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I've reached the extent that I think I can tell this story. This is my experience with the cult
Introduction I am hesitant to begin writing about these memories, and for two reasons. The first is out of fear - fear of retaliation. You see, I was taken advantage of by a cult that I escaped a few years ago in the summer of 2018. I wasn’t involved for long - ten months - but that wasn’t the end of the cult’s influence on me, as they cleverly had a previously unaffiliated visitor contact me and try to bring me back during the period afterwards. I believe they are still keeping tabs on be covertly, but this may just be my paranoid nature. For nearly the entire first year afterwards, I was always looking over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. They definitely have an interest in roping me back into the fold, as you will see how sociopathic these people are. I’m still traumatized, and although I have healed a great deal from these trials, there is still lingering conditioning that causes me panic attacks and anxiety, which exemplifies my schizoaffective disorder. I attribute much of the reason I’m houseless now to the combination of my mental health and trauma caused by this group. The second reason I am hesitant to begin writing is also out of fear, but this is instead a fear of not being able to deliver on my promise to expose this cult. I know I have the ability to write about my account, but will it be good enough? Will I be throwing these words into the electronic ocean like so many others with little effect on the world? I feel that no matter how hard I try, I will be unable to capture the cult’s devious acts in such a way to convey what it was like for me, a vulnerable individual, to be slowly turned into an obedient slave. Inadequacy. This is an important piece of my psychology. After watching my mother decay and die for the first nine years of my life, followed by being raised by an abusive, narcissistic father, I have a profound feeling of inadequacy ruling me. I never feel like I am good enough; that I have to self-sacrifice - to the point where I believed I had to be as good as Jesus Christ - in order to achieve a passable level of human adequacy. The cult took advantage of these feelings in spades and left me a shell of who I was previously. Fortunately, the period of houselessness that has extended the last year or so of my life has been a radically transformative period where I feel able to step out from barriers that previously trapped me. I feel freer than I ever have been, and to be honest, I owe a lot to the cult for pushing me to my breaking point and learning where my boundaries are. In fact, I don’t believe I could have stepped away from the denial of having a feminine side if it weren’t for the ridiculousness of how far I was pushed. Now, I stand strong, ready to accomplish this mission life has presented me. It is my basic civic duty to tell my story and warn the public about this group and others who prey on vulnerable individuals in an unstable socioeconomic period. They deliberately attract people who are vulnerable for personal or financial reasons. For instance, there was a flat-earther from Belgium who was here illegally that got roped into our group by being attracted to the messages of sovereignty and their abundance of kooky new age beliefs. They even tried to get me to recruit more members using the same strategies they hooked me with - which is standard cult behavior. This leads right into how I got involved with the cult in the first place. Part of it is my fault, as I was young and naive. I still am, but now I have the wisdom to not throw myself out there for any group to start manipulating. There are many people who can be drawn into their preying behavior, and it is important that I elaborate on how easy it is to get duped, so others don’t follow in my footsteps. As you will see, the group was bizarre in many ways. I want to start off by saying that I did not join an organization of pee-drinkers who practiced blood-magick on the side of Main Street. Instead, I started working for a nonprofit that promised to change the world, and appeared to have the ability to do that. The weirdness grew exponentially over time, gradually as they conditioned us to accept their way of life. On my own end, I wanted to join an intentional community; one where everyone involved works towards a singular end as one unit. I longed for the camaraderie and an alternate way of life. I wanted something different than what - as the cult called the common culture - “The Matrix,” or “Babylon” offered. There are such communities, but because of devious groups like this, everyone needs to be cautious when attempting to find them. I still seek to find or create an alternative lifestyle for myself where I can live amongst my brothers and sisters away from the mass-produced consumer culture of the world. It’s been a hell of a journey, but I am happy where I am now. If anything, the group taught me that self-love is our first love; if the gardener does not take care of themselves, then who takes care of the garden? With my efforts to find such a community as I wanted, it was inevitable that some group would have sunk their teeth into me. I am grateful that I was able to recognize the far-flung insanity that I was trapped in and escape. Now I just need to focus on recovering and helping others who may be searching for the same things I am. Chapter 1 It all started early in 2017. I was working on reverse networking, like trying to place a letter on someone’s shoes to let them know I exist. I was hoping to find a project I could use my skills as a writer and juggler by broadcasting who I was on our small online community, The Shrug Life Syndicate, on Reddit. I was so desperate to find such a community that fit my ideals and goals that I didn’t even conceive that someone could be watching in order to learn about me. They first posted a link to their site on our community’s board, when they were still going by the Awakening Sovereignty Collective. To best understand how I perceived them initially, you have to understand that I was lost in what we at the Shrug Life Syndicate call the synchronicity slip stream. An aspect of my schizoaffective disorder, I often get lost in various series of synchronicities that form a coherent narrative that compels me to behave differently than I otherwise would. It is an amazing feature of my mental health for creativity and finding alternative solutions to problems, but it can be debilitating when trying to fit in to the normal world. When the ASC posted, I believed applying on their website was the obvious thing I should do in order to accomplish my cosmic mission. Well, nothing happened at first, and I forgot about them until several months later until I received an email stating I was hired. This came after a series of strange tasks from anonymous accounts that seemed to be tests to see if I was as capable of a writer as I portrayed myself as being. I remember one test was to see if I could write a sales pitch for “Unicorn Poop,” an edible snack with a humorous twist. I don’t have any proof that these two events are connected, but it definitely tripped my radar as odd that they happened one after another, and nothing ever came from the sales tasks. Having passed their tests, I began working with them online. It was a slow process, as there wasn’t a lot of work right out the gate, but there was a lot to learn. Their websites were many in number and often confusing. I had difficulty navigating them and almost quit trying within days of getting started. I remember crumbling back into my addictive nature one night as the wailing cries of depression came roaring back with my initial perceived failure. If I were not partially psychotic, believing the universe was guiding me to the salvation I sought, then that would have been the end of it. Many other people seemed to have given up while I was still new to working for them. If I were to guess, I would say that this was deliberate on their part in order to weed out only people like me, who were in some way desperate to be a part of the group. With only a small number of desperate people finding their way into the clutches of these people, it must be easier to control them as well. The ASC promised a new way of life for anyone seeking it. They claimed to be a planetary alliance that was helping ecovillages, nonprofits, conscious businesses, and individual change agents. They were working on a cryptocurrency and software suite that would help communities better serve the world. This was at the peak of the bitcoin bubble, where many people unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies were trying to get in on the hype. They touted a number of figures and claims which ultimately turned out to be false or otherwise misrepresentative of the truth, but in the moment I believed everything they were shoveling. It was easy for them to sell the idea and project as they were all natural sales personalities. I attended a lot of meetings, particularly with the writer’s team, and started to get to know the people behind the project. In the moment, they appeared to be down-to-Earth and relatable, but highly conscious individuals who really cared about the world and were motivated to do the work necessary to make the changes needed for the planet. In hindsight, they really only cared about money, and were playing a part to catch people like me. The leader was named Dakota, if that was his real name (I believe most of the main group had adopted a second name to hide who they really were). He was a young man claiming to have graduated high school at ten, and he founded a company known as STADA which was facilitating much if not all of the software needs of the ASC. He was brilliant, but I believe most of his brilliance was self-generated through his ability to sell himself as more than he really was. He always acted like a millionaire who was going to change the world, which made it easy for him to sell the project to people like me. The co-leader was named Lila. She was a cheerful person who always had something positive to add to the conversation. While working with her, I found this to be a powerful part of her personality. It was hard to say no to her, as she had a motherly vibe and she strategically would ask you to do things that left you feeling compelled to help her, for the good of the project. She first won me over by claiming to run a retreat center for circus skills. I only heard of this in the beginning of my journey with the group, so I believe it may have been a bogus means to shift my opinion of them. The leader of the writer’s team was named Teahna, who was beautiful and knew how to use her womanly charm to influence others. She seemed to be new to the project as well, having recently written her first book, and my time working with her online seemed to be a learning experience for both of us. I believe this was also planned, so that I would have some support learning what I was supposed to be doing on the various websites that seemed to pile up more and more as time went on. The work was easy at first. There were no assignments or anything like that. It was all pile work - as in, just grab a shovel and get paid for what you move. As a writer, I naturally gravitated to the writers team’s tasks, but I also helped with the education team and the core tasks of the group. Mostly I wrote articles and website content for them, but I also wrote fake twitter bios, social media posts, and began working on their constitution/manifesto before arriving at their headquarters. I was making good money, both in real dollars and their own cryptocurrency, Equality Keys. They claimed we could trade their currency for real money at any time, which turned out to be a lie. They often only let us exchange it at certain times at a reduced value. But, I was naive enough to believe that the numbers on my screen were real and meant I was doing good. It wasn’t long before I earned upwards of thousands of dollars worth of their currency, which was promised to rise in value as the project continued to grow and evolve. After a few weeks working with them, they began toying with a name change to Earth Nation. I believe this is a key part of their method of staying under the radar. By changing names and projects frequently, they never gather enough clout to be exposed as the charlatans that they are. They would later create a new project known as Earth Cycle, and there was a tentacle organization we got hooked into after our stay with the main group called Lovecycle. In regards to the latter, I will never forget the name Lovecycle, as that is when the bulk of bizarre and traumatic events occured. This is around the same time that my girlfriend at the time began helping out as well. We worked together as a writer and artist combo, and they were initially excited to have another person joining to help. There was some friction though, such as bluntly being told they had no need for an artist at this time after they welcomed her onboard, and there were moments where it seemed like they did not want her to be a part of the project. As they turned her and I against each other much later in our odyssey with them, I think this must have been deliberate to sow the seeds of conflict between us. Again, this is classic cult behavior. I regret bringing her into the whole thing, as she is no doubt as traumatized as I am. What really allowed me to lose myself in the hope of the project was the possibility to do exactly as I dreamed: travel with a caravan, juggle at festivals, help sell whatever my girlfriend and others made, and write gonzo journalism about what Earth Nation was doing. One of the main draws of the group was that they advertised in the meetings about how they had a proposal system, where anyone could come with their plan and it could be voted on to be given resources. They were interested in my idea (how much of that was just gaslighting me to believe I’ve found the perfect gig, I don’t know), and wanted me to do some journalism about my experiences moving to their headquarters just outside Eugene, Oregon - on the other side of the country. My girlfriend and I were ecstatic at the idea of starting a new life on the west coast. It was the dream we both shared, to abandon the broken world we knew and join something better. We began preparing for the move, sold all of our stuff, and eventually took off from the airport with only three bags to our name. It was a leap of faith, and we were never happier to embrace our dreams and begin to live a much more interesting life. Chapter 2 We left