Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.
China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there. 9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources. Or was there? The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.” Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah. This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council. While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us. The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends. There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates). So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution. But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources. Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire. Let's go point form for clarity. • China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry. • 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations. • 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives). • March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote. • May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy. • 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production. • October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase. • October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared). • 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply. • Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011). • In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price. • October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA. • September 2006. American housing prices start to fall. (At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile). • March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.” • Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse. • 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades. • Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August • February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills. I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.'' We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.'' • February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus. • September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars. • 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left. Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan. About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths. The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD” • 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment. • August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy. • November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout. • December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing. • November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China. • June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit” • May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies. • November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi). • 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China. • May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war). • January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children. • February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts. • April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel. • November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit. • March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States. • July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates. • September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018. • October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections. • December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive. • March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States. • March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India • May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies. • August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator. • November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong. • January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator. • January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. • March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions. And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions. I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework. Do I have proof? Yes. China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease? Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war. Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it. Is all what it seems? No. I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged. After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well. At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity. Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production. Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet. Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared. This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
The strong case for Monero – fulfilling characteristics of the future currency
I wanted to write a short article about the distinct characteristics of Monero, some of which are absolutely necessities in any future currency looking to gaining serious user adoption. Together, these separate Monero quite distinctly from the rest of the crypto field. This is certainly nothing new to the Monero seniors here, but it might contain some new perspectives, and also give an overview to the newer cryptofolk why Monero is quite unique - 1. Transactions are private by default The sender, receiver and amount are all hidden in Monero. This is by default, as opposed to some other private cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash, where you can optionally make private transactions. As a result, most transactions in Zcash are transparent, which makes the actual anonymity set small. In Bitcoin there is no real anonymity, because everything occurs in a transparent blockchain – the sender, receiver and amount are all public information. This has created a market for blockchain analysis, where companies keep track of the of transactions and make profit from this information. Furthermore, because the full history of sent and received Bitcoins and other transparent cryptocurrencies can be analyzed, the newly minted coins are generally more valuable than others. This phenomenon is called ‘taint’, and it exists only in transparent blockchains. Besides speculative holding, no real-world use will emerge in any blockchain that is transparent. No company is prepared to publicly devolve how much, when and to which suppliers they send funds. Or vice versa, no company wants its competitors to know how many customers have paid them in the last quarter. Similarly, no sensible, privacy-valuing person should be willing to share his or her personal consuming habits with the whole world, forever. 2. Community-driven – no company, no CEO Most understand cryptocurrencies are decentralized because different stakeholders all over the world participate in the process of mining, verifying and relying information from one stakeholder to another. It is practically impossible to stop this type of well distributed global network from operating. The network topology, however, is only one part of the decentralization. If everything is controlled by a single entity, it creates a single point of failure. As an example, if everything is funded, developed and coordinated by a single company or a few companies, which funds can be seized, executives jailed and operations stopped, how secure is this cryptocurrency in the end? In Monero, there is no company, no CEO, no office. Everything is coordinated by members of the community, globally. 3. Emission is dis-inflationary and it reduces constantly Monero’s emission, i.e. generation of new coins, reduces every block (2 minutes). In Bitcoin, the emission is reduced every four years. This causes sudden shocks to the Bitcoin ecosystem, because miners’ rewards are halved. Such a dramatic decrease will inevitably lead to some miners abandoning their mining activities. Because proof-of-work (POW) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero rely on miners to secure the network, any significant decrease in mining is detrimental to the network’s security. On the other hand, the smoother emission in Monero makes mining activities more stable, which improves the security and trust of the whole system. Another future-proofing factor in Monero is the tail emission, where the block reward will no longer decrease from 0.6 XMR after mid 2022. Minimum block reward incentives miners to continue mining even if the transaction fees do not cover all economic needs of the competing miners. Comparing this to FIAT currencies, which are inflating 2-6 % each year, Monero’s inflation is asymptotically approaching 0 %. Even though new coins are generated by every block, the amount created per given time period remains constant after mid 2022. Contrast this to the FIAT systems, where the amount of new currency created is always increasing. Due to the compounding effect even moderate inflation in FIAT currencies causes considerable losses to all savers in medium and long term. 4. Block size is dynamic – it scales with number of transactions Monero’s block size has no cap, which means the amount of transactions that can fit to the block is not limited. To prevent transaction spamming, preventive mechanisms have been built in the protocol. Cryptocurrencies which implement a hard cap on the block size are susceptible to surging transactions fees. This occurs when there are simply too many transactions trying to make it into the block. Such a phenomenon occurred in Bitcoin during the peak of the last bull-run in January 2018, when the average transaction fees rose above $20. 5. Fair supply – no premine or developer tax Supply mechanism and distribution are two elemental factors, which affect how capable the cryptocurrency is as a store of value (SOV). If a large majority of the future supply is held by a small group of people, it undermines the trust that the cryptocurrency keeps its value long term. If only a few stakeholders can massively increase the supply side of the market, the downward price risk becomes high. The more distributed the supply, the more stakeholders it takes to influence it. Two practical implementations that undermine SOV in cryptocurrencies are premine and developer tax. In premine, the founders create a large initial amount of funds for themselves (or for their organization). Premining is an issue in some POW currencies and in all proof-of-stake (POS) cryptocurrencies, because their coin generation is not done by work. Developer tax is implemented in some POW currencies, where a portion of the block reward goes to the founders. 6. Crowdfunding and voluntarism as driving forces Since the launch of Monero in 2014, all progression has been made by its rich and versatile community. Active members consist of several PhD researchers, developers, UX designers, translators and many other professionals of varying backgrounds. Much of the work has been made possible using crowdfunding, donors being individuals, investors and companies. Some members have participated even pro-bono, which further emphasizes the community’s trust in the project. The fact that the work is enabled by crowfunding and voluntarism is truly a strength, because it is difficult to stop ideology and people who want to be part of such force. This is in stark contrast to company-driven projects, which are much more susceptible to government oversight and control. 7. Mining is more sustainable Monero’s mining algorithm, Random X, specifically targets general purpose CPUs and it is unsuitable to be mined with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS). This greatly improves mining decentralization, because mining is feasible on data centers and personal computers. In Bitcoin and many other POW cryptocurrencies mining is only feasible with expensive ASICS, manufactured by just a few companies. ASIC mined cryptocurrencies are problematic because there are very few companies specializing in mining equipment. Bitcoin’s largest ASIC manufacturer, Bitmain, has had overly much power in the ecosystem. They have stalled Bitcoin’s adoption, caused division among the community and even been one of the principal culprits for the past Bitcoin forks. Another problem with ASIC manufacturers is their economic advantage over the rest of the mining field. ASIC manufacturers typically utilize their next generation products themselves and start selling them to the consumer market after their mining profits have reduced sufficiently due to the increasing competition. This makes normal miners second tier stakeholders in the ecosystem and it is a cause of further mining centralization. 8. Proven track record Monero community has been working actively since its inception in 2014. Majority of the work has focused on research and development, with little efforts put to marketing. Unlike some other projects, especially those forked from Bitcoin, Monero project has an extensive technical skillset in its community and it has been one of the leading projects when it comes to both innovation and execution. One of the Monero’s focus points is applied cryptographic research. Monero has implemented several advancements into the core protocol efficiently and with assurance. All major changes to the Monero protocol have been audited by some of the world’s leading companies specializing in cryptographic analysis, funded by the Monero community.
