Chinese Liqueur Debuts ICO as Skepticism Heightens

Originated from local superior glutinous sorghum,”Xiao’hong’liang kun’zi pure draft liquor” has a production process that takes five years in total.

“After blending and leveling,” according to a marketing document, “it will take one more year to stockpile. The texture of liquor  … will be softer and tenderer before being packed in the bottle and leaving factory.”

Sounds good. The liquor is also involved in an ICO, and is one of a number of Chinese companies now exploring the cryptyo space. Here are rules according to the company:

The total value of Hua’yang “Xiao’hong’liang kun’zi puree draft liquor” in this publicity is RMB 100,000,000. Jiangcoin holders can make redemption of the Jiangcoin tokens at certain price according to the demands. The Jiangcoin token can be used to exchange with the China digital standard token NPC, thus realizing the assets exchange circulation through the media of the NPC.

While the Chinese are invading crypto, The Daily Economist recently published an article explaining that the basics of cryptocurrency were known at least nine years before Satoshi Nakamoto  published his now famous white paper.

In 1996 the NSA (that’s right, a government agency) published a White Paper titled,HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONICCASH.  And in this white paper, analysts and researchers laid out the entire breadth and scope of replacing cash and other fiat currencies with a completely digital one, based on anonymous cryptocurrencies.

… Certain documents uncovered from the NSA going back to 1996 may point to a correlation between the government and Bitcoin, and how the current cryptocurrency frenzy might possibly be an experiment for the future of government controlled money.

This suggests clearly that the CIA or some other government agency was behind cryptocurrencies to begin with. However this does not mean that all such money is destined to crumble and fall away when this latest bull market ends.

First of all, money can be anything as  Murray Rothbard suggested, so long as there is acceptance. Second, the people in charge of our financial system want to go digital, and crypto is a good  way of acclimating people to that. Third, at least some cryptocurrencies will probably survive whatever bear market is to come.

This would not be surprising given that cryptocurrencies are private money. Private money has been issued  successfully for millennia and there is no reason to think it has ended its run today.

 With a single bitcoin worth thousands, it may seem unusual to forecast a large crypto shake out, but surely one is coming sooner or later. The larger issue is which currencies will survive and why – and in what shape.

Unlike in past centuries, regulation is increasingly aggressive and invasive. Cryptocurrencies are  subject to wholesale confrontation and are usually giving way because the alternative is time consuming and expensive.

But this may not always be the case and, in any event, there are more chapters to go before this story is fully written. It does seems fairly obvious now that Satoshi Nakamoto is probably not what he seems and that his white paper was launched in part to ready the  West and world for transparent, digital money.

If you value privacy, you should make an attempt to secure at least part of what you have away from prying eyes before it is too late.

Bitcoin Is Not Untraceable

Bitcoin is not untraceable for the taxman. According to IRS documents, anonymous bitcoin addresses can actually be traced, at least sometimes.

IRS documents show the IRS has been involved in tracing addresses since 2015. They use analysis software from Chainalysis to “trace the movement of money through the bitcoin economy.”

The Daily Beast first had this story which emerged from a Freedom of Information Act request. It makes clear just how determined the IRS is to ensure that US citizens did not use cryptocurrency to dodge bitcoin taxes.

The IRS gave Chainalysis some $88,700 to access its anti-money laundering software. From the Chainalysis website:

“Through formal partnerships with Europol and other international law enforcement, our investigative tools have been used globally to successfully track, apprehend, and convict money launderers and cyber criminals.”

Bitcoin coins are not tracked on the Internet. But if you know where the coin has landed and think you know the person, you might then get a subpoena for the wallet if you are an appropriate government agency.

The IRS is currently fighting with Coinbase over revealing customer identities if the IRS considers such individuals potential tax cheats. The IRS is focused on supporting its bitcoin tax. It says only about 800 people declared bitcoin in 2016.

Meanwhile, some  cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Monero, and Zcash are more anonymous and may grow as bitcoin potentially subsides. Dash and Monero prices are at all-time highs.

The IRS still has not been disciplined for discrimination against Tea Party entities to which it would not grant a tax exempt status during the Obama years. It lost paperwork and computer files that it has never recovered and otherwise declined to cooperate with Congressional committees looking into IRS wrongdoing.

Now the IRS is going after a bitcoin tax, but presumably the IRS itself has decided that bitcoin is legal to tax and not Congress. Surely Congress should take up the issue of cryptocurrency taxes rather than leaving it to solely to the IRS. Why just tax bitcoin. Or, to reverse it, why tax bitcoin at all, considering there are well over 1,000 cryptocurrencies.

