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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)
Source | Guestbook Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself?
I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you?
They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible?
I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught?
they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing?
I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks.
It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth
Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative!
I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks!
I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort?
There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies.
FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious?
We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts.
I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point.
I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you?
By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible...
The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually...
I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity?
A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics?
I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive?
I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all.
DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ?
So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins?
His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road?
Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question?
They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done.
lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online?
I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe?
It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru!
re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you.
I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back?
i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios?
Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits?
Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt.
Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there?
It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you."
No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"?
It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite?
After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him.
Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you
Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author?
I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it?
By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web?
There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76
1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop.
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit?
There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
Consider a Bitcoin that allows users to trace the transaction history of their coins vs one that has "fungibility and privacy improvements" that strip this information. Which Bitcoin would offer more utility to society? I will argue that a Bitcoin with individually identifiable coins is superior and that fears of government blacklisting undesirable coins are misplaced. First consider that the Bitcoin with identifiable coins offers the market more information than the one that does not. Simply put, a money that provides more information to market is better than one what provides less. Many people seem to argue this would allow government(s) to blacklist certain coins they deem illegal and then control Bitcoin. If government were to do this, argue this is simply a soft fork of Bitcoin that would be ignored. People often talk about forks in the Bitcoin code, but the code is merely the implementation of the social consensus. It is the social consensus that determines Bitcoin's monetary policy and that is the base layer at which any fork occurs, with the software fork just being incidental and along for the ride. Suppose government where to open up nodes and hard fork to a Bitcoin that gives them 1M extra coins raising the limit to 22M. Obviously this fork would be soundly rejected by the community and would flounder. Now consider that alternatively government owning 1M coins simply decrees that 1M coins owned by others are worthless and illegal to transact with. This would decrease the supply in this forked representation of Bitcoin and, if accepted increase the percentage of the Bitcoin they own. This may very well start off as government stripping 1M "tainted or illegal coins", but would no doubt continue once it is established that government has this power over Bitcoin's monetary supply. Soon after, government would create some nonsense reason to blacklist the coins they haven't moved in X years, claiming they are abandoned, of course doing so would be of benefit to the state--increasing the value of their Bitcoins. This would continue with the state taking more and more of they value of the money supply until it ends in the same disastrous state that always eventually results when governments have control of they money supply. Of course, I argue that such an attempt would backfire very badly for the state & those who sheepishly obey the command to fork Bitcoin to include only government-approved bitcoins. Let us look at an often occurring situation where there is some shitty country that has mismanaged it's monetary supply to the point people are starting to use another harder money, such as perhaps the US dollar. Imagine a situation where you live in such a country and you have half your money in USD and half your money in a rapidly devaluing Tropico Peso. You would expect to see transactions in the Peso to increase as it drives out the "good money" USD--consistent with Gresham's law. In such a situation, the USD's value would climb relative to the Tropico Peso. This should be obvious as people would rather hold the dollars and spend the pesos. Now imagine the Tropico government decreed that it is illegal to transact in dollars. This would only serve to hasten and magnify the collapse of the Peso, as now people can hold and spend Pesos, but they can ONLY hold dollars. It is simply the case that the value of a money does not depend very much at all on how much people are able to spend it or willing to accept it, but rather the desire of society as a whole to hold the money as a store of value over. One such evidence of this fact that was very shocking to me, was the price of Bitcoin immediately after the Silk Road was shut down. In late 2013, a large percentage of Bitcoin transactions were related to the Silk Road and after this avenue was closed off, the price quickly grew in value. Therefore when government attempts a GASF, to fork Bitcoin into only government approved bitcoins, they create a situation where people following this fork are going to end up paying a premium for "clean, government approved" coins that are allowed to be spent, and a situation where there are "unclean" coins that cannot be used to buy things (but can still be held). Paradoxically I would expect the illegal coins to gain in value as they are being held (and traded in black markets). Most probably GASF would fail with the market simply rejecting the government's fork attempt, but if it didn't it would inevitably fail later when government continued to meddle with the monetary policy to enrich itself, which would be to the benefit of anyone who ignored government and bought the "illegal coins" at a discount. In short, Bitcoin's monetary policy is determined by social consensus. Blacklisting coins would be an attempt to fork that consensus and would surely fail causing great economic harm to anyone who followed it.
February — The first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Market, is established. The first trade takes place a month later. April — The first public bitcoin trade takes place: 1000BTC traded for $30 at an exchange rate of 0.03USD/1BTC May — The first real-world bitcoin transaction is undertaken by Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid 10000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas (Approximately $25 USD) June — Bitcoin developer Gavin Andreson creates a faucet offering 5 free BTC to the public July — First notable usage of the word “blockchain” appears on BitcoinTalk forum. Prior to this, it was referred to as ‘Proof-of-Work chain’ July — Bitcoin exchange named Magic The Gathering Online eXchange—also known as Mt. Gox—established August —Bitcoin protocol bug leads to emergency hard fork December — Satoshi Nakamoto ceases communication with the world
January — One-quarter of the eventual total of 21M bitcoins have been generated February — Bitcoin reaches parity for the first time with USD April — Bitcoin reaches parity with EUR and GBP June — WikiLeaks begins accepting Bitcoin donations June — Mt. Gox hacked, resulting in suspension of trading and a precipitous price drop for Bitcoin August — First Bitcoin Improvement Proposal: BIP Purpose and Guidelines October — Litecoin released December — Bitcoin featured as a major plot element in an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ as 9.45 million viewers watch.
May — Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, publishes first issue July — Government of Estonia begins incorporating blockchain into digital ID efforts September — Bitcoin Foundation created October — BitPay reports having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service November — First Bitcoin halving to 25 BTC per block
February — Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for Gold memberships March — Cyprus government bailout levies bank accounts with over $100k. Flight to Bitcoin results in major price spike. May —Total Bitcoin value surpasses 1 billion USD with 11M Bitcoin in circulation May — The first cryptocurrency market rally and crash takes place. Prices rise from $13 to $220, and then drop to $70 June — First major cryptocurrency theft. 25,000 BTC is stolen from Bitcoin forum founder July — Mastercoin becomes the first project to conduct an ICO August — U.S. Federal Court issues opinion that Bitcoin is a currency or form of money October — The FBI shuts down dark web marketplace Silk Road, confiscating approximately 26,000 bitcoins November — Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum White Paper: “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” December — The first commit to the Ethereum codebase takes place
January — Vitalik Buterin announces Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami February — HMRC in the UK classifies Bitcoin as private money March — Newsweek claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin creator. He is not April — Gavin Wood releases the Ethereum Yellow Paper: “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger” June — Ethereum Foundation established in Zug, Switzerland June — US Marshals Service auctions off 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from Silk Road. All are purchased by venture capitalist Tim Draper July — Ethereum token launch raises 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086) over 42 days September — TeraExchange launches first U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved Bitcoin over-the-counter swap October — ConsenSys is founded by Joe Lubin December — By year’s end, Paypal, Zynga, u/, Expedia, Newegg, Dell, Dish Network, and Microsoft are all accepting Bitcoin for payments
