BitPay, Bitcoin, and Where to Put That Decimal Point

Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet

Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots.
A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC).
Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea.
When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust.
However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:

Is Bitcoin money?

No.
Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves:
1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own.
As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get.
You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there?
2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile.
If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point:
3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away.
For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast.
On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC
While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad.
One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy.
If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due.
Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.

BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in

Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense.
Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run.
See here
Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well.
Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money.
Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph
The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand.
Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price
Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control.
It's also a national security risk...
The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa
In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca.
He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade.
This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.

Currencies are based on trust

Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged?
The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president.
People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all.
It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board.
For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency
This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government."
The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.

BTC is not gold

Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value.
How do we know that?
Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan.
Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well.
Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties:
First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment.
Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials.
Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans.
It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods.
To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that.
On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.

BTC is really risky

One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds.
But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:

Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient

Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science.
That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale.
The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

I added Bitcoin tipping/donation to my site. Pragmatically, what's the next best crypto to include (lowest fees/highest adoption)

I'm working on a site which curates a list of the best public Google docs: https://sourceful.co.uk - this is a response to users creating public docs but no way to search this content which is often very good quality.
One of the features is that readers can tip the authors of the docs they like. The default was PayPal but the fees there are very high.
Yesterday I added Bitcoin support which currently has lower fees than PayPal.
However, I would like it to be possible to process micro donations (<$0.5). Any advice what the best crypto for that would be? Dodge? xDai? Not only low fees are important but also how many people are actually using it (an will be using it in the next 2-3 years) and are likely to donate.
To see how it works go to LINK and click "Tip"
submitted by H0neyBadgerrr to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

A Physicist's Bitcoin Trading Strategy. No leverage, no going short, just spot trading. Total cumulative outperformance 2011-2020: 13,000,000%.

https://www.tradingview.com/script/4J5psNDo-A-Physicist-s-Bitcoin-Trading-Strategy/
3. Backtest Results
Backtest results demonstrate significant outperformance over buy-and-hold . The default parameters of the strategy/indicator have been set by the author to achieve maximum (or, close to maximum) outperformance on backtests executed on the BTCUSD ( Bitcoin ) chart. However, significant outperformance over buy-and-hold is still easily achievable using non-default parameters. Basically, as long as the parameters are set to adequately capture the full character of the market, significant outperformance on backtests is achievable and is quite easy. In fact, after some experimentation, it seems as if underperformance hardly achievable and requires deliberately setting the parameters illogically (e.g. setting one parameter of the slow indicator faster than the fast indicator). In the interest of providing a quality product to the user, suggestions and guidelines for parameter settings are provided in section (6). Finally, some metrics of the strategy's outperformance on the BTCUSD chart are listed below, both for the default (optimal) parameters as well as for a random sample of parameter settings that adhere to the guidelines set forth in section (6).
Using the default parameters, relative to buy-and-hold strategy, backtested from August 2011 to August 2020,
Using the default parameters, relative to buy-and-hold strategy, during specific periods,
Using a random sample (n=20) of combinations of parameter settings that adhere to the guidelines outlined in section (6), relative to buy-and-hold strategy, backtested from August 2011 to August 2020,
EDIT (because apparently not everybody bothers to read the strategy's description):
7. General Remarks About the Indicator
Other than some exponential moving averages, no traditional technical indicators or technical analysis tools are employed in this strategy. No MACD , no RSI , no CMF , no Bollinger bands , parabolic SARs, Ichimoku clouds , hoosawatsits, XYZs, ABCs, whatarethese. No tea leaves can be found in this strategy, only mathematics. It is in the nature of the underlying math formula, from which the indicator is produced, to quickly identify trend changes.
8. Remarks About Expectations of Future Results and About Backtesting
8.1. In General As it's been stated in many prospectuses and marketing literature, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Backtest results are retrospective, and hindsight is 20/20. Therefore, no guarantee can, nor should, be expressed by me or anybody else who is selling a financial product (unless you have a money printer, like the Federal Reserve does).
8.2. Regarding This Strategy No guarantee of future results using this strategy is expressed by the author, not now nor at any time in the future.
With that written, the author is free to express his own expectations and opinions based on his intimate knowledge of how the indicator works, and the author will take that liberty by writing the following: As described in section (7), this trading strategy does not include any traditional technical indicators or TA tools (other than smoothing EMAs). Instead, this strategy is based on a principle that does not change, it employs a complex indicator that is based on a math formula that does not change, and it places trades based on five simple rules that do not change. And, as described in section (2.1), the indicator is designed to capture the full character of the market, from a macro/global scope down to a micro/local scope. Additionally, as described in section (3), outperformance of the market for which this strategy was intended during backtesting does not depend on luckily setting the parameters "just right." In fact, all random combinations of parameter settings that followed the guidelines outperformed the intended market in backtests. Additionally, no parameters are included within the underlying math formula from which the indicator is produced; it is not as if the formula contains a "5" and future outperformance would depend on that "5" being a "6" instead. And, again as described, it is in the nature of the formula to quickly identify trend changes. Therefore, it is the opinion of the author that the outperformance of this strategy in backtesting is directly attributable to the fundamental nature of the math formula from which the indicator is produced. As such, it is also the opinion of the author that continued outperformance by using this strategy, applied to the crypto ( Bitcoin ) market, is likely, given that the parameter settings are set reasonably and in accordance with the guidelines. The author does not, however, expect future outperformance of this strategy to match or exceed the outperformance observed in backtests using the default parameters, i.e. it probably won't outperform by anything close to 13,000,000% during the next 9 years.
Additionally, based on the rolling 1-month outperformance data listed in section (3), expectations of short-term outperformance should be kept low; the median 1-month outperformance was -2%, so it's basically a 50/50 chance that any significant outperformance is seen in any given month. The true strength of this strategy is to be out of the market during large, sharp declines and capitalizing on the opportunities presented at the bottom of those declines by buying the dip. Given that such price action does not happen every month, outperformance in the initial months of use is approximately as likely as underperformance.
submitted by anon2414691 to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Price Prediction 2021

Bitcoin Price Prediction 2021
What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. Basically, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system that is not tied to the economy of any country or to the central bank. All actions to issue new coins, process payments, and create accounts are done by equal, independent network participants. Bitcoin uses cryptographic methods to ensure the functioning and protection of the system, but at the same time, all information about transactions is documented on a virtual ledger called the Bitcoin blockchain, which is accessible for everyone to see.
Nowadays Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency in the world and the number one digital currency by market capitalization.
by StealthEX

Bitcoin achievements and future plans

The latest most impactful news from around Bitcoin were the following:
• Bitcoin halving took place on May 11, 2020.
• Bitcoin developers move forward protocol enhancements through soft forks and activating Taproot.
• Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency investment for companies. MicroStrategy, a publicly-listed U.S. invested $425 million in Bitcoin. Square reportedly invested 1% of its portfolio into BTC, demonstrating strength in its long-term growth.
• According to Chainalysis 11.4M Bitcoin are held as long term investment.
• At block height 642,034 on August 3, a billion-dollar transaction took place where it only cost a small amount of 80 cents (0.0008034 BTC at 129.6 sat/vB).
• Over $300,000 in bitcoin grants being raised to support open source development and seeing bitcoin out-perform the price of gold by 100% so far this year.
There is no official roadmap of the Bitcoin project. But according to the official Twitter of the Bitcoin Core developer – John Newbery, in the near future, the Bitcoin team will focus on the Lightning Network. The Lightning teams working on c-lightning (Blockstream), Eclair (ACINQ), LND (Lightning Labs) and Rust Lightning will continue to develop the protocol.

