You may be in quarantine, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t! For those who don’t know, every month this subreddit makes a millionaire out of one comment, and donates. With danger out and about, take some time and comment to enter! [Drawing Thread #52]
I thought this year would be a lot more normal.
Introduction: Welcome to anyone and everyone coming from /popular. To be honest, I probably should've expected this, given that most of us are staying home. For those who aren't familiar: every month, we ask for comments for entry, and we pick one who represents our winner. This process is completely random and verifiable, using the Bitcoin blockchain as a sophisticated die. Following this, people then donate to the winner using a variety of mediums, and the winner would go on to be a "millionaire" (arguably, our definition of that term is pretty loose). So once again, thank you for your support. The post lasts for 24 hours before getting locked, so make sure you place your comment before 7 PM ET. In addition, I may make a [Part 2] if we reach the limit. If that happens, I will sticky a comment on this post temporarily. Let's make a millionaire! In Case You Missed It:
REQUIRED: Leave only one (1) top level comment in reply to this thread! (Replying to other comments will not qualify. You must be thirty days old or older to comment.)
A random user who commented will be chosen, and everyone donates a dollar to make a millionaire.
February 19 at 7:00 PM ET (epoch timestamp: 1582153200 (a bit tricky taking DST into consideration, it’s been updated)) is the cutoff for accounts. If you have created your account after this point, you are not eligible to enter and your submission will be disqualified automatically.
March 22 at 12:00 PM ET (epoch timestamp: 1584892800) will begin the process of selecting the winner. At this time, the [Draw] post will be online and start the process of waiting for the blockchain, in order to select the winner randomly and verifiably.
Mini Survey: NOTE: A Google account is required to respond to hinder tampering, but you are not obligated to answer. So I’ve been thinking about this for a while: people are not having pleasant experiences with PayPal. If the account isn’t blocked, then there are issues with fees, fear of the seizure of funds, and the risk of revealing personally identifiable information. However, it is the largest platform used by /MillionaireMakers, and is the provider of most donations on this subreddit. This survey is purely to see how people feel about this. Unless if the winner chooses to not accept PayPal, we will continue to offer this service for tonight’s thread. My questions are: 1) How would you feel about a ban on the PayPal service here on /MillionaireMakers? 2) Would removing PayPal as a service affect your ability to donate? 3) Should /MillionaireMakers remove PayPal? I will periodically post results here. If you are interested in responding, please answer here, answers will not be accepted at the time the [Draw] is posted: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffkP3SKdTi9lLPbtO8taG4_-cdctYlAf8SvohvzoJvTOYdhw/viewform?usp=sf_link Drawing Process Mini-Update: This is as short as they come, leroy627 has made a commit to the repository that adds backwards-compatibility up to Python 3.5. Procedure will be run with the following conditions: the first comment of duplicates are kept for the month of March, and any ineligible comments will be removed. If you are interested in more information, see [Drawing Thread #51]: https://reddit.com/millionairemakers/comments/f7jdxz/alright_were_getting_back_into_the_flow_happy/
Sunday at 12 PM ET (16 UTC), we will be picking our winner, and you won’t want to miss it. The post will be labeled [Draw], and one comment will be selected out of the many made here to make a winner! Remember, this is about generosity, making an impact, and uniting to make someone's life better. It takes three minutes to donate a bit to the winner, whether you're well off and want to donate a couple bucks, or going through tough times and can only donate a few coins. Every cent makes cents, and counts! If a lone $1 can get you a mask for obvious reasons, then imagine the possibilities with $1,000,000. You can get a full-body suit, new doors, and someone to love you! Admittedly, for the wrong reasons, but the option is there. A million dollars can make someone’s suffering less sufferable. Spread the word: have your friends and family comment, post the link to your friendly-neighborhood social media network, and share it to anyone interested.
Let’s make a millionaire!
Why, kind Haiku? Why? Am I to atone in home? Perhaps. I’ll get by.
My name is Gabriel Acosta, a small business owner seeking representation in a securities fraud case. I am a victim of online broker scam; a operation I was coerced into, and as a result of which I was defrauded by a company named Tridixoptions (Tridixoption.net), claiming to have a registered address at 1407 Moon Harbor ct, Saint Augustine, FL United States, representing itself as a “financial broker”. The perpetrators approached me through the social media platform, Instagram, using profiles inquiring whether I was interested in making a small investment into their platform, Tridixoptions. I decided to give it a try with $300 USD. In my eyes, this was an opportunity and decided to incorporate a business to use as a personal investment structure and decided to use this "online broker" as a catalyst for the opportunity. Shortly after the initial deposit, they began charging me fees as the “investment value” increased on the platform. These fees included fees to increase wallet value, enable auto-trading and finally a withdrawal insurance fee, among other various "fees". The value listed on their "platform" consistently showed an increase in value; I went ahead and believed their listed returns and continued to deposit funds into the account. At the time of payout, I was shown to have a value of over 108,000 USD and had personally invested approximately 50,000 USD into their platform. Unfortunately, on May 31, 2019 after depositing the withdrawal insurance fee, I received communication from the platform informing me that if I had not received my payout by then that I will not receive one and to proceed with filing a lawsuit against them. I am able to provide email documentation detailing what is described above, it is house and organized within the company OneDrive. Upon further reflection, it is evident that this Merchant is operating the online platform under the address http://www.tridixoption.net/ and the deposit of funds were directed into a false and fictitious “trading account”. The cryptocurrency deposits I made into their account are as follows:
Bitcoin (BTC) totally equal to 10,541.15 USD bought via Coinbase, LocalBitcoins and BitBase exchange (www.bitbase.es) platforms;
Bitcoin (BTC) totally equal to 24,016.00 USD bought via Paxful exchange (www.paxful.com) – owned and operated by Paxful Inc., a company registered under the laws of the United States, having its registered address at 3422 Old Capitol Trail PMB # 989 Wilmington, DE 19808-6124;
A wire funds totaling to 9,720.08 USD to another entity acting as Beneficiary, namely Coin Trader LLC, registered in the US with company number 1293008-93, based in 4621 SW KELLY AVE STE 200, Oregon, USA and holding an account with Keybank National Association. These funds were used to purchase additional virtual currency (BTC) and transferred into the e-wallet of the fictitious e-wallet.
The entirety of purchased BTC (virtual currency) were deposited into the following wallet addresses, as designated by the Merchant: 1EqldoPtl96ZDYF2uoATG5YV6Bj3uih4u9 (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1EqLdoPtL96ZDYF2uoATG5YV6Bj3uih4u9?page=12) 3Qd7ghJ39CA3VrTc4DtATAyT3kVjvGcv6b (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/3Qd7ghJ39CA3VrTc4DtATAyT3kVjvGcv6b) AND 3QfSA27pAU68YRahSbbusCtEyKnNyNxp48 (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/3QfSA27pAU68YRahSbbusCtEyKnNyNxp48?page=1) The aforementioned should have never been treated as owned by the Merchant. Neither the Merchant nor the beneficiary of payments demonstrated capacity to keep segregated accounts for such investment endeavors. It remains unclear how the Merchant passed through the on-boarding procedures of the cryptocurrency exchange, respectively whether the Merchant acted on his own or by an authorized representative in his relations with the cryptocurrency exchange. Following the principle that possible breaches of banking and financial laws, such as the allowance of payment processing in favor of unregulated legal entity, shall be observed and established by the competent authorities, I hereby report alleged financial fraud. This situation has destroyed the potential of the company and my personal finances. The pain and suffering I have incurred due to these actions include: destruction of my personal credit, repossession of the company vehicle, eviction from my residence and subsequent homelessness and inability to provide health care of myself or my pet. Herewith I kindly request: I am searching for an attorney that can complete the following:
File a lawsuit against the brokers that house the perpetrators e-wallet and where the virtual currency was transferred into. To elaborate: The prior twelve (12) months, I have been collaborating with a company based out of Europe that was tasked with informing all stakeholders and regulators of the issues I have been facing and attempt to make recovery of the funds (mychargeback.com). As of today, we have informed the authorities and the exchanges where the currencies were purchased (Paxful, LocalBitcoins, Bitbase, Coinbase) and have conducted an online trace of where the funds were transferred into using state-of-the-art cryptocurrency technology (Cyphertrace). There are two (2) exchanges that have processed the transactions and have violated domestic and international banking laws by not conducting proper due-diligence on both sides of the transactions: one located here in the United States (Paxful, Delaware) and the other located in Singapore (Luno). I have informed both entities of the illegal activities and at this moment, they are conducting internal investigations to protect their interests and contain liability. According to email documentation, they have traced the perpetrators and flagged their accounts to hopefully prevent another victim.
Obtain the results of the subpoena and provide me additional representation in filing a lawsuit in an attempt to recover the stolen funds and provide justice for these illegal acts. This item may also involve filing a lawsuit against the cryptocurrency exchanges that failed to conduct proper investigations on both sides of the transaction to ascertain that the money was not going to fund terrorism, money-laundering, racketeering, trafficking or other illegal activities. These exchanges are now liable for violating both domestic and international law. They have failed to act in a manner consistent with being a "good banker”.
