You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following aricles/books/videos as a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Limited Supply - There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoin created and they are issued in a predictable fashion, you can view the inflation schedule here. Once they are all issued Bitcoin will be truly non-inflationary. The halving countdown can be found here.
Open source - Bitcoin code is fully auditable. You can read the source code yourself here.
Accountable - The public ledger is transparent, all transactions are seen by everyone.
Decentralized - Bitcoin is globally distributed across thousands of nodes with no single point of failure and as such can't be shut down similar to how Bittorrent works. You can even run a node on a Raspberry Pi.
Censorship resistant - No one can prevent you from interacting with the bitcoin network and no one can censor, alter or block transactions that they disagree with, see Operation Chokepoint.
Push system - There are no chargebacks in bitcoin because only the person who owns the address where the bitcoin resides has the authority to move them.
Low fee scaling - Fees are chosen by the sender - you can choose your own fee. An appropriate fee for an on-chain transaction depends on network demand and how much priority you wish to assign to the transaction. Most wallets calculate on chain fees automatically but you can view fee estimates here and mempool activity here. On chain fees may rise occasionally due to network demand, however instant micropayments that do not require confirmations are happening via the Lightning Network, a second layer scaling solution currently rolling out on the Bitcoin mainnet.
Borderless - No country can stop it from going in/out, even in areas currently unserved by traditional banking as the ledger is globally distributed.
Nearly instant - From a few seconds on the lightning network to a few minutes on-chain depending on need for confirmations. Transactions are irreversible by normal users after one confirmation and irreversible by anyone (including miners) after 6 confirmations.
Portable - Bitcoin are digital so they are easier to move than cash or gold. They can be transported by simply carrying a seed (a string of 12 to 24 words) on a device or by memorizing it for wallet recovery (while cool, memorizing is generally not recommended due to potential for forgetting the seed and the potential for insecure key generation by inexperienced users. Hardware wallets are the preferred method for most users for their ease of use and additional security).
Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage. Note: Bitcoin are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".
Securing your bitcoin
With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoin OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoin for you.
If you prefer to "Be your own bank" and have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party, then you will need to create your own wallet and keep it secure. If you want easy and secure storage without having to learn computer security best practices, then a hardware wallet such as the Trezor, Ledger or ColdCard is recommended. Alternatively there are many software wallet options to choose from here depending on your use case.
If you prefer to let third party "Bitcoin banks" manage your coins, try Gemini but be aware you may not be in control of your private keys in which case you would have to ask permission to access your funds and be exposed to third party risk.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! 2FA requires a second confirmation code or a physical security key to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Physical security keys (FIDO U2F) offer stronger security than Google Auth / Authy and other TOTP-based apps, because the secret code never leaves the device and it uses bi-directional authentication so it prevents phishing. If you lose the device though, you could lose access to your account, so always use 2 or more security keys with a given account so you have backups. See Yubikey or Titan to purchase security keys. Both Coinbase and Gemini support physical security keys.
Watch out for scams
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".
Avoid using ad-based search engines like Google or Yahoo: ads are shown based on how much the advertiser bids, and scammers can easily outbid legitimate providers for ad space, since immoral ways of earning money are far more lucrative than moral ways. Use DuckDuckGo instead, which has no ads, and never tracks you as well.
Ignore private messages offering services.
Never enter your seed words in a website of any kind. Hardware wallets will recover by displaying possible seed words on their own interface, never on a website.
Avoid clicking on links like that look like links, such as https://www.google.com/, without first hovering over it and actually checking where they go to. Just because a link is labelled with an HTTPS address does not mean it actually sends you to that address. It is trivial for someone to comment a link on Reddit that looks like it will send you to one website when it actually sends you to another, and you might not notice the difference until a scammer has gotten all your money, or you have downloaded and installed software that steals your money.
Mining bitcoin can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out. If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.
Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoin by being paid to do a job.
You can also earn bitcoin by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoin for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoin).
The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
1,000 per bitcoin
used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
1,000,000 per bitcoin
colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
100,000,000 per bitcoin
smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki. Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval. Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking
thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020. The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more. In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000. DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain. While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO. Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud. On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams. His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund. Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity. You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race? I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned. I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated. Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well? Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse. Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump. In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly? Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.” We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was. You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business? All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups. were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that? Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases. Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case. You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not? Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn. You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN? I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles. In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad? I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses. Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there? My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information. [Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”] What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer?[Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.] I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak? I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored. What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein? I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality? I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right? [Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.] Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy. You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean? “Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it. I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice. Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests? I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests. My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality. Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability. [Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.] You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that. Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa. I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people. You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City? I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future. You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship? No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions. What do you think the investigation will find? I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad. [Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”] But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details. [Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.] We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that? I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert? You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room. Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here. She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time? Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job. During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart? I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans. Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election? Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention. Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material? Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.” [Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.] So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser. Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is? We all are Satoshi Nakamoto. You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man? I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend. OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
The importance of being mindful of security at all times - nearly everyone is one breach away from total disaster
This is a long one - TL;DR at the end!
If you haven't heard yet: BlankMediaGames, makers of Town of Salem, have been breached which resulted in almost 8 million accounts being leaked. For most people, the first reaction is "lol so what it's just a game, why should I really care?" and that is the wrong way to look at it. I'd like to explain why everyone should always care whenever they are part of a breach. I'd also like to talk about some ways game developers - whether they work solo or on a team - can take easy steps to help protect themselves and their customers/players. First I'd like to state that there is no practical way to achieve 100% solid security to guarantee you'll never be breached or part of a breach. The goal here will be to get as close as possible, or comfortable, so that you can rest easy knowing you can deal with problems when they occur (not if, when).
Why You Should Care About Breaches
The sad reality is most people re-use the same password everywhere. Your email account, your bank account, your steam account, your reddit account, random forums and game websites - you get the idea. If you haven't pieced it together yet the implication is that if anyone gets your one password you use everywhere, it's game over for you - they now own all of your accounts (whether or not they know it yet). Keep in mind that your email account is basically the holy grail of passwords to have. Most websites handle password changes/resets through your email; thus anyone who can login to your email account can get access to pretty much any of your accounts anywhere. Game over, you lose.
But wait, why would anyone want to use my password? I'm nobody!
It doesn't matter, the bad guys sell this information to other bad guys. Bots are used to make as much use of these passwords as possible. If they can get into your bank they might try money transfers. If they get into your Amazon account they might spin up $80,000 worth of servers to mine Bitcoin (or whatever coin is popular at the time). They don't care who you are; it's all automated. By the way, according to this post (which looks believable enough to be real) this is pretty much how they got into the BMG servers initially. They checked for usernames/emails of admins on the BMG website(s) in previous breach dumps (of which there are many) and found at least one that used the same password on other sites - for their admin account! If you want to see how many of your accounts are already breached check out Have I Been Pwned - I recommend registering all of your email addresses as well so you get notified of future breaches. This is how I found out about the Town of Salem breach, myself.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Before I go into all the steps you can (and should) take to protect yourself I should note that security is in a constant tug of war with convenience. What this means is that the more security measures you apply the more inconvenienced you become for many tasks. It's up to you to decide how much is too much either way. First of all I strongly recommend registering your email(s) on https://haveibeenpwned.com/ - this is especially important if your email address is associated to important things like AWS, Steam developer account, bank accounts, social media, etc. You want to know ASAP when an account of yours is compromised so you can take steps to prevent or undo damage. Note that the bad guys have a head start on this!
You probably need to have better password hygiene. If you don't already, you need to make sure every account you have uses a different, unique, secure password. You should change these passwords at least once a year. Depending on how many accounts you have and how good your memory is, this is your first big security vs convenience trade-off battle. That's easily solved, though, by using a password manager. You can find a list of password managers on Wikipedia here or you can search around for some comparison articles. Some notable choices to consider:
1Password - recommend by Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned
LastPass - I use this at work and it's generally good
BitWarden - free and open source! I use this at home and in some ways it's better than LastPass
KeePass (and forks) - free, open source, and totally offline; if you don't trust "the cloud" you can trade away some more convenience in exchange for taking full responsibility of your password security (and backups)
Regardless of which one you choose, any of them is 100x better than not using one at all.
