Popcorn Time takes its inspiration from Netflix, boasting a clean outlook with thumbnails and categories - And streams pirated copies of movies and shows to your computer or smartphone
Editors note: There are many fake versions of Popcorn Time. This article primarily use Reddit as its source to recommend and link to the official, well regarded, version of the app. When you think of movie streaming, services like Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix usually come to mind. However, there is another streaming platform that is particularly popular for streaming pirated movies: Popcorn Time. This streaming platform allows you to watch torrented and pirated movies without paying anything. All you need to do is install it on your PC/smartphone/tablet, search for a film, and click play. However, there are piracy and safety concerns when it comes to using Popcorn Time. This is how it works.
What Exactly is Popcorn Time?
How it Works
How to Install Popcorn Time
Which version is legit?
Where does popcorn time store movies?
Popcorn Time APK for Android
Is Popcorn Time available on iOS?
Is it Illegal to Use Popcorn Time?
How does the developers make money?
Popcorn Time alternatives
What Exactly is Popcorn Time?
Popcorn Time is an open-source, multi-platform BitTorrent software application with a stylish and attractive media player. It was initially released in March 2014 by a team of developers in Argentina. They wanted to create a software that allows users to stream video content from torrent. Popcorn Time takes its inspiration from Netflix, boasting a clean outlook with thumbnails and categories. It uses sequential downloading and uploading to play movies, hence allowing you to stream pirated movies instantly. Popcorn Time on the Mac
How it Works
Popcorn Time is a torrent based streaming tool and the way it works is simple enough. Let’s say you want to watch Tenet (it's not out as of this writing). You use the interface provided by the platform to find and click that title, and the tool then navigates through existing BitTorrent titles automatically from come from two well known torrent sites. YTS for movies and eztv for tv-shows. Then, Tenet is streamed directly to your computer from that pre-existing BitTorrent source. So, while you watch the film, Popcorn Times acts as a torrent client and continues to leech and seed it from other people. That means you'll be forced to share the content you watch.
How to Install Popcorn Time?
In order to use Popcorn Time to stream pirated movies, you will need to download and install the software on your computer or smartphone. The app is available for variety of operating systems, including Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.
Download Popcorn Time from popcorntime.app which hosts Mac, Windows and Android.
There are no specific installation requirements as it is installed just like any other app.
However, keep in mind that its usage has been banned in many regions. So, you cannot download it from Apple’s Apple Store or Google Play Store. In some countries popcorntime.app has been blocked and you need a VPN to hide your real IP. You might want to use VPN software to keep your own information private and anonymous when running the app as well.
Which version is legit, and real?
There are many clones out there, some of which will install other apps, using your computer as a bitcoin miner. The legit, and most supported version according to Reddit, is popcorntime.app (formerly known as popcorntime.sh)
Where does popcorn time store movies?
On your computer or device. Using torrents the app stream the files, while they are being downloaded. So it's just like when you download a torrent, except it starts the video during the download.
Yes. But it's not as easy as downloading an app from the App store.The iPhone version of Popcorn Time is unstable and requires a jailbroken iPhone. Since jailbreaking your iPhone in 2020 is difficult and time consuming, it isn't an option for most. If you still want to try, there is Antique's version. You can follow his updates and links on Twitter. There is also a version which allegedly works with the alternative, non-jailbreak required, but much debated, altstore. For more information, see its Github home.
Is it Illegal to Use Popcorn Time?
In most cases, yes. Most, if not all, TV shows and movies which appear on Popcorn Time are pirated, and you may be wondering about the legality of it all. First of all, downloading any copyrighted file is illegal in most countries. However, torrents themselves are a valid means to share and download files. So without sounding too confusing, it is typically not illegal to download Popcorn Time. It's when you stream or download the movies and tv-shows themselves it gets risky. But depending on where you live this might not be the case. Copyright infringement is illegal in Germany while in India, there are no restrictions of using Popcorn Time to steam movies as long as you don’t redistribute them. Of course, laws change. That’s why it is recommended that you do your research to understand the risks.
How does the developers make money?
The Popcorn time version we recommend has affiliate links to VPN services. How much money this actually is, or if its funding hardware costs, is unknown. But it proves that money is being generated from the app.
Are there any alternatives?
There are a lot of alternatives, most of which are unstable or shady. However, here are a few alternatives recommended on Reddit. Note that they all come with their own positive and negatives aspects when compared to Popcorn Time.
Stremio - Open source project which lets you add your own sources, such as 1337 or Pirate Bay. It also uses official streams from YouTube, HBO and more. Has been reported as unstable but still the best Popcorn alternative.
Media Box HD - A MacOS app with 4K streams. Is known to be unstable for some.
Leonfix - A Popcorn Time Windows app which doesn't use torrents. Currently in beta.
ShowBox - Android alternative which doesn't use torrents. Unstable and currently in beta.
Radarr - Which automatically downloads shows and films.
Despite the concerns about whether or not using Popcorn Time is illegal, there is no denying that the tool is very impressive. The ability to download and stream torrent content in a seamless and hassle-free way is quite brilliant. Not to mention the platform has a much larger library of content with no restrictions whatsoever. So, it’s not surprising why many consider it a better alternative to regular torrents or a Disney+ subscription. Feedback and corrections are more than welcome! Originally written for Where You Watch.
https://federationofglobalmerchants.com/2020/08/14/gold-and-silver-where-do-they-go-from-here/ Investors know by now that one of the leading indicators of an unstable and unpredictable stock market is a surge in the price of precious metals like gold and silver. In February, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the markets officially entered a recession, even though just months later several of the major indices have reached all-time highs. It was a brief dip into recessionary territory, but this sort of volatility is what gives investors hesitation in putting their money into the stock market, rather than something that is perceived to be more stable. Gold future contracts are selling well above $2000 per ounce for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021 as well showing that investors are confident that gold will continue to rise in price. Silver is also surging reaching new all-time highs on a daily basis. So investors may be curious as to how to get into this red-hot market, especially as the markets continue to fluctuate. Gold: For centuries now gold has been literally the ‘gold-standard’ of currency and wealth. Dating back all the way to around 40,000 B.C. in Spanish caves, gold is a naturally occurring element that has both fascinated and lured people for as long as barter systems and wealth has been recorded. Currently, gold is enjoying its highest valuations in history as investors flock to the stability of the precious metal through various streams. So what is the allure of gold and why is it so stable? Warren Buffett once said, “Gold is a way of going long on fear.” That is quite a statement from perhaps the greatest investment mind of our generation. But what does this mean for the novice investor? Even the most successful blue-chip stocks can crash. Obviously the more prominent and profitable companies with mega market caps will not crash as easily as smaller companies, but given the volatility of the pandemic, we can see anything happen. But as stock markets fluctuate on a daily basis, the price of gold remains mostly stoic. Not as manipulatable as stock prices, gold is as steady as it gets for investors. What makes gold so stable? It is a combination of factors, first and foremost, it is a physical and tangible element which makes it possible for people to store and stockpile. It does not corrode or wear down over time, making it durable and ensuring that the value remains. There is also a finite supply of it in the world. This reinforces that it will always keep a certain level of valuation as the supply is kept in check. Today, as the Federal Reserve tries desperately to pump money into the American economy to stave off a global recession and keep companies afloat. Printing more American dollars helps in the interim, but it is a temporary band-aid for the bigger problem. As more of the dollar gets created the more it gets devalued as a form of currency. This is another reason why gold is skyrocketing. The two valuations always work inversely to each other, so as the greenback continues to plummet, the price of gold will continue to surge which makes perfect sense if one thinks about it. The value of gold is priced in American dollars per ounce, so if the value of an American dollar retreats, the cost of gold will rise in response. So how can investors take advantage of the current state of gold? In the age of internet investing, there are plenty of ways to invest in gold or anything in that matter. Most American platforms give inventors the ability to buy fractional shares of companies. While this comes in handy for expensive stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), or Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), it also allows investors to diversify their funds across multiple companies to form a basket approach to an industry. There are also plenty of ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds, available for investors to consider. These funds have the diversification of a mutual fund or index fund, but trade like individual stocks. Here’s a few of the better gold ETFs to consider if you are looking to get into the industry:
IAU – iShares Gold Trust: One of the better known gold ETFs out there, iSHARES is a reputable brand with great overall market performance. The fund has returned over 17% to inventors already this year, and with the price of gold projected to continue to rise, this fund should keep delivering for investors into next year.
DGL – Invesco DB Gold Fund: Another well known and reputable ETF, the Invesco Gold Fund has slightly higher fees than iSHARES but has also had a slightly better return so far this year.
IAUF – iShares Gold Strategy ETF: Another iSHARES ETF, this one has parts of IAU, as well as gold futures contracts, to get a long term forecast of the price of gold so the investor gets exposure to a wider range of gold options.
There are dozens of other ETFs available for investors that cover everything from miners to the finished products. Mining company stocks are another great way to get exposure. As the demand for gold increases, these mining companies should see a rise in their revenues and eventually, their profits as well. These changes will be reflected in their stock prices and we have already seen some of this already this year.
ABX – Barrick Gold: One of the largest gold mining companies in the world, this Canadian company has seen healthy gains in their stock price so far in 2020. Over the last 52 weeks, Barrick investors have enjoyed a 131% increase in stock price. With mining projects ongoing in Canada, America, Australia, South America, and Africa, Barrick has already announced that it is on track to achieve guidance this year despite closures from COVID-19.
FNV – Franco-Nevada Gold: This stock price rose almost 15% in July alone. Franco-Nevada operates as a funding company to gold mining companies, rather than actually doing the mining themselves. Sustainalytics, a guidance and analysis company, rated Franco-Nevada number one amongst 104 precious metal companies.
NEM – Newmont Goldcorp: The largest gold stock by market-cap and the only stock to trade on the S&P 500, Newmont is probably the safest company for gold investors to invest in. On top of steady returns and low volatility in the stock price, the company pays a fairly healthy dividend as well.
