Tread With Caution – Before the Bitcoin Bubble Bursts

My college essay on Bitcoin and computers. First Draft. Thought you all might like this.

I always thought computers were simple. At their fundamental level, they are just 1s and 0s. An invisible dance of yes’s and no’s running through a sheet of silicon at billions of times per second. Computers are amazing and unique machines that will forever be apart of our lives. Our sheer dependence on computers motivated me to research the topic? As my understanding of this concept grew, so did my curiosity. I started researching computers as much as I could. I would spend hours a day browsing Youtube and reading articles just to satisfy my interest. That’s why when my dad first brought up the topic of bitcoin during my freshman year, I wasn’t surprised to hear his enthusiasm. I had learned much about this currency over my couple years of research, but I knew very little about how to actually make money off it. He had been tracking the price for a few months and was considering buying a few, just to see what would happen. Little did either of us know; the price of this virtual coin would multiply nearly 30 times in just a few short months.
A few weeks passed and eventually he brought up the topic of buying bitcoin again. His initial interest inspired me to look more into currency and how it worked. I told my dad there was another way to make money off of bitcoins: Bitcoin miners. These impressive and powerful computers are precisely optimized to earn these coins, and I knew I could make one. I explained how this was my once in a lifetime opportunity, like how he explained to me that he missed out on investing in Apple in the 80s. “It could be a money-printing machine,” I joked. With our excitement peaked, we decided to split the $2,000 investment 50/50, and I started the buying process.
I started the process by buying the parts of the machine. I had learned that like Legos, a computer consists of simple components to make the whole. However, unlike an ordinary everyday computer, ours would have a concentrated task. Mining bitcoin is not a complicated process for a computer to do. In essence, by completing simple math problems as quickly as possible, a computer process’ bitcoin transactions from around the world and is rewarded in a tiny fraction of a coin. As more and more transactions take place, the higher the demand for processing, and the higher the reward.
I was lucky enough to know how to build the computer. However, what I was not prepared for was the constant troubleshooting and maintenance I would have to give to this project. Sometimes the computer would simply turn off randomly, sometimes a part was not detected, and other times it merely just ran at half its optimized rate. I learned how to fix issues where there was no logical reason for the problem. Like a calculator, I always thought a computer could never mess up. My hundreds of hours of troubleshooting and blind hope quickly changed my view. I put a vast amount of free time into the project, knowing that potential it had. After lots of hard work, long nights, and determination, I had finally completed my dream project.
I was proud of what I had created. The computer was placed in my room and was like a pet. The loud but rhythmic fans helped me fall asleep, and the heat kept me warm during the winter. From school, I would monitor the machine, and if it had run into an error, I would simply restart it from my phone. My plan was working, and in a little over half a year, our investment should turn into profit. In only a few months, we were already halfway to making our money back. We were lucky because the price of bitcoin itself had doubled since we started, going from nearly $10,000 to $20,000 in a few short months, but as I looked at my account, I had no bitcoin. A few days earlier, hackers had stolen $64 million dollars from the company I mined with.
I felt like a victim. I had done everything right. I built the computer perfectly, I managed everything, I put the time in, and I put the effort in. I was robbed, and I was discouraged. Forced with no other option, we restarted our operation. Bitcoin was still increasing in price, we thought, so there was no reason to stop now. Our operation had restarted and was going well, but for the first time since we started, the price of bitcoin was not doing so well. The bubble was about to burst. It began with my hack, which made national news and hurt the price. Although the price recovered in a few weeks, it was going down again, fast. Believing it would improve, my dad and I decided to hold and not sell. A month later, Bitcoin was back to $8,000 per coin. The fad was over, and we couldn’t even make a profit over our cost of electricity. Again, I was robbed. I did nothing wrong and still lost almost everything. I decided to put the computer in a box and wait a few months; however, the wait was worthless. The coin plateaued at about $10,000, and it simply was not sustainable to continue mining. A year later, we sold the computers for parts and managed to make back about half our initial investment. It was over.
I had lost over $1,000 and months of time and effort. However, as I moved on and started to reflect on the experience, I was the winner. I learned so much about computers and how they operate. In the end, I had learned many skills, from patience and compassion to planning and researching. I had learned not only to build a computer but to manage systems and multitask. I learned countless lessons and gained essential and unique skills that I hope will carry me throughout life. This unique experience has taught me to always keep trying at what I believe in. There’s always an award for doing whatever I think is right. I hope to bring these beliefs and lessons with me throughout life, as I learn and grow from what I was taught. Whenever people ask me what computers are, I always laugh and explain how a computer is just a bunch of simple lego bricks working together to do complicated tasks. However, inside I still have trouble answering this simple question. It is merely just parts working together, but a computer is so much more complicated and beautiful than that. Honestly, I still don’t understand them.
submitted by NetgearX6S4000 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

College essay on bitcoin and computers. Thought you all might enjoy this.

I always thought computers were simple. At their fundamental level, they are just 1s and 0s. An invisible dance of yes’s and no’s running through a sheet of silicon at billions of times per second. Computers are amazing and unique machines that will forever be apart of our lives. Our sheer dependence on computers motivated me to research the topic? As my understanding of this concept grew, so did my curiosity. I started researching computers as much as I could. I would spend hours a day browsing Youtube and reading articles just to satisfy my interest. That’s why when my dad first brought up the topic of bitcoin during my freshman year, I wasn’t surprised to hear his enthusiasm. I had learned much about this currency over my couple years of research, but I knew very little about how to actually make money off it. He had been tracking the price for a few months and was considering buying a few, just to see what would happen. Little did either of us know; the price of this virtual coin would multiply nearly 30 times in just a few short months.
A few weeks passed and eventually he brought up the topic of buying bitcoin again. His initial interest inspired me to look more into currency and how it worked. I told my dad there was another way to make money off of bitcoins: Bitcoin miners. These impressive and powerful computers are precisely optimized to earn these coins, and I knew I could make one. I explained how this was my once in a lifetime opportunity, like how he explained to me that he missed out on investing in Apple in the 80s. “It could be a money-printing machine,” I joked. With our excitement peaked, we decided to split the $2,000 investment 50/50, and I started the buying process.
I started the process by buying the parts of the machine. I had learned that like Legos, a computer consists of simple components to make the whole. However, unlike an ordinary everyday computer, ours would have a concentrated task. Mining bitcoin is not a complicated process for a computer to do. In essence, by completing simple math problems as quickly as possible, a computer process’ bitcoin transactions from around the world and is rewarded in a tiny fraction of a coin. As more and more transactions take place, the higher the demand for processing, and the higher the reward.
I was lucky enough to know how to build the computer. However, what I was not prepared for was the constant troubleshooting and maintenance I would have to give to this project. Sometimes the computer would simply turn off randomly, sometimes a part was not detected, and other times it merely just ran at half its optimized rate. I learned how to fix issues where there was no logical reason for the problem. Like a calculator, I always thought a computer could never mess up. My hundreds of hours of troubleshooting and blind hope quickly changed my view. I put a vast amount of free time into the project, knowing that potential it had. After lots of hard work, long nights, and determination, I had finally completed my dream project.
I was proud of what I had created. The computer was placed in my room and was like a pet. The loud but rhythmic fans helped me fall asleep, and the heat kept me warm during the winter. From school, I would monitor the machine, and if it had run into an error, I would simply restart it from my phone. My plan was working, and in a little over half a year, our investment should turn into profit. In only a few months, we were already halfway to making our money back. We were lucky because the price of bitcoin itself had doubled since we started, going from nearly $10,000 to $20,000 in a few short months, but as I looked at my account, I had no bitcoin. A few days earlier, hackers had stolen $64 million dollars from the company I mined with.
I felt like a victim. I had done everything right. I built the computer perfectly, I managed everything, I put the time in, and I put the effort in. I was robbed, and I was discouraged. Forced with no other option, we restarted our operation. Bitcoin was still increasing in price, we thought, so there was no reason to stop now. Our operation had restarted and was going well, but for the first time since we started, the price of bitcoin was not doing so well. The bubble was about to burst. It began with my hack, which made national news and hurt the price. Although the price recovered in a few weeks, it was going down again, fast. Believing it would improve, my dad and I decided to hold and not sell. A month later, Bitcoin was back to $8,000 per coin. The fad was over, and we couldn’t even make a profit over our cost of electricity. Again, I was robbed. I did nothing wrong and still lost almost everything. I decided to put the computer in a box and wait a few months; however, the wait was worthless. The coin plateaued at about $10,000, and it simply was not sustainable to continue mining. A year later, we sold the computers for parts and managed to make back about half our initial investment. It was over.
I had lost over $1,000 and months of time and effort. However, as I moved on and started to reflect on the experience, I was the winner. I learned so much about computers and how they operate. In the end, I had learned many skills, from patience and compassion to planning and researching. I had learned not only to build a computer but to manage systems and multitask. I learned countless lessons and gained essential and unique skills that I hope will carry me throughout life. This unique experience has taught me to always keep trying at what I believe in. There’s always an award for doing whatever I think is right. I hope to bring these beliefs and lessons with me throughout life, as I learn and grow from what I was taught. Whenever people ask me what computers are, I always laugh and explain how a computer is just a bunch of simple lego bricks working together to do complicated tasks. However, inside I still have trouble answering this simple question. It is merely just parts working together, but a computer is so much more complicated and beautiful than that. Honestly, I still don’t understand them.
submitted by NetgearX6S4000 to computers [link] [comments]

