Google’s Co-Founder Sergey Brin Says Ethereum Mining Driving Computer Boom and Renaissance

This is very striking to me in that I find the statement makes no sense and with one word “SETI”.  SETI didn’t set off a computing revolution and still has limited participation.  SETI which is searching for signs of extraterrestrial life has used a sort of grid-computing through unused computing power of its supporters to help search through troves of data that the SETI researchers don’t have the power to do.  I admit back in high school I didn’t want to share my CPU cycles, nor did most other people.

I am drawing this comparison because SETI didn’t start off a frenzy of computer buying to “mine” SETI.  This is because there was no actual reward or benefit to doing it any practical sense.  Mining is only being driven by the hope of big rewards and profits, or in other words greed.  Yes, some computing enthusiasts are getting into mining but does anyone really think that this greed has turned people into computer enthusiasts?  Sales of GPUs would be flat if not for the profits.  If mining because unprofitable the same people who rushed in will rush out, they are speculators and investors, not computing experts or enthusiasts.

Aside from being extremely wasteful, inefficient and ineffective I believe PoW or mining is not sustainable and the long-term currencies that are to survive will be converting to PoS (Proof of Stake).

And this gets to the most ironic point.  Google has recently banned ALL cryptocurrency advertisements.  Maybe Sergey thinks “mining Ethereum is cool and so is cryptocurrency but not if you want to promote it on Google!”.

Nano AKA Raiblocks XRB and Bitgrail Scam $150M Lost!

A good friend of mine asked me about Nano and I honestly haven’t paid much attention to it.  I didn’t even know what it was until I realize it was recently rebranded from Raiblocks (XRB).  That alone set off alarm bells, aside from it being confusing I suspected there must be more of a reason.

The technical side is impressive although I haven’t used it, they have this block-lattice technology which doesn’t use traditional PoW mining.  It confirms transactions individually between two wallets instead of the entire blockchain.  This is a huge plus but the weakness is that they only seem to focus on transaction speed.  The algorithm described that seems to automatically allow successive transactions to be confirmed sounds dangerous.  I may be missing something from the implementation but it sounds like a potentially vulnerability that an attacker could use after doing a transaction with you.  In addition they still use a public ledger so essentially they are solving the transaction speed alone but they may also have introduced a huge attack vector and vulnerability.

They do have some interesting features such as instant transactions and being infinitely scalable.  But I take issue with any team claiming anything is infinite.  To infinitely scale there would have to be infinite computing resources available which there are not.  It could just be marketing but this stuff does catch my attention.  Combined with the timing of their rebrand and a lot of insider trading and selling I am very skeptical of this team.  At the very least, hiding from the Bitgrail fraud by renaming just before the news broke doesn’t seem honest at all.

I think we have it here straight from their own blog.  I believe the Raiblocks team knew of a massive fraud about to go down with Bitgrail well before they let on or claim to have known something was wrong.  I am not saying they were involved but the timing of their re-branding is extremely suspicious.

This is because on January 31st they suddenly announce the rebrand to Nano.

Raiblocks-Rebrands

Then just 8 days later the Bitgrail $150M loss of XRB happened.  As you will see from the Raiblocks own timeline it appears they were possibly aware for weeks or months that something was going down.

Raiblocks-Rebrands1

The Raiblocks own timeline seems to imply they were aware of issues for weeks if not months before.   It does not mean they were directly involved but it gives the appearance that for publicity and to shrug off this massive fraud associated with their project they rebranded just before things hit the fan.

Raiblocks-XRB-ScamOn 10/19 – 2017 it is not clear if Raiblocks knew about the suspicious transaction but they definitely did in February.  Being under maintenance for no good reason to withdraw is always cause for concern on January 8th.  I am sure when the Bitgrail owner left the joint Telegram channel for Raiblocks they knew something was very amiss on 2018-01-25 (6 days before the rename and about 2 weeks before the public announcement of fraud).  I find this timing to be highly suspicious, it reminds of the Bitcoin Gold scam and I have no confidence in this team or currency because of that alone.

Bitgrail in March 2018 has gone on to make a statement claiming they are reopening and that they insist there is a flaw in Raiblocks that caused the theft.  Of course both sides may have motivation to blame the other.  In all fairness at least Bitgrail has pledged to offer some ERC20 tokens they are creating and that users will have access to all of their coins upon reopening (aside from the lost XRB of course).

