Ohio Man Arrested For Running Bitcoin Mixing Service That ...

Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet

Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots.
A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC).
Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea.
When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust.
However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:

Is Bitcoin money?

No.
Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves:
1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own.
As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get.
You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there?
2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile.
If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point:
3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away.
For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast.
On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC
While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad.
One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy.
If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due.
Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.

BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in

Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense.
Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run.
See here
Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well.
Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money.
Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph
The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand.
Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price
Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control.
It's also a national security risk...
The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa
In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca.
He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade.
This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.

Currencies are based on trust

Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged?
The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president.
People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all.
It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board.
For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency
This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government."
The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.

BTC is not gold

Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value.
How do we know that?
Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan.
Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well.
Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties:
First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment.
Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials.
Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans.
It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods.
To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that.
On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.

BTC is really risky

One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds.
But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:

Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient

Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science.
That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale.
The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

How do I use my Bitcoin anonymously

I have some Bitcoin in my electrum wallet and I want to know how I can use it safely and anonymous in the dark net
submitted by 69420694206942069421 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Google Alternatives huge list restore your privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to degoogle [link] [comments]

guide to how to restore your privacy huge list

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to privacytoolsIO [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Blackmail Email Scam (part 6)

IF YOU RECEIVE A BLACKMAIL EMAIL, PLEASE REDACT THE PERSONAL INFORMATION AND POST IT AS A COMMENT ON THIS THREAD SO THAT OTHERS WHO RECEIVE THE SAME EMAIL CAN FIND IT THROUGH GOOGLE.

BLACKMAIL EMAIL SCAMS ARE ALSO SENT VIA SMS (TEXT) AND PHYSICAL MAIL. REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD, THEY ARE SPAM AND THE POST BELOW GIVES YOU INFORMATION AND ADVICE ABOUT WHAT TO DO.

FIRST THREAD: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/8gsjba/the_blackmail_email_scam/

SECOND THREAD: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/9srjen/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_2/

THIRD THREAD: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/biv65o/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_3/

FOURTH THREAD: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/dohaea/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_4/

FIFTH THREAD: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/

There have been many recent posts about the blackmail email scam, so I have written this post and will keep it stickied until the posts about the scam die down. Blackmail email scams have that name because they started as an email spam campaign, however there have also been reports of these scams being sent via SMS and physical mail. If you are reading this because you have received one of these emails and you are worried, you can stop worrying. The blackmail email scam is a spam campaign that is sent out to thousands of addresses at a time. The threats are lies and you do not have anything to worry about. In many cases, the emails will contain some sort of privileged information about you such as your name, part or all of your phone number, and your password. The emails may also look like they were sent from your own email address. The data is gathered from data breaches, and if the email looks like it came from your account that is due to email spoofing. You can use the service Have I Been Pwned? to see if you are in any publicly known data breaches. If you receive an email that contains a password that you currently use, you should immediately change that. Current recommended password guidelines say that you should use a different, complex password for every account. You can generate and save passwords using a password manager for convenience. You should also be using two factor authentication using an app like Google Authenticator instead of receiving codes through SMS.
Here are some news articles about this scam. Here is a story from Brian Krebs, and here is a story from the New York Times.
Below are a few examples, but if you receive an email that is similar but not the same as the examples you see, that does not matter and does not mean that the email is real. The spammers constantly switch up their templates in order to bypass spam filters, so it's normal to receive an email that hasn't yet been posted online.