In 2012 I Met a Possessed Couch

I’ve been losing sleep. I don’t think I’m particularly special in that regard, I think everyone has been losing sleep these days. A global pandemic tends to do that to people. Yet the thing that has been keeping me awake isn’t the virus. I’ve been losing sleep over an old couch I once crossed paths with.
It’s been eight years, I want to believe that I’ve put the past behind me, but being locked in a house for a couple of weeks has made it impossible to not dwell on the past. The memory of the couch started off as a fleeting thought over my morning coffee, but as days have turned into weeks that memory has grown into a distinct vision of madness. What I saw during those three drunken nights in December of 2012 has become an unavoidable part of reality. I can’t rest until I process it.
So since we have a nice little Internet campfire going here I figured I would tell you guys a story. Hopefully it will let me put this whole part of my past to rest and maybe it will take your mind off of what is happening outside. So kick back and let me tell you a tale of love and loss, of broken teenage hearts, of surviving in a crumbling world. Let me tell you a story about the couch that tried to seduce me.

I was nineteen, hung-over and heartbroken. I was also stuck in a foreign country. Well, to call Estonia a foreign country would be a bit of a long shot, I had lived there for a good five years of my life. It was in Estonia that I lived out most of my teenage years. This was where I had smoked my first cigarette, had my first drink, fell in love for the first time. I was dragged in when I was thirteen by my parents; they had business in Tallinn and wherever they went I went. At eighteen, when my parent’s contracts ran out, I was forced back home. Their business with Estonia was done. Mine was not. By nineteen I was back.
As soon as I got off the plane I turned my phone on and checked my messages. She didn’t write to me. My soul, positioned somewhere slightly above my abdomen, twitched in discomfort. It was a familiar twitch, I had felt it in the bus to the airport, I had felt it in the security check, I had felt it when I boarded the flight to Tallinn and as soon as I got off the plane the twitch was back with a vengeance. The discomfort I was feeling in my chest was a realization. It was the realization that I had emptied out most of my already slim bank account on a one-way ticket halfway across the continent to see my old high-school sweetheart who wasn’t interested in seeing me. It was the realization that as much as I consciously knew the trip was a bad idea, I couldn’t resist going. I dragged my feet towards the arrivals hall.
When it became obvious that Saale was dodging my messages I panicked. There was no place for me to crash, I had no money for a flight, hell, I had no money for food. As I boarded the plane to Estonia I sent off a panicked text message to my old band-mate: ‘Made horrible mistake. Landing in Tallinn in three hours. Can I crash at yours?’ Within two minutes there was a reply: ‘OK. Will come with Maarja. See you soon.’ Karl wasn’t very chatty, but he was always there when needed.
The two of them were waiting for me as soon as I walked out into the arrival hall. They barely changed. Karl was still a giant of man. His long hair had gotten longer and the beard he had rocked since seventeen had gotten thicker, the guy looked like Jesus on steroids if Jesus was really into heavy metal and wore glasses. Next to Karl stood Maarja, she wore a garish yellow coat. The pink streak in her hair she’d been so proud of back in middle school was pinker than ever.
“JAAMEEES! YOU’RE BACK!” Maarja yelled in her high-pitched faux-English accent before nearly tackling me to the ground. “It’s been too long honey! Too long!” She hadn’t changed a bit since I left the country. Maarja was still a pint-sized bolt of energy. The two of them made for an odd couple.
“Welcome back, Friend,” Karl said after Maarja was done squeezing me. He wasn’t one for physical contact, Karl settled on a simple pat on the shoulder that challenged my entire skeletal structure. The three of us made our way outside to catch a bus to the center. Even after living in Estonia for five years I still wasn’t used to the winters. As soon as we walked out into the sub-zero temperature I felt decidedly like a foreigner.
We caught up on the small things while we waited for the bus. Karl and Maarja had officially moved in together, the band that Karl and me started up in high-school had broken up, Maarja was in the process of getting a bachelors degree of psychology and Karl was really into some crypto-currency stuff that went completely over my head. I couldn’t get much out of me; the cold was taking a real toll on my system. Whenever I opened my mouth to talk about my miserable little life I simply ended up chattering my teeth. As soon as we got on the bus I threw myself at the nearest heating vent.
“So, James,” Maarja said as soon as we got on the bus, “You still talk to Saale?” When I turned away from the heater to face her she froze, “I mean, we don’t have to talk about, forget I asked.”
“Do I look that bad?”
While Maarja searched for a diplomatic answer Karl stepped in with his special brand of honesty, “You look very tired and unhappy.”
“Well, I am happy to see you guys and I am excited to be here, but, yeah,” I decided to get the conversation out of the way, “We tried two months of long-distance, but Skype only gets you so far. Broke up in late July. After we split we agreed to not talk for a couple of months, to give each other some time to clear the system and all that. Keeping radio silence was hard at first but after a couple of weeks I started to get used to it. I was learning to live without her. Things were starting to straighten up, I even took a stab at dating but when the holidays rolled around the loneliness came back. On Christmas I figured I’d throw Saale a holiday message. She wrote back. We started chatting on a daily basis.”
The bus bounced through my old neighborhood. Memories of my drunken youth jumped at me from every corner, most of those memories involved Saale. “Last night we got pretty drunk,” I continued, “Things got flirty. We started talking about what we would do if we weren’t half a continent away from each other. She mentioned her parents were out of town until the end of January on some sort of an anniversary trip. I offered to fly in. She told me I should. Now I’m here.”
“She changed her mind?” Karl asked.
“She didn’t think I was serious about flying over. Didn’t exactly check with her before I bought the ticket. She flipped out when I got it, told me to get a refund and then hung up on me when I insisted on meeting up. She hasn’t answered any of my messages since.” A part of me felt good to get the story out of my system but saying it out loud just added to the absurdity. I could have not bought the ticket, I could have gotten a refund, I could have not gotten on that plane. Everything could have been avoided, but nineteen year old me leaped at the opportunity for a grand romantic gesture like a hungry animal.
“Very strange,” Karl finally said after considering my story. He shot a look over to Maarja, as if she was the ambassador to all women-kind, “Very strange, right?”
Maarja shrugged.
Maarja’s house was the crown jewel of my high-school social life. It was a three-apartment unit that was built at some point before the world wars. This place was old, as you would walk around the little apartment it would creak, but it made for a perfect party place. Maarja had inherited the apartment from her grandma at sixteen; the Estonians saw child rearing as a fairly independent process. If she couldn’t survive on her own at sixteen she probably couldn’t make it at thirty, a bit of responsibility would prepare her for the frigid world outside. Maarja used her newly found independence to throw the biggest house parties that the neighborhood had ever seen.
Maarja’s place was perfect for booze filled gatherings. It was spacious enough to hold any drinking game we could dream up, there was a nice terrace for smoking and the neighbors were either deaf, completely apathetic about teenage drinking or both. As soon as the front door opened I was assaulted by memories.
Visions of drunken nights on the floor of the living room, of hung-over mornings of the kitchen; the old apartment breathed with the past. For a split second a wave of gratitude for a youth well spent washed over me, but then I remembered that each of those fond memories had an element I wanted to block out. Most of the fun I had in the apartment had been with Saale by my side.
Maarja and Karl still slept on an old mattress on the floor, the walls were still covered with cut outs of boy-bands that Maarja had stuck to the wall in her tweens. The only thing that changed about their bedroom was the addition of a massive computer rig on the table. There were strange ventilators and cooling tubes and blinking lights, the machine looked like something straight out of a sci-fi flick.
“That’s my mining rig,” Karl said proudly. I nodded as if I understood what he was talking about.
“Where are the rats?” I asked, noticing the empty cage on Maarja’s wardrobe. Back in the day Maarja had two rats, Fritz and The Duchess. She would keep them in the cage most of the time, but whenever the night reached a certain point of drunkenness Maarja would sneak over to her bedroom and come out with the two animals. If you saw Maarja with two rats running up and down her body you knew the night was really going to become a rager.
“The Duchess died last week,” Maarja said with a glint of sorrow, “Fritz wasn’t taking it well. Think the little guy was depressed being in the cage all alone, so I’m letting him roam around the house for the time being. Hopefully a bit of freedom will cheer him up.” As if he had heard his name, Fritz peeked out from behind the wardrobe. The albino rat raised his snout in the air, sniffed for a bit and then lumbered off to the living room. The years had taken their toll on Fritz, he no longer moved with the youthful energy I was used to, but the one part of him that I remembered had not changed. Fritz still had balls that were disproportionately giant to his body. As he moved away from us he dragged them behind him with Sisyphean effort.
“So, which hostel are you crashing at?” Maarja asked. A lump manifested in my throat. I looked around the cramped apartment. Outside of the mattress there was nowhere for me to sleep. I didn’t have any money for a hostel. “Ah, I’m just kidding. You’re crashing here. We owe you anyway,” Maarja said with good cheer.
“For what?” I asked, relieved that I wasn’t homeless.
“Financing the booze and cigarettes back in the day, might have ended up a nun if it weren’t for you,” she said with a grin. It was true, throughout high school I had been the main financier of our misadventures, my parents had foreign money and that money went pretty far by Estonian standards. More importantly though; when everyone was sixteen I looked twelve. According to the law of teen streets, the late bloomer provides the dough for those who can buy stuff without ID.
“You’ll sleep on the couch, we just haven’t had the time to get it out of the garage. How about you and Karl drag it in while I make some tea?”
Even though it was a bright winter day outside the garage was in near darkness. The only thing that illuminated the cramped musty room was a single ray of light shining in through a cracked skylight. The garage was covered in flimsy shelves that buckled beneath the weight of greasy machine parts. In the center of the garage lay a couch shaped object covered with a large, stained cloth. Karl grabbed ahold the cloth and was about to pull it away, but a thought struck him.
