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The 3 most dishonest points which render every public crypto-discussion obsolete.

The 3 most dishonest points which render every public crypto-discussion obsolete.

1) You are here for crypto.

No, you’re not. You’re here for Dollar, Euro, Yuen, Rubel, fiat money.

You disagree? Well, then why do you try to cash out at an all-time high? Instead, shouldn’t you accumulate as many tokens as possible, especially in times like this?

2) You care about decentralization

Then why is everything you call decentralized running on the centralized Internet? You say you do care, but you don’t.

Full decentralization is an ideal postulated by those who want to spread their wisdom: “buy [put in a random project they invested in]!”

There is no 100% decentralized system. 100% is a number in science that is hardly reached, especially not in a connected world, that isn’t built on a mesh-net but on central servers which can be shut off any minute.

 

3) You know what you’re talking about.

No, you don’t because no one really does. Distributed ledger systems are new technology. Developers and business executives try new ways and theories, as pioneers in a field that changes constantly.

These ideas become general arguments until they are refuted which is a good thing because that is how innovation works, trial and error.

But that doesn’t mean there are any experts. Here are only people who accumulated ideas and experiences that worked so far.

What could be improved in discussions then?

For instance, we shouldn’t try to engage in a crypto-discussion with monetary interest only.

Does the project you like inherit the capabilities to change the world to the better? That’s just a rhetorical question because you wouldn’t want to answer it anyway.

Overall, this sector becomes meaningless if we argue only in order to earn money.

The crypto-sector would benefit hugely if discussions would be solution-oriented.

We need less trading role-models and more silent developers and progressive thinkers.

Trying to improve your life is a fine attitude, but what would the world be like if everyone just wanted to drive a Lambo?

Crypto is more than that…

 

Competitors and Amy Castor: a tale on reputation usage and a campaign to discredit IOTA

Competitors and Amy Castor: a tale on reputation usage and a campaign to discredit IOTA

Disclaimer. I’m invested in IOTA, Ethereum, and Bitcoin. I’m not connected to the IOTA foundation and the following post is my own work and opinion. This is not meant to deter the collaboration of legitimate scientists. The IOTA Foundation is always grateful if thinkers help IOTAs adoption and vision.

Bells and Whistles

This is my response to the “responsible disclosure” of would-be neutral scientists that are destroying the reputation of IOTA, but also of the MIT (media lab), the Boston University (one associated developer), and Forbes.

In these times, fake-news and tinfoil stories can be found everywhere. The following post could be just a big coincidence, but if we allow ourselves in connecting some dots, maybe we get a better picture of “cryptoland”.

I’ll say it upfront: Competing projects try to harm IOTA as much as possible.

Let me start with this tweet of “fnord” because this pretty much sums up my motivation to write this summary.

On this blog, I usually try to stick to straight facts and relevant, legit news about IOTA. No Bells and whistles, Just information. 

We also expect straight facts and objective information when we visit pages like Forbes or when we read peer-reviews from MIT and BU scientists, but apparently, this is not the case.

Therefore, I decided to leave the path of tech news around IOTA for a moment, in order to draw a picture of how competition in this sphere works.

Recently we witnessed a misinformation campaign of highest magnitude in order to harm IOTA’s reputation. And I’m going to explain why.

It is vital to understand that some innovators in this innovative field of cryptocurrencies act in their own best interest. As rational deciding homo oeconomicus in this game of blockchains.


You may have seen the big headlines about IOTA: “MIT And BU Researchers Uncover Critical Security Flaw In $2B Cryptocurrency IOTA” following the “vulnerability report

The report was done by:

Ethan Heilman (Boston University, DAGlabs, Paragon Foundation – joint collaboration with Spectre, another DAG project, Commonwealth Crypto, Dev of a Bitcoin anonymity transaction Hub),
Neha Narula (MIT Media Lab),
Thaddeus Dryja (MIT Media Lab, Lightning Network Dev),
Madars Virza (MIT Media Lab, co-founded Zerocoin Protocol that Zcash is using, advising Zcash.)

