Bitcoin Price: BTC Price News Today - BitcoinExchangeGuide.com

Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking

thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020.
The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more.
In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.
Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000.
DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain.
While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO.
Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud.
On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams.
His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund.
Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity.
You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race?
I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned.
I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated.
Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well?
Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse.
Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump.
In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly?
Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.”
We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was.
You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business?
All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups.
were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that?
Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases.
Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case.
You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not?
Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn.
You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN?
I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles.
In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad?
I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses.
Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there?
My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information.
[Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”]
What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer? [Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.]
I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak?
I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored.
What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein?
I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality?
I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right?
[Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.]
Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy.
You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean?
“Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it.
I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice.
Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests?
I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I​ have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests.​ My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality.
Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that?
I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability.
[Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.]
You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that.
Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa.
I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people.
You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City?
I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future.
You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship?
No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions.
What do you think the investigation will find?
I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad.
[Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”]
But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details.
[Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.]
We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert?
You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room.
Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here.
She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time?
Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job.
During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart?
I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans.
Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election?
Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention.
Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material?
Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.”
[Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.]
So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser.
Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is?
We all are Satoshi Nakamoto.
You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man?
I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend.
OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
submitted by Leather_Term to Epstein [link] [comments]

NYT article/The Weekly Episode on Epstein Hotlist

Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos.
Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%.
The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist
Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women.
For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text:
By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers.
Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited.
He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape.
Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail.
Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers.
The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein.
In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.”
Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again.
Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works.
7 men and a headless parrot
The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.”
After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk.
In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive.
All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real.
In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.”
Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said.
Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing.
“Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?”
A victim becomes a hacker
Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California.
But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015.
Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.)
By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued.
On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia.
Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras.
Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail.
“This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit.
A chance to sway the Israeli election
Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal.
According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.)
“Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote.
Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out.
“Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked.
“Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered.
Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images.
“Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning.
Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening.
Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.”
‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’
The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish.
You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business.
One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos.
Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements.
Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said.
Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.”
Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men.
“I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew.
“Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.”
“I call it our hot list,” he added.
Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan
In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men.
Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.”
The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women.
Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans.
Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O.
Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims.
The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents.
Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it.
‘We keep it. We keep everything’
Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men?
Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room.
“I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’”
During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found.
Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011.
The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern.
After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story.
“I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed.
A Weinstein cameo
On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls.
The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.
Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion.
The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back.
While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz.
‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’
One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies.
“The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.”
“Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked.
“There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.”
“Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?”
“Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.”
“And you don’t have anything on me, right?”
“I do not, no,” Kessler said.
“Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.”
What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed?
Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too.
“You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said.
Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct
In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct.
Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage.
On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv.
Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.”
In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent.
In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.”
“No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.”
“Thank you very much,” Kessler responded.
Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”)
Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients.
‘I just pulled it out of my behind’
The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
“I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.”
Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines.
Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion?
Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.”
Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them.
By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse.
Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said.
But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands.
In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.”
The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler.
As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said.
Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.”
He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
submitted by FollyGoLightly to Epstein [link] [comments]

Hydro AMA Q&A Roundup with BitcoinMarkets (Slack), 15 June 2018

I've taken the liberty of rounding up all the questions and answers provided from Hydro's most recent AMA hosted with BitcoinMarkets incase you missed it. Enjoy!
Hydro Q&A’s
Q (knonsu): How does Snowflake relate to other identity protocols out there like Civic and uPort ?
A.1 (Anurag): We see snowflake as existing a layer below these types of projects. Even without blockchain, identity is a broad term. Different people around the world have different forms of identity (state ID, country ID, social media IDs, etc). Civic, uPort, and other blockchain projects help to build specific types of an on-chain identity for a user; however those IDs are meaningful in different ways to different observers. For instance, imagine that a government or business builds a system that accepts Civic as a form of identity while another government/business only recognizes uPort identities. On top of this, certain systems only care about information tied to a user’s social media profile. A user can maintain one standard Snowflake as a base layer and set each of these different forms of identity as a resolver. Snowflake eliminates the need for global unanimous adoption of a singular identity standard and rather allows systems to build business logic off of identity standards they themselves recognize.
Follow up Q (knonsu): thats cool. so its totally depends on the person/ institute utilizing it . One problem I found is how easy its to create fake identities (in their basic system).
A.2 (Anurag): Yup! So people can conduct off-chain verifications to prove that you own a snowflake, and then tie an on-chain verification to your Snowflake. This links real-world KYC to your on-chain ID, so sure you could mint another snowflake, but that same party won't validate it again for you. Anyone who trusts that party would be able to accept their validations, and people who don't trust that party can rely on a different validator they do trust.

Q (kat): How big is the team working specifically on Hydro products? Can we get a numbers breakdown of engineers, biz dev, etc? Do you have plans to scale this team as the Hydro project develops?
A.1 (Andy): Our Hydro team is 8 people.
Devlopers (Myself and Noah)
Product (Anurag and Shane)
Community (Nahom)
Founders (Mike and Matt)
Partnerships/BizDev (Gunjan)
The nice thing about Hydrogen though is we have a team of 30 people who we can leverage for different things. For example, Noah and I do not build mobile apps, but we have a front end team that is well versed in mobile app development. So while they are not directly on the Hydro team they do have a direct impact on Hydro.
Hydrogen as a company is working to grow pretty rapidly. As we grow we will be filling out more positions in both blockchain and non-blockchain rolls.
A.2 (Anurag): To add to Andy's answer - pretty much everyone working for Hydrogen helps out with Hydro in some way, whether via design, front-end development, API support, business discussion, etc.
Here's our full team: https://www.hydrogenplatform.com/about

Q (rocket man): So in the age of ICOs, what motivated your team to not pursue that funding model and instead have a token distribution for developers?
A (Andy): This was something that we spent a very long time considering and discussing. We spent a lot of resources (time, money & energy) trying to find the best solution for us going forward. When it was all said and done, we decided on an airdrop because of two main things, getting the token into the hands of people who will actually use it and regulatory concerns.
We feel as though our distribution was the fairest approach that allowed for people with actual interest in the Hydro community to get involved. Overall, we have been very pleased with the level of community engagement from people who are interested in the utility of the Hydro token and we feel that a lot of this can be credited to our distribution strategy.

Q (matheussiq8): How hydro tokens will be used is still vague in the Snowflake whitepaper draft. Would the amount required to hold depend on the volume of API calls or some other parameter? For example, if I decide to implement raindrop and later snowflake in my small webshop would I need to hold the same amount of tokens as Binance (if they ever implement it of course…)?
A (Noah): as always, the permissionlessness of public blockchains is a double-edged sword. smart contracts partially solve the problem by letting us enforce certain things on-chain (minimum token balances, signature validity, etc.), but there are limits. so, re. your specific question: in raindrop we do not vary the staking requirement across users, because that would necessarily involve value judgements we are not comfortable making as a centralized entity. however, there are two types of staking required for raindrop:
  1. “institutional staking” requires entities who wish to sign up raindrop users *on their behalf* (i.e. passing new users’ addresses to the smart contract as parameters rather than new users transacting directly from their accounts) to stake a significant amount of hydro. these are the players we want to ensure are acting in the best interests of the community. in this model, hydro is simply one of many institutional stakers (where we sign up users on our kickass mobile app, which will be out soon).
  2. “user staking” requires individuals who wish to sign up for raindrop on their own, i.e. transact directly with the smart contract, are able to do so by staking a much smaller amount of hydro.
What this all means for you, as a potential customer of our API, is that you don’t actually have to worry about the staking requirement or signing up users at all, and can simply use our API in conjunction with the Hydro app.
Looking ahead to Snowflake, we have big plans to integrate increasing sophisticated uses of the token into the product. to some extent these are still up in the air, but rest assured that we are very focused on building a strong tokenomics structure. At a high level, the core token mechanism for snowflake will involve depositing tokens into the snowflake smart contract. These deposits will allow native staking/payment/incentive functionality denominated in hydro, without the hassle and worry of using ether with every call.

