All about Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Digital Transformation

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    A $3.3 Billion Claim: Has Cardano's Blockchain 'Solved' Proof-of-Stake?
    Rachel Rose O'Leary, Jul 12, 2018 at 04:00 UTC
    https://www.coindesk.com/a-3-3-billion-claim-has-cardanos-blockchain-solved-proof-of-stake/

    "...
    First pitched by developers Scott Nadal and Sunny King in 2012, proof-of-stake offers what is claimed to be a more sustainable alternative to proof-of-work, the consensus method underlying the world's biggest blockchain by market cap, bitcoin.

    Allowing users to vote or "stake" their coins on a transaction history in exchange for rewards (instead of burning computational energy), it's relatively untested, having so far only been adopted in hybrid, small-scale or delegated formats.

    So, while bitcoin's security is comparatively proven (its blockchain is currently sustaining $114 billion and has held up for years), many crypto coders believe proof-of-stake is necessary to transition the industry into the next phase, in which users no longer have to own hardware in order to claim a blockchain's rewards.

    The trouble is, no one can agree on how this should be done."

    The only way bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could possibly have any chance of a shot at the slim possibility of potential usability and success is to dump the computational load.

    I don't think it's going to happen. At least not in a form everyone will get a shot at being a participant.

    Removing the barrier to entry of investment in a large computational stake would dilute the value of participation. If everyone can make money, the "profit share" would be divided into too small of a "share" per participant.

    The only way to keep participant earnings high is to put in a barrier to entry - like the computational load - to keep the participation low and concentrate the value high for the few that can afford to scale the barrier to entry. The already rich, to not put too fine a point on it.

    Greed will stop the "right", "fair" and "good for the environment" solution from being used; the greedy would prefer to burn up precious energy resources to keep themselves on top and rich. So that's how it will play out.

    Hmmm, why does that sound so familiar? :)
    "...
    Hoskinson told CoinDesk:

    "The long-term goal is to try to completely replicate all of the security capabilities and functional capabilities that the proof-of-work system has without actually having to expend any of the electricity or effort that proof-of-work does, and it looks like, now that we've put about two-and-a-half years of research into this thread, Ouroboros is now converging to that stage.""

    The barrier to entry would be created by the Government or "Federal Reserve" toby implementing this method exclusive for their use, locking out all "earning value" participation by individuals.

    The only individual participation possible would be to pay them to use it by transferring all of your now worthless Cryptocurrencies to the new "legal" system, for a fraction of the fantasy worth.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS MINED BITCOIN TO FUND ATTACKS AGAINST U.S. DEMOCRACY
    JULIO GIL-PULGAR · @GIL_PULGAR | JUL 14, 2018 | 23:00
    https://bitcoinist.com/russian-inte...itcoin-to-fund-attacks-against-u-s-democracy/

    "The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The indictment alleges these officers used Bitcoin to fund their hacking operations."
    RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS USED BITCOIN
    On July 14, 2018, the DoJ indicted 12 officers of the Russian intelligence agency, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU). These GRU agents allegedly executed large-scale hacking attacks aimed at interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

    Specifically, the indictment first count, “Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States,” charges that GRU agents engaged in cyber operations that included the staged releases of hacked documents.

    The indictment’s tenth count, “Conspiracy to Launder Money,” details how the GRU agents used the cryptocurrency to fund the infrastructure they used in their hacking operations. The indictment states:

    The Defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a Web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

    GRU agents also used U.S. dollars and other fiat currencies. However, the indictment points out, conspirators “principally used bitcoin when purchasing servers, registering domains, and otherwise making payments in furtherance of hacking activity.”

    For example, GRU agents were paid from funds originating from an unnamed online cryptocurrency service for the registration of the domain dcleaks.com and the leasing of a server registered with the operational email account dirbinsaabol@mail.com.

    Moreover, Russian intelligence agents used the account under the username “gfadel47,” to receive Bitcoin payments requests from different email accounts.

    GRU attempted to avoid detection of their operations, on the assumption that Bitcoin transactions were anonymous.

    The use of bitcoin allowed the Conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds.

    However, as the indictment explains, Bitcoin transactions are registered on the blockchain with their respective bitcoin addresses, which are alpha-numeric identifiers. These addresses allowed U.S. investigators to identify some of the conspirators’ digital transactions.