The problem with all these passwords is that someone can still use them if they are found in a breach. Your passwords are only as strong as the website you use them on. In the case of the BMG breach mentioned above - all passwords were stored in an ancient format which has been insecure for years. It's likely that every single password in the breach can be reversed/cracked, or already have been. The next step you need to take is to make it harder for someone else to login with your password. This is done using Multi-Factor Authentication (or Two-Factor Authentication). Unfortunately not every website/service supports MFA/2FA, but you should still use it on every single one that does support it. You can check which sites support MFA/2FA here or dig around in account options on any particular site. You should setup MFA/2FA on your email account ASAP! If it's not supported, you need to switch to a provider that does support it. This is more important than your bank account! All of the big email providers support it: GMail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, etc. The type of MFA/2FA you use depends on what is supported by each site/service, but there is a common approach that is compatible on many of them. Most of them involve phone apps because a phone is the most common and convenient "thing you have" that bad guys (or anyone, really) can't access easily. Time-based One-time Password or TOTP is probably the most commonly used method because it's easy to implement and can be used with many different apps. Google Authenticator was the first popular one, but it has some limitations which continue the security vs convenience battle - namely that getting a new phone is a super huge chore (no backup/restore option - you have to disable and setup each site all over again). Many alternatives support cloud backup which is really convenient, though obviously less secure by some measure. Notable choices to consider:
Authy - probably the first big/popular one after Google Authenticator came out (I think) - NOTE: They let you use it on your desktop/browser, too, but this is TOO much convenience! Don't fall for that trap.
LastPass Authenticator - conveniently links up with a LastPass account, some sites support extra features (like not needing to type a code, just answer a phone notification)
Yubikey - A real physical MFA device! Some models are compatible with phones, too.
Duo - this one is more geared towards enterprise, but they have a free option
Some sites/services use their own app, like Blizzard (battle.net) and Steam, and don't allow you to use other ones. You will probably have a few apps on your phone when all your accounts are setup, but it's worth it. You'll definitely want to enable it on your password manager as well if you chose a cloud-based one. Don't forget to save backup codes in an actual secure location! If you lose your backup codes and your auth app/physical key you will be locked out of accounts. It's really not fun recovering in that situation. Most recommendations are to print them and put in a fireproof safe, but using some other secure encrypted storage is fine. There is such a thing as bad MFA/2FA! However, anything is at least better than nothing. A lot of places still use SMS (text messaging) or e-mail for their MFA/2FA implementation. The e-mail one has the most obvious flaw: If someone gets into your email account they have defeated that security measure. The SMS flaws are less obvious and much less likely to affect you, but still a risk: SMS is trivial to intercept (capture data over the air (literally), clone your SIM card data, and some other methods). Still, if you're not a person of interest already, it's still better than nothing.
What Does This Have To Do With GameDev?
Yeah, I do know which subreddit I'm posting in! Here's the section that gets more into things specific to game development (or software development in general).
Secure Your Code
Securing your code actually has multiple meanings here: Securing access to your code, and ensuring your code itself is secure against exploitation. Let's start with access since that's the easier topic to cover! If you're not already using some form of Source Control Management (SCM) you really need to get on board! I'm not going to go in depth on that as it's a whole other topic to itself, but I'll assume you are using Git or Mercurial (hg) already and hosting it on one of these sites (or a similar one):
First, ensure that you have locked down who can access this code already. If you are using private repositories you need to make sure that the only people who have access are the people who need access (i.e. yourself and your team). Second, everyone should have strong passwords and MFA/2FA enabled on their accounts. If 1 person on the team does not follow good security practices it puts your whole project at risk! So make sure everyone on the team is following along. You can also look into tools to do some auditing and even automate it so that if anyone's account becomes less secure over time (say they turned off MFA one day) they would automatically lose their access. Additionally you should never commit secrets (passwords, API keys, tokens, social security numbers, etc) to your code repository. Probably 90% of cases where people have their AWS/Google Cloud/Azure accounts compromised and racking up huge bills for bitcoin mining is due to having their passwords/keys stored in their git repo. They either accidentally made it public or someone got access to the private repo through a compromised account. Never store sensitive information in your code repository! Next topic: Securing your code from vulnerabilities. This one is harder to talk about for game dev as most engines/frameworks are not as susceptible (for lack of a better word) to these situations as others. In a nutshell, you need to keep track of the following:
Is my code doing anything "dangerous"? (system-level stuff, memory access, saving passwords anywhere)
Could someone get the keys to the kingdom (API key, server password, etc) by just opening Cheat Engine and looking at memory values? Or doing a strings/hex edit/decompile/etc on my game executable?
Am I using outdated libraries/framework/engine? Do they have any known security bugs?
Secure Your Computer
I'm not going to go in depth on this one because at this point everyone should have a handle on this; if not there are limitless articles, blogs, and videos about the how/what/why. In summary: Keep everything updated, and don't open suspicious links.
Lock your computer when idle - use a password (or PIN or face unlock or whatever your OS uses) - no one should ever be able to walk up to your computer and use it if you're not looking, nor should they be able to get in if they grabbed your closed laptop off the table at starbucks (thanks u/3tt07kjt for reminding me of this one)
Use full disk encryption (especially on laptops)
Update your OS for security updates ASAP
Use anti-virus (yes, Windows Defender is fine) and keep it updated
Update your web browser ALWAYS (this is your 99% chance attack vector, so don't postpone it!)
Don't install browser extensions that you don't need - a LOT of extensions are either malware from the start or become malware later (my favorite emoji extension started mining bitcoins, FFS!) - check reviews regularly after extensions update
DO use adblock and privacy extensions - ads are a common attack vector - I recommend uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger at a minimum (note that some legit sites can break and so you'll have to fiddle with settings or whitelist)
Don't open suspicious or unknown links on e-mail, social media, discord, etc (be sure to hover over the links in this post before clicking them)
Don't open attachments, ever - unless you were expecting it from that person at that time
Don't fill out ANY forms (comments, login, registration, etc) on websites that don't have HTTPS (secure) connection - your browser will show this in the address bar, usually
In general, be suspicious of everything that comes from people you don't know - and even from people you do know if it was unexpected
E-Mail is (probably) the least secure form of communications ever invented - so try not to use it for sensitive things
Secure Your Website
I will have to add more to this later probably, but again there are tons of good articles, blogs, and videos on these topics. Hopefully the information in this section is enough to get you on the right track - if not feel free to ask for more info. Lots of guides can be found on Digital Ocean's site and they are relevant even if you don't use DO for your servers.
Use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) secure connections - it's FREE and EASY thanks to Let's Encrypt
KEEP EVERYTHING UPDATED - automate as much as you can
If you have control over the server, you MUST update the OS, the web server, and any backend application servers/languages/frameworks involved. Equifax breach was due to having out of date server software. BMG breach was worsened by having out of date server software. YOU MUST STAY UPDATED, ALWAYS
Don't store sensitive personal information - it's a huge pain to be PCI compliant, it's a huge fine if you mess it up - avoid storing any customer information that you don't actually need (see also: GDPR )
Do not allow access to SSH/Remote desktop/Database services from the whole world; the general public should only ever be able to reach ports 80 and 443 on your web server (and 80 should permanently redirect to HTTPS)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords on Linux servers
Don't run your own email server - it's just not worth it; use google apps for business, office 365, zoho, or something else for business email
Secure your domain registrar account! Don't lose your domain to a bad password or lack of MFA/2FA or an old email address! If your registrar doesn't support actual security then transfer to one that does. (namecheap, namesilo, google domains, amazon aws route53, even godaddy, the absolutely worst web company, has good security options)
A lot of this will apply to your game servers as well - really any kind of server you expect to setup.
That's it, for now
I ran out of steam while typing this all up after a couple hours, but I may revisit it later to add more info. Feel free to ask any questions about any of these topics and I'll do my best to answer them all.
TL;DR (y u words so much??)
Use a password manager so you can have different, random, secure passwords on every account on every website/service/game
Use MFA/2FA on every account, if possible
Lock your computer when idle/away
Use full disk encryption on laptops
Update your operating system (we all hate Windows Update, but it really is for our own good)
Use anti-virus (Windows Defender is fine)
Update your browser
Use good adblockeprivacy blocker browsers extensions
Don't use browser extensions that you don't really need (they could be a trojan horse of bitcoin mining later)
Don't trust anything sent by anyone, unless you were expecting it and know it's safe
E-mail is the least secure form of communications in use these days; don't trust it for sensitive things
Use source control for your game code (git, mercurial, etc)
Lock down access to your source code
Don't put secrets (passwords, API keys/tokens, social security numbers, credit card numbers) in your code repository
Don't do dumb things like store your AWS keys in your game for players to just find with simple tools
Check your code dependencies for security bugs, update them when needed
Use HTTPS on your website
Update your web server OS and software
Use secure password storage (don't reinvent this wheel, it's been solved by way smarter people)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords for Linux servers
Use a firewall to block the world from getting in with SSH/Remote desktop/database direct connections
Only allow your own IP address (which can change!) into the server for admin tasks
Don't run your own email server, let someone who knows what they are doing handle that for you
Secure your domain registrar account, keep email address up to date
... in general... in general... in general... I sure wrote those 2 words a lot.
Why Should I Trust This Post?
