A Beginner's Guide to Cryptocoin Mining: What You Need to ...

CMV: Requiring a password for "sudo" access on desktop Linux systems is nothing but security theater.

Furthermore: on desktop systems it is perfectly fine to put NOPASSWD:ALL in your /etc/sudoers and similar in /etc/polkit-1/rules.d. In fact, I think this should be the default so users do not get a false sense of security.
For clarity, I'm not saying that all accounts should have sudo access, just saying that there's no meaningful security distinction between "sudo access with password" and "sudo access without password", and the "with password" path does nothing but wasting the user's time and giving them a false sense of security.
Argument #1: compromising a user account effectively compromises everything you care about.
As the relevant XKCD says, if your user account is compromised, the attacker cal already do everything he probably cares about. This includes:
Yes, you can run a remote access tool without root. Starting programs at boot does not require root (see systemctl --user, .bashrc, crontab -e, whatever). Internet access does not require root (see: your browser). I frequently see users thinking that remote access kits require root for some reason. Thanks to the X protocol, keylogging does not require root access either on most systems.
The uses for root-level access I can think of is (1) to infect other users of the system, and (2) to install a rootkit infecting your firmware to survive OS reinstallation. The alleged other users do most likely not exist on desktop systems, and only advanced viruses would put rootkits in firmware—viruses with that level of sophistication may as well use the following point to gain root access after compromising an user account.
Argument #2: compromising access to a user account with sudo access effectively compromises root, and a password check won't stop that.
If your account is in the sudoers file, actively used, and an attacker compromises your account, there are a bazillion ways to get access to root. Here are some examples:
Since Linux has made it effectively impossible to use a system without occasional root usage, you will elevate yourself to root at some point, and at that point the attacker will be able to steal said root access one way or another.
Often-heard counterargument: "If you allow sudo without password and leave your computer unattended without locking it, then some passerby may be able to sudo something, but if sudo required a password, he wouldn't have the time to do one of the advanced techniques above."
Reply: targeted attacks can "curl URL_OF_REMOTE_ACCESS_KIT_INSTALLATION_SCRIPT | bash". Random passerby trolls can ruin your day with "rm -rf ~". Both can be typed fairly quickly and neither requires root-level access.
Although I do consider myself a security-focused person, entering my password upon every sudo is still something I consider a waste of keystrokes and a source of security myths. Since the majority of the Linux world seems to disagree with me, I would like to know whether there's something major I'm overlooking.
submitted by ArchaicArchivist to changemyview [link] [comments]

Garena literally makes League unplayable

Prior to 2017, Garena has been using Garena+ as a sort of launcher hub for all their games (LoL, HoN, etc.), so you have to log-in to garena then look for your game click it and launch/update it from there. But in 2017 they decide to shift to a new launcher called Garena2.0. They still supported the old Garena+ launcher until around late 2017, but after that they made updating the game impossible unless you were using Garena2.0. So you uninstall g+ and go to 2.0
Garena2.0 has been filled with bugs since the beginning, and Garena isn't even trying to fix them. Whenever you open the 2.0 launcher, it will immediately take up all bandwidth downloading something (I have no idea what it is), even when your client and games are all updated. When you try to update your game, garena will give you an arbitrary progress bar, at 10% it will say "optimizing resources", at this point bandwidth throttles, and it stays at optimizing resources for about 30 minutes. Here's the fun part about this, let's say your dl speed is 3mb/s. Only 1.5mb/s is going to downloading the patch, the other 1.5mb/s is garena downloading something (something I don't know again).
Okay, so you get past the first 30 minutes of optimizing resources, only half of your speed goes to downloading the patch, and the other half to god knows where. It will download pretty normally until 25%, where they'll tell you garena2.0 was unable to fetch the patch, so it'll ask you to either cancel patching and dont play the game, or download the unzipped patch. So normally, patches are like 600mb or so, but this unzipped patch is about a few gigs in my experience. that may not be much for most of you, but internet is pretty shitty in asia compared to the west. Plus the fact that only half my bandwidth goes to downloading? I can leave it downloading at 2 in the morning, and I can come back after my classes at 5 in the afternoon and it's still not done.
So normally, a patch can take a day to download properly.
The best part is Garena has been deleting forum posts regarding these issues, because fuck you.
And before, someone brings it up, if you think my g2.0 is/has a virus, probably. But I got my launcher from their site. And I've been experiencing this since around nov 2017, and I did a clean wipe of my computer and redownloaded g2.0 from their site in january 2018. So fuck me sideways amirite?
EDIT 1: so I just woke up to this, it kinda blew up, I'll make another edit in a few minutes when I properly wake up. I'll try to answer (with my experience) some concerns raised in the thread.
EDIT2: wall of text
What is this kernel mode driver people are talking about???
At around March-April of 2017, some guys found that garena was placing a kernel mode driver in computers that install it (Garena). " this Kernel mode driver has highest level of access to your computer," understates the possibility of this. With this KMD, Garena could potentially, access your computer from anywhere, log all your keystrokes, force a shutdown, etcetc. It's essentially a virus just waiting for Garena's orders. But aren't all viruses like that? Eh probably. Why didn't I include this in my post?
I didn't experience this in my G+ installation back then, so I just didn't include it. As for now however, I have no idea, I have not checked. KMD link here
Is Garena a crypto miner?
Probably not, when I launch G2.0, my Cpu and GPU utilization rises by 8% and 2% respectively. Internet bandwidth is maximized though. Looking at the nominal increases I think we can all agree that having a million computers running at less than 10% capacity for mining is inefficient and the returns would be meaningless for a company like Garena. What I mean is, financially the gain that garena gets from selling the bitcoin they get from 10% utilization systems would be pretty meaningless in terms of their entire financials.
But hey, if you have a KMD, you can just make it so that cpu and gpu measures will return 5% utilization right?
What is GarenaPlatform and what don't you just turn it off.
The beautiful thing about G2.0, is it split the old systems of G+, which was only one process, into like 4 or so. One of these is Garenaplatform, which is essentially the launcher itself. I use essentially here, as it isn't really the launcher, but its a prerequisite for the process of the launcher, without it the launcher wouldn't even startup. And when you startup Gplatform, you have to give it access to make changes in your harddrive, so yeah, fuck you.
You can't turn it off, because don't play the fucking game.
Why not change regions?
I live in Southeast Asia, the closest countries with non-Garena owned servers are OCE, JP, KR (I think). I'm lucky to know how to read write and speak japanese so I can play in JP right? Yeah sure, if I'm okay with play on ~500 ping stable. Moving from 20-500 is literally unplayable. I would imagine OCE is around the same. KR is kinda hard to check since you need a Korean phone number to sign up, so I have no idea how to check my ping there.
Why is Garena there?/Is garena really the only distributor for lol there?/why is rito not doing anything?
Many south east asian governments have made it really hard for foreigners to open up businesses here. They have things such as a certain percentage of share holdings have to be owned by a citizen of that country, or higher tax percentages for foreign owned companies, and many other legal shits. It just doesn't make financial sense for Riot to be the distributors in SEA, they'll make money sure. But the amount of money you make in relation to the stress (of governments and the ecosystem of the countries) and the work you have to put in, probably isn't worth it according to Riot's estimates. Garena has established a monopoly on game distribution in SEA (if we dont take into account Steam, but Steam is like, don't even bother). There is literally no other company that can distribute the game. Riot isn't doing anything, because Tencent owns rito and garena. So it isnt that garena is under rito because theyre publishing the game they made, but they're more like sister companies now. For riot to do something, they have to look up to tencent, and tencent to look down to garena. Not happening.
Garena didn't change loot rate on (the last patch)
yeah, fuck you I guess. I've gotten 60+ 400BE shards (or whatever the lowest tier is) since the new system and got like 5 of the highest.
Garena doesn't even have good infrastructure for its events
Yeah, every year they try to make this big event that's supposed to be a year end tournament thing for every region. Every fucking year, the venue they get is too small for the amount of people that come in/tickets they sell. Literally, please fire whoever is running your events programs and planning. Now, I don't watch their streams (like the local LCS, or whatever garena calls it), so I can't talk about that.
On nepotism and garena hiring "morons"
Yeah, you basically have infinite power in garena if you know a GM (they're like mods). GMs will ban whoever the fuck tries to destroy this image of garena being an all beautiful, can-do-no-wrong company. Also if you give them a name, they'll ban that name on the spot. Here's the fun part, they ban whomever their friends say, but not actually toxic people. OF course there's an overlap between the two somewhere, but that fact that GMs ban on account that family/friends telling them is, oh boi, fun. Then again, what do you expect? Garena only pays minimum wage to its workers, about a small increase for (local) top management (idk about actual TOP management). Even when they make millions a month. Can't really expect the employees to work harder than now.
Servers randomly die for long intervals.
Yeah, it happens. Not as often as back then, but it still happens. It happened last month, servers died for like an entire day, because of a TF bug or some shit. Unlike Riot, garena doesn't give like compensation for downtimes. I really don't care. But I guess it looks bad when the other company does and you dont.
Garena has a built in live chat
I actually have no qualms about the live chat. I used it waaaaaaay back then, from like 2013-2015. I had no issues then. Idk about now, since they moved to g2.0, I've been using other things.
But yeah, there is a button for the support team. It's just a button, no one is there ever.
Just use manual patch you fucking retard.
I did use manual patch for the most recent patch. I applied the patch properly, and yes, I did apply it properly I followed the instructions on their site, and the shit I saw on my monitor was the same as in their site. I open up g2.0 after the manual patch, yup, still need to update haha what a jokester gotem
Garena doesn't allow API.
Yeah, they have this mobile app that essentially works like opgg. I say essentially, since it doens't really work. I don't use it, so Idk.
I thought we were talking about the champion Garen
We'll have a seperate post for that. But I can't really check rn, SINCE LEAGUE IS UNPLAYABLE
Levi went to NA to escape G2.0
honestly, this is probably true. Good for him.
Inting
yeah garena doesnt do shit about what is otherwise punishable behavior. But you soil the name of garena you will be banned on sight, like pre-freedom Tyler1
What is garena?
just imagine steam, but shitty. I mean, really shitty.
Why dont we reverse engineer garena and update/make it opensource so we can patch/play without it.
You need to be logged in to garena to log in to the lol servers. So you only have one login id for garena and the game itself. The very game launcher itself is modified so that you don't type your id/pass when the client opens. The lol client connects to your g2.0 and uses the same credentials for your lol login. So without garena, you're not connecting to the lol servers
Is garena mordekaiser?
they should honestly just make a garena mordekaiser skin
I fail to understand why riot keeps allowing garena to ruin their reputation.
50 percent of something is bettern than a hundred percent of nothing. $$$$. refer to the answer above why garena is the only disributor in SEA and why rito does nothing Why does league need to be launched by Garena anyways? Did Riot sell the rights to Garena or something? Why would they even do that? Riot, before they were bought out by tencent, licensed the game to garena for publishing in the SEA region. refer to the answer above why garena is the only disributor in SEA and why rito does nothing.
is Garena a real server, that's my question
its more like a concentration camp
Does garena block you from playing in other regions? are you isp blocked?
Actually no, I can play in NA, EU, JP, OCE, KR (technically) to name a few. IF I can stomach moving from 20 ping to ~500+, sure.
What if ur computer is just shit specs hurhur potato
I have an i5 8400, and a 1070. Which is pretty potato by today's standards. Maybe I should upgrade. yeah.
Have you tried reinstalling?
yes, same problems. I did a clean wipe of my computer to redl everything early january 2018. same problems persisted
End of wall of text
EDIT 3
Another redditor messaged me about what Garena was downloading in the background on startup. Apparently every time the client needs an update, it redownloads all of the files it needs to function. Instead of only downloading the changes that the update brings, it redownloads even the things that were unchanged. So if you look into your garena folder there are a bunch of "2.0.xxxx.xxxx" folders with the same files. These folders are the different version of g2.0 that you've downloaded.
So let's say I'm on G2.0 build 1.0.0, everything is working fine, very good, the contents of this build are packets A, B, C and D. However garena rolls out G2.0 build 1.0.1, because they needed to add an image asset. A reasonable person would tell you, well, just download the image asset then apply it to the install folder. No, Garena, makes you redownload packet A,B,C and D, and then the image asset. So you're left with 2 copies of packet ABC and D.
It feels like garena is trying to beat riots meme of being an indie company. Holy shit. A five year old that knows how to code can make something better.
submitted by garena_suk_kraceiyw to leagueoflegends [link] [comments]

Clearing up some misconceptions about VAC.