With gold at all-time highs, we can begin to question how high the precious metal may go. With a second wave of the coronavirus making its way around some parts of the world, and America, still making its way through their initial wave, the uncertainty that exists in today’s markets may continue into 2021. Some Wall Street analysts have forecast gold to rise as high as $10,000 per ounce, but that seems like a little ambitious. Gold has just recently hit all-time highs at $2000 per ounce and to imagine that it can run up another 500% in the next few years seems far-fetched at this point in time. That would require the markets to enter an extended bear-market, which of course is possible after a decade of a bullish run, but it would also require the American dollar to continue to be further devalued. Gold is pegged to continue to rise for the rest of this year though and well into 2021. That means investors and analysts are foreseeing a further devaluation of the American greenback as well as continued volatility in the markets and economy. Is gold a safe haven? Some people believe it is, but if you are an investor that enjoys high returns over long periods of time, investing in precious metals may not be for you. Investors love the stability of gold but the returns are never astronomical, with the last few months being an exception. It helps to have a portion of your portfolio dedicated to precious metals to diversify and protect you from any sudden market corrections, but investors should not be looking at gold as a short-term way to get wealthy. Silver: The other precious metal that has been flying sky-high of recent months is silver, the eternal younger brother to gold. Mined from silver-ore, it is a highly malleable metal that was once valued higher than gold by the Ancient Egyptians. Today, it is relatively low in price per ounce compared to gold, reaching all-time highs recently of just under $30 per ounce. Silver is another stable alternative to gold, and at lower prices, it may be a little more affordable for the novice investor to jump into. Like with gold, silver has an inverse relationship to the American dollar, and to all currencies in general. Again, this is another reason why silver is hitting all-time highs right now, with silver future contracts predicting a steady rise to mirror gold, well into 2021. There is also something that Wall Street calls the gold silver ratio, which is exactly what it sounds like: the ratio of the price of gold per ounce to the price of silver per ounce. This ratio has historically moved together, which makes logical sense if both precious metals are independently moving inverse to paper currencies. Historically, the gold and silver prices do move together though as the general ratio has been in the range of 17:1 to 20:1. Silver also has numerous ways for investors to get involved in, including silver mining and production companies, as well as the ever popular silver ETFs. These Exchange Traded Funds have gained popularity amongst retail investors in recent years as a way of purchasing a diversified product as a single equity with low costs, and no trading fees if your platform allows it. Here are a few of the better performing silver ETFs that investors can look into adding to their portfolios if they are interested in the precious metal:
SLV – iShares Silver Trust: Probably one of the better known silver ETFs, this is fully backed by silver bullion and coins held in a vault. While usually fairly steady, this ETF has enjoyed a 52-week increase of 152% with much of that coming in the last few months.
SIVR – Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF: Very similar to SLV but with lower fees, this is an ideal fund for novice and experienced investors to get into as they start to diversify their portfolios.
DBS – Invesco DB Silver Fund: Again another stable ETF for investors to get into, and another good performing one as well. Just as with their gold ETF, Invsco focuses on silver futures contracts for this fund, so it is a nice long-term play if investors are bullish on silver.
Just as with gold, investors can get a slice of the silver pie by buying shares of silver mining companies as well. Here are a few of the top silver mining company stocks that investors can look into adding to their portfolios.
PAAS – Pan American Silver Corp.: This Canada based miner is focussed on the exploration, development, extraction, refining, processing, and reclamation of silver. They operate mines in Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, and are developing more as well for the future.
WPM – Wheaton Precious Metals: Another Canadian based company that deals with miners of gold, silver, palladium, and cobalt. Wheaton is not a direct miner, rather they purchase these precious metals from other mining companies.
AG – First Majestic Silver Corp.: Canadian companies seem to be dominating the silver industry, and First Majestic is another of those. This company focuses mainly in Mexico for gold and silver.
Silver may never be as popular as gold for investors to keep track of but the two precious metals move in a synchronized fashion, and both are looked upon by investors as safe havens for their money when the market is in flux. The rest of 2020 seems like a wildcard right now, with many analysts expecting a further correction to the markets at any point. There seems to be an inevitability to a market crash of some sort, whether it is as big as the one that happened back in February and March, remains to be seen. Investors are looking at the precious metal industry to hold their funds to wait out any sort of correction or crash. If this does happen, we may expect a pullback in precious metals too as investors selloff to get back into some stocks at their low levels. Such is the ebb and flow of the economy during turbulent times like the current one we are in. At the same time, what if a market correction does not happen? Will the uncertainty continue or will investors feel relatively secure in the way the markets are progressing? This could cause a reduction in the demand for silver and gold, culminating in lower prices in the future. Of course this also depends on the Federal Reserve diminishing their rate of printing paper currency to bailout the economy, which does not seem like a reality in the short-term at least. Another point of contention for investors is the ongoing economical and political tensions between China and America. The two world powers have been feuding for the past couple of months over various things, but it escalated as China social media app Tik Tok gained popularity in North America. It was alleged that TikTok was sending data and information from mobile phones back to China, though nobody is sure of their intended use of this data. Regardless, the markets have stumbled several times lately because of this. Both sides have threatened economic sanctions and the banning of certain product use in each country. The prices of silver and gold have shot up as the tensions have escalated between the two governments, as investors flock to the precious metals. Many of the biggest companies on the major stock indices rely on China for materials or production, so any sort of breakdown in supply chains could cause an enormous change to their stock prices. An example of this is a sudden 5% correction in the price of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as it was thought that iPhone sales would decline if China’s chat platform WeChat was banned in America. There are other factors that may have an effect on gold and silver prices as well. In this modern economy, many of the retail investors have trended towards younger adults with a sudden influx of income. Popular platforms such as Robinhood combined with increased time at home during the quarantine, have caused retail investor usage to skyrocket during the pandemic. Many of these investors are more lured in by the shiny new objects of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Perhaps we will start thinking of these cryptocurrencies as a modern day version of precious metals one day, as many investors and some analysts, believe that Bitcoin may be a safe haven in the future. Already, the price of Bitcoin has risen above $12,000 in August, mirroring the highs of gold and silver. If the demand for Bitcoin rises higher than the demand for precious metals, we may see an investor migration to cryptocurrencies rather than tangible metals. Conclusion: Gold and silver are staples of our global economy, and will continue to be so as long as the demand for precious metals exists. In times of uncertainty, gold and silver are viewed as safe relative to the volatility of the stock market. Sure, their prices can vary as well, but because they are tied to a less dynamic valuation that is based on an inverse relation to paper currency, their prices will not and can not fluctuate as much as the liquidity of individual stocks. As long as the world remains in flux, there will be a general feeling of instability, especially for global markets. A second wave of COVID-19 in the third or fourth quarter of 2020 could prove to be enough to push the markets over the edge and into another recession. The bull market has been rallying for over a decade now, with astronomical gains over the last few years, especially for sectors like the big tech FAANG stocks. Another factor to consider is what a Biden government could bring to the world if he is elected over President Donald Trump in October. A new government could ease some of the tensions with China, as well as within America itself. These are all big what ifs, and could all have potential impacts on the economy and the world. As long as all of these factors are up in the air, investors will be looking to gold and silver as ways of stabilizing their portfolios and protecting their finances from a potential market crash in the future.
I earned about 4000% more btc with my android tablet than with a $250 ASIC mini rig setup using GekkoScience Newpac USB miners!
Requirements: 1.) Android Device with access to Google Play Store. *I haven't tried yet but you may be able to use tis on Android TV devces as well by sideloading. If anyone has success before I try, let me know! -Note, I did this with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 so its a newer more powerful device. If your android is older, your profts will most likely be less than what I earned but to give a projected range I also tested on my Raspberry Pi 4 running a custom LineageOS rom that doesn't allow the OS to make full use of the Pi's specs and I still got 500 h/s on that with Cloud boost, so about 60% of what my Tab 6 with MUCH Higher Specs does. **Hey guys. Before I get started i just wanted to be clear about one thing. Yes I have seen those scammy posts sharing "miracle" boosts and fixes. I have a hard time believing stuff online anymore. But this is honestly real. Ill attach photos and explain the whole story and process below. