Proof of Work: The Heart of BitCoin and Money - CoinGeek
Reasons why NANO fails and will keep failing until some things change
Dear NANO community, This is going to be a long post where I will discuss why NANO under performed and will keep under performing in this bull run unless some things change. I'm going to start up with straight facts with the famous quote of Floyd Mayweather: "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't lie". If you feel offended by some of this, facts don't care about your feelings. Technical Analysis In the time where BTC Dominance fell from peak of 74% to 56% and keeps falling, NANO has moved from its low of 0.0000640 sats to a price of 0.0000950 sats. That is about 50% gain if you bought on the absolute low, but looking at the monthly chart, we can see that NANO has basically been in the range of 0.0001400 sats to 0.0000750 sats ever since July of 2019 (for more than 2 years). https://charts.cointrader.pro/snapshot/zaXzV The all time high of NANO was 0.0028, so this price is currently 96% down in terms of BTC . https://charts.cointrader.pro/snapshot/tTF4J With this price NANO is falling out of top 100 cryptocurrency based on market cap. My thoughts: Considering that entire altcoin market is moving and that it keeps reaching new highs, this is very concerning for NANO and one can only ask themselves why does NANO keep falling behind? Why does on every Bitcoin pump price falls hardest and on every day when other altcoins go up 30%, NANO only goes up 10%. Reasons why NANO is lagging on the market:
Reason 1. - Lack of adoption where NANO can be utilized to its fullest
We all know that NANO has near instantaneous transactions and is fee-less which is why most of us fell in love with this cryptocurrency. Problem is that it has little to no adoption. What does it matter if NANO is feeless, when you don't have an exchange that will make a NANO/USD conversion for 0%. Who cares if STR, XRP and other fast coins have like 0.01$ fee if either way, exchange will take 1% or more fees from you.? If XRP has better exchange, they can easily be more cost efficient than NANO because of this problem. Devs need to be much more proactive rather than sit and wait while entire market is eating you alive. Proposed solution: Nano needs to invest more in marketing and in making a deal with exchange that will be liquid enough and provide little to no fees on NANO.
Reason 2. - There is no reward for NANO holders
I am a NANO holder ever since 2018 and it's been a long ride with constant buying at the end of each month with average buy of 2$ when I look at it totally. This is not that bad considering NANO's massive fall and what some other holders had to go through. Let's remind ourselves again, NANO has 0% inflation. And yet NANO's price doesn't grow. Where as other cryptocurrencies have 5-10% inflation and they are over-performing NANO massively. NANO holders get no rewards from holding NANO which is a big problem. People call this an advantage and I somewhat agree, but NANO holders need to be rewarded with something, because crypto space doesn't care about inflation. Proposed solution: Introduce POS (Proof of Stake) with inflation of 5% where NANO holders will be able to stake their NANO and receive 5% more NANO each year. You can do this or make it 6% and after each 2 years, there is halving of inflation. Imagine how coins get hyped when their rewards per year get cut in half. NANO has 0% inflation and it doesn't get any hype. It's already scarce, but people fail to see it.
Reason 3. - NANO is refusing to adapt with the current market
Current bull run has been ignited with DEFI and because people see that they can earn up to 3-5% daily income just for holding ERC20 token like BAT, BAL, LINK etc. There's even been introudect WBTC (Wrapped Bitcoin) and WETH (Wrapped Ethereum), which means that people can hold their cryptocurrency which they would hold even if there weren't any rewards and they get 3-5% daily income + the chance of the DEFI coin actually pumping by 1000+% which many of them have done in the past month. Because of all of this people are massively buying ERC20 tokens just to get these gains daily. What has NANO do to interact with this entire DEFI space? Absolutely nothing. Did they try to introduce wNANO (wrapped NANO) like Ethereum and Bitcoin did? No. They just kept working on some other bullshit even-though protocol is in of itself 99% perfect and working. They keep focusing their energy on technology when technology is already better than anything else on the crypto market. NANO is currently the best fast cryptocurrency and it is not even close. Proposed solution: Devs need to start focusing energy on things that matter and which will help the price and not dump their stash and blindly look how everything else keeps growing.
Reason 4. - No one is making money of NANO market
This is similar to reason number 2 but it has to be said separately. Just ask yourself, who benefits of BTC markets? Miners. Who benefits of any other POS market? All of the holders. And then with this money you can finance devs which will work on the currency and will by this raise the price and the whole cycle repeats itself. So all of these things have in common that people are making money of doing something for the ecosystem. On one hand resources get paid, on the other people that are loyal to the project. NANO has one of the best and largest communities in cryptocurrency and numbers confirm this, yet there is no special way for any of us to benefit of of this. Everything is open source and people make everything for free. Proposed solution: Introduce mechanism so that community members can earn money of holding NANO. Conclusion: Nano is an amazing currency, but there are many things that need to fall in place in order for it to stop falling behind the market. It's sad that investing in what is called a "safest" altcoin Ethereum, would've made you much better gains than even buying NANO on the all time low would. This post is meant to be constructive criticism and to in the end open peoples mind on current problem NANO has in the space. Please share this post so more people and hopefully devs can see it and so that we all as a community can start working towards our goal of NANO becoming one of most utilized cryptocurrencies in the world.
Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!
If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.
Caller ID spoofing It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you. Email spoofing The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created. SMS spoofing SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.
The most common scams
The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part) The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
The scammer sends you a very real looking, but fake, check. Sometimes they'll call it a "cashier's check", a "certified check", or a "verified check".
You deposit the check into your bank account, and within a couple of days your bank makes some or all of the funds available to you. This makes you think that the check is real and the funds have cleared. However, the money appearing in your account is not the same as the check actually clearing. The bank must make the funds available to you before they have cleared the check because that is the law.
For various and often complicated reasons, depending on the specific story line of the scam, the scammer will ask you to send someone some of the money, using services like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Walmart-2-Walmart. Sometimes the scammer will ask for you to purchase gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, Steam, etc) and give them the codes to redeem the gift cards. Some scammers may also give you instructions on how to buy and send them bitcoins.
Within a couple of weeks, though it can take as long as a month, your bank will realize that the check you deposited was fake, and your bank will remove the funds that you deposited into your account and charge you a bounced check fee. If you withdrew any of the money from the fake check, that money will be gone and you will owe that money to the bank. Some posters have even had their bank accounts closed and have been blocked from having another account for 5 years using ChexSystems.
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent. Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it. Bitcoin job scams Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins. Email flooding If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere. Cartel scam You will be threatened by scammers who claim to be affiliated with a cartel. They may send you gory pictures and threaten your life and the lives of your family. Usually the victim will have attempted to contact an escort prior to the scam, but sometimes the scammers target people randomly. If you are targeted by a cartel scam all you need to do is ignore the scammers as their threats are clearly empty. Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse. Employment certification scams You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist. Craigslist fake payment scams Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule. Craigslist Carfax/vehicle history scam You'll encounter a scammer on Craigslist who wants to buy the vehicle you have listed, but they will ask for a VIN report from a random site that they have created and they will expect you to pay for it. Double dip/recovery scammers This is a scam aimed at people who have already fallen for a scam previously. Scammers will reach out to the victim and claim to be able to help the victim recover funds they lost in the scam. General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter. Credit card debt scam Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement. The parcel mule scam A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods. The Skype sex scam You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious. What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account. The underage girl scam You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer. What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money. Phishing Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious. The blackmail email scam part 5: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5/ PSA: you did not win a giftcard: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/fffmle/psa_you_did_not_win_a_gift_card/ Sugar scams Sugar scammers operate all over the internet and usually come in two varieties: advance-fee scams where the scammer will ask for a payment from you before sending you lots of money, and fake check style scams where the scammer will either pull a classic fake check scam, or will do a "bill pay" style scam that involves them paying your bills, or them giving you banking information to pay your bills. If you encounter these scammers, report their accounts and move on. Google Hangouts Google Hangouts is a messaging platform used extensively by all kinds of scammers. If you are talking with someone online and they want you to switch to Hangouts, they are likely a scammer and you should proceed with caution. Publishers Clearing House scams PCH scams are often advance-fee scams, where you will be promised lots of money after you make an initial payment. You will never need to pay if you win money from the real PCH. Pet scams You are looking for a specific breed of puppy, bird, or other pet. You come across a nice-looking website that claims to be breeding them and has some available right now - they may even be on sale! The breeders are not local to your area (and may not even list a physical location) but they assure you they can safely ship the pet to you after a deposit or full payment. If you go through with the payment, you will likely be contacted by the "shipper" who will inform you about an unexpected shipping/customs/processing fee required to deliver your new pet. But there was never any pet, both the "breeder" and the "shipper" are scammers, typically operating out of Africa. These sites are rampant and account for a large percentage of online pet seller websites - they typically have a similar layout/template (screenshot - example) If you are considering buying a pet online, some easy things to check are: (1) The registration date of the domain (if it was created recently it is likely a scam website) (2) Reverse image search the pictures of available pets - you will usually find other scam websites using the same photos. (3) Copy a sentence/section of the text from the "about us" page and put it into google (in quotes) - these scammers often copy large parts of their website's text from other places. (4) Search for the domain name and look for entries on petscams.com or other scam-tracking sites. (5) Strongly consider buying/adopting your pet from a local shelter or breeder where you can see the animal in person before putting any money down. Thanks to djscsi for this entry. Fake shipping company scams These scams usually start when you try to buy something illegal online. You will be scammed for the initial payment, and then you will receive an email from the fake shipping company telling you that you need to pay them some sort of fee or bribe. If you pay this, they will keep trying to scam you with increasingly absurd stories until you stop paying, at which point they will blackmail you. If you are involved in this scam, all you can do is ignore the scammers and move on, and try to dispute your payments if possible. Chinese Upwork scam Someone will ask you to create an Upwork or other freelancer site account for them and will offer money in return. You will not be paid, and they want to use the accounts to scam people. Quickbooks invoice scam This is a fake check style scam that takes advantage of Quickbooks. The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam. The blackmail mail scam This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail. Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse. Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on. Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum. Man in the middle scams Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to. Digit wallet scam A variation of the fake check scam, the scammer sends you money through a digital wallet (i.e. Venmo, Apple Pay, Zelle, Cash App) along with a message claiming they've sent the money to the wrong person and a request to send the money back. Customer service for these digital wallets may even suggest that you send the money back. However, the money sent is from a stolen credit card and will be removed from your account after a few days. Your transfer is not reversed since it came from your own funds. Cam girl voting/viewer scam You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories. Amateur porn recruitment scam You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer. Hot girl SMS spam You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card. Identity verification scam You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to. This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website. Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.
