I'm sure some people will be wondering about the status of the NanoFusion project going forward. Naturally, the outcome of the Nano Build-Off was pretty disappointing for me personally. After initially receiving such a wave of positive feedback here on reddit, it was unfortunate to not even crack the top 20 projects.
In spite of that result, I think the community's desire to see a trustless privacy protocol in the Nano ecosystem is actually quite strong. I believe this Build-Off result is primarily a reflection of the judging criteria, which skewed strongly towards apps that were already somewhat polished, and able to be tested by one person within the space of 10 minutes. This naturally disfavours a project like NanoFusion which is still a proof-of-concept, and requires multiple participants in order to properly use it. All that to say, while I applaud the winning projects for their efforts, and extend my gratitude to Nanillionaire for sponsoring the event, I don't believe that the Build-Off result gives a full picture of the community's true priorities for future development of the Nano ecosystem.
Nevertheless this result points to a stark reality: NanoFusion is not yet ready for consumer use, not by a long shot.
What will it take for NanoFusion to be consumer-ready? Protocol and Reference Implementation Status
There is a small amount of work to be done to finish the reference implementation of the protocol. The binary tree of input mix accounts has been constructed, but the code is not yet written to actually execute the mix, nor to trigger and execute refunds where necessary. That is really the last step that needs to be completed for the reference implementation, and it's not especially complicated. The tricky bit is that there are still a few bugs around communication between the clients that need ironing out. But those are relatively minor bugs, I'm confident they won't require fundamental changes to the protocol or the implementation architecture.
However, once the reference implementation is complete, that is where a whole new set of challenges begins. Wallet Integration
The primary challenge will be to integrate NanoFusion into one or more popular wallets. For a privacy protocol to be most effective, we need as many people as possible using it. In a cryptocurrency like Nano, where transactions and addresses are all publicly visible on a block explorer, privacy is achieved by making it difficult to determine which transactions belong to you. Making it difficult is a matter of having your transactions get "lost in the crowd". The crowd of transactions that might
potentially be yours is called the "anonymity set". We need that anonymity set to be as large as possible, which means we need as many people participating in Fusion events as possible.
The best way to achieve this is to get NanoFusion adopted by popular wallets, and ideally to have it enabled by default. The less decisions that a user needs to make in order to start participating, the better.
This raises one very important question. How do we make it as easy and appealing as possible for the developers of popular wallets to integrate this technology? Workflow Design
In order to make NanoFusion integration appealing
to wallet developers, I believe we need to gear NanoFusion integration around workflows that actually work for end-users of the wallet. This is not as simple as it appears.
The Nano ecosystem is currently geared around the assumption that addresses will tend to be re-used for many sends and receives. This is almost intrinsic to the ORV consensus mechanism. You keep your funds in one account, and the voting weight for that account is assigned to your representative.
In a UTXO-based cryptocurrency, BCH in particular, it is much more normal to use a separate subaddress for every incoming transaction. CashFusion on BCH works by taking all your different receive addresses and mixing the funds from those addresses together (along with the funds of many other people's subaddress sets). But on Nano it's different. Imagine you have an online store accepting Nano funds via BrainBlocks integration. If you receive 100 payments, you might have BrainBlocks forward them all to just one account that you own. But this makes it trivial for a customer to look at the block explorer and see all of your sales volume, which completely undermines your privacy.
In the context of something like BrainBlocks, it's easy to see how our e-commerce store could generate a new address for each transaction, and have BrainBlocks forward funds to that new address. Then we could run NanoFusion later to obscure the linkages between our individual sales. But what about addresses that are shared in public? Lots of people put up single Nano addresses to receive donations, etc. What does NanoFusion do with those? For NanoFusion to be most effective, a given user should NOT have just one input and one output account in the mix. It makes it too easy for their input and output accounts to be linked (at least to a moderate-to-high degree of probability) by the publicly visible amounts in the accounts.