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to share any thoughts, concerns, tips, etc* So last week I finally got started with my first mini rig type mining build. I started getting into crypto about a year ago and it has taken me a long time to even grasp half of the projects out there but its been fun thus far! Anyways my rig was 2 GekkoScience Newpac USB miners, a Moonlander USB miner to pair with an FPGA i already had mining, a 10 port 60W 3.0 USB hub and 2 usb fans. The Newpacs actually are hashing at a combined 280 g/s which is actually better than their reported max hash rate when overclocked. Pleasant surpise and they are simple!! I just wanted to get a moonlander because my fpga already mines on Odocrypt for DGB and I just wanted to experience Scrypt mining and help build the DGB project. The Newpacs are mining BTC though. After I got everything up and running i checked my payout daily average after 1 week. I averaged .01 a day TOTAL between all three miners with them all perforing ABOVE SPEC!!! I had done research so i knew I wouldnt earn much. More than anything i just wanted to learn. But still. I was kinda surprised in a negative way. Yesterday I actually earned less than .01 Frustrated I went back to scouring the web for new ideas. About a year ago, when II was starting, I saw an app on my iphone called CryptoBrowser that claimed to mine btc on your phone without actually using phone resources using a method of cloud mining. I tried it for a week and quit because I earned like .03 after a ton of use and seemed scammy. Plus my iphone actually would get very hot when doing this so I quit using it as it seemed like a possible scam with all the cryptonight browser mining hacks and malware out there. Anyways I was on my Galaxy Tab S6 and saw that CryptoBrowser released a "PRO" edition for 3.99 on Google Play. I bought it for Sh*ts and giggles and booted it up. It came with what they called "Cloud Boost" Essentially this is a button you press and it multiplys the estimated hashrate that it gives you device by the number shown on the boost button. (With the purchase of PRO you get one free x10 boost. You can purchase additional boosts to use with other android devices but those are actually pretty pricy. Another x10 boost was like $25 if i remember correctly). I played with it for about an hour to see if it actually worked like it said it would this time. To my surprise, as i was browsing, my device didnt increase in temperature AT ALL!!!!! I checked my tast manager to confirm and it was indeed true, my memory and usage barely went up. it was giving me an estimated range of 80-105 on the hashrate. Once i pushed the x10 boost button, that went to 800-1150 h/s. I switched my screen to not go to sleep, plugged it to the charge and let it run on the browser page, hashing. When you push the boost button, it runs for 3 hours at the boosted speeds. After that it goes back to normal but if you press the button again, it boosts everything again. There is no limit to how many times you use it. After checking what I earned after 24 hours, I HAD MADE .40 in BTC!!!!! I JUST EARNED OVER 4000% MORE THAN MY $280 MINING RIG EARNED ME!!!! I was blown away. Maybe this was a fluke? I did it again next day. Every 3 hours or so I would push the button again but thats all. Sure enough, .35 that day. Also, it realy BTC. I requested a payout and although it took like 12 hours for them to send me an email stating they had just sent it, I actually did recieve the state amount of BTC within 24 hours in my personal wallet. The fees to send are SUPER LOW!. Like .01 Below I will list the steps I took, along with an explanation of thier "Mining" process on Androids. Reminder, this ONLY WORKS ON ANDROIDS. Also DO NOT use cryptobrowser on a physcal laptop or desktop. I ran it on an old laptop for three days last year and it fried it. It does actually use your hardware on those platforms to mine and it is not efficnet at all as I suspect they prob steal over half of your power for themselves using the REAL RandomX protocol via browser mining which is EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT DONT TRY IT!! -----How To Do This Yourself: Cryptotab Browser states the program works on Android devices by estimating what it thinks the hashrate would be for your device specs and siimulates what you would mine in a remote server however you still earn that estimated coin amount. It is not a SHA-256 process or coin that they say is mining, rather it is XMR and they swap that and pay it out to you in BTC Bitcoin. However I know damn well my Tab S6 doesnt hash 80-105 h/s on RandomX because I have done it with a moodified XMRig module i ported to Android. I got 5 h/s a sec if I was getting any hashes at all. But thats besides the point as I still was making money. Now, when you press that cloud boost button it immediately boosts that hash rate it estimates by the number on the cloud boost. As stated above, you can purchase more boosts and gift them or use them on extra android devices that you may have. Again, they are pricey so I'm not doing that plus it would just mean that I have another device that I have to leave on and open. The boosts come in x2, x4, x6, x8 and x10 variants. Again, they have unlimited uses. Here is the link to grab yourself CryptoBrowser Pro from CryptoTab. This IS A REFERRAL LINK! This is where I benefit from doing tis tutorial. Like i said, I want to be transparent as this is not a scam but I'm also not doing this out of the love of my heart. Their referral system works in that people that use the donwload the app using your link are your stage 1 referrals. Anytime they are mining, you earn a 15% bonus. So say they mine $.30 one day. You would get paid out an additional $.045 in your own balance (it does not come out of the referred user balance fyi so no worries). Then lets say that referred miner also gets their own referrals. I would get a 10% bonus on whatever THOSE people mine. This goes on and on for like 8 tiers. Each tier the bonus percntage essential halves. So again, I stand to benefit from this but it also is stupid to not make this visible as its WAY CHEAPER, EASIER AND MORE PROFITABLE TO GET BTC USING THIS METHOD THAN IT IS USING ASICS!! THIS EARNS ALMOST AS MUCH BTC AS AN ANTMINER S7 DOES RUNNING 24/7 ONLY WITHOUT THE HUGE ELLECTRICTY BILL AND COSTS!!!!) Thats it. Again, if you have concerns, let me know or if you have suggestions, other tips, etc... mention those as well!!! https://cryptotabbrowser.com/8557319 Links to Picture Proof http://imgur.com/gallery/P13bEsB
down the Node-Red rabbit hole, part 5 - hold my beer
part1part2part3part4 so, it's been 4 months since i started this journey and i gotta say that NR has really re-vitalized my personal interest in home-automation, as well as, my HA and whole house setup. i've done more in the past 4 months, to streamline my setup and adding new automations than i've done in the three years since i started using HA somewhere around v0.24.x'ish. i got that shit dialed in now. (also some credit to EspHome for being awesome, despite having meh documentation. yeah, i said it. meh👏doc👏u👏men👏ta👏shun) at this point i have about 36 NR tabs. some are just testing, or playing around with a particular component/palette, but most have at least one flow on it that is live and in use. so, i thought i'd break some of them down for you guys, 'barney style+': (also, some of these are way to huge to post readable screenshots of, so i'm just gonna describe them. plus some of these i detailed in my previous posts.) first up is my globals. where i set global.vars
sets the day/night thermostat values, so i only need to edit them in one place.
looks at my power usage on my 'dumb' tv via sonoff s31 and sets a tv on/off global.var
gets the current volume of my sonos
gets the battery status of my iphone
sets the location status of my iphone according to my unifi link
pulls the current weather info from darksky
posts a NR heartbeat to a mqtt topic (that HA watches for and sends alert if missing for more than 10min, i think it's my only automation still running in HA)
sets/gets global quiet time
won't let alexa set the thermostat to anything less than 70 or higher than 86. since that one time i told her 78 and she heard 8, and set it to 8. dumb bitch.
sets dryer on/off by reading the SCT/Esp8266 sensor value.
same for washer
a 'feed the fish' reminder for alexa to TTS
use twilio to send me SMS as my standard notify, but i only have the single send node for me. all my flows that send texts use a link node to this flow.
other housemates SMS linked send nodes.
turn shit on
turn shit off
and shake it all about
similar to above
less shaking about, especially in the mornings.
i have made it a little smarter by using the HA workday component, so now it won't wake me up on holidays. https://imgur.com/66KNbfB
if bedroom door opens, and i'm not home, flash the light blue/red, alexa TTS: 'the cops are coming' (total bluff), send SMS alerts.
same for bedroom window
i plan to add live video via the newer iOS app soonish.
edit: forgot to mention, i also now have a petsitter IB, so when thats on it will not set off the alarm, so my housemates can feed my fish. i still get text alerts that my door opened tho.
'sleep mode' drops the volume of my sonos by 1% per 1 minute. vol30 = 30m. when 0, stops music, sets volume back to original.
pings my internal servers/VMs and then texts me if they don't respond after 10m.
checks heartbeat mqtt of each of my esp8266s and then texts me if they don't respond after 10m.
checks heartbeat mqtt of my unifi and then texts me if it doesn't respond after 10m.
watches the temp on my bitcoin miner, alerts if gets too high.
watches the temp on my bedroom sensor, alerts if gets too high.
battery (the nodes are very similar to above)
i have a .sh running via cron on my macbook air & work macbook that post the current battery percentage to mqtt, so when the batteries go below certain threshold it turns on the charger, gets to 100% turns off. it's also send text message if it's below 10%.
i have an input_boolean on the HA front end, when on, it...
turns on/off the aquarium light
sets the thermostat to global.away_temp
one button push to backup my spotify playlists. link
every 3m, records what song listening to. this works on any spotify device i happen to be using. i don't even have to be home. i could be in the grocery store and it'll post what my AirBuds are blaring via spotify. nifty.
randomly picks from 12 affirmative responses. i use it on all my switch commands as an alexa acknowledgment.
this one i'm really proud of. it watches the Alamo Drafthouse (movie theater chain) for the two theaters near me, for when new tickets go on sale, then texts me. it keeps a list of the current titles listed, hits their site for a json, then compares if anything new is on the that list. if five new titles got added, i get five texts.
i've even shared this with a few select friends, by adding in their theatetext numbers. they love it. today i bought the first Alien 4K restoration tickets. last week i got tickets to 'an evening with adam savage' minutes after they went on sale.
so, yeah. i'd like to see some of you post some of your flows/ideas if only so i could totally steal them. . . +obscure skippy joke. it's from a book++. ++yes i read. well, i audiobook, but same diff+++. +++i mean, it's just basic science!++++ ++++i mean, that study coulda been bullshit, sponsored by "the audiobook council" or some shit, but i'm taking it at face value.
Okay so I have been using 3 apps on my side phone to make passive income, and today I will talk about 2 of them ( I am still waiting for the payment from the 3rd one , which isnt crypto btw, but once I get it I will make a post here!) The apps are called Electroneum and Pi Network. I noticed that Pi Network was recently shared here , so I will mostly talk about Electroneum. Electroneum is a cryptocurency and it's current value is $0.00441353 I am not sure if it is available on iphones, but download it here for android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.electroneum.mobile&hl=en You just create an account, set up a pin and let the miner run in the background. You don't even have to have the app open for it to work. Moreover it works for 7 days straight! So once a week you have to get on the app and click the 'mine' button again. The miner doesn't even take up power, since it does not use the processing power of the phone. It instead benchmarks the device and allocates it a hashrate that it would achieve if it were actually mining. You will then be allocated the amount of ETN you would receive if you actually mined a block. This is called cloud mining. The app acts as a wallet, and you need a minimum of 100 ETN to cashout. You can then either save your ETN in your wallet, or you can go to a site like hitbtc.com and exchange your ETN for some other crypto or USD. If you sign up using my code 8A5898 you will mine 1% more ETN. I am not sure where they ask for it ( if they do). If they do not ask for it, go to the app, click on 'more' and it should ask for it. BTW I have not used a referral code myself, so comment yours and I will pick a random one to use :D. The other app is called Pi Network. Someone already made a post on this, and I found a few mistakes. Since I have been using the app for a while and I currently have over 1k Pi, I just wanted to share my opinion on it. Ok let me preface this by saying a couple of things, so I dont get peoples hopes up.
