The False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin

The False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin by Brian P. Hanley

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The False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin (yet another arXiv paper)

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A brief teardown of some of the flaws in the Lightning Network white paper

This post will perforce be quick and sloppy, because I have other things to do. But a recent comment provoked me to re-read the Lightning white paper to remind myself of the myriad flaws in it, so I decided to at least begin a debunking.
When I first read the Lightning white paper back in early 2016, the sheer audacity of the author's preposterous claims and their failure to understand basic principles of the Satoshi paper just offended the living shit out of me. I presumed - incorrectly - that the Lightning paper would be soon torn to shreds through peer review. However Core was successful in suppressing peer review of the paper, and instead inserted Lighting as their end-all be-all scaling plan for Bitcoin.
I'm sorry I didn't post this in 2016, but better later than never.
Let's start with the abstract.
The bitcoin protocol can encompass the global financial transaction volume in all electronic payment systems today, without a single custodial third party holding funds or requiring participants to have anything more than a computer using a broadband connection.
Well now, that's an awfully gigantic claim for someone that hasn't even written a single line of code as a proof of concept don't you think?
This is what's called "overpromising," the Nirvana fallacy, or more appropriately, "vaporware" - that is to say, a pie-in-the-sky software promise intended to derail progress on alternatives.
In the very first sentence, the authors claim that they can scale Bitcoin to support every transaction that ever happens, from micropayments to multibillion dollar transfers, with no custodial risk, on a simple computer with nothing more than broadband. It will be perfect.
Honestly everyone should have put the paper down at the first sentence, but let's go on.
A decentralized system is proposed
The authors claim that the system proposed is decentralized, but without even a single line of code (and indeed no solution to the problem they claim is the issue, more on that later) they have zero defense of this claim. In fact, the only known solution to the problem that Lightning cannot solve is centralized hubs. We'll get back to this.
whereby transactions are sent over a network of micropayment channels (a.k.a. payment channels or transaction channels) whose transfer of value occurs off-blockchain. If Bitcoin transactions can be signed with a new sighash type that addresses malleability, these transfers may occur between untrusted parties along the transfer route by contracts which, in the event of uncooperative or hostile participants, are enforceable via broadcast over the bitcoin blockchain in the event of uncooperative or hostile participants, through a series of decrementing timelocks
So right here in the abstract we have the promise: "support the entire world's transaction needs on a measly computer with just broadband, totally decentralized, and... (drum roll please) all that's missing is Segwit."
Yeah right. Let's continue.
First sentence of the paper itself reads:
The Bitcoin[1] blockchain holds great promise for distributed ledgers, but the blockchain as a payment platform, by itself, cannot cover the world’s commerce anytime in the near future.
So the authors have constructed a false problem they claim to solve: scaling Bitcoin to cover every transaction on Earth. Now, that would be neato if it worked (it doesn't) but really, this is like Amerigo Vespucci claiming that the problem with boats is that the sails aren't big enough to carry it to the moon. We aren't ready for that part yet. . In infotech we have a saying, "crawl, walk, run." Lightning's authors are going to ignore "walking" and go from crawling to lightspeed. Using the logic of this first sentence, Visa never should have rolled out its original paper-based credit cards, because "obviously they can't scale to solve the whole world's financial needs." Again, your bullshit detector should be lighting up.
Next sentence. So why can't Bitcoin cover all the world's financial transactions?
The blockchain is a gossip protocol whereby all state modifications to the ledger are broadcast to all participants. It is through this “gossip protocol” that consensus of the state, everyone’s balances, is agreed upon.
Got it. The problem is the "gossip protocol." That's bad because...
If each node in the bitcoin network must know about every single transaction that occurs globally, that may create a significant drag on the ability of the network to encompass all global financial transactions
OK. The problem with Bitcoin, according to the author, is that since every node must know the current state of the network, it won't scale. We'll get back to this bit later, because this is the crux: Lightning has the same problem, only worse.
Now the authors take a break in the discussion to create a false premise surrounding the Visa network:
The payment network Visa achieved 47,000 peak transactions per second (tps) on its network during the 2013 holidays[2], and currently averages hundreds of millions per day. Currently, Bitcoin supports less than 7 transactions per second with a 1 megabyte block limit. If we use an average of 300 bytes per bitcoin transaction and assumed unlimited block sizes, an equivalent capacity to peak Visa transaction volume of 47,000/tps would be nearly 8 gigabytes per Bitcoin block, every ten minutes on average. Continuously, that would be over 400 terabytes of data per year.
I'll just point out that Visa itself cannot sustain 47K tps continuously, as a reminder to everyone that the author is deliberately inflating numbers to make them seem more scary. Again, is your bullshit detector going off yet?
Now we get to the hard-sell:
Clearly, achieving Visa-like capacity on the Bitcoin network isn’t feasible today.
So the author deliberately inflates Visa's capabilities then uses that to say clearly it just can't be done. But really, Visa's actual steady-state load can be accomplished in roughly 500MB blocks - which actually is feasible, or nearly so, today. 500MB every ten minutes is actually a small load of data for a decent-sized business. There are thousands of companies that could quite easily support such a load. And that's setting aside the point that we took 7 years to get to 1MB, so it's unlikely that we'll need 500X that capacity "in the near future" or "today" as the authors keep asserting.
No home computer in the world can operate with that kind of bandwidth and storage.
whoopsie!!
Did he say, home computer??
Since when did ordinary Bitcoin users have to keep the whole blockchain on their home computers? Have the authors of the Lightning white paper ever read the Satoshi white paper, which explains that this is not the desired model in Section 8?
Clearly the Lightning authors are expecting their readers to be ignorant of the intended design of the Bitcoin network.
This is a classic example of inserting a statement that the reader is unlikely to challenge, which completely distorts the discussion. Almost nobody needs to run a fullnode on their home computer! Read the Satoshi paper!
If Bitcoin is to replace all electronic payments in the future, and not just Visa, it would result in outright collapse of the Bitcoin network
Really? Is that so?
Isn't the real question how fast will Bitcoin reach these levels of adoption?
Isn't the author simply making an assumption that adoption will outpace advances in hardware and software, based on using wildly inflated throughput numbers (47K tps) in the first place?
But no, the author makes an unfounded, unsupportable, incorrect blanket assertion that -- even in the future -- trying to scale up onchain will be the death of the entire system.
or at best, extreme centralization of Bitcoin nodes and miners to the only ones who could afford it.
Again, that depends on when this goes down.
If Bitcoin grows at roughly the rate of advancement in hardware and software, then the cost to . independently validate transactions - something no individual user needs to do in the first place - actually stays perfectly flat.
But the best part is that his statement:
centralization of Bitcoin nodes and miners to the only ones who could afford it
Ummm... mining and independent validation has always been limited to those who can afford it. What big-blockers know is that the trick isn't trying to make Bitcoin so tiny that farmers in sub-Saharan Africa can "validate" the blockchain on a $0.01 computer, but rather to expand adoption so greatly that they never have to independently validate it.
Running scalable validation nodes at home is dumb. But, there are already millions of people with synchronous gigabit internet at home and more than enough wealth to afford a beefy home computer. The problem is that none of them are using Bitcoin. Adoption is the key!
This centralization would then defeat aspects of network decentralization that make Bitcoin secure, as the ability for entities to validate the chain is what allows Bitcoin to ensure ledger accuracy and security
Here the author throws a red herring across the trail for gullible readers. It is not my ability to validate the chain that produces trustlessness. If that was the case, there would be no need for miners. Users would simply accept or not accept other people's transactions based on their software's interpretation of validity. The Satoshi paper makes it quite clear where trustlessness is born: it is in the incentives that enforce honest mining of an uncorrupted chain.
In other words, I don't have to validate the chain, but Poloniex does. And, newsflash, big companies can very easily afford big validation nodes. "$20K nodes" is a bullshit number I hear thrown around a lot. There are literally hundreds of thousands of companies that can easily afford $20K nodes in the event that Bitcoin becomes "bigger than Visa." Again, the trick is getting many companies in every jurisdiction in the world onto the blockchain. Then no individuals ever need to worry about censorship. Adoption!
let's continue. I'll skip a few sentences.
Extremely large blocks, for example in the above case of 8 gigabytes every 10 minutes on average, would imply that only a few parties would be able to do block validation
If this were written in 1997 it would have read
Extremely large blocks, for example in the above case of 8 megabytes every 10 minutes on average, would imply that only a few parties would be able to do block validation
Obviously, we are processing 8MB blocks today. The real question is how long before we get there. At current rates of adoption, we'll all be fucking dead before anyone mines an 8GB block. And remember, 8GB was the number the authors cooked up. Even Visa can't handle that load, today, continuously.
This creates a great possibility that entities will end up trusting centralized parties. Having privileged, trusted parties creates a social trap whereby the central party will not act in the interest of an individual (principalagent problem), e.g. rentierism by charging higher fees to mitigate the incentive to act dishonestly. In extreme cases, this manifests as individuals sending funds to centralized trusted custodians who have full custody of customers’ funds. Such arrangements, as are common today, create severe counterparty risk. A prerequisite to prevent that kind of centralization from occurring would require the ability for bitcoin to be validated by a single consumer-level computer on a home broadband connection.
Here the author (using his wildly inflated requirement of 8GB blocks) creates a cloud of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that "Bitcoin will fail if it succeeds" - and the solution is, as any UASFer will tell you, that everyone needs to validate the chain on a weak fullnode running on a cheap computer with average internet connectivity.
How's the bullshit detector going?
Now the authors make a head-fake in the direction of honesty:
While it is possible that Moore’s Law will continue indefinitely, and the computational capacity for nodes to cost-effectively compute multigigabyte blocks may exist in the future, it is not a certainty.
Certainty? No. But, we should point out, the capacity to actually approach Visa is already at hand and in the next ten years is a near certainty in fact.
But, surely, the solution that the authors propose is "around the corner" (- Luke-jr) ... /s . No, folks. Bigger blocks are the closest thing to "scaling certainty" that we have. More coming up....
To achieve much higher than 47,000 transactions per second using Bitcoin requires conducting transactions off the Bitcoin blockchain itself.
Now we get to the meat of the propaganda. To reach a number that Visa itself cannot sustain will "never" be possible on a blockchain. NEVER?? That's just false.
In fact, I'll go on record as saying that Bitcoin will hit Visa-like levels of throughput onchain before Lightning Network ever meets the specification announced in this white paper.
It would be even better if the bitcoin network supported a near-unlimited number of transactions per second with extremely low fees for micropayments.
Yes, and it would also be even better if we had fusion and jetpacks.
The thing is, these things that are promised as having been solved... have not been solved and no solution is in sight.
Many micropayments can be sent sequentially between two parties to enable any size of payments.
No, this is plain false. Once a channel's funds have been pushed to one side of the channel, no more micropayments in that direction can be made. This is called channel exhaustion and is one of the many unsolved problems of Lightning Network. But here the authors declare it as a solved problem. That's just false.
Micropayments would enable unbunding, less trust and commodification of services, such as payments for per-megabyte internet service. To be able to achieve these micropayment use cases, however, would require severely reducing the amount of transactions that end up being broadcast on the global Bitcoin blockchain
Now I'm confused. Is Lightning a solution for all the world's financial transactions or is it a solution for micropayments for things like pay-per-megabyte internet?
While it is possible to scale at a small level, it is absolutely not possible to handle a large amount of micropayments on the network or to encompass all global transactions.
There it is again, the promise that Lightning will "encompass all global transactions." Bullshit detector is now pegged in the red.
For bitcoin to succeed, it requires confidence that if it were to become extremely popular, its current advantages stemming from decentralization will continue to exist. In order for people today to believe that Bitcoin will work tomorrow, Bitcoin needs to resolve the issue of block size centralization effects; large blocks implicitly create trusted custodians and significantly higher fees. . (emphasis mine)
"Large" is a term of art which means "be afraid."
In 1997, 8MB would have been an unthinkably large block. Now we run them live in production without breaking a sweat.
"Large" is a number that changes over time. . By the time Bitcoin reaches "Visa-like levels of adoption" it's very likely that what we consider "large" today (32MB?) will seem absolutely puny.
As someone who first started programming on a computer that had what was at the time industry-leading 64KB of RAM (after expanding the memory with an extra 16K add-on card) and a pair of 144KB floppy disks, all I can tell you is that humans are profoundly bad at estimating compounding effects and the author of the Lightning paper is flat-out banking on this to sell his snake oil.
Now things are about to get really, really good.
A Network of Micropayment Channels Can Solve Scalability
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Here's where the formal line by line breakdown will come to an end, because this is where the trap the Lightning authors have set will close on them.
Let's just read a bit further:
The above quote questions the relevance of unobserved events —if nobody hears the tree fall, whether it made a sound or not is of no consequence. Similarly, in the blockchain, if only two participants care about an everyday recurring transaction, it’s not necessary for all other nodes in the bitcoin network to know about that transaction
Here and elsewhere the author of the paper is implying that two parties can transact between them without having to announce the state of their channel to anyone else.
We see this trope repeated time and time again by LN shills. "Not everyone in the world needs to know about my coffee transaction" they say, as if programmed.
To see the obvious, glaring defect here requires an understanding of what Lightning Network purports to be able to do, one day, if it's ever finished.
Payment channels, which Lightning is based on, have been around since Satoshi and are nothing new at all. It is and has always been possible to create a payment channel with your coffee shop, put $50 in it, and pay it out over a period of time until it's depleted and the coffee shop owner closes the channel. That's not rocket science, that's original Bitcoin.
What Lightning purports to be able to do is to allow you to route a payment to someone else by using the funds in your coffee shop channel.
IN this model, lets suppose Alice is the customer and Bob is the shop. Let's also suppose that Charlie is a customer of Dave's coffee shop. Ernie is a customer of both Bob and Dave's shop.
Now, Alice would like to send money to Charlie. This could be accomplished by:
  1. Alice moves funds to Bob
  2. Bob moves funds to Ernie
  3. Ernie moves funds to Dave
  4. Dave moves funds to Charlie
or more simply, A-B-E-D-C
Here's the catch. To pull this off, Alice has to be able to find the route to Charlie. This means that B-C-E and D all have to be online. So first off, all parties to a transaction and in a route must be online and we must know their current online status to even begin the process. Again: to use Lightning as described in its white paper requires everyone to always be online. If we accept centralized routing hubs, then only the hubs need to be online, but Lightning proposed to be decentralized, which means, essentially, everyone needs to always be online.
Next, we need to know there are enough funds in all channels to perform the routing. Let's say Alice has $100 in her channel with Bob and wants to send this to Charlie. But Bob has only $5 in his channel with Ernie. sad trombone . The maximum that the route can support is $5. (Edit: not quite right, I cleaned this up here.)
Notice something?
Alice has to know the state of every channel through which she intends to route funds.
When the author claims
if only two participants care about an everyday recurring transaction, it’s not necessary for all other nodes in the bitcoin network to know about that transaction
That's true -- unless you want to use the Lightning Network to route funds - and routing funds is the whole point. Otherwise, Lightning is just another word for "payment channels." The whole magic that they promised was using micropayments to route money anywhere.
If you want to route funds, then you absolutely need to know the state of these channels. Which ones? That's the kicker - you essentially have to know all of them, to find the best route - and, sadly - it might be the case that no route is available - which requires an exhaustive search.
And in fact, here we are over 18 months since this paper was published, and guess what?
The problem of the "gossip protocol" - the very Achille's Heel of Bitcoin according to the author - has been solved with drum roll please --- the gossip protocol. (more info here)
Because, when you break it down, in order for Alice to find that route to Charlie, she has to know the complete, current state of Bob-Ernie, Ernie-Dave, and Charlie-Dave. IF the Lightning Network doesn't keep *every participant up to date with the latest network state, it can't find a route.
So the solution to the gossip protocol is in fact the gossip protocol. And - folks - this isn't news. Here's a post from ONE YEAR AGO explaining this very problem.
But wait. It gets worse....
Let's circle around to the beginning. The whole point of Lightning, in a nutshell, can be described as fixing "Bitcoin can't scale because every node needs to know every transaction."
It is true that every node needs to know every transaction.
However: because we read the Satoshi white paper we know that not every user needs to run a node to validate his transactions. End-users should use SPV, which do not need to be kept up to date on everyone else's transactions.
So, with onchain Bitcoin, you have something on the order of 10K "nodes" (validation nodes and miners) that must receive the "gossip" and the other million or so users just connect and disconnect when they need to transact.
This scales.
In contrast, with Lightning, every user needs to receive the "gossip."
This does not scale.
Note something else?
Lightning purports to be an excellent solution to "streaming micropayments." But such micropayments would result in literally millions or billions of continuous state-changes to the network. There's no way to "gossip" millions of micropayment streams each creating millions of tiny transactions.
Now, there is a way to make Lightning scale. It's called the "routing hub." In this model, end-users don't need to know the state of the network. Instead, they will form channels with trusted hubs who will perform the routing on their behalf. A simple example illustrates. IN our previous example, Alice wants to send money to Charlie, but has to find a route to him. An easy solution is to insert Frank. Frank holds 100K btc and can form bidirectional channels with Alice, Bob, Charlie, Dave, Ernie, and most everyone else too. By doing so, he places himself in the middle of a routing network, and then all payments come through Frank. Note that the only barrier to creating channels is capital. Lightning will scale, if we include highly-capitalized hubs as middlemen for everyone else to connect to. If the flaw here is not obvious then someone else can explain.
Well. As Mark Twain once quipped, "if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter." I'll stop here. Hopefully this goes at least part of the way towards helping the community understand just how toxic and deceptive this white paper was to the community.
Everyone on the Segwit chain has bet the entire future of Segwit-enabled Bitcoin on this unworkable house-of-cards sham.
The rest of us, well, we took evasive action, and are just waiting for the rest of the gullible, brainwashed masses to wake up to their error, if they ever do.
H/T: jonald_fyookball for provoking this
Edit: fixed wrong names in my A-B-C-D-E example; formatting
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Correction 2018 is reflective of the market, not the underlying tech and promise of cryptos

