11-16 03:47 - 'Bitcointalk forum has been available since 2009 (also administered by Theymos). If you want to talk about altcoins and/or contentious hard-forks for Bitcoin, r/bitcoin isn't the place for it. Feel free to...' (bitcointalk.org) by /u/tokyopotato removed from /r/Bitcoin within 35-40min
Usually, bull markets attract a lot of new investors - although speculators should be the right word here - and as usual, a lot of them are going to be crushed a way or another. First, before putting a single dollar, euro or whatever in the market, you should read a lot to know exactly what you're looking for. Are you here for the tech and/or the cypherpunk ethos ? Great, there's lot of resources out there (my links are cleaned but as always, do your due diligence) :
The Bitcoin Whitepaper, the one and only : bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Since I'm linking to bitcoin.org, friendly reminder to avoid bitcoin.com, owned by a former supporter now con-artist Roger Ver.
Andreas Antonopoulos website : https://aantonop.com Andreas is one of best guys able to educate on bitcoin and its properties, for free, which helps.
Jameson Lopp website : lopp.net Jameson is a member of Bitcoin Core, cypherpunk, also able to educate a lot. His website is full of free resources and other links. You'll have a lot to read.
Hal Finney : he's unfortunately dead but I would advise to read about Hal Finney, the first to receive bitcoin Satoshi. A great cryptographer, the inventor of the first reusable PoW and one of the first bitcoin supporters. You'll be able to find his messages on this old forum Bitcoin Talk, by the way you'll be able to find the first chats about bitcoin on this forum bitcointalk.org
Monero website : getmonero.org Yep, I know it's gonna be controversial to post an altcoin link but personally, I think that Monero (aka XMR) is the only other coin with a big cypherpunk community, decentralized, and able to help newcomers with a great sense of responsibility, since the ethos here is to save privacy.
What Bitcoin Did : of course, Peter is controversial but I love him and I find his former blog and his podcasts very needed because he doesn't oversell himself. Pete knows that he's not a tech guy (like many of us) and just wants to spread the word, I think he does a good job with this.
Now, you've read and you want to put some skin in the game. Several exchanges are acceptable, a lot of aren't, be careful and assume that none really are (know that I won't post any ref links) :
to me, the best, although it's UI is quite old : Kraken €/$/pound/swiss franc on-off ramp
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro Difficult not to mention Coinbase, although I can't stand Brian Armstrong and the way they are doing their best to support scams currently. You should rather use Coinbase Pro if you have to since the fees are much lower.
Binance Binance came later than the previous ones but has managed to take most of the market. Now, you should remember what I said about being careful.
Huobi The biggest chinese exchange and they work closely with chinese official. Again, careful.
Bittrex Once at the top, now somewhere in the limbs.
A lot of new comers came recently like btse, ftx, feel free to try them while always keeping in mind that once your money is on exchanges, it's not yours anymore.
This was for centralized exchanges aka CEX. Talking about custodial, you'll need wallets to store your (bit)coins. Always try to use non-custodial wallets, which means wallets that give you your private keys. This way, if the software goes down, you can always retreive your money. Now, I won't link to all the existing wallets but will advise you to buy hardware wallets (trezor or ledger but there are others) or to create (on off-gap computers) paper wallets you're able to store safely (against all risks, not only robbery but housefire). You also could use your memory with brain wallets but, my gosh, I wouldn't trust myself. For Bitcoin (or even Litecoin), Electrum software can do a good job (but save your keys). AGAIN, DON'T KEEP YOUR SAVINGS ON AN EXCHANGE Now, about trading : it's been repeated and repeated but don't chase pumps and altcoins. Yep, it's probably the fastest way to make money. It's also the fastest to lose it. I won't lie : I made good money during the 2017-bullrun and I took profits but I also forgot to sell some shitcoins thinking it would keep going up, now I'm still holding these bags (although I don't really care). I know that a lot forgot to take profits. Take profits, always take profits, whatever your strategy is. Don't fall for people trying to sell you their bags, for ICOs trying to sell you a product which isn't released yet and obviously, don't fall for people asking for your private key. Also, know that there's two endgames : accumulating bitcoin or fiat. I'm rather in the first team but whatever your strategy is, take profits. (Yes, I know, some will say accumulating ethereum or something else). It's true that a lot of ethereum holders made a lot of money during the last bullrun (ethereum helped me make money too) but I'm really biased in favor of bitcoin (and monero). So, pick your coin but again, do your due diligence. A lot of people here or there will talk about the best tech, the fact that bitcoin is old and slow. I would need another post to go further on this point but know that a lof of air flight systems are old too but reliable. Trustless and reliable is the point here. This is the post from someone who bought bitcoin seven or six years ago, who lost part of them, who spent part of them (but don't regret this at all), who is still learning and I hope it will help others, although it would need a book to be complete.
Focused discussion: What is the most promising peer-to-peer decentralised cash system?
While this subreddit is called /cryptocurrency, we obviously talk about a lot of other functions of cryptocoins than the currency aspect. I’d however like to have a discussion on what the best cryptocurrency is that we currently have, and would love to hear your arguments why. The way I see it, there are a few important aspects of a cryptocurrency, as also delineated by Satoshi Nakamoto (1 and 2) while there are also aspects of a currency in general that must be satisfied (3 and 4).
To be a cryptocurrency it has to be decentralised, to rely on cryptographic proof rather than trust. If there is one entity validating the transactions of a cryptocurrency, it can hardly be called a cryptocurrency. Source: Bitcoin whitepaper
The value of it must not be pegged to a fiat currency. A centralised cryptocurrency, one whose value is determined by a central authority (such as Tether), is a contradiction in terminis. Source: Satoshi Nakamoto
Transferability. This is an obvious point, but an important one. Being transferrable is on the one hand a clear-cut definition, but is on the other hand a scale rather than an absolute yes or no. Ceteris paribus, the lower the barrier is to transacting in a currency, the higher the potential velocity of money is. I would say this actually consists of a few sub-categories: transaction speed, transaction cost, ease of use and acceptance of the currency.
Scalability. Another obvious one: if a cryptocurrency can only do one transaction per hour, it's never going to be useful as a broadly used currency.
My question to you is: What cryptocurrency do you think best fits the definition of the ultimate cryptocurrency, and why? Are there aspects of being a currency that I missed that you feel are important to have for a currency? Do you think any cryptocurrency at all is able to act as a currency for a full country, let alone for the entire world? Do you feel like we'll never be able to get a decentralised currency anyway? Edit: in case it wasn't clear, the thread title is the original tagline that Satoshi chose for Bitcoin from the whitepaper.
Monero Community Workgroup is preparing for the large growth ahead
Diego (u/rehrar), Doug (u/needmoney90), and Justin (u/SamsungGalaxayPlayer) would like to share some exciting news regarding the Monero Community Workgroup (MCW). The Monero community is growing, and so is our support and group of volunteers. The TL;DR is that you can expect some cool things as we grow.
Some MCW History
The MCW initially began as the Monero Marketing Workgroup in March 2017. Diego was interested in helping grow the Monero community, so he contacted Justin and set up the MoneroMarketing subreddit. At the time, the idea of a Monero marketing initiative shocked many in the community, who greatly appreciated Monero's general distance from the marketing efforts by many ICOs and scams around that time. The Monero Marketing Workgroup focused mostly on preparing educational materials and getting people involved to work on Monero-related initiatives. Shortly after the workgroup began, it transitioned into an area that needed more love: community organization and communication. Up until this point, the Monero community was focused around the developer meetings and the Monero subreddit. While these are still highly relevant in the Monero ecosystem (for good reason), there wasn't a great way for people to stay updated with the latest news and to discuss non-development items. The Monero Community Crowdfunding System (at the time Forum Funding System) submissions weren't discussed in the same way that they are today, and there was no central Community Workgroup to help bring initiatives together. It was obvious that with a larger, more diverse Monero community, a dedicated set of resources would be necessary to connect all these projects together. The Monero Marketing Workgroup became the Monero Community Workgroup during the first Community Workgroup meeting on 18 June 2017. These meetings have largely occurred every other Saturday ever since and serve as an essential community service to discuss CCS proposals, hear workgroup updates and news, and discuss new ideas. The Community Workgroup channel (#monero-community) is used for many other purposes, including other scheduled meetings on deemed-necessary items of interest and regular feedback, questions, and chat. On 7 October 2017, the workgroup hosted its first Coffee Chat, a casual conversation covering the month's recent news and most important discussion topics. These Coffee Chats help humanize the Monero community, who until this point typically were only known by their pseudonyms. The MCW played a part in the Monero Konferenco, Critical Decentralization Cluster at the Chaos Communication Congress, and Monero Village at Defcon livestreams and derived content. It also hosts Breaking Monero, a series that features members from the Monero Research Lab who discuss Monero's limitations. A year after the MCW became its new name, the newly-founded Monero Outreach Workgroup took over many of its initial ambitions in June 2018. Other related workgroups like Monero Ecosystem have their own communities and functions.