on October 25th, about a couple months after I first began working for the ASC. It was an amazing trip that we thought would represent our rebirth. I remember arriving at the airport feeling as though I was leaving a part of my past behind. I felt a wave of solemn emptiness and fear over this, but I have since learned such feelings are common with change of this magnitude. Mostly, I felt joy that a new chapter of my life was unfolding before my eyes. It was a time where it seemed like we had infinite potential right at our fingertips. Who knew what would actually go down over the coming months? We were grateful for the opportunity and happy about the change. My girlfriend even changed her name to Awen to start over fresh as a new person. I still stuck with my birth name, Gregory, but eventually I would start going by the name Rory after having been pressured to by the group. I remember looking out the window while Awen took pictures of everything we flew over. It was a trip in itself to see the world from such an angle. I was amazed at the number of wind farms in the middle of the country. Likewise, the closer we got to our destination, the more mountainous the ground beneath us became. The change in scenery would pale in comparison with the change in the culture of the west coast - one of the main reasons I now consider Portland my new home. Landing in Eugene’s airport, we were regaled with Ducks memorabilia. This was a pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten that this was where an old hero from my track days, Steve Prefontaine, used to run. This made me feel hopeful while waiting for Teahna and Prism, the leader of the educational team. I remember pacing the entrance hall of the airport with a giddy smile stretching from ear to ear. This was it, I told myself: I had finally found my new home. After a long day of airline travel, we were eventually picked up in Prism’s van. We were met with hugs and smiles, which rejuvenated us after the natural stress of the trip. We chatted the entire way back to Triangle Lake, where their headquarters supposedly was. Both Awen and I were antsy while being shaken back and forth while sitting on Prism’s bed for the duration of the drive. I distinctly remember the beautiful colors of the autumn trees as we drove past. This last little bit of our trip took roughly forty-five minutes, but it felt like we were pulling up to the headquarters in an instant. I caught a glimpse of a sign as we pulled into the long driveway: Circle of Children. This would be where we stayed for the first two months. The area was gorgeous. Giant trees covered in green moss extended as far as the eye could see. With the abundance of fern-life, it reminded me of a Jurassic paradise. Out the cracked window of the van, I could hear tree frogs chirping in harmony. It was certainly something out of another world compared to the east coast. We stopped in front of the main office - the only building with wifi. If I were to graph the amount of access to the internet we had across the ten months we were involved, it would have a steady, negative slope. Of course, while being conditioned by the group, it was barely noticed, as we grew less dependent on the internet as time went on. We were never barred from the outside world - in fact we interacted with it regularly - but the idea of leaving was made so impossibly far outside the bounds of possible choices through a long series of scripted events. Which is why the entire beginning of our stay at the Triangle Lake Convention Center seemed like something out of a fantasy paradise. Everything, from the overarching narrative we were fed, to the day-to-day interactions, was designed to win us over, gaslight us, and manipulate us emotionally by using our traumas against us. In the aftermath of the whole escapade, I learned that this is the type of manipulation that cults use to prevent members from seeing reason while keeping them docile, obedient work horses for the greater project, whatever it may be. It is clear to me now that Earth Nation and all tentacle organizations are a purely criminal enterprise - a money-making machine for those at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even though we were supposedly a DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization - there were clearly people who were centralized leaders profiting from everything the group did. And everybody played their roles well upon our arrival. We were greeted with another barrage of hugs as we got out of the van. Everybody was excited to finally meet us in person, as were we to meet them. We chatted with Dakota and Lila for some time outside of the office. They were the exact same as their online personas. In the moment, this gave us a sense that these people were genuine, but in hindsight it serves as a reminder that anyone can create a convincing character and play them whenever they want - even if they choose to never take their deceptive masks off. We were then shown where we would be staying. Up the hill and to the left we drove until we were in front of Carmen Hall. It was a quaint dorm-style lodging with a large common area and a small kitchenette. Many nights were spent in the common room with the others who were staying in the building. Because we were a couple, we were given the largest room with its own bathroom. That’s another thing that changed in a downward slope: our living quarters. Over the course of the ten months we were with them, we were downgraded from having our own space, to sharing space, to living in a tent. And again, because of the conditioning, we were fine with the change. Sometime during the early evening, we went back down to the dining hall and kitchen which was across the way from the main office. Here, we met a variety of characters, including Tuva, a humble appearing guy with a large social network he brought with him to the project, and Daniella, who would turn out to be mommy dearest as she was the sole woman controlling us for the majority of our adventure on the west coast. A Brazillian native, she was as good of a manipulator as she was a cook, and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal on our first night in Oregon. Before the night was up, we went behind the kitchen to smoke with a man named Grizzly; a wild looking man who mostly kept quiet but had a mouth to use if he needed it. It was the first time we smoked in Oregon and it felt liberating to finally be in a legal state. But, as freeing and fun as being able to smoke whenever we wanted, I believe the abundance of weed we were constantly fed was a means to keep us docile. Daniella always made sure we had some weed, and would frequently smoke with us. I feel I would have been able to say something as things changed if I were not dependent on the constant stream of marijuana. Afterwards, we went back to Carmen Hall with a couple of members who also stayed there, and Daniella performed a pendulum reading for me and my girlfriend. Holding a crystal on a chain, she “read” the direction it spun as she brought it up in alignment with our chakras. She was spot on and I wanted to say that she had excellent observation skills, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s beliefs, especially my girlfriend who considered herself a mystic and bought into the act. That night we cuddled in our room, smiling as wide as our mouths could. We had done it - we successfully started our new lives and were going to be a part of something we still had yet to fully comprehend. Everything was new and exciting, and while we were overjoyed, we were glad we had each other because things were still scary. If only we had known then how scary things would become. Chapter 3 The next morning, we showered, dressed, and went down to the kitchen. There was a slight fog in the air, and we saw a family of deer in a clearing off the road. We would see this family of deer several times during out stay at Triangle Lake, which greatly enthused my girlfriend. She said they were a symbol of wisdom, and must be a good sign as we continued to be indoctrinated by the new age beliefs of the group. We were early, as our daily meetings were at ten and that is when most people started to show up at the office. But Grizzly was there, as he stayed at the nurses station that sat next to the main office. He offered us some dabs, which just further enforced our belief that this was a great group to be a part of. He also offered me a metal six-shooter pipe, which proved to be the main piece I would smoke out of for the entirety of our adventure. Breakfast consisted of whatever we could scrounge up. There was a huge walk-in freezer in the kitchen that hosted tons of food when we first got there. There were also a wide selection of dry foods such as figs and nuts. That whole selection would dwindle over time, as the group got everything as donations, usually by soliciting the local food pantries and the Eugene mission and much was close to their expiration dates. It was common to open the freezer and find something moldy. This was the first time I really interacted with Doran. Doran looked a lot like me - complete with similar beard and glasses - but had shorter, curlier, and darker hair. It was joked that “I was another you.” He appeared to be a really kind-hearted person, and we frequently went to him with problems. This is likely planned as well, to have someone to vent the frustrations we were experiencing as the project transitioned to something different than what we signed up for. I opened up to him before I did with other members, even asking for relationship advice as they tried turning Awen and I against each other between, and received what I now consider a long-standing act of being a good ear with standard advice from the group. Still, he was funny and I enjoyed making strange mixtures of food with him. As it neared ten, we shuffled to the office to have our meeting. The office had two rooms, and we were all huddled in a circle in one of them. This was nice during the coming months as it was also the only room with the heater. These meetings proved to be a main means to program us, as there were many exchanges that could have only been scripted. We would often talk about one thing, but there would be a subtopic that was teased that would change the meaning of the whole meeting in the context that I heard it. Often there would be some crosstalk in the kitchen beforehand, or something during the day that warped my understanding of what was said We were required to work thirty hours a week in order to receive our basic income of two hundred dollars a month, as per our agreements before moving to the headquarters. However, it wasn’t long before they duped us by saying the basic income would be used to cover our time staying at Triangle Lake. We weren’t able to fight it, because our tongues were tied by the desire to fit in and be accepted by the group. The ways that they changed things were gradual and deliberate, so that you would never really feel like you were getting taken advantage of. It was just a change, which was alright, because there was a world to save and we were the group who was going to get it done. That was one of the major ways they were able to get away with a lot of the back-pedaling of agreements - they would always have new, unexpected surprises waiting for us. It was gradual, but they introduced several new elements of communal living that required us to sacrifice more of our money and autonomy. They did this by having so-and-so nonchalantly bringing up these concerns in the meetings, then downplaying the resulting effects as something that should be expected, then agreeing with Dakota or Lila. Keeping track of my hours was a joke. For everything I did, I was told I should have taken less time in order to do. The criticism I received came tongue-in-cheek and constructive at first, but steadily devolved into a series of harsh critiques that would leave me distraught and unable to think clearly. I was still unmedicated back then, and my emotional state was as turbulent as a hurricane. They did similar things to my girlfriend, as Lila took her under her wing, treating her as her child in order to take advantage of her own trauma she had with her mother. If there was one thing these people really excelled at it is control. They figured us out quickly and efficiently and then used our traumas against us. Our second night there consisted of an informal group of the residents who stayed at Carmen Hall staring into each other’s eyes and then saying out loud what we felt at that moment. I remember staring at Daniella, who was a silhouette with the lamp directly behind her, and asking for healing. Something about the way she stared at me seemed to provoke a sense of trust and I felt that she would be able to help with a lot of the problems. That’s one way they won over us and got us to do whatever they wanted. They are experts at gaining people’s trust and then they take advantage of that fact. Through these scripted and planned events they were able to warp our realities to the point where we were already robotic slaves right off the bat. We certainly were eager to earn their approval and work our way to a position where we were seen as valuable members of the project. One of these planned events was Kukui’s birthday, which was just a few days after we got there. Kukui was a groundskeeper who had previously lived in Hawaii and was joked as being a ginger Jesus. He was an incredible person who really cared about the Earth. I have no idea if he was part of the manipulation or if he was there on similar beliefs that this was a group doing immense good in the world. Early on during the night’s preparation, Dakota and Lila walked up to us and asked if we wanted to go out to eat with them. This struck us as odd that they would abandon Kukui on his birthday, but we didn’t see it as too weird at the time. We struck up a conversation, where it was revealed that Dakota had two EBT cards from different states. One big hook they sunk into us was the idea that it was us versus the government. They managed to convince us that the institutions of the world were parasitic - which they usually are - but did it in such a way that made us feel like we were in a spiritual war against the bad boogie men of the world. And they managed this by gradually exposing us to more and more deliberate acts of defiance, in order to manifest our own sovereignty against the parasitic government. It’s what led to us accepting some of their more diabolic schemes. For instance, there was talk about building a village in Ava, Missouri, moving all their people in, and then taking over the mayorship. They chose