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Sharering (SHR) I believe this one is going to surprise so many. Already generating revenue and doing buybacks every week. Already over 10 000 registered users. Mainnet + app + masternodes and staking before EOY.

I got this stuff from Steve Aitchison, he wrote this review and posted it on Uptrennd. Figured I should put it on here as well since I truly believe this is an incredible moonshot. I'm personally holding SHR myself and am very convinced it will do extremely well.
Give a read through it and you will immediatly see why. Enjoy guys.
Introduction
Imagine for a second the following scenario. You are a 2 car family. One car is used every day going back and forth to work, for shopping, all the little jaunts you and your husband like to go on. Your grown children are at university and come home for the weekends so the other car sits in the driveway all week and doesn’t get used during the week. What a waste of a perfectly good car. You think to yourself we could put that car to good use and actually help to pay for university fees, by renting it out during the week. However, then you think “well it’s only a little Ford Fiesta who’s going to want to rent that.” Well, it turns out a lot of people want to rent it and for a good price: £34 ($40) per day, a possible $800 per month.
Peer to peer car sharing has grown massively over the last few years and people are making serious money by letting our vehicles on a daily basis, emulating the Airbnb model. In fact companies like Turo, Getaround and Drivy, which has just been acquired by Getaround for $300 Million, are bringing in serious investors like Toyota, Softbank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, and IAC to the tune of over $800 Million.
A key difference between rental companies and peer to peer is that they have vastly improved technology with app interfaces that make locating assets and resources, reserving and using them, and making payment convenient and seamless. This, combined with location-specific analytics, allows by-the-minute access to assets and resources (e.g. cars or bicycles) and enables customers to pick up and drop these assets where and when convenient.
Car sharing is just one example of an industry that is being disrupted. We have seen, experienced and read about the amazing growth of Airbnb which is now estimated to be valued at $38 Billion. Airbnb has been so successful that companies like booking.com are trying to get in on the act by adopting a similar model when it comes to booking accommodation.
There is also the phenomenal rise of bicycle rentals which we see in cities all over the world, not quite the same as peer to peer sharing, but it’s another rental model that is ripe for being disrupted by the new sharing model.
With this business model in mind what other areas could it be used in:
Transport: Used for the rental of cars, trucks, scooters, trailers, and even heavy vehicles. Delivery Drivers: Facilitate booking and payment for delivery drivers. Agriculture: Garden sharing, seed swap, bee-hive relocation, etc. Finance: Peer to peer lending Food bank, social dining Travel Tours, shared tour groups Real Estate Airbnb, co-housing, co-living, Couchsurfing, shared office space, house swapping. Time: Labour, co-working, freelancing Assets Book swapping, clothes swapping, fractional ownership, freecycling, toy libraries. Transportation Car sharing, ride-sharing, car-pooling, bicycle sharing, delivery company, couriers And so much more!
This newly emerging, but highly fragmented sharing industry, is currently worth over $100 billion. It is predicted to grow to at least $335 billion by 2025.
As you can see from a few examples above the sharing economy has a lot of room to grow but what it doesn’t have, yet, is a company who can facilitate ALL of the above use cases in one place.
That is until now!
ShareRing is disrupting the disruptors by bringing everything together in one place and making it easy for you and me to share anything and everything and making it as easy as opening an app on your phone.
Business Case
The sharing market has exploded over the last several years. This is due, in part, to the digital age we live in, as we now have over 2.82 Billion people with smart phones around the world. It also due to how easy the business model of sharing lends itself to the digital world, and how with the simple installation of an app we can access a plethora of markets to rent almost anything from.
Due to this rise of digital platforms and the proliferation of smartphones, revenues coming from sharing economy platforms are only expected to increase. It is estimated to grow to a $335 billion industry in 2025, compared to its $14 billion value in 2014. (PwC UK).
The beauty of the sharing economy is that it is a win/win/win situation for the person who wants to rent something for a few days or weeks, the person who is renting out, and the company who facilitates the ease of the transactions between the renter and the person renting out. Typically the renter will save a lot of money whilst renting out someone else’s apartment, car, bicycle, clothes, dog sitting services etc and they can almost be assured of quality due to the social side of the business model with reviews from real people. The person who is renting out can make additional income and will want good reviews and therefore keep the standard of service higher. The company that is facilitating all of this can make a lot of money on transaction fees, as well as from advertising, and partnership deals, and obviously have an exit strategy for possible buyouts.
When it comes to looking at the business model, ShareRing fits in to the Commission Based Platform as described in Ritter and Schanz study where they looked at the core difference in difference business models of the sharing economy: Singular Transaction Models, Subscription-Based Models, Commission-Based Platforms and Unlimited Platforms.)
Commission Based Platforms are dominated by (at least) triadic relationships amongst providers, intermediaries and consumers with a utility-bound revenue stream. These business models enable their customers to switch between provider and consumer roles by creating and delivering the value proposition. Only a few employees work for the intermediary and the value creation and delivery is externalized. From a consumer perspective, consumers are empowered to collaborate with each other and to design the collaboration terms by negotiating the terms and conditions of the content, creation, distribution and consumption of the value proposition. Depending on the orientation of the value proposition, consumers purchase commodities (Tauschticket, ebay), access commodities in a defined timespan (booking.com, Airbnb) or buy services (uber, turo) from occasional and professional providers found via an intermediary. The intermediary mainly focuses on nurturing a community feeling and reducing exchange insecurity by incorporating rating systems, micro-assurances and standardizations of payment and delivery into the platform. The platform mainly takes commissions for successful matching and executing trade. (Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 213, 10 March 2019, Pages 320-331)
The USP of the ShareRing Business Model
The USP that ShareRing has is that it brings all of the different forms of sharing together in one app through partnerships and onboarding of users.
No other company, to date, is bringing everything together in such a way. However there are other factors that make ShareRing unique, which we will look at.
Token Economics
SHR is a utility token and will be used to pay for transactions on the network, such as 'new booking', 'add asset', etc. SHR is used by providers to pay for their access to the ShareLedger blockchain, including the addition of assets, renting out of assets, adding attributes, adding smart contracts, and other features.
SharePay (SHRP) is used by customers to pay for the rental of assets.
Masternodes will also be a main feature of the SHR token. When a transaction fee is incurred, it will be distributed in a way that allows for masternode holders who provide a service to the platform to receive a reward from each transaction. Transaction fees are charged to sharing providers in SHR. The distribution of transaction fees will be as follows: 50% - will be distributed amongst the active masternode holders who host an active node on the blockchain at that point in time (these holders provide a service to the platform). The distribution will be based on a calculation of the Total Amount Staked and the total continuous uptime of the node. 50% - will be provided to ShareRing Ltd (view ShareRing owned masternodes) for various purposes that contribute to working capital and platform growth.
Leased Proof of Stake Consensus
ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption.
As explained above master nodes will be a main feature but there is the other feature of lightweight nodes. A user with a lightweight node will be able to stake their tokens to a full node of their choosing and participate in reaching consensus. They will also be free to cancel their leasing at any time as there are no contracts or freezing periods. The more tokens that have been staked in a full node, the higher the probability the node will have in producing the next block. Since the reward is given based on the total number of tokens staked in the full node, there will always be a trade-off between the size of the full node and the percentage of the reward. As an average user of the platform, you will not need to have technical knowledge on how to set up a node nor will you have to download the entire blockchain in order to stake your tokens. Only a user who sets up a full node will be required to do this, making it simpler than ever for users to earn a reward for supporting the platform.
The return expected for staking is expected to be around 6 - 8% although this has yet to be confirmed.
Buybacks
ShareRing are currently implementing a series of buybacks which started in the beginning of November:
The buyback operation is done at a random time during the week.
If there is enough liquidity, SHR tokens will be bought through a single market order at the time of buyback. In case there is not enough liquidity, a limit buy order at last sell order price will be placed on the market, and will remain open until it gets filled.
The buyback program was implemented to test the API purchase process for when live transactions occur on ShareLedger
The Buyback Program is expected to:
  1. Reduce the supply of ShareTokens available in both public and private markets
  2. Bring New capital and fund inflows into the Shareledger
  3. Substantially magnify value creation for the ShareToken holders
The Token Flow
ShareRing will bring in hundreds of merchants to list their rental products, either exclusively or as part of an aggregator system e.g. When you look at the likes of trivago.com they will list the best hotel prices from multiple merchants who are listed on their website. Essentially ShareRing will become part of the aggregator ecosystem and be listed on sites like trivago.com as well as have exclusive agreements with merchants who are listed directly on their app.
ShareRing’s USP is that they have everything on one place as well as their OneID module with means buyers can get a hotel, rent a car, rent their ski equipment, book events all through the one app and using the OneID.
With that in mind they are going to attract a lot of merchants.
This is where it gets exciting so pay attention to this part.
When a merchant is part of the ShareRing ecosystem and a buyer rents something from that merchant ShareRing will take a small % commission from that transaction. So say someone books a hotel for $100 for the night, ShareRing might take $0.50 as a commission. What ShareRing will then do is go to one of the exchanges that ShareRing (SHR) is listed on and buy SHR tokens directly using an API system using USDT.
Now, the actual commission has not been disclosed yet however if we assume even a 0.25% commission that means for every $100 Million worth of bookings made through the app will net ShareRing $250,000 which means buy backs of $250,000 for the SHR token, which increases the liquidity of SHR on the exchanges.
If you think $100 Million of bookings is a lot, booking.com customers book around 1.5 Million rooms per day, if we estimate an average of $50 per room that is $75 million of bookings PER DAY or $2 Billion worth of bookings per month.
This revenue coupled with revenue from OneID and eVOA makes ShareRing profitable almost from day one of the app going live.
OneID And eVOA
Another exciting development from the ShareRing team is the collaboration between ShareRings Self Sovereign Identity protocol and third party providers to bring OneID and eVOA which will utilise OneID
With the huge rise in E-commerce and with over 2.82 billion people who now own a smartphone we are entrusting our personal information to more and more centralised entities. These entities are frequently hacked and our information is leaked to outside parties.
ShareRing aims to tackle this with their service OneID module.
ShareRing’s OneID solution protects users' data by handling Know Your Customer (KYC) information through third parties and ShareRing’s Self Sovereign Identity Protocol. ShareRing does not hold any identifying information anywhere on its servers. It provides the ultimate security for the renter and also the provider, as the Protocol encrypts and stores your data in a secure manner within your device. Essentially, this means that it is near impossible for a hack or data leak to happen, simply because there is no centralized server of data for hackers to exploit.
The OneID module is very easy to use. The end-user needs to complete their ID submission only once, with the entire submission process requiring less than two minutes to complete. Once this step has been completed, the customers KYC is destroyed by the 3rd party document verification system and the OneID module allows merchants to verify a customer’s identity via a hashed verification packet, stored on the users device and ShareLedger. This removes the need for merchants to store or see personal information; safeguarding both merchants and users from fraud.
To create your ShareRing OneID, simply:
  1. Take a picture of your government ID document
  2. Take a selfie
  3. Confirm and submit your details
This is something I am really excited about for ShareRing and they already have made partnerships for other companies to use this feature which is another income stream for ShareRing.
eVOA
E-Visa On Arrival allows applicants to apply online and receive a travel authorisation before departure – this eVOA can be shown at dedicated Thailand immigration counters on arrival at major Thailand airports, allowing travellers to pass through in minutes.
OneID system is scheduled to become the lynchpin technology in Thailand’s electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA) system; one of only two companies to partner with Thai authorities to provide this service. The new Visa system eliminates much of the hassle involved in entering the country:
This is a strong validation of the OneID system - immigration controls are some of the most scrutinized processes in any branch of government, and if the OneID solution can operate to their standards then it is truly business-ready. As explained by our COO, Rohan Le Page:
“We are providing our OneID product for Thailand e-VOA (Visa On Arrival) that allows 5 Million travellers from 20 countries including China and India to complete the visa process on their mobile through our app. This provides a streamlined immigration process that negates the need for an expensive and time-consuming process when you get off the plane. Additionally, fraud is mitigated with several extra layers of security in the back end including our blockchain (ShareLedger) consensus model that makes all data immutable and all but impossible to hack.”
Profit Margins on OneID
So how does ShareRing make money from OneID and eVOA?
With each application for an eVOA using the OneID module ShareRing will make an undisclosed commission. The e-VOA is available to citizens of 21 different countries and is intended for those who will be holidaying in Thailand and not working in the country.
This means that each eVOA will last for a period of around 15 days which effectively means that ShareRing will get commission multiple times from each person travelling to one of the 21 countries listed below:
Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Cyprus Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
The profits on this alone, according to projections, are worth millions of dollars per year to ShareRing, with a healthy growth of about 35% in raw profit over the next 5 years, ultimately netting the company about $1.5 million profit per quarter.
The ShareLedger Blockchain Platform
ShareRing will utilize the registered intellectual property from the existing KeazACCESS framework (KEAZ: A car sharing company founded by Tim Bos) as well as improving it the blockchain experience in their team.
It will consist of fo the primary elements:
SharePay (SHRP) – SharePay is the base currency that will allow users of the ShareRing platform to pay for the use of third party assets. ShareToken (SHR)
ShareToken (SHR) is the digital utility token that drives sharing transactions to be written to the ShareRing ledger that is managed by the ShareRing platform.
Account – This will be a standard account, which such an account being represented by a 24-byte address. The account will contain 4 general fields:
SHRP – SharePay token balance
SHR – ShareToken balance
ASSETS – linked/owned by the account (see below for definition of an Asset) ATTRIBUTES – Any additional attributes that are associated with this account. These attributes may be updated or added by Sharing Economy providers that utilise the ledger such as ID checks by rental companies. These attributes may be ‘global’ (i.e. used by any sharing providers) or ‘local’ (i.e. used by a specific sharing provider).
Assets – An asset represents a tangible real-world or digital asset that is being shared, such as a car, a house, industrial machinery, an e-book, and so on.
Smart Contracts – Similar to a number of other blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum and NEO, the ShareLedger blockchain will feature highly customisable smart contracts. These Smart Contracts will allow for decentralised autonomous applications that can be attached to an asset and/or account. Every smart contract will be Turing complete, meaning it will have the ability to implement sophisticated logic to manage the sharing of the assets. The smart contracts will be tested and reviewed by ShareRing in a sandbox as well as audited by reputable third-party code auditors prior to implementation.
Proof of Stake Consensus
ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption.
The ShareRing App
At the heart of the ShareRing project lies the ShareRing app:
A universal ‘ShareRing’ app is being developed that will allow anyone to easily see and use any sharing services around them. Each partner will have the option of developing a ‘mini’ app within the ShareRing app that will have functionalities specific to that partner. The app will use geolocation-based services to display the ShareRing services that are nearby
Social Media Presence
Coming from a social media background I feel this is an extremely important area to look into, especially in the crypto world.
ShareRing has done an okay job in growing their social media presence however I feel it could be much better. Here is a look at some of the key stats for their online social media presence:
Youtube: 191 Subscribers Instagram: 238 Followers Linkedin: 376 Followers Telegram: 6,525 members (very active) Twitter: 2,216 Followers (Fairly regular updates) Facebook: 1,965 Followers
Whilst social media may not be a priority just now I feel there has to be a big presence with image-based platforms and video-based platforms. Youtube and Instagram should be made a priority here as it spans all generations:
Other News on ShareRing
There is a lot of stuff going on at the moment with ShareRing which is what makes it an exciting prospect. Rather than give information on each of them here are some highlights provided by the ShareRing team.:
- ShareRing's revolutionary ID management based module OneID.
- Worlds first Blockchain based eVOA in place with major Thai company targeting 5 to 10 million travellers from 20 countries.
- 2.6 million International Hotels/ Accommodation coming on to the Platform. Lots more to come!
- Partnership with HomeAway
- 200,000 Activites, Tours and Events added to the ShareRing App
- Multi Global Car Sharing Partnerships
- 1 Partner Directly Integrating SHR's OneID consisting of 1.2 million Vehicles across 150 Countries
- Luxury Car Brand Sharing Platform purely based on SHR
- SHR payment system SHRP available in 10% Taxi Terminals in Australia
- SHRP available in 10,000 EFTPOS Terminals Australia wide
- White Labelling Services incorporating ShareRings revolutionary OneID
- 20 Significant Unannounced Partnerships, more to come!
- Major Partners include -
- BYD (Largest Electric Car Maker in the World)
- DJI (Largest Drone Maker in the World)
- Keaz (300 locations around the world)
- Yogoo EV Car Sharing
- MOBI Alliance Member
Overview of Positives and Negatives
Negatives
Social Media and marketing possibly needs to be ramped up in order to bring more awareness to the project.
The roadmap and white paper has not been updated recently for 2019/2020 but this I believe is coming soon.
Positives
With a low market cap project like ShareRing the risk to reward ratio is very good for retail and institutional investors.
Technical analysis of current prices, currently at 31 Satoshi, is also very good with resistance levels at 50, 77 and 114 Satoshi which would be nearing its all time high.
Referral program will increase the numbers of users that are currently using the site.
If ShareRing can capture even a small % of the overall sharing market then success looks assured.
There are 20 new announcements coming up and with Tim Bos looking for more partnerships it seems likely that ShareRing will break ATH prices soon.
Great long term hold, in my opinion.
Realistic Expectations of ROI
Short term (4 weeks - 12 weeks)
Short term looks great for ShareRing both from a TA point of view and a fundamental point of view.
With lots of news still to come out about ShareRing there is not going to be a shortage of fundamentals to drive the price up. From a TA point of view the next line of resistance stands at around the 50 Satoshi level which would complete a massive cup and handle formation from August 24th of this year. After that we are looking at resistances of 77 and 114 to reach near the all time highs which i expect ShareRing to reach going into 2020.
Long term (6 Months - 2 Years)
If ShareRing can onboard users and keep on making partnerships at the same rate there will be no stopping it. It’s all about onboarding the users and utilising the most powerful marketing tool ever - word of mouth!
When a great app is realised with great and useful functionality then it tends to go viral and I am hoping this happens for ShareRing.
With a market cap at the moment of just under $6 Million then I don’t think it’s crazy to talk about 1000% increases in the next 2 years and I really believe that is being extremely conservative, given where we think crypto is heading as a whole.
submitted by Grills93 to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