The Community Keeps Growing
The Monero communities are significantly larger than they were back in early-2017, and they keep on growing. In early-2017, there were no mobile wallets, the GUI was only 3 months old, there were far fewer exchanges, etc. Today, Monero has one of the largest, most respected, and most passionate communities. We have the third largest number of developers of any cryptocurrency project, we are the only project with our own DEF CON village, and we are one of the few names that everybody knows. Awesome work to everyone around, truly. With larger communities comes more work. The community deserves reliable, appropriate resources to sustain this growth. In a decentralized community, this is difficult. Monero Core provides some essential services such as the CCS, getmonero.org, Mattermost, and GitLab. However, they have been unable to meet the growing needs of the community alone. Thus, the MCW has been happy to support other needs to the extent possible: we discuss CCS proposals during our meetings, host several servers, organize Coffee Chats and conference talks, and more, along with efforts of other workgroups. These have become such a significant undertaking, and that's a good thing. As Monero continues to set the gold standard for cryptocurrencies the expectations keep growing. It's awesome to be a part of something where so many people care.
The MCW has grown too much for the three of us to organize all the resources we need, let alone the needs of everyone in the Monero communities and workgroups. Thus, we are furthering our commitment and offering substantially more services in the coming months. To get there, we need your support to fill volunteer leadership and support positions. Expect the following dedicated services from us:
Jitsi server with higher framerate and resolutions than Jitsi Meet, so that our Coffee Chats, conferences, and other events are better quality than before.
NextCloud to safely and securely collaborate on blog posts, share files, and more.
Sandstorm and Wekan kanban board (open source Trello copy) to keep track of, propose, and assign tasks and projects.
Chatwoot to provide tailored support for Monero users with a volunteer support community (also a good learning exercise).
Mastodon to communicate about Monero and other news, so we aren't dependent on Twitter's policies and security.
Flarum forum for Monero news and discussions, so we aren't dependent on Reddit.
We need your help to make this happen! We will form "task forces" to focus on certain areas like marketing, system administration, meetings, moderation, and finance. If you have any of these skills, please join #monero-community and say hi, or shoot us an email ([email protected])! Doug, Diego, and Justin feel that these changes will allow the Monero community to grow in new ways and continue collaborating. The community consists of many workgroups that focus on projects that they are interested in, and we want to support the efforts of these communities. To allow these changes, Justin will form an LLC, with him and Doug being officially on the board, and Diego taking an advisory role. Creating a legal entity serves two distinct purposes. First, it allows us to aggregate payments from many people into a single entity to pay the costs for hosting various community servers/services. This greatly reduces our own workload and out of pocket payment. Secondly, it allows us to aggregate multiple social media handles that are currently controlled by individuals under a single entity, to reduce the "Bus Factor." Of course, the MCW will remain very much grounded in the ideals that made that made it great in the first place. And the entity will always support the Monero communities, never claim to fully represent everyone involved in Monero. It can only ever represent the efforts of those involved. Current and future goals of the MCW include:
Provide resources as necessary and reasonable, such as communication platforms
Organize discussions to promote communication, such as Community Meetings and Coffee Chats
Promote positive culture through events, such as with Coffee Chats, the Monero Konferenco, the Moneoversary, and the Monero DEF CON Village
Support other Monero workgroups and Monero ecosystem projects
Provide mechanisms to collect feedback on community, developer, and research proposals
Discuss the Monero CCS ideas and otherwise support the Monero CCS
Promote Monero and privacy education and marketing
Serve as an available community mediatoarbitrator where reasonable
Communicate the broad interests of the Monero community and provide a voice where and how appropriate
Collaborate with other projects, companies, governments, and communities
Monero Community Support LLC
Q: Why does the MCW think that an LLC is needed? A: For two primary reasons. First, payments. As mentioned, there is existing digital infrastructure, currently paid out of pocket by MCW leaders. Even if a CCS proposal was to be explored, it would make personal accounting and tax reporting very difficult as assets would technically be mixed with personal assets, throwing off capital gains calculations. Up until now this has been a sacrifice of time that we were content to make, but as we continue to ramp up our goals it is becoming increasingly cumbersome, and alternative methods are needed. An LLC would be able to hold these monetary assets as its own entity, and all funds could be kept separate from personal funds, leading to much easier accounting all around. Secondly, an LLC would allow for digital infrastructure to come under the legal purview of several people, reducing the possibility for any particular person going rogue and decimating what has been built. There may be concern about bringing resources under a corporation, and that this is not in the spirit of Monero, but one thing to note is that all assets and services (noted above) are FOSS/CC. Meaning if at any time a community doesn't care for what the MCW accomplishes under this LLC, they can simply start their own infrastructure with low switching costs. Once again: EVERYTHING IS FOSS/CC. Q: Why not a nonprofit, cooperative, or other type of organization? A: While not out of the question, these take additional effort. We hope to grow into these organization types with the help of others. However certain registrations take a lot of time and effort, plus has quite significant restrictions on activities. The LLC will allow us the flexibility and convenience we need now, especially when we currently have no income anyway.
The MCW has a mountain range of opportunities ahead of it, as do all Monero communities and workgroups. We hope that our efforts are of use to you and others, and we hope that you join us in making something great :) Justin, Diego, and Doug
Wax on. Wax off. Quick update on the MetaDAO concept and outreach to Edgeware one of the first Substrate based chains after Polkadot and Kusama. Since the intial post, both Polkadot and Kusama have seen explosive growth, with Polkadot now #6 on Coingecko and Kusama #60. Edgeware is at #107 and all have treasuries to spend - c$8m in $EDG, c$6 $KSM and $38m $DOT. The reaction to both the proposal and building bridges to Decred from the (small) Edgeware community has been positive - you can see an overview of last week's community call here on Commonwealth, which is their expanded version of something like Politeia and hosts various conversations and threads. There is another call today at 2:45pm EST - you can join a google hangout here if you're interested. Hopefully the call will progress the conversations again. So what values / characteristics do Decred and Edgeware have in common? Well both are focused on governance, both launched aiming to offer a wide and fair distribution (info on lockdrop here) and both have treasuries that can sustain them long into the future. There are also key differences. Decred is older (and perhaps a little jaded) prioritising slow, careful progress that considers every action through the lens of unintended consequences with the aim of maximising privacy and security. It is a philosophy rooted in the project's origins at Company 0 - see 'return to zero' and the north star of building a fairer financial system. Edgeware is new on the scene, filled with excitement, enthusiasm and buckets of shower thoughts that would be shot down in an instant by the Decred community. The project will not be as secure or private as Decred but will move faster and can potentially become a bridge to the wider ecosystem, taking chances the older project can't (or won't)... Now I'm showing my age, but when seen side by side, the two projects reminds me of the central relationship in the 80's classic The Karate Kid. Mr Myagi is the old master weary of new things.
“Never put passion in front of principle, even if you win, you’ll lose”.
Daniel San is the young and impetuous grasshopper. Together they achieve great things and teach other a few things along the way. Aaaaanyway.... The next stage is to move the concept to a formalised proposal for Edgeware's council to vote on (it is an NPOS system) and a request for funding that can officially kick off the MetaDAO project and potential areas for collaboration and co-financing. Post this, I will also submit a formal proposal to Politieia to hopefully gain stakeholder approval and gain extra insights along the way. u/jet_user has suggested a few ideas here.
- Personally I'm interested in the "real stuff" that boosts autonomy and resilience of individuals: open hardware, UX improvement to solve that huge self-custody UX challenge, security audits (perhaps we use some common libraries), etc. - devs in the smart contract land might borrow some elements of dcrdex's coin swap sequence (coordinating a peer-to-peer swap required to figure out a lot of ugly edge cases), or we could borrow something from them. - new forum software with stronger transparency, integrity protection and data preservation properties that has Reddit-like UX but Politeia-like security and transparency. - Another is crypto job market/bounty system/issue tracker combo to unlock the energy sitting on the sidelines and improve mass coordination.
I think Decred could integrate with Commonwealth for working group discussions ahead of Pi-Reddit and could perhaps also utilise the project's infrastructure for subDAOs ahead of being possible with Decred. One other area that I'm particularly interested in is figuring out a way to bring alive the story of Open Source - a definitive history of the movement, it's achievements and the path to Bitcoin, Decred, et al but done in a contemporary (and cool) way that connects to a much bigger picture and is hosted on decentralised streaming infrastructure like Livepeer. Right now it is still a story that most do not understand nor connect with. Ultimately Decred was created to solve the funding issue in OSS so I feel it is an important piece of the puzzle that will aid in the project's broader awareness and understanding in the long term. Until now all content about this revolution has been delivered in a very old school TV way - see Open Source Money.
[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)
Source | Guestbook Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself?
I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
the below is a reply to the above
Why did homeland security want to talk to you?
They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible?
I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
the below is a reply to the above
But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught?
they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing?