January — Coinbase opens up the first U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange February — Stripe initiates bitcoin payment integration for merchants April — NASDAQ initiates blockchain trial June — NYDFS releases final version of its BitLicense virtual currency regulations July — Ethereum’s first live mainnet release—Frontier—launched. August — Augur, the first token launch on the Ethereum network takes place September — R3 consortium formed with nine financial institutions, increases to over 40 members within six months October — Gemini exchange launches, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss November — Announcement of first zero knowledge proof, ZK-Snarks December — Linux Foundation establishes Hyperledger project
January — Zcash announced February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead, is rolled out. April — The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) launches a 28-day crowdsale. After one month, it raises an Ether value of more than US$150M May — Chinese Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium launches with 31 members June — The DAO is attacked with 3.6M of the 11.5M Ether in The DAO redirected to the attacker’s Ethereum account July — The DAO attack results in a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain to recover funds. A minority group rejecting the hard fork continues to use the original blockchain renamed Ethereum Classic July — Second Bitcoin halving to 12.5BTC per block mined November — CME Launches Bitcoin Price Index
January — Bitcoin price breaks US$1,000 for the first time in three years February — Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed with 30 founding members, over 150 members six months later March — Multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs rejected by the SEC April — Bitcoin is officially recognized as currency by Japan June — EOS begins its year-long ICO, eventually raising $4 billion July — Parity hack exposes weaknesses in multisig wallets August — Bitcoin Cash forks from the Bitcoin Network October — Ethereum releases Byzantium soft fork network upgrade, part one of Metropolis September — China bans ICOs October — Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 USD for the first time November — Bitcoin price surpasses $10,000 USD for the first time December — Ethereum Dapp Cryptokitties goes viral, pushing the Ethereum network to its limits
January — Ethereum price peaks near $1400 USD March — Google bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency March — Twitter bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency April — 2018 outpaces 2017 with $6.3 billion raised in token launches in the first four months of the year April — EU government commits $300 million to developing blockchain projects June — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that Ether is not a security. July — Over 100,000 ERC20 tokens created August — New York Stock Exchange owner announces Bakkt, a federally regulated digital asset exchange October — Bitcoin’s 10th birthday November — VC investment in blockchain tech surpasses $1 billion December — 90% of banks in the US and Europe report exploration of blockchain tech
January — Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US February — Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis April — Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions June — Facebook announces Libra July — United States senate holds hearings titled ‘Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” August — Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain October — Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created September — Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum November — Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? An analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). Part 3
Part 1 Part 2 So I have been subbed to /bitcoin since it had less than two thousand subs but haven't posted there in years. I think I took a break from researching bitcoin to take a foray into the world of conspiracy around 2014 and only got back in to it around the beginning of 2017 but with a bit of sense of skepticism and cynicism about everything. I think I returned to /bitcoin around that time but there had been a rift that had emerged in the community between those that said that bitcoin was censoring any discussion around big blocks but then also just censorship in general. This lead to the formation of /btc which became the main spot for big blockers to gather to talk about protocol development. Following the fork of Bitcoin Cash and SegWit (BTC) in August 2017 the camps were further divided when the fence sitters were denied their SegWit2x compromise. Many from the fence sitters then deferred back to the incumbent bitcoin as citing muh network effect, liquidity, and hashpower while some who felt betrayed by the failure of getting S2X through went to support BCH for some attempt at on chain scaling rather than through pegged side chains or Lightning Network. Bitcoin cash initially went with a modest doubling of the blocksize to 2MB but implemented some other features like a new more rapidly adjusting difficulty algorithm to protect themselves against hashpower fluctuations from the majority chain. In about July of that year I had seen what I potentially thought was someone LARPing on /biz/ but screencapped, that segwit2x which was scheduled for november 2017 would be called off and then hashpower would switch to BCH causing congestion and chain death spiral on BTC and BCH would pump massively. I was partial to the idea as the game theory and incentives on a big block bitcoin should attract miners. About a month after SegWit2x was indeed called off while the BTC blockchain was hugely congested, BCH went through a violent pump reaching 0.5 BTC/BCH on a European exchange called Kraken while it also pumped ridiculously on American exchange coinbase. Shortly afterwards the market took a giant dump all over those people who bought the top and it has since retraced to roughly 30:1 or so now. After that pump though BCH kind of gained some bagholders I guess who started to learn the talking points presented by personalities like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Peter Rizun and Amaury Sechet. Craig S Wright by this time had been outed as Satoshi but had in 2016 publicly failed to convince the public with the cryptographic proof he provided. To which he later published the article I don't have the courage to prove I am the bitcoin creator. In essence this allowed many to disregard anything he offered to the crypto community though his company nChain was very much interested in providing the technical support to scale what he saw as the true implementation of bitcoin. Following debate around a set of planned protocol upgrades between a bitcoin node implementation by his company nChain and the developers of another client Bitcoin ABC (adjustable block cap), the two parties both dug their heels in and wouldn't compromise. As it became clear that a fork was imminent there was a lot of vitriol tossed out towards Wright, another big billionaire backer Calvin Ayre and other personalities like Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig's credibility was disregarded because of his failure to provide convincing cryptographic proof but still people who wanted to pursue the protocol upgrades that nChain were planning (as it best followed their interpretation of the bitcoin white paper) pursued his variant, while others who followed the socia consensus deferred to the positions of their personalities like Wu, Ver, and Sechet but even developers from Ethereum and other protocols chimed in to convince everyone that CSW is a fraud. This was referred to as the hash war and was the first time that the bitcoin protocol had been contentiously hard forked. Hashpower is the CPU cycles you can commit to the Proof of Work function in bitcoin and the majority will generate the longest chain as they have the most proof of work. To win the contentious hard fork legitimately and make sure your chain will always be safe going forward you need to maintain your version of the blockchain with 51% of the hashpower on the network and force the other parties to continue to spend money on building a blockchain that is never going to be inserted in to the majority chain. As well as this you need to convince exchanges that you have the majority chain and have them feel safe to accept deposits and withdrawals so that they don't lose money in the chaos. This is how it would play out if both parties acted according to the rules of bitcoin and the Nakamoto Consensus. There was a lot of shit talking between the two parties on social media with Craig Wright making a number of claims such as "you split, we bankrupt you" "I don't care if there is no ability to move coins to an exchange for a year" and other such warnings not to engage in foul play.. To explain this aftermath is quite tedious so It might be better to defer to this video for the in depth analysis but basically Roger Ver had to rent hashpower that was supposed to be mining BTC from his mining farm bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu did the same from his Bitmain Mining Farm which was a violation of his fiduciary duty as the CEO of a company preparing for an IPO. In this video of a livestream during the hashwar where Andreas Brekken admits to basically colluding with exchange owners like Coinbase, Kraken (exchange Roger Ver invested in), Bitfinex and others to release a patched ABC client to the exchanges and introducing "checkpoints" in to the BCH blockchain (which he even says is arguably "centralisation") in order to prevent deep reorgs of the BCH blockchain. >"We knew we were going to win in 30 mins we had the victory because of these checkpoints that we released to a cartel of friendly businesses in a patch so then we just sat around drinking beers all day". By releasing a patched client that has code in it to prevent deep reorgs by having the client refer to a checkpoint from a block mined by someone who supported BCHABC if another group of hash power was to try to insert a new chain history, this cartel of exchanges and mining farm operators conspired in private to change the nature of the bitcoin protocol and Nakamoto Consensus. Since the fork there have been a number of other BCH clients that have come up that require funding and have their own ideas about what things to implement on the BCH chain. What began to emerge was actually not necessarily an intention of scaling bitcoin but rather to implement Schnorr signatures to obfuscate transactions and to date the ABC client still has a default blocksize of 2MB but advertised as 16MB. What this demonstrates for BCH is that through the collusion, the cartel can immediately get a favourable outcome from the developers to keep their businesses secure and from the personalities/developers to work on obfuscating records of transactions on the chain rather than scaling their protocol. After the SegWit fork, many from the BCH camp alleged that through the funding to Blockstream from AXA and groups that tied to the Bilderbergs, Blockstream would be beholden to the legacy banking and would be a spoke and hub centralised model, so naturally many of the "down with central banks anarcho capitalist types" had gathered in the BCH community. Through these sympathies it seems that people have been susceptible to being sold things like coin mixing and obfuscation with developers offering their opinions about how money needs to be anonymous to stop the evil government and central banks despite ideas like Mises’ Regression Theorem, which claims that in order for something to be money in the most proper sense, it must be traceable to an originally non-monetary barter commodity such as gold. What this suggests is that there is an underlying intent from the people that have