Bitcoin mining website loses tens of millions of dollars ...
Bitcoin mining website loses tens of millions of dollars ...
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Former Cryptocurrency hater looking to learn
I had previously swore off bitcoin after losing ~$15k in early 2018. I was a new inexperienced investotrader (i didnt even know the difference at the time) and saw what i thought was an opportunity of a lifetime to get on board with the future -> Invested heavily into GBTC early 2018 -> Instantly became a bagholder when it dropped -> it continued to drop with no end in sight -> held and prayed as long as i could then eventually cut my losses and moved on. Initially I blamed bitcoin for my loss and considered it a scam like an immature twat but now i know better. The only reason i lost money was because i made mistakes plain and simple. Currently i am loosing faith in the US dollar...and the US in general. The amount of money printed this year makes me want to fucking barf. My savings being robbed via some backhanded bullshit called "inflation" annoys me to no end. I have made some money on gold this year but was thinking last night about how closing my mind to crypto not only goes against my free market beliefs, but that cryptocurrency provides me a direct means of expressing "fuck the feds" via my wallet. I have a hard time simply googling this topic because of the widespread hate or bagholder promotion so starting here among supporters. Looking for some opinions on what you believe the most viable long term CCs are? Which ones have the most potential and why? I would really appreciate if you could recommend some educational videos or articles from what you consider a trustworthy source. Thanks
If you leave your coins on a Chinese exchange, the Chinese state may seize them
I know OKEX is incorporated in Malta/Europe, but the exchange's execs are in China. Even the one(!) guy apparently holding the key to sign withdrawals is in China, and under investigation there. Has he been forced to disclose his key to state actors by now? Consider OKEX compromised. That means: get everything you own off there, now. Though the majority of BTC miners may be Chinese, mind you that most buyers of crypto assets are--obviously--rich Westerners. An exchange like OKEX is worth many, many billions of USD$. In a financial war between the US and China, China could easily seize Binance/Huobi/OKEX and other exchanges under their territorial control, even ones incorporated in Malta if the execs are in Beijing. Get a real wallet, like Wasabi or even Bitcoin core or even Coinbase's dedicated wallet app, but ffs, get your coins off the exchanges. Exchanges can be seized by state powers, execs can be imprisoned, HQ's can be robbed, key holders can be abducted by terrorists, etc. etc. Not your keys, not your coins.
Storing your coins safely while not risking loss of keys
This was originally an answer to a question that was asked here, but OP deleted their post. This might help some newbies (especially the multisig edit at the end), so I want to make sure it's still accessible here. The original question was whether the Electrum wallet stores a Trezor's private key when using a passphrase. OP noticed that their Trezor wouldn't connect to their Electrum wallet when entering a different passphrase than they used when creating the wallet. Thus, OP (likely) assumed that the wallet stored the private key, as it somehow knew that a different private key was now used. Here is my original answer (with some modifications): IMPORTANT: I'm assuming here that you connected your Trezor by choosing the "hardware wallet" option in Electrum, rather than giving Electrum your 12/24 seed words. TL;DR: No, your coins are safe :) I'm assuming by passphrase) you mean the 25th (or 13th) word. When you have this feature enabled, a private key gets generated every time you enter a passphrase. When you enter the same passphrase you used to create the wallet, the wallet with your funds shows up. Whenever you enter something different, a different private key is generated on your Trezor. This allows you to have multiple different wallets, for example by choosing the passphrases "First Wallet", "Second Wallet", "Third Wallet", or a secret wallet with a secret passphrase. So whenever you enter a new passphrase when connecting your Trezor to Electrum, the Trezor will send a new public key to Electrum. Electrum will then derive addresses from this public key and check those for balances. It won't find any, as you used a new passphrase. EDIT: I just realized that you said your wallet doesn't connect to Electrum when you use a different passphrase. This is simply because Electrum doesn't receive the correct public key from the Trezor and therefore Electrum thinks it's a different wallet (which it is). When you enter the passphrase you used during creation of your wallet, the Trezor will send your actual public key to Electrum, which will then find addresses with balances, which it will show to you. EDIT (to clarify): Connecting your Trezor after creating the wallet is only necessary to send funds or verify addresses, as the public key is already stored in the wallet.dat. The only thing Electrum actually stores is the public key, which can only be used to look at your Bitcoin, not to move them. You might want to keep this public key a secret as well though, since it links all your funds to you. This is what Electrum stores in the wallet.dat file, which you can just encrypt by choosing a password for it. Well done using a passphrase by the way! Should someone get their hands on your Trezor, a sophisticated attacker can get the secret key off the device in 15 minutes. Using a passphrase makes this attack almost useless, as the both secret key AND the passphrase are needed to move your funds, and the passphrase is not stored on the device. A passphrase also allows you to hide funds from potential robbers that force you to unlock your wallet. You can do this by activating the passphrase feature and sending your funds to a wallet with a secret passphrase (do NOT lose this, as losing your passphrase renders your funds inaccessible). Afterwards, you can safely deactivate the passphrase feature, so the device doesn't even ask for one should you get robbed. Simply reactivate it when you need to access your funds. EDIT: Should you be worried that you might forget your passphrase, you should look into multisig wallets. Depending on how you set this up, you can make it more secure against theft and less likely for you to lose access to your funds. Say for example you get four wallets: two hardware wallets, a well-protected (airgapped) laptop with Electrum, and a secure mobile wallet that allows for multisig (like Fully Noded). You can then create a 2-of-4 multisig wallet that requires you to sign transactions with any two of these four wallets. The increase in security comes from the fact that an attacker now needs full access to two of your devices (or their stored private keys) at once. At the same time, the fact that you yourself now also need access to only half of your devices means that in the event of a total loss of one (or even two) of them, you can still move your funds to a new wallet. As long as you do regular checks (e.g. first day of each month), ensuring that you still have access to all your devices' stored private keys, you can always catch a loss of keys and fix this without losing funds (by creating a new multisig wallet and sending the funds there). This allows you to use a passphrase on your wallets without storing it anywhere physically or digitally. This would usually be very risky, as forgetting the passphrase would lead to a loss of funds, but this risk is now close to eliminated. (The following part was not in the original answer) Some IMPORTANT general secruity tips:
Consider including trusted friends and/or family members as co-signers for a multisig wallet. This ensures that it's not even possible for you alone to hand over funds to an attacker. Depending on your level of trust, you might want to make sure that your co-signers can't collaborate to steal your funds (if you include 3 people, create at least a 4-of-n multisig). You could also deliberately make it possible for all or even just some of your co-signers to move your funds (3 co-signers, 3(or less)-of-n multisig) to make sure your funds aren't lost should pass away unexpectedly.
Consider running your own full node and Electrum server (also check the alternatives), which you connect your Electrum wallet to. This ensures that you don't send your public key to anyone else. If someone knows your public key, they know how much BTC you own, making you a potential target.
Always encrypt your wallet.dat (or whatever you called your wallet file), even if it's a watch-only wallet. This protects your public key (see 1. for why you want that).
Create watch-only wallets: Use an airgapped) device to create a wallet with Electrum (make sure to back up the seed phrase) and export the public key. Then create a new watch-only wallet on another device (like your everyday laptop) with that public key to be able to check your funds. To create the initial wallet, you can also use any other hard- or software wallet that allows you to export the master public key.
Hide, or (when using a hardware wallet with a passphrase) even delete your watch-only wallets. Hiding your funds makes you less of a target. When using a hardware wallet, recreating the watch-only wallet is fast and simple, so you don't need to store it if you don't want to check your funds every day. Note that this approach doesn't help much when you don't use a passphrase, as an attacker will obviously check the passphrase-less wallet no matter what.
Keep some funds on your hardware wallet(s). If an attackers sees funds on the wallet(s), they might not force you to enter a passphrase or ask if you have any multisig wallets (lying under pressure is hard).
Hide all your wallets in different places. If someone sees that you have multiple wallets lying around, they might realize you have a multisig wallet.
Don't risk a robber getting (for example) two keys to your 2-of-4 multisig wallet and then racing them to move your funds with the other two keys when they leave. They're gonna come back and be pissed. If it comes to this, you need protection until the robber is caught. STAY SAFE!
The easiest way to solve a problem is to never have it. Don't make yourself a target. If nobody even suspects that you have a multisig (or any wallet at all), they're probably not gonna look for it.
Please correct any mistakes you find and I will edit my post. I will also gladly add more tips to the list. I will of course credit anyone who helps. Tip for devs who want something cool and important to work on: Make the creation and usage of multisig wallets as noob-friendly as possible. If someone expresses worries about losing access to their funds by forgetting the seed phrase, wallet pin, etc. (someone in my family actually brought this up to me), multisig wallets are the perfect solution as they add redundancy.
So there's been a lot of back and forth in recent days about whether or not the Cardano community should continue the ITN. Here's what I'm thinking. The major pros and cons that I have seen brought up on this sub are thus: Pros: Freer experimentation of ideas for potential use on the Cardano mainnet. Faster prototyping/implementation of features for the Cardano mainnet. Additional rewards/value for those who participated in the ITN. Cons: Confusion for newcomers to the ecosystem who may end up buying tADA on exchanges instead of the main net ADA, thus undermining the value of mainnet ADA. Bitterness and division on the part of those who did not get in on the testnet. Now, as an ITN delegator, I am pretty firmly of the opinion that it can't hurt to at least keep the ITN running for another month to at least see what IOG wants to do with it before we make any decisions to kill it immediately. There's no sense in cutting off an avenue which could give Cardano a competitive edge before we even know what the value of the continued ITN could be to mainnet. If this allows Cardano to speed up deployment of new features, or prevent bad features from being implemented in mainnet, it could be an extremely valuable guinea pig which would benefit the Cardano ecosystem as a whole. To address the concerns of those who think this would dilute the value of ADA, just take a look at Litecoin vs. Bitcoin. In much the same relationship as Charles has proposed for the ITN, Litecoin is useful for Bitcoin because it acts as a proving ground for new features to be implemented into Bitcoin faster. Yet Litecoin has just a small fraction of Bitcoin's worth: $3B to $172B. It allows for people who want to live on the bleeding edge of Bitcoin development to do so, whilst providing valuable feedback for Bitcoin without detracting value from it in any meaningful way. Bitcoin is a more robust platform because of the value Litecoin adds to its ecosystem. The Cardano ITN is proposed to function in much the same way. As for confusion amongst newcomers, anybody who is going to invest any significant sum of money in a cryptocurrency is going to do their due research and decide for themselves which side of the fence they want to be on. I also suspect that some of the resistance to continuing the ITN is the result of some people missing out on ITN participation and they don't want to miss out on any additional rewards. To those people, I say this: choosing to continue the ITN means more value for everyone in the long term, including mainnet ADA holders. Choosing to kill the ITN means less value for everyone. Killing what could be a valuable addition for mainnet feature deployment is basically just shooting yourself in the foot by preventing potential price appreciation and competitive vigor for mainnet Cardano in the long run, in exchange for preventing additional short-term rewards for those on the ITN. Killing the ITN for the sake of stopping rewards is essentially making the choice to rob yourself of value as long as it means robbing others of more value. It is against your own interests to do so. In conclusion, it can't hurt to at least see what IOG wants to do with the ITN before killing it prematurely. Let's not act rashly here. Just my 2 lovelaces.