EXAMPLES

Hey, some time ago your computer was infected with my private malware, RAT (Remote Administration Tool).
I know at the time of infection your passwords was: xxxxxxxxxxx
My malware gave me full access to all your accounts, contacts and it also was possible to spy on you over your webcam.
Sometimes when I was bored I was spying on you, then once you started to SATISFYING YOURSELF!
At first I didn't knew how to react as I was shocked, then I decided to record you, I checked on google and found the software: Bandicam and it did the job.
After that I removed my malware to not leave any traces and this email was sent from some hacked account.
I can send the video of you to all your friends, contacts and publish it on social networks and the whole web.
You can stop me and only I can help you out in this situation.
Pay exactly 740$ in Bitcoin (BTC).
It's easy to buy Bitcoin (BTC), for example here: https://paxful.com/buy-bitcoin , https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/ , https://www.kraken.com/ , or google another exchanger.
My Bitcoin (BTC) wallet is: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Yes that's how the wallet looks like, copy and paste it, it's (cAsE-sEnSEtiVE)
I give you 3 days time to pay.
As I got access to this email account, I will know if this email has already been read, so the time is running.
After receiving the payment, I will remove the video and you can life your live in peace like before.
Learn from the mistake and update your browser before browsing the web next time!
I know XXXX is one of your password on day of hack..
Lets get directly to the point.
Not one person has paid me to check about you. You do not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this email?
in fact, i actually placed a malware on the adult vids (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean).
When you were viewing videos, your browser started out operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display and web cam.
immediately after that, my malware obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email account.
after that i created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste omg), and 2nd part displays the recording of your cam, and its you. Best solution would be to pay me $1004.
We are going to refer to it as a donation. in this situation, i most certainly will without delay remove your video.
My -BTC -address: 1GohL1jDz8BapZhohN2Xry6AKPq6PiJrjw [case SeNSiTiVe, copy & paste it]
You could go on your life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me. You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google).
if you are planning on going to the law, surely, this e-mail can not be traced back to me, because it's hacked too.
I have taken care of my actions. i am not looking to ask you for a lot, i simply want to be paid.
if i do not receive the bitcoin;, i definitely will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, co-workers, and so on.
Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately.
If you need proof, reply with Yeah then i will send out your video recording to your 8 friends. it's a nonnegotiable offer and thus please don't waste mine time & yours by replying to this message.
I know xxxxxxxxxxxx is one of your password on day of hack.. Lets get directly to the point.
Not one person has paid me to check about you.
You do not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this email?
in fact, i actually placed a malware on the adult vids (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean).
When you were viewing videos, your browser started out operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display and web cam.
immediately after that, my malware obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email account. after that i created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste omg), and 2nd part displays the recording of your cam, and its you.
Best solution would be to pay me $1013.
We are going to refer to it as a donation. in this situation, i most certainly will without delay remove your video.
My -BTC -address: 1KzA7GYSyvXCmPpojZ4qTbZGmjjbbSfwBg
[case SeNSiTiVe, copy & paste it]
You could go on your life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me.
You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google). if you are planning on going to the law, surely, this e-mail can not be traced back to me, because it's hacked too. I have taken care of my actions. i am not looking to ask you for a lot, i simply want to be paid.
if i do not receive the bitcoin;, i definitely will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, co-workers, and so on. Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately. If you need proof, reply with Yeah then i will send out your video recording to your 8 friends. it's a nonnegotiable offer and thus please don't waste mine time & yours by replying to this message.
Lets get directly to the point.
Not one person has paid me to check about you. You do not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this email? in fact, i actually placed a malware on the adult vids (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean).
When you were viewing videos, your browser started out operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display and web cam.
immediately after that, my malware obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email account.
after that i created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste omg), and 2nd part displays the recording of your cam, and its you. Best solution would be to pay me $1002.
We are going to refer to it as a donation. in this situation, i most certainly will without delay remove your video.
My -BTC -address: 1JXvEapcRCvywymcrYZ1rcCfLfNZKri4LP [case SeNSiTiVe, copy & paste it]
You could go on your life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me.
You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google).
if you are planning on going to the law, surely, this e-mail can not be traced back to me, because it's hacked too. I have taken care of my actions. i am not looking to ask you for a lot, i simply want to be paid.
if i do not receive the bitcoin;, i definitely will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, co-workers, and so on. Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately.
If you need proof, reply with Yeah then i will send out your video recording to your 8 friends.
it's a nonnegotiable offer and thus please don't waste mine time & yours by replying to this message.
Hello!
I'm the software engineer who hacked into your device's OS.
I've been observing you for months now. The thing is, you've been infected with malware through the adult website you visited.
In case you're not familiar with it, I'll explain. The Trojan infection gives me full access and control over your computer or any other device on your local. It means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on my camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.
I also have access to all your contacts, social networking data and all your correspondence.
Why didn't your antivirus detect any malware? A: My malware uses a driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours to keep your antivirus silent.
I have made a video showing how you satisfy yourself on the left side of the screen, and on the right side you see the video you have been watching. With one click, I can send this video to all your contacts in the email and social networks. I can also publish access to all your emails and messaging apps that you use.
If you want to prevent this, at that point: Transfer $400(USD) to my bitcoin wallet (if you do not know how to do it, then type in to Google: "Purchase a bitcoin").
My Bitcoin Wallet:1EGBGBptS9yKNPYYU9qUEoPNLptee8CEq9
After getting the payment, I will destroy the video and you won't hear from me again. I will provide you 50 hours (more than two days) to pay. I have a notice that you read this email and the timer started you opened it.
Don't attempt to answer me. It doesn't make any sense (the sender's address is generated by random). Filing a complaint somewhere doesn't make sense, because this email cannot be tracked, and neither can my bitcoin address. I don't make mistakes.
If I find that you shared this message with someone else, the video will be distributed immediately. Good luck with that.
And here are some common keywords used in the email so that this thread can be found by people Googling the email:
"Marlware, international hacker group, No‌ p‌erso‌n has co‌mp‌ensat‌ed, very o‌wn vid‌eo‌ cli‌p, software on the adult, porno sitio, one of your pass word, .br, specific pixel, sexual content web portal, a malware on the adult, a malware on the, double-screen, is a reasonable price tag for our little secret, you have a good taste lmao, I placed a malware on the adult vids, your browser began operating as a RDP, had been abusing yourself in front of computer display, you are one of those people that downloaded the malicious, I made a split-screen video, While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as, malware on the porn website and guess what, an unique pixel, you jerked off while watching an online video, When you pressed the play button the virus begins saving all the things thru, ja.scr, My malicious soft started your front cam, and also send the video link to all of yourfriends, I infected your gadget with a malware and now, AnywaysI downloaded all contacts, my program quickly got into your system, To a time where you jerk off watching","For the present moment I have at my disposal all, When you arouse sexually watching porno, In such a way all needed compromising material and contact, All information to yours SNSs user accounts, You watched sexual content portal and toss","Hello! WannaCry is back! All your, in front of the screen browsing adult stuff, As you flog the dummy watching, U are going to be offered 5 days after checking this notice, RAT 68006, the damnific malware, pastime and entertainment there, not my single victim, beat the dummy, buff the muffin, choke a chicken, front camera capturing video, with you frigging, with you chaturbating, with you masturbating, web digicam, U are going to have 5 dayss, i utilize just hacked wi, pressured this trojan to, glue a pair of videos, glue two videos, the RAT, if you want me to destroy this whole video, downloaded all contacts from your computer, your list of contacts or relatives will, I made a video that shows how you masturbate, hacked you through a virus in an ad on a porn website, my illiteracy, nоt mind on my illiterаcy, I рilfered all рrivy bаckground, videоtaре with yоur masturbаtion, my delеtеrious soft, cаmеra shооt the videоtaрe, you sеlf-аbusing, Differently I will send the video to all your colleagues and friends, your front-camera made the videotape with you self-abusing, RAT 98390 malware, the minute you went to one adult page, information to contact info I discovered on your devices and remember there is a lot of these, not including Double VPN As a result, I forced my malware to hook up to a mic, web camera and catch the video from it, poisoned a number of adult sites, video clip to fit on a single tv screen, This letter has invisible monitoring program inside and i will be aware of when you are going to check, doing ur stuff and a clip u jerked to, the investigation will last, I uploaded our malicious program on your device, furthermore malware saved exactly the video you chose, its a record with your wanking, friends will see u taking proper care of yourself, Your system is controlled by the malicious program, If you were more careful while playing with yourself, that whacking off to adult web-sites is, adult website which was poisoned with my malware, nor i think that jerking off to porn sites is really a gross thing, so I dgf lmao, proof just reply to this email with, if you want me to destroy all this compromising evidence, will send your video to 5 contacts, amount in Usd that can cope with this scenario, You are welcome to contact your local authorities, If you want proof, reply with, i pride myself in being apart of an internet group, so i dgf, I take good care of my being anonymous, information related to the RAT virus, been able get in to all ur units, to all of your contacts including, search engines like goo, case sensitive, so copy,, and at this moment I, It is a non-nego, don't waste my perso, thi s mes, back while visiting, showe ring, what should you do ?, porno webpage, this embarrassing situation, navigated to the page, bare-assed, on well-known websites and publications, I got an order from someone to kill you and your family, immediately kill your family, is an explosive device, My mercenary is, explosive device detonates, triggered your webcam, piquant websites, my exploit downloaded, replenish btc wallet, i‌nstanta‌neo‌usly ‌erase, actua‌l r‌eco‌rded ma‌t‌eri‌al, n‌egl‌ect this ‌ema‌i‌l, my RAT trojan, video you jerked, I used keylogger, your disk dump, malware intercepts, installed a malware, remo‌v‌e yo‌ur vi‌deo‌ fo‌o‌ta‌ge, RAT onto your computer, greasy stimulating actions, excentric preferrables, porn web-page, to your Tax Department, network will be DDoS, friends, WannaCry, building a protection policy, in Tax Departament, Yours service going, we pass CloudFlare, hear fake-experts, backuped phone, -1663, of your joys, digits your phone, (porno), BIG pervert, both files and scale, naughty video clips, Soy un hacker, I installed spyware, n website with teen, malware on the porn website, very own recorded material""Marlware, international hacker group, No‌ p‌erso‌n has co‌mp‌ensat‌ed, very o‌wn vid‌eo‌ cli‌p, software on the adult, porno sitio, one of your pass word, specific pixel, sexual content web portal, a malware on the adult, a malware on the, double-screen, is a reasonable price tag for our little secret, you have a good taste lmao, I placed a malware on the adult vids, your browser began operating as a RDP, had been abusing yourself in front of computer display, you are one of those people that downloaded the malicious, I made a split-screen video, While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as, malware on the porn website and guess what, an unique pixel, you jerked off while watching an online video, When you pressed the play button the virus begins saving all the things thru, ja.scr, My malicious soft started your front cam, and also send the video link to all of yourfriends, I infected your gadget with a malware and now, AnywaysI downloaded all contacts, my program quickly got into your system, To a time where you jerk off watching","For the present moment I have at my disposal all, When you arouse sexually watching porno, In such a way all needed compromising material and contact, All information to yours SNSs user accounts, You watched sexual content portal and toss","Hello! WannaCry is back! All your, in front of the screen browsing adult stuff, As you flog the dummy watching, U are going to be offered 5 days after checking this notice, RAT 68006, the damnific malware, pastime and entertainment there, not my single victim, beat the dummy, buff the muffin, choke a chicken, front camera capturing video, with you frigging, with you chaturbating, with you masturbating, web digicam, U are going to have 5 dayss, i utilize just hacked wi, pressured this trojan to, glue a pair of videos, glue two videos, the RAT, if you want me to destroy this whole video, downloaded all contacts from your computer, your list of contacts or relatives will, I made a video that shows how you masturbate, hacked you through a virus in an ad on a porn website, my illiteracy, nоt mind on my illiterаcy, I рilfered all рrivy bаckground, videоtaре with yоur masturbаtion, my delеtеrious soft, cаmеra shооt the videоtaрe, you sеlf-аbusing, Differently I will send the video to all your colleagues and friends, your front-camera made the videotape with you self-abusing, RAT 98390 malware, the minute you went to one adult page, information to contact info I discovered on your devices and remember there is a lot of these, not including Double VPN As a result, I forced my malware to hook up to a mic, web camera and catch the video from it, poisoned a number of adult sites, video clip to fit on a single tv screen, This letter has invisible monitoring program inside and i will be aware of when you are going to check, doing ur stuff and a clip u jerked to, the investigation will last, I uploaded our malicious program on your device, furthermore malware saved exactly the video you chose, its a record with your wanking, friends will see u taking proper care of yourself, Your system is controlled by the malicious program, If you were more careful while playing with yourself, that whacking off to adult web-sites is, adult website which was poisoned with my malware, nor i think that jerking off to porn sites is really a gross thing, so I dgf lmao, proof just reply to this email with, if you want me to destroy all this compromising evidence, will send your video to 5 contacts, amount in Usd that can cope with this scenario, You are welcome to contact your local authorities, If you want proof, reply with, i pride myself in being apart of an internet group, so i dgf, I take good care of my being anonymous, information related to the RAT virus, been able get in to all ur units, to all of your contacts including, search engines like goo, case sensitive, so copy,, and at this moment I, It is a non-nego, don't waste my perso, thi s mes, back while visiting, showe ring, what should you do ?, porno webpage, this embarrassing situation, navigated to the page, bare-assed, on well-known websites and publications, I got an order from someone to kill you and your family, immediately kill your family, is an explosive device, My mercenary is, explosive device detonates, triggered your webcam, piquant websites, my exploit downloaded, replenish btc wallet, i‌nstanta‌neo‌usly ‌erase, actua‌l r‌eco‌rded ma‌t‌eri‌al, n‌egl‌ect this ‌ema‌i‌l, my RAT trojan, video you jerked, I used keylogger, your disk dump, malware intercepts, installed a malware, remo‌v‌e yo‌ur vi‌deo‌ fo‌o‌ta‌ge, RAT onto your computer, greasy stimulating actions, excentric preferrables, porn web-page, to your Tax Department, network will be DDoS, friends, WannaCry, building a protection policy, in Tax Departament, Yours service going, we pass CloudFlare, hear fake-experts, backuped phone, -1663, of your joys, digits your phone, (porno), BIG pervert, both files and scale, naughty video clips, Soy un hacker, I installed spyware, n website with teen, malware on the porn website, very own recorded material, ιs yοur ραssρhrαse, after seeing the video of you jerking off, τhιηκ οf ιτ αs α dοηατιοη, split-screen video, 𝐄𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐩 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞, 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐲𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭"
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