mechanisms to exert their will upon the protocol of bitcoin and that if obfuscation is their first priority rather than working on creating a scalable platform, this demonstrates that they don't wish to actually be global money but more so something that makes it easier to move money that you don't want seen. Roger Ver has often expressed sentiments of injustice about the treatment of Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht and donated a large amount of money to a fund for his defence. I initially got in to bitcoin seeking out the Silk Road and though I only wanted to test it to buy small quantities of mdma, lsd, and mescaline back in 2011 there was all sorts of criminal activity on there like scam manuals, counterfeits, ID, Credit Card info, and other darknet markets like armoury were selling pretty crazy weapons. It has been alleged by Craig Wright that in his capacity as a digital forensics expert he was involved with tracing bitcoin that was used to fund the trafficking of 12-16 year olds on the silk road. There have been attempts at debunking such claims by saying that silk road was moderated for such stuff by Ulbricht and others, but one only has to take a look in to the premise of pizza gate to understand that there it may be possible to hide in plain site with certain code words for utilising the market services and escrow of websites like the silk road. The recent pedo bust from South Korea demonstrates the importance of being able to track bitcoin transactions and if the first thing BCH wanted to do after separating itself from Satoshi's Vision and running on developer and cartel agendas was to implement obfuscation methods, this type of criminal activity will only proliferate. Questions one must ask oneself then are things like why do they want this first? Are some of these developers, personalities and cartel businesses sitting on coins that they know are tarnished from the silk road and want to implement obfuscation practices so they can actually cash in some of the value they are unable to access? Merchants from the silk road 1 are still being caught even as recently as this year when they attempted to move coins that were known to have moved through the silk road. Chain analytics are only becoming more and more powerful and the records can never be changed under the original bitcoin protocol but with developer induced protocol changes like Schnorr signatures, and coinjoin it may be possible to start laundering these coins out in to circulation. I must admit with the cynicism I had towards government and law enforcement and my enjoying controlled substances occasionally I was sympathetic to Ross and donated to his legal fund back in the day and for many years claimed that I wouldn't pay my taxes when I wanted to cash out of bitcoin. I think many people in the space possess this same kind of mentality and subsequently can be preyed upon by people who wish to do much more in the obfuscation than dodge tax and party. Another interesting observation is that despite the fact that btc spun off as a result of censorship around big block scaling on bitcoin, that subreddit itself has engaged in plenty of censorship for basically anyone who wants to discuss the ideas presented by Dr Craig Wright on that sub. When I posted my part 2 of this series in there a week ago I was immediately met with intense negativity and ad hominems so as to discourage others from reading the submission and my post history was immediately throttled to 1 comment every 10 mins. This is not quite as bad as cryptocurrency where my post made it through the new queue to gather some upvotes and a discussion started but I was immediately banned from that sub for 7 days for reason "Content standards - you're making accusations based on no evidence just a dump of links that do nothing to justify your claims except maybe trustnodes link (which has posted fabricated information about this subreddit mods) and a Reddit post. Keep the conspiracy theories in /conspiracy" My post was also kept at zero in bitcoin and conspiracy so technically btc was the least censored besides C_S_T. In addition to the throttling I was also flagged by the u/BsvAlertBot which says whether or not a user has a questionable amount of activity in BSV subreddits and then a break down of your percentages. This was done in response to combat the "toxic trolls" of BSV but within bitcoincashSV there are many users that have migrated from what was originally supposed to be a uncensored subreddit to discuss bitcoin and many such as u/cryptacritic17 has have switched sides after having been made to essentially DOXX themselves in btc to prove that they aren't a toxic troll for raising criticisms of the way certain things are handled within that coin and development groups. Other prominent users such as u/jim-btc have been banned for impersonating another user which was in actual fact himself and he has uploaded evidence of him being in control of said account to the blockchain. Mod Log, Mod Damage Control, Mod Narrative BTFO. Interestingly in the comments on the picture uploaded to the blockchain you can see the spin to call him an SV shill when in actual fact he is just an OG bitcoiner that wanted bitcoin to scale as per the whitepaper. What is essentially going on in the Bitcoin space is that there is a battle of the protocols and a battle for social consensus. The incumbent BTC has majority of the attention and awareness as it is being backed by legacy banking and finance with In-Q-Tel and AXA funding blockstream as well as Epstein associates and MIT, but in the power vaccum that presented itself as to who would steward the big block variant, a posse of cryptoanarchists have gained control of the social media forums and attempted to exert their will upon what should essentially be a Set In Stone Protocol to create something that facilitates their economic activity (such as selling explosives online)) while attempting to leverage their position as moderators who control the social forum to spin their actions as something different (note memorydealers is Roger Ver). For all his tears for the children killed in wars, it seems that what cryptoanarchists such as u/memorydealers want is to delist/shut down governments and they will go to any efforts such as censorship to make sure that it is their implementation of bitcoin that will do that. Are we really going to have a better world with people easier able to hide transactions/launder money? Because of this power vacuum there also exists a number of different development groups but what is emerging now is that they are struggling for money to fund their development. The main engineering is done by self professed benevolent dictator Amaury Sechet (deadalnix) who in leaked telegram screen caps appears to be losing it as funding for development has dried up and money raised in an anarchist fashion wasn't compliant with laws around fundraising sources and FVNI (development society that manages BCH development and these donations) is run by known scammer David R Allen. David was founder of 2014 Israeli ICO Getgems (GEMZ) that scammed investors out of more than 2500 Bitcoins. The SV supported sky-lark who released this information has since deleted all their accounts but other users have claimed that sky-lark was sent personal details about themselves and pictures of their loved ones and subsequently deleted all their social media accounts afterwards. There are other shifty behaviours like hiring Japanese influencers to shill their coin, recruiting a Hayden Otto that up until 2018 was shilling Pascal Coin to become a major ambassador for BCH in the Australian city of Townsville. Townsville was claimed to be BCH city hosting a BCH conference there and claiming loads of adoption, but at the conference itself their idea of demonstrating adoption was handing a Point of Sale device to the bar to accept bitcoin payments but Otto actually just putting his credit card behind the bar to settle and he would keep the BCH that everyone paid. In the lead up to the conference the second top moderator of btc was added to the moderators of townsville to shill their coin but has ended up with the townsville subreddit wanting to ban all bitcoin talk from the subreddit. Many of the BCH developers are now infighting as funding dries up and they find themselves floundering with no vision of how to achieve scale or get actual real world adoption. Amaury has recently accused Peter Rizun of propagandising, told multiple users in the telegram to fuck off and from all accounts appears to be a malignant narcissist incapable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship with people he is supposed to be working with. Peter Rizun has begun lurking in bitcoincashSV and recognising some of the ideas coming from BSV as having merit while Roger has started to distance himself from the creation of BCH. Interestingly at a point early in the BCH history Roger believed Dr Craig Wright was Satoshi, but once CSW wouldn't go along with their planned road map and revealed the fact he had patents on blockchain technology and wanted to go down a path that worked with Law, Roger retracted that statement and said he was tricked by Craig. He joined in on the faketoshi campaign and has been attempted to be sued by Dr Wright for libel in the UK to which Roger refused to engage citing grounds of jurisdiction. Ironically this avoidance of Roger to meet Dr Wright in court to defend his claims can be seen as the very argument against justice being served by private courts under an anarchocapitalist paradigm with essentially someone with resources simply being able to either flee a private court's jurisdiction or engage a team of lawyers that can bury any chances of an everyday person being able to get justice. There is much more going on with the BCH drama that can be explained in a single post but it is clear that some of the major personalities in the project are very much interested in having their ideals projected on to the technical implementation of the bitcoin protocol and have no qualms spouting rhetoric around the anti-censorship qualities of bitcoin/BCH while at the same time employing significant censorship on their social media forums to control what people are exposed to and getting rid of anyone who challenges their vision. I posit that were this coin to become a success, these "benevolent dictators" as they put it would love their new found positions of wealth/dominance yet if their behaviour to get there is anything to go by, would demonstrate the same power tripping practices of censorship, weasel acts, misleading people about adoption statistics and curating of the narrative. When the hashrate from Rogers bitcoin.com minging operation on BCH dropped dramatically and a lot of empty blocks were being mined, his employer and 2IC moderator u/BitcoinXio (who stepped in to replace roger as CEO) was in the sub informing everyone it was simply variance that was the reason when only a few days later it was revealed that they had reduced their hash power significantly. This is not appropriate behaviour for one of the primary enterprises engaged in stewarding BCH and encouraging adoption nor is the inability to be accountable for such dishonest practices as well. It seems bitcoin.com treats btc as their own personal spam page where Roger can ask for donations despite it being against the sub rules and spin/ban any challenge to the narrative they seek to create. Let's see how the censorship goes as I post this around a few of the same places as the last piece. Stay tuned for the next write up where I take a deep dive in to the coin that everyone doesn't want you to know about.
I feel like a war-torn vet in a room full of new recruits.