Missouri for this plan due to the different building codes of the state. In the moment, this seemed like a brilliant plan for expanding the influence of Earth Nation, but in hindsight appears to be a dystopian means to increase their power and continue taking advantage of people. These were little seeds they planted that made us more comfortable with doing certain things that we otherwise wouldn’t. Awen was particularly uncomfortable with many of the things we did, but eventually they did get her to help out with their schemes. By keeping us under fear and gradually conditioning us, they were able to make us obedient as we were always looking out for our immediate survival. Fear. That is an emotion I am now excessively familiar with as a result of this cult. While I have battled paranoia all my life, they took those primal emotions and twisted them to the point that I had no idea which way was up. Each day gradually became a battle while being on high alert, as I constantly scrambled to overcome whatever artificial set-backs were planted in my way and keep up with the workload that was presented to me. My first exposure to this form of emotional manipulation came during Halloween. The night began jovially as Doran wore a plastic bag as a costume and invented a new dance that we all participated in. Daniella was preparing a large meal in the kitchen while we helped and played in rhythm to one another. The dinner we shared was only part of the night’s events that would change my life completely. After dinner, Awen and I went back to our room and talked about what we wanted to do that night. The rest of the group was still down at the dining hall and preparing for a fun night of festivities. Awen was not opposed to me going, but she was and still is a pagan and wanted to celebrate her ancestors as per the tradition of Samhain. I debated spending the night with her, but the opportunity to spend time with these new people in our life made me curious as to what they would be doing. I will also admit that I was much more controlled by my addictive nature and was excited to drink with them. So down I went. As I entered the dining hall, I saw that they were drinking tequila and generally having a great time. Naturally, I joined in and took a shot. Jovial times were had, and some time later I was offered another shot, but I did not see them pour this one. This turned out to be a crucial mistake on my part as I would find out that there was something else, something with psychedelic qualities, in the drink. It was not LSD, as I am familiar with the effects of that drug, so I am at a loss for what it could have been. As the night went on I began to feel funny. It wasn’t until we were in a smoke circle that I began to notice something was wrong. I had trouble forming words and when Grizzly asked me a question all I could muster was a “hi!” This tripped me up and I went inside to go sit down. This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I was mostly left alone as I sat cross-legged on a mat on the floor, but eventually there were three other people sitting around me, with a bottle placed in the center of us. I remember Prism and Josh, a carpenter who was doing some work on the buildings at Triangle Lake, were two of the people surrounding me, but I don’t remember any of the conversation they were having. I just remember getting really spooked at that time and tried to leave. I don’t know how long it took me to get back to Awen, but I do remember the headlights of a vehicle coming down the hill as I was going up. It was late by the time I made it back in into Carmen Hall, which suggests that I have no memory of what happened after the apparent spin-the-bottle episode. My memory starts to get better as I remember lying there with Awen trying to articulate what was going on, but my words just spiraled into incomprehensible nonsense. She was worried for me, just as I was worried for myself. The next morning continued on as if nothing ever happened, but I was emotionally jostled for the next few days. Nothing was ever said about what happened the night before, and a part of me was terrified that something happened Because my mother had AIDS, and that is a terror I still battle to this day, I obsessed over the idea that Prism, who was HIV positive, may have done something with me. I’ve since been tested and everything’s fine, but for a while I was terrified that I was raped. Was that a rational or irrational fear? I’ll never know. What I do know is that they took advantage of my perturbed state by subtly twisting the knife in the following days with their synchronous set-ups, making me feel guilty that I did not choose to spend time with Awen that night, and thus making me work harder than ever before. Chapter 4 in comments
In the past weeks I heard a lot pros and cons about IOTA, many of them I believe were not true (I'll explain better). I would like to start a serious discussion about IOTA and help people to get into it. Before that I'll contribute with what I know, most things that I will say will have a source link providing some base content.
The pros and cons that I heard a lot is listed below, I'll discuss the items marked with *. Pros
Many users claim that the network infinitely scales, that with more transactions on the network the faster it gets. This is not entirely true, that's why we are seeing the network getting congested (pending transactions) at the moment (12/2017). The network is composed by full-nodes (stores all transactions), each full-node is capable of sending transactions direct to the tangle. An arbitrary user can set a light-node (do not store all transactions, therefore a reduced size), but as it does not stores all transactions and can't decide if there are conflicting transactions (and other stuff) it needs to connect to a full-node (bitifinex node for example) and then request for the full-node to send a transaction to the tangle. The full-node acts like a bridge for a light-node user, the quantity of transactions at the same time that a full-node can push to the tangle is limited by its brandwidth. What happens at the moment is that there are few full-nodes, but more important than that is: the majority of users are connected to the same full-node basically. The full-node which is being used can't handle all the requested transactions by the light-nodes because of its brandwidth. If you are a light-node user and is experiencing slow transactions you need to manually select other node to get a better performance. Also, you need to verify that the minimum weight magnitude (difficulty of the Hashcash Proof of Work) is set to 14 at least. The network seems to be fine and it scales, but the steps an user has to make/know are not friendly-user at all. It's necessary to understand that the technology envolved is relative new and still in early development. Do not buy iota if you haven't read about the technology, there is a high chance of you losing your tokens because of various reasons and it will be your own fault. You can learn more about how IOTA works here. There are some upcoming solutions that will bring the user-experience to a new level, The UCL Wallet (expected to be released at this month, will talk about that soon and how it will help the network) and the Nelson CarrIOTA (this week) besides the official implementations to come in december.
We all know that currently (2017) IOTA depends on the coordinator because the network is still in its infancy and because of that it is considered centralized by the majority of users. The coordinator are several full-nodes scattered across the world run by the IOTA foundation. It creates periodic Milestones (zero value transactions which reference valid transactions) which are validated by the entire network. The coordinator sets the general direction for the tangle growth. Every node verifies that the coordinator is not breaking consensus rules by creating iotas out of thin air or approving double-spendings, nodes only tells other nodes about transactions that are valid, if the Coordinator starts issuing bad Milestones, nodes will reject them. The coordinator is optional since summer 2017, you can choose not implement it in your full-node, any talented programmer could replace Coo logic in IRI with Random Walk Monte Carlo logic and go without its milestones right now. A new kind of distributed coordinator is about to come and then, for the last, its completely removal. You can read more about the coordinator here and here.
These are blockchain-based cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) that has miners to guarantee its security. Satoshi Nakamoto states several times in the Bitcoin whitepaper that "The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes". We can see in Blockchain.info that nowadays half of the total hashpower in Bitcoin is controlled by 3 companies (maybe only 1 in the future?). Users must trust that these companies will behave honestly and will not use its 50%> hashpower to attack the network eventually. With all that said it's reasonable to consider the IOTA network more decentralized (even with the coordinator) than any mining-blockchain-based cryptocurrency You can see a comparison between DAG cryptocurrencies here
Some partnerships of IOTA foundation with big companies were well known even when they were not officialy published. Some few examples of confirmed partnerships are listed below, others cofirmed partnerships can be seem in the link Partnerships with big companies at the pros section.
So what's up with all alarming in social media about IOTA Foundation faking partnerships with big companies like Microsoft and Cisco? At Nov. 28th IOTA Foundation announced the Data Marketplace with 30+ companies participating. Basically it's a place for any entity sell data (huge applications, therefore many companies interested), at time of writing (11/12/2017) there is no API for common users, only companies in touch with IOTA Foundation can test it. A quote from Omkar Naik (Microsoft worker) depicted on the Data Marketplace blog post gave an idea that Microsoft was in a direct partnership with IOTA. Several news websites started writing headlines "Microsoft and IOTA launches" (The same news site claimed latter that IOTA lied about partnership with Microsoft) when instead Microsoft was just one of the many participants of the Data Marketplace. Even though it's not a direct partnership, IOTA and Microsoft are in close touch as seen in IOTA Microsoft and Bosch meetup december 12th, Microsoft IOTA meetup in Paris 14th and Microsoft Azure adds 5 new Blockchain partners (may 2016). If you join the IOTA Slack channel you'll find out that there are many others big companies in close touch with IOTA like BMW, Tesla and other companies. This means that right now there are devs of IOTA working directly with scientists of these companies to help them integrate IOTA on their developments even though there is no direct partnership published, I'll talk more about the use cases soon.
We are excited to partner with IOTA foundation and proud to be associated with its new data marketplace initiative... - Omkar Naik
IOTA's use cases
Every cryptocurrency is capable of being a way to exchange goods, you pay for something using the coin token and receive the product. Some of them are more popular or have faster transactions or anonymity while others offers better scalablity or user-friendness. But none of them (except IOTA) are capable of transactioning information with no costs (fee-less transactions), in an securely form (MAM) and being sure that the network will not be harmed when it gets more adopted (scales). These characteristics open the gates for several real world applications, you probably might have heard of Big Data and how data is so important nowadays.
Data sets grow rapidly - in part because they are increasingly gathered by cheap and numerous information-sensing Internet of things devices such as mobile devices, aerial (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, microphones, radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers and wireless sensor networks.
It’s just the beginning of the data period. Data is going to be so important for human life in the future. So we are now just starting. We are a big data company, but compared to tomorrow, we are nothing. - Jack Ma (Alibaba)
There are enormous quantities of wasted data, often over 99% is lost to the void, that could potentially contain extremely valuable information if allowed to flow freely in data streams that create an open and decentralized data lake that is accessible to any compensating party. Some of the biggest corporations of the world are purely digital like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Data/information market will be huge in the future and that's why there so many companies interested in what IOTA can offer. There are several real world use cases being developed at the moment, many of them if successful will revolutionize the world. You can check below a list of some of them.
Not having your wallet set up properly (min weight 14, etc.)
Problems that could be easily avoided with a better understand of the network/wallet or with a better wallet that could handle these issues. As I explained before, some problems during the "congestion" of the network could be simply resolved if stuff were more user-friendly, this causes many users storing their iotas on exchanges which is not safe either. The upcoming (dec 2017) UCL Wallet will solve most of these problems. It will switch between nodes automatically and auto-reattach transactions for example (besides other things). You can have full a overview of it here and here. Also, the upcoming Nelson CarrIOTA will help on automatic peer discovery for users setup their nodes more easily.
IOTA Vulnerability issue
On sept 7th 2017 a team from MIT reported a cryptographic issue on the hash function Curl. You can see the full response of IOTA members below.
Funds were never in danger as such scenarios depicted on the Neha's blogpost were not pratically possible and the arguments used on the blogpost had'nt fundamentals, all the history you can check by yourself on the responses. Later it was discovered that the whole Neha Narula's team were envolved in other concurrent cryptocurrency projects Currently IOTA uses the relatively hardware intensive NIST standard SHA-3/Keccak for crucial operations for maximal security. Curl is continuously being audited by more cryptographers and security experts. Recenlty IOTA Foundation hired Cybercrypt, the world leading lightweight cryptography and security company from Denmark to take the Curl cryptography to its next maturation phase.