“James, if I tell you something will you not tell Maarja?” He asked, letting the cloth drop back down to the floor. He looked straight at me; his small eyes were probing me for trustworthiness.
“Well, depends on what it is,” I said, “Don’t need help burying a body, right?”
“No,” Karl’s intensity broke into a smile, “It is nothing illegal. Just a secret.” He strode towards one of the rickety shelves and plunged his hand deep into its depths. After a moment of rustling he pulled out a small box. He opened it. Even though the garage was dark, and even though the diamond was tiny, you could see a little glimmer. Karl’s eyes shone twice as bright.
“Wow man,” I said, realizing how quickly the world was moving on, “Congratulations!” Maarja and Karl would get married and I would be at their wedding alone. As I stood in that garage the thought that I would always be alone gushed dread through my veins. We used to joke about how Saale and me would get hitched before the two of them did. Those jokes felt cruel now. Maarja and Karl would get married and one day Saale would get married too. She would get married to someone who wasn’t me. “I’m really happy for you.”
“I want to ask her father soon. He does not like me much, but I think I can show him that I can provide for his daughter. This Bitcoin thing will be big soon James, in a couple of years me and Maarja will be rich.” Karl put the box back into its hiding place. “Promise not to tell her, yes?”
“Promise,” I said with as much candor as I could muster, but my mind was elsewhere. My mind was floating disembodied in a bright church, watching my would-be-wife get married to someone else.
“James,” Karl’s paw on my shoulder brought me back into reality, “You will be okay. I know you are worried about Saale, but you still have us. We will drink this away.” He smiled. I tried to smile back. “Let’s get this couch, shall we?”
He pulled away at the cloth that covered the couch. Enough dust flew off into the air to send us both into a coughing fit. The room danced with dirty particles. Yet from behind the veil of powder I could see it. I could see the couch.
The thing was ancient, a couch straight out of the early days of the Soviet Union. Its flowery upholstery was covered in stains that just screamed history. It was as if the piece of furniture had been used for barricades in the defense of Stalingrad and lived to talk about it. Filth filled its rumpled cloth, it stood on firm wooden legs that seemed to have survived multiple generations of being clawed at, it was as if the thing was simply biding its time until its true masters came back to retrieve it. The couch was old, but somehow in that dark garage, in that gust of earthly smoke, there was something alluring about it. It looked ratty but comfortable, even inviting. For a split second I was sure that the couch had winked at me with its cushioning. Then the dust settled and it was just a piece of furniture.
Karl grabbed one side of the couch, I grabbed the other and we started to haul the thing towards the living room. We had left the garage, but there was still tension in the air. I was still thinking about Saale getting married to someone who wasn’t me. It was still as if Karl and me were meant to have a serious discussion. Neither of us were comfortable.
“I lost my virginity on this couch,” I shared, hoping to relax the situation.
Karl grinned, accepting the levity, “Gross.”
We dragged the couch to the living room and then joined Maarja in the kitchen. Back in the day her kitchen table was the go-to place to gather before drinking and after drinking. We would sit around and shoot the shit and wait for someone to drop off the booze for the evening or the hung-over pizza for the morning. Yet as we sat there, trying to make small talk, one of the chairs was empty and it made all the difference. I couldn’t focus on anything that was being said around me, all I could think about was how Saale used to sit next to me. All I could think about were her long legs on my lap, her long fiery hair, her laughter.
“How about we sweeten the evening with a bit of moonshine?” Maarja asked, as she fished a clear bottle out of the kitchen counter, “Karl and me are going to lunch with my parents tomorrow though, so no hangovers.”
Karl cheered on the promise of alcohol, but not even drink could lift my spirits. My eyes shifted from Saale’s empty seat to the couch. All I wanted to do was lie down and fall asleep for a thousand years. “Guys, I appreciate the hospitality but I’m really tired. How about we drink tomorrow?” I said. Karl and Maarja looked concerned, this was the first time they had ever seen me refuse booze.
“Are you sure you’re okay honey? We can talk about it if you want to,” Maarja suggested. I insisted I was fine; I just needed to get some rest. That didn’t convince her, but she yielded, “Well, we’ll be in my room if you need us.” Her and Karl shuffled off to her bedroom. I laid down on the couch.
From the other room I could hear them talk. Maarja talked in concerned whispers whilst Karl spoke at full volume, it didn’t make much of a difference, even after five years of being in the country I still couldn’t understand Estonian. I could hear my name being mentioned though. They were concerned about the emotional wreck that was crashing on their couch. I dragged my friends into my mess. It was all so humiliating; I was far from home, broke and broken. I wanted to die.
‘Easy there Tiger, don’t think like that,’ a faint voice emerged from the back of my head, ‘Things might not seem great right now, but look on the bright side, at least you’re on a comfortable couch.’ The voice was right; the couch was indeed comfortable. ‘All you need is a bit of a distraction to forget about your broken heart. Some booze, some dope, maybe a bit of love and you’ll be good as new.’ It was as if the suave voice turned a switch in my mind. Suddenly the tightness in my chest eased, a burst of joy started to bubble in my abdomen. My fingers started to trace the sides of the upholstery. The voice giggled, ‘That’s the spirit Tiger, just relax, you’re fine as long as you’re here with me.’ The universe felt lighter, my feelings of dread faded away and were replaced with an electric anticipation. I needed a drink to celebrate.
I opened the door to Maarja’s bedroom. She was lounging on the mattress reading a psych textbook. Karl was watching bar graphs on the computer. “Hey guys,” I peeked in, “I feel a bit better now, how about those drinks?” They both grinned. We drank.
In the moment I didn’t give much thought to the voice in my head, my internal monologue was turned up a notch since the break-up anyway. I was used to hearing thoughts that I consciously didn’t want to consider; the silky voice that was telling me that things would be okay was a welcome distraction. I sunk into the couch and I let the night carry me away. ‘See Tiger? Isn’t it nice to be here? Isn’t life just swell on this little old couch?’ it would say. I nodded along. We drank more.
All thoughts of avoiding hangovers were let go; the liquor poured freely. At some point Maarja emerged out of her room with Fritz on her shoulder. We celebrated the tradition of our youth but the rat was sluggish, far too old to crawl around on her body. After a couple of minutes Maarja gave up on playing with the rat. She put him on the ground. Fritz simply walked around the room dragging his testacles behind him like a ball and chain. We drank more.
Karl lumbered up to his feet and went to fetch his guitar. Maarja was out having a cigarette. I was far too comfortable on the couch. Having a moment to myself I watched the rat. Fritz had spent the past couple of minutes roaming the living room and sniffing at my backpack. Yet suddenly something caught his attention, he sniffed at the air, his whiskers bouncing in curiosity. Then he looked towards the couch. The old rat sprung to his hind legs and turned towards me. It was as if his beady eyes were locked to the piece of furniture. ‘Oh Tiger, don’t think about the stupid rat. Look, here comes Karl, let’s stop thinking about stupid things and listen to him play.’
Oh and how he could play. To say that Karl lacked warmth would be an understatement, communicating with the guy often felt like having a conversation with a pile of awkwardly stacked encyclopedias, but as soon as he would bring out the guitar he would ooze personality. Somehow, with those hulking fingers of his, Karl had managed to make the strings sing the gentlest of tones. Maarja and me sang along out of key as the night went on. ‘Just like the good old days, Tiger, you’re here and you’re happy. Focus on the positives, focus on the present,’ the voice told me. I followed the advice, until I couldn’t.
It was as if a spell had been broken. As soon as I heard those opening chords, as soon as I realized what Karl was playing my stomach sank. It was that Rolling Stones song. Saale and me had danced to it once upon a time. Memories of our first night together came rushing into my mind. The Saale shaped hole in my heart throbbed with pain. I got up to splash some water on my face. Karl shifted his performance into a serenade for Maarja.
The tiles in the bathroom were freezing but I was willing to withstand the pain if it meant I could get further away from the song. I stood there, willing to wait it out, but the memories just kept on floating back. I was standing in the same bathroom I stood in the night that I met Saale. I could see traces of a sixteen-year old in my face. The music kept on building. Saale’s lily perfume filled my nostrils. I could remember the fullness of her lips before our first kiss. The images were cascading on top of each other, ripping away at my sanity, ready to plunge me into a panic attack. But then they stopped. The music stopped.
I peeked out of the door. Karl had chucked his guitar over to the side. His serenade had given way to a heavy make out session. Him and Maarja were all over each other. “Guys, I’m going to go out for a cigarette,” I announced.
The two of them looked up at me dazed and drunk. “Take the keys honey, I think we’re going to bed.”
I hoped that the dial tone would block out Maarja’s moans but it didn’t. Not only did I have to listen to a loving couple have sex, I also had to listen to world’s quietest dial tone as I was reminded that Saale did not want to talk to me. I stood out there in the freezing cold smoking one cigarette after another. It was just me, the starless sky and Maarja’s moans. Karl lasted for a quarter a pack before their bedroom quieted down. I tried calling Saale one more time and then went back inside.
By the time I stumbled to the couch I could already hear snoring coming from the bedroom. But there was another sound in the apartment, something much quieter, something I almost didn’t notice. Scratching.
Luckily I managed to prop myself up against the couch before I sat on him. As I tried to regain my balance I realized just how drunk I was. Fritz was on the couch, furiously scratching into its upholstery. He looked up at the drunken figure hovering over him for a split second and then went back to work. Those little claws scratched with the ferocity of a pup. It was as if Fritz was two years younger.
I picked him up by his scruff and tried taking him off the couch. When I lifted him off the ground the rat seemed confused for just a split second before-
‘Aiiieee’ Fritz screamed the world’s tiniest scream and then bit me in the finger. He dropped to the ground and ran beneath a nearby wardrobe. He hid beneath it and watched me.
I was too drunk and tired to care. I laid down on the couch and exhaled. ‘Welcome back Tiger, you look tired. Let me keep you company. Yes, life is hard, but if you really appreciate the moment it can be pretty enjoyable. Lie down here, let me keep you hold you. Let’s get to know each other better.’
I could smell floral perfume. I closed my eyes and drifted off to a deep sleep.
(Next part)
submitted by MikeJesus to nosleep [link] [comments]