Right now the IRS is more like a rogue agency than a responsible one in some ways. Maybe it ought to pay more attention to obeying laws and less time creating and enforcing new ones.

Community Based Marketing Takes Charge

Large-scale corporate marketing is generally being disrupted by community consensus.  Big companies are gradually dying off as community-based marketing becomes more ubiquitous.

Corporate communities, digital or otherwise, are gradually taking the place of large companies that are struggling with blockchain-related difficulties. These include record-keeping and other repetitive elements gradually being removed by blockchain, which records items only once. A slew of work will be done away with – and staff too.

Corporate communities are natural substitutes for over-large corporations because they are brought together by similar interests.  As big corporations shrink and even fail, groups that spring up to take their place are digital, physical or both.  People don’t trust big business and big finance. But blockchain will give people more control and allow them to be in charge of their own data and actions.

Blockchain’s revolutionary qualities are similar across industries. Blockchain allows people to collect information at one time in one place. And the information, while widely dispersed, can be considerably safeguarded. Over time, the community itself will end up with considerable control as a result of blockchain and SMART contract operations.  The result will be an empowered community that runs contrary to surveillance and overreach.

The local consensus may prevail if the circumstances are appropriate, but the very largest firms will be stripped of judicially granted powers. Meanwhile, the natural evolution of community based marketing along with its disruption will be strengthened by deregulation.

Contracts and the like are privately negotiated and delivered.  If there is a need for further authority, people may vote on the individuals who would participate, or simply be appointed as part of a larger hierarchical structure. Buying and selling will have to be negotiated either by voting or by those charged with making the decisions, as in any normal corporate environment.

Ultimately, the digital or physical community works with other such communities locally and even internationally. When the project is large, the communities join forces. When they don’t need to work together anymore, they go their own way.

These digital or physical communities are for the most part modest-sized. They expand when necessary and then subside. They are the future, one that is gradually being built without much commentary but which will continually increase around the world.

Central Banks Won’t Fail Unless Elites Do

Eugéne Etsebeth worked for the South African Reserve Bank from 2013 to 2017 but is not with it any longer.  He recently explained why central banks won’t be able to survive cryptocurrencies in an article at Coindesk.

But Etsebeth may be wrong about reasons why cryptocurrencies won’t compete with central bank money and he may be wrong about central bank powerlessness.

Etsebeth has a list of 10 reasons why central banks are not going to be competitive. However, most of the list deals with central bank relationships, either internally or externally.

Yes, central banks have difficult or somnolent  relationships with other banks or with the government. But the tenor of these relationships doesn’t matter. That’s because the bank relationships are mandated by law.

Even more importantly, central banks are empowered to set the value and volume of money. They set short-term interest rates and print as much money as is necessary, which is usually too much.

Central banks are a prime engine of monetary slumps and crashes. In various counties, including perhaps the US, people would get rid of central banks if they could. They cannot because the central bank is tied to elite banking control, and moving the stock or money up or down – and therefore the economy – is an ability that elites will not easily give up, if at all.

Central banks do not have power because they are good at what they do. No, central banks are actually positioned to make the monetary system fail at regular intervals. It is not coincidence when they do, though the causes may be variable.

The bottom line here is that central banks probably won’t fail just because they are big and clumsy. They will only fail if elites leading them give them up. They probably will not do so voluntarily.

Dentacoin: Something New for Dentists

Dentacoin is trying to help dentists and the industry. Dentacoin provides Ethereum-based token to dentistry and tries to make dental care better for patients and doctors alike.  It has even set up a foundation to let those holding dentacoins vote on various dental strateges.

Dentacoins can be spent on treatment or treated to a degree as cash. Patients can create an anonymous response to dental services using a prepared survey available via the Ethereum blockchain.

Dentacorp is trying to move from treatment to prevention and dental care is offered monthly. Dentacoins can be used for payment. The Dentacoin presale was held in July 2017 and the ICO is to be held in October 2017.

New Seafood Tracking Effort Created

The Earth Twine Platform is creating the first dedicated blockchain system for seafood. There are two companies involved: Earth Twine Incorporated and Stratis Group LTD.

The Earth Twine team has created a solution born of the seafood industry itself. In collaboration with The Association of International Seafood Professionals (AISP), Earth Twine has established the means for inclusive representation of all sectors of seafood professionals.

Another fundamental partnership for Earth Twine is Greenberg Traurig Law, the nation’s biggest law firm.

Peter Schiff Is Grumpy About Bitcoin

Bitcoin hovers around $4,500 and some like John McAfee are convinced it will go to $500,000. Others like Peter Schiff make the case the currency is in a dead-end bubble and is not money anyway.