They coin currently has no value
You cannot exchange or withdraw it for anything
I do not promise that it will explode like bitcoin, or end up being very valuable, but it costs nothing to run on my phone ; it doesn't drain battery and I find it exciting that in the future it could be a valuable currency. Pi is a new digital currency being developed by a group of Stanford PhDs. Once you open the app, you are prompted to click a mine button and that's it! You have to reclick the button once every 24 hours so you can verify that you are human. My base rate is 0.79π/h but it has increased to 2.83π/h because of the person that referred me. To get into beta you will need to a code, mine is 'Markella' , but feel free to make a chain in the comments so you can benefit from each other! From reading the white papers, they team is currently in phase 1 of 3. Phase 3 will be here at Q4 of 2019. In that phase you can exchange Pi with other cryptos and even buy things with Pi. Download it here -------- > https://minepi.com
Hi Everyone! We are coming to the close of 2018 and whilst cryptocurrency in general has had a year of turmoil, it has been a very positive year for Electroneum and I’d like to recap on what we’ve achieved this year and reveal some of what we have planned for next year. This might end up as an epic, Tolstoy length, email so my apologies if it’s too long for you – but I feel there’s a lot to say… Firstly, let’s remember that we set out to redefine cryptocurrency altogether. Before Electroneum there were NO cryptocurrencies that were designed from the start to be widely and easily adopted. We have started to achieve the primary goal of Electroneum which is adoption. Did you know that Electroneum is the fastest growing cryptocurrency in the history of the world (I was going to say “Universe” but I really don’t know what our competitors are doing in other spiral arms of this galaxy, let alone the entire universe). Hold on! Let’s just think about that for a second! We have grown our user numbers to over 2 million holders and users of ETN in just one year. We fit the real world usage of cryptocurrency better than ANY other. Biggest (and best) community in crypto! Electroneum has done something here that’s never been achieved elsewhere. We have an enormous community of advocates. Users who are more than just users, they are passionate about what Electroneum is trying to do. A quick Google search of any cryptocurrency will find you some videos and some images, but with ETN there is an enormous following of hundreds of thousands of amazing people who are helping to make ETN a success. Electroneum has Fan Art. Think about that. A “boring” financial product with fan art! I’ve never seen any credit card fan art or banking fan art! If you are one of the passionate ETN believers and advocates, then I’d like to say a whopping THANK YOU to you for your input, no matter how small. You can (and are) changing the world. Boring Statistics? A former British Prime Minister famously quoted “There are lies, damned lies and statistics”. This is certainly true of the cryptocurrency market and as such we’ve just installed the Alexa.com (part of Amazon) certified traffic stats tool onto our website. That shows statistics for ONLY real people. You can’t fake it or exaggerate it. Did you know that if you compare the web traffic of all cryptocurrencies – we are in the top 5. If you look at active wallet numbers and actual blockchain transaction numbers, we are in the top 10 of cryptocurrencies for both. We have achieved a great deal this year, by making ETN accessible to everyone who has a smartphone. Electroneum Lead the Market 2018 has seen us launch our Instant Payment system into BETA, be the first cryptocurrency to offer a payment integration API allowing vendors to easily accept cryptocurrency for instant transactions. We are working with the community to create easy payment plugins for all the popular ecommerce software and we’ve launched a number of them including WooCommerce which enables over 3m WooCommerce sites to accept ETN with around 15 minutes of work. I can’t overstate how important this instant payment framework is to us achieving our goals. It is a huge leap forwards for cryptocurrency. We’ve seen some great vendors come on board this year and next year I am confident we will see a huge surge of vendors, once we get live on the ground in a few strategic areas. We are the first cryptocurrency to formally adopt KYC (know your customer – which now officially goes live on the 27th December). As the authorities of the world start to accept and understand cryptocurrency you will see why our early adoption of a regulatory framework is important to growth. Governments of the world fear cryptocurrency. We are giving them something to embrace. We have produced hundreds of thousands of lines of code this year. I’ve seen a lot of projects talk about valuations of crypto projects based on Github Commits (this is a place where people store their open source code). Electroneum is different to most cryptocurrencies. It has both open source blockchain code that anyone is welcome to help work on AND closed source code that runs the back end such as the app, the instant payment system, and the custodial wallet system. These are the features that are making Electroneum a success and make us a real business that corporations, governments, NGOs and institutions can feel comfortable with. The Bright Future of ETN… This year has been a year of preparing. Growing the team (not everyone in the team wants their picture on the website – we have over 30 full time employees and access to many more part time resources). MWC Sees Launch of Two or More Major Things… Last year we attended MWC (mobile world congress) as the first cryptocurrency member of the GSMA. Next February we attend again (you are going to LOVE our stand, nobody has ever done anything like it!). This time we are attending with a full product and exciting news. We launch a number of things at that show, all of which are secret for now. Two are locked in as absolutes and there are a few more than we are trying to tie in with the show! I don’t want to hint at what is coming – it’s only a couple of months before you’ll see for yourself, but it will be the base block from which we demonstrate to the business world just how usable cryptocurrency can be. Apple iOS Launch (finally!)… and Cloud Mining too! The first week of January will see our iOS app that includes cloud mining go into 100 user BETA. The second week we will release it to our 5000+ iOS testflight users (still in BETA) and (subject to testing) should be in the Apple Store by the end of January. Cloud Mining for Android Cloud mining will make the distribution of ETN much more appealing to the target audience of the unbanked. Ironically with their lower powered hardware and sporadic internet access it has been the developed world that has found it easiest to obtain some ETN. That all changes with cloud mining, where someone with the latest Samsung or iPhone will get the same value in ETN as someone with an ancient smartphone and little internet access. We can launch cloud mining for Android subject to the successful testing on Apple devices. I think it is going to be a big success and I expect to see it on Android before the MWC show in February. Blockchain As you probably know we used the Monero blockchain as a stable base for the Electroneum Blockchain when we launched. We’ve been moving away from Monero and have removed many of the privacy features of Monero during 2018. 2019 will see even more privacy removed, although we intend to keep stealth addresses, to prevent vendors (or anyone else) looking into your wallet and seeing how much ETN you have – like you can with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some say we are not doing anything particularly different or unique with the blockchain part of our project, but the reality is that we are doing the single most important thing there is with blockchain - we are making it useable in everyday life. Credit Card Purchase of ETN & Gig Economy This week has been a particularly busy week with a few new exchanges coming on board and a launch of a very important part of our future “Gig Economy” system. You can now purchase ETN quickly and simply with a credit card at Indacoin (https://www.indacoin.com/en_GB/change/buy-electroneum-with-cardusd). We are working on others especially for the US citizens which indacoin currently does not cover. This is important as when we launch our Gig Economy website in Q1 of 2019 it will enable the unbanked of the world to join the global economy when looking for work. This is one of the major areas that we see for opening up the world to understanding the power of cryptocurrency as people in developed nations become able to purchase digital services from the people of developing nations, with no barriers. Developed nation businesses can purchase ETN with a credit card and buy software development, data entry, virtual business services, design, data research, social media management and much, much more, from a growing market of millennial entrepreneurs in the developing market. Everyone wins. You’ll see way more of this in 2019 including an e-learning system that enables those with digital skills to remotely teach others, with an ETN incentive. As I mentioned above this should be going live in Q1 – we are trying to get that live for MWC too, but I don’t want to commit 100% to that date for this project. The good news is that we have a lot of interest in it from an NGO perspective, so when we launch it I am confident it will be a really powerful force for both enablement and empowerment of individuals but also a huge catalyst for the growth and acceptance of cryptocurrency generally. The 2018 Cryptocurrency Market People have been asking me “WHY!? WHHHHYYYYYY?” to the 2018, pronounced, dip in the price of cryptocurrencies across the board and I’d like to offer you my view of the 2018 cryptocurrency market and what I believe the market will focus on in the future. The cryptocurrency markets are very new and whilst they are often compared to more mature markets, such as the equities markets, I believe there are very FEW similarities. Some people are buying and selling cryptocurrencies based on applying technical analysis, where they look at chart patterns in the historical price and volumes to try and predict the future, others are buying based on momentum, effectively following the herd and then there are the true project believers (known in the crypto industry as hodlers!) who have bought some because they believe in the long term viability and future success of the project. Don’t worry… I’m getting to my point… A lesson from Warren Buffet One of the most successful conventional traders in the world is Warren Buffet – he’s pretty good at it too, having been the richest man in the world a few times. What should we learn from him? Firstly, he’s not a huge fan of Bitcoin, in fact, he hates the stuff. Why is this and what can we learn from him? Warren hates Bitcoin because he’s a value investor, and a very good one. He doesn’t believe in chart analysis and he’s not a fan of momentum trading. He invests in PEOPLE. He invests in TEAMS and he invests in REAL THINGS. The cryptocurrency markets are largely coupled with Bitcoin. When it moves, the market moves, and at the moment it is almost entirely driven by the herd and not by people analysing VALUE. Herds are happy to run off cliffs as well as away from danger, hence the large swings (in both directions of the cryptocurrency markets). Obviously, I’m a huge fan of cryptocurrencies, so Warren and I are going to differ on some views, but I absolutely know that he would look at Electroneum in a different light to Bitcoin. We have identified and created a model for blockchain coin emissions which allows us to create a global marketing opportunity which rewards users, partners and vendors for engagement. We have spent time building products, solutions and partnerships rather than hyping them, meaning that most people are unaware of what has really been achieved in such a short time. The Electroneum team are fortunate to have considerable relationships across distribution partners, working closely with a number them throughout the planning and creation of our ecosystem. In our first year, we have developed, tested and launched a much wider set of products and partner benefits than anyone expected. We are going in to 2019 as a gateway, with a toolkit and approach that enables partners, governments and entrepreneurs to benefit from cryptocurrency; no longer is it just trading or accumulation of crypto. We stimulate every day, continual usage in the real world. We are focused on the fundamentals of traditional business, giving people what they want and helping to achieve financial inclusion and inclusivity, by creating an end to end ecosystem for everyday use of crypto, by anyone anywhere. The combination of our ecosystem, our partners and the scale of our community puts us in an incredibly strong position to achieve our goals of opening the world economy to every person, including the 1.8 billion unbanked. In short, Electroneum has an actual business behind it and is delivering REAL THINGS to REAL USERS (millions of them) via partnerships with other REAL companies. We deliver value and can show future revenue streams based on demonstrated growth. These are real life business things. We know our users and that is valuable. We have access to our users and that is valuable. We understand and can chart growth, and that is valuable. The list of differences goes on. Take a look at the metrics of some of the biggest tech “unicorns” and you’ll see they are all valued on the number of real, active USERS. The only reason they have that value is because they can communicate and monetise those users, and that is where the parallel to Electroneum becomes apparent. We have no intention of substantially monetising our user base for years to come, but we have the capability to do so – and all businesses MUST have a revenue stream or potential FUTURE revenue stream. I believe in Bitcoin, and I see it as a kind of cryptocurrency gold, but because there is so much focus on fully decentralised systems that do not know their users and are run by anonymous miners, we will find that real value investors are wary of ALL cryptocurrencies because of the mistaken impression that they are all alike. I agree that it is hard to make a purchase of Bitcoin based on fundamentals and value, because it’s not obvious where it lies. Scarcity and a belief in the project make me a Hodler, but I can’t put a ‘fair price’ on Bitcoin. Nobody can. Cryptocurrencies are evolving. Electroneum is unarguably more technically useful than Bitcoin because of its speed, accessibility and ability to scale, but that is not ENOUGH. I believe that as more REAL WORLD cryptocurrency projects evolve you will see VALUE as the main driver in the cryptocurrency markets. If a cryptocurrency project is also a conventional company with the ability to drive profits, grow larger and become a dominant brand – THEN you will see conventional investors such as Warren Buffet entering the market. I hope that cryptocurrency volatility will be reduced as cryptocurrencies start to look and feel more like regular companies, with friendly help desks, balance sheets, contractual partnerships and accountability. When is this going to happen?... it’s already started… I wish you and your family the very best Christmas or Holiday period, Richard Ells Founder & CEO, Electroneum.com
What they really don't wan't you to know about Dash!
Dash is breaking away with regards to integrations, partnerships and developments that advocates of other Crypto Currencies have become frightened of Dash's future dominance. Unfortunately for most of these other Crypto Currency projects Dash as a platform is well and truly in the driving seat on so many levels. Lets take a look at some of the achievements in 2017 and upcoming events:
What is a Cryptocurrency Wallet? Use this straightforward guide to learn what a cryptocurrency wallet is, how they work and discover which ones are the best on the market. A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchain to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance. If you want to use Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you will need to have a digital wallet. How do they work? Millions of people use cryptocurrency wallets, but there is considerable misunderstanding about how they work. Unlike traditional ‘pocket’ wallets, digital wallets don’t store currency. In fact, currencies don’t get stored in any single location or exist anywhere in any physical form. All that exists are records of transactions stored on the blockchain. Cryptocurrency wallets are software programs that store your public and private keys and interface with various blockchain so users can monitor their balance, send money and conduct other operations. When a person sends you bitcoins or any other type of digital currency, they are essentially signing off ownership of the coins to your wallet’s address. To be able to spend those coins and unlock the funds, the private key stored in your wallet must match the public address the currency is assigned to. If public and private keys match, the balance in your digital wallet will increase, and the senders will decrease accordingly. There is no actual exchange of real coins. The transaction is signified merely by a transaction record on the blockchain and a change in balance in your cryptocurrency wallet. What are the different types of Cryptocurrencywallets? There are several types of wallets that provide different ways to store and access your digital currency. Wallets can be broken down into three distinct categories – software, hardware, and paper. Software wallets can be a desktop, mobile or online.
