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| October 16, 2019

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Brooke Shields shares age-defying secret: ‘I’m now starting to celebrate my body’

October 8, 2019 |

Actress and model Brooke Shields didn’t always have confidence in the way she looked.
FOX News

Trump Shares Fake Video of Ilhan Omar

September 19, 2019 |

President Donald Trump on Wednesday used Twitter to share an edited video made by a conservative comedian that falsely accused Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of dancing and partying last week on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the AP reports. The inaccurate video provoked new Twitter criticism of…
Newser

Roger Ver Shares His Story in New Video Series

September 9, 2019 |

As someone who was there from virtually the start, Roger Ver has seen and done it all in Bitcoin. A tireless evangelist for Bitcoin since long before it was cool, Ver remains a vocal proponent of the benefits of peer-to-peer cash and its power to effect positive change in the world. Every day this week, Roger Ver will be sharing a chapter from his life story in a multi-part video series. Rich in anecdotes, it provides a fascinating insight into how Roger Ver and Bitcoin became inexorably intertwined.

Also read: Despite Setbacks, Darknet Markets Show Continuous Growth in 2019

Roger Ver Revisits His Formative Years

From preaching the gospel of Bitcoin to anyone who would listen to funding early crypto startups, Roger Ver’s support for the industry has known no bounds. Bitcoin’s first angel investor remains an outspoken advocate for Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation, and is perhaps best known today for his support of Bitcoin Cash. An instantly recognizable figure within the cryptocurrency space, Roger Ver’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through from an early age.

Roger Ver Shares His Story in New Video Series

In the first video in the series, published on September 9, Ver explains how his fifth grade class invented its own fiat currency, named after their teacher Lindy. Lindyland dollars would be used to pay kids for work or other tasks completed. The job that earned the most Lindyland dollars was carrying the food cart from class to the cafeteria, a task which Ver took on despite it meaning he would lose five minutes of recess each day.

“When you’re in the fifth grade, recess is the most important thing in life, but I wanted to earn those Lindyland dollars,” Ver recounts. “A lot of kids didn’t understand the difference, that one Lindyland dollar was not worth one US dollar – the actual exchange rate was 50 to 1.” The Bitcoin.com Chief Executive then confesses the money-making scheme he concocted, an experience which was to instill his first lesson on inflation.

Hustling in Junior High

When Roger Ver moved up to junior high, his side-hustles escalated and he found himself selling candy bars to fellow students. “My parents … took me to Costco where you could buy candy bars for 20 cents each,” Ver grins. “I had $ 20 of my own money, that maybe I found coins in couch cushions or whatever. I spent all of it on candy bars and then sold them at school for like 50 cents each. I was able to earn, I dunno, maybe $ 20 or $ 30 a week selling candy bars in junior high school and as a junior high school kid that was a lot of money.”

Bitcoin.com’s Executive Chairman, who served as the company’s CEO for years, remains deeply involved in promoting crypto, and continues to invest in projects building new crypto protocols, applications, networks, middleware, wallets and other tools. He’s also active on the ground, getting out there to meet people at crypto conferences and global events, while striving for real world adoption of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange and a mechanism for financial inclusion.

Having manifested itself at a precocious age, Roger Ver’s sharp eye for a deal led to him launching his first online venture in 1999 through 2000. At the peak of the dot com crash, Ver was looking for a new hard drive for his PC and discovered that in the clearance sales they were selling 9GB hard drives for around $ 100. Checking on Ebay he found that the same drives would fetch almost $ 400 online.

“I am going to use every last penny I have to buy these hard drives,” he recalls. “So I had $ 1,400 of my own money. I bought 14 of those hard drives, I kept one for me and sold the other 13 on Ebay.” He continues:

So I went and took the $ 4,000 that I made in profit plus the $ 1,400 I had before, so I had around $ 5,000 and I went and bought $ 5,000 of additional computer parts and I sold those pretty quickly … I thought, wait a minute, I can make $ 5,000 a week just selling computer parts on eBay? I’m done with college.

