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/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post
Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Caller ID spoofing It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams
The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part) The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Cartel scam You will be threatened by scammers who claim to be affiliated with a cartel. They may send you gory pictures and threaten your life and the lives of your family. Usually the victim will have attempted to contact an escort prior to the scam, but sometimes the scammers target people randomly. If you are targeted by a cartel scam all you need to do is ignore the scammers as their threats are clearly empty. Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. Craigslist Carfax/vehicle history scam You'll encounter a scammer on Craigslist who wants to buy the vehicle you have listed, but they will ask for a VIN report from a random site that they have created and they will expect you to pay for it. Double dip/recovery scammers This is a scam aimed at people who have already fallen for a scam previously. Scammers will reach out to the victim and claim to be able to help the victim recover funds they lost in the scam. General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious. What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account. The underage girl scam You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer. What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money. Phishing Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious. The blackmail email scam part 5: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/ PSA: you did not win a giftcard: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/fffmle/psa_you_did_not_win_a_gift_card/ Sugar scams Sugar scammers operate all over the internet and usually come in two varieties: advance-fee scams where the scammer will ask for a payment from you before sending you lots of money, and fake check style scams where the scammer will either pull a classic fake check scam, or will do a "bill pay" style scam that involves them paying your bills, or them giving you banking information to pay your bills. If you encounter these scammers, report their accounts and move on. Google Hangouts Google Hangouts is a messaging platform used extensively by all kinds of scammers. If you are talking with someone online and they want you to switch to Hangouts, they are likely a scammer and you should proceed with caution. Publishers Clearing House scams PCH scams are often advance-fee scams, where you will be promised lots of money after you make an initial payment. You will never need to pay if you win money from the real PCH. Pet scams You are looking for a specific breed of puppy, bird, or other pet. You come across a nice-looking website that claims to be breeding them and has some available right now - they may even be on sale! The breeders are not local to your area (and may not even list a physical location) but they assure you they can safely ship the pet to you after a deposit or full payment. If you go through with the payment, you will likely be contacted by the "shipper" who will inform you about an unexpected shipping/customs/processing fee required to deliver your new pet. But there was never any pet, both the "breeder" and the "shipper" are scammers, typically operating out of Africa. These sites are rampant and account for a large percentage of online pet seller websites - they typically have a similar layout/template (screenshot - example) If you are considering buying a pet online, some easy things to check are: (1) The registration date of the domain (if it was created recently it is likely a scam website) (2) Reverse image search the pictures of available pets - you will usually find other scam websites using the same photos. (3) Copy a sentence/section of the text from the "about us" page and put it into google (in quotes) - these scammers often copy large parts of their website's text from other places. (4) Search for the domain name and look for entries on petscams.com or other scam-tracking sites. (5) Strongly consider buying/adopting your pet from a local shelter or breeder where you can see the animal in person before putting any money down. Thanks to djscsi for this entry. Fake shipping company scams These scams usually start when you try to buy something illegal online. You will be scammed for the initial payment, and then you will receive an email from the fake shipping company telling you that you need to pay them some sort of fee or bribe. If you pay this, they will keep trying to scam you with increasingly absurd stories until you stop paying, at which point they will blackmail you. If you are involved in this scam, all you can do is ignore the scammers and move on, and try to dispute your payments if possible. Chinese Upwork scam Someone will ask you to create an Upwork or other freelancer site account for them and will offer money in return. You will not be paid, and they want to use the accounts to scam people. Quickbooks invoice scam This is a fake check style scam that takes advantage of Quickbooks. The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam. The blackmail mail scam This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail. Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse. Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on. Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum. Man in the middle scams Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to. Digit wallet scam A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they've sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds. Cam girl voting/viewer scam You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories. Amateur porn recruitment scam You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer. Hot girl SMS spam You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card. Identity verification scam You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to. This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website. Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.
You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls. Tax Call You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world. Warrant Call Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards. [Legal Documents/Process Server Calls] Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number. Student Loan Forgiveness Scam Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program. Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam. Chinese government scam This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats. Chinese shipping scam This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators. Social security suspension scam You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information. Utilities cutoff You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin. Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same. Mexican family scam This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help. General family scams Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money. One ring scam Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.
Online shopping scams
THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dropshipping An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer. Influencer scams A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products. Triangulation fraud Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer. Instagram influencer scams Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time. Cheap Items Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off. Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam. Scams on eBay There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month. Scams on Amazon There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items. Scams on Reddit Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online. Computer scams Virus scam A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.
Chinese Brushing / direct shipping If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings. Money flipping Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.
An old friend of mine emailed this to me a while back with the subject line “Hide and Seek” and I’ve been hesitant to post it for reasons that should become obvious as you read it. That said, I feel that enough time has gone by for this to be safe so I’m going to post it here. The only edits I’ve made were swapping out names and formatting, otherwise it’s all exactly as he sent it. T, if you’re reading this then message me. I want to know if you’re alright, and if you are I know you’ll be looking for this story to show up. This is what the email said: Rijento, I’m writing this story because I feel like I need an outlet. I swear to god that you better actually check your email for once in your damn life! Please… As for if you actually are reading this, I want you to wait as long as your (admittedly) better judgment tells you to wait and then post this story online. I know it’s a bit vain, but I want people to know my story. Hell, it might be the last one I ever tell. Double hell, it might actually even help some poor soul out. I’m going to disappear after sending this, hopefully the good kind of disappear and not the death kind. I know nobody but you is going to believe this story but damn if typing this out didn’t make my sorry ass feel better. You were right about that man, I’m sorry for giving you shit for writing so much…
This is the attached file. “Hide and Seek”: Before I get in to the ‘hiding’ and ‘seeking’ I have a bit of a confession that needs to be made. I work as a transporter for a deep web black market site… I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me too much, sorry for not telling you sooner. I’m the guy they call when they get an order for something they can’t send through the mail. Guns and live animals are two good examples. You’d be pretty hyped to know how many rich assholes just order lions and tigers from the dark web. For obvious reasons, I can’t go in to too much detail, I don’t want to make any dangerous enemies and even after this I still don’t want to lose my job. It’s a pretty sweet gig all things considered, all I have to do is pick up from the seller and deliver to the buyer. I can even choose what jobs I want to take, lets me cling to what little principles I still have. And I DO have principles. After a few years working for the site, my two rules were: no people and no crossing borders. Anyways, I got into a bit of a bind with the cryptocurrency crash that happened early this year. The site mostly pays in Bitcoin and, well, I decided to let my wallet sit and grow. By the time I realized what happened, my savings were destroyed. Nobody expected it to crash that hard… And it probably wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if I hadn’t also gotten used to living a life full of the finer things. I didn’t really ‘save’ all that much to begin with either. So when my savings finally ran dry and the market was still down, I decided to… Lower my standards a bit and take a riskier, higher paying job. Organ transport. I haven’t done it before… I hadn’t been that broke in a long time. Organ jobs pay well too, and I figured I still wasn’t strictly breaking my ‘no people’ rule if it was just their organs. So, I hopped on the site and browsed through the pitiful number of requests in my area till I found what I was looking for. A rich buyer who: had shady connections, was in need of some organs, and lacked either the time or patience to wait for them to come legally. As far as these sort of requests went, this was pretty much the norm from what I’d heard. So I accepted the job and got an email with some additional details about the order: the customer needed two kidneys (which was what I was to transport) and a liver (which they had made a separate request for). From what other people on the site have told me, what should have happened was the job would move to the ‘seeking seller’ section and I’d be on hold till someone… ‘_acquired_’ the kidneys. What actually happened probably should have tipped me off to use my monthly free withdraw… I got a notification two hours later that there was a seller. Rijento, I don’t know how much you know about medicine, but if you do know anything then you’re probably squirming in your own skin about right now. For those who may or may not be reading this that are not in the know, not only do the donor and receiver have to have compatible blood types but kidneys only last about a day outside of a warm body. Not exactly a product you can stockpile. I got another email, about the pickup this time, and began the internal debate between the bad feeling in my gut and my empty wallet… You can probably guess which one of them won out… Anyways, I planned my route; one hour to get to the seller and four hours to get from there to the buyer. I sent the site my plan and within minutes they approve of it and set up an actual meeting point. I sighed and grabbed my things, trying to swallow my nerves the entire hour it took me to reach the meeting point. I sat down on a bench in a city park and waited for what seemed like ages before I felt someone staring at me. It took me a solid minute to pick out who it was even though there were only a few people around. He was sitting with his back to me at a picnic table about ten yards away from me and whenever I looked away I could feel his eyes on me. When we eventually did make eye-contact he bounced excitedly in his seat and waved me over; my heart sank as he also slid a small case into my line of sight. I forced myself to smile, walked over, sat down, and hid my annoyance. Most of the buyers on the site were practically carbon copies of each other. Probably because you could only become a buyer if another buyer knew and endorsed you. The sellers, on the other hand, were all certifiably insane. None of the other transporters I’d chatted with had ever met with a ‘normal’ seller. Because of this, all of them quickly learned to keep conversation to a minimum and to not under any circumstances piss any of them off. I decided to follow in their example. The man sitting in front of me looked friendly enough, overly so if anything. He was scrawny, didn’t look like he would be strong enough to… well… kill someone and harvest their insides. He had a strange smile on his face, and even now I can’t get it out of my head. The kind of overly friendly, wide toothed smile that mothers warned their children to stay away from. It somehow managed to be both inviting and creepy at the same time. I smiled back and spoke up, “So you’re the seller then?” I asked, and the man nodded. He nodded and responded in a sickeningly sweet voice… He sounded like a child in a toy store, his voice strained with excitement and wonder as he droned on to his parents about what toys he wanted. “Oh I’m so glad you found me. For a minute there I thought I’d have to call ‘olly olly oxen free.’” He said with a pleased sigh, pushing the case to my side of the table. “You know… Over the years I’ve gotten quite good at playing hide and seek. So good, in fact, that I’ve never been found. Not. Even. Once. Do you want to know my secret?” the man asked, his voice still just as unsettlingly sweet as his smile. “Sure, what’s your secret?” I asked. I really, really didn’t want to know what the hell he was talking about; but if it kept him happy then… He clapped rapidly and bounced in place, “Oh I’m so glad that you’re a curious one. My secret is that the seekers never know that they’re playing.” “Makes sense…” I said, opening the case momentarily to verify. Two kidneys in pristine condition, doused with preserving fluid, wrapped in plastic. and packed in ice. “If the seeker doesn’t know they’re playing then how would they know to start looking?” I said, leaving out the fact that it would just be stalking at that point before swallowing hard when I thought about where these kidneys came from. “You’re a smart one…” he said with a smile as I sent a message confirming the pickup. All that was left was to wait for the transaction to process. “I was worried about this last one though… she came right up to me. This. Close.” he said, leaning in till our faces almost touched. I struggled to keep my composure, and managed to keep from jumping or pushing him away. “So what did you do?” I asked as he leaned back, my suspicions about these kidneys being all but confirmed. “Why, nothing of course…” He said, a slightly bewildered expression on his face. He looked as though I just asked him how to breathe. I glanced down at my phone to see if the transaction had been verified yet and he snapped his fingers like he remembered something. “Oh I must apologize!” he said, making me look up, “I forgot that you don’t play much… I simply held my breath, closed my eyes, and wished that she would just… go away.” “You’re right… You are good at hide and seek...” I said, wishing to myself that he would just go away and hearing the familiar ding of a successful transaction sound on both of our phones as if to answer my prayers. I reached out my hand as a formality and he grabbed it and shook it vigorously. I forced a smile and stood, although what he said next made my blood nearly freeze. “You’re the first person to find me in oh so long…” He trailed off as he said it, his voice slowly shifting from that of an exited child to the cold blooded maniac that he was. “Maybe my games won’t be so one sided from now on,” He said, his voice disturbingly normal. Although, even without looking back I could tell that the same sickeningly sweet smile was glued to his face. I kept walking but waved my arm as though saying goodbye. The worst part was that I could feel him watching me as I walked back to my car… Not just at first, like if he was watching me leave, but the entire way back, and even as I got in my car. I took a moment to look around and sighed as I saw nothing. It might not sound like much to you. I don’t know, I can still hardly describe it myself, but he had this… creepy way of getting under your skin just by talking to you. I wrote it off as me just being paranoid, the guy harvests organs from people for a living so of course everything he says is creepy. I groaned and started my car, but it wasn’t until I hit the freeway that I was finally able to shake the feeling of his gaze. It’s not like he could’ve been following me, by then I was already paranoid enough to be checking for that, making a few detours just to be sure of it. And because of my detours, I ended up being about an hour past the scheduled drop off with the buyer… Lost my chance at a tip for sure, guy was furious and there was nothing I could tell him to calm him down. I’m pretty sure, ‘sorry I’m late, but the seller was a total psycho and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t following me,’ wouldn’t have been a very good excuse. Whatever, I had my money and the buyer had his organs and plenty of time for whatever operation that used them. Not much to complain about on either side, well except for the fact that I already knew I wouldn’t be sleeping that night. Especially because the feeling of being watched had returned as soon as I set foot out of my car which was, again, impossible. The site never tells the sellers anything about the buyers or transporters, so there’s no way he could have known where I was headed to and no way that he could have followed me. I hopped back in my car and started to head for home, hoping that a few tabs of melatonin would be enough for at least a few hours of sleep. And again, I could feel eyes on me as I drove and I saw his eerie smile everywhere until I hit the highway. