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[Spoilers S7] Here's what we know about the state of Earth before the bombs
Here's a compiled list of what Earth was like pre-apocalypse using details from the show. Jason Rothenberg has said if the prequel gets greenlit, he wants to implement a lot of flashbacks LOST style. These flashbacks may include references to the following:
In Monty's video message he said: "After sucking the Earth dry of oil, they [Eligius III] went looking for another planet to tap." [Episode 5x13]
This is presumably why Eligius I (unmanned), II (manned), and IV (prison labor) were sent to asteroids to mine for hythylodium, an incredibly efficient energy source. Hythylodium was used to power the Eligius III and IV missions. [Episode 5x03]
Other energy alternatives are used, such as solar energy (the field of solar panels Jaha and Murphy see in 2x14). And in 6x04, Ryker tells Raven the propellant they use for the motorcycles is "ethanol distilled from Earth corn."
During Josephine's flashback in Boston 2043, a man walks into a diner holding a mask, brushing dust off his shoulders. Josephine's friend also says "It's really dusty outside." You can see multiple people in the diner wearing masks around their neck. [Episode 6x07]
During Josephine's flashback, the guy that commits suicide mentions that she posted about going to a water-rationing protest. [Episode 6x07]
Gabriel says his mother's water was cut off in Colombia so the rich could water their lawns. [Episode 7x10]
On Callie's TV, a headline says "Yosemite National Park Burns". [Screenshot] Another headline says: "Deadly Heat Wave". [Screenshot] You can also hear the newscaster mention "above 110 degrees." [Episode 7x08]
On Callie's TV, a headline says "Russian Ankovirus Spreads". [Screenshot] The newscaster mentions the US has declared a public health alert. [Episode 7x08]
Becca says ALIE intends to kill 6.5 billion people to solve overpopulation. She's not trying to kill 100% of the population, so 6.5 billion is not the total population count. [Episode 3x16]
On Callie's TV, a headline says "World's 11 Billionth Child Born". [Screenshot][Episode 7x08]
This is abundant when we look at the technologies developed by just Becca and Eligius, such as large space ships, cryopods, sonic drills, brain chips, ALIE, nightblood, etc.
We also see hologram technology. In 2x16, Jaha first meets ALIE in hologram form. In 7x08, it's used as a telecommunication device when Callie speaks to her father and brother.
On Callie's TV, we see a headline "first human brain transplant successfully performed in Bangalore". [Screenshot] Another headline says "Dubai's Alpha Centauri Group debuts first orbital hotel". [Screenshot][Episode 7x08]
Becca Franko, The Tech Celebrity
She was born in 2025 and went to Harvard when she was 10 years old (2035). [Episode 7x08]
In 2043, she started making tech for Eligius at 18 years old. [Episode 6x01]
She owned her own company. We don't know the name of it but we do know it's corporate logo is an infinity sign and its motto is "Seek Higher Things". [Episode 3x07]
People idolized her. The newscaster on Callie's TV said she had "legions of devotees". In 6x07, Josephine had a magazine with Becca featured on the cover. In 7x08, Reese said "Don't mind my sister. She once dressed as you for Halloween."
She owned her own television network. The channel that Callie was watching on her TV has the infinity sign as its network logo. [Screenshot] The newscaster said "The reclusive billionaire and owner of this network made her last public appearance". [Episode 7x08]
On Callie's TV, a headline says "Stock Market Headed For A ..." and it's cut off. [Screenshot] There's most likely a recession going on and stock markets are crashing. You can also see bitcoin (BTC) is worth 4563.44 (half of what it is today). [Screenshot] Also, on top of the pandemic, huge advancements in AI and technology are most likely disrupting businesses and employment as well. [Episode 7x08]
On Callie's TV, we see a headline "Wyoming joins 32 other states in legalizing the recreational use of psilocybin mushrooms". Shrooms. [Screenshot][Episode 7x08]
Battles in U.S. Cities
The Battle of San Francisco was an armed conflict that Shaw recalls watching on TV as a child. During Diyoza's time in the military, she was one of the soldiers helping the evacuation of thousands of refugees. [Episode 5x07]
Resistance Groups & Terrorism
The United Liberation Army (ULA), was a terrorist group dedicated to fighting against the corrupt government that Diyoza became a part of after the military. The ULA was involved in many terror attacks, including an attack on the 4th of July, 2041 (which they took credit for) that killed 80 civilians in a plane bombing, and a suspected metro suicide bombing in Washington D.C., killing 19 civilians in 2042. [Screenshot][Episode 5x04]
Asteroid Mining Penal Colony
The Asteroid Mining Penal Colony was an off-world penitentiary on the asteroid Proxima 6 that used prison labor to mine for hythylodium. After her arrest in 2043 [Episode 6x07], Diyoza was transported to the colony on Eligius IV.
In 2047, she and the other prisoners learned they were to be abandoned on the asteroid due to getting sick from the hythylodium so they took over the ship, damaging one of it's engines and making the ship significantly slower. It would take 109 years to fly back to Earth. Had the engine not been damaged, it's possible Diyoza and the prisoners could've made it back to Earth before the bombs. [Episode 5x03]
This damaged engine can also explain why it took Eligius IV 75 years to travel to Sanctum, while Eligius III presumably got there in shorter time. [Episode 5x13]
Corrupt U.S. Government
Diyoza says to Clarke "When the fascist government tried to take my home, I wanted blood too." [Episode 5x03]
When Reese mentions Callie dropping out of MIT, she says "Refusing to take part in fascistic regimes is my thing." [Episode 7x08]
On Callie's TV, the newscaster says "... when riot police, on orders from the Wallace Administration, moved in to clear the extreme environmental group known as The Tree Crew." [Episode 7x08]
Callie: "Extreme? What a joke. We were there peacefully. They're the extreme ones."
Lucy: "Don't they know they're defending a system that hurts people like them?"
Callie: People want to believe their leaders are telling the truth, which is why we need to get back there and continue exposing their lies.
The US president at the time of the bombs was a Wallace. In Season 2, Dante says "I love you Cage, and there's been a Wallace in this office since the bombs but if I find out that you're lying there won't be one after me". So most likely the Wallace administration and their family were corrupt. They easily decided to do away with democracy in order to have complete control in Mount Weather. [Episode 2x06]
Russell says to Diyoza in 6x03 "Your face is in our history books next to Hitler and Bin Laden". Eligius took part in federal prison labor, so most likely they had close ties with the government. Fascist governments like to vilify their opponents through propaganda. Even though Diyoza was indeed causing violence, she was probably also used as a scapegoat by the government since she was against them. Even Gabriel said in 7x04, "She was a freedom fighter, not a terrorist".
On Callie's TV, the newscaster says "The 11 billionth baby was born in the Wayne County Internment Camp". Internment camps/concentration camps are "camps where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group which the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable." [Source]
On Callie's TV, a headline says "Congress's negotiations on economic relief funds at an impasse amidst violent riots ..." [Screenshot]
Cult Mentality & Conspiracy Theories
In 7x10, Gabriel says to Bill Cadogan "Earth was pretty terrible. But it's good for the cult business, am I right?"
According to this article, Bill grew up in poverty. And Jaha mentioned in 4x03 that Bill's father beat him frequently. Bill, a millennial, says in 7x10 that his first job was flipping burgers, dreaming of the day he'd escape. "There must be more to life than politics, the dying ecosystem, the memes." In times of economic hardship and social upheaval, it's easy for people to latch onto certain beliefs.
Callie says Bill's a vulture capitalist who "traded his precious credibility to become a prophet of doom". She also called him a cultural artifact thief. He found and stole the Anomaly stone from Machu Picchu and in 2042, he started studying it. [Episode 7x08]
It's unknown when Bill founded the Second Dawn, but we know a news article was written about them in 2042, saying that only those with lots of money could "unlock the twelve seals" since it required payments of over $10 million to the cult. [Episode 4x03]
That's what I got. If you spotted anything else from the show, feel free to share! :) Edit: Thanks everyone for the kind words and the awards! Also, thanks to clwrutgers for asking me to make this list.
