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Decred Journal — May 2018
Note: New Reddit look may not highlight links. See old look here. A copy is hosted on GitHub for better reading experience. Check it out, contains photo of the month! Also on Medium
dcrd: Significant optimization in signature hash calculation, bloom filters support was removed, 2x faster startup thanks to in-memory full block index, multipeer work advancing, stronger protection against majority hashpower attacks. Additionally, code refactoring and cleanup, code and test infrastructure improvements. In dcrd and dcrwallet developers have been experimenting with new modular dependency and versioning schemes using vgo. @orthomind is seeking feedback for his work on reproducible builds. Decrediton: 1.2.1 bugfix release, work on SPV has started, chart additions are in progress. Further simplification of the staking process is in the pipeline (slack). Politeia: new command line tool to interact with Politeia API, general development is ongoing. Help with testing will soon be welcome: this issue sets out a test plan, join #politeia to follow progress and participate in testing. dcrdata: work ongoing on improved design, adding more charts and improving Insight API support. Android: design work advancing. Decred's own DNS seeder (dcrseeder) was released. It is written in Go and it properly supports service bit filtering, which will allow SPV nodes to find full nodes that support compact filters. Ticket splitting service by @matheusd entered beta and demonstrated an 11-way split on mainnet. Help with testing is much appreciated, please join #ticket_splitting to participate in splits, but check this doc to learn about the risks. Reddit discussion here. Trezor support is expected to land in their next firmware update. Decred is now supported by Riemann, a toolbox from James Prestwich to construct transactions for many UTXO-based chains from human-readable strings. Atomic swap with Ethereum on testnet was demonstrated at Blockspot Conference LATAM. Two new faces were added to contributors page. Dev activity stats for May: 238 active PRs, 195 master commits, 32,831 added and 22,280 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: rapid growth from ~4,000 TH/s at the beginning of the month to ~15,000 at the end with new all time high of 17,949. Interesting dynamic in hashrate distribution across mining pools: coinmine.pl share went down from 55% to 25% while F2Pool up from 2% to 44%. [Note: as of June 6, the hashrate continues to rise and has already passed 22,000 TH/s] Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 91.3 DCR (+0.8), stake participation is 46.9% (+0.8%) with 3.68 million DCR locked (+0.15). Min price was 85.56. On May 11 ticket price surged to 96.99, staying elevated for longer than usual after such a pump. Locked DCR peaked at 47.17%. jet_user on reddit suggested that the DCR for these tickets likely came from a miner with significant hashrate. Nodes: there are 226 public listening and 405 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 45% on v1.2.0 (up from 24% last month), 39% on v1.1.2, 15% on v1.1.0 and 1% running outdaded versions.
Obelisk team posted an update. Current hashrate estimate of DCR1 is 1200 GH/s at 500 W and may still change. The chips came back at 40% the speed of the simulated results, it is still unknown why. Batch 1 units may get delayed 1-2 weeks past June 30. See discussions on decred and on siacoin. @SiaBillionaire estimated that 7940 DCR1 units were sold in Batches 1-5, while Lynmar13 shared his projections of DCR1 profitability (reddit). A new Chinese miner for pre-order was noticed by our Telegram group. Woodpecker WB2 specs 1.5 TH/s at 1200 W, costs 15,000 CNY (~2,340 USD) and the initial 150 units are expected to ship on Aug 15. (pow8.com – translated) Another new miner is iBelink DSM6T: 6 TH/s at 2100 W costing $6,300 (ibelink.co). Shipping starts from June 5. Some concerns and links were posted in these twothreads.
A new mining pool is available now: altpool.net. It uses PPLNS model and takes 1% fee. Another infrastructure addition is tokensmart.io, a newly audited stake pool with 0.8% fee. There are a total of 14 stake pools now. Exchange integrations:
Upbit added DCKRW and DCUSDT pairs. A user reported that DCR deposits and withdrawals are now available.
CoinEx announced the launch of DCBTC and DCBCH pairs.
Bleutrade added DCUSDT pair. Note their reply to our tweet. It was the first exchange to list Decred minutes after launch.
Brazilian exchange OmniTradeadded DCBRL fiat pair following a poll. Worth noting that it is one of the first to integrate Trezor sign-in.
There are reports that DCR was added to Abucoins and Tor Exchange but we don't know much about them.
OpenBazaar released an update that allows one to trade cryptocurrencies, including DCR. @i2Rav from i2trading is now offering two sided OTC market liquidity on DCUSD in #trading channel. Paytomat, payments solution for point of sale and e-commerce, integrated Decred. (missed in April issue) CoinPayments, a payment processor supporting Decred, developed an integration with @Shopify that allows connected merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for goods.
michae2xl: Voto Legal: CEO Thiago Rondon of Appcívico, has already been contacted by 800 politicians and negotiations have started with four pre-candidates for the presidency (slack, source tweet)
Blockfolio rolled out Signal Beta with Decred in the list. Users who own or watch a coin will automatically receive updates pushed by project teams. Nice to see this Journal made it to the screenshot! Placeholder Ventures announced that Decred is their first public investment. Their Investment Thesis is a clear and well researched overview of Decred. Among other great points it noted the less obvious benefit of not doing an ICO:
By choosing not to pre-sell coins to speculators, the financial rewards from Decred’s growth most favor those who work for the network.
One project that stands out at #Consensus2018 is @decredproject. Not annoying. Real tech. Humble team. #BUIDL is strong with them. (@PallerJohn)
Token Summit in New York, USA. @cburniske and @jmonegro from Placeholder talked "Governance and Cryptoeconomics" and spoke highly of Decred. (twitter coverage: 12, video, video (from 32 min)) Campus Party in Bahia, Brazil. João Ferreira aka @girino and Gabriel @Rhama were introducing Decred, talking about governance and teaching to perform atomic swaps. (photos) Decred was introduced to the delegates from Shanghai's Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, organized by @ybfventures. Second Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (photos) Madison Blockchain in Madison, USA. "Lots of in-depth questions. The Q&A lasted longer than the presentation!". (photo) Blockspot Conference Latam in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (photos: 1, 2) Upcoming events:
The Long-Term Bullish Case for Decred by Ben Davidow (medium.com)
Hardware Companies Are Launching Dedicated ASIC Miners for Decred (btcmanager.com)
Iterative Capital partner Chris Dannen and journalist Ben Schiller speak with Marco and Jonathan from Decred at Consensus 2018 (soundcloud)
Decred Review: What is DCR, the Decred Community & Possible Challenges by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
Decred Founder: Bitcoin Paved Way, Phase 2 Will Shock You! (Marco Peereboom) by Pure Blockchain Wealth (youtube)
Decred & Blocknet: Revolutionary governance for every community feat. JZ at Consensus 2018 (youtube)
Decred coin - Will it be better than Bitcoin? by Bitassist (youtube)
Community stats: Twitter 39,118 (+742), Reddit 8,167 (+277), Slack 5,658 (+160). Difference is between May 5 and May 31. Reddit highlights: transparent up/down voting on Politeia, combining LN and atomic swaps, minimum viable superorganism, the controversial debate on Decred contractor model (people wondered about true motives behind the thread), tx size and fees discussion, hard moderation case, impact of ASICs on price, another "Why Decred?" thread with another excellent pitch by solar, fee analysis showing how ticket price algorithm change was controversial with ~100x cut in miner profits, impact of ticket splitting on ticket price, recommendations on promoting Decred, security against double spends and custom voting policies. @R3VoLuT1OneR posted a preview of a proposal from his company for Decred to offer scholarships for students. dcrtrader gained a couple of new moderators, weekly automatic threads were reconfigured to monthly and empty threads were removed. Currently most trading talk happens on #trading and some leaks to decred. A separate trading sub offers some advantages: unlimited trading talk, broad range of allowed topics, free speech and transparent moderation, in addition to standard reddit threaded discussion, permanent history and search. Forum: potential social attacks on Decred. Slack: the #governance channel created last month has seen many intelligent conversations on topics including: finite attention of decision makers, why stakeholders can make good decisions (opposed to a common narrative than only developers are capable of making good decisions), proposal funding and contractor pre-qualification, Cardano and Dash treasuries, quadratic voting, equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity, and much more. One particularly important issue being discussed is the growing number of posts arguing that on-chain governance and coin voting is bad. Just a few examples from Twitter: Decred is solving an imagined problem (decent response by @jm_buirski), we convince ourselves that we need governance and ticket price algo vote was not controversial, on-chain governance hurts node operators and it is too early for it, it robs node operators of their role, crypto risks being captured by the wealthy, it is a huge threat to the whole public blockchain space, coin holders should not own the blockchain. Some responses were posted here and here on Twitter, as well as this article by Noah Pierau.