Q (Hodlall): When is raindrop Android app is releasing
A (Andy): It is currently under development. We have a bunch of android phones with different OS on the way. It is hard to give a set date as we don't know what unforeseen issues could come up during the process though. All I can say is it is literally all that our mobile development team is working on

Q (Jeff_We_Cannafi): To piggyback on matheussiq8’s question, how do these identity tokens compare to existing forms of identity authentication, and do you anticipate the tokens themselves will be traded on exchanges?
A (Andy): In my opinion, the main difference between what we are working towards and others like civic and uport is the scope of what we are aiming to do. We understand the value of having KYC on the blockchain and "One click signup", but really I think blockchain identity can be so much more than that. We are aiming to create a completely extendable and modular protocol which will allow for people to link anything they desire to their blockchain identity. Other protocols can tend to lean towards centralization (more a fault of current KYC procedures than the projects themselves) and we feel like this doesn't have to be the case. At least for now, something like KYC needs to have central authorities to verify user information, but why can't I also link my crypto kitties to my blockchain id or my linkedin profile to my blockchain id?
Overall, what we are trying to build will easily allow for other blockchain developers to create robust identity solutions for whatever application they feel fit with Snowflake being at the core of that. We feel that this is crucial to eventually creating a completely open and decentralized identity system. Anyone can join and anyone can add what THEY consider to be an identity, but I only have to accept what I consider to be an identity.
As far as trading, Snowflake Identity tokens will never be tradable. We feel that you identity should always be linked to you. This would be a dangerous road to a very easy black market for people's identities

Q (Jrock): What do you find the hardest part of pitching icos to regular companies?
Also what do you think needs to happen for widespread crypto adoption?
A (Shane): If you mean pitching Hydro to regular companies (we're not an ICO :stuck_out_tongue:), I would say the hardest part is getting the larger companies to move faster than a snail's pace. There are too many chefs in the kitchen and sometimes there is a lack of top-down strategy on blockchain, and it leaves large enterprises paralyzed sometimes. We try to resolve this by pitching how easy Hydro is to use, and how it connects to our broader Hydrogen ecosystem which can add value in a lot of places.
In my opinion, widespread crypto adoption is going to be dependent on how parallelization plays out. If crypto's only option is to create a new parallel economy, widespread adoption is going to be slow and arduous and will take decades. However, if blockchain is able to be infused or layered on some of the current systems we have in place, the adoption will be much faster and broader. Ultimately this comes down to the usage of private vs public chains - the more private and centralized chains that get implemented, the farther the mainstream adoption will get pushed out.

Q (Luke): One aspect of Hydro that is beginning to really intrigue me are the potential use cases and dapps that can be built by external developers ontop of the Hydro protocol layers for each phase.
  1. Having held various dev meetups and networking at various conferences, how are you finding the process of attracting developers to start building dapps and products in your ecosystem?
  2. I understand the HCDP is getting updated with various new rules and bounties for dapps to be built, have you approached any developers yet with this new offer, and if so, how has the reception been?
  3. How else do you intend to attract developers towards building on the Hydro protocols?
A (Anurag):
  1. Through our events, we're mainly focused on helping expand the blockchain-focused developer community. We help give exposure to projects we find to be doing neat, innovative work in the space and keep ongoing dialogue with these communities.
  2. In particular, to provide impetus to developers in the Hydro ecosystem, we've established the HCDP. The new process will involve putting out specific task requests. In the next week or so we'll have published specifications for dApps that can be built on top of Snowflake. We ourselves will not be building these dApps (they have nothing to do with Hydrogen's space as a company). This helps the ecosystem expand outside of Hydrogen-specific use-cases.
  3. ^^Through the above process to get them started. Eventually, we want the Hydro development process to be community-driven, so people are building on Hydro because it benefits their own programs and applications.

Q (elmer_FUD): Hey Hydro Team! Here's a few question I've got for you after checking out the Raindrop and Snowflake whitepapers:
How has your experience working in the Ethereum ecosystem been so far?
While you are currently focused on the financial sector, would you consider actively marketing to other sectors such as healthcare and education in the future?
It seems like both Raindrop and Snowflake would be useful in any environment that processes or stores sensitive data.
Do you have plans to release official Raindrop SDK packages in other languages in the future?
A bit more of a specific question: Raindrop is looks like a great product to use in a PCI-DSS environment - do you have thoughts on whether or not it the product is ready for primetime and do you think the industry standards and government regulation is prepared to handle these kinds of systems?
A (Andy): Thanks for the questions! I'm gonna answer each in a separate response in this thread
Overall it has been pretty solid. There is still a ton of room for growth in terms of documentation and stuff like that, but it is miles ahead of basically every other blockchain platform I have worked with. By far the biggest pain has been handling gas costs when considering the user experience. When trying to build actual products that people will want to use we feel that making it user friendly is something that many blockchain projects have not focused on nearly enough.
Yeah certainly. We focus on fintech as that is where the rest of our companies APIs focus and that is where we have the most connections, but much of what we are building is much further reaching than that. Just as far as authentication goes, it really can apply to any major field and we intend to market it as such.
We currently have Python and JS SDKs and have had a few java ones submitted through our community dev program. We have been revamping that program, but I anticipate we will be putting up more bounties for most major languages. I have considered making a few more myself, but we feel that they could be better suited as community projects.
I completely agree. Raindrop and blockchain authentication when handling anything around payments is a great application. I think the biggest thing is actually convincing regulatory bodies that the protocols we have build are secure (since many can still be scared of blockchain). I definitely see this as a direct use case though

Q.1 (khonsu): What kind of banking relations do you have as a company, do they (banks) understand what you are trying to do ? Any VCs approached you for funding ? explain your business model.
A.1 (Shane): Hydrogen has existed since 2009 in the form of Hedgeable. Hedgeable is a consumer-facing online investing app, and the tech behind it eventually spawned the Hydrogen tech platform. The story of how the transition happened goes essentially like this: (1) Hedgeable was disrupting banks & investing firms, (2) banks & investing firms started contacting us and seeing if we would help them digitize & automate their own businesses, (3) we started packaging up our tech and selling it to the banks. There was so much demand for this from financial institutions that we spun out a new company (Hydrogen).
So to get back to your original question: we have some long-standing relationships in the banking & finance world, and to this day we have inbound leads from that space coming in every week. The key thing to keep in mind is that these institutions move extremely slowly, but they do understand the core value prop of our platform. Many of these firms are still in the midst of basic digitization efforts (i.e. moving from really slow offline processes to simple digital infrastructure), and that is the primary thing we are helping them with in early stages. But they are also keen on blockchain tech and they will naturally turn to us for that once they reach that point. We do have a few relationships with big financial companies in which Hydro/blockchain are already part of the discussion.
We have revenue and don't need to rely on VCs. It is our general philosophy that building a business sustainably with actual clients and revenue is a good approach, but we would consider working with the right VC if that came to be and we wanted to scale more quickly. Right now, that is not an immediate concern for us.
Our business model is in charging developers and enterprises to access the Hydrogen technology platform, which currently consists of products like Atom, Ion, and Hydro. Developers pay a per-user fee to hit our core APIs, while large enterprises negotiate custom (usually multi-year) contracts with us that typically include recurring revenue. Hydro, specifically, is being offered for free right now, as we attempt to gain adoption. But it is important to note that Hydro is just one piece of our ecosystem.
Q.2 (Joleen): When you say fee - is this fee HYDRO? And when do you envisage HYDRO to no longer be offered FOC?
A**.2 (Shane):** Sorry if it wasn't clear, I meant free to use our Hydro tech/APIs. The usage of HYDRO tokens within that is a separate issue - they still need to have HYDRO and we do not give it away for free to clients

