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Looking back 18 months.
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
Why is Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc trying to pretend AXA isn't one of the top 5 "companies that control the world"? AXA relies on debt & derivatives to pretend it's not bankrupt. Million-dollar Bitcoin would destroy AXA's phony balance sheet. How much is AXA paying Greg to cripple Bitcoin?
Typical semantics games and hair-splitting and bullshitting from Greg. But I guess we shouldn't expect too much honesty or even understanding from someone like Greg who thinks that miners don't control Bitcoin. AXA-owned Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc doesn't understand how Bitcoin mining works
Mining is how you vote for rule changes. Greg's comments on BU revealed he has no idea how Bitcoin works. He thought "honest" meant "plays by Core rules." [But] there is no "honesty" involved. There is only the assumption that the majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. - ForkiusMaximus
Adam Back & Greg Maxwell are experts in mathematics and engineering, but not in markets and economics. They should not be in charge of "central planning" for things like "max blocksize". They're desperately attempting to prevent the market from deciding on this. But it will, despite their efforts.
Gregory Maxwell nullc has evidently never heard of terms like "the 1%", "TPTB", "oligarchy", or "plutocracy", revealing a childlike naïveté when he says: "‘Majority sets the rules regardless of what some minority thinks’ is the governing principle behind the fiats of major democracies."
People are starting to realize how toxic Gregory Maxwell is to Bitcoin, saying there are plenty of other coders who could do crypto and networking, and "he drives away more talent than he can attract." Plus, he has a 10-year record of damaging open-source projects, going back to Wikipedia in 2006.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4klqtg/people_are_starting_to_realize_how_toxic_gregory/ So here we have Greg this week, desperately engaging in his usual little "semantics" games - claiming that AXA isn't technically a bank - when the real point is that: AXA is clearly one of the most powerful fiat finance firms in the world. Maybe when he's talking about the hairball of C++ spaghetti code that him and his fellow devs at Core/Blockstream are slowing turning their version of Bitcoin's codebase into... in that arcane (and increasingly irrelevant :) area maybe he still can dazzle some people with his usual meaningless technically correct but essentially erroneous bullshit. But when it comes to finance and economics, Greg is in way over his head - and in those areas, he can't bullshit anyone. In fact, pretty much everything Greg ever says about finance or economics or banks is simply wrong. He thinks he's proved some point by claiming that AXA isn't technically a bank. But AXA is far worse than a mere "bank" or a mere "French multinational insurance company". AXA is one of the top-five "companies that control the world" - and now (some people think) AXA is in charge of paying for Bitcoin "development". A recent infographic published in the German Magazine "Die Zeit" showed that AXA is indeed the second-most-connected finance company in the world - right at the rotten "core" of the "fantasy fiat" financial system that runs our world today.
Who owns the world? (1) Barclays, (2) AXA, (3) State Street Bank. (Infographic in German - but you can understand it without knowing much German: "Wem gehört die Welt?" = "Who owns the world?") AXA is the #2 company with the most economic poweconnections in the world. And AXA owns Blockstream.
Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group - seriously! AXA Strategic Ventures, co-lead investor for Blockstream's $55 million financing round, is the investment arm of French insurance giant AXA Group - whose CEO Henri de Castries has been chairman of the Bilderberg Group since 2012.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/47zfzt/blockstream_is_now_controlled_by_the_bilderberg/ So, let's get a few things straight here. "AXA" might not be a household name to many people. And Greg was "technically right" when he denied that AXA is a "bank" (which is basically the only kind of "right" that Greg ever is these days: "technically" :-) But AXA is one of the most powerful finance companies in the world. AXA was started as a French insurance company. And now it's a French multinational insurance company. But if you study up a bit on AXA, you'll see that they're not just any old "insurance" company. AXA has their fingers in just about everything around the world - including a certain team of toxic Bitcoin devs who are radically trying to change Bitcoin:
And ever since AXA started throwing tens of millions of dollars in filthy fantasy fiat at a certain toxic dev named Gregory Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream, suddenly he started saying that we can't have nice things like the gradually increasing blocksizes (and gradually increasing Bitcoin prices - which fortunately tend to increase proportional to the square of the blocksize because of Metcalfe's law :-) which were some of the main reasons most of us invested in Bitcoin in the first place. My, my, my - how some people have changed!
Greg Maxwell used to have intelligent, nuanced opinions about "max blocksize", until he started getting paid by AXA, whose CEO is head of the Bilderberg Group - the legacy financial elite which Bitcoin aims to disintermediate. Greg always refuses to address this massive conflict of interest. Why?
Previously, Greg Maxwell u/nullc (CTO of Blockstream), Adam Back u/adam3us (CEO of Blockstream), and u/theymos (owner of r\bitcoin) all said that bigger blocks would be fine. Now they prefer to risk splitting the community & the network, instead of upgrading to bigger blocks. What happened to them?
AXA would be exposed as bankrupt in a world dominated by a "counterparty-free" asset class like Bitcoin.
AXA pays Greg's salary - and Greg is one of the major forces who has been actively attempting to block Bitcoin's on-chain scaling - and there's no way getting around the fact that artificially small blocksizes do lead to artificially low prices.
AXA kinda reminds me of AIG If anyone here was paying attention when the cracks first started showing in the world fiat finance system around 2008, you may recall the name of another mega-insurance company, that was also one of the most connected finance companies in the world: AIG.
Falling Giant: A Case Study Of AIG What was once the unthinkable occurred on September 16, 2008. On that date, the federal government gave the American International Group - better known as AIG (NYSE:AIG) - a bailout of $85 billion. In exchange, the U.S. government received nearly 80% of the firm's equity. For decades, AIG was the world's biggest insurer, a company known around the world for providing protection for individuals, companies and others. But in September, the company would have gone under if it were not for government assistance.
Bernanke did say he believed an AIG failure would be "catastrophic," and that the heavy use of derivatives made the AIG problem potentially more explosive. An AIG failure, thanks to the firm's size and its vast web of trading partners, "would have triggered an intensification of the general run on international banking institutions," Bernanke said.
http://fortune.com/2010/09/02/why-the-fed-saved-aig-and-not-lehman/ Just like AIG, AXA is a "systemically important" finance company - one of the biggest insurance companies in the world. And (like all major banks and insurance firms), AXA is drowning in worthless debt and bets (derivatives). Most of AXA's balance sheet would go up in a puff of smoke if they actually did "mark-to-market" (ie, if they actually factored in the probability of the counterparties of their debts and bets actually coming through and paying AXA the full amount it says on the pretty little spreadsheets on everyone's computer screens). In other words: Like most giant banks and insurers, AXA has mainly debt and bets. They rely on counterparties to pay them - maybe, someday, if the whole system doesn't go tits-up by then. In other words: Like most giant banks and insurers, AXA does not hold the "private keys" to their so-called wealth :-) So, like most giant multinational banks and insurers who spend all their time playing with debts and bets, AXA has been teetering on the edge of the abyss since 2008 - held together by chewing gum and paper clips and the miracle of Quantitative Easing - and also by all the clever accounting tricks that instantly become possible when money can go from being a gleam in a banker's eye to a pixel on a screen with just a few keystrokes - that wonderful world of "fantasy fiat" where central bankers ninja-mine billions of dollars in worthless paper and pixels into existence every month - and then for some reason every other month they have to hold a special "emergency central bankers meeting" to deal with the latest financial crisis du jour which "nobody could have seen coming". AIG back in 2008 - much like AXA today - was another "systemically important" worldwide mega-insurance giant - with most of its net worth merely a pure fantasy on a spreadsheet and in a four-color annual report - glossing over the ugly reality that it's all based on toxic debts and derivatives which will never ever be paid off. Mega-banks Mega-insurers like AXA are addicted to the never-ending "fantasy fiat" being injected into the casino of musical chairs involving bets upon bets upon bets upon bets upon bets - counterparty against counterparty against counterparty against counterparty - going 'round and 'round on the big beautiful carroussel where everyone is waiting on the next guy to pay up - and meanwhile everyone's cooking their books and sweeping their losses "under the rug", offshore or onto the taxpayers or into special-purpose vehicles - while the central banks keep printing up a trillion more here and a trillion more there in worthless debt-backed paper and pixels - while entire nations slowly sink into the toxic financial sludge of ever-increasing upayable debt and lower productivity and higher inflation, dragging down everyone's economies, enslaving everyone to increasing worktime and decreasing paychecks and unaffordable healthcare and education, corrupting our institutions and our leaders, distorting our investment and "capital allocation" decisions, inflating housing and healthcare and education beyond everyone's reach - and sending people off to die in endless wars to prop up the deadly failing Saudi-American oil-for-arms Petrodollar ninja-mined currency cartel. In 2008, when the multinational insurance company AIG (along with their fellow gambling buddies at the multinational investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehmans) almost went down the drain due to all their toxic gambling debts, they also almost took the rest of the world with them. And that's when the "core" dev team working for the miners central banks (the Fed, ECB, BoE, BoJ - who all report to the "central bank of central banks" BIS in Basel) - started cranking up their mining rigs printing presses and keyboards and pixels to the max, unilaterally manipulating the "issuance schedule" of their shitcoins and flooding the world with tens of trillions in their worthless phoney fiat to save their sorry asses after all their toxic debts and bad bets. AXA is at the very rotten "core" of this system - like AIG, a "systemically important" (ie, "too big to fail") mega-gigantic multinational insurance company - a fantasy fiat finance firm quietly sitting at the rotten core of our current corrupt financial system, basically impacting everything and everybody on this planet. The "masters of the universe" from AXA are the people who go to Davos every year wining and dining on lobster and champagne - part of that elite circle that prints up endless money which they hand out to their friends while they continue to enslave everyone else - and then of course they always turn around and tell us we can't have nice things like roads and schools and healthcare because "austerity". (But somehow we always can have plenty of wars and prisons and climate change and terrorism because for some weird reason our "leaders" seem to love creating disasters.) The smart people at AXA are probably all having nightmares - and the smart people at all the other companies in that circle of "too-big-to-fail" "fantasy fiat finance firms" are probably also having nightmares - about the following very possible scenario: If Bitcoin succeeds, debt-and-derivatives-dependent financial "giants" like AXA will probably be exposed as having been bankrupt this entire time. All their debts and bets will be exposed as not being worth the paper and pixels they were printed on - and at that point, in a cryptocurrency world, the only real money in the world will be "counterparty-free" assets ie cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin - where all you need to hold is your own private keys - and you're not dependent on the next deadbeat debt-ridden fiat slave down the line coughing up to pay you. Some of those people at AXA and the rest of that mafia are probably quietly buying - sad that they missed out when Bitcoin was only $10 or $100 - but happy they can still get it for $1000 while Blockstream continues to suppress the price - and who knows, what the hell, they might as well throw some of that juicy "banker's bonus" into Bitcoin now just in case it really does go to $1 million a coin someday - which it could easily do with just 32MB blocks, and no modifications to the code (ie, no SegWit, no BU, no nuthin', just a slowly growing blocksize supporting a price growing roughly proportional to the square of the blocksize - like Bitcoin always actually did before the economically illiterate devs at Blockstream imposed their centrally planned blocksize on our previously decentralized system). Meanwhile, other people at AXA and other major finance firms might be taking a different tack: happy to see all the disinfo and discord being sown among the Bitcoin community like they've been doing since they were founded in late 2014 - buying out all the devs, dumbing down the community to the point where now even the CTO of Blockstream Greg Mawxell gets the whitepaper totally backwards. Maybe Core/Blockstream's failure-to-scale is a feature not a bug - for companies like AXA. After all, AXA - like most of the major banks in the Europe and the US - are now basically totally dependent on debt and derivatives to pretend they're not already bankrupt. Maybe Blockstream's dead-end road-map (written up by none other than Greg Maxwell), which has been slowly strangling Bitcoin for over two years now - and which could ultimately destroy Bitcoin via the poison pill of Core/Blockstream's SegWit trojan horse - maybe all this never-ending history of obstrution and foot-dragging and lying and failure from Blockstream is actually a feature and not a bug, as far as AXA and their banking buddies are concerned.
