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Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking

thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020.
The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more.
In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.
Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000.
DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain.
While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO.
Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud.
On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams.
His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund.
Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity.
You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race?
I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned.
I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated.
Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well?
Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse.
Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump.
In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly?
Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.”
We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was.
You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business?
All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups.
were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that?
Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases.
Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case.
You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not?
Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn.
You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN?
I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles.
In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad?
I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses.
Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there?
My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information.
[Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”]
What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer? [Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.]
I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak?
I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored.
What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein?
I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality?
I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right?
[Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.]
Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy.
You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean?
“Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it.
I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice.
Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests?
I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I​ have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests.​ My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality.
Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that?
I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability.
[Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.]
You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that.
Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa.
I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people.
You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City?
I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future.
You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship?
No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions.
What do you think the investigation will find?
I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad.
[Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”]
But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details.
[Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.]
We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert?
You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room.
Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here.
She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time?
Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job.
During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart?
I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans.
Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election?
Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention.
Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material?
Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.”
[Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.]
So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser.
Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is?
We all are Satoshi Nakamoto.
You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man?
I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend.
OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
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Long live decentralized bitcoin(!) A reading list

Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until a top of $20000 before correcting to where we are today.
During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it)
In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited.
For more threads like this see UASF

Summary / The fundamental tradeoff

A trip to the moon requires a rocket with multiple stages by gmaxwell (must read) https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/438hx0/a_trip_to_the_moon_requires_a_rocket_with/
Bram Cohen, creator of bittorrent, argues against a hard fork to a larger block size https://medium.com/@bramcohen/bitcoin-s-ironic-crisis-32226a85e39f#.558vetum4
gmaxwell's summary of the debate https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1343716.msg13701818#msg13701818
Core devs please explain your vision (see luke's post which also argues that blocks are already too big) https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/61yvvv/request_to_core_devs_please_explain_your_vision/
Mod of btc speaking against a hard fork https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/57hd14/core_reaction_to_viabtc_this_week/d8scokm/
It's becoming clear to me that a lot of people don't understand how fragile bitcoin is https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/59kflj/its_becoming_clear_to_me_that_a_lot_of_people/
Blockchain space must be costly, it can never be free https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4og24h/i_just_attended_the_distributed_trade_conference/
Charlie Lee with a nice analogy about the fundamental tradeoff https://medium.com/@SatoshiLite/eating-the-bitcoin-cake-fc2b4ebfb85e#.444vr8shw
gmaxwell on the tradeoffs https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1520693.msg15303746#msg15303746
jratcliff on the layering https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/59upyh/segwit_the_poison_pill_for_bitcoin/d9bstuw/

Scaling on-chain will destroy bitcoin's decentralization

Peter Todd: How a floating blocksize limit inevitably leads towards centralization [Feb 2013] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=144895.0 mailing list https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2013-February/002176.html with discussion on reddit in Aug 2015 https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/3hnvi8/just_a_little_history_lesson_for_everyone_new_the/
Nick Szabo's blog post on what makes bitcoin so special http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2017/02/money-blockchains-and-social-scalability.html
There is academic research showing that even small (2MB) increases to the blocksize results in drastic node dropoff counts due to the non-linear increase of RAM needed. http://bravenewcoin.com/assets/Whitepapers/block-size-1.1.1.pdf
Reddit summary of above link. In this table, you can see it estimates a 40% drop immediately in node count with a 2MB upgrade and a 50% over 6 months. At 4mb, it becomes 75% immediately and 80% over 6 months. At 8, it becomes 90% and 95%. https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5qw2wa_future_led_by_bitcoin_unlimited_is_a/dd442pw/
Larger block sizes make centralization pressures worse (mathematical) https://petertodd.org/2016/block-publication-incentives-for-miners
Talk at scalingbitcoin montreal, initial blockchain synchronization puts serious constraints on any increase in the block size https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgjrS-BPWDQ&t=2h02m06s with transcript https://scalingbitcoin.org/transcript/montreal2015/block-synchronization-time
Bitcoin's P2P Network: The Soft Underbelly of Bitcoin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6kibPzbrIc someone's notes: https://gist.github.com/romyilano/5e22394857a39889a1e5 reddit discussion https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4py5df/so_f2pool_antpool_btcc_pool_are_actually_one_pool/
In adversarial environments blockchains dont scale https://scalingbitcoin.org/transcript/hongkong2015/in-adversarial-environments-blockchains-dont-scale
Why miners will not voluntarily individually produce smaller blocks https://scalingbitcoin.org/transcript/hongkong2015/why-miners-will-not-voluntarily-individually-produce-smaller-blocks
Hal Finney: bitcoin's blockchain can only be a settlement layer (mostly interesting because it's hal finney and its in 2010) https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/3sb5nj/most_bitcoin_transactions_will_occur_between/
petertodd's 2013 video explaining this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZp7UGgBR0I
luke-jr's summary https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/61yvvv/request_to_core_devs_please_explain_your_vision/dficjhj/
Another jratcliff thread https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6lmpll/explaining_why_big_blocks_are_bad/

Full blocks are not a disaster

Blocks must be always full, there must always be a backlog https://medium.com/@bergealex4/bitcoin-is-unstable-without-the-block-size-size-limit-70db07070a54#.kh2vi86lr
Same as above, the mining gap means there must always be a backlog talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2453&v=iKDC2DpzNbw transcript: https://scalingbitcoin.org/transcript/montreal2015/security-of-diminishing-block-subsidy
Backlogs arent that bad https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/49p011/was_the_fee_event_really_so_bad_my_mind_is/
Examples where scarce block space causes people to use precious resources more efficiently https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4kxxvj/i_just_singlehandedly_increased_bitcoin_network/
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/47d4m2/why_does_coinbase_make_2_transactions_pe
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/53wucs/why_arent_blocks_full_yet/d7x19iv
Full blocks are fine https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5uld1a/misconception_full_blocks_mean_bitcoin_is_failing/
High miner fees imply a sustainable future for bitcoin https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/680tvf/fundamentals_friday_week_of_friday_april_28_2017/dgwmhl7/
gmaxwell on why full blocks are good https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6b57ca/full_blocks_good_or_bad/dhjxwbz/
The whole idea of the mempool being "filled" is wrong headed. The mempool doesn't "clog" or get stuck, or anything like that. https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/7cusnx/to_the_people_still_doubting_that_this_congestion/dpssokf/

Segwit

What is segwit

luke-jr's longer summary https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6033h7/today_is_exactly_4_months_since_the_segwit_voting/df3tgwg/?context=1
Charlie Shrem's on upgrading to segwit https://twitter.com/CharlieShrem/status/842711238853513220
Original segwit talk at scalingbitcoin hong kong + transcript https://youtu.be/zchzn7aPQjI?t=110
https://scalingbitcoin.org/transcript/hongkong2015/segregated-witness-and-its-impact-on-scalability
Segwit is not too complex https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/57vjin/segwit_is_not_great/d8vos33/
Segwit does not make it possible for miners to steal coins, contrary to what some people say https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/5e6bt0/concerns_with_segwit_and_anyone_can_spend/daa5jat/?context=1
https://keepingstock.net/segwit-eli5-misinformation-faq-19908ceacf23#.r8hlzaquz
Segwit is required for a useful lightning network It's now known that without a malleability fix useful indefinite channels are not really possible.
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5tzqtc/gentle_reminder_the_ln_doesnt_require_segwit/ddqgda7/
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5tzqtc/gentle_reminder_the_ln_doesnt_require_segwit/ddqbukj/
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5x2oh0/olaoluwa_osuntokun_all_active_lightning_network/deeto14/?context=3
Clearing up SegWit Lies and Myths: https://achow101.com/2016/04/Segwit-FUD-Clearup
Segwit is bigger blocks https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5pb8vs/misinformation_is_working_54_incorrectly_believe/dcpz3en/
Typical usage results in segwit allowing capacity equivalent to 2mb blocks https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/69i2md/observe_for_yourself_segwit_allows_2_mb_blocks_in/

Why is segwit being blocked

Jihan Wu (head of largest bitcoin mining group) is blocking segwit because of perceived loss of income https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/60mb9e/complete_high_quality_translation_of_jihans/
Witness discount creates aligned incentives https://segwit.org/why-a-discount-factor-of-4-why-not-2-or-8-bbcebe91721e#.h36odthq0 https://medium.com/@SegWit.co/what-is-behind-the-segwit-discount-988f29dc1edf#.sr91dg406
or because he wants his mining enterprise to have control over bitcoin https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6jdyk8/direct_report_of_jihan_wus_real_reason_fo

Segwit is being blocked because it breaks ASICBOOST, a patented optimization used by bitmain ASIC manufacturer