Q (guacam0le): Adoption of an identity management solution (etc) would potentially involve a lot of identities. Further, scalability is a hot topic w/ blockchain. Is this a potential bottleneck? What is or might be done to address such?
Tackling a competitor like Google or Authy's 2FA is no small feat. Also, not everyone is yet to embrace blockchain-based solutions. Have you found it difficult to interface with enterprises & get them excited about the idea of an overhaul?
A (Anurag): nowflake is designed to be relatively low-load on the blockchain. A user needs to conduct a single transaction to “mint” their Snowflake. Once this is complete, they would need to complete one-time transactions to set each of their different forms of identities as resolvers as needed. A Snowflake is designed to be built out via resolvers over the duration of a user’s lifetime, so there’s never a need for heavy, frequent transactional capability. Similarly, smart contracts simply need to be set as resolvers by users; they do not themselves transact. Network scalability improvements will increase the range of use-cases for smart contracts that can be tied to Snowflake, but they aren’t a necessary prerequisite to some important early use-cases such as KYC platforms, and a few basic user-interaction platforms.
As far as competition, we feel that current adoption of 2FA is, in general far short of where it should be, and any 2FA is generally better than none. Many businesses use text-message based 2FA, etc. In the short-run we are aiming toward pilot implementations with small businesses. To further this, we have put out many integration resources, guides, and documentation and accordingly believe implementation of Raindrop is a more straightforward workflow. As far as large enterprises go, Hydrogen has clients, so it is helpful for our project to have those connections. Large institutions are generally relatively slow-moving, but have expressed interest in using Raindrop, in particular for securing employee accounts. As the product grows, we may eventually move in this direction with Client Raindrop, but resources will always be available for any site that wants to adopt it. Additionally, we are looking into making a wordpress plug-in to make implementation much more accessible for many developers.
--
Q (Smithymethods): I know Hydro is a fintech company, hydro plan to curb phishing and hacking to the bearest minimum we know that hacking is very rampant these days on MEW and with other wallet. Is Hydro planning to create a wallet that support hydro and other tokens using their raindrop Technology?
As this will put an end to the problem of phishing and also promote hydro
A (Noah): like everyone in the crypto space, we’re very worried about phishing, both personally and on behalf of all hydro token holders. we first want to reemphasize that preventing scams and fraud has to be a community-driven effort: teams and users need to be vigilant and promote best practices (never trusting links in public chats, shunning fake accounts, etc.). we are excited about raindrop’s potential to help combat phishing, though. we actually talked with someone about mycrypto about integrating raindrop into their desktop app. we’ve forked their code and are researching how feasible an implementation would be, stay tuned for updates!

Q (Hodlall): What security measures in place for hydro , I see lot of tokens being hacked nowadays , and money is stolen.. how does hydro make sure their team tokens are completely secured or as much as possible
A (Andy): We all have been in crypto for a while and are pretty well versed in securing our stuff. Our tokens that are currently locked are in cold storage. Others are held in hardware wallets

Q (Joleen): We know that the Hydrogen platform is going to be used by CI Investments, a large insurance firm and a world top 20 bank, have these companies already begun purchasing Hydro OTC?
A (Andy): This is something that we feel is best to be hands off with. It is really up to the discretion of our partners

Q (khonsu’s mumaffi): Ill be honest i have not yet fully read the whitepaper but id like to know other than investor growth do you truly believe there is interest in a model where users have to pay each time for access? How big do u expect this fee to be...for large companies dont you believe this is an unscalable practice? This may be a question more about most technologies built on token based economics too.
A (Andy): So we have 2 different authentication protocols. One happens less often and is in the same vein as OAuth. This is called Server-Side Raindrop. This requires tokens to be sent. This protocol would only happen once per day for a business when accessing something like an API. I don't feel that these values are extremely high for increased security.
Our second protocol, Client-Side Raindrop, functions much more like google auth. This logic actually does not require any tokens or even a transaction by the end user. It is 100% free for them to use and they will never have to pay for a transaction. Here the responsibility is on the implementing party to stake tokens. This allows them to onboard users and authenticate them.
We felt it was crucial to have an authentication that did not have a cost per user login as it is not scalable

Q (khonsu’s mumaffi): Also do u plan to tokenise atom and ion too and if not covered earlier how big of an impact do the market conditions have on your business
A (Anurag): Tough to say we're going to "tokenize" them since that word can carry a lot of different meanings in different contexts, but we do plan on integrating the entire Hydrogen platform with Hydro. This will most likely take the form of enhancements to systems leveraging Hydro. You can find a more detailed breakdown on our Hydro roadmap: https://medium.com/hydrogen-api/project-hydro-features-in-depth-look-39faa29f0d61
Market conditions don't really have an impact - we're still building the same tech on a day-to-day basis

Q (ghost): As a company in the space, do you see the fact that tokens have to be acquired on exchanges as an issue? How would a company that wants to develop with you acquire tokens?
A (Anurag): Depends on what they're developing. dApps developing using Hydro smart contracts to create native functionality to their applications would need to acquire those tokens on their own; however, companies using the Hydrogen API will not. Here's a detailed article outlining when a developer would need the token for the Client Raindrop smart contract: https://medium.com/hydrogen-api/how-to-use-client-raindrop-without-using-the-hydrogen-api-bb04934ae293

Q (jarederaj): Can you describe your stakeholders and give me a better sense of the exigency of your products? Who are you focused on serving with your platform and why are they motivated to use your platform?
A (Shane): The Hydrogen platform serves developers and enterprises who want to build applications. We are specifically targeting the financial services sector, including banks, investing firms, insurance providers, and financial advisors. This includes large enterprises, individual developers, and startups.
Our products are Atom (core digital infrastructure & engine for finserv), Ion (AutoML & business intelligence capabilities), and Hydro (blockchain & decentralization layer). Each has a different use case but these products combine to form an ecosystem of tools for developers to build sophisticated applications with.
The main pain point we are addressing is the resources required to build, launch, and run a digital financial application. These resources include both time and money.
Large enterprises have resources, but they waste years and millions of dollars trying to launch digital platforms (we've seen this first-hand), often unsuccessfully. The motivation here is obvious. Startups and smaller developers, on the other hand, do not have access to huge resource pools, so they are forced to look for solutions that make the process more efficient.
In the same way that Wordpress makes launching a blog easy and also allows for extended functionality, Hydrogen makes launching fintech application easy.

Q (shujjishah): When the app will be released???
A (Anurag): We're going through our mobile development very iteratively. Since we work very closely with the product, there are things we can't recognize until we've got people beta testing the app. As we started Beta testing and conducting user-research, we realized that one aspect of the UI for the app was not intuitive to about half of our testers. We decided to make a few API changes to enable the mobile app to display a "linked" vs "unlinked" status in order to improve the user experience. Our front-end team is finalizing these changes, so our Beta testers will receive a new build in their testflight apps within the next few days. This new build will require another round of Beta testing to ensure that none of the code changes causes any problems on devices; if this change goes smoothly, and our mainnet testing goes smoothly, we will be able to release the app this month.
Since there isn't much precedent on releasing a product into the app store that connects users with the ethereum mainnet, our primary concern is making sure the product works fully as intended and provides an intuitive user experience.
Misc Q&A’s
Q (elmer_FUD): What's your favorite thing to drink?
A.1 (Andy): Overall, I really love Baja Blast Mountain Dew. If I am drinking, I'm a big fan of fruity beers like Blue Moon and Shocktop. Also had a really good raspberry sour recently
A.2 (Nahom): Primary=water but i do enjoy Jamaican ginger ale/beer. We keep honest tea in the office too, i love it because it brings me back from the dead:skull_and_crossbones:, @Hydro Andy drinks most of it behind my back though :triumph:
A.3 (Noah): hard: tequila or picklebacks
soft: any sour beer
other: mango juice
i also crush like 2 nalgene’s worth of water every day at work
A.4 (Shane): For hard alcohol: whiskey/bourbon
A.5 (Anurag): ooh, went to the finback brewery last weekend; was wonderful