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders then, although I made sure to take the most winding path home that I could afford gas for (which was quite a bit after a job like that). By the time I did get home it was starting to get dark, and I had made a few loops around my apartment just to be sure I didn’t still feel his eyes on me. Luckily, my apartment building has a public parking garage attached to it so even if I was being followed I felt safe enough that nobody would be able to find my room. But Just to be sure, I took the stairs for the first time in months. Have any of you ever climbed seven flights of stairs out of paranoia before Rijento? Well in case you haven’t let me tell you what it’s like. Do you remember running up the stairs from the basement after turning off the lights as a kid? That feeling of unease and terror? Well it’s like that, but you aren’t a kid anymore. It’s not the dark or what imaginary monsters could be lurking in it that frightens you anymore. Instead, you’re worried about who could be hiding in the darkness, what real monster could be following you up those stairs… I’m no slouch when it comes to exercise but it still drained everything out of me hauling my body up those stairs on my hands and feet like an animal as fast as I could. I got inside and locked the door securely behind me, panting, covered in sweat, but I sighed in relief with the fact that I hadn’t felt anyone watching me at all during my climb. I took a moment to catch my breath, slumping down by the door and chuckling to myself while shaking my head. I couldn’t believe that I’d let that freak get so deep under my skin. Once I had caught my breath, I stood up and made my way to my couch before flopping onto it. I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep then and there, but I had to be smart with my money this time. I immediately cashed the Bitcoin out. Better to pay myself out in small increments, but I had bills to pay and I’d already learned my lesson about leaving things in Bitcoin. Once business was taken care of, I grabbed the remote control and flicked on the TV. The familiar faces of the local news anchors greeted me and I began drifting off to sleep while listening to the happenings of our city. It was around seven a.m. when I was woken up by the sound of the ‘breaking news’ alert coming on. “We are just receiving reports of a ghastly murder of one [yeah, I’m not gonna put her name or age here] year old college student living on her own. Police investigators say that several of her organs were found to be missing and that they found evidence of someone living in her home without her knowledge for quite some time before the murder…” The reporters kept talking about how much of a tragedy the situation was… But I wasn’t listening. How could I listen… I’ve never been less happy to be right then I was at that moment. I shuddered thinking about it. My thoughts and paranoia regarding the man I’d met the other day bubbling back up to the surface. It was then that the reality of what I’d done hit me like a freight train. By accepting that contract I doomed that girl to die… All because I needed some quick cash. I stood up and went to the kitchen and opened my liquor cabinet. Without looking, I grabbed a bottle of something with shaking hands and fumbled with the top while trying to keep my mind clear of thoughts. Once I had the cap off I took several deep swigs from the bottle, spilling quite a bit down my chin before I set it down and gasped for air. The burn of the alcohol in my throat gave me something to focus on while it worked its magic on the rest of my body. As my mind slowly clouded I found my way to a chair and found it easier to think about what happened without panicking. My first thought was that I needed to do something. I knew the guy’s face, I should go to the cops! It was at this moment that the… Less impulsive side of my brain kicked in. I go to the cops and all I do is give myself a one way ticket to an early grave. My employers don’t take kindly to police interactions. I slowly resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to live with the consequences of this job for the rest of my life… I’m a coward, I know. Anyways, the next few days passed by slowly. I was… Not in a good place mentally and I’m sure you remember how much alcohol my cabinets were stocked with. I blacked out more than once only to wake up gasping for breath from drinking too much. It was honestly a miracle that I didn’t kill myself through alcohol poisoning. But I… Managed to come to terms with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still had nightmares where I was the guy hiding in that girls closet… But I wasn’t drinking my problems away anymore, although I think that was more because of the fact that I’d run out of liquor than any meaningful character development. It was about a week later that I was able to get my first night of actual sleep. I didn’t dream about anything either so that was a plus. I know it probably sounds bad, but I was starting to feel normal again… Like I could maybe find a way to just be myself… Either way, even after all that I still wanted to keep my job. I just added a new rule: no organs. From there I fell back into more or less my old routine. I went to eat out almost every day though, I thought any excuse that got me cleaned up and out of my place was worth taking… And then, I began to feel it again. That skin-crawling sensation of eyes on me from somewhere that I felt the day I met Mr. Hide&Seek. I didn’t think much of it at first, I only felt the eyes when I was surrounded by other people so of course one or two would be looking my way right? I thought I was just guilty and paranoid. But no matter what I did, I would always feel like I was being watched whenever other people were around. So I started driving more and more and eating out less and less. Not driving anywhere in particular, just driving… I felt safe on the open road, I couldn’t feel any eyes on me… For about a week. It started small. A shiver down my spine here and there. A sharp sensation that made my eyes snap to one car or another. Then it came more frequently, and I began to get more and more paranoid as the feeling became stronger and stronger. I started driving less and less, and whenever I did, I kept my eyes on the cars around me. Trying desperately to find where that feeling was coming from. To find who was watching me… Trying to catch a glimpse of his face in a passing car. I even thought I did see him a few times… Except that was just paranoia… I hope. Eventually, I stopped driving unless I had to. I shut myself in my apartment, only going out to get groceries and always, always making sure that I didn’t feel anyone watching me before I parked. But that feeling would always find me whenever I went out. This went on for about a month. I started to drink again, I didn’t go out to eat or drive anymore. I paid someone to deliver my groceries to the garage of my building. All I did was eat, sleep, drink, and watch movies or play games… I’d be living the dream, if I didn’t think a serial killer was stalking me. Part of me believed that I was just being paranoid and to be honest I desperately wanted to believe that part of me… But not enough to stake my life on it. And after another week of living like a shut-in the feeling of being watched started to re-surface. Like before it started off small. I felt a ping of eyes on me and from then on I kept the blinds securely closed. Even then, the feeling persisted for days, gradually gathering in strength. So I emptied out all of my closets and cabinets daily… Eventually I just left all of the doors open and everything on the floor so that I could look in to any hiding spot in an instant… But that feeling still persisted. I stopped drinking because I was terrified of being attacked. I started sleeping less and less and when I had to sleep, I slept inside of my closet and barred the doors shut from the inside. I ate and drank only when I felt hungry and always with my back to a corner of the room or locked in my closet… But I could still feel eyes on me, feel His eyes on me the same way I had back at the park. It was about a month later when I finally discovered my haven. The one place left that I didn’t feel watched. The stairwell of my building. I found that whenever I went down and back up the stars to get my groceries – as I’d long since stopped using the elevator – that I would have a brief respite from the feeling of being watched. I started to spend all of my waking hours there, sat on one of the stairs without a care in the world. I only left them to eat and sleep and whenever I entered the building proper I would feel eyes on me almost immediately. But having those stairs to return to made my life almost bearable. It had been a long time since I had anywhere I felt safe, and like every place before it I kept waiting form the feeling of being watched to follow me into the stairwell… But it never did. For another month, I fell into a somewhat bearable rhythm. I’d wake up in my closet feeling watched, I’d eat in the corner of my kitchen feeling watched, and then I’d scurry off to the stairwell where I could blessedly feel alone – Especially near the top floors where the stairs were seldom used. But all good things must come to an end and all that, and while I never did feel watched in the stairs, I did run out of money. Apartments and cars don’t pay for themselves after all, and while I managed a few months on the blood money from my last job it was finally time to get back to work. In the months since I last logged on to the site, things had calmed down significantly and there were now plenty of jobs that didn’t break any of my rules… So I decided to go with a route that I’d done before a couple of times. A gun run. The seller always treated me to a drink or two at his bar and was also always well armed so I felt that it would be a nice and easy job that I could feel safe doing. After confirming the job I closed my laptop, pulled on a fresh set of clothing, and headed out the door. I wanted to get this over and done with, and thankfully the feeling of being watched was rather light that day. I do admit, however, that I lingered in the stairwell for a bit before heading out. I wanted a bit of time alone before being out in the open for the first time in months. Anyways, I hopped in my car after about thirty minutes of blessed stairwell time and headed to the bar. After about two hours of paranoid and twisting driving I managed to make it just on time and pulled my car into the alleyway behind the bar. The owner greeted me with a smile as I got out of my car, “T, long time no see!” he said, his smile fading as I walked up and he got a better look at me. “Holy shit man, are you feeling okay?” he asked, genuine worry in the eyes of the large man. “No… I’m pretty far from okay…” I said with an exhausted sigh. I could still feel the faintest hint of eyes on me even now, though I know that the owner wouldn’t let me be jumped at his bar. “It’s a long story,” I offered, realizing for the first time that it might be nice to actually tell someone what happened. “Is that so.” he said with a hint of a smile and a shake of his head. “Well, hows about we get you a drink while the boys get ready to load up your car.” He offered in return, making me smile. “There’s always plenty of time for stories at my bar.” He said proudly. “I’d like that…” I said with another exhausted sigh, managing to keep the smile up as he put an arm around me and lead me in the back door of the bar. “Oh, by the way, how did you hold up during the bitcoin crash? I heard it hit a couple of transporters pretty hard.” he said, making me chuckle as we made our way through the kitchen. “Funny you should mention that,” I said, making him raise an eyebrow, “because that’s how my long story star—” I began, only to stop short when I looked at the bar. HE was siting there, sipping on a beer without a care in the world. He noticed me out of the corner of his eye and that same sickeningly sweet smile crept onto his face as his eyes met mine. I froze. There was no way that this was a coincidence. There was no way that he just happened to be at this bar at this time. I was broken from my trance by the bar owner waving his hand in front of my face and saying my name, “Hello? T, you alright?” I quickly ducked back into the kitchen and started to hyperventilate. How did he know? How could he possibly have known that I would be here? Did he follow me? “Did who follow you?” The owner’s voice brought me back to reality once again as I realized I’d been thinking out loud. His face was concerned, bordering on scared. “How long has that guy been at the bar?” I asked, hoping that the owner knew who I was talking about. “If you mean tall, thin, and creepy then about an hour… What is going on T?” He asked, as I slumped against the wall. I started crying. I broke down and burst back into the bar only to see that Mr. Hide&Seek he was already gone. “I… I need to go. I need to get home!” I said, pushing past the owner and running to my car. He called after me, trying to get me to stay and explain what the hell was happening but I wasn’t listening. For all I know, Mr. Hide&Seek could be breaking in to my apartment already. I drove straight home and threw open the door to my apartment. It had still been locked, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and checked everywhere. But he wasn’t there. Then, my phone rang and scared the living hell out of me. I checked the number and gulped when I saw that it was blocked. I considered not answering but in the end I picked up the call. “H-Hello?” I asked tentatively. “T… What the hell happened at the bar?” a modulated voice rang through the speaker in my ear, making me wince. It was one of the site admins for sure. I was silent for a moment before telling the admin everything. I couldn’t see the man, but I could feel a sudden change when I mentioned seeing Mr. Hide&Seek at the bar. “T,” the admin began, a serious edge to his voice. “I need you to log in to the site… _Now_” he said, and something in me told me to listen. I booted up my laptop and hopped on to the site. As soon as I logged in a dialog appeared that I’d never seen before. ‘ADMIN would like to take control of this computer. Do you consent to this?’ With two buttons. One for yes. One for no. I clicked yes and watched as my cursor began to move on it’s own. “Thank you T. This will only take a moment…” the admin said, a practiced calm in his voice as he downloaded several files and began to do… Something on my laptop. A minute later a dialog box popped up that said, ‘Threat detected!’ and the admin sighed and his voice sharpened as he spoke. “T… You’ve been compromised. You’ve had a nasty piece of spyware installed on your machine, for about a month by the looks of things. It’s been recording your keystrokes and giving someone remote access to your camera…” the admin explained, making me gulp as I realized that all of my information was insecure. “B-but, there’s no way! I haven’t download anything!” I said, making the admin mutter something as a bout of typing could be heard coming through the phone. The admin’s voice was cold and calculated when he spoke next. “No… No you didn’t…” he said, making me gulp. “This software was installed via _USB_…” the admin said, making my heart nearly stop. Hide&Seek had been in my home! He had been here without me noticing and put that program on my laptop. Even after all of my paranoia, he still found his way into my room without me knowing. “I’m going to delete the program,” the admin said, and a few keystrokes later, “done… What the—” As the admin deleted the program, thousands of windows began popping up on the screen of my laptop. All of them saying the same thing… ‘olly olly oxen free’ After that, I threw my laptop in the trash and got a new one as well as a new phone, sim card and all. I was taking no chances. I got all new accounts for everything and the admin told me he revoked Mr. Hide&Seek’s membership personally. But I’m going to disappear all the same, I have a plane ticket to somewhere and my bags are already packed. Don’t look for me, and if you ever start to feel like you’re being watched… It’s because you are.