    GRU AGENTS MINED BITCOINS TO FUND CYBER ATTACKS
    Russian agents used the same computers for hacking activities as well as for performing Bitcoin payment transactions. In effect, Russian agents funded their hacking operations using different mechanisms involving cryptocurrencies, including the mining of Bitcoin. The indictment states:

    In addition to mining bitcoin, the Conspirators acquired bitcoin through a variety of means designed to obscure the origin of the funds. This included purchasing bitcoin through peer-to-peer exchanges, moving funds through other digital currencies, and using pre-paid cards. They also enlisted the assistance of one or more third-party exchangers who facilitated layered transactions through digital currency exchange platforms providing heightened anonymity.

    According to the indictment, the conspirators used the Bitcoin generated from mining to pay a Romanian company to register the domain dcleaks.com through a payment processing company located in the United States.

    In addition to mining, GRU agents used several other means to obtain bitcoins:

    This included purchasing bitcoin through peer-to-peer exchanges, moving funds through other digital currencies, and using pre-paid cards. They also enlisted the assistance of one or more third-party exchangers who facilitated layered transactions through digital currency exchange platforms providing heightened anonymity."

    Russian Agents Who Hacked DNC Emails Thought Bitcoin Would Keep Them Anonymous
    BITCOIN CRIME, JULY 14, 2018 00:30
    https://www.ccn.com/russian-agents-who-hacked-dnc-emails-thought-bitcoin-would-keep-them-anonymous/

    "...
    The 12 Hackers Thought Bitcoin Would Keep Them Safe
    At some point down the line, the hackers decided to purchase bitcoin in an attempt to remain anonymous. Using the digital currency, the group bought several infrastructures, such as servers, hoping these actions wouldn’t tie back to them. However, now that it has been uncovered, the men are facing an additional charge for money-laundering.

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at the press conference:

    “So long as we are united in our commitment to the values enshrined in our constitution, they will not succeed. Partisan warfare fueled by modern technology does not fully reflect the grace, dignity, and unity of the American people.”

    Their actions confirm the fears of many people worldwide — cryptocurrencies can be used to finance malicious campaigns. While that may be true, these men have been caught and their actions uncovered.

    Similarly, there are illicit transactions happening almost daily with the use of fiat currency, unquestionably at higher volumes than with cryptocurrencies.

    If anything, this particular case proves that exact point — cryptocurrencies don’t ensure a free pass on wrong-doing, particularly when the asset in question is not truly anonymous."
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  5. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  6. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    UN E-Government Survey 2018
    https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/Reports/UN-E-Government-Survey-2018
    New global survey shows e-government supports transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies

    The United Nations E-Government Survey 2018: Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies was launched on July 19 2018.

    It offers a snapshot of trends in the development of e-government in countries across the globe:
    • European countries lead e-government development globally; the Americas and Asia share almost equal standing in high and middle e-government index levels, and many African countries continue to struggle to improve their e-government standing.
    • Eight of the 11 new countries that joined the very-high performing group in 2018 are from Europe (Belarus, Greece, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Portugal and the Russian Federation) and two are from Asia (Cyprus and Kazakhstan).
    • The progress in e-government development in the Americas and Asia is albeit slow, but noticeable. Two thirds of countries in Asia (31 out of 47) and almost half of countries in Americas (15 out of 35) have above the world average EGDI score of 0.55.
    • Uruguay is the only Latin American country with Very-High EGDI scores, joining the other two forerunners in the Americas region in this group - United States and Canada.
    • Only 4 countries out of 54 in Africa score higher than the world average EGDI of 0.55, whereas 14 countries have very low EGDI scores below 0.25. These countries are also low-income and likely to face constraints in allocating necessary resources for e-government development.
    • The disparity in e-government development level is also rather high among the countries in both Africa and Oceania regions. Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries in Oceania that score as high as 0.9053 and 0.8806 respectively. The scores for the other 12 countries range between 0.2787 and 0.5348, which is below the world average of 0.55.
    • Generally, there is a positive correlation between the country’s income level and its e-government ranking. High-income countries have very-high or high EGDI scores. This is not universal, however. Twenty-two upper middle-income and 39 lower-middle income countries have EGDI scores below the global EGDI average and 10 countries in the lower middle-income group have scores above the global EGDI average. The lower income countries, on the other hand, continue to lag behind due to relatively low level of development of all Index’s components.
    • For the first time in 2018 the main contributor of EDGI scores improvement in all income groups is development of online services, suggesting that globally, there was a steady progress in improving e-government and public services provision online.
    • All 193 Member States of the United Nations had national portals and back-end systems to automate core administrative tasks, and 140 provide at least one transactional service online. The trend of improvement in transactional online services is strong and consistent in all assessed categories with the three most commonly used services being payment for utilities (140 countries), submitting income taxes (139 countries), and registration of new business (126 countries).
    • Increasingly, more countries provide online services targeted to the most vulnerable groups. From the regional perspective, Europe continues to lead in online service delivery for all vulnerable groups reaching almost universal coverage across the region or over 80 per cent of all European countries.
    • The number of countries providing online services using emails, SMS/RSS feed updates, mobile Apps and downloadable forms has been increasing in all sectors. For instance, up to 176 countries provide archived information online compared to 154 in 2016.
     

