India Should Observe Currencies, Not Regulate

India is putting together regulations for digital currencies including blockchain. It is soliciting public comments.

The deadline is May 31 and the comments are threefold: Should bitcoin and other virtual currencies be banned, regulated or observed?

Also:

What measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection?

What measures should be taken to promote the orderly development of VCs.

Which appropriate institution(s) should monitor or regulate VCs?

At least 120 comments were made with most favoring regulation.

On the other hand,

It’s almost impossible to regulate a currency which is decentralized, you can’t shut down a currency which is working on a peer to peer, decentralized system.

One commentator suggested: “I feel that public opinion in such matters should not be considered. All pros and cons should be discussed in parliament on advice given by a team of economists with the government.”

In fact, asking India to regulate anything new is like asking a cart to pull a horse rather than the other way round. India’s government is notoriously corrupt and there is no reason to believe that India will “protect consumers” with cybercurrency regs.

It will simply be another avenue for graft. One reason India is so corrupt is because the regulatory state was imposed upon it. Once upon a time, India was a conglomerate of small. competing states. Only later on, the British consolodated it into one gigantic state.

Today the vast state is as clumsy as it is huge. And it is true many Indians who do not know better support it. Of course, India is hierarchical anyway, so a large state plays into underlying cultural assumptions.

But that doesn’t make it any better. Most Indians, even the ones that support the state, will admit the state is afflicted with widespread corruption. They just don’t seen any alternatives.

But regulating cryptocurrencies won’t help. If they push too hard, they risk creating an alternative currency. If they muddle along with halfway measures, the corruption will merely increase. This is the probable outcome.

It’s not one to be happy about. India is much better observing currencies than doing something about them. Any “doing” will just make matters worse.

Banks Raise Huge Amount for Blockchain

R3 has completed a fundraisin round that saw an incredible $107 million raised. No one company has raised more in a single round.

It is the second part of a three-part fundraising effort and over 40 of its 100+ members helped with the raise.

According to Bitcoin.com, “Investors include the likes of Japan’s SBI group, the UK’s HSBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, French investment bank Natixis and a number of others from around the world. The first two stages were only open to members.”

“This investment is unprecedented,” R3 CEO David Rutter was reported to have said. “Many of the world’s largest financial firms have come together not just with capital support, but with a robust commitment to work with R3 in developing industry solutions that will be the building blocks of the new financial services infrastructure.”

R3 chief executive Rutter then said: “We are on our way to becoming the new operating system for financial services.”

Or maybe not.

R3 is basically working on a blockchain that is private and open only to certain selected parties. Meanwhile its cryptocurrency is called Ripple and has gone stratospheric in the past few months.

Ripple bypasses ordinary methods of international money transfers. It allows the banks do in minutes – between banks- what used to take days.

Yet both the blockchain and ripple have built in conflicts of interest. The big banks don’t say so, but one reason that transactions between countries take so long is because every transaction is noted by US and London intel agencies. If it is not scrutinized it certainly can be.

It is torturously routed to make sure that these agencies are kept in the loop and subject to considerable scrutiny as necessary.

The chances are that such cryptocurrencies as ripple will indeed cut transaction time but not as much as it could if such transactions were routed away from intel agencies.

And because the blockchain is private, the banks are not taking full advantage of blockchain attributes.

Both ripple and the R2 blockchain are halfway measures, designed to give banks a maximum amount of control within the parameters of what a new technology offers.

Eventually such control issues will become a problem as others managed to get a lot more out of the technology because they are operating it more freely.

The war has just begun.

A Tale of Two Teslas

This is the photographic proof of concept of THE original wireless energy disruptor Nikola Tesla. Well over 100 years ago and he’s reading leisurely in his laboratory. But is contrary to how he was portrayed by the powers that be. He was “dangerous” and later the basis of the “mad scientist” in the propaganda campaign that ensued. The other immutable proof of concept is alternating current that is in all our neighborhoods and homes around the world today.

At the end of 2016, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the launch of the Blockchain Virtual GovHack and got the attention Project Oaken. On January 6th, 2016, Project Oaken published a use case of a Tesla vehicle utilizing the Ethereum network.

The video shows a Tesla speaking to a Ethereum blockchain. The car allows the tollbooth to make a smart contract. The tollbooth gets the signal, opens the gate and grants the Tesla access.

This is a step beyond what the original Nikola Tesla wanted to do. But the car named after him does not even run on the kind of energy he wished to generate. It runs on electrical energy though Tesla was more interested in energy he could extract directly from the ionosphere via ambient charged particles.