Bloomberg analysts are the latest to jump on the bandwagon of experts expecting bitcoin to revisit its record high in 2020. The bold prediction is largely based on the fact that price action seen over the last 2.5-years looks similar to the patterns over the 2.5-years following the leading cryptocurrency’s rise to record highs in December 2013. “After 2014’s 60% decline, by the end of 2016 the crypto matched the 2013 peak. Fast forward four years and the second year after the almost 75% decline in 2018,” noted Bloomberg Crypto in a monthly report. “Bitcoin will approach the record high of about $20,000 this year, in our view, if it follows 2016’s trend.” Let’s take a look at those patterns.
2013 to 2017
Bitcoin printed a lifetime high above $1,100 in early December 2013 and fell by over 55% in the following year. The bear market ran out of steam at lows near $150 in January 2015 and bitcoin turned higher in the fourth quarter of that year. Prices then rose back to levels above $700 ahead of its second mining reward halving (a coded-in supply cut), which took place on July 9, 2016.
2017 to present
Having topped out at a record high of $20,000 in mid-December 2017, bitcoin fell by 75% in 2018. The cryptocurrency bottomed out near $3,100 in December 2018 and rose 90% in the following year. Moreover, prices remained largely bid (bar a March sell-off) in the five months leading up to the third halving on May 11, 2020. The cryptocurrency clocked highs above $10,000 in early May. With bitcoin tending to move in these long-term cycles, prices may indeed challenge $20,000 this year, as expected by Bloomberg. “Something needs to go really wrong for bitcoin to not appreciate,” the analysts added in the note.
“This year is about increasingly favorable technical and fundamental underpinnings for bitcoin,” Bloomberg’s note continued. Indeed, with increased institutional participation and other factors accelerating the maturation of the bitcoin market, the odds appear stacked in favor of continued upward move in prices. Open interest or open positions in futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which is considered synonymous with institutions and macro traders, has increased by over 500% so far this year, according to data provided by the crypto derivatives research firm Skew.
TRUE historical data on yearly lows (correcting repetitive historical false information spread on reddit and twitter)
Recently, wrong historical data on the alleged Bitcoin yearly lows could be repetitively read in ill-researched or "blindly copy-pasted" posts and tweets, e.g. falsely claiming a yearly low for 2013 of $65, where $13 is the correct value (wrong by a factor of 5)! Here is the correct data: TRUE yearly lows (first historically recorded trade occurred at MtGox exchange on 17th July 2010; bitstamp exchange started operation on 13 Sep 2011*): *not included: Bitcoin prices of around $0.003 on Bitcoin USD markets recorded since 25th April 2010, consistent with famous two Bitcoin pizzas from 22nd May 2010 worth $30 for 10,000 BTC. Yearly absolute lows (just omitting obvious implausible data flaws) - not recommended because short outliers of very low trade volumes can bias the view of the real market situation:
2010: $0.03211 (MtGox, 30th August)
2011: $0.289 (MtGox, 2nd January)
2011: $2.22 (bitstamp, 20th & 21st October)
2012: $3.80 (bitstamp, 27th January)
2013: $12.77 (bitstamp, 1st January)
2014: $275.00 (bitstamp, 5th October)
2015: $152.40 (bitstamp, 14th January)
2016: $352.00 (bitstamp, 16th January)
2017: $751.34 (bitstamp, 12th January)
2018: $3122.28 (bitstamp, 15th December)
2019: $3322.19 (bitstamp, 29th January)
2020: <= $6853.53 (bitstamp, 3rd January)
Yearly lows of daily weighted averages - more useful because short outliers with very low volumes are not biasing the statistics:
Bitcoin 11 Years - Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far - Tooootally NOT a SCAM !!!!
That's right folks, it's that time again for the annual review of how Bitcoin is going: all of those claims, predictions, promises .... how many have turned out to be true, and how many are completely bogus ??? Please post / link this on Bitcoin (I am banned there for speaking the truth, so I cannot do it) ... because it'a way past time those poor clueless mushrooms were exposed to the truth. Anyway, without further ado, I give you the Bitcoin's Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far ... . Bitcoin Achievements so far:
It has spawned a cesspool of scams (2000+ shit coin scams, plus 100's of other scams, frauds, cons).
Many 1,000's of hacks, thefts, losses.
Illegal Use Cases: illegal drugs, illegal weapons, tax fraud, money laundering, sex trafficking, child pornography, hit men / murder-for-hire, ransomware, blackmail, extortion, and various other kinds of fraud and illicit activity.
Legal Use Cases: Steam Games, Reddit, Expedia, Stripe, Starbucks, 1000's of merchants, cryptocurrency conferences, Ummm ????? The few merchants who "accept Bitcoin" immediately convert it into FIAT after the sale, or require you to sell your coins to BitPay or Coinbase for real money, and will then take that money. Some of the few who actually accept bitcoin haven't seen a customer who needed to pay with bitcoin for the last six months, and their cashiers no longer know how to handle that.
Contributing significantly to Global Warming.
Wastes vasts amounts of electricity on useless, do nothing work.
Exponentially raises electricity prices when big miners move into regions where electricity was cheap.
It’s the first "currency" that is not self-sustainable. It operates at a net loss, and requires continuous outside capital to replace the capital removed by miners to pay their costs. It’s literally a "black hole currency."
It created a new way for people living too far from Vegas to gamble all their life savings away.
Spawned "blockchain technology", a powerful technique that lets incompetent programmers who know almost nothing about databases, finance, programming, or blockchain scam millions out of gullible VC investors, banks, and governments.
