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The Reasonable Network

June 17, 2018 |

The Reasonable Network

This article is my advice on how reasonable people can have a public discussion that is strong enough to avoid being derailed by trolls, no matter who they are. I believe the key is the conviction that if there were such a thing as a reasonable public discussion, everyone else would depend on the conclusions that it arrived at. Thus, everyone taking part in the discussion will tend to prefer to follow the rules over anything that might serve a conflicting interest.

Also read: Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

If you are someone who prefers the Reasonable Network, then you are looking for people who also prefer the Reasonable Network. You must look at what they prefer and see that they prefer to be reasonable. You don’t need to bug him or manipulate him. You just have to let him show you that he prefers reason.

I am not going to define precisely what I think reasonableness is because I would want people to develop their reasonableness test based on everything they know rather than just what is in this article. However, I will say that I think that a person’s ability to repeat an intellectual position to his discussion partner is a test that is so easy to administer and evaluate, and simultaneously such a good indicator that I recommend it as the first step in any evaluation of another person’s reasonableness.

You, of course, don’t want to waste people’s time, especially your own, so I think you should be able to find the best one-sentence version of your position and look for people who appear to be capable of reporting your position back to you. He does not have to get everything right, but you should believe that he is interested in getting it right. I think it is good to let a person talk for a bit after you give them your test and see if they say anything on their own that shows that they have understood basic things about it. If they do not do this, I think that there is nothing wrong with asking them to repeat your position back to you, just to make sure they got it. Someone who is good at discussions may do this without being prompted because he knows he can’t possibly have a reasonable discussion without understanding the basics of the other person’s position.

The Reasonable Network
“He does not have to get everything right, but you should believe that he is interested in getting it right.”

No matter who you are and what you think, it is relatively easy to see whether someone can correctly repeat back what someone else said, if such an event were recorded publically. Furthermore, I think it is hard to argue that there is anything unfair about my reasonableness test and it is easy for you to argue publicly that someone has passed it. Remember, we are talking about a public discussion, so everything that is said should be something that can potentially have a lot of attention drawn on it. You want to be able to behave according to rules that you can defend later, in case anything that you do attracts attention. I believe that my reasonableness test is something that people with many divergent viewpoints could agree on, if they all wanted to have a reasonable discussion.

It is easy to show that someone has passed the test, but there are many reasons that someone might fail it. I would say that it is hard to show that someone has genuinely failed the test, or in other words, shown that they are uninterested in a reasonable discussion or unable to have one. Someone who does not pass the test is not necessarily someone who does not want a reasonable discussion. I think it is important to differentiate between people who cannot pass the test and people who simply have not. People can have many reasons to choose not to pass your reasonableness test. You must pass their reasonableness test at the same time as they are passing yours, so if you won’t say anything that demonstrates a grasp of whatever they have said to you, they might not bother to say anything. I think the reasonableness test should be based on what people have actually said in the current conversation and they should not expect one another to be familiar with who they are or their prior work as part of the reasonableness test. This ensures that both people are engaging with one another regardless of who they are.

On the other hand, someone who makes the same mistake several times in a row and who does not correct his version of your position after you have given him feedback about his response is someone who doesn’t want a reasonable discussion. If he failed because he is stupid, then you don’t need to talk to him anymore. If he failed because he is a troll, then you might see some variety and inventiveness in his failures. In that case, he is testing you to see how easily you can tell that he is a troll. I think it is ok, if you feel like it, to engage with trolls who have a sense of humor, but they should be doing at least something that you find entertaining, and if not, you should not let yourself respond to any of their lures.

The Reasonable Network
“It may be necessary to prove that you are a troll before you can begin to assess another person’s reasonableness.”

A troll who is failing your test in a way that is a very obvious joke is telling you that there is something wrong with your reasonableness test. For example, let’s say that some ideology or religion has taken over your brain to the degree that you have forgotten how to evaluate other people for reasonableness, then a joke may be a way of drawing your attention to some way that you are excluding thinking people from your network. For example, perhaps your reasonableness test is too big. I think that you should not expect people to have to repeat more than a one-sentence version of your position, and if you are in an ideology or religion, it is often impossible to explain your position in one sentence.

On the other hand, in the event of an environment in which there is a lot of thought-control, in other words, there is social punishment for expressing certain ideas, then it may be necessary to prove that you are a troll before you can begin to assess another person’s reasonableness. You want to be talking to someone first who is able to play with social conventions and who is creative with the way that he expresses forbidden thoughts as jokes or in terms that are cryptic so that few will notice.

Someone who deliberately fails your test in a way that is not an obvious joke is a suspicious person.

There is a bootstrapping problem with the reasonableness network because you cannot reliably pick out reasonable people from a crowd. In a good network where people were genuinely reasonable, you would expect the most prominent people to be reasonable. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on this. I believe it is necessary to be able to pick out reasonable people from a crowd, independent of whether they are prominent.