Part 1Part 2 I'm at $BigClient, which is taking a Citroen like approach to infrastructure and operations. "We recognize that the McPherson strut is simple, efficient, good enough for most use cases and accepted by everyone in the industry, but we shall do it with hydraulic fluid at high pressure. What could go wrong?" Except $BigClient's far away from a competent Citroen shop. $BigClient's Citroen has gone through a few years of 'just keep it running on the cheap' upkeep without access to factory parts. I've got an odd patching problem on a handful of servers. Systems are rolling back to insecure versions (2.0.2 ->1.4.6) and nobody knows why. Or at least, nobody's talking. I don't know what to do yet, so I decide to go and get lunch. I work out the possibilities.
There's something wrong with our validation procedure- they're actually patched and we're reading the wrong thing.
There's something or someone else downgrading these systems.
Number 1 requires more documentation, which $BC doesn't seem to want to show me. Number two might be hiding in logs, which are emailed to me on a regular basis. I walk back to my cubicle, grab my laptop and a notebook and find a quiet corner to figure things out. I find one in a tiny conference room. I read through my emails and search for any of the logs from the api servers. I spend about ten minutes on Stack Exchange for the appropriate sed, awk, tee and cat munging to pare them down to what I want. Eventually I dump them all to Excel, because I am a bad person. Some filtering and I can see what's going on. The system orchestration updates each server every other midnight. I see about three quarters of them download the 2.0.2 version as a part of the night's update. Every two nights a (seemingly) random selection of servers updates. I scribble the order on the conference room whiteboard and stare at them for a few minutes. Nothing in the orchestration system logs shows another process loading the older 1.4.6. version. But something is. Nothing in the logs emailed to me obviously points to another process. I take a walk to get a coffee and think. Nothing comes to me and I have to scour the kitchen for unflavored coffee. I walk back to my conference room to find an intern-like person. me:"Hey, I apologize. I didn't know the room was reserved. I'll take my stuff." Other person:"That's ok. Are you Rob?" me:"Nope, sorry" I take my stuff and make my way back to my cubicle. A few minutes searching leads me to a shared root password for the servers stored in the password vault. I login to one of the remaining servers running 2.0.2 and look at the running processes. Nothing obvious like "random updater". I'm stumped. I lean back and stare at nothing in particular trying to come up with some ideas. Unfortunately, it's fairly packed and I'm next to a bullpen. Voice 1:"So the Sky Caps put blotter in the vat without telling anyone" Voice 2:"Hilton Honors kicks' Marriott Bonvoy's ass any day." Voice 3:"No, I'll pick her up at 4" The voices wash over me in some clip reel workplace sitcom haze. I'm not going to get anything done. I take a walk around the offices to get the lay of the land. It's a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of grey cubefarms, tan breakrooms, free coffee but no snacks. The only attempts at color are people's cubicles. Family pictures, shirtless men with fish, desk toys and action figures. It's like a mall- everything's pleasant, non threatening and in identically-sized stalls, with colorful (but bounded) individuality, all for commerce. Then I find the Hot Topic meets Successories manifesting in a cubicle. There are two dorm-room sized posters of the gold Bitcoin-coin, along with framed inspirational quotes about success and perserverance set against pictures of Game Of Thrones characters and muscle-bound men in insignia-less camo. A new leather jacket with an embroidered skull is on the back of the chair. This person is either a hoot or insufferable. I keep walking. I have a breakthrough. Where are the API servers getting the older version to install? Maybe that'll lead me into the library. I'm not yet Adso, but perhaps I'm one of the other ,lesser scribes copying my book and scribbling fanciful drawings of the things I miss, like decent coffee and a cell-mate that doesn't snore. I walk back to my cubicle. A different intern-shaped person is in the conference room, all alone. I can't save them. Eventually they'll be standing in the corner of their cubicle looking away while the middle manager cleans out the rest of their team. I'm in my seat. Some searching results in a few possible repositories. Some more searching finds me the one repo that still has v1.4.6 of this application. Just to make sure, I compare a downloaded copy of v1.4.6 and the installed version of v 1.4.6 on one of the servers. I search all the folders and files for the URL of the repo server and find it. In the application itself. The server waits every two days and looks to the repo. If the installed version is not equal to v 1.4.6, it downloads v 1.4.6 from the server and installs it, then forces a restart. This code is commented out (made non-executable) along with an actual comment: /REMOVE BEFORE PRODUCTION I quickly scan through the API servers to find one of the ones still running 2.0.2. I search for the term "REMOVE BEFORE PRODUCTION" And there it is, in the application code. Except it's not commented out. In a text editor, I write up my findings, conclusion and a recommended fix- delete the upgrade code snippet, increment to 2.0.3, push it out using the orchestration tool and call it a day. LC Chat won't let me attach my text file, so I breathlessly LC Chat my document, line by line at Vincent, the poor bastard tasked with closing audit finding 162, the mystery of the random rollback. Vincent:... Clearly, Vincent is choosing his congratulatory language carefully. Vincent:"Can't apply the fix. The application is owned by Development. They're behind on other things, so they won't update the software until next quarter." me:"It's about thirty lines of code we can comment out" Vincent:"Can we say it's fixed for the audit since we know what the problem is?" me:"No. We can patch it, or we could write up a remediation plan and get it on some schedule." me:"But that's more paperwork than the actual fix." Vincent:"But Ops isn't on good terms with Development." me:"So they're not going to touch it any time soon." Vincent:"Probably not" me:You guys own that repo server, too" Vincent:"I don't see how that's good for anything" me:"We cut out the update code in 2.0.2 and call it 2.0.3. We name the file 1.4.6 and replace the existing 1.4.6 on the repo server. Either the app gets updated via your orchestration server or it updates itself. We're fixed in two days either way. Vincent:"But policy requires that we get approval" me:"There's an exception, if you have a superior in Operations to sign off, you can call it an emergency fix. Ask Trevor. He just needs to not tell anyone else. You submit the ticket and eventually the devs will get to it and fix the problem for good. Until then, you pass that part of the audit." Vincent tells me he's going to talk to Trevor. I'm going to take a walk. Out of curiosity, I go back to the Hot Topic cubicle to get a look at its occupant. The jacket is gone and the monitors are off. Mystery person has left for the day, I assume. I look at the large jars of nutritional supplements with macho names- Gorilla Rage, LumberJacked, Psycho Focus". I notice the name-plate on the outside of the cubicle. Oh, no. Ian. To Be Continued... edit- made modifications to satisfy Internal Audit 8-)
RADIX: THE PROTECTION AGAINST DEFI RISK Radix is a First-layer protocol for DeFi. Currently, DeFi applications are based on protocols that are not scalable Radix has created a robust, secure, and scalable protocol for building applications and tokens. Based on existing public ledgers’ success, the Radix protocol is an unauthorized framework within which DeFi services can be developed and operated. Radix claims to solve two of the biggest problems in DeFi: scalability and security. Overall, the blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) space is still evolving but offers a compelling value proposition where individuals and institutions have broader access to financial applications without the need for a trusted broker. WHAT IS DECENTRALIZED FINANCE (DeFi) Decentralized finance is a new financial system based on public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. After all, Bitcoin and Ethereum are not just digital currencies. They are essentially open-source networks that can be used to change the way the world economy works. DeFi is a significant project to decentralize traditional core use cases such as trading, lending, investment, asset management, payments, and insurance on blockchains. DeFi relies on decentralized applications or protocols (dApps). By running these dApps on a blockchain, a peer-to-peer financial network is provided. Each dApp can be combined with each other like Lego blocks. Smart contracts act as connectors comparable to perfectly defined APIs in traditional systems. Rarely will you get great rewards without huge risk Just like every other industry, the DeFi system also has its own risks and issues. Unfortunately, many DeFi system users underestimate the risk associated with automated loan protocol’s impressive interest rates. FORMS OF DEFI RISKS When working with DeFi solutions, it is essential to consider technical and procedural risks as well. Technical risk means assessing potential weak spots in the hardware and software behind a product or service. This is important for decentralized applications (dApps) Procedural risk can be viewed as similar to technical risk, but rather than considering the product or service, procedural risk examines how users can be directed to use the product in undesirable ways that could compromise their safety. RADIX SOLVING DeFi RISKS DeFi is worth more than $ 8 billion. However, DeFi requires fast and minimal transaction fees and secure building systems to reach its full potential. DeFi applications must be scalable and compilable. Protocols such as Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, and Cosmos solve the wrong scaling issues and don’t attract others, according to Piers. According to Piers, mainstream DeFi needs a bottom-up DLT platform for DeFi_ to work for both users and developers. This is the purpose of Radix. Incentives are needed to attract developers for the DeFi ecosystem to continue to grow. Radix has an innovative incentive program for developers that allows them to take advantage of the applications they contribute to. Radix has two significant innovations: The first is Cerberus, the scalable consensus protocol. Thanks to its highly fragmented data structure and its unique application layer, Cerberus can process many transactions. The second innovation is the Radix Engine, a developer interface that enables public ledger to be quickly deployed in a secure environment. Radix Engine is the Radix application layer. In Crypto Chat, Piers anticipates that DeFi will have more liquidity in the transition market than any other exchange in the next decade. “The key component of DeFi is how liquidity can move between applications and products.” The Radix protocol is a combination of four core technologies that solve four significant issues to the growth of DeFi. It is a platform where transactions are fast with minimal transaction fee and high security. The scale is unlimited, and connections between applications. dApps can be created quickly and rely on their ability to safely manage user resources. Builders are rewarded directly from the platform for additional contributions, both large and small. It is a platform intended to serve as the basis for mainstream DeFi on a global scale. Each of the four technologies on the Radix platform represents a breakthrough in the Defi-related issue we want to share with the world. At a critical technology milestone last year, the Radix team overcame DeFi’s core scalability problem by using its technology to over 1 million transactions per second, a performance that exceeds five times the NASDAQ at its peak. THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF DECENTRALIZED FINANCE Five ways decentralized finance can affect the universe 1. Accessing financial services across borders With decentralized finance, all you need is an internet connection to access financial services in any part of the world. There are several barriers to access in the current system: Status: citizenship, document, identity, etc. Lack of Wealth: High Entry-Level Funds to Access Financial Services Location: Great distance to business economies and financial service providers A senior trader in a financial company will have the same access as a farmer in India’s remote area in a decentralized financial system.
