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Thread: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

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    United States Administrator Paul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    In short ... while I think that distributed blockchain ledgers have a long and promising future in the "new world monetary and financial system", I also think that Bitcoin and similar crypto-currencies are part of the early "Wild West" of this technology, and that "the law" will come "riding to the rescue", to save us all from the crimes and lawlessness of these crypto-currencies.
    "The law" has done this before.
    • They imposed mandatory income reporting on domestic US employers to stop people and corporations from evading their "lawful" tax obligations.
    • They extended these requirements internationally as best they could with such measures as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of 2010.
    • They also extended their cash tracking requirements on banks, domestic and international, with extensive Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, supposedly to stop money laundering.
    (Of course, this war on money laundering reminds me of the war on drugs. "They" aren't really opposed to money laundering nor to drugs ... just so long as it their guys doing it. "They" just don't like competition, and are making use of the US military, intelligence, political, judicial, criminal and pharmaceutical institutions to combat "unlawful", meaning not by them, competition.)

    Bitcoin and its ilk are pretty clearly (and I presume deliberately) coming onto the radar as one more tool used by would be competitors. So it too shall be tracked and controlled, to within an inch of its life. Thus it is predictable and necessary that there first be some notorious cases, causing public outrage (such as this Equifax hack), that are somehow connected with or blamed on Bitcoin. Such cases become the public motivation for "doing something" about this "excess freedom" enjoyed by some supposed "bad guys."

    "They" have been doing this like, since forever.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Meanwhile, crypto is coming to your browser.

    A couple of days ago, Coindesk posted this exclusive interview of Ian Jacobs, head of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s payments activity.

    Based on this, Tom Luongo posted this article Hold Tight – Google’s Coming for Your Cryptos on his blog. Luongo's article was also reposted on Zerohedge.

    In Luongo's interview, we learn that the major browsers, such as Chome, Firefox, Microsoft's Edge, and Apple’s Webkit, are expecting to have wide spread deployment of payment methods based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Payment Request API using crypto-currencies by the middle of next year, 2018.

    Tom Luongo trusts Google about as much as I do, writing of this news:
    Quote I don’t trust either Apple or Google at all. The news from Coindesk about Apple and Google developing a payment API on the heels of multiple avenues of officaldom cracking down on cryptocurrencies is enough to give you whiplash.

    The last thing anyone should want is for their cryptos to be held in their browser knowing that all code developed in the U.S. is subject to government intelligence oversight.

    This is absolutely a Trojan Horse designed to look like it legitimizes cryptos like Bitcoin but immediately puts them at risk of seizure by anyone with malicious intent.
    The Big Boyz are absolutely moving in on crypto. I have no doubt that this was their plan all along, as documented for example in the 1998 NSA paper I presented in my opening post on this thread.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    the main issue for anyone who is aware of the current debt based financial system is a matter of somehow preserving life gained wealth during this inevitable transition period. so one would finally get that bank balance is not wealth as such. therefore, the long awaited run on precious metals which are still highly undervalued is well overdue. property out of cities are also good investment with developed self sufficient infrastructure. crypto imho is good to possess as some sort of wealth after 'the shock'. its time to hedge accordingly..

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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Morbid (here)
    property out of cities are also good investment
    Nothing that is routinely purchased using debt, which certainly includes most property (real estate) is a good buy right now.

    That's because lower interest rates directly cause higher purchasing prices. The winning bid for real estate usually comes from someone who can get the biggest mortgage, which is directly a function of their income, and inversely a function of interest rates. In other words, I could afford to pay almost twice as much for a house at 4% than I could at 8%, because the monthly payments for a given mortgage would be almost half as much.

    The fundamental cause of the rise in the value of real estate over the last few decades has been the decline in interest rates.

    This trend of the last 40 some years is now reversing.

    Land and housing that you own free and clear, and that you are willing to risk not being able to sell for anything like what it would cost to purchase at present, is fine ... we all like having a place to live.

    But such is a dreadful "investment" at present.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    In the short term I believe the $3,000 run up this year in bitcoin pricing has more to do with traders and investors (including the Chinese government) looking for a hedge against the weaker US dollar.

    I wrote about this today.
    When in doubt, do the next right thing.
    My blog: http://grayseconomy.com

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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Stepping back a couple of steps, for a bigger picture, one can see that it is not just financial, monetary and other legal property transactions that are going "on the Internet".

    Martin Armstrong posted this long term cycle chart on his website earlier today: Dark Age v Renaissance:
    Notice that we still have another 15 years until 2032.95 (mid-December of 2032, in Armstrong's notation), before the final peak of this round of "Internet" technology and Globalization of Economy to manifest.

