Usually, bull markets attract a lot of new investors - although speculators should be the right word here - and as usual, a lot of them are going to be crushed a way or another. First, before putting a single dollar, euro or whatever in the market, you should read a lot to know exactly what you're looking for. Are you here for the tech and/or the cypherpunk ethos ? Great, there's lot of resources out there (my links are cleaned but as always, do your due diligence) :
The Bitcoin Whitepaper, the one and only : bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Since I'm linking to bitcoin.org, friendly reminder to avoid bitcoin.com, owned by a former supporter now con-artist Roger Ver.
Andreas Antonopoulos website : https://aantonop.com Andreas is one of best guys able to educate on bitcoin and its properties, for free, which helps.
Jameson Lopp website : lopp.net Jameson is a member of Bitcoin Core, cypherpunk, also able to educate a lot. His website is full of free resources and other links. You'll have a lot to read.
Hal Finney : he's unfortunately dead but I would advise to read about Hal Finney, the first to receive bitcoin Satoshi. A great cryptographer, the inventor of the first reusable PoW and one of the first bitcoin supporters. You'll be able to find his messages on this old forum Bitcoin Talk, by the way you'll be able to find the first chats about bitcoin on this forum bitcointalk.org
Monero website : getmonero.org Yep, I know it's gonna be controversial to post an altcoin link but personally, I think that Monero (aka XMR) is the only other coin with a big cypherpunk community, decentralized, and able to help newcomers with a great sense of responsibility, since the ethos here is to save privacy.
What Bitcoin Did : of course, Peter is controversial but I love him and I find his former blog and his podcasts very needed because he doesn't oversell himself. Pete knows that he's not a tech guy (like many of us) and just wants to spread the word, I think he does a good job with this.
Now, you've read and you want to put some skin in the game. Several exchanges are acceptable, a lot of aren't, be careful and assume that none really are (know that I won't post any ref links) :
to me, the best, although it's UI is quite old : Kraken €/$/pound/swiss franc on-off ramp
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro Difficult not to mention Coinbase, although I can't stand Brian Armstrong and the way they are doing their best to support scams currently. You should rather use Coinbase Pro if you have to since the fees are much lower.
Binance Binance came later than the previous ones but has managed to take most of the market. Now, you should remember what I said about being careful.
Huobi The biggest chinese exchange and they work closely with chinese official. Again, careful.
Bittrex Once at the top, now somewhere in the limbs.
A lot of new comers came recently like btse, ftx, feel free to try them while always keeping in mind that once your money is on exchanges, it's not yours anymore.
This was for centralized exchanges aka CEX. Talking about custodial, you'll need wallets to store your (bit)coins. Always try to use non-custodial wallets, which means wallets that give you your private keys. This way, if the software goes down, you can always retreive your money. Now, I won't link to all the existing wallets but will advise you to buy hardware wallets (trezor or ledger but there are others) or to create (on off-gap computers) paper wallets you're able to store safely (against all risks, not only robbery but housefire). You also could use your memory with brain wallets but, my gosh, I wouldn't trust myself. For Bitcoin (or even Litecoin), Electrum software can do a good job (but save your keys). AGAIN, DON'T KEEP YOUR SAVINGS ON AN EXCHANGE Now, about trading : it's been repeated and repeated but don't chase pumps and altcoins. Yep, it's probably the fastest way to make money. It's also the fastest to lose it. I won't lie : I made good money during the 2017-bullrun and I took profits but I also forgot to sell some shitcoins thinking it would keep going up, now I'm still holding these bags (although I don't really care). I know that a lot forgot to take profits. Take profits, always take profits, whatever your strategy is. Don't fall for people trying to sell you their bags, for ICOs trying to sell you a product which isn't released yet and obviously, don't fall for people asking for your private key. Also, know that there's two endgames : accumulating bitcoin or fiat. I'm rather in the first team but whatever your strategy is, take profits. (Yes, I know, some will say accumulating ethereum or something else). It's true that a lot of ethereum holders made a lot of money during the last bullrun (ethereum helped me make money too) but I'm really biased in favor of bitcoin (and monero). So, pick your coin but again, do your due diligence. A lot of people here or there will talk about the best tech, the fact that bitcoin is old and slow. I would need another post to go further on this point but know that a lof of air flight systems are old too but reliable. Trustless and reliable is the point here. This is the post from someone who bought bitcoin seven or six years ago, who lost part of them, who spent part of them (but don't regret this at all), who is still learning and I hope it will help others, although it would need a book to be complete.