Q (Joleen): Do you HODL any other tokens personally?
A.1 (Andy): I do. I think it is probably best to not say which, but if you follow me enough in #altcoins I am sure you will see me talk about a few
A.2 (Noah): im a bit of an eth maximalist actually :grimacing: i do dabble though

Q (Joleen): Who got who in the World Cup sweepstakes?
A.1 (Andy): I'm going for Germany, but I know next to nothing about soccer
A.2 (Shane): I'm rooting for Portugal, but I don't think they're going to win the cup

Q (Joleen): Who's got the best banter in the office? And who has the worst?
A.1 (Andy): One of our backend devs, Paavan, typically has some great banter
and even better hot takes
A.2 (Noah): dont @ me for worst banter
A.3 (Shane): Sabih (BA @ Hydrogen) banter is by far the best
submitted by ljb1187 to ProjectHydro [link] [comments]

Volum Organization Review

VOLUM is a holding organization shaped by Bengala Technologies, LLC and International Spirit and
Refreshment Group (ISBG). Bengala is a blockchain programming improvement organization and ISBG (OTCQB:ISBG) is a top-level hatchery for beginning period marks in the wines and spirits showcase. The VOLUM stage conveys a troublesome coordinations and production network answer for an assortment of enterprises, including yet not restricted to the $391 billion mixed refreshments industry and the $1.4 trillion worldwide propelled vitality showcase. Based upon the Ethereum blockchain, the VOLUM stage uses its very own local cash, VLM, a mined coin that utilizes savvy contracts for the repayment of a wide assortment of exchange types between biological system members.
About VOLUM
VOLUM is a Holding association that requirements to utilize the colossal potential outcomes that are bound in the Holding association structure. In doing it, it has taken the inventive course by showing and making VOLUM on Blockchain development. This advancement isn't new to various any more drawn out as its conceivable outcomes, similarly as submerge benefits, have been seen across over various parts in the globe today stretching out from prosperity, improvement, land, business, and packages more portions. This Holding association structure is one that when fittingly utilized can be dangerous to whatever territory it's been locked in with. Some key points of interest of Holding associations and part of why VOLUM raised the stakes by organizing Blockchain advancement consolidate;
Danger Confinement
Cost Amplification
More control with less Capital
Commitment Insurance
More Subtleties
The VOLUM Holding association was molded by Bengala Advances, LLC and Universal soul and drink group(ISBG). Meriting note is that these two associations are not new but rather have been settled in their distinctive endeavors of overall impelled essentialness and blended refreshments independently. These associations have withstood the preliminary of times and experienced tremendous improvement in their distinctive undertakings. It's this kind of accomplishment that should not strange or should I say, guaranteed with the VOLUM. The president and director of ISBG Alonzo Puncture is the kindred supporter of VOLUM close by Arnaldo Detres who is the creator of Bengala Innovations. As ought to be self-evident, the gathering is strong and equipped with all around experienced individuals over their diverse fields.
Volum Business Model
VOLUM augments venture esteem and strength through its holding organization structure. VOLUM puts resources into portfolio organizations that as of now have, or can without much of a stretch make, long haul resource esteem. This offers VOLUM financial specialists enhancement over different organizations and businesses. It is broadly comprehended in the financial specialist network that the death rate of any new business, regardless of whether on or off the blockchain, is exceptionally high News Bitcoin.com directed an investigation and found that fortysix percent (46%) of all the ICOs propelled in 2017 finished in disappointment either because of not collecting enough cash amid the TGE or later because of not conveying a product.1
Thus, financial specialists are pulled in to holding organizations which convey the hazard among different associations.
In its determination procedure for holding organization speculations, VOLUM looks for, distinguishes and vets the best-ofthe-best chances. It's anything but a necessity for a working organization possibility to be blockchain based, in spite of the fact that it is favored, particularly when the VOLUM stage and VLMs can be utilized.
Basically, VOLUM scans for organizations with troublesome plans of action and convincing income models, supporting those that have scholarly properties. VOLUM complies with an all-encompassing methodology to join synergistic organizations in a portfolio that will profit by each other, or from a typical foundation and at whatever point conceivable, a solitary token for blockchain based activities.
VLM Tokens and TGE Update.
The VOLUM Stage relies upon the ethereum Blockchain and has a nearby cryptocurrency(VLM). This would be used for any kind of budgetary portions on the Stage. A Token Age event would a little while later be in transit for VLM Tokens, a more noteworthy measure of this on the site (interface gave underneath).
VOLUM Token Details
VOLUM is a blockchain environment for ranchers/producers, makers, wholesalers, open utilities, overseeing offices, exhausting experts, brands, money related foundations, IoT and EoT information gathering and capacity, and that's just the beginning. Working essentially as a B2B stage in a way like famous discount toretail online markets, VOLUM has a local cryptocurrency on the stage called VLM, that is required for access and utilization of the stage.
The development of VOLUM on a blockchain system is for reasons of straightforwardness and record innovation that furnish each organization or customer with the capacity to work together safely and track and follow the information included utilizing shrewd contracts and blockchain approval.
The VOLUM stage as of now has various proof-of-idea subjects affirmed for a preliminary including a universal refinery, a container maker, an alcohol conveyance organization, a social insurance organization, a development organization, an import and fare organization and two alcohol brands. The VOLUM stage is based upon the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is an open-source, open, blockchain-based circulated figuring stage and working framework including brilliant contract usefulness.
There are two (2) Ethereum token sorts that will be utilized on the VOLUM stage.
ERC20 token – ERC-20 is a specialized standard utilized for self-executing savvy contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for use on fungible tokens. The unmistakable larger part of tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain are ERC-20 compliant.3 Each ERC20 token is equivalent to any another ERC20 token.
ERC721 token – Some tokens should be explicitly novel and non-fungible. The convention for empowering these kinds of tokens is ERC721. This kind of token is utilized to affirm realness, approve irregularity and to additionally guarantee unchanging nature to anticipate unapproved duplicates. Each ERC721 token is interesting from some other token.
The VOLUM stage will bolster countless (client types in the biological communities of its different portfolio organizations) and those performing artists will execute a wide assortment of exchanges types.
BountyOx Username: Devinlex
submitted by brightt333 to ICOAnalysis [link] [comments]

We need to break up the unholy alliance between the Chinese miners and Core / Blockstream.

