$220 Million Sheep Marketplace Bitcoin Theft Chase ...

Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of privacy without any transactions standing out as suspicious. This is the reason Darknet Market places are moving to Monero, and will never use Verge, Zcash, Dash, Pivx, Sumo, Spectre, Hush or any other coins that lack good privacy. Peter Todd (who was involved in the Zcash trusted setup ceremony) recently reiterated his concerns of optional privacy after Jeffrey Quesnelle published his recent paper stating 31.5% of Zcash transactions may be traceable, and that only ~1% of the transactions are pure privacy transactions (i.e., z -> z transactions). When the attempted private transactions stand out like a sore thumb there is no privacy, hence why privacy cannot be optional. In addition, in order for a cryptocurrency to truly be private, it must not be controlled by a centralised body, such as a company or organisation, because it opens it up to government control and restrictions. This is no joke, but Zcash is supported by DARPA and the Israeli government!.
Monero provides a stark contrast compared to other supposed privacy coins, in that Monero does not have a rich list! With all other coins, you can view wallet balances on the blockexplorers. You can view Monero's non-existent rich list here to see for yourself.
I will reiterate here that Monero is TRUSTLESS. You don't need to rely on anyone else to protect your privacy, or worry about others colluding to learn more about you. No one can censor your transaction or decide to intervene. Monero is immutable, unlike Zcash, in which the lead developer Zooko publicly tweeted the possibility of providing a backdoor for authorities to trace transactions. To Zcash's demise, Zooko famously tweeted:
" And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible. …"
Ethereum's track record of immutability is also poor. Ethereum was supposed to be an immutable blockchain ledger, however after the DAO hack this proved to not be the case. A 2016 article on Saintly Law summarised the problematic nature of Ethereum's leadership and blockchain intervention:
" Many ethereum and blockchain advocates believe that the intervention was the wrong move to make in this situation. Smart contracts are meant to be self-executing, immutable and free from disturbance by organisations and intermediaries. Yet the building block of all smart contracts, the code, is inherently imperfect. This means that the technology is vulnerable to the same malicious hackers that are targeting businesses and governments. It is also clear that the large scale intervention after the DAO hack could not and would not likely be taken in smaller transactions, as they greatly undermine the viability of the cryptocurrency and the technology."
Monero provides Fungibility and Privacy in a Cashless World
As outlined on GetMonero.org, fungibility is the property of a currency whereby two units can be substituted in place of one another. Fungibility means that two units of a currency can be mutually substituted and the substituted currency is equal to another unit of the same size. For example, two $10 bills can be exchanged and they are functionally identical to any other $10 bill in circulation (although $10 bills have unique ID numbers and are therefore not completely fungible). Gold is probably a closer example of true fungibility, where any 1 oz. of gold of the same grade is worth the same as another 1 oz. of gold. Monero is fungible due to the nature of the currency which provides no way to link transactions together nor trace the history of any particular XMR. 1 XMR is functionally identical to any other 1 XMR. Fungibility is an advantage Monero has over Bitcoin and almost every other cryptocurrency, due to the privacy inherent in the Monero blockchain and the permanently traceable nature of the Bitcoin blockchain. With Bitcoin, any BTC can be tracked by anyone back to its creation coinbase transaction. Therefore, if a coin has been used for an illegal purpose in the past, this history will be contained in the blockchain in perpetuity.
A great example of Bitcoin's lack of fungibility was reposted by u/ViolentlyPeaceful:
"Imagine you sell cupcakes and receive Bitcoin as payment. It turns out that someone who owned that Bitcoin before you was involved in criminal activity. Now you are worried that you have become a suspect in a criminal case, because the movement of funds to you is a matter of public record. You are also worried that certain Bitcoins that you thought you owned will be considered ‘tainted’ and that others will refuse to accept them as payment."
This lack of fungibility means that certain businesses will be obligated to avoid accepting BTC that have been previously used for purposes which are illegal, or simply run afoul of their Terms of Service. Currently some large Bitcoin companies are blocking, suspending, or closing accounts that have received Bitcoin used in online gambling or other purposes deemed unsavory by said companies. Monero has been built specifically to address the problem of traceability and non-fungibility inherent in other cryptocurrencies. By having completely private transactions Monero is truly fungible and there can be no blacklisting of certain XMR, while at the same time providing all the benefits of a secure, decentralized, permanent blockchain.
The world is moving cashless. Fact. The ramifications of this are enormous as we move into a cashless world in which transactions will be tracked and there is a potential for data to be used by third parties for adverse purposes. While most new cryptocurrency investors speculate upon vaporware ICO tokens in the hope of generating wealth, Monero provides salvation for those in which financial privacy is paramount. Too often people equate Monero's features with criminal endeavors. Privacy is not a crime, and is necessary for good money. Transparency in Monero is possible OFF-CHAIN, which offers greater transparency and flexibility. For example, a Monero user may share their Private View Key with their accountant for tax purposes.
Monero aims to be adopted by more than just those with nefarious use cases. For example, if you lived in an oppressive religious regime and wanted to buy a certain item, using Monero would allow you to exchange value privately and across borders if needed. Another example is that if everybody can see how much cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, then a certain service might decide to charge you more, and bad actors could even use knowledge of your wallet balance to target you for extortion purposes. For example, a Russian cryptocurrency blogger was recently beaten and robbed of $425k. This is why FUNGIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL. To summarise this in a nutshell:
"A lack of fungibility means that when sending or receiving funds, if the other person personally knows you during a transaction, or can get any sort of information on you, or if you provide a residential address for shipping etc. – you could quite potentially have them use this against you for personal gain"
For those that wish to seek more information about why Monero is a superior form of money, read The Merits of Monero: Why Monero Vs Bitcoin over on the Monero.how website.
Monero's Humble Origins
Something that still rings true today despite the great influx of money into cryptocurrencies was outlined in Nick Tomaino's early 2016 opinion piece. The author claimed that "one of the most interesting aspects of Monero is that the project has gained traction without a crowd sale pre-launch, without VC funding and any company or well-known investors and without a pre-mine. Like Bitcoin in the early days, Monero has been a purely grassroots movement that was bootstrapped by the creator and adopted organically without any institutional buy-in. The creator and most of the core developers serve the community pseudonymously and the project was launched on a message board (similar to the way Bitcoin was launched on an email newsletter)."
The Organic Growth of the Monero Community
The Monero community over at monero is exponentially growing. You can view the Monero reddit metrics here and see that the Monero subreddit currently gains more than 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) new subscribers every 10 days! Compare this to most of the other coins out there, and it proves to be one of the only projects with real organic growth. In addition to this, the community subreddits are specifically divided to ensure the main subreddit remains unbiased, tech focused, with no shilling or hype. All trading talk is designated to xmrtrader, and all memes at moonero.
Forum Funding System
While most contributors have gratefully volunteered their time to the project, Monero also has a Forum Funding System in which money is donated by community members to ensure it attracts and retains the brightest minds and most skilled developers. Unlike ICOs and other cryptocurrencies, Monero never had a premine, and does not have a developer tax. If ANYONE requires funding for a Monero related project, then they can simply request funding from the community, and if the community sees it as beneficial, they will donate. Types of projects range from Monero funding for local meet ups, to paying developers for their work.
Monero For Goods, Services, and Market Places
There is a growing number of online goods and services that you can now pay for with Monero. Globee is a service that allows online merchants to accept payments through credit cards and a host of cryptocurrencies, while being settled in Bitcoin, Monero or fiat currency. Merchants can reach a wider variety of customers, while not needing to invest in additional hardware to run cryptocurrency wallets or accept the current instability of the cryptocurrency market. Globee uses all of the open source API's that BitPay does making integrations much easier!
Project Coral Reef is a service which allows you to shop and pay for popular music band products and services using Monero.
Linux, Veracrypt, and a whole array of VPNs now accept Monero.
There is a new Monero only marketplace called Annularis currently being developed which has been created for those who value financial privacy and economic freedom, and there are rumours Open Bazaar is likely to support Monero once Multisig is implemented.
In addition, Monero is also supported by The Living Room of Satoshi so you can pay bills or credit cards directly using Monero.
Monero can be found on a growing number of cryptocurrency exchange services such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Cryptopia, Shapeshift, Changelly, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bisq, Tux, and many others.
For those wishing to purchase Monero anonymously, there are services such as LocalMonero.co and Moneroforcash.com.
With XMR.TO you can pay Bitcoin addresses directly with Monero. There are no other fees than the miner ones. All user records are purged after 48 hours. XMR.TO has also been added as an embedded feature into the Monerujo android wallet.
Coinhive Browser-Based Mining
Unlike Bitcoin, Monero can be mined using CPUs and GPUs. Not only does this encourage decentralisation, it also opens the door to browser based mining. Enter side of stage, Coinhive browser-based mining. As described by Hon Lau on the Symnatec Blog Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using Javascript. Coinhive is marketed as an alternative to browser ad revenue. The motivation behind this is simple: users pay for the content indirectly by coin mining when they visit the site and website owners don't have to bother users with sites laden with ads, trackers, and all the associated paraphern. This is great, provided that the websites are transparent with site visitors and notify users of the mining that will be taking place, or better still, offer users a way to opt in, although this hasn't always been the case thus far.
Skepticism Sunday
The main Monero subreddit has weekly Skepticism Sundays which was created with the purpose of installing "a culture of being scientific, skeptical, and rational". This is used to have open, critical discussions about monero as a technology, it's economics, and so on.

///Speculation///

Major Investors And Crypto Figureheads Are Interested
Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. He was previously a portfolio manager for the University of Chicago's $8 billion endowment, and a derivatives market maker and proprietary trader for Susquehanna International Group. Paul was interviewed on CNBC on the 26th of December and when asked what was his favourite coin was, he stated "One that has real fundamental value besides from Bitcoin is Monero" and said it has "very strong engineering". In addition, when he was asked if that was the one used by criminals, he replied "Everything is used by criminals including the US dollar and the Euro". Paul later supported these claims on Twitter, recommending only Bitcoin and Monero as long-term investments.
There are reports that "Roger Ver, earlier known as 'Bitcoin Jesus' for his evangelical support of the Bitcoin during its early years, said his investment in Monero is 'substantial' and his biggest in any virtual currency since Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has publicly stated his appreciation of Monero. In a September 2017 tweet directed to Edward Snowden explaining why Monero is superior to Zcash, Charlie Lee tweeted:
All private transactions, More tested privacy tech, No tax on miners to pay investors, No high inflation... better investment.
John McAfee, arguably cryptocurrency's most controversial character at the moment, has publicly supported Monero numerous times over the last twelve months(before he started shilling ICOs), and has even claimed it will overtake Bitcoin.
Playboy instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian is a Monero investor, with 15% of his portfolio made up of Monero.
Finally, while he may not be considered a major investor or figurehead, Erik Finman, a young early Bitcoin investor and multimillionaire, recently appeared in a CNBC Crypto video interview, explaining why he isn't entirely sold on Bitcoin anymore, and expresses his interest in Monero, stating:
"Monero is a really good one. Monero is an incredible currency, it's completely private."
There is a common belief that most of the money in cryptocurrency is still chasing the quick pump and dumps, however as the market matures, more money will flow into legitimate projects such as Monero. Monero's organic growth in price is evidence smart money is aware of Monero and gradually filtering in.
The Bitcoin Flaw
A relatively unknown blogger named CryptoIzzy posted three poignant pieces regarding Monero and its place in the world. The Bitcoin Flaw: Monero Rising provides an intellectual comparison of Monero to other cryptocurrencies, and Valuing Cryptocurrencies: An Approach outlines methods of valuing different coins.
CryptoIzzy's most recent blog published only yesterday titled Monero Valuation - Update and Refocus is a highly recommended read. It touches on why Monero is much more than just a coin for the Darknet Markets, and provides a calculated future price of Monero.
CryptoIzzy also published The Power of Money: A Case for Bitcoin, which is an exploration of our monetary system, and the impact decentralised cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero will have on the world. In the epilogue the author also provides a positive and detailed future valuation based on empirical evidence. CryptoIzzy predicts Monero to easily progress well into the four figure range.
Monero Has a Relatively Small Marketcap
Recently we have witnessed many newcomers to cryptocurrency neglecting to take into account coins' marketcap and circulating supply, blindly throwing money at coins under $5 with inflated marketcaps and large circulating supplies, and then believing it's possible for them to reach $100 because someone posted about it on Facebook or Reddit.
Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Monero still has a low marketcap, which means there is great potential for the price to multiply. At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Monero's marketcap is only a little over $5 billion, with a circulating supply of 15.6 million Monero, at a price of $322 per coin.
For this reason, I would argue that this is evidence Monero is grossly undervalued. Just a few billion dollars of new money invested in Monero can cause significant price increases. Monero's marketcap only needs to increase to ~$16 billion and the price will triple to over $1000. If Monero's marketcap simply reached ~$35 billion (just over half of Ripple's $55 billion marketcap), Monero's price will increase 600% to over $2000 per coin.
Another way of looking at this is Monero's marketcap only requires ~$30 billion of new investor money to see the price per Monero reach $2000, while for Ethereum to reach $2000, Ethereum's marketcap requires a whopping ~$100 billion of new investor money.
Technical Analysis
There are numerous Monero technical analysts, however none more eerily on point than the crowd-pleasing Ero23. Ero23's charts and analysis can be found on Trading View. Ero23 gained notoriety for his long-term Bitcoin bull chart published in February, which is still in play today. Head over to his Trading View page to see his chart: Monero's dwindling supply. $10k in 2019 scenario, in which Ero23 predicts Monero to reach $10,000 in 2019. There is also this chart which appears to be freakishly accurate and is tracking along perfectly today.
Coinbase Rumours
Over the past 12 months there have been ongoing rumours that Monero will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to be added to Coinbase. In January 2017, Monero Core team member Riccardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni presented a talk at Coinbase HQ. In addition, in November 2017 GDAX announced the GDAX Digit Asset Framework outlining specific parameters cryptocurrencies must meet in order to be added to the exchange. There is speculation that when Monero has numerous mobile and hardware wallets available, and multisig is working, then it will be added. This would enable public accessibility to Monero to increase dramatically as Coinbase had in excess of 13 million users as of December, and is only going to grow as demand for cryptocurrencies increases. Many users argue that due to KYC/AML regulations, Coinbase will never be able to add Monero, however the Kraken exchange already operates in the US and has XMfiat pairs, so this is unlikely to be the reason Coinbase is yet to implement XMfiat trading.
Monero Is Not an ICO Scam
It is likely most of the ICOs which newcomers invest in, hoping to get rich quick, won't even be in the Top 100 cryptocurrencies next year. A large portion are most likely to be pumps and dumps, and we have already seen numerous instances of ICO exit scams. Once an ICO raises millions of dollars, the developers or CEO of the company have little incentive to bother rolling out their product or service when they can just cash out and leave. The majority of people who create a company to provide a service or product, do so in order to generate wealth. Unless these developers and CEOs are committed and believed in their product or service, it's likely that the funds raised during the ICO will far exceed any revenue generated from real world use cases.
Monero is a Working Currency, Today
Monero is a working currency, here today.
The majority of so called cryptocurrencies that exist today are not true currencies, and do not aim to be. They are a token of exchange. They are like a share in a start-up company hoping to use blockchain technology to succeed in business. A crypto-assest is a more accurate name for coins such as Ethereum, Neo, Cardano, Vechain, etc.
Monero isn't just a vaporware ICO token that promises to provide a blockchain service in the future. It is not a platform for apps. It is not a pump and dump coin.
Monero is the only coin with all the necessary properties to be called true money.
Monero is private internet money.
Some even describe Monero as an online Swiss Bank Account or Bitcoin 2.0, and it is here to continue on from Bitcoin's legacy.
Monero is alleviating the public from the grips of banks, and protests the monetary system forced upon us.
Monero only achieved this because it is the heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears of the contributors to this project. Monero supporters are passionate, and Monero has gotten to where it is today thanks to its contributors and users.

