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Flatten the Curve. #49. Let's Dig into Jade Helm. AI. The Surveillance State. Internet of Things. FISA. Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Breakdown. What is Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio? Stay Aware and Get Ahead of the Curve.

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

Jim Breyer, Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law, Facilitates Russia’s Takeover of Facebook through Yuri Milner
In 2005 Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Partners, invested $1 million of his own money into Facebook and gained a seat on the board (1).
In Feb 2009 Jim Breyer visited Russia with a number of other Silicone Valley investors. While there, Yuri Milner, a Russian tech entrepreneur who founded DST with close ties to the Kremlin, hosted a dinner to cap the entire event (2). As one Moscow source put it:
DST has the backing of the big boys at the top in the Kremlin, which is why it will go from strength to strength (5)
Milner found out Breyer liked Impressionist art and took him to Russian’s Hermitage Museum to view Matisse paintings otherwise closed off to the public. Three months later Yuri Milner’s DST invested into Facebook at a bloated value. (2)
Mr Milner dismissed suggestions that at a valuation of $10bn he overpaid for his stake in Facebook, especially given that the social networking site has yet to prove it has turned to profit. (3)
it’s seen as a desperate and rather vulgar deal on the one hand—Milner buying a small stake in Facebook, valuing the entire company at $10 billion—and, on the other, Facebook debasing itself by taking Russian money. Russian money! In fact, it seems rather like a desperate deal for both parties (in the midst of the banking crisis, Facebook has only two other bidders for this round—and none from the top VC tier) (4)
By the end of 2009, DST would own 10% of Facebook. Later revealed by the Paradise Papers, DST’s investments into Facebook were financed by the Russian government through state-owned Gazprom. That’s right, in 2009 Russia owned 10% of Facebook. (6)
Soon after, the two continued to work together on other investments. Breyer introduced Milner to Groupon, and Milner helped Breyer’s Accel invest into Spotify (7). In 2010 an Accel representative joined a gaggle of Silicon Valley investors to Russia and signed a letter promising to invest into the country (8).
  1. http://fortune.com/2011/01/11/timeline-where-facebook-got-its-funding/
  2. http://fortune.com/2010/10/04/facebooks-friend-in-russia/
  3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/7753692/Facebook-is-just-the-first-step-say-Russians.html
  4. https://www.wired.com/2011/10/mf_milne
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jan/04/facebook-dst-goldman-sachs
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/russia-funded-facebook-twitter-investments-kushner-investor
  7. https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/dst-global-hoping-to-grow-across-asia-puts-down-roots/
  8. http://www.ambarclub.org/executive-education/
Jim Breyer and Rupert Murdoch
Then in Nov 2010 Jim Breyer invested into Artsy.net, run by Rupert Murdoch’s then-wife, Wendi Deng, and Russia oligarch Roman Abramovich’s then-wife, Dasha Zhukova. Jared Kushner’s brother, Josh, also invested in the fledgling company (1).
At the time Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation had a joint venture with the Russian mob-linked oligarch Boris Berezovsky, called LogoVaz News Corporation, that invested in Russian media (4). It was Berezovsky’s protege close to Putin, Roman Abramovich, who tied Berezovsky to the mob.
According to the Mirror Online, Abramovich paid Berezovsky tens, and even hundreds, of millions every year for "krysha", or mafia protection. (5)
In June 2011, Rupert Murdoch ended his foray into social media by selling Myspace to Justin Timberlake (2) and elected Jim Breyer to the board of News Corp (3).
  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-cadre-and-how-to-invest-in-its-real-estate-deals-2016-6
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myspace
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/19990428071733/http://www.newscorp.com:80/
  4. https://www.bloomberg.com/profiles/companies/156126Z:RU-logovaz-news-corp
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Abramovich
Jim Breyer invests in Wickr with Erik Prince
In 2012 Breyer invested in a encrypted messenger app, Wickr. Other investors include Gilman Louie and Erik Prince. To understand the connection, we need to go back to 1987. Breyer, newly hired to Accel Partners, made his first investment with Louie’s video game company that owned the rights to the Soviet Union’s first video game export, Tetris (1).
Louie went off to become the founding CEO of the CIA-backed In-Q-Tel which invested in Palantir. Palantir’s founder, Peter Thiel, sat on the board of Facebook with Breyer (2)(3). On the board of In-Q-Tel is Buzzy Krongard (7), the man who helped Erik Prince’s Blackwater receive their first CIA contract, who also joined the board of Blackwater in 2007 (6).
Around that same time, 2012-2013, Prince met Vincent Tchenguiz, founder of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL (8), and was introduced to Cyrus Behbehani of Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (9). Cyrus Behbehani sat on the board of RusAl with Christophe Charlier, who is also Chairman of the board at Renaissance Capital (10), an early investor of DST (11).
  1. https://wickr.com/wickr-raises-30m-series-b-led-by-jim-breye
  2. https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/CIA-Asks-Silicon-Valley-s-Help-Executive-to-2904775.php
  3. https://www.iqt.org/palantir-technologies/
  4. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/palantir-defense-contracts-lobbyists-226969
  5. https://feraljundi.com/tag/reflex-responses-management-consultancy-llc/
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/17/us/17brothers.html
  7. https://www.marketscreener.com/business-leaders/A-Krongard-006WHL-E/biography/
  8. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/revealed-erik-prince-had-business-ties-with-netanyahus-disgraced-chief-of-staff-1.5627887
  9. https://medium.com/@wsiegelman/a-fresh-look-at-erik-princes-house-intelligence-committee-testimony-and-emails-with-christophe-6603f06c6568
  10. https://medium.com/@wsiegelman/a-fresh-look-at-erik-princes-house-intelligence-committee-testimony-and-emails-with-christophe-6603f06c6568
  11. https://www.vccircle.com/all-you-wanted-know-about-digital-sky-technologies/
Jim Breyer and Yuri Milner invest in Prismatic
That same year, 2012, Jim Breyer invested in Prismatic, a news aggregate app, with Yuri Milner.
Prismatic’s technology works by crawling Facebook, Twitter and the web (“anything with a URL”) to find news stories. It then uses machine learning to categorize them by Topic and Publication. Prismatic users follow these Topics and Publications, as well as Individuals and the algorithm then uses these preferences and user-activity signals to present a relevant Newsfeed. (1)
Sounds like the beginning of what could be a propaganda dissemination tool. That goes in-line with Yuri Milner’s vision of Social Media. Milner’s theory:
“Zuckerberg’s Law”: Every 12 to 18 months the amount of information being shared between people on the web doubles... Over time people will bypass more general websites such as Google in favor of sites built atop social networks where they can rely on friends’ opinions to figure out where to get the best fall handbag, how to change a smoke detector, or whether to vacation in Istanbul or Rome. “You will pick your network, and the network will filter everything for you,” Milner explained. (2)
So how does Milner intend to utilize the data gathered through social media? Let’s see what Milner did to Russia’s top social media site, VK:
In January 2014, Durov sold his 12 percent stake to Ivan Tavrin, the CEO of major Russian mobile operator Megafon, whose second-largest shareholder is Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs, a man who has long been lobbying to take over VK.
Then, in April 2014, Durov stated he had sold his stake in the company and became a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis back in February after "coming under increasing pressure" from the Russian Federal Security Service to hand over personal details of users who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement in Ukraine. (3)
The Euromaidan protest ousted the Russian-backed president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Paul Manafort had worked to install. (4)
  1. https://techcrunch.com/2012/12/05/prismatic/
  2. http://fortune.com/2010/10/04/facebooks-friend-in-russia/
  3. https://cointelegraph.com/news/what-ban-russias-vkcom-is-mining-bitcoin
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych
Facebook talks US Elections with Russia
In Oct 2012 Zuckerberg traveled to Moscow and met Dmitry Medvedev where they had a very interesting conversation:
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Medvedev talked about Facebook’s role in politics, though only jokingly in reference to its importance in the American presidential campaign, according to Mr. Medvedev’s press office. (1)
While there he also visited Victor Vekselberg's Skolkovo, who’s currently under investigation by Mueller for donations to Trump (2).
As Obama’s effort to reboot diplomatic relations [with Russia] sputtered, federal officials began raising alarms about the Skolkovo Foundation’s ties to Putin.
“The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies” (3)
And took time to teach Russian's how to hack Facebook friend data, the same hack used by Cambridge Analytica, Donald Trump’s campaign data firm.
In a 2012 video, Facebook's Simon Cross shows the Moscow crowd how they can "get a ton of other information" on Facebook users and their friends. "We now have an access token, so now let's make the same request again and see what happens," Cross explains (YouTube). "We've got a little bit more data, but now we can start doing really interesting stuff. We can get my friends. We can get some more information about one of my friends. Here's Connor, who you'll meet later. Say 'hello,' Connor. He's waving. And we can also get a ton of other information as well." (4)
Facebook later hired the individual who hacked Facebook and sold the data to Cambridge Analytica (5).
A month after that visit, Putin propaganda mouth-piece Konstantin Rykov, claims he began helping with Trump’s presidential aspirations (6). Days later, Trump registered “Make America Great Again” (7). The following year, Russia's Troll Factory, the Internet Research Agency, was created as was Cambridge Analytica.
  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/technology/zuckerberg-meets-with-medvedev-in-key-market.html
  2. https://www.adweek.com/digital/zuckerberg-russia-skolkovo/
  3. https://apnews.com/5e533f93afae4a4fa5c2f7fe80ad72ac/Sanctioned-Russian-oligarch-linked-to-Cohen-has-vast-US-ties
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heTPmGb6jdc&feature=youtu.be&t=11m54s
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/ma18/facebook-cambridge-analytica-joseph-chancellor-gsr
  6. https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/11/24/a-trumprussia-confession-in-plain-sight/
  7. https://trademarks.justia.com/857/83/make-america-great-85783371.html
Andrei Shleifer and Len Blavatnik
Len Blavatnik, a US-Russian oligarch currently under investigation by Mueller, graduated from Harvard in 1989 and quickly formed Renova-Invest with Viktor Vekselberg, another oligarch under Mueller’s investigation (7)(8). Since then Blavatnik has maintained close ties to the university.
In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Andrei Shleifer led a consortium of Harvard professors to assist Russia’s vice-president, Antaoly Chubais, with the privatization of Russia’s state-run assets. Scandal broke when it was revealed Shleifer, through Blavatnik’s company and with Blavatnik’s guidance, invested in the very companies he worked to privatize. (6)
Years later, Shleifer continued to fund loans to Blavatnik for Russian ventures through his hedge fund, managed by his wife, Nancy Zimmerman (9), and created the Russian Recovery Fund which bought $230 million of Russian debt from Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management (10), who’s seed fun, Tiger Global, later invested in Milner’s DST.
Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg are major investors in Rusal (11).
Schleifer is still a professor at Harvard.
  1. http://harry-lewis.blogspot.com/2014/01/some-russian-money-flows-back-to-harvard.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Blavatnik#cite_note-Yenikeyeff-7
  3. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/investigators-follow-flow-money-trump-wealthy-donors-russian/story?id=50100024
  4. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/01/20/the-billionaires-playlist
  5. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/cafc/16-1718/16-1718-2017-03-14.html
  6. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-25/tangled-rusal-ownership-thwarts-easy-end-to-sanctions-quicktake
Breyer and Harvard
On April 2013, two months after Breyer was elected to the board of Harvard (1), Len Blavatnik, donated $50 million to the school (2) and joined the Board of Dean’s Advisors (3)(4) and Harvard’s Global Advisory Council (6) alongside Breyer. The next month Breyer announced plans to step down from the board of Facebook with an intention of focusing on his latest Harvard appointment (5).
In 2016 Len Blavatnik donated over $7 million to GOP candidates, including $2.5 million to Mitch McConnell himself (7).
  1. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/02/breyer_elected/
  2. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/04/blavatnik_accelerator_donation/
  3. https://www.accessindustries.com/about/academic-boards-committees/
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/21/delivering-alpha-2017-jim-breyer.html
  5. https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/04/27/facebook-board-member-jim-breyer-stepping-down/
  6. http://docplayer.net/54127503-Harvard-global-advisory-council.html
  7. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/03/tangled-web-connects-russian-oligarch-money-gop-campaigns
Breyer invests in Russian Companies
In 2014 Breyer’s Accel Partners invested in Russian hotel booking site, Ostrovok, along with Yuri Milner, Esther Dyson (1), Mark Pincus, and Peter Thiel (2).
Accel Partners also invested in Avito.ru in 2012 (3) and KupiVIP.ru in 2011 (4).
  1. https://techcrunch.com/2014/06/18/ostrovok-raises-new-12m-series-c-round-to-expand-outside-russia/
  2. http://idcee.org/participants/companies/ostrovok/
  3. http://www.ewdn.com/2012/05/02/avito-ru-secures-75-million-investment-from-accel-partners-and-baring-vostok/
  4. http://www.ewdn.com/2011/04/14/leading-private-shopping-club-kupivip-ru-completes-55-m-funding/
Jim Breyer, Blackstone Group, and Saudi Arabia
In 2011 Schwarzman was named to the board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (2), headed by Kirill Dimitriev.
In June 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign, Jim Breyer met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman, or MBS (8). The next month Breyer joined the board of Blackstone Group (1) alongside Stephen Schwarzman and Jacob Rothschild (3). In the past Blackstone Group had loaned Kushner Companies a combined $400 million over multiple projects (7). In the 2018 election cycle, Schwzarman donated $5 million to the pro-McConnell superPAC, Senate Majority PAC (13).
Jacob’s brother, Nat, is business partners with both Oleg Deripaska (4), Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney (5). Nat is also a major investor in Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (6), and RusAl.
In January 2017, Breyer’s business partner at Wickr, Erik Prince, was introduced to Dimitriev by MBS’s emissary, George Nader, and the Crown Prince of the UAE (10).
On October 22, 2018, three weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, when most American investors were spooked away from Saudi Arabia, Jim Breyer showed up at an MBS-hosted Saudi business summit alongside Kirill Dimitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (9). That same day, MBS pledged $20 billion for Blackstone Group's new infrastructure fund (11) to fund Elaine Chao's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan (12). Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnells wife and Jim Breyer's sister-in-law, is Trump's Secretary of Transportation.
  1. https://www.blackstone.com/media/press-releases/article/jim-breyer-to-join-blackstone-s-board-of-directors
  2. https://rdif.ru/Eng_fullNews/53/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Rothschild,_4th_Baron_Rothschild
  4. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/3236166/Muddy-waters-over-Oleg-Deripaska-Nat-Rothschild-and-George-Osborne.html
  5. https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/01/15/cheney-rothschild-fox-news-murdoch-drill-oil-syria-violating-international-law/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Philip_Rothschild
  7. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-26/the-kushners-the-saudis-and-blackstone-behind-the-recent-deals
  8. https://www.thetrustedinsight.com/investment-news/saudi-prince-mohammed-met-with-20-silicon-valley-innovators-in-tech-summit-20160628142/
  9. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-moelis-saudi-arabia-20181023-story.html
  10. https://www.vox.com/2018/3/7/17088908/erik-prince-trump-russia-seychelles-mueller
  11. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-22/how-blackstone-landed-20-billion-from-saudis-for-infrastructure
  12. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-22/how-blackstone-landed-20-billion-from-saudis-for-infrastructure
  13. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/07/20/big-money-is-flowing-into-the-2018-fight-for-the-senate/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f59ac6f2ebe5
submitted by Puffin_Fitness to RussiaLago [link] [comments]