For the original article, please see here.
The past few days have seen Bitcoin's price drop by about 30% to under $10000 and the overall cryptocurrency market cap drop nearly 50% to under $500 billion.
There are a few reasons for this:
  1. Bitconnect, a large coin collapsed, losing approximately 90% of its value. Accusations of it being a Ponzi scheme grew louder as investors were unable to sell their coins and suffered huge losses. This obviously reflects poorly on Bitconnect, but raises suspicion for all altcoins. Without regulation and standards, what is stopping other altcoins from packing up shop and heading home with investor money? The specter of ICOs being front for businesses with questionable aspirations and even more questionable means of reaching those aspirations has officially been exposed.
  2. The crypto market remains largely unregulated and is prone to manipulation. The recent introduction of futures trading has made the market even more susceptible to manipulation from a relatively small number of players. The influx of sophisticated investors, some of whom are backed by institutional money, means that price deviations and swings are more likely to occur in the crypto space.
  3. Countries like South Korea and China, major players in the crypto space, have continued to signal their desire to regulate and limit the crypto trade, forcing investors to pull back. There have been whispers of the United States instituting regulations of its own and introducing them internationally.
  4. Cryptos have grown tremendously over the last year and many investors decided to take profits. If you invested in Bitcoin one year ago and sold at $13000, you'd have made close to 1500%.
While the above reasons are serious and still need to play out, they are not issues fundamental to cryptocurrencies but rather fundamental to the market. This is an important distinction. What I mean is that none of the above change my long-term outlook on cryptocurrencies.
While corrections are painful, they should not dissuade prospective investors or current investors. Current investors should be encouraged by the fact that many cryptos are still above where they were 1 month ago and that the lack of a total collapse implies market strength and asset value. Prospective investors should be encouraged because although some value has been lost, the asset class as a whole has still grown by leaps and bounds over the last year and continues to mature.
I don't like it when my investments decrease in price, but I do appreciate the fact that they are still around after a sell off, that the community remains robust, and that the market as a whole is learning and improving.
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What Are the Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists and How Much Was Stolen?

What Are the Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists and How Much Was Stolen?
https://preview.redd.it/svrbgh5fcyg31.jpg?width=2000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9d5b11523cdd8873d37becbef5726d68dc821460

As the appeal of cryptocurrency has grown, so has the opportunity for scammers to part naive investors from their money. 2019 has been no exception, with cryptocurrency and blockchain forensics company Ciphertrace dubbing it “the year of the exit scam.”
Exit scams are not a new phenomenon, with a 2018 report conducted by Statis Group revealing over 80% of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in that year to have been fraudulent. Here, Cointelegraph explains exit scams and how to spot them, as well as a look at some of the biggest scams that have been discovered by various researchers.

What are exit scams?

The premise of cryptocurrency is simple, a new ICO launches, claiming to offer lucrative returns for investors. Investors can’t believe their luck and clamor to buy in. The business runs for some time on the back of the invested capital, but, sooner or later, disaster strikes and the company shuts down, often with no explanation.
After a while, it becomes obvious that the company is gone for good, along with the invested funds. The poisoned chalice of crypto’s decentralized nature often means that investors are left in the dark when trying to recoup or trace their pilfered funds.

How to spot an exit scam

Many exit scams have tell-tale signs that investors should look out for. The financial content site Investopedia has a handy list of key characteristics.
First, exit scams often have inconsistent or misleading information about the team behind the project. When scouting potential investment opportunities, investors should scour for information on key members of any ICO.
It’s important to remember that online credibility can be faked by purchasing likes, profiles and followers on social media. Celebrity endorsements with verified accounts could also ring alarm bells for investors. A fake Twitter account purporting to be Elon Musk, with a supposedly verified twitter account, raised over $155,000 as part of a 2018 Bitcoin scam.
Investors should verify the credentials of backers, team leaders and promoters of cryptocurrency projects. Although individuals may seem to be legitimate at first glance, brand new social mediaprofiles and few followers or connections should raise eyebrows.
The most significant characteristic unifying exit scams in cryptocurrency is the promise of a huge return on investment (ROI) — chances are that it’s probably too good to be true. Investors should always look through even the smallest details of what they are required to invest and what the company purports to be able to give back to them.
ICOs usually come with a white paper, setting out the design details of the project along with a business plan and other information. Investors should pursue all available information for ICOs, as any vagueness in the white papers should signal a big red flag.
When investing in an ICO, it’s vital to get an understanding of the business model. Investopdia writes that anything powered by concept alone should be a warning to anyone tempted to buy in. Although cryptocurrency projects can and do launch off the back of technological advances, investors should be wary of projects looking to gather millions of dollars before taking a sober look at the project’s ability to return the investment from the published information.
Heavy promotion of an upcoming ICO can also be a sign of an exit scam. Past scams have employed bloggers to promote via numerous forums. Ads both online and in print media could also be suspicious.

$2.9 billion PlusToken scam could be largest exit scam ever

A 2019 report shared with Cointelegraph by the cryptocurrency and blockchain forensics company Ciphertrace dubbed 2019 the year of the exit scam and highlighted the billions of dollars stolen in multiple scams this year alone.
The report shines a light on what, if confirmed, could be the biggest crypto scam ever, with an estimated loss of around $2.9 billion after Chinese police uncovered an alleged Ponzi schemeinvolving the South Korean wallet provider and exchange PlusToken. Although more is being uncovered about PlusToken, mystery still surrounds the key events.
Ciphertrace reports that the platform has enshrouded several Chinese nationals, the government of Vanuatu, the Chinese police and the company’s co-founders — a South Korean man operating under the alias of “Kim Jung Un” and a Russian known only as “Leo.” The alleged PlusToken scam centers around an app with which the wallet provider claimed investors could invest in PlusToken (PLUS).
According to the report, the firm claimed that the token, based on the Ethereum blockchain, was developed by a major technology company. PlusToken is also said to have falsely stated that it could deliver wallet holders an ROI of between 8% and 16% per month, with a minimum deposit of $500 in crypto assets.
Ciphertrace also reported that no verifiable source of revenue existed other than the proceeds from new membership. Those were onboarded per the traditional method of a Ponzi scheme, which require a constant stream of new investment in order to support its semblance of growth. Investors were incentivized to recommend new users with an invitation, which was the only way to join.
Although this was enough for some members to dismiss the legitimacy of the project outright, Leo, the company’s co-founder, published a press release that claimed he had met with Prince Charles, the future head of the English royal family, providing photos as proof. Ciphertrust reported that it had contacted the Prince Charles Foundation, which confirmed that Leo had indeed attended the event, but would not provide other information about the individual due to European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
PlusToken’s fate was seemingly sealed on June 28, after members of the Chinese police touched down in Vanuatu, detained six people involved with the project and extradited them back to mainland China. Ciphertrace reported that the so-called “PlusToken Six” were either Vanuatu citizens or applying for citizenship at the time of their arrest.
Soon after, PlusToken members found that they were unable to withdraw funds from their accounts. Customers were informed that withdrawals via the app were frozen due to “technical difficulties.” By June 20, the PlusToken app had ceased operations due to purported system maintenance.
For investors, there seems to be no secure lead on the final resting place of the allegedly billions of dollars of stolen funds. The Chinese government has yet to comment. A July 12 post from PlusToken stated that the six Chinese individuals were simply service users and not actually involved with the running of the company itself, stating that users should ignore the rumors and not try to log in until they receive confirmation that the servers are back online.