Andreas Antonopoulos' depiction of the day he became aware of the donations that made him a millionaire
I'm not sure if this already has been posted here, but I just came across this post from A. Antonopoulos' Patreon page (it's a public entry posted on 16th of December. The readability and formatting is better there btw): Edit: direct link to the post: https://www.patreon.com/posts/emotional-15912702 On December 6th, my life changed trajectory... again. I went to sleep on a wave of positive messages and support from the bitcoin community, in response to a letter I had posted on Patreon titled “In defense of optimism” that had leaked to Reddit. I had spent the day reading messages of support pouring in on Twitter, Patreon, and email, literally thousands of them. It was a life-affirming experience. Like everyone else on social media, the messages I receive are not always kind and supportive. Often the critical messages and trolls are far louder than the supporters. Our brains don't evaluate praise and criticism in equal measure - it's easy to believe the criticism and see the praise as undeserved. That’s why each little message of support makes a difference, each one helps me ignore the critics and see the impact of my work. In addition to all of the written messages, people were signing up to support me on Patreon and some were even sending bitcoin to my donation address. By the time I went to sleep, I was filled with gratitude, humbled by the overwhelmingly positive, viral response of the community. Here’s what happened next... I wake up on December 7th, the notifications list on my phone was too long to scroll. Hundreds more messages of support had come in while I was asleep. Then my phone rings and I recognize the number of a dear friend. "Strange," I think. I’m not expecting a call. "Don't open your laptop yet," she says. "You got some big bitcoin donations overnight. Are you sitting down?" I sit down. I open my laptop, I look at the balance in my 1andreas bitcoin donation address. Surprise, gratitude, fear, shock, joy, elation, anxiety. My emotions achieved a level of volatility that mirrored that of the bitcoin exchange rate. Good thing I was sitting down. You're probably thinking that between the supportive messages and the large donations, I’d have been celebrating without a care in the world. But I'm a security professional who works in bitcoin. Could I come up with a doomsday scenario to taint this experience? Hold my beer. I'm in a taxi on the way to the airport. I’m cycling through emotions again, a bit faster now. Joy, Terror, Tears, Gratitude, Fear, Elation, Dread, Cold Sweat. It's a good thing I'm sitting down. I can't feel my fingers. Anxiety Wouldn't it be ironic if I get hacked and this massive donation is stolen the same day it was given? Shudder. That was a real possibility. Funds were sent to a vanity address, posted on my website, which was mainly used to support my habit of giving small amounts of bitcoin to strangers at meetups and conferences. Before December 6th, the address typically received small gifts each month and I emptied it every now and then in a spree of small donations. Gratitude I still can’t believe how many people have responded. I had no idea how many people could identify with the feelings expressed “In defense of optimism” and would want to show their support. I’m grateful to be a part of this community. Fear This vanity address is secured with a single private key which was stored on my phone in a “hot” wallet, so that I can give away bitcoin at meetups. The address has maximum public visibility and no Segwit (segregated witness) support. My security model just tipped over and I'm freaking out. Happiness I’m so happy! This is incredible, unimaginable. My fingers are numb, in a good way. Is this really happening?!? Cold Sweats I have to move the funds out. Now. Right now. But I only have this key on a wallet that doesn't handle RBF (replace-by-fee), CPFP (child-pays-for-parent), and it's not a Segwit address. I'm traveling; I’m about to get on two long flights and the mempool is slammed with transactions. Of all the days! Joy I’m crying. Tears of joy. This is something most people never get to experience in the most meaningful of careers, a loud acknowledgement from an entire community and financial security. I’m thinking about my family members and close friends who are struggling and overjoyed at the opportunity I now have to help them. Terror Then it dawns on me: a perfect nightmare scenario. What if this is considered "income" in the US and I have to pay taxes at a 39.6% rate? Those taxes would be evaluated on the USD value of the donation at the time it was made, at an all-time-high price of bitcoin. If bitcoin's bubble bursts by 50% today, I will owe more taxes than the donation is worth. I will be bankrupt but will owe the IRS and those debts can't be discharged in bankruptcy. I'm going to be in debt for a decade! Elation I can HODL! I don’t have to keep selling to pay bills. Patreon has grown too, so I should be able to cover my expenses and build the business with their support. I can really HODL! [Alarm buzzes on my phone] “Boarding on Gate D15”. Pack everything back up, run to the gate. Find my seat. Unpack all my electronics. Re-establish connections. No Wifi yet. 3G if I hold my phone just so against the window. We're taking off. No Wifi at all on this flight. 4 hours, offline, me and my thoughts. What is the opposite of a state of mindfulness? Head spinning. Fear What if the price crashes. Should I sell some? Silliness I'm buying a lambo (I laugh out loud at the thought of that. No, I'd never waste money on something so silly). Dread What if the donations had zero fees and will never confirm? What if this was all a cruel joke? Joy My dad will be so proud! [Landed] Turn on smartphone. Too many notifications. Turn on VPN, Tor. Sync wallet. Too slow. Too slow. Run to the lounge. Get on Wifi. Fire up VPN, Tor. Start electrum. Import keys. Child-pays-for-parent the stuck transactions, Replace-by-fee new transactions. Careful coin selection. Send to cold storage (so glad I keep an unused cold storage address handy). Overpay fees more than ever before. 2000 satoshi per byte? Fuck yeah. This is the highest priority transaction of my life. 8 agonizing minutes. 1st block. Confirmations ripple down my screen. Exhaling... I hadn't noticed I was holding my breath. “Boarding gate C51”. Pack everything, run to the gate. Board the plane. Unpack everything. This flight has Wifi. Bet it doesn't work. Yup, it doesn't work. 6.5 hour flight. I'll just read a book. I've read the same paragraph 8 times and don't know what it says. I'll sleep. Nope. Ok fine, I'll fret - seems I'm good at that and nothing else right now. [Landed] That was the longest flight ever. Boot up, 4G, VPN, Tor. Sync.... slow, too slow. ANOTHER GIANT DONATION. WTF! Is this really happening? Is my wallet counting the balance incorrectly? This isn't possible. WTF IS GOING ON? Joy, Terror, Tears, Gratitude, Fear, Elation, Dread. I’m cycling faster now. I just emptied my wallet into cold storage and now it's carrying a ridiculous amount again. Boot up, VPN, Tor, Electrum, CPFP, RBF, cold sweat, 1 confirmation. Phew. I realize that I just conducted the 4 biggest transactions of my life. I'm shaking. Hope I didn't screw anything up. Finally I get to my hotel. “Long day” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I am grateful, giddy, jetlagged and exhausted, so sleep should come easy, right? Not happening. Two hours of tossing and turning while my mind is racing. In the end I just pass out from exhaustion. I wake up in a state of anxiety. I open my inbox. I have a dozen interview requests from newspapers, TV, radio. They don’t want to talk about bitcoin. They want to talk about “my story.” It’s never been about “my story” and I’m not about to change that. Denied, denied, denied. That’s it. I’m going offline for a few days. I need time to process everything that has happened over the past couple of days and strategize about what to do next. There are no words to adequately convey my appreciation, my gratitude. These are life-changing gifts, but I don’t intend to change my life. I’m highly suspicious and careful about “lifestyle inflation”: I resist any urges to increase my spending as my income increases because as a self-employed entrepreneur I know my income can decrease significantly at any moment. First, the practical side: For legal and tax reasons the gifts should remain mostly untouched for at least three years. This is a new situation and no one knows for sure how the authorities will characterize it. I wanted to HODL anyway, so that’s fine with me. Second, and the much more important side, I love what I do. I’m obviously not going to “retire” or slow down. Receiving your messages and support has energized me and I’m excited to do more, much more. The number of people supporting me on Patreon has grown significantly and with that support I’ll actually be able to do a lot more. And there are many things I want to do: a new website with more materials, in as many formats and languages as possible; more books; an epic tour; and that’s just the beginning! I also plan to grow my team, which serves two goals: I can get help for the things that need to be done, but I can also bring more people success and security with a steady paycheck. While I’m excited about all of these new projects, I want you to know that the ultimate goal remains the same: to educate as many people as possible about this transformational technology and remain an independent voice, working directly for the community. A week has passed. The one feeling that keeps returning, among the barrage of feelings, is gratitude. After taking time to process and calm down, the fear and stress is gone and all that is left is gratitude. I am so thankful for all the messages of support. I am so touched to hear stories of how my work has affected others in a positive way. I am thankful for all the donors who rallied behind me to help me in my advocacy and education.
Thank you for being so generous, so kind, so supportive; I’ll never forget this experience. Now, back to work!