///Key Issues for Monero to Overcome///

Scalability
While Bulletproofs are soon to be implemented in order to improve Monero's transaction sizes and fees, scalability is an issue for Monero that is continuously being assessed by Monero's researchers and developers to find the most appropriate solution. Ricardo 'Fluffypony' Spagni recently appeared on CNBC's Crypto Trader, and when asked whether Monero is scalable as it stands today, Spagni stated that presently, Monero's on-chain scaling is horrible and transactions are larger than Bitcoin's (because of Monero's privacy features), so side-chain scaling may be more efficient. Spagni elaborated that the Monero team is, and will always be, looking for solutions to an array of different on-chain and off-chain scaling options, such as developing a Mimblewimble side-chain, exploring the possibility of Lightning Network so atomic swaps can be performed, and Tumblebit.
In a post on the Monero subreddit from roughly a month ago, monero moderator u/dEBRUYNE_1 supports Spagni's statements. dEBRUYNE_1 clarifies the issue of scalability:
"In Bitcoin, the main chain is constrained and fees are ludicrous. This results in users being pushed to second layer stuff (e.g. sidechains, lightning network). Users do not have optionality in Bitcoin. In Monero, the goal is to make the main-chain accessible to everyone by keeping fees reasonable. We want users to have optionality, i.e., let them choose whether they'd like to use the main chain or second layer stuff. We don't want to take that optionality away from them."
When the Spagni CNBC video was recently linked to the Monero subreddit, it was met with lengthy debate and discussion from both users and developers. u/ferretinjapan summarised the issue explaining:
"Monero has all the mechanisms it needs to find the balance between transaction load, and offsetting the costs of miner infrastructure/profits, while making sure the network is useful for users. But like the interviewer said, the question is directed at "right now", and Fluffys right to a certain extent, Monero's transactions are huge, and compromises in blockchain security will help facilitate less burdensome transactional activity in the future. But to compare Monero to Bitcoin's transaction sizes is somewhat silly as Bitcoin is nowhere near as useful as monero, and utility will facilitate infrastructure building that may eventually utterly dwarf Bitcoin. And to equate scaling based on a node being run on a desktop being the only option for what classifies as "scalable" is also an incredibly narrow interpretation of the network being able to scale, or not. Given the extremely narrow definition of scaling people love to (incorrectly) use, I consider that a pretty crap question to put to Fluffy in the first place, but... ¯_(ツ)_/¯"
u/xmrusher also contributed to the discussion, comparing Bitcoin to Monero using this analogous description:
"While John is much heavier than Henry, he's still able to run faster, because, unlike Henry, he didn't chop off his own legs just so the local wheelchair manufacturer can make money. While Morono has much larger transactions then Bitcoin, it still scales better, because, unlike Bitcoin, it hasn't limited itself to a cripplingly tiny blocksize just to allow Blockstream to make money."
Setting up a wallet can still be time consuming
It's time consuming and can be somewhat difficult for new cryptocurrency users to set up their own wallet using the GUI wallet or the Command Line Wallet. In order to strengthen and further decentralize the Monero network, users are encouraged to run a full node for their wallet, however this can be an issue because it can take up to 24-48 hours for some users depending on their hard-drive and internet speeds. To mitigate this issue, users can run a remote node, meaning they can remotely connect their wallet to another node in order to perform transactions, and in the meantime continue to sync the daemon so in the future they can then use their own node.
For users that do run into wallet setup issues, or any other problems for that matter, there is an extremely helpful troubleshooting thread on the Monero subreddit which can be found here. And not only that, unlike some other cryptocurrency subreddits, if you ask a question, there is always a friendly community member who will happily assist you. Monero.how is a fantastic resource too!
Despite still being difficult to use, the user-base and price may increase dramatically once it is easier to use. In addition, others believe that when hardware wallets are available more users will shift to Monero.

///Conclusion///

I actually still feel a little shameful for promoting Monero here, but feel a sense of duty to do so.
Monero is transitioning into an unstoppable altruistic beast. This year offers the implementation of many great developments, accompanied by the likelihood of a dramatic increase in price.
I request you discuss this post, point out any errors I have made, or any information I may have neglected to include. Also, if you believe in the Monero project, I encourage you to join your local Facebook or Reddit cryptocurrency group and spread the word of Monero. You could even link this post there to bring awareness to new cryptocurrency users and investors.
I will leave you with an old on-going joke within the Monero community - Don't buy Monero - unless you have a use case for it of course :-) Just think to yourself though - Do I have a use case for Monero in our unpredictable Huxleyan society? Hint: The answer is ?
Edit: Added in the Tail Emission section, and noted Dan Bilzerian as a Monero investor. Also added information regarding the XMR.TO payment service. Added info about hardfork
submitted by johnfoss69 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