Predictions for 2020

Predictions: 2020
The USMC will adopt Lululemon PT uniforms.
The new trend in flash mob performances will be speed metal rock and mosh pits.
“Duck face” will be required on all passport photos.
Amtrak will open new lines and reinvent itself using popular themes. All northern lines will Polar Express trains. All southern routes will be Chattanooga Choo-Choo trains. All West Coast trains will be called Orient Express. And all other lines will be called Thomas the Tank Engine routes and will include animatronic faces on the fronts of all trains that can answer passenger questions. “This is the reality of operating in Fantasyland today,” will say the Director of the Amtrak Board.

UsToo, #ThemToo and #YouToo will be the new viral social media phenomena.

TRUMP will open on Broadway.
Taylor Swift will be named Democratic Party candidate for POTUS.
Armed teachers will proliferate in rural counties and school districts across the US. So will tactical shooting schools and courses, for teachers and students. Many school districts will open and manage their own shooting ranges. Shooting teams, rifle, pistol and shotgun, precision and tactical, will become the hot new sports in rural schools.
Personal bubbles will become hot new products and services. They will sell by the millions. These will be actual bubbles that people wear when they leave the sanctuary of their homes. They will come in various sizes, colors, and several ballistic and acoustic ratings. They will offer defense not only from bullets and knives, but also from antagonistic ideas, annoying co-workers, troubling truths and mean parents.
Fortnite will unveil a “permanent residence” option, including sustenance, hygiene and employment options, allowing for users to never have to leave the game.
Robots will replace nurses in nursing homes. A majority of residents will claim the robots are better than their “biofamilies.”
The American Baptist Association will re-issue warnings to all faithful to be careful during sex, lest dancing spontaneously happen.
LeBron James will hold a press conference and ask all NBA fans, “How the hell did I become the old man of basketball?” To which Michael Jordan will tweet, “Dude…”
Trump will announce that each US citizen will be issued a firearm of their choice, any make, caliber or model, but with the stipulation that participants must prove that they do not already own any firearms. “We’re not adding to anyone’s collection,” Trump will say at a White House press conference. “We just need more good guys and good gals out there with the tools to engage the bad guys.” “Oh, fuck me,” most law enforcement officers will say to each other.
Tactical body armor with roll over the fashion industry like a ceramic plate typhoon.
Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard will be seen leaving a hotel room early one morning after a Democratic Party debate, leading to all sorts of media questions and speculations, and to calls by the Gay and Lesbian Legitimacy Board for investigations.
The American Psychiatric Association will announce that anxiety is actually a treatment for depression.
A report from the Coalition of Conservative Scientists will claim that all existing species of animals, and also some plants, engage in rape, and so did the dinosaurs, and thus it is part of the natural order. “So, get over it.”
Scientific American, Science News and National Geographic will all publish editorials, in response, claiming that the same can be said of homosexual behavior, documented in hundreds of other animals species, in nature. “So, you first.”
Greenland will become the new Florida.
Florida will become the new Atlantis.
Gondoleer will become a hot new job opportunity in Miami, New Orleans and New York.
The entire Sackler family will have their last name legally changed to Gonzalez.
India will announce a new campaign to reform Jammu and Kashmir into the “Indian Switzerland,” complete with quaint mountain villages, lots of ski resorts and hundreds of new mountain gondolas and aerial trams. Prime Minister Modi will announce contests to select a new cheese, new beer and Hindu mountain lederhausen to support the new Jammu and Kashmir brand.
The first SETI signal will be received from aliens claiming that they have Jeffrey Epstein and that they would like to return him. But, they still want to hang onto Elvis for a while longer, if that is OK.
Boeing’s stock will rebound and surge after they rebrand the 737 Max to the 737 Maxine.
Greta Thunberg will appear in the next X-Men movie as ClimaRage and will beat down Magneto with guilt and shame.
Joe Biden will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but will not pull out of the race. “Does it even matter anymore?” he will say at the press conference announcing the diagnosis.
Hong Kong will go dark and become the worlds largest abandoned mall.
Disney will announce its purchase of the Notre Dame Cathedral. The entertainment behemoth will claim that only it has the resources to successfully complete the renovation of the fire-damaged landmark, and the culture to maintain French history and tradition. Tours of the site will begin soon after and will be led by Snow White and Mickey Mouse.
Disney will also announce that it has purchased Stonehenge, the Pyramids, Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, and that all these new properties will be anchors for new entertainment megahubs. Disney spokespeople will claim that only Disney has the resources to maintain these historical and cultural marvels, and at the same time better leverage their tourism revenue potentials. And they also have animated feature length movies for each site, coincidentally.
A Religious Liberty bill will be signed into law reassigning all non-Christians to their new Christian denominations. Buddhists will become Baptists. Muslims will become Methodists. The Hindus will become Congregationalists. Mormons will become Presbyterians. “What about us?” the Unitarians will ask in a barely heard voice, to which the official response will be, “Go talk to the Catholics. Maybe they want you.”
Pay day loans, reverse mortgages and high frequency trading will be recognized by the SEC, FTC and Justice Department as key corruptions and cancers to capitalism. Nonetheless, they will spread and proliferate like weeds. New types and styles of snake oils and shell games will join them in the disfigurement of capitalism.
A growing number and majority of stores, restaurants and businesses in general will no longer accept cash, preferring credit cards and digital currency. Most panhandlers, prostitutes and drug dealers will also stop accepting cash and will instead require PayPal, Venmo or Bitcoin.
Surveillance will become ubiquitous as all devices in our lives - phones, doorbells, coffeemakers, tablets, speakers, watches, TVs, thermostats, crockpots, electrical plugs, litter boxes, remote controls, dog collars, security systems, vibrators, cars, weapons, (the list is growing) etc. - will harvest data about our lives and behaviors and feed that data to “data brokers” who analyze and sell that to other corporations. In response to this growing threat, personal data security companies will emerge that will require customers to register their personal data with them and will promise to protect that data. People will fall for this.
Online social influencer and personal data broker will become top paying jobs.
The first inter-species hybrid human will come to light in a gene-splicing lab somewhere in China. It will be either a pigboy or a monkeygirl. Scientific and medical authorities around the world will express their outrage. Meanwhile, millions will clamor to place orders for puppyboys and kittygirls.
The U.S. Department of Defense will officially begin planning strategies to weaponize the Internet. PornhubDoD.mil will be announced as the “nuclear option.”
The Republican and Democratic parties will assume new nicknames, the Hatfields and McCoys. “Oh, puh-lease,” will say 89-year-old Dolly Hatfield, granddaughter of “Devil” Anse Hatfield, of Possum Holler, Kentucky, to reporters from her nursing home, “we was never as bad as all them DC politicians. They’re downright crazy. We was just a mite pissed off.”
Dating apps will go the way of porn magazines as mating algorithms begin populating our phones and browsers with photos of candidates in our lane, based on various demographic variables. Amazon and Google will provide online weddings, will even provide avatars to act as bridesmaid and best-man.
Digisex will trend as the new safe alternative to physical sex.
The $15.5 trillion US corporate debt bubble, 74% of US GDP, will burst, throwing the US into economic chaos. Celebrations, by those who have dreamed of the event, will be short-lived when it is realized that no one’s phones work.
Nancy Pelosi and Bill Maher will be the first residents to check in at a luxurious new reeducation camp outside of Fairbanks. The string of new American Gulags with be a booming new industry and will provide many jobs for patriotic Alaskans.
Many US churches will begin installing security checkpoints, gun emplacements and sniper overwatch.
Many schools will implement TCPs, Traffic Control Points, manned by armed security personnel, except at rural schools, where TCPs will be manned by armed teachers and parents, and in some districts, students.
The PSC, Private Security Corporation, industry will surge and boom like a high school band at halftime at a Friday night football game.
High school bands will begin wearing tactical body armor at Friday night halftimes.
Hillary Clinton will finally reveal the location of Jimmy Hoffa’s body. “I told her not to do it!” Bill will say at her trial.
Trump will get reelected and will immediately sign an executive order establishing The Department of Truth, whose mandate will be to officially and legally determine which facts are truths and which are lies. Using the term “alternative facts” will become illegal.
The Democratic Party candidates for president will switch from debates to playing concerts as a band, during which each gets a solo spotlight, during which they have 5 minutes to play their instrument and riff on politics. Squabbles over who plays lead guitar and the drums will follow the band throughout their tour. Buttigieg will never stop complaining about having to play the flute.
A startup company will release a new product called the Emonilometer, which will measure a person’s emotional and spiritual depth and flow. Various plans ands price points will be available. Sales will soar as customers catch on that the more you pay the deeper your flow. (Note: A “nilometer” is used to measure river depth and flow, was first used by the ancient Egyptians.)
Multiple sources within the White House will claim that Trump’s favorite new phrase is “It’s good to be the king.” Sources close to Mel Brooks will claim that his favorite new phrase is, “Oy vey.”
A new extinct human species will be discovered. Homo idioticus will answer a lot of burning questions regarding the human tree of evolution, and the current state of humanity.
The collapse of the dairy industry, due to unmanageable costs and ratios, will lead scientists and farmer to look for other sources of milk, beyond almond and oat. New options will include shark milk, beetle milk, flamingo milk and even spider milk, for which demand will quickly out-strip supplies, due to consumers hoping for spider super powers.
A joint Chinese-Israeli-SpaceX project will start building a lunar station on the moon. The station will be focused on research and mining, but also will offer “Do It On the Moon” romantic get-away packages for couples.
The Labor Secretary will quip during a press conference that “retirement is for pussies.”
US Space Command will begin selecting and training its first class of Space Rangers.
LSD and psilocybin will be the new cure-all super-drugs, for everything from depression, addiction and dementia. Doctors and pharmacists will take to referring to these as Timothy Leary treatments. Members of the Leary family will demand a cut of the action.
Coach Orgeron and LSU will replace Saban and Alabama as the defining college football program, and will set new standards in 2020 when LSU becomes the first to sign a QB right out of middle school. Other schools will soon follow.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will make a soft porn short film together in an attempt to connect with American voters.
Copyright Jeff Forker 2020
submitted by jaforker to satire [link] [comments]