The Forbes Article was written by:
Amy Castor (Independent writer at Bitcoin Magazine and Forbes)

Sergey Ivancheglo, main developer of the Tangle and creator of proof of stake, known as Come-from-Beyond, responded on several channels and closed the case.

The IOTA foundation also published an answer.

Unwinding all the details becomes unnecessary, but I’ll highlight the important ones:

  • IOTA has never been hacked.
  • CURL was tested under ludicrous conditions. The victim’s system would be running malicious code. In those conditions, stealing the key is trivial and much easier and effective. (custom wallet)
  • The discussed signing algorithm CURL was in an old version of IOTA, that was patched weeks ago. IOTA is using SHA-3/Keccak right now, there was no vulnerability to start with, but even less of a chance after that change.
  • the apparent flaw was, as revealed instead, an intended copy protection mechanism
  • No funds were or are at risk.
  • The Forbes headline, as well as the vulnerability report, suggested that the alleged flaw is still in play.
  • Yesterday there was an attack on the network, effectively defended by the presence of the Coordinator function. The IOTA team will be posting all the details in a blog entry.
  • IOTA’s valuation and price were directly and significantly affected by those actions, adding to the general value loss that has been affecting the whole crypto world this last week.

 

The headline takes effect

After IOTA supporters reminded the cryptographers that this is unethical and hardly a “responsible disclosure”, they reacted as if they were neutral and rather victims of an unjustified shitstorm:

I just give you the blank tweets.

In the meantime, Ethan Heilmann retweets an incredible total of 49 defamatory and blatant tweets. These were clearly, important and necessary actions by any reputable, objective scientist, both in content and form.

A few examples:

 

 

 

Madars Virza follows the crowd and tweets funny stuff about the legitimacy of the whole idea of IOTA:

David Sønstebø offers an open debate because the claims are wrong, but he gets no response:

 

Matthew Green, Co-worker of Madars Virza, ZCash, starts to attack IOTA and Sergey Ivancheglo. People from Zcash stepping in? Coincidence:

Another ZCash Co-Founder and developer tweets against IOTA, coincidence:

Bitcoin Core Developer Peter Todd reacts:

One of many Twitter-reactions by Amy Castor, that already blocked me, and many other accounts that expressed criticism:

 

Amy Castor is already convinced that IOTA is a scam. She is working for Bitcoin Magazine and she’s a member of the Bitcoin Core Slack. Again, just another coincidence. Her agenda “don’t roll your own crypto” seems like a general campaign against former or recent initial coin offerings ( ICO’s)

Numerous tweets show her biased stance against IOTA. Some of which are pointing to sources on Bitcointalk and weird websites, that obviously try to discredit IOTA. Some others are just asking to know what are David Sønstebø’s benefits, what his incentive is for creating IOTA. – this is something that he explained more than once in a very clear way.

On top of that, Bitcoin Evangelist Andreas M. Antonopoulos tweets misinformation to justify the smear campaign:

Meltem Demirors – Director at DCG (Investor of ZCash) coincidence:

Responsible disclosure

Now, apart from this little list of tweets against IOTA, I’m going to look at the definition of “responsible disclosure“.
it says:


Responsible disclosure is a computer security term describing a vulnerability disclosure model. It is like full disclosure, with the addition that all stakeholders agree to allow a period of time for the vulnerability to be patched before publishing the details. Developers of hardware and software often require time and resources to repair their mistakes. Hackers and computer security scientists have the opinion that it is their social responsibility to make the public aware of vulnerabilities with a high impact. Hiding these problems could cause a feeling of false security. To avoid this, the involved parties join forces and agree on a period of time for repairing the vulnerability and preventing any future damage.


As we already know, the report of the Zcash, DAGlabs and Lighting Network devs was written as if there was a problem in effect, although the issue was already corrected.

Also, the Forbes article, that is written in present tense followed by the meetup title.

I conclude that in this case there is no “social responsibility to make the public aware of vulnerabilities with a high impact” because there is neither a vulnerability nor high impact.

