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1  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: security window 10 Microsoft have access to my priv. keys. on: December 30, 2018, 03:29:00 PM
What is the chance on a Windows 10 system, Microsoft get access to my Bitcoin priv. keys if I don't adopt any special security arrangements ?

The chance that they can? Probably pretty good, considering that they typically get a heads-up (as is responsible) on newly discovered security vulnerabilities that could access everything on your computer.  Security researchers typically give confidential notification of their discoveries to the software vendor, remaining quiet about it for a period of time so that the vendor (Microsoft) can patch it, hopefully before the flaw is exploited in the wild.

The chance that they will? In my view, extremely unlikely, even if you are a major BTC whale.  Any such breach would almost certainly not be a company effort, but the action of a person or persons within their security teams having "gone rogue".  A business like Microsoft will have in place elaborate measures to prevent access to the full breadth of information necessary (some through vuln knowledge, some through their telemetry, etc.) in order to effectively mount an operation to steal private keys.

However, and this is key: There's a chance I'm wrong about any/all of this.  It is possible that there's a super secret team within Microsoft devoted to theft of keys, with full access to remote right into every Windows PC on the planet.  Or even worse, perhaps an algo built into their disk cleanup maintenance that runs when idle and scans your computer for wallets/keys, uploading its finds.  It is pretty clear that Windows 10 spys quite a bit, even if you take considerable steps to disable/defeat the telemetry.  The amount of tracking they've built into Windows should be something that everyone is concerned about, in particular if you create or store anything of value (confidential business documents, closed-source software, art/music/creative content that you sell for money, etc.) on your PC (and most people do in some form, on some PCs).  Consider the hacks of TV and film content that leaked and cost those studios millions of dollars.  Consider inside corporate information that could be worth lots of money to those seeking to frontrun a trade, or classified information that could be stolen from one government and sold to an adversarial government.  Given that, consider implementing the measures necessary for you to both feel safe as well those that actually make your data safer (the two are not always the same).

The way I see it, any key protection measures boil down to a tradeoff between convenience and safety, which is pretty much the same as physical money.  You could lock all of your money inside of 10 nested vaults, but then it wouldn't be very spendable.  You could carry all of your money in your wallet, but then it wouldn't be so safe if something happened to you.  In many places, you could keep wads of physical cash inside of a drawer in your unlocked house and it'd not be stolen, most of the time.  No one would try to enter your house, most of the time.  One day, however, someone may come to your door that has no problem with entering an unlocked house and taking a look around for some easy loot.  So, we generally lock our doors because it's easy and it increases the protection of what's on the other side of the lock (even nominally given the flimsy quality of many door locks).

I recommend keeping spending money in an easier to access place (but still with some protection, of course), and any savings or large amounts in more elaborate storage.  Crypto Twitter seems to be enamored with https://keys.casa/, including several people I'd weight very highly in having a high amount of security expertise.  They sell hardware wallets, have a multisig wallet protection service, and are also selling a pretty cool Raspberry Pi-based mini BTC/Lightning node.  You might want to check them out.

Personally, I don't hold much cryptocurrency, but here's what I do.  I use Qubes OS (a "reasonably secure" flavor of Linux) on an air-gapped (offline) laptop that stores all of my private keys and is protected under physical lock and key.  On the laptop, the keys are stored inside of encrypted files protected by long, manually entered diceware passphrases with pretty high entropy.  I'm sure my system has many flaws, but it works for me.  If I held substantial sums, I'd certainly spend some time looking into how to improve on it.

Best regards,
Ben
2  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Harvey Weinstein didn't rape anyone on: December 21, 2018, 07:38:28 PM
I'm sure all those girls knew exactly what they were doing.  They were willing to trade sex in order to make it big in hollywood.  It was a trade and both parties agreed to it.

I tend to agree with you, for the most part, regarding Harvey Weinstein.  I am not sure if they all knew what they were doing, but I'm reasonably sure that the vast majority certainly did.  Hollywood has traded time on the "casting couch" for a quicker route to fame, probably ever since Hollywood was a thing.  It doesn't make it right, from a fairness perspective.  But if two adults consent to a quid pro quo, that's on them.  One party coming out later and making it sound like an attack is not only incredible (as in "not credible"), but it is also a slap in the face to people that have been legitimately victimized, all too often brutally.

I'm a very firm believer in seeing the accused (not just H.W.) get a fair trial for rape claims and not a trial-by-media, because I'm old enough to remember the Tawana Brawley case as it happened, and I've seen other false rape accusations made against men since then.  OP, you might have a point about the women knowing what they were doing--Hollywood seems to be a very corrupt place--but somehow I get the feeling that Harvey Weinstein is not completely innocent.  But I don't know for sure; nor do most other people, and that's why he needs a trial with evidence presented.  It's not like women haven't used sex to gain advantage/jobs/favors from powerful men before, and prostitution itself is the "oldest known profession". 

Whatever the case may be, I think the media is getting ridiculous with these "he touched my breast 30 years ago, and now I'm going to ruin his life" stories.  That's not quite the same as the HW case, but it's related and it's not a trend I'm fond of.  Men shouldn't be pigs, but there's a big difference between flirting (even persistently), small sexual harassment, big sexual harassment, and outright rape.  It seems like every offense is moving toward the "rape" category, and that's insane to me.

The media has decided to use the "sexual predator" to take down people.  After all, who would support a true sexual predator?  Seems like sometimes the people being taken down are for political reasons.  In other cases, it seems like they're throwing a sacrificial lamb to the public and keeping other people's sexual indiscretions quiet.  Essentially being the gatekeepers we know they're so adept at being.  Especially here, on the Bitcoin Forum, the concept of gatekeepers and the need (and now, the technology) to bypass them should be crystal clear.

The thing is, repeatedly pulling the "XYZ is a predator" card when it's not warranted will cause people to be desensitized to the accusation.  Our adrenal glands will literally stop being excited due to exhaustion.  People will begin to ask the questions that some are now.  The fact is, there is a huge difference between being a "victim" of someone that flirted a little too hard, or maybe even having someone touch you inappropriately, and being brutally raped.  So people asking questions now, seeing that not everyone should be lumped into the latter category, is a good thing to bring this cycle of insanity back to a healthy place.

Best regards,
Ben
3  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Idea Discussion - Bitcoin Public Relations BPR Fork - Funding BTC Advancement on: December 19, 2018, 01:37:21 AM
....
The foundation would have to be transparent and remain true to the purpose of advancing BTC. Always do the right thing, the best we can, and show it. ....

Things sure didn't turn out as expected or hoped for with the Bitcoin Foundation.

