6 Ways To Make Untraceable Bitcoin Transactions

Bitcoin Newcomers FAQ - Please read!

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
It all started with the release of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper however that will probably go over the head of most readers so we recommend the following videos for a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Some other great resources include Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series.
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
Some Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here.
Potential upcoming protocol improvements and scaling resources here and here.
The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!)

Key properties of Bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org and BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (even just a few dollars worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy OTP Auth
Android Android N/A
iOS iOS iOS

Watch out for scams

As mentioned above, Bitcoin is decentralized, which by definition means there is no official website or Twitter handle or spokesperson or CEO. However, all money attracts thieves. This combination unfortunately results in scammers running official sounding names or pretending to be an authority on YouTube or social media. Many scammers throughout the years have claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Websites like bitcoin(dot)com and the btc subreddit are active scams. Almost all altcoins (shitcoins) are marketed heavily with big promises but are really just designed to separate you from your bitcoin. So be careful: any resource, including all linked in this document, may in the future turn evil. Don't trust, verify. Also as they say in our community "Not your keys, not your coins".

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for millions of merchant options. Also you can spend bitcoin anywhere visa is accepted with bitcoin debit cards such as the CashApp card. Some other useful site are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Spendabit, Overstock and The Bitcoin Directory Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Coinsfer, and more Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway and Thuisbezorgd NL Takeout delivered to your door
Expedia, Cheapair, Destinia, Abitsky, SkyTours, the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun Domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. If you would prefer to keep it simple there are several good options. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, Cryptogrind, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, BitforTip, Rein Project Freelancing
Lolli Earn bitcoin when you shop online!
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
/GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Adult services
A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins.

Bitcoin-Related Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network Second layer scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
JoinMarket and Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin implementation
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase Identity & Reputation management
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
bitcoin BTC 1 bitcoin one bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin used as default unit in recent Electrum wallet releases
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin (μBTC)
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit.
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BitcoinFan7 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Everyday info sec, hardcore info sec, and DNMs

Edit: Currently writing a new version of this, dont know when it will be done.
Edit: Since first post I have updated a few sections with additional information.
I recommend reading it all even if it is very long, I might have placed some relevant info in different sections while thinking about what else needed to be added, plenty of steps remains mostly the same except when I comment directly on it. It is not necessary to do 100% security all the time, unless you absolutely need it, combining some high and some lower security ideas for a balance of security and convenience is useful.
I will base this mostly on Windows, Linux users probably know this, and I have no idea how apple machines work (tho many things in here are still relevant for other operating systems, as they are just general tips)
Disclaimer: There are certainly other steps that can make you more anonymous or safer, however I think for most people this will surfice. Any software I recommend should be independently verified for security, and examples of software are not to be taken as endorsements. I simply use examples and give recommendations when I believe it necessary, or helpful.
I will not really differentiate between anonymity and security, they are often the same thing. As such the word security can mean either more anonymous, less vulnerable, or both.
--------
Everyday Simple Info Sec:
-There could be a hidden administrator user on your PC, make sure to change its password
(Snapchat msgs, reddit dms, discord msgs, are just a few examples of msgs that are never encrypted)
-Any info even send in encrypted msgs (and obviously non encrypted) should still be kept with possible deniability, don't say "I'm gonna do MDMA", say "I'm going out with molly."
-DO NOT STORE ANY PASSWORDS ON GOOGLE, IF GOOGLE LOGIN IS AUTHENTICATED IT WILL AUTFILL ALL PASSWORDS IT HAS SAVED (same with other similar services) (This means if you are logged in to chrome and someone has access to your machine, they can auto fill passwords without entering a single password)
-use a rememberable passphrase, especially for your master key ring aka password manager A long sentence that is memorable makes an okay password (decent example,: "I met my wife at Little Ceasers for the first time on 07/09/20" better even if it's just something you know, if its impersonal, and if you can add special characters or numbers that you won't forget) (A better example for a passphrase is: "There is 0nly 0ne letter that d0esn’t appear in any U.S. state nameQ")
-Purge your internet activity frequently, there's a reason why I only have one post, and a few comments appearing in my account, but thousands of kama. Exposing information needlessly is not good.
-Never post private information publicly, and if you do, do it vaguely as possible. (Example: Not "I'm 15", say "I'm a teenager") Do not post any vital information ever, no birthdays, mother's maiden name, age, or anything you have ever seen in a security question. Never post your current activities while they are ongoing. You going on a vacation? Don't announce it to the world, taking picture there? Post them when you are home.
-Rethink how you do security questions. Many answers to security questions can be found in your internet history. One could use the first word of the security question as an answer, or a different sceme that will mean you always remember it. (Security question need to go, the amount of personal info an average person puts on the internet makes it easy to attack anything using security question)
-------_
High level crimimal information security:
The motto here is, "All the Security, All the Time" As one fuck up can end with you leaving a lick of traceability, and you could be fucked.
Pre Note: All of your software should always be up to date. Also even perfect info sec does not guarantee you are completely safe, a new zero day (exploit) can still fuck you, but good info security makes you significantly safer, by eliminating as many attacks as possible.
-Get a new device (or make a already owned device seem like you never owned it, do this only if you know how to, there's a lot of stuff that goes into that, like changing your mac adress etc) buy with cash, and your face covered, preferably far away from where you live. (Do I need to specify to not bring your phone or anything else that tracks your location to anywhere you want to go anonymously?) (Be aware that even hardware can have vulnerabilities, many cpus have known vulnerabilities, I can't list them all, do some research before buying)
-If you know how to use Tails (A linux distro designed for Info sec) use that, preferably on a USB. (Or learn how to use tails, its better, but complicated) Otherwise a clean copy of windows (make sure its not in any way associated with you) can do the job too, tho not as well. (Using a VM might give extra security, since VMs usually erase all data and RAM they were using on shutdown)
-Get a non tracking VPN, Enable the kill switch (a setting that disables all traffic that doesn't go through the VPN) (change your firewall settings to only allow the traffic from the VPN, windows guide (Change settings so only traffic from the tor application is send) Edit: (Due to complaints: do not use vpn over tor, use tor over vpn. tor over vpn has no notable downside, if the VPN logs it makes no difference, your ISP will always log anyways, and vpns remove other attack vectors and also provide backup security should tor fail. Again even if the VPN tracks you only change the people doing the tracking, but now you are further removed making it more anonymous and also with less vulnerabilities)
-rember privacy settings, cookie cleaner, and antivirus, password (There could be a hidden administrator user on your PC, make sure to change its password)
-Always use the device on a non admin account
-Ideally use this device only on networks that are not connected with you. Such as public networks (try to never use the same public networks twice, move around) (a home network should be fine now, as it should never be exposed, but more security is always better) (Its just a conveniences vs security trade)
-Never use accounts that have been exposed to lower security on higher security machines
-your browser is now TOR (or your preferred security focused browser, if you dont plan on using onion ) Make sure you get the standalone version of tor not the addon build (the standalone is safer, because there are less settings and options to tweak)
-Change your tor settings, to safest mode, enable a bridge (to my knowledge there's no difference in security between the build in bridges in tor), enable automatic updates, set duckduckgo onion as your primary browser. Set dark.fail onion page as your home page. (Or your preferred privacy search engine and onion directory)
-------_
How to use dark net markets (DNMs)
If you finished your High Security setup, we can dive right in. Otherwise go do that. This is where all that is essential.
Quick info on Tor, and onion sites. There is no search engine. It's all based of directories and addresses you are given by others. Tor will likely not be very quick, it has to pass through multiple networks to get to the destination. DNMs sometimes exit scam, an exit scam is when a market shuts down completely and takes all the money, this is a risk when using DNMs, it's not too common but happens maybe 0-4 times a year. The admins of thoese servers need to get out at some point, before they get jailed, so they exit the game, and scam everyone out of their money.
-A very useful onion directory is dark.fail it has a lot of links, for all kinds of stuff. News, email, DNMs, Psychonautwiki (harm reduction website), forums etc. (Other directories also exist)
-Pick a market, preferably one that handles secure connection server side instead of requiring you to establish the secure connection. Then create an account. Your account once created should include an entry box in your profile for a pgp key, post your PUBLIC key in there. (Verify the link is not a scam, most markets should provide a pgp signature)
-Next is currency setup. All major cryptocurrency exchangers can be used, I can recommend coin base but there could be better ones out there. Unless you find a small non U.S., exchange, they will always ask for your identity. So unless you can find a trustworthy exchange that doesn't ID, you will need to give it to them. (Side note, all major crypto exchangers report to the IRS, if the IRS asks you if you bought cryptocurrency and you bought while having IDed yourself SAY YES, DO NOT COMMIT TAX FRAUD WHEN THEY KNOW YOU DID)
-Transfer (monero you can send directly, btc you should scramble) to your wallet. There are two options a cold wallet (physical) or a software wallet. Software wallets usually dont cost anything so I recommend them, even if often less safe. Electrum is easy to use, and pretty safe. You can also do your own research and find a wallet that fits your needs.
-now you are ready to buy, only buy using escrow (it means the money is held by the market as a middle man until the product is delivered, they will also handle any issues like wrong quantity, cuts, etc), judge the reviews for a product, and if available look at the history of the vendor, until you find a product from a vendor you trust. (I recommend to buy within your country as much as possible, so it doesn't go through customs, it's very rare that something is found, but it can happen)
-now you get to buy, depending on market, you either have cryptocurrency stored in their wallets (not recommend, you will lose it in an exit scam) or you can send it every order. When you send your delivery adress (or the one you want it to go to) encrypt the adress using the sellers public key. Make sure the adress is correct.
-wait for the product, make sure to extend the escrow until the product arrives, if you can't extend it anymore dispute the order, and a moderator will step in
-test the product, use it, and leave a review. PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW, DNMs only work because of reviews.
Edit: Didn't imagine I would write over 15000 words. Oh well, it was fun. Hope it helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask.
No idea how long this will stay up, I might purge it in 7 days, or never.
submitted by seven_N_A7 to u/seven_N_A7 [link] [comments]

