Trons Disappointed Fans

Fans That Disappoint

Fans and supporters took to social media to show their disappointment after the ‘secret announcement’  late last night. Justin Sun and the Tron Team apparently didn’t deliver the ‘marketing & shine’ that people expected.

They were expecting the ‘secret’ segment of the announcement to have more ‘pizazz’ and when they didn’t get it, sent off a twitter storm to console each other or complain. Some going as far expressing how they need to do better marketing and hire people who can do a better job presenting with more enthusiasm….

The other side were die hard supporters (who are capable of ignoring even the bad portions of what Tron does) were saying for once something I agree with: that it’s not about the marketing, it’s about the project.

This complaining about the lack of marketing is a serious issue for me. In an age of ICO scams because of all the marketing glitter, you would think the project is what matters most, not the marketing. If you only focus on the marketing you’re going to miss out. And many thousands missed the followings from the Tron Secret Announcement:

1. TVM- Tron virtual Machine. Is lightweight, Turing complete virutal machine devised for the development of Tron’s ecosystem. It aims to provide millions of global developers with a custom- built system for blockchain that’s efficient, stable, secure and easy to optimize, essentially developer-friendly.

2. 40 mainstream exchanges including Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Upbit, Huoni and OKEx have completely the token migration from the worthless ERC20 tokens to Tron’s mainnet TRX without any financial loss so far for the users- although not all normal users/investors have made the exchange.

3. Tron mainnet so far is running smoothly.

4. There are a total of 92,424,664,154.355837 ERC20 Tokens burnt, accounting for 92.42% of the total issued. Before the migration is completed, the remaining ERC20 tokens will remain valid for exchange at Binance and Gate.io.

5. The TRON network will serve as the underlying protocol of Project Atlas. Hundreds of millions of BT users across the globe will become part of the TRON ecosystem. BT will be the largest application on the TRON network, which will allow TRON to surpass Ethereum on daily transactions and become the most influential public blockchain in the world.

As some might know from my previous post about Tron’s lack of care during this migration, I’m not exactly happy with Tron. The migration itself really unsettled me on their ability to actually do properly what they want with investors in mind. But this ‘marketing and glitter’ issue that most of the supporters and fans are complaining about, makes me uneasy that I’m investing in something that people heavily depend on to be marketing savvy.

Dogecoin is a better investment than many of these ICOs and new coins yet it lacks excitement and flair.  Cryptocurrency users and investors are inviting an ecosystem that rewards exciting sound scams and widgets that are guaranteed to fail.  This may work for the short-term but in the long-term it will be the difference between life and death for currency, projects and profit/loss to the investor.

Tron is actually a really good project, it’s made some great strides, and taking steps in the right direction. Do they need to be marketing hype all the time, especially when Investors like me just want the straight talk about what’s happening and what they are doing.

There’s a serious lack of common sense in cryptocurrency and the investors too.

This is money. This isn’t a high school popularity contest, where you need sparkles every time they hold a dance. And this should mean a lot coming from me, considering I am incredibly hard on Tron for their fiasco of a migration.

These are not issues. Their job is to make the project a success and take Tron to new levels, not to sit there with a marketing team to sparkle you with every meeting.

We have real issues here with Tron, and none of it has to do with their marketing. People really need to look at those issues instead of being upset about the marketing or Justin Sun’s lack of ability to wooo you.

What do you think, am I wrong? Should there be more marketing sparkle for cryptocurrency projects?

Cheers,
A.Yasir

 

Crypto Internet Trolls MasterCard

Step Back Fiat, We Got This.

So Mastercard had an outage, so the CryptoVerse beat it down with tweets to make sure it knew what’s up.

MC4-728x258

After reading so many bash pieces on Elon Musk, it was a welcomed break to read something fun.

Mastercard had a severe outage last week, that piled up to many people being unable to use their cards. Visa had a draw back not long ago, and crypto-internet wouldn’t let the world forget it.

Screen-Shot-2018-07-16-at-4.33.03-PM-728x395

The Financial Times reported that it had a ‘global impact’, creating outrage and frustration from around the globe over this glitch. Customers took to twitter to complain to the credit card giant, which did eventually resolve the issue and service resumed for their customers.

End of story.

Well, not for Crypto Twitter, which took this time and pleasure to give Mastercard and their press team the social media headache of the decade. :)

 100’s of comments poured in with some of the most delightful and hilarious tweets.