You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls. Tax Call You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world. Warrant Call Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards. [Legal Documents/Process Server Calls] Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number. Student Loan Forgiveness Scam Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program. Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam. Chinese government scam This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats. Chinese shipping scam This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators. Social security suspension scam You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information. Utilities cutoff You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin. Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same. Mexican family scam This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help. General family scams Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money. One ring scam Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.
Online shopping scams
THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Dropshipping An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer. Influencer scams A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products. Triangulation fraud Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer. Instagram influencer scams Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time. Cheap Items Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off. Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam. Scams on eBay There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month. Scams on Amazon There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items. Scams on Reddit Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online. Computer scams Virus scam A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.
Chinese Brushing / direct shipping If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings. Money flipping Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
https://preview.redd.it/al1gy9t9v9q51.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=b29a60402d30576a4fd95f592b392fae202026ca Hopefully any questions you have will be answered by the resources below, but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments. If you're quite technically-minded, the Zano whitepaper gives a thorough overview of Zano's design and its main features. So, what is Zano? In brief, Zano is a project started by the original developers of CryptoNote. Coins with market caps totalling well over a billion dollars (Monero, Haven, Loki and countless others) run upon the codebase they created. Zano is a continuation of their efforts to create the "perfect money", and brings a wealth of enhancements to their original CryptoNote code. Development happens at a lightning pace, as the Github activity shows, but Zano is still very much a work-in-progress. Let's cut right to it: Here's why you should pay attention to Zano over the next 12-18 months. Quoting from a recent update:
Anton Sokolov has recently joined the Zano team. ... For the last months Anton has been working on theoretical work dedicated to log-size ring signatures. These signatures theoretically allows for a logarithmic relationship between the number of decoys and the size/performance of transactions. This means that we can set mixins at a level from up to 1000, keeping the reasonable size and processing speed of transactions. This will take Zano’s privacy to a whole new level, and we believe this technology will turn out to be groundbreaking!
If successful, this scheme will make Zano the most private, powerful and performant CryptoNote implementation on the planet. Bar none. A quantum leap in privacy with a minimal increase in resource usage. And if there's one team capable of pulling it off, it's this one.
What else makes Zano special?
You mean aside from having "the Godfather of CryptoNote" as the project lead? ;) Actually, the calibre of the developers/researchers at Zano probably is the project's single greatest strength. Drawing on years of experience, they've made careful design choices, optimizing performance with an asynchronous core architecture, and flexibility and extensibility with a modular code structure. This means that the developers are able to build and iterate fast, refining features and adding new ones at a rate that makes bigger and better-funded teams look sluggish at best. Zano also has some unique features that set it apart from similar projects: Privacy Firstly, if you're familiar with CryptoNote you won't be surprised that Zano transactions are private. The perfect money is fungible, and therefore must be untraceable. Bitcoin, for the most part, does little to hide your transaction data from unscrupulous observers. With Zano, privacy is the default. The untraceability and unlinkability of Zano transactions come from its use of ring signatures and stealth addresses. What this means is that no outside observer is able to tell if two transactions were sent to the same address, and for each transaction there is a set of possible senders that make it impossible to determine who the real sender is. Hybrid PoW-PoS consensus mechanism Zano achieves an optimal level of security by utilizing both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake for consensus. By combining the two systems, it mitigates their individual vulnerabilities (see 51% attack and "nothing at stake" problem). For an attack on Zano to have even a remote chance of success the attacker would have to obtain not only a majority of hashing power, but also a majority of the coins involved in staking. The system and its design considerations are discussed at length in the whitepaper. Aliases Here's a stealth address: ZxDdULdxC7NRFYhCGdxkcTZoEGQoqvbZqcDHj5a7Gad8Y8wZKAGZZmVCUf9AvSPNMK68L8r8JfAfxP4z1GcFQVCS2Jb9wVzoe. I have a hard enough time remembering my phone number. Fortunately, Zano has an alias system that lets you register an address to a human-readable name. (@orsonj if you want to anonymously buy me a coffee) Multisig Multisignature (multisig) refers to requiring multiple keys to authorize a Zano transaction. It has a number of applications, such as dividing up responsibility for a single Zano wallet among multiple parties, or creating backups where loss of a single seed doesn't lead to loss of the wallet. Multisig and escrow are key components of the planned Decentralized Marketplace (see below), so consideration was given to each of them from the design stages. Thus Zano's multisig, rather than being tagged on at the wallet-level as an afterthought, is part of its its core architecture being incorporated at the protocol level. This base-layer integration means months won't be spent in the future on complicated refactoring efforts in order to integrate multisig into a codebase that wasn't designed for it. Plus, it makes it far easier for third-party developers to include multisig (implemented correctly) in any Zano wallets and applications they create in the future. (Double Deposit MAD) Escrow With Zano's escrow service you can create fully customizable p2p contracts that are designed to, once signed by participants, enforce adherence to their conditions in such a way that no trusted third-party escrow agent is required. https://preview.redd.it/jp4oghyhv9q51.png?width=1762&format=png&auto=webp&s=12a1e76f76f902ed328886283050e416db3838a5 The Particl project, aside from a couple of minor differences, uses an escrow scheme that works the same way, so I've borrowed the term they coined ("Double Deposit MAD Escrow") as I think it describes the scheme perfectly. The system requires participants to make additional deposits, which they will forfeit if there is any attempt to act in a way that breaches the terms of the contract. Full details can be found in the Escrow section of the whitepaper. The usefulness of multisig and the escrow system may not seem obvious at first, but as mentioned before they'll form the backbone of Zano's Decentralized Marketplace service (described in the next section).
What does the future hold for Zano?
The planned upgrade to Zano's privacy, mentioned at the start, is obviously one of the most exciting things the team is working on, but it's not the only thing. Zano Roadmap Decentralized Marketplace From the beginning, the Zano team's goal has been to create the perfect money. And money can't just be some vehicle for speculative investment, money must be used. To that end, the team have created a set of tools to make it as simple as possible for Zano to be integrated into eCommerce platforms. Zano's API’s and plugins are easy to use, allowing even those with very little coding experience to use them in their E-commerce-related ventures. The culmination of this effort will be a full Decentralized Anonymous Marketplace built on top of the Zano blockchain. Rather than being accessed via the wallet, it will act more as a service - Marketplace as a Service (MAAS) - for anyone who wishes to use it. The inclusion of a simple "snippet" of code into a website is all that's needed to become part a global decentralized, trustless and private E-commerce network. Atomic Swaps Just as Zano's marketplace will allow you to transact without needing to trust your counterparty, atomic swaps will let you to easily convert between Zano and other cyryptocurrencies without having to trust a third-party service such as a centralized exchange. On top of that, it will also lead to the way to Zano's inclusion in the many decentralized exchange (DEX) services that have emerged in recent years.
Where can I buy Zano?
Zano's currently listed on the following exchanges: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/zano/markets/ It goes without saying, neither I nor the Zano team work for any of the exchanges or can vouch for their reliability. Use at your own risk and never leave coins on a centralized exchange for longer than necessary. Your keys, your coins! If you have any old graphics cards lying around(both AMD & NVIDIA), then Zano is also mineable through its unique ProgPowZ algorithm. Here's a guide on how to get started. Once you have some Zano, you can safely store it in one of the desktop or mobile wallets (available for all major platforms).
How can I support Zano?