Bob The Magic Custodian



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:

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:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
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:
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:
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):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

0xMonero, summary of findings

Edit: There was prior work by Artemiscult I didn't know about from a month ago!
Hi, this is a summary of my findings on 0xMonero, which claims to be "a mineable privacy focused project".
The contract was deployed on April 18th of this year, verified on Etherscan the same day, announced on Twitter soon after. It was announced on Bitcoin Talk about ten days later. 0xMonero's contract is an uncredited rip of 0xBitcoin's with only very small changes. The mining software recommended by 0xMonero was written for 0xBitcoin. There are two other more modern miners written for 0xBitcoin, but up until recently, they have only supported pool mining, not solo. My suspicion for why 0xMonero recommends the older miner is that they don't have anyone competent to run a mining pool.
Here's 0xMonero's stats page, and here's 0xBitcoin's. Look familiar? 0x1d00ffff wrote that page for 0xBitcoin about a month after the 0xBitcoin project started in February 2018. Here's the initial commit, and here are the changes 0xMonero made. When 0xMonero ripped it, at least they left the author's Etherscan link at the bottom.
Here's 0xMonero's official GitHub. As of now, there are 20 repos, but they are all forks, zero original repos. I've been told that 0xMonero has ten developers. When I asked to see their GitHub accounts, I was told that they were all too concerned with privacy. That doesn't make sense to me, since I've been doing anonymous development under various identities for years. Here's the account associated with my work for 0xBitcoin, and here's another project I work on with other anonymous developers.
Why does 0xMonero make reference to Monero? I don't know. As far as I can tell, 0xMonero has nothing to do with Monero. I can say with certainty that since 0xMonero's contract is an almost identical copy of 0xBitcoin's, and 0xBitcoin deliberately did not include privacy features, there are no privacy features in the 0xMonero contract. They would have to be elsewhere. But as far as I know, there is no other code to look at.
Here's a piece-by-piece analysis of the claims on 0xMonero's site:
Here's a thread started by DigitalInvestments2 who claims to be a top holder of 0xMonero. In that thread, I asked many direct questions, and was not able to receive any clarification or substantiation of any aspect of what 0xMonero says they are working on.
When I couldn't get answers in that thread, I reached out twice to the official 0xMonero Twitter account asking them to start a thread where it would be possible to get answers. I got blocked. At the same time, I was blocked by another related Twitter account. Here's that account lying about 0xMonero's (nonexistent) privacy features.
I started talking about this stuff on 0xMonero's Bitcoin Talk thread about a week ago. I have been unable to get any answers there, either. But someone in that thread reported me. For what, I don't know.
I think that's it for what I know about 0xMonero at the moment. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.
Edit: Here's that related Twitter account lying about 0xMonero's nonexistent privacy features again.
Edit: lying about 0xMonero's nonexistent privacy features again, and AGAIN. Suggesting to people that 0xMonero is somehow private is dangerous.
Edit: ... lying about privacy again.
Edit: agreement about 0xMonero most likely being a complete scam from a second source: https://twitter.com/CryptoScamCases/status/1292753105097031680
Edit: lying about privacy again. Noticing a trend with 0xMonero and lying?
submitted by 0xBrian to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

