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Bitcoin Sets New All-Time High In These Global Currencies ...
Brazil turns to bitcoin technology to curb corruption ...
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Brazilian Crypto Startups Signed A Self-Regulatory Agreement
Brazil’s Crypto Sector Set A $100 Billion Market Capitalization Target By 2021 Crypto companies in Brazil seem to have been working side-by-side to boost the adoption of crypto assets. The new self-regulatory code seeks to legitimize the use of cryptocurrencies in Brazil, as the members of the Brazilian crypto-economy association, ABCripto, recently signed a code for self-regulation of the cryptocurrency market. The agreement was signed last week during a live broadcast, registered on a private blockchain-based platform, created by GrowthTech. The company develops accounting solutions distributed to the notary and real estate market, supported by IBM's cloud services. The main idea behind the code signing is accepting and following a series of operational practices and standards among the members of Brazil’s market. The executive director of ABCripto, Safiri Felix, pointed out that in the last three years the market for cryptocurrencies in Brazil has experienced a double-digit increase per year. Nevertheless, the crypto sector in Brazil continues to face regulatory vacuum, despite the possible approval of four cryptocurrency-related regulations. Felix also noted that the main purpose of this self-regulation is to protect consumers without hindering companies' activities. Тhe document seeks to incorporate practices that legitimize and encourage the negotiation of crypto assets but demystify the use of these currencies for illicit activities. ABCripto members would have to include basic Know-Your-Customer mechanisms in order to comply with the Brazilian crypto sector, and with the global regulatory standards. Also, crypto companies “must increase their security parameters, strengthen their legal infrastructure, and commit themselves to respect their free competence and always respecting the privacy of their users' information.” Safiri Felix added. Felix also stated that, even though he considers that the Brazilian government will issue a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency companies, this could take a long time. ABCripto’s executive director added that he has been investigating cases of self-regulation at the international level with the purpose of adjusting them to the Brazilian crypto ecosystem. The recent COVID-19 outbreak with Brazil among the top-infected countries may have been a catalyst for such self-regulatory actions. “This health phenomenon has triggered the use of financial technologies worldwide, highlighting among them those based on Bitcoin,” Felix concluded.
E-mail update from Richard - the team have been busy :) Electroneum - Tech Update, Instant Payment Patent & More Hi Everyone, I’m currently whizzing around Asia and the Middle East to meet with some important contacts that were made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This is going to be quite a long update (I’ve just read through it as I make this comment – and it’s a monster! I knew I should have written a novel) Here’s a synopsis (not in any order) for a fast update – then read the detail below, if you want to know more… Patent Pending Secured! We’ve worked on this since last year, it protects our cryptocurrency hybrid system that will allow us to provide INSTANT cryptocurrency payments as well as cryptocurrency subscription payments! It is a game changer for the entire cryptocurrency industry, when it comes to everyday use. Market sentiment (and how to change it) I’ll cover why the market has been filled with FALSE negativity and how we are going to change it (you can help too!). Tech update (51% Attack, ASICS & more) There is no hard evidence that there IS a 51% attack taking place. The evidence that is being used is not evidence of a 51% attack in this instance, it’s a timestamp bug that is causing no problems at all. ASICS are nothing to worry about – we have ASIC resistance in the next update – which will be before the ASIC chips are widely available. Blockchain flooding, we are working on this from two ends – a blockchain update AND our patent makes the blockchain flooding far less problematic. New technical team member introductions Two new blockchain based team members to introduce, who are already well in to fixing everything the market is worried about. Growth (let’s end on a positive note!) Did you know that Electroneum is ahead of Twitter, Facebook & Dropbox in speed of growth? I’ll explain why. Here are the full details if you want to dive in. Otherwise, thanks for reading this far - have a great day! Changing the market sentiment… There is an enormous amount of negative and often false information flying around the internet about Electroneum. There has been a concerted effort by a number of very credible sounding people to try and damage the Electroneum brand for their own reasons or for their own financial gain. A relatively small number of people have been spreading lies, fears and doubts at any sign of positivity. There is also an automated trading strategy that has kept placing tiny sell orders just under the market price which along with the negative narrative, has resulted in loop of negativity that seems to feed itself. I’d like everyone to know that the Electroneum project is not in any danger and whilst there are some legitimate questions such as when we will be implementing ASIC resistance (covered below), there is nothing that is going to cause us long term harm. An important thing to remember is that a group of people think it is worth spending a lot of their own money, and time, trying to discredit Electroneum and our team. We’ve always expected this because we are disruptive to the industry. There is no other cryptocurrency that is poised to reach so many users, and there is no other cryptocurrency that has solved the problem of instantaneous transactions that will allow cryptocurrencies (not jut ours!) to be spent online or in shops, restaurants, cafés etc. Currently the volume of ETN traded every day is low and the ability for someone to manipulate the price exists. As we move forwards onto the largest crypto exchanges and we start delivering on our promises, I hope to see that daily trading volumes grow to the point that that cannot be manipulated. We will change the sentiment of people who doubt the project of the coming weeks and months with both innovative technology and by becoming the first cryptocurrency to start being used in everyday transactions by millions of users. If you’d like to see market sentiment changing – don’t forget you can help! Any time you see negativity for negativity’s sake make a comment that points out some positives. I’m not asking for a giant spam army to take over the world (evil laugh) but all of YOU are Electroneum. It wouldn’t exist without you, so feel free to get involved and make positive comments about YOUR project. Electroneum. Two New Blockchain Developers to Introduce Chris Harrison, working from our UK office. Chris joined us recently and has a background in Fintech and blockchain. He brings an exceptionally high level of understanding of the mathematics behind cryptocurrencies and develops in C++ (among others!), the language that our blockchain codebase is written in. He is working closely with our existing team and our second new blockchain starter Andre. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-harrison-3a95a2a0/ Andre Patta, working from Brazil. Andre has a huge amount of experience as a corporate software engineer working with companies such as Ericsson, and has spent much of his time in recent years working on the interaction of decentralised technology with the financial sector. He has worked extensively with the blockchain technologies of Ethereum and Monero. https://br.linkedin.com/in/andre-patta-77859b56 We are very lucky to have an AWESOME Electroneum team and both of the two new developers will add their strengths and take us to new heights. Tech Update Both of the new team members are already working closely with our existing team to get a blockchain update ready for release. This will include ASIC resistance, update to the core blockchain code, an algorithm tweak to prevent empty blocks being profitable for miners and a number of bug fixes and tweaks. ASIC Resistance There seems to be a lot of misinformation circulating about ASICS. ASICS are a type of computer chip designed to do just one job, and do it well. There is a new ASIC out that enables owners of those machines to mine ETN at a much higher hashrate than GPU miners, however there are currently only very limited numbers of them, and they are not available to purchase at the moment (they are not easy to buy, we are trying to get some for testing). The next batch are due out in June. We will have our ASIC resistance in place before they become a potential problem to us. 51% attack. There are rumours that a 51% attack on ETN is happening. People have been quoting altered timestamps as evidence of this, but that is a bug that we are aware of and has been there since the first day we launched. It will be fixed but is nothing to worry about. Orphaned blocks have no fundamentally negative effect on the functionality of the blockchain. Any cryptocurrency can suffer from a 51% attack – where someone controls 51% or more of the mining power, it gives them the ability to make false entries into the ledger – however there is no HARD evidence that this is taking place. Our investigations have been unable to identify an attack, however people are starting to believe it because of the credibility of some of the article writers and the timestamp issue. Ask yourself this – if someone could manipulate a cryptocurrency and make money from that manipulation, why would they announce their ability by altering time stamps? They would not. The rumours of this attack are what is called FUD in this market (the spreading of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). Blockchain flooding. It’s true that someone is spending their own money to flood the ETN blockchain with transactions. Whilst a lot is being made of it by the same people, It’s actually been quite useful to us, as we need to understand the load requirements for true mass adoption. We have some great data from is and are working on a tweak to the blockchain code that will enable us to do something about this, including a change to the dynamic block sizing algorithm (more on this in another update) – but remember that our instant payment system that is coming and is protected in our patent (see below), makes a blockchain flooding attack completely harmless against ETN. Our systems can verify the payment and if it takes hours to hit the blockchain, the user and vendor are unconcerned (read about this in the patent section below). In short, don’t worry, all the tech is in hand. Technical glitches and problems will always happen in any company scaling as fast as we are – but we will always find them and resolve them. Instant cryptocurrency payments & crypto subscriptions - Patent Pending We are completely confident we will be the largest cryptocurrency by user numbers within a year. We are also confident that we will be the most widely USED cryptocurrency, with developments in instant EPOS (electronic point of sale – or tills as we call them in England!) and ecommerce. Our instant cryptocurrency payment technology patent is now officially “patent pending” so we can now discuss some exciting details about it. I’ve made hints about this for weeks, I really thought we’d have it submitted sooner, but it’s an exceptionally detailed patent that enables us to do some VERY exciting things! Instantaneous Cryptocurrency Payments We have a hybrid model, with a centralised app and decentralised blockchain it enables us to INSTANTLY confirm to a vendor (shop or online store) that an Electroneum user HAS the funds available in their wallet and therefore they can checkout of an ecommerce system or pay at a shop till and take the goods or service, instantly. We then (internally) ring-fence the funds to prevent them double spending (just like the blockchain does) – and move the transaction to the blockchain in good time. The vendor and the user are happy because they got to buy something in a shop or online with zero fuss, bother or delay, and the vendor trusts us to ensure the payment is on its way. Vendors are used to waiting after an instant SUCCESS or FAILURE message – as that’s what a credit card machine does. The money from a credit card sale is only deposited into the vendors bank after a couple of days or more. Some of the retailers we’ve been speaking to right back from last year, absolutely needed instantaneous payments before they would ever consider accepting cryptocurrency – which is why we’ve spent so much time and effort on this patent and the back-end technology that allows it. (not a small amount of money either!). A lot of large vendors have been waiting for this patent to be filed, as it changes the entire way a cryptocurrency can be used and takes it out from being just a relatively small technical user group, to being a genuinely useful way to make real world transactions. If the user is using the Electroneum App or web wallet system, and the vendor has an account with us, the instant payment system will be available to them. Instant payments can even happen between our users – allowing anyone to instantly transfer funds. The back – end system is not quite ready to roll out, but we’ve already been writing the code in advance of the patent going live. We will have it to MVP (minimum viable proposition) within the next couple of months (sooner if we can), which will allow vendors to get an instant notification of a