Bitcoin. Still laughing?

mrees999
By mrees999 on Sat, Sep 16, 2017 - 2:32am

Bitcoin.    Still laughing?

25 Comments

davefairtex's picture
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laughing?

Do you think somebody was laughing, Mark?

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Give us some commentary Mrees!!!

Would love to hear your up-to-the minute views, re:  China crackdown... ICO fervor cooling (or not?), etc.  Thanks, Jim

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Laughing

Sometimes I 'surf around' YouTube to get a sense of the current sentiment of bitcoin and crypto currencies.  I'm actually surprised that in some circles the sentiment is still stuck in 2013. There are some people like Pete Schifty, who I think of specifically when recalling the quote by Upton Sinclair:

 "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

I suspect many PP members still think of bitcoin as a Tulip bulb - but they rarely wander out of their personal bubbles to see other paradigms including cryptocurrencies. They are the late-late-late adopters. 

 

Whenever we see a big price drop - they are quick to point out that they knew the bubble was about to pop and they were right all along. And laugh.

And then it corrects and they remain silent. Do they grumble? Are they still laughing?

 

 

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Follow my on twitter

I can't fit much into 140 characters - but you can use it to find my posts on Medium.

 

Or follow me on Facebook \ Blockchain Lead Facebook page.  Or my up-and-coming 'Watch My Wallets" Facebook page.

 

https://medium.com/@mreespublic/why-bitcoin-is-not-fiat-currency-c3d1996a9639

 

 

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Laughing

Having been involved with cryptos for just about 7 years now I can say I always laugh. When it goes up I laugh and when it goes down I laugh. When it goes up my investment increases and when it goes down there is another buying opportunity.

As fo China a few years ago the government "cracked" down on cryptos. then they relaxed. The sheer numbers of Chinese had a lot to do with driving the market. Chinese miners accounted for the majority of coins mined. In the last couple of years there have been other players in the game. Japan and S. Korea especially. So the Chinese skakeup was a blow but for people on a site devoted to resiliency I doubt anyone here could find a more resilient asset.

The rumors are that the government is wanting to license everyone involved in mining and exchanges. Their economy is very tightly controlled especially in terms of currency. Many Chinese were moving currency out of the country through cryptos. The government is trying to clamp down on it,

In a short time I believe the government will have put controls in place and China will be back on board. The chines have invested a lot and I do not think the miners , exchanges and those heavily invested in cryptos are just going away. Time will tell but as always BTC the resilient keeps on truckin.

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Some commentary

I just posted this up on Medium today. Addresses a bit of some current news (Jamie Dimon and the Chinese) put into perspective.

Some magazine contacted me about republishing it - thinking about it.

 

 

https://medium.com/@mreespublic/why-bitcoin-is-not-fiat-currency-c3d1996...

 

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The good, the bad, the ugly

Mrees,

I know many here are eager to hear your thoughts on recent  developments in the BTC/ crypto universe.  I'm particularly interested in hearing your take on Jamie Dimon's comments and how they're being interpreted in the deeper network, the China lockdown, and especially new reports that central banks are considering the pluses and minuses of issuing their own crypto.  

Also hoping Chris et al will include you and/ or your input when preparing the upcoming crypto webinar alluded to in the Q and A of the prior webinar. 

The *resiliency* of this newest asset class is increasingly being tested. Of course anything could still happen, hero or zero, but IMHO it's starting to resemble the growing pains, angst and uncertainties of adolescence. I'm becoming more convinced each day that I might actually see BTC reach adulthood. 

 

 

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bubble popping

Ah I see.

Well I like bitcoin because it seems to respond to my code better than the more standard instruments.  I think there aren't as many artificial players in there.  I mean who can know for sure, but I like to go by evidence, and that's what my evidence is showing.  It reminds me of how the DJIA used to perform back in the 50s.

