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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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I found a tape I wasn’t supposed to listen to.

I plan on destroying this laptop after posting this and will soon be untraceable. I am reaching out because something is not right. I feel as if something just is not lining up right in the universe. I feel like I am out of place. I come to post because I am not sure how much longer I have. I was taking the trash out last week and I think I saw something I should not have. It was a full moon that night and I was doing my regular chores. Feed the dogs, clean the dishes, take the trash out. Easy stuff like any other night. When I got to the dumpster I saw a cassette player on the ground looking like it was to be thrown out. I thought to myself it was just trash but something caught my eye. There was a piece of tape on it with a sharpie written across it. It stated "LISTEN URGENT" so I put it in my pocket and took it home.
If I knew what was on that tape I would have not brought it home that night. I didn't have a pair of headphones to listen to it with or at least didn't care to look for one at the time. I had put the tape down on my desk and went to play some video games without thinking much of it at the time. You see I didn't have much going for me. My mother was a single mom and I was the man of the house. I liked to play video games because that is what made me happy. It was getting late so I turned off my monitor and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning thinking about the tape because I had a dream about it the night before. The dream consists of me going to the trash and finding the cassette tape then someone getting out of their car when I was walking home pushing me down and taking the tape from me. It was a man with a black overcoat but couldn't see much of his face since it was dark out. And as soon as he took it I woke up. I thought to myself that having a dream of it already had to mean something so I found some headphones and plugged them into the aux input and pressed play.
"What did you see that night" A man asked
"I was super drunk and all I remember was seeing some guy beat the shit out of some other guy outside the bar." A women said
"Where did this take place? The man asked
"In the alley besides the bar.... Can I please go now?" The women proclaimed.
"No, not yet we have some more questions for you..." The man said
"What was that?" The man asked
You could hear a crash or something and the tape cut out. What the fuck was I listening to? An interrogation with the police? All I know is there is more on the tape and I definitely shouldn't be listening to this. I clicked skip and play again and it started back up.
"Where were we... Sorry about the inconvenience miss." The man smirked
"Who are you guys anyways? The cops?" The women asked.
"Ahaha very funny... she thinks were the feds..." The man talking to his partner.
"You guys aren't the police???" "Then who are you guys?" The women starting to panic
"We are the guys they call when shit gets bad." The man said
"I think we are finished here... just state your name and age and your good to go."
"OK... Carly Johnson, 23"
Tape Ends
Who the fuck were they? Who is this girl Carly... I thought to myself what this tape was doing with me. I looked up this girl's name and I didn't believe my eyes. Here I am looking at her obituary. She died weeks ago. Cause of death: Suicide.
Where do I begin. I just heard a tape of seems to be the police interrogating Carly and she all of sudden kills herself what the actual fuck. I guess these are the guys they call when shit gets bad. It says she jumped over a bridge in the town over from me at midnight. Why would a girl just do this out of nowhere and sounded decently happy on the tape. But then I saw one last thing on her obituary... it said "There was no body found. She had left a note." So she went missing huh and they ruled it off as a suicide. I went back to the tape and to my surprise it had corrupted and I couldn't play anything back. Just great. I wanted to know who these guys were? Why did they want to talk to Carly? Why did Carly all of sudden disappear?
This was all so hard to wrap my head around. None of this should be my business but somehow I feel like it is. I never even knew Carly but some way I feel like I did. Weird right. Maybe you can tell me if I'm nuts or if it's humane to feel this way. I had another dream last night and to my surprise it had to do with the tape again. But this time it was very strange. I was on the bridge where Carly apparently did what she did and there was something on the ground in the middle of the bridge and I couldn't really make out what it was so I walked over and it was the same tape except the writing on it this time was "They did this." I then rubbed my eyes and woke up in a ton of sweat. So is this supposed to be a sign or something? Like what are these nightmares supposed to mean? I still am wondering who the men were that were talking with Carly. I started looking up cases of bar fights or anything to do with fights relevant to a bar. To my surprise I found the case. Case # 06-123 Bar stabbing leaving man dead. Looks like it was big in the local news. I do not watch the news much but now I know what they were talking to Carly about. This was much bigger than I thought. This is still an open investigation. I was skimming over the reports and one of the officers said that a private sector of the FBI would be taking over the case and no more was to be discussed publicly until the case is closed.