Hopefully I have provided enough information and good links in this post that you can trust the contents to be accurate (or mostly accurate). There is certainly enough information to do some searches on your own to find out how right or wrong I might be about these things. If you want my appeal to authority answer: I've been working at a major (network/computer) security company for almost 7 years as a software developer, and I've had to put up with pretty much every inconvenience brought on by security. I've also witnessed the aftermath of nearly every type of security failure covered in this post, via customers and the industry at large. None of the links I used are related to my employer or its products. Edit: Fixed some typos and added some more links More edit: added a few more points and links
Core/Blockstream are now in the Kübler-Ross "Bargaining" phase - talking about "compromise". Sorry, but markets don't do "compromise". Markets do COMPETITION. Markets do winner-takes-all. The whitepaper doesn't talk about "compromise" - it says that 51% of the hashpower determines WHAT IS BITCOIN.
They've finally entered the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase - now they're begging for some kind of "compromise". But actually, markets aren't about compromise. Markets are about competition. Markets are about winner-takes-all. And the Bitcoin whitepaper never mentions anything about "compromise". It simply says that 51% of the hashpower determines what is Bitcoin. And as we know - the best coin will win. Which will probably be Bitcoin Unlimited with its market-based blocksizes - and not SegWit with its 1.7MB centrally planned blocksize based on a dangerous anyone-can-spend spaghetti-code soft-fork. Let's review how this played out:
Core/Blockstream accepted $76 million in "fantasy fiat" from the "legacy ledger" of central bankers via their buddies at AXA.
And Core/Blockstream accepted censorship on the sad subreddit of r\bitcoin.
And lo and behold, Core/Blockstream's reliance on fiat funding and central planning and censorship has culminated in this pathetic piece of shit called SegWit, with the following worthless "features" that nobody even wants:
Yet-another centrally-planned 1.7MB maybe-someday blocksize - combined with some random arbitrary 1-to-4 "discount" that nobody asked for,
Fixes for low-priority non-problems like malleability and quadratic hashing,
By listening to real people in the actual market, and by following Satoshi's principles as stated in the whitepaper, Bitcoin Unlimited has been able to (surprise! surprise!) offer what real people in the actual market actually want - which is currently:
FlexTrans is much better than SegWit Also, these independent, non-fiat-financed devs developed Flexible Transactions, which is way better than SegWit. Flexible Transactions can easily fix malleability and quadratic hashing - while also introducing a simple, easy-to-use, future-proof tag-based format similar to JSON or HTML permitting future upgrades without the need for a hard fork. So Flexible Transactions provides the same things as SegWit - without the dangerous mess of SegWit's "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork hack - which Core/Blockstream tried to force on everyone - because they want to take away our right to vote via a hard fork - because they know that if we actually had a hard fork a/k/a full node referendum, everyone would vote against Core/Blockstream. The market wants to decide the blocksize So more and more of the smart, non-Blockstream-aligned miners, starting with ViaBTC and now including many others, have been adopting Bitcoin Unlimited - because they understand that:
Market-based blocksizes are the right, consensus-based mechanism to provide simple and safe on-chain scaling to solve the urgent problems of transaction delays and network congestion - now and in the future
Every increase in the blocksize roughly corresponds to the same increase squared in terms of price
ie 2x bigger blocks will lead to 4x higher price, 3x bigger blocks will correspond with 9x higher price, etc. - which means that bigger blocks will make everyone happy: more profits for miners, and no more high fees or transaction delays for users.
Now Core/Blockstream are starting to bitch and moan and beg about "compromise" And actually, we couldn't answer "Sorry it's too late for compromise" even if we wanted to. Because markets and economics and cryptocurrencies aren't about compromises. Markets are about competition - they're about winner-takes-all. Nakamoto Consensus is about 51% of the hashpower decides what the rules are. Imagine if Yahoo Email were to suddenly start begging with Google Mail for "compromise". What would that even mean in the first place?? Yahoo wrote crappy email code - based on their crappy corporate culture - so the market abandoned their crappy (and buggy and insecure) email service. Core/Blockstream is similar in some ways to Yahoo. They wrote crappy code - because they have a crappy "corporate culture" - because they accept millions of dollars in fiat from central bankers at places like AXA - and because they accept censorship on shit-forums like r\bitcoin - which is why they have no clue about the real needs of real people in the real market in the real world. Censorship and fiat made Core/Blockstream fragile and out-of-touch Core/Blockstream devs enjoy the "luxury" of being able to put their head in the sand and hide from the reality of the "shreaking" masses of actual people actually trying to use Bitcoin, because:
They get millions of dollars in fiat shoveled to them by central bankers,
They conduct their "debates" in the fantasy-land of the shit-forum r\bitcoin where all the important comments get deleted and all the intelligent posters got banned long ago - including quotes from Satoshi.
And then (surprise! surprise!) the following happened:
At any moment now, at the Schelling point of our own choosing, more hashpower can also "dump Core" and start using Bitcoin Unlimited - which is why everyone involved with Core/Blockstream is now shitting in their pants.
But in a decentralized, permissionless, open-source system like Bitcoin, there is not a single thing that CEO Adam Back u/adam3us and CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc at their shitty little AXA-funded startup Blockstream or u/theymos and u/bashco on their shitty little censored forum r\bitcoin can do to stop Bitcoin Unlimited from taking over the network - because in open-source and in economics and in markets, the best code and the best cryptocurrency wins. Everyone (except Core/Blockstream) predicted this would happen So now - predictably - the Core/Blockstream devs and their low-information supporters are all running around saying "Nobody could have predicted this!" But actually everyone has been shouting at the top of their lungs predicting this for years - including the most important old-time Bitcoin devs supporting on-chain scaling like Mike Hearn, Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik who were all "censored, hounded, DDoS'd, attacked, slandered & removed" - plus new-time devs like Peter Rizun u/Peter__R who provided major scaling innovations like XThin - by the vicious drooling toxic authoritarian goons involved with Core/Blockstream. Everyone has been predicting the current delays and congestion and high fees for years, out here in the reality of the marketplace, in the reality of the uncensored forums - away from Core/Blockstream's centralized back-room closed-door fiat-funded censorship-supported PowerPoint presentations in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, away from years and years of Core/Blockstream's all-talk-no-action scaling stalling conferences. The Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about "compromise" and "censorship" and "central planning". The Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about yet-another centrally planned blocksize (Now with 1.7MB! SegWit is scaling!TM) which some economically ignorant fiat-funded dev team happened to pull out of their ass and bundle into a radical and irresponsible spaghetti-code SegWit soft-fork. Markets aren't about "compromise". Markets are about competition. As u/ForkiusMaximusrecently pointed out: The market couldn't even give a fuck if it wanted to - because markets and cryptocurrencies are not about the politics of "compromise" - they're about the economics of competition. Markets are about decentralization, and they're about Nakamoto Consensus, where 51% of the hashpower decides the rules and everyone else either gets on the bandwagon or withers away watching their hashpower and coin price sink into oblivion. So, anyone who even brings up the topic of "compromise" is simply showing that they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how markets work, and how Nakamoto Consensus works. This actually isn't very surprising. Blockstream CEO Adam Back u/adam3us and Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc and all the rest of the so-called "Core devs" and all their low-information hangers-on like the economic idiot Blockstream founder Mark Friedenbach u/maaku7 have never really understood Bitcoin or markets. And that's fine and normal. Plenty of individuals don't understand markets very well. But such people simply lose their own money - and they generally don't get put in charge of losing $20 billion of other people's money. Markets don't need managers or central planners. Markets run very well on their own - and they don't like central planning or censorship. Now Core/Blockstream has finally entered the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase So now some people at Core/Blockstream and some of their low-information supporters have have started bitching and moaning and whining about "compromise", as they sink into the Kübler-Ross "bargaining" phase - while their plans are all in shambles, and they've failed in their attempts to hijack our network and our currency. Meanwhile, the Honey Badger of Bitcoin doesn't give a fuck about a bunch of central planners and censors whining about "compromise". Bitcoin Unlimited just keeps stealing more and more hashpower away from Core - until the day comes when we decide to fork their ass into the garbage heap of shitty, failed alt-coins. Fuck Blockstream/Core and the central bankers and censors they rode in on We told them for years that they were only shooting themselves in the foot with their closed-door back-room fiat-financed wheeling and dealing and their massive censorship. We told them they were only giving themselves enough rope to hang themselves with. Now that it's actually happening, we couldn't say "it's too late for compromise" even if we wanted to - because there is no such thing as "compromise" in markets or cryptocurrencies. Markets are all about competition And Bitcoin is all about 51% of the hashpower.
Bitcoin Core decided to bet on hard-coded centrally planned 1.7MB blocksize based on a a shitty spaghetti-code soft-fork. That's their choice. They made their bed now let them lie in it.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin Unlimited decided to bet on market-based blocksizes. And that's the market's choice. Bitcoin Unlimited listened to the market - and (suprise! surprise!) that's why more and more hashpower is now mining Bitcoin Unlimited blocks.