In public, anyone can transmit anything and there can be very loud signals that do not contain a high originality. You must have something that filters people based on what you can see about them publicly, even if it is not a direct test of reasonableness. You, conversely, should want to be someone who is easily identified as someone who wants to have a reasonable discussion. So you need to transmit a signal that will attract reasonable people to you.

Since reasonable people cannot depend on having any shared ideas that will always stand out in a crowd, I think the best signal of reasonableness is the ability to stand out itself. You should be someone who can stand out in any crowd, not just the one you’re in. In other words, just be some kind of individual. In an environment in which there is a lot of ‘group-think’ and in which individuality is punished, it is easy to design a signal that goes against the crowd. You may have to endure some social punishment to transmit it, but you can try to come up with something that goes over most people’s heads. I think that you just need to believe that having a reasonable discussion is more important than the disapproval of people who don’t want one. I think it is ok if you just want to play some goofy character and you don’t show yourself directly. You just have to be an individual.

I would argue that the ability to go against the crowd is the purest signal of intelligence because it involves identifying a class of behaviors and abstracting something about it. If you are looking at a crowd that’s very unfamiliar to you, then someone who is going against the crowd is the signal that an intelligent person could make which would most easily stand out to you. If you are looking at a crowd and it appears that there are many individuals and you can’t tell who the best contrarian is, then that is a sign that you are looking at a crowd of intelligent people who are able to have a reasonable discussion. If a crowd appears to be many people moving together, then a contrarian among them should be easy to identify.

The Reasonable Network
“If you are looking at a crowd that’s very unfamiliar to you, then someone who is going against the crowd is the signal that an intelligent person could make which would most easily stand out to you.”

A connection in the reasonable network is valuable because once it exists, it is not easy to replace. Thus, you must be someone who can identify signals of reasonableness and maintain good relationships with such signals, no matter where you see them. The only thing that keeps you in the reasonable network is your ability to be reasonable. You have to learn to prefer rational discussions to feeling like you have won the argument or to feeling like you want to be a celebrity, or from whatever other motivation you might have for engaging in the discussion.

In the reasonable network, there is nothing wrong with the existence of celebrities or with wanting to be a celebrity or any kind of important person that you want. It is necessary to withhold judgment somewhat about celebrities whom you have not interacted with. If you do talk to any, you need to get your own sense of how reasonable they really are. The best way to become a celebrity in the reasonable network is to show people that you prefer reasonableness over being personally important.

I think that someone who were to think about the problem that I have attempted to solve here would come up with a roughly similar solution. Therefore, I think that the reasonable network exists already. In fact, it exists everywhere, throughout all ages in history. You just have to find it.

Steps for finding the reasonable network:

  • Express individuality (may require trolling)
  • Prefer other people who are expressing individuality when you open discussions.
  • Prefer what you learn from other people you know who have passed your reasonableness test to what you learn from anyone who transmits information without interacting with you.  
  • People you have not met but who appear to be able to pass the reasonableness test publicly should be preferred as sources of information over those who do not.

What do you think about having a public conversation strong enough to derail trolls? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay.


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The post The Reasonable Network appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

June 17, 2018 |

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

The cybercrime combating unit of the Ukrainian police has uncovered a network of fraudulent crypto trading websites. Four people are suspected of offering the fake online exchange services. They have maintained at least six platforms luring cryptocurrency traders with deceptive messages.

Also read: Survey: 13% of Net-Savvy Ukrainians Own Cryptocurrencies

Police on the Lookout for More Fake Exchangers

Officers from Ukraine’s Cyberpolice have exposed an organized group of scammers who created a network of fake online exchangers offering conversion of cryptocurrencies. According to a press release issued by the National Police, a number of sites have been used to deceive and defraud unsuspecting citizens who wanted to trade their cryptos.

“The criminal group consisted of four people […] possessing specialized knowledge and skills in programming,” the NPU’s press service said. They had set up their own CMS-system to manage the websites’ content. The platforms imitated the activities of legitimate online cryptocurrency exchangers, supporting multicurrency conversion, and even displayed fictitious positive ratings and reviews.

The victims were invited to transfer their money to digital wallets registered with forged identification documents under false names of foreign citizens. After receiving some funds through a particular platform, the scammers would close it and open a new one, law enforcement officials explained.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

So far, Ukrainian police have found at least six fake websites: moneycraft.info, swapex.net, myexchanger.lv, iconvex.net, likechange.biz, and wowex.online, Financial Club reports. Most have been taken down already, with one now redirecting to sites with pornographic content. Investigators believe there are more undiscovered websites and have asked the public to report suspicious platforms to rv@cybercrime.gov.ua.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Three of the suspects, aged between 20 and 26 years, have been implicated directly in the six established fraud schemes. They are all residents of the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The police have opened criminal proceedings against them under Section 3 of Article 190 (Fraud) of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.