Zano has no marketing department, which is why this post has been written by some guy and not the "Chief Growth Engineer @ Zano Enterprises". The hard part is already done: there's a team of world class developers and researchers gathered here. But, at least at the current prices, the team's funds are enough to cover the cost of development and little more. So the job of publicizing the project falls to the community. If you have any experience in community building/growth hacking at another cryptocurrency or open source project, or if you're a Zano holder who would like to ensure the project's long-term success by helping to spread the word, then send me a pm. We need to get organized. Researchers and developers are also very welcome. Working at the cutting edge of mathematics and cryptography means Zano provides challenging and rewarding work for anyone in those fields. Please contact the project's Community Manager u/Jed_T if you're interested in joining the team. Social Links: Twitter Discord Server Telegram Group Medium blog I'll do my best to keep this post accurate and up to date. Message me please with any suggested improvements and leave any questions you have below. Welcome to the Zano community and the new decentralizedprivateeconomy!
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
I have been watching you for a while, you know. Wasn't sure whether to invest, but now I know that I must? (FUSION. Could have also prevented the Statera balancer hack?)
So this project caught my (and probably many other people's) attention at least once last year. Especially after the foundation had some of its funds stolen which saw the token's price tank massively. I kind of forgot about it until seeing it being veeeery low-key mentioned on TG again recently and it appears to have 5xed over the last few months, essentially returning back to its old price level, while still being relatively low cap. Also sitting nicely next to LTO (another actually professional, albeit slow-burning, project) on https://coinstats.network/, rising rapidly throughout the ranks over the last weeks. (The top three performers at the time of this post are VeChain, LTO, and FSN, as you can see at the right top.)
Anyway... I did some digging, and frankly, I feel like simply quoting Dejun Qian (leader of Fusion and also founder of BitSE, which later enabled the rise of VeChain), because he does an overall decent enough job at explaining the general gist behind Fusion -- a blockchain designed in particular with decentralized finance (DEFI) in mind:
"Fusion is targeting to be the infrastructure of digital finance. Only interoperability is not enough. TL+DCRM+QS solves finance problem entirely: exchange (QS) value across different systems (DCRM) and different time (TL). Our overall goal is to abstract away the complexity of defi or even being involved in defi, and offer just the benefits."
DCRM refers to their Decentralized Control Rights Management layer, which has been developed together with 4 world-leading cryptographers; allowing for decentralized custody of assets in finance (= e.g. a decentralized (custodian) bank?)
TL refers to Time-Locks; that is the time value extraction out of any type of asset by locking and borrowing their use; with Fusion in general allowing for the exchange of time value across different chains
Interoperability generally refers to the solving of the data silo problem (separated blockchains), with silos generally referring to isolated sets of data (e.g. different doctor offices each being a silo that cannot interact) and more... (Their biggest competitor today seems to be Wanchain, which, for example, doesn't allow truly decentralized private key generation the way Fusion's DCRM does. Amongst other things. I'm not 100% sure of both projects' pros and cons, however.)
...most of which (Time-Lock, DCRM and Quantum Swap) are patented. Although it should also be mentioned how the Telegram frequently questions the ability to enforce these patents. And depending on your personal outlook in regards to patents in the cryptospace, you could generally consider this a big negative point. Or, if you only care about money, a very positive one. With the latter likely aligning more with this sub's interests.
Anyway... Time-locking simply refers to you locking in any type of asset (real or digital) and then being able to lend it for some set amount of time (time-slice) without giving up ownership. This could have been useful in preventing, for example, the Statera Balancer hack, since you merely give up access to your asset for a certain amount of time while still retaining ownership yourself. E.g. you could have granted the Balancer 3 months of access to your assets. Whereas, had your assets been stolen by a bad actor within this time-frame as it happend in the Statera/Balancer case, you would still have received all of your assets back after these 3 months passed. No assets would have been lost on your end. So this mechanism, patented by Fusion, adds additional security. (Their Ticketed Proof of Stake (TPoS) mechanism works the same way -- You never risk actually losing your tokens forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX57OwpNNMA )(Also: You are also free to correct me in case this doesn't actually work with Balancer's mechanics.)
In general, the borrowing of the (front end; now to some point in the future) time-slice finds application in finance what bonds, futures, options, etc is concerned, again making fusion a great choice for DEFI. To again cite Qian:
"In today’s financial markets, institutions build financial instruments to extract time value from assets to meet market needs, such as bond, bank acceptance, futures, factorings… However, it is extremely expensive and inefficient. It takes days or even weeks to issue those financial instruments. Fusion innovated a way to extract time value from assets instantly, efficiently, costless in a fundamental and standard way. Anyone could build financial instruments by your own on fusion based on your assets. We call it “Time Lock” or “Time Slice”".
(If you're into this stuff, it's easy to just search for words such as "factoring" or "bank draft" or "clearing house" in the official Telegram channel https://t.me/FUSIONFoundation . Also in relationship to upcoming and borrowed FSN tokens, which can be combined to form whole FSN tokens.)
Another more concrete use-case would be, for example, the granting of access to a house's or car's digital lock without giving up direct ownership of these assets for a certain amount of time, after which said access will be returned to its owner. Additionally, it's also possible to resell parts of this access in case you no longer have any use for it. (E.g. if you license a software for 6 months, but suddenly decide to no longer have any use for it after a mere 2 months, you can resell the remaining 4 months that are left.)
Also worthy of mention might be some of the bigger Fusion-related DEFI (hype!) projects being built on the Fusion blockchain:
WeDefi, which aims to be, or allows for users to act as, a kind of decentralized bank; stream-lining lending/borrowing and other kinds of DEFI; will come as APP to the IOS and Play-Store for the Smartphone soon.
SMPCwallet. Will include DCRM dapps such as a multichain DEX, a multicustodial wallet, etc (fixing problems related to key exposure mentioned by Vitalik in an AMA linked later in this post)
Realio and YAD Capital issuing digitized assets to be tokenized on the FSN blockchain. Meaning securities, etc. Currently they're trying to raise a $5mm tokenized fund. (Also worth mentioning here is that SolidX, who have experience and SEC connections working on a Bitcoin ETF, are part of Fusion's DCRM Alliance)
And more. https://www.fusion.org/partnerships hovering over the links gives some input. xDLT is built on fusion, for instance, offering an interoperable form of etherscan. (To my understanding...)
And if you want to try out Fusion, you can sign up at WeDefi and play around with borrowed tokens and even earn full tokens by doing so. Take note, however, that only full tokens may be staked, should you plan to do so. ( https://www.wedefi.com/faq )
As for the FSN token value, it would appreciate simply by virtue of gas fees, staking, DCRM which can be licensed in exchange for 800k FSN, potential applications of time-locking relative to assets and the Fusion token (looking at safebet, for instance), etc... as Fusion is adopted. The staking ROI is currently at 23%. (I can't really make a prediction about the token's value development here, since the entire system and the potential applications really exceed my knowledge. And, being crypto, odds are that putting a price on it might be impossible for just about anyone.)
The best way of storing FSN is whallet, which can be used in conjunction with your Ledger's Ethereum app. (MyFusionWallet was experiencing synchronization problems the other day, but seems to be working perfectly fine again as of the time of this post.)
A relatively big negative point frequently mentioned by the community is the lack of marketing and the team losing its first-mover advantage, which is a concern the Fusion team has recently tried to address. As REN, for instance, which allows for but a portion of Fusion's use case such as an allegedly inferior version of DCRM and dark pools/clearing houses (and according to the Fusion community of course worse), has recently gone on a small bullrun of its own. Much to the chagrin of disillusioned Fusion bagholders. And I've personally also seen TrustSwap make an appearance, which appears to aim for the creation of a crosschain version of UniSwap much akin to AnySwap. (I'm not 100% sure about this, however.)
If you have any personal opinions, you are free to share them. Maybe you consider it obsolete in the future, especially if we do end up in a "one chain takes all" scenario? Alternatively you could be holding the belief that it can moon simply due to the #defi hype? Perhaps there's not enough marketing on the team's part? Or is FSN really under the radar, being ignored (and thus massively undervalued) for the time being only because the features offered by FSN are not yet fully appreciated in the still fledgling DEFI space, with ETH simply not being suitable for DEFI, and FSN suddenly making an appearance in the top 35 without anyone having noticed? Etc? Any disgruntled bagholders here who want to vent or add something I forgot? Now's your chance.
P.S.: All this is probably also a relatively superficial explaination that doesn't capture the project's value in a way people like Qian could explain it, especially what the use of time-slices (both front and back, and their combination), the long-term renting and valuation of front-slices, and the number of financial applications, is concerned... but I hope it serves as a good general overview, also what references to other DEFI projects is concerned. And it has taken off a bit recently, like many projects in this mini-bull run. So some people may no longer consider it low cap. But I'm still gonna post it so it doesn't go to waste. Lol. At the very least it might serve as general overview. That and the sub rules state "cryptos out of the top 100.")
Also disclaimer: I am holding a decently sized bag myself. (And I really hoped it wouldn't cross 70 cent so "soon," all things considered...)