The insurance company with the biggest exposure to the 1.2 quadrillion dollar (ie, 1200 TRILLION dollar) derivatives casino is AXA. Yeah, that AXA, the company whose CEO is head of the Bilderberg Group, and whose "venture capital" arm bought out Bitcoin development by "investing" in Blockstream.
If Bitcoin becomes a major currency, then tens of trillions of dollars on the "legacy ledger of fantasy fiat" will evaporate, destroying AXA, whose CEO is head of the Bilderbergers. This is the real reason why AXA bought Blockstream: to artificially suppress Bitcoin volume and price with 1MB blocks.
This trader's price & volume graph / model predicted that we should be over $10,000 USD/BTC by now. The model broke in late 2014 - when AXA-funded Blockstream was founded, and started spreading propaganda and crippleware, centrally imposing artificially tiny blocksize to suppress the volume & price.
"I'm angry about AXA scraping some counterfeit money out of their fraudulent empire to pay autistic lunatics millions of dollars to stall the biggest sociotechnological phenomenon since the internet and then blame me and people like me for being upset about it." ~ u/dresden_k
Bitcoin can go to 10,000 USD with 4 MB blocks, so it will go to 10,000 USD with 4 MB blocks. All the censorship & shilling on r\bitcoin & fantasy fiat from AXA can't stop that. BitcoinCORE might STALL at 1,000 USD and 1 MB blocks, but BITCOIN will SCALE to 10,000 USD and 4 MB blocks - and beyond
AXA/Blockstream are suppressing Bitcoin price at 1000 bits = 1 USD. If 1 bit = 1 USD, then Bitcoin's market cap would be 15 trillion USD - close to the 82 trillion USD of "money" in the world. With Bitcoin Unlimited, we can get to 1 bit = 1 USD on-chain with 32MB blocksize ("Million-Dollar Bitcoin")
Greg Maxwell has now publicly confessed that he is engaging in deliberate market manipulation to artificially suppress Bitcoin adoption and price. He could be doing this so that he and his associates can continue to accumulate while the price is still low (1 BTC = $570, ie 1 USD can buy 1750 "bits")
Why did Blockstream CTO u/nullc Greg Maxwell risk being exposed as a fraud, by lying about basic math? He tried to convince people that Bitcoin does not obey Metcalfe's Law (claiming that Bitcoin price & volume are not correlated, when they obviously are). Why is this lie so precious to him?
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/57dsgz/why_did_blockstream_cto_unullc_greg_maxwell_risk/ I don't know how a so-called Bitcoin dev can sleep at night knowing he's getting paid by fucking AXA - a company that would probably go bankrupt if Bitcoin becomes a major world currency. Greg must have to go through some pretty complicated mental gymastics to justify in his mind what everyone else can see: he is a fucking sellout to one of the biggest fiat finance firms in the world - he's getting paid by (and defending) a company which would probably go bankrupt if Bitcoin ever achieved multi-trillion dollar market cap. Greg is literally getting paid by the second-most-connected "systemically important" (ie, "too big to fail") finance firm in the world - which will probably go bankrupt if Bitcoin were ever to assume its rightful place as a major currency with total market cap measured in the tens of trillions of dollars, destroying most of the toxic sludge of debt and derivatives keeping a bank financial giant like AXA afloat. And it may at first sound batshit crazy (until You Do The Math), but Bitcoin actually really could go to one-million-dollars-a-coin in the next 8 years or so - without SegWit or BU or anything else - simply by continuing with Satoshi's original 32MB built-in blocksize limit and continuing to let miners keep blocks as small as possible to satisfy demand while avoiding orphans - a power which they've had this whole friggin' time and which they've been managing very well thank you.
Bitcoin Original: Reinstate Satoshi's original 32MB max blocksize. If actual blocks grow 54% per year (and price grows 1.542 = 2.37x per year - Metcalfe's Law), then in 8 years we'd have 32MB blocks, 100 txns/sec, 1 BTC = 1 million USD - 100% on-chain P2P cash, without SegWit/Lightning or Unlimited
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5uljaf/bitcoin_original_reinstate_satoshis_original_32mb/ Meanwhile Greg continues to work for Blockstream which is getting tens of millions of dollars from a company which would go bankrupt if Bitcoin were to actually scale on-chain to 32MB blocks and 1 million dollars per coin without all of Greg's meddling. So Greg continues to get paid by AXA, spreading his ignorance about economics and his lies about Bitcoin on these forums. In the end, who knows what Greg's motivations are, or AXA's motivations are. But one thing we do know is this: Satoshi didn't put Greg Maxwell or AXA in charge of deciding the blocksize. The tricky part to understand about "one CPU, one vote" is that it does not mean there is some "pre-existing set of rules" which the miners somehow "enforce" (despite all the times when you hear some Core idiot using words like "consensus layer" or "enforcing the rules"). The tricky part about really understanding Bitcoin is this: Hashpower doesn't just enforce the rules - hashpower makes the rules. And if you think about it, this makes sense. It's the only way Bitcoin actually could be decentralized. It's kinda subtle - and it might be hard for someone to understand if they've been a slave to centralized authorities their whole life - but when we say that Bitcoin is "decentralized" then what it means is: We all make the rules. Because if hashpower doesn't make the rules - then you'd be right back where you started from, with some idiot like Greg Maxwell "making the rules" - or some corrupt too-big-to-fail bank debt-and-derivative-backed "fantasy fiat financial firm" like AXA making the rules - by buying out a dev team and telling us that that dev team "makes the rules". But fortunately, Greg's opinions and ignorance and lies don't matter anymore. Miners are waking up to the fact that they've always controlled the blocksize - and they always will control the blocksize - and there isn't a single goddamn thing Greg Maxwell or Blockstream or AXA can do to stop them from changing it - whether the miners end up using BU or Classic or BitcoinEC or they patch the code themselves.
The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?
Core/Blockstream are now in the Kübler-Ross "Bargaining" phase - talking about "compromise". Sorry, but markets don't do "compromise". Markets do COMPETITION. Markets do winner-takes-all. The whitepaper doesn't talk about "compromise" - it says that 51% of the hashpower determines WHAT IS BITCOIN.
Clearing up Some Widespread Confusions about BU Core deliberately provides software with a blocksize policy pre-baked in. The ONLY thing BU-style software changes is that baking in. It refuses to bundle controversial blocksize policy in with the rest of the code it is offering. It unties the blocksize settings from the dev teams, so that you don't have to shop for both as a packaged unit. The idea is that you can now have Core software security without having to submit to Core blocksize policy. Running Core is like buying a Sony TV that only lets you watch Fox, because the other channels are locked away and you have to know how to solder a circuit board to see them. To change the channel, you as a layman would have to switch to a different TV made by some other manufacturer, who you may not think makes as reliable of TVs. This is because Sony believes people should only ever watch Fox "because there are dangerous channels out there" or "because since everyone needs to watch the same channel, it is our job to decide what that channel is." So the community is stuck with either watching Fox on their nice, reliable Sony TVs, or switching to all watching ABC on some more questionable TVs made by some new maker (like, in 2015 the XT team was the new maker and BIP101 was ABC). BU (and now Classic and BitcoinEC) shatters that whole bizarre paradigm. BU is a TV that lets you tune to any channel you want, at your own risk. The community is free to converge on any channel it wants to, and since everyone in this analogy wants to watch the same channel they will coordinate to find one.
