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

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
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Flatten the Curve. #49. Let's Dig into Jade Helm. AI. The Surveillance State. Internet of Things. FISA. Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Breakdown. What is Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio? Stay Aware and Get Ahead of the Curve.

Flatten the Curve. Part 48. Source Here
It's getting crazier day by day now, so are you following the Boy Scout motto?
On this topic, Baden-Powell says: Remember your motto, "Be Prepared." Be prepared for accidents by learning beforehand what you ought to do in the different kinds that are likely to occur. Be prepared to do that thing the moment the accident does occur. In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.”
Why should you be prepared? Because TPTB have been preparing, that’s why.
June 12, 2014: The Guardian • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown. Social science is being militarised to develop 'operational tools' to target peaceful activists and protest movements Source Here
Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown. It seemed ludicrous back in 2014, didn't it? Inconceivable. Sure some preppers believed it, but they're always getting ready and nothing happened. Doomsday was always right around the corner, and then the next corner, and on and on. Televangelists have probably accused more politicians of being the antichrist than the number of politicians went to Epstein's Island.
But why would they be preparing for mass civil breakdown? Could it be the same reason as why the miltary is preparing for war, droughts and famines brought about by environmental collapse?
February 20, 2020: History Network • Here’s Why These Six Ancient Civilizations Mysteriously Collapsed. From the Maya to Greenland’s Vikings, check out six civilizations that seemingly disappeared without a trace. Source Here
All of these civilizations vanished because of some combination of exhausting their natural resources, drought, plauge, and the little ice age. Sound familiar? Don't tell me that the Rockefeller Foundation and BlackRock became environmentally aware out of a sense of obligation to the planet. They're setting the groundwork for what's coming down the pipe. This isn't about money anymore, this is about control and survival. Throw out the rulebook because the rules no longer apply.
Do you think the surveillance system is for your protection, or the protection of the state? Don't you think that an era of upcoming calamities will severely damage the communication networks, and thus the surveillance system? It might be prudent to consider that Starlink is being established to make the system redundant, so that they never lose track of the precious worker bees before they can be connected to the AI hive mind, right Elon? Neuralink, don't leave home without it.
But let's not forget about the wonderful world of the Internet of Things.
March 15, 2012 • More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an "Internet of Things" -- that is, wired devices -- at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm. "'Transformational' is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies," Petraeus enthused, "particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft." All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you're a "person of interest" to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the "smart home," you'd be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room's ambiance. "Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters -- all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing," Petraeus said, "the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing." Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices "change our notions of secrecy" and prompt a rethink of "our notions of identity and secrecy." All of which is true -- if convenient for a CIA director. The CIA has a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens. But collecting ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation. That's not the only data exploit intriguing Petraeus. He's interested in creating new online identities for his undercover spies -- and sweeping away the "digital footprints" of agents who suddenly need to vanish. "Proud parents document the arrival and growth of their future CIA officer in all forms of social media that the world can access for decades to come," Petraeus observed. "Moreover, we have to figure out how to create the digital footprint for new identities for some officers." Source Here
December 19, 2019: New York Times • THE DATA REVIEWED BY TIMES OPINION didn’t come from a telecom or giant tech company, nor did it come from a governmental surveillance operation. It originated from a location data company, one of dozens quietly collecting precise movements using software slipped onto mobile phone apps. You’ve probably never heard of most of the companies — and yet to anyone who has access to this data, your life is an open book. They can see the places you go every moment of the day, whom you meet with or spend the night with, where you pray, whether you visit a methadone clinic, a psychiatrist’s office or a massage parlor. The Times and other news organizations have reported on smartphone tracking in the past. But never with a data set so large. Even still, this file represents just a small slice of what’s collected and sold every day by the location tracking industry — surveillance so omnipresent in our digital lives that it now seems impossible for anyone to avoid. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the powers such always-on surveillance can provide an authoritarian regime like China’s. Within America’s own representative democracy, citizens would surely rise up in outrage if the government attempted to mandate that every person above the age of 12 carry a tracking device that revealed their location 24 hours a day. Yet, in the decade since Apple’s App Store was created, Americans have, app by app, consented to just such a system run by private companies. Now, as the decade ends, tens of millions of Americans, including many children, find themselves carrying spies in their pockets during the day and leaving them beside their beds at night — even though the corporations that control their data are far less accountable than the government would be. Source Here
The IoT should be renamed to IoTT (Internet of Tracking Things), shouldn't it. But we can't have people figure out what's really happening, can we? It's a good thing that quantum computing isn't too close, isn’t it?
April 5, 2018: Global News • (Project Maven) Over 3,000 Google employees have a signed a petition in protest against the company’s involvement with a U.S. Department of Defense artificial intelligence (AI) project that studies imagery and could eventually be used to improve drone strikes in the battlefield. Source Here
December 12, 2019 • Palantir took over Project Maven defense contract after Google backed out. Source Here
December 29, 2020: Input • Palantir exec says its work is on par with the Manhattan Project. Comparing AI to most lethal weapon in human history isn’t comforting. SourceHere
August 14, 2020: Venture: • Google researchers use quantum computing to help improve image classification. Source Here
Hmmm. Maybe Apple will be for the little guy? They have always valued privacy rights, right?
October 2, 2013: Vice News • The hacktivist group Anonymous released a video statement with an accompanying Pastebin document claiming that there are definitive links between AuthenTec, the company that developed the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint scanner, and the US government. Source Here
An apple a day helps the NSA. Or Google. Or Microsoft. Or Amazon. Take your pick from the basket, because dem Apple's are all the same. But at least we have fundamental rights, right?
Foreign agent declaration not required • No mention of foreign agent status is made in the Protect America Act of 2007. Under prior FISA rules, persons targeted for surveillance must have been declared as foreign agents before a FISA warrant would be accorded by the FISC court.
'Quasi-anti-terrorism law' for all-forms of intelligence collection • Vastly marketed by U.S. federal and military agencies as a law to prevent terror attacks, the Protect America Act was actually a law focused on the 'acquisition' of desired intelligence information, of unspecified nature. The sole requirement is geolocation outside the United States at time of Directive invocation; pursuant to Authorization or Order invocation, surveillance Directives can be undertaken towards persons targeted for intelligence information gathering. Implementation of Directives can take place inside the United States or outside the United States. No criminal or terrorism investigation of the person need be in play at time of the Directive. All that need be required is that the target be related to an official desire for intelligence information gathering for actions on part of persons involved in surveillance to be granted full immunity from U.S. criminal or civil procedures, under Section 105B(l) of the Act.
Removal of FISA Strictures from warrant authorization; warrants not required • But the most striking aspect of the Protect America Act was the notation that any information gathering did not comprise electronic surveillance. This wording had the effect of removing FISA-related strictures from Protect America Act 2007-related Directives, serving to remove a number of protections for persons targeted, and requirements for persons working for U.S. intelligence agencies.
The acquisition does not constitute electronic surveillance • The removal of the term electronic surveillance from any Protect America Act Directive implied that the FISC court approval was no longer required, as FISA warrants were no longer required. In the place of a warrant was a certification, made by U.S. intelligence officers, which was copied to the Court. In effect, the FISC became less of a court than a registry of pre-approved certifications.Certifications (in place of FISA warrants) were able to be levied ex post facto, in writing to the Court no more than 72 hours after it was made. The Attorney General was to transmit as soon as possible to the Court a sealed copy of the certification that would remain sealed unless the certification was needed to determine the legality of the acquisition.Source Here
Oh. FISA is basically a rubber stamp. And even if it the stage play wasn't pretending to follow the script, would it matter? Who could actually stop it at this point? The cat's out of the bag and Pandoras Box is open.
Controversial debates arose as the Protect America Act was published. Constitutional lawyers and civil liberties experts expressed concerns that this Act authorized massive, wide-ranging information gathering with no oversight. Whereas it placed much focus on communications, the Act allowed for information gathering of all shapes and forms. The ACLU called it the "Police America Act" – "authorized a massive surveillance dragnet", calling the blank-check oversight provisions "meaningless," and calling them a "phony court review of secret procedures."
So the surveillance state doesn't have checks and balances anymore. The state is preparing for Massive Civil Breakdown. They keep warning us about environmental collapse. Got it? Good. Let's keep on keeping on.
The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 created a single new district corporation governing the entire federal territory, called the District of Columbia, thus dissolving the three major political subdivisions of the District (Port of Georgetown, the City of Washington, and Washington County) and their governments. Source Here)
The first big leap in corporate personhood from holding mere property and contract rights to possessing more expansive rights was a claim that the Equal Protection Clause applied to corporations. One of the strangest twists in American constitutional law was the moment that corporations gained personhood under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It occurred in a case called Santa Clara County, and what was odd was that the Supreme Court did not really even decide the matter in the actual opinion. It only appeared in a footnote to the case. What we are likely to have at the conclusion of the Supreme Court term is corporations that are empowered to spend in American elections because of Bellotti and Citizens United; corporations that can make religious objections thanks to Hobby Lobby; and if Jesner turns out as badly as I predict, corporations will be able to aid and abet human rights violations abroad with impunity. Source Here
"Having a corporation would allow people to put property into a collective ownership that could be held with perpetual existence," she says. "So it wouldn't be tied to any one person's lifespan, or subject necessarily to laws regarding inheriting property." Later on, in the United States and elsewhere, the advantages of incorporation were essential to efficient and secure economic development. Unlike partnerships, the corporation continued to exist even if a partner died; there was no unanimity required to do something; shareholders could not be sued individually, only the corporation as a whole, so investors only risked as much as they put into buying shares. Source Here