That is a shame too.  A foundation like the Bitcoin Foundation could do a lot of good for the community if it went about things in the right way.  I'm not sure if they had anyone that knew much about how to run and grow a nonprofit. There's some nuance there that's different from for-profit entities. I suppose the problem could be drama-related, really unfortunate if so.

I tried to reach out to them earlier this year about what seemed to be a great reason, the Hal Finney ALS fund, which has accumulated just over 14 BTC, and should have the funds donated to the ALS Foundation.  I didn't get a response, and the BTC is still at that address (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1JsnZLEGgLJY7rbDdaKTzC2JyvfaKUpF5p).

Earlier this year I had to pause my own non-profit organization, BTRIC, because I didn't want to spend the modest amount of funds that it raised all out to me for my cost of living. Earning a living had to take priority, of course.

But I always find myself getting drawn back towards blockchain, and especially cryptocurrency. So the unpausing, for me, is coming, either with BTRIC or potentially somewhere else. Not really sure about that part, just know that I have never felt more passionately about something as I do about blockchain technology being a tremendous force for good in the world, with cryptocurrency being the most important application for it.

But anyway, during my pause (going on 6 months), I've had a chance to think about a bunch of things (long drives to and from work will do this to you). One of those being the need to build or coordinate nonprofits in the cryptocurrency space that are not simply big crypto endowments. Instead, like other nonprofits, they should implement programs, sponsor research, and raise funds from performing grant work and from philanthropic trusts. There's enough research that could be conducted, benefitting Bitcoin, research sponsors, and society as a whole, to fund the operations of a foundation. To say nothing of other work a foundation could coordinate that could really benefit people in the developing world and spread the use of cryptocurrency while simultaneously diminishing the control that private central banks have over much of the planet.

I support your idea for a way to fund BTC advancement in a manner that isn't solely dependent on current Bitcoin businesses. I don't know if a fork is the right way to do it, but it certainly is an idea worth considering. Forks have been created for much less worthy reasons (lol). I hope that you don't stop at Public Relations, and also focus on other ways to really keep advancing the tech. Promotion and education ARE important, but there are other priorities too. And absolutely, complete transparency is a must for any credible nonprofit.

Best regards,
Ben
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Can anyone make sure the ALS foundation gets their Bitcoins? on: December 19, 2018, 01:18:58 AM
Any update on this?

Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything from the Bitcoin Foundation. I just checked my Spam folders to ensure there wasn't something I missed.

The balance in the address (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1JsnZLEGgLJY7rbDdaKTzC2JyvfaKUpF5p) is just over 14 BTC. I'm going to see if I can reach out to the Trustees individually, maybe that'll have better luck.

It'd be great for them to send this over to the ALS Foundation.

Best regards,
Ben
5  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: How expensive is to create your own coin/token? on: July 11, 2018, 05:17:36 AM
- If you have a vision, you can gather  a team that would help you achieving your goals.

These are the coins that get my attention. Vision. There really is a lot of great concepts out there, execution is a big part of success/failure and unfortunately there are many that execute poorly.  There's also an endless number of concepts that have yet to make it into anything tangible, some of which are great concepts and I hope to see them get it together.

Dream big. The world is changing in ways never before possible. Crypto is a huge, maybe the hugest, part of that; simply because currency is the modern day equivalent to hunting and gathering, food and shelter. Crypto is changing the world profoundly. Being part of that change is what makes me excited about life.

If you have that drive, and a spark, you can make it work. Don't focus on "getting rich", focus on bringing something of real benefit to the world. You will be rewarded for that, with money yes, but beyond that as well.

Best,
Ben
6  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Is cryptocurrency helping to bring peace, TODAY, to North Korea? on: June 12, 2018, 03:33:18 AM
I'm not really trying to make a political statement here.  I've been following the news regarding the summit between North Korea and the United States, and it's remarkable that our countries could be on the verge of a new era of peace.  Regardless of your views on President Trump, I believe that most would agree with me that this is great news for the entire world!  I am sure many challenges lie ahead but challenges are worth undertaking for peace on earth.

I want to call attention to the fact that PotCoin, a cryptocurrency for the legal marijuana industry (I know little about the project except that it's been around since 2014, longer than many), has sponsored Dennis Rodman's travel to North Korea in the past.  He is also in Singapore now thanks to their sponsorship.  Mr. Rodman has been an unofficial emmisary between the United States and North Korea for some time due to his personal relationship with Kim Jong-un.

Here's an interview that was conducted just moments ago with an emotional Dennis Rodman describing his involvement over the years in helping to bring about amazing things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS494th_Js4

Thank you PotCoin for your part in helping bring about these historic events!

Bitcoin, other virtual assets, and decentralization can and is creating a better world in so many ways.

Best regards,
Ben
7  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: How strong is Bitcoin against 51% attack ! on: June 11, 2018, 03:05:38 AM
In the current state of things, it's near impossible to attack Bitcoin ! This show how this coin is strong now.

I agree: Bitcoin is strong.

As others in the thread have noted, a group of miners that collectively control 51% or more of hashrate could decide this second to implement some change to Bitcoin's code, consensus rules, and/or presumably do all sorts of nefarious things to the blockchain.  If they started running new code, their blocks would be accepted, at least, by them (unless they don't know how to code and somehow break their fork, and I seem to recall a problem with exactly this in a certain fork that occured just under a year ago).

As of right now, there are currently 9938 nodes on the network, two of which are mine.  However, I do not mine (see what I did there?).  So, from one perspective, I have no say in what my nodes choose to accept into their local copies of the blockchain.  From another perspective, however, I also control those servers and can choose to stop running Bitcoin Core or upgrade the software as new releases are available.  So, in that way, the plurality of users do "have a say" in what happens to Bitcoin.

From this link, it looks like the three largest pools control 51% of hashrate.  So if they chose to collude, they could change the rules.  On the other hand, if at least one of those three did not participate in some fork, the rest of Bitcoin miners could not cause an "attack".

I trust Bitcoin Core.  Not just the software itself, I also trust the people that are involved with the project.  This could change, of course, but I don't expect that with the present contributors and the project as a whole.  If a nefarious attack threatened the viability of Bitcoin, I am virtually certain that they'd take countermeasures.  There exists at least one "emergency hardfork" repo to change the PoW algorithm if it's ever needed.  I'm confident they could ship such an update in hours if necessary.  I believe Core would treat certain circumstances with the same level of attention that they would treat security vulnerabilities, and implement, test, and ship mitigations as quickly as possible.

Other thoughts...