Adjustable blocksize cap (ABC) is dangerous? The blocksize cap has always been user-adjustable. Core just has a really shitty inferface for it. What does it tell you that Core and its supporters are up in arms about a change that merely makes something more convenient for users and couldn't be prevented from happening anyway? Attacking the adjustable blocksize feature in BU and Classic as "dangerous" is a kind of trap, as it is an implicit admission that Bitcoin was being protected only by a small barrier of inconvenience, and a completely temporary one at that. If this was such a "danger" or such a vector for an "attack," how come we never heard about it before? Even if we accept the improbable premise that inconvenience is the great bastion holding Bitcoin together and the paternalistic premise that stakeholders need to be fed consensus using a spoon of inconvenience, we still must ask, who shall do the spoonfeeding? Core accepts these two amazing premises and further declares that Core alone shall be allowed to do the spoonfeeding. Or rather, if you really want to you can be spoonfed by other implementation clients like libbitcoin and btcd as long as they are all feeding you the same stances on controversial consensus settings as Core does. It is high time the community see central planning and abuse of power for what it is, and reject both:
Throw off central planning by removing petty "inconvenience walls" (such as baked-in, dev-recommended blocksize caps) that interfere with stakeholders coordinating choices amongst themselves on controversial matters ...
Make such abuse of power impossible by encouraging many competing implementations to grow and blossom
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/617gf9/adjustable_blocksize_cap_abc_is_dangerous_the/ So it's time for Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc to get over his delusions of grandeur - and to admit he's just another dev, with just another opinion. He also needs to look in the mirror and search his soul and confront the sad reality that he's basically turned into a sellout working for a shitty startup getting paid by the 5th (or 4th or 2nd) "most connected", "systemically important", "too-big-to-fail", debt-and-derivative-dependent multinational bank mega-insurance giant in the world AXA - a major fiat firm firm which is terrified of going bankrupt just like that other mega-insurnace firm AIG already almost did before the Fed rescued them in 2008 - a fiat finance firm which is probably very conflicted about Bitcoin, at the very least. Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell is getting paid by the most systemically important bank mega-insurance giant in the world, sitting at the rotten "core" of the our civilization's corrupt, dying fiat cartel. Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell is getting paid by a mega-bank mega-insurance company that will probably go bankrupt if and when Bitcoin ever gets a multi-trillion dollar market cap, which it can easily do with just 32MB blocks and no code changes at all from clueless meddling devs like him.
Core/AXA/Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell, CEO Adam Back, attack dog Luke-Jr and censor Theymos are sabotaging Bitcoin - but they lack the social skills to even feel guilty for this. Anyone who attempts to overrule the market and limit or hard-code Bitcoin's blocksize must be rejected by the community.
AXA is trying to sabotage Bitcoin by paying the most ignorant, anti-market devs in Bitcoin: Core/Blockstream This is the direction that Bitcoin has been heading in since late 2014 when Blockstream started spreading their censorship and propaganda and started bribing and corrupting the "Core" devs using $76 million in fiat provided by corrupt, anti-Bitcoin "fantasy fiat" finance firms like the debt-backed, derivatives-addicted insurance mega-giant AXA. Remember:
Bitcoin was always intended to be upgraded honestly, overtly, explicitly, and transparently - by hard forks as proposed by Satoshi - where you must explicitly "opt in" by deliberately upgrading your code.
Smart, honest devs fix bugs. Fiat-fueled AXA-funded Core/Blockstream devs add bugs - and then turn around and try to lie to our face and claim their bugs are somehow "features" Recently, people discovered bugs in other Bitcoin implementations - memory leaks in BU's software, "phone home" code in AntMiner's firmware. And the devs involved immediately took public responsibility, and fixed these bugs. Meanwhile...
AXA-funded Blockstream's centrally planned blocksize is still a (slow-motion but nonethless long-term fatal) bug, and
AXA-funded Blockstream's Anyone-Can-Spend SegWit hack/kludge is still a poison-pill.
People are so sick and tired of AXA-funded Blockstream's lies and sabotage that 40% of the network is already mining blocks using BU - because we know that BU will fix any bugs we find (but AXA-funded Blockstream will lie and cheat and try to force their bugs down everyone's throats).
So the difference is: BU's and AntMiner's devs possess enough social and economic intelligence to fix bugs in their code immediately when the community finds them. Meanwhile, most people in the community have been in an absolute uproar for years now against AXA-funded Blockstream's centrally planned blocksize and their deadly Anyone-Can-Spend hack/kludge/poison-pill. Of course, the home-schooled fiat-fattened sociopath Blockstream CTO One-Meg Greg u/nullc would probably just dismiss all these Bitcoin users as the "shreaking" [sic] masses. Narcissistic sociopaths like AXA-funded Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell and CTO Adam and their drooling delusional attack dog Luke-Jr (another person who was home-schooled - which may help explain why he's also such a tone-deaf anti-market sociopath) are just too stupid and arrogant to have the humility and the shame to shut the fuck up and listen to the users when everyone has been pointing out these massive lethal bugs in Core's shitty code. Greg, Adam, Luke-Jr, and Theymos are the most damaging people in Bitcoin These are the four main people who are (consciously or unconsciously) attempting to sabotage Bitcoin:
These toxic idiots are too stupid and shameless and sheltered - and too anti-social and anti-market - to even begin to recognize the lethal bugs they have been trying to introduce into Bitcoin's specification and our community. Users decide on specifications. Devs merely provide implementations. Guys like Greg think that they're important because they can do implemenation-level stuff (like avoiding memory leaks in C++ code). But they are total failures when it comes to specification-level stuff (ie, they are incapable of figuring out how to "grow" a potentially multi-trillion-dollar market by maximally leveraging available technology).
Core/Blockstream is living in a fantasy world. In the real world everyone knows (1) our hardware can support 4-8 MB (even with the Great Firewall), and (2) hard forks are cleaner than soft forks. Core/Blockstream refuses to offer either of these things. Other implementations (eg: BU) can offer both.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5ejmin/coreblockstream_is_living_in_a_fantasy_world_in/ Greg, Adam, Luke-Jr and Theymos apparently lack the social and economic awareness and human decency to feel any guilt or shame for the massive damage they are attempting to inflict on Bitcoin - and on the world. Their ignorance is no excuse Any dev who is ignorant enough to attempt to propose adding such insidious bugs to Bitcoin needs to be rejected by the Bitcoin community - no matter how many years they keep on loudly insisting on trying to sabotage Bitcoin like this. The toxic influence and delusional lies of AXA-funded Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell, CEO Adam Back, attack dog Luke-Jr and censor Theymos are directly to blame for the slow-motion disaster happening in Bitcoin right now - where Bitcoin's market cap has continued to fall from 100% towards 60% - and is continuing to drop.
When bitcoin drops below 50%, most of the capital will be in altcoins. All they had to do was increase the block size to 2mb as they promised. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
u/FormerlyEarlyAdopter : "I predict one thing. The moment Bitcoin hard-forks away from Core clowns, all the shit-coins out there will have a major sell-off." ... u/awemany : "Yes, I expect exactly the same. The Bitcoin dominance index will jump above 95% again."
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5yfcsw/uformerlyearlyadopter_i_predict_one_thing_the/ Market volume (ie, blocksize) should be decided by the market - not based on some arbitrary number that some ignorant dev pulled out of their ass For any healthy cryptocurrency, market price and market capitalization and market volume (a/k/a "blocksize") are determined by the market - not by any dev team, not by central bankers from AXA, not by economically ignorant devs like Adam and Greg (or that other useless idiot - Core "Lead Maintainer" Wladimir van der Laan), not by some drooling pathological delusional authoritarian freak like Luke-Jr, and not by some petty tyrant and internet squatter and communmity-destroyer like Theymos. The only way that Bitcoin can survive and prosper is if we, as a community, denounce and reject these pathological "centralized blocksize" control freaks like Adam and Greg and Luke and Theymos who are trying to use tricks like fiat and censorship and lies (in collusion with their army of trolls organized and unleashed by the Dragons Den) to impose their ignorance and insanity on our currency. These losers might be too ignorant and anti-social to even begin to understand the fact that they are attempting to sabotage Bitcoin. But their ignorance is no excuse. And Bitcoin is getting ready to move on and abandon these losers. There are many devs who are much better than Greg, Adam and Luke-Jr A memory leak is an implementation error, and a centrally planned blocksize is a specification error - and both types of errors will be avoided and removed by smart devs who listen to the community. There are plenty of devs who can write Bitcoin implementations in C++ - plus plenty of devs who can write Bitcoin implementations in other languages as well, such as:
Greg, Adam, Luke-Jr and Theymos are being exposed as miserable failures AXA-funded Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell, CEO Adam Back, their drooling attack dog Luke-Jr and their censor Theymos (and all the idiot small-blockheads, trolls, and shills who swallow the propaganda and lies cooked up in the Dragons Den) are being exposed more and more every day as miserable failures. Greg, Adam, Luke-Jr and Theymos had the arrogance and the hubris to want to be "trusted" as "leaders". But Bitcoin is the world's first cryptocurrency - so it doesn't need trust, and it doesn't need leaders. It is decentralized and trustless. C++ devs should not be deciding Bitcoin's volume. The market should decide. It's not suprising that a guy like "One-Meg Greg" who adopts a nick like u/nullc (because he spends most of his life worrying about low-level details like how to avoid null pointer errors in C++ while the second-most-powerful fiat finance corporation in the world AXA is throwing tens of millions of dollars of fiat at his company to reward him for being a "useful idiot") has turned to be not very good at seeing the "big picture" of Bitcoin economics. So it also comes as no suprise that Greg Maxwell - who wanted to be the "leader" of Bitcoin - has turned out to be one of most harmful people in Bitcoin when it comes to things like growing a potentially multi-trillion-dollar market and economy. All the innovation and growth and discussion in cryptocurrencies is happening everywhere else - not at AXA-funded Blockstream and r\bitcoin (and the recently discovered Dragons Den, where they plan their destructive social engineering campaigns). Those are the censored centralized cesspools financed by central bankers and overrun by loser devs and the mindless trolls who follow them - and supported by inefficient miners who want to cripple Bitcoin with centrally planned blocksize (and dangerous "Anyone-Can-Spend" SegWit). Bitcoin is moving on to bigger blocks and much higher prices - leaving AXA-funded Blockstream's crippled censored centrally planned shit-coin in the dust Let them stagnate in their crippled shit-coin with its centrally planned, artificial, arbitrary 1MB 1.7MB blocksize, and SegWit's Anyone-Can-Spend hackkludge poison-pill. Bitcoin is moving on without these tyrants and liars and losers and sociopaths - and we're going to leave their crippled censored centrally planned shit-coin in the dust.