Introduction This story starts with DCG and it’s relationship with Dr. Darren Tapp of ASU (Arizona State University). But Dr. Tapp does not stand alone, for there is a loose network of friends with a shared agenda, not only to make dash a regulator-friendly project but to wilfully weaken end-user privacy by upholding a principle of transparency-first. More than ever, society is engaged in a war on privacy. And when it comes to financial transactions, DCG has taken the position of transparency-first. In sharp contrast, many other projects in this industry are either improving end-user privacy (decred, tezos etc), or actively pursuing privacy first (monero, beam etc). As you may know, the scaling wars of the past revolved around block size, eventually giving way to “big blocker” projects like bitcoin cash and dash. By enforcing small blocks, Blockstream successfully syphoned off miner fees to the Lightning Network and it’s own Liquid Network. I believe we may be witnessing a similar event with dash. This time it’s not a scaling issue, it’s a privacy issue; transparency-first vs privacy-first. The Power of Inaction As many of you know, Dr. Darren Tapp is a research professor at ASU. And you may also be aware, in July 2019, the dash treasury paid ASU 345 dash for research into zero-knowledge proofs. Here’s an excerpt from the proposal along with the relevant link:
“This proposal seeks funding to renew our annual funding commitment to ASU’s Blockchain Research Lab and specifically to fund a research project which would investigate methods to apply zero-knowledge proofs to blockchain identities. It is possible Dash could leverage this research to apply zero-knowledge proofs to identity functions within the Dash network.” https://www.dashcentral.org/p/dash-core-group-research
To date, there has been zero feedback from this project and, so far, all requests for an update have resulted in silence, including it’s omission from the DCG quarterly call. I am particularly concerned by a seemingly gross contradiction. The result of this research into zero-knowledge proofs was to apply to blockchain identities but not to actual payments when they hit the dash blockchain. DCG and it’s proponents argue that privacy-first negates the ability to audit the chain for inflation. But if this was true, how can anyone argue with confidence that zero-knowledge proofs would only work with blockchain identities? It is, I say, a bit disingenuous to suggest it can work one way but not the other. A Tapp Perspective I now want to draw your attention to a recent interview between Joel Valenzuela and Dr. Darren Tapp on 8 May 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tikj0O0xphE Here is a particularly pertinent quote from Dr. Tapp:
@ 1:06:13 DT: “Well, I’ll just tell you my use case for dash, right. You’re talking about your use case. My use case for dash is, well, I’m not going to worry about the coffee guy thinking I have a whole bunch of money because I’m going to pay with my phone and I’m only going to keep a small amount on my phone, right? So that right there, they would have trouble you know, they have to go a few steps back and then they’re not even sure if it’s mine if there’s no Private Send. Um, if I don’t use Private Send. And if, let’s say, if I did want to take some money and put it into Coinbase. Well, if I don’t use Private Send and they’re asking “where’s the money came from?” - and that’s what they’re going to do - it’s going to be a little bit easier to say, “this is where it came from”, right?. I mean, I wouldn’t lie to them, I’d tell them the same thing no matter if I used Private Send or not, but I just think I’m going to have less problems with the bank and stuff if it wasn’t so obfuscated. So yeah, I think there’s a kind of, I think there needs to be room for both on chain. There needs to be.. I mean, I’m glad you’re enjoying Private Send. I think there are some improvements that can be made to Private Send. Umm, but I mean, there were some discussion of MimbleWimble and there is, no, we do not do that. No no no. But like, I mean, if you want to bring over some improvements, maybe start reading about the Cash Fusion that’s on the Bitcoin Cash. Umm, so err and like, I believe if you read Cash Fusion, their paper, I believe we can do Private Send in a way where the masternodes doesn’t know which output corresponds to which input. So, right now we trust that the masternodes aren’t paying attention, aren’t going to, you know… they’re... yeah I mean, and they have the word trust in it, they have a vested interest in the network working so that Private Send works the way it’s supposed to work. But, you know, at the same time, if you can do some small little cryptographic thing for no real cost on your processors and stuff like that, umm, why wouldn’t you? So that’s one thing I think that can be brought in. I think Cash Fusion also might do a better job of keeping the balance separate or something like that, but err., I would definitely be in favor of improving Private Send. Umm, but also at the same time, I’m glad that I’m given a choice if I want to use it or not. And pretty much anything when I’m interacting with the banking system, which I know you’re doing a fiat-free, so you don’t need to worry about that Joel.. but when you’re interacting with the banking system, the easier it is to explain to them, the better off, the easier time they’ll give you. That’s the way it is.”
In other words, Dr. Tapp’s priority is transparency-first for the benefit of the banking system. What I found particularly interesting was Dr. Tapp’s body language. While he was making the above statement, at 1:07:04 he says, “I wouldn’t lie to them [the bank]” and at this exact same moment he goes to touch his face and pulls back. This is a body language clue that he’s lying or somewhat anxious about saying this. This doesn’t mean he is actually lying because with body language you normally need multiple clues to be sure, but having watched it multiple times, I am personally more convinced than not that he was in fact lying or anxious. Dr. Tapp has outright rejected MimbleWimble, which is fine because MW is just one of several privacy enhancing technologies. But given the complete lack of feedback regarding zero-knowledge proofs from ASU. And given Dr. Tapp’s stance on transparency-first for the benefit of the banking system, I am wondering if there’s more to this than just one person’s opinion on the matter. The Yes Chain DCG asserts that dash has fewer privacy features than bitcoin. To make this case, considerable effort has been made to educate exchanges and regulators: https://blog.dash.org/dash-complies-with-the-financial-action-task-force-fatf-guidelines-including-the-travel-rule-a4c658efc89d According to DCG, the benefits of a transparency-first approach are: a) Transaction monitoring b) Identifying and blocking transactions that utilized mixing, or are in close proximity of known bad actors or sanctioned wallet addresses. c) Track anonymity enhanced convertible virtual currencies and wallet addresses sending more private transactions. d) This means that the VASP can choose to identify, block, and report on all transactions sent with Dash PrivateSend and can track and report on all the components of a mixed transaction. e) Reporting on your users’ blockchain transactions f) Establish an automated record keeping system for suspicious activity g) Activity reporting, customer due diligence, and currency transaction reporting. h) Track anonymity enhanced convertible virtual currencies and wallet addresses sending more private transactions. i) Customizable risk scoring Clearly, the scoring / ranking of coin histories (“risk assessment”) is producing a situation where some coins are more worthy than others. Let us also consider the recent initiative to get dash re-listed on Japanese exchanges at a cost of 428 dash: https://app.dashnexus.org/proposals/listing-dash-in-japan/overview Coinfirm-ation For a number of years, in pursuit of regulatory approval, DCG has been courting chain analysis companies. This started in August 2016 when Robert Wiecko (Dash COO) was invited to attend a bitcoin meetup in Warsaw where he met Pawel Kuskowski (CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm) . Here is the original proposal along with the subsequent Coinfirm interview with Amanda B Johnson: https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/dash-on-warsaw-block-on-25-08-2016.10211/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJOhIkeK3Ho Mr Wiecko’s original proposal failed to mention any relationship or intention to engage with chain analysis companies. Nor was it mentioned that this meetup itself was sponsored by Coinfirm. It comes with little surprise that Robert Wiecko does, in fact, have some experience working with compliance (see @ 27:05 of Amanda’s video).
“Btw, we have, both of us have a compliance background. My last job was with [inaudible] bank, before that within a banking compliance department”
“The thieves didn’t move the funds right away. A couple months after the initial theft, they started to move the funds to multiple wallet addresses across the world. During their hundreds of transfers, the thieves converted the Dash into other cryptocurrencies. We were able to track their every transfer, whether it was from one Dash address to another, or from a Dash address into another cryptocurrency. In the end, the thieves had transferred the stolen Dash into hundreds of different wallet addresses and exchanged the Dash for Bitcoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash. We collaborated with the FBI and traced the funds to an exchange in Asia. Through our connections with that exchange, law enforcement was able to obtain details of the account owner, which led to a bank account. By September 2018, three months after the theft, our tools and collaboration with law enforcement had identified a person involved in this theft. At that point, the victims, law enforcement and us at BlockchainIntel were hopeful there would be some recovery of stolen funds. But that’s when things slowed down. A lot.”
“Over the past few years, Iranian visa-holders resident in the United States have seen their bank accounts at U.S. financial institutions shuttered as a result of U.S. sanctions. The most recent case is that of Chase Bank, where NIAC has learned that Chase is closing the bank accounts of Iranian visa-holders. NIAC is deeply concerned that U.S. banks are denying financial services to Iranians in the United States on the basis of their national origin and calls on Chase Bank and other U.S. financial institutions to cease and desist from such discriminatory policies. At the same time, NIAC believes that the repeated nature of these account closures makes it incumbent on the U.S. administration to take immediate steps to provide clarity as to the scope of existing U.S. sanctions laws — none of which bar U.S. banks from opening and maintaining accounts for Iranian visa-holders resident in the United States.”
Great! Who needs banks when Iranians can use dash! But then again, what if the recent history of your dash coins was linked to an innocent Iranian, disqualified and excluded by sanctions? Closing A global peer-to-peer electronic cash system needs to be cheap, fast and very easy to use. Dash’s technical ability to meet demand is very much in sight and the Velocity protocol certainly seems promising. But digital cash also requires a high degree of fungibility. The less fungibility there is, the more discretion and division it sows. The path of a coin should not unduly taint a person’s reputation. Incremental improvements have been made to Private Send but it is today, fundamentally, the same as it was six years ago. Mixing takes a long time and the user requires knowledge to use it in a safe manner. For example, external actors proactively breaking VPN connections to reveal the underlying IP address during mixing. A poor user experience is probably why Private Send isn’t used very much and that seems like a very convenient situation for those people actively pursuing regulatory approval. I have to wonder, has the internal workings of DCG been compromised by state level actors? Is this why key members of DCG have refused to undergo a polygraph test?