Internet Nostalgia and the Future of Cryptocurrency — my personal story!
In the early 1990’s, when I was just a kid, my family purchased our first personal computer. It was a top of the line system with an Intel 486[i] processor running at a whopping 33MHz, 4MB of memory and a 33MB hard drive running MS-DOS[ii]! Although my trusted “MS-DOS for Dummies” handbook taught me everything I needed to know, the computer seemed more like a novelty than anything useful. Nonetheless, I remember playing games like Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat[iii] and Hard Drivin’[iv] and many others. I also remember visiting our local Radio Shack for new software and the latest releases from the Tandy Corporation[v]. In fact, every now and then, my grandmother would take me to Radio Shack and buy me a new computer game (thanks grandma!) A few years later, I started hearing about something called the “Internet.” However, I had no idea what it could do or how to “access” it. Then, one day, while visiting my local library, I discovered that their public computer was connected to the internet — and the World Wide Web! Not only that, the library also offered a free program to help people connect their home computers to the internet[vi]. Once my family signed up, the library supervisor gave us a floppy disk with the required software, settings and instructions. Now, keep in mind, I was not even a teenager at this time, and, on top of that, my family didn’t have a clue about tech. In fact, I remember my mother and grandmother looking at our new home computer as if it was an alien ship that just landed. So, basically, except for the floppy disc and the library supervisor, I was on my own! Somehow, I had to figure out how to set the whole thing up, and since internet technology was new to the public, I couldn’t find any references to model. And, of course, there was no google! Looking back, I must have driven the library supervisor crazy with all my questions! Nevertheless, after buying a new computer with an awesome 100MHz processor and a 28kbit/s modem, and, almost a month later, I finally heard the magical beeps and static sounds of the free internet, and since the internet connection was provided by my local library, I was greeted with the library’s web page — Thank you Merrick Library! Even though the whole internet consisted of plain black text[vii], I thought, “Wow, this is amazing! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!!” With a sense of keen curiosity, I browsed the Usenet[viii] where people connected with one another and I searched the internet with WebCrawler[ix], and I even downloaded some images. However, there really wasn’t too much to discover, and before long, I brushed the internet off as another novelty and went back to playing computer games. Then, about a year later, my local grocery store started offering free floppy discs for AOL[x], and I convinced my family to sign up for AOL’s free trial. Shortly thereafter, I was greeted with the iconic, “You’ve Got Mail!” However, the internet I discovered this time was no longer just plain black text! I’ll never forget the first moment I saw the internet in full color with images! It took my breath away and the feeling of excitement was beyond profound! At that point for me, the internet had blossomed into something extraordinary! And, along with vibrantly colored photos everywhere, there was a new website called Yahoo![xi] Although few recognized it at the time, this was the beginning of the Dot-Com bubble, and not only would it change the internet, it would change the world! Fast forward more than two decades to 2009, and now as an adult with my own son. Something very different was beginning to stir, and it was called “Bitcoin” — a currency for the internet. Although it was considered nothing more than an obscure idea at the time, it sparked something inside me — it was that same curious feeling I had when I first discovered the "text based" internet! Even though I didn’t know much about this new oddity, I knew that I could use my computing power to generate something called Bitcoins. I thought, “Why not?“ So, after joining one of the first Bitcoin mining pools, I had my computer mine for a few days. This meant leaving my computer on non-stop with my GPU fan at full speed. In return, I earned 0.63BTC which was worth about $1.00USD at the time — with such little financial gain, I didn’t see the point of mining nor the feasibility of Bitcoin — so I stopped mining and forgot about Bitcoin. Sometime later, I started hearing about Bitcoin again, but, this time, in some very different contexts:
Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme
Bitcoin is a scam
Bitcoin is used by drug dealers
Bitcoin is used to buy guns
Bitcoin is used by terrorists
Bitcoin was hacked
Bitcoin is used by hackers
Shortly after all the negativity began, I decided to learn more about Bitcoin. As my research unfolded, I began to comprehend “blockchain technology” as well as the potentials for technological advancement. Once I understood the foundational premise of Bitcoin technology, I jumped in for real! I purchased Bitcoins, I started mining Litecoins (and others), and I continued to learn and evolve as a crypto miner, investor, trader, and loyal supporter. Now, just 9 short years after the genesis block, Bitcoin has some new contexts:
Bitcoin is digital gold
Bitcoin is the new business model
Bitcoin is the disruption of the banking industry
Bitcoin is the future…
And many, many more positives!
Even as amazing as Bitcoin is today, I believe that it’s just the beginning of something much greater! However, to see what I see, you must look past the ICO’s, the scams, and the fear and anger of those involved. Once you see beyond the surface, the truth becomes quite clear, and, only then, can you begin to comprehend how Bitcoin is transforming the world! Thanks to Bitcoin, we are on the cusp of technological evolution! Moreover, the new technologies that are coming from Bitcoin development pay homage to their revolutionary beginnings. For instance:
Creation of a new global banking system
Commerce without the middleman
Direct buyer to seller transactions anywhere in the world
Decentralized internet and apps
Smart machine-to-machine data sharing
Worldwide inter-connected super computer
Cloud storage contributed by everyone
A new evolution of gaming
Global private data storage (based on permission access)
Transforming the advertising and publishing industries while benefiting viewers and sellers directly
There is a huge surge in devices attached to the internet, known as the Internet of Things, and it is estimated that over 80 Billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025, from industrial machines to devices in our home. The constant hacking and cyber attacks have increased not only the demand but the necessity of secure solutions. Our privacy and digital footprint are at risk. [b]Some examples where encryption plays a role: [b]Secure messaging - To make messages truly secure we need a process whereby a cryptography can be applied to encrypt transaction. [b]Secure calling - Secure calling is a process whereby the caller and the recipient of the call are identified and linked via a blockchain enabled cryptocurrency transfer, again creating public and private encryption keys making the call truly private. [b]Secure media storage - To safely and securely store media a process is required where 1.) Access to the media is encrypted via public and private keys of the person wanting to store the media. 2.) The media itself needs to be encrypted with a set of encryption keys and 3.) Media storage costs need to be paid via cryptocurrency [b]Secure browsing - To browse the internet securely we need to create a process of verification whereby nodes on the blockchain can verify websites as “safe”. Furthermore, the entire process needs to be encrypted as well. [b]Verification - This is one of the most important uses of a blockchain, we can verify websites as in the example above but also various other things such as identity, title and ownership, date stamps and source of products as with the verification of the source of agricultural or other products. These are just a few examples. All of this data needs to be encrypted as well. [b]“Smart home” security - Wi-Fi is often used for remote monitoring and control. Home devices, when remotely monitored and controlled via the Internet, are an important constituent of the Internet of Things - all needing encryption, otherwise, hackers paradise. [b]EOT in the future - The examples we mentioned above are only “scratching the surface” of where these technologies are applicable and who knows what will be invented in future. Google, Apple and Uber are all testing cars that drive themselves. A major issue with this technology is again the security aspect and the need to protect against hacking and who want’s to get into a spaceship to Mars that might be hacked or hijacked by ransomware? So the future for the [b]“Encryption of Things” – EOT, looks very interesting indeed and the role of crypto currencies in this will be major. Read the full white paper here - http://eottoken.com/index.php/whitepape The first device using EOT Coin is the BitVault®[/b] - the World's first crypto communicator and blockchain phone. The BitVault is a revolutionary new product that is built around security and privacy enabled through Blockchain technology. Biometric Security enabled through fingerprint and iris scan. Iris patterns are unique to you and are virtually impossible to replicate. This means that iris authentication is one of the safest ways to keep your BitVault locked and the contents private. Proven Biometric technology brings a whole new level of security to your crypto currency and blockchain transactions. Creating Military grade security for your device through third party independent Multilayer security. September 2017 – Swiss Bank in Your Pocket integrates EOT Wallet(Achived) October 2017 – BitVault®, the world’s first blockchain phone launches in London with integration of EOT for secure calling, secure messaging and secure browsing (First batch shipped) November 2017 – BitVault® Global App Store launches for developers to develop their own applications (Achived) November 2017 – Website EOT Payment Gateway for WordPress and WooCommerce (ACHIVED) December 2017 – Cryptodoc stores all your documents securely and encrypted on your PC December 2017 – Password Wallet stores all your passwords for applications and websites encrypted on your PC January 2018 – Smart Router for secure, encrypted internet which is direct, safe and easy January 2018 – EOT Camera, an Encryption of Things connected camera February 2018 – EOT Development Kit for hardware devices EOT payment gateway live on swissbankinyourpocket.com, Now you can buy SBIYP and BitVault using EOT coins More on the BitVault here:- https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault/]https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault/https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault-apps/]https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/bitvault-apps/https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2152534.0]https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2152534.0 JOIN US ON REDDIT : http://www.reddit.com/EncryptionOfThings]www.reddit.com/EncryptionOfThings JOIN US ON SLACK : [url=https://join.slack.com/t/eot-coin/shared_invite/enQtMjc3NzkxNzY5NzQ0LTFjMWI5NTJjOGEzYjU5ZDk0ZjRjZWE3MzBkNmI0MmQ2NTUzMTBkOGQ1YmEyNTllMmNiYzA3MGZjOGVmY2IyZGU