Apparently, however, they seem to have the need to showcase IOTA’s alleged vulnerability, because the cryptographer decided to set up a live stream meetup to break CURL, the signing algorithm of IOTA.

They write:

“Now that all parties are out of stealth mode, I can formally announce that Ethan Heilman will be demonstrating how he, along with three researchers from MIT Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), broke IOTA’s nonstandard “Curl” hash function.

By doing so, they revealed in a $2B cryptocurrency a serious security flaw that could have allowed a hacker to steal user funds. (IOTA has since lost about 25 percent of its value, according to Coin Market Cap.)”

And they seem to also assume that when all cryptos are taking a plunge, IOTA shouldn’t have been affected. Even more interesting.


Now, to draw a conclusion

In theory, IOTA is a technology that is able to outperform almost every other cryptocurrency.

Especially the Lightning Network, that is trying to address Bitcoins scaling problems, and Zcash, that is possibly threatened by Masked Authenticated Messaging are in a direct competition with IOTA, let alone DAGlabs.

If independent scientists of a renowned faculty like the MIT or Boston University claim to be able to break IOTA, people listen, the market reacts immediately.

In order to make the public aware of vulnerabilities with a high impact, and to save people from losing money, they did disclose information in an unethical and wrong way, which added significantly to the loss of valuation. If that is not irony, I don’t know what is.

But these guys are not just rational, independent scientists. These people are investors and developers of competing projects, so no wonder that the tweets were written accordingly. Coincidental of course.

Direct conflicts of interest:

To support my thesis that this is a coordinated effort I point out the blatant and obvious conflicts of interest.

  • Ethan Heilmann and developer of DAGlabs.com, a direct competitor to IOTA (also Bitcoin Core developers involved). Due to almost 50 anti-IOTA tweets, I assume that he wants to change the sentiment or just coincidence
  • His project DAGlabs is in a fundraising right now. A direct competitor developing their own DAG solution and currently trying to acquire Series A funding partners. Coincidence.
  • Madars Virza is Zcash Co-founder, a direct competitor to IOTA (is heavily supported by Matthew Green and Ian Miers, both ZCash). Coincidence
  • Amy Castor is working for Bitcoin Magazin and is postulating questionable insults against the IOTA Founder while she is a member of the Bitcoin Core Slack and following an anti-ICO agenda. Bitcoin Magazine. Coincidence
  • To Cite Satoshiwatch: “Amy Castor – who propagated MIT’s malicious report/attack in the Forbes, is a writer for CoinDesk, Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG)
    -“DCG ownership and crypto-investments include Zcash, Ripple, Rootstock, and etc.” Coincidence
  • Tadge Dryja is working for the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a direct competitor of IOTA. Coincidence

All in all 4 people of ZCash involved. Madars Virza, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Meltem Demirors Coincidence.

Centralization of the Coordinator:

Concerning the coordinator(Coo), it seems like no one is missing an opportunity to point out that the Coo centralizes IOTA. The Coo is a special node in the hands of the IOTA Foundation that sets milestones in order to prevent Sybil attacks.

If people want to attack the network, they try to become an omnipresence in order to conduct doublespends.

This protection is necessary as long as the network is in its infancy. The transparency compendium pointed this out and it’s common knowledge, that it’s solely for the purpose of protection. The developers cannot alter transaction or access seeds.

Just the day before yesterday, an attacker tried to take over the Tangle.

To make it clear what’s happening, he added a tag to the transaction: “BZWFL99FUCK9CORE99LETS9FORK

The coordinator prevented a takeover from happening, everything is safe and sound.

But its purpose to protect the users of IOTA is of low significance, as it seems. People rather point out that due to the Coordinator, the whole system, idea, network is worthless. What a hypocrisy considering their biased stance.

At this point, I’m asking myself, why are these people insisting that the coordinator is a bad component? Obviously, the term centralization is undefined, because looking at this definition I could just claim that IOTA is still decentralized, especially because there are no blocks, no miners, the validation of transaction is not decoupled but in the hand of the users, unlike Consensus at Bitcoin. The comparison between blockchains and the Tangle looks therefore wrong, because of the “centralized part”, the coordinator has no participation in the consensus model.