My growing collection of info about NEO

It can be very time consuming to keep up to date on a single blockchain project let alone multiple ones. If you just heard about NEO a few weeks ago it would be impossible catch up on past occurrences due to high volume of Reddit posts and articles made on the project. I’m going to try and simplify the past, present and future as much as I can into one well thought-out post. I hope I can be helpful to anyone who has been investigating like myself. I will include sources with all of my research.
https://imgur.com/a/NBI7S (img for mobile backround)
Key notes from the White Paper http://docs.neo.org/en-us/
Digital Assets
Digital assets are programmable assets that exist in the form of electronic data. With blockchain technology, the digitization of assets can be decentralized, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries. On the NEO blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law.
Digital Identity
Digital identity refers to the identity information of individuals, organizations, and other entities that exist in electronic form. The more mature digital identity system is based on the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard. In NEO, we will implement a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards. This set of digital identity standards, in addition to compatible X.509 level certificate issuance model, will also support Web Of Trust point-to-point certificate issuance model. Our verification of identity when issuing or using digital identities includes the use of facial features, fingerprint, voice, SMS and other multi-factor authentication methods.
Smart Contracts
The NeoContract smart contract system is the biggest feature of the seamless integration of the existing developer ecosystem. Developers do not need to learn a new programming language but use C#, Java and other mainstream programming languages in their familiar IDE environments (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.) for smart contract development, debugging and compilation. NEO's Universal Lightweight Virtual Machine, NeoVM, has the advantages of high certainty, high concurrency, and high scalability. The NeoContract smart contract system will allow millions of developers around the world to quickly carry out the development of smart contracts.
Economic Model
NEO has two native tokens, NEOand NeoGas NEO represents the right to manage the network. Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes, and so on. The minimum unit of NEO is 1 and tokens cannot be subdivided. GAS is the fuel token for the realization of NEO network resource control. The NEO network charges for the operation and storage of tokens and smart contracts, thereby creating economic incentives for bookkeepers and preventing the abuse of resources. The minimum unit of GAS is 0.00000001.
Distribution Mechanism
NEO's 100 million tokens are divided into two portions. The first portion is 50 million tokens distributed proportionally to supporters of NEO during the crowdfunding. This portion has been distributed.
The second portion is 50 million NEO managed by the NEO Council to support NEO's long-term development, operation and maintenance and ecosystem. The NEO in this portion has a lockout period of 1 year and is unlocked only after October 16, 2017. This portion WILL NOT enter the exchanges and is only for long-term support of NEO projects. The plans for it are as below:
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate NEO developers and members of the NEO Council
▪ 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem
▪ 15 million tokens (15% total) will be used to cross-invest in other block-chain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects
▪ 15 million (15% total) will be retained as contingency
▪ The annual use of NEO in principle shall NOT exceed 15 million tokens
GAS distribution
GAS is generated with each new block. The initial total amount of GAS is zero. With the increasing rate of new block generation, the total limit of 100 million GAS will be achieved in about 22 years. The interval between each block is about 15-20 seconds, and 2 million blocks are generated in about one year. According to this release curve, 16% of the GAS will be created in the first year, 52% of the GAS will be created in the first four years, and 80% of the GAS will be created in the first 12 years. GAS will be distributed proportionally in accordance with the NEO holding ratio, recorded in the corresponding addresses. NEO holders can initiate a claim transaction at any time and claim these GAS tokens at their holding addresses.
Consensus mechanism: dBFT
The dBFT is called the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant, a Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus mechanism that enables large-scale participation in consensus through proxy voting. The holder of the NEO token can, by voting, pick the bookkeeper it supports. The selected group of bookkeepers, through BFT algorithm, reach a consensus and generate new blocks. Voting in the NEO network continues in real time, rather than in accordance with a fixed term.
Cross-chain assets exchange agreement
NeoX has been extended on existing double-stranded atomic assets exchange protocols to allow multiple participants to exchange assets across different chains and to ensure that all steps in the entire transaction process succeed or fail together. In order to achieve this function, we need to use NeoContract function to create a contract account for each participant. If other blockchains are not compatible with NeoContract, they can be compatible with NeoX as long as they can provide simple smart contract functionality.
Cross-chain distributed transaction protocol
Cross-chain distributed transactions mean that multiple steps of a transaction are scattered across different blockchains and that the consistency of the entire transaction is ensured. This is an extension of cross-chain assets exchange, extending the behavior of assets exchange into arbitrary behavior. In layman's terms, NeoX makes it possible for cross-chain smart contracts where a smart contract can perform different parts on multiple chains, either succeeding or reverting as a whole. This gives excellent possibilities for cross-chain collaborations and we are exploring cross-chain smart contract application scenarios.
Distributed Storage Protocol: NeoFS
NeoFS is a distributed storage protocol that utilizes Distributed Hash Table technology. NeoFS indexes the data through file content (Hash) rather than file path (URI). Large files will be divided into fixed-size data blocks that are distributed and stored in many different nodes
Anti-quantum cryptography mechanism: NeoQS
The emergence of quantum computers poses a major challenge to RSA and ECC-based cryptographic mechanisms. Quantum computers can solve the large number of decomposition problems (which RSA relies on) and the elliptic curve discrete logarithm (which ECC relies on) in a very short time. NeoQS (Quantum Safe) is a lattice-based cryptographic mechanism. At present, quantum computers do not have the ability to quickly solve the Shortest Vector Problem (SVP) and the Closest Vector Problem (CVP), which is considered to be the most reliable algorithm for resisting quantum computers.
Reasons for choosing dBFT over PoW and PoS:
With the phenomenal success of Bitcoin and its increasing mainstream adoption, the project’s unbounded appetite for energy grew accordingly. Today, the average Bitcoin transaction costs as much energy as powering 3.67 average American homes, which amounts to about 3000 times more than a comparable Credit Card settlement.
This mind boggling amount of energy is not, as it is commonly believed, being wasted. It is put to good use: securing the Bitcoin network and rendering attacks on it infeasible. However, the cost of this security mechanism and its implications for an increasingly warming and resource hungry planet led almost the entire crypto industry to the understanding that an alternative has to be found, at least if we’re interested in seeing blockchain technology gaining overwhelming mainstream adoption.
The most popular alternative to PoW, used by most alternative cryptocurrency systems, is called Proof-of-Stake, or PoS. PoS is highly promising in the sense that it doesn’t require blockchain nodes to perform arduous, and otherwise useless, cryptographic tasks in order to render potential attacks costly and infeasible. Hence, this algorithm cuts the power requirements of PoS blockchains down to sane and manageable amounts, allowing them to be more scalable without guzzling up the planet's energy reserves.
As the name suggests, instead of requiring proof of cryptographic work, PoS requires blockchain nodes to proof stake in the currency itself. This means that in order for a blockchain node to be eligible for a verification reward, the node has to hold a certain amount of currency in the wallet associated with it. This way, in order to execute an attack, a malevolent node would have to acquire the majority of the existing coin supply, rendering attacks not only costly but also meaningless, since the attackers would primarily harm themselves.
PoS, as well as PoW, simply cause the blockchain to fork into two alternative versions if for some reason consensus breaks. In fact, most blockchains fork most of the time, only to converge back to a single source of truth a short while afterwards.
By many crypto enthusiasts, this obvious bug is very often regarded as a feature, allowing several versions of the truth to survive and compete for public adoption until a resolution is generated. This sounds nice in theory, but if we want to see blockchain technology seriously disrupt and/or augment the financial sector, this ever lurking possibility of the blockchain splitting into two alternative versions cannot be tolerated.
Furthermore, even the fastest PoS blockchains out there can accomodate a few hundred transactions per second, compare that to Visa’s 56,000 tx/s and the need for an alternative becomes clear as day.
A blockchain securing global stock markets does not have the privilege to fork into two alternative versions and just sit and wait it out until the market (or what’s left of it) declares a winner. What belongs to whom should be engraved in an immutable record, functioning as a single source of truth with no glitches permitted.
After investigating and studying the crypto industry and blockchain technologies for several years, we came to the conclusion that the delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance alternative (or dBFT) is best suited for such a system. It provides swift transaction verification times, de-incentivises most attack vectors and upholds a single blockchain version with no risk of forks or alternative blockchain records emerging - regardless of how much computing power, or coins an attacker possesses.
The term Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) derives its name from the Byzantine Generals problem in Game Theory and Computer Science, describing the problematic nature of achieving consensus in a distributed system with suboptimal communication between agents which do not necessarily trust each other.
The BFT algorithm arranges the relationship between blockchain nodes in such a way that the network becomes as good as resilient to the Byzantine Generals problem, and allows the system to remain consensus even if some nodes bare malicious intentions or simply malfunction.
To achieve this, Antshare’s version of the delegated BFT (or dBFT) algorithm acknowledges two kinds of players in the blockchain space: professional node operators, called bookkeeping nodes, who run nodes as a source of income, and users who are interested in accessing blockchain advantages. Theoretically, this differentiation does not exist in PoW and most PoS environments, practically, however, most Bitcoin users do not operate miners, which are mostly located in specialized venues run by professionals. At Antshares we understand the importance of this naturally occurring division of labor and use it to provide better security for our blockchain platform.
Accordingly, block verification is achieved through a consensus game held between specialized bookkeeping nodes, which are appointed by ordinary nodes through a form of delegated voting process. In every verification round one of the bookkeeping nodes is pseudo-randomly appointed to broadcast its version of the blockchain to the rest of the network. If ⅔ of the remaining nodes agree with this version, consensus is secured and the blockchain marches on. If less than ⅔ of the network agrees, a different node is appointed to broadcast its version of the truth to the rest of the system, and so forth until consensus is established.
In this way, successful system attacks are almost impossible to execute unless the overwhelming majority of the network is interested in committing financial suicide. Additionally, the system is fork proof, and at every given moment only one version of the truth exists. Without complicated cryptographic puzzles to solve, nodes operate much faster and are able to compete with centralized transaction methods.
https://www.econotimes.com/Blockchain-project-Antshares-explains-reasons-for-choosing-dBFT-over-PoW-and-PoS-659275
OnChain
It is important to note the technical difference between Onchain and NEO. Onchain is a private VC-backed company with over 40 employees. NEO is a public platform with different community-led groups contributing to this public project. There exists NEO council comprised of the original NEO creators, employees from Onchain, full time NEO council members and there is also the first Western based group called City of Zion. This confusion is likely the source of the rumour about Antshares and Alibaba having a connection. Onchain and NEO are separate entities who are intimately related via cross-chain communications and similar designs.
Onchain, a Shanghai-based blockchain R&D company, first started developing Antshares in February of 2014 which will eventually become the foundation of DNA. Onchain was founded by CEO Da HongFei and CTO Erik Zhang in response to the attention from private companies garnered by the development of Antshares, China’s first public blockchain. In contrast to the weeks-old start-ups launching ICOs that is happening currently in the blockchain world, it took them 22 long months of R&D to even begin providing services to their first customers. Finally, in April 2016, the first whitepaper on consensus protocol from China was born — the dBFT (delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) protocol.
2016 was a busy year for Onchain and they really picked up the pace that year. Other than continuing the development of Antshares, brushing shoulders with Fortune 500 companies, Onchain became the first Chinese blockchain company to join Hyperledger — an open source blockchain project started by the Linux Foundation specifically focusing on the development of private and consortium chains for businesses. It is here where the Da HongFei and Erik Zhang, entered the hyperbolic time chamber that is now known as Fabric, a platform by Hyperledger for distributed ledger solutions, and has consequently helped them to develop many aspects underpinning the design of DNA.