Pincoin

On April 9, 2018, two ICOs — iFan and Pincoin — operating under the umbrella of company Modern Tech based in Vietnam, went silent after reports outed them as scams that had scalped 32,000 investors out of an alleged $660 million in tokens, according to Tuoi Tre News.
Victims claim that the damages amount to roughly 15 trillion Vietnamese dong ($660 million) in token sales. Angered investors held a demonstration outside Modern Tech’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters on April 8.
One of the initial characteristics that could have alarmed investors was the fact that Pincoin offered service users bonuses for successfully bringing other people on board. Pincoin did initially pay out cash until January 2018, when the company switched to iFan tokens, TechCrunch reported.
The owner of Modern Tech’s office building said that the company left its offices in March and that no one knew their current whereabouts. The firm left behind only an incomplete website that is now inactive. Modern Tech initially tried to pass itself off as a mere representative of both coins in Vietnam, prior to media reports confirming that seven of its Vietnamese executives were in fact behind the projects.
TechCrunch reported that the ambiguous mission statement from the then-functional site is typical of the vague and jargon-filled copy used by exit scammers:
“The PIN Project is about building an online collaborative consumption platform for global community, base on principles of Sharing Economy, Blockchain Technology, and Crypto Currency”
Financial scam directory Behindmlm released a report in February 2018 that found its buy-in method was typical of an ROI Ponzi scheme. Pincoin’s website is currently down, though iFan’s is still online.

QuadrigaCX — regulators catch on

The death of 30-year old Gerald Cotten shook the crypto world — not only because Cotten was the co-founder and CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, but also because his control of the passwords and keys to accounts rendered all the assets on the exchange forever inaccessible after his death. Cotten took over $195 million of stolen cryptocurrency with him to the grave.
Related: QuadrigaCX Users Lose $190M as Speculations Over Cotten’s Death Swirl
Commenting on the May 9 Ernst & Young report, Ciphertrace said Cotten had played fast and loose with customer funds for many years in order to support a lavish lifestyle for both himself and his wife. Cotten allegedly exercised complete control over the exchange and used his position to perform “unsupported deposits” — i.e., fabricated transactions not represented by either fiat or cryptocurrency.
Cotten also used significant volumes of customers’ cryptocurrency via transfers from the platform into other exchanges he controlled. As per the EY report, Cotten shifted significant amounts of fiat and cryptocurrency between alias accounts, although less than 1% of these transfers was supported by documentation. Ciphertrace notes that as the admin, Cotten was in a perfect position to hide his fraudulent activities.
In a pattern that may now seem familiar, Cotten used customer funds to pay for QuadrigaCX operating costs after the company suffered liquidity issues due to his reported fraudulent use of user deposits. As QuadrigaCX began to struggle to stay afloat, EY reported that Cotten gambled customer funds in off-platform margin accounts to meet margin calls.
The report also states that Cotten traded unsupported deposits for legitimate funds thereby generating artificial trading markets, abused his position to override Know Your Customer requirements and hoarded all passwords:
“The Monitor understands passwords were held by a single individual, Mr. Cotten and it appears that Quadriga failed to ensure adequate safeguard procedures were in place to transfer passwords and other critical operating data to other Quadriga representatives should a critical event materialize (such as the death of key management personnel).”
As of April 12, EY estimated that Quadriga held around $20.8 million in assets and around $160 million in liabilities. The debts and assets are spread over three subsidiary companies, 0984750 B.C. LTD. (the “Quadriga Estate”), Quadriga Fintech Solutions and Whiteside Capital Corporation. On July 31, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia approved over $1.6 million in fees for parties seeking remuneration from the exchange, according to court documents.PDF) seen by Cointelegraph.

CFTC action launched after $147 million BTC scheme

On June 18, 2019, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) initiated a civil enforcement action against now-defunct Control-Finance Limited for a scheme involving $147 million worth in Bitcoin.
It is alleged that Control-Finance Ltd. defrauded over 1,000 investors by laundering around 22,858 Bitcoin. In mid-September 2017, its website was abruptly taken offline, payments to clients were suspended and advertising content from social media accounts was deleted.
The firm initially said that it would reimburse customers by late 2017. However, the company allegedly began transferring laundered Bitcoin by using the crypto wallet service CoinPayments. According to Ciphertrace’s Q2 2019 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) report, the CFTC complaint charges the company and its founder Benjamin Reynolds with:
“Exploiting public enthusiasm for crypto assets by fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating at least 22,858.22 Bitcoin from more than 1,000 customers through a classic high-yield investment (HYIP) Ponzi scheme called the Control-Finance Affiliate Program.”
Per the CFTC, the company claimed that investors who buy Bitcoin through the firm would be guaranteed daily profits thanks to their team of expert cryptocurrency traders. The complaint also stated that the firm falsely claimed market volatility would ensure funds invested through Control-Finance would result in profit.
The CFTC also alleged that Control-Finance misleadingly promised that it could earn customers a 1.5% ROI daily and 45% monthly. Control-Finance is also reported to have sent partial amounts of new clients’ BTC deposits to other customers, which were disguised as profit from trading, a tactic typical of Ponzi schemes. The legal action seeking civil monetary penalties and permanent trading bans continues.

Co-owner of Bitmarket found shot dead after alleged exit scam

On July 8, the Poland-based exchange Bitmarket shut down, citing liquidity issues. According to Ciphertrace’s Q2 2019 AML report, the shutdown cost users around 2,300 Bitcoin, approximately $23 million. Users attempting to log on to the site were met with the following message:
“We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, since 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”
Ciphertrace reports that Bitmarket had a history of partners pulling out. In 2015, the firm lost payment processors CashBill and BlueMedia after the companies' banks requested they end their working relationship with Bitmarket. PKO Bank Polski, Bitmarket’s own bank, also terminated its relationship with the firm only six months after Bank BPH had done so earlier in 2015.
Bitmarket’s two founders, Marcin Aszkiełowicz and Tobiasz Niemiro, have contradicting accounts about the misplaced user funds. Aszkiełowicz claimed that the exchange had been hacked for 600 BTC in 2015, an incident from which the company was unable to recover.
Niemiro, however, claimed that he was not responsible for activities on the exchange. Niemiro also purported to have been told that the company was purchased with a deficit of 600 BTC, which he allegedly repaid with his own money. Niemiro said he could not confirm that his partners had indeed used the money to purchase the 600 BTC.
Two weeks after the interview, Niemiro was found dead in a forest near his home with a gunshot wound to the head, which the police deemed to be self-inflicted. The District Attorney’s Office stated that it is not looking into the involvement of third parties in Niemiro’s death, but are still actively investigating the misappropriation of funds.
submitted by Rajladumor1 to omgfin [link] [comments]

FAQ: What exactly is the fraud in Ethereum?

