Bitcoin Mining Noob question. Behind some crazy firewalls, no block source available
Hi guys, please bear with me, I'm a mining uber noob. I downloaded the bitcoin qt client application from bitcoin.org and got permission from my boss to use my work computer to mine for bitcoin when I'm not using the computer. But unfortunately, it keeps saying "No block source available" 270 weeks behind Catching up: Processed 0 of 250000 (estimated) blocks of transaction history. I'm at work, so there's some crazy set of firewalls in place. I tried messing around and enabling and disabling the proxy from Settings->Options I even went to Help->Debug->Console and added a bunch of nodes, switched off the firewall, but nothing seems to help. What else can I try to get around this problem and start mining? Thanks!
[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)
Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum?
No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims?
That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft?
Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids?
I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up.
Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness?
Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird?
there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More?
It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about
I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends?
Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms ￼ The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals ￼ People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn ￼ Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think?
Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines?
There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods.
If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web?
I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web?
A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web?
It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs?
I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks!
I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them....
I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in?
Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat?
OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤
he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web?
There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web?
Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive?
I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety?
I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret?
We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work.
Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help?
Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help?
I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome.
I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line.
Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash?
I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all.
Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare?
No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies?
I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it.
Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account.
No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series
Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon?
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia?
The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon?
Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk)
No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR?
I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply!
Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke?
I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped?
The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts!
Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents?
I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business?
Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is?
Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
the below is a reply to the above
Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible?
It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it??
Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way?
I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code.
It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity?
I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature?
Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
FU is still in progress and I have no way of knowing when it started, which may be what is stressing me out the most right now. So come with me on a journey of regret while my fourth malware scanner of the night sits at 64% and my friends have gone to bed. So the story, I guess, would begin back when I first started university, about five years ago. I got into art school for visual communication and planned on becoming an animator. To celebrate and to support me, my dad bought me a kick ass lenovo gaming laptop with the power of a billion suns (as you may come to guess, I am not tech savvy. Definitely not tech savvy enough to own this laptop) capable of running several adobe programs at once, with a RAM wide enough to put my mother's behind to shame, with an internal disk memory as big as the disappointment in my father's eyes. College begins, websites for illicit procuration of expensive programs exist, my naive young sunshine self doesn't even know what a VPN is, and for some reason which is is causing me an enormous amount of self-hatred right now, owning a top of the range gaming laptop with amazing everything doesn't seem like a good enough reason for me to pay for an antivirus, so I go with the free software, the ffp1 option, the least-amount-of-having-to-think-about-it choice, because I would totally NOT regret that later, perhaps five years later, at 3 AM - ironically while trying to animate for the first time ever. I continue my happy little life with my absolute beast of a laptop but shit happens and I never actually go into animation, I go into printmaking, which is the most analog of art forms possibly ever, so between having a huge amount of studio work, thesis research and just life stuff, my laptop spends the prime of his life as a glorified facebook machine, a particularly large and lovely screen to watch parks and rec on perhaps. Or so I think... Now I may have noticed performance issues at various points, in fact now that I think about it I moved away from using photoshop a long time ago, and when I think about it further I even got a new wacom tablet last winter, because of the unbearable lag... the shame covers me like a wet blanket. What a fucking idiot. No refrigerator-buzz noises, wheezing fans or uncomfortably hot undersides were enough to make me go "hey, perhaps my free antivirus is a piece of rubbish, and it would be worth ten minutes of my time to run a slightly deeper scan than just the automatic stuff that I even only run when it gets absolutely forced on me". No. I had to just plow on, forgetting that my computer ever ran quietly at all, or that it once harnessed the power of a billion suns, that crashes and reboots and long waiting times are not supposed to happen. Around October 2019 I got annoyed enough to look into how to even use a split drive computer for the first time, and I moved all my bulky user folders to a different drive, and patted myself on the shoulder real good for being such a computer wizard. Hell I even cleaned my registry! But let's get to the point... amongst many minor technological issues for which my solution is to ignore until I forget, is the fact that my phones memory is full because i am constantly photographing everything with it, but for some reason my laptop stopped recognising my phone as a device. So I started poking around yesterday, and when I tried to update windows I got an error code saying that one or more updates failed. You know that scene in Spirited Away when San pulls on a tiny string in the side of the super stinky bath house guest and a huge stream of pollution comes roaring out? Yeah. Somewhere at the horizon of my mind the thought passed by that it was weird that I hadn't been getting push notifications about windows updates. I looked for my antivirus, and lo and behold, it is gone. I googled some stupid shit like "why has my antivirus disappeared ", get some stupid first-result answer, and leave it at that. Today as I am following my first animation course online (well done me, yay) as I stare at the endless unjustified blue loading circle next to my cursor my idle mind wanders to my nonexistent antivirus, and i figure i should download a new one. So i do, and i run a scan, and it gives me a warning for one problematic file: Win64: Malware-Gen Trojan. Eek, I think, I have only an extremely vague notion of what that is but I'm sure it's no fun. So I find a lovely step by step guide with pictures made for idiots like me which walks me through the installation of a whole parade of malware scans, and the first one finds 22 malware files, of which 5 Trojans, PUMs to disable my firewall, security centre and antivirus, and 15 PUPs including stuff that apparently had to be manually installed by the user even though I've never seen it before, and one lovely shitty cherry on top, the bitcoin miner. After removing all those I run the next scan, it comes up with loads of new issues. Then I download and run a third scanner, still more problematic files found. And finally one in a file location that gives me some indication as when this started happening: in year 1 of college when I very briefly dipped my toes into a bunch of fancy programs and then never opened them again for not having had the time or energy. So there we have it folks, my beast processors have been mining bitcoin for someone for what may have been five years while I watched porn and browsed reddit, and now that i actually sat down to do what this laptop was bought to do, instead i am spending entire days ridding it of a wonderful garden of malware that someone has planted and tended. Karma, bitch. And the worst thing is that I will never know exactly what they did, if they were after more than my bitcoin potential, whether they have been accessing other stuff. Tomorrow I'm changing all my passwords and pins, growing a moustache, and moving to Florida. The morale of this story is: live up to the gifts you receive. TL;DR: I was gifted a brand new gaming laptop to become an animator. I downloaded a bunch of programs, never used them, maintained nonexistent safety practices and was an unknowing bitcoin mine for possibly five years.
what we LEARNED from btc, eth, eos, reddit and ipfs
From bitcoin - deflationary coins supply. This protects the loyalty and ownership for the community. No inflation provides confidence to the owners. From ethereum - merkle patricia trie, state machine transition, stateless mining. The key word is "state", which is a snapshot explanation on a blockchain raw data. The state enables dApp logic. MPT makes permission-less nodes to capture and operate ethereum machine with full data integrity. From eos - TAPOS, transaction as proof of stake. This might be considered the most important contribution from Dan Larimer than DPOS or STEEM. TAPOS makes history reorg attack on POS/POT very hard to be successful. From ipfs - libp2p relay. The communication among nodes behind NAT is inhibiting mobile phones to form up meaningful p2p network. IPFS-libp2p provides relay service to make it happen. The multi-address system allows mobile unit be able to stand out of the firewall. This has profound result in many application design. From reddit - community based social media. TAU decentralized forum is essentially a community based social media rather than individual such as in twitter and facebook. The community provides computing power, network storage, check & balance, security and coins economy.
In a world where technology rules with an iron fist, a group of rebels use phone apps to cast spells and weave enchantments into megaphones, motorcycles, and electric guitars. Magepunk is the future.