Also, here's a simple goodie for free.  If you were to just trade the 9 MA crossings, you would have done fairly well with ETH.  Here's an example.

With this trading mechanism, it looks like ETH needs a close above 292 to signal a buy.  My code has already signaled a buy with ETH - it seems to work better than the 9 MA, but in return, there are a lot more headfakes you have to endure.

 

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Good Commentary

Hi Jim,

 

I've posted a link on here several times in reply to this request but the moderator must not allow it.  You can find it on Medium.  Just do a Google search on my name and' Medium" and you'll find it.

Comments welcome. ;-)

 

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On posting links.
mrees999 wrote:

Hi Jim,

I've posted a link on here several times in reply to this request but the moderator must not allow it.  You can find it on Medium.  Just do a Google search on my name and' Medium" and you'll find it.

Comments welcome. ;-)

We have a lot of spam from various spots in the world where the spammers drop links.  Our Anti-Spam software will automatically place some, but not all, comments that have links into an approval queue.

If you're trying to post a link and it doesn't work, try either embedding it in some text using the little "earth with chain" icon in the comment-tools, or reaching out to Adam or myself to 'approve' the comment.

I usually hand-remove spam 2x per day (because plenty still sneaks through) and check the approval queue 1x per day.  I know that can be frustrating to leave a comment and then have it randomly show up much later in the day.  Sorry....but the Anti-Spam s/w saves me/us a lot of time.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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Mark: PP Crypto Webinar?

Mark -

I've sent you a few emails but haven't heard back. 

Reaching out to gauge your level of interest in participating in an upcoming PP webinar on cryptocurrencies. I think a lot of folks here would appreciate learning from you live.

If interested, please give me a shout at [email protected]

tx

A

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John McAfee: Cryptos have no security

CAF feels that cryptos are not going to work in the long term for several reasons.  She posts an article by James Quaid (who writes for her Solari Report) and a lecture by security expert John McAfee arguing that there is no effective security from hackers. Even hardware wallets have vulnerabilities and will be hacked, soon.

From her website:

 

By: James Quaid

Today, I’m going to post the most concise Yin / Yang of Cryptos that I can offer at this time. I would also like to thank Jon McAfee for his validation of most of my previous Crypto risk assessments; as well as his expert and detailed analysis..

John McAfee: “Pandora’s Box has Been Opened” (Crypto currency security)

 

YouTube | 23 August 2017
“There is no Security”…

The Yin:

The Solari Team had a detailed discussion on the above video. We dissected it into ten main points with some related sub points:

  1. Spy ware key loggers and screen capture infections are rampant.
  2. These infections operate behind the Maginot Line of encryption..
  3. Cryptos have been a God send to hackers. Note, the ever expanding arena of Crypto thefts.
  4. The Mirai spyware bots have been rewritten to mine Cryptos on the IOT, using other peoples devices / kW..
    • The infection rate is ~ 50k devices a day..
    • Not illegal at this time.
    • The shear number of infected devices could alter Crypto markets.
  5. Crypto thieves launder ill gotten gains by converting them to other Crypto currencies, multiple times. Yielding an untraceable transaction trail.
  6. McAfee predicts the day when everyones’ Crypto Wallets are emptied en mass.
  7. McAfee recommends dedicated hardware wallets and advanced dedicated packet sniffers to detect all intrusions ASAP.
  8. “There is no security whatsoever.” Hence, proof digital devices have no integrity.
  9. He omitted the Snowden revelation of Government specified hardware and software back doors.
  10. And finally, one of our Solari Team Members who in a past life, had worked for some large MIC corporations asserted that Hardware Wallets have vulnerabilities too..