Gulden [NLG] - Constant development - In wallet Staking/Mining/Dex
Official Website / Official Slack About Gulden: How to setup a Witness (Staking) Gulden was founded in April 2014 based on the Litecoin codebase. In 2015 the Litecoin codebase is abandoned and Gulden switched to the Bitcoin codebase. After years of development it can be said that Gulden now has its own codebase. Gulden started with a 10% premine that was spent entirely on development. The current developments are now paid by part of the mining reward. The direction of the developments are determined by the Gulden advisory board (GAB). The GAB consists of 9 members and is elected each year from the members of the community. Anyone can stand for election. Voting for candidates is recorded and done through the Gulden blockchain. Gulden would like to become a generally accepted means of payment. To this end, the development is aimed at making the wallets as user-friendly as possible. What makes Gulden unique: - PoW2 - Proof of work + Witness/Staking - SegSig (Segregated Signature) - SIGMA (Semi Iterated Global Memory Argon) - Linking (Control your mobile wallet from your desktop wallet) - Wallet accounts - Unity (Unified codebase) - Delta (Difficulty Algorithm) - Sonic (Fast Sync) Features of Gulden explained: PoW2: Gulden does not use a standard PoW consensus model, but the in-house developed PoW2 model. This is a combination of PoW and Witness. Miners control the transactions and the Witness controls the miners. In order to get the same chance of success for a double spend as for the single transaction approval systems it is therefore necessary not to control >50% of the mining power or >50% of the number of coins in witness accounts but to own more than 71% of both systems. (0.71 * 0.71 = 0.5 so 50% chance). Because many Gulden owners have their Gulden fixed in witness, it is difficult to get a 71% majority in witness. There are now more than 100 million Gulden in witness. In order to get a 71% majority, an attacker has to secure an additional 220 million Gulden in witness. Apart from the fact that this is almost impossible, the price of the Gulden would go up sky high if so much Gulden had to be bought by the attacker. And because the attacker has to lock the Gulden, it looks like a bank robber who is going to rob his own bank. So such an attack is theoretically possible, but not possible in reality. Anyone can become a witness: by locking an amount of Gulden in a Witness account in the desktop wallet for a certain amount of time. Depending on the weighting of the witness account (chosen duration and amount in the account) the witness earns rewards. The advantage of this system is that the Gulden blockchain can withstand 51% attacks without relying heavily on energy-guzzling PoW miners or vulnerable standard PoS systems. Transactions can be safely accepted after one confirmation instead of the standard 3-6 confirmations.
SIGMA: Since October 17, 2019, the Gulden team has implemented the Sigma algorithm and since then it is possible to mine Gulden solo without additional equipment. The algorithm is asic resistant and can be done on a normal desktop computer using it’s CPU. One can simply use this CPU mining algorithm by creating a mining account in the desktop wallet and start mining Gulden. SegSig - Segregated Signature - Detailed article still to be published but was implemented with PoW2. Advantages of Segregated Signature: 1. 58% space saving on all transactions. More then twice the bitcoin SegWit implementation. 2. 58% increased transaction throughput. No block size or frequency changes needed. 3. Overhaul to the transaction script system which allowed us to implement PoW² and SegSig as clean as possible along with other benefits. Please take your time and read the technicals on this coin as its truly phenomenal and seriously under valorised and recognised. Barely any effort has been made to market its potential but you can judge yourself. Read the PoW2 Whitepaper or the short version PoW2 simply explained The Official Website and Official Slack chatroom.
09-27 00:35 - 'Bitcoin works like magic for those who know how to control it, most of you out here do not know how to trade, most of you have also been robbed by fake traders... / . / Now is your time to finally be free, join the in...' by /u/Personal_Praline4 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 81-91min
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Hello world, Many people are wondering what Dollar Protocol is - I will now explain some of the rationale behind our decision to create this protocol. Money and state has almost always coexisted as a duopoly. That means state and government owns money and can slowly rob its citizens through money printing and inflation. Bitcoin was created in response to this uncontrolled printing of money and as such, has a finite and deterministic supply of only 21 million coins. Digital scarcity challenges the sovereignty of nation states and has contributed much to the rise of crypto currencies. The problem is that Bitcoin is not useable money - it’s more akin to Gold. Better money needs to maintain the properties of good money as espoused by Hayek, including store of value, medium of exchange and unit of account. Elastic and algorithmic coin protocols are an interesting experiment for testing the viability of a fiat-like money protocol, but instead of the government/federal reserve owning 100% of the seigniorage, anyone with an internet connection can. Democratizing access to a new money is important for taking control away from the government. We will be launching a new money protocol in 2 days where users will have access to a new protocol that bifurcates coin ownership into users and shareholders. Good money must have separate stakeholders to differentiate the supply and demand graphs. Otherwise, having one coin supply (like AMPL) is basically stabilizing coin price but not wallet purchasing power; instead of experiencing price volatility, now you experience supply volatility, which is equally as problematic when it comes to use as money. 90% of the initial share supply will be farmed by Uniswap/Mooniswap LPs over a fair coin distribution schedule over 10 years. The majority of the coins will be distributed from 2020-2023. The remaining 10% of shares will be vested by the founding team over a 10 year linear vesting schedule. The initial marketcap for dollars will be $1M, leaving all the seigniorage profits up for grabs :) The code is audited and the results are on our GitHub (will be publicly available on 9/1/2020 at 5:30pn UTC). We welcome you to a new age of money. Happy mining!
I had previously swore off bitcoin after losing ~$15k in early 2018. I was a new inexperienced investotrader (i didnt even know the difference at the time) and saw what i thought was an opportunity of a lifetime to get on board with the future -> Invested heavily into GBTC early 2018 -> Instantly became a bagholder when it dropped -> it continued to drop with no end in sight -> held and prayed as long as i could then eventually cut my losses and moved on. Initially I blamed bitcoin for my loss and considered it a scam like an immature twat but now i know better. The only reason i lost money was because i made mistakes plain and simple. Currently i am loosing faith in the US dollar...and the US in general. The amount of money printed this year makes me want to fucking barf. My savings being robbed via some backhanded bullshit called "inflation" annoys me to no end. I have made some money on gold this year but was thinking last night about how closing my mind to crypto not only goes against my free market beliefs, but that cryptocurrency provides me a direct means of expressing "fuck the feds" via my wallet. I have a hard time simply googling this topic because of the widespread hate so starting here among supporters. Looking for some opinions on what you believe the most viable long term CCs are? Which ones have the most potential and why? even posting what you consider a trustworthy article/source for me to do my own research would be greatly appreciated.
When will Bitcoin be focusing on improving privacy?
I think bitcoin has a BIG problem with fungibility and being so traceable. Will this ever be improved on the core itself or we will need workarounds offering pseudo-privacy forever which are clearly not good and most users will never use them? Bitcoin's traceablilty, lack of fungibility and it's public transparent ledger are really big problems which make it impossible to be adopted as a common currency. I can, for example, know how wealth is the person who I'm paying. Criminals could choose who they want to rob by knowing the exact ammount this person holds and who this person is paying (possible new victims). In addition, a bussiness could check your funds and raise the price based on your wealth. Also Bitcoin is not fungible which means that a bitcoin that may come from a criminal source could easily end up in your wallet; say you sell a product and this criminal buys you (nothing wrong here, you recieve a payment and he recieves a product). Now imagine the police catches this criminal and follows the trace of his payments, you could end up as suspect because you recieved a payment from his address... These problems, like the non-existent privacy, make Bitcoin a very bad option as a currency. There are few workarounds like coinjoin, but they make the system less usable.
When using ledger live you must use their full node, they do not allow you to choose your own node, meaning they can clearly see what IP addresses are connected with each transaction they broadcast essentially connecting identity with transactions. On top of this they do not allow coin control meaning you can not choose (for example) to send funds from an address that has a smaller balance so as to keep private your larger holdings, in-fact in most cases their algorithms take funds from your addresses that have the largest balances first. That is horribly incompetent. So not only can you not maintain any financial privacy when sending transactions, ledger themselves can clearly see your identity and IP address and connect that to your transactions. Is Ledger live a privacy nightmare? Annd what is being done to address these issues? Is this a violation of GDPR regulations due to ledger live blatantly leaking massive amounts of sensitive and personal data because their software is sub-par? Edit: the unanimous solution and conclusion appears to be yes ledger live is a privacy nightmare with no standard features that are employed as standard in other wallets. So do not use ledger live, use your ledger hardware wallet in conjunction with other wallets like electrum to ensure you are getting expected and standard features. Using ledger live is the equivalent of showing every merchant you purchase something from how much cash you keep at home in a safe. and ledger do not employ any features to mitigate this gaping privacy hole. What happens if one day I buy something from someone using ledger live and this merchant has my residential address on file and due to ledgers lack of privacy features that person is able to see how much bitcoin I have making me a target. I then get robbed and tortured for my btc. Is ledger liable for blatantly leaking my personal financial data to random people because they do not employ any standard privacy features at all. Does ledger not have any responsibility to its users to help protect them from becoming targets? That would be an interesting court case indeed.
We aren't trying to hack you. We are the guys that build your computers.
I don't know if this is the right sub for this, but here we go. So my friend and I work for a tech support company. We are a retailer for one of the most popular Point of Sale software suites in the country. We also dabble in all the hardware and peripherals that go with it. Both my friend and I are Systems Analysts. He specializes in databases and menus. I focus on integration, which usually comes down to making sure whatever stupid bean counting program the client uses to track their sales internally works with our equally janky software. Yay. Both of us have plenty of experience in computer science, networking, and cyber security. So it has been a long long day and we both had to stay late due to one fire or another. It is three in the morning and we decide the best course of action is breakfast/dinner. We head to a local diner that just so happens to be one of our clients. They don't get their tech support through us, but we sell them hardware. We, being nerds and lacking basic people skills, don't notice that we are the only customers in the place. They are dead. We get coffee and Breakfast+Dinner. Just a couple of fat nerds enjoying the fruits of our labors. That is when my friend notices something. Mounted to the ceiling behind me is a Wireless Access Point. "I didn't know they had customer wifi." He says. It turns out, they don't. The only wifi available is listed as " 3PD". The 3PD stands for Third-Party Delivery, meaning that it is the wifi used to make their grub hub or door dash tablet work, or whatever third party delivery company they use. The wifi is also not password protected. quickly forgetting ourselves, My friend and I set to work. After gaining access to the wifi through my phone, I poke and prod and find out that the wifi is plugged in to their switch. This means that it is behind all of their security, and basically is a back door into their computer system. The two of us get about as animated as fat nerds are prone to do, and begin throwing jargon around as we analyse and prod at the store's network. We find their office computer and soon are just one password away from their internal documents. The store is horrendously unsecured. After confirming our suspicions, we discuss. and my friend says the phrase that triggers this whole situation: "Ok. How would you do it. How would you rob this place?" I start off on a long and elaborate plan involving a Raspberry Pi, some batteries, and a woman's purse. Any person versed in cyber security would be laughing at the two of us by this point. However, the General manager for the diner was not well versed in cyber security. We had not noticed, but our waitress had gone into the kitchen to do dishes, and the GM was now our waiter. He never said anything to us, but was on top of those drink refills. My friend and I compare ideas for stealing from the place, and then go and estimate how valuable a diner like this would be to rob, in terms of credit card numbers and employee identities. All parts of this discussion basic and silly. But the GM hears scary words like "Dark Web" "Bitcoin" "Block chain" and other such, so he grabs a note pad and begins to write things down. So the store GM had written down as much of our conversation as he was able to, and despite mishearing some of the Jargon, he does a decent job of writing down both of our plans for robbing the diner. He then calls the store's internal IT company, and tells them what we are saying. The IT guy who takes their phone call is relatively new, and tells the GM to call 911. Once again, My friend and I are more concerned with our food than our surroundings. Close to ten minutes later, two cops show up. They sit along near us, separated by a divider, and coffee just materializes silently at their table. They then just look at each other and quietly sip the magically appearing coffee. Again, my friend and I don't notice this. Finally, we finish our meals, pay, and leave without being challenged. The cops suggest that real hackers would not actually openly discuss their hacking plans in the restaurant they intend to rob. They did however, confirm that the stuff we were talking about sounded real, so we weren't some kids trying to get on the news or such. They suggest that we are from some software company or other similar entity. No real threat there. They will, however, make a report and do the basics to ensure we are not hurting anyone. So... during our discussion, we do talk about our own company by name. This is also reported to the diner's corporate IT. This in turn gets reported to our corporate office. Our corporate states that they don't know of any employees matching our description (We work in a separate building, so we don't have a lot of face to face interaction with our own administration), and that hacking or counter-hacking is not a service they provide. Now their company and ours believe that a pair of evil doers are going about masquerading as our techs, and trying to talk their way into people's offices. A meeting is set up. The next day, the meeting happens and since both myself and my friend are the senior tech analysts on duty, we are part of it. It is a conference call with the diner's corporate IT team. They explain the situation that there may be people pretending to work for us trying to get into our client's systems. The police have a report on the situation, and there is a whole recording of the two people in question. We all sit down and the evidence plays, and we end up staring at ourselves sitting at a table across from a pair of cops, discussing how insecure the store is. Our entire side of the meeting starts laughing, and my boss explains that those two fat nerds are not only employees, but are sitting in on the meeting. We both announce ourselves and apologize to everyone for causing such a scene. The diner IT team is at a loss for words, and finally we hear "So... you guys could steal from us that easily?" And that my friends, is how we almost got arrested, but instead landed a nice contract overhauling a restaurant chain's internal security.
