Is Bitcoin Really Untraceable? BTC Wires

[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Forbes solves the "Impossible Triangle" problem

Forbes solves the

https://preview.redd.it/crbhgda6c0651.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=522357d06b1f3c893f996dbd3b79aab5461e4dfb
Blockchain has been described as an omnipotent technology since its inception. It is expected to affect all walks of life and even reshape production relations. However, blockchain itself has a technical bottleneck called "Impossible Triangle", which is still far from its potential. The so-called "Impossible Triangle" of blockchain, also known as the "ternary paradox", means that no matter which consensus mechanism is adopted by blockchain network to determine the generation mode of new blocks, it cannot take into account the three requirements of throughput, security and decentralization at the same time.
For example, bitcoin can theoretically guarantee security and decentralization on the basis of large amount of computing power. But the disadvantage is that it is difficult to improve throughput, slow speed and high cost. EOS, which is said to take improving throughput as an important technological breakthrough, adopts the consensus mechanism of dpos, greatly reducing the number of nodes and being criticized for sacrificing the essence of decentralization. Although the "king of ten thousand chains" Ethereum has the partition technology as the solution of capacity expansion, it can't fall down because of the technical difficulty.
Forbes uses "zero knowledge proof" technology, greatly improves throughput without sacrificing decentralization, and solves the "Impossible Triangle" problem that has plagued the blockchain industry for many years.
1、 Zero knowledge proof
First, we introduce the concept of lower zero knowledge proof. Zero knowledge proof, as the name implies, is not only to fully prove that they are the legitimate owners of certain rights and interests, but also not to disclose relevant information - that is to say, the "knowledge" to the outside world is "zero". The certifier proves to the verifier and makes him believe that he knows or has some information, but the proving process cannot disclose any information to the verifier.
Case 1: a wants to prove to B that he has the key of a room. Suppose that the room can only open the lock with the key, and no other method can open it. There are two ways:
① A shows the key to B, and B uses the key to open the lock of the room, so as to prove that a has the correct key of the room.
② B. make sure that there is an object in the room. A opens the door of the room with his own key, and then takes the object out and shows it to B, so as to prove that he does have the key of the room.
The second method belongs to zero knowledge proof. Its advantage is that in the whole process of proof, B can never see the appearance of the key, thus avoiding the leakage of the key.
Case 2: there is a circular corridor. The exit and the entrance are the same, but there is a door that can only be opened with a key somewhere in the middle of the corridor. A needs to prove to B that he has the key to the door. With zero knowledge proof, B looks at a entering the corridor from the entrance and then going out of the corridor from the exit. At this time, B does not get any information about the key, but it can completely prove that a has the key.
https://preview.redd.it/psbzg9ylc0651.png?width=571&format=png&auto=webp&s=6d58835a211e4d391112cf39720f4aaecda869f6
A large number of facts prove that zero knowledge proof is very useful in cryptography. If zero knowledge proof can be used for verification, many problems will be solved effectively. So how does Forbes use zero knowledge proof to improve TPS?
2、 Second floor expansion
It is difficult to solve the "Impossible Triangle" problem if you directly modify the blockchain architecture itself to improve the throughput. After all, the more nodes, it is very difficult to improve the TPS technology on the premise of decentralization. But Forbes thought of the "curve saving the nation" scheme, that is, without changing the blockchain itself, to improve the TPS by setting the second layer architecture.
Here is a case in life:
If the Forbes public chain is regarded as a real-life bank, and the transfer operation is carried out on the Forbes public chain, it is like handling the transfer business in the bank's counter, but the difference is that the bank is centralized and the blockchain is decentralized.
In the case of few people, it's easy for users to handle the transfer business in the bank, but once there are more people, it's easy to form a long queue, which makes the users in the back have a long wait. Blockchain is like a bank. When there are more people in the transfer queue, there will be a block. So to improve the throughput of blockchain is how to improve the speed of bank transfer business.
But the bank is so big. There are so many bank staff (you can compare the bank staff to the nodes of the blockchain). It is very difficult for the bank to improve the speed of handling the transfer business. This makes the people behind the line angry, but they have no choice.
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Finally, one of the people at the back of the line couldn't bear to wait. He stood up and said, "we can't wait. We have to find ways to improve our efficiency." And they said to him, you are not a banker. What can you do. So, the man said confidently, "let's see my operation and cooperate with me.".
Only the person pulls out a book for bookkeeping, starts from the fifth person in line, records the balance of each person's account after transfer in detail, and then asks each person to confirm that the note book is authorized by hand print. Then after the last person records, he gets an account book for recording the final balance of the owner's account. Although there is no specific transfer record in this account book, it is recorded accurately Record the balance of each person's transfer. Although some people transfer to each other many times, no matter how many times they transfer, people only care about the balance of their final account
After that person's statistics, just in time, the fourth person in line finished the transfer at the bank. Then he walked into the bank with this account book and said that this was the account balance after the fifth person started the transfer of all the people. The bank only needs to change the account balance of these people in the system.
At the first sight of the bank, it's not easy. The staff swiped it and changed all the balances of these accounts at once, so that the bank's handling of transfer business increased by several hundred times.
This is how Forbes is implemented. By setting the second level node, which is called relay, let relay collect the account transfer information of queued users and verify the user's signature. After calculation, integrate the token balance information of the final address into the Merkel tree and submit it to the chain, and then process it at one time.
We call this method of improving the block chain TPS "the second layer expansion".
At first glance, this scheme is perfect, but there are various problems in practical operation. For example:
  1. How can the bank believe that the person with the final account book actually counts the transfer requests of all the queuers?
  2. What if this person, because of personal grudges, intentionally misses the statistics for those who don't like it?
  3. What if this person secretly changes the account balance on the way to the bank?
At this time, zero knowledge proof will be of great use.

https://preview.redd.it/25p5vrb9d0651.png?width=599&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d07cb226d1f6f318703c76c5f4d9000b370145a
3、 Zero knowledge proof + second layer expansion + smart contract
To solve the above problems is actually to solve the problem of trust. The bank is not stupid. It's OK to let the bank send its own staff. Each staff sent by the bank will issue a "work permit" and an open box with a lock before departure. When you count transfers for people in line, the account book is safe, because people will supervise him. When you count the last person, the staff will put the account book into a locked box and close it. In this way, on the way to the bank, the staff can't do evil and modify the account data. After arriving at the bank, the bank only recognizes the "work permit" and confirms that it is its own staff. Without opening the locked box, it can be determined that this person is indeed trustworthy.
It can be seen that in the whole process, the bank gets ZERO account information, but believes that the transfer data counted by this person is safe and reliable, which is zero knowledge proof.
The principle of Forbes technology is exactly the same. The main chain will use the zero knowledge circuit to generate the certificate called proof. When relay counts the transfer information of users, it will finally package and submit the general ledger Merkel tree, and use proof to encrypt. After the main chain sees the encrypted package, it will use proof to decrypt, perform the calculation of modifying the address token balance, and then broadcast to the whole node.
But there is still a problem that hasn't been solved, that is, what should staff do if they intentionally miss the bookkeeping of people who don't look good? Or the staff ask for a tip from the user. If they don't tip, they don't charge. What should we do?
In fact, it's also easy to handle. People who miss the account or are asked for tips will definitely complain to the bank angrily. After the bank checks, they only need to deduct the balance of the staff's account.
Here Forbes will arrange smart contracts on the main chain, and require the added relay to mortgage a sufficient number of GFS on the main chain. If relay misses the user transfer request or intentionally increases the transfer fee, the main chain will deduct the pledge GFS of relay through the smart contract to compensate the user's loss.
See here, congratulations on finally understanding the technical solution of Forbes to improve TPS. Under the support of huge distributed mining pool, Forbes not only has a large number of nodes to provide ultra-high security and decentralization, but also uses zero knowledge proof + second expansion + smart contract to easily increase TPS to more than 10000, which solves the "Impossible Triangle" problem of blockchain.
I think you must have noticed the details of the pledge of GFS by relay. If smart people don't explain, they can predict the future value of GFS from the details.
submitted by forbeschain to u/forbeschain [link] [comments]

Transcript of Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Sechet presenting at the Bitcoin Cash City conference on September 5th, 2019