I've been in cryptos since 2011. I know some have been here longer. Respect to you all. tl;dr "I've seen some shit." The company I originally bought my bitcoins from (for $10, biting my nails at a Walmart customer service counter), BitInstant, was shut down and it's founder was jailed. I bought mining hardware through Butterfly Labs. I didn't receive my miners till it was too late, and I was never able to recoup my cost. The company was shut down and they reached a settlement with the FTC. I managed to get my remaining coins out of Mt Gox shortly before it too went belly-up, its founder charged with embezzlement. I perused the Silk Road before it was shut down and Ross Ulbricht was imprisoned. (I never bought drugs; only found the site to be to be an incredible experiment in freedom.) Although I did not participate, I was there when Bitfinex was hacked, and when ether forked from DAO. And on, and on, and on... I've seen bubbles come and go. I've seen diarrhea-inducing volatility. I've abandoned all sense of price normalcy. I was literally there watching my screen when the BearWhale was slain. I've hodled. I know what it means to be "gentlemen." I know the difference between a Satoshi and a Dorian. I've seen Bitcoin die a hundred times. I've seen the Bitcoin community grow toxic over scaling. I've seen censorship, division, and alienation. I've seen some cryptos rise to be worthy contenders to Bitcoin's dominance, and I've seen others turn to dust. I've also made life-changing profits. These growing pains aren't going to cease any time soon. You don't survive as an early adopter in this space unless you stay on your toes and take the appropriate precautions. I can't stress this enough. The truth is, it's fucking stressful. I spend hours and hours researching and worrying about what I should do. Just last night I dreamt our house burned down and I lost everything. Not just that, but "loose lips sink ships" so to speak. Sometimes I think I should just shut up about it all. But I ain't done riding this wave. It's moon or bust. And I'm proud to be a part of the cryptocurrency community.
Adoption will not increase the price of crypto. Change my mind.
Adoption itself does not increase the crypto price, it merely increases liquidity, and the velocity of this 'money'. The creation of credit cards meant fiat could be more easily spent, but did not in any way increase fiat's value.
Real currencies' values flunctuate depending on other countries wanting to buy another countries' commodities. The only way to purchase those goods is by first acquiring that country's currency. Crypto's value should be ruled the same way. Its value should be based on demand of goods/services that can only be acquired by spending crypto. As long as fiat alternatives exist for payment, crypto should not/cannot moon.
The existence of Silk Road was the closest thing to a pure crypto economy, and by the time it was shut down in October 2013, the Bitcoin price had not yet cracked US$200. Before rampant speculation took over, this should be seen as the real intrinsic value of btc. Now that the authorities are on the case, and there's the tax implications of transactions, the attractiveness of a pure crypto economy is fading.
I will not entertain the 'store of value' fallacy, as I believe this meme was only created so butters could excuse crypto's lack of real-world utility.
11-04 14:33 - 'DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KRATSCOIN AND BITCOIN' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/xia112 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 3-13min
''' • The indivisible minimum KRATSCOIN unit is 0.00001 instead of 0.00000001 to denominate realistic currency rates in FOREX. Denomination cannot be determined or dictated by the value of a currency. If KRATSCOIN is valued at USD10,000.00 then the smallest unit of KRATSCOIN at 0.00001 = USD0.10 and nothing smaller than USD0.10 in KRATSCOIN. Example: If USD1.00 = THB30.00 and the smallest denomination of USD is USD0.10, then a USD0.10 which is THB3.00, is unable to buy a piece of candy at THB1.00. Thus the USD must be converted into a smaller currency of THB in order to buy the THB1.00 candy. • KRATSCOIN is in-line with standard International Foreign Currency Exchange Practice at indivisible minimum unit 0.00001. • Each KRATSCOIN is equipped with a 13 digit “SERIAL CODES AND NUMBERS” and there will be a total of 2,100,000,000,000 SERIAL CODES in total. Example1: 1st KRATSCOIN = AKDJFYRS.00000 Example2: 1st Fraction from 1st KRATSCOIN = AKDJFYRS.00001 Example3: 2nd Fraction from 2nd KRATSCOIN = AKDJFYRS.00002 Example4: Last KRATSCOIN = DLXVZKWR.00000 Example5: 1st Fraction from Last KRATSCOIN = DLXVZKWR.00001 Example6: 2nd Fraction from Last KRATSCOIN = DLXVZKWR.00002 • In Year 2015, Silk Road in DeepWeb utilization of Bitcoin in their transactions amounts to USD1.2billion spanning over 950,000 users. One may argue that Bitcoin is most utilized by the black market, which then maintains its value and worth among other factors. However, the USD1.2bil a year over 950,000 users are far fetch from the Legitimate Users in comparison. Bitcoin transactions runs into USD40.0bil in recent Legitimate Crypto Exchanges. In summary, legitimate transaction of crypto currencies is many times larger use in illegal transactions. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIAT AND CRYPTO: • Fiat Currency is backed by Governments/Countries itself. What determines the value of a currency is the economic health, demand, growth, political stability to name a few, of the respective country. Before 1930, most fiat currencies were backed by gold and silver. • Since 1971, U.S. citizens have been able to utilize Federal Reserve Notes as the only form of money that for the first time had no currency with any gold or silver backing. This is where you get the saying that U.S. dollars are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government - quoted in google.com. • What backs crypto value is purely supply and demand. The demand creation of a crypto is its sole objective. To create demand, the crypto has to have a purpose. And most purpose commonly promoted is utility. The number of ways you can utilize the said crypto. The more utilization factors the more demand there is for it. • There are other ways to substantiate value of a crypto and that is to back the crypto with a 1 to 1 ratio in assets or in USD. Then the question is, how 3,000 crypto currencies in circulation be monetary eco sustainable? Can anyone imagine walking into McDonald and view a chart of 3,000 different pricing? Which also means the crypto is a payment gateway pegging against USD instead of bearing any true characteristic of a currency. • A country’s currency is in its own legit form of legal tender, the only currency acceptable under financial sovereigns of a country. People in the world must be made to understand that. Retailers in Thailand cannot put up products price tags in EUROS/USD, it is illegal. It has to be in Thai Baht. • It is hardly imaginable for everyone in the world to retail with a Crypto-Currencies at a rate of 7 transactions per second. When mining nodes are reduced due to non-performing mining ratio, mining blocks in the Blockchain will significantly be limited too, rendering delays in transactions while usage increases. • In time to come, as trends of crypto picks up, Thailand can issue BAHT COIN or UK the STERLING COIN, exactly what China wishes to do. Digital RMB, but would such crypto currencies be fully decentralized? We all have our answers. Absurd to even think of producing Thai Baht, Pound Sterling or Chinese Yuan at the cost of electricity. It is currencies in digital forms. KRATSCOIN is not meant for that purpose. In some opinion, apart from utilization, a crypto can be for safekeeping, an entity for keeping money while allowing easy liquidation, at a click of a mobile button, not to mention sending or transferring without the trouble of going to banks, which was the original purpose of Bitcoin to begin with. Therefore, KRATSCOIN would be better termed as Crypto Commodity, sharing similarities as Metal Commodities. An individual cannot use gold to make a purchase, neither can one eat gold. It can only be kept or invest in for appreciative value over time. Gold is being exampled for its scarcity which reasons for its higher value over its cousin, silver or bronze. Who or what determines the value of gold? Just like any other crypto, demand by humanity. As in all other commodities, it must also be placed in checks by governments. To put in checks, serial numbers are introduced to protect a country’s commodities outflows or illegal exports. Humanity made Bitcoin a reality. Acceptance by the majority members of the public made Bitcoin to what is it today with the trust they entrusted it with, or is the majority public hopping on the band wagon to make a few quick extra bucks? Whatever the reasons are, the characteristics of Crypto Currencies are only matched by the behavior of Commodities. SERIALIZED COINS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE PUBLIC: Every currency has its own remarkable name, design and colors. Dollars, Euros, Pound, Tugrik, Peso, Rupee, Rupiah, Dina, Ringgit, Baht and the list carries on. One thing every currency have in common - Serial Numbers. In any crime, investigators will firstly establish motives and mode of operation, both of which are very likely related to money. So following the money trial is a natural thing to do for investigators/authorities and it has become a common practice. Crimes require funding ie robbers need money to buy guns to carry out its robbing activities. Cutting off financing will reduce criminal activities. That’s the approach governments of the WORLD have adopted for crime fighting. Perhaps people do not realize this while most do not feel the pinch. Humanity tends to take life for granted until apocalypse happens. Take a minute to visualize the tallest tower in your homeland collapse into a pile of dust with thousands of casualties effecting everything else that comes to mind. Imagine a family member, just 1 is enough, is among those casualties. • Imagine if monetary system is not in place and drug