MC1-728x484

Oh crypto twitter.

But this public bashing did bring the very nature of blockchain technology and finance into light. If Mastercard adopts with their own private blockchain without the pressmissionless public blockchain, they could very well make a system similar to cryptocurrency. But without the insecurity.

I’m excited to see how the financial world changes alongside cryptocurrency.

The future is near?

A.Yasir

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

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

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

Ethereum: The Story of Casper the Unfriendly Ghost!

A lot of the industry is treating this as new but it has been on the Ethereum team’s roadmap, including this post from Vlad back in 2015.  In plain English, Casper the Friendly Ghost as they call it is the roadmap and implementation that the Ethereum team is beginning to test.  It is the process of how they will switch their network from PoW (mining) to PoS (Proof of Stake).  I will admit I am not envious of how they will go about this task and it is a big job, but the implementation has me shaking my head.  Before anyone cries foul or FUD, I am speaking from an IT and business perspective because the security issues in the crypto world are puzzling to me.

A lot of the key features of this Casper protocol are for example how they plan to “penalize bad nodes” or nodes who misbehave, broadcast false/fake transactions/confirmations etc..  Why should this be possible in the first place?  No one should be able to run a node if they aren’t trustworthy but there is no basis on this elevated privilege in cryptocurrency networks like Ethereum.  Strangers off the street are being trusted to be honest and not mess with the network.  That’s not how business or the world works, nor is it how IT works if you want to stay safe and stay operating.

The craziest part that “has me shaking my head” is the fact that “Validator Nodes” which are essentially “bonded” by depositing at least 1500 ETH which the Ethereum network and team controls.  The onus is then on the node runner to secure the node, keep it running reliably, preventing DDOS attacks and risks that the actions of other nodes could cost you money.  Make no doubt about it, the team is clear you could lose some or all of your money through no fault of your own as a Validator Node.

But let’s back up here, this is an improvement over the current issues but is it solving anything?  At first mining worked to secure the network and stop centralization.  But here we are today where big players with big money and ASICs have centralized most cryptocurrencies, something that wasn’t supposed to happen.  It is clear the small players will hardly play any role in the network of Ethereum with this change to Casper.

Getting back to the security aspect.  What is to stop extremely wealthy people who don’t care about money or have more than enough money to run the majority of Validator Nodes?  Nothing stops them from losing all of their money and they don’t have to care about it if they could setup a one-time heist to fool enough users or even a single user for a single targeted transaction.  Massive bank-heist type frauds would be possible with collusion and owning enough Validator Nodes, and clearly only the wealthy could pull this off.  It would be immoral but not illegal and I would say the Casper system, with bonded node validators is enabling and encouraging it.

Casper is well-intentioned but to me it shows that the cryptocurrency world is far out of touch with basic norms of computing and IT security.  There has got to be a better way that prevents this in the first place.

Ethereum and virtually all coins are already centralized from the start.  This is and continues to be the case since the developers must be trusted whether you like it or not.  Why don’t some teams just centralize under a trustworthy community rather than depending on the honesty and integrity of strangers, or worse inviting only the wealthy to centralize and participate?

One coin I feel that meets my criteria for a secure, functional, fast and affordable coin for both users and business is from the anonymous Sonajin Team (or Team Satoshi 2.0 if I’m correct).    I believe the coin will revolutionize cryptocurrency and will be the best poised for mass adoption.  Naturally I’m going to add that I have bought into it and have a stake, both for my own interest but also with the expectation that it will be a historically smart choice to own some XSJ.

Warren Buffett Wrong About Bitcoin

A lot of seasoned and generally respected investors including Warren Buffett and even Jim Rogers have blasted Bitcoin as everything from a scam to a poor store of value.  Ironically, we view Bitcoin’s number one property as being a good store of value.

The real question is why do so many veteran and seasoned investors warn about Bitcoin?  Some of them say it is because it resembles the tech bubble of the 90’s and others say because the value is derived from nothing.

We feel that this is misinformed somewhat and could it just be that these older investors simply do not understand the technology and viability of cryptocurrency.   Or are they protecting traditional financial assets and tools either as  government shills or inadvertently?

It’s hard to say for sure but Warren Buffett has taken a lot of flak in recent years and has drawn the ire of almost every investor.