Eth 2.0 vs Polkadot and other musings by a fundamental investor

Spent about two hours on this post and I decided it would help the community if I made it more visible. Comment was made as a response to this
I’m trying to avoid falling into a maximalist mindset over time. This isn’t a 100% ETH question, but I’m trying to stay educated about emerging tech.
Can someone help me see the downsides of diversifying into DOTs?
I know Polkadot is more centralized, VC backed, and generally against our ethos here. On chain governance might introduce some unknown risks. What else am I missing?
I see a bunch of posts about how Ethereum and Polkadot can thrive together, but are they not both L1 competitors?
Response:
What else am I missing?
The upsides.
Most of the guys responding to you here are full Eth maxis who drank the Parity is bad koolaid. They are married to their investment and basically emotional / tribal in an area where you should have a cool head. Sure, you might get more upvotes on Reddit if you do and say what the crowd wants, but do you want upvotes and fleeting validation or do you want returns on your investment? Do you want to be these guys or do you want to be the shareholder making bank off of those guys?
Disclaimer: I'm both an Eth whale and a Dot whale, and have been in crypto for close to a decade now. I originally bought ether sub $10 after researching it for at least a thousand hours. Rode to $1500 and down to $60. Iron hands - my intent has always been to reconsider my Eth position after proof of stake is out. I invested in the 2017 Dot public sale with the plan of flipping profits back to Eth but keeping Dots looks like the right short and long term play now. I am not a trader, I just take a deep tech dive every couple of years and invest in fundamentals.
Now as for your concerns:
I know Polkadot is more centralized
The sad truth is that the market doesn't really care about this. At all. There is no real statistic to show at what point a coin is "decentralized" or "too centralized". For example, bitcoin has been completely taken over by Chinese mining farms for about five years now. Last I checked, they control above 85% of the hashing power, they just spread it among different mining pools to make it look decentralized. They have had the ability to fake or block transactions for all this time but it has never been in their best interest to do so: messing with bitcoin in that way would crash its price, therefore their bitcoin holdings, their mining equipment, and their company stock (some of them worth billions) would evaporate. So they won't do it due to economics, but not because they can't.
That is the major point I want to get across; originally Bitcoin couldn't be messed with because it was decentralized, but now Bitcoin is centralized but it's still not messed with due to economics. It is basically ChinaCoin at this point, but the market doesn't care, and it still enjoys over 50% of the total crypto market cap.
So how does this relate to Polkadot? Well fortunately most chains - Ethereum included - are working towards proof of stake. This is obviously better for the environment, but it also has a massive benefit for token holders. If a hostile party wanted to take over a proof of stake chain they'd have to buy up a massive share of the network. The moment they force through a malicious transaction a proof of stake blockchain has the option to fork them off. It would be messy for a few days, but by the end of the week the hostile party would have a large amount of now worthless tokens, and the proof of stake community would have moved on to a version of the blockchain where the hostile party's tokens have been slashed to zero. So not only does the market not care about centralization (Bitcoin example), but proof of stake makes token holders even safer.
That being said, Polkadot's "centralization" is not that far off to Ethereum. The Web3 foundation kept 30% of the Dots while the Ethereum Foundation kept 17%. There are whales in Polkadot but Ethereum has them too - 40% of all genesis Ether went to 100 wallets, and many suspect that the original Ethereum ICO was sybiled to make it look more popular and decentralized than it really was. But you don't really care about that do you? Neither do I. Whales are a fact of life.
VC backed
VCs are part of the crypto game now. There is no way to get rid of them, and there is no real reason why you should want to get rid of them. They put their capital at risk (same as you and me) and seek returns on their investment (same as you and me). They are both in Polkadot and Ethereum, and have been for years now. I have no issue with them as long as they don't play around with insider information, but that is another topic. To be honest, I would be worried if VCs did not endorse chains I'm researching, but maybe that's because my investing style isn't chasing hype and buying SUSHI style tokens from anonymous (at the time) developers. That's just playing hot potato. But hey, some people are good at that.
As to the amount of wallets that participated in the Polkadot ICO: a little known fact is that more individual wallets participated in Polkadot's ICO than Ethereum's, even though Polkadot never marketed their ICO rounds due to regulatory reasons.
generally against our ethos here
Kool aid.
Some guy that works(ed?) at Parity (who employs what, 200+ people?) correctly said that Ethereum is losing its tech lead and that offended the Ethereum hivemind. Oh no. So controversial. I'm so personally hurt by that.
Some guy that has been working for free on Ethereum basically forever correctly said that Polkadot is taking the blockchain tech crown. Do we A) Reflect on why he said that? or B) Rally the mob to chase him off?
"I did not quit social media, I quit Ethereum. I did not go dark, I just left the community. I am no longer coordinating hard forks, building testnets, or contributing otherwise. I did not work on Polkadot, I never did, I worked on Ethereum. I did not hate Ethereum, I loved it."
Also Parity locked their funds (and about 500+ other wallets not owned by them) and proposed a solution to recover them. When the community voted no they backed off and did not fork the chain, even if they had the influence to do so. For some reason this subreddit hates them for that, even if Parity did the 100% moral thing to do. Remember, 500+ other teams or people had their funds locked, so Parity was morally bound to try its best to recover them.
Its just lame drama to be honest. Nothing to do with ethos, everything to do with emotional tribalism.
Now for the missing upsides (I'll also respond to random fragments scattered in the thread):
This isn’t a 100% ETH question, but I’m trying to stay educated about emerging tech.
A good quick intro to Eth's tech vs Polkadot's tech can be found on this thread, especially this reply. That thread is basically mandatory reading if you care about your investment.
Eth 2.0's features will not really kick in for end users until about 2023. That means every dapp (except DeFI, where the fees make sense due to returns and is leading the fee market) who built on Eth's layer 1 are dead for three years. Remember the trading card games... Gods Unchained? How many players do you think are going to buy and sell cards when the transaction fee is worth more than the cards? All that development is now practically worthless until it can migrate to its own shard. This story repeats for hundreds of other dapp teams who's projects are now priced out for three years. So now they either have to migrate to a one of the many unpopulated L2 options (which have their own list of problems and risks, but that's another topic) or they look for another platform, preferably one interoperable with Ethereum. Hence Polkadot's massive growth in developer activity. If you check out https://polkaproject.com/ you'll see 205 projects listed at the time of this post. About a week ago they had 202 listed. That means about one team migrated from another tech stack to build on Polkadot every two days, and trust me, many more will come in when parachains are finally activated, and it will be a complete no brainer when Polkadot 2.0 is released.
Another huge upside for Polkadot is the Initial Parachain Offerings. Polkadot's version of ICOs. The biggest difference is that you can vote for parachains using your Dots to bind them to the relay chain, and you get some of the parachain's tokens in exchange. After a certain amount of time you get your Dots back. The tokenomics here are impressive: Dots are locked (reduced supply) instead of sold (sell pressure) and you still earn your staking rewards. There's no risk of scammers running away with your Ether and the governance mechanism allows for the community to defund incompetent devs who did not deliver what was promised.
Wouldn’t an ETH shard on Polkadot gain a bunch of scaling benefits that we won’t see natively for a couple years?
Yes. That is correct. Both Edgeware and Moonbeam are EVM compatible. And if the original dapp teams don't migrate their projects someone else will fork them, exactly like SUSHI did to Uniswap, and how Acala is doing to MakerDao.
Although realistically Ethereum has a 5 yr headstart and devs haven't slowed down at all
Ethereum had a five year head start but it turns out that Polkadot has a three year tech lead.
Just because it's "EVM Compatible" doesn't mean you can just plug Ethereum into Polkadot or vica versa, it just means they both understand Ethereum bytecode and you can potentially copy/paste contracts from Ethereum to Polkadot, but you'd still need to add a "bridge" between the 2 chains, so it adds additional complexity and extra steps compared to using any of the existing L2 scaling solutions
That only applies of you are thinking from an Eth maximalist perspective. But if you think from Polkadot's side, why would you need to use the bridge back to Ethereum at all? Everything will be seamless, cheaper, and quicker once the ecosystem starts to flourish.
I see a bunch of posts about how Ethereum and Polkadot can thrive together, but are they not both L1 competitors?
They are competitors. Both have their strategies, and both have their strengths (tech vs time on the market) but they are clearly competing in my eyes. Which is a good thing, Apple and Samsung competing in the cell phone market just leads to more innovation for consumers. You can still invest in both if you like.
Edit - link to post and the rest of the conversation: https://www.reddit.com/ethfinance/comments/iooew6/daily_general_discussion_september_8_2020/g4h5yyq/
Edit 2 - one day later PolkaProject count is 210. Devs are getting the hint :)
submitted by redditsucks_goruqqus to polkadot_market [link] [comments]