The way that the Arab Bank may get away with this alleged morally troubling behavior, even though it has a New York branch, is by reasserting the basic argument that was made in Nestle USA and Kiobel II: that the federal Alien Tort Statute was not intended to apply to corporations full stop. Given other cases in this area like Mohamad v. PLO, which held the word “individual” in the Torture Victim Protection Act means a natural person and does not impose any liability against organizations, the Arab Bank’s procorporate argument may well prevail. There are multiple federal Circuit Courts which have shot down the argument that corporations are immune from suit under the Alien Tort Statute. The lone outlier is the Second Circuit, which decided in 2010 that corporations are excused from suit in Kiobel I. This is the case that was appealed to the Supreme Court and became Kiobel II. Jesner v. Arab Bank was litigated in the Second Circuit. One question in Jesner was what exactly did Kiobel II do to Kiobel I. So far in the litigation, Jesner concluded that Kiobel I and its conclusion that corporations can’t be sued in federal court using the Alien Tort Statute remained the controlling law of the Second Circuit.
There's a reason people call lawyers snakes, it's because most of them speak with forked tounges. So the corporation isn't being held liable, but the shareholders can't be held liable either. That's too insane to even be called a Catch 22. We are literally being set up to have no recourse because there isn’t anybody who can be held responsible. Why is that important when I've been talking about the surveillance state?
July 14, 2020: The Intercept • Microsoft’s police surveillance services are often opaque because the company sells little in the way of its own policing products. It instead offers an array of “general purpose” Azure cloud services, such as machine learning and predictive analytics tools like Power BI (business intelligence) and Cognitive Services, which can be used by law enforcement agencies and surveillance vendors to build their own software or solutions. A rich array of Microsoft’s cloud-based offerings is on full display with a concept called “The Connected Officer.” Microsoft situates this concept as part of the Internet of Things, or IoT, in which gadgets are connected to online servers and thus made more useful. “The Connected Officer,” Microsoft has written, will “bring IoT to policing.” With the Internet of Things, physical objects are assigned unique identifiers and transfer data over networks in an automated fashion. If a police officer draws a gun from its holster, for example, a notification can be sent over the network to alert other officers there may be danger. Real Time Crime Centers could then locate the officer on a map and monitor the situation from a command and control center. Source Here
Uhm, I guess it's really is all connected, isn’t it?
June 18, 2020: The Guardian • How Target, Google, Bank of America and Microsoft quietly fund police through private donations. More than 25 large corporations in the past three years have contributed funding to private police foundations, new report says. Source Here
Long live the Military Industrial Techno Surveillance State. If you have nothing to hide, than you have nothing to worry about. Really? Are we still believing that line? Cause it's a load of crap. If we have nothing to worry about, then why are they worried enough to be implementing surveillance systems with corresponding units on the ground? Got your attention there, didn't I?
August 19, 2019: Big Think • Though the term "Orwellian" easily applies to such a technology, Michel's illuminating reporting touches something deeper. Numerous American cities have already been surveilled using these god-like cameras, including Gorgon Stare, a camera-enabled drone that can track individuals over a 50-square kilometer radius from 20,000 feet. Here's the real rub: the feature that allows users to pinch and zoom on Instagram is similar to what WAMI allows. Anything within those 50-square kilometers is now under the microscope. If this sounds like some futuristic tech, think again: Derivations of this camera system have been tested in numerous American cities. Say there is a big public protest. With this camera you can follow thousands of protesters back to their homes. Now you have a list of the home addresses of all the people involved in a political movement. If on their way home you witness them committing some crime—breaking a traffic regulation or frequenting a location that is known to be involved in the drug trade—you can use that surveillance data against them to essentially shut them up. That's why we have laws that prevent the use of surveillance technologies because it is human instinct to abuse them. That's why we need controls. Source Here
Want to know more about the Gorgon Stare? Flatten the Curve. Part 12. Source Here
Now, I'm not sure if you remember or know any Greek Mythology, but the Gorgons were three sisters, and one sister had Snakes on her head (she wasn't a lawyer) and she turned people to stone when she looked at them.
MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) is a directed-energy non-lethal weapon designed by WaveBand Corporation in 2003-2004 for temporary personnel incapacitation. The weapon is based on the microwave auditory effect resulting in a strong sound sensation in the human head when it is subject to certain kinds of pulsed/modulated microwave radiation. The developers claimed that through the combination of pulse parameters and pulse power, it is possible to raise the auditory sensation to a “discomfort” level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals. In 2005, Sierra Nevada Corporation acquired WaveBand Corporation.
Ok. Get it? The Gorgon eye in the sky stares at you while the Medusa makes you immobile. Not good, but at least it'll just freeze you in your tracks.
July 6, 2008: Gizmodo • The Sierra Nevada Corporation claimed this week that it is ready to begin production on the MEDUSA, a damned scary ray gun that uses the "microwave audio effect" to implant sounds and perhaps even specific messages inside people's heads. Short for Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio, MEDUSA creates the audio effect with short microwave pulses. The pulses create a shockwave inside the skull that's detected by the ears, and basically makes you think you're going balls-to-the-wall batshit insane. Source Here
Uhm. And drive you insane.
July 26, 2008: Gizmodo • The MEDUSA crowd control ray gun we reported on earlier this month sounded like some pretty amazing-and downright scary-technology. Using the microwave auditory effect, the beam, in theory, would have put sounds and voice-like noises in your head, thereby driving you away from the area. Crowd control via voices in your head. Sounds cool. However, it turns out that the beam would actually kill you before any of that happy stuff started taking place, most likely by frying or cooking your brain inside your skull. Can you imagine if this thing made it out into the field? Awkward! Source Here
Annnnnnnndddddd it'll kill you.
Guys, they're prepared. They've been prepared. They're ready. Remember the Doomsday Bunkers? The military moving into Cheyenne Mountain? Deep Underground Military Bunkers? The rapid rolling out of 5G? BITCOIN and UBI so neatly inserted into our minds over the last five years? They've directly told us to have three months of supplies in our homes. 2020 isn't going to be an anomaly? It's the start of the collapse of our natural resources. Take a look on Reddit and all the posts about crazy weather. Cyanobacteria blooms killing dogs and people. Toxic Super Pollution caused by atmospheric inversions killing people. This isn’t normal, this is New Normal. And they know it. They've known it for a while. Let me show you one last thing before I wrap it up.
From the earliest Chinese dynasties to the present, the jade deposits most used were not only those of Khotan in the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang but other parts of China as well, such as Lantian, Shaanxi.
Remember, words matter. Look at Gorgon Stare and Medusa. They don't randomly grab names out of a hat, or pick them because they think it sounds dystopian. They pick words for a reason.
July 7, 2017: The Warzone • There only appears to be one official news story on this exercise at all and it's available on the website of Air Mobility Command’s Eighteenth Air Force, situated at Joint Base Charleston. At the time of writing, a google shows that there were more than a half dozen more copies on other Air Force pages, as well as number of photographs. For some reason, someone appears to have taken these offline or otherwise broken all the links. Using Google to search the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System, which is the main U.S. military's public affairs hub, brings up more broken links. Oh, and unless there's been some sort of mistake, JADE HELM actually stands for the amazingly obtuse Joint Assistance for Deployment Execution Homeland Eradication of Local Militants. A separate web search for this phrase does not turn up any other results. Source Here
Now, using an acronym that indicates training to Eradicate Local Militants seems pretty dumb. It may be used in that manner if environmental collapse triggers riots, but i don't think they would warn everyone ahead of time, do you? So I dug a little bit more.
Joint Assistant for Development and Execution (JADE) is a U.S. military system used for planning the deployment of military forces in crisis situations. The U.S. military developed this automated planning software system in order to expedite the creation of the detailed planning needed to deploy military forces for a military operation. JADE uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology combining user input, a knowledge base of stored plans, and suggestions by the system to provide the ability to develop large-scale and complex plans in minimal time. JADE is a knowledge-based system that uses highly structured information that takes advantage of data hierarchies. An official 2016 document approved for public release titled Human Systems Roadmap Review describes plans to create autonomous weapon systems that analyze social media and make decisions, including the use of lethal force, with minimal human involvement. This type of system is referred to as a Lethal Autonomous Weapon System (LAWS). The name "JADE" comes from the jade green color seen on the island of Oahu in Hawaii where the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is headquartered.
PACOM? Why isn't that command group responsible for the South China Sea?
Formerly known as United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) since its inception, the command was renamed to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on 30 May 2018, in recognition of the greater emphasis on South Asia, especially India.
Now doesn't it look like Jade Helm is preparing for an invasion? And possibly insurrection later. Or at the same time? Or riots over WW3? Or food riots? And start thinking about why the laws are starting to exclude corporations? Then think about the mercenaries that are being contracted out by the government.
October 17, 2018: The Carolinan • In 2016, 75 percent of American forces were private contractors. In 2017, Erik Prince, former head of Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, head of Dyncorp, discussed plans for contractors completely taking over U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Although ultimately unsuccessful, it remains to be seen if the current administration will change its mind. Contractors are involved in almost every military task, such as intelligence analysis, logistics and training allied soldiers. Contractors are even involved in U.S. special ops missions. This is because contractors are essentially untraceable and unaccountable. Most are born in other countries; only 33 percent are registered U.S. citizens. Private military firms don’t have to report their actions to Congress, unlike the military or intelligence agencies. They also aren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so private citizens and journalists aren’t allowed to access their internal documents. There are also no international laws to regulate private military firms. It’s been proven that many contractors are involved in illegal activities. The larger multinational companies sometimes hire local subcontractors. These contractors sometimes aren’t background-checked. A 2010 investigation by the Senate found that many subcontractors were linked to murders, kidnappings, bribery and anti-coalition activities. Some subcontractors even formed their own unlicensed mercenary groups after coalition forces leave. A 2010 House investigation showed evidence that the Department of Defense had hired local warlords for security services. In 2007, Blackwater contractors massacred 17 civilians. This eventually led Blackwater to being restructured and renamed as Academi. Source Here
Military Exercises. Private Defense Firms. No oversight. And it's all coming soon. Read more at Flatten the Curve. Part 20. Upcoming war and catastrophes. Source Here
Nah. I'm just fear mongering and Doomscrolling again.
Heads up and eyes open. Talk soon.
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Hostinger Best Web Hosting Review

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cPanel is Hostinger's endeavor into the board world, and you'll see it furnished with all the treats you need. From simple auto establishments and DNS zones setups to email accounts, a record administrator, and MySQL information bases, it's all fundamentally the same as what cPanel offers. However, a few things are unique. For instance, auto establishments in cPanel are finished with Softaculous, which additionally lets you clone your site, set up an arranging variant, and even design a reinforcement plan. cPanel's Auto Installer works admirably at auto-introducing WordPress, yet does not have these valuable additional items.

