Thanks for the taxes. We don't give a fuck about your business
This is an all-too-familiar sentiment from government to Canada's startup (specifically bitcoin-startup) community. On March 27th, 2020 the Prime Minister proudly announced a $40,000 government backed loan. "For small businesses, there's a $40,000 loan of which $10,000 will not have to be repaid if they meet certain conditions. There are many things we're doing out there with low interest or no interest loans to help businesses get through this, but the wage subsidy and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for people who lose their jobs are going to be there to make sure that we come through this strongly." ref Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference while in self-isolation at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa Friday, March 13, 2020. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press) I, like many small business owners, let out a sigh of relief as we have all seen revenues vanish over the previous weeks following the necessary public health measures put into place. That $40,000 meant one more payroll run. Maybe it made up for the payables or rent that was coming due in 4 days. A $40,000 injection of "worry-about-it-later" money would mean breathing room. The equivalent of a pool noodle while wading in the middle of the ocean. Enough to keep you thinking "you can do this". Banking is hard to come by as a bitcoin/fintech startup. We are not "welcomed into the traditional banking atmosphere with open arms" regardless of our balance sheets or longevity. Even the bank for Alberta's Entrepreneurs (which promotes their "blockchain friendliness") refuses to work with businesses that touch cryptocurrency. Hi Adam - hope all is well. What is wrong with the markets and BTC as a safe haven ? You did mention a few months ago that we will see sub $6k soon and I wasn't sure how … well you were right. You are an Oracle. Regarding banking - When me and [redacted ATB employee] met you, we extended the offer to help out and support your retail banking needs. You decided not to take it. I just heard back from our Compliance team that their Pause extends to all retail accounts as well. Basically, anything that touches crypto / even personal accounts is not supported right now. Unfortunately, I can't help and I am sorry. Hopefully, if the markets turn positive / and pause is lifted / I can try to seek support for your retail and business needs. For now, it is a full stop. I am also moving to a new role at ATB this week and not sure who would manage the crypto portfolio. I will keep you looped in. best, [redacted ATB employee] So forget ATB, I thought SURELY the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) would be there to lend a helping hand during this unprecedented economic and health crisis. The fact that our revenue dropped nearly 70% week-over-week with the onset of the pandemic, and the fact that I have paid well into the six figures in provincial and federal taxes last year would mean that, during these hard times, Canada's Small and Medium Sized Business savior wouldn't be as prejudiced. I was wrong. One week after my application went unanswered I was put in touch with a rep through a personal connection of mine. Within minutes a chipper response pinged my inbox: Hi Adam Happy to try and help you. Can you send 2 years of Financial statements to me and: How much do you need? What are your revenue expectations during and after the crisis - do you have a budget and cashflow projections? What would be your ball park cash burn rate per month for the next few months/ Thanks - when I get these I will see if it will be me or another colleague that will be able to help and then we will reach out to arrange a zoom chat. Best, Moments later, before I could prepare the info, he followed up (even threw in an emoji) Hi Again - more info below Best This is the latest from CRA and all the links you'll need to understand and apply😊 https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html#h2 https://www.bakertilly.ca/en/btc/publications/taxflash-temporary-wage-subsidy-for-employers https://www.taxtemplates.ca/wage-subsidy/ I thought we had it. I thought my country 🇨🇦 was coming to my rescue to help me and my 11-person locally-employed team pay the bills for a few more weeks. Until I received a third follow up… Hi Adam I just reached out to our Tech Finance Manager and unfortunately we are unable to Bitcoin clients as our board has deemed them ineligible due to potential money laundering. I am very sorry - this is news to me. Being a Crown Corp we have very strict rules. I think you can still access some Federal support though via some of the links I sent earlier. Best Wishes to you and yours, Potential. Money. Laundering. You'll notice he does not ask for my documentation (FINTRAC Registration as a Money Services Business) which should be the first step to verifying that our business goes above and beyond to prevent the money laundering that they claim to be concerned about. Despite sending him our industry-leading policies and FINTRAC Registration the final response was polite but stern: Morning - Thx for the info. Policy such as this are from the Board of Dir's and Minister of Industry. But things change - I now have hemp clients. It will take time though. When we get to the other side, I would love to have a beer with you and [redacted personal connection name] and learn more about your biz and future. I personally believe crypto will be a important solution in rebuilding the world economy. Best, And that was apparently that. However, you don't get to be one of Canada's leading Bitcoin ATM companies without a little bit of grit and resilience. So I tried again through conventional channels. This time the response was just as useless but even more robotic (you'll notice they spelled my last name wrong…) Dear Mr. O`Brian, Thank you for submitting a request for financing. After examination of your application, we regret to inform you that BDC is not able to provide financing for your business. We understand how deeply the COVID-19 situation is affecting. However, we are unable to respond positively to your request that does not meet the eligibility criteria. An evolving situation As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, BDC's response is evolving as well and we are working closely with government, financial institutions and our partners. Ensure that you have spoken to your primary financial institution to see if they are able to help with financing: As you may know, additional measures to support entrepreneurs have been announced by the Government of Canada, including anew Canada Emergency Business Account as well as a SME Loan and Guarantee Program. As these programs are not administered by BDC, your primary financial institution is best suited to assess if you may benefit from these relief measures as they get deployed shortly. For the latest updates by the Government of Canada on COVID-19, visit Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19. Thank you, This response left me frustrated. How could it not? How could our small, innovative, and incredibly compliant business not be within the "guidelines" set out by Mr Trudeau last week? My response was heated: This is extremely frustrating. The fact that I am denied help, despite paying 100s of thousands in taxes, is discouraging. Why do you take my tax money, but then deny my eligibility based on "crown rules". The eligibility criteria of BDC should be companies that are striving to employ local workers with cutting edge business practices and revolutionizing the world. All of which we do (and have been doing for 7 years) I know you will cite "compliance", and yet refuse to look at my compliance manual. A policy that was written by a previous compliance officer from a schedule 1 "big 5" bank. A policy that has been approved by 2 third party auditors. A policy finalized by my Chief Compliance Officer with 10+ years as a compliance master who has prevented millions of dollars worth of fraud AND played a key role investigating. It is disappointing to see you promoting the narrative that you are "for entrepreneurs" when in fact I have found it to be quite the opposite. We are a licensed money service business and I personally spend my time working with local authorities educating them how to prevent fraud within this space. Yet somehow I've been labeled "ineligible" for assistance when I really need it. What is the point of innovating? Is "the first guy through the wall gets the bloodiest" really the narrative you support? "Don't think outside the box because we don't like that?" The prejudice of the BDC towards alternative financial companies is disappointing to say the least. I would appreciate your response, though if past experience has taught me anything I know better than to expect one. Perhaps the Canadian business environment is not one that is as friendly as you promote. Stay healthy, Adam As you might have guessed this went unanswered (though the robots did manage to regurgitate the exact same original message) and here we are. My initial sentiment from the most recent response to the BDC remain. What is the point of innovating? Why do I spend tens of thousands of dollars every single year to ensure that our compliance is industry-leading? Why do I spend hours and hours working (for free) with local authorities to educate them about Bitcoin and how to prevent fraud? Why do I stretch my hand out so far only to have it slapped when I am looking for the same support everyone else is getting? I've endured years of prejudice from the traditional banking industry. I've built an incredibly successful business that exclusively employs local labour even though it would be all too "easy" to off-shore the work. We've paid our taxes, donated to the community all without the help of the bank's lending products, but being denied support relief during this unprecedented crisi due to "potential money laundering" is as prejudicial as it gets. All of this to ask, Mr. Morneau, will these subsidies affect my taxes? I understand the economic cash injection. As a whole, I am onboard with the injection to help stimulate the economy. But we all know who will end up paying for it. We all know that money doesn't grow on trees (it's printed dummy) and that it will eventually have to be paid back in some capacity… which will eventually be through increased taxes. Taxes that hard-working citizens continue to pay every year. If only you knew how much you were contributing to Bitcoin's adoption… Finally, dear reader, I beg you to think. Listen to my story and ask yourself "is my industry next?" "Can I trust them with my taxes… can I trust them with my money?" I fully believe what I am experiencing is a direct extension of the reason Bitcoin was created. Bitcoin exists to give its owners choice. A choice that doesn't exist with fiat money, printed at will by a centralized body of power. Right now the majority of "industry" is getting help, the government is listening to their people. I am unfortunately in the minority. My business is too edgy. My business is too "risky". My business doesn't deserve help. Will your industry, your business, your pension, your family be next? Adam | www.bitcoinsolutions.ca