For NanoFusion to be most effective, we need to develop a culture where it is normal for people to use a new address each time they receive some nano. How do we make it appealing for wallet developers to build their wallets this way? I don't really know. The only example of this pattern that I know is Nanonymous (https://github.com/LilleJohs/Nanonymous
). We could potentially implement something like stealth addresses, so that the user really gives out one canonical public address, but a different receive address is actually used for each transaction "under the hood". However, that adds a whole new layer of complexity. It means wallets have to be upgraded to know how to interact with a stealth address. API Design
Even if we could arrange things so that it was more common for individuals to have multiple input accounts to mix, we would still be left with another question. What would wallet developers want the API for NanoFusion to look like? By nature, NanoFusion requires a large number of messages to be sent back and forth between all of the mix participants. For security reasons, those messages cannot be sent all at once. Player A has to wait for Player B to send message 1 before it is safe (cryptographically) for Player A to reveal the content of message 2.
Where To From Here? Technical Reflections
Thinking through all of these practical challenges has given me a new perspective on the whole issue of cryptocurrency privacy protocols. I have a much greater respect for what has been achieved by the Monero project. In Monero, everyone actually uses
the privacy protocol. As described above, that is no small accomplishment. Even though the privacy protocols for Dash, ZCash, BTC and BCH do basically work, their use is not widespread. Even leaving aside the issue of the extra transaction fees incurred (which is not such a problem for Nano), these optional privacy protocols are just not that convenient to use. Because not everyone uses them, the anonymity set is not nearly as large as it could be. And because not everyone uses them, transactions you do before and after a mix/fusion event leak metadata which can be used to undermine the privacy that you gained by using the privacy protocol in the first place.
Inevitably, NanoFusion will also suffer from this problem. Suppose that 20% of the Nano community starts regularly participating in fusions (a very generous estimate, given the low adoption rate of optional privacy features in the other cryptocurrencies mentioned). That still leaves the large majority of transactions probably re-using addresses most of the time. This means that the non-private majority will leak fresh metadata whenever they interact with accounts that were previously obscured through NanoFusion. This is not an easy problem to overcome. It can only be done with a culture shift towards ubiquitous privacy, and that can probably only be achieved by all major wallets agreeing to enable privacy features by default. Not an easy hill to climb. Personal Circumstances
For the sake of transparency, I also want to mention that I will be stepping back from NanoFusion for a while. This is simply a necessity of life. Our first child will be born in a few months. Once that happens, I will obviously have a lot going on and much less time available to work on these kinds of side projects. Between now and then, I need to focus on other projects which have more potential to generate some income for my little family. I'm a dad now(!), and my family comes first.
I'm very glad to have (hopefully) contributed some useful groundwork for the process of bringing privacy to Nano. This project also gave me the chance to learn some new technologies at a much deeper level, I'm grateful that too. Neverthless, for the foreseeable future, I'll be stepping back. I don't make that decision lightly. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into bringing NanoFusion this far, so I definitely hope it doesn't just fall by the wayside. I hope others will pick it up and run with it in my absence. Call to Action
Want to make NanoFusion happen? Here's what we really need next:
- Wallet Developers - we need you to speak up. Tell us, what would an ideal NanoFusion API look like? How can we make it as easy as possible for you to integrate NanoFusion into your wallet app? What programming language do you want to use to consume that API? What I would love to see is several wallet developers collaborating together to create a document describing their ideal API. That will make it much easier for potential developers to pick it up and start implementing it.
As always, details of the project are available at http://nanofusion.casa
(including demo videos, technical whitepaper and the link to the GitHub repo).
God bless everyone, thank you to all those who have followed along and offered so much encouragement for this project.
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The original guide that was recently deleted here: https://www.reddit.com/studentloandefaulters/comments/cg1fd7/student_loan_default_a_guide/ I take no credit for this post, just happened to have it saved in a document and thought I'd be doing an injustice by not sharing this information once I saw the original post was missing! All credit goes to the original author, and without further ado... submitted by
Student Loan Default: A Guide
I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and seeing that person be in $500,000 of debt and no one really helping him on studentloans
, I felt it was time to summarize everything I’ve learned. While there is great information on this sub, it is not centralized. It requires some digging. I hope now to bring all of it to the surface.