Desktop: wallets are downloaded and installed on a PC or laptop. They are only accessible from the single computer in which they are downloaded. Desktop wallets offer one of the highest levels of security however if your computer is hacked or gets a virus there is the possibility that you may lose all your funds.
Online: wallets run on the cloud and are accessible from any computing device in any location. While they are more convenient to access, online wallets store your private keys online and are controlled by a third party which makes them more vulnerable to hacking attacks and theft.
Mobile: wallets run on an app on your phone and are useful because they can be used anywhere including retail stores. Mobile wallets are usually much smaller and simpler than desktop wallets because of the limited space available on a mobile.
Hardware: wallets differ from software wallets in that they store a user’s private keys on a hardware device like a USB. Although hardware wallets make transactions online, they are stored offline which delivers increased security. Hardware wallets can be compatible with several web interfaces and can support different currencies; it just depends on which one you decide to use. What’s more, making a transaction is easy. Users simply plug in their device to any internet-enabled computer or device, enter a pin, send currency and confirm. Hardware wallets make it possible to easily transact while also keeping your money offline and away from danger.
Paper: wallets are easy to use and provide a very high level of security. While the term paper wallet can simply refer to a physical copy or printout of your public and private keys, it can also refer to a piece of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys which are then printed. Using a paper wallet is relatively straightforward. Transferring Bitcoin or any other currency to your paper wallet is accomplished by the transfer of funds from your software wallet to the public address shown on your paper wallet. Alternatively, if you want to withdraw or spend currency, all you need to do is transfer funds from your paper wallet to your software wallet. This process, often referred to as ‘sweeping,’ can either be done manually by entering your private keys or by scanning the QR code on the paper wallet.
Are Cryptocurrency wallets secure? Wallets are secure to varying degrees. The level of security depends on the type of wallet you use (desktop, mobile, online, paper, hardware) and the service provider. A web server is an intrinsically riskier environment to keep your currency compared to offline. Online wallets can expose users to possible vulnerabilities in the wallet platform which can be exploited by hackers to steal your funds. Offline wallets, on the other hand, cannot be hacked because they simply aren’t connected to an online network and don’t rely on a third party for security. Although online wallets have proven the most vulnerable and prone to hacking attacks, diligent security precautions need to be implemented and followed when using any wallet. Remember that no matter which wallet you use, losing your private keys will lead you to lose your money. Similarly, if your wallet gets hacked, or you send money to a scammer, there is no way to reclaim lost currency or reverse the transaction. You must take precautions and be very careful!
Backup your wallet. Store only small amounts of currency for everyday use online, on your computer or mobile, keeping the vast majority of your funds in a high security environment. Cold or offline storage options for backup like Ledger Nano or paper or USB will protect you against computer failures and allow you to recover your wallet should it be lost or stolen. It will not, however, protect you against eager hackers. The reality is, if you choose to use an online wallet there are inherent risks that can’t always be protected against.
Update software. Keep your software up to date so that you have the latest security enhancements available. You should regularly update not only your wallet software but also the software on your computer or mobile.
Add extra security layers. The more layers of security, the better. Setting long and complex passwords and ensuring any withdrawal of funds requires a password is a start. Use wallets that have a good reputation and provide extra security layers like two-factor authentication and additional pin code requirements every time a wallet application gets opened. You may also want to consider a wallet that offers multisig transactions like Armory or Copay. A multisig or multi-signature wallet requires the permission of another user or users before a transaction can be made. Multi-currency or single use?
Although Bitcoin is by far the most well-known and popular digital currency, hundreds of newcryptocurrencies (referred to as altcoins) have emerged, each with distinctive ecosystems and infrastructure. If you’re interested in using a variety of cryptocurrencies, the good news is, you don’t need set up a separate wallet for each currency. Instead of using a cryptocurrency wallet that supports a single currency, it may be more convenient to set up a multi-currency wallet which enables you to use several currencies from the same wallet. Are there any transaction fees? There is no straightforward answer here. In general, transaction fees are a tiny fraction of traditional bank fees. Sometimes fees need to be paid for certain types of transactions to network miners as a processing fee, while some transactions don’t have any fee at all. It’s also possible to set your own fee. As a guide, the median transaction size of 226 bytes would result in a fee of 18,080 satoshis or $0.12. In some cases, if you choose to set a low fee, your transaction may get low priority, and you might have to wait hours or even days for the transaction to get confirmed. If you need your transaction completed and confirmed promptly, then you might need to increase the amount you’re willing to pay. Whatever wallet you end up using, transaction fees are not something you should worry about. You will either pay minuscule transaction fees, choose your own fees or pay no fees at all. A definite improvement from the past! Are cryptocurrency wallets anonymous? Kind of, but not really. Wallets are pseudonymous. While wallets aren’t tied to the actual identity of a user, all transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the blockchain. Your name or personal street address won’t be there, but data like your wallet address could be traced to your identity in a number of ways. While there are efforts underway to make anonymity and privacy easier to achieve, there are obvious downsides to full anonymity. Check out the DarkWallet project that is looking to beef up privacy and anonymity through stealth addresses and coin mixing. Which Cryptocurrency wallet is the best? There is an ever-growing list of options. Before picking a wallet, you should, however, consider how you intend to use it.
Do you need a wallet for everyday purchases or just buying and holding digital currency for an investment?
Do you plan to use several currencies or one single currency?
Do you require access to your digital wallet from anywhere or only from home?
Take some time to assess your requirements and then choose the most suitable wallet for you.
Bread Wallet Bread Wallet is a simple mobile Bitcoin digital wallet that makes sending bitcoins as easy as sending an email. The wallet can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Bread Wallet offers a standalone client, so there is no server to use when sending or receiving bitcoins. That means users can access their money and are in full control of their funds at all times. Overall, Bread Wallet’s clean interface, lightweight design and commitment to continually improve security, make the application safe, fast and a pleasure to use for both beginners and experienced users alike.
Pros: Good privacy & security, beginner friendly, simple & clean, open source software, free.
Cons: No web or desktop interface, lacks features, hot wallet.
Mycelium Advanced users searching for a Bitcoin mobile digital wallet, should look no further than mycelium. The Mycelium mobile wallet allows iPhone and Android users to send and receive bitcoins and keep complete control over bitcoins. No third party can freeze or lose your funds! With enterprise-level security superior to most other apps and features like cold storage and encrypted PDF backups, an integrated QR-code scanner, a local trading marketplace and secure chat amongst others, you can understand why Mycelium has long been regarded as one of the best wallets on the market.
Pros: Good privacy, advanced security, feature-rich, open source software, free
Cons: No web or desktop interface, hot wallet, not for beginners
Exodus Exodus is a relatively new and unknown digital wallet that is currently only available on the desktop. It enables the storage and trading of Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoins, Dogecoins and Dash through an incredibly easy to use, intuitive and beautiful interface. Exodus also offers a very simple guide to backup your wallet. One of the great things about Exodus is that it has a built-in shapeshift exchange that allows users to trade altcoins for bitcoins and vice versa without leaving the wallet.
Pros: Good privacy & security, beginner friendly, intuitive, easy to use, in-wallet trading, supports multiple currencies, open source software, free.
Cons: Hot wallet, no web interface or mobile app
Copay Created by Bitpay, Copay is one of the best digital wallets on the market. If you’re looking for convenience, Copay is easily accessed through a user-friendly interface on desktop, mobile or online. One of the best things about Copay is that it’s a multi-signature wallet so friends or business partners can share funds. Overall, Copay has something for everyone. It’s simple enough for entry-level users but has plenty of additional geeky features that will impress more experienced players as well.
Pros: Good privacy & security, multisig transactions, multiple platforms & devices, multiple wallet storage, beginner friendly, open source software, free
Cons: Can be slow & unresponsive, limited user support
Jaxx Jaxx is a multi-currency Ether, Ether Classic, Dash, DAO, Litecoin, REP, Zcash, Rootstock, Bitcoin wallet and user interface. Jaxx has been designed to deliver a smooth Bitcoin and Ethereum experience. It is available on a variety of platforms and devices (Windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, OSX, Android mobile & tablet, iOS mobile & tablet) and connects with websites through Firefox and Chrome extensions. Jaxx allows in wallet conversion between Bitcoin, Ether and DAO tokens via Shapeshift and the import of Ethereum paper wallets. With an array of features and the continual integration of new currencies, Jaxx is an excellent choice for those who require a multi-currency wallet.
Pros: Good privacy & security, Multi-currency, wallet linking across multiple platforms, great user support, feature rich, user-friendly, free.
Cons: Code is not open source, can be slow to load
Armory Armory is an open source Bitcoin desktop wallet perfect for experienced users that place emphasis on security. Some of Armory’s features include cold storage, multi-signature transactions, one-time printable backups, multiple wallets interface, GPU-resistant wallet encryption, key importing, key sweeping and more. Although Armory takes a little while to understand and use to it’s full potential, it’s a great option for more tech-savvy bitcoiners looking to keep their funds safe and secure.
Pros: Good privacy, great security features, multi-signature options, solid cold storage options, free.
Cons: Only accessible via the desktop client, not for beginners. Trezor
Trezor is a hardware Bitcoin wallet that is ideal for storing large amounts of bitcoins. Trezor cannot be infected by malware and never exposes your private keys which make it as safe as holding traditional paper money. Trezor is open source and transparent, with all technical decisions benefiting from wider community consultation. It’s easy to use, has an intuitive interface and is Windows, OS X and Linux friendly. One of the few downsides of the Trezor wallet is that it must be with you to send bitcoins. This, therefore, makes Trezor best for inactive savers, investors or people who want to keep large amounts of Bitcoin highly secure.
Pros: Good security & privacy, cold storage, easy to use a web interface, in-built screen, open source software, beginner friendly.
Cons: Costs $99, must have device to send bitcoins
Ledger Nano The Ledger Wallet Nano is a new hierarchical deterministic multisig hardware wallet for bitcoin users that aims to eliminate a number of attack vectors through the use of a second security layer. This tech-heavy description does not mean much to the average consumer, though, which is why I am going to explain it in plain language, describing what makes the Ledger Wallet Nano tick. In terms of hardware, the Ledger Wallet Nano is a compact USB device based on a smart card. It is roughly the size of a small flash drive, measuring 39 x 13 x 4mm (1.53 x 0.51 x 0.16in) and weighing in at just 5.9g. Pros:
Screen/device protected by metal swivel cover
3rd-Party apps can run from device
When recovering wallet from seed, the whole process can be done from the device without even connecting it to a computer!