payment, which they can hook in to their existing payment processing facility. We are working with integration with a couple of mobile network operators first, as we are commercially further ahead with them than anyone else. We are keen to work with any large brands as they can leverage being “first in their industry” to accept cryptocurrency and gain the benefit of free publicity. Cryptocurrency Subscription Payments So, if instant cryptocurrency payments wasn’t exciting enough, the technology and the patent covers something else that is a first in cryptocurrencies too, subscription payments in crypto! Our hybrid model ALSO allows us to prompt a user for permission and then set up a subscription to make a regular payment to a vendor! Who do we know who likes subscriptions? Well, just about everybody in business is the answer – starting with the mobile operators. Our patent covers subscriptions in cryptocurrencies and it covers subscriptions in cryptocurrencies to the value of any fiat currency, allowing a subscription to be either XX ETN per month (or week etc) or YY US Dollars worth of ETN per month. Users can control their subscriptions and permissions via a web interface (to be released). Our patent covers all cryptocurrencies and even allows us to provide instant payments or subscriptions in any OTHER cryptocurrency via our system. The patent is over 100 pages of text and flowcharts, so it’s extremely robust and covers a number of other cryptocurrency innovations too, but I think that’s enough for now! That’s right – we now have a protected patent that allows us to add bitcoin, Ethereum, monero or virtually any other cryptocurrency to our app and allow users to make instant crypto payments to any vendor who wants to have the convenience of instant check-out. This won’t be happening this year, as we want to get Electroneum (ETN) out there first into the market, but it gives us the ABILITY to provide this if the market demands it. We could therefore work with a large multinational vendor who had chosen a different cryptocurrency, but still leverage the Electroneum brand, as part of our strategy for brand dominance and growth. There’s bound to be a ton of questions and there’s bound to be a lot of people trying to claim that this can’t happen or it doesn’t exist – but I assure you that the patent is filed (patent app. Number 1805708.3) and Dentons are confident of our claims, and we are going to deliver everything we’ve said we will. This single jurisdiction patent application protects the idea we apply for global patents. It covers a number of other things too, that we’ve discovered by being the first people to ever handle this volume of cryptocurrency users in a hybrid app. Since we’ve found solutions for a lot of the problems, we’ve patented the techniques to give Electroneum the intellectual property rights, enabling us to protect the process, or even earn royalties from their use elsewhere. One of the phrases we heard last year speaking to one of the large vendors we are in discussion with was “Where is your moat?”. What they meant by this is what is to stop someone else coming along and offering the same thing. What protects the Electroneum business model (other than our massive first mover advantage)? This patent is exactly what they were after. If gives them a reason to publicly endorse us as a fintech partner, because we are following the corporate path. We are now protected. No new ICO can think “great idea” and take it, as it’s protected by global patent laws. Faster growth than Twitter & Facebook - a positive thought to finish on. In amongst some of the negativity recently I thought – “hey! There’s another thing I’d like to point out to detractors and those with only negative comments for ETN”. We are already up there with some of the greats. Think about it, we’ve already shown that we can grow faster than Twitter, Facebook and Dropbox (we hit 1m users after 5 months of being live – Twitter took 2 years, Facebook 10 months and Dropbox 7 months). Now think what we can do with a global patent that enables us to transact any cryptocurrency instantly into any shop or ecommerce system, coupled with a method to introduce new users to cryptocurrency in their millions. I hope you are as excited about the future as I am. Don’t worry about the future of Electroneum, we are building strong foundations to ensure we deliver what we’ve always promised. Cryptocurrency mass adoption. It’s coming… As always, I wish you all health, happiness and a wonderful weekend Richard Ells Electroneum Founder
Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the thirteenth monthly Bitcoin news recap. I must say it's becoming pretty hard to select just 1 or 2 stories per day, too much is going on! For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in the Bitcoin space over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in January 2018
I think it is time we provided an update on where we are as a movement. I will break this down into pieces. Additionally, I will include my own observations and suggestions:
Seasteading is progressing faster than any other direct action undertaken by this movement. Anenome5 has established a company called Ventive Floathouse. This company endeavors to establish the first seastead in Richardson Bay, off the coast of California. It will be a visa haven, appealing to those attempting to bypass America's ornery visa requirements. In the following years after this island has been established, Ventive Floathouse will attempt to build the first seastead in international waters, which will be explicitly anarcho-capitalist. They are currently $450k away from funding the first seastead in Richardson Bay. They are currently testing the design of the island and will not begin accepting funding until testing has been completed. If you or anyone you know would be interested in investing in this project, contact Anenome5 through the website link provided above. The Seasteading Institute has achieved a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Polynesian government. This Memorandum has been criticized by some within the FP government and the FP public, as seen in this article. Regardless, it appears that the project is moving forward. The plan is to create 12 artificial islands within 1 mile of the FP coastline, funded by investors and an ICO. The project is projected to be completed by 2020, however only time will tell if the Institute will meet that deadline. In other news, a corporation has officially began marketing artificial islands for the price of 300 million dollars, see here. Their target consumers are the ultra-rich. This suggests that, in the coming decades, seasteading will become an increasingly viable alternative to buying an island. Suggestions: Support Ventive Floathouse in any way you can. Be the change you want to see. This may be our best shot at establishing an anarcho-capitalist society within the next two decades.