![img](fqh92c5eabu51 " Room 77, first one to accept Bitcoin payments. ") Room 77, the German bar and restaurant that claims to be the first retail outfit in the world to accept bitcoin payments, has shut down. Cypherpunk Holdings chief economist Jon Matonis broke the news on Twitter. Bar owner Jorg Platzer later confirmed it on Reddit. “Room 77 is closing for good,” Platzer revealed in a rather futuristic, celebratory post on Oct. 18. “We think our mission is accomplished and it is time to go back to our home planet. Thanks for all the fish and the generous tips!” No official reason was given for the closure of the Berlin-based joint. But there’s suspicion this may have been related to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown restrictions linked to Covid-19 have hit the global hospitality industry hard. In Berlin, strict restrictions on the sale of alcohol remain in place, with bar operators banned from selling the product from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The measures have badly affected profits. Located in Kreuzberg, Berlin, Room 77 began accepting bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment in 2011, becoming the first bar, and most likely the first private retail outlet, in the world to do so. Since then, the drinking spot has developed into something of a pilgrimage site for bitcoiners, who patronize the place for its BTC payments and more. “Before we did that (accept BTC), all media coverage about bitcoin was about hackers stealing credit card details and selling them on the black markets,” Platzer said in a 2018 interview, highlighting how the establishment had changed media perceptions and coverage around the top cryptocurrency. In the crypto community, people responded to Room 77’s closure with fond memories of the past. “End of an Era: Room 77 in Berlin closes doors permanently!” tweeted Jon Matonis, the Cypherpunk Holdings chief economist. “Blame it on Covid or blame it on gentrification. Either way, this Kreuzberg landmark has served as a Bitcoin watering hole for over 10 years, with thousands making the obligatory pilgrimage. Thx for the memories, Joerg!” Redditor u/etrnetm said: “Thanks for providing the unofficial embassy of Bitcoin in Berlin to us earthlings. We shall meet again.” In his Reddit post, Platzer concluded: "It is clear by now that nobody will stop bitcoin anymore. Sound money on a global scale will soon make it unfeasable to wage wars and it will create economic equality amongst mankind. We estimate it will take you less than another century to rise and join the intergalactic community." #Room77 #Bitcoin #Crypto #Cryptocurrencies #Blockchain #Berlin #BitcoinAdoption
How much help can Hierarchical Deterministic trees of keys help with key management for non-expert users?
I've recently been made aware of BIP32, which was invented to make "Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets" (HD wallets) in BitCoin. I was wondering what uses this could have outside crypto currencies most notably for your "regular" cypherpunk using tools like GPG or Age to communicate with their web of trust. A deterministic tree of key pairs basically works like this: you start with a root key pair, that must be generated once and never lost or compromised. Then you generate sub-keys by hashing that root key with an easily remembered index). If a sub-key is lost, it can be re-generated from the root key. Now, BIP32 has two ways of generating sub keys, each with their own tradeofs. Note: I'll use the following names from now on:
G -- Generator of the group (public constant) a -- root private key A = a.G -- root public key b -- child private key B = b.G -- child public key. i -- public index (each child key has its own unique index)
Hardened keys are generated from the private half of the root key (over-simplified for clarity):
b = KDF(a, i) B = b.G
Key derivation can't be reversed, so if the child key b happens to be compromised, the root key a is still safe. The advantage of the deterministic generation is that if you lose the child key (you dumped your cell phone, your hard drive fried…) you can re-generate it from the root key, and pretend you never lost it. Non-hardened keys are generated from the public half of the root key, such that even third parties can generate it:
z = KDF(A, i) Z = z.G b = a + z -- modulo group order B = A + Z B = a.G + z.G B = (a+z).G B = b.G
Anyone can generate the public key, but generating the private key requires knowledge of the root private key. As far as I know, this is safe, because breaking this scheme would mean that we have solved the Discrete Logarithm Problem. However, if a non-hardened child key b is compromised, so is the root key. z is public (derived from the public root key), so knowing b easily reveals a:
b = a + z a = b - z
Unless I'm missing something, this means we should not store non-hardened key pairs less securely than we store the root key itself.
Is there a compelling use case?
I was wondering how useful those could be, compared to a simple hierarchy of certified keys, where child keys are generated randomly, and simply signed by their parent key? With those simple hierarchies, you'd simply rotate keys from time to time, and other people would know to trust the new key based on certificate from the parent (or chain of ancestors). If you lose a key, you simply rotate (and sign) a new one. One obvious advantage of deterministic hardened keys is that we can achieve continuity without relying on a certificate. We can afford to lose them even if we don't have an easy way to rotate them. But… aren't we supposed to rotate keys to begin with? Then there are the deterministic non hardened keys. I'm not sure what they bring to the table exactly: with Bitcoin, they help you make wallets on the fly without giving your root key to the wallet factory. If I understand correctly, compromising the wallet factory may compromise your identity (we can link its generated keys with your own public key by knowing the indices), but it won't compromise your money (the private halves are still safe, so only you can transfer the coins away from those wallets). Outside of crypto currencies however, I'm not sure: there's little point sending a message to a non-hardened child key instead of its parent key, since a compromise of the child key is just as bad as compromise of its aren't. One could still generate child keys without revealing the indices, but if you're anonymous, why not just generate a one-time key pair? Simply put: What a reasonable key management for the paranoid private citizen should look like?
Stakenet (XSN) - A DEX with interchain capabilities (BTC-ETH), Huge Potential [Full Writeup]
Preface Full disclosure here; I am heavily invested in this. I have picked up some real gems from here and was only in the position to buy so much of this because of you guys so I thought it was time to give back. I only invest in Utility Coins. These are coins that actually DO something, and provide new/build upon the crypto infrastructure to work towards the end goal that Bitcoin itself set out to achieve(financial independence from the fiat banking system). This way, I avoid 99% of the scams in crypto that are functionless vapourware, and if you only invest in things that have strong fundamentals in the long term you are much more likely to make money. Introduction
Stakenet is a Lightning Network-ready open-source platform for decentralized applications with its native cryptocurrency – XSN. It is powered by a Proof of Stake blockchain with trustless cold staking and Masternodes. Its use case is to provide a highly secure cross-chain infrastructure for these decentralized applications, where individuals can easily operate with any blockchain simply by using Stakenet and its native currency XSN.