60 DoD Week 6: Finances

60 DoD Week 6: Finances
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Ben Franklin
Having a financial plan is vitally important for a number of reasons. What do you think the greatest stressor in relationships is? The lack of sex your wife is giving you? Close one. It’s money, although your shaved balls might think otherwise.
So don’t you think having a plan is critical to fixing your well-being? You have a MAP to get in shape. Why don’t you have a plan for your finances.
This post might better well be served in personal finance, but screw it. I’m going to town. For the folks overseas, some of this content might be US-specific.
On Net Worth
In order to calculate your net worth, you need to take your assets, such as your checking account, savings, house, etc, and subtract your liabilities, your mortgage, credit card debts, and loans, and you’ll get your net worth.
This is a good time to be spreadsheet guy. But instead of counting how many ladies you are seeing or counting how many times you had sex, use Excel for its intended purpose.
Start calculating it annually, quarterly, monthly. Whatever frequency you feel like you need to get a handle on where your net worth is going. For myself, I do this quarterly, though I have my finger on the pulse pretty frequently.
On Budget
You want to get ahead? You have to operate on a budget. Know what you are spending, what you are saving, and where your money is going.
For me, I’ve got it set where it takes me about 7 minutes to log into the various accounts, take certain numbers like food spend and so forth, and plug those numbers into the Excel boxes. Plugging them in allows me to quickly project the next three months spend and where I’ll be. Some numbers are easy to find, like the fixed costs of mortgage and student loans. Some numbers you have to estimate or look up, like variable food costs and gas/electric. I do this about once a month. It doesn’t take long at all – just making sure I have good cash flow and sticking to my budget.
Take the time to do a detailed line item comparison. You should know exactly how much is going where. The real key though is STICKING TO YOUR BUDGET. You have to keep to it in order to meet your goals.
On Financial Literacy
It’s key to have a good understanding on financial literacy. You have to understand things such as what is the market, what is a stock, what is a bond, what is a dividend, what is a mutual fund, and so forth. You have to know what you are investing in. Take your financial knowledge and move it up. There are literally tons of free information out there. Start going to town. And for the advanced players, go learn the ins and outs of your brokerage firm’s website and trading platform – I mean really learn it, not just “Oh, here’s how I do a buy order on a stock.” Learn how to screen for stocks, mutual funds, and bonds effectively.
Side note – If you are in the US, I recommend joining AAII. I have gotten a great deal of value out of my membership to them. A number of HNW individuals I know recommended it to me, though I had joined and got the lifetime membership before I met them.
On Bogleheads
Personally, I’m a Boglehead. Jack Bogle, man, he was the Chad of passive investing. I believe that passive investing (indexing) long term beats active investing long term. So does Warren Buffet. All my research agrees with this from a long term standpoint.
I’m also a fan of creating an Investment Policy Statement
Boglehead Resources
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investment_philosophy
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/What_the_experts_say_about_investing
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/The_twelve_pillars_of_wisdom / https://web.archive.org/web/20070304091730/http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/april272001.html
https://studentloanhero.com/featured/bogleheads-invest/
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php
I would highly encourage you to review these links and check out their philosophy on investing.
On Being a Contrarian
I’m also a fan of being a contrarian. Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy. You see it with the Bitcoin bubble. You see it when the stock market goes up and down. Oh no, the market is going down… whatever shall we do?!? You stick to your guns. I’m not saying go catch a falling knife. I’m saying that you stick to your plan. There is opportunity when people are fearful, and caution is warranted when people are being greedy. You have to evaluate where we are in the economic cycle as well.
On a Cup of Starbucks and Retirement
You might have seen the example where someone buys a cup of Starbucks every day and then finds out that if they took that money and invested it toward their retirement, over the span of say 30 years they’ll have like an extra 200k. I have two comments on this. First, be frugal, but don’t deny yourself. Don’t let frugality control you. Second, don’t just focus on controlling the little changes like saving a cup of Starbucks every week, focus on the BIG areas. Focus on getting a new job that pays you an extra 40k per year. Focus on saving 100 bucks off your cable (1200 bucks saved per year). Focus on lowering your taxes. What I’m saying is focus on not just the small areas, but also make the bigger impact areas a higher priority. And stop drinking so much Starbucks – make it yourself. Grind the beans, for crying out loud.
On Automating
Automate your finances. Make it EASY for yourself to save money. Set up your automatic bill payments for your credit card, loans, mortgage, and bills. Take advantage of the modern tools nowadays for app/camera based check deposits. Have money taken out of your paycheck before you get it, whether it is for retirement or into a separate savings account, so you can accumulate a rainy day fund. I’ve automated as much as I can, with direct withdrawals taken out for mortgage, credit card payments, gas and electric, and for the other areas like telephone those are automatically paid from the credit card, which then is automatically paid from the checking account. Automating saves time, which is a critical resource.
On Buying a Car
Here’s your resources:
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/wiki/index
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/19niva/car_buying_faqs/
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/4j2okj/what_to_expect_from_your_dealership_visit/
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/613jvn/askcarsales_faq_updated_march_2017/
http://fightingchance.com/ - I used these for private market research, and was worth every penny.
There’s a lot more here, but this should get you through the basics. Simply, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more power you have. If you don’t know every single line item that is going into your purchase, whether it is an accessory, taxes, that stupid coating that they try to sell you for $1000 but it’s really just worth $100, etc., then you’re not ready, and you’re more likely to be fleeced.
Just even walking into the dealership and observing other customers and their interactions with the car salesman, it’s like watching sheep. Don’t be a sheep. Be prepared. And be prepared to walk too. Cars are a commodity. You can buy the same car someplace else cheaper. Remember this – cars are a commodity, and there’s lots of dealers out there.
Side note – “But Steel, what about TrueCar? That seems awesome. I’ll just go in, get my TrueCaCostco/KBB/XXX price and I won’t even have to do anything to get a great price.” Let me tell you this. Dealers would be HAPPY to sell you at the TrueCar price all day long. With proper preparation, you can negotiate a far better deal. Last time when preparing, I had a binder. That binder saved me over 9k. Cost me 5 bucks at the local pharmacy. Printed out all my info, was prepared as all get out, and had a prepared offer ready to go (I used my own sheet, not theirs). Be prepared, that’s what I’m saying. And don’t fall for the four square technique. I just chuckled at the different dealerships at how they try to pull that one. Hell, I went through YouTube and viewed a couple of videos on how car salesmen sell, so I had an understanding of their mentality and what they do. Be prepared.
Generally, there are five major parts for buying a car: Trading in your current car, buying your new car, buying options on a car (like that fancy heated steering-wheel), extended warranty, and financing. You should own every single area of this. As an example, when you are talking about trading in your current car, you should ALREADY have your price quote from CarMax in hand, as well as other offers from other dealers. You should know what your car is worth if it were to be sold (remember supply and demand – what is it really worth: what someone will buy it for). You should already have the KBB and Edmunds value of your used car. For your new car, you should have a breakdown of every single thing on it, including options, doc fees and ERT. For your fancy accessories, you should have the MSRP of these accessories, the actual cost of them buying (wholesale parts warehouse), and an estimate in your head on labor costs (cause parts don’t get installed by themselves). For your extended warranty, I would just say that there is a reason why this is one of the most profitable areas of a car dealership. If you simply must have an extended warranty for peace of mind, go find a wholesale warranty. Do your research. Don’t buy from the dealership. Most cars nowadays anyway are built quite well with high standards of quality control, so they’re not failing like they used to. On financing, make sure you set up your own financing before you walk in. It makes life much easier, as the car dealers get money on financing as well. If the dealership can beat your credit union, more power to them. It’s powerful as all get out when you walk in with a prewritten cashier’s check at a super low interest rate and you’re ready when they start asking you how you are going to pay for the car. “Well, I am preapproved for x amount (aka the full amount of the car), but I’d like to see what specials and discounts you have.”
It’s all about how much money you can save in each one of these areas.
Granted if you’re BETA BUCKS and your time is worth more than doing a bit of research, that’s fair. Some folk just walk in and buy a car right there with a minimum of haggling. That’s how much their time is worth to them, and I know a few people who are like this. I’m merely presenting an alternate approach. To me, it was worth the time to save more than a few thousands.
On Buying a House
For many people, a house is the largest purchase that they make in their lifetime. Many of you have already bought houses, so I won’t go into this in detail, but again, from The Millionaire Next Door – “If you’re not yet wealthy, but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household’s annual realized income.”
I see a lot of you going “Shit” after reading that.
On a Side Hustle
I didn’t even have to write anything, u/red-sfpplus already wrote an excellent post on this topic - https://www.reddit.com/marriedredpill/comments/7i7x4q/the_financial_hustle/
Learn from his example. And then buy the man a drink.
On What to Do First
"Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant." - Warren Buffett
First of all, take stock of where you are. Figure out your net worth, and what you have and what you owe (and interest rates). I would say the first thing to do is to have a three to six month emergency fund. This can be done in conjunction with getting rid of high interest debt (such as credit card debt), however if and when you have an emergency, you’re going to need to tap into something.
Start your budgeting process. Know where your money is going. Fix it.
Most people don’t even have a thousand dollars in savings. Don’t be like that.
I would also note that the Personal Finance subreddit has this already diagrammed out in a flowchart in their wiki - https://i.imgur.com/lSoUQr2.png
On Giving Back
So you give back, right. Of course you do. But what I suggest is potentially setting up a charitable fund, so that you can maximize your charitable deduction annually. You can give a larger sum one year, and then less/none the following year – and maximize your deduction the first year. Something to consider. Plus then your charitable fund is invested, will grow with the market (remember you need a plan and asset allocation here as well), and the growth can be given to the charity as well, tax free. I’d recommend Vanguard, but really there are a number of places that do this.
On Habits of Millionaires
From the book The Millionaire Next Door, here are the characteristics of millionaires:
• They live well below their means
• They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
• They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status
• Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
• Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
• They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
• They chose the right occupation.
On Building Wealth
You want to build wealth? Don’t have a high consumption lifestyle! Think for a moment. How much money do you think it takes to maintain an upper-middle class lifestyle vs. how much money do you think it takes to maintain a middle-class/blue collar lifestyle? Bespoke suits. Luxury cars. Bigger house. More property taxes. And so forth. Think of all the stuff you have to purchase to keep up with the Joneses. Cost of cleaning. Cost of buying furniture for that fancy house. Etc.
“But Steel, I don’t care about the Joneses.” Sure you don’t. But your wife does. Watching that HGTV, picking out the stupid pillows that breed like rabbits in your house when you’re not looking. There’s something about a house that factors into the Female Social Matrix.
Frugality is the name of the game. Frugal being “behavior characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources.”
Don’t be wasteful. Don’t have a lifestyle marked by lavish spending and hyper consumption. You want to build wealth? Be frugal.
Most people will not become wealthy in one generation if they are married to people who are wasteful. You can’t accumulate wealth if one of you is a hyperconsumer.
On Offence vs. Defense
So you’re not beta bucks, you’re BETA BUCKS! You make it rain! Good for you. You play great offence. But how’s your defense? How’s your wealth accumulation? Are you spending like there’s no tomorrow? If you want to win the game, you have to play great offence AND defense.
Here’s some questions for you:
• Do you operate on an annual budget?
• Do you know how much you spend each year for food, clothing, and shelter?
• Do you have a clearly defined set of daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and lifetime goals?
• Do you spend a lot of time planning your financial future?
To build wealth, minimize your realized (taxable) income, and maximize your unrealized income (wealth/capital appreciation without a cash flow).
How do you become financially independent? You have to plan, and you have to sacrifice. You sacrifice today for financial independence tomorrow.
On Your Wife & Buy-In
As part of your plan and budgeting, once you have it all set, get buy-in from your wife. But do this not like you are seeking approval from mommy (aka you validation whore you), but matter of factly here is the plan, we are budgeting x amount for these areas. Here is our plan. Set out a vision.
On Financial Vision
Read it and weep - https://www.reddit.com/marriedredpill/comments/3fecgi/first_budget_discussion_leads_to_minor_meltdown/ctnya77/
“One rarely talked-about element of Married Game is a subtle thing known as Vision. Most husbands don’t appreciate what a strong DHV possessing Vision is, and they proceed unaware of the power it can add to their relationship. Most husbands do this because they don’t understand Vision, what it is and how it is manifested, much less the subtle but important role it holds. Let me explain: once upon a time I was working for a personnel agency, and one of my jobs was coaching our people on interviewing techniques. I learned a lot about the process as a result, from both the interviewer and the interviewee side. When it came to my clients who wanted high-quality employees with good technical skills – real talent – I learned the sorts of things that such high-demand technical people wanted in a company. Money, of course, and security and benefits. But beyond that gifted employees want to work for a company with a history, a good culture, and (most importantly) a Vision.
What is Vision? In this context Vision is a manifested idea of the future. Everyone wants to work for a company that’s changing the world and is doing so in a positive, pro-active way. No one wants to work for the company that’s floundering, desperate just to meet its next quarter’s goals. Vision is a generally-stated plan-of-action toward a distant but achievable goal, presented in an enticing enough manner to inspire. It’s short on details and long on generalizations. It’s reflective of inner beliefs, values, and judgments, an indication of character, foresight, and initiative. It should be bold, meaningful, and challenging.”
Now, this quote above is excellent. You need a vision for your life, but you also need a vision for your finances. What would your financial vision be? What does it look like to you? Create it, and then be ready to share that with your family.
On Love of Money
Remember folks, money itself is not the root of all evil. It’s the LOVE of money that causes the problem. When you are so driven to be a better beta bucks to get that coin, and start neglecting yourself, your relationships, etc… you’ve got problems. Money is just a tool in the toolbox. Use it, don’t let it use you. Don’t become a slave to money. Your life doesn’t consist of how many toys you have. And you can’t take it with you when you go.
On Insurance, or Lack Thereof
Would it surprise you to know that most people are underinsured? Make sure that you have enough of the key five types of insurance: health, car, homeowners/renters, life, and disability. Preparing yourself for these situations can save you a lot of pain in the future. Also, make sure you get enough umbrella insurance. Typically they say have enough umbrella insurance to cover your net worth, but I recommend getting a bit more.
A quick note, practically, do not get whole life insurance. Get term insurance, and invest the difference in cost between whole life and term. You’ll be much better off. And yes, this is for 99.9% of situations. The remaining .1% of situations are when someone is really wealthy and there are estate and tax considerations. Aka for most of us, don’t worry about it.
And take care of your health, so you don’t get fat when you are older and have related medical problems. Put. The. Fork. Down.
On Assets and Liabilities, Rich Dad Poor Dad Edition
A number of you have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and there’s controversy in it. I disagree with a number of items in there, but there is an interesting point in there about how he views assets and liabilities:
“You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. It is Rule No. 1. It is the only rule. This may sound absurdly simple, but most people have no idea how profound this rule is. Most people struggle financially because they do not know the difference between an asset and a liability.”
He has a simple, non-accounting definition - “An asset is something that puts money in my pocket. A liability is something that takes money out of my pocket.”
Buy assets. I like it. What is out there that you can buy that puts money in your pocket. Stocks. Bonds. Mutual Funds. Real Estate that produces Income. There are a ton of items.
You should also think about getting rid of your liabilities… the giant boat, the private jet, the cluster B horrible sex-depriving wife (you know who you are)… you get the idea.
On Disaster Recovery and Information Security
What were to happen if you were to croak, or your only laptop with all your financial data was stolen or destroyed in a fire along with all your financial papers (see, you should have gotten that fireproof safe)? Would you have a plan on what to do? Would your spouse? Your kids? I would suggest making a backup of your finances, statements, tax returns, and other important papers, and put that on an encrypted USB key with a password that you and your wife knows, and then storing that someplace secure. Note that you can do fancy stuff like cloud storage, and so forth – but you need to have a plan for the worst case scenario.
Additionally, make sure that you use two-factor authentication when you log into your banking accounts (if they have it), as well as don’t repeat your passwords for your financial accounts.
I would even suggest having a separate secured email for your banking accounts, and another one for your personal accounts that get those damn spam emails all the time.
Don’t be stupid with your financial accounts. Using the same password is stupid. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
On Practical Advice
Do get rid of high interest credit cards. If you’ve got a balance on your 29.99% APR credit card and are paying that interest every month, it’s in your best interest to eliminate that debt as soon as possible. You’re not going to get a 29.99% return in a month in the stock market (unless you take on excessive risk for that return, obviously). Try to transfer that balance to a promo 0% interest credit card, and work that down.
Don’t borrow from your 401k. You’re cutting out your future returns. Don’t make that 401k loan your emergency fund, but rather have a separate emergency fund.
Do use credit cards over debit cards, for a whole host of reasons (theft being the primary reason).
Do pay yourself first. Take out at least 10% of your paycheck before it hits your checking account, and start saving.
Don’t pay monthly or annual fees on checking accounts or savings accounts. You shouldn’t be paying a bank to store your money. They should be paying you for that privilege.
Do get solid credit cards that give outstanding rewards. Do your research. Get at least 2% cash back if you can. Shoot for 5% or more. For example, Discover allows you to get 5% cash back in certain categories, and then you can redeem $20 for a $25 gift card to a number of different vendors. Looks like you just got a 6.25% return.
There are plenty of other examples. Do you spend a boatload at Amazon? Get your 5% return. As an example – I get a 5% return on gas using a certain credit card. It’s unlimited throughout the year, and is redeemed as a statement credit, so I don’t have to worry about redemption. I have a certain Amex that I redeem at 4.6% points per dollar spent, plus a 2% general cash back card (some places don’t accept Amex). I could go even crazier, like getting the 3% on restaurants, or churning cards (and there are a lot of sites out there on how to churn successfully), but at some point, it’s not worth it.
Do realize that credit cards make it easy to buy things that you don’t need. Recognize that part of yourself that wants to overspend. Ask yourself, do you need whatever it is you are buying. Would it hurt more if you paid in cash rather than credit. Buying with credit encourages you to buy more than you can afford.
Do shop around for loans/services. I asked my bank what the best car loan they could give me – they said 2.99%. I asked my credit union, and they got me 1.49%. That’s a big difference in interest over the course of a loan. Generally due to how credit unions are structured (and their presence – mostly online), they will have better deals on certain loans than banks, depending on the product.
Don’t delay saving for retirement. Generally, you’ll want to be saving 15% or more of your income for retirement early on. If you don’t save early, the harder it will be.
Do try to simplify your finances. It makes it much more complicated if you chase after the best savings rate for your online bank, and then have many accounts all over the place. The 20 dollars that you get in interest is not worth the complexity and time (aka your most valuable resource) it takes to manage all that stuff.
Don’t use your HELOC unless you have to. I have a large HELOC, but I don’t use it. But who knows when I need access to a large sum of money. And don’t use it in lieu of your emergency fund. You need both.
Do some research into budgeting tools. There’s a lot of people on these threads that recommend YNAB. I personally haven’t used it, so I can’t recommend it one way or the other. I’m old school (and cheap thrifty – why would you pay for something if you can do it yourself). But definitely check those tools out – Mint, Personal Capital, YNAB, budgeting tools through your bank, etc. Also, if your credit card does an annual summary (like Amex does), make sure you look at it to get an idea on where you’re spending – it’s very helpful.
On Tips for Saving Money
There are a ton of ways you can save money. Go ahead and google “how can I save 1000”. Wait, I did that for you - https://www.google.com/search?q=how+can+I+save+1000
Take some time, call up your cell phone providecable provider and see what specials they have. There's a ton of things you can do to save money quickly.
On Too Much Money
Say you’re an ostrich farmer, and are flush with cash. You’re asking yourself, ok, so I’ve maxed out my 401k, I’ve maxed out my Traditional IRA and then backdoored it into a Roth IRA for tax diversification plus the benefits of a Roth. I’m contributing to a 529 plan for the kids. I looked into mega backdooring my Roth but darn it my employer doesn’t let me do that. I’m doing all of the tax advantaged things I can. I still have this extra 300k sitting around – what do I do with it?!? First world problems, amIrite. Again, this comes back to your plan. What’s the short term plan with this money. What’s the long term plan. What’s your risk tolerance. What assets can you invest in that fit in with your plan. You still have to manage your budget, even if you are a 1 percenter.
On the Best Investment and Most Important Resource
I’m a firm believer that the best investment is investing in yourself (and your family and kids), and your most important resource is not money, but time. Learn a skill. Go get a degree. Give your kids a head start. Help your wife accomplish a goal. Do what you can to save time. Money of course helps, but you know what happens when you teach a man to fish.
On Happiness
Is money linked to happiness? Yes, but only to a point - https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/02/26/does-money-equal-happiness-does-until-you-earn-much/374119002/ and https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/12/09/key-money-happiness-may-how-you-spend/94308848/
Honestly, at some point, money just becomes a scoreboard. Money will give you security. It will remove a stressor in your life. It will remove fighting and stress in your relationship (about money, fool). It will allow you to do many things. But eventually, money won’t give you happiness. You have to figure that one out yourself. And of course there’s the joke about “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.” – David Lee Roth.
On Money and Attraction
Money by itself will not make your wife’s panties wet. Keep that in mind. Having and getting money is basic adulting. Same with saving and managing it. You want to get her wet? Get in shape. Lift. Does money boost your status? Sure. Is status one of those areas that has some effect on where you are in the sexual marketplace? Sure. Pure physical attraction? No. Do you really think that making MORE money is going to have your wife give you more sex? Of course not - https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/money-wont-save-beta-males/
Get in shape. Be hawt. And fix your damn teeth so you can smile like you are a somebody.
On a Brief Story
So I was talking to a friend of mine, and I asked him how he and his wife set up the finances. He told me about this system, where his paycheck goes into his checking, his wife’s paycheck goes into his wife’s checking, and they have a joint savings account. Then he went into a convoluted description on how each of them pays certain bills, and how what he’s paying is not fair since he’s paying the mortgage AND property tax AND daycare, etc etc. I thought to myself, man, what a convoluted way to deal with stuff. They would then have multiple financial meetings, and discussion on who pays what, and all this extra stuff. It was just a lack of overall ownership going on.
Just take care of the finances. Figure out a system that works for you. I’m not going to tell you which system is the best, because it’s all dependent on your unique circumstances (example: heavy spender SAHM vs saver career girl, you’ll need to put some deep restrictions on the heavy spender). But own it.
On Who Owns the Finances
You own the finances. Period. End stop. From the prior post on finances, it’s so important that I’m putting it here again:
“At the core: Who do you want in charge of your financial future?
The person interested in maintaining status quo and safety at all costs with your happiness and satisfaction a secondary or minor consideration? Or you?
If you've learned anything here it's that you need to be a captain. Putting your wife in the family alpha role breeds contempt and most of the problems that brought your here. Besides control of sex, family MONEY decision veto power is the key indicator of who is wearing the pants.”
submitted by SteelSharpensSteel to marriedredpill [link] [comments]

