In the past year or so an unorthodox think-tank called Helena has been quietly bringing together an eclectic cross-section of brilliant individuals (mostly bright-eyed millennials) with ambitious goals. They’re focusing on the world’s biggest and most insurmountable problems: climate change and global security issues such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, and nuclear proliferation. *** The elite and edgy group includes Nobel laureates, Hollywood stars, technology entrepreneurs, human rights activists, Fortune-list executives, a North Korean refugee, and more, but one of Helena’s most unique members is undoubtedly the 23-year old nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson, once known as ‘the boy who played with fusion’.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2017.
To summarize, in just the last few years the world has invented a way to create software services that have no central operator. These services are called decentralized applications and they are enabled with crypto assets that incentivize entities on the internet to contribute resources’ – ‘processing, storage, computing’ – ‘necessary for the service to function. It’s worth pausing to acknowledge that this is kind of miraculous. With just the internet, an open protocol, and a new kind of asset, we can instantiate networks that dynamically assemble the resources necessary to provide many kinds of services. – From Adam Ludwin’s: A Letter to Jamie Dimon I’m actually pretty optimistic about the future. I know some of you might be surprised to hear that, but it’s true. This might not be the case if I had only five years left on the planet, but assuming I’m fortunate enough to stay healthy for another few decades, I think the world will be a much better place when I leave it than when I came in. The simple fact of the matter is this. For things to get substantially better from any situation, it’s always easier to start from a pretty bad place. When I write articles describing the U. S. economy as a rent-seeking, oligarch controlled swindle, I don’t do this to fill you with a sense of insurmountable dread. Rather, the purpose of those posts is to shake as many people as possible out of their slumber. There’s simply no way we can come up with appropriate and conscious solutions to our problems unless we can identify the various scams that govern so much of life around us.
My deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, Payal, AmEx, Mooneybookers, et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010. It caused us to invest in Bitcoin — with > 50000% return. pic.twitter.com/9i8D69yxLC — Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) October 14, 2017
Once again the unintended consequences of government intervention are exposed… In 2010 – following the release of sensitive government documents related to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – John McCain and Joe Lieberman led a bipartisan attempt to cut off WikiLeaks funding by forcing ‘traditional’ payment systems to block them. 7 years later and the price of Bitcoin has… risen…50,000%! And Julian Assange chose yesterday to thank the US government and its corporatocracy for his forced investment…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.
Once again the unintended consequences of government intervention are exposed… In 2010 – following the release of sensitive government documents related to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – John McCain and Joe Lieberman led a bipartisan attempt to cut off WikiLeaks funding by forcing ‘traditional’ payment systems to block them. *** 7 years later and the price of Bitcoin has… risen…50,000%!
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.
Several members of the US Congress are drafting legislation that is intended to recognize certain digital currencies and ‘protect’ them against interference from the federal government. The question is – does the ‘protection’ CoinTelegraph reports that the bill, which will provide protection to cryptocurrencies that comply with certain minimum requirements to prevent them from being used by those engaged in illegal business practices like drug traffickers and terrorists, is expected to be filed in September 2017, according to DailyCaller. Based on a reliable source, at least one Republican senator and two Republican congressmen are working on the draft legislation. The legislators, however, have requested that should not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue and the complexity of the proposed solution.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.
You know stuff’s going down when I write two posts in a row about Bitcoin, something which almost never happens anymore. In Friday’s piece, Is the Bitcoin Civil War Over? Here’s How I’m Thinking About Bitcoin Cash, I discussed a potential strategy that ‘big blockers’ might attempt to execute should the 2x part of Segwit2x not happen later this year. Today, I want to discuss how the entire episode has actually served to highlight one of Bitcoin’s (and cryptos in general) huge competitive advantages in the realm of monetary-type assets, but also examine why gold is still important. There’s been a lot of FUD written at length about the whole scaling debate, in addition to the fair observation that network splits cause confusion and can be bad for the Bitcoin ‘brand.’ As I mentioned in Friday’s piece, I don’t see this being the case with Bitcoin Cash (BCC), since I don’t think there will be any real debate about which one is Bitcoin and which is an alt-coin. Interestingly enough, although the nastiness of the scaling debate has left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, it’s also highlighted one of Bitcoin’s greatest strengths. Earlier today I came across a tweet from an account I had never seen before, but it was simply genius in its poignant simplicity.
