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"Then they fight you..."

Disclaimer: This post represents my personal opinions based on the evidence that I have studied over the last few months. Feel free to attack me if you truly have absolutely nothing better to do with your time, but my belief is that in a free society, we should all be allowed to speak our opinions.
Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
It is my personal opinion that we have officially entered the "then they fight you" phase of Bitcoin.
But here's the thing: many people don't realize that the "fighting" phase doesn't always involve restrictive government regulations, weapons, gunfire, chaos, deaths, militarized police bashing down your door in the middle of the night, tasers, drones, prison sentences, loud sirens, and news coverage.
Instead, the "fighting" phase is usually quiet & subtle & understated. The "fighting" phase almost always involves censorship/disinformation, and it almost always involves money. For example, this is how Big Pharma took over all the medical schools in America 100 years ago -- they simply gave millions of dollars to each medical school in exchange for a seat on the Board of Directors to "make sure that their money was being well spent." Eventually, that turned into "we just want to help guide the agenda here". Which eventually turned into, "This is the ONLY accepted agenda, and we will sue you/censor you/discredit you if you dare speak otherwise." This is covered extensively in the 9-part documentary series "The Truth About Cancer".
In my opinion, Bitcoin is one of the most important freedom revolutions in all of human civilization, so our opponents are not going to sit back idly and watch it happen. As I mentioned above, one of the key tactics used by governments, banks, and other entities who wish to control people's freedoms is extremely simple & quietly effective: simply give enormous amounts of money to the people who are leading the revolution towards freedom... in exchange for control over the agenda.
So, $21 million to the "core developers" via Blockstream here, another several million to the "core developers" via MIT over there... and before you know it, the entire freedom revolution has been completely derailed. G. Edward Griffin talks about this age-old tactic (which has been used for hundreds of years) around the 26 minute mark in this video on freedom: https://vimeo.com/122392195
So the fighting against Bitcoin is being done as "quietly" as possible:
Satoshi's original vision was stated right in the title of his white paper: "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." I know that the vast majority of us are here today (and are super-excited about Bitcoin) because of that vision. I, for one, would NEVER have gotten involved in Bitcoin AT ALL if that white paper was entitled "A Bank-to-Bank Electronic Settlement System".
And Satoshi was smart enough to allow for the protocol to evolve in a decentralized way, perhaps because he recognized that the protocol might try to be "hijacked by pirates" (to use G. Edward Griffin's words from his excellent video on freedom -- around the 10:13 mark). And it is my personal belief & opinion that the "core" protocol has currently been "hijacked by pirates".
The good news is that Satoshi gave us a way to take back control from the pirates. Satoshi envisioned that there would be many different implementations of the Bitcoin protocol, and that the ecosystem would "vote" on the implementation that they believe is best suited for them.
But, as G. Edward Griffin says in his video, we cannot "gain control of the ship again" by pleading with the pirates to respect our wishes, by politely asking the pirates to be fair, by requesting that the pirates reveal their funding sources, by going on a letter-writing campaign to the pirates to ask them if they would please change their direction, by taking the pirates to court, or by begging the pirates to listen to reason and come to a consensus that benefits all of human society. We also cannot gain control of the ship again by doing nothing & waiting for someone else to solve the problem.
The pirates are ALREADY IN CHARGE and they will NOT STEP DOWN. The hijacking has ALREADY taken place IN THE PAST. The hijacking is complete.
No, the only way that we can regain control of the ship again is by (drum roll please) recapturing control of the ship again!! So how do we do that?? In the exact same way that it was captured from us in the first place: through cooperation, coding, information, and voting with our software. The pirates have cooperated together to code a vandalized/bastardized version of Bitcoin, and they have controlled the information sources to get the ecosystem to vote against their own interests with their software.
So now, we must all come together and cooperate together to continue coding a version of Bitcoin (XT??) that sticks to the true vision of Bitcoin. And we must all cooperate together to spread honest information out there through the most powerful voices out there who can further spread the information as far as possible on our behalf (e.g. Coinbase). And then, the entire ecosystem will finally be educated enough to vote FOR their interests instead of AGAINST their interests.
Yes, it was a bad decision for Gavin to hand over his keys to the current pirates, but if Bitcoin can't survive this first batch of pirates, then it can't survive future pirates that might be even stronger than this ragtag bunch of vandals.