What is bad about bitcoin?

What is bad about bitcoin?

https://preview.redd.it/efwk0tmidmw31.png?width=2560&format=png&auto=webp&s=7952d767bc7054084216de931c2c2ecf7d2c564e
In recent days, bitcoin is almost the most popular topic. In just a few hours, its value could rise by a thousand dollars, or it could fall. Cryptocurrency, which once cost about a cent, is now bought for 10 thousand dollars, and the interest in it is huge. Now I will try to explain why Bitcoin is not an ideal solution to human problems.

Bitcoin is not regulated by any state. It's good. But bad, too

Who has the right to print money-the state or independent structures? Now, without exception, all countries believe that the state: it collects taxes, and prints the currency in which these taxes are collected. As soon as we break this chain, there are opportunities for all kinds of abuses-and for tax evasion, and for the financing of terrorism, and for the laundering of money obtained through criminal means.
https://preview.redd.it/i1624668hmw31.png?width=1366&format=png&auto=webp&s=c0969d60d97fa6e6fcbac052676074051ccaa571
"Bitcoin shows how great is the need for ways to launder funds," says Larry Fink, head of the management company BlackRock Financial Management, and most bankers and officials around the world agree with him.
The lack of a regulator is a good advertising sign, but it's actually a bit of guile. Control of the cryptocurrency is distributed among Chinese manners, who own most of the computing power, software developers and exchange platforms. And they can not agree on a single development of bitcoin.

Bitcoin for many is a replacement for roulette

Or, in financial parlance, it's a great asset to speculate on. Buying bitcoins is relatively simple, does not require any special knowledge and trips to investment companies. The cryptocurrency has very sharp fluctuations, which attracts a lot of "gamblers" — those who bet rather than invest-to "play" with the rate. This only increases the fluctuations and makes Bitcoin look like a pyramid scheme.
https://preview.redd.it/fuytmxwtdmw31.png?width=1498&format=png&auto=webp&s=aa2c9430c0eb88da4cf661edf4be23fa8ff67d8e

Bitcoin is very similar to the "bubble"

At the time of the famous pyramid MMM critics warned: no asset in the world can not provide a yield of hundreds of percent per year. Bitcoin for the year has risen in price by 15 times, and it is increasingly compared to the "dotcom bubble" that burst in the early 2000s. then investors overestimated the economy associated with the Internet, not fully understanding its capabilities and device. There is a feeling that investors in bitcoin also do not understand how it works or what it can be used for.
https://preview.redd.it/zffhiq1bgmw31.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=d94337f21d4f0007f3c9e81d6f2b869f9bb05258

Miners spend a huge amount of energy

Mining is required to create new coins and make transactions. Bitcoin uses a scheme for this process, which involves carrying out a huge number of calculations and turns into a waste of a large amount of energy. With the rising cost of cryptocurrency mining new bitcoins is becoming more profitable. Therefore, miners are increasing the capacity of their systems, and more and more energy is consumed. Now so much energy is spent on maintaining the work of bitcoin that it would be enough for some countries. Soon, according to this indicator, the cryptocurrency will overtake the energy consumption of Serbia, Denmark, and then Belarus.
In other words, for the system to function, we need to burn a huge amount of oil, gas and other raw materials. Is it worth it?

Bitcoin does not perform socially useful functions

This argument is more philosophical than economic, although expressed by economists. Usually an asset is worth something because it is useful: we understand why we are willing to pay for oil, iPhones, hamburgers and so on — because all of this, roughly speaking, makes the world a better place. Bitcoin, according to economists — for example, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz-does not change the world.
In response, one could argue that bitcoin and everything that happens around it is a test of the idea of cryptocurrencies for strength, which means that there is still a benefit, but is this benefit commensurate with the value of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an imperfect cryptocurrency

A huge number of different cryptocurrencies are trying to correct the shortcomings of bitcoin. As a result, there are already cryptocurrencies that provide:

  • an increase in the number of transactions
  • other schemes for creating blocks that do not turn into a large consumption of electricity
  • full anonymity to participants of transactions
  • concealment from observers of transaction sizes
  • the use of new promising technologies such as smart contracts
  • no restrictions on the number of new coins
submitted by AVAY11 to u/AVAY11 [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

In relation to this post:
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/eupegk/technical_review_of_the_past_10_years_and_how_the/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended to help increase public understanding of BTC and thus increase it's adoption. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on? - we are really excited about this project and hope to make it to the best of our abilities.
----

1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value*, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many* bubbles*, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What* utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none*. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.*
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations*. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the* blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to btc [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

Based on this post I made a bit earlier:
https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinBeginners/comments/euozq4/blockchain_and_btc_technical_review_of_the_past/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended for beginners I think this subreddit would be a good place to get some feedback. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on?
----

1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many bubbles, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to u/Theus5 [link] [comments]