The federal government is no match for innovation. This is something lawmakers have always known, and it is the reason state and federal regulations exist. But innovation, by its very nature, will always find a way around those regulations, resulting in the implementation of more regulations for creative minds to learn to evade – which they will. This results in the over-regulation we see in America today. Nothing scares the government more than something it can’t control, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed this week that it is terrified of cryptocurrencies – as well it should be. See, all those lawmakers and bureaucrats sitting around regulating everything depend on taxpayer money to pay their salaries so they can keep writing regulations. Since cryptocurrencies allow people to keep all of their money, this is a big problem for the lawmakers. Soon, people may even start to realize they can buy, sell, and trade freely without any government intervention. The horror.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 30, 2017.
Bhaskar Chakravorti, Tufts University On June 27, the ATM turns 50. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker once described it as the ‘only useful innovation in banking.’ But today, the cash that ATMs dispense may be on the endangered list. Cash is being displaced in so many ways that it’s hard to keep track. There are credit cards and electronic payments; apps such as Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash; mobile payments services; cryptocurrencies that operate outside the purview of central banks; and localized offerings such as Kenya’s mPesa, India’s Paytm and Bangladesh’s bKash. These innovations are encouraging cashlessness across communities worldwide. Listen to India and the Cashless Society It’s reasonable to expect cash to follow the path of other goods that have been replaced by digital alternatives, such as photos, music, and movies. Will cash – and the ATMs that dispense it – experience a ‘Blockbuster’ moment and disappear from our neighborhoods? Not so fast. Cash will likely become less popular, thanks to the high cost of using cash and the growing array of alternatives. But I expect it will remain with us forever. The future will be ‘less cash,’ rather than cashless.
While former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was burnishing his credentials as a master of the corporate turnaround during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, US intelligence agencies were testing out their capabilities for mass electronic surveillance according to a recent Associated Press report. Ex-NSA spy Thomas Drake has alleged as much in a statement filed in support of a lawsuit brought by former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Anderson has said that the lawsuit is designed to get more information about what he calls covert, illegal operations. Drake wrote in the declaration, released Friday, that the NSA collected and stored virtually all electronic communications going into or out of Salt Lake, including contents of texts and emails, something which another famous NSA whistleblower and former senior NSA crypto-mathematician, William Binney, alleged back in 201, long before Edward Snowden emerged on the scene, when he explained how the NSA’s Utah Data Center soaks up and retains every form of electronic communication, also known as the NSa’s Project Stellar Wind.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 3, 2017.
If you’ve read my last few pieces, you’ll be aware of my recent fascination with the biggest trend in the crypto-coin world right now, ICOs, or initial coin offerings (yes, it’s a horrible name). Since the best way to learn about stuff is to dive right in and do it yourself, I spent much of yesterday getting prepared for the Basic Attention Token (BAT) sale in an attempt to participate. Considering I had very little to do with Ethereum up until that point, the learning curve was quite steep. Nevertheless, I got it all together and had an ERC20 wallet funded and ready to go for this morning’s sale. While I thought the ICO might be pretty popular, $35 million is still a decent amount of money and I didn’t foresee having any real issues with getting an allocation. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At the end of the day, I got zero BAT tokens and was left extremely frustrated with how the whole thing went down. While it’s undoubtably a historic moment for the nascent ICO market and an incredible achievement for an experimental browser monetization model to raise such a sum in less than 30 seconds, could this really be called a crowdsale? While details still seem a bit sketchy, what’s clear is that a lot of people are very pissed off and a very small number of players seem to have received a huge chunk of the offering.