Ok... but what does it actually do and solve? The moonshot here is the DEX (Decentralised Exchange) that they are building. This is a lightning-network DEX with interchain capabilities. That means you could trade BTC directly for ETH; securely, instantly, cheaply and privately. Right now, most crypto is traded to and from Centralised Exchanges like Binance. To buy and sell on these exchanges, you have to send your crypto wallets on that exchange. That means the exchanges have your private keys, and they have control over your funds. When you use a centralised exchange, you are no longer in control of your assets, and depend on the trustworthiness of middlemen. We have in the past of course seen infamous exit scams by centralised exchanges like Mt. Gox. The alternative? Decentralised Exchanges. DEX's have no central authority and most importantly, your private keys(your crypto) never leavesYOUR possession and are never in anyone else's possession. So you can trade peer-to-peer without any of the drawbacks of Centralised Exchanges. The problem is that this technology has not been perfected yet, and the DEX's that we have available to us now are not providing cheap, private, quick trading on a decentralised medium because of their technological inadequacies. Take Uniswap for example. This DEX accounts for over 60% of all DEX volume and facilitates trading of ERC-20 tokens, over the Ethereum blockchain. The problem? Because of the huge amount of transaction that are occurring over the Ethereum network, this has lead to congestion(too many transaction for the network to handle at one time) so the fees have increased dramatically. Another big problem? It's only for Ethereum. You cant for example, Buy LINK with BTC. You must use ETH. The solution? Layer 2 protocols. These are layers built ON TOP of existing blockchains, that are designed to solve the transaction and scaling difficulties that crypto as a whole is facing today(and ultimately stopping mass adoption) The developers at Stakenet have seen the big picture, and have decided to implement the lightning network(a layer 2 protocol) into its DEX from the ground up. This will facilitate the functionalities of a DEX without any of the drawbacks of the CEX's and the DEX's we have today. Heres someone much more qualified than me, Andreas Antonopoulos, to explain this https://streamable.com/kzpimj 'Once we have efficient, well designed DEX's on layer 2, there wont even be any DEX's on layer 1' Progress The Stakenet team were the first to envision this grand solution and have been working on it since its conception in June 2019. They have been making steady progress ever since and right now, the DEX is in an open beta stage where rigorous testing is constant by themselves and the public. For a project of this scale, stress testing is paramount. If the product were to launch with any bugs/errors that would result in the loss of a users funds, this would obviously be very damaging to Stakenet's reputation. So I believe that the developers conservative approach is wise. As of now the only pairs tradeable on the DEX are XSN/BTC and LTC/BTC. The DEX has only just launched as a public beta and is not in its full public release stage yet. As development moves forward more lightning network and atomic swap compatible coins will be added to the DEX, and of course, the team are hard at work on Raiden Integration - this will allow ETH and tokens on the Ethereum blockchain to be traded on the DEX between separate blockchains(instantly, cheaply, privately) This is where Stakenet enters top 50 territory on CMC if successful and is the true value here. Raiden Integration is well underway is being tested in a closed public group on Linux. The full public DEX with Raiden Integration is expected to release by the end of the year. Given the state of development so far and the rate of progress, this seems realistic. Tokenomics 2.6 Metrics overview (from whitepaper)
Ticker: XSN. Currency type: Coin.
Consensus: Minting Proof of Stake, Trustless Proof of Stake.
XSN is slightly inflationary, much like ETH as this is necessary for the economy to be adopted and work in the long term. There is however a deflationary mechanism in place - all trading fees on the DEX get converted to XSN and 10% of these fees are burned. This puts constant buying pressure on XSN and acts as a deflationary mechanism. XSN has inherent value because it makes up the infrastructure that the DEX will run off and as such Masternode operators and Stakers will see the fee's from the DEX. Conclusion We can clearly see that a layer 2 DEX is the future of crypto currency trading. It will facilitate secure, cheap, instant and private trading across all coins with lightning capabilities, thus solving the scaling and transaction issues that are holding back crypto today. I dont need to tell you the implications of this, and what it means for crypto as a whole. If Stakenet can launch a layer 2 DEX with Raiden Integration, It will become the primary DEX in terms of volume. Stakenet DEX will most likely be the first layer 2 DEX(first mover advantage) and its blockchain is the infrastructure that will host this DEX and subsequently receive it's trading fee's. It is not difficult to envision a time in the next year when Stakenet DEX is functional and hosting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trading every single day. At $30 million market cap, I cant see any other potential investment right now with this much potential upside. This post has merely served as in introduction and a heads up for this project, there is MUCH more to cover like vortex liquidity, masternodes, TOR integration... for now, here is some additional reading. Resources
So, we have already discussed the prerequisites for the creation of electronic currencies, as well as the appearance of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. Today we will continue with this story. According to Satoshi himself, the idea of creating Bitcoin came to him in 2007. The announcement of the algorithm took place on October 31, 2008, when Satoshi published a «white paper» of bitcoin through the use of electronic mailing lists and sent it to all the addresses contained in the cypherpunk address book. When explaining the letter, he indicated that he had developed a peer-to-peer electronic money system, through which transactions could be performed directly but anonymously between the participants Satoshi called Bitcoin «e-cash» or «electronic cash». Later, in 2011, Forbes magazine published an article entitled «Crypto currency» dedicated to Bitcoin, after which the term «cryptocurrency» became common place for such systems. After the Electronic mailing, Satoshi and the cryptographers who joined him began work on the creation of a «client». In January 2009, Bitcoin 0.1 version was launched. Satoshi’s computer became the first «node», Hal Finney was the second to connect to the Blockchain network. In January the same year, the first block of coins was generated and the first transaction made. Satoshi had sent 10 bitcoins to Hal. In September 2009, the