Schiff, who predicted the 2008 market crisis, has called bitcoin “fool’s gold” and said it was similar to Beanie Babies, the stuffed animals that were also in a bubble not long ago.

He believes in gold-as-money and he says, “Money must be a commodity.” Even fiat money has commodity like properties. These days the dollar is known as the petrodollar for its oil backing though that may be changing.

Schiff believes that crime and regulations are ultimately going to pop the bitcoin bubble. He believes bitcoin owners in particular ought to take some profits before an inevitable collapse.

And yet… while Schiff and others are convinced of the eventual end of cybrucrriencies, even some Beanie Babies still have value. And dot.com stock that collapsed in 2000 now boast companies like Google and Facebook within their ranks.

Also as famous, free market economist Murray Rothbard said, “Money can be anything.” Gold and silver are popular monies, but once upon a time wampum had a good run. And wampum is neither gold nor silver.

It is perfectly that some cryptocurrencies will survive the next inevitable downturn. That doesn’t mean all will, but is perfectly possible that some will survive and even thrive.

One of the reasons that bitcoin has gone up hard and fast is because people are trying to get out of central bank currencies. Bitcoin, especially, is a good alternative. It may not be forever, but then again people are not going to continue to keep all their cash in their central bank currencies. If bitcoin moves back down they will probably seek some other alternative.

Their eagerness is increased by governments’ stated objective, which is to make all such currency digital. We now live in an era of private money. Some kind of alternative will likely continue to present itself that people can purchase with the idea it is retaining value in the short- or even long-term.

The Bubble of Bitcoin

John McAfee is sure Bitcoin is not in a bubble. Not everyone else is so certain.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones believes that the bitcoin price rise is similar to Tulipomania. But computer security maven John McAfee believes such an idea is “absurd.” He believes blockchain’s impact is similar to the development of agriculture.

McAfee believes bitcoin’s price will go to $500,000 by 2020 and that bicoin will make fiat currency obsolete. In fact, he believes words like “bubble,” “investment,” etc. don’t apply to cryptocurrencies.

In the short term, at least, McAfee is probably wrong about bitcoin and bubbles. When the most recent bubble is punctured, bitcoin will likely move down like other assets. It may well come back but it will be affected as other assets are. It also has moved up far and fast, in part because counties like China are buying bitcoin since other investment options are less available to them.

Central banks cause bubbles by keeping rates too low and overproducing money. This is a function of central banking, not the marketplace and so long as central banks are operating, the distortion of money regularly produces high prices and crashes.

In the longer term, McAfee may have a point. But in the short term, central banks continue to create bubbles and cause assets to climb on a regular basis, especially assets that are going up fast like bitcoin. There is no doubt that central bank policies have affected the market, just as they always do. Bitcoin and other cybercurrencies are not exempt.

Money Is Better Than Promises for Musicians and Others

We have stated in the past that the largest companies in the world like Google and Facebook ascended with considerable help from intel agencies and regulatory and judicial structures that ought to be overturned or at least reduced.

Part of what makes these companies so powerful is intellectual property rights, which is an artificial situation abetted by judicial force. Without such force intellectual property rights would not exist in their current form.

Intellectual property rights – patents and copyrights – are artificial rights that sprang up as part of a larger “creation” of rights that were previously unrecognized. Copyright in particular was an elite reaction to the printing press and the idea that people could read and pass along whatever they wished.

Copyright was initially intended to change this. The idea was that it would make obtaining and using such material freely much more difficult. In Germany during the 1700s and 1800s, copyright was not much enforced whereas in England, the wealthy were behind considerable enforcement.

It has been suggested that one of the reasons for the 2oth century wars against the Germans was to reduce the social and intellectual advantages they’d accrued from lack of copyright. This stimulated German society and helped create the German Renaissance that included many great philosophers, composers and writers in the 1700s and 1800s.

Copyright still doesn’t benefit most people. Most musicians never see much if anything from copyright and those who do have much of it removed by the companies they work for. A few rich companies make millions and billions from copyright while everyone else espouses it without much benefit.

Now musicians have another way of making money. Organizers need to find musicians in specific genres and a company called Viberate, wants to let musicians to sell their services to companies in exchange for cryptocurrencies. The company already has 120,000 musician profiles.

The goal is allow musicians to offer their services to musical organizers around the world for bitcoin, ethereum or Viberate’s own “Vibes” currency. Such organizers can locate musicians and hire them using the company’s social media platform.

The company was selected as one of 8 startups, “bound to change the music industry.”  It encourages live music and potentially pays musicians money instead of promises – via copyright – that never comes true.