Fairly inexpensive (~$65 USD)
Not as advanced wallet software (no transaction labeling)
No ability to create hidden accounts
No password manager
Green Address Green Address is a user-friendly Bitcoin wallet that’s an excellent choice for beginners. Green Address is accessible via desktop, online or mobile with apps available for Chrome, iOS, and Android. Features include multi-signature addresses & two-factor authentications for enhanced security, paper wallet backup, and instant transaction confirmation. A downside is that Green Address is required to approve all payments, so you do not have full control over your spending
Cons: Hot wallet, average privacy, the third party must approve payments.
Blockchain (dot) info Blockchain is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets. Accessing this wallet can be done from any browser or smartphone. Blockchain.info provides two different additional layers. For the browser version, users can enable two-factor authentication, while mobile users can activate a pin code requirement every time the wallet application is opened. Although your wallet will be stored online and all transactions will need to go through the company’s servers, Blockchain.info does not have access to your private keys. Overall, this is a well-established company that is trusted throughout the Bitcoin community and makes for a solid wallet to keep your currency.
Pros: Good security, easy to use web & mobile interface, well-known & trusted company, beginner friendly, free.
Cons: Hot wallet, weak privacy, third party trust required, has experienced outages.
Why Apple Pay OmiseGo partnership benefits both businesses (OMG holders too)
Yes, I'm the skateboard to the moon guy. Back for more speculation. Hear me out, I'd like to explain why I think this deal will happen. Who (and how) does OmiseGo save money? Retailers, online and in person, must be registered with payment processing services if they want to accept credits cards and debit cards. The payment processing service is the middle-man between the retailer and the credit card company or bank; they confirm the transaction for both sides of the payment and update the ledger to reflect the new balance. Retailers pay a substantial fee for this service, usually 2% of the purchase price as well as a monthly fee. So basically:
Retailer swipes your card, requests payment, stakes 2% fee -> Payment Processor messages bank to confirm funds -> Bank confirms payment, transfers funds -> Payment Processor messages retailer to confirm transfer, accepts 2% fee
Currently, Apple Pay (as well as Google Pay) routes transactions through the traditional payment processing services, as described above. When you use Apple Pay, it's just an extra transfer step added to the traditional system, almost like Apple first uses a second virtual credit card in your name, then they forward the payment to the traditional payment processing company. The important thing to note is that Apple foots a second processing fee for their additional role in this chain. The payment processing company has to do extra work, so Apple pays a second fee. So basically:
Retailer beeps your Apple Pay app, requesting payment, stakes their 2% fee -> Apple Pay forwards payment request to Processor, stakes additional fee-> Payment Processor messages Bank to confirm funds -> Bank confirms payment, transfers funds -> Payment Processor messages Apple Pay and Retailer to confirm transfer, then accepts both Retailer and Apple Pay fees
OmiseGo works differently. OmiseGo wallet is your bank account. You fund your OmiseGo account with whatever type of currency you choose, dollars, bitcoin, ethereum, yen. This fills the role traditionally filled by credit card or your bank in the above examples. OmiseGo also fills the role of Apple Pay, acting as the card-free user interface that you use at the Retailer. The miners on the blockchain fill the role of the payment processing company. Using the typical decentralized ledger and confirmation process, they confirm and process transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Miners collect fees for their work (or their stake), although far less than the double 2% fees levied in the example So when you use your OmiseGo app at a retailer, OmiseGo receives the payment request, pings the node to request a transaction be written and confirmed on the Ethereum blockchain, OmiseGo receives confirmation, and messages the retailer to confirm that funds have been transferred. OmiseGo takes a fee from the retailer for the service, and pays that fee to the miner for their work (or stake) confirming the transaction. How does this benefit Apple? It's pretty clear how a partnership with OmiseGo would benefit Apple. Apple can utilize OmiseGo's infrastructure for payment processing without paying the additional fee per swipe. Further, Apple Pay will gain use of Omise's existing "currency agnostic" virtual exchange, meaning users can pay the retailer with whatever currency they accept, even if the user doesn't have that currency in their wallet. This means you can have bitcoin in your wallet and pay retailers in dollars now and yen later today. This allows Apple Pay to be used with dozens of new currencies the world over, both fiat and crypto. This hugely expands the reach of Apple Pay worldwide, and gives Apple Pay an immediate presence through Omise's existing market across Asia (where the iPhone is already very popular). Quick tinfoil hat theory: Apple currently has more than $250 billion dollars overseas which they cannot repatriate to the US without paying huge taxes. Assisting OmiseGo to break down barriers between currencies and bring borderless crypto into the main stream is certainly in their interests. Assisting OmiseGo to break down traditional banking and credit card payment systems benefits Apple as well, allowing Apple to step into those roles with Omise and Apple Pay. Double tinfoil hat theory: it is often speculated that Apple has earmarked their overseas funds for strategic acquisitions of compatible companies; if an Apple supported OmiseGo can prove to be a Visa/Wells Fargo killer, and Apple can acquire Omise and step into that role, that would be an incredible coup for Apple, marketshare skyhigh, and they would own every step of the supply chain from the payment app to the phone it runs on to the infrastructure that processes it to the bank account itself. Finally, this agreement costs Apple nothing. They aren't outlaying any expenses on this deal. They won't lose any current functionality in Apple Pay. This is a massive opportunity for Apple, and costs them nothing. How does this benefit OmiseGo? As far as fees collected directly by Omise as a company, not much. Retailer fees ultimately go to the OMG holders who stake their coin to validate processed transactions on the blockchain. OmiseGo as a company does benefit greatly from Apple Pay's existing relationships with innumerable retailers, particularly in the West (OmiseGo already has extensive relationships with retailers in Asia). The prospect of an Apple buyout is nice, but, as far as I know, pretty tinfoil hatty, so I can't say much about that possibility as a benefit for Omise as a company. How does this benefit OmiseGo coin holders? A huge amount. OmiseGo is a Proof of Stake system, where existing coin holders stake their holdings with OmiseGo to lend credence to the transaction verifications. Similar to the US Dollar when it was on the Gold Standard, in which the value of the green pieces of paper is underpinned by the value of the gold behind it, OmiseGo's payment processing is underpinned by the value of the OMG coin staked by holders. So for every payment made using OmiseGo, stakeholders receive a fee. If there are lots of payments made using OmiseGo, stakeholders will receive lots of fees. If Apple Pay utilizes the OmiseGo blockchain system to process transactions, and there will be millions or billions of transactions to process, stakeholders will receive, well, you see where I'm going with this. This whole arrangement is my favorite kind of business deal, the kind of business deal you can feel very confident will move forward: a business deal where all parties win. Retailers, Apple Pay, OmiseGo, OMG holders, and customers. If people have corrections or disagreements, please post them. I am trying to predict markets, not preach to the choir. Any help building a more perfect prediction is the goal. Seriously, thanks for reading, I know that was really long. Links: https://cdn.omise.co/omg/whitepaper.pdf https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/10/how-mobile-payments-really-work/ https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/02/apples-cash-hoard-swells-to-record-256-8-billion.html
I’ve been researching privacy coins deeply and feel I’ve reached a sufficient findings to merit sharing my stance re SUMO.
By Taylor Margot. Everyone should read this! THE BASICS SUMOkoin is a fork of MONERO (XMR). XMR is a fork of Bytecoin. In my opinion, XMR is hands down the most undervalued coin in the top 15. Its hurdle is that people do not know how to price in privacy to the price of a coin yet. Once people figure out how to accurately assess the value privacy into the value of a coin, XMR, along with other privacy coins like SUMOkoin, will go parabolic. Let’s be clear about something. I am not here to argue SUMOkoin is superior to XMR. That’s not what this article is about and frankly is missing the point. I don’t find the SUMOkoin vs. XMR debate interesting. From where I stand, investing in SUMOkoin has nothing to do with SUMOkoin overtaking XMR or who has superior tech. If anything, I think the merits of XMR underline the value of SUMOkoin. What I do find interesting is return on investment (“ROI”). Imagine SUMO was an upcoming ICO. But you knew ahead of time that they had a proven product-market fit and an awesome, blue chip code base. That’s basically what you have in SUMO. Most good ICOs raise over 20mil (meaning their starting market cap is $20 mil) but after that, it’s a crapshoot. Investing in SUMO is akin to getting ICO prices but with the amount of information associated with more established coins. Let me make one more thing clear. Investing is all about information. Specifically it’s about the information imbalance between current value and the quality of your information. SUMO is highly imbalanced. The fact of the matter is that if you are interested in getting the vision and product/market fit of a $6 billion market cap coin for $20 mil, you should keep reading. If you are interested in arguing about XMR vs. SUMOkoin, I point you to this infographic Background I’m a corporate tech & IP lawyer in Silicon Valley. My practice focuses on venture capital (“VC)”) and mergers & acquisitions (“M&A”). Recently I have begun doing more IP strategy. Basically I spend all day every day reviewing cap tables, stock purchase agreements, merger agreements and patent portfolios. I’m also the CEO of a startup (Scry Chat) and have a team of three full-time engineers. I started using BTC in 2014 in conjunction with Silk Road and TOR. I recently had a minor conniption when I discovered how much BTC I handled in 2014. My 2017 has been good with IOTA at sub $0.30, POWR at $0.12, ENJIN at $0.02, REQ at $0.05, ENIGMA at $0.50, ITC (IoT Chain) and SUMO. My crypto investing philosophy is based on betting long odds. In the words of Warren Buffet, consolidate to get rich, diversify to stay rich. Or as I like to say, nobody ever got rich diversifying. That being said I STRONGLY recommend you have an IRA and/or 401(k) in place prior to venturing into crypto. But when it comes to crypto, I’d rather strike out dozens of times to have a chance at hitting a 100x home run. This approach is probably born out of working with VCs in Silicon Valley who do the same only with companies, not coins. I view myself as an aggressive VC in the cryptosphere. The Number 1 thing I’ve taken away from venture law is that it pays to get in EARLY. Did you know that the typical founder buys their shares for $0.00001 per share? So if a founder owns 5 million shares, they bought those shares for $50 total. The typical IPO goes out the door at $10-20 per share. My iPhone calculator says ERROR when it tries to divide $10/0.00001 because it runs out of screen real estate. At the time of this writing, SUMO has a Marketcap of $18 million. That is 3/10,000th or 1/3333th. Let that sink in for a minute. BCH is a fork of BTC and it has the fourth largest market cap of all cryptos. Given it’s market cap, I am positive SUMO is the best value proposition in the Privacy Coin arena at the time of this writing. * ROI MERITS OF SUMOkoin So what’s so good about SUMOkoin? Didn’t you say it was just a Monero knock-off? 1) Well, sort of. SUMO is based on CryptoNote and was conceived from a fork of Monero, with a little bit of extra privacy thrown in. It would not be wrong to think SUMO is to Litecoin as XMR is to Bitcoin. 