Cyber punk by way of the council of elrond. I really don't think this one came out great. It's...okay. I would probably skip it unless you really want to see lord of the rings re-imagined as cyberpunk. Art banged on the door and pulled his hood up against the rain and spysats.”Lomir,” he whispered. The concealment spell spread out around them to infect every digital eye in a block. It would only last a minute; the enemy was stronger than ever, but it should be enough. He spoke to the man next to him. “Okay Fred, everything is going to be okay now. These are the best magi in the world, if anybody can help us it’s them.” The man next to him huddled in his coat. They both had brown hair, but where Art was tall, broad, and lean, with grey eyes, fitting for an ex-Army ranger, Fred was short with brown eyes and shaggy hair. A thin woman with long dark hair opened the door a crack. “Were you followed?” she hissed. Art shook his head. “No, I took precautions El. I’ve got a concealment spell up but I think they know we’re in the area.” His eyes went wide as he felt some of the cameras start to come back online. “Shit. I think the Eye is looking for us. The spell is failing. Let us in!” El jerked the door open and waved them in before slamming it shut. She snapped off a single hair from her head and wrapped the doorknob, and whispered “findele.” The hair dissolved in to a mass of nanites that set about reinforcing the door. El turned back around to face them. She was pretty but could have been any age from a rough 25 to a well preserved 50. “That should hold them for a while. With any luck they’ll just think it was a random outage.” She examined Fred. “So. You’re supposed to save us all.” Fred shuffled his feet. “I guess. I don’t really understand everything, but Art found me. Said I needed to take this to Oculus headquarters to destroy it.” Fred pulled a ring out of his pocket and held it up. El stared. She started to reach out to examine it but caught herself in time and pulled back. “You...you just hold on to that.” She brushed past them to move down the hall. “Come on, you’re the last ones to arrive. We have a war council to attend.” She led them down a dark hallway. “Cala.” The old LED lights along the hallway glowed gently to life, still good after all these years. They came out in a large room, lined with monitors and humming server racks, with a large table in the center. There were 4 other people already sitting around it. “Okay, so this is everyone. That’s Legs,” she pointed to a tall lanky blonde man, who nodded, “Grim,” a shorter man, about Freds height, with a bushy beard, wearing a lot of leather, “Barry,” he was a bit shorter than Art but had the same coloring, “And Gramps,” and old man with a scraggly beard, holding a staff, he was wearing grey robes. “I told you my name is Linus,” he snapped. “And I told you that we aren’t using our real names. This council is warded and air gapped but we can’t take chances. Gramps.” He grumbled and crossed his arms. El gestured to the table. “Go ahead and take a seat. Coffee?” Everyone nodded. “Tulu yullas,” she said in a clear voice. Fred could hear a coffee maker hum to life and saw a small drone zip over to it with a tray. “Coffee should be around shortly, everyone. Now, Gramps,” she smirked as she said it, “I think it would be best if you told us what you found.” Gramps grumbled and stood up. “Very well. It started a month ago when I went to meet with one of my contacts, Sarah. Known her for years. I wanted to discuss recent movements Oculus has been making. Buying up opposition, squashing dissident stories. They haven’t put out a new product in years, ever since Google crushed them in the AR wars, but there was rumbling that something big was going to happen soon. Sarah said she had information on it.” Gramps took a cup of coffee from the drone and took a sip. “She was at least telling the truth about that. I told her that the ring,” he nodded to Fred, “had turned up again like a bad penny and was making its way around the world. She seemed pretty shocked by that, and insisted that we secure it. We quarrelled over it, I wanted it to be destroyed, she said I was being a fool. I said that with this we could destroy oculus forever, but she just wanted the power.” Gramps sighed. “I trusted her, so I didn’t have any firewalls up. She finally told me that she had joined forces with Oculus, and wanted to know if I would join her. I laughed in her face. That’s when she triggered her binding. Burnt out almost everything I had on me all at once, including my phone,” he threw a burnt piece of plastic on the table, “supposed to be military grade but the battery blew out immediately. Blew out my ID, my rings, everything. Then she triggered another app, the walls of a cage shot up around me. I was stuck and she knew it. She told me I would have plenty of time to think about it and left.” Gramps grinned. “But all her fancy apps failed to account for my walking stick here.” He picked it up. “Had a backup ID and com ring deep in a secret compartment, wrapped in a faraday cage. Took me a while to get it wired up to the aether, but once I did, I was able to make contact with a friend of mine, he was able to get me out. Came here soon as I was able.” Fred raised his hand. El smiled at that. “You don’t have to do that here, Fred. You have a question?” Fred nodded. “But what’s so special about this ring, anyway? It’s just a ring.” El shook her head. “Unfortunately, it’s not just a ring. It’s a biometric lock that gives you access to all of their bitcoin deposits. It has the original passcode that all of their accounting was based on. If you were to take that to their headquarters, you would have complete control over their company. You could do whatever you wanted with it, burn it to the ground, control it, sell it, anything. And there’s nothing they could do to stop you. They will do literally anything to get a hold of it.” “But why me?” “That’s an incredible coincidence. According to my scrying, well, you remember your Uncle Bill?” Fred nodded. “He was their CFO since the beginning. Crypto wasn’t as popular then and people were still worried about security, so he went to the main server of the company and had it create a ring. That ring. It contains the password to give you access to all of their crypto accounts, and you can only access it if you have the right biohash. His biohash, as it turns out. And you happen - by some one in a billion chance - to share the right markers with him. Given enough time, any of us in this room could fake it. But you can just use it outright.” El nodded to Gramps. “Thank you, Gramps, please take a seat. Barry, I believe you were next?” Barry stood up and nodded to Art. “Some of you I’ve met before, some I haven’t, but I’m Barry. Me and my brother Frank, we’re heirs to one of the Google fortunes. And we’ve been digging.” “I remember the technomage wars, a lot of us do, and I know that the official history is that the remnants of the Fang alliance - after Facebook was crushed - was able to defeat oculus and kill their chance at recovery, but I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. It was largely a draw, until Oculus just withdrew. They stopped fighting everywhere, ended all their rituals, and went back in to research and development mode. And look around you. They might have officially ‘lost,’ but Oculus still makes the best haptics around. That’s why they are still the most popular, even years after they stopped producing anything new.” “My brother, Frank, he’s the oldest, so he gets a chance to play with the newest technology. He showed me this new piece that lets you hack in your dreams. You know how fast dream time is, well, the response time on this lets you pass through firewalls like they aren’t even there. So, one night, he took me scrying with him. We decided to go for oculus headquarters. We thought they were dead. We were wrong.” “It was six of us. Frank was having a party and everyone wanted to try out the newest scrying method, so we went under and followed him over the aether into the oculus servers. Like I said, we thought they were dead, but what we saw there...massive databases chugging away, servers running at peak capacity, security like nothing I’ve ever seen. We had to hide from bot patrols every five minutes. I wanted to leave but Frank wanted to keep looking, so we went deeper in to the racks. That was a mistake.” “They shouldn’t have been able to find us, but, well, someone was dropping packets. One of the bots was able to spot his tracks and start running us down. Frank heard the alarm going off before any of us. He told us to run, to get back to the party. We did, but not everyone made it.” Barry slumped forward. “Frank and I, we’re the best. We’ve been hacking since we were old enough to punch a keyboard. We made it out. But the rest of them weren’t so lucky. The bots caught them, and...this is the part I don’t understand, they killed them. Not in the aether, in the real. Every other person in our party had seizures and died right there. We knew right then that we had to do something. Once I heard that the ring was back in play, well, I knew I needed to come here and talk it out with El. Frank stayed behind. He’s fighting them every night in his dreams, trying to slow down whatever they’re doing, but he needs help. We all do.” Barry sat down heavily and stared at his coffee. “You got any whiskey for this?” Grim grunted and pulled a flask out of his vest. “Take it, lad.” He slid it across the table. Barry raised it back to Grim in a toast, then uncapped it and filled up his coffee cup with it. Grim stood up. “Might as well go next. Go by Grim.” He had a scottish accent. “I’m not famous like some of ye, but I’m one of the best damn app programmers in the world. Runs in the family. My father, he wrote the very first micropayment app. We have a reputation. You need something new built? You come to the Grim family. We can build anything.” “So we weren’t all that surprised when a representative from Oculus came by a few weeks ago. Really slimy shite, hands like he’d never woven a script in his life. He said he wanted something new. Something like the world had never seen. He said he couldn’t offer us the details until we signed, but he promised to make it worth our while. And then, he pulled out a ring, like that one,” he nodded to Fred, who shoved the hand inside his pocket, “and told us that it was a biometric lock, keyed to one of the outstanding Oculus crypto fortunes. The exact numbers had been lost, but it was worth a fortune. And they would key it to us, as long as we agreed to work with them.” “Well, my father thanked him for his time and told him we would be in touch, and then showed him the door. He told me ‘Laddie, I don’t care what they wanted us to build, that price was too much.’ We sat up late that night, drinking whiskey, and we couldn’t figure out what they might want so badly. Or for that matter, how in the world oculus had that much money to throw at us. It was wrong. And then we talked about the Fang war, when huge swaths of people could be cut off at a moment's notice as the aether buckled under the traffic. He told me ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, lad, but it’s bad. I can feel it in me bones.’ He said he knew you, El, from way back, said you would have some insight as to what’s going on. I can tell you, after hearing all these stories, I’m starting to think my da was right.” Grim sat back down. Everyone looked at Legs. He lifted his eyebrows. “Oh, me?” He had an english accent. He smiled at Grim. “I think his father’s correct. And there’s no way I’m going to let my man go into that kind of danger alone.” Grim blushed. “No need to bring up our personal life, Legs. I’m happy to have you along.” Legs leaned over and ruffled his hair. Grim tried to sink into the chair. El smiled. “I can respect that, Legs. I believe that with this new information, I finally understand what is going on there.” She stood. “Barry was correct when he said that Oculus chose to lose the Fang war. I believe, after hearing your stories, I know why. What I know for sure is that on the day the turned inward, their head of engineering died. He was trying out a new haptic protocol. His death sounds very much like what your friends experienced, Barry. They have been snapping up all the best magi in the world, which is obviously why they came for you Gramps, and you, Grim. They are weaving something dark in there. Let me show you something.” She raised her voice. “Tul!” A wheeled cage came rolling in on it’s own. Inside was a man that was all skin and bones. He flinched from the light and cowered in his cage. El sighed. “This...WAS...Gary. He was an associate of mine, but he was doing something very similar to your friends, Barry. He was trying out a new haptic that gave him unprecedented response time, because it operated on a different part of the brain. He was using it just like you, to explore the oculus servers. But maybe because they didn’t perceive him as a threat, they didn’t kill him. They enslaved him. When we took off the haptics, he started attacking everyone. It took eight of us to seal him in this cage. His mind is gone. I’ve communed with him, I’ve dived deep into his mind, but it’s gone. The only desire left is to kill for oculus. Make no mistake, if I were to let him out of this cage he would do his best to kill all of us. Vanya.” The cage rolled back into the shadows. “I believe this is what they are working towards. This is why their security is so tight, why their servers run day and night creating terrible engines, why the corrupted Sarah. Their plan is to deploy this evil thing to every Oculus haptic out there and create an army of slaves. They will take over the world without firing a shot. The only good news is that since they are still recruiting, they have not completed the project. We still have time to bring them down. With that ring, Fred, we can go to the center of their headquarters, and destroy all their power. We can transfer away all of their savings and leave them with nothing, and they will collapse.” She turned her gaze to the rest of the table. “But he cannot go alone. Who will go with him?” Art was the first one to stand. “I’m just a grunt, but,” he pulled out the monomolecular blade on his back, “you have my sword.” Barry stood up. “And my code.” Grim stood up and pounded his fist on the table. “And my apps!” Legs and Gramps also nodded. El smiled. “Good. Then we have a fellowship.”