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A SSL Declaration that you could conceivably be getting

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Today, Hostinger furnishes a SSL with the entirety of its arrangements. In the metaphorical yesterday, which for my situation was only two or three months back, no testament was given. What will happen tomorrow is impossible to say. Hostinger regularly messes with its arrangement highlights, and I propose that you triple-check and ensure that a SSL is to be sure included with your arrangement. Realize that if a SSL is excluded, it's conceivable to buy one as a different extra. In any case, that shouldn't be the situation. All that Is All around Structured, however you’ll be under Consistent Assault from up sell Pop-Ups.

Laying it out plainly, Hostinger's client experience specialists have designed an awesome interface and client venture, from information exchange to utilizing and dealing with your hosting. Thing is, Hostinger's business methodology depends on continually pushing you to overhaul and buy additional items. It's irritating, best case scenario, and confounding at the very least.

Yet at the same time, the plans are unmistakably spread out, and all Hostinger requests on information exchange is your name, an email address, and a secret word. Yahoo for getting rid of all the insignificant data that different hosts are so enthused about gathering.

Interfacing a Domain and Introducing WordPress

In the wake of buying my arrangement, the time had come to associate a domain and introduce WordPress. I was given the choice to consequently introduce WordPress as a major aspect of the information exchange measure, however I decided to do it the normal way, utilizing the control board itself, to check how Hostinger's apparatuses contrast with what different hosts give.

Presently, my domain was really included with the expectation of complimentary when I bought the Single arrangement, which means it was at that point associated with the hosting. Today, for reasons unknown, just the serious plans accompany a free domain.

In the event that you wind up getting your domain name from another supplier, interfacing it is simple. Nameserver data is promptly accessible at the head of your hosting subtleties page, and you should simply duplicate glue them into your domain board. Shouldn't something be said about WordPress? I opened the Auto Installer instrument, picked WordPress as my CMS of decision, and entered the essential website subtleties. It was much easier than how Softaculous gets things done, and my new website was ready for action inside one moment.
Dealing with Your Hosting with hPanel Is Simple

We've secured the way toward getting your website on the web, however starting here on you'll despite everything use cPanel to make alters and changes to your hosting. Setting up an email account, running manual reinforcements, dealing with the information bases, and the sky is the limit from there, are largely possible through cPanel. How can everything contrast with getting things done with cPanel? Indeed, as I would like to think, it's out and out simpler. hPanel symbols are greater and better sorted out, the interface isn't as jumbled with additional alternatives that you'll never utilize, and the combination with Hostinger's different administrations (uphold, buying additional items, seeing charging) is consistent.
All in all, would we be able to consider it an ideal usability experience? Actually no, not so much. The explanation, as I said previously, is that periodically your work process will be harmed by up sell pop-ups. Think rolling out a basic improvement to your DNS records, just to be welcomed with this:
I didn't "Increase present expectations." I didn't really do anything aside from sign in. Yet, Hostinger is enthusiastic about pushing plan redesigns, and you'll need to consistently be set up to close down these endeavors, of which there are many. Don't count on the possibility that these pop-ups imply that you've by one way or another spent your assets and need to redesign.
Pass on, It's the Quickest Common Hosting Administration We Tried

Speed and uptime that is what I'm searching for. Tragically, shared hosting administrations will in general vacillate in these regions, no doubt. The explanation is that as the name infers, you're offering assets to numerous different clients and their websites – in some cases up to many others. It takes an extraordinary host to adjust everything and stay away from a bottleneck circumstance where everything's moderate and no one's cheerful. I'm extremely glad to report that Hostinger exceeded expectations in the presentation tests, yet it really surpassed each other shared host that we tried, including the top-level SiteGround, FastComet, and InMotion Hosting. The main two has that improved, and just barely, were the superior Fluid Web (Nexcess) and Kinsta. Incidentally, they can cost around 20 fold the amount of as Hostinger.

Just to give you a thought of Hostinger's capacities, the normal stacking season of my completely fledged greeting page was an exceptional 1.56s, and uptime over a couple of long stretches of testing was as much as 99.99%, precisely as guaranteed. I'm going to nerd out and clarify the testing technique and the outcomes in detail, yet on the off chance that you needn't bother with all the specialized data, don't hesitate to avoid ahead to my encounters with Hostinger's help. I'll simply say it again – Hostinger's presentation shook.

As I do with all hosts I test, I stretched out Hostinger the chance to streamline my website and make it quicker. This is something you can (and should) do too – simply approach uphold for help. The operator prompted that I update WordPress and PHP to their most recent forms, and introduce a couple of regular enhancement modules. I actualized the exhortation, and continued with testing.

The testing itself was finished utilizing three apparatuses: GTmetrix Genius, the Sucuri Burden Time Analyzer, and Uptime Robot's Professional arrangement. The Dallas, TX, GTmetrix worker was utilized to quantify speed and advancement scores in the US. Sucuri was utilized for worldwide execution experiences, and Uptime Robot – who could have imagined – for following the website's uptime and accessibility online in rates.
GTmetrix

I ran various GTmetrix tests over a couple of months, totaled the outcomes, and determined the best, slowest, and normal paces. Hostinger indicated a promising normal stacking season of 1.56s. The best recorded time was 1.0s, and the slowest one was 1.9s. Not exclusively is the slowest stacking time well underneath the 3s imprint (where the majority of your guests will likely escape), however the normal scores demonstrate that Hostinger is as solid as anyone might imagine.

You can see that score-wise, we're getting twofold Bs. That is totally satisfactory, yet in addition probably the most noteworthy score I found in my tests. The main thing left to do so as to get full scores is to improve the pictures further.
Sucuri Burden Time Analyzer

As with GTmetrix, I ran Sucuri tests on numerous occasions. Sucuri gives you the stacking speed results for some worldwide areas, and I determined the midpoints of the quickest area (which was obviously in the US, near my server farm), the slowest area (Bangalore, India – the opposite side of the world), and the worldwide normal. The normal for the quickest area was an incredible 0.177s, while even in old fashioned Bangalore the normal was good – 1.11s. The worldwide normal was 0.499s, which earned my website an A worldwide position.

Frankly? I was shocked by these numbers. A worldwide normal of 0.499s is unfathomable for a common host, and everything I did to "streamline" my site was introduce a couple modules. There wasn't so much as a CDN (Content Conveyance System) dynamic. That is LiteSpeed and LSCache for you, women and respectable men. Get it while it's hot.
Uptime Robot

What great are quick speeds if your website has low accessibility? Nothing but bad. Fortunately, Hostinger is keeping it tight with practically immaculate uptime – 99.997% in the course of recent months. I'm proceeding to track and update the outcomes; however coming barely short of 100% is actually what I request from my host.

Uptime ensure shrewd, the circumstance is somewhat extraordinary. There's apparently a 99.99% uptime ensure gave, yet Hostinger has a genuine scrappy lawful clarification of when and how you can get your cash back. It generally seems like "never" to me, and regardless of whether you some way or another fit the bill for a cash back (as exclusively dictated by them), it's a measly 5% of your month to month cost. Goodness, and it's only for store credit. In any case, beside this assurance issue, Hostinger truly blows it out of the recreation center in the exhibition test.
When Extraordinary, Presently… Requires Tolerance

As a long-term client of Hostinger, I've had the delight of testing it over and over… and once more. One of my preferred pieces of the administration used to be the help. There wasn't (and still isn't) any telephone uphold accessible, yet stunning, was live talk a successful method of finding support. Day in and day out help, kept an eye on by experts, and supported by a broad information base of immense extents. The main issue? While the operators used to react in a flash, today they take around 40 minutes to hit you up. In some cases live talk isn't even accessible, and you're moved to some ticket/email framework which I've had next to no karma with.
I'll be totally fair with you about what this implies: it will be you and the information base. You can't rely on having an hour accessible to just stick around, and in any event, when the operators do reply, that is only the start of the cycle. With 3 brief reaction times in the middle of messages, posing some straightforward inquiries can expand into a whole workday.
The Least expensive Long haul Costs Available, by a wide margin

Truly, people, this is the explanation you understand this. While going over the many hosting choices accessible today, Hostinger's costs stick out. That is to say, $0.99 every month? That is excessively modest. What's the trick? Straightforward. Hostinger needs you to pursue a significant stretch of time, and it will give you motivating forces to do as such. Four installment periods are accessible: month to month, yearly, bi-yearly, and quadrennial. That final word implies four years, and it's scarcely utilized in light of the fact that practically no other host approaches you to pursue that long.