This is what Shilling for a coin looks like, my god, grade-A example
I have some experience with seeing the other side of shilling, how shilling gets started and paid for, the people who buy shilling, although my experience was by complete accident. You see, I was in a certain Telegram channel related to a project that sought to obtain funding through a token issuance. I thought the project was a good one, it's unrelated to crypto, and they sought to raise a million dollars. The channel was full of enthusiasts who'd been part of the project community for years or longer. But when token funding was started, someone reached out to the crypto locusts and got them excited about a new token. This was earlier this year. Masses of these people began pouring into this enthusiast telegram channel, and it was clear they were a very different sort of people, asking mainly about the pre-sale rewards and discounts, and a lot of them asking for bounties. I'd never heard this term before, but apparently these locusts were used to getting bounties of free tokens for doing certain things. These things included, as it turns out, making positive comments on public forums, like Reddit. Me being a long time Redditor, I had snagged the Reddit sub name for this project and had given them access, though I stayed on as a mod myself. What happened next was these locusts began coming into Reddit and making shill-type messages. It was actually really obvious, they'd say something positive but otherwise empty, a line or too at most, completely soulless comments designed primarily to hype the project and express positivity about it. I ended up having to delete these kinds of comments all across that sub because they were so bad, so obviously shill accounts, and otherwise stop it from happening. So, I don't have anything to show you from that sub, but I would like to present to you exactly what this effect looks like. Mind you this is an example of completely amateurish shilling. But if you see this you will know what shilling of this sort at least looks like, it's incredibly bad and you should steer clear of any project that engages it. Normally this page would've been removed, but in this case I will link it so you all may experience the wonder that is a page covered in shill comments, enjoy: https://old.reddit.com/BitcoinWallet/comments/9mnmiv/victorieum_crypto_exchange_platform/
"Easy there, Ben. You're not looking too good." I carefully keep one hand on his shoulder as we exit the bar. It occurs to me that I could easily erase the drunkenness from his body with Wordsmithing, as I did to myself, but Ben wouldn't want that. OMEN is already back at the castle by now, since we couldn't stand his chattering, so I had a guard escort him to my room. I'm sure Samantha will be delighted to see him again. "Ah feel fine. Nebber vetter." He mixes up his words and stumbles forward a step, but I keep my grip firm, holding onto his armor as if my life depends on it. I'm more than strong enough to carry him by the back of his shirt with a single arm, so it's not an issue for me. Ben, still looking at the ground, waves his hand in front of himself, as if feeling for a wall. "Left m'damn keys somewhere. Can't get in the house." "There's no house, Ben. I'll just teleport us to the castle; you're in no condition to be walking around at night." I glance up and realize the sun is peeping over the horizon. Shit, I've been out drinking with him and didn't even get a drop of sleep. Oh well, Wordsmithing can rest me up in a pinch if need be. I can't rely on it for long stretches of time, as I did in my youth, but the aftereffects of skipping one night's sleep will be relatively minor. "Teleport." Instantly, we appear inside the castle. Before I can make another move, Ben lunges forward, escapes my grasp, and falls to the ground, only to start heaving a moment later. It takes me a second to realize I just gave a drunk man motion sickness. In retrospect, changing his surroundings all of a sudden probably wasn't the best idea. Ben vomits for a solid ten seconds all over the castle courtyard lawn, making me feel oddly relieved he didn't do that indoors. I have the most random thoughts sometimes. Deciding that's more than enough vomiting, I aim my mind at Ben. "Sober." He won't be happy since he drank so much explicitly to feel nothingness on the inside, but it can't be helped. He's in a pitiful state. After a moment of staring at his own vomit, Ben jumps to his feet and dusts himself off. "Great. Now I can feel my body again. This must be because of that Wordsmithing you told me about." "Yup." I yawn reflexively, before muttering "Awake," under my breath. "You were starting to embarrass yourself, so I figured I'd stop you before you drew a crowd." I smile at him, but he doesn't return the expression. "Embarrassment, huh? Emotions like that are reserved for humans. I'm a man of steel now because I have to be. I've long since had any sense of tragedy ripped from my body." Ben reaches up to slick his hair back, but he bumps his hand against his helmet. "Damn. This metal piece of shit. It's the only thing that makes me feel secure, after what happened when the Kolvaxians attacked. It's like a shelter for me, a refuge from those monsters. However, at the same time, it's also a coffin. It makes me feel secure, but also reminds me of how weak and pathetic I am. Not like you." He gestures at me flippantly, and I raise an eyebrow. "What do you mean by 'not like me'? You punched me so hard that you nearly broke my jaw." "Wasn't me, it was the suit. I'm only as strong as any other average guy. The Hypersuit enhances my strength, my speed, my defense, and all my other physical attributes to superhuman levels. It can monitor around me in a 360 degree sphere, and can even go into autopilot mode if I pass out, ensuring my safety. The difference is, you may be weaker than this suit, but only somewhat. I can tell by the energy readings Centurion gave me that you're way above an ordinary human, strength, and speed-wise. You don't have to rely on fancy equipment or gadgets to protect yourself." Ben shakes his head as a depressed look crosses his face. "There's only one thing this suit can't protect me from." "Your inner demons," I say, nodding at him sagely. "Don't beat yourself up too much, Ben. Everyone has problems. Yours may be way more than the average person's, but-" "Hey! Don't lecture me. You may have the face of an adult, but you're just a kid. You haven't even been alive a century." Ben grinds his teeth together and looks past me, toward the rising sun. "I'm not even a real person, Jason. I'm just a clone. A fake. So was Beatrix, and several other commanding officers. Someone woke us up from our cloning pods, and when we learned that we had been asleep for thousands of years, humanity was on the edge of defeat, and we had to piece it together... the pressure was unthinkable. I did terrible acts- things that no person should have, all in the name of ensuring the Terra's survival." I'm surprised to see a single tear roll down Ben's face. "And for what? Why did I give up my humanity?! Why did I fight for so long, when the Kolvaxians turned them all in the end? Do you know? Do you have any insight into the machinations of the universe, Hero boy?" His words don't sting like they should, perhaps because I know he's simply lashing out in anger. If it weren't me here, he'd be taking out his pent-up heartache on someone else. "I'm not that smart, Ben. I barely know anything. What I do know is that I've made a lot of mistakes, and I'll inevitably make more as time goes on. You won't learn anything valuable in life without fucking up, so by that logic, the more you ruin things, and the bigger your margins are, the more you'll learn. In your case, you've unlocked a newfound hatred for the Kolvaxians, above and beyond anything you had before. You should turn your feelings of guilt and rage against them, and focus your mind on how you can save the lives of those you called friends." For a moment, I feel a little proud of myself. That sounded smart! Wise, even! Ben, however, isn't so easily impressed. "You can learn plenty of other ways, Jason. Books, for example. Getting the entirety of my crew killed, millions of innocent souls- that isn't a small setback, it's a colossal failure. Maybe I can move on and try and not mess things up again in the future, but they can't. My crew is gone." Ben pauses, and an odd look appears in his eye. "Though... you did cure my Kolpox. Maybe things aren't as hopeless as I thought. It might be possible to convert a fully turned Kolvaxian back to their original form, but only you could do it." "I suppose anything's possible," I say, keeping my tone neutral since I'm not sure about that at all. Realistically, it's probably doable. The future isn't set in stone, after all. The problem is, without a Kolvaxian test subject, I won't know for sure if reverting them to their original form is doable or not. Well, I'm a Wordsmith. I can bend the universe to my will, so I'm probably just overthinking things, as usual. I need to stop doing that. Ben reaches up and pulls his helmet off, catching me off-guard as he inhales deeply. "Ahh, fresh air." It takes me a moment to respond. "What? You had the front of the helmet open. Couldn't you smell the flowers already?" He shakes his head. "The suit is oppressive, in a way that's hard to put into words. The fragrance reaches me, but as long as my head and body are within the confines of the Hypersuit, it forms a solid barrier between Mother Nature and my perception of her beauty. After all, man created machines to bend nature to his will. As long as we use weapons of war and machines to till the soil, they will always be an artificial barrier between us and her glory." I stare at him in silence. Shit. That was a lot more poetic than what I said a minute ago. Ben beat me, and he wasn't even trying, I think to myself. "Yeah. That's a smart way to put it." Ben turns away from me to stare at a red flower his foot barely missed stomping on by an inch or two. "Sometimes, when I couldn't sleep at night, I would lie on my bed and stare up at the ceiling, wondering what the Kolvaxians were and from where they came. Their green skin, the way they absorb technology and flesh together into a single entity... what if they're..." He pauses and his breath catches. "...never mind. If the Kolvaxians are a force of Nature, a weapon wielded by the Mother herself as the final punishment for corrupting her body with our machines, we won't win. Even when Earth was around, a single hurricane could lay waste to millions of human lives all at once." "A force of nature?" I gaze at Ben as he reaches down and plucks the flower, then brings it to his nose and inhales. "You're saying you don't think they're a sentient species, but an organism born to kill humanity, and tear apart our machines?" With a shake of his head, Ben casts the flower aside. "I haven't the faintest clue, Jason. Nobody does. Anyone who says they do is lying. I can only hope that isn't the case, or humanity, the Volgrim, and the Demons are dead already." A wistful look appears on his face, and the corners of his mouth curl up slightly. "Wouldn't it be funny if my friends weren't monsters, but instead were living normal peaceful existences? What if the Kolvaxians have achieved perfect unity? Maybe they aren't all that bad. Perhaps I should have allowed myself to turn, after all. I could be missing out." Oh boy. Ben just pivoted from rage at the Kolvaxians to debating whether he should join them. He's all over the damn place. "Ben, if becoming a Kolvaxian is a good thing, you'll have plenty of opportunities in the future. I think that right now, your skills as a leader would be best put to use here, leading this remnant of humanity. We not only have Demons to fight but also Volgrim and Kolvaxians in due time. If you're willing to put the past behind you, you could help us out a lot. For my part, I'll do everything I can to find out more about the Kolvaxians, and try to see if there's a way to revert them to their human forms. We both have a role to play in this, but I can't do my part if you won't do yours. Understand?" No longer content with just a faint smile, Ben's mouth contorts into a full-on grin. "Yeah, you're right, Jason. There's still a chance. Beatrix, Emily, everyone from the Terra might yet see the light of day. I can't give up hope." The sun continues to rise behind me, and silently beats down, warming my back. "The first step is always the hardest. Come on. I'll show you to an empty room, and we'll work out what your new role is in this new human society later." Ben nods, and as he turns to walk alongside me, he chuckles softly. "You know, I'm still annoyed you took away my drunkenness. I enjoy that aspect of drinking." "Eh, I don't. I like to keep my wits about me. If you feel that strongly though, I'll make you drunk again when we reach your room." "Hell yeah." Ben slugs me in the arm, and his punch feels like he hit me with a sledgehammer. "You're a good kid." "Thanks, grandpa." ................................................................................... "Elder Basil..." An Admiral from one of the forward fleets stares at me from the hologram in the center of the room. His serpent-like appearance is muted somewhat by the guilt strewn across his face. "...Perhaps you may recall the exploration pod we sent to the Outer Rim?" I steal a glance at Elder Lozu. If this is going to be more bad news, I'm sure he'll be just delighted to see me squirm. "I do." The Admiral's cheeks quiver as he sucks in a quick breath. "We lost contact with it seven hours ago. It transmitted the Emergency alert just before it turned offline, along with all of its data stores. The results were... unsettling." "Ah, so it's more bad news. Just spit it out, Admiral Kresh. At this point, you can't shock me." I hope. Thinking those two words to myself, I keep my mouth shut. Saying them out loud would be like begging the universe to prove me wrong. Admiral Kresh keeps his hands clasped together in front of his stomach and bows his head ever so slightly. "I'll be blunt. To Elder Basil, and all other members of the Council... I don't see a path to defeating the Kolvaxians. Combined with the other scouting pod findings from across the Milky Way, we've confirmed that they have made landfall in nearly every system across the galaxy. We're encircled, and breaking through to flee the galaxy is likely impossible at this point." Elder Lozu, ever the composed one, nods slowly. "So that was their goal. Encircle us, chew at our perimeters, and slowly hem us in. Thanks to that blunder with the damned Sentinel, we hardly have any reserves, and building new ships will take several years to replace the ones we've lost. We can't try and retake any systems, or else we run the risk of spreading our forces too thin." Anger, sadness, resentment... none of those feelings enter my mind. I feel nothing. Looking at the faces of those around me, it's obvious that all the other Council members are thinking the same thing. We can't attack. We can't retreat. We can't flee. We can't move slowly. We can't move quickly. All options are off the table. At this point... "We're just delaying the inevitable." The words slip out my mouth, but I no longer feel wrong about saying them. So what if the other Council-members think of me as weak for daring to admit the futility of our actions? We've already lost. Whether it takes the plague one year or a million, it will infect all of us eventually. A sudden energy springs into Lozu's body. He jerks forward and pounds his fist on the table. "Fine! Fine! I will say it. Elder Basil, I was wrong!" He jerks his head back to glare at me. "They can't be bartered or reasoned with, nor will they listen to diplomacy or take bribes. Military might is the only way to crush them!" Hah. Hahaha... what is Lozu even saying? Is he only now realizing the peril we're