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I've been sharing conspiracies on reddit longer than this sub has been around. I have a story to tell.
This story is mostly crafted from my own experiences, my conversations with some of the people involved, and the rest is my own guesswork as I try to fill in the gaps...so bear with me! That's why I wanted to share with this community, which I've watched grow over the years. I remember posting about the death of Barry Jennings (who witnessed explosions in the WTC on 9/11) the day after it happened. This was before /conspiracy (or right around when it was formed), and I remember thinking "we really need a sub for conspiracies on reddit!" And here we are, 12 years later and over 1.3 million subscribers...incredible! So... My story starts with a young man. We'll call him Andrew. Andrew grew up in the 90's in a coastal US town and quickly blossomed into a tech whiz at a young age. He began building his own computers, and after a brief stint using Windows, he decided that Bill Gates was everything wrong with technology (and the world), and he made it his mission to make sure folks like Gates were NOT the future of computers. He really believed that the use of technology was a fundamental human right, and that charging people for "proprietary" OS's that hid their source code was a violation of these rights. He saw a possible Deus Ex-like future, with a technocracy literally around the corner if we didn't act now. Andrew soon joined the Free Software Foundation and began rubbing elbows with the likes of Richard Stallman. He begun exclusively using GNU/Linux and was the type to correct you if you called it just "Linux". He also began visiting tech-savvy forums like slashdot and started networking in earnest. By 2006 (his senior year of high school) Andrew was completely over his "education" and decided to just drop out completely. Shockingly, a college accepted him anyway. A small East Coast school had been actively courting Andrew, and when they learned he had failed to get his HS diploma, they accepted him anyway! Now sometime during this period Andrew went to Iceland and stayed in Reykjavik for several months. This trip may have happened during the summer, fall, or early winter of 2006. The reason for his trip had something to do with his efforts in the FSF or similar group. The possible significance of this trip will become clear as we go on. What is clear is that Andrew started college in the fall of 2006, and that the circumstances were unusual. Andrew soon met several like-minded individuals and began building a social and technological network at his school. Two individuals in particular would become key players in his life (one more prominently in this story, but the other was significant as well), and eventually the 3 would live together in town for several years. But for now let's stick with Andrew. Andrew had an idea to build a social network for his college. Except, it wasn't just a network, it was a wiki for information about the school...and beyond. Soon, it began to morph into something much bigger in Andrew's mind. He saw his project as being one of many data "hubs" for leaks of important documents and otherwise sensitive information. So yeah, he saw the opportunity for a wiki for leaks (see where this is going yet...?). As his ambitions grew, his behavior started to become increasingly erratic. He was caught with drugs and arrested. Strangely, the charges were pretty much dropped and he was given a slap on the wrist. Eventually he decided to leave the school, but still lived in town and had access to the servers on campus. By 2010 Andrew was still living in the small town with his two "hacker" buddies, who were still enrolled at the school. This house was in some ways legendary. It appears that many "interesting" people spent time at or visited the residence. Indeed, some of the early movers and shakers of /conspiracy itself passed through. There was usually a full NO2 tank for anyone who was into that kinda thing, and they were stocked with every hallucinogen and research chemical known to man. It was also likely under surveillance by multiple intelligence agencies (NSA/Mossad/etc). Over time, the mental state of Andrew was slowly starting to deteriorate, which wasn't helped by his abuse of drugs. Still, Andrew decided to move his base of operations to Europe, spending time in Belgium, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. One of his housemates was soon to join him on his adventures in Europe and elsewhere abroad. We'll call him "Aaron." Aaron had a very similar story and upbringing as Andrew. Aaron was also from a coastal US town and was born into privilege. He was also, supposedly, born into a family with some serious connections to intelligence agencies, including an uncle with ties to the NSA, and both parents connected to military brass. By 2015, Andrew and Aaron were living together in the Czech Republic. During this time they were working directly and/or indirectly for the NSA (via Cisco and other companies). You see, the "college" they met at was actually a front for the recruitment of kids into the IC. Apparently, many "schools" in the US function that way. Go figure. Their intelligence and valuable skill set (hacking etc) made them valuable assets. They were also possibly involved with the distribution of certain "research chemicals" (of the 2C* variety) to dignitaries and their entourages (in one example, they provided 2CB to a group with David Cameron). In addition, Andrew was allegedly involved with, or stumbled upon, an NSA-linked surveillance project directed at the entire country of Malaysia, while Aaron was involved with Cisco. Aaron himself had gotten into hot water for releasing damaging information about the NSA, and even claimed to be an NSA whistleblower, and was also possibly the individual who leaked the 2014 (or 2015) Bilderberg meeting list. And then things went bad. Andrew quit the Malaysia project and Aaron left Cisco. It seems Andrew and Aaron were "set up" during a fiery false flag event in the Czech Republic in 2015. It may have happened at an embassy, but it's unclear which. There is no information on the web about anything like this (afaik). Aaron was immediately targeted and spent several years on the run. Allegedly, he was added to the list of victims in the so-called "Great Game". The Great Game is the term used for an international assassination program where intelligence agencies share a list of targets to be neutralized. The German BND and Mossad are heavily involved, as other networks. Individuals targeted by the Great Game may be offed by actual assassins, or by NPC-like humans whose minds will be influenced by mind control tech (a la Matrix...say influencing someone to ram your car unwittingly ie). As Aaron went on the lam, Andrew soon returned to the US, shell-shocked by his experience. Both Andrew and Aaron continue to suffer from some sort of PTSD from these series of events, rendering Andrew largely incapacitated and Aaron scattered and discombobulated. The Meat of the Matter OK...where does that leave us? Why am I sharing all of this? I think there's much more to this story. So let's start speculating! Everything I'm about to say is stuff that was told to me personally. I can't vouch for any of this information, though obviously I thought it was compelling enough to share. Here's the gist: The so-called whistleblowers you see in the media are almost all fake. This includes: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Thomas Drake and William Binney (hey look, his AMA is pinned on this sub right now...no comment!). These individuals, and others, are controlled opposition. The real whistleblowers are severely punished. For example, Bradley Manning was punished with chemical castration in jail. His "transformation" was chemically induced torture. Andrew was not alone in his passion. There were lots of other young visionaries like him who dreamed of a freer and more transparent world. In this story, Julian Assange was an intelligence asset...a psyop meant to steal the thunder from real activists like Andrew. In this story, a small college-based "wiki" for government leaks was used as the model for an intelligence operation known as "wikileaks". In this story, Andrew traveled to Iceland at some point in 2006. When was Wikileaks founded? Wikileaks was founded by Julian Assange in December 2006, in Iceland. Aaron discovered (legally, like Manning who had clearance to access all the data he leaked) damning information about surveillance happening by the NSA, specifically against recruits entering the US army and elsewhere. In this story, the "Andrew" identity was co-opted and turned into "Julian Assange", and "Aaron" became "Edward Snowden". Granted, there were probably other people that these whistleblower imposters were modeled after, but Andrew and Aaron seem like very strong contenders for some of this inspiration. Now, much of the following may be gobbledygook (lol I spelled that right first try!) for all I know, but since I'm having a really hard time making sense of it all, I'll just include everything I can and let you guys run with it. Here are some phrases, ideas, terms and people of note that may be involved with this story...MODS: None of this is doxing! All of the links of people are wikipedia pages or published interviews/articles. So yeah. Not dox!
Rootkit: These are currency and the weapons of the intelligence agencies that allow access to any computer or OS on the planet.
"schizo-affective disorder" doesn't exist, it's cover for EM warfare. For those they can't attack chemically (like Manning), they punish via EM. This technology has been used for decades. Both Andrew and Aaron were likely subjected to this punishment after they stopped playing ball. It likely continues for them both as well.
IN CONCLUSION I don't know how these terms, theories and individuals fit into this story, but that they may be somehow related. Hopefully there are enough bread crumbs in here to keep some of you busy! Any help/insight would be appreciated. I confess I'm not so tech-minded so I can't offer any more explanation about some of the more techy terms. Anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks for continuing to stimulate after all these years! It's really nice to see this place continuing to thrive after all of this time!
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Hello again. It's been a while. People have been emailing me about once a week or so for the last year to ask if I'm coming back to Bitcoin now that Bitcoin Cash exists. And a couple of weeks ago I was summoned on a thread called "Ask Mike Hearn Anything", but that was nothing to do with me and I was on holiday in Japan at the time. So I figured I should just answer all the different questions and answers in one place rather than keep doing it individually over email. Firstly, thanks for the kind words on this sub. I don't take part anymore but I still visit occasionally to see what people are talking about, and the people posting nice messages is a pleasant change from three years ago. Secondly, who am I? Some new Bitcoiners might not know. I am Satoshi. Just kidding. I'm not Satoshi. I was a Bitcoin developer for about five years, from 2010-2015. I was also one of the first Bitcoin users, sending my first coins in April 2009 (to SN), about 4 months after the genesis block. I worked on various things:
My main effort was an implementation of a Java library called bitcoinj. This was the engine used in the first p2p mobile wallet ("Bitcoin Wallet for Android"), and the first p2p desktop wallet that was faster to run than Bitcoin [Core] itself (MultiBit). These together were responsible for around 2.5 million user installs at a time when downloading the full block chain was becoming too slow for normal users to tolerate and the only alternative was a "bitbank" or cloud-hosted wallet. It was used in the first trustless gambling site (SatoshiDice), over 100 products and projects, and many academic research papers.