Details and discovery by gmaxwell https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2017-April/013996.html
Reddit thread with discussion https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63otrp/gregory_maxwell_major_asic_manufacturer_is/
Simplified explaination by jonny1000 https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/64qq5g/attempted_explanation_of_the_alleged_asicboost/
http://www.mit.edu/~jlrubin/public/pdfs/Asicboost.pdf
https://medium.com/@jimmysong/examining-bitmains-claims-about-asicboost-1d61118c678d
Evidence https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63yo27/some_circumstantial_evidence_supporting_the_claim/
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63vn5g/please_dont_stop_us_from_using_asicboost_which/dfxmm75/
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63soe3/reverse_engineering_an_asic_is_a_significant_task/dfx9nc
Bitmain admits their chips have asicboost but they say they never used it on the network (haha a likely story) https://blog.bitmain.com/en/regarding-recent-allegations-smear-campaigns/
Worth $100m per year to them (also in gmaxwell's original email) https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/849798529929424898
Other calculations show less https://medium.com/@vcorem/the-real-savings-from-asicboost-to-bitmaintech-ff265c2d305b
This also blocks all these other cool updates, not just segwit https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63otrp/gregory_maxwell_major_asic_manufacturer_is/dfw0ej3/
Summary of bad consequences of asicboost https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/64qq5g/attempted_explanation_of_the_alleged_asicboost/dg4hyqk/?context=1
Luke's summary of the entire situation https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6ego3s/why_is_killing_asicboost_not_a_priority/diagkkb/?context=1
Prices goes up because now segwit looks more likely https://twitter.com/TuurDemeestestatus/849846845425799168
Asicboost discovery made the price rise https://twitter.com/TuurDemeestestatus/851520094677200901
A pool was caught red handed doing asicboost, by this time it seemed fairly certain that segwit would get activated so it didnt produce as much interest as earlier https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6p7lr5/1hash_pool_has_mined_2_invalid_blocks/ and https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6p95dl/interesting_1hash_pool_mined_some_invalid_blocks/ and https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/889475196322811904
This btc user is outraged at the entire forum because they support Bitmain and ASICBOOST https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/67t43y/dragons_den_planned_smear_campaign_of_bitmain/dgtg9l2/
Antbleed, turns out Bitmain can shut down all its ASICs by remote control: http://www.antbleed.com/

What if segwit never activates

What if segwit never activates? https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6ab8js/transaction_fees_are_now_making_btc_like_the_banks/dhdq3id/ with https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5ksu3o/blinded_bearer_certificates/ and https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4xy0fm/scaling_quickly/

Lightning

bitcoinmagazine's series on what lightning is and how it works https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-building-a-bidirectional-payment-channel-1464710791/ https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-creating-the-network-1465326903/ https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/understanding-the-lightning-network-part-completing-the-puzzle-and-closing-the-channel-1466178980/
The Lightning Network ELIDHDICACS (Explain Like I Don’t Have Degrees in Cryptography and Computer Science) https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/the-lightning-network-elidhdicacs
Ligtning will increases fees for miners, not lower them https://medium.com/lightning-resources/the-lightning-paradox-f15ce0e8e374#.erfgunumh
Cost-benefit analysis of lightning from the point of view of miners https://medium.com/@rusty_lightning/miners-and-bitcoin-lightning-a133cd550310#.x42rovlg8
Routing blog post by rusty https://medium.com/@rusty_lightning/routing-dijkstra-bellman-ford-and-bfg-7715840f004 and reddit comments https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/4lzkz1/rusty_russell_on_lightning_routing_routing/
Lightning protocol rfc https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lightning-rfc
Blog post with screenshots of ln being used on testnet https://medium.com/@btc_coach/lightning-network-in-action-b18a035c955d video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxGiMu4V7ns
Video of sending and receiving ln on testnet https://twitter.com/alexbosworth/status/844030573131706368
Lightning tradeoffs http://www.coindesk.com/lightning-technical-challenges-bitcoin-scalability/
Beer sold for testnet lightning https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/62uw23/lightning_network_is_working_room77_is_accepting/ and https://twitter.com/MrHodl/status/848265171269283845
Lightning will result in far fewer coins being stored on third parties because it supports instant transactions https://medium.com/@thecryptoconomy/the-barely-discussed-incredible-benefit-of-the-lightning-network-4ce82c75eb58
jgarzik argues strongly against LN, he owns a coin tracking startup https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/860826532650123264 https://twitter.com/Beautyon_/status/886128801926795264
luke's great debunking / answer of some misinformation questions https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6st4eq/questions_about_lightning_network/dlfap0u/
Lightning centralization doesnt happen https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6vzau5/reminder_bitcoins_key_strength_is_in_being/dm4ou3v/?context=1
roasbeef on hubs and charging fees https://twitter.com/roasbeef/status/930209165728825344 and https://twitter.com/roasbeef/status/930210145790976000

Immutability / Being a swiss bank in your pocket / Why doing a hard fork (especially without consensus) is damaging

A downside of hard forks is damaging bitcoin's immutability https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5em6vu/what_happens_if_segwit_doesnt_activate/dae1r6c/?context=3
Interesting analysis of miners incentives and how failure is possible, don't trust the miners for long term https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5gtew4/why_an_increased_block_size_increases_the_cost_of/daybazj/?context=2
waxwing on the meaning of cash and settlement https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5ei7m3/unconfirmed_transactions_60k_total_fees_14btc/dad001v/
maaku on the cash question https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5i5iq5/we_are_spoiled/db5luiv/?context=1
Digital gold funamentalists gain nothing from supporting a hard fork to larger block sizes https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5xzunq/core_please_compromise_before_we_end_up_with_bu/dem73xg/?context=1
Those asking for a compromise don't understand the underlying political forces https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6ef7wb/some_comments_on_the_bip148_uasf_from_the/dia236b/?context=3
Nobody wants a contentious hard fork actually, anti-core people got emotionally manipulated https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5sq5ocontentious_forks_vs_incremental_progress/ddip57o/
The hard work of the core developers has kept bitcoin scalable https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/3hfgpo/an_initiative_to_bring_advanced_privacy_features/cu7mhw8?context=9
Recent PRs to improve bitcoin scaleability ignored by the debate https://twitter.com/jfnewbery/status/883001356168167425
gmaxwell against hard forks since 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=140233.20
maaku: hard forks are really bad https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zxjza/adam_greg_core_devs_and_big_blockers_now_is_the/df275yk/?context=2

Some metrics on what the market thinks of decentralization and hostile hard forks

The price history shows that the exchange rate drops every time a hard fork threatens: https://i.imgur.com/EVPYLR8.jpg
and this example from 2017 https://twitter.com/WhalePanda/status/845562763820912642
http://imgur.com/a/DuHAn btc users lose money
price supporting theymos' moderation https://i.imgur.com/0jZdF9h.png
old version https://i.imgur.com/BFTxTJl.png
older version https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxqtUakUQAEmC0d.jpg
about 50% of nodes updated to the soft fork node quite quickly https://imgur.com/O0xboVI

Bitcoin Unlimited / Emergent Consensus is badly designed, changes the game theory of bitcoin

Bitcoin Unlimited was a proposed hard fork client, it was made with the intention to stop segwit from activating
A Future Led by Bitcoin Unlimited is a Centralized Future https://blog.sia.tech/a-future-led-by-bitcoin-unlimited-is-a-centralized-future-e48ab52c817a#.p1ly6hldk
Flexible transactions are bugged https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/57tf5g/bitcoindev_bluematt_on_flexible_transactions/
Bugged BU software mines an invalid block, wasting 13 bitcoins or $12k
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5qwtr2/bitcoincom_loses_132btc_trying_to_fork_the/
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/5qx18i/bitcoincom_loses_132btc_trying_to_fork_the/
bitcoin.com employees are moderators of btc https://medium.com/@WhalePanda/the-curious-relation-between-bitcoin-com-anti-segwit-propaganda-26c877249976#.vl02566k4
miners don't control stuff like the block size http://hackingdistributed.com/2016/01/03/time-for-bitcoin-user-voice/
even gavin agreed that economic majority controls things https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5ywoi9/in_2010_gavin_predicted_that_exchanges_ie_the/
fork clients are trying to steal bitcoin's brand and network effect, theyre no different from altcoins https://medium.com/@Coinosphere/why-bitcoin-unlimited-should-be-correctly-classified-as-an-attempted-robbery-of-bitcoin-not-a-9355d075763c#.qeaynlx5m
BU being active makes it easier to reverse payments, increases wasted work making the network less secure and giving an advantage to bigger miners https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5g1x84/bitcoin_unlimited_bu_median_value_of_miner_eb/
bitcoin unlimited takes power away from users and gives it to miners https://medium.com/@alpalpalp/bitcoin-unlimiteds-placebo-controls-6320cbc137d4#.q0dv15gd5
bitcoin unlimited's accepted depth https://twitter.com/tdryja/status/804770009272696832
BU's lying propaganda poster https://imgur.com/osrViDE

BU is bugged, poorly-reviewed and crashes

bitcoin unlimited allegedly funded by kraken stolen coins
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/55ajuh/taint_analysis_on_bitcoin_stolen_from_kraken_on/
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/559miz/taint_analysis_on_btc_allegedly_stolen_from_kraken/
Other funding stuff
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zozmn/damning_evidence_on_how_bitcoin_unlimited_pays/
A serious bug in BU https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5h70s3/bitcoin_unlimited_bu_the_developers_have_realized/
A summary of what's wrong with BU: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5z3wg2/jihanwu_we_will_switch_the_entire_pool_to/devak98/

Bitcoin Unlimited Remote Exploit Crash 14/3/2017

https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zdkv3/bitcoin_unlimited_remote_exploit_crash/ https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zeb76/timbe https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/5zdrru/peter_todd_bu_remote_crash_dos_wtf_bug_assert0_in/
BU devs calling it as disaster https://twitter.com/SooMartindale/status/841758265188966401 also btc deleted a thread about the exploit https://i.imgur.com/lVvFRqN.png
Summary of incident https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zf97j/i_was_undecided_now_im_not/
More than 20 exchanges will list BTU as an altcoin
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zyg6g/bitcoin_exchanges_unveil_emergency_hard_fork/
Again a few days later https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/60qmkt/bu_is_taking_another_shit_timberrrrr