A private sector of the FBI is now involved what the fuck. In this tiny ass town the FBI is getting involved. This is all so much to take in. Seems like there is more to it though. The FBI got involved with some little stabbing at a bar. The news article said if there is any information to help the case to contact the link that was shared underneath the article. I clicked the link and it brought me to some government website to report tips or some bullshit. I started to read and it said "If there is any information on this case please contact this phone number [DISCLOSED INFORMATION]. I then read it said if anyone knew of a missing cassette tape that it is crucial to the investigation and no more information was shared after that. So wonderful, I now know that I am holding a crucial part of evidence of a case for the FBI and the contents were corrupted. I don't know what to do at this point... I still am going to be doing my research and I plan on getting rid of this cassette tape. I will be updating this post as soon as more information is shared or I find something. In the meanwhile I need to stay on the low because there could be and will be people looking for me and what I have acquired.
Ill post an update in 24 hours. Until then, Goodbye.
Update 2
I only got a few hours of sleep last night... thoughts running through my head constantly. I promised an update and here it is. I have been thinking of what to do with this tape. I think the best option would be to get rid of it but I think that would be a felony or something so that options off the list. The second option I have is to give it to them. Yes, I know it sounds crazy absolute delusional you might say. OK let me stop you right there. The plan is to drop it off at a discrete location and call in an anonymous tip. Seems easy right. I hope. I have wiped off all my prints on it and ripped off the tape on the front of it. I am going to go to a gas station about 45 minutes away from here. There should be a payphone and the angle the cameras are at should not see me if I pull my car up to the left of the building. I will wear gloves for prints and wear a hoodie. I should be fine, no evidence that I was there with the tape. I will get back to you after the job is done. Wish me luck.
Update 3
So it went exactly like planned. I parked my car where there was no surveillance and got out with my black hoodie and called the number that I saw online. I said "The cassette tape is in the bathroom of the gas station for case # 06-123 and hung up. I got out of there as fast as possible. I am now home and well. I am still curious and looking into Carly. I think I came upon something. It is very unusual. Her mother wrote a Facebook post saying "I know those cops are fucking corrupt... they never even looked into her case!" I thought to myself how weird this is. Her own mother must have known something was up too. No body found, A bridge that no one was on that night. I know no one was on it because there was a detour for maintenance on the bridge that afternoon. The last thing that doesn't add up is someone had to write on that tape stating LISTEN URGENT. If they were police wouldn't that tape be in evidence or something. Correct me if I'm wrong but this shit doesn't just go missing and wind up at my dumpster. I have a feeling that the bridge is one of the places that I will find something leading me to what happened to Carly and why the FBI are involved. I am going to take a drive to that bridge and see if I can find anything. I'll update you when I get back.
Update 4
I think I came upon something I wasn't supposed to once again... I found a necklace underneath the bridge. Here is a picture of what I found. necklace You see I don't think the police actually investigated or they would have already found this. Still we aren't even dealing with the local police anymore we are dealing with some special sector of the FBI. I also found one other thing and I feel as if posting a picture would compromise this second tape I found. I have not brought my headphones with me but have a feeling whatever is on this second tape that it will be great. I am very concerned about Carly and what happened to her. Maybe she is on this tape again, maybe it will lead me somewhere. If I post this on reddit I have a feeling the FBI will be notified or something like that. So for precautionary reasons I will not give the name of the bridge or any locations further that could potentially fuck this up. I plan on digging deep and will share it all with you. Why does the FBI want something to do with some girls suicide?? Who were those men on the tape???? Moments ago I just got a call from a blocked caller... I declined the call because I never normally accept blocked caller ids. They left a message. He said
"Turn your eyes away from this or else... You have been warned." ENDS CALL
I am very frustrated right now because they somehow found my phone number. I thought I took all the precautionary measures. I guess the government is always watching though. My feeling is that I will have to get rid of everything that ties me to this case. I have looked up how to destroy a hard drive and it is as easy as swiping a strong magnet over it.
I want to mention to whoever is reading this that if you know who Carly Johnson is and or have any clues on what happened to her please indulge me. Do not share anything with anyone else except my account. You see you may not realize the full extent of this situation but, no need to worry. I will encrypt everything that is sent and no information will get out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Should I be scared? Because I am terrified. I need to know these answers because I am so devoted already. I was just warned to stop looking into this. I have no idea how they got my phone number. I believe we are dealing with not just a suicide but, possibly a government cover up or something worse. If anyone has any tips on what I could possibly do that would help please comment, I can take all the help I can get. They will probably see this post and what I have discussed with you all. I am going to upload all my research onto a USB and slide a magnet over my computer's hard drive now. I will reach back with more news after I have found a secure location to proceed with my updates. Until then....
-Colin.