It took me a couple of days to gather the informations presented, I wanted it to make easier for people who want to get into it. It might probably have some mistakes so please correct me if I said something wrong. Here are some useful links for the community.
This is my IOTA donation address, in case someone wants to donate I will be very thankful. I truly believe in this project's potential. I9YGQVMWDYZBLHGKMTLBTAFBIQHGLYGSAGLJEZIV9OKWZSHIYRDSDPQQLTIEQEUSYZWUGGFHGQJLVYKOBWAYPTTGCX
This is a donation address, if you want to do the same you might pay attention to some important details:
Create a seed for only donation purposes.
Generate a address and publish it for everyone.
If you spend any iota you must attach a new address to the tangle and refresh your donation address published before to everyone.
If someone sends iota to your previous donation address after you have spent from it you will probably lose the funds that were sent to that specific address.
You can visualize how addresses work in IOTA here and here.
This happens because IOTA uses Winternitz one-time signature to become quantum resistent. Every time you spend iota from a address, part of the private key of that specific address is revealed. This makes easier for attackers to steal that address balance. Attackers can search if an address has been reused on the tangle explorer and try to brute force the private key since they already know part of it.
An open letter to the community - We need to put our money where our mouths are and support decentralization and dApps
Hey everyone, As I'm sure you all know full well, early adoption of crypto is primarily speculative trading, so this post is gonna focus mainly on the problems with trading in this space right now (centralized exchanges, regulations, lack of investment products, etc), and how we can shift our mindsets as a community to put our money where our mouth is and rally behind startups doing the right things (decentralized exchanges, dApps, protocols and necessary infrastructure). Why? Because for the first time in history we have a disruptive new technology that can really change the landscape in every industry imaginable, and we are at the stage where we're planting the seeds of these new products and companies, so why not support the right ones so we can realize the future we're all envisioning? I recently wrote an article on this on Hackernoon here: https://hackernoon.com/its-time-to-address-the-massive-problems-of-centralized-exchanges-ac2cfb66bef8, but I thought I'd expand on it and share my thoughts on how to move this space forward in terms of getting more dApp adoption and usage.
Who uses dApps anyways?
Blockgeeks just published a report on dApp usage for those interested, there is definitely some growth but since the bear market it has definitely tapered off: https://blockgeeks.com/guides/report-dapps-november-2018/ It's obviously nowhere near mainstream adoption, but it's a great start, so there's hope! There's definitely a ton of things that should immediately be addressed and are of high importance IMO, so I'm going to lay them out:
First, we need to address the massive problems of centralized exchanges
Bitcoin aside, the crypto space as a whole is still pretty young, the current experience of trading crypto assets is understandably a fragmented experience with scattered pockets of liquidity, and a highly technical and high friction process. But the irony is that we have the technology to avoid the security flaws that plague centralized exchanges and the adoption of crypto - decentralized trading. There are a ton of centralized exchanges available to the public today, but a much smaller subset of these exchanges are properly regulated, not to mention trustworthy and reliable. I know the pro traders out there might say, "Well DEXes aren't fast enough, or I can't run bots on them yet". That's fair, but if you want to see them succeed some day, every trade helps. If it's a trade that you think is executable on a DEX, do it there instead of on a centralized one. That's how adoption happens, one user at a time. While industry pioneers like Coinbase have pushed the space forward and newer entrants like Binance raised the bar for the alt-coin trading experience, the industry still suffers from constant hacks and malicious acts. We need to stop relying on centralized trading/hot wallets as they are huge security risks As far as we know, over $1 billion worth of crypto assets have been hacked & stolen from centralized exchanges in 2018 alone. Here's the biggest incidents in 2018:
$500 million worth of NEM stolen from Coincheck — The 2nd largest exchange in Japan
$195 million hacked from BitGrail — Italian exchange and the first to list Nano (I myself was a victim of this)
$45 million hacked from Binance — One of the largest global exchanges
$40 million stolen in Coinrail hack — A boutique exchange in South Korea
$60 million hacked from Zaif — Exchange in Japan
The root cause of this is that centralized wallets are increasingly large honeypots. The nature of a centralized exchange dictates that some trusted third party is storing the crypto assets of its users to create a pool of liquidity, this being done mostly by aggregating funds into exchange-owned digital wallets where assets from users are pooled into. Millions of people could lose not just money but also their identity and data handed over to centralized exchanges as well. While we're still in a bear market this may not happen as frequent, but it's reasonable to be expect that in the next bull-run the frequency and severity of attacks will only rise and a scenario in which an attack as widespread as the recent 50 million user Facebook hack — where both private data and money were stolen — could happen. There's already plenty of exchanges that are careless with handling user identity, handing over your personal ID is not a trivial matter and exchanges should follow the best practices to store and secure them if they're asking for them.
Second, we need clearer, more sensible regulation that fosters innovation and protects investors
This may be an unpopular opinion around these parts, but sensible regulation is good for both the industry and users, to ensure exchanges coming online meet certain requirements, so we're not operating and trading in this wild wild west of shady exchanges. People who trade today need to have a pretty damn high appetite and tolerance for risk, not to mention an acute ability to discern legitimate investments from the rampant exit scams and phishing attacks. (Just see yesterday's thread about the guy's dad who bought into Onecoin on the advice of a "friend"). The vague stance on the part of governments also means many crypto startups operate in a regulatory grey area (I have first hand experience with this working in the space). The SEC only recently clarified that they view Bitcoin and Ethereum as not a security token, meaning it wouldn’t be subject to existing securities laws. IMO the current lack of regulatory clarity has lead to a low barrier of entry for operating crypto exchanges, however this is starting to change as seen with the recent EtherDelta SEC charges, they're clearly making a statement now that you need to follow the laws when you open an exchange. But we can do better, and push lawmakers to create more defined rules that we need to play by, and at the same time educate them so they understand not just the technology, but the implications and potential use cases and how we can get there while allowing companies to innovate, new startups to rise, all while protecting consumers. That way we'll have more legal clarity as the industry matures that is business friendly.
Third, we need a more diversified set of investment products/options for crypto. More wealth generated = more growth and adoption
Up until recently, you were only able to purchase tokens on their own from an exchange. Today, we are starting to see an emergence of basic index funds such as the new Coinbase Bundle and Bitwise. It wasn’t until late 2017 that we saw the introduction of Bitcoin Futures from CBOE and CME. We expect new companies to continue entering this arena, especially crypto ETFs (ie: Bakkt in Jan 2019 maybe?), as well as other attempts at index funds or derivatives. There's a bunch of teams doing great stuff:
Bitwise - They're one of the first crypto index funds
Hodlbot - Another index fund
Shrimpy - A way to automatically invest and rebalance your portfolio
LakeProject - Working on AI driven investments that automatically build a portfolio for anyone (R&D phase)
Lastly, we need to punish greed and reward companies doing the right things
While it’s not a problem particularly limited to centralized exchanges, it’s been reported that listing a token can cost as much as $3 million. In contrast, listing a stock on NASDAQ costs $125k to $300k plus annual maintenance fees. This is just one example of the greed exhibited by those who have leverage and the middlemen who stand to profit in between (consultants, brokers, ICO firms, etc). These high fees dampen innovation as they’re too great of a cost to bear for most token/ICO projects. This is crucial for most projects as they need liquidity to bootstrap their network and to remain favourable with the community that invested in them. At least 7 of the top 10 exchangesengaging in excessive wash trading from 12x to over 100x their true volume. Foul play Plenty of centralized exchanges have been suspected and accused of wash trading (creating fake volume), insider trading, and price manipulation. High user trading fees As centralized exchanges carry more risk, and have more opaque control of their platform, they often charge higher fees compared to a decentralized exchange. Withdrawal limits Centralized exchanges impose a withdrawal limit, as a security measure to limit the amount that can be withdrawn at once. However, there’s also a misalignment of incentives, as they stand to benefit when you keep your funds locked on their platform so they can maximize trading fees There's a bunch of great projects and base layer infrastructure that people should look into and support, not just the protocols but also startups building on top of them, some of my fav protocols include:
0x Project - Powering decentralized exchanges for tokens, NFTs, etc
Set protocol - These guys are building a protocol to allow anyone to easily bundle any assets to create more sophisticated investment products
dYdX Protocol - This allows anyone to integrate margin trading and derivatives in their dApp
Dharma protocol - This protocol facilitates lending in a decentralized way
Compound protocol - A money market protocol that allows hodlers to earn interest on their tokens
Cosmos Network - Working on blockchain interoperability and tooling around Ethereum and Web3
Personally I'm working in one of the many, many startups in the space trying to build on top of these decentralized infrastructures to give everyone a more seamless experience to access, trade, and use crypto. But you can imagine how hard it is to gain any traction much less build a sustainable business especially in a bear market like this, and when everyone has either completely lost their motivation or still flocking to centralized exchanges to chase pumps knowing full well the risks and unethical practices. Cool story, what are you doing about it? I work with a team called the LakeProject, and we're a group of people that came together because we believe that decentralized platforms will address a lot of these concerns, so we're putting our money where our mouth is and building them. If you want to help or learn more about what we're doing here's our site: http://lakeproject.co. We also built our first decentralized product here which is a trading platform built on 0x: https://trade.lakeproject.co
In conclusion - Vote with your money and your time, it makes a difference
I hope this post made sense and I made somewhat of a decent case (?) on why we need to shift our mindset from simply trading and hodling to proactively choosing where to participate, what dApps to use, and which startups to support. IMHO this is key for adoption and it will seriously help startups (like ours) to grow and be able to make a difference in the industry and push forward and pioneer a new paradigm of operating a decentralized business. I think everyone in the space right now is still learning and trying to understand how that might look in the future, but the more support and usage we get, the sooner we'll learn and the brighter our future will be. If you've gotten this far, thanks for putting up with my clickbaity title and reading this thread :)
A Chairman at World Economic Forumhttps://www.weforum.org/people/glenn-h-hutchins/https://archive.is/kubAYGlenn Hutchins is chairman of North Island and a co-founder of Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing. He is a director of both AT&T and NASDAQ OMX; a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; vice chairman of both the Brookings Institution and the Economic Club of New York; and a member of the Executive Committee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is an owner and member of the Executive Committee of the Boston Celtics basketball team. Mr. Hutchins is a director of the Harvard Management Company, which is responsible for the Harvard University endowment, and co-chairman of the University’s capital campaign. He is also a board member of the Center for American Progress as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, Mr. Hutchins served President Clinton in both the transition and the White House as a special advisor on economic and health-care policy. He was also previously chairman of the board of SunGard Data Systems, Inc. and Instinet, Inc. Mr. Hutchins and his wife, Debbie, founded the Hutchins Family Foundation which, among other projects, has created the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, which is chaired by Mr. Hutchins; the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at The Brookings Institution; and the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, which conducts basic research into the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Advisory Board Larry Summers
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Summers became a professor of economics at Harvard University in 1983. He left Harvard in 1991, working as the Chief Economist at the World Bank from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury. While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the American advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization.