Why I stopped using the dark web

My story begins a few years ago I decided to use my computer skills to run a small darknet forum mainly just to share information without censorship.
At first I was extremely paranoid about my site getting hacked and having my anonymity being compromised so I went online and began to research everything that I would need to ensure my own safety.
After countless days of scouring blogs, forums and other material I decided I was ready now I didn't have any money so I couldn't just buy a VPS and host the site off shore or whatever, so I decided to use my old laptop after all I wasn't planning on running a major website.
So after setting the server up and what I thought was literally every single thing I could to do harden it against attack I put the site online, everything went great for a couple of months, donations rolled in as the the user base grew larger and larger.
After around 5 months the user base had gotten so big I had to upgrade and migrate everything to a new PC which I built just to host the forum and from there everything seemed perfect, the site was running smoothly and there were no issues with the migration until one day when I came home and noticed the PC had frozen I didn't think much to it maybe just a software bug caused it so I rebooted and that's when it was clear to me something was wrong the PC lit up and beeped a few times then shut off so I thought to myself ok so it's a hardware issue, after a few hours trying to diagnose the issue I figured it out and it turned out the ram had been corrupted I took it back to the store since it was still under warranty, the customer rep just told me it might have just been a faulty stick.
When I got home I replaced the stick of ram and had the site back up and running within a few hours, everything seemed to be perfect again I apologized to the users for the down time and everyone seemed to be happy enough.
Fast forward a few more months, the forums been up and running for a around a year and a half now this is when things started to get really weird. I finished work on a Friday, it was a gorgeous day in the middle of summer I came home had something to eat and sat down in front my PC and noticed I had a message, upon opening the message I realised that somewhere I'd messed up now don't get me wrong I'm not like Assange or anything so I don't really know why anybody would actually target me but the world is a crazy place so whatever.
The message had my details from my name, address, bank details, passwords, private emails, private messages everything from nearly every single device I owned I freaked out and immediately took the PC offline, turned my internet off but little did I know that this guy had done his research after a couple of hours pacing my room I received a text message.
"I know everything about you"
The message was sent via some type of SMS service so there was no way to trace it and then my phone rang.
"Don't talk just listen, I know everything there is to know about you all I want is 2 Bitcoin or things get worse, I'll send you a text with the wallet details"
The phone call ended just as quickly as it started, I opened my laptop up and checked my Bitcoin wallet there was enough left over from the donations just to pay this guy off and hope that would be the end of it, so I entered the guys details and sent the payment, my phone rang again.
"Thank you for complying, unfortunately someone I know really likes you."
He hung up, panicking I tried calling the number back an automated message began to play "the number you have dialled has not been recognised"
A few hours pass and I began to think to myself well maybe the last call was just him having fun and decided after a long day I'd just go to bed.
Sometime around 2am I was woken up by the sound of banging at my front door, I jumped out of bed and turned on all the lights grabbing a knife from the kitchen I walked slowly towards the window and looked out I could see someone standing by a car when they spotted me they got in and drove off I rushed to the door in hopes I might be able to get a license plate but by the time I'd opened it they'd already turned the corner as I turned I noticed an envelope on the floor I picked it up, went back inside and locked the door, closed the curtains and sat in the kitchen I placed the envelope on the counter and stared at it for around half an hour trying to muster up the courage to open it, did these guys really come to my home I thought to myself.
After the half hour was up I decided enough was enough I opened the envelope and pictures fell out onto the counter they were of me sleeping, these guys had not only been outside my house they'd been inside whilst I was sleeping the images had been edited and strange love hearts had been added next to me so now I was sufficiently freaked out, I didn't go back to sleep and when the sun broke the darkness I decided to head to the police station and tell them everything I hadn't broken any laws so I hoped they would just help me at least after hours of explaining everything to them they told me there was nothing they could do.
At this point I had never felt so alone in the world, I was scared of what this guy was planning for me, I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was supposed to do or expect so I decided to wipe everything my laptop, PC and phone I picked up everything I needed stuffed it all into a bag and decided to leave I had a couple of friends that I knew I could rely on so I called up my old buddy Marcus and we met had a few beers and I explained everything to him, he offered me a place to stay and I hoped that would be the end of it how wrong I was.
A few days later it happened again there was a knock at the door first thing in the morning, me and Marcus both went out to find another envelope on the floor, same thing pictures of me sleeping but these were in Marcus's house I started freaking out again and Marcus just said
"Ok well we need to do something maybe set a trap or something"
So we went over numerous ideas everything you could think of from cameras to baiting him and we settled on the idea of staying up during the night and locking him in the room, we filled the bed up with pillows, setup cameras and even barred the windows in the room we hid in the room next door after a few hours had passed we heard the lock rattling on the front door and we knew it was game time, we'd left the door just slightly ajar so we could see outside as he went past and the moment he went into the room we both sprung to action quickly as we could we closed the door and locked it from outside using a chair and a metal bar there was only one way he was getting out and he'd have to destroy the door we could see the silhouette of him as he paced the room quietly it was creepy as fuck, we called the police as we kept an eye on him.
At last I thought I can finish this and move on with my life just as the police arrived we noticed the guy take a gun out and place it to his head, he held a sign up which read "I love you" and he pulled the trigger, the police barged in guns drawn told us both to get the floor, we complied and shouted "he's in there" pointing at the door.
The police removed the makeshift lock and entered the room, called for an ambulance and put me and Marcus in the back of a police car.
I'd been sat in the interview room for a good couple of hours I guess whilst they carried out the investigation when a detective came in and say down in front of me opening a folder and placing pictures on the table "Do you know her" "Her?" I said looking at the pictures "no" I replied confused , he looked at me and said "this is the person who's been stalking you" and he then began to tell me they had visited her home and found a shrine with photos of me all over the place from restaurants to the gym even shopping.
He went onto tell me that she'd been the one that sent the messages, made the phone calls etc and they'd also found a diary which had some kind of future plans for me and her, she wanted me to be her husband and we'd been chatting for around a year and half from the moment I started the forum after I explained everything the detective said I was lucky to be alive, she had actually planned to drug me and kidnap me, she had even made some makeshift lock bed so I wouldn't be able to escape.
To this day I feel lucky and I haven't been on the darkweb since.
submitted by GoobleGayTennis to scarystories [link] [comments]