To contextualise PRC's 70th birthday: Since 1949, global GDP has grown 20fold. Global per capita GDP has grown 7 fold. In 1949, 70% of the world lived in poverty. Today it is less than 10%. Average life expectancy has increased from 48 in 1949 to 71 years today. Global illiteracy has fallen from 66% in 1949 to less than 15% today. Decolonisation has been achieved everywhere across Asia and Africa and international institutions such as the UN, World Bank, World Health Organisation, World Trade Organisation, and International Labour Organisation have strengthened multilateral global governance and peace. Voluntary transnational associations such as the European Union, African Union, and Association of South East Asian Nations have furthered the cause of peace, multilateralism and integration, ending the 19th Century world of interstate competition which saw a century of imperialist cruelty and culminated in 2 bloody world wars. In 1949, there were 23 democratic countries in the world, in 2018 there were 99 democratic countries in the world, representing the majority of the world's population. Great steps have been made to ending racial discrimination and the position of women has been radically transformed. Homosexuals are now protected from persecution in much of the world, while in 1950 they were criminalised almost everywhere. There has been an unprecedented flowering of culture with new forms of art and entertainment such as video games and TV shows developing in this period. Countless new music genres have emerged in this time, and fashion has also been transformed. Private cars and motorbikes have become widely available even in the poorest countries, while in 1949 these were out of reach to the vast majority of people in every country in the world, even in the US. We have explored space and launched satellites to aid global telecommunications, commercial air travel is now within reach of billions of people, and we have gone from nobody owning a TV to smartphones and the majority of the world having Internet coverage. Inventions since 1949: 1949 - Barcodes 1950 - Solar cells 1954 - Microwave oven, Fibre optics, endoscopes 1955 - Velcro, Remote control, Polio vaccine 1956 - Hard drive, nuclear power plants 1957 - Contraceptive pill, Seat belt 1958 - Jet airliner and commercial air travel, laser beam, super glue 1959 - Integrated circuit, float glass, computer graphics 1960 - Pacemaker, snowmobile 1961 - Cordless tools, industrial robot, carbon fiber composites 1962 - Communications satellite, computer mouse, LED, computer games, photochromic lense 1963 - Computer Aided Design programme 1964 - Unmanned aerial vehicles, music synthesiser, e-commerce (airline booking system developed by IBM) 1965 - Kevlar, defibrillator 1966 - High yield rice, Computer memory 1967 - Coronary bypass surgery, vacuum fluorescent display 1968 - Integrated computer system, molecular beam epitaxy, CDs 1969 - Local Area Network, smoke detector, Atm, first solar power station, first e-book, charge-coupled device (used in webcams and digital cameras), astronauts walk on moon 1970 - Fibre optics, digital music 1971 - Electronic ink and paper allowing for computer printing, waffle sole running shoes, first microprocessor 1972 - Electronic ignition 1973 - Magnetic resonance imagery, mobile phones, ethernet cables 1974 - Barcodes used commercially 1975 - Public key cryptography, first smart home 1976 - Supercomputer, bagless vacuum cleaner 1977 - Personal Computer 1978 - GPS, Genetic engineering, in-vitro fertilisation 1979 - Sony walkman 1980 - Rechargeable batteries 1981 - Scanning Tunneling Microscope, nanotechnology, space shuttle, laser eye surgery, flash memory 1982 - Computer virus, quantam dots, touchscreens 1983 - Microsoft Word, CD players 1984 - DNA fingerprinting 1985 - Polymerase chain reaction 1986 - Electronic mailing list 1987 - Prozac, DLP projector 1988 - Internet virus, caller ID 1989 - World Wide Web 1990 - Photoshop, radio controlled clock 1991 - Linux 1992 - World's first smartphone 1993 - First zero emissions fuel cell bus 1994 - Predator drone, iris scanning, voice calls over the Internet 1995 - HIV protease inhibitors, first online streaming service, ebay pioneers e-commerce 1996 - DVD, Hi Definition TV 1997 - Hybrid car, Wi-Fi 1998 - International space station 1999 - Bluetooth 2000 - PlayStation 2 2001 - Wikipedia, energy absorbing plastic, BitTorrent file sharing, self healing materials 2002 - Viable WiFi, vacuum cleaning robot 2003 - Human genome mapped 2004 - Facebook, graphene 2005 - Google maps, YouTube, OLPC (low cost laptop for developing countries) 2006 - Nintendo Wii 2007 - iPhone, Kindle 2008 - Large hadron collider 2009 - Bitcoin 2010 - Siri, iPad, 3D TV 2011 - Curiosity rover 2012 - Google's Machine Learning Project, DJI Phantom Drone 2013 - Atlas robot, hyperloop 2014 - Hemopurifier to combat ebola, cancer, and hepatitis 2015 - Reusable rockets 2016 - Oculus rift, molecular machines (nanotechnology) 2017 - Tesla model 3 2018 - Metal 3D printing 2019 - Solar roadways, OrCam MyMe China has undoubtably made great strides in the last 70 years. Their per capita income has increased 14fold, compared to a global average of 7fold - however, these strides would not have been possible without the technological innovations listed above (to say nothing of those that came before 1949), none of which were invented in China, and while China deserves to be proud of its achievements it shouldn't lose sight of the fact that it didn't rise alone, that it rose in the context of the entire world rising, and that despite rapid progress it remains a poorer than average country. There is nothing inevitable about a China centric world order and most of the world does not want that. The current world order is a lot more multilateral and a lot less US centric than the Chinese government realises, and much of China's rapid progress comes down to a willingness of developed countries to share technology, a willingness that seems to be running out as gestures of friendship and magnanimity have apparently been interpreted by the CCP as weaknesses to exploit, rather than as friendship to reciprocate. There are a lot of good people in China, but the CCP's fear of democratic trends which might undermine its power is driving it to manufacture conflict with the rest of the world and it is indoctrinating its youth with a sense of victim hood, ethno-supremacy, and resentment of the outside world, which risks driving China into conflict with the rest of the world and ruining its progress. There needs to be more dialogue between China and the outside world so that peaceful co-existence is possible, but this will never happen so long as the CCP control all public discussion and manipulate information to serve their ends.
Below are some ideas I have been working on to allow direct off-blockchain transfer of Bitcoin Private Keys while preventing Double-Spend and Counterfeiting . There is a reference to tamper-proof Physical Bitcoin as DA BOMB- Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknotes. These Physical Bitcoins and their digitally encrypted representations are the basis for off-blockchain exchange of value. Off-Blockchain exchanges are completely private and as fast as sending an email. FAST BITCOIN
DA BOMB bitcoin pools
Bitcoin Cash blockchain data storage
Daily settlement between corporations, instant settlement on trading or funded shopping channels, physical bitcoin possession for investors . Each platform which offers FAST BITCOIN will purchase a large amount of DA BOMB to power their digital envelope re-sale network. All networks will be compatible and fungible assets composed of. When a customer places an order for DA BOMB I load a certain amount of BTC in various denominations onto a selection of bitcoin wallets, which are then manufactured as physical bitcoin. This amount of BTC is the amount this customer can spend on the FAST BITCOIN network. The Bitcoin the customer spends never moves on the BTC Blockchain. The envelope containing the customer’s BTC is credited or debited a certain combination of addresses that contain a known amount of BTC, adding up to the exact amount of the transaction. Transactions can only be made in ROUND NUMBERS of a certain resolution, such as 0.0001 BTC , and the resolution will be finer at a later date to account for the rise of value of BTC in the future. The contents of a customer’s envelope will be maintained to allow for making change and to account for his spending or funding of his account. The main issuer of FAST BITCOIN will be Satoshi Bitcoin Incorporated, with other platforms buying enough DA BOMB to issue their own FAST BITCOIN on their own shopping platforms. Customers can always write to the platform and request that their remaining envelope balance be mailed to their physical address. The envelope contents are tracked on a separate blockchain, the FAST BITCOIN blockchain. Customers can use their physical bitcoin like paper money, or break the hologram seal and view the private key to use as regular bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain. Only TRUSTED NODES are on the FAST BITCOIN Blockchain. The Network is composed of the corporate members who offer FAST BITCOIN shopping at their websites, and join by invitation only. Large networks can fuel their own branded shopping tokens with FAST BITCOIN after paying a co-branding fee, or simply use FAST BITCOIN without re-branding to their own token name. Software can equate all prices at a website to the token value of choice on the platform, so that the shopper may make purchases via FAST BITCOIN while referring to prices in stable fiat equivalent tokens, or re-branded token values. The customer’s purchasing power varies with the price of Bitcoin, but the visible prices remain stable. The customer may buy a StableCoin (not Tethers) to fund all or part of their account, or switch from BTC to StableCoin at will; or let the system do this for him. BTC going up, funding remains in BTC, BTC going down, Funding switches too StableCoin. A purely electronic version of FAST BITCOIN will rely on a hardware device to store the private keys offline and always in encrypted form when connected to the internet. There is object “A” : the FAST BITCOIN Wallet There is object “B” : the individual private keys The system works with a combination of Master System Key Encryption and Asymmetrical Key Encryption. The Hardware device is called a SPLIT WALLET. It is a combination of a HOT WALLET and a COLD WALLET. The two halves of the split wallet can only communicate with each other when the device is unplugged from the device being used to access the Internet. The Master System Key resides on the Cold Wallet and can’t be viewed without destroying the function of the Hardware Wallet. To send bitcoin to a person on the network, the hardware wallet takes the addresses needed to add up to the desired amount and encrypts them with the PUBLIC KEY of the receiving device. The BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN is used as a KEY SERVER to store the PUBLIC KEY of every device manufactured, linked to its registration number and owner identity. The OWNER IDENTITY is an EMAIL ADDRESS which is [[email protected]_BITCOIN.COM](mailto:[email protected]_bitcoin.com) . The addresses are encrypted by the SYSTEM MASTER KEY , then by the RECIPIENT PUBLIC KEY