⚡ Lightning Network Megathread ⚡

Last updated 2018-01-29
This post is a collaboration with the Bitcoin community to create a one-stop source for Lightning Network information.
There are still questions in the FAQ that are unanswered, if you know the answer and can provide a source please do so!

⚡What is the Lightning Network? ⚡

Explanations:

Image Explanations:

Specifications / White Papers

Videos

Lightning Network Experts on Reddit

  • starkbot - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • cfromknecht - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • RustyReddit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • cdecker - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • Dryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • josephpoon - (Joseph Poon)
  • fdrn - (Fabrice Drouin - ACINQ )
  • pmpadiou - (Pierre-Marie Padiou - ACINQ)

Lightning Network Experts on Twitter

  • @starkness - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • @roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • @stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • @bitconner - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • @johanth - (Johan Halseth - Lightning Labs)
  • @bvu - (Bryan Vu - Lightning Labs)
  • @rusty_twit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • @snyke - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • @JackMallers - (Jack Mallers - Zap)
  • @tdryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • @jcp - (Joseph Poon)
  • @alexbosworth - (Alex Bosworth - yalls.org)

Medium Posts

Learning Resources

Books

Desktop Interfaces

Web Interfaces

Tutorials and resources

Lightning on Testnet

Lightning Wallets

Place a testnet transaction

Altcoin Trading using Lightning

  • ZigZag - Disclaimer You must trust ZigZag to send to Target Address

Lightning on Mainnet

Warning - Testing should be done on Testnet

Atomic Swaps

Developer Documentation and Resources

Lightning implementations

  • LND - Lightning Network Daemon (Golang)
  • eclair - A Scala implementation of the Lightning Network (Scala)
  • c-lightning - A Lightning Network implementation in C
  • lit - Lightning Network node software (Golang)
  • lightning-onion - Onion Routed Micropayments for the Lightning Network (Golang)
  • lightning-integration - Lightning Integration Testing Framework
  • ptarmigan - C++ BOLT-Compliant Lightning Network Implementation [Incomplete]

Libraries

Lightning Network Visualizers/Explorers

Testnet

Mainnet

Payment Processors

  • BTCPay - Next stable version will include Lightning Network

Community

Slack

IRC

Slack Channel

Discord Channel

Miscellaneous

⚡ Lightning FAQs ⚡

If you can answer please PM me and include source if possible. Feel free to help keep these answers up to date and as brief but correct as possible
Is Lightning Bitcoin?
Yes. You pick a peer and after some setup, create a bitcoin transaction to fund the lightning channel; it’ll then take another transaction to close it and release your funds. You and your peer always hold a bitcoin transaction to get your funds whenever you want: just broadcast to the blockchain like normal. In other words, you and your peer create a shared account, and then use Lightning to securely negotiate who gets how much from that shared account, without waiting for the bitcoin blockchain.
Is the Lightning Network open source?
Yes, Lightning is open source. Anyone can review the code (in the same way as the bitcoin code)
Who owns and controls the Lightning Network?
Similar to the bitcoin network, no one will ever own or control the Lightning Network. The code is open source and free for anyone to download and review. Anyone can run a node and be part of the network.
I’ve heard that Lightning transactions are happening “off-chain”…Does that mean that my bitcoin will be removed from the blockchain?
No, your bitcoin will never leave the blockchain. Instead your bitcoin will be held in a multi-signature address as long as your channel stays open. When the channel is closed; the final transaction will be added to the blockchain. “Off-chain” is not a perfect term, but it is used due to the fact that the transfer of ownership is no longer reflected on the blockchain until the channel is closed.
Do I need a constant connection to run a lightning node?
Not necessarily,
Example: A and B have a channel. 1 BTC each. A sends B 0.5 BTC. B sends back 0.25 BTC. Balance should be A = 0.75, B = 1.25. If A gets disconnected, B can publish the first Tx where the balance was A = 0.5 and B = 1.5. If the node B does in fact attempt to cheat by publishing an old state (such as the A=0.5 and B=1.5 state), this cheat can then be detected on-chain and used to steal the cheaters funds, i.e., A can see the closing transaction, notice it's an old one and grab all funds in the channel (A=2, B=0). The time that A has in order to react to the cheating counterparty is given by the CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) in the cheating transaction, which is adjustable. So if A foresees that it'll be able to check in about once every 24 hours it'll require that the CLTV is at least that large, if it's once a week then that's fine too. You definitely do not need to be online and watching the chain 24/7, just make sure to check in once in a while before the CLTV expires. Alternatively you can outsource the watch duties, in order to keep the CLTV timeouts low. This can be achieved both with trusted third parties or untrusted ones (watchtowers). In the case of a unilateral close, e.g., you just go offline and never come back, the other endpoint will have to wait for that timeout to expire to get its funds back. So peers might not accept channels with extremely high CLTV timeouts. -- Source
What Are Lightning’s Advantages?
Tiny payments are possible: since fees are proportional to the payment amount, you can pay a fraction of a cent; accounting is even done in thousandths of a satoshi. Payments are settled instantly: the money is sent in the time it takes to cross the network to your destination and back, typically a fraction of a second.
Does Lightning require Segregated Witness?
Yes, but not in theory. You could make a poorer lightning network without it, which has higher risks when establishing channels (you might have to wait a month if things go wrong!), has limited channel lifetime, longer minimum payment expiry times on each hop, is less efficient and has less robust outsourcing. The entire spec as written today assumes segregated witness, as it solves all these problems.
Can I Send Funds From Lightning to a Normal Bitcoin Address?
No, for now. For the first version of the protocol, if you wanted to send a normal bitcoin transaction using your channel, you have to close it, send the funds, then reopen the channel (3 transactions). In future versions, you and your peer would agree to spend out of your lightning channel funds just like a normal bitcoin payment, allowing you to use your lightning wallet like a normal bitcoin wallet.
Can I Make Money Running a Lightning Node?
Not really. Anyone can set up a node, and so it’s a race to the bottom on fees. In practice, we may see the network use a nominal fee and not change very much, which only provides an incremental incentive to route on a node you’re going to use yourself, and not enough to run one merely for fees. Having clients use criteria other than fees (e.g. randomness, diversity) in route selection will also help this.
What is the release date for Lightning on Mainnet?
Lightning is already being tested on the Mainnet Twitter Link but as for a specific date, Jameson Lopp says it best
Would there be any KYC/AML issues with certain nodes?
Nope, because there is no custody ever involved. It's just like forwarding packets. -- Source
What is the delay time for the recipient of a transaction receiving confirmation?
Furthermore, the Lightning Network scales not with the transaction throughput of the underlying blockchain, but with modern data processing and latency limits - payments can be made nearly as quickly as packets can be sent. -- Source
How does the lightning network prevent centralization?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
What are Channel Factories and how do they work?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How does the Lightning network work in simple terms?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How are paths found in Lightning Network?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How would the lightning network work between exchanges?
Each exchange will get to decide and need to implement the software into their system, but some ideas have been outlined here: Google Doc - Lightning Exchanges
Note that by virtue of the usual benefits of cost-less, instantaneous transactions, lightning will make arbitrage between exchanges much more efficient and thus lead to consistent pricing across exchange that adopt it. -- Source
How do lightning nodes find other lightning nodes?
Stack Exchange Answer
Does every user need to store the state of the complete Lightning Network?
According to Rusty's calculations we should be able to store 1 million nodes in about 100 MB, so that should work even for mobile phones. Beyond that we have some proposals ready to lighten the load on endpoints, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. -- Source
Would I need to download the complete state every time I open the App and make a payment?
No you'd remember the information from the last time you started the app and only sync the differences. This is not yet implemented, but it shouldn't be too hard to get a preliminary protocol working if that turns out to be a problem. -- Source
What needs to happen for the Lightning Network to be deployed and what can I do as a user to help?
Lightning is based on participants in the network running lightning node software that enables them to interact with other nodes. This does not require being a full bitcoin node, but you will have to run "lnd", "eclair", or one of the other node softwares listed above.
All lightning wallets have node software integrated into them, because that is necessary to create payment channels and conduct payments on the network, but you can also intentionally run lnd or similar for public benefit - e.g. you can hold open payment channels or channels with higher volume, than you need for your own transactions. You would be compensated in modest fees by those who transact across your node with multi-hop payments. -- Source
Is there anyway for someone who isn't a developer to meaningfully contribute?
Sure, you can help write up educational material. You can learn and read more about the tech at http://dev.lightning.community/resources. You can test the various desktop and mobile apps out there (Lightning Desktop, Zap, Eclair apps). -- Source
Do I need to be a miner to be a Lightning Network node?
No -- Source
Do I need to run a full Bitcoin node to run a lightning node?
lit doesn't depend on having your own full node -- it automatically connects to full nodes on the network. -- Source
LND uses a light client mode, so it doesn't require a full node. The name of the light client it uses is called neutrino
How does the lightning network stop "Cheating" (Someone broadcasting an old transaction)?
Upon opening a channel, the two endpoints first agree on a reserve value, below which the channel balance may not drop. This is to make sure that both endpoints always have some skin in the game as rustyreddit puts it :-)
For a cheat to become worth it, the opponent has to be absolutely sure that you cannot retaliate against him during the timeout. So he has to make sure you never ever get network connectivity during that time. Having someone else also watching for channel closures and notifying you, or releasing a canned retaliation, makes this even harder for the attacker. This is because if he misjudged you being truly offline you can retaliate by grabbing all of its funds. Spotty connections, DDoS, and similar will not provide the attacker the necessary guarantees to make cheating worthwhile. Any form of uncertainty about your online status acts as a deterrent to the other endpoint. -- Source
How many times would someone need to open and close their lightning channels?
You typically want to have more than one channel open at any given time for redundancy's sake. And we imagine open and close will probably be automated for the most part. In fact we already have a feature in LND called autopilot that can automatically open channels for a user.
Frequency will depend whether the funds are needed on-chain or more useful on LN. -- Source
Will the lightning network reduce BTC Liquidity due to "locking-up" funds in channels?
Stack Exchange Answer
Can the Lightning Network work on any other cryptocurrency? How?
Stack Exchange Answer
When setting up a Lightning Network Node are fees set for the entire node, or each channel when opened?
You don't really set up a "node" in the sense that anyone with more than one channel can automatically be a node and route payments. Fees on LN can be set by the node, and can change dynamically on the network. -- Source
Can Lightning routing fees be changed dynamically, without closing channels?
Yes but it has to be implemented in the Lightning software being used. -- Source
How can you make sure that there will be routes with large enough balances to handle transactions?
You won't have to do anything. With autopilot enabled, it'll automatically open and close channels based on the availability of the network. -- Source
How does the Lightning Network stop flooding nodes (DDoS) with micro transactions? Is this even an issue?
Stack Exchange Answer

Unanswered Questions

How do on-chain fees work when opening and closing channels? Who pays the fee?
How does the Lightning Network work for mobile users?
What are the best practices for securing a lightning node?
What is a lightning "hub"?
How does lightning handle cross chain (Atomic) swaps?