It seems to me that every few days, a new thread pops up in this sub about how shitty VAC is at detecting and policing cheaters in CS. People then invariably get worked up and demand that Valve "do something!!!11!1!" about the cheaters in their game, and improve VAC to make MM enjoyable again. I just want to address some common misconceptions I see in these posts, because they're seriously beginning to piss me off...
First off, it is not physically possible for VAC, or any anti-cheat for that matter, to be impregnable - all anti-cheats have weaknesses that can be exploited. Even ESEA's anticheat, hailed as the most efficient and well-designed one available, is liable to be exploited by people with private, non-distributed hacks - someone using them would most likely never, ever be detected or banned.
But still, ESEA's anti-cheat is good enough, right? Hackers on the service are so few and far between that they're effectively a nonissue for the large majority of players. So why does Valve, a massive, multimillion dollar company, not just emulate their anticheat software structure and be done with it? Well, it's not that simple.
For those who don't know, ESEA's anticheat works by installing what is known as a rootkit on your computer - essentially a computer virus. The anticheat software is on from the moment you boot up your computer to the moment you turn it off, and has access to pretty much all of your personal files and documents: every part of your PC is available for the anticheat to see. This intrusive system, by nature, is more effective at detecting cheats - by leaving no stone unturned, it is able to find illegal software regardless of where it tries to hide. However, this also necessarily means that you are basically offering your computer and all sensitive files/documents/functions therein to the anti-cheat provider. It's obviously implied that they should not and would not tamper with or steal any private customer files, but occasionally, something like that could happen. In fact, some of you may remember that ESEA was in fact embroiled in a major scandal when it abused its power over customer PCs to run a widespread bitcoin mining operation without their clientele's permission - the risk of something like this happening would be the price you would have to pay for a better VAC. (P.S. in the early days of CSGO, Valve actually DID try to take a similarly intrusive route with VAC, and there was a MASSIVE community outcry against it, leading to the current system being put into place.)
Not to mention, if VAC were to adopt an intrusive style, the rootkit software running in the background of your computer at all times would no doubt further decrease in-game performance, and when much of CSGO's playerbase is already running less-than-stellar setups, this could in-turn ruin a huge amount of user experiences.
So basically, what I'm trying to say is that Valve and VAC are doing the best they can with the limited jurisdictions they have - by not being intrusive, VAC will by nature be unable to detect many cheats that something like ESEA would find instantly.
submitted by thenotabot2000 to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

Pure PoW is DEAD

When I was 16, camping out in an airport waiting to board my first International flight to England I began chatting with a U.S. Airforce pilot who had camped up beside my group. Asking him what it was like to fly at mach speeds he replied in a very sober expression, “you have to be alert at all times. You see a mountain or some obstacle appear on the horizon, you better adjust now or you’re going to slam into it.” Maybe he was adding dramatic effect, I’ve never flown at mach speeds at low altitudes, but I never forgot it and the analogy it carries...especially so fitting for technology and progress.
This past week in cryptocurrency shined an important (and hopefully sobering) light on a “mountain” that appeared on our industries horizon...and has actually been visible to us for far too long already: Pure Proof of Work’s inevitable fate.
By pure, I mean consensus algorithms that use nothing but the original Bitcoin proof of work consensus model without updates or algorithm changes to address its weaknesses relative to the ever expanding technology used to hash it. This means Bitcoin, today’s Ethereum, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, and other coins that comprise most of the value in the top 100 cryptocurrencies. The original, unmodified form of basic PoW that most of these coins use is dead. This demise may not be fully appreciated today, but as sure as a mach-speed plane, unable to turn in time is doomed to collide with a mountain in its path, these blockchains must soon either accept their lack of security in today’s world or fork and upgrade to more effective solutions, some of which have been pioneered by smaller projects that don’t command as much hash power and therefore already had to face and address their need for extra security.
I believe it’s actually irresponsible to deny it and assume economics, hash power, market, sentiment or even self-preservation of network participants will be protection enough.
Because Bitcoin is the biggest (by market cap) of the pure PoW cryptocurrencies in existence today, I’ll establish my arguments using BTC, but the same goes for all pure PoW cryptos.
1 - Economics Bitcoin is often defended because it has the largest market cap of all cryptocurrencies and commands most of the capable hash worldwide that might be used to attack it. It is a “store of value” with proponents of this argument relying on few factors, limited supply combined with sentiment being one of the most prominent. They believe that this limited supply will inevitably drive the price up and, somehow, bitcoin will remain unequivocally secured and established.
Bitcoin has serious limitations in its adherence to the pure PoW model, and though the realities of competition has kept it free from major 51% attacks, I predict that it’s only a matter of time before it cannot command the majority of hash power that may be used to attack it. Lack of acceptance that consensus must use more than just PoW, even when checkpoints are an already accepted as necessary augmentation, leaves Bitcoin open to a catastrophic failure at some point in the future, which would affect the short term value of every cryptocurrency, even those that have addressed and solved the most glaring security challenges of a pure PoW model. Some projects have developed and are now using more advanced, more secure technology than pure PoW, and still remain fully decentralized. This is now an area where altcoins are leading, as they fill the security vacuum. With altcoins also having smart contracts and advanced currency capabilities and being potential stores of value as well, the landscape visible on the horizon in front of us looks quite different from the smooth sailing we have seen behind us with respect to projects relying on PoW and PoW alone. I’m not suggesting that Bitcoin should try to be everything that every other altcoin is becoming, but to rely on its single function as an argument of it’s security and sustainability while refraining from important technical advancements to secure its future, is foolish. The calculator is an important, valuable, and useful tool, yet people understood that it should be part of a more multifunction solution and now carry one around inside their smartphone.
The argument supporting Bitcoin’s status quo as a pure PoW blockchain and claiming it is perfect as is for whatever particular reason, is often combined with the following and includes an argument resting on self-preservation. In other words, why would anyone be nefarious and ruin their own wealth and store of value given the enormous hash power and cost it would take to attack Bitcoin? Bitcoin, then, relies on theoretical protection with idealistic boundaries.
2 - Hash Power and Hardware Capabilities This is sort of a 2 in 1 argument. Bitcoin is considered by many, the most secure blockchain in terms of pure hash power. In other words, more hash power is directed at Bitcoin than any other cryptocurrency and, there are limits to sha256d hashing speeds, economically and in hardware capabilities therefore it would be too expensive to attack Bitcoin and by the same token, make no sense to the attacker to do any wrong in this case (self preservation).
To assume technology, A: is limited to what we know now and B: will remain within these bounds for long, is just ignorant. What happens when sha256d can be hashed faster, when hardware innovations change the cost and capabilities involved? How do we know it isn’t possible now? What’s more, will Bitcoin always hold its position as the “special” coin due to its leading network hashpower that simply will never experience a world where there is enough available hash power from other sources to use for a 51% attack? The argument that Bitcoin will remain special is not an argument that its technology can protect it, especially with its roots as a project that grew from a figurative David with its sights set on the Goliath of the banking industry.
Look at the enormous hash power presently directed at Bitcoin and ask, what happens if that hash power is suddenly directed at another, less special coin, as part of a 51% attack? Is that other coin ready to defend in some way against that event? And how does this then impact Bitcoin? I would submit that at the end of the analysis, if the only thing protecting Bitcoin and its current technology from being doublespent to death is the fact that it is uniquely “special” because it is biggest, then as it unarguably becomes centralized among the largest Bitcoin participants and/or institutions, in an ironic way, refusal to improve technology could create exactly the systemic centralization that Satoshi was trying to prevent.
Even so, the idea that Bitcoin can always and forever remain the largest cryptocurrency and “special” as such, ignores historical realities that teach us differently. Remember “alta-vista”, the pre-Google winner of the search engine wars? Remember AOL? MySpace? The economics of bitcoin as people understand them today, the economics involved in mining pure PoW, the sentiment and value assigned to bitcoin and any coin now, can change as rapidly as Bitcoin emerged, even unexpectedly to the masses.
The ETC attack of only a few days ago just put the entire Cryptocurrency industry on notice. Any project without an active solution in place of immunity or at least a defense against a 51% hash attack is in trouble. I would argue that even though it will likely still take some time for market dynamics to enable an attacker to reasonably mount a 51% attack on the largest pure PoW cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, without new defense against such an attack, it is a question of when, not if.
The other day I identified a small handful of projects that have developed and are using defenses against 51% hash attacks, only one of which has a provable solution of hash attack immunity in place.
It’s important to note, any solution that can be seen as real progress over the Bitcoin protocol must be one that is decentralized. While some cryptocurrencies solve the 51% hash attack problem with a fully centralized approach, that truly misses the point of the original Bitcoin paper. Centralized databases are a different technology altogether, and implementing a centralized solution to a decentralized technology changes it entirely, in which case it’s more akin to just trying to brand your centralized database with the latest catch phrases to gain attention, support or funding.
Here’s a short list I identified of projects who have developed a defense or a complete solution to 51% hash attacks. To my knowledge, all of these solutions are now active on the respective project main networks, with the exception of Litecoin Cash, which is running on testnet at this time.:
As an industry, we need to face the fact that pure PoW is an incomplete solution to decentralized blockchain security in this age of cheap, fungible compute power. Pure PoW-only systems must evolve, and it’s time we look beyond to understand what are the best solutions that have evolved to address that fact. If you are part of a crypto project, no matter how large, you ignore the notice provided by the ETC attack at your own peril and the peril of your network participants.
My request is this… if you know of a project with a 51% hash attack solution, please provide some information below. If you totally disagree with the main point of this post, please provide a reasoned argument to prove me wrong or explain why pure PoW systems will remain viable indefinitely. As an industry, it’s time we see the blunt reality and apply innovation. Those who don’t will be reduced to interesting historical experiments.
submitted by ethadvisor to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