Bitcoin is slow because the block size was left at 1MB - 2MB with Witness Data on the SEGWIT network - after throwing the entire "team" developer of GitHub and being occupied by developers of what is now known as Blockstream. This size has been maintained and keeps referring to two issues: Mining in China and the decentralization of the nodes or transaction validators that you point out in the article. Mining in China occupies a good part of the pie that miners distribute - in turn these are the ones that confirm the transactions and undermine the blocks - since 2011 and these Chinese farms are behind something that in the West call "The Great Firewall "that prevents a stable connection and slows down the propagation of the block, its mining and confirmation of the transaction over 3 minutes   causing a large part of the mining coming from China and therefore the power of 'Hash' decreased drastically affecting the security of Bitcoin; The less Hash the greater the possibility of being attacked by the Bitcoin network through a 51% attack that could cause double spending - although this gives rise to many debates since the 51% attack on an already "mature" network like Bitcoin requires a Considerable expenditure on mining equipment to control 51% of the mining power and receiving the block reward and the commissions for confirmed transfer on each block would make it less likely that said miner or mining group would like to make a double expense upon receiving sufficient economic compensation. So only a malicious agent with the intentions of destroying the network and assuming the total losses on the investment of equipment would be willing to carry out such operation. Possibilities exist but these are reduced by being the miner compensated for their activity. In the same references to Chinese mining farms but in another more economical field; Bitcoin has 21 million that are obtained through mining and commissions on transfers. These 21 million are achieved over time and from there it becomes a deflationary element as there is no possibility of printing more coins. The question of the Bitcoin block costly and the influence of Chinese mining goes through the Bitcoin subsidy or, currently called as, block reward: When a miner puts a block in the chain he receives the Bitcoin reward that is "inside" "of that block and which is currently encrypted in 12.5. Every 210000 blocks the reward is reduced by half so in less than a year (312 days from today ) it will be reduced to 6.25 so the miners will see their subsidy fall in half unless Bitcoin's price per coin increases considerably or the mining farms begin to close or reduce mining equipment thus decreasing the power of the network's Hash. If Bitcoin reduces by half every 210000 blocks the subsidy per block to miners will come a time when they can only live and maintain their equipment for transaction fees and in a Bitcoin network with 7 transactions per second and a commission that tends to Increase the higher the number of movements in it makes it unfeasible for miners to continue in said 1MB network and above all that people want to use this payment method that is expensive and slow - more even than gold paper - Because remember that Bitcoin born as Peer 2 peer cash, not gold-. Therefore, if in time the subsidy or reward is going to be 0 or unable to cover the mining equipment expense, it is necessary to find a solution if the developers do not want to touch the block size. And this goes through three issues already raised in BIPs and about the community: RPF (Replace By Fee), Lightning Network and Increase in the number of Bitcoin since the demand for Bitcoin does not rise because it offers a quality service but for security and above all for the manipulation of Tether (USDT) and the large exchange houses: - The RBF consists in the substitution of a transaction without confirmations for another that would replace it with a higher commission eliminating the previous one of the mempool - the limbo of the transactions to be confirmed in Bitcoin -. Although this system seems effective, it does not eliminate the long-term problem of continuing to maintain the reduced block, but rather removes the problem of financing miners, but does not eliminate it and, above all, kills the operation of Bitcoin transactions by not eliminating the increase in commissions that would distance the user from its use. In addition to more easily allowing double spending  . - Lightning Network is a side-chain or second layer, that is, a software development not implemented in the Bitcoin network itself and therefore is not an element of the block chain so this should already be repudiated since being a External and non-auditable element such as Bitcoin gives rise to "blanks" and therefore lack of existence and possibility of auditing accounts  and even the loss of money or cancellation of the transaction  . It also faces the problem of routing since in a network in constant change with the openings and closures of payment channels it is unfeasible to establish a total and rapid diffusion to the nodes of LN - other than those of Bitcoin - so it comes into play Another new element of this network is the watchtowers in charge of ensuring compliance in open channels and over the entire LN network of payments. Obviously it requires an additional cost to hire this service and it is not yet implemented  and taking into account the pace at which Lightning Network is developed, it is doubtful that it will become available . In short, to use properly - which is not successful - LN you need a node valued at $ 300 , a watchtower, have a channel open 24/7 and with sufficient funds to carry out transactions    . - The increase in the Bitcoin offer was raised fleetingly by developer Peter Todd   and will become an open debate in a few years when the mining block reward is low and the price of Bitcoin cannot be sustained only with uncontrolled printing of Tether and the manipulation on the price of the currency   next to the collusion of the exchange houses headed by BitFinex  and personalities of the world 'crypto'  - if he survives long enough to see that moment since they are already behind Bitfinex for money laundering . When that moment arrives I am sure that a BIP - Bitcoin Improvement Proposal - will be launched by Blockstream or directly notified of the measure destroying the essence of Bitcoin and the TRUE DECENTRALIZATION: THE PROTOCOL. This brings us to the second reason for the slowness of Bitcoin. The correct and true decentralization goes through the code and the team of developers and maintainers, not any other. The protocol must be engraved in stone  and that the action of the miners distribute and decentralize the network and they maintain the nodes and the transactions in a completely capitalist economic relationship. Investing in machines and communication improves access, speed and spread of transactions and blocks and makes miners true competitors as well as facilitating the transmission of money and all kinds of transactions . The decentralization of the nodes was the other great reason to prevent the increase of the block and therefore the speed in the transaction. It is based on a false premise to base the decentralization of Bitcoin - which is nowhere on the whitepaper - on the raspberry nodes. The dispersion of the transaction and all the stages of the transaction and the blocks depend on the miner and his team, as well as the search for excellence in communications to avoid orphan blocks - which are stipulated in the Nakamoto consensus and are part of Bitcoin and not they throw no problem in the transactions only in the resolution of the reward of the block that affects the miners and should seek greater efficiency - and reorganizations. The audit on the Bitcoin network can be perfectly performed without there being a Bitcoin node in each house, in fact it would cause the same routing problems that occur / will occur in the LN network. Decentralization should not go through nodes but through developers and to a lesser extent by miners. If a protocol is continually being altered by developers they have the power of the network and it must be in constant struggle by the miners through the commission on transactions. Due to these two factors, the BIP0101 proposed by the developers that Satoshi left in charge  and that originated the creation of Bitcoin Unlimited was rejected, later it was attacked due to its recent creation through DDoS attacks in a statement of intentions of the network Blockstream bitcoin   remaining as a residual element. These two reasons are the cause of the drowning suffered by the Bitcoin network - including many other elements that were eliminated and that corresponded to the initial code completely changing the nature and destiny of Bitcoin that are not relevant and I will not enumerate -, Any other reason is propaganda by those who want to keep Bitcoin drowned in order to enrich themselves with mining sub-subsidies and second-layer software like LN. Bitcoin has a structure similar to gold and can collect certain attributes of it but its destination in efficient and fast transmission as effective - among other transactions. Bitcoin was designed to professionalize miners and create a new industry around them, so mining centers will become datacenters  and they will replicate all transaction logs and even this professionalization will eventually lead to specialization in other types of transactions born new industries around you that will support the nodes according to specialization - Data, asset transfers, money, property rights, etc ... - Bitcoin scales to infinity if they leave the protocol FREE enough to do so. P.D: Core, since the departure of Hearn and Andersen, they know perfectly well what they are doing: The worst breed from the Cyberpunk movement has been combined with the worst breed of the current synarchy; The ends always touch.  