The month of May has seen Decred earn some much deserved attention in the markets. DCR started the month around 0.009 BTC and finished around 0.0125 with interim high of 0.0165 on Bittrex. In USD terms it started around $81 and finished around $92, temporarily rising to $118. During a period in which most altcoins suffered, Decred has performed well; rising from rank #45 to #30 on Coinmarketcap. The addition of a much awaited KRW pair on Upbit saw the price briefly double on some exchanges. This pair opens up direct DCR to fiat trading in one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. An update from @i2Rav:
We have begun trading DCR in large volume daily. The interest around DCR has really started to grow in terms of OTC quote requests. More and more customers are asking about trading it.
Like in previous month, Decred scores high by "% down from ATH" indicator being #2 on onchainfx as of June 6.
David Vorick (@taek) published lots of insights into the world of ASIC manufacturing (reddit). Bitmain replied. Bitmain released an ASIC for Equihash (archived), an algorithm thought to be somewhat ASIC-resistant 2 years ago. Threepure PoWcoins were attacked this month, one attempting to be ASIC resistant. This shows the importance of Decred's PoS layer that exerts control over miners and allows Decred to welcome ASIC miners for more PoW security without sacrificing sovereignty to them. Upbit was raided over suspected fraud and put under investigation. Following news reported no illicit activity was found and suggested and raid was premature and damaged trust in local exchanges. Circle, the new owner of Poloniex, announced a USD-backed stablecoin and Bitmain partnership. The plan is to make USDC available as a primary market on Poloniex. More details in the FAQ. Poloniex announced lower trading fees. Bittrex plans to offer USD trading pairs. @sumiflow made good progress on correcting Decred market cap on several sites:
speaking of market cap, I got it corrected on coingecko, cryptocompare, and worldcoinindex onchainfx, livecoinwatch, and cryptoindex.co said they would update it about a month ago but haven't yet I messaged coinlib.io today but haven't got a response yet coinmarketcap refused to correct it until they can verify certain funds have moved from dev wallets which is most likely forever unknowable (slack)
About This Issue
Some source links point to Slack messages. Although Slack hides history older than ~5 days, you can read individual messages if you paste the message link into chat with yourself. Digging the full conversation is hard but possible. The history of all channels bridged to Matrix is saved in Matrix. Therefore it is possible to dig history in Matrix if you know the timestamp of the first message. Slack links encode the timestamp: https://decred.slack.com/archives/C5H9Z63AA/p1525528370000062 => 1525528370 => 2018-05-05 13:52:50. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Your feedback is precious. You can post on GitHub, comment on Reddit or message us in #writers_room channel. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Richard-Red, snr01 and solar.
dcrd: Several steps towards multipeer downloads completed: an optimization to use in-memory block index and a new 1337 chain view. Maintenance: improved test coverage, upgrading dependency management system and preparing for the upcoming Go 1.11 release. dcrwallet: A big change introducing optional privacy-preserving SPV sync mode was merged. In this mode dcrwallet does not download the full blockchain but only gets the "filters", uses them to determine which blocks it needs and fetches them from random nodes on the network. This has on-disk footprint of 300-400 MB and sync time of minutes, compared to ~3.4 GB and sync time of hours for full sync (these are rough estimates).
jy-p: the server side of SPV (in dcrd) was deployed in v1.2.0, the client side of SPV (in dcrwallet) is in our next release, v1.3.0. Still some minor bugs in SPV that are being worked out. There will be an update to add the latest features from BIP 157/158 in the next few months. SPV will be optional in v1.3.0, but it will become the default after we get a proper header commitment for it (#general)
Decrediton: besides regular bugfixes and design improvements, several components are being developed in parallel like SPV mode, Politeia integration and Trezor support. Politeia: testing started on mainnet, thanks to everyone who is participating. A lot of testing, bugfixing and polishing is happening in preparation for full mainnet launch. There are also a few missing features to be added before launch, e.g. capacity to edit a proposal and versioning for that, discussion to remain open once voting starts. Decrediton integration is moving forward, check out this video for a demo and this meta issue for the full checklist. Trezor: Decrediton integration of initial Trezor support is in progress and there is a demo. Android: app design version 2.0 completed. dcrdata: development of several chart visualizations was completed and is awaiting deployment. Specifically, voting agendas and historic charts are merged while ticket pool visualization is in testing. atomicswap: @glendc is seeking reviews of his Ethereum support pull request. Dev activity stats for July: 252 active PRs, 220 master commits, 34,754 added and 12,847 deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 6-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: the month started at 40.5 and ended at 51.6 PH/s, with a low of 33.3 and a new all time high of 68.4 PH/s. F2Pool is leading with 40-45%, followed by the new BeePool at 15-25% and coinmine.pl at 18-23%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 92.6 DCR (-2.1). The price started the month at 94.6 and quickly retreated to month's low of 85 until 1,860 tickets were bought within a single period (versus target 720). This pushed the pool of tickets to 41,970 (2.5% above target), which in turn caused 10 price increases in a row to the month's high of 100.4. This was the highest ticket price seen on the new ticket price algorithm which has been in effect since Jul 2017. Second half of the month there was unusually low volatility between 92 and 94 DCR per ticket. Locked DCR held between 3.75 and 3.87 million or 46.6-48.0% of supply (+0.1% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 212 public listening and 216 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 67% on v1.2.0 (+10%), 24% on v1.1.2 (-1%), 7% on v1.1.0 (-7%). Node count data is not perfect but we can see the steady trend of upgrading to v1.2.0. This version of dcrd is notable for serving compact filters. The increased count of such full nodes allows the developers to test SPV client mode in preparations for the upcoming v1.3.0 release.
Obelisk posted three updates in July. For the most recent daily updates join their Discord. New miner from iBeLink: DSM7T hashes Blake256 at 7 TH/s or Blake2b at 3.5 TH/s, consumes 2,100 W and costs $3,800, shipping Aug 5-10. There were also speculations about the mysterious Pangolin Whatsminer DCR with the speed of 44 TH/s at 2,200 W and the cost of $3,888, shipping November. If you know more about it please share with us in #pow-mining channel.
emiliomann: stakebrasil is one of the pools with the lowest number of missed and expired tickets. It was one of the first and has a smaller percentage than the most recent ones who haven’t had the time to do so. (...) The Brazilian pool should be the one with the more servers spread around the world: 6 to decrease the latency. This is to explain to you why the [pool fee] rate of 5% (currently around 0.06 DCR) on the reward is also one of the highest. girino: 8 voting wallets now. I just finished setting up a new one yesterday. All of them in different datacenters, 3 in europe, 3 in north america, 1 in brazil and one in asia. We also have 3 more servers, 1 for the front end, one for "stats" and one for dcrdata. (#general)
On the mining side, Luxor started a new set of pool servers inside mainland China, while zpool has enabled Decred mining. StatX announced Decred integration into their live dashboard and public chat. Decred was added to Satowallet with BTC and ETH trading pairs. Caution: do your best to understand the security model before using any wallet software.
Marina Silva is the first presidential candidate in Brazil using blockchain to keep all their electoral donations transparent and traceable. VotoLegal uses Decred technology, awesome use case! (reddit)
We continue to see institutional interest in DCR. Large block buyers love the concept of staking as a way to earn additional income and appreciate the stakeholder rights it affords them. Likening a DCR investment to an activist shareholdebondholder gives these institutions some comfort while dipping their toes into a burgeoning new asset class.
Targeted advertising reports released for June and July. As usual, reach @timhebel for full versions.
Big news in June: Facebook reversed their policy on banning crypto ads. ICO ads are still banned, but we should be OK. My team filled out the appeal today, so we should hopefully hear something within a few days. (u/timhebel on reddit)
After couple weeks Facebook finally responded to the appeal and the next step is to verify the domain name via DNS. A pack of Stakey Telegram stickers is now available. Have fun!
Meetup in Berlin, Germany hosted by BlueYard Capital. @jz_bz and @lftherios discussed open source incentivization, the value of governance and their respective projects @decredproject and @oscoin. See @issedjur's feedback here. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, USA. @raedah's talk was "Decentralizing decision-making on the blockchain". Read his report here and see on the photos how the Big Stakey was entertaining the public. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
oregonisaac: many open source devs at OSCON were VERY interested in Politeia and it was probably the #1 hook that resulted in lots of long conversations about what makes Decred unique from the ground up. (#politeia)
Blockchain Meetup in Faro, Portugal. Marco Peereboom gave a talk "Decred 101" and answered questions.
Meetup in Lisbon, Portugal on Aug 2. @moo31337 and @mm will be presenting on Decred with talk "Decred 101 - Governance with skin in the game". Co-hosted by The Block Cafe. Free entrance.
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan on Aug 5. @morphymore will give a short intro on Decred.
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Aug 9. @joshuam will introduce Decred and on-chain governance and take part in a panel discussion.
