The Truth About Laundering Bitcoin

It’s The Same As Laundering Fiat, Just Smaller.

CCN.com reported that CipherTrace released their Q2 2018 report that noted the rise of cryptocurrency crime, money laundering and other illicit activities. One particular glaring item was a $1.2 billion figure, that had been laundered through cryptocurrency tools such as Bitcoin Tumblers and privacy coins like Zcash and Monero.

Now this isn’t really news. We already know about Drug trafficking busts, weapons and human trafficking busts, which the different levels of the US government have made on the dark web. But what this is suggesting is that not only is crime up using Bitcoin, but ransom is also up. And it’s implying that it’s only happening to Cryptocurrencies and not really happening to such an extent to Fiat- which is incorrect.

The Problem
The problem I have with CipherTrace’s reports and other reports of such nature, is the idea that only cryptocurrency is used to do crimes. Now the report isn’t suggesting that, but it’s implying it. Fiat money has been doing daily orders of crimes for decades. Just recently a large scale report in British Columbia revealed that the Liberal government looked the other way while criminals used casino’s to launder millions of dollars- literally duffel bags of $5, $10 and $20 bills, and the casino staff were told to turn the camera’s away. The government let this slide, even the RCMP, because it created a booming economy in B.C. The results cost lives and livelihoods:

“At an event Wednesday to release the report, Eby said money laundering in casinos was linked to the opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives and to escalating housing prices that have made life unaffordable for British Columbians.”

Which is serious considering houses that should actually be worth $500,000 are now worth over $1million in a mere 6 years.

Fiat’s Way Worse
Fiats been used to launder money, crimes, wars, arms deals, genocides, human and sex trafficking of children and much more for decades. Anyone willing to stop investing in real estate because of the money it’s laundered? Anyone willing to stop using a bank because of their very real crimes of over charging people on transactions and NSF’s? Anyone willing to stop paying their government taxes because of their illegal invasions and human rights violations?

NO? Well stop complaining about crimes with cryptocurrency. Its not good and slowly a system will be created to hopefully limit such crimes. At least cryptocurrency will grow and smooth this out, Fiat money has had decades to fix their crime issues, and now it’s 2018 and nothings been solved.

Just because cryptocurrency is being used by ‘some’ to do terrible things doesn’t mean we all are- the majority aren’t. The ugly truth is that crime happens, and we can’t really stop it, whether it’s with cryptocurrency or not. Some will argue and say ‘well it’s easier now with privacy coins’ and they aren’t wrong, but these ‘privacy coins’ can be watched for the most to see where it’s going. Eventually they’re going to need to collect the value of those coins, and undercover government Exchanges on the dark web will nab them, and then collect those coins for their government wallet (valued over $40 million). Read my “Dark Web Bust” post for more details.

Then there will be those who say ‘well you can’t compare fiat and cyrptocurrency as a proper excuse’. Yeah actually we can. Because most people who do cryptocurrency aren’t criminals. The biggest criminal we have in the crypto scene is probably George Soros who was responsible for the Asian Financial Crisis- he was never held responsible, never faced any criminal charges or jailed. He continued on, making his millions. He suspiciously entered the crypto world just after Dec 2017 highs….not sure if there’s a link, buuuut that is for sure a link….

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Have Value
If old socks become a hot valued commodity, guess what, they’re going to use it for crimes. Criminals only use things that have value, well cryptocurrency has value, just like fiat and that’s why it’s being used.  Love it or hate it, cryptocurrency is not going to die. You can argue that Tokens and ICO’s will (if they haven’t already) die, but the major players like Bitcoin, Monero, Dash, Dogecoin (yes even Dogecoin) Litecoin and even the expensive gas induced Ethereum, will last.

Bitcoin isn’t all just crimes. Just like Fiat money isn’t all just crimes. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking FUD thoughts.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

Dogecon 2018: Vancouver

Such Wow! Much Conference!

Amongst the sea of self serving blockchain conferences, and large scale multi-million dollar Internet of Things conferences and expo’s, was a refreshing Dogecon held in Vancouver that captured the heart of cryptocurrency. The meme essence came to life.

What started off as a fork of Bitcoin, and a running meme joke, became the largest most dedicated community of cryptocurrencers ever. More than Bitcoin, more than Ethereum, Dogecoin’s strong and proudly loved. It’s community strong, not just about value, but about substance. From tipping to charity, to car racing, the Dogecoin is actually the most viable coin out there. And to celebrate the ‘such wow’, Dogecon was held in Vancouver BC.