I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
the below is a reply to the above
Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks.
It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
the below is another reply to the original answer
So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth
Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
the below is a reply to the above
Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative!
I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks!
I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort?
There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
the below is a reply to the above
By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies.
FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious?
We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts.
I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point.
I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you?
By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible...
The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually...
I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity?
A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics?
I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive?
I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all.
DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ?
So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins?
His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road?
Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question?
They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done.
lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online?
I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe?
It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru!
re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you.
I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back?
i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios?
Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits?
Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt.
Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there?
It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you."
No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"?
It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite?
After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him.
Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you
Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author?
I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it?
By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web?
There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76
1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
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Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop.
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit?
There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”- Nazi Propagandists, Joseph Goebbels.
Axioms are our base assumptions about the world. They act as filters for new information coming into our consciousness. In classic philosophy, an axiom is a statement that is so evident or well-established, that it is accepted without controversy or question. As used in modern logic, an axiom is a premise or starting point for reasoning. We use these axiomatic assumptions to build our internal models of the world around us. They allow us to compare new information we receive from the outside with our internal narratives, which helps us to decide whether to reject or accept that new information. They are, for want of a better world, your "common sense" beliefs. So how do you go about changing a relatively normal person's core beliefs and base assumptions to the point of rejecting their fellow citizens as traitors, committing acts of murderous terrorist or vigilante violence like Fascist white supremacists running down protesters in acts of terror, ISIS beheadings or mass genocide?
Shock Treatment and Slow Repetition
When I was a child I was subjected to regular mental and physical abuse from my dad. I would also see my mother repeatedly beaten up and then flee to a women's refuge where I would stay with her. Each time my mom left, whenever I visited my dad at weekends, he would constantly try to pressure and manipulate me into convincing my mom to get back together with him. This never worked of course. But what it did do, is make me highly sensitive to manipulation techniques. I was fascinated by people like the magician Derren Brown and the economist Naomi Klein - who both reveal the tricks of the trade used in the advertising and marketing industries to convince people. One way of changing people into killing machines or obedient sheep is through a big shock to the system, like how electroshock therapy allows for a clean slate to rebuild peoples intern mental models. Psychedelics are another way, having a similar effect in the brain. Encouraged by the alt right and alt-light influencers like Jordan Peterson and Rebel Wisdom as they try to “Red Pill” people (an expression taken from the film The Matrix as a metaphor for revealing revealing the truth about the world). They use this shock and disorientation as a way to prepare a “blank-slate” in order to rebuild peoples internal axiomatic models with different core beliefs. Remaking people by shocking them into obedience and gas-lighting them about their existing internal models, making them seem irrational, silly or outdated. Reducing them to a mental state of a child and then rebuilding them with a new ideology and worldview, known as “shock therapy”. As Naomi Klein explains in The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, these techniques work on larger scales with use of trauma and shock to influence political outcomes has been used since at least Milton Friedman coined the term “Economic Shock Treatment”. He advised that politicians push through painful and unpopular policies all at once during a time of crisis, before people could regain their footing. The technique is used in economic markets on the large scale, and also against individuals on a small scale with individuals too. Economics and politics is just human interaction on a larger scale, after all. Regular repetition and gentle suggestions of ideas can also instil new axiomatic models and core beliefs into people's minds. As Derren Brown demonstrates how powerful subtly suggestions can be alone, without the need for hypnosis, shocks or drugs. But used in combination, shock and repetition can shift people until they have moved their positions, perceptions and beliefs about the world, to a place they could never have imagined. But luckily once you deconstruct the deception and understand how the trick works, the illusion falls apart.
Defining and Deconstructing Modern Fascism
Firstly, we must define Modern Fascism. Modern Fascism ticks every box of the traditional definitions in Umberto Eco’s essay Ur-Fascism, and not only does it fulfil every criteria, it reveals other motivational forces and has evolved to include new aspects, and has changed into something worse, while it’s main weakness remain the same - the fact that it is primarily motivated by weakness. As General Franco said in a 1938 interview with Henri Massis: "Fascism presents, wherever it manifests itself, characteristics which are varied to the extent that countries and national temperaments vary. It is essentially a defensive reaction of the organism, a manifestation of the desire to live, of the desire not to die, which at certain times seizes a whole people. So each people reacts in its own way, according to its conception of life… What can it have in common with Hitlerism, which was, above all, a reaction against the state of things created by the defeat, and by the abdication and the despair that followed it?" This quote perfectly illustrates the transient nature of the ideology, but also the core motivations of Fascism. It is an ideology based on the assumption of weakness which yearns for restoration of a past greatness or to get revenge and recognition. But the way that it manifests itself is different in each place it takes hold. Therefore the aim of this isn’t to make the case that any particular party or country has embraced out-right fascism (plenty of other people have made that case already), the aim is to reveal the underlying motivations, highlight threats and weaknesses and analyse the less obvious negative effects of Modern Fascism.
History Doesn’t Repeat, But It Rhymes
A false equivalence that is often used is that Liberal Imperialism is just the same as Fascism. And while it is true that imperialists use fascist dictators to extract cheap labour and resources and also dominate smaller counties in a similar way to how fascist empires aspire to rule, the key difference is that the populations of those countries are not gripped by the same fear based delusions. And therefore more Liberal democracies are better equipped to hold their imperial position of power long term because they are better able to assess risks and react accordingly, rather than over-react based on paranoia and competing egos under excessive pressure. This false equivalence was also used in 1930’s Germany, because far-left Communists had been co opted and infiltrated by Fascists. They would repeat the mantra that “the Social Democrats were the real racists”. Contrary to the assumptions of most people, Fascism, as an ideology and political system of government is very distinct to white supremacy. It does of course include white supremecists, but In fact includes many other groups who have been co-opted by Fascist propaganda, or who implicitly support and enable their agenda. Examples of modern opposition which has been repeatedly infiltrated or just simply made up by Fascists include innumerable conspiracy theories, police groups like Blue Lives Matter, militant Black nationalists, the Boogaloo movement who call for a race war, the “Proud Boys” and even sometimes supposed Anarchists, far-left Communists and Left Accelerationists.
Motivations of Fascism
Fascism distilled down to its core reason for existing is the suppression of opposition who represent workers rights and economic justice. So they patently DON’T look after their own people. They con them into submission of the state by generating jingoistic fear of “the other” - whoever is convenient on that day to blame for their problems. Fascism is is an economic shock doctrine upon the inhabitants of the country. We don't spread fascist propaganda in tip-pot dictators because we care about the indiginous people there. We install Fascist dictators in order to remove workers rights and open up access to their natural resources. Artificial moral panics can be engineered and real disasters used to allow corrupt oligarchs and financial predators to consolidate power further by buying up small innovative businesses who don’t have the excess capital to survive the turmoil on their own without external support. Or as a way to eradicate public services by sabotaging them and building mistrust. They are used to erode faith in public services and institutions by rich people who simply want to pay less tax and don’t see why they should subsidise other human beings who haven’t had the same luck as them. So a major motivation of fascism is to suppress the opposition left-wing party who represent workers rights and egalitarian freedoms. Populists claim to be against free trade and to some extent they are, but whatever they do will fail because they are interfering with the markets, so they will retreat to the power of market domination. They use their threats of trade barriers as more just more shock treatment for markets, rather than protecting actual jobs or industries. This is a trick that has been played by Neoliberals too. But while Neoliberals use fascism as a tool for opening markets to Imperialism, they differ from Libertarians, not only because they embrace guns and weed, but they are starting from different positions to achieve the same goal; Neoliberals seek to remove already existing public services and workers rights that lift bargaining power. But Libertarians want to STOP the government from ever providing those services and investments into the poor or enshrining workers rights.
Modern Fascist Ideology has TWO Core Reasons to Exist; Fear and Freed.
I have been researching and analysing how economic systems differ, using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threads). For each economic system I tried to be as neutral, fair and balanced as possible - which included Fascism. I might seem strange that someone who is anti-Fascist would want to explore the strenghts and opportunities of Fascist ideologies, but in doing so it reveals the real weaknesses and threats which are too important for us to ignore. So what exactly IS Fascism? Is it just an economic doctrine or a personal philosophy about the world? The answer is both. The ideology has TWO core reasons to exist, and TWO distinct audiences types - with one based primarily on fear and the other greed, with each having a malignant and symbiotic relationship with each other. Fear - Authoritarian/Conservative Fascists Greed - Libertarian Fascists There are very few people who actually buy into full Fascist ideology, most believe a watered down version of which resembles Conservatism or right-wing populism or accelerationism, and most of them genuinely believe they aren’t fascist, even though they are being constantly fed subtle suggestions fascist ideology or that align with their plans. But the most ironic thing is that these groups are mostly being used by the second group of rich Libertarians globalist elites pulling a confidence trick on the host nation. Often posing “anti-establishment” conspiracists who actually uphold the establishment through misinformation. See: Russia Today and Youtube Bitcoin and Gold shills who subtly suggest fascist talking points. With those rich Libertarians at the top more than happy for those below them, who they deem less worthy, living in even more delusional ideologies with fake enemies to fear, often resembling traditional Christian but values wrapped in modern conspiracies with added elements of “satanic panic”. Modern Fascism has clearly inspired the modern day equivalents of Brownshirts and Blackshirts, self-styled vigilantes like QAnon, The Proud Boys and “The Boogaloo” - white nationalist violent extremists who want to accelerate towards a full-on race war. It has also infiltrated numerous alternative groups, such as hyper-evangelical “end times” cults, alternative health scenes, internet conspiracy scenes like flat earth and occult magic.