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  7. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  8. Dr. AMK

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  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future
    Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future. Its failure to achieve adoption to date is because systems built on trust, norms, and institutions inherently function better than the type of no-need-for-trusted-parties systems blockchain envisions. That’s permanent: no matter how much blockchain improves it is still headed in the wrong direction.

    Decentralized and Trustless Crypto Paradise is Actually a Medieval Hellhole
    Kai Stinchcombe, Whatever the opposite of a futurist is, Apr 5, 2018
    https://medium.com/@kaistinchcombe/...-is-actually-a-medieval-hellhole-c1ca122efdec

    Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

    Everyone says the blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is going to change EVERYTHING. And yet, after years of tireless effort and billions of dollars invested, nobody has actually come up with a use for the blockchain—besides currency speculation and illegal transactions.
    Kai Stinchcombe, Whatever the opposite of a futurist is, Dec 22, 2017
    https://hackernoon.com/ten-years-in...se-for-blockchain-ee98c180100?gi=80f73ab41215

    Each purported use case — from payments to legal documents, from escrow to voting systems—amounts to a set of contortions to add a distributed, encrypted, anonymous ledger where none was needed. What if there isn’t actually any use for a distributed ledger at all? What if, ten years after it was invented, the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale is because nobody wants it?
     
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  10. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future
    https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/8fmg2y/blockchain_is_not_only_crappy_technology_but_a/

    MikeTheCanuckPDX 1831 points 3 months ago
    "Every time I hear about the latest "real-world problem" that blockchain will solve, I think back to the difference between the Bruce Schneier who wrote Applied Cryptography (the bible for years on crypto) and the Bruce Schneier who wrote the Preface for Secrets and Lies - here's an excerpt:

    "I have written this book partly to correct a mistake.

    Seven years ago I wrote another book: Applied Cryptography. In it I described a mathematical utopia: algorithms that would keep your deepest secrets safe for millennia, protocols that could perform the most fantastical electronic interactions-unregulated gambling, undetectable authentication, anonymous cash-safely and securely.

    In my vision cryptography was the great technological equalizer; anyone with a cheap (and getting cheaper every year) computer could have the same security as the largest government. In the second edition of the same book, written two years later, I went so far as to write: "It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics."

    It's just not true. Cryptography can't do any of that.

    It's not that cryptography has gotten weaker since 1994, or that the things I described in that book are no longer true; it's that cryptography doesn't exist in a vacuum.

    Cryptography is a branch of mathematics. And like all mathematics, it involves numbers, equations, and logic. Security, palpable security that you or I might find useful in our lives, involves people: things people know, relationships between people, people and how they relate to machines. Digital security involves computers: complex, unstable, buggy computers.

    Mathematics is perfect; reality is subjective. Mathematics is defined; computers are ornery. Mathematics is logical; people are erratic, capricious, and barely comprehensible.

    The error of Applied Cryptography is that I didn't talk at all about the context. I talked about cryptography as if it were The AnswerTM. I was pretty naïve.

    The result wasn't pretty. Readers believed that cryptography was a kind of magic security dust that they could sprinkle over their software and make it secure. That they could invoke magic spells like "128-bit key" and "public-key infrastructure.""

    A colleague once told me that the world was full of bad security systems designed by people who read Applied Cryptography.
    ...

    A few years ago I heard a quotation, and I am going to modify it here:

    If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.

    Go read the whole Preface, published online for free. It was the most sobering read for a security geek who'd preached the greatness of crypto algorithms to "make stuff secure" for years (i.e. this dumbass)."

    Secrets & Lies
    https://www.schneier.com/books/secrets_and_lies/pref.html
     
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