In a wide-ranging interview at his son’s lacrosse practice, an area man discussed things he has no idea about, like bitcoin.
“I have no idea what bitcoin is or why people talk about it,” he said. “I’m a 50- year old man and it’s just something I don’t even care to learn about. I also don’t know what cryptocurrency is. I think it’s some kind of money, but I don’t know how it works and I’m afraid to ask someone.”
He also said he doesn’t know who Meek Mill is or why people like Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, are concerned with him.
“There’s been a lot said and written about Meek Mill. I’m sure Kraft and everyone else involved has a very good reason to be concerned about Meek Mill, I just don’t know why and it’s not information I’m planning to seek out,” the man added.
The man said he only has so much room in his brain for information, so he is selective about what he lets in, because that means he must let something else out.
“If you were to put me on a psychiatrists’ couch, you’d probably wonder why I have held on to trivial information all these years about things like sitcoms. I know way too much about TV shows from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, even obscure ones like Carter Country, Working Stiffs, and Amen. I should cycle this information out and make room for other stuff, but I probably won’t because it gives me comfort,” he explained.
He added that he doesn’t know the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist.
“I know they mean sort of the same thing, but I don’t know the difference and I won’t find out. I’ll probably just keep referencing them in the wrong way until someone points it out to me,” he continued.
He also admitted to not knowing what fibromyalgia is.
“I love saying fibromyalgia, it’s a cool sounding word, but I don’t know what it means. I gather it’s some sort of disease, but that’s as far as I’m prepared to know about it – unless I get the disease,” he said, chuckling.
THE great Sir Isaac Newton may have revolutionised our knowledge of the world but he still had his blind spots. He was sucked into the great mania of his day, the South Sea Bubble (pictured) and lost a lot of money. “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people,” he ruefully reflected. In retrospect, he should have pondered the popular saying that was used to define his law of gravity: “What goes up, must come down.”
Investors in Bitcoin are learning this old truth. The price of the cryptocurrency peaked last month at somewhere over $ 19,000 (there is a very wide spread, a problem in itself) but, at the time of writing (around 11am GMT), some exchanges now show a price below $ 10,000.
Perhaps the best way of understanding Bitcoin is through a model of how bubbles operate. The classic model, developed by Hyman Minsky and elaborated by Charles Kindleberger, a historian who studied bubbles, has five…Continue reading
IT STARTED as a joke. Dogecoin was launched in 2013 as a bitcoin parody, using as its mascot a Japanese shiba inu dog, a popular internet meme. The crypto-currency was never really used, except for tipping online, and one of its founders has called it quits. But recently its price has soared: on January 7th the dollar value of all Dogecoins in circulation reached $ 2bn, a sign of how crazy crypto-currency markets have become. It is also a reminder that, for all the focus on bitcoin, it is no longer the only game in town. Its market capitalisation now amounts to only about one-third of the crypto-market (see chart).
A new crypto-currency is born almost daily, often through an “initial coin offering” (ICO), a form of online crowdfunding. CoinMarketCap, a website, lists about 1,400 digital coins or tokens, including UFO Coin, PutinCoin, Sexcoin and InsaneCoin (worth $ 7m). Most are no more than curiosities, but by January 10th, around 40 had a market capitalisation of more than…Continue reading
The world may never know the true identity (or identities) of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, but the idea of cryptocurrency has actually been popular among crypto-anarchists and privacy experts for decades.
In fact, Timothy May, a senior scientist involved in the early years at the Intel corporation predicted the rise of cryptocurrencies in his 1994 manifesto “The Cyphernomicon.” In the book, May prophesized about “sophisticated financial alternatives to the dollar, various instruments, futures, forward contracts, etc.”
In chapter 16, May speaks of “Using software agents for money laundering and other illegal acts,” and goes on to say that:
These agents act as semi-autonomous programs that are a few steps beyond simple algorithms. Real use could be as “digital cutouts”: transferring wealth to other agents (also controlled from afar, like marionettes.) [The] advantage is that they can be programmed to perform operations that are perhaps illegal, but without traceability….The rise of AMIX-style information markets and Sterling-style “data havens” will provide new avenues for money laundering and asset-hiding. Information is intrinsically hard to value, hard to put a price tag on (it varies according to the needs of the buyers) meaning that transnational flows of information cannot be accurately valued (assigned a cash value.)
In the following section, “Private Currencies, Denationalization of Money,” May writes that “Lysander Spooner advocated these private currencies and ‘denationalization of money’ … Alternatives to normal currency already exist, coupons, frequent flier coupons, telephone cards and coupons (widely used in Asia and parts of Europe.) Ironically, U.S. had mostly opted for credit cards, which are fully traceable and offer minimal privacy, while other nations have embraced the anonymity of their kind of cards.”