As a disruptor, he was a multi-disciplinary genius though he didn’t work directly with cars. A rotating magnetic field in 1882 led him to take out US Patents in 1888. That provided the AC electric power system that is with us today. Not the centralized version Edison and his investors pushed in the war of the currents.

According to Free-energy.com, some other inventions of his include the brushless AC induction motor, radio, remote control by radio, super-conductivity, fluorescent lighting, the bladeless turbine engine and pump, the capacitor discharge ignition system for automobile engines, the mechanical oscillator, and dozens more.

But his biggest invention had to do with the idea that energy could be taken from air and broadcast around the world.

In an article entitled The Problem of Increasing Human Energy, Tesla talked about the “energy situation.” His discussion includes most notably a machine that can take the heat of air and act as a “Self-acting Engine.”

It’s not exactly perpetual motion but it is perhaps the next best thing, the generation of energy from the solar power available via the air.

Tesla tried for years to come up with a fully workable prototype. “His work with liquefied air, his discovery of super-conductivity at ultra-low temperatures, his bladeless turbine and mechanical oscillator were all spin-offs from his work on the ambient air engine.”

His most famous effort to give everyone free energy was his World Power System, which generated electricity without wires, and via the ground. Wardenclyffe Tower was never completed but is testimony to his determination to give energy to the world without wires.

Tesla as a disruptor would have more to work with today than ever before. Technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrenceis are exploding around the world. They are providing the kind of charge that Tesla saw in his own life.

The current technology is being blocked by entities that want the benefits of technology without losing control. But this is probably not possible. The reality is that various technologies are going to be implemented to a considerable degree or not at all.

For central banks especially, there is probably no utilizition that will lead to full control. What is more likely is a prolonged war between those who want to control the technology and those who want to open it up to everyone.

The technology now being developed is not a closed loop but an open event that cannot fully function when it is controlled only by a few. In fact, the more control that is asserted, the less well the technology will work.

For this reason, the impetus will be on creating more freedom not less. And more innovative ways of doing things as this technology matures.

Tesla would be proud.

Sunday Interview With Bitcoin Educator and Businessman Alex Eaton

Alexander Eaton is the CEO of Bitcoin Beginner Box.

BCN: How are you?

Alexander Eaton: Good. Thanks for having me.

BCN: Let’s start at the beginning. Where did you grow up?

Alexander Eaton: I grew up in Texas. My father and mother got divorced when I was very young. My father and I didn’t spend much time together after that. However we have since reconnected and although we don’t have much in common, I am ok with him. Meanwhile, my mom is my rock. She worked at a newspaper when I was growing up and now she owns bed and breakfast that accepts bitcoin.

BCN: You were in the Iraq war in the earlier 2000s. What did you do?

Alexander Eaton: I was a medic.  And before then, back in the states, I was in my own little world.  I knew there was a war. But what I didn’t know was that we were sending hundreds and thousands of troops over there and fighting across the country and beyond.

We had locals who drove up to our base and worked there. They cooked our food and cleaned up after us. And when you grew close to them and asked them about our interference, they would tell you they didn’t like it. And you really don’t know what is right and wrong but we’re making it hard for them to thrive.

The majority of my work was as the EMS or ambulance service. The base at which I stayed was FOB Krab Kirkuk regional airforce base. It provided medical support for convoys that brought supplies to other bases across Iraq.

BCN: You were injured?

Alexander Eaton: Our transportation was highly reinforced with ballistic armor, so even if a roadside bomb was to go off there was a great chance the vehicle would absorb most of the damage. However head injuries from hitting your head on the ceiling or worse being to close to a blast could cause some major head issues.  I was one of the lucky ones. The worst I had was a fall off one of our LMTVs or Light Medium Tactical Vehicle. It did hurt my spine.

BCN: Did you get a discharge?

Alexander Eaton: Yes, and when I got out, I got my bachelors in business. Then I started the Bitcoin Beginner Box with a partner. I’m focusing on bitcoin presently but we want to do other currencies.

BCN: Where are you staying now?

Alexander Eaton: I have a house and we want people to live here. We call it a bitcoin incubator. We push services including the Bitcoin Beginner Box. There are physical items to help you understand and buy bitcoin and we also provide them with a wallet.

BCN: When did you first hear about bitcoin?

Alexander Eaton: I heard about bitcoin because of Silk Road. It was illegal, but people were using bitcoin to get what they wanted. I was very intrigued that an alternative currency was being employed. I began to find out more and then we set up an office and a facebook page. We had meetings and pursed education regarding bitcoin. I want to help protect people against scams.