Cash Fund dedicated to the victims of the NANO theft In view of the forthcoming reopening of Bitgrail.com (we will soon announce the exact date), BitGrail srl intends to inform its users of the details of the soon to be established cash fund dedicated to NANO owners, victims of the theft that was communicated on February 9 2018. Prior to that, a premise concerning the suffered theft and Bitgrail's obligations arising from the theft itself. BitGrail S.r.l intends to stress having been subject to theft, a crime made possible by taking advantage of faults in the team NANO's softwares (rai_node and the official block explorer) and therefore, for these reasons and in accordance with the law, it is not in any way responsible for the situation. We confirm that an investigation led by the legal authorities is underway The purpose of the investigation is to shed light on the theft, therefore we have already provided all the useful elements in order to reconstruct the facts, including the evidence concerning those involved in the fraudolent activity, who took advantage of the vulnerability of NANO's software, thus not Bitgrail's. Those grounds are alone sufficient to relieve BitGrail S.r.l of any refund obligation and/or repayment of the stolen amounts. However, as further demonstration of the good intentions and seriousness of the company, in order to meet its users half-way though without recognition of any liability, BitGrail S.r.l intends, on a voluntary basis, to establish a cash fund (by creating a token) dedicated to the users damaged by the theft. Doing so, they'll be enabled to recover their stolen funds over time. We must specify that, since they are not victim of the theft, users that didn't own NANO will have full access to their coins at the site reopening. (all the coins are safe, apart from XRB). Token BGS (BitGrail Shares) A new token (BGS, BitGrail Shares) is already present on the wallet page. 15.6 MLN of them have been distributed in a 1 to 1 ratio with the stolen NANO. The users who have been damaged by the theft (Meaning solely and exclusively all the NANO owners on Bitgrail) can already see their 20% updated XRB balance and, at the same time, the remaining part (80%) converted into BGS. Access and ownership to/of the BitGrail's token is granted only to users who will accept the settlement agreement, as stated in the next point. The new BitGrail Shares token will have its own market on Bitgrail's platform. It will be possibile to trade the token, but not deposit it or withdraw it. It is not excluded that the abovementioned token could be converted into an apposite cryptocurrency, thus enabling withdrawal and deposit. The first of the month BitGail will use the 50% of the previous month trading fees income in order to reacquire the BGS token, proportionally among the users who have them in their Balance. The tokens' buyback will occurr at the fixed price of 10.5 $ per unit (in Bitcoin), considering an average of BTC/USD pair among various exchanges ( Bitfinex, Binance, Bitstamp...) As said, it will be possible to trade BGS on the platform. Users who own said token will be able to buy and/or sell at a different pricing from the one required for the buyback. Doing so, users will have the chance of liquidating their BGS in advance, whenever there is an adequate market situation with the desired price. Any amount that can, in case, be recovered from those who have perpetrated the unauthorised withdrawals (therefore materially in the availabilty of BitGrail S.r.l) will be immediately destinated to the tokens' owners up to the extent of the pro rata sums subracted from the damaged users. (with value of 10.5$) Agreement with the users With the reopening of the site, the use of the platform for the victims of the theft will be bound by the signature of a settlement agreement. The latter will be characterised by an expressed renouncement from the users to every type of legal action, and will have to be formalized through the compilation of a form. The last will have to be printed, signed and uplodaded with the attached documents. Such renouncement will allow the availability of the BGS tokens above described. In denegata hypothesis, subjects who won't accept the settlement agreement will have no alternative except for the account termination in compliance with the TOSs. Extra UE users As already anticipated in the past, BitGrail won't be able to guarantee the trading to the extra UE users for a limited period of time. Our intention is to reopen the access to the whole world as soon as possible. Extra UE users will be able to deposit and withdraw. The BGS token buypack will also be available. Implementations of the platform With the purpose of guaranteeing a faster execution of the plan concerning the purchase of the tokens owned by the victims of the theft who have accepted the agreement, BitGrail S.r.l. will immediately work on the implementation of the site, focusing on: Markets/pair increasing by adding other criptocurrencies Interface and charts improvements an APP for smartphone / tablet the realization of a referral link system A voting system based on the BGS tokens for the list of new emergent criptocurrencies will be implemented. Thanks for the attention. Bitgrail S.r.l.

It’s hard to know for sure what has gone on in this case.  But this week XVG (Verge Coin) was hacked due to a flaw in how coins are mined, and something similar with Cryptonight for Monero and Bytecoin was also disclosed recently.    Who is to say that the Coincheck NEM issue also wasn’t due to a similar but unknown or undisclosed flaw?