Twitter: Ari Paul debates "There can be only one" aka "highlander argument". Reddit and Forum: how ticket pool size influences average vote time; roadmap concerns; why ticket price was volatile; ideas for using Reddit chat for dcrtrader and alternative chat systems; insette's write-up on Andrew Stone's GROUP proposal for miner-validated tokenization that is superior to current OP_RETURN-based schemes; James Liu's paper to extend atomic swaps to financial derivatives; what happens when all DCR are mined, tail emission and incentives for miners. Chats: why tickets don't have 100% chance to vote; ideas for more straightforward marketing; long-running chat about world economy and failure modes; @brandon's thoughts on tokenizing everything, ICOs, securities, sidechains and more; challenges of staking with Trezor; ideas how to use CryptoSteel wallet with Decred; why exchange can't stake your coins, how staking can increase security, why the function to export seed from wallet is bad idea and why dcrwallet doesn't ever store the seed; ticket voting math; discussion about how GitHub workflow forces to depend on modern web browser and possible alternatives; funding marketing and education in developing markets, vetting contractors based on deliverables, "Decred contractor clearance", continued in #governance. #dex channel continues to attract thinkers and host chats about influence of exchanges, regulation, HFT, lot sizes, liquidity, on-chain vs off-chain swaps, to name a few topics. #governance also keeps growing and hosting high quality conversations.
In July DCR was trading in USD 56-76 and BTC 0.0072-0.0109 range. A recovery started after a volume boost of up to $10.5 m on Fex around Jul 13, but once Bitcoin headed towards USD ~8,000 DCR declined along with most altcoins. WalletInvestor posted a prediction on dcrtrader. Decred was noticed in top 10 mineable coins on coinmarketcap.com.
One million PCs in China were infected via browser plugins to mine Decred, Siacoin and Digibyte. In a Unchained podcast episode David Vorick shared why ASICs are better than GPUs even if they tend toward mining centralization and also described Obelisk's new Launchpad service. (missed in June issue) Sia project moved to GitLab. The stated reasons are to avoid the risk of depending on centralized service, to avoid vendor lock-in, better continuous integration and testing, better access control and the general direction to support decentralized and open source projects. Luxor explained why PPS pools are better. @nic__carter published slides from his talk "An Overview of Governance in Blockchains" from Zcon0. This article arguing the importance of governance systems dates back to 2007. Bancor wallet was hacked. This reminds us about the fake feeling of decentralizaion, that custody of funds is dangerous and that smart contracts must have minimum complexity and be verifiable. Circle announced official Poloniex mobile apps for iOS and Android. On Jul 27 Circle announced delisting of 9 coins from Poloniex that led to a loss of 23-81% of their value same day. Sad reminder about how much a project can depend on a single centralized exchange. DCR supply and market cap is now correct on onchainfx.com and finally, on coinmarketcap.com. Thanks to @sumiflow, @jz and others doing the tedious work to reach out the various websites.
About This Issue
Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply. Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.
Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design. Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15. FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25. Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).
www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16. Australian CoinTreeadded DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports. Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org. Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Coinomiadded Decred to their Android and iOS wallets. In addition to the Apple App Store and Google Play you can download the APK directly. Coinomi features an integrated cryptocurrency exchange and is the first company to offer a mobile Decred wallet.
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?
Bit Dialsannounced DCR support via GloBee at their bitdials.eu luxury boutique. Their separate supercar and classic car shop bitcars.eu also accepts DCR, either via GloBee or with manual invoicing in case of privacy concerns.
Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here. Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)
Meetup in Puebla City, Mexico, organized by @elian. (photo, slides, missed in July issue)
@joshuam discussed Decred and decentralized organizations with Craig Laundy, Federal Minister for Small Business, the Workplace, and Deregulation with the Australian Government, at @YBFVentures. (photos)
Meetup at @TheBlockCafe in Lisbon, Portugal. @mm presented "Decred 101 - Governance with Skin in the Game" and @moo31337 talked about Decred's 2018 roadmap. (photos: 123)
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore made a short intro of Decred and noted: "After the talk, many have approached to tell me that they literally don’t hear of Decred until today, and are interested in finding out more about the merit of a hybrid consensus system.". Longer report here, some photos and a video are here.
@eSizeDave introduced Decred to the SILC Undergraduate Program students at @YBFVentures. (photo)
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. @joshuam gave a brief presentation covering the history of Decred, how the project functions, and the importance of governance. Afterwards he joined a panel discussion and spoke about Decred's incentives for long term viability. (video, video, photo)
Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canada. @zubairzia0 noted: "Devs and the community were held in high regard for the people who knew about decred ... one positive thing I remember was someone defending us saying 'Decred does not need a booth', I believe that comment was reflective of the quality of projects being showcased at the conference.". (photo)
Meetup at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam discussed Decred with Graham Stuart, U.K. Minister for International Trade. (news, photos)
Small meetup with Jackson Palmer in Melbourne, Australia. (photo)
Hawthorne Street Fair in Portland, USA. Raedah Group was out answering questions about crypto and Decred. (photos)
Blockchain APAC in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam joined a panel discussion with reps from banking, university and ISO/TC 307. @eSizeDave reports: "This enterprise conference was indeed a whole lot better than I expected. The presentations were actually full of very worthwhile information from credible people, articulated aptly to a very government, academic, and corporate crowd, who genuinely took on board valuable insights. Good to know some of these key people are Decred holders and stakers as well. I got to use the entire day to speak directly with some of the most pivotal personalities in this particular populace. Ongoing relationships have been built and strengthened.". (photos: 123)
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning) The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)
One private work channel was successfully migrated to Matrix.
Stylish room avatars were set.
@Haon has prepared a short guide to help new Matrix users get started and join the Decred rooms.
A thread was started to discuss changes to Decred jargon with the intent to make it more consistent and accessible to newcomers. The question whether changing "official" terminology requires stakeholder approval was touched in this thread and in #documentation.
Project fund transparency and constitution were extensively discussed on Reddit and in #general.
Pre-proposal to use Politeia to approve Politeia as a legitimate decision-making tool for Decred.
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1. Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment. An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.
DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery. @ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.
StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs. The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury. Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue) Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack). Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups. Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems. Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins. Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.
About This Issue
This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
There are many competing proposals to address scalability. For the most part I don't think scale is an issue right now, though it might become an issue quite quickly. Bitcoin's consensus algorithm requires a very conservative approach to change, so I certainly think it is best to solve problems when they are actually problems and not before. Optimization and scaling should be done much later in the lifecycle of a technology, right now we're in the experimentation stage. However, it is important to continue to research possible optimizations and make sure that no design limitations are introduced.
Don't worry, it's not a problem until it becomes a problem. No need to worry about the known issues until shit hits the fan. Very strange reasoning from a so called security expert. Does he use the same logic for security issues? Oh there's a bug in the software that can be exploited? No worry, just leave it there until someone actually uses it to steal 5 million dollars worth of bitcoin. On favoring bitcoin over altcoins
It is actually very difficult to bootstrap a successful currency that is necessary to back the security of the network. It took 3 years for bitcoin to evolve to a level where attacks against the consensus algorithm became very difficult. Bitcoin has a tremendous "network effect", in my opinion, which may give it an insurmountable early-mover advantage. In technology it is often not the best technology that "wins", but the one that achieves broad enough adoption and recognition early enough. Good enough beats best if deployed broadly.
So bitcoin is not the best solution but they were first so screw everybody else. On the cause of bitcoin's recent price drop
Sentiment disconnected from fundamentals driving a tiny pool of liquidity into a whiplash reaction. Bitcoin continues to work at a broad range of prices and is dynamically adapting to the price change. Bitcoin will remain, in my opinion, a relentless anomaly that refuses to go away - a black swan that cannot be ignored or extinguished.
If you string enough buzzwords together, it will look like a serious answer to the untrained eye. Also, obviously it's because something is disconnected from the fundamentals. On why 'average' people should use bitcoin
To experience the future of money. To gain a glimpse into an exciting technology. To learn about how money could be in the future and also become aware of how limited money and banks are today. For the "other 6 billion" who don't enjoy international, control-free banking as we do, bitcoin represents an opportunity to become part of a global economy which up till now did not exist. For those users, bitcoin is more than just a curiosity, it might be a doorway to connect to the world.
i.e. To enjoy the true euphoria that is the libertarian utopia. On where he sees bitcoin in one year
It's still far too early. Bitcoin is at the same stage as the Internet in 1992-1993. At that time, it took UNIX command-line skills to send email. No way near ready for mainstream adoption. However, while it took almost 20 years from the day I sent my first email until my mom used her new iPad to send her first email, bitcoin is likely to be adopted on a much more accelerated schedule. After all, there is no need to deploy much infrastructure - you can just download an app. Overall, I expect people will be surprised by how fast the technology and adoption evolve, rather than the opposite.
So the first part is a blatant lie. Then it gets confusing since the first web browser was released in 1991 and the world wide web was first created in late 1989. So after 6 years, bitcoin is in the same place where the web was after 2-4 years. Six years after the web was made, we had computers with browsers in our schools. I have a bank statement which I printed from my online bank from 1998. It took a new electronic money transfer service that lets you easily send money with a smart phone app the banks introduced in late 2012 exactly 2 years to reach 2 million of a 9 million population. If bitcoin was considered useful, it would have been huge by now. We see now proof of any major growth and no, it's not like the internet. 6 years is starting to look rather embarrassing. Google had a market cap of 23 billion USD after 6 years. On the centralization of mining
It ebbs and flows. I don't see it as a problem, I trust the market to dynamically adapt. The consensus algorithm creates a set of incentives that reward good actors and punish bad actors. So far, it is working better than anyone expected.
