Bitcoin put him on the street. Then it made him a fortune

I've reached the extent that I think I can tell this story. This is my experience with the cult

Introduction
I am hesitant to begin writing about these memories, and for two reasons. The first is out of fear - fear of retaliation. You see, I was taken advantage of by a cult that I escaped a few years ago in the summer of 2018. I wasn’t involved for long - ten months - but that wasn’t the end of the cult’s influence on me, as they cleverly had a previously unaffiliated visitor contact me and try to bring me back during the period afterwards. I believe they are still keeping tabs on be covertly, but this may just be my paranoid nature.
For nearly the entire first year afterwards, I was always looking over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. They definitely have an interest in roping me back into the fold, as you will see how sociopathic these people are. I’m still traumatized, and although I have healed a great deal from these trials, there is still lingering conditioning that causes me panic attacks and anxiety, which exemplifies my schizoaffective disorder. I attribute much of the reason I’m houseless now to the combination of my mental health and trauma caused by this group.
The second reason I am hesitant to begin writing is also out of fear, but this is instead a fear of not being able to deliver on my promise to expose this cult. I know I have the ability to write about my account, but will it be good enough? Will I be throwing these words into the electronic ocean like so many others with little effect on the world? I feel that no matter how hard I try, I will be unable to capture the cult’s devious acts in such a way to convey what it was like for me, a vulnerable individual, to be slowly turned into an obedient slave.
Inadequacy. This is an important piece of my psychology. After watching my mother decay and die for the first nine years of my life, followed by being raised by an abusive, narcissistic father, I have a profound feeling of inadequacy ruling me. I never feel like I am good enough; that I have to self-sacrifice - to the point where I believed I had to be as good as Jesus Christ - in order to achieve a passable level of human adequacy. The cult took advantage of these feelings in spades and left me a shell of who I was previously.
Fortunately, the period of houselessness that has extended the last year or so of my life has been a radically transformative period where I feel able to step out from barriers that previously trapped me. I feel freer than I ever have been, and to be honest, I owe a lot to the cult for pushing me to my breaking point and learning where my boundaries are. In fact, I don’t believe I could have stepped away from the denial of having a feminine side if it weren’t for the ridiculousness of how far I was pushed.
Now, I stand strong, ready to accomplish this mission life has presented me. It is my basic civic duty to tell my story and warn the public about this group and others who prey on vulnerable individuals in an unstable socioeconomic period. They deliberately attract people who are vulnerable for personal or financial reasons. For instance, there was a flat-earther from Belgium who was here illegally that got roped into our group by being attracted to the messages of sovereignty and their abundance of kooky new age beliefs. They even tried to get me to recruit more members using the same strategies they hooked me with - which is standard cult behavior.
This leads right into how I got involved with the cult in the first place. Part of it is my fault, as I was young and naive. I still am, but now I have the wisdom to not throw myself out there for any group to start manipulating. There are many people who can be drawn into their preying behavior, and it is important that I elaborate on how easy it is to get duped, so others don’t follow in my footsteps.
As you will see, the group was bizarre in many ways. I want to start off by saying that I did not join an organization of pee-drinkers who practiced blood-magick on the side of Main Street. Instead, I started working for a nonprofit that promised to change the world, and appeared to have the ability to do that. The weirdness grew exponentially over time, gradually as they conditioned us to accept their way of life.
On my own end, I wanted to join an intentional community; one where everyone involved works towards a singular end as one unit. I longed for the camaraderie and an alternate way of life. I wanted something different than what - as the cult called the common culture - “The Matrix,” or “Babylon” offered. There are such communities, but because of devious groups like this, everyone needs to be cautious when attempting to find them. I still seek to find or create an alternative lifestyle for myself where I can live amongst my brothers and sisters away from the mass-produced consumer culture of the world.
It’s been a hell of a journey, but I am happy where I am now. If anything, the group taught me that self-love is our first love; if the gardener does not take care of themselves, then who takes care of the garden? With my efforts to find such a community as I wanted, it was inevitable that some group would have sunk their teeth into me. I am grateful that I was able to recognize the far-flung insanity that I was trapped in and escape. Now I just need to focus on recovering and helping others who may be searching for the same things I am.
Chapter 1
It all started early in 2017. I was working on reverse networking, like trying to place a letter on someone’s shoes to let them know I exist. I was hoping to find a project I could use my skills as a writer and juggler by broadcasting who I was on our small online community, The Shrug Life Syndicate, on Reddit. I was so desperate to find such a community that fit my ideals and goals that I didn’t even conceive that someone could be watching in order to learn about me.
They first posted a link to their site on our community’s board, when they were still going by the Awakening Sovereignty Collective. To best understand how I perceived them initially, you have to understand that I was lost in what we at the Shrug Life Syndicate call the synchronicity slip stream. An aspect of my schizoaffective disorder, I often get lost in various series of synchronicities that form a coherent narrative that compels me to behave differently than I otherwise would. It is an amazing feature of my mental health for creativity and finding alternative solutions to problems, but it can be debilitating when trying to fit in to the normal world. When the ASC posted, I believed applying on their website was the obvious thing I should do in order to accomplish my cosmic mission.
Well, nothing happened at first, and I forgot about them until several months later until I received an email stating I was hired. This came after a series of strange tasks from anonymous accounts that seemed to be tests to see if I was as capable of a writer as I portrayed myself as being. I remember one test was to see if I could write a sales pitch for “Unicorn Poop,” an edible snack with a humorous twist. I don’t have any proof that these two events are connected, but it definitely tripped my radar as odd that they happened one after another, and nothing ever came from the sales tasks.
Having passed their tests, I began working with them online. It was a slow process, as there wasn’t a lot of work right out the gate, but there was a lot to learn. Their websites were many in number and often confusing. I had difficulty navigating them and almost quit trying within days of getting started. I remember crumbling back into my addictive nature one night as the wailing cries of depression came roaring back with my initial perceived failure.
If I were not partially psychotic, believing the universe was guiding me to the salvation I sought, then that would have been the end of it. Many other people seemed to have given up while I was still new to working for them. If I were to guess, I would say that this was deliberate on their part in order to weed out only people like me, who were in some way desperate to be a part of the group. With only a small number of desperate people finding their way into the clutches of these people, it must be easier to control them as well.
The ASC promised a new way of life for anyone seeking it. They claimed to be a planetary alliance that was helping ecovillages, nonprofits, conscious businesses, and individual change agents. They were working on a cryptocurrency and software suite that would help communities better serve the world. This was at the peak of the bitcoin bubble, where many people unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies were trying to get in on the hype. They touted a number of figures and claims which ultimately turned out to be false or otherwise misrepresentative of the truth, but in the moment I believed everything they were shoveling.
It was easy for them to sell the idea and project as they were all natural sales personalities. I attended a lot of meetings, particularly with the writer’s team, and started to get to know the people behind the project. In the moment, they appeared to be down-to-Earth and relatable, but highly conscious individuals who really cared about the world and were motivated to do the work necessary to make the changes needed for the planet. In hindsight, they really only cared about money, and were playing a part to catch people like me.
The leader was named Dakota, if that was his real name (I believe most of the main group had adopted a second name to hide who they really were). He was a young man claiming to have graduated high school at ten, and he founded a company known as STADA which was facilitating much if not all of the software needs of the ASC. He was brilliant, but I believe most of his brilliance was self-generated through his ability to sell himself as more than he really was. He always acted like a millionaire who was going to change the world, which made it easy for him to sell the project to people like me.
The co-leader was named Lila. She was a cheerful person who always had something positive to add to the conversation. While working with her, I found this to be a powerful part of her personality. It was hard to say no to her, as she had a motherly vibe and she strategically would ask you to do things that left you feeling compelled to help her, for the good of the project. She first won me over by claiming to run a retreat center for circus skills. I only heard of this in the beginning of my journey with the group, so I believe it may have been a bogus means to shift my opinion of them.
The leader of the writer’s team was named Teahna, who was beautiful and knew how to use her womanly charm to influence others. She seemed to be new to the project as well, having recently written her first book, and my time working with her online seemed to be a learning experience for both of us. I believe this was also planned, so that I would have some support learning what I was supposed to be doing on the various websites that seemed to pile up more and more as time went on.
The work was easy at first. There were no assignments or anything like that. It was all pile work - as in, just grab a shovel and get paid for what you move. As a writer, I naturally gravitated to the writers team’s tasks, but I also helped with the education team and the core tasks of the group. Mostly I wrote articles and website content for them, but I also wrote fake twitter bios, social media posts, and began working on their constitution/manifesto before arriving at their headquarters.
I was making good money, both in real dollars and their own cryptocurrency, Equality Keys. They claimed we could trade their currency for real money at any time, which turned out to be a lie. They often only let us exchange it at certain times at a reduced value. But, I was naive enough to believe that the numbers on my screen were real and meant I was doing good. It wasn’t long before I earned upwards of thousands of dollars worth of their currency, which was promised to rise in value as the project continued to grow and evolve.
After a few weeks working with them, they began toying with a name change to Earth Nation. I believe this is a key part of their method of staying under the radar. By changing names and projects frequently, they never gather enough clout to be exposed as the charlatans that they are. They would later create a new project known as Earth Cycle, and there was a tentacle organization we got hooked into after our stay with the main group called Lovecycle. In regards to the latter, I will never forget the name Lovecycle, as that is when the bulk of bizarre and traumatic events occured.
This is around the same time that my girlfriend at the time began helping out as well. We worked together as a writer and artist combo, and they were initially excited to have another person joining to help. There was some friction though, such as bluntly being told they had no need for an artist at this time after they welcomed her onboard, and there were moments where it seemed like they did not want her to be a part of the project. As they turned her and I against each other much later in our odyssey with them, I think this must have been deliberate to sow the seeds of conflict between us. Again, this is classic cult behavior. I regret bringing her into the whole thing, as she is no doubt as traumatized as I am.
What really allowed me to lose myself in the hope of the project was the possibility to do exactly as I dreamed: travel with a caravan, juggle at festivals, help sell whatever my girlfriend and others made, and write gonzo journalism about what Earth Nation was doing. One of the main draws of the group was that they advertised in the meetings about how they had a proposal system, where anyone could come with their plan and it could be voted on to be given resources. They were interested in my idea (how much of that was just gaslighting me to believe I’ve found the perfect gig, I don’t know), and wanted me to do some journalism about my experiences moving to their headquarters just outside Eugene, Oregon - on the other side of the country.
My girlfriend and I were ecstatic at the idea of starting a new life on the west coast. It was the dream we both shared, to abandon the broken world we knew and join something better. We began preparing for the move, sold all of our stuff, and eventually took off from the airport with only three bags to our name. It was a leap of faith, and we were never happier to embrace our dreams and begin to live a much more interesting life.
Chapter 2
We left on October 25th, about a couple months after I first began working for the ASC. It was an amazing trip that we thought would represent our rebirth. I remember arriving at the airport feeling as though I was leaving a part of my past behind. I felt a wave of solemn emptiness and fear over this, but I have since learned such feelings are common with change of this magnitude. Mostly, I felt joy that a new chapter of my life was unfolding before my eyes.
It was a time where it seemed like we had infinite potential right at our fingertips. Who knew what would actually go down over the coming months? We were grateful for the opportunity and happy about the change. My girlfriend even changed her name to Awen to start over fresh as a new person. I still stuck with my birth name, Gregory, but eventually I would start going by the name Rory after having been pressured to by the group.