 

When I look at Bitcoin, the true centralization happens due to the power of miners, where five of the biggest mining farms set 51% of the global Bitcoin hashpower.

Furthermore the centralization of developers, one can easily recognize when you look how many Bitcoin Core developers are connected with side projects or react in unison when a shitstorm is formed.

An incestuous innovation ivory tower, if you ask me.

If this was only about following science ethics, why would they fabricate a lurid headline, that clearly suggests that IOTA is still vulnerable?
Why would objective scientists talk about a crashing price and retweet dozens of tweets with an anti-IOTA sentiment?
Why would they decide to make a live-stream to showcase how to break CURL, although it’s not used anymore?

As a side note: The IOTA devs have not been invited to defend themselves or to talk about their point of view.

Since none of the mentioned persons kept a neutral stance, I can only conclude that this is a coordinated effort to destroy IOTAs reputation as ultima ratio because IOTA threatens their own projects.

Neha Narula, as the director of the MIT Media Labs, missed the chance to provide an independent peer-review of IOTAs -not in use- signing algorithm CURL.
Instead, she allowed that her team used its personal bias for their own purposes.

Amy Castor abandoned the ethics of journalism: “The duty of the journalist is to further those ends (justice and the foundation of democracy) by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” when she started ranting her personal agenda like a bulldozer and furthermore acted highly unprofessional against IOTA Founder David Sønstebø.

Her lacking ethics may be motivated by the fact that she has written about Zcash, at this point I can only assume that she owns Zcash, or it’s just another coincidence:

This “responsible disclosure” is not the work of objective, competent scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the Boston University as proclaimed. This is the epitome of a conflict of interest, where people use the names of big institutes.

In the game-theory, there are only rational agents. It seems these scientists are rational in that sense.

To cite Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch: “The economization of science is a problem: performance instead of position.”
-Especially in the field of crypto currencies.

Interesting to see that Zcash, DAGlabs and Bitcoin enthusiasts develop the same habits when they talk about IOTA, the same kind of habits that banks used to, when they talked about Bitcoin back in the days.

So if this is the business conduct of the MIT Media Lab, the Boston University or Forbes, I wonder where we can still find unbiased science and information.

What a great coincidence.

Casus ubique valet! Semper tibi pendeat hamus! Quo minime credis gurgite, piscis erit!

A rough summary of transaction fees for the IoT with current systems.

A rough summary of transaction fees for the IoT with current systems.

We often talk about IOTA as the new distributed ledger that promises a financial and infrastructural solution in a world where fees for transactions act as a barrier to progress, especially in the IoT.

But how big are the present existing fees for a system like the IoT? Do we really have a problem?

I tried to find out! Very amateurish, I might add, but enough for this purpose.

 


 Pre-conditions:

 

A bigger issue in estimating a none-existing number such as the “global-transaction-fee-index” is to find systems that are overall able to deliver the necessary services globally.

I take the liberty and define the “global-transaction-fee-index” as an indicator that shows the impact of the “mean fees” that would be added to a value transaction in the IoT.

The lower this index is, the worse it is for the IoT (shown with an example under “conclusion”).

This number is almost certainly utter bullshit but it gives us an idea how expensive and cumbersome transaction fees could be.

For my evaluation, I made a list of relevant requirements for present services:

  • the service needs to be fast (financial state of the art)
  • the service needs to be available almost everywhere (high adoption)
  • the service needs to be a commonly used technology right now (no proof of concept)
  • the service needs to be a system that is documented well enough to be assessed 

This list supposedly isn’t complete but should be enough for this assessment.

For my calculations, I furthermore held to the very conservative estimate for the IoT-devices by Gartner of approximately 30 billion devices in 2020 (Source: Gartner)

We can assume that not every single device will be used for shifting values because a big piece of the pie will just be connected to submit data in any way.
But my relatively high estimation, especially because of new emerging e-markets, is still around ~5%.