A conference where nobody talked about panic selling or the market crashing, instead dance parties, rap shows, dinner and a freaking puppy parade- that’s right, a freaking Shibu Inu parade, was held. You can only wish in your dreams that you had seen it in real life, it was just that amazing.

It wasn’t ‘tradition’, with high rolling investors in thousand dollar suits, no this conference was down to earth, honest and genuine- something you don’t see often in the superficial world of Instagram cryptocurrency.

No twitter cryptoinvestors and enthusiasts had lots of good genuine things to say. Four days of celebrations, real discussions, and Dogecoin worship took place in Vancouver British Columbia. And the reviews are in: It was awesome.
Yes Rocco, this is what it should look like.

Even the sponsors proudly stood by Dogecon with ETH Classic joining in.

Just over 200 participants attended Dogecon, and tickets were sold out by the time I posted about it- sorry about that…  It was a breath of fresh air from the stuffy blockchain conferences, it was relaxed and real, and showed what this amazing Dogecoin community is.

So if you’re looking to invest in a good coin, Dogecoin is it.

Why do I say this:
1. Dogecoin is used more frequently than even Bitcoin cash
2. 40th in Market Cap
3. Has been in use since 2010 for tipping, charities, to car racing etc etc
4. It’s the 4th most popular cryptocurrency (yes that’s right, Dogecoin is the 4th)
5. More viable since the community even after the Creator abandoned it, kept it up.
6. Unapologetically a joke currency that became seriously serious.
7. Doesn’t fall under SEC regulations as a original coin
8. Faster and cheaper to use
9. Dogecon!!!
10. It’s a freaking Shibu Inu, who doesn’t like dogs!
11. It’s not all about ‘Bitcoin level value, or pumping and dumping’, its about the coin itself.

Such wisdom! So get yourself some Dogecoin, and bow to Lord Doge.

It’s safe to say that Dogecon 2019 is going to be even larger and better! What do you think of Dogecoin? Is it still a joke coin to you or are you showing some Doge love! I personally mined and owned Dogecoin, and I’ve easily used it, and it’s honestly one of my top 5 favorite coins. If I had to pick something to invest in, I’d skip the ICO’s and Ethereum tokens, and go straight to Dogecoin.

Cheers!
A. Yasir

Does the CIA know Or Not?

Who Is “Satoshi Nakamoto”

A video titled, CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? made by a group calling themselves the “CIA Project” surfaced on youtube. This group is dedicated in finding all the governments secret projects and making it public. And in this latest video, they are claiming that Bitcoin is actually the creation of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Now don’t scoff it off as a conspiracy theory or ‘FUD’ and run away. Lets have a gander at what this group is claiming to be their biggest proof.

Satoshi Nakamoto- the name itself.

Now I do touch on this subject a little in my post here, so have a read of that as well to put some other very important pieces of this together.

Satoshi (meaning ‘clear thinking, or intelligent). Nakamoto is a common Japanese surname meaning “central origin or one who lives in the middle) This surname is commonly found in Ryukyu Islands of Japan, which is strongly associated with the Ryukyu Kingdon, a highly centralized kindgom that originated in the Okinawa Islands.  This Island in particular was known as the ‘the place where cannibals lived’….not sure if this gives any weight to Warren Buffets fantastic quote, where he equates Bitcoin mining to harvesting baby brains…

Combined, both names could be interpreted as “Central Intelligence”- could be, loosely. There is in fact a real Satoshi Nakamoto (well Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto) but he vehemently denies he’s the Bitcoin creator and even hired a lawyer to clear his name. How badly do people want to know who this guy is?

The next claim is that no one has actually met Satoshi Nakamoto in person or spoken on the phone with him or her or even them.  Even Gavin Bell (known as Gavin Andresen), who only has contact by email, never in person or over the phone.

Other evidence includes the fact that Bitcoin uses a common PRNG (crypto program) to create secure keys, which is itself believed to have an NSA backdoor. Numerous Reddit threads linking Bitcoin or Satoshi Nakamoto with the NSA have been removed; and that Bitcoin is not decentralized as it is being controlled by a small group which is led by Gavin Bell. Which is true, I’ve said it before that cryptocurrencies are not decentralized in the sense people assume, there is a central body controlling it, and right now with Bitcoin it’s the 80% hashing power Chinese mining farms and Gavin Bell.

But do the CIA Project’s claims have any merit? I think there is- even just a little, is still too much.

The NSA creating Bitcoin has been rumor for many years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function- which by the way we designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology..

The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users.

“If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview.

This alone makes it worrisome for Bitcoin users or Cyber security specialists. Snowden is very harsh on Bitcoin and says it’s being watched by government agencies- more on that in a different post.