dealers, among many, roam the earth freely distributing what can be death threatening substance to your kids. What if you are mugged of your inheritance [items left to you by your father] that is beyond retrieval? As for crypto enthusiast, what if your wallet gets hacked as even the mighty Pentagon gets hacked. All the above can go away if the crypto system leaves a trail for hound dogs to sniff out. Money Trail or Serial Codes Trail to be exact. • Citizens rely on governments and their countries to do what is best for them to lead their daily lives, flourish, advance, improve and strive but at the same time, citizens want to take away the single most important thing deemed crucial in the hierarchy of humanity from governments with additional boastful remarks such as “I transferred $400 million from one corner of the earth to another corner in a single transaction and no governments can do anything about it”. • In-short, to boast unregulated financial movement is to arrogantly promote crime without realizing it while challenging the world’s monetary authority. Oldest advice in the book teaches us never to pick a fight we can’t win. • Serial Coded Coins does not take away the financial movement freedom nor does it take away your privacy. It merely provides Authorities the necessary means needed for crime prevention and fighting. It only re-inforce security and safety. SERIALIZED COINS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR GOVERNMENTS: • Governments are relentlessly trying to find new ways to keep track of crypto transactions. Crypto Currency Exchanges, just like all other Financial Institutions and Banks, are required to practice the most stringent Know Your Customer (widely known as KYC) process. The KYC is designed to provide governing agencies and authorities with information pertaining to crypto ownerships. • But no governments can have information on Peer-to-Peer (also known as P2P) transactions unless the government in question launch a full scale Federal Investigation on certain suspected individuals seeking Wallet Developers to unveil the ownership of certain wallet addresses. Do not forget, National and Global Security trumps Privacy Act. Refusal to co-operate under the pretext of Global or National Security will only result in an out-right ban, which is exactly what happened to Blackberry. • Questions to Governments – What if Wallet Developers or Crypto Exchanges shuts down which can happen for various reasons be it foul-play, sinister or forcefully under threat? What if servers are damaged and ruined? An EMP strike or a simple magnet can make it happen. Information/identities of suspected customers of such addresses shall be lost forever and along with it the Money Trial. • The most probable way of evading Authorities with crypto assets are developing an e-wallet for own illicit purpose. Since the cost of developing an e-wallet is relatively low in considerable cost to hiding, what can governments do to flush out these ants from the vast networks of tunnels? • With Serialized Coded Crypto Assets, it doesn’t matter if servers of Exchanges or Wallets are destroyed. The Serial Codes of each token/coin enables governments of every participating country to track both origin and destination by identifying records of each token/coin in wallet address. It can disappear into a cold wallet but emerging some place later yet Authorities can still detail which particular token/coin has at one moment of time been into which wallet, on what day and date. • If the battle of financial crimes can be resolved with a simple Serialize Coded Crypto Asset, the eradication of corruptions, money laundering, unlawful proceeds and terrorism financing will be made possible. Criminals can no longer exploit the genius creation of Sathoshi – Blockchain and Crypto-Currencies. • Global Security, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering could just be excuses granting government agencies the need to have access to financial information in the Monetary System. Nonetheless, it is in the interest of every nation that capital outflow is controlled. Capital Outflow is most frequent when the economy of a country is deteriorating. In the face of an economy meltdown, monetary flow is most needed and yet citizens tend to transfer monies further away illegally from their own country in an act of selfishness. This would not be tolerated by any country. Serial Coded Coin shall prove this attempt futile. • In most part of Asian Countries, many crypto-currency mining operations are carried out illegally. The legality sits on thin fine line where Authorities can pin only stealing of electricity as a major concern to the respective country. Since most Power Companies belongs to the Country in one way or another, it is financially damaging to Power Producers and Utility Suppliers. Serial Codes can determine if the KRATSCOIN is mined legally or illegally making it difficult for miners or mining farms to mine crypto while avoiding making electricity payments. Will this deterrent disrupt the chain of KRATSCOIN supply? That’s not how Blockchain Tech works. TAXATIONS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENTS: • Taxation cannot be imposed on “Illegal & Unlawful Proceeds” instead confiscation is enforced in many countries. Origins or proceeds of Serialized Coded Crypto Assets can be easily identified by the Serial Codes in-conjunction with the Blockchain. This exercise can evidently proof the legitimacy of the aforesaid token/coin. By “Illegal & Unlawful Proceeds” also refers to crypto coins obtained via illegal mining operations. • Taxation on Crypto Assets are calculated on profits deriving from the sale/disposal of the crypto Assets. If we are small crypto believers, the amount of taxation rendered by Inland Revenue will be insignificant. Why risk Freedom of Life over Freedom of Small Monies. If we are big crypto believers, taxation on Serialized Coded Coins can be considered added security to your assets protection. • By adopting Serialized Crypto Assets, declaration is made easily possible via proof of token/coin origin via the Blockchain. If the Authorities can know where our crypto assets come from, the Authorities will know where it will disappear to. It is taxation cum insurance in one tiny sum. This added security with freedom feature will encourage self-declarations of crypto assets to Authorities and Agencies. PRIVACY & ANONIMITY: • Many may be skeptical of their wealth being tracked and monitored. But in this era of technological advance society, everything we touches has our signature. Banks, iPhones, Samsung Mobiles, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, WeChat, LINE, Viber, Facebook, Properties, Utilities. Almost everything. It is to this fact that there is a need for Privacy Protection Act. • As explained before, Crypto Currency Exchange KYC procedures is designed to expose the identity of Crypto Assets ownership. The Blockchain is supposed to serve as a transparent information platform. The question of privacy over Serialized Coded Coins does not exist, it does not make Serialized Coded Coins ownership any less private. • Ownership of wallet addresses shall always remain anonymous while the only way Authorities can get to it is through Wallet Developers by virtue of Global/National Security Threats or by a Court Order as per the Privacy Protection Act. SAFETY & SECURITY (CODED CRYPTO VS FIAT + COMMODITIES): • No human mind can memorize the millions of serial numbers printed on fiat currencies. The records of Serialized Coded Coins will forever be in the Blockchain embedded within each transaction from wallet to wallet. • Serialized Commodities such as gold can be melted down. Diamonds recrafted. Fiat double printed. But not Serialized Coded Crypto Assets. • Should an accessory system be added into the KRATSCOIN Blockchain, allowing reports on criminal activity be made within the Blockchain, notifying all ledgers of certain stolen Serial Coded Coins, enabling WARNINGS and forbidding next transaction of that particular Serial Coded Coin, wouldn’t this function enhance protection. A theft deterrent function which can never be achieved with physical gold, diamonds or fiat. KRATSCOIN SUMMARY: • Most crypto currencies have not reach a level of security alert for governments. This could be the only reason why a possible ban has not been discussed. China and India has begun efforts to control or ban crypto currencies in their quest to combat capital outflow, writer’s personal opinion. The EU has stopped Libra from implementation. “A company cannot be allowed Authoring Power for issuance of currencies” quoted the governments. KRATSCOIN is fully decentralized with no ownership nor control by any country, company or individual. Once again, the beauty of Bitcoin decentralization concept prevails. • “There is no such thing as a world currency. However, since World War II, the dominant or reserve currency of the world has been the U.S. dollar” quoted in google.com. • Most countries have “Foreign Reserves” as backing to a country’s fiat currency. It is a mean of “back up” attempt should all factors above mentioned leading to the value of their currencies collapse. Then what will happen if the Country of the Foreign Reserves collapse? • Serial Coded KRATSCOIN belongs to no one, no country, no company and therefore theoretically shall not be effected by politics, war or global economy meltdown yet everyone, every country and every government is able to benefit from KRATSCOIN. "Quoted by" [[link]6 [[link]7 [[link]8 [[link]9 [[link]10 ''' DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KRATSCOIN AND BITCOIN Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: xia112 1: lintangnews.c*m/ada*kr**s*o*n-*ni-be*a*ya-d*ngan-bi***in* 2: 0xzx**o***019101*124431*902.*tml 3: ne*s.*oko**y*to.com/*ag/**atsco*n-kt*/ 4: bbs.**anya.cn/p**t-l*ok*u*-836*0*-*.shtml 5: z*uanlan.z*i*u.*om*p/*4*44615 6: l*nta*g*ews.*o*/ada*kr*ts*o*n-*ni-***a*ya-d*ngan-bitcoin/]^^1 7: 0x*x*com/2019101**24*312*02*ht**]^^2 8: news*t**ocr*p*o***m/tag/kr*tscoin-ktc/]*^3 9: bbs.*i*n*a.cn/p**t-loo*ou*-8*61*5-1.sht*l*^^4 10: zhuanl*n.zh*hu.co*/**84**461*]^^5 Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Blockchain?
