Nathan Hawkes, Author at Bitcoin Of America

[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)

Source | Guestbook
Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Questions Answers
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself? I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you? They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible? I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught? they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing? I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks. It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative! I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks! I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort? There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies. FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious? We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts. I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point. I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you? By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible... The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually... I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity? A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics? I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive? I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all. DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ? So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins? His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road? Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question? They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done. lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online? I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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[deleted] You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe? It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru! re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you. I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back? i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios? Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits? Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt. Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there? It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"? It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite? After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him. Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author? I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it? By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web? There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76 1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop. Yes, I wrote about them in The Darkest Web
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit? There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Monero Moon Prize

Announcing the Monero Moon Prize!

I pledge 10,000 Monero to the winner of a competition that begins right now. I will award the prize for completing a task which is very difficult, but not impossible.
The prize of 10,000 Monero will be awarded to the first team or individual to operate a 3D printer on the moon. This 3D printer must use lunar soil as its raw print material and demonstrate that it can reliably produce custom mechanical components.
I have created a set of rules for the competition but I welcome feedback on the details. My desire is that following the competition, the winning team is able to continue to operate the 3D printer on the Moon’s surface and to indefinitely produce parts from lunar soil and sunlight.
 

The Competition

  1. Safely deliver a payload to the surface of the Moon.
  2. Deploy 3D printer and some method of gathering soil for its continued operation.
  3. Print a series of 3 test parts from lunar soil using an additive manufacturing technique which does not rely on external binding agents from Earth. The printer cannot rely on supplies from Earth for its continued manufacture of parts.
  4. Minor manipulation and/or assembly of parts will be required.
  5. The build volume of the printer must be at least 150x150x150mm with dimensional tolerances to within 0.2mm of specifications. (Note: this level of performance is comparable to mid-priced 3D printers currently available in the home market)
  6. The ultimate tensile strength of the parts must be greater than 10 MPa in any direction (about 1/3 that of common glass).
  7. The winning team must meet these objectives on or before December 19, 2022; or 50 years since man last stepped foot on the Moon. We as a species must not go 50 years before taking our next step towards the Moon’s development.
 

Feasibility

Exponential Increase in Monero’s Value

The value of cryptocurrencies increases exponentially with adoption. A prize purse of 10,000 Monero is currently worth about $120,000. This meager amount is unlikely to incentivize a lunar mission, considering it costs roughly $15 million to launch a 10-kg payload to the Moon [1]. However, if the market adoption of Monero becomes similar to what Bitcoin enjoys today, then the 10,000 Monero prize purse would be roughly a hundred times more valuable (~$12 million) and enough to recoup the majority of launch expenses.
The size of the prize could also increase through donations or pledges made by additional backers. Any team in the competition could offset their own costs by pursuing corporate sponsorships or pairing their entry for the Monero Moon Prize with another competition like the Google Lunar XPRIZE, where a team must have a robot move 500 m on the Moon’s surface[2]. There are many possibilities for adding incentives to this competition, this is simply a first step.

What is Lunar Soil Made Of?

Glass and metal, mostly[3,4]. Aluminum, titanium, tungsten, and iron. Volatiles like ice and many useful trace elements[5,6,7]. Most soil particles are very fine with sharp angles, turned to powder through billions of years of meteoric impact. Older, more weathered particles have small bits of non-oxidized iron on their surface and imbedded within, making them efficiently heated with microwaves [8,9] and levitate in magnetic fields[10].

What Can Lunar Soil be Made Into?

Just about any solid object you can think of. Researchers have turned lunar soil simulant into gears, bolts, bricks, and bunkers[11,12,13,14,15]. They do this by selectively melting the soil in a desired shape and then cooling it until it hardens. Possible heat sources include lasers, microwaves, and concentrated solar, to name a few.
Many technologies in use by DIY maker communities and additive manufacturers can be extended with little modification to the lunar environment. Candidate technologies include selective sintering and fused deposition modeling. In selective sintering, a laser or other heat source is directed at a bed of powder which is partially melted and allowed to re-harden. Here’s a demonstration of how simple the process can be[16,17].
Fused deposition modeling is a type of 3D printing that you are probably most familiar with. Some material, typically plastic, is heated until it can be extruded out of a small nozzle. This extruded material is used to draw a 2D image on a flat surface. The height of the nozzle is then raised and another 2D image is drawn on top of the old. This process continues through many layers until a laminated 3D shape emerges. This technology was recently applied where small beads of optical glass acted as the raw print material[18], a substance not too different from lunar soil[19,20,21].
We can see from these examples that there are at least a few techniques for printing reliable parts from Moon dust. All major technical hurdles have been passed, now it’s just a matter of application-specific design.

Why a prize?