Core/Blockstream are now in the Kübler-Ross "Bargaining" phase - talking about "compromise". Sorry, but markets don't do "compromise". Markets do COMPETITION. Markets do winner-takes-all. The whitepaper doesn't talk about "compromise" - it says that 51% of the hashpower determines WHAT IS BITCOIN.
Core/Blockstream is living in a fantasy world. In the real world everyone knows (1) our hardware can support 4-8 MB (even with the Great Firewall), and (2) hard forks are cleaner than soft forks. Core/Blockstream refuses to offer either of these things. Other implementations (eg: BU) can offer both.
1 BTC = 64 000 USD would be > $1 trillion market cap - versus $7 trillion market cap for gold, and $82 trillion of "money" in the world. Could "pure" Bitcoin get there without SegWit, Lightning, or Bitcoin Unlimited? Metcalfe's Law suggests that 8MB blocks could support a price of 1 BTC = 64 000 USD
Bitcoin Original: Reinstate Satoshi's original 32MB max blocksize. If actual blocks grow 54% per year (and price grows 1.542 = 2.37x per year - Metcalfe's Law), then in 8 years we'd have 32MB blocks, 100 txns/sec, 1 BTC = 1 million USD - 100% on-chain P2P cash, without SegWit/Lightning or Unlimited
Ethereum is almost certainly the number 2 coin in comedy gold. It will likely surpass Bitcoin in comedy gold long before it passes it in market cap. Thanks in large part to a spam-based marketing campaign on Reddit, it also has a dedicated base of critics. After its IPO, it was known as “Inthereum” for a while, infinitely powerful of course, as vaporware can do anything. It had a major version release, then another. Finally, a major smart contract, in terms of valuation, came along: The DAO. Not to be confused with other DAOs, before and after. The DAO was the biggest. It was going to be the best; it already was the best! Euphoria was off the charts. Until just a few months in, a bug was found. And the killer app became the flash point. What could they do? Well, hard fork and give the money back, of course! And so they did. “Code is Law”; but this is actually good for Ethereum because “[a]lthough some do question the analogy ‘code is law’. I do not. We just found out that we have a supreme court, the community!”  After the D'OH, Ethereum struggles to top its ATH comedy gold, but there is still a bright future for popcorn and comedy gold from Ethereum.
5 Largest Veins of Comedy Gold
Here are the largest comedy gold veins in Ethereum in potential reserves in our estimation in approximately descending order:
Cultlike euphoria - Now, this can certainly be said to be common to almost all cryptocurrencies. But Ethereum seems special here, even more than Bitcoin's community. There is a real belief here that this coin is going to change the world. This helps play into a "this is very good for Ethereum" mindset, wherein even the D'OH fork was a great success!
Vitalik Buterin - The best name in cryptocurrency! Young genius central to Ethereum and almost universally seen as the most important leader in the project. In our view, his endorsement and leadership during the D'OH fork led to that route being taken. That is, we believe if he had opposed it from the start, he may have been able to prevent it or at least have led to what is now called ETC being the dominant of the two.
And so in our view, Mr. Buterin runs a billion dollar cryptocurrency right now. He and his team seem to have done reasonably well so far; it seems likely they'll continue to thrive. To the best of my knowledge, confirmed on /ethereum, there hasn't been a drug market implemented in Ethereum or trading with ETH so far. But while it seems like a terrible idea, because of the lack of privacy and proven mutability of contracts, it seems like eventually there's going to be a major drug market accepting ETH just because it has such a high value. And, they point out, monero and zcoin’s core privacy feature will apparently be available on ETH after this next fork, so look forward to anonymous ETH fueling drug markets! And then the interesting question will be raised of how Chief Justice Buterin will rule on the case, whether it is worthy of an intervention or not. If not a drug market, then another buggy and hacked contract. Or a hacked exchange, and the question of whether to make it or its users whole, or "let the hacker win".
DAOs - From the beginning, it was proposed that Ethereum itself and its reserve fund would be turned into a DAO. How exactly this was going to happen would be figured out later of course. There was an initial estimate of 2016 for the transition.
Of course, in 2016, The DAO and the D'OH happened. I'm not aware of a current further push to put all of ETH's future funding into a DAO. But I'm sure the topic will resurface. And it will be hilarious on so many levels. The DAO actually collapsed too soon for peak comedy gold extraction. It had been predicted that there would be no consensus on any proposals and that nothing would be funded, and that there would be gold from that. But it was just a few months in when the bug was found. And while the D'OH fork was certainly a rich vein of comedy gold, it wasn't as rich as what the DAO could have been if it had floundered around for a year or so before the hack. Surprisingly, there's actually a running, apparently working DAO on ETH that was started even before The DAO: digixDAO. If it keeps on running, it will continue to be hilarious as other DAOs fail to learn from it. If it fails, there's all the more hilarity for Ethereum, making it the platform where anything complicated enough to look like an original use case will break. The very existence of digix is proof-of-comedy-gold.
Immutability - The whole central notion of immutability is going to be a recurring question for Ethereum after the D'OH. While there was a lot of sentiment of "just this once and never again" at the time, there will someday be another major issue, and the precedent will mean that at least a major debate among the community will be had. Ethereum is "mostly immutable". Bitcoin is far better protected here, because while it's true they've hard forked to fix a bug before, that was years ago and the community is far more fractured now. Ethereum has a demonstrated capacity to do both routine and controversial hard forks. This strength is also a challenge, as it will invite constant legal and ethical questions about when it's appropriate to modify the chain itself with a fork: that is, rolling back some or all transactions after major bugs, thefts, frauds, and so forth.
Concentration of funds - This one I'm just guessing at. Although rich lists do exist, obviously one entity like an exchange could pool funds in an address without one person owning that much, or one person could splits their coins among many accounts. But it gives a rough guide. In Bitcoin, the top 113 addresses, having more than 10,000 BTC, in total are 17.46% of the current supply [ 2 ]. And in Ethereum, it's true that the top two accounts are marked as exchange accounts [ 3 ]. Still, having lots of funds concentrated in a single exchange wallet seems to still have some potential for comedy gold. In Ethereum, the top 50 addresses have more than double the proportion of the top 113 in Bitcoin, a bit over 40% of the current supply. My guess would be there are still a lot of people who invested heavily in the initial ICO who have held onto a significant portion of their initial ETH. While some of these top addresses are exchanges, I think there are probably many individuals represented in here as well, and every one of them is a multimillionaire from this account alone.
Of course, so far, because ETH is still smaller than BTC in overall market cap, these top addresses aren't as huge as the top addresses in Bitcoin in current market value. But if ETH were to overtake BTC's current position with a relatively unchanged distribution, there would be some real comedy gold coming off this factor. Cribs could have a spin-off Ethereum series. This concentration was a part of making The D'OH what it was in my view as well: in Bitcoin, there would never have been so much of the coin tied up in one particular venture, at least not now. But in Ethereum, this concentration and groupthink can combine to hilarious effect.
A Brief History of Comedy Gold in Ethereum:
“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made” - John Godfrey Saxe In the beginning, there was an offering. The greatest coin the world had ever seen; step right up and buy it! There was even code; this is no vaporware! Sure, there was more work to be done, but the ICO would fund that work, the founders would get a little, and create a reserve for the future and the rest would be mineable. There was also some of the most vociferous objections on BCT, declaring that the stake allocated to the founders was too large, pointing to other coins which had done smaller or done without. Arguing against the reserve; arguing against having a presale at all. Some people, of course, completely failing to read the documentation accurately to see what was even being proposed. And an almost complete radio silence from this large team working around the clock on Ethereum. It took some months from when the initial ANN was made until the sale actually started, but by the time they had their sale, they had perhaps the best documentation at launch to-date. Of course, there were some areas which seemed to lack some detail, like the budgeting, but never mind that, it was finally launching! Launching the sale, at least. In July and August of 2014, Ether was first sold. It was described as “fuel” for the virtual machine they were going to build [ 4 ]. And then, a year later, Ethereum was released live. By July 2016, it had already had its first major crisis after The DAO was hacked and the D’OH fork introduced in response. But the fact that Ethereum was ever released, and that it was released so quickly, is truly incredible. There was more than one person who thought that the stated goals of Ethereum were not possible. And, of course, many initial goals and deadlines didn’t happen. But unlike the railbirds on BCT were convinced, the team did not fail nor did it run off with the money. They were given a blank check, and they actually delivered a working product which has been successful so far financially. Of course, having its flagship smart contract go belly-up quite so quickly after having finally gotten a “killer app” seems rather unfortunate. The oracle problem (the question of how to reliably relate smart contracts to the outside world) seems unresolved, but partial solutions are inevitable and can only serve to make increasingly complex and thus popcorn-loaded contracts possible. Right now, all seems relatively quiet. But rest assured, there remains plenty of euphoria and gas to drive many more cycles of comedy gold production. Ether huffers need something to throw their ETH at. The more complicated; the better! Given some of the creations that have been made in NXT, for instance, a few more years of creativity on ETH should yield some very complicated and pop-corn rich smart contracts.