Most important above all else, Ethereum has never been decentralized since its distribution (i.e. premine) & thus value of incentives depend entirely on 1 trusted party, the exact opposite of decentralization or trust minimization [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Calling themselves decentralized is literally deception of others for profit, which is by the most standard definitions called fraud.
Below is an example of how this centralization manifests and the absolute lack of ethics & types of other fraud behind Ethereum:
Historic account of bailout, fraud, and centralization: how Ethereum Foundation demonstrated to have full control over the ethereum blockchain beyond reasonable doubt while advertising falsely for profit
Point by point summary (sources cited below):
  1. Ethereum Foundation (EF) sell centrally pre-mined/pre-made Eth coins in ICO for centralized funding/profit while advertising "unstoppable .. exactly as programmed" code (regular cryptocurrencies are 0% premined, EF had 72m coins premined on day 0 which is ~70% of current supply)
  2. Slock.it developers including eth co-founder create an app called DAO on it for the purposes of funding themselves even more with claims that their "code sets the terms and conditions" like no one has done before them for even more money.
  3. DAO code has a mistake and starts giving away money to a user, vocal fraction of community is divided whether to bailout DAO investors, many unofficial polls show conflicting results with extremely low participation making it unclear whether the super majority is even aware or cares about this 3rd party issue.
  4. EF members refuse to disclose if they are invested in the DAO after promoting it, and many are later found to have been invested in it.
  5. EF tells exchanges there will not be a minority chain surviving, ignoring the divided community, and making it impossible to sell no-bailout version
  6. EF makes the carbonvote the "official" vote 12 hours before the release of the client--after repeatedly claiming for weeks it had no official capacity, and after already having made support for the fork the default option in the codebase. The vote only shows 4% of possible consensus supporting bailout, 1/4 of it from one vote.
  7. Most automated nodes and miners that run "apt-get upgrade && apt-get update" switch over even if haven't seen the announcement 12 hours prior and fork is declared a success.
  8. No-bailout chain survives regardless despite Foundation's efforts, but Ethereum Foundation refuses to update it even if it increases in popularity or size.
  9. Ethereum projects are forced to choose between developed chain with ICO funding, bailout, roadmap and one with no funding, no clear devs, no roadmap. Most are forced to stay with Ethereum Foundation holding central ICO funding & updates hostage.
  10. EF sells the unsold premined coins they still own on the no-bailout chain (forked premine), thus damaging its value
  11. EF members participate in White Hat Group (WHG), use same method used to drain DAO to drain no-bailout chain DAO and then market sell no bail-out ether on the exchanges damaging no-bailout chain value further
  12. EF changed the properties of the security it sold and still falsely advertises "unstoppable .. exactly as written" code (despite proving it false) while profiting from all of it.
Almost all the above actions are fraud.
Details and sources:
Top left of the banner shows marked up graphic [1] of ethereum.org claims including
"decentralized platform that runs smart contracts exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud".
Additionally, the third party app "the DAO" also re-iterated in their contract the similar premise that their code IS the terms and conditions [1,2]. Both DAO and Eth were sold advertised as such in their initial phases.
However, the DAO was programmed in a poorly done manner [1] and allowed loss of the investments put into it [2]. It was no secret members of the Ethereum Foundation (EF) were connected to the DAO often promoting it. Many were found to be invested in the DAO as time passed [1,2,3] , yet refused to disclose it when asked directly [4,5,6]. Despite the loss due to DAO contract being an issue of only minority of users, virtually all mentioned advertised properties of ethereum and the DAO were changed by the Ethereum Foundation to manually reverse the operations the smart contract ran while profiting from it.
How did they do it? By exploiting and proving centralization
Several centralized aspects of Ethereum were used to achieve this result:
  1. EF controls the defaults settings in codebase to get what they want. Only 12 hours before before the release of the client they selected carbonvote the "official" vote out of many varying options (after repeatedly claiming for weeks it had no official capacity, and after already having made support for the fork the default option in the codebase). This selected poll had many issues discussed below including 96% of possible votes not showing support for EF/DAO bailout. However the 4% vote with quarter from single vote with only hours of official notice before were used as justification anyway for bailout as default setting [1,2,3,4,5,6,7]. By controlling the defaults, they easily took advantage of anyone not up to date on announcement hours earlier who automatically updated and/or the apathetic users to control the blockchain. By moving focus from what's best for majority via opt-in consensus (blockchain standard) to giving only a short window to opt-out, they can centrally manipulate the blockchain in almost any manner without enraging the majority into action [1,2]. As expected, the fork was quickly declared a success [1,2,3]. Control over codebase also allowed them to compromise those opting out by leaving them open to replay attacks, thus further damaging their value as can be seen celebrated by DAO and Eth cofounder Stephan Tual [1]. Effectively, this was equivalent to a successful 4% attack on a blockhain or even attack by a single centralized entity (EF). The approach is easily repeatable and exact opposite of expected censorship resistance against <50% attacks, thus proving it unsecure.
  2. EF has complete centralized ownership of the funds from 70% premine in form of eth and ICO BTC raised [1]. This made them the only well funded core developers and thus the only choice for rapid development and fully in control of what gets updated. By choosing to address this third party contract issue, by refusing to update the old chain, they effectively held their funding and updates hostage to make sure people can't opt out without significant costs [1,2]. Additionally, with such capital, it's trivial to affect the swing vote for under-represented polls with eth or hashpower making their polling governance methods unsecure. Furthermore, once the old chain did receive an exchange and thus possible value, the old chain coins from EF premine were used to damage the value of the old chain further [1].
  3. EF has name recognition as the founders, name ownership of "the real Eth" or ETH, with even a trademark [1]. Unlike volunteer based or anonymous core teams, EF is Swiss nonprofit operating as a single entity. When a high publicity issue appeared that threatened their money, they were able to stop trade on major exchanges with a simple message [1,2].
  4. Exchanges were deceived by the EF into belief there will be no one in dissent of the self-bailout fork (leaving the other fork without a market and 0 worth) and not prepared for people opting out of bailout [1,2,3], which was misleading due to highly uncertain polls (below). This deception allowed them to be the only chain with value following the fork, and allowed them to keep the name. Despite it all, dissent was also to exist by original chain surviving and prospering even under countless harmful actions of the EF (usually 1/3rd of Eth in number of transactions, 45-50% of marketcap at peak [3], and even longer chain on at least one occasion).
EF demonstrated ability and willingness to cease trade, fork, and affect entire network when a single app of their choosing fails while profiting from it [1]. The non-democratic nature of the decision was noted by many [1,2].
Changes in properties of the ether security - securities fraud
The "unstoppable" app was sending money to an unknown user. What followed was the controversial change of the advertised rules where EF stopped the app by censoring that transaction without consent and confiscated the transaction contents resulting in personal profit for EF devs and friends. The rule change that let EF and friends profit financially while harming someone else financially is very plausibly securities fraud [1,2,3,4]. Additionally, it was a clear conflict of interest in governance.
The change of the rules of the security associated platform to censor or run applications based on feelings of how it should run (e.g. liked/ok or disliked/exploit) by the Ethereum Foundation (a centralized entity) broke the EF and DAO earlier statements on decentralization, lack of censorship, and explicit execution of code. While the user followed all the known rules from statements of the platform and the app, the fork rule changes were applied not to fix a bug but to undo previous actions using new rules ex post facto. The changes were retroactive and arbitrary: stopping the app and censoring the user by reverting his money transfer back to where they could take it out, subjectively justified by calling it a theft. Blockchains gain value by decentralizing trust to numerous different parties thus creating censorship resistance against minority attacks and thus security. Ethereum Foundation supported ether asset changed from decentralized, trustless, secure, censorship-resistant platform asset to (proven based on EF actions) centralized, trust-requiring, unsecure, censorable platform asset hence damaging said value. However, to this day the advertisement of the properties of the ether security has not changed, long after EF actions proved virtually every statement in them false. No safeguards were put into place to prevent a repeat as well. This makes it a case of continuous securities fraud as well.
What choice did community have? Bad and worse.
No evidence of community support for bailout
The justifications of the self-bail out forks are often in the tone of it being a democratic decision or that there was agreement from the community. The survival of the original chain both in value and transactions despite being damaged in value by the EF and even when it had no market value is a demonstration it was not an insignificant disagreement. Additionally, often several voluntary polls are referred to with ~5% eth and 12% hash turnout and single digit 4% and 9% vote of all possible votes for self-bail out fork [1,2,3] - far from majority. Historic archives of the subreddit and simple online polls during the time show much stronger opposition to bailout [1,2,3,4,5].
Issues with official poll
  1. The low turnouts of a voluntary insignificant poll done on a little known subreddit instead of protocol level makes it statistically insignificant. EF made carbon vote the "official" vote 12 hours before the release of the client after claiming it had no official capacity and after making support for the EF-bailout fork default option in the code base [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Additionally, due to low turn out and polls could be easily manipulated for financial gain by buying eth or renting hash power momentarily just for the vote by third parties (thus breaking another earlier statement). About 1/4th of the 5% eth vote was from a single voter [1].
  2. Voluntary polls are extremely susceptible to biases. Voluntary response bias strongly favors those with stronger incentives to respond and thus results in sampling bias: the profit coming from self-bailout of a minor third party app investors is far stronger incentive than voting for standard operation of a blockchain. Uncast votes from apathy or not being up to date was prevalent accounting for 90%+ mentioned above. By setting the bailout as the default setting (unlike opt-in setting used typically elsewhere) with only 12 hour warning, anyone not paying attention was tricked into supporting the bailout. Nodes can simply automate "apt-get upgrade && apt-get update" so this setting took advantage of everyone who hasn't seen official announcement only hours earlier [1].
  3. Censorship resistance is often taken for granted in crypto projects as it is expected as the minimum requirement of something being called a blockchain. This expectation results in a bias from bystander effect [1] and diffusion of responsibility to ensure it: many assume vote for censorship resistance is a sure thing but will definitely happen by others voting. What can happen is a group expects someone else to vote and ends up in almost no one voting.
  4. By the EF labeling the unintended execution of a contract "an exploit" and the person doing it "the attacker" alleging "theft" (which was not a universal interpretation) and stating support for the bailout, they introduced leading question bias that increases tendency to vote in a way that favored bailout. Additionally, individuals and companies had to face a social desirability bias where they were more likely to vote in a way that would feel more socially acceptable.
In summary on 2 polls selected and referenced by the EF is that there is no conclusive evidence of majority support for the bailout fork. Similar conclusions were reached by others. [1]
Financial & value attacks
Ethereum Foundation refused to work on the older chain thus damaging the older security they sold [1,2]. Ethereum Foundation took the premine from the development of the original chain, which is possible theft. Ethereum Foundation took the money of a rule following user, which is possible theft [1]. Ethereum Foundation compromised security of the old chain by keeping it open to replay attacks hurting its value further[1]. Ethereum Foundation damaged the value of the competing asset of the original chain using the stolen premine by selling it on exchanges [1] and making fun of doing so [2]. Ethereum Foundation and closely related White Hat Group (WHG) not only took the remaining money from the DAO on their chain, but also on the original chain, and then used the funds to damage the price of the competing asset on the exchanges [1,2,3,4].
Every level of Ethereum proven to be unsecure and not trustworthy
Additionally, every level of ethereum after proven centralized requires trust. And it's easily shown how each level cannot be trusted thus lowering its value:
  1. Code: Ethereum Foundation (EF) via demonstration of centralized control stated and shown that they will decide how code should run instead of as written, so the code itself doesn't matter, and it can't be trusted to handle transactions, balances, apps.
  2. Apps: Ethereum foundation broke the promises of a third party app called DAO that very uniquely stated code sets the terms, so eth apps cannot be trusted.
  3. EF: Ethereum foundation also broke its own advertised statements about the platform when it censored users and stopped apps to take others money for subjective reasons. Additionally, their refusal to acknowledge conflict of interest, making a poll official only hours before pushing the update, and abusing power of defaults in the code shows so Ethereum Foundation cannot be trusted [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Additionally, centralization shown by EF makes it a weak spot for malicious actors to attack the entire platform using incentives (e.g. litigation, force, threat, pressure 1) to force them to exercise the control over the chain once again with existing precedent. There's no way to gain trust that this attack vector won't be used.
*
The self-bailout fork events demonstrated centralized Ethereum Foundation has complete centralized control over every level of this blockchain: every transaction and every app. It proved that EF has capability and the will to use it to overwrite operation of any smart contract even if it serves their self interest. In other words, Eth is a proven unsecure centralized censorable trust-requiring platform that can't be trusted on any level with any aspect of operation. There are zero safeguards currently in place to prevent EF from taking advantage of their control from occurring again. Additionally this is public information making it a well known centralized weakness and, thus, a known attack vector that could be used by interested third parties, which would be nothing new [1].
Nothing has been done to fix it and continues to be part of Ethereum's flawed premine controlled "economic forks"[1].
This subreddit is a curated collection of resources for education purposes only that would be difficult to find downvoted on biased ethereum subreddits to protect and warn people from being hurt by this fraud via investment or development on top of a nonsecure blockchain.
Other notable events about Ethereum to read about:
SUMMARY: Ethereum is an unsecure, trust-requiring, centralized, mutable platform that runs stoppable apps and censors people Ethereum Foundation (EF) dislikes - the opposite of what it advertises itself as. Ethereum Foundation misrepresents what Ethereum is to prospective investors for increasing the value of the traded asset ETH while profiting financially. This means, by definition, Ethereum Foundation is participating in fraud by continuously misleading investors. Furthermore, the act of suddenly changing the properties of the unregistered security after the sale of the security in the initial coin offering (ICO) and/or on exchanges while profiting personally constitutes securities fraud. Additionally, Ethereum Foundation is connected to damaging the value of sold assets, damaging the value of competing assets, theft from competition, and market manipulation of competing assets for profit.
Nothing has changed after historic actions proved centralization beyond reasonable doubt. Eth is still centralized, unsecure, and gains value only through fraud
submitted by newweeknewacct to ethereumfraud [link] [comments]

To the savvy blockchain investor there can be no escape to altcoins: failure of Bitcoin to route around Core is a clear repudiation of the entire premise of blockchains

Why are we here? What is it about blockchains that's different from all other information systems?
Isn't it that they are inherently resistant to centralized control and capture?
Folks, if Bitcoin can't route around something as obvious - and inexpensive - as a hostile takeover of the original code repo, then we must all agree that the central premise and benefit of blockchains is simply false.
Many of us have understood for some time that we are in fact dealing with a hostile takeover of the repo by individuals hostile to the original vision of Bitcoin as expressed in the Bitcoin white paper, and have been watching and waiting.
But let's make no mistake. If Nakamoto consensus can't identify, select, and deploy a system upgrade despite being blocked by the maintainers of the original code repo, then blockchains as "censorship resistant / permissionless innovation / immune to capture" is demonstrated to be absolute bunk. (I'll add that if Bitcoin can be railroaded onto a suboptimal upgrade instead of self-selecting the most economically efficient upgrade, there are also reasons to question the viability of Nakamoto consensus.)
I've been having these conversations on the Ethereum sub, just to see what they say. And you know what they say? They say, "the thing that's different about Ethereum is our community." They say, "our devs are good guys."
We in Bitcoin who remember the vibrant Bitcoin community from 2010-2013/4 before the troubles started can only smile at their naivety, because we have lived through the destruction of our community and we have been helpless to save it from capture. "Social contracts" and "good communities" are trivial to overturn. Ethereum is hopelessly naive if they think that what happened to Bitcoin's community can't happen to Ethereum's community.
I didn't buy Bitcoins because I thought Gavin or Greg or Wladimir was the world's smartest and most trustworthy developer. In fact, I bought Bitcoin precisely because I thought its design meant it would succeed despite being trolled by its own developers. That's the whole point of Nakamoto consensus as a self-reinforcing self-improving money system. It's not about having a benevolent person in charge - hell, if that worked, we'd just hold fiat. It's the incentives, stupid, and they either work or they don't. We're about to find out.
But let's make no mistake. There can be no flight into alts for those of us that really believe in Nakamoto consensus. The system either will pick itself up by its own bootstraps and carry itself to the Promised Land or it will have been demonstrated that it is easy to completely derail any blockchain project for just a few million bucks. And that means none can truly be disruptive.
This is where we fight.
submitted by jessquit to btc [link] [comments]