In subsequent episodes of Roger Ver’s video retrospective, the bitcoin entrepreneur picks up where he left off, in a frank interview that reveals how:

  • He sold Magic the Gathering cards and Beanie Babies on the internet in high school.
  • He went to prison for selling firecrackers online.
  • He sold his Lamborghini to buy more bitcoin.

At the end of the first episode, Ver sums up his business philosophy succinctly:

“All any business is, is moving something from where it is worth less to where it is worth more … The value is in the mind of the beholder.”

What are your thoughts on Roger Ver’s business story? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Roger Ver Shares His Story in New Video Series appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Clinton Fires Back After Trump Shares 2016 Election Theory

August 20, 2019 |

Losing the popular vote in 2016 apparently still stings for President Trump, who repeated a claim Monday that undecided voters ended up choosing Hillary Clinton because of search engine bias. “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!…
Newser

Fashion mogul shares how God changed everything

August 9, 2019 |

 The president of an influential fashion brand shared how God was the answer he’d always been searching for.
FOX News

Woman Trapped in Car for 6 Days Shares ‘Hardest Thing’

August 3, 2019 |

A Belgian woman who spent six days trapped in her overturned car without food during one of the country’s hottest periods on record says thoughts of her children helped her to focus on staying alive. Corine Bastide ran off the road and into the woods last week near the southeast…
Newser

Man Kills Instagram Teen, Shares Gruesome Photos

July 16, 2019 |

Social media stories don’t get much more disturbing than this: Police say a 17-year-old Instagram personality in upstate New York was murdered by a man she met through the service, who then shared grisly photos of her body online. Police say they were trying to track down 21-year-old Brandon Clark…
Newser

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

June 25, 2019 |

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

A current or former Chainalysis employee has gone rogue and conducted an AMA on r/Bitcoin in which he disclosed sensitive information about the company’s blockchain forensics capabilities. The whistleblower then appears to have had a change of heart and deleted all their comments. Thankfully, the internet never forgets. The comments remain archived on Removeddit.com and they provide a fascinating insight into one of the most hated companies in crypto.

Also read: Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay’s 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits

Chainalysis Has Its Dirty Secrets Aired in Public

As a company that works hand in glove with law enforcement, governments, defense contractors and other three-letter agencies, Chainalysis is secretive about the sauce that makes up its proprietary tech. The company was dismayed, therefore, to discover that an anonymous employee was conducting an ask me anything (AMA) on Reddit on June 24 without their permission. Users of r/Bitcoin proceeded to ask a series of probing questions about Chainalysis’ forensic capabilities, which the anon was only too happy to answer.

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

Twelve hours later, perhaps after sobering up, or after management tracked down the rogue employee and placed pressure on them, the comments were deleted, but an archived version remains. When asked about the company’s take on BTC mixing tools such as Coinjoin, Wasabi and Samourai Whirlpool, for instance, the anon began: “I personally love it. The company management hates it, of course. Things like that destroy the need for our/their software. It can make the software completely irrelevant.”

Simple Preventative Measures Can Make Blockchain Forensics Obsolete

Many cryptocurrency users feel that they are powerless to attain a reasonable measure of privacy in the face of such well-funded and well-equipped adversaries. As the Chainalysis anon’s AMA shows, however, forensics tools aren’t nearly as powerful as they’re made out to be, and simple obfuscation measures can thwart them. (Having recently spoken to a Chainalysis employee at a blockchain conference, in which a similar sentiment was expressed, news.Bitcoin.com can attest to this.) When quizzed about the ability of coin mixing and other privacy tools to make Chainalysis obsolete, the anon replied:

Even just privacy coins are more than anyone can handle right now, but throw in anonymization techniques, and forensic tracking utilities are done for. They might still have a niche purpose, but it will be small.

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

Commenting on Chainalysis’ most hated adversarial tool, the anon ventured that it was probably Wasabi, a privacy-oriented BTC wallet that used Coinjoin. While conceding that bitcoin mixers are “still bad” for forensics firms, the anon asserted that “Wassabi is enemy number one. There is no way to de-anonymize it, and I don’t see how the government can legally take Wassabi down, so it will probably persist. Put it this way, if everyone used Wassabi, Chainalysis would go out of business.”