Bitcoin Price History

Source: CoinMarketCap, Data was taken on 15 October 2020 by StealthEX
Current Price $11,403.37
Market Cap $211,161,902,513
Volume (24h) $25,189,472,156
Market Rank #1
Circulating Supply 18,517,493 BTC
Total Supply 18,517,493 BTC
7 Day High / Low $11,698.47 / $10,569.82

Experts Price Predictions

Bloomberg Intelligence

Blomberg analytics says that Bitcoin’s foundation is firming for further price advances.
“Considering normal maturation, about double the time frame from $1,000 to $10,000 would come in around 2025, for Bitcoin to potentially add another zero.”

Mike Novogratz

Mike Novogratz (CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital) hopes that BTC will reach $20,000 highs by the end of 2020.
“This is the year of Bitcoin and if it doesn’t go up now by the end of the year, I might just hang my spurs.”

John McAfee

An entrepreneur John McAfee has attracted public’s attention with his bizarre Bitcoin price predictions for the year 2020.
Twitter, by StealthEX
At the beginning of October 2020, McAfee got arrested for tax evasion charges, so the crypto community probably will not see the end of this bet.

Tone Vays

Famous derivatives trader and consultant, Tony Vays during an interview with IGTV noted his thoughts for BTC price:
“Do we think we go as high as $100,000? I’m not willing to make that statement. For me, I would be happy if the next top was around $45,000, and that can happen quickly.”

Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano

The co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano is sure that Bitcoin will continue to grow.
“You know there are people who debate what the size of the gold market is but let’s just use easy numbers. Let’s say that it’s $8 trillion. That puts Bitcoin at, depending on how many are lost or stolen, $400,000 to $450,000 today. Do you think that Bitcoin is going to be the equivalent of the gold market? I don’t. It’s better. It’s going to capture more market.”

Bitcoin Technical Analysis

Source: Tradingview, Data was taken on 15 October 2020 by StealthEX

Bitcoin Price Predictions

TradingBeasts BTC forecast

By the beginning of December 2020 BTC price will be $10,271.457 (-9.23%) per coin. TradingBeasts analytics thinks that by end of the year 2021 the maximum BTC price will reach $13,969.59 (+22.51%), while the minimum price could be $9,499.322 (-16.69%) per coin.

Wallet Investor Bitcoin price prediction

According to the Wallet Investor Forecast System, BTC is a good long-term investment. By the end of December 2020 Bitcoin could reach a maximum price of $15,339.20 (+34.51%) while by the end of 2021 its price can be $16,691.80 (+46.38%) per coin.
So, is it profitable to invest in Bitcoin? According to Wallet investor forecast, the long-term earning potential can reach +12.47% in one year.

DigitalCoinPrice BTC price prediction

Based on DigitalCoinPrice forecast Bitcoin is a profitable investment.The BTC average price may grow up to $26,263.42 (+130.31%) till the end of December 2020. While by end of the next year the its average price will be around $23,736.09 (+108.15%).

CoinPriceForecast Bitcoin forecast

CoinPriceForecast thinks that Bitcoin price at the end of 2020 will be around $11,495 (+0.8%). By the end of 2021 BTC price will reach $15,603 (+36.83%) per coin.
As you can see there are a lot of Bitcoin price predictions, but no one knows for 100 % what will happen with its price. One thing is for sure – if you are looking for the best platform to exchange cryptocurrency – StealthEX is here for you.

How to buy Bitcoin at StealthEX

BTC is available for exchange on StealthEX with a low fee. Follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example, ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your BTC coins!
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [email protected]
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Original article was posted on https://stealthex.io/blog/2020/10/15/bitcoin-price-prediction-2021/
submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

NEAR PROJECT REPORT

NEAR PROJECT REPORT
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
https://preview.redd.it/xbnvecjn71t51.png?width=1164&format=png&auto=webp&s=acfd141ead035ee156f218eec9fc41288142a922

ABSTRACT

The effects of the web by a number of companies have seduced a large number of users as these companies keep their data to prevent them from searching for alternatives. Likewise, these huge platforms have attracted applications to build their highest ecosystems before either severing access or actively opposing their interests when the applications became so successful. As a result, these walled gardens have effectively hindered innovation and monopolized large sections of the web. After the emergence of blockchain technology and decentralized cryptocurrencies, the need for applications to support decentralization has emerged. Several blockchain-based companies, applications and platforms have appeared in decentralization. In this research report, we will explain the approach adopted by the NEAR decentralization platform in designing and implementing the basic technology for its system. Near is a basic platform for cloud computing and decentralized storage managed by the community, designed to enable the open web for the future. On this web, everything can be created from new currencies to new applications to new industries, opening the door to an entirely new future.

1. INTRODUCTION

The richness of the web is increasing day by day with the combined efforts of millions of people who have benefited from “innovation without permission” as content and applications are created without asking anyone. this lack of freedom of data has led to an environment hostile to the interests of its participants. And as we explained in the summary previously, web hosting companies have hindered innovation and greatly monopolized the web.
In the future, we can fix this by using new technologies to re-enable the permissionless innovation of the past in a way, which creates a more open web where users are free and applications are supportive rather than adversarial to their interests.
Decentralization emerged after the global financial crisis in 2008, which created fundamental problems of confidence in the heavily indebted banking system. Then the decentralized financial sector based on Blockchain technology has emerged since 2009.
Decentralized Blockchain technology has made it easy for decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin to exchange billions of dollars in peer-to-peer transfers for a fraction of the price of a traditional banking system. This technology allows participants in the over $ 50 billion virtual goods economy to track, own and trade in these commodities without permission. It allows real-world goods to cross into the digital domain, with verified ownership and tracking just like that of the digital.
By default, the Internet where freedom of data enables innovation will lead to the development of a new form of software development. On this web, developers can quickly create applications from open state components and boost their efforts by using new business models that are enabled from within the program itself rather than relying on parasitic relationships with their users. This not only accelerates the creation of applications that have a more honest and cooperative relationship with its users, but also allows the emergence of completely new business built on them.
To enable these new applications and the open web, it needs the appropriate infrastructure. The new web platform cannot be controlled by a single entity and its use is not limited due to insufficient scalability. It should be decentralized in design like the web itself and supported by a community of distributors widely so that the value they store cannot be monitored, modified or removed without permission from the users who store this value on their behalf.
A new decentralization technology (Blockchain), which has facilitated decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin, has made billions of dollars in peer-to-peer transfers at a fraction of the price of the traditional banking system. This technology allows participants in the $ 50 billion + virtual goods economy to track, own and trade in these goods without permission. It allows real-world goods to cross into the digital domain, with verified ownership and tracking just like that of the digital.
Although the cost of storing data or performing a calculation on the Ethereum blockchain is thousands and millions of times higher than the cost of performing the same functionality on Amazon Web Services. A developer can always create a “central” app or even a central currency for a fraction of the cost of doing the same on a decentralized platform because a decentralized platform, by definition, will have many iterations in its operations and storage.
Bitcoin can be thought of as the first, very basic, version of this global community-run cloud, though it is primarily used only to store and move the Bitcoin digital currency.
Ethereum is the second and slightly more sophisticated version, which expanded the basic principles of Bitcoin to create a more general computing and storage platform, though it is a raw technology, which hasn’t achieved meaningful mainstream adoption.