After his departure from Harvard, Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession. After his departure from the NEC in December 2010, Summers has worked in the private sector and as a columnist in major newspapers. In mid-2013, his name was widely floated as the potential successor to Ben Bernanke as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, though after pushback from the left, Obama eventually nominated Federal Reserve Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen for the position.
DCG of course is an investor in both Blockstream and BTCC. DCG's money comes from:
Bain Capital Group
New York Life
Novel TMT Ventures
Solon Mack Capital
The Whittemore Collection
HCM International Co
DCG also owns Coindesk. BTCC and Bitfury are the only two large mining pools who are outspoken in their support of Bitcoin Core. The Bitfury Group Leadership to Present at Clinton Global Initiative (https://archive.is/MWKee) Full Video (Begins at 32:00) “The Bitfury Group is proud to be the world’s leading full service Blockchain technology company, we are deeply honored to represent this innovation to an audience of extremely dedicated game-changers, and we look forward to highlighting our company’s groundbreaking ‘Blockchain for global good’ work at such an important event, said Smith. “From the White House to the Blockchain, I know this technology has the power to deliver inclusion and opportunity to millions, if not billions, of people around the world and I am so grateful to work for a company focused on such a principled vision.” Bitfury Lightning Implementation
ACINQ’s US Headquarters is in Vienna, Virginia, a small town of only 16,000. Why would a global financial firm choose to locate here? -- Feeder community into Washington, D.C. Has an orange line metro stop. -- Located in Fairfax County, VA. -- The US Federal Government is the #2 largest employer -- Booz Allen Hamilton (NSA front company) is #6 largest employer -- In fact, most of the top employers in Fairfax County are either US Federal Gov’t or companies that provide services to Federal Government -- The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chairman: Avinash Vashistha
Former Chairman and CEO of Accenture in India
He has worked with numerous clients in Banking, Investment and Financial services - General Atlantic, Goldman Sachs, Warbug Pincus, JP Morgan Chase, Visa, Citi Ventures, Baird Capital, Norges Bank, UBS, AXA and has advised World Bank, IDB, ADB, USAID and other multi-lateral agencies over the last 20 years on country strategy and investments across Asia and Latin America.
From 1986-1993 he worked for Information Management Consultants (imc) Ltd as a Technical Consultant with various federal government agencies. McLean, Virginia
1993-2000 Technical Consultant for Freddie Mac, in McLean Virginia
From 2000-2007, President of InterPro Global in Maryland
From 2011-2012, Director of VibbleTV in Columbia, Maryland
From 2008-Present has been Executive Director at ACINQ and Managing Partner at Vine Management, both in Vienna, Virginia.
BitFury Enhances Its Advisory Board by Adding Former CFTC Chairman Dr. James Newsome and Renowned Global Thought Leader and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto (Businesswire) Bitfury Board of Directors Robert R Dykes
Former CFO at Juniper Networks from 2005-2007, which had an NSA backdoor added to router software.
Greg Maxwell spent “several years at Mozilla”, leaving in August 2014
The other board members include two Bitfury founders, and an investor. Bitfury Advisory Board James Newsome
Ex-chairman of CFTC
Dr. Newsome was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be at first a Commissioner and later a Chairman of CFTC. As Chairman, Newsome guided the regulation of the nation’s futures markets. Additionally, Newsome led the CFTC’s regulatory implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). He also served as one of four members of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. In 2004, Newsome assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) where he managed daily operations of the largest physical derivatives exchange in the world. Dr. Newsome is presently a founding partner of Delta Strategy Group, a full-service government affairs firm based in Washington, DC.
Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, named by The Economist one of the two most important think tanks in the world. In the last 30 years, he and his colleagues at the ILD have been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that the majority of people in developed countries have through the institutions and tools needed to exercise those rights and freedoms. Mr. de Soto also co-chaired with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and currently serves as honorary co-chair on various boards and organizations, including the World Justice Project. He is the author of “The Other Path: the Economic Answer to Terrorism”, and his seminal work “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.”
Criticisms: -- In his 'Planet of Slums' Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy. -- An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/sep/11/imf.commenthttp://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2005/01/the_de_soto_delusion.html
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative brings together a variety of long-term investors, with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage global good governance. Tillemann served at the U.S. State Department in 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy.http://live.worldbank.org/node/8468https://archive.is/raDHA
Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann, Ph.D. as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado.http://m.state.gov/md160354.htmhttps://www.newamerica.org/our-people/tomicah-tillemann/https://archive.is/u2yF0
Director of “Bretton Woods II” initiative at New America Foundation Bretton Woods was an international summit that led to the creation of the IMF and the IBRD, one of five members of The World Bank
Speaking to Clinton Global IntiativePrior to working at Edelman, my career has included serving as Deputy White House Press Secretary and Special Assistant to President Obama, Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Director of Communications for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and its then Chairman Senator Rockefeller, Traveling Press Director for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and Director of Communications for Secretary Madeleine K. Albright and her consulting firm, The Albright Group, LLC.https://medium.com/@jamieelizabethsmith/why-i-believe-in-the-blockchain-b19bf2014fab
Don Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” hosted the meeting with his son and co-author Alex Tapscott at his family’s summer compound in Lake of Bays, Ontario. The group included some of blockchain’s biggest backers, including people with ties to IBM and JPMorgan. They considered ways to improve the governance and oversight of the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin as a way to fuel the industry’s growth. They included Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes International Business Machines Corp., Airbus Group SE and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation. Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer of BitFury Group Ltd., and Joseph Lubin, founder of startup Consensus Systems.
Was the founding director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative -Left his 4 year post as White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to go directly to the MIT DCI
Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain.https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfordehttps://archive.is/WjEGU
Includes Accenture (See Avinash Vashistha), Allianz, Deloitte (Scaling Bitcoin platinum sponsor, Blockstream Partner), Citigroup, Bain & Company (parent of Bain Capital, DCG investor), Dalian Wanda Group (working on blockchain technology), Ernst & Young (see Paul Brody), HSBC (Li-Ka Shing, Blockstream investor, used to be Deputy Chairman of HSBC), IBM, KPMG International, Mastercard (DCG Investor), PwC (Blockstream partner, also sponsor of Scaling Bitcoin)
Future of Financial Services Report [PDF] The word “blockchain” is mentioned once in this document, on page 23 (http://i.imgur.com/1SxyneJ.png):We have identified three major challenge areas related to innovation in financial servicesthat will require multi-stakeholder collaboration to be addressed effectively. We are launching a project stream related to each area, with the goal of enabling tangible impact.... Decentralised systems, such as the blockchain protocol, threaten to disintermediate almost every process in financial services
Excerpt: BitFury - www.bitfury.com - The Bitfury Group develops and delivers software and hardware solutions for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals who want to securely move an asset across the Blockchain.
Hello, this is Paul Bergson again with another topic on security. The threat of malware continues to impact business with no relief in sight. The latest topic brought back childhood memories of how the “Leeches” of the internet prey upon unsuspecting victims. It has been a beautiful summer in the Minneapolis, MN area this year with plenty of opportunities to cool off in one of our thousands of lakes. I remember as a kid one day we went, the water was warm but not very clear and there was plenty of vegetation in the water where we were. One day in particular 2 brothers and 2 cousins of mine, were splashing and playing in the water without a care in the world. There weren’t any exposed threats that other parts of the country/world have to watch out for such as jelly fish, sharks or water snakes, etc… We hung out and swam for an extended period of time before we decided to swim back to shore. I was the first one out and was drying myself off when I hear this scream from my cousin as he was stepping onto dry land. As I looked over at him, he had what initially looked like a bunch of small black mud spots stuck to his skin but under closer inspection were water leeches. The leeches had “Hijacked” his circulatory system for food (energy). Initially he yanked a couple off but that hurt him, so someone ran and got some salt. The salt got the leeches to release themselves but we decided to stay out of the lake the remainder of the day as well as stay away from the that part of the lake in the future. Hopefully I haven’t lost any readers thinking they are on the wrong technical website. My point in the story above is how Cryptojacking malware authors can be equated to leeches of the animal kingdom. When someone swims by there malware on the web, and victims are susceptible to attack malware miners will latch onto you and start to leech away your computer resources.
What is “Cryptojacking” and malware miners you ask? Read on…
In 2017 there was an onslaught of Ransomware with several high-profile attacks, but recently Ransomware has taken a back seat to the assault of Cryptojacking where attackers are in the pursuit of cryptocurrency. This isn’t to state that Ransomware has gone away, it hasn’t but the level of Cryptojacking attacks is now being reported to be more prevalent than Ransomware attacks. Cryptocurrencies are based upon solving complex mathematical problems with miners (Machines running to solve these mathematical problems) being rewarded with crypto coins for solving the problem on a blockchain. Bitcoin cryptocurrency for example has a finite number of coins that get more and more difficult to obtain as the pool of coins begins to exhaust. Since it becomes more difficult to solve the mathematical problems, more CPU/GPU’s cycles are needed to a mine a coin. This leads to a rise in energy costs to mine a coin. With the rise in demand for CPU/GPU cycles to solve the ever-growing mathematic complexity, most ordinary users can’t afford the equipment or the associated energy costs to mine on their own. On average Bitcoin miners, currently mine ~1,800/day and at the current rate of ~$6,000/coin (7/12/2018) this means there is $10 million in new Bitcoins mined every day. As the compute complexity increases so does the electrical energy required to complete the task, there are projections that put the price to mine a single Bitcoin by 2022, somewhere between $300,000 – $1.5 million. *1 Since attackers can’t afford the compute power nor the associated energy costs for cryptocurrency mining, they look for ways to gain access without having to pay for it (Steal it). The cryptocurrency creation market is a multi-billion-dollar market and there are over 1,000 different virtual coins. Some of these coins are more established and used for exchange of property and/or services. Bitcoin has the largest Cryptocurrency exchange rate from virtual to physical, but the Monero crypto coin is the choice for malware mining, since it is easily mined with CPU’s. Monero transactions provide a greater veil of secrecy than Bitcoin and as such are becoming more established in the Dark market. Tracking the usage of Bitcoin transaction can be accomplished whereas Monero provides a more anonymous transaction. Anonymity is crucial to illegal activities such as Cryptojacking and Ransomware assaults, because of this the dark markets have seen a rise in the use of Monero. With increased use, comes increased demand which then drives up the value (Exchange rate) of the Monero crypto coin. So why all this talk about crypto currencies and how they are mined? “The surge in Bitcoin prices has driven widescale interest in cryptocurrencies”. *2 Attackers need CPU/GPU cycles to mine and Crypto”Hi”jacking can provide this service. Cryptojacking occurs when a malware attacker hijacks a victims computer to mine for Cryptocurrency without their permission. In many instances it occurs within the browser of the victim (drivebys). Symptoms can include the computer heating up, the fan running at a high rate when there isn’t any real activity occurring on your device and/or response times are sluggish. The attacker isn’t selective on the device, they just want CPU cycles to help them compute the algorithm, devices could be desktops, laptops, servers or even mobile devices. There have been reports of Android devices being damaged from the battery overheating, causing it to expand which results in physical damage to the device. *3 Consumers aren’t as apt to report a Cryptojacking attack. They haven’t physically lost anything, and the increased use of electrical energy (Energy costs) would be hard to itemize and like other forms of malware it is very difficult to trace the source back to the malware author. Cryptojacking is growing rapidly, according to a study released by McAfee in June 2018, “coin miner malware grew a stunning 629% to more than 2.9 million known samples in Q1 from almost 400,000 samples in Q4”. *4 Cryptojacking malware kits are now for sale on the Dark market, so many unscrupulous individuals with lesser technical skills can wage an attack.
