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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)

Source | Guestbook
Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Questions Answers
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself? I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you? They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible? I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught? they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing? I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks. It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative! I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks! I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort? There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies. FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious? We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts. I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point. I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you? By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible... The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually... I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity? A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics? I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive? I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all. DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ? So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins? His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road? Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question? They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done. lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online? I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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[deleted] You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe? It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru! re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you. I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back? i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios? Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits? Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt. Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there? It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"? It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite? After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him. Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author? I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it? By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web? There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76 1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop. Yes, I wrote about them in The Darkest Web
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit? There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Monero - The Elephant in the Room

The state of financial privacy in 2020
Note: You can read this in a friendlier format with images over on Medium - https://medium.com/@johnfoss/the-elephant-in-the-room-34e061f5912a
The erosion of personal privacy is gaining momentum since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Worldwide, there have been numerous calls by governments and social commentators to increase the surveillance of citizens in hope of controlling the virus. Corporations such as Google and Apple, along with countries such as Singapore, Germany, Belgium, USA, and South Korea have been utilizing smartphone data in different capacities to monitor the movements of citizens.
Many believe the implementation of new surveillance measures will calcify and become the new norm, setting precedence for further encroachment.
Mainstream media has also begun supporting the notion of increased surveillance to serve social and financial needs. A recent Bloomberg opinion piece discussed the need for increased surveillance, pointing out the financial system we operate within is fractured and inefficient when dealing with wide spread social and economic problems.
Once again, government over-reach of citizens’ privacy is a considered solution to our problems.
Countries such as Sweden (which is expected to go entirely cashless by 2023) have been leading the charge in moving to a cashless world, and in Australia the government is preparing to ban cash transactions over ten thousand dollars in order to increase monitorization.
This road to a cashless society is being sped up by the coronavirus pandemic. There is correlation between countries where ‘cash is king’ and a high number of coronavirus infections. Many retail stores are now too afraid to accept cash due to possible virus transmission, with some outright refusing to transact with cash.
The erosion of privacy, and the gradual transition from cash to digital financial transactions leads us to murky waters. Will we be able to conduct private financial transactions five to ten years from now?
Throughout the past decade, unorthodox individuals turned to Bitcoin in order to transact privately. This led to the inception of popular online darknet markets such as the Silk Road. However, many of the darknet markets proved to be unreliable and short-lived. It soon became apparent to Bitcoin users that Bitcoin is not private, and many of those conducting transactions in relation to darknet markets were identified and prosecuted.
Blockchain analytic companies such as Chainanalysis gained traction and suddenly Bitcoin tumblers were found to be ineffective. Blockchain analytic companies take advantage of Bitcoin’s transparent blockchain, analysing data and tracking transaction outputs. The blockchain analytic company then sells this information to cryptocurrency exchanges and government organisations so they can link Bitcoin addresses to specific users. Many Bitcoin advocates tout Bitcoin can be used privately via the use of newer tumbling technologies, however this is a somewhat arduous process with no guarantee of its effectiveness. In December 2019 Chainanalysis demonstrated how they tracked transactions mixed via Wasabi Wallet that were associated with the PlusToken scam. Tumbling also leads to the possibility of coin taint, whereas certain Bitcoin may be perceived to be less valuable because they can be identified as being associated with nefarious activities, and as a result exchange services may confiscate coins when a user attempts to sell them.
While Bitcoin holds many desirable characteristics of sound money, many prominent figures within the Bitcoin space have repeatedly discussed on the need for default privacy and fungibility. However, as was seen in previous years’ block size dispute, the issue of privacy will come with great lengthy debate as stakeholders attempt to reach a consensus that does not impact upon the characteristics of Bitcoin.
As change within the social and financial landscape continues to accelerate, those seeking financial privacy may turn to Monero.
Monero is the elephant in the room.
Monero is a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin and shares many of the same characteristics of sound money, however it also provides default privacy. Unlike other privacy focused cryptocurrencies, privacy isn’t opt-in, so all transactions and wallet amounts are unknown and indistinguishable from one another. Every unit of Monero is valued equally as no matter its history. This allows Monero to be truly fungible, and eradicates any possibility of coin taint. It has proven this in a number of cases. For example, exchanges have been hesitant to list Monero due to KYC/AML compliance issues it raises because it is impossible to determine transaction history.
If Monero provides financial privacy solutions, why is Monero being ignored?
Firstly, while most deem privacy to be important, many are yet to find it necessary to adopt privacy technologies. There are many easy to use privacy solutions such as Signal or DuckDuckGo, however these are not widely used as users opt for convenience instead. As surveillance increases and data collected is harnessed to marginalize or punish users, it is like that privacy technologies will become extremely desirable. Additionally, acquiring Monero can be difficult or inconvenient for some, as cryptocurrency exchanges must comply with laws and regulations, and may perceive it to be a risk listing an untraceable cryptocurrency. This also leads to lower liquidity than other cryptocurrencies.
Monero remains a community driven project. Public figures such as John McAfee and Crypto Vigilante continue to advocate the use of Monero ahead of Bitcoin. Due to its humble and open-source nature, Monero isn’t widely promoted even though it maintains the third largest cryptocurrency community on Reddit after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In respect to the technology, Monero’s hashrate has steadily been increasing over time, and the number of daily transactions taking place on the Monero blockchain are higher than ever. The Monero Research Lab continues its research in order to improve the protocol. Over the past few years these improvements resulted in reduced transaction fees, and enhanced scalability and privacy.
In just a few years from now, it is extremely likely traditional financial systems will not provide the capacity to transact privately. Banks will be required to ask questions regarding why certain transactions took place, and recorded transaction data will be sold to third parties. As the erosion of our privacy continues to accelerate, it won’t be long until Monero gains the use and recognition it deserves, and price reflects this.
Monero is what people think Bitcoin is.
Feel free to share or publish this article as you wish.
submitted by johnfoss68 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bitcoin’s Mainstream Adoption

Bitcoin’s Mainstream Adoption
How financial system has changed its rigid views in favor of cryptocurrencies.
by StealthEX
It goes without saying that the real value of anything can be judged only through practical, everyday use of it. With Bitcoin, as with cryptocurrencies in general, it is no different. Although the concept of a decentralized digital ledger as it is represented by the leading cryptocurrency may seem enticing and masterly on its own, ultimately, it still comes down to the actual application and usability in real life. And this is where BTC adoption within the existing financial system comes into play as one metric to gauge its genuine success or utmost failure, arguably the most telling and important one.

A medium of exchange

Bitcoin was envisioned as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, synonymous with the idea of using it as a medium of exchange or means of payment (the latter two being essentially six of one and half a dozen of the other). As everything big out there, Bitcoin started small. What went completely unnoticed in 2008 now came to be a major factor capable of affecting the entire global financial system.
But before that, Bitcoin was used as a means of exchange and payment in the markets which shouldn’t have been there in the first place. These were the days when the Dark Web was the primary and likely only driver behind Bitcoin adoption rate, and that’s also happened to be the reason why so many governments turned heavily against it back in the day. Bitcoin had received a bad rap as a currency for conducting illegal operations, mostly selling drugs on black markets like now-defunct Silk Road.
It was not until late 2012 that Bitcoin started to attract attention of the general public after the launch of Coinbase in the summer of that year. Around that time the first attempts to regulate the top cryptocurrency had begun, and the overall negative attitude toward BTC started to change. All in all, the period between 2008 and 2012 was likely the only time in Bitcoin’s eventful and intense history when most of its adoption came about through using it as a real currency and a means of payment, even if primarily for illegal purposes and criminal activities.

A store of value and investment asset

Bitcoin today as we know it has only become possible after many thousands of speculators and investors started to pour their money into the cryptocurrency in the hope of earning off the future growth. No matter how you look at it, whether you like it or not since 2013 Bitcoin adoption has been expanding mostly by attracting people who are interested in it as an alternative, non-sovereign store of value and investment asset. Today Bitcoin as an investment asset and store of value totally took over the Bitcoin as a means of payment and exchange.
The godfather of all cryptocurrencies has seen plenty of ups and downs, which posed a valid concern regarding how it would perform as a grown-up investment asset. Now that we have seen oil prices go into negative territory and fall as low as -37 dollars per barrel, a lot of these doubts have been dispelled. It is little wonder that institutional investors are nowadays looking into Bitcoin as a robust hedge against inflation and sinking economies in a world fraught with recession risks and plagued by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in 2019 alone cryptocurrency assets under the management of hedge funds more than doubled – to over 2 billion dollars, with around 150 hedge funds actively investing in cryptocurrencies today.
It is no surprise either that during the last couple of years Bitcoin has risen substantially in the eyes of the institutional beholders, all the way up from the bottom, from an outcast, and sometimes even an outright outlaw, to a level on par with such an established store of value as gold. The famous hedge fund manager and billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who manages around 22 billion dollars through his BVI Global Fund, recently confirmed that he has invested a few percent of his assets in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and central banks printing money out of thin air. Altogether, this leaves no doubt that Bitcoin has become a viable and legit investment choice in the realm of institutional money.

A value transfer vehicle

International money transfers have always been a pain in the neck – slow, costly, complicated. As Bitcoin needs no banking institutions to conduct money transfers, be it domestic or global, it has become a value transfer vehicle of choice for people willing to send money with no involvement of banks and payments processors. Historically, making overseas remittances with Bitcoin was among the first use cases of this cryptocurrency.
Cross-border remittances have been recognized as an important source of private capital flows for developing countries. Bitcoin and its crypto brethren have firmly established themselves in this niche for the simple reason many people in poor countries don’t have a bank account and thus can’t access bank services, aside from overall poor banking infrastructure there along with reasonable concerns about the stability of national currencies in backward economies.
Without cryptocurrencies, it would be impossible to receive financial support from abroad provided by migrant workers to their families. This led to an emergence of a wide variety of bitcoin-based remittance services such as BitPesa, Rebit, Bloom, Payphil, to name but just a few, that offer such services for African and Asian countries. They are typically using Bitcoin as a value transfer medium concealing the cryptocurrency from users by converting the sender’s fiat currency into bitcoins and then converting back to the receiver’s fiat currency.