From the Orteig Prize sending aircraft across the Atlantic, to the Ansari XPRIZE sending private manned spacecraft to space, to the ongoing Google Lunar XPRIZE where teams are asked to drive a rover 500 m on the Moon, incentive competitions have simply been shown to work. Prizes are an effective way of directing the efforts of others towards a unified goal with potentially universal utility. I do not care who takes the first step in the extraterrestrial manufacturing revolution, just as long as someone takes it.
Prizes are an excellent investment. The prize backers only spend money if the competition garners a favorable result. The teams are compelled to initially spend their own resources to investigate several parallel designs. Incentive competitions have historically seen teams spend a combined $16 for every $1 used to fund the prize[22,23]; this represents a remarkable 16:1 return on your investment in terms of total R&D!
A competition also adds extraneous benefits. Humans tend to be thrilled by competition. They love the challenge, the race against another pack of humans. A need emerges to quickly find a solution and win at all costs.
Good solutions to the most difficult problems have been found under these conditions and frequently within shortened timeframes. We as a species need the ability to extract material resources from extraterrestrial sources as quickly as possible. I believe an incentive competition is a fast, inexpensive, and exciting way for us all to realize that goal.

Who Am I?

I wish to remain anonymous and feel lucky that this right is afforded to me by Monero. I hold a higher degree in a field related to this competition and would be inclined towards continued technical discussions on these topics.
I will send the pledged funds to a multisig wallet held in escrow once that becomes a possibility, but reserve the right to withdraw my funds from the competition before the stated deadline if it appears that no reasonable effort is being made by any team to win the prize.
 

References

[1]http://www.parabolicarc.com/2010/03/15/send-1pound-payload-moon-950k/
[2]http://lunar.xprize.org/about/guidelines
[3]McKay, David S., et al. "The lunar regolith." Lunar sourcebook (1991): 285-356.
[4]Noble, Sarah. "The Lunar Regolith." (2009).
[5]Duke, Michael B., et al. "Development of the Moon." Reviews in mineralogy and geochemistry 60.1 (2006): 597-655.
[6]Taylor, Jeff, Larry Taylor, and Mike Duke. "Concentrations of Volatiles in the Lunar Regolith." (2007).
[7]Crawford, Ian A. "Lunar resources: A review." Progress in Physical Geography 39.2 (2015): 137-167.
[8]Taylor, Lawrence, et al. "Lunar Dust Problem: From Liability to Asset." 1st space exploration conference: continuing the voyage of discovery. 2005.
[9]Taylor, Lawrence A., and Thomas T. Meek. "Microwave sintering of lunar soil: properties, theory, and practice." Journal of Aerospace Engineering 18.3 (2005): 188-196.
[10]Colwell, J. E., et al. "Lunar surface: Dust dynamics and regolith mechanics." Reviews of Geophysics 45.2 (2007).
[11]Krishna Balla, Vamsi, et al. "First demonstration on direct laser fabrication of lunar regolith parts." Rapid Prototyping Journal 18.6 (2012): 451-457.
[12]Fateri, Miranda, and Andreas Gebhardt. "Process Parameters Development of Selective Laser Melting of Lunar Regolith for On‐Site Manufacturing Applications." International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology 12.1 (2015): 46-52.
[13]Indyk, Stephen. Structural members produced from unrefined lunar regolith, a structural assessment. Diss. Rutgers University-Graduate School-New Brunswick, 2015.
[14]Lim, Sungwoo, and Mahesh Anand. "In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) derived extra-terrestrial construction processes using sintering-based additive manufacturing techniques–focusing on a lunar surface environment." (2015).
[15]Goulas, Athanasios, et al. "3D printing with moondust." Rapid Prototyping Journal 22.6 (2016): 864-870.
[16]Kayser, Markus. SolarSinter Project: www.markuskayser.com.
[17]Rietema, Menno-Jan. "Design of a solar sand printer." (2013).
[18]Klein, John, et al. "Additive manufacturing of optically transparent glass." 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2.3 (2015): 92-105.
[19]Fabes, B. D., and W. H. Poisl. "Processing of glass-ceramics from lunar resources." (1991).
[20]Fabes, B. D., et al. "Melt-processing of lunar ceramics." (1992).
[21]Magoffin, Michael, and John Garvey. "Lunar glass production using concentrated solar energy." Space Programs and Technologies Conference. 1990.
[22]Guthrie, Julian, Branson, Richard, and Hawking, Stephen. How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight. Penguin Press, September, 2016.
[23]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orteig_Prize
 

Addendum: The Philosophical Rant (It’s a long one…)