I was relaxing in my office, waiting for business. It was a dingy little one-room affair, but it would serve for now. Particularly with no clients. I had poured myself a double shot, and was about to enjoy it, when suddenly the door opened. A man walked in, familiar somehow although I couldn't place him. I reached out my hand instinctively, and instead of shaking it, he handed me a dollar. "Hello?" He pointed at the sign in the window, advertising a promotional one dollar gold survey for the first client. Always astute, I quickly surmised he wished to hire me. "Of course, sir! What coin would you like?" "Ethereum." "Certainly! And may I have your name for the log?" "Tyler Durdan." And with that, my newest client left. I downed my double and poured a generous triple to follow it. This was going to be a long day. Ethereum was the ultimate prize in my line of work. The coin which proved the adage that truth is stranger than fiction; which had proved itself a lucrative source of comedy gold. And who am I? Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Premined scamcoins crashing on noname exchanges. I watched popcorn glitter in the dark on forgotten the BCT threads. Popcorn junkies strung out on a high, and I've delivered them more comedy gold, popcorn, salt and butter. There is never enough. A dark night in a world that never sleeps and knows how to keep its secrets...But on the 12th Floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. Thank you, Narrator. Now, as I was saying, Ethereum is overloaded with gold. But the core is pretty straightforward: Ethereum promised "smart contracts". Immutable. Turing-complete. This was what Bitcoin lacked. The bee's knees. Crypto 2.0. What could go wrong? We'll skip over the "Inthereum" period. Perhaps the vaporware criticism was never fair: from their version, they had Proof-of-Concept code; they went through some iterations and eventually got to release. Let's note clearly that there was plenty of time to determine some sort of official policy for what to do about a buggy or improperly written contract losing money. In Bitcoin, every hack has been a SFYL event, although it’s true that a bug in the coin itself was hard forked away before. Mt. Gox tried to blame malleability, but there was never a fork to try to recover funds. In Ethereum, immutability was often talked about. So far as I saw in skimming, “what if” scenarios to undo bugs wasn’t brought up front-and-center. Nor was immutability being debated that I saw. So Ethereum releases. A major contract is launched, The DAO, which gets an astonishing portion of ETH invested. The world's largest crowd sale as they ultimately called it. All the major players in ETH buy into it, including Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum and the best name in cryptocurrency. Just as they're starting to get into the comedy gold that The DAO doesn't really have a purpose, a bug is discovered. And just as its leader is assuring everyone that no funds are at risk, the funds start being drained out of the contract by an unknown party. And suddenly immutable means "immutable unless we screw up on the biggest contract which everyone important has invested in heavily". Ethereum ultimately hard-forks to return investor funds and basically unwind The DAO. After claiming that the bug was in the contract, the coin itself is hard forked to fix the issue. And the first Ethereum clone results, one which simply does not follow the new hard fork. So the natural question is: when can a contract be changed? In the first page of the Ethereum launch, this question was implied by asking about what would happen if there were an assassination market hosted by a smart contract on Ethereum. Of course, in reality, Ethereum is not really functional enough at present to enforce such a contract, but the question remains in case Ethereum were to actually attain a functioning smart contract platform. Attempted reference to Tears in rain monologue, credit to Rutger Hauer Guy Noir and narrator text lovingly stolen from Prairie Home Companion's Guy Noir, by Garrison B. Keillor.
Filed for psych eval Twenty pages into the BCT ANN, I believe I have contracted cancer, again. I’m reminded of why I don’t generally go on BCT. As bad as altcoin forums tend to be for their circlejerking, it’s almost better than the, well, there’s really no way to put it other than FUD that inevitably appears in response to anything. Of course, it’s not paid shilling so much as it is willful and vocal ignorance. For all the critiques in that thread, most of them are utter nonsense and simply are misreading the initial information. On the other hand, it’s January 27th in the thread by now, with February 1st and the pre-sale start, and they don’t have their “prospectus” up yet. I also haven’t seen the change in mining rate yet. Side note: eMunie; wtf? I guess I missed something? Either it’s gone through a namechange or it’s dead, because a quick coinmarketcap search didn’t find anything. A comedy gold mining project for another day. Great; spoiler alert: fundraiser delayed apparently, so even more cancer to read through in that thread on the way to getting to a prospectus! The first 44 pages of the thread was summarized thus: “I want to believe. Why are you not speaking to us? Throw me a bone. Just tell me what I want to hear, and I'll gladly throw my money in.” [ 5 ] Would that I had only had to read that quote rather than all 44 pages, and facing many more. Pages and comments dragged on as I waded through the low-grade popcorn. When would this prospectus be released, so my torment would end? Oh god: a side-thread shows that by the time they get to April, there’s still no prospectus or presale date or estimate of when there may be a date [ 6 ]. It’s time to give up on reading through the cancerous mainthread on BCT and start jumping ahead pages to find the pre-sale and prospectus. Okay, finally, in July, they release documents and start the sale [ 7 ]. Good enough. I have mountains of links on my desk. Comedy gold is overflowing, but this is a survey expedition, not a mining operation. But by the time it’s surveyed, there’s always so much gold lined up to mine it gets hard to leave it behind and leave with the samples. It’s time to hammer out some copy and close this file. Folks, we hope you’ve enjoyed this descent into madness and comedy gold brought to you by the Comedy Gold Survey Company and our patron Tyler Durden. Do you need more comedy gold in your life? Of course you do! So please donate today; every $1 helps! I’ve added a new special: $5 lets you choose the next coin to be surveyed! Thanks again to Tyler Durden, and I will now be re-watching Fight Club and questioning my sanity. Cheers y’all! Resources:
[ 6 ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=448923.msg6438910#msg6438910 - April 28th, 2014; Ursium says “We won't issue further comments regarding the Ether Sale, until we have completely finalized the framework for it. In the meantime enjoy the free technology, people are already building apps on it, which is exciting Smiley” ; this official Q&A thread then abandoned; these guys clearly hates BCT as much as I do
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=412878.msg4497464#msg4497464 charleshoskinson, January 14th, 2014; “Current plans are for a 60 day fundraiser, starting from Miami on; however, we are still exploring this and thus will set something in stone closer to the conference.” - fundraiser launches in less than a month but date not even set yet; also “No, the rate of inflation is always decreasing and comparable with bitcoin.” and “In terms of ROI, this should be reflected with a positive ROI.” ; also “As for P2P exchange, we have a close relationship with Open Transactions and combined with a namecoin style contract provided in the whitepaper and bitmessage makes a significantly more efficient distributive exchange than is possible with BitShares. Trust is not required as auditing can be done on Ethereum blockchain and we wouldn't suffer any bloat. “
[ ] https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper - Accessed Feb 12, 2017; shows a different version of the issuance model, including the variable presale price modification and reduced future mining. But constant mining reward is still shown and fixed.
[ ] https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/2007/whitepaper-pdf - Thread from April 2015 where Stephen Tual says changes in whitepaper were “as to how significant these were, probably not much”; “We had a hosted copy of the WP on our .org website, but that is now pointing to the github (as the pdf, by definition, was static).”
[ ] https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,1854.0.html Thread which goes into Bytemaster response to initial Ethereum proposal; points out that running something complicated like Bitshares on Ethereum would be cost prohibitive. Also predicts Ethereum becomes PoS.
[ ] https://github.com/slockit/DAO “Our Standard DAO Framework allows people to create Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) governed by the code in this repository written immutably to the blockchain.”
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4690140#msg4690140 - “I think this whole project will get forced underground onto the Tor network in short order because the illegal stuff will be in the blockchain instead of externalized. It will have to directly compete with bitcoin with both hands tied behind its back because it will be hard for people to even find a safe copy of the program to download. Am I to understand that you will not have a legal opinion supporting what you are doing?” - Seth Otterstad
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4718951#msg4718951 “We will switch our PoW from Dagger to a hybrid PoW/PoS system to be developed via a bountied competition conducted by our university partners and open to the general community for participation. The terms will be announced in late february including judges, specifications and the university partners.” - jubalix quoting some Ethereum promotional document
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4740396#msg4740396 “Creating the platform with new features is one thing. Competing in the real world of hype, adoption, and social marketing with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin is a completely different beast. Especially, when every coin is based on ever changing software. The software is secondary to the marketing and socialization at this stage in the ballgame.” - DieJohnny
Thoughts on my culminating analysis of Russia's involvement in the U.S elections?