08-18 03:45 - 'People, stop saying bitcoins is going to destroy "the financial system as we know it" (STORY)' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/graydoggames removed from /r/Bitcoin within 291-301min
''' The last month I actually worked, I was earnings $2,165 per week. After taxes, I got to take home... $965. I don't even pay child support. Federal tax, provincial tax, employment insurance, parental insurance, mandatory retirement plan (taken "from source" as they say it), medical insurance (mandatory), union fee, professsional order fee.... ... all taken right from my pay and I couldn't say a word about it. Of course, in addition to all that, I still needed to pay sales taxes (15%), property taxes (5k a year), gas taxes, school taxes................................................... Likewise, I had to pay parking at work every day, gas to go to work, dinner lunches, etc etc etc. I did the math once, and from $2,165, after you count everything, I got to take home $500 IF I was lucky. Less than 25% of what I earned was actually mine. So, why am I telling you this? Because at some point, I just... gave up. I didn't see it as "being worth it" anymore. This is when I quit my job to pursue other passions. I ended up, amongst other things, on poker and cryptocurrencies. Today, I earn way less than back when I was working, but I actually take a lot more home. I don't have to spend 2+ hours per day in traffic, find parking, obey bullshit orders from idiots that don't know anything but got higher positions because they are better at licking boots, and I don't have the frustration that I get from work. I have a lot more free time and am generally WAY happier. __________________ So, again, why am I telling you this? Because as long as people are willing to pull up with this bullshit, nothing will change. I have a friend who STILL partake in that "rat race" ... except that he also has to pay child support. He takes even less home, yet he never even THINK about bitching about it. To be clear, I am not anti-taxes, but can we fucking agree than if I earn $110,000 a year, I should take home more than $25,000? Can we AT LEAST agree on that? That it's not worth it? My boss' daily BONUS (not even his wages) is more than $25,000 AND that is not taxable (it's a capital gains). Do you think that's even remotely close to fair? I see people here being VERY optimistic about bitcoins and to be honest, so am I. I made a promise to myself I wouldn't sell bitcoins until they reach 100k. I took cash advances on my credit card to buy bitcoins. That's how much I fucking love bitcoins. I really believe in it (And ether). But even if bitcoins hits $1M, which I hope, it's not going to cause a dent in the financial system until people decice they have enough. At $100,000 per bitcoins, the entire bitcoin market cap would be less than $2T, which is less than Apple, ONE company. Add in the lost bitcoins (4M?) and we can see that even if bitcoin reaches $1,000,000, the entire market cap will be around $20T which, while huge, is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. In the last four months alone, the FED has printed $6T. They basically created that money out of thin air and trust me, they are nowhere near done yet. That's 30x the current market cap of bitcoins, printed, invented, made up, you pick your own word. Trump sent $1200 to every working american (and then some). Do the math. To say that bitcoins can disrupt the financial system is simply fake. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's insanely unlikely. It will not unseat banks, big corporations and other entities trying (and suceeding) to enslave us. Simply because these people can invent as much money as they want. THIS is why I paid 75% in taxes by the way. Because my province keeps printing more and more money to give to their buddies. I could go on about how horrible this province is mismanaged (most corrupt in the country) or how they waste trillions year after year, how they give themselves huge bonuses and billions (see: Trudeau WE, commandites scandal, etc etc etc). That's money that they rob from YOU AND I. They take your 75% income tax and fuck you in the ass with it. Trust me, you get far fewer services that you think you do. Again I'm not against taxation but 75% while those people steal billions is ludicrous. And as long as people are willing to put up with it, nothing will change. Bitcoins cannot change the mentality of "I slave every day to enrich billionaires who don't give a shit about me." I quit working because it just wasn't worth it, but the vast majority show up day after day to enrich CEOs, corporations, shareholders, and the government. The dollar is not backed on gold. It's backed by good will. Meaning, the faith that the printed money is backed by the economy. If people refuse to take part in the economy, or even use loopholes to partake in it as little as possible, THEN the financial system will crash. But as long as people obey orders and allow themselves to get ripped off (that $6T printed money will lead to either of two things: higher taxes, or higher inflation, or both), the system will survive, bitcoins or not. Yes, bitcoin can help that financial system crash, but by themselves, no matter the price, they cannot "start" or "achieve" anything, even if they reach $1,000,000. Bitcoin entire market cap is peanuts compared to how much those people rob, year after year. I'll conclude by saying the bitcoin's most important attribute is that there is a fixed number. Obviously you cannot print unlimited bitcoins like the FED is doing with money right now and in 5-10 years I would bet new bitcoins will be very, very rare. Bitcoin isn't going anywhere but up and I'm holding until it hits 100k MINIMUM. But to conclude, don't think it's anything but a blimp for the world's economy. An important blimp, but a blimp nonetheless. ''' People, stop saying bitcoins is going to destroy "the financial system as we know it" (STORY) Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: graydoggames
Lessons learned - Crypto and Divorce - In January I was a millionaire thanks to BTC, then my wife divorces me and now I have $30,000 AMA
Crossreferencing u/nanoissuperior He wrote earlier today: https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/a3n6uw/in_january_i_was_a_millionaire_thanks_to_nano_now/ Title: In January I was a millionaire thanks to Nano, now I have $25,000 AMA I was replying to his post, but my reply ended up being a bit too large as a reply and steered off-topic, albeit an interesting one. So I decided to make it its own post, because there may be a good lessons to be learned and hoping some will come forward with good information to be shared. I hope it can help anyone on this sub avoid the costly mistakes that I made. Here it goes: FLAIR: LEGAL (not in the list) ---- u/nanoissuperior are you who I think you are? I won't give out any further identifying clues, but I happen to know someone in the exact same position that could have written that exact same headline. If you read the first paragraph, you'll know if you know me. The person I know bought Nano really early, based on a tip from a friend. I got in much later. By the time he told me it had already spiked to the $5 range, when I ended up buying. I then sold in the $20's so it was a good buy nonetheless. We were former colleagues at a large, large software company somewhere in the PNW, I left the company to venture out on my own and try to launch some projects I had in mind and relocated overseas for a few years. We lost contact with each other during my time away, but we connected again during the market runup and started exchanging coin information on a daily basis during the big bull run of late 2017. That was a crazy time.... the market trend was a few degrees short of vertical for pretty much all coins! Hey, guess what? Now that I think about it, I could have written that same headline myself! In January 2018 I was a Millionaire too! Not with Nano, but thanks to purchasing a good chunk of Bitcoin in 2011 at $1.20 each. I ended up a single digit millionaire with what I had left in Bitcoin around January of 2018. And, just like you, today, from all that wealth, I have about $30.000 left, with little to show for. Can we call that even? Although my disaster was not caused entirely by market fluctuation; Mine is a more complex story and I am going to mention it, because hopefully, it could serve as a lesson to be learned for any crypto holder out there, so they don't make the make mistake I made: Don't trust anyone. Always be skeptical and watch out for your own interests. Anyhow, here it goes: After 5 years overseas, I had enough and wanted to come back to the States. My wife stated her preference to stay abroad, but eventually, she conceded albeit reluctantly. We chose a small town in CO to settle, and landed in November of 2017. We had plans to settle down and considered purchasing a home with my/our new fortune, based on the market price during that period. At the same time, I was also hesitant about the inherent tax payments due caused by such large liquidation. I was trying to have to pay taxes as far away as possible. So, I decided to wait till New Year's Eve and started liquidating my crypto on January 1st, 2018 right after midnight. This way, I would have 16 months (till April, 2019) to pay any capital gains taxes, and I was confident at the time that the market would give me that for free, especially at the pace that it was going. I have been an early adopter and have since then acquired the high levels of verification and trading limits per week, with many exchanges, but for a large sum like this, I needed several separate transactions, over the course of several weeks, especially wanting to do it with a US-based exchange that was linked to a US bank accounts, to avoid overseas wire transfers, meaning more fees. (Yes, I did look at all OTC options, but for reasons not relevant to the story, I couldn't make it happen, so I had to use the traditional Exchange channels for asset liquidation). My wife and I, initially had some fundamental disagreements on the gross amount to be spent and the type of property we should be purchasing. I wanted a smaller place, with a denser, younger community, where there'd be kids our son's age for him to play. She insisted that we should go big; we had been traveling for so many years, and we had not been able to call any of our past residences our home. It was time to settle and nest; She convinced me that we should own a property of our own that we would be proud of living in for years. One that we could own outright and would not easily outgrow. We ended up splurging and purchased in cash two luxury cars for ourselves and set our sights on a large dream house in the city's Golf & Country Club, free and clear, for us and our two kids. I don't even play golf, nor do I even like it, but, if it makes her happy and it is within the safe margins of making it happen, I figured, why not? My concerns were largely financial and the numbers were adding up. It was a bit tight against my personal safe margins, but, at the same time, I was imagining to never have to make, or even have to think about, a car or home mortgage payment ever again! Bitcoin is on a roll and there is no sign of it stopping. Fine. Let's do it, before I change my mind. Now, I admit I was extremely lucky with choosing the time of when to sell the assets. I had no clue the market would take a dive in February, and so it seemed to many that I had timed the market perfectly, selling most of my coins in the first two weeks of January of 2018. Many called me a genius for selling at the very top, as if I had some sort of wisdom to know when it would drop; the truth is much less flattering; it was nothing but dumb luck, based on me wanting to pay taxes in 2018 and defer to 2019. Awesome, well done! Yeah? well, slow down, son, not so fast. So, I gather the 7-digit lumpsum in January 2018 and we write a check for the full amount at closing in February on the property of her dreams. A property that could easily be showcased on a luxury Real Estate magazine cover. Also, remember we had just moved back to the United States with just a few suitcases each from overseas. We had no furniture, kitchenware, curtains, TV's, bed sheets, winter clothing and so many other essential things that one usually purchases over time, but which we now had to purchase all at once. Not a problem, Bitcoin had dropped slightly but still well above $15k, I believe, at the time. And, earlier, in January, I had diligently taken this expense into account and effortlessly set aside a small fortune for equipping such a large house with everything we would ever need, brand new. It seemed we were protagonists of one of the Home Makeover Shows. Finally, after working day and night, prepping the house non-stop for days and when every piece of furniture had finally arrived, been unpacked and carried to its corresponding room, it seemed most of the essentials were in place and the hard work was done. I longed for pouring myself a Scotch and to finally sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I head downstairs to the dedicated walk-in, cigar-humidor / wine / Scotch cellar in the basement and grab the better bottle of Whisky of the few bottles of Scotch that I had bought earlier in the week. On my way up, I remember feeling a sense of calm, combined with a glow of excitement and this undescribable profound inner peace, all at once. This was such a rare, natural, non-drug induced high that I had never experienced. It felt so good! This sense of accomplishment of achieving that one thing I had been chasing and longing for my entire life. I had expected I would be chasing this goal for the next 15-20 years, and yet, here it was. No, where I was, was even better than expected! A place where not even my parents, who still have to make their monthly mortgage payments. I had done it! With a smile from ear to ear, I take a deep breath of relief and while looking around the property, I think to myself: "It's perfect, everything is in place and I can finally call this our home. We are so lucky and we are going to live a great life. A life that few can only dream of. So many concerns will be lifted and become redundant. Everything will be better. I'll start a fire in one of our two fireplaces and I am going to begin enjoying my semi-retired life with the first sip of my drink. That will be the official start of our new life". I head over to the kitchen to get a glass and some ice cubes, while I struggle to find which one is the freezer among the many drawers in the kitchen. It was then when I notice a handwritten note placed front and center on the kitchen counter. It is from my wife and read: "There is no easy way to say this, so I am just going to say it..... I want to legally divorce [ ...]". It continued saying that she had taken our son, and had unequivocally decided to leave me. She had already filed the paperwork for divorce and that I should expect to be served in the morning. My bliss had lasted less than 5 minutes and in less than two seconds, it turned dark, somber and I saw it all crumbling down in front of me. Like a long-awaited rocket launch, years