Officers have already conducted authorized searches at the addresses of the suspects. They have seized computer equipment, including flash drives, as well as bank cards and mobile phones that were used by the scammers. The Cyberpolice unit is currently studying the identified websites to determine the size of the fraud.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Ukraine’s Booming Crypto Trade

In the last couple of years, Ukraine has been experiencing a growing interest in cryptocurrencies with a rising trend in crypto trading volume. According to the latest reports, the estimated daily crypto-hryvnia turnover on the three major Ukrainian exchanges, Exmo, Kuna and BTC Trade UA, reaches $ 1.9 – $ 2 million USD (~$ 700 million, yearly). The total is likely to be even higher, as at least eighteen other trading platforms and more than 4,000 individual traders are believed to provide exchange services, both online and offline.

A recently conducted survey found that 72 percent of Internet-savvy Ukrainians know what cryptocurrency is and another 23 percent have heard about it. At least 13 percent of those using the world wide web possess digital coins, the poll confirmed. A number of Ukrainian officials have declared owning digital assets on their tax returns.

According to a new report titled “Green Book: Cryptocurrency Market Regulation”, Ukraine is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of number of cryptocurrency users, while local companies have created 25 new digital coins, raising $ 132 million in less than two years.

Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice

Cryptocurrencies, however, and the fintech industry as a whole, remain largely unregulated. Three draft laws have been introduced in the Rada since October, with no real progress so far. These are the bill “On the Circulation of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine”, the law “On Stimulating the Market of Cryptocurrencies and Their Derivatives”, and a supplementary draft amending the tax code to cover crypto incomes and profits.

Multiple government officials and institutions have insisted on adopting proper crypto regulations, and Ukraine’s Cyberpolice is one of them. In January, the cybercrime combating department shared its concerns about cryptocurrencies and called on the government to either ban them or legalize them “as soon as possible.”

Do you think regulations can effectively ban fraudulent platforms and support legitimate exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Club, National Police of Ukraine.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

The post Six Fake Crypto Exchange Sites Busted by Ukraine’s Cyberpolice appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?

June 17, 2018 |

This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?

This week we reported about a suggested solution to 51% attacks, a hacked exchange that was blamed for tanking the market and a cannabis-themed cryptocurrency bringing peace to the world. We also learned, in this week’s most commented-on article, who really controls Bitcoin and why it won’t become a global currency, according to the CEO of Ripple.

Also Read: Get Them While You Can Gamers, Graphics Cards Prices Have Crashed

Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto Markets

The big news on Monday was another hacked South Korean crypto exchange. While the figures stolen were much smaller than past events and the trading venue involved much lesser known, the incident was widely blamed for the drops across the markets due to its timing. The alleged hacker stole $ 19.5 million in NPXS, $ 13.8 million of Aston X, $ 5.8 million in tokens of Dent, over $ 1.1 million of Tron, and at least five other tokens, all from Coinrail exchange users. Other subjects covered include a hospital where you can pay with tokens and a “blockchain” based cultural center established by a gangster.

POT Prevents Nuclear Armageddon

This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?The main topic on Tuesday was Potcoin getting global exposure on the back of the nuclear summit in Singapore. The cryptocurrency has been sponsoring the trips of Dennis Rodman to North Korea for a while now and as two of the basketball star’s friends, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, met to discuss peace, POT was able to get into the limelight of this histrionic event. Additional stories covered in Tuesday’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief included Coinbase’s plans for adding support for Ethereum Classic (ETC) and the intentions of Binance to enable euro transactions later this year.

Explosive Vote in Crypto Valley

On Wednesday, we reported that authorities in the Swiss city of Zug will ask local residents to participate in a non-binding “blockchain-based” vote later this month. The experiment will be held between June 25 and July 1, when residents will be able to vote via their smartphones. They will be asked if they are in favor of fireworks during a festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library, pay parking fees, and more. In other serious news from the country, representatives of Switzerland’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have formed the Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets.

Thomson Reuters Expands Crypto Tracking

This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?On Thursday, it was reported that Thomson Reuters had expanded the market data for the top 100 cryptocurrencies in its sentiment data offerings. The service is provided in cooperation with Marketpsych Data LLC, a leader in quantitative behavioral science. The new Marketpsych Indices package uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure emotional and topical items across news and social media sites that may drive market participant behavior in cryptocurrency markets. It monitors more than 2,000 global news and 800 social media platforms in real-time.

An End to 51% Attacks?

An important story, which has implications for all Proof of Work coins, was covered on Friday. In a new whitepaper, the Zencash team proposes changing Satoshi Consensus, also known as the longest chain rule, to a method that makes it “both technically infeasible and economically disastrous to attempt double spending.” ZEN aims to achieve this by introducing a penalty “in the form of a block acceptance delay in the amount of time the block has been hidden from the public network.” The team now hopes that other PoW coins will adopt this proposal with a view to mitigating further 51% attacks.