Satoshi gave us the power to bring freedom and liberty to all... may we all work together to hopefully see his vision come to fruition.
submitted by scotty321 to btc [link] [comments]

How might legacy financial institutions respond to or attempt to subvert Ethereum?

TLDR; I'm imagining what the conflict might look like when industries are faced with "porting" themselves to Ethereum or other block chain technologies vs. going out of business. Many industries which already deal in virtual assets seem vulnerable to this threat in the fairly short term, and banking seems like the one with the best tools for fighting back by attempting to subvert and control the behavior of crypto currencies.
I've been thinking this evening about the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and some of the corporations involved in it - particularly JP Morgan.
Having recently read G. Edward Griffin's "The Creature from Jekyll Island" - an excellently researched history of the Federal Reserve system in the United States and the involvement of J Pierpont Morgan and some of Europe's most influential bankers in both its creation and its manipulation of the political landscape to the financial advantage its owners, I have to confess that I am a bit concerned about their participation this early in the growth of the Ethereum network.
Why, you might ask? After all, even if they buy in to the platform, that doesn't mean they can dictate how it behaves, does it? I think they might have an incentive to try.
But before we talk about that, let's talk about why they would want to dictate how the network behaves.
Since the invention of banking, bankers have competed with and cooperated with corporations and political figures to reserve the best role in the world economy for themselves. They own the money store. And since the advent of fractional reserve banking, that essentially means they have a license to print and sell imaginary credits in exchange for loan collateral - real things of value.
So they trade an inherently worthless set of numbers (not even cash or coin these days - just numbers invented by selling debt to a government) for fees paid in the same scrip which only has value because people don't really understand how the game works. And then they also have the chance to acquire fabulous prizes both by spending the large fees they make for administering the scheme during the good times and by picking up assets at fire sale prices after the debt they issue crashes the system and the only ones left with money are... the ones who can print it at will.
And even better, if you can convince politicians to set things up so that even the members of the cartel who get caught standing when the debt bomb explosion ends the game of financial musical chairs don't get hurt because the taxpayers who suffer the most due to the monetary debasement the system uses to reward its elite are forced to pick up the tab.
Good work if you can get it - and they spent a lot of time and effort getting it. They don't want to give it up. But Ethereum is a technology which lets people build more efficient and more trustworthy versions of banking, governance, and corporate services. The global socio-economic network of central banking and the politicians and corporations who serve and benefit from that network were built on horse and buggy era collaboration technology. By comparison, blockchain technology is the automobile.
These aren't stupid people (well, not all of them). Some of them understand this. They realize that not porting their business to the blockchain isn't any more of a realistic option than not porting to the web was fifteen or twenty years ago. If you don't do it, then someone else in your industry will, and the capabilities and economies of the platform will allow them to take your market share away completely - eventually.
The rules of the game are port or be "Amazoned," or in this case, "Ethereumized." The platform capabilities it provides adopters are too disruptive to compete against in a marketplace of services. For service providers, it's a case of evolve or die.
So smarter bankers should realize that:
1 - The legacy system they have benefited from for so long is showing its age and is now a house of cards, ready to fall under the increasing stress of the debt load we are piling on top of it.
2 - An industry of "horse and carriage drivers" doesn't have a profitable skill set to offer in the age of the automobile. In other words, when everyone can trust their bank because they are their own bank, and we don't need 3rd parties (especially ones who have abused their position in the legacy economy to disproportionately benefit themselves) sitting in the middle of transactions to make sure strangers don't cheat each other - then why do we need bankers?
After all, banks don't really need to manipulate anything tangible in order to function. In the age of electronic fiat money, they already exist in virtual space - it's just a private virtual space in which they control the rules - the primary ones being the rules that allow them to invent new credit into existence.
So if another platform can manage that virtual space in a provably fair way, without the overhead of paying a bunch of bankers, then all you need is the right set of deployed smart contract code to completely virtualize the industry and to free it from the private "reserve" the bankers colluded with government regulators to create as their engine of profit.
Uber's business model is also at risk for the same reason. Though Uber does manage capital assets - the cars their drivers use to transport customers to and fro, those assets are provided at no cost to Uber by their labor force. Again, nice work if you can get it.
But Uber exists in the legacy economy. It's a .com, not a .eth. So it spends a lot of money trying to not get sued. There's an address and named ownership which can be censored because the organization is centralized, and so it spends lots and lots of investor money trying to survive and spread into tightly regulated markets.