How it works:
There are two forms in which Cryptojacking can be delivered:
Victims inadvertently load malware on their machines from a phishing attack. The code runs a process in the background that is unknown to the victim.
When an Advertisement pops up on a legitimate website, many times the owner of the website doesn’t have control over the script that runs in the pop-up. This pop-up can contain a Cryptojack script that can run until all threads of the browser have been terminated.
I recently learned on this site, that someone has been buying up a lot of Bitcoin Cash since end of September. The wallet is now the biggest BCH holder with almost 270k coins. I voiced my thoughts on it in this thread, that it could be a wallet owned by an exchange. Am going to try to explain the reasoning again in the next paragraph here. Would like to get my thoughts seen and hear some arguments from you guys. I have mostly been an Ethereum supporter, but the recent emergence of BCH has lead me to come back to the Bitcoin chains for now. So... being an Ethereum supporter, I have used its block explorer etherscan.io multiple times. For example, I have tried to track exchanges to try to sniff out if they are going to list some new tokens (ETH tokens are visible on the same block explorer as ETH itself, of course). I figured, that if I could catch an exchange adding a large amount of a new token to its wallet before they announce supporting its trading, then I would buy the token and have a first row seat to the announcement pump. Tis has been a failed attempt by me, because the exchanges are smart. What I have noticed is that they make brand new wallets to buy up the tokens on EtherDelta or on the ICO. These wallets would not be linked to the exchanges in any way yet and they would often have no outgoing tokens, only tokens being accumulated over time. Only once they announce the support of this new token, it is that they suddenly bring over the tokens from the new wallet(s) to the exchange wallet. This is something that this large BCH wallet could be: a wallet from an exchange to gather Bitcoin Cash. It is the biggest BCH wallet and exchanges usually have the largest wallets for some coin. Counterarguments to my theory:
The wallet could be owned by Roger Ver. He probably has the resources for it. Would be nice for someone to confirm if he actually is worth more than 280mil USD. Still, he wouldn't put everything he owns into one coin. Also he would have had a lot of 'free' BCH from the fork.
With ETH tokens the exchanges usually create multiple wallets to buy up the token, not only one big new wallet.
Most exchanges that would need such a large BCH amount already have BCH listed.
List of biggest exchanges and their coins can be seen on CoinMarketCap. From the top 20 biggest exchanges only these don't have BCH yet listed: Coinbase/GDAX (7th), Bitstamp (11th), Gemini (17th) and LakeBTC (18th) Any flaws in my reasoning so far? Any ideas or proofs of your own? I have not explored Bitcoin type blockchains before, so any extra info would be welcomed. TLDR: There is a large BCH wallet that I am trying to speculate the owner for. I am hoping for Coinbase to be the owner, which would mean that Coinbase has decided for a buy option to be added. No real proof of that though, so it could also just be a very confident whale (e.g. Roger Ver).
Amanda to Present Evolution at Anarchapulco's “Cryptopulco”
Reimbursement to Amanda B. Johnson and Pete Eyre for travel and lodging in Acapulco, Mexico, where Amanda will present DASH Evolution at Anarchapulco's special day of “Cryptopulco” on February 28th. Pete will record presentation and upload it to YouTube the same day. Details: Anarchapulco – billed as the world's first and largest anarcho-capitalist conference – is in its third year. The four-day event is expected to attract 700-1,000 attendees. Cryptocurrency has proven so popular a topic in the past that this year, it gets its own full day. Speakers already slated for Cryptopulco include Roger Ver, Dan Larimer, and Jeffrey Tucker. Anarchapulco founder Jeff Berwick has recently invited Amanda to represent Dash in this lineup. Amanda and Pete's conference admission has been comp'ed. We've already booked travel and lodging to lock-in the lowest prices. Costs:
Flights (120 DASH) – two roundtrip tickets from Salt Lake City to Acapulco (with a layover)
Lodging (7.5 DASH) – four-nights lodging at a nearby, non-conference venue (less expensive)
Ground Transportation (2.5 DASH) – local buses or taxis in Acapulco
Vehicle Parking (4 DASH) – at a lot in Salt Lake City airport
Proposal Reimbursement (5 DASH)
Total: 139 DASH Notes:
We've inquired about tabling space and are awaiting a response. If possible, we'll staff a table to do outreach throughout the event.
Whereas DEVCON2 was all about development, and leveraging the network effects of leveraging other projects in the ecosystem, the presentations today were VERY high level talks. There was a massive stark difference between "the old guard" in the Fintech space, and the disruptors that are shaking things up. Take a look at the BOC (Bank of China) and ChinaLedger presentations. They talk about how Distributed computing is dangerous. ChinaLedger go on to say that they need the power to be able to go in and halt transactions, modify smart contracts on the fly, liquidate accounts when they need. While also saying that they will make sure they will do everything to help privacy and use encryption… which only the Government can unlock ("Golden keys"?). It was the most centralised "Blockchain" I have ever heard of. On the flip side I was inspired by the forward thinking of the Consensys presentation, and their long term vision for where to drive the Ethereum platform. They are helping to create open tools and platforms that will be leveragable by a multitude of projects (as demonstrated with Ujo and BHP project "Rai stones"). http://imgur.com/AXHw1Df After the Consensys presentation, my 2nd favourite presentation was by Wanxiang labs "10 years to build a city", talking about how they plan on taking some land and creating from scratch a smart city powered by the blockchain and electric vehicles. While the other old guard are squabbling about how it is going to impact their "business as usual" profits, there were the new projects out there envisioning and disrupting. The BHP presentation was also pretty cool, a great implemenation of using Blockchain to improve a business process. `
New Finance: Technical & Legal rules - BoC He is from bank of China. Entire presentation was him being scared and trying to justify why current Blockchain tech is an unregulated wasteland, and why there needs to be regulation from banks and government. For Fintech they think Blockchain will not be successful without proper regulations Blockchain finance - it is distributed. Storing all of the transactions will take a lot of storage space. What to do once the transaction rates exceed what can be processed. Thinks that public distributed transactions will not be more than a toy like with Bitcoin. For real FinTech they need something different for a high frequency. Thinks that decentralisation should not be the core feature of Blockchains (due to transaction limit). Thinks it should be decentralised, not distributed. Should be done with private consortiums. Needs legal rules and technical rules. They think that self rulemaking currencies (Bitcoin) can not be regulated. So need to stop them, to prevent bad things like money laundering. This is showing the loopholes brought about by Bitcoin. So when using digital currencies, they need certifications and tracking. "We need more regulations and rules to facilitate the healthy development of this space. Only with support of regulations can new technology take off". Me: I totally disagree… (if not already apparent) Blockchain futures & realities - CSDC China Securities Depository and clearinghouse He was much more open minded and forward looking. Is a pep talk for "things are going to change", how are we going to use these new things. He said that he recorded it into English that should be able to be downloaded, would be worth watching if you are into this space. Summary: Genie is out of the bottle, we need to embrace this and think how we are going to put the requirements of securities ("real name transactions") in a decentralised way. And the registration and tracking of assets to real names. People have ideals because they are not happy with reality. Due to this dissatisfaction, people are passionate about trying to make that dream a reality. Need to play by the rules, or the market will be chaos. So now we have facilities law, regulations, etc. This forms the framework of China economic. This is very different from Blockchain. This is at odds to the distributed systems. Seems like we are dissatisfied with this, so trying to reconcile these differences. All securities transactions need to follow "real name" transactions, but want to do this in a decentralised manner. Market cap is 54 trillion (of something in China). GDP is over 70 million They are researching Blockchain, but not just in the lab. Need to find potential applications and use cases for it. If we want to implement Blockchain technologies, we need to see what the hurdles will be, so we can get closer to the ideal. As BoC speaker said, the number of transactions per seconds is HUGE. Daily may reach 10s of millions at its peak. How are we going to handle this with a theoretical framework. Need to start from the reality of China. And the reality is it is a giant country with a huge population, which depends on the capital market. If you just implement within a lab it is okay. But if it is going to be put into the industry, then we need to work with the government. We can't just get rid of the government, it is impossible (REVOLUTION!!). So need to focus on key senarios to tackle, as you can't just apply Blockchain everywhere simultaneously. Or all your efforts will fruitless. How to complement it initially, not replace it. Ten years efforts to build a city (Wanxiang Labs) Me: I reallly liked this presentation. I've been keeping notes for months around building this type of innovative city in Australia. I plan on rewatching this one again later. Going to build a city in 10 years. An energy gathering city in HangZhou 10KM2. Their US company is starting to build new energy vehicle. 900m RMB? 90k people. Deploy the city into the cloud. Intelligent life, traffic & services. Everything will be connected. IoT, Internet, smart living, smart transport. Once this is successful, they plan on launching it across the world. Will publish their learnings. Launching incubators and accelerators. Their own cloud Blockchain as a Service. Many scenarios in this smart city that could utilise Blockchain. Distribution for Solar power. ID & Vehicle registration. Intelligent community services. Can promote a sharing economy throughout the community. Partnering with Microsoft, IBM, Consensys, Ethereum foundation, WeBank, AliCloud Vitalik Buterin keynote Talking of the progress China has made in Blockchain innovation in such a short period of time. He visited China 3 years ago and visited a number of Bitcoin companies and was impressed on the scale of what China had, much more than what was happening in USA. But all the focus was just on cryptocurrencies, not Blockchain technologies, Just mining. 2nd time, he saw some kind of experimentation happening with interesting things (like coloured coins?) 3rd time saw more interest in Blockchains. 4th? time, he did a hackathon with Wanxiang labs (event sponsor), and there were ~30 projects. The growth since then has been rapidly growing. The scale of projects we couldn't have imagined 3 years ago. Was just theoretical, now a lot of ideas are almost reality. e.g. Self-sovereign identity, instant settlement. Hyperledger https://www.hyperledger.org/ Goals. Build an opensource dev focused community of communities to build a hyperledger based solution. Create a family of "etnerprise grade" open source blockchain framework, platform & libraries. Because it is an enterprise opensource project, they need to track contributions, patent details, etc. Is part of the Linux Foundation, which has 16 years of providing governance stucture support for major open source projects. 