My Trezor (MEW?) account got compremised, funds were stolen
Hello ladies and gentleman, I hope you can help me out somehow. I put it in bitcoin as well despite its ethereum but its about trezor and the btc part is involved. In mid september all my ethereum and ethereum based stuff was cleared from my MEW accounts for roughly 38k USD. Trezor couldnt help me at all and we went through all the topics and questions they had which lead to nothing exept an basic answer “your seeds got compromised in the past“, which doesn’t make any sense and I will explain why. Lets say, Im a person with some basic tech knowledge and worked as admin and I use common sense to handle my crypto stuff which is part of my business and daily task since 2 years.I check all things again before sending. Adress, amount etc and never had any problems before.I never was on a fake page where I had to give my seed or passphrases inI dont open spam mails nor use my new laptop for something else then work, like visiting porn sites or shady stuff or use cracks etc. I didnt even found a malitous cookie after checking everything. The laptop I used was 3 months old and set up on my own with windows, firwall, antivir and anti malware stuff. Things I am doing form me and my friends since year 2000. No cracks used for programms, everything legal. I use a trezor one since then which is updated accordingly when the tool or page prompts me. I used to use chrome as my default browser (which i learned, over the past months trying to figure out what might have happened, is one oft the worst browsers). No one has my seedsno one knows my pin to entert the trezorI dont store any of this information onlineI dont know my private keys from trezor So what happened was that september 9 in the evening, a few hours after I sent some usdt deposit to my adress, I want to check if everything is there, login to my MEW account (online, not offline and url was correct. no addon used, just the shortcut in my browser which i safed there and always used and later checked i fit was linked to something else which wasnt), and the account was empty. Three ethereum adresses where i stored some coins, eth and usdt. I realised that every transaction below happened while i was standing infront of my laptop (checked time happening), trezor connected cause i did some btc transaction before and chatted to customers on different chat tools like telegram or skype. Obvsly without signing any transaction at all everything was sent to other adresses. It seemed someone got the keys to those adresses before. Now, I dont even know my private keys to those adresses which are stored in trezor right? I wasnt logged into MEW before this incident for about 1.5 days. The btc part on my trezor is MUCH more valuable, but still there. After trezor couldnt help me about what happened and MEW treated me like the standard idiot who gets highjacked and then wonders why his money is gone, I went trough so many possibilities. For the most time I thought some kind of KRACK attack happened. The only problem is trezor says they dont extract the private keys. Some gurus in this topic ( i read on reddit here) say its possible to get them from the network. Even parts are enough to encrypt the whole key after a while which would underline the timeline that it took 6 days from working in this hotel and having the unusual situation with the sending (down explained) till the accs got cleared. The hotel incident happened the week before my accounts got cleared. I was visitting friends and coworking agents in Vietnam and stayed in a red doorz hotel in Ho Chi Minh. Using the Hotel Wifi and a nvpn.net VPN I sent some usdt funds via MEW to a befriended customer and something very stranged happened, which I never had before.I sent 4k usdt to a customer and the transaction took 13 min working working working and then failed. I’ve never had something like that. We thought it might be because of eth network or so but we never had that before, me and him sending a lot transactions every day. Then i copied all details in again and send another 4k and somehow he recieved both! check the screen. The one transaction processed nearly 13 min then failed. 2min later i sent a new one and without any evidence in this screen he recieved both. https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/27e8uyd3.jpg later https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/3todak3u.png So he sent me back the additional 4k and I shut down everything not thinking about this much anymore. Only when the accounts got cleared I was searching for any unusual happenings which could have let to this because pretty much all other “typical“ mistakes people normally do we could exclude. If somehow my seeds got compromised why only the ETH stuff? The btc parts on the trezor had much much more value. I never searched for trezor page on the web and used a link to access my wallets or to do updates. I always used the trezor bridge and made a shortcut to my wallet in my browser. For MEW i always used the same shortcut in my browser which worked pretty fine for the past years an everytime when setting the browser or pc new i checked it all before. Because of the unusual thing which happened in Vietnam I flew back there (from philippines) prepared with tools and checking because I couldnt let go and I didnt find any other plausible cause. I even got back my old room. In this hotel there are three hotel wifi network and I remeber 100% that I used the 2nd one before cause it had the strongest signal. Anyway. I switched on wireshark and later on Fiddler, repeated all steps I used to do before. Checking if some rerouting, dns poisening or readressing or so is happening. Nothing unusual happened in the first when entering MEW (I sent some bait funds there). In the 2nd network I used in september the trezor basically totally freaked out. He didnt let me enter MEW, I had to reenter my pin up to 5 times sometimes, It gave me error messages in MEW or it took 30 fucking seconds to enter it. Trezor writes about this: “When you enter an invalid PIN a few times, the Trezor adds a forced waiting time between attempts.You can see this feature on the photo where the Trezor is making you wait for 15 seconds before another attempt.This countdown is then multiplied by the factor of two until you reach the 16th invalid PIN entry. After that, the device automatically wipes its memory - deleting all data from it. The behavior of your Trezor at MEW is undoubtedly not standard or in any form pleasantly functional. Nevertheless, it also isn't anything superbly unusual or unexpected, taking poor internet connection into account.“ The thing is, the pin is 6 digits but pretty basic and I never ever entered it wrong. And I used the strongest wifi and could open webpages very easily . As well as: “Sadly, this does not tell us anything about how your funds could be compromised. None of this could have ever exposed your private keys or made your device vulnerable in any way. The Reddit thread you linked discusses cracking BIP-39 passphrases, which is irrelevant to your case. Cracking such passphrases assumes the person trying to break the wallet already has full possession of the recovery seed (recovery words). See, a passphrase is not your recovery seed or some additional password on your device. It is an extension of the seed, and it is also 100% useless without controlling the full seed. The only threat you are exposed to when using Chrome is using Google itself. When googling "trezor" or "trezor wallet", you might stumble upon a phishing site which will present itself as a genuine Trezor website and force you to go through a fake "recovery" process. There you'd give out your recovery seed, which subsequently grants full access to your wallet and funds. It's reasonable to assume that malware could guide you to such a website. To this day, we are not aware of any such incident ever happening, and even then, there are protections in place to defend you against phishing attempts.“ Basically, something I never did and all funds would haven been gone then. I checked the 3rd network as well, and like the 1st nothing special happened. Only in the 2nd. These are the funds and how the got cleared off the wallets. I always show last transaction from me to the adress as well on the screens. So adress: 0x253ABB6d747a9404A007f57AaDEc1cA2b80694a1 They withdrew this: 1k USDT and the small amount ETH to send stuff https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/sg2lumg8.png adress: 0x01fd43a713D8F46FF9a7Ed108da2FF74884D8400 They withdrew this:Majority of USDT and small eth for sending stuff https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/arycubto.png adress: 0xf73c8C30072488d932011696436B46005504A7aeThey withdrew this: Majority of ETh, then all coins from valueable to worthless and then some rest eth https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/urbgm2y5.png https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/rdkod59h.jpg So this is what happened at 12th september between 16:49 and 17:15. Sick to see that all happened between 16:49 and 17:00 and its like someone came back checking and saw the 0.014 eth and withdrew it 17:15. Around 10pm i discovered what happened. So, do you have any ideas? Questions? Feel free to guess or ask Im glad for everything which might lead to what might have happened. I somehow can’t let go off the feeling something inbetween the network, MEW and trezor ist he cause, but what do I know.
Public CodeValley/Emergent Consensus questioning and investigation Thread. Ask your hard questions and dispel your doubts here.
What is going on here? I am asking some hard questions for the CodeValley Company, which recently proposed a new revolutionary software development paradigm called Emergent Coding at the latest big Bitcoin Cash conference in Australia. I am asking these questions because, as I (and ~150 people who agreed with me) noticed, there are stunning similarities between CodeValley and the companies who have tried and succeeded in crippling Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash: nChain and Blockstream. According to me, as it looks now, similarities between these 3 companies (nChain, Blockstream, CodeValley) are the following: }- Sources of funding are extremely unclear or openly hostile to Bitcoin }- At first and even second glance, there is no product, no way to make money }- Whitepaper & Documentation is missing, hollow or total abstract bullshit, company has no logical sense of existence }- Detailed specifications or proofs of operation are not available }- Main products are closed-source patented blobs (BSV, Liquid, Emergent Coding) }- They have huge influences in the industry or try to establish themselves in such position to have the infuences I am here (and you are here, I assume) because we want to find out the truth, whatever the truth is. The point of this topic is to ask the hardest possible questions in order to estimate the probability of CodeValley company being legit. But this is also a chance for CodeValley to clear their name by providing sufficient information that proves that (after 4 years of having working company and 10+ years of having patents [Archived]) they actually have a working product and are a legit company, and not an infiltrator designed and paid by banks/TPTB in order to cripple and destroy Bitcoin Cash. Also if they truly are what they claim and they truly have such a revolutionary technology, this is a great opportunity for promotion. To show the world that the tech actually works. I will ask my questions and you can ask your questions as well. Don't make them easy. Don't have mercy (but these things work better when you are polite). Let's begin the trial by fire! Calling nlovisa My Questions/Tasks for CodeValley: [Of course you actually don't have to answer any of them or you can give us bullshit answers again, but in such case the community may conclude that you actually are next nChain/Blockstream and an enemy infiltrator, reject you and shoot down all your efforts. So the choice is yours] @@@@ 1. Please upload your actual businessplan which you presented to the people in power who gave you funding(VCs? Government?) to create $50 Million BCH tech park. A businessplan which is supposed to explain spending of $50 million AUD should have at least 7 pages (but more probably 20+). Some names and unimportant details (but NOT money/financial numbers) can be redacted. -- You have 6 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 2. Please list your current VCs and >%5 shareholders, with CEO names and HQ locations of each of them. -- You have 4 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 3. Few days ago you promised to upload freely-accessible documentation to https://codevalley.com/docs subpage which would describe emergent coding in