I Dared My Best Friend to Ruin My Life - He's Succeeding

My name is Zander, and my best friend is trying to ruin my life. It started out very small, but has quickly grown out of control.
I'm currently sitting inside a church, using their WiFi to post this story and taking advantage of their air conditioning. I’m posting this story in case… Well in case he finds me and kills me soon. It's only a matter of time now, and I want someone to know what happened before I die.
Two years ago, my friend David and I were sitting on the couch at my house thoroughly bored. It wasn’t a temporary boredom either. It was a resounding boredom with life. We both worked full time at the local movie theater making minimum wage and cleaning up after idiots who couldn’t keep popcorn and soda in their mouths. We had graduated high school two years prior and had no plans to attend college.
Life looked bleak for us. College didn’t sound appealing, work was annoying, and the little free time we had was blown on video games and YouTube. We both still lived with our parents too, which made dating somewhat embarrassing. Looking back, I’m sure we were suffering from mild depression on top of everything else.
These life circumstances blended together to create the perfect storm for what I now have to call my reality.
As we sat on the couch at my parent’s house, channel surfing the TV, David asked me if I was bored with life. I responded in the positive, and he sighed.
“High school was so easy because we knew our purpose and our goals were set for us. Outline the english essay. Finish the math homework. Get decent grades. Pass the driving exam. Be home by curfew. Find a girlfriend. Now that we’re out of high school, there’s no structure. Our lives have become meaningless and we are just floating through space with no aim or purpose.”
“Would you go back to high school then?” I asked. He shook his head.
“In the moment, high school was annoying. It’s only after looking back that I see how much better it was than I realized.”
“What’s the solution, then?” I asked.
“Either go somewhere that has structure and can deliver what high school gave us, or create our own structure,” David replied.
“Well I don’t want to go to college or the military,” I said. “And I can’t think of anywhere else that provides the same structure. Guess I have to make my own, but I have no idea where to start.”
“The thing about high school was that it required a minimum effort. If you didn’t give that minimum effort, you would face the consequences. The consequences were bad enough that you and I would put effort into school. When high school ended, that minimum effort level decreased. Now our minimum effort is not enough to improve ourselves. Whatever structure we build has to have those consequences built in and a minimum effort that forces us to improve constantly.”
David was, and is, a very intellectual person. He thinks about everything, if you can’t already tell. I was pretty dumb compared to him, but I stuck around because he always had interesting things to say. This conversation definitely counted as interesting.
I won’t bore you with the entire conversation that we had, but it lasted an hour where we discussed how to build structure into our lives.
I want to emphasize here that boredom is dangerous. Well, it’s not dangerous by itself, but it can quickly lead to dangerous things. Boredom can lead to pain, accidental children, technology that disrupts a monopoly, and even death.
Our boredom led to a dare.
“I dare you to try and ruin my life,” David said.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It’s a way to build structure into my life. If I know that you are always trying to ruin my life and actively trying to make me fail, then I am driven to fight back and act on initiative.”
“But how could I ruin your life?” I asked.
“You could ruin anyone’s life if you gave it enough thought, planning, and action,” David said with a smirk. “I’m not going to give you any ideas. I just want you to try and ruin my life.”
I remember sitting back and thinking about what he meant. The first thoughts that came to mind were about tripping him occasionally, or hiding his toothbrush every time I went to his house. My young mind didn’t fully understand how serious David was being. His mind was running three tracks above mine, so I didn’t know what I was getting into when I said, “okay, I’ll try to ruin your life. But I dare you to do try and ruin my life as well.”
He smiled with a newfound enthusiasm, and I smiled back. I had hoped it would be a great way to relieve my boredom with life. David stood up and punched me in the leg as hard as he could. I shouted at him, mostly out of surprise. He just laughed.
“The dare starts now,” he said, grabbing his shoes. “We are no longer friends, we are nemeses.” He opened my front door and looked over his shoulder. “Good luck,” he said. “I hope you’ll work half as hard as I will.”
Once he left, I just sat there rubbing my sore thigh. Okay, I thought, if he wants a war, he’ll get a war.
That night, I had laid awake trying to think of ways to make his life harder for him. My ideas were all so childish and useless compared to what he would later throw at me. I’m too embarrassed to list my ideas from back then.
I wish I could say I remembered the day David turned against me for real. But it was so subtle that I didn’t notice right away. To my face, David acted completely normal.
While we were at work, I would sprinkle popcorn over a section he had just cleaned and point it out to him. He would just laugh, and say, “is that supposed to ruin my life?” Then he would clean it up. I expected him to do the same to me, but he didn't. His lack of visible retaliation made me bored again so I stopped. Looking back, I suspect that behind my back he was sabotaging my image with our other co-workers and our boss.
Out of the blue, my boss called me into his office and told me that I was fired because I wasn’t doing a good enough job. David acted sorry i was leaving and we promised to hang out again soon.
I left, thinking I could make this something good and get a real job. That dream died, and I ended up at McDonald’s instead.
After I had been at McDonald’s for a month or so, my parents confronted me. They asked me if I had been stealing cash from their wallets. I had never stolen a cent from them, and told them so. They backed off, but only for a week until my mom’s debit card went missing.
They confronted me again, this time very angry. They accused me of withdrawing several hundred dollars using my mom’s debit card. I have no siblings, so it wouldn't have been anyone else in the house. It turned into a screaming match and they demanded that I move out as quickly as possible. With my small cache of savings, I found an apartment near the local community college that housed college students. The rent was affordable enough for me, so I moved out within the month.
I moved in and became instant friends with two of my roommates, Clark and Ivan. Our other roommate, Isaac, kept to himself and stayed in his room playing video games 24/7. Life got good again because I hung out with Clark and Ivan frequently.
David and I had stopped hanging out after I was fired from the movie theater. I hadn’t forgotten about him, but I had forgotten about the dare. Every once in a while, I would message him on Facebook or shoot him a text to ask if he wanted to hang out, but my messages were always ignored. Eventually I gave up.
Within six months, I had a great life going. I was dating a girl named Katie, I had been promoted to crew trainer at McDonald’s, which paid better, and my bank account was slowly growing.
I only recognize this as David’s doing when I look back, but an obscene amount of junk mail showed up with my name on it every single day. Magazines, credit card offers, vacation ads, and even physical letters from real people who claimed to be excited to be my new penpal. I sorted through them every day trying to find some pattern. Clark and Ivan thought it was hilarious. When I came home late from work, they would sometimes toss the junk mail in the air like confetti as I walked through the door, cheering that the Mail King was home.
One day, I remember feeling sick of getting all this junk mail and deciding to sit down, call every subscription to cancel. I recruited Clark and Ivan to help me, and we sat down with snacks one afternoon and started to crank through phone calls.
In a few days, the tide of junk mail subsided and we celebrated our efforts. That only lasted a week.
The next week, it started coming back in full force. There was twice as much as before, and even some pornorgraphic magazines in the mix. Not only did my physical junk mail increase, but my email became unnavigable through all the new spam messages. Google moved a lot of it to the spam filter, but there were still hundreds of emails that made it through. My email had been subscribed to websites I’d never even heard of.
Clark and Ivan were blown away by the new tide of junk mail. The event was dubbed “Return of the Junk” and became a great ice breaker for Clark and Ivan to introduce me to other people at parties.
One day I was browsing Facebook’s “People You May Know” section when I came across someone’s profile that had my picture, but a different name. The account was open for anyone to view and had a lot of porn posts, status updates full of swearing, and praises to Hitler. I frowned when I clicked on their pictures. Most of the pictures were the same ones from my Facebook account, but there were some pictures of me that weren’t on my account or anywhere else online. Keep in mind, I didn’t remember my dare to David, so I was feeling pretty creeped out.
I hit the report button and let Facebook know that the account was a fake and went on my way.
I think three months or so later is when more stuff started to happen. Katie and I are getting very serious and discuss moving in together. The junk mail still rolls in and I’ve started to just throw it away. Ivan has moved out to go to an actual university, so a new roommate Jackson has moved in. Clark and I attempted to befriend Jackson, but he’s similar to Isaac and locked himself in his room most of the time.
A new game became available for pre-order, so I submitted my email to reserve a copy. When I tried to log into my email to make sure the reserve code was there, I couldn’t log in. I hit “Forgot Password” and it asked if I wanted to use my phone number to reset the password. I pressed yes and waited for my phone to light up. It never did. I pressed the button three more times, but no text ever came. I tried old passwords I used to use, but none of them worked. I frowned, but eventually just walked away from my computer. I’d try again a different day.
I sat down on the couch and pulled up Facebook on my phone. A popup appeared. “You’ve been signed out,” it said. Then it jumped to the login screen. I thought I’d hit the logout button on accident, so I just typed in my email and password. It didn’t work. I tried again, but it still told me the password was incorrect.
My phone buzzed in my hand. Katie was calling me. I answered it and immediately became concerned. She was sobbing.
“Katie?” I said.
“You coward,” she spat. “You don’t get to just Facebook me that shit, no you have to talk to me and tell me with your voice.”
“Katie, what are you talking about?” I asked.
“Don’t play stupid, asshole. Say it.”
“Say… what?”
“You Facebook me and say we are through, but when I call, you deny everything? What the hell are you trying to pull, Zander?” Katie hissed.
“Katie, my Facebook got hacked! I was literally just trying to log in when you called. Are you at home? I’m coming over. We are not done, we are far from done, sweetheart.”
It took me some time to convince Katie that it hadn’t been me, but she relented when I showed her that I couldn’t log in. I googled how to get my Facebook account back and contacted their helpcenter. Thankfully, they were able to get me back into my account. Lots of links to porn sites had been posted all over my page by whoever jacked my account, so I spent time deleting all of those. I also spent time answering family members who asked about the “strange content” I had been posting. Awkward.
Katie also found out through her feeds that my Twitter and Instagram had been hacked. The accounts were posting hundreds of crude messages and pictures. Those two sites took a little more effort, but eventually I regained control over those too. Fixing my email took a couple of days, but I got access again.
Not wanting to repeat the experience, I made my passwords into really long strings of numbers, letters and symbols. Each account had a different password. For anyone who has done this, you know how impossible it would be to memorize your passwords. I wrote them down on a sheet of paper and put it in my dresser drawer. I didn’t intend to get hacked again.
I'm telling you where I put the paper so you'll know how freaked out I was when Facebook signed me out again the next week. I checked my other accounts. Locked out again. I shot Katie a text to warn her and then called the Facebook help center again. They gave me access to Facebook and gave me the same warning about making a long password.
When I told them the type of precautions I had taken last time, they suggested checking my computer for viruses in case there was a keyloggers collecting all the information I typed.
I called a computer repair center and asked what I needed to do to get my computer scanned. They asked me to bring it down and they'd check it out.
I had a desktop, so ‘bringing it down’ required a lot of unplugging. When I got down behind the computer to unplug everything, I found a tiny USB stick that I'd never seen before. I frowned and tried to locate its contents on the computer. The computer said no USB was attached.
The computer repair guy confirmed that the USB drive was a keylogger. He asked if my computer had ever been anywhere that anyone could walk up and use it. I told him no and he said he had no idea how it could have gotten there.
He didn't charge me anything, just warned me to keep an eye on my computer.
I changed all my passwords again, going through the motions to get my accounts back.
A few days later, I received three, yes THREE credit card bills in the mail. I still had the habit of skimming through the junk mail in case there ever was anything super important. I'm glad I did, because I might never have found out about the credit cards that were registered in my name.
I called the credit card companies to inform them that they were mistaken. I had never signed up for a credit card. My parents had warned me about them so often that I'd been deterred from ever getting one. Before you comment and tell me I need them to build my credit, yes I know that now.
A quick google search told me what to do next. I called Equifax, which is a company that calculates your credit score and tells creditors that it's okay for you to open a credit account. I placed a 90-day fraud alert on my credit. They said they would call me if anyone tried to open a credit account in my name.
The dude at Equifax was kind enough to tell me what I needed to do next. He asked me to go online and view my credit report. If I saw any accounts I didn't recognize, I was to write them down and fill out a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explaining the situation. Once I had that submitted, I was to file a copy of it with the police and create a police report. Then I had to take those two reports and call each of the credit companies that had issued credit to my identity and start the dispute process. I instantly felt very discouraged at the amount of effort this would require. It felt utterly insane to be required to follow all these steps just because I was the victim of identity theft. God damn.
Clark was horrified at what had happened and looked at his credit score. He was relieved when it came back clean. I made Katie check hers too just in case. Also clean.
I'll take a minute to tell everyone reading that you are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit score companies. That means you can and should check your credit three times a year. Clark and I set reminders on our phones to check the scores again in 4 months. I asked Katie to do the same.
When I first found out about the accounts, I had called my parents to ask if they had opened any accounts in my name. If they had, I'd at least know who the culprit was. They told me they hadn't opened any accounts, and I warned them about my problems. They promised to check their credit score.
Two weeks after I had called them, my dad called. They found fifteen fraudulent accounts between the two of them. What the hell? I told him the steps he needed to take, and he was grateful for my help and warning.
I know this is boring to read, but I want you to realize how insanely painful it was to fix all of this shit. Seriously, watch your credit reports and nip identity theft in the bud before it happens to you.
I had requested detailed bills from the credit card companies that had issued the fraudulent accounts, and they mailed them to me. The bills were full of online purchases. The accounts had been opened almost a year ago, and in that time they thief had spent $62,000 between all the fraudulent accounts. I was pretty upset that in a full year, I had only just found any credit card bills in the mail. I must have been tossing them with the mountains of junk mail. Now I know that the masses of junk mail were deliberate and calculated so the bills would blend in and hopefully get thrown away
The first few transactions were from stores like Target, Walmart, etc. But the further down I went, the less I recognized. One word stuck out to me: bitcoin. I had learned a little about it from my Facebook feed as I had some friends from high school who touted it as the next real currency. According to the credit card statements, several thousand dollars had been exchanged into bitcoin.
I started really researching bitcoin and trying to figure out what it was and why an identity thief would want it. To make the explanation short, bitcoin allowed my thief to make completely anonymous purchases online. It was as if he'd gone to an ATM and drained all the credit cards into cash. I didn't foresee the credit card companies ever getting their money back.
David now had a hell of alot of cash he could use to ruin my life. I didn't know it was him at the time, obviously, but now I do.
Guys, identity theft is a serious crime and is very damaging to everyone in the economy. And while the theft had been bad, my life was about to get a whole lot worse.
That’s all I have time to write for now. I have to go and get some serious shit taken care of. I'll write again as soon as I can.
My name is Zander, and my best friend is trying to ruin my life.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
 
Series 2
submitted by Zandsand90 to nosleep [link] [comments]

How the Lightning Network will kill the main chain, not save it.

I have read several comments about how we should welcome the Lightning Network on BCH, and I finally decided to join the discussion presenting my thoughts:
 
The idea of the Lightning Network (LN) is to hinder the main chain from getting congested. What LN proponents do not realize is that the main chain was never intended to be limited. Every transaction that pays the miner-fee should not be considered as spam. In fact, fitting as many transactions as possible into the next block is actually a good thing, and it makes the network more secure.
 
This is because miners collect transaction fees, adding to their revenue for finding a block (marginal revenue). It is important to understand that miners are not altruistic. They are here to make a profit. For this very reason, miners will only work to find blocks if it is profitable (each miner faces this). As miners work to find blocks their hash power is what secures the network. The more profitable it is to mine, the more people will enter the mining market, causing total hash power to rise until marginal revenue meets the marginal cost of finding a block. Consequently, the more transaction fees there are to collect per block, the more secure the network will be as the marginal revenue increases.
 
The LN’s goal is to take transactions of the main chain, and therefore steals transaction fees from miners. This becomes a problem because the block reward (subsidy) for finding blocks will halve every 210,000 blocks. This tells us that the number of transactions being done on chain needs to grow to where an increase in the total transaction fees miners collect covers the lost revenue from the block reward-halvening.
 
Therefore, the number of transactions would ideally need to grow to where the new fees cover exactly, or more than the lost revenue from the reduction in block reward. This way miners would still face the same, or an increase in revenue for finding a block, and no miners will leave the market. As a result, the total hash power remains the same or increase compared to before the halvening.
 
Taking transactions off the main chain means it becomes less profitable to mine, as there are less transaction fees to collect, and consequently some miners will leave the market. This results in a decrease of total hash power, making the network less secure. Therefore, each halvening sets a new minimum number of transactions we should wish to have on chain if we hope to have as secure of a network as before the halvening occurred.
 
The only way to make the main chain sustainable with less transactions than the level it needs to be at for new fees to cover the reduction in block reward, is to set an artificial low cap on the block size (constrain the main chain), making transactions on the main chain expensive. This way miners gather larger fees per transaction from a smaller number of transactions, as opposed to many transactions with a low fee (which is an option that has a higher number of use cases on chain).
 
But what does this really mean? For Bitcoin to function with a successful LN, the main chain needs to be a so called “settlement layer”, used by only a few, such as banks and the rich. One can expect that transactions on chain will be far too expensive for your average person to transact with for his daily use. This results in the Lightning Network not being “optinional”, as it was promised to be. Your average Joe would actually have to use LN, as he simply can’t afford to transact on the main chain.
 
Additionally, if we make the assumption that Moore’s law will continue to “be” law, which indicates that the number of transistors fitted on a chip doubles every 18 month, we find that an amount of computing power today will be worth less in the future. For the security of the network to remain constant, the total hash power would need to double every 18 months.
 
If we want the total hash power to increase, making the network we all use to transact with more secure, at the same time as the block reward decreases, we simply need the number of transactions being done on chain to increase so that there more fees for miners to collect. This makes it more profitable to mine, and more miners enters the market, increasing total hash power. In LN’s case, as the size of total transactions can’t grow past 1 MB per block, the fees would simply have to increase, making the main chain even less desirable.
 
But isn’t Bitcoin for everyone? Why are we forcing someone to not use the main chain such as was intended? The Lightning Network is a project that isn’t finished, and the rules on it could be changed at any given time. It wouldn’t have been possible to make LN successful if it wasn’t for the block size limit (as there would be no reason to use it). It is dangerous to force users of Bitcoin onto this project, as LN along with the block size limit ruins the very important incentive structure Bitcoin and makes the main chain unusable for most users.
 