If I was a miner, I don't think it'd be in my best interest to mess up Bitcoin, so I doubt I'd go along with any concocted scheme to attack/fork/etc. the chain.  Confidence in a technology as well as in the integrity of the people behind it can be difficult to gain but very easy to lose.  Why risk it?

I strongly support measures to increase the resilience of Bitcoin.  My personal belief is that mining effort is too centralized and hope that problem is resolved in time.  I believe that multiple approaches to increasing resilience are merited for Bitcoin, given that it is the world's premier cryptocurrency.  I believe a sufficient number of nodes should be run in nuclear-hardened bunkers on multiple continents and that mining should be done in areas where it might just "break even" and that other, cheaper mining operations should work together as a collective (not any formal organization as that is more centralization) to share the costs and profits for these resilience pools, not to make a huge profit--but to ensure the continued resilience of Bitcoin (which also is part of profitability).  Measures of this type may sound elaborate or excessive, but I believe they are crucial to a technology that is digital money.  They are the type of things that instill the confidence that I previously mentioned.

In conclusion, even if you had the 6.2 billion dollars that you estimated it would cost to conduct a 51% attack, good luck getting the equipment necessary manufactured.  I believe you'd have to set up your own production facility to come up with enough ASIC's to get the job done.  And as LeGaulois said, good luck finding the necessary electricity.  I suppose with the money you saved from running your own ASIC shop, you could also build your own power plants.

There are far more profitable ways to invest 6.2 billion dollars and all of the work required to successfully 51% attack Bitcoin.  And in the end, for that reason, it is very unlikely to occur.

(Incidentally, I hope that last section stands the test of time and that I do not eat those words--that would be a shame.  Why would someone choose to focus on negatives, attacks, division?  There's so much good that can be accomplished through peer to peer, decentralized yet collaborative work towards greater goals.)

Best regards,
Ben
8  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Couply arrested --- amassed $17M worth of BTC on: April 12, 2018, 04:28:56 PM
What really made me worried is that even the arrest has been done, there's a chance they might prove themselves not guilty once it got into court proceedings. All those investments were made through Coins.ph (Philippine's top financial services platform for Bitcoin) and upon checking by the company representatives in hopes to return all those money invested, it has been checked and emptied. The transactions that were been made was all untraceable, so its impossible to retrieve all those BTCs, thanks for its anonymity feature  Grin

Source: http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/world/couple-arrested-for-alleged-bitcoin-pyramid-scam-that-amassed-php900-million/ar-AAvKgNj?li=BBr8Mkn&ocid=TSHDHP

Wow I'm really sorry to hear about this.  People need to always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.  I hope they are able to recover the coins, potentially offering these people a deal if they return whatever they've stashed.  I find it hard to believe that they blew through $17 million, but hey I guess people can always find ways to waste money.

There are plenty of opportunities in Bitcoin and the crypto economy.  "Get rich quick" is never as quick or easy as it sounds, it's a false lure.

Best regards,
Ben
9  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: FOUNDERS WANTED: FinTech Self Regulatory Organization (FTSRO) on: April 11, 2018, 07:20:44 PM
I think self-regulating organizations should act within certain legal framework (almost any country have specific frameworks on that account). However what I don't understand is how this organization can actually influence worldwide policy and regulators attitude?

Hi PerfectClam,

This organization is specifically focused on the United States, though much of the work it does in terms of laying out best-practices standards could be applied to other countries as a template.  In the U.S., Self-Regulatory Organizations defined slightly differently under the Securities Exchange act and the Commodity Exchange Act.  However, these organizations are essentially a type of non-profit, industry-funded association that is delegated some amount of authority under the law to "self-police" the activities of its members.

There are several SROs for securities, the most prominent one being FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).  As far as I know, there is only one under the purview of the CFTC for commodities, the National Futures Association.

What we are doing here is founding a new organization that will help to bring regulatory certainty to the U.S. market, arguably the largest market for crypto assets in the world.  FinTech SRO will establish a form of "self-regulation" that will reduce fraud, protect consumers and investors, and increase the credibility of the market.

Many businesses and organizations are staying clear of the crypto asset market at this time and one of the largest reasons they give is because of the regulatory uncertainty.  An organization like FinTech SRO will work with the regulators and develop reasonable, affordable, and "light-touch" frameworks to comply with regulations that will balance the need to protect participants and the important objective of not harming innovation or slowing the crypto asset industry.

By soliciting out for founders, we are offering the opportunity for people across the industry to get involved in this organization from the beginning.  My personal focus is just as described above, making sure that innovation is not stifled by regulations that were built for legacy finance.  Crypto assets are profoundly different, and guidelines and best-practices need to accommodate this difference.  There are other things that can be gained by working together, such as advocating for a clear definition of crypto assets (so that each agency doesn't decide that cryptos are /theirjob/).  The situation we have now is that depending on which regulator is asking the question, cryptos can be considered an asset property, commodities, money, prepaid value, and securities.  Bitcoin in my view is most certainly a form of money.  ICOs can be prepaid tokens or securities, depending on their characteristics.  However, many legal analysts and advisors have interpreted the laws their own way without clear guidance that has been endorced by the regulators, so a common system to determine how a given crypto asset should be classified is something will benefit all participants.  Why should, say, Coinbase have to analyze one crypto asset and some other exchange analyze the same asset to determine what it is?  A standard definition and process for classification will help.  In that hypothetical, what if the two exchanges didn't agree?  How would the regulators deal with that?

There are a number of things that multiple organizations can accomplish by launching an SRO.  Another thing I want to make sure of is that "non-entity projects", such as Bitcoin, are not regulated out of existence.  The very nature of decentralized crypto assets means that many of them do not have a central point of governance or control, and this should not impede their ability to become the predominant type of money used in the world.

In terms of worldwide policy, organizations can and do participate in international agreement bodies such as G20 and UN.  While they don't have an actual "vote", per se, they participate as observers and provide comment on their views to the various countries or bodies that do have votes.

I am new to crypto asset regulation (has it even existed long enough to claim that anyone is an expert?), but I have experience in launching other types of SROs and in building and implementing best practices standards that are reasonable.  That's what I'm focused on doing here.

Best regards,
Ben
10  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: FOUNDERS WANTED: FinTech Self Regulatory Organization (FTSRO) on: April 10, 2018, 11:59:30 PM
BTRIC Announces Call for Founders of FinTech Self-Regulatory Organization (FTSRO)

Today Blockchain Technology Research Innovations Corporation (BTRIC) announced that it is seeking founders and tax-deductible contributions from across the crypto asset industry for the formation of “Financial Technology Self-Regulatory Organization” (FTSRO).  BTRIC, a 501(c)(3) organization, has established a fund dedicated to the founding of FTSRO and is now seeking additional contributors as well as persons or businesses to be included as founders.