And of course this comes just at the heels after the CIA refused to confirm or deny if they knew who Satoshi Nakamoto is- leaving many to speculate, if they know.  And like Snowden says, ‘they know’.

I myself didn’t want anything to do with Bitcoin in 2009 when my wife told me about it- because of the sheer nightmare that is security and fraud. (Of course I’m glad I reconsidered it and mined as much as I could back then), but it did have the distinct smell of ‘government’ even back then.

Then there’s recent news of 21e8….that’s for another post.

What do you think? Does this prove that Satoshi Nakamoto is actually the NSA? Or does it simply just add another layer of conspiracy theories to an already large mystery.

We may never know.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

The Dark Web Bust

2000 Bitcoins, Hard Cash & Gold Bars

I think we can lay rest the claim that Bitcoin is used for crimes only, considering cash and gold bars (fiat system) seems to be thriving in the latest Dark Web crimes bust.

The US Department of Justice, together with multiple government agencies such as the Homeland Security, The Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service, and the DEA have busted over 35 dark web drugs and arms dealers across the nation.

To be clear, these are the drugs and arms the government didn’t deal themselves, but notorious crime syndicates on the Dark Web (which is why this is a bust and not a government investigation into their own operations).

The different agencies confiscated military grade weapons, drugs and drugs manufacturing equipment.  On top of this they also seized over $30 million dollars in cash, gold bars and around 2000 Bitcoins (which alone totals to over $12 million)

The Department of Justice said in their press release that it was “a year long coordinated national operation that used the first nationwide undercover action to target vendors of illicit goods on the Darknet”.

Agents from the HSI acted as money launderers on the dark web marketplace such as the Silkroad, AlphaBay, Hansa and others, exchanging cryptocurrencies for cash.

Yes you read that right, the government itself used cryptocurrencies in crimes in order to lure in criminals. With this tactic the different levels of federal agencies were able to root out the network of black market dealers.

“Through this operation, HSI New York was able to identify numerous vendors of illicit goods, leading to the opening of more than 90 active cases around the country. The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, working with more than 40 U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the country, coordinated the nationwide investigation of over 65 targets, that lead to the arrest and impending prosecution of more than 35 Darknet vendors,” the press release states.

Nearly all the charged individuals used bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to some degree in their operations. In one case, the federal officials are seeking the forfeiture of an additional 4,000 bitcoin that they suspect to be tied to online drug sales. If seized, the supplementary stash will put the government’s cryptocurrency requisitions to just over $40 million.

“The Darknet is ever-changing and increasingly more intricate, making locating and targeting those selling illicit items on this platform more complicated. But in this case, HSI special agents were able to walk amongst those in the cyber underworld to find those vendors who sell highly addictive drugs for a profit, HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Derek Benner states in the official press release. “The veil has been lifted. HSI has infiltrated the Darknet, and together with its law enforcement partners nationwide, it has proven, once again, that every criminal is within arm’s reach of the law.”

This investigations findings came after Congress’ own efforts to police crimes online trafficking and the use of cryptocurrencies. The findings went public just a day after the House of Representatives passed the “Fight Illicit Networks & Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R.6069). It’s a bipartisan bill : “to study how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to facilitate sex or drug trafficking and propose regulatory and legislative actions to put an end to these illicit activities.”

Rep. Juan Vargas who proposed the bill, expressed in a press release that the House’s approval is “an important first step in helping Congress understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking and will help us propose effective legislative solutions to fight these crimes.” As the bill moves up to Congress’ upper house, he “[hopes] to see the same level of support for this legislation in the Senate.”

In a 2017 National Drug Assessment, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dash, ZCash and Monero —(with Dash, Zcash & Monero being relatively anonymous) — have become increasingly popular payment options for dark web trade. Along with fueling the human trafficking market, they are also funding marketplaces that are contributing to America’s growing opioid crisis, the administration claims.

This though implies that fiat and other methods such as wiring funds wasn’t also prominently used in human trafficking, drug trafficking and other crimes on the Dark Web. Cryptocurrencies aren’t new just this year, and have existed since 2009, Bitcoin being the most prominent. But of course the Deep Web existed before 2009, and was active and full of crimes and trafficking prior to Cryptocurrencies birth.

This investigation also implies that governments like the US don’t sell weapons to Dictators and genociders ,which we have seen a track record of throughout history. So the governments readiness to blame cryptocurrencies solely for crimes on the Dark Web is biased set to fit a narrative that ‘only the government can commit illicit crimes’.

The growing American opioid crisis also comes after the US illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (which they remain in to this day).