Special Thanks and Notes

  • Many links found from awesome-lightning-network github
  • Everyone who submitted a question or concern!
  • I'm continuing to format for an easier Mobile experience!
submitted by codedaway to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Colin gives a rundown on Nexus layered architecture

This is an excerpt from a much larger impromptu Q&A on Nexus Telegram, and provides an excellent overview of Nexus architecture. (edited for clarity)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Screen, [10.09.19 22:03]
[In reply to CryptoJoker]
yes it is. There's no question that ethereum and it's direct competitors that offer turing-complete programmable contracts are very powerful. But when you actually look at the requirements of businesses trying to onboard to blockchain, we found that most of them just need simple requirements met and don't need all of the complexity and baggage that comes with it.

CryptoJoker, [10.09.19 22:04]
[In reply to Paul Screen]
ok so ca u run only simple multi conditional transactions on the nexus VM or facebook type DAPPs on nexus ?

Viz., [10.09.19 22:09]
[In reply to CryptoJoker]
Nah the VM is the interpreter so the language fits on top, we haven’t designed nexus to be a programming language this is an approach we didn’t agree with. It is APi based so you can code in any language and work with the functionality of the blockchain layer for what you need it to do. No you can’t port EVM code into Nexus

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:22]
[In reply to Viz.]
when you make an api request, does this result in computations done on the blockchain ?

Viz., [11.09.19 00:23]
It depends on the API request, if you do let’s say users/list/notifications then no as this is reading data, but finance/credit/account would since it broadcasts a transaction with OP::CREDIT

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:24]
[In reply to Viz.]
ok thanks , and can you provide me an idea of the flexbility of the VM on nexus ? can it run like facebook type dapps for example ?

Viz., [11.09.19 00:28]
It depends, it depends on what you want the blockchain to do and don’t. Dapp is an overused word and overstated in capability because a blockchain isn’t a computer and shouldn’t ever be, it’s a verifier. So, if you wanted to make a social network on nexus, trade tokens, chat, sure you could. A lot of functionality will be in the logical Layer as there’s no point to compute let’s say an image compression on the blockchain, you would on the logical Layer compress it, hash it, then build an object Register to hold the meta data associated with it that includes the checksum, include description. Then to update, you change the state in the object register, etc. If you wanted to do conditions in some of these interactions you could program the Boolean expression in such as, I’ll sell you this object for 5 NXS, someone is able to claim the transfer based on the condition of their debit, so on.

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:29]
[In reply to CryptoJoker]
how does the functinonality of the nexus scripts compare to that of bitcoin scripts ?
is it fair to assume this:
bitcoin scripting < nexus scripting < ethereum type smart contracts ?
it seems like its mostly built to handle only transactions ...

Viz., [11.09.19 00:31]
[In reply to CryptoJoker]
Not really, our architecture is completely different, hard to compare functionality. Let’s just say bitcoin scripts are slow, clunky, and stack based and only handle a Boolean expression to spend inputs, ours is a register based system with primitive operations and conditions that all interact to provide contract functionality

Viz., [11.09.19 00:31]
[In reply to CryptoJoker]
You miss what the term register means then
And “programmable data structures”

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:31]
[In reply to Viz.]
yes, this is the first time i am encountering this
i also dont have a programming background unfortunately

Viz., [11.09.19 00:33]
A register is a structure that on hardware is what your cpu uses to store numbers in low latency memory (close to the CPU in its internal cache).... hang on, switching to computer...

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:34]
[In reply to Viz.]
ok this is all fine and good, but i guess for a layman like me i just wanna know what its functionalities are in comparison to EVM type VMs ...
what can it do in comparison to EVMs, and is it fasteslower, more expensive/cheaper ?

Viz., [11.09.19 00:36]
Let me explain it like this: Ethereum is like everything put in one bucket, it has a turing complete byte code because they imagined you could program it like a universal computer. The reality is though, that most people abstract away from the EVM and use it for pure data storage, or managing accounts and tokens. They include operations like EXP for example, and use what is termed "Big Numbers" which are numbers that are in the range of 2^256 which is a number with over a hundred zeros. This has led to significant bottlenecks, and little value in being turing complete even though this was their value propositiion.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:36]
Now we get to Bitcoin, which was deliberatly not turing complete, and its scripts were designed to control the conditions on spending inputs in the UTXO model, in which it has proven useful, and some scripts such as OP_RETURN have allowed people to store data on it, but then again it aws not useful for much more than that.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:37]
Then we get to us, think of us between bitcoin and ethereum, but building contracts to act like contracts between people, rather than computer code.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:41]
So think of us as a blend of the two concepts, but in a way that is practical and useful for developers. From my research of talking to many companies that were using blockchain, I deduced a simple common denominator: nobody used ethereum for the turing completeness, they used it to store data. This was the foundation of the architecture that I developed for tritium that is a seven layer stack. So I'm going to break this down, and hope this communicates how it functions to create smart contracts or dapps in just about any capacity that's needed:

Viz., [11.09.19 00:41]
  1. Network - this is responsible for end to end communication between nodes, handling the relaying and receiving of ledger level data

Viz., [11.09.19 00:43]
  1. Ledger - this is responsible for ensuring all data is formed under consensus and is immutable by nature. This is where your 'sigchain' or blockchain account exists. A sigchain is a decentralized blockchain account that allows you to login from any node with a username, password, and pin without the need for wallet.dat files or constantly rescanning the database. This is an important piece to how the layers above work as well, think of it as a personal blockchain that allows decentralized access through the login system that does not store any credentials, but rather deterministically creates a 'lock' mathematically that only your credentials can unlock, using a few different cryptographic functions I won't name here

Viz., [11.09.19 00:46]
  1. Register - this layer is the data retention layer, or the layer that stores information relating to users. A register takes two forms: state and object. A state register is jsut a simple register that can store data in any sequence with no formatting enforced by the ledger. This would be for applications that have a state they want to remain immutable whih they can record in a state register. The second form is an object register, which is a programmable data type. What this means is that I can specify the fields of this register, and set some of the fields to be mutable or immutable such as lets say S/N would be immutable, but notes mutable. This allows objects to take the form much like a struct or class in object oritented languages, that can be accessed by any node, and only written to by the owning sigchain. Now registers sit on top of the ledger, and they can be transferred between sigchains or users, allowing them to take a natural form as assets or simple objects that would be included in a decentralized application such as a crypto kitty, or a post yoj make on social media, etc. This layer is responsible for managing all these states and ensuring the specified fields in these states are immutable, while other fi9elds can be updated like a program would do as it operates.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:51]
  1. Operation - this layer is what gives context to a register and causes some action to take place. It includes two aspects to this layer, Primitive operations and Conditional operations. A contract object is a self contained object containing: a register pre-state (the register that is being operated on), a primitive operation (only one primitive operation per contract), and a set of conditions (any amount of conditional ops may be used for a fee of course). The primitive operations are basic ones like WRITE, APPEND, DEBIT, CREDIT, TRANSFER, CLAIM, CREATE, AUTHORIZE, TRUST, CONBASE, GENERATE. Each of these has a specific operation on the register it is initiated in. This is how you would maintain the state of a decentralized app, lets say crypto kitties, you have an object register that you create with OP::CREATE that has a specific meta data format associated with it, you then OP::TRANSFER it to someone else, but you gie a condition saying they must send 500 NXS beforehand, and this is the stiuplation of the TRANSFER being CLAIMABLE. When this ondition is satisfied you are able to claim the other point allowing for forms of exhange. Other stipulations or conditions could be arbitration, escrow, etc. Conditions are when there is an interaction between two actors or sigchains, which happens with a DEBIT or TRANSFER. Otherwise the other primitive oeprations act on the register such as changing its state.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:52]
  1. API - This layer is responsible for giving an interface for the programmer to build their DAPP. This gies them direct access to login, create registers, create accounts, send coins, read data, manage notifications, etc. This is the layer develoeprs will interact with when building applications.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:53]
  1. Logical - This is the first 'developer' layer, menaing that this is the layer that will give most of the logic to the application. This coudl be simple things like, send message to this user if they have this object that has a value of 'you're my friend' ,or antything else. This layer is the 'backend' of the dapp, and what provides a lot of the functionality. States can be read and written into the register layer, information from the ledger can be shared, stipulations on interactions can be applied. etc.

Viz., [11.09.19 00:54]
  1. Interface - This is the 'user' layer, where the user will interact with. This in the facebook example would be the website you go to, and all the buttons that do fun stuff. This is the last layer of the 'developer' application space.

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:54]
thank you
big applause!!!!

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:56]
ok so to summarize my understanding of this
3 allows for creation and transfer of digital assets/objects
4 governs the operations that on objects in 3
5 interface between dapp logic and registeoperations layer
  1. this is where the "dapp" is written by developers
am i right ?

Viz., [11.09.19 00:57]
So as you can see, all these layers together are what form the foundation of a dapp, with the blockchain doing some things, the application does other things. They togheter give the blockchain scability and easy to build on, and also give the appliation powerful tools to utilize. For example of an object register, your NXS account. It contains fields identifier and balance. The identifier identfies the token's contract-id or object register, and the balance keeps track of how much you have at stake. Object registers can be polymorphic though, so you can create an object register with tehse two base types, but add, notes, which you could fill with personal notes and the DEBIT and CREDIT operations would process it off of the base object, or the account menaing that you can expand from these basic objects and create many different types and uses, creating object oriented and polymorphic behavior

Viz., [11.09.19 00:57]
3 is simply where they are store, it takes 4 to create the object
5 yes
6 yes plus 7, the dapp space is layers 6 and 7 together. If the dapp developer is really good though, they make custom API's with more complex contracts under the hood to provide additional functionality to their dapp, but we currently abstract the developer away from this to prevent them making mistakes that could lose people a lot of money

CryptoJoker, [11.09.19 00:59]
whereas for the EVM, 3,4,5,6 and 7 are all bundles into one entitiy, am i right ?

Viz., [11.09.19 00:59]
And last note, on layer 4, the conditional statements. These also operate on a register based VM that processes the conditional statements, and they can be grouped with as many different conditions as desired, so they can grow into quite complex contracts like we would see with legal contracts.

Viz., [11.09.19 01:00]
EVM doesn't really have layers
It's just EVM opcodes, and then the compiler for solidity which creates the byte code, so maybe two layers
Same with bitcoin scripts
But bitcoin scripts dont have a compiler that creates the byte code so you have to program it as a type of assembly

Viz., [11.09.19 01:01]
So long story short is, our techniques and architecture are quite unique, and designed around years of market research to ensure that it was built as something that people could use easily, but also powerful enough to power the dapps people want to see

Viz., [11.09.19 01:03]
The login account is really important for adoption in my opinion, because users having to manage keys wont bode well for applications that expand, lets say like supply chains or other mobile applications. Managing keys in a file on your computer I think is a big hurdle to mainstream adoption, the other one is the complexity of EVM and how little practical appliation it has, even though it contains a lot of functionality, most of it us unused or abstracted away from
submitted by scottsimon36 to nexusearth [link] [comments]

Groestlcoin September 2019 Development Release/Update!

For a more interactive view of changes, click here
In our current world; bordering on financial chaos, with tariff wars, Brexit and hyperinflation rife, you can count on Groestlcoin to consistently produce innovation that strikes to take the power away from the few and into the many, even after a full five and a half years of solid development.
Here is what the team has already announced in the last 3 months since the last development update:

What's Being Released Today?

Groestl Nodes

What am I?

Groestl Nodes aims to map out and compare the status of the Groestlcoin mainnet and testnet networks. Even though these networks share the same protocol, there is currently no way to directly compare these coins in a single location. These statistics are essential to evaluate the relative health of both networks.

Features

Source - Website

Groestlcoin Transaction Tool

What am I?

This is a tool for creating unsigned raw Groestlcoin transactions and also to verify existing transactions by entering in the transaction hex and converting this to a human-readable format to verify that a transaction is correct before it is signed.

Features

SourceDownload

Groestlcoin AGCore

What am I?

AGCore is an Android app designed to make it easier to run a Groestlcoin Core node on always-on Android appliances such as set-top boxes, Android TVs and repurposed tablets/phones. If you are a non-technical user of Groestlcoin and want an Android app that makes it easy to run a Groestlcoin Core node by acting as a wrapper, then AG Core is the right choice for you.

What's Changed?

Source - Download

Groestlcoin Electrum

What's Changed?

Android Electrum-Specific

OSXWindowsWindows StandaloneWindows PortableLinux - Android
Server SourceServer Installer SourceClient SourceIcon SourceLocale Source

Android Wallet – Including Android Wallet Testnet

What am I?