[Event] Bit by Boring Bit

March 29th, 2023
Tbilisi, Georgia
The official currency of Georgia is the Lari. It is roughly worth around one-third of an American dollar, and can be minted as a coin or printed on a bill worth up to 200 GEL. However, it is not the Lari that drives the conversation surrounding currency in the nation of Georgia. While it is the most commonly used and is unlikely to ever be replaced barring crisis or conquest, the currency causing the greatest commotion in the country right now is not tied to any government, not bound by any nation or central bank. And in an increasingly digital world, it may serve as one of the best investments Georgians have ever made, or it may prove to be one of the greatest follies in economic history.
Most people across the globe would not expect Georgia to have any stake in cryptocurrency, but the small Caucasus country is actually ranked second in the world for cryptocurrency mining, behind only the giant that is the Chinese economy. The driving factors of this craze, which is mostly centered around Bitcoin but includes other currencies such as Zcash, Ethereum, LiteCoin, and others, are Georgia's relative lack of regulation surrounding crypto compared to other countries, and the availability of affordable and accessible hydroelectric power. Entire buildings have been set aside to serve as data mines, and the Alazani Valley is quickly adopting crypto-mining alongside wine-making as its premier industry. From home offices to even entire political parties, the Georgian people believe that cryptocurrency may be the industry that sets their economy apart and brings their country into the future.
However, the advent of crypto also indicates a philosophical position in regards to the nations economy. Georgia hosts one of the freest markets in the world, and prides itself in the fact that it is consistently regarded as one of the easiest nations to start and perform business in. It would then follow that for many, the rise of bitcoin represents the continuation of this trend toward economic freedom, with many hopeful that the existence of international cryptocurrencies will eliminate the need for central banks and usher in a new age of capitalism. A new political party, the Girchi party, even advocates the privatization of all state assets through the issuing of a national Georgian cryptocurrency. While this view is not widely held or taken seriously in most circles, it does reflect a growing mentality in Georgia.
On the opposing side, many other economists are wary of the effect that this "digital gambling" may have on the nation, and point that data mining ultimately creates few jobs and is not sustainable, as well as offers few benefits to Georgia compared to other nations that Georgia outsources to. They believe that the "Bitcoin Bubble" is bound to burst any year now, and that while limited investment is benefit, it would behoove the country to refrain from banking too much on the success of an unregulated, untrackable online currency.
For now, the national government has decided to continue its current stance of subsidizing limited amounts of electricity for cryptocurrency mining for companies that have proven their fiscal responsibility and are able to submit proof that their operations are sustainable and beneficial for all Georgians in the long-run. While the current policy is to avoid unnecessary risks and monitor the industry to prevent the rise of scams, the state has committed itself to the belief that Georgia cannot experience the economic growth that it needs without taking a few calculated risks.
submitted by planetpike57 to Geosim [link] [comments]

The Statue of Liberty, Mystery Babylon, Freemasonry and The New Roman Empire / Fourth Reich

The Mother of Exiles and the Destruction of Babylon

I've always thought Mystery Babylon in Revelations was America. Lots of signs point to that. Inanna/Ishtar was known as the Whore of Babylon and Mother of Prostitutes because she supposedly started the practice of sacred prostitution. Inanna was the goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_prostitution
Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution,[1] and religious prostitution are general terms for a sexual rite consisting of sexual intercourse or other sexual activity performed in the context of religious worship, perhaps as a form of fertility rite or divine marriage (hieros gamos). Some scholars prefer the term sacred sex to sacred prostitution in cases where payment for services was not involved.
But some scholars believe that this practice never existed and has been misunderstood.
The practice of sacred prostitution has not been substantiated in any Ancient Near Eastern cultures, despite many popular descriptions of the habit.[7] Through the twentieth century, scholars generally believed that a form of sacred marriage rite or hieros gamos was staged between the king of a Sumerian city-state and the High Priestess of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare, but no certain evidence has survived to prove that sexual intercourse was included. Along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there was a temple of Eanna, meaning house of heaven[8] dedicated to Inanna in the Eanna District of Uruk.This will be relevant in my next post about the source of Yahweh's narcissism but for now, I'm just using this to illustrate part of the reason I think America is Babylon.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KlpGZ9JO_d4/U0P2Y-3kfEI/AAAAAAAAMJs/PEwa9mPU67w/s1600/Lady+Liberty+-+Statue+of+Liberty+-+Inanna+-+Ishtar+-+Anunnaki.jpg
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tSRx02UBNgI/U0P3ep3x4TI/AAAAAAAAMJ0/rtpe2JWA2ew/s1600/Roman+statue+goddess+libertas+-+staue+of+liberty.jpg
The Statue of Liberty is a representation of the Roman goddess Libertas. Which is a goddess that derived from many other goddesses: Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Aphrodite, Venus, etc. Ultimately this goddess was transformed in a personification of America and liberty called Columbia. And just like Inanna, is it any wonder America seems to have 2 split sides to it? One side that is sexually repressed and all about virtue. And another that is obsessed with sex, violence, war
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_(name)
There's also the fact that the way Babylon is described sounds a lot like America. Getting the whole world drunk on our luxuries and riches, being arrogant and being fools who know nothing. This sounds like America too.
The Sumerians worshipped Inanna as the goddess of both warfare and sexuality. Unlike other gods, whose roles were static and whose domains were limited, the stories of Inanna describe her as moving from conquest to conquest. She was portrayed as young and impetuous, constantly striving for more power than she had been allotted.
Inanna also was depicted as riding a Lion and she associated with the planet Venus.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fc/b2/6e/fcb26ee6c838d85f53dada348b1d9863.jpg
http://www.mesopotamiangods.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/3a-Anu-Inanna-1.jpg
https://goddessinspired.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/inanna-descent.jpg
Regulus is a part of the constellation Leo and considered "the heart of the lion". Considering Regulus is a very important star in Trump's birth chart apparently, and that star was known as The King in Babylon (known as the little king as well in other places), that would make Trump the King of Babylon.
In 2014, Regulus was eclipsed by an asteroid for 14 seconds right over New York.
https://www.nymetroweather.com/tag/regulus/
An asteroid will pass directly in front of Regulus, one of the brightest stars in our night sky, next Wednesday — briefly blacking out the star in what astronomers are calling a “once in a lifetime” event. Better yet, New York City falls directly within the viewing path which is literally paper-thin on the earths scale. The event is so small, and so brief, that it will only be visible over a sliver of area. And this area happens to encompass millions of people in New York City, Northeast NJ and Long Island.
https://www.space.com/25084-regulus-star-lion-constellation-leo.html
On Thursday, March 20 2014, Regulus will participate in a rare celestial event when an asteroid passes directly in front of the star, as seen from Earth. The asteroid in question is 163 Erigone. Asteroid 163 Erigone is about 45 miles (72 km) wide, but its "shadow" slanting to Earth's surface will be 67 miles (108 km) wide.
Erigone's shadow will move on a southeast-to-northwest trajectory and will extend from New York City as well as western and central Long Island to Oswego in New York State, and then continues northwest, the length of Ontario to the Hudson Bay shore of Manitoba. Those who are within the shadow path and watching at just the right moment with just their eyes will see an amazing sight: Regulus will seem to abruptly disappear as if a switch had been thrown, blotted out by the tiny invisible asteroid.
Regulus will remain invisible for up to 14 seconds (for those situated along the center of the path); an incredible, albeit very brief occurrence.
This "once in a lifetime event" eclipsing right over New York. Where the Statue of Liberty is.
Revelations 17
There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:
15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
America's colors are red, white and blue. Red+Blue = Purple. Purple apparently represents royalty as well as vanity. Scarlet represents the blood of Christ and martyrs.
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple
The color purple is also associated with royalty in Christianity, being one of the three traditional offices of Jesus Christ, i. e. king, although such a symbolism was assumed from the earlier Roman association or at least also employed by the ancient Romans.
In Europe and America, purple is the color most associated with vanity, extravagance, and individualism. Among the seven major sins, it represents vanity. It is a color which is used to attract attention
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_(color)
In the Roman Catholic Church, scarlet is the color worn by a cardinal, and is associated with the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs, and with sacrifice.
According to this, the creator wanted the Statue of Liberty to be covered in gold.
and was glittering with gold
https://parade.com/311395/viannguyen/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-statue-of-liberty-she-was-almost-gold/
**8.Bartholdi planned for the statue to be covered in gold.**In order to make the statue visible after dark, Bartholdi proposed that Americans raise the money to gild her. However, given how daunting and arduous a task it had been to gather even enough money to place the statue in New York harbor, no one followed through on paying the enormous cost of covering the massive statue in gold.
Not to mention this little interesting fact that brings the 2nd Beasts actions that are spoken of to mind.
:The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
:**9. Thomas Edison once had plans to make the statue talk.**When Edison introduced the phonograph to the public in 1878, he told the newspapers that he was designing a “monster disc” for the interior of the Statue of Liberty that would allow the statue to deliver speeches that could be heard up to the northern part of Manhattan and across the bay. Thankfully, no one pursued that strange promise, which would have led to the odd experience of walking in New York and suddenly hearing the Statue of Liberty “talking.”
precious stones and pearls.
http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-the-statue-of-liberty/
There are 25 windows in the crown which symbolize gemstones found on the earth and the heaven’s rays shining over the world.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/10/that-time-the-statue-of-liberty-almost-got-a-glowing-wrist-watch/504110/
The sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue to be fully illuminated, a feature that’s suggested in its official name, “La Liberté Eclairant le Monde,” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” (At first the Statue of Liberty doubled as a lighthouse, given its position in the New York Harbor, but that didn’t last: It was decommissioned as such in 1902.)
Originally the lighting scheme was to be red, white, and blue—with a giant searchlight trained on the statue’s face and shoulders. Officials claimed in 19th-century newspaper accounts that they would make the statue so bright as to cast a glow on the clouds of the night sky 100 miles away. The statue’s face was to be lit by a reflector so bright that newspapers described it as “4 million candle power.” Her diadem was meant to sparkle with electric light. These were lofty goals in the dawn of the electrical age, and they carried symbolism that has lost much of its potency now that electricity is taken for granted.
https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/torch-statue-liberty-closeup-isolated-white-background-56181619.jpg
She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
In the torch, the flames are covered in gold. Looks enough like a cup. Also, in Isaiah 14:12 (another prophecy detailing the fall of Babylon that I didn't bother copying and pasting all of here) it refers to Babylon (or it's king) as "Lucifer, son of the morning". Lucifer means "light bringer" (hence the torch and the statue's original name being Liberty Enlightening the World) or "morning star" which is another name for the planet Venus which is associated with Inanna/Ishtar.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
https://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/statue-of-liberty-from-above-aerial-satellite-photo.jpg
Notice how that star shape has 11 points? Seems like a strange number.
The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority
The 10 kings + the beast = 11.
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings.
It has 7 spikes coming out of the head.
https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/01_00240318.jpg?quality=85
We're a very diverse country and Lady Liberty represents us taking in people from all countries. We pretty much control the world (for now) as the 7 hills represents the 7 continents, which is literally what is said they represent. Plus she's literally sitting on an island in the water.
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
The creator of the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was a Freemason and they placed this plaque at the base of the statue.
https://untappedcities-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/iyftc1oqf704bytwz45ub151.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Statue-of-Liberty-Freemason-Cornerstone-NYC.jpg
Masonic theories abound about the Statue of Liberty’s connection to the masons. Those who do ascribe to the theory cite Bartholdi’s and Eiffel’s membership in the Freemasons, that many original plans for the statue demonstrate the link and that many elements of the statue carry symbolic meaning.
In addition, the masons presided over the cornerstone laying for the Statue of Liberty, a moment commemorated in a 1984 plaque in dedication to the masons on the 100th anniversary. In 1884, the grand master William A. Brodie laid the cornerstone with grand lodge members present. Brodie is reported to have said, “Why call upon the Masonic Fraternity to lay the cornerstone of such a structure as is here to be erected? No institution has done more to promote liberty and to free men from the trammels and chains of ignorance and tyranny than has Freemasonry.”
Then there's the poem that is inside the base.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries sheWith silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The Mother of exiles.