This little assessment, therefore, starts with a number of 1.5 billion devices that need to shift value just once a week in 2020

I have no idea if this is close to reality but we have to start somewhere, so this acts as a reference.

If you find any serious, scientific approach to transaction fees in the IoT, I would be happy to get it somehow!


The services I found that held up to the requirements are no surprise:

 


Swift /wire transfer  (globally active instead of national-remittance)

Paypal  (most popular payment service – highest online adoption)

Visa (also a globally used service with access to markets everywhere on the planet)


The resulting fees are:

 

            The IoT is a global system so Swift instead of national remittance is what we need for now. 

  • Paypal: “the fee for each transaction is 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive”

            Paypal has a few competitors especially in the Asian region like Alipay but is generally spoken the biggest fish. 

            Debit Cards as a whole are in a sensitive competition, so I assume that fees of MasterCard etc. are comparable to Visa.


The naive fallacy:

 

Let’s pretend to know the percentages of the transaction system of the estimated 1.5 billion transactions, once per week in 2020.

  • Since SWIFT is aiming for bigger transfers, I assume a small share of just 5 %
  • Paypal, especially in the growing field of e-commerce would have a share of 60% (we assume a mean value of 10$ per tx)
  • And Visa would have a share of the remaining 35% of all transactions.  (we again assume a mean value of 10$ per tx)
  • At this point, I don’t include micro-payments because existing systems simply make them impossible

That leads to:

Swift = 75 million tx/week

Paypal = 900 million tx/week

Visa = 525 million tx/week

Calculation:

Swift = 75 million * ~$30 = 2.25 billion Dollar per week

Paypal = 900 million * $0.59 ($0.29 + $0.30) = 531 million Dollar per week

Visa = 525 million * $0.251 ($0.151 + $0.10) = 131 million Dollar per week.

All global transaction fees combined per week: roughly 2.91 Billion Dollar per week (!) 

Even Bitcoin would *only* generate fees about 1.125 billion Dollar per week if the scalability would stay at 75cents per transaction, which isn’t the case, sadly.
The scaling of Bitcoin would lead to much higher transaction fees due to the big number of 1.5 billion transactions per week. But I don’t know how much that would be and furthermore, Bitcoins adoption is not as advanced as the mentioned services. So this is irrelevant.


Conclusion:

 

The global transaction-fee-index would be (the higher, the better): 

1.5 billion transactions / 2.91 billion Dollar = 0.515 with existing systems

If the transaction fees would be 10 million Dollar per week due to proof of work, electrical expenses or investments in tokens for IOTA it would be:

1.5 billion transactions / 10 million Dollar = 150 (290-fold of 0.515) with IOTA

Whatever this number means, a multiplicator of ~290 in the global economy is a game changer either way. Even if it wasn’t 0.515 but 5 it would be a disaster for the IoT (!). 

This estimate of 2.91 Billion Dollar per week (151.23 Billion Dollar annually) is just a number without a scientific background, but let’s be honest:

Is my calculation so unrealistic?

We can alter the numbers down to 10% of what I calculated but we cannot hide the fact that the vision of the IoT gets into trouble if these systems don’t evolve.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one big reason IOTA is a necessary technology!

If you have questions or if I made a mistake, leave me a comment -I would be happy to discuss this assessment!

Have a nice week,

Limo

 

 

Your Experience on “The Tangler”

Your Experience on “The Tangler”

Dear readership!

I’d like to improve. The easiest way to know what you want is to ask you, so I prepared some small polls.

This takes 20 seconds, I appreciate your time.

(I have just been told: it seems to be a plugin problem that if Adblock is activated the poll is unresponsive)


(3 answers per poll)

[poll id=”5″]

[poll id=”6″]


(just one answer possible)

[poll id=”7″]

The World of Tomorrow

The World of Tomorrow

When futurologists talk about their vision, we can read their words, we can somehow fathom their ideas but it’s always hard to draw an image before our inner eye.
In this article, I’m trying to create my own image of what lays ahead 25 years from now.