first exchange of bitcoin for real money was made — user Martti Malmi received $ 5.02 for 5050 bitcoins from user ‘NewLibertyStandard’ via PayPal. In fact, this transaction was both a purchase and a sale. In October, the bitcoin exchange rate was determined by multiplying the average computing power used to obtain one coin multiplied by the cost of electricity in the United States, and thus, 1309 bitcoins could be bought for $ 1. In November 2009, a forum was created on the website bitcoin.org where bitcoin enthusiasts could communicate with one another. With the growth in the number of nodes, the complexity of mining had increased, which in turn necessitated the search for newer ways to mine coins. Instead of mining using a CPU, Users began using the GPUs on video cards to improve the efficiency of their devices. During the same period, the user ArtForz created the first mining farm, which was a combination of several video cards constantly engaged in the mining process. On July 17, 2010, the first digital currency exchange’ MtGox’ was created. Only 10 years later with the help of NeuronChain, the first digital currency exchange NeuronEx was created which allows users to make digital transactions of not only cryptocurrency, but fiat money! Now all of the most popular digital currencies are available to transactions on NeuronEx — BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, XRP, Dogecoin, EMC, EOS, BCH, BSV, EURT, USDT, CNHT, XAUT, as well as its own Neuron Coin — NRON. https://preview.redd.it/4lz79yjgevn51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=71467a05fae88c600f86c2380f9cd4aedcfa5802 #Finance #NeuronChain #blockchain #NeuronEx #NeuronWallet #CryptoNeuroNews #crypto
dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance
I found this article on internet. It's repost of it to help educate people about all DXDao advantages: These are positive and necessary steps for DeFi. The new governance structures are intended to help coordinate across community stakeholders and make better decisions. These dynamics are influenced by the issues covered in Dose of DeFi, but I believe they deserve their own focused analysis. Govern Thisaims to educate token holders and make them better voters. Emphasis will be placed on specific governance proposals and relaying community governance discussions on forums and weekly calls. Governance is a coordination technology that has helped countries and companies build more than the sum of their parts. Blockchains are also a coordination technology, but for computers, not humans***.*** Govern Thiswill track the development of the melding of these two over the coming years. Like governance,Govern Thisis a work in progress. I would appreciate any feedback on format, topics covered or any other suggestions to make the newsletter better. Just hit reply. The first issue ofGovern Thisis below. Pleaseclick here to subscribe. Thanks for reading, Chris 📷 dxDAO aims to power DeFi protocols through decentralized governance Gnosis launched a long-awaited DEX last week with batched auctions for low-liquidity trade pairs. The front-end, Mesa.Eth.Link is owned and operated by dxDAO, a decentralized collective that hopes to power other DeFi protocols. While dYdX does not have any specific governance plans (yet), this tweet from dYdX founder Antonio Juliano is a common approach to governance. 📷Antonio Juliano @AntonioMJuliano3) 0x should focus less on governance in the short term. It’s way more important to first build something with a large amount of adoption that’s worth governing December 6th 2018 3 Retweets62 Likes The tweet at the end of 2018 was in response to 0x and its native token, ZRX. The project was popular but the token had no use case outside of governance. This governance strategy – build now, decentralize later – is widely accepted in the space and is perhaps best exemplified by the A16Z’s Jesse Walden’s post, “Progressive Decentralization: A Playbook for Building Crypto Applications”, which the A16Z-backed Compound has essentially implemented (more in the section below). dxDAO, on the other hand, maintains that decentralization must come at the beginning or else the core team and investors will have an outsized influence on the project in formal (token voting) or informal ways (dictators for life). Background dxDAO was launched in May 2019, spun out of a collaboration between Gnosis and DAOstack over managing the DutchX platform. dxDAO’s key governance design is separating financial rights to the DAO (DXD) from voting power over the DAO (Reputation). It used an Edgeware-style lock drop to distribute reputation to stakeholders in May of last year. Any user could lock up ETH or an accepted ERC-20 for a month and receive Reputation, which are voting rights in dxDAO, even though it is not a token and cannot be transferred. Over 400 unique Ethereum addresses participated in the distribution scheme. Gnosis went through a pretty extensive process in July 2019 to “step back” from its involvement in the DAO, and since then, the community and dxDAO have aligned behind a mission of “putting the ‘De’ in Decentralized Finance”. Following on last week’s launch of Mesa.ETH.Link, dxDAO is conducting a fundraiser or (“DAICO”?) to help fund its new slate of DeFi products, including a prediction market platform (Omen) and a privacy-centric DeFi dashboard (Mix). Project launch is typically when a project is most centralized. Execution is hard and direction and accountability are important. dxDAO’s approach will be an interesting counterexample to the “decentralize later” trend and may provide insight into new governance strategies. Click here for more information about the dxDAO fundraiser. Here’s what is on the dxDAO docket this week:
There are no explicit plans yet, but the widely held assumption is that the COMP distribution will be determined by the interest earned and paid by users on the protocol since its inception. This is a clever way that only incentivizes more use of the protocol and is hard to game because interests accrues over time. But the question still remains, what will the COMP community look like and what values will it espouse? Can emergent cultures arise out of Silicon Valley too? Here’s what is on the Compound docket this week:
Governance AMA with Compound CEO Robert Leshner - Robert answered a variety of questions on ETH2.0 (staking yield is of great interest), Chainlink (Compound’s oracle system is better), contentious forks (Compound would signal a preference on chain) and how Covid-19 changed his mind about remote work. They also announced…
Proposal: Add USDT Support – announced on the AMA, USDT was approved by Compound users in a poll last September but had yet to be included. The proposal to add the largest stablecoin in the world is the first test for the new governance portal. (Very) notably, the proposal does not allow USDT to be used as collateral, as Compound currently does with wBTC. It’s not clear if Compound wants to be in the largest stablecoin market or not and underscores the governance challenges of straddling both worlds.