It doesn't ebb and flow. It is steadily centralizing because of economy of scale. Apparently, moving the control of the entire network over to a handful of Chinese miners is working as intended. I asked him what mechanisms there were for decentralization and what incentives there was for small scale miners. I did not get a response from Andreas. I got a couple responses from other people that failed to understand the question. Anyway, it seems like Andreas is taking the same approach here as with scalability. It's not a problem now so lets ignore it until there's only two miners left. On non-user friendly bitcoin addresses
When I first used the Internet, I had a list of IP addresses folded up in my wallet. Those were the days before DNS. My first email was sent to an IP address. There are already many active proposals to replace and hide addresses. I expect they will disappear just like IP addresses are hidden from most user's view.
Someone else will solve it probably. Just post it in the wiki and it will sort itself out. Because why make something user friendly from the start when someone else can solve it later? On non-reversible charges
Non-reversible charges can be addressed in a number of ways. I recently did a presentation in Sydney Australia where I talked about using automated escrow with multi-signature addresses and time-locked transactions to achieve simple consumer protection and chargebacks on the bitcoin protocol. It's programmable money, the possibilities are endless.
So no chargebacks are no longer a selling point and to solve that, lets introduce a third party in the equation and make the transactions even slower. On bitcoin's volatility
I expect bitcoin's volatility will decline in direct relation to the size of the currency market. As bitcoin is adopted more broadly, it supports a bigger economy, more people rely on it and price things in it, it becomes harder and harder to "push it around" for speculators. That of course assumes transparent markets (exchanges) that are not manipulated.
Well so far, bitcoin exchanges and other big players have been far from transparent. There's also been quite a bit of manipulation because it's relatively easy and there's no one to stop them from doing it. I guess it's true that the price would stabilize if you got enough people using it. How that will happen remains a mystery and there's no real sign of any major growth in users. The daily volume in dollar have been pretty munch constant since March 2014. The only reason bitcoin volume is increasing is because the value is decreasing. On VC investments in the bitcoin in 2015
I think the investments in bitcoin startups and the related ecosystem will grow even faster in 2015. Most exciting technology is not only attracting investors, but also some of the smartest techies, devs and designers I've ever met.
It seems like quite a few comapnies could use a new injection of VC money since they seem to be bleeding money. Companies are closing down because of low profitability. Others refuse to reveal any relevant numbers but it seems like it's very hard to make a profit. Based on the claimed transaction volume and fees, bitpay are burning through that VC money they got at an alarming rate. Luckily, they don't wast it one useless stuff like a football game... As it stands, I doubt we'll see a large influx of new VC money. Once investors see that companies in the bitcoin space are starting to go bust, they'll probably stay away because there's no money to be made. You need an actual growth or a great promise for growth to attract investors. Bitcoin fail on both points right now. On the first (and last) thing he bought with bitcoin
First: I bought a pound (lb) of coffee, for about $1200 in today's money, in 2011 ;-) Last: A physiotherapy session for about $80, yesterday.
That's just too easy... TL;DR: A whole lot of buzzwords and hot air...
[uncensored-r/Bitcoin] r/Bitcoin recap - February 2018
The following post by SamWouters is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been silently removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ Bitcoin/comments/818fkc The original post's content was as follows:
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the fourteenth monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in February 2018
Hi everyone! I’m back with the fifth monthly Bitcoin news recap. I seriously can’t believe all of this stuff happened in ONE month. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month, I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com If you're on mobile and can't see the links below, check the web version. A recap of Bitcoin in May 2017
[uncensored-r/Bitcoin] Made to destroy bitcoin? How can we overcome this? Is it even true? help dissect it.
The following post by vroomDotClub is being replicated because the post has been silently removed and some comments within it have been silently removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ Bitcoin/comments/7ntq9i The original post's content was as follows:
Look at this post and this comment half way down the page of https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1908676.260 I was thinking this might be a weapon before I stumbled accross this comment on bitcointalk. "Ripple is a secret weapon of banks against crypto currency! States and banks through ripple want to seize and destroy the crypto currency with the entire crypto currency market! This crypto currency is a scam of states and banks. For several years Ripple will eat all the main crypto-currencies - this is the black hole of the crypto-currency market, launched by states and banks. The total capitalization of the crypto-currency market will grow insignificantly, but the Ripple capitalization will increase due to the exhaustion of money from other crypto-currencies. When banks artificially depreciate the main crypto-currencies using Ripple, then there will be an unrestricted release of the Ripple (because of its centralization) and the owners' funds will also be depreciated with the help of huge inflation, and subsequently unlimited emissions Ripple will be completely eliminated. The crypto-currency world will be devaluated and discredited with the help of the governments of the world. After any operations with the crypto currency will be pursued by the state under new and very strict government laws. Tell this to as many people as possible. If we all do not stop this state monster, the world of crypto currency will be destroyed! The main difference between the virtual currency XRP, created by the state-owned company Ripple, is that this digital currency can not be produced. There are currently no pools or miners for XRP mining. Coins of this crypt currency are produced, in fact, as banknotes on a printing press. The release of these tokens is not limited to anything, as a result of which they can be infinitely many. The main function of the XRP coin is to carry out interbank operations to transfer funds. Based on this, it can be concluded that XRP is a centralized virtual currency with unlimited emissions, created and used by the banking system. At the moment, events are important in the world of virtual currencies. Many owners of banking institutions claim that bitkoyn is a soap bubble, and we are trying to reduce its popularity, as this poses a threat to their sphere of activity. At the same time, many understand that direct opposition to the Bitkoyn network can lead to the complete collapse of the financial system. Therefore, it was decided to introduce a new digital XRP to the market. At the same time, members of the banking sector did not come up with anything new. The digital currency of Ripple was integrated into the virtual currency market using all their capabilities. The integration process occurred in several stages, which caused a gradual dependence on members of the crypto-currency community. At the same time, the essence of the currency remains similar to the US dollar. Thus, all the banks of the world have united to fight bitkoyanami and created their own currency wave. In the end, after uniting, they got a much better chance of winning. All news about this digital currency is released exclusively positively, all user requirements are met. In addition, the issue of coins is not limited. And because of the increase in the value of the coins, they quickly bought up, although they did not suspect that for the money received with the help of financing, users buy conventional candy wrappers created by bankers who do not have security. After the huge issue of Ripple will be destroyed private user assets! Crypto currency of the whole world will be discredited! Ripple will be used only by interbank world blockbuster. It will be announced to the whole world about the collapse of the crypto-currency market and it will never be reborn. Ripple Customers According to the data published on the official portal of the company, the branches of the organization are located in such cities as: Sydney, Luxembourg, Singapore, New York. The client base of the company includes more than 100 customers located in different parts of the world. Ripple's clients are financial institutions from Europe, North America and Australia. In 2017, the banking institution Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which is considered Japan's largest financial institution, has about 90 offices in all countries of the world. In addition to the above, the company takes part in the program "Digital India", in which the largest banks of the country participate. Ripple also officially works with Chinese banks. Also recently, an international payment network used by residents of many countries under the name American Express was connected to the Ripple network. Based on the above information, we can say that Ripple is an organization actively promoting the technology of the distributed registry in the banking sector. Tell this to as many people as possible. If we all do not stop this state monster, the world of crypto currency will be destroyed!"
List of businesses that accept Bitcoin Cash for payment - please contribute
I posted this on btc already, maybe you can add some more! Let's find out where Bitcoin is actually used as CASH! It would be great to have a complete list of shops and businesses (online or offline), that allow users to pay with Bitcoin Cash. Maybe the list can later be pinned in this subreddit, or added to bitcoincash.org.
