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Encryption, “Dark Spaces” Demonized on Both Sides of the Aisle

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Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

The above quote is attributed to Daniel Webster, a Senator who fought off some of the earliest attacks on American civil liberties by early would-be tyrants. His idea applies today more than ever, as attempted autocrats decry the inability to know every private thought of the citizenry and seek to deprive Americans of the liberties so many have died to defend over the last two centuries.

The cultural efforts against gun legal gun ownership combined with the non-stop aggression toward technologies which protect our business secrets, financial transactions, and private correspondence have seen an increase following the mass murders in Paris at the hands of Islamic extremists.

Also read: Researchers Able to Analyze Tor Traffic Without Breaking Encryption

On yesterday’s Face the Nation, a top Democratic Senator, Diane Feinstein of California, along with a Republican Congressman named Mike McCaul both decried encryption technology as an apparently needless barrier to public safety. McCaul said that the most troubling element of the modern situation is that ISIS is able to freely communicate with agents worldwide, including in the United States.

[W]e know that they’re talking from Raqqa to people in Paris and Belgium but also in the United States. We’ve caught communications where they’ve talked to people in New York and D.C. and, quite frankly, everywhere. The biggest threat today is the idea that terrorists can communicate in dark space, dark platforms, and we can’t see what they’re saying.

For her part, Feinstein addressed the idea that financial transactions and other information would be put at risk if limits to encryption were put in place, saying that legal processes could protect these things. She apparently fails to understand the lawless nature of hacking, in that if it can be done, it will be done. That is to say that if the government is somehow privileged to enter encrypted spaces where they were not previously allowed, then it will be a matter of time before even worse elements find their way in. Feinstein:

I think with a court order, with good justification, all of that can be prevented.

She referred to encrypted communication technology as the “Achilles’ heel” of the Internet. She said that she had held talks with technology companies and asked them to remove information about making undetectable bombs and was met with the insistence that she simply pass a law. Laws pertaining the limitation of information availability would, in a previous version of these United States, be incredibly difficult to pass, no matter the political climate. In the same way that encryption protects the good and the bad, our civil liberties keep America free, for better or worse.

The intentions of these would-be autocrats may be good, after all. They may not realize what they’re actually advocating. This does not make them any more forgivable. The up and coming generation needs to virulently throw out these outmoded thinkers and replace them people who’ve actually got their best interests in mind, who espouse ideals of universal liberty, justice, and global civility.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Flash Reiker

    December 9, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Absolutely right. Good article. We need the protections of the original Constitution to protect Americans FROM the United States Government and it’s corrupt and incompetent politicians.

  2. Danny

    December 12, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Are you looking for possible hacking solutions, do you want to check into your partner or wards social apps(FB, Whatsapp, Emails, Kik e.t.c). Erase unwanted files or clear bad records, then Contact: danielphills@cyberservices.com………………………. it is done in no time…….

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Altcoins

Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Golem

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Did you know most of us only use a fraction of our computers’ capacity? Thinking about it, you wouldn’t expect most of the tasks we do on a daily basis to take up much computing power. So what do you think happens to the rest of your capacity?

It sits idle, and nothing is done with it. Your computer is still on and consuming electricity and this power goes to waste. Based on this exact “problem” Golem has come up with a solution that ends up being a lot like AirBnb for your computer.

Golem has created a peer-to-peer system for sharing computing power across the network. The result is a flexible, scalable solution that aggregates idle resources and democratizes the payout to the millions of people on the network.

Golem’s Long Road to an ICO

It took 3 years, but Golem finally completed the sale of their GNT token in early April 2018. The platform is built on ETH and utilizes smart contracts to drastically bring down the cost of distributed computing. The sale was completed in under 20 minutes and raised 820,000 ETH ($340 million).

How it works is that suppliers have extra computing power and are willing to be paid GNT in exchange for their computers performing tasks for requesters.

The app is 100% secure and operates in the background, and you can also choose what fraction of your computing power to use, so there’s no worry about getting slowed down by its operation. Ideally, the only time you would notice it is when you earn some ETH for performing tasks for other users.

Golem’s Economics

The mechanics of the market are pretty simple. There is demand (requesters) and supply (providers). The supply is essential, because there are no central servers that are able to perform computations. Providers will come to the network with the goal of earning a few dollars a month in ETH, at virtually no cost to themselves.

On the demand side, you have users who buy GNT tokens in order to pay for providers to perform tasks for them. Requesters generally join the network because of its lower cost. They are able to set the maximum they will pay (their bid) and Golem distributes the tasks appropriately.

A final party to consider are the software developers who enjoy access to a distribution channel that helps them depoy and monetize new software. Golem has a store that enables this function and adds much more value to the network.

The obvious competitors to Golem are big cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The fact is that these services are grossly overpriced because the companies have developed an oligopoly that allows them to collect high margins. This is crazy because computing power is not actually a scarce resource and this is the market inefficiency Golem aims to fix.

Golem’s Long Game

Golem is currently trading at a fraction of a dollar ($0.145) and is down from a high above $1.00. The same downturn has affected many companies in the blockchain space, and Golem has received extra flak for taking so long to release their product. At the same time, another way to look at this is as a major buying opportunity.

Most of this has to do not with ineptitude, but a complex framework (Ethereum) that isn’t perfectly designed for integration yet. However, in the long-run Golem still has huge potential. As more features are released (Clay Golem is next) and they scale to be able to help data centres, there is no limit to how far they can go. The size of the market has been proven by Amazon and Microsoft, and now it is up to Golem to see if they can get a piece of the pie.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Bitcoin

Dan Morehead Weighs In on Bitcoin’s Seventh Bear Market

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Bear markets are nothing new for bitcoin, with the latest devaluation marking the seventh such occurrence since 2009. According to Pantera Capital’s Dan Morehead, now is the ideal time to increase your position. He also had a few choice words for the traditional banking industry.