Fortunately pursuing four years will net you what's without a doubt the best cost in the market for shared hosting. Different hosts charge a comparable cost for a yearly arrangement. Crunch the numbers yourself. What's the circumstance when pursuing shorter periods? All things considered, bi-yearly and yearly plans aren't costly, yet they're significantly more in accordance with the market normal. Month to month plans accompany an arrangement expense and don't bode well. Worth insightful, up to a SSL is incorporated (check!), the plans are totally comparable to the business standard. There's additionally a 30-day unconditional promise, so you'll have adequate opportunity to test the administration yourself and check whether it's a solid match.
One thing to see during the checkout cycle is that there are a couple of discretionary extra administrations. Fortunately, none of them come pre-checked. I suggest that you skip them all. You can generally include them later at a similar cost, or "convince" a help operator to give you a superior arrangement… dangers of leaving the administration can do something amazing here.
Searching for a free domain?

Now and again it's remembered for the plans; some of the time it isn't. The serious plans normally accompany one when pursuing a year or more. At the point when I joined, a domain was additionally remembered for the fundamental arrangement. Presently it isn't – go figure.
Concerning making installments, notwithstanding the normal charge card and PayPal choices, you'll additionally have the option to pay with bitcoin and different cryptographic forms of money. Whatever your reasons are for needing to have a website secretly, crypto is the best approach to do as such.
Hostinger's reasonable shared hosting plans merit your time, your cash, and your thought. Execution has been shockingly extraordinary, and keeping in mind that it's not the most element pressed contribution around, it has all that you truly need.
Would it be advisable for you to put it all on the line? In case you're constructing a blog, a business page, an individual task, or a comparative little to-medium website, my answer is a resonating yes.
In the event that it's a web based business store you're hoping to fabricate, or a mind boggling administration like an online course gateway, you'll need something more remarkable than shared hosting. It'll cost you, yet Fluid Web and Kinsta are both better prepared for such ventures.
submitted by frenchwillaume to u/frenchwillaume [link] [comments]

Crypto Banking Wars: Can Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Ever Replace Banks?

Crypto Banking Wars: Can Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets Ever Replace Banks?
Can they overcome the product limitations of blockchain and deliver the world-class experience that consumers expect?
https://reddit.com/link/i8ewbx/video/ojkc6c9a1lg51/player
This is the second part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
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While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this very powerful technology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe companies that build with blockchain at their core will have the best shot at winning the broader consumer finance market. We hope it will be us at Genesis Block, but we aren’t the only game in town.
So this series explores the entire crypto landscape and tries to answer the question, which crypto company is most likely to become the bank of the future?
In our last episode, we offered an in-depth analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. Today we’re analyzing non-custodial crypto wallets. These are products where only the user can touch or move funds. Not even the company or developer who built the application can access, control, or stop funds from being moved. These apps allow users to truly become their own bank.
We’ve talked a little about this before. This group of companies is nowhere near the same level of threat as the biggest crypto exchanges. However, this group really understands DeFi and the magic it can bring. This class of products is heavily engineer-driven and at the bleeding-edge of DeFi innovation. These products are certainly worth discussing. Okay, let’s dive in.

Users & Audience

These non-custodial crypto wallets are especially popular among the most hardcore blockchain nerds and crypto cypherpunks.
“Not your keys, not your coins.”
This meme is endlessly repeated among longtime crypto hodlers. If you’re not in complete control of your crypto (i.e. using non-custodial wallets), then it’s not really your crypto. There has always been a close connection between libertarianism & cryptocurrency. This type of user wants to be in absolute control of their money and become their own bank.
In addition to the experienced crypto geeks, for some people, these products will mean the difference between life and death. Imagine a refugee family that wants to safely protect their years of hard work — their life savings — as they travel across borders. Carrying cash could put their safety or money at risk. A few years ago I spent time in Greece at refugee camps — I know first-hand this is a real use-case.

https://preview.redd.it/vigqlmgg1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0a5d48a63ce7a637749bbbc03d62c51cc3f75613
Or imagine a family living under an authoritarian regime — afraid that their corrupt or oppressive government will seize their assets (or devalue their savings via hyperinflation). Citizens in these countries cannot risk putting their money in centralized banks or under their mattresses. They must become their own bank.
These are the common use-cases and users for non-custodial wallets.

Products in Market

Let’s do a quick round-up of some of the more popular products already in the market.
Web/Desktop The most popular web wallet is MetaMask. Though it doesn’t have any specific integration with DeFi protocols yet, it has more than a million users (which is a lot in crypto land!). Web wallets that are more deeply integrated with DeFi include InstaDapp, Zerion, DeFi Saver, Zapper, and MyCrypto (disclosure: I’m an investor and a big fan of Taylor). For the mass market, mobile will be a much more important form-factor. I don’t view these web products as much of a threat to Genesis Block.
https://preview.redd.it/gbpi2ijj1lg51.png?width=1050&format=png&auto=webp&s=c039887484bf8a3d3438fb02a384d0b9ef894e1f
Mobile The more serious threats to Genesis Block are the mobile products that (A) are leveraging some of the powerful DeFi protocols and (B) abstracting away a lot of the blockchain/DeFi UX complexity. While none get close to us on (B), the products attempting this are Argent and Dharma. To the extent they can, both are trying to make interacting with blockchain technology as simple as possible.
A few of the bigger exchanges have also entered this mobile non-custodial market. Coinbase has Wallet (via Cipher Browser acquisition). Binance has Trust Wallet (also via acquisition). And speaking of acquisitions, MyCrypto acquired Ambo, which is a solid product and has brought MyCrypto into the mobile space. Others worth mentioning include Rainbow — well-designed and built by a small indy-team with strong DeFi experience (former Balance team). And ZenGo which has a cool feature around keyless security (their CEO is a friend).
There are dozens of other mobile crypto wallets that do very little beyond showing your balances. They are not serious threats.
https://preview.redd.it/6x4lxsdk1lg51.png?width=1009&format=png&auto=webp&s=fab3280491b75fe394aebc8dd69926b6962dcf5d
Hardware Wallets Holding crypto on your own hardware wallet is widely considered to be “best practice” from a security standpoint. The most popular hardware wallets are Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey (by our friends at ShapeShift). Ledger Nano X is the only product that has Bluetooth — thus, the only one that can connect to a mobile app. While exciting and innovative, these hardware wallets are not yet integrated with any DeFi protocols.
https://preview.redd.it/yotmvtsl1lg51.png?width=1025&format=png&auto=webp&s=c8567b42839d9cec8dbc6c78d2f953b688886026

Strengths

Let’s take a look at some of the strengths with non-custodial products.
  1. Regulatory arbitrage Because these products are “non-custodial”, they are able to avoid the regulatory burdens that centralized, custodial products must deal with (KYC/AML/MTL/etc). This is a strong practical benefit for a bootstrapped startup/buildedeveloper. Though it’s unclear how long this advantage lasts as products reach wider audiences and increased scrutiny.
  2. User Privacy Because of the regulatory arbitrage mentioned above, users do not need to complete onerous KYC requirements. For example, there’s no friction around selfies, government-issued IDs, SSNs, etc. Users can preserve much of their privacy and they don’t need to worry about their sensitive information being hacked, compromised, or leaked.
  3. Absolute control & custody This is really one of the great promises of crypto — users can become their own bank. Users can be in full control of their money. And they don’t need to bury it underground or hide it under a mattress. No dependence, reliance or trust in any third parties. Only the user herself can access and unlock the money.

Weaknesses

Now let’s examine some of the weaknesses.
  1. Knowledge & Education Most non-custodial products do not abstract away any of the blockchain complexity. In fact, they often expose more of it because the most loyal users are crypto geeks. Imagine how an average, non-crypto user feels when she starts seeing words like seed phrases, public & private keys, gas limits, transaction fees, blockchain explorers, hex addresses, and confirmation times. There is a lot for a user to learn and become educated on. That’s friction. The learning curve is very high and will always be a major blocker for adoption. We’ve talked about this in our Spreading Crypto series — to reach the masses, the crypto stuff needs to be in the background.
  2. User Experience It is currently impossible to create a smooth and performant user experience in non-custodial wallets or decentralized applications. Any interaction that requires a blockchain transaction will feel sluggish and slow. We built a messaging app on Ethereum and presented it at DevCon3 in Cancun. The technical constraints of blockchain technology were crushing to the user experience. We simply couldn’t create the real-time, modern messaging experience that users have come to expect from similar apps like Slack or WhatsApp. Until blockchains are closer in speed to web servers (which will be difficult given their decentralized nature), dApps will never be able to create the smooth user experience that the masses expect.
  3. Product Limitations Most non-custodial wallets today are based on Ethereum smart contracts. That means they are severely limited with the assets that they can support (only erc-20 tokens). Unless through synthetic assets (similar to Abra), these wallets cannot support massively popular assets like Bitcoin, XRP, Cardano, Litecoin, EOS, Tezos, Stellar, Cosmos, or countless others. There are exciting projects like tBTC trying to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum — but these experiments are still very, very early. Ethereum-based smart contract wallets are missing a huge part of the crypto-asset universe.
  4. Technical Complexity While developers are able to avoid a lot of regulatory complexity (see Strengths above), they are replacing it with increased technical complexity. Most non-custodial wallets are entirely dependent on smart contract technology which is still very experimental and early in development (see Insurance section of this DeFi use-cases post). Major bugs and major hacks do happen. Even recently, it was discovered that Argent had a “high severity vulnerability.” Fortunately, Argent fixed it and their users didn’t lose funds. The tools, frameworks, and best practices around smart contract technology are all still being established. Things can still easily go wrong, and they do.
  5. Loss of Funds Risk Beyond the technical risks mentioned above, with non-custodial wallets, it’s very easy for users to make mistakes. There is no “Forgot Password.” There is no customer support agent you can ping. There is no company behind it that can make you whole if you make a mistake and lose your money. You are on your own, just as CZ suggests. One wrong move and your money is all gone. If you lose your private key, there is no way to recover your funds. There are some new developments around social recovery, but that’s all still very experimental. This just isn’t the type of customer support experience people are used to. And it’s not a risk that most are willing to take.
  6. Integration with Fiat & Traditional Finance In today’s world, it’s still very hard to use crypto for daily spending (see Payments in our DeFi use-cases post). Hopefully, that will all change someday. In the meantime, if any of these non-custodial products hope to win in the broader consumer finance market, they will undoubtedly need to integrate with the legacy financial world — they need onramps (fiat-to-crypto deposit methods) and offramps (crypto-to-fiat withdraw/spend methods). As much as crypto-fanatics hate hearing it, you can’t expect people to jump headfirst into the new world unless there is a smooth transition, unless there are bridge technologies that help them arrive. This is why these fiat integrations are so important. Examples might be allowing ACH/Wire deposits (eg. via Plaid) or launching a debit card program for spend/withdraw. These fiat integrations are essential if the aim is to become the bank of the future. Doing any of this compliantly will require strong KYC/AML. So to achieve this use-case — integrating with traditional finance —all of the Strengths we mentioned above are nullified. There are no longer regulatory benefits. There are no longer privacy benefits (users need to upload KYC documents, etc). And users are no longer in complete control of their money.