BCN: What’s in the Beginner Box?

Alexander Eaton: It contains a number of items totaling $175.00 USD worth of products and services to get to on the right path when using bitcoin.

Each box contains, the following items.

A Ledger HW.1 Hardware wallet.

A random CryptoArt limited edition art Paper wallet.

Our bitcoin education guide booklet.

“The Tale of the Bitcoin Kid” Digital Comic.

A copy of Satoshi’s White Paper.

One free invitation to our monthly beginner webinar.

Discount coupons to bitcoin companies and services.

A monthly newsletter with up to date information to continue your education.

Eventually, we will go to places like Kenya and translate the booklet. There is room for everyone and space for everyone. The biggest question for most people is understanding bitcoin. We’re not building a box, we’re building a company. People offer us money all the time to put their messages in our boxes, but we don’t.

We can really hop on this and help people trying to get activated in this space. There are thousands of people want to help.

BCN: What about government moves?

Alexander Eaton: Government is like a machine that is hard to turn off. I will tell you this: I’m going to be very upset if bitcoin becomes a government  currency.

But we don’t need to have a third party, or anything like that, only good regulation. Humans are a fickle group and people do take advantage. Bitcoin virtually saved my life.  After I got out, bitcoin was the answer.

You could give everyone some bitcoin and thus give them the potential for success.  I have many ideas like that and as bitcoin rises, there will be more and more possibilities. We’re just at the beginning.

BCN: Thanks again.

Alexander Eaton: You’re welcome.

CFTC Increases Physical Blockchain Presence

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is boosting its presence in blockchain R&D.

It is starting LabCFTC, a fintech initiative speeding up how the regulator evaluates new technologies.

CFTC’s GuidePoint tool will be a physical location for entrepreneurs to help generate new technology the agency might adopt.

Chairman Christopher Giancarlo said of the program:

“We will look to explore ways to use fintech to enhance CFTC functions and duties. For example, we might collaborate with other authorities on leading development of best practices to support the development of ‘regulator nodes’ on distributed ledgers, or experiment with collecting or distributing existing CFTC reports through blockchain technology.”

 

Law Firm Files Suit Against IRS

Berns Weiss LLP is intervening for two Coinbase users to confront an IRS “John Doe” summons.

Berns Weiss LLP has already worked for another customer,  Jeffrey Berns. The Government decided against going ahead after the law firm acted on Berns’ behalf.

Now the Government has changed its mind. The law firm hopes two new Coinbase customers can move ahead with their lawsuit under fictitous names.

A statement from Berns Weiss LLP:

On March 16, 2017, when the Government filed its petition to enforce the IRS summons, we indicated that we intended to file a motion to intervene and to quash the summons on behalf of Coinbase customers in order to protect them from this government overreach. As the Court recently directed the Government and Coinbase to agree on a schedule for Coinbase to oppose the petition, we have now filed such a motion seeking to insure that Coinbase’s customers are represented in the proceeding and that the Court has the opportunity to consider their perspective. Additionally, to prevent the Government from repeating its prior tactic of withdrawing the summons as to a proposed intervenor and then contending that the proposed intervenor’s motion to intervene is moot, Movants are seeking permission to proceed anonymously in this matter under fictitious names.

Coinbase, meanwhile has not given the government any records so the case remains up in the air. The IRS may move ahead with the case or quash it once again.

Sooner or later, the IRS will move forcefully however and the law firm is better off challenging them now rather than later with the hope it will prevail.

 

Cybercurrencies – Up or Down

Digital currencies are now running around $60 billion and adding more almost every day.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, NEM, Litecoin, Dash, they are all going higher. This is in nearly direct contrast to the way that bitcoin was treated when it was first issued and made its way to $3.

Now bitcoin may scrape $2000. Of course at such prices, people say that bitcoin and other coins are in a kind of bubble.

In fact, this can happen because people are using dollars, especially, to buy bitcoin and other coins. The dollar itself is certainly in a bubble and forces other assets to be in a bubble relative to the dollar.

At some point it will all end and markets will crash as they should have already. At that point the prices of coins will probably go down. But maybe not all the way.

In fact, after a crash people may buy more coins rather than less. Time will tell.

Shows Are Disrupted With 21 Million

21 Million is a company issuing cybercurrency to make a shows which they will have total control. The name comes from the amount of bitcoin that could originally be  issued – 21 million – before the cap kicked in.