Bitcoin: Time To Buy

In a recent interview, Morehead described blockchain investments as the most “asymmetric risk-reward trade” he has ever seen. In other words, if you invest in blockchain, there’s no way you can lose everything. What’s more, many of the funds currently invested in bitcoin can increase their value 25 times.

With bitcoin hovering around $6,300, now is “actually a good time to increase your position,” Morehead said, as quoted by CCN.

“It’s highly likely to be the low point for the industry,” he said, reminding investors that the bitcoin price has been steadily increasing since 2009. “My normal view is that it’s going to return to its trend.”

Since inception, bitcoin has had only one down year (2015). In all other years, the cryptocurrency has returned at least 145%.

Morehead also responded to Warren Buffett’s claim that bitcoin is “rat poison squared.”

“It is rat poison; it’s just the banks and credit card companies are the rats.”

As Hacked recently reported, Pantera Capital has engineered returns of more than 10,000% since its inception.

Institutional Money

Despite the recent downturn, 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the crypto hedge fund. A total of 96 cryptocurrency funds have come into existence this year, according to Crypto Fund Research. This figure is expected to reach 165 in 2018 compared with 156 all of last year.

There are now 466 cryptocurrency funds around the world, with more than half coming into existence since the start of 2017. Crypto hedge funds account for more than half of the total.

The crypto market is expected to receive a huge boost from institutional capital once regulators change existing rules allowing for bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be listed. The launch of Bakkt – a startup company backed by Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft and Starbucks – is also expected to streamline mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency both at the investor and consumer levels.

Leading digital currency exchanges such as Coinbase are expanding custody services to appeal to Wall Street. Crypto custody is one of the biggest developments currently underway in the industry.

However, institutional involvement in crypto may be a double-edged sword. Multiple researchers, including the San Francisco Federal Reserve, believe institutional meddling is responsible for the 2018 bear market. They cite the launch of bitcoin futures in December as the main catalyst for the selloff.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 548 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Opinion

Bankers and Bitcoin

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Something special happens when someone becomes threatened by an idea. They often lash out with their reasons for believing that it won’t work, but don’t address the fact they have a vested interest in it not working. This is exactly what is starting to occur with bankers commenting on Bitcoin.

You hear all the standard criticisms from these people: that it enables crime, that the cryptocurrency isn’t backed by anything, and governments will never let Bitcoin survive.

This is true of all politics and most arguments. People argue from a point of self-interest that they never unpack, so it becomes hard to take their viewpoint seriously when it is just a thinly veiled defense of themselves.

Disruption of a Monopoly

The banking industry has been a source of wealth to many people over the last few decades, but in the last few years the trend of working in tech has emerged as the smarter move for young graduates. The skills are said to be in higher demand and the chances of making the big bucks are greatly improved.

So in a way, cryptocurrency just represents one more threat against the financial industry. Now tech has gotten so big it threatens to completely replace parts of the financial industry, and they don’t like that. The big banks have had a monopoly on the consumer financial sector for decades, and this is about to change.

To be fair, this is completely reasonable, but blockchain technology is coming, and even if Bitcoin isn’t the coin to topple the financial system, there will be numerous innovations based on the same technology. The result will be an industry upended by automation and more trustworthy systems.

Criticizing Bitcoin

There are many valid criticisms of Bitcoin, but when someone argues so vociferously that they don’t address the issues with these criticisms, it hampers their argument. The truth is not a lot of people know what is going to happen and the market for cryptocurrencies is almost irrationally exuberant.

The problems with the criticisms of bankers is they don’t take into account the most important part of cryptocurrencies: decentralization. And that’s because their jobs and careers are based on centralization, or the idea that one person can be smarter and more trustworthy than the entire system. As long as they continue to see Bitcoin as a replacement for the dollar rather than an evolution of money, they will miss the point.

When people argue against the utility of Bitcoin, they falsely go after the micro-level mechanism. There are definitely problems here, as have been demonstrated by scaling issues, forks, and hacks of exchanges. But we can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The ideas behind Bitcoin that allow for a decentralized management of a money system are clearly a step forward. To be against decentralization is to be against progress.

Karma Finally Strikes

Perhaps the funniest part of bankers protesting the spread of Bitcoin is they created the conditions that bred its necessity. The financial collapse of 2008 and every other collapse before that have been proof of too much trust being put in a centralized system. It has become clear that no single group can be trusted to run the entire economy, especially with so much at stake. It is no coincidence that Bitcoin was first released at this time.

Knowing this, we can start to think about whether these financial crises would have occurred if we were using decentralized applications. Obviously, we can’t know for sure, and it is likely something bad still would have happened, but it could have been greatly reduced by democratizing the management of the economic system.

This “democratization” is the act of letting everyone vote on whether a transaction is viable or not. The system solves the ‘double-spend’ problem by looking for a relative consensus in the network. If one person is claiming something that is out of sync with what everyone else is claiming, it can be “voted” out of existence.

To the common person, this looks and feels a lot better than having an arbitrator control the fate of his or her financial future. That is where the appeal comes to many of those who are disenchanted by the current economic system and are looking for a change.

So there is a very valid case for the decentralized aspect within Bitcoin. Whether Bitcoin will be the one to bring it to fruition or if it will be a different currency is yet to be seen.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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