The EOT Token is trading on the Waves Platform, TOKENS are 1:1 image of EOT coins, EOT coins can be converted to tokens and vice versa using gateway service in SBIYP hardware wallet. if you do not have that hardware wallet, you can contact members on slack who have purchased SBIYP to do that swap for you. TOKEN DETAILS Name : EOT Token (Verified) Identifier : GdnNbe6E3txF63gv3rxhpfxytTJtG7ZYyHAvWWrrEbK5 Total supply : 100,000,000 EOT token (EOT) markets added on the Tidex Exchange https://tidex.com/exchange/eot/btchttps://tidex.com/exchange/eot/waves EOT Coin details (currently minable) https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin windows wallet[/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin/releases/download/v188.8.131.52/EOTCoin-win.exe windows Desktop wallet[/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOT-Coin-Windows-Desktop-Wallet/releases/download/1.0/EOTCoinDesktopWallet1-0.zip MAC Wallet [/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTCoin/releases/download/v184.108.40.206/EOTCOIN-Qt-OSX-v1001.dmg WEB wallet [/b] http://eot.digital (Closing, please withdraw your coins) ANDROID wallet [/b] https://github.com/EmbeddedDownloads/EOTAndroidWallet/releases Block Explorer [/b] http://www.eot.digital:3622/ Block Explorer 2 [/b] http://www.eotcoin.info (created by [b]@Luanptit[/b]) [Block reward [/b] 100 Coins, [b] ALGORITHM [/b] SCRYPT, [b] BLOCK TIME [/b] 90 seconds MINING POOLS Official mining pool [/b] http://www.eot.digital:3001/ Getting Started [/b] minerd -a scrypt -o stratum+tcp://www.eot.digital:3256 -u WalletAddressWhereYouWantYourMiningCoins -p 1 unofficial Mining pools http://www.altminer.net http://antminepool.com http://coinminers.net/ http://www.vivocryptopool.com [red]Currently EOT is traded on WAVES DEX, Crypto-Bridge DEX and TIDEX. Big exchanges will be available soon, exchanges are in comkmunication. Opportunities are available with EOT - from Development, Mining, Trading as well as other business opportunities built around the EOT currency and the "Encryption of Things" [size=34px]Bitvault on Yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitvault-worlds-first-blockchain-phone-201600279.html [/size] [center][img width=770]https://i.imgur.com/UMIlRoC.png[/img][/center] [center][size=30px]Press release 4th October 2017 [/size] [size=30px]yahoo Finance https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitvault-announces-london-launch-161000826.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=tw [img]https://i.imgur.com/mBDZnN7.png[/img] Some Helpful Information [quote author=Story777 link=topic=2091616.msg21890405#msg21890405 date=1505551168] You have been keeping a great secret. I've been doing a bit of research with the technology behind this coin. It looks like ALOT of research has gone into this tech, since about 2004 and shortly after a patent for this P2P system was quickly issued. Bitvault (https://swissbankinyourpocket.com/product/bitvault/) who are using the worlds first blockchain phone as a secure communication device and ultimately taking [font=Verdana][b]encryption[/b][/font] to the Internet Of Things (IoT) keeping our personal and business data secure. All this is done using [b]EOT coin [/b](Encryption of Things). In todays world insecure devices are rampant. Here are a couple of links about the CIA being able to use insecure devices to 'cause accidents' http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/cyber-life/sd-me-wikileaks-cia-20170307-story.html and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/03/08/what-we-know-about-car-hacking-the-cia-and-those-wikileaks-claims/ It's scary to think a legal entity could posses such power over life. Just the mere fact alone the governing authority can request phone records (e.g. txt msgs, voice msgs or eavesdropping) proves most if not all telecommunication companies do not encrypt, otherwise whats the point on requesting the information!? (legal or not). Commercially sensitive information needs to be protected and most importantly in my opinion our [font=Verdana][b]rights[/b][/font] and the privacy of all citizens of the human race need to be protected. From my understanding BitVault is a platform for reference data. This would be data that is stored for compliance reasons such as e-mails, invoicing systems and check imaging (e.g. high quality imaging for x-rays, MRI scans etc) and a prototype was developed in 2004. This would means massive amount of data storage is required with fail-safe systems so a authorised user could access this information very very quickly. Three goals were needed to be achieved: Low cost, high reliability/availability and simplicity. This is the birth of Bitvault via EOT. Bitvault ultimately stores immutable objects with each new version being updated and identified with a 160-bit key. System stability is very important and must be immune to failure sequences. Parallel repair via indexing is one of the many strengths Bitvault has been able to demonstrate. BitVault is a back-end system that uses [u][b]Applications[/b][/u] to catalog object ID's. Using a catalog utility and indexing within an application prevented scalability bottlenecking under heavy loads. Fast forward 3 years to 2007 a very important decision was to [u][b]decentralise[/b][/u] BitVaults system. This in my opinion is one of the fundamental principles of cryptocurrency - [u][b]No one entity or person has any control of the data stored and only the authorised user can access this info[/b][/u]. Ultimate Security and thus personal safety (see above articles CIA hacks). BitVault using applications have been able to use provable communication and data storage with ease of retrieval with vital security measures. BitVault is not alone in researching solutions for security for the IoT, such as Venti and the like are making progress, however, BitVault is 'head and shoulders' above the few competitors and are already offering practical working solutions on the market with huge scalability that is cost effective. Well Done BitVault, well done EOT your secret is out and let the world embrace. author=Story777 link=topic=2091616.msg21462424#msg21462424 date=1504428317] I have had a response in Slack and it has satisfied my questions. Thank-you. For everyone information here it is: The currency was created with 200 Million EOT total supply on 7 July 2017 [ we showed it to the community a London Fintech week with the demonstration of the BitVault - fintechweek.com ] 100 Million was pre-mined and another 100 Million are currently being mined, 1 block every 90 seconds @ 100 coins per block. So the pre-mined coins were listed on waves as a token so that it can create a market for the coins while we are working to get listed on other exchanges. The 100 Million coins listed were distributed in several ways. Firstly, this was not an ICO because our business is already funded via private capital. We wanted to get the currency distributed a widely as possible. So most of the initial coins were given away to a number of interested parties. We distributed this to our whole development team, business partners, employees as well as to the waves and other communities. So we did not sell all these coins for the current price, most of it was given away for free to people that have an interest in our products and business. The price now is formed by whoever owns these coins. The tokens on the exchange is really a representation of the currency and as such has value because it can be interchanged, just like Bitcoin and Ethereum are on the waves exchange. This whole process is explained on page 4 of the waves whitepaper, I think they call it an asset-to-asset exchange which makes it possible to list any asset that exist on waves. Unfortunately waves only has gateways currently for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Euro and USD, so we have to develop our own gateway, which will be available on Nov 1. So to clarify 100,000,000 tokens costing $190M were not sold. It is a combination of airdrops, private sales and sales on the exchange. Some EOT coins are needed because: "A lot of EOT will be distributed through our devices. For example our encrypted routers are pre-loaded with EOT, so we need that stock and it will be distributed that way". And with the response to tokens on the Waves Exchange "This is how Bitcoin works on waves: - They created 21 Million BTC Tokens.. When you deposit Bitcoin into waves account, you receive an equal amount of tokens which you can either trade or even sent via the waves blockchain to another user.. Once you withdraw your tokens are exchanged for BTC and you receive it back into your BTC wallet.. Exactly the same for USD or EUR - You don't send Euro's to another client on waves if you transfer - you send a token that represents EUR -- This works exactly the w0083". These are the answers I was looking for and make a lot of sense now. This is indeed an exciting project. :) It's time to trade.... Now I have one question left.... Is there anyone using NiceHash to mine this coin?? I keep being disconnected because of the difficulty being too low. Can any one help? [quote author=Shews link=topic=2091616.msg22876983#msg22876983 date=1507755312] EOT (coin) is now tradable on the CryptoBridge Decentralised Exchange, you can sign up below. Please note this is for the EOT COIN ONLY, do not send tokens to this dex. This is a secure means to trade with the backend being on a blockchain. It is still in beta stage but has been working flawlessly so far. If you'd like more info I will post their website link is below. https://wallet.crypto-bridge.org/?r=388691 You can sign up with a local wallet mode, meaning you are the only one with access to your keys, this is most secure. There is also the option to sign up with and account if you require access to you funds on the go. More info: https://crypto-bridge.org/
Blowing the lid off the CryptoNote/Bytecoin scam (with the exception of Monero) - Reformatted for Reddit
Original post by rethink-your-strategy on Bitcointalk.org here This post has been reformatted to share on Reddit. What once was common knowledge, is now gone. You want a quality history lesson? Share this like wildfire. August 15, 2014, 08:15:37 AM
I'd like to start off by stating categorically that the cryptography presented by CryptoNote is completely, entirely solid. It has been vetted and looked over by fucking clever cryptographers/developers/wizards such as gmaxwell. Monero have had a group of independent mathematicians and cryptographers peer-reviewing the whitepaper (their annotations are here, and one of their reviews is here), and this same group of mathematicians and cryptographers is now reviewing the implementation of the cryptography in the Monero codebase. Many well known Bitcoin developers have already had a cursory look through the code to establish its validity. It is safe to say that, barring more exotic attacks that have to be mitigated over time as they are invented/discovered, and barring a CryptoNote implementation making rash decisions to implement something that reduces the anonymity set, the CryptoNote currencies are all cryptographically unlinkable and untraceable. Two other things I should mention. I curse a lot when I'm angry (and scams like this make me angry). Second, where used my short date format is day/month/year (smallest to biggest). If you find this information useful, a little donation would go a long way. Bitcoin address is 1rysLufu4qdVBRDyrf8ZjXy1nM19smTWd.