Things could be so much different than they are. As a species, we have arrived in our current state through a series of steps so complex that the thing we call reality might as well be an arbitrary selection from the possibilities of what could be.
In this reality, our reality, humans have made a massive misstep that has put our society and our species at risk. This glaring bit of poor judgment is ongoing, yet no action is being taken to resolve the situation.
No machines are being built outside of Earth’s orbit.
Even though we are a space faring species, we have no plans for gathering resources from outside of Earth or for building the extraterrestrial infrastructure that is necessary to take humans to other planets and beyond. We are not amassing the arsenal necessary to ward off extinction from asteroid impacts nor are we building the tools we need to fight runaway global warming through sunshades or the like.
We could be building things, lots of things, outside of Earth’s gravity and be permanently expanding our reach into the Cosmos. We can do all of this with existing technology – low tech by today’s standards – the only requirement is a slight shift of human priority.
I want to try in my own way to fill this gap. I want our reality to be different than it is and I think I know how to do that.
We must encourage the tinkerers and the builders to venture into space. And not just be there and exist in space, but to play in it, interact with it. A compelling challenge like the one that I have outlined would bring adventurers, those wary of traditional ways of doing things who take bold steps into new territory. I want to find the people in this world who want to dip their (virtual) hands into the Moon’s soil and pull out an object born from their imagination.
Following the competition, the winning team will have the ability to make parts indefinitely on the surface of the Moon using soil and sunlight. These parts could be assembled to form the bodies of robots, most notably those of additional printers; containers for material storage; energy collection apparatuses; and a host of other applications, with each addition bringing even greater capabilities for extracting resources and building upon the lunar surface.
Proper preparation could greatly extend the reach of this first lunar base to encourage it to grow organically from resources collected on the Moon. The winning team could build a large collection of printers and robots by sending just a few extra electronics, motors, and Mylar sheets for solar collection. This hardware could be installed into the bodies of printers and robots, all made on the Moon. The added costs of launching a slightly heavier payload would be minimal compared to the potential returns that you could receive from increased operational capability on the Moon.
The creative limits of the winning team will be pushed to find new ways of harnessing the few resources they started with. The lunar soil contains a range of extremely useful materials such as aluminum, iron, copper, titanium, and magnesium; all of which are easily extractable for use in specialized mechanical or electrical components. Small amounts of water can be liberated from the soil as it is melted. This water could be collected and used to drive steam engines as a feasible first step towards low-tech locomotion on the Moon. Simple heating elements could be produced from parabolic solar collectors improvised from Mylar sheets applied to the surface of troughs dug into the soil.
Continued support from Earth via rocket bound payloads could accelerate efforts of expanding upon the efforts of the winning team or their model could be repeated elsewhere on the Moon. From one printer comes many. Each new printer will build redundancy into the system and expand the infrastructure required for extraterrestrial manufacturing. From each new robot comes more soil and food for the growing manufacturing base. With proper preparation, this process can continue indefinitely.
 

tldr; Let's take Monero to the Moon and then let it return the favor.

 
Edit 1: I set up the website moneromoonprize.com to post additional information moving forward and propose that we use /moneromoonprize for continued discussion of the competition beyond this thread.
 
Edit 2: Verification of Funds
address:44aaLQFizmb2FdVKuBxwS5i8hgExwZyXpN7APKPeXmyYEc93ecZsweAJ2Rr4g8FDoPjBkXBrXARL4N3cpKbAWxCyUb8LfFM viewkey:3bc4c7354f7b870985a3698a23bcfbd63e01ece14d08eab16ac2b815157a7c03 key images (available for 24 hrs): https://dropfile.to/QzCc2r0 
submitted by outerspacerace to Monero [link] [comments]