Update 5
So I am currently posting this on a burner phone that I recently bought. I have booked a motel room with cash and I will use their wifi with a VPN. I would like to first express that whoever called me yesterday that I will not stop until I get the answers I need. I am sure with whoever has been reading my recent posts that they wouldn’t like me to stop looking either. I will bring justice for Carly and her grieving mother. I know that the government has something to do with this. I have got some feedback saying that the bridge might have another tape possibly. To my surprise there was and I just listened to it. I’ll replay it for you.
[Play]
“Hello… I don’t have much time to say what I need to say. I recently found something and it needs to be shared with the world. My name is Carly Johnson…”
“They are really close right now… I can see their flashlights through the trees. I am under some type of bridge.”
“I have recently come upon a file that was on a USB which was sent to my house…. Its title is Project Sight and the public needs to be aware of what I found.”
“It has many many documents containing all sorts of stuff including Area 51, The Roswell Incident, and various pictures of these very tall what seems to be creatures. So many classified documents on this file.
“I have made a backup of the file and it is located in my g---
[Cuts out]
Well shit, we finally know what we are dealing with. They brought out the FBI because it is a national threat which is out there on that USB. What was she about to say… she cut out saying something that started with a g but I have no clue. I am going to need help with this one. Please give me your thoughts on where she may have hid the backup. I have a feeling that they will find it before I do. I need to find that USB before it gets destroyed. I am not staying another night at this motel. I am going to switch it up so it is hard to track my footprints. I will be ok with my funds for now because I transferred what I had left in my savings and converted it into bitcoin. Hopefully I don’t have to explain why I did that. Once I am done packing up here and on the road I will proceed with another update.
Update 6
I stopped at a local convenience store near me and got myself some snacks and water for the road. This blue raspberry Slurpee is pretty good right now. I wanted to go to a local library to proceed with my updates but none of them are open because of this whole quarantine thing. I am probably better off in the motels though. I backed up the tape to my USB and set a password on it so no one can access it. I most likely am a current threat to the FBI so I don’t know how long I will have to stay moving. My plan is eventually to bunker down somewhere but until then I need to keep moving. I also have this cheap laptop I brought to access files that I cant on my phone. I was looking more into Carly's assets through some public info websites and such, you can use Whitepages plus to get a lot on someone. You can access background checks and look into someone's past, It is pretty crazy what you can get on someone. I also was looking through her Facebook and found an older post with her dad working on a project car. Looks like one of those storage garages that you can rent. She doesn’t post much. All family related stuff and a couple friends. Guess she kept more to herself. I am curious about when she said it was called Project Sight. Why would they call this file that in specific? Who knows. Do you think it would be a good idea to talk to her mom? Probably not, now that I am thinking of it. The FBI is probably all over her house. Hmm wait a minute, I remember that her mother had a Facebook page. Maybe I’ll send her a message where we could maybe meet up or something in private. She probably would give insight on what Carly said on the tape. I pulled into a parking lot that seems to be pretty empty. I want to try and take a nap and maybe wake up with a new idea or something.
Update 7
Fuck me. A cop just woke me up by knocking on my window…
“Hello officer, is there a problem?”
“I don’t think there has to be one, are you a little tired?”
“Yeah, I pulled over in this parking lot to clear my head and take a little nap.”
“Gotcha, you got any Identification on you?”
“Yes sir, can I grab it out of my glove box?”
“Yes, just no sudden movements.”
“OK, here is my registration and proof of insurance as well as my I.D.”
“Thanks for being so cooperative, let me run your stuff and you’ll be on your way shortly.”
He went back to his vehicle and I don’t know what he is going to find. What if the FBI put a warrant out for me or something?! I am probably just super anxious because of this situation. They want to keep everything top secret so they won't involve the police. He just got out and is walking back now.
“Here you are *hands back documents*.... You're a little ways from home aren’t you?
“Yeah, my Aunt lives out here and I came out to visit her.”
“Alrighty, I don’t see a need to cite you or anything so I’ll leave you with a verbal warning so just try to sleep somewhere else next time … OK? “Thank you again… have a good one.”
Well that could have gone a lot worse. I looked up the mother's address and it is only an hour from me. I am going to call her by the name Catie from now on. I made a Facebook account with this burner and messaged Catie on messenger saying “I know what happened to your daughter Carly… they faked it.” [SENT] Hopefully she sees this soon and we can chat a little bit and hopefully it helps to find that backup.
Update 8
So she read my message a moment ago and responded with “Who are you?” I responded with “Meet me at the Franksville park in 20 minutes, I am here to help not hurt. Please do not bring the police… they covered this up.” I am already parked here where I can see the parking lot but no one will be able to clearly see me staking it out. If the police roll up to the park I will exit through the back. If she comes and she is in a black jeep then I will text her again telling her to go to the bench across from her and wait for me. Hopefully all goes to plan.