When a borrower realizes that he or she can spend less money by not paying a loan. The borrower waits out the statute of limitations and then either settles or waits the debt out.
People who are paid to prevent the spread of student loan default information
Statute of Limitations:
The number of years your state requires before a debt can no longer be collected.
The poor person who is just as legally required to pay your loans as you are
Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion:
A tax rule that states any US citizen can earn up to about $100,000 a year in another country and report their US taxes as 0.
When a party tries to move assets to someone else in order to avoid a lien on their property.
Essentially when the government slaps a bill onto your property forcing you to pay off a debt before you can sell the property.
Income Based Repayment (IBR):
Federal loans can be paid with 15% of your discretionary income (money earned after taxes) instead of a higher, unpayable amount
Aggregate Student Loan Limit:
The total amount a student can take out before the federal government or a private lender stops authorizing new loans
When a court forces your employer to take out a certain percentage of your paycheck to pay back a debt
When the government or a court takes all of the money directly out of your bank account to pay a debt
Loans that originate from anyone but the federal government. These loans have a statute of limitations and less power but higher interest rates.
These loans have no statute of limitations, the government can collect anything you earn to get these back, and they come with IBR which is manageable
The worst private lender on the market. They only offer deferment for four short years.
A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest accrues.
A period where you do not have to pay your student loans, but interest does not accrue.
A number that tells people how responsible of a borrower you are.
Student Loan Tax Bomb:
After you have paid for 10 - 25 years on your federal loans, you are forgiven the rest. That is considered income by the IRS. You then add this “income” to your regular income for the year and pay the tax. It can be over $10,000.
When you are unable to pay your debts. This works well for defusing the student loan tax bomb.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness:
If you work for 10 years at a government job, you can get your entire federal student loan balance forgiven. In 2019, the feds are making it near impossible to collect. This could change.
A note on cosigners before we begin:
Look, your cosigner is probably going to be very mad at you. Prepare for your relationship to be strained. You need to try and get them on the same page as you, and I do offer a tactic here to at least shift all of the financial burden off of your cosigner below. If you decide to do any of these tactics without getting your cosigner off the hook, there could be more risk involved if you or your cosigners have a lot of assets.
Student loan default is a strategy. And to have a good strategy, one must plan as much as possible. You have to know all of your options. While strategy is your overall game plan, tactics are the individual options you have to get your strategy accomplished. Below are the tactics that you can employ to beat the student loan companies.
Paying Your Loans:
[low risk] In the rare chance you have anywhere between $1,000 to $20,000 in federal student loans and you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should probably just pay the damn loans. All you have to do is set up an auto debit and forget about it. It will be about 15% of your income. You really want to try and avoid consolidating if you can, because it will count against some of your IBR payments. You would also lose your grace period if you did this. At the end of 10 to 25 years, you will be forgiven all of the loan amount you did not pay. That forgiven amount is considered income by the IRS, so you will be put into a higher tax bracket. I would get an accountant when this comes. In your case, your tax bomb will be low enough where you could probably just pay it. If you want to really shake things up though, you are welcome to try either the Asset Creation Tactic or the Madlad Method below. Here is more information on Income Based Repayment: https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/repayment-plans/income-based-repayment-plan/
Default Private IBR Federal (Staying Put):
[low risk] The standard strategy here on studentloandefaulters