greater details. @ - What happened to that promise? @@@@ 4. After I accused that your company is bullshit and your product is hollow, you immediately started to praise me and offered me a trip to Australia [Archived]. @ - So, do you always praise and offer a paid trip across the world to Australia to all people on the Internet who heavily criticize you? Is this a common practice in your company? @@@@ 5. A travel from Poland to Australia and back would cost something under $2000 AUD, counting buses, with hotels that would make something close to $2500 AUD even for few days. Based on this, I estimate your "invite random people from the internet to Australia in order to show them the product" budget has to consist of at least $50.000 AUD yearly (but $100.000 - $200.000 is more probable of course). @ A) In your financial books, what exactly is called the Excel position of your budget expenses under which would your secretary put my trip's expenses? @ B) How do you maintain such a large budget for such frivolous spending and how do you explain it to your shareholders/VCs? @@@@ 6. Few days ago you answered somebody a question: "The trust model is also different. The bulk of the testing happens before the project is designed not after. Emergent Coding produces a binary with very high integrity and arguably far more testing is done in emergent coding than in incumbent methods you are used to.". @ A) Who EXACTLY does the testing? People? Software? AI? Non-bullshit answer, please. @ B) Why exactly is there "more testing" in Emergent Coding than in normal software creation paradigm? Why is emergent coding different? Do the developers who work in this paradigm are somehow special? Are the programming languages magical? @ C) What are the specific software tools used for this "testing"? "Agents" is a non-answer, so don't even try. @@@@ 7. Please provide a simple demo binary of a simple program created completely using your "Emergent Coding" and also provide all the binary sub-component files that make up the final binary. Requirements: There has to be a minimum of 3 sub - binaries making up the final big binary for this to be valid. 2 or less does not count. None of the binaries can be obfuscated, they have to be clean X86/X86_64 machine code binaries. Notes: It should be incredibily simple, quick and easy task for you, since designing such a complex and apparently breakthough system must have required thousands, tens of thousands if not hundereds of thousands tests. All of these tests produced working binaries - after all you wouldn't claim you have a working marvellous revolutionary product without extensive testing, right? -- You have 18 hours for this task -- Of course, If you are saying the truth and have truly developed this revolutionary "emergent coding" binary-on-the-fly-merging technology, this should normally take you under 18 minutes to just find the test samples and upload them. @@@@ 8. Please construct a simple (binary or source) single-use-compiler demo that will combine 3 or more sub-binaries into final working product. Please upload the sub-binaries and the "single-use compiler" to publicly available site so people in our community can verify that your product is actually working. The single-use-compiler binary can be obfuscated with proper tool in order to hide your precious intellectual property. The 3 sample sub-binaries cannot be obfuscated. They have to be pure, clean, binary X86/X86_64 machine code. Everything has to be working and verifable of course. -- You have 72 hours to complete this task -- I understand all your technologies are patented with patents that basically predate Bitcoin and you are giving us obfuscated binaries, so you don't have to worry about anybody stealing your company's intellectual property, right? @@@@ 9. You mentioned the only application I need to create programs using Emergent Coding is the pilot app. @ - What programming language(s) is the pilot app written in? @@@@ 10. When you developed the Emerging Coding, before it started existing, you couldn't have used emergent coding to create the first (test & development) applications because it is a chicken and egg problem. @ - What programming language did you use to create first client/serveapi/daemon/tool used to merge multiple binaries into one in Emergent Coding? @@@@ 11. Please list all of your current programmers and programming language each of them is using next to their name. Also provide LinkedIn profiles if applicable. -- You have 18 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 12. Please also list all Development Environments (IDEs) used by your current programmers next to their name. -- You have 18 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 13. Please list all compilers used by your current programmers next to their name. -- You have 18 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 14. So if I understand correctly CodeValley will be the company who runs $50 million BCH tech park and the tech will house multiple Bitcoin Cash-related startup and companies. Let's say I have a BCH startup and I would like to rent a loft/spot in your "tech park". A) Please provide a PDF of sample basic contract you have (hopefully) prepared for such startups. -- You have 4 hours to complete this task -- B) How much does the rent cost per a room (or m2/sqft) for a month and for a year? @@@@ 15. Please submit the list of compilers that produce X86/X86_64/ARM binaries compatibile with Emergent Coding "mash-it-together" "binary compiler". -- You have 4 hours to complete this task -- @@@@ 16. Is it possible for Emergent Coding to merge multiple non-binary applications (like Python or PHP programs) together? Or is it just binaries? Who are you? I am a freedom thinker and individual independent from all infuences who just does what he finds appropriate at the moment. Disclaimer to preempt questions: }- I do not work for anybody }- I do not have any hidden agenda }- I am only doing what I think is right }- I am a born revolutionist, this is why I am in Bitcoin Why are you doing this? }- Because I believe in truth above all. Truth will save us. }- Because I believe in Satoshi's peer-to-peer cash for the world vision and I will not stray from this path. }- Because most people are apparently missing psychological immune system which is why attempts like Blockstream, nChain appear and are repetedly [at least partially] successful. I have an anti-bullshit immune system that works great against this type of attacks. I was actually one of the first to be banned in /Bitcoin sub for pointing out their lies with manipulations and to spot Craig Wright's attempt to infiltrate and bend /btc sub to his will.. }- Because I was fooled twice by entities similar to CodeValley before (namingly nChain and Blockstream) and I will not be fooled again. Bitcoin Cash will not be co-opted easily as long as I am here. }- Because if Bitcoin Cash community is an organism, then I became a B lymphocyte cell. I produce antibodies. I show you how to defend yourself from bullshit, lies and manipulation. This is my basic function. }- Because I am here to kill the bank
A double-spend occurs when the same funds are spent more than once. The term is used almost exclusively in the context of digital money — after all, you’d have a hard time spending the same physical cash twice. When you pay for a coffee today, you hand cash over to a cashier who probably locks it in a register. You can’t go to the coffee shop across the road and pay for another coffee with the same bill. In digital cash schemes, there’s the possibility that you could. You’ve surely duplicated a computer file before — you just copy and paste it. You can email the same file to ten, twenty, fifty people. Since digital money is just data, you need to prevent people from copying and spending the same units in different places. Otherwise, your currency will collapse in no time. For a more in-depth look at double-spending, check out Double Spending Explained.
Why is Proof of Work necessary?
If you’ve read our guide to blockchain technology, you’ll know that users broadcast transactions to the network. Those transactions aren’t immediately considered valid, though. That only happens when they get added to the blockchain. The blockchain is a big database that every user can see, so they can check if funds have been spent before. Picture it like this: you and three friends have a notepad. Anytime one of you wants to make a transfer of whatever units you’re using, you write it down — Alice pays Bob five units, Bob pays Carol two units, etc. There’s another intricacy here — each time you make a transaction, you refer to the transaction where the funds came from. So, if Bob was paying Carol with two units, the entry would actually look like the following: Bob pays Carol two units from this earlier transaction with Alice. Now, we have a way to track the units. If Bob tries to make another transaction using the same units he just sent to Carol, everyone will know immediately. The group won’t allow the transaction to be added to the notepad. Now, this might work well in a small group. Everyone knows each other, so they’ll probably agree on which of the friends should add transactions to the notepad. What if we want a group of 10,000 participants? The notepad idea doesn’t scale well, because nobody wants to trust a stranger to manage it. This is where Proof of Work comes in. It ensures that users aren’t spending money that they don’t have the right to spend. By using a combination of game theory and cryptography, a PoW algorithm enables anyone to update the blockchain according to the rules of the system.
How does PoW work?
Our notepad above is the blockchain. But we don’t add transactions one by one — instead, we lump them into blocks. We announce the transactions to the network, then users creating a block will include them in a candidate block. The transactions will only be considered valid once their candidate block becomes a confirmed block, meaning that it has been added to the blockchain. Appending a block isn’t cheap, however. Proof of Work requires that a miner (the user creating the block) uses up some of their own resources for the privilege. That resource is computing power, which is used to hash the block’s data until a solution to a puzzle is found. Hashing the block’s data means that you pass it through a hashing function to generate a block hash. The block hash works like a “fingerprint” — it’s an identity for your input data and is unique to each block. It’s virtually impossible to reverse a block hash to get the input data. Knowing an input, however, it’s trivial for you to confirm that the hash is correct. You just have to submit the input through the function and check if the output is the same. In Proof of Work, you must provide data whose hash matches certain conditions. But you don’t know how to get there. Your only option is to pass your data through a hash function and to check if it matches the conditions. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to change your data slightly to get a different hash. Changing even one character in your data will result in a totally different result, so there’s no way of predicting what an output might be. As a result, if you want to create a block, you’re playing a guessing game. You typically take information on all of the transactions that you want to add and some other important data, then hash it all together. But since your dataset won’t change, you need to add a piece of information that is variable. Otherwise, you would always get the same hash as output. This variable data is what we call a nonce. It’s a number that you’ll change with every attempt, so you’re getting a different hash every time. And this is what we call mining. Summing up, mining is the process of gathering blockchain data and hashing it along with a nonce until you find a particular hash. If you find a hash that satisfies the conditions set out by the protocol, you get the right to broadcast the new block to the network. At this point, the other participants of the network update their blockchains to include the new block. For major cryptocurrencies today, the conditions are incredibly challenging to satisfy. The higher the hash rate on the network, the more difficult it is to find a valid hash. This is done to ensure that blocks aren’t found too quickly. As you can imagine, trying to guess massive amounts of hashes can be costly on your computer. You’re wasting computational cycles and electricity. But the protocol will reward you with cryptocurrency if you find a valid hash. Let’s recap what we know so far:
It’s expensive for you to mine.
You’re rewarded if you produce a valid block.
Knowing an input, a user can easily check its hash — non-mining users can verify that a block is valid without expending much computational power.