Decentralized ride sharing won't have that problem. Once you finish virtualizing the industry into code and allowing the providers of the labor and capital - the drivers - to maximize their earning by running the best ride sharing code on the blockchain, and you offer customers the most convenient service technology can deliver at the best price, then why do you need an Uber anymore?
See the trend here? Any company which deals in a market artificially protected by regulation (including governance itself) is extremely vulnerable to decentralized virtualization because the Dapp version of that service should be strongly preferred by rational consumers. Industries which do manage tangible capital assets may be able to resist "porting" for longer than their 'protected virtual' comrades, but eventually crowd-funded Dapp's will accumulate the capital required to "Ethereumize" those industries too.
So there are a lot of industries that are facing an existential decision right now, and I suspect that many of them know it, because the people running those industries didn't get to where they are by being stupid. So what is the strategy a rational, survival and profit seeking corporation would choose?
For those industries which can "port" themselves onto Ethereum, I think the optimal strategy is to get there first. Companies in industries which aren't yet easily automated via smart contract and robotics will be able to operate with tremendously more efficiency when their ledgers and supply chains are managed via smart contracts, and the ones who make that transition first and are well managed will have a great chance of dominating their industry and benefiting from its eventual monopolization and commoditization via automation and virtualization.
But banks and governments and some corporations are already done for from an evolutionary standpoint right now. Any day, the "right" Dapp might get uploaded and transform their segment of the economy so radically and so rapidly that the legacy versions of those industries simply disappear. What if you opened a bank and no one showed up to ask for a fiat loan? What if you threw an election and no one voted because the institution was no longer relevant? For those entities, the rational decision might be to fight. And how would they fight? By attempting to control and then subvert the network.
Here's where proof of stake comes in. The market capitalization of all crypto currencies are, in early May of 2017, still minuscule compared to the cash reserves of some of the world's largest corporations, not to mention the fiat resources central banks could bring to the fight if they decided to, which we might imagine (or to be safe, should imagine) they would.
How could they deploy that capital to disrupt and gain control over crypto currencies? In the case of a proof of work network, they might try to bribe or more subtly influence developers, miners, or users to support courses of action which could stall development or make the network vulnerable to takeover.
I'm not saying that AXA is doing this to Bitcoin via Blockstream, because I think Hanlon's razor may be sufficient to explain the impasse in Bitcoin's improvement. But then again, if that were what were happening, I also wouldn't be surprised, because what sort of future does a multinational insurance company see for itself in a blockchain based economy? Like banking and ride-sharing, insurance is another industry which is almost completely virtualized already. Decentralized prediction markets can and hopefully will quickly become the "automobile" to the insurance industry's "horse and buggy." So who knows? I certainly don't.
Once Ethereum has transitioned to proof of stake, what concerns me a bit is that banks and governments might at some point be tempted to offer insane amounts of fiat money to secure enough stake in the network to subvert or censor it. The amount of money they have available vs. the amount of money which would cause the head of just about every crypto investor to swoon with the thoughts of the windfall profits they could make by selling for fiat seems to balance in favor of bribery for control being a viable option.
If a central bank were to initiate buys of Ethereum starting tomorrow with sufficient volume to drive the price of each coin to $1000 or $10,000, I don't know about you, but I would personally have a hard time 'hodling' my entire stack. If $10,000 per token were a high enough fiat price to gain a controlling interest in the stake - perhaps a central bank (or a cartel of them) would be willing to throw a little less than a trillion dollars at the problem.
Or maybe not. Of course, bankers might realize that this strategy won't work, because as soon as they try to censor the network or stall its development, the community could just fork away. But that also might be disruptive, so I'm wondering if there might not be a way to allow the protocol to exploit a would be 51% attacking coalition's mutual distrust among its members.
I haven't really though through the game theory of how that might work, but I think it's something interesting to contemplate.
Oh, and incidentally, since the ability to fork makes a hostile takeover of the Ethereum blockchain by banking interests a strategy not likely to succeed, what is the optimal strategy for the financial elite at this point, one might ask?
My best guess is this: for the wealthy and powerful members of the legacy economy the best strategy for preserving their wealth in the next economy is to buy in early, heavily, with their personal assets - then buy in via the commercial, financial, and political organizations they control.