Ethereum Developers Consider Bricking Bitmain’s Antminer ETHash Based ASIC

ETHash has always been considered “ASIC resistant” which is that the made algorithm so it wouldn’t be easy to make an ASIC for it like SHA-256 for Bitcoin, Scrypt for Litecoin and others.  This has been a very controversial issue especially since Bitmain announced they have Cryptonight miners for Monero and ETHash miners for Ethereum to be released soon.

At first I thought the developers had a plan to inject some malicious code that would literally brick the miners firmware or something similar, but the idea of hardforking is much more tame and harmless to everyone but Bitmain and their clients.  There’s also a lot at stake for Bitmain who could be in serious trouble from its buyers if they ship miners that are completely useless.  It remains unseen to know if they could update their firmware to compensate or if completely new ASIC hardware would be required for the update in algorithms.  Either way if Bitmain cannot deliver, it could push them to the brink or at least serious financial damage.  It does cost a lot to R&D and manufacture these ASICs and I could see this pushing them out of business or close to it.

Monero is hardforking in less than 5 days to combat this issue but the Ethereum team is still debating what to do.

Monero-Hardforks-Response-To-Bitmain-ASIC

This is a very interesting situation with competing interests and warring camps involved.  But to me this really outlines serious security flaws with Monero, Ethereum and all other Public, Permissionless Blockchain cryptocurrencies (the vast majority including Bitcoin, Litecoin etc..).

Hardforks are usually done for bad reasons, to counterfeit and copy an existing coin as an easy cashgrab (eg. Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash etc.. Litecoin Cash).  That is one serious integrity and security issue there.  Why is it even possible to literally copy, counterfeit almost any coin?  It devalues the original coin and is essentially stealing from the original coin holders and developers.

But in this case Monero and Ethereum would be doing hardforks for a “good reason” but it’s still a pain.   Would you accept it if your bank did a hardfork and your account stopped working or by not upgrading on time your currency could be lost or converted to another?  I understand why they want to stop ASICs but to me Bitmain is not the problem itself, they are simply exploiting, for profit the weakness that all cryptocurrencies have.  This weakness of PoW or mining is supposed to secure the network but in its absurdity it just makes things slow, insecure and ensures “whoever has the most money to buy more hashing power will control the currency”.  Making it even worse, mining pools and large farms could wreak havoc by broadcasting false transactions, causing others to lose money where they think they’ve received money they haven’t.

Going back to the purpose of mining, in reality today it guarantees two things.  0 security, slow transactions and centralization.  It creates a virtual arms race of whoever can buy enough hashing power is the winner and owner.  This was never the intention of Satoshi or cryptocurrencies.  There’s no way a small, average person will ever be an equal stakeholder in cryptocurrency.  Whether everyone uses an ASIC, CPU or GPU the issue remains the same.  It is a flaw and weakeness in how cryptocurrencies work.

The solution in my view is to make a community-based coin that works off PoS (Proof of State).  Typically these kinds of currencies will be faster and they can be more secure if they are not permissionless (a nice way of saying no security at all and EVERYONE can access the network and broadcast any transaction whether valid or fraudulent).  The whole world shouldn’t be involved in processing my payment for a coffee and they definitely shouldn’t know about it!

So to me when I see people say “mining secures the network”, that was the intention but in practice it’s not the case.

Some serious rewrites in the architecture of all currencies need to be rewritten and the permissionless design and PoW must come to an end for cryptocurrencies to be actually be usable, functional and sustainable for both personal and business use.

The fact that hardforks are even possible or even worse, necessary to stop others from obtaining too much hashing power is proof of concept that mining just doesn’t work.

 

 

Bitmain Reportedly Creates an Ethereum ETHash and Cryptonight Monero ASIC Miner

Some analysts on Wallstreet are claiming this and I would say it is likely credible seeing as how a Cryptonote Miner is being sold on their site now.

1. Hashing algorithm: CryptoNight

Power consumption: 550W

Hashrate: 220KH/s

These are the most conservative estimates. We expect the miners to deliver higher performance and efficiency when they are ready to ship.

2. There are financial risks associated with mining cryptocurrencies. These risks can be related to changes in exchange rate of the cryptocurrency or to changes in the algorithm that is used to mine the cryptocurrency. Please deliberate well before making a purchase because we will not accept any requests for refund for orders of this batch.

3. One major cryptocurrency which is using CryptoNight hash function is about to change their PoW algothrim, and according to their public statement, it is purposely to brick ASIC mining rigs including X3. When you buying it, you are betting that they are wrong

This is one instance where I am happy with Bitmain (unlike the scam they pull where the miner you buy will mine for them until you change the config!  They could at least default it to an account on Hashnet that gives you credit).  But in all fairness for the X3 Cryptonight miner they have given fair warning that there are two significant risks and issues with using their ASIC.