2) Increased Privacy. Which brings us to point 2. SUMO is doing several things to increase privacy (see below). If Monero is the King of Privacy Coins, then SUMO is the Standard Bearer fighting on the front lines. Note: Monero does many of these too (though at the time of fork XMR could not). Don’t forget Monero is also 5.8 billion market cap to SUMO’s 18 million. a) RingCT. All transactions since genesis are RingCT (ring confidential transactions) and the minimum “mixin” transactions is 13 (12 plus the original transaction). This passes the threshold to statistically resist blockchain attacks. No transactions made on the SUMO blockchain can ever be traced to the actual participants. Nifty huh? Monero (3+1 mixins) is considering a community-wide fork to increase their minimum transactions to 6, 9, or 12. Not a bad market signal if you’re SUMOkoin eh? b) Sub-addresses. The wallet deploys disposable sub-addresses to conceal your real sumo wallet address even from senders (who typically would need to know your actual address to send currency). Monero also does this. 3) Fungibility aka “Digital Cash” aka Broad Use Case. “Fungibility” gets thrown about a bunch but basically it means ‘how close is this coin to cash in terms of usage?’ SUMO is one of a few cryptos that can boast true fungibility — it acts just like physical cash i.e. other people can never trace where the money came from or how many coins were transferred. MONERO will never be able to boast this because it did not start as fungible. 4) Mining Made Easy Mode. Seeing as SUMO was a fork, and not an ICO, they didn’t have to rewrite the wheel. Instead they focused on product by putting together solid fundamentals like a great wallet and a dedicated mining app. Basically anyone can mine with the most intuitive GUI mining app out there. Google “Sumo Easy Miner” – run and mine. 5) Intuitive and Secure Wallet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet in this day and age, apparently it is not a prereq. They have a GUI wallet plus those unlimited sub-addresses I mentioned above. Here’s the github if you’d like to review: https://github.com/sumoprojects/SumoGUIWallet The wallet really is one of the best I have seen (ENJIN’s will be better). Clear, intuitive, idiot proof (as possible). 6) Decentralization. SUMO is botnet-proof, and therefore botnet mining resistant. When a botnet joins a mining pool, it adjusts the mining difficulty, thereby balancing the difficulty level of mining. 7) Coin Emission Scheme. SUMO’s block reward changes every 6-months as the following “Camel” distribution schema (inspired by real-world mining production like of crude oil, coal, etc. that is often slow at first, then accelerated in before decline and depletion). MONERO lacks this schema and it is significant. Camel ensures that Sumokoin won’t be a short-lived phenomena. Specifically, since Sumo is proof-of-work, not all SUMO can be mined. If it were all mined, miners would no longer be properly incentivized to contribute to the network (unless transaction fees were raised, which is how Bitcoin plans on handling when all 21 million coins have been mined, which will go poorly given that people already complain about fees). A good emission scheme is vital to viability. Compare Camel and Monero’s scheme if you must: https://github.com/sumoprojects/sumokoin/blob/mastescripts/sumokoin_camel_emission_cal.cpp vs. https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/242/how-was-the-monero-emission-curve-chosen/247. 8) Dev Team // Locked Coins // Future Development Funds. There are lots of things that make this coin a ‘go.’ but perhaps the most overlooked in crypto is that the devs have delivered ahead of schedule. If you’re an engineer or have managed CS projects, you know how difficult hitting projected deadlines can be. These guys update github very frequently and there is a high degree of visibility. The devs have also time-locked their pre-mine in a publicly view-able wallet for years so they aren’t bailing out with a pump and dump. The dev team is based in Japan. 9) Broad Appeal. If marketed properly, SUMO has the ability to appeal to older individuals venturing into crypto due to the fungibility / similarities to cash. This is not different than XMR, and I expect it will be exploited in 2018 by all privacy coins. It could breed familiarity with new money, and new money is the future of crypto. 10) Absent from Major Exchanges. Thank god. ALL of my best investments have happened off Binance, Bittrex, Polo, GDAX, etc. Why? Because by the time a coin hits a major exchange you’re already too late. Your TOI is fucked. You’re no longer a savant. SUMO is on Cryptopia, the best jenky exchange. 11) Marketing. Which brings me to my final point – and it happens to be a weakness. SUMO has not focused on marketing. They’ve instead gathered together tech speaks for itself (or rather doesn’t). So what SUMO needs a community effort to distribute facts about SUMO’s value prop to the masses. A good example is Vert Coin. Their team is very good at disseminating information. I’m not talking about hyping a coin; I’m talking about how effectively can you spread facts about your product to the masses. To get mainstream SUMO needs something like this VertCoin post: https://np.reddit.com/vertcoin/comments/7ixkbf/vertbase_a_vertcoin_to_usd_exchange/ MARKET CAP DISCUSSION For a coin with using Monero’s tech, 20 million is minuscule. For any coin 20 mil is nothing. Some MC comparisons [as of Jan 2, 2017]:
SUMO: 18 million
ENJIN: 150 million (9x)
Enigma: 465 million (26x)
REQ: 500 million (28x)
POWR: 500 million (28x)
Monero: 5.8 billion (mental maths iz hard)
Let’s talk about market cap (“MC”) for a minute. It gets tossed around a lot but I don’t think people appreciate how important getting in as early as possible can be. Say you buy $1000 of SUMO at 20 mil MC. Things go well and 40 million new money gets poured into SUMO. Now the MC = 60 million. Your ROI is 200% (you invested $1,000 and now you have 3,000, netting 2,000). Now let’s says say you bought at 40 million instead of 20 million. $20 mill gets poured in until the MC again reaches 60 mil. Your ROI is 50% (you put in $1,000, you now have 1,500, netting 500). Remember: investing at 20 mil MC vs. 40 mil MC represents an EXTREMELY subtle shift in time of investment (“TOI”). But the difference in net profit is dramatic. the biggest factor is that your ROI multiplier is locked in at your TOI — look at the difference in the above example. 200% ROI vs. 50% ROI. That’s huge. But the difference was only 20 mil — that’s 12 hours in the crypto world. I strongly believe SUMO can and will 25x in Q1 2018 (400m MC) and 50x by Q4 2018 reach. There is ample room for a tricked out Monero clone at 1 bil MC. That’s 50x. Guess how many coins have 500 mil market caps? 58 as of this writing. 58! Have many of these coins with about ~500 mil MC have you heard of? MaidSafeCoin? Status? Decred? Veritaseum? DRAGONCHAIN ARE YOU KIDDING ME THE ROLE OF PRIVACY I want to close with a brief discussion of privacy as it relates to fundamental rights and as to crypto. 2018 will be remembered as the Year of Privacy Coins. Privacy has always been at the core of crypto. This is no coincidence. “Privacy” is the word we have attached to the concept of possessing the freedom to do as you please within the law without explaining yourself to the government or financial institution. Discussing privacy from a financial perspective is difficult because it has very deep political significance. But that is precisely why it is so valuable. Privacy is the right of billions of people not to be surveilled. We live in a world where every single transaction you do through the majority financial system is recorded, analyzed and sold — and yet where the money goes is completely opaque. Our transactions are visible from the top, but we can’t see up. Privacy coins turn that upside down. Privacy is a human right. It is the guarantor of American constitutional freedom. It is the cornerstone of freedoms of expression, association, political speech and all our other freedoms for that matter. And privacy coins are at the root of that freedom. What the internet did for freedom of information, privacy coins will do for freedom of financial transactions. POST SCRIPT: AN ENGINEER’S PERSPECTIVE Recently a well respected engineer reached out to me and had this to say about SUMO. I thought I’d share. "I’m messaging you because I came at this from a different perspective. For reference, I started investing in Sumo back when it was around $0.5 per coin. My background is in CS and Computer Engineering. I currently research in CS. When I was looking for a coin to invest in, I approached it in a completely different way from what you described in your post, I first made a list of coins with market caps < 20m, and then I removed all the coins that didn’t have active communities. Next, because of my background, I read through the code for each of the remaining coins, and picked the coins which had both frequent commits to GitHub (proving dev activity), and while more subjective, code that was well written. Sumo had both active devs, and (very) well written code. I could tell that the people behind this knew what they were doing, and so I invested. I say all of this, because I find it interesting how we seem to have very different strategies for selecting ‘winners’ but yet we both ended up finding Sumo." — Legal Disclaimer: THIS POST AND ANY SUBSEQUENT STATEMENTS BY THE AUTHOR DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE OR RELIED UPON. NO REFERENCES TO THIS POST SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. THIS POST REPRESENTS THE LONE OPINION OF A NON-SOPHISTICATED INVESTOR.