    There's more to this cycle than might meet the eye. It includes:
    • Information, news, history, science and other knowledge sharing (and hiding) moves to the Web.
    • Social media and formation of social groups moves to the Web (picture the popular images of young people out for a walk, or sitting at a meal, each of them focused on their handheld phone.)
    • Financial, monetary and other legal property transactions move to distributed blockchain ledgers (this thread's topic).
    • Remote control, robotics, asteroid mining, driverless cars and such.
    • 3D printing using a variety of exotic materials (1. super strong "muscle" tissue, 2. high strength metal alloys, ...).
    • Likely, but still obscured for now, dramatic improvements in energy technology.
    • With these energy technology improvements, also comes a major reworking of physics and astronomy.
    • I also expect a related revolution in medical/health care, consigning the current allopathic, pharmaceutical "standard of care" to the dust bin of history.
    • Genetic cloning and manipulation, using DNA manipulating technology to design and fabricate the complex proteins essential to form the bodies of living beings.
    • Dramatic improvements, including far above light speed capacity, in the technology of inter-planetary, inter-stellar transportation.
    This technology boom does not 3D printing of the more complex computer circuits, such as used in the microprocessor CPU's within all our computers. Those require multi-billion dollar fabrication plants to make, and I expect will continue to require such, for the coming decades.

    But 3D printing, once a wide array of materials is available (my above two muscle and metal alloy links were posted just in the last day or two), combined with these other technology advances, will publicly enable the real expansion of human civilization beyond just this one planet (unless we rather literally blow it up and get sent back to the stone age, to try again.)

    A global financial, monetary, and legal property transaction and record keeping is essential, to either humanity's future success, or to its imprisonment for a thousand years. I hope to live long enough to see how this seems to be playing out, and to do what little I can to make for a better future for us.
    Last edited by Paul; 21st September 2017 at 10:08.
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  13. Link to Post #87
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Then stepping forward a couple of steps (rather than backwards, as in my previous post just above), the following graphic, posted at Illinois Partners with Evernym to Launch Birth Registration Pilot (IllinoisBlockChain.tech) provides an idea of what might "go on the blockchain".

    A wide variety of record keeping, covering most aspects of our life, ends up being suitable data to store on distributed blockchain ledgers. Essentially, blockchains running on a collection of distributed servers owned by diverse interests replace present day backend SQL databases, each of which runs on a server controlled by a single corporation, government or other such institution.

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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Well, here's confirmation of the ideas I have been developing in this thread from a place I did not expect it.

    Yesterday, one Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, made the following speech at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) roundtable discussion held in London on 20 Sept 2017.

    I have added some bold markings, and provide just some excerpts of the speech below. The entire speech may be found on the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/review/r170921d.htm . What I have been calling distributed blockchain ledger technology is what Carl-Ludwig Thiele calls below Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

    =============
    From Bitcoin to digital central bank money - still a long way to go

    Ladies and gentlemen

    I am delighted that the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum has invited me to share my thoughts with you here today. The OMFIF - an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment - has made quite a name for itself. Independence, especially, but also freedom from political responsibility, is a precious asset.

    London has always been one of my favourite destinations, and it is an ideal venue for discussing new virtual currencies. Not just on account of London's immense importance as a financial centre, but mainly because of the City's understanding of markets and market trends.
    ...

    1. Trust - the foundations underpinning our money

    That quote is taken, as I said, from Bagehot's book Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market, in which he also mentions the main questions facing the financial system:

    "Credit means that a certain confidence is given, and a certain trust reposed. Is that trust justified? And is that confidence wise? These are the cardinal questions. To put it more simply, credit is a set of promises to pay; will those promises be kept?"

    That brings us to the nub of the matter. Money, ladies and gentlemen, is all about trust. The key to a stable currency is trust.

    The original promise of Bitcoin was to forge a "trustless" payment system - that is, one that required no trust. I quote from Satoshi Nakamoto's paper from 2008 (Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System):

    "What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party."

    I feel that too little attention is being paid to Nakamoto's primary goal of constructing a groundbreaking, trustless electronic payment system which, like cash, would facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. At the same time, Nakamoto was looking to create a currency which was not based on trust. This aspect - forging a new currency that does away with central banks - has become a major talking point in the current debate. I have come here today to explain why a trustless currency is not feasible, and I will also argue that the merits of blockchain can be harnessed more readily with trustworthy institutions than without.
    ...

    The bulk of our money - central bank money and commercial bank money - is a claim on either the central bank or a commercial bank.

    Every euro in cash and every euro in credit balances in TARGET2represents a liability for the Eurosystem. And the euro is backed by the Eurosystem with its constituent central banks, one of which is the Bundesbank.

    Unlike consumer or durable goods, central bank money does not have any consumption or utility value. And the issuing central bank's credit quality and integrity is reflected in the value of its currency. The value of a currency, then, hinges on trust in the central bank.

    Not just that: the issuer - so in the euro's case, the Eurosystem - takes collateral from its monetary policy counterparties as a "deposit" for providing euro currency. That indirectly anchors the euro in the real economy.