So far, so good. But what if you try to cheat? What’s to stop you from putting a bunch of fraudulent transactions into the block and producing a valid hash? That’s where public-key cryptography comes in. We won’t go into depth in this article, but check out What is Public-Key Cryptography? for a comprehensive look at it. In short, we use some neat cryptographic tricks that allow any user to verify whether someone has a right to move the funds they’re attempting to spend. When you create a transaction, you sign it. Anyone on the network can compare your signature with your public key, and check whether they match. They’ll also check if you can actually spend your funds and that the sum of your inputs is higher than the sum of your outputs (i.e., that you’re not spending more than you have). Any block that includes an invalid transaction will be automatically rejected by the network. It’s expensive for you to even attempt to cheat. You’ll waste your own resources without any reward. Therein lies the beauty of Proof of Work: it makes it expensive to cheat, but profitable to act honestly. Any rational miner will be seeking ROI, so they can be expected to behave in a way that guarantees revenue.
Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake
There are many consensus algorithms, but one of the most highly-anticipated ones is Proof of Stake (PoS). The concept dates back to 2011, and has been implemented in some smaller protocols. But it has yet to see adoption in any of the big blockchains. In Proof of Stake systems, miners are replaced with validators. There’s no mining involved and no race to guess hashes. Instead, users are randomly selected — if they’re picked, they must propose (or “forge”) a block. If the block is valid, they’ll receive a reward made up of the fees from the block’s transactions. Not just any user can be selected, though — the protocol chooses them based on a number of factors. To be eligible, participants must lock up a stake, which is a predetermined amount of the blockchain’s native currency. The stake works like bail: just as defendants put up a large sum of money to disincentivize them from skipping trial, validators lock up a stake to disincentivize cheating. If they act dishonestly, their stake (or a portion of it) will be taken. Proof of Stake does have some benefits over Proof of Work. The most notable one is the smaller carbon footprint — since there’s no need for high-powered mining farms in PoS, the electricity consumed is only a fraction of that consumed in PoW. That said, it has nowhere near the track record of PoW. Although it could be perceived as wasteful, mining is the only consensus algorithm that’s proven itself at scale. In just over a decade, it has secured trillions of dollars worth of transactions. To say with certainty whether PoS can rival its security, staking needs to be properly tested in the wild.
Proof of Work was the original solution to the double-spend problem and has proven to be reliable and secure. Bitcoin proved that we don’t need centralized entities to prevent the same funds from being spent twice. With clever use of cryptography, hash functions, and game theory, participants in a decentralized environment can agree on the state of a financial database.
James Heckman 1944 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD). Co-Director of Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) Global Working Group. Heckman is also a Professor of Law at ‘the Law School’, a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. · In 2000, Heckman shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel McFadden, for his pioneering work in econometrics and microeconomics. · As of February 2019 (according to RePEc), he is the next most influential economist in the world behind Daniel McFadden. · Heckman has received numerous awards for his work, including the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1983, the 2005 and 2007 Dennis Aigner Award for Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Econometrics, the 2005 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Labor Economics, the 2005 Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin, the 2007 Theodore W. Schultz Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzú Centre in 2008, the Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award from the Society for Research in Child Development in 2009, the 2014 Frisch Medal from the Econometric Society, the 2014 Spirit of Erikson Award from the Erikson Institute, and the 2016 Dan David Prize for Combating Poverty from Tel Aviv University. “The best way to improve the American workforce in the 21st century is to invest in early childhood education, to ensure that even the most disadvantaged children have the opportunity to succeed alongside their more advantaged peers” Janet Yellen 1945 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Successor to Ben Bernanke, serving as the Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014, following her position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Yellen was also Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. · Yellen is a Keynesian economist and advocates the use of monetary policy in stabilizing economic activity over the business cycle. She believes in the modern version of the Phillips curve, which originally was an observation about an inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation. In her 2010 nomination hearing for Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Yellen said, “The modern version of the Phillips curve model—relating movements in inflation to the degree of slack in the economy—has solid theoretical and empirical support.” · Yellen is married to George Akerlof, another notable economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate, professor at Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley.. · In 2014, Yellen was named by Forbes as the second most powerful woman in the world. She was the highest ranking American on the list. In October 2015, Bloomberg Markets ranked her first in their annual list of the 50 most influential economists and policymakers. In October 2015, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute ranked Yellen #1 in the Public Investor 100 list. In October 2010, she received the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). “In the long run, outsourcing is another form of trade that benefits the U.S. economy by giving us cheaper ways to do things.” “I'm just opposed to a pure inflation-only mandate in which the only thing a central bank cares about is inflation and not unemployment.” Jared Polis 1975 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · 43rd governor of Colorado since January 2019. Polis served on the Colorado State Board of Education from 2001 to 2007 and was the United States Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2019. · Polis is the first openly gay person and second openly LGBT person (after Kate Brown of Oregon) to be elected governor in the United States. · In 2000 Polis founded the Jared Polis Foundation, whose mission is to “create opportunities for success by supporting educators, increasing access to technology, and strengthening our community.” Polis has also founded two charter schools. · Polis was named Outstanding Philanthropist for the 2006 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. He has received many awards, including the Boulder Daily Camera's 2007 Pacesetter Award in Education; the Kauffman Foundation Community Award; the Denver consul general of Mexico “Ohtli”; the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Humanitarian Award; and the Anti-Defamation League's inaugural Boulder Community Builder Award. “Having alternative currencies is great, right, because, historically, government's had a monopoly on currency.…At the end of the day, why should only politicians—either directly or indirectly—control the currency?We can reduce transaction cost, provide an alternative, and—look, I don't know whether it'll be Bitcoin or not—but I think the concept of digital currencies is here to stay, and the fact that a politician would write to try to ban them in their infancy is just the wrong way to go about it.Let the market determine whether there's any value there or not.” Jeff Bezos 1964 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Best known as the founder, CEO, and president of Amazon, Bezos is an American internet and aerospace entrepreneur, media proprietor, and investor. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. In September 2018, Forbes described him as “far richer than anyone else on the planet” as he added $1.8 billion to his net worth when Amazon became the second company in history to reach a market cap of $1 trillion. · Bezos supported the electoral campaigns of U.S. senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, two Democratic U.S. senators from Washington. He has also supported U.S. representative John Conyers, as well as Patrick Leahy and Spencer Abraham, U.S. senators serving on committees dealing with Internet-related issues. · Bezos has supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, and in 2012 contributed $2.5 million to a group supporting a yes vote on Washington Referendum 74, which affirmed same-sex marriage. · After the 2016 presidential election, Bezos was invited to join Donald Trump's Defense Innovation Advisory Board, an advisory council to improve the technology used by the Defense Department. Bezos declined the offer without further comment. · In September 2018, Business Insider reported that Bezos was the only one of the top five billionaires in the world who had not signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourage wealthy people to give away their wealth. “Percentage margins don't matter. What matters always is dollar margins: the actual dollar amount. Companies are valued not on their percentage margins, but on how many dollars they actually make, and a multiple of that.” “We have the resources to build room for a trillion humans in this solar system, and when we have a trillion humans, we'll have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts. It will be a way more interesting place to live.” Jens Weidmann 1968 – Present Born: Germany Resides: Germany · German economist and president of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements. From 1997 to 1999, Weidmann worked at the International Monetary Fund. In 2006, he began serving as Head of Division IV (Economic and Financial Policy) in the Federal Chancellery. He was the chief negotiator of the Federal Republic of Germany for both the summits of the G8 and the G20. He was given the 2016 Medal for Extraordinary Merits for Bavaria in a United Europe. · Weidmann was involved in a series of major decisions in response to the financial crisis in Germany and Europe: preventing the meltdown of the bank Hypo Real Estate, guaranteeing German deposits and implementing a rescue programme for the banking system, piecing together two fiscal-stimulus programmes, and setting up the Greek bail-out package and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). · In a 2011 speech, Weidmann criticized the errors and “many years of wrong developments” of the European Monetary Union (EMU) peripheral states, particularly the wasted opportunity represented by their “disproportionate investment in private home-building, high government spending or private consumption”. In May, 2012, Weidmann's stance was characterized by US economist and columnist Paul Krugman as amounting to wanting to destroy the Euro. In 2016, Weidmann dismissed deflation in light of the European Central Bank's current stimulus program, pointing out the healthy condition of the German economy and that the euro area is not that bad off. “I share the concerns regarding monetary policy that is too loose for too long. … As you know I have concerns about granting emergency liquidity on account of the fact that the banks are not doing everything to improve their liquidity situation.” Jerome Powell 1953 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Current Chair of the Federal Reserve, nominated by Trump. Powell has faced substantial and repeated criticism from Trump after his confirmation. The Senate Banking Committee approved Powell's nomination in a 22–1 vote, with Senator Elizabeth Warren casting the lone dissenting vote. · Powell briefly served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance under George H. W. Bush in 1992. He has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012. He is the first Chair of the Federal Reserve since 1987 not to hold a Ph.D. degree in Economics. · Powell has described the Fed's role as nonpartisan and apolitical. Trump has criticized Powell for not massively lowering federal interest rates and instituting quantitative easing. · The Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer rated Powell as neutral (not dove nor hawk). Powell has been a skeptic of round 3 of quantitative easing, initiated in 2012, although he did vote in favor of implementation. · Powell stated that higher capital and liquidity requirements and stress tests have made the financial system safer and must be preserved. However, he also stated that the Volcker Rule should be re-written to exclude smaller banks. Powell supports ample amounts of private capital to support housing finance activities. “The Fed's organization reflects a long-standing desire in American history to ensure that power over our nation's monetary policy and financial system is not concentrated in a few hands, whether in Washington or in high finance or in any single group or constituency.” John Cochrane 1957 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and economist, specializing in financial economics and macroeconomics. · The central idea of Cochrane's research is that macroeconomics and finance should be linked, and a comprehensive theory needs to explain both 1.) how, given the observed prices and financial returns, households and firms decide on consumption, investment, and financing; and 2.) how, in equilibrium, prices and financial returns are determined by households