in? He's far, far too late. The time for action was a year ago, or ten years ago, or a thousand years ago. Too little, too late. Still, I decide to humor him. I might as well get a chuckle out of the little pipsqueak, even if we're all going to be consumed in the end. "Yes, military might. Do tell how we're going to beat them after you dragged your feet for so long." Lozu gnashes his teeth together. "W-we could bring the ancient technology back online! Unlock it and start the research once again!" "That would take time. Even if we fight a war of attrition and focus entirely on defense and research to prolong the inevitable, it won't be enough." Worthless scum. Lozu chooses now, of all the times, to grow a backbone? I've finally stopped caring about appearances in front of the others, and he's done the opposite. The folly of youth knows no limits. Lozu jumps up from his seat and stumbles slightly, but jabs a finger at me. "The demons! We should demand their help! Send them off to die against the Kolvaxians instead of our soldiers!" "You're assuming Diablo would allow such a thing. Despite his pretenses, he is no lover of our people. In fact, displaying weakness in front of him is sure to make him stab us in the back. That's what demons do, after all." The courageous barrage from the idiot, Lozu, falters as he slowly lowers his arm. "What about that Sentinel? Surely it could-" "The Sentinel demonstrated it was no ally of ours. We threatened the human, demon, and the angel, and their Sentinel displayed where its loyalty lay. Bringing a Sentinel here would surely kill us faster than the Kolvaxians would." Finally defeated, Lozu crumbles back into his seat and sighs, before looking at me. "You don't want to try anything then? Have you given up already?" What a loaded question. All this youth did was object to my insistence for millions of years that we should open up the ancient technology to be studied, and now he acts like I'm the coward in the room. "I'm a pragmatist, Elder Lozu. Long before you were so much as daring to make a move to be on the Council, I led the Volgrim alongside the first Elders to pacify the demons. It was a vicious, bloody war, but we won. You arrived here a fresh-eyed youngster, hoping to make a mark by opposing the most politically involved of all of us, and you built your career on trying to stop any of my goals, no matter the detriment to Volgrim-kind. Now you sit upon your coveted seat, as one of us, daring to hint that I have grown soft? I do not fear fighting the Kolvaxians, I simply understand that it is futile now that we've lost all our advantages. Or rather, you gave them away for free. Had you listened to my advice early on, we could have driven the monsters back to the void from whence they came, but it will never happen now. All we can do is prolong our suffering." Every Council-member in the room, barring Lozu, nod slowly along with my words. Even Admiral Kresh has to agree, for my little speech is rooted in a timeless wisdom earned only by living and doing things the right way for such a long time. It's impossible to disagree. Admiral Kresh is the first to speak, after several long moments of silence. "Elder Basil, there is another possibility. If we cannot flee the galaxy, and we likely cannot win, the ancient research may still be our salvation. If we begin working on it now, we might have a breakthrough. In the worst-case scenario, we could pass our research to the humans. The demons will not know how to use it, but the humans might. Better for them to outlive us and slay the Kolvaxians, than for the galaxy to become a utopia for those parasites to spread to the rest of the universe." I lean back in my seat and nod approvingly at the Admiral. "A selfless act, from the one who has brought our people many victories against the Kolvaxians over the millennia. Coming from anyone else, I'd hardly entertain the idea, but your words have merit." Heh, the more I think about it, the more I wish to laugh, as primitive as it sounds. The Admiral is effectively advocating petty revenge. If we can't defeat you; we'll make sure our enemies can! To think that the once-mighty Volgrim, above the demons and the humans, would fall so far... the Founders would spit upon the shell we've become. Elder Lozu doesn't even offer a weak rebuttal. The anguish I felt only a minute ago has been heaped on his shoulders, and for now, it warms my soul. He deserves it, the worthless little runt. Our people will perish because of his incessant stonewalling, so he'd better be as miserable as possible when we reach our end. "Do you have any orders, Elder Basil?" Admiral Kresh stares at me, ignoring the other Council members in the room. "Do what you can to slow them down. We'll start our research at once. If we're lucky, perhaps there will be a miracle. If not... it'll be up to the humans and demons to purge the plague from the galaxy." I pause and look at the Admiral meaningfully. "One last thing. Consider this a new order, effective for all troops. Everyone must equip themselves with a killswitch. If a Kolvaxian is going to take us, all it will get is a corpse." Admiral Kresh simply nods. "I contemplate, and I comprehend." ................................................................................... Hey guys! New part yay! SO, I'm currently working on a bunch of new things. Firstly, I now have a Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet address! You will soon find these on the sidebar in case you lose them. We'll add QR codes in the near future as well. BTC Address: 1KLokky8FRbEkdcqiG8EVNKNcLBwyAxG8T ETH Address: 0xf743C88AF530CfE9A9f110F6ba12DD53405B5754 (If you donate any cryptocurrency, plz shoot me a PM on Reddit, since I don't know how often I'll be checking these! If you don't I might not realize you donated for a long while!) Additionally, I have set up a MakerSupport page to potentially replace Patreon, located here. But wait! Don't pledge to it yet, because I'm currently talking with the Drip staff about getting invited early. I don't know if I will or not, but if I do, I'd rather be on a big site run by a company like Kickstarter than MakerSupport. Well, sorta. You see, I've been talking with the developer of MakerSupport. As you guys may have realized, I like good customer service. I may not be the best writer of all time, but one thing I strive to do is read every comment, PM, email, and etc sent to me by fans of cryopod. I try to respond to as many as possible too, unless of course it's not directed at me or such. One thing I hated about Patreon was that the site was huge, and I never felt like I had a voice. Shit would just change, and I had no say in what those changes would be. On MakerSupport, however, while it is a small site, the developer has added ten major features in just the last three days. I've spoken with him, and two of the things I asked for were implemented immediately. That's huge! The site has lots of flaws, but for raw potential, I'd say MakerSupport is in the lead. It's also low-fees, lower than Patreon by far, and that means for myself as well as my donors. You pay less, I get more, we all win. Don't sub to my MakerSupport page just yet, but do know that I've got a good feeling about it. I'm not in a rush just yet, but I'm planning to chooce between Drip and MS by the end of this week, depending on whether Drip accepts/denies me, and whether MS adds a few key features I really need. In any case, we've got BTC and ETH support up for you mining folks, and I'll probably make a litecoin wallet too because DAMN son, that jump! It doubled in value over just two days! Crazy! Thanks for reading and being my fans! I love you guys!
Mega FAQ (Or: Please come here for your questions first)
Qbundle Guide (Step by step setup & Bootstrap) https://burstwiki.org/wiki/QBundle 1( I want to mine or activate My account. Where do find the multiple coins? You only need 1, an outgoing transaction or reward reassignment will set the public key. Get them from: https://www.reddit.com/burstcoinmining/comments/7q8zve/initial_burstcoin_requests/ Or (Faucet list) https://faucet.burstpay.net/ (if this is empty, come back later) http://faucet.burst-coin.es Or https://forums.getburst.net/c/new-members-introductions/getting-started-initial-burstcoin-requests 2( I bought coins on Bittrex and want to move to my new wallet, but can't. Why? Bittrex will only send to accounts with a public key (not a Burst requirement) so see number 1 and either set the name on the account (IF you will not mine) or set the reward recipient to the pool. Either action will enable the account and allow for transfers from Bittrex. 3( I sent coins from Poloniex/anywhere to Bittrex and they don’t show up after a considerable time. Why? You need to set an unencrypted message on the transaction, informing Bittrex which account to send the funds to (this is in the directions on Bittrex). Did you do this? Contact Bittrex support with all the details and eventually you will get your funds. 4( How much can I make on Burst? https://explore.burst.cryptoguru.org/tool/calculate Gives you an average over time assuming a few things like: Average luck/100% uptime/no overlapping/fees on pool/good plot scan time (<20 seconds) if you do not have all of these, you may not see that number. 5( If I use SSD’s would I make more money? No, it’s 95% capacity and 5% scan time that determine success. More plot area = better deadlines = better chance of forging a block, or better rates from a pool. 6( What is ‘solo’ and ‘pool’ (wasn’t his name Chewbacca?) Solo is where you attempt to ‘forge’ (mine) a block by yourself; you get 100% of the block reward and fees. But you only receive funds if you forge, no burst for coming in second place. Pools allow a group of miners to ‘pool’ together their resources and when a miner wins, they give the pool the winnings (this is done by the reward assignment you completed earlier), it is then divided according to different percentages and methods and burst is sent out according to pool rules (minimum pay-out, time, etc.) 7( I have been mining for 2 days and my wallet doesn’t show any Burst WHY? Mining solo: it is win-or-lose, nothing in between, and wining is luck and plot size. Pool mining: because it costs 1 burst to send burst, the pools have either a time requirement (every X days) or a minimum amount (100 burst +) so you need to research your pool. Some pools allow for you to set the limit (cryptoGuru and similar) to be met before sending 8( How do I see what I have pending? On CryptoGuru, based pools, it’s the ‘Pending (burst)’ column, other pools, look for the numbers next to your burst ID. One is Paid and the other pending. 9( I’m part of a pool and I forged a block, but I didn’t recieve the total value of the block, why? A pool has 2 basic numbers that denote the pay-out method, in the format ‘XX-XX’ (i.e. 50-50) The first number is the % paid to the block forger (miner) and the second is the retained value, which is paid to historic ‘shares’ (or, past blocks that the pool didn’t win, but had a miner that was ‘close’ to winning with a good submitted deadline) Examples of pools: 0-100 (good for <40TB) 20-80 (30-80TB) 50-50 (60-200TB) 80-20 (150-250) 100-0 (solo mine, 150+ TB) Please note that there is an overlap as this is personal preference and just guidance; a higher historical share value means a smoother pay-out regime, which some people prefer. If fees are not factored in, or are the same on different pools, the pay-out value will be the same over a long enough period. 10( Is XXX model of hard drive good? Which one do you recommend? CHEAP is best. If you have 2 new hard drives, both covered by warranty, get the one with the lowest cost per TB (expressed as $/TB , calculated by dividing the cost by the number of terabytes) because plot size is KING, 11( How many drives can I have on my machine? For best performance, you can have up to 2 drives per thread (3 on a new fast AVX2 CPU). So that quad-core core-2-quad can have up to 8 drives, but a more modern i7 with 4 cores + hyper threading can squeeze 8 * 3 or 24 drives. (Performance while scanning will suffer) 12( Can I game while I mine? Some people have done so, but you cannot have the ‘maximum’ number of drives and play games generally. 13( Can I mine Burst and GPU mine other coins? Yes, if you CPU Mine Burst. 14( I’m GPU plotting Burst and GPU mining another coin, my plots are being corrupted, why? My advice is dedicating a GPU to either mining or plotting, don’t try to do both. 15( What is a ‘plot’? A plot is a file that contains Hashes, these hashes are used to mine burst. A plot is tied to an account, but they can be created (with the same account ID) on other machines and connected back to your miner(s). 16( Where can I trade/buy/sell Burst? A list of exchanges is maintained on https://www.reddit.com/burstcoin/ (on the right, ‘Exchanges’ tab) the biggest at the moment are Bittrex and Poloniex, some offer direct Fiat-to-Burst purchase (https://indacoin.com for example) 17( Do I have to store my Burst off the exchange? No, but it’s safer from hackers who target exchanges, if you cannot guarantee the safety or security of your home computer from Trojans etc, then it might be best to leave on an exchange (but enable 2FA security on your account PLEASE!) 18( What security measures can I take to keep my coin safe? When you create an account, sign out and back in to your wallet (to make sure you have copied the pass phrase correctly) and keep multiple copies of the key (at least one physically printed or written down and in a safe place, better in 2 places) do not disclose the passphrase to anyone. Finally use either a local wallet or a trusted web wallet (please research before using any web wallet) 19( How can I help Burst? Run a wallet, which will act as a node (or if you’re a programmer, contact the Dev team Bring attention to burst (without ‘shilling’ or trying to get people to buy) And help translate into your local language Be a productive member of the community and contribute experience and knowledge if you can, or help others get into Burst. 20( Will I get coins on the fork(s) and where will they be? There will be no new coin, and no new coins to be given/air dropped etc, the forks are upgrades to burst and there will not be a ‘classic’ or ‘new’ burst. 21( Will I need to move my Burst off of the exchange for the fork? No, your transactions are on the block chain, which will be used on the fork, they will be visible after the move; nothing will need to be done on your side. 22( Where can I read about the progress of Burst and news in general on the community? There is no finer place than https://www.burstcoin.ist/ 23( What are the communities for Burst and the central website? Main website: https://www.burst-coin.org/ Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/burstcoin and https://www.reddit.com/burstcoinmining/ Burstforum.net: https://www.burstforum.net/ Getburst forum: https://forums.getburst.net/ Official Facebook channel: https://m.facebook.com/groups/398967360565392 (these are the forums that are known to be supporting the current Dev Team) Other ways to talk to the community: Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/RPhpjVv Telegram (General): https://t.me/burstcoin Telegram (Mining): https://t.me/BurstCoinMining 24( When will Burst partner up with a company? Burst is a currency, the USD does not ‘partner up’ with a company, the DEV team will not partner up and give over to special interests. 