It has been a running theme lately that the U.S. government blaming Russia for the DNC/Podesta leaks is an attempt at deflection and is false. In the past few days, however, some very interesting pieces of information have come out from three different well-respected cybersecurity companies tasked with investigating the leaks or the groups behind these leaks. These companies are CrowsdStrike, Symantec, and SecureWorks. I think it is important that we cast away the media's non-technical analyses and go straight to the source. The proof is that the hackers used Bitly to mask the malicious URL and trick people into thinking the URL was legitimate. They made two mistakes, however. First, they accidentally left two of their Bitly accounts public, rather than setting them to private. This allowed security researchers to view some general account information, like what URLs were shortened and what they were changed to. Second, they used Gmail's official numeric ID for each person inside of their maliciously crafted URLs. This allowed cybersecurity researchers to find out exactly who had been targeted. The founder of CrowdStrike is a Russian-American and his company has been tasked with investigating the DNC/Podesta leaks. He blames Mother Russia. Relevant excerpts:
Alperovitch is the thirty-six-year-old cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon "lit up," the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network. Alperovitch, a slight man with a sharp, quick demeanor, called the analyst who had emailed the report. "Are we sure it's Russia?" he asked. The analyst said there was no doubt. Falcon had detected malicious software, or malware, that was stealing data and sending it to the same servers that had been used in a 2015 attack on the German Bundestag. The code and techniques used against the DNC resembled those from earlier attacks on the White House and the State Department. The analyst, a former intelligence officer, told Alperovitch that Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence. Alperovitch then called Shawn Henry, a tall, bald fifty-four-year-old former executive assistant director at the FBI who is now CrowdStrike's president of services. Henry led a forensics team that retraced the hackers' steps and pieced together the pathology of the breach. Over the next two weeks, they learned that Cozy Bear had been stealing emails from the DNC for more than a year. Fancy Bear, on the other hand, had been in the network for only a few weeks. Its target was the DNC research department, specifically the material that the committee was compiling on Donald Trump and other Republicans. Meanwhile, a CrowdStrike group called the Overwatch team used Falcon to monitor the hackers, a process known as shoulder-surfing. For the next two days, three CrowdStrike employees worked inside DNC headquarters, replacing the software and setting up new login credentials using what Alperovitch considers to be the most secure means of choosing a password: flipping through the dictionary at random. (After this article was posted online, Alperovitch noted that the passwords included random characters in addition to the words.) The Overwatch team kept an eye on Falcon to ensure there were no new intrusions. On Sunday night, once the operation was complete, Alperovitch took his team to celebrate at the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão. ... Aperovitch's June 14 blog post garnered so much media attention that even its ebullient author felt slightly overwhelmed. Inevitably there were questions about the strange names his company had given the Russian hackers. As it happened, "Fancy Bear" and "Cozy Bear" were part of a coding system Alperovitch had created. Animals signified the hackers' country of origin: Russians were bears, Chinese were pandas, Iranians were kittens, and North Koreans were named for the chollima, a mythical winged horse. By company tradition, the analyst who discovers a new hacker gets to choose the first part of the nickname. Cozy Bear got its nickname because the letters coz appeared in its malware code. Fancy Bear, meanwhile, used malware that included the word Sofacy, which reminded the analyst who found it of the Iggy Azalea song "Fancy." The day after the media maelstrom, the reporters were back with less friendly questions: Had Alperovitch gotten his facts right? Was he certain Russia was behind the DNC hacks? The doubts were prompted by the appearance of a blogger claiming to be from Eastern Europe who called himself Guccifer 2.0. Guccifer said that the breach was his, not Russia's. "DNC'S servers hacked by a lone hacker," he wrote in a blog post that included stolen files from the DNC. "I guess CrowdStrike customers should think twice about company's competence," Guccifer wrote. "Fuck CrowdStrike!!!!!!!!!" an incorrect attribution in public. "Did we miss something?" he asked CrowdStrike's forensics team. Henry and his staff went back over the evidence, all of which supported their original conclusion. Alperovitch had also never seen someone claim to be the only intruder on a site. "No hacker goes into the network and does a full forensic investigation," he told me. Being called out, he said, was "very shocking. It was clearly an attack on us as well as on the DNC." Alperovitch initially thought that the leaks were standard espionage and that Guccifer's attacks on CrowdStrike were just a noisy reaction to being busted. "I thought, Okay, they got really upset that they were caught," he said. But after documents from the DNC continued to leak, Alperovitch decided the situation was far worse than that. He concluded that the Russians wanted to use the leaked files to manipulate U. S. voters—a first. "It hit me that, holy crap, this is an influence operation. They're actually trying to inject themselves into the election," he said. "I believe that we may very well wake up on the morning the day after the election and find statements from Russian adversaries saying, 'Do not trust the result.' " ... Days later, Alperovitch got a call from a Reuters reporter asking whether the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had been hacked. CrowdStrike had, in fact, been working on a breach at the DCCC; once again, Alperovitch believed that Russia was responsible. Now, however, he suspected that only Fancy Bear was involved. A lawyer for the DCCC gave Alperovitch permission to confirm the leak and to name Russia as the suspected author. Two weeks later, files from the DCCC began to appear on Guccifer 2.0's website. This time he released information about Democratic congressional candidates who were running close races in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. On August 12, he went further, publishing a spreadsheet that included the personal email addresses and phone numbers of nearly two hundred Democratic members of Congress. ... Alperovitch's friends in government told him privately that an official attribution so close to the election would look political. If the government named Russia, it would be accused of carrying water for Hillary Clinton. The explanations upset Alperovitch. The silence of the American government began to feel both familiar and dangerous. "It doesn't help us if two years from now someone gets indicted," he said. After Michelle Obama's passport was published online, on September 22, Alperovitch threw up his hands in exasperation. "That is Putin giving us the finger," he told me.
Source: The Russian Expat Leading the Fight to Protect America The guy responsible for ousting Stuxnet as being an American/Israeli cyberworm (no friend of the U.S. government/establishment) also says that his company, Symantec, has found that Russia was responsible for the leaks:
It is pretty clear judging by the indicators of compromise [IOCs]. The binaries that were used to hack the DNC as well as Podesta’s email as well as some other Democratic campaign folks, those IOCs match binaries and also infrastructure that was used in attacks that were previously recorded by others as having Russian origin. That much we can confirm. So if you believe other people’s—primarily government’s—attribution that those previous attacks were Russian, then these attacks are definitely connected. We’re talking about the same binaries, the same tools, the same infrastructure. We’ve analyzed the tools, the binaries, and the infrastructure that was used in the attack, and from that we can confirm that it’s connected to a group that has two names. One is Sofacy, or “Cozy Bear,” and The Dukes, which is also known as “Fancy Bear.” From the binary analysis point of view, I can tell you that the activities of these attackers have been during Russian working hours, either centered on UTC+3 or UTC+4; they don’t work Russian holidays; they work Monday to Friday; there are language identifiers inside that are Russian; when you look at all the victim profiles they would be in interest to the Russian nation-state. So all of that stuff fits the profile. Now, could all those things be false flags? Sure. Other government entities obviously have come out and said it is the Russian state, and the binary forensics would definitely match that. There was another attack that happened in the Ukraine. So in December, in the Ukraine, all the power went out to about 260,000 households, or customers. They basically infiltrated the power company, got access to the machines that controlled the power, they flipped the computer switches off and shut down the power, and then they began to wipe all the machines and devices—overriding the hard drives and trashing the machines so that they couldn’t be started up again, or so that the switches couldn’t come on again. Ukrainians were able to get power back after six hours by switching to manual mode. They went off their computer monitor mode and physically flipped the switches to bring the power back up. What’s interesting about that case is the fact that they were more behind technologically actually helped them. Something very similar could easily happen in the U.S. and we’re much more beholden to computing infrastructure here, so our ability to switch to manual mode here would be much more difficult.
Is there linkage between the DNC and Podesta hacks and the 2014 State Department hacks that were also believed to be carried out by Russia?
Yeah, these are being conducted by the same groups. We know that from the IOCs—by looking at the tools they use and the infrastructure they use. Many of these attacks were happening prior to the nomination of Trump. Based on that theory, people believe that there was a general plan for disruption, and it may be the case now that the easiest and best way to do so is in the manner you speak, but these attacks did not just start happening post-Trump’s nomination. So in that sense, there is a feeling that it’s not a very Trump-specific activity versus an election disruption activity. This is the easiest way for them to disrupt the election.