What do you think? Yes cryptocurrencies are being used to commit crimes, but Fiat and gold bars also have track records of being used to commit crimes, both on the Dark Web and on the government level. Should we not then first deal with Fiat’s crisis with money laundering and crimes deals?

Cheers,
A.Yasir

John McAfee’s Not Dead

He’s Alive & McAfee’ing It

The crypto internet was a buzz these last few days after Cyber Security & crypto-expert John McAfee posted a picture of him at the hospital, after what he says was an attempted poisoning to end his life. He went on to say:

“My enemies managed to spike something that I ingested,”
“However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”

johnmcafeescreenshot2

He’s been tweeting from the hospital, to let his fans and supporters know he’s alright and in stable condition in typical John McAfee style- strong, ‘no shit’ and in your face.

He bashed on panic sellers and continues to promote Docademic and even sent out a mini witch hunt for this guy.

johnmcafeescreenshot1

In all, John McAfee is in good spirits, back in the comfort of his home, and keeping it real for the cryptocurrency community. It’s left to see if this ‘assassination’ attempt pans out with any evidence given to the general public. But if this was indeed an assassination attempt, the implications are horrendous. It gives weight to McAfee’s position in cryptocurrency and his declaration for 2020 presidential candidate.

For now, I’m wishing Mr. McAfee a full recovery.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

16 Things To Improve Your Life

For Business, for work, for life.

There are many books out there that you  can buy and read.  They go on for 200 pages of what you need to do to become successful. I’ve read a few, and watched a few life coaches speak and yes they are very motivating. But it’s much harder to actually put their advice into play. Motivational gems like keep hustling and work hard are repeated and blared over and over again.

I found that life offers sometimes the best motivational gems, lessons learned through failing, or falling. You have to go through hard times- that’s just a given. You can’t complain when things fall to shit, that’s just the reality of life. But how you deal with it? What steps you take to prevent or deal with it, is how you know if you will become successful.

For business, for home, for work or just life in general,  you’ve got to sit down and think of which of the the many books out there you are going to follow.  There are so many methods. But through my own personal experiences, I think it boils down to a few key factors- the things you can control.  But the most important part is that you can’t just do it for a week, no you have to commit for 3 months- yes it takes 3 months to set a proper habit.

I offer you my 16 points of how to become a more successful person. Whether it’s for business goals, to work life to family. These 16 things can really change your life.

So here it goes. It’s quick and simple without a lot of fuss. I will make individual posts for each point, giving more examples of experiences from successful people to my own later on. But I wanted to make this clean and simple so you can start today.

I make no promises other than these worked for me and it can too for you. If it doesn’t make you millions of dollars or turn you into Brad Pitt, well maybe you did something wrong LOL

Kidding, but seriously, at the very least, you’ll have changed your life a bit for the better, become a bit more grounded and able to reach for those stars.

1) Multi- Tasking While Multi-Project’ing.
This happened to me, a lot. Tons of ideas and projects that I think can be successful but not enough time. I was doing bits and pieces of different projects, all the while supporting my company, staff and my family life. It was a mess and my brain was constantly in anxiety and a constant mess. Scheduling and micro-managing myself, writing down day after day in my daily planner. I was doing an Elon Musk, 10 mins for each thing….but nothing was getting done.
So I stopped multi-tasking while doing mult-projects. One project per day. I scheduled my 10-12 hour day into 2 hour project times, with 10 mins every hour to check with emails and staff.

So my schedule looked like this:
Monday

Keep your schedule clean and simple so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Anyone in IT knows, you can’t just work on something like coding or programing for 10 or 20min intervals, you have to dedicate strict time to it. And that’s what I did.

2. Spend Your Time Like You Appreciate it.
One of the concepts I saw written in book after book, barked on from ‘life specialist to life specialist’  is ‘grind and hustle, and work the 100 hours a week, work till you don’t have to introduce yourself’. Well here’s the dangerous side of that. You spend all your time ‘grinding’ that you don’t actually appreciate the time you have.
My wife, who I cherish, has been my biggest supporter and pillar. When we got married, she took on the task of helping me to get my business to what it is today. But it came at a price: Her health.
It broke me down when I heard the doctor say, she needs to rest, she’s burning out. At that moment it hit me. If something were to happen to her, what will I do? If something happened to me, what will she do?
So, we had to change the way we looked at success. Success should never come at the price of your health or your loved ones health. Success is something you get from working smart, not killing yourself for. The hours I put in, the stress I caused I wonder now how many years I took off my life.
Spend your time properly, even if you have to schedule in 20 mins to spend with your loved ones, or call your family or sit and do something you love. This is time well spent. This is time you will not regret. So if you have loved ones, schedule them in everyday- make it habit.