Problems and solutions

One of the major problems Bitcoin faces is not strictly specific to it as it stems from an innate conflict between the two major functions of money. As it happens, a medium of exchange function doesn’t live quite well with a store of value function. A good medium of exchange, or means of payment, should be inflationary to facilitate its use as a currency that you pay with, say, in a grocery store. On the other hand, a good store of value should be the opposite of that to maintain and possibly increase its value over time. Realistically, such a dilemma cannot be effectively resolved from within Bitcoin itself.
As a result, the main cryptocurrency has developed into a trusted, battle-tested investment asset which already established a firm foothold in the corporate investment sector. This is in stark contrast to its promise as a functional currency where Bitcoin still massively lags behind fiat. Is there any way to fix that? The solution probably lies in the separation of different functions between Bitcoin and altcoins. The former will most certainly continue to evolve as a solid store of value. Whether the latter can live up to their collective role of an efficient means of payment, we have yet to find out.
And remember if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 coins and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected].
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/07/07/bitcoins-mainstream-adoption/
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

Debunking Cryptocurrency Myths

Debunking Cryptocurrency Myths

https://preview.redd.it/bly69bsxwu051.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4ddf296c34fc92b73ef0655d05e7d689909fa161
Now that we almost familiarized ourselves with the basics of cryptocurrency, the Swipe team would like to shed light on the most common misconceptions about it.
In this article, we aim to discuss the reasons why these myths exist and correct the common tales behind them.
1. Cryptocurrency is A SCAM
NOT. We have to set this record straight once and for all. Cryptocurrencies are the digital counterpart of physical currencies. The only difference is this kind is purely virtual, meaning it doesn’t physically exist. Instead of going through any central authority (bank), it runs in a blockchain, a digital ledger that lets users safely and easily transact and store cryptocurrencies.
So why do people think that it is a scam? It is because of the bad players who try to take advantage of this new technology. A lot of new and naïve crypto investors fall into Ponzi-type schemes that promise huge investment returns at a little or no risk at all.
Scammers will also try to lure people in making them believe they offer related services in return for crypto payment. The concept of cryptocurrency is to make the current financial transactions easier, which is why some fall for this bait. These types of investments and services should be viewed skeptically. If there are people who are trying to scam you of your money, there will also be people who will try to scam you of your cryptocurrencies. But this doesn’t mean that money and cryptocurrencies are a scam.
In cryptocurrency, there is no central authority to re-check the user’s transactions. In cryptocurrency, there is no central authority to re-check the user’s transactions. Users must be responsible enough when managing their crypto assets and activities.
2. It is NOT SAFE
AGAIN WRONG. Cryptocurrencies are safe unless people expose themselves to illicit transactions. Remember, even the most successful businesses get highjacked, so what is the possibility that cryptocurrencies will be immune to it?
Most of the cryptocurrency transactions run in a blockchain, a digital ledger that uses cryptographic measures to process and transactions, making it more likely impossible to be compromised. However, this doesn’t mean that your cryptocurrencies are totally immune to hacking and phishing.
Some users choose to manage their cryptocurrencies themselves, but there is also a number who rely on exchanges or digital wallets run by different parties. When using devices and software such as mobile applications to manage crypto funds, one must make sure that their device is free from any malware and viruses and that they set strong passwords for wallets and accounts that deal with their cryptocurrency funds. Remember, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, so one must make sure that their devices and applications are virus-free and secured.
But how can the users prevent this from happening? Prior to purchasing cryptocurrency, do proper research on which exchange and digital wallets are perfect for their lifestyle. Check if the company is properly regulated and compliant with the existing laws.
Swipe Wallet carries numerous licenses around the world. At present, it has a Virtual Currency Wallet License, and Virtual Currency to Fiat Exchange License issued both in Estonia covering the European Economic Area.
Aside from this, setting up a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication (if applicable) are strongly recommended. This adds an extra layer of security to your software, making it less prone to any cyberattacks.
3. It DOESN’T HAVE A VALUE
THERE IS. In fact, as of writing, one Bitcoin is priced at $9,096.37, which you can spend and convert any time through the use of your digital wallets. Cryptocurrencies offer a faster way of receiving and sending money through the use of blockchain technology, a better alternative to the usual bank remittances people do. It actually works like fiat currencies, only that cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not run by any central or governing authority.
Skeptics don’t believe in cryptocurrency because they think it doesn’t have any intrinsic value just because of its digital nature, and it is not backed up or supported by anything (government or central authority).
So, why the prices go high even if some people say it doesn’t have any value? Simple explanation: though cryptocurrencies are prone to volatility, remember it has a finite supply. As more demand for crypto supply increases, its prices go higher. This shows that cryptocurrency users have trust in the system, giving it more value. Proving that you always don’t need to see it physically in order to believe in it.
A good cryptocurrency user must realize that due to the relatively new concept or market of cryptocurrency, it is prone to a lot of constant gains and losses. When acquiring these, one must have an open mind that the prices may increase and decrease anytime. Having a diverse investment portfolio (not just in cryptocurrency) helps to reduce the risk of huge losses.
4. Cryptocurrency SUPPORTS Illegal Activities
DEFINITELY WRONG. This is one of the biggest myths that surround the cryptocurrency industry. The reason behind this is the misconception that cryptocurrency transactions are entirely anonymous, making people believe that it was made for illicit activities.
Most cryptocurrency transactions are traceable through the public address shown in the blockchain. However, it is only limited to the amount and address, not the identity of the sender. This concept made bad entities try to abuse the latest technology discovery. But this doesn’t mean that tracking their details is a difficult task.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies, and wallets implement their own ways to track transactions through a KYC or Know Your Customer service without asking too much of personal information than most of the normal banks do.
5. Funds are EASILY STOLEN
YES and NO. How so? There is a big possibility of funds getting stolen if the users will not practice precautionary measures when managing their cryptocurrencies. Even in fiat currencies, if people will just leave their money somewhere unsafe or in shady institutions, it will be prone to theft.
As a general rule, having tight security measures on a chosen crypto trading platform and wallet will help lessen any tendency of experiencing unfortunate events. Users have to make sure they are only dealing with reputable trading platforms and wallets. There are a lot of users who fell victim to fake wallets. To avoid making this big mistake, ALWAYS do a background check and don’t just trust what search engines show right away.
People who are not careful enough to make security actions and discern any fraudulent sites will be prone to having their cryptocurrencies stolen. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, and if you fell into these traps, your money will be long gone for good. Remember: everything is digital in Bitcoin. People must be extra cautious in making transactions as there are a lot of bad people who are evil enough that will try to steal your hard-earned money.
Wherever people go, there will always be bad players who will try to find ways to outsmart people. These myths sprouted because there are people who are victimized by scammers. It is important to stay vigilant and do proper research before making necessary transactions to avoid fraud. There are no shortcuts to success. No matter how advanced the technology is, nothing beats the decisions made by a responsible and critical consumer.
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This blog article is also posted at: https://sw.pe/blogcryptomyths
submitted by SwipeWallet to Swipe_io [link] [comments]

$1B Bitcoins On The Move: Owner Transfers ~$100M to Bitfinex And Binance In 10 Days

$1B Bitcoins On The Move: Owner Transfers ~$100M to Bitfinex And Binance In 10 Days
This is the third post of a series of articles dedicated to investigate $1B worth of bitcoins (111,114 BTC/BCH/... BXX) that were dormant since 2014 and started moving actively. The BTC coins were originally located at this address (1933phfhK3ZgFQNLGSDXvqCn32k2buXY8a).
The origin of the bitcoins is discussed here.
A deep-dive into the wallet activity was discussed here.
Today, I will focus on the transfer to major exchanges wallets that could indicate that the owner is selling his coins or exchanging it with alts or mixing it to cover his back.
I built a graph in order to deep dive into the transactions originated from the 111,114-BTC wallet and to follow it. This is the resulting graph were red indicates transactions <1 day, yellow <1 month, blue <1 year, green else.
https://preview.redd.it/nk3iov045vj11.png?width=1677&format=png&auto=webp&s=176d5b5bda930abf870dbea7edd1ba5b654158be

I found that at least 15,593 BTC originated from the 111,114-BTC wallet have been moved to Bitfinex and Binance wallets. This represents 14% of the original funds and more than $110M.

Bitfinex wallet

https://preview.redd.it/m8fryy8s5vj11.png?width=2038&format=png&auto=webp&s=117806763f7fc79909ee0358755e43c6de652749

11,114 BTC have been transferred to Bitfinex wallet 1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g and the majority of these coins have been transferred in the last 7 days (August 24th - September 2nd).
Here is the list of the transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/8e9l0lqf0vj11.png?width=471&format=png&auto=webp&s=c63fa6ce9479efd4f27ce8f8cd456de19712fc9e

Binance wallet

https://preview.redd.it/i1v5lv3j9vj11.png?width=2025&format=png&auto=webp&s=bc6c893b684d2c97206565219ff4d5ce8eb721a2

4,421 BTC have been transferred to Binance wallet 1NDyJtNTjmwk5xPNhjgAMu4HDHigtobu1s and the majority of these coins have been transferred in the last 10 days (August 21st - September 2nd).
Here is the list of the transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/2cs6ufabavj11.png?width=453&format=png&auto=webp&s=5cdcb45cbe44f3f61251317036c6738aa0f3a9cd
Bitmex wallet(s)

I tracked Bitmex as well but "only" found 210 BTC transferred in with the following 6 major transactions:
https://preview.redd.it/2oondki1ovj11.png?width=432&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ae358b80e747b62d6940ef9022df2734ed001f0

Also, I have found 350 BTC transferred from Bitmex wallets though, maybe after being "washed out":
https://preview.redd.it/sx2g36jnovj11.png?width=546&format=png&auto=webp&s=26f0ac6c64e6aa9aedb7f76c90fb8ebea1beefcc

Update 1
If anyone finds if the owner of this address is an exchange : 3PtJRj5xKUKJ21TshP5u2G6dQMPNz2yUSc, I would be interested, thanks.