In June of 2016, during the first of many future partnerships with Microsoft China, Onchain founded Legal Chain specifically targeting the inadequacies of the digital applications within the legal system. In 2005, (Digital Signature Act) was passed into national law which permitted an effective digital signatures to gain the same legal rights as a real signature.
In company with Microsoft China, they are also aiming to integrate the technology with Microsoft’s face and voice recognition API function to kick start this digital revolution within the legal system. At the same time, a partnership was formed with FaDaDa, a third-party platform for electronic contracts that has processed over 27 million contracts to date, to provide secure evidence storage with DNA. If that’s not enough, they were also voted as KPMG’s top 50 Fintech Company in China and established a relationship with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry which led to the recent tour to Japan. Finally, at the end of 2016 they announced a partnership with Alibaba to provide attested email service for Ali Cloud with Legal Chain where it provides a proof-of-existence for a blockchain-powered email evidence repository for enterprise-level use.
Fosun Group, China’s largest private conglomerate, have recently invested into Onchain in order to apply DNA across all of its businesses. Currently, Fosun International has a market cap of 102.98 billion dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and that is only its international branch.
The role of Onchain so far is reminiscent of Ethereum’s EEA in addition to a stronger emphasis of governmental cooperation. Onchain has identified the shortcomings of present laser focus of hype on public platforms such as NEO and Ethereum and addressing that with DNA. DNA envisions a future where a network of assorted, specifically designed blockchains serving private enterprises, consortiums, government and the public communicating with each other forming an interconnected blockchain network.
This is the goal of DNA — infiltrating every little inefficient niche that had no better alternatives before the invention of blockchain. What is especially critical to remember during this explosive time of hype driven partly by the obscene degree of greed is that not every little niche that blockchain can fill will be holding its own little ICO for you to “go to the moon on your rocket powered lambos”. Some of those efficiencies gained will simply be consumed by companies privately or by public systems such as the legal system.
https://hackernoon.com/neo-onchain-and-its-ultimate-plan-dna-4c33e9b6bfaa
http://www.onchain.com/
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
https://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10/20/onchain-partners-with-alibaba-for-blockchain-powered-email-evidence-repository/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fosun-blockchain/chinas-fosun-invests-in-local-version-of-bitcoin-tech-blockchain-idUSKCN1B30KM
City of Zion (CoZ)
City of Zion (CoZ) is a global community of open source enthusiasts, with the shared goal of helping NEO achieve its full potential. CoZ primarily operates through the community Slack and CoZ Github, central places where the community shares knowledge and contributes to projects.
CoZ is neither a corporation, nor a consulting firm or a devshop / for-hire group.
Members
https://imgur.com/a/Gc9jT
CoZ aims to be low barrier of entry, the process is straightforward:
  1. Join the channel #develop.
  2. Fork or create a project.
  3. Publish as open source.
  4. After a couple of contributions a CoZ council member will invite you to the proper channel for your contributions.
  5. Receive rewards and back to 3.
Unit testing - Ongoing effort to implement code coverage for the core
Integration testing - Tools for automated testing, performance metrics and functionality validation on private test nets
Continuous integration - Automated multi-platform testing of all pull requests at GitHub.
Deployment pipeline - Automated tools and processes to ensure fast and reliable updates upon code changes
New C# implementation (NEO2) - Improve code quality, speed & testability
Roadmap
https://imgur.com/a/4CDhw
dApps competition
https://cityofzion.io/dapps/1
10 prizes of 1350 GAS, with 500 GAS to be used for smart contract deployment. Currently 19 dApps registered. Deadline is 16 of November 11:59 EST.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4wu5lNlukwybEstaEJMZ19kbjQ
Traveling
August 8th to August 12th:
From August 8th to August 12th, 2017, the NEO core team, led by founder & CEO Da Hongfei will travel to Japan to explore the forefront of Japan's Blockchain innovation. This trip represents the first in a series of trips around the world with the goal to foster international cooperation's and to keep up with the fast pace in Blockchain innovation. Starting in Japan, the NEO core team will visit famous local Blockchain research institutions and active communities to engage in bilateral communication. NEO will meet with Japanese tech-celebrities to gain insights about the latest developments in the Japanese Blockchain and digital currency community. Additionally, Japanese local tech media will conduct an interview allowing NEO to present its development status and its latest technological innovations.
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ry4s9/japan_the_neo_core_team_starts_out_on_an/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTQ32CkxlU
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6ssfx1/neo_meetup_in_tokyo_august_10th_2017_2100h/
19th August, 2017
Blockchain X Series - NEO example applications
20th August, 2017
NEO and Microsoft Azure host a blockchain programming training in Shanghai
23rd August, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 2nd Meeting
24th August, 2017
NEO Meetup in Taipei
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6wbebneo_taipei_meetup_long_post/
13th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 3rd Meeting
14th September, 2017
NEO Shanghai Meetup with NEO team
24th September, 2017
NEO Blockchain Programming Day - Hangzhou Station
27th September, 2017
INNOxNEO Blockchain Open Nights: 4th Meeting
27th September, 2017
First London NEO Developer Meetup!
4th October, 2017
First San Francisco NEO Developer Social!
14th-16th October, 2017
GNOME.Asia Summit 2017, Chongqing, China
21st October, 2017
NEO JOY, Exploring Blockchain application, Nanjing, China
26th October, 2017
Inaugural Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2017
Networks proves itself with the first ICO
ICOs, on other platforms such as Ethereum, often resulted in a sluggish network and transaction delays. While NEO’s dBFT consensus algorithm is designed to achieve consensus with higher efficency and greater network throughputt, no amount of theoretical calculations can simulate the reality of real-life conditions.
--Key Observations--
Smart Contract Invocations:
A total of 13,966 smart contracts invocations were executed on the NEO network over this time period, of which, nearly all called the RPX smart contract method mintTokens. A total of 543,348,500 RPX tokens were successfully minted and transferred to user accounts, totalling 10,097 smart contract executions.
Refunded Invocations:
A total of 4182 refund events were triggered by the smart contract method mintTokens. (Note: RPX has stated that these refunds will be processed within the next two weeks.)
Crowdsale statistics:
A successful mintTokens execution used around 1043 VM operations, while an execution that resulted in a refund used 809 VM operations. Within the hour and six minutes that the token sale was active, a total of 12,296,409 VM operations were executed. A total of 9,575 unique addresses participated in the RPX ICO. Half of these, approximately 4,800 unique addresses, participated through CoZ’s Neon wallet. The top 3 blocks with the most transactions were block 1445025 (3,242 transactions), block 1444902 (2,951 transactions), and block 1444903 (1609 transactions).
Final Thoughts
At the moment, the consensus nodes for the NEO network are operated by the NEO Council in China. By Q1 2018, NEO Council aims to control less than two-thirds of the consensus nodes.
We are pleased to note that the NEO network continuted to operate efficiently with minimal network impact, even under extreme network events. Block generation time initially slowed down to 3 minutes to process the largest block, but quickly recovered to approximately 25 seconds. Throughout the entire RPX ICO, consensus nodes were able to achieve consensus and propagate new block transactions to the rest of the network. In closing, while we consider this performance to be excellent, NEO Council and City of Zion areworking closely together on upgrades, that will increase the throughputs of the NEO network.
Hyperledger
Members and governance of Hyperledger:
Early members of the initiative included blockchain ISVs, (Blockchain, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, R3, Onchain), well-known technology platform companies (Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, NTT DATA, Red Hat, VMware), financial services firms (ABN AMRO, ANZ Bank, BNY Mellon, CLS Group, CME Group, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, J.P. Morgan, State Street, SWIFT, Wells Fargo), Business Software companies like SAP, Systems integrators and others such as: (Accenture, Calastone, Credits, Guardtime, IntellectEU, Nxt Foundation, Symbiont).
The governing board of the Hyperledger Project consists of twenty members chaired by Blythe Masters, (CEO of Digital Asset), and a twelve-member Technical Steering Committee chaired by Christopher Ferris, CTO of Open Technology at IBM.
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-hyperledger
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperledger
“As a leading open-source contributor in China’s blockchain community, Onchain shares the same values as the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger project intrinsically. We believe international collaboration plus local experience are key to the adoption of distributed ledger technology in China; we are also very excited to see other Chinese blockchain startups join Hyperledger and look forward to adding our combined expertise to the project.” Da Hongfei, Founder and CEO of Onchain
https://hyperledger.org/testimonials/onchain
Important Articles
Distribution technology DNA framework went through the national block chain standard test On May 16th, the first China block chain development competition in Hangzhou announced that Onchain, became the first through the national standard test block system.
http://www.51cto.com/art/201705/539824.htm?mobile
Da Hongfei and OnChain working relationship with Chinese Government
https://finance.sina.cn/2017-04-13/detail-ifyeifqx5554606.d.html?from=wap
http://www.gz.chinanews.com/content/2017/05-28/73545.shtml
The Chinese government is reportedly preparing to allow the resumption of cryptocurrency trading in the country in the coming months, with the required anti-money laundering (AML) systems and licensing programs in place.
https://coingeek.com/cryptocurrency-trading-poised-to-make-a-return-in-china-report/
Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry - Working with OnChain and NEO
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-ribenjingjichanyesheng
Notice NEO will be invited to attend the INNO x Austrade China-Australia chain high-end exchange
AUSTRADE - The Australian Trade and Investment Commission is the official government, education and investment promotion agency of the Australian Government
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LmXnW7MtzOX_fqIo7diU9A
Source for NEO/OnChain Microsoft Cooperation:
http://www.8btc.com/onchain-microsoft
Da Hongfei quotes
"There is no direct cooperation between Alibaba and NEO/Onchain, other than their mailbox service is using Law Chain to provide attested email service. In terms of Microsoft, yes we have cooperation with Microsoft China because NEO is built with C# and .NET Core, and NeoContract is the first in the world to support writing smart contract with C#"
https://www.reddit.com/NEO/comments/6puffo/we_are_da_hongfei_and_erik_zhang_founders_of_neo/dksm5ga/
"We have pretty good communication with government, with regulators. They don't have any negative impression with NEO and they like our technology and the way we deal with things. Regulation is not an issue for us"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUdTIQdjVE&feature=youtu.be&t=1m16s
“Before they started cleaning up the market, I was asked for information and suggestions” “I do not expect the government to call me in the short-term and say, ‘Let’s use NEO as the blockchain technology infrastructure of China.’ But in the medium term? Why not? I think it’s possible.”
https://medium.com/@TheCoinEconomy/neo-founder-da-hongfei-advised-china-on-ico-exchange-ban-says-govt-4631b9f7971
-Upcoming Roadmap-
Decentralization of consensus nodes
▪ P2P Network optimization (2017Q4) – Network optimizations to ensure fast block generation after decentralization.
▪ Voting Algorithm Optimization (2017Q4) – Adjustments in voting algorithm to prevent identified attack vectors.
▪ Candidate List Website (2018Q1) – Published list of candidates so that voters know who they are voting for.
▪ NEO Council Consensus Node < 2/3 (2018Q1) – NEO Council shall operate less than two thirds of consensus nodes by the end of quarter 1, 2018.
Universal Data Format for Wallet/Node Prog.
▪ NEP2 – Private Key Encryption/Decryption (2017Q4) - Method for encrypting and encoding a passphrase-protected private key.
▪ NEP3 – Universal Data Format (2017Q4) – Standard data format to allow easier wallet and node programming.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
Promotion/Ecosystem
▪ Globally Legal Token-raising Framework (2017Q4) – Following government interest to regulate ICO’s, NEO will complete a framework to raise tokens legally in all major markets by the end of 2017.
▪ NEO DevCon 1 (2017Q4) – First NEO Development Conference! More details at later date.
▪ CoZ Funding (2017Q4) – Continuous funding plan for CoZ covering next 5 years.
▪ Seed Projects (2017Q4) – First seed projects to be cross-invested with the dedicated NEO pool.
https://neo.org/en-us/blog/details/65
https://github.com/neo-project
Repositories - 14
People - 5
Contributors- 12
https://github.com/CityOfZion
Repositories - 35
People - 14
Contributors- 22
https://github.com/DNAProject/DNA
Repositories - 4
Contributors - 17
Donations welcome: ASdNxSa3E8bsxCE9KFKBMm3NA43sYJU9qZ
submitted by NEOcryptotrader to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