By forming a non-profit Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO), BTRIC believes that the crypto asset industry can better accommodate regulatory requirements in a streamlined and efficient manner, allowing for maximum innovation and participation in this emerging field.  FTSRO will be focused on developing and implementing best-practices standards to cover areas such as crypto asset classification (i.e. determination if a crypto asset is a currency/commodity, a utility token, a securities token, a collectible or other special purpose token, etc.).

In addition, FTSRO will establish model standards for Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) that participants can utilize to ensure consumers and investors are protected against fraud and market manipulation.

Founders of FTSRO will play a role in the organization from the beginning, demonstrating their commitment to “light-touch” self-regulation that ensures that compliance is not expensive or cumbersome and that innovation continues to define and refine one of the most significant developments in the history of commerce.

BTRIC’s Chair of the Board of Trustees, Terri Lei Beideman, stated, “The founding of FinTech SRO is an important step in bringing regulatory clarity to a field that is often confusing and even, in some ways, contradictory.  By sharing information and resources among members and working with regulators, FTSRO will move this industry, which began as a small movement just under ten years ago, forward with constructive and practicable standards and guidance.  FTSRO provides a vehicle to ensure consumers and investors are protected and that crypto asset businesses and other participants are legally compliant while still accommodating the fast pace of innovation in this quickly growing field.”

Persons and businesses interested in participating as a founder of FTSRO, or those interested in contributing to the FTSRO organization fund, should contact BTRIC at ftsro@btric.org.  The concept for FTSRO, which is evolving as more people get involved, is described in this blog article.

About BTRIC: Blockchain Technology Research Innovations Corporation is a U.S. based 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization that is focused on the emerging technology field.  Within this field, BTRIC operates a business incubator and startup accelerator, a best-practices standards development, educational, and outreach initiative, and a research and development laboratory.  Due to the global nature of emerging technologies, we also operate a related U.K. based charitable organization (BTRIC UK) to enable contributions from donors located in the United Kingdom, European Union, Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein.

Contributions to BTRIC and BTRIC UK may be tax-deductible or eligible for other tax relief to the extent allowed by law.  Contact your tax advisor for more information.  U.K. based donors can contact donations@btric.orgto donate in a manner that is eligible for the U.K. Gift Aid program.

Visit our website at https://www.btric.org.  You can also connect with us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BTRICorg, keep updated on our Medium blog at https://medium.com/btric, join our Telegram chat at https://t.me/BTRIC_General and reach out via email at hello@btric.org.
11  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Comments: Facebook's Zuckerberg appears before Senate panel ... on: April 10, 2018, 11:48:49 PM

What do you think? I personally believe it can be a great debate about the use of the internet and the collect of data.


Nevertheless, It seems kind of ironic the US government is so against Facebook now, even when they ask you to show your social media app when you trespass their boards...
And also, all the senators questioning Zuckerbergs' platform use Facebook to their campaigns...



Hi seoincorporation,

What you see happening in Congress today and tomorrow is what they call "Kabuki theater".  The fact is that in 2017, Facebook ($11.5 million) spent more on legislative lobbying to Congress than all tech companies except for two: Google ($18 million), and Amazon ($12.8 million).  Congress can't be counted on to be reliable in much, but I am willing to state something that I believe to be absolute: Congress will not bite the hand that feeds them.  Also, contributions from corporate PACs (they all have them) to candidate and/or multicandidate PACs are not included in that number, it only represents Lobbying Disclosure Act filings.

They will bully Mr. Zuckerberg and make them look tough, and him squirming.  They will let him avoid the tough questions with an "I don't recall" or "I'll have to get back to you", etc.  Then six months from now, expect nothing to be done -- or even worse, legislation to come out that endorses in some way what Facebook does.

Before I go further, please do not make the mistake of believing it is only Facebook that does these things.  Go through your phone's apps and the permissions that they have (i.e. contacts, sensors, camera, read messages, etc.).  Facebook, Google Search, Bing, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Google Apps, Microsoft Outlook/Hotmail, WhatsApp, Kik, etc.  Pretty much every app and service makes use of the data you allow it to have to analyze and profile you.  Facebook is probably the worst offender for a few different reasons (type of information you explicitly provide to their platform, their aggressive apps and website widgets, and their huge appetite for integrating other sources of data, such as health records and credit reports, into their datasets), but they are not the only ones.

Facebook's business model depends on harvesting your data and using it to sell highly targeted advertising.  Want to target 25-year-old single men that live within 20 miles of a Texas Roadhouse restaurant and have interests in steak, grilling, barbeque, or other related topics?  No problem.  How about teenage mothers that seem to fit the profile of a girl/woman suffering from postpartum depression?  Easy peasy.  It's chilling how they've leveraged their dataset in combination with the disciplines of sociology, economics, and psychology to create a platform that can be used to influence thinking in nearly a weaponized fashion.

Given that current social media platforms depend on this type of data in order to sell ads that have high conversions, new platforms are really the only solution.  Is anyone really going to trust Facebook if tomorrow they say, "sorry, we tracked the average time you spent in the restroom, but we're not going to do that anymore".  Highly doubtful, I certainly wouldn't believe it.  Not unless Facebook was open source and I could prove they were running only that code, which is impossible.

My vision of future open platforms are ones that do not make as much money as Facebook because they do not profile people.  You can still sell advertising, indeed you have to find a way to pay the bills (just as they do here on the Bitcoin Forum), but you won't be able to command the same price as highly targeted ads.  You might be able to allow users to opt-in to some general demographic information so that, for example, men's products are shown to men and women's products to women.  I don't know, but I believe all sharing should be opt-in, with the platform completely locked down by default.  Corporate tendencies are precisely the opposite, but I believe user privacy must come first on social media services.  You must be able to both (a) ensure user control over privacy and use of their content and (b) still make a viable business model.

One of the projects we have in our incubation program is going to be a fully open-source social media platform that will eventually have services analogous to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Periscope.  You are going up against huge, many billion dollar industries and corporations, it's not an easy accomplishment.  Funding sources are more limited.  Just incubating our project to a robust MVP is going to take time and money.  But I strongly believe in strong-encryption, decentralized/peer-to-peer sharing, and censorship-proof (probably resistant, nothing is impossible) platforms.  In theory, any user could set up their own server and be the primary seed for their own content.  Not everyone will choose to do this, so some centralized infrastructure is needed, especially early on.  Some users (such as professional content creators, aka YouTube personalities, news organizations, etc.) will decide to run their own servers, thereby increasing the resilience of the network for everyone.  Advertising is one source of revenue, but completing distributed computing in the background is another source that I'm very interested in pursuing.  Subscriptions can also work, though most people don't want to pay subscriptions.  There are other opportunities to create revenue streams that are not based on shady profiling and tracking.