Libertarian Party of the United States of America
In the Presidential Election of 2016, the LPUSA achieved 3.2 percent of the popular vote, a total of 4,042,291 voters. This is a significant improvement over the 2012 election, in which roughly 1 million people voted for the LPUSA. The real challenge will be repeating this success in the next election. Gary Johnson has announced that he will not be running for president in 2020. The LPUSA has announced its intention to get 2,000 candidates on the ballot for the 2018 elections. Whether or not this will occur remains to be seen. Despite achieving 3.2 percent of the popular vote, the LPUSA is still struggling to acquire permanent ballot access in all 50 states. The LPUSA currently has ballot access in a majority of states. In the aftermath of the 2016 National Convention, the LPUSA has been experiencing somewhat of an identity crisis. A fat individual in a speedo danced on stage while the event was broadcast live on CSPAN, significantly tarnishing the reputation of the party. Anarcho-capitalists were widely blamed by moderate libertarians for this incident, despite our outright condemnation of said incident. Libertarians are in the process of deciding whether the party should be radical or moderate in its message and platform. The majority of libertarians wish to see the LPUSA become more moderate, and to abandon such phrases as "Taxation is Theft". There is even a socialist caucus within the Libertarian Party. In an attempt to preserve the radical libertarian and anarcho-capitalist elements within the LPUSA, the Mises Caucus has been established. Together with the Radical Caucus, these organizations seek to promote radical libertarianism and to elect party officials and political candidates who will represent them. The Libertarian National Committee is comprised of 8 representatives from 8 regions. Region 1, based in Colorado, is represented by an anarcho-capitalist named Caryn Ann Harlos. I do not know if any of the other committee members are anarcho-capitalists. in 2014, the former chairman of the Libertarian Party Geoff Neale made history when he was appointed to establish the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties. This is the first attempt by the libertarian parties of the world to coordinate internationally. Suggestions: Libertarians should seek a moderate platform while maintaining a radical message. Efforts should be made to appeal to a majority of voters while raising the libertarian consciousness of the population to the highest degree possible. Libertarians should focus primarily on running in state and local elections in an attempt to maximize our influence on the American population.
The Free State Project
Thousands of libertarians have moved to New Hampshire in an attempt to influence the politics of the state towards a more libertarian direction. Libertarians have run as republicans and democrats and been successfully elected to office. Statist laws have been repealed and more libertarian laws have been enacted, such as protections for Bitcoin sellers. Suggestions: Libertarians should move to New Hampshire in greater numbers and run for positions in the local and state governments. Organizations should be established to carry out activism, namely:
the establishment of militias and/or non-profit law enforcement agencies. These organizations should make a habit of patrolling the streets, responding to crimes, and enforcing the law.
the establishment of mutual aid societies and/or anarchist insurance companies
participation in parades, including militia parades
initiate a Voluntary Tax Program to pay for public services, such as volunteer fire departments, libraries, and even welfare
establish organizations in which each member pays a monthly fee, and accept donations. This gives you the power to perform more activism. For example, if your organization raises a million dollars over a few years, you can pay for a small rural town’s budget for a full year, thereby garnering publicity, influence, and the support of the people
informing the public about cryptocurrencies and encouraging/bribing businesses to accept them
distribution of libertarian literature on street corners
dissemination of libertarian propaganda (road banners, signs
planting/hanging as many anarcho-capitalist flags as possible along the highways, in public parks, and on government buildings in the dead of night. (culture jamming)
And more. Which brings me to my next topic:
Libertarians, especially outside of NH, have engaged in very little activism. This is due to both a lack of organization and a lack of ideas. Meanwhile, non-libertarians have been engaging in activism that might interest radical libertarians. An example of this are the intermittent property tax protests that have swept across parts of rural America. Suggestions: Libertarians should seek to emulate the Chicago Tax Strike of 1977. Libertarian organizations should hold town hall meetings about issues that concern the public, such as high property taxes, and attempt to radicalize the public toward direct action, such as a protest or tax strike. Once direct action is underway, libertarians should seek to raise the libertarian consciousness of the disgruntled masses. For example, if people are protesting high property taxes, you can attempt to turn their attention (and anger) to the recipients of those taxes, such as the education system. Instead of being angry about just property taxes, you can make them angry at the public schools who receive it (and waste the money). In this manner, you will raise the libertarian consciousness of the protesters. We must always seek to radicalize and raise the libertarian consciousness of the American people. Which brings me to a classic example of what we are trying to achieve:
Free Brazil Movement
A few years ago, the Atlas Network and a coalition of charitable organizations provided millions of dollars in funding and a number of activist leaders to think tanks in Brazil. The provision of funding and leaders culminated in the establishment of the Free Brazil Movement, led by Kim Kataguiri. With the support of the Atlas Network and affiliated think tanks, they were able to mobilize many tens of thousands of Brazilian citizens to take to the streets and protest against the socialist government. The Free Brazil Movement organized the demonstrations of 15 March and 12 April in 2015 against the social governmental establishment of Dilma Rousseff and the Workers' Party, and was instrumental in the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. See article and video here. In the aftermath of the uprising, thousands of Brazilians have converted to libertarianism. Some of them are English speakers who frequent this subreddit's Discord Server. Suggestions: Do everything within your power to support the blossoming libertarian movement in Brazil. Learn Portuguese, translate literature to Portuguese, print flyers and posters in their language, and donate to libertarian institutions in Brazil. Libertarianism is now an international movement, and it is time we acted like one. Emulate their success in raising the libertarian consciousness of the masses, to such a degree that thousands of libertarians were born. And above all, let us work together. Americans and Brazilians, hand in hand!