[20 minutes later]
Great, she just pulled up and no cops. I messaged her the message and am waiting for her to do as directed. I talked to her for a while, probably a good half hour. I wrote down what I thought were the most important things she said.
“Father was a military officer”
“Dropped out of college”
“Top of her class”
“Public storage garage”
“Police searched Carly's house without proper consent”
“Computer and journal missing”
This was the farthest I have been in this case. Now that whoever is watching just know that I am currently one step ahead of you in every way now. I have developed different plans based on what might happen and every possible outcome and how to counter the bureau. I may not have the man power the FBI does, but I do have more knowledge now. So just know
I am coming for you … I will ruin you.
I am now taking the cellphone battery out and disposing of it. Until the next update….
Goodbye.
-Colin
Update 9
A lot happened yesterday, first of all it was mothers day. I was debating if I should go back to my moms house because someone could be posted out front waiting for me to return. I was wrong and the night went well. I left around 9 pm to find this USB. Someone that wants to remain anonymous direct messaged me and said they thought that the storage unit might be where she put the backup. I looked into it. I knew the number which I will not say for my own protection but Catie gave me the number of the storage garage. She said that she never had the key but she helped enough and that wouldn't be a problem for me. I went to the main office of the storage rentals and bought myself one near Carly's garage. This way I can have access to the property without suspicion. One thing that is really beneficial to having a pass code to the main gate now is that I can come whenever I choose. This place is 24 hour service. OK so now that I have developed a plan on how to get in now, I need to pick her lock.
It should be pretty easy if there are no cameras and if no one is working. I haven't really scoped anything out for assurances but hopefully it all goes to plan. On a side note I have been contacted again by that number, they sent me a picture of my car ... my actual car ... Shit. OK so they most definitely are watching me but that was from last night so I don't know if they are currently. If I do post this post just know that I am safe and have acquired the USB hopefully. I am going to take bolt cutters and a hammer to see if I can just break the tiny lock to get in. I will update you when I am back.
Update 10
OK I am going to choose my next choice of words very carefully. I found what I needed ... what I was looking for, for the last couple of days. I broke into the garage and there was this nice 1976 mustang cobra, what a beautiful car. I turned my phone's flashlight on and looked in the back of the garage. There was this tool box and I looked all through it, but didn't find anything in that. Next, I went to the car and it was open how fortunate ... I looked in the glove box and I found something. It was in this tiny envelope with the envelope saying "Insurance". OK I got what I came for and shut the door to the garage and left. I plugged the USB into my tiny laptop and it came up. First file "Project Sight", I clicked on it and 4 more files came up. 1st "Access point 51 [Classified]", 2nd file "Roswell, New Mexico [Classified]", 3rd file "JPEG File [Classified].
What was on these files I can't really describe. I need a little more time to wrap my head around all this information and figure out what to do with it. The weirdest of them all was the JPEG files, there were at least dozens of pictures that were all super blurry but mostly they all had one similar trait. At least 7 foot tall and a very large round head. They appeared to be a darker gray color and that's about all, The pictures were all in black and white though so that was not helpful. I need to know what to do with this USB. I think I am going to make a back up somewhere and place it somewhere where no one will find it. If these men do come for me I do not want them to win. So I set up some posts that will eventually post automatically within 48 hours of no account activity. I am still posting on a burner phone at the moment. All I ask if I go missing please don't let me end up like Carly. She said that this information needed to be shared with the world. I want to avenge her. The FBI will not get away with this. If these posts get deleted I have set up logs to be saved and they will all be backed up and reposted automatically as well. Nobody can stop that process too.
They know what type of car I drive and where I live. They know I have this classified information and will not stop until they get what they want. I don't want to die. I am scared for my own life and safety of my family at this point in time. At this time I am writing this on my phone, I can see a black SUV parked 4 cars to my left in the Walmart parking lot. It may just be my anxiety but there are two men sitting in the front. I may be dead within the next day or taken. Who put that fucking tape at my dumpster in the beginning? Was it them? Did they watch what I did everyday and find my daily routine and match that to when I would take the trash out? Could they have placed the tape at a spot I could visibly see all on purpose, knowing that I would pick it up and listen to it. All for what though? Why me? What is the point of going after a teenage kid? I might just be going crazy because of all this. I would like to express....
Whatever does happen to me, just know if you do find a cassette tape at the dumpster, don't play it.