I remember looking out the window while Awen took pictures of everything we flew over. It was a trip in itself to see the world from such an angle. I was amazed at the number of wind farms in the middle of the country. Likewise, the closer we got to our destination, the more mountainous the ground beneath us became. The change in scenery would pale in comparison with the change in the culture of the west coast - one of the main reasons I now consider Portland my new home.
Landing in Eugene’s airport, we were regaled with Ducks memorabilia. This was a pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten that this was where an old hero from my track days, Steve Prefontaine, used to run. This made me feel hopeful while waiting for Teahna and Prism, the leader of the educational team. I remember pacing the entrance hall of the airport with a giddy smile stretching from ear to ear. This was it, I told myself: I had finally found my new home.
After a long day of airline travel, we were eventually picked up in Prism’s van. We were met with hugs and smiles, which rejuvenated us after the natural stress of the trip. We chatted the entire way back to Triangle Lake, where their headquarters supposedly was. Both Awen and I were antsy while being shaken back and forth while sitting on Prism’s bed for the duration of the drive. I distinctly remember the beautiful colors of the autumn trees as we drove past. This last little bit of our trip took roughly forty-five minutes, but it felt like we were pulling up to the headquarters in an instant.
I caught a glimpse of a sign as we pulled into the long driveway: Circle of Children. This would be where we stayed for the first two months. The area was gorgeous. Giant trees covered in green moss extended as far as the eye could see. With the abundance of fern-life, it reminded me of a Jurassic paradise. Out the cracked window of the van, I could hear tree frogs chirping in harmony. It was certainly something out of another world compared to the east coast.
We stopped in front of the main office - the only building with wifi. If I were to graph the amount of access to the internet we had across the ten months we were involved, it would have a steady, negative slope. Of course, while being conditioned by the group, it was barely noticed, as we grew less dependent on the internet as time went on. We were never barred from the outside world - in fact we interacted with it regularly - but the idea of leaving was made so impossibly far outside the bounds of possible choices through a long series of scripted events.
Which is why the entire beginning of our stay at the Triangle Lake Convention Center seemed like something out of a fantasy paradise. Everything, from the overarching narrative we were fed, to the day-to-day interactions, was designed to win us over, gaslight us, and manipulate us emotionally by using our traumas against us. In the aftermath of the whole escapade, I learned that this is the type of manipulation that cults use to prevent members from seeing reason while keeping them docile, obedient work horses for the greater project, whatever it may be.
It is clear to me now that Earth Nation and all tentacle organizations are a purely criminal enterprise - a money-making machine for those at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even though we were supposedly a DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization - there were clearly people who were centralized leaders profiting from everything the group did.
And everybody played their roles well upon our arrival. We were greeted with another barrage of hugs as we got out of the van. Everybody was excited to finally meet us in person, as were we to meet them. We chatted with Dakota and Lila for some time outside of the office. They were the exact same as their online personas. In the moment, this gave us a sense that these people were genuine, but in hindsight it serves as a reminder that anyone can create a convincing character and play them whenever they want - even if they choose to never take their deceptive masks off.
We were then shown where we would be staying. Up the hill and to the left we drove until we were in front of Carmen Hall. It was a quaint dorm-style lodging with a large common area and a small kitchenette. Many nights were spent in the common room with the others who were staying in the building. Because we were a couple, we were given the largest room with its own bathroom.
That’s another thing that changed in a downward slope: our living quarters. Over the course of the ten months we were with them, we were downgraded from having our own space, to sharing space, to living in a tent. And again, because of the conditioning, we were fine with the change.
Sometime during the early evening, we went back down to the dining hall and kitchen which was across the way from the main office. Here, we met a variety of characters, including Tuva, a humble appearing guy with a large social network he brought with him to the project, and Daniella, who would turn out to be mommy dearest as she was the sole woman controlling us for the majority of our adventure on the west coast. A Brazillian native, she was as good of a manipulator as she was a cook, and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal on our first night in Oregon.
Before the night was up, we went behind the kitchen to smoke with a man named Grizzly; a wild looking man who mostly kept quiet but had a mouth to use if he needed it. It was the first time we smoked in Oregon and it felt liberating to finally be in a legal state. But, as freeing and fun as being able to smoke whenever we wanted, I believe the abundance of weed we were constantly fed was a means to keep us docile. Daniella always made sure we had some weed, and would frequently smoke with us. I feel I would have been able to say something as things changed if I were not dependent on the constant stream of marijuana.
Afterwards, we went back to Carmen Hall with a couple of members who also stayed there, and Daniella performed a pendulum reading for me and my girlfriend. Holding a crystal on a chain, she “read” the direction it spun as she brought it up in alignment with our chakras. She was spot on and I wanted to say that she had excellent observation skills, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s beliefs, especially my girlfriend who considered herself a mystic and bought into the act.
That night we cuddled in our room, smiling as wide as our mouths could. We had done it - we successfully started our new lives and were going to be a part of something we still had yet to fully comprehend. Everything was new and exciting, and while we were overjoyed, we were glad we had each other because things were still scary. If only we had known then how scary things would become.
Chapter 3
The next morning, we showered, dressed, and went down to the kitchen. There was a slight fog in the air, and we saw a family of deer in a clearing off the road. We would see this family of deer several times during out stay at Triangle Lake, which greatly enthused my girlfriend. She said they were a symbol of wisdom, and must be a good sign as we continued to be indoctrinated by the new age beliefs of the group.
We were early, as our daily meetings were at ten and that is when most people started to show up at the office. But Grizzly was there, as he stayed at the nurses station that sat next to the main office. He offered us some dabs, which just further enforced our belief that this was a great group to be a part of. He also offered me a metal six-shooter pipe, which proved to be the main piece I would smoke out of for the entirety of our adventure.
Breakfast consisted of whatever we could scrounge up. There was a huge walk-in freezer in the kitchen that hosted tons of food when we first got there. There were also a wide selection of dry foods such as figs and nuts. That whole selection would dwindle over time, as the group got everything as donations, usually by soliciting the local food pantries and the Eugene mission and much was close to their expiration dates. It was common to open the freezer and find something moldy.
This was the first time I really interacted with Doran. Doran looked a lot like me - complete with similar beard and glasses - but had shorter, curlier, and darker hair. It was joked that “I was another you.” He appeared to be a really kind-hearted person, and we frequently went to him with problems. This is likely planned as well, to have someone to vent the frustrations we were experiencing as the project transitioned to something different than what we signed up for. I opened up to him before I did with other members, even asking for relationship advice as they tried turning Awen and I against each other between, and received what I now consider a long-standing act of being a good ear with standard advice from the group. Still, he was funny and I enjoyed making strange mixtures of food with him.
As it neared ten, we shuffled to the office to have our meeting. The office had two rooms, and we were all huddled in a circle in one of them. This was nice during the coming months as it was also the only room with the heater. These meetings proved to be a main means to program us, as there were many exchanges that could have only been scripted. We would often talk about one thing, but there would be a subtopic that was teased that would change the meaning of the whole meeting in the context that I heard it. Often there would be some crosstalk in the kitchen beforehand, or something during the day that warped my understanding of what was said
We were required to work thirty hours a week in order to receive our basic income of two hundred dollars a month, as per our agreements before moving to the headquarters. However, it wasn’t long before they duped us by saying the basic income would be used to cover our time staying at Triangle Lake. We weren’t able to fight it, because our tongues were tied by the desire to fit in and be accepted by the group. The ways that they changed things were gradual and deliberate, so that you would never really feel like you were getting taken advantage of. It was just a change, which was alright, because there was a world to save and we were the group who was going to get it done.
That was one of the major ways they were able to get away with a lot of the back-pedaling of agreements - they would always have new, unexpected surprises waiting for us. It was gradual, but they introduced several new elements of communal living that required us to sacrifice more of our money and autonomy. They did this by having so-and-so nonchalantly bringing up these concerns in the meetings, then downplaying the resulting effects as something that should be expected, then agreeing with Dakota or Lila.
Keeping track of my hours was a joke. For everything I did, I was told I should have taken less time in order to do. The criticism I received came tongue-in-cheek and constructive at first, but steadily devolved into a series of harsh critiques that would leave me distraught and unable to think clearly. I was still unmedicated back then, and my emotional state was as turbulent as a hurricane. They did similar things to my girlfriend, as Lila took her under her wing, treating her as her child in order to take advantage of her own trauma she had with her mother.
If there was one thing these people really excelled at it is control. They figured us out quickly and efficiently and then used our traumas against us. Our second night there consisted of an informal group of the residents who stayed at Carmen Hall staring into each other’s eyes and then saying out loud what we felt at that moment. I remember staring at Daniella, who was a silhouette with the lamp directly behind her, and asking for healing. Something about the way she stared at me seemed to provoke a sense of trust and I felt that she would be able to help with a lot of the problems.
That’s one way they won over us and got us to do whatever they wanted. They are experts at gaining people’s trust and then they take advantage of that fact. Through these scripted and planned events they were able to warp our realities to the point where we were already robotic slaves right off the bat. We certainly were eager to earn their approval and work our way to a position where we were seen as valuable members of the project.
One of these planned events was Kukui’s birthday, which was just a few days after we got there. Kukui was a groundskeeper who had previously lived in Hawaii and was joked as being a ginger Jesus. He was an incredible person who really cared about the Earth. I have no idea if he was part of the manipulation or if he was there on similar beliefs that this was a group doing immense good in the world.
Early on during the night’s preparation, Dakota and Lila walked up to us and asked if we wanted to go out to eat with them. This struck us as odd that they would abandon Kukui on his birthday, but we didn’t see it as too weird at the time. We struck up a conversation, where it was revealed that Dakota had two EBT cards from different states.
One big hook they sunk into us was the idea that it was us versus the government. They managed to convince us that the institutions of the world were parasitic - which they usually are - but did it in such a way that made us feel like we were in a spiritual war against the bad boogie men of the world. And they managed this by gradually exposing us to more and more deliberate acts of defiance, in order to manifest our own sovereignty against the parasitic government.
It’s what led to us accepting some of their more diabolic schemes. For instance, there was talk about building a village in Ava, Missouri, moving all their people in, and then taking over the mayorship. They chose Missouri for this plan due to the different building codes of the state. In the moment, this seemed like a brilliant plan for expanding the influence of Earth Nation, but in hindsight appears to be a dystopian means to increase their power and continue taking advantage of people.
These were little seeds they planted that made us more comfortable with doing certain things that we otherwise wouldn’t. Awen was particularly uncomfortable with many of the things we did, but eventually they did get her to help out with their schemes. By keeping us under fear and gradually conditioning us, they were able to make us obedient as we were always looking out for our immediate survival.
Fear. That is an emotion I am now excessively familiar with as a result of this cult. While I have battled paranoia all my life, they took those primal emotions and twisted them to the point that I had no idea which way was up. Each day gradually became a battle while being on high alert, as I constantly scrambled to overcome whatever artificial set-backs were planted in my way and keep up with the workload that was presented to me.
My first exposure to this form of emotional manipulation came during Halloween. The night began jovially as Doran wore a plastic bag as a costume and invented a new dance that we all participated in. Daniella was preparing a large meal in the kitchen while we helped and played in rhythm to one another. The dinner we shared was only part of the night’s events that would change my life completely.