[ANN][ANDROID MINING][AIRDROP] NewEnglandcoin: Scrypt RandomSpike

New England
New England 6 States Songs: https://www.reddit.com/newengland/comments/er8wxd/new_england_6_states_songs/
NewEnglandcoin
Symbol: NENG
NewEnglandcoin is a clone of Bitcoin using scrypt as a proof-of-work algorithm with enhanced features to protect against 51% attack and decentralize on mining to allow diversified mining rigs across CPUs, GPUs, ASICs and Android phones.
Mining Algorithm: Scrypt with RandomSpike. RandomSpike is 3rd generation of Dynamic Difficulty (DynDiff) algorithm on top of scrypt.
1 minute block targets base difficulty reset: every 1440 blocks subsidy halves in 2.1m blocks (~ 2 to 4 years) 84,000,000,000 total maximum NENG 20000 NENG per block Pre-mine: 1% - reserved for dev fund ICO: None RPCPort: 6376 Port: 6377
NewEnglandcoin has dogecoin like supply at 84 billion maximum NENG. This huge supply insures that NENG is suitable for retail transactions and daily use. The inflation schedule of NengEnglandcoin is actually identical to that of Litecoin. Bitcoin and Litecoin are already proven to be great long term store of value. The Litecoin-like NENG inflation schedule will make NewEnglandcoin ideal for long term investment appreciation as the supply is limited and capped at a fixed number
Bitcoin Fork - Suitable for Home Hobbyists
NewEnglandcoin core wallet continues to maintain version tag of "Satoshi v0.8.7.5" because NewEnglandcoin is very much an exact clone of bitcoin plus some mining feature changes with DynDiff algorithm. NewEnglandcoin is very suitable as lite version of bitcoin for educational purpose on desktop mining, full node running and bitcoin programming using bitcoin-json APIs.
The NewEnglandcoin (NENG) mining algorithm original upgrade ideas were mainly designed for decentralization of mining rigs on scrypt, which is same algo as litecoin/dogecoin. The way it is going now is that NENG is very suitable for bitcoin/litecoin/dogecoin hobbyists who can not , will not spend huge money to run noisy ASIC/GPU mining equipments, but still want to mine NENG at home with quiet simple CPU/GPU or with a cheap ASIC like FutureBit Moonlander 2 USB or Apollo pod on solo mining setup to obtain very decent profitable results. NENG allows bitcoin litecoin hobbyists to experience full node running, solo mining, CPU/GPU/ASIC for a fun experience at home at cheap cost without breaking bank on equipment or electricity.
MIT Free Course - 23 lectures about Bitcoin, Blockchain and Finance (Fall,2018)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUl4u3cNGP63UUkfL0onkxF6MYgVa04Fn
CPU Minable Coin Because of dynamic difficulty algorithm on top of scrypt, NewEnglandcoin is CPU Minable. Users can easily set up full node for mining at Home PC or Mac using our dedicated cheetah software.
Research on the first forked 50 blocks on v1.2.0 core confirmed that ASIC/GPU miners mined 66% of 50 blocks, CPU miners mined the remaining 34%.
NENG v1.4.0 release enabled CPU mining inside android phones.
Youtube Video Tutorial
How to CPU Mine NewEnglandcoin (NENG) in Windows 10 Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdOoPvAjzlE How to CPU Mine NewEnglandcoin (NENG) in Windows 10 Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHnRJvJRzZg
How to CPU Mine NewEnglandcoin (NENG) in macOS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj7NLMeNSOQ
Decentralization and Community Driven NewEnglandcoin is a decentralized coin just like bitcoin. There is no boss on NewEnglandcoin. Nobody nor the dev owns NENG.
We know a coin is worth nothing if there is no backing from community. Therefore, we as dev do not intend to make decision on this coin solely by ourselves. It is our expectation that NewEnglandcoin community will make majority of decisions on direction of this coin from now on. We as dev merely view our-self as coin creater and technical support of this coin while providing NENG a permanent home at ShorelineCrypto Exchange.
Twitter Airdrop
Follow NENG twitter and receive 100,000 NENG on Twitter Airdrop to up to 1000 winners
Graphic Redesign Bounty
Top one award: 90.9 million NENG Top 10 Winners: 500,000 NENG / person Event Timing: March 25, 2019 - Present Event Address: NewEnglandcoin DISCORD at: https://discord.gg/UPeBwgs
Please complete above Twitter Bounty requirement first. Then follow Below Steps to qualify for the Bounty: (1) Required: submit your own designed NENG logo picture in gif, png jpg or any other common graphic file format into DISCORD "bounty-submission" board (2) Optional: submit a second graphic for logo or any other marketing purposes into "bounty-submission" board. (3) Complete below form.
Please limit your submission to no more than two total. Delete any wrongly submitted or undesired graphics in the board. Contact DISCORD u/honglu69#5911 or u/krypton#6139 if you have any issues.
Twitter Airdrop/Graphic Redesign bounty sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/L0vcwmVi8c76cR7m1
Milestones
Roadmap
NENG v1.4.0 Android Mining, randomSpike Evaluation https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/download/NENG_2020_Q3_report/NENG_2020_Q3_report.pdf
RandomSpike - NENG core v1.3.0 Hardfork Upgrade Proposal https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/download/2020Q1_Report/Scrypt_RandomSpike_NENGv1.3.0_Hardfork_Proposal.pdf
NENG Security, Decentralization & Valuation
https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/download/2019Q2_report/NENG_Security_Decentralization_Value.pdf
Whitepaper v1.0 https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/download/whitepaper_v1.0/NENG_WhitePaper.pdf
DISCORD https://discord.gg/UPeBwgs
Explorer
http://www.findblocks.com/exploreNENG http://86.100.49.209/exploreNENG http://nengexplorer.mooo.com:3001/
Step by step guide on how to setup an explorer: https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/nengexplorer
Github https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin
Wallet
Android with UserLand App (arm64/armhf), Chromebook (x64/arm64/armhf): https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/tag/v1.4.0.5
Linux Wallet (Ubuntu/Linux Mint, Debian/MX Linux, Arch/Manjaro, Fedora, openSUSE): https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/tag/v1.4.0.3
MacOS Wallet (10.11 El Capitan or higher): https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/tag/v1.4.0.2
Android with GNUroot on 32 bits old Phones (alpha release) wallet: https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/tag/v1.4.0
Windows wallet: https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/NewEnglandCoin/releases/tag/v1.3.0.1
addnode ip address for the wallet to sync faster, frequently updated conf file: https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/cheetah_cpumineblob/mastenewenglandcoin.conf-example
How to Sync Full Node Desktop Wallet https://www.reddit.com/NewEnglandCoin/comments/er6f0q/how_to_sync_full_node_desktop_wallet/
TWITTER https://twitter.com/newenglandcoin
REDDIT https://www.reddit.com/NewEnglandCoin/
Cheetah CPU Miner Software https://github.com/ShorelineCrypto/cheetah_cpuminer
Solo Mining with GPU or ASIC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg52187727#msg52187727
How to Run Two Full Node in Same Desktop PC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg53581449#msg53581449
ASIC/GPU Mining Pools Warning to Big ASIC Miners Due to DynDiff Algo on top of Scrypt, solo mining is recommended for ASIC/GPU miners. Further more, even for mining pools, small mining pool will generate better performance than big NENG mining pool because of new algo v1.2.x post hard fork.