Galileo — Astronomical Discoveries (ii)

by John Lord, LL. D. Galileo has now attained the highest object of his ambition. He is at the head, confessedly, of all the scien- tific men of Europe. He has an ample revenue; he is independent, and has perfect leisure. Even the Pope is gracious to him when he makes a visit to Rome; while cardinals, princes, and ambassadors rival one an- other in bestowing upon his attention and honors. But there is no height of fortune from which a man may not fall; and it is usually the proud, the ostenta- tious, and the contemptuous who do fall, since they create envy, and are apt to make social mistakes. Gal- lileo continued to exasperate his enemies by his arro- gance and sarcasms. "They refused to be dragged at his chariot-wheels." "The Aristotelian professors," says Brewster, "the temporizing Jesuits, the political church- men, and that timid but respectable body who at all times dread innovation, whether it be in legislation of science, entered into an alliance against the philosoph- ical tyrant who threatened them with the penalties of knowledge." The church dignitaries were especially hostile, since they thought the tendency of Galileo's investigations was to undermine the Bible. Flanked by the logic f the schools and the popular interpreta- tion of Scripture, and backed by the civil power, they were eager for war. Galileo wrote a letter to his friend the Abbé Castelli, the object of which was "to prove that the Scriptures were not intended to teach science and philosophy," but to point out the way to salvation. He was indiscreet enough to write a longer letter of seventy pages, quoting the Fathers in support of his views, and attempting to show that Nature and Scrip- ture could not speak a different language. It was this reasoning which irritated the dignitaries of the Church more than his discoveries, since it is plain that the literal language of Scripture upholds the doctrine that the sun revolves around the earth. He was wrong or foolish in trying to harmonize revelation and science. He should have advanced his truths of science and left them to take care of themselves. He should not have meddled with the dogmas of his enemies: not that he was wrong in doing so, but it was not polite or wise; and he was not called upon to harmonize Scripture with science. So his enemies busily employed themselves in collect- ing evidence against him. They laid their complaints before the Inquisition of Rome, and on the occasion of paying a visit to that city, he was summoned be- fore that tribunal which has been the shame and the reproach of the Catholic Church. It was a tribunal utterly incompetent to sit upon his case, since it was ignorant of science. In 1615 it was decreed that Gali- leo should renounce his obnoxious doctrines, and pledge himself neither to defend nor publish them in the future. And Galileo accordingly, in dread of prison, appeared before Cardinal Bellarmine and declared that he would renounce the doctrines he had defended. The cardinal was not an ignorant man. He was the greatest theolo- gian in the Catholic Church; but his bitterness and ran- cor in reference to the new doctrines were as marked as his scholastic learning. The Pope, supposing that Galileo would adhere to his promise, was gracious and kind. But the philosopher could not resist the temptation of ridiculing the advocates of the old system. He called them "paper philosophers." In private he made a mockery of his persecutors. One Saisi undertook to prove from Suidas that the Babylonians used to cook eggs by whirling them swiftly on a sling; to which he replied: "If Saisi insists on the authority of Suidas, that the Babylonians cooked eggs by whirling them on a sling, I will believe it. But I must add that we have eggs and slings, and strong men to whirl them, yet they will not become cooked; nay, if they were hot at first, they more quickly become cool; and as there is nothing wanting to us but to be Babylonians, it follows that Being Babylonians is the true cause why the eggs became hard." Such was his prevailing mockery and ridicule. "Your Eminence," write one of his friends to the Cardinal D'Este, "would be delighted if you could hear him hold forth in the midst of fifteen or twenty, all violently attacking him, sometimes in one house, and sometimes in another; but he is armed after such a fashion that he laughs them all to scorn." Galileo, after his admonition from the Inquisition, and his promise to hold his tongue, did keep compara- tively quiet for a while, amusing himself with mechan- ics, and striving to find out a new way of discovering longitude at sea. But the want of better telescopes baffled his efforts; and even to-day it is said "that no telescope has yet been made which is capable of observ- ing at sea the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, by which on shore this method of finding longitude has many advantages." On the accession of a new Pope (1623), Urban VIII., who had been his friend as Cardinal Barberini, Galileo, after eight years of silence, thought that he might now venture to publish his great work on the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems, especially as the papal censor also had been his friend. But the publication of the book was delayed nearly two years, so great were the obsta- cles to be surmounted, and so prejudiced and hostile was the Church to the new views. At last it appeared in Florence in 1632, with a dedication to the Grand Duke,——not the Cosimo who had rewarded him, but his son Ferdinand, who was a mere youth. It was an un- fortunate thing for Galileo to do. He had pledged his word not to advocate the Copernican theory, which was already sufficiently established in the opinions of phi- losophers. The form of the book was even offensive, in the shape of dialogues. One of them he ridiculed under the name of Simplicio. This was supposed to mean the Pope himself,——so they made the Pope believe, and he was furious. Old Cardinal Bellarmine roared like a lion. The whole Church, as represented by its dignita- ries, seemed to be against him. The Pope seized the old weapons of the Clements and the Gregorians to hurl upon the daring innovator; but delayed to hurl them, since he dealt with a giant, covered not only by the shield of the Medici, but that of Minerva. So he convened a congregation of cardinals, and submitted to them the examination of the detested book. The author was summoned to Rome to appear before the Inquisition, and answer at its judgement-seat the charges against him as a heretic. The Tuscan ambassador expostulated with his Holiness against such a cruel thing, considering Galileo's age, infirmities, and fame, ——all to no avail. He was obliged to obey the sum- mons. At the age of seventy this venerated philoso- pher, infirm, in precarious health, appeared before the Inquisition of cardinals, not one of whom had any familiarity with abstruse speculations, or even with mathematics. Whether out of regard to his age and infirmities, or to his great fame and illustrious position as the great- est philosopher of his day, the cardinals treat Galileo with unusual indulgence. Though a prisoner of the Inquisiton, and completely in its hands, with power of life and death, it would seem that he is allowed every personal comfort. His table is provided by the Tuscan ambassador; a servant obeys his slightest nod; he sleeps in the luxurious apartment of the fiscal of that dreaded body; he is even liberated on the responsi- bility of the cardinal; he is permitted to lodge in the palace of the ambassador; he is allowed time to make his defence; those holy Inquisitors would not unneces- sarily harm a hair on his head. Nor was it probably their object to inflict bodily torments: these would call out sympathy and degrade the tribunal. It was enough to threaten these torments, to which they did not wish to resort except in case of necessity. There is no evidence that Galileo was personally tortured. He was indeed a martyr, but not a sufferer except in humiliated pride. Probably the object of his enemies was to silence him, to degrade him, to expose his name to infamy, to arrest the spread of his doctrines, to bow his old head in shame, to murder his soul, to make him stab himself, and be his own executioner, by an act which all posterity should regard as unworthy of his name and cause. After a fitting time has elapsed,——four months of dignified session,——the mind of the Holy Tribunal is made up. Its judgement is ready. On the 22nd of June, 1633, the prisoner appears in penitential dress at the convent of Minerva, and the presiding cardinal, in his scarlet robes, delivers the sentence of the Court, ——that Galileo, as a warning to others, and by way of salutary penance, be condemned to the formal prison of the Holy Office, and be ordered to recite once a week the seven Penitential Psalms for the benefit of his should,——apparently a light sentence, only to be nominally imprisoned a few days, and to repeat those Psalms which were the life of blessed saints in mediæ- val times. But this was nothing. He was required to recant, to abjure the doctrines he had taught; not in private, but publicly before the world. Will he recant? Will he subscribe himself an imposter? Will he abjure the doctrines on which his fame rests? Oh, tell it not in Gath! The timid, infirm, life-loving old patriarch of science falls. He is not great enough for martyrdom. He chooses shame. In an evil hour this venerable sage falls down upon his knees before the assembled cardinals, and reads aloud this recantation: "I, Galileo Galilei, aged seventy, on my knees before you most reverend lords, and having my eye on the Holy Gospel, which I do touch with my lips, thus publish and declare, that I believe, and always have believed, and always will believe every article which the Holy Catholic Roman Church holds and teaches. And as I have written a book in which I have main- tained that the sun is the centre, which doctrine is re- pugnant to the Holy Scriptures, I, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith, do abjure and detest, and curse the said error and heresy, and all other errors contrary to said Holy Church, whose penance I solemnly swear to observe faithfully, and all other penances which have been or shall be laid upon me." It would appear from this confession that he did not declare his doctrines false, only that they were in opposition to the Scriptures; and it is also said that as he arose from his knees he whispered to a friend, "It does move, nevertheless." As some excuse for him, he acted with the certainty that he would be tortured if he did not recant; and at the worst he had only affirmed that his scientific theory was in opposition to the Scriptures. He had not denied his master, like Peter; he had not recanted the faith like Cranmer; he had simply yielded for fear of bodily torments, and therefore was not sincere in the abjuration which he made to save his life. Nevertheless, his recantation was a fall, and in the eyes of the scientific world per- haps greater than that of Bacon. Galileo was false to philosophy and himself. Why did he suffer himself to be conquered by priests and despised? Why did so bold and witty and proud a man betray his cause? Why did he not accept the penalty of intellectual freedom, and die, if he must? What was life to him, dis- eased, infirm, and old? What had he more to gain? Was it not a good time to die and consummate his protests? Only one hundred and fifty years before, one of his countrymen had accepted torture and death rather than recant his religious opinions. Why could not Galileo have been as great in martyrdom as Savon- arola? He was a renowned philosopher and brilliant as a man of genius,——but he was a man of the world; he loved ease and length of days. He could ridicule and deride opponents,——he could not suffer pain. He had a great intellect, but not a great soul. There were flaws in his morality; he was anything but a saint or hero. He was great in mind, and yet he was far from being great in character. We pity him, while we exalt him. Nor is he world harsh to him; it forgives him for his services. The worst that can be said, is that he was not willing to suffer ad die for his opinions: and how many philosophers are there who are willing to be martyrs? Nevertheless, in the eyes of philosophers he has dis- graced himself. Let him then return to Florence, to his own Arceti. He is a silenced man. But he is silenced, not because he believed with Copernicus, but because he ridiculed his enemies and confronted the Church, and in the eyes of blinded partisans had attacked divine authority. Why did Copernicus escape persecution? The Church must have known that there was something in his discoveries, and in those of Gali- leo, worthy of attention. About this time Pascal wrote: "It is vain that you have procured the con- demnation of Galileo. That will never prove the earth to be at rest. If unerring observation proves that it turns round, not all mankind together can keep it from turning, or themselves from turning with it." But let that persecution pass. It is no worse than other persecutions, either in Catholic or Protestant ranks. It is no worse than burning witches. Not only is intolerance in human nature, but there is a repugnance among the learned to receive new opinions when these interfere with their ascendency. The op- position to Galileo's discoveries was no greater than that of the Protestant Church, half a century ago, to some of the inductions of geology. How bitter the hatred, even in our times, to such men as Huxley and Darwin! True, they have not proved their theories as Galileo did; but they gave a great shock as he to the minds of theologians. all science is progressive, yet there are thousands who oppose its progress. And if learning and science should establish a different mean- ing to certain texts from which theological deductions are drawn, and these premises be undermined, there would be the same bitterness among the defenders of the present system of dogmatic theology. Yet theology will live, and never lose its dignity and importance; only, some of its present assumptions may be discarded. God will never be dethroned from the world he gov- erns; but some of his ways may appear to be different from what was once supposed. And all science is not only progressive, but it appears to be bold and scornful and proud,——at least, its advocates are and ever have been contemptuous of all other departments of knowl- edge but its own. So narrow and limited is the human mind in the midst of its triumphs. So full of preju- dices are even the learned and the great. Let us turn then to give another glance at the fallen philosopher in his final retreat at Arceti. He lives under restrictions. But hey allow hi leisure and choice wines, of which he is fond, and gardens and friends; and many come to do him reverence. He amuses his old age with the studies of his youth and manhood, and writes dialogues on Motion, and even discovers the phenomena of the moon's libration; and by means of the pendulum he gives additional impor- tance to astronomical science. But he is not allowed to leave his retirement, not even to visit his friends in Florence. The wrath of the Inquisition still pursues him, even in his villa at Arceti in the suburbs of Florence. Then renewed afflictions come. He loses his daughter, who was devoted to him; and her death nearly plunges him into despair. The bulwarks of his heart break down; a flood of grief overwhelms his stricken soul. His appetite leaves him; his health forsakes him; his infirmities increase upon him. His right eye loses its power,——that eye that had seen more of the heavens than the eyes of all who had gone before him. He became blind and deaf, and cannot sleep, afflicted with rheumatic pains and maladies for- lorn. No more for him is rest, or peace, or bliss; still less the glories of his brighter days,——the sight of glit- tering fields, the gems of heaven, without which "Neither breath of Morn, when she ascends With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower Glittering with dew, nor fragrance after showers, nor grateful evening mild, . . . is sweet." No more shall he gaze on features that he loves, on stars, or trees, or hills. No more to him "Returns Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Or flocks, ir herds, or human face divine; But clouds, instead, and ever-during dark Surround" [him]. It was in those dreary desolate days at Arceti, "Unseen In manly beauty Milton stood before him, Gazing in reverent awe,——Milton, his guest, Just then come forth, all life and enterprise; While he in his old age, . . . . . . exploring with his staff, His eyes upturned as to the golden sun, His eyeballs rolling." This may have been the punishment of his recanta- tion,——not Inquisitorial torture, but the consciousness that he had lost his honor. Poor Galileo! thine illus- trious visitor, when his affliction came, could cast his sightless eyeballs inward, and see and tell "things un- attempted yet in prose or rhyme,"——not "Rocks, caves, lakes, bogs, fens, and shades of death, . . . . . . . . . Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds . . . . . . . . . Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire," but of eternal Providence," and "Eden with surpass- ing glory crowned," and our first parents," and of "salvation," "goodness infinite," of "wisdom," which when we know we need no higher though all the stars we know by name,——— "All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, Or works of God in heaven, or air, or sea." And yet, thou stricken observer of the heavenly bodies! hadst thou but known what marvels would be revealed by the power of thy wondrous instrument after thou should'st be laid lifeless and cold beneath the marble floor of Santa Croce, at the age of seventy-eight, without a monument (although blessed on his death- bed by Pope Urban), having died a prisoner of the Inquisition, yet not without having rendered to astro- nomical science services of utmost value,——even thou might have died rejoicing, as one of the greatest bene- factors of the world. And thy discoveries shall be forever held in gratitude; they shall herald others of even greater importance. Newton shall prove that the different planets are attracted to the sun in the inverse ratio of the squares of their distances; that the earth has a force on the moon identical with the force of gravity, and that all celestial bodies, to the utmost boundaries of space, mutually attract each other; that all particles of matter are governed by the same law,——the great law of gravitation, by which "astronomy," in the language of Whewell, "passed from boyhood to manhood, and by which law the great discoverer added more to the realm of science than any man before or since his day." And after Newton shall pass away, honored and lamented, and be buried with almost royal pomp in the vaults of Westminster, Halley and other mathematicians shall construct lunar tables, by which longitude shall be accurately measured on the pathless ocean. Lagrange and Laplace shall apply Newtonian theory to de- determine the secular inequalities of celestial motion; they shall weigh absolutely the amount of matter in the planets; they shall show how far their orbits de- viate from circles; and they shall enumerate the cycles of changes detected in the circuit of the moon. Clai- raut shall remove the perplexity occasioned by the seeming discrepancy between the observed and com- puted motions of the moon's perigee. Halley shall demonstrate the importance of observations of the tran- sit of Venus as the only certain way of obtaining the sun's parallax, and hence the distance of the sun from the earth; he shall predict the return of that myste- rious body which we call a comet. Herschel shall con- struct a telescope which magnifies two thousand times, and add another planet to our system beyond the mighty orb of Saturn. Römer shall estimate the velocity of light from the eclipse of Jupiter's satel- lites. Bessel shall pass the impassable gulf of space and measure the distance of some of the fixed stars, although such is the immeasurable space between the earth and those distant suns that the parallax of only about thirty has yet been discovered with our finest instruments,——so boundless is the material universe, so vast are the distances, that light, travelling one hun- dred and sixty thousand miles with every pulsation of the blood, will not reach us from some of those remote worlds in one hundred thousand years. So marvellous shall be the victories of science, that the perturbations of the planets in their courses shall reveal the exist- ence of a new one more distant than Uranus, and Leverrier shall tell at what part of the heavens that star shall first be seen. So far as we have discovered, the universe which we have observed with telescopic instruments has no limits that mortals can define, and in comparison with its magnitude our earth is less than a grain of sand, and is so old that no genius can calculate and no imag- ination can conceive when it had its beginning. All that we know is, that suns exist at distances we cannot define. But around what center do they revolve? Of what are they composed? Are they inhabited by intel- ligent and immortal beings? Do we know that they are not eternal, except from the divine declaration that there was a time when the Almighty fiat went forth for this grand creation? Creation involves a creator; and can the order and harmony seen in Nature's laws exist without supreme intelligence and power? Who, then, and what, is God? "Canst thou by searching find out Him? Knowest thou the ordinances of Heaven? Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" What an atom is this world in the light of science! Yet what dignity has man by the light of revelation! What majesty and power and glory has God! What goodness, benevolence, and love, that even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice,——that we are the special objects of His providence and care! Is there an imagination so lofty that will not be oppressed with the discoveries that even the telescope has made? Ah, to what exalted heights reason may soar when allied with faith! How truly it should elevate us above the evils of this brief and busy existence to the conditions of that other life,—— "When the soul, Advancing ever to the Source of light And all perfection, lives, adores, and reigns in cloudless knowledge, purity, and bliss!" AUTHORITIES. Dekambre, Histoire de l'Astronomie; Arago, Histoire de l'Astronomie; Life of Galileo, in Cabinet Library; Life of Galileo, by Brewster; Lives of Galileo, by Italian and Spanish Literary Men; Whewell's History of Inductive Sciences; Plurality of Worlds; Humboldt's Cosmos; Nichols' Architecture of the Heavens; Chalmers' Astronomical Discourses; Life of Kepler, Library of Useful Knowledge; Brewster's Life of Tycho Brahe, of Kepler, and of Sir Isaac Newton; Mitchell's Stellar and Planetary Worlds; Brad- ley's Correspondence; Airy's Reports; Voiron's History of Astronomy; Philosophical Transactions; Everett's Orations of Galileo; Life of Coper- nicus; Bayly's Astronomy; Encyclopædia Britannica, Art. Astronomy; Proctor's Lectures. 
from Beacon Lights of History, by John Lord, LL. D., Volume III, Part II: Renaissance and Reformation, pp. 447 - 463 Copyright, 1883, by John Lord. Copyright, 1921, By Wm. H. Wise & Co., New York
ይህ የእርስዎ ቦታ ነው። አንዳችሁ ለሌላው ደጎች ሁኑ። https://old.reddit.com/thesee [♘] [♰] [☮]
submitted by MarleyEngvall to arceti [link] [comments]