Transcript of Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Sechet presenting at the Bitcoin Cash City conference on September 5th, 2019
I tried my best to be as accurate as possible, but if there are any errors, please let me know so I can fix. I believe this talk is important for all Bitcoin Cash supporters, and I wanted to provide it in written form so people can read it as well as watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOv0nmOe1_o For me, this was the first time I felt like I understood the issues Amaury's been trying to communicate, and I hope that reading this presentation might help others understand as well.
Bitcoin Cash’s Culture
“Okay. Hello? Can you hear me? The microphone is good, yeah?
Ok, so after that introduction, I’m going to do the only thing that I can do now, which is disappoint you, because well, that was quite something.
So usually I make technical talks and this time it’s going to be a bit different. I’m going to talk about culture in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. So first let’s talk about culture, like what is it? It’s ‘the social behaviors and norms found in human society.’
So we as the Bitcoin Cash community, we are a human society, or at least we look like it. You’re all humans as far as I know, and we have social behaviors and norms, and those social behaviors and norms have a huge impact on the project.
And the reason why I want to focus on that point very specifically is because we have better fundamentals and we have a better product and we are more useful than most other cryptos out there. And I think that’s a true statement, and I think this is a testimony of the success of BCH. But also, we are only just 3% of BTC’s value. So clearly there is something that we are not doing right, and clearly it’s not fundamental, it’s not product, it’s not usefulness. It’s something else, and I think this can be found somewhat in our culture.
So I have this quote here, from Naval Ravikant. I don’t know if you guys know him but he’s a fairly well known speaker and thinker, and he said, “Never trust anyone who does not annoy you from time to time, because it means that they are only telling you what you want to hear.”
And so today I am going to annoy you a bit, in addition to disappointing you, so yeah, it’s going to be very bad, but I feel like we kind of need to do it.
So there are two points, mainly, that I think our culture is not doing the right thing. And those are gonna be infrastructure and game theory. And so I’m going to talk a little bit about infrastructure and game theory.
Right, so, I think there are a few misconceptions by people that are not used to working in software infrastructure in general, but basically, it works like any other kind of infrastructure. So basically all kinds of infrastructure decay, and we are under the assumption that technology always gets better and better and better and never decays. But in terms of that, it actually decays all the time, and we have just a bunch of engineers working at many many companies that keep working at making it better and fighting that decay.
I’m going to take a few examples, alright. Right now if you want to buy a cathode ray tube television or monitor for your computer (I’m not sure why you want to do that because we have better stuff now), but if you want to buy that, it’s actually very difficult now. There are very little manufacturers that even know how to build them. We almost forgot as a human society how to build those stuff. Because, well, there was not as high of a demand for them as there was before, and therefore nobody really worked on maintaining the knowledge or the know how, and the factories, none of that which are required to build those stuff, and therefore we don’t build them. And this is the same for vinyl discs, right? You can buy vinyl disk today if you want, but it’s actually more expensive than it used to be twenty years ago.
We used to have space shuttles. Both Russia and US used to have space shuttles. And now only the US have space shuttles, and now nobody has space shuttles anymore.
And there is an even better counter example to that. It’s that the US, right now, is refining Uranium for nuclear weapons. Like on a regular basis there are people working on that problem. Except that the US doesn’t need any new uranium to make nuclear weapons because they are decommissioning the weapons that are too old and can reuse that uranium to build the new weapon that they are building. The demand for that is actually zero, and still there are people making it and they are just basically making it and storing it forever, and it’s never used. So why is the US spending money on that? Well you would say governments are usually pretty good at spending money on stuff that are not very useful, but in that case there is a very good reason. And the good reason is that they don’t want to forget how it’s done. Because maybe one day it’s going to be useful. And acquiring the whole knowledge of working with uranium and making enriched uranium, refining uranium, it’s not obvious. It’s a very complicated process. It involves very advanced engineering and physics, a lot of that, and keeping people working on that problem ensures that knowledge is kept through time. If you don’t do that, those people are going to retire and nobody will know how to do it. Right.
So in addition to decaying infrastructure from time to time, we can have zero days in software, meaning problems in the software that are not now exploited live on the network. We can have denial of service attack, we can have various failures on the network, or whatever else, so just like any other infrastructure we need people that essentially take care of the problem and fight the decay constantly doing maintenance and also be ready to intervene whenever there is some issue. And that means that even if there is no new work to be done, you want to have a large enough group of people that are working on that everyday just making it all nice and shiny so that when something bad happens, you have people that understand how the system works. So even if for nothing else, you want a large enough set of people working on infrastructure for that to be possible.
So we’re not quite there yet, and we’re very reliant on BTC. Because the software that we’re relying on to run the network is actually a fork to the BTC codebase. And this is not specific to Bitcoin Cash. This is also true for Litecoin, and Dash, and Zcash and whatever. There are many many crypotos that are just a fork of the Bitcoin codebase. And all those crypos they actually are reliant on BTC to do some maintenance work because they have smaller teams working on the infrastructure. And as a result any rational market cannot price those other currencies higher than BTC. It would just not make sense anymore. If BTC were to disappear, or were to fail on the market, and this problem is not addressed, then all those other currencies are going to fail with it. Right? And you know that may not be what we want, but that’s kind of like where we are right now.
So if we want to go to the next level, maybe become number one in that market, we need to fix that problem because it’s not going to happen without it.
So I was mentioning the 3% number before, and it’s always very difficult to know what all the parameters are that goes into that number, but one of them is that. Just that alone, I’m sure that we are going to have a lower value than BTC always as long as we don’t fix that problem.
Okay, how do we fix that problem? What are the elements we have that prevent us from fixing that problem? Well, first we need people with very specific skill sets. And the people that have experience in those skill sets, there are not that many of them because there are not that many places where you can work on systems involving hundreds of millions, if not billions of users, that do like millions of transactions per second, that have systems that have hundreds of gigabytes per second of throughput, this kind of stuff. There are just not that many companies in the world that operate on that scale. And as a result, the number of people that have the experience of working on that scale is also pretty much limited to the people coming out of those companies. So we need to make sure that we are able to attract those people.
And we have another problem that I talked about with Justin Bons a bit yesterday, that we don’t want to leave all that to be fixed by a third party.
It may seem nice, you know, so okay, I have a big company making good money, I’m gonna pay people working on the infrastructure for everybody. I’m gonna hire some old-time cypherpunk that became famous because he made a t-shirt about ERISA and i’m going to use that to promote my company and hire a bunch of developers and take care of the infrastructure for everybody. It’s all good people, we are very competent. And indeed they are very competent, but they don’t have your best interest in mind, they have their best interest in mind. And so they should, right? It’s not evil to have your own interest in mind, but you’ve got to remember that if you delegate that to others, they have their best interest in mind, they don’t have yours. So it’s very important that you have different actors that have different interests that get involved into that game of maintaining the infrastructure. So they can keep each other in check.
And if you don’t quite understand the value proposition for you as a business who builds on top of BCH, the best way to explain that to whoever is doing the financials of your company is as an insurance policy. The point of the insurance on the building where your company is, or on the servers, is so that if everything burns down, you can get money to get your business started and don’t go under. Well this is the same thing. Your business relies on some infrastructure, and if this infrastructure ends up going down, disappearing, or being taken in a direction that doesn’t fit your business, your business is toast. And so you want to have an insurance policy there that insures that the pieces that you’re relying on are going to be there for you when you need them.
Alright let’s take an example. In this example, I purposefully did not put any name because I don’t want to blame people. I want to use this as an example of a mistake that were made. I want you to understand that many other people have done many similar mistakes in that space, and so if all you take from what I’m saying here is like those people are bad and you should blame them, this is like completely the wrong stuff. But I also think it’s useful to have a real life example.
So on September 1st, at the beginning of the week, we had a wave of spam that was broadcasted on the network. Someone made like a bunch of transactions, and those were very visibly transactions that were not there to actually do transactions, they were there just to create a bunch of load on the network and try to disturb its good behavior.
And it turned out that most miners were producing blocks from 2 to 8 megabytes, while typical market demand is below half a megabyte, typically, and everything else above that was just spam, essentially. And if you ask any people that have experience in capacity planning, they are going to tell you that those limits are appropriate. The reason why, and the alternative to raising those limits that you can use to mitigate those side effects are a bit complicated and they would require a talk in and of itself to go into, so I’m going to just use an argument from authority here, but trust me, I know what I’m talking about here, and this is just like raising those limits is just not the solution. But some pool decided to increase that soft cap to 32 megs. And this has two main consequences that I want to dig in to explain what is not the right solution.
And the first one is that we have businesses that are building on BCH today. And those businesses are the ones that are providing value, they are the ones making our network valuable. Right? So we need to treat those people as first class citizens. We need to attract and value them as much as we can. And those people, they find themselves in the position where they can either dedicate their resources and their attention and their time to make their service better and more valuable for users, or maybe expand their service to more countries, to more markets, to whatever, they can do a lot of stuff, or they can spend their time and resources to make sure the system works not when you have like 10x the usual load, but also 100x the usual load. And this is something that is not providing value to them, this is something that is not providing value to us, and I would even argue that this is something that is providing negative value.