2019 Blockchain World Forum-Shenzhen Summit AJM Special Topic: Fourth Generation Blockchain Technology, AJM Changes the World

2019 Blockchain World Forum-Shenzhen Summit AJM Special Topic: Fourth Generation Blockchain Technology, AJM Changes the World

On October 24, 2019, the 2019 Blockchain World Forum-Shenzhen Summit was grandly opened at the Shenzhen Nanshan International Conference Center. The summit was hosted by the Asian Blockchain Institute and invited nearly 100 participants from financial institutions, industry and government. And well-known experts in the field of blockchain at home and abroad. Among them, WFCC Global Blockchain Alliance Secretary Wang Feihong and Chief Blockchain Lecturer Yu Qianqian represented AJM at the summit roadshow.

https://preview.redd.it/b7a53w96y6v31.png?width=679&format=png&auto=webp&s=5f8e2035a41feef00c5963da4c89dc2fbb44790a
At the conference, Ms. You Qianqian, the chief blockchain of WBCC, delivered a speech entitled “The 4th Generation Blockchain Technology, AJM Change the World”.

https://preview.redd.it/k6jevv98y6v31.png?width=692&format=png&auto=webp&s=6e24d61ff43ee7ae93b299d4e559f361345a9e1d
The times are changing, AJM leads the blockchain 4.0

https://preview.redd.it/qsy4td69y6v31.png?width=691&format=png&auto=webp&s=3de1e86145fbb2fa4c6fd26a152084801cbb1e3e
Ms. You first explained the historical evolution from the first generation blockchain technology to the fourth generation blockchain technology. She believes that the blockchain 1.0 is the basic version of the blockchain technology, represented by Bitcoin, capable of implementing programmable currency, and is a cryptographic currency application related to transfer, remittance and digital payment. Blockchain technology first played a role in stirring the financial market. Blockchain 2.0: The programmable finance realized in 2014 is a combination of digital currency and smart contracts represented by Ethereum. Blockchain 3.0 Phase: Implemented in the 2017 programmable society, represented by XRP, the consensus protocol has been recognized, and the performance energy consumption problem has been solved. With the development of blockchain technology, its application can be extended to any demand. The field includes auditing notarization, medical care, voting, logistics, etc., and then to the entire society. The blockchain 4.0 phase, represented by A J M, will realize the ecological goal of digital banking globalization. A J M is a collection of research results from a blockchain-based distributed privacy Internet that will play an important role in identity security, internet freedom, privacy socialization, decentralized finance and business.
A J M innovative solution
Then, in the face of the current deficiencies in the financial and commercial fields, Ms. You summed up AJM's innovative solutions. In the analysis and comparison of similar competitive products, AJM based on the fourth generation blockchain technology has natural cross-chain support, local multiple database support, smart contract and consensus connection, chain slimming technology, record-level permission control, guarantee privacy security, audit And the subscription function, lightning network transmission, support for offline signature, RPCA consensus algorithm to save computing resources and other nine advantages, comprehensively surpass Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple's underlying application technology, leading the world.
A J M Central Research Institute and Silicon Valley Laboratory
Later, Ms. You introduced the A J M Central Research Institute and the Silicon Valley Laboratory in the United States. Founded in 2019, AJM Academia Sinica is the main development direction of blockchain basic theoretical research, key technology development and practical industry application, and actively carries out research and training institutions for blockchain talents. Members of the Silicon Valley Lab in the United States have rich practical experience in cryptography, blockchain technology, network security, finance, web development, etc., both of which work together to promote the global development of AJM!
AJM promotes the development of digital banking, realizes financial transformation, and once again changes the world
In the next speech, Ms. You mentioned that digital banking is the ultimate ecological goal of AJM. In the AJM ecosystem structure, the construction of digital banking will be comprehensively considered from peer-to-peer transactions, dual Token economic model application, digital asset payment, and investment customers. The digital bank will solve the shortcomings of traditional banks and make AJM a support network. One of the top ten global mainstream currencies, the ultimate in cross-border settlement and globalization of digital banking.
AJM and T-ark distributed exchanges
Later, Ms. You introduced the T-ark distributed exchange to everyone. Unlike other exchanges, T-ark distributed exchanges can realize the transaction between buyers and sellers without third parties. By using the technology of Block Chain and Smart Contract to achieve distributed and third-party effects, it is a distributed exchange compared to traditional digital exchanges. The two-way cooperation between AJM and T-ark exchange not only realizes the free exchange of value between the two parties, but also lays a foundation for constructing ecological application closed-loop and comprehensively empowering value network ecology.
Finally, Ms. You shared the AJM Global 30 City Ecology Summit Program. AJM will launch the annual 30 Cities Eco Summit Roadshow in the world under the promotion of the WBCC Global Blockchain Alliance, which will jointly report global media resources to create a global A unique blockchain event promotes the global development of AJM Digital Bank.
Ms. You’s wonderful sharing has aroused the resonance of the guests, and the atmosphere of the scene has been pushed to the climax. The applause continues. After the meeting, everyone actively discussed how to participate in AJM. The scene was hot.
We are convinced that with the continuous development of the digital economy, AJM's high-performance public chain construction will also advance steadily, and the value of innovation is gradually emerging. AJM will continue to use innovation to promote the development of a blockchain digital banking ecosystem with innovative thinking to build interoperability, inclusiveness and win-win.
AJM+Global Official Website - www.worldajm.com
AJM+APP-https://down.ajmnet.io/apps/
AJM+ Official Community
China - https://t.me/ajmofficial\_CN
USA - https://t.me/ajmofficial\_EN
Japan - https://t.me/ajmofficial\_JP
Russia - https://t.me/ajmofficial\_RU
submitted by gswt to u/gswt [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – September 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link).

Development

Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures.
dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd.
Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome.
Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules.
Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd.
dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets.
Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue)
Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing.
Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged.
Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing.
A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning.
Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store.
iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.".
Nearest goal is to make the app crash free.
Both mobile apps received new design themes.
dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.".
Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page.
Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One).
Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes.
docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups.
decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet.
@Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories.
Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus!
Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.