After dinner, Awen and I went back to our room and talked about what we wanted to do that night. The rest of the group was still down at the dining hall and preparing for a fun night of festivities. Awen was not opposed to me going, but she was and still is a pagan and wanted to celebrate her ancestors as per the tradition of Samhain. I debated spending the night with her, but the opportunity to spend time with these new people in our life made me curious as to what they would be doing. I will also admit that I was much more controlled by my addictive nature and was excited to drink with them.
So down I went. As I entered the dining hall, I saw that they were drinking tequila and generally having a great time. Naturally, I joined in and took a shot. Jovial times were had, and some time later I was offered another shot, but I did not see them pour this one. This turned out to be a crucial mistake on my part as I would find out that there was something else, something with psychedelic qualities, in the drink. It was not LSD, as I am familiar with the effects of that drug, so I am at a loss for what it could have been.
As the night went on I began to feel funny. It wasn’t until we were in a smoke circle that I began to notice something was wrong. I had trouble forming words and when Grizzly asked me a question all I could muster was a “hi!” This tripped me up and I went inside to go sit down.
This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I was mostly left alone as I sat cross-legged on a mat on the floor, but eventually there were three other people sitting around me, with a bottle placed in the center of us. I remember Prism and Josh, a carpenter who was doing some work on the buildings at Triangle Lake, were two of the people surrounding me, but I don’t remember any of the conversation they were having. I just remember getting really spooked at that time and tried to leave.
I don’t know how long it took me to get back to Awen, but I do remember the headlights of a vehicle coming down the hill as I was going up. It was late by the time I made it back in into Carmen Hall, which suggests that I have no memory of what happened after the apparent spin-the-bottle episode. My memory starts to get better as I remember lying there with Awen trying to articulate what was going on, but my words just spiraled into incomprehensible nonsense. She was worried for me, just as I was worried for myself.
The next morning continued on as if nothing ever happened, but I was emotionally jostled for the next few days. Nothing was ever said about what happened the night before, and a part of me was terrified that something happened Because my mother had AIDS, and that is a terror I still battle to this day, I obsessed over the idea that Prism, who was HIV positive, may have done something with me. I’ve since been tested and everything’s fine, but for a while I was terrified that I was raped.
Was that a rational or irrational fear? I’ll never know. What I do know is that they took advantage of my perturbed state by subtly twisting the knife in the following days with their synchronous set-ups, making me feel guilty that I did not choose to spend time with Awen that night, and thus making me work harder than ever before.
Chapter 4 in comments
submitted by Shrugbeternowthaneva to ShrugLifeSyndicate [link] [comments]

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

‘Animal Farm’ and Bitcoin Cash

I read Animal Farm for the first time since 7th grade on my flight from Tokyo yesterday and it struck me as the “must-read” book for people who want insights into the methods by which Bitcoin Cash has controlled the narrative about BCH and Bitcoin SV.
Writing about the Russian Revolution’s failures, Orwell imagined a rebellion led by two pigs and farm animals against their human owner that replaces him with a commune of animals running his farm. For a while, things appear to be going well. The farm reorganizes along ostensibly egalitarian lines with the animal workers being rewarded for their labor according to need. Morale is high, food is plenty, and the animals are proud of what they have done.
Mirroring Russia, where Stalin replaced Trotsky and Lenin’s vision with the Gulag camps and a system of brutal corruption and repression, one of the leading pigs ousts the other and declares him an enemy of the farm. He then sets up a dictatorship that gradually rewrites the farm’s original egalitarian codes to justify the takeover while pretending the rules were always that way. A ruling class of pigs emerges that lord over the other animals with claims of higher knowledge and importance to the cause.
The leaders of Animal Farm maintain thought control by obscuring the facts with smokescreens, rewriting history, creating conspiracy theories about pending attacks, faking victims, slander, scapegoating, murdering opposition, outrageous public works projects to keep the animals busy, and through a large group of useful idiots — sheep — that spread their message unthinkingly and distract dissenters. By the end of the book, Animal Farm has been renamed Manor Farm and the ruling pigs are walking on two legs like the humans they overthrew. All pretenses of the original egalitarian utopianism are gone and the animals are weak, starving and downtrodden.
In these ways, the allegory to Bitcoin Cash is almost perfect. The pigs in our BCH story are ABC developers who banned gandrewstone from all meetings on the false grounds that Bitcoin Unlimited was “compromised” and created the narrative that he was out to destroy Bitcoin Cash. Figures like Unwriter, Ryan X Charles, or hundreds of people on /btc are the dissent that is ousted. Instead of egalitarian codes, they added some buggy stuff to the Bitcoin Cash code and pretended that anonymous transactions were a core feature, and that Bitcoin Cash was only ever meant to be fast, reasonably cheap digital anonymous down-with-the-government cash. They even implemented checkpoints ~10m after blocks were mined and discuss changing the Proof-of-Work, similar to how the pigs in the novel regularly repaint their public list of “commandments.” At one point, the pigs claim that dissent is an attack on the entire farm instead of reasonable attempts to preserve the original goals of the farm. Bitcoin Cash sees criticism of their agenda as an attack on the idea of Bitcoin Cash itself.
Throughout the book, the pigs tell the animals that the other farms are “about to attack” to create fear and revolutionary sentiment. In our story, Bitcoin Cash spreads fear of any and every business in the Bitcoin Cash space that decides to accept Bitcoin SV, labels them scammers or criminals, and pushes the false idea that they are colluding to destroy Bitcoin Cash. The ousted leading pig is never seen again but he is said to be always around the corner ready to attack the animals, though like Bitcoin Cash’s claim that Bitcoin SV is a scam, no victim is ever supplied. When things don’t go well with their farming methods and their public works projects, the pigs claim the animals need to work harder towards salvation. They demand they give more of themselves instead of questioning the system itself, which is uncomfortably similar to Bitcoin Cash’s constant admonitions that people be more patient with Amaury and merchant adoption, and their years of promises that the fix is right around the corner. They say to put more funding into it instead of opting out for the obviously easier solution of freezing the protocol and letting miners pay for their own development as they compete.
False victory narratives are created to hide losses. In one such example, the pigs put food at the top of buckets full of sand to pretend they are producing plenty. In our story, Bitcoin Cash claims the funding has reached 150% when it is really Roger who donated a huge amount in a few minutes, or that Satoshi really did intend for checkpoints to be introduced into code less than 10 minutes after the corresponding blocks were mined. If questioned at all, the pigs argue that they are smarter than the rest of the animals and that they couldn’t possibly understand, while Bitcoin Cash tells us not to question their decisions because they “are the most competent developers available.” The similarities are uncanny.
Orwell even anticipated the crowds of Bitcoin Cash trolls on Twitter. One of the pigs’ propaganda tools are the sheep on the farm who take to baaing “four legs good, two legs bad” whenever a discussion might happen about the direction in which the farm is going. In our reality, “four legs good, two legs bad” has been replaced with “faketoshi faketoshi faketoshi” but the effect has been roughly the same: distraction. Another propaganda tool is the character of Squealer, a fat spokespig for the ruling class that is “charged with the task of reconciling the irreconcilable and parsing the absurdities of non sequitur pronouncements from the pigs’ administration.” I’ll leave it to my readers’ imaginations to find the Bitcoin Cash counterpart…
And by the end of it all, we have a smallish block blockchain that resembles Roger's AnarchoCoin more than Bitcoin Cash. It is always buggy at hardforks, has no scaling ambition and compared to Bitcoin SV is expensive, and is used almost exclusively as just another digital token on exchanges instead of the revolutionary decentralized worldwide scaling on-chain blocksize digital cash we were promised.
We’re told by the pigs that this was always the plan and that it was achieved by “consensus.” Apparently some Bitcoin Cashers are more equal than other Bitcoin Cashers.
But like the donkey Benjamin in Animal Farm who cryptically says “donkey’s live a long time,” we know better.
Inspired
submitted by jim-btc to bitcoincashSV [link] [comments]

Encryption is No Longer an Option - Ways to Restore Your Natural Right to Privacy

Encryption is No Longer an Option
“If the State’s going to move against you, it’s going to move against you. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to be reckless of course. I’m awful careful you guys, and even my degree of care and control ultimately won’t be enough if they get mad enough. There will always be something…I’ve done what I hope is the best any man can do. So…I hope when they finally do get me, it’s obvious that they just made it up. I don’t go out of my way to make it easy.” – Cody Wilson
For all Anarchists our love for freedom unites us and guides us. I recently had a conversation with a mutual friend that Cody and I have in common and he stated something very insightful:
CryptoAnarchy is like the Lord of the Rings. You have to cooperate with people that you don’t know where they are or what they’re up to. That is, you just know that we are all figuring out at the same time on how to take down Sauron.
Anarchy is guided by the natural instinct for self-preservation. You can trust that others are also actively working in keeping us all free.
For us all to move into more synergistic cooperation we need more motivation. Nothing is more motivating than our movement away from an impending harmful evil. The persecution that Cody Wilson has gone through since he started his activism is testament to the evil that awaits the entire world if we do not fight against the impending digital global prison. Just note how easy it was to find Cody. Government indoctrinated brownshirts and surveillance are everywhere.
As Jeff recently said in London, “CryptoAnarchy is about the cryptography.” Cryptocurrency is only possible due to the privacy offered by cryptography. A true cryptocurrency is completely fungible, anonymous, and private. Blockchains without on-chain privacy set by default, are dangerous and offer nothing other than accurate surveillance.
That is, the moment you destroy a coin’s fungibility you corrupt its incentive structure. This is because you would then have two classes of the same coin within a transparent blockchain; these are coins that are “tainted” or “untainted” according to government. This differentiation created by blockchain surveillance leads “tainted” coins to be priced differently from “untainted” coins. Once this happens you destroy the functionality of a currency as a medium of exchange.
Imagine the headache of retailers in having to tell clients that they only accept “untainted” bitcoins. The result of not having a fungible medium of exchange is that you destroy the incentive structure of the network effect of a coin. You simply end up with a useless and unwanted network where value is supposed to be exchanged. If the units within the medium of exchange do not themselves contain the same value in the market, the utility of the network effect is destroyed.
The economic ramifications of non-fungible SurveillanceCoins are so bad that they make fiat currencies of central banks look good. In spite of their centralized proof of government violence, fiat currencies are more fungible and private than a coin based on a transparent blockchain.
For much time within crypto we would call the majority of blockchains as “pseudo-anonymous” because we knew the importance of fungibility. At that time blockchain analysis had not caught up to our technology. Now companies like Elliptic and Chainalysis have made the vast majority of blockchains in the market transparent.
Sadly, most blockchain communities have not upgraded their privacy to be on chain by default- making them transparent. However, some more intelligent communities- like Monero- are at the same time growing because they understand the importance of fungibility.
Please understand that we at TDV are ahead of the pack in understanding where all of this is going. The vast majority of people won’t tell you these harsh truths about the Blockchain space, but it is our moral imperative to inform you as best as possible.
As time goes on, we will continue to champion actual fungible CryptoCurrencies and we will continue to make clear distinctions between a SurveillanceCoin and an actual CryptoCurrency.
It is important that we take a step back from CryptoCurrencies and focus on just cryptography. You can never be too careful. Throughout our groups we have had various requests as to how to better use different wallets.
Yes, we will cover all of that in our upcoming surprise for our community, but what is most important is that you protect yourself at the network layer, your identity, and your communication.
CryptoAnarchy began way before Bitcoin. If you want to know what will be happening to CryptoCurrencies and CryptoAnarchy in the near future, you need to read Timothy C. May’s 1992 prophetic Crypto Anarchist Manifesto.