and firms decisions. · Cochrane is the author of ‘Asset Pricing,’ a widely used textbook in graduate courses on asset pricing. According to his own words, the organizing principle of the book is that everything can be traced back to specializations of a single equation: the basic pricing equation. Cochrane received the TIAA-CREF Institute Paul A. Samuelson Award for this book. “Regulators and politicians aren’t nitwits. The libertarian argument that regulation is so dumb — which it surely is — misses the point that it is enacted by really smart people. The fact that the regulatory state is an ideal tool for the entrenchment of political power was surely not missed by its architects.” John Keynes(John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes) 1883 – 1946 Born: England Died: England · British economist, whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. Originally trained in mathematics, he built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots. Keynes was a lifelong member of the Liberal Party, which until the 1920s had been one of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom. · During the 1930s Great Depression, Keynes challenged the ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. He argued that aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Keynes advocated the use of fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. · Keynes's influence started to wane in the 1970s, his ideas challenged by those who disputed the ability of government to favorably regulate the business cycle with fiscal policy. However, the advent of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 sparked a resurgence in Keynesian thought. Keynesian economics provided the theoretical underpinning for economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by President Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and other heads of governments. · Keynes was vice-chairman of the Marie Stopes Society which provided birth control education and campaigned against job discrimination against women and unequal pay. He was an outspoken critic of laws against homosexuality. Keynes thought that the pursuit of money for its own sake was a pathological condition, and that the proper aim of work is to provide leisure. He wanted shorter working hours and longer holidays for all. Keynes was ultimately a successful investor, building up a private fortune. “How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.” John Locke 1632 – 1704 Born: England Died: England · Known as the “Father of Liberalism,” Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. · Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order. · Locke advocated for governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. Locke was vehemently opposed to slavery, calling it “vile and miserable … directly opposite to the generous Temper and Courage of our Nation.” · Locke uses the word “property” in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour aand that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods · According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature, but, with the introduction of “durable” goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law. In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage. “The power of the legislative, being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.” “No man in civil society can be exempted from the laws of it: for if any man may do what he thinks fit, and there be no appeal on earth, for redress or security against any harm he shall do; I ask, whether he be not perfectly still in the state of nature, and so can be no part or member of that civil society; unless any one will say, the state of nature and civil society are one and the same thing, which I have never yet found any one so great a patron of anarchy as to affirm.” John Mill(John Stuart Mill a.k.a. J. S. Mill) 1806 – 1873 Born: England Died: France · John Stuart Mill was arguably the most influential English speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook. In doing so, he sought to combine the best of eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking with newly emerging currents of nineteenth-century Romantic and historical philosophy. His most important works include System of Logic (1843), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861) and An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (1865). · Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. A member of the Liberal Party and author of the early feminist work The Subjection of Women (in which he also condemned slavery), he was also the second Member of Parliament to call for women's suffrage after Henry Hunt in 1832. · Mill, an employee for the British East India Company from 1823 to 1858, argued in support of what he called a “benevolent despotism” with regard to the colonies. Mill argued that “To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error. ... To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject.” · John Stuart Mill believed in the philosophy of Utilitarianism, which he described as the principle that holds “that actions are right in the proportion as they tend to promote happiness [intended pleasure, and the absence of pain], wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness [pain, and the privation of pleasure].” Mill asserts that even when we value virtues for selfish reasons we are in fact cherishing them as a part of our happiness. · Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. Mill originally believed that “equality of taxation” meant “equality of sacrifice” and that progressive taxation penalized those who worked harder and saved more. Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. · His main objection of socialism was on that of what he saw its destruction of competition. According to Mill, a socialist society would only be attainable through the provision of basic education for all, promoting economic democracy instead of capitalism, in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses with worker cooperatives. · Mill's major work on political democracy defends two fundamental principles at slight odds with each other: extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers. He believed that the incompetence of the masses could eventually be overcome if they were given a chance to take part in politics, especially at the local level. · Mill is one of the few political philosophers ever to serve in government as an elected official. In his three years in Parliament, he was more willing to compromise than the “radical” principles expressed in his writing would lead one to expect. “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.” “The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.” John Rawls 1921 – 2002 Born: United States Died: United States · Liberal American moral and political philosopher who received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, who acclaimed Rawls for having “helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.” He is frequently cited by the courts of law in the United States and Canada. · Rawls's most discussed work is his theory of a just liberal society, called justice as fairness. Rawls first wrote about this theory in his book A Theory of Justice. Rawls spoke much about the desire for a well-ordered society; a society of free and equal persons cooperating on fair terms of social cooperation. · Rawls’s most important principle (the Liberty Principal) states that every individual has an equal right to basic liberties. Rawls believes that “personal property” constitutes a basic liberty, but an absolute right to unlimited private property is not. · Rawls's argument for his principles of social justice uses a thought experiment called the “original position”, in which people select what kind of society they would choose to live under if they did not know which social position they would personally occupy. “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.” Joseph Nye 1937 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · American political scientist and co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism (a theory concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other states), developed in the 1977 book Power and Interdependence. He is noted for his notion of “smart power” (“the ability to combine hard and soft power into a successful strategy”), which became a popular phrase with the Clinton and Obama Administrations. · Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Nye to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board in 2014. In 2014, Nye was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of his “contribution to the development of studies on Japan-U.S. security and to the promotion of the mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.” · From 1977 to 1979, Nye was Deputy to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award in 1979. In 1993 and 1994, he was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates intelligence estimates for the President, and was awarded the Intelligence Community's Distinguished Service Medal. In the Clinton Administration from 1994 to 1995, Nye served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and was awarded the Department's Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Nye was considered by many to be the preferred choice for National Security Advisor in the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry. · Nye has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1964. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a foreign fellow of The British Academy. Nye is also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. The 2011 TRIP survey of over 1700 international relations scholars ranks Joe Nye as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of international relations in the past twenty years. He was also ranked as most influential in American foreign policy. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named him to its list of top global thinkers. In September 2014, Foreign Policy reported that the international relations scholars and policymakers both ranked Nye as one of the most influential scholars. “When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive.” Karl Popper 1902 – 1994 Born: Austria-Hungary Died: England · Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’. · In ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’ and ‘The Poverty of Historicism’, Popper developed a critique of historicism and a defense of the “Open Society”. Popper considered historicism to be the theory that history develops inexorably and necessarily according to knowable general laws towards a determinate end. He argued that this view is the principal theoretical presupposition underpinning most forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. He argued that historicism is founded upon mistaken assumptions regarding the nature of scientific law and prediction. Since the growth of human knowledge is a causal factor in the evolution of human history, and since “no society can predict, scientifically, its own future states of knowledge”, it follows, he argued, that there can be no predictive science of human history. For Popper, metaphysical and historical indeterminism go hand in hand. · Popper is known for his vigorous defense of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he believed made a flourishing open society possible. His political philosophy embraced ideas from major democratic political ideologies, including socialism/social democracy, libertarianism/classical liberalism and conservatism, and attempted to reconcile them. “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.” Lawrence Summers 1954 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · American economist, former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank, senior U.S. Treasury Department official throughout President Clinton's administration, Treasury Secretary 1999–2001, and former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2009–2010). Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Current professor and director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. · As a researcher, Summers has made important contributions in many areas of economics, primarily public finance, labor economics, financial economics, and macroeconomics. Summers has also worked in international economics, economic demography, economic history and development economics.[ He received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1993 from the American Economic Association. In 1987, he was the first social scientist to win the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. Summers is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. · In 1983, at age 28, Summers became one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. In 2006, Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty. Summers viewed his beliefs on why science and engineering had an under-representation of women to be a large part in the vote, saying, “There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.” · As the World Bank's Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist, Summers played a role in designing strategies to aid developing countries, worked on the bank's loan committee, guided the bank's research and statistics operations, and guided external training programs. The World Bank's official site reports that Summer's research included an “influential” report that demonstrated a very high return from investments in educating girls in developing nations. According to The Economist, Summers was “often at the centre of heated debates” about economic policy, to an extent exceptional for the history of the World Bank in recent decades. · In 1999 Summers endorsed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which removed the separation between investment and commercial banks. In February 2009, Summers quoted John Maynard Keynes, saying “When circumstances change, I change my opinion”, reflecting both on the failures of Wall Street deregulation and his new leadership role in the government bailout.