Students for Liberty
SFL has evolved into a decentralized international organization, with chapters ranging from America to Brazil to Europe and Asia. Gone are the days when SFL was a small organization; it is now a massive organization with thousands of members across the world. SFL represents the spearhead of the libertarian student movement, providing a presence on college campuses and aiding in the recruitment of new libertarians. Suggestions: We must do everything in our power to build the libertarian student movement. If you are on college campus, it is in your best interest to organize with other libertarians and engage in whatever activism and propaganda dissemination you can. We must build a Student Libertarian Action Movement (SLAM) on every college campus that we can.
Free Society Foundation
Roger Ver and a group of wealthy individuals have raised 100 million dollars in an attempt to purchase sovereignty from a host nation. While the odds of this succeeding are slim, this amounts to the largest holding of capital ever accumulated by a group of anarcho-capitalists. This money could easily be spent on seasteading, activism, advertising, and more. Suggestions: Let this serve as an example for others to follow. When we pool our money together and raise capital, we can accomplish great things.
Crypto-Anarchism and Crypto-currencies
Bitcoin has come a long way in the last few years. The price has soared and it is beginning to see widespread adoption. It has also given birth to a multitude of new crypto-currencies, such as BCH, Litecoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ripple, etc. Gone are the days when bitcoin was a secret treasure of libertarians. It has now been co-opted by the average joe, for better or worse. Some libertarians argue that this transition, combined with increasing state regulations on crypto-currency, has challenged Bitcoin’s revolutionary nature. But with new currencies like Monero offering the promise of anonymity, many libertarians believe the full revolutionary potential of crypto-currencies has yet to be realized. The NSA revelations of recent years have resulted in the popularization of crypto-graphic tools, such as Signal, TOR, I2P, etc. Mass surveillance has provoked a widespread counter-surveillance movement. The Silk Road is long gone, but on the horizon is a new innovation- the Open Bazaar. Decentralized, reputation-based, and incorporating the use of 3rd party arbitration, the combination of software like Open Bazaar with anonymizing tools will facilitate the establishment of an anarcho-capitalist marketplace on the internet. In the last few years, we have seen the innovation of new ways of engaging in market activities and contractual arrangements, from smart contracts to multi-sig. With these developments destined to advance, the future of crypto-anarchism looks promising. Suggestions: Spread the word about Open Bazaar and cryptographic tools. Warn others about the NSA in the hopes that it will entice others to begin using such tools. Help to develop the latest in cryptographic tools and protocols so that we may ore effectively establish radical libertarianism on the internet.
Agorism and Crypto-Agorism
Despite a large number of libertarians claiming to be Agorists, very few libertarians abide by the founding document of Agorism, the New Libertarian Manifesto. Most libertarians do not engage in Agorist praxis beyond holding cryptocurrency and retreating to rural homesteads to live in isolation. The strategy of Agorism traditionally requires organization on the part of New Libertarians. Instead, libertarians seem to have adopted a new strategy, referred to as Crypto-Agorism. Crypto-Agorism is a merger of the strategy of Agorism with Crypto-Anarchism. In other words, it is the attempt to realize Agorism on the internet, through the use of tools such as Monero and the Open Bazaar. While Crypto-Agorism blossoms, traditional Agorism appears to be stagnating. Suggestions: Crypto-Agorism should continue to be pursued. However, libertarians must organize into chapters of the New Libertarian Alliance, participate in counter-economics (beyond the use of cryptographic tools and currencies) and build alternative institutions if we are to truly develop the counter-economy beyond the confines of the internet.
There is more than I could write about, but I will stop there. The next decade will be a turning point for the libertarian movement. Are we prepared to organize, raise capital, build alternative institutions, and ultimately construct a free society? Only time will tell.
US Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses – by Michael Hudson • 23 July 2019
https://outline.com/VM2DEM • 5,400 Words • Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries. This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. (“You didn’t get it in writing,” was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.) Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy. The international framework that originally seemed equitable was pro-U.S. from the outset. In 1945 this was seen as a natural result of the fact that the U.S. economy was the least war-damaged and held by far most of the world’s monetary gold. Still, the postwar trade and financial framework was ostensibly set up on fair and equitable international principles. Other countries were expected to recover and grow, creating diplomatic, financial and trade parity with each other. But the past decade has seen U.S. diplomacy become one-sided in turning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, SWIFT bank-clearing system and world trade into an asymmetrically exploitative system. This unilateral U.S.-centered array of institutions is coming to be widely seen not only as unfair, but as blocking the progress of other countries whose growth and prosperity is seen by U.S. foreign policy as a threat to unilateral U.S. hegemony. What began as an ostensibly international order to promote peaceful prosperity has turned increasingly into an extension of U.S. nationalism, predatory rent-extraction and a more dangerous military confrontation. Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia. We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil. This has led the United States to oppose the Paris accords to stem global warming. Its aim is to give U.S. officials the power to impose energy sanctions forcing other countries to “freeze in the dark” if they do not follow U.S. leadership. To expand its oil monopoly, America is pressuring Europe to oppose the Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia, claiming that this would make Germany and other countries dependent on Russia instead of on U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG). Likewise, American oil diplomacy has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iranian oil exports, until such time as a regime change opens up that country’s oil reserves to U.S., French, British and other allied oil majors. U.S. control of dollarized money and credit is critical to this hegemony. As Congressman Brad Sherman of Los Angeles told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 9, 2019: “An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.” The U.S. aim is to keep the dollar as the transactions currency for world trade, savings, central bank reserves and international lending. This monopoly status enables the U.S. Treasury and State Department to disrupt the financial payments system and trade for countries with which the United States is at economic or outright military war. Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly responded by describing how “the degeneration of the universalist globalization model [is] turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws… of one country.” That is the trajectory on which this deterioration of formerly open international trade and finance is now moving. It has been building up for a decade. On June 5, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited this same disruptive U.S. dynamic at work in the wake of the U.S. junk mortgage and bank fraud crisis. Those whose job it was to forecast events … were not ready for the depth of the crisis and turned out to be too rigid, unwieldy and slow in their response. The international financial organisations – and I think we need to state this up front and not try to hide it – were not up to their responsibilities, as has been said quite unambiguously at a number of major international events such as the two recent G20 summits of the world’s largest economies. Furthermore, we have had confirmation that our pre-crisis analysis of global economic trends and the global economic system were correct. The artificially maintained uni-polar system and preservation of monopolies in key global economic sectors are root causes of the crisis. One big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks – these are all factors that led to an overall drop in the quality of regulation and the economic justification of assessments made, including assessments of macroeconomic policy. As a result, there was no avoiding a global crisis. That crisis is what is now causing today’s break in global trade and payments. Warfare on many fronts, with Dollarization being the main arena Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991 did not bring the disarmament that was widely expected. U.S. leadership celebrated the Soviet demise as signaling the end of foreign opposition to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism and even as the End of History. NATO expanded to encircle Russia and sponsored “color revolutions” from Georgia to Ukraine, while carving up former Yugoslavia into small statelets. American diplomacy created a foreign legion of Wahabi fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya in support of Saudi Arabian extremism and Israeli expansionism. The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Arbenz regime. U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote “democracy,” U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an “undemocratic” attack on “free markets,” meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks. A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today’s wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States. Dollarization as the vehicle for U.S. nationalism The Dollar Standard – U.S. Treasury debt to foreigners held by the world’s central banks – has replaced the gold-exchange standard for the world’s central bank reserves to settle payments imbalances among themselves. This has enabled the United States to uniquely run balance-of-payments deficits for nearly seventy years, despite the fact that these Treasury IOUs have little visible likelihood of being repaid except under arrangements where U.S. rent-seeking and outright financial tribute from other enables it to liquidate its official foreign debt. The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold’s role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances. The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves. A case in point is the overthrow of Libya’s Omar Kaddafi after he sought to base his nation’s international reserves on gold. His liquidation stands as a military warning to other countries. Thanks to the fact that payments-surplus economies invest their dollar inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit finances its domestic budget deficit. This foreign central-bank recycling of U.S. overseas military spending into purchases of U.S. Treasury securities gives the United States a free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens. Trump is forcing other countries to create an alternative to the Dollar Standard The fact that Donald Trump’s economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like. There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome’s: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home. What is so ironic – and so self-defeating of America’s free global ride – is that Trump’s simplistic aim of lowering the dollar’s exchange rate to make U.S. exports more price-competitive. He imagines commodity trade to be the entire balance of payments, as if there were no military spending, not to mention lending and investment. To lower the dollar’s exchange rate, he is demanding that China’s central bank and those of other countries stop supporting the dollar by recycling the dollars they receive for their exports into holdings of U.S. Treasury securities. This tunnel vision leaves out of account