Increased China's foreign trade balance by a couple billion dollars per year.
Helped the FBI and other law enforcement agents easily track down hundreds of drug traffickers and drug users.
Wasted thousands if not millions of man-hours of government employees and legislators, in mostly fruitless attempts to understand, legitimize, and regulate the "phenomenon", and to investigate and prosecute its scams.
Rekindled the hopes of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians for a global economic collapse, that would finally bring forth their Mad Max "utopia".
Added another character to Unicode (no, no, not the "poo" 💩 character ... that was my first guess as well 🤣)
Provides an easy way for malware and ransomware criminals to ply their trade and extort hospitals, schools, local councils, businesses, utilities, as well as the general population.
~~Bitcoin is "striking fear into the hearts of bankers, precisely because Bitcoin eliminates the need for banks. ~~, Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
"A bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand."
"All the indicators are pointing to a huge year and bigger than anything we have seen before."
"Bitcoin is communism and democracy working hand in hand."
"Bitcoin is freedom, and we will soon be free."
"Bitcoin isn't calculated risk, you're right. It's downright and painfully obvious that it will consume global finance."
"Bitcoin most disruptive technology of last 500 years"
"Bitcoin: So easy, your grandma can use it!"
"Creating a 4th Branch of Government - Bitcoin"
"Future generations will cry laughing reading all the negativity and insanity vomited by these permabears."
"Future us will thank us."
"Give Bitcoin two years"
"HODLING is more like being a dutiful guardian of the most powerful economic force this planet has ever seen and getting to have a say about how that force is unleashed."
"Cut out the middleman"
"full control of your own assets"
"reduction in wealth gap"
"cannot print money out of thin air"
"Why that matters? Because blockchain not only cheaper for them, it'll be cheaper for you and everyone as well."
"If you are in this to get rich in Fiat then no. But if you are in this to protect your wealth once the current monetary system collapse then you are protected and you'll be the new rich."
"Theres the 1% and then theres the 99%. You want to be with the rest thats fine. Being different and brave is far more rewarding. No matter your background or education."
"NO COINERS will believe anything they are fed by fake news and paid media."
"I know that feeling (like people looking at you as in seeing a celebrity and then asking things they don't believe until their impressed)."
"I literally walk round everyday looking at other people wondering why they even bother to live if they don't have Bitcoin in their lives."
"I think bitcoin may very well be the best form of money we’ve ever seen in the history of civilization."
"I think Bitcoin will do for mankind what the sun did for life on earth."
"I think the constant scams and illegal activities only show the viability of bitcoin."
"I think we're sitting on the verge of exponential interest in the currency."
"I'm not using hyperbole when I say Satoshi found the elusive key to World Peace."
"If Jesus ever comes back you know he's gonna be using Bitcoin"
"If this idea was implemented with The Blockchain™, it would be completely flawless! Flawless I tell you!"
"If you're the minimum wage guy type, now is a great time to skip food and go full ramadan in order to buy bitcoin instead."
"In a world slipping more and more into chaos and uncertainty, Bitcoin seems to me like the last solid rock defeating all the attacks."
"In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any filthy statist's blessing, but because I am enlightened by own intelligence."
"Is Bitcoin at this point, with all the potential that opens up, the most undervalued asset ever?"
"It won't be long until bitcoin is an everyday household term."
"It's the USD that is volatile. Bitcoin is the real neutral currency."
"Just like the early Internet!"
"Just like the Trojan Horse of old, Bitcoin will reveal its full power and nature"
"Ladies if your man doesnt have some bitcoin then he cant handle anything and has no danger sex appeal. He isnt edgy"
"let me be the first to say if you dont have bitcoin you are a pussy and cant really purchase anything worldwide. You have no global reach"
"My conclusion is that I see this a a very good thing for bitcoin and for users"
"No one would do such a thing; it'd be against their self interests."
"Ooh lala, good job on bashing Bitcoin. How to disrespect a great innovation."
"Realistically I think Bitcoin will replace the dollar in the next 10-15 years."
"Seperation of money and state -> states become obsolete -> world peace."
"Some striking similarities between Bitcoin and God"
"THANK YOU. Better for this child to be strangled in its crib as a true weapon for crypto-anarchists than for it to be wielded by toxic individuals who distort the technology and surrender it to government and corporate powers."
"The Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet and is the next phase in human evolution. To avoid its significance is complete ignorance."
"The bull run should begin any day now."
"The free market doesn't permit fraud and theft."
"The free market will clear away the bad actors."
"The only regulation we need is the blockchain."
"We are not your slaves! We are free bodies who will swallow you and puke you out in disgust. Welcome to liberty land or as that genius called it: Bitcoin."
"We do not need the bankers for Satoshi is our saviour!"
"We have never seen something so perfect"
"We must bring freedom and crypto to the masses, to the common man who does not know how to fight for himself."
"We verified that against the blockchain."
"we will see a Rennaisnce over the next few decades, all thanks to Bitcoin."
"Well, since 2006, there has been a infinite% increase in price, so..."
"What doesn't kill cryptocurrency makes it stronger."
"When Bitcoin awake in normally people (real people) ... you will have this result : No War. No Tax. No QE. No Bank."
"When I see news that the price of bitcoin has tanked (and thus the market, more or less) I actually, for-real, have the gut reaction "oh that’s cool, I’ll be buying cheap this week". I never knew I could be so rational."
"Where is your sense of adventure? Bitcoin is the future. Set aside your fears and leave easier at the doorstep."
"Yes Bitcoin will cause the greatest redistribution of wealth this planet has ever seen. FACT from the future."
"You are the true Bitcoin pioneers and with your help we have imprinted Bitcoin in the Canadian conscience."
"You ever try LSD? Perhaps it would help you break free from the box of state-formed thinking you have limited yourself..."
"Your phone or refrigerator might be on the blockchain one day."
The banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, so why can't crypto do the same ???
Central Banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, without any consequences or accounting, so why can't crypto do the same ???
It's impossible to hide illegal, unsavory material on the blockchain
It's impossible to hide child pornography on the blockchain
All Bitccoins are the same, 100% identical, one Bitcoin cannot be distinguished from any other Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin can only go up because of scarcity / 21 million coin limit. (Bitcoin is open source, anyone can create thir own copy, and there are more than 2,000+ Bitcoin copies / clones out there already).
immune to government regulation
"a world-changing technology"
"a long-term store of value, like gold or silver"
"To Complex to Be Audited."
"Old Auditing rules do not apply to Blockchain."