While observing that “running your own node and electrum server is a great way to not get your IP tracked” by Chainalysis software, he countered that mobile wallets are bad for privacy. As for the five likeliest things to have your bitcoin transaction flagged as suspicious, the answer came: “Being stolen funds (like from a hacking type incident), coming from a dnm, coming from a mixer, coming from terrorist financing, and coming from ransomware payout addresses.”

An Unethical Company or an Innovative Startup Fighting the Bad Guys?

To say that Chainalysis and similar companies are controversial within the bitcoin space would be an understatement. On the one hand, their software can generate useful research reports into on-chain activities, including UTXOs, “hodler waves,” and lost coins. It can also be used to follow the flow of hacked funds from exchanges. But on the other hand, many people believe Chainalysis goes against the spirit of bitcoin, and that its software will be sold to despotic regimes who will use it to surveil and persecute cryptocurrency users, leading to a financial system that is even less inclusive than the one Bitcoin was designed to replace.

When quizzed on the most unethical thing Chainalysis has done, the anon responded: “1. Transparency. 2. Defeating the purpose of a system that was designed for anonymity, thereby reducing the interest and market for crypto. And pushing people into other crypto platforms, away from what we/they are able to track.”

“[Chainalysis] definitely think they are the good guys,” he commented. “They are definitely team government, which doesn’t sit right with me, personally. Self-righteous would be a good way to describe the attitude of some of them … Not a single person in the company has displayed any sort of concern over the ethics of our software except for one person being concerned that law enforcement would use our software and abuse their authority … He left.”

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

According to the anon, the government agencies using Chainalysis software include HSI, FBI and IRS (they “seem to have the most licenses, or are, at least, the most active in using our software, since their names come up constantly.”) In addition, “ATF, DEA, SEC, Secret Service, CIA (through In Q Tel), and most of the other federal law enforcement agencies are running the software. Only really large police departments are running the software (it isn’t cheap) like NYPD. I know some district attorney offices have software licenses too, but I don’t know which ones. Oh and RCMP uses the software too. And Europol. The national police (NCA) in the UK, as well.”

Other gems from the now deleted AMA include confirmation that Chainalysis runs its own Electrum nodes (at one point it was responsible for 10% of all BTC nodes) and discussion of whether Chainalysis creates dusting attacks for tracking purposes: “It has been discussed a few times, but no one has ever admitted to it. It doesn’t seem like there is much utility in it, because if the address exists on the blockchain, it can already be tracked. And if it doesn’t, a single payment to it will make it appear in the software, so no need for dusting. It wouldn’t improve IP tracking capabilities.”

Use Mixers and Monero for Privacy – Don’t Use Mobile Wallets

The anon also explained that Chainalysis keeps its “own database on entities in the crypto space are a known, or believed to be bad actors. Individual people aren’t exactly tracked.” As for cryptocurrency that has passed through a mixer, “Mixed funds are rated as high risk if the mixer is attributed (known about). Same level as dark net markets.” During the AMA, he recommended monero for privacy, but reiterated the need for caution for mobile wallets that don’t incorporate privacy measures.

Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA

Final privacy advice from the current or former Chainalysis employee went as follows: “I would say to avoid mobile wallets, look into Wasabi/Coinjoin and similar efforts, run a VPN/tor at all times, remember that everything you check out on the clear net is being logged by someone.” Shortly after typing those words, Reddit user “chainalysis1” deleted their account.

What are your thoughts on Chainalysis? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Chainalysis Whistleblower Shares Company Secrets in Explosive AMA appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Carrie Underwood shares video showing son crying at his father’s singing, and delighting in hers

June 24, 2019 |

Carrie Underwood posted an endearing video on Instagram on Sunday that showed her 5-month-old son Jacob hysterical crying when his father Mike Fisher tried his best to sing Vince Gill’s “I Still Believe in You.”
FOX News

Stocks slide broadly, led down by technology shares

May 20, 2019 |

Technology companies led a broad slide in stocks Monday on Wall Street, extending the market’s losses into another week.

The U.S. decision to ban technology sales to China’s Huawei hammered the technology sector, particularly chipmakers. About one-third of Huawei’s suppliers are American chipmakers,…


L.A. Times – Business