If you'd like to add to the list, please reply with a new comment(multiple businesses per comment are fine) with the format: Name|Website|Industry(no spaces)
01-03 10:22 - 'Made to destroy bitcoin? How can we overcome this? Is it even true? help dissect it.' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/vroomDotClub removed from /r/Bitcoin within 11-21min
''' Look at this post and this comment half way down the page of [link]1 I was thinking this might be a weapon before I stumbled accross this comment on bitcointalk. "Ripple is a secret weapon of banks against crypto currency! States and banks through ripple want to seize and destroy the crypto currency with the entire crypto currency market! This crypto currency is a scam of states and banks. For several years Ripple will eat all the main crypto-currencies - this is the black hole of the crypto-currency market, launched by states and banks. The total capitalization of the crypto-currency market will grow insignificantly, but the Ripple capitalization will increase due to the exhaustion of money from other crypto-currencies. When banks artificially depreciate the main crypto-currencies using Ripple, then there will be an unrestricted release of the Ripple (because of its centralization) and the owners' funds will also be depreciated with the help of huge inflation, and subsequently unlimited emissions Ripple will be completely eliminated. The crypto-currency world will be devaluated and discredited with the help of the governments of the world. After any operations with the crypto currency will be pursued by the state under new and very strict government laws. Tell this to as many people as possible. If we all do not stop this state monster, the world of crypto currency will be destroyed! The main difference between the virtual currency XRP, created by the state-owned company Ripple, is that this digital currency can not be produced. There are currently no pools or miners for XRP mining. Coins of this crypt currency are produced, in fact, as banknotes on a printing press. The release of these tokens is not limited to anything, as a result of which they can be infinitely many. The main function of the XRP coin is to carry out interbank operations to transfer funds. Based on this, it can be concluded that XRP is a centralized virtual currency with unlimited emissions, created and used by the banking system. At the moment, events are important in the world of virtual currencies. Many owners of banking institutions claim that bitkoyn is a soap bubble, and we are trying to reduce its popularity, as this poses a threat to their sphere of activity. At the same time, many understand that direct opposition to the Bitkoyn network can lead to the complete collapse of the financial system. Therefore, it was decided to introduce a new digital XRP to the market. At the same time, members of the banking sector did not come up with anything new. The digital currency of Ripple was integrated into the virtual currency market using all their capabilities. The integration process occurred in several stages, which caused a gradual dependence on members of the crypto-currency community. At the same time, the essence of the currency remains similar to the US dollar. Thus, all the banks of the world have united to fight bitkoyanami and created their own currency wave. In the end, after uniting, they got a much better chance of winning. All news about this digital currency is released exclusively positively, all user requirements are met. In addition, the issue of coins is not limited. And because of the increase in the value of the coins, they quickly bought up, although they did not suspect that for the money received with the help of financing, users buy conventional candy wrappers created by bankers who do not have security. After the huge issue of Ripple will be destroyed private user assets! Crypto currency of the whole world will be discredited! Ripple will be used only by interbank world blockbuster. It will be announced to the whole world about the collapse of the crypto-currency market and it will never be reborn. Ripple Customers According to the data published on the official portal of the company, the branches of the organization are located in such cities as: Sydney, Luxembourg, Singapore, New York. The client base of the company includes more than 100 customers located in different parts of the world. Ripple's clients are financial institutions from Europe, North America and Australia. In 2017, the banking institution Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which is considered Japan's largest financial institution, has about 90 offices in all countries of the world. In addition to the above, the company takes part in the program "Digital India", in which the largest banks of the country participate. Ripple also officially works with Chinese banks. Also recently, an international payment network used by residents of many countries under the name American Express was connected to the Ripple network. Based on the above information, we can say that Ripple is an organization actively promoting the technology of the distributed registry in the banking sector. Tell this to as many people as possible. If we all do not stop this state monster, the world of crypto currency will be destroyed!" ''' Made to destroy bitcoin? How can we overcome this? Is it even true? help dissect it. Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: vroomDotClub 1: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1908676.260
[uncensored-r/btc] Can we get together a list of businesses that accept Bitcoin Cash as payment?
The following post by upekha is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ btc/comments/723xtz The original post's content was as follows:
Let's find out where Bitcoin is actually used as CASH! It would be great to have a complete list of shops and businesses (online or offline), that allow users to pay with Bitcoin Cash. Maybe the list can later be pinned in this subreddit, or added to bitcoincash.org.
If you'd like to add to the list, please reply with a new comment(multiple businesses per comment are fine) with the format: Name|Website|Industry(no spaces)
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." can we please stop this culture of bashing or lifting cults of personality and get back to science? (807 points, 143 comments)
Just paid 23 cents on a $3.74 transaction. When does it end? $1.00 per transaction? $2? $5? I don't wanna stop using this peer to peer currency, but I'm fast being priced out of it. (896 points, 1017 comments)
340 points: Vaultoro's comment in Just paid 23 cents on a $3.74 transaction. When does it end? $1.00 per transaction? $2? $5? I don't wanna stop using this peer to peer currency, but I'm fast being priced out of it.
323 points: jamesdpitley's comment in "R.I.P. Bitcoin. It's Time to Move On"....funny billboard driving around in Miami
So many thoughts come, in my hunger to record the shape of that which ails me. Memories, imprinted like typewriter keys on the wet, spongy mass of the brain, feel transient, like ancient scrolls or commandments inscribed on crumbling slate, eroded by desert winds in unfathomably ancient ages. The memories of a man, fragmented in time - wet with horror and delusion. For some reason, softer memories of childhood rise to the surface sometimes, like leaves in a dirty backyard pool, only to become too raw and shamefully unclothed when exposed to the sunlight of a middle aged man’s temperament. I remember games of Checkers with my great Grandfather, Ildor Hearst, who appears in my mind’s eye as a-kind-of Russian Santa Claus, wirey beard and carven forehead. He was a stern man, and would always be ranting his archaic religious views. Prostheletising the fall of modern Babylon and the age of the Nihilist. He would play Checkers with me, sharp movements, wooden circles slammed down with impunity. He never let me win. Saw his dominance as a matter of instruction and learning. As I look back nostalgically, sometimes, I yearn for Great Grandfather Ildor’s black and white mentality of good and evil, lightness and darkness... and an over arching confidence in the eventual triumph of mankind. Rather than the bleak reality of the post modernist distopia in which I live. I recall vividly, after those intense games, once Ildor had imparted his thorny wisdom, I would be granted relaxation and be free to play with my own toys, scattered around my grandparents wooden floor boards; Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers, Wonder Woman, Spider Man and He-Man. Mine was always a multicoloured world of complex morality and democratic voices ... all of which ran into muddy paradigms that seemed totally outside the circle of Great Grandad’s moral compass. These days, as a real estate Agent, I am occasionally gifted limited insights into a checkerboard like world of manipulation and sinister intentions, but mine is to perceive the evil of global finance, and the general unfairness of land ownership and rabid, unchecked capitalism...but with no delusion of an interventionalist God to pull us out of the hole we humans have dug for ourselves. My name is Vilson Hearst, and I am a Real Estate Agent for Steel City Real Estate in Hexton, Australia. Perhaps you think yourself free from the real estate game. Perhaps, you are a fool. Perhaps you are satisfied with your lot in life, making a simple way for yourself, with a mortgage and a family, (if you should be so lucky to afford to get into the housing market at all that is). Then, could be that you are living a student lifestyle, paying rent, constantly paying off another cunning man’s mortgage, or worse still, perhaps you have abandoned the fight, to cower in your parents basement, with the real world slowly closing in on you, as you desperately try to escape into a world of Hollywood movies, video games or creepy pasta. You are all in the real estate game, wether you like it or not. There is a broader game of capital and estate, which is increasingly complex, and even those like myself who’s job it is to ‘follow the money’ sometimes are completely lost at sea in the Darwinian struggle of the global free market. Studying finance at Bourkeley University,.. I did my PHD thesis about money and the aquisition of power. I spent a solid year, studying the major players in global banking, watched the Chinese ICBC rise to become the wealthiest banking institution in the world. I tracked the strange and secretive trails of the richest investors, after the terrorist attacks on September 11, watching money transfer around the globe in secret trust funds, private meetings of powerful elites in Shanghai—as the Chinese World Trade Centre “Tower Three” was built, in the image of the destroyed Twin Towers of New York, (which is no coincidence, given it was constructed by the same architecture group; Skidmore Owings and Merril, (who also constructed the replacement One World Trade Centre.)) I studied Wikileaks and other whistleblower organisations. Gained secret documents, and learned of meetings between wealthy individuals; John Fallon, the chief executive of Pearson Education, the company which controls half the worlds schooling institutions— made a private deal in 2015 with Indra Nooyi and Paul Bulcke, Chairman and CEO of Nestle and PepsiCo, the owners of the majority