A commonly missing hallmark of fascism that is present in history during the rise of fascism is a controlled opposition and explicit suppression of opposition. This distorts a healthy society and has unforeseen consequences and blowback. Fantasies and political thought bubbles are self delusional custom realities resembling an episode of Black Mirror. They act as coping and escape mechanisms. Especially during the Covid 19 lock-down, these tendencies have gone into overdrive with massive events entering the real world featuring David Ike leading protesters alongside fascists as people ignore rising Fascism, climate change destruction and Covid deaths tolls. Using disasters like Covid or irrational scare tactics such as the "Satanic Panic" style Fascist propaganda from QAnon, can shock people using their fear and disgust response, while making them distrust the news - allowing the government to evade valid criticism from experts while suggesting to people that government public services are inherently evil or Communist. This type of propaganda is a Libertarians wet dream - making a population not only give up on tax funded public services, but actively fear them. An example is Trump trying to discredit and defund the US Postal Service and other public institutions and regulatory bodies. Anti Semitism has been used throughout history by those in power to provoke an “us vs. them” mentality, leading to today's establishment still sanctioning and allowing Qanon on major media platforms, provoking and agitating terrorist attackers from the far-left and the far-right. Those in power in fascist regimes allow and encourage mistrust in the mainstream media, while the long-tail niche political and interest groups keep people separated from each other, who each live in their own custom realities while the real elites continue to dominate and increase their power. With each bubble framing realities based of identity, race, class, nationality, or even subculture special interests like alternative medicine and “gamer bro” culture, so that when they interact in real life or online, they are speaking past each other because they don’t even agree on the basic principles of how they view society.
The Fatal Flaws of Living in a Fantasy
While the main flaws and weaknesses of Fascism remain the same, they are in-fact exacerbated by this new hybrid model. It’s main weakness is the very fact that it is motivated by weaknesses, fear and greed - rather than true strength, self-confidence or heroic benevolent power, as their adherents like to believe. A misconception of fascists themselves that it is based on strength, when it is actually based on weakness - even when the driving force is greed rather than fear. Libertarian fascists want to extract labour and materials at cheaper prices, while inflating their own asset values. In other words; international financiers with little allegiance to any country. Ironically the very type of people who Conservative fascists claim to be opposed to. Fascism claims to make society more successful, but it actually accelerates the destruction of the culture, country or people, rather than preserving and conserving it, because it betrays a fundamental weakness of insecurity. Competitors and rivals can easily see through the charade of and take advantage. If anything does the exact opposite. Russian and China are clearly goading Western nations into becoming more divided and totalitarian, as they themselves benefit from becoming more Liberal and open and reap the competitive advantages that brings. See Kraut’s excellent video about Trump on China as an example. Keynesian investment in the country and people, giving workers more rights, opportunities and a more bargaining power is what makes a country successful and innovative, rather than the faux Keynesian policy of giving kickbacks to corrupt officials for government contracts and widening inequality by supporting the already rich, rather than the ordinary people.
Who Benefits in This Memetic War?
Who is going to war with who? Who is winning? A modern adage is that tankies are just fascists because of their support of authoritarian proto-fascist leaders and regimes who often claim to be Communist. But from my experience talking to actual fascists, they crave a more multi-polar world where other strong leaders rise up as competition and form alliances with dictators. So to me, it looks like Fascists are the real Tankies; wishing our enemies be stronger and wanting to accelerate towards race war or civil war that weakens the society. Not only did Donald Trump have knowledge of Russia allowing ISIS bounties on US troops and withhold that from the public while courting Putin, I have personally heard white supremacists backing extremists Islamists in Discord servers. Trump jumped to the defense of the people who put a 17 year old with a gun against civil rights protesters and assumed the intent before saying that the outcome should be decided by the legal system. They share common values and beliefs like Anti Semitism, accelerationist end-times fantasies, patriarchal traditional values and a fear of outside progressive cultures. In fact modern extremists white supremecist groups share recruitment and terrorist strategies and tactics with militant islamists. You could argue that it was inflicted by Russian or Imperialist propagandists onto the German people in order to take control of larger areas of Europe after the destabilisation of war. Hitler and Stalin came to a non agression truce called The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which as was a secret non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that enabled those two powers to partition Poland between them. The pact, signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov was officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They divided Poland under the banner of fighting “Polish Fascism” nearly a century ago with both sides ultimately lying to their own people about spreading freedom while being authoritarian to their core and being able to blame “the other” as being the cause of all their problems. But these days fascism seems to be a rogue meme that no longer serves any particular group. It is pathologically damaging to any society that it happens to grip. Even the aforementioned Libertarians and accelerationists who think they are benefiting are only temporarily gaining by market price volatility. They ultimately lose through the blowback effect of the whirlpool they create.
Psychopathy, Alienation Nihilism and Insecurity
It is well established that Fascist dictators are driven by psychopathic characters and tendencies. They either don’t care about the truth, or disregard it if it’s not convenient to their narrative. In totalitarian despotic societies facts are reversed. As George Orwell proclaimed throughout his writings; “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”. Similar to how authoritarian Starlinist Communists harnessed people’s alienation and tricked them into thinking that it’s possible for the state to fully decommodify everything without having markets, money to account for things, domination or hierarchy or try to convince people that a revolution is just around the corner. But of course, a council representative is still the head of an organisation, for all intents and purposes, because they wield executive power over others, even if the name has changed. Markets are emergent properties when groups of humans want or need a certain commodity when it becomes available. But while both Communist and Fascist ideologies are based on lies that harness peoples alienation, fear and envy, Fascism is also especially to the weak. It is attractive to those who want to be strong again (or were never to begin with), or those who want to have a strong leader to help them. Fascism betrays to others the inherent weakness. Like the insecure kid in school who lashes out - others around can see that it is because of their own insecurity which makes them appear even weaker. Fascism is a psychopathy driven by insecurity. When people become so absorbed in an ideology there is a phenomena of people to self identify as an actual ideology? This produces a phenomena called Identity Protective Cognition, where people's self worth becomes attached to a belief system or ideology. So that when new information contradicts their worldview it is seen as an attack on the person themselves. Therefore irrational, emotional quick fix thinking is the default when there is too much pressure and they feel attacked. They no longer use their slow effortful reflective thinking. (See Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow) This approach has parallels in evolutionary biology, in which a central issue is the ability to adapt to changing environments. Competency - over-competitiveness in management causes chaos which STOPS hierarchies of competence. (Insert video clips of Sapolsky on Chaos vs Reductionism etc. timestamps linked). Fascists try to reduce variability in culture and outcomes - causes weakness of less adaptability - because as Sapolsky explains, the variability is not just noise in that type of system CAS (Complex Adaptive Systems) - the variability IS the system. It is fractal and scale free. The noise and variability is an intrinsic part of the system. But the system doesn’t function properly when the agreed-upon parameters that individuals believe to be true aren’t universal enough to have any form of group coherence. Birds and swarms of animals can produce amazing complex phenomena, which are greater than the sum of their individual parts. There is a “network effect” once a certain threshold and certain conditions and rules are met. These rules can be very simple, like repulsion or attraction, or staying a certain distance apart while traveling in a similar direction, but collectively they create patterns that emerge with complexity and I dear say, a certain amount of beauty. So what happens when millions of people are being brainwashed and misled by cults that are leaving them with a reduced ability to make decisions? Giving them shit-for-brains just so that some rich people at the top can pay a few percentage less tax? That is the sign of a deeply sick system that cannot continue to function effectively. It is sick on so many levels.