1.1 WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PAY THE EXTRA COST TO SUPPORT DECENTRALIZATION?

Because some elements of value, for example bits representing digital currency ownership, personal identity, or asset notes, are very sensitive. While in the central system, the following players can change the value of any credits they come into direct contact with:
  1. The developer who controls the release or update of the application’s code
  2. The platform where the data is stored
  3. The servers which run the application’s code
Even if none of these players intend to operate with bad faith, the actions of governments, police forces and hackers can easily turn their hands against their users and censor, modify or steal the balances they are supposed to protect.
A typical user will trust a typical centralized application, despite its potential vulnerabilities, with everyday data and computation. Typically, only banks and governments are trusted sufficiently to maintain custody of the most sensitive information — balances of wealth and identity. But these entities are also subject to the very human forces of hubris, corruption and theft.
Especially after the 2008 global financial crisis, which demonstrated the fundamental problems of confidence in a highly indebted banking system. And governments around the
world apply significant capital controls to citizens during times of crisis. After these examples, it has become a truism that hackers now own most or all of your sensitive data.
These decentralized applications operate on a more complex infrastructure than today’s web but they have access to an instantaneous and global pool of currency, value and information that today’s web, where data is stored in the silos of individual corporations, cannot provide.

1.2 THE CHALLENGES OF CREATING A DECENTRALIZED CLOUD

A community-run system like this has very different challenges from centralized “cloud” infrastructure, which is running by a single entity or group of known entities. For example:
  1. It must be both inclusive to anyone and secure from manipulation or capture.
  2. Participants must be fairly compensated for their work while avoiding creating incentives for negligent or malicious behavior.
  3. It must be both game theoretically secure so good actors find the right equilibrium and resistant to manipulation so bad actors are actively prevented from negatively affecting the system.

2. NEAR

NEAR is a global community-run computing and storage cloud which is organized to be permissionless and which is economically incentivized to create a strong and decentralized data layer for the new web.
Essentially, it is a platform for running applications which have access to a shared — and secure — pool of money, identity and data which is owned by their users. More technically, it combines the features of partition-resistant networking, serverless compute and distributed storage into a new kind of platform.
NEAR is a community-managed, decentralized cloud storage and computing platform, designed to enable the open web in the future. It uses the same core technology for Bitcoin and Blockchain. On this web, everything can be created from new currencies to new applications to new industries, opening the door to an entirely new future.
NEAR is a decentralized community-run cloud computing and storage platform, which is designed to enable the open web of the future. On this web, everything from new currencies to new applications to new industries can be created, opening the door to a brand new future.
NEAR is a scalable computing and storage platform with the potential to change how systems are designed, how applications are built and how the web itself works.
It is a complex technology allow developers and entrepreneurs to easily and sustainably build applications which reap the benefits of decentralization and participate in the Open Web while minimizing the associated costs for end users.
NEAR creates the only community-managed cloud that is strong enough to power the future of the open web, as NEAR is designed from the ground up to deliver intuitive experiences to
end users, expand capacity across millions of devices, and provide developers with new and sustainable business models for their applications.
The NEAR Platform uses a token — also called “NEAR”. This token allows the users of these cloud resources, regardless of where they are in the world, to fairly compensate the providers of the services and to ensure that these participants operate in good faith.

2.1 WHY NEAR?

Through focus, we find that Platforms based on blockchain technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have made great progress and enriched the world with thousands of innovative applications spanning from games to decentralized financing.
However, these original networks and none of the networks that followed were not able to bridge the gap towards mainstream adoption of the applications created above them and do not provide this type of standard that fully supports the web.
This is a result of two key factors:
  1. System design
  2. Organization design
System design is relevant because the technical architecture of other platforms creates substantial problems with both usability and scalability which have made adoption nearly impossible by any but the most technical innovators. End-users experience 97–99% dropoff rates when using applications and developers find the process of creating and maintaining their applications endlessly frustrating.
Fixing these problems requires substantial and complex changes to current protocol architectures, something which existing organizations haven’t proven capable of implementing. Instead, they create multi-year backlogs of specification design and implementation, which result in their technology falling further and further behind.
NEAR’s platform and organization are architected specifically to solve the above-mentioned problems. The technical design is fanatically focused on creating the world’s most usable and scalable decentralized platform so global-scale applications can achieve real adoption. The organization and governance structure are designed to rapidly ship and continuously evolve the protocol so it will never become obsolete.

2.1.1 Features, which address these problems:

1. USABILITY FIRST
The most important problem that needs to be addressed is how to allow developers to create useful applications that users can use easily and that will capture the sustainable value of these developers.
2. End-User Usability
Developers will only build applications, which their end users can actually use. NEAR’s “progressive security” model allows developers to create experiences for their users which more closely resemble familiar web experiences by delaying onboarding, removing the need for user to learn “blockchain” concepts and limiting the number of permission-asking interactions the user must have to use the application.
1. Simple Onboarding: NEAR allows developers to take actions on behalf of their users, which allows them to onboard users without requiring these users to provide a wallet or interact with tokens immediately upon reaching an application. Because accounts keep track of application-specific keys, user accounts can also be used for the kind of “Single Sign On” (SSO) functionality that users are familiar with from the traditional web (eg “Login with Facebook/Google/Github/etc”).
2. Easy Subscriptions: Contract-based accounts allow for easy creation of subscriptions and custom permissioning for particular applications.
3. Familiar Usage Styles: The NEAR economic model allows developers to pay for usage on behalf of their users in order to hide the costs of infrastructure in a way that is in line with familiar web usage paradigms.
4. Predictable Pricing: NEAR prices transactions on the platform in simple terms, which allow end-users to experience predictable pricing and less cognitive load when using the platform.

2.1.2 Design principles and development NEAR’s platform

1. Usability: Applications deployed to the platform should be seamless to use for end users and seamless to create for developers. Wherever possible, the underlying technology itself should fade to the background or be hidden completely from end users. Wherever possible, developers should use familiar languages and patterns during the development process. Basic applications should be intuitive and simple to create while applications that are more robust should still be secure.
2. Scalability: The platform should scale with no upper limit as long as there is economic justification for doing so in order to support enterprise-grade, globally used applications.
3. Sustainable Decentralization: The platform should encourage significant decentralization in both the short term and the long term in order to properly secure the value it hosts. The platform — and community — should be widely and permissionlessly inclusive and actively encourage decentralization and participation. To maintain sustainability, both technological and community governance mechanisms should allow for practical iteration while avoiding capture by any single parties in the end.
4. Simplicity: The design of each of the system’s components should be as simple as possible in order to achieve their primary purpose. Optimize for simplicity, pragmatism and ease of understanding above theoretical perfection.

2.2 HOW NEAR WORKS?

NEAR’s platform provides a community-operated cloud infrastructure for deploying and running decentralized applications. It combines the features of a decentralized database with others of a serverless compute platform. The token, which allows this platform to run also, enables applications built on top of it to interact with each other in new ways. Together, these features allow developers to create censorship resistant back-ends for applications that deal with high stakes data like money, identity, assets, and open-state components, which interact seamlessly with each other. These application back-ends and components are called “smart contracts,” though we will often refer to these all as simply “applications” here.
The infrastructure, which makes up this cloud, is created from a potentially infinite number of “nodes” run by individuals around the world who offer portions of their CPU and hard drive space — whether on their laptops or more professionally deployed servers. Developers write smart contracts and deploy them to this cloud as if they were deploying to a single server, which is a process that feels very similar to how applications are deployed to existing centralized clouds.
Once the developer has deployed an application, called a “smart contract”, and marked it unchangeable (“immutable”), the application will now run for as long as at least a handful of members of the NEAR community continue to exist. When end users interact with that deployed application, they will generally do so through a familiar web or mobile interface just like any one of a million apps today.
In the central cloud hosted by some companies today like: Amazon or Google, developers pay for their apps every month based on the amount of usage needed, for example based on the number of requests created by users visiting their webpages. The NEAR platform similarly requires that either users or developers provide compensation for their usage to the community operators of this infrastructure. Like today’s cloud infrastructure, NEAR prices usage based on easy to understand metrics that aren’t heavily influenced by factors like system congestion. Such factors make it very complicated for developers on alternative blockchain-based systems today.
In the centralized cloud, the controlling corporation makes decisions unilaterally. NEAR community-run cloud is decentralized so updates must ultimately be accepted by a sufficient quorum of the network participants. Updates about its future are generated from the community and subject to an inclusive governance process, which balances efficiency and security.
In order to ensure that the operators of nodes — who are anonymous and potentially even malicious — run the code with good behavior, they participate in a staking process called “Proof of Stake”. In this process, they willingly put a portion of value at risk as a sort of deposit, which they will forfeit if it is proven that they have operated improperly.