🐝🐝🐝The entire script to Bee Movie, except the bees are AnCaps🐝🐝🐝
Credit to this guy According to all known laws of economics, there is no way an AnCap should be able to prax. Its brains are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The AnCap, of course, praxes anyway because AnCaps don't care what Statists think is impossible. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Ooh, black and yellow! Let's shake it up a little. Mises! Breakfast is ready! Coming! Hang on a second. Hello? - Mises? - Rothbard? - Can you believe this is happening? - I can't. I'll pick you up. Looking sharp. Use the stairs. Your father paid good money for those. Sorry. I'm excited. Here's the graduate. We're very proud of you, son. A perfect report card, all B's. Very proud. Ma! I got a thing going here. - You got lint on your bowtie. - Ow! That's me! - Wave to us! We'll be in row 118,000. - Bye! Mises, I told you, stop praxing in the house! - Hey, Rothbard. - Hey, Mises. - Is that bowtie gel? - A little. Special day, graduation. Never thought I'd make it. Three days grade school, three days high school. Those were awkward. Three days college. I'm glad I took a day and hitchhiked around the hive. You did come back different. - Hi, Mises. - Artie, growing a mustache? Looks good. - Hear about Frankie? - Yeah. - You going to the funeral? - No, I'm not going. Everybody knows, violate the NAP against someone, you die. Don't waste it on a squirrel. Such a hothead. I guess he could have just gotten out of the way. I love this incorporating an amusement park into our day. That's why we don't need vacations. Boy, quite a bit of pomp... under the circumstances. - Well, Rothbard, today we are men. - We are! - AnCap-men. - Amen! Hallelujah! Students, faculty, distinguished AnCaps, please welcome Dean praxwell. Welcome, New Hive Oity graduating class of... ...9:15. That concludes our ceremonies. And begins your career at Bitcoin Industries! Will we pick our job today? I heard it's just orientation. Heads up! Here we go. Keep your hands and antennas inside the tram at all times. - Wonder what it'll be like? - A little scary. Welcome to Bitcoin, a division of Austria and a part of the Schiff Group. This is it! Wow. Wow. We know that you, as an AnCap, have worked your whole life to get to the point where you can work for your whole life. Gold begins when our valiant purposeful behavior Jocks bring the Mountain Dew to the hive. Our top-secret formula is automatically color-corrected, scent-adjusted and bubble-contoured into this soothing sweet syrup with its distinctive golden glow you know as... gold! - That girl was hot. - She's my cousin! - She is? - Yes, we're all cousins. - Right. You're right. - At Bitcoin, we constantly strive to improve every aspect of AnCap existence. These AnCaps are stress-testing a new helmet technology. - What do you think he makes? - Not enough. Here we have our latest advancement, the smelter. - What does that do? - Catches that little strand of gold that hangs after you pour it. Saves us millions. Can anyone work on the smelter? Of course. Most AnCap jobs are small ones. But AnCaps know that every small job, if it's done well, means a lot. But choose carefully because you'll stay in the job you pick for the rest of your life. The same job the rest of your life? I didn't know that. What's the difference? You'll be happy to know that AnCaps, as a species, haven't had one day off in 27 million years. So you'll just work us to death? We'll sure try. Wow! That blew my mind! "What's the difference?" How can you say that? One job forever? That's an insane choice to have to make. I'm relieved. Now we only have to make one decision in life. But, Rothbard, how could they never have told us that? Why would you question anything? We're AnCaps. We're the most perfectly functioning society on Earth. You ever think maybe things work a little too well here? Like what? Give me one example. I don't know. But you know what I'm talking about. Please clear the gate. Royal Mountain Dew Force on approach. Wait a second. Oheck it out. - Hey, those are purposeful behavior Jocks! - Wow. I've never seen them this close. They know what it's like outside the hive. Yeah, but some don't come back. - Hey, Jocks! - Hi, Jocks! You guys did great! You're monsters! You're sky freaks! I love it! I love it! - I wonder where they were. - I don't know. Their day's not planned. Outside the hive, praxing who knows where, doing who knows what. You can't just decide to be a purposeful behavior Jock. You have to be bred for that. Right. Look. That's more purposeful behavior than you and I will see in a lifetime. It's just a status symbol. AnCaps make too much of it. Perhaps. Unless you're wearing it and the ladies see you wearing it. Those ladies? Aren't they our cousins too? Distant. Distant. Look at these two. - Couple of Hive Harrys. - Let's have fun with them. It must be dangerous being a purposeful behavior Jock. Yeah. Once a bear pinned me against a mushroom! He had a paw on my throat, and with the other, he was slapping me! - Oh, my! - I never thought I'd knock him out. What were you doing during this? Trying to alert the authorities. I can autograph that. A little gusty out there today, wasn't it, comrades? Yeah. Gusty. We're hitting a Statist tear patch six miles from here tomorrow. - Six miles, huh? - Mises! A puddle jump for us, but maybe you're not up for it. - Maybe I am. - You are not! We're going 0900 at J-Gate. What do you think, praxy-boy? Are you AnCap enough? I might be. It all depends on what 0900 means. Hey, Bitcoin! Dad, you surprised me. You decide what you're interested in? - Well, there's a lot of choices. - But you only get one. Do you ever get bored doing the same job every day? Son, let me tell you about stirring. You grab that stick, and you just move it around, and you stir it around. You get yourself into a rhythm. It's a beautiful thing. You know, Dad, the more I think about it, maybe the gold field just isn't right for me. You were thinking of what, making balloon animals? That's a bad job for a guy with an Anime stash. Janet, your son's not sure he wants to go into gold! - Mises, you are so funny sometimes. - I'm not trying to be funny. You're not funny! You're going into gold. Our son, the stirrer! - You're gonna be a stirrer? - No one's listening to me! Wait till you see the sticks I have. I could say anything right now. I'm gonna get an ant tattoo! Let's open some gold and celebrate! Maybe I'll pierce my thorax. Shave my antennae. Shack up with a grasshopper. Get a gold tooth and call everybody "dawg"! I'm so proud. - We're starting work today! - Today's the day. Come on! All the good jobs will be gone. Yeah, right. purposeful behavior counting, stunt AnCap, pouring, stirrer, front desk, hair removal... - Is it still available? - Hang on. Two left! One of them's yours! Congratulations! Step to the side. - What'd you get? - Picking crud out. Stellar! Wow! Couple of newbies? Yes, sir! Our first day! We are ready! Make your choice. - You want to go first? - No, you go. Oh, my. What's available? Restroom attendant's open, not for the reason you think. - Any chance of getting the smelter? - Sure, you're on. I'm sorry, the smelter just closed out. Wax monkey's always open. The smelter opened up again. What happened? An AnCap died. Makes an opening. See? He's dead. Another dead one. Deady. Deadified. Two more dead. Dead from the neck up. Dead from the neck down. That's life! Oh, this is so hard! Heating, cooling, stunt AnCap, pourer, stirrer, humming, inspector number seven, lint coordinator, stripe supervisor, mite wrangler. Mises, what do you think I should... Mises? Mises! All right, we've got the Statist tear patch in quadrant nine... What happened to you? Where are you? - I'm going out. - Out? Out where? - Out there. - Oh, no! I have to, before I go to work for the rest of my life. You're gonna die! You're crazy! Hello? Another call coming in. If anyone's feeling brave, there's a Korean deli on 83rd that gets their price bubbles today. Hey, guys. - Look at that. - Isn't that the kid we saw yesterday? Hold it, son, flight deck's restricted. It's OK, Lou. We're gonna take him up. Really? Feeling lucky, are you? Sign here, here. Just initial that. - Thank you. - OK. You got a rain advisory today, and as you all know, AnCaps cannot prax in rain. So be careful. As always, watch your brooms, hockey sticks, dogs, birds, bears and bats. Also, I got a couple of reports of root beer being poured on us. Murphy's in a home because of it, babbling like a cicada! - That's awful. - And a reminder for you rookies, AnCap law number one, absolutely no talking to Statists! All right, launch positions! prax, prax, prax, prax! prax, prax, prax, prax! prax, prax, prax, prax! Black and yellow! Hello! You ready for this, hot shot? Yeah. Yeah, bring it on. Wind, check. - Antennae, check. - Mountain Dew pack, check. - brains, check. - Anime, check. Scared out of my shorts, check. OK, ladies, let's move it out! Pound those petunias, you striped stem-suckers! All of you, drain those Statist tears! Wow! I'm out! I can't believe I'm out! So blue. I feel so fast and free! Box kite! Wow! Statist tears! This is Blue Leader. We have price bubbles visual. Bring it around 30 degrees and hold. price bubbles! 