With Gavin Andresen and others I designed some upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol like Bloom filtering and BIP70.
With Matt Corrallo I implemented and demonstrated the first version of (micro)payment channels. I put together a demo of a file server that charged micropayments using a GUI called Payfile (mentioned in New Scientist here). I used to have a video of this but unfortunately it no longer seems to be on YouTube. Payment channels went on to be used in the design of the Lightning Network.
You can see a trend here - I was always interested in developing peer to peer decentralised applications that used Bitcoin. But what I'm best known for is my role in the block size debate/civil war, documented by Nathaniel Popper in the New York Times. I spent most of 2015 writing extensively about why various proposals from the small-block/Blockstream faction weren't going to work (e.g. on replace by fee, lightning network, what would occur if no hard fork happened, soft forks, scaling conferences etc). After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks. They also convinced the miners and wider community to do nothing for years, resulting in the eventual overload of the main network. I left the project at the start of 2016, documenting my reasons and what I expected to happen in my final essay on Bitcoin in which I said I considered it a failed experiment. Along with the article in the New York Times this pierced the censorship, made the wider world aware of what was going on, and thus my last gift to the community was a 20% drop in price (it soon recovered).
The last two years
Left Bitcoin ... but not decentralisation. After all that went down I started a new project called Corda. You can think of Corda as Bitcoin++, but modified for industrial use cases where a decentralised p2p database is more immediately useful than a new coin. Corda incorporates many ideas I had back when I was working on Bitcoin but couldn't implement due to lack of time, resources, because of ideological wars or because they were too technically radical for the community. So even though it's doesn't provide a new cryptocurrency out of the box, it might be interesting for the Bitcoin Cash community to study anyway. By resigning myself to Bitcoin's fate and joining R3 I could go back to the drawing board and design with a lot more freedom, creating something inspired by Bitcoin's protocol but incorporating all the experience we gained writing Bitcoin apps over the years. The most common question I'm asked is whether I'd come back and work on Bitcoin again. The obvious followup question is - come back and work on what? If you want to see some of the ideas I'd have been exploring if things had worked out differently, go read the Corda tech white paper. Here's a few of the things it might be worth asking about:
Corda's data model is a UTXO ledger, like Bitcoin. Outputs in Corda (called "states") can be arbitrary data structures instead of just coin amounts, so you don't need hacks like coloured coins anymore. You can track arbitrary fungible assets, but you can also model things like the state of a loan, deal, purchase order, crate of cargo etc.
Transactions are structured as Merkle trees.
Corda has a compound key format that can represent more flexible conditions than CHECKMULTISIG can.
Smart contracts are stateless predicates like in Bitcoin, but you can loop like in Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum we do not invent our own VM or languages.
Transactions can have files attached to them. Smart contracts in Corda are stored in attachments and referenced by hash, so large programs aren't duplicated inside every transaction.
The P2P network is encrypted.
Back in 2014 I wrote that Bitcoin needed a store and forward network, to make app dev easier, and to improve privacy. Corda doesn't have a store and forward network - Corda is a store and forward network.
It has a "flow framework" that makes structured back-and-forth conversations very easy to program. This makes protocols like payment channelss a lot quicker and easier to implement, and would have made Lighthouse much more straightforward. A big part of my goal with Corda was to simplify the act of building complicated decentralised applications, based on those Bitcoin experiences. Lighthouse took about 8 months of full time work to build, but it's pretty spartan anyway. That's because Bitcoin offers almost nothing to developers who want to build P2P apps that go beyond simple payments. Corda does.
The flow framework lets you do hard things quickly. For example, we took part in a competition called Project Ubin, the goal of which was to develop something vaguely analogous in complexity to the Lightning Network or original Ripple (decentralised net-out of debts). But we had about six weeks and one developer. We successfully did that in the time allowed. Compare that to dev time for the Lightning Network.
Corda scales a lot better than Bitcoin, even though Bitcoin could have scaled to the levels needed for large payment networks with enough work and time. It has something similar to what Ethereum calls "sharding". This is possible partly because Corda doesn't use proof of work.
It has a mechanism for signalling the equivalent of hard forks.
It provides much better privacy. Whilst it supports techniques like address randomisation, it also doesn't use global broadcast and we are working on encrypting the entire ledger using Intel SGX, such that no human has access to the raw unencrypted data and such that it's transparent to application developers (i.e. no need to design custom zero knowledge proofs)
Writing a short early history of ICOs, starting with altcoins - anything important I've missed?
This is for the forever-forthcoming ICO book. But I figured I needed to talk about altcoins first, the previous generation of shitcoins. This is mostly from dredging early altcoin stuff on Bitcointalk. There needs to be a bit of the end that leads from The DAO as a world-famous ICO to the 2017 crypto bubble, and ICOs booming in that. Is there anything super-relevant I've missed? In the context of ICOs as we now know them, not just altcoins. Ethereum and Ripple probably. The early history of ICOs In the beginning was Bitcoin. That’s the start for every cryptocurrency and blockchain story. Different parts are important to different people — fun and interesting technology, decentralised money, fighting the oppressive statist jackboots of taxation, sticking it to the man. What ICOs inherit from Bitcoin is the notion of inventing your own magical Internet money — so you can get rich for free. Bitcoin was released in January 2009 as an open protocol, implemented as open source code — anyone could take a copy of it, twiddle it a bit and have a new coin. It took until April 2011 for the first “fork” of the Bitcoin code to come out — Namecoin, an attempt at a decentralised replacement for the Internet’s Domain Name Service (DNS). It was another four months until someone came up with a general altcoin, usable as a Bitcoin-style payment system — Ixcoin, on 10 August 2011. The creator, “Thomas Nasakioto” — an anagram of "Satoshi Nakamoto"; he used a picture of Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada as his forum avatar — disappeared less than a month later, having scored about 50 bitcoins in the process. “Pretty sure it’s dead,” said one commenter. “It has served his purpose. Many people made quite a few BTC out of it.” A flood of what were rapidly labeled “altcoins” followed — i0coin, Solidcoin, RRCoin, Tenebrix, Litecoin. The Freenode Internet Relay Chat network started banning cryptocurrency servers that made automated network announcements around this time, rather than deal with what looked “like a botnet using their network.” The first Initial Coin Offering as we know it is commonly held to be Mastercoin in July 2013. Mastercoin became OmniLayer — the platform for Tether. Mastercoin was the first sale of a token that ran as an application on top of another blockchain — in this case, Bitcoin: “I am VERY excited to announce that I now have a complete specification for building a protocol layer on top of bitcoin (like how HTTP runs on top of TCP/IP).” Mastercoin didn’t use the phrase “Initial Coin Offering.” The phrase “IPO” — “Initial Public Offering,” in the manner of stock offerings for companies going public — was being used for altcoin offerings by 2014. IronBankCoin used “initial coin offering” and “ICO” by July 2014 — “The initial coin offering will be of 21% of the coin cap during the PoW (Proof of Work) stage” and “Initial Distribution of the Land (ICO info): ICO? Aren't those all scams?” Mastercoin never really took off as a token platform — that didn’t come until Ethereum made tokens easy to set up in 2015, and The DAO got press worldwide in 2016 by showing just how much money an ICO could pull in. Even as The DAO proceeded to lose $50 million to a hacker five days after launch.
A few stories about Brian Krebs: The independent cybercrime journalist who exposes criminals on the internet
First, a bit of introduction before we get into the living drama that is Brian Krebs. Brian Krebs has been a journalist for decades, starting in the late 90s. He got his start at The Washington Post, but what he's most famous for are his exposes on criminal businesses and individuals who perpetuate cyber crime worldwide. In 2001, he got his interest in cybercrime piqued when a computer worm locked him out of his own computer. In 2005, he shifted from working as a staff writer at The Washington Post's tech newswire to writing for their security blog, "Security Wire". During his tenure there, he started by focusing on the victims of cybercrime, but later also started to focus on the perpetrators of it as well. His reporting helped lead to the shutdown of McColo, a hosting provider who provided service to some of the world's biggest spammers and hackers. Reports analyzing the shutdown of McColo estimated that global spam volume dropped by between 40 and 70 percent. Further analysis revealed it also played host to child pornography sites, and the Russian Business Network, a major Russian cybercrime ring. In 2009, Krebs left to start his own site, KrebsOnSecurity. Since then, he's been credited with being the first to report on major events such as Stuxnet and when Target was breached, resulting in the leakage of 40 million cards. He also regularly investigates and reveals criminals' identities on his site. The latter has made him the bane of the world of cybercrime, as well as basically a meme, where criminals will include references like Made by Brian Krebs in their code, or name their shops full of stolen credit cards after him. One of his first posts on his new site was a selection of his best work. While not particularly dramatic, they serve as an excellent example of dogged investigative work, and his series reveal the trail of takedowns his work has documented, or even contributed to. And now, a selection of drama involving Krebs. Note, all posts are sarcastically-tinged retellings of the source material which I will link throughout. I also didn't use the real names in my retellings, but they are in the source material. This took way too long to write, and it still does massively condense the events described in the series. Krebs has been involved with feuds with other figures, but I'd argue these tales are the "main" bits of drama that are most suited for here.