Implications:

The most chilling of the above points #3, implies that Hacking has seen at a minimum an order of magnitude increase in ill-gotten gains. Where not only are their thefts much more profitable. But, they can now mine Cryptos on other peoples machines. This puts the legitimate Mining Community at a distinct disadvantage. Hackers can now off load their mining costs to someone else. Also note, the alarming infection rate of 50k devices a day. Eventually, that will become an amazing amount of free computing power. Now these questions must be asked:

  • How large has the Hacker Community grown due to Crypto thefts?
  • Will the stealth mining of Cryptos via the Mirai Bot infection sway Crypto and or other markets?

Also note, that if you have put anything of value on your “Smart” phone, especially Cryptos. I desperately suggest you goto 04:13 of the above video and get some religion about mobile phone security..

Omissions:

We know from the Snowden revelations. That our beloved FedGov.Inc (note domain suffix) has their own set of Cyber hardware and software “back doors”. My educated guess is that the Dark Side Snowdens know where these back doors are and are pillaging unchecked.

See point #10 in the above list. During our Solari Team Crypto discussion, our resident EE Hardware/Software expert made the supposition that cell towers can pick up keystrokes, perform screen captures and or pick up signals emanating from your digital device’s main system board. I’m repeating myself. But, my suspicions are your cell phone has these same capabilities.

All that being said, John McAfee is still mining Cryptos!! Therefore, there are risk and rewards to be had..

The Yang:

If you have the aptitude, understand the risks and the resources to spare then Cryptos hold the potential for speculative gains. However, you must follow the rules that apply to any highly speculative investment and not put money at risk that you can not afford to lose. You also must fully immerse yourself into the subject matter. For a good foundation, see links below. These were all chosen by Catherine during her ongoing Crypto investigation:

Conclusion:

All of that being said, the most successful Crypto Miner I know, has planned his exit strategy. Before, government regulation takes the profit out of mining Cryptos.

davefairtex's picture
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hacking

Yeah.  I believe I mentioned this before.  :)

The jackpot is huge.  The number of surfaces to be attacked are large.  If you wanted to hack a hardware wallet, the best way to do that would be to work for the hardware wallet company as a software engineer, and put in a back door.

How many billions of dollars would that net you?  I have no idea.  Number is probably pretty large.

In the past, hackers have never been able to make off with digital cash.  It has always been credit card numbers or personal information which then had to be sold.  With crypto, its instant liquidity.

I think its just a matter of time before some really interesting hack occurs.  We just haven't seen it yet.

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Devious Mind

You have a devious mind, DaveF.  And I like it.  Realistic and cognizant of the possibilities. 

Somewhat similar to Bill Black's quote that "The best way to rob a bank is to own it."

Or takes a thief to catch a thief.

Reducing exposure to high tech processes (that are way over my head) seems like the thing to do.

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security

Yes I just think of how I'd suborn the system - the cheapest way possible.  Usually that involves the human element.  If we've been paying attention, we would have learned from the best: the NSA has shown us all - don't brute-force attack the crypto, instead, attack key generation, or suborn the end points.  Attack the algorithm design, or throw a bug into the implementation.  Or (and this was the most clever thing, ever) simply intercept the hardware mid-shipment and toss in your own modifications.

So with crypto-currency, never do a frontal attack - never try that 51% thing.  That's for idiots - that's charging the machine gun across the open field.  Instead, sneak through the back door.  Cheat.  Cheat wildly.  Do things that the inventors of crypto would say, "hey, that's not fair, you can't do that."  That's what you do.  A whole lot of that.

Best way to rob a bank is definitely to own one.

 

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Hacking the medium or hacking the value?

Despite the scary implications Mr. Mcafee paints in this presentation, the prime message I walk away with is: where is the value stored? 

Many years ago, as a member of a small credit union, a certain individual (who shall remain nameless) noticed the bank had deposited $2253.00 in his savings account by mistake. At the time, this individual was buying and reselling used cars and was in the process of making a deal on one of the vehicles of the third party, unbeknownst to the prospective buyer. Having astutely noticed this error, he took advantage of the mistake, withdrawing the money, buying and selling the vehicle on the same day at a profit. He quickly made his way to the credit union and redeposited the $2253.00 in his savings account. He never heard a thing from the credit union and saw the transaction only later on his monthly statement. 