Hi guys, I want to open this thread to talk about the biggest problem we are all facing right now in Rainbow Six Siege. DDOS was always in some way a part of R6s, 3-4 seasons back it was quite rare to run across a booter on the enemy team. Now it has gotten so bad that you almost cannot play ranked on console anymore, atleast on high ranks like Platinum to Diamond. For me personally i'm not even that mad because of booting the servers, on higher ranks you get to know enemy players by name and meeting them over and over across the years, and that just proves that the enemies are bad to the point of hitting the server down, which is satisfying because you know that you won that game. But nonetheless it's game breaking, and im not trying to defend booting in any way, just my opinion. Now some big youtubers are responding to the community by making videos to get the devs attention. This has been done over the last year or more, they never really gave their statement to ddosing as far as i know (correct me if im wrong) but they have always been working on stabilising their servers to reduce lag (and probably prevent booting). I'm certainly not a pro in terms of computers and IT, but i know things. 99% of the community says ddossing cannot be stopped. Okay, so Ubisoft does NOT own any server, these are microsoft Azure servers that ubisoft rents to run Rainbow Six (PC, XB & PS4). These servers have a Public IP Adress that can be tracked pretty easily if you have some basic computer knowledge and the right tool. Microsoft servers have securities to prevent attacks, and they have been optimizing security a number of times, but people kept finding new ways to perform attacks, since there are plenty. *IF you already know and understand what ddos is, please skip this part, but since there are constantly new players on rainbow that report ddosing as server problems because they don't know what it is, i will explain it in easy terms. So DDOS means Distributed Denial of Service, if i browse a website, my computer constantly exchanges packages with the IP adress of that site, so the site keeps track of what i'm doing and i can browse where i need to be. Now if i had 5000 computers in my room, every computer performing 100 demands on that website, all at the same time, you could imagine what happens. This is what DDOSers do on rainbow Six, via Botnets. Botnets are a large group of "infected" computers, that belong to this Botnet, without knowing so. So the DDOSer on Rainbow buys or gets a suscription for a botnet service which he then gets his acces to, either by a website or a programm like an SSH Telnet client (example: putty). By entering the IP Adress of that game server, he commands every bot that is part of the network to send a huge amount of fake data to that server, completety flooding him with demands, which ends up in crashing the server. In case of "game freezing", the botnet sends a calculated amount of data to barely keep the server going but too much for the server to actually handle other things, like player movement commands ect, that's why the game does not crash but nobody is able to move around. The most popular Botnets for R6 can have between 50 - 10'000 bots connected, that's why booters feel safe when performing these attacks on MS servers, it can be very hard to define where the source of the attack is located, when 10'000 Computers all across the globe attack your server at once. As i said earlier, many youtubers are starting to react to the community by making videos explaining the possible consequences to booting servers, talking about federal crimes, 10 years of imprisonnement ect.. What do you guys think, is it to scare the 12 year olds from trying to do these things or could it happen that Ubisoft takes people to court for this. I mean technically the booter is not damaging anything, he doesn't steal or publish company data, and most of the servers are up and working again 10 minutes after the ddos. If you're a bit clever you will use a anonymous Email Adress for the service, possibly darknet mail, most booters accept bitcoin payments and suggest VPN usage, so i think the amount of work behind tracking down some 12 year old trying to get an advantage in Ranked is going to cost the company a lot of money and time... I think all they can do is improve the security against these attacks and hope that hackers cannot figure out other efficient ways of stressing the servers. People are saying why does ubisoft not just have own servers, that will likely never happen, because the costs of running such an infrastructure, with security, server rooms, cooling and Power costs, would never be an option for Ubi. Feel free to share your knowledge and ideas or questions in this thread.
Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential
/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////
Marketing. It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community. It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers. This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community. This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential. Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome. I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.
Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested. Multisig Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero. Kovri Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy. Mobile Wallets There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here. TAILS Operating System Integration Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users. In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow. Mandatory Hardforks Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information. Dynamic fees Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees! Tail Emission and Inflation There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore. Monero Research Lab Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.
///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///
Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero". Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!. Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself. I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity. A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain. The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes. Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments. There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin. Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero. Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in. The Bitcoin Flaw A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins. CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero. CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range. Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin. For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin. Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money. Technical Analysis There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today. Coinbase Rumours Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading. Monero Is Not an ICO Scam It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases. Monero is a Working Currency, Today Monero is a working currency, here today. The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc. Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin. Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money. Monero is private internet money. Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy. Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us. Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.
///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///
Scalability While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit. In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node. For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too! Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.
I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so. Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price. I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors. I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ? Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
The importance of being mindful of security at all times - nearly everyone is one breach away from total disaster
This is a long one - TL;DR at the end!
If you haven't heard yet: BlankMediaGames, makers of Town of Salem, have been breached which resulted in almost 8 million accounts being leaked. For most people, the first reaction is "lol so what it's just a game, why should I really care?" and that is the wrong way to look at it. I'd like to explain why everyone should always care whenever they are part of a breach. I'd also like to talk about some ways game developers - whether they work solo or on a team - can take easy steps to help protect themselves and their customers/players. First I'd like to state that there is no practical way to achieve 100% solid security to guarantee you'll never be breached or part of a breach. The goal here will be to get as close as possible, or comfortable, so that you can rest easy knowing you can deal with problems when they occur (not if, when).
Why You Should Care About Breaches
The sad reality is most people re-use the same password everywhere. Your email account, your bank account, your steam account, your reddit account, random forums and game websites - you get the idea. If you haven't pieced it together yet the implication is that if anyone gets your one password you use everywhere, it's game over for you - they now own all of your accounts (whether or not they know it yet). Keep in mind that your email account is basically the holy grail of passwords to have. Most websites handle password changes/resets through your email; thus anyone who can login to your email account can get access to pretty much any of your accounts anywhere. Game over, you lose.
But wait, why would anyone want to use my password? I'm nobody!
It doesn't matter, the bad guys sell this information to other bad guys. Bots are used to make as much use of these passwords as possible. If they can get into your bank they might try money transfers. If they get into your Amazon account they might spin up $80,000 worth of servers to mine Bitcoin (or whatever coin is popular at the time). They don't care who you are; it's all automated. By the way, according to this post (which looks believable enough to be real) this is pretty much how they got into the BMG servers initially. They checked for usernames/emails of admins on the BMG website(s) in previous breach dumps (of which there are many) and found at least one that used the same password on other sites - for their admin account! If you want to see how many of your accounts are already breached check out Have I Been Pwned - I recommend registering all of your email addresses as well so you get notified of future breaches. This is how I found out about the Town of Salem breach, myself.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Before I go into all the steps you can (and should) take to protect yourself I should note that security is in a constant tug of war with convenience. What this means is that the more security measures you apply the more inconvenienced you become for many tasks. It's up to you to decide how much is too much either way. First of all I strongly recommend registering your email(s) on https://haveibeenpwned.com/ - this is especially important if your email address is associated to important things like AWS, Steam developer account, bank accounts, social media, etc. You want to know ASAP when an account of yours is compromised so you can take steps to prevent or undo damage. Note that the bad guys have a head start on this!
You probably need to have better password hygiene. If you don't already, you need to make sure every account you have uses a different, unique, secure password. You should change these passwords at least once a year. Depending on how many accounts you have and how good your memory is, this is your first big security vs convenience trade-off battle. That's easily solved, though, by using a password manager. You can find a list of password managers on Wikipedia here or you can search around for some comparison articles. Some notable choices to consider:
1Password - recommend by Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned
LastPass - I use this at work and it's generally good
BitWarden - free and open source! I use this at home and in some ways it's better than LastPass
KeePass (and forks) - free, open source, and totally offline; if you don't trust "the cloud" you can trade away some more convenience in exchange for taking full responsibility of your password security (and backups)
Regardless of which one you choose, any of them is 100x better than not using one at all.
The problem with all these passwords is that someone can still use them if they are found in a breach. Your passwords are only as strong as the website you use them on. In the case of the BMG breach mentioned above - all passwords were stored in an ancient format which has been insecure for years. It's likely that every single password in the breach can be reversed/cracked, or already have been. The next step you need to take is to make it harder for someone else to login with your password. This is done using Multi-Factor Authentication (or Two-Factor Authentication). Unfortunately not every website/service supports MFA/2FA, but you should still use it on every single one that does support it. You can check which sites support MFA/2FA here or dig around in account options on any particular site. You should setup MFA/2FA on your email account ASAP! If it's not supported, you need to switch to a provider that does support it. This is more important than your bank account! All of the big email providers support it: GMail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, etc. The type of MFA/2FA you use depends on what is supported by each site/service, but there is a common approach that is compatible on many of them. Most of them involve phone apps because a phone is the most common and convenient "thing you have" that bad guys (or anyone, really) can't access easily. Time-based One-time Password or TOTP is probably the most commonly used method because it's easy to implement and can be used with many different apps. Google Authenticator was the first popular one, but it has some limitations which continue the security vs convenience battle - namely that getting a new phone is a super huge chore (no backup/restore option - you have to disable and setup each site all over again). Many alternatives support cloud backup which is really convenient, though obviously less secure by some measure. Notable choices to consider:
Authy - probably the first big/popular one after Google Authenticator came out (I think) - NOTE: They let you use it on your desktop/browser, too, but this is TOO much convenience! Don't fall for that trap.
LastPass Authenticator - conveniently links up with a LastPass account, some sites support extra features (like not needing to type a code, just answer a phone notification)
Yubikey - A real physical MFA device! Some models are compatible with phones, too.