    Virtual currencies, by contrast, have no issuer, no footing in the real economy. No one has to redeem them. They are a fabrication and propagate according to a fictitious set-up in virtual systems which, in some cases, can be altered or newly created at the whim of a small group of participants. What is more, their governance regime is opaque, if not to say obscure - not to mention the fact that the identity of the participant or participants - no one knows for sure how many there are - behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto remains shrouded in mystery.

    Virtual currencies are exchanged in the same way as goods, but they have no intrinsic value of their own. That is undoubtedly one reason why their value is highly volatile. Over the long term, that naturally also exposes Bitcoin holders to the risk of total loss. For us, Bitcoin is not money, it is a speculative plaything. The great number of sometimes dubious initial coin offerings is a clear indication that Bitcoin is more of a funding instrument.
    ...

    For us, Bitcoin's most important contribution is the underlying blockchain technology, or to put it more broadly, distributed ledger technology (DLT). This technology could help boost efficiency in payment and settlement processes.

    That is why we have been looking at this technology from three different perspectives. First, the Bundesbank develops and runs major payment and settlement systems, often in conjunction with other central banks, and in this context we explore innovative technical capabilities which can contribute to their stability and efficiency.

    Second, the Bundesbank acts as a catalyst to forge improvements in payment operations and settlement structures. The better the Bundesbank grasps the practical implications of technologies or processes, the more forcefully it will be able to present its arguments, which always aim to preserve the stability and enhance the efficiency of payment and settlement systems.

    Third, the Bundesbank monitors the stability of systems and tools used in the field of payments and settlement. Being able to gauge the relative merits of state-of-the-art technology is a key skill in this regard. That is why the Bundesbank - much like other central banks worldwide - has been putting a great deal of thought into DLT, even though this technology is still very much in its infancy.

    Potentially, distributed data storage means that DLT can simplify reconciliation processes associated with complex work-sharing value added chains. DLT is seen as having disruptive potential since it generally allows transactions to be carried out directly - that is, without intermediaries.

    Developed originally for the virtual currency Bitcoin, DLT will nonetheless require extensive modifications if it is to be adapted to the needs of the financial sector. For one thing, the legal framework as it stands requires participants to be identifiable, transactions to be kept secret from third parties, and transactions to be settled with finality.

    For another, transaction throughput needs to be high. That said, some of the consensus mechanisms, as they are known, absorb so much time and energy that efficient settlement seems barely possible. Furthermore, they require substantial additional data transfers, which adds to the costs.

    For comparison purposes, the Bitcoin network, at its peak, settles roughly 350,000 transactions worldwide every day, and given its current configuration, appears to be running at almost full capacity. The German payment system alone, meanwhile, processes more than 75 million transactions on average every business day, according to the data for 2016.
    ...

    Once real transactions come into play, a real point of reference is needed. You can trade a house on the blockchain in the form of a virtual token. But on the blockchain, that tells you nothing about whether the house even exists, whether it has the features it is said to possess, and whether it belongs to the seller in the first place. To verify all those things, there needs to be a trustworthy outside third party.

    The basic matter of a participant's personal identity needs to be verifiable outside the blockchain. Only then can we conduct real transactions with that participant.

    That is why I feel that the purported goal of settling transactions without trustworthy third parties is a pie in the sky proposition.

    All in all, we are highly sceptical about the extent to which DLTcan be put to use in the financial sector. Given the current state of the art, it is somewhat unlikely that DLT will become a widely used application in individual and retail payments.

    In the field of securities settlement, though, the shrinking processing times and reconciliation costs might prove to be a more important factor and suggest that DLT does have its uses.
    ...

    Central bank-issued digital currency would rank alongside cash and credit balances with the central bank as another form of central bank money, and it would also need to be posted as a liability on the central bank's balance sheet.

    There are several technical options in terms of the form this would take. Transfers could be value-based (like cash) or account-based (like deposits), anonymous or registered, its use could be restricted - in terms of amount or payment purpose, say - and it could be remunerated or, like cash, earn no interest.

    The specific design dictates not just how far the supposed benefits of DLT-based central bank-issued digital currency will come into play, but also the macroeconomic repercussions, which also need to be factored into any overall verdict on its merits.

    Arguably, the most important question here concerns who exactly should be allowed to use central bank-issued digital currency, or, to be more specific, whether central bank-issued digital currency should be issued to non-banks as well. Because if that were the case, we would probably see substitution effects between the different forms of money. Confining its use to the settlement of transactions among banks, on the other hand, would not involve any substantial changes over the status quo.
    ...

    In a nutshell, the title of my speech today: "From Bitcoin to digital central bank money - still a long way to go" sums up the status quo of our considerations.