TL;DR: The goal should be to increase activity on the main chain, not trying to reduce its use.
submitted by bacfran to btc [link] [comments]

melville charitable has been created

By Herman Melville I AND MY CHIMNEY (i.) I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day. Though I always say, I and my chimney, as Cardinal Wol- sey used to say, I and my King, yet this egotistic way of speak- ing, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hardly borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of me. Within thirty feet of the turf-sided road, my chimney——a huge, corpulent old Harry VIII of a chimney——rises full in front of me and all my possessions. Standing well up a hill-side, my chimney, like Lord Rosse's monster telescope, swung verti- cal to hit the meridian moon, is the first object to greet the ap- proaching traveler's eye; nor is it the last which the sun salutes. My chimney, too, is before me in receiving the first-fruits of the seasons. The snow is on its head ere on my hat; and every spring, as in a hollow beech tree, the first swallows build their nests in it. But it is within doors that the pre-eminence of y chimney is most manifest. When in the rear room, set apart for that ob- ject, I stand to receive my guests (who, by the way, call more, I suspect, to see my chimney than me), I then stand, not so much before, as, strictly speaking, behind my chimney, which is, indeed, the true host. Not that I demur. In the presence of my betters, I hope I know my place. From this habitual precedence of my chimney over me, some even think that I have got into a sad rearward way altogether; in short, from standing behind my old-fashioned chimney so much, I have got to be quite behind the age too, as well as running behindhand in everything else. But to tell the truth, I never was a very forward old fellow, nor what my farming neighbors call and forehanded one. Indeed, those rumors about my behindhandedness are so far correct, that I have an odd sauntering way with me sometimes of going about with my hands behind my back. As for my belonging to the rear-guard in general, certain it is, I bring up the rear of my chimney—— which, by the way, is this moment before me——and that, too, both in fancy and fact. In brief, my chimney is my superior; my superior by I know not how many heads and shoulders; my superior, too, in that humbly bowing over with shovel and tongs, I must minister to it; yet never does it minister, or in- cline over to me; but, if anything, in its settlings, rather leans the other way. My chimney is grand seignior here——the one great dom- ineering object, not more of the landscape, than of the house; all the rest of which house, in each architectural arrangement, as may shortly appear, is, in the most marked manner, accom- modated, not to my wants, but to the chimney's, which, among other things, has the centre of the house to itself, leaving but the odd holes and corners to me. But I and my chimney must explain; and, as we are both rather obese, we may have to expatiate. In those houses which are strictly double houses——that is, where the hall is in the middle——the fireplaces usually are pon opposite sides; so that while one member of the household is warming himself at a fire built into a recess of the north wall, say another member, the former owner's brother, perhaps, may be holding his feet to the blaze before a hearth in the south wall——the two thus fairly sitting back to back. Is this well? Be it put to any man who has a proper fraternal feeling. Has it not a sort of sulky appearance? But very probably this style of chimney building originated with some architect afflicted with a quarrelsome family. Then again, almost every modern fireplace has its separate flue——separate throughout, from hearth to chimney-top. At least such an arrangement is deemed desirable. Does this not look egotistical, selfish? But still more, all these separate flues, instead of having independent masonry establishments of their own, or instead of being grouped together in one federal stock in the middle of the house——instead of this, I say, each flue is surreptitiously honey-combed into the walls; so that these last are here and there, or indeed almost anywhere, treacherously hollow, and, in consequence, more or less weak. Of course, the main reason of this style of chimney building is to economize room. In cities, where lots are sold by the inch, small space is to spare for a chimney constructed on magnani- mous principles; and, as with most thin men, who are generally tall, so with such houses, what is lacking in breadth must be made up in height. This remark holds true even with regard to many very stylish abodes, built by the most stylish of gentle- men. And yet, when that stylish gentleman, Louis le Grand of France, would build a palace for his lady friend, Madame de Maintenon, he built it but one story high——in fact, in the cot- tage style. But then, how uncommonly quadrangular, spacious, and broad——horizontal acres, not vertical one. Such is the pal- ace which, in all its one-storied magnificence of Languedoc marble, in the garden of Versailles, still remains to this day. Any man can buy a square foot of land and plant a liberty- pole upon it; but it takes a king to set apart whole acres for a Grand Trianon. But nowadays it is different; and furthermore, what origi- nated in a necessity has been mounted into a vaunt. In towns there is a large rivalry in building tall houses. If one gentleman builds his house four stories high, and another gentleman comes next door and builds five stories high, then the former, not to be looked down upon that way, immediately sends for his architect and claps a fifth and a sixth story on top of his pre- vious four. And, not til the gentleman has achieved his aspira- tion, not till he has stolen over the way by twilight and observed how the sixth story soars beyond his neighbor's fifth——not till then does he retire to rest with satisfaction. Such folks, it seems to me, need mountains for neighbors, to take this emulous conceit of soaring out of them. If, considering that mine is a very wide house, and by no means lofty, aught in the above may appear like interested pleading, as if I did but fold myself about in the cloak of a gen- eral proposition, cunningly to tickle my individual vanity be- neath it, such misconceptions must vanish upon my frankly conceding that land adjoining my alder swamp was sold last month for ten dollars an acre, and thought a rash purchase at that; so that for wide houses hereabouts there is plenty of room, and cheap. Indeed, so cheap——dirt cheap——is the soil, that our elms thrust out their roots in it, and hang their great boughs over it, in the most lavish and reckless way. Almost all our crops, too, are sown broadcast, even peas and turnips. A farmer among us, who should go about his twenty-acre field, poking his finger into it here and there, and dropping down a mustard seed, would be thought a penurious, narrow-minded husbandman. The dandelions in the river-meadows, and the forget-me-nots along the mountain roads, you see at once they are put to no economy in space. Some seasons, too, our rye comes up, here and there a spear sole and single like a church- spire. It doesn't care to crowd itself where it knows there is such a deal of room. The world is wide, the world is all before us, says the rye. Wees, too, it is amazing how they spread. No such thing as arresting them——some of out pastures being a sort of Alsatia for the weeds. As for the grass, every spring it is like Kossuth's rising of what he calls the peoples. Mountains, too, a regular camp-meeting of them. For the same reason, the same all-sufficiency of room, our shadows march and countermarch, going through their various drills and masterly evolutions, like the old imperial guard on the Champs de Mars. As for the hills, especially where the roads cross them, the supervisors of our various towns have given notice to all concerned, that they can come and dig them down and cart them off and never a cent to pay, no more than for the privilege of picking blackberries. The stranger who is buried here, what liberal-hearted landed proprietor among us grudges him his six feet of rocky pasture? Nevertheless, cheap, after all, as our land is, and much as it is trodden under foot, I, for one, am proud of it for what it bears; and chiefly for its three great lions——the Great Oak, Ogg Mountain, and my chimney. Most houses are are but one and a half stories high; few exceed two. That in which I and my chimney dwell, is in width nearly twice its height, from sill to eaves——which accounts for the magnitude of its main content——besides showing that in this house, as in this country at large, there is abundance of space, and to spare, for both of us. The frame of the old house is of wood——which but the more sets forth the solidity of the chimney, which is of brick. And as the great wrought nails, binding the clapboards, are unknown in these degenerate days, so are the huge bricks in the chimney walls. The architect of the chimney must have had the pyramid of Cheops before him; for after that famous structure it seems modeled, only its rate of decrease towards the summit is con- siderably less, and it is truncated. From the exact middle of the mansion it soars from the cellar, right up through each suc- cessive floor, till, four feet square, it breaks water from the ridge-pole of the roof, like an anvil-headed whale, through the crest of a billow. Most people, though, liken it, in that part, to a razeed observatory, masoned up. The reason for its peculiar appearance above the roof touches upon rather delicate ground. How shall I reveal that, foras- much as many years ago the original gable roof of the old house had become very leaky, a temporary proprietor hired a band of woodmen, with their huge, crosscut saws, and went to saw- ing the old gable roof clean off. Off it went, with all its birds' nests, and dormer windows. It was replaced with a modern roof, more fit for a railway wood-house than an old country gentleman's abode. This operation——razeeing the structure some fifteen feet——was, in effect upon the chimney, something like the falling of the great spring tides. It left uncommon low water all about the chimney——to abate which appearance, the same person now proceeds to slice fifteen feet off the chimney itself, actualyl beheading my royal old chimney——a regicidal act which, were it not for the palliating fact that he was a poulterer by trade, and, therefore, hardened to such neck- wringings, should send that former proprietor down to pos- terity in the same cart with Cromwell. Owing to its pyramidal shape, the reduction of the chimney inordinately widened its razeed summit. Inordinately, I say, but only in the estimation of such as have no eye to the pic- turesque. What care I, if, unaware that my chimney, as a free citizen of this free land, stands upon an independent basis of its own, people passing it wondering how such a brick-kiln, as they call it, is supported upon mere joists and rafters? What care I? I will give a traveler a cup of switchel, if he ants it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste? Men of cultivated minds see, in my old house and chimney, a goodly old elephant- and-castle. All feeling hearts will sympathize with me in what I am now about to add. The surgical operation, above referred to, nec- essarily brought into the open air a part of the chimney previously under cover, and intended to remain so and, there- fore, not built of what are called weather-bricks. In con- sequence, the chimney, though of a vigorous constitution, suffered not a little from so naked an exposure; and, unable to acclimate itself, ere long began to fail——showing blotchy symp- toms akin to those in the measles. Whereupon travelers, passing my way, would wag their heads, laughing: "See that wax nose ——how it melts off!" But what cared I? The same travelers would travel across the sea to view Kenilworth peeling away, and for a very good reason: that of all artists of the picturesque, decay wears the palm——I would say, the ivy. In fact, I've often thought that the proper place for my old chimney is ivied old England. In vain my wife——with what probable ulterior intent will, ere long, appear——solemnly warned me, that unless something were done, and speedily, we should be burnt to the ground, owing to the holes crumbling through the aforesaid blotchy parts, where the chimney joined the roof. "Wife," said I, "far better that my house should burn down, than my chimney should be pulled down, though but a few feet. They call it a wax nose; very good; not for me to tweak the nose of my superior." But at last the man who has a mortgage on the house dropped me a note, reminding me that, if my chimney was allowed to stand in that invalid condition, my policy of insurance would be void. This was a sort of hint not to be neglected. All the world over, the picturesque yields to the pocketesque. The mort- gagor cared not, but the mortgagee did. So another operation was performed. The wax nose was taken off, and a new one fitted on. Unfortunately for the expression ——being put up buy a squint-eyed mason who, at the time, had a bad stitch in the same side——the new nose stands a little awry, in the same direction. Of one thing, however, I am proud. The horizontal dimen- sions of the new part are unreduced. Large as the chimney appears upon the roof, that is nothing to its spaciousness below. At its base in the cellar, it is precisely twelve feet square; and hence covers precisely one hundred and fourty-four superficial feet. What an appropriation of terra firma for a chimney, and what a huge load for this earth! In fact, it was only because I and my chimney formed no part of his an- cient burden, that that stout peddler, Atlas of old, was enabled to stand up so bravely under his pack. The dimensions given may, perhaps, seem fabulous. But, like those stones at Gilgal, which Joshua set up for a memorial of having passed over Jor- dan, does not my chimney remain, even unto this day? Very often I go down into my cellar, and attentively survey the vast square of masonry. I stand long, and ponder over, and wonder at it. It has a druidical look, away down in the umbrageous cellar there, whose numerous vaulted passages, and far glens of gloom, resemble he dark, damp depths of primeval woods. So strongly did this conceit steal over me, so deeply was I penetrated with wonder at the chimney, that one day——when I was a little out of my mind, I now think——get- ting a spade from the garden, I set to work, digging round the foundation, especially at the corners thereof, obscurely prompted by dreams of striking upon some old, earthen-worn memorial of that bygone day when, into all this gloom, the light of heaven entered, as the masons laid the foundation-stones, peradventure sweltering under the August sun, or pelted by a March storm. Plying my blunted spade, how vexed was I by that ungracious interruption of a neighbor, who, calling to see me upon some business, and being informed that I was below, said I need not be troubled to come up, but he would go down to me; and so, without ceremony, and without my having been forewarned, suddenly discovered me, digging in my cellar. "Gold-digging, sir?" "Nay, sir," answered I, starting, "I was merely——ahem! merely ——I say merely digging——round my chimney." "Ah, loosening the soil, to make it grow. Your chimney, sir, you regard as too small, I suppose; needing further develop- ment, especially at the top?" "Sir!" said I, throwing down the spade, "do not be personal. I and my chimney——" "Personal?" "Sir, I look upon this chimney less as a pile of masonry than as a personage. It is the king of the house. I am but a suffered and inferior subject." In fact, I would permit no gibes to be cast at either myself or my chimney; and never did my visitor refer to it in my hearing, without coupling some compliment with the mention. It deserves a respectful consideration. There it stands, solitary and alone——not a council -of-ten flues, but, like his sa- cred majesty of Russia, a unit of an autocrat. Even to me, its dimensions, at times, seem incredible. It does not look so big——no, not even in the cellar. By the mere eye, its magnitude can be but imperfectly comprehended, because only one side can be received at one time; and said side can only present twelve feet, linear measure. But then, each other side also is twelve feet long; and the whole obviously forms a square; and twelve times twelve is one hundred and forty-four. And so, and adequate conception of the magnitude of this chim- ney is only to be got at by a sort of process in the higher math- ematics, by a method somewhat akin to those whereby the surprising distances of fixed stars are computed. It need hardly be said that the walls of my house are entirely free from fireplaces. These all congregate in the middle——in the one grand central chimney, upon all four sides of which are hearths——two tiers of hearths——so that when, in the various chambers, my family and guests are warming themselves of a cold winter's night, just before retiring, then, though at the time they may not be thinking so, all their faces mutually look towards each other, yea, all their feet point to one centre; and, when they go to sleep in their beds, they all sleep round one warm chimney, like so many Iroquois Indians, in the woods, round their one heap of embers. And just as the Indians' fire serves, not only to keep them comfortable, but also to keep off wolves, and other savage monsters, so my chimney, by its ob- vious smoke at he top, keeps off prowling burglars from the towns ——for what burglar or murderer would dare break into an abode from whose chimney issues such a continual smoke_— betokening that if the inmates are not stirring, at least fires are, and in case of an alarm, candles may be lighted, to say nothing of muskets. But stately as is the chimney——yea, grand high altar as it is, right worthy for the celebration of High Mass before the Pope of Rome, and all his cardinals——yet what is there perfect in this world? Caius Julius Caesar, had he not been so inordinately great, they say that Brutus, Cassius, Antony, and the rest, had been greater. My chimney, were it not so mighty in its magni- tude, my chambers had been larger. How often has my wife ruefully told me, that my chimney, like all English aristocracy, casts a contracting shade all round it. She avers that endless domestic inconveniences arise——more particularly from the chimney's stubborn central locality. The grand objection with her is that it stands midway in the place where a fine entrance- hall ought to be. In truth, there is no hall whatever to the house ——nothing but a sort of square landing-place, as you enter from the wide front door. A roomy enough landing-place, I admit, but not attaining to the dignity of a hall. Now, as the front door is precisely in the middle of the front of the house, inwards it faces the chimney. In fact, the opposite wall of the landing- place is formed solely by the chimney; and hence——owing to the gradual tapering of the chimney——is a little less than twelve feet in width. Climbing the chimney in this part, is the princi- pal staircase——which, by three abrupt turns, and three minor landing-places, mounts to the second floor, where, over the front door, runs a sort of narrow gallery, something less than twelve feet long, leading to chambers on either hand. This gallery, of course, is railed; and so, looking down upon the stairs, and all those landing-places together, with the main one at bottom, resembles not a little a balcony for musicians, in some jolly old abode, in times Elizabethan. Shall I tell a weak- ness? I cherish the cobwebs there, and many a time arrest Biddy in the act of brushing them with her broom, and have many a quarrel with my wife and daughters about it. Now the ceiling, so to speak, of the place where you enter the house, that ceiling is, in fact, the ceiling of the second floor, not the first. The two floors are made one here, so that ascend- ing this turning stairs, you seem to go up into a kind of soar- ing tower, or light-house. At the second landing, midway up the chimney, is a mysterious door, entering to a mysterious closet; and here I keep mysterious cordials, of a choice, mys- terious flavor, made so by the constant nurturing and subtle ripening of the chimney's gentle heat, distilled through that warm mass of masonry. Better for wines is it than voyages to the Indies; my chimney itself a tropic. A chair by my chimney in a November day is as good for an invalid as a long season spent in Cuba. Often I think how grapes might ripen against my chimney. How my wife's geraniums bud there! Bud in December. Her eggs, too——can't keep them near the chimney, on account of hatching. Ah, a warm heart has my chimney. How often my wife was at me about that projected grand entrance-hall of hers, which was to be knocked clean through the chimney, from one end of the house to the other, and as- tonish all guests by its generous amplitude. "But, wife," said I, "the chimney——consider the chimney: if you demolish the foundation, what is to support the superstructure?" "Oh, that will rest on the second floor." The truth is, women know next to nothing about the realities of architecture. However, my wife still talked of running her entries and partitions. She spent many long nights elaborating her plans; in imagination build- ing her boasted hall through the chimney, as though its high mightiness were a mere spear of sorrel-top. At last, I gently reminded her that, little as she might fancy it, the chimney was a fact——a sober, substantial fact, which, in all her plannings, it would be well to take into full consideration. But this was not of much avail. And here, specially craving her permission, I must say a few words about this enterprising wife of mine. Though in years nearly as old as myself, in spirit she is young as my little sorrel mare, Trigger, that threw me last fall. What is extraordi- nary, though she comes of a rheumatic family, she is straight as a pine, never has any aches; while for me with the sciatica, I am sometimes as crippled up as any old apple tree. But she has not so much as a toothache. As for her hearing——let me en- ter the house in my dusty boots, and she away up in the attic. And for her sight——Biddy, the housemaid, tells other people's housemaids, that her mistress will spy a spot on the dresser straight through the pewter platter, put up on purpose to hide it. Her faculties are alert as her limbs and her senses. No danger of my spouse dying of torpor. The longest night in the year I've known her to lie awake, planning her campaign for the mor- row. She is a natural projector. The maxim, "Whatever is, is right," is not hers. Her maxim is, Whatever is, is wrong; and what is more, must be altered; and what is still more, must be altered right away. Dreadful maxim for the wife of a dozy old dreamer like me, who dotes on seventh days as days of rest, and, out of sabbatical horror of industry, will, on a week-day, go out of my road a quarter of a mile, to avoid the sight of a man at work. That matches are made in heaven, may be, but my wife would have been just the wife for Peter the Great, or Peter the Piper. How she would have set in order that huge littered em- pire of the one, and with indefatigable painstaking picked the peck of pickled peppers for the other. But the most wonderful thing is, my wife never thinks of her end. Her youthful incredulity, as to the plain theory, and still plainer fact of death, hardly seems Christian. Advanced in years, as she knows she must be, my wife seems to think that she is to teem on, and be inexhaustible forever. She doesn't believe in old age. At that strange promise in the plain of Mamre, my old wife, unlike old Abraham's, would not have jeeringly laughed within herself. Judge how to me, who, sitting in the comfortable shadow of my chimney, smoking my comfortable pipe, with ashes not unwelcome at my feet, and ashes not unwelcome all but in my mouth; and who am thus in a comfortable sort of not unwel- come, though, indeed, ashy enough way, reminded of the ul- timate exhaustion even of the most fiery life; judge how to me this unwarrantable vitality in my wife must come, sometimes, it is true, with a moral and a calm, but oftener with a breeze and a ruffle. If the doctrine be true, that in wedlock contraries attract, but how cogent a fatality must I have been drawn to my wife! While spicily impatient of present and past, like a glass of gin- ger-beer she overflows with her schemes; and, with like energy as she puts down her foot, puts down her preserves and her pickles, and lives with them in a continual future; or ever full of expectations both from time and space, is ever restless for newspapers, and ravenous for letters. Content with the years that are gone, taking no thought for the morrow, and looking for no new thing from any person or quarter whatever, I have not a single scheme or expectation on earth, save in unequal resistance of the undue encroachment of hers. Old myself, I take to oldness in things; for that cause mainly loving old Montaigne, and old cheese, and old wine; and eschewing young people, hot rolls, new book, and early potatoes, and very fond of my old claw-footed chair, and old club-footed Deacon White, my neighbor, and that still nigher old neighbor, my betwisted grape-vine, that of a summer evening leans in his elbow for cosy company at my window- sill, while I, within doors, lean over mine to meet his; and above all, high above all, am fond of my highmanteled old chimney. But she, out of that infatuate juvenility of hers, takes to nothing but newness; for that cause mainly, loving new cider in autumn, and in spring, as if she were own daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, fairly raving after all sorts of salads and spin- aches, and more particularly green cucumbers (though all the time nature rebukes such unsuitable young hankerings in so elderly a person, by never permitting such things to agree with her), and has an itch after recently-discovered fine pros- pects (so no grave-yard be in the background), and also after Swedenborgianism, and the Spirit Rapping philosophy, with other new views, alike in things natural and unnatural; and immortally hopeful, is forever making new flower-beds even on the north side of the house, where the bleak mountain wind would scarce allow the wiry weed called hard-hack to gain a thorough footing; and on the road-side sets out mere pipestems of young elms; though there is no hope of any shade from them, except over the ruins of her great granddaughters' grave-stones; and won't wear caps, but plaits her gray hair; and takes the Ladies' Magazine for the fashions; and always buys her new almanac a month before the new year; and rises at dawn; and to the warmest sunset turns a cold shoulder; and still goes on at odd hours with her new course of history, and her French, and her music; and likes young company; and offers to ride young colts; and sets out young suckers in the orchard; and has a spite against my elbowed old grape-vine, and my club-footed old neighbor, and my claw-footed old chair, and above all, high above all, would fain persecute, unto death, my high- manteled old chimney. By what perverse magic, I a thousand times think, does such a very autumnal old lady have such a very vernal young soul? When I would remonstrate at times, she spins round on me with, "Oh, don't you grumble, old man (she always calls me old man), it's I, young I, that keep you from stagnating." Well, I suppose it is so. Yea, after all, these things are well ordered. My wife, as one of her poor relations, good soul, intimates, is the salt of the earth, and none the less the salt of my sea, which otherwise were unwholesome. She is its monsoon, too blowing a brisk gale over it, in the one steady direction of my chimney. Not insensible of her superior energies, my wife has fre- quently made me propositions to take upon herself all the responsibilities of my affairs. She is desirous that, domestically, I should abdicate; that, renouncing further rule, like the vener- able Charles V, I should retire into some sort of monastery. But indeed, the chimney excepted, I have little authority to lay down. My wife's ingenious application of the principle that certain things belong to right to female jurisdiction, I find myself, through my easy compliances, insensibly stripped by de- grees of one masculine prerogative after another. In a dream I go about my fields, a sort of lazy, happy-go-lucky, good-for- nothing, loafing old Lear. Only by some sudden revelation am I reminded who is over me; as year before last, one day seeing in one corner of the premises fresh deposits of mysterious boards and timbers, the oddity of the incident at length begat serious meditation. "Wife," said I, "whose boards and timbers are those I see near the orchard there? Do you know anything about them, wife? Who put them there? You know I do not like the neighbors to use my land that way; they should ask per- mission first." She regarded me with a pitying smile. "Why, old man, don't you know I am building a new barn? Didn't you know that, old man?" This is the poor old lady that was accusing me of tyrannizing over her. To return now to the chimney. Upon being assured of the futility of her proposed hall, so long as the obstacle remained, for a time my wife was for a modified project. But I could never exactly comprehend it. As far as I could see through it, it seemed to involve the general idea of a sort of irregular arch- way, or elbowed tunnel, which was to penetrate the chimney at some convenient point under the stair-case, and carefully avoiding dangerous contact with fireplaces, and particu- larly steering clear of the great interior flue, was to conduct the enterprising traveler from the front door all the way into the dining-room in the remote rear of the mansion. Doubtless it was a bold stroke of genius, that plan of hers, and so was Nero's when he schemed his grand canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Nor will I take oath, that, had her project been ac- complished, then, by help of lights hung at judicious intervals through the tunnel, some Belzoni or other might have suc- ceeded in future ages to penetrate through the masonry, and actually emerging into the dining-room, and once there, it would have been inhospitable treatment of such a traveler to have denied him a recruiting meal. But my bustling wife did not restrict her objections, nor in the end confine her proposed alterations to the first floor. Her ambition was of the mounting order. She ascended with her schemes to the second floor, and so to the attic. Perhaps there was some small ground for her discontent with things as they were. The truth is, there was no regular passage-way up stairs or down, unless we again except that little orchestra-gallery before mentioned. And all this was owing to the chimney, which my gamesome spouse seemed despitefully to regard as the bully of the house. On all its four sides, nearly all the cham- bers sidled up to the chimney for the benefit of a fireplace. The chimney would not go to them; they must needs go to it. The consequence was, almost every room, like a philosophical sys- tem, was in itself an entry, or passage-way to other rooms, and systems of rooms——a whole suite of entries, in fact. Going through the house, you seem to be forever going somewhere, and getting nowhere. It is like losing one's self in the woods; round and round the chimney you go, and if you arrive at all, it is just where you started, and so you begin again, and again get nowhere. Indeed——though I say it not in the way of fault- finding at all——never was there so labyrinthine an abode. Guests will tarry with me several weeks and every now and then, be anew astonished at some unforeseen apartment. 
from Herman Melville : Selected Tales and Poems Edited, with an introduction by Richard Chase Rinehart Edition paperback, seventh printing, 1959; pp. 159 —173.
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Pure PoW is DEAD