of global food and confectionary. You wonder why our children are so desperately obese. I was constantly surprised by the familiarity of these billionaires with one another. For instance, you might not know, that Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, the sinister company who has come to dominate a stronghold on global agriculture, (and who, among more nefarious acts, was responsible for manufacturing the deadly ‘Agent Orange’ poison in Vietnam and causing countless generational mutations).. just happens to be close friends with the CEO of Lockheed Martin, the dominant power in weapons manufacturing and ultimately what people mean when they talk about the ‘military industrial complex’. Guns don’t kill people. Corporations do. But you knew that already. Other minutes from meetings by the powerful, would have many questioning what the leaders of certain organisations could possibly have to discuss with each other,... such is the nature of the unheard of D40 meeting in a chateau in Shandong Province; where Barry Lam, chairman and founder of Quanta computers, the name behind the majority of computing technology, was recently in discussion with Carlos Brito, the CEO of InBev; the name behind all the major alcohol players—Ian Read, the CEO of Pfizer, who basically controls the entire legal drug market, Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO Of Alphabet Inc— who own Google and most of the rest of the internet. Now these meetings bare direct relationships with the stock trading happening in the World Trade Centre Tower Three in China. The minutes from these meetings contained discussion both controversial and amazingly nuanced, and the complexity of the global solutions some of these key players in the tech revolution were coming up with would’ve gone over the heads of even the top IQ holders from 98 percent of high schools in the world. Nonetheless, some of the darker plans by these shady monopolies would terrify you, more than you could possibly know. To understand Australian land ownership, the problem becomes more of a global puzzle. The figures who own the most land globally, are, the King of Saudi Arabia, The Pope and the Catholic Church, Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster certainly has a cut, and of course, the Queen of Britain herself, Elizabeth ...(who currently owns about a sixth of the worlds land, some 6.6 Billion Acres, more commonly known as the Commonwealth Realm, (which includes two thirds of Antarctica, Time Square in New York, Canada, New Zealand and of course ... Australia.) These people, i’ve learned, are not particularly interested in the debate around land ownership coming to the forefront of the global conversation, and billionaire media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Packer have filled their bank accounts, making it their mission to keep just such subjects off the family dinner table, with distractions like ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ filling Australian television channels. The question of wether anyone owns land in Australia, or if it is in fact all owned by the Queen of England, is a contentious one, particularly when you factor in the confounding elements such as the status of Norfolk Island, which at one time was, on a technicality, not owned by anyone except for the fictitious body ‘The Crown’ (until being taken over by the Australian Capital Territory, in 2015). Then when you consider the original claim of the British that the Australian nation was unoccupied or ‘Terra Nullius’ when Europeans arrived, a truth widely held as fact until the precedent of the Mabo Decision in the Torres Straight islands in 1992. This decision returned some land ownership rights back to certain aristocratic lineages of the native people. However, the paradox leaves a complex and enduring problem for the future of land ownership in Australia and what that exactly entails. In Hexton, the most rapidly developing city in Australia, corporate billionaires have their stakes in national land ownership, yet meanwhile... National Parks, Botanical Gardens and other public spaces are unapologetically ‘Crown lands’, a fact which is still testified by the names of the spaces; Kings Domain, Queen’s Square, and other titles which clearly and proudly display the heritage of monarchic ownership deeply entrenched within the Australian property market. Of course, even within the field of Australian National Real Estate, the individual estate agent becomes bogged down even further in matters of local estates, so that these important issues take second stake to the sales and acquisitions of the day. Steel City Real Estate, the company I work for, is a nation wide brand, but our particular office in Albert Park consists of about nine agents. I spend most of my time competing with the golden boy of Steel City, Greg Leisdadt. Greg has consistently won the monthly sales targets in our office for over a year. His desk is covered in trophies, awards, and framed certificates adorn the walls behind him. I’m not sure what words could aptly describe Leisdadt; his wolf-like eyes, both evil and mesmerising. A cannibal grin consisting of Colgate super white teeth, and those gelled locks of amber hair which hang impossibly, like an arch villain over his forehead. Greg oozes saleable confidence which grates my own nervous disposition sufficiently towards constant despair. The only force which makes the constantly eclipsing day to day victories of Leisdadt bearable to me is Natasha Valuvjdavo. She is the agent who sits on the adjacent table to me in the office. I confess, for some time, I was profoundly attracted to Natasha, and had to stop myself from gushing and fawning over her. She is a demure, and assertive brunette, her crimson lips could kill a boat full of sailors. Unfortunately, she is engaged to a man named Fred, who is something of a wet blanket, yet I must discard my jealousy and confess that for whatever reason, Natasha seems happy in her domestic life. My only solace in this, being that Greg Leisdadt, the man who has everything, although persistently flirtatious, has never made a dent in Natasha’s self security. She is thankfully not attracted to him. But now I should refrain from being sidetracked and talk about the subjects which, you, the reader, more likely desire to hear of. For my tale is no idle blathering of romantic ennui, or global conspiracy—but rather the trauma of my profession, does persist— in both being exposed to the ruthless game of money/power, but moreover being haunted by knowledges both gothic and Victorian. For there is no other game in town, where one is more exposed to unwanted or haunted real estate; the devil hounded, and the wished forgotten. There are the houses that are impossible to sell, because of brutal or public bloody murders that have occurred to the prior occupants. Wether psychological or other, the frequency of those who purchase such forbidden and damned abodes —then in no matter of time, flee and sell at carelessly lower settlement costs, with tales of unhallowed things returned to life, or clanking noises in the basement...why... this simple fact of the real estate market is as common as there is. A story as old as time. Now perhaps I could spend months repeating the folk lore surrounding that dilapidated and spiritually unsaveable address; that run down, trash infested garden, and collapsing terrace roof of no 13 MacArthur Street. But this could take a conceivably longer time period, and I shall reserve my energy for the most disturbing and horrific of these preternatural experiences. Though I should briefly mention Vernon tower, for though this wasn’t the property which near drove me to insanity, it factors too far into the disturbing tapestry of the veiled or hidden real estate scene. Now, Vernon tower, is an enormous building in South Hexton. Our agency deals more with rentals than with sales of the apartments in that old, and curious piece of architecture. Built as early as 1866, there has always been something profoundly wrong with Vernon towers. Of course, it is me who has to deal with most of the tennants of that foreboding block, for it is the Hearst legacy to be fated just such dull luck. Thus it is always, I, who takes the phone calls from disgruntled students and drug addicts; Vernon Tower is unprecedentedly cheap, due to its history. Yet the impoverished clientele still have no issue burning my ear off; to complain of strange mechanic noises, or those bizarre phosphorescent green lights. Then there was the girl who tried to sue us, after her seizure from what she claimed to see inside the laundry room. That manner of description I can scarce repeat for its absurdness and high strangeness. But let me get to the more dreadful incident which frightens me even to recall. Indeed, it had all begun with that infernal property in Elwood, which I was in terse competition to sell... pitted unwittingly against the undefeated Super-Agent, Greg Leisdadt. The spectacularly immense mansion on Ormond Road, was once occupied by billionaire Serbian entrapaneur Dimitrije Stojanovic, who I’m told partially drafted the architectural plans for the immense mansion himself, before he had it constructed on the corner of Ormond and Radkin Streets. The nature of the oddities surrounding that place however, extend not from the architectural style of the lot itself, (mind you those odd modernist geometric pylons, stepped piers and sail-like rooves do lend a kind of funereal gothicness to the address.) However, it was the murder of Stojanovic which caused true fluctuations of interest in the property. Given the public knowledge of the horrendous murder, the property value was incalculably lower than its market worth. It seemed the image of the alleged burglar breaking into Stojanovic’s window, and bludgeoning him to death in the lounge room with a heavy trophy or statue of some kind— somehow grinding his skin off as with multiple teeth, or a spiked club—stayed in the public mind, thanks to Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ and their sensational program about the incident. For interest in the property remained uncharacteristically low. Perhaps the fact that the murderer has yet to be identified or captured by police, nor the murder weapon found, hasn’t helped the matter. Now, as I have mentioned this was not the first time our staff had dressed up a ‘murder property’. But the truly disturbing elements began to happen during the time the property came under my tenure. Now, I should proclaim sincerely that I am by no means a superstitious man, I admonish my readers to believe that I was just as skeptical about the soon to be foretold events as you, had I not experienced them myself, I should fiercely doubt my own sanity. I should also divulge a little more information about Dimitrije Stojanovic himself, (the owner of the grand mansion) as the web of intrigue very much seems to hinge on his professional history. Stojanovic made his billions in Silicon Valley, working in many aspects of the tech industry, investing timely in companies like Facebook and crypto currencies like Bitcoin, when the time was right. in the move to Australia it seems that his ambition was to try out his own company idea in the developing market of Hexton, where the game was not already dominated and over exposed. With this intent he came out, built his immense mansion in Elwood, Moonsmoth, and immediately started channeling his money into the development of something called .....