Android Wallet is a BIP-0032 compatible hierarchial deterministic Groestlcoin Wallet, allowing you to send and receive Groestlcoin via QR codes and URI links.

V7.11.1 Changes

Groestlcoin Java Library SourceSource - DownloadTestnet Download

Groestlwallet

What am I?

Groestlwallet is designed to protect you from malware, browser security holes, even physical theft. With AES hardware encryption, app sandboxing, keychain and code signatures, groestlwallet represents a significant security advance over web and desktop wallets, and other mobile platforms.
Simplicity is groestlwallet's core design principle. Because groestlwallet is "deterministic", your balance and entire transaction history can be restored from just your recovery phrase.

iOS 0.7.3 Changes

Android v89 Changes

iOS SourceAndroid Source - Android DownloadiOS Download

Groestlcoinomi Released

What am I?

Groestlcoinomi is a lightweight thin-client Groestlcoin wallet based on a client-server protocol.

Groestlcoinomi v1.1 Desktop Changes

Groestlcoinomi Android v1.6 Changes

Groestlcoin Java Library SourceAndroid Source
Android DownloadWindows DownloadMac OS DownloadLinux Download

Groestlcoin BIP39 Tool

What's Changed?

Source - Download
submitted by Yokomoko_Saleen to groestlcoin [link] [comments]

Proposed method to email crypto-coins directly.

Below are some ideas I have been working on to allow direct off-blockchain transfer of Bitcoin Private Keys while preventing Double-Spend and Counterfeiting . There is a reference to tamper-proof Physical Bitcoin as DA BOMB- Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknotes. These Physical Bitcoins and their digitally encrypted representations are the basis for off-blockchain exchange of value. Off-Blockchain exchanges are completely private and as fast as sending an email.

FAST BITCOIN

Daily settlement between corporations, instant settlement on trading or funded shopping channels, physical bitcoin possession for investors .
Each platform which offers FAST BITCOIN will purchase a large amount of DA BOMB to power their digital envelope re-sale network. All networks will be compatible and fungible assets composed of.
When a customer places an order for DA BOMB I load a certain amount of BTC in various denominations onto a selection of bitcoin wallets, which are then manufactured as physical bitcoin.
This amount of BTC is the amount this customer can spend on the FAST BITCOIN network.
The Bitcoin the customer spends never moves on the BTC Blockchain.
The envelope containing the customer’s BTC is credited or debited a certain combination of addresses that contain a known amount of BTC, adding up to the exact amount of the transaction.
Transactions can only be made in ROUND NUMBERS of a certain resolution, such as 0.0001 BTC , and the resolution will be finer at a later date to account for the rise of value of BTC in the future.
The contents of a customer’s envelope will be maintained to allow for making change and to account for his spending or funding of his account.
The main issuer of FAST BITCOIN will be Satoshi Bitcoin Incorporated, with other platforms buying enough DA BOMB to issue their own FAST BITCOIN on their own shopping platforms.
Customers can always write to the platform and request that their remaining envelope balance be mailed to their physical address.
The envelope contents are tracked on a separate blockchain, the FAST BITCOIN blockchain.
Customers can use their physical bitcoin like paper money, or break the hologram seal and view the private key to use as regular bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain.
Only TRUSTED NODES are on the FAST BITCOIN Blockchain. The Network is composed of the corporate members who offer FAST BITCOIN shopping at their websites, and join by invitation only. Large networks can fuel their own branded shopping tokens with FAST BITCOIN after paying a co-branding fee, or simply use FAST BITCOIN without re-branding to their own token name.
Software can equate all prices at a website to the token value of choice on the platform, so that the shopper may make purchases via FAST BITCOIN while referring to prices in stable fiat equivalent tokens, or re-branded token values.
The customer’s purchasing power varies with the price of Bitcoin, but the visible prices remain stable.
The customer may buy a StableCoin (not Tethers) to fund all or part of their account, or switch from BTC to StableCoin at will; or let the system do this for him. BTC going up, funding remains in BTC, BTC going down, Funding switches too StableCoin.
A purely electronic version of FAST BITCOIN will rely on a hardware device to store the private keys offline and always in encrypted form when connected to the internet.
There is object “A” : the FAST BITCOIN Wallet
There is object “B” : the individual private keys
The system works with a combination of Master System Key Encryption and Asymmetrical Key Encryption.
The Hardware device is called a SPLIT WALLET. It is a combination of a HOT WALLET and a COLD WALLET. The two halves of the split wallet can only communicate with each other when the device is unplugged from the device being used to access the Internet.
The Master System Key resides on the Cold Wallet and can’t be viewed without destroying the function of the Hardware Wallet.
To send bitcoin to a person on the network, the hardware wallet takes the addresses needed to add up to the desired amount and encrypts them with the PUBLIC KEY of the receiving device.
The BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN is used as a KEY SERVER to store the PUBLIC KEY of every device manufactured, linked to its registration number and owner identity. The OWNER IDENTITY is an EMAIL ADDRESS which is [[email protected]_BITCOIN.COM](mailto:[email protected]_bitcoin.com) .
The addresses are encrypted by the SYSTEM MASTER KEY , then by the RECIPIENT PUBLIC KEY and emailed to the above email address.
The whole network is sustained by a peer-to-peer email remailer network. Software on the machine used by the hardware device to connect to the INTERNET is designed to run a peer-to-peer email remailer node.
As well as sending the recipient an email via the re-mailer network, an entry is made on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN containing the double encrypted bitcoin private keys, recipient email address, and transaction identifier . This also contains the device registration number as part of the owner email address.
Thus even if the domain is blocked from sending email the information needed to use the bitcoin is available from the data stored on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN.
The value of Bitcoin Cash does not impact the cost of sending bitcoin, since the transaction sizes to record data on its blockchain are very small.

When FAST BITCOIN is sent to a recipient, he must plug his hardware device into a laptop, phone, or other internet device to download the keys to the device. At this time while the hardware device is still connected to the internet the just received FAST BITCOIN will not yet be available to spend. It will show on the device as STILL ENCRYPTED. The user unplugs the device from the internet and then transfers the amount from the COLD SIDE to the HOT SIDE of his wallet while offline. If he wishes he may leave this amount on the COLD SIDE or transfer up to the entire contents of the SPLIT WALLET to the HOT SIDE to enable immediate spending as soon as connected to the internet.
The COLD SIDE contains the SYSTEM MASTER KEY and decrypts the PRIVATE BITCOIN KEYS in order to enable spending.
The hardware device checks the bitcoin blockchain to verify the amount of bitcoin held by each bitcoin private key, and also checks that the private keys it contains map properly to the public bitcoin keys used to view the balance on the device when it is connected to the internet.

DA Bomb

Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb)
Bitcoin Metal Wallet Cold Storage on BTC Blockchain. A Crypto-Currency version of money, which may be exchanged for fiat currency.
Other major cryptos such as Ethereum , LiteCoin, and Bitcoin Cash may be substituted for bitcoin without affecting the usefulness of this offering. These versions will come out later, using the same physical format. (hopefully patented)
The design of the card should be modified enough from any existing patents to be patentable itself. The manufacturing, loading and documenting of the card should be done by proprietary and open-source software. This process should be patented as well or be part of the same patent.
These are physical BTC coins, in the form of a metal card the size and shape of a credit card. The Bitcoin Wallet is composed of two sets of engraved alpha-numeric and QR codes highlighted by black ink. One set is public and is on the outside of the card. A pull-tab almost exactly like the kind on a soup can is removed from the front of the card to reveal the inner contents . This is the engraving of the private key which is required to spend the BTC. Viewing it or detecting the exact nature of this code is equivalent to ownership of the associated BTC.
The public key on the outside of the card is used to deposit to or send to the card. In normal operations the card would come loaded with a certain amount of BTC.
The cards will be protected by security features and the quality control process during their manufacture.
The cards will be dipped in a coating of compounds to indicate a unique identity for each card, with short lengths of coloured fibres and paint floating on the surface of the clear lacquer compound and creating a unique visual identity. Each card is photographed and the image file uploaded to a database with the blockchain address and item id from manufacture all associated together.
A label is created and affixed to the outside of the card. On it are the blockchain address, photo of the untampered card, and amount of BTC deposited to card.
The private keys are not retained in file form at the manufacturer’s facility, or recorded in any way.
Before the key is deleted from memory and fully erased from all data storage devices, the photo of the engraving of it is compared to the key via character recognition software. When photo verifies as true then key is deleted from memory. Now the card is tracked by my own “in-house” item id, linked in the database to the blockchain address which displays the public key, and the photo file of the card. The card is photographed twice, the photo of the private key is deleted just after verifying the engraving matches the private key. The photo of the exterior of the card showing the paint lines and fibre positions on the card is kept on file. The offline computer takes the photo of the private key, the online computer takes the photo of the card after dipping.
The card is meant to circumvent the horribly high fees associated with using BTC as a payment method. Possession of the card is deemed to be legally equivalent to the ability to spend the associated BTC available via the private key. The nature of the tamper proof and hack proof aspects of the card manufacture lends credence to the continued value of the card as it is passed through consecutive transactions. The fees which would have been normally paid to enable these transactions on the Blockchain, will now have been saved by the people utilizing the physical Bitcoin cards. The Bitcoin transactions on the Blockchain are enabled by paying fees to “bitcoin miners”, who use large amounts of energy and computing power to solve complicated mathematical problems in order to process transactions and also to earn newly created bitcoins, of which there will only ever be 21,000,000. The fees for bitcoin transactions have become so high that paying for an item with bitcoin wouldn’t make sense for anything under $280 or so; and you had better be rich enough not to care about the $30 to $75 fee to buy just about any size purchase.
Instead of this, cold wallets containing small denominations of BTC can be exchanged via strong encryption and sending password and wallet via different delivery modes; or by physical bitcoin wallets.
At any time one may pull the tab on the metal card and reveal the private key, in order to obtain control of the BTC for use in a different cold wallet, or an online wallet. You will now have to pay transaction fees as per your new wallet details.
There is an instant financial advantage as soon as a group of people trust the value of physical bitcoin in transactions. All the miner fees for each transaction done with physical bitcoin are saved by the group. These transactions are valued in BTC, worth real dollars if exchanged for dollars; but with the dollar value always changing.
Volatility is a fact of life with Bitcoin (BTC), but the market has always trended upwards if you wait long enough. And the value has often nose-dived as well, in an unpredictable manner. A lot of people are holding (or “hodling”) BTC as a very risky and speculative investment, hoping the price will go up.
There is a great demand for bitcoin and that demand is going to increase in the near future.
How will I pay to load the BTC on to the cards? The cards will be loaded on an “on-demand” order process. The cards can be made up to a certain stage, where they have been dipped in tamper-proofing but not yet labeled. Up to this point they can be any denomination (amount) of BTC. When the payment for the order is taken at the online website then the card is loaded, labeled and shipped to the customer.
Besides the metal coin wallets denominated in various amounts of BTC; there will be “piggy-bank” versions of the card available. The BTC is loaded onto the card via the visible wallet public key engraved on the front of the card. The card owner can be paid debts owed to him via the public key. The card owner can send any amount of BTC to this receive address and it will become associated via the blockchain with the private key hidden inside the card. To spend the BTC loaded onto the card he will have to view the private key and send it to the hot wallet he uses online. Technical advice about fees, security, hacking and safety will be available at the company website, as well as many other helpful resources.
The denominated versions of the card are identical to the piggy-bank versions except for the label. The label covers the “receive” address on the denominated versions, as no further deposits to the blockchain are needed. The label on the piggy-bank version doesn’t cover the public key address, has a photo of the card and the manufacturer’s ID number. It also has a link to the Blockchain.info webpage associated with the public key address. Anyone with this address can see how much BTC is associated with the Public Key shown here.
Thus the intact tamper-proof BTC Card can be used with confidence, as the public key can be viewed on the Blockchain by anyone. As long as the amount on the card label matches the amount shown on the Blockchain.info webpage then the card’s private key can be trusted. This renders the card a form of “trust-less” currency equivalent to legal tender in value and usefulness .
The card format and manufacturing process is tested to obtain a hack proof product. The private key is not detectable by examination or any technical means without opening the pull-tab. This is essential to prevent theft and fraud. The card can not be opened, viewed , and sealed again.
A card without a label would be suspect, a card which had been opened and re-sealed obvious. Checking the blockchain address reveals the status of the BTC in question in any event.
The manufacturing process is outlined below:

The engraving is deep enough to be permanent but still not detected while wallet card is in closed position. The alpha-numeric and QR code versions of the keys are engraved and inked.
After the engraving, the private key is deleted from memory of the engraving controlling computer. This computer is never connected to the internet. Only verified software is used on this computer.
A separate computer controls the camera, label maker, and database connection to the internet.