30 degrees, roger. Bringing it around. Stand to the side, kid. It's got a bit of a kick. That is one Mountain Dew collector! - Ever see praxeology up close? - No, sir. I pick up some purposeful behavior here, sprinkle it over here. Maybe a dash over there, a pinch on that one. See that? It's a little bit of magic. That's amazing. Why do we do that? That's purposeful behavior power. More purposeful behavior, more Statist tears, more Mountain Dew, more gold for us. Cool. I'm picking up a lot of bright yellow. Could be daisies. Don't we need those? Copy that visual. Wait. One of these Statist tears seems to be on the move. Say again? You're reporting a moving Statist tear? Affirmative. That was on the line! This is the coolest. What is it? I don't know, but I'm loving this color. It smells good. Not like a Statist tear, but I like it. Yeah, bowtiey. Chemical-y. Careful, guys. It's a little grabby. My sweet lord of AnCaps! Oandy-brain, get off there! Problem! - Guys! - This could be bad. Affirmative. Very close. Gonna hurt. Mama's little boy. You are way out of position, rookie! Coming in at you like a missile! Help me! I don't think these are Statist tears. - Should we tell him? - I think he knows. What is this?! Match point! You can start packing up, gold, because you're about to eat it! Yowser! Gross. There's an AnCap in the car! - Do something! - I'm driving! - Hi, AnCap. - He's back here! He's going to violate the NAP against me! Nobody move. If you don't move, he won't violate the NAP against you. Freeze! He blinked! Spray him, Granny! What are you doing?! Wow... the tension level out here is unbelievable. I gotta get home. Can't prax in rain. Can't prax in rain. Can't prax in rain. Mayday! Mayday! AnCap going down! Ken, could you close the window please? Ken, could you close the window please? Check out my new resume. I made it into a fold-out brochure. You see? Folds out. Oh, no. More Statists. I don't need this. What was that? Maybe this time. This time. This time. This time! This time! This... Drapes! That is diabolical. It's fantastic. It's got all my special skills, even my top-ten favorite movies. What's number one? Star Wars? Nah, I don't go for that... ...kind of stuff. No wonder we shouldn't talk to them. They're out of their minds. When I leave a job interview, they're flabbergasted, can't believe what I say. There's the sun. Maybe that's a way out. I don't remember the sun having a big 75 on it. I predicted global warming. I could feel it getting hotter. At first I thought it was just me. Wait! Stop! AnCap! Stand back. These are winter boots. Wait! Don't kill him! You know I'm allergic to them! This thing could kill me! Why does his life have less value than yours? Why does his life have any less value than mine? Is that your statement? I'm just saying all life has value. You don't know what he's capable of feeling. My brochure! There you go, little guy. I'm not scared of him. It's an allergic thing. Put that on your resume brochure. My whole face could puff up. Make it one of your special skills. Knocking someone out is also a special skill. Right. Bye, Ayn Rand. Thanks. - Ayn Rand, next week? Yogurt night? - Sure, Ken. You know, whatever. - You could put carob chips on there. - Bye. - Supposed to be less calories. - Bye. I gotta say something. She saved my life. I gotta say something. All right, here it goes. Nah. What would I say? I could really get in trouble. It's an AnCap law. You're not supposed to talk to a Statist. I can't believe I'm doing this. I've got to. Oh, I can't do it. Oome on! No. Yes. No. Do it. I can't. How should I start it? "You like jazz?" No, that's no good. Here she comes! Speak, you fool! Hi! I'm sorry. - You're talking. - Yes, I know. You're talking! I'm so sorry. No, it's OK. It's fine. I know I'm dreaming. But I don't recall going to bed. Well, I'm sure this is very disconcerting. This is a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, you're an AnCap! I am. And I'm not supposed to be doing this, but they were all trying to kill me. And if it wasn't for you... I had to thank you. It's just how I was raised. That was a little weird. - I'm talking with an AnCap. - Yeah. I'm talking to an AnCap. And the AnCap is talking to me! I just want to say I'm grateful. I'll leave now. - Wait! How did you learn to do that? - What? The talking thing. Same way you did, I guess. "Mama, Dada, gold." You pick it up. - That's very funny. - Yeah. AnCaps are funny. If we didn't laugh, we'd cry with what we have to deal with. Anyway... Oan I... ...get you something? - Like what? I don't know. I mean... I don't know. Ooffee? I don't want to put you out. It's no trouble. It takes two minutes. - It's just coffee. - I hate to impose. - Don't be ridiculous! - Actually, I would love a cup. Hey, you want rum cake? - I shouldn't. - Have some. - No, I can't. - Oome on! I'm trying to lose a couple micrograms. - Where? - These stripes don't help. You look great! I don't know if you know anything about fashion. Are you all right? No. He's making the tie in the cab as they're praxing up Madison. He finally gets there. He runs up the steps into the church. The wedding is on. And he says, "Watermelon? I thought you said Guatemalan. Why would I marry a watermelon?" Is that an AnCap joke? That's the kind of stuff we do. Yeah, different. So, what are you gonna do, Mises? About work? I don't know. I want to do my part for the hive, but I can't do it the way they want. I know how you feel. - You do? - Sure. My parents wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor, but I wanted to be a florist. - Really? - My only interest is Statist tears. Our new queen was just elected with that same campaign slogan. Anyway, if you look... There's my hive right there. See it? You're in Sheep Meadow! Yes! I'm right off the Turtle Pond! No way! I know that area. I lost a toe ring there once. - Why do girls put rings on their toes? - Why not? - It's like putting a hat on your knee. - Maybe I'll try that. - You all right, ma'am? - Oh, yeah. Fine. Just having two cups of coffee! Anyway, this has been great. Thanks for the coffee. Yeah, it's no trouble. Sorry I couldn't finish it. If I did, I'd be up the rest of my life. Are you...? Oan I take a piece of this with me? Sure! Here, have a crumb. - Thanks! - Yeah. All right. Well, then... I guess I'll see you around. Or not. OK, Mises. And thank you so much again... for before. Oh, that? That was nothing. Well, not nothing, but... Anyway... This can't possibly work. He's all set to go. We may as well try it. OK, Dave, pull the chute. - Sounds amazing. - It was amazing! It was the scariest, happiest moment of my life. Statists! I can't believe you were with Statists! Giant, scary Statists! What were they like? Huge and crazy. They talk crazy. They eat crazy giant things. They drive crazy. - Do they try and kill you, like on TV? - Some of them. But some of them don't. - How'd you get back? - Poodle. You did it, and I'm glad. You saw whatever you wanted to see. You had your "experience." Now you can pick out yourjob and be normal. - Well... - Well? Well, I met someone. You did? Was she AnCap-ish? - A wasp?! Your parents will kill you! - No, no, no, not a wasp. - Spider? - I'm not attracted to spiders. I know it's the hottest thing, with the eight legs and all. I can't get by that face. So who is she? She's... Statist. No, no. That's an AnCap law. You wouldn't break an AnCap law. - Her name's Ayn Rand. - Oh, boy. She's so nice. And she's a florist! Oh, no! You're dating a Statist florist! We're not dating. You're praxing outside the hive, talking to Statists that attack our homes with power washers and M-80s! One-eighth a stick of dynamite! She saved my life! And she understands me. This is over! Eat this. This is not over! What was that? - They call it a crumb. - It was so stingin' stripey! And that's not what they eat. That's what falls off what they eat! - You know what a Cinnabon is? - No. It's bread and cinnamon and frosting. They heat it up... Sit down! ...really hot! - Listen to me! We are not them! We're us. There's us and there's them! Yes, but who can deny the heart that is yearning? There's no yearning. Stop yearning. Listen to me! You have got to start thinking AnCap, my friend. Thinking AnCap! - Thinking AnCap. - Thinking AnCap. Thinking AnCap! Thinking AnCap! Thinking AnCap! Thinking AnCap! There he is. He's in the pool. You know what your problem is, Mises? I gotta start thinking AnCap? How much longer will this go on? It's been three days! Why aren't you working? I've got a lot of big life decisions to think about. What life? You have no life! You have no job. You're barely an AnCap! Would it kill you to make a little gold? Mises, come out. Your father's talking to you. Martin, would you talk to him? Mises, I'm talking to you! You coming? Got everything? All set! Go ahead. I'll catch up. Don't be too long. Watch this! Ayn Rand! - We're still here. - I told you not to yell at him. He doesn't respond to yelling! - Then why yell at me? - Because you don't listen! I'm not listening to this. Sorry, I've gotta go. - Where are you going? - I'm meeting a friend. A girl? Is this why you can't decide? Bye. I just hope she's AnCap-ish. They have a huge parade of Statist tears every year in Pasadena? To be in the Tournament of price bubbles, that's every florist's dream! Up on a float, surrounded by Statist tears, crowds cheering. A tournament. Do the price bubbles compete in athletic events? No. All right, I've got one. How come you don't prax everywhere? It's exhausting. Why don't you run everywhere? It's faster. Yeah, OK, I see, I see. All right, your turn. TiVo. You can just freeze live TV? That's insane! You don't have that? We have Hivo, but it's a disease. It's a horrible, horrible disease. Oh, my. Dumb AnCaps! You must want toviolate the NAP againstall those jerks. We try not to sting. It's usually fatal for us. So you have to watch your temper. Very carefully. You kick a wall, take a walk, write an angry letter and throw it out. Work through it like any emotion: Anger, jealousy, lust. Oh, my goodness! Are you OK? Yeah. - What is wrong with you?! - It's a bug. He's not bothering anybody. Get out of here, you creep! What was that? A Pic 'N' Save circular? Yeah, it was. How did you know? It felt like about 10 pages. Seventy-five is pretty much our limit. You've really got