The moral of the story: there are no morals when it comes opportunity. The larger question becomes: how is value protected/how is it stored? If it is in just bits and bytes on a server somewhere, it's fair game IMHO. I guess that's why I like land; either you take care of it or you lose its productive value. And with the world population increasing, its speculative value can only increase. In the meantime, I'm disconnecting my new printer!

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Can't anybody google around here?

Software for the hardware wallet makers is open source. - Rouge factory dude or software dude code gets spotted quickly by the most critical paranoid community on earth. White hat\  black hat hackers roam these valleys 24x7. Think you’re going to get one past these guys?  They are the ones the break the stories on how NSA is hacking you.  Good grief.

See: https://doc.satoshilabs.com/trezor-faq/threats.html

 

A quick google search is all it took to find out what they are doing to protect the software – and put out the hashed codes of the official verified versions. Anybody can recheck it on their own to verify it’s still valid – so you think some spook is going swap something mid shipment?  Obviously could do a goggle search on how to run a hash generator. Free tools to do this are available for every operating system

Try it yourself.  Type an anything you want and have it hashed to its own unique fingerprint.  Then change anything and rehash it. Not ever close to the same fingerprint.  Anybody changes a comma in the software code and it is invalid.  Hash collisions are impossible with the best encryption techniques so far. (We shall see once \ if quantum computers come around).

This website even allows you to drag and drop files to be compared so you can take the hardware wallet software updates and compare them to the hash listed on their website and several forums that are all informed by several entities at once.  Take a few minutes to learn about encryption \ hashing and verifying.

http://onlinemd5.com/

MacAfee talks about phone wallets not hardware wallets. There are no keystrokes to log, screen to monitor, and no way for a hacker to reach his hand up through the internet to click the confirm button on your hardware device sitting in your hand with a screen on the device itself not replicated on the monitor. The private keys never leave the silicon. The device can be use on a completely malware infested pc with ease.

 

Google is your friend.

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Who does 'brew your own' encyrption?

Back doors in encryption?  Not for anybody paying attention. In the world of cryptography, if it hasn't existed for a decade and been peer-reviewed and attempted to be cracked with huge bug bounties attached - it doesn't exist. 

Thinking somebody is going to go in and back door a change to a decade old standard that has been battle tested by the world's best is naive at best.

 

That said, the older versions that were only 56 bit and retired a decade ago are finally being cracked. But each number is an exponential increase. so a 57-bit number will take twice as long as the 56-bit number which is what the US government wanted to limit all the internet traffic to in the 90s and considered anything higher to be 'weapons grade munitions' and outlawed the export. If they had their way, any kind of modern commerce or online banking would be impossible today. Now 256 bit is common. This isn't just five times as strong, it is 10^200 times stronger. For crypto keys- the possibilities of combinations are about the same as all the atoms in the measurable universe.

Guessing one by random would be a miracle just to land in the same galaxy. Let alone star system \ planet \ grain of sand \ molecule. 

Here's a fun little short clip on the power of big numbers involved in bitcoin. Hopefully it put's Dave's silliness in context. 

 

 

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Hackers

"Hackers you can't fool me hiding behind that tree"

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yes

The answer is yes.  Someone will get something past "the most paranoid people on earth" because the prize is just that large.  The prize has grown to billions of dollars by now.  There are too many attack surfaces.

Let's just take the hardware wallet example.  That's just one surface, but we can explore that one for now.

How would I inject code into a hardware wallet?

Easiest way would be to modify the source code as a developer.  But lets say they have a team of paranoid people that reviews the open source wallet code, so the easy way is out.