Your Choice To Make

TL;DR: Wakey wakey, give a crap about freedom, or accept the consequences.
Another Sunday afternoon, another news item about Monero being delisted from a centralized exchange, this time in Australia.
Last year it was OKEx and others.
Just a few days ago it was Coinspot.
It is sort of an open secret that Coinbase is not listing Monero due to external pressures. Today we're hit with news that Kraken will be ceasing Monero trading for AU residents.
And you will also recall that Japan and South Korea have made similar moves.
It's a near impossibility with me, especially when powered by caffeine, which is most definitely the case today, but I will try to make this brief, sweet and to the point.
These are not isolated incidents. There is an International Organization™ in particular orchestrating, behind the scenes, the policies and requirements that financial institutions (crypto exchanges have since joined that category for this purpose) must follow, or else.
Here is what bothers me about this.
Have you been consulted about this? Anyone you know?
Heard of it in the news?
Yeah, me neither.
You have to know where to look to find some information on what they would like to see happening (we'll get to that in a moment), and often you have to read PDFs with dozens of pages to find the good stuff too.
I will leave that as an exercise to the reader. Suffice to say, I have been digging a bit deeper myself, and what I found shocked me.
FATF wants nothing less than the complete elimination of anonymity and privacy in financial affairs, even going so far as to consider BANNING peer to peer transactions so that people are forced to interact with each other through exchanges, where data collection is more reliable and certain, effectively obliterating one of the major selling points of cryptocurrency (p2p-ness) with complete disregard for the millions of people who are already onboard with the vision.
No privacy and no anonymity, imagine that.
Many of you probably already use plastic cards for everything, day in day out, and don't think too much about this stuff.
But the fact that an international organization that you have little to zero democratic control over is planning to get rid of class of financial tools that 99.99999% of people don't even realize exists yet should give you pause for concern.
The tools I speak of are, of course, digital cash-like cryptocurrencies like Monero.
I would like you to PAUSE, daydream a bit, visualize and imagine, what a world without zero financial privacy/anonymity would look like.
Consider, this has certainly not been the case in human history, ever -- yes, even today.
Today most of you still have cash as a choice. But what happens when that goes out of the window, and the only options are CBDCs, CorporateCoins, and transparent cryptocurrency ?
Needless to say, both in the case of CorporateCoins and CBDCs, there will be little to none privacy/anonymity, and even if there was (in the case of CorporateCoin), the state would obviously bully its way into it and force them to do otherwise (without being asked to do so, of course).
So, imagine that world.
Every donation you make. Every $50 transfer to a friend or family member. Every item you buy. Every service you purchase. Every money you send to help a friend you.
All of it stored, forever, to be accessed later at will for whatever reasons.
Would you make the same choices, knowing that your entire financial life is entirely exposed to powerful organizations of which you likely know very little about and almost certainly can hardly ever influence at all?
Does that seem like a good recipe for a free society?

Consequences

The people at the top either don't care about the consequences of what they're imposing worldwide, or they don't understand.
Sounds highly concerning to me either way - It comes down to either bullying or ignorance.
Would you ever have truly heart-to-heart conversations if you knew your worst enemy was potentially watching and recording everything?
Could you make passionate love knowing hundreds of strangers are analyzing your every move?
Can you be spontaneous knowing you are being recorded?
What if you did not have a choice in those matters ?!
What if someone has already decided for you, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your country, that you are all potential criminals and the thing to do is to keep records on everyone, just in case ?
Newsflash: It already happened.
It's been happening for awhile, and it seems to be picking up pace; the technology that was going to liberate us, slowly enslaving us instead -- because the general public largely does not understand the issues at hand, while the elite certainly does, and boy oh boy, are they thrilled with the technological advancements that help them cement their power.
What do I mean by cement?
Imagine trying to kick-start civil rights in a place where every social map is known, everything a person is interested in is known, every transaction they make is known, every website they have visited is known, every time they step on the street, an AI-powered camera automatically identifies them and tracks their movement.
You would be unable to organize. To exchange value. To discuss behind curtains, so to speak.
You would not have any privacy, and you would not have any anonymity.
Could you be free under these circumstances?

Conclusion

It's been a long road towards more freedom, but nowdays it is disappearing fast. Stopping to consider the implications is a most pressing issue.
They want Monero(-like tools) GONE because Monero ACTUALLY would change the paradigm.
By the time they are done with their "recommendations" (which really mean: comply, or else...), mark my words, there will be a name behind every Bitcoin address in some centralized database, query-able by partners in deciding who can and cannot use the system.
Merchants will be forced to perform chain analysis and by law they will be compelled to reject/refund/report transactions coming from "anonymous clusters" (addresses that are not known to have an identity tied to them).
This is what the normalization of the lack of privacy has brought us.
The possibility was there, and they took it. Of course they did.
I repeat, it is no accident that it's not Dogecoin and Nano, Bitcoin or Litecoin being delisted.
The star of the show (for better or for worse) is Monero, and that is because it works.
It lets you transact anonymously and privately, like cash - why the hell should FATF know that you sent $500 to your mother last week? in fact, why the hell should they know your entire financial history?!
When cash goes (and we can be fairly certain that it will be gone; would already be gone if this sort of authoritarian mindset had its way), Monero or tools like Monero, will become the only way to make any transaction outside the eyes of the state.
It's not because you have anything (nefarious) to hide. It's not because you're a criminal.
Rather, it's because to accept anything else is to bow to tyranny.
It's your choice to make - are you meekly going to accept that in perhaps less than a decade there will be zero privacy and anonymity in financial matters, or are you going to fight back?
Will you organize, campaign, email, discuss, spread awareness?
Will you spend precious summer Sunday afternoons writing for strangers on the Internet trying to help a few more see the major shit-show we're headed into?
Or will you be a good boy and do what you're told?
Tomorrow, by the way - if left unchallenged - it won't just be financial privacy that disappears.
One of the most prominent examples in the introductory part of this post (Australia) has already made quite clear that they don't like the fact that people can hide things from them (encryption).
In other words, either they know about it (and archive it forever), or you better let them know. After all, a threat - any threat! - could be lurking somewhere in that encrypted data. And you have nothing to hide anyway, yes?
This is a cryptocurrency sub though so let's not steer too far from that. It is important to remember that ultimately the issue is the same though - totalitarian control over everyone's life; mass-surveillance, and the ability to rewind and see someone's entire life exposed for the benefit of the state.
Their actions are letting you know what really works and what really threatens the status quo. That is useful information.
If you care at all about the freedom and privacy of your future self, your friends and family, children present or future, I think you would do well to think long and hard about these issues.
Because the direction assumed by the most prominent regulators seems to be headed in a uniform direction - that is no surprise, seeing as how they meet with each other.
You have to ask yourself though, is this for your benefit, your safety?
Or is it to keep the statuo quo?
How would the world be different if human beings - regardless of color, nationality, age, sexual orientation, political beliefs- with an Internet connection could freely exchange value privately and anonymously (the way we can still communicate private and anonymously in most places today - though not so in authoritarian places like China, AND THAT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE)?
It would be instant, like an instant message. It would cost very little.
Well, I have news for you: It's already possible, and a growing number of people are realizing this.
This tool is called Monero. It exists today, and the cat is out of the bag. The technology will only get better, and more interesting tools may even come along later.
In fact, barring mass persecution of open-source developers, that is very likely what is going to happen, as ultrasmart people everywhere congregate in virtual spaces to discuss better ways to do stuff.
If we keep losing our right to be left alone until suspected of a crime, life will increasingly come to resemble what the regulator types are - consciously or unconsciously - creating: a Panopticon society.
If you don't speak up, then the decision has already been made - and you're probably going to live to regret being complicit in it.
Freedom or Tyranny. It's your choice to make.
p.s: Yes, totally failed at making this short. I guess it's just not my thing.
submitted by xmr_kayront to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