Just relax and let this happen. More thoughtful management is taking over. Thanks for getting us this far, warts and all, but we've got it from here. Resist if you'd like, but by doing that, you won't just end up on the wrong side of history, more importantly, you'll end up on the wrong side of the fork.
submitted by BadLibertarian to ethereum [link] [comments]

51% Attack and Defense in Proof of Stake

TLDR; I'm imagining what the conflict might look like when industries are faced with "porting" themselves to Ethereum or other block chain technologies vs. going out of business. Many industries which already deal in virtual assets seem vulnerable to this threat in the fairly short term, and banking seems like the one with the best tools for fighting back by attempting to subvert and control the behavior of crypto currencies.
I've been thinking this evening about the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and some of the corporations involved in it - particularly JP Morgan.
Having recently read G. Edward Griffin's "The Creature from Jekyll Island" - an excellently researched history of the Federal Reserve system in the United States and the involvement of J Pierpont Morgan and some of Europe's most influential bankers in both its creation and its manipulation of the political landscape to the financial advantage its owners, I have to confess that I am a bit concerned about their participation this early in the growth of the Ethereum network.
Why, you might ask? After all, even if they buy in to the platform, that doesn't mean they can dictate how it behaves, does it? I think they might have an incentive to try.
But before we talk about that, let's talk about why they would want to dictate how the network behaves.
Since the invention of banking, bankers have competed with and cooperated with corporations and political figures to reserve the best role in the world economy for themselves. They own the money store. And since the advent of fractional reserve banking, that essentially means they have a license to print and sell imaginary credits in exchange for loan collateral - real things of value.
So they trade an inherently worthless set of numbers (not even cash or coin these days - just numbers invented by selling debt to a government) for fees paid in the same scrip which only has value because people don't really understand how the game works. And then they also have the chance to acquire fabulous prizes both by spending the large fees they make for administering the scheme during the good times and by picking up assets at fire sale prices after the debt they issue crashes the system and the only ones left with money are... the ones who can print it at will.
And even better, if you can convince politicians to set things up so that even the members of the cartel who get caught standing when the debt bomb explosion ends the game of financial musical chairs don't get hurt because the taxpayers who suffer the most due to the monetary debasement the system uses to reward its elite are forced to pick up the tab.
Good work if you can get it - and they spent a lot of time and effort getting it. They don't want to give it up. But Ethereum is a technology which lets people build more efficient and more trustworthy versions of banking, governance, and corporate services. The global socio-economic network of central banking and the politicians and corporations who serve and benefit from that network were built on horse and buggy era collaboration technology. By comparison, blockchain technology is the automobile. These aren't stupid people (well, not all of them).
Some of them understand this. They realize that not porting their business to the blockchain isn't any more of a realistic option than not porting to the web was fifteen or twenty years ago. If you don't do it, then someone else in your industry will, and the capabilities and economies of the platform will allow them to take your market share away completely - eventually.
The rules of the game are port or be "Amazoned," or in this case, "Ethereumized." The platform capabilities it provides adopters are too disruptive to compete against in a marketplace of services. For service providers, it's a case of evolve or die.
So smarter bankers should realize that:
1 - The legacy system they have benefited from for so long is showing its age and is now a house of cards, ready to fall under the increasing stress of the debt load we are piling on top of it.
2 - An industry of "horse and carriage drivers" doesn't have a profitable skill set to offer in the age of the automobile. In other words, when everyone can trust their bank because they are their own bank, and we don't need 3rd parties (especially ones who have abused their position in the legacy economy to disproportionately benefit themselves) sitting in the middle of transactions to make sure strangers don't cheat each other - then why do we need bankers?
After all, banks don't really need to manipulate anything tangible in order to function. In the age of electronic fiat money, they already exist in virtual space - it's just a private virtual space in which they control the rules - the primary ones being the rules that allow them to invent new credit into existence.
So if another platform can manage that virtual space in a provably fair way, without the overhead of paying a bunch of bankers, then all you need is the right set of deployed smart contract code to completely virtualize the industry and to free it from the private "reserve" the bankers colluded with government regulators to create as their engine of profit.
Uber's business model is also at risk for the same reason. Though Uber does manage capital assets - the cars their drivers use to transport customers to and fro, those assets are provided at no cost to Uber by their labor force. Again, nice work if you can get it.
But Uber exists in the legacy economy. It's a .com, not a .eth. So it spends a lot of money trying to not get sued. There's an address and named ownership which can be censored because the organization is centralized, and so it spends lots and lots of investor money trying to survive and spread into tightly regulated markets.