Emergence, Complexity and Human Evolution - A Social-Biological Analysis
The problem with viewing the world through only one lens of analysis (or bucket of knowledge) is that you can fall into unnecessarily reductive thinking. (Sapolsky clips) I describe myself as a philosophical anarchist. Which does NOT mean I want total chaos and disorder - it means I want the optimal solution to emerge - including the influences and experiences from the bottom-up. I also think that a bottom-up (or anarchist) lens of analysis is necessary for society to run cohesively in an optimal state. If it is repressed it distorts the overall picture of reality for everyone - similar to a CEO that doesn’t listen to employees and workers on the ground. I interpret as constantly holding authority to account - to justify its existence and reason for dominating others. I also believe it is every citizen's responsibility to hold authority to account. This would be necessary under ANY economic system or society. Anarchists also believe in stigmenric, rhizomatic action to make the world better, organically, not from a top-down authority, which fascism seeks to instill on society. Human beings are collectively parts of a bigger chaotic but stable system known as a CAS (Complex Adaptive System). CAS’s are chaotic systems that can reach periodic steady states of equilibrium. As Professor Sapolsky explains, humans uniquely exist with a mixture of both communal and individualistic tendencies; known in the scientific world as Tournament vs. pair bonding. All the evidence suggests that this tendency has greatly improved our success as a species. But those tendencies distorted too far one way or another lead to pathologies and the worst collective misdeeds and wars. Because as Professor Sapolsky also explains in his brilliant lecture series (which I have condensed the pertinent parts of into a 4 part YouTube video) about CAS; the signals coming from the randomness is being suppressed or repressed, it interferes with the functioning of the system. Pressure in the system makes the patterns more complex but at a certain point of increasing pressure in the complex system, it stops being linear and the doubling of patterns and periodicity totally stops. Order completely begins to break down because of the butterfly effect. Fascist regimes fettishise order and rigidity but in a complex adaptive system, the noise IS the phenomena, not a byproduct to be discarded, ignored or repressed. The majority of people on the right genuinely want to help society by bringing order, using top-down draconian measures if necessary. Whereas the left generally wants to help society by proactively building from the bottom up. I think both of these approaches are necessary to be balanced properly for a healthy functioning society to emerge. It seems our tendency to harness both traits and to focus intently on one or the other is our greatest collective strength, while also being our greatest weakness. And similarly, on an individual level I believe our greatest strengths and weakness are the fact that our brains work efficiently by categorising information to filter out the unimportant bits that slow us down. As the book by Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow, brilliantly explains, slow deliberate, consideration thinking takes energy and time, so our brains developed filters which come out as biases. This is an inherent weakness of the human brain. Now imagine the butterfly effect on the life of just one person who is influenced by the brainworms of QAnon cults or conspiracies which distorts their internal models of the world which they use to filter information about the world The sad and shocking stories on forums like QanonCasualties show the devastating effects on their close friends, family and work life - amplified by their ever increasingly disconnected lives. (insert Flat earther clip - zoom in on idiot rolling head) Now scale that up to the level of a whole of a society, a country, or the world? This is a collective madness to cope with and avoid the reality facing us as a species. Only collective action with agreed basic facts to work from will do to avoid the total descent into actual chaos and destruction.
TLDR; Conclusion and Final Thoughts
In this essay I will have put forward the case for the following four key arguments being true and I have present supporting evidence to explain the logical reasoning for why our current definitions need updating and the threat levels reassed, from a non-hysterical but critical perspective. The overall claims I made are:
Modern Fascism has taken over right-wing populism and bears all the hallmarks of early 20th Century Fascist ideologies.
The ideology has two main reasons to exist, and two distinct audiences which both have a symbiotic, pathological relationship with each other.
The main flaws and weaknesses of fascist ideology remain the same as ever - that fascism is motivated by irrational fears, greed and self deception.
Modern Fascism has major unforeseen damaging consequences for individuals, governments, organisational dynamics, and society at large.
This reality is something I think a lot of fascists, ultra-nationalists and people who have been influenced by the propaganda know deep down on some level already - that they are avoiding the realities of pandemics and ecological harms of ignoring science and reality as it is. They ignore it because fantasies are simpler to understand. And a narrative based on fear of the other is a simpler way to to process a complex world. It is also attractive to the part of us that is drawn to conflict and drama - that hunger for something genuinely interesting to happen. But I would argue from my experience that the beautiful complexity of life in all it’s shades of grey is much more interesting, fun and genuinely fulfilling to understand and engage in, even if it might be harder to deal with and even harder to explain. I believe doing so is also vital for the very survival of our species - we can no longer afford to live in a fantasy, we need to collectively take responsibility for the world as it exists in reality. Thank you to my two Patrons: Carmen Jongepier E.V. Roske Original Script on Patreon
The Mandela Effect (Part 4 – The Rationalist Cult Member)
This is a continuation of the Mandela Effect story.For the introduction, clickhere. How did you first become aware of the Incident? Do you believe in coincidences? Um, what? There’s a system called Bayesian statistics. It’s a mathematical procedure that applies probabilities to statistical problems. This allows people to update their beliefs in the evidence of new data. For example, if somebody beats the stock market once, we might say they got lucky or it was a fluke occurrence. If somebody beats the stock market five times in a row, we would say that they have got some advantage or technique that works better than everybody else, because the chance of beating the stock market five times in a row by pure chance is pretty slim. I’m not sure how this relates to the Incident. That’s because you’re not thinking in terms of Bayesian probabilities. The Incident plays havoc with probability. Things that we might consider the unlikeliest of scenarios – like Trump winning – suddenly start happening all the time. Suddenly the weirdest and most outlandishly random things become normal day-to-day occurrences. Like the number 21, or the colors. Wait, I sound crazy, don’t I? (Laughs) Sorry, I’ve been told that’s a by-product of spending too much time around the Incident. I’m not crazy, I assure you. It’s just that when you see this kind of… reality distortion, for lack of a better word, it’s a little unsettling. Let me start from the beginning. We found the subject online, as you undoubtedly heard from (the Silicon Valley Mogul). We listed his predictions out. Understand that at this point, we simply thought he was a newly discovered super forecaster. The purpose of listing his predictions was to quantify accuracy. One of these predictions involved Bitcoin. His prediction was that in approximately five years, Bitcoin would collapse. That sounded strange to me, so I crunched the numbers to see what might possibly happen in five years. It turns out that five years from his predicted date is when the last Bitcoin was expected to be mined. You see, Bitcoin was designed to have a finite limit, with each bitcoin being harder to mine than the Bitcoin before it. This limit was intended to artificially inflate the currency, giving a “first mover” advantage to the people who bought into Bitcoin first. In investment terms, the incentives of Bitcoin seem designed to trigger an early adopter gold rush. So apparently our anonymous super forecaster figures that once the last bitcoin is mined, nobody outside of the bitcoin owners will have any incentive to accept the currency, and the speculative bubble will pop, similar to the Dutch tulip mania of 1637. That didn’t strike me as particularly unusual, until we found out about the subject’s odd preference for the number 21 – their calling card, if you will. Do you know what the maximum number of bitcoins is? 21 million. It led me to wonder if perhaps the subject had some involvement in the creation of bitcoin, since he majored in computer science in college and had some background as a former programmer. Could he have indirectly influenced the creator of Bitcoin? It turns out that there’s no way to be sure, since the creator of Bitcoin is completely anonymous and untraceable. Once I noticed that, other coincidences started to pop up, all involving the number 21 in some way. For example, the subject had predicted early in the Democratic primaries - in his usual shifty unprovable way involving typing and deletion - that Biden would be President Trump’s most dangerous foe. Subsequent to this prediction, Trump made the historic phone call to the Ukraine that led to his impeachment. You know that the first day of Trump’s impeachment trial was January 21st – isn’t that an interesting coincidence? And wasn’t Trump’s first phone call to the Ukraine also on the 21st? These coincidences started to add up in eerily improbable ways, and I found myself a bit reminded of the story of Macbeth. There’s more. Supposedly, the subject spent a lot of time on a Reddit forum known as drama – which was also started on the 21st. I started to wonder if the subject had not just predicted these events, but was also somehow causing them. If so, it would have taken unparalleled planning ability to be able to coordinate these events so far ahead of time. Then the color thing happened, and my whole perspective changed. One singer seemed to be trying particularly hard to get the attention of the subject by creating music videos with the colors that he had specified. The subject said “Why try so hard to signal to me in the present? Just look into your past, and you’ll already see your own future staring right back out at you.” I looked at her music videos, and I realized that a lot of the previous music videos she had made already used the colors that the subject referenced, even though they were dated from before the subject had ever mentioned the colors. It was as if on some subconscious level, this singer had known about the colors retroactively. Once I realized this, I started to examine the subject’s behavior more closely, looking at past events as well as the future. He liked to visit a nearby cemetary a lot, and while there, our cameras caught him reciting a “spell” in front of a tombstone made of rose quartz. It turns out that there were a lot of those rose quartz tombstones in that cemetary – a suspiciously high amount. Upon further research, it turns out that the reason for these rose quartz graves was because of a hurricane that had ripped through New England in 1938 – on September 21st. That was when my worst suspicions were confirmed. Somehow, the incident was affecting time. Had the gravestones always been rose quartz? Or did the spell make the hurricane happen 80 years ago, and so our memories were changed to fit with the new timeline? Ask yourself this – if somebody sent a single photon back in time and created a butterfly effect that altered history, how would you know? But surely if time was being altered, somebody would have noticed it, right? Well, it turns out that there’s actually quite a lot of people who say that they’ve noticed alterations to the timeline – it’s just that the rest of us don’t believe them. We laugh at them and call them crazy. Hell, a few years I was one of the people laughing at people like that. Well, who’s laughing now? (Laughs hysterically) What is your interpretation of the Incident? At one point, the subject seemed frustrated by our attention. “This has all happened before, and you idiots react exactly the same way each time,” he said. What if that’s accurate? History contains countless stories of witches and wizards. Today we laugh at our ancestors for believing in silly stories about magic and faeries, but rationalists and Silicon Valley executives talk quite seriously about the possibility that we are living in a simulation, and that one might be able to partially hack the “user permissions” of reality itself. What if it’s the same thing? Imagine that you’re some sort of extradimensional being with the ability to hack this “reality matrix” in a few unique ways. According to the subtext of the Spellbook – which we have been studying very carefully - these things don’t have bodies: instead, they manifest their consciousness to a limited extent in gifted people’s psyches. That sounds a lot like reincarnation to me. How long could such a creature live? Maybe a short time. Maybe forever. We know these things like to keep a low profile, but they aren’t perfect at it. We discovered this one by accident, and in response, it rapidly created a religious cult to defend itself and started distorting reality to advance its goals. Surely this could have happened before. Why are we so certain that this is a new phenomenon? Maybe a lot of the other “secret societies” and “magical orders” that existed throughout history started in exactly the same way. Somebody noticed one of these creatures doing something inexplicable, they reacted to defend themselves, and next thing you know we have a secret cult of influential people all learning magic from their new extradimensional mentor. In other words, exactly like what is starting to happen now. It’s like this thing didn’t even bother to change its MO. (Laughs wildly.) And hey, why would it? Some things are so well optimized that they hardly ever need to change. They go through existence unchanged by evolution because they are already perfectly evolved. What part of the Incident would you categorize as paranormal or outside the bounds of understanding? Haven’t you been listening? Pretty much everything about the incident defies explanation. We have prophecies coming true, clairvoyance, strange psychic dreams, vast conspiracies, strange transhuman cults, and fringe science. I know what you’re thinking: I was in this from the start, so supposedly I was one of the people most heavily impacted by the mental effect of the Incident. But the truth is that the only thing I was impacted by is the understanding that our entire understanding of reality is a lie. Who wouldn’t be impacted by that?