Update 2
Here is a full resolution version of the graph requested by u/rush717:
https://preview.redd.it/xwvn0l9yxxj11.png?width=2705&format=png&auto=webp&s=cc01b3bfc8aed64af4323a485e35ce459f498327


Update 3
MtGox vs SilkRoad origin and September 6th BTC price impact is now discussed here: https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/9dvaj1b_bitcoins_on_the_move_mtgox_vs_silkroad_origin/

--
Surprisingly BTC price was pumping since those funds were starting to be transferred to Bitfinex and Binance wallets (see Binance transactions' list, August 11th)
How do you think this will impact the market?
Do you want me to continue this investigation? If yes let me know what you would want me to focus on.
submitted by sick_silk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

US Marshals: Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Likely for 2015

US Marshals: Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Likely for 2015 submitted by oldbitman to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

I Thought the 60 Minutes Piece was Better than Expected

So leading up to the 60 Minutes piece about Bitcoin it seemed some people thought it was going to be a hit piece about how terrible Bitcoin is, and some people seemed to expect a glowing 60 minute long commercial telling people to buy Bitcoin.
I watched it last night, I'll drop a link to where you can watch it if you missed it or don't have cable, its 60 Minutes site.
I found it to be very basic, but pretty balanced. There was not a single mention of Tulips or Beanibabies. There was little to no mention or Darknets or buying drugs aside from Charlie Schrem making a brief mention of why he went to prison ie selling BTC to someone who was reselling on Silk Road.
Overall the piece was very basic. I heard some people say this could have been made back in 2014 which was very true as they didn't really talk about or mention any of the more recent developments like Bitcoin futures, like potential ETF's or Bakt futures or companies like Fidelity and others getting invovled.
They talked about the Bitcoin Pizza guy and Charlie Schrem. Many people said they wished they would have interviewed Andres Antonopolous. I agree he speaks very intelligently on the topic and probably would have been preferable to a guy just comming on to say I spent the equivalent of 800 Million Dollars on pizza, but again to your average person and maintream media that's probably more enticing than hearing Andres talk about inflation.
Overall I thought it was about as good as we could have expected. Again yes it was very basic, yes they missed out on a lot of the good stuff going on with Bitcoin in 2019, but it was only 13 minutes long, it gave an intro to crypto, and it wasn't a hit piece, I think that's pretty good
Lastly, for the people expecting the price to shoot up following the episode. It aired on a Sunday night, people are getting ready for the work and school week, I wouldn't expect people to immediately hop on Coinbase and try to buy. Also, I would imagine 60 Minutes demographic is probably 50 plus, probably not the best audience.
I do however think this is just like advertising. The reason retargeting is so imporant and so effective is because oftentimes the first or second or third time you hear or see a message it doesn't connect but on time 3 or 4 or 5 it does. As people not involved in crypto hear their kids talk about it, then see a Forbes article, then see it on 60 minutes, then see it as a payment option at a business they frequent over time this will pique their curiosity and eventually many will pull the trigger and buy a bit.
Curious to hear your thoughts.
submitted by thesuppplugg to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Nuvmining | Reasons That Bitcoin Cost Is So Unstable

Rate differences in the Bitcoin spot rate on the Bitcoin trading exchanges is driven by several factors. Volatility is assessed in classic markets by the Volatility Index, additionally called the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). Volatility in Bitcoin does not yet possess a totally approved index since cryptocurrency as an actual possession class is still in its starting phases, yet we do comprehend that Bitcoin is able of volatility in the type of 10x changes in rate contrasted to the United States buck, in a rather short amount of time. In this post are just a handful of the different factors in back of Bitcoin's volatility:
nuv mining
  1. Price of possession is influenced by negative press.
Information situations that discourage Bitcoin customers contain geopolitical events and declarations by government authorities that Bitcoin is more than likely to be regulated. Bitcoin's first adopters covered many mal stars, creating headline newspaper article that developed worst anxieties in investors. Heading creating Bitcoin information involves the personal bankruptcy of Mt. Gox in early 2014 as well as much more recently that of the South Korean market exchange Yapian Youbit, and others like the high profile utilize of Bitcoin in medicine deals via Silk Road that completed with the FBI shutdown of the market area in October 2013. All these events as well as the public panic that followed forced the value of Bitcoins contrasted to fiat currencies down swiftly. Nevertheless, Bitcoin respectful financiers saw all those occasions as proof that the industry was growing, generating the worth of Bitcoins vs the US buck substantially back up in the short period instantly complying with the info occasions.
nuvmining
  1. Bitcoin's acknowledged worth changes.
One cause why Bitcoin might change versus fiat stock markets is the recognized shop of worth vs the fiat money. Bitcoin has components that make it similar to gold. It is ruled by a layout resolution by the designers of the core technology to max capability its creation to a taken care of quantity, 21 million BTC. Because that varies substantially from fiat money exchange, which is handled by government authorities that intend to preserve reduced inflation, high employment, and appropriate development throughout investment in funding properties, as economies established with fiat values reveal indications of power or weakness, traders might mark basically of their properties right into Bitcoin.
  1. Way too much deviation in understanding of Bitcoin's store of worth and also method of worth.
Bitcoin changability is additionally driven in massive part by varying understandings of the implicit worth of the cryptocurrency as a conserve of worth as well as method of worth transfer. A shop of value is the action by that a possession can quickly be advantageous in the future using some predictability. A shop of value can easily be maintained as well as altered for some great or solution in the future. A method of value transfer is any example or principle used to move home in the sort of possessions from one entity to one more. Bitcoin's unpredictability at the here and now creates it a rather uncertain shop of value, yet it ensures nearly frictionless worth transfer. As these two chauffeurs of the recent area value of Bitcoin vary from the United States buck as well as other fiat foreign currencies, we see that Bitcoin's worth can move based on news occasions very much as we discover with fiat stock markets.
  1. Little selection worth to massive owners of the currency.
Bitcoin unpredictability is likewise somewhat driven by holders of huge proportions of the overall amazing float of the money. For Bitcoin investors with recent holdings above about $10M, it is not apparent exactly how they would eradicate a placement that big right into a fiat placement with out dramatically relocating the market. Considering that Bitcoin's amount resembles a tiny cap stock, the currency has not strike the mass market possession rates that might be called for to use choice value to huge owners of the cryptocurrency.
submitted by Nuvmining to u/Nuvmining [link] [comments]

My Thoughts on the 60 Minutes Piece... Overall Pretty Good

So leading up to the 60 Minutes piece about Bitcoin it seemed some people thought it was going to be a hit piece about how terrible Bitcoin is, and some people seemed to expect a glowing 60 minute long commercial telling people to buy Bitcoin.
I watched it last night, I'll drop a link to where you can watch it if you missed it or don't have cable, its 60 Minutes site.
I found it to be very basic, but pretty balanced. There was not a single mention of Tulips or Beanibabies. There was little to no mention or Darknets or buying drugs aside from Charlie Schrem making a brief mention of why he went to prison ie selling BTC to someone who was reselling on Silk Road.
Overall the piece was very basic. I heard some people say this could have been made back in 2014 which was very true as they didn't really talk about or mention any of the more recent developments like Bitcoin futures, like potential ETF's or Bakt futures or companies like Fidelity and others getting invovled.
They talked about the Bitcoin Pizza guy and Charlie Schrem. Many people said they wished they would have interviewed Andres Antonopolous. I agree he speaks very intelligently on the topic and probably would have been preferable to a guy just comming on to say I spent the equivalent of 800 Million Dollars on pizza, but again to your average person and maintream media that's probably more enticing than hearing Andres talk about inflation.
Overall I thought it was about as good as we could have expected. Again yes it was very basic, yes they missed out on a lot of the good stuff going on with Bitcoin in 2019, but it was only 13 minutes long, it gave an intro to crypto, and it wasn't a hit piece, I think that's pretty good
Lastly, for the people expecting the price to shoot up following the episode. It aired on a Sunday night, people are getting ready for the work and school week, I wouldn't expect people to immediately hop on Coinbase and try to buy. Also, I would imagine 60 Minutes demographic is probably 50 plus, probably not the best audience.
I do however think this is just like advertising. The reason retargeting is so imporant and so effective is because oftentimes the first or second or third time you hear or see a message it doesn't connect but on time 3 or 4 or 5 it does. As people not involved in crypto hear their kids talk about it, then see a Forbes article, then see it on 60 minutes, then see it as a payment option at a business they frequent over time this will pique their curiosity and eventually many will pull the trigger and buy a bit.
Curious to hear your thoughts.
submitted by thesuppplugg to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? An analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). Part 3

Part 1
Part 2
So I have been subbed to /bitcoin since it had less than two thousand subs but haven't posted there in years. I think I took a break from researching bitcoin to take a foray into the world of conspiracy around 2014 and only got back in to it around the beginning of 2017 but with a bit of sense of skepticism and cynicism about everything. I think I returned to /bitcoin around that time but there had been a rift that had emerged in the community between those that said that bitcoin was censoring any discussion around big blocks but then also just censorship in general. This lead to the formation of /btc which became the main spot for big blockers to gather to talk about protocol development. Following the fork of Bitcoin Cash and SegWit (BTC) in August 2017 the camps were further divided when the fence sitters were denied their SegWit2x compromise. Many from the fence sitters then deferred back to the incumbent bitcoin as citing muh network effect, liquidity, and hashpower while some who felt betrayed by the failure of getting S2X through went to support BCH for some attempt at on chain scaling rather than through pegged side chains or Lightning Network.
Bitcoin cash initially went with a modest doubling of the blocksize to 2MB but implemented some other features like a new more rapidly adjusting difficulty algorithm to protect themselves against hashpower fluctuations from the majority chain. In about July of that year I had seen what I potentially thought was someone LARPing on /biz/ but screencapped, that segwit2x which was scheduled for november 2017 would be called off and then hashpower would switch to BCH causing congestion and chain death spiral on BTC and BCH would pump massively. I was partial to the idea as the game theory and incentives on a big block bitcoin should attract miners. About a month after SegWit2x was indeed called off while the BTC blockchain was hugely congested, BCH went through a violent pump reaching 0.5 BTC/BCH on a European exchange called Kraken while it also pumped ridiculously on American exchange coinbase. Shortly afterwards the market took a giant dump all over those people who bought the top and it has since retraced to roughly 30:1 or so now.
After that pump though BCH kind of gained some bagholders I guess who started to learn the talking points presented by personalities like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Peter Rizun and Amaury Sechet. Craig S Wright by this time had been outed as Satoshi but had in 2016 publicly failed to convince the public with the cryptographic proof he provided. To which he later published the article I don't have the courage to prove I am the bitcoin creator. In essence this allowed many to disregard anything he offered to the crypto community though his company nChain was very much interested in providing the technical support to scale what he saw as the true implementation of bitcoin. Following debate around a set of planned protocol upgrades between a bitcoin node implementation by his company nChain and the developers of another client Bitcoin ABC (adjustable block cap), the two parties both dug their heels in and wouldn't compromise.
As it became clear that a fork was imminent there was a lot of vitriol tossed out towards Wright, another big billionaire backer Calvin Ayre and other personalities like Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig's credibility was disregarded because of his failure to provide convincing cryptographic proof but still people who wanted to pursue the protocol upgrades that nChain were planning (as it best followed their interpretation of the bitcoin white paper) pursued his variant, while others who followed the socia consensus deferred to the positions of their personalities like Wu, Ver, and Sechet but even developers from Ethereum and other protocols chimed in to convince everyone that CSW is a fraud. This was referred to as the hash war and was the first time that the bitcoin protocol had been contentiously hard forked.