and emailed to the above email address. The whole network is sustained by a peer-to-peer email remailer network. Software on the machine used by the hardware device to connect to the INTERNET is designed to run a peer-to-peer email remailer node. As well as sending the recipient an email via the re-mailer network, an entry is made on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN containing the double encrypted bitcoin private keys, recipient email address, and transaction identifier . This also contains the device registration number as part of the owner email address. Thus even if the domain is blocked from sending email the information needed to use the bitcoin is available from the data stored on the BITCOIN CASH BLOCKCHAIN. The value of Bitcoin Cash does not impact the cost of sending bitcoin, since the transaction sizes to record data on its blockchain are very small. When FAST BITCOIN is sent to a recipient, he must plug his hardware device into a laptop, phone, or other internet device to download the keys to the device. At this time while the hardware device is still connected to the internet the just received FAST BITCOIN will not yet be available to spend. It will show on the device as STILL ENCRYPTED. The user unplugs the device from the internet and then transfers the amount from the COLD SIDE to the HOT SIDE of his wallet while offline. If he wishes he may leave this amount on the COLD SIDE or transfer up to the entire contents of the SPLIT WALLET to the HOT SIDE to enable immediate spending as soon as connected to the internet. The COLD SIDE contains the SYSTEM MASTER KEY and decrypts the PRIVATE BITCOIN KEYS in order to enable spending. The hardware device checks the bitcoin blockchain to verify the amount of bitcoin held by each bitcoin private key, and also checks that the private keys it contains map properly to the public bitcoin keys used to view the balance on the device when it is connected to the internet. DA Bomb Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb) Bitcoin Metal Wallet Cold Storage on BTC Blockchain. A Crypto-Currency version of money, which may be exchanged for fiat currency. Other major cryptos such as Ethereum , LiteCoin, and Bitcoin Cash may be substituted for bitcoin without affecting the usefulness of this offering. These versions will come out later, using the same physical format. (hopefully patented) The design of the card should be modified enough from any existing patents to be patentable itself. The manufacturing, loading and documenting of the card should be done by proprietary and open-source software. This process should be patented as well or be part of the same patent. These are physical BTC coins, in the form of a metal card the size and shape of a credit card. The Bitcoin Wallet is composed of two sets of engraved alpha-numeric and QR codes highlighted by black ink. One set is public and is on the outside of the card. A pull-tab almost exactly like the kind on a soup can is removed from the front of the card to reveal the inner contents . This is the engraving of the private key which is required to spend the BTC. Viewing it or detecting the exact nature of this code is equivalent to ownership of the associated BTC. The public key on the outside of the card is used to deposit to or send to the card. In normal operations the card would come loaded with a certain amount of BTC. The cards will be protected by security features and the quality control process during their manufacture. The cards will be dipped in a coating of compounds to indicate a unique identity for each card, with short lengths of coloured fibres and paint floating on the surface of the clear lacquer compound and creating a unique visual identity. Each card is photographed and the image file uploaded to a database with the blockchain address and item id from manufacture all associated together. A label is created and affixed to the outside of the card. On it are the blockchain address, photo of the untampered card, and amount of BTC deposited to card. The private keys are not retained in file form at the manufacturer’s facility, or recorded in any way. Before the key is deleted from memory and fully erased from all data storage devices, the photo of the engraving of it is compared to the key via character recognition software. When photo verifies as true then key is deleted from memory. Now the card is tracked by my own “in-house” item id, linked in the database to the blockchain address which displays the public key, and the photo file of the card. The card is photographed twice, the photo of the private key is deleted just after verifying the engraving matches the private key. The photo of the exterior of the card showing the paint lines and fibre positions on the card is kept on file. The offline computer takes the photo of the private key, the online computer takes the photo of the card after dipping. The card is meant to circumvent the horribly high fees associated with using BTC as a payment method. Possession of the card is deemed to be legally equivalent to the ability to spend the associated BTC available via the private key. The nature of the tamper proof and hack proof aspects of the card manufacture lends credence to the continued value of the card as it is passed through consecutive transactions. The fees which would have been normally paid to enable these transactions on the Blockchain, will now have been saved by the people utilizing the physical Bitcoin cards. The Bitcoin transactions on the Blockchain are enabled by paying fees to “bitcoin miners”, who use large amounts of energy and computing power to solve complicated mathematical problems in order to process transactions and also to earn newly created bitcoins, of which there will only ever be 21,000,000. The fees for bitcoin transactions have become so high that paying for an item with bitcoin wouldn’t make sense for anything under $280 or so; and you had better be rich enough not to care about the $30 to $75 fee to buy just about any size purchase. Instead of this, cold wallets containing small denominations of BTC can be exchanged via strong encryption and sending password and wallet via different delivery modes; or by physical bitcoin wallets. At any time one may pull the tab on the metal card and reveal the private key, in order to obtain control of the BTC for use in a different cold wallet, or an online wallet. You will now have to pay transaction fees as per your new wallet details. There is an instant financial advantage as soon as a group of people trust the value of physical bitcoin in transactions. All the miner fees for each transaction done with physical bitcoin are saved by the group. These transactions are valued in BTC, worth real dollars if exchanged for dollars; but with the dollar value always changing. Volatility is a fact of life with Bitcoin (BTC), but the market has always trended upwards if you wait long enough. And the value has often nose-dived as well, in an unpredictable manner. A lot of people are holding (or “hodling”) BTC as a very risky and speculative investment, hoping the price will go up. There is a great demand for bitcoin and that demand is going to increase in the near future. How will I pay to load the BTC on to the cards? The cards will be loaded on an “on-demand” order process. The cards can be made up to a certain stage, where they have been dipped in tamper-proofing but not yet labeled. Up to this point they can be any denomination (amount) of BTC. When the payment for the order is taken at the online website then the card is loaded, labeled and shipped to the customer. Besides the metal coin wallets denominated in various amounts of BTC; there will be “piggy-bank” versions of the card available. The BTC is loaded onto the card via the visible wallet public key engraved on the front of the card. The card owner can be paid debts owed to him via the public key. The card owner can send any amount of BTC to this receive address and it will become associated via the blockchain with the private key hidden inside the card. To spend the BTC loaded onto the card he will have to view the private key and send it to the hot wallet he uses online. Technical advice about fees, security, hacking and safety will be available at the company website, as well as many other helpful resources. The denominated versions of the card are identical to the piggy-bank versions except for the label. The label covers the “receive” address on the denominated versions, as no further deposits to the blockchain are needed. The label on the piggy-bank version doesn’t cover the public key address, has a photo of the card and the manufacturer’s ID number. It also has a link to the Blockchain.info webpage associated with the public key address. Anyone with this address can see how much BTC is associated with the Public Key shown here. Thus the intact tamper-proof BTC Card can be used with confidence, as the public key can be viewed on the Blockchain by anyone. As long as the amount on the card label matches the amount shown on the Blockchain.info webpage then the card’s private key can be trusted. This renders the card a form of “trust-less” currency equivalent to legal tender in value and usefulness . The card format and manufacturing process is tested to obtain a hack proof product. The private key is not detectable by examination or any technical means without opening the pull-tab. This is essential to prevent theft and fraud. The card can not be opened, viewed , and sealed again. A card without a label would be suspect, a card which had been opened and re-sealed obvious. Checking the blockchain address reveals the status of the BTC in question in any event. The manufacturing process is outlined below:
A small computer runs software offline to generate unique Blockchain Key Pairs (bitcoin addresses). It is used to control a CNC router which engraves the keys onto thick enough metal strip to prevent x-ray detection after folding.
a press folds the strip over and makes the pull tab closure
a shear cuts the strip at end
robot welder heats perimeter of cut strip to weld shut
wallet has been hacked if it is bent or split open in any way
wallet is dipped in lacquer , photographed, BTC loaded and labeled.
BTC metal card is shipped to customer
during the “load” process a computer reads the “receive” address with a camera and automatically adds a transaction amount to send to that address , generating a cue of transactions from a wallet with miner fees adjusted to be very low, just barely confirming after paying the least amount possible. Transactions confirm in one or two days.
For loading customer requested bitcoin card wallets the option to pay higher fees is presented to the customer last time of purchase. This speeds up the loading and delivery process.
a machine prints the label and places it on strip over address.
The engraving is deep enough to be permanent but still not detected while wallet card is in closed position. The alpha-numeric and QR code versions of the keys are engraved and inked. After the engraving, the private key is deleted from memory of the engraving controlling computer. This computer is never connected to the internet. Only verified software is used on this computer. A separate computer controls the camera, label maker, and database connection to the internet.