We signed up for a grand experiment that would be controlled by math and not by men.
Now we've had a year where the community is coming apart at the seams and today top dev Mike Hearn is selling his coins and abandoning the project.
Are we going to let Bitcoin be killed by 10 miners with cheap electricity & cooling behind the Great Firewall of China and a private company which wants to cripple our code by limiting space on the blockchain and adding double-spends and high fees?
I'm really trying seriously here to put my finger on the main problems that are causing this whole Bitcoin thing to spin out of control.
I think the two biggest problems are:
(1) the concentration of most hashpower behind the Great Firewall of China,
(2) allowing Blockstream to hijack Satoshi's codebase, so that they could:
...both of which are essential for their flagship vaporware product Lightning Network.
Analyzing these two problems in more detail:
(1) Most hashpower is behind the Great Firewall of China
Most hashpower is concentrated in China, behind what is essentially a network partition (or at least a major speed bump) on the global network topology: the Great Firewall of China.
So if blocks got really big, the miners outside of China might actually suffer more, not the miners inside China (who have pretty decent bandwidth amongst themselves).
(If you've already heard a million times about US jobs being exported to China, you can skip down to the next section - the short section starting with a sentence in bold saying "Wouldn't it be ironic...").
Now for a bit of economic background that most people know but I wanted to just review it here.
As we know, countries such as the USA used to have a solid domestic manufacturing base. But then the power elite in the USA discovered that it was easier to fire more-expensive US workers and let underpaid Chinese workers breathing smog produce cheaper (ie, lower-price and often lower-quality) versions of those same goods - and then the Fed could just print up unlimited little pieces of paper (fiat US Dollars) to import all that stuff to the USA.
Paying workers decent wages and keeping the air breathable would have been expensive, but the Chinese have evidently shown they're fine with sacrificing those things.
So now:
Anyways, most people know about this outsourcing and money-printing situation I've just described, but I mentioned it here as a lead-in to suggest a weird ironic point about mining in China (in bold at the start of the next, short section below).
As we also know, the world finally has real money now: Bitcoin.
It's "real" because it's not infinitely printable by private central bankers who inject it into the economy as usurious debt, and because, like gold, its value doesn't depend on any "counterparty": you simply hold your value yourself, and verify it yourself - assuming you have enough bandwidth to run a full a/k/a verifying node.
So, I'll finally give the weird ironic point I've been building up to:
Wouldn't it be ironic if - now that we finally have "real", quality money - we let its "manufacturing" (issuance, mining) be outsourced to China?
Because that looks like what we've actually been doing here.
Plus, maybe in some un-apparent, heretofore un-considered sense, the Great Firewall of China really might be the ultimate form of "capital control".
Forget all those articles you read on ZeroHedge about billions about dollars being smuggled out of China via Macau, with people strapping little bundles of cash to their bodies under their clothes:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-15/how-smuggle-money-out-china
What if the real massive hemorrhaging of capital which the Chinese authorities are worried about is Bitcoin itself - and what if that's the main reason why they're gonna make sure they keep the Great Firewall of China in place - to keep billions (and maybe someday trillions?) of dollars in Bitcoins inside China?
I don't think Satoshi took the Great Firewall of China into account in his planning. I think he just assumed there would be one globally connected internet, with no top-level partitions.
So here's some things to think about:
  • From what I'm told, the Chinese work hard and they're wild about saving money - they have trillions of dollars in T-Bills, and a lot of them are into gold. In the aggregate, the country is swimming in various forms of wealth.
  • Also: their government has strict capital controls in place to try to prevent people from expatriating vast sums of wealth out of China.
  • And finally: many Chinese want real money. They know the dollar or the yuan could crash, so they want something which has no counterparty risk (like gold or bitcoin).
So I'd be curious to know who the buyers really are for all the bitcoins currently being "cheaply" manufactured in China.
Do bitcoins mined in China stay in China - or do they get sold to the rest of the world?
I would guess that most early Bitcoin adopters with large hodlings who got in when it was really cheap were probably Westerners (assuming that early news about Bitcoin was more available in the West).
But now, while Bitcoin is "still" in the USD 400s (which could be cheap, if it survives long-term) - I wonder who the main buyers are these days?
Is it people like Blythe Masters and other bankers who are sitting on billions of USD - or is it the Chinese who are also sitting on billions of USD as well? (Or: Why not both?)
One group I'm pretty sure isn't buying up lots of bitcoins: "average Americans".
Why? Because they're too broke.
Since Nixon unlinked the USDollar from gold im 1971, Americans have been getting screwed by insidious inflation and all the debt bubbles which formed around all the essentials in life (the housing debt bubble, the student loan debt bubble, the healthcare and pharma debt bubble, and the credit bubble which fuels all the others). Most Americans don't have enough cash to survive for more than a few weeks, and most can't even afford to take sick days or parental leave from work. The only people who have money are the ones near the printing presses: the bankers and their buddies.
There's certainly massive volume on several of the Chinese exchanges - although most people over on /BitcoinMarkets claim that it's all "faked" (mainly because there's no fees on those exchanges, so a lot of those trades could be "wash trades").
So, maybe the Chinese themselves are actually buying up a lot of those freshly-mined bitcoins, in China, using the trillions of dollars of T-Bills sloshing around in their system over there?
(And remember where those T-Bills ultimately came from: US Dollars which the USA printed up to buy cheap goods produced by Chinese slaves breathing smog.)
So - and here's my point again:
Wouldn't it be ironic - now that the world finally has real, quality money - if we were actually currently outsourcing all of its production to China - and they (plus a handful of scattered bankers) are the ones who all buying up the first real asset the world has ever known, during its current "mid-priced" phase?
(2) Core / Blockstream / Peter Todd / Theymos / max blocksize / RBF / LN
Where to begin? I'm sure you all know the story. Just a few reminders about RBF terminology:
(a) There are two orthogonal "axes" or "dimensions" to the whole RBF terminology (but some people get this wrong - I have no idea if it's intentionally or accidentally):
  • "Opt-In" vs "On-By-Default": This means what it says: for each transaction, you either enable RBF, or you don't:
    • "Opt-In" means the sender has to enable RBF for a particular transaction (ie: it's off-by-default)
    • "On-By-Default" would mean that RBF is "always on" but the sender could disable it for a particular transaction.
  • "Full" vs "FSS":
    • "Full" means the sender can change everything about the transaction: not only the fee but also the amount and the recipient.
    • "FSS" stands for "First Seen Safe" (by the way, where do the pinheads over at Core even get this retarded non-descriptive terminology anyways: FSS, RBF??). FSS means that the sender can alter only the fee - the amount and the recipient cannot be changed.
So, which combo of the above is Peter Todd / Core currently trying to force on users?
Opt-In Full RBF
I reviewed the terminology here to pre-emptively shut up the liars who often pop into these threads spreading FUD like "But it's only Opt-In so it's not really Full".
That is simply wrong and I'm tired of them conflating those two orthogonal (ie independent) dimensions of the terminology.
And oh yeah, another thing: I have heard plenty of rumors that the long-term plan (from the traitors at Core / Blockstream) is to eventually (stealthily) force the worst form of RBF on everyone:
On-By-Default Full RBF
But that will come later - once the frogs being slowly boiled (us, the victims of Blockstream's hijacking of Satoshi's code) have gradually gotten acclimated to "Opt-In Full RBF".
Anyways, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about some other things regarding RBF:
Yes we know, we know: Peter is "merely" adding something which any hacker or malicious user could have added anyways (if they modded the code, or if they tried really hard to misuse it).
But there's plenty of stuff which anybody do by modding the code.
For example - anyone could change the code so that it accepts a different block size. (In fact, BU is mainly about making this easy for users - instead of making double-spending easy for users like RBF does.)
So the "convenience barrier" is an important factor helping shape what most users do with the code. If a feature isn't already in the code, most users don't bother modding the C/C++ code and recompiling it and adding it. (Which is one reason why zero-conf has worked pretty well for so long - another reason being that in face-to-face retail, the retailer kinda does KYC already - ie, they literally "know their customer" to a certain degree - so certain social pressures and norms such as reputation do come into play - but Peter Todd doesn't really believe in those things, as we know.)
Now, Theymos / Core / Blockstream keep screaming that it would be taboo to mod the code so that it would accept bigger blocks.
But when Blockstream wants mod the code so that it allows double-spending unconfirmed transactions - well, in it goes.
That's because the real reason they're so gung-ho to get Full RBF added is because LN needs Full RBF in order to be able to work.
So... when certain people say "we need to allow confused users to be able to unstuck their transactions", they're lying.
The liars at Blockstream don't care about users, and they don't care about miners. They want to rip off users (making them pay massive fees for space on an artificially tiny blockchain) and then in a double-whammy they want to rip off miners as well (stealing fees from those miners, via LN).
Attention Bitcoin users and miners: Core / Blockstream don't care about you, and they're willing to lie to you in order to rip you off.
As Mike Hearn mentioned in his farewell essay today, Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell once "mathematically proved" that Bitcoin could not exist.
And Blockstream founder Adam Back missed the boat on being an early adopter of Bitcoin, because when he first heard about it years ago, he also didn't think it would work.
And the gullible Chinese miners are running software from these liars at Blockstream who don't believe in Bitcoin who are sabotaging Satoshi's code to decrease user adoption (and price)) and eventually steal miners' fees. If miners continue to blindly follow Core / Blockstream, it's going to hurt the miners themselves.
The Nine Miners of China: "Core is a red herring. Miners have alternative code they can run today that will solve the problem. Choosing not to run it is their fault, and could leave them with warehouses full of expensive heating units and income paid in worthless coins." – tsontar
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3xhejm/the_nine_miners_of_china_core_is_a_red_herring/
And users who are still gullible enough to adopt a decentralized currency and then read about it on centralized censored forums controlled by some dweeb named Theymos are also going along with this.
Anyways, that's my rant for today.
Summary / Conclusions - plus a possible "nuclear" option (see the bold part below!)
The main obstacles which Bitcoin needs to get around now are:
  • the concentration of hashpower behind the Great Firewall in China
  • the adoption of Peter Todd's RBF which would provide a GUI telling users they can and should double-spend or reverse transactions which haven't been confirmed on the blockchain yet
  • allowing Core / Blockstream to artificially limit space on the blockchain - which drives up user fees, clogs the network, and supports their LN vaporware (which would also steal fees from miners)
  • if you signed up for a decentralized permissionless currency and you're happy to read about it on a centralized censored website owned by Theymos (/bitcoin, bitcointalk.org), then you're doing it wrong.
These things were not what Satoshi envisioned, and I suggest we focus on trying to figure out how to get around them.
Solutions which de-emphasize the importance of Chinese miners might be important. If their blind obedience to Core / Blockstream is one of the main factors killing Bitcoin, then why should we protect them?
Maybe if we're going to hard-fork, we shouldn't just bump up the max blocksize - maybe we should also invoke the nuclear option and change the PoW algorithm to bump the Chinese miners off the network.
Because, the whole story about needing small blocks "so that Luke-Jr with his shitty internet can stay on the network" is another lie being peddled by Blockstream.
The real reason was identified by Gavin:
"The physical bottleneck on the network today is not bandwidth to people's homes, it is the Great Firewall of China."
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/40kmny/bitpays_adaptive_block_size_limit_is_my_favorite/
So, if the Chinese are willing to throw Bitcoin under the bus for their short-term profits (and Core / Blockstream currently helping them).. then maybe we should be willing to throw the Chinese miners under the bus now for the long-term success of Bitcoin.
And, regarding Core / Blockstream, I we're actually making good progress towards routing around their damage - because if coders don't give users the code they want, those coders eventually get left by the wayside - and this is starting to happen now.
We already have several repos, (Classic, BU, XT) all of which will add some form of "max blocksize" increase. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those repos might also decide to omit RBF.
The new Bitcoin repos can easily cherry-pick features from "Core" which they did and didn't like - and they're going to have to compete to gain users.
So "max blocksize" is definitely going to increase.
And RBF could be abandoned in the garbage heap of history, another curious bit of vandalism which gave Peter Todd another 15 minutes of fame and drama, and then the rest of the world moved on and got back to business.
And finally, regarding Theymos: he's gonna lose his power eventually. He's already lost a lot. Plus he's sloppy and careless and one of his screw-ups will eventually be his undoing.
In the meantime, remember that it's easy to route around him on Reddit, by using a multi:
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin+bitcoinxt+bitcoin_uncensored+btc/
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