The set up configuration of NENG for scrypt pool mining is same as a typical normal scrypt coin. In other word, DynDiff on Scrypt algo is backward compatible with Scrypt algo. Because ASIC/GPU miners rely on CPU miners for smooth blockchain movement, checkout bottom of "Latest News" section for A WARNING to All ASIC miners before you decide to dump big ASIC hash rate into NENG mining.
(1) Original DynDiff Warning: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48324708#msg48324708 (2) New Warning on RandomSpike Spike difficulty (244k) introduced in RandomSpike served as roadblocks to instant mining and provide security against 51% attack risk. However, this spike difficulty like a roadblock that makes big ASIC mining less profitable. In case of spike block to be mined, the spike difficulty immediately serve as base difficulty, which will block GPU/ASIC miners effectively and leave CPU cheetah solo miners dominating mining almost 100% until next base difficulty reset.
FindBlocks http://findblocks.com/
CRpool http://crpool.xyz/
Cminors' Pool http://newenglandcoin.cminors-pool.com/
SPOOL https://spools.online/
Exchange
📷
https://shorelinecrypto.com/
Features: anonymous sign up and trading. No restriction or limit on deposit or withdraw.
The trading pairs available: NewEnglandcoin (NENG) / Dogecoin (DOGE)
Trading commission: A round trip trading will incur 0.10% trading fees in average. Fees are paid only on buyer side. buy fee: 0.2% / sell fee: 0% Deposit fees: free for all coins Withdraw fees: ZERO per withdraw. Mining fees are appointed by each coin blockchain. To cover the blockchain mining fees, there is minimum balance per coin per account: * Dogecoin 2 DOGE * NewEnglandcoin 1 NENG
Latest News Aug 30, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0.5 Released for Android/Chromebook Upgrade with armhf, better hardware support https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg55098029#msg55098029
Aug 11, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0.4 Released for Android arm64 Upgrade / Chromebook Support https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54977437#msg54977437
Jul 30, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0.3 Released for Linux Wallet Upgrade with 8 Distros https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54898540#msg54898540
Jul 21, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0.2 Released for MacOS Upgrade with Catalina https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54839522#msg54839522
Jul 19, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0.1 Released for MacOS Wallet Upgrade https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54830333#msg54830333
Jul 15, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0 Released for Android Mining, Ubuntu 20.04 support https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54803639#msg54803639
Jul 11, 2020 - NENG v1.4.0 Android Mining, randomSpike Evaluation https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54777222#msg54777222
Jun 27, 2020 - Pre-Announce: NENG v1.4.0 Proposal for Mobile Miner Upgrade, Android Mining Start in July 2020 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54694233#msg54694233
Jun 19, 2020 - Best Practice for Futurebit Moonlander2 USB ASIC on solo mining mode https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54645726#msg54645726
Mar 15, 2020 - Scrypt RandomSpike - NENG v1.3.0.1 Released for better wallet syncing https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg54030923#msg54030923
Feb 23, 2020 - Scrypt RandomSpike - NENG Core v1.3.0 Relased, Hardfork on Mar 1 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg53900926#msg53900926
Feb 1, 2020 - Scrypt RandomSpike Proposal Published- NENG 1.3.0 Hardfork https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg53735458#msg53735458
Jan 15, 2020 - NewEnglandcoin Dev Team Expanded with New Kickoff https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg53617358#msg53617358
Jan 12, 2020 - Explanation of Base Diff Reset and Effect of Supply https://www.reddit.com/NewEnglandCoin/comments/envmo1/explanation_of_base_diff_reset_and_effect_of/
Dec 19, 2019 - Shoreline_tradingbot version 1.0 is released https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5121953.msg53391184#msg53391184
Sept 1, 2019 - NewEnglandcoin (NENG) is Selected as Shoreline Tradingbot First Supported Coin https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg52331201#msg52331201
Aug 15, 2019 - Mining Update on Effect of Base Difficulty Reset, GPU vs ASIC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg52169572#msg52169572
Jul 7, 2019 - CPU Mining on macOS Mojave is supported under latest Cheetah_Cpuminer Release https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg51745839#msg51745839
Jun 1, 2019 - NENG Fiat project is stopped by Square, Inc https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg51312291#msg51312291
Apr 21, 2019 - NENG Fiat Project is Launched by ShorelineCrypto https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg50714764#msg50714764
Apr 7, 2019 - Announcement of Fiat Project for all U.S. Residents & Mobile Miner Project Initiation https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg50506585#msg50506585
Apr 1, 2019 - Disclosure on Large Buying on NENG at ShorelineCrypto Exchange https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg50417196#msg50417196
Mar 27, 2019 - Disclosure on Large Buying on NENG at ShorelineCrypto Exchange https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg50332097#msg50332097
Mar 17, 2019 - Disclosure on Large Buying on NENG at ShorelineCrypto Exchange https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg50208194#msg50208194
Feb 26, 2019 - Community Project - NewEnglandcoin Graphic Redesign Bounty Initiated https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49931305#msg49931305
Feb 22, 2019 - Dev Policy on Checkpoints on NewEnglandcoin https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49875242#msg49875242
Feb 20, 2019 - NewEnglandCoin v1.2.1 Released to Secure the Hard Kork https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49831059#msg49831059
Feb 11, 2019 - NewEnglandCoin v1.2.0 Released, Anti-51% Attack, Anti-instant Mining after Hard Fork https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49685389#msg49685389
Jan 13, 2019 - Cheetah_CpuMiner added support for CPU Mining on Mac https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49218760#msg49218760
Jan 12, 2019 - NENG Core v1.1.2 Released to support MacOS OSX Wallet https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49202088#msg49202088
Jan 2, 2019 - Cheetah_Cpuminer v1.1.0 is released for both Linux and Windows https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg49004345#msg49004345
Dec 31, 2018 - Technical Whitepaper is Released https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48990334#msg48990334
Dec 28, 2018 - Cheetah_Cpuminer v1.0.0 is released for Linux https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48935135#msg48935135
Update on Dec 14, 2018 - NENG Blockchain Stuck Issue https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48668375#msg48668375
Nov 27, 2018 - Exclusive for PC CPU Miners - How to Steal a Block from ASIC Miners https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48258465#msg48258465
Nov 28, 2018 - How to CPU Mine a NENG block with window/linux PC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48298311#msg48298311
Nov 29, 2018 - A Warning to ASIC Miners https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5027091.msg48324708#msg48324708
Disclosure: Dev Team Came from ShorelineCrypto, a US based Informatics Service Business offering Fee for service for Coin Creation, Coin Exchange Listing, Blockchain Consulting, etc.
submitted by honglu69 to NewEnglandCoin [link] [comments]