ASICs

Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example.
A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1.
Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.

Integrations

Meet our 17th voting service provider: decredvoting.com. It is operated by @david, has 2% fee and supports ticket splitting. Reddit thread is here.
For a historical note, the first VSP to support ticket splitting was decredbrasil.com:
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks.
Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets.
Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.

Adoption

The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.

Marketing

Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed.
Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)

Events

Attended:
Upcoming:
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)

Media

August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ!
Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit.
September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom.
Videos:
Featured articles:
Articles:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news: Several work channels were migrated to Matrix, #writers_room is finally bridged.
Highlights:
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure.
Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins.
Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels.
#support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)

Markets

In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August.
As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx)
Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.

Relevant External

ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015.
A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use.
A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains.
New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred)
On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange.
Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.".
Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred)
The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights.
A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.

About This Issue

This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

On the Separation of Assets – The Financial Cost of the BSA/LDS Split

This is a follow up report on a report made on May 10, 2018 entitled “A Mormon Divorce – The Ending of a Boy Scout Era by the Numbers”.
“Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand." ~ Shinichi Suzuki
Overview (tl;dr): On paper, neither the BSA nor the LDS Church should walk away from this split without losing substantial financial assets on both sides; however, further analysis suggests both entities have sufficient war-chests to remain in a strong financial position post-separation:
  • The BSA gets the better part of this deal depending on a number of factors, not least of which includes a surprising increase in membership dues collected post-separation and first dibs to all assets belonging to the dissolved Utah councils – an estimated $50,619,729 depending on how things are actually split up between the BSA and LDS. The BSA will lose out on $220,116/yr in National Service Fees if the three councils dissolve, and continues to struggle in its 10 year decline in magazine sales. Overall contributions and BSA equipment/uniform sales show solid gains, and this combine with total assets of $1,471,984,000 in 2016 leaves the BSA in a strong position to move forward in its mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
  • The LDS leave behind an estimated $50,619,729 in Boy Scout camps, buildings, and other assets to the BSA in just the act of dissolving three of the five existing Utah BSA Councils. This figure does not take into account the amount of funds the LDS Church as a whole and Mormon families individually have invested in other Local BSA Councils across the nation. This figure also does not take into account the untold tens of millions of dollars it will cost the LDS to replicate youth organization on the same level as the BSA. With this said, the LDS Church collects $8 Billion in tithing each year – $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
How is the BSA National Organization Funded?
Funds to support the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America come from registration fees, local council service fees, investment income, Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines, sale of uniforms and equipment, and contributions from individuals. These monies help to deliver the program of the BSA (through four regional service centers and more than 300 local councils) to chartered organizations that use the Scouting program to meet the needs of their youth.
Lets break down each of these funding sources:
Registration Fees
On paper, this is the scariest loss of funding for the BSA National Organization. The BSA membership fee as of Dec. 1, 2017 was $33 a year for both youth AND adults.
With 470,000 Mormon youth exiting the BSA in 2019-2020, the BSA National Organization is looking at losing $15,510,000/yr in membership dues – essentially eclipsing the LDS $50 million loss in just four years.
However, this $15 million figure is misleading for three reasons. (1) It doesn’t account for registered Mormon adults in each Troop who also pay the $33 membership fee; (2) As covered in depth in a prior article and detailed further below, LDS Troops receive a discounted rate on their membership dues; (3) The membership fee was RAISED from $24/scout in 2014 to $33/scout in 2017 by the BSA National Organization in response to an anticipated departure by the LDS Church.
So let’s look at these calculations again in 2014 to 2019 terms:
2014
= ($24 Membership Fee)x(2,419,000 Mormon and non-Mormon Scouts) = $58,056,000 per year in Membership Fees
2019
= ($33 Membership Fee)x(1,871,000 non-Mormon Scouts) = $61,743,000.00 per year in Membership Fees
In the worst case scenario, where (1) 470,000 Mormon scouts all leave at once, (2) the BSA does not add or lose any other non-Mormon scouts (girls, LGBT, or otherwise) to its ranks, and (3) Mormon scouts paid the same dues as everyone else, the BSA still makes $3,687,000 MORE revenue without LDS scouts in its ranks than the organization made with LDS scouts.
However, we know not all 470,000 LDS scouts are leaving at once as some will stick around for a year or more to complete their Eagle Scout Award. We also know LDS scouts do not paid the same dues as everyone, as show by the BSA's own 2014 Financial Statement:
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), consisting of 280 local councils, continued to deliver an exciting and valuable program to young people in 2014, with approximately 2,419,000 youth members and Explorers registered in individual programs. Approximately 981,000 registered adult leaders provide support to these youth.
Fees decreased in 2014 by $9,934 with the absence of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree fees totaling $32,784. This is offset by a membership fee increase effective January 1, 2014, which led to increased membership revenues despite a decline in membership.
The 2014 Financial Statement reports Revenue generated from Registration (Membership) Fee was $62,732,000 in 2014 with 2,419,000 youth and 981,000 adults.
($24 Membership Fee per youth/adult)x(3,400,000 youths and adults) = $81,600,000
This is $18,868,000 more than revenues reported by the BSA's 2014 Financial Statement - there are approximately 786,167 youths/adults ($18,868,000/$24 Membership Fee) missing from the 2014 Financial Statement. As the Utah BSA Councils stated to the Salt Lake Tribune:
The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah said those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."
Ironically enough, depending on how large a discount on membership fee LDS scouts get, the BSA National Organization may be earning way more revenue from its membership fees with the exit of the LDS and the addition of young women and the LGBT community into its ranks.
Local Council Service Fees
This fee is two parts paid on a yearly basis by each of the 280 Local BSA Councils across the nation.
The first is a fixed charter fee of $1,000 – this fee can be waived if the Local BSA Council turns in its Renewal Application before Mar. 1 of each year.
The second is the National Service Fee. The final amount of this fee is based upon data extracted from the council’s general ledger, and using the following formula:
(1) 2015 professional salaries (account No. 7002) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment)
(2) 2015 office salaries (account No. 7003) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment)
(3) Calculate the qualifying salaries for use in determining the 2017 national service fee (sum of figures 1 and 2 above)
(4) The council’s national service fee for 2017 is 3.5 percent of the qualifying salaries above* (multiply figure 3 above by .035)
*For those councils that will be charged a national service fee of $40,000 or greater for the year 2016, their fee will increase at the same rate of qualifying salary growth from 2014 to 2015, not to exceed 10 percent.
Examples: (1) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 increased by 6.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, then the council’s national service fee for 2017 would also increase by 6.2 percent, or be $51,808.
(2) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 were the same or decreased, the council agrees to and will be invoiced a national service fee of $48,783 for 2017.
The National Service Fee is pegged to the professional and office salaries of those employed in the BSA Local Council – changes in the number of scouts a local council has will not impact the National Service Fee assessed. Hence, across the nation, only Local BSA Councils at risk for closing because they do not serve enough scouts will be impacted.
Currently, only three BSA Councils are anticipated to be at risk of closing:
The BSA National Organization is likely to lose the following yearly revenue generated by the National Service Fee for these three Councils should they be dissolved:
  • GSL = $57,578
  • UNP = $89,166
  • TT = Unknown; Estimated to be average of GSL and UNP -> $73,372
In a worst case scenario, should all three Utah Councils go under, the BSA will lose at most $220,116/yr in National Service Fees due to the LDS split. In 2016, the BSA made $5,994,000 from interest and dividends alone on its investments - $220,116/yr is an easily absorbable loss.
Investment Income
In short, investments are affected by market conditions – not by the internal affairs of a single non-profit. Regardless, a short summary of the BSA’s investments:
Endowment Total
Balance Dec 21, 2015 $250,233,000
Investment return: -
Interest and Dividends $5,994,000
U Gains $20,599,000
Investment Manager Fee ($910,000)
Net investment return $25,683,000
Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines
The BSA National Organization’s flagship magazine is actually one area the BSA could really feel the hurt – nearly ever year Financial Statements were kept, the magazine’s revenue declined until hitting negative in both 2015 and 2016.
While the LDS/BSA split will certainly not help this situation, the BSA magazine has been declining in revenue for the last decade. Clearly the BSA needs to consider either scrapping the magazine entirely or moving to more cost effective options like sending out electronic subscriptions over email to save on printing costs.
Year Magazine Revenue
2005 $2,786,000
2006 $2,742,000
2007 $3,217,000
2008 $2,025,000
2009 $1,928,000
2010 $2,099,000
2011 $957,000
2012 $1,054,000
2013 $903,000
2014 $185,000
2015 ($753,000)
2016 ($2,651,000)
In short, the BSA magazine was an issue before the LDS/BSA split and will continue to be an issue long after the split. Again though, the BSA can temporarily cover this loss in revenue with gains in other areas of the organization – such as $5,994,000 interest gains on investments.
Sale of uniforms and equipment
Unlike the BSA flagship magazine, uniform and trading post sales have nearly tripled from 2005 to 2016, benefiting from a new wave of low overhead online shopping. While it remains to be seen how these sales might be impacted by the loss of 470,000 scouts, the addition of new demographics into the Scouts program means new uniforms and new equipment.
Year Trading Post Sales Revenue
2005 $5,953,000
2006 $4,278,000
2007 $4,108,000
2008 $6,559,000
2009 $4,835,000
2010 $7,702,000
2011 $12,246,000
2012 $8,232,000
2013 $10,495,000
2014 $10,773,000
2015 $14,892,000
2016 $13,367,000
Even in the most extreme situation where 20% loss of membership = 20% loss of Uniform and Equipment revenue, a 20% reduction in 2016 Sales means ($$13,367,000) - ($13,367,000)(0.20) = $10,693,600.00 in 2019 Sales Revenue -> Still better than almost every year up to 2014.
Contributions from Individuals
Individual contributions rose considerably in the 11 years spanning from 2005 to 2016, but at an unpredictable rate. The BSA will certainly be missing out on contributions given by LDS families, but the BSA has such a large endowment ($218,224,000 in invested assets in 2016) that the organization will be able smooth out any transition period between the LDS leaving and new demographics entering.
Year Contributions and Bequests
2005 $8,377,000
2006 $5,191,000
2007 $10,659,000
2008 $15,255,000
2009 $54,431,000
2010 $65,405,000
2011 $61,041,000
2012 $27,030,000
2013 $37,457,000
2014 $54,495,000
2015 $28,191,000
2016 $33,535,000