. As mentioned above, for the federal loans, it’s best to just IBR and automatically debit your bank account each month and forget about it. For the private loans, this is where the game begins. Your overall plan here is to default, wait out the statute of limitations in your home state, and either settle the debt for less than 30% or just hope they leave you alone and you don’t pay at all. From this moment on, whatever you would have paid for your private monthly bill, sock that money away. Once you go past 120 days of no payments, you are in default. This is where the phone calls come in. They will start to harass you. They will call your work, your cell phone, your cosigner, etc relentlessly. Most likely, they’ll start doing this before you get to default. As they call you, you can either just give them the cold shoulder or start immediately acting like you do not own the debt. Never admit that you own the debt. Tell them you think they are crazy and have the wrong person. Inform your cosigner to do the same. Once your loans are sold to a collection agency, wait until they call you and ask for verification of the debt. If they do not provide it, you won. Chances are, they will be able to verify it, so just make sure you never admit to the debt on the phone or make a payment. If you make a payment, you’ll reset the statute of limitations. Do not give them five dollars, two dollars, a penny. If they do sue you, show up for court. Get a lawyer if you can afford it. You have to show up to court, or they win automatically. Even if you don’t have a lawyer in court, you need to make them verify the debt. You could still lose here. If you do lose in court, go to my tactic of “The Cat and Mouse Game.” They are playing a numbers game, and if you are harder to sue than John Smith down the street, they may prey on him or her instead of you. Now, there are four states in the United States that do not have wage garnishment: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. You could move there, and if you have barely any assets, you are considered judgement proof. This means you’re not worth the time to be sued, because you have nothing to take and cannot be garnished. Moving is hard, though, so that’s a personal decision. Also, from what I understand, if you do move to these states, you can switch your statute of limitations over to their states which may be less time until you cannot be sued anymore. If you do lose and just want to stop here, you could get your bank levied and you could be slapped with up to a 25% wage garnishment until paid in full Clarification: a lot of people do not ever get garnished, and bank levies are rare (they are non-existent on federal loans). Do not let this freak you out!. I repeat this is super rare and not likely to happen. Anyways, you have options at this point. If it does happen, try another tactic like leave the country or cat and mouse below.
Default Private Default Federal:
[medium risk] Some of the wilder people have attempted to default on both federal and private loans in order to do a cash settlement. The same strategy above in Default Private IBR Federal applies, but realize that the US government could just step in and do an administrative garnish on you eventually. If you were living some sort of cash existence, you could potentially avoid them and then write them a money order and settle for 30% or something. This way, you avoid the tax bomb and would probably pay a lot less interest overall. If you do this and it works, I would love to hear about it.
Cat and Mouse:
[medium risk] So, you want to avoid getting sued or you lost a judgement? You don’t have to sit back and take it. u/nowaysalliemae
has successfully avoided being sued by essentially going on the run. You see, to be sued successfully, they need to know where you work. If you get sued, move to another state, and switch jobs, they have to do the entire process over again! This means find you, verify the debt, sue you, etc. You can essentially do this until your statute of limitations runs out. And then, you dispute the debt on your credit score. They take it off at that point, and you just saved a lot of money. I decided to put this as medium risk, because moving around a lot would require some luck. Especially since you would need to work wherever you go, there are a lot of moving parts here. I think it is totally doable, and if you are an adventurous personality type, it could be a lot of fun. This only works for the private student loan side, because the US government has a lot more power. You would still IBR your federal loans on this tactic. For more information, go through nowaysalliemae's post history.