Fly on the Wall
By 2013, Krebs was no stranger to cybercriminals taking the fight to the real world. He was swatted previously to the point where the police actually know to give him a ring and see if there'd actually been a murder, or if it was just those wacky hackers at it again. In addition, his identity was basically common knowledge to cybercriminals, who would open lines of credit in his name, or find ways to send him money using stolen credit cards. However, one particular campaign against him caught his eye. A hacker known as "Fly" aka "Flycracker" aka "MUXACC1" posted on a Russian-language fraud forum he administered about a "Krebs fund". His plan was simple. Raise Bitcoin to buy Heroin off of a darknet marketplace, address it to Krebs, and alert his local police via a spoofed phone call. Now, because Krebs is an investigative journalist, he develops undercover presences on cybercrime forums, and it just so happened he'd built up a presence on this one already.
Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund", and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road. My friends, his withdrawal is very bad, let’s join forces to help the guy! We will save Brian from the acute heroin withdrawal and the world will get slightly better!
Fly had first caught Krebs' attention by taunting him on Twitter, sending him Tweets including insults and abuse, and totally-legit looking links. Probably either laced with malware, or designed to get Krebs' IP. He also took to posting personal details such as Krebs' credit report, directions to his house, and pictures of his front door on LiveJournal, of all places. So, after spotting the scheme, he alerted his local police that he'd probably have someone sending him some China White. Sure enough, the ne'er-do-wells managed to raise 2 BTC, which at the time was a cool $200 or so. They created an account on the premiere darknet site at the time, The Silk Road under the foolproof name "briankrebs7". They found one seller who had consistently high reviews, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. My personal theory is the seller decided to Google where it was going, and realized sending a gram of dope into the waiting arms of local law enforcement probably wasn't the best use of his time. Still, the forum members persevered, and found another seller who was running a buy 10 get 2 free promotion. $165 of Bitcoin later, the drugs were on their way to a new home. The seller apparently informed Fly that the shipment should arrive by Tuesday, a fact which he gleefully shared with the forum. While our intrepid hero had no doubt that the forum members were determined to help him grab the tail of the dragon, he's not one to assume without confirmation, and enlisted the help of a graduate student at UCSD who was researching Bitcoin and anonymity on The Silk Road, and confirmed the address shared by Fly was used to deposit 2 BTC into an account known to be used for money management on the site. By Monday, an envelope from Chicago had arrived, containing a copy of Chicago confidential. Taped inside were tiny baggies filled with the purported heroin. Either dedicated to satisfied customers, or mathematically challenged, the seller had included thirteen baggies instead of the twelve advertised. A police officer arrived to take a report and whisked the baggies away. Now, Fly was upset that Krebs wasn't in handcuffs for drug possession, and decided to follow up his stunt by sending Krebs a floral arrangement shaped like a cross, and an accompanying threatening message addressed to his wife, the dire tone slightly undercut by the fact that it was signed "Velvet Crabs". Krebs' curiosity was already piqued from the shenanigans with the heroin, but with the arrival of the flowers decided to dive deeper into the сука behind things. He began digging into databases from carding sites that had been hacked, but got his first major breakthrough to his identity from a Russian computer forensics firm. Fly had maintained an account on a now-defunct hacking forum, whose database was breached under "Flycracker". It turns out, the email Flycracker had used was also hacked at some point, and a source told Krebs that the email was full of reports from a keylogger Fly had installed on his wife's computer. Now, because presumably his wife wasn't part of, or perhaps even privy to her husband's illicit dealings, her email account happened to be her full legal name, which Krebs was able to trace to her husband. Now, around this time, the site Fly maintained disappeared from the web, and administrators on another major fraud forum started purging his account. This is a step they typically take when they suspect a member has been apprehended by authorities. Nobody knew for sure, but they didn't want to take any chances. More research by Krebs revealed that the criminals' intuition had been correct, and Fly was arrested in Italy, carrying documents under an assumed name. He was sitting in an Italian jail, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, as well as potentially facing charges in Italy. This was relayed to Krebs by a law enforcement official who simply said "The Fly has been swatted". (Presumably while slowly removing a pair of aviator sunglasses) While Fly may have been put away, the story between Krebs and Fly wasn't quite over. He did end up being extradited to the US for prosecution, but while imprisoned in Italy, Fly actually started sending Krebs letters. Understandably distrustful after the whole "heroin" thing, his contacts in federal law enforcement tested the letter, and found it to be clean. Inside, there was a heartfelt and personal letter, apologizing for fucking with Krebs in so many ways. He also forgave Krebs for posting his identity online, leading him to muse that perhaps Fly was working through a twelve-step program. In December, he received another letter, this time a simple postcard with a cheerful message wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Krebs concluded his post thusly:
Cybercrooks have done some pretty crazy stuff to me in response to my reporting about them. But I don’t normally get this kind of closure. I look forward to meeting with Fly in person one day soon now that he will be just a short train ride away. And he may be here for some time: If convicted on all charges, Fly faces up to 30 years in U.S. federal prison.
Criminals are none too happy when they find their businesses and identities on the front page of KrebsOnSecurity. It usually means law enforcement isn't far behind. One such business was known as vDOS. A DDOS-for-hire (also known as a "booter" or a "stresser") site that found itself hacked, with all their customer records still in their databases leaked. Analysis of the records found that in a four-month time span, the service had been responsible for about 8.81 years worth of attack time, meaning on average at any given second, there were 26 simultaneous attacks running. Interestingly, the hack of vDOS came about from another DDOS-for-hire site, who as it turns out was simply reselling services provided by vDOS. They were far from the only one. vDOS appeared to provide firepower to a large number of different resellers. In addition to the attack logs, support messages were also among the data stolen. This contained some complaints from various clients who complained they were unable to launch attacks against Israeli IPs. This is a common tactic by hackers to try and avoid unwanted attention from authorities in their country of residence. This was confirmed when two men from Israel were arrested for their involvement in owning and running vDOS. However, this was just the beginning for this bit of drama. The two men arrested went by the handles "applej4ck" and "Raziel". They had recently published a paper on DDOS attack methods in an online Israeli security magazine. Interestingly, on the same day the men were arrested, questioned, and released on bail, vDOS went offline. Not because it had been taken down by Israeli authorities, not because they had shut it down themselves, but because a DDOS protection firm, BackConnect Security, had hijacked the IP addresses belonging to the company. To spare a lot of technical detail, it's called a BGP hijack, and it basically works by a company saying "Yeah, those are our addresses." It's kind of amazing how much of the internet is basically just secured by the digital equivalent of pinky swears. You can read some more technical detail on Wikipedia. Anyway, we'll get back to BackConnect. Following the publication of the story uncovering the inner workings of vDOS, KrebsOnSecurity was hit with a record breaking DDOS attack, that peaked at 620/Gbps, nearly double the most powerful DDOS attack previously on record. To put that in perspective, that's enough bandwidth to download 5 simultaneous copies of Interstellar in 4K resolution every single second, and still have room to spare. The attack was so devastating, Akamai, one of the largest providers of DDOS protection in the world had to drop Krebs as a pro bono client. Luckily, Google was willing to step in and place his site under the protection of Google's Project Shield, a free service designed to protect the news sites and journalists from being knocked offline by DDOS attacks. This attack was apparently in retaliation for the vDOS story, since some of the data sent in the attack included the string "freeapplej4ck". The attack was executed by a botnet of Internet of Things (or IoT) devices. These are those "smart" devices like camera systems, routers, DVRs. Basically things that connect to the cloud. An astounding amount of those are secured with default passwords that can be easily looked up from various sites or even the manufacturers' websites. This was the start of a discovery of a massive botnet that had been growing for years. Now time for a couple quick side stories: Dyn, a company who provides DNS to many major companies including Twitter, Reddit, and others came under attack, leaving many sites (including Twitter and Reddit) faltering in the wake of it. Potentially due to one of their engineers' collaboration with Krebs on another story. It turned out that the same botnet that attacked Krebs' site was at least part of the attack on Dyn And back to BackConnect, that DDOS protection firm that hijacked the IP addresses from vDOS. Well it turns out BGP Hijacks are old hat for the company. They had done it at least 17 times before. Including at least once (purportedly with permission) for the address 184.108.40.206. Aka, "leet". It turns out one of the co-founders of BackConnect actually posted screenshots of him visiting sites that tell you your public IP address in a DDOS mitigation industry chat, showing it as 220.127.116.11. They also used a BGP Hijack against a hosting company and tried to frame a rival DDOS mitigation provider. Finally, another provider, Datawagon was interestingly implicated in hosting DDOS-for-hire sites while offering DDOS protection. In a Skype conversation where the founder of Datawagon wanted to talk about that time he registered dominos.pizza and got sued for it, he brings up scanning the internet for vulnerable routers completely unprompted. Following the publication of the story about BackConnect, in which he was included in, he was incensed about his portrayal, and argued with Krebs over Skype before Krebs ultimately ended up blocking him. He was subsequently flooded with fake contact requests from bogus or hacked Skype accounts. Shortly thereafter, the record-breaking DDOS attack rained down upon his site. Back to the main tale! So, it turns out the botnet of IoT devices was puppeteered by a malware called Mirai. How did it get its name? Well, that's the name its creator gave it, after an anime called Mirai Nikki. How did this name come to light? The creator posted the source code online. (The name part, not the origin. The origin didn't come 'til later.) The post purported that they'd picked it up from somewhere in their travels as a DDOS industry professional. It turns out this is a semi-common tactic when miscreants fear that law enforcement might come looking for them, and having the only copy of the source code of a malware in existence is a pretty strong indicator that you have something to do with it. So, releasing the source to the world gives a veneer of plausible deniability should that eventuality come to pass. So who was this mysterious benefactor of malware source? They went by the name "Anna-senpai". As research on the Mirai botnet grew, and more malware authors incorporated parts of Mirai's source code into their own attacks, attention on the botnet increased, and on the people behind it. The attention was presumably the reason why Hackforums, the forum where the source code was posted, later disallowed ostensible "Server Stress Tester" services from being sold on it. By December, "Operation Tarpit" had wrought 34 arrests and over a hundred "knock and talk" interviews questioning people about their involvement. By January, things started to come crashing down. Krebs published an extensive exposé on Anna-senpai detailing all the evidence linking them to the creation of Mirai. The post was so big, he included a damn glossary. What sparked the largest botnet the internet had ever seen? Minecraft. Minecraft servers are big business. A popular one can earn tens of thousands of dollars per month from people buying powers, building space, or other things. It's also a fiercely competitive business, with hundreds of servers vying for players. It turns out that things may have started, as with another set of companies, two rival DDOS mitigation providers competing for customers. ProTraf was a provider of such mitigation technology, and a company whose owner later worked for ProTraf had on at least one occasion hijacked addresses belonging to another company, ProxyPipe. ProxyPipe had also been hit with DDOS attacks they suspected to be launched by ProTraf. While looking into the President of ProTraf, Krebs realized he'd seen the relatively uncommon combination of programming languages and skills posted by the President somewhere else. They were shared by Anna-senpai on Hackforums. As Krebs dug deeper and deeper into Anna-senpai's online presence, he uncovered other usernames, including one he traced to some Minecraft forums where a photoshopped picture of a still from Pulp Fiction contained the faces of BackConnect, which was a rival to ProTraf's DDOS mitigation business, and another face. A hacker by the name of Vyp0r, who another employee of ProTraf claimed betrayed his trust and blackmailed him into posting the source of another piece of malware called Bashlite. There was also a third character photoshopped into the image. An anime character named "Yamada" from a movie called B Gata H Hei. Interestingly, under the same username, Krebs found a "MyAnimeList" profile which, out of 9 titles it had marked as watched, were B Gata H Hei, as well as Mirai Nikki, the show from which Mirai derived its name. It continues on with other evidence, including DDOS attacks against Rutgers University, but in short, there was little doubt in the identity of "Anna-senpai", but the person behind the identity did contact Krebs to comment. He denied any involvement in Mirai or DDOS attacks.