User Activated Soft Fork (UASF)

site for it, including list of businesses supporting it http://www.uasf.co/
luke's view
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5zsk45/i_am_shaolinfry_author_of_the_recent_usedf1dqen/?context=3
threat of UASF makes the miner fall into line in litecoin
https://www.reddit.com/litecoin/comments/66omhlitecoin_global_roundtable_resolution/dgk2thk/?context=3
UASF delivers the goods for vertcoin
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/692mi3/in_test_case_uasf_results_in_miner_consensus/dh3cm34/?context=1
UASF coin is more valuable https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6cgv44/a_uasf_chain_will_be_profoundly_more_valuable/
All the links together in one place https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6dzpew/hi_its_mkwia_again_maintainer_of_uasfbitcoin_on/
p2sh was a uasf https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/blob/v0.6.0/src/main.cpp#L1281-L1283
jgarzik annoyed at the strict timeline that segwit2x has to follow because of bip148 https://twitter.com/jgarzik/status/886605836902162432
Committed intolerant minority https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6d7dyt/a_plea_for_rational_intolerance_extremism_and/
alp on the game theory of the intolerant minority https://medium.com/@alpalpalp/user-activated-soft-forks-and-the-intolerant-minority-a54e57869f57
The risk of UASF is less than the cost of doing nothing https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6bof7a/were_getting_to_the_point_where_a_the_cost_of_not/
uasf delivered the goods for bitcoin, it forced antpool and others to signal (May 2016) https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/antpool-will-not-run-segwit-without-block-size-increase-hard-fork-1464028753/ "When asked specifically whether Antpool would run SegWit code without a hard fork increase in the block size also included in a release of Bitcoin Core, Wu responded: “No. It is acceptable that the hard fork code is not activated, but it needs to be included in a ‘release’ of Bitcoin Core. I have made it clear about the definition of ‘release,’ which is not ‘public.’”"
Screenshot of peter rizun capitulating https://twitter.com/chris_belcher_/status/905231603991007232

Fighting off 2x HF

https://twitter.com/MrHodl/status/895089909723049984
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6h612o/can_someone_explain_to_me_why_core_wont_endorse/?st=j6ic5n17&sh=cc37ee23
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6smezz/segwit2x_hard_fork_is_completely_useless_its_a/?st=j6ic2aw3&sh=371418dd
https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6sbspv/who_exactly_is_segwit2x_catering_for_now_segwit/?st=j6ic5nic&sh=1f86cadd
https://medium.com/@elliotolds/lesser-known-reasons-to-keep-blocks-small-in-the-words-of-bitcoin-core-developers-44861968185e
b2x is most of all about firing core https://twitter.com/WhalePanda/status/912664487135760384
https://medium.com/@StopAndDecrypt/thats-not-bitcoin-this-is-bitcoin-95f05a6fd6c2

Misinformation / sockpuppets

https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6uqz6k/markets_update_bitcoin_cash_rallies_for_three/dlurbpx/
three year old account, only started posting today https://archive.is/3STjH
Why we should not hard fork after the UASF worked: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6sl1qf/heres_why_we_should_not_hard_fork_in_a_few_months/

History

Good article that covers virtually all the important history https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/long-road-segwit-how-bitcoins-biggest-protocol-upgrade-became-reality/
Interesting post with some history pre-2015 https://btcmanager.com/the-long-history-of-the-fight-over-scaling-bitcoin/
The core scalabality roadmap + my summary from 3/2017 https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Decembe011865.html my summary https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5xa5fa/the_core_development_scalability_roadmap/
History from summer 2015 https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/5xg7f8/the_origins_of_the_blocksize_debate/
Brief reminders of the ETC situation https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6nvlgo/simple_breakdown_of_bip91_its_simply_the_miners/dkcycrz/
Longer writeup of ethereum's TheDAO bailout fraud https://www.reddit.com/ethereumfraud/comments/6bgvqv/faq_what_exactly_is_the_fraud_in_ethereum/
Point that the bigblocker side is only blocking segwit as a hostage https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/5sqhcq/daily_discussion_wednesday_february_08_2017/ddi3ctv/?context=3
jonny1000's recall of the history of bitcoin https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6s34gg/rbtc_spreading_misinformation_in_rbitcoinmarkets/dl9wkfx/

Misc (mostly memes)

libbitcoin's Understanding Bitcoin series (another must read, most of it) https://github.com/libbitcoin/libbitcoin/wiki/Understanding-Bitcoin
github commit where satoshi added the block size limit https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/63859l/github_commit_where_satoshi_added_the_block_size/
hard fork proposals from some core devs https://bitcoinhardforkresearch.github.io/
blockstream hasnt taken over the entire bitcoin core project https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/622bjp/bitcoin_core_blockstream/
blockstream is one of the good guys https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6cttkh/its_happening_blockstream_opens_liquid_sidechain/dhxu4e
Forkers, we're not raising a single byte! Song lyrics by belcher https://gist.github.com/chris-belche7264cd6750a86f8b4a9a
Some stuff here along with that cool photoshopped poster https://medium.com/@jimmysong/bitcoin-realism-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-1mb-blocks-c191c35e74cb
Nice graphic https://twitter.com/RNR_0/status/871070843698380800
gmaxwell saying how he is probably responsible for the most privacy tech in bitcoin, while mike hearn screwed up privacy https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6azyme/hey_bu_wheres_your_testnet/dhiq3xo/?context=6
Fairly cool propaganda poster https://twitter.com/urbanarson/status/880476631583924225
btc tankman https://i.redd.it/gxjqenzpr27z.png https://twitter.com/DanDarkPill/status/853653168151986177
asicboost discovery meme https://twitter.com/allenscottoshi/status/849888189124947971
https://twitter.com/urbanarson/status/882020516521013250
gavin wanted to kill the bitcoin chain https://twitter.com/allenscottoshi/status/849888189124947971
stuff that btc believes https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6ld4a5/serious_is_the_rbtc_and_the_bu_crowd_a_joke_how/djszsqu/
after segwit2x NYA got agreed all the fee pressure disappeared, laurenmt found they were artificial spam https://twitter.com/i/moments/885827802775396352
theymos saying why victory isnt inevitable https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6lmpll/explaining_why_big_blocks_are_bad/djvxv2o/
with ignorant enemies like these its no wonder we won https://bitco.in/forum/threads/gold-collapsing-bitcoin-up.16/page-999 ""So, once segwit2x activates, from that moment on it will require a coordinated fork to avoid the up coming "baked in" HF. ""
a positive effect of bcash, it made blockchain utxo spammers move away from bitcoin https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/76lv0b/cryptograffitiinfo_now_accepts_bitcoin_cash/dof38gw/
summary of craig wright, jihan wu and roger ver's positions https://medium.com/@HjalmarPeters/the-big-blockers-bead6027deb2
Why is bitcoin so strong against attack?!?! (because we're motivated and awesome) https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/64wo1h/bitcoin_unlimited_is_being_blocked_by_antivirus/dg5n00x/
what happened to #oldjeffgarzik https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/6ufv5x/a_reminder_of_some_of_jeff_garziks_greatest/
big blockers fully deserve to lose every last bitcoin they ever had and more https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/756nxf/daily_discussion_monday_october_09_2017/do5ihqi/
gavinandresen brainstorming how to kill bitcoin with a 51% in a nasty way https://twitter.com/btcdrak/status/843914877542567937
Roger Ver as bitcoin Judas https://imgur.com/a/Rf1Pi
A bunch of tweets and memes celebrating UASF
https://twitter.com/shaolinfry/status/842457019286188032 | https://twitter.com/SatoshiLite/status/888335092560441345 | https://twitter.com/btcArtGallery/status/887485162925285377 | https://twitter.com/Beautyon_/status/888109901611802624 | https://twitter.com/Excellion/status/889211512966873088 | https://twitter.com/lopp/status/888200452197801984 | https://twitter.com/AlpacaSW/status/886988980524396544 | https://twitter.com/BashCo_/status/877253729531162624 | https://twitter.com/tdryja/status/865212300361379840 | https://twitter.com/Excellion/status/871179040157179904 | https://twitter.com/TraceMayestatus/849856343074902016 | https://twitter.com/TraceMayestatus/841855022640033792 | https://fs.bitcoinmagazine.com/img/images/Screen_Shot_2017-08-18_at_01.36.47.original.png
submitted by belcher_ to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Vendor = Billmaker