    The road to a digital central bank - assuming there would be any benefits in the first place - would be a very lengthy one. At present, there is not even a recognised basic blockchain. Major consortiums are developing different types of basic blockchains, each with their own particular features. Not all of them can be used in the financial sector.

    At the same time, applications for payment and settlement systems are being developed on these shifting sands. There is a lot going on in this field. Technology has been advancing at a pace unseen in the past decades.
    =============

    I share Carl-Ludwig Thiele's doubts about the long term value of Bitcoin. I agree with him that a key issue, even at present, with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin is the trustworthy connection between the cryptographically secured story told on some blockchain, with the real world.

    As in his excellent analogy, just because some blockchain says I own some house at a particular address of a particular description doesn't mean that there even is any such address, much less a house there of that description, much less that I have any ownership rights over that house in the "real world" (say the eyes of that county's real estate records keeper, that county's sheriff, and whomever might actually be residing there now.)

    I agree with his emphasis on "trust", and take that to be a "polite" way of referring to the fundamental basis of our present and I anticipate future monetary system. We have, and shall continue to have, a "credit based" monetary system. Money is lent into existence, in exchange for a loan document (mortgage, IOU, whatever) promising to pay the sum back with interest according to the terms specified. Any such exchange of present value (the money lent now) for future value (the debt payments promised in return) depends on trust, that the future payments or collateral will be provided when promised, with the real value promised.

    I do expect a larger role for distributed blockchain ledgers in the future than Bundesbank's Carl-Ludwig Thiele expects, but that's because I expect a more profound change in our global monetary system. That change will partially disempower the current banks (local, national and central), corporations and governments. It will do this in part by means of global transaction and record keeping mechanisms that use distributed blockchain ledgers to surplant the closely held databases presently held within each such bank, corporation or government today. This will empower whatever global entities have the secret codes and tools needed to surveil and control these distributed ledgers

    I am expecting that not only will our personal identities and a wealth of associated information (see my Post #87, just above) go "into the cloud, onto the blockchain", but so will the identities and a wealth of associated information of banks, corporations and governments, large and small.

    I would not expect a Bundesbank spokesman to speak publicly at this time of such broad reaching changes however. Whether he would agree with my bolder, long term, forecasts in private with trusted colleagues ... I could only speculate.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    The Big Boyz are absolutely moving in on crypto. I have no doubt that this was their plan all along, as documented for example in the 1998 NSA paper I presented in my opening post on this thread.
    Lynette gets into the cryptocurrency thing @ ~ 10:30

    The Economic Reset Has Been Planned By The Central Banks
    & Is Happening Right Now: Lynette Zang

    ( Sep 27, 2017)

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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by turiya (here)
    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    The Big Boyz are absolutely moving in on crypto. I have no doubt that this was their plan all along, as documented for example in the 1998 NSA paper I presented in my opening post on this thread.
    Lynette gets into the cryptocurrency thing @ ~ 10:30

    The Economic Reset Has Been Planned By The Central Banks
    & Is Happening Right Now: Lynette Zang
    A couple of weeks ago, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) published a paper that does an excellent job of explaining the concepts behind such terms as blockchains, crypto-currencies, and distributed ledger technologies (DLT's).

    The "money flower" that Lynette Zang speaks of at 15:42 in the video that turiya posted above comes from this BIS paper (see "Graph 3" and "Box B").

    Here is this BIS paper: Central bank cryptocurrencies.

    If you want to understand these terms and concepts, I heartily recommend the above BIS paper, especially the first half of it.

    (Of course this BIS paper is missing some of the "debt-money", "elite bastard controlled", "conspiracy theories" that "tin foil hat nutcases" such as myself would inject ... but one would not expect any different.)
    Last edited by Paul; 2nd October 2017 at 00:46.
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  21. Link to Post #91
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    .
    I've been missing a key source of the "transformative power" behind reshaping cryptocurrencies to be more an instrument of our oppression, and less an instrument of our freedom.

    I have long been an active participant in Unix (since the late 1970's), Open Source Software (since the mid 1990's) and Linux (since the late 1990's). The last few years I have watched, with some dismay, as the dominant Linux distributions have been coopted by an overly complicated, overly entangled, ever changing, and essentially inscrutable system management and administration package called "Systemd", that resembles in my view Microsoft Windows. Such software disenfranchises classical Unix/Linux engineering by imposing on almost all users a huge package with deep tenticles into many of the critical subsystems that make up a working Linux installation. The list of buzz-word compliant "features" grows, making nice power point slides for corporate customers and users, but the robust, redundant and resilient infrastructure, that was formed over decades by various subject matter experts with high standards of engineering is systematically destroyed. Security from attacks and compromise by sufficiently well funded adversaries, such as state actors, becomes increasingly impossible. Systemd development was led by Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers, of Red Hat. Red Hat has become successful in the Linux business by selling Linux service contracts to large corporations. Red Hat's business model benefits from making Linux harder for corporations to administer, thus requiring more expensive service contracts. Systemd represents a triumph of corporate interests over the solid engineering using a robust assembly of relatively independent components with stable and understandable interfaces. Those of us who find this unacceptable are left abandoning all the major Linux distributions (which all now use Systemd, after several years of ugly "political" infighting) such as Red Hat, Suse, Debian and (Red Hat's) Centos, and using one of the remaining niche distributions such as BSD Unix or Gentoo that still support non-Systemd configurations.