Ms. Peggy Stack and Mr. Lee Davison from The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an interesting article back in August on a topic generating much discussion with the Boy Scouts and Latter-Day Saints Wards – how badly will the BSA be hit financially for losing approximately 20% of its members in 2020 when the LDS Church officially parts ways with the Boy Scouts? In short, the Ms. Stack and Mr. Davison come to the conclusion any split will…
…have dire financial consequences for BSA. The LDS Church is far and away the nation's largest Scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops.
In 2013, more than a third (37 percent) of troops were LDS sponsored, accounting for 18 percent of the BSA's 2.4 million total membership (Mormon troops, while more numerous, tend to be smaller in size).
An LDS Church withdrawal also could ruin the three Scout councils in Utah, which say between 96 percent and 99 percent of their members are in Mormon units.
In Utah, the three councils say they have a combined 320,000 registered Scouts and adult leaders, the vast majority of whom are Mormon. Losing them could bring big financial blows to Scouting.
For example, the national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. The fee just for Mormon youths would cost $10.5 million a year. However, a statement from the Utah councils says those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."
In Utah, the Orem-based Utah National Parks Council says 99 percent of its Scouts are in LDS units. The Salt Lake City-based Great Salt Lake Council says 98 percent of its Scouts are. And the Ogden-based Trapper Trails Council says 96 percent of its youths are in Mormon-sponsored units.
Each year, the LDS Church supports a "Friends of Scouting" drive to ask members for donations to boost the local Scout councils — money which could disappear if the faith leaves. The Utah National Parks Council says the Friends of Scouting push provides 43 percent of its budget; the Trapper Trails Council says it generates 36 percent; and the Great Salt Lake Council receives 34 percent of its money from the effort. "The large majority of Friends of Scouting funds come from LDS units," according to the joint statement from the councils.
Questions also arise about what may happen to the many Scout camps in Utah if the LDS Church exits the organization.
In response to Salt Lake Tribune questions, the local councils wrote, "All camp properties are either owned by the council or are leased properties from the Forest Service. Each council is a 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. The properties would continue to serve Scouting and the needs of religious and other youth groups in our communities."
There is a lot to unpack in this article. We have already covered facts concerning BSA's suprsingly solid financial footing despite loosing 20% of its membership. Let’s next focus on what Local BSA Councils are and what happens when Local BSA Councils dissolve.
BSA Organization and Local BSA Councils in Utah
The Organization of the Boy Scouts of America is a topic that requires a post of its own (conveniently found here!). In short, the BSA is run by a National Executive Council that, among other functions; develops program; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, unforming, registration records, literature development, and advancement requirements; and publishes Boys' Life and Scouting magazines.
The National Executive Council does not attempt to administer directly the more than 150,000 registered Boy Scout units (troops, packs, venturing crews, etc.). To achieve this, each year, the National Council issues a charter to an autonomous organization called a Local Council. The United States and its territories is divided into local councils. Local councils are usually not-for-profit private corporations registered within the State in which they are headquartered.
The State of Utah actually has five Local BSA Councils - not three - however, The Salt Lake Tribune can be forgiven for this slight accounting error because: (1) the Great Southwest Council (GSW) is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and provides Scouting to 7,260 youth in northern New Mexico, northeast Arizona, Utah south of the Colorado River, and the Durango and Mesa Verde areas of Colorado; and (2) the Snake River Council (SN) serves a number of Scouts in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
There are three Utah based BSA Councils who are composed of between 96% - 99% Mormon youth and focus only on the State of Utah:
Of these five Local BSA Councils, only GSL, UNP, and TT are at risk of dissolving in 2020 once the Latter-Day Saints Church officially splits from the BSA. Both GSW and SN have enough geographic dispersment and diversity of membership to survive the split relatedly unscathed.
So what would happen if a Local BSA council suddenly dissolved?
Well fortunately the Boy Scouts of America have been around for nearly 120 years as a national youth organization, and in this time plenty of Local BSA Councils have come and gone. Hence, the BSA National Executive Council has had plenty of time to develop and enact procedures for what happens to Local BSA Councils when they dissolve:
BSA Rules and Regulations; III. Local Councils
Council or Unit Assets Upon Dissolution
Consistent with the Bylaws, in the event of the dissolution of a council or the revocation or lapse of its charter, the Executive Committee may, at its option, authorize the National Council to assume charge of the affairs of the council and continue operation pending reorganization or reestablishment of the council or wind up the business of the council. All funds and property in the possession or control of such council must be applied to the payment of the council’s obligations. Any surplus funds or property may thereafter be administered as deemed to be in the best interests of Scouting.
In the event of the dissolution of a unit or the revocation or lapse of its charter, unit funds and assets must be used to first satisfy any outstanding unit obligations. Any remaining assets obtained with funds raised in the name of Scouting must be redeployed for Scouting use in the local area. Any assets obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council.
Any property or funds acquired by the National Council upon the dissolution of a Scouting unit or local council will be administered so as to make effective, as far as possible, the intentions and wishes of the donors.
Real Estate
Except as hereafter provided with respect to incorporated local councils, the title to all real estate acquired for a unit or local council must be vested in a bank or trust company, in trust for the use of the unit or local council in accordance with the wishes of the donor with the provision that if such property cannot be utilized in such a manner, and title does not revert to the donor, that title or beneficial use of the property must nonetheless be for the benefit of Scouting in the local area.
Any incorporated local council may hold title to real property in its own name provided that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or the revocation or lapse of its charter said trustee or trustees will, after satisfying any claims against such unit or council to which such real estate may be subject, convey said property or, if sold, pay the net proceeds of such sale to the Boy Scouts of America, which may hold or use said property or funds for the benefit of Scouting in such locality or elsewhere if there is not suitable opportunity to use said property or funds in such locality. Any incorporated local council holding title to real property in its own name must ensure that its certificate or articles of incorporation expressly provide for the conveyance of such property or the net proceeds from the sale thereof to the Boy Scouts of America in the event of the dissolution of the local council or the revocation or lapse of its charter in a manner consistent with this provision.
Restricted Funds
Restricted funds received by a unit or local council must in all cases be held (a) in trust by either a corporate trustee for a bank or trust company, the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, or the Boy Scouts of America Endowment Master Trust; or (b) in the Boy Scouts of America Commingled Endowment Fund LP for the use of the unit or the local council, in accordance with the wishes of the donors, with the provision in the statement of the conditions governing the administering of the funds that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or revocation or lapse of its charter said funds will, after any claims against said funds are satisfied, be turned over to the Boy Scouts of America for use by the Boy Scouts of America for the benefit of Scouting in such locality and for the specific purposes for which the fund was granted. If there is no suitable opportunity for the use of said funds in such locality, they may be used elsewhere.
This is A LOT to unpack, but here are the highlights;
Registration
  • Every Local BSA Council across the US is registered as a separate 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. Every Council owns assets and liabilities separate from the BSA parent organization.
  • However (and this is very important), every Local BSA Council, including all five Councils in the State of Utah, are legally bound to the rules and provisions as laid out by the BSA Executive National Committee. These rules clearly spell out the actions that will be taken once a Council is dissolved, including the BSA’s right to all of the Council’s property and most of the Council’s assets.
Steps Taken Upon Utah Council Dissolution
  • (1) National Committee will step in and take control of all Utah Local BSA Councils under threat of dissolution. The Committee will do everything in its power to keep the Local Councils alive including moving remaining scouts to other troops or other councils in extreme cases. You can already see this process starting with the GSL Council here.