PSA: Enable Tor as a simple way to make your node reachable.

Become one of the 10% of node operators that receive incoming connections.
Installing bitcoin core is easy, and with pruning it really isn't the space sink it is characterized as. Even a modest computer can complete the initial block download (IBD) and become a full node. But what some users (90%) find a bit more challenging, is how to become a listening node. Listening nodes are an important part of the network, and are simple enough to enable. I can think of 4 ways to do it:
  1. Operate on an OS and Network that support uPnP, allowing bitcoin to open the ports for you.
  2. Subscribe to a VPN that allows you to open ports through their service.
  3. Manually configure your OS and network to forward port 8333 and 18333.
  4. Run Tor and direct bitcoin to listen through it.
I'll discuss #4. Obviously #1 or #2 are easier, but require a VPN subscription or uPnP enabled HW. And if you live in a dorm or don't control the network, Tor may be the only free option available.
As a bit of background, bitcoin supports three networks that your node can listen on:
Obviously, the more you enable, the better, but here are the basic steps for Tor in broad strokes. If you have any questions post them here and I'll see if we can't help you out:
  1. Download, verify1 and install Gpg4win
  2. Download, verify2, install, and launch Tor Browser
  3. Download, verify3, install, and launch Bitcoin Core
  4. Launch and Admin command console in the directory containing tor.exe
  5. Install the Tor service: tor.exe --service install
  6. CD to service dir: cd %windir%\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\tor
  7. Create and edit a file called torrc with the contents suggested below
  8. Restart tor: tor.exe --service stop && tor.exe --service start
  9. Record the hostname: type .\HiddenService\hostname as
  10. Add the bitcoin.conf options suggested below
  11. Restart the bitcoin-qt program
  12. (Optional) Activate the bitnodes crawler at https://bitnodes.io/nodes/-8333/
It may take a while for your node to show up on bitnodes. I've found the check button sometimes has trouble with onions. Of course you don't need to do it, but it can provide a simple way to check status once your on the list.

torrc file: (replace c:\windows with the proper path as needed)

```

Change to C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming

Log notice file \tor\service.log

Bridges may be needed if the Gov't shuts down Tor exit nodes. Get Bridges by

emailing [email protected] from Gmail (only) and uncomment as follows:

Bridge obfs4 : cert= iat-mode=

HiddenServiceDir \tor\HiddenService HiddenServiceVersion 2 HiddenServicePort 8333 127.0.0.1:8333 HiddenServicePort 18333 127.0.0.1:18333 ```

bitcoin.conf file: (entries to be ADDED)

```

Change to what you recorded earlier

onion=127.0.0.1:9050 listen=1 externalip= discover=1 ```
Footnotes:
  • 1 Cert: {Subject: Intevation GmbH; SHA1: c13a65963ad53e78694dd223d518007791a05fe4}
  • 2 PGP Signing Key: 0xEF6E286DDA85EA2A4BA7DE684E2C6E8793298290
  • 3 PGP Signing Key: 0x01EA5486DE18A882D4C2684590C8019E36C2E964
submitted by brianddk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Zano Newcomers Introduction/FAQ - please read!

Welcome to the Zano Sticky Introduction/FAQ!

https://preview.redd.it/al1gy9t9v9q51.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=b29a60402d30576a4fd95f592b392fae202026ca
Hopefully any questions you have will be answered by the resources below, but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. If you're quite technically-minded, the Zano whitepaper gives a thorough overview of Zano's design and its main features.
So, what is Zano? In brief, Zano is a project started by the original developers of CryptoNote. Coins with market caps totalling well over a billion dollars (Monero, Haven, Loki and countless others) run upon the codebase they created. Zano is a continuation of their efforts to create the "perfect money", and brings a wealth of enhancements to their original CryptoNote code.
Development happens at a lightning pace, as the Github activity shows, but Zano is still very much a work-in-progress. Let's cut right to it:
Here's why you should pay attention to Zano over the next 12-18 months. Quoting from a recent update:
Anton Sokolov has recently joined the Zano team. ... For the last months Anton has been working on theoretical work dedicated to log-size ring signatures. These signatures theoretically allows for a logarithmic relationship between the number of decoys and the size/performance of transactions. This means that we can set mixins at a level from up to 1000, keeping the reasonable size and processing speed of transactions. This will take Zano’s privacy to a whole new level, and we believe this technology will turn out to be groundbreaking!
If successful, this scheme will make Zano the most private, powerful and performant CryptoNote implementation on the planet. Bar none. A quantum leap in privacy with a minimal increase in resource usage. And if there's one team capable of pulling it off, it's this one.

What else makes Zano special?