Article: https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-dark-web-counterfeiter-20190201-story.html
The dark web puts a new twist on the age-old practice of counterfeiting
When Secret Service Agent Matthew Britsch began trawling for major counterfeiters in the shadowy marketplaces of the dark web, he acted like any smart consumer on eBay — he studied the reviews.
Britsch knew he had struck gold when he found Billmaker, the online moniker of an anonymous counterfeiter who promised a high-quality $100 bill and a money-back guarantee. He even had a loyal fan base who praised his work and customer service with scores of positive reviews.
"Very good quality and got here quick,” one gushed.
"All passed with no issue whatsoever,” another wrote, approvingly. "FRESH CLEAN BILLS!" agreed a third.
“Billmaker was a five-star guy,” said Britsch. “He wanted those five-star reviews to help him sell more bills. That was clearly his goal.”
The agent clicked “buy” and in September 2017 purchased four fake $100 bills for $120 in bitcoin, the online cryptocurrency. The counterfeits arrived on time and were as good as promised.
An analysis by Secret Service experts linked the fraudulent bills to thousands of others that had been passed with a total face value of $4.1 million. That made Billmaker the nation’s most prolific domestic counterfeiter.
Britsch’s buy sparked a nine-month investigation into the murkiest corners of the dark web, where cyber-savvy criminals use online bazaars to anonymously buy and sell goods ranging from firearms and illegal drugs to fake identification and stolen cars.
“It’s all there for sale,” said Glen M. Kessler, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s five-agent Savannah office. “Right in the open. But while it provides anonymity to criminals, it also provides anonymity to law enforcement. They can’t tell who they are selling to. And so we went fishing.”
The Secret Service, best known for protecting presidents, was formed in 1865 to fight an epidemic of counterfeiting that was strangling the U.S. economy.
Today counterfeit U.S. bills are only a tiny fraction of currency in circulation. Even so, the Secret Service made more than 1,580 counterfeiting-related arrests last fiscal year, seizing $204 million in phony bills. Banks and retailers collected an additional $107 million.
Once dominated by artisans who minted carefully forged greenbacks on large offset presses, domestic counterfeiters now typically rely on computers, scanners and laser printers. And some use the dark web to sell their high-quality fakes online.
The dark web’s backbone is a system called the Onion Router, known as Tor, a network of software and online connections that mask those who use it. Tor has attracted both criminal and legitimate users — political dissidents overseas, for example — seeking to avoid government surveillance.
In 2017, Kessler turned an office supply room into a hub for dark web counterfeit investigations. He had two rules: Targets had to be real players — “Not your guy printing $2,000 off on an inkjet at home,” Kessler said — and live in the United States.
“We thought it would be too difficult to catch the ones operating in South America or overseas,” he said.
Agents used the customer reviews as a guide and quickly came across Billmaker. In addition to the bitcoin-backed guarantee, Billmaker offered free tracking of his packages through the U.S. mail.
That was a mistake. Secret Service agents were able to track Billmaker’s shipment to Britsch from the Oklahoma City area, a crucial starting clue.
They were impressed when the red-and-blue envelope arrived. The fakes — reproductions of $100 bills phased out in 2013 in favor of a harder-to-fake currency had been printed on high-quality laser printers and specialty paper. The bogus Benjamins had a decent fake security strip. They even felt real.
Within a month, thanks to analysis by Secret Service experts in Washington, the agents knew they were chasing Daniel Johnson, a notorious counterfeiter who had been printing and passing fake bills since at least 2015. His last known address was near Oklahoma City.
Johnson, 34, was also considered dangerous. He was a firearms enthusiast and a member of the “prepper” movement, activists who stockpile food, ammunition and other supplies because they believe a nuclear war or other catastrophe is likely to occur.
Johnson had served three years in federal prison for selling pirated copies of Microsoft Office. But he was arrested again in February 2016 on counterfeiting charges.
Released on bond, he turned down a plea deal offer and vanished. In February 2017, a federal grand jury indicted him on charges of counterfeiting and growing marijuana.
Johnson was so angry at the justice system that his lawyer, M. Michael Arnett, worried he might resort to violence if arrested. Arnett said he consulted legal ethics experts before he passed a warning to federal prosecutors.
“I was concerned he was not going to be taken alive if officers tried to arrest him, and that toll would be higher if they were not forewarned,” Arnett said.
With that danger in mind, agents in Savannah returned to the dark web in October 2017 to buy more counterfeit bills. But the marketplace had disappeared. Billmaker’s online trail went cold.
Marissa Elliott, a university student and bartender in Norman, Okla., met Johnson when he took a seat at her bar in June 2017 and she caught his “big blue eyes” lingering on her.
Tall and muscular, he was also quiet and reserved. He didn’t even offer his name. But the bartender checked his driver’s license before serving him a beer and saw he was Ross Moore, 36, from Florida.
It was the first of many lies.
They soon started dating. They celebrated his fake birthday that July and moved in February 2018 into a converted shed in Noble, about 30 miles south of Oklahoma City. The tiny house was hidden in dense woods.
A talented artist, Johnson rendered hand-drawn portraits of relatives and friends. He initially said he worked in information technology and had attended college, majoring in psychology. Elliott found a Harvard diploma and ID card in a drawer; she didn’t know they were fakes.
Johnson never used credit cards or wrote checks. He explained to Elliott that he relied on cash because he was an investor in a marijuana business that was prohibited from using banks.
He told her he had been divorced, which was true, and that a screen-saver photo of a young girl on his computer was of his niece, which was false. It was his daughter.
As the months passed, Johnson suffered frequent nightmares and spent time on strange conspiracy websites. Elliott believed his stress stemmed from secret work he claimed he had done for the government.
“He told me he had seen horrible things,” she said.
When they drove to a cabin where he was preparing for the demise of society, he insisted she put her cellphone in a Faraday bag, a shielded satchel that blocks electronic signals, so they couldn’t be tracked.
In the late spring of 2018, he bought tickets so Elliott and her mother could take a bucket-list vacation in Thailand. They spoke daily by phone. But one morning in May, he seemed distant and distracted.
“It was like he was in a rush to get someplace,” she said.
The Secret Service was closing in.
After falling off the map, Billmaker suddenly had popped up on other dark web marketplaces. In January 2018, agents bought four fake $100 bills from him. They did it again in April.
Working with agents in Oklahoma City, the Savannah squad narrowed its hunt to around Norman, about 20 miles away.
U.S. postal inspectors studied Johnson’s tracking numbers and examined dozens of bags of mail. They discovered he had mailed his packages from blue post boxes across the parking lot from the Norman Police Department.
After several weeks of surveillance, federal agents determined Johnson was driving a black Ford F-250 pickup. It was registered to Ross Moore of Florida, a real person who had reported his identity had been stolen.
Johnson had bought the truck for $58,000 in cash.
Agents traced him to an apartment in Norman, where he probably collected mail and supplies; a house in the Oklahoma City suburb of Yukon, which was his main counterfeiting plant; and his secluded home in Noble.
As he drove out of his gravel driveway in Noble on May 17, 2018, a 10-car convoy of federal and local law enforcement officials led by the U.S. Marshals Service closed in, sirens blaring.
Johnson swerved to the shoulder, hopped out and began firing an AR-15 rifle. A gun battle raged for nearly a minute before Johnson was killed. No agents were injured.
Searching the house in Yukon, agents found about $300,000 in fake $100 bills, lined up and hanging to dry in neat rows.
Agents also seized several computers protected by encryption, which the Secret Service has not been able to crack.
“There are so many questions I would have liked to ask him,” said Wesley Gillespie, a Secret Service agent who chased Johnson for a year. “How did he learn to make these so well? Who taught him? Where is the bitcoin?”
Investigators may have a clue. When they searched Johnson’s body, they found a computer thumb drive jammed in an ankle holster. The device contained 50 screen grabs of text messages.
Agents suspect it is a digital key to unlock a bitcoin or computer vault. Even so, they concede they may never crack the counterfeiter’s dark web of secrets.
submitted by DrinkMoreCodeMore to DNMBusts [link] [comments]

Console gaming is hardly different from PC gaming, and much of what people say about PC gaming to put it above console gaming is often wrong.

I’m not sure about you, but for the past few years, I’ve been hearing people go on and on about PCs "superiority" to the console market. People cite various reasons why they believe gaming on a PC is “objectively” better than console gaming, often for reasons related to power, costs, ease-of-use, and freedom.
…Only problem: much of what they say is wrong.
There are many misconceptions being thrown about PC gaming vs Console gaming, that I believe need to be addressed. This isn’t about “PC gamers being wrong,” or “consoles being the best,” absolutely not. I just want to cut through some of the stuff people use to put down console gaming, and show that console gaming is incredibly similar to PC gaming. I mean, yes, this is someone who mainly games on console, but I also am getting a new PC that I will game on as well, not to mention the 30 PC games I already own and play. I’m not particularly partial to one over the other.
Now I will mainly be focusing on the PlayStation side of the consoles, because I know it best, but much of what I say will apply to Xbox as well. Just because I don’t point out many specific Xbox examples, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there.

“PCs can use TVs and monitors.”

This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is the implication of one, and overall just… confusing. This is in some articles and the pcmasterrace “why choose a PC” section, where they’re practically implying that consoles can’t do this. I mean, yes, as long as the ports of your PC match up with your screen(s) inputs, you could plug a PC into either… but you could do the same with a console, again, as long as the ports match up.
I’m guessing the idea here is that gaming monitors often use Displayport, as do most dedicated GPUs, and consoles are generally restricted to HDMI… But even so, monitors often have HDMI ports. In fact, PC Magazine has just released their list of the best gaming monitors of 2017, and every single one of them has an HDMI port. A PS4 can be plugged into these just as easily as a GTX 1080.
I mean, even if the monitoTV doesn’t have HDMI or AV to connect with your console, just use an adaptor. If you have a PC with ports that doesn’t match your monitoTV… use an adapter. I don’t know what the point of this argument is, but it’s made a worrying amount of times.

“On PC, you have a wide range of controller options, but on console you’re stuck with the standard controller."