Well, 25 years are not that much you may ask?
Think back. 1992. The Internet, “just a trend anyway” some said, was run with 4 terabytes a month -worldwide. We kiddos either used our time with Looping Louie or with our precious Tamagotchi. Nope, that was 1997. These were different times. No digitalism, no data-streams, no online gaming, no cell phone for everyone except Miami-Vice in his Cabriolet. No Whats app, hell it was even a pain in the ass to gather all our friends at the doorsteps which were one, five or ten streets away.
We played Ghosts n’ Goblins on the Commodore 64, single-player. Or Commander Keen.
We had a bike, a football, a doll and if grandma was generous a Game-boy with Tetris and Super Mario Land.
We jumped because Kriss Kross told us so, and if our crush didn’t want to meet us, we heard November Rain. And at this point, I feel pretty old and analog.


Today, we have Blogs, we trade crypto-currency, and we get creepy ad recommendations into our browser to buy a virtual reality headset to slay some 3D mummified bear sharks, because we googled it to buy it on Amazon.

Today, we tinder to have sex with a housewife “just 3 miles from here!”

The last sentence alone would be enough to trigger a stroke or two in 1992.

But here we are. We live in a totally digital world. One geomagnetic storm from the sun could be enough to kill our economy, if our Internet provider has maintenance, we get bored in a second. We want to be wired. Weird.



25 years from now would be the same “mind-clusterfuck” for us now like 2017 would be for people from 1992.

“Smells like teens spirit” from 1992 could be considered an oldie, even Skrillex. Agony.

People won’t have a cellphone, but a communication chip, implanted in their shoulder.

On this chip, enough data space to store the history of mankind of the last 3000 years.

People can hear music, paid per view, paid per seconds you listened, activated with colored Logitech buttons within their vision, comparable to a digital head-up display. Your arm is your mouse.

Time will be shown on your skin, with ferrofluid, formed as numbers with an electromagnet, powered by body heat.

It is uncommon to buy software in 2042. Software is provided. If you want to use it, use nano-payments for the time you enjoy its service.

Electric cars don’t need to have parking tickets. They drive autonomously through the gates and pay the amounts you need for them to stay, at the end of the visit.

We won’t use paper, except for, well some things can’t be done digitally. Hygiene is conservative.

The water you use instead will be paid without you even noticing. Also groceries, medicine and porn.

You have an automated calculation for your bills. If you ever be short of money, you will be reminded 6 months before you run out of crypto. You don’t even have to think about cash, everything is online, automated, done behind closed algorithms.

At this point, let’s not talk about the development of housewives in your neighborhood.

Instead: Marriage contracts. They will be saved within a crypto-currency. People will get a certificate and celebrate their unique hash of love.
Uhhh, the hash starts with 4444! Fortune for the family. Good times ahead.

25 years from now, we need to be wired. We will depend on connections. And we won’t pay for it. Neither for connections nor for shifting values.

In our very future, we have some greater things to do than paying for payment.

We still have these annoying Facebook friends we don’t really know, but constantly get Candy Crush invites from.

In the future, it is called Holo-book though, and these damn 3D-diamonds are crushing through your roof. The sensor data of the IoT managed to find out where you are, in what state of sleep you are and which color you like the most. People pay advertisements based on this data, available because the Tangle saved the information.

If we are unlucky, then Justin Bieber is running for Presidency in 2042. Since 2017, this kind of scenario isn’t made by Stephen King anymore as we all know.

Humanity has a lot of construction sites in 2042 besides Holo-book.

The climate-change won’t be a boring subject in school, but ever-repeating hurricanes in 6 months a year.

Sequencing DNA to save people from countless diseases will be accomplished with a tangle-based “world-computer”. All for one, one for all. Progress.

If you ask me, 2042 will be hard to grasp. But damn, I’m really curious what lies ahead.

Have a good week,

Limo


pic: http://7-themes.com/6879019-future-wallpaper.html