25( Why is the DEV team anonymous? They prefer anonymity, as it allows them to work without constant scrutiny and questions unless they wish to engage, plus the aim is for Burst to become a major contender, and this brings issues with security. They will work and produce results, they owe you nothing and if you cannot see the vision they provide then please do not ‘invest’ for short term gain. 26( When moon/Lambo/$100/make me rich? My crystal ball is still broken, come back to the FAQ later for answer (seriously, this is a coin to hold, if you want to day-trade, good luck to you) 27( How can I better educate myself and learn about Dymaxion? Read about the Dymaxion here: https://www.reddit.com/burstcoin/wiki/dymaxion 28( My reads are slow, why? There are many reasons for this, if your computer has a decent spec it’s likely due to USB3 hub issues, or plugging into a USB2 hub, but other reasons can be multiple plots in the same folder, but it’s best to visit the mining subreddit. They can help more than an simple FAQ https://www.reddit.com/burstcoinmining/ 29( I have a great idea for Burst (not proof of stake related)? Awesome! Please discuss with the DEV team on discord https://discordapp.com/invite/RPhpjVv (Please be aware that this is a public forum, you need to find who to ask/tell) 30( I have a great idea for Burst (Proof of stake related)? No. if you want a POS, find a POS coin. On the tangle which is being implemented a POS/POW/POC coin can be created, but BURST will always be POC mined. You are welcome to implement a proof of stake coin on this! 31( Will the Dev team burn any coins? Burst is not an ICO, so any coins will need to be bought to be burnt. You are welcome to donate, but the DEV team have no intention of burning any coins, or increasing the coin cap. 32( When will there be an IOS wallet? IOS wallet is completed; we are waiting for it to go on the app store. Apple is the delaying factor. 33( Why do overlapping plots matter? Plots are like collections of lottery tickets (and if only one ticket could win). Having 2 copies is not useful, and it means that you have less coverage of ‘all’ the possible numbers. It’s not good, avoid. 34( My local wallet used to run, I synchronised it before and now it says ‘stopped’. when I start it, it stops after a few seconds, what should I do? I suggest that you change the database type to portable MariaDB (on Qbundle, at the top, ‘Database’ select, ‘change database’) and then re-import the database from scratch (see 35) 35( Synchronising the block chain is slow and I have the patience of a goldfish. What can I do? On Qbundle , ‘Database’ select ‘Bootstrap chain’ and make sure the CryptoGuru repository is selected, then ‘start Import’ this will download and quickly stuff the local database (I suggest Portable MariaDB, see 34) (lol, loop) 36( What will the block reward be next month/will the block rewards run out in 6 months? https://www.ecomine.earth/burstblockreward/ Rewards will carry on into 2026, but transaction fees will be a bigger % by then, and so profitable mining will continue. 37( How can I get started with Burst (wallet/mining/everything) and I need it in a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJLhw37Lh_8 Watch and be enlightened. 38( Can I mine on multiple machines with the same account? Yes, if you want to pool mine this can be done (but be prepared for small issues like reported size being incorrect. Just be sure to keep question 33 in mind.) 39( Why do some of my drives take forever to plot? Most likely they are SMR drives, it’s best to plot onto another SSD and then move the finished plot/part of a plot across to the SMR drive as this is much quicker. SMR drives are fine on the read, just random writes that are terrible. So plot an SMR drive quickly, plot to a non SMR or better still SSD drive, in as big a chunk as possible (fewer files better) and move. a version of Xplotter, called Splotter, can do this easily. https://github.com/NoParamedic/SPlotter 40( I have a great idea; why not get listed on more exchanges!! Exchanges list coins because of 2 reasons:
The coin pays (often A LOT, seriously we’ve been asked for 50 BTC)
I suggest you speak with your exchange and ask ‘when will they offer Burst?’ 41( Do you have a roadmap? https://www.burst-coin.org/roadmap 42( Why is the price of Burst going up/down/sideways/looping through time? The price of burst is still quite dependent upon Bitcoin, meaning that if Bitcoin gains, the value of Burst gains, if Bitcoin drops then Burst also drops. If there is news for Burst then we will see something independent of Bitcoin moving. Variations can be because of people buying in bulk or selling in bulk. There are also ‘pump and dump’ schemes that we detest, that can cause spikes in price that have nothing to do with news or Bitcoin, just sad people taking advantage of others. 43( Where is the best place to go with my mining questions? https://www.reddit.com/burstcoinmining/ or https://t.me/BurstCoinMining 44( What hardware do you advise me to buy, is this computer good? See question 43 for specific questions on hardware, it depends on so many variables. The ‘best’ in my opinion is a 36 bay Supermicro storage server, usually they have dual 6-core CPU’s and space for 36 drives. No USB cables, plotting and mining monster, anything else, DYOR. 45( Where do you buy your hard drives? I have bought most from EBay in job lots, and some refurbished drives with short warranties. Everything else I have bought, from Amazon. 46( Can I mine on my Google drive/cloud based storage? In short: no. If you want to try, and get to maybe 1 TB and then find that your local connection isn’t fast enough, or that shortly after, your account is blocked for various reasons. Please be my guest. 47( Can I mine on my NAS? Some you can mine with the NAS (if it can run the miner, it can scan locally) but generally they’re not very fast. good for maybe 16 TB? Having a plot on a NAS and mining from another computer depends on the network speed between the NAS and scanning computer. I believe you can scan about 8 TB (maybe a bit more) and keep the scan times to within acceptable, but YMMV. 48( How can I set up a node? No need to set up a node, just set up a wallet (version 2.0.4) or Qbundle (2.2) and it will do the rest 49( Are the passphrases secured? I’ll leave the effort to a few people to show how secure a 12-word passphrase is: https://burstforum.net/topic/4766/the-canary-burst-early-warning-system Key point: brute forcing it will be around 13,537,856,339,904,134,474,012,675,034 years. 50( I logged into my account (maybe with a different burst ID) and see no balance!! I have dealt with this very issue multiple times, and there are only 3 options:
You have typed in the password incorrectly
You have copy-pasted the password incorrectly
You are trying to log into a ‘local wallet’ which the block chain has not finished updating
Exclusive interview with Matjaz Skorjanc from slovenian media
Source: http://www.delo.si/gospodarstvo/podjetja/ekskluzivno-matjaz-skorjanc-nicehash-o-kraji-bitcoinov.html Google translate: Ljubljana - During the pressing under the glass roof of the entrance to one of the buildings of the Technology Park, we tried with the third ring. Finally, the answer was: "Come after you." Nicehas has been a state of emergency for several days. Waiting continued in the office space, when after a few minutes Matjaž Škorjanc finally entered, he is also known in the media with the hacker nickname Isdero. The man who was caught in Orihovo by agents of the FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation, a man who spent the first 20 months in prison without a telephone, a computer, and his family could communicate only through a glass barrier. The man, who is supposed to be able to crash the US economy with a single call at the age of 22. In his story, his thoughts quickly escaped Kevin Mitnick, the legendary American hacker from the beginning of the Internet, who spent his prison days in isolation, disconnected from the outside world, as he could use a whistle to wage a nuclear war. A stereotypical notion of prisoners was dispersed with a handshake and the first word exchange. Škorjanc now wants to write a new story. "I barely picked up, and I'm back on the floor," he said desperately. About 4700 bitcoins were stolen, now worth over 70 million dollars. "This must never be repeated again. We will do everything that will never happen again, "said Škorjanc. "Someone probably tried to suppress us in the pot, but hackers with such knowledge are not in Slovenia." He did not run away from the questions of his past by moving and at times emotionally. Many of her karmic elements have also been seen in this greatest theft so far. His code used to make invasions into information systems and personal computers. "I am not a man who wants to harm anyone. What happened in the 'previous' times could be attributed to my naivety. At the age of 22, I was not aware of the consequences that my actions might have. "He had to go to jail for them, but he still says:" I was never a hacker. I'm a programmer. " The last days were probably hard for you. Stand in the middle of a storm of one of the greatest intrusions in the history of bitcoin. How do you feel? It's extremely difficult. I feel as if they kidnapped my child and cut her in front of my eyes. I'm not sleeping, in the last few days I've closed my eyes for a few hours. I invest all my power to save the platform of nicehash, which enables the survival of more than 700,000 miners and their families. Through us, we earned over one billion and a half dollars (calculated at the price of bitcoins today) in the past year. A few million people from around the world are financially dependent on Nicehasha. Especially those in a less developed world where earned funds replace wages, people use them for schooling, while in the winter months they use their computer systems for heating. The attack is a very big blow for me, for Nicehash and for the entire crypto industry. Talk about the fact that this is a personal blow to you, but you are not affiliated with the company. You are also not the CEO of Nicehash, which was founded in the summer. Is your father a martyr for your prison sentence? We know what the laws are, why we have such, I do not understand; in my opinion, this is a limitation of human rights. My father and my whole family stood side by side all the time, without them I would be hard to pick up. I still claim that I was wronged. But I picked up, I gathered power, and Nicehash is my child, my life work. Without him, without it, it would not have been possible. Now he is a co-owner of Nicehash. Nicehash is a relatively young company; you used to do business through Bitorious and H-BIT? The nicehash platform has been in existence for more than three years. A few months ago, we set up a new company, because it is easier than doing business with two companies. How many bitcoins or money did you pay out to your "miners" during the years of operations on the market? According to today's value of bitcoin, this would be more than one billion and a half dollars (over 120,000 bitcoins op. P.). There would be more to come in this year. Nicehash has become a way of life for many, providing them with survival, service and a significant role in the new emerging world of blockchain technologies. Miners are the blockchain pillar. Since we are a completely free market for the purchase and sale of computational power for the mining of crypts, we were certainly many in the heel. Hacking and hackers? When we watch movies, everything looks very simple. How do these things actually take place in the real world? What methods are hackers using now? I've never been a hacker, it's a big misunderstanding. I'm just a programmer. I've never busted in anywhere or stole anything at all. I was told that I wrote a software that was used by others for evil purposes. In spite of everything that is attributed to me, I do not have the experience of hacking, and I can not answer this question with you. When you have served a penalty for an act in the past, have you decided to set up a nicehash platform that serves miners? How's that going? I am a programmer and I realize that things need to be user-friendly. Three years ago, when I started putting up the nicehash platform, I had that in my mind. Nicehash is like Uber for taxi drivers - it brings together those who miners and those who buy computing power in one place. We do not trade with the currencies of Fiat (traditional money, op. P.). All transactions take place in bitcoins. When I installed the platform, I had in mind users who were not programmers and would like to earn extra money at the expense of mining. The number of users who used our platform was evidence of this. Our service was provided to everyone, including those who were without computer knowledge, because we simplified the whole process. How does a hacker look to become a victim of a hacker attack? What's behind your background in the attack? I hardly comment because I do not feel like a hacker. The reasons for the attack can be several, but I can not speak of them right now. You have to understand that this is one of the largest and most sophisticated hacker attacks in the crypt of all times, so all the major global organizations fighting the cybercrime were involved in the investigation. This is not about revenge. Users are angry because your bitcoins have not been stored on physical media or in a "cold wallet" if you are expressing it in a firebreak. Why did you have all the resources in the system, online? Our system is flowing. We are not a stock exchange. With us, users buy computing power with bitcoins and miners pay bitcoins for their work. But it is true that during this time the demand for bitcoins has increased sharply, the price of transactions has increased, and we have had to change certain rules. The value of bitcoins has also increased. I could say that exceptional growth has overtaken us on the whole line. As a result, new security challenges are emerging, with which we have successfully tackled successfully. How do you respond to the claims of some who are spreading speculation through social networks that it was an attack from within? We can not exclude this option until the search is complete. According to what we know today, the probability of this is very small. For the attack, there is an extremely well-trained group of attackers, which in my opinion is not in Slovenia. What will you do in the next days and what have you done so far to get information about hackers who have managed to empty your wallet? Unfortunately, I can not speak of this. What is the possibility that the law enforcement agencies will find the culprits? Small. But you have to understand that there were no 70 million of them, but there is probably no financial interest in the background. The goal of the attack was to destroy the nicehash, which is the largest and completely free market for calculating power for mining. It's already a multi-billion-dollar business that is steadily rising, from month to month. Somebody probably tried to suppress us in the pot. What was your income in the last few months when demand was growing? This moment I would not like to talk about these numbers. Peter Trček estimated that there is a possibility of negotiating with hackers? Have you investigated this option, are you hoping for a possible buy-in with a discount? Only in movies. Are cryptos secure? Are risks systemic or depend primarily on the security measures of individual companies? The cryptos are safe. The main risk is lack of knowledge. The systems that exist are not user-friendly, and there are too many unknowns that are missing users. Despite the fact that we had the protection of "state of the art", it was obviously still too little, since we must bear in mind that in "social engineering" there is still a man in the middle. When establishing a new platform, we will create a security system according to military standards, which means that we will exclude the human factor from the equation. Do we need special departments to deal with cryptocrinals? Would you be willing to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in such cases? Of course. Blockchain technology is a general historical opportunity for a more democratic, free and new world. But security is critical. I am thinking of fighting this with all my strength and giving my contribution to society.