Prophecies of the Destruction of Babylon / America / New York

Jeremiah 51
45 “Come out of her, my people!Run for your lives!Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.46 Do not lose heart or be afraidwhen rumors are heard in the land;one rumor comes this year, another the next,rumors of violence in the landand of ruler against ruler.47 For the time will surely comewhen I will punish the idols of Babylon;her whole land will be disgraced
Well, we're definitely hearing of rumors of violence here in America and if there aren't rumors of ruler against ruler, we're going hear them soon.
The Bible details the destruction of Babylon a few different times. Mystery Babylon seems to be a new Babylon, different than the one in Biblical times, that gets destroyed at the end. Everything described here sounds like America and the King of Babylon being Trump. The capital being New York.
With the eclipse of Regulus in 2014 for 14 seconds right over New York. I think they might get hit with something major. Maybe a hurricane. This season is suppose to be bad and FEMA is saying they are completely unprepared. I'm sure that wasn't on purpose or anything. I think maybe a big earthquake might happen soon too in the next month. Seeing a lot of weird shit. A lot of polarity with the planets and asteroids. I think it's all connected to our polarity as the Trump Delusion continues. You seeing these reports and videos of these racist people just saying mean shit to people all over the place now for no reason? They're lashing out because they're scared their delusion bubble might burst so they're acting out. It's only going to escalate until both sides completely lose their fucking minds.
OLD TESTAMENT, ISAIAH, JERMEMIAH
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+13&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+14&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+21&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+50&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+51&version=NIV
NEW TESTAMENT, BOOK OF REVELATIONS
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+18&version=NIV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=NIV

The New Roman Empire / Fourth Reich & The Double Headed Eagle of Lagash

http://watchmanscry.com/?p=6230
Welcome to General Election 2016 – The Transition
The Hegelian Dialectic is the transition of things. And the Illuminati loves to use it. We have been expecting it.
We have read about it. And now it is here, in front of our faces. And many are IGNORING it.
Folks, we are witnessing Hegelian logic on display.
How we got here is an aside, but here we are. The disease is Hillary, and the medicine is Trump. For most folks, that’s all that matters. Case closed. What most citizens do not realize is that this is all a ruse. A mirage.
It is being carried by, “they.”
“They” are using the illusion, because America was stationary and stubborn.
“You can’t New World Order me!” Americans said, “…Because we know about you.”
Did the globalists go away and cry in their beer? Nope. They knew this would happen. It was expected. Butsome of the citizens heard a few radio shows that told them, “we’re gonna win.”
Hegel’s dialectic utilizes the “mirage.” And then steers the people through its house of mirrors with scary monsters. In America’s case, the monster is a short woman with a trucker’s voice named Hillary. Their task is simple. Globalism. But how do they get there?
Simple:
Scare them with the Thesis – Hillary / the Enemy of Freedom.
And offset her with the Anti-thesis – Donald the Lion-Hearted / Champion of the People.
…Next stop – the Synthesis. Ashes with a rising phoenix.
It's right there in front of us. Do you see it folks?
This is also known as
Problem > Reaction > Solution
Ultimately this is leading to:
Problem: Trump vs Deep State
Reaction: Global Disaster
Solution: One world government and one world currency
They say this is a double headed eagle, it's not. It's a double headed Phoenix. And it's the symbol of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonary.
http://uscnjpha.org/history/double-headed-eagle/
http://uscnjpha.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/F.png
“The Double Headed Eagle of Lagash” is the oldest Royal Crest in the World… No emblematic device of today can boast of such antiquity. Its origin has been traced to the ancient city of Lagash. It was in use a thousand years before the Exodus from Egypt and more than two thousand years before the building of “King Solomon’s Temple.”
“As time rolled on, it passed from the Sumerians to the men of Akkad, from the men of Akkad to the Hittites, from the denizens of Asia Minor to the Seljukian Sultans from whom it was brought by the Crusaders to the Emperors of the East and West, whose successors were the Hapsburgs and the Romanoffs.”
“In recent excavations, the city-emblem of Lagash was disclosed also as a lion headed eagle sinking his claws into the bodies of two lions standing back to back. This is evidently a variant of the other eagle symbol”.
“The city of Lagash is in Sumer in Southern Babylonia, between the Euphrates and the Tigris and near the modern Shatra in Iraq, Lagash had a calendar of twelve lunar months, a system of weights and measures, a banking and accounting system and was a center of art, literature, military and political power, five thousand years before Christ”.
“In 102 B.C. the Roman Consul Marius decreed that the Eagle be displayed as a symbol of Imperial Rome. Later, as a world power, Rome used the Double-Headed Eagle, one head facing the East the other facing the West, symbolizing the universality and unity of the Empire. The Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire continued its use and the symbol was adopted later in Germany during the halcyon days of conquest and imperial power”.
So far as is known, the Double-Headed Eagle was first used in Freemasonry in 1758 by a Masonic Body in Paris – the Emperors of the East and West. During a brief period the Masonic Emperors of the East and West controlled the advanced degrees then in use and became a precursor of the “Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite”.
The Latin caption under the Double-Headed Eagle – “Spes Mea in Deo Est” translated is “My Hope Is In God”.
A part of this sounds familiar
“In recent excavations, the city-emblem of Lagash was disclosed also as a lion headed eagle sinking his claws into the bodies of two lions standing back to back. This is evidently a variant of the other eagle symbol”.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6f/a6/cb/6fa6cb2757061c76d7aa6ea211e2868c.jpg
https://goddessinspired.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/inanna-descent.jpg
In 102 B.C. the Roman Consul Marius decreed that the Eagle be displayed as a symbol of Imperial Rome. Later, as a world power, Rome used the Double-Headed Eagle, one head facing the East the other facing the West, symbolizing the universality and unity of the Empire. The Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire continued its use and the symbol was adopted later in Germany during the halcyon days of conquest and imperial power”.
So far as is known, the Double-Headed Eagle was first used in Freemasonry in 1758 by a Masonic Body in Paris – the Emperors of the East and West. During a brief period the Masonic Emperors of the East and West controlled the advanced degrees then in use and became a precursor of the “Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite”
So it represented the universality and unity of the Empire of Rome and was later adopted by Germany during their days of conquest and imperial power. For these Freemasons, it represents two emperors, one from the east and one from the west coming together to create one empire. Hmm.. I wonder if that has any significance to today's world.
https://st2.depositphotos.com/8575830/12480/i/950/depositphotos_124801418-stock-photo-russian-two-headed-eagle-coat.jpg
https://www.rbth.com/history/327634-why-is-double-headed-eagle-a-symbol-of-russia
The imperial bird with two heads simultaneously facing East and West has been Russia’s official coat of arms for centuries, with only a break during the Soviet era. The emblem, however, is far older than the country, with roots dating to ancient civilizations.
An eagle on a country’s coat of arms is quite common – this bird is as popular a national symbol as the lion. “He is the king of birds; just like the lion is believed to rule all animals, and he is associated with the cult of the sun,” Georgy Vilinbakhov, head of Russia’s Heraldic Council, explains.
http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2012/01/17/donald-trump-at-last-awarded-the-scottish-coat-of-arms/
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Coat_of_Arms_of_Donald_Trump.svg/2000px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Donald_Trump.svg.png
http://revelationtimelinedecoded.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/phoenix3.jpg
So Trump's new coat of arms has the same symbol as Russia which symbolizes 2 empires, one from the east and one from the west, combining into one.
Does the way they dress look familiar to anyone?
http://uscnjpha.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/uscnj.png