The solution for making crypto currencies liquid

Intervention by Visa spelled an end to European crypto debit cards for the majority of customers on Thursday. Around a dozen crypto companies were affected by the shutdown, which instantly wiped out their services across Europe. Issuers such as Bitwala, Tenx, CryptoHawk, Bitpay, and Xapo were left high and dry after a Visa subsidiary stopped processing payments. Two of the companies affected have since spoken to news.Bitcoin.com, revealing their plans to find an alternative solution.
News.Bitcoin.com reported on a sudden crackdown on crypto cards within Europe, orchestrated by Visa subsidiary Wavecrest. The report explained how “the prepaid cards, which have become extremely popular in the crypto community, provide a means of indirectly paying for goods and services using cryptocurrency.”
Bridging the gap between fiat and crypto is one of the biggest challenges cryptocurrency platforms face. Hybrid cards, which allow a debit card to be funded with crypto and then used to make purchases in the local fiat currency, were seen as a smart solution. That all changed this week when hundreds of thousands of European crypto-holders found their cards had been rendered useless.
CRYPTOHAWK CryptoHawk is an upcoming cryptocurrency exchange that will hosts the world’s most popular digital currencies, and also offer its own currency that entitles owners to a share of the company’s profits. In addition to their online exchange service, the company is also very interested in helping cryptocurrencies gain widespread use and acceptance; they’ve announced plans to distribute credit cards that allow payment with cryptocurrencies in brick-and-mortar stores, and ATMs that will enable the immediate purchase of cryptocurrencies with cash. CryptoHawk indicates that its exchange will offer most of the world’s popular digital currencies, but its website doesn’t mention when the service will launch, which fiat currencies it will accept, and whether regulations will forbid the citizens of any country from participating. its exchange service, CryptoHawk hopes to eventually offer credit cards and ATMs that will allow cryptocurrencies to be used in brick-and-mortar locations all around the world. However, these ambitious goals may not be realized for some time. Furthermore, CryptoHawk is offering its own token, the HAWK, that is interesting among digital currencies because it functions like a share of stock; owners are entitled to a monthly share of the company’s profits. The HAWK is an ERC-20 compliant currency, meaning it can be stored in any wallet that supports Ethereum, though their values are not related.
TENX TenX started life as OneBit, a payment card linked to a bitcoin wallet. When Bitcoin began to give up some of it’s cryptocurrency market share, the OneBit team identified an opportunity in developing an exchange platform that could open their project to this broadening market TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into fiat money: the dollars, yen and euros that power most everyday commerce. The company said it takes a 2% cut from each transaction and has received orders for more than 10,000 cards. While transactions are capped at $2,000 a year, users can apply to increase the limit if they undergo identify verification procedures.
submitted by troyharker101 to ethtrader [link] [comments]