Affordable cross-border payments Decentralized funding eliminates costly intermediaries to make remittance services more affordable to the world’s population. In today’s system, sending money across borders is too expensive for people — the average global transfer fee is 7%. In decentralized financial services, transfer fees can be less than 3%.
More privacy and security With decentralized finance, users have responsibility for their assets and can securely transact without a major party’s approval. In this day and age, parents risk people’s wealth and knowledge if they don’t protect them.
Censorship-resistant transactions In a decentralized financial network, transactions are immutable, and blockchains cannot be closed by central institutions such as governments, central banks, or large corporations.
There are poor governance and authoritarianism. Users can exit the decentralized financial system to protect their assets. Venezuelans, for example, are already using Bitcoin to protect their wealth from government manipulation and hyperinflation. 5.Ease of use With plug and play applications, users can spontaneously access and use the decentralized financial without centralized finance. With a decentralized system, anyone can get a loan from any part of the world through interoperable apps, invest in a business, pay off the loan, and make a profit. writen By Naphtali Dabuk for more information visit https://t.me/radix_dlthttps://twitter.com/radixdlthttp://www.radixdlt.com/
Flatten the Curve. #49. Let's Dig into Jade Helm. AI. The Surveillance State. Internet of Things. FISA. Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Breakdown. What is Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio? Stay Aware and Get Ahead of the Curve.
Flatten the Curve. Part 48. Source Here It's getting crazier day by day now, so are you following the Boy Scout motto? On this topic, Baden-Powell says: Remember your motto, "Be Prepared." Be prepared for accidents by learning beforehand what you ought to do in the different kinds that are likely to occur. Be prepared to do that thing the moment the accident does occur. In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.” Why should you be prepared? Because TPTB have been preparing, that’s why.
June 12, 2014: The Guardian • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown. Social science is being militarised to develop 'operational tools' to target peaceful activists and protest movements Source Here
Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown. It seemed ludicrous back in 2014, didn't it? Inconceivable. Sure some preppers believed it, but they're always getting ready and nothing happened. Doomsday was always right around the corner, and then the next corner, and on and on. Televangelists have probably accused more politicians of being the antichrist than the number of politicians went to Epstein's Island. But why would they be preparing for mass civil breakdown? Could it be the same reason as why the miltary is preparing for war, droughts and famines brought about by environmental collapse?
February 20, 2020: History Network • Here’s Why These Six Ancient Civilizations Mysteriously Collapsed. From the Maya to Greenland’s Vikings, check out six civilizations that seemingly disappeared without a trace. Source Here
All of these civilizations vanished because of some combination of exhausting their natural resources, drought, plauge, and the little ice age. Sound familiar? Don't tell me that the Rockefeller Foundation and BlackRock became environmentally aware out of a sense of obligation to the planet. They're setting the groundwork for what's coming down the pipe. This isn't about money anymore, this is about control and survival. Throw out the rulebook because the rules no longer apply. Do you think the surveillance system is for your protection, or the protection of the state? Don't you think that an era of upcoming calamities will severely damage the communication networks, and thus the surveillance system? It might be prudent to consider that Starlink is being established to make the system redundant, so that they never lose track of the precious worker bees before they can be connected to the AI hive mind, right Elon? Neuralink, don't leave home without it. But let's not forget about the wonderful world of the Internet of Things.
March 15, 2012 • More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an "Internet of Things" -- that is, wired devices -- at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm. "'Transformational' is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies," Petraeus enthused, "particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft." All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you're a "person of interest" to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the "smart home," you'd be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room's ambiance. "Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters -- all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing," Petraeus said, "the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing." Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices "change our notions of secrecy" and prompt a rethink of "our notions of identity and secrecy." All of which is true -- if convenient for a CIA director. The CIA has a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens. But collecting ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation. That's not the only data exploit intriguing Petraeus. He's interested in creating new online identities for his undercover spies -- and sweeping away the "digital footprints" of agents who suddenly need to vanish. "Proud parents document the arrival and growth of their future CIA officer in all forms of social media that the world can access for decades to come," Petraeus observed. "Moreover, we have to figure out how to create the digital footprint for new identities for some officers." Source Here December 19, 2019: New York Times • THE DATA REVIEWED BY TIMES OPINION didn’t come from a telecom or giant tech company, nor did it come from a governmental surveillance operation. It originated from a location data company, one of dozens quietly collecting precise movements using software slipped onto mobile phone apps. You’ve probably never heard of most of the companies — and yet to anyone who has access to this data, your life is an open book. They can see the places you go every moment of the day, whom you meet with or spend the night with, where you pray, whether you visit a methadone clinic, a psychiatrist’s office or a massage parlor. The Times and other news organizations have reported on smartphone tracking in the past. But never with a data set so large. Even still, this file represents just a small slice of what’s collected and sold every day by the location tracking industry — surveillance so omnipresent in our digital lives that it now seems impossible for anyone to avoid. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the powers such always-on surveillance can provide an authoritarian regime like China’s. Within America’s own representative democracy, citizens would surely rise up in outrage if the government attempted to mandate that every person above the age of 12 carry a tracking device that revealed their location 24 hours a day. Yet, in the decade since Apple’s App Store was created, Americans have, app by app, consented to just such a system run by private companies. Now, as the decade ends, tens of millions of Americans, including many children, find themselves carrying spies in their pockets during the day and leaving them beside their beds at night — even though the corporations that control their data are far less accountable than the government would be. Source Here
The IoT should be renamed to IoTT (Internet of Tracking Things), shouldn't it. But we can't have people figure out what's really happening, can we? It's a good thing that quantum computing isn't too close, isn’t it?
April 5, 2018: Global News • (Project Maven) Over 3,000 Google employees have a signed a petition in protest against the company’s involvement with a U.S. Department of Defense artificial intelligence (AI) project that studies imagery and could eventually be used to improve drone strikes in the battlefield. Source Here
December 12, 2019 • Palantir took over Project Maven defense contract after Google backed out. Source Here
December 29, 2020: Input • Palantir exec says its work is on par with the Manhattan Project. Comparing AI to most lethal weapon in human history isn’t comforting. SourceHere
August 14, 2020: Venture: • Google researchers use quantum computing to help improve image classification. Source Here
Hmmm. Maybe Apple will be for the little guy? They have always valued privacy rights, right?
October 2, 2013: Vice News • The hacktivist group Anonymous released a video statement with an accompanying Pastebin document claiming that there are definitive links between AuthenTec, the company that developed the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint scanner, and the US government. Source Here
An apple a day helps the NSA. Or Google. Or Microsoft. Or Amazon. Take your pick from the basket, because dem Apple's are all the same. But at least we have fundamental rights, right? Foreign agent declaration not required • No mention of foreign agent status is made in the Protect America Act of 2007. Under prior FISA rules, persons targeted for surveillance must have been declared as foreign agents before a FISA warrant would be accorded by the FISC court. 'Quasi-anti-terrorism law' for all-forms of intelligence collection • Vastly marketed by U.S. federal and military agencies as a law to prevent terror attacks, the Protect America Act was actually a law focused on the 'acquisition' of desired intelligence information, of unspecified nature. The sole requirement is geolocation outside the United States at time of Directive invocation; pursuant to Authorization or Order invocation, surveillance Directives can be undertaken towards persons targeted for intelligence information gathering. Implementation of Directives can take place inside the United States or outside the United States. No criminal or terrorism investigation of the person need be in play at time of the Directive. All that need be required is that the target be related to an official desire for intelligence information gathering for actions on part of persons involved in surveillance to be granted full immunity from U.S. criminal or civil procedures, under Section 105B(l) of the Act. Removal of FISA Strictures from warrant authorization; warrants not required • But the most striking aspect of the Protect America Act was the notation that any information gathering did not comprise electronic surveillance. This wording had the effect of removing FISA-related strictures from Protect America Act 2007-related Directives, serving to remove a number of protections for persons targeted, and requirements for persons working for U.S. intelligence agencies. The acquisition does not constitute electronic surveillance • The removal of the term electronic surveillance from any Protect America Act Directive implied that the FISC court approval was no longer required, as FISA warrants were no longer required. In the place of a warrant was a certification, made by U.S. intelligence officers, which was copied to the Court. In effect, the FISC became less of a court than a registry of pre-approved certifications.Certifications (in place of FISA warrants) were able to be levied ex post facto, in writing to the Court no more than 72 hours after it was made. The Attorney General was to transmit as soon as possible to the Court a sealed copy of the certification that would remain sealed unless the certification was needed to determine the legality of the acquisition.Source Here Oh. FISA is basically a rubber stamp. And even if it the stage play wasn't pretending to follow the script, would it matter? Who could actually stop it at this point? The cat's out of the bag and Pandoras Box is open.