When I was 16, camping out in an airport waiting to board my first International flight to England I began chatting with a U.S. Airforce pilot who had camped up beside my group. Asking him what it was like to fly at mach speeds he replied in a very sober expression, “you have to be alert at all times. You see a mountain or some obstacle appear on the horizon, you better adjust now or you’re going to slam into it.” Maybe he was adding dramatic effect, I’ve never flown at mach speeds at low altitudes, but I never forgot it and the analogy it carries...especially so fitting for technology and progress.
This past week in cryptocurrency shined an important (and hopefully sobering) light on a “mountain” that appeared on our industries horizon...and has actually been visible to us for far too long already: Pure Proof of Work’s inevitable fate.
By pure, I mean consensus algorithms that use nothing but the original Bitcoin proof of work consensus model without updates or algorithm changes to address its weaknesses relative to the ever expanding technology used to hash it. This means Bitcoin, today’s Ethereum, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, and other coins that comprise most of the value in the top 100 cryptocurrencies. The original, unmodified form of basic PoW that most of these coins use is dead. This demise may not be fully appreciated today, but as sure as a mach-speed plane, unable to turn in time is doomed to collide with a mountain in its path, these blockchains must soon either accept their lack of security in today’s world or fork and upgrade to more effective solutions, some of which have been pioneered by smaller projects that don’t command as much hash power and therefore already had to face and address their need for extra security.
I believe it’s actually irresponsible to deny it and assume economics, hash power, market, sentiment or even self-preservation of network participants will be protection enough.
Because Bitcoin is the biggest (by market cap) of the pure PoW cryptocurrencies in existence today, I’ll establish my arguments using BTC, but the same goes for all pure PoW cryptos.
1 - Economics Bitcoin is often defended because it has the largest market cap of all cryptocurrencies and commands most of the capable hash worldwide that might be used to attack it. It is a “store of value” with proponents of this argument relying on few factors, limited supply combined with sentiment being one of the most prominent. They believe that this limited supply will inevitably drive the price up and, somehow, bitcoin will remain unequivocally secured and established.
Bitcoin has serious limitations in its adherence to the pure PoW model, and though the realities of competition has kept it free from major 51% attacks, I predict that it’s only a matter of time before it cannot command the majority of hash power that may be used to attack it. Lack of acceptance that consensus must use more than just PoW, even when checkpoints are an already accepted as necessary augmentation, leaves Bitcoin open to a catastrophic failure at some point in the future, which would affect the short term value of every cryptocurrency, even those that have addressed and solved the most glaring security challenges of a pure PoW model. Some projects have developed and are now using more advanced, more secure technology than pure PoW, and still remain fully decentralized. This is now an area where altcoins are leading, as they fill the security vacuum. With altcoins also having smart contracts and advanced currency capabilities and being potential stores of value as well, the landscape visible on the horizon in front of us looks quite different from the smooth sailing we have seen behind us with respect to projects relying on PoW and PoW alone. I’m not suggesting that Bitcoin should try to be everything that every other altcoin is becoming, but to rely on its single function as an argument of it’s security and sustainability while refraining from important technical advancements to secure its future, is foolish. The calculator is an important, valuable, and useful tool, yet people understood that it should be part of a more multifunction solution and now carry one around inside their smartphone.
The argument supporting Bitcoin’s status quo as a pure PoW blockchain and claiming it is perfect as is for whatever particular reason, is often combined with the following and includes an argument resting on self-preservation. In other words, why would anyone be nefarious and ruin their own wealth and store of value given the enormous hash power and cost it would take to attack Bitcoin? Bitcoin, then, relies on theoretical protection with idealistic boundaries.
2 - Hash Power and Hardware Capabilities This is sort of a 2 in 1 argument. Bitcoin is considered by many, the most secure blockchain in terms of pure hash power. In other words, more hash power is directed at Bitcoin than any other cryptocurrency and, there are limits to sha256d hashing speeds, economically and in hardware capabilities therefore it would be too expensive to attack Bitcoin and by the same token, make no sense to the attacker to do any wrong in this case (self preservation).
To assume technology, A: is limited to what we know now and B: will remain within these bounds for long, is just ignorant. What happens when sha256d can be hashed faster, when hardware innovations change the cost and capabilities involved? How do we know it isn’t possible now? What’s more, will Bitcoin always hold its position as the “special” coin due to its leading network hashpower that simply will never experience a world where there is enough available hash power from other sources to use for a 51% attack? The argument that Bitcoin will remain special is not an argument that its technology can protect it, especially with its roots as a project that grew from a figurative David with its sights set on the Goliath of the banking industry.
Look at the enormous hash power presently directed at Bitcoin and ask, what happens if that hash power is suddenly directed at another, less special coin, as part of a 51% attack? Is that other coin ready to defend in some way against that event? And how does this then impact Bitcoin? I would submit that at the end of the analysis, if the only thing protecting Bitcoin and its current technology from being doublespent to death is the fact that it is uniquely “special” because it is biggest, then as it unarguably becomes centralized among the largest Bitcoin participants and/or institutions, in an ironic way, refusal to improve technology could create exactly the systemic centralization that Satoshi was trying to prevent.
Even so, the idea that Bitcoin can always and forever remain the largest cryptocurrency and “special” as such, ignores historical realities that teach us differently. Remember “alta-vista”, the pre-Google winner of the search engine wars? Remember AOL? MySpace? The economics of bitcoin as people understand them today, the economics involved in mining pure PoW, the sentiment and value assigned to bitcoin and any coin now, can change as rapidly as Bitcoin emerged, even unexpectedly to the masses.
The ETC attack of only a few days ago just put the entire Cryptocurrency industry on notice. Any project without an active solution in place of immunity or at least a defense against a 51% hash attack is in trouble. I would argue that even though it will likely still take some time for market dynamics to enable an attacker to reasonably mount a 51% attack on the largest pure PoW cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, without new defense against such an attack, it is a question of when, not if.
The other day I identified a small handful of projects that have developed and are using defenses against 51% hash attacks, only one of which has a provable solution of hash attack immunity in place.
It’s important to note, any solution that can be seen as real progress over the Bitcoin protocol must be one that is decentralized. While some cryptocurrencies solve the 51% hash attack problem with a fully centralized approach, that truly misses the point of the original Bitcoin paper. Centralized databases are a different technology altogether, and implementing a centralized solution to a decentralized technology changes it entirely, in which case it’s more akin to just trying to brand your centralized database with the latest catch phrases to gain attention, support or funding.
Here’s a short list I identified of projects who have developed a defense or a complete solution to 51% hash attacks. To my knowledge, all of these solutions are now active on the respective project main networks, with the exception of Litecoin Cash, which is running on testnet at this time.:
As an industry, we need to face the fact that pure PoW is an incomplete solution to decentralized blockchain security in this age of cheap, fungible compute power. Pure PoW-only systems must evolve, and it’s time we look beyond to understand what are the best solutions that have evolved to address that fact. If you are part of a crypto project, no matter how large, you ignore the notice provided by the ETC attack at your own peril and the peril of your network participants.
My request is this… if you know of a project with a 51% hash attack solution, please provide some information below. If you totally disagree with the main point of this post, please provide a reasoned argument to prove me wrong or explain why pure PoW systems will remain viable indefinitely. As an industry, it’s time we see the blunt reality and apply innovation. Those who don’t will be reduced to interesting historical experiments.
submitted by ethadvisor to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining & The Beauty Of Capitalism

