through scarcity (usually), security (hopefully), and easy transferability regardless of national borders (indubitably). Bitcoin does all of these things...but so do other cryptocurrencies. Why is Bitcoin special? Let's start with a bit of history. Beginning in the 1980s, a group of developers and activists formed a list serve and named themselves the Cypherpunks. This group was obsessed with societal privacy and anonymity. They believed that only complete privacy and security could guarantee a free and open society and that the government could not be relied upon to ensure it. Members of the group sought different modes to achieve this goal. Among others: Bram Cohen: BitTorrent -> Peer to Peer information sharing Nick Szabo: Bit Gold -> predecessor of Bitcoin, originator of smart contracts Julian Assange: WikiLeaks -> classified and secret document archive and disclosure Another person (?) on this list was "Satoshi Nakamoto" who, in his seminal whitepaper in 2009, outlined Bitcoin. Note that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is in quotation marks because his or her or their true identity is thus far unconfirmed. Regardless, Nakamoto's whitepaper conceptualized Bitcoin and in the process created the idea of the blockchain and solved the double spending problem. The double spending problem was something that had plagued digital currencies since they were first proposed. The problem, characterized by a digital currency's lack of physical permanence and resultant ability to be copied, forged, or otherwise falsified, prevent digital currency from progressing past the point of "internet money". Nakamoto managed to resolve double-spending this via implementation of the blockchain. Let me explain how: Traditional transactions are pretty straightforward. Party A gives Party B some number of dollars. Party B accepts this money without concern because, the possibility of counterfeiting not withstanding, he is pretty sure that the dollars that he is receiving are legitimate. Since dollars are physical, they can only be spent in one place at a time. Image 1 This works great when both parties are confident that the money being transacted can only be spent once as is the case with physical money. Digital money is intangible by its nature and therefore, double spending is a concern. Say that Party A has BitCash A. He wants to purchase goods from Party B and Party C. The goods to be purchased EACH cost BitCash A. If Party A is honest, he will only purchase one of the goods since he can't afford both. Party A is a bad dude, though, and decides to try to pull a fast one on Party B and Party C. Since BitCash is just internet money, it's easily reproducible and requires only a quick copy and paste to dupe the system. Party A sends BitCash A to Party B as well as to Party C. Someone is loses money (likely the whole network since this is a fatal flaw in the currency and indicates underlying unreliability). Image 2 For those of you wondering how credit cards and other digital systems alleviate this issue, they do it through a centralized ledger. In other words, a third party is needed to mediate transactions and to ensure that money only exists in one place at a time. While this works in the context of traditional banking, this system goes against the ethos of Bitcoin, which is predicated on decentralization, privacy, and anonymity. Additionally, the idea of trusting a third party to verify all transactions introduced a single point of potential failure, something that cryptocurrencies sought to avoid. The above issue remained unsolved until Nakamoto's invention of Bitcoin. Nakamoto introduced the idea of the blockchain, a constantly updated decentralized universal ledger that existed everywhere and nowhere, that was maintained by multiple parties on the network, and that was permanently reliable. Each transaction had to be verified by multiple parties (known as miners) as being legitimate before becoming irreversibly codified in the universal ledger known as the blockchain. Should a party seek to double spend, one of the transactions put forth would be rejected: either the one that was placed second, or the one that received fewer confirmations from the network. By relying on a second party system, the double spending problem was solved. Image 3 In the above case, Party A attempts to double spend his Bitcoin A to Party B and Party C. Both proposed transactions are sent to miners to verify. Only one of the two is accepted by the network and added to the blockchain. In this case, the Bitcoin A sent to Party B is confirmed as legitimate while the proposed transaction to Party C is rejected. Bitcoin A is NOT double spent. Party B ends up with Bitcoin A and Party C ends up with nothing. With the double spending problem and others worked out, Bitcoin became a viable mode for transaction. The first official Bitcoin transaction occurred on January 12, 2009 between Nakamoto and Hal Finney. Bitcoin ceased to be theoretical and entered the real world. Exchanges began carrying Bitcoin and facilitating its transfer between people. Over the next several years Bitcoin's value grew from fractions of a cent to over $11000 (as of 12/3/17). Image 4 Image 5 Image 6 In addition to its own growth, Bitcoin is also responsible for the rise of cryptocurrencies in general as the majority of cryptocurrencies today have used Bitcoin as their foundational model. Image 7 Controversies Bitcoin's ascent has been marred by several controversies both internal and external.