"Old Auditing rules do not apply to Cryptocurrency."
Bitcoin now at $16,600.00. Those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of the Blockchain, or you did not cared enough to try. Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
2013-11-27: ""What is a Citadel?" you might wonder. Well, by the time Bitcoin became worth 1,000 dollar [27-Nov-2013], services began to emerge for the "Bitcoin rich" to protect themselves as well as their wealth. It started with expensive safes, then began to include bodyguards, and today, "earlies" (our term for early adapters), as well as those rich whose wealth survived the "transition" live in isolated gated cities called Citadels, where most work is automated. Most such Citadels are born out of the fortification used to protect places where Bitcoin mining machines are located. The company known as ASICminer to you is known to me as a city where Mr. Friedman rules as a king.", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
2018-12: Listen up you giggling cunts... who wants some?...you? you want some?...huh? Do ya? Here's the deal you fuckin Nerds - Butts are gonna be at30 grandor more by next Christmas  - If they aren't I will publicly administer an electronic dick sucking to every shill on this site and disappear forever - Until then, no more bans or shadow bans - Do we have a deal? If Butts are over 50 grand me and Lammy get to be mods. Deal? Your ole pal - "Skully"u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018 https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/
2018-12: "Bitcoin could be at$40,000by the end of 2018, it really easily could", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 21-Sep-2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC1anDg2KU
2018-12: Bitcoin will end 2018 at the price point of$50,000, Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader and the 28th most influential Blockchain insider according to Richtopia,https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
The strong case for Monero – fulfilling characteristics of the future currency
I wanted to write a short article about the distinct characteristics of Monero, some of which are absolutely necessities in any future currency looking to gaining serious user adoption. Together, these separate Monero quite distinctly from the rest of the crypto field. This is certainly nothing new to the seniors here, but it might contain some new perspectives, and also give an overview to the newer cryptofolk why Monero is quite unique - 1. Transactions are private by default The sender, receiver and amount are all hidden in Monero. This is by default, as opposed to some other private cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash, where you can optionally make private transactions. As a result, most transactions in Zcash are transparent, which makes the actual anonymity set small. In Bitcoin there is no real anonymity, because everything occurs in a transparent blockchain – the sender, receiver and amount are all public information. This has created a market for blockchain analysis, where companies keep track of the of transactions and make profit from this information. Furthermore, because the full history of sent and received Bitcoins and other transparent cryptocurrencies can be analyzed, the newly minted coins are generally more valuable than others. This phenomenon is called ‘taint’, and it exists only in transparent blockchains. Besides speculative holding, no real-world use will emerge in any blockchain that is transparent. No company is prepared to publicly devolve how much, when and to which suppliers they send funds. Or vice versa, no company wants its competitors to know how many customers have paid them in the last quarter. Similarly, no sensible, privacy-valuing person should be willing to share his or her personal consuming habits with the whole world, forever. 2. Community-driven – no company, no CEO Most understand cryptocurrencies are decentralized because different stakeholders all over the world participate in the process of mining, verifying and relying information from one stakeholder to another. It is practically impossible to stop this type of well distributed global network from operating. The network topology, however, is only one part of the decentralization. If everything is controlled by a single entity, it creates a single point of failure. As an example, if everything is funded, developed and coordinated by a single company or a few companies, which funds can be seized, executives jailed and operations stopped, how secure is this cryptocurrency in the end? In Monero, there is no company, no CEO, no office. Everything is coordinated by members of the community, globally. 3. Emission is dis-inflationary and it reduces constantly Monero’s emission, i.e. generation of new coins, reduces every block (2 minutes). In Bitcoin, the emission is reduced every four years. This causes sudden shocks to the Bitcoin ecosystem, because miners’ rewards are halved. Such a dramatic decrease will inevitably lead to some miners abandoning their mining activities. Because proof-of-work (POW) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero rely on miners to secure the network, any significant decrease in mining is detrimental to the network’s security. On the other hand, the smoother emission in Monero makes mining activities more stable, which improves the security and trust of the whole system. Another future-proofing factor in Monero is the tail emission, where the block reward will no longer decrease from 0.6 XMR after mid 2022. Minimum block reward incentives miners to continue mining even if the transaction fees do not cover all economic needs of the competing miners. Comparing this to FIAT currencies, which are inflating 2-6 % each year, Monero’s inflation is asymptotically approaching 0 %. Even though new coins are generated by every block, the amount created per given time period remains constant after mid 2022. Contrast this to the FIAT systems, where the amount of new currency created is always increasing. Due to the compounding effect even moderate inflation in FIAT currencies causes considerable losses to all savers in medium and long term. 4. Block size is dynamic – it scales with number of transactions Monero’s block size has no cap, which means the amount of transactions that can fit to the block is not limited. To prevent transaction spamming, preventive mechanisms have been built in the protocol. Cryptocurrencies which implement a hard cap on the block size are susceptible to surging transactions fees. This occurs when there are simply too many transactions trying to make it into the block. Such a phenomenon occurred in Bitcoin during the peak of the last bull-run in January 2018, when the average transaction fees rose above $20. 5. Fair supply – no premine or developer tax Supply mechanism and distribution are two elemental factors, which affect how capable the cryptocurrency is as a store of value (SOV). If a large majority of the future supply is held by a small group of people, it undermines the trust that the cryptocurrency keeps its value long term. If only a few stakeholders can massively increase the supply side of the market, the downward price risk becomes high. The more distributed the supply, the more stakeholders it takes to influence it. Two practical implementations that undermine SOV in cryptocurrencies are premine and developer tax. In premine, the founders create a large initial amount of funds for themselves (or for their organization). Premining is an issue in some POW currencies and in all proof-of-stake (POS) cryptocurrencies, because their coin generation is not done by work. Developer tax is implemented in some POW currencies, where a portion of the block reward goes to the founders. 6. Crowdfunding and voluntarism as driving forces Since the launch of Monero in 2014, all progression has been made by its rich and versatile community. Active members consist of several PhD researchers, developers, UX designers, translators and many other professionals of varying backgrounds. Much of the work has been made possible using crowdfunding, donors being individuals, investors and companies. Some members have participated even pro-bono, which further emphasizes the community’s trust in the project. The fact that the work is enabled by crowfunding and voluntarism is truly a strength, because it is difficult to stop ideology and people who want to be part of such force. This is in stark contrast to company-driven projects, which are much more susceptible to government oversight and control. 7. Mining is more sustainable Monero’s mining algorithm, Random X, specifically targets general purpose CPUs and it is unsuitable to be mined with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS). This greatly improves mining decentralization, because mining is feasible on data centers and personal computers. In Bitcoin and many other POW cryptocurrencies mining is only feasible with expensive ASICS, manufactured by just a few companies. ASIC mined cryptocurrencies are problematic because there are very few companies specializing in mining equipment. Bitcoin’s largest ASIC manufacturer, Bitmain, has had overly much power in the ecosystem. They have stalled Bitcoin’s adoption, caused division among the community and even been one of the principal culprits for the past Bitcoin forks. Another problem with ASIC manufacturers is their economic advantage over the rest of the mining field. ASIC manufacturers typically utilize their next generation products themselves and start selling them to the consumer market after their mining profits have reduced sufficiently due to the increasing competition. This makes normal miners second tier stakeholders in the ecosystem and it is a cause of further mining centralization. 8. Proven track record Monero community has been working actively since its inception in 2014. Majority of the work has focused on research and development, with little efforts put to marketing. Unlike some other projects, especially those forked from Bitcoin, Monero project has an extensive technical skillset in its community and it has been one of the leading projects when it comes to both innovation and execution. One of the Monero’s focus points is applied cryptographic research. Monero has implemented several advancements into the core protocol efficiently and with assurance. All major changes to the Monero protocol have been audited by some of the world’s leading companies specializing in cryptographic analysis, funded by the Monero community.