Android This is a mobile fork of my original Krypton system for PCs. This version runs only on user's Android phones with no servers and no other PC nodes in the system. The blockchain has been designed for mobile phones and is able to completely run on Android without the need for any desktop systems or servers at all. I am unaware of any other mobile blockchain systems, so I believe this to be the first. Let's be clear this is not a mobile version of Craigslist, this is a blockchain version of Craigslist. Krypton P2P tokens - a decentralized bulletin board Krypton is a decentralized bulletin board of products or posts. The program, like Bitcoin, runs on each user's mobile phone so there is no central server. The tokens only exist because of the other users on the system. You can view anyone’s tokens but can only edit the ones you own. The system is kind of like Craigslist but built as a blockchain system. There are a total of 25,000 tokens on the system for people to use. That number cannot be changed unless the users of the system choose to update the protocol. Krypton token Features: No selling fees. Users all over the world can access your items for sale. You can update your listings anytime using your private key. Because no site is hosting the listings they cannot be taken down. Tokens are not free so the quality of products should be high. Tokens can be linked into other websites to become ad space. Add search terms to your listings with others to create decentralized stores. Why is this needed? Soon many websites will be forced to comply with government policies like in China and Russia. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/23/596460672/craigslist-shuts-down-personals-section-after-congress-passes-bill-on-traffickin Program UI: Home Screen On the home screen you can see a display of the most recently updated listings that have a new title. If you go to the search feature at the bottom you can search for a specific item. If you are using a full node this will search your own database. If you are a "Lite Client" it will search the peer you are connected to. If you are not conned to any peers it will say "Tor isn't ready." The QR code on the right is your public key. Tokens is the number of coins you have. Unconfirmed is the number of blocks waiting to be confirmed and (0) is the updates you have made but have not been sent to the network yet. Last Block Time is the time in seconds since the last block. Send Screen: If you click on the SEND (>) button you will see the Send screen. The green number on the top 100100 is the token you are going to transfer to another address. You can enter this manually if you want to transfer a specific ID or you can click GET ID and the program will choose an ID for you that you have. Each token has an ID unlike bitcoin so you have to choose which coin or (Token) you want to send. If you send more then one token the program will go though your list of tokens starting from the lowest number. Get QR code will open the camera so you can scan another user's public key. Listings Screen: If you click on a listing you will see the LISTING Page which looks like the image below. Here you can see the details about the item as well as Contact details at the bottom. Each user will have to come up with the best contact system for them. Using email or some kind of messaging system. Edit Screen: If you click on the EDIT button (Looks like a pencil) from the home screen you will see the image below. Here you can edit any tokens that you have. Adding a picture link from an online image hosting service will allow your listing to have a picture. The Tor system does not have a good URL redirect DNS and so it's good to test your image link first to make sure it will be available for users to see. (Many URLs are not) This service seems to work well: postimg.cc If you want one of those little icons to appear next to your listing on the home screen you can put one of these commands in the "search 1" field of your listing. If you don't it will just display the standard "coins" icon. DISPLAY_BITCOIN DISPLAY_COINS DISPLAY_COMPUTER DISPLAY_CONDO DISPLAY_CONDOM DISPLAY_DOWNLOAD DISPLAY_ELECTRONICS DISPLAY_ENGINE DISPLAY_GAS DISPLAY_GEARS DISPLAY_GIFT DISPLAY_JEWEL DISPLAY_LAW DISPLAY_MAP DISPLAY_MEDAL DISPLAY_OK DISPLAY_PANTS DISPLAY_PAPER DISPLAY_PILL DISPLAY_RING DISPLAY_SCIFI DISPLAY_SUPERMAN DISPLAY_TICKET DISPLAY_XXX Settings: If you go to the SETTINGS (Wrench) button from the home screen you will see the settings screen. (The Play Store version of the app will not have access to these features because of google play polices. But if you need them you can download the full app version from my link at the bottom of this page). Full Node Switch from the beginning this system was built for mobile so for many users who don't want to download the blockchain they can just use the "SPV" version. If Full node is on then your phone will have the whole blockchain if it's off you will only connect to other phones for the info. Mining Switch if you are a Full node and have all the blocks and also have a minimum number of tokens (currently 50) you can be a miner. You will not gain any tokens for mining. It's only to support the system. Google took the app down from the app store because of this feature even though there are no crypto currencies in this app. So the Play Store version doesn't have this button but you can use it on the full version if you download from the link at the bottom of this post. Server Switch if you are a Full Node and want to be a server you can become a Full Node Server which will allow other users to connect to your phone and download blocks from you, as well as view tokens from the blockchain. How does a phone allow for incoming connections? It uses Tor as a Tor hidden service. Use one selected peer this will force the app to connect to only one peer that you choose in the field below. If unchecked then the program will connect to random peers in the database. Peer address this is the address of the peer the program should connect to it should be a .onion address not an IP. It's possible to connect to an IP but this version of the program will not allow you to do so. Insert .onion into the blockchain if you want to be a server then you can add your .onion address into a section of your listing this way other nodes can find you by looking you up in the database not by a separate IP list. This way only people who actually have listings become hosts not just random users. Get new keys if you want to get a new public private account key you can do that here although if you haven't backed up your old key you will lose all your tokens. Copy server address if your server is active you can copy the .onion address of your phone here. Copy public key same as on the home screen this allows you to copy your account public key so others can send you tokens. Get private key this copies your private key to the phone's clipboard so you can back it up in case of loss. Don't give this to anyone or they will steal your tokens. Import private key if you want to import a private key you saved on paper or on another computer you can restore your account here. These are RSA 2048 bit key pairs not Elliptic curve keys like bitcoin. These blockchain tools are mostly for testing and probably will never be needed by users. Reset blockchain this will delete your blockchain history and you will have to re-download it. Delete last block this will delete just the last block from the blockchain in case it has errors or is stale. Delete unconfirmed this will delete the unconfirmed items you have pending to send to the network. This can be used if you made a mistake. Print blocks if you are using an android studio system you can view the block history with a printout here. This will not show visually in the app. Contact details (Public!) these are your contact details that will be inserted into each of your listings as you update them. You can post whatever details are needed for your buyers to contact you but remember they are public and so you should not put anything here that is sensitive. Tor System To run on mobile phones two main changes had to be made to the bitcoin system. One is a different type of blockchain and the other is the use of Tor. Tor is necessary for phones to communicate between each other. Since setting up a server on a phone is pretty much impossible for most users. Using Tor allows for all phones to become clients and servers. In addition to communication, Tor allows for two other main benefits. First, it hides users from some threats and is a good fit for a system like this. But also Tor allows each phone to become a server that can be accessed from regular Tor browsers all over the world. So having the app on your phone is not necessary, just a Tor browser can suffice. However, if you want to update tokens or transfer them you would need the app. The server in this app can distinguish between requests from other nodes and browsers by the header field. If there is no header it's a node, if there is a header it's a browser. If you connect as a node it's JSON if you connect as a browser it's HTML. If users want to connect to the system but they don't have the app they can just connect to the phone by going to the phone's .onion address like this: http://md4kofpseowoo2hp.onion this allows for anyone anywhere in the world to view the status of the system from a regular PC without using the app. This could become much more valuable later on in building decentralized community websites. Blockchain The blockchain has been converted into more of a "worm chain" it moves along though time but it doesn't get any longer. Each block from the back is moved to the front, moving it along kind of like how they used to move heavy blocks ages ago with logs. The block moves along the logs and when it gets to far the log from the back is moved to the front. That's pretty much how this works. The blockchain will complete it's run about every month. At that time if any node hasn't updated they would be left out and they wouldn't be able to verity the blocks on their own any longer. That's why Bitcoin doesn't do this, it needs more security. But in this case the database is just information and thus not as important as monetary transactions. I think this is a worthwhile trade off for the benefits it brings to a system like this. But if in the future storage isn't an issue with phones it would be possible to save all the transactions like Bitcoin and have the same security. By just a few changes to the code. FAQ: Any relation to Craigslist the site?: None. What is the mining algorithm: SHA256 same as Bitcoin. Are there any mining pools: no the mining system is designed to be mined on phones no tokens are given out though mining so there's no need for a pool. Is this going to be on any exchanges: I don't think so it's not a currency and so I don't think anyone would want to trade it as such. If anyone wanted to buy or sell a token they could just use the system itself. Why pay fees? What's the coin limit: 25,000 KRC Why so few coins?: the blockchain system for this grows as the number of tokens goes up so the more tokens there are the bigger the database will be and for a phone it's better to keep it as small as possible. In this system the blockchain should be less then 1GB total forever. Are you asking for money to build this system?: no it's already done. But some large scale testing hasn't been done yet. Are there tokens for sale: yes I'm going to give away the first 1,000 for free and the next 1,000 for $1 and so on. If you want free tokens send me a message. Are there any other ways to get tokens: I will give away free tokens to people who want to be servers and testers. Is this on iphone?: no I don't know anything about iphone programming I'm not sure if the tor libraries are available for iphone but I would guess they are. Does it work on ARC Welder?: no I think because the app needs Linux for Tor it doesn't work. Timeline: Full version release: (July 12, 2018) You can download the APK here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/enx6e68sxgadsn6/Krypton_1.2.5.apk/file Public app release: (August 19, 2018): Google play doesn't allow mining so this version is ONLY the client version. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.play.app.krypton Code release: TBA. Token sale: Happening now, 1 USD equivalent of any coin per 1 KRC. I'll take BTC LTC ETH...
Is anyone else freaked out by this whole blocksize debate? Does anyone else find themself often agreeing with *both* sides - depending on whichever argument you happen to be reading at the moment? And do we need some better algorithms and data structures?
Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me? I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin. And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into. But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all. Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing with whatever particular piece I'm reading! But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree! So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently happen to be reading? Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot? Just Do It? When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law"). On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy). So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split. But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this. Weird split among the devs As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them. But then on the other hand, the users seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase. And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means. And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical fact that 210 is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn? On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me. And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?). Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate. When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?) I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection. And I guess the telecoms might be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely? On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years. Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China". I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too! I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints? I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
wealthy individuals trying to preserve and transport their wealth across space and across time
iPhone and Android users who want to buy a latte on their smartphone at Starbucks
Venezuelans and Argentinians and Cypriots and Russian oligarchs and Greeks and anyone else whose state-backed currency sucks
unbanked Africans who will someday be texting around money via SMS messages on their cellphones
online content providers who will finally be able to get paid via micropayments
smart contracts and stock brokering and lawyering and land deeding and the refrigerator calling out to order more milk and distributed anonymous corporations (DACs) automatically negotiating and adjusting driverless taxicab fares in the Uber-future of the Internet of Things
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain. (Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=) Paradoxes in the blocksize debate Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here: (1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available. But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)." I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity. (2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail - wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers. I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff). So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments. But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction. I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down). Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"? By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent. I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply. (BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.) The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes. This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more you have, the worse things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-) And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company? Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)? So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought. Scaling Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network. So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster. But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments). Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever? Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while? And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot showing current assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal showing historical revenues and expenses? When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there. But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions. Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in? And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture. Are we using our capacity wisely? I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years. It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees. When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.). I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank. Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server. And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has. Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database. So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve. But still, it seems that there's got to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into! It just seems that Bitcoin has got to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will work. Right? Right? A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science). My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there. From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers). It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds. For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin), that the specification of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s) (in procedural languages such as C or Python?). Curry-Howard anyone? I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
separating the compact (and easy-to-check) statement of a theorem from the messy (and hard-to-check) details of its proof(s);
separating the specification of a system from its implementation(s); and
being able to prove that an implementation does indeed satisfy its specification.
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java. So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach. And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations. For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto. And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks." These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin. But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise"). Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying. And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols). And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases. (And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?) And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database. Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications - and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected. I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize? It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet." So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network. Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible. It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff. Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain. XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification languages - although as implementation languages, they are of course fine). But there are serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements"). One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin. Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language). They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do. Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof You have to remember: the theoretical community is very aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof without telling also telling them what theorem the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation without showing them the specification that it implements. Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure. The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem. There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce. I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms. I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply. So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong. https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07 The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions. I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out. I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there. So... TL;DR: (1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong). (2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation languages such as C and Python and Java saying how Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project. (3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
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