Why the Bitcoin Error Log Interview is Important

In a recent interview between John Carvahlo, CEO of Xotika and owner of the YouTube channel Bitcoin Error Log, and Roger Ver, millionaire Bitcoin investor and owner of the web domain bitcoin.com, tensions rise to all time highs much like the price of the coin these two individuals sponsor. In this near 45 minute interview that was cut short due to the latter “Rage-Quitting”, a lot was revealed from the core philosophies surrounding both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in the 2017 market of crypto currencies.
The interview begins and ends with a discussion over the name “Bcash” which was infamously given to Bitcoin Cash by its opponents in the crypto-sphere. Bitcoin Cash was given the name Bcash by the Bitcoin community so as to not create confusion between the two coins as well as to anger the supporters of Bitcoin Cash; a tactic which appears to be quite effective as demonstrated in this interview. To be fair to Roger Ver, Carvahlo did seem a bit unprofessional by not trying to avoid calling Bitcoin Cash Bcash or by getting equally as heated as Roger Ver, but it’s a free market and there are no rules or laws that prevent him from doing as he pleases.
On one side we have Roger Ver, vehemently defending the honour of Bitcoin Cash as the truest form of the white paper created by Satoshi Nakamoto. On the other hand we have John Carvahlo who seems to use the term Bcash to delegitimize the claim that Bitcoin Cash is the true Bitcoin, to avoid confusion between the two coins for any newcomers to the crypto currency space and to annoy Roger Ver. Through out the rest of the interview, between overlapping rebuttals, some bits of information are dropped that reveal a lot about the true intention of one party in particular.
For starters Roger Ver claims that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system to which Carvahlo disagrees as the presence of nodes on the network suggests otherwise. And I have to agree with John Carvahlo. Nothing on the Internet is truly peer-to-peer. The Internet itself suffers from forms of centralization between Internet Service Providers and the regional nodes they get the Internet from. The Internet in 2017 is void of any direct communication between peers; there are always middlemen in between. This brings up another topic discussed during the interview, whether or not Bitcoin as a network is truly decentralized.
For starters, Roger Ver claims that varying degrees of centralization are acceptable within the network and he expects the network to become more and more centralized as the growth of Bitcoin continues. To which I half agree. I think anarchy as governance is flawed; some political structure is necessary, such as Athenian democracy. Yes the Internet’s structure as well as that of the Bitcoin network, with the nodes and the ever-increasing difficulty of mining, can both guarantee that the Bitcoin network will never be truly decentralized and peer-to-peer. But what is worrying is what degree of centralization Roger Ver is ok with; and that is the heart of the scaling debate.
​Yes at times the Bitcoin network suffers from slow transaction times and high fees. Yes scaling is a problem with a desperate need for a solution. No, increasing the block size is not the answer.
​First, lets dissect Roger Ver’s position on bigger blocks. He claims that over the last 7 to 8 years, the Bitcoin blocks have scaled successfully and that empirically, it is a proven scaling solution that will lower transaction fees and times. The problem with that is his premise that Bitcoin has been scaling since the beginning is completely wrong and paints his cause in a preferred light. Bitcoin has not been scaling since 2009. When Bitcoin was created, within the code a block size limit was written. The block size limit has to be defined for blockchain to work because that would be a coding error. It would cause network stalls during periods of high traffic where a block could in theory never fill if enough transactions are being sent to the network at once. This is what is known as a Sybil attack. So from a certain point in time early in Bitcoin’s development, a block size limit of 1MB was coded into Bitcoin. Roger Ver claims that over the years, the block size grew from 1 KB to 2KB, so on and so forth until it reached the 1MB block size but that is wrong. The blocks always had room for 1MB but were very small due to the amount of transactions present in the mempool. That’s like saying my 100 mL cup that is half filled is actually a 50 mL cup because only half of it is being used. It’s still a 100 mL cup. And this is important because it proves that bigger blocks as a scaling solution has not been empirically tested. Which is why an “altcoin with a smaller market cap is being used to test new features”; it’s called Bitcoin Cash.
Another point that was not talked about during the interview is how bigger blocks cause greater miner centralization, the most critical flaw of the bigger blocks approach. With ASIC’s and ASIC Boost, it has become incredibly difficult for any individual to start mining Bitcoin for a profit. A large upfront investment into specialized mining hardware is required in order to generate a profit. This means that mining or the process of validating transactions is becoming more and more reserved to wealthy individuals. And this is apparently, arguably bad; at least Roger Ver seems to be ok with varying degrees of centralization. Except the whole point of crypto currencies is that no individual or no individual group should be able to control the network for their own self interest; we have fiat currency for that. So then when increasing the block size, yes more transactions are able to be processed in one block which does reduce fees and settling times except that bigger blocks are harder to mine, pushing the mining process further into centralization. It’s also a temporary solution because with the growing number of Bitcoin users, a bigger block size limit will be reached requiring another hard fork to increase the block size limit. This is like adding lanes to a highway because too many drivers are present on the road; it’s a bandaid solution that avoids the root of the problem.
This interview is important because between the well-rehearsed lines and the pressing questions, within his off-script bouts of rage, the true Roger Ver shines bright. Roger Ver talks about Bitcoin as if it’s a company. He criticizes the Core development team because since their arrival into the space, he claims that the market cap of Bitcoin has been “bleeding out” and that it’s losing its market share to altcoins, pointing to its drop in market dominance as proof. He might be right, or perhaps more and more people are looking at the wealth of early Bitcoin adopters and are trying to get rich from altcoins that could see similar growth. Or maybe it’s because altcoins aren’t direct competitors to Bitcoin and are using blockchain to solve real world problems and people are seeing their value. Regardless, he also argues that not anybody is able to contribute code to Bitcoin. And all of this is a twisted version of reality that pushes his agenda. Anybody today can write code for Bitcoin, and through community consensus can have it implemented. Roger Ver did not have the opportunity to defend his claim during the interview, but I think it’s apparent that because block size increases have been repeatedly shut down by the community, he claims that nobody outside Core can contribute code to Bitcoin. That’s just not true. Segwit, a Bitcoin feature added through node consensus, is allowing for the lightning network, a layer 2 scaling solution, to be independently developed by passionate members of the Bitcoin community. The very idea of a BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) was proposed and implemented by a community member. Roger Ver also often refers to permissions on the GitHub repository as “the keys” as if any one person can own the network like a house. This is false. The reason why the core developers code is widely accepted is because the community supports the work they’re doing. Roger Ver says it himself: he believes we need to let the market decide what coin is the true Bitcoin. Except that it already has. If people wanted bigger blocks, Bitcoin Cash would be called Bitcoin. It is also worth noting that the market has decided multiple times that it does not want to increase the block size as other Bitcoin forks that Roger Ver has supported in the past, namely Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited, have failed.
Roger Ver claims that people who call Bitcoin Cash, Bcash have been brainwashed by its opponents. He believes that Segwit is adopted by brainwashed individuals. As if nobody in the Bitcoin community can think for themselves; we’re all just sheep waiting for a shepherd like Roger Ver to tell us what’s right. Except that by purposefully misleading newcomers to the crypto space by calling his website that supports Bitcoin Cash, bitcoin.com, by misleading the newcomers by not clearly explaining the differences between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin on the wallet app his website sponsors and by also calling Bitcoin, Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Segwit, he’t not only being a hypocrite for criticizing Carvahlo for name calling, he’s also issuing his own brand of brainwashing instead of letting new users decide for themselves which coin is the real Bitcoin. If his claims that Core and Core supporters are brainwashing people were true, Roger Ver would be just as guilty of doing this.
A final point I would like to make is how both camps view Bitcoin philosophically. The Bitcoin supporters mostly view Bitcoin as a store of value while Bitcoin Cashers view Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer digital cash. And I want to point out that Bitcoin fails tremendously in its current state at being a dollar killer, a digital cash. Bitcoin as a store of value has succeeded tremendously. People all over the world are using Bitcoin to have value traverse borders with ease, to send value to loved ones without going through Western Union or as an investment vehicle. In that sense, Bitcoin is truly like digital gold. As a currency, it has seen some success in terms of adoption. Many merchants accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. You can even buy airline tickets with Baltic Airlines via Bitcoin. But, in my opinion, neither Bitcoin nor Bitcoin Cash could today successfully replace fiat currency. If today either coin were adopted globally, both coins in their current state would face tremendous scaling issues, causing insanely high transaction fees and slow confirmation times. The lightning network is showing more promise than bigger blocks as it doesn’t push miner centralization, it actually decreases the amount of transactions on chain but it has yet to be seen if this solution will work. Without scaling as an issue, both coins also suffer from a deflationary problem, which many economists argue disqualifies most crypto currencies as a good fiat replacement. That however, is a different topic.
The scaling debate should not be a debate anymore. The community has been offered a currency with larger blocks, lower fees and faster settling times, time and time again. It had Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin Cash and Segwit 2X to decide and the answer has been an astounding no. If users truly desired a coin that fit this description, Litecoin would lead the crypto currency market, or any other crypto currency like it. But the fact is Bitcoin in its flawed state leads the pack and nobody today uses Bitcoin as a digital cash as Satoshi Nakamoto intended. Just like nobody avoids eating shrimp and other crustaceans because the Bible said it was a great sin. I believe the topic on crypto forums should no longer be scaling as Segwit is being adopted through consensus and the Lightning Network is imminent. If it fails to scale Bitcoin, then we’ll go back to the drawing board. I think the true debate should be whether the community wants Bitcoin to truly be a replacement for fiat currencies or if it should remain a store of value like gold.
Either way, this interview gives the crypto community a glimpse at the real Roger Ver, a used-car-salesmen type who rehearses his lines and changes definitions to paint his cause in the proper light. A guy who is ok with Bitcoin becoming centralized. A guy who likes to flash his cash and likes to belittle others for making less money than him and for operating legitimate businesses within the sex industry. A guy who disagrees with the decisions the Bitcoin community has made over the years so instead of creating his own currency and leaving the Bitcoin brand alone, he constantly pushes a skewed narrative of Core and Bitcoin and how it’s flawed. How Bitcoin Cash is the true Bitcoin. He acts like a paternal figure, knowing what’s best for the community despite it’s previous choices and loses his temper when it’s evident he doesn’t have control; like an abusive lover. If his intentions were honest, why would he try to steal the Bitcoin brand? Why would he try to tarnish the name of the thing that gave him a large part of his wealth in the first place? Personally, it seems to me like he’s that kid at the playground, the one that nobody wanted to play games by his rules. Instead of finding someone else to play with, he tries to manipulate others, takes fits when he doesn’t get his way and ultimately decides for everyone that if he can’t have his way, then nobody should.
submitted by TheRebelOfBabylon to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The intelligent investors guide to cryptocurrency: Part 3a - The value proposition