    ... only a few old Unix/Linux farts such as myself will even understand very well what I wrote in the overly long and almost unreadable paragraph above.

    ... meanwhile Linux and associated open source software has been coopted by (or through the machinations of) some large corporations.

    This is now happening to cryptocurrencies.

    And Red Hat is once again, indirectly, involved.

    The lead developer of the coming SedgwickX2 hard fork, Jeff Garzik, currently Co-Founder & CEO of Bloq, got his start working as a Linux developer and evangelist at Red Hat for over ten years.

    Recently Garzik has:
    • been a key figure in some serious political infighting amongst Bitcoin developers and miners,
    • been expelled from the Bitcoin Core repository on Github,
    • been a lead developer behind a major upcoming Bitcoin hardfork called Sedgwik2X,
    • been nominated to the corporation dominated Linux Foundation Board of Directors, and
    • has announced that his company Bloq is developing a cryptocurrency called "Metronome" to integrate bitcoin and the other alt-currencies.
    The political infighting works in these operations (SystemD or what Garzik is now involved with) rather like the riots and false flag operations work in the worlds of political and police power ... they create the chaos that provides the smoke screens and opportunities for a "new order". That "new order" usually ends up benefitting whomever were the more powerful, but more hidden, players, behind the scenes.

    In short ... it's not just the government control and regulation that will become a dominant force in the cryptocurrency world. It's also the corporate world.

    Thanks to my earlier involvement with similar corporate cooption operations, such as Systemd, against Linux, the pattern of what is now unfolding before us in the Bitcoin world looks more familiar, and disheartening, to me than it would to most observers.

    There are powerful entities behind and working through both governments and corporations. These entities seed the world with "wonderful new ideas" (books, gun powder, democracy, personal computers, the Internet, open source software, and now cryptocurrencies), and then become the dominant force controlling the use, distribution, "messaging", and structure of these items, in order to further oppress, not to free, humanity.
    Last edited by Paul; 26th October 2017 at 17:54.
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  23. Link to Post #92
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    .
    Now for a simpler, but still important post.

    It doesn't matter how secure and robust Bitcoin trading on the blockchain is.

    That's a "walled garden", a world of deliberately hard to compute chains of crypographically signed data blocks. In and of itself, it's worth essentially nothing.

    What makes Bitcoins worth something is their value in trade for goods and services or as payment for debts and taxes, whether this is so directly or is so by exchanging the Bitcoins for whatever passes as money at the moment. By "money" here, I mean whatever actually is accepted as payment for goods and services, at that time and place.

    Unless Bitcoin can be exchanged for actual goods and services, or is accepted for payments of debts and taxes, or can be exchanged for "real" "money" that can be used those ways, then trading Bitcoin amongst ourselves is less interesting than trading Topps Bubblegum Baseball Cards amongst ourselves:
    At least with Topps, I get a piece of bubblegum and a small piece of thin cardboard ... which might have some small bit of utility somewhere.

    A few random looking bits of data on one of my computer disk drives have essentially no utility to me whatsoever, simply in their physical or electrical form.

    All the hype about how secure Bitcoin is, how it's core has never been hacked, overlooks totally useless Bitcoin bits are, unless and until one can do something real with them in the real world. Whether or not that can be done is subject to the substantial control of the most powerful controllers (that small club that we're not a member of, as George Carlin described it.)

    Most of the hype and explanations and enthusiasm for Bitcoins at present is energized by the dramatic rise in the price of Bitcoin, from hundreds of Bitcoin per Dollar, to thousands of Dollars per Bitcoin, in the last few years.

    As with tulip bulbs (long before my time) and dot-com stocks (which I saw up close), that hype will evaporate once that unwarranted valuation collapses.

    Meanwhile, the underlying technologies of blockchains, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will take on a variety of useful roles, in future integrated global infrastructure encompassing broad economic, monetary, financial and legal property areas.

    In short: mathematical machinations within the walled gardens of a cryptocurrency blockchain only matter in the "real" world to the extent that those operating in or controlling the "real" world let it matter.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    .
    Here's an image to go with my last post just above.

    Sugnall Walled Garden
    The Bitcoin blockchain is a walled garden.