Why I stopped using the dark web

My story begins a few years ago I decided to use my computer skills to run a small darknet forum mainly just to share information without censorship.
At first I was extremely paranoid about my site getting hacked and having my anonymity being compromised so I went online and began to research everything that I would need to ensure my own safety.
After countless days of scouring blogs, forums and other material I decided I was ready now I didn't have any money so I couldn't just buy a VPS and host the site off shore or whatever, so I decided to use my old laptop after all I wasn't planning on running a major website.
So after setting the server up and what I thought was literally every single thing I could to do harden it against attack I put the site online, everything went great for a couple of months, donations rolled in as the the user base grew larger and larger.
After around 5 months the user base had gotten so big I had to upgrade and migrate everything to a new PC which I built just to host the forum and from there everything seemed perfect, the site was running smoothly and there were no issues with the migration until one day when I came home and noticed the PC had frozen I didn't think much to it maybe just a software bug caused it so I rebooted and that's when it was clear to me something was wrong the PC lit up and beeped a few times then shut off so I thought to myself ok so it's a hardware issue, after a few hours trying to diagnose the issue I figured it out and it turned out the ram had been corrupted I took it back to the store since it was still under warranty, the customer rep just told me it might have just been a faulty stick.
When I got home I replaced the stick of ram and had the site back up and running within a few hours, everything seemed to be perfect again I apologized to the users for the down time and everyone seemed to be happy enough.
Fast forward a few more months, the forums been up and running for a around a year and a half now this is when things started to get really weird. I finished work on a Friday, it was a gorgeous day in the middle of summer I came home had something to eat and sat down in front my PC and noticed I had a message, upon opening the message I realised that somewhere I'd messed up now don't get me wrong I'm not like Assange or anything so I don't really know why anybody would actually target me but the world is a crazy place so whatever.
The message had my details from my name, address, bank details, passwords, private emails, private messages everything from nearly every single device I owned I freaked out and immediately took the PC offline, turned my internet off but little did I know that this guy had done his research after a couple of hours pacing my room I received a text message.
"I know everything about you"
The message was sent via some type of SMS service so there was no way to trace it and then my phone rang.
"Don't talk just listen, I know everything there is to know about you all I want is 2 Bitcoin or things get worse, I'll send you a text with the wallet details"
The phone call ended just as quickly as it started, I opened my laptop up and checked my Bitcoin wallet there was enough left over from the donations just to pay this guy off and hope that would be the end of it, so I entered the guys details and sent the payment, my phone rang again.
"Thank you for complying, unfortunately someone I know really likes you."
He hung up, panicking I tried calling the number back an automated message began to play "the number you have dialled has not been recognised"
A few hours pass and I began to think to myself well maybe the last call was just him having fun and decided after a long day I'd just go to bed.
Sometime around 2am I was woken up by the sound of banging at my front door, I jumped out of bed and turned on all the lights grabbing a knife from the kitchen I walked slowly towards the window and looked out I could see someone standing by a car when they spotted me they got in and drove off I rushed to the door in hopes I might be able to get a license plate but by the time I'd opened it they'd already turned the corner as I turned I noticed an envelope on the floor I picked it up, went back inside and locked the door, closed the curtains and sat in the kitchen I placed the envelope on the counter and stared at it for around half an hour trying to muster up the courage to open it, did these guys really come to my home I thought to myself.
After the half hour was up I decided enough was enough I opened the envelope and pictures fell out onto the counter they were of me sleeping, these guys had not only been outside my house they'd been inside whilst I was sleeping the images had been edited and strange love hearts had been added next to me so now I was sufficiently freaked out, I didn't go back to sleep and when the sun broke the darkness I decided to head to the police station and tell them everything I hadn't broken any laws so I hoped they would just help me at least after hours of explaining everything to them they told me there was nothing they could do.
At this point I had never felt so alone in the world, I was scared of what this guy was planning for me, I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was supposed to do or expect so I decided to wipe everything my laptop, PC and phone I picked up everything I needed stuffed it all into a bag and decided to leave I had a couple of friends that I knew I could rely on so I called up my old buddy Marcus and we met had a few beers and I explained everything to him, he offered me a place to stay and I hoped that would be the end of it how wrong I was.
A few days later it happened again there was a knock at the door first thing in the morning, me and Marcus both went out to find another envelope on the floor, same thing pictures of me sleeping but these were in Marcus's house I started freaking out again and Marcus just said
"Ok well we need to do something maybe set a trap or something"
So we went over numerous ideas everything you could think of from cameras to baiting him and we settled on the idea of staying up during the night and locking him in the room, we filled the bed up with pillows, setup cameras and even barred the windows in the room we hid in the room next door after a few hours had passed we heard the lock rattling on the front door and we knew it was game time, we'd left the door just slightly ajar so we could see outside as he went past and the moment he went into the room we both sprung to action quickly as we could we closed the door and locked it from outside using a chair and a metal bar there was only one way he was getting out and he'd have to destroy the door we could see the silhouette of him as he paced the room quietly it was creepy as fuck, we called the police as we kept an eye on him.
At last I thought I can finish this and move on with my life just as the police arrived we noticed the guy take a gun out and place it to his head, he held a sign up which read "I love you" and he pulled the trigger, the police barged in guns drawn told us both to get the floor, we complied and shouted "he's in there" pointing at the door.
The police removed the makeshift lock and entered the room, called for an ambulance and put me and Marcus in the back of a police car.
I'd been sat in the interview room for a good couple of hours I guess whilst they carried out the investigation when a detective came in and say down in front of me opening a folder and placing pictures on the table "Do you know her" "Her?" I said looking at the pictures "no" I replied confused , he looked at me and said "this is the person who's been stalking you" and he then began to tell me they had visited her home and found a shrine with photos of me all over the place from restaurants to the gym even shopping.
He went onto tell me that she'd been the one that sent the messages, made the phone calls etc and they'd also found a diary which had some kind of future plans for me and her, she wanted me to be her husband and we'd been chatting for around a year and half from the moment I started the forum after I explained everything the detective said I was lucky to be alive, she had actually planned to drug me and kidnap me, she had even made some makeshift lock bed so I wouldn't be able to escape.
To this day I feel lucky and I haven't been on the darkweb since.
submitted by GoobleGayTennis to Scary [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to ethereum [link] [comments]