*Introductions: I'm joskye. A cryptocurrency investor and SDC holder. *
...
Hi again. This is the third part in our ongoing series on how to trade better and determine intelligent investments in cryptocurrency for the future.
In part 3 I will now discuss Cryptocurrency valuations, price metrics and identifying coins of value, worth holding.
...
What makes a coin worth holding: The value proposition
What makes anything worth holding? How much of themselves is a person willing to put into it - that's how much.
Cryptocurrency is largely driven by faith. It is a speculative enterprise i.e. people mostly put money into cryptocurrencies believing they will go up in value in the future; their plan to sell at a higher price when it does.
Currently most cryptocurrencies serve no function than being currencies in themselves. Unfortunately these currencies are largely not recognised by governments, most institutional investors or companies are legitimate stores of value or legitimate currencies of transaction. As such legislation and rules around the world regarding them vary considerably and are often absent.
There are very few cryptocurrencies that have legitimised backing, are insured or supported by enterprises that are insured for their loss and essentially there is little to protect you if you lose money through them.
So why do people bother putting money into cryptocurrencies it in the first place?
If the present and future value of a cryptocurrency is driven purely by speculation then you are essentially gambling by putting your money to buy that coin and joining the pool of other gamblers who are doing so. You are essentially joining a ponzi scheme and waiting game hoping you've gotten in early enough and convinced enough people to buy more of the asset you hold at slightly higher prices until a price is reached that you can cash out at (or until that thing becomes so big that everyone starts using it as their store of value).
This type of dynamic essentially underpins the mentality of most investments and trades i.e. buy low and sell high. I'd like to add buy early for investors since buying during a low in an already established asset may be setting yourself up for being forced to sell at a lower low later (especially if you don't understand the fundamentals of that asset).
If however the present or future value of a cryptocurrency is driven by some service other than speculation which can attract and drive fiat currency into it's ecosystem then it is potentially valuable.
I.e. will people actually use their USD/Yuan/Euro/GBP/Yen/INR etc to actually purchase the coin in question to do something useful with it (other than gamble on it's future price).
There are some cryptocurrencies which satisfy this criteria:
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Bitcoin
It is not a currency, it is a remittance system and store of value. It has a reputation increasingly to being seen as a digital version of gold.
Bitcoin has the cultural and historical advantage of being the first cryptocurrency. It is also still the largest cryptocurrency by a long way with the largest marketcap i.e. price per bitcoin [$952 as of writing] x the number of bitcoin in circulation [16,074,687] which is $15.3 billion. Compare to it's next biggest competitor Ethereum which has a marketcap of $700 million (i.e. only 4.57% of Bitcoin's).
Bitcoin's value proposition is that it is a store of value. It may not be able to sustain this without significant upgrades to it's underlying software.
...
Monero (XMR)
Bitcoin does not have anonymity inherently built into it's software. Therefore if you buy and sell Bitcoin especially on cryptocurrency exchanges (where user registration is required), it is possible to trace whom Bitcoin is being transferred from and to.
For this reason I see Monero as Bitcoin + anonymity. I.e. it's value proposition is as store of hidden wealth. I also believe it does not have the issues that bitcoin does namely, same level of mainstream recognition, spotlight of regulatory awareness and developers do seem to be more focused on achieving better scalability and transaction times (it already does 10-20 minute verification time vs bitcoins 1 hour) which gives it better potential as a currency presently compared to Bitcoin.
-This sort of market cap dwarfs gold. However this type of up-scaled usability will not occur until the transaction verification times are much faster (nanoseconds) and the protocol is enhanced to cope with much larger transactions volumes and frequency at that speed; We are a long way off that.
I do believe fiat stored in Bitcoin will gradually transfer into Monero boosting it's value. I am not sure Monero though can presently bring fresh fiat currency (USD, Yuan etc) into it's ecosystem beyond outsider speculation in future price.
It is not unique in it's function or potential value proposition. My warning about holding Monerofor the long term is that it has competition for it's function not just from Bitcoin itself but from other anonymous coins such as Zcash, DASH (which provides instantaneous settlement) and SDC. Perhaps more importantly, Ethereum (ETH) is now planning to implement optional anonymity (via zSNARKs) in it's transaction network; if it does when combined with Ethereum's own functionality and well defined development roadmap (that will likely several second verification times in late 2017) would render XMR potentially redundant.
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Ethereum (ETH)
The value proposition for Ethereum is that it allows for complex, trustless settlement systems to be built on it. This is a huge deal because the scope of applications is wide and although the technology needs to mature (to support greater transaction volume, frequency and more secure functionality) the sheer amount of fiat such a platform could attract through conversion of traditional centralised settlement and contract services to more secure decentralised platforms is very huge.
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Shadowcash (SDC)
The value proposition is a double escrow, fully anonymous, decentralised privacy platform which incorporates private chat, private marketplace and secure, trustless private settlement system into one platform that is fully integrated into it's own blockchain.
Shadowcash already has multiple features that make it an excellent store of value: Low coin supply, potential for great demand, near instantaneous transaction verification times, ability to earn interest for simply holding it.
Shadowcash is incredibly easy to use and is heavily focused on usability. This is absolutely essential to it's end users: customers who seek convenient easy and speedy secure anonymous transaction. This will be a dream come true for traditional users of darknet markets.
To explain why lets elaborate on traditional darknet markets where in order to transact anonymously you have to:
1. Download the TOR browser. 2. Learn how to use it. 3. Buy XMR or Bitcoin. 4. Learn how to transact with these coins *safely* (yes this is still an issue with XMR in spite of it's built in privacy). 5. Learn how to and where to find reliable secure darknet markets. 6. Create accounts on these markets to access them *and* 7. Have faith that the websites and the highly centralised (and thus much more vulnerable) servers hosting those markets you use will not get shut down, not disappear with your money and not betray your transaction details and potentially identities to the authorities should they be infiltrated by them. 
Whereas with Shadowcash's market place this process will become:
1. Download the Shadowcash Umbra client (https://shadowproject.io/en/gettingstarted) 2. Buy some SDC on an exchange and transfer it to your Umbra client. 3. Browse the Shadowcash marketplace and transact securely, safely and anonymously. 
In summary I think Shadowcash can be a very useful application as a privacy platform for private communications and transactions.
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ICONOMI (ICN)
Those two points constitute it's value proposition. By nature of the way it works it has an easily identifiable P/E ratio based on the amount used to create the fund ($10.5 million) against the current value of that fund based on it's
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Summary lessons
The first rule in investing or trading in a given cryptocoin is deciding if it has a value proposition:
1. *Can it draw fiat currency (USD, Euro, Yuan etc) in such a way as to give it a valuation that is fully independent of pure speculation?* 2. *Is it unique?* 3. *Is it rare?* A limited supply with a low or negative inflation rate will lead to increasing price as demand goes up. 4. Are there significant risks associated with the value proposition? 
In the next article I will cover lesson 3b: Price metrics and valuations. It will be much shorter I promise but equally informative and we will cover topics such as price determination, impact of speculation, price manipulation, whales and their impact and the impact of bitcoin on the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Finally just to really hammer it home; why am I posting this on the Shadowcash subreddit?
It is because Shadowcash is the best cryptocurrency investment of 2016 and I believe it will be again by March 2017.
...
References:
1. Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations, https://coinmarketcap.com/, Last Checked 30/01/2017 2. What is the value of all the Gold in the world? http://onlygold.com/Info/All-The-Gold-In-The-World.asp, Last Checked 30/01/2017. 3. ICONOMI Cryptocurrencies Index (ICNX) 21 December 2016 Rebalancing, https://medium.com/iconominet/iconomi-cryptocurrencies-index-icnx-21-december-2016-rebalancing-transformation-into-iconomi-8e31e48493ab#.sptgljv1c 4. ICNx trend chart, https://medium.com/iconominet/iconomi-cryptocurrencies-index-icnx-30-november-2016-monthly-rebalancing-update-3402866243d9#.kw7g4fqcd, Last updated 30th Nov 2017 5. Shadowcash (SDC) - The billion dollar baby!, https://medium.com/@paradox_/shadowcash-sdc-the-billion-dollar-baby-6b86f0660739#.ypz9yme5a, Last updated 16 August 2016. 
...
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your financial decisions, nor am I advising you take a particular financial position. Rather I am sharing my experiences and hoping you form your own opinions and insights from them. Full disclosure: I have long positions in Ethereum (ETH), Shadowcash (SDC), ICONOMI (ICN), Augur (REP) and Digix (DGD).
submitted by joskye to Shadowcash [link] [comments]

The intelligent investors guide to cryptocurrency: Part 3a - The value proposition

Introductions: I'm joskye. A cryptocurrency investor and holder.
...
 