A cryptocurrency exchange from Top 10 earns about $62M per month on average Exchange platforms generate a profit regardless of whether the market and cryptocurrencies are growing or decreasing on value. The profit of the exchange platform depends mainly on the volume of turnover. A cryptocurrency exchange from Top 10 earns about $62M per month on average, from Top 50 – $26M, and from Top 100 – $13M. The average 24-hour volumes are the following: Top 10: $400M, Top 50: $170M and Top 100: $86M.
About 99% of cryptocurrency trade happens on centralized exchanges
Currently, on the cryptocurrency market, about 99% of transactions are being handled on centralized exchanges. Centralized exchanges provide higher liquidity and a greater volume of trade. Decentralized exchanges bring a higher level of security, but they are way slower. However, there are also hybrid solutions, just like our CoinCasso Exchange 2.0, which is going to combine the advantages of centralized and decentralized exchanges.
There are 255 cryptocurrency exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap
The largest cryptocurrency exchanges today are: Looking to get started with cryptocurrency? Buy Bitcoin on CoinCasso!
OKEX (30-day volume: $35 921 003 100),
Binance ($34 161 861 398),
DigiFinex ($33 935 010 227),
HitBTC ($27 000 379 162),
Huobi Global ($25 288 796 654).
The first Bitcoin exchange is Bitcoinmarket.com
The site was initially announced on the Bitcointalk forum by “dwdollar” on January 15th, 2010. “Hi everyone. I’m in the process of building an exchange,” he wrote. “I have big plans for it, but I still have a lot of work to do. It will be a real market where people will be able to buy and sell Bitcoins with each other.” He continued: I am trying to create a market where Bitcoins are treated as a commodity. People will be able to trade Bitcoins for dollars and speculate on the value. In theory, this will establish a real-time exchange rate so we will all have a clue what the current value of a Bitcoin is, compared to a dollar.” Back then, a single Bitcoin was worth just $0.003!
Magic the Gathering exchange went bankrupt
In 2014, Mt. Gox, which stands for… Magic the Gathering Exchange, was the largest Bitcoin exchange on the globe. It handled about 70% of all Bitcoin transactions. There have been stolen about 850,000 bitcoins from that exchange! That money was worth about $450 million at the time. Since this time, about 200,000 BTC was reported to be “found”. The exchange announced bankruptcy and closed its website.
Crazy sell order by “BearWhale”
One of the most fascinating characters and icons of the cryptocurrency world is a person called “BearWhale”. On October 6th, 2014, he placed a sell order: 30,000 BTC for $300 per 1 BTC. The Bitcoin price at that time was equal to $350, and people were afraid that this large sell order could move Bitcoin price down to the value from a few years back. “BearWhale”’s coins were bought super quickly and after that, Bitcoin price faced fluctuations for 6 hours to return to “normal” price after this period of time.
Binance moving and moving
The largest cryptocurrency exchange is constantly moving from countries that adopt laws that make their activity illegal. Binance, was initially located in China. In 2018, China blocked the operation of foreign trading platforms, so Binance moved to Japan, where it also encountered legal problems. After leaving Japan, the exchange was accepted by the government of Malta, who even… greeted them on Twitter!
Billions of dollars laundered
The exchange used cryptocurrencies to “wash” dollars! BTC-e, the main European cryptocurrency exchange was accused of laundering billions of USD. Its operator, Alexander Vinnik, is also accused of participating and benefiting from some Mt. Gox hacks.
Be aware of a blacklist
Merchants and exchanges can not accept your coins if your last block is “contaminated” by certain transactions, usually involving terrorism or illegal activity, even if you did not know that the person you traded with had a blacklisted wallet before. Monero is an altcoin which was created to omit this issue. Monero’s blockchain, unlike most others, is completely anonymous, making it impossible to check the address activity. Monero is the most widely accepted cryptocurrency in the “deep web” stores.