Advantages of Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies I've broken down the major advantages of Bitcoin as follows: Image 8 Ubiquity/cachet: Ultimately, much of the advantage that Bitcoin possesses boils down to its place as the cryptocurrency leader. Odds are that when people say "cryptocurrency", they really mean Bitcoin. There's value to being at the top of the market and its position affords it a host of benefits. It has the largest user base of any of the cryptocurrencies which fuels its dollar value. Because it was first to market, and because of its users, it also has a robust development community working both internally and externally. One of the perks of investing in Bitcoin is the exposure that one gets to Bitcoin forks. Bitcoin Cash, a fork that occurred on August 1, 2017, is currently trading over $1600/coin. Every user of Bitcoin received Bitcoin Cash...just for holding Bitcoin. There have been other forks since, and there will continue to be forks in the future, all adding potential value to a Bitcoin investment. Furthermore, Bitcoin is relatively established and more robust to insults than other cryptocurrencies, making it a safer store of value. In order to be unseated as the clear crypto king, a new product would need to show up that is not only qualitatively better than Bitcoin, but better enough that it makes ditching the Bitcoin environment worth it. Technology: Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to reliably show that digital money could be used for transactions and as stores of value. As mentioned above, most cryptocurrencies today use the Bitcoin white paper as their model. We know that the foundations of Bitcoin are comparatively sound and that it is stable. This stability has allowed a healthy ecosystem of development to take root. Interested in buying a hardware wallet for your Bitcoin? They exist. More interested in creating a free online wallet? Those exist. Interested in mining? It's easy, albeit expensive to get started. The technology being proven has allowed the adjacent technologies to thrive. Price: While most would consider an $11000 entry tag to be a massive barrier to entry and potentially stifling, it's actually a major boon to Bitcoin. The price tag attracts investors and users, which encourages development, which makes the product more functional, which attracts users, which increases price, etc. Bitcoin is worth something and makes it difficult to dismiss. Furthermore, its high price tempers volatility and manipulation. Unlike other currencies that are worth pennies or dollars, Bitcoin is able to weather large capital inflows and outflows and is less prone to overt market manipulation precisely because its market cap is so high. Risks Image 9 Internal Technology: While Bitcoin functions completely adequately today, it will need to scale tremendously to reach its potential. While the technology behind Bitcoin is impressive, it pales in comparison to established modes of exchange. VISA averages 2000 transactions per second and has a peak capacity of 56000 transactions per second. Bitcoin presently averages 7 transactions per second. Certain solutions are being explored, like the Lightning Network, but there are no guarantees that there will be successful implementation. As can be said with any technology, Bitcoin is fundamentally dependent on its underlying code. Thus far it has had only one major exposed flaw (which resulted in the accidental creation of 184 billion Bitcoin). Development: Mentioned above was the advantage conveyed by forks. They can provide additional value. This is a good thing. They can also create competitors. This is a bad thing. While it is unlikely that a Bitcoin offshoot will unseat Bitcoin outright, there is the risk of market cannibalization and confusion with each new iteration. Which is the real Bitcoin? External Legislative: Because Bitcoin can so ably provide for functions that were once strictly in the government domain, it is likely to become the target of governmental limits at some point. We've already seen China try to crack down on Bitcoin and it's reasonable to assume that other countries will follow suit. Despite this risk, however, Bitcoin has proven to be incredibly resilient and is still traded by the Chinese. Since the Chinese ban, Bitcoin's price has nearly doubled from $6000 to over $11000 today (12/3/17). Competitive: I mentioned earlier that one of Bitcoin's main advantages was that it was first to market. While this is a tremendous benefit today, it does not guarantee ongoing success. History is littered with famous "firsts to market" that were overtaken by savvy competitors. The World was the first ISP to market. Magnavox released the first video game console. You'd be hard pressed to find someone that equates ISPs with The World or video game consoles with Magnavox. Bitcoin is not on the precipice of being overtaken by another cryptocurrency. However, the risk of an existing