A slightly harder way (but only slightly harder - remember, the prize is billions of dollars, so a few man-months of dev time followed by a few months of undercover work ends up with an absurdly high ROI) would be to hack the build machine for the wallet company.  Again, I'm proposing that I am (or I somehow own) the employee that runs the build machine - so I have access to do this.  What's a build machine?  Its the server at the wallet company that turns wallet software (that "open source code reviewed by all those paranoid people") into machine code that is then installed on the wallet hardware.  I'd hack that build server, so it injects my selected modifications into each new version of the hardware wallet machine code.  Its a version of Ken Thompson's login hack from antiquity (https://www.ece.cmu.edu/%7Eganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf).  The concept is "trusting trust."  Per Ken Thompson:

The moral is obvious. You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.) No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code. In demonstrating the possibility of this kind of attack, I picked on the C compiler. I could have picked on any program-handling program such as an assembler, a loader, or even hardware microcode. As the level of program gets lower, these bugs will be harder and harder to detect. A well-installed microcode bug will be almost impossible to detect.

You can review the source code to your heart's content.  His process adds a bit of "extra" code (i.e. the backdoor) during the process of converting the "paranoid-people-reviewed source code" into the compiled object that is then installed on the hardware wallet.

Is this difficult to pull off?  No. Most engineers could execute this, if they were given specific instructions on what to modify and where.  Someone who could do the technical bits and do the undercover work would be a whole lot more rare.

But once again, the prize is billions of dollars.  How many man-months of dev time would you put in if you became a billionaire at the end?  Assuming you were criminally sociopathic, of course.  Or you just wanted to become a billionaire and didn't mind how you got there.

You tell me that all the employees supervising the build processes at all the companies are incorruptible?  That's ok, I can come up with variations on the theme of how to subvert the build process.   All it does is just get a bit more expensive.

This is my complaint about self-driving cars too.  I love the concept, but their software systems can be subverted upstream in a similar manner.  The saving grace for the cars is that only a terrorist would want to attack them in this way, and its probably more difficult for the bad guys to get a capable engineer into the right place.

I'm sure the bitcoin people will assert that bitcoin is unhackable.  But the truth is, unless you review all the source yourself, and you then compile everything yourself, using compilers that you have reviewed yourself (which have themselves all been compiled by compilers whose code you have reviewed yourself), and you have built your own hardware from chips that you, yourself manufacture and then assemble, there's always a way to corrupt the process.  The only limiting factor is, does anyone care enough to put in the time & energy to do it - what are the possible rewards, and what are the chances (and consequences) for being caught.

For the tinfoil-hat folks who like to ponder if the neocons send out operatives to shout down commentators at websites, I invite you to view the posts of the bitcoin proponents through that same lens.  What happens when anyone suggests that bitcoin might possibly be hackable?  It is my observation that people with a strong interest in the outcome tend to behave in a similar manner.

Ok.  Now let the name-calling begin!

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McAfee on blockchain security

McAfee says, at 11:16, that the blockchain is extremely secure:

He then goes on at 23:01 to talk about hardware wallets, like the Trezor, as the only way to securely store cryptos since there is no way a hacker can access the private keys. 

Another level of security is to enable the Trezor's passphrase.  It's the user defined 25th seed and it is not stored on the Trezor.  So if the bad guys steal it and has access to an electron microscope, they can get the initial 24 seeds but not the 25th:

https://blog.trezor.io/hide-your-trezor-wallets-with-multiple-passphrase...

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hardware security

skipr-

I agree that hardware storage is the only way to go.  As of right now, they are almost certainly 100% secure.

The theory behind all of this is - no general purpose computing device will ever be secure.  (i.e. anything running windows, osx, linux, and that even includes some printers & routers).   My issue is that the "secure" hardware devices are constructed using a development & build process that involves using general purpose computing devices, which ... we have already acknowledged can never be secure.  Trying to construct a secure product using insecure tools probably works fine in the near term.

The long term?

We aren't there yet.