An open letter to Condé Nast: Please stop stamping the reddit logo on assault rifles, and please stop the sale of assault rifles and other guns on reddit. [Repost due to brigade]

Those that are regulars here know that reddit backs the sale of assault rifles, silencers, hollow point bullets, ultra-high capacity magazines (100-200 round drums) and explosives on reddit without supervision. In my last post, I took a snapshot of 100 gun transactions on reddit (about a week's worth) and found 29 sales related to assault rifles (as defined by the single characteristic test), 16 lbs of explosive powder (like the type used in the Boston Bombing), and thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammuntion exchanging hands, with many redditors preferring to conduct transactions "face-to-face" in order to bypass background checks.
I make posts tallying and monitoring the transactions, then send invites directly to reddit's owners and admins to discuss it, and they decline. In the space of the last year, that negligence has turned reddit into the largest internet forum based arms trafficking market of high powered weaponry in the world.
There are also a multitude of transactions in which assault rifles and other guns are sold by anarchists/libertarians using the anonymous bitcoin payment system. As stated, reports of arms trafficking on reddit have been met with absolute silence by site owners and admins, even though the site falls under California's strict gun control laws. Meanwhile, the volume of these transactions has increased tremendously even since the fall of last year.
But it came as a surprise to me when I found out today that for over two years and running reddit also directly granted express written permission to stamp the reddit logo on assault rifles.
Here are pictures of some of the reddit assault rifles:
http://i.imgur.com/lvp3rh.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JnpWZ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/h1gPT.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Y4WuL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Hshkzfc.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Wq68L.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/vzyQQ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/HR9Ach.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/SkjekT8.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ZCgJ5.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nqT97.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/5pRsy.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/xPPym.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/6iAzVu9.jpg NEW
http://i.imgur.com/wTqjyEw.jpg NEW
http://i.imgur.com/B59uOwR.jpg NEW
http://i.imgur.com/YPQch5v.jpg NEW
I would be interested to know which brilliant legal mind authorized this. So far, 93 assault rifle receivers have been made bearing the reddit logo. The receiver is colloquially known as the "lower" and is the part of the assault rifle considered the actual firearm by the ATF.
Building an assault rifle is likely easier than putting together a lot of Ikea furniture, and redditors do it because they can shave the cost of it to - $400-$600 - the cost of some handguns. In February of 2011, one redditor asked for, and received, permission from reddit admins to emblazen the logo on 39 assault rifles in the first batch received from a gun maker in Arizona called Double Diamond Law Enforcement Supply. But Double Diamond was slow to deliver on the order, and part way through the process demanded that the redditor receive permission from reddit in order to make the assault rifle receivers.
At that point, extensive negotiations took place between one or two Double Diamond employees (Jon Beaudry and Stuart Seymour), one redditor (r1b4z01d), and Condé Nast. r1b4z01d complained that "Once we were all ready to pay they asked for permission to use the logo then I had to deal with convincing Condé Nast Digital to allow us to use the logo on the gun." Screencap Link. But apparently he was able to convince Condé Nast relatively easily, because he stated "I do have written permission from Conde Nast." Screenshot Link.
That batch of assault rifles shipped to 39 redditors months later. The next batch of 21 assault rifles was organized in September of 2011 and shipped around January of 2012 (here's the link to the sign up thread. The third batch was organized by a redditor who founded a subreddit mere days after Sandy Hook to promote assault rifle and high capacity mag proliferation on reddit. Many of their fanatical gun owners form picket lines on reddit and comb the new queues and downvote and comment, send death threats, and stalk redditors daily for months.
The larger concern is that redditors have killed themselves, and continue to kill themselves using guns. Reddit gun owners are largely comprised of young, rural, white males who are lonely and suffer from a combustible mix of depression and abuse of alcohol and other substances. None of them, including the young reddit admins, have exhibited an appreciable understanding of the science on either suicidal or homicidal impulse.
But Harvard shows that where there are more guns there are more homicides and suicides.
An extensive writeup on gun suicide can be found here. Impulse is the desire to commit suicide, and how that impulse is acted upon is what scientists describe as the means (e.g. using a gun). Guns allow redditors to act quickly on that impulse ('The Means Matter Theory'), and also prevent survival whereas other means are more difficult or time consuming. But if you survive for the duration of the impulse, 90% will not commit suicide again.
A researcher from Harvard speculated that "[p]erhaps it is not the presence of firearms, per se, but something about rural life … a character trait (such as self-reliance and an inclination to “go it alone”) that may be associated both with firearm ownership and suicide and it is this trait, not the presence of the gun, that leads to the association.
In other words, Harvard is saying the Tea Party/libertarian ideology is so toxic that it is killing the people who subscribe to it.
Whatever the case may be, if that gun owner fits the criteria above and is also a veteran, the suicide rate is astronomical. Many of those purchasing assault rifles today are the hundreds of thousands of lonely and depressed young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and finding commonality by talking about guns on reddit.
This of course doesn't even begin to address firearm homicide or other crimes commited with guns. In other posts, I have directed reddit's attention to both the legal (it does not qualify for the protections that gun makers and gun stores receive) and moral obligations it owes (not participating in the killing of its users and protecting the general public from guns obtained on reddit, whether lawfully or unlawfully acquired).
In response, the usual comments from fanatical gun owners note that some interstate transactions are shipped to Federal Firearm Licensees and that some undergo background checks. But redditors try to circumvent this by posting they want "face-to-face" transactions, and can easily arrange the transactions for themselves. They then cross a state line and conduct a private sale because the sellers are not checking state identification (of course, they will swear otherwise). In addition the background check issue is really a distraction from whether reddit should be in the business of trafficking guns at all.
A one time background check does not predict whether a particular gun owner will participate in the 100,000 shootings each year over the next 60 years of his life.
But as reddit found out when it made the front page of the Huffington Post, one assault rifle with the reddit logo has already been sold in a face to face transaction without a background check.
At that time, neither reddit or Condé Nast came forward to clarify that they expressly endorsed the sale of assault rifles baring the reddit logo. Nor did they comment on Condé Nast's endorsement of the subreddit where hundreds of gun transactions are taking place each month, unmonitored and unsupervised by either Condé Nast or reddit. That's a shame. Because as Harvard research shows, more guns mean more homicides. And they certainly don't seem to care that they are participating in a secondary market where gun owners have shot 4.5 million people and managed to kill 1.34 million in only 45 years.
But reddit and Condé Nast do present a shining example of America's thoughtless gun culture. It seems that as always, someone has to die by homicide, suicide, or accident before some thought is given to the secondary gun market on reddit and elsewhere. Myself and other concerned redditors report gun owner shootings every day in /gunsarecool, and don't want to see the reddit alien on a gun next to a pool of blood and an outstretched hand. Nor should reddit be in the business of selling a high volume of assault rifles, explosives, high capacity magazines, and tens of thousands of rounds of ammo.
But unfortunately, reddit has literally given it's corporate stamp of approval on assault rifles and high capacity magazines in America.
Sale 1:
Screencap
Reddit link
[Full screencap of each sale thread is available]
Sale 2:
Screencap
Reddit link
Sale 3:
Screencap
Reddit link
Big thanks to crack mods Gnome__Chompsky for pulling together pictures of the rifles and Im_gumby_damnit for digging for some information as well.
For the record, here is the link to contact reddit's admins:
http://www.reddit.com/feedback/
Are your submissions not showing up? Subreddit marked as spam? Is the spam filter acting up? Send a private message to the admins.
Clicking on "Send a private message to the admins" leads to this link: http://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2Freddit.com
I went to that page, wrote the admins a message, and took this screencap of it:
http://i.imgur.com/OQvDEAc.jpg
Then I clicked the send button. Here is the message delivery confirmation.
http://i.imgur.com/55vY6gT.jpg
submitted by Townsley to GunsAreCool [link] [comments]