The Alleged CryptoNote/Bytecoin Story
CryptoNote is a new cryptocurrency protocol. It builds on some of the Bitcoin founding principles, but it adds to them. There are aspects of it that are truly well thought through and, in a sense, quite revolutionary. CryptoNote claim to have started working on their project years ago after Bitcoin's release, and I do not doubt the validity of this claim...clearly there's a lot of work and effort that went into this. The story as Bytecoin and CryptoNote claim it to be is as follows: They developed the code for the principles expressed in their whitepaper, and in April, 2012, they released Bytecoin. All of the copyright messages in Bytecoin's code are "copyright the CryptoNote Developers", so clearly they are one and the same as the Bytecoin developers. In December 2012, they released their CryptoNote v1 whitepaper. In September 2013, they released their CryptoNote v2 whitepaper. In November 2013, the first piece of the Bytecoin code was first pushed to Github by "amjuarez", with a "Copyright (c) 2013 amjuarez" copyright notice. This was changed to "Copyright (c) 2013 Antonio Juarez" on March 3rd, 2014. By this juncture only the crypto libraries had been pushed up to github. Then, on March 4th, 2014, "amjuarez" pushed the rest of the code up to github, with the README strangely referring to "cybernote", even though the code referred to "Cryptonote". The copyrights all pointed to "the Cryptonote developers", and the "Antonio Juarez" copyright and license file was removed. Within a few days, "DStrange" stumbled across the bytecoin.org website when trying to mine on the bte.minefor.co.in pool (a pool for the-other-Bytecoin, BTE, not the-new-Bytecoin, BCN), and the rest is history as we know it. By this time Bytecoin had had a little over 80% of its total emission mined.
Immediate Red Flags
The first thing that is a red flag in all of this is that nobody, and I mean no-fucking-body, is a known entity. "Antonio Juarez" is not a known entity, "DStrange" is not a known entity, none of the made up names on the Bytecoin website exist (they've since removed their "team" page, see below), none of the made up names on the CryptoNote website exist (Johannes Meier, Maurice Planck, Max Jameson, Brandon Hawking, Catherine Erwin, Albert Werner, Marec Plíškov). If they're pseudonyms, then say so. If they're real names, then who the fuck are they??? Cryptographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists are well known - they have published papers or at least have commented on articles of interest. Many of them have their own github repos and Twitter feeds, and are a presence in the cryptocurrency community. The other immediate red flag is that nobody, and I mean no-fucking-body, had heard of Bytecoin. Those that had heard of it thought it was the crummy SHA-256 Bitcoin clone that was a flop in the market. Bytecoin's claim that it had existed "on the deep web" for 2 years was not well received, because not a single vendor, user, miner, drug addict, drug seller, porn broker, fake ID card manufacturer, student who bought a fake ID card to get into bars, libertarian, libertard, cryptographer, Tor developer, Freenet developer, i2p developer, pedophile, or anyone else that is a known person - even just known on the Internet - had ever encountered "Bytecoin" on Tor. Ever. Nobody.
Before I start with some conjecture and educated guesswork, I'd like to focus on an indisputable fact that obliterates any trust in both Bytecoin's and CryptoNote's bullshit story. Note, again, that I do not doubt the efficacy of the mathematics and cryptography behind CryptoNote, nor do I think there are backdoors in the code. What I do know for a fact is that the people behind CryptoNote and Bytecoin have actively deceived the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community, and that makes them untrustworthy now and in the future. If you believe in the fundamentals in CryptoNote, then you need simply use a CryptoNote-derived cryptocurrency that is demonstrably independent of CryptoNote and Bytecoin's influence. Don't worry, I go into this a little later. So as discussed, there were these two whitepapers that I linked to earlier. Just in case they try remove them, here is the v1 whitepaper and the v2 whitepaper mirrored on Archive.org. This v1/v2 whitepaper thing has been discussed at length on the Bytecoin forum thread, and the PGP signature on the files has been confirmed as being valid. When you open the respective PDFs you'll notice the valid signatures in them: signature in the v1 whitepaper signature in the v2 whitepaper These are valid Adobe signatures, signed on 15/12/2012 and 17/10/2013 respectively. Here's where it gets interesting. When we inspect this file in Adobe Acrobat we get a little more information on the signature . Notice the bit that says "Signing time is from the clock on the signer's computer"? Now normally you would use a Timestamp Authority (TSA) to validate your system time. There are enough public, free, RFC 3161 compatible TSAs that this is not a difficult thing. CryptoNote chose not do this. But we have no reason to doubt the time on the signature, right guys? crickets . See these references from the v1 whitepaper footnotes? Those two also appear in the v2 whitepaperth. Neither of those two footnotes refer to anything in the main body of the v1 whitepaper's text, they're non-existent (in the v2 whitepaper they are used in text). The problem, though, is that the Bitcointalk post linked in the footnote is not from early 2012 (proof screenshot is authentic: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=196259.0) . May 5, 2013. The footnote is referencing a post that did not exist until then. And yet we are to believe that the whitepaper was signed on 12/12/2012! What sort of fucking fools do they take us for? A little bit of extra digging validates this further. The document properties for both the v1 whitepaper as well as the v2 whitepaper confirms they were made in TeX Live 2013, which did not exist on 12/12/2012. The XMP properties are also quite revealing XMP properties for the v1 whitepaper XMP properties for the v2 whitepaper According to that, the v1 whitepaper PDF was created on 10/04/2014, and the v2 whitepaper was created on 13/03/2014. And yet both of these documents were then modified in the past (when they were signed). Clearly the CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are so advanced they also have a time machine, right? Final confirmation that these creation dates are correct are revealed those XMP properties. The properties on both documents confirm that the PDF itself was generated from the LaTeX source using pdfTeX-1.40.14 (the pdf:Producer property). Now pdfTeX is a very old piece of software that isn't updated very often, so the minor version (the .14 part) is important. . pdfTeX 1.40.14 pushed to source repo on Feb 14, 2014 . This version of pdfTeX was only pushed to the pdfTeX source repository on February 14, 2014, although it was included in a very early version of TeX Live 2013 (version 2013.20130523-1) that was released on May 23, 2013. The earliest mentions on the Internet of this version of pdfTeX are in two Stack Exchange comments that confirm its general availability at the end of May 2013 (here and here). The conclusion we draw from this is that the CryptoNote developers, as clever as they were, intentionally deceived everyone into believing that the CryptoNote whitepapers were signed in 2012 and 2013, when the reality is that the v2 whitepaper was created in March, 2014, and the v1 whitepaper haphazardly created a month later by stripping bits out of the v2 whitepaper (accidentally leaving dead footnotes in). Why would they create this fake v2 whitepaper in the first place? Why not just create a v1 whitepaper, or not even version it at all? The answer is simple: they wanted to lend credence and validity to the Bytecoin "2 years on the darkweb" claim so that everyone involved in CryptoNote and Bytecoin could profit from the 2 year fake mine of 82% of Bytecoin. What they didn't expect is the market to say "no thank you" to their premine scam.