The date was June 10, 2018. The sun was shining, the grass was growing, and the birds were singing. At least, that’s what I assumed. Being a video game and tech obsessed teenager, I was indoors, my eyes glued to my computer monitor like a starving lion spying on a plump gazelle. I was watching the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) 2018 broadcast on twitch.com, a popular streaming website. Video game developers use E3 as an annual opportunity to showcase any upcoming video game projects to the public. So far, the turnout had been disappointing. Much to my disappointment, multiple game developers failed to unveil anything of actual sustenance for an entire two hours. A graphical update here, a bug fix there. Issues that should have been fixed at every game’s initial launch, not a few months after release. Feeling hopeless, I averted my eyes from my computer monitor to check Reddit (a social media app/website) if there were any forum posts that I had yet to see. But then, I heard it. The sound of music composer Mick Gordon’s take on the original “DooM” theme, the awesome combination of metal and electronic music. I looked up at my screen and gasped. Bethesda Softworks and id software had just announced “DOOM: Eternal”, the fifth addition in the “DooM” video game series. “DOOM: Eternal” creative director Hugo Martin promised that the game would feel more powerful than it’s 2016 predecessor, there would be twice as many enemy types, and the doom community would finally get to see “hell on earth”. (Martin) As a fan of “DOOM (2016)”, I was ecstatic. The original “DooM” popularized the “First Person Shooter (FPS)” genre, and I wished I wouldn’t have to wait to experience the most recent entry in the series. “DOOM(1993)” was a graphical landmark when it originally released, yet nowadays it looks extremely dated, especially compared to “DOOM: Eternal”. What advancements in computer technology perpetuated this graphical change? Computers became faster, digital storage increased, and computer peripherals were able to display higher resolution and refresh rates. “DooM” 1993 graphics example: 📷(Doom | Doom Wiki) “DOOM: Eternal” graphics example: 📷 (Bailey) In their video “Evolution Of DOOM”, the video game YouTube Channel “gameranx” says that on December 10, 1993, a file titled “DOOM1_0.zip” was uploaded on the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server of the University of Wisconsin. This file, two megabytes in size, contained the video game “DooM” created by the game development group “id Software”. (Evolution of DOOM) While not the first game in the “First Person Shooter” (FPS) genre, “DooM” popularized the genre, to the point of any other FPS game being referred to as a “Doom Clone” until the late 1990s. (Doom clones | Doom Wiki) The graphics of the original “DooM” is definitely a major downgrade compared to today’s graphical standards, but keep in mind that the minimum system requirements of “DooM”, according to the article “Doom System Requirements” on gamesystemrequirements.com, was eight megabytes of ram, an Intel Pentium or AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Athlon 486 processor cycling at sixty-six megahertz or more, and an operating system that was Windows 95 or above. (Doom System Requirements) In case you don’t speak the language of technology (although I hope you learn a thing or two at the end of this essay), the speed and storage capacity is laughable compared to the specifications of today. By 1993, the microprocessor, or CPU (Central Processing Unit) had been active for the past twenty-two years after replacing the integrated circuit in 1971, thanks to the creators of the microprocessor, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore who were also the founder of CPU manufacturer “Intel”. Gordon Moore also created “Moore’s law”, which states “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months”. (Moore) Sadly, according to writer and computer builder Steve Blank in his article “The End of More - The Death of Moore’s Law”, this law would end at around 2005, thanks to the basic laws of physics. (Blank) 1993 also marked an important landmark for Intel, who just released the first “Pentium” processor which was capable of a base clock of 60 MHz (megahertz). The term “base clock” refers to the default speed of a CPU. This speed can be adjusted via the user’s specifications, and “MHz” refers to one million cycles per second. A cycle is essentially one or more problems that the computer solves. The more cycles the CPU is running at, the more problems get solved. Intel would continue upgrading their “Pentium” lineup until January 4, 2000 when they would release the “Celeron” processor, with a base clock of 533 MHz. Soon after, on June 19, 2000, rival CPU company AMD would release their “Duron” processor which had a base clock of 600 MHz, with a maximum clock of 1.8 GHz (Gigahertz). One GHz is equal to 1,000 MHz. Intel and AMD had established themselves as the two major CPU companies in the 1970s in Silicon Valley. Both companies had been bitter rivals since then, trading figurative blows in the form of competitive releases, discounts, and “one upmanship” to this day. Moving on to April 21, 2005 when AMD released the first dual-core CPU, the “Athlon 64 X2 3800+”. The notable feature of this CPU, besides a 2.0 GHz base clock and a 3.8 maximum clock, was that it was the first CPU to have two cores. A CPU core is a CPU’s processor. The more cores a CPU has, the more tasks it can perform per cycle, thus maximizing it’s efficiency. Intel wouldn’t respond until January 9, 2006, when they released their dual-core processor, the “Core 2 Duo Processor E6320”, with a base clock of 1.86 GHz. (Computer Processor History) According to tech entrepreneur Linus Sebastian in his YouTube videos “10 Years of Gaming PCs: 2009 - 2014 (Part 1)” and “10 Years of Gaming PCs: 2015 - 2019 (Part 2)”, AMD would have the upper hand over Intel until 2011, when Intel released the “Sandy Bridge” CPU microarchitecture, which was faster and around the same price as AMD’s current competing products. (Sebastian) The article “What is Microarchitecture?” on the website Computer Hope defines microarchitecture as “a hardware implementation of an ISA (instruction set architecture). An ISA is a structure of commands and operations used by software to communicate with hardware. A microarchitecture is the hardware circuitry that implements one particular ISA”. (What is Microarchitecture?) Microarchitecture is also referred to as what generation a CPU belongs to. Intel would continue to dominate the high-end CPU market until 2019, when AMD would “dethrone” Intel with their third generation “Ryzen” CPU lineup. The most notable of which being the “Ryzen 3950x”, which had a total of sixteen cores, thirty-two threads, a base clock of 3.5 GHz, and a maximum clock of 4.7 GHz. (Sebastian) The term “thread” refers to splitting one core into virtual cores, via a process known as “simultaneous multithreading”. Simultaneous multithreading allows one core to perform two tasks at once. What CPU your computer has is extremely influential for how fast your computer can run, but for video games and other types of graphics, there is a special type of processor that is designed specifically for the task of “rendering” (displaying) and generating graphics. This processor unit is known as the graphics processing unit, or “GPU”. The term “GPU” wasn’t used until around 1999, when video cards started to evolve beyond the literal generation of two-dimensional graphics and into the generation of three-dimensional graphics. According to user “Olena” in their article “A Brief History of GPU”, The first GPU was the “GeForce 256”, created by GPU company “Nvidia'' in 1999. Nvidia promoted the GeForce 256 as “A single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second”. (Olena) Unlike the evolution of CPUs, the history of GPUs is more one sided, with AMD playing a game of “catchup” ever since Nvidia overtook AMD in the high-end GPU market in 2013. (Sebastian) Fun fact, GPUs aren’t used only for gaming! In 2010, Nvidia collaborated with Audi to power the dashboards and increase the entertainment