On reading this, you cannot afford to be idle regarding your privacy. This is not the time for you to easily give up what is most personal about you; your thoughts and identity. Your privacy is sacred. You need to protect your privacy as much as possible at all times. Don’t give into the defeatist notions of future technology being capable of deanonymizing any cryptography you currently use. Your goal is to be private right now in the present moment.
You are up against a global digital tyranny- that is already here!
...Cazes was not a US citizen and the Alphabay servers and Cazes were not caught on US soil. Just because crimes involving narcotic deals took place in America, weirdly enough, the US seemingly has the right above anyone to seize Cazes’ property, and charge him and his accomplices in US trials...
Use Secure Hardware That Protects You
Be paranoid. Stay paranoid. The more paranoid you are the better. Currently the five eyes are moving to strip away all of your privacy. They are on the direct path to force all companies to hand over back doors to software and hardware encryption.
This is a new breach on individual rights. The backdoors in hardware have existed since the 90’s via Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management (DRM). The difference is that now companies will be fined and forced by governments (all governments) to open up backdoors for the surveillance of all- in both software and hardware. Australia is leading the charge since they are the only ones within the five eyes without a Bill of Rights.
If you really want to be secure, then you need to start with your hardware. Almost all laptops and hardware chips are engineered with unsafe software. These chips can transmit voice, your networking, pictures, and even video signals. Many of these chips are used to install spyware, malware and viruses.
The market has provided us with two easy plug-and-play hardware solutions.
Purism is a CryptoAnarchist company dedicated in offering us the safest computers in the market. Purism’s line of Librem Laptops is manufactured with software and hardware built from the ground up, where you can be at ease knowing there are no back doors built within it. They work with hardware component suppliers and the Free software community in making hardware that respects and protects your security. Every chip is individually selected with emphasis on respecting freedom. (Purism Librem laptops have built in Kill-Switches for your microphone/camera and wireless/Bluetooth)
All of the necessary components that you would have to bundle up together- by yourself- from a community vetted place like Prism-Break are already installed and ready to go within Librem laptops. Even if you were to install all of the necessary open-source encrypted alternatives, you still would not be able to 100% trust your current computer’s hardware.
Purism Librem laptops come with their own PureOS (operating system). Purism also offers compatibility with Qubes OS in a flash-drive (similar to Tails) to give you even another layer of protection on top of PureOS. Qubes OS is what Edward Snowden uses. PureOs is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux. Qubes is free and open-source software (FOSS).
Purism is currently having a pre-sale for their first phone the Librem 5.
Another popular safe hardware computer market alternative is ORWL. ORWL is a desktop PC. ORWL comes with a physical encryption key that looks like a keychain. If anyone ever tries to physically tamper with the ORWL computer, sensors will automatically detect the intrusion and erase everything. ORWL comes with the operating system options of Qubes OS, Ubuntu, or Windows.
ORWL does not receive payment for their products in Crypto. Purism on the other hand accepts payment in BitcoinCore, BitcoinCash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Decred, Dogecoin, and Monero.
ORWL is a good alternative for more computer savvy people. If you are not the most competent person with computers, Purism is the way to go. With Purism everything is ready to go.
Once you get good hardware don’t use this new computer for anything other than crypto stuff. That is, don’t use it with anything that requires your slave identity. Don’t access social media with your name, don’t access bank accounts, don’t access crypto exchanges, don’t access old email accounts, definitely don’t access anything that requires KYC and AML, and don’t access any identifying log-in that is related to any of your previous internet identities. Create new identities from scratch for this new computer.
Watch this video and learn about the basics on operational security (OPSEC). Take everything written here, and spoken at the conference in the video above, as barely the preliminary basic requirements of OPSEC. You should definitely continue your own research upon getting your new secure hardware computer.
(It would be best if you purchased this computer using crypto- Monero preferably- and have it mailed to a mailing address not associated with any of your addresses; think along the lines of JJ Luna).
Encrypt Your Communication
“This generation being born now... is the last free generation.You are born and either immediately or within say a year you are known globally. Your identity in one form or another –coming as a result of your idiotic parents plastering your name and photos all over Facebook or as a result of insurance applications or passport applications– is known to all major world powers.” – Julian Assange
The vast majority of our community uses Facebook. Unfortunately its network effect is something we all rely on to some degree. Fortunately for us a friend of our community created FaceMask. Through FaceMask we can still use Facebook in complete privacy- away from Zuckerberg's prying eyes. In the near future we will implement FaceMask into our TDV groups as optional privacy for our posts. We will provide our subscribers with the keys necessary to encrypt and decrypt the messages and posts. Again, this is optional. For now please go to the link above and familiarize yourself with Facemask and its technology.
Don’t use Google. If you are using Google start transitioning out of it. If you are using Gmail, start moving towards encrypted services like ProtonMail or TutaNota. They both offer a free option, try them both out and choose your favorite. Use two factor authentication on everything that requires you to log-in that allows for the use of two factor authentication. Most people use Google Authenticator and Authy. I personally prefer the open source options of FreeOTP & andOTP. Use the one that you find best suited for you. Using one is paramount for security nowadays.
If you are one that uses Google Docs with your team, move instead to CryptPad. The more you use CryptPad the more addicting it becomes; your collaborated work is encrypted and private. You no longer will have to worry about knowing that Google is capturing all of your collaborated work. You can also start using CryptPad for free.
If you are using Skype for conference calls, switch to Jitsi. Jitsi is even easier to use than Skype. If you use their MeetJitsi feature you can just access the encrypted conferencing via any browser by agreeing with your other party on the same predetermined passphrase.
Don’t use regular text messaging. Rather, use Signal, Wickr, Keybase, or Telegram.
Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts all of your traffic via a private network of servers scattered throughout the world. This process anonymizes your IP address. Make sure you don’t use your identity when using a VPN- that would just give away your identity as being connected with the VPN servers you are using.
Many VPN providers register your activity and can hand it over to government if they so demand it. They break their promises to their clients all the time. Let’s minimize risk by staying away from the most draconian of jurisdictions.
To lessen this issue, do not ever use a VPN that is based out of any of the 5 eyes:
-United Kingdom
-United States
-Australia
-Canada
-New Zealand
Furthermore, avoid VPNs based out of the following nine countries, that combined with the first 5 make up the 14 eyes:
-Denmark
-France
-The Netherlands
-Norway
-Germany
-Belgium
-Italy
-Spain
-Sweden
No VPN is a complete safeguard. In spite of this, it is still best to use one. We recommend you ONLY use it (turn it on) when doing crypto-related things and only crypto-related things on your regular computer. For your new encrypted hardware computer have it on at all times. If you use it to access an actual bank account, or another personal account (including crypto accounts that require your personal information; read coinbase, or any other exchange) — then, again, the use of the VPN use becomes trite.
Here are six VPN options outside of the 14 eyes that we recommend you research further and use at your own discretion:
NordVPN (Panama)
CyberGhost (Romania)
HideMe (Malaysia)
Astrill (Seychelles)
TrustZone (Seychelles)
iVPN (Gibralter)
Like all things in the market now, some VPNs take Crypto as payment—others do not. It is best if you bought your VPN with crypto not not your credit card, debit card, or paypal.
TOR (The Onion Router)
The Onion Router is software that you use as a browser. It protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network- throughout the world- of relays runned by volunteers. This prevents evesdroppers from learning your IP address, spying on you, and disclosing your physical location. TOR also allows you to access sites that are blocked.
You can use TOR and a VPN simultaneously. If you are new to all of this, it is best that you just learn how to use the features of your new computer coupled with your preferred VPN. The use of TOR is a little more complicated and you will have to configure it according the specifications of your preferred VPN. As you begin this process, as long as you are using your VPN correctly you should be fine.
Fincen and crypto-exchanges
ShapeShift is now stuck having to require its users to deanonymize their transactions in order to meet KYC and AML requirements; it pretty clear that they got ShapeShift under the Bank Secrecy Act. Stay away from Shapeshift (sorry @erikvorhees).
“Very disappointed that @ShapeShift_io is implementing KYC. Just goes to show that any centralized entity will be pushed in that direction, which is why LN, atomic swaps and Decentralized Exchanges are the only way to resist a surveillance economics.” - Andreas Antonopoulos
As the news of ShapeShift broke out, the market was quick to answer with alternatives. Among the private centric alternatives to ShapeShift we find Godex, ChangeHero, XMR.TO, and Bisq.
ChangeHero and Godex are pretty much the same business concept as ShapeShift. The only difference is that they do not require you to become transparent. XMR.TO allows you to make BTC payments by using Monero.
That is, by using Monero together with XMR.TO you can pay any BTC address in the world while protecting your privacy.
Bisq is the Best Option
The most important to focus on is Bisq. Bisq is a complete decentralized exchange. Bisq is instantly accessible- there is no need for registration or approval from a central authority. The system is decentralized peer-to-peer and trading cannot be stopped or censored.
Bisq is safe. Unlike MtGox and the rest of centralized exchanges, Bisq never holds your funds. Bisq provides a system of decentralized arbitration with security deposits that protect traders. The privacy is set where no one except trading partners exchange personal identifying information. All personal data is stored locally.
All communication on Bisq is end-to-end encrypted routed over Tor. Upon downloading and running Bisq TOR runs on Bisq automatically. Every aspect of the development of Bisq is open source.
Bisq is easy to use. If you are accustomed to centralized exchanges, you might find Bisq a little different. If you want anonymity and privacy, this is the best crypto exchange we have. Tell your friends about Bisq. Just download Bisq and take it for a test drive, you will feel fresh freedom of entering into peaceful voluntary exchange with your fellow man. Do it, it’s good for the soul.
On Cody
I would like to personally thank all of our subscribers for generously donating to Defense Distributed on our last issue. At the moment of us putting out our last newsletter, DefDist had raised less than 100k USD. After our Newsletter got out, his donations went past 300k USD.
Thank you very much for helping out our friends in their continual fight for freedom!
Please pray for Cody, his friends, and his family.
I once asked Cody what his background was- because idk his mannerisms have always been interesting to me. He answered; “I am Romani- I am a Gypsy.”
Thank you for helping out our Gypsy friend and his band of rebels! They will very much be using your generous donations now that things got much more serious.
If you haven’t donated, please consider donating. Blessings!
By Rafael LaVerde
Excerpt taken from The Dollar Vigilante September 2018 Issue
https://dollarvigilante.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/TDV-September-2018-Issue.pdf
submitted by 2012ronpaul2012 to C_S_T [link] [comments]

Part 462c - Force of Nature

"Easy there, Ben. You're not looking too good." I carefully keep one hand on his shoulder as we exit the bar. It occurs to me that I could easily erase the drunkenness from his body with Wordsmithing, as I did to myself, but Ben wouldn't want that. OMEN is already back at the castle by now, since we couldn't stand his chattering, so I had a guard escort him to my room. I'm sure Samantha will be delighted to see him again.
"Ah feel fine. Nebber vetter." He mixes up his words and stumbles forward a step, but I keep my grip firm, holding onto his armor as if my life depends on it. I'm more than strong enough to carry him by the back of his shirt with a single arm, so it's not an issue for me. Ben, still looking at the ground, waves his hand in front of himself, as if feeling for a wall. "Left m'damn keys somewhere. Can't get in the house."