Questions about the BTC-e Situation and Possible Connection to Alphabay's Recent Demise? (Long post)

Foreword: I am a geek for all things hackebitcoin related drama. I think this stuff plays out like a soap opera and it's beautiful. It's due to the simple fact that the BTC community is made up of a diverse set of people: Hackers, Entrepreneurs, Nerds, Drug Dealers, Fraudsters, etc. So I think for historical purposes it is great to note all the events that happen during huge events like this, because should bitcoin take off, this will be stuff of the history books. So if you have any information to share, please do, and let's try to make archives of all information as websites come and go.
 
The recent BTC-e post by wizsec is a very big deal, possibly more than most people here realize. BTC-e was an integral part of the crypto trading industry. However, there is still a lot of missing information that greatly affects the narrative and I would like anyone to chime in with educated opinions.  
 
Let me start with some facts about BTC-e:
[1] It was widely assumed it was russian and I don't believe btc-e did anything to hide that fact. I have seen people say Bulgeria also. [This](https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/2c84bl/does_anyone_know_who_is_the_founder_of_btce/cjcv63w/ post by -Mahn is where I got the info about Malta and Cyprus so might be worth double checking.)
[2] see [this](https://www.reddit.com/SheepMarketplace/comments/1rvlft/i_just_chased_him_through_a_bitcoin_tumbler_and/cdt17a8/ and this
 
So I have a couple questions about the role btc-e played in laundering funds in the past and what their involvement with the mtgox hack is.
[3] [Kyle Torpey](https://twitter.com/kyletorpey/status/890253492190945285 Charlie Shrem coindesk )
[4] This is an assumption that they are non exchange related addresses because it wouldn't make sense for wizsec's accusations if it was an exchange address. That would simply imply that the coins went through btc-e in the same manner any other deposits do.
I had more questions ealier but I can't remember them at this time, so I'll edit this post as I remember them. If you have any questions you think should be displayed above, post the and I'll edit them in. I appreciate any input on this situation because I find it downright fascinating and I have the feeling it goes deeper than we think.
submitted by winlifeat to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential

The following post by johnfoss69 is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7ra409
The original post's content was as follows:

/////Your Guide to Monero, and Why It Has Great Potential/////

Marketing.
It's a dirty word for most members of the Monero community.
It is also one of the most divisive words in the Monero community. Yet, the lack of marketing is one of the most frustrating things for many newcomers.
This is what makes this an unusual post from a member of the Monero community.
This post is an unabashed and unsolicited analyzation of why I believe Monero to have great potential.
Below I have attempted to outline different reasons why Monero has great potential, beginning with upcoming developments and use cases, to broader economic motives, speculation, and key issues for it to overcome.
I encourage you to discuss and criticise my musings, commenting below if you feel necessary to do so.

///Upcoming Developments///

Bulletproofs - A Reduction in Transaction Sizes and Fees
Since the introduction of Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CT), transaction amounts have been hidden in Monero, albeit at the cost of increased transaction fees and sizes. In order to mitigate this issue, Bulletproofs will soon be added to reduce both fees and transaction size by 80% to 90%. This is great news for those transacting smaller USD amounts as people commonly complained Monero's fees were too high! Not any longer though! More information can be found here. Bulletproofs are already working on the Monero testnet, and developers were aiming to introduce them in March 2018, however it could be delayed in order to ensure everything is tried and tested.
Multisig
Multisig has recently been merged! Mulitsig, also called multisignature, is the requirement for a transaction to have two or more signatures before it can be executed. Multisig transactions and addresses are indistinguishable from normal transactions and addresses in Monero, and provide more security than single-signature transactions. It is believed this will lead to additional marketplaces and exchanges to supporting Monero.
Kovri
Kovri is an implementation of the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) network. Kovri uses both garlic encryption and garlic routing to create a private, protected overlay-network across the internet. This overlay-network provides users with the ability to effectively hide their geographical location and internet IP address. The good news is Kovri is under heavy development and will be available soon. Unlike other coins' false privacy claims, Kovri is a game changer as it will further elevate Monero as the king of privacy.
Mobile Wallets
There is already a working Android Wallet called Monerujo available in the Google Play Store. X Wallet is an IOS mobile wallet. One of the X Wallet developers recently announced they are very, very close to being listed in the Apple App Store, however are having some issues with getting it approved. The official Monero IOS and Android wallets, along with the MyMonero IOS and Android wallets, are also almost ready to be released, and can be expected very soon.
Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are currently being developed and nearing completion. Because Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, it means it requires unique development in order to allow hardware wallet integration. The Ledger Nano S will be adding Monero support by the end of Q1 2018. There is a recent update here too. Even better, for the first time ever in cryptocurrency history, the Monero community banded together to fund the development of an exclusive Monero Hardware Wallet, and will be available in Q2 2018, costing only about $20! In addition, the CEO of Trezor has offered a 10BTC bounty to whoever can provide the software to allow Monero integration. Someone can be seen to already be working on that here.
TAILS Operating System Integration
Monero is in the progress of being packaged in order for it to be integrated into TAILS and ready to use upon install. TAILS is the operating system popularised by Edward Snowden and is commonly used by those requiring privacy such as journalists wanting to protect themselves and sources, human-right defenders organizing in repressive contexts, citizens facing national emergencies, domestic violence survivors escaping from their abusers, and consequently, darknet market users.
In the meantime, for those users who wish to use TAILS with Monero, u/Electric_sheep01 has provided Sheep's Noob guide to Monero GUI in Tails 3.2, which is a step-by-step guide with screenshots explaining how to setup Monero in TAILS, and is very easy to follow.
Mandatory Hardforks
Unlike other coins, Monero receives a protocol upgrade every 6 months in March and September. Think of it as a Consensus Protocol Update. Monero's hard forks ensure quality development takes place, while preventing political or ideological issues from hindering progress. When a hardfork occurs, you simply download and use the new daemon version, and your existing wallet files and copy of the blockchain remain compatible. This reddit post provides more information.
Dynamic fees
Many cryptocurrencies have an arbitrary block size limit. Although Monero has a limit, it is adaptive based on the past 100 blocks. Similarly, fees change based on transaction volume. As more transactions are processed on the Monero network, the block size limit slowly increases and the fees slowly decrease. The opposite effect also holds true. This means that the more transactions that take place, the cheaper the fees!
Tail Emission and Inflation
There will be around 18.4 million Monero mined at the end of May 2022. However, tail emission will kick in after that which is 0.6 XMR, so it has no fixed limit. Gundamlancer explains that Monero's "main emission curve will issue about 18.4 million coins to be mined in approximately 8 years. (more precisely 18.132 Million coins by ca. end of May 2022) After that, a constant "tail emission" of 0.6 XMR per 2-minutes block (modified from initially equivalent 0.3 XMR per 1-minute block) will create a sub-1% perpetual inflatio starting with 0.87% yearly inflation around May 2022) to prevent the lack of incentives for miners once a currency is not mineable anymore.
Monero Research Lab
Monero has a group of anonymous/pseudo-anonymous university academics actively researching, developing, and publishing academic papers in order to improve Monero. See here and here. The Monero Research Lab are acquainted with other members of cryptocurrency academic community to ensure when new research or technology is uncovered, it can be reviewed and decided upon whether it would be beneficial to Monero. This ensures Monero will always remain a leading cryptocurrency. A recent end of 2017 update from a MRL researcher can be found here.

///Monero's Technology - Rising Above The Rest///

Monero Has Already Proven Itself To Be Private, Secure, Untraceable, and Trustless
Monero is the only private, untraceable, trustless, secure and fungible cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are TRACEABLE through the use of blockchain analytics, and has lead to the prosecution of numerous individuals, such as the alleged Alphabay administrator Alexandre Cazes. In the Forfeiture Complaint which detailed the asset seizure of Alexandre Cazes, the anonymity capabilities of Monero were self-demonstrated by the following statement of the officials after the AlphaBay shutdown: "In total, from CAZES' wallets and computer agents took control of approximately $8,800,000 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero and Zcash, broken down as follows: 1,605.0503851 Bitcoin, 8,309.271639 Ethereum, 3,691.98 Zcash, and an unknown amount of Monero".
Privacy CANNOT BE OPTIONAL and must be at a PROTOCOL LEVEL. With Monero, privacy is mandatory, so that everyone gets the benefits of ...
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Bet: BMR and Sheep to die in a year

EDIT: No one has offered to accept any of the bets, so I am declaring this offer withdrawn.
BMR & Sheep have demonstrated their danger, but few black-market-users seem to genuinely appreciate this. I am publicly betting that they will fail in the near-future. If you think I am wrong, just try to take my money and prove me wrong! Otherwise, spare us your cheap talk.
Hi! I'm Gwern Branwen. You may remember me from such black-market webpages as Silk Road: Theory & Practice, and /silkroad. Today I'm here to talk to you about BlackMarket Reloaded & Sheep Marketplace.
(A signed version of this 30 October 2013 post will be posted as a comment, because I wish to use Markdown formatting; my PGP key is available.)

Background

With the fall of SR, we're all very sad: it was a good site which performed a useful function. But life goes on, so it's no surprise we're all moving on to new black markets. That said, I am concerned by the accumulating pattern I am seeing around BMR and Sheep, and by the delusional optimism of many of the users.