Earlier this year, May gave a presentation at the hacker house Paralelní Polis in Prague where he recalled seeing Satoshi’s now-famous white paper appear on one of his mailing lists.
“In the mid-2000s, around 2006-2007, a lot of people began revisiting digital currency. In 2008-2009 through the ‘cryptography mailing list’, the successor to the ‘cypherpunk’s mailing list,’ a person going by the name of Satoshi issued a white paper proposing a system which solved the Byzantine consensus problem in a novel way using Proof-of-Work,” May said.
His full presentation can be seen below:
In the past year, cryptocurrencies have rushed to all new highs in value, and have now reached a market capitalization higher than Bank of America. As of market close at the end of last month, Bank of America had a $ 277.35 billion market cap, while the market cap for cryptocurrencies at that time was roughly $ 285 billion.
Activists have had mixed feelings on cryptocurrencies over the years, but as more people learn about the intricacies involved, many are seeing the blockchain as a new battleground where war can be waged against central banks. Former Texas Congressman and Liberty advocate, Ron Paul, has recently been coming around to support cryptocurrency—even going so far as to tell CNN that Bitcoin could destroy the dollar, a day that he welcomes.
“There will be alternatives to the dollar, and this might be one of them,”Paul said, noting he believes that if more people begin using Bitcoin, “it’ll go down in history as the destroyer of the dollar.”
“As a firm believer in currency competition, I’m excited to see the options what bitcoin opens up,” he added.
Over the weekend, WikiLeak’s Julian Assange took to social media to give his “deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, Paypal… et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010.”
In April 2010, WikiLeaks released footage from a Baghdad airstrike in July 2010 in which revealed Iraqi journalists and others being brutally slaughtered by American forces in what became know as Collateral Murder. Additionally, 2010 releases by WikiLeaks also included the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs.
Following the release of the explosive secret government documents related to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – which revealed the wars in all their barbarity — Sen. John McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, both known war party/deep state commodities, led a bipartisan effort to cut the flow of donations to WikiLeaks by forcing ‘traditional’ payment systems to block them and disallow donations to the transparency activist government watchdog group.
Subsequently, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks became early adopters of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, as a means of bypassing the US government’s financial blockade meant to shut down all avenues of public donations to WikiLeaks.
My deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, Payal, AmEx, Mooneybookers, et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010. It caused us to invest in Bitcoin — with > 50000% return. pic.twitter.com/9i8D69yxLC
With the value of Bitcoin hitting $ 5,746.51, Assange took the opportunity to thank the villainous forces in their failed attempt to financially strangle WikiLeaks out of existence, as it precipitated the group’s initial 2010 investment into Bitcoin, and a whopping 50,000 percent return on investment, according to his tweet.
The Wikileaks founder posted his comment on Twitter, after a stunning week of price jumps in the cryptocurrency’s value. The tweet was accompanied by a chart of the value of Bitcoin.
It’s clear that Assange understands the value of having a peer-to-peer based system that bypasses governmental control and regulation, and allows for maximum individual control over one’s own financial instruments – with minimal outside interference or costs.
Assange has been living as a political refugee in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012.
It seems clear that the advent of blockchain distributed ledger technology, and the ability of the technology to remove the “gatekeepers” of industry and revolutionize numerous systems – from money transactions, to contracts, voting and more – is not lost on Assange as in many ways he leads a parallel fight in regards to freeing information from the clutches of societal gatekeepers.
Ironically, the US government forced WikiLeaks into Bitcoin investing as a means of circumventing the financial blockade they attempted to enforce on the whistleblowing group, only to have them reap a windfall due to the dramatic rise in the demand for the leading cryptocurrency.
Interestingly, Russia’s development bank, VEB, and several Russian state ministries are reportedly teaming up to develop blockchain technology. Russia plans to create a fully encrypted, distributed, inexpensive payments system that has no dependence upon Western banking institutions, SWIFT, or the U.S. government to move money across the world.
Minister of Communications, Nikolay Nikiforov, confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ during a closed-door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources.
Aside from utilizing the blockchain technology, the system is in no way connected to Bitcoin, which is just another digital token. The blockchain technology (now often referred to as distributed ledger technology, or DLT) is a platform that can facilitate a wide variety of transfers — potentially including the new Russian-state cryptocurrency backed by gold.
According to a report by the Bitcoin-focused website CoinTelegraph:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ at a closed door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources. The news broke through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov.
According to the official, the state issued cryptocurrency cannot be mined and will be issued and controlled and maintained only by the authorities.
The CryptoRubles can be exchanged for regular Rubles at any time, though if the holder is unable to explain where the CryptoRubles came from, a 13 percent tax will be levied. The same tax will be applied to any earned difference between the price of the purchase of the token and the price of the sale.
“I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will,” Nikiforov said.