Decentralized ride sharing won't have that problem. Once you finish virtualizing the industry into code and allowing the providers of the labor and capital - the drivers - to maximize their earning by running the best ride sharing code on the blockchain, and you offer customers the most convenient service technology can deliver at the best price, then why do you need an Uber anymore?
See the trend here? Any company which deals in a market artificially protected by regulation (including governance itself) is extremely vulnerable to decentralized virtualization because the Dapp version of that service should be strongly preferred by rational consumers. Industries which do manage tangible capital assets may be able to resist "porting" for longer than their 'protected virtual' comrades, but eventually crowd-funded Dapp's will accumulate the capital required to "Ethereumize" those industries too.
So there are a lot of industries that are facing an existential decision right now, and I suspect that many of them know it, because the people running those industries didn't get to where they are by being stupid. So what is the strategy a rational, survival and profit seeking corporation would choose?
For those industries which can "port" themselves onto Ethereum, I think the optimal strategy is to get there first. Companies in industries which aren't yet easily automated via smart contract and robotics will be able to operate with tremendously more efficiency when their ledgers and supply chains are managed via smart contracts, and the ones who make that transition first and are well managed will have a great chance of dominating their industry and benefiting from its eventual monopolization and commoditization via automation and virtualization.
But banks and governments and some corporations are already done for from an evolutionary standpoint right now. Any day, the "right" Dapp might get uploaded and transform their segment of the economy so radically and so rapidly that the legacy versions of those industries simply disappear. What if you opened a bank and no one showed up to ask for a fiat loan? What if you threw an election and no one voted because the institution was no longer relevant? For those entities, the rational decision might be to fight. And how would they fight? By attempting to control and then subvert the network.
Here's where proof of stake comes in. The market capitalization of all crypto currencies are, in early May of 2017, still minuscule compared to the cash reserves of some of the world's largest corporations, not to mention the fiat resources central banks could bring to the fight if they decided to, which we might imagine (or to be safe, should imagine) they would.
How could they deploy that capital to disrupt and gain control over crypto currencies? In the case of a proof of work network, they might try to bribe or more subtly influence developers, miners, or users to support courses of action which could stall development or make the network vulnerable to takeover.
I'm not saying that AXA is doing this to Bitcoin via Blockstream, because I think Hanlon's razor may be sufficient to explain the impasse in Bitcoin's improvement. But then again, if that were what were happening, I also wouldn't be surprised, because what sort of future does a multinational insurance company see for itself in a blockchain based economy? Like banking and ride-sharing, insurance is another industry which is almost completely virtualized already. Decentralized prediction markets can and hopefully will quickly become the "automobile" to the insurance industry's "horse and buggy." So who knows? I certainly don't.
Once Ethereum has transitioned to proof of stake, what concerns me a bit is that banks and governments might at some point be tempted to offer insane amounts of fiat money to secure enough stake in the network to subvert or censor it. The amount of money they have available vs. the amount of money which would cause the head of just about every crypto investor to swoon with the thoughts of the windfall profits they could make by selling for fiat seems to balance in favor of bribery for control being a viable option.
If a central bank were to initiate buys of Ethereum starting tomorrow with sufficient volume to drive the price of each coin to $1000 or $10,000, I don't know about you, but I would personally have a hard time 'hodling' my entire stack. If $10,000 per token were a high enough fiat price to gain a controlling interest in the stake - perhaps a central bank (or a cartel of them) would be willing to throw a little less than a trillion dollars at the problem.
Or maybe not. Of course, bankers might realize that this strategy won't work, because as soon as they try to censor the network or stall its development, the community could just fork away. But that also might be disruptive, so I'm wondering if there might not be a way to allow the protocol to exploit a would be 51% attacking coalition's mutual distrust among its members.
I haven't really though through the game theory of how that might work, but I think it's something interesting to contemplate.
Edit: Oh, and incidentally, since the ability to fork makes a hostile takeover of the Ethereum blockchain by banking interests a strategy not likely to succeed, what is the optimal strategy for the financial elite at this point, one might ask?
My best guess is this: for the wealthy and powerful members of the legacy economy the best strategy for preserving their wealth in the next economy is to buy in early, heavily, with their personal assets - then buy in via the commercial, financial, and political organizations they control.
Just relax and let this happen. More thoughtful management is taking over. Thanks for getting us this far, warts and all, but we've got it from here. Resist if you'd like, but by doing that, you won't just end up on the wrong side of history, more importantly, you'll end up on the wrong side of the fork.
submitted by BadLibertarian to ethtrader [link] [comments]

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