The same file is used to generate the labels.
Addresses are checked for BTC before coin Cards are offered for sale. A second stamp is placed on label when transaction confirms.
Coin is offered for sale at Amazon.com if allowed.
Coins can be exchanged as if fiat currency, with full confidence in BTC amount displayed on seal.
Sale price on Amazon will reflect BTC amount cost when loaded- possibly a great deal if BTC has gone up since loading, or actual cost of production plus 2%, plus miner fee and distribution fee.
Savings could be significant if BTC surges in value after coins are minted. coins are bought at time of minting by purchases of BTC at market price.
“Would you like to buy some free money?”
Demand for product is assured, as the value once for sale at Amazon increases over time. You will not be able to find cheaper bitcoin anywhere, sometimes. A small portion of my stock at Amazon will remain on sale at a very low price when the Bitcoin price rises. I plan on adjusting the price of my stock to reflect the current price of Bitcoin at the time; but not all of it, and not immediately. Every time the price of BTC increases by 10%, I will reset the price of my cards to initial values.
The initial values are the current price of BTC plus 2% , miner fees and distribution costs. As the market price increases after loading the cards, they are more and more of a deal for the customer.
This forms the basis of a great promotional value to sell the metal card coin wallets.
The profit.
Profit is calculated to be 2% of the BTC value when minted. Values from 0.001 BTC to 1 BTC are minted. This generates from $0.18 Cad to $180 CAD per card depending on value. I will focus on minting in the 0.01 to 0.11 BTC range, with profits of $1.80 to $19.80 a card.
customer pays: Cost of BTC when minted
miner fees, distribution fees, 2% over cost fee, Cost of manufacture. I estimate all costs not BTC or profit to be about $11 Cad per card.
Price of card is: BTC cost + 2% + $11.00 .
After purchase the card can be traded for cash, items or value of services. Miner fees are saved by every person after the initial purchaser of the card.
I want to mint around 1000 cards a day. This averages out to $18,000 profit per day.
The plan is to produce only lower value coin wallets until cash reserves are big enough to pay for larger denominations.
Customers can order from the lower denominations in stock or special order cards of any amount that they pay for at the time, shipped after production on demand.
This involves simply loading the customer’s purchase of BTC onto the card address and attaching the label.
As the price of BTC rises then stock available and loaded previously will be a special discount offer until the price resets after a ten percent increase in the BTC market value.
When selling the BTC coin metal cards at Amazon.com :

Card is dipped in clear sealer with paint filaments floating in dip tank. Also small lengths of coloured fibre are floating in the resin coating. The unique pattern formed is photographed and printed on label stored in database with item number. Private key is not stored.
Sell in vending machines in Japan, Airports,New York Subway System, Pizza Hut, etc.
On the Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb), the blockchain webpage address of the public key is displayed. To check that BTC are in the account, just go to that page. Unless tampered with, BTC amount will match that shown on label.
Full label is artwork, denomination in BTC, photo and blockchain.info webpage address associated with public key.
This idea is patentable due to the unique packaging of the cold bitcoin wallet in a pull-tab metal card. In this writing read “coin” as “card” as well. The card is evolved out of a sardine can with a pull tab lid closure, with very short sides and pressed flat all around the edge.
The goal is to have a design where the pull tab can easily be removed by an adult. It should be hard for a child to open without being shown how. The card should be only slightly thicker than a regular credit card, and not open while in a leather wallet’s card holder.The pull tab should not open accidentally while being carried in a wallet. The pull tab will be manufactured so that it must be rotated by 180 degrees before opening. A small screwdriver, nail file or fingernail must be placed into a small slot to twist the pull tab into the correct position to open, before this it is restrained by a shallow metal lip on the top of the card.
Research and development are required for this idea to be a success. The manufacturing process, security features and bitcoin loading and labeling must all be tested and verified as hack and tamper-proof. The customer must never receive a hacked or empty or unloaded card after purchase and delivery.
Attempts at fraud by the customer will be obvious. Only Intact cards will be accepted for refund. Product must always ship in perfect condition, as customer can only return intact card for full refund, no opened, missing or tampered with cards will be credited to customer for refund, and this will be part of the agreement with the customer at time of purchase. Before refund the balance of the card must match the denomination on the label.
Notes on manufacturing process:



In the above I refer to not recording the private keys and deleting the server records as soon as the cards have been manufactured and checked for accuracy. please note that the recording of the private key for a certain amount of DA BOMB is required to power the FAST BITCOIN encrypted private key network.

thank-you
submitted by bubbleHead3 to emailcoin [link] [comments]

ETH News/Dapp Compilation

Hi guys. This is a list I started just recently for personal use to keep track of all the great news we’ve gotten recently for Ethereum. I’m trying my best to categorize the articles by either what type of industry ETH is helping, or how ETH is being helped (Infrastructure section).
It is in no way a comprehensive list and I’d like to open it up to everyone here to contribute/pick apart. I’ve got an idea for basically an “onboarding packet” for Ethereum that will include a rundown of all this stuff, some defi growth stats, list of popular dapps, user guide for Metamask (None of which will come from me but will be compiled all into one place for the benefit of newbs).
I think any non-believer who reads all of the articles in this list, or even just the snippets I included, would be hard pressed to say “ETH isn’t used” or “crypto is a scam” …unless they are just a total moron. Apologies for bad formatting.
Charity/utilitarianism:
https://www.coindesk.com/oxfam-trials-delivery-of-disaster-relief-using-ethereum-stablecoin-dai “Oxfam has previously distributed help to Vanuatu villagers using cash, but the time taken for ID checks and bank visits was an obstacle, the charity representative said. Onboarding a new user for cash aid took around an hour, signing up for a DAI card takes six minutes, Micky wrote. Plus, it made the whole process more transparent.”
Infrastructure:
http://hitcryptonews.com/2019/04/17/ernst-young-ey-unveils-ethereum-blockchain-based-nightfall-protocol/
private UK tax/audit company with over 35 Billion in revenue "Instead of developing a private iteration, EY has announced that its Nightfall protocol will run on top of the public Ethereum network. Further, the multi-national accounting conglomerate has taken a unique strategy to intellectual property. The company said that it will not only open-source the protocol code but also put it in the public domain with absolutely no license at all."
https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-ethereum-gateway/
"Today, as part of Crypto Week 2019, we are excited to announce Cloudflare's Ethereum Gateway, where you can interact with the Ethereum network without installing any additional software on your computer."
https://www.coindesk.com/microsoft-ethereum-group-launch-token-building-kit-for-enterprises Microsoft launches a kit for businesses to build their own public Ethereum tokens.
https://www.coindesk.com/samsung-unveils-cryptocurrency-wallet-dapps-for-galaxy-s10-phone
“According to a report from CoinDesk Korea published Sunday, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet is currently compatible only with ether (ETH) and ethereum-based ERC20 tokens. Bitcoin is not yet supported, despite the logo appearing on earlier pre-release presentation images.”
https://www.coindesk.com/operas-browser-with-built-in-crypto-wallet-launches-for-iphones
“Dapps can be accessed by typing their address directly in the browser, avoiding the need to use third-party extensions” https://www.bitcoinisle.com/2019/04/05/ethereum-eth-former-white-house-deputy-ctos-blockchain-startup-raises-3-7m-in-seed-funding/ Former whitehouse Chief Technology Officer raising money for an Ethereum side-chain. The chain WILL use the public chain as a final authority, so not just another private chain.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/big-four-auditing-firm-pwc-releases-cryptocurrency-auditing-software
Per the release, the tool newly added to PwC’s Halo auditing suite can be used to “provide assurance services for entities engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.” The firm claims that, with the new addition, the Halo suite permits PwC to provide independent evidence of private-public key pairing (to establish crypto asset ownership), and gather information about transactions and balances from blockchains.
Supply Chain/Logistics:
https://decrypt.co/7621/farmer-trials-blockchain-supply-chain-app-says-its-better-than-excel
“With a spreadsheet, you have to take the farmers’ word on faith. But Treum provides a timestamp and a geolocation—tied to a specific, pre-selected field—that demonstrates, irrevocably, that the crop was grown where the farmer said it was grown. This data is then transferred, in the form of a single token, to the Ethereum network, where it cannot be overwritten.”
https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2019/06/idealwine-launches-authentication-tool/
"Cyrille Jomand, iDealwine’s CEO, said: “Bottles verified by iDealwine are equipped with an inviolable RFID TAG which permanently guarantees the link between the bottle of wine and the information contained and transferred in the blockchain.”
Finance:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/hanktucke2019/06/17/polish-bank-alior-uses-public-ethereum-blockchain-for-new-document-authentication-feature/#120959f244a6
"Societe Generale, a major French investment bank, issued a $112 million bond in security tokens on the public ethereum blockchain in April, but Alior’s management believes it is the first bank to use a public blockchain for a direct customer service solution"
"Customers can search documents they have received on Alior’s servers and browse their history to find where those documents are located on the (Ethereum) blockchain to ensure that they have not been changed by the bank since they were published."
http://fintechnews.sg/31826/blockchain/worlds-first-traditional-equity-shares-on-the-blockchain-blueshare-launches-in-singapore/ The token/share ratio is 1:1, meaning that 1 security token is backed by 1 Equity Capital Participation Share. Investments are accepted both in fiat and cryptocurrencies – Euro, Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether. The token sale started on May 6, 2019. The funds raised under the proposed security token offering will be used as a direct investment into the company’s mining and exploration concessions.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/iceland-financial-regulator-approves-blockchain-190100164.html "Reykjavik-based Monerium, backed by blockchain software company ConsenSys, has reportedly been approved by the Icelandic financial watchdog to provide fiat payment services using ethereum (ETH) blockchain"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenehrlich/2019/06/19/metlife-plans-to-disrupt-2-7-trillion-life-insurance-industry-using-ethereum-blockchain/#1dd36d002770 MetLife is utilizing the live public Ethereum blockchain to add transparency and efficiency to the claims process. In what is believed to be the first pilot program in the world focused on the life insurance industry, MetLife’s Singapore-based incubator LumenLab is collaborating with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and NTUC Income (Income) on a platform of smart contracts known as ‘Lifechain’ to help loved ones quickly determine if the deceased was protected with a policy and automatically file a claim.
Novelty/Games/Collectibles:
https://en.businesstimes.cn/articles/113719/20190614/ubisoft-may-soon-have-ethereum-in-game-items-and-blockchain-games.htm "The associate manager at Ubisoft, Anne Puck, added: "We think that blockchain has the potential to transform the gaming experience and even maybe to empower players as true stakeholders in their worlds. That's why our job is to accelerate the integration of blockchain at Ubisoft with this initiative." Ubisoft will likely enable in-game or in-app purchases via the Ethereum network. It is worth noting that the company has not clearly stated that any form of digital currency will be used for any such purchases. "
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/austria-post-launches-crypto-stamp-132010928.html "The “Crypto Stamp” is the first use case for non-fungible tokens launched by a government so far, making it a milestone. The pilot’s success will help determine the future for NFTs, which can now be issued across multiple Ethereum token standards."
https://coinjournal.net/japans-first-blockchain-game-crypt-oink-expands-to-english-speaking-markets-partners-with-cryptokitties/ "Created by Japan-based developer Good Luck 3, Crypt-Oink is a decentralized application (DApp) running on the Ethereum network. The game lets users breed, collect and trade digital racing pigs called Cryptons."
Data/Identity Management:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelwolfson/2019/06/25/ibm-orbs-consensys-work-together-on-global-blockchain-settlement-platform-for-telecoms/#498d66c4782c “In particular for this project, we propose solutions for the "transaction orchestration layer," and decentralized identities for participants in the network, solutions that have already been deployed successfully on Ethereum, and can integrate with other DLTs."
List of actually useful/cool Ethereum Apps(Some are Dapps others just involve ETH):
https://app.compound.finance/# Lending/borrowing ETH and ETH tokens. No fixed lending periods and interest is generated in real time (Every block I think– roughly ten seconds)
https://cdp.makerdao.com/ Mint DAI against your Ether.
https://www.augur.net/ Create a betting market for anything you can imagine. Use https://predictions.global/ to view current markets without downloading the client.
https://kyberswap.com Trade ETH tokens right from your Metamask account without having to deposit/withdrawal to an exchange.
https://godsunchained.com/ Buy trading cards for the first AAA quality hearthstone-esque Ethereum card game where your cards are tokens in your wallet and are freely tradeable (Or at least they will be once the game is out of Beta…)
https://trade.dydx.exchange/ Decentralized leverage trading right from your Metamask wallet.
Other Utilities and Resources:
https://etherscan.io Block explorer. Use this to check out your ETH address, smart contract addresses, spy on whales addresses, etc.
https://www.ethgasstation.info/ Check current gas prices and transaction speeds.
https://github.com/ethereumbook/ethereumbook This is the github version of “Mastering Ethereum” Which goes over the basics of how Ethereum works with smart contracts and nodes and whatnot. It’s actually easier to follow along with than you’d think. Can also buy the PDF version on Amazon.
submitted by hello_again_world to ethtrader [link] [comments]

The core concepts of DTube's new blockchain

Dear Reddit community,
Following our announcement for DTube v0.9, I have received countless questions about the new blockchain part, avalon. First I want to make it clear, that it would have been utterly impossible to build this on STEEM, even with the centralized SCOT/Tribes that weren't available when I started working on this. This will become much clearer as you read through the whole wall of text and understand the novelties.
SteemPeak says this is a 25 minutes read, but if you are truly interested in the concept of a social blockchain, and you believe in its power, I think it will be worth the time!

MOVING FORWARD

I'm a long time member of STEEM, with tens of thousands of staked STEEM for 2 years+. I understand the instinctive fear from the other members of the community when they see a new crypto project coming out. We've had two recent examples recently with the VOICE and LIBRA annoucements, being either hated or ignored. When you are invested morally, and financially, when you see competitors popping up, it's normal to be afraid.
But we should remember competition is healthy, and learn from what these projects are doing and how it will influence us. Instead, by reacting the way STEEM reacts, we are putting our heads in the sand and failing to adapt. I currently see STEEM like the "North Korea of blockchains", trying to do everything better than other blockchains, while being #80 on coinmarketcap and slowly but surely losing positions over the months.
When DLive left and revealed their own blockchain, it really got me thinking about why they did it. The way they did it was really scummy and flawed, but I concluded that in the end it was a good choice for them to try to develop their activity, while others waited for SMTs. Sadly, when I tried their new product, I was disappointed, they had botched it. It's purely a donation system, no proof of brain... And the ultra-majority of the existing supply is controlled by them, alongside many other 'anti-decentralization' features. It's like they had learnt nothing from their STEEM experience at all...
STEEM was still the only blockchain able to distribute crypto-currency via social interactions (and no, 'donations' are not social interactions, they are monetary transfers; bitcoin can do it too). It is the killer feature we need. Years of negligence or greed from the witnesses/developers about the economic balance of STEEM is what broke this killer feature. Even when proposing economical changes (which are actually getting through finally in HF21), the discussions have always been centered around modifying the existing model (changing the curve, changing the split, etc), instead of developing a new one.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
What if I built a new model for proof of brain distribution from the ground up? I first tried playing with STEEM clones, I played with EOS contracts too. Both systems couldn't do the concepts I wanted to integrate for DTube, unless I did a major refactor of tens of thousands of lines of code I had never worked with before. Making a new blockchain felt like a lighter task, and more fun too.
Before even starting, I had a good idea of the concepts I'd love to implement. Most of these bullet points stemmed from observations of what happened here on STEEM in the past, and what I considered weaknesses for d.tube's growth.