https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3ygo96/blocksize_consensus_census/cye0bmt/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivgxcEOyWNs&feature=youtu.be&t=2h36m20s  https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com/  https://petertodd.org/2016/are-wallets-ready-for-rbf  https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-atm-double-spenders-police-need-help-identifying-four-criminals/  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4905430.0 https://www.trustnodes.com/2018/03/26/lightning-network-user-loses-funds || https://www.trustnodes.com/2019/03/13/lightning-network-has-many-routing-problems-says-lead-dev-at-lightning-labs  https://diar.co/volume-2-issue-25/  https://blockonomi.com/watchtowers-bitcoin-lightning-network/  https://twitter.com/starkness/status/676599570898419712  https://store.casa/lightning-node/  https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/81906/to-create-a-channel-on-the-lightning-network-do-you-have-to-execute-an-actual-t  https://blog.muun.com/the-inbound-capacity-problem-in-the-lightning-network/  https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-capacity-cliff-586d1bf7715e  https://dashnews.org/peter-todd-argues-for-bitcoin-inflation-to-support-security/  https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1092260891788103680  https://medium.com/datadriveninvestotether-usd-is-used-to-manipulate-bitcoin-prices-94714e65ee31  https://twitter.com/CryptoJetHammestatus/1149131155469455364  https://www.bitrates.com/news/p/crypto-collusion-the-web-of-secrets-at-the-core-of-the-crypto-market  https://archive.is/lk1lH  https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=8W00ssb7x5ZOaj8HKFdbfQ==  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=195.msg1611#msg1611  https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/mastebip-0101.mediawiki  https://www.reddit.com/bitcoinxt/comments/3yewit/psa_if_youre_running_an_xt_node_in_stealth_mode/  https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/3yebzi/coinbase_down/ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=532.msg6306#msg6306"
Hello all, I'm (among other things) a graduate student getting a master's degree in cybersecurity. This last quarter for one of my classes, I was tasked to examine and recreate an exploit. For the actual exploit I was examining the "anyone can spend" segwit addresses on the BCH chain, and in my research I found a $600k theft that seems to have gone completely unnoticed. You all might recall this $600k theft of segwit addresses, but it happened again in mid-February 2018 and there has been zero news about it. BCH block 517171 contains solely segwit-stealing transactions. If you look at any given transaction, the inputs are all segwit program hashes spending a P2SH segwit output. I only caught it by accident, as I was originally going to talk about the publicized November attack. The interesting thing I discovered about this was that it's harder to have stolen that segwit money than most people think. Both Unlimited and ABC nodes do not relay segwit-spending transactions, and Bitcoin ABC hard-coded in fRequireStandard, so you couldn't even force-relay them with a conf option. On top of that, miners keep their node IPs private for obvious avoiding-ddos-and-sybil-attack reasons, which means it's impossible to directly send transactions to miners. This means that the only way to actually execute this attack was to setup one's own mining pool running on a custom-modified client to allow non-standard transactions. Then you'd have to get enough hash power to mine a block yourself. I estimated the cost of renting enough hash power to do this at the time as around $30k-$60k to have a greater than 90% chance of mining a block within a 3 month window. In order to simulate the attack, I spun up BTC, LTC, and BCH nodes in Docker, and wrote a Python script. The Python script started at segwit activation on BTC and LTC and it scanned every transaction in every block looking for P2SH segwit inputs as well as native segwit outputs, since these are the necessary hash pre-images to spend P2SH segwit money on the BCH chain. The script then also scanned the BCH chain for any native segwit outputs, as well as recording all P2SH outputs. (This was all saved in a MySQL database.) Then, at any point in time, I could simply query for BCH unspent native segwit outputs as well as P2SH outputs for which I had a known segwit hash pre-image. (If this was an attack I was doing real-time, I would probably also have a large mempool on each node and monitor unconfirmed tx's for useful info as well, but since this was after the fact, I just queried blocks sequentially.) For the mining node that runs the pool, it would need to be firewalled behind (i.e. only connected to) an unmodified node in blocks-only mode, so that the segwit hash pre-images aren't transmitted out to the network, and so that no other unconfirmed transactions are transmitted in to the mining node. (The mining node should only be filling its block with segwit tx's in order to maximize the gain from the attack.) Then a script should run continuously to grab segwit utxos from the MySQL database and construct high-fee transactions to send directly to the mining node. Unlike the November attack, each input should be spent in its own individual transaction, so that in the event it is individually spent, I don't negate a tx with other inputs. The overhead on having different transactions for each input is only about 8 extra bytes (the tx version and the locktime), so I think this is a good trade-off. Then, the attacker simply rents hashing power and points it at his secret pool. By the time February rolled around and the attack happened, my MySQL database had about 40 million BCH P2SH outputs and each query took about 3 minutes to execute. This of course would have been fine in the 10-minute block world of Bitcoin and BCH, but it means that I stopped my Python script after that time, so I don't know about any possible other attacks that happened before the clean stack rule was hard-forked into BCH. It was pretty interesting to work through how this attack must have happened, and it was significantly harder to execute than I thought it would be given that all the money was "anyone can spend". However, the most interesting thing about all this is that nobody has noticed. There is literally no news or mention of block 517171 or any of the transactions in it. My theory is that it is money that nobody misses -- i.e. misprogrammed custom wallet software for BTC nodes accidentally also sent out BCH transactions to the same address, given that BTC and BCH shared the same history until August 2017. And whatever person or entity is running those nodes is only thinking about BTC money and is completely oblivious to its misprogrammed problem of shipping BCH to segwit P2SH addresses. Obviously, that's just a theory, but I think it's pretty reasonable. Given the intense community divide, I think it's very possible that a number of BTC users simply ignored money on the BCH chain, even though it's "free money" for them, simply out of ideological hatred. Whatever the case, nobody has posted anywhere complaining of money stolen in that block. It seems to have gone completely unnoticed. (Which is why I'm posting this.) It was an interesting case study and I'd be curious to hear if anybody has any addition information or thoughts about it. I believe this was a different person than the November theft, because the way it was done was different -- the November theft had all the money in one transaction, but this February theft was done with separate individual transactions. Additionally worth noting is that the address which received the bulk of the money is still active, which means they're still out there. Anyway, I thought this was interesting and worth posting.
Initially, I liked SegWit. But then I learned SegWit-as-a-SOFT-fork is dangerous (making transactions "anyone-can-spend"??) & centrally planned (1.7MB blocksize??). Instead, Bitcoin Unlimited is simple & safe, with MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE. This is why more & more people have decided to REJECT SEGWIT.
Initially, I liked SegWit. But then I learned SegWit-as-a-SOFT-fork is dangerous (making transactions "anyone-can-spend"??) & centrally planned (1.7MB blocksize??). Instead, Bitcoin Unlimited is simple & safe, with MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE. This is why more & more people have decided to REJECT SEGWIT. Summary Like many people, I initially loved SegWit - until I found out more about it. I'm proud of my open-mindedness and my initial - albeit short-lived - support of SegWit - because this shows that I judge software on its merits, instead of being some kind of knee-jerk "hater". SegWit's idea of "refactoring" the code to separate out the validation stuff made sense, and the phrase "soft fork" sounded cool - for a while. But then we all learned that:
SegWit-as-a-soft-fork would be incredibly dangerous - introducing massive, unnecessary and harmful "technical debt" by making all transactions "anyone-can-spend";
Pieter Wuille's Segregated Witness and Fraud Proofs (via Soft-Fork!) is a major improvement for scaling and security (and upgrading!)
I am very proud of that initial pro-SegWit post of mine - because it shows that I have always been totally unbiased and impartial and objective about the ideas behind SegWit - and I have always evaluated it purely on its merits (and demerits). So, I was one of the first people to recognize the positive impact which the ideas behind SegWit could have had (ie, "segregating" the signature information from the sender / receiver / amount information) - if SegWit had been implemented by an honest dev team that supports the interests of the Bitcoin community. However, we've learned a lot since December 2015. Now we know that Core / Blockstream is actively working against the interests of the Bitcoin community, by:
trying to force their political and economic viewpoints onto everyone else by "hard-coding" / "bundling" some random / arbitrary / centrally-planned 1.7MB "max blocksize" (?!?) into our code;
trying to take away our right to vote via a clean and safe "hard fork";
trying to cripple our code with dangerous "technical debt" - eg their radical and irresponsible proposal to make all transactions "anyone-can-spend".