Until next update,
-Colin
Note - My automatic posts I have set up go off in the next 48 hours of inactivity of the account. I have hid the USB and a GPS coordinate of where it is hidden will go out to someone that I trust very well.
submitted by idonthavemuchtime12 to creepypasta [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

I found a tape I wasn't supposed to listen to. [All parts]

I plan on destroying this laptop after posting this and will soon be untraceable. I am reaching out because something is not right. I feel as if something just is not lining up right in the universe. I feel like I am out of place. I come to post because I am not sure how much longer I have. I was taking the trash out last week and I think I saw something I should not have. It was a full moon that night and I was doing my regular chores. Feed the dogs, clean the dishes, take the trash out. Easy stuff like any other night. When I got to the dumpster I saw a cassette player on the ground looking like it was to be thrown out. I thought to myself it was just trash but something caught my eye. There was a piece of tape on it with a sharpie written across it. It stated "LISTEN URGENT" so I put it in my pocket and took it home.
If I knew what was on that tape I would have not brought it home that night. I didn't have a pair of headphones to listen to it with or at least didn't care to look for one at the time. I had put the tape down on my desk and went to play some video games without thinking much of it at the time. You see I didn't have much going for me. My mother was a single mom and I was the man of the house. I liked to play video games because that is what made me happy. It was getting late so I turned off my monitor and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning thinking about the tape because I had a dream about it the night before. The dream consists of me going to the trash and finding the cassette tape then someone getting out of their car when I was walking home pushing me down and taking the tape from me. It was a man with a black overcoat but couldn't see much of his face since it was dark out. And as soon as he took it I woke up. I thought to myself that having a dream of it already had to mean something so I found some headphones and plugged them into the aux input and pressed play.
"What did you see that night" A man asked
"I was super drunk and all I remember was seeing some guy beat the shit out of some other guy outside the bar." A women said
"Where did this take place? The man asked
"In the alley besides the bar.... Can I please go now?" The women proclaimed.
"No, not yet we have some more questions for you..." The man said
"What was that?" The man asked
You could hear a crash or something and the tape cut out. What the fuck was I listening to? An interrogation with the police? All I know is there is more on the tape and I definitely shouldn't be listening to this. I clicked skip and play again and it started back up.
"Where were we... Sorry about the inconvenience miss." The man smirked
"Who are you guys anyways? The cops?" The women asked.
"Ahaha very funny... she thinks were the feds..." The man talking to his partner.
"You guys aren't the police???" "Then who are you guys?" The women starting to panic
"We are the guys they call when shit gets bad." The man said
"I think we are finished here... just state your name and age and your good to go."
"OK... Carly Johnson, 23"
Tape Ends
Who the fuck were they? Who is this girl Carly... I thought to myself what this tape was doing with me. I looked up this girl's name and I didn't believe my eyes. Here I am looking at her obituary. She died weeks ago. Cause of death: Suicide.
Where do I begin. I just heard a tape of seems to be the police interrogating Carly and she all of sudden kills herself what the actual fuck. I guess these are the guys they call when shit gets bad. It says she jumped over a bridge in the town over from me at midnight. Why would a girl just do this out of nowhere and sounded decently happy on the tape. But then I saw one last thing on her obituary... it said "There was no body found. She had left a note." So she went missing huh and they ruled it off as a suicide. I went back to the tape and to my surprise it had corrupted and I couldn't play anything back. Just great. I wanted to know who these guys were? Why did they want to talk to Carly? Why did Carly all of sudden disappear?
This was all so hard to wrap my head around. None of this should be my business but somehow I feel like it is. I never even knew Carly but some way I feel like I did. Weird right. Maybe you can tell me if I'm nuts or if it's humane to feel this way. I had another dream last night and to my surprise it had to do with the tape again. But this time it was very strange. I was on the bridge where Carly apparently did what she did and there was something on the ground in the middle of the bridge and I couldn't really make out what it was so I walked over and it was the same tape except the writing on it this time was "They did this." I then rubbed my eyes and woke up in a ton of sweat. So is this supposed to be a sign or something? Like what are these nightmares supposed to mean? I still am wondering who the men were that were talking with Carly. I started looking up cases of bar fights or anything to do with fights relevant to a bar. To my surprise I found the case. Case # 06-123 Bar stabbing leaving man dead. Looks like it was big in the local news. I do not watch the news much but now I know what they were talking to Carly about. This was much bigger than I thought. This is still an open investigation. I was skimming over the reports and one of the officers said that a private sector of the FBI would be taking over the case and no more was to be discussed publicly until the case is closed.