3. Your health Is Key To Your Success
Your mind is what it feed it. So if you feed it fast food and shit from the fridge, your mind will be shit. You’ll have trouble staying focused and won’t be able to process the information well enough to get things done.
Eating proper home cooked meals left me feeling better about myself and my health. It gave me a boost of confidence that I didn’t have when I was eating fast food. I was never overweight, but you would not believe how you feel when you eat crap all the time. The switch to good food with veggies and fruits really made a difference in how I worked. So if you want a clear focused mind, then eat properly. Don’t skip your meals. Can’t get to the gym, that’s okay, you need to get some weights, start walking and doing push ups.  If you think just getting some sweats on will motivate you, it won’t. So grab some real gear from www.GymOverEverything.com and start with the mindset of fit. The right exercise clothing can really get your motivation going.

4. Sleep!
I get it, I also wish there was 43 hours in a day, but there isn’t and guess what, your brain and body are going to be sluggish the next day and you can’t just run on coffee for the next 5 years trying to reach success.
No matter the business, or job or the goal you’re trying to achieve, you need to sleep. If you can’t commit to 7 full hours at night, then get 5hours at night and throw in a 20min nap at 2pm. I kid you not, this is going to make such a big difference. Imagine one of the most productive days you have ever had, where everything just went smoothly- that is going to be your everyday if you sleep. Your senses and thinking ability is so much better when you get that sleep.

5. Don’t Second Guess Yourself  But Think Properly
In 2009 my wife came to me and asked about this little thing called Bitcoin. Well I’ll be honest, I didn’t want any part of it. From an IT prespective, Bitcoin is a security nightmare. Bitcoin breaks each and every security protocol set to protect people online, and I could already see the wikileaks article going over the security issues, the open doors to fraud, money laundering etc etc. I wanted no part of it. My wife for whatever reason, thought it was a good idea. At the time, I thought ‘Is she nuts?’.
But then I sat down and thought about it properly, what if there is the off chance that this coin becomes the norm in money. Do I really want to miss out on something that literally will cost me nothing to mine? So I took out an old laptop and started to mine Bitcoin.
And then Dec of 2017 happened and the rest was history.
I don’t 2nd guess my assessment- it was correct, but I had to think from outside my prespective and properly assess my choices. Bitcoin mining took me no work to do. It didn’t cost me anything.
So think properly, it’s not second guessing yourself, it’s cutting outside of what you know to be correct, and seeing if there is potentional.

6. You Have Your Own Clock
From all the success stories you hear about people that made it, you forget that there was thousands more that didn’t. You put yourself under extreme pressure and anxiety about making it too without thinking of what it’s doing. You have your own time, and it’s not the same as everybody else. Maybe everybody is sailing the same direction, but maybe you’re meant to sail slow and steady and not risk those choppy waters and wind. Maybe you decide the risk is too big right now and you need a break on that Island to regroup and redefine your plans. You will achieve your success on your own time without wasting your time and life. This goes to my next point.

7. Keep Learning & Relearning
This happened to me. I was stuck in a rut in 2007. Thinking of how the hell was I ever going to compete with large names like freaking IBM. All my IT friends were in secured jobs steaming ahead away from me, while I was still trying to push my company forward. I decided to take a break from my company. So I got a job (that I hated but gave me data center access). It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I learned a lot and garnered a ton of expereinece I didnt have. It helped me to create my first software for Microsoft Password Recovery, and the first year after making it, I made my first $100k. It was incredible. I took on other jobs related and unrelated to garner more experience and combined it with my ability to learn just about anything, I created compevo.com and several other software projects that allowed me to take my wife to several trips to China, Dubai and Japan. I’m not arrogant about what I have to do. If I have to even now take on a job to learn things about AI that I don’t know, I’ll do it. Even if my company already has some AI projects under it’s belt, it’s not all about just that, it’s also about learning and expanding my knowledge base. If you’re in sales, well learn some accounting. If you’re in marketing, learn some IT. If you’re in IT, learn marketing & accounting.