Crypto Behind Bars

An interesting story published on Saturday talked about a new cryptocurrency designed to be used by prison inmates. Prisoners will be able to use the crypto through kiosks that will be installed in the prisons as part of the project. This will allow them to spend their coins in the prison commissary, cover court costs and fees, pay other inmates, and receive money from friends and family. Each user will have a digital wallet to store their funds. Transactions will be made in real time and at minimal fees, Cellblocks claimed.

Bitcoin Controlled by China?

This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?The most commented-on article during the week covered the claims by Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, that BTC has no hope of being a world currency and is controlled by China. “A number of prominent people,” he said, “even Steve Wozniak, has said that he sees a world where Bitcoin is the primary currency. I think that’s absurd. I don’t think that any major economy will allow that to happen. By the way, it doesn’t make sense.”

Garlinghouse added: “I’ll tell you another story that is underreported, but worth paying attention to. Bitcoin is really controlled by China. There are four miners in China that control over 50% of Bitcoin. How do we know that China won’t intervene? How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency? It’s just not going to happen.” Has the Ripple CEO given an impartial analysis? Add your say to the discussion.

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post This Week in Bitcoin: An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

June 17, 2018 |

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

The “request has been rejected,” came response from the CIA, “with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents.” A tech writer petitioned ‘the agency’ to see what it had on the subject of Satoshi Nakamoto, the name credited with founding Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency. There have been legendarily famous attempts to unmask the real person, only to find more paradox, more confusion, more wild theories. At least two online journalists believe a definitive answer just might be had through US intelligence agencies. The evidence borders on compelling and infuriating.

Also read: Star Trek Icon Joins Bitcoin Mining Revolution

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Real Identity is Probably Known by US Intelligence Agencies

It’s not often a journalist in the financial technology genre has cause to contact the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but this week proved reason enough. Keeping normal business hours, the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C. 20505 (really Vienna, VA) was evidently swamped. Three calls placed to (703) 482-0623, along with one voicemail message on the final attempt, were not returned as of publication.

Inspiration to do so came from Daniel Oberhaus, staff writer at Motherboard. In an effort to follow up on work done by bloggers and investigative journalists on the tantalizing issue of Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity, Mr. Oberhaus explained, “While recently filing some unrelated [Freedom of Information Act] FOIA requests of my own, I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask some other three-letter agencies what they know about Nakamoto.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

It’s a delicate game, FOIA requests. Agencies are keen to dismiss a request out of hand, citing vagueness, ill-prepared request documents, standing, and the perennial go to: national security. The fragility is in having spy agencies at all, for citizens’ own good is the claim, and the modern movement to make coercive government doings more transparent.

Mr. Oberhaus continued, “I decided to start broad and request all internal emails containing Satoshi Nakamoto’s name from the FBI and CIA. Agencies generally ask for these sorts of requests to be narrowed down with information you’re unlikely to have in advance, but sometimes they’ll just dump a trove of emails on your plate and say good luck.” Instead, the CIA emailed him a response, short and to the point, complete with obnoxious bureaucrat grammar of referring to itself in the third person. The “request has been rejected, with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents,” the CIA stated flatly.

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

Glomar

The CIA’s non denial-denial to Mr. Oberhaus is a classic tactic designed to be a true statement without giving away root facts. It’s known as the Glomar Response, ‘Glomar’ being the abbreviation for Global Marine, a company used by the agency to build a ship capable of salvaging downed Soviet-era subs back in the mid 1970s. The now famously canned statement was employed after a journalist filed a FOIA concerning the CIA ship for Soviet subs project.

And that paranoia extends to the present day. Blogger Alexander Muse, a contributor to Medium, wrote a series of posts (3) last year related to his attempt at uncovering Satoshi’s true identity. Mr. Muse writes about a whole host of subjects, from gourmet cooking to tech startups. His professional experience does involve tech, and he has what seems to be at least a passing interest in bitcoin. He was sucked down the rabbit hole when he learned a contact he had at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed to have inside information.

“According to my source,” Mr. Muse explained, “the NSA was able to the use the ‘writer invariant’ method of stylometry to compare Satoshi’s ‘known’ writings with trillions of writing samples from people across the globe. By taking Satoshi’s texts and finding the 50 most common words, the NSA was able to break down his text into 5,000 word chunks and analyse each to find the frequency of those 50 words.This would result in a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. The NSA then placed each of these numbers into a 50-dimensional space and flatten them into a plane using principal components analysis. The result is a ‘fingerprint’ for anything written by Satoshi that could easily be compared to any other writing.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

His true identity is of utmost importance to the US government precisely because, especially as the price began to rise, so many people were relying on it. The problem, before even the tech could be evaluated on its own merit, was the principal DHS worry: a foreign creator. If bitcoin can do all it claims for itself, disrupting financial markets, a country hostile to the US could quickly start that ball rolling and worse. “Why go to so much trouble to identify Satoshi?” he asked rhetorically. “My source tells me that the Obama administration was concerned that Satoshi was an agent of Russia or China — that Bitcoin might be weaponized against us in the future. Knowing the source would help the administration understand their motives. As far as I can tell Satoshi hasn’t violated any laws and I have no idea if the NSA determined he was an agent of Russia or China or just a Japanese crypto hacker.”