Head of Community Rich started off with a new meme for governance: the path from intent to implementation, discussing how forums, polls and other initiatives are designed to capture the intent of the community, and then “empowered people” are tasked with implementing that, foreshadowing upcoming changes.
Half of the call was devoted to the addition of WBTC as collateral with representatives from WBTC, Bitgo and CoinList in attendance. CoinList’s WBTC announcement gives WBTC the type of liquidity needed for Maker’s auctions (“can redeem WBTC in less than 2 minutes and burn less than that”). Most of the discussion revolved around the circular loop from BTC->DAI in times of high volatility. While there was some concern that WBTC liquidity was dependent on acceptance as Maker collateral, most on the call seemed to support the addition. The strongest support seemed to come from the Maker Foundation’s market making team, who is reportedly the largest market maker for WBTC. There’s more in the Maker forum thread.
State of the peg – Vishesh’s overview (graphs can be seen here) showed that the peg had come down to $1.01x area but most of the discussion was around the debt ceiling. At the time of the call it was 4 million away from its 90m debt ceiling. Vishesh advocated for a more programmatic lifting of the debt ceiling. Update: Dai hit the 90m debt ceiling Friday evening ET. Should help the peg.
Single Collateral Dai shutdown – the process has begun. A poll passed with May 12 as the official SCD shutdown. Just yesterday, an executive just passed yesterday to make the MKR oracle fee-less, which will help with migration. Many in the community think the migration of debt from SCD will do more than enough to restore the peg. 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals – Core to the new Maker governance process is the “Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs), which are modeled off of BIPs (for Bitcoin) and EIPs (for Ethereum). The two sub-proposals are to appoint the Smart Contracts Team and assign Charles St. Louis as the MIP editor. The 13 MIPs are listed below:
By and large, the MIPs codify many of the informal Maker governance processes. There is currently a request for comments period (MIP forum) and there will be an informal poll on Monday, April 27 on whether to proceed with the 13 MIPs and 2 sub proposals. If it’s a “Yes”, than an executive for an official ratification vote would start on May 1 and lasts for 4 days. If it passes, the official governance cycle will begin and the rest of the MIPs will likely be approved from May 4 – 6. Other Governing Things
Synthetix trials incentivzation program to encourage ETH shorts to balance debt position Link
PieDAO community call on audit and post imBTC actions Link
Coinbase Custody double downs on DeFi governance Link
Terra considers punishing validators that don’t vote Link
0x governance proposal to decrease epoch length to 7 days Link
That’s it! Feedback definitely appreciated. Just hit reply. Written in Brooklyn where it rained all day. No euchre today, but yesterday was epic. Govern This is written byChris Powers. Opinions expressed are my own. All content is for informational purposes and is not intended as investment advice.