Hashpower is the CPU cycles you can commit to the Proof of Work function in bitcoin and the majority will generate the longest chain as they have the most proof of work. To win the contentious hard fork legitimately and make sure your chain will always be safe going forward you need to maintain your version of the blockchain with 51% of the hashpower on the network and force the other parties to continue to spend money on building a blockchain that is never going to be inserted in to the majority chain. As well as this you need to convince exchanges that you have the majority chain and have them feel safe to accept deposits and withdrawals so that they don't lose money in the chaos. This is how it would play out if both parties acted according to the rules of bitcoin and the Nakamoto Consensus.

There was a lot of shit talking between the two parties on social media with Craig Wright making a number of claims such as "you split, we bankrupt you" "I don't care if there is no ability to move coins to an exchange for a year" and other such warnings not to engage in foul play.. To explain this aftermath is quite tedious so It might be better to defer to this video for the in depth analysis but basically Roger Ver had to rent hashpower that was supposed to be mining BTC from his mining farm bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu did the same from his Bitmain Mining Farm which was a violation of his fiduciary duty as the CEO of a company preparing for an IPO. In this video of a livestream during the hashwar where Andreas Brekken admits to basically colluding with exchange owners like Coinbase, Kraken (exchange Roger Ver invested in), Bitfinex and others to release a patched ABC client to the exchanges and introducing "checkpoints" in to the BCH blockchain (which he even says is arguably "centralisation") in order to prevent deep reorgs of the BCH blockchain.
>"We knew we were going to win in 30 mins we had the victory because of these checkpoints that we released to a cartel of friendly businesses in a patch so then we just sat around drinking beers all day".
By releasing a patched client that has code in it to prevent deep reorgs by having the client refer to a checkpoint from a block mined by someone who supported BCHABC if another group of hash power was to try to insert a new chain history, this cartel of exchanges and mining farm operators conspired in private to change the nature of the bitcoin protocol and Nakamoto Consensus. Since the fork there have been a number of other BCH clients that have come up that require funding and have their own ideas about what things to implement on the BCH chain. What began to emerge was actually not necessarily an intention of scaling bitcoin but rather to implement Schnorr signatures to obfuscate transactions and to date the ABC client still has a default blocksize of 2MB but advertised as 16MB.
What this demonstrates for BCH is that through the collusion, the cartel can immediately get a favourable outcome from the developers to keep their businesses secure and from the personalities/developers to work on obfuscating records of transactions on the chain rather than scaling their protocol. After the SegWit fork, many from the BCH camp alleged that through the funding to Blockstream from AXA and groups that tied to the Bilderbergs, Blockstream would be beholden to the legacy banking and would be a spoke and hub centralised model, so naturally many of the "down with central banks anarcho capitalist types" had gathered in the BCH community. Through these sympathies it seems that people have been susceptible to being sold things like coin mixing and obfuscation with developers offering their opinions about how money needs to be anonymous to stop the evil government and central banks despite ideas like Mises’ Regression Theorem, which claims that in order for something to be money in the most proper sense, it must be traceable to an originally non-monetary barter commodity such as gold.
What this suggests is that there is an underlying intent from the people that have mechanisms to exert their will upon the protocol of bitcoin and that if obfuscation is their first priority rather than working on creating a scalable platform, this demonstrates that they don't wish to actually be global money but more so something that makes it easier to move money that you don't want seen. Roger Ver has often expressed sentiments of injustice about the treatment of Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht and donated a large amount of money to a fund for his defence. I initially got in to bitcoin seeking out the Silk Road and though I only wanted to test it to buy small quantities of mdma, lsd, and mescaline back in 2011 there was all sorts of criminal activity on there like scam manuals, counterfeits, ID, Credit Card info, and other darknet markets like armoury were selling pretty crazy weapons. It has been alleged by Craig Wright that in his capacity as a digital forensics expert he was involved with tracing bitcoin that was used to fund the trafficking of 12-16 year olds on the silk road. There have been attempts at debunking such claims by saying that silk road was moderated for such stuff by Ulbricht and others, but one only has to take a look in to the premise of pizza gate to understand that there it may be possible to hide in plain site with certain code words for utilising the market services and escrow of websites like the silk road. The recent pedo bust from South Korea demonstrates the importance of being able to track bitcoin transactions and if the first thing BCH wanted to do after separating itself from Satoshi's Vision and running on developer and cartel agendas was to implement obfuscation methods, this type of criminal activity will only proliferate.
Questions one must ask oneself then are things like why do they want this first? Are some of these developers, personalities and cartel businesses sitting on coins that they know are tarnished from the silk road and want to implement obfuscation practices so they can actually cash in some of the value they are unable to access? Merchants from the silk road 1 are still being caught even as recently as this year when they attempted to move coins that were known to have moved through the silk road. Chain analytics are only becoming more and more powerful and the records can never be changed under the original bitcoin protocol but with developer induced protocol changes like Schnorr signatures, and coinjoin it may be possible to start laundering these coins out in to circulation. I must admit with the cynicism I had towards government and law enforcement and my enjoying controlled substances occasionally I was sympathetic to Ross and donated to his legal fund back in the day and for many years claimed that I wouldn't pay my taxes when I wanted to cash out of bitcoin. I think many people in the space possess this same kind of mentality and subsequently can be preyed upon by people who wish to do much more in the obfuscation than dodge tax and party.
Another interesting observation is that despite the fact that btc spun off as a result of censorship around big block scaling on bitcoin, that subreddit itself has engaged in plenty of censorship for basically anyone who wants to discuss the ideas presented by Dr Craig Wright on that sub. When I posted my part 2 of this series in there a week ago I was immediately met with intense negativity and ad hominems so as to discourage others from reading the submission and my post history was immediately throttled to 1 comment every 10 mins. This is not quite as bad as cryptocurrency where my post made it through the new queue to gather some upvotes and a discussion started but I was immediately banned from that sub for 7 days for reason "Content standards - you're making accusations based on no evidence just a dump of links that do nothing to justify your claims except maybe trustnodes link (which has posted fabricated information about this subreddit mods) and a Reddit post. Keep the conspiracy theories in /conspiracy" My post was also kept at zero in bitcoin and conspiracy so technically btc was the least censored besides C_S_T.
In addition to the throttling I was also flagged by the u/BsvAlertBot which says whether or not a user has a questionable amount of activity in BSV subreddits and then a break down of your percentages. This was done in response to combat the "toxic trolls" of BSV but within bitcoincashSV there are many users that have migrated from what was originally supposed to be a uncensored subreddit to discuss bitcoin and many such as u/cryptacritic17 has have switched sides after having been made to essentially DOXX themselves in btc to prove that they aren't a toxic troll for raising criticisms of the way certain things are handled within that coin and development groups. Other prominent users such as u/jim-btc have been banned for impersonating another user which was in actual fact himself and he has uploaded evidence of him being in control of said account to the blockchain. Mod Log, Mod Damage Control, Mod Narrative BTFO. Interestingly in the comments on the picture uploaded to the blockchain you can see the spin to call him an SV shill when in actual fact he is just an OG bitcoiner that wanted bitcoin to scale as per the whitepaper.
What is essentially going on in the Bitcoin space is that there is a battle of the protocols and a battle for social consensus. The incumbent BTC has majority of the attention and awareness as it is being backed by legacy banking and finance with In-Q-Tel and AXA funding blockstream as well as Epstein associates and MIT, but in the power vaccum that presented itself as to who would steward the big block variant, a posse of cryptoanarchists have gained control of the social media forums and attempted to exert their will upon what should essentially be a Set In Stone Protocol to create something that facilitates their economic activity (such as selling explosives online)) while attempting to leverage their position as moderators who control the social forum to spin their actions as something different (note memorydealers is Roger Ver). For all his tears for the children killed in wars, it seems that what cryptoanarchists such as u/memorydealers want is to delist/shut down governments and they will go to any efforts such as censorship to make sure that it is their implementation of bitcoin that will do that. Are we really going to have a better world with people easier able to hide transactions/launder money?
Because of this power vacuum there also exists a number of different development groups but what is emerging now is that they are struggling for money to fund their development. The main engineering is done by self professed benevolent dictator Amaury Sechet (deadalnix) who in leaked telegram screen caps appears to be losing it as funding for development has dried up and money raised in an anarchist fashion wasn't compliant with laws around fundraising sources and FVNI (development society that manages BCH development and these donations) is run by known scammer David R Allen. David was founder of 2014 Israeli ICO Getgems (GEMZ) that scammed investors out of more than 2500 Bitcoins. The SV supported sky-lark who released this information has since deleted all their accounts but other users have claimed that sky-lark was sent personal details about themselves and pictures of their loved ones and subsequently deleted all their social media accounts afterwards.
There are other shifty behaviours like hiring Japanese influencers to shill their coin, recruiting a Hayden Otto that up until 2018 was shilling Pascal Coin to become a major ambassador for BCH in the Australian city of Townsville. Townsville was claimed to be BCH city hosting a BCH conference there and claiming loads of adoption, but at the conference itself their idea of demonstrating adoption was handing a Point of Sale device to the bar to accept bitcoin payments but Otto actually just putting his credit card behind the bar to settle and he would keep the BCH that everyone paid. In the lead up to the conference the second top moderator of btc was added to the moderators of townsville to shill their coin but has ended up with the townsville subreddit wanting to ban all bitcoin talk from the subreddit.
Many of the BCH developers are now infighting as funding dries up and they find themselves floundering with no vision of how to achieve scale or get actual real world adoption. Amaury has recently accused Peter Rizun of propagandising, told multiple users in the telegram to fuck off and from all accounts appears to be a malignant narcissist incapable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship with people he is supposed to be working with. Peter Rizun has begun lurking in bitcoincashSV and recognising some of the ideas coming from BSV as having merit while Roger has started to distance himself from the creation of BCH. Interestingly at a point early in the BCH history Roger believed Dr Craig Wright was Satoshi, but once CSW wouldn't go along with their planned road map and revealed the fact he had patents on blockchain technology and wanted to go down a path that worked with Law, Roger retracted that statement and said he was tricked by Craig. He joined in on the faketoshi campaign and has been attempted to be sued by Dr Wright for libel in the UK to which Roger refused to engage citing grounds of jurisdiction. Ironically this avoidance of Roger to meet Dr Wright in court to defend his claims can be seen as the very argument against justice being served by private courts under an anarchocapitalist paradigm with essentially someone with resources simply being able to either flee a private court's jurisdiction or engage a team of lawyers that can bury any chances of an everyday person being able to get justice.
There is much more going on with the BCH drama that can be explained in a single post but it is clear that some of the major personalities in the project are very much interested in having their ideals projected on to the technical implementation of the bitcoin protocol and have no qualms spouting rhetoric around the anti-censorship qualities of bitcoin/BCH while at the same time employing significant censorship on their social media forums to control what people are exposed to and getting rid of anyone who challenges their vision. I posit that were this coin to become a success, these "benevolent dictators" as they put it would love their new found positions of wealth/dominance yet if their behaviour to get there is anything to go by, would demonstrate the same power tripping practices of censorship, weasel acts, misleading people about adoption statistics and curating of the narrative. When the hashrate from Rogers bitcoin.com minging operation on BCH dropped dramatically and a lot of empty blocks were being mined, his employer and 2IC moderator u/BitcoinXio (who stepped in to replace roger as CEO) was in the sub informing everyone it was simply variance that was the reason when only a few days later it was revealed that they had reduced their hash power significantly. This is not appropriate behaviour for one of the primary enterprises engaged in stewarding BCH and encouraging adoption nor is the inability to be accountable for such dishonest practices as well. It seems bitcoin.com treats btc as their own personal spam page where Roger can ask for donations despite it being against the sub rules and spin/ban any challenge to the narrative they seek to create.
Let's see how the censorship goes as I post this around a few of the same places as the last piece. Stay tuned for the next write up where I take a deep dive in to the coin that everyone doesn't want you to know about.
submitted by whipnil to C_S_T [link] [comments]