Controversial debates arose as the Protect America Act was published. Constitutional lawyers and civil liberties experts expressed concerns that this Act authorized massive, wide-ranging information gathering with no oversight. Whereas it placed much focus on communications, the Act allowed for information gathering of all shapes and forms. The ACLU called it the "Police America Act" – "authorized a massive surveillance dragnet", calling the blank-check oversight provisions "meaningless," and calling them a "phony court review of secret procedures."
So the surveillance state doesn't have checks and balances anymore. The state is preparing for Massive Civil Breakdown. They keep warning us about environmental collapse. Got it? Good. Let's keep on keeping on.
The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 created a single new district corporation governing the entire federal territory, called the District of Columbia, thus dissolving the three major political subdivisions of the District (Port of Georgetown, the City of Washington, and Washington County) and their governments. Source Here)
The first big leap in corporate personhood from holding mere property and contract rights to possessing more expansive rights was a claim that the Equal Protection Clause applied to corporations. One of the strangest twists in American constitutional law was the moment that corporations gained personhood under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It occurred in a case called Santa Clara County, and what was odd was that the Supreme Court did not really even decide the matter in the actual opinion. It only appeared in a footnote to the case. What we are likely to have at the conclusion of the Supreme Court term is corporations that are empowered to spend in American elections because of Bellotti and Citizens United; corporations that can make religious objections thanks to Hobby Lobby; and if Jesner turns out as badly as I predict, corporations will be able to aid and abet human rights violations abroad with impunity. Source Here
"Having a corporation would allow people to put property into a collective ownership that could be held with perpetual existence," she says. "So it wouldn't be tied to any one person's lifespan, or subject necessarily to laws regarding inheriting property." Later on, in the United States and elsewhere, the advantages of incorporation were essential to efficient and secure economic development. Unlike partnerships, the corporation continued to exist even if a partner died; there was no unanimity required to do something; shareholders could not be sued individually, only the corporation as a whole, so investors only risked as much as they put into buying shares. Source Here
The way that the Arab Bank may get away with this alleged morally troubling behavior, even though it has a New York branch, is by reasserting the basic argument that was made in Nestle USA and Kiobel II: that the federal Alien Tort Statute was not intended to apply to corporations full stop. Given other cases in this area like Mohamad v. PLO, which held the word “individual” in the Torture Victim Protection Act means a natural person and does not impose any liability against organizations, the Arab Bank’s procorporate argument may well prevail. There are multiple federal Circuit Courts which have shot down the argument that corporations are immune from suit under the Alien Tort Statute. The lone outlier is the Second Circuit, which decided in 2010 that corporations are excused from suit in Kiobel I. This is the case that was appealed to the Supreme Court and became Kiobel II. Jesner v. Arab Bank was litigated in the Second Circuit. One question in Jesner was what exactly did Kiobel II do to Kiobel I. So far in the litigation, Jesner concluded that Kiobel I and its conclusion that corporations can’t be sued in federal court using the Alien Tort Statute remained the controlling law of the Second Circuit.
There's a reason people call lawyers snakes, it's because most of them speak with forked tounges. So the corporation isn't being held liable, but the shareholders can't be held liable either. That's too insane to even be called a Catch 22. We are literally being set up to have no recourse because there isn’t anybody who can be held responsible. Why is that important when I've been talking about the surveillance state?
July 14, 2020: The Intercept • Microsoft’s police surveillance services are often opaque because the company sells little in the way of its own policing products. It instead offers an array of “general purpose” Azure cloud services, such as machine learning and predictive analytics tools like Power BI (business intelligence) and Cognitive Services, which can be used by law enforcement agencies and surveillance vendors to build their own software or solutions. A rich array of Microsoft’s cloud-based offerings is on full display with a concept called “The Connected Officer.” Microsoft situates this concept as part of the Internet of Things, or IoT, in which gadgets are connected to online servers and thus made more useful. “The Connected Officer,” Microsoft has written, will “bring IoT to policing.” With the Internet of Things, physical objects are assigned unique identifiers and transfer data over networks in an automated fashion. If a police officer draws a gun from its holster, for example, a notification can be sent over the network to alert other officers there may be danger. Real Time Crime Centers could then locate the officer on a map and monitor the situation from a command and control center. Source Here
Uhm, I guess it's really is all connected, isn’t it?
June 18, 2020: The Guardian • How Target, Google, Bank of America and Microsoft quietly fund police through private donations. More than 25 large corporations in the past three years have contributed funding to private police foundations, new report says. Source Here
Long live the Military Industrial Techno Surveillance State. If you have nothing to hide, than you have nothing to worry about. Really? Are we still believing that line? Cause it's a load of crap. If we have nothing to worry about, then why are they worried enough to be implementing surveillance systems with corresponding units on the ground? Got your attention there, didn't I?
August 19, 2019: Big Think • Though the term "Orwellian" easily applies to such a technology, Michel's illuminating reporting touches something deeper. Numerous American cities have already been surveilled using these god-like cameras, including Gorgon Stare, a camera-enabled drone that can track individuals over a 50-square kilometer radius from 20,000 feet. Here's the real rub: the feature that allows users to pinch and zoom on Instagram is similar to what WAMI allows. Anything within those 50-square kilometers is now under the microscope. If this sounds like some futuristic tech, think again: Derivations of this camera system have been tested in numerous American cities. Say there is a big public protest. With this camera you can follow thousands of protesters back to their homes. Now you have a list of the home addresses of all the people involved in a political movement. If on their way home you witness them committing some crime—breaking a traffic regulation or frequenting a location that is known to be involved in the drug trade—you can use that surveillance data against them to essentially shut them up. That's why we have laws that prevent the use of surveillance technologies because it is human instinct to abuse them. That's why we need controls. Source Here
Want to know more about the Gorgon Stare? Flatten the Curve. Part 12. Source Here Now, I'm not sure if you remember or know any Greek Mythology, but the Gorgons were three sisters, and one sister had Snakes on her head (she wasn't a lawyer) and she turned people to stone when she looked at them.
MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) is a directed-energy non-lethal weapon designed by WaveBand Corporation in 2003-2004 for temporary personnel incapacitation. The weapon is based on the microwave auditory effect resulting in a strong sound sensation in the human head when it is subject to certain kinds of pulsed/modulated microwave radiation. The developers claimed that through the combination of pulse parameters and pulse power, it is possible to raise the auditory sensation to a “discomfort” level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals. In 2005, Sierra Nevada Corporation acquired WaveBand Corporation.
Ok. Get it? The Gorgon eye in the sky stares at you while the Medusa makes you immobile. Not good, but at least it'll just freeze you in your tracks.
July 6, 2008: Gizmodo • The Sierra Nevada Corporation claimed this week that it is ready to begin production on the MEDUSA, a damned scary ray gun that uses the "microwave audio effect" to implant sounds and perhaps even specific messages inside people's heads. Short for Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio, MEDUSA creates the audio effect with short microwave pulses. The pulses create a shockwave inside the skull that's detected by the ears, and basically makes you think you're going balls-to-the-wall batshit insane. Source Here
Uhm. And drive you insane.
July 26, 2008: Gizmodo • The MEDUSA crowd control ray gun we reported on earlier this month sounded like some pretty amazing-and downright scary-technology. Using the microwave auditory effect, the beam, in theory, would have put sounds and voice-like noises in your head, thereby driving you away from the area. Crowd control via voices in your head. Sounds cool. However, it turns out that the beam would actually kill you before any of that happy stuff started taking place, most likely by frying or cooking your brain inside your skull. Can you imagine if this thing made it out into the field? Awkward! Source Here
Annnnnnnndddddd it'll kill you. Guys, they're prepared. They've been prepared. They're ready. Remember the Doomsday Bunkers? The military moving into Cheyenne Mountain? Deep Underground Military Bunkers? The rapid rolling out of 5G? BITCOIN and UBI so neatly inserted into our minds over the last five years? They've directly told us to have three months of supplies in our homes. 2020 isn't going to be an anomaly? It's the start of the collapse of our natural resources. Take a look on Reddit and all the posts about crazy weather. Cyanobacteria blooms killing dogs and people. Toxic Super Pollution caused by atmospheric inversions killing people. This isn’t normal, this is New Normal. And they know it. They've known it for a while. Let me show you one last thing before I wrap it up.