    It does not matter much outside of the garden how elegant are the mathematical machinations within the garden, if nothing significant comes and goes from that garden without the consent of the powers that be.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Kerry Cassidy, Clif High and Paladin on Bitcoin, in which Kerry and Clif have a dustup and Paladin is left in the corner:

    ROUNDTABLE : CLIF HIGH, PALADIN & KERRY : CRYPTO CURRENCIES & THE FUTURE


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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    My post on Friday about the curious price swings in bitcoin from Asian trading moving to the west
    When in doubt, do the next right thing.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Callista (here)
    Kerry Cassidy, Clif High and Paladin on Bitcoin, in which Kerry and Clif have a dustup and Paladin is left in the corner:

    ROUNDTABLE : CLIF HIGH, PALADIN & KERRY : CRYPTO CURRENCIES & THE FUTURE
    Interesting .

    A couple of thoughts I had while listening to this:

    ===

    The dominate currency of a period, be it gold, dollars or bitcoin, is whatever currency is created and mandated by the dominate energy provider of the period. When the dominate energy was human labor, then the nation able to marshall the largest number of laborers to mine for gold (and build pyramids), or later in the case of Rome, to conquer other nations and steal their gold, determined the coin of the realm.

    Presently, the biggest controller of energy is the Anglo-American empire, with both its (weakening) grip over the petroleum markets and it military and intelligence dominance (which depend on dominating the primary energy sources) that enables it to steal other nations gold and oil.

    The nation with the largest number of bitcoin miners is China. They depend on abundant and low cost electrical energy.

    So it's perhaps not so important just what "backs" a currency, whether that be seashells, gold, silver, the full faith and credit (and perfidy) that backs the US Dollar, or the cryptographic magic that backs Bitcoin.

    Rather it seems more important which nation controls the production and its energy supplies. In each case the nation controlling the dominant energy source controlled the dominant currency.

    ===

    A key question in considering a monetary system is how new money is introduced into the system, and what primary activities are funded with that new money.

    During times of gold or silver currencies, new money was introduced by digging in the ground to find small amounts of that mineral, and the choice of new activities (be it a army or a palace) was made by conscripting or enlisting the labor needed to accomplish that effort.

    During recent centuries, new money is lent into existence, and the choice of new activities to receive the largest share of that lending has been made by some combination of big banks, big corporations, and governments.

    ===

    So, considering these perspectives and how they have been answered in the past, how will they be answered in coming years?

    ===

    Dominant control of energy supplies is already shifting to the Iranian, Russian, Chinese axis, with Saudi Arabia and OPEC apparently shifting allegiance to that side as well.

    Longer term, but I expect still within my lifetime, there will be a fundamental shift in the dominant source of energy from petroleum to zero-point energy based on a fundamental shift in the "accepted" theories of physics, matter and energy.

    The nation with the largest number of young students of technical, engineering and scientific subjects will have an upper hand here. This nation would seem to be China, which thanks to their one child policy introduced in 1979, and to much technical, engineering and scientific schooling since, now seems to have by far the largest "army" of capable young men available to solve a large number of such challenges, as human civilization converts from hydro-carbon burning civilization confined to a single planet, into a zero-point energy fueled civilization reaching out to the planets and the stars.

    Thus the nation controlling the largest amount of energy will increasingly be China.

    However I don't expect that China's role will resemble the role of the US in this last hundred years. The US role included providing the military muscle that was needed to conquer any holdouts to a more unified global political, economic, and monetary system. If you didn't like the world was run, and you amassed enough power to be dangerous to the coming new world order, you got blown up "real good."

    Rather I expect that we will first see the demise of King Dollar, which will cease to be world's "reserve currency" required to settle major debts, to pay for oil, and to settle other trades.

    This will transition into a basket of the major national currencies, with the exchange rates between them controlled by the hidden hands of our financial overlords.

    Cryptocurrency technology will be woven into this fabric, as both the increasingly dominant preferred method of payment, and as a major store of wealth, similar to the role of gold for millenia.

    ===

    Notice that one key way of funding new ventures, "Initial Public Offerings (IPO's)", of recent decades is already being replaced by "Initial Coin Offerings (ICO's)". This disenfranchies the big banks and their use of lending to determine where "new money" would go. Individuals choose to invest in ICO's, without any third party awareness or control.

    Whether or not crypto-currencies will displace other forms of bank controlled lending and stock offerings is not clear to me yet. I do not see yet how this could be done in the case where the threat of legal, armed or other such overwhelming force must be available to enforce debt contracts, be that on an individual purchasing a TV on a rent-to-own contract, or on a large nation, funding it's social, military and intelligence programs with more debt than it can repay.

    Perhaps there will develop such a way. Perhaps in a few more decades, contracts on the Ethereum blockchain will become enforceable in a court of law, be that a local county court, or an International Court in the Hague. I doubt it, but much has unfolded so far that I once doubted.

    ===

    In short, the dominant paradigms of our monetary system change over the centuries, as the dominant locus and nature of the control of dominant technologies and energy supplies changes.