in preparation, which then unexpectedly explodes on the launch pad during the countdown. My stomach, heart and everything in my body just sank and melted into one ball of poison in my core. I felt like throwing up. I was completely blindsided; she had played the game all along, not giving me the slightest hint of what was being concocted in the background. She had already engaged with her lawyers weeks beforehand. Her mother was already in town from another state to help out with I don't know what. I had been gaslighted and was threatened by her that I needed to see a psychiatrist due to a change in my temper that I had supposedly developed - my temper was awesome: with BTC at that price? Everything was perfect! But I obeyed and went anyhow (this would later fit her story that she had to leave with the child because she feared for her safety due to my supposed temper for which I was under treatment, therefore, I must have this temper problem, see?). Also, the purchase of the overpriced home also seemed clearly premeditated: Price was the main driver of the decision making; not location, demographics, taxes, etc. It was the wrong neighborhood for us (people much older than us, retired, golfers and no kids the same age as our son to play with). Our house happened to also be the most expensive in the neighborhood. I can see it all so clearly now. See, your crypto coins on the blockchain, are not within the US court's jurisdiction (or, at least, it's quite debatable - a gray area - ask me for the seed and I can tell you that I may have the seed, or that I may not have the seed, I may have the wrong seed, I may have forgotten it, I may have lost it - you can't prove I did not forget, or lost it, etc). However, once it is in FIAT in a bank, or invested in a property, the courts can rule on the asset(s), freeze, disburse or order a sale of the property, etc. It's done all the time. Also, the coins were technically mine, and by definition private property (not to be divided during the divorce) as they were acquired before the marriage. I could not prove its origins (I bought many of them via direct messaging members on Bitcointalk.org and mining rather than exchanges, so no records, receipts or nothing to prove otherwise: the big exchanges like BitStamp and Coinbase didn't start operations till 2013, if I m not mistaken. Instead, I would talk to one of the forum members offering coins we'd agree on a price, I'd send a check to wherever the individual seller instructed me to (Russia, Bulgaria, Japan, UK. etc) and the coins would be deposited to whatever address I provided. Yes, it was quite crude at the time. However, once I converted my coins to cash and used that cash to buy a property for the benefit of the family, it became common property and thus she then had rights to a portion of it when divided between the two parties should a divorce occur - which ended up being almost 3/4 of all assets. I was robbed in broad daylight. By the one person, I trusted with my life. The one you should trust with your life. Your life partner. And while I was in complete denial, trying to bargain, I waited too long to obtain good legal representation. When I finally ended up getting a lawyer, I was quite distraught and I clearly did not do the proper research and this resulted in a less than stellar performance and detrimental to me at many key steps in the process. I had to switch legal representation right before mediation and I can't blame my new lawyer either, as (s)he did not have the required time to catch up on all the details, (s)he did his/her best, but I was ultimately strongarmed into conceding my soon-to-be-ex-wife to let her return to the house, in exchange to obtain 50% of my son's custody, with serious and strict clauses I had to abide by. So, I had to move out, find a hole in the wall in a student apartment, pay my rent and pay our kids pre-school, while she lives grandiose, without monthly payments in the country club, till the house sells, which will likely be in the spring of next year. Nice! Due to my delay, legal mishandling and somehow every other element in her favor, she inexplicably ended up with around 3/4 of the worth of all assets, free and clear, no taxes due. Mind you, she has never financially contributed, nor made a single $ during our entire marriage. She has never worked and had $0 in her pocket when we married. She didn't even have a checking account, well in her thirties. She is no dummy; she is street smart, knows how to manipulate people, get her way with flirting and charm, while I am more intellectual and book smart. and She beat me hands-down. She is walking away with a sum of, not quite 7 figures, but close. With what I am left with from the sale of the house, I am responsible to pay for all the capital gains taxes from the liquidation to the IRS, which are due in April 2019. I don't expect there to be more left over than the estimated $30k mentioned above. Hate the market all you want, I made peace with the market and am keeping busy at hating my ex for a while for putting me in the same situation. She tripped me 1 yard before the finish line and pushed me in the prickly bushes, to cross it by herself. Go figure. When I am done hating her, I'll get back to rebuilding my life again from scratch. I am not worried, I have done it before. Just pissed, I was so close and that I was so naive to not see it coming. Sorry, I am not meaning to hijack the thread, just wanted you to know that others may have lost more than just "free" money; money we didn't really have to work for. We were the lucky ones. It is what I keep telling myself to stop me from jumping off a bridge. PS - Woah: Sorry for the wall of text; I was just going to write the first paragraph and ended up venting about my current situation. I know, I should take this issue to /depressed, /exes or /whereisthenearestbridgeIcanjumpfrom. Hopefully, this can be a lesson to those holding crypto and some can learn what NOT to do. I learned the hard way and was left with nothing. Don't be a nice guy. Don't trust anyone with your crypto. Anyhow, I am sure either our vigilant subreddit bot, or one of the mods will remove my post for not adhering to rule, and if not, I am sure that you fine people will downvote me to hell. Go ahead. Take away from me the little Karma I left too! Thanks! I learned many lessons, but here are some key ones [IANAL - any crypto-educated AL opinion appreciated here, thanks] : - Understand the concept of private property - property you acquire before getting married. INAL - this depends on the state legislation, but it is hard to prove with crypto, especially if you obtained your crypto through foreign exchanges, outside of legal jurisdictions, the petitioner might not understand or willing to invest in obtaining subpoenas and requests to businesses operating overseas, as this may result costly. - Get a lawyer who understands, or is willing to understand crypto, its benefits of being somewhat unreachable and how that can work for you. Don't let them shortchange you with: "well, let's just convert the rest to cash, because that I understand" type of reasoning. - If you do go to mediation, the above applies as well. This arbitrator or mediator needs to be one that understands the intrinsic details of crypto - for example, during the ATH, I bought 6 digits worth in $USD of Stellar. I used the very first version of the software, supporting Stellar on my hardware device, and put it all in a cold storage wallet somewhere around January. I routinely checked on my coins on the blockchain and they are there. A few months later, I try to access my account and the device returns a different public address, which contains 0 funds. I am still trying to debug this issue with the manufacturer, but the fact is that I was accused of hiding these coins or negligence and was demanded that I paid half of what was lost. or not lost, out of my pocket for money that I didn't have access either. I tried to explain it in the simplest terms, there are risks involved with using first come software. There is no 1800 number, mo tech support. no CEO, no, you can't call the BBB and complain, etc and no one seemed to be able to understand, nor willing to either. It became a huge roadblock for which I had to concede, not cash, but a concession, I was not wanting to concede. The petitioner leaned on the fact that I was either wilfully cheating or stupid enough to lose the coins and managed to create enough doubt in my character and integrity and there was nothing rational I could explain that she, or anyone else in the room would understand. Perhaps mutually contracting a seasoned crypto expert that can offer a neutral view and give his/her opinion might be worth considering. Andreas, where were you when I needed you? :) - Other examples were some coins I had bought in 2012 and gifted to some of her family's kids. I was holding these, till they would turn 16 for them to pay themselves their college, or so I told them. These coins were demanded back by the petitioner. Ok, I suggested that I would send them, but with a CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY value with a block height of let's say,10 years from now, out of fear that she would spend the coins and the kids would never know (they are toddlers). No one understood what I was talking about, I was made out the crazy one, I gave up, sent her the coins, unlocked and, just as I expected, within 20 minutes of receiving them, she spent $1200 worth of it (for a flight, I think). If you are the only one speaking your language, no one is willing to listen or make an effort to understand you. - It appears my coins were private property, which means, that I acquired them before the marriage and in case of divorce, if I have not moved them or used them for the common good of the marriage, then they remain mine. However, I liquidated them and cash ended up in my checking account to be used to buy groceries, cars and eventually a house, and it is then that they became common property. Only once they landed in my checking account on which she is named on. It appears that had I taken proper legal precautions with documentation, or a company/trust, where that money would have gone, instead of my checking accounts, elsewhere, I would have still been able to be the legal proprietor of the resulting cash. I can't quite remember the details, but it as something that was explained to me afterward, and I honestly think I just tuned it out, because it made me sick to know I could have held on to my wealth. Perhaps a lawyer can chime in? Again, much of the lack of information and every misstep taken was because of dealing with people that are accustomed to traditional assets and will not deviate from it. Crypto is different and is treated differently. It is so important to know the strengths and weaknesses when going into litigation about something that people don't understand. - Some more I can think of, but this post is getting way out of hand in size. Feel free to comment/suggest your own and I'll add more to the comments. Credits to: u/nanoissuperior Thanks for your post, it inspired me to write this one. Anyone, any karma you feels needs to go his way, for providing the source of inspiration, please give to O-OP. TL;DR: Wife, having contributed $0 during entire marriage, waited until I cashed out all my crypto at the top of the bull market in January 2018, for a nice seven-figure amount, and then immediately divorced me for the money. Edit: added TL;DR
Unpopular opinion: Bitcoin isn´t what it claims to be
BTW I HAVE OWNED BTC IN MY LIFE ! This is not to be meant a troll. See it as an opportunity to question BTC in order to make it better eventually(?)! The reason why I put up this post is because I see so many people on Instagram or elsewhere getting into Bitcoin as a speculative investment and thinking it is going to the moon just for some halvening. I do not dislike the idea of cryptocurrency but actually there are a few problems with Bitcoin. Yes, Bitcoin has paved the way for crypto, that is true. Yes, Bitcoin is a great idea with great ideals. Yet it is still destined to fail. A lot of people say that BTC will be the future because of various characteristics like:
Claim #1 BTC is anonymous:
"Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. "
Well, not really. BTC is tied to it´s miners. And while a lot of people here call themselves early adopters, they have never ever contributed to a solved-block. Why is this important? Who sells you your BTC? The miners... so if any big enough group of ( chinese bc they are very active) miners decides it is time to rob the people back of the BTC they sold them - there is no one going to stop them. And unfortunately this all plays along with BTC´s rules. Everyone who didn´t get along on this one should research '51% Attack Bitcoin'\1]) The only counter I can think of is " but all the faulty transactions could be recognized and we (the hodlers) can verify the original chain on a new fork " or something like that, yeah well but technically you will still be fighting the miners and their hashrates
If I want to send you a 100 million bucks, yeah well that can be pretty f-ing cheap in comparison to normal banks. But one of the main reasons that Bitcoins transaction fees have risen for the amounts that you actually want to use daily , is because it is more profitable for miners\1]) So as more people adopt and thus transactions getting more profitable for the miners, fees are gonna rise.. - Also in term of energy consumption. A SINGLE transaction needs as much power as an entire US-household uses in an avg 23 days\3]) That is not sustainable, as the consumption grows with adoption. Even with 100% renewable power( which we are far away from) the shere amount of ressources (e.g silicon for solar-panels for "neutral" energy) is very debatable. Also the mining hardware has to be changed with every halvening (press f for all these rare metals in computer parts)
What will you do with Bitcoin if Google or IBM (or others) get their quantum computers to work so good, that they will easily decrypt bitcoins encryption. Here is an interesting video if you are interested in how QComputing threatens basically anything that is encrypted:
To anybody who says "look at the dollar dying, we will go to 100,000$ soon" - you are most likely speculating instead of believing in the intrinsic value of BTC (proof of work). If you keep measuring BTC worth in any fiat currency, you lost the point. If it really becomes THE currency, any comparison to fiat is obsolete.
I know this one is kinda unsolid but I wanted to throw it in! #6 Thought: Financial Elite
Bitcoin rewards those who adopt first. Sounds good, right? If fiat and governments fail, most of you will be the top 1% while holding 90% of the BTC in circulation. Will that be any better than the monetary system we have right now? In the end Bitcoiin will not serve the many, who have little but it will serve the few who have much. Think about your fellow (billions of) humans around the world. Will you explain to them: ' Well I got in first, so I am entiteled to be rich' ? I think if BTC would actually become widely adopted, that is an ethical question a lot of people have to ask themselves!