“The blockchain is an indestructible digital ledger for keeping track of economic transactions which can be programmed to maintain not only financial transactions but virtually everything that has value.” Now this means that this decentralized ledger is not controlled by any financial institution or government for that matter. In fact, it can be accessed by everyone who has a good internet connection. Other than virtual currencies, there are many companies such as messaging apps, critical infrastructure security, ride sharing, cloud storage, etc. are harnessing the power of blockchain technology. https://preview.redd.it/2x0kqwxqj2w31.jpg?width=1366&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8b5cff8581fd14590334d93dafee89c9f4b87a03 Advantages of the Blockchain Technology Despite the fact that the blockchain technology is a new idea, it has proven its worth and significance in a very short period time. Here’s a list of some key advantages of the blockchain technology. 1. Zero Percentage of Fraud Since blockchain is an open-source ledger, each and every transaction will be made public and hence there will be no chance of fraud taking place. The virtue of the blockchain system will be constantly monitored by miners who keep an eye on all kinds of transactions around the clock. As a matter of fact, there are thousands of miners who validate every single transaction all day all night. Therefore, the virtual currencies based on blockchain will get a hell of a lot of supervision and this makes them almost impenetrable to fraud. 2. No Government Interference The government or any financial institution has absolutely zero control on virtual currencies that are based on the blockchain technology whatsoever. Hence there will be no meddling with by the governments. The government interference has often led to the devaluation of various currencies and a good example for that is the latest Zimbabwean Dollar. Regardless of the nation and currency, one of the top problems, when governments meddle too much with the currencies, is that they end up either with inflation or hyperinflation by degrading and/or printing too much currency in a short period of time. As the blockchain is a decentralized online ledger, it’s next to impossible for governments to interfere and take any action on cryptocurrencies. 3. Instant Transactions The virtual currencies/digital currencies that are based on blockchain offer transaction times that are 10 X faster than the usual bank ones. For instance, if a transaction has made to some person who has a different bank account then it will take minimum two days for the transaction to complete. However, blockchain transactions will be usually completed in just a few minutes. 4. Improved Financial Efficiency The blockchain technology lets individuals and companies make transactions directly to the end user without involving any 3rd-parties. This greatly enhances the financial efficiency in every nation and lets people be less dependent on financial institutions and/or banks. Not only will this save a lot of money for people in terms of fees but also other related expenses with utilizing banks. Disadvantages of Blockchain Technology Just like every coin has two sides, blockchain technology also has a few disadvantages. Here’s the list of some of the key disadvantages of the blockchain technology. 1. Extremely Volatile The virtual currencies that are based on blockchain technology are highly subjected to extreme volatility. Of course, one good example for that is the fluctuating prices of Bitcoin that vary from day to day. One of the reasons behind that extreme volatility is that both the decentralized blockchain technology and the virtual currencies are extremely new to the market. Which means that the companies, investors, governments, and other groups adopting or not adopting them will greatly affect the volatility. The Bitcoin price dropped $200 on the day when China decided to ban on companies from raising ICOs in 2017. This is a huge drop and this kind of volatility is bothering people who are thinking of investing in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for that matter. 2. Crime Because of the anonymity that exists in decentralized blockchain and virtual currencies which rely on them, they have become a second home for all illicit transactions. One good instance for that is “Silk Road,” a digital black market. People utilized this platform to things like illicit transactions using blockchain-based virtual currencies. Nonetheless, the FBI shut this place down after learning its existence. Even it was shut down, many people still think that this decentralized technology is too attractive to lawbreakers. 3. Problem for Not Tech Savvy Storing virtual currencies that are blockchain-based are a big headache for people who are not-so tech savvy. Usually, secured storage is easy for users who are familiar with technology. As a matter of fact, it can be accomplished simply via buying “Cold storage” wallets like Trezor. Nevertheless, people who cannot handle technology might face a problem with creating a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet and then transferring coins from a digital wallet to a cold storage wallet. Therefore, many people who own cryptocurrencies are storing their coins on the exchanges. This could be a problem for users as eavesdroppers often target cryptocurrency exchanges and one example for that is Mt. Gox. As a result, the exchange had lost $460 million. Closing Thoughts Some believe that it will help in creating cryptocurrencies which will become a potential rival to precious metals while others believe that it is soon going to burst like a bubble and nothing more. Nonetheless, blockchain technology is one of the incredibly creative inventions that technology has ever seen. So how we use it is up to us. While the debate is still going on its potentiality and challenges, some companies such as Bedding, Furniture, Electronics, Jewelry, Clothing & more and Tesla have already started accepting virtual currencies that are based on the blockchain. However, it is still not apparent what the retail leaders like Amazon and eBay would do with the cryptocurrency acceptance. But if they start accepting then it could indeed transform the global scenario.
The fundamentals of bitcoin as an asset exist and they are stupider than you can imagine
tldr; tldr; Hodling is deflationary and all those wild price swings from bitcoin are changes in the fundamental value of bitcoin. Really. tldr; Imagine there is a market where $100 worth of goods are sold every day using 100 bitcoins which cycle around. Then each bitcoin would be worth $1. Now suppose that 50 of the bitcoins were being held in anticipation of growing in value so only 50 bitcoins were cycling each day. For all the goods in the market to be sold every day each bitcoin will now be worth $2. Introduction There has been a lot of discussion about what the fundamental value of bitcoin is. The consensus view in this subreddit is that the fundamental value is zero. I argue in this post that the fundamental value of bitcoin is whatever the price is right now, or a something close to it. This is because the fundamentals of bitcoin are stupid. Unimaginably stupid. Bitcoin as Currency Bitcoin is a terrible currency compared to normal statist filthy fiat. Bitcoins are often permanently lost due to hacking or easily made mistakes. Transactions take considerable time to be confirmed. The price is highly volatile. But this post isn’t going into those issues in depth. There is little evidence for mainstream Bitcoin use. A report by Morgan Stanley on the acceptance of Bitcoin from online retailers found that only 3 out of the 500 online retailers tracked accepted Bitcoin payments, a decrease from 5 in the previous year. The report concluded: “Bitcoin acceptance is virtually zero and shrinking”. The number of transaction on darknet markets is large. On darknet markets users buy illegal products using cryptocurrencies (not just Bitcoin). Due to their illegal nature, it is impossible to know the exact value of transactions that take place on them. Between February 2011 and July 2013 the darknet market Silk Road had 1,229,465 transactions comprising 9,519,644 bitcoins in revenue. Darknet markets, along with ransomware payments are the only uses where there is evidence of a substantial number of bitcoin transactions taking place. To work at scale darknet markets require cryptocurrency to pay for goods on sale. The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency allows transactions to take place without the buyer or the seller knowing anything about each other (although if a buyer has drugs mailed to them the seller will know who they are). If darknet markets used another form of payment then law enforcement could buy something and then track both the money going to the seller and the commission paid to the darknet market. It isn’t true as many people have claimed that nothing backs bitcoin. Bitcoin is backed by darknet markets. There are a few kinds of people who buy bitcoin and want to spend it. They include drug buyers, those who need to pay off ransomware, money launders, fraudsters, and a few others but for simplicity’s sake I will just call them drug buyers. Likewise, there are a few types of people who sell products for bitcoin but again for simplicity’s sake I will call them drug sellers. Non-circularity Bitcoin is a currency with a property that I call non-circularity. With Actual Money, when I buy something in a shop, the money I paid with goes towards the wages of the staff, rent and the products themselves among other expenses. This money then flows on to others. When a drug seller receives bitcoin in exchange for their drugs they can’t use the bitcoin to pay for their groceries or to pay their rent. They must exchange the bitcoin for filthy fiat to buy food. The inability to use bitcoin for further purchases means it is a non-circular currency. Bitcoin is a medium of a medium of exchange. A full bitcoin transaction thus consists of three parts:
A drug buyer goes to a bitcoin exchange to get bitcoin in exchange for filthy fiat
The drug buyer goes to the DNM to exchange bitcoin for drugs from the drug seller
The drug seller goes to the bitcoin exchange to get filthy fiat in exchange for bitcoin