    We are entering into another major change, in all these areas.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    The Big Boyz are absolutely moving in on crypto. I have no doubt that this was their plan all along, as documented for example in the 1998 NSA paper I presented in my opening post on this thread.
    can't say i believe but i always think that way, when i heard about bitcoin and read into around 2011-12 and consider it was part of the elites and never believe the could crash as mainstream media keep saying since then.

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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    So it's perhaps not so important just what "backs" a currency, whether that be seashells, gold, silver, the full faith and credit (and perfidy) that backs the US Dollar, or the cryptographic magic that backs Bitcoin.
    This touches on something that is fundamentally important.

    ... something that our common day economics gets fundamentally wrong.

    What matters with currencies is not their "backing", but their sources, flows and sinks.

    The reason that in the last century the United States horded a large proportion of the world's gold, and now China and Russia are hording a large proportion of the world's gold, is NOT to fund a gold backed currency.

    By a gold, silver, seashells or whatever backed currency I mean a paper receipt or metal coin that is represents a specific amount of gold or other precious metal or commodity. Either the issuer of the currency guarantees the paper receipt to be interchangeable for that amount of the precious metal or commodity, or guarantees that the coin actually contains that much of the precious metal.

    Even in the best of times, gold (or other) backing doesn't hold up forever. Either more receipts are printed than the amount of gold or whatever the issuer holds, or the issuer starts debasing the coin, replacing the gold or silver with cheaper metals.

    We (as private individuals) haven't had anything resembling silver backing for the US Dollar since the Coinage Act of 1873, also known as the "Crime of '73", and we haven't had gold backing for the US Dollar since the Gold Reserver Act of 1933. International trade imbalances with the US could be settled in gold until Nixon "closed the gold window" on August 15, 1971.

    I am very confident that we are not returning to any genuine gold or silver backed currencies. No major currency will be fully interchangeable with gold or silver.

    For one thing, physical money (whether paper or metal) simply doesn't work for a near-instantaneous, global, Internet based, economy, much less for a solar system wide economy. A billion bits can travel at the speed of light (2/3's of a billion miles per hour) for the energy costs of sending a few silver coins at perhaps 2/3's of a thousand miles per hour. That's a million times more information in one million'th of the time.

    A million times more, a million times faster ... such massive technology jumps are massive game changers. This is an absolutely insurmountable advantage for cryptocurrencies.


    Let me get back to "gold backed currencies" for one more point. In my view, the reason that China and Russia are accumulating gold and silver is rather like the reason that major churches build magnificant cathederals, major governments build magnificent capital buildings, and major corporations build magnificent headquarters buildings. They are marks, symbols, of power. China is starting to facilitate some settlement of trade imbalances with gold; nations selling oil to China can get paid in Yuan, and then purchase gold futures contracts on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, to end up with gold (give or take some details that I might be confused on.) But as with the US Dollar between 1933 and 1971, such trade settlement is done "at the convenience" of the nations holding the gold.

    In short, gold is mark of power. It is not, and will not be, the backing of any major currency.

    The "gold bug" view that we are returning to gold backed currencies, which will require gold to rise in "price" (it's exchange rate with Dollars or some other currency) to rise perhaps ten fold is (in my present view), flat wrong.

    ===

    As I said above, what does matter is not what "backs" a currency, but its sources, flows and sinks.

    ===

    My view on money is a fundamentally different view than our current popular understanding of money. The current popular view deplores that governments "print trillions of dollars without backing". That does not matter. That is, in my view, a distraction, a convenient misconception that is widely encouraged. In short, it is propaganda.

    In my view, what matters is
    • how money is introduced into the economy (the sources),
    • how and where money moves about the economy (who has it that wants to buy something from someone else who wants the currency in exchange, the flows), and
    • how money is extracted back out of the economy (such as via debt payments to banks, tax payments to governments and ultimately fraudulent bond sales by governments, the sinks).
    This matches our actual personal experience.

    We all know that we get money by working, collecting social benefits or investing. We all know that we sometimes choose to engage in such money earning activities because we want that money as a convenient, often necessary, means to purchase essentials such as food, clothing, shelter (and in my case at least, computers), to purchase non-essentials, and to pay for rent, taxes, utilities and debt, depending on our circumstances.

    Cryptocurrencies will fundamentally disrupt the current national currency, US Dollar dominated, world monetary system, just as phones have disrupted our means of interpersonal communication over the last century, and the Internet has disrupted our means of information sharing over the last few decades.

    Phones have not entirely replaced actually meeting with someone in person and talking to them, face to face. The Internet has not entirely replaced sending documents through a postal service or trading in and sharing books through libraries and book stores. However phones and the Internet have become the major, sometimes even dominant, means of doing such things, and enable a wealth of heretofore unimagined possibilities.