2.2.1 Elements of the NEAR’s Platform

The NEAR platform is made up of many separate elements. Some of these are native to the platform itself while others are used in conjunction with or on top of it.
1. THE NEAR TOKEN
NEAR token is the fundamental native asset of the NEAR ecosystem and its functionality is enabled for all accounts. Each token is a unique digital asset similar to Ether, which can be used to:
a) Pay the system for processing transactions and storing data.
b) Run a validating node as part of the network by participating in the staking process.
c) Help determine how network resources are allocated and where its future technical direction will go by participating in governance processes.
The NEAR token enables the economic coordination of all participants who operate the network plus it enables new behaviors among the applications which are built on top of that network.
2. OTHER DIGITAL ASSETS
The platform is designed to easily store unique digital assets, which may include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Other Tokens: Tokens bridged from other chains (“wrapped”) or created atop the NEAR Platform can be easily stored and moved using the underlying platform. This allows many kinds of tokens to be used atop the platform to pay for goods and services. “Stablecoins,” specific kinds of token which are designed to match the price of another asset (like the US Dollar), are particularly useful for transacting on the network in this way.
  • Unique Digital Assets: Similar to tokens, digital assets (sometimes called “Non Fungible Tokens” (NFTs) ranging from in-game collectibles to representations of real-world asset ownership can be stored and moved using the platform.
3. THE NEAR PLATFORM
The core platform, which is made up of the cloud of community-operated nodes, is the most basic piece of infrastructure provided. Developers can permissionlessly deploy smart contracts to this cloud and users can permissionlessly use the applications they power. Applications, which could range from consumer-facing games to digital currencies, can store their state (data) securely on the platform. This is conceptually similar to the Ethereum platform.
Operations that require an account, network use, or storage at the top of the platform require payment to the platform in the form of transaction fees that the platform then distributes to its community from the authentication contract. These operations could include creating new accounts, publishing new contracts, implementing code by contract and storing or modifying data by contract.
As long as the rules of the protocol are followed, any independent developer can write software, which interfaces with it (for example, by submitting transactions, creating accounts or even running a new node client) without asking for anyone’s permission first.
4. THE NEAR DEVELOPMENT SUITE
Set of tools and reference implementations created to facilitate its use by those developers and end users who prefer them. These tools include:
  • NEAR SDKs: NEAR platform supports (Rust and AssemblyScript) languages to write smart contracts. To provide a great experience for developers, NEAR has a full SDK, which includes standard data structures, examples and testing tools for these two languages.
  • Gitpod for NEAR: NEAR uses existing technology Gitpod to create zero time onboarding experience for developers. Gitpod provides an online “Integrated Development Environment” (IDE), which NEAR customized to allow developers to easily write, test and deploy smart contracts from a web browser.
  • NEAR Wallet: A wallet is a basic place for developers and end users to store the assets they need to use the network. NEAR Wallet is a reference implementation that is intended to work seamlessly with the progressive security model that lets application developers design more effective user experiences. It will eventually include built-in functionality to easily enable participation by holders in staking and governance processes on the network.
  • NEAR Explorer: To aid with both debugging of contracts and the understanding of network performance, Explorer presents information from the blockchain in an easily digestible web-based format.
  • NEAR Command Line Tools: The NEAR team provides a set of straightforward command line tools to allow developers to easily create, test and deploy applications from their local environments.
All of these tools are being created in an open-source manner so they can be modified or deployed by anyone.

3. ECONOMIC

Primarily economic forces drive the ecosystem, which makes up the NEAR platform. This economy creates the incentives, which allow participants permissionlessly organize to drive the platform’s key functions while creating strong disincentives for undesirable, irresponsible or malicious behavior. In order for the platform to be effective, these incentives need to exist both in the short term and in the long term.
The NEAR platform is a market among participants interested in two aspects:
  • On the supply side, certification contract operators and other core infrastructure must be motivated to provide these services that make up the community cloud.
  • On the demand side, platform developers and end-users who pay for their use need to be able to do so in a simple, clear and consistent way that helps them.
Further, economic forces can also be applied to support the ecosystem as a whole. They can be used at a micro level to create new business models by directly compensating the developers who create its most useful applications. They can also be used at a macro level by coordinating the efforts of a broader set of ecosystem participants who participate in everything from education to governance.

3.1 NEAR ECONOMY DESIGN PRINCIPLES

NEAR’s overall system design principles are used to inform its economic design according to the following interpretations:
1. Usability: End users and developers should have predictable and consistent pricing for their usage of the network. Users should never lose data forever.
2. Scalability: The platform should scale at economically justified thresholds.
3. Simplicity: The design of each of the system’s components should be as simple as possible in order to achieve their primary purpose.
4. Sustainable Decentralization: The barrier for participation in the platform as a validating node should be set as low as possible in order to bring a wide range of participants. Over time, their participation should not drive wealth and control into the hands of a small number. Individual transactions made far in the future must be at least as secure as those made today in order to safeguard the value they modify.

3.2 ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The NEAR economy is optimized to provide developers and end users with the easiest possible experience while still providing proper incentives for network security and ecosystem development.
Summary of the key ideas that drive the system:
  • Thresholded Proof of Stake: Validating node operators provide scarce and valuable compute resources to the network. In order to ensure that the computations they run are correct, they are required to “stake” NEAR tokens, which guarantee their results. If these results are found to be inaccurate, the staker loses their tokens. This is a fundamental mechanism for securing the network. The threshold for participating in the system is set algorithmically at the lowest level possible to allow for the broadest possible participation of validating nodes in a given “epoch” period (½ of a day).
  • Epoch Rewards: Node operators are paid for their service a fixed percentage of total supply as a “security” fee of roughly 4.5% annualized. This rate targets sufficient participation levels among stakers in order to secure the network while balancing with other usage of NEAR token in the ecosystem.
  • Protocol treasury: In addition to validators, protocol treasury received a 0.5% of total supply annually to continuously re-invest into ecosystem development.
  • Transaction Costs: Usage of the network consumes two separate kinds of resources — instantaneous and long term. Instantaneous costs are generated by every transaction because each transaction requires the usage of both the network itself and some of its computation resources. These are priced together as a mostly-predictable cost per transaction, which is paid in NEAR tokens.
  • Storage Costs: Storage is a long term cost because storing data represents an ongoing burden to the nodes of the network. Storage costs are covered by maintaining minimum balance of NEAR tokens on the account or contract. This provides indirect mechanism of payment via inflation to validators for maintaining contract and account state on their nodes.
  • Inflation: Inflation is determined as combination of payouts to validators and protocol treasury minus the collected transaction fees and few other NEAR burning mechanics (like name auction). Overall the maximum inflation is 5%, which can go down over time as network gets more usage and more transactions fees are burned. It’s possible that inflation becomes negative (total supply decreases) if there is enough fees burned.
  • Scaling Thresholds: In a network, which scales its capacity relative to the amount of usage it receives, the thresholds, which drive the network to bring on additional capacity are economic in nature.
  • Security Thresholds: Some thresholds, which provide for good behavior among participants are set using economic incentives. For example, “Fishermen” (described separately).
Full Report
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Mega eTextbooks release thread (part-28)! Find your textbooks here between $5-$25 :)