BMR

BlackMarket Reloaded, since the fall, has been marked by a pattern of arrogance, technical incompetence, dismissal of problems, tolerance for sellers keep buyer addresses & issuing threats, astounding tolerance for information leaks (all the implementation information, and particularly the VPS incident with the user data leak; mirrors: 1, 2), etc. We know his code is shitty and smells like vulnerabilities (programmer in 3 different IRC channels I frequent quoted bits of the leaked code with a mixture of hilarity & horror), yet somehow backopy expects to rewrite it better, despite being the same person who wrote the first version and the basic security principle that new versions have lots of bugs. (I'm not actually bothered by the DoS attacks; they're issues for any site, much less hidden services.)
And then there's the things he's not telling us. Atlantis shut down because they were worried about contacts from LE, and thus far this shut down seems to have saved them; but BMR has been around several times longer than Atlantis - would it not beggar belief if LE had not made contacts, attempted SR-style stings, or infiltrated BMR staff? And remember how we were able to discover all sorts of leaks in DPR's opsec once we had the indictment and knew what to look for? Or consider the claims being made about the Project Black Flag Leaks, where someone claims to have accessed laundry list of information from its internals - only after Metta DPR decided to rip-and-run. If this is what we see publicly for BMR, what on earth is going on behind the scenes?
backopy should have handed on BMR weeks ago, but is still around. He seems to plan to repeat SDPR's mistakes exactly: leak information all over the place, never retire, and just keep on until he is busted and takes who-knows-how-many people down to prison with him. He has learned nothing. What, exactly, is his exit strategy? What goals does he have and when will they ever be satisfied? He has been running BMR for more than 2 years now, and has not left. How does this story end: of a man who does not know his limits, does not have ability equal to the task, and refuses to quit while he's ahead? It ends with a party-van, that's how it ends.
And hardly anyone seems troubled by this! The BMR subreddit is full of bustle; people are even hailing backopy as a "hero" for allowing withdrawal of bitcoins. (How generous of him.)

Sheep

Is Sheep any better? No. BMR is troubled and probably infiltrated at this point, but Sheep may well be a dead market walking at this point. No one has a good word to say about its coding, so there may well be BMR-style issues in its future. More importantly: the veriest Google search would turn up that clearnet site, and it has been pointed out that the clearnet Czech site hosted by HexaGeek was uncannily similar to the actual hidden service. It uses almost the same exact technology, and the official explanation is that they had "fans" (fans? who set up, many months ago, before anyone gave a damn about Sheep, an entire functioning mirror while cloning the software stack and being in a foreign non-English-speaking country just like the Sheep admins?). Ridiculous! DPR may have set up a WordPress site, but at least 'altoid' didn't run an entire SR mirror! (He left that to onion.to & tor2web.org.). Sheep's likely about one subpoena of HexaGeek away from fun party times in the party-van.

The Wager

I am uninterested in seeing Sheep/BMR busted and lots of newbies caught because they can't appreciate the patterns here. People don't take mere criticism seriously, and even if I lay it all out like here, and I mention that I have an excellent track record of predictions, they still won't because anyone can doom-monger and issue warnings, it won't get through to them. I want to get through to them - I want them to understand the risks they're taking, I want them to reflexively use PGP, and I want them to leave balances on sites for as short a time as possible. So! I am putting my money where my mouth is.

Bets

I and 3 others are publicly wagering ฿4 ($816 at today's rate), ฿1 each, on the following 4 bets:
  1. BMR will not be operating in 6 months:
    25%; 1:3 (you risk ฿3 and if BMR is still operating, you win our ฿1, else you lose the ฿3 to us)
  2. BMR will not be operating in 12 months
    40%; 1:1.5 (you risk ฿1.5 & BMR is operating in a year, you win our ฿1, else lose ฿1.5)
  3. Sheep will not be operating in 6 months
    30%; 1:2.3 (your ฿2.3 against our ฿1)
  4. Sheep will not be operating in 12 months
    60%; 1:0.66 (you risk ฿0.66 against our ฿1)
The ฿4 are currently stored in 1AZvaBEJMiK8AJ5GvfvLWgHjWgL59TRPGy (proof of control: IOqEiWYWtYWFmJaKa29sOUqfMLrSWAWhHxqqB3bcVHuDpcn8rA0FkEqvRYmdgQO4yeXeNHtwr9NSqI9J79G+yPA= is the signature by 1Az of the string "This address contains bitcoins for the BMSheep bet run by gwern.").

Definitions

Escrow

Arbitration & escrow are being provided by Nanotube, a long-time Bitcoin user & -otc trader, who has handled some past bets (most famously, the ฿10,000 bet between the Ponzi schemer pirateat40 & Vandroiy) and I believe can be trusted to escrow this one as well; he has agreed to a nominal fee of 1%.
(I am not using Bets of Bitcoin because they have a dishonest & exploitative rule-set, and I am not sure Predictious would allow these bets.)

HOWTO

If you disagree and are man enough to take our bets, post the amount you are betting on which bet, and Nanotube will supply an address for you to transfer your bitcoin to. When it arrives in his wallet, then our bet will be in effect.
May the most accurate beliefs win.
submitted by gwern to SilkRoad [link] [comments]

A How-to Guide To Accessing TheMarketplace

Obviously the ongoing development of what appears to be by far the most secure market around, is leaving the developers little time to actually promote their site.
Having lost a little money in the Sheep heist (though nowhere near as much as some people), I'm most interested in the market that provides the best security for vendors and customers. And from what I can see, the safest option by far is The Marketplace. (Especially given the implications that those behind Tormarket may be associated with, or the same people who ran Sheep). All payments require 2-party authorization. And PGP encryption is mandatory!
As far as I can tell, the main issue at the moment is gaining access to the site, (no point in having the safest market around if no one can get to it) so I've devised this walkthrough in order to help those new to i2p (as I was).
Disclaimer I'm new to reddit so you may have to bear with me while I get the hang of the formatting conventions etc. And visiting TheMarketplace was my first experience with i2p and eepsites (the sites hosted on the i2p network) so forgive me if I misuse any technical terms - I'll be learning along with the rest of you.
THE GUIDE
STEP 1. Download and install the TAILS operating system (If you aren't already using it). It has the i2p package you need to reach TMP pre-installed, and is probably the safest and easiest option available. It can be burned to DVD or installed on a USB stick instructions on the TAILS site. Creating a persistent volume on a USB stick will let you save your i2p configuration, bookmarks etc.
Video tutorials for Windows and Mac users are available on youtube. (Thanks to xd2-53 for submitting the links!)
STEP 2. When you first log in to TAILS it'll automatically open the iceweasel browser and begin connecting to the TOR network. You can close iceweasel as TOR isn't used for accessing sites on the i2p network. Then from the Applications menu on the top-left corner, go to Internet > and select i2p . This will start the application and bring up the i2p router console.
At this point I would advise immediately disabling javascript via the NoScript extension . JS is a possible security risk and TheMarketplace has been designed to function fully without it.
Now it'll take a little time (5-10 mins) for i2p to find peers and to become integrated with the network, so go take a dump, make a coffee or check how much much that stash of bitcoins is worth today. ;)
STEP 3 Now you have a few options. You can either:
1. Just copy and paste (or type if your fingers need a work out) the site's B32 address: http://r35rdglu7cjmsxh5qn3v6o5q7cnejanwg4h2viuvaqavpbf5uqaq.b32.i2p into the address bar which'll take you there directly. (Save it as a bookmark if you have persistence).
2. Add the newhosts.txt to your subscriptions, which will then let you access TMP by typing themarketplace.i2p in the address bar (and will do so every time thereafter if you're using TAILS with persistence/any other browser that's saving your i2p settings).
3. Or (if both of the above fail) you can use a jump service by typing themarketplace.i2p in the address bar and pressing enter. At the moment this brings up a warning page telling you the Eepsite wasn't found in the addressbook. It also gives you the option of using a jump service (again this won't be necessary once TMP's in the default address book). Click the link to the stats.i2p jump service.
The jump service'll redirect you to an information page . Click 'Save themarketplace.i2p to private address book and continue to eepsite' and this'll take you to... THE LOGIN PAGE
Of these three options, number 1 is probably the most secure as by using the jump service you are going through a third party (though it does belong to zzz - one of the project's main developers).
See, nuthin' to it. ;) It's a little extra effort for a lot more security.
For more info on i2p I recommend this sub , on Bitcoin this sub, and for info on GPG (for everyone's safety all messages must be encrypted) I recommend the main site .
I'll do my best to answer any questions (that I know the answers to) as, I'm sure, will TMPSchultz. Thanks.
submitted by WontGetFleecedAgain to themarketplace [link] [comments]

Sheep Marketplace Scammer DoX

Further investigations are withheld (or at the very least silent). If you don't want me to pursue this thief then I wont. To whoever wants to continue my work here it is. If this helped anyone feel free to donate 1Ki9v3U4WNu3GydGVB734pyJsSitbAFHht

I'm open to people who need any other DoX. PM me.