    There is a rapidly growing "web" of ways to exchange between various forms of cryptocurrencies, to exchange between cryptocurrencies and traditional national debt-money based currencies, and to buy and sell goods and services directly using cryptocurrencies. Currently, traditional money is flowing rapidly into cryptocurrencies due to their rapid rise in price and due to their potentially disruptive effect on our monetary systems.

    No doubt for the next few decades, the landscape will be a sometimes confusing, often shifting , mix of crypto and traditional currencies. In a similar vein, the residential real estate mortgage lending market continued to rely on moving paper documents around for a long time, just replacing typewriters and postal services with PC's and fax machines. Only in recent years has Quicken's Rocket Mortgage moved a major portion of this business to the Web.

    I expect that I will continue to pay the rent on my trailer park lot, my electric bill, and any bank debt or government taxes that I might owe in US Dollars, not in Bitcoin or Ethereum cryptocurrencies. But an increasing portion of my financial transactions will be conducted in cryptocurrencies that operate largely outside of the control grid of our bankster overlords.

    Currently, cryptocurrencies are introduced as payments to those engineering and operating cryptocurrency systems. They flow world wide through a variety of software and other wallet applications and devices, and they are presently mostly removed from the system through the loss of the private key needed to access some particular quantity of them. The algorithms that create new cryptocoins limit the number created, reducing pressure on the need to aggressively remove them from circulation, and their more flexible pricing enables them to adapt to expanding or shrinking economic environments more easily than traditional currencies.

    Governments will struggle endlessly to control and surveil the crytocurrency transactions of "their" citizens, but they will not in general succeed. Those individuals, corporations and governments borrowing money from the banks will continue to be held in some bondage to their lenders, including doubtlessly requiring traditional currency to make debt payments.

    In earlier posts, I doubted that our bankster overlords would abandon control of humanity by controlling the source of our money ... by making debt-money, lent into existence, the dominant form of money at all levels, individual, corporate and government. Nor will the US government abandon its long time quite successful effort to tax the incomes of most Americans.

    However while I still think that our bankster overlords will continue to attempt to do this, I now expect that a growing portion of the economy will operate outside the monetary reach of the conventional debt-money national currencies created by our bankster overlords.

    ===

    Clif High's latest interview, with Time Monk Radio, inspired some of (not all of) my above thoughts. His interview is well worth a listen, especially if you enjoy listening to him, as I do:
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    A billion bits can travel at the speed of light (2/3's of a billion miles per hour) for the energy costs of sending a few silver coins at perhaps 2/3's of a thousand miles per hour.
    But such is NOT Bitcoin, which takes substantial energy per transaction, as reported in this Zerohedge article: Each Bitcoin Transaction Uses As Much Energy As Your House In A Week:
    Quote Expressing Bitcoin's energy use on a per-transaction basis is a useful abstraction. Bitcoin uses x energy in total, and this energy verifies/secures roughly 300k transactions per day. So this measure shows the value we get for all that electricity, since the verified transaction (and our confidence in it) is ultimately the end product…This averages out to a shocking 215 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of juice used by miners for each Bitcoin transaction (there are currently about 300,000 transactions per day). Since the average American household consumes 901 KWh per month, each Bitcoin transfer represents enough energy to run a comfortable house, and everything in it, for nearly a week. Since 2015, Bitcoin's electricity consumption has been very high compared to conventional digital payment methods. This is because the dollar price of Bitcoin is directly proportional to the amount of electricity that can profitably be used to mine it.
    I anticipate that when (not if, rather when) Bitcoin prices fall sufficiently, then almost no miner who is actually mining Bitcoin in an effort to make a profit will be able to earn enough to pay their electric bill.

    When that happens the Bitcoin market may come to resemble some of our present day stock, bond, precious metal markets, which are substantially controlled by various deep state agents, working for other purposes than turning a profit.

    Such a market can apparently exist for a rather long time, until either the supporting deep state agents collapse themselves, or until they decide to "short" that particular market and crash it.

    In such markets, both technical analysis and fundamental analysis are frustratingly useless, if not outright dangerous. Conspiracy analysis and insider knowledge seem to have more potential in gaining a profitable edge.

    ===

    When profits are outlawed, only those outside of, or above, the law will profit.
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    Default Re: Bitcoin, the war on cash, Clif High, and the NSA's long range plans

    In the era of cryptocurrencies, we are at a time similar to that of Hayes dialup modems and Bulletin Board Systems such as Compuserve and Prodigy, in the late 1980's and the early 1990's. Bitcoin now may be the equivalent of Compuserve then.

    We have not yet seen the cryptocurrency equivalent of America Online (AOL), which came to dominance in the later 1990's and spread online communication to a much wider audience. We are still further away from the cryptocurrency equivalent of the introduction of the Netscape web browser (which later evolved into Mozilla's Firefox) and which helped establish the world-wide HTML based connectivity over the Internet that is now known as "The Web."
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