"There's no house, Ben. I'll just teleport us to the castle; you're in no condition to be walking around at night." I glance up and realize the sun is peeping over the horizon. Shit, I've been out drinking with him and didn't even get a drop of sleep. Oh well, Wordsmithing can rest me up in a pinch if need be. I can't rely on it for long stretches of time, as I did in my youth, but the aftereffects of skipping one night's sleep will be relatively minor.
"Teleport."
Instantly, we appear inside the castle. Before I can make another move, Ben lunges forward, escapes my grasp, and falls to the ground, only to start heaving a moment later. It takes me a second to realize I just gave a drunk man motion sickness. In retrospect, changing his surroundings all of a sudden probably wasn't the best idea.
Ben vomits for a solid ten seconds all over the castle courtyard lawn, making me feel oddly relieved he didn't do that indoors. I have the most random thoughts sometimes.
Deciding that's more than enough vomiting, I aim my mind at Ben. "Sober." He won't be happy since he drank so much explicitly to feel nothingness on the inside, but it can't be helped. He's in a pitiful state.
After a moment of staring at his own vomit, Ben jumps to his feet and dusts himself off. "Great. Now I can feel my body again. This must be because of that Wordsmithing you told me about."
"Yup." I yawn reflexively, before muttering "Awake," under my breath. "You were starting to embarrass yourself, so I figured I'd stop you before you drew a crowd."
I smile at him, but he doesn't return the expression. "Embarrassment, huh? Emotions like that are reserved for humans. I'm a man of steel now because I have to be. I've long since had any sense of tragedy ripped from my body." Ben reaches up to slick his hair back, but he bumps his hand against his helmet. "Damn. This metal piece of shit. It's the only thing that makes me feel secure, after what happened when the Kolvaxians attacked. It's like a shelter for me, a refuge from those monsters. However, at the same time, it's also a coffin. It makes me feel secure, but also reminds me of how weak and pathetic I am. Not like you."
He gestures at me flippantly, and I raise an eyebrow. "What do you mean by 'not like me'? You punched me so hard that you nearly broke my jaw."
"Wasn't me, it was the suit. I'm only as strong as any other average guy. The Hypersuit enhances my strength, my speed, my defense, and all my other physical attributes to superhuman levels. It can monitor around me in a 360 degree sphere, and can even go into autopilot mode if I pass out, ensuring my safety. The difference is, you may be weaker than this suit, but only somewhat. I can tell by the energy readings Centurion gave me that you're way above an ordinary human, strength, and speed-wise. You don't have to rely on fancy equipment or gadgets to protect yourself." Ben shakes his head as a depressed look crosses his face. "There's only one thing this suit can't protect me from."
"Your inner demons," I say, nodding at him sagely. "Don't beat yourself up too much, Ben. Everyone has problems. Yours may be way more than the average person's, but-"
"Hey! Don't lecture me. You may have the face of an adult, but you're just a kid. You haven't even been alive a century." Ben grinds his teeth together and looks past me, toward the rising sun. "I'm not even a real person, Jason. I'm just a clone. A fake. So was Beatrix, and several other commanding officers. Someone woke us up from our cloning pods, and when we learned that we had been asleep for thousands of years, humanity was on the edge of defeat, and we had to piece it together... the pressure was unthinkable. I did terrible acts- things that no person should have, all in the name of ensuring the Terra's survival."
I'm surprised to see a single tear roll down Ben's face. "And for what? Why did I give up my humanity?! Why did I fight for so long, when the Kolvaxians turned them all in the end? Do you know? Do you have any insight into the machinations of the universe, Hero boy?"
His words don't sting like they should, perhaps because I know he's simply lashing out in anger. If it weren't me here, he'd be taking out his pent-up heartache on someone else.
"I'm not that smart, Ben. I barely know anything. What I do know is that I've made a lot of mistakes, and I'll inevitably make more as time goes on. You won't learn anything valuable in life without fucking up, so by that logic, the more you ruin things, and the bigger your margins are, the more you'll learn. In your case, you've unlocked a newfound hatred for the Kolvaxians, above and beyond anything you had before. You should turn your feelings of guilt and rage against them, and focus your mind on how you can save the lives of those you called friends."
For a moment, I feel a little proud of myself. That sounded smart! Wise, even!
Ben, however, isn't so easily impressed. "You can learn plenty of other ways, Jason. Books, for example. Getting the entirety of my crew killed, millions of innocent souls- that isn't a small setback, it's a colossal failure. Maybe I can move on and try and not mess things up again in the future, but they can't. My crew is gone." Ben pauses, and an odd look appears in his eye. "Though... you did cure my Kolpox. Maybe things aren't as hopeless as I thought. It might be possible to convert a fully turned Kolvaxian back to their original form, but only you could do it."
"I suppose anything's possible," I say, keeping my tone neutral since I'm not sure about that at all.
Realistically, it's probably doable. The future isn't set in stone, after all. The problem is, without a Kolvaxian test subject, I won't know for sure if reverting them to their original form is doable or not.
Well, I'm a Wordsmith. I can bend the universe to my will, so I'm probably just overthinking things, as usual. I need to stop doing that.
Ben reaches up and pulls his helmet off, catching me off-guard as he inhales deeply. "Ahh, fresh air."
It takes me a moment to respond. "What? You had the front of the helmet open. Couldn't you smell the flowers already?"
He shakes his head. "The suit is oppressive, in a way that's hard to put into words. The fragrance reaches me, but as long as my head and body are within the confines of the Hypersuit, it forms a solid barrier between Mother Nature and my perception of her beauty. After all, man created machines to bend nature to his will. As long as we use weapons of war and machines to till the soil, they will always be an artificial barrier between us and her glory."
I stare at him in silence. Shit. That was a lot more poetic than what I said a minute ago. Ben beat me, and he wasn't even trying, I think to myself. "Yeah. That's a smart way to put it."
Ben turns away from me to stare at a red flower his foot barely missed stomping on by an inch or two. "Sometimes, when I couldn't sleep at night, I would lie on my bed and stare up at the ceiling, wondering what the Kolvaxians were and from where they came. Their green skin, the way they absorb technology and flesh together into a single entity... what if they're..." He pauses and his breath catches. "...never mind. If the Kolvaxians are a force of Nature, a weapon wielded by the Mother herself as the final punishment for corrupting her body with our machines, we won't win. Even when Earth was around, a single hurricane could lay waste to millions of human lives all at once."
"A force of nature?" I gaze at Ben as he reaches down and plucks the flower, then brings it to his nose and inhales. "You're saying you don't think they're a sentient species, but an organism born to kill humanity, and tear apart our machines?"
With a shake of his head, Ben casts the flower aside. "I haven't the faintest clue, Jason. Nobody does. Anyone who says they do is lying. I can only hope that isn't the case, or humanity, the Volgrim, and the Demons are dead already." A wistful look appears on his face, and the corners of his mouth curl up slightly. "Wouldn't it be funny if my friends weren't monsters, but instead were living normal peaceful existences? What if the Kolvaxians have achieved perfect unity? Maybe they aren't all that bad. Perhaps I should have allowed myself to turn, after all. I could be missing out."
Oh boy. Ben just pivoted from rage at the Kolvaxians to debating whether he should join them. He's all over the damn place.
"Ben, if becoming a Kolvaxian is a good thing, you'll have plenty of opportunities in the future. I think that right now, your skills as a leader would be best put to use here, leading this remnant of humanity. We not only have Demons to fight but also Volgrim and Kolvaxians in due time. If you're willing to put the past behind you, you could help us out a lot. For my part, I'll do everything I can to find out more about the Kolvaxians, and try to see if there's a way to revert them to their human forms. We both have a role to play in this, but I can't do my part if you won't do yours. Understand?"
No longer content with just a faint smile, Ben's mouth contorts into a full-on grin. "Yeah, you're right, Jason. There's still a chance. Beatrix, Emily, everyone from the Terra might yet see the light of day. I can't give up hope."
The sun continues to rise behind me, and silently beats down, warming my back. "The first step is always the hardest. Come on. I'll show you to an empty room, and we'll work out what your new role is in this new human society later."
Ben nods, and as he turns to walk alongside me, he chuckles softly. "You know, I'm still annoyed you took away my drunkenness. I enjoy that aspect of drinking."
"Eh, I don't. I like to keep my wits about me. If you feel that strongly though, I'll make you drunk again when we reach your room."
"Hell yeah." Ben slugs me in the arm, and his punch feels like he hit me with a sledgehammer. "You're a good kid."
"Thanks, grandpa."
...................................................................................
"Elder Basil..." An Admiral from one of the forward fleets stares at me from the hologram in the center of the room. His serpent-like appearance is muted somewhat by the guilt strewn across his face. "...Perhaps you may recall the exploration pod we sent to the Outer Rim?"
I steal a glance at Elder Lozu. If this is going to be more bad news, I'm sure he'll be just delighted to see me squirm. "I do."
The Admiral's cheeks quiver as he sucks in a quick breath. "We lost contact with it seven hours ago. It transmitted the Emergency alert just before it turned offline, along with all of its data stores. The results were... unsettling."
"Ah, so it's more bad news. Just spit it out, Admiral Kresh. At this point, you can't shock me."
I hope. Thinking those two words to myself, I keep my mouth shut. Saying them out loud would be like begging the universe to prove me wrong.
Admiral Kresh keeps his hands clasped together in front of his stomach and bows his head ever so slightly. "I'll be blunt. To Elder Basil, and all other members of the Council... I don't see a path to defeating the Kolvaxians. Combined with the other scouting pod findings from across the Milky Way, we've confirmed that they have made landfall in nearly every system across the galaxy. We're encircled, and breaking through to flee the galaxy is likely impossible at this point."
Elder Lozu, ever the composed one, nods slowly. "So that was their goal. Encircle us, chew at our perimeters, and slowly hem us in. Thanks to that blunder with the damned Sentinel, we hardly have any reserves, and building new ships will take several years to replace the ones we've lost. We can't try and retake any systems, or else we run the risk of spreading our forces too thin."
Anger, sadness, resentment... none of those feelings enter my mind. I feel nothing. Looking at the faces of those around me, it's obvious that all the other Council members are thinking the same thing.
We can't attack. We can't retreat. We can't flee. We can't move slowly. We can't move quickly.
All options are off the table. At this point...
"We're just delaying the inevitable." The words slip out my mouth, but I no longer feel wrong about saying them. So what if the other Council-members think of me as weak for daring to admit the futility of our actions? We've already lost. Whether it takes the plague one year or a million, it will infect all of us eventually.
A sudden energy springs into Lozu's body. He jerks forward and pounds his fist on the table. "Fine! Fine! I will say it. Elder Basil, I was wrong!" He jerks his head back to glare at me. "They can't be bartered or reasoned with, nor will they listen to diplomacy or take bribes. Military might is the only way to crush them!"
Hah. Hahaha... what is Lozu even saying? Is he only now realizing the peril we're in? He's far, far too late. The time for action was a year ago, or ten years ago, or a thousand years ago. Too little, too late.
Still, I decide to humor him. I might as well get a chuckle out of the little pipsqueak, even if we're all going to be consumed in the end. "Yes, military might. Do tell how we're going to beat them after you dragged your feet for so long."
Lozu gnashes his teeth together. "W-we could bring the ancient technology back online! Unlock it and start the research once again!"
"That would take time. Even if we fight a war of attrition and focus entirely on defense and research to prolong the inevitable, it won't be enough."