Duo - this one is more geared towards enterprise, but they have a free option
Some sites/services use their own app, like Blizzard (battle.net) and Steam, and don't allow you to use other ones. You will probably have a few apps on your phone when all your accounts are setup, but it's worth it. You'll definitely want to enable it on your password manager as well if you chose a cloud-based one. Don't forget to save backup codes in an actual secure location! If you lose your backup codes and your auth app/physical key you will be locked out of accounts. It's really not fun recovering in that situation. Most recommendations are to print them and put in a fireproof safe, but using some other secure encrypted storage is fine. There is such a thing as bad MFA/2FA! However, anything is at least better than nothing. A lot of places still use SMS (text messaging) or e-mail for their MFA/2FA implementation. The e-mail one has the most obvious flaw: If someone gets into your email account they have defeated that security measure. The SMS flaws are less obvious and much less likely to affect you, but still a risk: SMS is trivial to intercept (capture data over the air (literally), clone your SIM card data, and some other methods). Still, if you're not a person of interest already, it's still better than nothing.
What Does This Have To Do With GameDev?
Yeah, I do know which subreddit I'm posting in! Here's the section that gets more into things specific to game development (or software development in general).
Secure Your Code
Securing your code actually has multiple meanings here: Securing access to your code, and ensuring your code itself is secure against exploitation. Let's start with access since that's the easier topic to cover! If you're not already using some form of Source Control Management (SCM) you really need to get on board! I'm not going to go in depth on that as it's a whole other topic to itself, but I'll assume you are using Git or Mercurial (hg) already and hosting it on one of these sites (or a similar one):
First, ensure that you have locked down who can access this code already. If you are using private repositories you need to make sure that the only people who have access are the people who need access (i.e. yourself and your team). Second, everyone should have strong passwords and MFA/2FA enabled on their accounts. If 1 person on the team does not follow good security practices it puts your whole project at risk! So make sure everyone on the team is following along. You can also look into tools to do some auditing and even automate it so that if anyone's account becomes less secure over time (say they turned off MFA one day) they would automatically lose their access. Additionally you should never commit secrets (passwords, API keys, tokens, social security numbers, etc) to your code repository. Probably 90% of cases where people have their AWS/Google Cloud/Azure accounts compromised and racking up huge bills for bitcoin mining is due to having their passwords/keys stored in their git repo. They either accidentally made it public or someone got access to the private repo through a compromised account. Never store sensitive information in your code repository! Next topic: Securing your code from vulnerabilities. This one is harder to talk about for game dev as most engines/frameworks are not as susceptible (for lack of a better word) to these situations as others. In a nutshell, you need to keep track of the following:
Is my code doing anything "dangerous"? (system-level stuff, memory access, saving passwords anywhere)
Could someone get the keys to the kingdom (API key, server password, etc) by just opening Cheat Engine and looking at memory values? Or doing a strings/hex edit/decompile/etc on my game executable?
Am I using outdated libraries/framework/engine? Do they have any known security bugs?
Secure Your Computer
I'm not going to go in depth on this one because at this point everyone should have a handle on this; if not there are limitless articles, blogs, and videos about the how/what/why. In summary: Keep everything updated, and don't open suspicious links.
Lock your computer when idle - use a password (or PIN or face unlock or whatever your OS uses) - no one should ever be able to walk up to your computer and use it if you're not looking, nor should they be able to get in if they grabbed your closed laptop off the table at starbucks (thanks u/3tt07kjt for reminding me of this one)
Use full disk encryption (especially on laptops)
Update your OS for security updates ASAP
Use anti-virus (yes, Windows Defender is fine) and keep it updated
Update your web browser ALWAYS (this is your 99% chance attack vector, so don't postpone it!)
Don't install browser extensions that you don't need - a LOT of extensions are either malware from the start or become malware later (my favorite emoji extension started mining bitcoins, FFS!) - check reviews regularly after extensions update
DO use adblock and privacy extensions - ads are a common attack vector - I recommend uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger at a minimum (note that some legit sites can break and so you'll have to fiddle with settings or whitelist)
Don't open suspicious or unknown links on e-mail, social media, discord, etc (be sure to hover over the links in this post before clicking them)
Don't open attachments, ever - unless you were expecting it from that person at that time
Don't fill out ANY forms (comments, login, registration, etc) on websites that don't have HTTPS (secure) connection - your browser will show this in the address bar, usually
In general, be suspicious of everything that comes from people you don't know - and even from people you do know if it was unexpected
E-Mail is (probably) the least secure form of communications ever invented - so try not to use it for sensitive things
Secure Your Website
I will have to add more to this later probably, but again there are tons of good articles, blogs, and videos on these topics. Hopefully the information in this section is enough to get you on the right track - if not feel free to ask for more info. Lots of guides can be found on Digital Ocean's site and they are relevant even if you don't use DO for your servers.
Use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) secure connections - it's FREE and EASY thanks to Let's Encrypt
KEEP EVERYTHING UPDATED - automate as much as you can
If you have control over the server, you MUST update the OS, the web server, and any backend application servers/languages/frameworks involved. Equifax breach was due to having out of date server software. BMG breach was worsened by having out of date server software. YOU MUST STAY UPDATED, ALWAYS
Don't store sensitive personal information - it's a huge pain to be PCI compliant, it's a huge fine if you mess it up - avoid storing any customer information that you don't actually need (see also: GDPR )
Do not allow access to SSH/Remote desktop/Database services from the whole world; the general public should only ever be able to reach ports 80 and 443 on your web server (and 80 should permanently redirect to HTTPS)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords on Linux servers
Don't run your own email server - it's just not worth it; use google apps for business, office 365, zoho, or something else for business email
Secure your domain registrar account! Don't lose your domain to a bad password or lack of MFA/2FA or an old email address! If your registrar doesn't support actual security then transfer to one that does. (namecheap, namesilo, google domains, amazon aws route53, even godaddy, the absolutely worst web company, has good security options)
A lot of this will apply to your game servers as well - really any kind of server you expect to setup.
That's it, for now
I ran out of steam while typing this all up after a couple hours, but I may revisit it later to add more info. Feel free to ask any questions about any of these topics and I'll do my best to answer them all.
TL;DR (y u words so much??)
Use a password manager so you can have different, random, secure passwords on every account on every website/service/game
Use MFA/2FA on every account, if possible
Lock your computer when idle/away
Use full disk encryption on laptops
Update your operating system (we all hate Windows Update, but it really is for our own good)
Use anti-virus (Windows Defender is fine)
Update your browser
Use good adblockeprivacy blocker browsers extensions
Don't use browser extensions that you don't really need (they could be a trojan horse of bitcoin mining later)
Don't trust anything sent by anyone, unless you were expecting it and know it's safe
E-mail is the least secure form of communications in use these days; don't trust it for sensitive things
Use source control for your game code (git, mercurial, etc)
Lock down access to your source code
Don't put secrets (passwords, API keys/tokens, social security numbers, credit card numbers) in your code repository
Don't do dumb things like store your AWS keys in your game for players to just find with simple tools
Check your code dependencies for security bugs, update them when needed
Use HTTPS on your website
Update your web server OS and software
Use secure password storage (don't reinvent this wheel, it's been solved by way smarter people)
Use SSH keys instead of passwords for Linux servers
Use a firewall to block the world from getting in with SSH/Remote desktop/database direct connections
Only allow your own IP address (which can change!) into the server for admin tasks
Don't run your own email server, let someone who knows what they are doing handle that for you
Secure your domain registrar account, keep email address up to date
... in general... in general... in general... I sure wrote those 2 words a lot.
Why Should I Trust This Post?
Hopefully I have provided enough information and good links in this post that you can trust the contents to be accurate (or mostly accurate). There is certainly enough information to do some searches on your own to find out how right or wrong I might be about these things. If you want my appeal to authority answer: I've been working at a major (network/computer) security company for almost 7 years as a software developer, and I've had to put up with pretty much every inconvenience brought on by security. I've also witnessed the aftermath of nearly every type of security failure covered in this post, via customers and the industry at large. None of the links I used are related to my employer or its products. Edit: Fixed some typos and added some more links More edit: added a few more points and links
Hello All, This post is meant to address the elephant in the room, and the #1 criticism that IOTA gets which is the existence of the Coordinator node.
What is the Coordinator
The Coordinator or, COO for short, is a special piece of software that is operated by the IOTA Foundation. This software's function is to drop "milestone" transactions onto the Tangle that help in ordering of Transactions. As this wonderful post on reddit highlights (https://www.reddit.com/Iota/comments/7c3qu8/coordinator_explained/)
When you want to know if a transaction is verified, you find the newest Milestone and you see if it indirectly verifies your transaction (i.e it verifies your transaction, or if verifies a transaction that verifies your transaction, or if it verifies a transaction that verifies a transaction that verifies your transaction, etc). The reason that the Milestones exist is because if you just picked any random transaction, there's the possibility that the node you're connected to is malicious and is trying to trick you into verifying its transactions. The people who operate nodes can't fake the signatures on Milestones, so you know you can trust the Milestones to be legit.
Why is the COO a Problem?
The COO protects the network, that is great right? No, it is not. The coordinator represents a centralized entity that draws the ire of the concurrency community in general is the reason behind a lot of FUD.
When is the COO Expected to be Removed?
Here is where things get dicey. If you ask the IOTA Foundation, the last official response I heard was
We are running super computer simulations with the University of St. Peteresburg to determine when that could be a possibility.