Cryptonight apparently has threatened to do something that would cause these ASICs to brick.  Even if they won’t be bricked Cryptonight has pledged to stop the use of these ASICs which is a huge threat to owning these units from Bitmain.

This could get interesting if they do release an Ethereum ASIC but Ethereum itself has stated they will eventually move to PoS (Proof of State) which will essentially stop all mining.

If the above scenarios play out then I believe most people would point their GPUs at ZCash and Monero instead and those currencies would rise in value.

We’re in very curious and serious times for cryptocurrencies between uncertainty over regulation, government, mining and the future value.  Is Bitmain leading to its doom or leading the market to more growth?

Time will tell and it is really hard to call which way it heads.

First Bitcoin Mining Arrest

In this case a Florida government employee was arrested for “mining Bitcoin”.  But there’s more to the story that is probably missing or inaccurate.

Many people use work resources to mine but this case is unique.  This IT manager apparently spent $22K using his workplace issued credit card on mining hardware including dozens of GPU cards.

Considering we are talking GPUs the IT manager was more probably mining Ethereum or another profitable coin.  It also could be he had some ASICs for Bitcoin running considering he racked up an extra $800/month in power consumption!

The moral of the story is that he wouldn’t have been arrested and charged with theft and fraud had he not used his work credit card.

I could see it being normal for an employee to be disciplined but its  a gray area especially for workplaces without applicable policies for mining.

As much I like mining here is one of the evils that it can impact anyone paying utilites.

Youtube’s Communist Censorship Plan

Youtube has announced it will be the new thought police.  They’ll be doing this by discouraging and contradicting any thoughts, beliefs or theories that are not within mainstream beliefs or teachings.  At this rate they’ll have met the gold standard for censorship and subversion and China will be viewed as an easier place to share your thoughts.  On its face it may not sound that bad to link to Wikipedia articles but in fact anyone can write and manipulate Wikipedia.  Google will be choosing what counterpoints to make by of course selecting which article(s) get linked to.  This is quite alarming and also frustrating since hate, racism and other harmful activity has been rampant on the web ever since it began but no company or government have made any concrete steps to counter it.  So why worry about people posting their alternative beliefs and thoughts online and exposing the lies of the news?  By the gauge of most the mainstream news is the fake news yet media giants like Facebook want to declare thoughts outside of that realm as “Fake News”.  By this method then the PRISM system of spying on and intercepting people’s private information is a “bad conspiracy theory” that people have to be warned away from (of course most now understand this was never a conspiracy since Edward Snowden revealed more details about what most already knew).  There are some valid reasons for this to be done (from the perspective of nice government men and corporate greed).  There is a lot of information being shared on Youtube about pharmaceutical companies and really whole swaths of very solid information about a lot of things going on in our world.  The majority of it is well sourced and quoted and most people won’t view that content as conspiracy.  Could it be that anything that doesn’t fit the viewpoint or ends of certain elite companies and people are what is really being targeted?  Until racism and hate has been cleaned up from these platforms I am just not buying there is any good or genuine reason for Google to do this.    I think we’re heading down a slippery slope to the point where freedom of thought and expression will be completely eliminated gradually through these policies.  Eventually Google will probably start deranking websites which fit into this category of “non-conformity” to the mainstream and elitists.

What do you guys think?  I think it’s time to support Tron (TRX) and any other decentralized social media platforms.  It’s time to take the internet back!

Two Of The Craziest Mining Rigs I’ve Found For Sale!

s-l1600

Unsecured Mining Rig Made With Plastic Piping!

I really can’t believe I’ve found people who have made mining rigs like these.  Imagine that these rigs on average cost minimum of a few thousand or more to build and they are selling these to hold your precious GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit Cards!).  The picture above is literally some kind of plastic piping which the cards sit on, there is absolutely nothing from stopping it from falling off by itself!

My favorite is the trend of people selling rigs made out of plain wood!

 

woods-l1600

As I think everyone knows wood is combustible and these GPUs make a lot of heat.  You would almost think it’s a joke but they are too for sale on eBay.  Now I give some of the sellers this, that the design is good looking and functional but why on earth would you risk a fire by using plain old wood from your local Home Depot?

There are other rigs I’ve seen that look like modified bread or shoe racks and even coffee tables.  They all have pros and cons but it really is downright scary that some of them are completely unsecured and a true fire hazard.  As a test I put some of my GPUs in a server rack and after just a few minutes the glass door and metal housing was actually quite warm to the touch.  Imagine prolonged use against wood or plastic that may melt?