Wrap Up

One of the great powers of crypto is that we no longer depend on banks. Anyone can store their wealth and have absolute control of their money. That’s made possible with these non-custodial wallets. It’s a wonderful thing.
I believe that the most knowledgeable and experienced crypto people (including myself) will always be active users of these applications. And as mentioned in this post, there will certainly be circumstances where these apps will be essential & even life-saving.
However, I do not believe this category of product is a major threat to Genesis Block to becoming the bank of the future.
They won’t win in the broader consumer finance market — mostly because I don’t believe that’s their target audience. These applications simply cannot produce the type of product experience that the masses require, want, or expect. The Weaknesses I’ve outlined above are just too overwhelming. The friction for mass-market consumers is just too much.

https://preview.redd.it/lp8dzxeh1lg51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=03acdce545cd032f7e82b6665b001d7a06839557
The winning bank will be focused on solving real user problems and meeting user needs. Not slowed down by rigid idealism like censorship-resistance and absolute decentralization, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be a world-class product that’s smooth, performant, and accessible. Not sluggish and slow, as it is with most non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one where blockchain & crypto is mostly invisible to end-users. Not front-and-center as it is with non-custodial wallets. The winning bank will be one managed and run by professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. Not DIY (Do It Yourself), as it is with non-custodial wallets.
So are these non-custodial wallets a threat to Genesis Block in winning the broader consumer finance market, and becoming the bank of the future?
No. They are designed for a very different audience.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Follow our social channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Download the app. We're a digital bank that's powered by crypto: https://genesisblock.com/download
submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the aelf WhitePaper (Part 1)

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the aelf WhitePaper (Part 1)

https://preview.redd.it/j27ayhbw0rh51.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=f15bd6ff4ac50fa0eb0bbad23d59f55da6d98090
In the Bingo game DApp demo, we’ve already talked about the aelf real random number generator, which can generate unpredictable random numbers between 0 and 255, making it a useful tool. The interaction logic of this DApp’s backend is very much the same as that of blockchain smart contract. But this DApp is so simple that it doesn’t really show what aelf is capable of. In fact, aelf’s got an awful lot more in its arsenal. When it comes to supporting enterprise-level applications, this is where aelf comes in. For someone who is new to aelf, the best way to aquaint yourself with aelf’s technology is to read the aelf technical whitepaper.

https://preview.redd.it/yxbt4j9x0rh51.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=35c371142e08d37c38776dc151c5877f0aa9ca93
If you have read the whitepaper of some blockchain projects, you might find them difficult to understand or even make no sense. As a result, readers (not speculators) are often at a loss as to what these projects are trying to do. Unfortunately, many projects often assume their readers are all experts and can understand the whitepapers with no difficulty. In reality, most blockchain projects are much more complex than Bitcoin. Therefore, if readers only know how Bitcoin works, they still cannot understand these projects’ whitepapers. If you want to draw potential developers to your platform, it is necessary to provide a beginner’s guide to understanding your whitepaper.
That’s why we have prepared this guide. But before reading this guide, you can quickly go through our website, read our slogan, watch the promo video on the homepage, download the whitepaper and before long, you may find something you cannot understand. Don’t worry, let’s start with aelf’s slogan:
Aelf, a Decentralized Cloud Computing Blockchain Network
Cloud computing is the most fundamental feature driving the entire aelf blockchain ecosystem. Running data intensive computation on multiple computers is obviously more cost-effective than on one mainframe computer. Suppose these computers are assembled in a huge building called data center, say thousands of computers, with professional maintenance by a company, say, Amazon, then these data centers are called a cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Having said that, it is still hard for a beginner to understand why cloud computing gives aelf an indispensable edge. This is because most people, including some in the blockchain sector, don’t have a sound knowledge of some of blockchain’s key concepts. As a result, it is difficult for them to move on to the more complex technology, let alone analyze the pros and cons of a blockchain project and its potentials. As far as I know, I think it is necessary to set the record straight on two important blockchain concepts.

What is a blockchain?

This is nonsense! We all know blockchain is a tamper-proof distributed ledger or database technology, as any professional would explain to you. You most probably have memorized this definition by heart and would rattle it off whenever someone asks you what blockchain is. The truth is, this definition is very misleading. Blockchain is not a new invention, nor does it have any magical features (for example: the magical tamper-proof feature). In this sense, it is different from the magical stuff in an alchemist’s furnace. Instead of viewing blockchain as a ledger or database, it is better to see it as a distributed system. So what is a distributed system?
A distributed system is a large number of interconnected computers, which makes it a peer-to-peer system. It was invented around 1960, long before the advent of Internet. There are already a lot of well-known distributed-system-based softwares, such as Bit-torrent and Netflix. In these softwares, people can upload the files on their computers to the P2P network and anyone can download them. But a distributed system can do much more. In the distributed system discipline, people have to solve a big problem, that is, everyone (every node) in the P2P network need to make an unanimous decision no matter what information they receive, and this unanimous decision is what we call a consensus, and this problem is called the Byzantine General Problem.
Say there are three Byzantine generals wanting to attack the same fortress, and they are at three different locations, they could only rely on couriers to send messages. In this situation, any general can only make a decision based on the other two generals’ messages. If one general wants to attack, he let couriers send the “attack” message to the other two generals, so do the other two generals. If the generals are all loyal, each of them should receive “attack, attack” coming from other two generals, and all three generals would attack the fortress. But if one of them is a traitor, he could send one general “attack” and send the other “retreat”, this other general will receive “attack, retreat”, if he follows majority rule, he will not make a decision because the votes on attack and retreat are the same. At the same time, the other general will attack, and the result is that these three generals will not reach a consensus on attack.
The generals are just like the nodes of a distributed system (i.e. blockchain). There are at least two points worth noting: first, all massages (transactions), have to be sent to the other generals (nodes) to keep them informed; second, all the nodes have to reach a consensus.

https://preview.redd.it/nlgharoy0rh51.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=56c022e327526f13d1f3e13efe80de0483550715
The first point means that it takes time for sending a message to all the nodes in a huge network, the second means that after a new block has been broadcast to the entire network, there should be a mechanism for all the nodes to agree on this block (a package of messages or logs), and it also takes time.
submitted by Floris-Jan to aelfofficial [link] [comments]

I ruin people's lives for fun, this is my story.