"I don’t think there are enough facts to definitively point the finger at me," [Anna-senpai] said. "Besides this article, I was pretty much a nobody. No history of doing this kind of stuff, nothing that points to any kind of sociopathic behavior. Which is what the author is, a sociopath."
I don't have the time or energy to write another effortpost, and as is I'm over 20,000 characters, so here's a few other tidbits of Krebs' clashes with miscreants.
A source and security researcher he was talking to started blabbing about him working with Krebs, and also was selling data to hackers on the side. His example data in his sales post was fucking Brian Krebs'.
IoT is a whole ecosystem that contains intelligent devices equipped with sensors (sensors) that provide remote control, storage, transmission and security of data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an innovative solution in various areas such as healthcare, insurance, labor protection, logistics, ecology, etc. To unleash the full potential of using IoT devices, it is necessary to solve many problems related to standards, security, architecture, ecosystem construction, channels and device connection protocols. Today in the world, large organizations such as NIST, IEEE, ISO / IEC, and others make enormous efforts in addressing the issues of standardization, security, and the architecture of developed devices. Analysis of recent scientific research in the field of solving information security issues and data privacy of IoT devices showed positive results, but these methods and approaches are based on traditional methods of network security. The development and application of security mechanisms for IoT devices is a complex and heterogeneous task. In this regard, ensuring information security and the protection of sensitive data, as well as the availability of IoT devices, is the main purpose of writing this article. Given the above, many questions arise related to the security status of IoT devices, namely: What are the current standards and protocols for IoT? What are the requirements for ensuring information security of IoT devices? What security mechanisms do IoT devices have? What methods of testing IoT devices exist? Manufacturers and developers of IoT devices do not pay enough attention to security issues. With the development of cyber-attacks, attack vectors are becoming more sophisticated and aimed at several infrastructure elements at the same time. IoT infrastructure typically includes millions of connected objects and devices that store and share confidential information. Scenarios of theft and fraud, such as hacking and falsifying personal data, pose a serious threat to such IoT devices. Most IoT devices use the public Internet to exchange data, which makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Modern approaches to information security often offer solutions to individual problems, when multi-level approaches offer increased resistance to cyber-attacks. Challenges of testing IoT devices To a request to name essential items, many would answer: food, a roof over your head, clothes … With one caveat: this was the case in the last century. Since then, the species Homo Sapiens has accumulated needs. We need automatic sensors to control the lighting, not just switches, for smart systems to monitor health and car traffic. The list goes on … In general, we can make life easier and better. Let’s try to figure out how all this Internet of things works before moving on to testing. IoT testing Content What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Examples of IoT devices # 1) Wearable technology: # 2) Infrastructure and development # 3) Health Technologies that are present in IoT IoT Testing # 1) Usability: # 2) IoT Security: # 3) Network features: # 4) Efficiency: # 5) Compatibility testing: # 6) Pilot testing: # 7) Check for compliance: # 8) Testing updates: IoT testing challenges # 1) Hard / soft # 2) Device Interaction Model # 3) Testing data coming in real time # 4) UI # 5) Network Availability IoT Testing Tools # 1) Software: # 2) Hard: Total What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The Internet of things (or IoT) is a network that combines many objects: vehicles, home automation, medical equipment, microchips, etc. All these constituent elements accumulate and transmit data. Through this technology, the user controls the devices remotely.
Examples of IoT devices
# 1) Wearable technology: Fitbit Fitness Bracelets and Apple Watch smart watches sync seamlessly with other mobile devices.
IoT – watches and bracelets
Itís easier to collect health information: heart rate, body activity during sleep, etc. # 2) Infrastructure and development The CitySense app analyzes lighting data online and turns lights on and off automatically. There are applications that control traffic lights or report on the availability of parking lots. # 3) Health Some health monitoring systems are used in hospitals. The basis of their work is indicative data. These services control the dosage of drugs at different times of the day. For example, the UroSense application monitors the level of fluid in the body and, if necessary, increases this level. And doctors will learn about patient information wirelessly. Technologies that are present in IoT RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), EPC (Electronic Product Code) NFC (ìNear Field Communicationî) provides two-way communication between devices. This technology is present in smartphones and is used for contactless transactions. Bluetooth It is widely used in situations where near-field communication is sufficient. Most often present in wearable devices. Z-Wave. Low frequency RF technology. Most often used for home automation, lighting control, etc. WiFi. The most popular network for IoT (file, data and message transfer). IoT Testing Consider an example : a medical system that monitors health status, heart rate, fluid content, and sends reports to healthcare providers. Data is displayed in the system; archives available. And doctors are already deciding whether to take medication for the patient remotely. IoT architecture There are several approaches for testing the IoT architecture. # 1) Usability: It is necessary to provide usability testing of each device. A medical device that monitors your health should be portable. Sufficiently thought out equipment is needed that would send not only notifications, but also error messages, warnings, etc. The system must have an option that captures events, so that the end user understands. If this is not possible, event information is stored in the database. The ability to process data and exchange tasks between devices is carefully checked. # 2) IoT Security: Data is at the heart of all connected devices. Therefore, unauthorized access during data transfer is not ruled out. From the point of view of software testing, it is necessary to check how secure / encrypted the data is. If there is a UI, you need to check if it is password protected. # 3) Network features: Network connectivity and IoT functionality are critical. After all, we are talking about a system that is used for health purposes. Two main aspects are tested: The presence of a network , the possibility of data transfer (whether jobs are transferred from one device to another without any hitch). The scenario when there is no connection . Regardless of the level of reliability of the system, it is likely that the status of the system will be ìofflineî. If the network is unavailable, employees of the hospital or other organization need to know about it (notifications). Thus, they will be able to monitor the condition of the patient themselves, and not wait for the system to work. On the other hand, in such systems there is usually a mechanism that saves data if the system is offline. That is, data loss is eliminated. # 4) Efficiency: It is necessary to take into account the extent to which the healthcare solution is applicable in specific conditions. In testing, from 2 to 10 patients participate, data is transmitted to 10-20 devices. If the entire hospital is connected to the network, this is already 180-200 patients. That is, there will be more actual data than test data. In addition, it is necessary to test the utility for monitoring the system: current load, power consumption, temperature, etc. # 5) Compatibility testing: This item is always present in the plan for testing the IoT system. The compatibility of different versions of operating systems, browser types and their respective versions, devices of different generations, communication modes [for example, Bluetooth 2.0, 3.0] is extremely important for IoT. # 6) Pilot testing: Pilot testing is a mandatory point of the test plan. Only tests in the laboratory will allow us to conclude that the system is functional. In pilot testing, the number of users is limited. They make manipulations with the application and express their opinion. These comments turn out to be very helpful, they make a reliable application. # 7) Check for compliance: The system, which monitors the state of health, undergoes many compliance checks. It also happens that a software product passes all stages of testing, but fails the final test for compliance [testing is carried out by the regulatory body]. It is more advisable to check for compliance with norms and standards before starting the development cycle. # 8) Testing updates: IoT is a combination of many protocols, devices, operating systems, firmware, hardware, network layers, etc. When an update occurs – be it a system or something else of the above – rigorous regression testing is required. The overall strategy is being amended to avoid the difficulties associated with the upgrade.