Last Week In Indian Economy - For the Week Ending 6th August, 2016
Last Week in Indian Economy
“I am silent because there is conflict between my scholarly commitment to economics and my loyalty to the party's decided issues.” - Subramanian Swamy, member of parliament tweeting about why he is silent on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill that his political party supports so much. Just going to leave this here for you to draw your own conclusions.
Going Gaga Over GST Last week, the Rajya Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - the tax reform that has been heralded as the most important piece of legislation in over a decade. While the common market of Europe is walking backwards due to Brexit, the common market within India is stepping ahead due to GST. The bill has been the subject of political bickering for a long time now. However, it was passed with 203 votes for and none against. With 0 votes against. They didn’t even blink twice, so you know there families weren’t being held hostage and all votes were entirely voluntary. But this has only been the tip of the iceberg. Even though both houses of the parliament have passed the bill, there is a laundry list of things that need to happen before we can all go home and forget about this whole GST business. The Lok Sabha needs to approve the bill once again. Then, a minimum of 15 state governments need to pass the bill. Then, the president needs to sign the bill. Then, a GST Council needs to be formed and the GST tax rate needs to be negotiated. Then, the central government needs to pass two supporting laws, and each state needs to pass a separate supporting law. And only then, we’ll be able to pocket all that cash from the GST-led economic growth that is being predicted. The deadline set for all of this is April 1st, 2017. Till then, government officials around the country are set to debate on extremely sensitive issues like whether cream biscuits should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary biscuits. #TeamBourbon. Uber-Didi Uber joined the long list of American MNCs that came to do business in China but inevitably fell on their faces. In a deal announced last week, the popular ride-hailing service will sell its China operations to rival Didi Chuxing in exchange for a 20% stake in Didi, who will invest $1 billion in Uber. The two giants have been battling for the Chinese market for years and despite spending billions of dollars, no one has managed to turn a profit. In fact, Uber was facing a loss of $1 billion annually due to heavy competition in China. Once upon a time, Uber’s future in China seemed to hold promise. And now, the company is throwing in the towel. The company’s mistake? It tried to fight a land war in Asia. Although Didi was the bigger company in China in terms of market share, Uber did have its moments. Such as when a Chinese hip-hop artist posted a gangster rap song about how much he prefers Uber. Don’t Baidu it - China being China censored the whole thing just days later. Loans For Pani Puri walas Banks use all sorts of fancy algorithms to determine if a borrower will repay a loan. Despite all of that, with the banking crisis, a huge amount of loans are at a risk of being Vijay Mallya-ed. So the fancy algorithms haven’t exactly worked out. Another one of those fancy things that banks use is a credit score. A good credit score will have banks lining outside your door shouting for your attention. A bad credit score will have you lining outside the door of the banks with a ton of paperwork. You need a good credit score to get loans. But to get a good credit score, you need to repay loans. So you see the chicken-and-egg problem here. This means a lot of people don’t even have credit scores. But those people still need loans. And banks won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Now, microfinance companies like Edelweiss, Bharat Financial, DHFL and many more are going places feared by the big boys of finance. A big push in the industry is to loan money to pavement hawkers, scrap dealers and other self-employed individuals. For example - the makers of the extremely healthy chinese food at the hand-kart that parks near the local sewer every evening. Basically, giving loans to low-income borrowers without a credit score or any kind of formal financial history. If that sounds like a recipe for trouble, that’s because it is and we’ve already had that dish in the run-up of the financial crisis of 2008. And if history isn’t repeating itself here, it’s definitely rhyming. Too Many Branches Spoil The Bank The State Bank Of India has almost 17,000 branches which is very impressive. Especially since they get to brag about it in tables that rank banks by number of branches. But the bank isn’t doing itself any favours by putting 5 branches within a 1 km radius of each other, as is the case a lot of times with SBI. Because sometimes, it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that matters. And SBI is considering a proposal to do away with such extra branches by consolidating them. It might make common sense to shut down branches when put like that, but then they won’t get to brag about how many branches they have. And investors love those kind of things. SBI is currently in the process of merging with its associate banks from Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore and so on. It expects to have that completed by March 2017. At which point, that 17,000 number will balloon up to 24,000 branches, compounding that problem. A global consulting firm, McKinsey which was hired by SBI has recommended shutting down upto of 7,200 of those branches. Moreover, bank branches are so 2000s. Online is where it’s at.
India is a nation of chronic procrastinators. Just look at how much you procrastinate yourself, for example. For more proof, realize that half the people reading that last sentence just strongly agreed with it. And so the government extended the deadline to file Income Tax returns by 5 days till August 5th to accommodate all the last-minute submissions.
23 million income tax returns were filed online this year, more than thrice the 7 million that were filed last year. Like I said, online is where it’s at. Moreover, who would want to stand in line to file tax returns when you can be a responsible and mature citizen of India while wearing your pajamas at the same time?
Corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked the IIM-A and other premier business schools in India to develop an ‘integrity index’ to measure the levels of corruptions in 25 government agencies and state-run companies. The CVC is hoping that the rankings will help focus anti-corruption resources to where they are needed the most. Meanwhile, Buzzfeed “writers” are already salivating at the thought of headlines like Here are the top 10 most corrupt government offices. #6 will literally empty your wallet.
A new survey published last week found that Indians are losing more money to online fraud than other Asians. While 36% of Indian respondents reported to being cheated by internet scams, the most popular form of internet scams turned out to be lottery scams and Work-from-home scams. In other news, find out how this housewife is earning 50,000 a month sitting at home.
HCL Technologies (HCLTECH) was up 8.98% on the back of positive quarterly results and a single large trade of about 14 lakh shares that pushed the stock price up.
Grasim Industries (GRASIM) was up 7.28% as the Birla-family owned cement maker was identified as one of the companies set to benefit from GST.
Tata Steel (TATASTEEL) was up 6.92% since the government extended a price floor on cheap imports of steel from China.
The yield on 10-year government bonds is up from 7.138 to 7.168.
Important Numbers being released this week: Tuesday, August 9th: RBI Interest Rate Decision, Quarterly Results for - Adani Ports & SEZ, Lupin Wednesday, August 10th: Quarterly Results for - Mahindra & Mahindra Friday, August 12th: Consumer Inflation (Jul), Quarterly Results for - Hindalco Industries, State Bank Of India
Leading bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex, was hacked last week and cryptocurrency worth $70 million was stolen. The exchange has announced a plan to compensate all customers. In other words, business as usual for bitcoin. Moon Express, a US-based company co-founded by Indian-origin entrepreneur Naveen Jain, became the first ever private company to receive permission from the US government for a commercial space mission to the moon. The company’s business plan involves accepting sponsorships and carrying private payloads to the moon in order to make a profit. In future space missions, the company expects to make money by mining for natural resources on moon, specifically mining for Helium-3. This would’ve happened a lot sooner if only the moon had some oil. Helium-3 is all fine... But it’s no oil. < For the Week Ending 30th July, 2016
The Mike Hearn Show: Season Finale (and Bitcoin Classic: Series Premiere)
This post debunks Mike Hearn's conspiracy theories RE Blockstream in his farewell post and points out issues with the behavior of the Bitcoin Classic hard fork and sketchy tactics of its advocates I used to be torn on how to judge Mike Hearn. On the one hand he has done some good work with BitcoinJ, Lighthouse etc. Certainly his choice of bloom filter has had a net negative effect on the privacy of SPV users, but all in all it works as advertised.* On the other hand, he has single handedly advocated for some of the most alarming behavior changes in the Bitcoin network (e.g. redlists, coinbase reallocation, BIP101 etc...) to date. Not to mention his advocacy in the past year has degraded from any semblance of professionalism into an adversarial us-vs-them propaganda train. I do not believe his long history with the Bitcoin community justifies this adversarial attitude. As a side note, this post should not be taken as unabated support for Bitcoin Core. Certainly the dev team is made of humans and like all humans mistakes can be made (e.g. March 2013 fork). Some have even engaged in arguably unprofessional behavior but I have not yet witnessed any explicitly malicious activity from their camp (q). If evidence to the contrary can be provided, please share it. Thankfully the development of Bitcoin Core happens more or less completely out in the open; anyone can audit and monitor the goings on. I personally check the repo at least once a day to see what work is being done. I believe that the regular committers are genuinely interested in the overall well being of the Bitcoin network and work towards the common goal of maintaining and improving Core and do their best to juggle the competing interests of the community that depends on them. That is not to say that they are The Only Ones; for the time being they have stepped up to the plate to do the heavy lifting. Until that changes in some way they have my support. The hard line that some of the developers have drawn in regards to the block size has caused a serious rift and this write up is a direct response to oft-repeated accusations made by Mike Hearn and his supporters about members of the core development team. I have no affiliations or connection with Blockstream, however I have met a handful of the core developers, both affiliated and unaffiliated with Blockstream. Mike opens his farewell address with his pedigree to prove his opinion's worth. He masterfully washes over the mountain of work put into improving Bitcoin Core over the years by the "small blockians" to paint the picture that Blockstream is stonewalling the development of Bitcoin. The folks who signed Greg's scalability road map have done some of the most important, unsung work in Bitcoin. Performance improvements, privacy enhancements, increased reliability, better sync times, mempool management, bandwidth reductions etc... all those things are thanks to the core devs and the research community (e.g. Christian Decker), many of which will lead to a smoother transition to larger blocks (e.g. libsecp256k1).(1) While ignoring previous work and harping on the block size exclusively, Mike accuses those same people who have spent countless hours working on the protocol of trying to turn Bitcoin into something useless because they remain conservative on a highly contentious issue that has tangible effects on network topology. The nature of this accusation is characteristic of Mike's attitude over the past year which marked a shift in the block size debate from a technical argument to a personal one (in tandem with DDoS and censorship in /Bitcoin and general toxicity from both sides). For example, Mike claimed that sidechains constitutes a conflict of interest, as Blockstream employees are "strongly incentivized to ensure [bitcoin] works poorly and never improves" despite thousands of commits to the contrary. Many of these commits are top down rewrites of low level Bitcoin functionality, not chump change by any means. I am not just "counting commits" here. Anyways, Blockstream's current client base consists of Bitcoin exchanges whose future hinges on the widespread adoption of Bitcoin. The more people that use Bitcoin the more demand there will be for sidechains to service the Bitcoin economy. Additionally, one could argue that if there was some sidechain that gained significant popularity (hundreds of thousands of users), larger blocks would be necessary to handle users depositing and withdrawing funds into/from the sidechain. Perhaps if they were miners and core devs at the same time then a conflict of interest on small blocks would be a more substantive accusation (create artificial scarcity to increase tx fees). The rational behind pricing out the Bitcoin "base" via capacity constraint to increase their business prospects as a sidechain consultancy is contrived and illogical. If you believe otherwise I implore you to share a detailed scenario in your reply so I can see if I am missing something. Okay, so back to it. Mike made the right move when Core would not change its position, he forked Core and gave the community XT. The choice was there, most miners took a pass. Clearly there was not consensus on Mike's proposed scaling road map or how big blocks should be rolled out. And even though XT was a failure (mainly because of massive untested capacity increases which were opposed by some of the larger pools whose support was required to activate the 75% fork), it has inspired a wave of implementation competition. It should be noted that the censorship and attacks by members of /Bitcoin is completely unacceptable, there is no excuse for such behavior. While theymos is entitled to run his subreddit as he sees fit, if he continues to alienate users there may be a point of mass exodus following some significant event in the community that he tries to censor. As for the DDoS attackers, they should be ashamed of themselves; it is recommended that alt. nodes mask their user agents. Although Mike has left the building, his alarmist mindset on the block size debate lives on through Bitcoin Classic, an implementation which is using a more subtle approach to inspire adoption, as jtoomim cozies up with miners to get their support while appealing to the masses with a call for an adherence to Satoshi's "original vision for Bitcoin." That said, it is not clear that he is competent enough to lead the charge on the maintenance/improvement of the Bitcoin protocol. That leaves most of the heavy lifting up to Gavin, as Jeff has historically done very little actual work for Core. We are thus in a potentially more precarious situation then when we were with XT, as some Chinese miners are apparently "on board" for a hard fork block size increase. Jtoomim has expressed a willingness to accept an exceptionally low (60 or 66%) consensus threshold to activate the hard fork if necessary. Why? Because of the lost "opportunity cost" of the threshold not being reached.