Because if those people don’t improve their service, or build new services, or expand their service to new markets, what’s going to happen is that we’re not going to do 100x. 100x happens because people provide useful services and people start using it. And if we distract those people so that they need to do random stuff that has nothing to do with their business, then we’re never going to do 100x. And so having a soft cap that is way way way above what is the usual market demand (32 megs is almost a hundred times what is the market demand for it), it’s actually a denial of service attack that you open for anyone that is building on the chain.
We were talking before, like yesterday we were asking about how do we attract developers, and one of the important stuff is that we need to value that over valuing something else. And when we take this kind of move, the signal that we send to the community, to the people working on that, is that people yelling very loudly on social media, their opinion is more valued than your work to make a useful service building on BCH. This is an extremely bad signal to send. So we don’t want to send those kind of signals anymore.
That’s the first order effect, but there’s a second order effect, and the second order effect is to scale we need people with experience in capacity planning. And as it turns out big companies like Google, and Facebook, and Amazon pay good money, they pay several 100k a year to people to do that work of capacity planning. And they wouldn’t be doing that if they just had to listen to people yelling on social media to find the answer. Right? It’s much cheaper to do the simple option, except the simple option is not very good because this is a very complex engineering problem. And not everybody is like a very competent engineer in that domain specifically. So put yourself in the shoes of some engineers who have skills in that particular area. They see that happening, and what do they see? The first thing that they see is that if they join that space, they’re going to have some level of competence, some level of skill, and it’s going to be ignored by the leaders in that space, and ignoring their skills is not the best way to value it as it turns out. And so because of that, they are less likely to join it. But there is a certain thing that they’re going to see. And that is that because they are ignored, some shit is going to happen, some stuff are going to break, some attacks are going to be made, and who is going to be called to deal with that? Well, it’s them. Right? So not only are they going to be not valued for their stuff, the fact that they are not valued for their stuff is going to put them in a situation where they have to put out a bunch of fires that they would have known to avoid in the first place. So that’s an extremely bad value proposition for them to go work for us. And if we’re going to be a world scale currency, then we need to attract those kinds of people. And so we need to have a better value proposition and a better signaling that we send to them.
Alright, so that’s the end of the first infrastructure stuff. Now I want to talk about game theory a bit, and specifically, Schelling points.
So what is a Schelling point? A Schelling point is something that we can agree on without especially talking together. And there are a bunch of Schelling points that exist already in the Bitcoin space. For instance we all follow the longest chain that have certain rules, right? And we don’t need to talk to each other. If I’m getting my wallet and I have some amount of money and I go to any one of you here and you check your wallet and you have that amount of money and those two amounts agree. We never talk to each other to come to any kind of agreement about how much each of us have in terms of money. We just know. Why? Because we have a Schelling point. We have a way to decide that without really communicating. So that’s the longest chain, but also all the consensus rules we have are Schelling points. So for instance, we accept blocks up to a certain size, and we reject blocks that are bigger than that. We don’t constantly talk to each other like, ‘Oh by the way do you accept 2 mb blocks?’ ‘Yeah I do.’ ‘Do you accept like 3 mb blocks? And tomorrow will you do that?’
We’re not doing this as different actors in the space, constantly worrying each other. We just know there is a block size that is a consensus rule that is agreed upon by almost everybody, and that’s a consensus rule. And all the other consensus rules are effectively changing Schelling points. And our role as a community is to create valuable Schelling points. Right? You want to have a set of rules that provide as much value as possible for different actors in the ecosystem. Because this is how we win. And there are two parts to that. Even though sometimes we look and it’s just one thing, but there are actually two things.
The first one is that we need to decide what is a valuable Schelling point. And I think we are pretty good at this. And this is why we have a lot of utility and we have a very strong fundamental development. We are very good at choosing what is a good Schelling point. We are very bad at actually creating it and making it strong.
So I’m going to talk about that.
How do you create a new Schelling point. For instance, there was a block size, and we wanted a new block size. So we need to create a new Schelling point. How do you create a new Schelling point that is very strong? You need a commitment strategy. That’s what it boils down to. And the typical example that is used when discussing Schelling points is nuclear warfare. So think about that a bit. You have two countries that both have nuclear weapons. And one country sends a nuke on the other country. Destroys some city, whatever, it’s bad. When you look at it from a purely rational perspective, you will assume that people are very angry, and that they want to retaliate, right? But if you put that aside, there is actually no benefit to retaliating. It’s not going to rebuild the city, it’s not going to make them money, it’s not going to give them resources to rebuild it, it’s not going to make new friends. Usually not. It’s just going to destroy some stuff in the other guy that would otherwise not change anything because the other guys already did the damage to us. So if you want nuclear warfare to actually prevent war like we’ve seen mostly happening in the past few decades with the mutually assured destruction theory, you need each of those countries to have a very credible commitment strategy, which is if you nuke me, I will nuke you, and I’m committing to that decision no matter what. I don’t care if it’s good or bad for me, if you nuke me, I will nuke you. And if you can commit to that strongly enough so that it’s credible for other people, it’s most likely that they are not going to nuke you in the first place because they don’t want to be nuked. And it’s capital to understand that this commitment strategy, it’s actually the most important part of it. It’s not the nuke, it’s not any of it, it’s the commitment strategy. You have the right commitment strategy, you can have all the nuke that you want, it’s completely useless, because you are not deterring anyone from attacking you.
There are many other examples, like private property. It’s something usually you’re going to be willing to put a little bit of effort to defend, and the effort is usually way higher than the value of the property itself. Because this is your house, this is your car, this is your whatever, and you’re pretty committed to it, and therefore you create a Schelling point over the fact that this is your house, this is your car, this is your whatever. People are willing to use violence and whatever to defend their property. This is effectively, even if you don’t do it yourself, this is what happens when you call the cops, right? The cops are like you stop violating that property or we’re going to use violence against you. So people are willing to use a very disproportionate response even in comparison to the value of the property. And this is what is creating the Schelling point that allows private property to exist.
This is the commitment strategy. And so the longest chain is a very simple example. You have miners and what miners do when they create a new block, essentially they move from one Schelling point when a bunch of people have some amount of money, to a new Schelling point where some money has moved, and we need to agree to the new Schelling point. And what they do is that they commit a certain amount of resources to it via proof of work. And this is how they get us to pay attention to the new Schelling point. And so UASF is also a very good example of that where people were like we activate segwit no matter what, like, if it doesn’t pan out, we just like busted our whole chain and we are dead.
Right? This is like the ultimate commitment strategy, as far as computer stuff is involved. It’s not like they actually died or anything, but as far as you can go in the computer space, this is very strong commitment strategy.
So let me take an example that is fairly inconsequential in its consequences, but I think explains very well. The initial BCH ticker was BCC. I don’t know if people remember that. Personally I remember reading about it. It was probably when we created it with Jonald and a few other people. And so I personally was for XBC, but I went with BCC, and most people wanted BCC right? It doesn’t matter. But it turned out that Bitfinex had some Ponzi scheme already listed as BCC. It was Bitconnect, if you remember. Carlos Matos, you know, great guy, but Bitconnect was not exactly the best stuff ever, it was a Ponzi scheme. And so as a result Bitifnex decided to list Bitcoin Cash as BCH instead of BCC, and then the ball started rolling and now everybody uses BCH instead of BCC.
So it’s not all that bad. The consequences are not that very bad. And I know that many of you are thinking that right now. Why is this guy bugging us about this? We don’t care if it’s BCC or BCH. And if you’re doing that, you are exactly proving my point.
Because … there are people working for Bitcoin.com here right? Yeah, so Bitcoin.com is launching an exchange, or just has launched, it’s either out right now or it’s going to be out very soon. Well think about that. Make this thought experiment for yourself. Imagine that Bitcoin.com lists some Ponzi scheme as BTC, and then they decide to list Bitcoin as BTN. What do you think would be the reaction of the Bitcoin Core supporter? Would they be like, you know what? we don’t want to be confused with some Ponzi scheme so we’re going to change everything for BTN. No, they would torch down Roger Ver even more than they do now, they would torch down Bitcoin.com. They would insult anyone that would suggest that this was a good idea to go there. They would say that everyone that uses the stuff that is BTC that it’s a ponzi scheme, and that it’s garbage, and that if you even talk about it you are the scum of the earth. Right? They would be extremely committed to whatever they have.
And I think this is a lesson that we need to learn from them. Because even though it’s a ticker, it’s not that important, it’s that attitude that you need to be committed to that stuff if you want to create a strong Schelling point, that allows them to have a strong Schelling point, and that does not allow us to have that strong of a Schelling point.
Okay, so yesterday we had the talk by Justin Bons from Cyber Capital, and one of the first things he said in his talk, is that his company has a very strong position in BCH. And so that changed the whole tone of the talk. You gotta take him seriously because his money is where his mouth is. You know that he is not coming on the stage and telling you random stuff that comes from his mind or tries to get you to do something that he doesn’t try himself. That doesn’t mean he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong, but if he’s wrong, he’s going bankrupt. And you know just for that reason, maybe it’s worth it to listen to it a bit more than some random person saying random stuff when they have no skin in the game.
And it makes him more of a leader in the space. Okay we have some perception in this space that we have a bunch of leaders, but many of them don’t have skin in the game. And it is very important that they do. So when there is some perceived weakness from BCH, if you act as an investor, you are going to diversify. If you act as a leader, you are going to fix that weakness. Right? And so, leaders, it’s not like you can come here and decide well, I’m a leader now. Leaders are leaders because people follow them. It seems fairly obvious, but … and you are the people following the leaders, and I am as well. We decide to follow the opinion of some people more than the opinion of others. And those are the defacto leaders of our community. And we need to make sure that those leaders that we have like Justin Bons, and make sure that they have a strong commitment to whatever they are leading you to, because otherwise you end up in this situation:

https://preview.redd.it/r23dptfobcl31.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=750fbd0f1dc0122d2791accc59f45a235a522444
Where you got a leader, he’s getting you to go somewhere, he has some goal, he has some whatever. In this case he is not that happy with the British people. But he’s like give me freedom or give me death, and he’s going to fight the British, but at the same time he’s like you know what? Maybe this shit isn’t gonna pan out, you gotta make sure you have your backup plan together, you have your stash of British pound here. You know, many of us are going to die, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
That’s not the leader that you want.
I’m going to go to two more examples and then we’re going to be done with it. So one of them is Segwit 2x. Segwit 2x came with a time where some people wanted to do UASF. And UASF was essentially people that set up a modified version of their Bitcoin node that would activate segwit on August 1, no matter what. Right? No matter what miners do, no matter what other people do, it’s going to activate segwit. And either I’m going to be on the other fork, or I’m going to be alone and bust. Well, the alternative proposal was segwit 2x. Where people would activate segwit and then increase the size of the block. And what happened was that one of the sides had a very strong commitment strategy, and the other side, instead of choosing a proportional commitment strategy, what they did was that they modified the activation of segwit 2x to be compatible with UASF. And in doing so they both validate the commitment strategy done by the opposite side, and they weaken their own commitment strategy. So if you look at that, and you understand game theory a bit, you know what’s going to happen. Like the fight hasn’t even started and UASF has already won. And when I saw that happening, it was a very important development to me, because I have some experience in game theory, a lot of that, so I understood what was happening, and this is what led me to commit to BCH, which was BCC at the time, 100%. Because I knew segwit 2x was toast, even though it had not even started, because even though they had very strong cards, they are not playing their cards right, and if you don’t play your cards right, it doesn’t matter how strong your cards are.
Okay, the second one is emergent consensus. And the reason I wanted to put those two examples here is because I think those are the two main examples that lead to the fact that BTC have small blocks and we have big blocks and we’re a minority chain. Those are like the two biggest opportunities we had to have big blocks on BTC and we blew both of them for the exact same reason.
So emergent consensus is like an interesting technology that allows you to trade your bigger block without splitting the network. Essentially, if someone starts producing blocks that are bigger than … (video skips) ,,, The network seems to be following the chain that has larger blocks, eventually they’re going to fall back on that chain, and that’s a very clevery mechanism that allows you to make the consensus rules softer in a way, right? When everybody has the same consensus rules, it still remains enforced, but if a majority of people want to move to a new point, they can do so by bringing others with them without creating a fork. That is a very good activation mechanism for changing the block size, for instance, or it can be used to activate other stuff.
There is a problem, though. This mechanism isn’t able to set a new point. It’s a way to activate a new Schelling point when you have one, but it provides no way to decide when and where or to what value or to anything to where we are going. So this whole strategy lacks the commitment aspect of it. And because it lacks the commitment aspect of it, it was unable to activate properly. It was good, but it was not sufficient in itself. It needs to be combined with a commitment strategy. And especially on that one there are some researchers that wrote a whole paper (https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/686.pdf) unpacking the whole game theory that essentially come to that conclusion that it’s not going to set a new size limit because it lacked the commitment aspect of it. But they go on like they model all the mathematics of it, they give you all the numbers, the probability, and the different scenarios that are possible. It’s a very interesting paper. If you want to see, like, because I’m kind of explaining the game theory from a hundred mile perspective, but actually you can deep dive into it and if you want to know the details, they are in there. People are doing that. This is an actual branch of mathematics.
Alright, okay so conclusion. We must avoid to weaken our commitment strategy. And that means that we need to work in a way where first there is decentralization happening. Everybody has ideas, and we fight over them, we decide where we want to go, we put them on the roadmap, and once it’s on the roadmap, we need to commit to it. Because when people want to go like, ‘Oh this is decentralized’ and we do random stuff after that, we actually end up with decentralization, not decentralization in a cooperative manner, but like in an atomization manner. You get like all the atoms everywhere, we explode, we destroy ourself.
And we must require a leader to have skin in the game, so that we make sure we have good leaders. I have a little schema to explain that. We need to have negotiations between different parties, and because there are no bugs, the negotiation can last for a long time and be tumultuous and everything, and that’s fine, that’s what decentralization is looking like at that stage, and that’s great and that makes the system strong. But then once we made a decision, we got to commit to it to create a new Schelling point. Because if we don’t, the new Schelling point is very weak, and we get decentralization in the form of disintegration. And I think we have not been very good to balance the two. Essentially what I would like for us to do going forward is encouraging as much as possible decentralization in the first form. But consider people who participate in the second form, as hostile to BCH, because their behavior is damaging to whatever we are doing. And they are often gonna tell you why we can’t do that because it’s permissionless and decentralized, and they are right, this is permissionless and decentralized, and they can do that. We don’t have to take it seriously. We can show them the door. And not a single person can do that by themself, but as a group, we can develop a culture where it’s the norm to do that. And we have to do that.”
submitted by BCHcain to btc [link] [comments]