the fact that the trade balance is not simply a matter of comparative international price levels. The United States has dissipated its supply of spare manufacturing capacity and local suppliers of parts and materials, while much of its industrial engineering and skilled manufacturing labor has retired. An immense shortfall must be filled by new capital investment, education and public infrastructure, whose charges are far above those of other economics. Trump’s infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology. The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely. The United States also has led the practice of debt pyramiding, from housing to corporate finance. This financial engineering and wealth creation by inflating debt-financed real estate and stock market bubbles has made the United States a high-cost economy that cannot compete successfully with well-managed mixed economies. Unable to recover dominance in manufacturing, the United States is concentrating on rent-extracting sectors that it hopes monopolize, headed by information technology and military production. On the industrial front, it threatens to disrupt China and other mixed economies by imposing trade and financial sanctions. The great gamble is whether these other countries will defend themselves by joining in alliances enabling them to bypass the U.S. economy. American strategists imagine their country to be the world’s essential economy, without whose market other countries must suffer depression. The Trump Administration thinks that There Is No Alternative (TINA) for other countries except for their own financial systems to rely on U.S. dollar credit. To protect themselves from U.S. sanctions, countries would have to avoid using the dollar, and hence U.S. banks. This would require creation of a non-dollarized financial system for use among themselves, including their own alternative to the SWIFT bank clearing system. Table 1 lists some possible related defenses against U.S. nationalistic diplomacy. As noted above, what also is ironic in President Trump’s accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency’s dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard. The main way that foreign economies have stabilized their exchange rate since 1971 has indeed been to recycle their dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities. Letting their currency’s value rise would threaten their export competitiveness against their rivals, although not necessarily benefit the United States. Ending this practice leaves countries with the main way to protect their currencies from rising against the dollar is to reduce dollar inflows by blocking U.S. lending to domestic borrowers. They may levy floating tariffs proportioned to the dollar’s declining value. The U.S. has a long history since the 1920s of raising its tariffs against currencies that are depreciating: the American Selling Price (ASP) system. Other countries can impose their own floating tariffs against U.S. goods. Trade dependency as an aim of the World Bank, IMF and US AID The world today faces a problem much like what it faced on the eve of World War II. Like Germany then, the United States now poses the main threat of war, and equally destructive neoliberal economic regimes imposing austerity, economic shrinkage and depopulation. U.S. diplomats are threatening to destroy regimes and entire economies that seek to remain independent of this system, by trade and financial sanctions backed by direct military force. Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. “front” institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it “win.” U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors. The financing is mainly in dollars, providing risk-free bonds to U.S. and other financial institutions. The resulting commercial and financial “interdependency” has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as “promoting growth and development.” U.S. neoliberal policy via the IMF imposes austerity and opposes debt writedowns. Its economic model pretends that debtor countries can pay any volume of dollar debt simply by reducing wages to squeeze more income out of the labor force to pay foreign creditors. This ignores the fact that solving the domestic “budget problem” by taxing local revenue still faces the “transfer problem” of converting it into dollars or other hard currencies in which most international debt is denominated. The result is that the IMF’s “stabilization” programs actually destabilize and impoverish countries forced into following its advice. IMF loans support pro-U.S. regimes such as Ukraine, and subsidize capital flight by supporting local currencies long enough to enable U.S. client oligarchies to flee their currencies at a pre-devaluation exchange rate for the dollar. When the local currency finally is allowed to collapse, debtor countries are advised to impose anti-labor austerity. This globalizes the class war of capital against labor while keeping debtor countries on a short U.S. financial leash. U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors. chart hudson There are alternatives, on many fronts Militarily, today’s leading alternative to NATO expansionism is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Europe following France’s example under Charles de Gaulle and withdrawing. After all, there is no real threat of military invasion today in Europe. No nation can occupy another without an enormous military draft and such heavy personnel losses that domestic protests would unseat the government waging such a war. The U.S. anti-war movement in the 1960s signaled the end of the military draft, not only in the United States but in nearly all democratic countries. (Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and North Korea are exceptions.) The enormous spending on armaments for a kind of war unlikely to be fought is not really military, but simply to provide profits to the military industrial complex. The arms are not really to be used. They are simply to be bought, and ultimately scrapped. The danger, of course, is that these not-for-use arms actually might be used, if only to create a need for new profitable production. Likewise, foreign holdings of dollars are not really to be spent on purchases of U.S. exports or investments. They are like fine-wine collectibles, for saving rather than for drinking. The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT. Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control. In the World Trade Organization, the United States has tried to claim that any industry receiving public infrastructure or credit subsidy deserves tariff retaliation in order to force privatization. In response to WTO rulings that U.S. tariffs are illegally imposed, the United States “has blocked all new appointments to the seven-member appellate body in protest, leaving it in danger of collapse because it may not have enough judges to allow it to hear new cases.” In the U.S. view, only privatized trade financed by private rather than public banks is “fair” trade. An alternative to the WTO (or removal of its veto privilege given to the U.S. bloc) is needed to cope with U.S. neoliberal ideology and, most recently, the U.S. travesty claiming “national security” exemption to free-trade treaties, impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and on European countries that circumvent sanctions on Iran or threaten to buy oil from Russia via the Nordstream II pipeline instead of high-cost liquified “freedom gas” from the United States. In the realm of development lending, China’s bank along with its Belt and Road initiative is an incipient alternative to the World Bank, whose main role has been to promote foreign dependency on U.S. suppliers. The IMF for its part now functions as an extension of the U.S. Department of Defense to subsidize client regimes such as Ukraine while financially isolating countries not subservient to