Authored by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times,
While the price of bitcoin drops, miners get more creative... and some flourish.
The bitcoin price is crashing; naysayers and doomsayers are having a field day. The demise of the dominant cryptocurrency is finally happening — or is it?
Bitcoin has been buried hundreds of times, most notably during the brutal 90 percent decline from 2013 to 2015. And yet it has always made a comeback.
Where the skeptics are correct: The second bitcoin bubble burst in December of last year and the price is down roughly 80 percent from its high of $20,000. Nobody knows whether and when it will see these lofty heights again.
As a result, millions of speculators have been burned, and big institutions haven’t showed up to bridge the gap.
This also happened on a smaller scale in 2013 after a similar 100x run-up, and it was necessary.

Time to Catch Up

What most speculators and even some serious proponents of the independent and decentralized monetary system don’t understand: Bitcoin needs these pauses to make improvements in its infrastructure.
Exchanges, which could not handle the trading volumes at the height of the frenzy and did not return customer service inquiries, can take a breather and upgrade their systems and hire capable people.
The technology itself needs to make progress and this needs time. Projects like the lightning network, a system which delivers instant bitcoin payments at very little cost and at virtually unlimited scale is now only available to expert programmers.
A higher valuation is only justified if these improvements reach the mass market.
And since we live in a world where everything financial is tightly regulated, for better or worse, this area also needs to catch up, since regulators are chronically behind the curve of technological progress.
And of course, there is bitcoin mining. The vital infrastructure behind securing the bitcoin network and processing its transactions has been concentrated in too few hands and in too few places, most notably China, which still hosts about 70 percent of the mining capacity.

The Case For Mining

Critics have always complained that bitcoin mining consumes “too much” electricity, right now about as much as the Czech Republic. In energy terms this is around 65 terawatt hours or 230,000,000 gigajoules, costing $3.3 billion dollars according to estimates by Digiconomist.
For the non-physicists among us, this is around as much as consumed by six million energy-guzzling U.S. households per year.
All those estimates are imprecise because the aggregate cannot know how much energy each of the different bitcoin miners consumes and how much that electricity costs. But they are a reasonable rough estimate.
So it’s worth exploring why mining is necessary to begin with and whether the electricity consumption is justified.
Anything and everything humans do consumes resources. The question then is always: Is it worth it? And: Who decides?
This question then leads to the next question: Is it worth having and using money? Most people would argue yes, because using money instead of barter in fact makes economic transactions faster and cheaper and thus saves resources, natural and human.

_Merchants exchange goods with the inhabitants of Tidore, Indonesia, circa 1550. Barter was supplanted by using money because it is more efficient. (Archive/Getty Images)_If we are generously inclined, we will grant bitcoin the status of a type of money or at least currency as it meets the general requirements of being recognizable, divisible, portable, durable, is accepted in exchange for other goods and services, and in this case it is even limited in supply.
So having any type of money has a price, whether it’s gold, dollar bills, or numbers on the screen of your online banking system. In the case of bitcoin, it’s the electricity and the capital for the computing equipment, as well as the human resources to run these operations.
If we think having money in general is a good idea and some people value the decentralized and independent nature of bitcoin then it would be worth paying for verifying transactions on the bitcoin network as well as keeping the network secure and sound: Up until the point where the resources consumed would outweigh the efficiency benefits. Just like most people don’t think it’s a bad idea to use credit cards and banks, which consume electricity too.
However, bitcoin is a newcomer and this is why it’s being scrutinized even more so than the old established players.

Different Money, Different Costs

How many people know how much electricity, human lives, and other resources gold mining consumes or has consumed in the course of history? What about the banking system? Branches, servers, air-conditioning, staff? What about printing dollar notes and driving them around in armored trucks?
What about the social effects of monetary mismanagement of bank and government money like inflation as well as credit deflations? Gold gets a pass here.
Most people haven’t asked that question, which is why it’s worth pointing out the only comprehensive study done on the topic in 2014. In “An Order of Magnitude” the engineer Hass McCook analyzes the different money systems and reaches mind-boggling conclusions.
The study is a bit dated and of course the aggregations are also very rough estimates, but the ball park numbers are reasonable and the methodology sound.
In fact, according to the study, bitcoin is the most economic of all the different forms of money.
Gold mining in 2014 used 475 million GJ, compared to bitcoin’s 230 million in 2018. The banking system in 2014 used 2.3 billion gigajoules.
Over 100 people per year die trying to mine gold. But mining costs more than electricity. It consumes around 300,000 liters of water per kilogram of gold mined as well as 150 kilogram (330 pounds) of cyanide and 1500 tons of waste and rubble.
The international banking system has been used in all kinds of fraudulent activity throughout history: terrorist financing, money laundering, and every other criminal activity under the sun at a cost of trillions of dollars and at an order of magnitude higher than the same transactions done with cryptocurrency and bitcoin.
And of course, while gold has a relatively stable value over time, our bank and government issued money lost about 90 percent of its purchasing power over the last century, because it can be created out of thin air. This leads to inflation and a waste of physical and human resources because it distorts the process of capital allocation.

_The dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its value since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. (Source: St. Louis Fed)_This is on top of the hundreds of thousands of bank branches, millions of ATMs and employees which all consume electricity and other resources, 10 times as much electricity alone as the bitcoin network.
According to monetary philosopher Saifedean Ammous, author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” the social benefit of hard money, i.e. money that can’t be printed by government decree, cannot even be fathomed; conversely, the true costs of easy money—created by government fiat and bank credit—are difficult to calculate.
According to Ammous, bitcoin is the hardest money around, even harder than gold because its total supply is capped, whereas the gold supply keeps increasing at about 1-2 percent every year.
“Look at the era of the classical gold standard, from 1871, the end of the Franco–Prussian War, until the beginning of World War I. There’s a reason why this is known as the Golden Era, the Gilded Age, and La Belle Epoque. It was a time of unrivaled human flourishing all over the world. Economic growth was everywhere. Technology was being spread all over the world. Peace and prosperity were increasing everywhere around the world. Technological innovations were advancing.
“I think this is no coincidence. What the gold standard allowed people to do is to have a store of value that would maintain its value in the future. And that gave people a low time preference, that gave people the incentive to think of the long term, and that made people want to invest in things that would pay off over the long term … bitcoin is far closer to gold. It is a digital equivalent of gold,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times.
Of course, contrary to the gold standard that Ammous talks about, bitcoin doesn’t have a track record of being sound money in practice. In theory it meets all the criteria, but in the real world it hasn’t been adopted widely and has been so volatile as to be unusable as a reliable store of value or as the underlying currency of a productive lending market.
The proponents argue that over time, these problems will be solved the same way gold spread itself throughout the monetary sphere replacing copper and seashells, but even Ammous concedes the process may take decades and the outcome is far from certain. Gold is the safe bet for sound money, bitcoin has potential.
There is another measure where bitcoin loses out, according to a recent study by researchers from the Oak Ridge Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It is the amount of energy expended per dollar for different monetary instruments. One dollar worth of bitcoin costs 17 megajoules to mine versus five for gold and seven for platinum. But the study omits the use of cyanide, water, and other physical resources in mining physical metals.
In general, the comparisons in dollar terms go against bitcoin because it is worth relatively less, only $73 billion in total at the time of writing. An issue that could be easily fixed at a higher price, but a higher price is only justified if the infrastructure improves, adoption increases, volatility declines, and the network proves its resilience to attacks over time.
In the meantime, market participants still value the fact they can own a currency independent of the government, completely digital, easily fungible, and limited in supply, and relatively decentralized. And the market as a whole is willing to pay a premium for these factors reflected in the higher per dollar prices for mining bitcoin.

The Creativity of Bitcoin Mining

But where bitcoin mining lacks in scale, it makes up for it in creativity.
In theory—and in practice—bitcoin mining can be done anywhere where there is cheap electricity. So bitcoin mining operations can be conducted not where people are (banking) or where government is (fiat cash) or where gold is (gold mining)—it can be done everywhere where there is cheap electricity
Some miners are flocking to the heat of the Texan desert where gas is virtually available for free, thanks to another oil revolution.
Other miners go to places where there is cheap wind, water, or other renewable energy.
This is because they don’t have to build bank branches, printing presses, and government buildings, or need to put up excavators and conveyor belts to dig gold out of the ground.
All they need is internet access and a home for the computers that look like a shipping container, each one of which has around 200 specialized bitcoin mining computers in them.
“The good thing about bitcoin mining is that it doesn’t matter where on earth a transaction happens, we can verify it in our data center here. The miners are part of the decentralized philosophy of bitcoin, it’s completely independent of your location as well,” said Moritz Jäger, chief technology officer at bitcoin Mining company Northern Bitcoin AG.

Centralized Mining

But so far, this decentralization hasn’t worked out as well as it sounds in theory.
Because Chinese local governments had access to subsidized electricity, it was profitable for officials to cut deals with bitcoin mining companies and supply them with cheap electricity in exchange for jobs and cutbacks. Sometimes the prices were as low as 2 dollar cents to 4 dollar cents per kilowatt hour.
This is why the majority of bitcoin mining is still concentrated in China (around 70 percent) where it was the most profitable, but only because the Chinese central planners subsidized the price of electricity.
This set up led to the by and large unwanted result that the biggest miner of bitcoin, a company called Bitmain, is also the biggest manufacturer of specialized computing equipment for bitcoin mining. The company reported revenues of $2.8 billion for the first half of 2018.

Tourists walk on the dunes near a power plant in Xiangshawan Desert in Ordos of Inner Mongolia, in this file photo. bitcoin miners have enjoyed favorable electricity rates in places like Ordos for a long time. (Feng Li/Getty Images)Centralized mining is a problem because whenever there is one player or a conglomerate of players who control more than 50 percent of the network computing power, they could theoretically crash the network by spending the same bitcoin twice, the so called “double spending problem.“
They don’t have an incentive to do so because it would probably ruin the bitcoin price and their business, but it’s better not to have to rely on one group of people controlling an entire money system. After all, we have that exact same system with central banking and bitcoin was set up as a decentralized alternative.
So far, no player or conglomerate ever reached that 51 percent threshold, at least not since bitcoin’s very early days, but many market participants always thought Bitmain’s corner of the market is a bit too close for comfort.
This favorable environment for Chinese bitcoin mining has been changing with a crack down on local government electricity largess as well as a crackdown on cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin itself and mining bitcoin remain legal in China but cryptocurrency exchanges have been banned since late 2017.
But more needs to be done for bitcoin to become independent of the caprice of a centralized oppressive regime and local government bureaucrats.