In the meantime, bitcoin-the-instrument behaves very well, so I'm trading it.  :)

Seriously, my research has shown me that predicting its movements is vastly easier than, say, SPX.   Or gold.  Why would I not trade such a thing?  Its how SPX used to trade back in the 1950s.  My neural nets simply won't converge on SPX-the-instrument.  They try, but it just doesn't work.  Gold requires moving heaven and earth, and then it ends up being ok.

Bitcoin, however, my networks love.  Bitcoin just seems to want to be traded.

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Enjoy Bitcoin's freedom while you can
davefairtex wrote:

In the meantime, bitcoin-the-instrument behaves very well, so I'm trading it.  :)

Seriously, my research has shown me that predicting its movements is vastly easier than, say, SPX.   Or gold.  Why would I not trade such a thing?  Its how SPX used to trade back in the 1950s.  My neural nets simply won't converge on SPX-the-instrument.  They try, but it just doesn't work.  Gold requires moving heaven and earth, and then it ends up being ok.

Bitcoin, however, my networks love.  Bitcoin just seems to want to be traded.

My contention is that bitcoin is actually mainly traded by humans, so it still behaves in a tradeable way.

But that's coming to an end, if my theory is correct.  Here's the beginning of the end:

CBOE plans bitcoin futures contract

August 2, 2017

Chicago-based CBOE, which also operates a young futures exchange, aims to launch a bitcoin futures contract later this year or early next year using market data from the twins' New York firm, Gemini Trust, they said in a statement today. The new contract will be subject to Commodity Futures Trading Commission approval.

As part of the agreement announced today, CBOE gains an exclusive license to tap the bitcoin data generated by Gemini's digital currency trading platform to develop derivatives and indexes. CBOE spokeswoman Suzanne Cosgrove declined to comment on how much CBOE is paying, if anything, for the exclusive license from Gemini.

CBOE is beating its larger crosstown cousin CME Group to the punch with the new product in what the statement called a $100 billion cryptocurrency market. CME, which operates the world's largest futures exchange, has also developed a bitcoin index and bitcoin reference rate, but not a futures contract based on the currency.

Once the computers have a leveraged contract they can trade on a major exchange, I trust that bitcoin will begin to suffer the same sorts of mysterious bear raids and price capping/clamping behaviors we see literally everywhere else.

Maybe Brad of IEX fame will next make some sort of exchange where no leverage is allowed, and only humans can trade.  Sort of a theme park for traders?  That would be swell.

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Game theory at work

You can run several scenarios for every kind of money where 'mysterious evil genius' takes over the world and destroys the money.  Mwahahaha

Gold already corrupted by central holders and paper traders - can be 'fixed' quite easily as nobody will allow it to be audited.

Which currency would you like to defend?  I can likely think of a way it can be defeated - mostly because everything else relies on third parties.

The blockchain is completely public. Guess what?  Bitcoin and others are hacked every second of every day. The bounty is huge. How many times has it worked?  Zero. Have many tried?  That's a simple google search away - I'll let you exert a  little effort.  There are days of reading on the best experts trying and failing.

But it can all be summarized quite rationally by thinking of game theory.  What would one have to gain?  It's all backed up by social consensus. If somebody wanted to try ruining the currency by stealing from it? What is the rational unless you are in competition?  Ok so let's say a nation-state wanted to ruin it. Whose? What is the 2nd best?  Who would this evil genius want to be the ruling currency? Let that sink in.

The USA?  How many of the world would NOT want that?  China?  seriously.  Everybody going to run to use Russia's currency anytime soon?  Everything currency from any nation is fiat. Crypto's are not fiat as they are not an edict from any nation - they are actually anti-fiat. Built from the ground up- of the people, from the people, for the people. (See my Medium post). They were built without permission and without apologies.

So - say Mr. Evil genius pulls off the impossible (if you find a credible source that can lay out a plan for doing this please feel free to include in your references). To that acclaim, I can say I can pick the right number between 1 and 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000  but doing it is another matter.