80 project partners. IBM, Intel, Accenture, JP Morgan, Airbus, ANZ bank, Cisco, etc. 20 of the 80 project partners, are based in China. Apache license v2. A world or many chains. There will not be only one blockchain. There will be many public chians and millions of private chains. Each may use different consensus mechanisms. Major projects are: Fabric: Developed by IBM. PBFT, moving to Raft and other pluggable consensus mechanisms. Written in Go. Sawtooth Lake: Proof of Elapsed Time. Runs on secure enclaves. Written in Python. Hyperledger explorer: GUI for navigating Fabric & swatooth lake. Fabric-py SDK. (Java proposed later). Future: Smart contract engines. Portable identities. Will never see a "HyperCoin". It is about making Hyperledger a standard, and a governance group. IBM keynote - IBM Blockchain & Hyperledger Today if you want to do something in your business on Blockchain it is difficult. Hard to scale, issues with privacy. No Enterprise support. Need tools to write tests for smart contracts. Need good solution patterns. Difficult to scale up, especially around transaction rates. Built Fabric to support "serious business" Permissioned blockchains can't scale. Every node shouldn't execute every transaction. The 2 peers that are interacting are the only ones that should execute. IBM has implemented this internally to resolve invoice disputes with their suppliers. IBM All the slides were in Chinese. Difficult to follow unfortuantely. The (original) Silk Road was important for trade. Blockchain may be just as important for trade in the future People are debating the need of distributed systems being an important thing of Blockchains, is it really necessiary? Blockchain should instead be focused on unblocking instead. IBM will provide an IBM certified docker container. IBM Blockchain. http://www-31.ibm.com/ibm/cn/blockchain/index.html Has a concept of a "shadow chain"? Blockchain Platform @ Microsoft At Devcon1 Microsoft announced Blockchain as a Service. Rolled out DevTest Labs to allow you to spin up public, private, permissioned, and consotrium blockchians quickly. Provisoin with 1 click. Mix & match from best available blockchain tech. Bletchley: Open infrastructure, Enterprise capabilities. Microsoft is not building their own Blockchain. Blockchain has some missing parts (identity, privacy, key management lifecycle, tools). Asked our partners what are the missing parts. A database in itself isn't an application. (re)Announcing: Bletchley v1. 2 parts. Distributed infrastructure layer (Blockapps, R3, bitpay, parity, Eris). There isn't going to be 1 Blockchain to rule them all, so allow you to leverage any of them. Lots of customers were taking a long time trying to spin up private consortiums, and trying to secure them correctly. Used to take 3 weeks, now down to 8 questions and 5 minutes. Spins up a private Ethereum consortium. 4-100s of nodes. Distributed middleware "fabric" layer. Tools that can work across many blockchain technologies. Cryptlets are a way of doing offchain processing. Receive market data based on an event (market price daily closing, CRM event). Need to have trusted execution of the logic, to attest that it was not tampered with. Secure IP protected algorithms. Scale an algorithm for max performance by running it off blockchain in a secure & attested way in the cloud. Oracles may be malicious, or they may be intercepted during transmission. Cryptlets run on a secure host with a secure communication channel in a trust envelope. Marketplace for publishing the cryptlets into a market for others to consume. Azure cloud is twice the size of Amazon & Google COMBINED. Bletchley Cryptlet Fabric. Supports Ethereum, will support more Blockchains. It is middleware that will support many. Secure execution on demand. Standard way of publishing and accessing external resources. BaaS roadmap. DevTest labs, will continue to onboard more. Bletchley v1. Kinakuta to help improve security. Bletchley SDK Longer range implications of Ethereum & other decentralising technologies (Consensys) LOVED this presentation. Simplest view: Next gen database. Blockchain based, maximal replication, Prevents rogue actors Force for universal disintermediation, will distrupt every industry. Previously it was mostly just Bitcoin. Future projects were "BitCoin 2.0", instead of "Blockchain 2.0". So Ethereum project built the most powerful and capable Blockchain platform, both public (permisionless) and private (permissioned) Deeply secure, non-repudiable shared source of truth. Dapp is a set of smart contracts. And a user interface to interact with it. Was important to get an initial version of Ethereum out into the hands of devs, to start thinking how to start building decentralised applications. Ethereum has a vision for scalability, which includes sharding and state channels. Privacy, state channels is one option. Zcash/zk-Snarks is another way. Currently building out an ecosystem of decentralised applications. Building core components: Identity/persona (uPort, metamask). Wallet (uPort wallet). Registries (Regis, ENS). Token Factory. Do private enterprise Blockchains make sense? Yes, large entities can have a complex internal mix of business units, having a shared source of truth can help. If enterprises have their own private consortium Blockchains, will be a harder target to infiltrate and modify databases. Business processes emboided as state transition graphs. If you plan on building your own tools or technology on top of Blockchain tech (public or private), build it on Ethereum so it can be reused in many different places by other entities running their private chains Developed "Balance" for real time compliance, accounting auditing and monitoring. Real time dashboard for companies & regulators. Organisations using certified software wil not be able to break or bend any financial accounting rules. The Blockchain will last for years or decades giving a persistent database. Gives a chance to do persistent portable identity. uPort self-sovereign identity. Blockapps Announcement Is Ethereum for Enterprise. Partnered with Microsoft to announce Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). Over 1k projects have used it, over 300 customers. Being released in Azure China datacentre (mooncake), and other Chinese clouds : Alibaba cloud, tencent cloud, Wancloud. Initial China projects: Minsheng insurance, Wanxiang smart city, Qianhai smart city, Shanghai smart city. China is going to be the country leading the world in Blockchain projects. The Rise of Blockchain Consortia: Uniting the Banking World One of the largest banks in Spain. Banks are just a ledger (a very large ledger). Each bank has its own ledger. They don't trust each others. Which is why you need clearing houses and things like this. What if there was a shared ledger trusted by all banks. "It's not about the coin, its about the ledger. ` New development of ChinaLedger: Forging a powerful tool for Chinese capital market in the FinTech era Was literally the most centralised blockchain I have ever heard of. Please excuse me as I rant inline. ChinaLedger is a consortium. 11 founders established it. Chinese financial institutions and Wanxiang labs. "we created our own Blockchain and tools". Will come up with their own custom software and implementation. Will create a whitepaper and create reference architecture. Partners will use the network to do transactions. Need facilities to be able to freeze or take over acounts, and get access to all data. A need to be able to halt or freeze a transaction or smart contract. A need to be able to halt or freeze a transaction or smart contract. and the facility to liquidate an account or smart conract or manually change the state of a smart contract We need to be able to stop the trading of certain stocks. Let regulators control things. Will be fully in control of the gas. Wants to support 100k/s and 1 ms latency. Then ironically says tries to say they are going to put privacy into this. "Everything will be encrypted and private. Except that CCP & regulators who will have ability to read everything". I'm SURE that won't be abused… http://imgur.com/Qt4qh3O You keep using that word... Blockchain, distributed ledger, privacy, encryption Re-imagining Global Payments (For business) Banks make a LOT of money from bank wires. So they have no incentive to come up with anything better. The person sending the money needs to give 26 pieces of information. Don't know when you'll get the money, what the rate will be. About $20 to send, $20 to receive, plus lose a few percentage through the conversion. Their solution (for business payments). Register for an account, can use online. No fees. Transparent FX rate. Can track the payment. Uses Bitcoin in the middle. Before international calls used to call many $s per minute. Now with VoIP (Skype) you can do it for cents. Same thing will happen to international money transfers. Enabling Global P2P Cash Transfers with Abra (For consumer) https://www.goabra.com/http://www.coindesk.com/abra-remittance-app-us-launch/ Nowadays you can send an IM to anyone else in the world instantly for free. Why can't you do the same thing with money? Can do it locally in some domestic markets, like paytm (india, WeChat pay (China), mpesa (Africa). But not for cross border transactions. iOS & Android. Real digital cash wallet. Send & receive globally. No FX risk. Add cash via bank or in person. As private as paper cash. Abra tellers earn $$ (as a percentage fee). The wallet is stored locally on the phone. So you "physically" control it. (need to back up your private key). Use an Abra teller (someone else using the app) to exchange buy/sell cash for digital cash. Anyone can be a teller. Tellers charge a fee. Teller & user rate each other. When 2 people send money each other via Abra, happens instantly, . No FX volatility. Awaking the Sleeping Giant: The Natural Resource Industry and the Blockchain Note: Hispresentation was in English, but I thought it was extremely considerate that he had his slides translated into Chinese as well. Every slide had simultaneous English & Chinese descriptions so that the attendees using the live translation headsets could follow along easier. If I ever present in another country again, I'll try and plan ahead like he did. Was very thoughtful. Why is BHP interested in the Blockchain? They are the largest mining company in the world (natural resources mining, not Bitcoin mining. Hehe) They are a global distributed organisation. So a distributed Blockchain Project Rai Stones. Sample tracking of geological samples. They are highly valuable resources. Some of the wells cost $100M, and you only get 1 chance to take the sample. They currently only track the samples manually through emails & spreadsheets. They are working with Consensys & Blockapps. Runs on Ethereum & IPFS, on top of Microsoft Azure. 1 node at BHP, 1 at their collaborator, 1 at their regulator. 3 roles in the business flow, BHP out in the field, the analysis team, and BHP corp. They create/register a smart contract on the network for each sample. When the person collects the sample, they go to the dashboard, click the checkboxes to say they acquired, that updates the smart contract. They ship it off, so they put in the details of which analysis office it is being sent to, updates state from collected to shipped. Analysis team can log in, see what samples are in transit to them to be analysed. They receive it, give it a unique Id based on their internal process. They get trusted tracking of samples, and real time updates. What if they could automatically operate machines, they could help avoid bad combinations of machines operating at the same time. Like a crane operating on an oil rig, when a helicopter is coming in. Disable a piece of machinery if it is past its allowed usage before routine preventative maintenance. Disabled until it is tested, and certified as okay on the Blockchain. Stop unqualified people from using a tool or vehicle. Ore gets mined and put onto shipping freighters. Need to track Provenance, custodians, entire supply chain. Need to give regulatory data to the regulators in each country the operate in. All the mines in the industry need to submit this public data to gov, it all gets aggregated, and disseminated. But it costs HEAPS to do this. What if they built a consortium chain. They can all publish the public data, ready to be analysed instantly by peers. Could make the entire industry more effienct and transparent by making the consortium not just for the 1 country, but a public one. Give a global transparent view of the entire industry. Would help drop costs of compliance. They started on Ethereum Mainnet & Testnet. Now they are seeing the emergence of many private chains. They will see the bridging between chains. Seen that Ethereum plans on sharding (many chains). Forsees that there will be a global mesh of these Public & Private chains all supporting each other. Cotricity – “a prosumer to business”- virtual energy market on the Ethereum blockchain (Consensys) https://co-tricity.com Energy meets Blockchain Joint venture between Consensys & an energy company in Germany. Energy sector is changing rapidly. Prosumer is someone with generative capacity (eg. Solar panels & battery storage). Normal smart meter collects usage about production & consumption. Tracked on Ethereum. Matches up Prosumers to local community things like Schools. The local environmental and economic benefits of keeping it in the local community. Mechanism design, "reverse game theory". Goal is to effectiveise the energy market and reduce costs. Means creating incentives such that the optimal strategy for every participant results in the realisation of this goal. e.g. Help to smooth out the peak in the morning, give a small reward for not using energy in the morning