and navigation systems in Audi’s cars! (Olena) Much to my (and many other tech enthusiasts), GPUs would increase dramatically in price thanks to the “bitcoin mania” around 2017. This was, according to senior editor Tom Warren in his article “Bitcoin Mania is Hurting PC Gamers By Pushing Up GPU Prices'' on theverge.com, around an 80% increase in price for the same GPU due to stock shortages. (Warren) Just for context, Nvidia’s “flagship” gpu in 2017 was the 1080ti, the finest card of the “pascal” microarchitecture. Fun fact, I have this card. The 1080ti launched for $699, with the specifications of a base clock of 1,481 MHz, a maximum clock of 1,582 MHz, and 11 gigabytes of GDDR5X Vram (Memory that is exclusive to the GPU) according to the box it came in. Compare this to Nvidia’s most recent flagship GPU, the 2080ti of Nvidia’s followup “Turing” microarchitecture, another card I have. This GPU launched in 2019 for $1,199. The 2080ti’s specifications, according to the box it came in included a base clock of 1,350 MHz, a maximum clock of 1,545 MHz, and 11 gigabytes of GDDR6 Vram. A major reason why “DooM” was so popular and genius was how id software developer John Carmack managed to “fake” the three-dimensional graphics without taking up too much processing power, hard drive space, or “RAM” (Random access memory), a specific type of digital storage. According to the article “RAM (Random Access Memory) Definition” on the website TechTerms, Ram is also known as “volatile” memory, because it is much faster than normal storage (which at the time took the form of hard-drive space), and unlike normal storage, only holds data when the computer is turned on. A commonly used analogy is that Ram is the computer’s short-term memory, storing temporary files to be used by programs, while hard-drive storage is the computer’s long term memory. (RAM (Random Access Memory) Definition) As I stated earlier, in 1993, “DooM” required 8 megabytes of ram to run. For some context, as of 2020, “DOOM: Eternal” requires a minimum of 8 gigabytes of DDR4 (more on this later) ram to run, with most gaming machines possessing 16 gigabytes of DDR4 ram. According to tech journalist Scott Thornton in his article “What is DDR (Double Data Rate) Memory and SDRAM Memory”, in 1993, the popular format of ram was “SDRAM”. “SDRAM” stands for “Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory”. SDRAM differs from its predecessor, “DRAM” (Dynamic Random Access Memory) by being synchronized with the clock speed of the CPU. DRAM was asynchronous (not synchronized by any external influence), which “posted a problem in organizing data as it comes in so it can be queued for the process it’s associated with”. SDRAM was able to transfer data one time per clock cycle, and it’s replacement in the early 2000s, “DDR SDRAM” (Dual Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) was able to transfer data two times per clock cycle. This evolution of ram would continue to this day. In 2003, DDR2 SDRAM was released, able to transfer four pieces of data per clock cycle. In 2007, DDR3 SDRAM was able to transfer eight pieces of data per clock cycle. In 2014, DDR4 SDRAM still was able to transfer eight pieces of data per cycle, but the clock speed had increased by 600 MHz, and the overall power consumption had been reduced from 3.3 volts for the original SDRAM to 1.2 volts for DDR4. (Thornton)The digital size of each “ram stick” (a physical stick of ram that you would insert into your computer) had also increased, from around two megabytes per stick, to up to 128 gigabytes per stick (although this particular option will cost you around $1,000 per stick depending on the manufacturer) in 2020, although the average stick size is 8 gigabytes. For the average computer nowadays, you can insert up to four ram sticks, although for more high-end systems, you can insert up to sixteen or even thirty-two! Rewind back to 1993, where the original “DooM” took up two megabytes of storage, not to be confused with ram. According to tech enthusiast Rex Farrance in their article “Timeline: 50 Years of Hard Drives”, the average computer at this time had around two gigabytes of storage. Storage took the form of magnetic-optical discs, a combination of the previous magnetic discs and optical discs. (Farrance) This format of storage is still in use today, although mainly for large amounts of rarely used data, while data that is commonly used by programs (including the operating system) is put on solid-state drives, or SSDs. According to tech journalist Keith Foote in their article “A Brief History of Data Storage”, SSDs differed from the HDD by being much faster and smaller, storing data on a flash memory chip, not unlike a USB thumb drive. While SSDs had been used as far back as 1950, they wouldn’t find their way into the average gaming machine until the early 2010s. (Foote) A way to think about SSDs is common knowledge. It doesn’t contain every piece of information you know, it just contains what you use on a daily basis. For example, my computer has around 750 gigabytes of storage in SSDs, and around two terabytes of internal HDD storage. On my SSDs, I have my operating system, my favorite programs and games, and any files that I use frequently. On my HDD, I have everything else that I don’t use on a regular basis. “DOOM: Eternal” would release on March 20, 2020, four months after it’s original release date on November 22, 2019. And let me tell you, I was excited. The second my clock turned from 11:59 P.M. to 12:00 A.M., I repeatedly clicked my refresh button, desperately waiting to see the words “Coming March 20” transform into the ever so beautiful and elegant phrase: “Download Now”. At this point in time, I had a monitor that was capable of displaying roughly two-million pixels spread out over it’s 27 inch display panel, at a rate of 240 times a second. Speaking of monitors and displays, according to the article “The Evolution of the Monitor” on the website PCR, at the time of the original “DooM” release, the average monitor was either a CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor, or the newer (and more expensive) LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor. The CRT monitor was first unveiled in 1897 by the German physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun. CRT monitors functioned by colored cathode ray tubes generating an image on a phosphorescent screen. These monitors would have an average resolution of 800 by 600 pixels and a refresh rate of around 30 frames per second. CRT monitors would eventually be replaced by LCD monitors in the late 2000s. LCD monitors functioned by using two pieces of polarized glass with liquid crystal between them. A backlight would shine through the first piece of polarized glass (also known as substrate). Electrical currents would then cause the liquid crystals to adjust how much light passes through to the second substrate, which creates the images that are displayed. (The Evolution of the Monitor) The average resolution would increase to 1920x1080 pixels and the refresh rate would increase to 60 frames a second around 2010. Nowadays, there are high end monitors that are capable of displaying up to 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, and also monitors that are capable of displaying up to 360 frames per second, assuming you have around $1,000 lying around. At long last, it had finished. My 40.02 gigabyte download of “DOOM: Eternal” had finally completed, and oh boy, I was ready to experience this. I ran over to my computer, my beautiful creation sporting 32 gigs of DDR4 ram, an AMD Ryzen 7 “3800x” with a base clock of 3.8 GHz, an Nvidia 2080ti, 750 gigabytes of SSD storage and two terabytes of HDD storage. Finally, after two years of waiting for this, I grabbed my mouse, and moved my cursor over that gorgeous button titled “Launch DOOM: Eternal”. Thanks to multiple advancements in the speed of CPUs, the size of ram and storage, and display resolution and refresh rate, “DooM” had evolved from an archaic, pixelated video game in 1993 into the beautiful, realistic and smooth video game it is today. And personally, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.