Mr. Muse was ultimately unable to get just who Satoshi is. Instead he was left with the conclusion DHS does know, and that bitcoin’s first billionaire was probably a collection of folks. For his effort he was personally contacted by DHS and asked to submit to an interview. He did, noting that he was unable to publish just what he discussed with DHS, but he could say their contacting him was due to his Satoshi’s Medium posts. “I’ve had to stop taking phone calls or accepting voicemail messages,” Mr. Muse concludes. “My email is almost unusable with more than 10,000 unread messages at last count. The only way to contact me now is via text — and it is likely I’m going to have to change my number fairly soon. I still don’t know who Satoshi Nakamoto really is — but I believe the NSA does.”

Is Satoshi’s identity known by US intelligence agencies? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Canadian Accused of Assisting Ross Ulbricht Extradited to U.S.

June 17, 2018 |

Canadian Accused of Assisting Ross Ulbricht Extradited to U.S.

A fifty-nine-year-old Canadian man accused of advising Ross Ulbricht, the creator and operator of the first anonymous free market, Silk Road, has been extradited to the United States from Thailand. Roger Thomas Clark has been charged by federal prosecutors for a number of crimes relating to the operations of Silk Road, including narcotics trafficking, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

Also Read: Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Canadian Extradited From Thailand for Assisting Ross Ulbricht in Operation of Silk Road

Canadian Accused of Assisting Ross Ulbricht Extradited to U.S.The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York has revealed that Roger Thomas Clark has been extradited to the United States and charged with a number of offenses relating to his alleged association with Ross Ulbricht. The United States Department of Justice asserts that “Roger Thomas Clark was a key figure in the development of Silk Road and advised Ross Ulbricht on all aspects of the criminal enterprise.”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman elaborated: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. Roger Thomas Clark allegedly served as a trusted confidante to Silk Road founder and operator Ross Ulbricht, advising him on all aspects of this illegal business, including how to maximize profits and use threats of violence to thwart law enforcement. Thanks to the investigative work of our fellow law enforcement agencies and our international partners, Clark now faces justice in an American court.”

Mr. Clark Helped Develop Fundamental Rules Underpinning Silk Road

Canadian Accused of Assisting Ross Ulbricht Extradited to U.S.The Department of Justice reports that Ross Ulbricht described Mr. Clark as a “true mentor” who provided advice regarding “security vulnerabilities in the Silk Road site, technical infrastructure, management of the Silk Road users, and operating in a manner to attempt to thwart law enforcement.” Mr. Clark went by a number of pseudonyms on Silk Road – “Variety Jones,” “VJ,” “Cimon,” and “Plural of Mongoose.”

Mr. Clark had a hand in developing the rules and processes underpinning the operations of Silk Road, with U.S authorities asserting that “he communicated at length with Ulbricht regarding the rules that governed Silk Road vendors and users, and regarding the promotion of sales on Silk Road, including the sales of narcotics […] and assisted with hiring programmers to help improve the infrastructure of, and maintain, Silk Road.”

Mr. Clark was also reportedly “responsible for gathering information on law enforcement’s efforts to investigate Silk Road,” and “provided advice to Ulbricht on developing a “cover story” to make it appear as though Ulbricht had sold Silk Road.”

Mr. Clark Could Face Heavy Sentencing

If convicted, the fifty-nine-year-old faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, among other charges. Mr. Clark was reportedly paid “at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for his role in operating Silk Road.”

Homeland Security Investigations special agent-in-charge, Angel M. Melendez, stated that “The extradition of this man today should be a reminder to those who think they can hide within the confines of the dark web, that you are never out of reach of the long arm of the law. These investigations are important in combating the illicit drug market and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to fight this fight.”

Do you think we will continue to see the arrests of high profile figures linked to Silk Road for years to come? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shuttestock, Wikipedia


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Mining Consumes Half as Much Power as BECI Estimates – Coinshares

June 17, 2018 |

Mining Consumes Half as Much Power as BECI Estimates - Coinshares

Embellished estimates as to the total electricity consumed through bitcoin mining have again made the rounds in the media recently, with many stories claiming that energy consumed by mining annually is comparable to that which is consumed by the entire nation of Ireland. Said stories appear to have been triggered by research published by Alex de Vries citing Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (BECI) – an index that critics have approximated to overestimate the power consumed through bitcoin mining by more than 115%. Refuting estimates based upon the BECI index, Coinshares has published a report claiming that the mining industry consumes approximately 35 terawatt hour (tw/h) worth of power each year – a 50% reduction from estimates based upon BECI.