8. Don’t Be Arrogant.
Money can do 1 of 2 things. It can degrade you or upgrade you. It can degrade you in the way of arrogance or it can upgrade you in the way of being genuine.  Money changes people, and yes sometimes its frustrating when I see a person look at me like I have nothing and I feel like jumping to say “have a look at my bank account”, but then I relax. I realize they are working on a debt system only for the now and maybe their kids, but I’m working on a credit system where I want to build wealth for generations after. I also want my kids to understand the value of life with money and the value of life with just money.
You don’t need to be loud and proud, you don’t need to announce it to everyone, and you don’t need to dress in a $10,000 suit to show that you have money.
From a psychological point of view, it shows how low and unconfident you are in your genuine self, and need to pretty yourself with ‘things’ to make you sparkle. That isn’t right, and you need to put proper value on yourself, and not let things deteremine your value. My wife, my kids are what makes me valuable. And I don’t want to settle for a million dollar house in a shit market, I want that $2million house my wife liked back when we got married, and I intend to give it to her, paid in full cash not a mortgage that I leave her behind with.  I want to be able to pay in cash for my kids education should they persue it, or help them start a company without begging a bank. So don’t be arrogant, whether you have the money or not. In an age of social media, it’s hard not to place value on ‘the look’ of success, but don’t forget that even lottery winners can go down a shit hole if they don’t keep their arrogance in check.

9. Start With A Meeting End With A Meeting
Make mondays meeting days. The start of the week to revamp your plans for the week. What your main projects will be, and how will you schedule it all in. During this 30 minute with yourself or your team, write down your expectation for the week and what you intend to achieve. I usually failed at daily goals but always hit the mark with weekly goals simply because I felt like there was enough time to achieve the goal. Depending on what you’re doing, sometimes a daily goal is better or even a monthly goal. For a team project for work- a weekly goal for each member works best, so everyone can see if everyone’s on time, and if one isn’t, then the others can either help or extend the project frame. If it’s something like weight loss, then a monthly goal works better. You don’t need to stand on a scale every week battering yourself about the 1lbs you lost or didn’t lose. Check your measurements not your weight.  So really think about what you’re trying to achieve and then go from there. End your week with a meeting on friday. You should be able to go through your schedule, see all that you have done and be able to plan for the next week. You should make notes on what was achieved, what still needs work, and how you intend to solve issues. In IT there is a lot of detail work, I found writing down the different things I wanted to do, or have solved on my Tech Forum www.realtechtalk.com helped me a ton to keep myself on track and also helps others who run into similar issues.

10. Self Talk
This is bizaare but it works. If you’re hitting a wall, or getting frustrated, you need a 5 minute break. You need some cold water, and you need to talk to yourself. I cannot tell you how much I talked to myself when I hit wall after wall when coding- any coder out there will tell you how frustrating it is when shit doesn’t work and you don’t know why. But it helped me center my thoughts and get back on focus otherwise you’re just running in the same spot.
Things like “It’s fine, I will get this.” or “Don’t panic, you will find an answer” or “Nobody will be able to solve this but you so calm down and find the answer to save the damn world.” Well that last one is a bit much, but whatever it takes man.

11. Organize
Your home, your office space, your mind are all connected. If one of those are a mess, the others will follow. If your home is a mess- you’re gonna be a mess. If your office space is a mess, you’re gonna a be mess. Staying organized, keeping things neat and in their own space will greatly help you with not just productivity but also help your mind not be in constant chaos. It’s actually fact that having a messy working or living environment can cause depression and make you unable to focus. So clean up and declutter your mind.

12. Iron Your Clothes
For a long time, I just took something out of the clean basket and that was it. Then I got married 11 years ago, and suddenly things were being ironed and put away in their drawer (thanks Lazina) and I couldn’t believe how much more confident clean ironed clothes felt. You feel put together and good about not just your appearance but your overall mood feels more…well ironed out.

13. Play A Game
I have several games on my phone and at home. I play them especially during tough moments where I’m stuck on a project or can’t find a solution. I know when I’m losing it and that’s when I decide, time for a game. Not just any game, games that make your mind run. I like car racing games especially, but when I’m stuck on something, I actually play math or maze or puzzle games. This helps the proper side of my brain to relax but also refresh and be ready to solve the problem I’m having. This has literally saved me so many times. Try it.

14. Read A Proper Book
I get asked what books I’m reading and usually it’s just normal books, or kids books that my kids give to me, or the Harry Potter my wife made me read (yeah she bought the whole set and made me read it, and it explains a lot more than the movies so you should too). But you can’t just read self help, life coach, how to make money books all the time. It’s mind bogging, eventually it’s going to wear you out, especially because they are making money off you for buying their words. Read imaginative, creative things that will get your mind thinking creatively rather than in one track.