This is the mess of SegWit - which we all learned about over the past year. So, Core / Blockstream blew it - bigtime - losing my support for SegWit, and the support of many others in the community. We might have continued to support SegWit if Core / Blockstream had not implemented it as a dangerous and dirty soft fork. But Core / Blockstream lost our support - by attempting to implement SegWit as a dangerous, anti-democratic soft fork. The lesson here for Core/Blockstream is clear: Bitcoin users are not stupid. Many of us are programmers ourselves, and we know the difference between a simple & safe hard fork and a messy & dangerous soft fork. And we also don't like it when Core / Blockstream attempts to take away our right to vote. And finally, we don't like it when Core / Blockstream attempts to steal functionality away from nodes while using misleading terminology - as u/chinawat has repeatedly been pointing out lately. We know a messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack when we see it - and SegWit is a messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack. If Core/Blockstream attempts to foce messy and dangerous code like SegWit-as-a-soft-fork on the community, we can and should and we will reject SegWit - to protect our billions of dollars of investment in Bitcoin (which could turn into trillions of dollars someday - if we continue to protect our code from poison pills and trojans like SegWit). Too bad you lost my support (and the support of many, many other Bitcoin users), Core / Blockstream! But it's your own fault for releasing shitty code. Below are some earlier comments from me showing how I quickly turned from one of the most outspoken supporters of Segwit (in that single OP I wrote the day I saw Pieter Wuille's presentation on YouTube) - into one of most outspoken opponents of SegWit:
I also think Pieter Wuille is a great programmer and I was one of the first people to support SegWit after it was announced at a congress a few months ago. But then Blockstream went and distorted SegWit to fit it into their corporate interests (maintaining their position as the dominant centralized dev team - which requires avoiding hard-forks). And Blockstream's corporate interests don't always align with Bitcoin's interests.
As noted in the link in the section title above, I myself was an outspoken supporter championing SegWit on the day when I first the YouTube of Pieter Wuille explaining it at one of the early "Scaling Bitcoin" conferences. Then I found out that doing it as a soft fork would add unnecessary "spaghetti code" - and I became one of the most outspoken opponents of SegWit.
Probably the only prominent Core/Blockstream dev who does understand this kind of stuff like the Robustness Principle or its equivalent reformulation in terms of covariant and contravariant types is someone like Pieter Wuille – since he’s a guy who’s done a lot of work in functional languages like Haskell – instead of being a myopic C-tard like most of the rest of the Core/Blockstream devs. He’s a smart guy, and his work on SegWit is really important stuff (but too bad that, yet again, it’s being misdelivered as a “soft-fork,” again due to the cluelessness of someone like Luke-Jr, whose grasp of syntax and semantics – not to mention society – is so glaringly lacking that he should have been recognized for the toxic influence that he is and shunned long ago).
The damage which would be caused by SegWit (at the financial, software, and governance level) would be massive:
Millions of lines of other Bitcoin code would have to be rewritten (in wallets, on exchanges, at businesses) in order to become compatible with all the messy non-standard kludges and workarounds which Blockstream was forced into adding to the code (the famous "technical debt") in order to get SegWit to work as a soft fork.
SegWit was originally sold to us as a "code clean-up". Heck, even I intially fell for it when I saw an early presentation by Pieter Wuille on YouTube from one of Blockstream's many, censored Bitcoin scaling stalling conferences)
But as we all later all discovered, SegWit is just a messy hack.
Probably the most dangerous aspect of SegWit is that it changes all transactions into "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" without SegWit - all because of the messy workarounds necessary to do SegWit as a soft-fork. The kludges and workarounds involving SegWit's "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" semantics would only work as long as SegWit is still installed.
This means that it would be impossible to roll-back SegWit - because all SegWit transactions that get recorded on the blockchain would now be interpreted as "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" - so, SegWit's dangerous and messy "kludges and workarounds and hacks" would have to be made permanent - otherwise, anyone could spend those "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" SegWit coins!
Segwit cannot be rolled back because to non-upgraded clients, ANYONE can spend Segwit txn outputs. If Segwit is rolled back, all funds locked in Segwit outputs can be taken by anyone. As more funds gets locked up in segwit outputs, incentive for miners to collude to claim them grows.
"SegWit encumbers Bitcoin with irreversible technical debt. Miners should reject SWSF. SW is the most radical and irresponsible protocol upgrade Bitcoin has faced in its history. The scale of the code changes are far from trivial - nearly every part of the codebase is affected by SW" Jaqen Hash’ghar
3 excellent articles highlighting some of the major problems with SegWit: (1) "Core Segwit – Thinking of upgrading? You need to read this!" by WallStreetTechnologist (2) "SegWit is not great" by Deadalnix (3) "How Software Gets Bloated: From Telephony to Bitcoin" by Emin Gün Sirer
"The scaling argument was ridiculous at first, and now it's sinister. Core wants to take transactions away from miners to give to their banking buddies - crippling Bitcoin to only be able to do settlements. They are destroying Satoshi's vision. SegwitCoin is Bankcoin, not Bitcoin" ~ u/ZeroFucksG1v3n
u/Uptrenda on SegWit: "Core is forcing every Bitcoin startup to abandon their entire code base for a Rube Goldberg machine making their products so slow, inconvenient, and confusing that even if they do manage to 'migrate' to this cluster-fuck of technical debt it will kill their businesses anyway."
"SegWit [would] bring unnecessary complexity to the bitcoin blockchain. Huge changes it introduces into the client are a veritable minefield of issues, [with] huge changes needed for all wallets, exchanges, remittance, and virtually all bitcoin software that will use it." ~ u/Bitcoinopoly
Just because something is a "soft fork" doesn't mean it isn't a massive change. SegWit is an alt-coin. It would introduce radical and unpredictable changes in Bitcoin's economic parameters and incentives. Just read this thread. Nobody has any idea how the mainnet will react to SegWit in real life.
Core/Blockstream & their supporters keep saying that "SegWit has been tested". But this is false. Other software used by miners, exchanges, Bitcoin hardware manufacturers, non-Core software developers/companies, and Bitcoin enthusiasts would all need to be rewritten, to be compatible with SegWit
SegWit-as-a-softfork is a hack. Flexible-Transactions-as-a-hard-fork is simpler, safer and more future-proof than SegWit-as-a-soft-fork - trivially solving malleability, while adding a "tag-based" binary data format (like JSON, XML or HTML) for easier, safer future upgrades with less technical debt
ViABTC: "Why I support BU: We should give the question of block size to the free market to decide. It will naturally adjust to ever-improving network & technological constraints. Bitcoin Unlimited guarantees that block size will follow what the Bitcoin network is capable of handling safely."
Bitcoin's specification (eg: Excess Blocksize (EB) & Acceptance Depth (AD), configurable via Bitcoin Unlimited) can, should & always WILL be decided by ALL the miners & users - not by a single FIAT-FUNDED, CENSORSHIP-SUPPORTED dev team (Core/Blockstream) & miner (BitFury) pushing SegWit 1.7MB blocks
The Blockstream/SegWit/LN fork will be worth LESS: SegWit uses 4MB storage/bandwidth to provide a one-time bump to 1.7MB blocksize; messy, less-safe as softfork; LN=vaporware. The BU fork will be worth MORE: single clean safe hardfork solving blocksize forever; on-chain; fix malleability separately.
Brock Pierce's BLOCKCHAIN CAPITAL is part-owner of Bitcoin's biggest, private, fiat-funded private dev team (Blockstream) & biggest, private, fiat-funded private mining operation (BitFury). Both are pushing SegWit - with its "centrally planned blocksize" & dangerous "anyone-can-spend kludge".
The real reason why Core / Blockstream always favors soft-forks over hard-forks (even though hard-forks are actually safer because hard-forks are explicit) is because soft-forks allow the "incumbent" code to quietly remain incumbent forever (and in this case, the "incumbent" code is Core)
Reminder: Previous posts showing that Blockstream's opposition to hard-forks is dangerous, obstructionist, selfish FUD. As many of us already know, the reason that Blockstream is against hard forks is simple: Hard forks are good for Bitcoin, but bad for the private company Blockstream.
"They [Core/Blockstream] fear a hard fork will remove them from their dominant position." ... "Hard forks are 'dangerous' because they put the market in charge, and the market might vote against '[the] experts' [at Core/Blockstream]" - ForkiusMaximus
The proper terminology for a "hard fork" should be a "FULL NODE REFERENDUM" - an open, transparent EXPLICIT process where everyone has the right to vote FOR or AGAINST an upgrade. The proper terminology for a "soft fork" should be a "SNEAKY TROJAN HORSE" - because IT TAKES AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
If Blockstream were truly "conservative" and wanted to "protect Bitcoin" then they would deploy SegWit AS A HARD FORK. Insisting on deploying SegWit as a soft fork (overly complicated so more dangerous for Bitcoin) exposes that they are LYING about being "conservative" and "protecting Bitcoin".