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  52. Elementary Number Theory, 7th Edition: David Burton
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  54. Microeconomics, Global Edition, 9th Edition: Robert Pindyck & Daniel Rubinfeld
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  57. Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology, 26th Edition: Kim E. Barrett & Susan M. Barman & Jason Yuan & Heddwen L. Brooks
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  73. Head, Neck and Dental Emergencies, 2nd Edition: Mike Perry
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  102. The Philosophy of Film, 1st Edition: Thomas E. Wartenberg & Angela Curran
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  105. Medical Anthropology: A Biocultural Approach, 3rd Edition: Andrea S. Wiley & John S. Allen
  106. Exploring Biology in the Laboratory, 3rd Edition: Murray P. Pendarvis & John L. Crawley
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  108. Social Psychology: A Storytelling Approach, 2nd Edition: Leonard Newman & Ralph Erber
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  111. Brain and Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective, 1st Edition: David Eagleman & Jonathan Downar
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  125. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, 8th Edition: John Baylis & Steve Smith & Patricia Owens
  126. Behavioral Neuroscience, 9th Edition: S. Marc Breedlove & Neil V. Watson
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  128. Brief Principles of Macroeconomics, 9th Edition: N. Gregory Mankiw
  129. Living in the Environment, 4th Canadian Edition: G. Miller & Dave Hackett & Carl Wolfe
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  132. Child Development, 9th Edition: Laura E. Berk
  133. Home, School, and Community Collaboration: Culturally Responsive Family Engagement, 4th Edition: Kathy Beth Grant & Julie A. Ray
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  135. Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Review, 2nd Edition: Cynthia R. King
  136. Basic Chemistry, 4th Edition: Karen C. Timberlake & William Timberlake
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  148. Western Civilization: Volume II: Since 1500, 10th Edition: Jackson J. Spielvogel
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  172. Mathematical Proofs: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics, 4th Edition: Gary Chartrand & Albert D. Polimeni & Ping Zhang
  173. Concepts in Strategic Management and Business Policy: Globalization, Innovation and Sustainability, 15th Edition, Global Edition: Thomas L. Wheelen & J. David Hunger & Alan N. Hoffman & Charles E. Bamford
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Thanks to all who submitted questions for Shiv Malik in the GAINS AMA yesterday, it was great to see so much interest in Data Unions! You can read the full transcript here:

Thanks to all who submitted questions for Shiv Malik in the GAINS AMA yesterday, it was great to see so much interest in Data Unions! You can read the full transcript here:

Gains x Streamr AMA Recap

https://preview.redd.it/o74jlxia8im51.png?width=1236&format=png&auto=webp&s=93eb37a3c9ed31dc3bf31c91295c6ee32e1582be
Thanks to everyone in our community who attended the GAINS AMA yesterday with, Shiv Malik. We were excited to see that so many people attended and gladly overwhelmed by the amount of questions we got from you on Twitter and Telegram. We decided to do a little recap of the session for anyone who missed it, and to archive some points we haven’t previously discussed with our community. Happy reading and thanks to Alexandre and Henry for having us on their channel!
What is the project about in a few simple sentences?
At Streamr we are building a real-time network for tomorrow’s data economy. It’s a decentralized, peer-to-peer network which we are hoping will one day replace centralized message brokers like Amazon’s AWS services. On top of that one of the things I’m most excited about are Data Unions. With Data Unions anyone can join the data economy and start monetizing the data they already produce. Streamr’s Data Union framework provides a really easy way for devs to start building their own data unions and can also be easily integrated into any existing apps.
Okay, sounds interesting. Do you have a concrete example you could give us to make it easier to understand?
The best example of a Data Union is the first one that has been built out of our stack. It's called Swash and it's a browser plugin.
You can download it here: http://swashapp.io/
And basically it helps you monetize the data you already generate (day in day out) as you browse the web. It's the sort of data that Google already knows about you. But this way, with Swash, you can actually monetize it yourself. The more people that join the union, the more powerful it becomes and the greater the rewards are for everyone as the data product sells to potential buyers.
Very interesting. What stage is the project/product at? It's live, right?
Yes. It's live. And the Data Union framework is in public beta. The Network is on course to be fully decentralized at some point next year.
How much can a regular person browsing the Internet expect to make for example?
So that's a great question. The answer is no one quite knows yet. We do know that this sort of data (consumer insights) is worth hundreds of millions and really isn't available in high quality. So With a union of a few million people, everyone could be getting 20-50 dollars a year. But it'll take a few years at least to realise that growth. Of course Swash is just one data union amongst many possible others (which are now starting to get built out on our platform!)
With Swash, I believe they now have 3,000 members. They need to get to 50,000 before they become really viable but they are yet to do any marketing. So all that is organic growth.
I assume the data is anonymized btw?
Yes. And there in fact a few privacy protecting tools Swash supplys to its users.
How does Swash compare to Brave?
So Brave really is about consent for people's attention and getting paid for that. They don't sell your data as such.
Swash can of course be a plugin with Brave and therefore you can make passive income browsing the internet. Whilst also then consenting to advertising if you so want to earn BAT.
Of course it's Streamr that is powering Swash. And we're looking at powering other DUs - say for example mobile applications.
The holy grail might be having already existing apps and platforms out there, integrating DU tech into their apps so people can consent (or not) to having their data sold - and then getting a cut of that revenue when it does sell.
The other thing to recognise is that the big tech companies monopolise data on a vast scale - data that we of course produce for them. That is stifling innovation.
Take for example a competitor map app. To effectively compete with Google maps or Waze, they need millions of users feeding real time data into it.
Without that - it's like Google maps used to be - static and a bit useless.
Right, so how do you convince these big tech companies that are producing these big apps to integrate with Streamr? Does it mean they wouldn't be able to monetize data as well on their end if it becomes more available through an aggregation of individuals?
If a map application does manage to scale to that level then inevitably Google buys them out - that's what happened with Waze.
But if you have a data union which bundles together the raw location data of millions of people then any application builder can come along and license that data for their app. This encourages all sorts of innovation and breaks the monopoly.
We're currently having conversations with Mobile Network operators to see if they want to pilot this new approach to data monetization. And that's what even more exciting. Just be explicit with users - do you want to sell your data? Okay, if yes, then which data point do you want to sell.
Then the mobile network operator (like T-mobile for example) then organises the sale of the data of those who consent and everyone gets a cut.
Streamr - in this example provides the backend to port and bundle the data, and also the token and payment rail for the payments.
So for big companies (mobile operators in this case), it's less logistics, handing over the implementation to you, and simply taking a cut?
It's a vision that we'll be able to talk more about more concretely in a few weeks time 😁
Compared to having to make sense of that data themselves (in the past) and selling it themselves
Sort of.
We provide the backened to port the data and the template smart contracts to distribute the payments.
They get to focus on finding buyers for the data and ensuring that the data that is being collected from the app is the kind of data that is valuable and useful to the world.
(Through our sister company TX, we also help build out the applications for them and ensure a smooth integration).
The other thing to add is that the reason why this vision is working, is that the current data economy is under attack. Not just from privacy laws such as GDPR, but also from Google shutting down cookies, bidstream data being investigated by the FTC (for example) and Apple making changes to IoS14 to make third party data sharing more explicit for users.
All this means that the only real places for thousands of multinationals to buy the sort of consumer insights they need to ensure good business decisions will be owned by Google/FB etc, or from SDKs or through this method - from overt, rich, consent from the consumer in return for a cut of the earnings.
A couple of questions to get a better feel about Streamr as a whole now and where it came from. How many people are in the team? For how long have you been working on Streamr?
We are around 35 people with one office in Zug, Switzerland and another one in Helsinki. But there are team members all over the globe, we’ve people in the US, Spain, the UK, Germany, Poland, Australia and Singapore. I joined Streamr back in 2017 during the ICO craze (but not for that reason!)
And did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises?
We did an ICO back in Sept/Oct 2017 in which we raised around 30 Millions CHF. The funds give us enough runway for around five/six years to finalize our roadmap. We’ve also simultaneously opened up a sister company consultancy business, TX which helps enterprise clients implementing the Streamr stack. We've got no more plans to raise more!
What is the token use case? How did you make sure it captures the value of the ecosystem you're building
The token is used for payments on the Marketplace (such as for Data Union products for example) also for the broker nodes in the Network. ( we haven't talked much about the P2P network but it's our project's secret sauce).
The broker nodes will be paid in DATAcoin for providing bandwidth. We are currently working together with Blockscience on our tokeneconomics. We’ve just started the second phase in their consultancy process and will be soon able to share more on the Streamr Network’s tokeneconoimcs.
But if you want to summate the Network in a sentence or two - imagine the Bittorrent network being run by nodes who get paid to do so. Except that instead of passing around static files, it's realtime data streams.
That of course means it's really well suited for the IoT economy.
Well, let's continue with questions from Twitter and this one comes at the perfect time. Can Streamr Network be used to transfer data from IOT devices? Is the network bandwidth sufficient? How is it possible to monetize the received data from a huge number of IOT devices? From u/ EgorCypto
Yes, IoT devices are a perfect use case for the Network. When it comes to the network’s bandwidth and speed - the Streamr team just recently did extensive research to find out how well the network scales.
The result was that it is on par with centralized solutions. We ran experiments with network sizes between 32 to 2048 nodes and in the largest network of 2048 nodes, 99% of deliveries happened within 362 ms globally.
To put these results in context, PubNub, a centralized message brokering service, promises to deliver messages within 250 ms — and that’s a centralized service! So we're super happy with those results.
Here's a link to the paper:
https://medium.com/streamrblog/streamr-network-performance-and-scalability-whitepaper-adb461edd002
While we're on the technical side, second question from Twitter: Can you be sure that valuable data is safe and not shared with service providers? Are you using any encryption methods? From u/ CryptoMatvey
Yes, the messages in the Network are encrypted. Currently all nodes are still run by the Streamr team. This will change in the Brubeck release - our last milestone on the roadmap - when end-to-end encryption is added. This release adds end-to-end encryption and automatic key exchange mechanisms, ensuring that node operators can not access any confidential data.
If BTW - you want to get very technical the encryption algorithms we are using are: AES (AES-256-CTR) for encryption of data payloads, RSA (PKCS #1) for securely exchanging the AES keys and ECDSA (secp256k1) for data signing (same as Bitcoin and Ethereum).
Last question from Twitter, less technical now :) In their AMA ad, they say that Streamr has three unions, Swash, Tracey and MyDiem. Why does Tracey help fisherfolk in the Philippines monetize their catch data? Do they only work with this country or do they plan to expand? From u/ alej_pacedo
So yes, Tracey is one of the first Data Unions on top of the Streamr stack. Currently we are working together with the WWF-Philippines and the UnionBank of the Philippines on doing a first pilot with local fishing communities in the Philippines.
WWF is interested in the catch data to protect wildlife and make sure that no overfishing happens. And at the same time the fisherfolk are incentivized to record their catch data by being able to access micro loans from banks, which in turn helps them make their business more profitable.
So far, we have lots of interest from other places in South East Asia which would like to use Tracey, too. In fact TX have already had explicit interest in building out the use cases in other countries and not just for sea-food tracking, but also for many other agricultural products.
(I think they had a call this week about a use case involving cows 😂)
I recall late last year, that the Streamr Data Union framework was launched into private beta, now public beta was recently released. What are the differences? Any added new features? By u/ Idee02
The main difference will be that the DU 2.0 release will be more reliable and also more transparent since the sidechain we are using for micropayments is also now based on blockchain consensus (PoA).
Are there plans in the pipeline for Streamr to focus on the consumer-facing products themselves or will the emphasis be on the further development of the underlying engine?by u/ Andromedamin
We're all about what's under the hood. We want third party devs to take on the challenge of building the consumer facing apps. We know it would be foolish to try and do it all!
As a project how do you consider the progress of the project to fully developed (in % of progress plz) by u/ Hash2T
We're about 60% through I reckon!
What tools does Streamr offer developers so that they can create their own DApps and monetize data?What is Streamr Architecture? How do the Ethereum blockchain and the Streamr network and Streamr Core applications interact? By u/ CryptoDurden
We'll be releasing the Data UNion framework in a few weeks from now and I think DApp builders will be impressed with what they find.
We all know that Blockchain has many disadvantages as well,
So why did Streamr choose blockchain as a combination for its technology?
What's your plan to merge Blockchain with your technologies to make it safer and more convenient for your users? By u/ noonecanstopme
So we're not a blockchain ourselves - that's important to note. The P2P network only uses BC tech for the payments. Why on earth for example would you want to store every single piece of info on a blockchain. You should only store what you want to store. And that should probably happen off chain.
So we think we got the mix right there.
What were the requirements needed for node setup ? by u/ John097
Good q - we're still working on that but those specs will be out in the next release.
How does the STREAMR team ensure good data is entered into the blockchain by participants? By u/ kartika84
Another great Q there! From the product buying end, this will be done by reputation. But ensuring the quality of the data as it passes through the network - if that is what you also mean - is all about getting the architecture right. In a decentralised network, that's not easy as data points in streams have to arrive in the right order. It's one of the biggest challenges but we think we're solving it in a really decentralised way.
What are the requirements for integrating applications with Data Union? What role does the DATA token play in this case? By u/ JP_Morgan_Chase
There are no specific requirements as such, just that your application needs to generate some kind of real-time data. Data Union members and administrators are both paid in DATA by data buyers coming from the Streamr marketplace.
Regarding security and legality, how does STREAMR guarantee that the data uploaded by a given user belongs to him and he can monetize and capitalize on it? By u/ kherrera22
So that's a sort of million dollar question for anyone involved in a digital industry. Within our system there are ways of ensuring that but in the end the negotiation of data licensing will still, in many ways be done human to human and via legal licenses rather than smart contracts. at least when it comes to sizeable data products. There are more answers to this but it's a long one!
Okay thank you all for all of those!
The AMA took place in the GAINS Telegram group 10/09/20. Answers by Shiv Malik.
submitted by thamilton5 to streamr [link] [comments]

Conditional payment of Wisdom Chain document knowledge base

If we want to make a transaction now, I want to sell my data to you. what is the safest way of transaction?

Obviously, there are two problems:

To solve the above problem, we need a perfect and accurate "one hand pay, one hand delivery" solution. Zero knowledge proof and blockchain can be used at this time.

Today we try to explain this interesting solution in the language that ordinary people can understand: the conditional payment of Wisdom Chain.

What does this concept mean?

To put it simply, it is to reach a perfect and fair "one hand pay, one hand delivery" scheme without trusting a third party.

Imagine a transaction scenario in which neither party is willing to make payment / delivery to the other party without the presence of a trusted third party, otherwise the other party will run away. One hand payment and one hand delivery means that the payment / delivery action must be atomic.

The so-called perfect fairness means that neither side can take more advantage. However, this concept is an old topic. As early as the 1980s, many scholars have been studying how to achieve a perfect fair trade. But for a long time, it has been agreed that a trusted third party is essential. Later, when Bitcoin was born, we found that it could be done by using the characteristics of blockchain.

How is conditional payment realized in Wisdom Chain?
According to official disclosure, conditional payment in Wisdom Chain is mainly composed of "hash time locking", "hash height locking" and other factors. Here, only hash time locking and hash height locking are discussed.

What is hash time locking?

Hash lock, full name of hash time lock contract, is a new technology implementation form proposed in lightning network.