NO POWER-UP

The first concept I wanted to implement deep down the core of how a DPOS chain works, is that I didn't want the token to be staked, at all (i.e. no 'powering up'). The cons of staking for a decentralized social platform are obvious: * complexity for the users with the double token system. * difficulty to onboard people as they need to freeze their money, akin to a pyramid scheme.
The only good thing about staking is how it can fill your bandwidth and your voting power when you power-up, so you don't need to wait for it to grow to start transacting. In a fully-liquid system, your account ressources start at 0% and new users will need to wait for it to grow before they can start transacting. I don't think that's a big issue.
That meant that witness elections had to be run out of the liquid stake. Could it be done? Was it safe for the network? Can we update the cumulative votes for witnesses without rounding issues? Even when the money flows between accounts freely?
Well I now believe it is entirely possible and safe, under certain conditions. The incentive for top witnesses to keep on running the chain is still present even if the stake is liquid. With a bit of discrete mathematics, it's easy to have a perfectly deterministic algorithm to run a decentralized election based off liquid stake, it's just going to be more dynamic as the funds and the witness votes can move around much faster.

NO EARLY USER ADVANTAGE

STEEM has had multiple events that influenced the distribution in a bad way. The most obvious one is the inflation settings. One day it was hella-inflationary, then suddently hard fork 16 it wasn't anymore. Another major one, is the non-linear rewards that ran for a long time, which created a huge early-user advantage that we can still feel today.
I liked linear rewards, it's what gives minnows their best chance while staying sybil-resistant. I just needed Avalon's inflation to be smart. Not hyper-inflationary like The key metric to consider for this issue, is the number of tokens distributed per user per day. If this metric goes down, then the incentive for staying on the network and playing the game, goes down everyday. You feel like you're making less and less from your efforts. If this metric goes up, the number of printed tokens goes up and the token is hyper-inflationary and holding it feels really bad if you aren't actively earning from the inflation by playing the game.
Avalon ensures that the number of printed tokens is proportional to the number of users with active stake. If more users come in, avalon prints more tokens, if users cash-out and stop transacting, the inflation goes down. This ensures that earning 1 DTC will be about as hard today, tomorrow, next month or next year, no matter how many people have registered or left d.tube, and no matter what happens on the markets.

NO LIMIT TO MY VOTING POWER

Another big issue that most steemians don't really know about, but that is really detrimental to STEEM, is how the voting power mana bar works. I guess having to manage a 2M SP delegation for @dtube really convinced me of this one.
When your mana bar is full at 100%, you lose out the potential power generation, and rewards coming from it. And it only takes 5 days to go from 0% to 100%. A lot of people have very valid reasons to be offline for 5 days+, they shouldn't be punished so hard. This is why all most big stake holders make sure to always spend some of their voting power on a daily basis. And this is why minnows or smaller holders miss out on tons of curation rewards, unless they delegate to a bidbot or join some curation guild... meh. I guess a lot of people would rather just cash-out and don't mind the trouble of having to optimize their stake.
So why is it even a mana bar? Why can't it grow forever? Well, everything in a computer has to have a limit, but why is this limit proportional to my stake? While I totally understand the purpose of making the bandwidth limited and forcing big stake holders to waste it, I think it's totally unneeded and inadapted for the voting power. As long as the growth of the VP is proportional to the stake, the system stays sybil-resistant, and there could technically be no limit at all if it wasn't for the fact that this is ran in a computer where numbers have a limited number of bits.
On Avalon, I made it so that your voting power grows virtually indefinitely, or at least I don't think anyone will ever reach the current limit of Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER: 9007199254740991 or about 9 Peta VP. If you go inactive for 6 months on an account with some DTCs, when you come back you will have 6 months worth of power generation to spend, turning you into a whale, at least for a few votes.
Another awkward limit on STEEM is how a 100% vote spends only 2% of your power. Not only STEEM forces you to be active on a daily basis, you also need to do a minimum of 10 votes / day to optimize your earnings. On Avalon, you can use 100% of your stored voting power in a single mega-vote if you wish, it's up to you.

A NEW PROOF-OF-BRAIN

No Author rewards

People should vote with the intent of getting a reward from it. If 75% of the value forcibly goes to the author, it's hard to expect a good return from curation. Steem is currently basically a complex donation platform. No one wants to donate when they vote, no matter what they will say, and no matter how much vote-trading, self-voting or bid-botting happens.
So in order to keep a system where money is printed when votes happen, if we cannot use the username of the author to distribute rewards, the only possibility left is to use the list of previous voters aka "Curation rewards". The 25% interesting part of STEEM, that has totally be shadowed by the author rewards for too long.

Downvote rewards

STEEM has always suffered from the issue that the downvote button is unused, or when it's used, it's mostly for evil. This comes from the fact that in STEEM's model, downvotes are not eligible for any rewards. Even if they were, your downvote would be lowering the final payout of the content, and your own curation rewards...
I wanted Avalon's downvotes to be completely symmetric to the upvotes. That means if we revert all the votes (upvotes become downvotes and vice versa), the content should still distribute the same amount of tokens to the same people, at the same time.

No payment windows

Steem has a system of payments windows. When you publish a content, it opens a payment window where people can freely upvote or downvote to influence the payout happening 7 days later. This is convenient when you want a system where downvotes lower rewards. Waiting 7 days to collect rewards is also another friction point for new users, some of them might never come back 7 days later to convince themselves that 'it works'. On avalon, when you are part of the winners of curation after a vote, you earn it instantly in your account, 100% liquid and transferable.

Unlimited monetization in time

Indeed, the 7 days monetization limit has been our biggest issue for our video platform since day 8. This incentivized our users to create more frequent, but lesser quality content, as they know that they aren't going to earn anything from the 'long-haul'. Monetization had to be unlimited on DTube, so that even a 2 years old video could be dug up and generate rewards in the far future.
Infinite monetization is possible, but as removing tokens from a balance is impossible, the downvotes cannot remove money from the payout like they do on STEEM. Instead, downvotes print money in the same way upvotes do, downvotes still lower the popularity in the hot and trending and should only rewards other people who downvoted the same content earlier.

New curation rewards algorithm

STEEM's curation algorithm isn't stupid, but I believe it lacks some elegance. The 15 minutes 'band-aid' necessary to prevent curation bots (bots who auto vote as fast as possible on contents of popular authors) that they added proves it. The way is distributes the reward also feels very flat and boring. The rewards for my votes are very predictable, especially if I'm the biggest voter / stake holder for the content. My own vote is paying for my own curation rewards, how stupid is that? If no one elses votes after my big vote despite a popularity boost, it probably means I deserve 0 rewards, no?
I had to try different attempts to find an algorithm yielding interesting results, with infinite monetization, and without obvious ways to exploit it. The final distribution algorithm is more complex than STEEM's curation but it's still pretty simple. When a vote is cast, we calculate the 'popularity' at the time of the vote. The first vote is given a popularity of 0, the next votes are defined by (total_vp_upvotes - total_vp_downvotes) / time_since_1st_vote. Then we look into the list of previous votes, and we remove all votes in the opposite direction (up/down). The we remove all the votes with a higher popularity if its an upvote, or the ones with a lower popularity if its a downvote. The remaining votes in the list are the 'winners'. Finally, akin to STEEM, the amount of tokens generated by the vote will be split between winners proportionally to the voting power spent by each (linear rewards - no advantages for whales) and distributed instantly. Instead of purely using the order of the votes, Avalon distribution is based on when the votes are cast, and each second that passes reduces the popularity of a content, potentially increasing the long-term ROI of the next vote cast on it.
Graph It's possible to chart the popularity that influences the DTC monetary distribution directly in the d.tube UI
This algorithm ensures there are always losers. The last upvoter never earns anything, also the person who upvoted at the highest popularity, and the one who downvoted at the lowest popularity would never receive any rewards for their vote. Just like the last upvoter and last downvoter wouldn't either. All the other ones in the middle may or may not receive anything, depending on how the voting and popularity evolved in time. The one with an obvious advantage, is the first voter who is always counted as 0 popularity. As long as the content stays at a positive popularity, every upvote will earn him rewards. Similarly, being the first downvoter on an overly-popular content could easily earn you 100% rewards on the next downvote that could be from a whale, earning you a fat bonus.
While Avalon doesn't technically have author rewards, the first-voter advantage is strong, and the author has the advantage of always being the first voter, so the author can still earn from his potentially original creations, he just needs to commit some voting power on his own contents to be able to publish.

ONE CHAIN <==> ONE APP

More scalable than shared blockchains

Another issue with generalistic blockchains like ETH/STEEM/EOS/TRX, which are currently hosting dozens of semi-popular web/mobile apps, is the reduced scalability of such shared models. Again, everything in a computer has a limit. For DPOS blockchains, 99%+ of the CPU load of a producing node will be to verify the signatures of the many transactions coming in every 3 seconds. And sadly this fact will not change with time. Even if we had a huge breakthrough on CPU speeds today, we would need to update the cryptographic standards for blockchains to keep them secure. This means it would NOT become easier to scale up the number of verifiable transactions per seconds.
Oh, but we are not there yet you're thinking? Or maybe you think that we'll all be rich if we reach the scalability limits so it doesn't really matter? WRONG
The limit is the number of signature verifications the most expensive CPU on the planet can do. Most blockchains use the secp256k1 curve, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Steem and now Avalon. It was originally chosen for Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto probably because it's decently quick at verifying signatures, and seems to be backdoor-proof (or else someone is playing a very patient game). Maybe some other curves exist with faster signature verification speed, but it won't be improved many-fold, and will likely require much research, auditing, and time to get adopted considering the security implications.
In 2015 Graphene was created, and Bitshares was completely rewritten. This was able to achieve 100,000 transaction per second on a single machine, and decentralized global stress testing achieved 18,000 transactions per second on a distributed network.
So BitShares/STEEM and other DPOS graphene chains in production can validate at most 18000 txs/sec, so about 1.5 billion transactions per day. EOS, Tendermint, Avalon, LIBRA or any other DPOS blockchain can achieve similar speeds, because there's no planet-killing proof-of-works, and thanks to the leader-based/democratic system that reduces the number of nodes taking part in the consensus.
As a comparison, there are about 4 billion likes per day on instagram, so you can probably double that with the actual uploads, stories and comments, password changes, etc. The load is also likely unstable through the day, probably some hours will go twice as fast as the average. You wouldn't be able to fit Instagram in a blockchain, ever, even with the most scalable blockchain tech on the world's best hardware. You'd need like a dozen of those chains. And instagram is still a growing platform, not as big as Facebook, or YouTube.
So, splitting this limit between many popular apps? Madness! Maybe it's still working right now, but when many different apps reach millions of daily active users plus bots, it won't fit anymore.
Serious projects with a big user base will need to rethink the shared blockchain models like Ethereum, EOS, TRX, etc because the fees in gas or necessary stake required to transact will skyrocket, and the victims will be the hordes of minnows at the bottom of the distribution spectrum.
If we can't run a full instagram on a DPOS blockchain, there is absolutely no point trying to run medium+reddit+insta+fb+yt+wechat+vk+tinder on one. Being able to run half an instagram is already pretty good and probably enough to actually onboard a fair share of the planet. But if we multiply the load by the number of different app concepts available, then it's never gonna scale.
DTube chain is meant for the DTube UI only. Please do not build something unrelated to video connecting to our chain, we would actively do what we can to prevent you from growing. We want this chain to be for video contents only, and the JSON format of the contents should always follow the one used by d.tube.
If you are interested in avalon tech for your project isn't about video, it's strongly suggested to fork the blockchain code and run your own avalon chain with a different origin id, instead of trying to connect your project to dtube's mainnet. If you still want to do it, chain leaders would be forced to actively combat your project as we would consider it as useless noise inside our dedicated blockchain.

Focused governance

Another issue of sharing a blockchain, is the issues coming up with the governance of it. Tons of features enabled by avalon would be controversial to develop on STEEM, because they'd only benefit DTube, and maybe even hurt/break some other projects. At best they'd be put at the bottom of a todo list somewhere. Having a blockchain dedicated to a single project enables it to quickly push updates that are focused on a single product, not dozens of totally different projects.
Many blockchain projects are trying to make decentralized governance true, but this is absolutely not what I am interested in for DTube. Instead, in avalon the 'init' account, or 'master' account, has very strong permissions. In the DTC case, @dtube: * will earn 10% fees from all the inflation * will not have to burn DTCs to create accounts * will be able to do certain types of transactions when others can't * * account creation (during steem exclusivity period) * * transfers (during IEO period) * * transfering voting power and bandwidth ressources (used for easier onboarding)
For example, for our IEO we will setup a mainnet where only @dtube is allowed to transfer funds or vote until the IEO completes and the airdrop happens. This is also what enabled us to create a 'steem-only' registration period on the public testnet for the first month. Only @dtube can create accounts, this way we can enforce a 1 month period where users can port their username for free, without imposters having a chance to steal usernames. Through the hard-forking mechanism, we can enable/disable these limitations and easily evolve the rules and permissions of the blockchain, for example opening monetary transfers at the end of our IEO, or opening account creation once the steem exclusivity ends.
Luckily, avalon is decentralized, and all these parameters (like the @dtube fees, and @dtube permissions) are easily hardforkable by the leaders. @dtube will however be a very strong leader in the chain, as we plan to use our vote to at least keep the #1 producing node for as long as we can.
We reserve the right to 'not follow' an hardfork. For example, it's obvious we wouldn't follow something like reducing our fees to 0% as it would financially endanger the project, and we would rather just continue our official fork on our own and plug d.tube domain and mobile app to it.
On the other end of the spectrum, if other leaders think @dtube is being tyranical one way or another, leaders will always have the option of declining the new hardforks and putting the system on hold, then @dtube will have an issue and will need to compromise or betray the trust of 1/3 of the stake holders, which could reveal costly.
The goal is to have a harmounious, enterprise-level decision making within the top leaders. We expect these leaders to be financially and emotionally connected with the project and act for good. @dtube is to be expected to be the main good actor for the chain, and any permission given to it should be granted with the goal of increasing the DTC marketcap, and nothing else. Leaders and @dtube should be able to keep cooperation high enough to keep the hard-forks focused on the actual issues, and flowing faster than other blockchain projects striving for a totally decentralized governance, a goal they are unlikely to ever achieve.