Epic Cash Vitex Exchange AMA

What is EPIC CASH?
Epic Cash is the final point in the journey toward true P2P internet cash, the cornerstone of a private financial system. The Epic currency aims to become the world’s most effective privacy-protecting form of digital money. In order to fulfill that goal, it satisfies the three principal functions of money:
1. Store of Value — can be saved, retrieved, and exchanged at a later time, and of predictable value when retrieved;
2. Medium of Exchange — anything accepted as representing a standard of value and exchangeable for goods or services;
3. Unit of Account — the unit by which the value of a thing is accounted for and compared.
Website: http://epic.tech Whitepapers: http://epic.tech/whitepaper Epic Cash Community: https://t.me/EpicCash Miner Chat: https://t.me/EpicMiners Gitlab: gitlab.com/epiccash Twitter: twitter.com/EpicCashTech Social Media: http://epic.tech/social-media Exchanges: https://epic.tech/service-list
Oleg✌🏻
Hello community! Our AMA with EPIC begins🚀 We are very happy to have you here, on our joint AMA👌 So, lets start! The very first question for you. Can you introduce yourself?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind” — we believe that the existing fiat money system enslaves people by unfairly confiscating their wealth through inflation. By using an honest money system such as Epic, we can improve the quality of life for billions of people worldwide.
Yoga Dude Hello, I am Yoga Dude 🙂 I handle Marketing and PR, in crypto since 2011 started as Bitcoin miner, and in 2014 in Monero, and in 2015 in Ethereum, oh and briefly in DOGE for fun and unexpected profit. Heard about Epic Cash while learning about the Mimblewimble algo and joined the team last year.
JLong I am John, Doing the general engineering and managerial work
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I have been involved in early stage cryptos for the past 3 years, after building a global trading business for the past 20 years.
Oleg✌🏻 nice to meet you🙂
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is a decentralized community project like Bitcoin or Monero, there is no central authority or corporation involved. We had no ICO and no premine, we had a fair launch at 0 supply last September.
Yoga Dude Great to meet everyone :)
Oleg✌🏻 Here we go the 1st question for you ~ 1. What is Epic Cash about?
Yoga Dude Epic Cash is designed to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision of P2P electronic cash, adjusting for what we learned from Bitcoin, a medium of exchange that is fast, free, open to all, while being private and fungible. We launched in September 2019 as a Proof of Work mineable crypto, without an ICO or a premine.
Oleg✌🏻 Look like a real Bitcoin🙂
Yoga Dude with privacy and fungibility 😄
Oleg✌🏻 Sounds cool! move on to the next question… 2. What makes Epic Cash better than Monero or other privacy coins?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First off, we have a lot of respect for Monero and other privacy coins, we learned a lot from what they did right and what they did wrong, Our blockchain is much lighter than Monero or Bitcoin, our transaction engine is faster than Monero or ZCash. We use a three mining algo approach to allow more users the ability to obtain Epic Cash. We are a new, highly undervalued, coin and we look great not only for future use but for today's investment. Our blockchain is 90+% smaller than Monero or Bitcoin. Coins such as Zcash have optional privacy. Epic makes all transactions private, and it is impossible to trace movements of coins by watching wallet addresses.
Oleg✌🏻 Young and hot😋 security and privacy level is very important now but… 3. Why copy the same supply economics as Bitcoin?
Yoga Dude It is hard to compete with the success of Bitcoin today, part of the elegance and the appeal of Bitcoin is the responsible emission rate, terminating at 21million highly sub dividable coins. Like the Bitcoin supply curve, Epic Cash encourages early adopters, and with subsequent halvenings maintains a gradually diminishing flow of additional currency while preserving the overall value.
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble In 2028, the supply of Epic matches that of Bitcoin and they stay in sync until the final coin is mined in 2140. We have 4 halvenings between now and then, which is demonstrated in Bitcoin to drive the value over market cycles. Epic is a chance for people who were late to Bitcoin to ride the wave and not miss their opportunity this time.
Oleg✌🏻 Interesting! 4. Why Choose Epic Cash over Grin and Beam?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First of all, we have tremendous respect for all Mimblewimble currencies and their talented teams, they all taught us a lot and we are thankful for that. Without sounding too contentious, the choice seems obvious. We offer the same core tech, but with a much more responsible emission curve — Grin is an endless fountain of emission and inflation (60 per second forever), and Beam is even more frontloaded outpacing even Grin’s aggressive emission schedule for the next several years… We respect Grin and Beam, we learned from them, and we believe we are the next evolutionary step. Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, we offer more ways to mine Epic Cash, both with GPU and CPU and ASICs, this gives us more potential users and miners, vs Grin and Beam that are only mineable with GPUs.
Yoga Dude Yes, all that ☝️😄
Oleg✌🏻 I hope the miners read it all carefully 👌 Next question 5. Why have a development fund tax and what will it be used for?
Yoga Dude Dev fund tax today is at a reasonable 7.77% dropping by 1.11% every year until it hits zero. As Epic Cash grows in value these funds will become increasingly more relevant in additional technical, marketing, and fintech partnerships developments.
Oleg✌🏻 Very smart! 6. What is the advantage of 3 mining algorithms?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble By having multiple mining algorithms we are able to attract CPU, GPU, and ASIC miners simultaneously. Currently all other Mimblewimble currencies are mineable with GPU only ignoring a large segment of CPU miners. Monero made a splash migrating to the RandomX CPU mining algo. Epic Cash from the beginning embraces all mining communities. Many miners are successfully using older hardware such as Xeon processors to help secure the network. We use RandomX for CPU, ProgPow for GPU, and Cuckoo for ASIC.
Longer term, our flexible architecture means we can have many algorithms, not just 3. Our roadmap includes an allocation for SHA3 Keccak, which will help further decentralize the network and keep it unstoppable.
Yoga Dude We love miners 🙂 and Epic Cash can be mined with laptops and gaming rigs 🙂
Oleg✌🏻 A wide selection of mining methods is a great way to create a stable, decentralized and large network👌 Let’s talk about persons… 7. Who are the people developing Epic Cash?
Yoga Dude We are blessed with a very talented team of skilled developers with diverse backgrounds, many of them are volunteers who believe in what Epic Cash stands for and contribute with product and usability innovation. Our teams main focus is to make Epic Cash the best, most secure, most user friendly and usable product on the market, without making it unnecessarily techie, with as much mainstream user appeal as possible. This is a serious challenge but we are up for it 😄
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is also important to note that we are a truly open ecosystem that anyone can participate in. Our community has developed wallets, mining pools, educational content, and much else besides. We are not limited by the funding generated during an ICO or VC investment, our users are an essential element of our team.
Oleg✌🏻 Sounds very attractive. 8. What do you think is currently lack in today’s crypto?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble We believe there is not enough privacy, anonymity and fungibility, although there is a growing awareness in the community as to why these are necessary. People are waking up to the fact that privacy is a right for everyone but today it is being exploited and violated by corporations, governments and unscrupulous individuals. Privacy does not mean that you have something to hide. We have doors on our houses, curtains on our windows, we wear clothes, and we have security on our bank accounts and businesses, not because we are criminals.
Fungibility (the property of not being able to distinguish one unit of currency from another) also has become a hot issue as people have started to get in trouble because of someone else’s misdeeds. Tainted money (coins that are blacklisted or restricted) is a problem for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptos today. Mimblewimble eliminates the risk of tainted coins making them indistinguishable from each other. With traceable coins, you always have to worry if the coins you are getting were involved in a hack, or perhaps the darknet.
Oleg✌🏻 It’s good to see strong and safe coin in our time Let’s talk about your future… 9. What does the Epic Cash roadmap look like going forward?
Yoga Dude First and foremost, we are focused on security and usability.
We are working on a new, improved GUI wallet to incorporate the community feedback on ways to improve it.
We are in the process of completing final testing phases for the next iteration of Epic Cash which will make it more secure and stable. Once that is done, we will be rolling out Android and iOS support to make Epic Cash usable on leading smartphones and smartwatches. Beyond that without going into too much detail we are focused on continuous evolution of privacy, ease of mining, and overall speed and usability.
And of course we are constantly looking to add more exchanges both with and without KYC.
Oleg✌🏻 Are you working on Android and IOS wallet ? What will your application be?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Yes, we will release a mobile wallet this year. It will bring us one step closer to people being able to actually use cryptocurrency as money in daily life.
Yoga Dude The idea is to be able to access Epic Cash from any platform and device
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is very lightweight, which means that low-end devices such as smartwatches can participate.
Oleg✌🏻 Ok, got it. Thanks for clarification! 10. What else can you tell us about Epic Cash?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Well one thing I really want to mention is our great Epic Cash community. We’ve been building a decentralized community organically, without the talk of price pumps, pressure to HODL and other BS crypto-gimmicks. Our community is truly global and consists of developers, volunteers, miners, and other Epic enthusiasts spreading the word about Epic Cash, helping us reach millions of people around the world to improve their quality of life through social media and directly. Everyone is an evangelist, everyone is an influencer, everyone has the power to make the world a better place to live in. As we continue to grow — the future looks Epic 😊
Yoga Dude Definitely the community! We got a talented crowd of very cool and motivated people from all over the world!
Oleg✌🏻 Thank you guys, for such informative answers 🙂 Now we proceed to Section 3, where a Community can ask their questions to the EPIC team Now I’ll open chat for the quite some time … Oleg✌🏻 Thank you all, dear community! EPIC team, please choose the 10 best questions you want to answer.
AngeI Everyone likes Privacy & Epic Cash provides their Best Privacy to users But, Which Technologies are being used by Epic Cash to make Blockchain very Private and Completely untrackable ?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble From the wallet to the node, Epic uses Dandelion++ to bounce transactions around the world before they go into the mempool for mining. Within the blockchain itself, Cut-Through merges all transactions in a block together, with CoinJoin automatically mixing all coins.
Beyond that, there are no addresses, so it’s impossible to watch someone’s wallet.
Arnold Even litecoin is implementing mimblewimble, Don’t you think it’s a significant threat for Epic if they implement it, then why would anyone use a less popular and a new cryptocurrency.
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble LTC is implementing mw as an “extension block”, meaning that it is optional and not all transactions will use it. This is very different than the core protocol leveraging mw to make all transactions private and all coins fungible.
Aluta Why Epic cash so much focus on fungibility? Does fungibility matters that much?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Fungibility is going to be one of the key issues within the cryptocurrency space in the coming years. Today, if you accept traceable coins from a seller, you are liable if they have ever been used in any illegal activity. This has led to a two tier market where freshly minted coins sell for more than circulated coins. When coins are fungible, like Epic, you don’t have to worry that you will run into a problem when an exchange or merchant blocks your transaction.
Joxes It is a pleasure.
When I first researched EpicCash, google showed me a youtube video that talked about how to mine with EpicCash. It made me ask: is this mining activity profitable so far?
We are in the early stages of development I guess, what adoption strategies are you taking to have sustained growth? is it feasible to reach N ° 500 rank in coinmarketcap in the medium term?
Yoga Dude When I got into crypto, it was by mining Bitcoin back in 2011 when you could still solve blocks on a single computer, but Bitcoin at the time was anything but profitable 😄 Today Epic Cash is still new, still young, and still undervalued. I believe it is mining-worthy because of its potential, not because of today’s price. By allowing Epic Cash to be mined with GPU and CPU on gaming rigs, servers, and even laptops we offer maximum public participation in our project. More people involved in the project, the more evangelists there are. We empower people to mine Epic Cash and to promote it.
S.P.A.D.E What new features of Epic Cash provide that Grin or Beam does not offer. Why do we need Epic Cash?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble They are great coins, but there are some ways in which Epic improves. Epic has better tokenomics than Grin and a more sustainable model than Beam, that has a company behind it that needs to repay investors via its high dev tax. this article explains in more detail https://medium.com/@frodofreeman/overview-of-mimblewimble-cryptocurrencies-7c70be146f50
Sahil What’s the Minimum Hardware / setup Required for Mining of EPIC Cash coins? Is Mining Profitable and Can we Mine EPIC Cash coins at Home?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is possible to mine on an ordinary laptop or desktop from the last 5 years, sometimes older. Epic is open to everyone, and our friendly community is standing by to help you get started at t.me/epicminers
Erven James Sato “TOKEN BURN” is BENEFECIAL for any projects, in able to CONTROL THE NUMBER OF TOKEN CIRCULATION and TO PROVIDE GREATER INCENTIVES TO INVESTORS.
Does your GREAT PROJECT have plan about TOKEN BURN?
Xenolink For deflating projects It is beneficial to drive the demand / scarcity / and price up in a faster pace. Epic Cash is here for the organic long run not the short run. However when it comes to long term economics elastic supplies whether inflating or deflating will not be a solid long term economic model. This has been heavily discussed already with Bitcoins inelastic Fixed 21 million supply in the past. Having a fixed model demonstrates good long term economics without worrying about balancing a deflating/inflating model. Bitcoin is a perfect example of a 21 million inelastic fixed supply model that has been proving itself till today. Which is why we are also using the same fixed 21 million supply model. Epic Cash plans to have a solid organic long term future to bring free private fungible money and make this world a better place.
Red Z🔥🤙 No one predicted the COVID-19 pandemic while developing their business model. But the crisis and recession of the global economy is our present with you and it affects all sectors, including blockchain. Will you make or have already made changes to the project roadmap, tokenomics? Do you have a plan in case the situation does not improve in the coming months and will affect the crypto industry even more?
Yoga Dude One thing we have seen as the result of the COVID-19 is more governments are talking about moving to digital cash — digital dollar in USA, digital Lira in Turkey, etc… If in the past the idea of digital money was not graspable by some people, today its the governments that are educating the people for us about the value of digital currency… What is ironic, the governments, by printing money to solve the economic consequences of COVID-19 also educating the consumer about the true “value” of fiat… What we offer is a touch free, borderless, private, anonymous, fungible currency that can not be printed beyond the initial defined algo. We are more responsible than the printing presses of the governments 🤔
kunlefighter How does the Dandelion++ Protocol, Confidential Transactions (CT) and CoinJoin assist in protecting the privacy of individuals and their transactions on Epic Cash Blockchain?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Dandelion++ bounces transactions around before committing them to the blockchain, making it impossible to determine where they originated from. Confidential Transactions means that all tx are private, you can’t tell anything about where the coins have been or who they belonged to. CoinJoin in essence melts down and re-mints each coin every time it is used, making it impossible to track their ownership or usage history. Epic provides comprehensive privacy to everyone, without the compromises that other pre-mimblewimble coins have.
Dr Mönica Hello sir @maxfreeman4 @Johnsstec @Yogadude
Thanks for the ama I notice that Epic Cash has 2 type of new algorithm, progPoW version 0.15.0 and randomX version 1.0.3 NOW , CAN you tell me why you choose these 2 algorithm???
Yoga Dude We went with RandomX because it is a solid and very popular CPU centric algo used by several coins — most recently Monero. Most miners today heavily favor ASICs or GPUs, leaving a lot of solid high end users in the dust unable to mine emerging cryptos. As far as ProgPow, again its an established algo for GPU miners, and thanks to many cryptos starting with Bitcoin/Monero/Ethe etc there is no shortage of GPU rigs out there :) plus again the casual user with a video gaming caliber card can get in on the action.
Oleg✌🏻 Perfect! It was a great AMA, but it is coming to an end, thanks to everyone who was with us. Thanks EPIC team for taking the time👏. I hope our projects will be able to collaborate even more closely in the future and achieve new successes. Cheers!🎉
submitted by EpicCashFrodo to epiccash [link] [comments]

Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? A analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). [Part 2]

Part 1
It's been a bit of time since the first post during which I believe things have crystallised further as to the intentions of the three primary bitcoin variants. I was going to go on a long winded journey to try to weave together the various bits and pieces to let the reader discern from themselves but there's simply too much material that needs to be covered and the effort that it would require is not something that I can invest right now.
Firstly we must define what bitcoin actually is. Many people think of bitcoin as a unit of a digital currency like a dollar in your bank but without a physical substrate. That's kind of correct as a way to explain its likeness to something many people are familiar with but instead it's a bit more nuanced than that. If we look at a wallet from 2011 that has never moved any coins, we can find that there are now multiple "bitcoins" on multiple different blockchains. This post will discuss the main three variants which are Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. In this respect many people are still hotly debating which is the REAL bitcoin variant and which bitcoins you want to be "investing" in.
The genius of bitcoin was not in defining a class of non physical objects to send around. Why bitcoin was so revolutionary is that it combined cryptography, economics, law, computer science, networking, mathematics, etc. and created a protocol which was basically a rule set to be followed which creates a game of incentives that provides security to a p2p network to prevent double spends. The game theory is extremely important to understand. When a transaction is made on the bitcoin network your wallet essentially generates a string of characters which includes your public cryptographic key, a signature which is derived from the private key:pub key pair, the hash of the previous block and an address derived from a public key of the person you want to send the coins to. Because each transaction includes the hash of the previous block (a hash is something that will always generate the same 64 character string result from EXACTLY the same data inputs) the blocks are literally chained together. Bitcoin and the blockchain are thus defined in the technical white paper which accompanied the release client as a chain of digital signatures.
The miners validate transactions on the network and compete with one another to detect double spends on the network. If a miner finds the correct solution to the current block (and in doing so is the one who writes all the transactions that have elapsed since the last block was found, in to the next block) says that a transaction is confirmed but then the rest of the network disagree that the transactions occurred in the order that this miner says (for double spends), then the network will reject the version of the blockchain that that miner is working on. In that respect the miners are incentivised to check each other's work and ensure the majority are working on the correct version of the chain. The miners are thus bound by the game theoretical design of NAKAMOTO CONSENSUS and the ENFORCES of the rule set. It is important to note the term ENFORCER rather than RULE CREATOR as this is defined in the white paper which is a document copyrighted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

Now if we look at the three primary variants of bitcoin understanding these important defining characteristics of what the bitcoin protocol actually is we can make an argument that the variants that changed some of these defining attributes as no longer being bitcoin rather than trying to argue based off market appraisal which is essentially defining bitcoin as a social media consensus rather than a set in stone rule set.
BITCOIN CORE: On first examination Bitcoin Core appears to be the incumbent bitcoin that many are being lead to believe is the "true" bitcoin and the others are knock off scams. The outward stated rationale behind the bitcoin core variant is that computational resources, bandwidth, storage are scarce and that before increasing the size of each block to allow for more transactions we should be increasing the efficiency with which the data being fed in to a block is stored. In order to achieve this one of the first suggested implementations was a process known as SegWit (segregating the witness data). This means that when you construct a bitcoin transaction, in the header of the tx, instead of the inputs being public key and a signature + Hash + address(to), the signature data is moved outside of header as this can save space within the header and allow more transactions to fill the block. More of the history of the proposal can be read about here (bearing in mind that article is published by the bitcoinmagazine which is founded by ethereum devs Vitalik and Mihai and can't necessarily be trusted to give an unbiased record of events). The idea of a segwit like solution was proposed as early as 2012 by the likes of Greg Maxwell and Luke Dash Jnr and Peter Todd in an apparent effort to "FIX" transaction malleability and enable side chains. Those familiar with the motto "problem reaction solution" may understand here that the problem being presented may not always be an authentic problem and it may actually just be necessary preparation for implementing a desired solution.
The real technical arguments as to whether moving signature data outside of the transaction in the header actually invalidates the definition of bitcoin as being a chain of digital signatures is outside my realm of expertise but instead we can examine the character of the individuals and groups involved in endorsing such a solution. Greg Maxwell is a hard to know individual that has been involved with bitcoin since its very early days but in some articles he portrays himself as portrays himself as one of bitcoins harshest earliest critics. Before that he worked with Mozilla and Wikipedia and a few mentions of him can be found on some old linux sites or such. He has no entry on wikipedia other than a non hyperlinked listing as the CTO of Blockstream. Blockstream was a company founded by Greg Maxwell and Adam Back, but in business registration documents only Adam Back is listed as the business contact but registered by James Murdock as the agent. They received funding from a number of VC firms but also Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman and there are suggestions that MIT media labs and the Digital Currency Initiative. For those paying attention Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman have links to Jeffrey Epstein and his offsider Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ghislaine is the daughter of publishing tycoon and fraudster Robert Maxwell (Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch, a yiddish orthodox czech). It is emerging that the Maxwells are implicated with Mossad and involved in many different psyops throughout the last decades. Greg Maxwell is verified as nullc but a few months ago was outed using sock puppets as another reddit user contrarian__ who also admits to being Jewish in one of his comments as the former. Greg has had a colourful history with his roll as a bitcoin core developer successfully ousting two of the developers put there by Satoshi (Gavin Andreson and Mike Hearn) and being referred to by Andreson as a toxic troll with counterpart Samon Mow. At this point rather than crafting the narrative around Greg, I will provide a few links for the reader to assess on their own time:
  1. https://coinspice.io/news/btc-dev-gregory-maxwell-fake-social-media-account-accusations-nonsense/
  2. https://www.trustnodes.com/2017/06/06/making-gregory-maxwell-bitcoin-core-committer-huge-mistake-says-gavin-andresen
  3. https://www.ccn.com/gavin-andresen-samson-mow-and-greg-maxwell-toxic-trolls//
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/business/dealbook/the-bitcoin-believer-who-gave-up.html
  5. https://www.coindesk.com/mozilla-accepting-bitcoin-donations
  6. https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/networks/the-bitcoin-for-is-a-coup
  7. https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/68pusp/gavin_andresen_on_twitter_im_looking_for_beta/dh1cmfl/
  8. https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/d14qee/can_someone_post_the_details_of_the_relationships/?ref=tokendaily
  9. https://www.coindesk.com/court-docs-detail-sexual-misconduct-allegations-against-bitcoin-consultant-peter-todd
  10. https://coinspice.io/news/billionaire-jeffrey-epstein-btc-maximalist-bitcoin-is-a-store-of-value-not-a-currency/
  11. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7579851/More-300-paedophiles-arrested-worldwide-massive-child-abuse-website-taken-down.html
  12. https://news.bitcoin.com/risks-segregated-witness-opening-door-mining-cartels-undermine-bitcoin-network/
  13. https://micky.com.au/craig-wrights-crackpot-bitcoin-theory-covered-by-uks-financial-times/
  14. https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/74se80/wikipedia_admins_gregory_maxwell_of_blockstream/