Are you on PlayStation and wish you could use a specific type of controller that suits your favorite kind of gameplay? Despite what some may believe, you have just as many options as PC.
Want to play fighting games with a classic arcade-style board, featuring the buttons and joystick? Here you go!
Want to get serious about racing and get something more accurate and immersive than a controller? Got you covered.
Absolutely crazy about flying games and, like the racers, want something better than a controller? Enjoy!
Want Wii-style motion controls? Been around since the PS3. If you prefer the form factor of the Xbox One controller but you own a PS4, Hori’s got you covered. And of course, if keyboard and mouse it what keeps you on PC, there’s a PlayStation compatible solution for that. Want to use the keyboard and mouse that you already own? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Of course, these aren’t isolated examples, there are plenty of options for each of these kind of controllers. You don’t have to be on PC to enjoy alternate controllers.

“On PC you could use Steam Link to play anywhere in your house and share games with others.”

PS4 Remote play app on PC/Mac, PSTV, and PS Vita.
PS Family Sharing.
Using the same PSN account on multiple PS4s/Xbox Ones and PS3s/360s, or using multiple accounts on the same console.
In fact, if multiple users are on the same PS4, only one has to buy the game for both users to play it on that one PS4. On top of that, only one of them has to have PS Plus for both to play online (if the one with PS Plus registers the PS4 as their main system).
PS4 Share Play; if two people on separate PS4s want to play a game together that only one of them owns, they can join a Party and the owner of the game can have their friend play with them in the game.
Need I say more?

“Gaming is more expensive on console.”

Part one, the Software
This is one that I find… genuinely surprising. There’s been a few times I’ve mentioned that part of the reason I chose a PS4 is for budget gaming, only to told that “games are cheaper on Steam.” To be fair, there are a few games on PSN/XBL that are more expensive than they are on Steam, so I can see how someone could believe this… but apparently they forgot about disks.
Dirt Rally, a hardcore racing sim game that’s… still $60 on all 3 platforms digitally… even though its successor is out.
So does this mean you have to pay full retail for this racing experience? Nope, because disk prices.
Just Cause 3, an insane open-world experience that could essentially be summed up as “break stuff, screw physics.” And it’s a good example of where the Steam price is lower than PSN and XBL:
Not by much, but still cheaper on Steam, so cheaper on PC… Until you look at the disk prices.
See my point? Often times the game is cheaper on console because of the disk alternative that’s available for practically every console-available game. Even when the game is brand new.
Dirt 4 - Remember that Dirt Rally successor I mentioned?
Yes, you could either buy this relatively new game digitally for $60, or just pick up the disk for a discounted price. And again, this is for a game that came out 2 months ago, and even it’s predecessor’s digital cost is locked at $60. Of course, I’m not going to ignore the fact that Dirt 4 is currently (as of writing this) discounted on Steam, but on PSN it also happens to be discounted for about the same amount.
Part 2: the Subscription
Now… let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: PS Plus and Xbox Gold. Now these would be ignorable, if they weren’t required for online play (on the PlayStation side, it’s only required for PS4, but still). So yes, it’s still something that will be included in the cost of your PS4 or Xbox One/360, assuming you play online. Bummer, right?
Here’s the thing, although that’s the case, although you have to factor in this $60 cost with your console, you can make it balance out, at worst, and make it work out for you as a budget gamer, at best. As nice as it would be to not have to deal with the price if you don’t want to, it’s not like it’s a problem if you use it correctly.
Imagine going to a new restaurant. This restaurant has some meals that you can’t get anywhere else, and fair prices compared to competitors. Only problem: you have to pay a membership fee to have the sides. Now you can have the main course, sit down and enjoy your steak or pasta, but if you want to have a side to have a full meal, you have to pay an annual fee.
Sounds shitty, right? But here’s the thing: not only does this membership allow you to have sides with your meal, but it also allows you to eat two meals for free every month, and also gives you exclusive discounts for other meals, drinks, and desserts.
Let’s look at PS Plus for a minute: for $60 per year, you get:
  • 2 free PS4 games, every month
  • 2 free PS3 games, every month
  • 1 PS4/PS3 and Vita compatible game, and 1 Vita-only game, every month
  • Exclusive/Extended discounts, especially during the weekly/seasonal sales (though you don’t need PS Plus to get sales, PS Plus members get to enjoy the best sales)
  • access to online multiplayer
So yes, you’re paying extra because of that membership, but what you get with that deal pays for it and then some. In fact, let’s ignore the discounts for a minute: you get 24 free PS4 games, 24 free PS3 games, and 12 Vita only + 12 Vita compatible games, up to 72 free games every year. Even if you only one of these consoles, that’s still 24 free games a year. Sure, maybe you get games for the month that you don’t like, then just wait until next month.
In fact, let’s look at Just Cause 3 again. It was free for PS Plus members in August, which is a pretty big deal. Why is this significant? Because it’s, again, a $60 digital game. That means with this one download, you’ve balanced out your $60 annual fee. Meaning? Every free game after that is money saved, every discount after that is money saved. And this is a trend: every year, PS Plus will release a game that balances out the entire service cost, then another 23 more that will only add icing to that budget cake. Though, you could just count games as paying off PS Plus until you hit $60 in savings, but still.
All in all, PS Plus, and Xbox Gold which offers similar options, saves you money. On top of that, again, you don't need to have these to get discounts, but with these memberships, you get more discounts.
Now, I’ve seen a few Steam games go up for free for a week, but what about being free for an entire month? Not to mention that; even if you want to talk about Steam Summer Sales, what about the PSN summer sale, or again, disc sale discounts? Now a lot of research and math would be needed to see if every console gamer would save money compared to every Steam gamer for the same games, but at the very least? The costs will balance out, at worst.
Part 3, the Systems
  • Xbox and PS2: $299
  • Xbox 360 and PS3: $299 and $499, respectively
  • Xbox One and PS4: $499 and $399, respectively.
Rounded up a few dollars, that’s $1,000 - $1,300 in day-one consoles, just to keep up with the games! Crazy right? So called budget systems, such a rip-off.
Well, keep in mind that the generations here aren’t short.
The 6th generation, from the launch of the PS2 to the launch of the next generation consoles, lasted 5 years, 6 years based on the launch of the PS3 (though you could say it was 9 or 14, since the Xbox wasn’t discontinued until 2009, and the PS2 was supported all the way to 2014, a year after the PS4 was released). The 7th gen lasted 7 - 8 years, again depending on whether you count the launch of the Xbox 360 to PS3. The 8th gen so far has lasted 4 years. That’s 17 years that the console money is spread over. If you had a Netflix subscription for it’s original $8 monthly plan for that amount of time, that would be over $1,600 total.
And let’s be fair here, just like you could upgrade your PC hardware whenever you wanted, you didn’t have to get a console from launch. Let’s look at PlayStation again for example: In 2002, only two years after its release, the PS2 retail price was cut from $300 to $200. The PS3 Slim, released 3 years after the original, was $300, $100-$200 lower than the retail cost. The PS4? You could’ve either gotten the Uncharted bundle for $350, or one of the PS4 Slim bundles for $250. This all brings it down to $750 - $850, which again, is spread over a decade and a half. This isn’t even counting used consoles, sales, or the further price cuts that I didn’t mention.
Even if that still sounds like a lot of money to you, even if you’re laughing at the thought of buying new systems every several years, because your PC “is never obsolete,” tell me: how many parts have you changed out in your PC over the years? How many GPUs have you been through? CPUs? Motherboards? RAM sticks, monitors, keyboards, mice, CPU coolers, hard drives— that adds up. You don’t need to replace your entire system to spend a lot of money on hardware.
Even if you weren’t upgrading for the sake of upgrading, I’d be amazed if the hardware you’ve been pushing by gaming would last for about 1/3 of that 17 year period. Computer parts aren’t designed to last forever, and really won’t when you’re pushing them with intensive gaming for hours upon hours. Generally speaking, your components might last you 6-8 years, if you’ve got the high-end stuff. But let’s assume you bought a system 17 years ago that was a beast for it’s time, something so powerful, that even if it’s parts have degraded over time, it’s still going strong. Problem is: you will have to upgrade something eventually.
Even if you’ve managed to get this far into the gaming realm with the same 17 year old hardware, I’m betting you didn’t do it with a 17 year Operating System. How much did Windows 7 cost you? Or 8.1? Or 10? Oh, and don’t think you can skirt the cost by getting a pre-built system, the cost of Windows is embedded into the cost of the machine (why else would Microsoft allow their OS to go on so many machines).
Sure, Windows 10 was a free upgrade for a year, but that’s only half of it’s lifetime— You can’t get it for free now, and not for the past year. On top of that, the free period was an upgrade; you had to pay for 7 or 8 first anyway.
Point is, as much as one would like to say that they didn’t need to buy a new system every so often for the sake of gaming, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying for hardware, and even if they’ve only been PC gaming recently, you’ll be spending money on hardware soon enough.