In mid-2015, CTU researchers discovered TG-4127 using the accoounts-google . com domain in spearphishing attacks targeting Google Account users. The domain was used in a phishing URL submitted to Phishtank, a website that allows users to report phishing links (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Example of accoounts-google . com used in a phishing URL. Recipients who clicked the link were presented with a fake Google Account login page (see Figure 2). The threat actors could use entered credentials to access the contents of the associated Gmail account. Figure 2. Fake Google Account login page. Encoded target details Analysis of the phishing URL revealed that it includes two Base64-encoded values (see Figure 3). The decoded Base64 values (see Table 1) match the Gmail account and its associated Google Account username. If a target clicks the phishing link, the username field of the displayed fake Google Account login page is prepopulated with the individual’s email address. Figure 3. Spearphishing URL. Table 1. Decoded Base64 values from the phishing URL used by TG-4127. Use of the Bitly URL-shortening service A Bitly URL was uploaded to Phishtank at almost the same time as the original spearphishing URL (see Figure 4). Figure 4. Bitly phishing URL submitted at same time as accoounts-google . com phishing URL. Using a tool on Bitly’s website, CTU researchers determined that the Bitly URL redirected to the original phishing URL (see Figure 5). Analysis of activity associated with the Bitly account used to create the shortened URL revealed that it had been used to create more than 3,000 shortened links used to target more than 1,800 Google Accounts. Figure 5. Link-shortener page for bit.ly/1PXQ8zP that reveals the full URL. Target analysis CTU researchers analyzed the Google Accounts targeted by TG-4127 to gain insight about the targets and the threat group’s intent. Focus on Russia and former Soviet states Most of the targeted accounts are linked to intelligence gathering or information control within Russia or former Soviet states. The majority of the activity appears to focus on Russia’s military involvement in eastern Ukraine; for example, the email address targeted by the most phishing attempts (nine) was linked to a spokesperson for the Ukrainian prime minister. Other targets included individuals in political, military, and diplomatic positions in former Soviet states, as well as journalists, human rights organizations, and regional advocacy groups in Russia. Other targets worldwide Analysis of targeted individuals outside of Russia and the former Soviet states revealed that they work in a wide range of industry verticals (see Figure 6). The groups can be divided into two broad categories:
Authors, journalists, NGOs, and political activists (36%)
Government personnel, military personnel, government supply chain, and aerospace researchers (64%)
TG-4127 likely targeted the groups in the first category because they criticized Russia. The groups in the second category may have information useful to the Russian government. Figure 6. TG-4127 targeting outside of Russia and former Soviet states. Authors and journalists More than half (53%) of the targeted authors and journalists are Russia or Ukraine subject matter experts (see Figure 7). It is likely that the Russian state has an interest in how it is portrayed in the media. U.S.-based military spouses who wrote online content about the military and military families were also targeted. The threat actors may have been attempting to learn about broader military issues in the U.S., or gain operational insight into the military activity of the target’s spouse. Figure 7. Subject matter expertise of authors and journalists targeted by TG-4127. Government supply chain CTU researchers identified individuals who were likely targeted due to their position within the supply chain of organizations of interest to TG-4127 (e.g., defense and government networks). Figure 8 shows the distribution by category. The targets included a systems engineer working on a military simulation tool, a consultant specializing in unmanned aerial systems, an IT security consultant working for NATO, and a director of federal sales for the security arm of a multinational technology company. The threat actors likely aimed to exploit the individuals’ access to and knowledge of government clients’ information. Figure 8. Categories of supply chain targets. Government / military personnel TG-4127 likely targeted current and former military and government personnel for potential operational insight gained from access to their personal communications. Most of the activity focused on individuals based in the U.S. or working in NATO-linked roles (see Figure 9). Figure 9. Nation or organization of government/military targets. TG-4127 targeted high-profile Syrian rebel leaders, including a leader of the Syrian National Coalition. Russian forces have supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime since September 2015, so it is likely the threat actors are seeking to gain intelligence on rebel forces to assist Russian and Assad regime military operations. Success of the phishing campaign CTU researchers analyzed 4,396 phishing URLs sent to 1,881 Google Accounts between March and September, 2015. More than half (59%) of the URLs were accessed, suggesting that the recipients at least opened the phishing page. From the available data, it is not possible to determine how many of those Google Accounts were compromised. Most of the targeted accounts received multiple phishing attempts, which may indicate that previous attempts had been unsuccessful. However, 35% of accounts that accessed the malicious link were not subject to additional attempts, possibly indicating that the compromise was successful. Of the accounts targeted once, CTU researchers determined that 60% of the recipients clicked the malicious Bitly. Of the accounts that were targeted more than once, 57% of the recipients clicked the malicious link in the repeated attempts. These results likely encourage threat actors to make additional attempts if the initial phishing email is unsuccessful.
Spearphishing details The short links in the spearphishing emails redirected victims to a TG-4127-controlled URL that spoofed a legitimate Google domain. A Base64-encoded string containing the victim's full email address is passed with this URL, prepopulating a fake Google login page displayed to the victim. If a victim enters their credentials, TG-4127 can establish a session with Google and access the victim's account. The threat actors may be able to keep this session alive and maintain persistent access. Hillary for America TG-4127 exploited the Hillary for America campaign's use of Gmail and leveraged campaign employees' expectation of the standard Gmail login page to access their email account. When presented with TG-4127's spoofed login page (see Figure 1), victims might be convinced it was the legitimate login page for their hillaryclinton.com email account. Figure 1. Example of a TG-4127 fake Google Account login page. CTU researchers observed the first short links targeting hillaryclinton.com email addresses being created in mid-March 2016; the last link was created in mid-May. During this period, TG-4127 created 213 short links targeting 108 email addresses on the hillaryclinton.com domain. Through open-source research, CTU researchers identified the owners of 66 of the targeted email addresses. There was no open-source footprint for the remaining 42 addresses, suggesting that TG-4127 acquired them from another source, possibly other intelligence activity. The identified email owners held a wide range of responsibilities within the Hillary for America campaign, extending from senior figures to junior employees and the group mailboxes for various regional offices. Targeted senior figures managed communications and media affairs, policy, speech writing, finance, and travel, while junior figures arranged schedules and travel for Hillary Clinton's campaign trail. Targets held the following titles:
National political director
Director of strategic communications
Director of scheduling
Director of travel
Traveling press secretary
Publicly available Bitly data reveals how many of the short links were clicked, likely by a victim opening a spearphishing email and clicking the link to the fake Gmail login page. Only 20 of the 213 short links have been clicked as of this publication. Eleven of the links were clicked once, four were clicked twice, two were clicked three times, and two were clicked four times. Democratic National Committee CTU researchers do not have evidence that these spearphishing emails are connected to the DNC network compromise that was revealed on June 14. However, a coincidence seems unlikely, and CTU researchers suspect that TG-4127 used the spearphishing emails or similar techniques to gain an initial foothold in the DNC network. Personal email accounts CTU researchers identified TG-4127 targeting 26 personal gmail.com accounts belonging to individuals linked to the Hillary for America campaign, the DNC, or other aspects of U.S. national politics. Five of the individuals also had a hillaryclinton.com email account that was targeted by TG-4127. Many of these individuals held communications, media, finance, or policy roles. They include the director of speechwriting for Hillary for America and the deputy director office of the chair at the DNC. TG-4127 created 150 short links targeting this group. As of this publication, 40 of the links have been clicked at least once. Related activity and implications Although the 2015 campaign did not focus on individuals associated with U.S. politics, open-source evidence suggests that TG-4127 targeted individuals connected to the U.S. White House in early 2015. The threat group also reportedly targeted the German parliament and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party. CTU researchers have not observed TG-4127 use this technique (using Bitly short links) to target the U.S. Republican party or the other U.S. presidential candidates whose campaigns were active between mid-March and mid-May.
Source: Threat Group-4127 Targets Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Read these two articles for more context: How Hackers Broke Into John Podesta and Colin Powell’s Gmail Accounts How Russia Pulled Off the Biggest Election Hack in U.S. History Guccifer2.0, The Shadow Brokers, and DCLeaks, who have all leaked U.S. documents/cyberweapons, love talking about the "U.S. elite" and "corruption" in America, along with saying "the elections are rigged." I wonder why these people suddenly became so interested in the U.S. election? Regardless, we know from the Bit.ly victim profiles that Podesta, the DNC, Ukrainian/Russian journalists, Bellingcat and other enemies of Russia were targeted by these groups. This also means that those targeted by DCLeaks and Guccifer2.0 were the same people, and that the aforementioned entities are actually one. Why would they lie about being separate groups? Lastly, I have gone through all the public statements made by these groups, by going through their TwitteTumblMedium/WordPress/web posts. Here are some of the comments made by DCLeaks, Guccifer2.0 and The Shadow Brokers. Tell me if you notice a common theme: DCLeaks Known for hacking the emails of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former NATO General Breedlove, as well as Soros' OSF intranet documents.
George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, political activist and author who is of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry and holds dual citizenship. He drives more than 50 global and regional programs and foundations. Soros is named an architect and a sponsor of almost every revolution and coup around the world for the last 25 years. The USA is thought to be a vampire due to him and his puppets, not a lighthouse of freedom and democracy. His minions spill blood of millions and millions of people just to make him even more rich. Soros is an oligarch sponsoring the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, hundreds of politicians all over the world. This website is designed to let everyone inside George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and related organisations. We present you the workplans, strategies, priorities and other activities of Soros. These documents shed light on one of the most influential network operating worldwide.
Welcome another cog in the U.S. political and military machine. CAPT Pistole's emails released documents reveal the billionaire’s attempt to organize a “national movement” to create a federalized police force. Looks like Clinton's staff doesn't care about security.Wonder from whom did they learn it.. FBI hq is a great place for club meeting especially when Clinton is under investigation
A further look at their Twitter account reveals that they mostly re-tweet WikiLeaks/RT/PressTV, hate Clinton, like Trump, love talking about the email scandal, post conspiracy theories about Mark Zuckerberg, exclusively target Russia's enemies (like former NATO General Breedlove, Soros, Colin Powell, etc,.), defend Russia from being attacked, and have a penchant for focusing on news portraying the U.S. elections/debates as "rigged":
Check the private correspondence between Philip Breedlove and Harlan Ullman Check restricted documents of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation Check restricted documents leaked from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign staff Emails show Obama saw US involvement in Russia talks as a 'threat' 'Gen. plotted against Obama on Russia' Check George Soros's OSF plans to counter Russian policy and traditional values Check Soros internal files A New McCarthyism: @ggreenwald on Clinton Camp's Attempts to Link @wikileaks, Trump & @DrJillStein to Russia
Together we’ll be able to throw off the political elite, the rich clans that exploit the world! Fuck the lies and conspirators like DNC!!! Who inspires me? Not the guys like Rambo or Terminator or any other like them. The world has changed. Assange, Snowden, and Manning are the heroes of the computer age. They struggle for truth and justice; they struggle to make our world better, more honest and clear. People like them make us hope for tomorrow. They are the modern heroes, they make history right now. Marcel Lazar is another hero of mine. He inspired me and showed me the way. He proved that even the powers that be have weak points. Anyway it seems that IT-companies and special services can’t realize that people like me act just following their ideas but not for money. They missed the bus with Assange and Snowden, they are not ready to live in the modern world. They are not ready to meet people who are smart and brave, who are eager to fight for their ideals, who can sacrifice themselves for the better future. Working for a boss makes them slow I suppose. Do you need more proof? don’t want to disappoint anyone, but none of the candidates has my sympathies. Each of them has skeletons in the closet and I think people have a right to know the truth about the politicians. As for me, I see great differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary seems so much false to me, she got all her money from political activities and lobbying, she is a slave of moguls, she is bought and sold. She never had to work hard and never risked everything she had. Her words don’t meet her actions. And her collusion with the DNC turned the primaries into farce. Opposite to her, Donald Trump has earned his money himself. And at least he is sincere in what he says. His position is straight and clear. Anyway that doesn’t mean that I support him. I’m totally against his ideas about closing borders and deportation policy. It’s a nonsense, absolute bullshit. I have nothing to say about Bernie Sanders. It seems he never had a chance to win the nomination as the Democratic Party itself stood against him! Here are the DCCC docs on Florida: reports, memos, briefings, dossiers, etc. You can have a look at who you are going to elect now. It may seem the congressional primaries are also becoming a farce. As you can see, the private server of the Clinton clan contains docs and donors lists of the Democratic committees, PACs, etc. Does it surprise you? It looks like big banks and corporations agreed to donate to the Democrats a certain percentage of the allocated TARP funds. I found out something interesting in emails between DNC employees and Hillary Clinton campaign staff. Democrats prepare a new provocation against Trump. After Trump sent his financial report in May it appeared on DNC servers at once. DNC rushed to analyze it and asked the Jones Mandel company to make an effective investigation. I won’t be surprised if some mainstream media like the New York Times or CNN publish soon Trump’s financial docs. No doubt who could give them. I’d like to warn you that the Democrats may rig the elections on November 8. This may be possible because of the software installed in the FEC networks by the large IT companies. As I’ve already said, their software is of poor quality, with many holes and vulnerabilities. I have registered in the FEC electronic system as an independent election observer; so I will monitor that the elections are held honestly. I also call on other hackers to join me, monitor the elections from inside and inform the U.S. society about the facts of electoral fraud.