Worthless scum. Lozu chooses now, of all the times, to grow a backbone? I've finally stopped caring about appearances in front of the others, and he's done the opposite. The folly of youth knows no limits.
Lozu jumps up from his seat and stumbles slightly, but jabs a finger at me. "The demons! We should demand their help! Send them off to die against the Kolvaxians instead of our soldiers!"
"You're assuming Diablo would allow such a thing. Despite his pretenses, he is no lover of our people. In fact, displaying weakness in front of him is sure to make him stab us in the back. That's what demons do, after all."
The courageous barrage from the idiot, Lozu, falters as he slowly lowers his arm. "What about that Sentinel? Surely it could-"
"The Sentinel demonstrated it was no ally of ours. We threatened the human, demon, and the angel, and their Sentinel displayed where its loyalty lay. Bringing a Sentinel here would surely kill us faster than the Kolvaxians would."
Finally defeated, Lozu crumbles back into his seat and sighs, before looking at me. "You don't want to try anything then? Have you given up already?"
What a loaded question. All this youth did was object to my insistence for millions of years that we should open up the ancient technology to be studied, and now he acts like I'm the coward in the room. "I'm a pragmatist, Elder Lozu. Long before you were so much as daring to make a move to be on the Council, I led the Volgrim alongside the first Elders to pacify the demons. It was a vicious, bloody war, but we won. You arrived here a fresh-eyed youngster, hoping to make a mark by opposing the most politically involved of all of us, and you built your career on trying to stop any of my goals, no matter the detriment to Volgrim-kind. Now you sit upon your coveted seat, as one of us, daring to hint that I have grown soft? I do not fear fighting the Kolvaxians, I simply understand that it is futile now that we've lost all our advantages. Or rather, you gave them away for free. Had you listened to my advice early on, we could have driven the monsters back to the void from whence they came, but it will never happen now. All we can do is prolong our suffering."
Every Council-member in the room, barring Lozu, nod slowly along with my words. Even Admiral Kresh has to agree, for my little speech is rooted in a timeless wisdom earned only by living and doing things the right way for such a long time. It's impossible to disagree.
Admiral Kresh is the first to speak, after several long moments of silence. "Elder Basil, there is another possibility. If we cannot flee the galaxy, and we likely cannot win, the ancient research may still be our salvation. If we begin working on it now, we might have a breakthrough. In the worst-case scenario, we could pass our research to the humans. The demons will not know how to use it, but the humans might. Better for them to outlive us and slay the Kolvaxians, than for the galaxy to become a utopia for those parasites to spread to the rest of the universe."
I lean back in my seat and nod approvingly at the Admiral. "A selfless act, from the one who has brought our people many victories against the Kolvaxians over the millennia. Coming from anyone else, I'd hardly entertain the idea, but your words have merit."
Heh, the more I think about it, the more I wish to laugh, as primitive as it sounds. The Admiral is effectively advocating petty revenge. If we can't defeat you; we'll make sure our enemies can! To think that the once-mighty Volgrim, above the demons and the humans, would fall so far... the Founders would spit upon the shell we've become.
Elder Lozu doesn't even offer a weak rebuttal. The anguish I felt only a minute ago has been heaped on his shoulders, and for now, it warms my soul. He deserves it, the worthless little runt. Our people will perish because of his incessant stonewalling, so he'd better be as miserable as possible when we reach our end.
"Do you have any orders, Elder Basil?" Admiral Kresh stares at me, ignoring the other Council members in the room.
"Do what you can to slow them down. We'll start our research at once. If we're lucky, perhaps there will be a miracle. If not... it'll be up to the humans and demons to purge the plague from the galaxy." I pause and look at the Admiral meaningfully. "One last thing. Consider this a new order, effective for all troops. Everyone must equip themselves with a killswitch. If a Kolvaxian is going to take us, all it will get is a corpse."
Admiral Kresh simply nods. "I contemplate, and I comprehend."
...................................................................................
Hey guys! New part yay!
SO, I'm currently working on a bunch of new things. Firstly, I now have a Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet address! You will soon find these on the sidebar in case you lose them. We'll add QR codes in the near future as well.
BTC Address: 1KLokky8FRbEkdcqiG8EVNKNcLBwyAxG8T
ETH Address: 0xf743C88AF530CfE9A9f110F6ba12DD53405B5754
(If you donate any cryptocurrency, plz shoot me a PM on Reddit, since I don't know how often I'll be checking these! If you don't I might not realize you donated for a long while!)
Additionally, I have set up a MakerSupport page to potentially replace Patreon, located here. But wait! Don't pledge to it yet, because I'm currently talking with the Drip staff about getting invited early. I don't know if I will or not, but if I do, I'd rather be on a big site run by a company like Kickstarter than MakerSupport.
Well, sorta. You see, I've been talking with the developer of MakerSupport. As you guys may have realized, I like good customer service. I may not be the best writer of all time, but one thing I strive to do is read every comment, PM, email, and etc sent to me by fans of cryopod. I try to respond to as many as possible too, unless of course it's not directed at me or such.
One thing I hated about Patreon was that the site was huge, and I never felt like I had a voice. Shit would just change, and I had no say in what those changes would be. On MakerSupport, however, while it is a small site, the developer has added ten major features in just the last three days. I've spoken with him, and two of the things I asked for were implemented immediately. That's huge! The site has lots of flaws, but for raw potential, I'd say MakerSupport is in the lead. It's also low-fees, lower than Patreon by far, and that means for myself as well as my donors. You pay less, I get more, we all win.
Don't sub to my MakerSupport page just yet, but do know that I've got a good feeling about it. I'm not in a rush just yet, but I'm planning to chooce between Drip and MS by the end of this week, depending on whether Drip accepts/denies me, and whether MS adds a few key features I really need.
In any case, we've got BTC and ETH support up for you mining folks, and I'll probably make a litecoin wallet too because DAMN son, that jump! It doubled in value over just two days! Crazy!
Thanks for reading and being my fans! I love you guys!
submitted by Klokinator to TheCryopodToHell [link] [comments]

Encryption is No Longer an Option - Ways to Restore Your Natural Right to Privacy

Encryption is No Longer an Option
“If the State’s going to move against you, it’s going to move against you. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to be reckless of course. I’m awful careful you guys, and even my degree of care and control ultimately won’t be enough if they get mad enough. There will always be something…I’ve done what I hope is the best any man can do. So…I hope when they finally do get me, it’s obvious that they just made it up. I don’t go out of my way to make it easy.” – Cody Wilson
For all Anarchists our love for freedom unites us and guides us. I recently had a conversation with a mutual friend that Cody and I have in common and he stated something very insightful:
CryptoAnarchy is like the Lord of the Rings. You have to cooperate with people that you don’t know where they are or what they’re up to. That is, you just know that we are all figuring out at the same time on how to take down Sauron.
Anarchy is guided by the natural instinct for self-preservation. You can trust that others are also actively working in keeping us all free.
For us all to move into more synergistic cooperation we need more motivation. Nothing is more motivating than our movement away from an impending harmful evil. The persecution that Cody Wilson has gone through since he started his activism is testament to the evil that awaits the entire world if we do not fight against the impending digital global prison. Just note how easy it was to find Cody. Government indoctrinated brownshirts and surveillance are everywhere.
As Jeff recently said in London, “CryptoAnarchy is about the cryptography.” Cryptocurrency is only possible due to the privacy offered by cryptography. A true cryptocurrency is completely fungible, anonymous, and private. Blockchains without on-chain privacy set by default, are dangerous and offer nothing other than accurate surveillance.
That is, the moment you destroy a coin’s fungibility you corrupt its incentive structure. This is because you would then have two classes of the same coin within a transparent blockchain; these are coins that are “tainted” or “untainted” according to government. This differentiation created by blockchain surveillance leads “tainted” coins to be priced differently from “untainted” coins. Once this happens you destroy the functionality of a currency as a medium of exchange.
Imagine the headache of retailers in having to tell clients that they only accept “untainted” bitcoins. The result of not having a fungible medium of exchange is that you destroy the incentive structure of the network effect of a coin. You simply end up with a useless and unwanted network where value is supposed to be exchanged. If the units within the medium of exchange do not themselves contain the same value in the market, the utility of the network effect is destroyed.
The economic ramifications of non-fungible SurveillanceCoins are so bad that they make fiat currencies of central banks look good. In spite of their centralized proof of government violence, fiat currencies are more fungible and private than a coin based on a transparent blockchain.
For much time within crypto we would call the majority of blockchains as “pseudo-anonymous” because we knew the importance of fungibility. At that time blockchain analysis had not caught up to our technology. Now companies like Elliptic and Chainalysis have made the vast majority of blockchains in the market transparent.
Sadly, most blockchain communities have not upgraded their privacy to be on chain by default- making them transparent. However, some more intelligent communities- like Monero- are at the same time growing because they understand the importance of fungibility.
Please understand that we at TDV are ahead of the pack in understanding where all of this is going. The vast majority of people won’t tell you these harsh truths about the Blockchain space, but it is our moral imperative to inform you as best as possible.
As time goes on, we will continue to champion actual fungible CryptoCurrencies and we will continue to make clear distinctions between a SurveillanceCoin and an actual CryptoCurrency.
It is important that we take a step back from CryptoCurrencies and focus on just cryptography. You can never be too careful. Throughout our groups we have had various requests as to how to better use different wallets.
Yes, we will cover all of that in our upcoming surprise for our community, but what is most important is that you protect yourself at the network layer, your identity, and your communication.
CryptoAnarchy began way before Bitcoin. If you want to know what will be happening to CryptoCurrencies and CryptoAnarchy in the near future, you need to read Timothy C. May’s 1992 prophetic Crypto Anarchist Manifesto.
On reading this, you cannot afford to be idle regarding your privacy. This is not the time for you to easily give up what is most personal about you; your thoughts and identity. Your privacy is sacred. You need to protect your privacy as much as possible at all times. Don’t give into the defeatist notions of future technology being capable of deanonymizing any cryptography you currently use. Your goal is to be private right now in the present moment.
You are up against a global digital tyranny- that is already here!
...Cazes was not a US citizen and the Alphabay servers and Cazes were not caught on US soil. Just because crimes involving narcotic deals took place in America, weirdly enough, the US seemingly has the right above anyone to seize Cazes’ property, and charge him and his accomplices in US trials...
Use Secure Hardware That Protects You
Be paranoid. Stay paranoid. The more paranoid you are the better. Currently the five eyes are moving to strip away all of your privacy. They are on the direct path to force all companies to hand over back doors to software and hardware encryption.
This is a new breach on individual rights. The backdoors in hardware have existed since the 90’s via Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management (DRM). The difference is that now companies will be fined and forced by governments (all governments) to open up backdoors for the surveillance of all- in both software and hardware. Australia is leading the charge since they are the only ones within the five eyes without a Bill of Rights.
If you really want to be secure, then you need to start with your hardware. Almost all laptops and hardware chips are engineered with unsafe software. These chips can transmit voice, your networking, pictures, and even video signals. Many of these chips are used to install spyware, malware and viruses.
The market has provided us with two easy plug-and-play hardware solutions.
Purism is a CryptoAnarchist company dedicated in offering us the safest computers in the market. Purism’s line of Librem Laptops is manufactured with software and hardware built from the ground up, where you can be at ease knowing there are no back doors built within it. They work with hardware component suppliers and the Free software community in making hardware that respects and protects your security. Every chip is individually selected with emphasis on respecting freedom. (Purism Librem laptops have built in Kill-Switches for your microphone/camera and wireless/Bluetooth)
All of the necessary components that you would have to bundle up together- by yourself- from a community vetted place like Prism-Break are already installed and ready to go within Librem laptops. Even if you were to install all of the necessary open-source encrypted alternatives, you still would not be able to 100% trust your current computer’s hardware.