UPDATE 7th December
All that Scammer is doing is looping his coins and collecting the trimmings. To anyone interested - this Scammer knows that his transactions are being tracked very easily. We need to look at the small number of coins that are shredded into separate accounts during each large transaction. These are the wallets Scammer will cash out with
I have many of the wallets of this scammer. See the bottom chain for an absolute match. This fucker will never cash out these large sums of coins, he will instead cash out the small shreddings and it is these that I am investigating.
I wont be posting the trimmings that I am following. I'm waiting for a cash out. I have a few wallets that I am very sure he will cash out with...
19icYLb7TBg8YzsZYjU2FTUUpqGwfgoM5L > 174psvzt77NgEC373xSZWm9gYXqz4sTJjn (BTC- E wallet- Dont think so --posibly inside job?)
174psvzt77NgEC373xSZWm9gYXqz4sTJjn > 1L6mQKi4PTAvPhGzLSjAt5jn7MQ87AtB5n (scammer wallet) > 19mcR5KYQYZWZW2ug1GgasAjThbVtP31SQ (unconfirmed transactions)
174psvzt77NgEC373xSZWm9gYXqz4sTJjn > 1DvdYoW2fViRSEEEbxk9zwaYooCevSGzGe (scammer wallet) > 14bmzA2BQX2QvaU71GtBqbW5EB84GrqWiQ (uncomfirmed transactions) > 1qPVCRX7kivBkGRtn8Hw4YmoRttKB4dJE (new)
One of this scammer's wallet. 100% sure of this. I have many, but they are not entirely important and take up space that this thread doesn't have.
1NnGcAKXKpfKJhy99Y1NTU7bTjQ52G8ZB1 > 12AjMTDiTzFKHFJ74XbqjpKd5aruv7DAFv (scammer wallet) > 1NM3LguSVijfakXjZhJcZxoJqaMjJGxzNR > 1P7bib3t3TFzvPjTymUSapFFqRCT91jvbd > 17s8hydXp2Gt537NkQEooFPCNiNAGdK4WH > 185aZdDFdTZfcN8B77zewnozRxsuQNVBbr (tumbler) > 13T2M8qLkr7NNNx156Fv9y2ZuXJprxFzhg (tumbleshared distribution) > 18qYGuoxareBanp4PocCWhVtizxSu2v7XA (tumbleshared distribution) > 1P6sL5GihgzBzutoffxHFLzqCZuD77voAY > 1EFvw8zdc13F3SPxTvQ7Yf68Wpj7jcS76y > 1G2g9FNYzwUEQ8fStunoFgbJ4T8QpLAqXj > 12tXeb1Swr1AzedbjauewQpdB55gKcdqaw > 1L2z78NWER7T1NwWt1BkMtP7VgP7B8jtED > 15TgBk8Q5avjs1f6w2YCjNCE3Ex2mATso9 > 1HK5e4b1vwqqbGgp2TxZ2nRWCBgtjFKbs9 > 1KDuzh9aREGKpUNKivC3j6KGsmUjMDngrq > 1HdeqmtBAwKYGdy6yaNqZyPqvZBNReEf1B > 12wfdWrQcNEscaB6zxmoE1N4eTHMZ59c87 > 147XYVaK69NX4e2eNX23Hfd1JMkcSYpt72 > 17WWxKpB1JK27jWoDKAvhdqZsVfYZGNqZT > 19xgYCMdar9fHcsQiBmWtCF95a66rhu5Zm > 1ArgDAnc5omNo32rrRmrcKpjz9sYuPHGxZ > 1Ej37HucNPZZECUNpyvKsmAGk8xfDtUtrU
The original person has been replaced by [SM SCAMMER] to protect their identity until the allegations against them are proven
original post here https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=356501.20
I have uncovered something very interesting during this dox. Please take the time to read.
My chosen dox is YaCoinYeah, requested by joesmoe2012 who lost 50,000usd to this scammer.
So where do we begin? Simple. We start with what we know.
YacoinYeah registered at these forums on May 11, 2013 and was last active August 07, 2013. He is most active at 7 and 12, presumably working or sleeping during 7-12.
It is hard to crack an anonymous identity from the perspective of only one account and so we must profile for similar accounts owned by that same person. We will start with another account, username; 'yacoin'. This is merely a presumption that 'YaCoinYeah' and 'yacoin' could in fact fact be pseudoanonyms but no conclusions are made. We must now profile 'yacoin'. He registered on May 12, 2013, one day after YaCoinYeah was created. His activity also correlates with the activity of 'YaCoinYeah' as does his egotistic, arrogant persona and his affection for PhenixCoin. I now presume 'YaCoinYeah' is 'yacoin'.
But there is another account that captures my attention, username; 'AlternativeCypt'. This account was registered on May 09, 2013 with a very similar activity and persona to 'YaCoinYeah' and 'yacoin'. He runs the same scam, has the same temperament and reacts the same way when confronted. 'AlternativeCypt' was last active on May 18, 2013, one day after yacoin was last active. These two accounts belong to the same person.
This leads me onto one final pseudoanonymous account which I believe to be directly linked to the previous. This account is 'Limitless'. 'Limitless' registered May 2, 2013 and has a very similar persona, activity and scam to the previous accounts. He also has the same username as a previous Sheep Marketplace scammer, a coincidence I originally thought but perhaps not. Limitless, AlternateCypt and yacoin all react in the exact same way when confronted. See all evidence at the end of article.
We have now successfully linked four accounts together, all simultaneously owned by the same party. This gives me a far greater spectrum for analysis.
We now begin our dox.
Joesmoe2012 was scammed by YaCoinYeah on June 05, 2013. 50 bitcoins were sent to the address, 1GbwpirkR5ex7kKWb14nHhtBkw2ZSMZcRn. These coins were swiftly tumbled and divided, I lack the motivation to track these as they are lost. But I do not need to track this particular wallet, I will instead track a second wallet, 1NqwQkEb57JWmZExB1cM7NRMzux2HhYGoq. This wallet was publicly issued by YaCoinYeah himself. A simple track of the bitcoin blockchain leads us to the wallet, 1BdA6Qyu9naBaUJVreyeckrXXvbxSNEuU6 > 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27. 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 is one of the wallets owned by YaCoinYeah and plays an important role in this investigation.
One very important observation I made when first visiting this wallet was a donation of 0.000666 BTC by the wallet, 1AhYNAoMxDPD7bnNvxuSY9FB1CDviEuqzZ. This was more than a coincidence and it was a sign that the owner of 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 already had a hit on them. Tedious tracking of the blockchain and their nodes are then investigated. 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 is a wallet under the circulation of the person who scammed the Sheep Marketplace
Recovering the location of a transaction through a relayed blockchain node is very unreliable, but it can still prove worthwhile. 82.230.109.213 jau31-2-82-230-109-213.fbx.proxad.net was a node that stood out as one third of all these transactions where made by YaCoinYeah. 82.230.109.213 is a French IP and the time zone would correlate to YaCoinYeah's activity. It is very, very unlikely that this IP is in fact YaCoinYeah's real address as he uses The Onion Router for all of his transactions (my assumption).
Instead we track individual transactions that I assume hold the most merit. This is where I make another very interest ion discovery. Many of the wallets that YaCoinYeah sends his bitcoins to are the same wallets that are owned by the person who owned (and apparently scammed) the Sheep Marketplace. Over 49 of these wallets can be tracked while they are constantly washed, tumbled, split and moved into different wallets. What does this mean?
The person who scammed Sheep Marketplace is very likely the identity behind YaCoinYeah, yacoin, AlternativeCypt and Limitless. His activity directly relates to where he lives in the Czech Republic and his bitcointalk wallets all lead to those related in the Sheep Marketplace scam. I will be investigating his Limitless identity soon.
I will continue to work on this dox and hopefully have it completed when enough mistakes are made by [SM SCAMMER], and he will make mistakes.
I have released this dox incomplete and early as to allow anyone interested in helping track this individual to do so. I have not yet finalised all of these details but I am sure that over 90% of this is correct.
I will post all wallets that connect [SM SCAMMER] to his previous 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 wallet soon. I need to fetch them back from my original computer. There are many wallets and transactions that connect these two identities together.
What I believe to be a current wallet of [SM SCAMMER], https://blockchain.info/address/174psvzt77NgEC373xSZWm9gYXqz4sTJjn?filter=1
There is enough open information to easily pursue [SM SCAMMER] from this point forward. My goal is to link his bitcointalk.org accounts with his identity beyond reasonable doubt.
Evidence [still have to add more]
YaCoinYeah (bitcointalk) - Registered; May 11, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=116781 - Last Active; August 07, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=116781 - Active at 7 and 20 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=116781;sa=statPanel - Scammed joesmoe2012 on June 05, 2013 - YaCoinYeah not JohnCar https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=211165.msg2343614#msg2343614 - Wallet 1NqwQkEb57JWmZExB1cM7NRMzux2HhYGoq >>> 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 - Wallet 16V7Br8ebmMEEuxrGQnV9KCKec3Z5ecCvB - 1/3 of all transaction of this node; 82.230.109.213 jau31-2-82-230-109-213.fbx.proxad.net - Personality - egotistic arrogent - 16-25 - possibly narcissistic - Has a job; different hours therefore part time https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=211603.msg2225691#msg2225691
yacoin (bitcointalk) - Registered May 12, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=117430 - Last Active May 17, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=117430 - SCAMMER - Logo initiates background of bitcointalk - Active at 3 and 20 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=117430;sa=statPanel - Mobile ***84 - email ba*****@live.com.au [email protected]
AlternativeCypt (bitcointalk) - Registered May 09, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=114802 - Last Active May 18, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=114802 - SCAMMER - Logo initiates background of bitcointalk - Active at 7 and 20 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=114802;sa=statPanel - wallet YM5YX59HQBdEUBryHdu8rkyuHUE77AKi8R - YAC wallet Y8TWBQ5FKSzpTiCmSvZX3KzQMfwTvBuSvB
Limitless (bitcointalk) - Registered May 02, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110248 - Last Active June 26, 2013 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110248 - Active at 4 and 20 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110248;sa=statPanel - YAC wallet; YKmZSWKiqc9MPzmZ89SAwyXM4wSQqoQE3J https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=232241.msg2579559#msg2579559 - SCAMMER - Limitless = AlternateCypt https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=203657.40
yacoin = AlternateCypt https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=207962.0 - Same scam - Same writing style - Same temperament - Accounts created at some time - Go offline at the same times
1NqwQkEb57JWmZExB1cM7NRMzux2HhYGoq was a wallet posted by YaCoinYeah. Follow 1NqwQkEb57JWmZExB1cM7NRMzux2HhYGoq > 1BdA6Qyu9naBaUJVreyeckrXXvbxSNEuU6 > 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27.
1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 is a wallet owned by the same person who scammed the Sheep Marketplace.
See 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 > 19S3MBScmYW4Z7SChbaUahcAsM3vtg5APE or 1En3zR29cJnXGw1qFVkoQkDZvnp3Vj2m27 > 1EYQzmkhL91EjPH3TjwHEkGuy7dckXxwBQ >1Ap1Wb4twZyhbHD5ZSr2HEYEiREqhgdWya > > 19icYLb7TBg8YzsZYjU2FTUUpqGwfgoM5L
There are many transactions from YaCoinYeah that share wallets of the Sheep Marketplace Scammer.
When I get to my files I'll post a list for you.
submitted by Unonym0us to SheepMarketplace [link] [comments]

The Race To Silk Road 2.0 – Eight Sites Battle It Out To Become The Internet’s Go-To Drug Site