A private sector of the FBI is now involved what the fuck. In this tiny ass town the FBI is getting involved. This is all so much to take in. Seems like there is more to it though. The FBI got involved with some little stabbing at a bar. The news article said if there is any information to help the case to contact the link that was shared underneath the article. I clicked the link and it brought me to some government website to report tips or some bullshit. I started to read and it said "If there is any information on this case please contact this phone number [DISCLOSED INFORMATION]. I then read it said if anyone knew of a missing cassette tape that it is crucial to the investigation and no more information was shared after that. So wonderful, I now know that I am holding a crucial part of evidence of a case for the FBI and the contents were corrupted. I don't know what to do at this point... I still am going to be doing my research and I plan on getting rid of this cassette tape. I will be updating this post as soon as more information is shared or I find something. In the meanwhile I need to stay on the low because there could be and will be people looking for me and what I have acquired.
Ill post an update in 24 hours. Until then, Goodbye.
Update 2
I only got a few hours of sleep last night... thoughts running through my head constantly. I promised an update and here it is. I have been thinking of what to do with this tape. I think the best option would be to get rid of it but I think that would be a felony or something so that options off the list. The second option I have is to give it to them. Yes, I know it sounds crazy absolute delusional you might say. OK let me stop you right there. The plan is to drop it off at a discrete location and call in an anonymous tip. Seems easy right. I hope. I have wiped off all my prints on it and ripped off the tape on the front of it. I am going to go to a gas station about 45 minutes away from here. There should be a payphone and the angle the cameras are at should not see me if I pull my car up to the left of the building. I will wear gloves for prints and wear a hoodie. I should be fine, no evidence that I was there with the tape. I will get back to you after the job is done. Wish me luck.
Update 3
So it went exactly like planned. I parked my car where there was no surveillance and got out with my black hoodie and called the number that I saw online. I said "The cassette tape is in the bathroom of the gas station for case # 06-123 and hung up. I got out of there as fast as possible. I am now home and well. I am still curious and looking into Carly. I think I came upon something. It is very unusual. Her mother wrote a Facebook post saying "I know those cops are fucking corrupt... they never even looked into her case!" I thought to myself how weird this is. Her own mother must have known something was up too. No body found, A bridge that no one was on that night. I know no one was on it because there was a detour for maintenance on the bridge that afternoon. The last thing that doesn't add up is someone had to write on that tape stating LISTEN URGENT. If they were police wouldn't that tape be in evidence or something. Correct me if I'm wrong but this shit doesn't just go missing and wind up at my dumpster. I have a feeling that the bridge is one of the places that I will find something leading me to what happened to Carly and why the FBI are involved. I am going to take a drive to that bridge and see if I can find anything. I'll update you when I get back.
Update 4
I think I came upon something I wasn't supposed to once again... I found a necklace underneath the bridge. Here is a picture of what I found. necklace You see I don't think the police actually investigated or they would have already found this. Still we aren't even dealing with the local police anymore we are dealing with some special sector of the FBI. I also found one other thing and I feel as if posting a picture would compromise this second tape I found. I have not brought my headphones with me but have a feeling whatever is on this second tape that it will be great. I am very concerned about Carly and what happened to her. Maybe she is on this tape again, maybe it will lead me somewhere. If I post this on reddit I have a feeling the FBI will be notified or something like that. So for precautionary reasons I will not give the name of the bridge or any locations further that could potentially fuck this up. I plan on digging deep and will share it all with you. Why does the FBI want something to do with some girls suicide?? Who were those men on the tape???? Moments ago I just got a call from a blocked caller... I declined the call because I never normally accept blocked caller ids. They left a message. He said
"Turn your eyes away from this or else... You have been warned." ENDS CALL
I am very frustrated right now because they somehow found my phone number. I thought I took all the precautionary measures. I guess the government is always watching though. My feeling is that I will have to get rid of everything that ties me to this case. I have looked up how to destroy a hard drive and it is as easy as swiping a strong magnet over it.
I want to mention to whoever is reading this that if you know who Carly Johnson is and or have any clues on what happened to her please indulge me. Do not share anything with anyone else except my account. You see you may not realize the full extent of this situation but, no need to worry. I will encrypt everything that is sent and no information will get out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Should I be scared? Because I am terrified. I need to know these answers because I am so devoted already. I was just warned to stop looking into this. I have no idea how they got my phone number. I believe we are dealing with not just a suicide but, possibly a government cover up or something worse. If anyone has any tips on what I could possibly do that would help please comment, I can take all the help I can get. They will probably see this post and what I have discussed with you all. I am going to upload all my research onto a USB and slide a magnet over my computer's hard drive now. I will reach back with more news after I have found a secure location to proceed with my updates. Until then....
-Colin.