HOW TO IDENTIFY AND INVEST IN PROFITABLE CRYPTOCURRENCIES | NO, IT’S NOT TOO LATE

The best time to buy was 10 years ago, the 2nd best time to buy was yesterday.
This is a common situation that you will probably encounter soon in your day to day life; you could be talking about investments with friends and colleagues and the moment you start talking about digital currencies, you may face some mixed reactions. There is general concern among seasoned investors that anyone who isn’t already knowledgeable in stock markets and commodity exchanges should not dabble with cryptocurrencies – it’s too risky.
LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT – CRYPTOCURRENCIES CAN BE AN INVESTMENT AND THEY CAN BE PROFITABLE. While cryptocurrencies were initially thought to be the currency of the future, it is more of an investment nowadays in hopes that it will ultimately be worth more than what it initially costs. In other words, cryptocurrencies may give you a better (which is understated) ROI over traditional stock market investing.
Here’s the catch; while knowing the basics of investing is nice, you don’t need to have that knowledge for cryptocurrencies. Despite its recent boom, the industry is still in its infancy stage and we should look forward to the next 10, 20 years instead of tomorrow.
Don’t worry though; you’re in safe hands. The cryptocurrency community is a large network of fellow investors who are more than happy to help you with your cryptocurrency questions, like us! In today’s post, we’re going to cover the basics of identifying and investing in profitable cryptocurrencies for new investors.
Is cryptocurrency a bubble? Before we move on to cryptocurrencies, let’s rewind to a time when the hype over investing was this big (arguably bigger). During the days of the dotcom boom in the late 90s, IPO (initial public offering) was introduced to the public as another channel for investments. Investors could toss money into any IPO and be guaranteed superb returns almost every time. Huge early gains by companies further fueled the hype but we all know what happened a few years later when the bubble burst.
With the exception of some companies like Amazon and eBay, most IPOs went bust after all-time highs were reached. The bubble burst served as a reminder to investors that nothing in life especially in investing is fail-safe. Over 20 years later, the new ‘bubble’, as quoted by financial experts, came. Working very similarly to the IPO craze of the 90s, cryptocurrencies began to offer ICOs (initial coin offerings) which garnered interest from major publications early this year.
Instead of raising money the traditional way, startups raise money by offering tokens or digital coins which fund the firm’s operations. This means startups do not need to rely on complicated funding rounds and pitches to secure investments for their ventures. Investors who invest in these ICOs bank in the hope that the token rises in value over time. Many of these ICO’s are offered at fractions of a penny, in hopes of rising exponential in value down the road. For example, if you’d have invested $1,000 in Ethereum during its ICO, you would have had at least a million dollars with you right now in terms of value.
Speaking of Ethereum, it was the platform itself that showed this new form of startup investing to the world. An ICO works similarly to a crowdfunding campaign; think of it as a Kickstarter for start-ups. An ICO allows projects to raise money for development, whilst simultaneously providing a token to backers. The tokens resemble shares or stocks in a traditional stock market. While ICOs are exploding in popularity, they are still in a grey area.
They are unregulated by the authorities and is therefore not guaranteed to actually provide good returns to investors. Additionally, tokens are not considered securities which are a problem with authorities like the SEC. There is no guarantee that the development team will deliver their promises and there is also no guarantee that your investments are secure down the road. However, no investment, even in the stock market, is a sure thing. ICOs are a new industry venture and have many unique risks that make them different (and potentially more profitable) from an IPO you will find on the stock market.
Is it speculative?
Based on the huge amounts of money that have been pouring into ICOs this year (over $1bn in less than 6 months), there is no doubt that speculation is strong in the cryptocurrency scene among investors. Despite news of early investors turning thousands of dollars into millions(!) in under a year, the truth is that every cryptocurrency (including established ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum) is still highly speculative. While the total market cap of every cryptocurrency in existence is just about $150 billion dollars, all of that has happened in a rapid rise which is also known as a bull run in less than a year.
However, we’ve mentioned that the crypto scene is still young. Despite its abnormal rise, we don’t know for sure whether this is acceptable or not for digital currencies. Bitcoin famously crashed in 2013 and recently in June 2017.
It has bounced back to reach an all-time high value of $3,200 – something that is impossible to achieve for shares in the stock market. Hence, no one really knows what’s normal or not in the cryptocurrency scene. It’s best, however, to take a more conservative approach if you don’t want to lose your funds quickly.
The top factors to look out for when investing in a cryptocurrency 1. Make sure the coin has a purpose
When investing in any cryptocurrency or ICO, it is important to identify the core features of a project that differentiate it from every other coin on the market.
For instance, when Bitcoin was first introduced, there were many clones of the original Bitcoin with minor tweaks such as an increased supply, quicker transaction times, or just a name change. Fast forward to today and you’ll find out that most of these clones are dead. The only ones who made money were the creators of those copycat coins. The best example to prove this point is by looking at Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s focus was not only to become another digital store of value. Instead, the founder realized that the same technology used to perform transactions digitally (the blockchain) can also be used to transfer data and information.
Because of Ethereum’s innovation and unique use case, it warrants a rise in value as shown by Ethereum’s rise from $10 to $400 from January to May 2017. Ethereum allows developers to build platforms based off cryptocurrencies, develop smart contracts, as well as being a store of value at the same time. Smart contracts work exactly how they sound; terms of contracts that execute automatically based on wether conditions are met or not.
Another series of innovative cryptocurrency projects include MaidSafe, Storj, and Sia. Again, instead of being another digital currency, these projects aim to become the cloud storage of the future. The general idea around investing in a good and profitable currency is this:
Make sure the cryptocurrency or token has an actual use case. If it’s just as a store of value, Bitcoin does that well and there are unlimited other coins that do the same thing The more generic a token’s use case is, the less likely its going to succeed. If a token is just another ‘decentralised token for blah blah technical jargon’, stay clear. Remember, decentralized is a buzzword, not something that actually states what the coin is used for Make sure the use case is logical. A coin can have unique use cases, but not everything has to be decentralized and be done on the blockchain. For example, you may come across an ICO that markets itself as a decentralized social media platform. How can decentralization work when the whole purpose of a social media platform is to literally provide your information for it to actually become social? Use your common sense when looking at coins; if you know that there is absolutely no need for an ICO or token to use cryptography, ditch it. 2. Make sure the development is competent, reputable, and transparent Whenever you find an ICO or coin that you’re looking to invest in, go straight to their website and look at the developer or team page.
Make sure that the developers and team members of the ICO or coin have their real name, picture, and credentials. If there is no information or if the team is anonymous, stay clear. There is absolutely no reason for a competent startup team to not include information about themselves on the website or any other company website.
Tip: Reverse image search photos of team members on Google. If you find out that the image is fake or duplicated, avoid the project. Once you find who the people behind the project are, Google their name and find out as much as you can about them. LinkedIn profiles are a great way of gauging whether a coin has a good team behind them. Some good information to look out for include:
Where did they go to school? What did they study/area of expertise? What is their work experience? Were they a part of an influential company before? Do they have any experience in this industry? Do they have any previous positions that shows their potential and skills? Two other platforms to look out for other than LinkedIn is the team’s Github and Twitter profiles.
While we don’t suggest you to become internet sleuths, finding out a team’s achievements on their Github and Twitter is a good way of finding out whether a project will succeed. Let’s say that you find a developer’s Github and they have nothing special on there, nearly an empty page.
Would you trust that developer with YOUR money to run the project? In regards to the credibility of developers, there is a lot to be said (in a good way) if a team or developer has their credentials set to public. When a development team is public, they are regarded as the faces to the organization. Hence, they hold the responsibility and accountability of the project’s success or failure.
You could potentially have ICOs or coins built by anonymous developers, some of which may have a strong background. Common sense, however, indicates that it would be wise not to contribute to projects with anonymous developers. There are two ways anonymous projects can go very wrong:
There is no accountability if the developer cuts and runs, and, with no former projects to look upon There’s no way to know if they’re capable of delivering their promises as you know nothing about them A good thing to look out for when considering an ICO investment is identifying the organization in charge of handling the escrow for the ICO. Reputable development teams will enlist organizations with a solid reputation within the finance industry to act as trustworthy holders of raised funds. With their reputation on the line, these individuals are less likely to cut and run with the raised funds. Additionally, solid development teams will have set in place a condition where, if a certain level of funding is not achieved, the individuals who contributed will be refunded. This acts as a fail-safe in the event a project ends up underfunded. Good teams will also have policies in place to make sure that they do not sell the tokens raised immediately. Instead, they will sell it gradually to raise funds for their project to avoid market shock.
For example, the Ethereum team raised thousands of BTC amounting to millions for their ICO. However, the team only sold 10% of their BTC each year as capital for their project. They knew that if they were to sell all their BTC instantly, they could potentially drop the value of BTC and crash the market which is bad for cryptocurrencies. In general, good developments care less about money and more about making sure their vision is a success.
  1. Does the whitepaper make sense?
When a cryptocurrency raises money for an ICO, the team will come up with a document called a whitepaper. The white paper simply includes:
What the project is about. The white paper will explain the vision of the project, the goals it hopes to achieve, and the technology of the coin. The amount of money needed to be raised for the project. The number of tokens or coins allocated to investors. For example, Ethereum allocated about ~80 million ETH for its ICO. In general, the fewer tokens issued, the higher its value will be due to limited supply. The length of the ICO campaign. If you’re going put money into an ICO, the white paper must be the first thing you read. It may be boring or too long to read, but the white paper lays out the company’s risks and opportunities, along with the proposed uses for the money raised by the ICO. For example, the white paper will explain if the coin holder is going to have voting rights, or if the coin pays out dividends based on a number of coins you hold and when those dividends are paid out (monthly, yearly, etc.).
If a white paper is overly optimistic, stay cautious as inflated goals often lead to disappointment. Also, if a white paper is needlessly complex (too much jargon, vague explanations, complex English, etc.), be wary as they may hide the team’s incompetence by deliberately making the project hard to understand.
  1. Gather reviews and insights from cryptocurrency discussion boards
BitcoinTalk is the biggest message board for cryptocurrencies. The forum is a place where people interested in the technical details of the development of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies come together to discuss and form opinions. New and existing cryptocurrencies usually have an Announcement thread (also known as an [ANN] thread) on the BitcoinTalk forums. This is usually the best way to find the first announcement of an ICO, what the coin has to offer, ask questions with the developers of the coin and other members of the forum.