The Privacy Coin Guide Part 1

As interest picks up in crypto again, I want to share this post I made on privacy coins again to just give the basics of their evolution. This is only part 1, and parts 2 and 3 are not available in this format, but this part is informative and basic.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to assess what the best privacy coin in the current space is, which has the best features, or which is most likely to give high returns, then this is not that guide. My goal is to give you the power to make your own decisions, to clearly state my biases, and educate. I really wanted to understand this niche of the crypto-space due to my background and current loyalties[1], and grasp the nuances of the features, origins and timelines of technologies used in privacy coins, while not being anything close to a developer myself. This is going to be a 3-part series, starting with an overview and basic review of the technology, then looking at its implications, and ending with why I like a specific project. It might be mildly interesting or delightfully educational. Cryptocurrencies are young and existing privacy coins are deploying technology that is a work in progress. This series assumes a basic understanding of how blockchains work, specifically as used in cryptocurrencies. If you don’t have that understanding, might I suggest that you get it? [2],[3],[4] Because cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before reaching their end-game: when the world relies on the technology without understanding it. So, shall we do a deep dive into the privacy coin space?

FIRST THERE WAS BITCOIN

Cryptocurrencies allow you to tokenize value and track its exchange between hands over time, with transaction information verified by a distributed network of users. The most famous version of a cryptocurrency in use is Bitcoin, defined as peer-to-peer electronic cash. [5] Posted anonymously in 2008, the whitepaper seemed to be in direct response to the global financial meltdown and public distrust of the conventional banking and financing systems. Although cryptographic techniques are used in Bitcoin to ensure that (i) only the owner of a specific wallet has the authority to spend funds from that wallet, (ii) the public address is linked but cannot be traced by a third party to the private address (iii) the information is stored via cryptographic hashing in a merkle tree structure to ensure data integrity, the actual transaction information is publicly visible on the blockchain and can be traced back to the individual through chain analysis.[6] This has raised fears of possible financial censorship or the metaphorical tainting of money due to its origination point, as demonstrated in the Silk Road marketplace disaster.[7] This can happen because fiat money is usually exchanged for cryptocurrency at some point, as crypto-enthusiasts are born in the real world and inevitably cash out. There are already chain analysis firms and software that are increasingly efficient at tracking transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.[8] This lack of privacy is one of the limitations of Bitcoin that has resulted in the creation of altcoins that experiment with the different features a cryptocurrency can have. Privacy coins are figuring out how to introduce privacy in addition to the payment network. The goal is to make the cryptocurrency fungible, each unit able to be exchanged for equal value without knowledge of its transaction history – like cash, while being publicly verifiable on a decentralized network. In other words, anyone can add the math up without being able to see the full details. Some privacy solutions and protocols have popped up as a result:

CRYPTONOTE – RING SIGNATURES AND STEALTH ADDRESSES

Used in: Monero and Particl as its successor RING-CT, Bytecoin
In December 2012, CryptoNote introduced the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses (along with other notable features such as its own codebase) to improve cryptocurrency privacy.[9] An updated CryptoNote version 2 came in October 2013 [10](though there is some dispute over this timeline [11]), also authored under the name Nicolas van Saberhagen. Ring signatures hide sender information by having the sender sign a transaction using a signature that could belong to multiple users. This makes a transaction untraceable. Stealth addresses allow a receiver to give a single address which generates a different public address for funds to be received at each time funds are sent to it. That makes a transaction unlinkable. In terms of privacy, CryptoNote gave us a protocol for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. The first implementation of CryptoNote technology was Bytecoin in March 2014 (timeline disputed [12]), which spawned many children (forks) in subsequent years, a notable example being Monero, based on CryptoNote v2 in April 2014.
RING SIGNATURES and STEALTH ADDRESSES

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
-Does not hide transaction information if not combined with another protocol.

COINJOIN

Used in: Dash
Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell proposed a set of solutions to bring privacy to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the first being CoinJoin (January 28 – Aug 22, 2013).[13],[14] CoinJoin (sometimes called CoinSwap) allows multiple users to combine their transactions into a single transaction, by receiving inputs from multiple users, and then sending their outputs to the multiple users, irrespective of who in the group the inputs came from. So, the receiver will get whatever output amount they were supposed to, but it cannot be directly traced to its origination input. Similar proposals include Coinshuffle in 2014 and Tumblebit in 2016, building on CoinJoin but not terribly popular [15],[16]. They fixed the need for a trusted third party to ‘mix’ the transactions. There are CoinJoin implementations that are being actively worked on but are not the most popular privacy solutions of today. A notable coin that uses CoinJoin technology is Dash, launched in January 2014, with masternodes in place of a trusted party.
COINJOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Easy to implement on any cryptocurrency
– Lightweight
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Mature technology

CONS

– Least anonymous privacy solution. Transaction amounts can be calculated
– Even without third-party mixer, depends on wealth centralization of masternodes

ZEROCOIN

Used in: Zcoin, PIVX
In May 2013, the Zerocoin protocol was introduced by John Hopkins University professor Matthew D. Green and his graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman.[17] In response to the need for use of a third party to do CoinJoin, the Zerocoin proposal allowed for a coin to be destroyed and remade in order to erase its history whenever it is spent. Zero-knowledge cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs are used to prove that the new coins for spending are being appropriately made. A zero-knowledge proof allows one party to prove to another that they know specific information, without revealing any information about it, other than the fact that they know it. Zerocoin was not accepted by the Bitcoin community as an implementation to be added to Bitcoin, so a new cryptocurrency had to be formed. Zcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocoin protocol in 2016. [18]
ZEROCOIN

PROS

– Provides sender and receiver privacy
– Supply can be audited
– Relatively mature technology
– Does not require a third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup (May not be required with Sigma protocol)
– Large proof sizes (not lightweight)
– Does not provide full privacy for transaction amounts