Ultimately, I think that social and other decentralized services will benefit from devices like the Bitseeds for Bitcoin nodes.  I imagine an appliance device that is "set it and forget it", and you can opt-in to the services you want to participate in and the system will automatically operate nodes for those services.  It has to be made as easy as a smartphone app to use, maybe have some advanced mode tweaking for people like us.  I could see someone purchasing a device like that if they received a benefit they don't now have.  Like a Kodi box but doing lots behind the scenes that the average user doesn't need to worry about.  People could choose to build their own, but many will just choose to buy a plug and play solution.

Social media, and other services, have abused the trust of their users for a long time.  New services are needed that purposely build in barriers to prevent that and are transparent and open-source.

Best regards,
Ben
12  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Any new forum member seeking to join a CryptoProject? on: April 10, 2018, 01:25:37 AM
you gave so much detail, we re confused  Kiss

two newbies spoke to me already its of course about continuing the development of the project in my signature,

i though since there were so many newbies entering this forum why not give them a cryptocapitalism project to participate

this is my post nr. 2000 give me grats

Congratulations on 2000 posts!  I'll check out your project.
13  Other / Serious discussion / Re: KYC Safe or Threat on: April 07, 2018, 06:16:01 PM
The best way to deal with it is the decentralized KYC repositories with the selective decentralized data control and the forced data fragmentation for every step of its processing and storage. I won't name any project, yet there are some. They will certainly have difficulties working out a deal with countless government agencies, yet it looks doable without screwing safety entirely (I've discussed it several times at think tanks, there are solutions).

This is the best way to balance the privacy interests with the KYC/AML/CFT requirements.  Entities that perform crypto/fiat conversion are generally licensed in some form in their jurisdictions.  My view is that these entities should participate in a decentralized pool.  Access to specific information on file will be by permission only (i.e. you give permission to XYZ ICO/ITO to access the minimum information necessary).  It's similar to how credit reporting agencies work, they keep a file on everyone that is accessible (normally) by your consent only.  This will be much tighter data control than those old databases, obviously, and the data allowance will not be "all or nothing", there will be different levels of data available based on what is required by the ICO/ITO.  It's one of the ideas that we've got on tap for FinTech SRO, should help to greatly reduce fraud and potential identity theft/KYC data theft issues.

Best regards,
Ben
14  Other / Serious discussion / Re: Is it right to kill a violent burglar? on: April 07, 2018, 01:48:44 AM
An intruder killed during a raid on a pensioner's home was a career criminal who worked in a family gang and had spent time in jail.
Henry Vincent, 37, from Kent, was stabbed during a break-in at the home of pensioner, Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, in Hither Green on Wednesday.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/05/burglar-killed-pensioners-home-wanted-previous-robbery/

What do you think? I think that a 37 year old career burglar who attacked a 78 year old pensioner in his own home, deserved what he got, and I hope they catch his accomplice. It seems the police don't agree, and they have arrested the pensioner for defending himself and his family.

I am not a legal expert in U.K. law (or any other for that matter), but based on what I do know, the police have legitimate grounds to treat an incident as suspicious and to initially view the pensioner as a suspect.  In some cases, if he was being uncooperative or if they had reason to believe he was hiding something, they could arrest him to question him formally.

However, the use of force to defend your life is generally permitted from a legal perspective, provided that the force was "reasonable".  Of course, that's open to interpretation and there is no clear-cut way to determine what is inside or outside of these bounds.  Hopefully, the police will agree and the death will be viewed as self-defense.  If they do not, and in fact charge him with manslaughter or murder (or their U.K. equivalent), then through Court proceedings this pensioner could assert the defense that he was acting in fear of his life or safety.  Then the Court (Judge or jury, however it is done in the U.K.) would decide the matter.

All of this is very messy and time-consuming, but unfortunately, that's the way it goes sometimes when there is an incident in which the police/authorities believe it happened differently than the suspect claims.

The reality of the situation is that, while the police are there to protect us, in those crucial first minutes when your life could truly be in danger, the police haven't yet had time to be notified and/or arrive.  People must be prepared to defend themselves if it becomes necessary in order to preserve your life.  The use of force in doing this is sometimes required.  The use of lethal force, to me, should be considered as an absolute last resort.  I hope I never have to make such a choice in my own life.  Circumstances like that can weigh on your conscience for life.

Best regards,
Ben
15  Other / Serious discussion / Re: The US, social media and the beginnings of the surveillance state on: April 06, 2018, 01:47:34 AM
Ben, thanks for the informative, yet chilling insight. I'm feeling a bit naive right now, not because I didn't know most of what you posted (I didn't), but because I could have known if I had really bothered to find out.

Do you think that platforms such as those that you described will become a reality in our lifetime? I imagine something drastic has to happen before people reject the convenience of conventional social media and adopt a technology that today is considered somewhat of a nerdy niche-thing. Hmm, then again, so were computers and the internet 20 years back.

Hi MJK_Anfaenger,

No need to feel naive -- the large corporate interests that study and track all of us have invested a lot of effort into obfuscation.  However, I do think the phenomenon of realization is similar to those images such as this one here:

What do you see?

Once you see both sides of the image, it is very difficult to "unsee" them.

Usability of social media is a big factor, of course.  Technologies have to be accessible to people of below-average intelligence but yet not be tedious for those on the high end.  Websites of 20 years ago were generally a lot less capable, rough around the edges, and were nowhere near as a ubiquitous as they are today.  Similar leaps will be made in decentralized technology.  Increasing bandwidth, storage, and processing capacity means that less centralized systems can better exist.  Clearly, a distributed ledger is less efficient in terms of the resources that it consumes; however, it is the best tech known to humanity for certain applications.

Decentralized systems, beyond distributed ledgers like blockchain, enable gains in efficiency in other ways.  For example, I often think about how much electricity is lost in transmission and distribution (the amount varies due to various factors but in some cases can be over 30% of power generated).  I also think about the losses from utilities being unable to store unused electricity (well, at least not very much of it).  When you start to combine technologies such as IoT to intelligently monitor power usage, microgeneration plants that could be distributed and spun up and down on demand to respond to near real-time changes in usage, and some good next-generation power storage technology, distributed power generation makes sense and could work to deliver electricity more efficiently than the large power generating plants we use today.  Those plants would still be used, at least through their useful lifetimes, but they would generate the baseline amount of electricity, with microgeneration being used to cover variability.