"We had our arms twisted to accept 2MB hardfork + SegWit. We then got a bait and switch 1MB + SegWit with no hardfork, and accounting tricks to make P2SH transactions cheaper (for sidechains and Lightning, which is all Blockstream wants because they can use it to control Bitcoin)." ~ u/URGOVERNMENT
u/Luke-Jr invented SegWit's dangerous "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork kludge. Now he helped kill Bitcoin trading at Circle. He thinks Bitcoin should only hard-fork TO DEAL WITH QUANTUM COMPUTING. Luke-Jr will continue to kill Bitcoin if we continue to let him. To prosper, BITCOIN MUST IGNORE LUKE-JR.
Normal users understand that SegWit-as-a-softfork is dangerous, because it deceives non-upgraded nodes into thinking transactions are valid when actually they're not - turning those nodes into "zombie nodes". Greg Maxwell and Blockstream are jeopardizing Bitcoin - in order to stay in power.
"Negotiations have failed. BS/Core will never HF - except to fire the miners and create an altcoin. Malleability & quadratic verification time should be fixed - but not via SWSF political/economic trojan horse. CHANGES TO BITCOIN ECONOMICS MUST BE THRU FULL NODE REFERENDUM OF A HF." ~ u/TunaMelt
"Anything controversial ... is the perfect time for a hard fork. ... Hard forks are the market speaking. Soft forks on any issues where there is controversy are an attempt to smother the market in its sleep. Core's approach is fundamentally anti-market" ~ u/ForkiusMaximus
As Core / Blockstream collapses and Classic gains momentum, the CEO of Blockstream, Austin Hill, gets caught spreading FUD about the safety of "hard forks", falsely claiming that: "A hard-fork forced-upgrade flag day ... disenfranchises everyone who doesn't upgrade ... causes them to lose funds"
Core/Blockstream is living in a fantasy world. In the real world everyone knows (1) our hardware can support 4-8 MB (even with the Great Firewall), and (2) hard forks are cleaner than soft forks. Core/Blockstream refuses to offer either of these things. Other implementations (eg: BU) can offer both.
Blockstream is "just another shitty startup. A 30-second review of their business plan makes it obvious that LN was never going to happen. Due to elasticity of demand, users either go to another coin, or don't use crypto at all. There is no demand for degraded 'off-chain' services." ~ u/jeanduluoz
The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?
The Bitcoin community is talking. Why isn't Core/Blockstream listening? "Yes, [SegWit] increases the blocksize but BU wants a literal blocksize increase." ~ u/lurker_derp ... "It's pretty clear that they [BU-ers] want Bitcoin, not a BTC fork, to have a bigger blocksize." ~ u/WellSpentTime
"The MAJORITY of the community sentiment (be it miners or users / hodlers) is in favour of the manner in which BU handles the scaling conundrum (only a conundrum due to the junta at Core) and SegWit as a hard and not a soft fork." ~ u/pekatete
Bitcoin Unlimited is the real Bitcoin, in line with Satoshi's vision. Meanwhile, BlockstreamCoin+RBF+SegWitAsASoftFork+LightningCentralizedHub-OfflineIOUCoin is some kind of weird unrecognizable double-spendable non-consensus-driven fiat-financed offline centralized settlement-only non-P2P "altcoin"
The number of blocks being mined by Bitcoin Unlimited is now getting very close to surpassing the number of blocks being mined by SegWit! More and more people are supporting BU's MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE - because BU avoids needless transaction delays and ultimately increases Bitcoin adoption & price!
I have just been banned for from /Bitcoin for posting evidence that there is a moderate/strong inverse correlation between the amount of Bitcoin Core Blocks mined and the Bitcoin Price (meaning that as Core loses market share, Price goes up).
The main difference between Bitcoin core and BU client is BU developers dont bundle their economic and political opinions with their code
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5v3rt2/the_main_difference_between_bitcoin_core_and_bu/ TL;DR: You wanted people like me to support you and install your code, Core / Blockstream? Then you shouldn't have a released messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack like SegWit-as-a-soft-fork - with its random, arbitrary, centrally planned, ridiculously tiny 1.7MB blocksize - and its dangerous "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork semantics. Now it's too late. The market will reject SegWit - and it's all Core / Blockstream's fault. The market prefers simpler, safer, future-proof, market-based solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
I decided to write this up because there's a lot of confusion about what a "Node" is. I personally had to do a lot of research to figured this out myself. If anyone would like to suggest edits, I welcome them. Due to the decentralized nature of Litecoin, sometimes key terms or definitions don’t get standardized. This is particularly problematic for newcomers who want to learn about Litecoin but get confused by variant vocabulary. For example, a Full Litecoin Node to one person may mean something slightly different to another. In light of this, below I suggest a list of terms to help the community use the same definitions and language in regards to Litecoin Nodes.
Before we talk about Litecoin Nodes, let’s talk about nodes in a broad sense. In a distributed network, the simplest way to define a node would be to say it is a point of intersection or connection with the network. It can act as both a redistribution point or a communication endpoint. This loose definition helps us better understand the different ways a Litecoin Node functions within the Litecoin Network. The following definitions should collectively be considered Litecoin Nodes.
A Full Node
A Full Litecoin Node is an integral component of the Litecoin Network because it validates the blockchain. It does this by downloading a copy of it. It is also capable of relaying transactions and recent blocks, but this isn’t required to be considered a Full Node. Now when you first open up a Full Node client like Litecoin Core, most people are sitting behind a firewall. In this case, your Full Node is limited in the number of connections it can connect to (around 8) and only looks for Super Nodes a.k.a. Listening Nodes. The reason for this is because your Full Node isn’t publicly connectable yet.
A Super Node a.k.a. Listening Node
In a distributed network, a Super Node functions as a highly connected redistribution point as well as a relay station. Therefore this would be an appropriate term to describe a publicly connectable Full Litecoin Node. This means many nodes can connect to it to obtain relayed transactional data and blockchain history. This may require more bandwidth and CPU than a Full Node because of all the extra work it’s doing. These Super Nodes are normally on 24/7 and are reliable focal points for other nodes to connect to. In order to activate this within a Litecoin client functioning as a node, you must make it publicly connectable. One way to do this is to bypass any potential firewalls and/or setup port forwarding. Some manuals suggest running litecoind(litecoin daemon) in the background instead of Litecoin-Qt, but this isn’t necessary. u/aaron0791 Raspberry Pi guide can either be a super node or a full node depending on whether it is publicly connectable. You can run it with the litecoind as well in order to avoid setting up a GUI with the Raspberry Pi.
A Miner’s Node
Today, miners utilize mining programs separate from Litecoin Core to mine Litecoin blocks. Some miners choose to solo mine and therefore use their own Full Node to maintain a full copy of the blockchain via litecoind. Others choose to pool mine and work together to solve blocks. In this case, the admin of the pool maintains a Full Node while pool miners contribute their hashpower. A third method, though highly discouraged and harmful to the network, is to SPV mine by mining on top of blocks before fully validating them. These SPV pool miners typically trust another mining pool’s Full Node as a reference to build on top of. In light of this, a Miner’s Node can be further subcategorized as either a Solo Miner’s Full Node or a Pool Miner’s Full Node.
SPV clients like Loafwallet (the Litecoin App for smartphones) are not Full Nodes because they don’t download the blockchain. SPV clients do this by ensuring your transactions are put in a block and then confirm that other blocks are being added to it. Therefore in the loosest sense, an SPV Client may fit the criteria of a node. However, they don’t do much to support and validate the distributed trustless ledger of Litecoin. Instead, they store just copies of all the headers of all the blocks in the blockchain that are taken from other Super Nodes. Therefore, SPV clients are unable to verify any transactions in the chain because they don’t have access to it. In this way, they function as communication endpoints as they are are unable to relay transactions or blockchain data. Additionally, it is important to put your own full nodes behind them to securely use SPV clients as wallets.
Specialized “Edge Routing” Nodes
Other types of nodes exist where Full Nodes are stripped of its wallet and mining capabilities. Entities such exchanges and merchant payment processors then build on top of these specialized “edge routing” nodes.