The Blockchain Paradox: Decentralization Through Centralized Institutions
Link to Cointelegraph article:https://cointelegraph.com/news/the-blockchain-paradox-decentralization-through-centralized-institutions Institutional adoption of blockchain can offer great benefits, as truly decentralized control often comes from the roots of centralization. The power of blockchain technology to decentralize control of our financial economy is well documented. It is one of the cornerstones of the origins of the technology, with the genesis block of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin (BTC) containing a reference to the 2008–2009 financial crisis: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks." The message, although never explicitly outlined by Bitcoin’s creator, is from the headline of a London Times article dated Jan. 3, 2009 that details banks being bailed out by the British government. Bitcoin, according to Nakamoto, is a means of reforming this corrupt and inefficient financial system to create a fairer, more democratic system of financial governance. What, then, would Nakamoto say to the current state of the blockchain and crypto industry? Increasingly, it is institutions rather than individuals that appear to be garnering control of the means of production in the blockchain sector. Facebook’s announcement of plans for its digital payments platform, Libra, was the initial public icebreaker for many last summer. However, the reality is that many governments and incumbent institutions from a range of sectors — including the likes of Walmart, JPMorgan Chase and PayPal — have been quietly building blockchain operations and capabilities for several years now. The recent decision by the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to allow nationally chartered banks in the U.S. to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies is another significant affirmation of the legitimacy of crypto, which is likely to spark a race among financial institutions to build or acquire secure custody solutions. Such centralization appears to be at odds with the vision of the fair, democratic system of finance envisioned by Nakamoto and the original cypherpunks. Critics decry the end of the decentralized blockchain utopia as governments and institutions adopt the technology — but the situation is far more complex than such a black and white reading allows. Rather than institutions being fundamentally antithetical to the democratic ideals of crypto, I would argue that they are actually essential to fulfilling such a vision. The entry of centralized institutions to the crypto economy cannot possibly represent in itself a blow to the values of crypto. While public trust in centralized institutions may be at a historical low in countries such as the U.S., such institutions are not by their nature inherently malevolent or corrupt. The same counterpoint applies to decentralized organizations: They do not make inherently trustworthy or morally responsible actors. Numerous scandals in the crypto industry involving wallet hacks, initial coin offering scams and dubious projects illustrate that often, this is anything but the case. Institutional adoption of blockchain can offer tremendous benefits to the blockchain ecosystem as a whole: It is a key step in the evolution of the sector, which can significantly scale up adoption from a limited cohort of tech-savvy users (limited in terms of gender, age range and location) to truly global demographic spanning markets that the fractured crypto industry is incapable of reaching in its current form.
Toxicity is extremely unattractive and usually a net detractor.
Positive association is more powerful than the converse.
Most of us hold/believe in more than one asset.
Decred bulls are usually pretty intelligent.
Education and conversation is convincing.
The Campaign Idea The idea is to project that one supports/holds/is bullish on Decred and this is sufficient information for someone who is not into Decred to know. The remainder of the tweet/post/conversation should focus on the honest reasons why you hold other coins/assets/opinions OR could be why you hold Decred to balance your other holdings. These views could be because you hedge Decred or coin X's limitations. It could be that you believe both assets have a compelling parallel success story. It could be that Decred is the perfect contrarian bet against it and is in fact the hedge to your majority BTC position. It could be that you are just uber bullish on Coin X and Decred just happens to be one of your other holdings. The Idea The Value Proposition
Signals your Decred support (Decred content could end here, up to you).
Signals that your thinking is not one dimensional and you are open minded, more than a maxi.
Extends an olive branch to like-minded individuals from other tribes
Everyone reading this post probably has multiple tribes. This creates dynamic + organic conversation from those who engage with you. I.e. I want to hear about YOUR views outside the Decred echo chamber.
The important part is to focus on the questions and conversations that new people ask when they follow up. Should they seek to engage with your main comment on their coin X, use it to talk about coin X.
If they don't ask about Decred, don't talk about it, talk about coin X and build raport. This is not about force feeding DCR, it is about constructive conversation.
Example 1 I am a Decred Bull. I also hold Bitcoin as I believe its reputation, liquidity and network effects make its ability to challenge state money unparalleled. Decred is the perfect contrarian hedge in case in fails. Example 2 I am a Decred Bull. I also hold Monero. It is one of the few cypherpunk and private by default coins. Privacy is an essential human right, and in an age of surveillance capitalism, Monero is best in class insurance. Example 3 I am a Decred Bull. I also hold Potcoin. I too was an idiot in 2017. It's also stuck on Cryptopia. GG. Thoughts, comments and feedback welcomed as always.
Crypto Banking Wars: Can Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Ever Replace Banks?
Can they overcome the product limitations of blockchain and deliver the world-class experience that consumers expect? https://reddit.com/link/i8ewbx/video/ojkc6c9a1lg51/player This is the second part ofCrypto Banking Wars— a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become thebank of the future. Who is best positioned toreach mainstream adoptionin consumer finance? --- While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this verypowerfultechnology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe companies that build with blockchain at their core will have the best shot at winning the broader consumer finance market. We hope it will be us at Genesis Block, but we aren’t the only game in town. So this series explores the entire crypto landscape and tries to answer the question, which crypto company is most likely to become the bank of the future? In our last episode, we offered an in-depth analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. Today we’re analyzing non-custodial crypto wallets. These are products where only the user can touch or move funds. Not even the company or developer who built the application can access, control, or stop funds from being moved. These apps allow users to truly become their own bank. We’ve talked a little about this before. This group of companies is nowhere near the same level of threat as the biggest crypto exchanges. However, this group really understands DeFi and the magic it can bring. This class of products is heavily engineer-driven and at the bleeding-edge of DeFi innovation. These products are certainly worth discussing. Okay, let’s dive in.
Users & Audience
These non-custodial crypto wallets are especially popular among the most hardcore blockchain nerds and crypto cypherpunks.
“Not your keys, not your coins.”