“PC is leading the VR—“

Let me stop you right there.
If you add together the total number of Oculus Rifts and HTC Vives sold to this day, and threw in another 100,000 just for the sake of it, that number would still be under the number of PSVR headsets sold.
Why could this possibly be? Well, for a simple reason: affordability. The systems needed to run the PC headsets costs $800+, and the headsets are $500 - $600, when discounted. PSVR on the other hand costs $450 for the full bundle (headset, camera, and move controllers, with a demo disc thrown in), and can be played on either a $250 - $300 console, or a $400 console, the latter recommended. Even if you want to say that the Vive and Rift are more refined, a full PSVR set, system and all, could cost just over $100 more than a Vive headset alone.
If anything, PC isn’t leading the VR gaming market, the PS4 is. It’s the system bringing VR to the most consumers, showing them what the future of gaming could look like. Not to mention that as the PlayStation line grows more powerful (4.2 TFLOP PS4 Pro, 10 TFLOP “PS5…”), it won’t be long until the PlayStation line can use the same VR games as PC.
Either way, this shows that there is a console equivalent to the PC VR options. Sure, there are some games you'd only be able to play on PC, but there are also some games you'd only be able to play on PSVR.
…Though to be fair, if we’re talking about VR in general, these headsets don’t even hold a candle to, surprisingly, Gear VR.

“If it wasn’t for consoles holding devs back, then they would be able to make higher quality games.”

This one is based on the idea that because of how “low spec” consoles are, that when a developer has to take them in mind, then they can’t design the game to be nearly as good as it would be otherwise. I mean, have you ever seen the minimum specs for games on Steam?
GTA V
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Just Cause 3
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k, 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (2GB) / AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)
Fallout 4
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
Overwatch
  • CPU: Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460, ATI Radeon™ HD 4850, or Intel® HD Graphics 4400
Witcher 3
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz / AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660 / AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
Actually, bump up all the memory requirements to 8 GBs, and those are some decent specs, relatively speaking. And keep in mind these are the minimum specs to even open the games. It’s almost as if the devs didn’t worry about console specs when making a PC version of the game, because this version of the game isn’t on console. Or maybe even that the consoles aren’t holding the games back that much because they’re not that weak. Just a hypothesis.
But I mean, the devs are still ooobviously having to take weak consoles into mind right? They could make their games sooo much more powerful if they were PC only, right? Right?
No. Not even close.
iRacing
  • CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7 or better or AMD Bulldozer or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce 2xx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory / AMD 5xxx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
These are PC only games. That’s right, no consoles to hold them back, they don’t have to worry about whether an Xbox One could handle it. Yet, they don’t require anything more than the Multiplatform games.
Subnautica
  • CPU: Intel Haswell 2 cores / 4 threads @ 2.5Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 4600 or equivalent - This includes most GPUs scoring greater than 950pts in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark
Rust
  • CPU: 2 ghz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11 (they don’t even list a GPU)
So what’s the deal? Theoretically, if developers don’t have to worry about console specs, then why aren’t they going all-out and making games that no console could even dream of supporting?
Low-end PCs.
What, did you think people only game on Steam if they spent at least $500 on gaming hardware? Not all PC gamers have gaming-PC specs, and if devs close their games out to players who don’t have the strongest of PCs, then they’d be losing out on a pretty sizable chunk of their potential buyers.
Saying “devs having to deal with consoles is holding gaming back” is like saying “racing teams having to deal with Ford is holding GT racing back.” A: racing teams don’t have to deal with Ford if they don’t want to, which is probably why many of them don’t, and B: even though Ford doesn’t make the fastest cars overall, they still manage to make cars that are awesome on their own, they don’t even need to be compared to anything else to know that they make good cars.
I want to go back to that previous point though, developers having to deal with low-end PCs, because it’s integral to the next point:

“PCs are more powerful, gaming on PC provides a better experience.”

This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is… misleading.
Did you know that according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey (July 2017) , the percentage of Steam gamers who use a GPU that's less powerful than that of a PS4 Slim’s GPU is well over 50%? Things get dismal when compared to the PS4 Pro (Or Xbox One X). On top of that, the percentage of PC gamers who own a Nvidia 10 series card is about 20% (about 15% for the 1060, 1080 and 1070 owners).
Now to be fair, the large majority of gamers have CPUs with considerably high clock speeds, which is the main factor in CPU gaming performance. But, the number of Steam gamers with as much RAM or more than a PS4 or Xbox One is less than 50%, which can really bottleneck what those CPUs can handle.
These numbers are hardly better than they were in 2013, all things considered. Sure, a PS3/360 weeps in the face of even a $400 PC, but in this day in age, consoles have definitely caught up.
Sure, we could mention the fact that even 1% of Steam accounts represents over 1 million accounts, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the 10s of millions of 8th gen consoles sold; looking at it that way, sure the number of Nvidia 10 series owners is over 20 million, but that ignores the fact that there are over 5 times more 8th gen consoles sold than that.
Basically, even though PCs run on a spectrum, saying they're more powerful “on average” is actually wrong. Sure, they have the potential for being more powerful, but most of the time, people aren’t willing to pay the premium to reach those extra bits of performance.
Now why is this important? What matters are the people who spent the premium cost for premium parts, right? Because of the previous point: PCs don’t have some ubiquitous quality over the consoles, developers will always have to keep low-end PCs in mind, because not even half of all PC players can afford the good stuff, and you have to look at the top quarter of Steam players before you get to PS4-Pro-level specs. If every Steam player were to get a PS4 Pro, it would be an upgrade for over 60% of them, and 70% of them would be getting an upgrade with the Xbox One X.
Sure, you could still make the argument that when you pay more for PC parts, you get a better experience than you could with a console. We can argue all day about budget PCs, but a console can’t match up to a $1,000 PC build. It’s the same as paying more for car parts, in the end you get a better car. However, there is a certain problem with that…

“You pay a little more for a PC, you get much more quality.”

The idea here is that the more you pay for PC parts, the performance increases at a faster rate than the price does. Problem: that’s not how technology works. Paying twice as much doesn’t get you twice the quality the majority of the time.
For example, let’s look at graphics cards, specifically the GeForce 10 series cards, starting with the GTX 1050.
  • 1.8 TFLOP
  • 1.35 GHz base clock
  • 2 GB VRAM
  • $110
This is our reference, our basis of comparison. Any percentages will be based on the 1050’s specs.
Now let’s look at the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050’s older brother.
  • 2.1 TFLOP
  • 1.29 GHz base clock
  • 4 GB VRAM
  • $140 retail
This is pretty good. You only increase the price by about 27%, and you get an 11% increase in floating point speed and a 100% increase (double) in VRAM. Sure you get a slightly lower base clock, but the rest definitely makes up for it. In fact, according to GPU boss, the Ti managed 66 fps, or a 22% increase in frame rate for Battlefield 4, and a 54% increase in mHash/second in bitcoin mining. The cost increase is worth it, for the most part.
But let’s get to the real meat of it; what happens when we double our budget? Surely we should see a massive increase performance, I bet some of you are willing to bet that twice the cost means more than twice the performance.
The closest price comparison for double the cost is the GTX 1060 (3 GB), so let’s get a look at that.
  • 3.0 TFLOP
  • 1.5 GHz base clock
  • 3 GB VRAM
  • $200 retail
Well… not substantial, I’d say. About a 50% increase in floating point speed, an 11% increase in base clock speed, and a 1GB decrease in VRAM. For [almost] doubling the price, you don’t get much.
Well surely raw specs don’t tell the full story, right? Well, let’s look at some real wold comparisons. Once again, according to GPU Boss, there’s a 138% increase in hashes/second for bitcoin mining, and at 99 fps, an 83% frame rate increase in Battlefield 4. Well, then, raw specs does not tell the whole story!
Here’s another one, the 1060’s big brother… or, well, slightly-more-developed twin.
  • 3.9 TFLOP
  • 1.5 GHz base clock
  • 6 GB VRAM
  • $250 retail
Seems reasonable, another $50 for a decent jump in power and double the memory! But, as we’ve learned, we shouldn’t look at the specs for the full story.
I did do a GPU Boss comparison, but for the BF4 frame rate, I had to look at Tom’s Hardware (sorry miners, GPU boss didn’t cover the mHash/sec spec either). What’s the verdict? Well, pretty good, I’d say. With 97 FPS, a 79% increase over the 1050— wait. 97? That seems too low… I mean, the 3GB version got 99.
Well, let’s see what Tech Power Up has to say...
94.3 fps. 74% increase. Huh.
Alright alright, maybe that was just a dud. We can gloss over that I guess. Ok, one more, but let’s go for the big fish: the GTX 1080.
  • 9.0 TFLOP
  • 1.6 GHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $500 retail
That jump in floating point speed definitely has to be something, and 4 times the VRAM? Sure it’s 5 times the price, but as we saw, raw power doesn’t always tell the full story. GPU Boss returns to give us the run down, how do these cards compare in the real world?
Well… a 222% (over three-fold) increase in mHash speed, and a 218% increase in FPS for Battlefield 4. That’s right, for 5 times the cost, you get 3 times the performance. Truly, the raw specs don’t tell the full story.
You increase the cost by 27%, you increase frame rate in our example game by 22%. You increase the cost by 83%, you increase the frame rate by 83%. Sounds good, but if you increase the cost by 129%, and you get a 79% (-50% cost/power increase) increase in frame rate. You increase it by 358%, and you increase the frame rate by 218% (-140% cost/power increase). That’s not paying “more for much more power,” that’s a steep drop-off after the third cheapest option.
In fact, did you know that you have to get to the 1060 (6GB) before you could compare the GTX line to a PS4 Pro? Not to mention that at $250, the price of a 1060 (6GB) you could get an entire PS4 Slim bundle, or that you have to get to the 1070 before you beat the Xbox One X.
On another note, let’s look at a PS4 Slim…
  • 1.84 TFLOP
  • 800 MHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $300 retail
…Versus a PS4 Pro.
  • 4.2 TFLOP
  • 911 MHz base clock
  • 8 GB VRAM
  • $400 retail
128% increase in floating point speed, 13% increase in clock speed, for a 25% difference in cost. Unfortunately there is no Battlefield 4 comparison to make, but in BF1, the frame rate is doubled (30 fps to 60) and the textures are taken to 11. For what that looks like, I’ll leave it up to this bloke. Not to even mention that you can even get the texture buffs in 4K. Just like how you get a decent increase in performance based on price for the lower-cost GPUs, the same applies here.
It’s even worse when you look at the CPU for a gaming PC. The more money you spend, again, the less of a benefit you get per dollar. Hardware Unboxed covers this in a video comparing different levels of Intel CPUs. One thing to note is that the highest i7 option (6700K) in this video was almost always within 10 FPS (though for a few games, 15 FPS) of a certain CPU in that list for just about all of the games.
…That CPU was the lowest i3 (6100) option. The lowest i3 was $117 and the highest i7 was $339, a 189% price difference for what was, on average, a 30% or less difference in frame rate. Even the lowest Pentium option (G4400, $63) was often able to keep up with the i7.
The CPU and GPU are usually the most expensive and power-consuming parts of a build, which is why I focused on them (other than the fact that they’re the two most important parts of a gaming PC, outside of RAM). With both, this “pay more to get much more performance” idea is pretty much the inverse of the truth.