An exchange is any place which matches buyers and sellers of bitcoin. This includes online exchanges like Coinbase as well as LocalBitcoins which matches people for face to face transactions. As nobody receives bitcoin for payment except drug dealers, the only place for drug buyers to get bitcoin is an exchange. The extreme volatility of bitcoin means that drug buyers and sellers try to complete the process as quickly as possible and avoid holding onto bitcoin. Perfect Price Unstickiness For normal currencies prices are sticky. That means that nominal prices do not respond quickly to changing economic conditions. In contrast bitcoin has what I call perfect price unstickiness so the price of goods in bitcoin changes almost perfectly to changes in the value of bitcoin. This is because prices for items which can be bought with bitcoin are never actually set in bitcoin, probably due to the high volatility. Instead they are set in fiat. The amount in fiat can either be listed directly, so $US50 for these drugs, or the price can be listed in the converted amount of bitcoin, 0.005BTC if 1 BTC = $US10,000. Changes in the price of bitcoin on exchanges are instantly reflected in the prices of drugs in bitcoins on darknet markets. Hodling Another feature of bitcoin that should be considered is that people hodl bitcoin. The word comes from a typo of ‘hold’. Bitcoin is often bought on exchanges not for use as a currency to buy drugs, but as an asset in expectation of a price rise. Hodlers are the third type of user of bitcoin along with drug buyers and drug sellers. Although they don’t use it. What’s the difference between an asset that is held and one that is hodled? This is admittedly vague, but an asset is hodled if it is being held, it can be held for long periods at low costs, it can but isn’t generating any income and there are no plans to generate income from it soon. Cash under the mattress is being hodled, cash in my wallet that I am going to buy stuff with soon is not. Money in my bank account is generating income and so is not hodled. Bitcoin held in anticipation of price rises is being hodled. Bitcoin bought to buy drugs but which has not been used yet is not. Gold stored in a vault is being hodled, gold used for electronics purposes is not (jewellery is a harder case). A vacant block of land with no plans to develop it or use it for anything is being hodled but one that is soon going to have an apartment block built on it is not. Commodities can be held and do not generate income until sold but it is expensive to hold most commodities for long periods of time. This prevents most commodities from being hodled. Velocity The velocity of money is the average number of times a unit of fiat changes hands in a period. You can skip the next three paragraphs as they are a little annoying and you can get by without them. Just know that I am defining the velocity of bitcoin as what the velocity of bitcoin would be if no bitcoin was being hodled. Due to hodling, the velocity of bitcoin under the conventional definition can vary wildly. Consider two cases. Both have 100 bitcoins, 100 transactions a day and all non-hodled bitcoins are spent each day. The first has no hodled bitcoins, the second 50 hodled bitcoins. The first has a velocity of bitcoin of 1 transaction per day, the second is 0.5 per day. I want a definition of velocity of bitcoin that is not impacted by changes in hodling. I did consider doing this analysis through changes in velocity but the final formula is easier to understand if we find a definition of velocity of bitcoin that is independent of the level of hodling. The definition that achieves this is (Length of Time)/(Average length of time to complete transaction). When there is no hodling the two definitions agree but the new definition is unchanged by any rise or fall in the level of hodling, which is what we need. From this point on when I refer to the velocity of bitcoin I am referring to the second definition. The actual time to complete a bitcoin transaction seems to be over a week. In an interview one vendor claimed that it took one week for the bitcoin to be released from escrow and longer to convert it to actual money. Intuitive argument Assume that the amount of drugs sold on darknet markets changes little from week to week. If the price of bitcoin doubles over the week then the number of bitcoins flowing through the darknet markets will halve. So where have the bitcoins gone? Drug buyers and sellers don’t have them. The only option is hodlers. In fact, it was the hodlers buying the bitcoins that caused the price to change. Formula The conventional formula for the relationship between velocity of money (V), nominal amount of money (M), price level (P) and real economic activity (Q) is V*M = P*Q I am going to change that equation slightly so it now concerns the velocity of bitcoin (V), the total number of bitcoins (M), the price level of bitcoin (P), the total value in fiat of all economic transactions (Q) and the proportion of bitcoins that are hodled (h). If h*M bitcoins are being hodled then there are (1-h)*M bitcoins being used in economic transactions. The new equation is V*(1-h)*M = P*Q Next we isolate P: P = V*(1-h)*M/Q If the price level changes from 1 to 1.1 that means that there has been 10% inflation over the period and that the value of bitcoin has fallen. To find the value of a single bitcoin we have to take the reciprocal of P and that gives a formula for the true value of bitcoin: 1/P = Q/[V*(1-h)*M] In the rest of the post when I write the price of bitcoin I mean the price bitcoin sells for on exchanges. I establish in the next section that this price must be close to the true value of bitcoin. Equilibrium This section uses the flow of bitcoin model established earlier. We assume no activity from hodlers and that economic users do not hodl bitcoin (not true but it simplifies and does not hurt the model). Furthermore, we assume that all activity on the bitcoin exchanges happens, then all activity on the darknet markets happens. Drug sellers sell their bitcoin to drug buyers, then drug buyers use the bitcoin to buy drugs on the darknet markets. Neither the exchanges or the darknet markets charge commissions. I use specific numbers but my reasoning is easily generalizable. To establish why the equation is true we must consider what happens if the actual price is higher or lower than the price given by the formula. First let us suppose that the price is lower than the price predicted by the formula. Over the time period of a day suppose that Q = 100 (so $100 worth of transactions a day), V = 1 (transactions take a day), M = 100 (100 bitcoins) and h = 0.5 (50 bitcoins are hodled). This gives a predicted price of $2. Suppose the price is instead $1. Every day there are $100 worth of drugs available to be sold and buyers willing to buy $100 worth of drugs. At a price of $1 and with only 50 bitcoins available for economic use each day that means that only $50 worth of drugs can be sold. This would drop Q to 50 and immediately correct the equation. However, there are buyers and sellers who want more drug dealing than that. Some buyers are not going to be able to get their drugs given the current price. Some of them will be willing to pay higher prices for bitcoin to guarantee they can have their drugs. Suppose that the drug sellers have 50 bitcoins (hodlers also have 50). They want to sell their 50 bitcoins to drug buyers on an exchange. Some drug buyers then bid the price of bitcoin up to $1.10 (for example). This benefits other drug buyers as now $55 worth of drug transactions can take place each day. In this way, the price will be bid up to $2, the equilibrium price. If the price is $1 and the drug buyers have the 50 bitcoins then they will spend the bitcoins to buy $50 worth of drugs and then we are in the situation above. Now suppose the reverse happens and the actual price is higher than the predicted price. Let the actual price be $4, with all the same example values from the previous example, so the predicted price is $2. On the exchange drug sellers have 50 bitcoins worth $200 to sell. Drug buyers want to buy $100 worth of bitcoin. At this price only 25 bitcoins are sold. To ensure they sell more of their bitcoin, drug buyers bid down the price. If the price does not immediately reach $2 then the left-over bitcoins will be held by the drug sellers until the next day when the price will be bid down again. The drug sellers holding bitcoin for a few extra days is not the same as hodling because they are actively trying to sell them on an exchange but they haven’t because the price isn’t in equilibrium. They could instead decide to sell only 25 bitcoins and hodl the other 25. This would raise h to 0.75 and the price would be in equilibrium again. Now suppose that the drug buyers have 50 bitcoins and the price is $4. Then $100 worth of drugs are bought with 25 bitcoins. The drug sellers will not be able to sell their bitcoin as drug buyers already have enough bitcoin to buy the next round of drugs they want. The drug buyers spend their last 25 bitcoin and drug sellers now have 50 bitcoins and the situation is as above. In conclusion, the price of Bitcoin is fundamentally determined by speculators and brought into equilibrium by criminals. Inflows and Outflows of Hodling The previous section treated the level of hodling as constant, except when drug buyers or sellers decide to hodl extra bitcoins that are in their possession. Now we will treat the amount of hodled bitcoins as changing. The next topic to consider is the relationship between filthy fiat spent to hodl bitcoins and the bitcoin price. To calculate how much it costs to raise the hodl ratio from 0 to h we assume that the bitcoins are bought continuously. We integrate the function Q/[M*V*(1-t/M)] between 0 and h*M. The result is (Q/V)ln[1/(1-h)]. To double the price of bitcoin by taking h from 0 to 0.5 will cost (Q/V)ln(2). In fact, it will always cost this amount to double the price of bitcoin as we can see by finding the difference between the total value of hodled bitcoin when we consider hodling levels of h and (h+1)/2. This means that the price of bitcoin rises exponentially when a constant amount of new money buys bitcoin to hodl. I would illustrate this with a log-scale graph but I don’t know where to find one. It also means that the market capitalisation of a cryptocurrency gives very little idea about how much the cryptocurrency is worth. It is an impossibility for all hodlers to receive the Actual Money that they think their bitcoin is worth. Volatility People hoping to get rich and their buying and selling bitcoin is what causes bitcoin’s extreme volatility. Theoretically this could be stopped if there was a bank where hodlers could deposit their bitcoins and earn interest. However, for this to work would require the existence of a bitcoin bank which is not a Ponzi which seems like an unlikely outcome. Hodling Gold A quick digression into gold, but I suspect