Hi again. This is the third part in our ongoing series on how to trade better and determine intelligent investments in cryptocurrency for the future.
 
 
In part 3 I will now discuss Cryptocurrency valuations, price metrics and identifying coins of value, worth holding:
 
...
 
What makes a coin worth holding: The value proposition
 
What makes anything worth holding? How much of themselves is a person willing to put into it - that's how much.
Cryptocurrency is largely driven by faith. It is a speculative enterprise i.e. people mostly put money into cryptocurrencies believing they will go up in value in the future; their plan to sell at a higher price when it does.
Currently most cryptocurrencies serve no function than being currencies in themselves. Unfortunately these currencies are largely not recognised by governments, most institutional investors or companies are legitimate stores of value or legitimate currencies of transaction. As such legislation and rules around the world regarding them vary considerably and are often absent.
There are very few cryptocurrencies that have legitimised backing, are insured or supported by enterprises that are insured for their loss and essentially there is little to protect you if you lose money through them.
 
So why do people bother putting money into cryptocurrencies it in the first place?
 
 
If the present and future value of a cryptocurrency is driven purely by speculation then you are essentially gambling by putting your money to buy that coin and joining the pool of other gamblers who are doing so. You are essentially joining a ponzi scheme and waiting game hoping you've gotten in early enough and convinced enough people to buy more of the asset you hold at slightly higher prices until a price is reached that you can cash out at (or until that thing becomes so big that everyone starts using it as their store of value).
 
This type of dynamic essentially underpins the mentality of most investments and trades i.e. buy low and sell high. I'd like to add buy early for investors since buying during a low in an already established asset may be setting yourself up for being forced to sell at a lower low later (especially if you don't understand the fundamentals of that asset).
 
If however the present or future value of a cryptocurrency is driven by some service other than speculation which can attract and drive fiat currency into it's ecosystem then it is potentially valuable.
 
I.e. will people actually use their USD/Yuan/Euro/GBP/Yen/INR etc to actually purchase the coin in question to do something useful with it (other than gamble on it's future price).
 
There are some cryptocurrencies which satisfy this criteria:
 
...
 
Bitcoin
It is not a currency, it is a remittance system and store of value. It has a reputation increasingly to being seen as a digital version of gold.
 
 
 
 
 
Bitcoin has the cultural and historical advantage of being the first cryptocurrency. It is also still the largest cryptocurrency by a long way with the largest marketcap i.e. price per bitcoin [$952 as of writing] x the number of bitcoin in circulation [16,074,687] which is $15.3 billion. Compare to it's next biggest competitor Ethereum which has a marketcap of $700 million (i.e. only 4.57% of Bitcoin's).
 
 
 
 
Bitcoin's value proposition is that it is a store of value. It may not be able to sustain this without significant upgrades to it's underlying software.
 
...
 
Monero (XMR)
Bitcoin does not have anonymity inherently built into it's software. Therefore if you buy and sell Bitcoin especially on cryptocurrency exchanges (where user registration is required), it is possible to trace whom Bitcoin is being transferred from and to.
 
 
For this reason I see Monero as Bitcoin + anonymity. I.e. it's value proposition is as store of hidden wealth. I also believe it does not have the issues that bitcoin does namely, same level of mainstream recognition, spotlight of regulatory awareness and developers do seem to be more focused on achieving better scalability and transaction times (it already does 10-20 minute verification time vs bitcoins 1 hour) which gives it better potential as a currency presently compared to Bitcoin.
 
 
I do believe fiat stored in Bitcoin will gradually transfer into Monero boosting it's value. I am not sure Monero though can presently bring fresh fiat currency (USD, Yuan etc) into it's ecosystem beyond outsider speculation in future price.
 
 
It is not unique in it's function or potential value proposition. My warning about holding Monero for the long term is that it has competition for it's function not just from Bitcoin itself but from other anonymous coins such as Zcash, DASH (which provides instantaneous settlement) and SDC. Perhaps more importantly, Ethereum (ETH) is now planning to implement optional anonymity (via zSNARKs) in it's transaction network; if it does when combined with Ethereum's own functionality and well defined development roadmap (that will likely several second verification times in late 2017) would render XMR potentially redundant.
 
...
Ethereum (ETH)
The first cryptocurrency which was built with the specific intent of incorporating 'smart contracts' into it's platform.
 
 
The value proposition for Ethereum is that it allows for complex, trustless settlement systems to be built on it. This is a huge deal because the scope of applications is wide and although the technology needs to mature (to support greater transaction volume, frequency and more secure functionality) the sheer amount of fiat such a platform could attract through conversion of traditional centralised settlement and contract services to more secure decentralised platforms is very huge.
 
 
...
 
PARTICL (PART) (formerly Shadowcash SDC)
The value proposition is a double escrow, fully anonymous, decentralised privacy platform which incorporates private chat, private marketplace and secure, trustless private settlement system into one platform that is fully integrated into it's own blockchain.
 
 
Particl has multiple features that make it an excellent store of value: Low coin supply, potential for great demand, near instantaneous transaction verification times, ability to earn interest for simply holding it.
 
Particl is incredibly easy to use and is heavily focused on usability. This is absolutely essential to it's end users: customers who seek convenient easy and speedy secure anonymous transaction. This will be a dream come true for traditional users of darknet markets.
 
To explain why lets elaborate on traditional darknet markets where in order to transact anonymously you have to:
1. Download the TOR browser. 2. Learn how to use it. 3. Buy XMR or Bitcoin. 4. Learn how to transact with these coins *safely* (yes this is still an issue with XMR in spite of it's built in privacy). 5. Learn how to and where to find reliable secure darknet markets. 6. Create accounts on these markets to access them *and* 7. Have faith that the websites and the highly centralised (and thus much more vulnerable) servers hosting those markets you use will not get shut down, not disappear with your money and not betray your transaction details and potentially identities to the authorities should they be infiltrated by them. 
Whereas with Particl's market place this process will become:
1. Download the Particl client. 2. Buy some PART on an exchange and transfer it to your Umbra client. 3. Browse the Particl marketplace and transact securely, safely and anonymously. 
 
 
In summary I think Particl can be a very useful application as a privacy platform for private communications and transactions.
 
...
 
ICONOMI (ICN)
Those two points constitute it's value proposition. By nature of the way it works it has an easily identifiable P/E ratio based on the amount used to create the fund ($10.5 million) against the current value of that fund based on it's
 
...
 
Summary lessons
 
The first rule in investing or trading in a given cryptocoin is deciding if it has a value proposition:
 
1. *Can it draw fiat currency (USD, Euro, Yuan etc) in such a way as to give it a valuation that is fully independent of pure speculation?* 2. *Is it unique?* 3. *Is it rare?* A limited supply with a low or negative inflation rate will lead to increasing price as demand goes up. 4. Are there significant risks associated with the value proposition? 
 
 
In the next article I will cover lesson 3b: Price metrics and valuations. It will be much shorter I promise but equally informative and we will cover topics such as price determination, impact of speculation, price manipulation, whales and their impact and the impact of bitcoin on the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem!
...
 
References:
1. Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations, https://coinmarketcap.com/, Last Checked 30/01/2017 2. What is the value of all the Gold in the world? http://onlygold.com/Info/All-The-Gold-In-The-World.asp, Last Checked 30/01/2017. 3. ICONOMI Cryptocurrencies Index (ICNX) 21 December 2016 Rebalancing, https://medium.com/iconominet/iconomi-cryptocurrencies-index-icnx-21-december-2016-rebalancing-transformation-into-iconomi-8e31e48493ab#.sptgljv1c 4. ICNx trend chart, https://medium.com/iconominet/iconomi-cryptocurrencies-index-icnx-30-november-2016-monthly-rebalancing-update-3402866243d9#.kw7g4fqcd, Last updated 30th Nov 2017 5. Shadowcash (SDC) - The billion dollar baby!, https://medium.com/@paradox_/shadowcash-sdc-the-billion-dollar-baby-6b86f0660739#.ypz9yme5a, Last updated 16 August 2016. 
...
 
Further articles in this series:
 
"The intelligent investors guide to cryptocurrency"
 
Part 0 -
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3a -
Part 3b -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7a -
 
"The intelligent investors guide to Particl -"
 
 
Full disclosure/Disclaimer: At time of original writing I had long positions in Ethereum (ETH), Shadowcash (SDC), Iconomi (ICN), Augur (REP) and Digix (DGD). All the opinions expressed are my own. I cannot guarantee gains; losses are sustainable; do your own financial research and make your decisions responsibly. All prices and values given are as of time of first writing (Midday 30th-Dec-2016).
 
Second disclaimer: Please do not buy Shadowcash (SDC), the project has been abandoned by it's developers who have moved on to the Particl Project (PART) (www.particl.io). The PARTICL crowd fund and SDC 1:1 token swap completed April 15th. You can still exchange SDC for PART but only if it was acquired prior to 15th April 2017 see: https://particl.news/a-community-driven-initiative-e26724100c3a for more information.
 
Addendum: Article updated 23-11-2017 to edit references to SDC (changed to Particl where relevant to reflect updated status) and clean up formatting.
submitted by joskye to Particl [link] [comments]

false promises John Stossel - Political Promises and Other Lies The Stories We Tell About Money - YouTube 161 kirsten hacker : false puzzles false promises Niall Ferguson - The False Promises of the Internet

False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin 6 Page of 28 Some are concerned with the level of fraud and theft of bitcoins, translating into $5-$20 million in (nominal) criminal losses, together with $29 million seized by the FBI[23, 24], while others examine technical and organizational matters of bitcoin[25-28]. Jeong examines the anarchic political roots of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, as well as ... False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin Page 20 of 32 So, assuming both players are equally good, and outcomes distribute evenly, for ev ery 5 coins player A can get in interest, he should lose 15 ... Designed to compete with fiat currencies, bitcoin proposes it is a crypto-currency alternative. Bitcoin makes a number of false claims, including: bitcoin can be a reserve currency for banking; hoarding equals saving; and that we should believe Bibliographic details on The False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin. In view of the current Corona Virus epidemic, Schloss Dagstuhl has moved its 2020 proposal submission period to July 1 to July 15, 2020 , and there will not be another proposal round in November 2020. Title: The False Premises and Promises of Bitcoin. Authors: Brian P. Hanley. Download PDF Abstract: Designed to compete with fiat currencies, bitcoin proposes it is a crypto-currency alternative. Bitcoin makes a number of false claims, including: solving the double-spending problem is a good thing; bitcoin can be a reserve currency for banking; hoarding equals saving, and that we should ...

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false promises

Use our link http://www.audible.com/screenprism or text SCREENPRISM to 500-500 to get a free book and 30 day free trial. Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) is the... For the links discussed in this video, please click https://kirstenhacker.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/false-puzzles-false-promises/ and don't forget to check ou... At last years #SFBW, Justin Wise sat down to speak with Blockstream's Samson Mow. In this interview the two discuss store-of-value and medium-of-exchange, criticisms of Ethereum and the promise of ... False promises and the myth of "zero-value" currencies 31:22 Gresham's Law in India 34:02 The characteristics of good money & currency 35:13 Difficulties of barter at a large scale 36:49 Ancient tokens of values 38:13 Scarcity vs. inflationary supply, debt & devaluation 39:11 Bitcoin vs. traditional money as a store of value 41:52 This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue

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