And Now for Some Conjecture
As I mentioned earlier, the Bytecoin "team" page disappeared. I know it exists, because "AtomicDoge" referred to it as saying that one of the Bytecoin developers is a professor at Princeton. I called them out on it, and within a week the page had disappeared. Fucking cowards. That was the event that triggered my desire to dig deeper and uncover the fuckery. As I discovered more and more oddities, fake accounts, trolling, and outright falsehoods, I wondered how deep the rabbit hole went. My starting point was DStrange. This is the account on Bitcointalk that "discovered" Bytecoin accidentally a mere 6 days after the first working iteration of the code was pushed to Github, purely by chance when mining a nearly dead currency on a tiny and virtually unheard of mining pool. He has subsequently appointed himself the representative of Bytecoin, or something similar. The whole thing is so badly scripted it's worse than a Spanish soap opera...I can't tell who Mr. Gonzales, the chief surgeon, is going to fuck next. At the same time as DStrange made his "fuck me accidental discovery", another Bitcointalk account flared up to also "accidentally discover this weird thing that has randomly been discovered": Rias. What's interesting about both the "Rias" and "DStrange" accounts are their late 2013 creation date (October 31, 2013, and December 23, 2013, respectively), and yet they lay dormant until suddenly, out of the blue, on January 20th/21st they started posting. If you look at their early posts side by side you can even see the clustering: Rias, DStrange. At any rate, the DStrange account "discovering" Bytecoin is beyond hilarious, especially with the Rias account chiming in to make the discovery seem natural. Knowing what we unmistakably do about the fake CryptoNote PDF dates lets us see this in a whole new light. Of course, as has been pointed out before, the Bytecoin website did not exist in its "discovered" form until sometime between November 13, 2013 (when it was last captured as this random picture of a college girl) and February 25, 2014 (when it suddenly had the website on it as "discovered"). This can be confirmed by looking at the captures on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://bytecoin.org The CryptoNote website, too, did not exist in its current form until after October 20, 2013, at which time it was still the home of an encrypted message project by Alain Meier, a founding member of the Stanford Bitcoin Group and co-founder of BlockScore. This, too, can be confirmed on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://cryptonote.org ~It's hard to ascertain whether Alain had anything to do with CryptoNote or Bytecoin. It's certainly conceivable that the whitepaper was put together by him and other members of the Stanford Bitcoin Group, and the timeline fits, given that the group only formed around March 2013. More info on the people in the group can be found on their site, and determining if they played a role is something you can do in your own time.~ Update: Alain Meier posted in this thread, and followed it up with a Tweet, confirming that he has nothing to do with CryptoNote and all the related...stuff.
The Bytecoin guys revel in creating and using sockpuppet accounts. Remember that conversation where "Rias" asked who would put v1 on a whitepaper with no v2 out, and AlexGR said "a forward looking individual"? The conversation took place on May 30, and was repeated verbatim by shill accounts on Reddit on August 4 (also, screenshot in case they take it down). Those two obvious sockpuppet/shill accounts also take delight in bashing Monero in the Monero sub-reddit (here are snippets from WhiteDynomite and cheri0). Literally the only thing these sockpuppets do, day in and day out, is make the Bytecoin sub-reddit look like it's trafficked, and spew angry bullshit all over the Monero sub-reddit. Fucking batshit insane - who the fuck has time for that? Clearly they're pissy that nobody has fallen for their scam. Oh, and did I mention that all of these sockpuppets have a late January/early February creation date? Because that's not fucking obvious at all. And let's not forget that most recently the sockpuppets claimed that multi-sig is "a new revolutionary technology, it was discovered a short time ago and Bytecoin already implemented it". What the actual fuck. If you think that's bad, you're missing out on the best part of all: the Bytecoin shills claim that Bytecoin is actually Satoshi Nakamoto's work. I'm not fucking kidding you. For your viewing pleasure...I present to you...the Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus: . https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=512747.msg8354977#msg8354977 . Seriously. Not only is this insulting as fuck to Satoshi Nakamoto, but it's insulting as fuck to our intelligence. And yet the fun doesn't stop there, folks! I present to you...the centerpiece of this Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus exhibit... . Of course! How could we have missed it! The clues were there all along! The CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are actually aliens! Fuck me on a pogostick, this is the sort of stuff that results in people getting committed to the loony bin. One last thing: without doing too much language analysis (which is mostly supposition and bullshit), it's easy to see common grammar and spelling fuck ups. My personal favorite is the "Is it true?" question. You can see it in the Bytecoin thread asking if it's Satoshi's second project, in the Monero thread asking if the Monero devs use a botnet to fake demand, and in the Dashcoin thread confirming the donation address (for a coin whose only claim is that they copy Bytecoin perfectly, what the fuck do they need donations for??).
Layer After Layer
All Tied Up in a Bow
I want to cement the relationship between the major CryptoNote shitcoins. I know that my previous section had a lot of conjecture in it, and there's been some insinuation that I'm throwing everyone under the bus because I'm raging against the machine. That's not my style. I'm more of a Katy Perry fan..."you're going to hear me roar". There were some extra links I uncovered during my research, and I lacked the time to add it to this post. Thankfully a little bit of sleep and a can of Monster later have given me the a chance to add this. Let's start with an analysis of the DNS records of the CN coins. If we look at the whois and DNS records for bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com, we find three common traits, from not-entirely-damming to oh-shiiiiiiit:
There's a lot of commonality with the registrar (NameCheap for almost all of them), the DNS service (HurricaneElectric's Free DNS or NameCheap's DNS), and with the webhost (LibertyVPS, QHosteSecureFastServer.com, etc.)
All of the CN domains use WhoisGuard or similar private registration services.
Every single domain, without exception, uses Zoho for email. The only outlier is bitmonero.org that uses Namecheap's free email forwarding, but it's safe to disregard this as the emails probably just forward to the CryptoNote developers' email.
The instinct may be to disregard this as a fucking convenient coincidence. But it isn't: Zoho used to be a distant second go Google Apps, but has since fallen hopelessly behind. Everyone uses Google Apps or they just use mail forwarding or whatever. With the rest of the points as well, as far-fetched as the link may seem, it's the combination that is unusual and a dead giveaway of the common thread. Just to demonstrate that I'm not "blowing shit out of proportion" I went and checked the records for a handful of coins launched over the past few months to see what they use. darkcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: Amazon AWS, open registration through NameCheap monero.cc: mail: mail.monero.cc, hosting: behind CloudFlare, open registration through Gandi xc-official.com: mail: Google Apps, hosting: MODX Cloud, hidden registration (DomainsByProxy) through GoDaddy blackcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: behind BlackLotus, open registration through NameCheap bitcoindark.org: mail: no MX records, hosting: Google User Content, open registration through Wix viacoin.org: mail: mx.viacoin.org, hosting: behind CloudFlare, closed registration (ContactPrivacy) through Hostnuke.com neutrinocoin.org: mail: HostGator, hosting: HostGator, open registration through HostGator There's no common thread between them. Everyone uses different service providers and different platforms. And none of them use Zoho. My next check was to inspect the web page source code for these sites to find a further link. If you take a look at the main CSS file linked in the source code for monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, bitmonero.org, and bytecoiner.org, we find a CSS reset snippet at the top. It has a comment at the top that says "/* CSS Reset /", and then where it resets/sets the height it has the comment "/ always display scrollbars */". Now, near as I can find, this is a CSS snipped first published by Jake Rocheleau in an article on WebDesignLedger on October 24, 2012 (although confusingly Google seems to think it appeared on plumi.de cnippetz first, but checking archive.org shows that it was only added to that site at the beginning of 2013). It isn't a very popular CSS reset snippet, it got dumped in a couple of gists on Github, and translated and re-published in an article on a Russian website in November, 2012 (let's not go full-blown conspiritard and assume this links "cryptozoidberg" back to this, he's culpable enough on his own). It's unusual to the point of being fucking impossible for one site to be using this, let alone a whole string of supposedly unrelated sites. Over the past few years the most popular CSS reset scripts have been Eric Meyer's "Reset CSS", HTML5 Doctor CSS Reset, Yahoo! (YUI 3) Reset CSS, Universal Selector ‘’ Reset, and Normalize.css, none of which contain the "/ CSS Reset /" or "/ always display scrollbars */" comments. You've got to ask yourself a simple question: at what point does the combination of all of these fucking coincidental, completely unusual elements stop being coincidence and start becoming evidence of a real, tenable link? Is it possible that bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com just happen to use similar registrars/DNS providers/web hosts and exactly the fucking same wildly unpopular email provider? And is it also possible that monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, and bytecoin.org just happen to use the same completely unknown, incredibly obscure CSS reset snippet? It's not a conspiracy, it's not a coincidence, it's just another piece of evidence that all of these were spewed out by the same fucking people.