15. Be Awkward, its’ fine.
I’m an awkward type of person. Up until last year I didn’t have an Instagram account, and both my twitter and LinkedIn were bascially empty. I consider myself more of a lone wolf type, and don’t have a large circle of friends who I go to ‘night out parties’ with. No I have never been to Los Vegas, nor do I drink or smoke. I’m a practicing Muslim and listen to rap, I also tend to befriend genuine people not fake faces. When I speak, it’s geunine, I’m not trying to make you like me, and sometimes this might come off as akward because I’ll flat out say things like ‘it’s great to meet you, lets keep in touch because I like people like you’. It’s not the social norm, I’m sure there’s a better way of saying it, but I don’t have the mindset to change my honesty for social fluff. In 2018, we are too busy trying to be other people that we are losing our geuinine selves and you need to recover yourself from that.

16.  Promise Yourself, “You won’t give up”.
Never give up. I teach my kids that, but I mean it. You might not be happy with your progress, and you’ve made mistakes, and maybe you’re even failing or not acheiving what you wanted to achieve by now. That doesn’t mean give up. That just means you re-plan and get back to it. I have a lot of time on my hands, so I took on a 2 month teaching job at BCIT, this will give me great experience teaching others (which will help me to make a guide book to train staff) and gives me speaking experience. I find talking is one of my weakest points, so I found something that can stop me from being bored and help me improve myself. Back in 2007, if I had given up on the company just because I took on a job, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So don’t give up. Promise yourself that one thing. Even if your plans change, even if your goal changes, don’t give up. Push forward.

You got this. Now go and change your life.  Good luck friends!

Cheers,
A.Yasir

BITCOIN’S VALUE WAS FRAUD?

 The Coordinated Manipulation
According to research done by Professor John Griffin of Texas Finance, last years epic rise for Bitcoin was actually done by coordinated market manipulation.

Professor Griffin goes on to explain that he examined millions of transactions on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, and says that “the US dollar pegged cryptocurrency Tether was used to buy Bitcoin at the times that the latter was falling- which helped ‘stabilize and manipulate’ the price”

First I’ll explain what Griffin’s said, and then I’ll explain why he’s wrong about Bitcoin but right about Tether. And it boils down to his understanding of how Exchanges work and how Bitcoin works.

Griffin said “Fraud and manipulation often leave footprints in the data and it’s nice to have the blockchain to track things,” Griffin told CNBC. Whenever bitcoin fell, Tether was used to buy it to prop up the price again.

“It was creating price support for bitcoin and, over the period that we examined, had huge price effects. Our research would indicate that there are sophisticated people harnessing investor interest for their benefit.”

Bitcoin started 2017 at below $1,000 and by Dec 2017 hit 20,000. But as if February to June 2018 it’s been jumping back and fourth from it’s lowest at $6k to the highest $10k (which didn’t even last)  Tether is the 11th largest cryptocurrency and is pegged to the US dollar. Some critics say Tether owners don’t have enough fiat currency to back its $2.5 billion market capitalization.

Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde told CNBC that neither the exchange nor tether helped to boost bitcoin prices. “Bitfinex nor tether is, or has ever, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,”

Now here’s what I think:

I’ve personally used Tether but I do worry about it. A lot of people have accused Tether of fraud, and Tether certainly hasn’t proven the naysayers.  Do they have the 2.5 billion USD and how are they raising funds?  Essentially as far as I can see, Tether is a non-backed, way of essentially printing virtual USD.  I think Griffin is way off on this one.  USDT (Tether) is a convenient trading pair that can be used with some of the top cryptocurrencies to trade and exchange directly for other coins.

The issue is that a lot of people don’t realize most tokens and currencies are not directly convertible or tradeable for others on exchanges.  Generally you’ll have to sell your ABC alt-coin or tokens for Bitcoin, or USDT and then use the major currency you sold or exchanged to buy say another coin such as Ripple, Litecoin, Lisk etc..  So this is where USDT comes in, if Griffin thinks it propped up Bitcoin I think he is misunderstanding how the exchanges work.  Yes a lot of people are using USDT to buy other currencies but is USDT a market factor?  No, I don’t think so, it’s just simply convenient and I agree with Bitfinex that it doesn’t appear they are using it to prop up Bitcoin.

However, USDT could not be used in such a way if it wasn’t given prominence and primary trading pairs like Bitfinex and other major exchanges have used.  Could some of the exchanges be in cahoots with currencies like USDT and others?  Absolutely, and this is the more likely scenario of market manipulation in the sense that they essentially largely control which currencies fail and flourish.

Any coin that is used as a primary trading pair or in other words directly convertible has more value and will intrinsically be used more as a vehicle to buy coins like Bitcoin.