From the earliest Chinese dynasties to the present, the jade deposits most used were not only those of Khotan in the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang but other parts of China as well, such as Lantian, Shaanxi.
Remember, words matter. Look at Gorgon Stare and Medusa. They don't randomly grab names out of a hat, or pick them because they think it sounds dystopian. They pick words for a reason.
July 7, 2017: The Warzone • There only appears to be one official news story on this exercise at all and it's available on the website of Air Mobility Command’s Eighteenth Air Force, situated at Joint Base Charleston. At the time of writing, a google shows that there were more than a half dozen more copies on other Air Force pages, as well as number of photographs. For some reason, someone appears to have taken these offline or otherwise broken all the links. Using Google to search the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System, which is the main U.S. military's public affairs hub, brings up more broken links. Oh, and unless there's been some sort of mistake, JADE HELM actually stands for the amazingly obtuse Joint Assistance for Deployment Execution Homeland Eradication of Local Militants. A separate web search for this phrase does not turn up any other results. Source Here
Now, using an acronym that indicates training to Eradicate Local Militants seems pretty dumb. It may be used in that manner if environmental collapse triggers riots, but i don't think they would warn everyone ahead of time, do you? So I dug a little bit more. Joint Assistant for Development and Execution (JADE) is a U.S. military system used for planning the deployment of military forces in crisis situations. The U.S. military developed this automated planning software system in order to expedite the creation of the detailed planning needed to deploy military forces for a military operation. JADE uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology combining user input, a knowledge base of stored plans, and suggestions by the system to provide the ability to develop large-scale and complex plans in minimal time. JADE is a knowledge-based system that uses highly structured information that takes advantage of data hierarchies. An official 2016 document approved for public release titled Human Systems Roadmap Review describes plans to create autonomous weapon systems that analyze social media and make decisions, including the use of lethal force, with minimal human involvement. This type of system is referred to as a Lethal Autonomous Weapon System (LAWS). The name "JADE" comes from the jade green color seen on the island of Oahu in Hawaii where the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is headquartered. PACOM? Why isn't that command group responsible for the South China Sea? Formerly known as United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) since its inception, the command was renamed to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on 30 May 2018, in recognition of the greater emphasis on South Asia, especially India. Now doesn't it look like Jade Helm is preparing for an invasion? And possibly insurrection later. Or at the same time? Or riots over WW3? Or food riots? And start thinking about why the laws are starting to exclude corporations? Then think about the mercenaries that are being contracted out by the government.
October 17, 2018: The Carolinan • In 2016, 75 percent of American forces were private contractors. In 2017, Erik Prince, former head of Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, head of Dyncorp, discussed plans for contractors completely taking over U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Although ultimately unsuccessful, it remains to be seen if the current administration will change its mind. Contractors are involved in almost every military task, such as intelligence analysis, logistics and training allied soldiers. Contractors are even involved in U.S. special ops missions. This is because contractors are essentially untraceable and unaccountable. Most are born in other countries; only 33 percent are registered U.S. citizens. Private military firms don’t have to report their actions to Congress, unlike the military or intelligence agencies. They also aren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so private citizens and journalists aren’t allowed to access their internal documents. There are also no international laws to regulate private military firms. It’s been proven that many contractors are involved in illegal activities. The larger multinational companies sometimes hire local subcontractors. These contractors sometimes aren’t background-checked. A 2010 investigation by the Senate found that many subcontractors were linked to murders, kidnappings, bribery and anti-coalition activities. Some subcontractors even formed their own unlicensed mercenary groups after coalition forces leave. A 2010 House investigation showed evidence that the Department of Defense had hired local warlords for security services. In 2007, Blackwater contractors massacred 17 civilians. This eventually led Blackwater to being restructured and renamed as Academi. Source Here
Military Exercises. Private Defense Firms. No oversight. And it's all coming soon. Read more at Flatten the Curve. Part 20. Upcoming war and catastrophes. Source Here Nah. I'm just fear mongering and Doomscrolling again. Heads up and eyes open. Talk soon.
Privacy as Vendor with Amazon, PayPal, Teachable, Udemy?
I've been exploring the options on some of the Amazon pages to try to find a strategy for providing Amazon goods and services while maintaining a level of privacy. The responses I've received from other reddits, and Amazon's official documentation, were the standard procedures for opening an account, which are heavily scrutinized by Amazon, and I imagine are kept forever, even if they do not let you open a seller account. You basically have to share as much information as you would with any financial services company. This means even if you create a company for financial, tax and privacy reasons, you still have to present your individual information to Amazon. I would imagine to preserve your privacy, a business partner would have to volunteer to be the "face" of the company. Does anyone have any strategies they've used to sell on these platforms and maintain a level of privacy from vendors? It seems the only strategy someone can use to still keep their privacy is selling directly on their site and accept bitcoin.
It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions. The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscaleand its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread.My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers. Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well.If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF?
No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed?
ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created?
The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor. Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”) Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product?
An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Cash: The investor pays the subscription amount in cash and the Authorized Participant will use that cash to purchase ETH.
ETH: The investor transfers the ETH to the Authorized Participant, which will contribute the ETH in-kind to the Trust.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow?
ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there. As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however. Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH?
No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself. Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Why are they not redeeming shares?
I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure?
ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset. Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE?
At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC. ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing?
While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC. As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on. Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain?
As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good. Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon. Per their annual statement:
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel?
First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.) That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely. IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]…
Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0?
Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015. Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?”
Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
Access to trading within a tax advantaged retirement account
Institutions can easily and safely get exposure to crypto in a more legal-friendly manner
Ease of use for those who are not very technologically savvy
Ease of access for someone who doesn’t want to set up a Coinbase account
Perceived trust in institutional platforms over something like Coinbase or Kraken
Degen traders who just want access to the volatility ETHE provides that have no interest in crypto beyond that
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance. As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium?
There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
ETHE is NOT redeeming shares and as such doesn’t have an effective arbitrage mechanism
ETHE has a 1 year wait to be sold on the secondary market, again negating the ability to effectively arbitrage the premium
People may simply be willing to pay a premium for the benefits stated above.
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:
ETHE hasn’t been around as long, so there is less secondary market supply to go around
ETHE was listed at an insanely high premium to begin with
ETHE might simply be more popular at the moment
Could just be sheer stupidity (investors think ETHE is a 1:1 ratio not 1:11)
Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC?
I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc?
There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing. For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH?
No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund. In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale?
I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know. Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE?