The importance of decentralized marketplaces in cryptocurrency: An analysis of the value proposition, current problems and solutions.

The original thread is here: - - https://np.reddit.com/ETHInsidecomments/724e7d/monthly_rethinsider_altcoin_discussion_xrp_zec/dnjen3s/ - https://np.reddit.com/ETHInsidecomments/724e7d/monthly_rethinsider_altcoin_discussion_xrp_zec/dnjux61/
...
The reason syscoin and openBazaar haven't taken off yet is due to lack of anonymity, lack of privacy, diminished/impaired network effects, lack of incentives and issues in execution as described:
Pseudoanonymity:
Native token status
Smaller supply coins with steady inflation rates are better by design as they allow for scalability in speculation and acknowledge a certain nicheness to their audience.
Network effects:
Audience:
User Interface:
...
Privacy centric markets e.g. Particl (PART) are useful for:
...
I've discussed this with a friend who tinkers in making all kinds of legal useful gadgets (we're talking voice activated Iron Man suits with built in LCD screens, Thor Hammers and tonnes of custom cosplay stuff in amazing quality); he'd be reluctant to sell these on eBay due to litigation risks but he'd make a killing selling these anonymously online; these are definitely things people want and would enjoy. There's a tonne of stuff on alibaba which would be ideal to sell on the Particl network; true anonymity creates an incentive to justify many of the negatives I've outlined.
The stuff he's building would actually be legal to sell in many jurisdictions where copyright laws are more relaxed but centralised services would never tolerate due to their need to appease international corporate interests regardless of laws. Decentralized private commerce would allow him to serve those jurisdictions with confidence.
...
Apologies if I'm cluttering but I do think the topic is highly relevant as I believe cryptocurrencies will flourish in the era of decentralized exchanges and marketplaces (especially marketplaces that integrate DEX's) which will reinforce liquidity, bring non-speculative fiat into the ecosystem and strengthen it's independence from traditional fiat whilst being simultaneously bolstered by it.
...
 
Further articles in this series:
 
Foreword -
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7 -
Part 8 -
...
 
Full disclosure/Disclaimer: As of posting I am long Particl (PART), Ethereum (ETH), Wetrust (TRST), Augur (REP), OmiseGo (OMG) Factom (FCT) and Iconomi (ICN). All the opinions expressed are my own. I cannot guarantee gains; losses are sustainable; do your own financial research and make your decisions responsibly. All prices and values given are as of time of writing (November 2017).
submitted by joskye to Particl [link] [comments]

The intelligent investors guide to Particl (PART): Part 4 - Is there a huge unmet demand for 100% private 2-party transactions?

Is there a huge unmet demand for 100% private 2-party transactions?
...
Yes.
...
Privacy centric markets e.g. Particl (PART) are useful for:
 
...
I've discussed this with a friend who tinkers in making all kinds of legal useful gadgets (we're talking voice activated Iron Man suits with built in LCD screens, Thor Hammers and tonnes of custom cosplay stuff in amazing quality); he'd be reluctant to sell these on eBay due to litigation risks but he'd make a killing selling these anonymously online; these are definitely things people want and would enjoy. There's a tonne of stuff on alibaba which would be ideal to sell on the Particl network; true anonymity creates an incentive to justify many of the negatives I've outlined.
 
The stuff he's building would actually be legal to sell in many jurisdictions where copyright laws are more relaxed but centralised services would never tolerate due to their need to appease international corporate interests regardless of laws. Decentralized private commerce would allow him to serve those jurisdictions with confidence.
...
I've also had the pleasure of discussing distributed ledger technologies with an analyst at BNY Mellon who highlighted his opinion that the two big things large investment banks look for in blockchain technology are scalability and privacy. These are banks whose transaction volumes can be in the billions of USD per trade. Discretion for their clients and representatives is paramount and freely publicly viewable records of transactions on a block chain represent a potential disadvantage to adoption. Privacy is paramount and solutions which preserve it protect security.
 