Concerning social media, in my view, the trick is to build your tech and then make it go viral.  Don't rush, keep iterating and improving, but always be ready to scale.  You will hit the adoption tipping-point.  Make great partnerships with top-tier content creators.  Stay agile and adapt to changes quickly.  Consumer-facing services are always heavily driven by marketing, but new-generation services come in waves.  Think MySpace -> Facebook.  This progress will continue.  I believe the tech we're building in our Disperse.Network project can grow into a great service.  The combination of multiple genres of social media (e.g. like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope) into a single service has opportunities for interactions that can't meaningfully happen today.  Not everyone will understand the other parts that are the most important to me -- owning your data, strong encryption, better compensation to content creators, ethical revenue models, open source, etc. -- but I do think that most users can understand better privacy and control over how information is shared, the fact that they will not be tracked or profiled, and that content cannot be censored by a central gatekeeper corporation.  "Community consensus" is an interesting challenge when you consider all the variables that need to be taken into account, but it is something that happens in the physical world among groups of people, so I accept that challenge and want to drive the tech forward.  There are some great projects out there that do parts of what I envision.  I'm looking forward to working with them to build a "whole" that is greater than the sum of the parts.  When this project's white paper is written, I hope to be able to communicate the vision more clearly than I can now writing this reply.

I strongly believe that societal attitudes, economic factors, and technological capabilities have combined at this unique time in world history.  Never before did we have the capabilities to communicate with people across the globe instantly.  We've all witnessed things that "didn't feel right" but couldn't tell others about that experience.  We couldn't see the way that, for example, the news media manipulates us, because the process of knowledge sharing and building upon other's discoveries and experiences were hindered by intermediaries.  So even those that did see it and could articulate it were limited unless they were one of the lucky chosen that had a television, newspaper, or radio audience.  (And those people aren't the ones that get chosen.)  We now have an awareness of the flaws in the system as well as the technological means to go about repairing it.  It will happen because it is the only sustainable course of action.  The question is how long will it take, and will we have to sink even deeper before the inevitable recoil?  More than anything, this is what drives me forward.  The chance to truly make a better future for all of humanity, from here in New Jersey all the way to the remote parts of Africa.  Humanity deserves it, and we can do it.  So we shall.

Best regards,
Ben
16  Bitcoin / Project Development / FOUNDERS WANTED: FinTech Self Regulatory Organization (FTSRO) on: April 05, 2018, 08:45:15 PM
Hi All,

I just published the following article to BTRIC's blog on Medium.  I wanted to share it on here in full, as it builds on many ideas I've first described in the pages of this forum and is the result of a good amount of discussion among people I've come to know from here.

https://medium.com/btric/could-reasonable-crypto-asset-regulation-actually-benefit-the-ecosystem-638c27622d3f
Could Reasonable Crypto Asset Regulation Actually Benefit the Ecosystem?
I believe the benefits outweigh the costs. Here’s why.

The purpose of this article is to convince you, the crypto asset community, that, if done properly, the right regulatory structure for crypto assets would be a net benefit for the field. I am currently raising a small amount of funding from people that want to be a part of the formation of one such non-profit Self Regulatory Organization (SRO). I believe the time is now to get going on this, and I am willing to put in the time and effort to organize and launch this organization. However, I can’t do it alone.

In terms of convincing people that regulation could actually be good for them, I know I have my work cut out for me here. This is especially true in the cypherpunk realm of cryptocurrency. No one wants to be regulated. I wholeheartedly agree with this, having seen first-hand the deleterious economic effects of excessive regulation. However, please take a few minutes with an open mind to consider the concept I describe, which is a very different approach to traditional regulation.

The Situation Today

Right now, in 2018, the crypto asset field on a global basis is not in a good place. As a transformative technology that will change the world, crypto assets are earning a bad rap. This has manifested itself in a multitude of ways:

  • Banks are increasingly limiting crypto/fiat exchanges, in some cases even closing accounts with all crypto related businesses. I read a case of a blockchain company (not crypto at all) being shut out of their banking relationship.
  • Large platforms such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook are banning advertising of bitcoin, crypto assets, and ICO/ITO related products and services.
  • Regulators all over the world are tightening the screws on crypto asset businesses, making it very hard to build adoption.
  • Regulators are also applying legal requirements unequally to different types of crypto assets, and each regulator seems to have their own definition of what crypto assets are, shockingly defined to be — you guessed it — within their regulatory scope.
  • In order to be a fiat/crypto conversion service, you must comply with the money transmitter requirements of nearly every state. This creates a very high bar to entry for businesses, which slows innovation and reduces competitive forces.
  • Consumers don’t know what to make of crypto assets. Broad-based education to consumers is limited.
  • Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering measures are enforced unevenly, giving a bad reputation to good projects, as well as opening the door for tougher regulations.
  • Fraud in the field is widespread, with heavily pre-mined currencies, ICOs that disappear overnight (with investors funds), and false claims being made all over the space.
  • Poor code — in node daemons, smart contracts, wallets, and exchanges — has led to the loss or theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The success or failure of many offerings is increasingly based on marketing power, rather than technical or business merit.

In short, in many ways, the current crypto asset ecosystem is giving regulators plenty of legitimate concerns to worry about. If your mission was to protect investors, wouldn’t you be concerned about all of the above? I know I would.

Addressing the Problem

Some in the crypto asset community believe that investors are to blame for their loss of funds, and in some ways I agree with that assessment. However, even the smartest investor can be deceived. There is no replacement for doing your own research, of course. However, the many types of fraud, coding issues, regulatory burdens, and disrepute (as evidenced by advertising bans) are and will continue to inflict damage to the good actors, instead of only the bad. Regulators will continue to do their job to protect investors, but in so doing, the risk is very real that they will harm or create unreasonable burdens on innocent projects.

I believe that the best approach to handle this situation is the creation of Self Regulatory Organizations (SROs), which are entities such as FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) that are “self-policing” organizations and are recognized by regulators in that capacity. Recently, Gemini blogged about their proposal to create one SRO which they’ve named the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA). I support this effort and in this article I propose the creation of another SRO.