Clearnet link with images: http://atlantisblog.org/191/
It’s almost two weeks since I reported on the race to create Silk Road 2.0 and it seems the mass migration is well underway with existing sites busting at the seams to accommodate the huge increase in traffic with some sites witnessing a 600% increase in listings in two weeks alone and with several more new sites in the final stages of testing it looks like it won’t be long before silk roads legacy of 12’000 drug listings are divided out among its suitors. So who will be the big winners and losers in the battle for the spoils, well it would seem Sheep Marketplace with its slick interface and easy to navigate listings has seen the biggest explosion in growth while the well established heir to the throne Black Market Reloaded has almost doubled it number of drug listings despite having to temporally close the site on several occasions due to huge influx of traffic and a security breach on another occasion.
This morning the Silk Road subreddit graced me with a list containing links to many new TOR marketplace sites and since many of these untested and unproven I decided now might be a good time to assess the state of the union and check each of them out for myself. Black Market Reloaded
Link: http://kss62ljxtqiqdfuq.onion Discussion Forums: http://fec33nz6mhzd54zj.onion/
First up the site many users see as the obvious alternative to Silk Road since it’s now been open over two years with its owner backopy incidentally announcing the launch in the same bitcointalk thread discussing the launch of Silk Road although I’m guessing he didn’t make the same mistake as DPR by using his real e-mail in his forum profile. From his public demeanor backopy seems much keener to focus on business and security than long posts musing over how to win the war on drugs as he was quick to point out when many ex Silk Road users were looking for the politics section of his marketplace forums. Blackopy No Politics
If you’re looking for a side order of philosophy and politics along with your drugs Black Market Reloaded might not be the site for you
After briefly closing the site to new registrations to facilitate server upgrades BMR is now open to new customers and vendors alike. The main complaint I read about the site is that it’s not pretty, can be difficult to navigate and there is no real way to sort listings by county/bestselling etc so initially finding the right vendor for your needs can take some time. However in my view function trumps fashion and while it may not be pretty backopy has at least demonstrated he’s got what it takes to stay one step ahead of the law (at least for now) BMR dated interface?
While some users claim BMR looks like a site they visited through netscape back in 1999 BMR is now the trusted veteran marketplace
In terms of numbers, Screenshots taken today and on the day of Silk Roads closure show the number of drug listings increase from 3075 to 5104 representing a 70% increase in the past two weeks. In terms of turnover backopy’s own figures (last published April 2013) show the site had monthly sales of nearly 70,000USD and considering they were rising month on month that figure is likely to be in the region of 150,000USD per month now.
What plans do they have for the future? well it would seem becoming top dog overnight has encouraged a bit more development and instead of implementing updates on the fly blackopy prefers to release an entire new version of the site in one single update. In a post announcing a 5 BTC ($750 at time of writing) reward for a new logo design he states “BMRv5 will feature mostly responsive HTML5, allowing the site to adjust to other media, such as tablets and smartphones along with no need for JS [JavaScript] anymore or an even more minimalistic version may be present.”
If he’s willing to drop $750 on a logo I can’t wait to see the site. Sheep Marketplace
Link: sheep5u64fi457aw.onion Discussion Forums: sheep5u64fi457aw.onion
If being the veteran black-market which outlived Silk Road and Atlantis makes BMR the tortoise than Sheep Marketplace has to be the hare. In what now seems to be tradition the marketplace was also announced in a bitcointalk thread dated “May 03, 2013″, The owners say the site is based on the open source Nette Framework and while little is known about the sites history or owners there has already been some reddit drama surrounding a non TOR version of the site hosted at sheepmarketplace.com which has now been replaced with a removal notice by the Czech hosting provider, meanwhile the owners have claimed this site was unaffiliated with them and at the very least it was hosted on a totally different server, however the Czech connection maybe something I have to return to for a future post.
On the business side of things however the site is booming and seems to be the fan favorite among the Silk Road diaspora thanks to its sleek interface, product search and filtering features and near lack of downtime during the Silk Road seizure. Perhaps its sudden popularity was also helped by the fact Black Market Reloaded is historically seen as “a place for scammers” by many Silk Road forum users but again if I compare screenshots of sites taken today with another taken the day of Silk Roads closure it’s clear the site has just undergone explosive growth with the number of drug listings increasing from 855 to 4165 which is almost a 400% increase in two weeks and this number is increasing daily. sheep mod note
Sheep Marketplace has yet to prove itself but they seem keen to impress with Sheep forum administrator “ctrlaltweed” eager to answer questions and keep everyone up to date with the rapid deployment of new features which the sites admins have been furiously adding to keep their new customers happy.
After a pain free registration process and quick browse around the site I was very impressed to the point of being confused if anything had really changed from the Silk Road days, After only two weeks the same familiar brand-name vendors were top of their respective category’s when I checked the best selling list and when I wanted to see what was available to my location I only had to click the large “domestic” button to see who was selling in my region. Sheep marketplace's clean interface
Sheep marketplace’s clean interface seems to be a hit among Silk Road users
If Sheep Marketplace keeps rolling out new features and listens to the huge Silk Road community who have found exile there I’ve no doubt they will surpass Black Market Reloaded as the biggest online drug marketplace within weeks but I would still hold some concerns about their security in the long term. Project: Black Flag (beta)
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Forums: http://blackiiw5nozs6i5.onion/
Launched on 14th October 2013 not much is yet known about this project only that its aim is to be a replacement for Silk Road and is run by a character knows as “Metta Dread Pirate Roberts” who appears was not involved in the running of the old site but is building a new site in its image with same policy’s and features meaning no weapons sales. Black Flag screenshot
Screenshot of “Project Black Flag” which has the look and feel of Silk Road circa 2011
While there is not much to show yet a few features they plan to implement to differentiate it from other markets include allowing users to optionally store funds in their own wallets as opposed to one central website wallet making seizure of everyone’s funds less likely. Right now you can register as a user on the site and have an input in the development process but will be a bit longer before it’s fully functional. In a forum topic entitled “Applying for a vendor account”, Metta Dread Pirate Roberts states
“With the open beta just a couple days away, I wanted to get everyone up to speed on applying for a > vendor account.
Currently it is not possible to automatically sign up for a vendor account. This is to prevent vendor spam, as vendor accounts will be free during the beta. To apply for a vender account you will ether need to message me or reply to this topic.” 
With over fifty replies so far and joke listings starting to appear on the site it looks like they won’t have any problem moving forward onto the next stage of the project which I assume means handling real orders once the site has been tested to be secure. I managed to register an account there and buy a few fake items, While the project has lots of work ahead of it the decentralized wallet idea is at least innovate and the site works pretty well which I must say is impressive for a two week turnaround and considering they have a community of 500 members already I’m sure things will progress quickly. Silk Road [2.0] (Working title)
Link: Eta 1- 2 weeks before live Discussion Forums: http://silkroad5v7dywlc.onion
This seems to be the project to watch over the next weeks as the team who worked behind of the old Silk Road (Did anyone every believe it was just one person) regroup and try to implement all the ideas that were shelved to focus on keeping the old pirate ship afloat, Now with time on their hands they seem intent on ensuring when they do return that the new marketplace will be just as revolutionary as the old one was when it launched over 2 years ago.
Nothing has been officially released yet but it seems the new site will also be TOR based since an open job application posted on the forums states they are looking for somebody to manage high bandwidth [TOR] relays funded by Silk Road leading me to believe this is to directly counter a possible threat posed by NSA TOR traffic analysis which was revealed as a potential weak point just recently via Ed Swowden leaks. In any case nobody is taking chances and the new DPR seems to run a tight ship.
“I have taken steps the previous Dread Pirate Roberts wouldn’t have even thought of so you may rest assured, you are in the hands of a technically competent expert.” 
While nobody knows who’s the new face behind the pirates mask or if it’s even one person, Speculators say it’s well known contributor to the old forums “StExo” who was very active in making sure vendor PGP contact info could be collected in one place and had previously made many security audits and backups of the site should anything happen. In his opening address on the new forums DPR goes on to state
“As everyone is now aware, the previous Silk Road has fallen. For law enforcement worldwide this was a small victory for them where they would receive a pat on the back from their superiors and maybe a good Christmas bonus coming up for them. However, what law enforcement has failed to understand is the consequences of their actions. Silk Road is not one man. Silk Road is an idea, and where Silk Road now lies is in the people who made it what it was and it is those people who will, with a little help, bring the idea back to life again under a new name. We are not afraid of our governments, and we never should be. I hope this next phase in the life of the Silk Road is going to be just as interesting, just as productive and just as helpful as the last one was and we will move on from the individual man who started the idea to produce a new site for the free exchange of substances and materials.” 
Vendors from the old Silk Road will be allowed to sign up for free provided they can prove a link to their old identity on the SilkRoad forums, While It’s honorable they will allow vendors to link their accounts from the previous site maybe new public identity’s would be advisable considering how some vendors may have been compromised as I discuss in a previous post.
Anyway this looks to be the site to watch and as things start to take shape the new DPR’s tone is certainly becoming confident, hopefully that means we can expect a release very soon. New DPR aiming high
The new Dread Pirate Roberts says anything less than doubling silk roads previous business would be a disappointment to him Budster
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/Budster
Perhaps somebody was listening when I posted that a cannabis only marketplace would attract a lot less heat from law enforcement but that’s essentially that’s what Budster is. The website didn’t exactly blow me away and is basically a customized wordpress install with the Woocommerce plugin handling transactions but Budster aims to be a simple concept whose main benefit it seems is the claim you will never lose any funds again due to a site-outage or shutdown since payment is made directly to from customer to vendor with the customer releasing funds to the seller via a unique code when the product arrives and in the case of a dispute Budster will intervene.
If they can prove themselves as legitimate the site could do reasonably well as a niche cannabis market but in its current form won’t be scaling up to Silk Road levels in the near future. Right now they have four “hand picked” vendors on board and anyone who wants to sell there has to meet their standards for quality and customer service.
Time will tell if it’s a success or not, credibility is an issue at the moment but if they keep can bringing on board verified ex Silk Road vendors maybe it has a chance to stand in the shadows of the big players. Budster
Budster might be one of the more “simple” marketplaces but there not exactly selling crack cocaine either
Deepbay
Link: ajd4yqq7ngzmqo3p.onion Discussion Forums: http://dbfrmwvtxmiz2vmz.onion
Links for this site have been spamming up message boards for sheep and other marketplaces these past couple of weeks which doesn’t make the best first impression to me. I’ve not seen too much action there but it does seem the owners are also working on rolling out a new version of the site which according to a post on the forums should be released any day now. Deepbay 2.0 to be launched any day now according to the site owners.
Deepbay 2.0 to be launched any day now according to the site owners.
The site itself doesn’t look bad and is easy enough to search and navigate through but it’s seriously lacking in vendors right now with only about 200 listings on the entire site. One other thing that bugged me when I first checked it out was at least one of the vendors was a known scammer from another site, It seems they have now been removed but after a bad first impression I didn’t stay too long. A screenshot of the product pages of Deepbay
A screenshot of the product pages of Deepbay Other Notable Sites That Deserve a Hat Tip
Silk Road Reloaded: Link: Not yet live Wiki: http://www.reddit.com/SilkRoadReloaded/
Nothing much to show yet but the project wiki is very interesting and if it’s to be believed we should see something very soon, What’s interesting about this is they hope to launch it on the I2P network only which in simple terms works just like TOR but instead of communications being bounced through several nodes everybody connected to the network IS a node so in theory it should make the network much more secure but at the expense of being less user friendly than TOR. From what I read on the wiki this could bring something new to the table so is worth keeping an eye on. Drug Market: 4yjes6zfucnh7vcj.onion Not seen any updates or admin communication so maybe it’s fair to say this is a scam or ghost town
In conclusion, whats clear to me right now is the less tech savvy customers seem to be moving over to Sheep while those who vote for reputation over function are moving to BMR. Right now there is no clear cut winner and with many more holding out for the new Silk Road it’ll be quite a while before any market leader emerges.
Lastly some security advice, If you’re going to use any or a combination of these sites make sure to use a unique username/password combination on each, after all would you trust your real life drug dealer with a spare set of keys to your house. There are way too many Phishing sites out there trying to pose as legit ones in order to harvest your username/password in the hope you will use it on other sites as well where they can then do real damage
Another thing to keep in mind is while many of these sites are unproven and will remain so for some time so don’t hold bitcoins in your account that you can’t afford to lose and less money on the site creates less incentive for owners to cut and run should they feel the heat is closing in on them.
After looking through all these sites and projects that must be consuming every waking hour for dozens of people it’s seems what the old Dread Pirate Roberts said about the power being in the idea seems very very true.
submitted by sruser307 to SilkRoad [link] [comments]

Warning: DrugsList is extremely insecure [x-post /r/DarkNetMarkets]

DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation with any marketplace. My interest is only seeing a more secure and trustworthy underground drug market. I have reported numerous issues to other drug markets and have had them successfully fixed. I have never accepted payment from any drug market for security services. I am only an interested observer and occasional customer.
EDIT: here is the original thread at /DarkNetMarkets
The Drugslist website makes numerous simple security errors in its implementation, and is completely unfit as an underground drug marketplace storing bitcoin wallets.

Error 1: The PGP error

As drug market users you have likely noticed that it is always reinforced that you should use PGP for all private message. A lot of users struggle with PGP since you have to download an application, learn public key cryptography, learn how to sign/encrypt and manage keys etc. There is a reason why it is complicated, because ease of use and security are a direct tradeoff. Were PGP to be simple, it likely wouldn't be effective.
This is why you have never seen a serious drug marketplace that attempts to implement PGP on the web, or inside a browser - because it is insecure. You can only guarantee the security of PGP and your messages if you use a desktop app.
I noticed yesterday that drugslist was making a huge error and had implemented PGP in a web browser as part of the their drugs marketplace. This is a huge red flag, because not only is it not secure, but it also teaches users that pasting private keys into a web form is ok, when it is far from. Security conscious people spend a lot of time reiterating into people basic security practices and when Drugslist does something like implement PGP in a browser and ask users to paste a private key into a web form, they undo a lot of that security advocacy performed by others.
I'm going to try and explain in the simplest terms of why PGP in the browser is a bad idea, because I explain what Drugslist did:
When you install PGP normally on the desktop - you go to a trusted site and download the package, and almost all PGP tutorials will, as a second step, show you how you can verify that the package you downloaded is the same one the developers signed off on - to guarantee that it either hasn't been backdoored or manipulated on the server, or that it hasn't been backdoored or manipulated in transit to your computer. You only have to do this once, when you install the application. From then on your can use the PGP app a thousand times and be confident that it hasn't been backdoored (there are ways around this, such as a trojan on your system, but it won't be backdoored by the developer).
This is an essential part of establishing the trust relationship between developer and user, you can guarantee that it hasn't been compromised using cryptography (Bitcoin also does this, as does Tor).
When you use PGP in a browser, your browser downloads a new copy of PGP every time you use it, and has no way of checking the signature. Worse, it doesn't even check if is downloading it from the correct server. That means someone could easily insert a backdoor into it, or weaken it, and you would never notice. It doesn't matter how much you check the code the first time you use it, you can't guarantee that it would be the same every subsequent time.
This isn't a hypothetical attack, there are at least two known cases where the US Government has taken advantage of web-based cryptography to read 'encrypted' messages for users: Hushmail and Lavabit. In the Hushmail case users had no idea that Hushmail had changed the code to give the government access. In the Lavabit case, because they were using web based crypto they were also vulnerable to a subpoena, which they ended up receiving when Snowden became a user. This is why web-based crypto is bad, because it can't be protected or guaranteed.
Drugslist present their web-based PGP alternative as a direct replacement for desktop PGP, which is not the case. Web based PGP is never secure.
They place a link to it right above the box where you send private messages:
Don't know PGP? Check out our client-side PGP encryption tool. No data transferred and everything stays on your device!
All throughout the site, in the FAQ, there on the private message box, it mentions the web-based PGP implementation as an alternative to desktop based PGP, which it certainly is not.
Now this part I can't stress enough: to a security professional, this is a very simple mistake - it is something that even a security professional with only hours of experience would know is a red flag. This is like a mechanic pointing out that the tyre in your car is wobbly and about to fall off.
I noticed that Drugslist have this feature yesterday in their thread about their API. I knew very very little about Drugslist at this time, I had signed up a week earlier and then forgotten about it - not even looking at what vendors are there, etc.
Here is the thread announcing the API:
http://www.reddit.com/DarkNetMarkets/comments/1w2rq9/drugslist_launching_optional_new_full_api/
I got to this second paragraph and immediately stopped reading:
Our site now offers, a fully featured API escrow, auto withdraw for vendors, 1% commission payments on any money spent by anyone whom you refer, a fully integrated forum and email system, client side pgp encryption and decryption as well as a very active customer support and development team.
I immediately had to see this for myself - surely they don't mean PGP in the browser, that would be lunacy. I open the site, find the feature - and sure enough they have implemented PGP in a browser using Javascript and are asking users to paste their private keys and secret messages into a web form. This is absolutely unacceptable, especially by a marketplace claiming to be security conscious.
Without reading the thread further, I then write this comment telling Drugslist that they need to change and remove the client-side PGP feature. Drugslist replied quickly, and they partly gave an indication that they understood the issue, but they mainly chose to ignore what I reported.
edit to add, while we were having this conversation despite denying it was a problem every time I went back and checked Drugs List they were adding warnings to the PGP tool that demonstrated they didn't understand the issue. I would check their page and the wording would change to include a warning, I would go back, leave a comment with a counter-point, check their page again and the warning would be updated again based on the comment I left. This shows that they weren't understanding the issue.
What proves it further is the message they have on the PGP page now:
http://drugslisvdknitqd.onion/pgp/index.html
This is in big red writing at the top, and was added after I raised the issue:
While our Javascript PGP implementation is secure, and can be verified by looking at the source code, understand that other websites claiming to have client-side Javascript PGP could be insecure. Be cautious of any site offering client-side PGP. You should always search through the source code looking for Javascript includes, XHR requests and HTML5 outbound data calls.
Note two things here: they are still misunderstanding the issue - there is no way to implement this securely, besides their reassurance. Also note that this is a feature that is supposed to be built for users who find desktop PGP complicated, yet it is asking them to conduct a thorough audit of the PGP code prior to using the tool each time. This is completely unrealistic.
Back on the comment thread, there was also a completely surreal situation where i'm left spending a dozen comments explaining to DrugsList what the actual problem is, since it is clear they don't understand what i'm actually reporting - in the meantime they continue to deny that there is a problem.
I had no idea at the time that this would lead to an hours-long conversation where drugslist would repeatably deny the existence of numerous security issues despite the clear evidence to the contrary.
I went back up to that original post and kept reading about the API. Two lines later and we have another security issue:

2. API Security Issues

I'll keep this brief. The problems with the API are:
  1. It asks you to place your marketplace password in the URL of the API. This is a big no-no, since many applications log URLs in plain text. A URL is 'non sensitive' data and all applications treat it that way, you should not be placing passwords into the URL
  2. The password used in the API is the same as that used in the API, so if your API somehow leaks, the person finding the password can login as you. This is poor design.
  3. The API client makes no effort to authenticate the server, and vice-versa. This means it would be incredibly simple to intercept the data passing between the API client and the API server. Running over Tor only makes it easier, since a lot of Tor configs have misconfigured DNS.
The drugslist response to these concerns is that they 'expect' API clients to know these problems and to use them securely.
I had now discovered a number of basic security issues in reading only two paragraphs of text from Drugslist, and in all these cases the Drugslist user had responded quickly, completely denying any issue or any problem - and dismissing the concern. This was becoming a pattern and it prompted me to look at the history of this user and this drug marketplace, it didn't take me long to find more hits.