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Alex. I am 20 years old and clinically diagnosed with ASPD or Antisocial personality disorder. My diagnosis was given to me back in high school in my Junior year. It was pretty hard making friends or at least keeping them. You see when I try to make friends I usually only go into a relationship because of one thing; to get something in return. You could call it manipulating or deceiving people but, I don’t see it that way. I’ve had many therapists and physiatrists try to help me or figure out what’s wrong with me in the past but, I would just feed them the information they want to hear. Its pretty simple, give them all the shit they need to write down on their little piece of paper and it is music to their ears. Besides that, let us get to the story. Now you see the two key people back in high school were “Mike” and “Connor” and they were it. They had the girls, the popularity, the friends. They both were the biggest athletes in the entire school. This is important because I wanted that, but I couldn’t have it. Call it jealousy or whatever but, who wouldn’t want people to look up at you and have their names written in the daily paper.
High school was a bitch for me. I never had many friends or any real ones at least. I was known as the weird kid but, whatever right. Everyone says high school is tough for everyone. I believe it. Life gets back at people who deserve it though. Now Mike was the quarterback of the football team and he knew everyone and everyone knew him. I one day sent him a message on Snapchat and said: “Hey Mike, I know you don’t know me but, I think you’re a cool guy.” He then replied with “Who are you? Whatcha want dickhead?” I told him “Nothing much man, just thought we could be friends or something, we’re in the same Spanish class.” He said, “Oh, cool your that kid that sits in the back right?” I said, “Yeah, what you doing?” He then said, “Nothing much man, listen I got a party next weekend with a free crib if you tryna come.” I then told him I’d let him know. This was perfect because I knew exactly what I would do. I planned on seeing Connor there with his girlfriend Liz. That was important because I hated seeing the way Connor would treat her. He just used her for sex and shit and never really respected her. I knew how I would fix that though, and it would be at that party.
Well, I got to the party and there were at least 50 kids there. I saw a couple of familiar faces but couldn’t care at all. I was there for one thing and one thing only. To ruin their relationship. Call me a dick but, he was way worse than me. I once saw Liz come into school with a bruise on her face and knew it was from him. I finally saw them out back near the pool. I had a plan. I would text Connor’s phone from a different number making it look like it was some other chick texting him and Liz would be right there to see it. I went outside and he was drinking, probably already drunk. I could see them from across the pool and haven’t seen Mike yet. I was about to text him and then Mike came up and tapped me on my shoulder with two drinks in his hand. He said “Yooo, Alex you came!” I laughed awkwardly and said, “Yeah man, wouldn’t miss it.” He said, “You want a drink?” Gesturing the second cup to me. I took it and said “Thanks, man.” He said, “I’ll see you around, there’s more beer in the kitchen.” He walked away and now I pulled my phone out. I went on to the app which I would text him from and texted: “Hey Connor, I had a really good night last night with a winkie emoji.” I then sent it waiting for Liz to look over his shoulder. She did and read the message. They started to argue and Liz poured his beer all over his face. My plan was working just right. I then saw Liz walk inside in a rush. I pretended to bump into her and said: “Oh my fault didn’t see you there.” She laughed and said, “Oh my god, it’s you, Alex.” I then laughed as well and said, “You good?” She replied with, “No actually, I just found out Connor was cheating on me with some slut.” I said “Oh, that blows … you want a ride home?” She said, “No I’m good, I’ll just have Grace drive me home.” I preceded with, “You sure, I live super close to here anyways, I was just about to go home too.” She said, “Ok, sure that’s fine.” I then got in my car and we started to talk. I said, “So, how’d you find out?” She said, “Some bitch texted him saying that they slept together last night.” I then said, “Damn, what’s your address by the way?” She then said something that surprised me. “I can’t go home like this, my moms gonna know I’m drunk and I’ll never be able to go out again.” I said, “Well, what you wanna do then?” She said, “Um, I don’t know .. we should go to a park.” I said, “Oh ok, what park?” She gave me the name and we went there. I parked my car in the parking lot and said: “Whatcha tryna do now?” She then said, “Shut up stupid.” Hushing my lips for me. We made out that night and I dropped her back off and went home as well.
That week in school I got a snap from Connor. It was during lunch and I clicked on it. I saw the five words that couldn’t make me happier: “I know what you did.” I replied with, “What? What did I do now?” He said, “you hooked up with Liz.” I left him on open and went about my day. I then saw him in the parking lot after school near my car. He came up to me and screamed in my face: “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST STEAL MY GIRL WITHOUT ME DOING ANYTHING?” I laughed right in his face and said, “Well, she isn’t with you anymore now, is she?” He then yelled: “Well, you think you’re just going to go about your day or something?” I said laughing, “Yeah, I was planning on going to Liz’s house after school.” He then jumped on top of me pinning me to the ground, socking me right in the jaw multiple times. I tried throwing some back but, he had my hands pinned to my side. He got up and said, “Fuck with her again and you won’t be getting up.” I got up with my nose bleeding and got into my car and went home.
That was 2 years ago and boy have I got my revenge. Let me start by saying I have no regrets about what I did. Everything I had done was for my satisfaction. You see I don’t care who’s life I ruin … as long as I get something out of it. Connor graduated high school with not much going for him. He had a job at a car dealership as a mechanic or something like that and never went to college. I never went to college so I won’t judge but, I had other plans after high school. I wanted to ruin Connor’s life, and I never stopped until I completed that process. It started with pretty small things like when I tried ruining his relationship back in high school. He was always a dick and who better to fuck with then a worthless piece of shit like Connor. I messaged him a couple of months ago saying: “Hey old friend … remember me?” He replied with “Yeah, the kid I beat the shit out of … I remember you.” I knew he would say something like this so, I sent him a picture of myself and his sister I photoshopped to look as if we were together. He replied with, “What the hell are you doing with my sister … she doesn’t date weird fucks like you.” I replied with, “Oh well looks like her type changed?” I was just sitting on my computer laughing my ass off from how gullible this kid was. He then messaged his sister Claire, which I thought he would do. “Are you dating a kid named Alex?” I had hacked into her phone which was pretty easy because I sent her a phishing email that looked like a women’s clothing company that I knew she had an interest in because of her Facebook. She clicked it and it then downloaded a key logger onto her phone which would send anything that was on her phone to me directly. I override it and replied as her saying: “Haha, yeah … me and him just started talking.” Everything that was being sent right now would delete as soon as I exited the software. I then texted him saying, “Claire is one beautiful woman, kind of reminds me of Liz…” He then said, “You know you’re a real dick you know ….” I said, “Haha the one who beat the shit out of their girlfriend in highschool right … I’m the dick.” I then said, “Hey how’s life going for you ... washing people’s cars ….” He replied with “Fuck you man … go do something with your time.” I ended the conversation with “Ok bud, I’ll let you know how she is in bed…” Now, this was just the first thing I would do to fuck with Connor’s life. A couple google searches for his name and I now had his address … He was still living with his parents at the time. I then went ahead and waited for him to get done work to order a couple of pizzas to his house and make him pay for them. A couple I mean by ordering 20 pizzas all with extra toppings. That was definitely a pricy delivery. A total of $300 if you want to round up. I called in and said I would pay in cash and my name was Connor; I gave the lady on the phone his address and it was as easy as that. You might be asking why I care so much to fuck with someone’s life … It’s easy, I get joy out of it. You see these were the baby steps to ruin someone’s life.
My next attempt would be going to a personal level. Connor had a laptop at home and I went ahead and hacked it. It was easy knowing how stupid he was. He would fall for anything. So I sent him an email that led him to a link that would automatically download a fake porn movie. He would run the download and I would then have access to everything on his computer. Everything. I had every username and password of every website he used including bank accounts, emails, videogames, documents, social media, and much more. I also could see what he was doing by his webcam which he never turned off. He also had a new girlfriend at the time and her name was Jessica or Jess for short. I planned on ruining their relationship too. One night I logged into one of his bank accounts to see what his balance was … It was $1,243.50. So I went ahead and requested a withdrawal to a website that would transfer it into bitcoin. I requested $500 to see if it would work without causing any attention. The transfer went through and I now had $500 in bitcoin. I went ahead and logged out and disconnected my VPN. I also knew Connors social because he had everything saved on his laptop like his passport, birth certificate, and social security. The next morning I drove over to his house and waiting for him to leave for the morning. I watched him get into his car from a street over and pull out of his driveway. He then sped off to the local bank, I proceeded to follow. I guess he found out $500 had been withdrawn from his account. After he was done in the bank he drove to Dunkin donuts. I then thought of an idea as he was inside. I got out of my car in the same parking lot and went over to his car and took my pocket knife out. I flipped it open and sliced his back tire open. I quickly got back in my car which was parked on the other side of the parking lot and waited for him to come out. He was pissed. I could tell because he just stood there and looked around trying to find the person who had done it. I sat in my car looking at him just snickering to myself. I was getting so much joy from watching him in anger. He took his phone out and called someone. He got back in his car and just sat there. I then saw another car pull in the parking lot about 15 minutes later. It was Jess. She pulled in and parked next to Connor’s car. He got out and sat in the front seat of Jessica’s car. I could care less now to watch so I went out of the back entrance and went back home.
I went onto my computer when I got home to open the software to view Connor’s laptop. I had a feeling that the bank would have told him to look for spyware on his computer when he got home so I made sure to get on before he could. I went ahead and deleted every traceable script that was linking the laptop to the RAT. I had scripted another code to perform as a startup manager which looked like windows software. It wouldn’t be picked up by antivirus so I just copied the RAT onto my new script and loaded onto his laptop remotely. I then went ahead and logged back onto his bank account and it was frozen. I wasn’t surprised. I thought they would have done something like this. I had a backup plan though. I went ahead and logged into his iCloud with his username and password which was conveniently saved from google. I searched for “Wheres my iPhone” and found where Connor was. I saw that he was at some apartment complex not far from me so I left my house and went there. It was dark out at this point and he was inside Jessica’s apartment. I parked my car and got out to search for his car. I took my jacket with me and wrapped it around my hand. I found his shitty old Honda just sitting there with a popped tire still. I took my knife which had a glass breaker and put it right against his window. It then cracked and I hit that window as hard as I could with my hand wrapped in my jacket. It broke and glass was everywhere. His car alarm was going off at this point so I had to do what I did next very fast. I looked inside his glove compartment and found his registration and insurance papers. I stuffed them in my pockets and looked through the center console. I found his wallet and a couple of condoms. I took his wallet and got the hell out of there. I sped out of the apartment complex and went back home fast, hoping no cops would see me.