I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Digital banking is at the core of today’s financial system. However, this wasn’t always the case. Banking has come along way, from going to your local teller and requesting funds, all the way to keeping your crypto insured and safe. Nowadays, nearly every bank offers some form of digital banking to its customers. What is Digital Banking? Digital banking sometimes referred to as e-banking slowly emerged over the last few decades. Importantly, digital banking portals allow banks to provide customers with access to traditional banking services via their PC or smart device. These services save customers and the bank time and money. Consequently, they are more popular than ever. https://preview.redd.it/2se27z06xmr51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a4957db256a4164b0d0544e0e2606f3e51475050 The History of Digital Banking The earliest forms of digital banking emerged in the 1960s. It was at this time the world began to see the first ATMs and debit cards introduced. These products were revolutionary for a couple of reasons. For one, for the first time in history, banking customers could access their funds 24/7. Remember, up until this point, you needed to go down to your local branch to withdraw or deposit funds. Depending on where you lived, this process could take considerable time. The introduction of the internet changed digital banking forever. At first, banks relied on the internet for internal functionalities such as monitoring accounts or fund transfers. However, by the late 1990s, banks began offering services such as balance updates and fund transfers directly from the digital banking portal. By this point, digital banking was on its way to becoming a major trend. In less than a decade, the internet saw a huge expansion in capabilities. The added data transmission and improved computer manufacturing techniques led to the creation of Smartphones. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without your smartphone. These handy pocket PCs enabled banks to offer a full suite of products from their portals. https://preview.redd.it/vulp753axmr51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=db7270fa896e1bbfbf2043e1feeb5be43421ecc1 Consequently, a host of new services emerged because of the availability of smartphones. Features such as photo check cashing began to emerge in the market place. This feature allows clients to deposit checks by taking a picture on their cell phone via their banking app. Given all of the advantages digital banking brings to the sector, it’s easy to see why today, every bank offers some form of digital banking to its clients. Both clients and banks have much to gain from this hi-tech integration. Digital Banking Benefits Digital banking is far more convenient for both bank and customers. Customers save valuable time and resources by not having to go to a physical location. Additionally, their transactions are more secure because they don’t require the client to travel with funds in hand. Importantly, the push for digital banking came mostly from the bankers. Banks gain huge amounts of flexibility and savings via e-banking portals. The money saved on infrastructure can go to further development of their online interfaces. Online banking eliminates much of the hiring, security, rent, and random customer needs such as deposit slips from the banking business model. Digital Banking vs Online Banking The field of e-banking has led to major evolutions within the financial sector. Originally, e-banking portals existed to help supplement brick and mortar banks. Today, that’s not the case as more online-only banks emerge. https://preview.redd.it/9ppe0pr8xmr51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8f5af69103a51cd336b23198819e84fcab668264 Over the last five years, Online-only banks have become a major trend in the market. These firms possess no physical location. As such, clients can conduct all transactions via their PC or smartphone. In most instances, these bank’s client base stretches across the country. Benefits of e-Banking As more digital banks appear in the market, it’s important to understand the benefits they introduce. Digital banks are able to be more flexible in who they provide services to, and how they acquire clients. Additionally, studies have shown that customers prefer banks with digital banking portals over their traditional counterparts. https://preview.redd.it/i5cqke6cxmr51.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=da39a2f3b0a55ac8bbc9b9791713c8b9e625349a Easier to Join The integration of KYC and AML protocols into online banking onboarding changed everything. Now, banks could gain new clients, while remaining compliant, via their online portal. To accomplish this monumental tasks, e-banking onboarding procedures include ID verification systems. Here potential clients must provide a large number of documents, such as ID Proofs, employment proof, address, etc. Smartphones allow clients to provide these documents in pristine digital quality. Importantly, the digital banking platform automatically extrapolates and processes the relevant data via preprogrammed protocols. This strategy saves the bank and customer valuable time. Discussing the evolution, Nnamdi Azodo of ALAT Digital Bank spoke on the importance of streamlining the banking sector. He described e-banking as the “application of technology to every banking activity.” Azodo explained that digital banking is the future of banking and that to remain competitive, all banks must embrace these upgrades. 24 Hour Banking One of the biggest upgrades digital banking brings to the sector is accessibility. Remember, before the dawn of e-banking, you had to go down to your local branch. While in some instances, such as requesting a loan, a personal approach may be what you desire, in most instances, such as a deposit, there is no benefit to in-person transactions. Digital banking allows you to access your account information and market transactions 24-hours a day and across the globe. This international accessibility helped to push the global economy forward. Now, digital banking is at the core of our global financial system. Cost Savings In the old days, banks spent large portions of their earnings on processes such as verification and accounting. Thankfully, computers removed much of this workload for banks. Today, automation plays a critical role in modern banking systems. Automation saves banks money and time when conduction the most common transactions. Digitization reduces the steps involved in transactions, it also reduces the staff required. Digital banks save a ton on employee and upkeep costs. These costs can then be passed down to customers. These savings are part of the reason why digital banks continue to see widespread adoption globally. Blockchain Technology The advent of blockchain technology has pushed digital banking to new heights. Blockchain technology provides banks with a more efficient and transparent alternative to the status quo. This revolutionary technology allows banks to eliminate many of the third-party verification systems currently in place. Consequently, it provides banks with huge cost savings and a more secure platform to conduct transactions within. https://preview.redd.it/r3or5lsgxmr51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=05350463eff2dd0c32c9115edc901d5048b78316 Crypto Digital Banks Aside from ushering in a new era of efficiency, blockchain tech also introduced the world to cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin continue to draw investor interests. Consequently, the emergence of these new financial instruments has created a unique opportunity within the e-banking sector — crypto banks. https://preview.redd.it/dk8ba70jxmr51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=721760bf8745900366cee8caf16015f4e913705f Cryptocurrency digital banks provide traditional banking services to crypto clients such as service providers, investors, or exchanges. For example, a crypto bank allows you to store, save, spend, and transfer cryptocurrencies from the banking portal. This style of banking has grown in popularity over the last five years in tandem with the growth of cryptocurrency use. Digital Banking — Banking for the World A new trend in the market is the use of AI to streamline banking processes. Advanced AI algorithms are able to determine the eligibility and qualifications of clients automatically. For example, the online loan you applied for last week may never go in front of a real human. Instead, a bank’s AI system will determine your eligibility for the funding using a set of pre-programmed criteria. https://preview.redd.it/q5royl9kxmr51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=986d6f6fe7e05359c80651b6b91e5d35dbce7609 Digital Banking continues to see growth within the financial sector. Importantly, a multitude of major banking institutions diverted funds from the creation of new branches into e-banking platform upgrades recently. You can expect this trend to continue as the digitization of the market expands. For now, a digital bank could be the perfect solution to all of your banking needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Link to original article:https://block.co/blockchain-use-in-intellectual-property/ Patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, along with copyrights, are all types of intellectual property protections that help creators of written stories, inventions, artistic works, or symbols to stop people from stealing or copying their pieces of work. In this article, we will examine how blockchain is used in Intellectual Property rights. Broadly speaking, Intellectual Properties (IP) are “unique, value-adding creations of the human intellect that result from human ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness.” (Kalanje, 2006). By observing trends, we can identify a steady increase in the number of Intellectual Property applications worldwide. According to official statistics by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), applications worldwide of patents grew 72.3% over ten years, increasing to 3,326,300 from 2008 to 2018. Trademarks grew an astonishing 160% over the same period, to a record 14,321,800 number of applications, while industrial design applications were 1,312,600, growing by 61%. Every country has a specific authority where to apply for proper protection. However, it is becoming increasingly common that these jurisdictions will utilize blockchain technology to provide a smoother, faster, and cheaper application process and a system that ensures an incorruptible and secure timestamping through the hashing function. How does it work? Blockchain ‘trust’ is guaranteed by hashing algorithms, instead of third parties. Since, by default, hashes are unique and cannot be misinterpreted, nor two same hashes can be produced, it’s just easy to identify and match that hash with a unique document creating an unambiguous proof of existence. This way, a permanent ledger of data is created to prove the existence and the lifecycle of a specific IP right, enhancing its protection at a registry or in court. Blockchain use in Intellectual Property potential is enormous, aiding in the evidence of creatorship and provenance authentication to registering and clearing IP rights; digital rights management; establishing and enforcing IP agreements, licenses, or exclusive distribution networks through smart contracts; and transmitting payments in real-time to IP owners. In the case of patents, the real benefit of using blockchain lies in the immutable ledger of records with a tamper-proof code providing strong evidence of facts about an invention life-cycle. However, unlike copyrights, any new creation will still have to be patented with the proper authority or anyone else will be free to copy it or claim it without incurring any legal trouble. https://preview.redd.it/py8eashu7vp51.png?width=940&format=png&auto=webp&s=224cf5fb4087a6100f99a05c19038b18abeca6fa “Deploying blockchain technology within the patent system could reduce inefficiencies in recording and efficiently agreeing the time of registrations, perhaps across several national patent systems” (Boucher et al., 2017). In the case of Copyrights, these do not need to be registered with a government authority, therefore blockchain can have a major role in ensuring that evidence can be provided of authorship, use, and status of a specific production. Particularly, in case of disputes in court, blockchain provides strong evidence to prove an inventor’s right on intellectual property, and protect legal rights on authorship. So, when including writing and literary or artistic works, creators get some type of protection automatically via blockchain, whereas with others, they have to apply for it. Trademarks, on the other hand, are the IP protection type that can most benefit from blockchain because it can easily, quickly, and very cheaply prove how similar are two marks to each other and who can claim to have used it first, providing immutable and timestamped proof of dates and usage. By using blockchain, many of the questions which can arise about exactly when, where, and how the trademark was used, can be instantly answered. Cyprus-based company Block.co provides services in a range of different industries, and timestamping trademarks on the blockchain is one of them. The company is a spin-off of the University of Nicosia, one of the biggest blockchain contributors globally, and its mission is to eliminate document fraud in all sectors, by transforming the way institutions manage digital records. International business and technology lawyer Christiana Aristidou makes large use of Block.co’s services and especially in copyrights and trademarks for several of her clients. “We consider the Block.co solution indispensable towards our objective of constantly enhancing the provision of our legal services through innovative technological solutions. The protection of copyright and other relevant intellectual property rights now involves a simple, fast, automated, and cost-efficient, blockchain-backed certificate issuance. Using blockchain, thereby ensuring a transparent, immutable, secure, time-stamped, and tamper-proof recording of data, the Block.co solution offers a revolutionary and innovative means to protect our clients’ intellectual property, instead of other time-consuming and costly traditional processes.” she recentlystated. “Specifically, our clients’ data and evidence supporting their authorship, invention, or creation of any property that warrants copyright protection, may now be recorded in a digital document, which is then verified in a trusted and time-stamped manner on a blockchain. Our clients retain ownership and control of their data, having been granted easy access to a self-verifiable blockchain-secured certificate of such data.” Smart Contracts Smart contracts could also represent an important asset of blockchain technology because they can be used in intellectual property to establish and enforce agreements such as licenses and allow the transmission of payments in real-time to IP owners. Indeed, they allow automatic payments for transactions between users and rights holders with no middle man, thereby cutting out intermediate fees, longer procedures, and bureaucratic hurdles. https://preview.redd.it/arfnefjx7vp51.png?width=940&format=png&auto=webp&s=78db6dc6f734385de74e2916091fff72e935c4e8 Blockchain in IP around the world In Europe, various governmental agencies and IP registries such as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) are actively involved in researching and promoting blockchain capabilities within the industry. In particular, they believe blockchain can transform IP rights by highlighting, in one of their advanced research forums, that:
IP and blockchain are interrelated
Blockchain is transformative
IP protection will drive innovation in the ecosystem
Blockchain technology will transform IP protection and enforcement
Blockchain technology provides opportunities for both pirates and law enforcement
In India, the IPO (Indian Patent Office) is working on using blockchain and other innovative technologies like AI and IOT to enable smoother patent processes. A Blockchain-AI-based ecosystem is on the table to manage IP protection in India, intending to produce a much more efficient, straightforward, and faster procedure. IPO recently announced a tender called, “Expression of Interest for Making use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoT and other latest technologies in the Patent Processing system of IPO”, reinforcing their will to proceed along this line of work and stay up to date with the technological innovation that blockchain, AI and IoT can bring to the benefit of IP rights. A legal framework for a Blockchain-based IP registry to protect and commercialize smart ideas is one of the main and earliest initiatives the IPO is taking for the Indian IP industry. In the United States, we find a clear example of how blockchain is used to protect American businesses from IPR theft by testing imports. Since blockchain has proven to be beneficial to streamline communication between multiple parties securely, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with the funding of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate, recently completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) of a blockchain platform with that specific aim. Personal data and trade secrets would be kept safe at all times using encrypted keys, with the blockchain acting as an immutable ledger to record trade transactions. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is leading the way in developing blockchain technology for IP protection. Various organizations and government offices have invested in projects aimed at implementing the tech to make IPR processes more efficient and faster. The Ministry of Commerce has recently launched a feasibility study to explore the use of blockchain for IP registration in the country, while the Thai Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), in collaboration with the British Embassy, were designated to analyze the study and translate it into action plans for future developments. Conclusion — Blockchain limits and benefits in IP As with every new technology, especially the most disruptive ones, setbacks can be both from a technical and a systemic perspective. Enormous processing power and scalability are still the main issues from a technical point, whereas a system that could connect registries across the world through a single distributed ledger represents the main challenge, not only for IP-related industries. Thankfully, Block.co’s solution already uses the Bitcoin blockchain and its network effect for this purpose, envisioning truly decentralized and secure storage for IP rights, that will outlive any issuing institution itself. An international standardized system and platform that could facilitate global communication and successful management of IP rights via blockchain is an ambition that is reflected in healthcare, law, and many other industries. On the other hand, blockchain based IP rights enforcement is already a huge achievement, especially for those small artists who could not afford teams of lawyers to defend them in disputes to prove records of their authorship. For more info, contactBlock.codirectly or email at [email protected]. Tel +357 70007828 Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media: ✔️Facebook ✔️LinkedIn ✔️Twitter ✔️YouTube ✔️Medium ✔️Instagram ✔️Telegram ✔️Reddit ✔️GitHub
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
The verification process required to own MKCY tokens are the KYC and AML procedures.
The verification process required to own MKCY tokens are the KYC and AML procedures. The documents required for KYC; know Your Customers are: international passports, national identity card or driver's license. The AML procedure; Anti Money Laundering procedure is carried out to ensure that the holders of the MKCY token is not using the animosity provided by the token to engage in fraudulent activities. . For more information visit our website www.markaccy.io #Markaccy #TokenSale #ICO #bitcoin #ethereum #crypto #cryptocurrency Bitcoin talk user name : TDSB999007
[FULL ANALYSIS] Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors in Canada are now regulated as Money Service Businesses
Hello Bitcoiners! Many of you saw my tweet yesterday about the Bitcoin regulations in Canada. As usual, some journalists decided to write articles about my tweets without asking me for the full context :P Which means there has been a lot of misunderstanding. Particuarly, these regulations mean that we can lower the KYC requirements and no longer require ID documents or bank account connections! We can also increase the daily transaction limit from $3,000 per day to $10,000 per day for unverified accounts. The main difference is that we now have a $1,000 per-transaction limit (instead of per day) and we must report suspicious transactions. It's important to read about our reporting requirements, as it is the main difference since pretty much every exchange was doing KYC anyway. Hopefully you appreciate the transparency, and I'm available for questions! Cheers, Francis ********************************************* Text below is copied from: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bitcoin-exchanges-and-payment-processors-in-canada-are-now-regulated-as-money-service-businesses-1ca820575511
Bitcoin is money, regulated like money
Notice to Canadian Bitcoin users
If you are the user of a Canadian Bitcoin company, be assured that:
These regulations only target virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency transmitters (e.g. payment processors, custodial wallets).
No action on your part is currently required. It is businesses that have to comply, not users.
You may notice that the exchange service you are using has change its transactions limits or is now requiring more information from you. You can stop reading this email now without any consequence! Otherwise, keep regarding if you are interested in my unique insights into this important topic!
Background on regulation
Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin’s history in Canada: Bitcoin is officially regulated as money (virtual currency) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of Canada (PCMLTFA), under the jurisdiction of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). This is the culmination of 5 years of effort by numerous Bitcoin Canadian advocates collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Fintrac and other Canadian government agencies. It is important to note that there is no new Bitcoin law in Canada. In June of 2014, the Governor General of Canada (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave royal asset to Bill C-31, voted by parliament under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included amendments to the PCMLTFA to included Bitcoin companies (named “dealers in virtual currency”) as a category of Money Service Businesses. Thereafter, FINTRAC engaged in the process of defining what exactly is meant by “dealing in virtual currency” and what particular rules would apply to the businesses in this category. Much of our work was centred around excluding things like non-custodial wallets, nodes, mining and other activities that were not related exchange or payments processing. To give an idea, the other categories that apply to traditional fiat currency businesses are:
Foreign exchange dealing
Remitting or transmitting funds
Issuing or deeming money order or similar negotiable instruments
When we say that Bitcoin is now regulated, what we mean is that these questions have been settled, officially published, and that they are now legally binding. Businesses that are deemed to be “dealing in virtual currency” must register with FINTRAC as a money service business, just like they would if they were doing traditional currency exchange or payment processing. There is no “license” required, which means that you do not need the government’s approval before you can operate a Bitcoin exchange business. However, when you operate a Money Service Business, you must register and comply with the laws… otherwise you risk jail time and large fines.
What activities are regulated as Money Service Business activity?
A virtual currency exchange transaction is defined as: “an exchange, at the request of another person or entity, of virtual currency for funds, funds for virtual currency or one virtual currency for another.” This includes, but is not limited to:
Bitcoin trading platforms (orderbooks)
Bitcoin exchange platforms (fixed-rate)
Selling or buying Bitcoin OTC professionally
Crypto-to-crypto trading (orderbook, fixed-rate or OTC)
Notice to foreign Bitcoin companies with clients in Canada
Regardless of whether or not your business is based in Canada, you must register with FINTRAC as a Foreign Money Service Business, if:
You direct your MSB services at persons or entities in Canada
The regulation of Bitcoin exchange and payment services has always been inevitable. If we want Bitcoin to be considered as money, we must accept that it will be regulated like other monies. Our stance on the regulation issue has always been that Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors should be regulated like fiat currency exchanges and payment processors, no more, no less. This is the outcome we obtained. To comply with these regulations, we are implementing a few changes to our Know-Your-Customer requirement and transaction limits which may paradoxically make your experience using Bull Bitcoin and Bylls even more private and convenient!
The bad news
We are adding per-transaction limits in addition to daily volume limits.
The per-transaction limit for accounts with limited verification is $1,000 (previously $3000). To conduct transactions over $1,000 you must get your account verified.
We require users to provide their Date of Birth as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
We require users to provide their Occupation as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
The good news
We are increasing the daily volume limit from $3,000 to $10,000 for users that have the “limited” account verification status. Users with limited account verification can do multiple transactions as long as they are each below the $1,000 threshold and as long as they don’t exhibit suspicious behavior (see details below).
Identity documents will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. They will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer.
Connecting bank accounts to Bull Bitcoin using the flinks bank verification software will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. This will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer
The user’s KYC info (name, address, date of birth and occupation)
Suspicious transaction reporting
Satoshi Portal is required to make suspicious transactions report to FINTRAC after we have detected a fact that amounts to reasonable grounds to suspect that one of your transactions is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence. Failure by Satoshi Portal Inc. to report a suspicious transaction could lead to up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both, for its executives. We are not allowed to share with anyone other than FINTRAC, including our clients, the contents of a suspicious transaction report as well as the fact that a suspicious transaction report has been filed.
What is suspicious activity?