Source: https://guccifer2.wordpress.com Here and here he claims that he's the source of WikiLeaks' DNC documents. He frequently re-tweets WikiLeaks, just like DCLeaks. He re-tweets and follows conspiracy theory outlets like Alex Jones and Roger Stone, just like DCLeaks followed RT and PressTV. Of course, he sprang back to life two days before Election Day, to complain about "Democrats rigging the election." I thought he didn't favour any political party? Source: https://twitter.com/GUCCIFER_2 The Shadow Brokers Known for leaking the NSA's elite hacking entity's, Equation Group's, cyberweapons.
!! Attention Wealthy Elites !!!
We have final message for “Wealthy Elites”. We know what is wealthy but what is Elites? Elites is making laws protect self and friends, lie and fuck other peoples. Elites is breaking laws, regular peoples go to jail, life ruin, family ruin, but not Elites. Elites is breaking laws, many peoples know Elites guilty, Elites call top friends at law enforcement and government agencies, offer bribes, make promise future handjobs, (but no blowjobs). Elites top friends announce, no law broken, no crime commit. Reporters (not call journalist) make living say write only nice things about Elites, convince dumb cattle, is just politics, everything is awesome, check out our ads and our prostitutes. Then Elites runs for president. Why run for president when already control country like dictatorship? What this have do with fun Cyber Weapons Auction? We want make sure Wealthy Elite recognizes the danger cyber weapons, this message, our auction, poses to their wealth and control. Let us spell out for Elites. Your wealth and control depends on electronic data. You see what “Equation Group” can do. You see what cryptolockers and stuxnet can do. You see free files we give for free. You see attacks on banks and SWIFT in news. Maybe there is Equation Group version of cryptolocker+stuxnet for banks and financial systems? If Equation Group lose control of cyber weapons, who else lose or find cyber weapons? If electronic data go bye bye where leave Wealthy Elites? Maybe with dumb cattle? “Do you feel in charge?” Wealthy Elites, you send bitcoins, you bid in auction, maybe big advantage for you?
TheShadowBrokers is having special trick or treat for Amerikanskis tonight. But first questions. Why is DirtyGrandpa threating CIA cyberwar with Russia? Why not threating with NSA or CyberCommand? CIA is cyber B-Team, yes? Where is cyber A-Team? Maybe threating is not being for external propaganda? Maybe is being for internal propaganda? Oldest control trick in book, yes? Waving flag, blaming problems on external sources, not taking responsibility for failures. But neverminding, hacking DNC is way way most important than EquationGroup losing capabilities. Amerikanskis is not knowing USSA cyber capabilities is being screwed? Where is being “free press”? Is ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX negligent in duties of informing Amerikanskis? Guessing “Free Press” is not being “Free as in free beer” or “Free as in free of government influence? Let us be speaking regarding corruption. If Peoples#1 is having $1.00 and Peoples#2 is having $1000.00 which peoples is having more money? Which peoples is having more spending power? Voter$1 is giving $1 to politician and Voter$1000 is giving $1000 to politician, which voters is having more political power? Is both voters having equal political power? “one person, one vote”? Politicians, lobbyist, media, even SCOTUS (supreme court) is saying this is being true, money is not corrupting. In binary world, maybe. But world is not being binary, is it? What about peoples#3, VoterUndecided? VoterUndecided is giving no moneys and no votes. Politician is needing money for campaign to buy advertising, positive media stories, advisors, pollsters, operatives to be making VoterUndecided vote for politician. Political fundrasing, now which voter is having more political power? VoterUndecided votes for politician and politician wins. Re-election is coming. Government budget decision is required. Voter$1 is wanting politician to be spending taxes on education for making children into great thinkers, leaders, scientists. Voter$1000 is shareholder of defense & intelligence company is wanting politician spending taxes on spying and war to be making benefit self, for great profit. Political favors, now, which voter is having more political power? Did theshadowbrokers lose Amerikanskis? Amerikanskis is still thinking “one person, one vote”? Money isn’t corrupting elections, politics, govenments? USSA elections is coming! 60% of Amerikansky never voting. Best scenario is meaning half of remaining red or blue fanatics or 20% of the most fanatical is picking USSA government? A great power. A free country. A good-doer. TheShadowBrokers is having suggestion. On November 8th, instead of not voting, maybe be stopping the vote all together? Maybe being grinch who stopped election from coming? Maybe hacking election is being the best idea? #hackelection2016. If peoples is not being hackers, then #disruptelection2016, #disruptcorruption2016. Maybe peoples not be going to work, be finding local polling places and protesting, blocking , disrupting , smashing equipment, tearing up ballots? The wealthy elites is being weakest during elections and transition of power. Is being why USSA is targeting elections in foreign countries. Don’t beleiving? Remembering Iran elections? Rembering stuxnet? Maybe is not Russia hacking election, maybe is being payback from Iran? Ok peoples theshadowbrokers is promising you a trick or treating, here it is https://mega.nz/#F!D1Q2EQpD!Lb09shM5XMZsQ_5_E1l4eQhttps://yadi.sk/d/NCEyJQsBxrQxz Password = payus This is being equation group pitchimpair (redirector) keys, many missions into your networks is/was coming from these ip addresses. Is being unfortunate no peoples is already owning eqgrp_auction_file. Auction file is having tools for to making connect to these pitchimpairs. Maybe tools no more installed? Maybe is being cleaned up? To peoples is being owner of pitchimpair computers, don’t be looking for files, rootkit will self destruct. Be making cold forensic image. @GCHQ @Belgacom TheShadowBrokers is making special effort not to using foul language, bigotry, or making any funny. Be seeing if NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX is making stories about now? Maybe political hacks is being more important? How bad do you want it to get? When you are ready to make the bleeding stop, payus, so we can move onto the next game. The game where you try to catch us cashing out! Swag us out!
dmoberhaus writes: A new report published in 'Joule' today claims Bitcoin may use up to 0.5% of the world's energy by the end of this year.We often hear about how bad Bitcoin is for the environment -- it already uses the same amount of energy as the country of Ireland -- but these numbers are usually just the /minimum/ amount of energy the network must be using. What's the world's most widely used cryptocurrency? If you think it's Bitcoin, which accounts for about 70% of all the digital-asset world's market value, you're probably wrong.From a report: While concrete figures on trading volumes are hard to come by in this often murky corner of finance, data from CoinMarketCap.com show that the token with the highest daily and monthly trading volume is ... Throwaway_bitcoin_bs -36 points-35 points-34 points 19 days ago I stand by that Hispanic women can’t drive, because of my numerous experiences My old job doesn’t pay that well, the company is rich though. Bitcoin Core is a full Bitcoin client and builds the backbone of the network. It offers high levels of security, privacy, and stability. However, it has fewer features and it takes a lot of space and memory. Features: Bech32 × Bech32: Bech32 is a special address format made possible by SegWit (see the feature description for SegWit for more info). This address format is also known as 'bc1 ... Running wallet in prune mode simply throws away previous transaction and old chain history which in turn saves disk space. More information on how it works can be found here. Before you reduce Bitcoin wallet blockchain size: Here are few things to note before you go ahead and enable pruning mode to your Bitcoin wallet. Pruning mode will not lessen your wallet security. It is same as running a ...
Bitcoin Rap Battle Debate: Hamilton vs. Satoshi (BITCOIN ...
Vitalik Buterin spoke to the Silicon Valley Ethereum Meetup on Sunday March 23rd on "Hard Problems in Cryptocurrency" which describes technical challenges that all crypto platforms from Bitcoin to ... Upgrading/Replacing the hard drive in a Laptop with a solid state drive HP Pavilion 15 - Duration: 38 ... Don't throw away pieces of wood! - Duration: 10:01. HandCraft Recommended for you. 10:01 ... Video unboxing and review for product Hitachi Touro S 1TB external hard drive. - Stylish, ultra-portable aluminum design - Transfer faster with featured USB 3.0 interface and 7200RPM hard drive ... Subscribe to BBC News www.youtube.com/bbcnews If someone told you you just threw away over $6 million worth of bitcoins, well you wouldn't be too happy. You ... subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/pantlessknights?sub_confirmation=1 Alexander Hamilton and Satoshi Nakamoto engage in a battle rap debate on the merit...