ZEROCASH

Used in: Zcash, Horizen, Komodo, Zclassic, Bitcoin Private
In May 2014, the current successor to the Zerocoin protocol, Zerocash, was created, also by Matthew Green and others (Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza).[19] It improved upon the Zerocoin concept by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs called zk-snarks (zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge). Unlike Zerocoin, which hid coin origins and payment history, Zerocash was faster, with smaller transaction sizes, and hides transaction information on the sender, receiver and amount. Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement the Zerocash protocol in 2016. [20]
ZEROCASH

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Sender, receiver and amount hidden.
– Privacy can be default?
– Fast due to small proof sizes.
– Payment amount can be optionally disclosed for auditing
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Requires trusted setup. (May be improved with zt-starks technology)
– Supply cannot be audited. And coins can potentially be forged without proper implementation.
– Private transactions computationally intensive (improved with Sapling upgrade)

CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

Used in: Monero and Particl with Ring Signatures as RING-CT
The next proposal from Maxwell was that of confidential transactions, proposed in June 2015 as part of the Sidechain Elements project from Blockstream, where Maxwell was Chief Technical Officer.[21],[22] It proposed to hide the transaction amount and asset type (e.g. deposits, currencies, shares), so that only the sender and receiver are aware of the amount, unless they choose to make the amount public. It uses homomorphic encryption[23] to encrypt the inputs and outputs by using blinding factors and a kind of ring signature in a commitment scheme, so the amount can be ‘committed’ to, without the amount actually being known. I’m terribly sorry if you now have the urge to go and research exactly what that means. The takeaway is that the transaction amount can be hidden from outsiders while being verifiable.
CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Only provides transaction amount privacy when used alone

RING-CT

Used in: Monero, Particl
Then came Ring Confidential transactions, proposed by Shen-Noether of Monero Research Labs in October 2015.[24] RingCT combines the use of ring signatures for hiding sender information, with the use of confidential transactions (which also uses ring signatures) for hiding amounts. The proposal described a new type of ring signature, A Multi-layered Linkable Spontaneous Anonymous Group signature which “allows for hidden amounts, origins and destinations of transactions with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation”.[25] RingCT was implemented in Monero in January 2017 and made mandatory after September 2017.
RING -CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTIONS

PROS

– Provides full anonymity. Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy can be default
– Mature technology
– Greater scalability with bulletproofs
– Does not require any third-party

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume

MIMBLEWIMBLE

Used in: Grin
Mimblewimble was proposed in July 2016 by pseudonymous contributor Tom Elvis Jedusorand further developed in October 2016 by Andrew Poelstra.[26],[27] Mimblewimble is a “privacy and fungibility focused cryptocoin transaction structure proposal”.[28] The key words are transaction structure proposal, so the way the blockchain is built is different, in order to accommodate privacy and fungibility features. Mimblewimble uses the concept of Confidential transactions to keep amounts hidden, looks at private keys and transaction information to prove ownership of funds rather than using addresses, and bundles transactions together instead of listing them separately on the blockchain. It also introduces a novel method of pruning the blockchain. Grin is a cryptocurrency in development that is applying Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is early in development and you can understand it more here [29].
MIMBLEWIMBLE

PROS

– Hides transaction amounts and receiver privacy
– Privacy is on by default
– Lightweight
– No public addresses?

CONS

– Privacy not very effective without high volume
– Sender and receiver must both be online
– Relatively new technology

ZEXE

Fresh off the minds of brilliant cryptographers (Sean Bowe, Alessandro Chiesa, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Pratyush Mishra, Howard Wu), in October 2018 Zexe proposed a new cryptographic primitive called ‘decentralized private computation.[30] It allows users of a decentralized ledger to “execute offline computations that result in transactions”[31], but also keeps transaction amounts hidden and allows transaction validation to happen at any time regardless of computations being done online. This can have far reaching implications for privacy coins in the future. Consider cases where transactions need to be automatic and private, without both parties being present.

NETWORK PRIVACY

Privacy technologies that look at network privacy as nodes communicate with each other on the network are important considerations, rather than just looking at privacy on the blockchain itself. Anonymous layers encrypt and/or reroute data as it moves among peers, so it is not obvious who they originate from on the network. They are used to protect against surveillance or censorship from ISPs and governments. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that uses end to end encryption for peers on a network to communicate with each other.[32] Its history dates back to 2003. Kovri is a Monero created implementation of I2P.[33] The Onion Router (Tor) is another anonymity layer [34]) that Verge is a privacy cryptocurrency that uses. But its historical link to the US government may be is concerning to some[35]. Dandelion transaction relay is also an upcoming Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that scrambles IP data that will provide network privacy for Bitcoin as transaction and other information is transmitted.[36],[37],[38]

UPCOMING

Monero completed bulletproofs protocol updates that reduce RINGCT transaction sizes and thus transaction fee costs. (Bulletproofs are a replacement for range proofs used in confidential transactions that aid in encrypting inputs and outputs by making sure they add to zero).
Sigma Protocol – being actively researched by Zcoin team as of 2018 to replace Zerocoin protocol so that a trusted setup is not required.[39] There is a possible replacement for zk-snarks, called zk-starks, another form of zero-knowledge proof technology, that may make a trusted set-up unnecessary for zero-knowledege proof coins.[40]

PART 1 CONCLUSION OF THE PRIVACY COIN GUIDE ON THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND PRIVACY COINS

Although Bitcoin is still a groundbreaking technology that gives us a trust-less transaction system, it has failed to live up to its expectations of privacy. Over time, new privacy technologies have arrived and are arriving with innovative and exciting solutions for Bitcoin’s lack of fungibility. It is important to note that these technologies are built on prior research and application, but we are considering their use in cryptocurrencies. Protocols are proposed based on cryptographic concepts that show how they would work, and then developers actually implement them. Please note that I did not include the possibility of improper implementation as a disadvantage, and the advantages assume that the technical development is well done. A very important point is that coins can also adapt new privacy technologies as their merits become obvious, even as they start with a specific privacy protocol. Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, positive that this is not an exhaustive overview and I am only covering publicized solutions. Next, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons and give an idea of how the coins can be compared.

There's a video version that can be watched, and you can find out how to get the second two parts if you want on my website (video link on the page): https://cryptoramble.com/guide-on-privacy-coins/
submitted by CryptoRamble to privacycoins [link] [comments]

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How to create a unhackable bitcoin wallet at home no ...

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