The private key is replaced by an item number linked to the receive address.
a computer program makes a file which goes onto a new thumb drive
this thumb drive is loaded on the offline computer
thumb drive is passed to online computer hosting desktop wallet, set to low miner fees.
file is used to send BTC to wallet addresses
The same file is used to generate the labels. Addresses are checked for BTC before coin Cards are offered for sale. A second stamp is placed on label when transaction confirms. Coin is offered for sale at Amazon.com if allowed. Coins can be exchanged as if fiat currency, with full confidence in BTC amount displayed on seal. Sale price on Amazon will reflect BTC amount cost when loaded- possibly a great deal if BTC has gone up since loading, or actual cost of production plus 2%, plus miner fee and distribution fee. Savings could be significant if BTC surges in value after coins are minted. coins are bought at time of minting by purchases of BTC at market price. “Would you like to buy some free money?” Demand for product is assured, as the value once for sale at Amazon increases over time. You will not be able to find cheaper bitcoin anywhere, sometimes. A small portion of my stock at Amazon will remain on sale at a very low price when the Bitcoin price rises. I plan on adjusting the price of my stock to reflect the current price of Bitcoin at the time; but not all of it, and not immediately. Every time the price of BTC increases by 10%, I will reset the price of my cards to initial values. The initial values are the current price of BTC plus 2% , miner fees and distribution costs. As the market price increases after loading the cards, they are more and more of a deal for the customer. This forms the basis of a great promotional value to sell the metal card coin wallets. The profit. Profit is calculated to be 2% of the BTC value when minted. Values from 0.001 BTC to 1 BTC are minted. This generates from $0.18 Cad to $180 CAD per card depending on value. I will focus on minting in the 0.01 to 0.11 BTC range, with profits of $1.80 to $19.80 a card. customer pays: Cost of BTC when minted miner fees, distribution fees, 2% over cost fee, Cost of manufacture. I estimate all costs not BTC or profit to be about $11 Cad per card. Price of card is: BTC cost + 2% + $11.00 . After purchase the card can be traded for cash, items or value of services. Miner fees are saved by every person after the initial purchaser of the card. I want to mint around 1000 cards a day. This averages out to $18,000 profit per day. The plan is to produce only lower value coin wallets until cash reserves are big enough to pay for larger denominations. Customers can order from the lower denominations in stock or special order cards of any amount that they pay for at the time, shipped after production on demand. This involves simply loading the customer’s purchase of BTC onto the card address and attaching the label. As the price of BTC rises then stock available and loaded previously will be a special discount offer until the price resets after a ten percent increase in the BTC market value. When selling the BTC coin metal cards at Amazon.com :
customer satisfaction assured
charge-back possible upon return unopened and intact, blockchain must show BTC available , BTC must be recovered to separate address
product legitimate and not forged or hacked
sell BTC coins from private website as well
website certified by CA
credit cards accepted
product return possible
Build reliable reputation
sell coins at vending machines
accept coins for cash at vending machines
make coins cheaper and better than BTC ATMs or Localbitcoin.com dealer purchases.
encourage retailers to accept physical coins, to avoid the transaction fees
Physical coins can be checked for valid BTC amounts on Blockchain before being accepted for purchase
Merchant can scan private key to cash conversion Bitcoin wallet “receive” address at a bitcoin exchange to obtain the current value of the BTC in cash without having to worry about the coin being hacked already or of losing money should the price of BTC fall immediately after payment.
Card is dipped in clear sealer with paint filaments floating in dip tank. Also small lengths of coloured fibre are floating in the resin coating. The unique pattern formed is photographed and printed on label stored in database with item number. Private key is not stored. Sell in vending machines in Japan, Airports,New York Subway System, Pizza Hut, etc. On the Directly Available Bitcoin On Metal Banknote (Da Bomb), the blockchain webpage address of the public key is displayed. To check that BTC are in the account, just go to that page. Unless tampered with, BTC amount will match that shown on label. Full label is artwork, denomination in BTC, photo and blockchain.info webpage address associated with public key. This idea is patentable due to the unique packaging of the cold bitcoin wallet in a pull-tab metal card. In this writing read “coin” as “card” as well. The card is evolved out of a sardine can with a pull tab lid closure, with very short sides and pressed flat all around the edge. The goal is to have a design where the pull tab can easily be removed by an adult. It should be hard for a child to open without being shown how. The card should be only slightly thicker than a regular credit card, and not open while in a leather wallet’s card holder.The pull tab should not open accidentally while being carried in a wallet. The pull tab will be manufactured so that it must be rotated by 180 degrees before opening. A small screwdriver, nail file or fingernail must be placed into a small slot to twist the pull tab into the correct position to open, before this it is restrained by a shallow metal lip on the top of the card. Research and development are required for this idea to be a success. The manufacturing process, security features and bitcoin loading and labeling must all be tested and verified as hack and tamper-proof. The customer must never receive a hacked or empty or unloaded card after purchase and delivery. Attempts at fraud by the customer will be obvious. Only Intact cards will be accepted for refund. Product must always ship in perfect condition, as customer can only return intact card for full refund, no opened, missing or tampered with cards will be credited to customer for refund, and this will be part of the agreement with the customer at time of purchase. Before refund the balance of the card must match the denomination on the label. Notes on manufacturing process:
I want to use a modified can forming machine to make the cards. They range in price from $25,000 to $400,000 .
there is a need to research the pull tab forming process.
the card “lid” must come off easy enough so that the tab will never break off first
the card must be made of very thin metal, but must not have sharp edges, be bent easily, or be readable on the inside while closed and sealed.
the goal is a card that is the same size and shape as any other bank card. The card should not be much thicker than 2mm at the most.
the patent development should focus on the card itself, the way the pull tab is tucked under the top before being twisted into position before pulling open, and second on the loading BTC process.
the process of generating the Private/Public alpha-numeric key pair, conversion to QR codes, engraving ,photographing and verifying codes; must be established in such a way as to prevent errors, fraud and unsaleable cards. no one should ever have the ability or opportunity to obtain the private keys or interfere with the engraving or photo process.
note that in photos of mock-up below: QR code and alpha-numeric public key versions would be covered by the label indicating the amount, and if a “piggy-bank” version no amount would appear on label. Only the public and private keys are engraved on the metal, the label has all the other information on it. Some artwork is engraved inside the card. If card design is not impervious to examination, lead or gold foil layers could be incorporated.
In the above I refer to not recording the private keys and deleting the server records as soon as the cards have been manufactured and checked for accuracy. please note that the recording of the private key for a certain amount of DA BOMB is required to power the FAST BITCOIN encrypted private key network. thank-you
ReWalk Robotics What is it? Its IRONMAN for people who need it! ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs*. ReWalk is the first exoskeleton to receive FDA clearance for personal and rehabilitation use in the United States. Are they doing anything cool? Only everything! Currently a number of clinical studies are being carried out globally with the aim to show the impact on the patients’ health of using the ReWalk System and potential improvement on patients’ quality of life. Most of them are in recruiting status atm. See more of them on ReWalk’s website What about meetings and stuff? These boys are making noise! Annual Assembly 2018 The largest gathering of physiatrists (that’s a thing?) will learn about the latest innovations in practice, science, and leadership to advance our vision for the specialty. From cutting-edge to practical innovations, you’ll walk away with a fresh perspective, shared by your peers and leading experts, so that you can experience Success Through Innovation. Visit our booth (#315) to see a ReWalk exoskeleton in use and learn about the experience from a ReWalker. October 25 – 28 We also have a test session on Oct 25th. Earnings are expected on 11-1. Pay close attention to the Earnings line in early August. And then at the end of November, after all this dope news, we get another test session?! Hell Yes we do! Okay, Okay, what about the stats? I got you on that too! 34.6 mil outstanding 29.8 float EPS up 50.4% this year Sales up 51.5% in the last 5 years AND this little blurb: Total revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $1.8 million compared to $1.6 million in the prior quarter; 21 units were placed during the second quarter of 2018; The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) updated its national policy to provide expanded access to ReWalk exoskeletons with additional VA sites and also including private rehabilitation clinics through the Veterans Choice Program; WAIT A SECOND!!! THIS IS IRONMAN LEGS FOR VETS?! That’s exactly right. Remember that old adage about buying a company you believe in? Listen guys… I’m not saying this is gonna be Bitcoin. It’s a pair of robot legs. But its an amazing product designed for people who need it, and they are putting out real news for the next couple weeks. Some links for pleasuring your eyeballs: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rewalk-robotics-reports-second-quarter-110000338.html https://rewalk.com/events/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robotic-exoskeletons-helping-paraplegics-walk-again/
ReWalk Robotics AKA Ironman for the Vets DD - RWLK
ReWalk Robotics What is it? Its IRONMAN for people who need it! ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs*. ReWalk is the first exoskeleton to receive FDA clearance for personal and rehabilitation use in the United States. Are they doing anything cool? Only everything! Currently a number of clinical studies are being carried out globally with the aim to show the impact on the patients’ health of using the ReWalk System and potential improvement on patients’ quality of life. Most of them are in recruiting status atm. See more of them on ReWalk’s website What about meetings and stuff? These boys are making noise! Annual Assembly 2018 The largest gathering of physiatrists (that’s a thing?) will learn about the latest innovations in practice, science, and leadership to advance our vision for the specialty. From cutting-edge to practical innovations, you’ll walk away with a fresh perspective, shared by your peers and leading experts, so that you can experience Success Through Innovation. Visit our booth (#315) to see a ReWalk exoskeleton in use and learn about the experience from a ReWalker. October 25 – 28 We also have a test session on Oct 25th. Earnings are expected on 11-1. Pay close attention to the Earnings line in early August. And then at the end of November, after all this dope news, we get another test session?! Hell Yes we do! Okay, Okay, what about the stats? I got you on that too! 34.6 mil outstanding 29.8 float EPS up 50.4% this year Sales up 51.5% in the last 5 years AND this little blurb: Total revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $1.8 million compared to $1.6 million in the prior quarter; 21 units were placed during the second quarter of 2018; The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) updated its national policy to provide expanded access to ReWalk exoskeletons with additional VA sites and also including private rehabilitation clinics through the Veterans Choice Program; WAIT A SECOND!!! THIS IS IRONMAN LEGS FOR VETS?! That’s exactly right. Remember that old adage about buying a company you believe in? Listen guys… I’m not saying this is gonna be Bitcoin. It’s a pair of robot legs. But its an amazing product designed for people who need it, and they are putting out real news for the next couple weeks. Some links for pleasuring your eyeballs: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rewalk-robotics-reports-second-quarter-110000338.html https://rewalk.com/events/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robotic-exoskeletons-helping-paraplegics-walk-again/ Crossposted from pennystocks Disclaimer: I have a Long position on 500 shares here. Really excited for this one!