Hash lock mode is a mechanism that users guess the original value of hash value to pay in a specified period of time. In short, on the basis of the smart contract, both parties lock the assets first. If both parties input the original value of the correct hash value in a limited time, the transaction can be completed.

In this mechanism, we can realize the rapid confirmation of micro payment, that is to say, to achieve the goal of rapid confirmation of lightning network. Next, the author will take the asset exchange of the application scenario of hash locking as an example to explain how hash locking is realized.

How to implement hash time locking? In order to facilitate the understanding of how hash time locking is locked, here we compare two locks, one is hash lock and the other is time lock.

1. Hash lock
Through hash value locking, after locking, only the original value of the hash value is used to unlock. Assuming that the number is 123, the value after hash is a03a. Through a03a locking, without considering hash collision, it can only be unlocked by 123.

2. Time lock
The time lock requires the password for the hash lock to be entered within a specified time. If the time of the time lock is 1 hour, the user is required to enter the password of the hash lock within 1 hour. If the password of the hash lock is input after 1 hour, the time lock will not be opened.

In other words, the condition for opening the two locks at the same time is to input the original value of the hash value within the specified time. In the above example, if "123" is input within one hour, both locks will be in the open state.

Now A will use hash time locking mechanism to exchange its WDC in B for Ethernet currency. The specific steps are as follows:

A first generates random number S, and then give hash value H (S) of random number to B through the network, assuming that the random number is 123, and the hash value is a03a.


This process is equivalent to that B itself has two locks. The hash lock is the same as the hash lock of A. it needs the same password to open it. If the time lock is half an hour.


Through the above process, we can see that A can realize the exchange from WDC to ETH through hash time locking.

Through the above description, we understand the hash time locking, and the following hash height locking will be very simple to understand, and the principle is roughly the same as hash time locking. So let's briefly describe hash height locking.

Hash height lock

A and B can reach an agreement to lock A's 10WDC. Before the arrival of time T (T is expressed in terms of a block chain height in the future), if B can show a suitable R to A so that the hash value of R is equal to the predetermined value H®, B can obtain the 10WDC; if B still fails to provide A correct R until time T has passed, the WDC will automatically unfreeze and return it to A. This process produces random numbers and verifies them.

When you understand hash time lock and hash height lock, you understand the technical principle of conditional payment for WisdomChain.
submitted by Frosty_Gene_7770 to u/Frosty_Gene_7770 [link] [comments]

Placing Your Crypto Eggs in Every Basket: Everything You Need to Know About Yield Farming in 2020

Placing Your Crypto Eggs in Every Basket: Everything You Need to Know About Yield Farming in 2020
One of the most prominent reasons people invest in cryptocurrencies is that it is a hedge. It has been proven with some clarity that the asset class operates independently of traditional markets. A lot of established investors and firms have invested in the market just to diversify their portfolio, the most recent being MicroStrategy, which invested $250 million in Bitcoin and other assets.
But even within the cryptocurrency asset class, there are several ways in which one can diversify their income. In some ways, it may even be better than other assets classes, as it can be tokenized in digital form. There are challenges too, most notably, a high barrier of entry for the non-tech-savvy.
We’ll get to the ‘how’ in a bit. Let’s turn our attention back to the ‘why’.
Cryptocurrencies provide many ways in which to diversify your portfolio but one of the best ways is with passive income options, of which there are several. The most talked about option is easily Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which will be the subject of our discussion today.
It’s important to know how the service works in order to make the most out of it. Unfortunately, there are many out there seeking to capitalize on the mania and make quick a buck — but that’ll never happen.
The purpose of this piece is to help you position yourself for passive income maximization with DeFi and possibly even make a decent profit. The time frame you are looking at is months, not days, so don’t get hasty. The best value comes from long-term investments.
The QDeFi team is here to make everything easy for you.
What is DeFi and Yield Farming?
The chances are, you have heard of DeFi. Given the buzz, it’s been hitting the headlines and is even being talked about in mainstream finance. So there is a good probability that you know about this rapidly developing niche in the cryptocurrency space.
Even if the practical aspect of investing is a little technical, the concept itself is fairly simple.
DeFi is simply various financial services (like lending and borrowing) that are completely decentralized. There is no middleman involved in the process of lending or trading, meaning that there is no centralized entity to take a cut or slow down the process. Everything happens between the two concerned parties, which results in greater security and faster transactions.
How is this done, you might ask. Mostly through smart contracts and other technologies that take care of dispute resolutions to ensure disagreements are settled fairly. Governance by all of the asset holders also means that the terms of the services can be adjusted, according to their liking and not by some centralized party charging rates to benefit themselves.
But perhaps the most salient feature of DeFi is that anyone can easily participate. You don’t need to go through a lengthy process just to be eligible and you don’t need to have extensive documentation either.
Since this is a new space with evolving technology, the tricky part is making your first investments, which can be challenging. This is true for all cryptocurrency activities but doubly so for such a recent thing as DeFi.
The issue can boil down to user-friendliness. Most DeFi protocols and platforms are not user-friendly at the moment, leaving participation accessible only to those who possess some technical knowledge. But that’s why we’re writing this — so you can begin your foray into DeFi following this a step by step guide without having to worry about making a mistake.
But before that, we’ll have to learn a little about yield farming.
What is Yield Farming in detail ?
Ifyou’re going to invest in something, you’re going to want to choose something to invest in. And any investor in the market will tell you that yield farming is where it’s at.
Strange name, you might think, but cryptocurrencies are no strangers to terms like this (“mining” for example). And the phrase is pretty self-explanatory. Investors simply use their existing assets/collateral on certain platforms, providing liquidity and generating revenue for their contribution.
This may all sound confusing, but let’s break it down (we’ll go through specific examples shortly as well).
In a nutshell, yield farming is simply letting idle assets generate revenue by making them useful to others. The hot topic right now is liquidity pools, which is where you contribute to an asset’s liquidity by providing it to a liquidity pool on a platform like Uniswap.
But the real trick is knowing how to find the synergies between the various DeFi services, i.e. forming a yield farming strategy. As another example, you can borrow a stake on a platform and use that to contribute to a liquidity pool and earn fees. These are the yield farming strategies that some individuals are very adept at forming.
Compound this with governance tokens that platforms release and you have a pretty nifty way of earning tokens, which could potentially reach a high value in the medium to long term. That’s why investors have been rushing towards DeFi.
Now we get to the most exciting part of learning about yield farming — what are the best performing protocols and how much can we realistically make?
Some of the most notable choices for yield farming protocols and platforms are the following:
  • Ampleforth (AMPL)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • YFI (YFI)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Curve (CRV)
If you’ve paid any attention to financial news, then you know these are the ones that have made the highest gains for investors. YFI even temporarily held a 1000% APY for its investors, though such unrealistic gains are no longer the norm. Gains have varied but it’s not uncommon to hear gains in the double digits.

https://preview.redd.it/9dpufd6dxjm51.png?width=1600&format=png&auto=webp&s=4752cb7ea900cf0a9c01b5a2e52a55cfe3feb0a9
We’ve mentioned different types of protocols because rates may vary and it does take some constant supervision of the market to know where the best rates lie. The aforementioned projects are only some of the choices you have for yield farming, but they are among the better ones because they have avoided catastrophic incidents so far.
Going over the particulars of each protocol is out of the scope of this guide but we’ll use some of them to run you through your first DeFi investment. From there, you should be able to manage on your own and use the plentiful resources of the internet to refine your strategies.
submitted by QDAODeFi to u/QDAODeFi [link] [comments]

Matic Network: How to achieve the solution of most prominent issues faced by most of the blockchains.