This meme is endlessly repeated among longtime crypto hodlers. If you’re not in complete control of your crypto (i.e. using non-custodial wallets), then it’s not really your crypto. There has always been a close connection between libertarianism & cryptocurrency. This type of user wants to be in absolute control of their money and become their own bank. In addition to the experienced crypto geeks, for some people, these products will mean the difference between life and death. Imagine a refugee family that wants to safely protect their years of hard work — their life savings — as they travel across borders. Carrying cash could put their safety or money at risk. A few years ago I spent time in Greece at refugee camps — I know first-hand this is a real use-case. https://preview.redd.it/vigqlmgg1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0a5d48a63ce7a637749bbbc03d62c51cc3f75613 Or imagine a family living under an authoritarian regime — afraid that their corrupt or oppressive government will seize their assets (or devalue their savings via hyperinflation). Citizens in these countries cannot risk putting their money in centralized banks or under their mattresses. They must become their own bank. These are the common use-cases and users for non-custodial wallets.
Let’s take a look at some of the strengths with non-custodial products.
Regulatory arbitrage Because these products are “non-custodial”, they are able to avoid the regulatory burdens that centralized, custodial products must deal with (KYC/AML/MTL/etc). This is a strong practical benefit for a bootstrapped startup/buildedeveloper. Though it’s unclear how long this advantage lasts as products reach wider audiences and increased scrutiny.
User Privacy Because of the regulatory arbitrage mentioned above, users do not need to complete onerous KYC requirements. For example, there’s no friction around selfies, government-issued IDs, SSNs, etc. Users can preserve much of their privacy and they don’t need to worry about their sensitive information being hacked, compromised, or leaked.
Absolute control & custody This is really one of the great promises of crypto — users can become their own bank. Users can be in full control of their money. And they don’t need to bury it underground or hide it under a mattress. No dependence, reliance or trust in any third parties. Only the user herself can access and unlock the money.
Now let’s examine some of the weaknesses.
Knowledge & Education Most non-custodial products do not abstract away any of the blockchain complexity. In fact, they often expose more of it because the most loyal users are crypto geeks. Imagine how an average, non-crypto user feels when she starts seeing words like seed phrases, public & private keys, gas limits, transaction fees, blockchain explorers, hex addresses, and confirmation times. There is a lot for a user to learn and become educated on. That’s friction. The learning curve is very high and will always be a major blocker for adoption. We’ve talked about this in our Spreading Crypto series — to reach the masses, the crypto stuff needs to be in the background.
User Experience It is currently impossible to create a smooth and performant user experience in non-custodial wallets or decentralized applications. Any interaction that requires a blockchain transaction will feel sluggish and slow. We built a messaging app on Ethereum and presented it at DevCon3 in Cancun. The technical constraints of blockchain technology were crushing to the user experience. We simply couldn’t create the real-time, modern messaging experience that users have come to expect from similar apps like Slack or WhatsApp. Until blockchains are closer in speed to web servers (which will be difficult given their decentralized nature), dApps will never be able to create the smooth user experience that the masses expect.
Product Limitations Most non-custodial wallets today are based on Ethereum smart contracts. That means they are severely limited with the assets that they can support (only erc-20 tokens). Unless through synthetic assets (similar to Abra), these wallets cannot support massively popular assets like Bitcoin, XRP, Cardano, Litecoin, EOS, Tezos, Stellar, Cosmos, or countless others. There are exciting projects like tBTC trying to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum — but these experiments are still very, very early. Ethereum-based smart contract wallets are missing a huge part of the crypto-asset universe.
Technical Complexity While developers are able to avoid a lot of regulatory complexity (see Strengths above), they are replacing it with increased technical complexity. Most non-custodial wallets are entirely dependent on smart contract technology which is still very experimental and early in development (see Insurance section of this DeFi use-cases post). Major bugs and major hacks do happen. Even recently, it was discovered that Argent had a “high severity vulnerability.” Fortunately, Argent fixed it and their users didn’t lose funds. The tools, frameworks, and best practices around smart contract technology are all still being established. Things can still easily go wrong, and they do.
Loss of Funds Risk Beyond the technical risks mentioned above, with non-custodial wallets, it’s very easy for users to make mistakes. There is no “Forgot Password.” There is no customer support agent you can ping. There is no company behind it that can make you whole if you make a mistake and lose your money. You are on your own, just as CZ suggests. One wrong move and your money is all gone. If you lose your private key, there is no way to recover your funds. There are some new developments around social recovery, but that’s all still very experimental. This just isn’t the type of customer support experience people are used to. And it’s not a risk that most are willing to take.
Integration with Fiat & Traditional Finance In today’s world, it’s still very hard to use crypto for daily spending (see Payments in our DeFi use-cases post). Hopefully, that will all change someday. In the meantime, if any of these non-custodial products hope to win in the broader consumer finance market, they will undoubtedly need to integrate with the legacy financial world — they need onramps (fiat-to-crypto deposit methods) and offramps (crypto-to-fiat withdraw/spend methods). As much as crypto-fanatics hate hearing it, you can’t expect people to jump headfirst into the new world unless there is a smooth transition, unless there are bridge technologies that help them arrive. This is why these fiat integrations are so important. Examples might be allowing ACH/Wire deposits (eg. via Plaid) or launching a debit card program for spend/withdraw. These fiat integrations are essential if the aim is to become the bank of the future. Doing any of this compliantly will require strong KYC/AML. So to achieve this use-case — integrating with traditional finance —all of the Strengths we mentioned above are nullified. There are no longer regulatory benefits. There are no longer privacy benefits (users need to upload KYC documents, etc). And users are no longer in complete control of their money.