When researching a coin, find the thread of the coin and read every single page in the thread. Many common questions (both negative and positive questions) are usually answered in the ICO’s announcement thread. Make sure to read answers given by the official developer accounts of the thread. Are they answering all questions and concerns with genuine responses or do their posts seem canned, vague, and shady? A simple trick to use when searching on BitcoinTalk is searching the thread with certain keywords. Negative words such as “con”, “scam”, “scamcoin”, “MLM”, and “shit” (pardon the vulgarities) are usually indicators of a poorly-run coin. If any posts are found with these words, read the threads carefully and do your own research to see if it’s worth investing or not.
On the other hand, if a thread is too positive (almost no negative comments), double check the accounts to make sure they are legit. A team can easily pay for bots and users to fabricate and post positive comments about their coins. Another place to find out information about a coin is by looking on Reddit. Cryptocurrencies usually have their own subreddit (e.g Ethereum’s /ethtrader, Bitcoin’s /BTC) which contains information about the coin such as upcoming events, updates from devs, as well as analysis and forecasts on the coin’s value.
  1. Spread your assets, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and only invest what you can afford to lose The modern healthcare industry is flawed and disadvantageous to end consumers.
This can be seen in today’s norm where medical records are managed and owned exclusively by healthcare providers instead of the patients themselves.
It may not be an issue to some but for people who don’t visit or don’t have access to a regular doctor, it is a huge problem.
The reason why it’s bad is that your unique medical records are scattered all over and getting that information from one healthcare provider to another takes days or even weeks, which only lengthens the time you wait to receive patient care.
Studies and research have shown that inefficiencies experienced in healthcare processes are highly affected by patient records that can’t be shared across clinics because of outdated processes and systems.
In many ways, the healthcare system is incredibly inefficient with the situation above being a glaring example of it—and it’s time for a change.
Introducing MediBloc MediBloc is a decentralized healthcare data management platform built on the blockchain.
The platform’s main goal is to empower patients with options they deserve (and should have had) in the healthcare industry.
With MediBloc, patients can hold and have full control over their medical records while at the same time, controlling access to providers as well as updating information with the appropriate amount of patient consent.
By enabling these features, MediBloc helps to reduce inherent problems in the healthcare industry like process redundancies, inefficient administrative tasks, delays in giving or receiving treatment, data forgery that results in insurance frauds—all of this will be eliminated and improved in a secure and transparent medical platform.
Because the healthcare industry is such a sensitive industry, MediBloc’s team ensures that the platform is fully compliant with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) so that patients can use MediBloc’s services without any worries of going against the law.
Why was MediBloc built on the blockchain in the first place?
Thanks to the properties of the blockchain, MediBloc can provide a 100% trustless platform with the ability to validate and verify identities, hence removing the need for intermediaries that don’t add value to the patient-clinic relationship.
All in all, users of the MediBloc platform enjoy greater transparency, more effective services, as well as being rewarded fairly for their involvement.
At the same time, patient records that struggled in the old healthcare database system can now be securely stored on the blockchain and are fully decentralized. Through MediBloc, every patient can control his/her own data instead of a third-party without the concern of insecurity and mistrust when carrying and exchanging health data.
One of the team’s visions for MediBloc includes building an open platform where all parties can collaborate harmoniously to build useful applications for the future.
By harnessing the patient data and history stored in the MediBloc blockchain, the platform is planning to build revolutionary features such as automated insurance claims, personalized health reports as well as the possibility of AI-powered medical chatbots that can answer common questions and patient queries automatically.
The MediBloc team is extremely competent with both co-founders being professional doctors with backgrounds in the computer science industry.
Dr. Allen Wookyun Kho is a dental surgeon and was previously a respected software engineer at Samsung Electronics while his partner, Dr. Eunsol Lee is a well-known radiologist and data scientist with experiences in medical Big Data.
MediBloc already has a working alpha version of the platform with an official version in development and expected to be released next year.
How does MediBloc work? As explained in the above paragraphs, MediBloc is a decentralized healthcare information platform and personal data ecosystem for patients, healthcare providers, and researchers.
Described by the official website itself, MediBloc’s main mission is to:
Streamline medicine for patients, providers, and researchers by redistributing value behind personal healthcare data ownership.
Essentially, MediBloc allows users to hold, store, and update their medical records in one place—working exactly like a digital healthcare wallet.
A use case contained in the MediBloc whitepaper explains how MediBloc will work practically: as a patient, imagine getting yourself to a clinic and your provider then requests for your information on MediBloc off the bat.
As soon as you grant access to the clinic, they can view all of your medical histories from previous appointments you’ve had even if they’re in a different clinic, a different doctor, or in different countries—everything will be recorded.
As you might’ve imagined, MediBloc allows patients to save time and money by avoiding redundant tests. This would also greatly improve the speed and efficiency of your treatments and the healthcare providers can carry out their responsibilities more efficiently, making it a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Healthcare data has always been available to researchers but because of security and compliance reasons, access to data has always been restricted which hinders the advancement of medical technologies.
Thanks to the transparent nature of MediBloc, researchers have access to a much larger data pool of patient records and healthcare data for their projects.
Now, why would a patient voluntarily share his or her medical data other than contributing to the growth of the medical industry?
Here’s why; MediBloc wants to promote a healthy patient ecosystem by incentivizing patients to trade over their records, therefore creating a medical data economy that benefits everyone.
Patients have the freedom of choice to sell portions of their private data to researchers, medical professionals and institutions for Medi Tokens (MED), the platform’s utility token.