CoinCasso is a transparent, multi layered, multifunctional hybrid exchange platform that provides incentive for users on its decentralized, democratized, quick centralized exchange just like the way Bitcoin works; rewarding users for maintaining the network.
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Too Many Passwords - The Strings Of Digitalization
Remember those 1980s SCI-FI movies where the action takes place in 2020 and they show a world full of flying cars, holographic advertisements and people with robotic limbs? Well, it’s almost 2020 and we still don’t get to look out the window and see all those things, instead the changes in our society are taking place beneath the surface, in a more toned down manner. It’s all about how money and information moves, how blockchain implementation changes the way we look at everyday tasks. Have you ever wondered how blockchain can potentially transform a city? Gradual Implementation Blockchain as we know it has been around since 2008 when Bitcoin was created by the infamous and elusive Nakamoto, but it took almost 10 years for the technology to gain massive popularity and interest. To be more precise, 2017 was the year when the Digital Gold Rush began, Bitcoin and altcoins skyrocketed and all types of ICOs hit the market. From $1,000 to almost $20,000 and from $10 to almost $1,400! That’s how much the first 2 cryptocurrencies (by market cap) moved during 2017 and very early 2018. Some say “the bubble has burst” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, as I am writing this, most coins are down compared to late 2017, but they are still way up if you look at early 2017 prices and besides, a market cannot be gauged by the success or failure demonstrated over 1 year. Also, we shouldn’t overlook one thing: the performance of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be directly associated with the success of blockchain technology because the latter is what can really transform our lives and the cities we live in. Market speculation — buy low, sell high — can be a good source of income if you do it right but real life application of blockchain is the true benefit. Calling Bitcoin, altcoins or the blockchain a bubble is madness, it’s just like calling the internet a bubble back in the day. Let me tell you about a real bubble: Tulip Mania that started in early 17thcentury in what is now known as The Netherlands. Without dwelling too much into the details, I will simply tell you that some single tulip bulbs were worth more than 10 times the yearly salary of a skilled craftsman. One bulb! Fortunes were made and lost and it all came crushing down in early 1637 when nobody wanted to buy the flower anymore. The main difference between tulips and blockchain is that with the former, when the speculative incentive is gone, all you’re left with is a beautiful and very expensive flower that nobody wants to buy. Blockchain on the other hand has countless applications across finance, media, healthcare logistics and many others, which are not tied to the price of any cryptocurrency. As the tech becomes more widespread, these uses will become more apparent in everyday life and will gradually transform the cities we live in. New Payment Methods. Mainstream Adoption Soon? Many online retailers have already tested cryptocurrency payments and this trend is even present among offline shops. A few online names include Steam (well-known gaming platform), Microsoft, Overstock and Shopify, while offline vendors include KFC Canada, Subway and others. Not to mention there are about 2,200 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States alone at the time of writing. All this means that the world is beginning to adopt blockchain as a form of payment and that more and more retailers will follow. We can even see changes in the banking system and the way international payments are made. For example, Ripple is actively working with banks and trying to expedite cross border payments as well as greatly reduce transaction costs. One of their partners, Banco Santander has even launched a mobile application for cross border payments powered by RippleNet, allowing to do in just a few clicks what would have taken a long time in the past. It’s evident that big changes are coming. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but soon the old ways will become obsolete, just how landline phones or dial-up internet have. I don’t know when flying cars will become a thing but blockchain tech will soon become a lot more noticeable. Too Many Passwords — The Strings Of Digitalization Our lives are already dependant on social media, streaming services, online payments and we generally rely on online accounts to define our online personality or to buy stuff. Everywhere you look there’s a “Log In” box and a password you have to remember and type in. If we expect blockchain to take a more prominent role, that means we will be inundated with staggering amounts of passwords to remember. This begs the question: will we memorize all that information or rely on simple yet functional solutions like Infinitus (INF) to store and protect our online credentials? And since we’re talking about a future where almost everything revolves around blockchain tech and decentralized solutions, I believe it’s only normal that we adopt a blockchain powered dApp to take care of our sensitive information. Changes Are Coming! Are You ready? It is no longer a question of if, but when blockchain will see mass adoption. And when it happens will you be ready? And by “ready” I don’t mean having a load of Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency, but knowing how to use the new technology, how to make the best of its real world applications and more importantly, how to protect your online persona together with your crypto assets. The answer is simple: use a blockchain solution for a blockchain problem and store your private keys with INF — The Smart Designation Repository.
Bardock Obrama at 10:20 PM - What is your gear and software? How long have you been producing for?
I've been producing since October 2015. I use a mixture of FL 11 and 12 (haven't touched 20 yet), an old Casio keyboard, and Akai MPK mini beat machine.
HolyToast at 10:20 PM - Where do you see future funk heading in the next 2-3 years?
Not anywhere too big too fast, but the hits will keep coming so long as the artist base keep producing and remain consistent.
Mere at 10:21 PM - Do you think that God stays in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he has created?
I think He's heard a few good albums and think there's help for us yet.
Rugemie at 10:25 PM - When did you start as an artist and label?
I started an SC in late 2015 and was admitted into Sunrise Collective spring of 2016. I enjoyed all forms of music but funk/soul/R&B/hip hop has been a pretty influential part of my tastes.
kmp at 10:26 PM - Would you say that an album's cover art and overall presentation is just as important as the music within it?
I think it is. However I feel there's levels to it, looks can definitely be deceiving on both ends. Depends on what the artist(s) want to have their music/art to be presented as.
Reigs at 10:28 PM - Who or what got you interested in Future Funk and what keeps you wanting to produce more in the genre?
There was a playlist I came across with a bunch of music from 94.20AM that got me very interested in listening to more. I was a funk buff in the first place so I started digging through some of my mother's old tapes. Later on, a friend had a free copy of FL Studio for me and I started messing around with some Earth, Wind, and Fire. One thing -> another and you know how the story goes since. Main thing that keeps me going is seeing the friends I've made throughout the years of making FF continue to develop sounds. I hope to be able to do the same.
Mere at 10:28 PM - Do you think life has meaning?
Yes. You gotta go figure it out, and that's how life works.
Rugemie at 10:30 PM - do you still think the FF community is cool after the admins forgot your ama?
Time zones are a bitch I'm sure.
Bardock Obrama at 10:30 PM - What will bitcoin rise to?
I do not dabble in the Bitcoins, but I know of people who've gotten some decent bank off it though.
Fat! at 10:31 PM - What inspired you to make music?
It was all about messing around with the music I grew up with at first. But then I realized I could do much more to make people dance and learn about a great genre of music from decades ago that could still be relatable to the present time.
Samidare at 10:33 PM - Is toonami good for future funk and if so do you remember Swayzak the computer virus?
I definitely think so. There are definitely some vibes from both themes that could be amazing. (and nah don't remember Swayzak atm)
Fat! at 10:37 PM - What was one of the greatest moments in your music career?
Seeing Towards the Future on a physical tape. That was really real to me.
Robby G. Saturday at 10:40 PM - More music coming?
Yep! I'm dropping an album soonish early next year.
Flammy at 10:45 PM - Chicken or Beef ?
I had both to eat today, thanks Chipotle.
Flammy at 10:49 PM - How did you find this artist name “Cero Rio” ?
It was an old proverb like knowledge flows like a river of nothingness. Cero Rio is Nothing River in Spanish. I just took it from there because Nothing River didn't sound cool enough.
ΛＵＬＴＵＲＯＮ at 10:54 PM - Do you have a favorite super robot? If so, which one?
Flammy at 10:54 PM - Your favorite anime character ?
Mio from Nichijou.
Tokyo Wanderer at 10:54 PM - How do you manage your work time with your musical project?
Very carefully. I work at my job during the week, work on my events during the weekends, and music on my off time. I've created a better schedule for it and I'm still getting used to it, but it's all good.
Flammy at 10:57 PM - Who is your favorite future funk artist ?
Top 5 (no order) is ED., Tendencies, Tokyo Wanderer, FIBRE, and Lola Disco.
Flammy at 11:00 PM - How do you see the Future Funk community in 2 years ? Also, will you make something different from Future Funk like Lo-fi or maybe House music ?