Now I could just go on dumping more and more articles but that doesn't really weave it all together. Essentially it is very well possible that the 'FIX' of bitcoin proposed with SegWit was done by those who are moral reprobates who have been rubbing shoulders money launderers and human traffickers. Gregory Maxwell was removed from wikipedia, worked with Mozilla who donated a quarter of a million to MIT media labs and had relationship with Joi Ito, the company he founded received funding from people associated with Epstein who have demonstrated their poor character and dishonesty and attempted to wage toxic wars against those early bitcoin developers who wished to scale bitcoin as per the white paper and without changing consensus rules or signature structures.
The argument that BTC is bitcoin because the exchanges and the market have chosen is not necessarily a logical supposition when the vast majority of the money that has flown in to inflate the price of BTC comes from a cryptographic USD token that was created by Brock Pierce (Might Ducks child stahollywood pedo scandal Digital Entertainment Network) who attended Jeffrey Epstein's Island for conferences. The group Tether who issues the USDT has been getting nailed by the New York Attorney General office with claims of $1.4 trillion in damages from their dodgey practices. Brock Pierce has since distanced himself from Tether but Blockstream still works closely with them and they are now exploring issuing tether on the ethereum network. Tether lost it's US banking partner in early 2017 before the monstrous run up for bitcoin prices. Afterwards they alleged they had full reserves of USD however, they were never audited and were printing hundreds of millions of dollars of tether each week during peak mania which was used to buy bitcoin (which was then used as collateral to issue more tether against the bitcoin they bought at a value they inflated). Around $30m in USDT is crossing between China to Russia daily and when some of the groups also related to USDT/Tether were raided they found them in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit physical US bills.
Because of all this it then becomes important to reassess the arguments that were made for the implementation of pegged sidechains, segregated witnesses and other second layer solutions. If preventing the bitcoin blockchain from bloating was the main argument for second layer solutions, what was the plan for scaling the data related to the records of transactions that occur on the second layer. You will then need to rely on less robust ways of securing the second layer than Proof Of Work but still have the same amount of data to contend with, unless there was plans all along for second layer solutions to enable records to be deleted /pruned to facilitate money laundering and violation of laws put in place to prevent banking secrecy etc.
There's much more to it as well and I encourage anyone interested to go digging on their own in to this murky cesspit. Although I know very well what sort of stuff Epstein has been up to I have been out of the loop and haven't familiarised myself with everyone involved in his network that is coming to light.
Stay tuned for part 3 which will be an analysis of the shit show that is the Bitcoin Cash variant...
submitted by whipnil to C_S_T [link] [comments]

A few stories about Brian Krebs: The independent cybercrime journalist who exposes criminals on the internet

First, a bit of introduction before we get into the living drama that is Brian Krebs.
Brian Krebs has been a journalist for decades, starting in the late 90s. He got his start at The Washington Post, but what he's most famous for are his exposes on criminal businesses and individuals who perpetuate cyber crime worldwide. In 2001, he got his interest in cybercrime piqued when a computer worm locked him out of his own computer. In 2005, he shifted from working as a staff writer at The Washington Post's tech newswire to writing for their security blog, "Security Wire". During his tenure there, he started by focusing on the victims of cybercrime, but later also started to focus on the perpetrators of it as well. His reporting helped lead to the shutdown of McColo, a hosting provider who provided service to some of the world's biggest spammers and hackers. Reports analyzing the shutdown of McColo estimated that global spam volume dropped by between 40 and 70 percent. Further analysis revealed it also played host to child pornography sites, and the Russian Business Network, a major Russian cybercrime ring.
In 2009, Krebs left to start his own site, KrebsOnSecurity. Since then, he's been credited with being the first to report on major events such as Stuxnet and when Target was breached, resulting in the leakage of 40 million cards. He also regularly investigates and reveals criminals' identities on his site. The latter has made him the bane of the world of cybercrime, as well as basically a meme, where criminals will include references like Made by Brian Krebs in their code, or name their shops full of stolen credit cards after him.
One of his first posts on his new site was a selection of his best work. While not particularly dramatic, they serve as an excellent example of dogged investigative work, and his series reveal the trail of takedowns his work has documented, or even contributed to.
And now, a selection of drama involving Krebs. Note, all posts are sarcastically-tinged retellings of the source material which I will link throughout. I also didn't use the real names in my retellings, but they are in the source material. This took way too long to write, and it still does massively condense the events described in the series. Krebs has been involved with feuds with other figures, but I'd argue these tales are the "main" bits of drama that are most suited for here.

Fly on the Wall

By 2013, Krebs was no stranger to cybercriminals taking the fight to the real world. He was swatted previously to the point where the police actually know to give him a ring and see if there'd actually been a murder, or if it was just those wacky hackers at it again. In addition, his identity was basically common knowledge to cybercriminals, who would open lines of credit in his name, or find ways to send him money using stolen credit cards.
However, one particular campaign against him caught his eye. A hacker known as "Fly" aka "Flycracker" aka "MUXACC1" posted on a Russian-language fraud forum he administered about a "Krebs fund". His plan was simple. Raise Bitcoin to buy Heroin off of a darknet marketplace, address it to Krebs, and alert his local police via a spoofed phone call. Now, because Krebs is an investigative journalist, he develops undercover presences on cybercrime forums, and it just so happened he'd built up a presence on this one already.
Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund", and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road. My friends, his withdrawal is very bad, let’s join forces to help the guy! We will save Brian from the acute heroin withdrawal and the world will get slightly better!
Fly had first caught Krebs' attention by taunting him on Twitter, sending him Tweets including insults and abuse, and totally-legit looking links. Probably either laced with malware, or designed to get Krebs' IP. He also took to posting personal details such as Krebs' credit report, directions to his house, and pictures of his front door on LiveJournal, of all places.
So, after spotting the scheme, he alerted his local police that he'd probably have someone sending him some China White. Sure enough, the ne'er-do-wells managed to raise 2 BTC, which at the time was a cool $200 or so. They created an account on the premiere darknet site at the time, The Silk Road under the foolproof name "briankrebs7". They found one seller who had consistently high reviews, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. My personal theory is the seller decided to Google where it was going, and realized sending a gram of dope into the waiting arms of local law enforcement probably wasn't the best use of his time. Still, the forum members persevered, and found another seller who was running a buy 10 get 2 free promotion. $165 of Bitcoin later, the drugs were on their way to a new home. The seller apparently informed Fly that the shipment should arrive by Tuesday, a fact which he gleefully shared with the forum.
While our intrepid hero had no doubt that the forum members were determined to help him grab the tail of the dragon, he's not one to assume without confirmation, and enlisted the help of a graduate student at UCSD who was researching Bitcoin and anonymity on The Silk Road, and confirmed the address shared by Fly was used to deposit 2 BTC into an account known to be used for money management on the site.
By Monday, an envelope from Chicago had arrived, containing a copy of Chicago confidential. Taped inside were tiny baggies filled with the purported heroin. Either dedicated to satisfied customers, or mathematically challenged, the seller had included thirteen baggies instead of the twelve advertised. A police officer arrived to take a report and whisked the baggies away.
Now, Fly was upset that Krebs wasn't in handcuffs for drug possession, and decided to follow up his stunt by sending Krebs a floral arrangement shaped like a cross, and an accompanying threatening message addressed to his wife, the dire tone slightly undercut by the fact that it was signed "Velvet Crabs". Krebs' curiosity was already piqued from the shenanigans with the heroin, but with the arrival of the flowers decided to dive deeper into the сука behind things.
He began digging into databases from carding sites that had been hacked, but got his first major breakthrough to his identity from a Russian computer forensics firm. Fly had maintained an account on a now-defunct hacking forum, whose database was breached under "Flycracker". It turns out, the email Flycracker had used was also hacked at some point, and a source told Krebs that the email was full of reports from a keylogger Fly had installed on his wife's computer. Now, because presumably his wife wasn't part of, or perhaps even privy to her husband's illicit dealings, her email account happened to be her full legal name, which Krebs was able to trace to her husband. Now, around this time, the site Fly maintained disappeared from the web, and administrators on another major fraud forum started purging his account. This is a step they typically take when they suspect a member has been apprehended by authorities. Nobody knew for sure, but they didn't want to take any chances.
More research by Krebs revealed that the criminals' intuition had been correct, and Fly was arrested in Italy, carrying documents under an assumed name. He was sitting in an Italian jail, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, as well as potentially facing charges in Italy. This was relayed to Krebs by a law enforcement official who simply said "The Fly has been swatted". (Presumably while slowly removing a pair of aviator sunglasses)
While Fly may have been put away, the story between Krebs and Fly wasn't quite over. He did end up being extradited to the US for prosecution, but while imprisoned in Italy, Fly actually started sending Krebs letters. Understandably distrustful after the whole "heroin" thing, his contacts in federal law enforcement tested the letter, and found it to be clean. Inside, there was a heartfelt and personal letter, apologizing for fucking with Krebs in so many ways. He also forgave Krebs for posting his identity online, leading him to muse that perhaps Fly was working through a twelve-step program. In December, he received another letter, this time a simple postcard with a cheerful message wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Krebs concluded his post thusly:
Cybercrooks have done some pretty crazy stuff to me in response to my reporting about them. But I don’t normally get this kind of closure. I look forward to meeting with Fly in person one day soon now that he will be just a short train ride away. And he may be here for some time: If convicted on all charges, Fly faces up to 30 years in U.S. federal prison.
Fly ultimately was extradited. He plead guilty and was sentenced to 41 months in jail