What do the core dev Tezos really think of Avalanche? Especially now that Avalanche testnet has proven itself with 5K TPS w/1000 nodes and sub 1 second finality?
What about murbard? I know you stated there's lower hanging fruit, but I don't recall your comments on the Avalanche protocol before. Considering you follow core and consensus protocols pretty closely and know Emin personally, you must have an opinion. Care to comment? :-)
Why did Igloo/Ed Tate stop work on it 1 year ago?
Are there any plans to upgrade Tezos to an Avalanche scaling solution? If so, what's the progress/time-line on this?
Avalanche is a DAG w/UTXO structure. Tezos is dPoS with "Account Model" (a la ETH), so no UTXO. Even if Tezos wanted to upgrade its layer 1 to implement the Avalanche protocol, it sounds to me like this would be a massive software development under taking, right? I mean, we'd be stripping out core parts of Tezos, like switching a Diesel engine on a car for a lithium battery Tesla engine, while the car is being driven. On top of that it'd have to be done in OCaml, which is not at all trivial. Is this really feasable within a reasonable amount of time, like how long are we talking about if we really wanted to do this?
What are the latest thoughts on how to scale Tezos at Layer 1? I know Tezos is working on Plasma at Layer 2 and TenderBake, but as Emin puts it, that's an old classical consensus model and suffers from various trade offs, as does the Nakamoto (Bitcoin's) consensus algo. The Avalanche team published this simple consensus protocol comparison matrix. Emin claims Avalanche is the best of both worlds. Ethereum meanwhile is working in 6 different scaling directions at once, but NONE of them have all to the advantages of the Avalanche Protocol see: ETH scaling matrix comparison, but clearly scaling matters and it's arguably the most complex thing to implement on blockchains while retaining high decentralization. So what are the Tezos' scaling plans in the works or being seriously considered for implementation?
Thanks in advance! EDIT: Thanks for the gold, it's not necessary, but thank you.
[WRITEUP] Criticism of r/privacy and r/privacytoolsio moderation censorship and how Apple/Brave/Chrome/GrapheneOS cult armies are destroying privacy communities
Hello! I wanted to discuss this on the soon-to-come occasion of 400 subscribers (398 as I write this), but I guess I will do it now, since the time is just right. This is a long post, so embrace yourself. This is an untalked topic, and you will rarely, if ever, find a record or post about the same. Censorship in privacy communities is ironic, especially when the communities stand as the biggest ones on reddit. A lot of voices either go silent by account deletion and reappearing as new usernames, or they never speak up since they have been effectively "banned" so have no representation. A lot of this can be easily credited to folks breaking rules, which moderation would claim is certainly a need to manage large public forums. However, there is a section of people who criticise the Apple/Brave/Chrome/GrapheneOS cult armies, and this is where the problem starts to rise.
The moderator u trai_dep has taken his time to censor me off completely, so that none of my criticisms can be ever read about his dictatorial moderation and the GrapheneOS discussion I had with its lead developer, who at the end gave me plenty evidence about his rudeness, ironically which was against the rules of the subreddit. https://removeddit.com/privacytoolsIO/comments/gs4uv7/_/fs2ysdm/ Criticism of GrapheneOS lies on one of his comments about OnePlus and Xiaomi apparently not making good enough devices: https://np.reddit.com/privacytoolsIO/comments/gs4uv7/i_dont_fully_trust_grapheneos/fs82fdv/ There is also the issue that he always claims Google Pixel 3/3a is a must with Titan M chip running non verifiable code that one has to rely on for Google's claim of being same as open sourced code, and that it does not have spyware. And he maintains his stand about developing the ROM exclusively for the Pixel devices, which also house Pixel Visual Core, a proprietary Google-only CPU+GPU unit independent of the Snapdragon SoC and with negligible documentation claimed "only" to be used for HDR+ camera algorithm processing. Google has had a history of lying with things like the Location History toggle, or their known data collection business and known relationship with NSA.
I have managed to collect and create what is an evidence record establishing the fact that select moderators either have some kind of agenda or are destroying the privacy community as a whole on the internet itself. The below large part is a direct copy of the "Criticism of..." section in my Threat Model writeup in the sidebar.
OTHER ISSUES, CRITICISM OF MODERATION OF R_PRIVACY
Telling me that I am a burden to the subreddit is outright super offensive, in my most humble opinion. Moreover, they have a strong opinionated bias towards Apple (here too), however no reason to complain for their opinions if they talk outside /privacy and /privacytoolsIO where they moderate. Take the mod hat off if you want. To their credit, one of them did confirm they have a light threat model and primary goal is to thwart mass surveillance, around Level 3 in my book. You will always be criticised for complaining about US and rationally judging Chinese technology, and effectively repeatedly banned by American moderators and muted from modmail everytime you complain about people personally name calling you "Chinese intelligence proponent" or "Chinese/Huawei plant" or "idiot". I cannot make text posts anymore in that subreddit as of 11/02/2020. Lots of evidence events happened followed after my smartphone guide linked above: https://imgur.com/a/TqOkQk6 In atomicratsen image, you can see proof of them allowing Sinophobic propaganda in the name of arguments, followed by the last image. So that is another thing allowed here. Below comment is the admission of being lazy, incompetent and calling actual gilded contributor users "burden": https://np.reddit.com/privacy/comments/enoui9/5_reasons_not_to_use_whatsapp/fe6qgd7/Just in case comment goes poof, screenshot. Moreover, one of them made it clear in modmail that Sinophobic propaganda are "arguments" and will go uncriticised, likely patriotism owing to a global subreddit's moderation which seems unfair and caters not to all but to favouritism to a larger US/West EU audience on reddit, as said earlier:
The thing is, making an argument that China is shady is that: an argument. I mean, geez: Hong Kong. Enough said. So long as they're being civil about it, it's actually what this Sub is for. Do you mention anything related to China or their products in your post? If so, it's fair game, and we expect everyone to conduct themselves like rational adults. I'll check out the reports, but if they're conducting themselves along the lines of our sidebar rules, I (obviously) won't be taking any action. But I also hope that you don't get drawn into arguments that might end up earning yourself a time-out. We're somewhat patient, but at the same time, we can't spend too many man-hours tending a particular subscriber too much. Our time is volunteered and there are 600K+ subscribers. It's not fair to them.