You then have 'the bottleneck problem' Only 4 transactions per second go through - and it's already full. So Evil genus will have to wait his turn in line for each evil transaction he makes. To move the entire contents out of about 300,000 estimated wallets that hold digital cash will take several months.  And it's easy to see the address where he puts it as a big black hole (or say Mr. Evil - has a few dozen, still easy to trace the big ballooning wallets). So, the minors all can easily censor transactions they know are rigged so the alert goes out to ignore and transactions going to wallet address xxxxxx. Mr. Evil gets away with it for perhaps an hour as exchanges and businesses are tipped from their internal security alamrs that their cold-wallets are no longer reconciling? 

Then what in the world would the bitcoin community do??? That has to be impossible to solve right?  Nope:  As proven with the ethereum hard-fork that was contentious. A bit of code by a motivated group of people (read the entire bitcoin community) would decide that the Mr. Evil genius transaction that was able to possibly move the contents of 300,000 wallets at the same time was invalid. So they vote:  10 million votes "yeah" - one "ney". Social consensus wins.

And the transaction block on the public blockchain gets voided. They create an update patch for to the said hardware device. I guess you're assuming Mr. Evil was able to infiltrate all the different vendors that make hardware wallets at the same time.  The update code is sent through a hashing function that you can't reverse (You do know how hashing works right?). I guess you suppose a new 'army of cyber warriors' would then be possed together again to somehow fool all the social media \ GitHub repositories. and encrypted mirrors\ tor network, port-hopping VPNS, BitTorrent and everywhere else there might be free speech to stop the identifying true fingerprint hash so nobody can update...um yeah. We see how well they can even remove a Hollywood movie from appearing on the Torrent network.

The hardwallets wallets plug in, they see the new update verify the hashing signature. Update ensues. Evil Geniuses code is no longer valid, his evil dastardly deeds come undone. Given the right motivation - the core developers decide to 'roll back' the transactions to the point in time before the hack, and whoosh - it's like it never happened. Now - nobody would agree to do this at regular times. And if it wasn't a hard wallet attack and just a random 'somebody got away with it' basic hack - they would figure all is fair in love and war. People all over the world yawn, and create UTC wallets, paper wallets, QR codes - simply write down their private keys with a piece of paper - transfer bitcoin into one of 1000 other digital currencies or just wait. Hardly anybody really spends it on anything- they just sit on it and let it grow in value - so no rush.

But an existential threat would be considered different. Like bitcoin \ bitcoin cash - they could simply fork the code and social consensus itself would decide to recognize the one-chain they consider the valid record.  That's all money is.  Agreed consensus for accounting. Mr. Evil didn't convince anybody to ignore the man behind the curtain. Mr Evil just changed the contents of a cell on a spreadsheet - and the world copied\ pasted that sheet onto a new page and edited the bad entry, put a 'read-only' property on it for reference and moved on.

Yawn.

Anti-fragile.

That's the beauty of having an accounting system everybody can see at once. - it's transparent. It's not a dead thing - but living, adapting, growing, getting stronger with every threat thrown at it. It's like bacteria or virus that adapts. It continues in every hard drive and computer of those who run it. This includes hundreds of thousands of police departments, NSA, FBI - Moscow - UK, China etc.  It is a tool for forensics, It is a tool for immutable record keeping. It's in the best interests of all that it continues to run. I suspect \ like Russia\ central governments will soon be also contributing to the power for economic and neutralizing the 'over influence' other countries may have on it (read China miners). As a world central natural currency - Game theory predicts that it will become a world reserve currency precisely because nobody owns it. And it's adaptable, repairable, fixable with only one need:

 

Social Consensus.  What is the best alternative?  Who would want anybody to move to it?  Who would have a problem moving to it? It becomes a world-wide Mexican standoff. Trying to stop something with so much effort that could be side-stepped so easily would make Mr. Evil Genius look like keystone cops. 