HolyToast asked this before but as long as the hits keep coming from a consistent roster of artists, we'll be alright I feel. If they all work their best, you can only get bigger from here. - I've been going into more house/electronic level stuff. I have 2 lo-fi tapes already, but I am taking a break from those for now. More or less passion projects.
Flammy at 11:07 PM - My last question : What is the best quote you’ve heard ?
"Peace of mind is the highest currency that can never be bought, sold, or traded."
HolyToast at 11:18 PM - Do you think the limited edition exclusivity of physical releases (Cassette, Vinyl, Minidisc, CD, Floppy) attributed to future funk help or hurt the genre?
I think having physical mediums only help the genre. Having them limited is understandable since we are still a small community compared to other genres. Who knows, they may be worth something big in the future.
HolyToast at 11:29 PM - Do you think future funk can have a future sampling 90s tracks or does it then lose its identity?
I based my earlier tracks to 90s sampling! And it isn't exclusive to 80s JP city pop either. There's alot of material in 90s acid jazz that rarely have been touched on. It all depends on the groove.
ΛＵＬＴＵＲＯＮ at 11:32 PM - Have I been doing it wrong by not using 80s JP city pop and instead using European (and American) funk?
Nope. I've rarely used it myself. Once again, it depends on the sound/groove and not who you sampled it from. Hell, I've been using 90s arcade music as samples for my most recent house/FF tracks.
Bardock Obrama at 11:54 PM - Whats up with normies and not liking future funk?
I find it weird, everybody loves to dance...
Skule Toyama at 3:42 AM - What do you think is the best way to make Future Funk out of the mainstream?
It's all about promotion and how you present it. I don't FF can be full on mainstream, but understand your fanbase and make internal compromises to be sure you and your fanbase are satisfied.
Skule Toyama at 4:01 AM - Do you think is a bad thing that people relate Future Funk to full anime themes (weeb stuff) instead of the full 80s (80s japanese) Vibe?
I don't, but it's a matter of not giving into the wave if it's not your thing. Do what you like to do! I respect both vibes, would say I'm neither.
Skule Toyama at 4:14 AM - Do you think Future Funk (other genres related) its going to turn into a meme, like Vaporwave? (Not saying they are the same)
Not really. Since FF is birthed from the internet, it's bound to come across as a meme itself. Still, seeing people that are still very passionate about making and listening funky music is a sight to see.
gl00b at 4:33 AM - Read any good books lately?
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart. I read alot of books about and from comedians.
Hideika at 5:42 AM - What’s your favorite anime of all time (please don’t say Dragonball Z, Naruto or One Piece)
It's either between Samurai X and Nichijou or YuYuHakusho. Let's just say YuYuHakusho, yeah.
Toucan San at 7:31 AM - What is your goto kick fam.
It's either DMX, 909, or the kick Thoughts used for Starstruck.
Toucan San at 7:42 AM - Favourite ff song?
Tendencies - Intoxicated and Hiro Tadomatsu ft. ev.exi - Sillage
Ether Thief Remains Mystery Year After $55 Million Digital Heist
Ether Thief Remains Mystery Year After $55 Million Digital Heist 2017-06-13 08:00:18.224 GMT By Matthew Leising (Bloomberg Markets) -- Summer colds are the worst, and Emin Gün Sirer had caught a wicked bug from his 1-year-old son. So it was with watering eyes and a stuffy nose that the associate professor of computer science at Cornell found himself working from his sickbed on Monday, June 13, 2016. Gün—everyone calls him Gün—couldn’t tear himself away from his laptop. He had another type of bug in his sights, a flaw in a line of computer code he feared put $250 million at risk of being stolen. It wasn’t just any code. It was the guts of the newest breakthrough in software design related to blockchain, the novel combination of decentralized computing and cryptography that gave life to the virtual currency bitcoin in 2009. Since then, the promise of blockchain to transform industries from finance to health care has captured imaginations in corporate boardrooms and governments alike. Yet what the Turkish-born professor was exploring that Monday was the next leap forward from bitcoin, what’s known as the ethereum blockchain. Rather than moving bitcoin from one user to another, the ethereum blockchain hosts fully functioning computer programs called smart contracts—essentially agreements that enforce themselves by means of code rather than courts. That means they can automate the life cycle of bond payments, say, or ensure that pharmaceutical companies can authenticate the sources of their drugs. Yet smart contracts are also new and mostly untested. Like all software, they are only as reliable as their coding—and Gün was pretty sure he’d found a big problem. In an email sent to one of his graduate students, Philip Daian, at 7:30 p.m., Gün noted that the smart contract he was looking at might have a problem—on line 666. (They say the devil is in the details.) Gün feared the bug could allow a hacker to make unlimited ATM-like withdrawals from the millions, even if the attacker, who’d have needed to be an investor, had only $10 in his account. This staggering amount of money lived inside a program called a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO. Dreamed up less than a year earlier and governed by a smart contract, the DAO was intended to democratize how ethereum projects are funded. Thousands of dreamers and schemers and developers who populate the cutting edge of computer science, most of them young, had invested in the DAO. This was real money, a quarter of a billion dollars, their money, meant to build a better version of the world, and every cent was at risk. Gün, who wears his dark hair short and looks a decade younger than his 45 years, had already been tracking and publicizing flaws in the DAO’s design. A few weeks earlier, on May 27, along with two colleagues, he’d urged investors to stop buying into the DAO until security issues could be fixed. It had been too late, however, and the program went live the next day. Smart contracts such as the DAO are built to be entirely reliant on their code once released on the ethereum blockchain. That meant the DAO code couldn’t be fixed. Other blockchain experts—including Peter Vessenes, co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation—had also pointed out security flaws in the smart contract, but Gün appears to be the first to pinpoint the flaw that put the money in jeopardy. The problem was the code was so new that no one knew what to expect—or even if there was actually a problem in the first place. Gün had his doubts, too. This wasn’t even his job. He does this for fun. Daian didn’t think they’d found anything either. Over email, he said, “We might be up the creek ;).” Later, when Gün pointed to the error in line 666, Daian replied, “Don’t think so.” Gün says, “We don’t sound the alarm bell every time we find a bug that seems suspicious.” Instead, he went to bed to try to kill his cold—the one bug he knew to be real. “I was too miserable to sort it out,” he says. Four days later, Christoph Jentzsch lay on the floor of his home office, taking deep breaths, trying not to panic. It was Friday morning, and software developers all over the Western world were waking up to the news that the DAO, which Jentzsch had created, was being attacked. Gün had been right. Jentzsch, who has dark hair and a perpetual five o’clock shadow, lives with his family in the Mittweida region of Germany, a rural spot not far from the Czech border. Mornings in the Jentzsch household are a whirlwind as he and his wife get their five children—age 2 to 9—fed and off to school. Yet today, after his brother Simon woke him with a call that the DAO was being hacked, Jentzsch had to ignore his familial duties. “You’ve got the kids,” he told his wife. “I have an emergency.” This is the story of one of the largest digital heists in history. And while you may have heard last year that hackers breached Swift, the bank-to-bank messaging system, and stole $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, the DAO attack is in a different category altogether. It played out in front of anyone who cared to watch and couldn’t be stopped. Just as the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May laid bare weaknesses in computer operating systems, the DAO hack exposed the early frailties of smart-contract security and left many in the community shaken because they hadn’t found the bug in time. The aftermath would eventually pit good hackers against bad ones—the white hats vs. the black hats—in the strange and futuristic- sounding DAO Wars. The roots of the DAO belong to an idea Jentzsch borrowed from another internet-fueled phenomenon: crowdfunding. The 32- year-old Jentzsch, a theoretical physicist by training, and a few colleagues started Slock.it in 2015. As they considered how to fund the company, Jentzsch approached it as many had—sell a digital currency, effectively a token, to raise cash. But why should each new startup have to program its own initial coin offering? Jentzsch wondered. What if one huge fund ruled them all? He introduced his idea to the world at DevCon 1 in London in November 2015. “What is the blockchain way of creating a company?” Jentzsch asked his audience. “Of course, it has to be a DAO.” It would work like this: Ether, a virtual currency like bitcoin, would be used to fund and develop applications on the ethereum blockchain—things such as making a music app similar to iTunes or a ride-sharing service along the lines of Uber. Investors would buy DAO tokens with their ether; the tokens would allow them to vote to fund projects they liked. If the app they backed made money, the token holder shared in the profit. In the six months he spent creating the DAO, Jentzsch thought it would raise $5 million. From April 30 to May 28, the DAO crowdfunding pulled in $150 million. That’s when ether traded just below $12. As the price of ether rose in the following weeks to $20.75 the day before the attack, so too did the value of the DAO, putting a $250 million target on this thing Jentzsch had unknowingly brought into the world with a fatal, original sin. “Our hope was it would be the center of a decentralized sharing economy,” says Jentzsch, who now regrets not capping the amount raised. “For such a big experiment, it was way too early.” In the weeks after the attack, Jentzsch and the rest of the ethereum community would come to grips with their own crisis that, writ small, echoed the bank bailouts and government rescues of 2008. “It became too big to fail,” he says. But why would anyone invest in the DAO in the first place? It has something to do with the strain of digital libertarianism at the heart of the ethereum community, much like the set of beliefs that led to the birth of bitcoin. Think of bitcoin as the first global currency whose use can’t be stopped by governments or corporations; on top of that, bitcoin is almost impossible to hack. Ethereum, then, is another level beyond. It’s