Also Read: ”Ludicrous” – Analysts Debate How Much Power Is Consumed per Bitcoin Transaction

Exaggerated Reports Claim BTC Mining Consumes As Much Electricity as Ireland

Mining Consumes Half as Much Power as BECI Estimates - CoinsharesA report into the energy consumed by the bitcoin mining network by Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomist blog, has inspired a recent barrage of reports claiming that bitcoin mining consumes as much electricity as the entire nation of Ireland.

Receiving less attention, however, have been the criticisms of the assumptions underpinning Digiconomist’s BECI. Mr. de Vries himself has acknowledged that “We’ve seen a lot of back-of-the-envelope calculations, but we need more scientific discussion on where this network is headed. Right now, the information available is pretty poor quality overall, so I’m hoping that people will use this paper as a foundation for more research.”

Coinshares Study Estimates Mining to be Half as Energy Intensive

Mining Consumes Half as Much Power as BECI Estimates - CoinsharesA report published by Coinshares has found that the total energy consumption of bitcoin mining to be 35 tw/h, or roughly half of that produced by Mr. de Vries’ study based on Digiconomist’s BECI.

The head of Coinshares Research and co-author of the report, Christopher Bendiksen, states “The argument has long gone that the carbon footprint of mining is antithetical to the world’s environmental needs. Many miners we’ve spoken to have objected to the data used by Digiconomist; although they don’t make their methodology clear, it appears that they have taken a bottom-up approach by assuming a small pool of miners is representative of the community.”

Of BECI, the report states “Our findings strictly contradict both of these figures and we believe that they rest on incorrect assumptions resulting from inadequate research.”

BTC Mining “Mainly Powered by Renewable Energy”

Mining Consumes Half as Much Power as BECI Estimates - CoinsharesThe report finds that the bitcoin mining industry to be primarily fuelled by renewable energy sources, particularly hydropower.

“Overall, we find that contrary to previously reported assumptions, bitcoin mining is largely driven on cheap renewable energy, dominated by hydro, with the limited permanent use of, and some seasonal migrations to, coal-based generation in certain areas of China only representing a small part of the network’s total electricity demand.”

“China has huge excess electricity generation capacity locked up in hydropower stations in the south and southwestern provinces,” the report adds.

Do you mine for cryptocurrency using renewable energy? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinshares.co.uk


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

June 17, 2018 |

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

Cryptocurrency markets are steadily coasting along after suffering from some volatile low swings last week. Over the past 24 hours, most cryptocurrencies are still in the red nurturing losses between 1-3 percent, and a few are in the green by a few percentages. At the time of publication, the price of bitcoin cash (BCH) is hovering around $ 850 per coin. Meanwhile, bitcoin core values are meandering just above the $ 6,500 region.

Also read: William Shatner Joins Bitcoin Mining Project, Admits He Doesn’t Quite Get It

SEC Announcement Adds Second Wind Into the Cryptocurrency Market Sails

Since last week’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ cryptocurrency market have seen some slight recovery but not by much. Markets were dropping pretty low up until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed cryptocurrencies that are decentralized are not securities. After the SEC’s head of the Division of Corporate Finance, William Hinman, made these statements digital asset markets saw a small rally and this push has kept markets from drawing lower, at least for a short period of time. The overall market valuation for all 1600+ cryptocurrencies is currently worth around $ 280Bn USD and 24-hour trade volume for the entire lot of digital currencies is $ 10.8Bn.

BCH Market Action

Bitcoin cash markets have steadily held above the $ 840 – $ 855 region over the past few hours with around $ 303Mn in 24-hour trade volume. Just like before last week’s dump, trade volume is pretty flat and action has simmered down over the past day. The top exchanges swapping the most BCH today are Okex, Exx, Hitbtc, and Bitz. Bitcoin core (BTC) currently represents 48.8 percent of the trades swapped with BCH today. This is followed by tether (USDT 28.8%), USD (13%), KRW (4%) and ETH (2%). As of this writing, one BCH is equivalent to 0.1309 BTC, and bitcoin cash is the fifth highest trade volume.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

The daily and 4-hour charts on Bitfinex show that BCH bulls have some resistance ahead in order for the markets to progress upwards. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) on the 4-hour BCH/USD chart show the short-term 100 SMA is above the long-term 200 trendline.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The two SMAs recently crossed hairs and this indicates a move to the upside could be in the cards. Both the Relative Strength Index (RSI) oscillator (54) and the MACd show deep consolidation and a touch of uncertainty. Looking at order books shows BCH bulls have some solid resistance past the $ 870 mark and some more between $ 900 – $ 950. On the backside, stronger foundations have been built up over the past few days and BCH bears will see some pit stops around $ 825 and $ 775.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC Market Action