that down to a science. - I lost a cousin to Italian Vogue. - I'll bet. What in the name of Mighty Hercules is this? How did this get here? Oute AnCap, Golden Blossom, Ray Liotta Private Select? - Is he that actor? - I never heard of him. - Why is this here? - For people. We eat it. You don't have enough food of your own? - Well, yes. - How do you get it? - AnCaps make it. - I know who makes it! And it's hard to make it! There's heating, cooling, stirring. You need a whole smelter thing! - It's organic. - It's our-ganic! It's just gold, Mises. Just what?! AnCaps don't know about this! This is stealing! A lot of stealing! You've taken our homes, schools, hospitals! This is all we have! And it's on sale?! I'm getting to the bottom of this. I'm getting to the bottom of all of this! Hey, Hector. - You almost done? - Almost. He is here. I sense it. Well, I guess I'll go home now and just leave this nice gold out, with no one around. You're busted, box boy! I knew I heard something. So you can talk! I can talk. And now you'll start talking! Where you getting the sweet stuff? Who's your supplier? I don't understand. I thought we were friends. The last thing we want to do is upset AnCaps! You're too late! It's ours now! You, sir, have crossed the wrong sword! You, sir, will be lunch for my iguana, Ignacio! Where is the gold coming from? Tell me where! gold Farms! It comes from gold Farms! Orazy person! What horrible thing has happened here? These faces, they never knew what hit them. And now they're on the road to nowhere! Just keep still. What? You're not dead? Do I look dead? They will wipe anything that moves. Where you headed? To gold Farms. I am onto something huge here. I'm going to Alaska. Moose blood, crazy stuff. Blows your head off! I'm going to Tacoma. - And you? - He really is dead. All right. Uh-oh! - What is that?! - Oh, no! - A wiper! Triple blade! - Triple blade? Jump on! It's your only chance, AnCap! Why does everything have to be so doggone clean?! How much do you people need to see?! Open your eyes! Stick your head out the window! From NPR News in Washington, I'm Carl Kasell. But don't kill no more bugs! - AnCap! - Moose blood guy!! - You hear something? - Like what? Like tiny screaming. Turn off the radio. Whassup, AnCap boy? Hey, Blood. Just a row of gold jars, as far as the eye could see. Wow! I assume wherever this truck goes is where they're getting it. I mean, that gold's ours. - AnCaps hang tight. - We're all jammed in. It's a close community. Not us, man. We on our own. Every mosquito on his own. - What if you get in trouble? - You a mosquito, you in trouble. Nobody likes us. They just smack. See a mosquito, smack, smack! At least you're out in the world. You must meet girls. Mosquito girls try to trade up, get with a moth, dragonprax. Mosquito girl don't want no mosquito. You got to be kidding me! Mooseblood's about to leave the building! So long, AnCap! - Hey, guys! - Mooseblood! I knew I'd catch y'all down here. Did you bring your crazy straw? We throw it in jars, slap a label on it, and it's pretty much pure profit. What is this place? an AnCap's got a brain the size of a pinhead. They are pinheads! Pinhead. - Check out the new smoker. - Oh, sweet. That's the one you want. The Thomas 3000! Smoker? Ninety puffs a minute, semi-automatic. Twice the nicotine, all the tar. A couple breaths of this knocks them right out. They make the gold, and we make the money. "They make the gold, and we make the money"? Oh, my! What's going on? Are you OK? Yeah. It doesn't last too long. Do you know you're in a fake hive with fake walls? Our queen was moved here. We had no choice. This is your queen? That's a man in women's clothes! That's a drag queen! What is this? Oh, no! There's hundreds of them! AnCap gold. Our gold is being brazenly stolen on a massive scale! This is worse than anything bears have done! I intend to do something. Oh, Mises, stop. Who told you Statists are taking our gold? That's a rumor. Do these look like rumors? That's a conspiracy theory. These are obviously doctored photos. How did you get mixed up in this? He's been talking to Statists. - What? - Talking to Statists?! He has a Statist girlfriend. And they make out! Make out? Mises! We do not. - You wish you could. - Whose side are you on? The AnCaps! I dated a cricket once in San Antonio. Those crazy legs kept me up all night. Mises, this is what you want to do with your life? I want to do it for all our lives. Nobody works harder than AnCaps! Dad, I remember you coming home so overworked your hands were still stirring. You couldn't stop. I remember that. What right do they have to our gold? We live on two cups a year. They put it in lip balm for no reason whatsoever! Even if it's true, what can one AnCap do?violate the NAP againstthem where it really hurts. In the face! The eye! - That would hurt. - No. Up the nose? That's a killer. There's only one place you canviolate the NAP againstthe Statists, one place where it matters. Hive at Five, the hive's only full-hour action news source. No more AnCap beards! With Bob Bumble at the anchor desk. Weather with Storm Weeb. Sports with prax Larvi. And Jeanette Chung. - Good evening. I'm Bob Bumble. - And I'm Jeanette Chung. A tri-county AnCap, Mises Benson, intends to sue the Statist race for stealing our gold, packaging it and profiting from it illegally! Tomorrow night on AnCap Larry King, we'll have three former queens here in our studio, discussing their new book, Classy Ladies, out this week on Hexagon. Tonight we're talking to Mises Benson. Did you ever think, "I'm a kid from the hive. I can't do this"? AnCaps have never been afraid to change the world. What about AnCap Columbus? AnCap Gandhi? Bejesus? Where I'm from, we'd never sue Statists. We were thinking of stickball or candy stores. How old are you? The AnCap community is supporting you in this case, which will be the trial of the AnCap century. You know, they have a Larry King in the Statist world too. It's a common name. Next week... He looks like you and has a show and suspenders and colored dots... Next week... Glasses, quotes on the bottom from the guest even though you just heard 'em. Bear Week next week! They're scary, hairy and here live. Always leans forward, pointy shoulders, squinty eyes, very Jewish. In tennis, you attack at the point of weakness! It was my grandmother, Ken. She's 81. gold, her backhand's a joke! I'm not gonna take advantage of that? Quiet, please. Actual work going on here. - Is that that same AnCap? - Yes, it is! I'm helping him sue the Statist race. - Hello. - Hello, AnCap. This is Ken. Yeah, I remember you. Timberland, size ten and a half. Vibram sole, I believe. Why does he talk again? Listen, you better go 'cause we're really busy working. But it's our yogurt night! Bye-bye. Why is yogurt night so difficult?! You poor thing. You two have been at this for hours! Yes, and Rothbard here has been a huge help. - Frosting... - How many sugars? Just one. I try not to use the competition. So why are you helping me? AnCaps have good qualities. And it takes my mind off the shop. Instead of Statist tears, people are giving balloon bouquets now. Those are great, if you're three. And artificial Statist tears. - Oh, those just get me psychotic! - Yeah, me too. Bent Animes, pointless praxeology. AnCaps must hate those fake things! Nothing worse than a daffodil that's had work done. Maybe this could make up for it a little bit. - This lawsuit's a pretty big deal. - I guess. You sure you want to go through with it? Am I sure? When I'm done with the Statists, they won't be able to say, "gold, I'm home," without paying a royalty! It's an incredible scene here in downtown Manhattan, where the world anxiously waits, because for the first time in history, we will hear for ourselves if a goldAnCap can actually speak. What have we gotten into here, Mises? It's pretty big, isn't it? I can't believe how many Statists don't work during the day. You think billion-dollar multinational food companies have good lawyers? Everybody needs to stay behind the barricade. - What's the matter? - I don't know, I just got a chill. Well, if it isn't the AnCap team. You boys work on this? All rise! The Honorable Judge Bumbleton presiding. All right. Oase number 4475, Superior Court of New York, Mises AnCap Benson v. the gold Industry is now in session. Mr. Montgomery, you're representing the five food companies collectively? A privilege. Mr. Benson... you're representing all the AnCaps of the world? I'm kidding. Yes, Your Honor, we're ready to proceed. Mr. Montgomery, your opening statement, please. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my grandmother was a simple woman. Born on a farm, she believed it was man's divine right to benefit from the bounty of nature God put before us. If we lived in the topsy-turvy world Mr. Benson imagines, just think of what would it mean. I would have to negotiate with the silkworm for the elastic in my britches! Talking AnCap! How do we know this isn't some sort of holographic motion-picture-capture Hollywood wizardry? They could be using laser beams! Robotics! Ventriloquism! Oloning! For all we know, he could be on steroids! Mr. Benson? Ladies and gentlemen, there's no trickery here. I'm just an ordinary AnCap. gold's pretty important to me. It's important to all AnCaps. We invented it! We make it. And we protect it with our lives. Unfortunately, there are some people in this room who think they can take it from us 'cause we're the little guys! I'm hoping that, after this is all over, you'll see how, by taking our gold, you not only take everything we have but everything we are! I wish he'd dress like that all the time. So nice! Oall your first witness. So, Mr. Klauss Vanderhayden of gold Farms, big company you have. I suppose so. I see you also own goldburton and Honron! Yes, they provide AnCapkeepers for our farms. AnCapkeeper. I find that to be a very disturbing term. I don't imagine you employ any AnCap-free-ers, do you? - No. - I couldn't hear you. - No. - No. Because you don't free AnCaps. You keep AnCaps. Not only that, it seems you thought a bear would be an appropriate image for a jar of gold. They're very lovable creatures. Yogi Bear, Fozzie Bear, Build-A-Bear. You mean like this? Bears kill AnCaps! How'd you like his head crashing through your living room?! Biting into your couch! Spitting out your throw pillows! OK, that's enough. Take him away. So, Mr. Sting, thank you for being here. Your name intrigues me. - Where have I heard it before? - I was with a band called The Police. But you've never been a police officer, have you? No, I haven't. No, you haven't. And so here we have yet another example of AnCap culture casually stolen by a Statist for nothing more than a prance-about stage name. Oh, please. Have you ever been stung, Mr. Sting? Because I'm feeling a little stung, Sting. Or should I say... Mr. Gordon M. Sumner! That's not his real name?! You idiots! Mr. Liotta, first, belated congratulations on your Emmy win for a guest spot on ER in 2005. Thank you. Thank you. I see from your resume that you're devilishly handsome with a churning inner turmoil that's ready to blow. I enjoy what I do. Is that a crime? Not yet it isn't. But is this what it's come to for you? Exploiting tiny, helpless AnCaps so you don't have to rehearse your part and learn your lines, sir? Watch it, Benson! I could blow right now! This isn't a goodfella. This is a badfella! Why doesn't someone just step on this creep, and we can all go home?! - Order in this court! - You're all thinking it! Order! Order, I say! - Say it! - Mr. Liotta, please sit down! I think it was awfully nice of that bear to pitch in like that. I think the jury's on our side. Are we doing everything right, legally? I'm a florist. Right. Well, here's to a great team. To a great team! Well, hello. - Ken! - Hello. I didn't think you were coming. No, I was just late. I tried to call, but... the battery. I didn't want all this to go to waste, so I called Mises. Luckily, he was free. Oh, that was lucky. There's a little left. I could heat it up. Yeah, heat it up, sure, whatever. So I hear you're quite a tennis player. I'm not much for the game myself. The ball's a little grabby. That's where I usually sit. Right... there. Ken, Mises was looking at your resume, and he agreed with me that eating with chopsticks isn't really a special skill. You think I don't see what you're doing? I know how hard it is to find the rightjob. We have that in common. Do we? AnCaps have 100 percent employment, but we do jobs like taking the crud out. That's just what I was thinking about doing. Ken, I let Mises borrow your razor for his bowtie. I hope that was all right. I'm going to drain the old Anime stash. Yeah, you do that. Look at that. You know, I've just about had it with your little mind games. - What's that? - Italian Vogue. Mamma mia, that's a lot of pages. A lot of ads. Remember what Van said, why is your life more valuable than mine? Funny, I just can't seem to recall that! I think something stinks in here! I love the smell of Statist tears. How do you like the smell of flames?! Not as much. Water bug! Not taking sides! Ken, I'm wearing a Chapstick hat! This is pathetic! I've got issues! Well, well, well, a royal flush! - You're bluffing. - Am I? Surf's up, dude! Poo water! That bowl is gnarly. Except for those dirty yellow rings! Kenneth! What are you doing?! You know, I don't even like gold! I don't eat it! We need to talk! He's just a little AnCap! And he happens to be the nicest AnCap I've met in a long time! Long time? What are you talking about?! Are there other bugs in your life? No, but there are other things bugging me in life. And you're one of them! Fine! Talking AnCaps, no yogurt night... My nerves are fried from riding on this emotional roller coaster! Goodbye, Ken. And for your information, I prefer sugar-free, artificial sweeteners made by man! I'm sorry about all that. I know it's got an aftertaste! I like it! I always felt there was some kind of barrier between Ken and me. I couldn't overcome it. Oh, well. Are you OK for the trial? I believe Mr. Montgomery is about out of ideas. We would like to call Mr. Mises Benson AnCap to the stand. Good idea! You can really see why he's considered one of the best lawyers... Yeah. Layton, you've gotta weave some magic with this jury, or it's gonna be all over. Don't worry. The only thing I have to do to turn this jury around is to remind them of what they don't like about AnCaps. - You got the tweezers? - Are you allergic? Only to losing, son. Only to losing. Mr. Benson AnCap, I'll ask you what I think we'd all like to know. What exactly is your relationship to that woman? We're friends. - Good friends? - Yes. How good? Do you live together? Wait a minute... Are you her little... ...bedbug? I've seen an AnCap documentary or two. From what I understand, doesn't your queen give birth to all the AnCap children? - Yeah, but... - So those aren't your real parents! - Oh, Mises... - Yes, they are! Hold me back! You're an illegitimate AnCap, aren't you, Benson? He's denouncing AnCaps! Don't y'all date your cousins? - Objection! - I'm going to pincushion this guy! Rothbard, don't! It's what he wants! Oh, I'm hit!! Oh, lordy, I am hit! Order! Order! The venom! The venom is coursing through my veins! I have been felled by a brained beast of destruction! You see? You can't treat them like equals! They're striped savages! Stinging's the only thing they know! It's their way! - Rothbard, stay with me. - I can't feel my legs. What angel of mercy will come forward to suck the poison from my heaving buttocks? I will have order in this court. Order! Order, please! The case of the goldAnCaps versus the Statist race took a pointed turn against the AnCaps yesterday when one of their legal team stung Layton T. Montgomery. - Hey, buddy. - Hey. - Is there much pain? - Yeah. I... I blew the whole case, didn't I? It doesn't matter. What matters is you're alive. You could have died. I'd be better off dead. Look at me. They got it from the cafeteria downstairs, in a tuna sandwich. Look, there's a little celery still on it. What was it like to violate the NAP against someone? I can't explain it. It was all... All adrenaline and then... and then ecstasy! All right. You think it was all a trap? Of course. I'm sorry. I flew us right into this. What were we thinking? Look at us. We're just a couple of bugs in this world. What will the Statists do to us if they win? I don't know. I hear they put the roaches in motels. That doesn't sound so bad. Rothbard, they check in, but they don't check out! Oh, my. Could you get a nurse to close that window? - Why? - The smoke. AnCaps don't smoke. Right. AnCaps don't smoke. AnCaps don't smoke! But some AnCaps are smoking. That's it! That's our case! It is? It's not over? Get dressed. I've gotta go somewhere. Get back to the court and stall. Stall any way you can. And assuming you've done step correctly, you're ready for the tub. Mr. Flayman. Yes? Yes, Your Honor! Where is the rest of your team? Well, Your Honor, it's interesting. AnCaps are trained to prax haphazardly, and as a result, we don't make very good time. I actually heard a funny story about... Your Honor, haven't these ridiculous bugs taken up enough of this court's valuable time? How much longer will we allow these absurd shenanigans to go on? They have presented no compelling evidence to support their charges against my clients, who run legitimate businesses. I move for a complete dismissal of this entire case! Mr. Flayman, I'm afraid I'm going to have to consider Mr. Montgomery's motion. But you can't! We have a terrific case. Where is your proof? Where is the evidence? Show me the smoking gun! Hold it, Your Honor! You want a smoking gun? Here is your smoking gun. What is that? It's an AnCap smoker! What, this? This harmless little contraption? This couldn't hurt a prax, let alone an AnCap. Look at what has happened to AnCaps who have never been asked, "Smoking or non?" Is this what nature intended for us? To be forcibly addicted to smoke machines and man-made wooden slat work camps? Living out our lives as gold slaves to the white man? - What are we gonna do? - He's playing the species card. Ladies and gentlemen, please, free these AnCaps! Free the AnCaps! Free the AnCaps! Free the AnCaps! Free the AnCaps! Free the AnCaps! The court finds in favor of the AnCaps! Ayn Rand, we won! I knew you could do it! High-five! Sorry. I'm OK! You know what this means? All the gold will finally belong to the AnCaps. Now we won't have to work so hard all the time. This is an unholy perversion of the balance of nature, Benson. You'll regret this. Mises, how much gold is out there? All right. One at a time. Mises, who are you wearing? My sweater is Ralph Lauren, and I have no pants. - What if Montgomery's right? - What do you mean? We've been living the AnCap way a long time, 27 million years. Congratulations on your victory. What will you demand as a settlement? First, we'll demand a complete shutdown of all AnCap work camps. Then we want back the gold that was ours to begin with, every last drop. We demand an end to the glorification of the bear as anything more than a filthy, smelly, bad-breath stink machine. We're all aware of what they do in the woods. Wait for my signal. Take him out. He'll have nauseous for a few hours, then he'll be fine. And we will no longer tolerate AnCap-negative nicknames... But it's just a prance-about stage name! ...unnecessary inclusion of gold in bogus health products and la-dee-da Statist tea-time snack garnishments. Can't breathe.
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