PERFECT IMBALANCE

A lot of hard-forking

Avalon is easily hard-forkable, and will get hard-forked often, on purpose. No replays will be needed for leaders/exchanges during these hard-forks, just pull the new hardfork code, and restart the node before the hard-fork planned time to stay on the main fork. Why is this so crucial? It's something about game theory.
I have no former proof for this, but I assume a social and financial game akin to the one played on steem since 2016 to be impossible to perfectly balance, even with a thourough dichotomical process. It's probably because of some psychological reason, or maybe just the fact that humans are naturally greedy. Or maybe it's just because of the sheer number of players. They can gang up together, try to counter each others, and find all sorts of creative ideas to earn more and exploit each other. In the end, the slightest change in the rules, can cause drastic gameplay changes. It's a real problem, luckily it's been faced by other people in the past.
Similarly to what popular and succesful massively multiplayer games have achieved, I plan to patch or suggest hard-forks for avalon's mainnet on a bi-monthly basis. The goal of this perfect imbalance concept, is to force players to re-discover their best strategy often. By introducing regular, small, and semi-controlled changes into this chaos, we can fake balance. This will require players to be more adaptative and aware of the changes. This prevents the game from becoming stale and boring for players, while staying fair.

Death to bots

Automators on the other side, will need to re-think their bots, go through the developement and testing phase again, on every new hard-fork. It will be an unfair cat-and-mouse game. Doing small and semi-random changes in frequent hard-forks will be a easy task for the dtube leaders, compared to the work load generated to maintain the bots. In the end, I hope their return on investment to be much lower compared to the bid-bots, up to a point where there will be no automation.
Imagine how different things would have been if SteemIt Inc acted strongly against bid-bots or other forms of automation when they started appearing? Imagine if hard-forks were frequent and they promised to fight bid-bots and their ilk? Who would be crazy enough to make a bid-bot apart from @berniesanders then?
I don't want you to earn DTCs unless you are human. The way you are going to prove you are human, is not by sending a selfie of you with your passport to a 3rd party private company located on the other side of the world. You will just need to adapt to the new rules published every two weeks, and your human brain will do it subconsciously by just playing the voting game and seeing the rewards coming.
All these concepts are aimed at directly improving d.tube, making it more resilient, and scale both technologically and economically. Having control over the full tech stack required to power our dapp will prevent issues like the one we had with the search engine, where we relied too heavily on a 3rd party tool, and that created a 6-months long bug that basically broke 1/3 of the UI.
While d.tube's UI can now totally run independently from any other entity, we kept everything we could working with STEEM, and the user is now able to transparently publish/vote/comment videos on 2 different chains with one click. This way we can keep on leveraging the generalistic good features of STEEM that our new chain doesn't focuses on doing, such as the dollar-pegged token, the author rewards/donation mechanism, the tribes/communities tokens, and simply the extra exposure d.tube users can get from other website (steemit.com, busy.org, partiko, steempeak, etc), which is larger than the number of people using d.tube directly.
The public testnet has been running pretty well for 3 weeks now, with 6000+ accounts registered, and already a dozen of independant nodes popping up and running for leaders. The majority of the videos are cross-posted on both chains and the daily video volume has slightly increased since the update, despite the added friction of the new 'double login' system and several UI bugs.
If you've read this article, I'm hoping to get some reactions from you in the comments section!
Some even more focused articles about avalon are going to pop on my blog in the following weeks, such as how to get a node running and running for leadewitness, so feel free to follow me to get more news and help me reach 10K followers ;)
submitted by nannal to dtube [link] [comments]

I'm an Identity Thief and I Want My Identity Back [Part 1]

Found this on a darkweb forum. It was posted only yesterday, and I thought you all might find it interesting. Fair warning, there's supposedly more to come, according to the comments on the forum, so this isn't an all inclusive post. I decided to paste it here in real time as it was posted instead of waiting until they were done putting it all online.
From here on out, this is a direct copy-paste of the post, plus some formatting for Reddit.
 
 
I fucked up. Badly.
My whole life has been a great, big fuckup, but this really takes the cake. I'll be dead soon, so it can't get much worse.
My name is Michael Kay, also known as Neale Keaton. If you're running your little bots trying to find my name, it'll match this post. Hello, my little darkweb stalkers.
I'm about to give you my version of events. I'm about to show you that you're being played like the gullible little basement dwellers you are.
So sit down, go fullscreen, and read this through to the end.
Because I think that by the end, you'll see things my way.
 
I'm an identity thief. Have been for four years. When I got out of the military, I couldn't adjust back to "normal" life. I got stuck in the same cycle that other vets do.
No job, living on savings from my military income, and trying to kick my drinking habit.
After almost a year, I came to a brutal conclusion that is the reality for many people in this economy: my identity wasn't worth shit.
I was only a few months away from homelessness, had no prospects at a job, and was lacking in the social etiquette needed for dating. I was an only child of two only children. Grandparents were all dead, and my parents... well, I wanted nothing to do with them. They were the reason I joined the military and left home at 18.
Again, my identity was shit.
But, my drunk and sometimes high brain had a thought that kept repeating itself.
What if I were someone else? Someone with a good background. Some work experience, proof that I was a good employee, maybe even a degree.
In the military, I got to share a training ground temporarily with some of the boys heading into the Army Cyber Command. We got a few chances to swap stories, and they talked about the things they were learning. One guy was especially cocking about how "good" he was at navigating the darkweb. He regaled us with stories about finding illegal identities and firearms online before he even joined the military. He told us that the darkweb was full of everything you'd need, legal or illegal.
With that memory in mind, that's who I turned to.
In a move that further diminished my savings, I bought myself a nice identity off the darkweb. A driver's license, social security number, the works. It came with years of taxes being paid on-time, and some falsified work experience. If I paid extra, the people I bought it from would even pick up the phone when the prospective employer called and recommend me as a good employee. They had a fake website for the company and everything.
They even told me that their services were geared towards people like myself. Those unfortunate enough to have a bad identity. People who just needed the leg up of a trustworthy social security number.
And it worked.
I followed their guidelines, and true to their word, I got a job. From my Bachelor's degree in Business Management, I landed a position as a store manager for a small retail chain.
During the day, I went to work and pretended I knew what the hell was going on.
At night, I got a couple of dated self-help books from the library so I could make it look like I knew what I was doing with all the spreadsheets, scheduling, profit and loss statements, and anything else I was given.
I worked hard. I didn't sit on my ass and let my identity carry me. I worked to earn what I'd been given, and it was the only way I could live with what I'd done.
I was told that the identity was from a child who had died at birth, yet the social security number had not been discarded. The people I bought it from had "raised" that social security number. They hacked into school databases and inserted their name and grades, and did everything they needed to make the kid look like he'd grown into the man I was.
Or rather, the man whose shoes I would step into.
That identity saved me.
But good things can't last forever.
 
While the identity gave me a second chance, it didn't give me good money. The job was good enough to subsist on, but after a year and then two years, I found that I was unable to save anything. At the rate I was going, I'd be working until I was 65 years old and yet have nothing to show for it.
Once your basic needs are met, higher needs come into play. I learned that while reading books about business. Books about how to understand your customers. Even if all their basic needs are met, people are never satisfied.
We crave purpose. We crave something higher. Something better. All the time and always. No matter how high you go, you'll always find something more to want.
The same psychology that has been plaguing humanity for thousands of years, affected me.
I didn't want to be a store manager my entire life. But I also wasn't sure what I wanted.
So, I explored. I read even more books. I'd never read that much in my life, but I was on a mission. I was searching for something, some kind of meaning. I'd been given a second chance, and I wanted to do something with it. But I had no idea what it was.
My first wrong decision, which led me to where I am now, came during work. I was manning a register while one of my employees took a break, and a customer left their debit card behind. I didn't notice it until a few customers later, when one held it up and said "I think someone forgot this."
I took it, stuck it in the bottom of the cash drawer, and thanked that customer.
My employee returned, and I went back to my office to work on more spreadsheets.
At the end of their shift, the employee, whose register I had taken over, brought me the card. I told him I'd take care of it, and took it for safekeeping.
As I turned it around in my hand after he left, my brain started to run things over in my head. I had questions.
What was to stop me from sliding this card through the card reader at a register, choosing to process it as a credit card, and withdrawing cash? Who would know? How would they trace me?
The store didn't have cameras. We were in a good enough neighborhood that my superior had decided not to pay for them.
So, in all seriousness, who would know?
Nobody.
 
My plan was devised while sitting in the office.
It was just past lunch and time for a couple more employees to take breaks. I walked over, card in my pocket, and told the cashier that it was their time for a break. They happily walked to the break room, and I slipped into their place.
The other cashier and I worked through a couple more customers, then we had nothing to do. The store wasn't busy during this time.
I told the other cashier to take some returned merchandise and enter it into the inventory computer in the back. They obeyed, and I had my chance.
Swiftly, I moved to the other cashier's register and typed on their machine. I logged in under their name. They were new, and I had just barely trained them on the system. I only knew their password because it was literally "1234567". I'd seen them type it so many times that I had incidentally memorized it. Their login was the key to my plan.
With their account open, I scanned a pack of gum and rang out the "customer." I slid the card through the card reader, punched in $100 in cash to withdraw, and waited for the approval.
Ding.
Approved.
The cash drawer popped open, I extracted a couple tens, some fives, and a 20 before slamming it closed. I snatched the receipt, stuffed everything into my pocket, including the gum, and went back to my register.
When the other cashier returned, I told them I needed a few minutes in my car. That's where I hid the gum, receipt, and cash.
On my way back in, I used my shirt to wipe the card clean of any fingerprints. I dropped it by the curb on my way into the store, stomping on it a couple of times to make it look abused.
Taking a deep breath, I walked back inside.
Son of a bitch. It worked.
 
There was never and kickback from that experiment. The customer never came to the register asking about their card, and the card disappeared from the curb outside before the end of the day. I suspect that the customer found it there when they came back for their card.
I'm willing to guess that the customer talked to their bank about the extra transaction. The bank probably refunded them and gave them a new card, and the police never showed up asking questions.
At home, I burned the receipt and the gum pack. I burned the gum pack so the barcode could never be traced to me. Just in case.
To celebrate, I used the cash to treat myself to a very expensive dinner that night.
All the evidence was gone, and I was clear and free.
And the thrill was exactly what I'd been searching for.
 
From there, I brainstormed and even researched better ways to accomplish what I wanted.
My goals were two-fold:
1) Make a decent chunk of money. Generate enough to save for long-term goals and happiness.
2) Not harm the identities of those who I used.
And, of course, not get fucking caught.
Generally, I planned this out by attacking many targets for small amounts, maybe a hundred dollars or less. If I hit six to ten targets a month, that'd be anywhere from $600 to $1000 extra a month. Which was enough.
There were a lot of technical details that I had to plan for. I couldn't keep using my store: it was too obvious and the police would be on me in a month easily. I also couldn't use the same city. Some debit cards wouldn't let you withdraw cash without a pin. I got lucky the first time. And, what if the customer didn't have $100 in their account?
I had to look at contingencies for contingencies.
I also had to set rules for myself.
Don't use an ATM. Don't use cards in stores that have cameras. Stay with crowds and look for cameras outside each store, like in the parking lots. Don't deposit the cash you took into your own bank account. Don't put it in a safety deposit box either. All kinds of rules based on my research and contingency planning.
I bought a pen-camera off of ebay which I used while going to the store. I used it to film the person in front of me obscurely. I always got in line behind a man, too.
When they pulled their card out, they often held it around their chest, like they wanted people to see their card. Rarely did people try to obscure their pins.
At home, I would pull the video from my camera for the day and hope that at least one card was legible enough that I could extract the card number, expiration date, and name.
A lot of people like to stand in line with their card on the counter until it's their time to pay. Or they hold it over the card reader like it's a race and they're waiting for the gun to fire. It's ridiculously easy for someone like me to extract that info with a camera.
I set up an account on the darkweb where I would submit the card information, and a shiny, newly printed debit or credit card would show up in the mail. They routed the envelope through a network of darkweb "MailMen" so the envelope never even used the actual postal service.
I would scuff the card up a bit, validate the data on my own card reader that I purchased through another darkweb service, and queue it up for use.
I had a queue system so the cards were never used in perfect order, and were used a few months after I had snatched their information.
I was grabbing information in stores that had cameras, so I wanted there to be time between when I grabbed it and when I used it. Sometimes this meant that the card went out of service before I could use it. But I was collecting enough cards that it didn't matter.
I had no way to know if the cards would work, so before going to pay, I would have a contact buy a song on an obscure site using the card. It was a site that didn't require the security code printed on the back of regular cards, since I didn't have those codes.
My phone would buzz after the transaction went through or failed, and I'd know whose card was next to be used. I'd get in, pay, withdraw cash, take the receipt, then leave.
After each money run, I'd burn all the evidence and hide my cash.
I had a good contingency plan for if a cashier asked for my ID. It was too expensive to get an ID for every card I planned to use once. So, I had my acting always ready to go.
"Can I see your ID?"
"Crap, that's my boyfriend's card, he's out in the car. We're just getting cash to pay the neighborhood kid who takes care of our lawn."
If the cashier asked me to go and get my "boyfriend", I'd leave the store and never come back. But they always bought the excuse. And apparently I play a gay guy pretty well. Who would've thought?
 