I think Griffin just raises the simple question about USDT being a fraud and this is the biggest concern but I highly doubt USDT’s existence or trading patterns are responsible for Bitcoin fluctuations directly.  He may derive this from trading patterns but I really just think USDT is a convenient and easy to understand intermediary trading pair vs how you wrap your mind around how many BTC another coin like Ripple, Ethereum or Litcoin is worth etc…

What do you think?

Cheers!
-A. Yasir

Psychopath CEO’s

The Jobs Psychopaths Are In the Most

A person with a Psychopathic personality is defined as having an inflated, narcissistic sense of themselves and are very good at manipulating people. And with the world naturally turning more and more narcissistic with social media and the images of ‘your best self’ (or rather your fake self), it’s getting to be a pretty psychopathic world.

We once considered Ted Bundy and psychopath murderers and honestly world leaders as general well known psychopathy. But as it turns out, the world is filled with psychopaths, and you might just be working next to one. And most surprisingly, is that CEO was ranked #1 for the most psychopaths…I’m a CEO and I’m both worried and fascinated…

So why are there so many psychopathic CEO’s? Well psychopaths tend to go for jobs or careers that put them in leadership positions because they have charisma, are good at making on the spot decisions and are fearless.  They have a goal and they can make it happen and will stop at nothing (including stomping out others) to get what they want.

Kevin Dutton, a British psychologist and writer, specialises in the study of psychopathy, made a list of the types of jobs that attract the MOST PSYCHOPATHS.  In his book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.”

“Functional psychopaths,” as Dutton calls them, “use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society.”  Basically, psychopaths are normal people but have a few traits that make them ‘different’.

10. Civil Servant:
Fun fact, in 2014, UK Government officials considered recruiting psychopaths specifically “to keep order,” because they are “very good in crises” and have “no feelings for others, nor moral code, and tend to be very intelligent and logical.”  Ouch.

9. Chef:
Should they really be in charge of our food and knives? But apparently the 9th most popular job for psychopaths is being a chef. According to Dutton, they thrive in chaos. And the chaos of the kitchen is right up their alley.

8. Clergy Person:
This may come as a surprise because we don’t normally associate such a personality type with this job. But according to FBI veteran Joe Navarro, ‘religious organisations may provide a means for people to exploit others, while also giving legitimacy to their actions.’ It’s also very easy to make alliances.

7. Police Officer:
If you thought clergy person was insane, police officer isn’t too far off.  Keeping calm during a stressful situation comes with the job as police offer. And in this dangerous and high intensity job, being able to control your emotions and think before you act comes as a huge benefit.

6. Journalist – it all makes sense now.
If you thought Elon Musk was right to call out mainstream media who then got a lashing out from media personalities, and thought to yourself, wow these media people aren’t professional at all- then you were right. They’re not professional because they are literal psychopaths. Journalism is yet another popular job for a psychopath.

5. Surgeon:
If you’re in need of a surgery, well don’t worry you’re in good hands.  It’s not what you think, again psychopaths are people who do well in keeping calm during stressful situations and can make quick difficult situations, which they have to make everyday. In this respect, be glad you’re in the caring hands of a psychopath. :)

4. Salesperson
Are you a shameless self promoter, who has no qualms of stealing other peoples work or contracts, have a intense desire to earn the most money and can’t be over shot by anyone? Are you in sales? You should be.

3. Media Person in TV or Audio
Narcissism can be a trait of a psychopath, which you can say is an important part of being a public figure. Being a TV anchor or a radio personality is the 5th job with the most psychopaths.

2. Lawyer
Somehow this doesn’t come as a surprise. You’re going to have to be a very motivated person who can manipulate the ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ to fit the narrative you need. Self confidence and deceitful charm can help create a good lawyer.

And lastly,

1. CEO
Yes, that’s right, CEO’s are the #1 job for psychopaths. I never really viewed myself as a psychopath but here’s some of the traits:
Cool headed during stressful situations.
Able to make decisions quickly during intense situations.
Being able to overcome emotions.
Able to remove emotions during situations and focus on the issue at hand.
Able to maneuver using charm and manipulation.
You get gist. But on top of this, is resilience to chaos.
Resilience to chaos is something we CEO’s have.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re cool headed under stress, it can mean that you cause a lot of crazy for others too because it makes you feel good when everybody around you is struggling…OUCH that hurts my heart.
But some CEO’s use this method to climb that ladder all the way to the very top.  Now this isn’t indicative of all CEO’s, since self confidence, resilience and determined for a end goal is also high drivers of a CEO, but these are eye openers of how others might view their leader.

What do you think? Did your job make the cut? Did you find out a little about yourself? Or do you disagree with the findings?

Cheers!
– A. Yasir