Is this all fair to me, a cooperating member? If moderation and volunteering time is such a great issue, it would be a good step to take a backseat and discuss this in a rational non-prejudiced and less authoritarian manner. Why not allow others to take part and aid in moderating that subreddit? They have repeatedly banned me for nonsensical reasons, standing on last warning, and will likely do so after this post (once for claiming this comment means I called the user asshat instead of their comment, when it never violated /privacy 's rule 5, and another comment where I said to use Win 7/8.1 instead of Win 10, mods claimed it as gatekeeping and banned me for 14 days because I am criticising some things they truly love). New evidence as of few days ago (Feb 11, 2020): https://i.imgur.com/vOyaidS.png
The moderator trai_dep now wants a sitewide ban on me for what is informing a reddit user of legitimate logical criticism of GrapheneOS. He calls this harassment, as he has done this multiple times with me in the past (unfortunately for which comments are deleted and evidence not being able to be recorded). However, this is taking it too far. https://i.imgur.com/dX73ZNX.png
This happened with me on privacy, which is a major why I started this community. There must exist a place free of prejudiced bias and free of any forms of bigotry for privacy, truth and freedom loving folks. The fact that the moderators can get away with it by saying nice words after the ban reeks of a dictator that loves to give speech about care of its citizens, yet will slice anyone up. trai_dep and his friends continue to support the bigotry and these cult armies, which is likely because they do not understand nearly any higher order of technical aspect of privacy threat modelling, and have got no education on the same.
Privacy communities on reddit are a huge problem when it comes to dealing with the cult brigading, and instead critics are targeted by the cult armies which are let loose in these very communities. privacy and /privacytoolsIO are not true representatives of communities giving good advice for higher privacy and security, unfortunately ruined both by the moderators (many of whom are iPhone users themselves just like trai_dep) and the cult brigade armies.
Morning everyone So I was surfing GLP and I came across this thread from back in April 2020 so it's recent. Guy claimed to be an "insider" of sorts left some potentially valuable information before the trolls and low iqs with attention span of a fly flooded his thread with bs flags and name calling. He was addressing the purpose behind bullshit19 and said there are 3 outcomes for it I quote: "OUTCOME 1: The first is most likely, as most of the council seems to agree to it, and that is a phase-out of the pandemic by Summer. The stock market will reach 35,000 by election day in the U.S. and Bitcoin will reach $50,000. No new currency is introduced and the US Dollar retains supremacy. It will be an economic restoration unlike any seen in human history. New vaccines are introduced, which will be yearly and target COVID-19 (which is fictional, of course). They will be mandatory. We have been working on this particular vaccine, to be used for Outcome 1, for a very long time. Outcome 1's primary purpose is to introduce the vaccine in a way that it is accepted and welcomed by the world, and to allow us to grow richer. I will not disclose the long-term purpose of the vaccine, at this time, or its effects. OUTCOME 2: We allow the pandemic to persist into late 2020, and a monetary reset occurs. We have not decided if Trump will be reelected or not, in this scenario. Hillary Clinton may be placed in power, one of our most dedicated servants, who is due a great reward. (She is greatly in favor of this outcome, but has no voting power on our council.) We will redistribute 22.7% of our wealth to 4.6 Billion people, through the issuance of a new worldwide currency. Each name and individual has already been chosen, though children under 18 will not receive these accounts. We will also cancel all consumer debt worldwide, ban cryptocurrencies, and the ownership of gold, silver and other materials of value. Not only will living standards rise, Americans in particular will enjoy new-found wealth. As we control all market mechanisms, inflation and other issues will not be a concern. "A rising tide lifts all boats." But there will be a cost to personal freedom and liberty, and that is an implantable microchip that must be accepted, if one is to receive the benefits of the new currency. Those who do not consent to the microchip, will have to operate in a black market, in which we will employ authorities to aggressively monitor, target and imprison many who do not consent. This will lead to a divided world, of haves and have-nots. Poverty and the 3rd world is eliminated, but the black market grows. Those who accept the chip will have no favor of those who do not, and we will see programs which encourage reporting, "snitching" and so on. You are already seeing this tested right now. This outcome is favored by a few individuals on our council who have extra voting power. These individuals outrank me. OUTCOME 3: The pandemic ceases in late Summer, but at great economic cost. There is no recovery, and the world lurches through a severe depression. The Dow drops to 5,000, and Bitcoin reaches $180 USD and is rendered a "dead" technology. Normality returns, to a degree, but there are shortages, by design, new restrictions, and severe economic struggles for the middle class. During this time, a number of new laws are passed, designed to limit freedom. This occurs in governments around the world. The excuse for these laws is to stop any pandemic from happening again, new campaigns are released using slogans like, "Never Again" and "We Must Unite" and so on. Through these campaigns, we gain consent to remove virtually all freedoms. By late Winter, into 2021, a new pandemic is released, it is more severe than the last. It is a real bioweapon we have prepared, and leads to a substantial loss of life. It reduces the world's population by 1.9 Billion people in less than six months. The future is grim, and somewhat chaotic, and during this time, we use the pandemic to further tighten controls. Power outages, brownouts and Internet shortages become the "norm" (as you can see, we are already testing part of this scenario right now). Food is rationed. Outcome 3, in particular, is favored by those on our council frustrated by the Internet and free speech. (… if you were wondering, I favor Outcome 1 and I will vote for it and advocate for it.)" So as of today if this info is correct it seems they're still testing the scenarios and didn't decide on one yet. Personally I think OUTCOME 1 will fail miserably as there's no way they're gonna convince the whole world to get vaccinated. Bill gates' sinister intentions that he can't hide on camera have become almost mainstream. Even people who aren't into conspiracies will not take a vax from a tech guy. Though with the late talks of vaccines through Trump, Gates and the media, it may be possible that they may go for it or at least test the grounds to see what sort of reaction people will generate. If they do though I expect the sheep will be our true obstacle. People will enforce it on people to ride the wave. Just like with masks. I hope I'm wrong. Outcome 2 I think will probably have a higher chance to succeed but there are many religious people who consider the microchip to be "the mark of the beast" and spread that info to each other to resist it. BUT take a look at this. "The Great Reset" posted by the World Economic Forum to evolve our economic model by early 2021." Either mass resistance or mass consideration between religious beliefs and dying from hunger. Looking at Outcome 3 I say is the most likely to occur because the amount of censorship on the internet and the media is unprecedented. He did say one thing that I agree with which was this whole shitshow is a simulation. Most of us found this info back in March and maybe even February. Event 201. Also an overwhelming body of evidence emerged over time that the official narrative of bs19 was total well bs. You can find most of it here. So there's simply no way in hell that it was accidental or done with no discernible purpose. It's a game. Dude could be a larp but we shouldn't dismiss anything. Our consent is one of the things they strive for even subconsciously. That's the purpose behind predictive programming and "communications with the peasants through conspiracy theory forums". Let's be real he got called out from like 80% of people who engaged on his thread on fucking glp which is the natural habitat for loonies. What would you think would happen if he said that shit on facebook groups or bodybuilding forums. We'll verify this info with time.
The term Bitcoin was just a joke when I came up with it in 2009...It stands for "Bit by a Vampire."