Leave the Country:
[medium risk] What if you want to avoid all of this altogether? Do you want a reset button on your life? You can just leave the country and start over. Seriously. Your credit score does not follow you across countries. The federal government cannot garnish your paycheck if you work internationally. You are not a criminal doing this. Furthermore, there is something called the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. Since you will still IBR your federal loans on this plan, as long as you make less than $100,000 in another country, your US income is zero. This means you just got a free education while you make money in another country. Once you pay zero for 25 years, you will have to defuse your student tax bomb. Tactic Below. Private companies do not stand a chance here. There are countries in the commonwealth such as Australia and Canada that are more willing to take you in if you meet certain requirements. You could teach English at a bunch of places. You could apply for residency at these places or be a perpetual tourist. A perpetual tourist is someone who essentially moves to a new country, goes to a neighboring country for a weekend, and then goes back to that new country they are trying to start a new life in*. This in no means you have to go back to the U.S. Ever. For example, you want to live in Panama forever, every 90 days, you take a weekend trip to Nicaragua. You come back to Panama after the weekend is over and get another 90 day pass. Rinse and repeat. This gives you another 90 days in your country of choice. If you make money on the internet, this strategy would work pretty well. You can just be a perpetual tourist or marry someone in another country and start a new life. This will not be a good fit for everyone, but there’s something exciting about this. If you are young, single, and restless, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. Here's more info on being a perpetual traveler and the FEIE: https://www.escapeartist.com/blog/perpetual-traveler-us-tax-code/
Suspend Payment Without More Debt:
[low risk] So recently, it has been brought to my attention that there is a community college, Luna Community College (in Las Vegas, NM), that has tuition so low you could go half time all year for about 684 dollars. They have a small amount of associate's degrees. If you just want to stop paying without taking any more loans, this would be the way to do it. You could do this for many years. Luna Community College's tuition matrix: https://luna.edu/tuition_matrix
Convert Private Loans to Federal:
[low risk] From this point on, these are my special tactics I’ve been thinking about. They might work really well for some people. So, you have a bunch of federal loans and a good amount of private loans. You don’t want to fight debt collectors or move around. Try this. This plan only works if you have a bachelor’s degree though. Anyways, there is a special loan offered by the US Federal Government called the Graduate Plus Loan. This loan is incredible, because there is no aggregate student loan limit. In other words, you can borrow as much money as you want here. Even a million dollars no questions asked. All you need is no delinquency or default on your credit report. If you do have these things, you can get a cosigner in on the plan. They won’t ever be responsible anyways because you will defuse the tax bomb at the end. This works to your advantage, because you could go back to school at the graduate level, get a diploma mill master’s degree online, use your room and board payment to start paying off your private loans ASAP. Just make sure you are doing whatever your school considers half time enrollment in order to avoid student loan payments while doing this. Once you’ve gone to school long enough and converted all of your private loans to grad plus loans, you could just go on an IBR plan. This will at least make your life manageable. You would have to defuse your student tax bomb once this is over. Tactic below.
Convert Federal Loans to Private:
[medium risk] So, what if you wanted to go the opposite way? Maybe you want to convert all of your federal loans to private ones, default, and then leave the country? Hey, maybe there are reasons you want to hurry up the settlement process. You could essentially do the same strategy as above, but instead just borrow from Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo, etc until all of your federal loans are paid off. Then, either cat and mouse or leave the country. I don’t think a lot of people would find a use for this, but hey who knows?
Asset Creation Method:
[high risk] What if you wanted to not just pay off your loans but get ahead in life? Maybe you feel like using your student loan debt to your advantage. Thanks to the work done by u/BinaryAlgorithm
, you could really come out on top here. Remember those Grad Plus loans we were talking about? Well, there’s nothing stopping you from continually borrowing all year on these loans, investing the room and board, and acting as if you do not have the debt in the first place. While I had originally said that rental property does not count as income, I cannot find any documentation proving this. You can still invest this money however you want, and you just defuse the tax bomb at the end (if anyone can find that documentation, please let me know). I did find that rental properties offer a lot of ways to reduce your adjusted gross income (management fees, advertising, etc), and these could reduce your income closer to zero. We’re not done here. Moreover, you could get a job that qualifies for Public Student Loan Forgiveness, enjoy your investments, and then pay for the 10 years. Be sure to convert all loans to federal before starting this tactic. I only put this as high risk, because the whole plan falls apart if Grad Plus loans get capped. Will they? Probably not, because those are the loans doctors and lawyers take out to go to their professional schools. It would take an act of congress to change the way the law stands now, but still, you should know that. This plan spans decades, so a lot can change. Also, having this many installment loans may lower your credit score over a multitude of years, but based on what everyone has found out here, it's not by much. For more information, go to this subreddit's search bar and type in "aggregate" and go look at BinaryAlgorithm's two posts on the subject.