This answer didn't satisfy me, so I've spent the last few weeks thinking about the problem and think I can explain the challenges that the IOTA Foundation are up against, what they expect to model with the super computer simulations, and what ultimately what my intuition (backed up by some back of the napkin mathematics) tells me that outcomes will be.
IOTA Hashrate Explained
In order to understand the bounds of the problem, we first need to understand what our measuring stick is. Our measuring stick provides measurements with respect to hashed per second. A hash, is a mathematical operation that blockchain (and DAG) based applications require before accepting your transaction. This is generally thought of as an anti-spam measure used to protect a blockchain network. IOTA and Bitcoin share some things in common, and one of those things is that they both require Proof of Work in order to interact with the blockchain. In IOTA, a single hash is completed for each Transaction that you submit. You complete this PoW at the time of submitting your Transaction, and you never revisit it again. In Bitcoin, hashes are guessed at by millions of computers (miners) competing to be the first person to find solve the correct hash, and ultimately mint a new block. Because of the competitive nature of the bitcoin mining mechanism, the bitcoin hashrate is a sustained hashrate, while the IOTA hashrate is "bursty" going through peaks and valleys as new transactions are submitted. Essentially, IOTA performance is a function of the current throughput of the network. While, bitcoin's performance is a delicate balance between all collective miners, the hashing difficulty with the goal of pegging the block time to 10 minutes. With all that said, I hope it is clear that we can come to the following conclusion. The amount of CPU time required to compute 1 Bitcoin hash is much much greater then the amount of CPU time required to compute 1 IOTA hash. T(BtcHash) >> T(IotaHash) After all, low powered IOT devices are supposed to be able to execute the IOTA hashing function in order to submit their own transactions.
Measuring Work to be Proven
A "hash" has be looked at as an amount of work that needs to be completed. If you are solving a bitcoin hash, it will take a lot more work to solve then an IOTA hash. When we want to measure IOTA, we usually look at "Transactions Per Second". Since each Transaction requires a single Hash to be completed, we can translate this measurement into "Hashes Per Second" that the entire network supports. IOTA has seen Transactions Per Second on the order of magnitude of <100. That means, that at current adoption levels the IOTA network is supported and secured by 100 IOTA hashes per second (on a very good day). Bitcoin hashes are much more difficult to solve. The bitcoin network is secured by 1 Bitcoin hash every 10 minutes (which adjust's it's difficult over time to remain pegged at 10 minutes). (More details on bitcoin mining: https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-bitcoin-mining-works/)
Understanding how IOTA would be hacked without the COO
Without the COOs protection, IOTA would be a juicy target destroy. With only 100 IOTA hashes per second securing the network, that means that an individual would only need to maintain a sustained 34 hashes per second in order to completely take over the network.
How many of my personal gaming PCs would it take to 34% attack IOTA?
Personally, my relatively moderate gaming PC takes about 60 seconds to solve IOTA Proof of Work before my transaction will be submitted to the Tangle. This is not a beastly machine, nor does it utilize specialized hardware to solve my Proof of Work. This gaming PC cost about $1000 to build, and provides me .0166 hashes per second. **Using this figure, we can derive that consumer electronics provide hashing efficiency of roughly $60,000 USD / Hash / Second ($60k per hash per second) on the IOTA network. Given that the Tx/Second of IOTA is around 100 on a good day, and it requires $60,000 USD to acquire 1Hash/Second of computing power we would need 34 * $60,000 to attack the IOTA network. The total amount of money required to 34% the IOTA project is $2,040,00 This is a very small number. Not only that, but the hash rate required to conduct such an attack already exists, and it is likely that this attack has already been attempted. The simple truth is, that due to the economic incentive of mining the hash rate required to attack IOTA is already centralized, and are foaming at the mouth to attack IOTA. This is why the Coordinator exists, and why it will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
What will it take to Remove the COO?
The most important thing that needs to occur to remove the COO, is that the native measurement of transactions per second (which ultimately also measures the hashes per second) need to go drastically up in orders of magnitude. If the IOTA transaction volume were to increase to 1000 transactions per second, then it would require 340 transactions per second from a malicious actor to compromise the network. In order to complete 340 transactions per second, the attacker would need now need the economic power of 340 * $60,000 to 34% attack the IOTA network. In this hypothetical scenario, the cost of attacking the IOTA network is $20,400,000. This number is still pretty small, but at least you can see the pattern. IOTA will likely need to hit many-thousand transactions per second before it can be considered secure.
How does JINN play into this
What we have to keep in mind here, is that IOTA has an ace up their sleeve, and that Ace is JINN Labs and the ternary processor that they are working on. Ultimately, JINN is the end-game for the IOTA project that will make the removal of the COO a reality. In order to understand what JINN is, we need to understand a little bit about computer architecture and the nature of computational instruction in general. A "processor" is a piece of hardware that performs micro calculations. These micro calculations are usually very simple, such as adding two numbers, subtracting two numbers, incrementing, decrementing, and the like. The operation that is completed (addition, subtraction) is called the opcode while the numbers being operated on are called the operands. Traditional processors, like the ones you find in my "regular gaming PC" are binary processors where both the opcode and operands are expected to be binary numbers (or a collection of 0s and 1s). The JINN processor, provides the same functionality, mainly a hardware implementation of micro instructions. However, it expects the opcodes and operands to be ternary numbers (or a collection of 0s, 1s, and 2s). I won't get into the computational data density of base 2 vs. base 3 processors, nor will get I get into the energy efficiency of those processors. What I will be getting into however, is how certain tasks are simpler to solve in certain number systems. Depending on what operations are being executed upon the operands, performing the calculation in a different base will actually reduce the amount of steps required, and thus the execution time of the calculation. For an example, see how base 12 has been argued to be superior to base 10 (https://io9.gizmodo.com/5977095/why-we-should-switch-to-a-base-12-counting-system) I want to be clear here. I am not saying that any 1 number system is superior to any other number system for all types of operations. I am simply saying, that there exist certain types of calculations that are easier to perform in base 2, then they are performed in base 10. Likewise, there are calculations that are vastly simpler in base 3 then they are in base 2. The IOTA POW, and the algorithms required to solve for it is one of these algorithms. The IOTA PoW was designed to be ternary in nature, and I suggest that this is the reason right here. The data density and electricity savings that JINN provides are great, but the real design decision that has led to base 3 has been that they can now manufacture hardware that is superior at solving their own PoW calculations.
Understanding Binary Emulation vs. Native Processing
Binary emulation, is when a binary processor is asked to perform ternary operations. A binary processor is completely able to solve ternary hashes, but in order to do so it will need to emulate the ternary micro instructions at a higher level in the application stack from away from the hardware. If you had access to a base 3 processor, and needed perform a base 3 addition operation you could easily ask your processor to natively perform that calculation. If all you have access to, is a base 2 processor, you would need to emulate a base 3 number system in software. This would ultimately result in a higher number of instructions passing through your processor, more electricity being utilized, more time to complete.
The Economic Incentive of JINN
Finally, let's review these figures. It costs roughly $60k to acquire 1hash per second in BASE 2 consumer electrictronic. It costs roughly $2M to acquire enough BASE 2 hash rate to 34% the IOTA network. JINN, will be specifically manufactured hardware that will solve base 3 hashes natively. What this likely means, is that $1 spent on JINN will be much more effective at acquiring base 3 hash rate then $1 spent on base 2 hash rate.
The Economic Attrition Miners will feel
Finally, with bitcoin and traditional block chain applications there lies economic incentive to amass mining hardware. It first starts out by a miner earning income from his mining rig. He then reinvests those profits on additional hardware to increase his income. Eventually, this spirals into an arms raise where the players that are left in the game have increasingly available resources up until the point that there are only a handful of players left. This economic incentive, creates a mass centralization of computing resources capable of being misused in a coordinated effort to attack a cryptocurrency. IOTA aims to break this economic incentive, and the centralization that is causes. However, over the short term the fact that the centralization of such resources does exist is an existential peril to IOTA, and the COO is an inconvenient truth that we all have to live with.
Due to all the above, I think we can come to the following conclusions:
IOTA will not be able to remove the COO until the transactions per second (and ultimately hashrate) increase by orders of magnitude.
The performance of JINN processors, and their advantage of being able to compute natively on ternary operands and opcodes will be important for the value ratio of $USD / hash rate on the IOTA network
Existing mining hardware is at a fundamental disadvantage to computing base 3 hashes when compared to a JINN processor designed specifically for that function
Attrition of centralized base 2 hash power will occur if the practice of mining can be defeated and the income related to it. Then the incentive of amassing a huge amount of centralized computing power will be reduced.
JINN processors, and their adoption in consume electronics (like cell phones and cars) hold the key in being able to provide enough "bursty" hash rate to defend the network from 34% attacks without the help of the COO.
What are the super computer simulations? I think they are simulating a few things. They are modeling tip selection algorithms to reduce the amount of unverified transactions, however I think they may also be performing some simulations regarding the above calculations. JINN processors have not been released yet, so the performance benchmarks, manufacturing costs, retail costs, and adoption rates are all variables that I cannot account for. The IF probably has much better insight into all of those figures, which will allow them to better understand when the techno-economic environment would be conducive to the disabling of the COO.
The COO will likely be decentralized before it is removed. With all this taken into account, the date that the COO will be removed is years off if I was forced to guess. This means, that decentralizing the COO itself would be a sufficient stop-gap to the centralized COO that we see today.
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