IoT testing challengesIoT testing
# 1) Hard / soft IoT is an architecture in which software and hardware components are closely intertwined. Not only software is important, but also hard: sensors, gateways, etc. Functional testing alone will not be enough to certify the system. All components are interdependent. IoT is much more complicated than simpler systems [only software or only hard]. # 2) Device Interaction Model Components of the network must interact in real time or close to real. All this becomes a single whole – hence the additional difficulties associated with IoT (security, backward compatibility and updates). # 3) Testing data coming in real time Obtaining this data is extremely difficult. The matter is complicated by the fact that the system, as in the described case, may relate to the health sector. # 4) UI An IoT network usually consists of different devices that are controlled by different platforms [iOS, Android, Windows, linux]. Testing is possible only on some devices, since testing on all possible devices is almost impossible. # 5) Network Availability Network connectivity plays an important role in IoT. The data rate is increasing. IoT architecture should be tested under various connection conditions, at different speeds. Virtual network emulators in most cases are used to diversify network load, connectivity, stability, and other elements of load testing . But the evidence is always new scenarios, and the testing team does not know where the difficulties will arise in the future.
IoT Testing ToolsIoT and software
There are many tools that are used in testing IoT systems. They are classified depending on the purpose: # 1) Software: Wireshark : An open source tool. Used to monitor traffic in the interface, source / given host address, etc. Tcpdump : This tool does a similar job. The utility does not have a GUI, its interface is the command line. It enables the user to flash TCP / IP and other packets that are transmitted over the network. # 2) Hard: JTAG Dongle: A tool similar to debuggers in PC applications. Allows you to find defects in the code of the target platform and shows the changes step by step. Digital Storage Oscilloscope : checks various events using time stamps, power outages, signal integrity. Software Defined Radio : emulates a transmitter and receiver for various wireless gateways. IoT is an emerging market and many opportunities. In the foreseeable future, the Internet of things will become one of the main areas of work for tester teams. Network devices, smart gadget applications, communication modules – all this plays an important role in the study and evaluation of various services. Total The approach to testing IoT may vary depending on the specific system / architecture. Itís difficult to test IoT, but at the same time itís an interesting job, since testers have a good place to swing – there are many devices, protocols and operating systems. PS You should try out the TAAS format (“tests from the user’s point of view”), and not just fulfill the formal requirements. ————— Smart watches, baby-sitters, wireless gadgets and devices such as, for example, a portable radio station have long been part of everyday life. Hackers have already proven that many of these attacks on IoT are possible. Many people in general first learned about IoT security threats when they heard about the Mirai botnet in September 2016. According to some estimates, Mirai infected about 2.5 million IoT devices, including printers, routers and cameras connected to the Internet. The botnetís creators used it to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, including an attack on the KrebsonSecurity cybersecurity blog. In fact, the attackers used all devices infected with Mirai to try to connect to the target site at the same time, in the hope of suppressing the servers and preventing access to the site. Since Mirai was first published on the news, attackers launched other botnet attacks on IoT, including Reaper and Hajime. Experts say that such attacks are most likely in the future. The Internet of Things (IoT) can bring many advantages to modern life, but it also has one huge drawback: security threats. In its 2018 IOT forecasts, Forroter Research notes: ìSecurity threats are a major concern for companies deploying IoT solutions – in fact, this is the main task of organizations looking to deploy IoT solutions. However, most firms do not regularly prevent IoT-specific security threats, and business pressure suppresses technical security issues. î IoT security risks can be even more significant on the consumer side, where people are often unaware of potential threats and what they should do to avoid threats. A 2017 IoT security survey sponsored by Gemalto Security Provider found that only 14 percent of consumers surveyed consider themselves IoT-aware. This number is particularly noteworthy because 54 percent of the respondents owned an average of four IoT devices. And these IoT security threats are not just theoretical. Hackers and cybercriminals have already found ways to compromise many IoT devices and networks, and experts say that successful attacks are likely to increase. Forrester predicted: “In 2018, we will see more attacks related to IoT … except that they will increase in scale and loss.” What types of IoT security threats will enterprises and consumers face in 2018? Based on historical precedent, here are ten of the most likely types of attacks.
Botnets and DDoS attacks
Remote recording The possibility that attackers can hack IoT devices and record owners without their knowledge is not revealed as a result of the work of hackers, but as a result of the work of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Documents released by WikiLeaks implied that the spy agency knew about dozens of zero-day exploits for IoT devices, but did not disclose errors, because they hoped to use vulnerabilities to secretly record conversations that would reveal the actions of alleged opponents of America. Documents pointed to vulnerabilities in smart TVs, as well as on Android and iOS smartphones. The obvious consequence is that criminals can also exploit these vulnerabilities for their vile purposes.
Spam In January 2014, one of the first known attacks using IoT devices used more than 100,000 Internet-connected devices, including televisions, routers, and at least one smart refrigerator to send 300,000 spam emails per day.
The attackers sent no more than 10 messages from each device, which makes it very difficult to block or determine the location of the incident. This first attack was not far from the last. IoT spam attacks continued in the fall with the Linux.ProxyM IoT botnet.
APTs In recent years, advanced persistent threats (APTs) have become a serious concern for security professionals.
APTs are carried out by funded and widespread attackers such as nation states or corporations that launch complex cyberattacks that are difficult to prevent or mitigate. For example, the Stuxnet worm, which destroyed Iranian nuclear centrifuges and hacking Sony Pictures 2014, was attributed to nation states. Because the critical infrastructure is connected to the Internet, many experts warn that APTs may launch a power-oriented IoT attack, industrial control systems, or other systems connected to the Internet. Some even warn that terrorists could launch an attack on iOT, which could harm the global economy.
Ransomware Ransomware has become too common on home PCs and corporate networks. Now experts say that it is only a matter of time before the attackers begin to block smart devices. Security researchers have already demonstrated the ability to install ransomware on smart thermostats. For example, they can raise the temperature to 95 degrees and refuse to return it to its normal state until the owner agrees to pay a ransom in Bitcoins. They can also launch similar attacks on garage doors, vehicles, or even appliances. How much would you pay to unlock your smart coffee pot first thing in the morning?
Data theft Obtaining important data, such as customer names, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information, is still one of the main goals of cyber attacks.
IoT devices represent a whole new vector of attack for criminals looking for ways to invade corporate or home networks. For example, if an improperly configured device or IoT sensor is connected to corporate networks, this can give attackers a new way to enter the network and potentially find the valuable data that they need.
Home theft As smart locks and smart garage doors become more commonplace, it is also more likely that cybercriminals can become real thieves.
Home systems that are not properly protected can be vulnerable to criminals with sophisticated tools and software. Security researchers are unlikely to have shown that itís quite easy to break into a house through smart locks from several different manufacturers, and smart garage doors do not seem to be much safer.
Communication with children One of the most disturbing IoT security stories came from children.
One couple discovered that the stranger not only used his monitor for children to spy on their three-year-old son, this stranger also spoke with his child through the device. Mother heard an unknown voice: ìWake up, boy, dad is looking for you,î and the child said that he was scared because at night someone was talking to him on an electronic device. As more and more children’s gadgets and toys connect to the Internet, it seems likely that these frightening scenarios may become more common.
Remote control of a vehicle As vehicles become smarter and more accessible on the Internet, they also become vulnerable to attack.
Hackers have shown that they can take control of a jeep, maximize air conditioning, change the radio station, start the wipers, and ultimately slow down the car. The news led to the recall of 1.4 million cars, but whitehat researchers, following the original exploit, said they discovered additional vulnerabilities that were not fixed by the Chrysler patch applied to the recalled cars. Although experts say the automotive industry is doing a great job of ensuring vehicle safety, it is almost certain that attackers will find new vulnerabilities in such smart cars.
Personal attacks Sometimes IoT covers more than just devices – it can also include people who have connected medical devices implanted in their bodies.
An episode of the television series Homeland attempted a murder aimed at an implanted medical device, and former vice president Dick Cheney was so worried about this scenario that he turned off the wireless capabilities on his implanted defibrillator. This kind of attack has not yet happened in real life, but it remains possible, as many medical devices become part of the IoT.
Hi folks, In light of the ongoing world-wide cyberattack/ransomware issue at the moment, we have decided to set up a mega-thread to contain all of the news and updates as things unfold. If you find new news or stories about the attacks, please do not submit them to the sub, please submit them here and I will periodically add the new links to a growing list. Pre-existing posts will remain but all new posts will be removed and directed here. Thank you to everyone who has posted and help spread the news so far! EDIT: You can download the standalone update here directly from Microsoft. SEE ALSO: /PCMasterRace discussion (Sorted by newest first) (Updated May 15th 4PM (-8gmt))
Okay MoneroV gets posted about enough I think it's time someone told the truth about what's going on. Save this post and paste it on other XMV threads, because this shit is a fucking scam.
Everything MoneroV does "differently" is a lie. Here are their claims.
MoneroV claims that Monero is run by one individual and therefore vulnerable. This is false. Monero development is freelanced and funded by the community through charity donations, and that can be seen live HERE.
More evidence proving the contrary is how many times Monero has kicked their figurehead off the team: Monero was created by Thankful_for_today and the community banned him. It was acquired by Tacotime - Who the community blocked out as well.
Also, how can MoneroV have a decentralized development team if 1) it's closed source 2) has A DEVELOPER PREMINE and 3) doesn't invite anyone on the team? Who even audits their code?
MoneroV also boasts about their full-time development team. But HMM, somehow it's a decentralized full-time development team..