Matic Network: How to achieve the solution of most prominent issues faced by most of the blockchains.
Smart contract platforms and cryptocurrencies have captured mass attention but still have not been able to achieve mass adoption due to scalability and user experience issues. Even on Ethereum, which is the most widely used smart contracts platform, there have not been many examples of DApps which have seen mass adoption. Essentially this means that even the most advanced and widely used platforms are not ready for mass adoption yet. On the other hand, there are a few smart contract platforms which boast of higher transaction throughput, but they compromise on decentralization in order to improve transaction speeds. Matic Network strives to solve the scalability and usability issues, while not compromising on decentralization. Matic is a Layer 2 solution that seeks to solve the problems facing blockchain-based applications through the use of sidechains. For now, Matic focuses on the Ethereum blockchain but plans to extend its offerings for other smart contracts platforms in the future. We aim to be the de-facto platform on which developers will deploy and run decentralized applications.
Main issues that faces others blockchain:
· Scalability
· High transaction fees
· Interoperability
· Poor usability
· 50% Sybil attack

How Matic Network trying to achieve the solution of these problems:

The Matic Network comes packed with features which its developers promote as solutions to the prominent issues faced by most of the blockchain projects.
Scalability:
Scalability is an alarming issue now a days. Because scalability is one of the most frequently cited reasons that blockchain adoption isn’t happening faster, because without being able to increase the speed and size of a Blockchain network, we can’t ever hope to impact more than just a handful of people. Bitcoin and Ethereum have only managed to gain a combined market cap of over $200 billion because of the promise that they will one day achieve mainstream adoption.
In response to these blockchain scalability issues, the Matic Network has poured a lot of energy into developing scalability solutions to the adapted implementation of the Plasma framework for Ethereum to start with, but the “vision” of the Matic development team is to provide off/side chain scaling solutions for blockchains in general. These solutions are all interesting in their own right, but I would argue that they are less important for scalability than design decisions in the protocol itself, and the use cases which are being targeted by those designs. The scalability under Proof of Stake is also greatly increased. While Bitcoin and similar Proof of Work cryptocurrencies struggle to get double digit transactions per second on the main chain (Bitcoin is around 8|) Ethereum is still limited to just 15 TPS and sees costs per transaction at around $0.006. Matic aims to offer 10,000 TPS on a single chain and lower potential costs, while maintaining the EVM and key concepts. To improve scalability, Matic Network uses a dual strategy of Proof of Stake at the check pointing layer and Block Producers at the block producer layer to achieve faster block times and achieves finality on the main chain using the checkpoints and fraud proofs.
Every user provides the power for their own transactions. Scalability and decentralization can co-exist, but security risks become greater. Developers will choose the platform that best suits their needs, and users will choose the platforms that function best, according to them. Some users may be willing to sacrifice security for scalability; others, scalability for security. We evaluate the core features based on the overall mandate of the system. Thus Matic Network provides a platform that meet the users need where they executes their transaction within seconds fearlessly and solves the issues that other blockchain faces now a days.
Finally, Matic Network is solves the scalability problem by building a decentralized platform using adapted version of plasma framework that provides a solution faster and extremely low cost transaction with finality on main chain.
Cut-off the high transaction fees:
Matic Network promises to bring down transactions fees and improve user experience. In addition to purely technological considerations, some blockchain implementations are seen as preventing their mass adoption by applying high gas and similar fees. Considering that the payment of tokens in exchange for services or transactions is the backbone of many crypto projects’ micro-economy, the Matic Network team opted for the economy of scale as its solution. It features a dedicated layer on which the block producers handle a high number of transactions, thus keeping their costs down. The interoperability and smooth transition from the main chain to Matic chain should also improve the UX.
Interoperability:
Developers often ignore standards when building a blockchain for more freedom, but this can cause interoperability and communication issues. The most major challenge to interoperability is multiple blockchain networks with different parameters like consensus models, smart contract functionality and transaction schemes. Matic Network supports assets interoperability and multi micro payment channels compatible with other off-chain solutions.
Assets on different sidechains are to achieve interoperability as long as they are provided for by the Matic Network. As the Matic Network runs on the state-based system of the EVM, it does not need an opening of the payment channels between two parties. In Matic Network all transactions are final and instantly confirmed. . Matic foundation intends to provide Matic wallet, payment APIs & SDKs, products, identity solutions and other enabling solutions that will allow developers to design, implement and migrate DApps built on base platforms like Ethereum.
Poor usability:
Today, except for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, only a small number of people engage with blockchain technology because there are few user-friendly experiences. Developing blockchain solutions is also challenging. When engaging with blockchain jargon abounds, addresses are meaningless streams of letters and numbers, and programming requires special tools such as the Solidity language for smart contracts. Emerging technologies require compelling user experiences to drive adoption. Blockchain solutions that offer attractive user experiences, such a Matic, can thrive. To expand beyond innovators and early adopters, blockchain-based solutions must offer compelling experiences. The key pillars that form the basis of Matic Network’s ideology is the improvement of user experience, this area is poorly developed for Blockchain applications as of now. The Matic Development team has already built high quality user experience Mobile/Web browser libraries which will enable businesses to create real world end user applications on a large scale. The development roadmap of the Matic Network also includes supporting cross-chain transfers and third-party Decentralized exchanges, liquidity pools etc. End Users will interact in a convenient manner with applications that use Matic Network, Matic also provide a smooth interface and provide native mobile apps .In fact, developer experience is a special area of focus for the project. The project has built a number of tools to make it easier to interact with the Matic Network, such as Matic SDK, Matic Wallet, Dagger (Ethereum notification engine with real-time updates from the Ethereum blockchain), and Block Explorer. Moreover, Matic’s team is also arguably the first to implement Plasma Predicates, which significantly simplifies the upgradability of Plasma contracts, making the addition of new features a much easier task.
SECURITY:
Security refers to the level of defensibility a blockchain has against attacks from external sources. Internally, or within the blockchain itself, it’s a measure of how immutable the system is to change. For most blockchains, there are many, many potential security risks. In our opinion, decentralization and security go hand in hand. To be secure, a crypto protocol needs to be resilient in the short term and immutable in the long term.
So Matic protocol provides a platform where users are able to prevent and/or recover from short-term attacks (resilience), without making changes to previous states of the distributed ledger (immutability).
This is ideal for applications that require sovereign grade security and deal with confidential data. Anything in the realm of financial services would likely require the highest degree of security. Even crypto exchanges — one of the biggest targets of hackers — would be far better suited to deal with such attacks if built on platform, and provides a security for Matic holder against 50% Sybil attack.
In addition, quickly growing networks will require a fast consensus mechanism, in order to validate more transactions while delivering the same speed to individual users. This can only occur in Matic Network smart contract Layer 2, which is powered by plasma .
Final thought:
Matic Network aims to solve the actual problems faced by blockchain industry. Matic Network has collaboration with so many projects to provide a better user experience with lower transaction costs to end users. The team is solid and experienced enough in terms of development and delivering the product. To some extent, Matic Network forego scalability to make the network as secure and decentralized as possible. This is the key reason of its adoption .Matic is a promising project. Matic have opened the door to completely addresses real pain points of the market, scalability and cost, without compromising on security. The Matic Network believes in simplifying the interaction between users and the decentralized world- they want to make using decentralized systems so easy that anyone can do it without knowledge of the complex technologies powering their actions.
Written by Tahira siddiqui
Follow Matic Network on twitter : https://twitter.com/maticnetwork
Join the Network : https://matic.network/
https://preview.redd.it/lm5ozmrdtri51.jpg?width=3000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3dc52a82bcdddbfe9d9cc0052b0d5435630b9542
submitted by Tahira_19 to maticnetwork [link] [comments]

From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

UPDATE: This article is now available as a printable PDF with embedded hyperlinks for navigation through sources. This link will be valid thru July 9: https://ufile.io/4mpkg4x6

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B

Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
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Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
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"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.
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Continue to Part 2

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