Tbh, this might be the most important point for me and I am SUPER excited for your opinions on that! TL:DR I think there are good reasons why BTC is (unfortunately) wishful thinking and other cryptos with hopefully better systems will take lead. I would love to hear good arguments against my positions because mostly people get triggered instead of having a conversation that could benefit everybody! EDIT: Another source for problems with encryption: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.08118.pdf " On the insecurity of quantum Bitcoin mining "
So I usually have pretty positive view on cryptocurrency as a Marxist. It might be my old libertarian self, but I also think from a Marxist perspective there are many benefits here, but I also see a lot of issues so let me explain, and you can add your views or criticism to it too.
First of all I am not an idealist, I don't think that we will live to see a communist society, while the direction of the economy points to that direction, it's probably so far in the future that it's not wise to think about it now, instead we should implement things in today's economy that only gently push things in that direction and develop the economy well and help and empower people, that is my practical stance. I am not like Khruschev who said that Communism will come in 20 years in 1960 and in 1980 they basically had food lines and rationing lol. To claim that communism is anywhere near on the horizon is dishonest opportunism for political goals, there are still much more urgent issues that need to be solved and a true communist would give up it's long term dreams for tangible improvements that can be achieved today, after all to sacrifice the present for the future is the true leftist spirit I think and impatience and opportunism is not. Our ancestors have sacrificed a lot to have what we have today so we should too for the future.
So that being said I don't have any delusions about cryptocurrencies being the ultimate form of economic organization but I think think it's a step in the right direction. Why? Because it empowers people, it's as simple as that. It won't end class society but it will certainly chip away the power from entrenched oligarchies and empower everyday people more. Starting with eliminating inflation, which is a massive burden on poor people with fixed wages. What inflation is is basically the central banks printing money (or rather borrowing it from nothing) and then shoving that money into the stock market, real estate market, and probably government military spending, thereby making those prices go up but also all other prices since they devalue money itself, which means that obviously anyone on fixed wages (and wages are not indexed to inflation) will be left to pay for that. It's a completely disgusting way to rob the poor and I don't know how can any leftist support banks or central banks, it blows my mind when I see leftists shill for this kind of corrupt system. So inflation is basically the pillaging of the poor and regular workers on fixed wages via increased consumer prices (and especially rent, healthcare and education like in the US). So don't you think that having a form of money which is outside of this vicious circle is a step in the right direction? I think it is, it would massively help poor and middle class people at the expense of big bankers and oligarchs.
So my main positive view about is this process of empowering people, there are also others like smaller transaction fees, instantaneous payments, non-censorship and anonymity, which can go both ways it can empower both good and bad people, but I claim that the tradeoff is worth it. There are overwhelmingly more good people on the planet than bad people, which means that if the majority of people get those rights then it's worth it. You can't strip away rights from the majority only to punish the minority, that is a recipe for totalitarianism. And if you don't believe me that there are more good people than bad people then why the hell would you support the current system? So democracy is good because the majority of good people can shove aside the minority of bad people, and it's quite democratically organized, everyone could be a miner so each person could have a voice, and each person can unilaterally initiate a transaction, you don't need to ask for permission from gatekeepers, which makes it a direct relationship rather than a bureaucratic indirect one, so it's good from all of these sides.
Now there are of course bad sides of it for example there are many technical problems: exponentially increasing block, quantum vulnerability, lag issues, lack of true anonymity, vulnerability to wallet hacks, people locking themselves out, and the POW algorithm being pretty wasteful and inefficient. Now I am sure these will all be solved in time, so no need to worry about them. My bigger worries are rather about it's economic side. As you know all value is derived from labor, therefore Bitcoin has no inherent value if it's no tied to labor. You see all currencies are fiat currencies, there is no distinction between fiat and commodity money, that is just Libertarian nonsense. All currencies are fiat currencies because their value is just "let it be so". Now the crucial difference is that Bitcoin is a self-managed system, and more democratic meaning that it's not controlled by central banks so it's supply size is not altered at will. However there is still no more fundamental value inherent into it than to US Dollars or Monopoly board game cash. The only difference between the USD and Monopoly cash is that the USD is used by billions of workers to exchange labor value while the Monopoly cash is not, also the USD has some protections against counterfeit, and so does Bitcoin. So essentially the only difference between the 3 is that the all of them are toy cash but the USD and Bitcoin has protections against counterfeiting while a toy cash doesnt, and the USD is widely used while the other 2 aren't. Furthermore Bitcoin is democratic as explained above so it makes it superior than the USD, but only if it's going to be widely used.
So Bitcoin will only be valuable and superior if it will be used to exchange labor value into commodities, it has to be coupled to the labor value of the workers. Well the government has an easy way to do that, it can just implement laws backed by violence to make it's toy cash be used to exchange labor value to commodities. So the fact that you get your paycheck in USD and then go into the supermarket to buy food with it couples your labor value to that currency and imbues it with use value. Bitcoin doesn't have this because there is no state that will enforce it's use in the economy. So Bitcoin is at a disadvantage because employers will have to adopt it voluntarily and pay their workers in BTC and then also supermarkets will have to also accept it as a form of payment for products. If this doesn't happen then Bitcoin's true value is 0. This is why I am worried about it's future because I don't see a massive trend of adoption. I don't see any employer paying people in BTC, most laws don't allow it, and almost no supermarket accepts it. Now of course there are some online gig stores, remmittances and people buying drugs with it, which I guess gives it a minimum value which is why it hasn't collapsed to 0$ yet, but it can't sustain itself in the long term if workers will not adopt it. A bunch of techno hipsters "HODLING" and online tipping and freelancing jobs and drug dealers don't cut it. It gives it a minimum value but it doesnt necessarily make it mainstream and it makes it's future questionable and uncertain as the fad can fade at any time and then many young hipsters will be very depressed when they will see all their savings go to 0$, many people sold their houses to buy BTC and still havent recovered.
So this is my view on it, it's a step in the right direction to empower the majority of people, it can be good for poor people, immigrants and remittances, freelancers and the middle class, so it's definitely a positive thing, but there are many problems and uncertainties which is why I would be cautious to put all my money in it.
We kidnapped the rich kid from the toy review videos, and it went sideways.
We weren’t monsters. We weren’t planning on hurting the kid. We weren’t even going to ask for all that much. A hundred k. Split up, that would be more than a year’s salary for both Lenny and me. Meanwhile, the kid was pulling in 20 mil a year, or so we had heard. So that would be like somebody asking two hundred dollars as a ransom for my kid, proportionally speaking. Not a large sum at all… nothing, really, when we’re talking about the kid’s life. Which, again, we weren’t really, because we never meant to harm him really. But now… well, Lenny’s funeral is going to cost a lot more than two hundred dollars, but it’s only right that I help pay for it. Not that it’s going to be much of a funeral, without a body. But what was I supposed to do? Run around scooping up the scattered bits of him as I stuffed them into my bag? With those… things swarming all around? No, I did what anybody would do. I got the hell out of there and told a thousand lies about what had happened. Now I’m going to tell you the truth. * We were at the bar on a Friday night, outside having a smoke, when we first started talking about it. “Heard this story on the radio,” said Lenny. “About some damn YouTube kid who plays with toys or some shit. This little fucker makes twenty million fucking dollars a year just sitting around playing with toys or whatever on camera. Can you imagine that?” “Oh yeah,” I said. “I’ve heard about that. I’ve seen the videos, too. Sam loves them. Pretty mindless, if you ask me.” “That’s what I’m saying,” said Lenny, taking a drag. “Why does this kid get to make twenty mil just pretty much pulling his pud all day while we’re out here working our asses off every day just to put food on the table? There’s kids his age out in India or wherever crammed into sweatshops that could collapse at any moment making pennies a day.” “That’s just the way of the world, my man,” I said. “Some guys get all the luck, some guys get all the shit. And to those guys in India, we’re the lucky millionaires.” “Yeah, well I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of getting shit on. And luck’s for suckers. Damn fools buy lottery tickets. It’s the real winners who reach out and take their just deserts.” I stifled a laugh. Lenny was a good guy, but when he got a little tipsy, he always got too big for his britches. “You thinking of starting your own toy review channel, Lenny?” “No, man, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying what if… well, what if we broke in there and robbed him?” Now I couldn’t hold it back. I laughed. “Robbed him? You want to go into his house and steal his Paw Patrol toys? Or what?” “No you asshole… his money. He’s been at it for years. He’s got to have a hundred mil by now.” I shook my head in amusement. “Where do you think he keeps it all? Under his bed? Come on, man. Everything’s digital now, especially with these YouTube guys. I’d be surprised if that kid’s ever seen a real dollar bill.” Lenny frowned, throwing his cigarette butt to the ground. “I was just… kidding around, you know? You didn’t think I was serious, did you?” He turned around to go back into the bar, and I tried my best to hold in a full-on belly laugh, thinking about how absurd his plan had been – and I knew that it wasn’t a joke at all, he was really serious about it. And that’s when it hit me. “Lenny… wait.” He turned to look at me, still frowning. “I told you I was just kidding around.” “What if there is something valuable in that house?” * Two weeks later we had the kid’s house all mapped out, inside and out. I mean, all you had to do was watch the videos. We knew where the kid ate breakfast, and where he slept. We knew where his parents slept, and where his little sisters slept too. We knew what his yard looked like, and where the back door was. We drew it all out, and worked on the plan. “100% chance they got a security system,” said Lenny. “So we get in while the system’s disarmed, and they’re distracted.” “We wait til they go out the front to shoot a video there….” “…and we go in the back,” I finished. We spent the next week working out the details, gathering up what we needed. We told our families that we were going on a fishing trip at a lake near the mountains. We had six days to make it work. We would stake the house out, and wait for our moment. Then: in through the back door and down to the basement, to hide until everyone was asleep. Lenny’s cousin had access to some pretty potent tranquilizers, which we’d shoot the kid up with when he started to wake up. Then we’d head right out the front door with him. This would trigger the alarm, so we had to be fast as hell, but we also had to park far enough away so that we’d be out of sight of any surveillance cameras around the house. We’d call the parents from a burner phone, and arrange for a Bitcoin transfer. Then we’d drop the kid off at a park or something and let them know where he was, once the transfer went through. It was a gamble, but we were confident. That family wouldn’t miss the $100k, and the kid would be conked out through it all. It would suck for them, but they’d get over it. And nobody was going to get hurt. * It took four days of staking the place out for our moment to come. On the second day, they went out front to shoot a video, but when we tried the back door, it was locked. “Fuck,” whispered Lenny. We crept back across the yard and over the fence to our positions. We weren’t master burglars or anything. We had to wait until that door was unlocked and they were distracted enough for us to enter. On the fourth day, they went out back, filming the kid bouncing on a trampoline for a while. Then they went back inside. “I don’t think they locked the door,” I said. “They were still recording on the way in.” “Yeah, but how are we gonna get in with them right there?” A minute later, I nudged Lenny and pointed up to a second floor window… the kid’s bedroom. We could see the dad in there, with his back to the window. “I think this is our best shot, man,” I said. “It’s now or never.” “Shit,” said Lenny, looking a little pale. I knew how he felt. “Are they all up there?” “I don’t know” I said, “but if we’re going to do this, we do it now. It’s not too late to back out though.” Lenny started muttering to himself. That worried me. But then he slapped himself in the face and said, “Let’s do this.” We hopped the fence and slithered through the yard, like man-sized snakes, dressed all in black, from our boots to our ski masks. Then we were at the door. I took a deep breath and tried it. It slid open. We entered, my heart banging away like crazy, and made a bee line for the basement. When we were almost there, I looked over and saw a little kid on the living room floor, playing with blocks. She was young, two years old at most. She looked up at me. I put my finger to my exposed lips, shushing her. Then I opened the basement door, and Lenny and I walked down the steps, carefully, as though walking on glass. When we got to the basement floor, Lenny tore his mask off. His face was drenched in sweat. “Shit!” he said. “That little girl saw us. We’re fucked.” I peeled my mask of as well. “Calm down,” I said, as much to Lenny as to myself. I looked around. “There,” I said. “Bring that ladder over to that window.” I pointed to one of the tiny windows that was letting some light in. “The second we hear any kind of commotion, like they’re on to us, we smash that window and make a break for it. But I think we’re okay. I don’t think she’s old enough to communicate what she saw, or even know it was wrong.” “Yeah,” said Lenny, “good thinking.” But I could tell that neither of us was convinced. After about an hour of pacing around silently, thinking the worst thoughts, we started to calm down a little bit. “I think we’re okay,” I said. “Look at all these fucking toys down here,” said Lenny. The walls were lined with shelves and shelves of toys, many of them still in their packaging. “It’s still not too late,” I said. “Some of these are worth a hundred bucks a pop. We could load up what we can, and get the hell out of here. Probably make off with a grand worth of shit between us.” Lenny groaned. “That won’t even cover expenses.” He was right, but the longer I spent in that basement, the more I started to feel how wrong what we were about to do was. Sure, it was true that the money was trivial to them, and that we had planned it out so that nobody would be hurt. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t feel just straight up wrong, while we paced the basement of someone else’s house, waiting for the kid to go to sleep. “Too late for second guessing,” said Lenny. “We’re here. We’re each out a thousand if this doesn’t go through. Do you have some kind of inheritance you haven’t told me about? Because if you don’t, then I know you’re just as fucked as me if you go pissing a grand down the toilet.” He was right about that, too. We had our household budget cut to the bone already, what with Sam’s treatments sucking away whatever money we could have spared before… and then some. You’re doing this for a good reason, I told myself. For your boy. It’s a wrong thing to do, but for the right reason. That will have to be good enough. * We waited until midnight, and then made our way, slowly, up the basement steps. I hoped that we were being quiet, but it was hard to tell. My senses seemed distorted. Each of my own breaths seemed to sound like a hurricane whipping through the house. Lenny opened the basement door, and I saw the front entrance to the house there across the room. I wanted to run to it… run out of it, into the night. Then I thought of Sam, lying in his bed, wheezing, and I shook the thought away. It was too late to go back. We were in it. We crept up the main stairwell. The kid’s room was the second door on the right. When we got to the top, Lenny stopped and got down on the floor, looking for signs of light peeking out from under the doors. There were none. Lenny stood up and grasped the knob to the kid’s room. He swung it slowly open, and stopped when it made a slight creak. I held my breath, but nothing happened. Lenny opened the door the rest of the way and we stepped in. The kid was there in his bed. I could see the covers moving up and down as he breathed heavily in sleep, lit up, just barely, by the moonlight that filtered through the curtains of his window. It was Lenny’s job to tape the gag in his mouth. It was my job to inject him with the tranquilizer when he woke up. Lenny shot me a look and I nodded slowly, not even meaning to. It was like I was no longer in control of things. It was up to The Plan now. The part of me that could still think only hoped that The Plan was a good one. Lenny worked the rag into the kid’s mouth, and his eyes started to flutter open. I jabbed the needle into his neck and pushed the plunger down. Then the kid’s eyes closed again. The Plan said that I was to carry the kid down the stairs and to the front door. Then I’d hand him off to Lenny, who would be fresh with strength, and open the door. Then we’d run like hell. I gave Lenny the bag and lifted the limp kid over my shoulder. I was so full of adrenalin that it felt like he was completely weightless. For the first time that day, I felt like The Plan would work. We were going to make it. What that meant was up to God to decide. All I could to do was follow The Plan and pray we weren’t judged too harshly. I left the room and walked back down the hall, the kid draped over my shoulder, with Lenny a step behind me. I stepped carefully down the stairs and through the living room, and then we were face-to-face with the front door. I turned to Lenny and saw him nod. Just as I was handing the kid off, I heard it: “Peek-a-boo!” Lenny let go of the kid, who slumped down to the floor with a soft thud. “Be careful!” I whispered. “You’re going to hurt him!” “What the fuck was that?” asked Lenny, too loud, looking around. “Who said that?!” “It was probably the sister,” I whispered. “Keep your voice down, pick up the kid, and let’s get the hell out of here!” “I see you!” said the tiny, high-pitched voice from the darkness. “Who’s there?” said Lenny, now way too loud. “Lenny,” I hissed, “pick up that fucking kid and let’s go!” Then Lenny started laughing. “What’s wrong with you?” I demanded, noticing that I was also being too loud. “Look!” said Lenny, pointing. At first, all I could see were two red dots in the darkness, blinking in and out. But as my eyes adjusted, I saw it. It was this blue fuzzy thing with a big red nose, like a Muppet or something, sitting a few feet away from us on the floor. That was the thing that was talking to us. A goddamn toy. I laughed too. “Alright, come on, let’s get out of here, man.” “We all see you!” said the blue fuzzy toy. At once, I heard a cacophony of strange sounds. It was like there was a sudden rainstorm inside that room, and then a volley of scraping noises, coming from all around. Then Lenny was screaming. Before I could get a good look at what was happening, he seemed to fall down, and it was like he was being dragged away. I looked at the front door. I looked down at the unconscious millionaire kid that we had come there to kidnap. I tried to look into the darkness that Lenny had been dragged away into, but I couldn’t see anything. Then I felt a sharp pain in my leg. I didn’t know what else to do. I was terrified. Lenny was screaming non-stop. He was definitely going to wake everybody up. Before I left him there, I had to know why. I flicked on the light switch. What I saw didn’t make sense. Lenny was covered, from head to toe, in… toys. There were Paw Patrol figurines, and PJ Mask figurines, and hundreds of others that I didn’t recognize. They were tearing into him, as he screamed and his blood splashed over everything. I watched in horror as one of his fingers flew through the air, with a Lego man riding on top of it. I felt another sting in my leg and looked down to see one of the Star War guys stabbing me with a tiny lightsaber. In a matter of seconds, Lenny’s screams turned to gurgling sounds, and then stopped completely. A moment later, his head was being carried away from the rest of what remained of his body. And not much recognizable remained. Those things had begun to pull out his colon, tearing it apart and yanking it in different directions. They had already stripped most of the skin from his body, leaving a glistening and sickening mess of fat and muscle and bone. That was all I needed. I swung the front door open and started running, trying to swat the Star Wars guy off of my leg as the security alarm began blaring behind me. I got him off, but immediately felt a pain in the back of my neck. I grabbed at it as I ran, and when I pulled away my hand and looked at it, I saw that there was another Lego guy there, jamming a spear into my palm. I felt dizzy, but I ran. I ran like my life depended on it. It did. I tossed the Lego guy into the darkness just as I reached our rental car. I got in and gunned it out of there. * I told everybody that Lenny had one too many and fell off the boat and into the lake. I made the call as soon as I was back at the cabin that we’d rented. They all believed me. And it wasn’t like in the movies, where they dredge the lake to get the body. I was afraid of that. But no. Why go through all that trouble for every drunk that sinks down to the bottom? Makes me wonder how many dead bodies there are, down there, nothing but fish food. Still, that’s a better way to go than the way that Lenny actually went. I’ll sometimes start to doubt that it actually happened, and then all at once it will hit me… the vision of those toys tearing through his flesh like it was nothing… like it’s all happening again. We weren’t monsters. We weren’t planning on hurting the kid. We weren’t even going to ask for all that much. And this is what we got.
My first bad trip happened over one year ago - my trip report and some lessons I took from it
Hey everyone! On April 2019, I had my first bad trip. It was, without a doubt, the scariest and most profound experience of my life. I think about it to this day, and for a while I was afraid it would traumatize me enough to the point in which I would never be able to enjoy LSD again. I'm sure many of you have gone through something like this, and for those who happen to be having second thoughts about ever tripping again, here are the lessons I learned from my ordeal. I have tripped a couple of times previous to this bad trip, I'd say maybe 10 times. I've tripped alone and with friends, I've tripped at home and hiking on an island. I thought I was an experienced tripper but in reality, I probably had never even gone past 150ug. On the day of my bad trip, I was by myself (my parents were asleep, but I never really cared about this), stressed out, insecure about many aspects of my life, and felt like taking LSD to "cheer me up". Not a great idea to take acid with this mindset, but I would probably be okay taking my usual doses. My plug would only sell me a minimum of four tabs, so I bought four. I got home and took all of them at once, I don't think I even thought about this being a terrible idea. I'm pretty sure I have taken up to three tabs before but they were highly under-dosed, so I guess this lead me to believing I could handle this trip. I had never taken these tabs before, and they were VERY strong, around 150ug each. So I went from never going past 150ug to taking about 600ug with a bad mindset. So we have lesson number one: respect the substance. This trip wouldn't be enjoyable even if I was living the best time of my life. I have very vivid memories of this trip, but trying to put it into words is very challenging. For the first hour or so I relaxed watching That 70s Show on Netflix. It was pretty funny for the first hour or so, but it gradually became darker. The characters/actors seemed mean and somewhat evil. I remember looking at the show's cover photo on Netflix and the faces were turning demoniac, I could hear a sound that was very frightening. At this point I first realised I took too much, and that's a mental recipe for disaster. I had never had a bad trip before, didn't even know what a thought loop was, so it was very unlikely I would be able to turn this situation around. From this point on it's hard to tell when did each event happen. I remember opening WhatsApp to get help from a friend which I had tripped with many times before, but I couldn't get past "Hey" and a selfie of my dumbass face. I felt like I could communicate with him mentally, I was convinced he was tripping as well and we were somehow sharing this experience. I guess our second lesson would have to be have a trip sitter when taking unfamiliar doses, or else you might end up relying on this telekinesis trip sitter delusion lol. I remember being convinced that the tabs I took weren't really LSD, that my mind was sabotaged and someone else was in control of my mind, or at least being able to see what I was seeing. Everyone was in on it - my friend who I attempted to talk to, my dealer, and this fictitious laboratory that I believed had fabricated this substance that I had taken. I remember seeing this colorful symbol that I believed was the lab's logo or something. I tried searching for "bad acid" instead of "bad trip", I was clearly avoiding taking the blame for my mistake and blamed the substance itself. At this point I couldn't really use my laptop, the screen would occasionally become all black as if it shut down, and when this happened I felt like I shut down too. I remember seeing a face-like figure (I think it was green) surrounded by black emptiness, it started dissolving and I could feel it with my own face, I absolutely felt like I was dying. The more I thought about things, certain words (in portuguese, I'm Brazilian) would pop up in front of me. When I felt like I was dying, I could see/sense the word "death" or "dead". Whenever I felt something terrible would happen, like death or that I was about to be attacked/robbed, some bad words would show up. On the short moments in which I realised none of this would happen, positive words would show up and I could see more uplifting things. These positive thoughts were very, VERY rare though. As I mentioned, at one point I felt like I was about to be robbed. This turned out to be the worst part of the trip, as I was absolutely convinced someone was about to break into my house. My door was closed but I ended up opening it, I can't recall this at all. All I can remember is this man standing in front of my room, it seemed like he was naked holding a rifle covering his crotch. Pretty comical but very, very scary stuff. He wanted something from me (I remember being very protective of my Bitcoins) and there were more people like him waiting outside. At this point I lost total control of myself and what was going on. I busted into my parents' bedroom and woke them up screaming "YOU HAVE TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON!". My parents couldn't quite understand what was going on at first, there was clearly no one around and I was trying to show them something on my phone - there was nothing. They immediately realised I was on drugs and tried to calm me down. I remember feeling like I couldn't trust them at all - they were also in on it. My ego was totally shattered, all of my dreams and ambitions were suddenly gone and I would never be the same again. I cried a lot. They took me to the hospital and as soon as I got there I stopped hallucinating. I know a lot of you won't agree with this, but I am very glad my parents were sleeping next door. I didn't have a trip sitter, but I can only imagine what would happen if I didn't have my parents to go to in this desperate moment. My third lesson would be when without a trip sitter, get help from anyone when needed. You will feel like you're going to have a lot of explaining to do, and you will. But it is better than feeling alone. Obviously, don't seek help from strangers who might take advantage from you. On the next day, I was totally miserable and felt like I was forever scarred by this trip. I didn't think I would ever be able to have a good experience with LSD again. Over one year later, I highly value this experience. It was terrible, yes, but it provided me with some insights into what my values were at that time. The main idea I took regarded how obsessed I was with status, money and success. I always knew these were the things I aimed for in life, and this trip showed me exactly how toxic these values are. I am still in the process of reevaluating my priorities in life, but this trip was my wake up call. An extreme one, but a necessary one. I was very afraid of losing my money and belongings from these fake attackers/robbers; even more afraid than losing my life or my parents' life. If these aren't straight up twisted priorities, I really don't know anything. I'm glad LSD showed me this fucked up part of my mind, and I hope to become a better man every day. Lesson number four is to learn from these bad trips. They are too intense for you not to take anything from them. I gradually came back to taking LSD after this experience, at first pretty nervous right before each trip. I took small doses and they were good. I am gradually increasing my doses and took 150ug last week, had a really great time. I had an uncomfortable trip from ~200ug though, I guess I can't really handle these kinds of doses and I am okay with that. I know this is a long post, but keep in mind I am talking about the most profound experience of my life as I stated in the introduction. I'm really glad I got over this and finally got around to sharing this with you all! Really hope someone can find this helpful.
Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential
/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////
Marketing. It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community. It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers. This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community. This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential. Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome. I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.
Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested. Multisig Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero. Kovri Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy. Mobile Wallets There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here. TAILS Operating System Integration Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users. In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow. Mandatory Hardforks Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information. Dynamic fees Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees! Tail Emission and Inflation There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore. Monero Research Lab Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.
///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///
Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero". Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!. Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself. I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity. A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain. The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes. Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments. There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin. Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero. Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in. The Bitcoin Flaw A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins. CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero. CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range. Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin. For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin. Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money. Technical Analysis There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today. Coinbase Rumours Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading. Monero Is Not an ICO Scam It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases. Monero is a Working Currency, Today Monero is a working currency, here today. The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc. Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin. Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money. Monero is private internet money. Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy. Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us. Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.
///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///
Scalability While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit. In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node. For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too! Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.
I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so. Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price. I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors. I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ? Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
What if Bitcoin is nature's way of preserving itself? Considering everything the ecosystem is going through presently, it seems plausible that what may seem like merely a new computer technology is actually much more in a wider view. Stepping back, one may notice that everything that is happening in this moment is on purpose. There is no such thing as coincidence. In the highly egocentric western world, many people see themselves as outside of nature instead of part of it. The reason for this is the abandonment of certain parts of ourselves and surroundings, more or less because of the cultural programming implemented in us from a young age. Glance back to the first boom of usefulness for Bitcoin. It played a massive role in supporting black market activity, making it a valuable tool for transferring wealth and illegal goods in a nuanced and relatively safe manner. Arguably, plant medicines that have been used by humankind for thousands of years to evolve consciousness now deemed illegal by mainstream culture are so rooted in the subconscious of our species that those very organisms used those willing to explore the forbidden mystery within them to eventually create Bitcoin and propagate for the benefit of all living systems. When a psychedelic compound such a psilocybin present in magic mushrooms is comsumed, it's very apparent that it dissolves one’s sense of self in a way not fathomable in any other form that is legal besides maybe meditation with much practice. It breaks one down to one's most simple self, an observer of the universe unfolding, leaving one scraping away for any bit of sanity that culture has peddled if the ego fights the experience in any way, lost in a loop of hellish abyss. Once the realization is had that all one can do is let the experience happen as there is no use fighting what the substance is trying to reveal is submitted to, it is as though a huge weight is lifted, catapulting consciousness into a wild, ego shattering understanding of unconditional love and interconnection. Having such an experience surely causes any “rational” being to question the nature of reality with a more scrupulous eye. In an age where it is becoming more apparent by the day that the current power structure is not only not serving the majority of people, but ultimately destroying one’s physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health, it is a dire time that people need to come together, back to a sense of balance. As many know, the disparity of wealth in the world is wider than ever before. This is not by accident. The parasites at the top thrive on fear and greed to cultivate and maintain their power over the masses. Many tactics, including banning psychedelic organisms to keep people disconnected and unhappy with whom they truly are so to disempower, continues the endless cycle of chasing false hopes in order to do their bidding. Fractional reserve banking, responsible namely for the US dollar is arguably the sole reason all of this is possible, as every person on the planet must spend the majority of their life finding ways to collect pieces of paper in hopes of survival. That does not mean there is anything inherently wrong with money. In fact, it is a rather useful invention. The problem is most people hardly understand anything about fiat currency, yet slave away for it every day for the majority of their healthy life. This is why Bitcoin was birthed. Its purpose is to expose the rampant fraud we're all subject to. Debt based money solely derives its value on faith, where which that earned today is worth less tomorrow, selling future generations prosperity away now. Many people don't yet view Bitcoin as a reliable store of value, but can one imagine where it would be today if regulators didn't have the authority to step in and put restrictions on its usage? Namely, KYC & AML laws that bar people from buying/selling without a bank license and require exchanges to demand the identity of every user with multiple forms of government identification. So too with capital gains tax. These regulations solely function to slow the inevitable growth of this unstoppable technology. At its grassroots, none of that ever being needed for Bitcoin to function is how it was brought into mainstream view following eventual restrictions. Arguably, if those laws weren’t placed upon Bitcoin, there would already be an even more thriving new economy backed by it firmly in place. Instead, it's being stunted by the currently insolvent and collapsing system that is built on the premise of "too big to fail" corporations that pillage the world's labor and resources so a few can live absurdly lavish lives. Fact is, it is one’s birthright to freely exchange ideas and goods with anyone else voluntarily. When denied of such interactions, our very nature to be liberated is denied,which creates inevitable resistance and strife. Looking at what many see as the solution to this corruption that causes such wealth disparity – the undeniable craving for unity and respect for the planet seen widely in the democratic-socialist movement in America calling for redistribution of wealth and addressing rampant pollution of the earth is partially misled in the sense it calls for more government intervention that relies on stealing from people. That is what allowed this mess to happen to begin with. America is already socialist for the “too big to fail” class in the form of endless money printing, claiming it is a capitalist nation where the rest of the people are deemed too small to survive, scrambling for the scraps that are supposed to trickle down though a rigged economy. What society actually needs is to go back basics with fulfilling simple living backed by sound money that can’t be manipulated by an either ignorant or conspiring ruling class. As the Bitcoin motto goes, "don't trust, verify". As long as the system is propped up by infinitely printable money, it can be used to corrupt those put in power, continuing a war on the people around the world. Everything that is going on right now is supposed to happen. For the exact same reason Bitcoin is trustworthy because it is mathematical, so too is the universe. Nature constantly breaks down to build itself back up, over and over again. In this time of uncertainty, on the cusp of watching society as we know it crumble, a new paradigm is unfolding. It is no coincidence this is all happening as Bitcoin has more people interested in it than ever before. This is the beginning of a potentially very prosperous age, unfathomable to most in the current moment. People are not meant to be domesticated, controlled by others granted higher status. We are all the same at the end of the day. Psychedelic experiences can reveal this truth of oneness; a push against mindlessly obeying authority that further attempts to rob critical thinking to create better life for all. Just as mushroom mycelium works as a network to break down old organic material to feed the forest and all who inhabit it, the internet and Bitcoin network work to break down centralized control of information and money that no longer serve the ecosystem. All in all, Bitcoin is a peaceful protest against the current system that is much needed. So too are consciousness shifting psychoactive plants that originally propagated the technology, as though to say to those that unjustly assert authority, “you fucked with the wrong organism. May the love be spread all around”! Thanks for reading! One love.
The International 2018 in Vancouver FAQ (Updated!)
Hey there again, you punks. So with a tip coming from some of the moderators on the board, I've decided just to quickly update this FAQ that I wrote a few months back since TI is next week and I'm sure many of you still have a ton of questions. I've gotten some more information that I can pass down to you in regards to Vancouver but also now TI as well, including updated marijuana laws and beer recommendations. Two quick notes:
This summer has been an extremely hot season in Vancouver (at least in Vancouverite standards). Like anyone who attended in Seattle last year, there is noticeable smoke in the air in the city due to the fires all over the Pacific North West. If you have breathing issues or health related problems do to particles in the air, be advised that there is currently an Air Quality Advisory in effect so act accordingly. Wind/Rain will most likely clear up any issues going into next week, but just a heads up in case new fires flare up or we aren't blessed with some light rain. Forecast is looking to be sunny through midweek and the finals, with an average of about 23-25C.
Yes, but it's not exactly regulated by AirBnB. Feel free to stay at one through AirBnB but know that it might be a little tricky to deal with issues if they come up with your rental. Also while you're at it, check out VRBO.
How far away from Rogers Arena should I stay?
The general piece of advice you'll get from any local about where to stay for TI is going to be anywhere that's on the Skytrain Expo Line (the line in dark blue). The Expo Line will take you to Stadium-Chinatown station, which is where Rogers Arena is 30 seconds away. As in Seattle, the closer to downtown you are, the more expensive it is to stay.
Where are the cheaper hotels like Holiday Inn, Mediterranean Inn or Travelodge like in Seattle?
Unlike Seattle Center, there aren't very many budget hotels left, if at all in the Downtown core. The cheaper hostels are available, though fair warning, many of them are placed on Granville Street, which is a place that many Vancouverites will tell you to avoid while you're here (Though I have never stayed at a hostel on Granville, if anyone has an experience, feel free to share). Check out the Ramada Inn and the Days Inn near Waterfront for some cheaper-ish options.
Are there any areas in Vancouver that we should specifically avoid?
In my mind, there are two places that I would keep a look-out for avoiding while you visit Vancity.
Granville Street. During the day time it's normally fine, filled with some cool shops (Golden Age Collectibles, The Rock Shop, Movieland Arcade) but it's packed to the absolute max with dumbasses at night due to the amount of night clubs. There's police around every weeknight, but since you're in Vancouver for a good time, head towards Gastown, Chinatown or Main Street for places to party.
Downtown East Side. If you've researched anything about Vancouver, you'll know that this area as where a large portion of the cities homeless reside. There is rampant drug use, poverty and sex work in this neighborhood, focused mainly between 5-10 blocks in the area of Main/Hastings. That being said, the community is an especially strong one, with fantastic human beings supporting the less fortunate. Though there isn't too much danger in terms of being robbed, you might want to just avoid the area at night. Be respectful to the people of this community and you'll have no problems.
Is there UbeLyft?
Sadly, no there isn't. We know, it absolutely sucks and everyone in Vancouver is aware. Your options are public transit or a taxi.
What's the parking situation like around Rogers Arena?
Super shitty if you don't like paying for parking. If you can, park outside of the Downtown core near a Skytrain and then head over to the Arena. Commercial Drive is pretty good for this if you can find certain spots. Tinseltown as well if you buy a movie ticket on non-event days.
How does Transit work? What do I need?
If you've ever been to any major city, you'll notice that Vancouver shares the same load-up card/tap system that places like London share. It's called Compass Card and it's fairly easy to use. Just load up money onto the card, tap it when you enter and tap when you leave. It'll do all the calculations for you. Note that certain zones will cost more just due to how far you're traveling.
Does Vancouver have car-sharing?
Yes it does! Car2Go and Evo are two of Vancouver's most popular car share services. Hot tip would be to register before you head over to Vancouver and it'll help mitigate the fact that UbeLyft aren't in Vancouver just yet. Just drive safely.
How do I get from the Airport (YVR) to Downtown Vancouver?
The easiest way to get to downtown from YVR, if you aren't getting picked up/taking a taxi is to take the Canada Line. It will take you directly to Waterfront station, from there you can take multiple buses, the Expo Line (the main line that will take you to Rogers Arena) or the Seabus (going to North VancouveLonsdale).
What's the drinking age in Canada?
19 years old.
I'm new to Canadian beer culture, what would you recommend?
Vancouver has an exploding craft beer culture and you'll be happy to find that the variety of different beers/ciders to drink is absolutely massive, probably to the point of being intimidating. Here are some of my favorite breweries and the beers that you should look out for when you're at the liquor store/pub: Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice Pale Ale Two Straws MilkShake IPA Short Pants Mosaic IPA Brassneck Brewing Changeling Sour Passive Aggressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Steel & Oak Changeling Sour Passive Agressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Bomber Brewing Bomber Parklife Passionfruit Ale Bomber Pilsner Bomber Snow White IPA
Does Vancouver have any specific rules about drinking that I should know about?