Update 5
So I am currently posting this on a burner phone that I recently bought. I have booked a motel room with cash and I will use their wifi with a VPN. I would like to first express that whoever called me yesterday that I will not stop until I get the answers I need. I am sure with whoever has been reading my recent posts that they wouldn’t like me to stop looking either. I will bring justice for Carly and her grieving mother. I know that the government has something to do with this. I have got some feedback saying that the bridge might have another tape possibly. To my surprise there was and I just listened to it. I’ll replay it for you.
[Play]
“Hello… I don’t have much time to say what I need to say. I recently found something and it needs to be shared with the world. My name is Carly Johnson…”
“They are really close right now… I can see their flashlights through the trees. I am under some type of bridge.”
“I have recently come upon a file that was on a USB which was sent to my house…. Its title is Project Sight and the public needs to be aware of what I found.”
“It has many many documents containing all sorts of stuff including Area 51, The Roswell Incident, and various pictures of these very tall what seems to be creatures. So many classified documents on this file.
“I have made a backup of the file and it is located in my g---
[Cuts out]
Well shit, we finally know what we are dealing with. They brought out the FBI because it is a national threat which is out there on that USB. What was she about to say… she cut out saying something that started with a g but I have no clue. I am going to need help with this one. Please give me your thoughts on where she may have hid the backup. I have a feeling that they will find it before I do. I need to find that USB before it gets destroyed. I am not staying another night at this motel. I am going to switch it up so it is hard to track my footprints. I will be ok with my funds for now because I transferred what I had left in my savings and converted it into bitcoin. Hopefully I don’t have to explain why I did that. Once I am done packing up here and on the road I will proceed with another update.
Update 6
I stopped at a local convenience store near me and got myself some snacks and water for the road. This blue raspberry Slurpee is pretty good right now. I wanted to go to a local library to proceed with my updates but none of them are open because of this whole quarantine thing. I am probably better off in the motels though. I backed up the tape to my USB and set a password on it so no one can access it. I most likely am a current threat to the FBI so I don’t know how long I will have to stay moving. My plan is eventually to bunker down somewhere but until then I need to keep moving. I also have this cheap laptop I brought to access files that I cant on my phone. I was looking more into Carly's assets through some public info websites and such, you can use Whitepages plus to get a lot on someone. You can access background checks and look into someone's past, It is pretty crazy what you can get on someone. I also was looking through her Facebook and found an older post with her dad working on a project car. Looks like one of those storage garages that you can rent. She doesn’t post much. All family related stuff and a couple friends. Guess she kept more to herself. I am curious about when she said it was called Project Sight. Why would they call this file that in specific? Who knows. Do you think it would be a good idea to talk to her mom? Probably not, now that I am thinking of it. The FBI is probably all over her house. Hmm wait a minute, I remember that her mother had a Facebook page. Maybe I’ll send her a message where we could maybe meet up or something in private. She probably would give insight on what Carly said on the tape. I pulled into a parking lot that seems to be pretty empty. I want to try and take a nap and maybe wake up with a new idea or something.
Update 7
Fuck me. A cop just woke me up by knocking on my window…
“Hello officer, is there a problem?”
“I don’t think there has to be one, are you a little tired?”
“Yeah, I pulled over in this parking lot to clear my head and take a little nap.”
“Gotcha, you got any Identification on you?”
“Yes sir, can I grab it out of my glove box?”
“Yes, just no sudden movements.”
“OK, here is my registration and proof of insurance as well as my I.D.”
“Thanks for being so cooperative, let me run your stuff and you’ll be on your way shortly.”
He went back to his vehicle and I don’t know what he is going to find. What if the FBI put a warrant out for me or something?! I am probably just super anxious because of this situation. They want to keep everything top secret so they won't involve the police. He just got out and is walking back now.
“Here you are *hands back documents*.... You're a little ways from home aren’t you?
“Yeah, my Aunt lives out here and I came out to visit her.”
“Alrighty, I don’t see a need to cite you or anything so I’ll leave you with a verbal warning so just try to sleep somewhere else next time … OK? “Thank you again… have a good one.”
Well that could have gone a lot worse. I looked up the mother's address and it is only an hour from me. I am going to call her by the name Catie from now on. I made a Facebook account with this burner and messaged Catie on messenger saying “I know what happened to your daughter Carly… they faked it.” [SENT] Hopefully she sees this soon and we can chat a little bit and hopefully it helps to find that backup.
Update 8
So she read my message a moment ago and responded with “Who are you?” I responded with “Meet me at the Franksville park in 20 minutes, I am here to help not hurt. Please do not bring the police… they covered this up.” I am already parked here where I can see the parking lot but no one will be able to clearly see me staking it out. If the police roll up to the park I will exit through the back. If she comes and she is in a black jeep then I will text her again telling her to go to the bench across from her and wait for me. Hopefully all goes to plan.