Purism Librem laptops come with their own PureOS (operating system). Purism also offers compatibility with Qubes OS in a flash-drive (similar to Tails) to give you even another layer of protection on top of PureOS. Qubes OS is what Edward Snowden uses. PureOs is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux. Qubes is free and open-source software (FOSS).
Purism is currently having a pre-sale for their first phone the Librem 5.
Another popular safe hardware computer market alternative is ORWL. ORWL is a desktop PC. ORWL comes with a physical encryption key that looks like a keychain. If anyone ever tries to physically tamper with the ORWL computer, sensors will automatically detect the intrusion and erase everything. ORWL comes with the operating system options of Qubes OS, Ubuntu, or Windows.
ORWL does not receive payment for their products in Crypto. Purism on the other hand accepts payment in BitcoinCore, BitcoinCash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Decred, Dogecoin, and Monero.
ORWL is a good alternative for more computer savvy people. If you are not the most competent person with computers, Purism is the way to go. With Purism everything is ready to go.
Once you get good hardware don’t use this new computer for anything other than crypto stuff. That is, don’t use it with anything that requires your slave identity. Don’t access social media with your name, don’t access bank accounts, don’t access crypto exchanges, don’t access old email accounts, definitely don’t access anything that requires KYC and AML, and don’t access any identifying log-in that is related to any of your previous internet identities. Create new identities from scratch for this new computer.
Watch this video and learn about the basics on operational security (OPSEC). Take everything written here, and spoken at the conference in the video above, as barely the preliminary basic requirements of OPSEC. You should definitely continue your own research upon getting your new secure hardware computer.
(It would be best if you purchased this computer using crypto- Monero preferably- and have it mailed to a mailing address not associated with any of your addresses; think along the lines of JJ Luna).
Encrypt Your Communication
“This generation being born now... is the last free generation.You are born and either immediately or within say a year you are known globally. Your identity in one form or another –coming as a result of your idiotic parents plastering your name and photos all over Facebook or as a result of insurance applications or passport applications– is known to all major world powers.” – Julian Assange
The vast majority of our community uses Facebook. Unfortunately its network effect is something we all rely on to some degree. Fortunately for us a friend of our community created FaceMask. Through FaceMask we can still use Facebook in complete privacy- away from Zuckerberg's prying eyes. In the near future we will implement FaceMask into our TDV groups as optional privacy for our posts. We will provide our subscribers with the keys necessary to encrypt and decrypt the messages and posts. Again, this is optional. For now please go to the link above and familiarize yourself with Facemask and its technology.
Don’t use Google. If you are using Google start transitioning out of it. If you are using Gmail, start moving towards encrypted services like ProtonMail or TutaNota. They both offer a free option, try them both out and choose your favorite. Use two factor authentication on everything that requires you to log-in that allows for the use of two factor authentication. Most people use Google Authenticator and Authy. I personally prefer the open source options of FreeOTP & andOTP. Use the one that you find best suited for you. Using one is paramount for security nowadays.
If you are one that uses Google Docs with your team, move instead to CryptPad. The more you use CryptPad the more addicting it becomes; your collaborated work is encrypted and private. You no longer will have to worry about knowing that Google is capturing all of your collaborated work. You can also start using CryptPad for free.
If you are using Skype for conference calls, switch to Jitsi. Jitsi is even easier to use than Skype. If you use their MeetJitsi feature you can just access the encrypted conferencing via any browser by agreeing with your other party on the same predetermined passphrase.
Don’t use regular text messaging. Rather, use Signal, Wickr, Keybase, or Telegram.
Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts all of your traffic via a private network of servers scattered throughout the world. This process anonymizes your IP address. Make sure you don’t use your identity when using a VPN- that would just give away your identity as being connected with the VPN servers you are using.
Many VPN providers register your activity and can hand it over to government if they so demand it. They break their promises to their clients all the time. Let’s minimize risk by staying away from the most draconian of jurisdictions.
To lessen this issue, do not ever use a VPN that is based out of any of the 5 eyes:
-United Kingdom
-United States
-Australia
-Canada
-New Zealand
Furthermore, avoid VPNs based out of the following nine countries, that combined with the first 5 make up the 14 eyes:
-Denmark
-France
-The Netherlands
-Norway
-Germany
-Belgium
-Italy
-Spain
-Sweden
No VPN is a complete safeguard. In spite of this, it is still best to use one. We recommend you ONLY use it (turn it on) when doing crypto-related things and only crypto-related things on your regular computer. For your new encrypted hardware computer have it on at all times. If you use it to access an actual bank account, or another personal account (including crypto accounts that require your personal information; read coinbase, or any other exchange) — then, again, the use of the VPN use becomes trite.
Here are six VPN options outside of the 14 eyes that we recommend you research further and use at your own discretion:
NordVPN (Panama)
CyberGhost (Romania)
HideMe (Malaysia)
Astrill (Seychelles)
TrustZone (Seychelles)
iVPN (Gibralter)
Like all things in the market now, some VPNs take Crypto as payment—others do not. It is best if you bought your VPN with crypto not not your credit card, debit card, or paypal.
TOR (The Onion Router)
The Onion Router is software that you use as a browser. It protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network- throughout the world- of relays runned by volunteers. This prevents evesdroppers from learning your IP address, spying on you, and disclosing your physical location. TOR also allows you to access sites that are blocked.
You can use TOR and a VPN simultaneously. If you are new to all of this, it is best that you just learn how to use the features of your new computer coupled with your preferred VPN. The use of TOR is a little more complicated and you will have to configure it according the specifications of your preferred VPN. As you begin this process, as long as you are using your VPN correctly you should be fine.
Fincen and crypto-exchanges
ShapeShift is now stuck having to require its users to deanonymize their transactions in order to meet KYC and AML requirements; it pretty clear that they got ShapeShift under the Bank Secrecy Act. Stay away from Shapeshift (sorry @erikvorhees).
“Very disappointed that @ShapeShift_io is implementing KYC. Just goes to show that any centralized entity will be pushed in that direction, which is why LN, atomic swaps and Decentralized Exchanges are the only way to resist a surveillance economics.” - Andreas Antonopoulos
As the news of ShapeShift broke out, the market was quick to answer with alternatives. Among the private centric alternatives to ShapeShift we find Godex, ChangeHero, XMR.TO, and Bisq.
ChangeHero and Godex are pretty much the same business concept as ShapeShift. The only difference is that they do not require you to become transparent. XMR.TO allows you to make BTC payments by using Monero.
That is, by using Monero together with XMR.TO you can pay any BTC address in the world while protecting your privacy.
Bisq is the Best Option
The most important to focus on is Bisq. Bisq is a complete decentralized exchange. Bisq is instantly accessible- there is no need for registration or approval from a central authority. The system is decentralized peer-to-peer and trading cannot be stopped or censored.
Bisq is safe. Unlike MtGox and the rest of centralized exchanges, Bisq never holds your funds. Bisq provides a system of decentralized arbitration with security deposits that protect traders. The privacy is set where no one except trading partners exchange personal identifying information. All personal data is stored locally.
All communication on Bisq is end-to-end encrypted routed over Tor. Upon downloading and running Bisq TOR runs on Bisq automatically. Every aspect of the development of Bisq is open source.
Bisq is easy to use. If you are accustomed to centralized exchanges, you might find Bisq a little different. If you want anonymity and privacy, this is the best crypto exchange we have. Tell your friends about Bisq. Just download Bisq and take it for a test drive, you will feel fresh freedom of entering into peaceful voluntary exchange with your fellow man. Do it, it’s good for the soul.
On Cody
I would like to personally thank all of our subscribers for generously donating to Defense Distributed on our last issue. At the moment of us putting out our last newsletter, DefDist had raised less than 100k USD. After our Newsletter got out, his donations went past 300k USD.
Thank you very much for helping out our friends in their continual fight for freedom!
Please pray for Cody, his friends, and his family.
I once asked Cody what his background was- because idk his mannerisms have always been interesting to me. He answered; “I am Romani- I am a Gypsy.”
Thank you for helping out our Gypsy friend and his band of rebels! They will very much be using your generous donations now that things got much more serious.
If you haven’t donated, please consider donating. Blessings!
By Rafael LaVerde
Excerpt taken from The Dollar Vigilante September 2018 Issue
https://dollarvigilante.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/TDV-September-2018-Issue.pdf
submitted by 2012ronpaul2012 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Encryption is No Longer an Option - Ways to Restore Your Natural Right to Privacy

Encryption is No Longer an Option
“If the State’s going to move against you, it’s going to move against you. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to be reckless of course. I’m awful careful you guys, and even my degree of care and control ultimately won’t be enough if they get mad enough. There will always be something…I’ve done what I hope is the best any man can do. So…I hope when they finally do get me, it’s obvious that they just made it up. I don’t go out of my way to make it easy.” – Cody Wilson
For all Anarchists our love for freedom unites us and guides us. I recently had a conversation with a mutual friend that Cody and I have in common and he stated something very insightful:
CryptoAnarchy is like the Lord of the Rings. You have to cooperate with people that you don’t know where they are or what they’re up to. That is, you just know that we are all figuring out at the same time on how to take down Sauron.
Anarchy is guided by the natural instinct for self-preservation. You can trust that others are also actively working in keeping us all free.
For us all to move into more synergistic cooperation we need more motivation. Nothing is more motivating than our movement away from an impending harmful evil. The persecution that Cody Wilson has gone through since he started his activism is testament to the evil that awaits the entire world if we do not fight against the impending digital global prison. Just note how easy it was to find Cody. Government indoctrinated brownshirts and surveillance are everywhere.
As Jeff recently said in London, “CryptoAnarchy is about the cryptography.” Cryptocurrency is only possible due to the privacy offered by cryptography. A true cryptocurrency is completely fungible, anonymous, and private. Blockchains without on-chain privacy set by default, are dangerous and offer nothing other than accurate surveillance.
That is, the moment you destroy a coin’s fungibility you corrupt its incentive structure. This is because you would then have two classes of the same coin within a transparent blockchain; these are coins that are “tainted” or “untainted” according to government. This differentiation created by blockchain surveillance leads “tainted” coins to be priced differently from “untainted” coins. Once this happens you destroy the functionality of a currency as a medium of exchange.
Imagine the headache of retailers in having to tell clients that they only accept “untainted” bitcoins. The result of not having a fungible medium of exchange is that you destroy the incentive structure of the network effect of a coin. You simply end up with a useless and unwanted network where value is supposed to be exchanged. If the units within the medium of exchange do not themselves contain the same value in the market, the utility of the network effect is destroyed.
The economic ramifications of non-fungible SurveillanceCoins are so bad that they make fiat currencies of central banks look good. In spite of their centralized proof of government violence, fiat currencies are more fungible and private than a coin based on a transparent blockchain.
For much time within crypto we would call the majority of blockchains as “pseudo-anonymous” because we knew the importance of fungibility. At that time blockchain analysis had not caught up to our technology. Now companies like Elliptic and Chainalysis have made the vast majority of blockchains in the market transparent.
Sadly, most blockchain communities have not upgraded their privacy to be on chain by default- making them transparent. However, some more intelligent communities- like Monero- are at the same time growing because they understand the importance of fungibility.