The MediBloc token sale The Medi Token (MED) will be the official cryptocurrency and utility token used in the MediBloc platform.
MED tokens are used to compensate practitioners when they input new medical data for patients; the tokens are also used by researchers to purchase data from patients selling it.
MED is also used to acquire products and services on the platform as well as being able to be traded on exchanges for other cryptocurrencies or fiat.
Here are the details of the upcoming MED token sale:
Token name: MED
Token base: QTUM
Token supply/Token offering: 10,000,000,000 / 5,000,000,000
Token sale duration: 27th November, 2017 – 15th December, 2017
Token sale target: 2,500,000 QTUM
Token exchange rate: 1 QTUM = 2,000 MED (BTC and ETH also accepted | BTC/QTUM, ETH/QTUM conversion rate updated daily)
Just like with any other investment, having a portfolio with multiple assets as well as spreading your risks is a sound choice. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and invest in one coin thinking it is going to rise substantially. Instead, find 3 or 4 coins that you think is good and invest in them. A good strategy in cryptocurrencies is to have an 80/20 or 70/30 ratio. 80% or 70% (the bulk) of your cryptocurrency investments should be put in established coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This amount should be kept and held by you; do not trade it unless you know what you’re doing. After that, depending on your remaining coins and how likely it is you will reach your goals, you could put them in a diversified portfolio of riskier investments (coins that have potential but are not established yet). Some coins that are a good shot at holding in the long run include:
Bitcoin (BTC) Ethereum (ETH)Litecoin (LTC) Stratis (STRAT) Waves (WAVES) 6. Don’t watch the price everyday; buying and holding is the still the best strategy in the long run
Day trading and looking at charts and buy/sell orders is not feasible for 99% of cryptocurrency investors. Unless you have a huge capital, the gains that you get from day trading and making your decisions off small changes in a coin’s value is minimal. Not only do you not gain much, you also have a higher risk of losing your net worth along the way if you make a bad trade.
There’s also a saying in the market to never time the market. While events and development updates are decent ways of determining a coin’s future value, trying to time your way by buying and selling at the ‘right time’ will always lose your money in the long run. For TA (technical analysis) trading to be worth it for cryptocurrencies, you should have at least $50,000 in cryptocurrencies for it to be profitable. Instead, the best strategy for most investors is to buy and hold. You should believe in your investment and only invest money that you can afford to lose; with these two factors achieved, you don’t need to watch the price of your investments every day like a hawk.
If you made a rational investment decision, don’t let your emotions take over and negate your decisions during a price drop or rise. We suggest checking your net worth and the market weekly, monthly, or quarterly. It’s fine to check the market every day but remember to not to get emotionally invested in it. Not only are you risking your well-being on (technically) intangibles, you are also risking your social life and relationships by being too attached to the market and not giving enough time and attention to your personal life.
For instance, just under a month ago, Bitcoin crashed from almost reaching $3,000 to $1,800 per BTC. Today? 1 BTC is already equal to $4,000 – nearly a 100% increase in value if you would’ve kept your calm and held your coins.
  1. Don’t time the market. There is not good or bad time to buy and sell
Again, the rule of not timing the market is so important that we have to mention in twice. Unlike stock markets, there is no general rule when to buy or sell cryptocurrencies because the industry is so young and unknown. If you have to follow a set of rules, these are general guidelines that will work most of the time as long as you don’t panic sell or buy:
Only sell when you achieve your goal. If you’ve set a goal of $50,000 for your investments, sell only when you hit that figure. Don’t panic sell. Again, Bitcoin dropped to $1,800 from nearly $3,000 under a month ago. Ethereum fell from $400 to nearly reaching $100 in the same timeline. Today, Bitcoin and Ethereum are both worth $3,300 and $250 respectively. Not only would you have lost plenty of money by panic selling during this period, you would’ve also been in the red for your investments. Do not have FOMO. FOMO is an acronym for the phrase fear of missing out. Don’t buy just because everyone else around you is buying cryptocurrencies. Instead, do your own research and make your own decisions. Only invest what you can afford to lose. This should be taught to all investors, in all honesty. Investing in cryptocurrencies is very much like gambling. There is no guarantee for you to turn a profit; likewise, do not get emotionally invested into it. Another reason to never time the market is that you never know what’s going to happen to the values of cryptocurrencies. For example, when Bitcoin was $1,000, there was talk about the ‘bubble’ and how Bitcoin is overvalued. The same thing happened when Ethereum reached $50. It’s safe to say that both currencies have proved their doubters very, very wrong. It’s also beneficial to not compare crypto bubbles to traditional financial bubbles. A 10% change in real financial markets can wreak havoc but it’s completely normal (and expected) for cryptocurrencies. Likewise, a 100% rise in stock prices is nearly impossible in the real world while 1,000% changes in cryptocurrencies happen regularly. Bitcoin has grown from less than a penny per unit to $3,300 for one – let that sink in. As the scene is not regulated (yet), there are many scamcoins popping up as a quick way to burn investors and make the founders money, don’t be fooled!
https://www.chipin.com/invest-cryptocurrencies-profit/
submitted by wcriptnews to u/wcriptnews [link] [comments]

[uncensored-r/Bitcoin] [Question] Opening a backup 'wallet.dat' to check it's balance

The following post by HawkEy3 is being replicated because the post has been silently removed.
The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link:
np.reddit.com/ Bitcoin/comments/7a0f9p
The original post's content was as follows:
Hello, I think I'm doing this right but I'd like to be 100% sure.
I have the up-to-date bitcoin core v.0.15.0.1 running windows7 and almost synced. The software shows the balance of whichever 'wallet.dat' is in it's directory, right? There are no hidden stumbling block like having to run the bitcoin-qt.exe with -rescan or -updatewallet (for an old wallet file) commands? Or a mandatory import wallet process?
And if so, how to do that correctly?
-Thanks
submitted by censorship_notifier to noncensored_bitcoin [link] [comments]

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Simbit - a stainless steel cryptocurrency wallet

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