Laughable.

Now, we all know by now (likely) that central governments are all working on their own block-chain based currencies. But those WILL be fiat. If they control the rules \ can increase\decreate the rate of inflation to meet their needs, and they 'command' it be used - that's what fiat is.  Can they 'force' their citizens to use it?  You bet.  Can the FORBID people from using things like bitcoin?  Probably. Would it work?  I doubt it - or people will just move to Monero \ Z-cash -or any other 1,000 that are used for other real-world use cases but also can trade like currency for their inherent value. Now with Atomic swaps - currencies can be converted one-into-another - and back again between thousands of variants to come. They don't even need exchanges anymore. You will (in theory) take a national fiat-  convert it into one of the thousands of coming blockchain specialty currencies through tunnel provision through zk-snark zero ring methods that leave the transaction untraceable. Then at the magical time you have to pay for something in its mandated fiat - it would have been converted and tunneled through a dozen different currencies through 10,000 people's wallet before boomeranging back just in time to pay taxes - if they even continue to exist in the future.

It's little inconvenient facts like Jim Richards misses in his 'spooky bitcoin' interviews'. Whatever sells books to suckers I guess. He won't be able to keep pulling it off much longer as reality is closing in quickly.

Are they going to ban Web3?  Filecoin? IPFS? CIVIC? Ether? - Give me the good reasoning behind all of these?  These are all the products, tools, ingredients of the next century. AND...they can be currency too.  it would be like forbidding anything in the real world from having a price.  Imagine: you CANNOT sell that fork or spoon for money...or that rug...or that radio..etc. Most of the next-gen technology tokens that almost nobody understands on these forums are already on the horizon and will change everything you know, and because they are produced in limited quantity, and have the other properties that money can also have - become a new paradigm.  Good luck trying to stop the hurricane.

The new paradigm is storming towards us in a million ways and silly people still wonder about silly old bitcoin?  That is almost 10 years old now and seriously silly.  It's like listening to two old men on horses debating the usefulness of a model T Ford in the 1980s. Think of these two old farmers had never left the farm since they were boys.They were oblivious to all the changes that happened since they first saw the only car they knew.

There is now a hurricane of new technologies barrelling down that will take down industries and jobs and governments but also end most corruption, communism, censorship, and will change this world in more ways than the internet did. How many of you are still those old farmers wondering how the model T will ever find enough gas stations to make it across the country? The world is changing beneath your feet are you not paying attention?

Your Mr. Evil scenario makes about as much sense as the confused old men on horses thinking how easy it would be to destroy the auto industry by just by blowing up Ford's steering wheel factory.

Anybody isolating themselves from technology advancement by putting on blindfolds and putting their fingers in their ears while singing LALALALALALA. is missing the biggest opportunities of their life.  Do I know what I'm talking about? Go back and read my previous posts. Invest in what I told you when I told you - and you would all be millionaires today with modest investments. 

Will you continue to ignore me?

Because what I see coming down the road is goin.....LALALA  to make you LALALALALALA   and you won't believe your LALALALALALALA.

Here's a fun video to help put all this into perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohammed Mast's picture
Mohammed Mast
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2017
Posts: 81
Fear

Fear is one of the two strongest motivators. Much of this site is dedicated to fear based models of what might happen. I don't read here very much because I find it not only depressing but a hindrance to living a vital expansive life.

An example of the hindrance would be following the 08 meltdown the advice was hunker down and hold PM's. Well hat advice completely missed the run up in equities. As outlined by Mark above and elsewhere one of the greatest opportunities of anyone's lifetime is sliding by due simply to fear. That fear is actually not a rational fear but is paranoia based on simple odds.

It is truly sad to see capable, bright , talented, intelligent people locked into a paradigm which freezes them out of taking advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. An opportunity which Mark has clearly stated costs a modest investment.Pity

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