On Supply Cap
MoneroV sites in their whitepaper that the Austrian School of Economics determines that a fixed cap on the circulating supply of a coin is best from an economic standpoint. They fail to realize the following things though:
Because Monero works differently than Bitcoin, THERE CANNOT BE a supply cap. Monero scales on-chain so they never have to fork to a larger block size. This is done through Dynamic Block Sizing, which relies on people mining for a reward on each block. Monero must always mint new coins for this to work.
On Legitimate Mining
MoneroV claims to fight the botnets that Monero allows to allow more competition for legitimate miners using their computers.
Monero has never supported the use of botnets, and has forked to bar ASICs from ruining the network. MoneroV - Has not.
This is not a shitfork like Bitcoin Gold where you just "Claim free money". MoneroV damages both networks.
Because of how Monero works, forking the chain in the specific way MoneroV has chosen to ruins Ring Signatures on both networks for users who decide to participate in the "Free Coin Airdrop".
Monero is anonymous through the Cryptonote protocol which enables Ring Signatures and Stealth Addressing by default. Over the years, more things have been added on top such as subaddresses and RingCT. This makes the transaction A -> B invisible on the blockchain to an outside observer, and MoneroV still has that.
The issue with re-using the chain is when B is trying to find out who sent it money by only looking at the blockchain. A -> B is invisible to the average user by stealth addresses, but only to B via RingCT and Ring Signatures. Due to some complicated math I can't get into with a single Reddit post, this risks the anonymity of A to B.
Monero also supports forks in open arms. /Aeon is linked on their sidebar for fucks sakes. This is not an issue with forking Monero - This is an issue with MoneroV.
Please save, share and spread this post like wildfire. As a large user of Monero I'm making this post completely against my own economical gain, but this really needs to be said. I would even encourage you to ask these questions on their subreddit (although fair warning you will get banned ). Stay safe and happy forking.
Miners have always had it rough.. "Frustrated Miners" The Problem with PoW (and what is being done to solve it) Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency. In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin. Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases. Hashrates and Hardware Types While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners. When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm. This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time. Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon. 2 Guys 1 ASIC One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption. Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix. When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete. This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control. Implications of Centralization This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors). This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things. The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions. The Rise of FPGAs With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending. A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network. Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements. Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes. All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology? Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution. Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member- "Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well" If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency. Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term. In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
Thank you for being a part of the ColossusXT Reddit AMA! Below we will summarize the questions and answers. The team responded to 78 questions! If you question was not included, it may have been answered in a previous question. The ColossusXT team will do a Reddit AMA at the end of every quarter. The winner of the Q2 AMA Contest is: Shenbatu Q: Why does your blockchain exist and what makes it unique? A: ColossusXT exists to provide an energy efficient method of supercomputing. ColossusXT is unique in many ways. Some coins have 1 layer of privacy. ColossusXT and the Colossus Grid will utilize 2 layers of privacy through Obfuscation Zerocoin Protocol, and I2P and these will protect users of the Colossus Grid as they utilize grid resources. There are also Masternodes and Proof of Stake which both can contribute to reducing 51% attacks, along with instant transactions and zero-fee transactions. This protection is paramount as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. Grid Computing will have a pivotal role throughout the world, and what this means is that users will begin to experience the Internet as a seamless computational universe. Software applications, databases, sensors, video and audio streams-all will be reborn as services that live in cyberspace, assembling and reassembling themselves on the fly to meet the tasks at hand. Once plugged into the grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid. Q: What is the Colossus Grid? A: ColossusXT is an anonymous blockchain through obfuscation, Zerocoin Protocol, along with utilization of I2P. These features will protect end user privacy as ColossusXT evolves into the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid will connect devices in a peer-to-peer network enabling users and applications to rent the cycles and storage of other users’ machines. This marketplace of computing power and storage will exclusively run on COLX currency. These resources will be used to complete tasks requiring any amount of computation time and capacity, or allow end users to store data anonymously across the COLX decentralized network. Today, such resources are supplied by entities such as centralized cloud providers which are constrained by closed networks, proprietary payment systems, and hard-coded provisioning operations. Any user ranging from a single PC owner to a large data center can share resources through Colossus Grid and get paid in COLX for their contributions. Renters of computing power or storage space, on the other hand, may do so at low prices compared to the usual market prices because they are only using resources that already exist. Q: When will zerocoin be fully integrated? A: Beta has been released for community testing on Test-Net. As soon as all the developers consider the code ready for Main-Net, it will be released. Testing of the code on a larger test network network will ensure a smooth transition. Q: Is the end goal for the Colossus Grid to act as a decentralized cloud service, a resource pool for COLX users, or something else? A: Colossus Grid will act as a grid computing resource pool for any user running a COLX node. How and why we apply the grid to solve world problems will be an ever evolving story. Q: What do you think the marketing role in colx.? When ll be the inwallet shared nodes available...i know its been stated in roadmap but as u dont follow roadmap and offer everything in advance...i hope shared MN's to be avilable soon. A: The ColossusXT (COLX) roadmap is a fluid design philosophy. As the project evolves, and our community grows. Our goal is to deliver a working product to the market while at the same time adding useful features for the community to thrive on, perhaps the Colossus Grid and Shared Masternodes will be available both by the end of Q4 2018. Q: When will your github be open to the public? A: The GitHub has been open to the public for a few months now. You can view the GitHub here: https://github.com/ColossusCoinXT The latest commits here: https://github.com/ColossusCoinXT/ColossusCoinXT/commits/master Q: Why should I use COLX instead of Monero? A: ColossusXT offers Proof of Stake and Masternodes both which contribute layers in protection from 51% attacks often attributed with Proof of Work consensus, and in being Proof of Work(Monero) ColossusXT is environmentally friendly compared to Proof of Work (Monero). You can generate passive income from Proof of Stake, and Masternodes. Along with helping secure the network.What really sets ColossusXT apart from Monero, and many other privacy projects being worked on right now, is the Colossus Grid. Once plugged into the Colossus Grid, a desktop machine will draw computational horsepower from all the other computers on the grid. Blockchain, was built on the core value of decentralization and ColossusXT adhere to these standards with end-user privacy in mind in the technology sector. Q: With so many coins out with little to no purpose let alone a definitive use case, how will COLX distinguish itself from the crowd? A: You are right, there are thousands of other coins. Many have no purpose, and we will see others “pumping” from day to day. It is the nature of markets, and crypto as groups move from coin to coin to make a quick profit. As blockchain regulations and information is made more easily digestible projects like ColossusXT will rise. Our goal is to produce a quality product that will be used globally to solve technical problems, in doing so grid computing on the ColossusXT network could create markets of its own within utilizing Super-computing resources. ColossusXT is more than just a currency, and our steadfast approach to producing technical accomplishments will not go unnoticed. Q: Tell the crowd something about the I2P integration plan in the roadmap? 🙂 A: ColossusXT will be moving up the I2P network layer in the roadmap to meet a quicker development pace of the Colossus Grid. The I2P layer will serve as an abstraction layer further obfuscating the users of ColossusXT (COLX) nodes. Abstraction layer allows two parties to communicate in an anonymous manner. This network is optimised for anonymous file-sharing. Q: What kind of protocols, if any, are being considered to prevent or punish misuse of Colossus Grid resources by bad actors, such as participation in a botnet/denial of service attack or the storage of stolen information across the Grid? A: What defines bad actors? ColossusXT plans on marketing to governments and cyber security companies globally. Entities and individuals who will certainly want their privacy protected. There is a grey area between good and bad, and that is something we can certainly explore as a community. Did you have any ideas to contribute to this evolving variable?What we mean when we say marketing towards security companies and governments is being utilized for some of the projects and innovating new ways of grid computing. Security: https://wiki.ncsa.illinois.edu/display/cybersec/Projects+and+Software Governments: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/what-are-the-uses-of-a-supercomputer Q: The Colossus Grid is well defined but I don't feel easily digestible. Has their been any talk of developing an easier to understand marketing plan to help broaden the investoadoptor base? A: As we get closer to the release of the Colossus Grid marketing increase for the Colossus Grid. It will have a user friendly UI, and we will provide Guides and FAQ’s with the release that any user intending to share computing power will be able to comprehend. Q: Can you compare CollossusXT and Golem? A: Yes. The Colosssus Grid is similar