Above, I’ve briefly described the various roles a Litecoin Node can have. I’ve also included a broad overview of the necessary steps a user would need to take to use Litecoin Core in these roles. Hopefully by providing this list of terminology, it will empower users to understand what exact role they are playing in the network and to inform them of the steps they can take if they want to play a different one. edit: clarified my language after consulting bitcoin dev's. edit2: source if you want visuals-> https://medium.com/the-litecoin-school-of-crypto/lets-talk-about-litecoin-nodes-77383339cdf7 edit3: tips appreciate
Greg Maxwell /u/nullc (CTO of Blockstream) has sent me two private messages in response to my other post today (where I said "Chinese miners can only win big by following the market - not by following Core/Blockstream."). In response to his private messages, I am publicly posting my reply, here:
Note: Greg Maxell nullc sent me 2 short private messages criticizing me today. For whatever reason, he seems to prefer messaging me privately these days, rather than responding publicly on these forums. Without asking him for permission to publish his private messages, I do think it should be fine for me to respond to them publicly here - only quoting 3 phrases from them, namely: "340GB", "paid off", and "integrity" LOL. There was nothing particularly new or revealing in his messages - just more of the same stuff we've all heard before. I have no idea why he prefers responding to me privately these days. Everything below is written by me - I haven't tried to upload his 2 PMs to me, since he didn't give permission (and I didn't ask). The only stuff below from his 2 PMs is the 3 phrases already mentioned: "340GB", "paid off", and "integrity". The rest of this long wall of text is just my "open letter to Greg." TL;DR: The code that maximally uses the available hardware and infrastructure will win - and there is nothing Core/Blockstream can do to stop that. Also, things like the Berlin Wall or the Soviet Union lasted for a lot longer than people expected - but, conversely, the also got swept away a lot faster than anyone expected. The "vote" for bigger blocks is an ongoing referendum - and Classic is running on 20-25% of the network (and can and will jump up to the needed 75% very fast, when investors demand it due to the inevitable "congestion crisis") - which must be a massive worry for Greg/Adam/Austin and their backers from the Bilderberg Group. The debate will inevitably be decided in favor of bigger blocks - simply because the market demands it, and the hardware / infrastructure supports it. Hello Greg Maxwell nullc (CTO of Blockstream) - Thank you for your private messages in response to my post. I respect (most of) your work on Bitcoin, but I think you were wrong on several major points in your messages, and in your overall economic approach to Bitcoin - as I explain in greater detail below: Correcting some inappropriate terminology you used As everybody knows, Classic or Unlimited or Adaptive (all of which I did mention specifically in my post) do not support "340GB" blocks (which I did not mention in my post). It is therefore a straw-man for you to claim that big-block supporters want "340GB" blocks. Craig Wright may want that - but nobody else supports his crazy posturing and ridiculous ideas. You should know that what actual users / investors (and Satoshi) actually do want, is to let the market and the infrastructure decide on the size of actual blocks - which could be around 2 MB, or 4 MB, etc. - gradually growing in accordance with market needs and infrastructure capabilities (free from any arbitrary, artificial central planning and obstructionism on the part of Core/Blockstream, and its investors - many of whom have a vested interest in maintaining the current debt-backed fiat system). You yourself (nullc) once said somewhere that bigger blocks would probably be fine - ie, they would not pose a decentralization risk. (I can't find the link now - maybe I'll have time to look for it later.) I found the link: https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/43mond/even_a_year_ago_i_said_i_though_we_could_probably/ I am also surprised that you now seem to be among those making unfounded insinuations that posters such as myself must somehow be "paid off" - as if intelligent observers and participants could not decide on their own, based on the empirical evidence, that bigger blocks are needed, when the network is obviously becoming congested and additional infrastructure is obviously available. Random posters on Reddit might say and believe such conspiratorial nonsense - but I had always thought that you, given your intellectual abilities, would have been able to determine that people like me are able to arrive at supporting bigger blocks quite entirely on our own, based on two simple empirical facts, ie:
the infrastructure supports bigger blocks now;
the market needs bigger blocks now.
In the present case, I will simply assume that you might be having a bad day, for you to erroneously and groundlessly insinuate that I must be "paid off" in order to support bigger blocks. Using Occam's Razor The much simpler explanation is that bigger-block supporters believe will get "paid off" from bigger gains for their investment in Bitcoin. Rational investors and users understand that bigger blocks are necessary, based on the apparent correlation (not necessarily causation!) between volume and price (as mentioned in my other post, and backed up with graphs). And rational network capacity planners (a group which you should be in - but for some mysterious reason, you're not) also understand that bigger blocks are necessary, and quite feasible (and do not pose any undue "centralization risk".) As I have been on the record for months publicly stating, I understand that bigger blocks are necessary based on the following two objective, rational reasons:
because I've seen the empirical research in the field (from guys like Gavin and Toomim) showing that the network infrastructure (primarily bandwidth and latency - but also RAM and CPU) would also support bigger blocks now (I believe they showed that 3-4MB blocks would definitely work fine on the network now - possibly even 8 MB - without causing undue centralization).
Bigger-block supporters are being objective; smaller-block supporters are not I am surprised that you no longer talk about this debate in those kind of objective terms:
bandwidth, latency (including Great Firewall of China), RAM, CPU;
At this point, the burden is on guys like you (nullc) to explain why you support a so-called scaling "roadmap" which is not aligned with:
simple, rational investment policy; and
simple, rational capacity planning
The burden is also on guys like you to show that you do not have a conflict of interest, due to Blockstream's highly-publicized connections (via insurance giant AXA - whose CED is also the Chairman of the Bilderberg Group; and companies such as the "Big 4" accounting firm PwC) to the global cartel of debt-based central banks with their infinite money-printing. In a nutshell, the argument of big-block supporters is simple: If the hardware / network infrastructure supports bigger blocks (and it does), and if the market demands it (and it does), then we certainly should use bigger blocks - now. You have never provided a counter-argument to this simple, rational proposition - for the past few years. If you have actual numbers or evidence or facts or even legitimate concerns (regarding "centralization risk" - presumably your only argument) then you should show such evidence. But you never have. So we can only assume either incompetence or malfeasance on your part. As I have also publicly and privately stated to you many times, with the utmost of sincerity: We do of course appreciate the wealth of stellar coding skills which you bring to Bitcoin's cryptographic and networking aspects. But we do not appreciate the obstructionism and centralization which you also bring to Bitcoin's economic and scaling aspects. Bitcoin is bigger than you. The simple reality is this: If you can't / won't let Bitcoin grow naturally, then the market is going to eventually route around you, and billions (eventually trillions) of investor capital and user payments will naturally flow elsewhere. So: You can either be the guy who wrote the software to provide simple and safe Bitcoin scaling (while maintaining "reasonable" decentralization) - or the guy who didn't. The choice is yours. The market, and history, don't really care about:
whether you yourself might have been "paid off" (or under a non-disclosure agreement written perhaps by some investors associated the Bilderberg Group and the legacy debt-based fiat money system which they support), or
whether or not you might be clueless about economics.
Crypto and/or Bitcoin will move on - with or without you and your obstructionism. Bigger-block supporters, including myself, are impartial By the way, my two recent posts this past week on the Craig Wright extravaganza...
...should have given you some indication that I am being impartial and objective, and I do have "integrity" (and I am not "paid off" by anybody, as you so insultingly insinuated). In other words, much like the market and investors, I don't care who provides bigger blocks - whether it would be Core/Blockstream, or Bitcoin Classic, or (the perhaps confusingly-named) "Bitcoin Unlimited" (which isn't necessarily about some kind of "unlimited" blocksize, but rather simply about liberating users and miners from being "limited" by controls imposed by any centralized group of developers, such as Core/Blockstream and the Bilderbergers who fund you). So, it should be clear by now I don't care one way or the other about Gavin personally - or about you, or about any other coders. I care about code, and arguments - regardless of who is providing such things - eg:
When Gavin didn't demand crypto proof from Craig, and you said you would have: I publicly criticized Gavin - and I supported you.
When you continue to impose needless obstactles to bigger blocks, then I continue to criticize you.
In other words, as we all know, it's not about the people. It's about the code - and what the market wants, and what the infrastructure will bear. You of all people should know that that's how these things should be decided. Fortunately, we can take what we need, and throw away the rest. Your crypto/networking expertise is appreciated; your dictating of economic parameters is not. As I have also repeatedly stated in the past, I pretty much support everything coming from you, nullc:
your crypto and networking and game-theoretical expertise,
your extremely important work on Confidential Transactions / homomorphic encryption.
your desire to keep Bitcoin decentralized.