It is unfortunate that in recent times a need for privacy has been confused or maligned in popular culture with the desire to commit illegal activity. In day to day practice, the need for privacy of data transmission and transaction settlement manifests in the designs of all major institutions be it medical records in healthcare, government and corporate memos and communications or even transmission of social media and personal communications. Privacy is fundamentally associated with security and by extension safety.
...
With that in mind, if you started this questioning the value and scope for privacy markets, I hope it is more apparent that the market and volume for true privacy centric, trustless listings, transactions, communications, escrow and marketplace settlement is probably much larger than you realized.
...
 
Further articles in this series:
 
Foreword -
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7 -
Part 8 -
...
 
Full disclosure/Disclaimer: As of posting I am long Particl (PART), Ethereum (ETH), Wetrust (TRST), Augur (REP), OmiseGo (OMG) Factom (FCT) and Iconomi (ICN). All the opinions expressed are my own. I cannot guarantee gains; losses are sustainable; do your own financial research and make your decisions responsibly. All prices and values given are as of time of writing (November 2017).
submitted by joskye to Particl [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrencies Boom as Bitcoin Potentially Complies with Shariah Law.

This year, Friday the 13th brought good fortune for crypto enthusiasts as Bitcoin rose some $1000 after a scholarly investigation, still in progress, determined the virtual currency may be permissible by Shariah Law. This investigation was conducted by Muhammad Abu Bakar who is the Shariah Advisor and Compliance Officer for Blossom Finance, in Indonesia. Click to read the full report: Shariah Analysis of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, and Blockchain.
Shariah Professionals Abu Bakar’s report indicates that Bitcoin may be Halal or a permissible tender in the Muslim countries. Thus, under Islamic law, Bitcoin and its alternatives may be soon be an acceptable spending medium in these areas. However, this virtual currency will remain prohibited as an investment product. Abu Bakar quotes, ‘Bitcoin is permissible in principle as Bitcoin is treated as valuable by market price on global exchanges and it is accepted for payment at a wide variety of merchants.’ This pending ruling has the potential to become a gateway for introducing the cryptocurrency market to the world’s Muslim population of over 1.6 billion. The finding may also provide opportunities for offshore investors and IRA holding Ex-pats.
Bitcoin reached a high of $8,000 before falling back to $7,700. As anticipated, Ethereum, was up, moving from 9.98% to $462.04 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, increased 12.34% to $0.56111 while EOS was at $9.0653 a rise of 26.36%. Some traders credit this recent development may have acted as the impetus for the spike in value up some 10 percent in value over the over a period of 24 hours.
Bitcoin was just declared permissible in Islamic Law from Gold Investment Network on Vimeo.
Since Abu Bakar’s groundbreaking analysis, over one billion dollars in trades were undertaken across all foreign exchange markets around the world causing a sharp increase over a short period and the largest one-hour trade volume in history.
Bitcoin, a currency that began as a blockchain experiment has over the last nine years has grown in value enormously. Although some critics view Bitcoin and alternatives (altcoin) as a passing fad, others see it as the wave of the future. In any case, it appears here’s to stay.
Interest in Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency has extended around the world. The intrigue of this new currency also made its way into the Gulf States. However, this type of capital is regarded in the order of speculation or trading of assets; a practice whereby the investor takes on the risk of losing most or all of the initial outlay with the expectation of a substantial financial gain (Investopedia, 2018).
Shariah Crypto Infographic For Muslims, this constitutes what is known RIBA and USURY or charging fees in return of lending money at high interest rates. Similarly, investing money in businesses involved with Haraam or forbidden products, such as pork or alcohol, are not Halal; therefore not permitted.
In Arabic, the word Shariah means ‘way’ or ‘path’. It is pronounced SHA-ree-ah. Shari’a Law is not a legal system. Instead, it is described the overall way of life of Islam, as people understand it according to traditional, early interpretations.
‘And that which you give in riba for increase through the property of [other] people, will have no increase with Allah. But that which you give in charity seeking the countenance of Allah, it is these who will get a recompense multiplied’.
Source: Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nai’m Adapted for MPV by Tynan Power: http://www.mpvusa.org/sharia-law/
Abu Bakar provides that the difference between traditional banking and blockchain methods is that the former essentially ‘loans money into existence’ because both asset holders and their assets remain in a ledger and can be tracked at anytime, thus there is no basis for betting on a return.
Upon examination, Abu Bakar adjudicated that, ‘in principle’, Bitcoin may qualify as – unless established not to be by the state, as a Halal financial resource. Abu Bakar recommends against initial coin offerings (ICO)s, pointing out the unpredictability factor.
A reputable resource to answer your regarding Bitcoin and over fifty other cryptocurrencies for spending and/or investing (for Western traders), and how to protect your virtual assets from hacking, we recommend Regal Assets. It is among the most recognized licensed and bonded gold and cryptocurrency traders with offices in the US and Dubai. All of their products are insured to guarantee protection of your virtual assets.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be taken as investment advice. Always make sure to use a trusted professional before embarking on financial endeavors.
submitted by mcbleu2000 to investing_discussion [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Pizza Day  BTC Price  Exchange Volume Builds EXPOSING the Seedy Underbelly of Crypto Exchanges Bitcoin Exchange Exposed! Fake Volume and Price ... Crypto Current Ep 126: Largest bitcoin exchange in the ... Bitcoin's True Value, Fake Crypto Exchange Volume, & Massive Adoption News

According to the report, the exchange’s Bitcoin trading volume slumped below $1 billion last month, for the first time in almost two months. The report also stated, “Adding alcohol to the wound, Coinbase’s market share against major exchanges has also dropped from an average of 24% in 2017 to half that in 2018.” Bitcoin’s price is $13,112.09 BTC/USD exchange rate today. The real-time BTC market cap of $242.7 Billion currently ranks #1 with a chart dominance at 62.37%, daily trading volume of $4.65 Billion and live coin value change of BTC-0.29 in the last 24 hours.. Bitcoin Price: Live BTC/USD Charts, History Analysis Updates and Real-Time Coin Market Value Data Bitcoin paid for services rendered or to independent contractors must be reported on IRS Form 1099, with self-employment tax possibly being applicable. Finally, capital gain on altcoins is taxable, as gains would be in stocks and bonds. The government has taken a cautious position toward bitcoin money transmitters. Volume Leaders lists the stocks with the greatest volume for the day. What's Included. For U.S. Markets: The initial page displayed is for "All US Exchanges" (includes only NYSE, NYSE Arca and NASDAQ stocks, and does not include ETFs, unit investment trusts, closed end funds, warrant stocks, preferred securities and any non-SIC classified stock). Wissenswertes über Bitcoins Unser Bitcoin Chart zeigt Ihnen den aktuellen Bitcoin Kurs in Euro (Kürzel: BTC und XBT) sowie die Bitcoin Kursentwicklung (Bitcoincharts).Wenn Sie Bitcoins kaufen möchten, können Sie sich hier anmelden.In unseren Bitcoin.de FAQs und in unserem Tutorial "Mein erster Bitcoin" erfahren Sie, wie Sie Bitcoins verkaufen oder kaufen können.

[index] [9288] [47565] [9224] [19070] [33728] [36040] [50689] [42416] [9218] [13716]

Bitcoin Pizza Day BTC Price Exchange Volume Builds

Visit LEDN to check out getting a bitcoin-backed loan! https://platform.ledn.io/join/0a00cca3dd61dea5909c95cd41f41685 Check out my website: http://btcsession... You can obtain about the same thing by clicking on the "Show Volume Bars" in the Options section. Step 5. Raising volume in the Bitcoin is good, but how fluid is it all? From the Technical ... Hotbit bitcoin exchange exposed faking volume and not even trying to hide it What do you believe the real value of Bitcoin is? Crypto exchanges massively faking volume, Bitcoin futures, and massive adoption news from around the globe. Sorry guys, I accidently deleted all ... Wash trading, fake volume, candle stuffing, exchange spam, transaction mining... All of these things drastically effect the "real volume" of Bitcoin and cryp...

#