to other grid computing projects. The difference is that ColossusXT is on it’s own blockchain, and does not rely on the speed or congestion of a 3rd party blockchain. The Colossus Grid has a privacy focus and will market to companies, and individuals who would like to be more discreet when buying or selling resources by offering multiple levels of privacy protections. Q: How do you guys want to achieve to be one of the leaders as a privacy coin? A: Being a privacy coin leader is not our end game. Privacy features are just a small portion of our framework. The Colossus Grid will include privacy features, but a decentralized Supercomputer is what will set us apart and we intend to be leading this industry in the coming years as our vision, and development continue to grow and scale with technology. Q: With multiple coins within this space, data storage and privacy, how do you plan to differentiate COLX from the rest? Any further partnerships planned? A: The Colossus Grid will differentiate ColossusXT from coins within the privacy space. The ColossusXT blockchain will differentiate us from the DATA storage space. Combining these two features with the ability to buy and sell computing power to complete different computational tasks through a decentralized marketplace. We intend to involve more businesses and individuals within the community and will invite many companies to join in connecting the grid to utilize shared resources and reduce energy waste globally when the BETA is available. Q: Has colossus grid had the best come up out of all crypto coins? A: Possibly. ColossusXT will continue to “come up” as we approach the launch of the Colossus Grid network. Q: How far have Colossus gone in the ATM integration A: ColossusXT intends to and will play an important role in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. We already have an ongoing partnership with PolisPay which will enable use of COLX via master debit cards. Along with this established relationship, ColossusXT team is in touch with possible companies to use colx widely where these can only be disclosed upon mutual agreement. Q: How does COLX intend to disrupt the computing industry through Grid Computing? A: Using the Colossus Grid on the ColossusXT blockchain, strengthens the network. Computers sit idly by for huge portions of the day. Connecting to the Colossus Grid and contributing those idle resources can make use of all the computing power going to waste, and assist in advancing multiple technology sectors and solving issues. Reducing costs, waste, and increased speed in technology sectors such as scientific research, machine learning, cyber security, and making it possible for anyone with a desktop PC to contribute resources to the Colossus Grid and earn passive income. Q: What kind of partnerships do you have planned and can you share any of them? :) A: The ColossusXT team will announce partnerships when they are available. It’s important to finalize all information and create strong avenues of communication between partners ColossusXT works with in the future. We are currently speaking with many different exchanges, merchants, and discussing options within our technology sector for utilizing the Colossus Grid. Q: Will shared Masternodes be offered by the COLX team? Or will there be any partnerships with something like StakingLab, StakeUnited, or SimplePosPool? StakingLab allows investors of any size to join their shared Masternodes, so any investor of any size can join. Is this a possibility in the future? A: ColossusXT has already partnered with StakingLab. We also plan to implement shared Masternodes in the desktop wallet. Q: How innovative is the Colossus Grid in the privacy coin space? A: Most privacy coins are focused on being just a currency / form of payment. No other project is attempting to do what we are doing with a focus on user privacy. Q: Hey guys do you think to integrated with some other plataforms like Bancor? I would like it! A: ColossusXT is in touch with many exchange platforms, however, due to non disclosure agreements details cannot be shared until it is mutually decided with the partners. We will always be looking for new platforms to spread the use of colx in different parts of the world and crypto space. Q: What is the reward system for the master node owners? A: From block 388.800 onwards, block reward is 1200 colx and this is split based on masternode ownestaker ratio. This split is based on see-saw algorithm. With an increasing number of masternodes the see-saw algorithm disincentivizes the establishment of even more masternodes because it lowers their profitability. To be precise, as soon as more than 41.5% of the total COLX coin supply is locked in masternodes, more than 50% of the block reward will be distributed to regular staking nodes. As long as the amount of locked collateral funds is below the threshold of 41.5%, the see-saw algorithm ensure that running a masternode is financially more attractive than running a simple staking node, to compensate for the additional effort that a masternode requires in comparison to a simple staking node.Please refer to our whitepaper for more information. Q: What other marketplaces has the COLX team been in contact with? Thanks guys! Love the coin and staff A: ColossusXT gets in touch for different platforms based on community request and also based on partnership requests received upon ColossusXT business team’s mutual agreement. Unfortunately, these possibilities cannot be shared until they are mutually agreed between the partners and ColossusXT team due to non disclosure agreements. Q:What do you think about the new rules that will soon govern crypto interactions in the EU?they are against anonymous payments A: Blockchain technology is just now starting to become clear to different governments. ColossusXT's privacy features protect the end-user from oversharing personal information. As you are probably aware from the multiple emails you've received recently from many websites. Privacy policies are always being updated and expanded upon. The use of privacy features with utility coins like ColossusXT should be a regular norm throughout blockchain. This movement is part is about decentralization as much as it is about improving technology. While this news may have a role to play. I don't think it is THE role that will continuously be played as blockchain technology is implemented throughout the world. Q: Any hints on the next big feature implementation you guys are working on? According to road map - really excited to hear more about the Shared MN and the scale of the marketplace! A: Current work is focused on the privacy layer of Colossus Grid and completing the updated wallet interface. Q: Why choose COLX, or should I say why should we believe in COLX becoming what you promise in the roadmap. What are you different from all the other privacy coins with block chain establishment already in effect? A: ColossusXT is an environmentally friendly Proof of Stake, with Masternode technology that provide dual layers of protection from 51% attacks. It includes privacy features that protect the user while the utilize resources from the Colossus Grid. Some of the previous questions within this AMA may also answer this question. Q: What tradeoffs do you have using the Colossus Grid versus the more typical distribution? A: The advantage of supercomputers is that since data can move between processors rapidly, all of the processors can work together on the same tasks. Supercomputers are suited for highly-complex, real-time applications and simulations. However, supercomputers are very expensive to build and maintain, as they consist of a large array of top-of-the-line processors, fast memory, custom hardware, and expensive cooling systems. They also do not scale well, since their complexity makes it difficult to easily add more processors to such a precisely designed and finely tuned system.By contrast, the advantage of distributed systems (Like Colossus Grid) is that relative to supercomputers they are much less expensive. Many distributed systems make use of cheap, off-the-shelf computers for processors and memory, which only require minimal cooling costs. In addition, they are simpler to scale, as adding an additional processor to the system often consists of little more than connecting it to the network. However, unlike supercomputers, which send data short distances via sophisticated and highly optimized connections, distributed systems must move data from processor to processor over slower networks making them unsuitable for many real-time applications. Q: Why should I choose Colossus instead of another 100,000 altcoins? A: Many of these alt-coins are all very different projects. ColossusXT is the only Grid computing project with a focus on user privacy. We have instant transactions, and zero-fee transactions and ColossusXT is one of the very few coins to offer live support. Check out our Whitepaper! Q: Will there be an option (in the future) to choose between an anonymous or public transaction? A: Zerocoin is an evolution of the current coin mixing feature. Both allow an individual to decide how they would like to send their transactions. Q: What exchange has highest volume for ColossusXT, and are there any plans for top exchanges soon ? A: Currently Cryptopia carries the majority of ColossusXT volume. We are speaking with many different exchanges, and preparing requested documentation for different exchanges. ColossusXT intends to be traded on every major exchange globally. Q: What is the TPS speed that colx blockchain achieves? A: ColossusXT achieves between 65-67 TPS depending on network conditions currently. Q: Plans on expanding the dev team? A: As development funds allow it, the team will be expanded. Development costs are high for a unique product like ColossusXT, and a good majority of our budget is allocated to it. Q: Can you explain what is and what are the full porpose of the COLOSSUSXT GRID PROJECT ? A: Colossus Grid is explained in the whitepaper. The uses for grid computing and storage are vast, and we are only starting to scratch the surface on what this type of computing power can do. There is also a description within the formatting context within the AMA of the Colossus Grid. Q: Is there mobile wallet for Android and iOS? If not, is there a roadmap? A: There Android wallet is out of beta and on the Google PlayStore: iOS wallet is planned for development. The roadmap can be found here: https://colossusxt.io/roadmap/ Q: Is ColossusXT planning on partnering up with other cryptocurrency projects? Such as: Bread and EQUAL. A: ColossusXT plans on partnering with other crypto projects that make sense. We look for projects that can help alleviate some of our development work / provide quality of life upgrades to our investors so that we can focus on Colossus Grid development. When absolutely love it when the community comes to us with great projects to explore. Q: Did you ever considered a coinburn? Don't you think a coin burn will increase COLX price and sustain mass adoption? Do you plan on keeping the price of COLX in a range so the potential big investors can invest in a not so much volatile project? A**:** There are no plans to do a coinburn at this time. Please check out our section in the whitepaper about the supply. Q: what is the next big exchange for colx to be listed ? A: There are several exchanges that will be listing ColossusXT soon. Stay tuned for updates within the community as some have already been announced and future announcements.