Note forbitcoinca: this section applies ONLY to Bull Bitcoin. Most exchanges have much stricter interpretation of what is suspicious. You should operate under the assumption that using Coinjoin or TOR will get you flagged at some other exchanges even though it's okay for Bull Bitcoin. That is simply because we have a more sophisticated understanding of privacy best practices. Identifying suspicious behavior is heavily dependent on the context of each transaction. We understand and take into account that for many of our customers, privacy and libertarian beliefs are of the utmost importance, and that some users may not know that the behavior they are engaging in is suspicious. When we are concerned or confused about the behaviors of our users, we endeavour to discuss it with them before jumping to conclusions. In general, here are a few tips:
Don’t provide false of misleading information. We will know right away if your date of birth, address and name don’t match.
Don’t try to exploit loopholes in the KYC process.
Don’t transact on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Be cooperative with customer support.
Here are some examples of behavior that we do not consider suspicious:
Coinjoin or other Bitcoin privacy techniques.
Using VPNs, TOR or VOIP phones.
Asking questions about, or criticizing, our privacy policies.
Talking negatively about banks or government.
Here are some example indicators of behavior that would lead us to investigate whether or not a transaction is suspicious:
Making statements about being involved with criminal activity.
Saying you don’t want the government to know about your transactions.
Asking advice about concealing source of funds or tax avoidance.
Funding your account from a bank account that is not in your name.
Conducting transactions on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Trying to falsify your identity or impersonating someone else.
Making multiple bill payments to the same recipient, or multiple Bitcoin purchases, in a way which seems structured specifically to avoid the $1,000 transaction amount KYC threshold.
Continuing to perform transactions that are unnecessarily complex, inefficient and not cost-effective after having been advised otherwise by our staff.
What does this mean for Bitcoin?
It was always standard practice for Bitcoin companies to operate under the assumption they would eventually be regulated and adopt policies and procedures as if they were already regulated. The same practices used for legal KYC were already commonplace to mitigate fraud (chargebacks). In addition, law enforcement and other government agencies in Canada were already issuing subpoenas and information requests to Bitcoin companies to obtain the information of users that were under investigation. We suspect that cash-based Bitcoin exchanges, whether Bitcoin ATMs, physical Bitcoin exchanges or Peer-to-Peer trading, will be the most affected since they will no longer be able to operate without KYC and the absence of KYC was the primary feature that allowed them to justify charging such high fees and exchange rate premiums. One thing is certain, as of today, there is no ambiguity whatsoever that Bitcoin is 100% legal and regulated in Canada!
Link to our website:https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-insights/ This article provides a summary of the insights provided during Block.co’s 4th Live Webcast on the topic of Digital Transformation Of The Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation Of Blockchain Technology In Cyprus. Adoption of Blockchain and other disruptive technologies has flourished particularly in smaller nations that represent interesting hubs where innovations are more easily tested and applied. With blockchain in Public Sector, we’ve already experienced the commitment of small countries like Switzerland, Malta, Singapore, and Cyprus more recently. In just a few years, the small island in the Mediterranean known for tourism and offshore bank accounts has become a desirable fintech jurisdiction for investors and global businesses, due to the vivid interest of the Cypriot government towards new technologies, blockchain and AI imprimis. With a highly favorable tax environment and the financial incentives available, Cyprus is shining as a hotspot for blockchain businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the world. In 2018 a Declaration was signed by EU member states to promote blockchain in public sector use across its members. By that time, Cyprus had already expressed interest in the technology with a series of initiatives. Cyprus’s partnership with Singapore-based blockchain platform VeChain was sealed to push forward the development and adoption of the technology. In addition, the Cyprus Blockchain Association was created while the University of Nicosia was involved in the development of the technology by offering courses and Master’s degrees on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and by also practically using blockchain technology to validate academic documentation through block.co. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) launched a blockchain innovation hub with other organizations and associations to support the development and implementation of technologies that can facilitate administrative operations and improve citizens relations with authorities. In 2019, Cyprus’ cabinet published its National Strategy on Distributed Ledger Technologies in order to provide a platform for both public sector and private initiatives employing blockchain applications. With such an exciting background in mind, Block.co arranged its fourth webcast that was held on Tuesday 21st July at the presence of prominent guests, who are all helping the government of Cyprus, develop and adopt the disruptive technologies in its administrative, economic and legal activities. How are corporates, governments, and citizens impacted by the changes in legislation? Hosted by brilliant Christiana Aristidou, a Technology Lawyer and Digital Transformation Specialist, Block.co along with Cyprus’s Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation & Digital Policy, Mr. Kyriacos Kokkinos, and international Blockchain experts Jeff Bandman and Steve Tendon joined forces in the webcast to discuss the enormous potential of Blockchain technology in both the public and private sectors. https://preview.redd.it/xf6z1l9jhsc51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=028263148491640a8f4ada34a323e833fca1836d The guests’ common path into blockchain was the early and skeptical discovery of Bitcoin followed by years of research and a more in-depth understanding of the technology which led them to embrace it in different ways. Jeff became interested in the legal implications and the regulatory framework that would arise with the technology. His firm Bandman Advisors has recently been appointed by the Cyprus Government to draft its legislation on Blockchain & DLT. Steve was a software engineer who moved to a management consulting role and had founded TameFlow when he learned about technologies like Ethereum and how its smart contracts could be used in governance. He became a consultant for Malta to help the country benefit from blockchain adoption and gave a major contribution to the drafting of Malta’s National Strategy on Blockchain. The Deputy Minister, Mr. Kokkinos is the person responsible for the design and implementation of Cyprus’s Blockchain and DLT strategy: “We want to convert the innovation researching tools into pillars for our economy to encourage more prosperity for our society. Blockchain and DLT are essential for digital transformation, a key player in a globalized economy. In June 2019, the Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved a strategy for DLT and blockchain, and part of my job is to facilitate the detailed implementation through both technical and legal perspectives. Jeff Bandman has worked to help with the legal, I help with the strategic side.” The strategy document indicates that “The Republic of Cyprus, in line with the European and global trends of change and progress, strives to create the right environment for enterprises, companies, services, and investments by adopting innovative practices and procedures.” “We’re all closely monitoring discussions at the EU level -continues the Deputy Minister- in order to meet regulatory standards and we’re considering them for our strategy. We’re working on achieving maximum compatibility with the EU legislation and encouraging all members to arrange a deployment of blockchain in all fields.” Governments have come to realize they must provide all tools available and needed for digital transformation in the public sector, to ultimately best serve its business communities and citizens alike. The intricacies of bureaucracy speed up the need for new technologies, and in the pandemic era, access to digitalization is proving crucial to meet future challenges especially in areas where blockchain can help like healthcare, supply chain, and digital identity implementation. Jeff believes that blockchain can start by keeping consistency between democracy and trust, through the transparency that it can provide. “For example tracing the origin of funds and their allocation, will facilitate trust which is the basis of a distributed and decentralized environment”. https://preview.redd.it/aguf1jiohsc51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=77f256b1435380fed223334ceb65104cef755626 According to Steve: “Blockchain can be interesting from different perspectives and I also believe trust is crucial. While we normally trust governments and authorities to manage most of our public and private life, with blockchain we have the chance to take it all back and shift to a sovereign approach. Starting with your own identity, with healthcare records, licenses, voting, and so forth, self-sovereignty will identify who you are, not a government. We’ve started building SOV, a stablecoin that will soon be legal tender, detached from a central bank but built on the chain and established by the algorithm. For the first time, this new monetary policy will remove the discretionary power of central banks, something that was not even conceivable before blockchain. The power is back to the people”. With the first upcoming legislation in Cyprus, Christiana asked Jeff if he could share what this new law will involve, and what will be regulated. “We’ve been working very hard on drafting and evaluating the different perspectives. Most efforts and resources are being dedicated to a definition and classification of the different digital assets, to the legal certainty around smart contracts, and to protect vulnerable consumers. From a business perspective, we’re still evaluating company laws, how blockchain can assist the full operational process, which criteria will help mainstream adoption of blockchain in Cyprus”. The results of the 2019 strategy plan were supposed to be released in April but the Covid-19 crisis has delayed the works and they’re now expected in September this year. “The lesson we can learn from pioneer Malta -informs us Steve, who played a pivotal role in shaping Malta’s blockchain reputation- is to set up the right expectation and find a balance between the level of ambition and what is practical. Malta became a blockchain island because it made efforts to regulate the technology, but the challenge is to make regulation fair and accessible to everybody, the community, and the professionals so that innovation is encouraged at all times.” What will the future hold for Cyprus? Will it be the new blockchain island? “We have a promising technology -continues Steve Tendon- and collaboration between countries should be encouraged in terms of legislation and regulations, and the EU should take a more active role. It’s not a competition but a collaboration between Malta, Cyprus, and other geographies where a regulatory framework that promotes innovation should reflect and embrace the changes that new technologies bring to a globalized world.” For more info, contactBlock.codirectly or email at en[email protected]. Tel +357 70007828 Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media: ✔️Facebook ✔️LinkedIn ✔️Twitter ✔️YouTube ✔️Medium ✔️Instagram ✔️Telegram ✔️Reddit ✔️GitHub
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