Northern Bitcoin Case Study

Enter Northern Bitcoin AG. The company isn’t the only one which is exploring mining opportunities with renewable energies in locations other than China.
But it is special because of the extraordinary set up it has for its operations, the fact that it is listed on the stock exchange in Germany, and the opportunities for scaling it discovered.
The operations of Northern Bitcoin combine the beauties of bitcoin and capitalism in one.
Like Texas has a lot of oil and free gas and it makes sense to use the gas rather than burn it, Norway has a lot of water, especially water moving down the mountains due to rainfall and melting snow.
And it makes sense to use the power of the movement of the water, channel it through pipes into generators to create very cheap and almost unlimited electricity. Norway generates north of 95 percent of its total electricity from hydropower.

A waterfall next to a hydropowerplant near Sandane, Norway, Oct. 25, 2018. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)Capitalism does not distinguish between renewable and fossil. It uses what is the most expedient. In this case, it is clearly water in Norway, and gas in Texas.
As a side note on the beauties of real capital and the fact that capital and the environment need not be enemies, the water in one of the hydropowerplants close to the Northern Bitcoin facility is piped through a generator made in 1920 by J.M. Voith AG, a company from Heidenheim Germany.
The company was established in 1867 and is still around today. The generator was produced in 1920 and is still producing electricity today.

Excess Power

In the remote regions of Northern Norway, there aren’t that many people or industry who would use the electricity. And rather than transport it over hundreds of miles to the industrial centers of Europe, the industries of the future are moving to Norway to the source of the cheap electricity.
Of course, it is not just bitcoin mining, but other data and computing heavy operations like server farms for cloud computing that can be neatly packaged into one of those containers and shipped up north.
“The containers are beautiful. They are produced in the middle of Germany where the hardware is enabled and tested. Then we put it on a truck and send it up here. When the truck arrives on the outside we lift it on the container vehicle. Two hours after the container arrives, it’s in the container rack. And 40 hours later we enable the cooling, network, power, other systems, and it’s online,” said Mats Andersson, a spokesman for the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway, where Northern Bitcoin has its operations. Plug and play.

A Northern Bitcoin data container inside the Lefdal Mine data center, in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)If the cheap electricity wasn’t enough—around 5 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 17 cents in Germany—Norway also provides the perfect storage for these data containers, which are normally racked up in open air parks above the ground.
Also here, the resource allocation is beautiful. Instead of occupying otherwise useful and beautiful parcels of land and nature, the Northern Bitcoin containers and others are stored in the old Lefdal olivine mine.
Olivine is a mineral used for steel production and looks green. Very fitting. Hence also the name of the data center: Lefdal Mine.
“We take the green mineral out and we take the green IT in,” said Andersson.

Efficiency, Efficiency

Using the old mine as storage for the data center makes the whole process even more resource efficient.
Why? So far, we’ve only been talking about bitcoin mining using a lot of energy. But what for? Before you have actually seen the process in action—and it is similar for other computing operations—you cannot imagine how bizarre it is.
Most of the electricity is used to prevent the computers from overheating. So it’s not even the processors themselves; it’s the fans which cool the computer that use the most juice.
This is where the mine helps, because it’s rather cool 160 meters (525 feet) below sea level; certainly cooler than in the Texas desert.
But it gets even better. On top of the air blow-cooling the computer, the Lefdal data center uses a fresh water system to pump through the containers in pipes.
The fans can then circulate air over the cool pipes which transfer the heat to the water. One can feel the difference when touching the different pipes.
The fresh water closed circle loop then completes the “green” or resource efficiency cycle by transferring its heat to ice cold water from the nearby Fjord.
The water is sucked in through a pipe from the Fjord, the heat gets transferred without the water being mixed, and the water flows back to the Fjord, without any impact on the environment.
To top it all off, the mine has natural physical security far better than open air data centers and is even protected from an electromagnetic pulse blast because it’s underground.

_The Nordfjord near Måløy, Norway. The Lefdal data center takes the cold water from the fjord and uses it to cool the computer inside the mine. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)_Company Dynamics

Given this superlative set up, Northern Bitcoin wants to ramp up production as fast as possible at the Lefdal mine and other similar places in Norway, which have more mountains where data centers can be housed.
At the moment, Northern Bitcoin has 15 containers with 210 mining machines each. The 15 containers produce around 5 bitcoin per day at a total cost of around $2,500 dollars at the end of November 2018 and after the difficulty of solving the math problems went down by ~17 percent.
Most of it is for electricity; the rest is for leasing the containers, renting the mine space, buying and writing off the mining computers, personnel, overhead, etc.
Even at the current relatively depressed prices of around $4000, that’s a profit of $1500 per bitcoin or $7,500 per day.
But the goal is to ramp it up to 280 containers until 2019, producing 100 bitcoin per day. Again, the company is in the sweet spot to do this.
As opposed to the beginning of the year when one could not procure a mining computer from Bitmain even if one’s life depended on it, the current bear market has made them cheap and relatively available both new and second had from miners who had to cease operations because they can’t produce at low bitcoin prices.

Northern Bitcoin containers inside the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)What about the data shipping containers? They are manufactured by a company called Rittal who is the world market leader. So it helps that the owner of Rittal also owns 30 percent of the Lefdal mine, providing preferential access to the containers.
Northern Bitcoin said it has enough capital available for the intermediate goal of ramping up to 50 containers until the end of year but may tap the capital markets again for the next step.
The company can also take advantage of the lower German corporate tax rate because revenue is only recorded when the bitcoin are sold in Germany, not when they are mined in Norway.
Of course, every small-cap stock—especially bitcoin companies—have their peculiarities and very high risks. As an example, Northern Bitcoin’s financial statements, although public, aren’t audited.
The equipment in the Lefdal mine in Norway is real and the operations are controlled by the Lefdal personnel, but one has to rely on exclusive information from the company for financials and cost figures, so buyer beware.

Norway Powerhouse?

Northern Bitcoin wants to have 280 containers, representing around 5 percent of the network’s computing power.
But the Lefdal mine alone has a capacity to power and cool 1,500 containers in a 200 megawatt facility, once it is fully built out.
“Here you have all the space, power, and cooling that you need. … Here you can grow,” said Lefdal’s Andersson.

A mine shaft in the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. The whole mine will have a capacity for 1500 containers once fully built out. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)The Norwegian government was behind an initiative to bring computing power to Norway and make it one of the prime destinations for data centers at the beginning of this decade.
To that effect, the local governments own part of the utility companies which operate the power plants and own part of the Lefdal Mine and other locations. But even without notable subsidies (i.e. cash payments to companies), market players were able to figure it out, for everybody’s benefit.
The utilities win because they can sell their cheap electricity close to home. The computing companies like IBM and Northern Bitcoin win because they can get cheap electricity, storage, and security. Data center operators like Lefdal win because they can charge rent for otherwise unused and unneeded space.
However, in a recent about face, the central government in Oslo has decided to remove cryptocurrency miners from the list of companies which pay a preferential tax rate on electricity consumption.
Normally, energy intensive companies, including data centers, pay a preferential tax on electricity consumed of 0.48 øre ($0.00056 ). According to a report by Norwegian media Aftenposten, this tax will rise to 16.58 øre ($0.019) in 2019 for cryptocurrency miners exclusively.
The argument by left wing politician Lars Haltbrekken who sponsored the initiative: “Norway cannot continue to provide huge tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptocurrency output […] [bitcoin] requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally.”
Since Norway generates its electricity using hydro, precisely the opposite is true: No greenhouse gas emissions, or any emissions for that matter would be produced, if all cryptomining was done in Norway. As opposed to China, where mining is done with coal and with emissions.
But not only in Norway is the share of renewable and emission free energy high. According to research by Coinshares, Bitcoin’s consumes about 77.6 percent of its energy in the form of renewables globally.
However self-defeating the arguments against bitcoin mining in Norway, the political initiative is moving forward. What it means for Northern Bitcoin is not clear, as they house their containers in Lefdal’s mixed data center, which also has other clients, like IBM.
“It’s not really decided yet; there are still big efforts from IT sectors and parties who are trying to change it. If the decision is taken it might apply for pure crypto sites rather than mixed data centers, like ours,” said Lefdal’s Andersson.
Even in the worst-case scenario, it would mean an increase from ~5 cents to ~6.9 cents per kilowatt hour, or 30 percent more paid on the electricity by Northern Bitcoin, which at ~$3250 would still rank it among the most competitive producers in the world.
Coinshares estimates the average production price at $6,800 per Bitcoin at $0,05 per kilowatt hour of electricity and an 18-months depreciation schedule, but concedes that a profitable miner could “[depreciate] mining gear over 24-30 months, or [pay] less for mining gear than our estimates.”
Jäger says Northern Bitcoin depreciates the equipment over three years and has obtained very favorable prices from Bitmain, making its production much more competitive than the average despite the same cost of electricity. In addition, the natural cooling in the mine also reduces electricity costs overall.

Cheap Producer Advantage

At the moment, however, the tax could be the least of any miners worry, as the bitcoin price is in free-fall.
But what happens when the price crashes further? Suffice it to say that there was bitcoin mining when the dollar price was less than 1 cent and there will be bitcoin mining at lower prices thanks to the design of the network.
Mao Shixing, the founder of mining pool F2pool estimated 600,000 miners have shut down since the November crash in price, according to a report by Coindesk.
As it should be in a competitive system, the most energy intensive and obsolete machines are shut down first.
As with every other commodity, when the price drops, some miners will leave the market, leaving space for cheaper competitors to capture a bigger share. But with bitcoin this is a bit simpler than with copper or gold for example.
When a big copper player goes bankrupt, its competitors have to ramp up production and increase cost to increase their market share. With bitcoin, if 3,000 computers get taken off the total mining pool, they won’t be able to mine the approximately 5 bitcoin any longer.
However, because the difficulty of solving the computationally intensive cryptographic tasks of bitcoin decreases automatically when there are fewer computers engaged in the task, the other players just have to leave their machines running at the same rate for the same cost and they will split the 5 bitcoin among them.
“The moment the price goes down, our production price will go down as well,” said Jäger, a process that already happened from November to December when the difficulty decreased twice in November and the beginning of December.
This naturally favors players like Northern Bitcoin, which are producing at the lower end of the cost spectrum. They will be the ones who shut down last.
And this is a good thing. The more companies like Northern Bitcoin, and countries like Norway—even with the extra tax—the more decentralized the bitcoin system.
The more computers there are in different hands mining bitcoin, the more secure the system becomes, because it will be ever more difficult for one player to reach the 50 percent threshold to crash the system. It is this decentralized philosophy which has kept the bitcoin system running for 10 years. Whether at $1 or $20,000.
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We are engaged in Modern-Day Weltanschauungskrieg or "Worldview Warfare"

Here is a description and history of Weltanschauungskrieg or "Worldview Warfare"
This was a type of psychological warfare, nonlinear warfare used in Nazi Germany--essentially consisting of weaponized propaganda, deployed day-after-day, for the purposes of creating a "grand illusion" to shape the 'hearts and minds' of the public.
After all, if the government controls the media, they control ideas, and thus reality itself. As Terence McKenna said, 'the world is made of language'. He did not say it was made of facts. Facts don't matter when you have widespread sophistry and a marketplace where only false ideas are sold. In addition, there is the Orwellian adage "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
The media is trying desperately to erase and mutate history. They are controlling the present. How?
How are they mutating the present?
How are they shaping the future?
Weltanschauungskrieg
It's very revealing that the last year has been the year of competing tropes, narratives and values, the very same patterns and practice of the Nazi party.
In summation, we are undergoing a tribulations of sorts, a psychic civil war, a revolution of the mind that has--in fact--been televised. This last year has been a total and complete sh*tshow---everyone's angry, everyone's unhappy, and everyone's using various maladaptive outlets if they are still trying to pay attention to the news. Mine is obviously reddit--weaponized essays against the establishment and doing what I can to help the open source journalism community. Others use drugs. Others use wicca and crystals. Some even just give up and check out. I've had 2 people attempt suicide near me in the last 2 yrs, one succeeded.
The most lowfunctioning and infantalized among us have found an outlet in violence--Antifa--which almost seemed to be some kind of mythological artifact that existed only in the minds of those who read reddit or spend time online. Ask any sexagenarian or greater (60+), and they'll say, "Antuh-what?...whats this anty fah?" I am literally dumbfounded when I casually mention Antifa and I get stopped by an rock=dwelling baby boomer and they don't know what an Antifa is.
No really. It's been maybe 15 people over 60 now that have not known what Antifa is. I know they read the local paper OR watch Fox OR get yahoo news. And still somehow don't know what an Antifa is. I think my father is the only person who knew/knows what's going on. I can't imagine how lonely he must feel being surrounded by boomers who just don't give a damn anymore and think 'well it's lost so might as well enjoy the rest of the days'. Turns out, they've been living in that mode for 40 yrs and that's why we have the world we have now. Good men did nothing.
Anyway, that knowledge gap; that worldview gap; that reality gap; a lack of common grounds is why it's been so very difficult over these decades to even broach the subject of false flaggotry, 9/11, Omar Matteen having worked for G4S and his dad's relationship to the Clintons; Clinton foundation financial crimes; George Webb's thesis and the Awan Brothers; etc, without being easily dismissed as a fringe lunatic.
The complexity of these scandals is not out of reach or too much for boomers--after all their schooling was completed pre-GWB decline. But the culprit is again this worldview warfare-- pushing superpatriotism; the myths of the 'savages' and manifest destiny'; that the government is your dad and father knows best; that if you don't need privacy if you have nothing to hide; that if they (gov) were doing something wrong then surely someone would stop them and send them to jail.
With this last bite of sophistry, then Hillary not being in jail means that she did nothing wrong. It's circular, faulty logic that the deepstate relies on, and that's why they push it....in addition to their even more powerful weapons of: plausibile deniability, using human shields and weaponized omission
This last weapon is something we can disarm IF we can manage not to be subjected to their other weapons of censorship. Truth is its own reason, but beyond that it's meritorious. Beyond merit its obligatory: you owe the truth not just to yourself but others. With Truth you don't ever have to doubt yourself or live in fear. Since time eats everyone, who cares if you die tomorrow, especially if you lived in the truth--this is something they can't take away with a thousand CNNs or a thousand fake accounts on twitter.
And us knowing this is why they are scared sh*tless....that standing in the truth dissolves their illusions and their worldview warfare is no longer useful
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Bitcoin: When man does not control technology