I got back inside my house and looked inside Connor’s wallet. It had about $40 in cash and a little baggie of weed. There were credit cards in there as well. I had a perfect idea. I went onto a proxy and searched for the same bitcoin website I had recently been on. I went ahead and bought approximately $4,500 worth in bitcoin from every single credit card Connor had. I knew that this would destroy his credit score. I knew he wouldn’t be able to get an apartment with bad credit but, he was still living with his mom anyways. I now had extra resources to destroy Connor’s life. I knew that Connor wouldn’t be able to fix that broken window and most definitely wouldn’t be able to drive to work now because all of his papers to legally drive were now in my possession including his driver’s license. He had no money. I needed to move on with my next step to remove Jess from the equation.
I need to find a flaw in their relationship or something to exploit. I went ahead and completed my research on Jessica. Before I go on, I need to mention that Connor had now pulled the police into this. The bank and the police were now going to try and find out who had been messing with him. They won’t be able to find a link between the two. I know this for sure. Although knowing the police are involved it just made this game more fun. I like the attention that I am causing. Let me get back to what I had found on Jessica. What do you know? She was fucking with another dude. How do I know this you might ask? Well, I went ahead and looked around her Facebook and Instagram followers looking at mostly male followers. I ran a program that looked through her direct messages and found an account of another guy in the area. It looks like they went to the same high school. I looked through the messages and they were all flirts back and forth and she finally told him to message her on Snapchat. I, unfortunately, do not have access at this moment to look into her Snapchat messages but this is enough for now. I went ahead and took some screenshots of the messages and spoofed a text message to her saying “Looks like you got a little problem here don’t you?” Attaching the screenshots. She replied saying, “Who are you??? What do you want??” I simply replied back with “Oh nothing much, just pick who you want to keep … Connor is a dick anyway.” She replied, “You have no business in this … how did you even get into my messages?” I then said, “Don’t worry about it Jess, just tell Connor you guys aren’t working out anymore… and you won’t hear from me again.” A simple blackmail is all it took.
Guess he wasn’t really worth it. Never knew how to treat a woman right anyways. Now that Jess was out of the equation I could go ahead and proceed with ruining his life. I went ahead and called into his work. A lady picked up “Hello, [Name of car dealership] this is Lisa speaking, How may I help you?” I went ahead and said, “Ah yes, I recently had my car worked on here and I would like to make a complaint against one of your workers…” She replied with “Ok sir, and do you know the name of the employee?” I said, “Yes I do, Connor [last name]. I saw a scratch on the back of my car which looked like a key or something pulled the paint off. I saw this as soon as I got home from getting my car maintained on.” She said, “Ok sir, I will go ahead and mark down your complaint and we will handle it accordingly… if you would like you could come back so we can get more info from you and we could have someone take a look at the damage?’ I said, “No that won’t be necessary after what you guys have already done, thanks.” I then hung up the phone. I know that this will most definitely get him fired.
I called him a couple of days after this with a masked voice from software that changed my voice. He picked up and I said, “How’s life been? … Shitty let me guess.” He replied with “Can I ask who the fuck is calling? And why do you care how my life’s been?” I said “Maybe this would help … you missing that $4,500? … Lifes a bitch isn’t it.” He said, “You’re going to be arrested for stealing that money .. the police are looking into it.” I said “Oh, Connor I already know that … I’m three steps ahead of them already. I mean I guess Jess doesn’t want to date poor guys huh?” He said, “How the hell do you even know me … what do you want from me?” I said, “Connor go outside there’s a package for you and maybe a couple of your answers will be in there.” I hung up. Before calling him I made sure that a package with nothing except a USB was in there. It was meant to be plugged in and it would be erased within 1 hour of opening the contents … the contents were a txt file with the title of README.txt. It wasn’t a virus or anything it was just a document meant to be read. Once opened it would have a paragraph saying:
Hello Connor, the man that you were just speaking with knows everything about you and will not hurt you. You are playing the game of life. Its simple. You are a pawn in my game. I pick and choose what you do and how you do it. You may not see it but, everything that has been going on in your life the last couple of months has been of my choosing. I’ve been in the process of taking little bits of your life away. One by one. You see it all started back in high school when I took your little girlfriend away. I made her think you cheated on her. Easy. My next step would be to take away all of your money. Poof just like magic. All gone. Your credit is down the drain. The second step was to take away your transportation. No way to drive without any money. The broken window doesn’t help either. Or maybe no driver’s license. I then took your love life away. Jessica is no longer in your life. Well, maybe you might just go back to work to make more money …. Wrong you see. You no longer have a job. Don’t bother going in tomorrow because there was a report of you “damaging” a customer’s car. You may be reading this pretty upset because you have no way of fighting back. Well, that’s where I come in. I will give you a chance. In order to stop playing my game, I will send you an address and all you have to do is show up. Sounds easy? I hope so, for your own sake.
P.S: If you bring the police … the game ends differently. Not in your favor.
I was almost finished with Connor. I needed to do one more thing before I send him the address. I was never going to let him have an easy way out, no. I planned to make him go to a park that was at least an hour out of the direction. This would be a diversion away from his house so I could carry out my plan. I had recently bought with “Connors” money from the $4,500 that I converted into bitcoin approximately 4 kilos of crack cocaine. It would ship domestically so it wouldn’t be searched by customs. I then planned on having it shipped to a nearby drop zone which was an abandoned factory outside of town. I then would take this and put it into a backpack without putting my fingerprints on it. I then also had a USB that would boot up into the dark web which had all of Connors’s personal info like it was his. I also made the password his most commonly used password for the USB. This would link directly back to Connors’s local IP address which I had set onto the USB. I also remotely bought the drugs with Connors’s laptop. My plan here would be to send in an anonymous tip from a payphone to the local police station that there was a large package of crack cocaine shipped to Connors’s address. I also planted the baggie of weed which had Connors fingerprints on them in the back porch of his house. This would give the police probable cause to search the house for drugs. I would assume that they would have already brought a warrant but, just in case I had done that for precautionary reasons. This all would happen tonight. This is when I would successfully ruin Connor’s life. I would send him to prison for years. He would be sentenced with multiple felonies of drug possession and intent to sell. The large quantity that he would be possessing would give him no parol either.
I had the vendor on the dark web pack baggies of grams pre-bagged and one large quantity as well. This would give him the charge of intent to sell as well. The investigation would come down to that he purchased them from his laptop with his credit cards. Nothing would be traced back to me. I made sure of this because I had corrupted all of my hard drives back at home by microwaving them. There was no personal connection to Connor with me. So, I would not be looked into. I was just a kid from his high school with a thousand other students. I had no connection to anyone in his family either. I went ahead and sent him the name of the park through a random phone number I generated and said, “Connor you have 90 minutes to be here, or the game continues.” I was outside his house a street over waiting for him to leave. I saw him leave which was around 12:30 am and everyone was asleep in his house. I set a timer on my phone for an hour which was my time to plant everything and get out before Connor was home. I then went to his back porch and planted the baggie of weed at his bedroom window. He was stupid enough to leave his window open and I opened it and went inside his room. I had gloves on at this point before I left my car. I dropped the backpack inside his closet and plugged in the USB that I had prepared into his laptop which was sitting on his desk. I then left through his window locking it before stepping out. I made sure the weed was sitting nicely on the outside of his window. I then walked back to my car. I checked the timer on my phone and it was at 35 minutes. I knew he would be at the park before the timer was up. I went to a closed parking lot that I scoped out before planting the evidence which had a payphone. I called in and said, “392 [Street] there is a large number of drugs which is owned by Connor [last name]. I am sending this tip in and would like to keep it anonymous for my safety.” I hung up and left the parking lot immediately. On my way back home I got a text from Connor replying with “I’m here … what do you want me to do to end this stupid game?” I replied with “It easy … take your phone and throw it into the lake … You will receive your money back after this last task is done.” He said, “How do I know you’re going to follow through on your end?” I said, “If you don’t do it, you don’t get your money …you are a player of my game remember, you follow my rules and you can win.” I then sent another message saying, “Tomorrow check the balance of your bank, and all the money will be back where it rightfully belongs. Goodbye now.” This would be the last step in covering up everything I had messaged him. He is just playing every card I told him without even knowing. I then called the phone 5 minutes later to see if it connected me through. I called and it said, “The phone number you’ve dialed is no longer in service … please call back later.” My plan was now complete and Connor will be arrested within the hour. I got home and went to sleep without a problem. I woke up the next morning and turned the news on. The headline was “Breaking News: Man in local [county] was arrested last night for drug trafficking.” This was music to my ears hearing the lady speak about the details of the arrest and hearing her say Connor’s name. She said it like he was some criminal and boy did I love that. I looked up the details of the arrest on google and clicked on the first link. [Connor ****** arrested last night for drug traffiking] I saw his mug shot and it said under it that he could be sentenced up to 25 years and up to $20,000 in fines for intent to sell crack cocaine. This was the end of Connor’s free life. He was now a convicted felon and would never have his original life back. My game was now completed and he was the pawn to complete it.
Chapter 2