Self Regulatory Organizations for the Crypto Asset Industry

A few months ago, I was strongly advocating for best-practices, voluntary standards that could be used by anyone in their projects to reduce fraud and enhance confidence. I proposed this through my organization, Blockchain Technology Research Innovations Corporation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization. Because of the rapid evolution of regulations, the negative actions taken against the crypto asset industry by organizations such as banks (closing accounts) and advertising platforms (banning crypto asset ads), I propose to move that work and build upon it into an industry-supported, non-profit SRO.

To achieve this, BTRIC is collecting tax-deductible (disclaimer: talk to your tax advisor) contributions that we will grant towards the creation and initial operations of an SRO, the working name of which is the Financial Technology Self Regulatory Organization (FTSRO).

In several ways FTSRO will be similar to the VCA, and I hope we are able to work together cooperatively in these areas. However, we strongly believe that there should be multiple SROs, not just one or two. Imagine Visa if there was no Mastercard? Or American Express? Or Discover? Alternatives keep everyone honest and prevent exclusionary organizations. FTSRO is focused on being inclusive, not exclusive.

  • Membership open to people, businesses, and decentralized, non-entity projects (such as the Bitcoin Project) that deal in crypto assets of all types, including but not limited to cryptocurrency. By including a wider scope of membership, FTSRO will participate with multiple different regulatory bodies, instead of a singular focus on virtual commodities. FTSRO will seek and build cooperative relationships with CFTC, SEC, Treasury’s OFAC, IRS, state regulators, and associations of state regulators (that often develop shared model frameworks).
  • Ensure that the cost of compliance with any requirements of FTSRO (and, to the extent we’re able, regulatory requirements) is reasonable and does not serve to be a burden that limits innovation and new entry in a field that has so much future growth. After all, if the cost of compliance with an ICO/ITO is nearly that of an IPO, why not just list on a stock exchange? The cost of compliance with FTSRO membership, accreditation, and regulatory requirements — even those for securities tokens — should be a fraction of that cost.
  • Develop accreditation programs for individuals in their competencies, similar to the work being done by the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium. At the end of the day, we need a pool of professionals with competencies in blockchain code development and evaluation, security auditor, crypto asset classification, ICO/ITO rating and due diligence, crypto asset funds management, and other important functions. To reduce fraud, consumers need to be able to know the difference between a true crypto asset professional and someone that just talks a good game. These accreditations should not be expensive nor overly burdensome. Those that are already experts should be able to easily receive accreditations.
  • Develop cooperative programs between members to ease the burdens of compliance with regulatory requirements. By developing cooperative pools, cost savings and efficiencies can be gained in those areas where it makes sense:
    • Cooperative KYC/AML/CFT programs that better protect consumers and eases burdens on businesses;
    • Best practices frameworks for code evaluation, security audits, incident response and harm mitigation, blockchain resilience, etc.;
    • Crypto asset classification (Determine the legal status of a given crypto asset, such as: currency/virtual commodity, utility token, securities token, collectible, insurance token, etc.);
    • Best practices frameworks for ICO/ITO evaluation and due diligence, building on work such as Spacesuit X;
    • Best practices frameworks for financial and operational security; and
    • Promote the creation of industry-funded investor protection initiatives, such as a Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) focused on crypto assets.
  • In addition to liaison and advocacy to policymakers, implement educational outreach programs intended on informing businesses (such as those currently banning advertisements as well as businesses that could benefit from crypto asset adoption), investors, and consumers about the benefits of crypto assets.
  • Other outreach and educational programs can be focused towards educators, ensuring that software engineers, financial professionals, and others are educated about crypto assets. As the field grows, we will need more crypto asset professionals to support projects, products, and services.
  • Organize initiatives and programs that have yet to be conceived, keeping up with innovation as the field rapidly evolves.

Benefits to the Crypto Asset Industry

  • U.S. citizens should not be precluded from participating in ICO/ITOs around the world because the projects have decided that compliance with U.S. standards is overly burdensome. We can streamline compliance with current regulations, as well as promote further streamlining to lawmakers.
  • Legitimate projects should not decide to incorporate and operate in other countries because the U.S. makes it hard to compete. We can ensure that the United States promotes — not prohibits — innovation in our industry. The U.S. should lead the world in building the projects, products, and services that reshape the global economy.
  • Fraudulent projects must be reduced to the extent possible so that promotion, advertising, and adoption of non-fraudulent crypto assets is not slowed. Good projects should be able to be separated from the bad, without expensive or unreasonable regulatory compliance burdens.

Support the Formation of FTSRO

What began as a cypherpunk movement by Satoshi Nakomoto has grown into something bigger: the realization of a restructuring of how financial markets and economic systems operate. To support this continued growth, some self-policing will provide protection against fraud and increase consumer and investor confidence, which will ultimately enhance adoption.

Support the formation of the Financial Technology Self Regulatory Organization by making a contribution toward this purpose to BTRIC. We have established a separate fund to collect contributions towards the formation and organization of FTSRO. Once the organization is formed, we will donate these funds to it. We have also secured the ftsro.org domain name (currently parked), which we will also donate to the organization. We are actively seeking people that want to be part of this organization as a member of its Board or through involvement in the committees that develop and maintain the standards listed.

  • FTSRO Fund — Bitcoin: 3DEUz5roLXYuGZjnA7zyvXZHy7aFMErBqx
  • FTSRO Fund — Ethereum: 0xe7f80b303f10d8bce4e25083c66f12bbe44ebaa3
  • For a receipt to acknowledge your contribution, which is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law (consult your tax advisor), please send an email, signed with the sending address, to donations@btric.org.
  • To make contributions in other cryptocurrencies and/or fiat contributions, please email donations@btric.org and we will take care of it.

Though I know many are opposed to regulations on crypto assets in general, that is not a practical reality in today’s world. Congress has decided that investors and consumers deserve protection, and I agree with that. Carefully designed self-regulatory organizations, such as FTSRO, provide a way to balance the need to be as “light-touch” and inclusive as possible with the important needs of reducing fraud and protecting consumers. In addition, SROs can advance educational and other initiatives that benefit the industry as a whole.

An SRO allows the industry to, in many ways, police itself, which many have discussed the need to do. This proposal provides a framework to moving that forward and I look forward to working with all to form and operate this organization with careful consideration of the issues and values that embody the crypto asset community.

Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss this further. I can be reached on Telegram at https://t.me/BTRICorg.

I am open to everyone's thoughts and ideas.

Best regards,
Ben
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Technical Support / Re: Finding scammers on: April 03, 2018, 11:51:17 PM
False. This may have been the case back in the Silk Road days but Bitcoin can definitely be traced now. This is why many deep web markets have switched over to Monero.