vDOS and Mirai Break The Internet

Criminals are none too happy when they find their businesses and identities on the front page of KrebsOnSecurity. It usually means law enforcement isn't far behind. One such business was known as vDOS. A DDOS-for-hire (also known as a "booter" or a "stresser") site that found itself hacked, with all their customer records still in their databases leaked. Analysis of the records found that in a four-month time span, the service had been responsible for about 8.81 years worth of attack time, meaning on average at any given second, there were 26 simultaneous attacks running. Interestingly, the hack of vDOS came about from another DDOS-for-hire site, who as it turns out was simply reselling services provided by vDOS. They were far from the only one. vDOS appeared to provide firepower to a large number of different resellers.
In addition to the attack logs, support messages were also among the data stolen. This contained some complaints from various clients who complained they were unable to launch attacks against Israeli IPs. This is a common tactic by hackers to try and avoid unwanted attention from authorities in their country of residence. This was confirmed when two men from Israel were arrested for their involvement in owning and running vDOS. However, this was just the beginning for this bit of drama.
The two men arrested went by the handles "applej4ck" and "Raziel". They had recently published a paper on DDOS attack methods in an online Israeli security magazine. Interestingly, on the same day the men were arrested, questioned, and released on bail, vDOS went offline. Not because it had been taken down by Israeli authorities, not because they had shut it down themselves, but because a DDOS protection firm, BackConnect Security, had hijacked the IP addresses belonging to the company. To spare a lot of technical detail, it's called a BGP hijack, and it basically works by a company saying "Yeah, those are our addresses." It's kind of amazing how much of the internet is basically just secured by the digital equivalent of pinky swears. You can read some more technical detail on Wikipedia. Anyway, we'll get back to BackConnect.
Following the publication of the story uncovering the inner workings of vDOS, KrebsOnSecurity was hit with a record breaking DDOS attack, that peaked at 620/Gbps, nearly double the most powerful DDOS attack previously on record. To put that in perspective, that's enough bandwidth to download 5 simultaneous copies of Interstellar in 4K resolution every single second, and still have room to spare. The attack was so devastating, Akamai, one of the largest providers of DDOS protection in the world had to drop Krebs as a pro bono client. Luckily, Google was willing to step in and place his site under the protection of Google's Project Shield, a free service designed to protect the news sites and journalists from being knocked offline by DDOS attacks.
This attack was apparently in retaliation for the vDOS story, since some of the data sent in the attack included the string "freeapplej4ck". The attack was executed by a botnet of Internet of Things (or IoT) devices. These are those "smart" devices like camera systems, routers, DVRs. Basically things that connect to the cloud. An astounding amount of those are secured with default passwords that can be easily looked up from various sites or even the manufacturers' websites. This was the start of a discovery of a massive botnet that had been growing for years.
Now time for a couple quick side stories:
Dyn, a company who provides DNS to many major companies including Twitter, Reddit, and others came under attack, leaving many sites (including Twitter and Reddit) faltering in the wake of it. Potentially due to one of their engineers' collaboration with Krebs on another story. It turned out that the same botnet that attacked Krebs' site was at least part of the attack on Dyn
And back to BackConnect, that DDOS protection firm that hijacked the IP addresses from vDOS. Well it turns out BGP Hijacks are old hat for the company. They had done it at least 17 times before. Including at least once (purportedly with permission) for the address 1.3.3.7. Aka, "leet". It turns out one of the co-founders of BackConnect actually posted screenshots of him visiting sites that tell you your public IP address in a DDOS mitigation industry chat, showing it as 1.3.3.7. They also used a BGP Hijack against a hosting company and tried to frame a rival DDOS mitigation provider.
Finally, another provider, Datawagon was interestingly implicated in hosting DDOS-for-hire sites while offering DDOS protection. In a Skype conversation where the founder of Datawagon wanted to talk about that time he registered dominos.pizza and got sued for it, he brings up scanning the internet for vulnerable routers completely unprompted. Following the publication of the story about BackConnect, in which he was included in, he was incensed about his portrayal, and argued with Krebs over Skype before Krebs ultimately ended up blocking him. He was subsequently flooded with fake contact requests from bogus or hacked Skype accounts. Shortly thereafter, the record-breaking DDOS attack rained down upon his site.
Back to the main tale!
So, it turns out the botnet of IoT devices was puppeteered by a malware called Mirai. How did it get its name? Well, that's the name its creator gave it, after an anime called Mirai Nikki. How did this name come to light? The creator posted the source code online. (The name part, not the origin. The origin didn't come 'til later.) The post purported that they'd picked it up from somewhere in their travels as a DDOS industry professional. It turns out this is a semi-common tactic when miscreants fear that law enforcement might come looking for them, and having the only copy of the source code of a malware in existence is a pretty strong indicator that you have something to do with it. So, releasing the source to the world gives a veneer of plausible deniability should that eventuality come to pass. So who was this mysterious benefactor of malware source? They went by the name "Anna-senpai".
As research on the Mirai botnet grew, and more malware authors incorporated parts of Mirai's source code into their own attacks, attention on the botnet increased, and on the people behind it. The attention was presumably the reason why Hackforums, the forum where the source code was posted, later disallowed ostensible "Server Stress Tester" services from being sold on it. By December, "Operation Tarpit" had wrought 34 arrests and over a hundred "knock and talk" interviews questioning people about their involvement.
By January, things started to come crashing down. Krebs published an extensive exposé on Anna-senpai detailing all the evidence linking them to the creation of Mirai. The post was so big, he included a damn glossary. What sparked the largest botnet the internet had ever seen? Minecraft. Minecraft servers are big business. A popular one can earn tens of thousands of dollars per month from people buying powers, building space, or other things. It's also a fiercely competitive business, with hundreds of servers vying for players. It turns out that things may have started, as with another set of companies, two rival DDOS mitigation providers competing for customers. ProTraf was a provider of such mitigation technology, and a company whose owner later worked for ProTraf had on at least one occasion hijacked addresses belonging to another company, ProxyPipe. ProxyPipe had also been hit with DDOS attacks they suspected to be launched by ProTraf.
While looking into the President of ProTraf, Krebs realized he'd seen the relatively uncommon combination of programming languages and skills posted by the President somewhere else. They were shared by Anna-senpai on Hackforums. As Krebs dug deeper and deeper into Anna-senpai's online presence, he uncovered other usernames, including one he traced to some Minecraft forums where a photoshopped picture of a still from Pulp Fiction contained the faces of BackConnect, which was a rival to ProTraf's DDOS mitigation business, and another face. A hacker by the name of Vyp0r, who another employee of ProTraf claimed betrayed his trust and blackmailed him into posting the source of another piece of malware called Bashlite. There was also a third character photoshopped into the image. An anime character named "Yamada" from a movie called B Gata H Hei.
Interestingly, under the same username, Krebs found a "MyAnimeList" profile which, out of 9 titles it had marked as watched, were B Gata H Hei, as well as Mirai Nikki, the show from which Mirai derived its name. It continues on with other evidence, including DDOS attacks against Rutgers University, but in short, there was little doubt in the identity of "Anna-senpai", but the person behind the identity did contact Krebs to comment. He denied any involvement in Mirai or DDOS attacks.
"I don’t think there are enough facts to definitively point the finger at me," [Anna-senpai] said. "Besides this article, I was pretty much a nobody. No history of doing this kind of stuff, nothing that points to any kind of sociopathic behavior. Which is what the author is, a sociopath."
He did, however, correct Krebs on the name of B Gata H Kei.
Epilogue
Needless to say, the Mirai botnet crew was caught, but managed to avoid jailtime thanks to their cooperation with the government. That's not to say they went unpunished. Anna-senpai was sentenced to 6 months confinement, 2500 hours of community service, and they may have to pay up to $8.6 million in restitution for their attacks on Rutgers university.

Other Stories

I don't have the time or energy to write another effortpost, and as is I'm over 20,000 characters, so here's a few other tidbits of Krebs' clashes with miscreants.
submitted by HereComesMyDingDong to internetdrama [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

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