Bitcoin did not exist in 2008 as is commonly believed. That was a lie Satoshi and his friends told everyone after they got the idea for Bitcoin from me in June of 2009 on Godlike Productions. Most of the information you read about regarding the origin of Bitcoin is completely fraudulent. Godlike Productions is a Conspiracy Forum. I was discussing "Blood Drinking Reptilian" Conspiracy Theories when I first shared the idea for Bitcoin/Crypto. I came up with the name Bitcoin on the spot as a joke to rub it in the faces of the "Vampires." It was a very serious idea and the name Bitcoin was just a joke off the top of my head. I'm surprised these guys used that name, but I also suspect they may have been forced to since my posts were in fact the origin for Bitcoin and they didn't have a choice from a Legal standpoint... These people saw my idea and just lied to everyone about Bitcoin.Org existing in 2008. The Mining Records dating back to January of 2009 were simply falsified by switching the date settings in the Bitcoin Software before Mining the Coins and sending them to other people (Hal Finney.) That's why Hal Finney faked his death. Dave Kleiman too. They were involved in a SCAM with the origin of Bitcoin and felt it was best to just fake their deaths. Not as if they need to stick around in the public eye to cash in their Bitcoins someday. The first documented date in history that Bitcoin existed is November 22nd, 2009 when BitcoinTalk.org was founded and the Bitcoin Core Wallet Software was first shared with the public. This is the first time people outside of Satoshi and his friends ever came into contact with Bitcoin. By that time, they had falsified Mining Records and Twitter posts and had Bitcoin.org set up with a fake date of 2008 before anyone could catch them in their lie. I first heard of Bitcoin at the end of 2011 and just decided to keep my mouth SHUT due to all the "illegal Dark Net activity" involving Bitcoin...I didn't even tell my friends and family it was all my idea... As you can see, that's MY face on the cover of Time Magazine in 2016 as Satoshi. People KNOW I'm the primary inventor of Bitcoin. They have the entire time. Sincerely, David Steven Leakey https://preview.redd.it/q8t2x5e0vie51.png?width=1905&format=png&auto=webp&s=6c9475a026c797207d99a0778ec642bb0ced8366
Part 1/4 - NSA Connection: First off, the SHA-256 algorithm, which stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 256, is a member of the SHA-2 cryptographic hash functions designed by the NSA and first published in 2001. SHA-256, like other hash functions, takes any input and produces an output (often called a hash) of fixed length. The output of a hashing algorithm such as SHA-256 will always be the same length - regardless of the input size. Specifically, the output is, as the name suggests, 256 bits. Moreover, all outputs appear completely random and offer no information about the input that created it. The Bitcoin Network utilises the SHA-256 algorithm for mining and the creation of new addresses. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? What does Satoshi Nakamoto mean? Out of respect for their anonymity, it would be rude to speculate in a video about who Satoshi Nakamoto is likely to be. The reality is, it's not important. Let me explain: Any human being can be attacked. Jesus could come back from the dead, and there would be haters. Therefore, the Satoshi Nakamoto approach neutralises the natural human herd behaviour, exacerbated by the media, to attack and discredit. This is a very important part of Bitcoin's success thus far. Also, from a security perspective, those who wish to dox Satoshi Nakamoto in a video are essentially putting his, or her, or their, life at risk...for the sake of views. As a genius who has produced an innovation not just from a technical perspective but also a monetary perspective, they should be treated with more respect than that. As for the name Satoshi Nakamoto, I would speculate that it is a homage to Tatsuaki Okamoto and Satoshi Obana - two cryptographers from Japan. There is another reason for the name, but that...is confidential. In 1996, the NSA's Cryptology Division of their Office of Information Security Research and Technology published a paper titled: "How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash", first publishing it in an MIT mailing list and later, in 1997, in the American University Law Review. One of the researchers they referenced was Tatsuaki Okamoto. Part 2/4 - 'Crypto Market': Most of the crypto market is a scam. By the way, this was predicted very early on in the Bitcoin Talk forums - check out this interaction from November 8th, 2010: "if bitcoin really takes off I can see lots of get-rich-quick imitators coming on the scene: gitcoin, nitcoin, witcoin, titcoin, shitcoin... Of course the cheap imitators will disappear as quickly as those 1990s "internet currencies", but lots of people will get burned along the way." To which Bitcoin OG Gavin Andresen replies: "I agree - we're in the Wild West days of open-source currency. I expect people will get burned by scams, imitators, ponzi schemes and price bubbles." "I don't think there's a whole lot that can be done about scammers, imitators and ponzi schemes besides warning people to be careful with their money (whether dollars, euros or bitcoins)." Now, on the one hand, lack of regulation is more meritocratic (as you don't have to be an accredited investor just to get access). On the other hand, it means that crypto is, as Gavin said, a Wild West environment, with many cowboys in the Desert. Be careful. This is the same with most online courses - particularly 'How to get rich quick' courses - however with crypto you have an exponential increase in the supply of victims during the bull cycles so it is particularly prevalent during those times. In addition to this, leverage trading exchanges, which are no different to casinos, prey on naive retail traders who: A) Think they can outsmart professional traders with actual risk management skills; and B) Think they can outsmart the exchanges themselves who have an informational advantage as well as an incentive to chase stop losses and liquidate positions. Part 3/4 - CBDCs: The Fed and Central Banks around the world have printed themselves into a corner. Quantitative easing was the band-aid for the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, and more recent events have propelled the rate of money printing to absurd levels. This means that all currencies are in a race to zero - and it becomes a game of who can print more fiat faster. The powers that be know that this fiat frenzy is unsustainable, and that more and more people are becoming aware that it is a debt based system, based on nothing. The monetary system devised by bankers, for bankers, in 1913 on Jekyll Island and supercharged in 1971 is fairly archaic and also does not allow for meritocratic value transfer - fiat printing itself increases inequality. They, obviously, know this (as it is by design). The issue (for them) is that more and more people are starting to become aware of this. Moving to a modernised monetary system will allow those who have rigged the rules of the game for the last Century to get away scot-free. It will also pave the way for a new wealthy, and more tech literate, elite to emerge - again predicted in the Bitcoin Talk forums. Now...back to the powers that be. Bitcoin provides a natural transition to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and what I would describe as Finance 2.0, but what are the benefits of CBDCs for the state? More control, easier tax collection, more flexibility in monetary policy (i.e. negative interest rates) and generally a more efficient monetary system. This leads us to the kicker: which is the war on cash. The cashless society was a fantasy just a few years ago, however now it doesn't seem so far fetched. No comment. Part 4/4 - Bitcoin: What about Bitcoin? Well, Bitcoin has incredibly strong network effects; it is the most powerful computer network in the World. But what about Bitcoin's reputation? Bankers hate it. Warren Buffett hates it. Precisely, and the public hates bankers. Sure, the investing public respects Buffett, but the general public perception of anyone worth $73 billion is not exactly at all time highs right now amid record wealth inequality. In the grand scheme of things, the market cap of Bitcoin is currently around $179 billion. For example, the market cap of Gold is around $9 trillion, which is 50x the Market Cap of Bitcoin. Money has certain characteristics. In my opinion, what makes Bitcoin unique is the fact that it has a finite total supply (21 million) and a predictable supply schedule via the halving events every 4 years, which cut in half the rate at which new Bitcoin is released into circulation. Clearly, with these properties, it seems likely that Bitcoin could act as a meaningful hedge against inflation. One of the key strengths of Bitcoin is the fact that the Network is decentralised... Many people don't know that PayPal originally wanted to create a global currency similar to crypto. Overall, a speculative thesis would be the following: Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the most important entities of the 21st Century, and will accelerate the next transition of the human race. Trusted third parties are security holes. Bitcoin is the catalyst for Finance 2.0, whereby value transfer is conducted in a more meritocratic and decentralised fashion. In 1964, Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev designed the Kardashev Scale. At the time, he was looking for signs of extraterrestrial life within cosmic signals. The Scale has three categories, which are based on the amount of usable energy a civilisation has at its disposal, and the degree of space colonisation. Generally, a Type 1 Civilisation has achieved mastery of its home planet (10^16W); A Type 2 Civilisation has mastery over its solar system (10^26W); and a Type 3 Civilisation has mastery over its Galaxy (10^36W). We humans are a Type 0 Civilisation on this Scale. Nonetheless, our exponential technological growth in the few decades indicates that we are somewhere between Type 0 and Type 1. In fact, according to Carl Sagan's interpolated Kardashev Scale and recent global energy consumption, we are about 0.73. Physicist Freeman Dyson estimated that within 200 years or so, we should attain Type 1 status. As a technology that, through its decentralisation, links entities globally and makes value transfer between humans more efficient, Bitcoin could prove a key piece of our progression as a civilisation. What are your thoughts? Is it true...or false? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oQLOqpP1ZM
Discussion about the Bitcoin Forum. 335272 Posts 18210 Topics Last post by beardedqueen in Re: Question about being... on October 25, 2020, 11:56:44 PM Child Boards: New forum software, Bitcoin Wiki: Politics & Society. Moderator: Flying Hellfish. 479287 Posts 14934 Topics Last post by BADecker in Re: Petition to have Fau... on Today at 12:23:38 AM Beginners & Help. Moderator: MiningBuddy ... Who is online. In total there are 14 users online :: 1 registered, 0 hidden and 13 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes) Most users ever online was 851 on Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:01 am Legend: Administrators, Global moderators None of these alternative forums have yet reached the size of Bitcoin Talk. Later, the "forum" link was simply removed, further distancing Bitcoin Talk from the official bitcoin.org. As of April 21, 2012, Bitcoin Talk remains the first search result on Google thanks to its high page rank. On July 22, 2012, Bitcoin Talk reached its one millionth ... Bitcoin Forum. Click for fresh comments and more information. Bitcoin Forum. October 23, 2020, 10:34:28 PM Welcome, Guest News: Latest Bitcoin Core release: 0.20.0 Search. Home. Bitcoin Forum. Bitcoin. Bitcoin Discussion. General discussion about the Bitcoin ecosystem that doesn't fit better elsewhere. News, the Bitcoin community, innovations, the general environment, etc. Discussion of ... English (Bitcoin Forum) Bitcoin Forum for English-speaking users: mining, development, altcoins, trading, marketplace. Темы: 172 Сообщения: 747. Последнее: [ANN][IEO]MoonRock - Start Your Own Licensed Blockchain Gambling Business pedrillo0, 23 окт 2020 в 22:17. RSS. Всего тем: 14.739 Число пользователей: 16.365 Новенький: GRIZZLY. В
Thanks for watching! For donations: Bitcoin - 1CpGMM8Ag8gNYL3FffusVqEBUvHyYenTP8 Exploring the revolutionary Bitcoin digital currency. It doesn't need banks or to be printed. It can be transferred in a second to anywhere in the world. Wit... On July 2, 2018, Reason and The Soho Forum hosted a debate between Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, and Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of... Bitcoin Magazine is the oldest and most established source of news, information and expert commentary on Bitcoin, its underlying blockchain technology and th... Since we released the first season of Hidden Secrets of Money, one of the most common questions we receive is 'What can we do?'. The problems that we face ar...