If you ONLY deal from bitcoin to bitcoin it is possible to remain anonymous... the problem is that most people, at some point, buy bitcoin with fiat. If the government/someone really wanted to track down a transaction, they can do so even through bitcoin mixers and whatnot.

If you want to be completely untraceable, you must procure your bitcoin in an anonymous way and never deal with a fiat/bitcoin conversion business or any other entity that is tied to your identity.

Once you have a business such as Coinbase in a transaction chain, they must respond to lawful subpoenas for customer information.  If they do not, they will face serious consequences.  Some bitcoin businesses also have in their terms and conditions that they can choose to voluntarily comply with a request from a law enforcement organization for information, rather than requiring a subpoena.

Best regards,
Ben
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: The world’s first blockchain toothbrush lets u mine coins by brushing your teeth on: April 03, 2018, 11:23:51 PM
Blockchain is the biggest buzzword of the year. However, we are just now beginning to see what silly creative ways will this technology be applied. The newest example from China is a blockchain-based toothbrush by 32Teeth, currently crowdfunding the project through the JD Finance platform. The company aims to make your teeth really clean by applying not only blockchain technology, but also facial recognition, sensors, and big data. The toothbrush app offers precise identification of 16 tooth surface cleanliness levels, analyzes users’ brushing activity data, and offers a powerful intelligent reminder. It even has AR function which gives you an inside look (literally) into how you brush your teeth.

The toothbrush also tries to make each of your 32 teeth—the average number of teeth in an adult—a cryptocurrency mine. Brushing your teeth regularly rewards you with AYA tokens  which can be exchanged for more toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental hygiene services. Although some have ridiculed the product—one commentator worried that his mother might give it to the dog to chew so she can mine as much free stuff as possible—many consumers seem excited with the idea.

Ehhh, I think I'll wait until they start using laser-guided brushing, the MVP just isn't enough for me.  This one's all yours.
19  Other / Serious discussion / Re: The US, social media, and an INTENSELY EMBEDDED surveillance state on: April 02, 2018, 06:33:57 PM
Even worse, I think this kind of censorship could seep over into everyday life, for average Americans as well as for anyone else. Would you criticize, say the US government if you had reason to believe that any political comment online could somehow affect your personal life or your career? I don’t know about you, but this sounds like the beginnings of a surveillance state to me.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Do you share my concerns?

Hi MJK_Anfaenger,

With all due respect, I believe that the "Subject" that you chose for this thread was in error.  I've corrected it for you in my reply.

Everything we do is capable of being tracked.  Twenty years ago, people talked about being forced to be implanted with a "microchip" and tracked.  There's really no need for that since we've voluntarily submitted to tracking.  We all carry tracking devices, mostly made by Apple and/or Samsung, that can do more than any form of microchipping with today's technology could.  We have Alexa, Siri, Google, and Cortana listening to us, to assist us in our daily tasks.  Our Fitbit's track our every move.  Our watches record our pulse.  Our televisions can listen to and in some cases see us.  Many of us cover our laptop cameras for a reason.  There is no reason to believe that this tracking power has not been used extensively.  In fact, there is much evidence that it already has.

Facebook is just one of many actors that abuse the information that we provide to them.  Google, YouTube, Twitter are others.  There are MANY others as well, consider cloud services such as a Google or Microsoft account.  Also consider cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute, etc.  I assume that anything I do online is being profiled by someone for some reason.  There is every incentive for these businesses to cooperate with the three letter agencies.  They often do so without requiring a warrant, usually the "Terms of Service" we agree to give them the right to basically do whatever they want with our data.

Consider the scenario that occurred in Austin, TX last month.  The person that was distributing bombs, how did they locate him?  They filtered through Google searches in the Texas area looking for keywords matching components in the bombs.  That gave them a pool of suspects.  Then they cross-referenced that with payment records showing that the suspect purchased a specific kind of battery from Alibaba that was used in the bombs.  Following that, they began surveillance on the suspect (which I believe was assisted by his phone geolocation records) which led to a confrontation in which he was killed (unclear if it was from one of his bombs detonating, a self-inflicted suicide, or a police kill).  While it is, of course, good that the person that was bombing innocents is no longer doing so, the privacy implications of this are very serious.  Think of how many innocent people had their search histories gone through to hone on in that one suspect.

Is it worth it?  That's a tough call.  I do not want to trade liberty for security.  I also don't want innocent people killed.

What I do know is that centralized 'gatekeeper' platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, etc., etc., are dangerous.  Just as centralized money is dangerous.  Just as centralized 'gatekeeper' news sources are dangerous.  I support next-generation decentralized platforms for social media that cannot be censored.  There are several out there, and several more in development.  My organization is crowdfunding one approach that aims to resolve a number of problems in the space.  What emerges from these will hopefully be services that cannot be censored due to their design.  Obscene and illegal content can be moderated without limiting free speech.  Privacy should be up to each user, with the defaults set on full lockdown.  A way to monetize it without ads that profile you, such as ethical ads, distributed computing, and/or subscription models, need to be developed so that people that produce great content can move off of platforms such as YouTube that can make them penniless by demonetizing their videos.  There's a lot of ideas to improve this.  They all start with decentralized networks, strong encryption, and build from there.  Not everything is ideal to store on a blockchain, but there is certain parts of such a solution that would be best done with a blockchain approach.  When our project begins incubation, it's going to reach out to several different other projects that are working on some of the problems (identity, advertising, distributed computing, and distributed storage projects).  These are the building blocks of next-generation microblogging (obsoleting Twitter/Gab), social networking (obsoleting Facebook/LinkedIn), image/video sharing (obsoleting Instagram and YouTube), messaging (obsoleting Messenger and Telegram), distributed search (obsoleting Google and Bing), and live streaming (obsoleting Periscope).

I am not a fan of social media.  I have it because of my business dealings and now BTRIC.  I would trust it more if I had more control over my own information, and I knew it couldn't be used to track and profile me.  I'll be much happier when these better platforms are the norm.

Best regards,
Ben
20  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: segvan: Segwit vanity address & bulk address generator on: April 01, 2018, 04:18:59 PM
Notice:  As a pseudonymous developer who can only pay in BTC, I am currently seeking a legitimate means of Amazon EC2 access.  The most immediate (but not only) motivation therefor is for work on a segvan client/server trustless tweak generator.  Trustworthy persons with their own EC2 accounts are invited to work with me.  This is for long-term legitimate development:  I am NOT trying to buy an account; offers of such will be treated as spam.

Hi "Michael",

Hope you are doing well.  If you still need access to AWS, please DM me and I can provide that.

Best regards,
Ben
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