Defusing the Student Tax Bomb:
[low risk] So lucky for you, I talked to an actual lawyer and an actual IRS agent about this. This is completely legal and doable. Okay, so you were a good person and paid your IBR for 25-30 years. What now? Well, you’re about to be hit hard with a tax bomb. All of that money that is now forgiven counts as income on your taxes. This could mean a bill in the tens of thousands if you combined this with any of the other methods here—or just borrowed a lot to begin with. Luckily for us, there is something called insolvency. This means you are unable to pay your debts, and there is a really simple formula for whether or not you are insolvent. As long as you have more liabilities than assets at the time of student loan forgiveness, you are considered insolvent. In other words, right before you are about to be forgiven, like year 24 out of 25, you would take out a loan on something. All you would need to do is buy a house, buy a car, or buy something with a huge price tag. As long as your liabilities are way higher than your assets (like aim for 100K or something more), you are considered insolvent and you don’t have to pay any of the tax bomb. Boom. The IRS agent said this is fine. The lawyer said this is fine. I cannot believe this is fine. Where could you get the money to borrow for a house? Check Asset Creation method above. You could always sell the asset after the tax bomb is dealt with. For more information on defusing the student loan tax bomb: https://lawyerist.com/defusing-student-loan-interest-tax-bomb/
Getting Your Cosigner Off the Hook:
So 90% of us have cosigners based on some statistic I read. These people are going to pissed at you, because they get harassed. If you have a lot of time to plan your strategy out, you can simply convert all of your private loans to federal ones. They are no longer responsible. The plan is above. Check out “Convert Private Loans to Federal.” Furthermore, if you are attempting to go the default route with private loans, you could potentially get your cosigner off the hook by refinancing your student loans without the cosigner. After you refinance, you could just default then. You would need good credit and meet certain requirements for this. Also, if you plan on defaulting, you might want to get your cosigner to transfer their assets to their spouse or someone trustworthy. Even though liens are rare, this could give you some peace of mind. As long as about 3-5 years go by, this is no longer considered a fraudulent transfer. Your state will have certain rules about this. If you are from Florida, apparently houses are untouchable there. You will need a lawyer to plan the asset transfer. At the same time, you may not be able to get your cosigner off the hook. Make peace with that. Student loans are brutal, so all you can really do is educate yourself and your cosigner and hope you come out on top.
[high risk] Now, here comes my personal plan. This is what I’m doing, because I want to live a life on my terms and not really work for anyone my entire life. I’m also not a normal person, so this will probably appear crazy to some or most of you. So at this point, if you understand all of the methods before you, you are a powerful player in the student loan circus. You can do anything from fight the man to maliciously comply and bankrupt the system while becoming upper-middle class. I don’t really care for any of that. I want to go to a tropical paradise and make music for 20 years, so here is my interpretation of everything. I have some federal loans and private loans. I net about 25K a year through the Grad Plus loans, and I work about 4 hours a week in the online classroom. I take that federal loan money, and I sock away a few hundred every month to save up for my private loan settlement in about five years. Since I save 300 every month, I’ll have about 18K in 5 years when I go into default. I will settle ASAP. At the same time, I will continue to go to diploma mill universities, get master's degree after master’s degree, and move to a Latin American country where the cost of living is even lower. This way, my 25K a year puts me in the upper class of that country. I can live where I want and really do whatever I damn well please for as long as the Grad Plus loans are around. As an added bonus, I will already be starting a new life in another country where I can make connections and maybe even get married. I studied linguistics, so I know how to teach English. I can do that if I want a source of income anywhere. So there is my plan, and honestly, one day we might get someone in office who just wipes out all of this debt anyways. If that’s the case, I can just play the waiting game until all of this is over. Here are the rules on adverse credit history and Grad Plus loans: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/plus-adverse-credit.pdf
Defaulting on student loans is not immoral or a sin. It is a business decision. Everyone else gets bailouts, why should student borrowers be any different? You’re going to have to ignore the people who tell you why they think you should be a good little slave and pay your loans. Those people are not your friends. Those people are not on your side. Some of the best advice I ever received in life was you have to do what’s best for you. Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this or would like to challenge, please let me know. I want this to be as accurate as possible. I will be looking at this perpetually to make sure there are no errors. Take care. Good luck. You can do this.