List of onion email providers in 2019

This is a throwback to the mega Email provider post from July 2017. I figured we should revisit the list and update it for 2019. I already went through and removed anything from the list that was dead.
Below is most of the original thread with a few new things added. The /onions community input is need to help make it even better!
I cannot stress how important it is to use PGP. PGP gives you up to 4096 bits of RSA encryption. When using PGP even the email provider that you are using can't see the contents of your emails. If you need practice, check out /gpgpractice.

Free

danwin1210 - Daniel Winzen's personal site which he offers free public email on. No Javascript.
Mail2Tor - Free, No javascript required.
cock.li - Free, needs JavaScript, has a 27 different email domains to choose from, Vincent Canfield (the owner) has refused to provide access to the US government in the past ( see here and here ).
elude.in - Free, No javascript required, open signup. They run completely on donations.
OnionMail - Free. Has Around ~24 servers. Doesn't require Javascript. List of OnionMail Servers you can sign up on = here
Systemli - Free, invite only
Paranoid - No javaScript. Invite only. Great service to say the least, If the sender doesn't encrypt the email they are sending to you with pgp Paranoid will encrypt it for you using your public key.
bitmessage.ch - Free, Has been around for a while. No javascript required.
VFEmail - Requires JavaScript for registration, keeps logs, has a lot of domains to choose from.
RiseUp - Request Membership. Leftist Political collective, anti-racism, fascism and misogyny.
Protonmail - Free, widely used, requires javascript, hosted in Switzerland.
SecMail - Free
CTemplar - Free, hosted in Iceland.
TorBox - Free, Javascript not needed.
SCRYPTMail - Requires JavaScript. 7-Day free trial.

Paid Only

RayServers - No JavaScript, accepts Bitcoin, Good customer support, keeps only necessary logs (no IPs), competent, VPS hosting, also provides VPNs, prices pending on your needs.
Mailbox - german provider with very low prices, only €1 a month for email and xmpp. No JavaScript required.
Mail City - Don't even bother visiting this site. Their prices are insane.
If you want to connect to the .onion imap/pop3 and smtp servers for these providers in an email client, The TorBirdy Add-on for Thunderbird is an excellent choice that has been DNS leak tested.

Receive email only

Guerilla Mail - Free
TempMailAddress - Free
Why is it important to have email over Tor?
Ask Ross Ulbricht, alleged creator of criminal marketplace Silk Road!
The FBI caught the man accused of creating Silk Road -- the shadowy e-commerce site it describes as "the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today" -- after he allegedly posted his Gmail address online, according to court documents.
Why is it important to disable JavaScript?
Ask the creator of Freedomhosting who is now serving life in prison!
News reports linked Firefox browser vulnerability to a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operation targeting Freedom Hosting's owner, Eric Eoin Marques. In August 2013, it was discovered that the Firefox browsers in many older versions of the Tor Browser Bundle were vulnerable to a JavaScript attack, as NoScript was not enabled by default
Please comment below if you know any others that I haven't listed and I will add them to the list. Once this list is finalized, I will be putting it into the /onions wiki in an entire Email section. Thanks!
submitted by DrinkMoreCodeMore to onions [link] [comments]

$1B bitcoins on the move: MtGox vs SilkRoad origin and BTC price impact discussed

$1B bitcoins on the move: MtGox vs SilkRoad origin and BTC price impact discussed
Preamble: it seems that my post was censored and removed on bitcoin... from now I will only publish my articles on btc and crosspost it. Freedom and freespeech matter to me.
--

This is the 4th post of a series of articles dedicated to investigate $1B worth of bitcoins (111,114 BTC/BCH/... BXX) that were dormant since 2014 and started moving actively. The BTC coins were originally located at this address (1933phfhK3ZgFQNLGSDXvqCn32k2buXY8a).
  • The facts that part of this funds (>13%) have been transferred in the past month to Bitfinex, Binance and Bitmex exchanges is discussed here.
  • The origin of the bitcoins was originally discussed here.
  • A deep-dive into the wallet activity was discussed here.

Today I am writing a short update to discuss the origin of the funds and some events that could be related both to this wallet and yesterday's price crash.

Wallet's origin

This question has been discussed a lot by the crypto community in the past year.
Here is a summary of the most probable hypothesis for the 1933p wallet's origin:
  1. a SilkRoad user or DPRs wallet per this post: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=310600.0
  2. a MtGox cold wallet that has been seized or is still owned by MtGox: in fact the wallet funds moved in March 2014 right after MtGox filed for bankruptcy one month earlier in February 2014; these movements dates are really similar to the 200,000 lost coins "found" by Karpeles which moved March 7th, 2014 (1dda0f8827518ce4d1d824bf7600f75ec7e199774a090a947c58a65ab63552e3), just 2 days before the movements on the wallet we are talking about here.
  3. a whale wallet since the major part of the 111,111 coins are coming from a very old deposit of 37,421 coins processed on June 21st, 2011 making this an early adopter's wallet (70d46f768b73e50440e41977eb13ab25826137a8d34486958c7d55c5931c6081)

Wizsec, a prominent Bitcoin security expert, seems to be pretty sure that the wallet belongs to a MtGox hodler and early investor, who is not a DPR or a SilkRoad user, per his Twitter post: https://twitter.com/wizsecurity/status/1037030003068653569
Finally, Wizsec and I agree that this wallet is not CSW`'s wallet despite it is mentioned in several court documents. Wizsec spent a lot of time debunking CSW's ownership claims earlier this year: https://twitter.com/wizsecurity/status/968337084837781504

What do you think about this wallet origin?
`
BTC price crash

Also, I wanted to report some events that could be related to this 1933p wallet activity:

  • $100M USDT were transferred (reported by u/whalecheetah) while the 1933f wallet owner was in the process of transferring approximately the same amount to several exchanges.
(update) Here is a link provided by u/jesquit: https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/9cj208/bitcoin_surge_expected_as_100m_tether_goes_to
  • 10,000 BTC buy order was filed last night on Bitmex with 8,030 BTC transferred from a Bitfinex user wallet while the 1933p wallet owner transferred approximately the same amount of BTC to Bitfinex since August, 24th.
(update) Here is the actual BTC transaction: https://www.blocktrail.com/BTC/tx/f2465a1225531d33696380f06034499a52d707f85ee6ae1419885980011f6e25 ,
with its Bitfinex inputs:
1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g (3,000)
1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g (2,000)
1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g (2,000)
1Kr6QSydW9bFQG1mXiPNNu6WpJGmUa9i1g (1,029.98)
and output to Bitmex:
3BMEXqGpG4FxBA1KWhRFufXfSTRgzfDBhJ (10,000).

Was this deal prepared or was the buyer a bitcoin angel?

--
In the light of September 6th price crash, do you think the $100M transferred to the exchanges caused it?

https://preview.redd.it/npazsakt1uk11.png?width=2277&format=png&auto=webp&s=1806829761fb30619b4796961b9616875f1ca602
submitted by sick_silk to btc [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Investing

Cryptocurrency Investing
This article is provided for informational purposes only. Your decision to invest in cryptocurrency cannot be made on the basis of this text.
At the time when cryptocurrencies gather pace and many new altcoins appear, it seems hard to decide which one to choose for the investment. There are some notions that can help to make a decision.
https://preview.redd.it/49vonh8kv1y31.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b6b1ec1e200632fedc1e56a7af8f4d5139852ce6
What affects the value of cryptocurrency?
The price of cryptocurrency depends on different factors. First of all, the basic economic principle of demand and supply works here. High demand for limited coins will raise their prices. The more coins are mined, the harder it is to get new ones. As a result, they become more precious.
Usefulness of coins also matters. When people understand that they can solve specific cases using cryptocurrency it may be in demand. For this reason, DASH became famous in countries which suffer difficulties with official banking system.
Mass media and historical events affect the value of cryptocurrency too. If negative publicity appears or the government puts a strict regulation against the use of coins, their price goes down. It works the opposite way too. Microsoft started accepting BTC as a payment method in 2014. They set an example for many other global companies and promoted the cryptocurrency.
Rise and fall
As it has already been mentioned, notable cases influence the market. In 2013 the Bitcoin price raised to 266$ but crashed and it costed 109$ in October. It happened because of the Silk Road arrest. This anonymous trading floor sold illegal goods and commonly used BTC for getting payments.
Cryptocurrency market has capped the climax several times in 2017. The price of BTC was growing from April and in the middle of December gained its maximum reaching 20 000 dollar mark. Meantime the price of BTC was close to 11 000$ at the beginning of September 2019 but came down to 8 000$ at the end of the month.
Coin market capitalization
Cryptocurrency capitalization is an integrated cost of all issued digital coins at the market. US Dollar usually serves as a monetary indicator. This characteristic helps to understand if cryptocurrency is attractive to invest in or not.
Two main factors affect the capitalization. One of them is a coin emission (the amount of coins in turnover) and another is a coin rate. In most cases, the emission always grows because of the mining process. The more coins have been mined the harder to get some new ones. This process affects the rate too. For example, this scheme works with BTC.
There are some cryptocurrencies (such as NXT) with initial emission. Capitalization here is directly related to the rate and market activity because the total amount of coins is unchangeable.
Who risks nothing, gains nothing?
When one tries to choose cryptocurrency for the investment, attention should be paid to its capitalization. High level of capitalization tells about better market fluctuation tolerance of the currency. It is more stable but a rapid increase in the rate can not be expected. On the other hand, assets with lower capitalization show significant swings in a short period of time.
Famous quotes
“It is not a speculative investment even though it is being used as such by other people. As Bitcoin network grows the value of Bitcoin grows. As people move into Bitcoin for payments and receipts they stop using US Dollars, Euros and Chinese Yuan which in the long-term devalues these currencies.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google “Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Interesting fact
One of the world’s most famous and successful investment in cryptocurrency was made by Norwegian student Kristoffer Koch in 2009. He got to know about bitcoins while he was writing a thesis on encryption. Kristoffer purchased 5 000 bitcoins for 150 Krones ($26.60) and forgot about them soon afterwards. “Cryptography and computer security interests me: I’m a technical guy, not an investor. So I just bought a few at that time.” – said Mr. Koch. In 2013 cryptocurrency was vividly discussed in mass media and it made the Norwegian remember about his investment. The idea of how much his coins had come to be worth struck him. 150 Krones turned into 885 000 dollars and some part of this money was used to buy a spacious apartment in a prestigious district of Oslo.
Cryptocurrency investing can be really profitable. It bring its benefits if one takes into account all moments which influence the market and stays aware of changes in this sphere.
No matter which cryptocurrency you choose to invest in, you can always exchange one coin for another using StealthEX. It is an anonymous and limitless cryptocurrency exchange with the top concern about user’s privacy.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
submitted by Stealthex_io to NewbieZone [link] [comments]