From the very start, 21 Million will be powered by a decentralised investor base – That’s you – the people participating in the ICO. Our investment model is open to anyone with $10.00 to spare, and every penny is recorded on the Ethereum Blockchain.

This permanent public record ensures that all royalties from income are paid to 21 Million coin holders by automated Smart Contracts. So you won’t be paying for the Producer’s lunch. Or his girlfriend’s new car. That’s guaranteed.

Everyone who comes on board will be paid a daily rate and bonus coins.  Eventually everyone involved will receive royalties as they become available – if they do.​

The 21 Million Project is intended to smash everything that Hollywood doesn’t want to change. Rewards will be distributed via Smart Contracts.

Here is the elevator pitch:

When crypto analyst and ex-Marine Benjamin Neavis uncovers a single fragment of the Bitcoin Algorithm that connects a collapsing bank, a child trafficking ring and a defrauded online casino he is blamed for all three crimes and instantly becomes known the world over as the child predator who stole half a trillion dollars… from every country in the world.

Charged with Child Trafficking by his bosses at the CIA and publicly accused of hacking the  casino by his ‘ex’, a price is put on his head by the Chairman of the collapsing bank.

Who just happens to be his Father.

Just in time, Benjamin is broken out of CIA custody by an anonymous organisation who know he was framed – they’re the ones who framed him.

They make him choose – rot in jail or collect and decrypt six other fragments of code – all hidden in different locations around the world.

Only executing the fragments will create the master code that will prove his innocence, but what he doesn’t know is that it will also trigger a global hack.

And a global collapse that will wipe out every bank and stock exchange on the planet.

Fleeing from every government agency, underworld boss and the media, Neavis will need all of his military training and darknet hacker skills simply to survive, unaware that the only way to save himself is to bring down the World Order as we currently know it.

BUT WOULD THAT REALLY BE SUCH A BAD THING?
BE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE THAT REWRITES THE RULES

This is another kind of disruption that is becoming more common now. It is taking away the power of communication from Hollywood and giving it back to people.

It is bound to be emphatically resisted but as with other disruptions, it is probably inevitable.

Tomorrow Will Be Very Different Than Today

Can blockchain be used for bad as well as good. That depends on the definition.

Worst case we end up with a blockchain technology that is in the hands of a few quasi government monopolies. Best case, blockchain renews trust between government, people and business. Right now the trust gap is getting worse.

But blockchain technology is neither good nor bad. It can be used both ways. One needs a centralized organisation but that does not have to come from government itself. It can be a policy or a document.

This allows blockchain to continue to do what it does best, which is to act as a disruptor, tearing down the way things have been done in the past and rebuilding them in a more egalitarian manner.

Right now a very few people control most of the world, but tomorrow it does not have to be like that.

We often write about the failures of regulation and how there is too much regulation generally. But we can also write about the disruption taking place and how it is hard to control.

The disruption will grow more and more visible as monopolies discover that peer to peer communications are hard to police.

Tomorrow will not just be characterized by arguments – and worse – over regulation. A good deal will involve disruption and changes that affect every part of human existence.

Such disruption is inevitable, and it is growing rapidly. There will be a good deal of struggle as a result. But short of shutting down more activities than is practical, much of the disruption now coming to pass will continue and grow more intense.

Disruption, as a result of blockchain, cryptocurrencies etc. is becoming increasingly apparent. It is affecting many businesses that sit in the middle, and tomorrow it will affect countries rather than businesses.

There will be separation and even secession, a hundred thousand, even a million states, and far more freedom tomorrow as compared to today.

The struggle between monopolies and disruption will grow worse, but will happen nonetheless. We now face a second and more powerful Internet wave. Tomorrow will look nothing like today.

Shadow Brokers Affiliated With US Intel?

Cybersecurity experts think Americans were involve in the ransomware attacks last week. It could even have been someone in the intelligence community.

They believe this in part based on letters sent from the hacker that used various “Americanisms.” The letter came from the Shadow Brokers group which encrypting drives of computers in 150 countries and demanded $300 per computer to undo the damage.

The letter was written to resemble syntax from a foreigner but it also included language that made it seem to have come from some intimately familiar with American slang.

The statement used abbreviation  like “BFF” – (best friends forever) and a slang pornographic phrase used by “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert,

While many seem to suspect that it was a single insider, there is no reason why it could not have been several people from the intelligence community, even an approved group that worked behind-the-scenes.

There is no reason why the intel community is a big fan of bitcoin, which was the Shadow Brokers currency of choice.