Q: How will Colx compete with other privacy coins which claim to be better like Privacy? A: ColossusXT is not competing with other privacy coins. ColossusXT will evolve into the Colossus Grid, which is built on the backbone of a privacy blockchain. In our vision, all these other privacy coins are competing for relevancy with ColossusXT. There are also similar responses to question that may hit on specifics. Q: Does COLX have a finite number of coins like bitcoin? A: No, ColossusXT is Proof of Stake. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof-of-stake Q: What are the advantages of COLX over other competitor coins (eg. ECA)? A: The only similarities between ColossusXT and Electra is that we are both privacy blockchains. ColossusXT is very much an entirely different project that any other privacy coin in the blockchain world today. The Colossus Grid will be a huge advantage over any other privacy coin. Offering the ability for a desktop machine to rent power from others contributing to the Colossus Grid and perform and compute high level tasks. Q: How do you feel about some countries frowning upon privacy coins and how do you plan to change their minds (and what do you plan to do about it?) A: The ColossusXT team tries to view opinions from multiple perspectives so that we can understand each line of thinking. As blockchain technology becomes more widely adopted, so will the understanding of the importance of the privacy features within ColossusXT. Privacy is freedom. Q: How do you see COLX in disrupting cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now? A: Cloud gaming services have not been discussed. Initial marketing of our private grid computing framework will be targeted at homes users, governments, and cyber security firms who may require more discretion / anonymity in their work. Q: Since colx is a privacy coin and is known for its privacy in the transactions due to which lot of money laundering and scams could take place, would colx and its community be affected due to it? And if does then how could we try to prevent it? A: ColossusXT intends to be known for the Colossus Grid. The Colossus Grid development will be moved up from Q1 2019 to Q3 2018 to reflect this message and prevent further miscommunication about what privacy means for the future of ColossusXT. Previous answers within this AMA may further elaborate on this question. Q: When do you plan to list your coin on other "bigger" exchanges? A: ColossusXT is speaking with many different exchanges. These things have many different factors. Exchanges decide on listing dates and we expect to see ColossusXT listed on larger exchanges as we approach the Colossus Grid Beta. The governance system can further assist in funding. Q: What was the rationale behind naming your coin ColossusXT? A:Colossus was a set of computers developed by British codebreakers in the years 1943–1945. XT symbolises ‘extended’ as the coin was forked from the original Cv2 coin. Q: Can you give any details about the E Commerce Marketplace, and its progress? A: The Ecommerce Marketplace is a project that will receive attention after our development pass on important privacy features for the grid. In general, our roadmap will be changing to put an emphasis on grid development. Q: How will someone access the grid, and how will you monetize using the grid? Will there be an interface that charges COLX for time on the grid or data usage? A: The Colossus Grid will be integrated within the ColossusXT wallet. Buying & Selling resources will happen within the wallet interface. You won't be able to charge for "time" on the grid, and have access to unlimited resources. The goal is to have users input what resources they need, and the price they are willing to pay. The Colossus Grid will then look for people selling resources at a value the buyer is willing to pay. Time may come into play based on which resources you are specifically asking for. Q: Are there any plans to launch an official YouTube channel with instructional videos about basic use of the wallets and features of COLX? Most people are visually set and learn much faster about wallets when actually seeing it happen before they try themselves. This might attract people to ColossusXT and also teach people about basic use of blockchain and cryptocurrency wallets. I ask this because I see a lot of users on Discord and Telegram that are still learning and are asking a lot of real basic questions. A: ColossusXT has an official YT account with instructional videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmMLUSK4YoxKvrLoKJnzng Q: What are the usp's of colx in comparing to other privacy coins? A: Privacy coins are a dime a dozen. ColossusXT has different end goals than most privacy coins, and this cannot be stated enough. Our goal is not just to be another currency, but to build a sophisticated computing resource sharing architecture on top of the privacy blockchain. Q: A new exchange will probably gain more liquidity for our coin. If you might choose 3 exchanges to get COLX listed, what would be your top 3? A: ColossusXT intends to be listed on all major exchanges globally. :) Q: What is the future of privacy coins? What will be the future colx userbase (beyond the first adopters and enthusiasts)? A: The future of privacy is the same it has always been. Privacy is something each and everyone person owns, until they give it away to someone else. Who is in control of your privacy? You or another person or entity?The future of the ColossusXT user base will comprise of early adopters, enthusiast, computer science professionals, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics professionals for which these users can utilize the Colossus Grid a wide range of needs. Q: Will ColossusXT join more exchanges soon?? A: Yes. :) Q: So when will Colossus put out lots of advertisement to the various social media sites to get better known? Like Youtube videos etc. A: As we get closer to a product launch of the Colossus Grid, you’ll begin to see more advertisements, YouTubers, and interviews. We’re looking to also provide some presentations at blockchain conferences in 2018, and 2019. Q: In your opinion, what are some of the issues holding COLX back from wider adoption? In that vein, what are some of the steps the team is considering to help address those issues? A: One of the main issues that is holding ColossusXT back from a wider adoption is our endgame is very different from other privacy coins. The Colossus Grid. In order to address this issue, the ColossusXT team intends to have a Colossus Grid Beta out by the end of Q4 and we will move development of the Colossus Grid from Q1 2019 to Q3 2018. Q: Or to see it from another perspective - what are some of the biggest issues with crypto-currency and how does COLX address those issues? A: Biggest issue is that cryptocurrency is seen as a means to make quick money, what project is going to get the biggest “pump” of the week, and there is not enough focus on building blockchain technologies that solve problems or creating legitimate business use cases. For the most part we believe the base of ColossusXT supporters see our end-game, and are willing to provide us with the time and support to complete our vision. The ColossusXT team keeps its head down and keeps pushing forward. Q: I know it's still early in the development phase but can you give a little insight into what to look forward to regarding In-wallet voting and proposals system for the community? How much power will the community have regarding the direction COLX development takes in the future? A: The budget and proposal system is detailed in the whitepaper. Masternode owners vote on and guide the development of ColossusXT by voting on proposals put forth by the community and business partners. Our goal is to make this process as easy and accessible as possible to our community. Q: Will there be an article explaining the significance of each partnership formed thus far? A: Yes, the ColossusXT team will announce partners on social media, and community outlets. A detailed article of what partnerships mean will be available on our Medium page: https://medium.com/@colossusxt Q: What potential output from the Grid is expected and what would it's use be? For example, x teraflops which could process y solutions to protein folding in z time. A: There are many uses for grid computing. A crypto enthusiast mining crypto, a cyber security professional cracking a password using brute force, or a scientist producing climate prediction models. The resources available to put towards grid projects will be determined by the number of nodes sharing resources, and the amount of resources an individual is willing to purchase with COLX. All individuals will not have access to infinite grid resources. Q: Is there a paper wallet available? A: Yes, see https://mycolxwallet.org Q: Is there a possibility of implementing quantum computer measures in the future? A: This is a great idea for potentially another project in the future. Currently this is not possible with the Colossus Grid. Instead of bits, which conventional computers use, a quantum computer uses quantum bits—known as qubits. In classical computing, a bit is a single piece of information that can exist in two states – 1 or 0. Quantum computing uses quantum bits, or 'qubits' instead. These are quantum systems with two states. However, unlike a usual bit, they can store much more information than just 1 or 0, because they can exist in any superposition of these values. Q: Do you plan to do a coin burn? A: No future coin burns are planned. Anything like this would go through a governance proposal and Masternode owners would vote on this. This is not anything we’ve seen within the community being discussed. Q: Can I check the exact number of current COLX master node and COLX staking node? A: Yes. You can view the Masternodes and the amount of ColossusXT (COLX) being staked by viewing the block explorer. Block explorer: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/colx/#!extraction Q: What incentive could we give a youtuber to do the BEST video of ColossusXT (COLX)? A: We've been approached by several YouTubers. The best thing a YouTuber can do is understand what ColossusXT is, join the community, ask questions if there is something they don't understand. The problem with many YouTubers is that some of them are just trying to get paid, they don't really care to provide context or research a project. Disclaimer: This is not all YouTubers, but many. Q: In which ways is the ColossusGrid different from other supercomputer / distributed computing projects out there. Golem comes to mind. Thanks! A: The main difference is that we are focused on the end users privacy, and the types of users that we will be targeting will be those that need more discretion / anonymity in their work. We are building framework that will continue to push the boundaries of user privacy as it relates to grid computing. Q: Can we please complete our roadmap ahead of schedule? I find most other coins that do this actually excell in terms of price and community members. Keep on top of the game :) A: The Colossus XT roadmap is a very fluid document, and it is always evolving. Some items are moved up in priority, and others are moved back. The roadmap should not be thought of something that is set in stone. Q: Does COLX have master nodes? A: Yes. ColossusXT has masternodes. Q: Have thought about providing a method to insert a form of payment in colx in any page that wants to use cryptocurrencies in a fast and simple way in order to masive adoption???? A: There is already this option.https://mycryptocheckout.com/coins/ Q: What do you think your community progress till now? A: The community has grown greatly in the last 3 months. We’re very excited to go from 13 to 100 questions in our quarterly AMA. Discord, Telegram, and Twitter are growing everyday. Q: I noticed on Roadmap: Coinomi and ahapeshift wallet integration. Can you tell me more about this? I am new in crypto and new ColX investor so I don't know much about this. Thanks and keep a good work. A: Coinomi is a universal wallet. ColossusXT will have multiple wallet platforms available to it. Shapeshift allows you to switch one crypto directly for another without the use of a coupler (BTC). Q: Is "A general-purpose decentralized marketplace" written in the whitepaper the same as "E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE" written on the roadmap? Please tell me about "A general-purpose decentralized marketplace" or "E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE" in detail. A: Details will be posted as we get closer to the marketplace. It will be similar to other marketplaces within blockchain. Stay tuned for more information by following us on Twitter. Q: History has shown that feature-based technologies always get replaced by technologies with platforms that incorporate those features; what is colossius big picture? A: The Colossus Grid. Which has been explained within this AMA in a few different ways. Q: What are the main objectives for COLX team this year? Provide me 5 reason why COLX will survive in a long term perspective? Do you consider masternodes working in a private easy to setup wallet on a DEX network? Already big fan, have a nice day! A: Getting into Q3 our main object is to get a working product of the Colossus Grid by the end of Q4.
Community - Our community is growing everyday as knowledge about what we’re building grows. When the Colossus Grid is online we expect expansion to grow at a rapid pace as users connect to share resources.
Team - The ColossusXT team will continue to grow. We are stewards of a great community and an amazing project. Providing a level of support currently unseen in many other projects through Discord. The team cohesion and activity within the community is a standard we intend to set within the blockchain communities.
Features - ColossusXT and The Colossus Grid will have user friendly AI. We understand the difficulties when users first enter blockchain products. The confusion between keys, sending/receiving addresses, and understanding available features within. Guides will always be published for Windows/Mac/Linux with updates so that these features can be easily understood.
Colossus Grid - The Colossus Grid answers real world problems, and provides multiple solutions while also reducing energy consumption.
Use Case - Many of the 1000+ other coins on the market don’t have the current use-case that ColossusXT has, let alone the expansion of utility use-cases in multiple sectors.
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