I know what you're probably thinking.
"God damn, Michael, get to the important parts! Blah, blah blah!"
I don't get to brag much about what I've done and how clever it was, so I'm taking my last opportunity before I'm probably shot. So fuck off.
During all of this, where it went on for three months without so much as a hiccup, I was doing other research.
I was making more money, but those needs came back again and I found myself needing more. How could I make money faster? I'd ask myself that all the time, and skim the darkweb for methods that would work for me.
That's when I turned to credit card fraud of the mail-in card variety. A new formula for making money right this second began to form.
I used a feature of the MailMan darkweb service to set up a mailing address that would forward all mail to me. Then, I went online and bought a few hundred sets of personal data that were probably hacked from some company's database.
Using this personal data, I signed up for three to four credit cards for each person. With those cards, I bought things online that I already intended to purchase for myself. Once the items arrived, I paid off the balance on the credit cards with my hard-earned money using prepaid cards that I bought with cash.
Then, after a month or two of using the card, I would withdraw $100 in cash at a store. And then I'd store the card in my hiding place, never to be used again.
If anyone ever looked at their credit reports and saw the credit card, it would look suspicious and odd, but would only be a $100 balance. They would, hopefully, just pay it off, close the card, and stop caring. Besides, my use of the card boosted their credit score. I paid the bills and fees on time, and kept the card open as long as I could afford, paying the yearly premium out of my own pocket. It was my way of saying thanks that they'd never hear.
You give me some money, I help you boost your credit score. A symbiotic relationship.
I even thought I'd earned the title of "ethical credit card scammer." No one, especially not the police, would see it that way, but that's how I justified my actions to myself.
My mistake came from not researching my "clients" before I used their identity and their card.
That's what got me caught.
But not by the police.
 
I'd gotten used to the current routine to the point where I could do it in my sleep. I was making good money, much better compared to before. I kept my job as a store manager, and it felt so much more fulfilling because I was making the money I needed overall, and had something to look forward to: the thrill of identity theft.
After some cautious planning, I rented out a nice, two-story duplex in one of my "client's" names and credit score. I kept my payments on-time and was the perfect tenant. The duplex's owner only did a soft pull on this client's credit, so it wouldn't show up on their credit report.
Regardless, I had a contact on the darkweb set up some monitoring for this identity online. He assured me that if anything went wacky with the credit that made it seem like the client was suspicious or investigating, I'd get a text. I wanted a heads up if I needed to ditch my place.
One month. It only took one month for them to find me. In the digital world, you would think one month was a long time, but it was too short for me. Too unexpected.
I was in bed, sleeping, when I heard the front door squeak open. My eyes shot open. A million fears and thoughts ran through my head. It didn't matter if it was just a thief or the FBI. Either way, the police would be involved, and I'd be caught.
I rolled out of bed silently. Watching my half-open bedroom door, I grabbed my sheets and spread them tight across my bed. I wanted to make it look like no one was home. Snatching my wallet and keys from the bedside table, I dropped to the ground and rolled under my bed. The boxes I kept under the bed for storage hid me from view once I arranged them.
Footsteps came up the stairs. I wished I'd thought to buy a gun. But buying a gun took heavy background checks, and I hadn't figured out how to bypass those yet.
Heavy boots tried to sneak down the hall. I saw two of them, one behind the other. Both black and menacing. They moved like they had training, but not much. From the way the floor bent under each step, they were both probably heavy around the belly.
The door opened as they entered the room. Upon seeing the empty bed, they paused, unsure of what to do next.
One of them whispered, loud enough that I could hear.
"Not home."
"So we wait."
I bit my lip and cursed internally. They were looking for me, whoever they were. Probably not cops: they wore jeans, not uniforms. They could be plainclothes, sure, but I just felt that they weren't cops.
I heard the front door squeak again, but the two men were too busy whispering to notice. I wondered if the door was just open in the wind.
My reply came in the form of a voice from the hall.
"Evening, fellas. Hands where I can see them."
Shit. A cop.
This guy's feet moved gracefully under him. Definitely trained.
Suddenly, the two men rushed the cop, and I watched him fall as they shoved their way past him. Through the dimness, I could see that it wasn't a cop at all. It was Jack, my neighbor across the street. He was ex-military, like me, though he'd been in the service a lot longer than I had.
I heard the front door fly open and slam shut as the two would-be thieves left the house. Jack stayed on the ground, sighing. He probably figured that pursuit wasn't worth the trouble.
I weighed my options before finally pushing boxes out of the way and crawling out from under the bed. Jack watched, surprised.
"You were under there the whole time?" He asked.
"They weren't here long, thanks to you."
Jack eyed my perfectly made bed, then where I'd crawled from.
"Smart tactic for hiding. I'll have to remember that one."
"Thanks."
We stood in the dark for a minute, feeling awkward for different reasons.
"Listen..." I said. "I'm grateful that you came and chased these assholes out, but can we not call the police? They didn't take anything, I'm not hurt, and I really don't want to deal with the hassle."
Jack chuckled. "I was about to ask you the same thing."
I looked at him in confusion. He lifted his gun, pointing it at the ceiling and showing it to me. It was a 92FS Beretta. Sleek, shiny, and well oiled.
"This girl here is illegal for me to have. I have a small rap sheet from before the military, but am still not allowed to own a gun of my own. So, I'm going to agree that we don't involve the cops."
"It's beautiful," I said, trying not to gasp from relief.
"She sure is," he grinned.
"Jack, thank you," I said, extending my hand.
"Any time," he said, shaking my hand.
 
I wondered for a few days about those thieves. There's no way they broke into my house by random chance. They were looking for me: they'd verbally confirmed that.
So who were they? Why did they want me?
I thought myself into dead end after dead end. There wasn't anything I could do until I had more information. And yet, I had no way to get more information.
I was stuck in limbo until they tried again, if they truly were looking for me, or until I could stop double checking my locks at night.
 
One night, as I lay in bed reading a book as usual, my phone rang. The duplex had actually come with a cordless phone system, which was humorous considering our cell-phone dominated world.
I answered it, not knowing who it was.
"Hello?"
"Hi, Neale. Listen, just wanted to give you a heads up. There's a weird car that's been parked outside my house for hours. People were lying down and taking a nap for a while, but perked up when you got home. Now they've got cameras aimed at your house. Don't come to the window and try to look, they'll see. I just wanted to call and tell you that before I go and talk to them."
What the hell. Breaking in is one thing, but now surveillance?
Who did they think I was?
Unfortunately, that was the question I should have pursued long before things got worse.
"Did you get their license plate?" I asked.
"And their make and model."
"Can I have it before you talk to them?"
"Sure," Jack said.
He gave me the info, and I told him I'd call him back in a bit. To his credit, Jack didn't even question what I was doing or why I wasn't freaking out and calling the cops.
I connected to Tor and sought out a darkweb site that had a backdoor into my state's DMV registration database. Only one or two states have those backdoors, and mine is one of them. Lucky for me.
I put in the license plate number and the results came back. I paid my $25 fee with the usual Bitcoin, and opened the word doc that came back.
Registered to one Charles B. Matsworth. With an address across the state from me. The database backdoor didn't transmit images, so I couldn't compare their driver's license photo with the people in the car. I was either dealing with Charles himself, or a stolen vehicle. Helpful, but also potentially not.
I hit up another darkweb site and searched for Charles. I paid my fee, then the results populated. Except there were no results. There were ALWAYS results, but this guy's name wasn't there. Which was impossible with this site. It passively picked up every name tossed around the internet and provided you with links to where it was mentioned.
But there were no results. Which means someone was actively scrubbing this guy's name from the web.
So, that's when I knew he was one of you, darkweb.
I hit redial on my home phone and got Jack back on the line. It was just past 11pm.
"Hey, Neale," he answered.
"Hey," I said, resisting the urge to peer through the blinds. "I can't look, obviously, but have you seen anything else helpful about them?"
Jack paused, probably looking out the window. "Passenger is a heavy smoker: there's a small pile of cigarette butts on his side and he's smoking one right now. They've got some Arby's wrappers on their front dash. Driver is using a telescopic lens on a pretty expensive camera. Canon, I think. Two coffee cups from a gas station in the cup holders. Car looks pretty new, just a little dust. If you took it through a car wash, it would probably shine. I'm guessing it's a new model."
I listened to him observe them, spouting off anything that he thought might be useful.
"Any of that help you out?" He asked.
"Maybe," I said, trying to think what I should do. Scare them off and let them know I'm onto them? Let them sit there and spy, hoping they don't decide to physically enter? Leave out the back? My bedroom light was on, so they knew I was home. My shadow had probably played against it a few times tonight too.
This was a situation I didn't have a contingency for.
"You should come over to my house. Sneak out around back, walk a block over, and come in through my back door," Jack said. "We can spy on the spies."
I considered it. Last time, we had scared off the thieves and not gotten any useful information. This was the most useful situation since that night. I should take advantage of it.
"Okay, I'll do that," I said. I gave him my mobile phone number so he could use that instead of the home phone.
I made my way to the back door and left, locking it behind me. Going straight back and over the back fence, I went to the next street over, then jogged three streets down to crawl through someone else's yard and into Jack's. He was waiting at the sliding glass door when I got there.
"No movement, they're still staring at the house and talking occasionally."
"Any idea what they're saying?" I asked, hopeful.
"Nope."
I walked into his living room, and found his setup. He had a pair of binoculars on a coffee table, and a few slats of his blinds were held open by paper clips.
"Have a look," he said, waving me into the room. "Need some water?"
"Yes, please," I said, picking up the binoculars.
Through the blinds, I saw the two men in their car, both heads turned towards my house. It was exactly as Jack had described. The streetlight was far away, so I couldn't make out hair colors, but one had longer hair than the other. That was about all I could make out.
Jack appeared beside me and set a glass of water on the table.
"Recognize them?" He asked.
"No," I muttered, setting down the binoculars.
"You in some kind of trouble, Neale? Borrow money from the wrong guys? Or are these just private investigators from your ex-wife trying to track you down for child support?"
Jack's tone was light and joking. He honestly didn't seem to give a shit what kind of trouble I was in.
"Not that I know of," I said weakly, turning back to the window.
"Maybe they're after the guy who lived there before me?"
"Could be," Jack said, sitting on the couch.
I turned back around to face him while he watched me with the slightest smile on his face.
"Thank you, again, for helping me figure this out," I said.
"I haven't had this much fun since my last tour. I haven't had any action since. This is exciting and refreshing, Jack. I'm happy to help."
I nodded, taking a seat as well, but keeping the window within sight.
"So, it's not money, it's not women. Is it drugs? No judgement from me, man."
"No drugs either," I said, trying to do my own thought process. For half a second, I considered telling Jack about myself. Then I realized how asinine of an idea that was. He'd probably kick my ass for stealing.
"I say we watch 'em. We won't learn anything by running out there and scaring them off. But maybe they'll do something that gives us an idea of what they're up to," Jack said. It was the same conclusion I'd come to, so I agreed.
We watched them in silence for about an hour. I was perfectly okay not talking to Jack, and he seemed okay not talking to me. We took turns at the window, and if something interesting seemed to start happening, we'd wave the other one over to look.
Nothing interesting happened until almost 1am.
They both got out of their seats and exited the car. Each one stretched, then pulled pistols out of their belts. They examined their guns, cocked them, and made their way to my house, side by side.
I waved Jack over, and he watched them try my front door, find it locked, then go around back.
"I have an idea," Jack hissed, suddenly shoving something into my hand. His Beretta.
"If they come out, open the front door and yell to me. If they start shooting, you shoot back. Give me cover to get back into the house."
"What are you doing?!" I hissed back as he grabbed at the front door.
"Getting some information!" He said before shutting the door.
I watched him drop to a low crouch and crab-walk his way to their car, which was parked at the edge of his sidewalk. The passenger window was open from the smoker, so he leaned into the car and rustled around.
I watched my house, heart beating sharply. I saw a shadow pass by my bedroom window. They would have found me not in bed by now. They could be leaving soon.
I made my way to the front door and opened it a crack.
"Jack!" I whispered. "They made it to my bedroom! Hurry up!"
I shut the door, and ran back to the window, careful not to disturb the blinds. With the binoculars, I inspected my house. The figure was still by my window, and Jack was still rummaging through the car.
The figure moved away from my window, and I dashed back to the door.
"They're coming!" I called. Jack didn't waste time. He got up and bolted for the door. I shut the front door as he entered, and we both went to the window. The men came back around my house and got back into their car.
I thought they would wait around until I came home, but the car started, and they drove away.
We both watched the tail lights disappear.
When they were gone, I turned back to Jack, who had dumped handfuls what he was carrying onto the coffee table.
"Receipts," he said. "I didn't see any badges for policemen or private detectives. Car is registered to Charles B. Matsworth, but the address is blurred out on the papers."
I blurted out half the address before I caught myself. Jack looked at me funny, but didn't ask.
"I guess grabbing the receipts was useless," he chuckled. "I was gonna say we could plot the receipts on a map and try to figure out where they came from."
"That's still a good idea," I said. "That address is for Charles, not necessarily where these guys came from."
"Pretty sure these guys are criminal. Sure you don't want to hand this off to the police?" Jack asked.
My heart skipped a beat, and I tried to sound nonchalant.
"No, I don't want to get the police involved unless it's serious."
Jack laughed out loud. "They pulled guns, then went into your house in the middle of the night. I'd say it's pretty serious, Neale."
"Okay, okay, I'll level with you," I said. "I've done some stuff and still have an outstanding warrant. If I go to the cops, I'll be arrested." That was enough of the truth to be a convincing argument.
Jack pondered that for a bit.
"What'd you do?" He asked.
"Unpaid speeding ticket," I said quickly with a shrug. "50 in a 35. That was a few months ago. If I go now, before paying the ticket, I'll probably get arrested."
Jack nodded with a slight smile. "Okay, Neale. We'll investigate it ourselves until you get your ticket paid. Then we'll get the police involved."
I swallowed hard.
I didn't intend to ever get the police involved. So I had to resolve this fast.
 
Part 2
Part 3
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