Now that we've had 4 days to digest the intel about the Silk Road, how do you think tomorrow's article will affect prices?

I'm curious as to what everyone thinks now.
submitted by PunkRockRocks to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Investing

Cryptocurrency Investing
This article is provided for informational purposes only. Your decision to invest in cryptocurrency cannot be made on the basis of this text.
At the time when cryptocurrencies gather pace and many new altcoins appear, it seems hard to decide which one to choose for the investment. There are some notions that can help to make a decision.
https://preview.redd.it/i390wllao1y31.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=edf040c91bbb928dad681c9c091733475bb00139
What affects the value of cryptocurrency?
The price of cryptocurrency depends on different factors. First of all, the basic economic principle of demand and supply works here. High demand for limited coins will raise their prices. The more coins are mined, the harder it is to get new ones. As a result, they become more precious.
Usefulness of coins also matters. When people understand that they can solve specific cases using cryptocurrency it may be in demand. For this reason, DASH became famous in countries which suffer difficulties with official banking system.
Mass media and historical events affect the value of cryptocurrency too. If negative publicity appears or the government puts a strict regulation against the use of coins, their price goes down. It works the opposite way too. Microsoft started accepting BTC as a payment method in 2014. They set an example for many other global companies and promoted the cryptocurrency.
Rise and fall
As it has already been mentioned, notable cases influence the market. In 2013 the Bitcoin price raised to 266$ but crashed and it costed 109$ in October. It happened because of the Silk Road arrest. This anonymous trading floor sold illegal goods and commonly used BTC for getting payments.
Cryptocurrency market has capped the climax several times in 2017. The price of BTC was growing from April and in the middle of December gained its maximum reaching 20 000 dollar mark. Meantime the price of BTC was close to 11 000$ at the beginning of September 2019 but came down to 8 000$ at the end of the month.
Coin market capitalization
Cryptocurrency capitalization is an integrated cost of all issued digital coins at the market. US Dollar usually serves as a monetary indicator. This characteristic helps to understand if cryptocurrency is attractive to invest in or not.
Two main factors affect the capitalization. One of them is a coin emission (the amount of coins in turnover) and another is a coin rate. In most cases, the emission always grows because of the mining process. The more coins have been mined the harder to get some new ones. This process affects the rate too. For example, this scheme works with BTC.
There are some cryptocurrencies (such as NXT) with initial emission. Capitalization here is directly related to the rate and market activity because the total amount of coins is unchangeable.
Who risks nothing, gains nothing?
When one tries to choose cryptocurrency for the investment, attention should be paid to its capitalization. High level of capitalization tells about better market fluctuation tolerance of the currency. It is more stable but a rapid increase in the rate can not be expected. On the other hand, assets with lower capitalization show significant swings in a short period of time.
Famous quotes
“It is not a speculative investment even though it is being used as such by other people. As Bitcoin network grows the value of Bitcoin grows. As people move into Bitcoin for payments and receipts they stop using US Dollars, Euros and Chinese Yuan which in the long-term devalues these currencies.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google
“Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Interesting fact
One of the world’s most famous and successful investment in cryptocurrency was made by Norwegian student Kristoffer Koch in 2009. He got to know about bitcoins while he was writing a thesis on encryption. Kristoffer purchased 5 000 bitcoins for 150 Krones ($26.60) and forgot about them soon afterwards. “Cryptography and computer security interests me: I’m a technical guy, not an investor. So I just bought a few at that time.” – said Mr. Koch. In 2013 cryptocurrency was vividly discussed in mass media and it made the Norwegian remember about his investment. The idea of how much his coins had come to be worth struck him. 150 Krones turned into 885 000 dollars and some part of this money was used to buy a spacious apartment in a prestigious district of Oslo.
Cryptocurrency investing can be really profitable. It bring its benefits if one takes into account all moments which influence the market and stays aware of changes in this sphere.
No matter which cryptocurrency you choose to invest in, you can always exchange one coin for another using StealthEX. It is an anonymous and limitless cryptocurrency exchange with the top concern about user’s privacy.
Just go to StealthEX.io and follow these easy steps:
  • Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example, BTC to ETH.
  • Press the “Start exchange” button.
  • Provide the recipient address where the coins will be transferred.
  • Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
  • Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected]
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

LEGAL marijuana may be Bitcoin's next stomping grounds

LEGAL marijuana may be Bitcoin's next stomping grounds submitted by bookhockey24 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A Guide To Buying and Selling Premium Bitcoin

Introduction
All Bitcoin are created equal, but they rarely remain that way.
With the traceability and open nature of Bitcoin's Blockchain, individual Bitcoin and satoshis can be traced back to cypherpunk giants like Hal Finney, or even Satoshi Nakamoto himself. Furthermore, newly minted, or old-minted-but-never-moved Bitcoin trade at a significant premium, compared to the Bitcoin spot price (it's been reported that there have been premiums of 15-20% for coinbase Bitcoin).
These coins are novelties. Collectables. Because they can be tracked, identified and are cryptographically verifiable.
So with that dynamic in place, there is an opportunity for a Premium Bitcoin market to form. This subreddit will attempt to form the infancy of that market for retail customers, and perhaps whales.
Instructions for Buyers on making a Post
If you wish to buy a specific kind of coin you can make a post is this subreddit starting with
  1. "[WTB]"
  2. followed by the kind of Bitcoin you wish to buy,
  3. followed by specific requirements, like the number of transactions away from the source/event/coinbase/person/exchange
  4. followed by the premium above spot price as a percentage in which you are willing to buy the novelty, collectable or even tainted Bitcoins.
  5. followed by your preferred payment method
Examples:
[WTB] 1 Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin, 1 transaction away from coinbase: 100% above spot - USDC
[WTB] 2 Bitcoin Coinbase from 2013, less then 2 transactions away from origin: 21% above spot - Bitcoin
[WTB] 0.5 Silk Road Bitcoin, any length of transactions away from origin: -10% below spot - Monero
Instructions for Sellers on making a Post
If you believe you have collectable, unique or novelty Bitcoin for sale, you can make a post in this subreddit starting with
  1. [WTS]
  2. followed by the kind of Bitcoin you wish to sell,
  3. followed by any specifics of those Bitcoin, like the number of transactions away from the event/source/coinbase/person/exchange
  4. followed by the asking premium above spot price as a percentage you wish to charge for the novelty, collectable or even tainted Bitcoins.
  5. followed by what kind of payment you accept
Examples:
[WTS] 1 Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin, 2 transactions away from coinbase, 121% above spot - Accepting Bitcoin, ETH, USDC
[WTS] 25 Bitcoin coinbase, from 2014 has not be moved, asking for 25% above spot - Accepting USDT
[WTS] 1 Hacked Bitfinex Bitcoin, 21 transactions away from source, -20% below spot - Accepting Monero
Instructions for Escrow Agents on making a Post
If you want to offer your escrow services to facilitate the buying and selling of Premium Bitcoin between two parties then you can make a post in this subreddit starting with
  1. [EA]
  2. a short description of yourself
  3. the percentage or flat rate you will charge for your services
  4. any extra features available
  5. payment methods accepted
Examples:
[EA] Experienced and Reviewed Escrow Agent here to help, flat rate of 0.01BTC - all payment methods accepted
[EA] Bitrated verfied Escrow Agent, 0.5% commission - physical opendime optional for 150$ more - Bitcoin and USDC accepted upfront
Best Practices for Buyers, Sellers and Escrow Agents
once you submit a post, a seller may try to contact you by private message, chat, or by replying to your post. Most will claim that they have what you are looking for. But you will need to verify on your own that the person you are communicating with does have the type of coins you are looking for. You can verify this by having the seller who contacts you sign a message from the address that holds the coins that satisfy your buying requirements.
It's recommended that the verification message format be something like "I am ."
Further instructions on signing messages can be found here:
http://support.vaultoro.com/knowledgebase/articles/536758-how-do-i-sign-a-message-with-my-bitcoin-wallet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4GZ4qDEanA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S88ciN9DsRk
Once the buyer has verified the coins are possessed by the seller with a signed message from the seller, the transaction can begin. Other useful tools for looking up the transaction trail of the coins being sold can be found here:
blockpath.com
blockchain3d.info
symphony.iohk.io
walletexplorer.com
a list of MTGox cold wallet coins
a list of historic bitcoin transactions
It's recommended that a trusted third party escrow agent be used to ensure that neither party scams another. It's important that the seller, buyer and escrow agent all know the details of the transaction that is to occur, including the evidence to support the Bitcoins novelty. It's important that the buyer conduct his due diligence in verifying the evidence of the coins authenticity and related history. If possible, the escrow agent should do the same.
To find a escrow agent, a buyeseller can search this subreddit for EA posts, use www.bitrated.com to search for a trusted escrow, or use a different escrow agent service that they both agree to using.
Once all parties are clear on the details of the transactions, including the EA's fee, the transaction can proceed. If the transaction is successful, please let us know in the original subreddit posting.
submitted by Fiach_Dubh to BitcoinPremium [link] [comments]