someone has already thought of what follows. We can consider gold like a conventional commodity with conventional supply and demand curves (the real world for all commodities is more complicated but this is going to be quick). But people also hodl gold. If hodlers decide to buy $100 million worth of gold produced in the year, then that will change the equilibrium price. The new price is such that the difference between the quantity demanded by non-hodlers and the quantity supplied at that price multiplied by the price is 100 million. If the overall level of hodling declines then the reverse happens. The hodlers sell an amount of gold, that amount is the difference between the amount supplied and demanded. The hodlers earn that amount multiplied by the new lower price. (I assumed people bought a fiat amount of gold and sold a volume of gold to make things easier). Without another hodler to take on the gold or an improvement in market conditions, the hodlers are guaranteed a loss. To make a profit hodling gold you need there to be hodlers to sell it on to (or an improvement in the underlying factors). It follows that all the gold hodled in the world today cannot be sold without causing the fundamentals of gold to collapse. With 40% of the gold produced in 2017 being hodled this will eventually become a significant issue. Full Reserve Banking Another place where we can consider the impact of hodling is full reserve banking. It is a form of banking where banks are required to have cash on hand equal to the full amount in all demand deposit accounts. The bank does not lend this money. This contrasts with the present system where banks are only required to have a certain fraction of this amount on hand, called fractional reserve banking. Money in a fractional reserve bank account is not being hodled (or is, but to a more limited degree) as it is being lent on to other people and it is generating income for the depositor. Deposits under full reserve banking are hodling. They are like cash stuffed under a mattress but have better security. In a recession people increase their saving rates. Much of this additional saving will be in liquid assets because of fears of economic trouble. This rise in deposits under full reserve is an increase in hodled cash which then causes deflation. This is a big problem in a recession. (Somebody else has probably already made this observation). Velocity and Value Consider the equation of bitcoin’s value again. Notice that the value increases when V decreases. Which means that the length of time to complete a transaction has increased. Bitcoin is an asset and a currency and its value as an asset increases as the length of time it takes to complete a transaction increases. This is a minor bit of stupidity which surprised me but seems obvious in retrospect as if bitcoins take longer to be processed then they must be worth more so that all transactions can happen. (This is assuming that a decrease in V does not also cause a decrease in Q which might be caused by drug buyers and sellers switching to a different cryptocurrency). Hodler Behavior With one exception which I might make in another post I make no assumptions about hodler behaviour. I think they are buying and selling with no rational basis. But there are two rational reasons why someone would expect the price of bitcoin to rise: increased economic activity using the cryptocurrency in the darknet markets or an increased level of hodling in the future. The DNM is an actual economic activity but due to its illegality knowing anything about the amounts involved is impossible for almost everyone as is predicting their trends. Future hodling levels are also impossible to predict, unless you run a pump and dump. We can’t expect any sort of rational behavior from hodlers. Nakamoto Scheme Preston Byrne developed the concept of a Nakamoto Scheme to describe cryptocurrencies because of how they differed from Ponzis and pyramid schemes. While bitcoin has been frequently called a Ponzi or pyramid scheme it is clearly something different. There are no “dividends” paid or any sort of organised structure. There are similarities, notably early adopters make their money at the expense of later adopters. Like in pyramid schemes hodlers try to convince new people to join in. It is best to consider bitcoin as a type of asset which is uniquely suited for a pump and dump. When hodlers buy bitcoin, and encourage others to do the same (the pump) the fundamental price of bitcoin really is raised by these actions which helps the pump. To add to Byrne’s work, we should put the properties of cryptocurrency assets at the centre of the scheme. A Nakamoto scheme works like this: first create a cryptocurrency and keep most of it for yourself. Then release it and try to get as many other people hodling as possible and try to get the darknet markets to adopt it (I’m looking at you Monero). This increases the fundamental value of the asset. Then dump your hodlings. Pocket the actual money. This is probably legal right now. But I’m not a law-knowing person. For the hodler the Nakamoto scheme is like going to a party. You arrive and leave later on. If there are more people at the party when you leave compared to when you arrived then you’ve made a profit. There is also drug dealing going on at the party. The change in the level of drug dealing also impacts your profits. You have to try and get more people to come to the party and be careful of everyone else at the party who have the exact same incentives as you. It is a weird new form of scam. Lower bound on price While the price of bitcoin can theoretically be infinitely high there is a lower bound on the price when the hodling ratio is zero. For given levels of Q, V and M the value of bitcoin can never go below Q/[V*M] (the highest possible price for bitcoin is when 1 satoshi is equal to the value of a transaction). Some bitcoins have been permanently lost due to people losing their wallet keys or bitcoins being sent to the wrong address. If we suppose that H is the proportion of coins that have been permanently lost then the actual lower bound is Q/[V*(1-H)*M]. Note that a hodler losing their coins does not change the present fundamental value of bitcoin. What could cause bitcoin’s price to go lower? Besides a mass hodler sell-off the obvious reason is a permanent decline in Q. What could cause this? Law enforcement have successfully shut down many darknet markets but others have replaced them quickly. What could really hurt darknet markets is increased government scrutiny of exchanges. When governments realise that bitcoin has no use beyond criminal transactions and speculation they might decide to treat every bitcoin transaction as inherently suspicious and regulate exchanges heavily. This will make bitcoin much harder to use for criminal transactions and thus greatly decrease Q and the value of bitcoin. Previous work This post is not entirely original. Satoshi himself said that if a bitcoin user wanted to give a donation to everyone else then they should delete the keys to their wallet and increase the value of everybody else’s bitcoins. I realised that someone who hodled a bitcoin would temporarily have the same effect. More significantly Joseph C Wang came up with a formula very similar to mine. A significant difference is that he thought increased economic activity with bitcoin would not cause an increase in bitcoin’s value but an increase in its velocity. My model has nominal prices of drugs in bitcoin falling when Q increases. Wang has prices remaining the same and the velocity of bitcoin increasing to handle the extra transactions. I developed my formula before I became aware of Wang’s work. Further Topics This post is over 4000 words so I have not gone into depth on a few subjects like the costs of block rewards (higher than you think), shocks like darknet market shutdowns, why bitcoin can’t fall to a liquidity trap, how to value a cryptocurrency that isn’t being used for economic transactions and why it makes sense that bitcoin and bcash had a higher combined value at the time of the fork compared to bitcoin alone. If there is demand I’ll put together a second post which will cover these issues.
The price of the bitcoin digital currency dropped on Wednesday, after U.S. law enforcement authorities shut down Silk Road, an online marketplace used to buy and sell illegal drugs.. The bitcoin ... Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht predicts the price of bitcoin could fall to $3,200 over the next year. Ulbricht, who is serving two life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in founding the dark web marketplace Silk Road, published a Medium post on April 11 giving his prediction for bitcoin’s price in 2020.. Ulbricht previously wrote in December 2019 that a drop ... If the price for Bitcoin continues to remain stable for the next few days, it will simply further cement it’s legitimacy. Shortly after the news of The Silk Road shutdown was released, the most popular Bitcoin community forums were hacked and users were presented with a flash animation when attempting to access Bitcointalk.org. The site is now shut down until the administrators can figure ... The price of Bitcoin, the anonymous peer-to-peer digital currency, plummeted after the alleged founder of the online drugs marketplace Silk Road was arrested in San Francisco.. On Wednesday ... The Bitcoin market became very worried that Silk Road’s closure would dampen demand for Bitcoins, sending the price down from about $127 to $103. Bitcoin one month price chart. Source: Bitstamp. However Bitcoin quickly demonstrated its resiliency, with the price bounding back up quickly and now, less that two weeks later, Bitcoin prices ...
Bitcoin Price Predicted to Skyrocket to $100K in 2020 by Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht BTC News
Silk Road- the eBay for illegal things and more - has been shut down by the feds and the FBI is accused of taking millions of dollars in Bitcoins from site u... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue The Bitcoin price could hit $100,000 as soon as in 2020 based on Elliot Wave Theory, according to Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. "Thus, we have a price and target for the end of wave I of ... Today's Episode is sponsored by: https://soundcloud.com/DoctorRecommended FBI Shuts Down Silk Road -- Bitcoin Litecoin Flash Crash! FBI Seizes Deep Web Black... The Bitcoin Group #55 - Silk Road 2.0 Shutdown - Crypto Equity Crackdown - Lawsky Keynote World Crypto Network. Loading... Unsubscribe from World Crypto Network? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working ...