Error 3: SQL Injection

I only had to scroll down 3 or 4 previous thread before finding this thread - where a user of reddit had reported an SQL Injection vulnerability to DrugsList.
Set aside for a moment what you may believe about how the person reporting that bug behaved or conducted themselves, because this is a very serious issue.
I could not believe what I was seeing as I scrolled through the screenshots attached. I haven't seen this type of elementary SQL Injection bug for years. This stuff used to work 10 years ago, but you rarely see it any more as most programmers and websites have wisened up to the simplest of SQL Injection bugs.
Make no mistake about this: what is being demonstrated in that bug is the ability to take control of the application and run whatever commands you wish on the database. This means you can take passwords, steal bitcoin, insert your own vendor account etc.
This is the exact same type of bug that cause both Sheep and BMR to be hacked, instead this bug was much, much simpler than either of those
This SQL Injection bug lead to what was now becoming a regular situation - the drugslist user coming in, denying that there was an error, and claiming that the user who found an SQL Injection had only found a 'small bug' and couldn't 'do anything'. He was daring the next attacker to delete/hack his entire site as a way of proving that a bug exists.
This lead to a completely surreal comment thread, the kind I have never really had before, where we have the admin of the drug market along with a mod from the sub trying to convince people that this wasn't a real bug - using terms that are taken from information security, but using them in such a way that makes it clear to anybody who knows the field that these guys have no idea of what they are talking about.
The sheer simplicity of the SQL Injection attack lead me to open up a browser and to go to Drugs Marketplace and to check for myself to see if I could find any other bugs (having a single simple bug on the main page usually means there are more).

Error 4: Multiple SQL Injection Points

Within 3 minutes of checking their app it was clear that both their search page and their product page are not filtering user input and allow a user to tamper with SQL queries in any way they want.
I private message Drugslist and tell him that he needs to take his site down and come clean about the security issues. I've never seen a site like this. A potential hacker with no knowledge of info sec would only require 10-12 hours of learning to take complete advantage of stealing everything from Drugs List.

Error 5: Server Leaking Info

After discovering the two bugs I come to the conclusion that there is no point in testing this further, since every parameter I test is vulnerable.
I look down at my logs and I can't believe what i'm seeing - the server is leaking critical information about itself that would make it simple for a dedicated adversary to trace down not only the location of the server, but the people running it.
This is worse than Silk Road in the early days, where similar output lead the authorities to the location of the Silk Road server.

Error 6: Consolidating everything in one market

The other problem with Drugs List is that in an effort to be convenient they consolidate everything into one website and behind one URL: market, wallets, email, forum and even PGP
Were the market hacked or taken over by LE, they would get everything - your emails, your messages, your PGP (via the web tool). This is why each vendor and buyer should host each of these separately - email should be with one host, wallet with another, marketplace on another, PGP on your desktop - this rule is the same as the 'diversify your holdings' rule in the finance world, you don't want a single point of vulnerability.
There is also a reason why other markets host their forums and their marketplaces on separate URLs, its so that you isolate them from each other. The threat model to a forum is very different to the threat model for a bitcoin drug marketplace - you don't want a bug in the forum leading to a complete compromise of your bitcoin drug marketplace.

Over-marketing and under-delivering

If you look at Drugs Lists claims, they keep reiterating security and how they have hired 'PHD's in math' and 'security experts'. There is no chance this is true. Drugs List has almost certainly been put together by a single person with a minor understanding of technology and almost no understanding of security who outsourced the work of programming the marketplace. It is likely that he has hired cheap offshore labour to build this site using a service like oDesk or Elance. I don't believe his programmers know that what they are building is being used as a drug marketplace.
When I search some of these marketplaces for 'bitcoin escrow marketplace' I get a number of hits for people attempting to hire cheap labour to build such a marketplace. Some of these sound a lot like Drugs List, and that would also match up with how the site has been implemented. This is exactly how SR1 was taken down and I have more than enough information to conclude that were a sufficiently motivated adversary interested in taking down Drugs List, they would likely do so in very short order.
It doesn't matter if you believe that I am out to "get" drugs list or not, there is a pattern in his communication where numerous people have reported security or other concerns to them and they are dismissed. So either all these people reporting concerns are crazy (which would include me, two other techs on the SQL injection thread, TMPSchultz and gwern on the multi-sig thread), or drugs list is negligent with user data and are in way over their heads with operating a secretive bitcoin based underground drug market.
Of the 3 issues I reported to them, his replies indicated that he didn't even understand 2 of them. It took me numerous messages to explain what was wrong with doing web-based PGP, despite their first response indicated that they understood the issue and thought it was ok.
There is a pattern here in how features are over-marketed and then under delivered and sheer negligence with security reports. The question vendors and buyers have to ask themselves is do they really trust their identity and money with someone who is not only incompetent in building a website but in utter denial about there being a problem.
IF YOU ARE A VENDOR OR BUYER: Don't trust me - please, find someone you know who is a programmer or a tech and ask them to take a look at these two threads:
  1. This one where I report the PGP error, which becomes very weird at the end
  2. This thread, where a user reports a simple SQL injection
That is the lest amount of due diligence you should do before using a drug marketplace, especially as a vendor. You will find that even those with a cursory knowledge of programming or info security will find those threads worrying to the point of being amusing.
submitted by the_avid to SilkRoad [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] I predict that the price of IOTA will reach $2.50 before the end of 2017. If this does not happen...

The following post by fast_grammar is being replicated because the post has been silently removed and some comments within it have been openly removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7gdrbz
The original post's content was as follows:
Just like Ethereum or even Bitcoin, IOTA is not a finished product. The network still runs with a coordinator, there aren't enough full nodes run by people, the desktop wallet sucks, etc.
But IOTA undeniably has some of the most valuable use cases in the cryptosphere as a whole. It's progressing at an unprecedented rate. Reddit talks about it all the time, but the whole wide world hasn't even begun to heard about it. At the time of this post, IOTA represents less than 1.5% of the total cryptocurrencies market cap. It's below Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and even Bitcoin Gold. At the time of this post, IOTA Data Marketplace partner companies had a total of almost $1T market cap (biggest names being Microsoft, Orange S.A., Bosch, Fujitsu, Cisco, Volskwagen and T-Mobile). This will be a top-3 coin in 2018. Now's your chance to get a significant supply. This is your $500 Bitcoin, your Ethereum at $15.
IOTA is currently in the alpha stage and there are three barriers for mainstream adoption in the cryptosphere.
  1. A functioning and elegant wallet (hardware wallet support was announced and should come soon);
  2. A fully reliable autonomous network without coordinator, (progress expected in a few weeks);
  3. Liquidity (availability in more exchanges).
When all of these are fulfilled, investors will feel more comfort when considering IOTA (as of now, people are hesitant to jump on the ship because it does not utilize a blockchain, giving it somewhat of a 'black sheep' status). Once this comfort sets in, though, it will already be too late. IOTA started trading earlier during the year around $0.65. At $1.50, its growth has barely started.
Finally, I'm not a good runner. I've never run more than 14 km at a time and certainly not during the winter. That being said, in the spirit of IOTA's founders' own bet, I'll run a half-marathon in small shorts in the streets of Montréal if IOTA's price does not increase by at least 67% before EOY, and I'll document the event for you guys. With that said, I'm not very worried. I'm actually confident the price will double by then.
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

How News Influences your Bitcoins

http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-spikes-as-japan-recognizes-it-as-a-legal-payment-method-2017-4
"Japan officially recognizes bitcoin as a legal currency"
Look at this article, huge chart right in the middle with a BIG RED ARROW pointing up, resembling the boners we'll soon be getting after the price surges up higher.
But I shouldn't be too quick to make a parody out of this article right?
It must of good trusted quality, after all, it is posted on Business Insider written by "Jonathan Garber", a business insider with Albert Einstein-like hair in a fancy suit. He looks young enough to be sharp and get it, but old enough to be trusted with experience. I mean, the guys picture is the very first thing you see when you open this article. It's almost like a seal of approval, this is a man who proudly stands behind the usefulness of his article. He has his fucking picture up and he looks like he knows his shit. If you click on his name, you'll see that hey this guy probably DOES know his shit, I mean he has a masters in business, worked at an exchange floor, etc etc. At least he sounds more legit than this guy "Evander Smart" who wrote a similar article about Japan legalizing btc as currency 11 months ago (https://bitconnect.co/bitcoin-news/130/japan-officially-recognizes-bitcoin-and-digital-currencies-as-money/) oh wait that doesn't sound right shouldn't it be the other way around?
Nevermind the rhetoric, fine details, let's focus on the facts here.
This is just a public service announcement (a for all you new and old bitcoiners out there:
Fact #1 these articles are complete BS and you should NEVER base your decisions off of news until you have SEPERATED the articles FACTS from OPINION and SPECULATION. I'll come back to this later on.
Fact #2 a Masters degree in business, being paid $1 per word to write an article for Business Insider, working experience in a stock exchange, calling yourself a macro analyst (keyword here is anal because that's where you'll take it if you believe these guys), wearing a suit, and putting your face on top of an article does not make the words fit the picture. There are plenty of MBA's working starbucks and writing BS articles in their spare time between jobs, it doesn't mean they're right. These guys get paid to churn out articles and a quick and easy way of doing this is to read someone elses news, and rewrite the same thing in your own words. And put a big fucking red arrow pointing to the moon and call yourself a technical macroeconomic analyst. Which brings me to my last point:
Fact #3 being a sheep will lead you to a slaughter house, and the perfect path to that is to follow news written by over qualified used car salesmen (no offense to sales people out there but you got to admit there is an element of BS in your work, and writing news is essentially selling advertising space). If you're investing bitcoin, you're probably not a sheep to begin with. But have some integrity people, don't re-post articles on reddit without reading carefully and checking the facts. And don't get so excited (or scared) because a few news articles on the same topic pops up.
The whole "Japan officially legalizes bitcoins = price goes up" is BS. And I'm so upset to see people eat this up on reddit, youtube, and forums because it's a poorly written scam. It's like watching your favorite uncle show your 4 year-old nephew a magic trick by pulling a coin out of his ear.
We know better, magic tricks are BS and the coin was in his hand the whole time.
The magic is the price of bitcoin rose shortly after Japan officially recognizes bitcoin. But here's the red flag:
Simply stating something is now officially legal, when it WASN'T ILLEGAL BEFORE, changes nothing except it now there is a clear and concise definition of what bitcoin is, which is a move to benefit the court system to make convicting bitcoin-related cases more consistent. It is NOT as a sign that bitcoin is being promoted nationwide by the government, that is the rhetoric that is trending right now. But these BS articles imply that even cute Japanese school girls will be using bitcoin to pay for anime and sushi, when in fact we're not even done solving the heavy transaction fees and backlog problems we have yet to figure out right now.
And now here's the coin in the hand: The price increase seen recently had almost nothing to do with these articles, and almost completely to do with Ethereum losing $1bn USD in market cap due to PolonieX's glitch which made everyone panic.
What? Don't believe me? Verify it yourself:
-Open your favourite trading or charting site (www.cryptowat.ch is a good one but there's also www.coinmarketcap.com www.blockchain.info) -Look at these 3 charts: BTC to USD, ETH to BTC, ETH to USD -Notice the spike down in Ethereum price is 45 minutes BEFORE the spike up in the price of Bitcoin. 45 minutes?? Sounds a lot like the time it takes to transfer Bitcoin from 1 marketplace to another! 3 confirmations = 45 minutes. Am I right or is this just a conspiracy?
Still don't believe me? Again I go back to the article that was posted Apr 23 2016 where the headline says: Japan Officially Recognizes Bitcoin and Digital Currencies as Money https://bitconnect.co/bitcoin-news/130/japan-officially-recognizes-bitcoin-and-digital-currencies-as-money/
So in conclusion: there was absolutely NO WAY to predict this price could have gone up, without knowing that PolonieX's ethereum glitch was coming. This and 99.9% of the bitcoin "news" you read about is complete BS. If the price of bitcoin spikes up or down, "ANALysts" will look to the stock market, Foreign Exchange, political news, and draw lines trying to link the two together. Sometimes they are right, like when SEC ETF rejection happened the price plumetted, excellent MENSA-level technical analysis there. But most of the time they are wrong because their primary objective is to create articles that draws crowds in, so their advertising space is worth more, so they can pay their bills and eat. And what better way to draw a crowd in than to write about whatever is trending, whether it's accurate or complete BS.
The average /bitcoin redditor knows more than the average author writing these articles, you can tell by the rhetoric of their articles. Some authors even say things like "now, I'm no expert on bitcoin, but..." that should be the extent of the article, but no, they have cats to feed and churn out BS news.
So next time you're reading an article and it raises your heart-rate up a bit, take some time to think about what's really going on under the hood. Seek out the facts or you'll end up as one of those stories about a guy who bought high and sold low.
TL DR; very fake news, don't be naive and react too quickly, hodl (hold) your coins to be safe
submitted by _4play to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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