One of the great powers of crypto is that we no longer depend on banks. Anyone can store their wealth and have absolute control of their money. That’s made possible with these non-custodial wallets. It’s a wonderful thing. I believe that the most knowledgeable and experienced crypto people (including myself) will always be active users of these applications. And as mentioned in this post, there will certainly be circumstances where these apps will be essential & even life-saving.
However, I do not believe this category of product is a major threat to Genesis Block to becoming the bank of the future.
They won’t win in the broader consumer finance market — mostly because I don’t believe that’s their target audience. These applications simply cannot produce the type of product experience that the masses require, want, or expect. The Weaknesses I’ve outlined above are just too overwhelming. The friction for mass-market consumers is just too much. https://preview.redd.it/lp8dzxeh1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=03acdce545cd032f7e82b6665b001d7a06839557 The winning bank will be focused on solving real user problems and meeting user needs. Not slowed down by rigid idealism like censorship-resistance and absolute decentralization, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be a world-class product that’s smooth, performant, and accessible. Not sluggish and slow, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one where blockchain & crypto is mostly invisible to end-users. Not front-and-center as it is with non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one managed and run by professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. Not DIY (Do It Yourself), as it is with non-custodial wallets. So are these non-custodial wallets a threat to Genesis Block in winning the broader consumer finance market, and becoming the bank of the future? No. They are designed for a very different audience. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Hey guys, This is my second post here and I would like to ask the community about bitcoin. The other day I wrote here about btc or gold. However, I made this post not ask about which is a better investment, but which one is going to take place more than the other in the near-distant future. Again, not as investment, but as an asset to be used in the future and be part of it (not because it will be the trend but I don't want to stuck with fiats). Then a lot of fellow redditors helped me understand bitcoin better. One of them was kind enough to send me links about btc. I realized that btc created by cypherpunks. Wow what a shock!! Yeah I knew about it, but I didn't know that it is connected with the 92 cypherpunk group. Jeez is long damn post. The 90s cypherpunks were using cryptic messages in order to achieve maximum privacy over the gov or other groups. Time has passed and some of those are really famous now. One of them created pgp, another one tor browser and the list goes on. Even Julian Assange was one of them. What I am trying to say is btc in order to be a worldwide currency must be used just like the fiats now. However a lot of people are buying btc in order to be rich or they are trying to, because of what Satoshi wrote during his/hers/their email conversation with Mike Hearn. Saying that if btc used like fiats now then btc will cost 10mil usd. That's great news, but wait! The other creations of the cypherpunks are great too but are widely used? I mean pgp is great, but who uses it? 10%? 20%? 30? Of the population? I don't think so. Julian Assange is in prison. Tor? Again the same with pgp. I am not saying about cryptocurrencies back then (even the 90s yes), because the world wasn't ready during that period. So what makes us think that btc is going to work since those creations are not widely used? What makes us think that btc will work when a large percentage is buying it due to its store of value? Satoshi says that store of value usage will have exact the opposite effect of what he/she/they created it for. That is the information that I know. If something is wrong please say it so because the internet some times is playing games. Long post - sorry about that!
Bis Bitcoin im Jahr 2008 von Satoshi Nakamoto auf der Cypherpunk Mailing Liste vorgeschlagen wurde. Das Bitcoin Whitepaper erblickt nicht nur inmitten der Cypherpunks das Licht der Welt, in der Architektur verfolgt es auch deren Ideale. So gibt es keine Zentralbank bei Bitcoin, alle Mechanismen basieren auf Technologie und Kryptographie. Von ... Cypherpunks Archives - CryptoCoin.News Bitcoin ist nicht dem luftleeren Raum entsprungen. Vielmehr gab es eine Reihe von Innovationen, ohne die die Kryptowährung nie das Licht der Welt erblickt hätte. Wieso es Bitcoin ohne die Cypherpunks nie gegeben hätte. Ein weitverbreiterter Irrtum im Bitcoin-Kosmos ist die Annahme, dass BTC so etwas wie das Myspace der Krypto-Szene ist. Ein ... Further, Bitcoin uses strong cryptography, indicating that the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, had a strong desire for privacy. Indeed, Satoshi was an active member of the Cypherpunk mailing list and collaborated with various Cypherpunks to develop Bitcoin. Satoshi built on top of the ideas behind several electronic cash systems developed by Cypherpunks We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems. We are defending our privacy with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and with electronic money. Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and since we can’t get privacy unless we all do, we’re going to write it. We publish our code so that ...
Cypherpunks and Bitcoin by Paul Rosenberg - YouTube
This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Aujourd'hui je reçois Manuel Valente, directeur de la Maison du Bitcoin. Il nous raconte l'histoire des cypherpunks, le mouvement à l'origine de la cryptomonnaie (et de bien d'autres choses ... Bitcoin 101 - Modelling the Price of Bitcoin - Is a $100,000 bitcoin possible? - Duration: 26:45. ... What You Need to Know About the Cypherpunks - Duration: 2:47. Crypto Tips 5,628 views. 2:47 ... #Bitcoin #Cryptography #Cypherpunks #JimEpstein #Code Jim Epstein- executive editor at Reason TV & Podcasts- joins me in this episode to talk to me about: -I...