As mentioned above, bitcoin core markets have been hovering just above the $ 6,500 territory for most of today’s trading sessions. Trade volume over the past 24 hours for BTC is around $ 3.1Bn and the overall market capitalization today is $ 111Bn. The top five exchanges by BTC trade volume on June 16 are Bitfinex, Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Neraex. The Japanese yen today is dominating BTC trades today by over 71 percent. This is followed by tether (USDT 14.3%), USD (9.1%), KRW (1.6%), and the EUR (1.3%). Currently, BTC dominance amongst all the other markets is 39.9 percent.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

4-hour and daily charts for GDAX and Bitstamp’s BTC/USD markets show quite a bit of consolidation as well. We can see from this chart that the two SMAs have also crossed paths with the 100 SMA just above the 200 SMA trendline. This indicates the path of least resistance will be towards the upside, but much like the BCH/USD 4-hour chart the gap is small, and the two could easily cross again.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

RSI levels are the same as well (52) and the MACd looks to be heading southbound soon. The current resistance zone for BTC bulls is between $ 6650 and $ 6775 (20 and 50 MA) at press time. On the back side, bears will meet resistance between 6400 and 6200 and significant foundational buy support beyond that. If things were to go into the sub-$ 6K region, the $ 5K region will likely hold for a very long time. However, at any time between this vantage point and that theoretical region, we could see a strong impulse leg upward.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets

On Saturday, June 16 the second highest valued market held by ethereum (ETH) is up 1.7 percent and one ETH is averaging around $ 500. Ethereum values over the last seven days are down 14 percent. Ripple XRP markets are down 0.4 percent over the last 24-hours and down 18 percent during the course of the week. One XRP is trading for $ 0.53 cents per token. The fifth largest market, EOS, is up 0.12 percent and down 23 percent over the last seven days. The EOS token is trading for $ 10.67 and the currency holds the fourth highest trade volumes today.

Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last?

The Verdict: Skepticism Remains Strong

The verdict this weekend still leans towards the bearish side taking into consideration the current charts, but mostly, market volumes have been considerably low. The SEC news helped add some positivity to an otherwise extremely gloomy week as far as markets were concerned. Traders are likely to remain skeptical for the time being until some bullish signals appear. The good news is markets have found support once again but where it will take us from here is hard to say.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Crypto Compare, and Satoshi Pulse.


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The post Markets Update: SEC Adds a Brief Market Spike — But Will It Last? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in Crypto

June 17, 2018 |

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in Crypto

The Dutch financial regulator, The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has published a letter addressed to new and currently existing institutions invested in cryptocurrencies. The letter seeks to inform that certain cryptocurrency investment activities may require licensing from the AFM, however, expresses “serious doubts” as to “whether managers of investment institutions in cryptos can meet the requirements for licensing.”

Also Read: Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account

Dutch Financial Regulator Issues Letter to Investment Institutions Operating With Cryptocurrencies

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in CryptoThe letter seeks to address individuals seeking to apply as an administrator of an investment institution in cryptos, in addition to “existing […] administrator[s] of an investment institution active in cryptos, or [individuals] planning an investment institution to manage cryptos.”

The AFM states that it is placing the “heavy requirements” on institutions investing in cryptocurrencies due to “strong concern[s]” as to whether managers of investment institutions who invest in cryptos are able to meet the full licensing requirements. The AFM’s concerns principally regard “the sharp increase in interest in new market parties to provide these services in combination with the usually limited knowledge about applicable regulations,” which generally results in “ignorance” as to how to meet “supervisory standards in practice.”

The AFM also requests that investment institution inform the agency regarding “any desired expansion of [cryptocurrency] product offering[s]” well in advance of providing such.

Licensing Requirements for Dutch Investment Institutions

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in CryptoThe AFM to clarify what circumstances in which the administrator for an investment institution will be required to seek licensing from the regulator. The letter states that the “threshold value for an administrator of (an) open-end investment institution (s) [is] €100 million [approximately $ 1,162 million USD].”

“An administrator of an investment institution must obtain a number of important licenses to [meet] licens[ing] requirements,” the AFM continues. “These requirements are intended to include to protect the interests of retail investors and to ensure the proper functioning of retail investors market. No distinction is made between different forms of investing.”

The AFM has “drawn up a number of questions” that administrators of institutions invested in cryptocurrencies will be required to answer in order to apply for the required licensing. Said requirements pertain to the institution’s liquidity management, valuation protocols, the product development process, and storage considerations.

What is your response to the AFM’s new licensing apparatus for institutions invested in cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, www.afm.nl


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

June 16, 2018 |

Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange, Bitgrail, announced ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in Italy have turned full force, as the court seized the exchange’s bitcoin wallets. The ecosystem seems decidedly torn between addressing the fundamental cause, a hack that drained $ 170 million, and making victims whole.  

Also read: William Shatner Joins Bitcoin Mining Project, Admits He Doesn’t Quite Get It

Italian Court Seizes Bitgrail’s Bitcoin 

“On June 5, 2018, pursuant to the Tribunal of Florence orders,” Bitgrail posted Friday, a full eleven days after, “the Bitcoins contained in the company’s wallets were seized and brought under control of the judicial authorities pending further Court decisions in the pre-bankruptcy proceeding.”

Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

Reaction was pretty fierce, if Twitter threads can be believed. @LucChase thundered, “Very bad news to see the court seized the remaining assets. Which idiot thought bringing the courts in could ever be a good move? We need Bitgrail to trade it’s way out of this mess. Now it is a guaranteed loss.” @Bitgrailed struck another note, claiming asset seizure was “Better than in your hands Firano.” @asael2 echoed a popular sentiment, asking, “Somebody know where this criminals live? Local authorities should be notified!” @LookItsLewis put a finer point on the affair, “Wow … and so everyone who predicted all of your funds would disappear and you’d shut down were correct. You should have let everyone withdraw their currency while there was still time. This is now (as if it wasn’t already) officially your fault.”

Indeed, the Italian court seized assets in what appears to be a foregone conclusion: bankruptcy, determination of findings, and eventual redistribution of what’s left to outstanding creditors and victims.

Nano Soldiers On

Bitgrail has had a tough go of early 2018, and was more or less shuttered as far back as February. At first it seemed to be the result of a Mt. Gox-like hack, totalling 17 million nano (XRB) worth something on the order of $ 170 million. Francisco Firano, founder of the exchange, announced its insolvency, attributing losses to the development team and their failure to secure the token. For its part, developers put the blame squarely on Bitgrail, arguing “all reliable evidence we have reviewed continues to point to a bug in Bitgrail’s exchange software as the reason for the loss of funds.”

Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

The Nano Foundation, an advocacy group charging to recover funds, made the above statement in April. By May, Mr. Firano seemed to be attempting a relaunch of the platform, and some say it was in an effort to make victims whole by offering a new token scheme to fill in gaps of losses. The same day Bitgrail announced its return, it announced it would be unable to launch due to a court injunction.

While the exchange seems to be all but dead, the Nano project soldiers on, releasing three node updates, patches, in as many months.  

What do you think about going to courts for relief in such cases? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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BIS GM Argues New Cryptos Are “the Alchemy of the Age of Innovation”

June 16, 2018 |

BIS GM Argues New Cryptos are "the Alchemy of the Age of Innovation"

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), a transnational institution owned by and comprised of central banks that seeks to “fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks,” recently published its quarterly review of “International banking and financial market developments” for June 2018. The report includes an op-ed written by BIS general manager Agustín Carstens that describes many cryptocurrencies as comprising “get-rich-quick schemes” that “should not be conflated with the sovereign currencies and established payment systems that have stood the test of time.”

Also Read: Japanese Police Arrest Coinhive Users for Violating Law Banning Computer Viruses

BIS General Manager Critical of New Cryptocurrencies

BIS GM Argues New Cryptos are "the Alchemy of the Age of Innovation"Mr. Carstens’ article opens with a recognition that popular confidence in legacy financial institutions has been undermined by contemporary innovations in communications and technology, such as cryptocurrency, stating that “preserv[ing] trust in financial transactions is a tricky business in our digital age.”

The BIS general manager asserts that “With new cryptocurrencies proliferating, it’s as important to educate the public about good money as it is to build defences against fake news, online identity theft, and Twitter bots.”

“Conjuring up new cryptocurrencies is the latest chapter in a long story of attempts to invent new money, as fortune seekers have tried to make a quick buck,” Mr. Carstens continued. “It has become the alchemy of the age of innovation, with the promise of magically transforming everyday substances (electricity, in this case) into gold (or at least euros).”

“Private Cryptocurrencies Struggle to Earn Public Trust”

Mr. Carstens argues that “What makes currencies credible is trust in the issuing institution, and successful central banks have a proven record of earning this public trust.”

By contrast, the BIS general manager claims that “Many cryptocurrencies are ultimately get-rich schemes” that “should not be conflated with the sovereign currencies and established payment systems that have stood the test of time.”

“The short experience of cryptocurrencies shows that technology, however sophisticated, is a poor substitute for hard-earned trust in sound institutions.”

Central Banks Explore Blockchain Technology

BIS GM Argues New Cryptos are "the Alchemy of the Age of Innovation"Mr. Carstens states that “Currently, central banks around the world are working on systems for retail payments that will allow instant transfers, anytime and anywhere. They are also actively testing the distributed ledger technology underlying cryptocurrencies – not as a substitute for the current system, but to build on it.”

The BIS general manager concludes that “Even in this digital age, trust in the issuing institution matters and will continue to underpin currencies. Central banks, for their part, will have to continue earning that public trust by closely guarding their currency’s value.”

Mr. Carstens added that the BIS would be providing further elaboration regarding its opinions pertaining to cryptocurrency in a “special section” of its annual report on June 17th.

Do you think that cryptocurrency undermines the financial hegemony of central banks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post BIS GM Argues New Cryptos Are “the Alchemy of the Age of Innovation” appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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