The Rise of The Phoenix and One World Currency

https://socioecohistory.wordpress.co...mist-magazine/
Source: Economist; 01/9/88, Vol. 306, pp 9-10
https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/theeconomist-phoenix_get_ready_for_world_currency_by_2018.jpg
Title of article: Get Ready for the Phoenix
THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction. Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987. The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform. For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October. These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers. The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder
The new world economyThe biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates. as a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another. These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates. As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still. With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile.
In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving. As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments. In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.) The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment.
The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF. The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate- would be in its charge. Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit. With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today. This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case. Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.
As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice. They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades. Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones. It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies. That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union. The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.
The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy- would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows. This course offers governments a splendid time. They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices. It is a growth-crippling prospect. Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.
https://medium.com/@torrmara/1988-crypto-prophesy-from-the-economist-e201ab28aa26
So it was a random Sunday: bed, eat, repeat until I went online and I saw a link by a new user called @limon. There was a small introduction to a YouTube video which at first glance didn’t look interesting, but what the hell? Lets read this.
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...lLpi-xYDCw.png
He talked about an article from The Economist, year 1988, coin, phoenix and then Zoin… wtf?
Anyways, I opened the link (don’t open links from strangers) and watched the video in Youtube, (it’s in Spanish)
@limon claims in the video (minute 5) that he actually found a not so well know cryptocurrency (yet) by doing some research on an article from 1988 and he is somehow convinced it’s going to be huge. Yes, @limon saw the writing and thought maybe I should check this and find out which is the coin of the future.
As crazy as it seems, finding a cryptocurrency by doing research on a 1988 magazine its quite incredible. Is it a coincidence or is it a prediction? Not even @limon knows, but there’s a few things that can blow up your mind here.
This is the article from 1988. It claims that there will be a currency (referred as “phoenix”) that will be used by everybody in several countries in 2018.
So yes, you all might say “the coin is called the Phoenix”. There’s actually a coin called Phoenixcoin but that didn’t seem to convince @limon once he checked it out in www.coinmarketcap.com (it sucked even for @limon who wanted to believe with all his heart)
But @limon didn’t give up, he thought what if its hidden? So he decided to take a closer look at the magazine cover.
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...LKufsoJVug.png
He noticed that he could read the letters backward (um…interesting)
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...Ir1KSVOMbw.png
He got XIN3ONd NET by reading the cover letter backwards and he said well, XIN is Chinese, and found out in google translator that XIN meant NEW.
Then 3ONd he looked at it and thought this is Russian… and it was. That weird word that would not mean anything to someone meant something for @limon so he decided to google translate it.
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...uui5nS3hFg.png
Well yeah 3ONd is Russian and means ZOI, but wait is this a coin? @Limon decided to search “ZOI” in www.coinmarketcap.com.
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...LN2UCCLQwg.png
WOW, Zoin existed. He ended up with the sentence NEW ZOI NET, in which Zoi was an actual currency.
He starting searching now all about Zoin (DYOR) and liked everything he saw. The team, the community and development its very much updated.
Got even more carried away when he saw Zoin’s logo:
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...4CV6Ln5sFQ.png
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/...y75KEGoyHQ.png
And when he researched even deeper, he found out that ZOIN was left by its first developer and got taken over by its community from all over the world.
Yes, Zoin emerged from the ashes. What? wait. Zoin is also a Phoenix.
Anyways, @limon found all the signs of a prophecy from 1988.
He couldn’t wait so he joined Zoin’s community and shared his video.
By the way he bought some Zoin. After finding the last lost prophecy he had no plans on missing out.
Check all about Zoin in the following links.
You can reach out to the team on Discord, website address is www.zoinofficial.com and their twitter @zoinofficial
You better don’t miss it. Its a prophecy.
Thank you limon.
@torrmara
Notice the year on the coin and at the end of the article, 2018. "Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes". Trump and Russia both have a double headed Phoenix signifying the union of an Empire. This article talks about a one world currency called "Phoenix" coming in 2018. The number 10 upside down is 01. It's a bit on a coin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(currency))
I posted about an Israeli company that can do things with blockchain and DNA in my previous postings on this topic. I think that this will have something to do with the Mark of the Beast.
https://techstartups.com/2018/05/10/genetic-blockchain-startup-dnatix-releases-first-blockchain-based-open-source-dna-compression-tool/
https://www.dnatix.com/
https://nulltx.com/carverr-wants-to-embed-bitcoin-private-keys-into-strands-of-dna/

Trump is the Tip of the Spear for the NWO Plan

Notice the spear tip coming out of the Phoenix's head on the cover of the Economist magazine? Trump. has a spear on top of both of his coat of arm. Trump is the tip of the sphere. I think once he's fulfilled his purpose in wrecking everything and nuking North Korea, I think they might have someone take him out. Then things would get even crazier.
https://i0.wp.com/www.show-notes.info/thisisit4321/gallery3/vaalbums/SPECIAL-PROJECTS/Welcome-to-the-World-of-Good-and-Evil/TRUMP/TRUMP%20-%20D2.jpg
https://i0.wp.com/www.show-notes.info/thisisit4321/gallery3/vaalbums/SPECIAL-PROJECTS/Welcome-to-the-World-of-Good-and-Evil/Album-number-7/Donald%20Trump%20Tip%20of%20the%20Spear.jpg
https://thelightinthedarkplace.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/donald20trump20front20and20center.jpg?w=816
https://thelightinthedarkplace.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/trump20tower201.jpg?w=816

My Other Posts on This Topic

https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/8tuwr1/what_do_these_2_very_obvious_signs_say_to_you/
https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/8vth1i/trumps_space_force_nesara_and_the_mark_of_the/
submitted by Oblique9043 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

BitCoin is stupid: How the Bitcoin Bubble Bursts Bitcoin Bubble Bursts ‘Bitcoin is a bubble, when it bursts it can be disastrous’ – analyst on bitcoin record Is the bitcoin bubble about to burst? Bitcoin bubble bursting?

The bitcoin mining network now consumes more electricity than 159 countries of the world This article was published in The Beam— Subscribe now for more on the topic. Key stats: 42.67 TWh: The annual energy consumption of Bitcoin and Ethereum combined; 0.19%: The percentage of the world’s electricity used by Bitcoin and Ethereum First, full disclosure - I am a beneficiary of the Bitcoin bubble. Back in April 2016, while working on a story about the cryptocurrency, I bought 0.17 Bitcoin for $87, which was then equivalent ... THE BITCOIN BUBBLE BURSTS. Controversial digital currency collapses as clones saturate the market. Dateline: 15 March 2015 . In essence, Bitcoins are digital artifacts created by using computers to solve complex mathematical formulae, essentially cracking a code. The reward one receives is itself an encrypted code, which can be transferred to others, hence the term ‘crypto currency ... It is hard to see bitcoin’s price surge as anything other than a bubble that will ultimately collapse. Bitcoin’s ostensible social function as an anonymous, nongovernmental means of payment carries big risks of its demise. And while blockchain, the platform that records bitcoin transactions, may wel First, full disclosure - I am a beneficiary of the Bitcoin bubble. Back in April 2016, while working on a story about the cryptocurrency, I bought 0.17 Bitcoin for $87, which was then equivalent ...

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BitCoin is stupid: How the Bitcoin Bubble Bursts

Bitcoin Bubble Will Burst – But No Big Deal Bitcoin has all the hallmarks of a speculative bubble but the global economy will be fine even if it bursts, analysts say. (Shutterstock) Despite ... It is a digital - popular and now very expensive coin -- --- right now just one bit coin will cost you almost $17,000, earlier this year it was around $1,000... NEWSNIGHT: Bitcoin -- the future, or a bubble waiting to burst? - Duration: 6:16. BBC Newsnight 37,320 views. 6:16. Robert Kiyosaki 2019 - The Speech That Broke The Internet!!! KEEP THEM POOR ... Cryptocurrency bitcoin has set another record, breaking through the $12,000 mark for the first time. Compare that with where it was at the beginning of the year, when it was trading at around ... Video Break Down [email protected] 0:00 [email protected] 0:38 [email protected] 1:11 Let's take a [email protected] Bitcoin, will Bitcoin continue to discombobulate? well,let's find out. Bottom ...

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