[20 minutes later]
Great, she just pulled up and no cops. I messaged her the message and am waiting for her to do as directed. I talked to her for a while, probably a good half hour. I wrote down what I thought were the most important things she said.
“Father was a military officer”
“Dropped out of college”
“Top of her class”
“Public storage garage”
“Police searched Carly's house without proper consent”
“Computer and journal missing”
This was the farthest I have been in this case. Now that whoever is watching just know that I am currently one step ahead of you in every way now. I have developed different plans based on what might happen and every possible outcome and how to counter the bureau. I may not have the man power the FBI does, but I do have more knowledge now. So just know
I am coming for you … I will ruin you.
I am now taking the cellphone battery out and disposing of it. Until the next update….
Goodbye.
-Colin
Update 9
A lot happened yesterday, first of all it was mothers day. I was debating if I should go back to my moms house because someone could be posted out front waiting for me to return. I was wrong and the night went well. I left around 9 pm to find this USB. Someone that wants to remain anonymous direct messaged me and said they thought that the storage unit might be where she put the backup. I looked into it. I knew the number which I will not say for my own protection but Catie gave me the number of the storage garage. She said that she never had the key but she helped enough and that wouldn't be a problem for me. I went to the main office of the storage rentals and bought myself one near Carly's garage. This way I can have access to the property without suspicion. One thing that is really beneficial to having a pass code to the main gate now is that I can come whenever I choose. This place is 24 hour service. OK so now that I have developed a plan on how to get in now, I need to pick her lock.
It should be pretty easy if there are no cameras and if no one is working. I haven't really scoped anything out for assurances but hopefully it all goes to plan. On a side note I have been contacted again by that number, they sent me a picture of my car ... my actual car ... Shit. OK so they most definitely are watching me but that was from last night so I don't know if they are currently. If I do post this post just know that I am safe and have acquired the USB hopefully. I am going to take bolt cutters and a hammer to see if I can just break the tiny lock to get in. I will update you when I am back.
Update 10
OK I am going to choose my next choice of words very carefully. I found what I needed ... what I was looking for, for the last couple of days. I broke into the garage and there was this nice 1976 mustang cobra, what a beautiful car. I turned my phone's flashlight on and looked in the back of the garage. There was this tool box and I looked all through it, but didn't find anything in that. Next, I went to the car and it was open how fortunate ... I looked in the glove box and I found something. It was in this tiny envelope with the envelope saying "Insurance". OK I got what I came for and shut the door to the garage and left. I plugged the USB into my tiny laptop and it came up. First file "Project Sight", I clicked on it and 4 more files came up. 1st "Access point 51 [Classified]", 2nd file "Roswell, New Mexico [Classified]", 3rd file "JPEG File [Classified].
What was on these files I can't really describe. I need a little more time to wrap my head around all this information and figure out what to do with it. The weirdest of them all was the JPEG files, there were at least dozens of pictures that were all super blurry but mostly they all had one similar trait. At least 7 foot tall and a very large round head. They appeared to be a darker gray color and that's about all, The pictures were all in black and white though so that was not helpful. I need to know what to do with this USB. I think I am going to make a back up somewhere and place it somewhere where no one will find it. If these men do come for me I do not want them to win. So I set up some posts that will eventually post automatically within 48 hours of no account activity. I am still posting on a burner phone at the moment. All I ask if I go missing please don't let me end up like Carly. She said that this information needed to be shared with the world. I want to avenge her. The FBI will not get away with this. If these posts get deleted I have set up logs to be saved and they will all be backed up and reposted automatically as well. Nobody can stop that process too.
They know what type of car I drive and where I live. They know I have this classified information and will not stop until they get what they want. I don't want to die. I am scared for my own life and safety of my family at this point in time. At this time I am writing this on my phone, I can see a black SUV parked 4 cars to my left in the Walmart parking lot. It may just be my anxiety but there are two men sitting in the front. I may be dead within the next day or taken. Who put that fucking tape at my dumpster in the beginning? Was it them? Did they watch what I did everyday and find my daily routine and match that to when I would take the trash out? Could they have placed the tape at a spot I could visibly see all on purpose, knowing that I would pick it up and listen to it. All for what though? Why me? What is the point of going after a teenage kid? I might just be going crazy because of all this. I would like to express....
Whatever does happen to me, just know if you do find a cassette tape at the dumpster, don't play it.
Until next update,
-Colin
Note - My automatic posts I have set up go off in the next 48 hours of inactivity of the account. I have hid the USB and a GPS coordinate of where it is hidden will go out to someone that I trust very well.
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