an uncensorable global computer. As amazing and unprecedented as that is, it’s also a bit terrifying. Brought to life, the DAO ended up staggering off the table and turning on the community that wanted it so badly. Accustomed to working into the night to stay in touch with colleagues in North America, Jentzsch blows off steam by jogging or kayaking on the nearby Zschopau River. Yet on that Friday morning, he had the more pressing task of pulling himself up off the floor and dealing with the attack. “I went into emergency mode: Don’t try to save the DAO,” he says. “No, it’s over.” It was far from over. Several hours later and half a world away from the Jentzsch household in Mittweida, Alex Van de Sande was waking up in his apartment in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. The baby-faced ethereum developer had been born in the small fishing village of Santa Cruz Cabrália in the Bahia region of Brazil and moved with his parents to Rio when he was about 3 years old. These days he’s known as “avsa” on Reddit and Twitter. After reaching for his phone to see why it was blowing up with Skype messages, he turned to his wife and said, “Remember when I was telling you about that huge unhackable pile of money?” She nodded. “It’s been hacked,” he told her. His first thought was to get his DAO tokens out. He owned about 100,000 of them, valued at about $15,000 at the time. He’s the lead designer of the Ethereum Wallet app, a program that allows him and anyone else to interact with the blockchain. Van de Sande scrambled to log in to it, but his password didn’t work. It was glitching, and as he worked to fix it, his panic subsided. He realized he shouldn’t be bailing on the DAO but trying to save it. And to do that, he needed Griff. Griff Green, who’s worked variously as a massage therapist in Los Angeles and a community organizer in Seattle, is one of only a handful of people in the world who holds a master’s degree in digital currencies. He got it online, natch, from the University of Nicosia. A self-described “dreamer,” the 32-year- old is the closest thing Ethereumville has to a mayor. Green knows everybody; in fact, he’d been the first to relay word of the attack to Simon, Jentzsch’s brother and a co-founder of Slock.it. Green had been working for Slock.it for about six months by then and woke up that morning in the house belonging to Jentzsch’s mom in Mittweida. Jentzsch is one of nine children, so his mother had a spare bedroom where she could put Green up for a few days. Using his extensive contacts, Green started identifying as many people as he could who were interacting with the DAO—going so far as to ask strangers to send pictures or scans of their IDs—in an attempt to sort friend from foe. And then something strange happened: The attack stopped working. In the six hours since the attack began, the thief had managed to steal 30 percent of the DAO’s 12 million ether—which that day equaled about $55 million. “We don’t even understand why the guy had stopped,” says Van de Sande. Now Green raced to protect the remaining 70 percent of the DAO the attacker hadn’t stolen. Once Van de Sande got in touch with Green in Germany, along with two or three others, the foundation was laid for what would become known as the Robin Hood group—white hat hackers who’d devise a bold good-guy plan to drain the remaining DAO. To save the DAO, they’d have to steal the remaining ether, then give it back to its rightful owners. And yet as they scrambled that Friday, qualms emerged within the group. “What does it even mean to hack something?” Van de Sande asks. No one knew if what they were about to do was legal. Also, wouldn’t their hack look just as bad as the theft they were trying to stop? Then there were the practical issues. “Who pushes the button?” he remembers wondering. Doing so would initiate their counterattack and alert the community. “Someone has to push the button.” The price of ether the night before the attack had hit an all-time high of just above $20. News of the hack sent it tumbling to $15 by the end of Friday, wiping out almost a half- billion dollars in market value. At that price, the DAO still held $125 million, and the Robin Hood group worried the attack would resume. They might be the only line of defense if it did, so Van de Sande agreed to use his DAO tokens to fuel their counterattack, thereby becoming a public face of the group. At this point, it might help to think of the DAO as the spacecraft in Alien after Ripley initiates the self-destruct sequence. To flee, she’s forced to use an escape pod. DAO investors had to initiate a similar sequence to deploy escape pods that would allow them to get their ether out of the DAO. The code that dictated the escape pods’ behavior is where the bug lived, so to steal the remaining DAO funds the Robin Hood group would have to be in a pod to exploit the flaw—and because of the way Jentzsch wrote the DAO, they had only a short window of time and just a few pods to choose from. A few minutes before launching the attack, Van de Sande joked on the group’s Skype chat, “Let’s go rob a bank!” No one laughed. “Not everyone really appreciated the humor,” he says. In his Copacabana apartment, Van de Sande readied to push the button on his laptop. Then, suddenly, he lost his internet connection. His router was down. “I was like, What the f--- is going on here?” he says. He had less than 30 minutes left to execute the Robin Hood hack. He frantically called NET, his Brazilian internet service provider, but couldn’t get past the automated customer service experience. He says the robotic voice told him, “We see there’s an internet issue in your neighborhood.” The irony was not lost on him: Here he was trying to steal millions of dollars from a robot but was being waylaid by another robot. “Then we missed,” he says. The window closed. He went from the high of feeling like they were about to come to the rescue of the vulnerable DAO to the crushing low of having their international connection severed by NET’s breakdown. He took his dog, Sapic—named after the one in Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother—for a walk, then crawled into bed, defeated. The next morning was Saturday, and Van de Sande tried to reconvene the Robin Hood group to infiltrate another escape pod. But folks were busy and couldn’t get together. “We felt like the worst hackers in history,” Van de Sande says. “We were foiled by bad internet and family commitments.” Who, exactly, were they at war with? No one really knows, but there are some clues. One address the attacker used is 0xF35e2cC8E6523d683eD44870f5B7c C785051a77D. Got that? Like everything else in a blockchain, a user’s address is an anonymous string of characters. But every address leaves behind a history on the blockchain that’s open for examination. Not that it makes sense to 99.9 percent of humankind, but Green gets it. To pull off his heist, the attacker needed to create a contract that would interact with the DAO. He did so on June 15 and deployed it in the early morning hours two days later, according to Green. Once activated, the attack contract started sending about $4,000 worth of ether through the attacker’s account every three or four minutes to drain the DAO. But where did the original money to fund the attack come from? To interact with the ethereum blockchain, every contract must be funded by an amount of ether. This attack contract was funded by two addresses, but tracing it further back becomes tricky. That’s because the second address used an exchange called ShapeShift to send 52 ether into its account on June 14. ShapeShift doesn’t collect any information on its users and says it turns one virtual currency, such as bitcoin, into another, like ether, in less than 10 seconds. While there are valid reasons for using ShapeShift, it’s also a great way to launder digital assets and cover your tracks. After the attack contract stopped working, the thief needed to deploy it again, says Green. He tried but failed, and after a few more transactions, the hack whimpered to an end. (One possible reason the attack stopped, Green says, is that the hacker’s tokens became corrupted, which means he had no way to exploit the bug.) We know this limited amount of one-sided information from the blockchain’s public record. Digital asset exchanges see both sides. An internal investigation by one such exchange concluded that the DAO attacker was likely part of a group, not a lone wolf, based in Switzerland, according to an executive there who wouldn’t speak on the record or allow the company’s name to be used. Exchanges are in the unique position of being able to analyze the trading activity of their customers because they know who they are, even if they’re anonymous on the blockchain. The executive says the exchange shared the analysis with the Boston office of the FBI, though there’s been no further contact since October of last year. Cornell’s Gün says he also spoke to the Boston office of the FBI—and to agents in the New York office and to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. “It’s very difficult to coordinate an attack of this kind without leaving breadcrumbs behind,” Gün says. He encouraged the FBI to look at the ethereum testnet, where programmers can run their code in a safe environment to work out kinks. The attacker wouldn’t just launch such a complicated hack without testing it, Gün says he told federal officials, and the feds might be able to get clues to his identity there. Gün says he also pointed them to addresses linked to the attacker, such as the one described above, that were listed by his grad student Daian on his blog. (The FBI declined to comment.) “I’m absolutely amazed. Why has no one traced this back and found out who did it?” asks Stephan Tual, the third co-founder of Slock.it. “It still bugs me to this day, because what that person has done is incredibly unethical.” On Tuesday, four days after the initial attack, the hacker returned and somehow resumed the heist. The Robin Hood group had feared this moment would come and was ready. Early Sunday morning they’d finally managed to convene online and successfully infiltrate an escape pod, but had held off their counterattack. Now they had no choice. One strike against the group was their distance from one another—one in Rio, others scattered about Europe. (Some of the group’s members didn’t want to be identified for this story.) It was important that they coordinate their activities because, like in Charlie’s Angels, they all had different specialties: Green the community organizer, Van de Sande the public face, others who wrote the Robin Hood group attack contracts. So Van de Sande needed to be walked through the step-by-step hacking process they were about to unleash, because that wasn’t his area of expertise. “I’ll be honest, I was excited,” Green says. “This is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me. This is the craziest thing that’s almost ever happened to anyone.” Whether it was legal remains an unanswered question. “You literally have cyber ninjas warring on the blockchain,” says Vessenes, the programming expert. “What they’re doing is almost certainly illegal, but they’re claiming it’s for the greater good.” And now it was Van de Sande’s job to let the community know that the Robin Hood group counterattack was benign. He took to Twitter, where he wrote “DAO IS BEING SECURELY DRAINED. DO NOT PANIC.” A nod to the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, his plea to not panic was met with all the snark and real-life concern Twitter can handle. “NOTHING SAYS DO NOT PANIC LIKE ALL CAPS,” one user responded. “#RealLife is more exciting than