Please understand that we at TDV are ahead of the pack in understanding where all of this is going. The vast majority of people won’t tell you these harsh truths about the Blockchain space, but it is our moral imperative to inform you as best as possible.
As time goes on, we will continue to champion actual fungible CryptoCurrencies and we will continue to make clear distinctions between a SurveillanceCoin and an actual CryptoCurrency.
It is important that we take a step back from CryptoCurrencies and focus on just cryptography. You can never be too careful. Throughout our groups we have had various requests as to how to better use different wallets.
Yes, we will cover all of that in our upcoming surprise for our community, but what is most important is that you protect yourself at the network layer, your identity, and your communication.
CryptoAnarchy began way before Bitcoin. If you want to know what will be happening to CryptoCurrencies and CryptoAnarchy in the near future, you need to read Timothy C. May’s 1992 prophetic Crypto Anarchist Manifesto.
On reading this, you cannot afford to be idle regarding your privacy. This is not the time for you to easily give up what is most personal about you; your thoughts and identity. Your privacy is sacred. You need to protect your privacy as much as possible at all times. Don’t give into the defeatist notions of future technology being capable of deanonymizing any cryptography you currently use. Your goal is to be private right now in the present moment.
You are up against a global digital tyranny- that is already here!
...Cazes was not a US citizen and the Alphabay servers and Cazes were not caught on US soil. Just because crimes involving narcotic deals took place in America, weirdly enough, the US seemingly has the right above anyone to seize Cazes’ property, and charge him and his accomplices in US trials...
Use Secure Hardware That Protects You
Be paranoid. Stay paranoid. The more paranoid you are the better. Currently the five eyes are moving to strip away all of your privacy. They are on the direct path to force all companies to hand over back doors to software and hardware encryption.
This is a new breach on individual rights. The backdoors in hardware have existed since the 90’s via Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management (DRM). The difference is that now companies will be fined and forced by governments (all governments) to open up backdoors for the surveillance of all- in both software and hardware. Australia is leading the charge since they are the only ones within the five eyes without a Bill of Rights.
If you really want to be secure, then you need to start with your hardware. Almost all laptops and hardware chips are engineered with unsafe software. These chips can transmit voice, your networking, pictures, and even video signals. Many of these chips are used to install spyware, malware and viruses.
The market has provided us with two easy plug-and-play hardware solutions.
Purism is a CryptoAnarchist company dedicated in offering us the safest computers in the market. Purism’s line of Librem Laptops is manufactured with software and hardware built from the ground up, where you can be at ease knowing there are no back doors built within it. They work with hardware component suppliers and the Free software community in making hardware that respects and protects your security. Every chip is individually selected with emphasis on respecting freedom. (Purism Librem laptops have built in Kill-Switches for your microphone/camera and wireless/Bluetooth)
All of the necessary components that you would have to bundle up together- by yourself- from a community vetted place like Prism-Break are already installed and ready to go within Librem laptops. Even if you were to install all of the necessary open-source encrypted alternatives, you still would not be able to 100% trust your current computer’s hardware.
Purism Librem laptops come with their own PureOS (operating system). Purism also offers compatibility with Qubes OS in a flash-drive (similar to Tails) to give you even another layer of protection on top of PureOS. Qubes OS is what Edward Snowden uses. PureOs is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux. Qubes is free and open-source software (FOSS).
Purism is currently having a pre-sale for their first phone the Librem 5.
Another popular safe hardware computer market alternative is ORWL. ORWL is a desktop PC. ORWL comes with a physical encryption key that looks like a keychain. If anyone ever tries to physically tamper with the ORWL computer, sensors will automatically detect the intrusion and erase everything. ORWL comes with the operating system options of Qubes OS, Ubuntu, or Windows.
ORWL does not receive payment for their products in Crypto. Purism on the other hand accepts payment in BitcoinCore, BitcoinCash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Decred, Dogecoin, and Monero.
ORWL is a good alternative for more computer savvy people. If you are not the most competent person with computers, Purism is the way to go. With Purism everything is ready to go.
Once you get good hardware don’t use this new computer for anything other than crypto stuff. That is, don’t use it with anything that requires your slave identity. Don’t access social media with your name, don’t access bank accounts, don’t access crypto exchanges, don’t access old email accounts, definitely don’t access anything that requires KYC and AML, and don’t access any identifying log-in that is related to any of your previous internet identities. Create new identities from scratch for this new computer.
Watch this video and learn about the basics on operational security (OPSEC). Take everything written here, and spoken at the conference in the video above, as barely the preliminary basic requirements of OPSEC. You should definitely continue your own research upon getting your new secure hardware computer.
(It would be best if you purchased this computer using crypto- Monero preferably- and have it mailed to a mailing address not associated with any of your addresses; think along the lines of JJ Luna).
Encrypt Your Communication
“This generation being born now... is the last free generation.You are born and either immediately or within say a year you are known globally. Your identity in one form or another –coming as a result of your idiotic parents plastering your name and photos all over Facebook or as a result of insurance applications or passport applications– is known to all major world powers.” – Julian Assange
The vast majority of our community uses Facebook. Unfortunately its network effect is something we all rely on to some degree. Fortunately for us a friend of our community created FaceMask. Through FaceMask we can still use Facebook in complete privacy- away from Zuckerberg's prying eyes. In the near future we will implement FaceMask into our TDV groups as optional privacy for our posts. We will provide our subscribers with the keys necessary to encrypt and decrypt the messages and posts. Again, this is optional. For now please go to the link above and familiarize yourself with Facemask and its technology.
Don’t use Google. If you are using Google start transitioning out of it. If you are using Gmail, start moving towards encrypted services like ProtonMail or TutaNota. They both offer a free option, try them both out and choose your favorite. Use two factor authentication on everything that requires you to log-in that allows for the use of two factor authentication. Most people use Google Authenticator and Authy. I personally prefer the open source options of FreeOTP & andOTP. Use the one that you find best suited for you. Using one is paramount for security nowadays.
If you are one that uses Google Docs with your team, move instead to CryptPad. The more you use CryptPad the more addicting it becomes; your collaborated work is encrypted and private. You no longer will have to worry about knowing that Google is capturing all of your collaborated work. You can also start using CryptPad for free.
If you are using Skype for conference calls, switch to Jitsi. Jitsi is even easier to use than Skype. If you use their MeetJitsi feature you can just access the encrypted conferencing via any browser by agreeing with your other party on the same predetermined passphrase.
Don’t use regular text messaging. Rather, use Signal, Wickr, Keybase, or Telegram.
Use a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts all of your traffic via a private network of servers scattered throughout the world. This process anonymizes your IP address. Make sure you don’t use your identity when using a VPN- that would just give away your identity as being connected with the VPN servers you are using.
Many VPN providers register your activity and can hand it over to government if they so demand it. They break their promises to their clients all the time. Let’s minimize risk by staying away from the most draconian of jurisdictions.
To lessen this issue, do not ever use a VPN that is based out of any of the 5 eyes:
-United Kingdom
-United States
-Australia
-Canada
-New Zealand
Furthermore, avoid VPNs based out of the following nine countries, that combined with the first 5 make up the 14 eyes:
-Denmark
-France
-The Netherlands
-Norway
-Germany
-Belgium
-Italy
-Spain
-Sweden
No VPN is a complete safeguard. In spite of this, it is still best to use one. We recommend you ONLY use it (turn it on) when doing crypto-related things and only crypto-related things on your regular computer. For your new encrypted hardware computer have it on at all times. If you use it to access an actual bank account, or another personal account (including crypto accounts that require your personal information; read coinbase, or any other exchange) — then, again, the use of the VPN use becomes trite.
Here are six VPN options outside of the 14 eyes that we recommend you research further and use at your own discretion:
NordVPN (Panama)
CyberGhost (Romania)
HideMe (Malaysia)
Astrill (Seychelles)
TrustZone (Seychelles)
iVPN (Gibralter)
Like all things in the market now, some VPNs take Crypto as payment—others do not. It is best if you bought your VPN with crypto not not your credit card, debit card, or paypal.
TOR (The Onion Router)
The Onion Router is software that you use as a browser. It protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network- throughout the world- of relays runned by volunteers. This prevents evesdroppers from learning your IP address, spying on you, and disclosing your physical location. TOR also allows you to access sites that are blocked.
You can use TOR and a VPN simultaneously. If you are new to all of this, it is best that you just learn how to use the features of your new computer coupled with your preferred VPN. The use of TOR is a little more complicated and you will have to configure it according the specifications of your preferred VPN. As you begin this process, as long as you are using your VPN correctly you should be fine.
Fincen and crypto-exchanges
ShapeShift is now stuck having to require its users to deanonymize their transactions in order to meet KYC and AML requirements; it pretty clear that they got ShapeShift under the Bank Secrecy Act. Stay away from Shapeshift (sorry @erikvorhees).
“Very disappointed that @ShapeShift_io is implementing KYC. Just goes to show that any centralized entity will be pushed in that direction, which is why LN, atomic swaps and Decentralized Exchanges are the only way to resist a surveillance economics.” - Andreas Antonopoulos
As the news of ShapeShift broke out, the market was quick to answer with alternatives. Among the private centric alternatives to ShapeShift we find Godex, ChangeHero, XMR.TO, and Bisq.
ChangeHero and Godex are pretty much the same business concept as ShapeShift. The only difference is that they do not require you to become transparent. XMR.TO allows you to make BTC payments by using Monero.
That is, by using Monero together with XMR.TO you can pay any BTC address in the world while protecting your privacy.
Bisq is the Best Option
The most important to focus on is Bisq. Bisq is a complete decentralized exchange. Bisq is instantly accessible- there is no need for registration or approval from a central authority. The system is decentralized peer-to-peer and trading cannot be stopped or censored.
Bisq is safe. Unlike MtGox and the rest of centralized exchanges, Bisq never holds your funds. Bisq provides a system of decentralized arbitration with security deposits that protect traders. The privacy is set where no one except trading partners exchange personal identifying information. All personal data is stored locally.
All communication on Bisq is end-to-end encrypted routed over Tor. Upon downloading and running Bisq TOR runs on Bisq automatically. Every aspect of the development of Bisq is open source.
Bisq is easy to use. If you are accustomed to centralized exchanges, you might find Bisq a little different. If you want anonymity and privacy, this is the best crypto exchange we have. Tell your friends about Bisq. Just download Bisq and take it for a test drive, you will feel fresh freedom of entering into peaceful voluntary exchange with your fellow man. Do it, it’s good for the soul.
On Cody
I would like to personally thank all of our subscribers for generously donating to Defense Distributed on our last issue. At the moment of us putting out our last newsletter, DefDist had raised less than 100k USD. After our Newsletter got out, his donations went past 300k USD.
Thank you very much for helping out our friends in their continual fight for freedom!
Please pray for Cody, his friends, and his family.
I once asked Cody what his background was- because idk his mannerisms have always been interesting to me. He answered; “I am Romani- I am a Gypsy.”
Thank you for helping out our Gypsy friend and his band of rebels! They will very much be using your generous donations now that things got much more serious.
If you haven’t donated, please consider donating. Blessings!
By Rafael LaVerde
Excerpt taken from The Dollar Vigilante September 2018 Issue
https://dollarvigilante.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/TDV-September-2018-Issue.pdf
submitted by 2012ronpaul2012 to conspiracyundone [link] [comments]

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