‘DigiTown’. Now being neither a tech expert myself, nor expecting such of my audience, I will explain the fundamentals of the ‘DigiTown’ concept in the same manner it was explained to me by Neil Druton, a four eyed nerd with an immense forehead who was one of the developers working for Dimitrije Stojanovic, before he died. I had decided to interview Druton, to get the background on the Stojanovic case to find a more positive angle for investors. I figured if I could distract the buyer from the details of the murder, and big talk the profile of Stojanovic himself, “the prolific entrapaneur”, this might flatter the egos of other wealthy entrapaneurs to buy it out. Druton told me he had been working for Stojanovic for about six months, mostly at the office Space Dimitrije was renting in Southbank. He described Stojanovic as ruthless, and borderline insane, but nonetheless he spoke of ‘DigiTown’ with respect, a ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ project, which would have been at the forefront of the tech industry, if it had ever been finished. Put in layman’s terms, Druton explained that the project had a great deal in common with Bill Gates plans for a ‘smart city’ but on a more achievable scale. I could tell Druton was oversimplifying the description for my sake, no doubt parroting Dimitrije’s marketing pitches for investors. But he described it like this; ‘Imagine a kind of augmented portal, with a built infrastructure and virtual architecture planned by white collar professionals, a crypto currency run communal space, overlayed over a modern city space, where your own request portal is linked to different reference cubes; Town Square, Library Cube, Media Station, Entertainment Centre, Eateries, telematics and roads authority, and these all function via the same channels as an actual city.’ ‘So you mean, instead of one social media interface trying to network everything, the actual infrastructure of a city is built out within the media itself?’ I asked. ‘Yeah pretty much’ Druton replied, seeing I had sensed the practical nature, adaptability, and profitability of the software, all over the world. ‘ATMs, shops, business, smart cars and machinery— all worked into the same dual augmented system. Superimposed as a direct collorary.’ It got me thinking paranoid, and I asked Druton earnestly; ‘Do you think if another rogue in the tech industry knew about Stojanovic’s idea, it would have been a groundbreaking idea enough to have killed him over?’ Druton went silent, and sweated a little from his pimpled forehead. I didn’t need to hear him answer the question, it was written all over his shrivelled face. I spent a good couple of months doing my research on Dimitrije’s mansion. (I would’ve loved to cover up the existence of the current owner of the mansion). Rich heiress Stacey White bought the house, and lived in it for a month before she got spooked— and decided to resell it. I made sure to get the story straight, offering Stacey a hot cup of Bush tea, and asking her precisely what she saw. Here’s what she told me; ‘I was alone, in that creepy mansion, at night,... and I got a weird feeling. There was a strong wind, and it was dark. The gum tree in the front yard bends a lot in the wind, and sometimes the branches whip against the side of the house. I was just getting used to that noise, but this time it was something different, almost lost in the whistling wind. It was a lower kind of ...moaning. A deep, pained groan. I got up to check I hadn’t left something on in the kitchen. I went to turn on the light switch but the globe burnt out. That’s when it happened. Almost like a mini-earthquake, but there was this strange energy. Then the gas stove just lit up, a green flame. It wasn’t on, but the kitchen was illuminated in a kind of underwater hue. Then—-(Stacey began to gasp and sob)—-then... in the darkness — I saw it!! A green head! Half a Human head, but mangled, half the skull bashed in, shimmering like I was looking through glass. It spoke to me ....in a voice that made the room cold. Just—-(she broke down into tears, suppressing a scream). H—his lips... cold, green lips. Steam coming from his mouth. He said — he said—- ‘Beware the Wagluh’. As this point she became incommunicable. I felt an increasing sickness in the ensuing weeks, the cause was unknown, but chiefly matched my mental state. It must’ve been around this time when I first saw the strange rune which had been spray painted on the abandoned building in Elwood. I was doing my rounds, why I should’ve noticed the strange glyph remains beyond my understanding, yet there it was. A curious, green shape, interrupted by a stark arrow and a kind-of ladder shape above it. I was becoming increasingly stressed and agitated by the competitive sale of Dimitrije’s mansion. My manager Herron Del Ray had been hounding me to make a sale, it had been months since I had successfully got a down payment from a client. Del Ray had threatened redundancy in no uncertain terms, and the stress was beginning to erode my total mental well being. In conversations with my beautiful colleague Natasha around this time, I found her to be kind, but not particularly helpful. Her advice was that if I was going to beat Leisdadt, I would have to compete with him at his own game. She told me on one particular occasion I should just lie to clients about the gruesome murder in the house, or omit it from the description altogether. This was both against my moral compass, and senseless, for the case was so popular, I felt sure that any potential investor would know of it, to omit it would only anger them. That same day I got a call from a potential buyer named Greame De Montague. Leisdadt watched me like a hawk as I took the call, giving me a cunning look. The stare flustered my nerves, but choking through the phone I agreed for an inspection with De Montague. He would be the fifth buyer I had spoken to, all four previous investors had abandoned their inquiries when learning more about the murder, or after having seen the contract of sale. I calmed myself the day of the appointment by speaking soft mantras to myself under my breath. I knew I had to push this client to a final purchase, and my job security depended on it. Greg Leisdadt was leaning against the bronze statue of a Cheetah in our office as I was leaving, mocking me with the words ‘Good luck, Vilson old boy.’ It was a cold autumn day, and brown leaves blew around the streets in gusts of curdled wind. I had arranged to meet Mr De Montague on Beach Avenue, so that we might walk down to Ormond Street and view the mansion. As an eerie coincidence the corner we agreed to meet was precisely at the point that odd rune was sprayed on the abandoned building in Elwood. Greame De Montague was standing on the corner as I arrived in my light grey sedan. He was standing in front of the odd rune, as though the symbol itself had somehow marked his presence in an unexplainable yet mystical time stamp. I couldn’t see his car parked anywhere. He was wearing a very curious oufit, particularly for Australia, although the weather was reasonably cool that autumn day. He wore a kind of black velvet robe, cut in the shape ...not unlike an Orthodox Jew’s regalia. It tarried at the bottom into a sort of deep purple cape. On his head he wore a buckled Capotain, and in his hand, a decorated staff. I wondered if his clothing indicated the excesses of vanity of the social media age, or if he was perhaps a foreign prince of some kind. I stepped out of the car, and approached De Montague with my hand extended. I could see now he had a strange face, with slanted owl-like eyebrows, and a fluffy round beard that gave him an almost koala-bear-shaped head. Mr De Montague raised his hand and met my embrace, shaking my hand with a firm clasp. ‘It’s lovely to meet you Greame. I have a feeling you are going to love this property.’ ‘Please. Call me Lord De Montague.’ The stern man insisted, ‘I descend from Carpathian royalty, the son of a Duke.’ ‘Very well M’lord.’ I replied, my tone accidentally tinged with irony, ‘Have you come ...very far today?’ I asked trying to distract from my faux pas with a bluff of small talk. I couldn’t help staring at the strange Necklace around De Montague’s neck. It seemed to be made of solid gold, and was comprised of a chain of large charms, each coin depicting deities from Ancient Asian and Mesopotamian religions. I began walking, unsure what to say but deciding to lead De Montague down towards Ormond Street. There was a terrifying stillness on the street that day. The sun dried grass seemed frozen in time, and the grey sky moaned geriatrically, with the energy of a tired giant trying to fend off the vast abyss of Space. I noticed that De Montague was not moving, but had instead stopped firmly in his tracks. His face gave off a distinct lack of pathos. ‘Mr Hearst.’ Lord De Montague’s grainy voice echoed; ‘This is the wrong way.’ I turned and looked back at him confused, but De Montague quickly supplanted my curiosity ‘We should walk down Vautier Street. It comes out closer to the property on Ormond.’ By my own calculations, the distance was exactly the same, but as I was in a desperate state of flattery, I decided to humour the strange, old man, though I now questioned wether my client might be an eccentric madman, who merely thought he was born of Royalty, in his delusions. Nonetheless, I followed De Montague and we wandered down the leafy, terraced streets. ‘Tell me something Mr Hearst’ De Montague began to speculate; ‘Have you ever heard the expression ‘Old Money’?’ I looked at him trying to gage his meaning; ‘Yes, of course.’ I replied. ‘The man who owned this mansion’, De Montague continued in a practiced refrain; ‘It is my understanding he was one of the new breed. Wouldn’t you say? Those who make their fortunes on the gamble— or the changing technologies of the world, but haven’t yet come to fully comprehend the system as it works. As it has always worked.’ ‘I’m afraid I haven’t come to fully appreciate your meaning.’ I replied with honest perplexion. ‘My ancestors were very interested in Asian spirituality’ De Montague continued in a seemingly distracted soliloquy, ‘The De Montagues have migrated for some time you see. Sharing something in common with the Romani people of Europe. I have had ancestors who have lived, over the centuries, in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and the Phillipines. Do you know what is the one thing these vastly different cultures all have in common?’ ‘I do not’ I confessed. ‘Reverence for ones ancestors, and respect for ones elders, and an overwhelming policy of acceptance towards the natural systems that have always existed.’ ‘That’s very interesting’ I replied, gawking about anxiously and wondering where the conversation was leading. ‘I have only more recently come to adapt the principles of the Japanese Shinto religion into my philosophy Mr Hearst. However I think we could all take a page out of that discipline, and it’s superior attitude towards the unknown. You know, in some sense the Shinto practitioners had an almost scientific approach to their spirituality. Certainly, like with the Eastern superstitions, the Shinto perceived a longing towards extra sensory insights into a hidden or secret world supposed to lie beneath the surface of our material life. However, we can say that the Shinto practitioners never got into the awkward and complex dogma of hierarchical worship. Rather, they merely approached each of their animistic inhabitations of spirit that they encountered with the proper fear and respect that one should properly apply to creatures or Gods we fail to yet understand.’ ‘It’s an interesting religion.’ I said, still utterly confused as to what the eccentric prince was attempting to convey. ‘I see you’ve mistaken my warning.’ De Montage continued in a more stern and serious tone, as we passed rows of trimmed hedges and decorative fences. ‘It is right to fear that which we don’t understand Master Hearst. We ought to treat our material supervisors with more respect. Now, I confess, it has never been the object of my ancestors to worship the unseen. Only a fool wishes to make a slave of themselves to a devil they don’t know. But respect, awe, fear, that is different. That is the core of wisdom. Now.... I confess to you... My own aristocratic ancestors, have had more of a vested interest in acquiring artefacts and precious minerals that can absorb such unknown energies. To tap into the mechanisms of nature and the outer spheres of unseen chemistry, that is where one can find the tools to bring about the acquisition of power!’ I began to become totally speechless, realising now, that I was in the presence of a lunatic. We were still about five minutes from the Serbian’s property, and De Montague now began to rave in such a strange and sinister manner, that he appeared some demented imp, his lecture was so insane. ‘So it was for the ones who claimed the future. Those beings with silken robes of silver, who sought the forbidden wisdom from beyond the abysses of Space and time. They are like the watcher, and we are but the conduits to their ancient digital powers. Yet if you could perceive the outlines of the Shapeshifter, who is the lost among us all, and he who brings the bitterness from the original tragedy. Then, perhaps you could understand what the Hindu’s really worship, in the form of their metamorphosising God of many evolutionary attributes.’ Mr De Montague suddenly stopped, slamming the steel cap of his staff upon the cracked concrete, and turned to me; ‘Mr Hearst, this is my warning for you! You cannot outwit the darker destinies of the force that itself conjures black holes. Have due reverence for the unseen beast which lurks beneath, and threatens your soul with eternal mutilation. Stand down from that property, and abandon your research into the disappearance of that accursed Serbian. I send this warning as a friend, and wether or not you take it up, I tell you that your colleague Greg will still make the sale, whichever path you choose.’ De Montague suddenly scowled like a rabid dog, grabbing my hand and thrusting the handle of his cane upon my palm. ‘Cursed child— I have the power of the Chiromancer, and that which is engraved upon your line of fate, makes it clear. But there is still time to evade the mark of this warning.’ Suddenly, I shrieked, for my palm began stinging with pain, and I realised that the silver etched handle of the staff was unfathomable degrees hot. I pulled my hand away before the impression became irreversible; ‘Ouch, you burnt my hand!’ I cried. De Montague then seemed satisfied that his message had been delivered. He immediately hoisted back his staff, then let out a sound almost like a wolf’s growl. Then he seemed to perform a magicians trick of some form. For he cast the staff down at my feet, but as it fell there, a glimmer of light played a trick on me. I stepped back in fear, for that which lay across my feet, was no longer that of carven wood, but a coiled brown snake, who raised itself and hissed through fangs, and quivering forked tongue. I turned and dashed out of the snakes attack perimeter. I gazed down at my stinging palm, to see with terror and trepidation that the burn mark in my hand imprinted from the image on the cane— it was the same strange glyph that was painted on the house. Panting and sweating, tripping over my clumsy feet, as I rotated again to survey the scene, I saw now with incredulity the brown snake remained upon the pavement, but De Montague himself was long gone. The hoax plagued me for hours afterward, I had been pranked it seemed, by some rich and bored eccentric trickster, who never intended to view the property at all. Or he was an escaped lunatic from Bourkeley Asylum perhaps. As I was already in the area, after a sufficient down time, when my heartbeat had reduced and my manic paranoia dissipated —I resolved to continue to Ormond Street anyway. When I got to the property my fading anger was rebuked, for I saw two cars parked outside the late Serbian’s mansion. ‘Leisdadt’ I cursed. As I walked up the modern staircase, I saw a cheerful looking man m, wearing a scarf, leaving, who Greg had obviously just shown around the property. He seemed fearfully optimistic about the place, and I continued cursing under my breath until I reached the hallway where Greg was standing, smugly, with a clipboard. He seemed even more satisfied when I came to the door; ‘You better watch out for that one’ Greg said in a tone that sent me into a rage; ‘He seems very keen. What happened to your 4’oclock?’ ‘Someone pulled a prank on me’ I cursed. I began to wonder if Greg had organised the incident with the charlatan somehow. Leisdadt tried hard to refrain from breaking out into a grin, ‘That’s a shame. Your luck has to come up one day Hearst.’ Leisdadt chuckled, but then seemed to remember something— ‘I thought you signed off on the clearance papers anyway Hearst.’ He said, ‘After Stacey White complained about the dead guy’s stuff still laying around, I thought you had the house completely emptied.’ ‘What of it?’ I asked. Greg leaned over to the ornately decorated mantle piece, pulling open the dresser drawer below the mirror and revealing a stack of haphazard papers and letters. ‘Can you take care of these?’ He insisted coldly, ‘I’ve got a last minute potential sale of that impossible property, 13 MacArthur Street. Can you believe my luck? We haven’t had a buyer for that place in years.’ I scowled into my neck as Leisdadt left via the rear entrance of the mansion. Grumbling and moving towards the papers, I cursed myself for so easily being persuaded to do what Greg could’ve done himself. I mumbled, calling myself a sucker under my breath as I leafed through the papers. Then, I turned over something which captured my interest. It was a sleek black diary, and as I turned the pages I came to realise that it had evidently belonged to Dimitrije. I flicked through the musty pages, seeing that the entries of the private journal dated up until the Serbian’s disappearance. I began to read with fascination and morose intrigue; Here is the transcript of the more interesting parts of Dimitrije's diary: http://textuploader.com/dh4w4 Dimitrije Stojanovic died on the 13th of October, 2016. The strange diary had a terrible effect on me. I became deeply paranoid that I was wedged within a catastrophic and deep conspiracy. Though I couldn’t fully understand the map laid out by the corners of my discoveries, there was enough of a pattern that I knew there was some terrible logic beneath it all. I found the references to Vernon Towers and the architect ‘Von Marrickville’ extremely intriguing and began to further my own research on the property which was already familiar to me. I had always known that Vernon Towers was an old heritage building. But I had never researched the buildings actual construction. So it was, that I found out more about the strange creator, borrowing a book about the eccentric architect Veda Von Marrickville from Hexton library. The book was fascinating. Von Marrickville, it turned out was a fairly prolific architect of the day, who was commissioned to build a series of buildings around Hexton city. Of particular interest to me, where the four or five buildings Von Marrickville built in a kind of arc around Port Phillip Bay, pointing towards Valsbury docks. Von Marrickville was a Dutch native who came out to Australia in 1834, one of the key buildings on the Port Phillip Bay side of Hexton was Vernon Towers, which I read to my astonishment was funded by a wealthy nobleman named Aaron De Montague. I couldn’t find out much about the De Montague family or their history in Australia, but I was beginning to think it must have been the same family as the De Montague whom I had met. Von Marrickville describe Vernon Towers as an ‘occult conduit’ and layered it with engraved symbology. He suffered a tragic fate, and wound up raving as an inmate in Bourkeley Asylum. Since reading the diary, I have begun to experience strange anomaly. I visited Vernon towers myself, looking for a particular architectural feature. To my surprise and terror I saw one of the green glyphs mentioned by Dimitrije. I tried to track down De Montage, however have not seen him since that odd encounter. Searching for families of that name, the only people I could come across in Hexton was a family living in Brunswick. When I went to visit I found them to be a strange family of Indonesians who incidentally suffered from an unusual diverse range of diseases. The youngest daughter suffered autism, whilst her brother was an extreme Down syndrome case, and the mother herself had mental health issues. I concluded that these De Montagues probably bore no relation to the man I had met, if indeed he hadn’t lied about his name. Then there was the day I found that bizarre egg. It was about the size of a milk carton, all speckled and grey, but it was broken in half, as though it had hatched. Yet I was positive no animal could have produced the egg, and could only assume that it was a student art project or installation of some kind. In any case, it seemed unrelated to the other strange occurrences. I feel as though my sanity has completely abandoned me, torn more and more towards the point of collapse. Leisdadt has sold the Serbian’s property, and I haven’t been to work for a week, for fear of the consequences with my boss. But worse, I’ve started to smell a.... to sense something. Something that I recognise from Dimitrije’s descriptions in his diary. How is it possible to sense the form of something that you have never seen. To know it sometime. To dream of a shrieking thing that soars through a red sky. That mosquito like head. Immense lizard like body, bone and ribs, like a sharks egg. Black leather wings. There was a brown parcel that arrived in the mail. The statue inside matches the description given by Dimitrije. It’s so hideously disfigured. Does it represent the swimming demon in my dreams? I examined the edges closely, and the inscription which seems to be flecked with blood. Could it be the murder weapon they used to bludgeon the Serbian? What of his shredded corpse, what tore his body apart? As I sit, hailed up in my lounge room trying to distract my mind with escapist television, and recording this journal on my IPad. I fear something unfathomable which seeks my destruction. I can hear noises, am I hallucinating? Dear God! That banging outside the house.
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