Bylls — the Canadian Bitcoin bill payment service by Bull Bitcoin — celebrates its 6th birthday
I sometimes find it hard to believe that it has already been 6 years since the public launch of Bylls on January 13 2014. What started out as a simple and humble “garage startup”, the world’s first Bitcoin bill payment service, evolved into so much more. Bylls eventually became the company that people know today as Bull Bitcoin, and it is from Bylls’ UASF advocacy that sprouted the Cyphernode open-source project. I also like to think of Bylls as a “bitcoin culture” institution that served as the vanguard of the Bitcoin Maximalist and Cypherpunk movements within the Bitcoin exchange and payments industry. Happy Birthday Bylls! 🎂
What is Bylls?
For those of you who don’t know about Bylls, here’s a short summary:
Bylls lets Bitcoin users pay any bill in Canada with Bitcoin. We offer a comprehensive list of nearly 9000 billers (credit cards, utilities, telcos, taxes, brokerage accounts, law firms, “joe the plumber”, etc.)
Bylls lets Bitcoin users pay anyone or any business in Canada with Bitcoin by adding them as a personal payee (rent, employees, suppliers, friends).
The recipient of the payment doesn’t need to do anything and doesn’t even need to know you are using Bitcoin, as long as they are on our biller list or the user has his banking details.
Bylls is available exclusively to residents of Canada and all the recipients must also be, exclusively, individuals or companies residing in Canada.
Mission: Building the software and financial infrastructure for the Bitcoin Standard.
Short history of world’s first Bitcoin bill payment service
Bylls was founded in 2013 by Eric Spano, a Montreal entrepreneur part of the original Bitcoin Embassy team. Eric, one of my earliest and most influential mentors, is a true Bitcoin OG. Check out his 2014 Bitcoin Ted Talk or his 2019 Podcast on Tales From the Crypt which describes in great detail the inception of Bylls. When Bylls was launched, I was Public Affairs Director at the Bitcoin Embassy, the world’s first physical Bitcoin hub (a 14,000 square feet building downtown Montreal). Bylls was effectively a one-man operation, with Eric doing pretty much everything himself. I wasn’t directly involved with the company, but Bylls was one of the startups in the Embassy’s incubator program, so I was helping out in various ways. My first “public appearance” in the Bitcoin industry was actually to man the Bylls booth at the Toronto Bitcoin Expo in 2014! In 2015, Eric was offered a huge career opportunity that he couldn’t accept without stepping down from running Bylls. It was to me an inconceivable tragedy for Bitcoin to let Bylls quitely close down. For the past 2 years, whenever somebody asked me “what can you do with Bitcoin?”, I would always reply “well, for starters, you can pay all your bills in Canada, even your taxes and your credit card”. What was I going to say now? I had just founded my company Satoshi Portal Inc. with the aim of developing a non-custodial Bitcoin exchange (which eventually became Bull Bitcoin). And so, I acquired Bylls from Eric and it immediately became the focus of all my energy. For the first year, our team consisted of only 2 people including our lead developer Arthur which is still working on Bylls features to this day. From the beginning until today, we are still 100% self-funded. We grew organically and slowly. My philosophy on entrepreneurship and startup scaling is articulated in this medium post.It has been an incredibly intense journey. I cannot think of a more challenging professional experience than being a startup founder and entrepreneur in the Bitcoin industry. The number of Bitcoin startups that have perished since is a stark reminder. Some of them sank quietly, but many went down in flames taking down their users with them. The fact that Bylls is still standing — without VC funding and with its reputation intact — is my proudest achievement. Over the past 4 years. we completely redesigned the software, continuously adding new features, but the core of the service remained the same. Most importantly, we added the ability for users to pay any individual or business in Canada by creating a personal biller from their bank details. Previously, they were limited to Bylls’ biller list of around 9000 billers. One of the defining moments in the history of Bylls was UASF. Bylls was one of the first Bitcoin companies to support BIP-148 for the activation of Segwit (second after Bitconic). Not only that, but we were the first to run a public BIP-148 block explorer and public UASF electrum server. We had done a “seppuku pledge” regarding BIP-148, meaning that we would only accept coins from the UASF segwit chain and would pay the Bitcoin market price for them. If UASF had failed, we would not have survived. This cemented our ideology of “skin-in-the-game”. We would never compromise on our values, no matter the cost. Our policy on forks (2017) was described here. But the jist of it is:
Satoshi Portal is a Bitcoin-only company and does not conduct any transaction in any altcoin, including altcoins that are the result of a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain and which can be spent with Bitcoin private keys. This includes, but is not limited to, the coins commonly referred to as BCash, Segwit2X, BGold, Clams and Lumens.We strongly oppose the “New York Agreement” and will under no circumstance ever recognize the Segwit2X blockchain (and BTC1 client) as Bitcoin, regardless of market response or hashing power. In the unlikely event that an overwhelming majority of the Bitcoin ecosystem migrates to the Segwit2X blockchain, Satoshi Portal will continue nevertheless to support the Bitcoin blockchain.
Following the UASF/NO2X “war” in 2017, we devoted a large prortion of ressources to building Cyphernode, an open-source project that makes it very easy for startups to build and deploy Bitcoin applies without any third-parties, using exclusively their own full nodes. We are still developing this project today and plan on actively maintaining it in the future. It is also worth noting that Bylls has never accepted any altcoins and was one of the first company to pledge never to accept altcoins in the future, leading to what became the “Bitcoin-Only” movement. We were also the first Bitcoin exchange and payment processing company, to our knowledge, that has integrated coinjoin as part of its processes.
Unbanking yourself with Bylls
The coolest feature of Bylls is that you can pay pretty much all your expenses with Bitcoin without needing to go through a bank account. In Canada, you can obtain a credit card without having it linked to a bank account. In 2016, the last of my personal bank accounts was closed due to my activities in the Bitcoin industry. I decided not apply at another bank and try the experiment of living completely unbanked. I’m happy to report it was a success, and serves as a powerful testament for the use-cases provided by Bylls. I really like the idea of not owning any fiat. You can pay pretty much all daily expenses with a credit card, and pay back the debt with Bitcoin. Of course you have fiat-denominated debts which conveniently tends to diminish in price over time. You can withdraw cash from a credit card and pay it off instantly with Bylls, so you can get access to cash at any time, in any country across the world, without having a bank account. The only inconvenience is the cash advance fee. When you have to pay larger amounts such as rent or whatever services don’t accept cash or credit card, you can find the biller in the Bylls list or ask the recipient for his banking details, the same as you would for a wire transfer.
The future of Bylls
Many people ask us if we intend to expand outside of Canada. The answer is, unequivocally, no. We will always be a Canada-only, Bitcoin-only company. That doesn’t mean that we stop working hard to improve our services. We will continue to be the first