And I (and the network, and the market/investors) will always thank you profusely and quite sincerely for these massive contributions which you make. But open-source code is (fortunately) à la carte. It's mix-and-match. We can use your crypto and networking code (which is great) - and we can reject your cripple-code (artificially small 1 MB blocks), throwing it where it belongs: in the garbage heap of history. So I hope you see that I am being rational and objective about what I support (the code) - and that I am also always neutral and impartial regarding who may (or may not) provide it. And by the way: Bitcoin is actually not as complicated as certain people make it out to be. This is another point which might be lost on certain people, including:
And that point is this: The crypto code behind Bitcoin actually is very simple. And the networking code behind Bitcoin is actually also fairly simple as well. Right now you may be feeling rather important and special, because you're part of the first wave of development of cryptocurrencies. But if the cryptocurrency which you're coding (Core/Blockstream's version of Bitcoin, as funded by the Bilderberg Group) fails to deliver what investors want, then investors will dump you so fast your head will spin. Investors care about money, not code. So bigger blocks will eventually, inevitably come - simply because the market demand is there, and the infrastructure capacity is there. It might be nice if bigger blocks would come from Core/Blockstream. But who knows - it might actually be nicer (in terms of anti-fragility and decentralization of development) if bigger blocks were to come from someone other than Core/Blockstream. So I'm really not begging you - I'm warning you, for your own benefit (your reputation and place in history), that: Either way, we are going to get bigger blocks. Simply because the market wants them, and the hardware / infrastructre can provide them. And there is nothing you can do to stop us. So the market will inevitably adopt bigger blocks either with or without you guys - given that the crypto and networking tech behind Bitcoin is not all that complex, and it's open-source, and there is massive pent-up investor demand for cryptocurrency - to the tune of multiple billions (or eventually trillions) of dollars. It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Regarding the "success" which certain small-block supports are (prematurely) gloating about, during this time when a hard-fork has not happened yet: they should bear in mind that the market has only begun to speak. And the first thing it did when it spoke was to dump about 20-25% of Core/Blockstream nodes in a matter of weeks. (And the next thing it did was Gemini added Ethereum trading.) So a sizable percentage of nodes are already using Classic. Despite desperate, irrelevant attempts of certain posters on these forums to "spin" the current situation as a "win" for Core - it is actually a major "fail" for Core. Because if Core/Blocksteam were not "blocking" Bitcoin's natural, organic growth with that crappy little line of temporary anti-spam kludge-code which you and your minions have refused to delete despite Satoshi explicitly telling you to back in 2010 ("MAX_BLOCKSIZE = 1000000"), then there would be something close to 0% nodes running Classic - not 25% (and many more addable at the drop of a hat). This vote is ongoing. This "voting" is not like a normal vote in a national election, which is over in one day. Unfortunately for Core/Blockstream, the "voting" for Classic and against Core is actually two-year-long referendum. It is still ongoing, and it can rapidly swing in favor of Classic at any time between now and Classic's install-by date (around January 1, 2018 I believe) - at any point when the market decides that it needs and wants bigger blocks (ie, due to a congestion crisis). You know this, Adam Back knows this, Austin Hill knows this, and some of your brainwashed supporters on censored forums probably know this too. This is probably the main reason why you're all so freaked out and feel the need to even respond to us unwashed bigger-block supporters, instead of simply ignoring us. This is probably the main reason why Adam Back feels the need to keep flying around the world, holding meetings with miners, making PowerPoint presentations in English and Chinese, and possibly also making secret deals behind the scenes. This is also why Theymos feels the need to censor. And this is perhaps also why your brainwashed supporters from censored forums feel the need to constantly make their juvenile, content-free, drive-by comments (and perhaps also why you evidently feel the need to privately message me your own comments now). Because, once again, for the umpteenth time in years, you've seen that we are not going away. Every day you get another worrisome, painful reminder from us that Classic is still running on 25% of "your" network. And everyday get another worrisome, painful reminder that Classic could easily jump to 75% in a matter of days - as soon as investors see their $7 billion wealth starting to evaporate when the network goes into a congestion crisis due to your obstructionism and insistence on artificially small 1 MB blocks. If your code were good enough to stand on its own, then all of Core's globetrotting and campaigning and censorship would be necessary. But you know, and everyone else knows, that your cripple-code does not include simple and safe scaling - and the competing code (Classic, Unlimited) does. So your code cannot stand on its own - and that's why you and your supporters feel that it's necessary to keep up the censorship and and the lies and the snark. It's shameful that a smart coder like you would be involved with such tactics. Oppressive regimes always last longer than everyone expects - but they also also collapse faster than anyone expects. We already have interesting historical precedents showing how grassroots resistance to centralized oppression and obstructionism tends to work out in the end. The phenomenon is two-fold:
The oppression usually drags on much longer than anyone expects; and
The liberation usually happens quite abruptly - much faster than anyone expects.
The Berlin Wall stayed up much longer than everyone expected - but it also came tumbling down much faster than everyone expected. Examples of opporessive regimes that held on surprisingly long, and collapsed surpisingly fast, are rather common - eg, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, or the collapse of the Soviet Union. (Both examples are actually quite germane to the case of Blockstream/Core/Theymos - as those despotic regimes were also held together by the fragile chewing gum and paper clips of denialism and censorship, and the brainwashed but ultimately complacent and fragile yes-men that inevitably arise in such an environment.) The Berlin Wall did indeed seem like it would never come down. But the grassroots resistance against it was always there, in the wings, chipping away at the oppression, trying to break free. And then when it did come down, it happened in a matter of days - much faster than anyone had expected. That's generally how these things tend to go:
oppression and obstructionism drag on forever, and the people oppressing freedom and progress erroneously believe that Core/Blockstream is "winning" (in this case: Blockstream/Core and you and Adam and Austin - and the clueless yes-men on censored forums like r\bitcoin who mindlessly support you, and the obedient Chinese miners who, thus far, have apparently been to polite to oppose you) ;
then one fine day, the market (or society) mysteriously and abruptly decides one day that "enough is enough" - and the tsunami comes in and washes the oppressors away in the blink of an eye.
So all these non-entities with their drive-by comments on these threads and their premature gloating and triumphalism are irrelevant in the long term. The only thing that really matters is investors and users - who are continually applying grassroots pressure on the network, demanding increased capacity to keep the transactions flowing (and the price rising). And then one day: the Berlin Wall comes tumbling down - or in the case of Bitcoin: a bunch of mining pools have to switch to Classic, and they will do switch so fast it will make your head spin. Because there will be an emergency congestion crisis where the network is causing the price to crash and threatening to destroy $7 billion in investor wealth. So it is understandable that your supports might sometimes prematurely gloat, or you might feel the need to try to comment publicly or privately, or Adam might feel the need to jet around the world. Because a large chunk of people have rejected your code. And because many more can and will - and they'll do in the blink of an eye. Classic is still out there, "waiting in the wings", ready to be installed, whenever the investors tell the miners that it is needed. Fortunately for big-block supporters, in this "election", the polls don't stay open for just one day, like in national elections. The voting for Classic is on-going - it runs for two years. It is happening now, and it will continue to happen until around January 1, 2018 (which is when Classic-as-an-option has been set to officially "expire"). To make a weird comparison with American presidential politics: It's kinda like if either Hillary or Trump were already in office - but meanwhile there was also an ongoing election (where people could change their votes as often as they want), and the day when people got fed up with the incompetent incumbent, they can throw them out (and install someone like Bernie instead) in the blink of an eye. So while the inertia does favor the incumbent (because people are lazy: it takes them a while to become informed, or fed up, or panicked), this kind of long-running, basically never-ending election favors the insurgent (because once the incumbent visibly screws up, the insurgent gets adopted - permanently). Everyone knows that Satoshi explicitly defined Bitcoin to be a voting system, in and of itself. Not only does the network vote on which valid block to append next to the chain - the network also votes on the very definition of what a "valid block" is. Go ahead and re-read the anonymous PDF that was recently posted on the subject of how you are dangerously centralizing Bitcoin by trying to prevent any votes from taking place: https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4hxlquhoh_a_warning_regarding_the_onset_of_centralised/ The insurgent (Classic, Unlimited) is right (they maximally use available bandwidth) - while the incumbent (Core) is wrong (it needlessly throws bandwidth out the window, choking the network, suppressing volume, and hurting the price). And you, and Adam, and Austin Hill - and your funders from the Bilderberg Group - must be freaking out that there is no way you can get rid of Classic (due to the open-source nature of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin). Cripple-code will always be rejected by the network. Classic is already running on about 20%-25% of nodes, and there is nothing you can do to stop it - except commenting on these threads, or having guys like Adam flying around the world doing PowerPoints, etc. Everything you do is irrelevant when compared against billions of dollars in current wealth (and possibly trillions more down the road) which needs and wants and will get bigger blocks. You guys no longer even make technical arguments against bigger blocks - because there are none: Classic's codebase is 99% the same as Core, except with bigger blocks. So when we do finally get bigger blocks, we will get them very, very fast: because it only takes a few hours to upgrade the software to keep all the good crypto and networking code that Core/Blockstream wrote - while tossing that single line of 1 MB "max blocksize" cripple-code from Core/Blockstream into the dustbin of history - just like people did with the Berlin Wall.
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