This is just one more reason why we think copyright ought to be reduced or eliminated. There are plenty of ways for musicians – and writers too – to make money via live performances or readings etc., that have nothing to do with copyright.

The Vibe crowdsale will begin on September 5 and end on October 4, and a 200 million Vibes will be marketed if all goes well. Vibe tokens will be $0.1, via Ethereum. A white paper is available for download.

Commentary on the CMO Primer for the Blockchain World

Jeremy Epstein has written an ebook called The CMO Primer for the Blockchain World. It deals with how the blockchain “trust machine” has an impact on branding, customer experience, advertising and more.

In the book he confronts the diminution of trust in business and how blockchain can improve trust. Only some 43% of people in nearly 30 countries have much faith in governments  and their institutions. In America it is even worse, with only 2 in 10 having much trust and 8 in 1o having less or little faith in “fake news,” according to  Pew.

But things may change with Blockchain technology which forms a computer-friendly, open-ledger to aid the reliability of transactions.  Big companies are already using the “trust machine.” These include JP Morgan Chase and Walmart – even though it can be most disruptive to business-as-usual, especially “paper-pushing” functions.

Some $380 million was placed into technology in the first half of 2017, and the investing continues.  Blockchain is a significant technology and the book puts together numerous top technologists who share their thoughts and admit they don’t have all the answers by any means.

The goal is to help with preparation and assist in the transition. In one of the book’s forewords, Jeremy Skule, chief marketing officer for Nasdaq talks about how the world is challenged by a crisis of trust.

He freely admits there’s a “loss of faith in the system, a sense of unfairness.” The question becomes, “what steps are needed in order to re-establish trust and confidence in many of the things that we once took for granted?”

He says that at his company there is a commitment to use the newest powerfulo technologies like blockchain, even though – actually because – it is disruptive.

He quotes Fredrik Voss, Nasdaq’s Vice President of Blockchain Innovation, as saying, “We’ve taken it upon ourselves to be a leader in terms of encouraging people and companies to explore this technology and understand it better.”

Skule also says blockchain technology can make settlements and transfers of securities safer and faster. And he says he is making markets safer by increasing surveillance using blockchain.

We are integrating machine learning and other cognitive computing capabilities with our SMARTS surveillance solutions to monitor trade data alongside unstructured data elements, like electronic or audio communications taking place in chat rooms, social media or email to enable the detection of any wrongdoing more quickly.

He says Nasdaq is just starting to scratch the surface with blockchain. And that it will help people reintegrate control of their own data.

In fact, in another foreword, Dave Rishi, CMO of Dun & Bradstreet, says this is why decentralization is becoming popular. Big cloud-based websites will gradually die, which will “pose a huge challenge to marketing teams.”

But he doesn’t see this as a negative. Instead of raiding clouds for information, companies will have to get data the old fashioned way by delivering “real, authentic value to customers so that they are willing to voluntarily part with their valuable personal data.”

Contrast this with today where companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have such centralized power that consumers have no choice but to share their data with them, even in ways against their wishes when these sites demand it.

Throughout the book, this idea that blockchain will give people more control and allow them to be more in charge of their own data is regularly repeated. In fact, blockchain’s revolutionary qualities are similar across industries. Blockchain allows people to collect information at one time in one place. And the information, while widely dispersed, can be considerably safeguarded.

The downside to all this is just what has been mentioned above in Skule’s commentary about the increased surveillance that blockchain and SMART tools make possible. The problem with blockchain is that it does what its users ask of it. And most users at large companies are using it to reinforce the company’s status and dominance.

Blockchain is surely a radical way of pursuing commerce, but it can also make the more oppressive parts of big business even more efficient.  On the other hand, Epstein’s idea of community driven marketing is a good one. The community itself will end up with considerable control as a result of blockchain and SMART contract operations. And even more importantly, individuals within the community.

The result will be an empowered community that runs contrary to the surveillance and overreach of big business. But if Epstein really wants to see his ideas properly communicated and entrenched he will have to deal with the largest issues facilitating the bigness of these huge corporations.

These include intellectual property rights, corporate personhood, central banking and regulations. They need to be confronted at the same time, even while community driven marketing advances.

It is a local consensus that may prevail if the circumstances are appropriate, but the very largest firms will have to be stripped of judicially granted powers. At least such will have to be reduced.

This does not mean they need to be turned into fully regulated entities like the telephone company once was. The impetus of blockchain is, rather, towards deregulation. The natural evolution of Community Based Marketing along with its disruption will be strengthened by such a move.