The Conclusion of the Matter
Don't take the last section as any sort of push for Monero. I think it's got potential (certainly much more than the other retarded "anonymous" coins that "developers" are popping out like street children from a cheap ho), and I hold a bit of XMR for shits and giggles, so take that tacit endorsement with a pinch of fucking salt. The point is this: Bytecoin's 82% premine was definitely the result of a faked blockchain. CryptoNote's whitepaper dates were purposely falsified to back up this bullshit claim. Both Bytecoin and CryptoNote have perpetuated this scam by making up fake website data and all sorts. They further perpetuate it using shill accounts, most notably "DStrange" and "Rias" among others. They launched a series of cryptocurrencies that should be avoided at all cost: Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, and Monetaverde. They are likely behind duckNote and Boolberry, but fuck it, it's on your head if you want to deal with scam artists and botnet creators. They developed amazing technology, and had a pretty decent implementation. They fucked themselves over by being fucking greedy, being utterly retarded, being batshit insane, and trying to create legitimacy where there was none. They lost the minute the community took Monero away from them, and no amount of damage control will save them from their own stupidity. I expect there to be a fuck-ton of shills posting in this thread (and possibly a few genuine supporters who don't know any better). If you want to discuss or clarify something, cool, let's do that. If you want to have a protracted debate about my conjecture, then fuck off, it's called conjecture for a reason you ignoramus. I don't really give a flying fuck if I got it right or wrong, you're old and ugly enough to make up your own mind. tl;dr - CryptoNote developers faked dates in whitepapers. Bytecoin faked dates in fake blockchain to facilitate an 82% premine, and CryptoNote backed them up. Bytecoin, Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, Monetaverde, Dashcoin are all from the same people and should be avoided like the fucking black plague. duckNote and Boolberry are probably from them as well, or are at least just fucking dodgy, and who the fuck cares anyway. Monero would have been fucking dodgy, but the community saved it. Make your own mind up about shit and demand that known people are involved and that there is fucking transparency. End transmission. Just a reminder that if you found this information useful, a little donation would go a long way. Bitcoin address is 1rysLufu4qdVBRDyrf8ZjXy1nM19smTWd.
Protonmail Disabled My Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange Email Account | €500 Worth of Bitcoin Lost
On 10th November I have created a new account on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. Binance accounts need to be associated with an email account and I created a free ProtonMail account for this purpose. The reason for choosing ProtonMail over say Gmail or Yahoo is due to the fact that Protonmail is more secure. Basically, I thought that my Binance account would be safer if it was associated with a ProtonMail email account as was any Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency deposited in the same Binance account. My internet connection does not use a fixed IP address and in order to login into this new Binance account, I need to open my new ProtonMail email account, open an email that is sent from Binance and click on a confirmation link in the email to confirm that the IP address indicated in the email is mine. Without clicking the confirmation link, I cannot access the Binance account. Email confirmation is also required for withdrawing funds from Binance, as is probably the case with any other major cryptocurrency exchange. In other words, if one loses access to the email account that is associated with a cryptocurrency exchange account, that person can no longer withdraw any cryptocurrencies from the account. This practically means that both the account and any Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies in the account will become useless. Anyway, to continue with my story, on 18th November I tried to log in into my new Binance account. I entered my email/username and password, inputted the 2FA code from Google Authenticator and I got the usual pop-up message from Binance stating that I need to confirm my IP address by clicking the confirmation link in an email sent from Binance. So I opened the ProtonMail site and I entered my email address, password and 2FA code. To my surprise, I was unable to log in successfully as I got a message stating that my ProtonMail account has been disabled for abuse or fraud. I immediately sent an email to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) as indicated in the message and asked for my account to be unblocked. The next day, I received the following reply from ProtonMail: “The account was automatically disabled by our anti-spam system due to a suspicious activity. The account will not be enabled.” I wrote to ProtonMail again and explained to support that I did not use the email account for any illicit purposes. I also explained to the ProtonMail staff that I need to access the email account because it is tied to a Binance account. However, the next day ProtonMail's support replied in the following manner: “Your account cannot be enabled since we believe that it is for abuse.” I send another email to the ProtonMail abuse team and explained to them that without access to the ProtonMail account I will lose access to the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies worth €500 that are stored in the Binance account that is associated to the disabled email account. I also asked the ProtonMail staff if they could escalate the ticket to management or if they will be willing to help me if I become a paid ProtonMail customer. I received no reply to my email so the next day I sent another email to the abuse team and pleaded for help. I told ProtonMail’s support that I do not even need to send emails from the deactivated account. I explained to support that the only reason why I need to access the email account is to be able to read emails from Binance and click on any confirmation links. ProtonMail’s next reply was the following: “Our team has examined your account once again and it will not be enabled. You will not be able to access your messages anymore or reuse the account.” I really cannot understand why ProtonMail’s staff have treated me in this manner. My disabled account was just a few days old when it was deactivated. I only had a few, maybe six or seven emails, in the inbox folder with three emails coming from ProtonMail and the rest coming from Binance. The thing is that, as far as I know, I did not even send a single email before the account was disabled. How did ProtonMail 's staff come to the conclusion that I wanted to use the email account for abuse? I am not stupid so if I wanted to use an email account to spam somebody, I surely would not use an email account that is tied to a cryptocurrency exchange account! Not knowing what to do, I did a Google search to see if other people have been burnt by ProtonMail’s support after getting their accounts disabled. Not surprisingly, it seems that there are many other ProtonMail users who had their accounts disabled because of some “faulty” anti-spam filter. Apparently many users got their accounts suspended because they were using a VPN service while using their ProtonMail account. I too have a subscription to a VPN service and I would not exclude that ProtonMail’s spam filter flagged my account as suspicious due to the fact I was using the VPN service at the time. While I can understand that no anti-spam filter is perfect, the real problem is that ProtonMail does not seem to care about its existing customers and potential future customers. I doubt that ProtonMail’s staff have done any effort to examine my mailbox and those of other disabled accounts. Anyway, it is unfortunate that I had to learn the hard way the mistake I made in thinking that I would be better off in using ProtonMail to secure my Binance exchange account instead of Google, Yahoo or some other email service provider. While ProtonMail might be more secure, I am not aware that Google and Yahoo deactivate accounts for accessing the email accounts over a VPN network or for no other valid reason. What is the use of using a more secure email service if there is a high risk of getting email accounts disabled without doing anything wrong? Although I will probably never get hold of my €500 worth of Bitcoin again, I hope that at least anyone thinking of using ProtonMail for cryptocurrency exchange accounts, work related accounts, bank related correspondence or even for personal use will find my story useful and will consider all pros and cons before taking a decision. The fact that my ProtonMail account was disabled is kind of having my €500 worth of Bitcoin being held hostage by ProtonMail. ProtonMail does not have access to the cryptocurrencies in my Binance account but neither do I at this point. It is like I had two different keys to unlock the repository where the cryptocurrencies are stored and ProtonMail confiscated one of the keys. There is no need to say that I have worked hard for those €500, but what if I had €5,000 or even €50,000 worth of cryptocurrencies in that Binance account? How many cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchange accounts will be lost forever because of ProtonMail’s actions? ProtonMail’s “faulty” anti-spam filter is probably doing the company more harm than good. However, it is only ProtonMail’s fault for not doing anything about the issue, playing the bullies game, pretending to examine disabled accounts while providing no real evidence of abuse and being insensitive to the fact that disabled accounts can lead to loss of money, loss of business or loss of personal data. UPDATE on 26th November: After providing proof that I am not a spammer, ProtonMail's abuse team contacted me this morning to inform me that my account has been enabled. I can confirm that the email account is working fine again. Thank you ProtonMail for your understanding.
The bitcoin mining difficulty jumped 9.89% on Monday, pushing the total rate to above 17 trillion for the first time. The difficulty rate, which benchmarks how difficult it is to mine a block and is adjusted approximately every two weeks, hit 17.34 trillion after its latest adjustment. Bitcoin mining is far removed from the average Bitcoin owner these days, but that doesn’t change how important it is. It’s the process that helps the cryptocurrency function as intended and what continues to introduce new Bitcoins to digital wallets all over the world. Bitcoin's hash rate reached record highs this week, amid rising prices and anticipation of the miner reward halving later this year. Bitcoin Mining Power Hits Fresh All-Time High Home Mining facility operator Enegix told CoinDesk Friday it will be ready to open its new 180 megawatt (MW) data center to mining pools at the start of September. Based in Ekibastuz, near the Russian border, the facility can host up to 50,000 mining rigs, according to director Dmitriy Ivanov. Bitcoin’s Mining Difficulty Sees Largest Percentage Drop in 9 Years CoinDesk via Yahoo Finance · 3 days ago. Bitcoin’s mining difficulty just recorded its largest percentage decrease since the advent of ASIC ...
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