“The console giants are bad for game developers, Steam doesn't treat developers as bad as Microsoft or especially Sony.”

Now one thing you might’ve heard is that the PS3 was incredibly difficult for developers to make games for, which for some, fueled the idea that console hardware is difficult too develop on compared to PC… but this ignores a very basic idea that we’ve already touched on: if the devs don’t want to make the game compatible with a system, they don’t have to. In fact, this is why Left 4 Dead and other Valve games aren’t on PS3, because they didn’t want to work with it’s hardware, calling it “too complex.” This didn’t stop the game from selling well over 10 million units worldwide. If anything, this was a problem for the PS3, not the dev team.
This also ignores that games like LittleBigPlanet, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all came out in the same year as Left 4 Dead (2008) on PS3. Apparently, plenty of other dev teams didn’t have much of a problem with the PS3’s hardware, or at the very least, they got used to it soon enough.
On top of that, when developing the 8th gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft sought to use CPUs that were easier for developers, which included making decisions that considered apps for the consoles’ usage for more than gaming. On top of that, using their single-chip proprietary CPUs is cheaper and more energy efficient than buying pre-made CPUs and boards, which is far better of a reason for using them than some conspiracy about Sony and MS trying to make devs' lives harder.
Now, console exclusives are apparently a point of contention: it’s often said that exclusive can cause developers to go bankrupt. However, exclusivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the developer. For example, when Media Molecule had to pitch their game to a publisher (Sony, coincidentally), they didn’t end up being tied into something detrimental to them.
Their initial funding lasted for 6 months. From then, Sony offered additional funding, in exchange for Console Exclusivity. This may sound concerning to some, but the game ended up going on to sell almost 6 million units worldwide and launched Media Molecule into the gaming limelight. Sony later bought the development studio, but 1: this was in 2010, two years after LittleBigPlanet’s release, and 2: Media Molecule seem pretty happy about it to this day. If anything, signing up with Sony was one of the best things they could’ve done, in their opinion.
Does this sound like a company that has it out for developers? There are plenty of examples that people will use to put Valve in a good light, but even Sony is comparatively good to developers.

“There are more PC gamers.”

The total number of active PC gamers on Steam has surpassed 120 million, which is impressive, especially considering that this number is double that of 2013’s figure (65 million). But the number of monthly active users on Xbox Live and PSN? About 120 million (1, 2) total. EDIT: You could argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, sure, so if you want to, say, compare the monthly number of Steam users to console? Steam has about half of what consoles do, at 67 million.
Now, back to the 65 million total user figure for Steam, the best I could find for reference for PlayStation's number was an article giving the number of registered PSN accounts in 2013, 150 million. In a similar 4-year period (2009 - 2013), the number of registered PSN accounts didn’t double, it sextupled, or increased by 6 fold. Considering how the PS4 is already at 2/3 of the number of sales the PS3 had, even though it’s currently 3 years younger than its predecessor, I’m sure this trend is at least generally consistent.
For example, let’s look at DOOM 2016, an awesome faced-paced shooting title with graphics galore… Of course, on a single platform, it sold best on PC/Steam. 2.36 million Steam sales, 2.05 million PS4 sales, 1.01 million Xbox One sales.
But keep in mind… when you add the consoles sales together, you get over 3 million sales on the 8th gen systems. Meaning: this game was best sold on console. In fact, the Steam sales have only recently surpassed the PS4 sales. By the way VG charts only shows sales for physical copies of the games, so the number of PS4 and Xbox sales, when digital sales are included, are even higher than 3 million.
This isn’t uncommon, by the way.
Even with the games were the PC sales are higher than either of the consoles, there generally are more console sales total. But, to be fair, this isn’t anything new. The number of PC gamers hasn’t dominated the market, the percentages have always been about this much. PC can end up being the largest single platform for games, but consoles usually sell more copies total.
EDIT: There were other examples but... Reddit has a 40,000-character limit.

"Modding is only on PC."

Xbox One is already working on it, and Bethesda is helping with that.
PS4 isn't far behind either. You could argue that these are what would be the beta stages of modding, but that just means modding on consoles will only grow.

What’s the Point?

This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with PC gaming, and this isn’t to exalt consoles. I’m not here to be the hipster defending the little guy, nor to be the one to try to put down someone/thing out of spite. This is about showing that PCs and consoles are overall pretty similar because there isn’t much dividing them, and that there isn’t anything wrong with being a console gamer. There isn’t some chasm separating consoles and PCs, at the end of the day they’re both computers that are (generally) designed for gaming. This about unity as gamers, to try to show that there shouldn’t be a massive divide just because of the computer system you game on. I want gamers to be in an environment where specs don't separate us; whether you got a $250 PS4 Slim or just built a $2,500 gaming PC, we’re here to game and should be able to have healthy interactions regardless of your platform.
I’m well aware that this isn’t going to fix… much, but this needs to be said: there isn’t a huge divide between the PC and consoles, they’re far more similar than people think. There are upsides and downsides that one has that the other doesn’t on both sides. There’s so much more I could touch on, like how you could use SSDs or 3.5 inch hard drives with both, or that even though PC part prices go down over time, so do consoles, but I just wanted to touch on the main points people try to use to needlessly separate the two kinds of systems (looking at you PCMR) and correct them, to get the point across.
I thank anyone who takes the time to read all of this, and especially anyone who doesn’t take what I say out of context. I also want to note that, again, this isn’tanti-PC gamer.” If it were up to me, everyone would be a hybrid gamer.
Cheers.
submitted by WhyyyCantWeBeFriends to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]