I warned everyone back in October of 2013 and in August 2013, that they were probably tremendously underestimating the potential of Bitcoin. Come January 2017 and we see that Bitcoin has surged in value around 10-fold compared to then, so I want to talk to you about this subject again. If you stuck all your savings in Bitcoin back then, you could today walk up to your boss, shit on his desk, walk out of his cubicle, leave the city and settle somewhere in a remote forest and work on raising children and separating yourself from industrial civilization altogether. How would it feel, to never have to help old people with their computer problems again, to never type down another line of computer code, to raise your middle finger to the entire mediocrity that humans have constructed?
If you were genuinely intelligent and had a healthy realistic mentality, you would have been able to do so, because you would have stuck all your savings in Bitcoin by virtue of your ability to recognize it's inherent potential to radically change our society. The writing was on the wall and we all failed to take it seriously. I benefited greatly from Bitcoin as I stuck my savings in Bitcoin around march 2013, what prohibited me from using Bitcoin to buy a genuine escape ticket from the modern world was my own naivety. I blame college for the fact that I have no escape ticket and do not get to live like a genuine savage yet.
Why is that? Well to start with, college gives naive working class people the idea that their children have a reliable chance ahead of them to become able to take care of themselves, simply through obedience and discipline. If you spend the first 18 years ensuring that your child jumps through all the hoops, by writing down the right Latin word for head, memorizing the capital city of Croatia and using the cosine correctly, your child gets to go to a good college and your work is done, the kid is set for life. In reality, you just succeed at sending your child down to the next layer of hell, which is college, a kind of school where the teacher has so many students that he doesn't bother trying to force you to do your busywork.
College is then followed by the next layer of hell, the internship, which might at some point lead to an actual job that your child will desperately have to cling onto for the next forty years as automation and economic ruin begin to affect our society. An insensitive comment on Facebook about a minority demographic, a hand that slips onto the new intern's thigh as you squeeze past her near the coffee machine because your wife has claimed to have a headache for three nights in a row, a party that leads you to show up half an hour late in the morning, or a lovely walk through the forest during which you turn your cell phone off and don't answer any emails, anything could be sufficient to kick off a chain of events that leads you to clean up your desk and find yourself forced to beg and plead to new people to do petty office labor that makes you want to send a bullet through your skull and turns your life into an insult to everything we could experience as human beings. When you genuinely understand this, you take opportunities to become rich seriously. When you're 20 years old, you take them half-serious.
I should have bought Bitcoin in 2011, when I first heard of it, but I didn't. I didn't, because in my naivety as a college student, I did not genuinely consider the importance of money in one's life. The Dutch government volunteers to serve as an ATM machine for permanently drunk twenty-something year olds, so young people fail to recognize the important role that money plays in deciding whether we can do what we want ourselves, or whether we have to spend 40 hours a week telling people to try turning it off and on again. As a result, I now have a nice little nest-egg, but I don't have a one way ticket to Gaia's paradise, from where the trees, the deer and me point and laugh as the rest of you struggle hard to improve your quarterly figures, call old ladies to convince them to switch to a different Telecom provider, turn in your paper before the deadline and serve each others tables.
One reason to be somewhat excited about Bitcoin rather than completely frightened by it, is the fact that Bitcoin is producing intelligent rich people, who don't share the ethos of today's intelligent rich people. Whereas the lottery produces dumb rich people and capitalism produces smart rich people with an ethos that values hard work and the transformation of the natural environment, Bitcoin produces an aristocracy of cynical misanthropes who perceive our civilization as dysfunctional. We're not completely alone in this sense, as Ted Turner has figured out a big piece of the puzzle too. The fact that there are seven billion humans is insanity, ideally we would reduce that figure to a few hundred million and deindustrialize our society, leaving the remaining humans to survive as fishermen and self-sufficient farmers.
The reason I could anticipate that Bitcoin would be revolutionary, is because I am a student of technology. Back when I bought Bitcoin, I spent a lot of time reading literature by men like Jacques Ellul, critics of technology who sought to write about technology from a detached perspective, to analyze it as the tremendous transforming force that it really is. One important conclusion to draw from this is that it ultimately doesn't matter what we as humans want, or how we feel about a new development in society. We can hate Bitcoin, or cars, or nuclear weapons, or iron swords, we can even hate the people who invent them, we can fear the consequences that these new technologies will have and recognize them as profoundly reprehensible, but none of that will be sufficient to prohibit the widespread introduction of a new technology. If a technology can serve a particular niche, then it will find adaptation.
My girlfriend at the time thought that Bitcoin are the equivalent of tulip mania. I didn't care, because I could recognize that Bitcoin had found its niche. People were buying drugs, hacked credit cards and other material in dark corners of the Internet, where their ability to anonymously transfer a currency whose production is inherently limited ensured that they could engage in economic activities that previously carried enormous risks. These applications for Bitcoin might be unethical, but whether a technology's uses are ethical or unethical is utterly irrelevant when it comes to determining whether the technology will witness widespread adaptation or not.
The successful use of Bitcoin in the dark web trade of drugs was undeniable, but what people fail to recognize is that this is just the visible tip of the proverbial iceberg. If I want to take someone hostage, or intimidate them into handing me their wealth, how do you think I would be caught? The answer to this question is that I would be caught when I try to collect the payment. When I pick up the suitcase full of money, the bushes behind me rattle, a voice declares "drop your weapon, raise your hands" and I spend the next twenty years of my life in prison. Bitcoin has made collecting the payment for such illegal activities the easiest part of the puzzle. There is thus now a big new niche of criminal activities that has been enabled solely through the invention of Bitcoin. People are using Bitcoin to send bomb threats to supermarkets, to blackmail cheating husbands, to trade drugs and a variety of other illegal activities.
Perhaps most important however, is the fact that Bitcoin allows people to store wealth in a form that the government can't reach. Imagine the drug dealer or cannabis grower who has managed to build up a fortune for himself and his family. At some point, the government intervenes, makes a list of the man's possessions and begins to seize his houses, cars, gold, jewelry and other valuables. His children and his wife are now destitute and have a stigma that prohibits them from finding gainful employment. Or are they? His wife remembers the warning she was given by her husband, that if everything were to blow up in his face he had ensured that they could survive without him. "You don't have to worry honey as everything is going to be alright and I will be free in thirteen years". That's not just a message of comfort, it's the key to a brainwallet, a wallet where her husband had placed 1000 Bitcoin. At the time he bought them they cost 100,000 dollar, but by the time he was arrested, their value had increased to 1.2 million. A reasonably comfortable existence now lies ahead of them.
If this seems strange to you, consider this: If you earn at least 55.992 euro a year, you pay a 52% tax above all the income above said amount. If you're a big-shot in the cubicle world, a freelance consultant or whatever you people call yourselves, at what point do you and your employer decide to make a deal and cap your income at a certain level and pay the rest of your income in Bitcoin? This is what's important to understand: Thanks to Bitcoin, most of the rules by which the game of capitalism used to be played no longer apply. Crime didn't pay, because you had no means to collect the payment. Today, banks have a reserve of Bitcoin that they use to pay people who threaten to DDOS them. If the government felt you had an unfair advantage, the government could once seize your assets. Today they can't. The way in which our economic system functions has fundamentally changed. With it, the incentives that once encouraged economic growth and hard work now appear to be diminishing too. And, most importantly: There's nothing you can do about it. The technologies that once centralized power in the hands of government, are now rendered obsolete by technologies that decentralize power into the hands of individuals. Man does not control technology. Technology controls man.
Another thing to understand is that Bitcoin is profoundly destructive, by virtue of its ability to let people earn money simply through control of electricity. If I once had electricity for free, I'd need to come up with something that benefits the capitalist system as a whole, something that consumers want. Today, free electricity is enough. I can mine Bitcoin with it and earn money doing so. This drives away electricity from genuinely useful economic activity, towards a zero-sum game that gives us access to our own share of new Bitcoin. Imagine if people could earn money, simply by leaving the ground fallow. People wouldn't grow crops. What do you think they would do if they can use electricity to earn money without producing anything of value? Bitcoin allows them to do this. Bitcoin creates an economic opportunity for people who can get away with stealing the lifeblood of our economy, electricity. It's already happening.
This is what I figured out back in 2013 and it's what allowed me to earn a lot of money without doing anything. I couldn't care less if people thing it's strange, bound to fail, risky, for basement-dwelling nerds, or worthless. If you understand the fundamental nature of technology, then you understand that this technology is both profoundly dangerous and profoundly powerful. There is every reason to believe that it will rise further in value and that it will cause irreversible damage to the global economy. Governments and central banks are rightly frightened by cryptocurrency and seek to restrain its use, but they have no genuine means by which to prohibit this development. Like automation, cryptocurrency will wreck our way of life in ways that we still struggle to understand and anticipate.
I think that we are still currently in a position where people who purchase Bitcoin can earn a significant profit. There are multiple reasons for this. To start with, an estimated 30% of Bitcoin are dead, no longer controlled by anyone. More importantly however, the distribution of Bitcoin is extremely unequal. A small number of people own most of the coins, which creates a situation of unequal distribution. This is also what leads to its pump and dump pattern of growth, as every tremendous rise in value is accompanied by early adapters stepping out and becoming modern day aristocrats. When I'm starving and knock on the door of a farmer's house and seek to buy food from him, I'm not worried by the one man who sold his wife's diamond ring to him, I'm worried by the ten other men who sold their golden ring to him. My point being: After a certain level of wealth, a person's extreme wealth merely serves to make the rest of us more equal to each other, whereas a big group of somewhat wealthy people have the effect of oppressing those of us without wealth.
I see roughly two scenarios as plausible, one in which Bitcoin preserves its current niche use indefinitely, the other one in which it destabilizes and ultimately replaces the conventional financial system. How could the latter outcome come about? To start with, Bitcoin has the potential to take away vast amounts of government revenue, by taking away its ability to control the financial system. If I buy products online with Bitcoin, the government doesn't have to find out about our transactions, so there is no real reason to pay VAT for the merchant who sells me a product. Similarly, we can exchange labor and avoid inheritance and income taxes. As a result of these trends, the government loses its main source of income, the taxes it places upon people's labor.
When the government loses its ability to use people's labor and its control over financial transactions to pay off its debt, society loses faith in the ability of governments to pay their debts. When this happens, the value of conventional financial assets begins to decline. Most people's wealth today is not locked up in land or physical assets that you can touch, but in the form of various financial products held by a variety of financial institutions. When governments become unable to pay back their debts, these financial products begin to collapse like a house of cards, something that nearly happened back in 2008. When these products lose their value, governments will look towards land and property ownership as their new source of revenue, which will thereby reduce the prices of land and other property.
The consequence we can draw from this is that Bitcoin has the potential, by virtue of its secrecy, to rise in value, far beyond even the value placed on physical gold. I believe that there is a strong potential for this to happen. The industrial revolution was a revolution that eradicated an old feudal order and placed power and control over wealth in the hands of the bourgeoisie. The emergence of a decentralized digital ledger now has the potential to cause a new transition of power, into the hands of those who comprehend and participate in this new financial ecosystem. The fact that most coins are in the hands of drug dealers and hackers does nothing to prevent this outcome, just as the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is a notorious asshole who used Facebook to dig up private information about people did nothing to prevent the rise of Facebook. In the coming years we will find out whether I am right in my prediction that Bitcoin is a technology that tips the conventional economic system into a state of collapse and ushers in a cyberpunk era in which the world is governed by a small group of largely anonymous individuals who control the world's currency supply.
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How Does A Bitcoin Minting Machine Work?  Forbes FREE BITCOIN MINING ON YOUR COMPUTER Desktop Bitcoin Mining  How To Mine Cryptocurrency btc Using Your Own Computer Bitcoin Mining Using Your Own Computer Windows 10 - YouTube How Bitcoin Works in 5 Minutes. (Technical)

Again, if you are already mining and this doesn't happen, it probably won't if you keep your computer clean and give it some air. If your computer turns off suddenly, but runs fine after cooling down, this probably was the cause. Clean your computer chassis, possibly add some fans or replace hardware. Number 1 you won't notice for months or ... A desktop or custom-built computer designed for mining. You may use your current computer to start, but you won't be able to use the computer while the miner is running. A separate dedicated computer is ideal. Do not use a laptop, gaming console or handheld device to mine. These devices just are not effective enough to generate income. In 2009 when Bitcoin was first created, Bitcoins could be bought for pennies, or ‘mined’ using your home computer. Now in 2017, you’ll need some deep pockets or some seriously powerful ... Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. You might be interested in Bitcoin if you like cryptography, distributed peer-to-peer systems, or economics. That does not mean your hardware does not need checking up on, however, as it remains under a lot of stress while mining cryptocurrencies. This level of stress is often underestimated.

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How Does A Bitcoin Minting Machine Work? Forbes

KnC Miner sells machines that help the Bitcoin network work. The reward, if a miner is lucky, is a cut of the digital money. Subscribe to FORBES: https://www... How to set up a bitcoin miner 100% FREE Earn bitcoin without mining - https://goo.gl/Mzfoww In this video i will help you how to earn from Bitcoin Mining Ear... How to mine Bitcoin using free App for windows 10. No other extra equipment is needed. Similar to 99 bitcoins without lengthy intro. This is not to discuss w... Bitcoin mining with your cpu bitcoin mining, cryptocurrency, is bitcoin mining profitable, cryptocurrency mining, ethereum mining, How to Mine Bitcoins Using Your Own Computer, bitcoin, earn money ... Start trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency here: http://bit.ly/2Vptr2X IMPORTANT!! This method only illustrates how mining works. You will not make any money f...

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