You mean aside from having "the Godfather of CryptoNote" as the project lead? ;) Actually, the calibre of the developers/researchers at Zano probably is the project's single greatest strength. Drawing on years of experience, they've made careful design choices, optimizing performance with an asynchronous core architecture, and flexibility and extensibility with a modular code structure. This means that the developers are able to build and iterate fast, refining features and adding new ones at a rate that makes bigger and better-funded teams look sluggish at best.
Zano also has some unique features that set it apart from similar projects:
Privacy Firstly, if you're familiar with CryptoNote you won't be surprised that Zano transactions are private. The perfect money is fungible, and therefore must be untraceable. Bitcoin, for the most part, does little to hide your transaction data from unscrupulous observers. With Zano, privacy is the default.
The untraceability and unlinkability of Zano transactions come from its use of ring signatures and stealth addresses. What this means is that no outside observer is able to tell if two transactions were sent to the same address, and for each transaction there is a set of possible senders that make it impossible to determine who the real sender is.
Hybrid PoW-PoS consensus mechanism Zano achieves an optimal level of security by utilizing both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake for consensus. By combining the two systems, it mitigates their individual vulnerabilities (see 51% attack and "nothing at stake" problem). For an attack on Zano to have even a remote chance of success the attacker would have to obtain not only a majority of hashing power, but also a majority of the coins involved in staking. The system and its design considerations are discussed at length in the whitepaper.
Aliases Here's a stealth address: ZxDdULdxC7NRFYhCGdxkcTZoEGQoqvbZqcDHj5a7Gad8Y8wZKAGZZmVCUf9AvSPNMK68L8r8JfAfxP4z1GcFQVCS2Jb9wVzoe. I have a hard enough time remembering my phone number. Fortunately, Zano has an alias system that lets you register an address to a human-readable name. (@orsonj if you want to anonymously buy me a coffee)
Multisig
Multisignature (multisig) refers to requiring multiple keys to authorize a Zano transaction. It has a number of applications, such as dividing up responsibility for a single Zano wallet among multiple parties, or creating backups where loss of a single seed doesn't lead to loss of the wallet.
Multisig and escrow are key components of the planned Decentralized Marketplace (see below), so consideration was given to each of them from the design stages. Thus Zano's multisig, rather than being tagged on at the wallet-level as an afterthought, is part of its its core architecture being incorporated at the protocol level. This base-layer integration means months won't be spent in the future on complicated refactoring efforts in order to integrate multisig into a codebase that wasn't designed for it. Plus, it makes it far easier for third-party developers to include multisig (implemented correctly) in any Zano wallets and applications they create in the future.
(Double Deposit MAD) Escrow
With Zano's escrow service you can create fully customizable p2p contracts that are designed to, once signed by participants, enforce adherence to their conditions in such a way that no trusted third-party escrow agent is required.
https://preview.redd.it/jp4oghyhv9q51.png?width=1762&format=png&auto=webp&s=12a1e76f76f902ed328886283050e416db3838a5
The Particl project, aside from a couple of minor differences, uses an escrow scheme that works the same way, so I've borrowed the term they coined ("Double Deposit MAD Escrow") as I think it describes the scheme perfectly. The system requires participants to make additional deposits, which they will forfeit if there is any attempt to act in a way that breaches the terms of the contract. Full details can be found in the Escrow section of the whitepaper.
The usefulness of multisig and the escrow system may not seem obvious at first, but as mentioned before they'll form the backbone of Zano's Decentralized Marketplace service (described in the next section).

What does the future hold for Zano?

The planned upgrade to Zano's privacy, mentioned at the start, is obviously one of the most exciting things the team is working on, but it's not the only thing.
Zano Roadmap
Decentralized Marketplace
From the beginning, the Zano team's goal has been to create the perfect money. And money can't just be some vehicle for speculative investment, money must be used. To that end, the team have created a set of tools to make it as simple as possible for Zano to be integrated into eCommerce platforms. Zano's API’s and plugins are easy to use, allowing even those with very little coding experience to use them in their E-commerce-related ventures. The culmination of this effort will be a full Decentralized Anonymous Marketplace built on top of the Zano blockchain. Rather than being accessed via the wallet, it will act more as a service - Marketplace as a Service (MAAS) - for anyone who wishes to use it. The inclusion of a simple "snippet" of code into a website is all that's needed to become part a global decentralized, trustless and private E-commerce network.
Atomic Swaps
Just as Zano's marketplace will allow you to transact without needing to trust your counterparty, atomic swaps will let you to easily convert between Zano and other cyryptocurrencies without having to trust a third-party service such as a centralized exchange. On top of that, it will also lead to the way to Zano's inclusion in the many decentralized exchange (DEX) services that have emerged in recent years.

Where can I buy Zano?

Zano's currently listed on the following exchanges:
https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/zano/markets/
It goes without saying, neither I nor the Zano team work for any of the exchanges or can vouch for their reliability. Use at your own risk and never leave coins on a centralized exchange for longer than necessary. Your keys, your coins!
If you have any old graphics cards lying around(both AMD & NVIDIA), then Zano is also mineable through its unique ProgPowZ algorithm. Here's a guide on how to get started.
Once you have some Zano, you can safely store it in one of the desktop or mobile wallets (available for all major platforms).

How can I support Zano?

Zano has no marketing department, which is why this post has been written by some guy and not the "Chief Growth Engineer @ Zano Enterprises". The hard part is already done: there's a team of world class developers and researchers gathered here. But, at least at the current prices, the team's funds are enough to cover the cost of development and little more. So the job of publicizing the project falls to the community. If you have any experience in community building/growth hacking at another cryptocurrency or open source project, or if you're a Zano holder who would like to ensure the project's long-term success by helping to spread the word, then send me a pm. We need to get organized.
Researchers and developers are also very welcome. Working at the cutting edge of mathematics and cryptography means Zano provides challenging and rewarding work for anyone in those fields. Please contact the project's Community Manager u/Jed_T if you're interested in joining the team.
Social Links:
Twitter
Discord Server
Telegram Group
Medium blog
I'll do my best to keep this post accurate and up to date. Message me please with any suggested improvements and leave any questions you have below.
Welcome to the Zano community and the new decentralized private economy!
submitted by OrsonJ to Zano [link] [comments]

Official ColossusXT Q3 2020 AMA

Official ColossusXT Q3 2020 AMA
Welcome to the 11th official ColossusXT AMA! It has been an exciting year so far as we move closer to the launch of the Colossus Grid, and it's been interesting to see how COVID19 is affecting the world and the industry. The commitment to ColossusXT has never been stronger as we navigate these uncertain times due to COVID19. I will briefly go over development and business activities and if you have any additional questions about anything mentioned please drop a question in this AMA.
[DEV] As we move forward through Q3 the first thing you can expect is a mandatory wallet update in the coming weeks, this wallet update will allow you to convert your zCOLX back into COLX, along with some other notable features that we will dive into to discuss once the wallet is released. We're getting closer and closer to Armis release and the Colossus Grid release, which will prove to be an exciting time for the community to participate in testing and/or marketing activities.
[BIZ] We recently submitted a Project Pitch regarding ColossusXT to the National Science Foundation and have been invited to submit a full proposal. Should our proposal be accepted by the National Science Foundation we will be awarded 256,000 dollars for additional ColossusXT development, and continue onto Phase 2 proposals which will open up additional opportunities for ColossusXT research partnerships and additional funding opportunities.