competitor, or more likely a new competitor that doesn't yet exist, supplanting Bitcoin is always a possibility and investors should mitigate risk appropriately. Investment opportunities: Bitcoin provides the surest cryptocurrency investment for the reasons mentioned above. Its status as the cryptocurrency leader makes it the most stable investment in the arena. Furthermore, its cachet makes it an attractive investment to lay investors looking for exposure to this particular market which subsequently makes it an even more attractive investment. While many may balk at investing in something whose single unit is priced at more than $11000 and that has experienced explosive growth, I believe that Bitcoin still has opportunity for upward movement. The number I keep coming back to is $7.8T (trillion). That's the market cap for gold. I use this as a bench mark because I see Bitcoin supplanting gold as a storage of wealth from fiat currencies. As I've discussed, the blockchain provides permanence in a way that is akin to gold's physical permanence. The present market cap for ALL cryptocurrencies is $340B (billion). Bitcoin presently accounts for 55% of the cryptocurrency market cap with $188B. Assuming that over the next year growth slows over the next year and that Bitcoin loses some of its dominance, I still think that it's reasonable to project an approximate Bitcoin value of $50000. This assumes that the crypto market continues to grow, albeit at a slower relative pace and still does not approach gold's market cap. Image 10 This is bullish and I assume that no major stumbling blocks present themselves. I am drawn to the fact that market penetration is still relatively low and that institutional money has barely begun to enter the market. These two factors mean that organic growth can continue for the foreseeable future. Conclusion Bitcoin represents the present pinnacle of the cryptocurrency market. As an investment, it provides the best combination of stability and potential growth precisely because it is the market leader. Through its innovation of the blockchain, it has spurred the cryptocurrency explosion that we have witnessed over the last several years.
Okay im sure the feds did not seize the silk road. FOR MANY REASONS. 1.There are 2 seals and 3 badges an official shutdown would never include... limit my search to r/Bitcoin. use the following search parameters to narrow your results: subreddit:subreddit find submissions in "subreddit" author:username find submissions by "username" site:example.com find submissions from "example.com" url:text search for "text" in url selftext:text search for "text" in self post contents self:yes (or self:no) include (or exclude) self posts nsfw:yes (or ... To buy some thing on Silk Road, you will need 1st to get some Bitcoins making use of a service like Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange. After that, generate an account on Silk Road, deposit some bitcoins, and begin purchasing drugs. One bitcoin is worth about $130 this moment but the prices changes every minute, though the exchange rate fluctuates wildly every single day. Right this moment you can buy ... The reason that the Silk Road shutting down could have a large effect on bitcoins lies in the fact that bitcoin was the only currency accepted on the Silk Road, so if a customer wanted to buy, he needed to get bitcoin. This could be from Mt. Gox, his friend, or a miner rig, but no matter what, the Silk Road increased the demand of bitcoin. People who have never used a cryptocurrency in their ... From Bitcoin Wiki. Jump to: navigation, search. 300px. Silk Road is an online market. It is operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users are able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. All its products can be bought anonymously for bitcoins. Contents. 1 Products; 2 History; 3 Sales; 4 See also; 5 Source; Products. As of March 2013, the site had ...
Buying illegal drugs on the 'Silk Road' - as featured on ...
Silk Road- the eBay for illegal things and more - has been shut down by the feds and the FBI is accused of taking millions of dollars in Bitcoins from site u... Silk Road, a black market website, is up and running again after being shut down by the FBI back in October. In the two years that Silk Road was online, it made 1.3 billion dollars in commission. The Bitcoin Group #55 - Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown - Crypto Equity Crackdown - Lawsky Keynote World Crypto Network. Loading... Unsubscribe from World Crypto Network? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working ... How illegal drugs are bought and sold on the dark web "It is possible to buy hard drugs online and have them delivered to your door, a Channel 4 News investi... Check out more videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... Learn more about mining: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... EVERYONE loved this video: ...