U.S. diplomacy. To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system. The United States refuses to join the International Criminal Court. To be effective, it needs enforcement power for its judgments and penalties, capped by the ability to bring charges of war crimes in the tradition of the Nuremberg tribunal. U.S. to such a court, combined with its military buildup now threatening World War III, suggests a new alignment of countries akin to the Non-Aligned Nations movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Non-aligned in this case means freedom from U.S. diplomatic control or threats. Such institutions require a more realistic economic theory and philosophy of operations to replace the neoliberal logic for anti-government privatization, anti-labor austerity, and opposition to domestic budget deficits and debt writedowns. Today’s neoliberal doctrine counts financial late fees and rising housing prices as adding to “real output” (GDP), but deems public investment as deadweight spending, not a contribution to output. The aim of such logic is to convince governments to pay their foreign creditors by selling off their public infrastructure and other assets in the public domain. Just as the “capacity to pay” principle was the foundation stone of the Bank for International Settlements in 1931, a similar basis is needed to measure today’s ability to pay debts and hence to write down bad loans that have been made without a corresponding ability of debtors to pay. Without such an institution and body of analysis, the IMF’s neoliberal principle of imposing economic depression and falling living standards to pay U.S. and other foreign creditors will impose global poverty. The above proposals provide an alternative to the U.S. “exceptionalist” refusal to join any international organization that has a say over its affairs. Other countries must be willing to turn the tables and isolate U.S. banks, U.S. exporters, and to avoid using U.S. dollars and routing payments via U.S. banks. To protect their ability to create a countervailing power requires an international court and its sponsoring organization. Summary The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism. Their danger to world peace and prosperity threatens a reversion to the pre-World War II colonialism, ruling by client elites along lines similar to the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today’s ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s. Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected. The U.S. military poses the greatest immediate danger. Today’s warfare is fundamentally changed from what it used to be. Prior to the 1970s, nations conquering others had to invade and occupy them with armies recruited by a military draft. But no democracy in today’s world can revive such a draft without triggering widespread refusal to fight, voting the government out of power. The only way the United States – or other countries – can fight other nations is to bomb them. And as noted above, economic sanctions have as destructive an effect on civilian populations in countries deemed to be U.S. adversaries as overt warfare. The United States can sponsor political coups (as in Honduras and Pinochet’s Chile), but cannot occupy. It is unwilling to rebuild, to say nothing of taking responsibility for the waves of refugees that our bombing and sanctions are causing from Latin America to the Near East. U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival. The American promise is that the victory of neoliberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world. But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neofeudalism. The reality is the creation and subsidy of polarized economies bifurcated between a privileged rentier class and its clients, their debtors and renters. America is to be permitted to monopolize trade in oil and food grains, and high-technology rent-yielding monopolies, living off its dependent customers. Unlike medieval serfdom, people subject to this End of History scenario can choose to live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they must take on a lifetime of debt to obtain access to a home of their own, and rely on U.S.-sponsored control of their basic needs, money and credit by adhering to U.S. financial planning of their economies. This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg’s recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today’s world is between socialism and barbarism. Keynote Paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019. Notes  Billy Bambrough, “Bitcoin Threatens To ‘Take Power’ From The U.S. Federal Reserve,” Forbes, May 15, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/05/15/a-u-s-congressman-is-so-scared-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-he-wants-it-banned/#36b2700b6405.  Vladimir Putin, keynote address to the Economic Forum, June 5-6 2019. Putin went on to warn of “a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown.” This fragmenting of the global economic space “is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.”  Address to St Petersburg International Economic Forum’s Plenary Session, St Petersburg, Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2009, from Johnson’s Russia List, June 8, 2009, #8,  https://www.rt.com/business/464013-china-russia-cryptocurrency-dollar-dethrone/ . Already in the late 1950s the Forgash Plan proposed a World Bank for Economic Acceleration. Designed by Terence McCarthy and sponsored by Florida Senator Morris Forgash, the bank would have been a more truly development-oriented institution to guide foreign development to create balanced economies self-sufficient in food and other essentials. The proposal was opposed by U.S. interests on the ground that countries pursuing land reform tended to be anti-American. More to the point, they would have avoided trade and financial dependency on U.S. suppliers and banks, and hence on U.S. trade and financial sanctions to prevent them from following policies at odds with U.S. diplomatic demands.  Don Weinland, “WTO rules against US in tariff dispute with China,” Financial Times, July 17, 2019. https://xenagoguevicene.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses-by-michael-hudson-%e2%80%a2-23-july-2019/
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
“Bitcoin is a virtual currency,” he triumphantly declared. What is it with politicians and this narrative? They don’t fully understand Bitcoin. But still fear that it can undermine the state monopoly over money. For various reasons, we have seen the U.S., India (allegedly), and now Brazil spin this rhetoric of Bitcoin as a force for evil. The bitcoin currency unit is also commonly given the informal currency code BTC. The Bitcoin sign is part of Unicode 10.0 (released June 2017) with code point U+20BF (₿). As of June 2017, font support for the Bitcoin sign is in macOS Sierra, iOS, Android O beta, Windows 10 Creators Update and several Linux releases. Bitcoin currency applique embroidery design, Bitcoin currency Sign embroidery machine,logo embroidery pattern No 636 ... 3 sizes Noorstitches. From shop Noorstitches. 5 out of 5 stars (515) 515 reviews. Sale Price ... Brazil has been toying with the idea of a central bank-backed digital currency for only a couple of months. But now the president of Banco Central (the country’s central bank) has revealed that the country could be ready for a digital currency in just two years. Brazil’s CBDC Could Be Deployed By 2022 Bitcoin’s original inventor is known under a pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. As of 2020, the true identity of the person — or organization — that is behind the alias remains unknown. On October 31, 2008, Nakamoto published Bitcoin’s whitepaper, which described in detail how a peer-to-peer, online currency could be implemented.
Cryptocurrency is a Failure as a Currency Says Brazil's ...
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