Last week was interesting for me. I spent about half my time getting up to speed with the latest happenings in the crypto-coin world, and got really excited about a lot of what I saw. In fact, this was the first time I became totally consumed by the space in several years, going back to when I first investigated and started becoming involved with Bitcoin. What really caught my attention is the booming ICO market, and while it’ll invariably produce its fair share of total scams, I find it nonetheless captivating. I’m attracted to its dynamic wild west spirit, as well as its capacity to function as an alternative funding mechanism for startup projects utilizing a wider participatory structure consisting of anyone with a bit of crypto currency and a high-risk tolerance. It’s an entirely new experimental ecosystem funded by crypto currencies (mostly ethereum, but also bitcoin). It’s pretty mesmerizing (for more see: A New Financial System is Being Born). Spending so much time on this esoteric world kept me away from following U. S. politics as closely as I typically do, which was a great thing. The level of discourse from nearly all sides of the political spectrum has turned so toxic, divisive, hysterical and counterproductive, leaving that environment for several days made me feel great, as if I had taken a vacation from idiot island. As such, today I once again decided to spend some time reading up on the crypto-coin space and getting further up to speed on ICOs and how they work. That said, I realize I still need to pay attention to the crazy happenings in the wider world around me, so I thought I’d share an interview with a rarity in today’s political discourse, a voice of reason.
The last 24 hours were quite interesting for me, and have sparked all sorts of thoughts and tangents in my mind. I’ve been absolutely thrilled that yesterday’s post, A New Financial System is Being Born, has been so well received in the broader Bitcoin/crypto/tech world, but I also noticed a meaningful contradiction. While the post has been cheered beyond the confines of this website, within Liberty Blitzkrieg itself, it hasn’t been celebrated by anyone, at least not publicly in the comment section. In fact, if you scroll through the comment section of the post, you’ll see it’s basically 100% skepticism or dislike for Bitcoin. The reason I find this so interesting is because of what it tells me about sentiment. I got a lot of insight from the comment section of this particular post because I know for a fact many of my readers love Bitcoin and have been involved in it for years. I know this based on private conservations I’ve had as well as many donations over the years. In a euphoric market environment, I’d expect the comment section to yesterday’s post to be filled with gloating, giddiness and ‘to da moon’ commentary. There was absolutely none of that. In contrast, the skeptics were out in full force and totally dominated the discussion, which is fine. I want people to express different opinions and feel like they have the space to totally disagree with something I write. At the same time, it does tell me something about overall sentiment. The people who are long and sitting on gains are largely keeping their mouths shut, while the skeptics are very, very vocal. It’s not just here either, the skepticism and dislike for Bitcoin is even more prevalent within my Twitter feed. Incredibly, despite the recent enormous run, Bitcoin sentiment seems cautious-to-negative. Take that information as you see fit.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Friday May 26, 2017.
It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a few articles on the hubris of our government thinking they were the smartest people in the room when it came to computer hacking. I pointed out that while we undoubtedly have very smart people working for the NSA and other three-letter agencies so do other nations and their people, along with “unaffiliated” folks who are just plain old-fashioned troublemakers, are equally smart. Indeed, that was the focus of an article from 10/2014 in relation to one of Comey’s brain-farts in which he implored Congress to basically force back doors into US-made equipment and software. Now we get treated to the outcome without the force first, because the NSA was writing that code anyway and a group of crooks got their hands on it, perverted it to force cryptolocker software on computers and is spamming it all over the globe. How did they get their hands on it? That’s the subject of much debate. Many are pointing to the “all Russians, all the time” narrative run by many in the so-called “security industry” (including some who have been caught lying in the past) along with half the left-leaning idiocracy parade that makes up most of the mainstream media punditry.