08-09 07:32 - '70+ Bitcoin companies, exchange and wallets that did NOT agree to Segwit2x' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/jtos3 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 296-306min
''' Bitfinex - one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges Kraken - world's largest EUR Bitcoin exchange based on volume LocalBitcoins - world's largest P2P Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp - one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges Gemini - one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges Poloniex - world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex - world's second largest cryptocurrency exchange BitQuick - major cash to Bitcoin exchange in the USA Vaultoro - gold/bitcoin exchange VirWoX - world's largest Paypal to Bitcoin exchange Zebpay - one of India's largest Bitcoin exchanges CoinMama - one of the world's largest credit card to Bitcoin brokers BitPanda - one of Europe's largest Bitcoin brokers CEX.io - top global Bitcoin and crypto exchange coinhouse - credit card to Bitcoin broker run by Ledger Bitcoin.de - one of Europe's largest P2P Bitcoin exchanges Bittylicious - one of the UK's largest Bitcoin brokers Coinfloor - European Bitcoin broker and exchange BitBargain - UK Bitcoin exchangd Paymium - Bitcoin broker based in France Bity - large European Bitcoin exchange Satoshi Counter - Canadian OTC Bitcoin exchange Bitaccess - Canadia Bitcoin ATM network SurBitcoin - Venezuela's largest Bitcoin exchange Cryptobuyer - Venezuelan Bitcoin exchange bit2c - Israel's top Bitcoin exchange Bits of Gold - Israel's largest Bitcoin broker CoinHako - one of Singapore's largest Bitcoin exchanges Volabit - Mexican Bitcoin exchange Satoshi Tango - Latin American Bitcoin exchange Mercado Bitcoin - Brazilian Bitcoin exchange FOXBIT - Brazilian Bitcoin exchange OKCoin - Chinese Bitcoin exchange Huobi - Chinese Bitcoin exchange LakeBTC - Bitcoin exchange Gatecoin - Bitcoin exchange Bitrefill - mobile phone topups with Bitcoin CoinJar - Australian Bitcoin broker BuyaBitcoin - Australian cash to bitcoin exchange Coin Loft - Australian cash to Bitcoin exchange Urdubit - Bitcoin exchange based in Pakistan Bitcoin Cambodia - Camobdian Bitcoin broker Bitt - Caribbean Bitcoin exchange bitcoin.co.id - Indonesia's largest Bitcoin exchange Coincheck - one of Japan's largest Bitcoin exchanges coins.co.th - one of Thailand's largest Bitcoin brokers/exchange bitcoin.co.th - one of Thailand's largest Bitcoin brokers/exchange MaiCoin - Taiwanese Bitcoin exchange Bitonic - Dutch Bitcoin broker Bitrush - Dutch Bitcoin broker BitBay - Bitcoin broker based in Poland Bitcoin Romania - largest Romanian Bitcoin exchange & broker Nairaex - Nigeria's largest Bitcoin exchange Bitsewa - Nepal's largest Bitcoin exchange Wall of Coins - major US cash to Bitcoin exchange LibertyX - major US cash to Bitcoin exchange CoinCorner - European Bitcoin broker Cubits - European Bitcoin broker Bitit - European Bitcoin broker itBit - OTC Bitcoin trading Anycoin Direct - European Bitcoin broker Belgacoin - large European Bitcoin exchange/broker Bisq - decentralized Bitcoin exchange KeepKey - hardware Bitcoin wallet Ledger Wallet - hardware Bitcoin wallet TREZOR - hardware Bitcoin wallet Electrum - Bitcoin desktop wallet GreenAddress - Bitcoin web wallet Slush Pool - Bitcoin mining pool Samourai Wallet - Android Bitcoin wallet breadwallet - most popular iOS Bitcoin wallet Mycelium - popular Android Bitcoin wallet Please help list more in the comments. ''' 70+ Bitcoin companies, exchange and wallets that did NOT agree to Segwit2x Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: jtos3
Shanghai-based exchange LakeBTC says it has taken a step towards bypassing the delays and costs associated with international transfers by becoming a Ripple gateway. Previously, users around the world wired fiat money to LakeBTC’s account directly. However, they may now deposit funds with a Ripple gateway in their local area in any currency, and transfer it to a LakeBTC USD account via the Ripple network instead. The same applies to withdrawals. CEO Thomas Xie told CoinDesk the decision to add the Ripple network transfer option was the result of customer demand and a dissatisfaction with the way traditional banks were handling transfers. He said:
“The traditional banking/clearance system has been slow (surprise!) to respond to [customers' needs] in the new millennium. They charge hefty fees and the [delays are] not acceptable in the modern world.”
Additionally, a significant proportion of the population don’t have access to regular banking services, he added, which has triggered yet another layer of problems.
“From time to time, our customer support got user complaints about the wire delays, bounced transfers, and outrageous fees charged by the so-called ‘intermediary banks’ or ‘correspondent banks’.”
However, the addition of Ripple means that funds can now be moved in and out of LakeBTC accounts instantaneously and at minimal cost, no matter where users live. Other options LakeBTC had been evaluating a number of other alternative methods for users to streamline the deposit and withdrawal process, Xie continued, before deciding on Ripple. Users can also access LakeBTC accounts via EgoPay, and the company is still planning to add more banking and payment processor options in future. Xie added:
“Our goal is to build a bitcoin platform with security, liquidity, and extraordinary service.”
Ripple: sending and receiving funds A Ripple gateway functions in a similar way to a traditional bank branch. Just as banks take your cash and move it into and out of the international banking system, so do Ripple gateways with the Ripple network. A basic demonstration of how gateways function is here To use a Ripple gateway, a user first needs a Ripple Wallet, which comes with an address and account, and can be set up easily online. Each account requires a minimum balance of 20-30 XRP (about $0.17). XRP is the currency of the Ripple network and is often compared to postage stamps on an envelope. You can add funds to your Ripple account by setting up a ‘trust line’ with a local Ripple gateway, which are the entry and exit points for assets into the Ripple network. Funds can be sent to the gateway using local bank transfer, PayPal, Credit Cards, or any other payment system they accept. The gateway then issues you an ‘IOU’ for that amount, and you’re free to send it anywhere in world within the Ripple network at almost no cost: this now includes LakeBTC accounts. When you want to withdraw the funds, use your wallet to notify the gateway, and the gateway must deliver those real-world amounts to you. This is also why it’s important to use gateways you trust. IRBA certification is just one option, and it’s wise to do your own online research as well. LakeBTC, one of the world's largest exchanges LakeBTC is one of the world’s top five USD-BTC exchanges by volume, and was added to the CoinDesk BPI for both USD and CNY in June. Started in March 2013, it was initially run as a bitcoin exchange for a small group of financial professionals before opening to the general public later that year. Xie said LakeBTC is marketed towards all participants in the bitcoin ecosystem, including traders and institutions, miners, merchants and individual investors. Risk management and internal controls made LakeBTC stand out from the crowd, he added.
“For financial firms, technology is only [the] tip of the iceberg to safeguard inventors’ funds and personal information. The real challenge is on the financial turf: any weak link in risk management or process control will allure predators to sink the entire ship at the cost of all users.” High availability with fast trade matches were key to LakeBTC’s liquidity, Xie said. The platform also provided market data and trading APIs for advanced users looking for arbitrage, market-making and algorithmic trading.
The exchange recently added ‘Dark Pools’ feature allows orders of 50 BTC or over to be ‘invisible’ to other users, preventing them from causing large price fluctuations and avoiding the attention of ‘financial predators’ who watch for potentially large price movements. LakeBTC is currently owned by Lake Investments Limited, with Shanghai Trading IT, Inc. providing the service’s technical and customer support.
The bulk of Michigan’s 127 bitcoin ATMs are concentrated in Detroit. The city alone is home to 120 of these machines, while the other 7 machines are Lincoln Park, Lake Orion and Grand Rapids. With Detroit currently coming out of bankruptcy and the economy struggling to find its feet, it might be a while before we see bitcoin ATMs be in full use. LocalBitcoins is the largest peer-to-peer service which helps to match Bitcoin buyers and sellers who live close to each other, enabling face-to-face and online transactions. The platform also provides an escrow service which is used to ensure fairness of every transaction made by the users. Nevertheless, here are a few of the most popular exchanges with wallets, should you wish to keep everything in one place. Coinbase. This is one of the most well-known coin exchanges and has been operating from San Francisco since 2012. It accepts many fiat currencies and enables trading of bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash. There are 32 Bitcoin ATMs in Utah, including Quad Coin, Coin Cloud. Most of the ATMs are Coin Cloud, with only one being Quad Coin. Most of the ATMs are located in Salt Lake City. You can both buy and sell your Bitcoin at any Coin Cloud ATM, while you can purchase Bitcoin on Quad Coin, without the possibility of selling. Here are the 19 best exchanges in Dubai to buy bitcoin. Kraken is the world's largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of both total volume and liquidity and accepts almost every type of bank or wire transfer as a funding Suite 36-F Jumeirah Lake Towers Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Phone: 001-833-863-2020. International Investors: www
OKEx Recorded Over 8000 ‘Whale’ Bitcoin Trades in June
The exchanges headquarters are located in San Francisco and is known as the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. This is largely due to the brokers easy to use and convenient interface ... Some of the largest and most influential Twitter accounts in the world were hacked earlier today to promote fake Bitcoin giveaways. But eagle eyed Reddit users have spotted a series of hidden ... Check out the Hackers BTC Address: ** DO NOT SEND FUNDS TO THIS ADDRESS** https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh ... OKEx exchange recorded over 8,000 “whale” Bitcoin (BTC) trades in June; more than any other exchange. It also had the honor of recording the largest such trade — 513.1 BTC according to data ... Let's discuss the best crypto exchanges of 2019, while we are still in 2018 it's important to peak into the future and discuss the current options. We also discuss Bitcoin ETF, Steemit laying off ...