The fundamentals of bitcoin as an asset exist and they are stupider than you can imagine

tldr; tldr; Hodling is deflationary and all those wild price swings from bitcoin are changes in the fundamental value of bitcoin. Really.
tldr; Imagine there is a market where $100 worth of goods are sold every day using 100 bitcoins which cycle around. Then each bitcoin would be worth $1. Now suppose that 50 of the bitcoins were being held in anticipation of growing in value so only 50 bitcoins were cycling each day. For all the goods in the market to be sold every day each bitcoin will now be worth $2.
Introduction There has been a lot of discussion about what the fundamental value of bitcoin is. The consensus view in this subreddit is that the fundamental value is zero. I argue in this post that the fundamental value of bitcoin is whatever the price is right now, or a something close to it. This is because the fundamentals of bitcoin are stupid. Unimaginably stupid.
Bitcoin as Currency Bitcoin is a terrible currency compared to normal statist filthy fiat. Bitcoins are often permanently lost due to hacking or easily made mistakes. Transactions take considerable time to be confirmed. The price is highly volatile. But this post isn’t going into those issues in depth.
There is little evidence for mainstream Bitcoin use. A report by Morgan Stanley on the acceptance of Bitcoin from online retailers found that only 3 out of the 500 online retailers tracked accepted Bitcoin payments, a decrease from 5 in the previous year. The report concluded: “Bitcoin acceptance is virtually zero and shrinking”.
The number of transaction on darknet markets is large. On darknet markets users buy illegal products using cryptocurrencies (not just Bitcoin). Due to their illegal nature, it is impossible to know the exact value of transactions that take place on them. Between February 2011 and July 2013 the darknet market Silk Road had 1,229,465 transactions comprising 9,519,644 bitcoins in revenue. Darknet markets, along with ransomware payments are the only uses where there is evidence of a substantial number of bitcoin transactions taking place.
To work at scale darknet markets require cryptocurrency to pay for goods on sale. The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency allows transactions to take place without the buyer or the seller knowing anything about each other (although if a buyer has drugs mailed to them the seller will know who they are). If darknet markets used another form of payment then law enforcement could buy something and then track both the money going to the seller and the commission paid to the darknet market. It isn’t true as many people have claimed that nothing backs bitcoin. Bitcoin is backed by darknet markets.
There are a few kinds of people who buy bitcoin and want to spend it. They include drug buyers, those who need to pay off ransomware, money launders, fraudsters, and a few others but for simplicity’s sake I will just call them drug buyers. Likewise, there are a few types of people who sell products for bitcoin but again for simplicity’s sake I will call them drug sellers.
Non-circularity Bitcoin is a currency with a property that I call non-circularity. With Actual Money, when I buy something in a shop, the money I paid with goes towards the wages of the staff, rent and the products themselves among other expenses. This money then flows on to others. When a drug seller receives bitcoin in exchange for their drugs they can’t use the bitcoin to pay for their groceries or to pay their rent. They must exchange the bitcoin for filthy fiat to buy food. The inability to use bitcoin for further purchases means it is a non-circular currency. Bitcoin is a medium of a medium of exchange.
A full bitcoin transaction thus consists of three parts:
  1. A drug buyer goes to a bitcoin exchange to get bitcoin in exchange for filthy fiat
  2. The drug buyer goes to the DNM to exchange bitcoin for drugs from the drug seller
  3. The drug seller goes to the bitcoin exchange to get filthy fiat in exchange for bitcoin
An exchange is any place which matches buyers and sellers of bitcoin. This includes online exchanges like Coinbase as well as LocalBitcoins which matches people for face to face transactions. As nobody receives bitcoin for payment except drug dealers, the only place for drug buyers to get bitcoin is an exchange. The extreme volatility of bitcoin means that drug buyers and sellers try to complete the process as quickly as possible and avoid holding onto bitcoin.
Perfect Price Unstickiness For normal currencies prices are sticky. That means that nominal prices do not respond quickly to changing economic conditions. In contrast bitcoin has what I call perfect price unstickiness so the price of goods in bitcoin changes almost perfectly to changes in the value of bitcoin.
This is because prices for items which can be bought with bitcoin are never actually set in bitcoin, probably due to the high volatility. Instead they are set in fiat. The amount in fiat can either be listed directly, so $US50 for these drugs, or the price can be listed in the converted amount of bitcoin, 0.005BTC if 1 BTC = $US10,000. Changes in the price of bitcoin on exchanges are instantly reflected in the prices of drugs in bitcoins on darknet markets.
Hodling Another feature of bitcoin that should be considered is that people hodl bitcoin. The word comes from a typo of ‘hold’. Bitcoin is often bought on exchanges not for use as a currency to buy drugs, but as an asset in expectation of a price rise. Hodlers are the third type of user of bitcoin along with drug buyers and drug sellers. Although they don’t use it.
What’s the difference between an asset that is held and one that is hodled? This is admittedly vague, but an asset is hodled if it is being held, it can be held for long periods at low costs, it can but isn’t generating any income and there are no plans to generate income from it soon.
Cash under the mattress is being hodled, cash in my wallet that I am going to buy stuff with soon is not. Money in my bank account is generating income and so is not hodled. Bitcoin held in anticipation of price rises is being hodled. Bitcoin bought to buy drugs but which has not been used yet is not. Gold stored in a vault is being hodled, gold used for electronics purposes is not (jewellery is a harder case). A vacant block of land with no plans to develop it or use it for anything is being hodled but one that is soon going to have an apartment block built on it is not.
Commodities can be held and do not generate income until sold but it is expensive to hold most commodities for long periods of time. This prevents most commodities from being hodled.
Velocity The velocity of money is the average number of times a unit of fiat changes hands in a period. You can skip the next three paragraphs as they are a little annoying and you can get by without them. Just know that I am defining the velocity of bitcoin as what the velocity of bitcoin would be if no bitcoin was being hodled.
Due to hodling, the velocity of bitcoin under the conventional definition can vary wildly. Consider two cases. Both have 100 bitcoins, 100 transactions a day and all non-hodled bitcoins are spent each day. The first has no hodled bitcoins, the second 50 hodled bitcoins. The first has a velocity of bitcoin of 1 transaction per day, the second is 0.5 per day.
I want a definition of velocity of bitcoin that is not impacted by changes in hodling. I did consider doing this analysis through changes in velocity but the final formula is easier to understand if we find a definition of velocity of bitcoin that is independent of the level of hodling.
The definition that achieves this is (Length of Time)/(Average length of time to complete transaction). When there is no hodling the two definitions agree but the new definition is unchanged by any rise or fall in the level of hodling, which is what we need. From this point on when I refer to the velocity of bitcoin I am referring to the second definition.
The actual time to complete a bitcoin transaction seems to be over a week. In an interview one vendor claimed that it took one week for the bitcoin to be released from escrow and longer to convert it to actual money.
Intuitive argument Assume that the amount of drugs sold on darknet markets changes little from week to week. If the price of bitcoin doubles over the week then the number of bitcoins flowing through the darknet markets will halve. So where have the bitcoins gone? Drug buyers and sellers don’t have them. The only option is hodlers. In fact, it was the hodlers buying the bitcoins that caused the price to change.
Formula The conventional formula for the relationship between velocity of money (V), nominal amount of money (M), price level (P) and real economic activity (Q) is
V*M = P*Q
I am going to change that equation slightly so it now concerns the velocity of bitcoin (V), the total number of bitcoins (M), the price level of bitcoin (P), the total value in fiat of all economic transactions (Q) and the proportion of bitcoins that are hodled (h). If h*M bitcoins are being hodled then there are (1-h)*M bitcoins being used in economic transactions. The new equation is
V*(1-h)*M = P*Q
Next we isolate P:
P = V*(1-h)*M/Q
If the price level changes from 1 to 1.1 that means that there has been 10% inflation over the period and that the value of bitcoin has fallen. To find the value of a single bitcoin we have to take the reciprocal of P and that gives a formula for the true value of bitcoin:
1/P = Q/[V*(1-h)*M]
In the rest of the post when I write the price of bitcoin I mean the price bitcoin sells for on exchanges. I establish in the next section that this price must be close to the true value of bitcoin.
Equilibrium This section uses the flow of bitcoin model established earlier. We assume no activity from hodlers and that economic users do not hodl bitcoin (not true but it simplifies and does not hurt the model). Furthermore, we assume that all activity on the bitcoin exchanges happens, then all activity on the darknet markets happens. Drug sellers sell their bitcoin to drug buyers, then drug buyers use the bitcoin to buy drugs on the darknet markets. Neither the exchanges or the darknet markets charge commissions. I use specific numbers but my reasoning is easily generalizable.
To establish why the equation is true we must consider what happens if the actual price is higher or lower than the price given by the formula. First let us suppose that the price is lower than the price predicted by the formula. Over the time period of a day suppose that Q = 100 (so $100 worth of transactions a day), V = 1 (transactions take a day), M = 100 (100 bitcoins) and h = 0.5 (50 bitcoins are hodled). This gives a predicted price of $2. Suppose the price is instead $1.
Every day there are $100 worth of drugs available to be sold and buyers willing to buy $100 worth of drugs. At a price of $1 and with only 50 bitcoins available for economic use each day that means that only $50 worth of drugs can be sold. This would drop Q to 50 and immediately correct the equation.
However, there are buyers and sellers who want more drug dealing than that. Some buyers are not going to be able to get their drugs given the current price. Some of them will be willing to pay higher prices for bitcoin to guarantee they can have their drugs. Suppose that the drug sellers have 50 bitcoins (hodlers also have 50). They want to sell their 50 bitcoins to drug buyers on an exchange. Some drug buyers then bid the price of bitcoin up to $1.10 (for example). This benefits other drug buyers as now $55 worth of drug transactions can take place each day. In this way, the price will be bid up to $2, the equilibrium price.
If the price is $1 and the drug buyers have the 50 bitcoins then they will spend the bitcoins to buy $50 worth of drugs and then we are in the situation above.
Now suppose the reverse happens and the actual price is higher than the predicted price. Let the actual price be $4, with all the same example values from the previous example, so the predicted price is $2. On the exchange drug sellers have 50 bitcoins worth $200 to sell. Drug buyers want to buy $100 worth of bitcoin. At this price only 25 bitcoins are sold. To ensure they sell more of their bitcoin, drug buyers bid down the price. If the price does not immediately reach $2 then the left-over bitcoins will be held by the drug sellers until the next day when the price will be bid down again.
The drug sellers holding bitcoin for a few extra days is not the same as hodling because they are actively trying to sell them on an exchange but they haven’t because the price isn’t in equilibrium. They could instead decide to sell only 25 bitcoins and hodl the other 25. This would raise h to 0.75 and the price would be in equilibrium again.
Now suppose that the drug buyers have 50 bitcoins and the price is $4. Then $100 worth of drugs are bought with 25 bitcoins. The drug sellers will not be able to sell their bitcoin as drug buyers already have enough bitcoin to buy the next round of drugs they want. The drug buyers spend their last 25 bitcoin and drug sellers now have 50 bitcoins and the situation is as above.
In conclusion, the price of Bitcoin is fundamentally determined by speculators and brought into equilibrium by criminals.
Inflows and Outflows of Hodling The previous section treated the level of hodling as constant, except when drug buyers or sellers decide to hodl extra bitcoins that are in their possession. Now we will treat the amount of hodled bitcoins as changing. The next topic to consider is the relationship between filthy fiat spent to hodl bitcoins and the bitcoin price.
To calculate how much it costs to raise the hodl ratio from 0 to h we assume that the bitcoins are bought continuously. We integrate the function Q/[M*V*(1-t/M)] between 0 and h*M. The result is (Q/V)ln[1/(1-h)].
To double the price of bitcoin by taking h from 0 to 0.5 will cost (Q/V)ln(2). In fact, it will always cost this amount to double the price of bitcoin as we can see by finding the difference between the total value of hodled bitcoin when we consider hodling levels of h and (h+1)/2.
This means that the price of bitcoin rises exponentially when a constant amount of new money buys bitcoin to hodl. I would illustrate this with a log-scale graph but I don’t know where to find one. It also means that the market capitalisation of a cryptocurrency gives very little idea about how much the cryptocurrency is worth. It is an impossibility for all hodlers to receive the Actual Money that they think their bitcoin is worth.
Volatility People hoping to get rich and their buying and selling bitcoin is what causes bitcoin’s extreme volatility. Theoretically this could be stopped if there was a bank where hodlers could deposit their bitcoins and earn interest. However, for this to work would require the existence of a bitcoin bank which is not a Ponzi which seems like an unlikely outcome.
Hodling Gold A quick digression into gold, but I suspect someone has already thought of what follows. We can consider gold like a conventional commodity with conventional supply and demand curves (the real world for all commodities is more complicated but this is going to be quick). But people also hodl gold. If hodlers decide to buy $100 million worth of gold produced in the year, then that will change the equilibrium price. The new price is such that the difference between the quantity demanded by non-hodlers and the quantity supplied at that price multiplied by the price is 100 million.
If the overall level of hodling declines then the reverse happens. The hodlers sell an amount of gold, that amount is the difference between the amount supplied and demanded. The hodlers earn that amount multiplied by the new lower price. (I assumed people bought a fiat amount of gold and sold a volume of gold to make things easier).
Without another hodler to take on the gold or an improvement in market conditions, the hodlers are guaranteed a loss. To make a profit hodling gold you need there to be hodlers to sell it on to (or an improvement in the underlying factors). It follows that all the gold hodled in the world today cannot be sold without causing the fundamentals of gold to collapse. With 40% of the gold produced in 2017 being hodled this will eventually become a significant issue.
Full Reserve Banking Another place where we can consider the impact of hodling is full reserve banking. It is a form of banking where banks are required to have cash on hand equal to the full amount in all demand deposit accounts. The bank does not lend this money. This contrasts with the present system where banks are only required to have a certain fraction of this amount on hand, called fractional reserve banking. Money in a fractional reserve bank account is not being hodled (or is, but to a more limited degree) as it is being lent on to other people and it is generating income for the depositor.
Deposits under full reserve banking are hodling. They are like cash stuffed under a mattress but have better security. In a recession people increase their saving rates. Much of this additional saving will be in liquid assets because of fears of economic trouble. This rise in deposits under full reserve is an increase in hodled cash which then causes deflation. This is a big problem in a recession. (Somebody else has probably already made this observation).
Velocity and Value Consider the equation of bitcoin’s value again. Notice that the value increases when V decreases. Which means that the length of time to complete a transaction has increased. Bitcoin is an asset and a currency and its value as an asset increases as the length of time it takes to complete a transaction increases. This is a minor bit of stupidity which surprised me but seems obvious in retrospect as if bitcoins take longer to be processed then they must be worth more so that all transactions can happen. (This is assuming that a decrease in V does not also cause a decrease in Q which might be caused by drug buyers and sellers switching to a different cryptocurrency).
Hodler Behavior With one exception which I might make in another post I make no assumptions about hodler behaviour. I think they are buying and selling with no rational basis. But there are two rational reasons why someone would expect the price of bitcoin to rise: increased economic activity using the cryptocurrency in the darknet markets or an increased level of hodling in the future. The DNM is an actual economic activity but due to its illegality knowing anything about the amounts involved is impossible for almost everyone as is predicting their trends. Future hodling levels are also impossible to predict, unless you run a pump and dump. We can’t expect any sort of rational behavior from hodlers.
Nakamoto Scheme Preston Byrne developed the concept of a Nakamoto Scheme to describe cryptocurrencies because of how they differed from Ponzis and pyramid schemes. While bitcoin has been frequently called a Ponzi or pyramid scheme it is clearly something different. There are no “dividends” paid or any sort of organised structure. There are similarities, notably early adopters make their money at the expense of later adopters. Like in pyramid schemes hodlers try to convince new people to join in.
It is best to consider bitcoin as a type of asset which is uniquely suited for a pump and dump. When hodlers buy bitcoin, and encourage others to do the same (the pump) the fundamental price of bitcoin really is raised by these actions which helps the pump.
To add to Byrne’s work, we should put the properties of cryptocurrency assets at the centre of the scheme. A Nakamoto scheme works like this: first create a cryptocurrency and keep most of it for yourself. Then release it and try to get as many other people hodling as possible and try to get the darknet markets to adopt it (I’m looking at you Monero). This increases the fundamental value of the asset. Then dump your hodlings. Pocket the actual money. This is probably legal right now. But I’m not a law-knowing person.
For the hodler the Nakamoto scheme is like going to a party. You arrive and leave later on. If there are more people at the party when you leave compared to when you arrived then you’ve made a profit. There is also drug dealing going on at the party. The change in the level of drug dealing also impacts your profits. You have to try and get more people to come to the party and be careful of everyone else at the party who have the exact same incentives as you. It is a weird new form of scam.
Lower bound on price While the price of bitcoin can theoretically be infinitely high there is a lower bound on the price when the hodling ratio is zero. For given levels of Q, V and M the value of bitcoin can never go below Q/[V*M] (the highest possible price for bitcoin is when 1 satoshi is equal to the value of a transaction).
Some bitcoins have been permanently lost due to people losing their wallet keys or bitcoins being sent to the wrong address. If we suppose that H is the proportion of coins that have been permanently lost then the actual lower bound is Q/[V*(1-H)*M]. Note that a hodler losing their coins does not change the present fundamental value of bitcoin.
What could cause bitcoin’s price to go lower? Besides a mass hodler sell-off the obvious reason is a permanent decline in Q. What could cause this? Law enforcement have successfully shut down many darknet markets but others have replaced them quickly. What could really hurt darknet markets is increased government scrutiny of exchanges. When governments realise that bitcoin has no use beyond criminal transactions and speculation they might decide to treat every bitcoin transaction as inherently suspicious and regulate exchanges heavily. This will make bitcoin much harder to use for criminal transactions and thus greatly decrease Q and the value of bitcoin.
Previous work This post is not entirely original. Satoshi himself said that if a bitcoin user wanted to give a donation to everyone else then they should delete the keys to their wallet and increase the value of everybody else’s bitcoins. I realised that someone who hodled a bitcoin would temporarily have the same effect.
More significantly Joseph C Wang came up with a formula very similar to mine. A significant difference is that he thought increased economic activity with bitcoin would not cause an increase in bitcoin’s value but an increase in its velocity. My model has nominal prices of drugs in bitcoin falling when Q increases. Wang has prices remaining the same and the velocity of bitcoin increasing to handle the extra transactions. I developed my formula before I became aware of Wang’s work.
Further Topics This post is over 4000 words so I have not gone into depth on a few subjects like the costs of block rewards (higher than you think), shocks like darknet market shutdowns, why bitcoin can’t fall to a liquidity trap, how to value a cryptocurrency that isn’t being used for economic transactions and why it makes sense that bitcoin and bcash had a higher combined value at the time of the fork compared to bitcoin alone. If there is demand I’ll put together a second post which will cover these issues.
submitted by GBerkeley1734 to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