  • (2) If the Local BSA Council cannot be saved, then the Councils will be permanently shuttered. Now here is where things get really interesting – all Local BSA Council assets and liabilities are turned over to the BSA Executive Council. These assets are first used to pay off all outstanding debt carried by the Local BSA Council. The remaining assets “raised in the name of Scouting” will be kept by the BSA Executive Council, while assets “obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council.”
  • Real Estate - Any buildings and land owned outright by Local BSA Councils is first used to pay off outstanding liabilities. After this, the buildings and land is turned over to the BSA Executive Committee to be given over to other BSA Local Councils. If no other Councils can make use of the property or land, the real estate is sold off and the funds are kept by the BSA to deploy to other Local Councils across the nation. This will be important when we examine the Financial statements of Utah Local BSA Councils next.
So now that we have an idea of the process each Local BSA Council must go through if it dissolves, lets look at what assets and liabilities two Utah BSA Councils have which, at least on paper, will be turned over to the BSA:
GREAT SALT LAKE COUNCIL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - 2016
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS 2016 USD AMOUNT
Cash and cash equivalents $3,845,891
Accounts receivable $25,779
Pledges receivable $84,365
Note receivable $91,456
Inventories $117,699
Due from (to) other funds -
Deferred activity expenses $1,011,094
Prepaid expenses $46,379
Note receivable from subsidiary -
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS 5,222,663
NON-CURRENT ASSETS 2016 USD AMOUNT
Note receivable, less current position $746,432
Cash restricted to investment L/B/E $456,392
Land/Buildings/Equipment, net $17,084,440
Due from (to) other funds -
Note receivable from subsidiary -
Long-term investments $5,571,352
Investments in subsidiary -
Deferred income taxes $33,400
Other assets $4,290
TOTAL NON-CURRENT ASSETS $23,896,306
TOTAL ASSETS $29,118,969
LIABILITIES
CURRENT LIABILITES 2016 USD AMOUNT
Current position of long-term debt $205,625
Accounts payable $639,138
Accrued expenses $54,610
Custodial accounts $85,079
Deferred income $1,153,079
Other current liabilities -
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITES $2,137,531
LONG-TERM DEBT, net of current position $2,202,476
OTHER NON-CURRENT LIABILITES $1,643,304
TOTAL LIABILITES $5,983,311
What do these numbers mean?
In 2020, approximately 72,844 Mormon scouts (98% of the GSL) will walk away from the GSL leaving approximately 1,487 non-Mormon scouts behind. The BSA National Executive Committee will take over the GSL, and take control of $29,118,969 in assets and $5,983,311 in liabilities that the Latter-Day Saints Church walks away from. Lets look at some interesting things the LDS Church is leaving behind (at least initially and according to the BSA Bylaws) to the Boy Scouts:
  • $84,365 Monetary Pledges from mostly Mormon Scout Families in 2016
  • $17,084,440 in Land, Buildings, and Leaseholds in 2016; This figure includes construction costs for the Thomas S. Monson Lodge which amounted to $6,229,000. It is likely the lodge will retain its name when it is initially turned over to the BSA as seen in past cases of councils dissolving. It also includes 564.82 acres purchase the on the East Fork of the Bear River from the State of Utah Schools and Institutions Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”), as well as the Federal lease ownership of Camp Steiner. Additionally, Hinckley Scout Ranch and Millcreek Canyon Camps will be initially retained by the BSA.
  • The following Money Market Accounts, Treasury Notes, Corporate Bonds, and Real Estate Trusts:
INVESTMENTS 2016 USD AMOUNT
Money Mkt Accounts $900,822
Fixes Income Securities: -
U.S. Treasury Notes $117,964
Corporate Bonds $50,326
Mortgage Backed Gov Sec $287,747
Mutual Funds: -
Domestic $735,224
International $696,577
Equities: -
Domestic $1,099,311
International $628,107
Real Estate Investment Trusts $478,477
Alternative Investments $576,767
TOTAL $5,571,352
It goes without saying this level of professional investment is really really unique to find in a Local BSA Council. I honestly have never seen anything like this – though I do come from a poor and tiny Local BSA Council.
On a side note, “Alternative Investments” is accounting slang for things like Bitcoin – so it is pretty humorous to think there is a remote possibility that scouting in Utah could be funded in part by Bitcoin.
  • The following land restrictions:
“The Council owns two parcels of land, which have permanent restrictions on them. The Council’s Headquarters is on a piece of land that was given to the Council as long as it is used as the Scout Headquarters. The property’s restriction was removed in 2016 through the Council’s payment of $1,590,000 to the holder of the restrictions. The other restricted property is the Bear Lake Camp in Rich County, Utah, which represents approximately 289 acres that was given to the Council to use strictly as a Boy Scout Camp.”
  • The purchase of the Council Headquarters land in 2016 to remove the Boy Scout restriction is an interesting move. This move was made around the same time the LDS Church began to take active measures to claw back as much as it could from Local BSA Councils around the US before announcing a split in 2018. No matter what happens with this split, the LDS will lose Bear Lake Camp to the BSA.
Summary of GSL Council Dispersal of Assets and Liabilities
$29 million in assets is at stake for both the BSA and the LDS in the termination of just one BSA Council. It is clear from a legal standpoint all assets and liabilities will be initially turned over to the BSA in an attempt to salvage the GSL Council. It is also clear that should these efforts fail, approx. $6 million in assets will be sold off to cover the existing debt. From this point forward, the BSA has legal claim to all the property holdings of the GSL Council and can choose to retain this property or sell some, all, or parts of these properties to the LDS or other organizations. The only certainty from a real estate perspective is that the BSA will retain ownership of Bear Lake Camp due to deed restrictions as well as the Federal lease for Camp Steiner. What will happen to other non-real estate assets is less clear, but the language of the BSA bylaws asserts the BSA will make a determination which assets to keep and which to return or sell back to the LDS.
UTAH NATIONAL PARKS COUNCIL - 2014
In the interest of type space, time, and because Hinton & Burdick are awful awful people for inverting their Financial Statement, I will not be inserting this F/S into the post. I left the link above to the UNP Financial Statement if anyone wants to go hog wild. [2014 is the newest F/S posted]
Big take aways after reviewing the 2014 UNP Financial Statement:
  • Total Assets in 2014: $17,275,633; Total Liabilities: $734,307
  • $2,941,642 invested in Securities and REIT
  • $244,838 in total contributions
  • $10,731,547 in Land, Buildings, and Equipment
  • $124,500 in Scout Camp land is permanently earmarked for the BSA
  • $3,241,341 in total endowments
There isn’t really much more that can be said for the UNP that wasn’t already covered by our discussion of GSL. In short, the BSA will initially retain all assets and liabilities of the UNP, and should the UNP resolve, $734,307 in assets will be liquidated to cover existing debt. The remaining $10,731,547 is legally owned by the BSA with some, part, or all of these holdings being either retained or sold off the LDS or other third party interests. Part of the remaining $5,809,779 will either be retained by the BSA as it was raised for the purpose of scouting, while an unknown portion will be returned to the LDS Church.
Unfortunately after an exhaustive search online, no Financial Statements for TT could be found.
Roughly Estimating the Final Cost to the LDS from the BSA Split
So how much does the Latter-Day Saints Church lose by parting ways with the Boy Scouts? Well a rough estimation can be made with the following assumptions in mind:
  • (1) Assuming the LDS Church will either lose control of all land held by the BSA Councils or will have to buy the land back; [In reality some land will be gifted or donated back to the Church by the BSA]. Either way, all assets found in the “Land, Buildings, and Equipment” ledger of both Financial Sheets will be given to the BSA. GSL = $17,084,440 [Real-Estate (RE)]; UNP = $10,731,547 [RE]
  • (2) Assuming all liabilities are paid off by non-real estate assets dollar for dollar; [In reality, there will be a cost to manipulating assets and debts in a short term]. **GSL = $6,051,218 [Total Assets (TA) - Liabilities (L) - RE]; UNP = $5,809,779 [TA – L – RE]
  • (3) Assuming remaining assets are equally split between BSA and the LDS Church; [In reality, it is unknown how much of the remaining assets the BSA will retain after covering debt and securing real estate]. **GSL = $3,025,609 [$6,051,218 / 2]; UNP = $2,904,890 [$5,809,779 / 2]
  • This puts total LDS losses from the GSL ($20,110,049) and UNP ($13,363,437) at $33,746,49.
  • It is not unreasonable to assume TT will exact similar loses on the LDS Church as did GSL and UNP despite having no available Financial Statement. For this reason, the average of GSL and UNP was taken as the losses exacted by TT. Hence, TT = $16, 873,243 [$33,746,49 / 2].
It is from these assumptions we can arrive at a ball park figure of the LDS Church surrendering $50,619,728 in assets to the BSA in just the dissolution of three Utah BSA Councils.
This figure does not account for the substantial investment the LDS Church has put into other BSA Councils across the US, or the invest Mormon families have made in paying for Scouting uniforms, campouts, membership fees, and other costs. This figure also does not take into account the $50 million or more it will take to replicate a youth organization on the same scale as the Boy Scouts.
With this said, Bloomberg reports the Mormon Church collects $8 Billion a year in tithing alone from its wards around the world - $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
submitted by Zfriske to BSA [link] [comments]

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