(c) With variance my guess is that a lucky 55% could activate that 60% threshold. That's basically two Chinese miners. I don't mean to attack him personally, he is just willing to go down a path that requires the support of only two major Chinese mining pools to activate his hard fork. As a side effect of the latency issues of GFW, a block size increase might increase orphan rate outside of GFW, profiting the Chinese pools. With a 60% threshold there is no way for miners outside of China to block that hard fork. To compound the popularity of this implementation, the efforts of Mike, Gavin and Jeff have further blinded many within the community to the mountain of effort that core devs have put in. And it seems to be working, as they are beginning to successfully ostracize the core devs beyond the network of "true big block-believers." It appears that Chinese miners are getting tired of the debate (and with it Core) and may shift to another implementation over the issue.(d) Some are going around to mining pools and trying to undermine Core's position in the soft vs. hard fork debate. These private appeals to the miner community are a concern because there is no way to know if bad information is being passed on with the intent to disrupt Core's consensus based approach to development in favor of an alternative implementation controlled (i.e. benevolent dictator) by those appealing directly to miners. If the core team is reading this, you need to get out there and start pushing your agenda so the community has a better understanding of what you all do every day and how important the work is. Get some fancy videos up to show the effects of block size increase and work on reading materials that are easy for non technically minded folk to identify with and get behind. The soft fork debate really highlights the disingenuity of some of these actors. Generally speaking, soft forks are easier on network participants who do not regularly keep up with the network's software updates or have forked the code for personal use and are unable to upgrade in time, while hard forks require timely software upgrades if the user hopes to maintain consensus after a hardfork. The merits of that argument come with heavy debate. However, more concerning is the fact that hard forks require central planning and arguably increase the power developers have over changes to the protocol.(2) In contrast, the 'signal of readiness' behavior of soft forks allows the network to update without any hardcoded flags and developer oversight. Issues with hard forks are further compounded by activation thresholds, as soft forks generally require 95% consensus while Bitcoin Classic only calls for 60-75% consensus, exposing network users to a greater risk of competing chains after the fork. Mike didn't want to give the Chinese any more power, but now the post XT fallout has pushed the Chinese miners right into the Bitcoin Classic drivers seat. While a net split did happen briefly during the BIP66 soft fork, imagine that scenario amplified by miners who do not agree to hard fork changes while controlling 25-40% of the networks hashing power. Two actively mined chains with competing interests, the Doomsday Scenario. With a 5% miner hold out on a soft fork, the fork will constantly reorg and malicious transactions will rarely have more than one or two confirmations.(b) During a soft fork, nodes can protect themselves from double spends by waiting for extra confirmations when the node alerts the user that a ANYONECANSPEND transaction has been seen. Thus, soft forks give Bitcoin users more control over their software (they can choose to treat a softfork as a soft fork or a soft fork as a hardfork) which allows for greater flexibility on upgrade plans for those actively maintaining nodes and other network critical software. (2) Advocating for a low threshold hard forks is a step in the wrong direction if we are trying to limit the "central planning" of any particular implementation. However I do not believe that is the main concern of the Bitcoin Classic devs. To switch gears a bit, Mike is ironically concerned China "controls" Bitcoin, but wanted to implement a block size increase that would only increase their relative control (via increased orphans). Until the p2p wire protocol is significantly improved (IBLT, etc...), there is very little room (if any at all) to raise the block size without significantly increasing orphan risk. This can be easily determined by looking at jtoomim's testnet network data that passed through normal p2p network, not the relay network.(3) In the mean time this will only get worse if no one picks up the slack on the relay network that Matt Corallo is no longer maintaining. (4) Centralization is bad regardless of the block size, but Mike tries to conflate the centralization issues with the Blockstream block size side show for dramatic effect. In retrospect, it would appear that the initial lack of cooperation on a block size increase actually staved off increases in orphan risk. Unfortunately, this centralization metric will likely increase with the cooperation of Chinese miners and Bitcoin Classic if major strides to reduce orphan rates are not made. Mike also manages to link to a post from the ProHashing guy RE forever-stuck transactions, which has been shown to generally be the result of poorly maintained/improperly implemented wallet software.(6) Ultimately Mike wants fees to be fixed despite the fact you can't enforce fixed fees in a system that is not centrally planned. Miners could decide to raise their minimum fees even when blocks are >1mb, especially when blocks become too big to reliably propagate across the network without being orphaned. What is the marginal cost for a tx that increases orphan risk by some %? That is a question being explored with flexcaps. Even with larger blocks, if miners outside the GFW fear orphans they will not create the bigger blocks without a decent incentive; in other words, even with a larger block size you might still end up with variable fees. Regardless, it is generally understood that variable fees are not preferred from a UX standpoint, but developers of Bitcoin software do not have the luxury of enforcing specific fees beyond basic defaults hardcoded to prevent cheap DoS attacks. We must expose the user to just enough information so they can make an informed decision without being overwhelmed. Hard? Yes. Impossible. No. Shifting gears, Mike states that current development progress via segwit is an empty ploy, despite the fact that segwit comes with not only a marginal capacity increase, but it also plugs up major malleability vectors, allows pruning blocks for historical data and a bunch of other fun stuff. It's a huge win for unconfirmed transactions (which Mike should love). Even if segwit does require non-negligible changes to wallet software and Bitcoin Core (500 lines LoC), it allows us time to improve block relay (IBLT, weak blocks) so we can start raising the block size without fear of increased orphan rate. Certainly we can rush to increase the block size now and further exacerbate the China problem, or we can focus on the "long play" and limit negative externalities. And does segwit help the Lightning Network? Yes. Is that something that indicates a Blockstream conspiracy? No. Comically, the big blockians used to criticize Blockstream for advocating for LN when there was no one working on it, but now that it is actively being developed, the tune has changed and everything Blockstream does is a conspiracy to push for Bitcoin's future as a dystopic LN powered settlement network. Is LN "the answer?" Obviously not, most don't actually think that. How it actually works in practice is yet to be seen and there could be unforseen emergent characteristics that make it less useful for the average user than originally thought. But it's a tool that should be developed in unison with other scaling measures if only for its usefulness for instant txs and micropayments. Regardless, the fundamental divide rests on ideological differences that we all know well. Mike is fine with the miner-only validation model for nodes and is willing to accept some miner centralization so long as he gets the necessary capacity increases to satisfy his personal expectations for the immediate future of Bitcoin. Greg and co believe that a distributed full node landscape helps maintain a balance of decentralization in the face of the miner centralization threat. For example, if you have 10 miners who are the only sources for blockchain data then you run the risk of undetectable censorship, prolific sybil attacks, and no mechanism for individuals to validate the network without trusting a third party. As an analogy, take the tor network: you use it with an expectation of privacy while understanding that the multi-hop nature of the routing will increase latency. Certainly you could improve latency by removing a hop or two, but with it you lose some privacy. Does tor's high latency make it useless? Maybe for watching Netflix, but not for submitting leaked documents to some newspaper. I believe this is the philosophy held by most of the core development team. Mike does not believe that the Bitcoin network should cater to this philosophy and any activity which stunts the growth of on-chain transactions is a direct attack on the protocol. Ultimately however I believe Greg and co. also want Bitcoin to scale on-chain transactions as much as possible. They believe that in order for Bitcoin to increase its capacity while adhering to acceptable levels of decentralization, much work needs to be done. It's not a matter of if block size will be increased, but when. Mike has confused this adherence to strong principles of decentralization as disingenuous and a cover up for a dystopic future of Bitcoin where sidechains run wild with financial institutions paying $40 per transaction. Again, this does not make any sense to me. If banks are spending millions to co-op this network what advantage does a decentralized node landscape have to them? There are a few roads that the community can take now: one where we delay a block size increase while improvements to the protocol are made (with the understanding that some users may have to wait a few blocks to have their transaction included, fees will be dependent on transaction volume, and transactions <$1 may be temporarily cost ineffective) so that when we do increase the block size, orphan rate and node drop off are insignificant. Another is the immediate large block size increase which possibly leads to a future Bitcoin which looks nothing like it does today: low numbers of validating nodes, heavy trust in centralized network explorers and thus a more vulnerable network to government coercion/general attack. Certainly there are smaller steps for block size increases which might not be as immediately devastating, and perhaps that is the middle ground which needs to be trodden to appease those who are emotionally invested in a bigger block size. Combined with segwit however, max block sizes could reach unacceptable levels. There are other scenarios which might play out with competing chains etc..., but in that future Bitcoin has effectively failed. As any technology that requires maintenance and human interaction, Bitcoin will require politicking for decision making. Up until now that has occurred via the "vote download" for software which implements some change to the protocol. I believe this will continue to be the most robust of options available to us. Now that there is competition, the Bitcoin Core community can properly advocate for changes to the protocol that it sees fit without being accused of co-opting the development of Bitcoin. An ironic outcome to the situation at hand. If users want their Bitcoins to remain valuable, they must actively determine which developers are most competent and have their best interests at heart. So far the core dev community has years of substantial and successful contributions under its belt, while the alt implementations have a smattering of developers who have not yet publicly proven (besides perhaps Gavin--although his early mistakes with block size estimates is concerning) they have the skills and endurance necessary to maintain a full node implementation. Perhaps now it is time that we focus on the personalities who many want to trust Bitcoin's future. Let us see if they can improve the speed at which signatures are validated by 7x. Or if they can devise privacy preserving protocols like Confidential Transactions. Or can they figure out ways to improve traversal times across a merkle tree? Can they implement HD functionality into a wallet without any coin-crushing bugs? Can they successfully modularize their implementation without breaking everything? If so, let's welcome them with open arms. But Mike is at R3 now, which seems like a better fit for him ideologically. He can govern the rules with relative impunity and there is not a huge community of open source developers, researchers and enthusiasts to disagree with. I will admit, his posts are very convincing at first blush, but ultimately they are nothing more than a one sided appeal to the those in the community who have unrealistic or incomplete understandings of the technical challenges faced by developers maintaining a consensus critical, validation-heavy, distributed system that operates within an adversarial environment. Mike always enjoyed attacking Blockstream, but when survey his past behavior it becomes clear that his motives were not always pure. Why else would you leave with such a nasty, public farewell? To all the XT'ers, btc'ers and so on, I only ask that you show some compassion when you critique the work of Bitcoin Core devs. We understand you have a competing vision for the scaling of Bitcoin over the next few years. They want Bitcoin to scale too, you just disagree on how and when it should be done. Vilifying and attacking the developers only further divides the community and scares away potential future talent who may want to further the Bitcoin cause. Unless you can replace the folks doing all this hard work on the protocol or can pay someone equally as competent, please think twice before you say something nasty. As for Mike, I wish you the best at R3 and hope that you can one day return to the Bitcoin community with a more open mind. It must hurt having your software out there being used by so many but your voice snuffed. Hopefully one day you can return when many of the hard problems are solved (e.g. reduced propagation delays, better access to cheap bandwidth) and the road to safe block size increases have been paved. (*) https://eprint.iacr.org/2014/763.pdf (q) https://github.com/bitcoinclassic/bitcoinclassic/pull/6 (b) https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Decembe012026.html (c) https://github.com/bitcoinclassic/bitcoinclassic/pull/1#issuecomment-170299027 (d) http://toom.im/jameshilliard_classic_PR_1.html (0) http://bitcoinstats.com/irc/bitcoin-dev/logs/2016/01/06 (1) https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/graphs/contributors (2) https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Decembe012014.html (3) https://toom.im/blocktime (beware of heavy website) (4) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=766190.msg13510513#msg13510513 (5) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10774773 (6) http://rusty.ozlabs.org/?p=573 edit, fixed some things. edit 2, tried to clarify some more things and remove some personal bias thanks to astro
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