A Look at DCG & Bitfury's Incestuous Ties With the U.S. Government

Peter Todd Tweet in 2014: https://archive.is/vKZ9C
[email protected] I gotta say, looks really bad legally how Austin Hill's been negotiating deals w/ pools/etc. to get control of hashing power.
Board of Digital Currency Group
Glenn Hutchins
Advisory Board
Larry Summers
DCG of course is an investor in both Blockstream and BTCC.
DCG's money comes from:
DCG also owns Coindesk.
BTCC and Bitfury are the only two large mining pools who are outspoken in their support of Bitcoin Core.
The Bitfury Group Leadership to Present at Clinton Global Initiative (https://archive.is/MWKee)
Full Video (Begins at 32:00)
“The Bitfury Group is proud to be the world’s leading full service Blockchain technology company, we are deeply honored to represent this innovation to an audience of extremely dedicated game-changers, and we look forward to highlighting our company’s groundbreaking ‘Blockchain for global good’ work at such an important event, said Smith. “From the White House to the Blockchain, I know this technology has the power to deliver inclusion and opportunity to millions, if not billions, of people around the world and I am so grateful to work for a company focused on such a principled vision.”
Bitfury Lightning Implementation
  • In partnership with a French firm called ACINQ (http://acinq.co)
  • ACINQ is a subsidiary of the larger ACINQ Financial Services
  • CoinTelegraph: Bitfury Lightning Network Successfully Tested With French Bitcoin Company
  • TEAM: https://archive.is/Q5CNU
  • ACINQ’s US Headquarters is in Vienna, Virginia, a small town of only 16,000. Why would a global financial firm choose to locate here? -- Feeder community into Washington, D.C. Has an orange line metro stop. -- Located in Fairfax County, VA. -- The US Federal Government is the #2 largest employer -- Booz Allen Hamilton (NSA front company) is #6 largest employer -- In fact, most of the top employers in Fairfax County are either US Federal Gov’t or companies that provide services to Federal Government -- The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chairman: Avinash Vashistha
CEO: Chaman Baid
CSO: Nandan Setlur
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/nandansetlur https://archive.is/wp3L0
  • From 1986-1993 he worked for Information Management Consultants (imc) Ltd as a Technical Consultant with various federal government agencies. McLean, Virginia
  • 1993-2000 Technical Consultant for Freddie Mac, in McLean Virginia
  • From 2000-2007, President of InterPro Global in Maryland
  • From 2011-2012, Director of VibbleTV in Columbia, Maryland
  • From 2008-Present has been Executive Director at ACINQ and Managing Partner at Vine Management, both in Vienna, Virginia.
BitFury Enhances Its Advisory Board by Adding Former CFTC Chairman Dr. James Newsome and Renowned Global Thought Leader and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto (Businesswire)
Bitfury Board of Directors
Robert R Dykes
The other board members include two Bitfury founders, and an investor.
Bitfury Advisory Board
James Newsome
  • Ex-chairman of CFTC
  • Dr. Newsome was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be at first a Commissioner and later a Chairman of CFTC. As Chairman, Newsome guided the regulation of the nation’s futures markets. Additionally, Newsome led the CFTC’s regulatory implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). He also served as one of four members of the President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and the SEC. In 2004, Newsome assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) where he managed daily operations of the largest physical derivatives exchange in the world. Dr. Newsome is presently a founding partner of Delta Strategy Group, a full-service government affairs firm based in Washington, DC.
Hernando de Soto
  • Hernando de Soto heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, named by The Economist one of the two most important think tanks in the world. In the last 30 years, he and his colleagues at the ILD have been involved in designing and implementing legal reform programs to empower the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations by granting them access to the same property and business rights that the majority of people in developed countries have through the institutions and tools needed to exercise those rights and freedoms. Mr. de Soto also co-chaired with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and currently serves as honorary co-chair on various boards and organizations, including the World Justice Project. He is the author of “The Other Path: the Economic Answer to Terrorism”, and his seminal work “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.”
  • Frequent attendee at Davos World Economic Forum
  • Frequent Speaker @ Clinton Global Initiative http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ytfrs https://archive.is/MWKee
  • Criticisms: -- In his 'Planet of Slums'[104] Mike Davis argues that de Soto, who Davis calls 'the global guru of neo-liberal populism', is essentially promoting what the statist left in South America and India has always promoted—individual land titling. Davis argues that titling is the incorporation into the formal economy of cities, which benefits more wealthy squatters but is disastrous for poorer squatters, and especially tenants who simply cannot afford incorporation into the fully commodified formal economy. -- An article by Madeleine Bunting for The Guardian (UK) claimed that de Soto's suggestions would in some circumstances cause more harm than benefit, and referred to The Mystery of Capital as "an elaborate smokescreen" used to obscure the issue of the power of the globalized elite. She cited de Soto's employment history as evidence of his bias in favor of the powerful. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/sep/11/imf.comment http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2005/01/the_de_soto_delusion.html
Tomicah Tilleman
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomicah_Tillemann
  • Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative. The initiative brings together a variety of long-term investors, with the goal of committing 1% of their assets to social impact investment and using investments as leverage to encourage global good governance. Tillemann served at the U.S. State Department in 2010 as the Senior Advisor on Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Tillemann received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) where he also served as a graduate level instructor in American foreign policy. http://live.worldbank.org/node/8468 https://archive.is/raDHA
  • Secretary Clinton appointed Tomicah Tillemann, Ph.D. as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies in October 2010. He continues his service under Secretary Kerry.
  • Mr. Tillemann and his team operate like venture capitalists, identifying ideas that can strengthen new democracies and civil society, and then bring together the talent, technology and resources needed to translate promising concepts into successful diplomacy. He and his team have developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and Secretary of State.
  • Mr. Tillemann came to the State Department as a speechwriter to Secretary Clinton in March 2009 and collaborated with her on over 200 speeches. Earlier, he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was the principal policy advisor on Europe and Eurasia to Committee Chairmen, Senators Joe Biden and John Kerry. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Tillemann’s other professional experience includes work with the White House Office of Media Affairs and five U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. He was a reporter with Reuters New Media and hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado. http://m.state.gov/md160354.htm https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/tomicah-tillemann/ https://archive.is/u2yF0
  • Director of “Bretton Woods II” initiative at New America Foundation Bretton Woods was an international summit that led to the creation of the IMF and the IBRD, one of five members of The World Bank
Jamie Smith
Jason Weinstein
Paul Brody (no longer appears on site, and his LinkedIn has no mention of Bitfury, but he is mentioned in a Press Release
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/pbrody
  • Ernst & Young since 2015 as “Americas Strategy Leader”, “Global Innovation Leader”, and “Solution Leader”
  • Prior to E&Y, he was an executive at IBM since 2002
New America Foundation
Muskoka Group
[note: this is worthy of much more research]
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/blockchain-s-backers-embark-on-campaign-to-improve-its-image
  • Don Tapscott, co-author of the book “Blockchain Revolution,” hosted the meeting with his son and co-author Alex Tapscott at his family’s summer compound in Lake of Bays, Ontario. The group included some of blockchain’s biggest backers, including people with ties to IBM and JPMorgan. They considered ways to improve the governance and oversight of the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin as a way to fuel the industry’s growth. They included Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes International Business Machines Corp., Airbus Group SE and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation. Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer of BitFury Group Ltd., and Joseph Lubin, founder of startup Consensus Systems.
Blockchain Delegation Attends Democratic National Convention https://archive.is/k16Nu
Attendees:
Jamie Smith — The Bitfury Group & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Tomicah Tillemann— New America Foundation & Blockchain Trust Accelerator Alex Tapscott— co-author: Blockchain Revolution Brian Forde — MIT, Digital Currency Initiative
Brian Forde
  • Was the founding director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative -Left his 4 year post as White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to go directly to the MIT DCI
  • Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain. https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianforde https://archive.is/WjEGU
Alex Tapscott
World Economic Forum
  • Strategic Partners: https://www.weforum.org/about/strategic-partners
  • Includes Accenture (See Avinash Vashistha), Allianz, Deloitte (Scaling Bitcoin platinum sponsor, Blockstream Partner), Citigroup, Bain & Company (parent of Bain Capital, DCG investor), Dalian Wanda Group (working on blockchain technology), Ernst & Young (see Paul Brody), HSBC (Li-Ka Shing, Blockstream investor, used to be Deputy Chairman of HSBC), IBM, KPMG International, Mastercard (DCG Investor), PwC (Blockstream partner, also sponsor of Scaling Bitcoin)
  • Future of Financial Services Report [PDF] The word “blockchain” is mentioned once in this document, on page 23 (http://i.imgur.com/1SxyneJ.png): We have identified three major challenge areas related to innovation in financial services that will require multi-stakeholder collaboration to be addressed effectively. We are launching a project stream related to each area, with the goal of enabling tangible impact.... Decentralised systems, such as the blockchain protocol, threaten to disintermediate almost every process in financial services
  • The Steering Group who authored the report is a who’s who of the global financial elite. (Pages 4 & 5) http://i.imgur.com/fmYc1bO.png http://i.imgur.com/331FaX6.png
Bitfury Washington DC Office
Washington DC Office 600 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20003
http://bitfury.com/contacts https://archive.is/ugvII
Bitfury Chosen for Ernst & Young Blockchain Startup Challenge
Deloitte Unveils Plan to Build Blockchain-Based Digital Bank http://www.consultancy.uk/news/12237/deloitte-unveils-plan-to-build-blockchain-based-digital-bank https://archive.is/UJ8Q5
submitted by 5zh8FoCiZ to btc [link] [comments]

Hijacking Bitcoin: Routing Attacks on Cryptocurrencies

arXiv:1605.07524
Date: 2017-03-24
Author(s): Maria Apostolaki, Aviv Zohar, Laurent Vanbever

Link to Paper


Abstract
As the most successful cryptocurrency to date, Bitcoin constitutes a target of choice for attackers. While many attack vectors have already been uncovered, one important vector has been left out though: attacking the currency via the Internet routing infrastructure itself. Indeed, by manipulating routing advertisements (BGP hijacks) or by naturally intercepting traffic, Autonomous Systems (ASes) can intercept and manipulate a large fraction of Bitcoin traffic. This paper presents the first taxonomy of routing attacks and their impact on Bitcoin, considering both small-scale attacks, targeting individual nodes, and large-scale attacks, targeting the network as a whole. While challenging, we show that two key properties make routing attacks practical: (i) the efficiency of routing manipulation; and (ii) the significant centralization of Bitcoin in terms of mining and routing. Specifically, we find that any network attacker can hijack few (<100) BGP prefixes to isolate ~50% of the mining power---even when considering that mining pools are heavily multi-homed. We also show that on-path network attackers can considerably slow down block propagation by interfering with few key Bitcoin messages. We demonstrate the feasibility of each attack against the deployed Bitcoin software. We also quantify their effectiveness on the current Bitcoin topology using data collected from a Bitcoin supernode combined with BGP routing data. The potential damage to Bitcoin is worrying. By isolating parts of the network or delaying block propagation, attackers can cause a significant amount of mining power to be wasted, leading to revenue losses and enabling a wide range of exploits such as double spending. To prevent such effects in practice, we provide both short and long-term countermeasures, some of which can be deployed immediately.

References
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Future Value Of Bitcoin – Projections At Bitcoin Conference 2013 Bitcoin 2013 conference - Garrick Hileman - History and Prospects for Alternative Currencies Bitcoin’s 9,000,000% Rise Bitcoin 2013 conference - Steve Kubby - Medical Marijuana Bitcoin Price Drop

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Future Value Of Bitcoin – Projections At Bitcoin Conference 2013

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