Yes. First, there isn't any drinking in public if you already didn't know. Second, you must have TWO pieces of ID on you whenever you go to buy drinks in case you're asked for your ID. First piece must be photo ID, the second piece must be something with your name on it (in order for bartenders/servers to validate the first piece). I see a lot of tourists thrown off by this, so just know that Vancouver's liquor laws are much more strict than other places. I've heard from a few Vancouver residents that this isn't exactly enforced harshly, but just to note that it is an actual law. Piece of mind.
What's the legal drinking limit in Vancouver?
%.05. There will be a ton of pubcrawls and side events going on for people that are attending TI and I'm sure that you'll be blasted one night or another. Please don't drink and drive. If you need a cab, here are the numbers you can contact in order to grab a taxi from downtown. Yellow Cab: (604) 681-1111 Black Top Cab: (604) 731-1111 MacLure's Cabs: (604) 831-1111 Also, a note for people from outside of Vancouver: the cab drivers in this city are notorious for being hard to deal with at times. Broken debit machines, cash up front, not providing receipts. Use your common sense to get you through pushy cabbies. If they have a broken debit machine and they are still driving, kindly reject them and give your business to another cabbie that will. UbeLyft will be here soon and karma will bite them back. If at anytime you are in an emergency and don't know what to do, please DM me and I will provide my contact info.
This is not confirmed at the moment, but if the rules were anything like Seattle, you will be able to bring outside food into the arena. You are not permitted to bring liquids into the venue. You'll have to dump out your water bottle and refill it once inside. Rogers Arena might have different policies, but thankfully the venue has twice the amount of food stalls including a much more varied selection.
What's a secret you have from being a lifelong Canucks fan for eating in the area?
Everyone from Vancouver attending will hate me, but this is going to be one of the hottest tips I can give you: there is a Costco food court DIRECTLY across the street on the lower level of Rogers Arena that DOES NOT require a membership in order to buy food. It is the only Costco food court in Canada that doesn't need a membership to eat there. Hot dogs, poutine, pizza, soft drinks, ice cream and it's all lovingly Costco cheap. Enjoy!
What sort of credit card/tap options does Vancouver accept?
Visa/Mastercard are widely accepted everywhere. Cards such as American Express/Discover are also accepted most places, though a few places might reject them for whatever reason (higher charge rates, issues with their machines etc..) Best case would be to make sure you have a Visa/Mastercard with you at all times as a back-up in case you run into any issues. Most places in Vancouver also allow you to use Android/Apple Pay now as well. No bitcoin though.
How much money should I bring?
Well, that's entirely up to you. If you're staying the full week, a few hundred dollars in spare Canadian currency won't hurt you, especially if majority of your spending is going to be on plastic. There's going to be the Secret Shop, but that'll be done through online ordering and not cash payments. Just don't come with nothing. Worst case, always have at least $30-$40 cash on you just in case you run into a bind. It's really entirely up to you and how you plan on spending your time here. Do note that because of the low Canadian dollar, don't be surprised if the price of certain things is higher than usual.
Are there any huge cultural differences in Canada that I should know about?
Due to the amount of fires that have started in the Pacific North West the past month or so, please do not throw your cigarette/joint butts into the street, sidewalk, bushes or wherever that isn't a proper garbage. You'll get a ton of dirty looks by locals if you do otherwise. Canadians are known to be rather polite, we'll answer questions for you or guide you in the right direction (as long as we aren't in a huge rush). As long as you're respectful of the people around you, take care of your hygiene, don't spit on the ground, talk over people in conversation or just avoiding being a total dick, you'll be fine. Though Vancouver is a somewhat socially cold city, that's mainly in dating circles. Get some new Bumble photos up!
What's the tipping policy like in Vancouver?
Most places won't have the tip included in your bill. It's common courtesy to tip between %10-%15 of your final bill if you enjoyed your meal/drink/service. Feel free to go higher if you had a really excellent time. Some places do include the tip in the bill, but will have it noted usually at the bottom of the menu.
I'll be taking public transit while I'm here. Any tips?
A few. Remove your backpack when you're boarding a bus/SkyTrain in order to create more space for the people around you. Hygiene again is a big one. Remember to fill your Compass card and check your remaining balance at least once a day in case you're transiting a lot. If you see elderly/disabled/parents with strollers attempt to come on board, the polite thing to do would be to offer your seat etc..
My English isn't great and I need to ask a question, what should I do?
Don't worry at all! Vancouver is an extremely multicultural city and the residents here are used to hearing many different languages daily. Best bet is if you struggle communicating with anyone for any reason, download the Google Translate app and use it to answer questions you might have in a discussion.
I want to ask for a playetalents autograph and I'm standing right beside them. How should I ask?
Use common sense. Most players/talent would be more than willing to sign an autograph or pose for a photo with you. But also be aware that much of the on-screen talent (Slacks, Kaci, panel members) will often have to be running from segment to segment, taking in matches and so on. If they seem to have a minute, ask nicely, thank them for their time and cross one off of the bucket list.
I want to throw things at Slacks!
Don't throw things at Slacks.
Will there be an outdoor screen showing games?
No update on this. Rogers Arena is mainly a concrete concourse, surrounded by a viaduct and multiple lower roads. Unlike Seattle Center (which had multiple fields and smaller available venues), the only place large enough outside the Arena that could hold a large crowd with a big screen would most likely be the "main" entrance through Expo Blvd/Pat Quinn Way. There are a few other options in the area, but we're going to have to wait to see how creative Valve is with the space around the Arena. Perhaps they rent out the adjacent parking lots?
Will there be a beer garden?
No update on this also, but again, there's a lack of outdoor space beyond the concrete concourse. Sportsbar Live will be open, which also gives a view of inside the Arena while you're eating/drinking. But again, it's indoors.
Can I charge my phone inside of Rogers Arena?
From what I remember from Canucks games, yes, there are stations where you can plug your phone in to charge. But don't be surprised if a company like NVIDIA pops up a charging station outside much like in Seattle.
What is the capacity for Rogers Arena?
Where will I be able to see players? Will there be an open-area to ask for autographs?
One of the more obvious differences that most people will find from Key Arena to Rogers Arena, is that unlike Key Arena, Rogers doesn't have an open space concept between levels. Meaning, you won't be able to just look up to the third floor and see players hanging out like you normally would. This year, they most likely will be held in the boxes above or in the dressing rooms in the lower levels. Look for autograph times scheduled throughout the week to see your favorite players.
Is there anything being hosted at BC Place during TI?
The only thing right now is a Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) game on August 18th and a BC Lions (CFL) on the 25th. So if you really feel inclined, now you know.
Where, how and when can we buy weed legally when we arrive in Vancouver?
When: On October 17th, weed will officially be legalized in British Columbia and most parts of Canada. How: Normally you need a medicinal prescription to purchase marijuana legally. Though, because of the soon to be legalization coming up in a few months, most dispensaries will most likely write you a prescription if you tell them a valid medical reason for the marijuana (Trouble sleeping, chronic joint pain, back pain, headaches, trouble eating etc.). My friends who smoke themselves told me that hot tip, so do with it what you will. Please DO NOT buy weed from a source that isn't verified by another trusted person or a licensed dispensary. You never know what your weed could be laced with. Where: Here are some dispensaries located close to Rogers Arena. Bloom Medical Dispensary The Dub Dispensary The Medical Cannibis Dispensary
Where can I smoke?
You can't smoke anywhere that frequents children, even if there aren't kids around. So no beaches, public parks, playgrounds etc.. So just, anywhere that's away from people that don't want to partake essentially.
Yo dude, thanks for that help, hit this shit real quick.
I wasn't able to buy any tickets. What should I do?
If you weren't able to buy tickets from Ticket Master, you have a few options. Post in the TI8 Vancouver Subreddit and ask if anyone has a spare ticket. Buying tickets from scalpers in front of Rogers Arena is fairly easy and shouldn't be difficult if you understand the basics of haggling.
Know what you're comfortable paying and stick to it. Always remember that number.
Be prepared to just walk away. The longer you stay negotiating, the more you show the scalper how important it is for you to buy the tickets. Play the long game.
The less you talk, the less information you give the scalper. If he says he's got a Midweek ticket for $300, shrug and say no thanks.
Have money in your hand/wallet when you're trying to buy tickets. When they see that the cash is right there, they'll be more inclined to just make the deal and move onto the next one.
You will most likely miss the opening ceremonies, but after that the prices for Midweek tickets will normalize and scalpers will want to just get rid of their tickets at a lesser price. The advantage you have in this instance is that Vancouver, outside of the LoL tournament at Pacific Colosseum, doesn't have much experience with esports tournaments. So scalpers themselves won't have the same level of patience. The longer you wait to buy your tickets from them, the cheaper you can get them for. Only downside is that you'll be missing games. The other thing you can do is literally just walk around the outside of the Arena and spot non-scalpers with extra tickets. There are always people who buy extra tickets and are just wanting to get their money back (friends flake on them, they couldn't flip them like they thought). DO NOT panic and end up buying an overpriced ticket from StubHub, Craigslist or wherever. Tickets will be available, you just have to keep your cool.
I'm picking up my tickets at the venue. Where do I go?
The box office at Rogers Arena is located at the bottom of the venue on Expo/Pat Quinn Way at the Toyota Ticket Center. You can pick up your tickets between these times: Mon, August 20th: 7AM - 9PM Tue, August 21th: 8AM - 9PM Wed, August 22nd: 8AM - 9PM Thu, August 23rd: 8AM - 9PM Fri, August 24th: 8AM - 9PM Not sure about the box office times for the Finals. Will update that when I know.
FIRST TIME ATTENDING TI
I'm coming to TI alone. What can I expect?
So first off, understand that EVERYONE there is going for the same reason you are, DOTA. Don't be afraid to go up to people, say hello and start conversations. If they shrug you off, fuck them, they don't deserve your brilliance. Enjoy yourself. Worst case, just create a thread on DOTA saying that you want to go shotgun a few beers. My first TI was pretty much by myself, but the combination of a beer + a garden really did wonders. Simply put, don't worry as much as your mind is telling you to worry. All the talent (casters/players) are incredibly friendly and are pretty much the same as us, just super stoked to be there. But do give them space if they're working or running around to the next thing.
What else do I need my Ticket/Badge for?
During TI, after every First Blood in a match, there are potential drops given to in arena attendee's who have registered their badge with their Steam ID. There will be a Steam Link kiosk/section OUTSIDE of Rogers Arena, so look out for it. You must have tapped into the Arena in order to be eligible for those drops. The link to register your badge to be eligible for these drops will be on the back of your badge when you receive it.
What sort of stuff should I be bringing with me on an average day?
Try to pack as lightly and efficiently as possible. My two main staples during the last two TI's were a water bottle (usually given out in a goody bag for midweek + finals ticket holders) and a portable battery pack for my phone. Also know that you might buy things from the Secret Shop, do some shopping downtown and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around with you all day. Though consider bringing a sweater for inside the Arena, as Rogers is a fairly cold one. HOT TIP Try checking with bell boys/concierge at any hotels if they can possibly check in some of your bags for you. I tried this at TI7 and was surprised how chill they were. I left them a $5 tip for taking my bags and was free for the rest of the day.
When should I go to the Secret Shop?
Avoid the Secret Shop on the first day or else you'll just spend the entire day waiting in line. Midweek the shop lines will be much more reasonable.
What else should I do in Vancouver beyond watching DOTA?
I have an emergency and I need help. Who do I call?
Depending on your situation, here are numbers for emergencies in British Columbia. Ambulance, fire, police: 911 Poison Control: Lower Mainland: 604-682-5050 Toll-free: 1-800-567-8911 Healthlink BC: 811 Deaf or Hearing Impaired: 711 Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention: Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be. Mental health support: Call 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) for emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health.
Who's the guy with the statue outside the Arena?
That is Roger Neilson, former Vancouver Canucks head coach and the inventor of towel power. Please treat it nicely!
Where does Arteezy live? Where did he go to school? Where does he hang out?
How sweet of you to ask! That would be Lush by Snail Mail. Please, if you feel like you need to ask any questions, or there should be things added to this FAQ, post here or DM me. There are obviously some things that no one knows right now in regards to potential additions or subtractions from moving the event from Key Arena to Rogers. But I'll try my best to keep this thing updated if people bookmark it for future use. Enjoy planning your trip to TI!
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