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Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die

Crypto-Powered: Build on Legacy Finance, Prepare To Die
The success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/7sbwo5nh7g951/player
This is the first post of our Crypto-Powered series where we look at what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
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Today we start a new series called Crypto-Powered. This will be similar to our last series, Spreading Crypto, but now we’re exploring a new theme. At Genesis Block, we’re building a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain technology, and decentralized protocols. Yes, lots of buzzwords.
What does any of it mean? How does it give us an unfair advantage? What superpowers are unlocked? What are the benefits for users?
In this series, we’ll answer all of these questions. Grab some popcorn. Sit down. Put your feet up. Make yourself comfortable. Let us take you on a journey. Let us be your tour guide down the crypto rabbit hole…
But hold on! Pump those brakes. Before we dive into the crypto rabbit hole, we need to establish some context. We can’t talk about the future of money unless we first understand the problems of money today. We need to understand what’s broken with legacy finance. So let’s do a quick primer on the current state of finance. That will set the stage for the rest of the series. Alright, let’s go.

Fintech & Unbundling

Over the last decade, legacy financial institutions (banks in particular) haven’t been meeting the needs of younger, more digital generations. As a result, fintech startups have emerged and effectively unbundled the consumer banking stack. Whether it was Robinhood for investing, TransferWise for cross-border payments, SoFi for student loans, Wealthfront for wealth management, or Digit for saving… these innovative upstarts all focused on a single use-case and nailed it.
https://preview.redd.it/iwrpg6ek7g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=7648d28955ea4e12795826dc78cdf70d41ffaef1
While great for a period, this led to a lot of fragmentation. Users needed to split their finances across many different services and keep track of what money was where. The cognitive load for many users became overwhelming.

Re-bundling of Finance

As we’ve seen in other industries (eg. media/entertainment), the pendulum swings back to bundled services (Cable TV → Individual Digital Channel Subscriptions → YoutubeTV/Hulu/Disney+), but in a better, more valuable, digital experience for end-users.
https://preview.redd.it/lbmz9gdm7g951.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=877da74b64118566a8f630aed706ae1ba6b1ed0f
In the last few years, we’ve started to see a re-bundling of consumer finance. But instead of users going back to traditional banks, the rising generation is choosing to bank directly with these innovative, digital fintech companies.
Each of the startups mentioned above is now offering a more bundled experience with checkings accounts, debit cards, and other financial services. In Europe, we’ve seen the enormous rise of neo/challenger banks like Revolut, Monzo, N26 — all-in-one solutions for modern, consumer finance. That trend is starting to grow in North America with apps like Chime (the original was Simple)
We believe this bundled approach is here to stay — especially for the younger, more mobile, digital generation. They prefer convenient, easy-to-use, all-in-one solutions that require little effort & minimum commitment.
https://preview.redd.it/ko085lp18g951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=8ae7e6b87a2a41257fd4816faf60a0bb702c5896

Building on Legacy Finance

While many of these high-flying fintech unicorns have seen incredible success, I believe it will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy financial infrastructure. It’s a realization I’ve come to only recently.
In years past, whenever I met a fintech entrepreneur, they’d always suggest that they’d never do a startup in traditional finance again. Too complex. Too expensive. Too slow. I always shrugged it off. Wimps. How hard can it be?
I really didn’t believe or understand that pain until we started Genesis Block. And it wasn’t until we began integrating with some of our partners (Evolve Bank & Trust, I2C, Visa, etc) that I really started to understand.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/vei2flrq7g951/player
The rumors are true. Those fintech entrepreneurs were all right. The pain is real.
Trying to innovate in legacy finance is like running on a hamster wheel blindfolded while powerful, evil rats randomly throw explosives inside.
It feels like you are never making any progress and at any moment you can be destroyed. Luckily at Genesis Block, we’re only integrating with legacy finance at the edges — the onramps and offramps (money in, money out). We’ve worked with great partners and so far have been able to navigate the treacherous terrain.

Legacy Finance is Broken

You must be wondering why and how is it so bad. It’s all the things you’d expect…
The antiquated tech stack of financial institutions. The frustrating process of working with big, bureaucratic, slow-moving organizations. The prehistoric payment systems that haven’t improved in decades (for example, ACH payments and their strange batch processing practices). The countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). The slow settlement times. Systems rife with fraud. An industry oozing with predatory practices and unethical behavior. The moth-eaten laws & regulations that are NOT innovator-friendly (mostly due to powerful Wall Street incumbents who control politicians).
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/2hdxxch38g951/player
The list goes on and on. Maybe someday we can dedicate an entire series to it. It’ll be a good bedtime story.
The more familiar I become with how legacy finance works, the more convinced I am that the future of money cannot be built on that foundation.
The fintech darlings of Silicon Valley are all building on extremely shaky ground that is ripe for massive disruption.
They will spend so much time looking backward (integration, compatibility, regulation) that they will have very little time to look forward (innovation, progress, disruption). They will be tangled in the quagmire of archaic tech and the tentacles of outdated regulation.
I don’t believe the ultimate winners in consumer finance will come from the current cohort of fintech unicorns. And that’s because these companies are all building on the pipes of legacy finance.

The Future of Money

The future of money will be built on a foundation that is digital, open-source, permissionless, and decentralized. The future of money will have no borders or middle-men. The future of money will have no institutions or governments controlling or censoring it.
The future of money will be built on blockchain technology. The future of money will be built on “crypto rails.” The future of money is crypto. It’s the missing piece of the internet age — and quite frankly, long overdue.
This is an entirely new paradigm. New infrastructure. New pipes.
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/26tjp8vn8g951/player
While blockchain technology provides a strong base, this tech alone won’t be sufficient. As discussed in our last series (Spreading Crypto), these powerful protocols need killer applications to reach broader adoption. The apps need to be simple, convenient, and require no blockchain education. They need to fit nicely within existing workflows and behaviors. A digital bank like Genesis Block is a perfect app to propel crypto to the masses.
At Genesis Block, that’s the foundation we’re building on — a powerful combination of the underlying technology and our unique approach in how it’s delivered.
The future of consumer finance belongs to those who build with blockchain technology & decentralized protocols at its core, and know how to best take it to the billions of people around the world.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. Our last series went deep on how the tech reaches and touches end-users. This new series is all about what’s under the hood — crypto & blockchain — and how that gives us an unfair advantage in the world of consumer finance.

Clone Wars

While some fintech products are giving users the ability to buy & hold crypto (Robinhood, Revolut, Cash App), they aren’t leveraging the technology beyond that. And they most certainly aren’t building their infrastructure around it.
So let’s ask the dumb VC question that some of you are thinking: what if these fintech companies or big banks just copy what we’re doing at Genesis Block? What if they add blockchain and crypto?
https://reddit.com/link/hmw3sm/video/c0je9dvx8g951/player
Sorry, you can’t just “add crypto” as if a pizza topping in a Doordash order. That’s not how it works. I mean, you can say you are doing that, but it’s not real. That’s just Innovation Theater.
The systems behind banks and fintech are deeply integrated with legacy financial rails. Trying to retroactively add blockchain in any meaningful way would be like trying to make a 2020 Lambo with a 1910 Ford Model T engine. No matter how talented their engineers are, it just ain’t gonna happen. Not unless they burn it all down and start over. Massive risks. A classic case of Innovator’s Dilemma. Will anyone have the courage? I don’t know. I think they are much more likely to acquire someone like Genesis Block than gamble their entire business on it. But we aren’t cheap.
These new, decentralized protocols are complex, fast-moving, and full of snags. Our team has been in this space for many years — we understand the security tradeoffs, the protocol nuances (we spent a lot of time actually building them), and enough self-awareness to know what we don’t know.
Our team at Genesis Block can run circles around traditional banks and fintech companies. Certainly, they have large audiences and strong balance sheets — which can’t be underestimated. But when it comes to unlocking the enormous, new value to users, as long as the incumbents are building on legacy financial infrastructure, they simply cannot compete with us.

Crypto-Powered

The empires created in the 21st-century world of finance will be crypto-native companies that deeply understand decentralized tech and know how best to leverage it. It will be the teams who build on “crypto rails” first, with bridges back to legacy finance second.
That’s our thesis at Genesis Block. In this series, we intend to lay out a convincing argument for why that’s true.
So now that the stage is set and we’ve introduced the series, I think you’re ready to start learning why blockchain technology is our superpower, our unfair advantage.
You are ready to dive into that crypto rabbit hole.
But first, a word of caution. Once you go in, you may never want to come out. It’s what happened to me and so many others.
Once you see the potential & promise of this incredible technology, you won’t be able to ignore it. You won’t stop thinking about it. It’ll capture your imagination like few other things can.
Don’t be afraid of it. Let it take you.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
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Trading Bitcoin - Let's Talk BTC Q&A From The Woods - YouTube Let's Talk Bitcoin! #243 - 'I Can't Bank with Bitcoin' Outside the Box - Let's Talk Bitcoin Episode 138 - YouTube Let's Talk Bitcoin - BITCOIN MOON LANDING??

Welcome to episode 63 of The Bitcoin Game, I'm Rob Mitchell. John Carvalho has been making waves in Bitcoin for a number of years, never afraid to mix it up regarding cryptocurrency topics. From content creator to entrepreneur to chief communications officer at Bitrefill, John is a very active player in the world of Bitcoin. We cover a wide range of topics in this interview. You can also listen or subscribe through the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network or: Spotify; YouTube; SoundCloud; Libsyn; You can adjust your notifications to be alerted when a new episode arrives. Tags. Bitcoin magazine Mihai Alisie Podcasts Vitalik Buterin. David Hollerith. Dave Hollerith writes for Bitcoin Magazine and produces the Bitcoin Magazine podcast. He does not believe in watching movie ... Let's Talk Bitcoin is a distribution partner for the Chain Reaction Podcast, and our current show features paid sponsorships which may be featured at the start, middle and/or the end of the episode. These sponsorships are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to use any product or service. Guest host Kevin Kelly holds tokens in BTC, ETH, RUNE, and LEO. Music Attribution ... Let's Talk Bitcoin! #333 - On Consensus and All Kinds of Forks by Let's Talk Bitcoin! published on 2017-06-04T16:30:28Z ###On Today's Episode Andreas and Adam discuss UASF, hard forks, soft forks, chain forks and more. The Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast is professionally produced and well articulated. What I enjoy most is the in-depth analysis of trending topics, issues, and interviews with key figures from the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.. Entrepreneur Adam B. Levine launched the podcast in April 2013 with co-presenters Stephany Murphy and Andreas Antonopoulos. ...

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"Let's Talk Crypto" Episode 1 3/10/18 #bitcoin bitcoin $BTC $ETH $LTC

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