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The price tag for the job was $80,000 in bitcoin. Business at Silk Road cracked on as usual, but Dread Pirate Roberts would allegedly resort to assassination bounties five more times during Silk Road’s dwindling lifetime, all of which turned out to be faked. None of the targets were ever assassinated, and it is now believed that Dread Pirate Roberts was set up. Ulbricht himself was never ... The original Silk Road marketplace has been shut down for well over seven years now and to this day, 444,000 bitcoin worth $4.8 billion is still missing. Just recently, a report focused on those ... On June 9, the Bitcoin price bubble finally popped, and attention quickly turned to first this, then to further negative attention on Bitcoin’s economic properties, and finally a security crisis involving a series of unrelated events in late June, continuing in August as bitomat.pl was hacked and the first online Bitcoin wallet, MyBitcoin, disappeared with 51% of its users’ deposits. Silk ... The price of the bitcoin digital currency dropped on Wednesday, after U.S. law enforcement authorities shut down Silk Road, an online marketplace used to buy and sell illegal drugs. What’s more, the $350,000 in bitcoin that Ulbricht had traced to Curtis Green’s account had been stolen, but not by Green. Former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges had used Green’s identity to steal the money from Silk Road’s account. In addition, he had used Green’s account to steal a further $450,000 from other Silk Road accounts, which he had transferred to his own account.

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Silk Road Reduced Violence -- Bitcoin on BoingBoing -- Bitcoin for 50 Cent

'Dread Pirate Roberts' Ross Ulbricht expects the Bitcoin price to plunge to $1K before another bull run. Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the infamous Silk Road dark web marketplace, has spotted 'a ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Silk Road Gründer: BITCOIN auf 100k DOLLAR in 2020 ! VeChain Hack Ripple & SendFriend Tezos Moon VeChain Hack Ripple & SendFriend Tezos Moon Finanzielle Freiheit dank Kryptowährungen This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Queue Bitcoin Price: Now Is The Time To Buy Bitcoin Published March 24, 2017 I want take a second to tell everyone why it’s time to buy bitcoin and it’s BEEN time to buy bitcoin for a long time.

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