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This AMA will start on 10 September and end on 30 September.
The team will review and answer your questions no later than 14 October.
Before the AMA begins, everyone from the community can ask questions on this page and upvote/downvote according to your interest.
Rules:
Please do not reply to other user's questions until the team has answered. Try to be precise with your questions and be polite.
Contest: One person who asks a question will be chosen to receive 100,000 ColossusXT (COLX) and a ColossusXT T-Shirt!

https://preview.redd.it/cz6lixhzicm51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=30ec43751a5556d11c5f26c3f7ab4a044494c73e

Processing img imldoefxgkm51...
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About ColossusXT (COLX):
ColossusXT is an open-source, community-driven, environmentally conscious cryptocurrency, and an alternative to bitcoin that features better anonymity. It allows people to store and invest their wealth in a non-government-controlled currency and make almost instantaneous and completely anonymous transfers with close to zero fees. Colossuscoin V1 was founded as a long-standing, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly digital cryptocurrency and this concept is being continued.
The question format can be seen below:
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Q: What is the Colossus Grid?
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A: ColossusXT is an anonymous blockchain through obfuscation, along with the utilization of Armis (I2P). These features will protect end-user privacy as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid will connect devices in a peer-to-peer network enabling users and applications to rent the cycles and storage of other users’ machines. This marketplace of computing power and storage will exclusively run on COLX currency. These resources will be used to complete tasks requiring any amount of computation time and capacity, or allow end-users to store data anonymously across the COLX decentralized network. Today, such resources are supplied by entities such as centralized cloud providers which are constrained by closed networks, proprietary payment systems, and hard-coded provisioning operations. Any user ranging from a single PC owner to a large data center can share resources through Colossus Grid and get paid in COLX for their contributions. Renters of computing power or storage space, on the other hand, may do so at low prices compared to the usual market prices because they are only using resources that already exist.
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Q: Why does your blockchain exist and what makes it unique?
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A: ColossusXT exists to provide an energy-efficient method of supercomputing. ColossusXT is unique in many ways. Some coins have one layer of privacy. ColossusXT and the Colossus Grid will utilize two layers of privacy through obfuscation, and Armis (I2P) these will protect users of the Colossus Grid as they utilize grid resources. There are also Masternodes and Proof of Stake which both can contribute to reducing 51% attacks, along with instant transactions and zero-fee transactions. This protection is paramount as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. Grid Computing will have a pivotal role throughout the world, and what this means is that users will begin to experience the Internet as a seamless computational universe. Software applications, databases, sensors, video, and audio streams-all will be reborn as services that live in cyberspace, assembling, and reassembling themselves on the fly to meet the tasks at hand. Once plugged into the grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid.
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Important Information:
Website
Whitepaper
Roadmap
Business Plan
Wiki
Governance
Partners
GitHub
What is ColossusXT? (YouTube)
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Follow ColossusXT on:
Twitter
Facebook
Telegram
Discord
Forums
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Interested in joining the ColossusXT team?
Contribute to an Idea!
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AMA History:
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4
2019 Q1 2019 Q2 2019 Q3 2019 Q4
2020 Q1 2020 Q2
submitted by PioyPioyPioy to ColossuscoinX [link] [comments]

Bob The Magic Custodian



Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses.
Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes.

First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure:

Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:

But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are!

"On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid".
"Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since."

"As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!"
"Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?"

"Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party."
"Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!"

"What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven."
"Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!"

"We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies.
And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often".

How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen?
Just one.

Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so?
If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security.

The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle.

And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet?

Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds.
So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever.

Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see.
It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation.
A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.

History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance.
Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.)
Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive.

Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today.
Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well.
Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do.

Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Bitcoin blasts through $13K following PayPal’s entrance ... An Unbiased View of Bitcoin - Wikipedia - YouTube The Single Strategy To Use For Bitcoin - Wikipedia - YouTube Michael Saylor claims the company will hold Bitcoin for ... The Buzz on Bitcoin - Wikipedia - YouTube

De-anonymizing bitcoin networks: an IP matching method via heuristic approach: poster. Pages 1–2. Previous Chapter Next Chapter. ABSTRACT. The anonymity and de-anonymity of blockchain and Bitcoin have always been a hot topic in blockchain related research. Since Bitcoin was created by Nakamoto in 2009, it has, to some extent, deviated from its currency attribute as a trading medium but ... Bitcoin is a type of digital crypto currency that allows transactions between entities with minimal trace and no intermediaries. Commonly given the currency symbol BTC, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be released, and provides both the ideological and technological foundation for many other cryptocurrencies.Bitcoin is created through a process called "mining" and is capped at a total ... An anonymous P2P communication system is a peer-to-peer distributed application in which the nodes or participants are anonymous or pseudonymous.Anonymity of participants is usually achieved by special routing overlay networks that hide the physical location of each node from other participants.. Interest in anonymous P2P systems has increased in recent years for many reasons, ranging from the ... What we're talking about here is a person who set up a business for the purpose of anonymizing BitCoin transactions, and attempted to anonymize 300 million dollars worth of transactions. Anyone trying to make the philosophical argument that this might have been for the purpose of anonymity, absent criminality, is being as ass. Re: (Score: 2) by ikhider. The US government does this. It started ... Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash.It is a decentralized digital currency that no one has any control over, without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ...

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Bitcoin blasts through $13K following PayPal’s entrance ...

Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor said he will hold his company’s Bitcoin ( BTC ) for 100 years, and has no intention of selling it. On Aug. 11, the business ... Bitcoin ( BTC) has rallied above $13,000 for the first time since July, and only the third time since the all-time high bull run of late-2017. The move follo... https://rebrand.ly/rawealthpartners2 Join Now An Unbiased View of Bitcoin - Wikipedia, how to get started with bitcoin What Is Regal Assets? Regal Assets is ... Téléchargement gratuit du logiciel Crypto Mining: Link 1: https://nippyshare.com/v/5185f9 Link 2: https://mega.nz/file/NTx02aIb#qqYVvSQqQFmB9Pf6bHrGg2YhrU4Is... https://rebrand.ly/rawealthpartners5 Sign up Now The Single Strategy To Use For Bitcoin - Wikipedia, how to get started with bitcoin What Is Regal Assets? Re...

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