MrRobot !!” tweeted another. Yet as the Robin Hood group attack
gained steam, they noticed something strange and worrisome—the attacker was with them in every escape pod. “We escaped the mother ship, but now we’re alone in space with the alien we were trying to escape,” says Van de Sande. This was a big problem. Because of how Jentzsch wrote his code, the Robin Hood group would have to wait several weeks before they could secure the ether they recovered. Yet if the attacker was in that escape pod with the group, he could just follow them—what’s known as a stalking attack. If the hacker stalked the Robin Hood group, the ether wasn’t really safe after all. “The game only ends when one of these parties doesn’t show up to fight,” Van de Sande says. This, in essence, is the heart of the DAO Wars, the never-ending battle that would have to be waged to keep the recovered ether safe. If only there were a way to reverse the theft once and for all. What happened next is one of the strangest and most contentious episodes in blockchain’s early history. The morning of July 20 dawned cool and clear in Ithaca, N.Y., the home of Cornell. A weeklong ethereum boot camp on campus had brought developers and programmers from all over the world to town. The mood was anxious, but not because the workshops were about to begin. This was the day the ethereum community would decide to rewrite the past. The weeks since the DAO hack had been filled with acrimonious debate as developers, coders, investors, and other community members considered their options to undo the theft. As the Robin Hood group battled the attacker mostly in private, a public debate was raging. The white hat hackers weren’t the only ones trying to save the DAO. Jentzsch worked almost around the clock, fielding hundreds of requests from DAO investors on what they should do. Vitalik Buterin, 23, who created the ethereum blockchain before he was 20, became a focal point as he led the community through their options. In short, what they could do was change the ethereum blockchain to fix the DAO, but only if they got a majority of computers running the network to agree to a software update. Pull that off, and it’s as though the attack never happened. This is known as a hard fork. The decision stirred such strong reactions that it remains controversial a year later, both within the ethereum community and with bitcoin users who insist a blockchain’s history is never to be tampered with. In an interview in October, Buterin was unapologetic about pushing for the change. “Some bitcoin users see the hard fork as in some ways violating their most fundamental values,” said Buterin, who didn’t respond to requests to speak specifically about this story. “I personally think these fundamental values, pushed to such extremes, are silly.” Within the ethereum community, at least, Buterin’s views won the day, and computer nodes all over the world accepted the fork. Contained in block 1,920,000, the fix to the DAO was simple and did only one thing—if you had ether invested in it, you could now get it out. But why hadn’t the attacker made off with his money? It had been more than a month. The same code that exposed the DAO to the theft, in the end, enabled the ether to be returned. Everything to do with the DAO is a parameter: rules, if-then statements, and more rules that are all finalized before the program is set loose. One of these parameters stated that anyone wanting to get their ether out of the DAO had to wait a certain amount of time—27 days after the initial request, then another seven days. This fail-safe, written by Jentzsch, applied to the attacker as well. So even though somebody had effectively robbed a bank, he then had to wait 34 days before crossing the street to make his getaway. While he was waiting, the money was stolen back. A month after the original heist, the ether thief now had nothing to show for his caper. Back on the Cornell campus, ethereum boot camp attendees celebrated. The next day, Gün brought Champagne to the session he was teaching. He’d pasted makeshift labels on the Chandon bottles with a picture of the utensil that said, “Congratulations on the successful fork.” Then something else unexpected happened. The original ethereum blockchain, the one with the DAO attack in it, kept growing. Imagine a hard fork is a branch of a tree that sprouts in a different direction at the end of the main limb. The end of that limb is supposed to wither after a hard fork, but here it continued to grow as a small group of users continued to process transactions on that version of the blockchain. Instead of dying, this became a second form of ethereum, quickly dubbed ethereum classic, complete with a digital currency that now had value. Even in the science fiction world of blockchain, this was an unprecedented turn of events. It meant the DAO attacker suddenly had about 3.6 million ethereum classic coins in his DAO account, known as the DarkDAO, which were slowly gaining in value. The Robin Hood group held about 8.4 million, because in this parallel universe they still controlled 70 percent of the DAO funds they had recovered. The Robin Hood group couldn’t believe it. “We did everything to avoid this, but now we’re being dragged back into this fight,” Van de Sande says. Now, the bitcoin supporters who viewed the hard fork as a violation of the core values of blockchain could back up their belief by buying ethereum classic. That’s exactly what entrepreneur Barry Silbert, a heavyweight in bitcoin circles, did. “Keep in mind, the original chain is ethereum classic,” he says. “The fork is ethereum.” Putting his money where his mouth is, Silbert’s firm, Grayscale Investments, recently issued an investment thesis outlining the benefits to ethereum classic over ethereum. A section heading sums up the rationale: “The DAO and the Death of Principles.” Alexis Roussel, co-founder of Bity.com, a digital currency broker in Switzerland, still marvels at the aftereffects of the hard fork and the wild world of the blockchain. “This is something that doesn’t happen in traditional finance,” he says. “If something happens with Apple, you don’t suddenly have a clone of Apple.” It’s been about a year since the DAO attack, enough time to take stock of what went wrong. Van de Sande is eager to move on. “It was really just a blip,” he says. “We are ready to move past it and leave the DAO story behind us.” Green, who’s organizing an ethereum conference at this summer’s Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, has kept a sense of humor about it. “The Robin Hood group was just a s--- show,” he says with a laugh. “I hope the movie portrays it better than it actually was.” As for the bug itself, apparently many smart people looked at the code before Gün but missed one major flaw. The order of commands in the code allowed DAO token holders to withdraw any profit they’d made from their investments. It reads “withdrawRewardFor(msg.sender)” and adds, almost improbably, a note to anyone reading the code that says, “be nice, and get his rewards.” That’s line 667—let’s call it “The Neighbor of the Beast Bug.” If the withdraw line had come after these lines: totalSupply -= balances[msg.sender]; balances[msg.sender] = 0; paidOut[msg.sender] = 0; return true; the attack wouldn’t have been possible, Jentzsch says. But if the code had been in the correct order, the reward parameter wouldn’t have worked. As for the note, this line of code was meant to allow investors to withdraw any profit—“Reward”—their investments had earned. Instead it became one of the biggest backdoors in hacking history. It would have been better to not pay rewards during the split function from the DAO, what we’ve been referring to here as the escape pods, according to Jentzsch. Another decision he made when he had no idea of the bug shows how quirky and unforgiving code can be. “If the capital ‘T’ in line 666 had been a small ‘t,’ that would also have prevented the hack,” he says. Jentzsch has many regrets but insists no one was aware of the specific problems in lines 666-667 (other observers had pointed to flaws in other lines, just not here). Had more people looked, “it would have made no difference at all,” he says. “If you don’t know what to look for in a security audit, you won’t find it.” Even Gün, who had it in his grasp, let it go. “I still missed it,” he says. Green’s emotions are still raw related to Gün. “I actually got really pissed at him about this,” Green says. “He started bragging about how he found the bug.” He adds that it was “very irresponsible of him to not tell anyone of his inkling.” Still, Green “respects the hell out of Gün” and says they’ve since made amends. Asked to recount that night last June as he lay sick in bed, Gün says, “I came away from this thinking there’s potentially an issue.” But he’d consulted Daian, his grad student (“whom I trust”). Daian had said it’s “not exploitable.” Gün says that had he been certain of the danger, “I would have told people.” In a blog post that explained the mechanics of the DAO heist Daian published the night of the attack, he gave a shoutout to his professor in the acknowledgments. “Gün, we were so damn close—sorry it wasn’t quite enough this time :),” Daian wrote. As for the attacker (whoever he or she or they are) and the ethereum classic booty, Gün says, “Great, wonderful, he should cash out.” The hard fork proved it wasn’t just the DAO that needed to be fixed, but the ethereum blockchain itself. He says: “The fault lies somewhere on the system side as well.” But the fear that smart contracts are too clever by half and that by extension so is the ethereum blockchain itself—prevalent in the days following the DAO attack—has dissipated. At least that’s the market’s verdict, judging by the price of ether. After the attack, it traded from $10 to $12 for about nine months. Then in March it took off; it’s valued at $341.19 as of June 12. (That would have valued the DAO at $4.1 billion, but let’s not even go there.) Ethereum classic has risen as well, and it now trades for $18.71. Both versions of ether remain viable, in other words. The thief holds one; the revisionists, the other. Going forward, the choice is really: Whom would you rather believe? Since the hard fork, the attacker ended up making off with his ethereum classic. That means he got away with about $67.4 million, assuming the stash hasn’t been sold. Not too shabby, 0xF35e2cC8E6523d683eD44870f5B7cC785051a77D. Leising covers market structure at Bloomberg News in New York. To contact the author of this story: Matthew Leising inNew York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joel Weber at [email protected]
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